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The Wrong Machine

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There were 565 members of my high school graduating class. I remember this because some friends and I used to remark that if one were ranked in the 500s or the 520s or the 540s or the 560s, he or she might as well be ranked No. 565, dead last. If you are going to stink, the theory goes, you might as well be the stinkiest.

Similarly, if 767-time Emmy Award winner is going to make bad predictions, he might as well get every single prediction wrong. I'm happy to report that Mr. Williams' uniformly blemished record is still uniformly blemished, as he predicted in a column published one minute after midnight on late last night/early this morning:

So with the eyes of the country again fixed on the D.C. Council, will they show us they are leaders and pass the stadium lease or will they make the city of Washington a joke?

We have 24 hours to find out. I say it passes, 8-5, and the council's vision will be a national sight to behold.

Well, at least he was close---if you set aside the facts that a) the lease didn't pass the D.C. City Council, and b) the lease was never in fact put to a vote.

Anyway, when I noted that Mr. Williams is always wrong, I didn't expect the principle to extend to little, unimportant details (as opposed to grand, obnoxious predictions), but here you go:

The deal on the table is for a $545 million stadium with cost overruns handled by private and government money, not tax dollars (except the business tax).

It is possible the new owner would pick up the cost overruns in exchange for some considerations. One thing is certain: The $545 million can't be used for schools, hospitals, parks or any other civic need because there is no money if there is no baseball team and no stadium.

A little help here: to what does the $545 million refer?

I was under the impression that, as our pal David Catania noted earlier today at Opinionist, the recent operative figures have been $535 and $589 million. Eh, whatever.

A mid-post Federal Register round-up:

  • Nats Farm Authority (now with second member!) and Yuda have teamed up to present the Nats Big Board. Very . . . organized! I am not pleased that Baby Ruckles is still pegged at Double-A Harrisburg, though.
  • From the even less attractive than Jeff Davanon file: Matthew Lecroy was recently released by the Minnesota Twins. Lecroy couldn't be any slower if he were in fact stationary, but he's a potent enough lefty-masher; he has an .895 career OPS against southpaws (in 518 at-bats) and slaughtered them to the tune of .306/.404/.621 this past season. Lecroy's not exactly what one would call a "National League player," but he seems to be at least capable of slapping on a first baseman's glove twenty times a season and is theoretically still an emergency catcher type, like Robert Fick. Speaking of Marbert Fickerson, those guys are both lefty-swinging bench-goers. Even if he couldn't even dream of covering an inning in the outfield, Lecroy on the other hand would provide some novel utility to the Nats as a potent righty bench bat. Of course, that crazy talk is all pretty much moot, as Lecroy is bound for Toronto, Boston, or the land of the rising righty bats who can't play defense.
  • Lots of attention given to Rocket Bill's mailbag today; see here, here, and here. When I was fourteen, my best friend spilled Pepsi on my Nintendo and it shorted out, or something similarly catastrophic; for some reason, he took apart the machine and tried to "fix it" for an hour. As ridiculous as that effort seems in retrospect, it couldn't have been a bigger waste of time than fielding a question on whether Roger Clemens would be interested in joining the Nats.
  • Speaking of today's mailbag, Rocket Bill wags an early-line lineup that features Alfie Soriano in center and Brandon Watson in left. I'm not going to wonder what Ryan Church---who has kind of proven himself---has to do to demonstrate he's sufficiently proven to beat out a guy who is completely unproven. Instead, I'm going to harken back to an August observation at OMG: if Watson is a "centerfielder by trade," then why is this guy constantly being projected to play left? I'd additionally inquire why the guy was being projected in left when it would make more sense to project Soriano there, but I've expended my allotment of baffled noodling.
  • Back-end dreck watch!: Brett Tomko---chased by the Dodgers, considering the Padres. Hurry, Bodes, hurry!
  • As noted by other Natospherians, SBN neighbor John Sickles wants your opinions on Bodes. The general consensus seems to focus on "toolsy" and "tinkering." I see that Federal Baseball commenters/diarists Natfan and Joltin' Joe Orsulak have already weighed in. Interesting note: Apparently, Bodes reads Sickles' annual.
  • Finally, I'd be remiss not to mention Ryan's take on yet more navel-gazing by Will Carroll. I don't know what compels him, but Oops really spends a lot of time pondering the state of baseball blogging. Far be it from me to suggest that he spends too much time doing so, but I will suggest that his concerns seem a bit overwrought. (What, a guy who demands a BBWAA membership---overwrought?) Anyway:
A couple years ago, at the Winter Meetings in New Orleans, I said something over beers that stuck: "There's only ten good bloggers at any one time." I meant that in any given space, there's really only ten worth reading.

How can this possibly be true? I mean, I'm certainly not going to suggest that my blog is especially worth reading---unless you've already succumbed to my inimitable charm, of course. But how can it possibly be that there are only "ten good bloggers at any given time"? Aside from sounding incredible arbitrary, why would anyone who enjoys reading about baseball---anything about baseball---believe this?

I think it's a ridiculous assertion. For the moment, I'll disregard all the Natty blogs, because I'm too attached to most of those lugs to view 'em objectively. But there are other baseball blogs on my sidebar---almost all of them carry-overs from my old blog---and every few weeks I remember that I link to them. Then I click on one of them and think, "Wow, I had forgotten how good this blog really is!" And that leads to a chain reaction.

Now consider that my outside blogroll is by no means comprehensive.

So, I ask, why does Carroll hold to this ten-blog rule? I don't know; what is more, I just don't care.