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Nick Johnson: Officially out for the year

Hate to dampen the spirits around here, and we'll have a complete McGeary/Draft/What it means story in the $.35 edition, but GM Jim Bowden just said that what so many of us have suspected for so long is official: Nick Johnson won't play in 2007.

Johnson, the Nationals first baseman, has been out since last September, when he broke his right leg in a collision with right fielder Austin Kearns. Team orthopedist Ben Shaffer originally said that the break was clean, and that Johnson would be ready by Opening Day. That timetable changed when Johnson's leg didn't respond in the offseason. In the spring, Shaffer said that Johnson is a slow healer.

So it slogged on through the summer. Johnson has hit and fielded, taking grounders, but he cannot plant his leg and make violent, direction-changing movements because his hip -- where a rod was inserted into the bone in his leg -- hasn't responded. He is currently at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He will return here and have surgery at a later date.

"The hip just wasn't allowing him to be Nick Johnson," Bowden said.

It bothered him particularly on groundballs to his left, as anyone who watched him work out could tell you. "They feel he will come back and make a full recovery," Bowden said.

We'll have more details on the procedure within the next few hours. Need to get hacking on stories for the paper right now.

Philadelphia:
Rollins -- 6
Iguchi -- 4
Burrell -- 7
Howard -- 3
Rowand -- 8
Werth -- 9
Ruiz -- 2
Nunez -- 5
Hamels -- 1

Washington:
Lopez -- 6
Belliard -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Young -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Church -- 7
Flores -- 2
Logan -- 8
Hanrahan -- 1


By Barry Svrluga  |  August 16, 2007; 5:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Sad, but not surprised. I've suspected this was going to be the outcome ever since WaPo posted that video of Nick limping down the steps at spring training.

Please tell me they hope Nick will be back next year...!

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Not a surprise, but sad none the less.

Go get healthy Nick and we'll see you at spring training - and thus no more Robert Fick.

Larry Broadway, oppertunity is knocking, and probably for the last time....

Posted by: estuartj | August 16, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the news, Barry. Can't say that I'm surprised but it took me aback to see it pixilated on my screen. Here's hoping that Nick comes back healthy and strong in 2008.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

No surprises on the line-up, good to have Flores getting the start vs. The lefty and Logan should have a good night with a power hitter batting behind him.

Posted by: estuartj | August 16, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson has got to be one of the oldest acting 27-28 year olds I have seen in my life. There is a reason the Yankees git rid of him. The guy has the body and demeanor of a 45 year old.

Posted by: Ed | August 16, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Get Belliard out of that #2 spot. He's killing us!

Posted by: Paul | August 16, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

From 9/24/06, New York Hospital Queens: "Dr. Peter Dzenis, with assistance from team physician Dr. Ben Shaffer, put a titanium rod into the fractured femur along with three screws -- one near the hip and two above the right knee. . . 'Generally speaking, we are looking at three to four months for this to heal, which allows the person to really pound on it and do anything they want.'"

Posted by: flynnie | August 16, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Stop hatin' on Nick, Ed! He is the class of the franchise, and was injured only because he played so hard, like his uncle, Larry Bowa. And he is best friends and going to concerts with Austin Kearns, the guy that broke his leg. Pure class. We're so lucky to have Nick.

Posted by: flynnie | August 16, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Have you noticed that Belliard is in a bit of a batting slump? His avg has been steadily dropping the last couple of weeks, now down to .280.

I don't remember exactly when his cold streak hit -- hope it isn't as a result of getting his contract signed.

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | August 16, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Annandale -

Yeah, but he missed a grand slam by two feet in SanFran. Mr. Dmitry is in a slump, too, seems like.

Posted by: flynnie | August 16, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

It hurts, but it hurt even more back in Spring Training when I came to this realization. If he is back next year, and is the NJ weve come to know (while healthy), it will be a welcome addition. Sure Dmitri is hitting .33-something and NJ has hit about 40 points lower, but NJs OBP is much higher and has shown he has more extra base power (while Dmitri can hit a HR in a certain situation).

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 16, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Well spoken, flynnie. I've always liked Nick.

---

He is the class of the franchise, and was injured only because he played so hard, like his uncle, Larry Bowa. And he is best friends and going to concerts with Austin Kearns, the guy that broke his leg. Pure class. We're so lucky to have Nick.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm only surprised it took 'em this long to announce it.

Here's hoping Nick is healed up completely by Spring Training.

And now for something completely different:

With all these 20 draft picks signed now, does that mean that they'll replace 20 players currently on the minor league rosters who aren't playing well enough to stay, or simply be added to the mix?

