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News and notes, in-game edition

A few small things:

Talked to Jason Simontacchi this afternoon by phone. Though the club hasn't officially announced it (they'll do that either after the game tonight or tomorrow), he'll be the pitcher tomorrow. No surprises.

"I'm elated," he said. "I'm happy. I'm excited. But I just want to get it under my belt so I can be back instead of just thinking about being back."

Simontacchi will be activated before tomorrow's games, and a very educated guess would be that Josh Wilson will be demoted. The shortstop who impressed so much in spring training -- basically forcing his way onto the roster -- has been miserable thus far. That he's hitting .053 -- 1 for 19 -- would be enough to discuss why he should be sent down. But really, he's committed the trifecta: He hasn't hit, he hasn't fielded, and he's been poor fundamentally. The fielding has been a shock. He has five errors in 25 total chances. The five errors are tied for the most among major league shortstops, and he has played only 36-1/3 innings at the position. That doesn't even count the groundball he allowed to go under his glove -- not getting his body in front of it -- on a classic "Ole'!" play on Sunday. A ball that could have been a 6-3 out turned into, of all things, a double and it cost Shawn Hill a run.

John Patterson: He's heading back to D.C. as we speak to be checked out by team orthopedist Ben Shaffer. Maybe we'll have a clearer idea of what ails Patterson, and therefore what the course of action will be.

Guzman in the lineup, hitting second. He swung at the first pitch he saw, and grounded out to second. (Insert shocking development joke here.) But he singled in his second at-bat, this one in the fourth.

Logan in the lineup, too, hitting eighth. He flew out to right in his only at-bat, and nearly collided with RF Austin Kearns on the first defensive play for the Nationals. Kearns ended up sliding under Logan for a nice catch, but it could have been a disaster.

Chico: Allowed a three-run homer to Geoff Jenkins in the second. In the top of the fourth, Brewers 3, Nationals 0.

By Barry Svrluga  |  May 7, 2007; 8:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Cordero to Take Bereavement Leave to Visit Dying Grandmother

Comments

Thanks for the update barry, Always appreciated. Guz got his first hit in the 4th, woulda been nice if he'd taken more then one pitch before he swung, but i cant complain with the result.

Wondering what your answer to the previous patterson/cordero question might be. At the very least, what look like the most plausible options.


Thanks as always barry!

Posted by: Nats fan Down Under | May 7, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand in the 7th guz commits his first error of the season. Hopefully we'll get out of the inning anyways.

Posted by: Nats fan Down Under | May 7, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

so....did guzman swing at the first pitch in every at bat?

Posted by: bob | May 7, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Nice pitching by Chico. Now, if we can figure out how to score runs and provide some support we might have something.

Posted by: Ed | May 7, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Cordero will blow this save...

Posted by: Nats fan Down Under | May 7, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice Manny screaming and gesturing wildly in the dugout after Guz struck out (I forget what inning)? What was that all about?

Posted by: JennX | May 7, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Saw that. Surprised it wasn't mentioned. I guess Manny does express emotion.

Posted by: Ed | May 7, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Barry, will you please try to explain what Zimmerman meant by this quote?

What do the Nats, "have to deal with?" And he's talking 10 to 20 years! Sounds like a prison sentence:

"There are certain things we have to deal with that are not going to be so fun this year, but it will help us in the long run.

"That's not saying that we don't want to go out there and score runs and win every game. People need to be patient and understand what we are trying to do here. Although it may not be so fun right now, the next 10 to 20 years, I think it could be a lot of fun."

(quote from MLB.com)

Posted by: BrianH | May 8, 2007 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Emperor (Ted Lerner)'s New Clothes

... I see where a number of T & A bars are being relocated to allow the new Nats Stadium to occupy the space. While I doubt I'll ever get there, I would love to see whether the 'bare-it-all' tradition of the geography will result in the Nats' monarchy parading their stuff in the guise of 'the Plan'?

