An absolute freaking laughingstock
That's paraphrasing SuperNova from my cell phone conversation with him on my drive home tonight after I informed him that the Nats sent their second best position player from last year (after Nick Johnson) to the minors. Paraphrased only because as much as I want to, I don't like spewing profanities on here not knowing who our reader base is. But if any move made by this pathetic administration deserves cursing, this is it.
Our beloved Nats optioned Ryan Church today, sending him down to Triple AAA, and I believe effectively ending his tour as a National--if he has any self-respect, he will immediately demand a trade, over which about 25 other clubs would salivate. Let's review the brief Nationals career of Mr. Church. In his one year with the Nats (taking away the few games he had in 2004), Ryan had an on-base percentage of .353, and was named the Rookie of the Month in May--after which he was promptly played less by Frank Robinson, who REFUSED to play him against lefties despite his staggering 1.075 OPS against them (reminding me of when Mr. Burns benched Darryl Strawberry in favor of Homer Simpson because he wanted a lefty-righty match-up). Admittedly, Ryan also had a couple of injuries--which for some reason irked Frank beyond belief even when Church came back.
I'd now like to take some time to list for you ALL of the Nationals (with 60 or more at bats) who had a higher on-base percentage than Ryan Church last year: Nick Johnson. As Tony Kornheiser would say, that's it. That's the list. #3 after Ryan, by the way, was Brad Wilkerson, so it's good to know that in a stadium where the ONLY workable strategy is to have high-OBP guys, we have managed to jettison two of our top three guys for a rookie and a guy who had a Guzman-esque .309 OBP, even including playing half his games at the hitter's wet dream that is Arlington.
Out of all the moves Bowden has made, this may be the worst. And you know what? I don't blame Jim Bowden anymore. We already knew Bowden was a complete idiot who has less baseball knowledge than my toddler (harsh, but undeserved?). I don't even blame Frank Robinson, who couldn't manage a Safeway because he might fire the best cashier in the place because she took a day off or looked at him the wrong way once. I place the blame squarely on Tony Tavares. Where the heck has he been while the inmates were running the asylum? How does he green light a Soriano trade when he knows Bowden hadn't talked to Soriano and that Soriano would refuse to play left? How does he green light that trade in any circumstance when we had Wilkerson and Church and what we needed for $10 million was a shortstop or a stud pitcher? How does he allow our best up and coming player (outside Zimmerman) to get optioned to the minors?!? This has gone on long enough. MLB: Get us a new owner so they can clean house already!
Meanwhile, poor Ryan Church, who admits he is in complete "shock." It's not like the guy is 19, or 22 even. He'll be 28 at the end of the year and Jim Bowden and Frank Robinson have thrown tear gas at this guy's career. He deserves a HECK of a lot better than this. I really hope for his sake he gets a trade and beats the living crap out of the Nats every time we play him (with the Nats still winning I hope--I'm not that spiteful). And maybe for good measure, he can run into Jimbo in the parking lot and do something less figurative.
I said to SuperNova that this move makes it so that with our current roster, we could be pushing 100 losses (remember, our Pythagorean win total last year was 69 or 70 as opposed to 81-81). His response: we're now the Kansas City Royals and we should be extremely happy with 100 losses. Let's hope we're both wrong. Let's also hope a new owner rights this ship, and soon.