Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Are you fucking kidding me?

Interim Jim had his weekly interview with MASNsports.com, and it's a doozy. I'm surprised I didn't pass out from the repeated facepalming.

The interview discusses the September call-ups, but it's Riggleman's answers regarding Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond that have me looking for a local anger management class.

Here's what Riggleman had to say:

Ian Desmond has probably been our best position player down there this year. He's really done a great job and he may have a future here in the very near future as one of our middle infielders, so we want to get a look at him.

Wow, sounds great. You know, Guzman has been kind of crappy at SS this season. He's been streaky, and when does hit, it's all empty batting average anyway. Dude never takes a walk. And Guzman's stumbling in the field is getting pretty embarrassing. I, too, would like to see what late bloomer Ian Desmond, formerly touted as "Nats Shortstop of the Future" can do when given regular playing time and at bats. So the Nats management and I are in total agreement, right?

Q: Speaking of Desmond, will he get the majority of playing time at shortstop?

I've talked to GM Mike Rizzo about this and he's in agreement, when you have these situations you don't want to ruffle feathers on your guys who have given you a great effort all season.

Whaaaaaaaat!? Fuck ruffling feathers. This kind of "veterans first" mentality is detrimental to the team. As FJB's Steve Biel noted in the most recent episode of Natmosphere in Your Ear, this is Frank Robinson playing Vinnie Castilla over September 2005 call-up Ryan Zimmerman all over again. Castilla, who still had another year on his contract, wasn't part of the future. Similarly, Guzman, who still has another year on his contract, isn't part of the future. Guzman's contract is a sunk cost and should have no bearing on whether he plays or not. Rizzo doesn't agree with my opinion that he fucked up by looking at Guzman as a piece of the future instead of trading him to Boston, but that arguably only hurt the 2009 roster. Playing Guzman in favor of Desmond potentially damages the 2010 roster.

This isn't like 2005, where Bowden couldn't stand up to Frank and make him play Zimmerman over Castilla. Rizzo and Riggleman are in agreement, so it looks like Rizzo is going all in on Guzman.

We've got guys like Cristian Guzman, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn; if somebody comes up from the Minor Leagues in September, you don't want to take the at bats away from guys who have played hard for you all year and just shove them aside.

One of these things is not like the other things. Nice try though. Maybe your straw man made a few readers slightly indignant.

We'll get Ian at bats but probably not to the extent of what maybe some people would like to see.

Loose translation: "Suck it, bloggers."

Riggleman will give Desmond just enough playing time to allow you to wonder what Desmond might have done if he had been given more playing time.

He's a guy that we're going to say "he's done a nice job at Triple-A, he's got all the tools to be a big league player." We'll get him some games in the big leagues, but at the same time not sit anybody who has been going out there and given us a great effort all year.

Would this be the same "great effort" that has the Nats charging towards a second 100-loss season in a row and running away with the Bryce Harper Derby? Instead of a "great effort," some might call that a "colossal failure."

Q: Do you look at this as an audition for Desmond? Is he the shortstop of the future?

I don't look at it as an audition because if that were the case, we'd just stick him out there and play him every day. I think the future of our ballclub, the determination is going to have to be made as to where we can best help ourselves in the middle of the infield.

Riggleman is right; it's not an audition when you've already decided the player isn't going to get the part.

Is Guzman our shortstop down the road or does the club acquire a second baseman to go along with Guzman or do you acquire a shortstop and talk to Guzzie about going to second? These are all questions that have to be answered, but they have to be at the same time.

Anything can happen!

Guzzie has been pretty much a .300 hitter all season, played through pain and to take time away from him, I can't audition Desmond extensively because that would be taking away too many at bats.

But none of those questions really matter because Guzman is going to get all the playing time. That philosophical bullshit before, yeah, I was just trying to confuse you.

Q: You mentioned Guzman possibly moving to second. Have you spoken to him about that and is he okay with the move?

We haven't spoken about it. It's been brought up to me by some writers during our press conferences before or after games, so it's kind of out there that that's on people's minds.

You know, the gotcha media, always makin' things up.

I can't say that we haven't given it some thought because we think about anything that will help our ball club, but Guzzie is a pretty good shortstop.

Five-man infield? We'd do it if we were convinced it would help. Four-man rotation? We'd give it a shot if we had four good starting pitchers. Hell, if you told me that we would win more games if I slathered my face with mayonnaise and rubbed two chicken bones together every time Willie Harris came up to bat, I'd do it. We would do anything, anything, if we thought it would make the team better.

Except for moving Guzman to second. No fucking way is that ever going to happen. That and playing Desmond over Guzman. That's not gonna happen either. So, anything but those two things.

He's an offensive shortstop.

Truer words were never spoken.

I'm not sure we want to do that. If we knew that what we wanted to do, maybe we would talk to him about it, but again, it's going to be determined by who is out there this winter that maybe fits for the Nationals and come in and play a middle infield position. If its second, Guzzie is our shortstop. If the only acquisition made was a shortstop, then we'd have to talk to Guzzie about moving to second.

If they con Orlando Hudson or Chone Figgins into coming to DC, then Guzman stays at shortstop. If they sign the zombified corpse of someone like Orlando Cabrera or Khalil Greene, or an overpriced Jack Wilson or Marco Scutaro, then they'll have an awkward conversation with Guzman.

Either way, Guzmania 2010!

Update: Jim Riggleman's sense of honor prevents him from playing September call-ups against contending teams because the Nats are supposed to be a spoiler. Maybe he should take a closer look at the Wild Card standings.

2 comments:

IPLawguy said...

Talk about loving veterans. Last night he had Morse (and Desmond) on the bench and he pinch hits with Wil Nieves? What was that all about?

Sec314

Kevin said...

I don't see any Mike Morse commercials, do you?