Posted by: david f watts | May 8, 2007 6:58 AM | Report abuse

BrianH: I hope Zim meant that the next 10 to 20 years could be a lot of fun, not that we would have to wait 10 to 20 years to have fun.

Right?

*casts eyes over nervously silent room*

Posted by: Hendo | May 8, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Okay, kids, it's time for the Nationals Inventive Lineup Excuse of the Day Contest!

Guzman is hitting in the 2 slot BECAUSE... (choose 1)

(a) Despite his .297 lifetime OBP (and it's not THAT much higher even if you factor out 2005), Guzman has miraculously developed sufficient plate discipline to be valuable near the top of the order.

(b) Guzman has been doing serious road work during his enforced absence, and is now a threat on the base paths. Simultaneously, Manny Acta is channeling John McGraw.

(c) Guzman is in his best groove hitting between his homies Lopez and Zimmerman.

(d) To have to hit Zimmerman in the 2 slot would be an embarrassment, even though that's where he belongs in this lineup.

(e) The Nats need to get Guzman a high number of plate appearances so they can showcase him for a July trade. (Wayne Krivsky, call your office.)

Posted by: Hendo | May 8, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to Chico! Gutsy performance.

Also, doesn't Lopez look so much better at second? (Easier throw from there to first; less chance of hitting a fan in the front row.)

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, it's Day 6 -- six days after Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal exposed the Penny-pinching of Nats' management and erratic behavior of Nats GM Jim Bowden, the newspaper edition of The Washington Post has still not covered these issues.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6761858

However, Tom "Screech" Boswell found time in today's edition to become the 156th columnist to write about the return of Roger Clemens. Nothing like getting that local hometown coverage from your local hometown newspaper.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

... speaking of Cordero - the Chad variety - I read Bill Ladson this morning say Chad admitted to being pre-occupied about his ailing grandmother while on the mound Sunday. That's a bad thing for anyone to have to go thru' and I'm not casting nasturtiums on him nor his serious situation.

... but here's the thing: in the previous game, Johnny Pat took himself out of the game because his arm got too sore, i.e. he removed himself from the game because he realized he wasn't capable of doing the job. Why then, couldn't or didn't Chad do the same thing on Sunday. I mean if there's something which prevents you from being effective or even capable, you should admit it; it doesn't have to be purely physical.

Posted by: david f watts | May 8, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Hendo,
How about: e) Jim Bowden signed the guy to a four-year contract so the team is desperate to get the most (or anything) from its highly questionable investment. (Side note: If Bowden hadn't signed Guzman to four years, we would have Jamey Carroll playing shortstop today -- but Bowden punted him away because he had to promote Guzzie in a vain bid to boost his standing with the incoming owners.)

Oh, the humanity!

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I love Jamey Carroll, but if he was playing shortstop on a daily basis, we'd be much worse off as a team, and the "Lerners are CHEEP" conspiracy theorists would be screaming even louder.

Posted by: Rocket1124 | May 8, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, it's Day 6 -- six days after Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal exposed the Penny-pinching of Nats' management and erratic behavior of Nats GM Jim Bowden, the newspaper edition of The Washington Post has still not covered these issues, and day 6 that we have to listen to certain posters whine about it incessantly.

Posted by: schwami | May 8, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Even without Guzman, Jamey Carroll would never have been the starting SS. While a very good utility player/backup, Carroll isn't quite ready to be an everyday SS. True, he had a tremendous year for Colorado last year, but it was at 2B not SS. And please note that almost every player has good to great numbers playing in Coors Field (Vinny Castilla? Preston Wilson? Jeromy Burnitz?). Also note that Carroll is currently hitting .184 with a .303 OBP so far this season. In everyone's "what have you done for me lately" world, I guess the Rockies should dump him now because it's obvious looking at his stats that his career his over, huh?

Would I still like to have Carroll on my bench instead of Josh Wilson/D'Angelo Jimenez? You bet! But I think I'm going to give Guzman more than one game to prove that 2005 was an anomoly. Will he hit .300 with a .375 OBP this season? I doubt it. But I'd be happy with a .265-.275 average with an OBP around .330-.350 from him. Let's give him a chance ...

