Thursday, February 23, 2006

Trying SOOO hard not to vent

but our fair team...is a joke. I mean, it really is a running joke right now. Our second year in the league and already as DM reported, folks are considering not going to games to punish the team? Why not just change our name to The Kansas Bay Devil Royals? And hey, it's not far off as a concept considering MLB probably could get the rights to that, something they failed to do regarding the Washington Nationals--and speaking of that, who doesn't acquire the rights to a name before giving it to your team? MLB says they had an oral agreement with the trademark owner of the name "Washington Nationals." Really? When was the last time you had the feeling "oh that MLB, it's all a matter of trust with them, they don't get contracts in writing"?

So, now we are a team...without a stadium....without a lease on a stadium....without an owner...and without a name. A team whose two highest paid players play the same position. A team where many of the team's employees STILL WORK OUT OF MONTREAL!!! (I love how moving the team's operations to DC is on Tavares's "to do" list.)

If you or I did something as moronic at our jobs as the way Jim Bowden has handled this Soriano/Vidro fiasco, most of us would be fired in a heartbeat. But the beat goes on for Jim B. Adding to the list of ridiculousness this has compiled (I can't say twists and turns as it has been constant incompetence from the get go) was the nonchalance of the participants since Spring Training started.
Said Frank Robinson about Soriano while being interviewed by George Michael two nights ago: It's not like I can force him to play. If he doesn't want to play left, I can't make him.
Really?? I can think of exactly 10 million reasons why you can make him play whereever the heck the Nats choose.
And then the press conference today with Bowden, Robinson and Soriano (and his agent), where no one wanted to talk about what position he'd play.
Again, really? Why do you think any of us care if there is a press conference with Alfonso unless you are going to talk about that? I certainly don't care whether he had a nice winter. I want to know whether we are paying $10 million for him to ride the bench.

The following quotes are taken from the Washington Post transcript (although when I watched the video, I wasn't sure they were exactly right--what I was amazed at is how much these three guys were either (and I hate to cross a line here into pure insult but) playing dumb or really were dumb).
Soriano had this to say: "I'm so happy to be here. I have nothing to say about second base.
I am not thinking of outfield right now. I have time to think about it. I'm not thinking about the outfield. I have one week to work out at second base before going to the [World Baseball Classic]. We have time to work it out when we get back."
Read: I'm not even considering working out for the outfield yet.

Robinson's reaction to the question on Soriano's position:
"We'll get it done. It's not about what position he's going to play. We're going to put the best 25 players on the field. It is not a competition at second base. Who knows what will happen. These decisions will be made. They will not be made today. [Jose] Vidro will get his work in at second base just as Soriano will get his work in. Soriano is playing second at the [World Baseball] Classic."
A couple of notes here, Frank. You don't get to put "the best 25 players on the field." (In fairness, I'm not sure the video reflects that quote exactly, although the overwhelming push of the video was that we'll play as many people at second as we can). Last I checked, you get nine, eight assuming we aren't talking about Soriano pitching. Furthermore, you get one at each position. So...you aren't saying that our two highest paid players are going to compete for a position, are you?
When asked if Vidro could potentially move, Frank answered:
"No. Where is he going to go? We're not making a decision today."
What does that even mean? No he isn't moving or he could, but we won't decide today. My guess is it means 'he can't play anywhere but second and this whole thing is making my head hurt. Please make this press conference end."
Frank also admitted that he hasn't even talked to Vidro about any of this, but IF he happens to see him today, he'll talk to him. Otherwise, maybe tomorrow.

This situation is so screwed up. Jim, Frank, MLB...you can't have fans in a new city tearing their hair out (and I have little left) before the second season even starts. Please stop making this team a laughing stock. We're asking you as fans who want to love this team.


Update since this post first issued: More of the press conference has surfaced and is quoted more thoroughly in this article. And this makes the situation look even worse. Vidro is clearly pissed (as he SHOULD be) and even after a two hour meeting with management, Soriano, when asked by the press whether "if Robinson asked him to play left field, would Soriano respect the manager's wishes?
'Who knows?' Soriano said."
Well, that's peachy. Robinson apparently also described both Vidro and Soriano as "tradeable commodities." For a $7+ million guy with bad knees and a $10 million guy who can't get on base, I don't see us getting anyone nearly as good as...well... Brad Wilkerson.

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