Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What Side of the Fence Are you On?

The Virginian Pilot does a good job of explaining both sides of the argument. Should Ryan Zimmerman sit or should he play? As expected PT Bowden plays the role of hyperbole king:
"I told Frank today, the one thing you've got to do for me when you're making your decisions is look at Zimmerman not as a rookie but as a 10-year veteran. His makeup is not a rookie. Whatever you'd think of Scott Rolen if he was here, that's how you should look at Zimmerman. He will not panic in a clutch situation in the field or at the plate. ... Winners win, and he's a winner."
Can he please stop with the obsessive pimping? From what I have seen, Zimmerman appears to have the ability to be a successful major leaguer. However, he's 20 years old and has not even started one game yet. He'll inevitably have his struggles and hopefully he'll weather them an become a better ballplayer. But Bowden needs to ratchet back the PR blitz by about 95%. Then we are presented the 'old school' perspective from Frank Robinson:
"Would it be fair to put him out there ahead of these other guys who have played those positions for quite some time?"
Frank is a Hall of Fame player. I understand that. Frank knows more about the clubhouse politics/pecking order. I know that. But the one thing I do know is that if a player is injured or is underperforming, it shouldn't matter whether he has played for 10 games or 10 years. What matters is putting the best product on the field to win games. Especially in a pennant race. Vinny has been playing well over the past 18 games (309/356/418) but he is essentially playing on one leg. I don't think a game off twice a week is going to hurt the Nationals on the field. On the contrary, I think it will help them. Not only has Zimmerman shown he is capable defensively but he also has shown he is not overmatched as of yet at the plate. Additionally, allowing Vinny to sit twice a week will give him a chance to maximize what he can do when he plays, not to mention he provides a serious threat off of the bench as a pinch hitter late in games. I'll close with a quote from Zimmerman himself:
"It wouldn't be fair to the veterans and it wouldn't be fair to me, because that would put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. Not that I couldn't handle it. I wasn't expecting to come up and play every day. I don't think anybody gets drafted and thinks they'll be up that year. It just happened."
The kid gets it. I think Nationals fans should feel really good about the future.

2 comments:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

...as long as the two extremes aren't big parts of the future, I'll be excited.

Brian said...

Amen to that.