Posted by: e | May 8, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

You want an OBP of .330-.350 from me?

My career OBP is .297, and only once have I had one above .311. That was when I peaked at .337.

Why don't you request that I hit 20 homers while you're at it?

Posted by: Fake Cristian Guzman | May 8, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

let it go swanni. you're the only one who cares so much about the stupid rosenthal story. it's just not the conspiracy you think it is. go somewhere else with your incessant whining.

Posted by: Sheesh | May 8, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I'll take Carroll 10 times out of 10 over Guzzie. He's fundamentally smart, can bunt, advances the runner when needed, doesn't make dumb errors mentally or physically....

...But Frank Robinson loved him and Jim Bowden didn't sign him. So Boss Jim had to show who's the true baseball genius by grabbing Guzzie and jettisoning Jamey.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

sheesh,
I'll shut up when the Post puts up.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Swani's right. Where the coverage that we were promised......???????

Posted by: boswellisscreech | May 8, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, swanni.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 8, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"So Boss Jim had to show who's the true baseball genius by grabbing Guzzie and jettisoning Jamey."

Nevermind the fact that Jamey Carroll was an Expo, while Guzman was signed as a Nat prior to the 2005 season.

I really don't know what I'm talking about, do I?

Posted by: schwanni | May 8, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

swanni, schwami, whoever you are: Give it a rest with the Rosenthal report not being pounced on by the Post to your satisfaction. It's been six days, as you say. Barry has written extensively during that time, as has Sheinin. Neither of these guys is known for missing any real news that takes place on their beats. Solomon wrote on Sunday, Boswell today. These are two guys who have never missed an opportunity to say something negative about the Nats ownership, Stan Kasten, Bowden or The Plan. Yet what have all these folks said about the Rosenthal report? Virtually nothing. Solomon's conclusion was "The ownership team of Ted Lerner and Stan Kasten has a lot of work ahead of it, according to what I read."

This lack of alarm by the Post, combined with a similar lack of alarm by the rest of the Washington news media, says to me that the Rosenthal report is no big deal. No doubt the incidents he cites are true, but in the grand scheme of things all they really say is that there have been some administrative glitches in the transfer of ownership from MLB to the Lerners. Not an unexpected development in trying to consolidate an old organization with its operations spread among four different locations (DC, MLB offices in NYC, Florida and Montreal) into a single operation under new management in DC. Ever been part of a corporate merger? Things slip through the cracks. That's not news or indicative of serious incompetence or nefarious conspiracy. If these incidents are repeated, then yes, that would be news. But there's no indication of that (yet) in this situation. And what was Rosenthal's other conclusion? Bowden is not universally liked. What's earthshaking about that revelation?

If there really is something rotten at the core with the Nationals' ownership, I for one have no doubt that the Post would be all over it like it was Watergate. But they're not, are they? It's no big deal. Give it a rest. Frankly, it would be a more interesting expose if they looked into why folks like you, JayB et al are getting so worked up about all this. From the way you guys write, you'd think Ted Lerner himself roughed you up in a dark alley, beat you within an inch of your life, and took all your money. And he did it all by himself because he was too cheap to hire some goons to do it for him. Geez. Give it a rest.

Posted by: Section 419 | May 8, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, go ahead and let Linton Weeks know that he doesn't need to write another article on the Nats, ever. I can't believe the Washington Post would even publish such poorly written crap. Love the Journal!

Posted by: G-town | May 8, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Chad Cordero's been placed on the bereavement list and Winston Abreu's been called up from AAA Columbus.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 8, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Section 419,
There is the possibility of a Lerner robbery here if the Nats are not putting our season ticket dollars (and $15 parking; and higher priced food products, etc.) to improving the team, as they have claimed. The Rosenthal Report puts that into question, which is why the Post needs to investigate. Season ticket holders deserve an explanation!

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Nevermind the fact that Jamey Carroll was an Expo, while Guzman was signed as a Nat prior to the 2005 season."

