Look, A Traveling Church

Ryan Church, originally uploaded by What’s Her Name.

Rotoworld.com reports that former Nationals outfielder Ryan Church is on the move again, this time landing in the Steel City to spread his gospel.

Ryan Church will make a $1.5 million base salary in his one-year contract with the Pirates, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He could take home an additional $1.32 million in performance bonuses based on number of plate appearances. Church, 31, hit .273/.338/.384 with four home runs and 40 RBI with the Mets and Braves last season. He figures to jockey for playing time with Garrett Jones and Brandon Moss in right field.

The NQ is still a Church fan. He might not be a superstar, but he was a good player when he wasn’t injured or dodging the “Doomed-Jew” scandal that was actually something personal between him and a priest so what it was doing on the front page of the Post, I never could figure out. I can understand why he left D.C. on bad terms.

What I will never understand are those churches that are starting to pop up in shopping malls. There is something sacrilegious about them, yet brilliant. Forget your shoes? Hit Payless before services. Forget the holy wafers? Order a pretzel or two from Auntie Annies. “Dad, can we go into Hot Topic after Pontius Pilate kills Jesus?”

“Sure, son. Get yourself that Iron Maiden shirt you’ve been begging me for the past week.”

Weird, just weird.

Down In Viera, Florida…

Damn it, Barroid! Yes we do mind! This steroid crap is getting out of control. Barroid, A-Roid, and now Miguel Tejada is getting strung up by the grapefruits, as he should, as they all should for their role in this shameful farce. The NQ is disgusted by the actions of all the players and members of the League that allowed this stuff to spin out of control. A day of reckoning will come to you. The chickens are coming home to roost, ya’ll. Aside from that, we have nothing more to say on the subject.

Speaking of grapefruits, the Nationals Journal gave an update on Viera, FL and who is down there doing what already to prepare for Grapefruit League action:

Two of the team’s veteran first basemen, Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young, have both shown up at the spring training facility for sessions with new hitting Rick Eckstein. (From what I’ve heard, Young looks in far better physical condition than he did last year, when he battled complications of diabetes and finished the season weighing more than 310 pounds.)

There’s also a long list of pitchers in Viera.

Among them: Scott Olsen, Jason Bergmann, Matt Chico, Ross Detwiler, Steven Shell, Joel Hanrahan, Garrett Mock, Graham Hicks (the Nats’ fourth-round pick in 2008) and Clint Everts (a first-round pick in 2002).

Detwiler, Chico, Bergmann and Hill actually live in Viera now. (So does Ryan Church, who has occasionally dropped by to work out on his own.)

“When I first came down here, my first spring training was 2003, which makes me one of the older guys, actually,” Bergmann said. “But 2003, I remember Mike Hinckley and Chris Schroder picked me up from airport. I had no idea what to expect. There was the baseball facility, a Wal-Mart and one hotel. No Target. It was just a small, small community on (outskirts) of Melbourne. Now it’s rapidly growing.”

Oooooo, a Target! Now we are talking! I challenge Jason Bergmann to a Price Checker Competition after the game…Good to hear about Dmitri Young getting himself back together, though there is little desire to actually see him out on the field presently…Nick Johnson was always one to get out there early, God this guy needs to stay healthy not just for the team but his own sake…Ryan Church working out around Nats Camp still? That must make it very uncomfortable in the shower…we wish more of the team had this early bird work ethic. They need all the work and training they can get before the regular season, but kudos for those already getting down and dirty.

Okay, we take that back, we do have one thing to say to the innocent, non-smoking, non-sexual, non-drug using Youth of America who just don’t do any sort of those things:

Steroids are bad for you. If you do steroids, the negative side effects far outweigh the positive. Yeah, you’ll get to work in someplace like the MLB and make millions of dollars, but you will also be stricken with really bad tans and hideous powder blue sweaters– just like this guy.

The Tale of Two Cities: Part One

Church, originally uploaded by natsnq.

News media is such a drama queen. It’s like that one annoying chick we all knew back in high school who seemed completely jacked in to the social pipeline except the only way to be social with her was to talk about her. So when something happened like a boy broke up with her, it would be in the school paper for the next three weeks and the whole school would shutdown for three days due to “mourning.”

It seems the Washington Times is still crushing and grieving over the loss of Brian Schneider and Ryan Church. Mark Zuckerman has a nice big article on how our two former franchise vets are doing over on Team Choke East. How are they doing? Let’s ask Schneider:

“You look around this clubhouse and you see MVP candidates, All-Stars, Cy Youngs,” Schneider said yesterday morning. “Sometimes you wake up and you’re like: ‘Am I really here right now?’ This is awesome. I’m having a blast here.”

I’m sure you are Brian, I’m sure you are. But that is until you and the rest of the Choke Legion wake up and realize you still can’t hit worth a damn and that defense we sold to them has been getting shaky every year that goes by. Be careful, Brian, your in New York and those fans are animals. “Blasting” is the last thing you want to have up in that town.

Ryan Church seems to have slipped into a dark depression ever since the phone call that told him he was being traded:

“I got off the phone, and I wanted to do cartwheels,” he said.

I’m sure he is sitting in the Mets locker room right now watching Moises Alou put on a fresh pair of Depends and waiting by the phone hoping JimBo calls him back home:

“Washington’s a great city, and [the Na[JUMP]tionals] have got something good going on,” Church said. “But now I’m in a better place. We’ve got something better going on.”

It’s sad seeing such a talented player collecting mold in the cat infested slums of New York. Church, you will be missed.

As soon as my staff stops bleeding all over the floor and they get their broken fingers straightened out, I will have Part Two of this remarkable series. Stay tuned.