Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mining the Bozchat: 9/3/2009

I know my 3-5 readers are busy and don't have time to read online chats. Especially Tom Boswell's. Sometimes, though, in between the football and the golf and the misspellings and the attempts at statistical analysis, Boz has some actual Nats content. Highlights from this week's chat:
  • Boz pooh-poohs the hubbub over Strasburg's reaction to people wanting to watching his first professional game of catch, but then reverses by saying that if Strasburg didn't "want the kleig lights, then don't sign with the Yankees or don't have Boras battling for you."
  • Boz dismisses concerns about the streaky natures of Dunn and Willingham. "Sluggers are often streaks. I might even say "usually." That's why they play 162 games . . . The Nats stole two sluggers last off-season __a near-great one in Dunn and a very good (and previously underrated one) in Willingham. A lot of thing have gone wrong this season. But that went very right."
  • Should the Nats try Zimmerman at SS? "You don't move genius." Offhanded mention of Zimmerman's throwing problems, which I hope is intended to rile Dibble.
  • Boz knocks the between-innings entertainment and suggests that this is one case where Kasten's "something for everyone" philosophy has gone too far.
  • Superficial discussion of available free agents for 2010. Really just a list of available players at each position.
  • It's too soon to tell what kind of park Nationals Park really is, but it looks like they "avoided their main fear: a cheap homer park that would damage the development of their young pitchers in future."
  • "Right now, Riggleman . . . look[s] secure in [his job] for next year," but if the Nats "truly collapse," then Riggleman " won't be back, imo." Boz's guess: " It's going to get early-season ugly for the Nats." Upside: Harper time.
  • Questioner wonders whether Boz worries that he might "lose it" as a writer. Boz tries to make the case that writers get better over time. I'm currently reading How Life Imitates the World Series. It's a collection of late 1970s-early 1980s long-form pieces and some shorter columns. Aside from a few digressions, Boz hits pretty much what you'd expect from that time period -- 1978 Yankees-Red Sox playoff, Reggie Jackson, Earl Weaver, "where are they now" for the 1971 Senators, Frank Howard, Pete Rose and the 1980 World Series, etc. The merits of the book aside (it's pretty good, even if Boz is trying a little too hard to be Roger Angell or Roger Kahn), to compare it to Boz's recent work and say that he's getting better . . . I'd rather he took the time to do a long-form magazine piece than keep churning out logic-challenged "same topic, different year" columns (golf majors; Redskins; Tiger; we have baseball now; whaddya know, the Caps are good).

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