Guzman was signed by Bowden prior to the 2005 season.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Day 6 of the Rosenthal cover up. Also Day 20,000 or so of the Area 51 cover up, I can't believe Barry isn't covering that! Get a life man, there's nothing there.
What Kasten owes you for the money you paid for your tickets is admission to the games. What he owes you for the money you paid for concessions is concessions. If you aren't happy w/ the product, don't buy it anymore.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | May 8, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Barry - Winston Abreu wasn't on the 40 man (I don't think so anyway). What's the move to get him on there? Or does the bereavement list take you off the 40 man?

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | May 8, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

swan: a) Take Metro, b) Eat off-site before the game (lovely establishments around Eastern Market could use your support anyway), c) take it up directly with your season ticket rep. Barry and the Post are not your direct personal link to the Nats management for every wrong you've suffered. (Oh, hey Barry-- can you ask Stan about the security dude who made me throw out my water and get the guy fired for me? Oh, and the toilet seats were gross last time I was there. Can you tell Stan to personally wipe each seat after each use? Thanks.) And d) Barry said he's looking into it... might it take more than 6 days for an "investigation" on the scale you think is called for?

Meanwhile, many of us are apparently tiring of hearing you badger Barry over this. You've had your say. He's heard you. Please let it go.

Posted by: JennX | May 8, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Just a side point - I agree there's probably not much *news* to the Rosenthal thing. However, just cause the Post ain't covering it doesn't mean it's not happening. The Post missed the whole "say, those WMD accusations are crap!" thing for a few years while the McClatchy papers were running with it. Just sayin'.

Anyway, in this case, you're probably right. "big news! bowden's not a particularly cool guy!" big deal.

Posted by: section 406 | May 8, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

section 406: Don't even bring up WMD, or you might encourage swanni's conspiracist ramblings. He already calls it the "Rosenthal Report." Next thing you know, he'll be clamoring for the appointment of a Nats Study Group or Lerner Commission to investigate.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Does seem strange the post has not written about the Rosenthal "report" or whatever it's called. The paper has been relatively soft on the Nats, IMO. Tom Bozwell is just plain silly in his columns -- he never sees anything wrong. I would like to see more about what the Nats new owners are really doing.

Posted by: mediacritic | May 8, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing against Barry or his coverage. In fact, I don't think it's his place to cover the issues from the Rosenthal Report because he's the beat writer; he needs to keep good relations with Bowden, etc.

However, I do think the Post columnists -- and editors -- are being irresponsible in ignoring the story. If the Post's Sports Section truly cared about local teams -- like the sports sections at the Chicago Tribune, NY Post, Boston Globe, NY Daily News, etc. -- it would be all over this issue. But there's no career advancement for Wilbon, Wise, Korny, Jenkins, etc. to write about the Nats.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

What's the Rosenthal Report?

Posted by: justafan | May 8, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

swanni: The Lerners are ROBBING you? (Or any other season ticket holder, for that matter?) You sound as pathetic as one of those Star Wars geeks who doesn't like JarJar Binks, do you realize that? The Lerners sold you season tickets for an entertainment product that hasn't met your expectations. If there was any false advertising involved at all, it never went beyond the level of Stan Kasten saying that they wanted to maximize the fan experience. That's called "stating a goal" not "making a contractual promise." They haven't entirely met that goal, it's clear, but from what I can tell they're at least as upset at this as any reasonable fan out there is, and they're working to improve it as best they can, given the limitations of the lame-duck RFK situation and the need to simultaneously ramp up to the new park situation next year. There are a lot of things on their plate right now, and they're spending a lot of money - although perhaps not in a way that makes you happy. But they are spending the money you and I have paid them to produce an entertainment product and providing it to us. That's NOT robbery, and NOT worthy of a Post expose. The Post has reviewed the entertainment product - all aspects of it - and continues to do so on a daily basis. Game reports, fan experience reports, etc, etc. Definitely not always favorably, either. You're getting way more than your 35 cents a day worth out of the Post (if you're even paying that, which I doubt). Give it a rest. If anything newsworthy happens, you'll hear it from the Post. Maybe you won't hear it from them first, but you'll hear it. And BTW, if this is such a HUGE story that's being covered up, then I guess all the other news media in the world are in on the coverup, too, because I don't see any of them following up on it either - not even the local Fox station, channel 5, even though Rosenthal writes for Fox Sports. Explain that one, before you attack the Post for covering up.

