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STUPID STUPID STUPID

[March 18th] -- Oh brother.

The Nationals announced on Sunday that, "oh by the way, we've given up on Larry Broadway yet again and will go with one of two grizzled vets - perhaps both - at first base this year."

Were the Nationals fighting for a playoff spot in 2007, then sure, I could understand their reluctance to give the keys to first base to Broadway, who at age 26 still doesn't have a major league at-bat. But the only fight in the Nationals this year is in their attempt not to break the 1962 Mets all-time record for most losses in a season.

Why trade away Livan Hernandez and Jose Vidro, and not resign Alfonso Soriano and Jose Guillen and Tony Armas and Ramon Ortiz in the name of getting younger only to give two other veterans the chance to play first, beating out the very type of player the Nationals were counting on this year?

Jim Bowden and Manny Acta said that Broadway's .333 spring didn't include enough power, and that they are looking to find it in either Lee, or Young, or both.

Right.

Broadway has averaged a homerun every 23 at-bats during his minor league career. Dmitri Young, 33, averaged one homer every 39 at-bats during his time in the minors, and one homer every 26 at-bats with the Cardinals, Reds and Tigers. Travis Lee, 32, a "can't miss" prospect who did, averages a homer every 32 at-bats. Young hit 29 homers once with the Tigers, but his second highest number was just 21. Lee's high-water mark was 22, during his first year with the Diamondbacks nearly a decade ago.

So, Dmitri Young has below-average power for a major league first baseman, as does Travis Lee. Same with Larry Broadway. So why does Larry Broadway get sent down and the other two stay? I can only guess that when Nick Johnson returns sometime in mid-season, Bowden is intent on trading Young, or Lee for prospects. Broadway (I'm guessing) would bring less in return.

It just doesn't make sense. I can only assume that Larry Broadway has now lost his chance to play in the major leagues, at least with the Washington Nationals. He is too old to be considered a real prospect anymore. The Nationals - with Johnson signed for another three seasons - doesn't want him in D.C. and other teams don't see him as a prospect any longer.

He's screwed.

I could have rooted for a singles-hitting Broadway, but how do I root for a couple of guys that no one else wanted, guys who will be gone the moment Nick Johnson returns to the Nationals?

I haven't been this worked up since Bowden sent Ryan Church to the minors last spring.

Once a year. Like clockwork. Ah Jimbo, this just doesn't make any sense.

Thanks. I'm much better now.


Comments:
You root for Lee and Young because they play for your team.

Actually, I read somewhere that Kory Casto is starting to play some 1B. IMO he'd be the ideal choice because once Johnson comes back he still has utility player potential with corner OF and IF.
 
The next two weeks Jim Bowden is going to drive these blogs crazy.
Then on opening day everyone will either praise him or crucify him. But, we won't know anything for sure until 6/1 when the decisions will be truly known if they are good or bad.
 
I'm with TBB on this one. I thought merely inviting Young and his baggage was in complete contradiction with "The Plan". Demoting Broadway for Young is sheer stupidity, a waste of time which will do nothing for the team. We saw enough half-assed redemption project has-beens last year. Young will provide nothing other than a weak short-lived human interest story for the hack local news media. He will not embark on some grand comeback or even provide any contribution that makes him trade bait for prospects mid-season. Fans who will suffer through this impending 95+ loss CeeEff of a season would be better served watching Broadway than Young.
 
Get over it. Broadway is a stop gap until Nick Johnson is healthy later this season. What are they going to do w/ Broadway when Johnson comes back - trade him??? He's not a top prospect, so he is not going to bring the type of prospects necessary to continue the rebuilding. Give Dimtri the job. He's a great character guy (I realize he had problems last year, but that was diabetes and alcohol related, which is behind him). He'll perform well, then trade him for another young pitcher. Broadway is not the answer.
 
I sense a pattern: the Nats are not promoting anyone from the minors that they don't have to. Seems to me that Broadway's going down because he's still got options available. Or to turn it around - since they don't have to bring Broadway up, why give him a shot now when he's not hitting lights out? Might as well see if Bodes can get something for Young in a mid-season trade. Larry B's waited this long ... a few more months isn't going to make that much of a difference.
 
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