Wee haaaa! On a roll, bay-beee. The Nats are 1-0 in the McCatty Era. The team is within 22 games of the .500 mark. Better days ahead.
Ah, but there's still a question to be answered. Or so we're told on the television. Bob and Rob talked about it last night before the Nats exploded for a zillion runs in the bottom of the eighth. With the bad news about Jesus Flores' shoulder, there's now a competition going on with Wil Nieves and Josh Bard for the top catching job.
Mike Rizzo was quoted as saying the team is content to go with those two and I suppose it makes sense. If there was a No. 1-worthy catcher out there, someone would already have him. It is probably not worth trading even a marginal prospect for someone to use the rest of this season. What, catching Nieves-Bard is going to cost this team a playoff spot?
So while being OK with this duo because of circumstances, I'm still a bit confused. A competition? Is there really any question that Nieves is the better choice of the two?
Bard is growing on me and not because he hit a home run last night. I posted a while back about a quote of his I loved. I saw his postgame interview last night and my guess is he's the media people's dream. Chatty, personable, a good quote. He's a guy I could like a lot. Despite Nieves' recent hitting, Bard is probably a better offensive option.
But by how much? Heck, Wil "Who?" Nieves almost had a grand slam last night!
I also can't make myself believe Bard's a solid defensive catcher because I haven't seen any evidence of that. It seems that Nieves has it over him there in a big way. Neither of them is Flores on offense or defense but, sadly, that's no longer an option for 2009.
Am I nuts? Shouldn't it clearly be Nieves-Bard?
As for Flores, I'm still bothered by the use of the term "stress fracture." Years ago, before I gained eight million pounds, I ran a lot. Even did the 1997 Marine Corps Marathon. Honest. My brother was there was a witness. I know a thing or two about stress fractures because I had a couple. I've been under the impression they were overuse injuries. Flores took a ball hard off his shoulder.
I'm also curious why it didn't show up before he went on a rehab assignment.
Perhaps there's a perfectly reasonable and legit medical explanation for all this. I'm going to guess that's the case. But given the Nats' medical history over the past couple of years, these questions are not out of line.
I really hate this for Flores. He's the best thing JimBow did for the Nats. I love the way he plays, love the way he carries himself. I think I'm going to wear my Flores t-shirt to the game tonight in his honor.