(AP Photo. Enough with the Guz! Ian Desmond deserves a shot at the Nats' starting shortstop job.)
"I don't like to use a young guy in that situation. It's not something I would recommend doing...I like someone that is more of a veteran guy. If you are saying Ian Desmond would be a good utility player -- no. He has to play. He is going to play every day. It's very difficult to sit and come in once in a while to play. To do that for somebody that doesn't know the pitchers and the league, it's not a good thing. You don't want to have rookies in that role."
(Davey Johnson, via Nationals.com, 2/27/2010)
Davey Johnson, voice of reason on Desmond
Thank you, Davey. You hear that, Rizzo & Riggles? Don't f*#k this up!
"If he's not the everyday shortstop, the likelihood is he would be in AAA. But I don't want to say that now and we decide something different later. You could give reason to say he's going to help the club better than some other people would, even if he's not the regular, even if he's a utility-type guy. I've had that conversation with some people. Davey's voice certainly is a major contribution in our room. We're going to listen strongly to that, and I think that's kind of the way we're leaning anyway."
(Jim Riggleman, via MASNSports.com, 2/27/2010)
"If he's not the everyday shortstop...", Jim? So you're saying the door is open? Hopefully Rizzo and Riggles are simply using the "Guz is our starting SS" talk to light a fire under Desmond this spring.
Hopefully nothing is set in stone.
Here's hoping for a true, open competition for the job. And if Guz wins fair and square? Here's hoping the Nats take Davey's advice.