Time seems to be running out for Austin Kearns...
Is the Austin Kearns Era in D.C. finally nearing its end? Manny Acta indicated that Kearns will get a crapload of playing time over the next six interleague games in AL Parks (with Dunn safely installed as DH) in hope that he can break out of the 2+ year, ~1000 AB slump he's been mired in since the midpoint of his arrival in Washington in 2006. But don't count on it; and don't be surprised if an 0-for-Tampa for AK leads to a DFA on Monday:
"We need him to step up. We're going to see what he is going to do now in this interleague series because it is going to give us an opportunity to have an extra hitter there. Then after that, we're going to have to make a decision."
(Manny Acta, via Nationals Journal, 6/11/2009)
Before you go feeling too bad for Kearns (and who doesn't?), the following excerpt from a Nationals dot com piece on Kearns' "recent" struggles provides a little comic relief:
Kearns' slump comes at a bad time for the Nationals. They are looking to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but opposing teams don't have serious interest in him. Kearns has a $10 million option for 2010, but the Nationals are not expected to pick it up.
True: that 2+ year slump has coincided with a bad 2+ years for the Nationals. But you're telling me that "opposing teams don't have serious interest in him."? No shit? No takers?
Can you picture a scenario where any team with a living, breathing human being as GM is sitting around considering a deal involving Austin Kearns? At last check, Jim Bowden is still unemployed, after all.
Good luck this weekend in Tampa, Mr. Kearns.