Monday, February 23, 2009

From The Department Of: "What's The Big Deal?"

  • The Nats prospect/age scandal:
I'm not sure why this is such an issue. In case anyone missed it, there's a conniption fit going on because a prospect who said his name was Esmailyn Gonzalez and claimed to be 16-years-old when the Washington Nationals signed him to a $1.4 million contract three years ago, is actually Carlos David Alvarez Lugo and was 19 when he was signed.
Okay, so? What's the big deal?
When signing players from countries that are dirt poor and have slipshod systems of keeping records, how is anyone supposed to know how old a player is? Years ago there were questions about the ages of players like Luis Tiant; and it's now coming out that established players such as Miguel Tejada lied about their ages. So? There's no way for anyone to really know how old a player is; the only thing a scout or interested team can truly know is what the player tells them and by examining the documents they can get their hands on; and what if they are older than they say they are? Are the Athletics going to discount all the numbers and the MVP award Tejada won when he was their shortstop? Are the Indians, Red Sox and Yankees going to strike Tiant's numbers when he pitched for them because he may have been two, three or five years older than they thought?
The age thing is only a scouting protective device anyway; they might've known that the guy was probably not who he said he was and wasn't the age he said he was, but what's the difference if he can play? A scout signing a 16-year-old----good; a scout signing a 19-year-old----bad. This Lugo or Gonzalez or whatever his name is looks like he can play a bit based on his numbers; so what if he's a couple years older that they thought? The guy wanted to play baseball professionally; apparently has some ability; and he took the steps to make it a reality. Why is it that everyone's flipping out about this when more damage was done to the game's reputation by the wink, nod and blissfully intentional ignorance that baseball itself utilized in inflicting the damage of the PED scandals? This is a non-story.
  • Jim Bowden as Fredo Corleone:
The list of reasons for the Nationals to replace GM Jim Bowden are vast, but it's starting to look like he's a wannabe Don King, and is in reality, Fredo Corleone. There's a new investigation by the FBI about skimming of signing bonuses with Bowden involved----ESPN Story.
I have no idea what Bowden did or didn't do, but when's enough going to be enough with this guy? The Nats farm system is hideous; he's turned the big league roster into a halfway house for wayward youth; he doesn't know what he's doing; and he's not particularly well-liked anyway. It's as if he wants to be a criminal mastermind similar to King, with brilliance and always plausible deniability combined with a logic that is the hallmark of an evil genius, but instead screws everything up like Fredo Corleone and is best kept in the background or dispatched before things get even worse.
  • I watched five minutes of the Oscars and remembered specifically why I don't watch it:
I thought that the new administration was clarifying the lines of torture. You'd never know it from the few minutes I spent watching the Oscars.
Without getting into detail, what was the purpose of having those former winners standing on stage as a group and having an ass-kiss fest of the nominees for this year? It was like being dragged across broken glass face first and it didn't want to end. I kept flipping channels and going back and it was still going on!!!! As far as I know, it hasn't ended yet. Does anyone even watch the thing anymore, or do they just wait to see who won? Good grief!!!

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