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Stan Kasten is here saying ...

... that they're absolutely trying to play. Try try try.

Lots of Little Leaguers here. It's actually not raining right now. They're working on the area around home plate, but the tarp's still on.

Also, the Padres changed their lineup. Mike Cameron can't play because of a sore hamstring, so they changed their lineup.

San Diego:
M. Giles -- 4
Sledge -- 7
Gonzalez -- 3
Bard -- 2
Kouzmanoff -- 5
Greene -- 6
McAnulty -- 9
Bocachica -- 8
Wells -- 1

And even though it's raining right now, they're getting ready to start. Here's the issue: The umpiring crew that's here today has to be in Milwaukee tomorrow to work that series. The umpiring crew that's due in here on Tuesday is also working a game tomorrow. So we could watch a game tomorrow, but it'd be on the honor system.

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 3, 2007; 1:12 PM ET
 
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Next: Where are my seats? And how much will they cost?

Comments

Tarps coming off...PLAY BALL.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 3, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Barry-

You know anything about the Dominican shortstop the Nationals signed? They mentioned something briefly on the telecast, but didn't give any information.

Thanks-

Posted by: Sean Waltman | June 3, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic performance over the last two days. I think Manny needs to wake a few folks up, particularly the outfielders. They look sleepy at the plate and in the field.

Posted by: swanni | June 3, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Somewhat less ghastly than last night. Except for Belliard staying rooted to his position at second on the Sledge bunt in the first (an E in the Hendo scorebook), and the error charged to Zimmerman in the fifth, the fielding looked OK. Not that that's any excuse, especially considering that three of the Padres' runs were essentially unearned.

The Nats at-bats continued to be generally uninspired. Zimmerman, Flores and Logan all had some good ABs, but too many other guys wore the cuffs, dubiously distinguished by Young who managed to make out four times on just six pitches.

Today's winners, besides the Padres...
- The Food Bank, which looked to have made some good collections even by the time I got there early.
- The manufacturers of Diamond-Dri.
- The RFK poncho vendors.
- Our parched lawns.

Today's losers, besides the Nats...
- Autograph hounds.
- The sodden vendors roaming the stands.
- All the youth league kids who didn't get to run the bases when the Diamond Dash was (correctly, if sadly) cancelled. At least they got to see a game -- I'm glad for them that we got it in.

Meanwhile, some off-day batting and fielding practice might be just the tonic to help our guys prepare for the incoming Pirates with their stable of homegrown pitchers. Can Nick give 'em a clinic tomorrow?

Posted by: Hendo | June 3, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

While you have Stan Kasten's ear, will you please ask him about the lack of any marketing efforts by the Nationals (outside of advertising the new stadium)?

Your update on the players' community efforts was great to hear. But I heard nothing about it.

The same with the Food Bank Drive. There's no mention of it on the TV. On TV, there's no mention of the Nats' ticket specials, such as discounts for seniors, government employees, and students, and "Papa Johns Fridays."

There is little to no advertising by the Nats -- billboards, newspaper, radio, TV, etc. -- just MASN ads about their broadcasts.

I feel the Nats are making no attempt to "brand" their product into the community. This does not even cover the scarcity of RFK promotions to entice people to come to the games.

Often, I wonder if the Lerners want folks to stay away from RFK and ignore the team.

Posted by: BrianH | June 3, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

It sure seems -- distressingly -- as though the Nats front office is too often waiting for publicity to do itself, whether it be by word of mouth, through the Post and other reporting media, or however.

My giddy, perhaps utterly unreasonable, hope is that the Nats could become to DC what a team like the Cardinals is to its town: an icon whose fans are stalwart and to whom allegiance is de rigueur, rather than just a motto to be kicked around for a season or so.

While I'm sure to catch the dickens from condescending Redskins fans, let me offer this thought for consideration: if the Redskins can do it year in and year out, especially given their current front-office chaos, why not the Nats?

