Author Topic: Pampered Party in the Clubhouse  (Read 2009 times)

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Offline Senators2005

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Pampered Party in the Clubhouse
« Topic Start: August 08, 2005, 02:23:39 AM »
I just lifted this from the "Distinguished Senators" web blog.  Don't know how much truth there is to this but it seems to answer alot of questions about the so-called team chemistry:

Jose Guillen recently caused the normally mild-mannered Brad Wilkerson to explode during a team meeting on Friday.
According to another source, the only heated exchange was between outfielders Jose Guillen and Brad Wilkerson. Guillen told Wilkerson that he wanted him to take charge a little more in center field. Wilkerson responded by saying that that he would take charge a little more, but that Guillen never listens to him. Guillen became very upset. Heated words then followed . . .

I wonder whose side the halfwit homers will take in this dispute. Both these guys are sacred cows. Anyway, you'll be happy to know that ?Livan! broke it up
.

Offline Senators2005

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Pampered Party in the Clubhouse
« Reply #1: August 08, 2005, 02:58:38 AM »
And Today's Washington Post Article

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/07/AR2005080700437_pf.html

Scores of Trouble for Offense-Poor Nats
Team Meeting, Different Lineup Yield Same Result as Padres Complete Sweep at RFK: Padres 3, Nationals 0

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 8, 2005; E01


Saturday evening they tried a meeting, one that lasted nearly two hours. Yesterday afternoon, they made wholesale lineup changes, playing backups at every position but two. None of it helped. So behind the whisper of the Washington Nationals' offense -- just five hits in a 3-0 loss to right-hander Jake Peavy and the San Diego Padres yesterday afternoon at RFK Stadium -- the signs of a clubhouse coming apart, and a season slipping away, were everywhere. Changes, it seems, are afoot.

"It's getting [to be] that time," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "You can't watch these games too much longer, so let's try something different. It's like sailing a boat. Sometimes, you think you're going the right way. But if your team's losing, at some point, you might as well tack and go the other way and see if that'll work."

Nothing is working for the Nationals, who ended a crucial homestand by allowing the Padres a three-game sweep, and heard a smattering of boos from the announced crowd of 36,440 when little-used outfielder Matt Cepicky popped out to end the game against Peavy, who made the Nationals' lineup of rookies and substitutes look foolish at times.

After the game, Cepicky was replaced on the roster by Class AAA outfielder Brandon Watson. When the Nationals arrive in Houston to begin an important three-game series against the Astros, Watson -- who has never played in a big league game -- will not only be in uniform, but likely will be leading off and playing right field for a team that, even with all the turmoil, is still very much in the race for the playoffs.

"We're losing ballgames that we should be winning," Manager Frank Robinson said. "And pretty soon it will be too late."

All this comes on the eve of Washington's longest road trip of the year, a 13-game voyage through Houston, Colorado, Philadelphia and New York. And it comes with an undercurrent of upheaval in the clubhouse, which was still dealing with the fallout from Saturday's meeting -- which lasted 1 hour 44 minutes -- and was meant to, as Robinson said, "clear the air."

There was, however, confrontation, and two club sources said there appears to be a rift between center fielder Brad Wilkerson and right fielder Jose Guillen. At one point in the meeting -- during which players were invited to vent any issues they had -- a source said that second baseman Jose Vidro jumped up and told Wilkerson to stop talking about Guillen, who frequently doesn't stretch or take batting practice with his teammates. Wilkerson, by contrast, is a constant during pregame workouts.

Neither Guillen -- who is out of the lineup with a bad shoulder -- nor Wilkerson would address any details of the meeting yesterday. But asked if the atmosphere in the clubhouse had changed during the last five weeks, in which the Nationals have gone 8-22, Guillen said, "Definitely," and Wilkerson agreed.

"There's a lot of things going on," Wilkerson said. "I think a lot of things were put out in the meeting that needed to be put out, and whether we can correct them or not, I think it's up to the individual. This is a good team, but I think there's a lot of things we need to learn as a team, maturity-wise.

"I've said all along it's easy to look like you're mature, look like the chemistry's going well, when you're winning. But when you're losing, you kind of get the test of time, see how strong you are as a team -- and see if you are really a team. And I think this team's been struggling with that."

Neither Wilkerson nor Guillen has been particularly productive lately, and both are hurt. Wilkerson, who has battled a bad forearm and hand much of the year and a sore shoulder for more than a month, said he is feeling better, but is hitting .211 in August. Guillen likely will miss the entire Houston series, and perhaps the one in Colorado, because of a potential tear in his left rotator cuff. He is hitting .154 this month.

Without those two players, the Nationals' offense -- which is last in the National League in batting average (.252), slugging percentage (.383), runs scored (3.9 per game) and home runs (77) -- has little hope of coming around. Both players said yesterday they want to make sure chemistry doesn't prevent them from finishing the season strong.

"I had enough in my past," Guillen said. "I just learn from those things. Sometimes, if you say something, a lot of players don't take it the right way. I just want to play the game and help my team to win and come ready every day."

The Nationals have not looked ready to play for some time, and they have now exhausted virtually every avenue available for inspiration. Bowden met with the team privately during a July series in Florida. Robinson has tried various forms of meetings, culminating in the free-for-all therapy session on Saturday.

"I believe in them," Bowden said. "I think they can do it, but you got to do it. I'm sick of talking the talk. How many meetings can you have? . . . Let's walk the walk and talk the talk."

Yesterday, neither the talking nor walking amounted to much against Peavy (10-4), who tossed his second shutout of the season, allowing five harmless singles, walking two and striking out 10 against a lineup that featured the regular shortstop, Cristian Guzman, and the regular first baseman, Nick Johnson, but subs everywhere else.

