Ok, we need someone to explain this one to us, because we're at a total loss. Unless Jim Bowden got the green light during his little conversation in the stands with Mark Lerner the other day in Viera (just a few days before Jim signed an extension of his own ), this makes no (as in zero, zippy, nil) sense. And even if the Lerner group pulled the strings on this one, it's still iffy at best. Why are Bowden and Tavares making long-term decisions about this team? Why, oh why, are they throwing $16.5 million at Nick Johnson, locking him up through 2009?(Sorry Nick, we like you and all, but you've gotta admit that it doesn't add up.)
"It's not a secret that I've been injured six years in a row." (Nick Johnson, via Nationals dot com, 3/11/2006)
"When a player has a history of injuries, they're going to be labeled as fragile...He's been unable to play a lot. The only way you can 'un-label' it is for the good Lord to give you some health, have three or four healthy years in a row. And if that happens, I think people will see the real Nick Johnson." (Jim Bowden, via Washington Post, 3/11/2006)
Larry who? "Broadway needs a year in Triple-A anyway...By next year, he could be ready. I also believe in depth. If Nick goes down, I want to have Broadway. I've been criticized for having too many infielders and too many outfielders. That's fine, because when I have an injury, I can still play and compete." (Jim Bowden, also via Nationals dot com, 3/11/2006)
On an unrelated note: Congratulations to Nick for cracking Fox Sports dot com's list of All Time Classic Sports Mustaches. Maybe this explains the new contract. Just to be mentioned on the same list as Rollie Fingers is quite an honor:
When Jason Giambi came to New York in 2002, Nick Johnson became expendable. Since moving to Montreal and now Washington, his facial hair situation has had more ups and downs than that poor girl who played Stephanie Tanner on Full House. Was this particular mustache a way to stick it to his former mates? A rebellious answer to Big George's stodgy rules? One can only wonder.
Just a terrible idea. Perhaps Nick Johnson had an overdeveloped sense of irony or lost a bar bet, but his tickler looked woefully out of place. It made him look like someone who'd be terribly excited about one day becoming a member of the Elk's Lodge. (via Fox Sports dot com, 3/11/2006)