Posted by: Hendo | June 3, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,

I'm thinking about this one. I think this is a question for the entire Natosphere. We're diehard fans. How can the Nats spread the "gospel" (no blasphemy intended)to casual fans and people unaware of the Nats?

Posted by: BrianH | June 3, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,

I'm thinking about this one. I think this is a question for the entire Natosphere. We're diehard fans. How can the Nats spread the "gospel" (no blasphemy intended)to casual fans and people unaware of the Nats?

Posted by: BrianH | June 3, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Takes money to advertise and market. Still open to question that the Lerners will spend serious money on this team.

Posted by: swanni | June 4, 2007 5:54 AM | Report abuse

... my voice, from out back of beyond on this one, asks the question: was not community involvement and the (re)building of a solid fan base part of due diligence and subsequently of the "LKB Plan"? Wouldn't WashDC city officials have required a concerted effort and real, specific plans and methods for doing just that? And therefore, wouldn't an effective and concentrated part of The Plan have outlined advertising and public relations?

... if the answer to this is an "of course", then why do I hear the good city folk like you guys wondering why it isn't working? Where's the missing link?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 4, 2007 7:05 AM | Report abuse

The issues are partly tactical, such as the offhand treatment of season ticketholders. But I suspect that a lot of the problem is strategic, seeping down to the club and fan level from Chateau MLB on Park Avenue.

Major League Baseball seems still to be as much the rich old white boys' club as it ever was. Owners' Rule Number One appears to be to sit as quietly as possible and let the filthy lucre flow in, and for heaven's sake don't rock the boat. As for the fans... well, noblesse oblige and all that, to be sure, but as an owner remember your first responsibility is to the Establishment. This attitude is a big part of the reason why a Billy Beane can cause hysterical squawks, and a Veeck can send the Lords into apoplexy.

When and if Dave Winfield is named Commissioner -- may the day come soon! -- MLB will have a chance to execute radical focal change with respect to its member clubs and to the fans [aka the customers]. Until then, MLB will doubtless continue too often to employ A&P strategic management in a Trader Joe's world.

By the way, anyone who hasn't read Dave Winfield's "Dropping the Ball" needs to. Your public library has a copy (or, if they don't, they've dropped the ball too), as does your local bookseller.

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

So on Saturday I saw a great game. It was competitive to the very end, with the Nats dropping a heartbreaking loss to the Padres, 5-3 after a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off Ray King. Levale Speigner showed a lot of promise, only giving up one hit in his three consecutive shut-out innings.

Yes, I was forty-five minutes late to the game and arrived in the top of the second.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 4, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

A couple losses like the last two might provide an opportunity to trot out a bit of a different lineup recipe:

1B - Young
LF - Church
RF - Kearns
3B - Zimmerman
CF - Langerhans
2B - Belliard
SS - Lopez
C - Flores

Stir from one to three nights, platooning to taste. Serve hot.

(Variant: Speaking of hot, Guzman may be substituted for Lopez.)
(Variant: Those who prefer their team more fully aged may substitute Schneider for Flores.)

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If you all haven't gathered yet, I'm a younger fan and in those formative years of baseball fandom, I lost interest as a victim to Angelos and the retirement of Cal (one tip off that I'm probably one of the youngest here was when you all referred to him as Cal Jr).

I include that as preface to this question: what is the philosophy of batting orders? I understand Number One and Number Four, but all this talk about Kearns or Church being better in Six or Seven... why?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 4, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Barry, Thanks for the update on Patterson, it sounds very encouraging. Now, could you tell me exactly what a "simulated game" is? I have only a very hazy idea. I'm sure others would appreciation it,also.

I agree that the Nats are sadly lacking in publicity. On Mothers Day, there was little or no mention that the mothers of several players would be on hand. I was alerted by an out of town correspondant who is a friend of one of the mothers. After searching the Nats website, I finally located a press release - which never made it to the newspapers or anywhere else to the best of my knowledge - 2 days before the day. The Mothers Day cards giveaway was mentioned on the website under promotions and on the TV broadcasts of the games,but not much was said about it. The food collection this past weekend was hardly mentioned at all. It was finally in the Wash. Post on Sunday, the last day of the drive! It would be good for these things to be publicized at least a week in advance. I, personally, am a busy person and need to plan ahead. What is wrong? Do the newspapers get the information and choose not to use it, or do the Nats need better publicity people? We can't support these special things if we don't know what is going on!