If it's the former, ya gotta feel for those guys who are getting cut. One would think that if they have half a brain they'd have known this was coming a long time ago, and yeah, it's a business like any other, but despite their lack of skills to advance at the professional level, that would still mean that those 20 being cut -- who I would imagine were also drafted some time ago -- are better than, what, 96 percent or something of all amateur baseball players in the country, right?

Apologies for the ramble, but it's always tough to imagine someone's dream being officially snuffed out.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 16, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Curious if Barry asked if Nick could DH if he was in the American League.

Posted by: swanni | August 16, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John-

Good ramble. I think that a good number of the 20 we signed will eventually suffer the same fate. It is just the reality of how hard it is to go even from the minors to the majors. I think many who were drafted low scuffled, and will always be proud (passed down through generations) to have been a professional baseball player.

As for Nick- he really is emblematic of the club we inherited. We have had a number of players, although mostly pitchers, who seemed they would be great if they could just stay healthy. I know that the most extreme example of this is Alex Escobar, but is Nick really that far removed from that? He has had two freak injuries as a Nat (remember the injured foot from landing on home plate funny?), and he just doesn't heal.

Being a professional athlete means you have physical skills, and the right kind of body, to do something better than almost anybody. However, the greats are often separated from the could-have-beens by durability, which is just another aspect of a person's genetic make-up.

Posted by: Kevin | August 16, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Dear Livan-

Please embarrass the Marlins for us tonight. We really want to get out of last place.

Your still intact fan base in DC

Posted by: Kevin | August 16, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wow:

Baseball America has a list of what each team paid to draft picks. The list is titled, "Orioles, Nationals Cut Big Checks For Draftees". The O's are number 1, about $50k more than the Nats, who spent almost $200K more than the Yankees.

This goes a long way toward proving that :

1. The Lerners aren't cheap.

2. There is in fact a Nats-O's rivalry brewing.

Great news.

Posted by: Kevin | August 16, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

For laughs, compare the Nats to the Astros. The Nats spent $7.6 million on the draft (not counting the 200K for McGeary's education, by the way), and the Astros spent $536,000. I am guessing they are not following The Plan.

Posted by: Kevin | August 16, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Thats a tough (no pun intended) break for NJ. Lets just hope this isn't the end for him. So, maybe there was more to the DY signing than at first thought.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 16, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Amen! Kevin. Nick Johnson has less agility than Dimetri. I worry about the guy sliding when he runs around the bases. I don't care what his OBP is. Of course it's good, he only plays for 1.5 months a year.

Bottom line. We worried about pitching at the beginning of the year. We continue to worry about pitching. Pitching is NOT this team's problem - it's the players in the field. This team will never win batting .240 and they will never win with a bunch of guys that are always hurt. This team has scored less runs than any team in the league. The question we need to ask is how many of the everyday players will be on the roster next year, not who will be pitching.

Posted by: Ed | August 16, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I just read keith law's chat from earlier today on ESPN.com. There were more comments/questions from excited Nats fans than ever before. However, Law's responses were uniformly negative about the Nats (and positive about the O's). He called McGeary "already the most overrated player in their system."

Sigh.

I guess you just can't win with some folks. You would think that at least there would be an encouraging word, but he even said that the Nats' draft was "good, but not in the top 5."

I know I am happy. Do I have the expertise of an ex-GM for the Blue Jays? No, i guess I have to admit I don't. Still, I really wanted to at least calmly call him out on his pessimism (no chance for comment, though.)

Posted by: Kevin | August 16, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

maybe i should have stated in my rant about Law the other day....

ex-GM!!!!! garbage! he was an assistant to an assistant scout. that means coffee and Excel spreadsheets.

I cannot believe the influence that organization has. put some schumck on the webpage and then his word is supposed to become gospel? its sad, really.

Posted by: theraph | August 16, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Is NJ's collision buddy out now too?

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

ARGH! I hate the damn Phillies! HATE HATE HATE. I hate Jimmy Rollins and his damned good playing abilities and beefy, but speedy Ryan Howard and broken-handed Chase Utley, and stupid Pat Burrell, and don't even get me started on Shane Victorino and this Hamel freak. I hate them all! ARGH! HATE!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

On the radio they said that Kearns had a hamstring cramp.

They also sounded optimistic that the surgery (which I understand would be on the apparatus that connects the rod in his leg at the hip) would help with Johnson's hip pain and mobility issues. Evidently he had similar surgery where the apparatus connects the rod at the knee and it helped in both respects. I hope to see a healthy Nick back on the field next year!

