Baseball Wiseguys

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Around the Bigs

Tom Boswell has a column in the WashPost today that actually makes a few good points. After praising Bowden's moves so far this offseason (moves which seem to have been panned everywhere else) he goes on to talk about how the tide in the DC area may be turning ever so slightly away from all-Redskins, all-the-time. Damn, I hope so. Being a Yankee fan in this town is relatively painless, because the local media has not fawned all over the Orioles in my years here as they do the Redskins. But pulling for the Giants every year while hearing the Skins are Super Bowl bound from April onwards is a bit of a chore. Every year the Redskins manage to find a savior who will take them to the mountaintop, and every fan in the area runs out and buys another jersey and drinks this year's Kool-Aid. Now they can start acting like every other city's fans and pay attention to each sport in its season, and hopefully we won't have to talk NFL depth charts on a Saturday afternoon in May.

The Nationals signed a backup catcher over the weekend- Gary Bennett. I don't know what else to say about him other than I hope Schneider is very durable. Bennett's 2004 EQA was .221, which puts him in vaunted company with Sandy Alomar and Brook Fordyce. (brain fart earlier today- not sure why Schneider slipped my mind- apologies.)

In an effort to reach out to the community, the 'Spos will aim to rebuild some local youth baseball fields in the future, and align themselves with area Little Leagues. This is something the Nats will really need to exploit. For all the hype and excitement that I and my other young adult friends have, the only way baseball can survive long term in this area is by heavily marketing towards the future fans. The region around DC seems to be heavy into soccer, lacrosse, etc. in terms of youth enthusiasm, so pushing baseball as a primary sport will be a must.

Not quite Yankee related, but the Mets have made a high dollar offer to Pedro, apparently 3 years, $37.5 million, with a 4th year option. Not sure quite what to think of this but I have a sneaky feeling that unless big Stein gets involved, maybe the Yanks and Sox will both take a step back, content in the knowledge that the clown won't be pitching against them over the course of 19+ games next year, and happy to not have been the team to shell out for that many years.

In other news, Donnie Baseball is still on the Hall of Fame ballot, though it's expected he will continue to fall well short of induction. The Yanks are close to re-signing John Flaherty, which could be a strong indicator that catching prospect Dioner Navarro will be traded this winter.

Smart Kids?
Yale pulled a major league prank on Harvard at their annual football game last weekend. Yalies acting as the Harvard Pep Squad handed out 1800 sheets of paper to the Harvard crowd, which they were told would spell out 'Go Harvard.' Turns out they actually spelled out, 'We Suck.' Your future world leaders ladies and gentlemen...

Netflix is money. Been watching the early years of Seinfeld and season one of the OC nonstop lately. Backyard football is one of the best things about Thanksgiving; my dad, my bro and I lost a tightly contested shootout against our old friends last Friday by a final score of 70-56. (top that, Cincy-Cleveland). Little bro has grown into a Moss-type deep threat while I like to think of myself as a fearless, over-the-middle receiver in the mold of Hines Ward. Book recommendation: The Numbers Game by Alan Schwarz is a real interesting look at the kinds of stats that have shaped baseball, and the people who developed and obsess over them. Another good winter read is this book about the Cape Cod baseball league, which if you haven't yet read, you should. After heading out to Lehigh last Saturday to see my alma mater, all I have to say is go Dukes.