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"Take a ride on the Redding" (OR, "But I wanted Jackie Rexrode!")

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So I get home from work, and what does the Press Release Faerie have waiting for me in my humble little inbox?


Twenty-one? That's some rich blood! That's almost as many guys as we had battling for the final roster slot last season.

Some pitchers better be there, I tells ya.


Pitching, pitching, pitching!

The Washington Nationals today added depth to both their 40-man roster and minor-league system by agreeing to terms with 21 minor-league free agents.

I don't want to sound unappreciative about this. I mean, this is exciting. But I should note that when I go to Dollar General, I add to the depth of my corn-on-the-cob-holder collection.

I'm just sayin'.

The Nationals agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Tim Redding, right-handed pitcher Joel Hanrahan, infielder Josh Wilson and outfielder Michael Restovich on one-year contracts and thus were added to the club's 40-man roster.

This does something to the team's forty-man roster, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to figure it out, much less care.

I'll confess to a little intrigue with Redding. Then again, I'm a big fan of big league starter flame-outs. I once constructed an all-star team of those guys. Scott Klingenbeck, Frankie Rodriguez, Scott Aldred, and Rich Robertson. Yes, that was much of the 1996 Minnesota Twins' starting rotation. I threw in Rocky Coppinger for variety. He was my staff anchor.

Anyway, Redding was better than most of those guys; he actually pitched competently for a season, in 2003. Since then---not so much. His 2006 manager praised him for being a steady seven-inning starter, keeping in mind the guy was a Triple-A manager. On the bright side, that Triple-A manager was the immortal Razor Shines.

Redding might just be our fifth starter. The Padres tried that two seasons ago: Redding went 0-5, with a 9.10 ERA.

As for Restovich, he can hit anything that stands still. He'd be a killer tee ball slugger. But he'll be twenty-eight next season, will obviously be cheap, and has some power. He could prove useful. Encouragingly, he can actually ambulate, unlike last season's lefty-masher candidate, Matt Lecroy.

Among the other guys, I understand I'm supposed to be intrigued by Hanrahan. Okay. The other guy . . . sure. Fine. I suspect this Josh Wilson combines all the attractiveness of Mookie Wilson with all the occupational competence of Josh Hartnett. But who knows.

Lightning round:

The Nationals also agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with right-handed pitchers [1] Jermaine Van Buren, [2] T.J. Nall, [3] Colby Lewis, [4] Felix Diaz, [5] Eduardo Valdez, [6] Josh Hall, [7] Winston Abreu, [8] Jim Magrane; left-handed pitchers [9] Mike Bacsik, [10] Billy White and [11] Chris Michalak; catchers [12] Juan Brito and [13]Danny Ardoin; infielders [14] Joe Thurston and [15] Alejandro Machado; outfielders [15] Darnell McDonald and [16] Wayne Lydon. Nationals Vice President and General Manager [17a] Jim Bowden, Assistant General Manager/Vice President of Player Development [17b] Bob Boone, and Minor League Director [17c] Andy Dunn made the joint announcements.

[1] This guy's is 26 . . . walked 15, struck out 8 for the Bo-Sox . . . decent numbers at Pawtucket.

[2] This guy just turned 26 . . . looked pretty good at Double-A Jacksonville . . . what's wrong here? . . . had 7.17 ERA for the Isotopes in '05 . . . oh.

[3] This guy's 27 . . . had hilarious winning season for Rangers in 2003 (10-9, 7.30, 233 baserunners in 126 IP) . . . pitched okay at Toledo . . . the new Andrew Good, same as the old one but different.

[4] . . . Why on earth am I doing this? . . . I'll just note [7] is not the $13 million Abreu, [8] is not the Joe Magrane, [9] might be somewhat useful, [10] has always been a favorite of mine, probably because he's a lefty and he stinks, [13] has one of the coolest last names in baseball, [14] had his fifteen minutes as a prospect, [15] sounds sort of familiar, [15] is a toolsy ex-Oriole farmhand (aren't they all?), I have two guys labeled [15] but don't care to fix it, and [17a-c] sort of creep me out. . . . Why does it take three guys to make an announcement?

Anyway, say hello to your 2007 Washington Nationals Columbus Clippers!

And some of your 2007 Washington Nationals. Before all is said and done, perhaps quite a few of them.

* * * *

A Brief Primer On Stan Kasten-Speak

  • What you are saying is true: "I deny what you're saying. It's got no basis in fact."
  • What you are saying is false: "I deny what you're saying. It's got no basis in fact."
  • I'm going to be coy and neither confirm nor deny what you're saying: "I deny what you're saying. It's got no basis in fact."
* * * *

I've been away for awhile, but I'm glad to see the managerial search is proceeding admirably. According to sources, it might be Manny Acta. The same sources say it definitely won't be Trent Jewett or John Russell. I'm just glad that it appears, at least by implication, Tony Pena finally got some sort of communication from the team---maybe:

Yankees first-base coach Tony Pena said that he has not been eliminated. Pena and Bowden have been friends since they worked together in the Pirates organization in the 1980s.

I'm going to qualify the following by saying I'm not complaining about the managerial search here. If it takes awhile to pick the right guy, then it takes awhile to pick the right guy. If it takes many candidates to find the right guy, then Yellow Book, Yellow Book, Yellow Book. The right guy's out there.

But, criminy, I can't even remember what I was thinking when this whole thing started. Was I fascinated by Manny Acta, or was I suspicious because it seems everyone likes him, with no solid and tangible reason why? Was I encouraged by Tony Pena because he actually managed the modern-day Royals to a winning record, or was I repulsed by him because he used to manage the modern-day Royals and that should disqualify someone from anything gainful short of experimental Army testing? Was I even aware there was a guy named Trent Jewett?

I don't know---looks like Acta, especially since his other two prospects (Giants and now the Rangers) have gone in other directions. But maybe it's Pena, since he's such good buddies with ol' Bodesy that he might, might have received a return phone call within twenty-one days of interviewing for the job.

* * * *

You might have noticed I haven't been posting much recently. Is it because of the team's rather . . . dormant newsworthiness? Or is it because blogging on a regular basis has finally become overly burdensome to America's Number One Die Hard Fan? A little of both, actually, but more the latter. I'm just too busy right now. As I've said before, I hooked up with a related writing group to do an article a week or so. I'm still working on my second article, and the world's most patient man is still waiting for it. And I'm not ready to submit it yet, because if I do, it'll suck. And that's in addition to the blog. I'm just too burdened at the moment.

I've come to the conclusion I've gotta diversify. That is, I want to add another contributor or two, besides me, to teh Fed. Who are these people, as Seinfeld might ask . . . I don't know. I've got a couple ideas, but I don't really know them from Adam. But if you'd like to write and you're out there---and if you really can write, and you're still out there---I'd love to hear from you. People who are detail-oriented, are willing to post at least somewhat regularly, and are not serving ten-to-twenty are preferred.

If you're interested, send a line to the email address below the Tauntaun link on the sidebar. Or maybe it's above; I can't remember. That's why I need you!