---

Is NJ's collision buddy out now too?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Hold on there, Sect. 506, how about saving some of that hatin' for the Phillies fans? ;)

---

ARGH! I hate the damn Phillies! HATE HATE HATE. I hate Jimmy Rollins and his damned good playing abilities and beefy, but speedy Ryan Howard and broken-handed Chase Utley, and stupid Pat Burrell, and don't even get me started on Shane Victorino and this Hamel freak. I hate them all! ARGH! HATE!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Think I'll go to bed and read some Bill Veeck for a few yucks. Tomorrow's a new day and a new series. We've got Mutt butt to kick!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's get it ready for next year, Nicky! Keep on trying to get better! Good luck. Thanks for the superb reporting, as always, Barry.

Posted by: Section 420, mjwies11 | August 16, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

On the previous thread, natsfan1a inquires, with a second by ShawNatsFan: "will you be able to make cameo appearances on the blog over the course of your trip?"

I hope so. Have been fighting major connectivity problems over the course of the week, but if things have settled down by tomorrow morning, I should be able to hit the blog in Oz by Monday evening -- mid-Monday morning in the eastern US.

Hope to have lots of reasons to versify. Many dactyls or few, I'm feeling pretty good about the Nats having reached the next stage, never mind what Buster Olney, Keith Law, Jayson Stark, et al. have to say about it. (And I heartily endorse the stealth strategy. Let 'em snark. We'll show 'em.)

Posted by: Hendo | August 16, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Well said, 506! Thanks for the pre-bed laugh. :)

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Yuck. Some bad, sad, but not unexpected news about NJ.

It's easy to hate on his fragile disposition -
you gotta admit, it was quite a collision,
fortunately we got Da Meat for his position,
but I'm really hopin' in the spring we have to make a decision.

Get well, Nick. And don't push it for artificial deadlines. Get well so you can have the career you've worked so hard for. If you do what you're capable of here in DC, you'll have a lot of backers.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Awesome rant, 506.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 16, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Ed gets all GHE on Nick: "There is a reason the Yankees git rid of him. The guy has the body and demeanor of a 45 year old."

There is a reason for him to stick around here. Whether or not he ever plays another game in the field, he has the plate discipline and hitting smarts of a veteran.

As I've expressed obliquely before, I state directly now that I hope to smile one day over the following words in the Nats program:

"Nick Johnson / Hitting Coach / #24."

Good luck continuing the recovery, Nick.

Posted by: Hendo | August 16, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice rap by ShawNatsFan. I'll grin myself to sleep thinking who could perform this in the closing-day video.

How about Prente And Da R Crew: Nook Logan, Rob Fick, Ray King, Ryan Zimmerman...

Then again maybe I just need to toddle off to bed... NAAAH...

Posted by: Hendo | August 16, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

btw- whenever I get annoyed by Phillies fans at RFK (an all too frequent occurance- like last night walking into RFK... some dude in a ridiculous trojan (?) costume, loudly going on about what a dump the stadium is (his friend,to his credit, tried to shush him))... anyway, all I have to do is close my eyes and remember the looks of horror on their faces around 1am on Sept. 29 when we came out after a loooong rain delay and effectively ended their playoff hopes. Aaaah. So much better. Twas one of my favorite moments at dumpy ol' RFK. Were any of you there?

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Hendo and SNF: I was wondering is that cadence and almost rhyming was deliberate! :)

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Alas JennX, I was there the night before, for the 14 inning loss and rode home with all the stupid @#%@ Philly fans. I HATE the Philly fans...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Also I hate Philly. I hate their stupid eatery called "Boursch" that sounds like the noise I'm making after their stupid food. I hate their ads on the Metro about how Philly is more fun, especially the one with the bar skanks offering you a cosmopolitan. I would rather drink toilet water than your cosmopolitan make-up girl! I hate their gaudy, ridiculous Constitution Center and most of all I hate the stupid Liberty Bell -significant of NOTHING in American history- that's harder to see than the United States Capitol due to insane security for fifty feet and twenty minutes while they have a fully used street, not ten feet from the damn bell, which is ALREADY broken in the first place!@%&!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Remind me not to sit next to 506 after he eats at CBP.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

JennX -

Yes, I was there that night last September. It was a sweet memory and one that gave the returning Nats something to stick to when coming back. And, we continue to play these guys hard, much better than we should on paper.

I have to admit again, I don't dislike the Phillies, who have really put together quite a lineup and who have 4 guys who I really admire at the heart of their team: Rollins, 3-fingered Utley, Howard and Rowand. I love the way these guys play.

BUT - I HATE PHILLY PHANS. HATE. 506 said it right, but for me it is about the:

Trojan-wearing,
4-letter swearing,
Drunk til you're daring,
Hate more than caring
Philly phans.


