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Fred Smoot and Teammates Discuss Strasburg

Future pro sports personnel man Fred Smoot was sitting in the cold tub this morning with several teammates when I realized I should probably ask him about the Stephen Strasburg signing.

"We didn't sign him, did we?" asked Smoot, who apparently goes to sleep early during training camp, and who apparently skipped the blogger watch party on Capitol Hill.

"How much did he get, $18 million?" Antwaan Randle El asked.

I told them the figure.

"I think that's a great deal," Smoot said. "We actually came out on top with him."

"He finally signed?" Santana Moss asked as he slid into the tub. "Why was he sitting out so long?"

"Because they wouldn't pay him that money," Smoot explained. "He wanted No. 1 pick money."

"How much did they pay him?" DeAngelo Hall asked from the next tub, where Strasburg also became the conversation of the moment.

"The Nats need somebody to hang their hat on, even though he's a pitcher," Smoot continued. "He's not gonna play every day, that's the only bad part, he's not gonna play every day. It's not like signing a first baseman that can hit. But still, we need players. Now you go out in free agency and get you a couple hitters, a couple old names maybe, and we can fill the ballpark."

And the concern about dumping money into an unproven commodity?

"Hey, it happens," Smoot said.

"It's no different from NFL teams giving that kind of money to quarterbacks," Randle El said.

"He can play," Hall said. "He can play."

"For you to be a bust, you've at least got to have a chance to be one first," Smoot said. Then he and Hall both argued that the Nats shouldn't even think about bringing Strasburg up this season.

"I think he's throwing too much heat; all he needs is the right nurturing," Smoot said. "If we're not gonna nurture him right, he's gonna end up a bust. I'd slow him up. I'm gonna keep the hopes up with him as long as I can."

Jason Campbell was over under a tree, talking about football. For a long time. I figured if there's one Official D.C. Athlete Spokesperson right now, it's him, so I asked his thoughts.

"Did he sign?" he asked. "That's smart. You want my thoughts? It's good for them to get the deal done. You don't want to have to sit out a whole year. At some point in time, you want to get your career signed, and coming in as a rookie, you've got to be excited to get a chance to play in the major leagues. Some times it takes other guys a longer time to get there. He's getting a chance to start right out there, and even a chance to feed your family, so I couldn't imagine passing on $15 million not to sign."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 18, 2009; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Nats , Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nationals Draft Pick UnFail
Next: Haywood's Apology, Strasburg's Worth, Etc.


nice to see some love for the Nats from the other teams in town

Posted by: JDB1 | August 18, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for this Dan. Every since midnight I've been asking myself, "But what does Fred Smoot think of the deal?"

Posted by: NTPNate | August 18, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Smoot obviously taking lessons from Dibble on how to properly use "we" when talking about a local sports team.

Posted by: jgperras | August 18, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

One of the good things about the DC sports scene of late is the interest that the local athletes seem to take in the other local teams. Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green in goofy old time helmets at Redskins games. Cooley, Seller, Portis, Smoot, Campbell Zorn showing up at Caps games. Ovechkin at Wizards games. Bruce Boudreau throwing out the first pitch at Nats games. Etc., etc., etc. All good.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 18, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that these guys actually follow baseball. Baseball in the African-American community is an afterthought nowadays.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | August 18, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"I think that's a great deal," Smoot said. "We actually came out on top with him."

I think I'm more comfortable with Dibble referring to the Nats as "we" than I am with Smoot doing it.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 18, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

i'm more interested in what smooty smoot has to say than Rob "I was a nasty boy" dibble...

fyi rob, nobody cares that you were a good set up man. doesn't make you an authority on anything but the 8th inning.

Posted by: carsonspence | August 18, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess Fred Smoot is officially a Washingtonian now... lol, he used "we" when speaking on the signing of Strasburg.

Sounds really strange for a professional athlete to use 'we' when talking about another local sports franchise that they had no ties to prior to settling where they currently are...

What's the over/under before he's in Boston or the Bronx?

Posted by: RedDMV | August 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

As smoot said when he came back to DC...he had to come back to momma...

Posted by: merajc86 | August 18, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

fred smoot sucks.

Posted by: cj658 | August 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah; cj658 real mature guess you need some attention so shut the f#@$ up!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | August 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Smoot does not suck!

Posted by: rachel216 | August 18, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Now if Shaun Springs were here - having grown up in montgomery county - he would have a different take completely. "The Nationals? Sorry man, I am a lifelong ORIOLES fan. But its nice to see DC get a minor league team. Maybe they can play the Bowie BaySox some time.

Made my decision earlier this year. Will remain a frustrated orioles fan rather than become a frustrated Nats fan. From MD - its the tem I grew up with and it has a better stadium and a much better parking situation. Come to think of it, so do the Ravens over the Redskins...but I'll stick with my Skins.

Amazing how the WP has relegated Os news to the back pages.

Posted by: HughGRection | August 18, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals? Sorry man, I am a lifelong ORIOLES fan. But its nice to see DC get a minor league team. Maybe they can play the Bowie BaySox some time."

Posted by: HughGRection

Yeah, how is that other "minor league team" up at Baltimore working out? Last time I checked, the Orioles were only 5 games up on the Nationals for "Last" place in the whole league with 40+ games to go! I guess you lose track of time when you are having so much fun watching the "O's" lose as much as the Nationals did before they fired Acta. Anyway, good luck "earning" the number 1 draft choice next year and trying to sign that 16 year old Phenom with Angelo's "blood" money! I was an Oriole fan before Angelos bought and destroyed the team. But now I have a choice to watch a team on the way up instead of watching a team on the rebuilding process since 1998! BTW, why is Dave Trembley still managing that team?

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 19, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

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