Why does Frank platoon Church?
Capitol Dugout welcomes Ryan Moore to our site. Ryan is the author of the popular Nationals blog Distinguised Senators and has agreed to share some of his musings on the Nats with us. Here he rants about Frank Robinson and, in a more calm fashion, talks about Brendan Harris.
To view archives and leave comments, visit this blog's home site at http://distinguisedsenators.blogspot.com.
Bring Me the Head of Frank Robinson
There's a lot of stupid stuff on the Internet, as regular readers of this
site are all too aware. Take, for instance, this
Pitchfork Media review of Failer, the debut album from Canadian alt-country chanteuse
Kathleen Edwards. Reviewer Amanda Petrusich, do doubt clad in green Pumas
and a hip Transformers t-shirt, misspells the name "Mabel," uses the word
"anachronism" despite obviously not knowing what it means, and thinks "slurping whiskey, infidelity, and dirty girls in dirty
bars" cannot exist in "a tidy, peaceable
country with unarmed policemen and free health care." It's just a terrible
piece of writing, even though Ms. Petrusich and her editors are no doubt
I mention this for a reason. There's a tendency, particulary pronounced in
sports, to defend the professionals from any attack. "Let's see you do
better" is a favorite retortm, as is something along the lines of Anonymous'
devastating "Hey, why do you keep picking on Jim Williams? He
knows a lot more about sports media than any of you bloggers, living in your
parents basements, ever will." This is true to a point (though most bloggers
prefer an attic space), but there is a line of incompetence which, if
crossed, opens one to criticism by pretty much any idiot with a Blogger
account. Amanda Petrusich crossed that line, and so has Nationals manager
Frank is in charge of a whole bunch of dudes, and he knows what to do with
only a few of them. Capitol Punishment has a thorough run-down
of his deficiencies, so I'll only mention a few. He platoons for Ryan Church
even when there's no adequate right-hander to replace him. He bunts far too
often and in odd situations. There are a lot things, including a truly
breathtaking first inning against the Brewers, but I wasn't quite ready
to start calling for his head until last night. The Nats went into the ninth
down two runs and with the bottom of the order up. Frank pinch hit for
Mendoza Line straddler Cristian Guzman, which is actually a step in the
right direction. Unfortunately, Carlos Baerga couldn't do anything, and
neither could #8 hitter Brad Schneider. With one out left, two runs needed,
and a righty on the mound, one would think Frank would call on his unjustly
benched .300 hitter, Ryan Church. But he didn't, instead bringing in backup
catcher Gary Bennett, who's hitting worse than Church this year, has never
hit in his entire career, and didn't even have a platoon advantage. Bennett
struck out and we lost, in case you were in suspense.
And that's my biggest problem with Frank. He decides a guy can't do it, so
he never lets him try. He has it in his mind that Jamey Carroll isn't a
hitter, so he bunts him at every opportunity. Tomo Ohka has a couple of
rough starts, and he's relegated to the bullpen unless there's an emergency.
This thinking -- or rather, subsitition for thinking -- reached its insane
zenith when the .247-hitting backup catcher pinch hit instead of the
.300-hitting outfielder. And that's why he has to go.
Brendan Harris is back up.
prospect, acquired from the Cubs in the massive four-way swap that put
Orlando Cabrera in Boston and Nomar in Chicago, was trapped behind several
players on the major league squad and still is. In fact, with Vinny Castilla, Tony Blanco, and Baerga in front of him at third and Carroll
playing everyday at second with Jose Vidro hurt, you have to wonder how much
he's even going to play. But check this out: he hit a home run last night in
his first 2005 at bat. So now it's all up to Frank. If he gets 300 at bats
this year, he'll hit 300 homers and drive in 600, if we go by the extremely
scientific projection of his 2005 performance. 400 at bats=400 home runs.
The math is pretty easy on this one, so I'll let you figure out the rest of
possibilities yourself. Frank seems to be a big Baerga fan, but when's the
last time that guy hit 300 homers in a season? It's been a while, I bet.