My last point on NJ, who has been a class act on and off the field -- I wouldn't mind seeing him around for a low price, incentive-laden deal. I'm surprised more injury-prone players aren't playing with these deals as a chance to play without penalizing the team that takes a chance on them. g'night all.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 12:01 AM | Report abuse

A bon voyage ode to Hendo:

Nattily battily
JimBow and Stan the Plan
set out to build
a pillar in the Nation's Cap.

Twenty for twenty
Ego-pontifically
Lerner's dough and scouts
They did SNAP!

Safe travels Hendo. Enjoy Oz - ah, beautiful country.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

OTOH, any team that goes out to help the grounds crew, ON THE ROAD no less, keep from getting seriously injured or killed, while the home team is hiding in the clubhouse, deserves some respect. Now, the fans, that's different...

Posted by: Cevans | August 17, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the anonymous ode. I'll still be here tomorrow night, having pushed my trip back a day to get the connectivity situation nailed down.

Not at RFK, though, so y'all keep those Met fans in line. (Which may be tough. That is a good team. As are the Phillies, let the record state.)

Amongst all our versical posters tonight, we may be on the verge of a breakthrough in poesy... Rap-a-Dactyl, anyone?

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Good point, cevans...

OTOH, any team that goes out to help the grounds crew, ON THE ROAD no less, keep from getting seriously injured or killed, while the home team is hiding in the clubhouse, deserves some respect. Now, the fans, that's different...

Yay! We have Hendo for one more night, and a Dactyl-slam is coming!!

(I had the same thouight re. NJ, hitting coach, but hope not to see that for many years...)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Lovin the poesy, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and from on the road, too, should connectivity permit. I'm so Latella this a.m.

---

Yay! We have Hendo for one more night

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, did anyone ask Kearns if he had checked where the outfielders were positioned defensively as he is supposed to do?

I noticed it because the right field line was COMPLETELY WIDE OPEN!!! The Phils RF'der was like 80 feet off the line. There's no way Kearns should have been doubled up there because if it's in the gap, he's scoring easily, and if it's played on a hop, he's not scoring at all because the ball was scorched out there. Basically, he didn't have to cheat a step or to, there was no advantage to be gained.

Absolutely stupid play.

Posted by: Ryan | August 17, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, did anyone ask Kearns if he had checked where the outfielders were positioned defensively as he is supposed to do?

I noticed it because the right field line was COMPLETELY WIDE OPEN!!! The Phils RF'der was like 80 feet off the line. Thanks for weighing in, Churchy (or would that be that Zimmy? Langy?) ;)

---

There's no way Kearns should have been doubled up there because if it's in the gap, he's scoring easily, and if it's played on a hop, he's not scoring at all because the ball was scorched out there. Basically, he didn't have to cheat a step or to, there was no advantage to be gained.

Absolutely stupid play.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, [RF], I embedded my remarks within Ryan's comments rather than at the top as intended. Absolutely stupid posting on my part...

---

Thanks for weighing in, Churchy (or would that be that Zimmy? Langy?) ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

To Sect. 506, you are the rant king -- those were rantastic!! I especially liked the part about the Liberty Bell, but I also liked the Bourse remark. Classic and worthy of Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk game (or, at least, I think it's Tom, not Ray, who is given to ranting. I don't get to hear it as much since NPR moved it from the Saturday a.m. broadcast -- I may just have to work up my own rant here...)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that would be "fame," not "game," in my posting. Coffee not kicking in yet...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

[catching up after hockey last night - best night of the summer so far!]

" ... the doctors insist [Nick Johnson's] career is not over."

... these would be the same doctors who 1/ put a metal rod in his leg which now has to be removed, and 2/ were confident Nick would be ready for spring training of 2007.

... how much faith can we then put in this particular prediction?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. - September 2, 2009

[DFW] Staff of the university admissions' office said today that the well-known student, Jack McGeary, will miss the first couple of months of the fall semester this year due to emerging commitments to his MLB employer, the Washington Nationals baseball team. He is not expected to be on campus to resume classes until mid-October, following the World Series, MLB's professional championship. It is generally accepted that the Nationals are the favourite to win, and that McGeary will play a pivotal role.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Nice, natscan, very nice!

---

Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. - September 2, 2009

[DFW] Staff of the university admissions' office said today that the well-known student, Jack McGeary, will miss the first couple of months of the fall semester this year due to emerging commitments to his MLB employer, the Washington Nationals baseball team. He is not expected to be on campus to resume classes until mid-October, following the World Series, MLB's professional championship. It is generally accepted that the Nationals are the favourite to win, and that McGeary will play a pivotal role.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Just confirmed (via a team site check) that the time of the 9/23 game at RFK has been shifted from 1:35 to 12:05 (maybe because of the Redskins game?). Maybe our blog tailgate could be a brunch rather than a lunch?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Good early-edition report, natscan.