Posted by: gilsfan | June 4, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Section 506: The old-school philosophy about making out the lineup card was basically that speedsters should bat higher in the order, sluggers in the middle and everybody else at the end.

This approach worked well in the dead-ball days of John McGraw and Hughie Jennings, when the idea was to play for a run at a time. Unaccountably, it is still clung to today by many teams. (As long ago as the 1960s, the late Leonard Koppett did a devastating riff on this philosophy in "The Thinking Man's [later "Fan's"] Guide to Baseball.")

Sabermetric research -- Baseball Prospectus, for example -- supports the assertion that the optimal lineup is constructed in descending order of on-base percentage. The most runs are produced when high-OBP guys get the most at-bats, even if they are sluggers.

Of course, the trick is to guess, or to try to project, who your high-OBP guys (or sluggers, if you're an old-schooler) are going to be over the course of a season. You can't know for sure what might have worked best until all the games have been played.

Other considerations enter: handedness (left vs. right -- it can be good to alternate these through the order), comfort levels, trying to catch a guy's hot or cold streak, etc. Managers have to juggle all this information; for that reason alone, they generally IMO earn their pay, even if you or I might disagree with them from our vantage point.

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Hendo, just a quibble, but covering 1st on that bunt was not the 2nd baseman's job, as Manny points out.

Posted by: Standing up for 4s everywhere | June 4, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Good observation, Second Base Defender. It depends on how the fielders are moving when the batter shows bunt, but even da Meat admitted he didn't follow through on the play.

Score it E-3 on a tough day, 1B on an easy day.

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Nice summary, Hendo. But it brings up a question: GIVEN a team playing station-to-station, as opposed to the Earl Weaver 3-run HR style more common today, would speed-early be better? I think maybe not, but I'm guessing. After the first inning your fast/OPS guy is hitting right after the pitcher, who is usually neither (how many of Juan Pierre's doubles would have been at least triples without Penny on in front of him?)

Posted by: CEvansJr | June 4, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

for the benefit of 506, then: where they move depends mostly on the situation, which was man on first, lefty hitting, so Belliard stays in position in case Sledge doesn't bunt, and to not abandon a chance for a double-play, if he does hit a ground ball (it happens). With the pitcher fielding the bunt, Young has to get back, period. Although, re-reading that, I think if I were Manny on a rainy day, I might just rotate the infielders instead. Terrmel might give Young a 60 foot headstart and still beat him to first.

Posted by: 2b or not | June 4, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

CEvansJr, re speed-early: I think usually not, most compellingly because the opponents are apt to be playing Weaver-style, big-inning ball.

There are some fun nuances, though...
- What if your pitcher is Matt Chico or Livan Hernandez or another decent hitter?
- What if your pitcher is a good sacrifice bunter like Tom Glavine?
- What if you are playing on Astroturf, i.e.., in Toronto or Tampa Bay, where speed is apt to be an asset?
- What if you are using the DH, who is usually a better hitter than the pitcher?
- What if you aren't using the DH, but you've executed a double switch in the lineup, so that the pitcher is batting in a different location in the order?

Considerations like these are what makes baseball strategy so fascinating, at least to my seamhead brain: the more I look, the more I see.

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Evaluating play in yesterday's conditions seems to me to be not worth much. A throwaway, IMHO. The main aim--to avoid injuries.

As to the skills, or lack of them, evident in the front office, where does one begin? If they can't get the simple basics right, what makes anyone think the L/K/B trio can produce wining baseball in our lifetimes--a much more challenging assignment?

