What if a team has two "pinch-hitter extraordinaires"? Is that like crossing the streams?
- When you've already own the rights to one "pinch-hitter extraordinaire," like Marlon Anderson, you usually don't get too concerned about finding another. But Jim Bowden, like the sleazy rent-a-spook Wilford Brimley played in The Firm, "gets paid to be concerned when there's nothing to be concerned about." Thus, St. Barry reports, Bodes is looking at hauling in Robert "Dr. Clothesline" Fick to provide bench support to the existing bench support of Marlon Anderson, Damian Jackson, about a dozen other second basemen and legions of toolsy outfielders. Harper gives the rumor a standing Meh. St. Barry's article also relates the inevitably that Bodes is giving a long look at Brett Tomko. Inevitable, I say? Is that because Tomko is cheap, somewhat decent, and can eat innings? Sure, but Harper isolates another factor: Tomko's an ex-Red.
- Lost in all the excitement of SORIANO FOR WILKERSON!!! (oh, and two other guys) was Arbitration Day back on December 7. The Nats, not surprisingly, declined to offer arbitration to Community Service and the Cheeseburgler. Somewhat surprisingly, they extended an offer to Joey Eischen. Unbeknownest to the public, the Nats and TA2 had agreed to one of those We'll offer, you'll reject, we'll both agree to something incentive-laden things. Come to think of it, this is probably best for both parties. The Nats need still need rotation depth, and Armas seemed to be attracting interest only from Colorado. While hangin' with Zach Day and Sunny Kim might be near-irresistible, I still think this is better for Armas. And if it doesn't work out, then we certainly know that Bodes knows how to get rid of starters in-season.
- Speaking of Bodes, it looks like he'll be sticking around with us bums for awhile longer, as the Red Sox have apparently settled on a two-man arrangement only Thom Loverro could love. Take heart, Cap'n Leatherpants, Beltways Boys advises. Nats Triple Play figures it's high time to do a Bodes-in-review. But Bodes is too much man for just one post, so we wait with anticipation for part two.
- Hey, how about that Soriano trade? Still talking about it? Sure. What else is there? More Robert Fick? I think not! Capitol Punishment, in a way, ponders that old high school adage about it being cool to be uncool. Here, the thesis is that it's dumb to call Soriano an "average player." And he's right---and it's not a straw man, because people actually have. Of course, that doesn't mean he's worth $9 million, or whatever he'll get, or whether the trade was in the Nats' best interest. Chris is just sayin'. I'd say that's all, but there's a lot here. Read it. Then come back for---you guessed it---part two.
- On the other hand, let's not go overboard praising our guy Alf. Speaking of which, Steve DeShazo of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star apparently considers Soriano "one of the dozen best offensive players in baseball." (Yet, somehow, he also acknowledges the "hitter's paradise in Arlington" and seemingly disapproves of the deal.)
- The Free Lance-Star also uses the Nats as an object lesson in ethics. Contributor Michael Kole, a "career federal employee," advises federal employees if a contractor has a bid pending with your office and sends you season tickets to the Washington Nationals, guess what? You can't accept them. BPGers would, of course, note that you can't accept O's tickets not only out of principle but that no one within forty miles of DC would care about the Orioles . . .
- The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Zephyr Field in New Orleans is not only alive and well, but will sport several enhancements, including a new scoreboard and public address system.
- Dan Graziano of the Neward Star-Ledger considers the Nats a Winner during the Winter Meetings, noting that "teams were beating down the door[s]" to get Brad Wilkerson, and Bowden was able to get Soriano "without giving up any pitching." Well, major league pitching, at least . . .
- Finally, Distinguished Senators dares take on the Washington sports authority, DCist---and wins!