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And so Pudge came to Washington...

...for two years and $6 million, which everybody and his sister is ripping as a waste of money by the Nationals. To be fair, Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus is defending the contract as understandable (the critics are in the comments) considering the Nats signed Strasburg and may want Rodriguez to mentor him. Others point to improvements in the Marlins and Tigers' young pitching staffs, to which the response is "Oh yeah? So why was I-Rod sitting there with his mouth shut while Redmond did all the pre-game pitcher briefs (with the Marlins)?"

To me, the answer isn't just Strasburg or all the young DC pitchers or the front office's desire to have a surefire Hall of Fame catcher on the roster so they can sell a few more tickets, or the need to have a reliable backup catcher because Jesus Flores develops an arm injury on days of the week ending in "y" and the next decent catcher in the system just graduated from A ball at Potomac this season. It's all of those things, and while no doubt some of the other free agent catchers out there could have filled some of those roles, nobody else could fill all of them. $3 million a year may be a little stiff, considering he was paid half that last year, but this is a last place team in a tough division, and the sad fact is those teams have to pay a little extra to attract the good free agents. Now, if the combination of Desmond & Maxwell at short and second along with Morgan in center and Pudge behind the plate 2-3 times a week leads to a great improvement in pitching and wins -and therefore attendance- then that $3 million will be a heck of a deal. That's what we play the games to find out.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
darksumomo
Dec. 10th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
Pudge really helped the Tigers when he was here. I wish he were still around. The Nationals are lucky to have him.
wombat_socho
Dec. 10th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Luck nothing, they paid serious money to get him.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 12th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
I don't do baseball in any detail, but I do business, and assuming
you are right on all your points, your analysis is pretty tight.

Sometimes a confluence of events/requirements dictates a choice
that is hard for people who don't see the whole picture to grok.

I do baseball enough to know that it would be nice if we could build
a real team here - hell, I remember the Senators as a kid - a big Frank
Howard fan I was ;-) Hondo - hell, the Wiki even thinks he is still alive!

doug
wombat_socho
Dec. 12th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of fans get overly focused on one or two aspects of the game, which is easy to do with all the offensive stats out there. Catchers, though...their defensive contributions are very hard to quantify in a meaningful way because so much of what they do is tied in with what the pitchers are doing.

Frank Howard is a literal giant of a man, one hell of a player, and an incredibly nice guy. I interviewed him once; despite having worked for some of the biggest assholes in Major League Baseball, he didn't have a harsh word for any of them. He still works as a coach for the Yankees and lives quite comfortably out by Leesburg someplace.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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