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Church and State

So there's a chance that some people want a post completely devoted to the Post's coverage of the Nationals. I am completely willing to do this, but I have the feeling that it would be responding to just a few folks, and that a majority of y'all are sick and tired of this subject. Let me know here, because I'm willing to do it - but not if people are bored by the topic (as I am).

Let's, then, talk about some baseball. Ryan Church, anyone?

I'm still not sure why he's so polarizing. Let's roll out his stats:

Ryan Church: .275/.352/.468, 15 HR, 43 doubles, 70 RBI, 466 at-bats

Now, understand, I have become a bit of an Austin Kearns apologist, because I think the guy plays hard every day and is one of the best right fielders in the game. But let's roll out his offensive numbers.

Austin Kearns: .266/.356/.414, 16 HR, 35 doubles, 73 RBI, 575 at-bats

Let's throw in the third-place hitter, Ryan Zimmerman:

Ryan Zimmerman: .267/.329/.460, 24 HR, 42 doubles, 90 RBI, 643 at-bats (Zimmerman's total of at-bats is the fourth-highest in the NL, with only leadoff hitters - Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes and Juan Pierre - ahead of him)

Church is quietly having a very nice year. His 43 doubles are tied for sixth-most in the NL. But everyone else ahead of him? They all have more than 500 at-bats. Church is averaging a double every 10.8 at-bats.

Here's an interesting thing about Church: I don't think he's a 600 at-bat, 150-game guy. Early in the year, when he was playing every day, he wanted a day off or two, but he couldn't ask for one because of all the questions that have been raised about his durability in the past. So he went out there every day. But it wore on him. Now, he's getting a bit more time off, and he's been impressive. His numbers in September: .385/.479/.846 with four homers and 17 RBI in 17 G/39 at-bats. That's pretty solid.

So, given that the club seems committed to Kearns in right and to giving Pena a shot in left, what do you do with Church?

(Didn't we have the discussion last year?)

Here's the gamer from last night. And here's a bit of news on the coaching staff, featuring Lenny Harris. And here's the podcast, with only three to go.

This weekend is going to be phun. Anyone going to Philly?

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 27, 2007; 6:11 AM ET
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