Friday, February 23, 2007


Washington Nationals blogging.

First off, Manny Acta gets it (via). He's open to being persuaded by data from millions of at-bats, even if it cuts against conventional wisdom. How about that. "It's been proven to me that a guy at first base with no outs has a better chance to score than a guy at second base with one out. That has been proven to me with millions of at-bats," he explained.

I've never felt much more than contempt-tinged fanataical apathy for the Nats since Jim Bowden spent Fort Knox to bring the mediocre and decrepit Cristian Guzman and Vinny Castilla to the left side of the infield. But a manager who takes facts into account rather than folk tales... that's pretty intriguing.

Second off, Chad Cordero says that he was pressured by the union not to take the deal he'd been offered b the Nats, even though he liked the deal. "I don't know why I didn't sign [the two-year deal]," Cordero said. "I wanted to. The Players Association thought I had a good case and they wanted see how it turned out. Even if I lost my arbitration case, I wasn't going to lose. It's still a lot of money. It's still more money than I ever would have thought [I'd make]."

The MLB players' union is run with a determined animosity toward management, regardless of the well-being of the players. See, e.g., the union's refusal to take drug testing seriously until Congress raised hell. The bulked-up superstars got huge deals, and anyone in AAA struggling to make it, well, let them eat steroids.

The union's all-encompassing animosity and mistrust was well-founded three decades ago. Now that the union has the upper hand, winning every dispute with the owners in that time period, that attitude has outlived its usefulness. Cordero-- who deserves some blame here for going along-- didn't sign a deal he liked, because the union wants to stick it to management every time they possibly can, consequences to players be damned.

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