I fear season after season of mediocrity or slightly better than that, but not by much. And don't forget, in the D.C. area business establishment there is no love lost for the Lerners, given their notorious business practices. My sense is the other business folks will leave the Lerners dangling and enjoy the spectacle.

Of course, I don't thinks the Lerners will give a hoot about fans or anyone else. They never have . . .

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | June 4, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi Sec506,

... Hendo did a good job at outlining the general rules-of-thumb about setting up a line-up. I would add these thoughts:

1/ the better hitters are at the top of the line-up in the assumption that positions 1 - 5 or so will usually get one more AB than the rest in a regularly played game.

2/ with the advent of the AL's DH, I have noticed and heard it mentioned by writers, that there is a small but active number of managers who take an extreme view of a line-up without a pitcher. They sometimes will position a good on-base guy, a hitter and a slugger as a three person "sub-line-up", and do that three times in a row. I have no idea whether it works well or not, since I rarely if ever watch an AL game.

... and speaking of good hitting pitchers, I'll ask who is/was the best you've seen? I have a tendency to think of Drysdale and Gibson, and of course Livo. In history, I doubt anyone will outdo George Herman Ruth.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 4, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Natscan: Here are the career lines the three post-Ruth pitchers you cite.

Drysdale: .186 AVG, .228 OBP, .295 SLG, 69 SH, 6 SF
Gibson: .206/.243/.301, 72 SH, 18 SF
Hernandez (still active): .235/.244/.317, 83 SH, 3 SF

I'm a bit surprised; my Dad's ideal of a good-hitting pitcher was Drysdale, but of course we didn't have slash stats in those days. Time will tell what Livo will end up with, but his demise has been incorrectly predicted for years, so I wouldn't bet on anything.

Arguably better than any of these, by the way, was Mickey McDermott of the Red Sox, original Senators, '56 Yankees et al. whose line is .252/.312/.349. He was not such a hot bunter, though, with only 8 in his career.

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Catfish Hunter was a .226 career hitter, and in 1971 he hit .350 (36 for 103).

(he had a stolen base that year, too)

Posted by: Wigi | June 4, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

... on the other hand, you had Ryne Duren, whose eyesight was so bad, he had trouble seeing the plate from the mound, all the while firing a fastball of 100 mph. In eight seasons, he had three years with an average of .000. His best was .143 with the Phillies.

... interestingly enough, his autobiography was titled "I Can See Clearly Now", and besides his eyesight, dealt with his struggle with alcoholism.

... on another subject, how about my man Vladdy Guerrero, hitting .350 (matching Catfish of '71) and hitting a walk-off today against the "O's". He'd look awfully good in a Nats uni right now.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 4, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

At the game Friday we were laughing because Langerhans came up with a .155 batting average and a few minutes later Chico comes up with his .235 batting average. How come nobody seems to be as incensed (or tickled, depending on the score) about Langerhans' batting average as I am?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 4, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

natscan:

Except that Catfish Hunter was a pitcher...

NatsNut:

The thing is that Chico will probably never hit higher than that, and Langerhans will never hit lower...

Posted by: Wigi | June 4, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that Langerhans may outperform Logan before the season's done. In any event, neither of them will be an Andruw Jones (hint, hint, Jimbo) and we've got Marrero and Maxwell coming on.

CF will stay characteristically weak, but not forever.

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"How come nobody seems to be as incensed (or tickled, depending on the score) about Langerhans' batting average as I am?"

Because he's hitting .267 as a Nat?

Posted by: joebleux | June 4, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Also you have to remember that Langerhans had his average brought down by his drought in atlanta. I dont have the numbers here but i think that he came in hitting around the .083 area and has nearly double that average while in washington.

As for the other atlanta outfielder, i think jones is too much on the decline. His glove is not as impressive as it once was and his speed is hardly a factor anymore. That being said, that opinion could easily be his off season talking and im still scared sh**less when he steps up to the plate against us.

I'd still lean towards torii or maybe a younger kid. I like how maxwell is playing, maybe see if he can move up, im probably not in as much of a rush as most but who knows? It could work.

