An off day -- but not for Jim Bowden
First off, thanks for all the suggestions on T-shirt slogans. I think I will, as some suggested, run a poll of some of my favorites later in the week, and maybe we can get a winner that way.
In other Journal news, The Boss has begun receiving daily reports that rank Post blogs by the number of visitors. He's kind enough to pass them on to us -- starting last week. Nationals Journal, I'm sorry to say, has yet to crack the top 15 of Post blogs. It's the middle of baseball season? What's going on here?
Steve Goff's excellent and frequently updated "Soccer Insider" seems to be the most consistently ranked sports blog, but "Wizards Insider", even with the team not, um, playing, is up there frequently as well. Again, I'm not attaching self worth to blog numbers. Not much, anyway. Well, maybe a little.
Anyway, rally the troops!
On to actual business. Nationals don't play today. Jim Bowden, however, will work hard. The non-waiver trade deadline is next Tuesday afternoon. I'm putting out feelers on trade stuff this morning. (Bowden: "No comment." That's to be expected, of course.) But Foxsports.com's incomparable Ken Rosenthal -- who is among the best in the business at sniffing out trade rumors -- had a note this morning on the Nats' possible pursuit of Cincinnati LF Adam Dunn.
Not surprising, given Bowden's love of Dunn from his Cincy days. He drafted him, after all. Within the organization last year, there was some hesitance about pursuing Dunn because of his high strikeout rate. He leads the majors with 119 strikeouts right now, and is hitting .260/.363/.547 with 26 HR and 64 RBI. The trick in a trade for Dunn: You'd have to convince him to sign here long-term in the offseason. If this is about the future, then there's no point giving up prospects for a guy who might walk after this season (even though they'd get draft-pick compensation in that case).
On the major league club, here's who scouts and execs have told me are readily available: Dmitri Young, Ronnie Belliard, Ryan Church, Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero, all with varying degrees of difficulty to get a deal done. Cordero, as I wrote last week, is likely the most difficult to trade becuse the Nats see him as the closer he is and lots of contenders would use him as a set-up guy.
Rauch leads the majors in appearances and could be a sixth- or seventh-inning guy for a contender. Church is a starter here, but wouldn't be for most teams. He'd be a fourth outfielder/LH bat off the bench. Young had better get back in the lineup tomorrow (as Manny Acta expects) so that people aren't worried about his bruised heel. And as I've mentioned before, Belliard would be a very very useful piece for a team that wants to win a championship, but there has been some internal lobbying to keep him here for a few years, and the team has approached him about that.
Anyway, I'm going to get back on the phone. I'll have some sort of story on all this in tomorrow's $.35 edition. As for yesterday's feel-good game, Austin Kearns was understandably the thurst of the game story, which kind of gave Tim Redding the short end of the stick. He's in the notebook. The podcast pulls it all together with some sound from both of those guys, and check the rail along the right side of either the gamer or the notebook for a little ballpark update. An escalator installed? That's pretty amazing to me.
If anything major happens today, I'll let you know. I'll also be on "Washington Post Live" on Comcast SportsNet at 5 p.m. tonight for 90 big minutes. We better talk some Nationals in that time.
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