Tuesday, March 08, 2005


The Last Son of The Olympic (Stadium, that is)

Surprisingly, a lot of time can pass when you don't have a team to write about anymore. (For those of you somehow only tuned to exposbaseball DOT blogspot DOT com, my Nationals blogs have moved to nationals.mostavaluablenetwork.com. I'll fix the links...sometime)

I finally buckled to the peer pressure of noone and got myself a Baseball Prospectus membership. While perusing through back material, ran into a gem of a piece speculating on who would be the last ever Expo. Sort of a depressing version of my "would any current National make the hall of fame" blog. Sort of.

Well after listing some other last players (including the last Seattle Pilot, Fred Stanley, who I once dressed up for Halloween. Yes, that's right I dressed up as Fred Stanley. I could explain it to you, but it would take too long.) They toss out their potential last Expos, listing 10. In no particular order, Chad Cordero, Shawn Hill, Macier Izturis, Brendan Harris, Chad Bentz, Livan Hernandez, Juan Rivera, Brad Wilkerson, Nick Johnson, and Vlad Guerrero.

They end up choosing, for a variety of reasons, Vlad. I'm going to disagree for two reasons.

1) I think that back problem will flare up again. Something about the way Vlad plays, all loose swinging and such, makes me worry about his back. Then again he reminds me of Dave Winfield who didn't exactly retire early.

2) He's a complete hacker. Whenever the bat speed goes, he will be a cannon arm novelty. Sure that's years down the road, but I can see a 35 year old Vlad batting .220. For those of you that think he might learn patience, don't bet on it. He's been so good at what he does, it hasn't been much of an issue. In fact he's getting worse at taking a pitch. He's going to crash hard, and I wouldn't bet on it taking until he's 42. (38 maybe)

I could go with Nick Johnson (I love a good walk) but he'll get injured reading this column. I could go with Juan Rivera, but he gave Vlad the nickname "Walky McWalkerson". If Chad Cordero was lefty, he'd be my choice, as lefties can last forever. But he's not. So who do I choose.

I'm going to gamble with Brendan Harris. Why? No good reason. Just a feeling. If he has a good season in in the next couple years, he's got the bat control and defensive versatility that managers love to keep on the bench. He'll be that veteran presence guy who retires at 38. Beating Vlad by about a month or so.
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