So tonight, the Nationals head to Houston, where so much could be sorted out. Win three, and they improbably lead the wild-card race. Lose three, and they might be done.

"I think it's a big series for this ballclub to figure out what kind of club it's going to be," Wilkerson said. "Is it going to be a club that's going to toughen up and rise to the challenge, or is it going to be a club that's going to collapse? It just doesn't seem in very good spirits right now."

_______________________________________ ___________________

I think the last comment from Brad that I highlighted says a mouthful.

Offline Senators2005

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« Reply #2: August 08, 2005, 04:30:27 AM »
I want to temper my previous two posts however with THIS snippet from Tom Boswell of the Washington Post:

At the moment, the Nats are so out of sync -- out of balance -- that they may not even realize that their tough-guy manager wishes they'd cut themselves some slack. "You should also have fun when you are in a bad streak. But you can't outwardly show it," says Robinson. "People will say, 'Look at that idiot. His team is losing and he's laughing. Is he a crazy man?' You still have to be upbeat every day and have fun, just in a different way."

The last thing the Nationals should feel during this slump is that, as Guillen said, they are "letting all the people of Washington down." No, Jose. Maybe Herb Plews and Reno Bertoia and hundreds of other old-time Nats let the people of Washington down. This team, in 100 games, gave Washington more baseball pleasure than the old Senators did in their last 6,000 here. Doubt it? Washington hasn't been in a postseason race in August since 1933.

So, get over it, Nationals. You're here. You're staying. A new owner is coming. A new park is going to get built. Nobody in Washington expects you to make the playoffs. Do we fantasize about it and dicker with the numbers? Sure. But nobody's demanding it. We're just having fun. There hasn't been much of that in a third of a century. It's allowed.

In fact, the Nats could even go back to having a good time, too. If they'd relax and let themselves do it.

Offline PC

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« Reply #3: August 08, 2005, 07:48:51 AM »
Also from the Post:

By now Esteban Loaiza has heard the question so many times, considering it, pondering it and digesting it enough to know there is no proper answer. So yesterday he just shrugged.

"Do you feel you have to be perfect?" he was asked.

And the Nationals number two starting pitcher, a man who could well have 19 wins right now were it not for an anemic Washington offense, gave a small laugh.


...and the #1 starting pitcher is?

Washington never mounted a true scoring threat against Peavy, save for putting runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth, with an about-to-be-demoted outfielder named Matt Cepicky at the plate.

Why in the hell didn't they send him down last week and not lose Sunny Kim to the Rockies?

Quote
Nothing is working for the Nationals, who ended a crucial homestand by allowing the Padres a three-game sweep, and heard a smattering of boos from the announced crowd of 36,440 when little-used outfielder Matt Cepicky...


And I'm so sick of Svrluga referring to "the announced crowd".  The announced crowd is the crowd.  It's the same in every other damn stadium in the country but only Barry Svrluga implicitly screams "No-shows!  No-shows!"

Montcobaseball

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« Reply #4: August 08, 2005, 01:32:07 PM »
It's because he doesn't believe that the actual attendence is anywhere  close to being what is announced.  I predict that he or another reporter will do a story on that discrepancy before the season ends.  If it were a thousand or even a few thousand he woun't be saying but I think that there is a significant difference.  They are not getting a great walk up crowd.

Offline Kenz aFan

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« Reply #5: August 08, 2005, 04:41:39 PM »
Walk up crowds show up when a team is winning, or when they have star players in the lineup. If a team is doing lousy, the idea of taking in a game leaves their thought process faster than it came in...

Montcobaseball

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« Reply #6: August 08, 2005, 05:02:19 PM »
Yep and thats what I am afraid thats going to happen here.  The season ticket base will always be built into the attendance count and if they come home 2-11 on this road trip you won't have 25,000 in that ball park.  What a shame.

Offline The Chief

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« Reply #7: August 08, 2005, 05:35:35 PM »
Quote from: "Montcobaseball"
Yep and thats what I am afraid thats going to happen here.  The season ticket base will always be built into the attendance count and if they come home 2-11 on this road trip you won't have 25,000 in that ball park.  What a shame.


Oh come on, I bet we do better than that.

Offline Kenz aFan

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« Reply #8: August 08, 2005, 06:15:29 PM »
I bet the Nats do MUCH BETTER than that

Offline PC

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« Reply #9: August 08, 2005, 06:46:06 PM »
My point is the Post's beat writer is supposed to report on the game not give his commentary on the attendance.

Everytime he adds "announced" to his copy, the sports editor should take it out.

Montcobaseball

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« Reply #10: August 08, 2005, 08:08:48 PM »
Quote from: "Kenz aFan"
I bet the Nats do MUCH BETTER than that




       I hope so but by the time they come back Montgomery County and PG County schools will be almost ready to start and that is going to cut down on the walk ups.

Offline Kenz aFan

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« Reply #11: August 08, 2005, 11:41:04 PM »
After this road trip, the Nats play 25 of their last 38 games at home. If they can get things back on track, that could be a major deciding factor in the wild card race.

Offline PC

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« Reply #12: August 10, 2005, 10:26:19 AM »
From today's Post:

Quote
With their season hanging on yet another precipice and their offense in a monthlong funk, the Nationals broke out against the Houston Astros, using a season-high four homers -- including the first of Watson's career, in just his third major league at-bat -- to barely take a badly needed 6-5 victory in front of 34,255 at Minute Maid Park.


...as opposed to "an announced crowd of 34,255".

Offline Kenz aFan

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« Reply #13: August 10, 2005, 03:17:15 PM »
Looks like you' have latched onto something with the "announced crowd" digs...