Posted by: Section 419 | May 8, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? The local TV stations in this town don't cover something unless the Post covers it first.

Can't imagine why some posters here don't want more information on what the Nats are doing behind the scenes. Hmmmm.....Wonder why they say they don't want that info?

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Swanni: I read the Rosenthal article and said I didn't see a lot of important content in it. I've read the transcript of the Rosenthal chat and don't see that he's added anything substantial. Some chatters even directly queried him about it and further illustrated my point: Rosenthal raises a non-issue. Literally, he never got further than saying, "...that some of the things going on were, uh, a little unusual" (from the chat).

So, Swanni, perhaps you could give us a link to your blog where you expound on these issues and clear them up for me, or where you post the findings of your own investigative journalism, or even where you can fully expand your theories.

I think you'd get better traction with your complaint if you wrote to the Post editors, instead of repeatedly posting off-topic responses to beat writer's blog entries. You've already been told directly to chill, now please ... "down in front!"

Posted by: i hate walks | May 8, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I Hate Walks, aka National official.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Accuse anyone who disagrees with you of working for "The Man."

Posted by: Second Sign of Conspiracy Theorist Dementia | May 8, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washtimes.com/sports/20070507-121333-7163r.htm

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Can't imagine why some posters here don't want more information on what the Nats are doing behind the scenes. Hmmmm.....Wonder why they say they don't want that info?"

Ummm, maybe because we're not living in a rubber room on the Planet Conspiracy, and would rather watch a ballgame instead?

Posted by: Section 419 | May 8, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't give up, swanni. You're telling the truth.

Posted by: natsman | May 8, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to whoever posted the Washington Times link. That's all I want from the Post -- an airing of the issues in the paper.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

... the Times piece is very much of the tone necessary for this tempest-in-a-teapot, although it does the right thing: it acknowledges there are problems.

... it also makes two very important points. First it points the finger directly back at MLB (for that, read: Bud Light Selig) for the incredible mismanagement of the Expos/Nats. I mean, I have to tell you. Those guys had to go way beyond the call of duty to inherit a dying operation, then to eviscerate it murderously before dismantling it before our very eyes. I mean it was a horror flick playing out daily for over a year. The Lerner's are not stupid; they would surely have been aware of the mess they were being asked to resurrect.

... the second good point Zuckerman makes is to point out that the situation with the Nats today is a two edged entity. The administration is fraught with problems, altho' as he says, on-going evaluation and nit-picking is certainly called for, but they have not yet reached the point of being judged. The other edge of this wedge is the state of the on-field product. It is dismal, we would all agree, but it fails me to see how the two can be related to the extent some of us have felt necessary. The office is a mess; the team is a mess, but the two may very well be separate products.

Posted by: david f watts | May 8, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

OMG. Swanni won't shut up, and sixteen people post essays telling him to. "Earl, it's JUST A GAME."

Posted by: Sigh Old | May 8, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for the Post to follow up on that Joe Hardy story? Where's he from, REALLY?

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | May 8, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

We could use that Joe Hardy guy, particularly being a right handed hitter.

Posted by: swanni | May 8, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

So, is the Simontacchi contract just another example of Nats' penny-pinching? I know he signed a minor league contract in the offseason, but it seems to me that during spring training they decided to put him in the rotation, but his injury delayed that promotion. At that point, the Nats could have purchased his contract, putting him on the major league roster (the DL) and paying him a major league salary. Instead, they left him on a minor league deal until he recovered.

Posted by: Turd Ferguson | May 9, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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