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Jamey Carroll, to whom the Nats tendered a contract offer a couple weeks ago, signed a one-year, $700,000, non-guaranteed contract Thursday. That non-guaranteed part seems to add a bit of nuance to the ebullient joy heralding Jamey's return:

Carroll, a favorite of Robinson, played in 113 games last season, hitting .251 while playing primarily second base and shortstop. He faces a battle for playing time with newcomers Damian Jackson and Marlon Anderson, but it is possible all three would make the final 25-man roster.

Jackson and Anderson are both doing the backstroke in their guaranteed money (the latter for two years!), so if all three (i.e., any of the three) do not make the final 25-man roster, then it'll be Carroll missing out. For now, though, Carroll's safe.

This is either a genuine reaction or a cheap conceit designed to milk a blog post out of something as mundane as Capt. Chaste signing a non-guaranteed contract, but I've gotta tell you: a bit of confliction has crept up my cocaine-addled brain concerning this signing. Hmmmm, better scratch that cocaine-addled part . . .

. . . Nah, the heck with it, because I'm creating a new personality just for this occasion. Maybe he'll become a reoccurring character, and maybe he's not actually cocaine-addled. Maybe he's just a jerkier version of me. Whatever he is, say hello to Evil Basil. He will argue the opposition's perspective on the Carroll signing. Because I'm such a good guy, I'll argue the Milquetoast Basil perspective.

Without further ado---

Milquetoast Basil: Jamey Carroll was re-signed. Isn't that great?

Evil Basil: Whatever.

MB: You don't seem enthused.

EB: And you are?

MB: Well . . . yeah.

EB: Then you're an idoit.

MB: What do you mean? He's not the greatest player, but he plays hard and is a good teammate---

EB: Wake me up when you've saved the whales, pinko.

MB: ---and he's versatile and is willing to do the little things.

EB: In other words, he sucks.

MB: Well, not really.

EB: Well, really. He's this little guy, weak as Urkel---probably cups his glass of juice with both hands. His isolated power last year was .033, man! You know what kind of people put up ISOs of .033? Dead people, that's who. And he fields balls in the hole at short like the bony kid who has to do a jump shot when shooting free throws. He rates at below-average for his career at both second and short---pretty good at second last year, but whatever. The only position he's shown above-average ability defensively is at third, which coincidentally reminds me that this is another season of scamming Brendan Harris out of playing time, isn't it?

MB: Probably. But that's not Jamey Carroll's fault.

EB: Bah.

MB: Carroll does some things well. Okay, he's a weakling, but he gets on base: .344 for his career, a seasonal high of .378, even .333 in an off-year last season. That's like all star plate discipline for this team---and, by the way, it's a good bet to be better than what Jackson or Fickerson will do.

EB: Nice try, jerk, but that's all beside the point. The comparison here isn't between Carroll and Jackson/Anderson. Those hall of famers are already guaranteed spots on the roster. Now, Bodes might be as big a sucker for scrappy pieces of crap as you, but that's the way it is. The relevant comparison here is between Jamey Carroll and Brendan Harris: one guy's on the roster and one isn't. It's a 25th man deal. And you're going to tell me that Carroll should make the club . . . why, again?

MB: Well, Carroll can play second---

EB: So can Harris.

MB: ---sort of. Not according to the organization.

EB: Those fools thought Preston Wilson could play center. Go on.

MB: Carroll can play third---

EB: So can Harris. Go on.

MB: Okay, Carroll can play short.

EB: So could Harris in a pinch. They played him there in the Arizona Fall League, right? And he didn't kill anyone. We're not talking about the primary utility man here; that's Jackson, right?

MB: I think that's still to be determined. Jackson can also play some outfield, too, you know?

EB: How can I forget? Every worthless piece of swine Bodes brings in can, too. They mostly suck, but I suppose that's another story for another time.

MB: Alright, what do you want me to say? That Harris really should be on the active roster?

EB: That's a start---

MB: And that Harris should be on it in place of Carroll?

EB: Now you're catching on, Columbo.

MB: Maybe so. But this is just the way things are. Carroll has some value, and you can't just view this value in light of what Brendan Harris brings. Carroll is well-liked; that's important. Harris, rightly or wrongly, fell out of favor last year.

EB: He wasn't a Bodes acquisition. He was from the previous regime . . .

MB: True, but what does that matter now? And Frank managed him at the end of '04 as well, you know. He must not have been impressed.

EB: Yet designated bunters like Carroll do . . .

MB: Sure. Frobby calls on Carroll, and others, to bunt a lot. But, like I said, Carroll can do more than that. Maybe not a tremendous amount more, but certainly more than just bunter. He's well-liked, plays hard, is popular with his teammates and fans. And this is a non-guaranteed deal. He plays poorly in the spring, and he's gone. All Bodes did today was, in a sense, check out a book from the library that he can return if he---

EB: Yeah, Baseball for Dummies.

MB: Ha ha. I don't know. This doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. Carroll's not a great player, but on this team it's nice to have a guy that you can cheer for and root onward and like because he's nice and gives his all.

EB: Dude, just rent Rudy. And that doesn't cost $700,000, unless you're renting from Blockbuster . . .