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Polling the electorate

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Thanks to reader "Joltin' Joe Orsulak" for posting the most recent diary, which notes that the Washington Nationals have earned the dubious distinction of the S.S. Poseidon Award for worst MLB farm system, in voting recently concluded at prospect-maven John Sickels' minor league SBN site.

I suppose voter "Natfan" speaks for us, um, Nats' fans when he (?) graciously accepted the award by proclaiming:

I'd like to thank the voters for this most prestigious award.  I'd also like to thank Omar Minaya, without whom this moment would not have been possible.  He'll be missed, but Jim Bowden, I'm sure, will carry the torch.  I'd especially like to thank Bud Selig and Jeffrey Loiria.  Not only did they did they ruin the franchise, but they profited from its demise.  We're already working hard on winning this again next year.  Our instructional league was cancelled for the 5th consecutive season due to a lack of hotel rooms for the players, which makes me proud.

Apparently, the Nats took in 29 percent of the vote. So, you know, only a plurality . . .

Hey, I'm trying to think positively here!

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This seems a fine time to announce the subject of the next-generation Rueckel Report. And I'd love to, except I have no real assurance that he will be in the Nats' organization come the 2006 season. (As stated previously at my old blog, such a condition is probably immaterial as to whether I'll continue to track Baby Ruckles.)

So, who is this new guy? Well, if you followed my old site at all, you'd recall that I went to school at The George Washington University. It only stands to reason that I'd pick a fellow GW grad, organizational pitcher-of-the-year Mike O'Connor.

Here's what Nationals Farm Authority had to say about O'Connor:

The 25-year old was the Nationals Pitcher of the Year in 2005. He finished 10-11 for the P-Nats in 24 starts (167.2IP) with a 3.54 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 8.5 K/9IP, 2.6 BB/9IP, and 0.8 HR/9IP. He was way too old for the level at which he pitched, but he is another signal of the overall weakness of the Nats farm system. He's a #5 SP at best. O'Connor is rule 5 eligible this year, and I do not see the Nats adding him to the 40-man roster. His future may be with another team.

So . . . if he's around, I'll follow O'Connor. If not, maybe John Flaherty will add some GeeDub representation to the Nats. He did hit .165/.206/.252 this past season. Hail to the buff, baby, . . . hail to the blue.