Good catch, natsfan1a. We need to start thinking logistics *now*. For instance, how early do the parking lots open, and where shall we gather (I suggest the southeast corner of Lot 8)?

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Ed, while telling it like it is, when it comes to Nickie J, his departure from NY and his 'stay' with Montreal/Washington, has allowed his frustration to spill over into his words. Not a bad thing per se, but something which caused flynnie to put on his rose-coloured glasses and speak of Nick in terms approaching 'glass almost three quarters full'.

... so to mimic a TV ad possibly before many of you saw the light of day, I'd just say "Stop. You're both right!"

... and in response to nats fan in annandale, I have to admit how disappointed I was in myself that the same thought crossed my mind. But upon the realization of my scepticism, I reminded myself of how much he's done thus far and of how much faith I had up til now. I will give Ronnie B. the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: natscan reduxit (still catching up; you guys are verbose) | August 17, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Hendo. I agree re. logistics. I've always taken the Metro rather than driving, so maybe someone else can weigh in re. when the lots open. Is it before the (ticket-taking) gates open, which would be 10:35, I think, for a 12:05 start? Lot 8, SE corner, sounds good.

---

Good catch, natsfan1a. We need to start thinking logistics *now*. For instance, how early do the parking lots open, and where shall we gather (I suggest the southeast corner of Lot 8)?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Hendo advises: "I should be able to hit the blog in Oz by Monday evening -- mid-Monday morning in the eastern US."

... which bringas to mind a thought I've had occasionally. It might be a good community-building exercise (as if we are not a sold group now) to know a bit more about each other such as the kind of work we do. We've touched a bit on our various educational backgrounds, but I'll come right out and ask if this particular blog would benefit or be hurt by getting to know each other a bit more, beyond baseball and the Nats?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Why thanks, that's a diplomatic way of putting it. ;)

---

natscan reduxit (still catching up; you guys are verbose)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it would hurt.

---

... which bringas to mind a thought I've had occasionally. It might be a good community-building exercise (as if we are not a sold group now) to know a bit more about each other such as the kind of work we do. We've touched a bit on our various educational backgrounds, but I'll come right out and ask if this particular blog would benefit or be hurt by getting to know each other a bit more, beyond baseball and the Nats?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

At least, I don't think that revealing our professions would hurt. We probably wouldn't want to delve deeply into politics, religion, or other hot-button topics (like the Nats aren't a hot-button topic...), as usual.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

9/23 logistical item #1, from the team site, which also features a parking map:

Parking
The parking lots for RFK Stadium are operated by IMPARK. RFK Stadium parking lots open 2 hours before the start of a home game. The cost for parking in RFK Stadium lots on the day of the game is $15.00 per car (cash only). All buses, limos and RVs should enter Lot 7 and will be charged $45.00 (cash only). Please note the following regulations:

* No in and out parking.
* Overnight parking is prohibited.
* No charcoal barbeques; ONLY approved gas/ propane units allowed.
* No selling or soliciting of any items at any time in the parking lots.
* All parking lots have Handicapped Parking and spaces are available on a first come, first service basis.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Tough game last night. I think we saw why the Dodgers gave up on Hanrahan despite his good stuff. If he can consistently throw strikes, he's nasty. However his minor league stats show this sort of lack of control - 4 to 5 walks per 9 innings. If he can get that down to 3, he'll be tough. He's never done it though in 7 years of pro ball.

The Nick Johnson saga is so sad. I know there are many variables at play here, but this appears again to be yet another episode bungled by the Nats' medical staff. Shaffer's early predictions were just plain stupid. NJ certainly has healing time issues - as shown by previous history. Nonetheless, I wonder how often doctors have to go back in for another surgery in these types of instances. Any MDs out there who could tell us? I think we need to be at the gate with our pitchforks and torches on this issue. A strong medical staff can be as a valuable as a good bull pen. The Nats don't have the former right now.

Juan-John posted about guys getting cut for the Nats 20 new signees. For the most part, those cuts happened in the winter. During spring training, a team generally has under contract about 25 fewer players than they'll need to complete an entire minor league season. That's why short season A ball doesn't start until after the draft. The draft gives teams a chance to stock their rosters. Given that there will be probably be another 15-20 players who are on the DL throughout the organization by June this opens up about 40 roster spots for the draftees. One other interesting limiting factor is that the US government grants only about 35 (I think, the number may be off a little) work visas to each major league organization for foreign players. Therefore a MLB team can only have that many non-Americans under contract and playing in the US. That's one reason why having an academy in the DR is so important. It allows teams to sign and train guys without using up a visa spot.

