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[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 will miss Tom Paciorek. He worked well with Bob Carpenter and did a good job. I often wondered if his insightful critique of the the players' hitting flaws might do him in because he probably made Mitchell Page look deficient. Paciorek was a class guy.
When the Nats are Away and on MASN, I have always turned down Carpenter and Paciorek to listen to Charlies Slowes and Dave Jaegler. Slowes is terrific and in just two short years has come up with some signature Washington Calls "Curly W" & "Bang Zoom". Jaegler is far better than Dave Shea was in 2005. I believe that if Rob Carpenter was not given a 2 years contract, he would also be gone. Management is comfortable with the Radio Fit (MLB actually did something correct on that side of the broadcast booth), but not the TV Guys. Carpenter, to me, is not that exciting to listen too. I enjoyed Paciorek more, he could be funny--neither though could sustain my interest and that was apparent to many others, not only management.
Slowes talks too much and he drives the listener nuts with too many meaningless statistics. I agree, Jaegler is first rate. I will miss Paciorek.
I've never liked Slowes. It drives me nuts that he never gives the score of the game until the end of the inning. If I get in my car and turn my radio on in the middle of an inning, it can take 15 or 20 minutes before I find out what the score is. Also, I hate the sound of his voice over the radio. Jaegler's a keeper, but Slowes must go!
Okay, brace yourselves. I'm going to post something negative in the same comment thread where Phil may have posted his first ever positive comment, BUT:

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.
The Nationals are making a good attempt at driving away fans. Breaking up the radio team in the first year, the tv team after the first year, and now the tv team. When are they going to realize that people get used to the same voices?
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