clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Washington Nationals, The MLB Hot Stove, Nick Johnson, The A's And Chekhov's Gun...

New, comments

Nick Johnson, The Oakland A's and Chekhov's Gun...

There's a literary principle or technique known as Chekhov's gun, named after the Russian short story writer Anton Chekhov, which prescribes how clues can be offered early in a story which eventually play a part in the plot even if their significance is not immediately apparent. Put more simply, if you're shown a gun, it had better be fired, or at least play a role at some point before the story's been told. If one were to follow the narrative, in the newspapers and on the blogs, of the Oakland Athletics' interest in DC first baseman Nick Johnson, and apply this dictum, this saga would seemingly soon end with a trade...

The first mention I read of the A's intentions towards the Nationals' oft-injured 30-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman was in Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's Nationals Journal post on 11/26/08 entitled, "The Latest On Nick Johnson", where Mr. Harlan wrote:

"Here's what I've heard: Indeed, the A's made the inquiry for those medical records at the very beginning of the offseason, but by no means is a Johnson-to-Oakland trade on the frontburner at this time."

...Then two weeks later in Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling's 12/8/08 article entitled, "Johnson's future remains unclear", Mr. Goessling reported that, "Several teams reportedly have asked for Johnson's medical records, including the Athletics last month." 

Now again, keeping "Chekhov's gun" in mind, five weeks later, MLB.com's Bill Ladson is reporting in a 1/15/09 article entitled, "Nats, A's not close on Johnson talks", that the teams, "...have discussed possible trade scenarios recently, but nothing is imminent." Mr. Ladson then quotes another in a long line of unnamed "baseball source(s)" who tells him that:

"'Nothing is close,' the source said. 'Talks have not heated up between the Nationals and A's.'"

Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's Nationals Journal post, "Nats, A's Revive Nick Johnson Trade Talks", again identifies the A's young first baseman Daric Barton as the Nationals' target, as Mr. Ladson does as well, just as Barton reportedly was back in the early discussions which ended with Oakland unwilling to include him in any deal, but Mr. Harlan writes that, "...a deal centering on Barton and Johnson would make sense for both sides," rationalizing that an Oakland roster with Johnson, Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday would match the "go-for-it mode" the A's are currently operating under, and the young 23-year-old Barton would fit nicely into rebuilding DC.

Will DC pull the trigger on a trade...

USA Today Sports Weekly Says DC's No Cinderella...

A story by USA Today Sports writer Paul White in the most recent newsstand edition of USA Today Sports Weekly entitled, "Cinderella stories: Which teams might match Rays' fairy-tale turnaround?", takes a look at the worst teams in the league last season and tries to determine which is most likely to make the storybook worst to first journey in 2009...but when it comes to Washington, Mr. White writes that the Nationals:

"Missed the 2008 playoffs by 31 games; led the NL in errors; don't have the pitching -- starting or relieving -- to be serious candidates." 

Does anyone out there think there's a chance the Nationals will shock the world in 2009? Anyone...? Anyone...?

WINTER LEAGUE PLAYOFF UPDATE...

The Tigres del Licey took another win from Aguilas Cibaenas by a score of 7-1 with Anderson Hernandez tripling twice and scoring two runs with 1 RBI and a .329 AVG after tonight's game. Jesus Flores, the Tigres' catcher, was 2 for 4 with his 1st HR with Licey, and Ronnie Belliard was 0 for 4. Tomorrow night, the 11-6 Tigres take on the Gigantes del Cibao. 

Down with sensational Dukes news...