Wednesday, May 25, 2005


What is there to say? Not much after Capitol Punishment's fine work, which has really become required reading for anyone tempted to consider the notion that Frank is a decent manager. But I will offer these incoherent thoughts: The evidence is clear -- and disturbing, in part because the decisions are so haphazard and inconsistent that you can't get a fix on what prompted them.

Mel Proctor (who I like but am slowly growing tired of) repeated the chestnut about Frank last night, this way: Frank doesn't need stats, he just "knows" who is a good ballplayer and who isn't. Fine. Whatever. But I have one stat that he and we can't ignore: lifetime record as a manager, 937-1026; 18 years, no first place finishes, only 2 second place finishes. Whatever Frank "knows", it's not working too well.

What we know now (at least until Frank changes his mind) is that I have as much chance of starting against a LHP as Ryan Church this season, after trial period of about 54 minutes. I know that Carlos Baerga will come up again in a clutch situation and cost us a game because he solidified his "veteran leadership" last night. (His hit and Hammonds's reminds me of a story: Some leading French culture critic was asked who is France's greatest writer. He said "Victor Hugo, alas." I feel the same way: "Who got the game-tying hit? Carlos Baerga, alas.")

Last year, round this time, Phillies fans faced a difficult choice -- root for victory, knowing that it would prolong Bowa's tenure as manager and lead to certain doom at the end of the year, or root for dramatic losing streaks to force him out and give the team some hope. We Nats fans are not even offered this choice -- I am quite certain Frank has enough credit to survive whatever befalls this team. We just have to watch the train wreck happen.


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