THE DAY AFTER, AND THE SUN STILL CAME UP IN THE EAST
[November 8th] -- Whew. What a night. It seems the people of the United States wanted change, and without question they got what they wanted. Though I am a political junkie and am a whole-hearted supporter of one of the two parties, The Beltway Boys is not a place to discuss that. Every one of us here is a Nationals' fan; to discuss personal political views would fracture the unifying theme of this blog.
I will say this, however. Some voters frighten me. I was watching some interviews of Americans who had just voted, and too many of them voted Republican, or Democrat, without fully understanding why they were doing it. All too often, they were parroting talking points, or what their neighbor, or co-worker said. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, and some proved that last night. I would much rather lose an election because voters made reasoned, well-founded decisions to throw my guy out than to have a bunch of dead-brained "handle-pullers" vote for my candidate because they took some 30-second sound bite as the gospel according to so-and-so.
I have no idea if last night's deluge of message-sending votes was a good thing or not. I have lived long enough to see that both parties -- once ensconced in power -- does a remarkably good job of governing in their own personal best interests. Republicans spent our money in an attempt to stay in power -- they were buying votes with their legislation. The Democrats, if they believe it will guarantee them continued power, will pander to every group that comes calling. It's the nature of the beast. For now, politics will take a back seat to my beloved Nationals. And a pox on both their houses.
Johnson & O'Connor get sliced and diced: Nick Johnson underwent surgery yesterday to remove some scar tissue from his leg. Although this is without question a setback, "Big Kahuna" Stan Kasten tells us that Johnson's timetable remains unaltered. Uh-huh. Do you remember all those injuries over the past two years -- when it seemed that the disabled list held more names than the 25 man roster? After almost each injury, or pulled muscle, or headache, or hangover, the Nationals announced that "it was not serious," and that the player was listed as day-to-day. Then a few days later, he was done for the year. I don't think they're lying to us -- it's not like the Nationals are taking lessons from Pravda. I just think they are being overly optimistic.
Here's the rub: had Johnson not been injured, Larry Broadway would have certainly, without question, been traded for pitching. His value will never be higher at this point (his injury not withstanding) and Johnson still has three more years remaining on that bargain-basement contract. This would allow the team to promote Josh Whitesell to 'AAA' Columbus for the 2007 season. However, with his health questionable, the Nationals need a "plan B" at first base. Plan 'B' should be Broadway, but I don't think they are going to want to hang on to him through spring training in case Nick isn't ready to go. Robert Fick would be a great Plan 'B' but the Nationals are making sounds as though Fick won't be returning next year. Should be interesting. Ah, where is Daryle Ward when you need him?
Mike O'Connor had surgery on his elbow to repair a "small cartilage defect." I have no idea what that means, except that slicing into living tissue can never be a good thing. O'Connor is expected to be ready to play in 2-3 months. I guess that means that his career is over.
Time will tell ....