December 1, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Nats trade Schneider, Church

The Washington Nationals have traded away two of the remaining players who used to be Montreal Expos: veteran Brian Schneider (catcher) and young Ryan Church (outfielder). In return, the Nats get Lastings Milledge, a 22-year old outfielder who is expected to become a solid mid-lineup batter in future years, but who earned a reputation for behavorial problems while in New York. It is thought that since Manny Acta knows Milledge from having coached with the Mets, that the youngster will be given proper guidance. See Washington Post. That means that the only former Expos among the Nationals regular starters are Nick Johnson (first base) and John Patterson (pitcher), and neither of them have played much (if at all) in the past year due to injuries. I'm a bit surprised because I thought Church was finally hitting his stride after a bumpy first two years in Washington, and Schneider has been the team's defensive backbone all along, keeping the pitching staff on a relatively even keel.

The mail bag

Thanks to Joe Johnston for some interesting photos of Yankee Stadium, about to enter its final year. UPDATE: I learned from Bruce Orser that the infield of Yankee Stadium was lowered by about 16 inches before the 2002 season, when they installed a new sand-based turf drainage system which obviated the need for an old-fashioned runoff system. See recmanagement.com, but note an erroneous photo on that page.