Posted by: Nats Fan Down Under | June 4, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Re CF potential free agents, I prefer Jones because he has better upside than Hunter, given age and all. I wouldn't be sad to see either of them come on board for the right price (which will be big).

Posted by: Hendo | June 4, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

yep, that explains why nobody else is grouchy with Langerhans. I hadn't looked closely enough at his average as a Nat only, just kept seeing his overall average. Plus, I guess there's still residue from my Braves fan dad and brother's grousing about him before the trade and then making fun of me when we got him. ;)
I knew he came to us with a REALLY low avg (pretty sure it was .067) so considering that I guess he is doing better.
Thanks joebleux and NFDU

Posted by: NatsNut | June 4, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

So I was perusing the Post baseball section with my morning coffee in hand (ah, the simple joys of the season) and noticed that Guze is 4th in the NL in triples. Attaboy, Guze! (see link to baseball-reference.com expanded leader board below).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL_2007_t.shtml

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 5, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I would think Torii Hunter would be a better choice than Andruw Jones. With either, you're going to get good production, but Torii just seems to have an extra spring in his step, despite his relative age. And from interviews, Hunter seems like a better guy to have in the locker room, a jovial guy who's honest and generally a team player. Jones (with his recent refusals to tweak anything despite hitting for a bad average earlier in the season), seems like a little more of a selfish player than a guy willing to make adjustments to help the team win.

Posted by: bob | June 5, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

2b or not: Young might not run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, to be sure, but he doesn't strike me as being as slow as his build might lead one to believe.

My favorite pinch slugger from last year was Daryle Ward, who posted a .308/.390/.567 line before being dealt to Atlanta for a pitcher named Atilano who seems to have fallen off the map. Anyway, you look at Ward... now THERE's a guy who, God love him, is slow. He reached base once at RFK and got tripled home, I forget by whom, but it threatened to be a sprint race on the base paths for a minute. I can't think for the life of me how he ever scored.

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

On CFs: I'm very wary of any older or slower center fielders. But we need a big name free agent next year and we need him in a hole and CF seems to be the only spot we don't have developing players. Kearns, Lopez, Johnson, and Schneider all need another year with more competition to truly evaluate whether they are "it" or placeholders filling spots while the draft works out (though Schneider will have a heck of a career managing, I bet).

Guzzie is already a big name place holder, Zimm is in, even with his less than superstar performance this year. Church should be considered in, but for some reason no one in management talks like he is. That leaves center field and the mound for our free agents.

Just please, please, please, no big egos.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 5, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

That would be Luis Atilano, of San Juan. Braves' first round pick in 2003, 35th overall, never got past high-A and is now out of baseball, I think. Not JimBow's best trade, that one. Not the Braves' best draft pick, apparently, either.

Posted by: I'll 2nd that | June 5, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mike Hampton was always a good hitting pitcher:

.242/.292/.354 with 15 career homers.

I also agree that while getting either Andrew or Torii next year would be nice, right now I'd prefer if they try and get Torii. The biggest knock on Torii, though, is that he can't stay healthy for an entire season (and Lord knows we won't need any more players to land on the DL).

Posted by: e | June 5, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

506 - yes, slow center fielders are a bad idea. But Schneider needs another year?? Who do you expect to get, Joe Mauer?

Posted by: cevans | June 5, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

cevans - Yes, obviously slow center fielders are a bad idea, but I meant slow for a center fielder in reference to the earlier comment that Andruw Jones was slowing down. I would hate to see the Lerners become Angelos and sign big name has-beens.

Schneider needs another year because he's a great game caller and he has the potential to have a dependable bat. In the last thirty days he's batted .253. If he can hang out a few more years and pass on his experience calling and dealing with different pitchers to Jesus Flores (who seems to soak it up like a sponge) then not only have we had a guy that did something we could be satisfied with for several more years, but we'll have a superbly trained star catcher waiting in the wings for that first World Series season.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 5, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

cevans asks: "Who do you expect to get, Joe Mauer?"

