21 August 2005

Jim Bowden Pops Off, Simpsons Season Six,

Apparently Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden has his own column over at the Washington Examiner where he can expound on player moves, explain roster construction... and openly insult his players. Weird, huh?

Here's his article detailing the promotion of first round pick Ryan Zimmerman to the big club. One of the caveats of the move is to convert him from his natural 3B to SS. Why, you ask? Well let Uncle Jim tell you:

With Vinny Castilla's knee injuries and the horrific year Cristian Guzman is having, I may have no choice but to bring Ryan to the big leagues in his first professional season.

Geesh. Let's look first at Cristian Guzman's contract with Washington, which he signed last winter.

Cristian Guzman, SS
4 years/$16.8M (2005-08)
  • 05-08:$4.2M/year

  • signed as a free agent 11/04

  • 4 years/$9M (2001-04), plus $5.4M 2005 club option ($0.75M buyout)

  • 04:$3.7M; 05:$5.4M club option $0.75M buyout (declined 10/04)

  • agent: Stan King

  • ML service: 6.000

  • Pretty decent money, huh? Here are his career stats, which before his 2005 season in Washington, were played for the Minnesota Twins.


    Now, of course, let's not forget a very important point- that Cristian Guzman has been, in his career, a tremendous defensive SS, being above league average in RF every year except 2003, and improving his error totals (though early on they were a product of tremendous range and raw ability mixing for a lot of scorer's decisions against him) as he went on.

    But that said, sheesh, who signs this guy for 4 years?! Who commits $4 million a year to an offensive black hole over that period of time? A guy who has never had an OBP over .335? A guy who has never, save for one season, had a SLG over .390? A guy with a career OPS+ of SEVENTY SIX!

    Well, Jim Bowden, that's who.

    Of course, you can't blame him for having an already stupid signing blow up in his face even worse than expected. Here is Guzman thus far in Washington:


    Now, of course, he's not wrong. That is the very definition of horrific. But maybe, as GM, he could have avoided actually saying it himself. Just a thought. More from the article:

    There are several reasons a GM does not want to make such a promotion, including but not limited to service time, future option restrictions, earlier eligibility to arbitration and free agency and stifling a player's development when they aren't quite ready.

    Yup, those are all real, actually great reasons not to do this, especially for a guy, like Zimmerman, who by all accounts does not project to be ready until '07. So he's not ignorant, just negligent.

    Many people criticized me for moving Zimmerman so fast from the draft to AA ball, but he's held his own and is batting close to .317 with seven homers since the promotion. The most obvious adjustment he'd have to make in September would be to major-league pitching. How a player adjusts many times depends on his makeup and character as much as his baseball skill. Ryan certainly has both.

    I obviously don't think that Jim Bowden actually thinks that "character" has as much to do with adapting to major league pitching as skills do, but this line was worth it if only for the "most obvious adjustment..." point he made, straight out of the "No Fuckin' Shit" Department.


    I may have no choice but to bring Ryan to the big leagues in his first professional season. He wouldn't come to Washington as the solution to get us to the playoffs. But instead he would provide insurance in case of injury with Castilla or if Guzman doesn't snap out of his year-long slump.
    There are several reasons a GM does not want to make such a promotion... however, at the end of the day we are only a half game out of the wild-card race, and if bringing him up in September will help us make the postseason, then I have to do it.

    These quotes are a paragraph apart. Just wonderful. I love idiots. Idiots that sign Cristian Guzman and Vinny Castilla then write a chickenshit article acting like he'd been saddled with them on his roster.

    So I splurged and went out to get The Simpsons, Season Six on DVD. Of course, this is the season that ended with the epic, life-altering "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" episode which, along with a ton of hype and publicity, was also one of the series' best episodes. Naturally, the extras are in large part related to the many specials and promos done for that episode. Remember the "America's Most Wanted" that was done for episode? Awesome stuff. Along with that one, this season is another in the "prime of the Simpsons"- check out this episode list:

  • Bart of Darkness

  • Lisa's Rival

  • Another Simpsons Clip Show

  • Itchy and Scratchy Land

  • Sideshow Bob Roberts

  • Treehouse of Horror V

  • Bart's Girlfriend

  • Lisa on Ice

  • Homer Bad Man

  • Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy

  • Fear of Flying

  • Homer the Great

  • And Maggie Makes Three

  • Bart's Comet

  • Homie the Clown

  • Bart vs. Australia

  • Homer vs. Patty and Selma

  • A Star is Burns

  • Lisa's Wedding

  • Two Dozen and One Greyhounds

  • The PTA Disbands

  • Round Springfield

  • The Springfield Connection

  • Lemon of Troy

  • Who Shot Mr. Burns

  • That happens to be my favorite Tree House Horror episode, and off the top of my head, "Lemon of Troy," "Bart vs. Australia," and "Homie the Clown" are some of my absolute favorites. I recommend this one highly.

    Now, about the packaging- it's cool looking, but I know it's going to break. Not a big deal, but you can just tell. Of course, opening the DVD, you're greeted by this message-

    If you're one of those anal-retentive nerds that needs their DVDs to line up all in a row on your shelf, you can call this number to get a normal, boring, not-creative-at-all package.

    The number (1-800-223-2369) is a recording from Homer and, as such, is worth calling to listen in. Funny stuff. It really only directs you to a website anyway, but oh well. Only charges shipping and handling. I might do it just to have it.

    Also, yes, I am very certainly one of those "anal retentive nerds." You are too, Mike, and don't even pretend like you're fucking not.

    Last night I watched most of the first disc, and I counted references to Rear Window, Howard Hughes, The Telltale Heart, Watergate/ Deep Throat/ All the President's Men, Rush Limbaugh, the 1960 Presidential Debates, Citizen Kane, The Shining, Scarface, Bob Roberts, A Few Good Men, Apocalypse Now, Busby Berkley, The Cask of Amontillado, Edward R Murrow, Un Chien Andalou, Love in the Time of Cholera (sort of), The Fugitive, Gallagher, Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, Dr. Seuss, Jurassic Park, Hellraiser/ Friday the 13th/ Nightmare on Elm Street, and Peabody and Sherman from "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show"/"Peabody's Improbably History." I probably missed a few, too.

    Also, totally worthless sidenote: Erin is currently watching the "E! True Hollywood Story" of Blossom. I know, what am I doing writing this when something like that is on.

    Well, I peeked over at it really quick, saw Mayim Bialik- Blossom- talking in present day about the show, and all I can say is "yikes." If I elaborated, I'd be considered an even bigger asshole than you already think I am.


    EDIT: E! THS just informed us at the end of the program that, not only is she getting her PhD studying and helping special needs children, but Bialik is also pregnant, explaining the "yikes" and succeeding in making me an even bigger asshole. But credit me with not deleting the above comment. Or is that even worse?

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