04.24.05

Nats Punish Zambrano, CSTB Ignores The Wreckage

Posted in Baseball at 10:12 pm by

Though Mike Piazza was hitless for the 3 game series with Washington prior to this afternoon’s finale, Gary Cohen cited the catcher’s “excellent defence” as of late. Right as if on cue, the Nationals stole four bases off the Mets in their 11-4 victory, the enigmatic Victor Zambrano (above) walking 3, hitting two batters and allowing 8 runs in 3 innings of work. The New York Times’ Lee Jenkins reports that Willie Randolph has forged a fast friendship with Herb Williams, though Randolph will have enough opportunities to learn about losing with diginity without any tips from the (current) Knicks head coach.

I don’t know how long Brad Wilkerson can keep up his Brian Roberts impersonation, but hopefully not much longer.

Since events at Shea are too depressing to detail, I’ll instead remain mesmerized by Sunday’s Norfolk/Durham box score, which shows the Tides’ Brian Daubauch going 2 for 5 with 6 RBI’s via a pair of three run HR’s in a 12-1 victory. Eric Junge (above, showing the good looks that served him so well in the Phillies organization) struck out 11 in 5 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits.

Just to prove to Don Smith that I have no bias towards DC’s new (though ultitmately doomed) franchise, much credit is due to former Expos P Sun Woo Kim (above), who struck out 5 and allowed 3 hits in 6 scoreless innings, leading the PCL’s New Orleans Zephyrs to a 7-0 win over the Round Rock Express. Along with Kim’s sharp performance, the nearly comatose Round Rock patrons have been graced with the play of such one-time major league standouts as Joe McEwing, Ben Grieve and Dave Burba over the past two weeks. While local fans cope with the realization that the Astros’ hottest prospects are probably learning their craft with the Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks, surely the star power of the above names and others coming in and out of Houston’s taxi squad will be enough to dazzle the paying customers. If not, there’s always the WiFi access. A trip to the ballpark just isn’t the same if you can’t check out Byron Crawford.com every few innings.

9 Responses to “Nats Punish Zambrano, CSTB Ignores The Wreckage”

  1. hstencil says:

    here’s hoping piazza gets traded to detroit for urbina and either cash or prospects maybe? i dunno.

  2. paul sommerstein says:

    daubach will be a late spring callup for PH and 1st base when the mets holes reveal themselves & they’re fighting for 3rd place (along w/ the yanks).

  3. Chuck Meehan says:

    Gerard- Perhaps I missed some previous comments, but I am curious about why you feel the Nationals are doomed. It appears to me that there will be a clean slate for whomever purchases the team
    to wotk with (i.e they are not currently saddled with unmoveable overvalued players a la the Phillies), they will have an extended grace period from the fanbase and a new stadium in 2008. Would it be like Selig and Co will botch things up by selling to the owner/partnership most likely to botch the opportunity or perhaps the terms that MLB sells the team under would be likely to hamper the new ownership?

  4. CSTB says:

    The Mets’ holes are as plentiful as those found in Bonnie Lee Bakley’s skull. However, unless Daubach can learn to pitch long relief (like fellow former Red Sox farmhand Ron Mahay), I’m not so sure there’ll be a need for him. Things seem relatively solid at 1B with Mientkiewicz, and the PH options aren’t so bad either (Anderson, Cairo, Woodward, Diaz if and when Cameron returns).

    as the Tigers are working their way up the ladder and are unlikely to contend this year, I’d be pretty shocked if they gave up prospects for Piazza. And with I-Rod firmly ensconsed in Motown, the other question is whether or not Piazza would be willing to go a team where he’d rarely catch….though if he plays beyond 2005, he might not have a choice.

    the odds of Piazza being traded seem slim the more he demonstrates that his hitting skills have diminished. His only real value would be as a DH to an AL club that fancied itself a contender, and even in that scenario, for which team fitting the above description would Piazza represent an upgrade?

  5. CSTB says:

    re : the Nationals

    Chuck, if the Nationals aren’t saddled with “overvalued, immovable players”, perhaps you can come up with a better description for Cristian Guzman. The bad vibes surrounding the Nationals haven’t vanished despite Washington’s respectable start. They still have Jim Bowden as their (current) GM and they’re committed to a loser of a TV deal that seems like a blatant attempt by MLB to appease Peter Angelos.

    At present, Baseball America ranks the Nationals’ minor league program 26th out of the 30 MLB clubs. So yeah, I do think whoever purchases the team is getting slightly damaged goods.

  6. David Roth says:

    I can’t see Piazza being traded, mostly because I think the Mets really wouldn’t be able to get much for him — and I think that, plus the PR hit in trading a team institution for Chad Qualls and some uniform pants, will keep him in Queens. And since the Mets keep either trading their top catching prospects (Justin Huber) or moving them to 1B (Mike Jacobs), I’d say they’re probably in no hurry to clear out the catcher spot for Ramon Castro and his giant face.

    And I think the Mets would call up Luis Garcia before Daubach. Garcia can play two positions, was a Randolph favorite in Spring Training, and, unlike Daubach, is not currently collecting Social Security. (By the way, if I could trade knowing the info in this paragraph for almost any other type of knowledge… done)

  7. CSTB says:

    David,

    if the Wilpons weren’t on the hook for Mike’s salary, I think Omar Minaya would take Chad Qualls and the pants tomorrow. There’s a PR hit when the Mets part ways with a player still in his prime — as they took when Darryl Strawberry signed with LA, as they suffered when they traded David Cone to Toronto. But I got the impression that media and fans alike were A-OK with the team waving bye bye to John Franco and Al Leiter this offseason, and much like a Pat Ewing (sans the guarantees), I think few tears will be shed when Piazza eventually leaves.

  8. Chuck Meehan says:

    My description of Guzman would be “lottery winner”. I hear you. The longer MLB and Bowden are operating/managing the Nats, the deeper a hole new ownership will have to crawl out of and considering how long it took for the franchise to be relocated in the first place and the ongoing Angelos haggling, who knows how long that will be.

  9. CSTB says:

    I’m not 100% down on the Nats, Chuck. I think its great that they’re paying Frank Robinson enough money that he can afford basic cable, as evidenced by his recent complaints that ESPN isn’t showing enough Nationals highlights. And I’m also impressed that they managed to make use of all the overstock Washington Senators hats that were laying around New Era’s warehouse.

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