I agree with all the postings about Philly fans. I don't know what it is abut them that rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it was the guy sitting in front of me on Friday night - Phillies hat squarely on his melon - booing the umpire lustily with his 3 year old daughter on his lap. As a father of a daughter, I wanted to strangle the guy for setting such a bad example. Somehow Mets' fans and Yankees' fans just don't irritate me the same way.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

... I'll start. After working the bulk of my professional life as a multi-disciplined photographer (which included twelve years as a business owner), I am now 61 years old, and heading quickly towards retirement while doing clerical work with maps and road inventories for the New Brunswick Dept. of Transportation.

... outside of salaried work, my avocation has until quite recently been in many aspects of the Anglican Church of Canada, by which involvement I have enjoyed working visits to all parts of Canada as well as edu-visists to Jamaica and Kenya.

... old-timer hockey, you know about.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

#4, that reminds me of the guy who was sitting in front of me at a game last year, I believe it was. Anyway, the Nats lost in a heartbreaker of a game (I can't remember to whom), after which he turned to his young daughter and gleefully said something like, "I'm sorry, honey, but your team sucks. I'm so glad I'm a White Sox fan instead of a Nats fan." (editorial comment: Yes, and he's probably been one since fall of 2005...) Way to teach your daughter about enduring the ups and downs of fandom -- not! I was secretly wishing that he'd take a tumble as he descended from our upper deck seats (so not nice, I know, but it was just a fantasy, anyhow).

---

Maybe it was the guy sitting in front of me on Friday night - Phillies hat squarely on his melon - booing the umpire lustily with his 3 year old daughter on his lap. As a father of a daughter, I wanted to strangle the guy for setting such a bad example.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

#4's last post was a good one on a couple of points. First, the medical situations with this year's Nats has been hugely important and I like the idea that the team's medical staff must be considered as a vital part of the success of the team overall. We must get a handle on this.

... the only fans I know intimately are those in a couple of hockey cities, and I gotta tell you that the stories (such as #4's account of the father/daughter thing) disturbs me on a number of levels. In hockey, it has become a true problem in terms of parents and the disgraceful actions and attitudes they display. In terms of baseball (and this I believe has moved into the NHL), the one thing which bothered me greatly was the habit, begun a few years back by Mets fans if I recall correctly, of calling out an opposing player's name (usually the pitcher) in a taunting derisive way. It shows no attempt to focus on the play or the game at hand, but is simply a childish attempt to get on someone's nerves. In all cases, those nerves have been mine.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

That's very cool, natscan, can you perhaps point us to a site with some of your photos (if NJ rules would permit...maybe not if commercial photos...don't know)? We have a German friend who studies maps for fun. One time we were all looking at a map of the U.S. that had no state names and he put us to shame by naming them all (blushing)...

Okay, I'll go next. I've worked at different roles in publishing for 20-some years. I do mostly indexing these days. natsfan1c and I lived in Germany for a few years and really enjoyed touring Europe while we were there.

My avocations include but are not limited to being a baseball fanatic (duh), bird-watching, watching movies, and trying out new recipes on natsfan1c. I like to read, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

natscan, the name-calling gets on my nerves, too. Also, I forgot about the leather-lunged woman whom I sat in front of at another game. There was a cute little girl next to her who was attending her first game, as I recall (not with her but next to her). The woman, who was a Nat's fan, was constantly cussing out our players and ragging on them (sample: "You're a [RFing] dead man, [name of pitcher who just threw a ball]." When her male companion spoke to her softly at one point, she said something like "Touch me and I'll break your arm." Whoa...on a few levels. I kept hoping that she'd get hoarse over the course of the game but it didn't happen.

---

... the only fans I know intimately are those in a couple of hockey cities, and I gotta tell you that the stories (such as #4's account of the father/daughter thing) disturbs me on a number of levels. In hockey, it has become a true problem in terms of parents and the disgraceful actions and attitudes they display. In terms of baseball (and this I believe has moved into the NHL), the one thing which bothered me greatly was the habit, begun a few years back by Mets fans if I recall correctly, of calling out an opposing player's name (usually the pitcher) in a taunting derisive way. It shows no attempt to focus on the play or the game at hand, but is simply a childish attempt to get on someone's nerves. In all cases, those nerves have been mine.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Let me preface this by saying that I HATE loud, annoying, crass fans, and the Philly fan base seems to have more of them than any other fans that come to RFK. I prefer clapping, cheering, and the occasional boo to constant heckling any day of the week.

