REDDING MAKES SENSE, FIRING PACIOREK DOESN'T
[November 7th] -- See Ramon. See Tim. See Ramon and Tim. Ramon is a pitcher. Tim is a pitcher. They are pitchers. Pitch, Ramon! Pitch, Tim! Pitch - Pitch - Pitch!
See Stan. Stan is cheap. He likes money. Stan has a bad baseball team. Stan needs five pitchers to start his games. Last year, Ramon started games. He made $2.5 million dollars. Stan said good-bye to Ramon. Goodbye, Ramon! This year, Tim will be starting games. He will make $372,000. Hello, Tim!
Actually, this move makes a lot of sense, yet another good choice by Kasten and Company. Ortiz, 30, went 11-16, 5.57 last season in 190 innings, giving up 10 hits and 4 walks per 9 innings, striking out 5. Tim Redding, 28, has spent parts of five seasons in the major leagues. Assuming 200 innings pitched, Redding would have stats very similar to Ortiz: 11-17, 5.16 with 10 hits and 4 walks per 9 innings while striking out 6.
His best season came in 2003 (with the Astros) when he went 10-14, 3.68. Last year, playing for 'AAA' Charlotte (White Sox), Redding had an outstanding season, going 12-10, 3.40 in 187 innings. The White Sox starting staff, Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Freddie Garcia, Jon Garland and Javier Vasquez, gave Redding no chance to pitch in Chicago in 2006, and Redding looked to find a team with the biggest need for starting pitching. That, my friends, is the Nationals.
Redding was considered a "can't miss" prospect, destined to find a home at the top of the Astros' starting rotation. It never happened. He has both a two-seam and four-seam fastball along with a a hard breaking curve and a viscous slider. His fastball can reach 95 mph. He has the talent to dominate the competition. The problem he faces is his all-or-nothing pitching style. He'll give up nothing for five or six innings, then get hammered for five runs and find himself in the showers. If he can ever learn to contain that one bad inning, he has the talent to win a lot of games at the major league level. That said, he's 28 and he hasn't learned the lesson yet, and the White Sox don't think he ever will. Neither do I. Lefties hit him very well, too well. One scout compares him to Gred Maddux, but not in a good way. He was talking about his inability to keep runners close at first. A walk with Redding on the mound is a double waiting to happen.
With a little luck, Redding could become a competent back-of-the-rotation pitcher, finishing close to .500. With no luck, Redding will finish 2007 with numbers similar to the departed Ramon Ortiz. Either way, I can live with it.
PACIOREK OUT: Tom Paciorek isn't returning to MASN in 2007. In part, the press release said, "In other news, ex-big leaguer Tom Paciorek, who served as a color analyst on the team's television broadcasts on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, was told that his contract would not be renewed. Paciorek said he was told by MASN executive producer Chris Glass that the Nationals had made the decision."I was really disappointed, because of all my 19 years in broadcasting, this was the most fun I've had," Paciorek said yesterday. "I was most proud of what we accomplished this year because I love being part of a team, and I thought we were really well-received."But I've also been in this business long enough to know that I don't appeal to people in high authority. I'm not sure why."Paciorek said he would retire from broadcasting, "because this is the only job I wanted.'"
The Nationals are making a big mistake. Fans grow used to their team's announcers, even if they aren't perfect. Many of the commenters over at Ball Park Guys said that while they didn't like Paciorek at first, they "grew accustomed" to him, and are now very angry that he's been fired. Last year, 75% of the team's announcers were canned. Now, it's happening again. Baseball isn't like politics, where change for the sake of change can be a good thing.
The Nationals should make the best of a bad situation and hire someone with a national presence. Don Sutton is available. So is Harold Reynolds. The last thing they want to do is to bring in someone unknown and untried.
I'm glad Paciorek is gone. He was goofy, annoying and distracting. His horrible imitations of television characters and such underscored, to me, the second tier quality of the MASN broadcast and, by extension, the Nats. I want some good color commentary, not colorFUL commentary.
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