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LOGAN'S RUN OR RYAN'S HOPE: WHO WILL D.C. FANS WATCH COME APRIL?

[October 10th] -- The most difficult thing I've ever heard in my life was the doctor telling me that my beloved daughter would not survive the night. The second most difficult thing was listening to Jim Bowden say that Nook Logan was going to be given every opportunity to win the center-field job next spring.

Yeah. It's that bad.

For the Nationals to make an earnest effort to rebuild next year, to say to the fans, "Look everyone, we're making good choices here," Nook Logan can't be standing in center come opening day.

The four top reasons that Logan shouldn't start for the Nationals next year:

1. Logan can't hit right-handers
Since becoming a switch-hitter in the summer of 2001, Logan has had problems hitting right handers. In 545 major league at-bats, Logan has a career .249 batting average against righties. Considering that 393 of his 545 at-bats have come from his bad side, he's going to be a sub-standard hitter for the Nationals for more than two-thirds of the team's games.

2. His walk to strikeout ratio is horrible
In 203 career games, Logan has walked only 40 times while striking out 96 times. That's got to be one of the worst ratios over the past few years for a singles hitter. The main tool in his arsenal is speed. If he doesn't walk, he doesn't get on base. If he doesn't get on base, he can't steal bases. If he can't steal bases ..... well, you get the idea.

3. Logan's minor league stats are grim
In six minor league seasons, Logan has a career .261 batting average with a .659 OPS. If a player can't get on base in the minor leagues, if a player can't hit for average in the minor leagues, they have little to no chance of success at the major league level.

4. He has a career .666 Major League OPS
A player who can't get on base or hit with some power is going to have a difficult time staying in the majors. Often, when a player has a poor OPS, one of the two statistics (either on base or slugging percent) is good. Not in Logan's case. Which is worse: a .319 OBP or a .347 slugging average? Answer: They both stink. Neither one is going to make you friends in the front office.

So what does he do well? Well, Frank Robinson says he's one of the finest defensive center fielders ever to play in Washington. He's flashy, that's true. And he covers a lot of ground. But he also makes a lot of errors. Since 2004, Logan has made nine miscues. Ryan Church, however, playing one game less than Logan in his major league career, has made only two errors. Sure, he's not going to get to as many balls, or cover as much ground, but he catches everything he gets to. Church will also drive in forty or so more runs than Logan will over the course of a season, so I'm thinking that Ryan will more than make up for any runs that might score as a result of his more limited range.

Ryan Church has a much higher on base percentage, slugging percentage, stole eight more bases, and is an all around better player than Nook Logan. Logan, on the other hand, is "toolsy" and as far as Jim Bowden is concerned, being "toolsy" means never having to say your sorry. Had Church been given the opportunity to play every day, he would have hit 30 homers, drove in 100 runs, and stole nearly 30 bases.

Nook Logan, on the other hand, looks good in his uniform.

Oh, now I see Bowden's dilemma .....

Middle-Of-The-Night Update:
Sweet Lou Pinella says he doesn't want to manage the Nationals.

Sweet!

Says Lou: "You know, they've got a team that's going to be building for the future," Piniella said at McAfee Coliseum, where he will serve as an analyst for Fox during the American League Championship Series. "That's a situation that's really not for a guy like me. I think they're going to go for a young manager -- and rightfully so."

The last thing that the Nationals needed was another grumpy senior citizen running the show. We need a young man, a patient man, someone who can teach while leading by example. I still want to see the hire done in-house, either Tim Foli (From 'AAA' New Orleans), Tony Beasley or even Davey Lopes. As mentioned before, whoever they hire is going to be fired before the team becomes competitive. It's the nature of the beast.


Comments:
I'm not worried. in 2005, they gave center to Endy Chavez. That didn't last long. In 2006, they gave it to Brandon Watson. You know how that turned out. Logan will become the "heir apparent" for about a week in spring training. Sooner or later, they'll get some sense into them. It's just too bad that we keep having to watch this round-robin in center.
 
I predict that Logan won't make it past spring training. He'll end up in the trash can somewhere between Vierra and West Palm.
 
With Sweet Lou out of the picture, I'm afraid that (according to St. Barry) the Nats will turn their attention to Dusty Baker.

I agree with you. No more re-treads. Give someone young a chance.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
As every opposing team could clearly see at the end of 2006, Logan can bunt, only, from the left side. There is no way he can help over the long term, when everone knows what's coming, no matter how fast you are. Nook is a decent outfielder, but has a weak arm. Over the 162 game schedule, his weakness will far outweigh his positives. My Main Man!! Church should have just completed his first full season, starting in the Majors, and we could all make a more informed decision. Since the Nats played inside his brain again in 2006, we don't really know, again. He needs to work on his strikeouts, Ryan can be downright terrible at times, but he does provide good pop and a good On Base Percentage.

I have watched Beasley all year long. He is a terrible decison maker at 3rd. Not the person I want to see making the final call for the Nationals. Since Washington will not be expecting to compete for a year or two, I fully expect someone that's never had the chance before, to manage. The Nats have nothing to lose right now.
 
Abilities as a 3B coach exclude Beasley?

I guess you can ignore his managerial resume in the minor leagues.

Skippered Double-A Altoona in 2005 to a 76-66 record and a 2nd-place finish in the Eastern Leagues Southern Division...guided the Curve to a league-best 85-56 record and their first appearance in the Eastern League Championship Series in 2004, and for his efforts was tabbed by Baseball America as its Double-A Manager of the Year...served as a coach at the 2004 Futures Game during All-Star Game festivities at Houstons Minute Maid Park...in 2003, was named Baseball Americas Low Class-A Manager of the Year for the 2nd straight season as the skipper for Hickory...coached at the Sally League All-Star Game that year, and managed Hickory to a 2nd straight appearance in the SAL finals...also managed the Mesa Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League fol-lowing the 2003 season, and guided the club to a 18-13 mark and a first-place finish...lost to the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL Championship Series...in 2002, led Hickory to the SAL championship and the 5th-best record in the minors with an 83-56 mark...was named the manager on the SALs post-season All-Star squad...managed short-season Single-A Williamsport to a 46-26 record and a first-place finish in 2001...club was declared co-champions along with Brooklyn after the events of September 11

But since he didn't wave in runners to your satisfaction he's a non-starter
 
I don't think that Beasley has any chance either, but that doesn't mean I don't think he'd do a credible job. I am so tired of seeing mangers get fired for doing a poor job only to have them show up in another city with yet another chance. Look at the recent spate of new managers doing well right out of the box (Ozzie Guillen for instance -- I don't like him but he's a good manager).
 
What's even worse about Logan is his apparent inability to hit to left field when he's batting left-handed. The third baseman is practically shaking hands with him, and the left fielder is playing 75 feet off the line in left-center. Nook could get an easy double by just blooping the ball over the 3b's head, but I never saw him do it.
 
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