Having said that, I wish Nats fans had a little more bite to them. I'm going to Philly for the last 2 games of the season, and hopefully the Nats will knock the Phillies out of the playoffs again as they did last year. There are about 8 or 10 of us Nats fans going together, and it HAS to be that way because there's NO WAY I would go there that weekend just my wife and I. We wouldn't be able to enjoy the games.

I sometimes wish fans of opposing teams felt that way about coming to a game at RFK. Perhaps I am alone on that one.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

After a long night of rest, I feel much more reasonable and calm and capable of rationally explaining all the many things that I hate about Philly, but I will save them for the next time they best us to spew forth. In life, I have a great respect for being bested by a hard-working, long-suffering, honorably playing opponent. But this isn't real life, this is baseball.

So Hanrahan (4 BB, 8 SO): are you really thinking of giving up on him?! He started in A ball and has had three outings resulting in wins and one pretty darn good outing against the best offensive (most offensive?) team in baseball. He only gave up two Earned Runs, despite the control problems, and both on a single bad pitch. That's GOOD. He's not Major League material yet, he's got to learn to trust his stuff (thank you, Don Sutton), but he's far, far, far from a hopeless case. Give him a shot at making the team next year, but make him prove it, otherwise AAA ball would be good for him to work on things without facing Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Aaron Rowand and Jimmy Rollins - who didn't even do that well against him.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

the name-calling/personal attacks gets even worse when it's directed at other fans. i had the pleasure of being at last night's game with one of my buddies and my girlfriend (amid all the groans on AK's baserunning gaffe)...

While we were there, we had the fortune of being serenaded by the Phillies fans two rows in front of us. They thought it was wildly amusing to continually challenge the older [Nats-loving] gentlemen one section over to a fight, saying such witty things as "I'll kick your -ss, you old fart," "shut the f--- up or I'll shove your walker up your -ss," and other delightful things that really reflected the positive aspects of their nature.

While I'm never one to shy away from a competitive rivalry (and even had my fair share of borderline-acceptable spirit in college), that kind of personal attack is one of the more disappointing parts of being a fan. Objectively, as others have noticed, it seems to happen far more with Phillies fans than those of any other team. I would name the Yankees fans from last summer as distant seconds in obnoxiousness.

Posted by: faNATic | August 17, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

faNATic,

What you heard was clearly way beyond the pale, and I think next time you should call an usher and complain. No one in the stands should have to put up with that verbal abuse, and I don't just mean the older gentleman who was the direct object of the remarks. Sounds like mean drunks to me.

Posted by: Traveler | August 17, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan didn't start in A ball, that was Lannan, who is only 22 or spo years old. Hanrahan is more like 26 or so and has been in the minors for many years.

I don't think anyone whould even contemplate giving up on either of these guys, but we also need to be aware of their limitations. Guys like Hanrahan, Lannan and Balester are going to provide the depth for next season (probably with 2 or the 3 in the minors) and the bridge to the Detwilers, Zimmermanns and Wilems (among others) who will be ready to make their debut in the Majors in 2-3 years or so (maybe more like 4-5 with the HS guys drafted in '06 + '07).

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Traveler, it was bad enough that we just up and moved after getting some food. We also let the ushers know on the way out of the section, although unfortunately - judging by when we walked by later, they didn't seem to be in any hurry to do too much about the situation. It was seven or eight kids from Philly, and I think I blame a combination of drunk and group-encouraged obnoxiousness. Not that I'm that old myself (a whopping 24), but no reason for that at any point.

Hopefully next year and beyond, as the team harnesses the excitement of the new stadium and if the Plan garners us a playoff race (and the requisite bandwagon fans), we'll be able to sell a much greater percentage of seats to the hometown crowd, creating a more Nats-friendly atmosphere. While I don't want other fans to fear coming to our stadium (let's be honest, we welcome their money), if the pro-Nats contingent is louder and shows up more consistently, we are all that much better off.

Posted by: faNATic | August 17, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan didn't start in A ball, that was Lannan, who is only 22 or spo years old. Hanrahan is more like 26 or so and has been in the minors for many years.

I don't think anyone whould even contemplate giving up on either of these guys, but we also need to be aware of their limitations. Guys like Hanrahan, Lannan and Balester are going to provide the depth for next season (probably with 2 or the 3 in the minors) and the bridge to the Detwilers, Zimmermanns and Wilems (among others) who will be ready to make their debut in the Majors in 2-3 years or so (maybe more like 4-5 with the HS guys drafted in '06 + '07).