Agreed. If Schneider should be dealt away, we do have Jesus Flores, and there are catching prospects in the draft.

506 observes: "(though Schneider will have a heck of a career managing, I bet)"

Also agreed. It'll be interesting to see whether he goes in that direction, and with whom, after he hangs up the tools.

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hendo, the game you're thinking of was the second game against the Yankees when Our Nationals rallied from 7 runs down. It was Jose Guillen's hit, and few things bring a smile to my face faster than thinking of poor Daryle Ward moving his stout legs as fast as possible to beat that throw home. Ha. Now THAT was a hell of a game.

Posted by: Atlanta | June 5, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

i remember seeing that highlight on Sportscenter, and the anchor saying Ward was a guy with "two refrigerators on his back."

Posted by: bob | June 5, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

im going out on a limb for CF here, but how about Ichiro? he is up for free agency and can provide an amazing OBP at that top of the order, which we definitely lack right now.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 5, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Atilano had Tommy John surgery last August and won't be able to pitch until next season (at the earliest).

No chance on getting Ichiro. Seattle would be foolish to let him go seeing as he is their biggest (and some might say only) draw, especially from those coming from Japan just to see him play. If Ichiro were to go anywhere, he would stay on the west coast (again closer to Japan).

Posted by: e | June 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Now I know I'm spoiled, but its Barry's fault. I'm in need of my journal fix today. Can't concentrate on work, need material. Where's Barry? Should we be worried? Has he been traded to the Orioles? Is he interviewing for a position with the Detroit Free Press? [panic].

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 5, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Anybody get down to Bowie for the Harrisburg series last weekend? Looks like Balester had another good outing, giving up seven hits and two runs and striking out five in seven frames. (Alas, the Senators ended up on the wrong end of a 5-0 Baysox shutout.)

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,

I saw Colin pitch on Friday. He was very effective (100 pitches).

Too bad the opposing pitcher threw a no-hitter.

Posted by: BrianH | June 5, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

But the opposing pitcher walked three batters. Balester walked none.

(Egad, talk about spin. I need to get a job on K Street.)

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

(gasp)...(wheez)...

barry...(wheez)...need...more...(cough)...posts.

(wheez)

Posted by: NatsNut | June 5, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

RE: Lack of Barry

I was just thinking the same thing... I was imagining him interviewing Bowden about some blockbuster trade that he just pulled off, and now he's writing an article and blog entry... and that's why we haven't heard from him yet... there's real news brewing.

Posted by: Wigi | June 5, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

RE: Lack of Barry

Somehow this is Jorge's fault

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 5, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,

That guy (Liz) who walked 3 batters also throws a 95 mph fastball. He was wild early but settled down. The only hard hit ball was the last out of the game.

Colin had one bad inning (4th), giving up 4 singles and 2 runs.

Posted by: BrianH | June 5, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm missin' the Barry posts, too. As the team was off yesterday, it would make sense that he was, too. He's probably digging up all kinds of info on the upcoming draft. I'm sure that he'll be posting any time now (wistfully)...

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 5, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

BrianH: do you imagine that Liz might be another Nolan Ryan in the making?

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,

I have no idea. I have don't have the kind of baseball knowledge to pick that up.

Although, the Bowie Baysox website states he is the #3 pitching prospect in the Orioles' organization.

If you were just joking with your question, then I feel like a humorless lunkhead...

Posted by: BrianH | June 5, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Where have you gone Barry Svrluga,
the blogosphere turns its lonely eyes to you
woo, woo, woo

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 5, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

BrianH: Nope, I'm serious. It just sounds like Liz might fit into the classic "power pitcher" mold, at least with respect to being occasionally wild and challenging the hitters to put the ball into play.

Whether he's the next Ryan or not, he got the job done with authority on Friday night.

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hendo: Balester makes pitching seem almost effortless. He's tall and smooth, rhythmic and efficient. He reached a 3-ball count on only one batter he faced.

