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Wednesday, February 18, 2009
What's worse: that the Nats gave a big signing bonus to a guy who has been found out to be four years older than they thought he was, or that the guy wasn't even all that good to begin with:
A top Washington Nationals prospect and recipient of the largest international signing bonus in team history is not who he appeared to be. Esmailyn Gonzalez, who is listed as 19 years old on the team's roster, is actually 23-year-old Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo, four sources have told SI.com.
Sometimes I toy with the idea of really getting into Nats baseball because (a) I used to live in and love D.C.; and (b) the field is wide open -- no one could accuse me of being a front-runner. But then I realize how demoralizing it would be to have to follow a team with such an inept front office. I mean, even the Braves were making a lot of good and interesting decisions back when they were losing 100 games a year.
Where's the light at the end of the tunnel for Nats fans?
I was among the first to note that Jose Canseco, for all of his issues, has been right about most of what he has said about steroids, but this is a bridge too far:
Jose Canseco believes he was the only player telling the whole truth about steroids. Who used and when. For how long.
There's a big difference between wanting to be acknowledged as having told the truth on the one hand, and expecting an apology and asking to be embraced and given a job on the other. I'm fine with the former, but the latter? Please. If Jose Canseco is telling the truth -- and so far he has been -- he is responsible for turning on loads of players to steroids in the first place. In this he is not unlike the arsonist who wants a medal for telling the fire department that the gas station on the corner is burning.
Since yesterday's post, A bunch of other guys have written their own "25 Baseball Things" piece. Click here for The Common Man's. Here for Wezen-Ball's. Click here for Joe Hojnacki's at The Pitch.
Longtime reader TC Shillingford, late of Mr. Thursday's Curious Mechanism, emailed me his own 25 things. Many of them were interesting, but this one may have been the most fun:
12. Based on the information I have available to me (not to mention my understanding of that information), not only am I not opposed to steroid usage in baseball, but I support it. If it really does help keep players healthy and on the field, then I say great. Baseball is a war or attrition, and so many promising young careers have been dissolved by injury. If a wonder pill can keep them on the field, I don't see the problem with it. If there ARE long-term health problems, though, I'm willing to reconsider my position. I have no animosity toward Barry Bonds, outside of the way he generally comes off as less than pleasant, and, frankly, there have been few times in my life I've enjoyed baseball as much as I did when he was playing it the way Ruth did.
I think Jack Marshall just plotzed.
This one was far stranger:
21. I have long thought that Radiohead's "Exit Music (for a film)" would make an excellent song for a closer. The lyrics are simple and easy to understand, and would serve a closer well, albeit in a somewhat unique fashion. The song is a slow builder, though, so in my fantasy, the closer is of Rivera-like dominance and celebrity, and so the whole crowd gets into it, sings along, and finishes the song after the music has cut out and the inning has begun, perhaps concluding the song just as the closer finishes in the inning.
I love that song but, Um, I don't see it happening.
When new ballparks open, you always hear about how they're going to be a boon to local business. I'd suspect that there's some truth to that, even if it's overstated. I mean, you won't be able to open up seventeen restaurants, a miniature golf course, and a shopping mall tomorrow afternoon, but you'd at least think that a cool, established bar near the new place would certainly benefit, right?
Tell that to Lou Sirian:
A prominent sight from the back parking lot at Target Field is the historic illuminated sign for Lee’s Liquor Lounge. This proximity to the Twins’ new home has caused many people to insist to Lee’s proprietor Lou Sirian that he’s looking at a financial bonanza come 2010.
After reading the whole article you get the sense that Sirian is a pathological pessimist, because by all accounts -- both from the article and from people I know in Minnesota -- his place is an institution, and yes, people are going to want to go there before and after games. But I like curmudgeons, so I kind of like to hear him complain and moan about everything.
Still running with a skeleton crew today, but considering that every damn story is about A-Rod's press conference, I don't really think we're missing anything, do you?