- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2004

If you’ve ever dreamed of working for a major league team, potential fulfillment now is no further away than the Internet.

A headhunter company is listing a variety of front-office jobs — excuse me, positions — on the Web site TeamBuilderAlliance.com. What are you waiting for, horsehide breath? It’s time to update your resume and fire up the computer.

Yes, indeed, the Washington Whatevers — indications are they’ll most properly be named the Nationals — have turned to cyberspace to get an executive team in place before the ball team takes the field next spring. New general manager Jim Bowden was hired the old-fashioned way this week, but I’m sure he isn’t adverse to using modern technology to select his underlings.

Considering the Montreal Expos’ 67-95 record last season, some of you might be inclined to apply for jobs in uniform. Unfortunately, this list is limited to nonplaying positions, 32 of ‘em.

Applicants are advised to seek only positions for which they are qualified, a standard that obviously didn’t apply last season to many of the Expos’ players. If you don’t believe me, just ask Frank Robinson.

F. Robby has said he wants to continue as manager of the Whatevers, which puzzles me because he already has suffered more managerial misfortune than any Hall of Fame player should. In addition to last season’s travails in Montreal, let’s not forget that he skippered the pathetic Orioles of 1988, who lost their first 15 games under his stewardship and finished an unsnappy 54-107. How much mediocrity can one man take?

But enough blather — let’s get to the job list. The prospective Nats are looking for men and women to fill spots ranging from receptionist to vice president. Some of the positions, though, don’t look very attractive.

Given the salaries of today’s ballplayers, I wouldn’t want to be payroll supervisor: i.e., the person charged with explaining to other employees why they’re working for peanuts.

Being manager of marketing and promotions doesn’t sound too good either. I’m sure the Nats will be extremely popular, especially after they move into their new stadium on the Anacostia riverfront in 2008, but there’s no way they’ll ever replace the Redskins as this area’s No. 1 team. (Unless, of course, Joe Gibbs keeps starting Mark Brunell at quarterback.)

Being scoreboard producer seems like a no-no, too. Considering the Nats could lose enough games to challenge the Orioles for regional ineptitude, how are you going to get fans to even look at the scoreboard? And let’s face it: An animated and recorded bugle charge is likely to fall flatter than a new wide-screen TV when the team is 30-90 in August.

One easy job, however, is that of broadcast services manager. You’ll look totally brilliant if you just sign Johnny Holliday and Phil Wood as your radio broadcasters and bring back Mel Proctor to handle TV.

I thought of applying to be editor of publications, but that’s no job for a newspaperman. It would require me to make the 2005 Nats sound like the 1927 Yankees, or maybe the 2004 Red Sox, and I don’t think I could stretch the truth that far.

But you never can tell. If the new owners sign enough potential free agents — assuming there’s any money left after paying Major League Baseball’s outrageous sales price — the club might be respectable.

For instance, it could latch onto Jermaine “Never Say” Dye, who could double as the team’s cheerleader. Ben Grieve would be a nice pickup, too, because his father, Tom, played for the expansion Washington Senators in 1970. And on the international front, we could have (Juan) Castro in Washington, where we could keep an eye on him.

I haven’t even mentioned the Martinezes, but how about paying whatever it takes to snatch Pedro from Boston and Edgar from retirement? That might even convince a few of D.C. United’s Hispanic fans to hang around RFK for a baseball game.

Yes, sir, things are gonna be interesting for the Nats between now and April, when the combined Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force bands break into “Hail to the Chief” and President Bush throws out the first ball at the home opener. And just think, you could be at RFK wearing a badge that says “Staff Member.” So stop surfing and start clicking.

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