Posted by: BrianH | June 5, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I would also cast a vote for T. Hunter as a free agent priority. You never hear a discouraging word about him. Lots of plusses with that player. I wouldn't have a problem with A. Jones either, though if I had to pick between the two, Hunter would be it. GO NATS...GET HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 5, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I know I will be inviting the naysayers to vent with this comment/question, but I would love to know what the Conventional Wisdom is among players and agents regarding Washington as a place to play/sign as a free agent.

Seems that we have a team of happy players, and I suspect that is at least one thing that is appealing to a free agent... I suspect that another is the degree to which a player believes the team has a chance of winning.

I am assuming that there is competitive money available... but some conversations just never get started, if the player doesn't care for the team.

Posted by: Wigi | June 5, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Taking in the game from the hutch tonight; clients took me into the hours after 5 pm.

Just catching up. Quite the runfest. Nice DP just now.

Posted by: Hendo | June 5, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Barry and or wise commenters: I'm woefully ignorant about the draft process. How does a player enter the draft? Is there some formal way of throwing their names in the hat? Or are they just put there by word of mouth from enough scouts who noticed?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 5, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse


Barry?

Posted by: crickets chirping..... | June 5, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Just got the Relocation Package. Prices: Outrageous, particularly if you don't want to sit in the upper deck. They also are demanding a deposit by July!

Posted by: swanni | June 6, 2007 6:19 AM | Report abuse

The deposit is $300, required by July.

Lowest field level seat is $50. Club seats go for $45 (bases) and $55 (behind homeplate).

Bottom line: I had two $34 Terrace MVP seats this year (full season), but will cut back to one (Club level) in 2008.

Posted by: swanni | June 6, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse

(It's Wednesday morning - 8:00 Atlantic time.)

Okay. Now I'm getting scared. Where's Barry?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 6, 2007 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, Marc Carig wrote the game story and notebook this morning. Barry's still supposed to do the 1:00 chat though.

Posted by: Hendo | June 6, 2007 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Ryan Wagner's out for the year. He is currently recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

When are we going to start bellyaching to Park Avenue about the Reds' having sent us damaged goods?

Posted by: Hendo | June 6, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I, too, just got the Seasonn Ticket Relocation email and I am out. Can't afford two games, 81 games at those prices unless I want to sit in the nosebleed, which i do not. Asking for that deposit in june is a bit ballsy, too, IMHO.

Posted by: Formerseasonticketholder | June 6, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

... one of the things this team did when it decided to use this season as a (re)building year, was to focus on the prospects, and young up-and-comers in the organization. But to add some level of stability to the make-up of the squad, a few veterans were scattered about, hopefully to impart some knowledge gained thru' experience to those young guys who will be the future.

... a good example is Dmitri Young, who is a steadying influence in the club house (I understand) and a role model at the plate of late.

... another guy added was Tony Batista, with not so good a result.

... Tony.: you're a veteran. You know about picking up the signs at third; you know you don't run thru' a stop sign. Think man, before you leap. And think too, about the young guys who watched you "do it on your own". Think about the fans and young guns who listened to you when you explained it away by saying "that's what you're supposed to try to do - score from first". No Tony; you're supposed to take your directions from your coach. I'm angry with you. Shame on you.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 6, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I hope the corporations step up and buy those pricey tickets or this team will never get the bucks to improve.

The Middle Class fan has been priced out -- and even worse -- they eliminated the 300s Section. That's where the real Nats fans sit.

Kasten-Lerners, shame on you!

Posted by: swanni | June 6, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Haven't got my relo package in the mail yet; perhaps I will today. Did look at it online this morning. I guess I was braced for the shock of the ticket price increase - seems like it could've been worse.

Actually there are plenty of "real" fans in the front rows of the upper deck. The cool thing up there is that you don't have vendors and fans walking in front of you all the time and obstructing your view. I sit downstairs maybe two games a season, for one reason or another, and every time I vow I'll never do it again.

