Tag Archives: Brian Schneider

Original Washington Nationals starting catcher who may have gotten more credit for his defense because his bat was lacking. Still, a well-liked player during the RFK Stadium era of the Nats.

Nick Johnson and Brian Schneider retire, were starters on 2005 Nats

Two “original” Washington Nationals announced retirements this week — Nick Johnson, the first baseman, and Brian Schneider, the catcher, were starters

I first saw Johnson play in 2002 when he was with the New York Yankees. It seemed like he went about 5 for 6 against the Baltimore Orioles* in the third game of that season. Looking up the box score, it turns out he only went 2 for 3, but he homered. I came away impressed. I had no expectation that 3 years later, I’d be watching him play for D.C. baseball team.

As the Nats first basemen, Johnson was quite good in 2005-2006 and even stayed healthy relative to the rest of his career. His on-base percentage was really high and his fielding was strong. I remember him hitting a 3-0 pitch off the mezzanine once, though I’m not sure what season it was anymore. It all went bad late in the 2006 season when he collided with Austin Kearns at Shea Stadium. The site of a trainer crossing his arms appears pretty early in a Google Images search for “nick johnson nats.” That was the beginning of the end for Johnson. MissChatter sent him flowers with a bunch bloggers names on it. Then the team wore high socks in Johnson’s honor (they should honor him all the time if you get my drift). Johnson finally returned in 2008, had a goofy haircut, no power left. He was traded late in 2009 after a decent season.

Johnson’s retirement got a bit of coverage because he was a sabermetrician’s dream while still being “old school.” Barry Svrluga, the original Nats beat writer for The Post has a great write-up on Johnson that you need to read.

Oh and then there is Flip Flop Fly Ball’s infographic on Johnson’s health.

Also remembering Johnson and Schneider too is Martin Niland over at D.C. Baseball History. Niland mentioned some stuff that I had forgotten about, so go read that too.

Schneider came to D.C. with a reputation for being a good catcher who could throw out runners. A Phillies baserunner took off for second on Opening Day 2005 and Schneider threw it away, I was rolling my eyes a little. Schneider would right the ship and be among the league leaders in throwing out runners. It seems like he overthrow second at the beginning of 2006 as well.

Schneider will always be a part of D.C. baseball lore because he got to catch the ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush at the 2005 Home Opener.

Schneider retired after playing for those Phillies after a few years with the Mets. Lastings Milledge was the “prize” the Nats got back from the Mets in a trade that also sent Ryan Church to New York in 2007.

Schneider was from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, so playing there was “going home” in a sense. Schneider’s autographed photo was hanging in an Italian restaurant that The Ombudsman waited tables in for a while. A friend of a friend mentioned this past Thanksgiving that she had baby-sat Schneider and he was very hyper.

Don Sutton used to call him “Snyder” during telecasts which was funny and annoying.

It is hard to believe, but we’re only 2 years away from a full decade of the Nats. Schneider and Johnson were the last original Nats playing the field; now only Livan Hernandez remains, provided somebody signs him for 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing them in 2 years when the Nats celebrate the 2005 team.

*Last time I gave the Orioles and Peter Angelos any money, decided to stop rewarding bad behavior after that.

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Nats resume tonight in Queens

Back in New York, back in spotlightThe Wash. Times
Back in Big Apple, Lo Duca May Feel Bite of Mets FansThe Post
A happy return? Fat chanceThe Free Lance-Star
Ryan Church, Brian Schneider fitting in fine struggling with MetsThe Daily News
Is it just me or is too big a deal being made about Paul Lo Duca returning to Shea Stadium? Maybe it is just because he is my least favorite National right now, but I don’t care that he is wondering how he will be greeted.

Also, Lastings Milledge returns to New York kind of triumphant (as triumphant as you can be two weeks into the season I suppose) with a .308 batting average. He seems much less concerned than Lo Duca about how he will be received. The two players the Mets got for Milledge, Brian Schneider and Ryan Church are doing fine in the Big Apple too.

Nationals Find Their New Home Still Feels a Little Empty at TimesThe Post
Another attendance article — yawn.

PHIL WOOD: Is it the Park?The Wash. Examiner
Wood looks at how Nationals Park plays and compares it with RFK Stadium. Of course, the sample size is too small and it has been kind of cold, so it is too early to see what kind, if any, home field advantage the Nats will enjoy.

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More on the Milledge for Schneider & Church trade

Schneider, Church Dealt for MilledgeThe Post

Nationals acquire Milledge from MetsThe Wash. Times

The Nationals acquired promising outfielder Lastings Milledge from the Mets for C Brian Schneider and OF Ryan Church, two holdovers from the Montreal days. Milledge comes to Washington a year removed from being seen by the Mets as an untouchable prospect; that view clearly changed last season, but the upside is seemingly higher and his salary is certainly lower. Manager Manny Acta knows Milledge from when both were part of the Mets organization in 2006 and does not share the concerns that may have led to this trade. The outfield looks to be Wily Mo Pena in left, Milledge in center and Austin Kearns.

Schneider will be missed behind the plate, but not at it. $9.8 million (over the next two seasons) is a lot to pay someone who bats .237. Church always seemed to be in the doghouse for some reason or another (mopery, not tough enough, “anti-semitism”) and could not have met his potential in Washington. I’m not sure he can in New York either since it is a much tougher place to play.

Jesus Flores, picked up from the Mets last year in the rule 5 draft appears to be the #1 catcher now. I’d like to see them pick up an experienced catcher though to teach and back up Flores.

Mets fans reportedly lit up WFAN in disgust for this trade and I can see why. I think Trader Jim pulled off a pretty good one. He added (perhaps cautions is a better word) “we’re not done.”

Those GM meetings in Nashville this week could get pretty interesting.

Oh yeah, Ray King is the new Mike Stanton (nationals.com) — he is expected to sign with the Nats again.

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