WMP Deal Completed. Adios, Fruto!
We interrupt the post made 15 minutes ago to bring you actual news:
The Nationals sent right-hander Emiliano Fruto to Arizona in exchange for first baseman Chris Carter, then immediately sent Carter to Boston as the player to be named in the Wily Mo Pena deal.
Fruto, if you recall, was one of two players acquired from Seattle, along with outfielder Chris Snelling, in the December trade that sent then-second baseman/now-DH Jose Vidro to the Mariners. Snelling was traded in May for Ryan Langerhans, who has since been designated for assignment.
Fruto had pitched in the majors with the Mariners, and at one point they envisioned him as the closer of the future. That, of course, was before the development of J.J. Putz. The Nationals turned him into a starter at the beginning of this season for Class AAA Columbus, and he had sporadic success. But his numbers at the time of the trade -- 3-9 with a 5.26 ERA in 18 appearances (16 starts) -- were unimpressive. He is just 23, and Bob Boone called him in spring training, "A baby with a big arm." But that doesn't mean he has figured out how to pitch. The book is that he loses concentration from time to time.
Carter is 24, hits left-handed and has impressive stats in the minors: .324 with 18 home runs and 84 RBI in 126 games for Class AAA Tucson prior to being dealt to Boston. It's possible that Carter would get a shot at playing first base in Boston next year if and when the Red Sox part ways with free-agent-to-be third baseman Mike Lowell and move Kevin Youkilis from first to third.
So that's the deal. Now, back to the original post, and I'd be interested in any thoughts on any of this:
Looking for something to do tonight? Or have to wash your hair? Well, if you're free, there's an exciting event at ESPNZone downtown! Really! A T-shirt tossin', screamin' into the mic extravaganza!
The Nationals are hositng NAT PACK NIGHT(!!!!!) to watch the big Joel Hanrahan-Wandy Rodriguez matchup. Fun for the whole family!
This from the Nationals' release:
What: Members of the Nat Pack and fans will watch the Nationals take on the Houston Astros. Fans may participate in Nationals Trivia with a chance to win various prizes [of undetermined value]. Guests may also enter a raffle for autographed items and game tickets. One fan age 18 or older may win the chance to be a Nat Pack Member for an upcoming Washington Nationals home game [which, presumably, means quality time with Clint].
Who: Washington Nationals Nat Pack Members
Washington Nationals Fans
[Other assorted drifters]
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight[!!!!!! Game starts at 8:05 p.m.]
So go on down there and raise some heck. Make sure Clint doesn't throw any T-shirts onto 12th St.
All of this is a way of bringing up a subject that we've danced around - oh, heck, we've ripped on it - before. What do you think about the in-game entertainment at RFK Stadium? What would you keep? What would you tweak? What would you blow up?
Obviously, the sound system isn't the best, and it's hard to hear what Clint is saying. This may or may not be a blessing.
I'd also be interested in thoughts on the P.A. guy, who - as we've discussed here - is new this year. (To my taste, he's a huge improvement with a nice, understated voice.) The Presidents Race? I know it's sacred, but if you don't like it, don't be afraid to say so. And how would you end this whole Teddy schtick? (I am also a believer that Abe has osteoporosis and needs to drink a lot of milk in the offseason so he's not so hunched over.)
Consider this an open letter to the Nationals marketing folks. There's still time - plenty o' time - to improve for next year at the new ballpark.
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