Whether the upper deck at Nats Park will require opera glasses is another matter. The other issue with me is how flexible the Nats will be able to be with respect to ticket exchanges if the park sells out all the time.

Anyway I guess the customer reaction (and subsequent customer-service encounters) will separate the fans from the also-rans.

Posted by: Hendo | June 6, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to disparage upper deck fans -- true fans, indeed. But the section 300 folks spend $34 a seat, 81 times a year. They are making a huge financial commitment to the team -- and they get their section wiped out for their efforts.

Posted by: swanni | June 6, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Suck it up, you whiny crybabies.

Look it -- you got five weeks to pony up a lousy 3 bills for each season ticket or you lose your place in line. A line you have stood in for three years! You think that's ballsy? Son, that ain't nuthin -- I'm in the real estate business!

Those Terrace MVP tix, cost you about $2750 each per season, right? So 300 smackers ain't no big deal.

And if you try those Left/Right Field Mezzanine seats or Infield Gallery seats, you get good views in a great new ballpark for LESS money -- rounds'about $1600 to $2000 each per season.

For the Club Seats -- go ahead and get your regular two. Its worth all the extra amenities and padded chairs and what not.

So there. You can get good seats now or lose out and be forced to the grandstands. This new ballpark is gonna sell out no question. Look at my great attendance numbers now -- and I ain't even trying to bring you people into RFK!

I'm off to count my money. I saved so much by using that Canadian printer with ground shipping for the season tix. If I could only get rid of those damn sunflower seeds...

Posted by: Lerners' subconscious | June 6, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Hendo. I've encountered plenty of enthusiastic, knowledgeable fans in the upper deck.

---

Actually there are plenty of "real" fans in the front rows of the upper deck. The cool thing up there is that you don't have vendors and fans walking in front of you all the time and obstructing your view. I sit downstairs maybe two games a season, for one reason or another, and every time I vow I'll never do it again.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 6, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

is it just me, or is Manny starting to look distinctly perturbed in the postgame press conferences, more and more often? He was definitely unhappy with Batista last night (and rightly so), and Barry/TWP never did say what set Manny off last week (which makes you wonder WHO set Manny off, doesn't it?).
I know Frank would have had a few words for Batista. Short ones, a syllable apiece, three and four letters each. Seriously, whose job is that in the clubhouse? Schneider? Young?

Posted by: CEvansJr | June 6, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I know there was no offense meant to us unreal fans that must dwell in the upper deck. We who don't yet make enough to be able to shell out for season tickets and still pay rent or take our girlfriends out once and awhile to somewhere besides a baseball game (who wants to go with a Cubs fan anyway?). We who think moving to Section 506 is a promotion because we can suddenly tell whether a ball hit deep is a home run or a caught ball (the cheering of the fans doesn't always help).

But please, oh please, Lerners, don't you disrespect us. The joy of RFK is to get off of work at 6:00 and decide I want to see a game, hop on the metro, maybe grab a beer in Eastern Market area, and still make it and get a seat by the second inning... and being able to afford doing this. Don't take that away. RFK is baseball for the masses. You'll never make DC a baseball town by catering to the wealthy.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 6, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Holding out some of at least the grandstand tickets for day-of-game sales, as some other teams do -- I'm thinking the Cubs, but I haven't verified this -- would be a nice gesture of goodwill. It would at least elevate the Lerners to a perceived level of rapacity somewhat less than that of The Danny.

BTW if memory serves, bleacher seats at Memorial Stadium were $3 each in 1984. Grandstand seats at Nats Park in 2008 will be $5 each. That's about a 2.2% per annum rate of increase, not too dreadful. (An apples-and-oranges comparison, to be sure, given that (a) Nats Park will be nicer, not to mention much closer to DC, than Memorial Stadium was and (b) the '08 Nats may be challenged to match the 85-77 record of the '84 Orioles -- whose ace, Mike Boddicker, won 20 and sported a 2.79 ERA and whose bullpen was fronted by Tippy Martinez.)

Posted by: Hendo | June 6, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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