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan is 25 and Lannan is 22, both have birthdays coming this fall.

Posted by: erstuartj | August 17, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Philadelphia fans in all sports are the worst. I once did some research, making sure to find verification of horrors attributed to Phil fans, and established that the following shocking stories (just a sample of the disgusting tales I found) are true:

* A man who dared to wear a Dolphins jacket to an Eagles home game was beaten into unconsciousness in the men's room.
* A man who had been among the first in the nation to have a severed hand successfully reattached through surgery was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Phillies game. When he threw the ball toward the plate, it bounced before the catcher got it. The Phils fans booed him.
* When Dallas Cowboy receiver Michael Irvin's neck was broken during play in Philadelphia, the fans cheered the injury and high-fived one another--before learning whether or not Irvin was even still alive.
* Eagles fans who were angry that their team was losing a game during the holiday season tossed snowballs and debris at a guy the team brought onto the field dressed as Santa Claus.
* The older gentleman who dresses in a faux Indian costume as "Chief Zee" and attends Redskins games (on his own dime) accompanied the team to a game in Philadelphia some years ago. In front of a security guard who did nothing, Eagles fans stripped off all of Chief Zee's clothing but his underwear and beat him so severely that he required eye surgery. The Eagles' owner apologized and gave Chief Zee a free pass to the next 'Skins game in Philly. When he came back the next year, an elderly woman walked up to him, said, "The last guy who dared to come here dressed like that got what he deserved," and threw her drink in his face. Chief Zee told a reporter later, "I can still taste that drink. And I will never go back to Philadelphia."

Posted by: D.C.Diva | August 17, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Re mean drunks, that usually merits ejection if an usher is alerted. At least outside of Philly.

It certainly does in DC: I've seen fans excused from the game at FedEx, RFK and Verizon.

faNATic, I hope your experience was an outlier. And if the ushers don't respond to your satisfaction, I'd drop a line to Stadium Security, or to Stan.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

... I think this goes a long way towards explaining to me why the 1970's Flyers were the "Broad Street Bullies" - surely one of the lower points in NHL history - and why they were able to sustain that disgraceful attitude. It would seem they fed off the fans ... and vice versa.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

In line with my previos post, and adding on to what others have said since, there's a reason I've been in confrontations with Philly fans on a number of occasions. I'm not willing to surrender my turf to them. I've also been a witness to the sort of things that faNATic described...
"saying such witty things as "I'll kick your -ss, you old fart," "shut the f--- up or I'll shove your walker up your -ss," and other delightful..."
and I won't stand for it. You think you'll do that? Not while I'm sitting here. Pull that s**t in your own god**mn stadium, because you're not pulling it in mine.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Philly fans are the worst, they were picking fights left and right last night after the game. So low-class.

Posted by: G-town | August 17, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I am so eagerly anticipating ruining the Phans season again this year to continue their streak in futility. Forget the O's, I want the Phils' blood.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I think only the worst of the Philly fans trek south to RFK. The one Redskin game I went to in Philly was a learning experience, I did see some Skin paraphenalia wearing fans leaving the stadium with blood on them. The only Nats/Philly game I ever went to in Philly was the 05 season opener. I had no bad experience there and did not notice any other fans wearing Nats gear have a problem either. My car had a Nats sticker on the window and though I feared some type of vandalism, none was forthcoming...thank goodness. Maybe we were just to new a team for them to bother much with us at that time. Seems though, that time has caught up with us and a full fledged rivalry has begun. Phooey on Philly...the sick *astards.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 17, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Problem with Filly Fans is that their entire identity revolves around the "we're so tough that we booed Santa Claus" routine.

Gotta think that they're desperately trying to compensate somehow for inadequacies in other parts of their pathetic lives.

Posted by: joebleux | August 17, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Responding to something from hours ago (but hey, I actually tried to get some work done this morning and forbade myself from checking in here until one particular task was accomplished!)-- it's not the Phillies players that I dislike. That's actually what made 506's rant so funny... it was basically saying "damn you for being good and beating us!" And I agree on the appreciation for the team for jumping in to help with the tarp in CO (where were the Rockies?!). The fans... yeah. Different story.

On another note, I set up a gmail account to allow folks here to swap personal email addresses if they so desire, and to aid with logistics for the 9/23 meet-up. I know I've often wanted to reply to something privately without sending a response for the whole world to see. Email me at BarryBlogger@gmail.com if you'd like to share your personal email address with other Nationals Journal regulars so you can be contacted off-blog. I promise not to do anything weird with it and will only give it to others with your permission.

And, to answer the previous inquiry, I'm an organizer (go figure!) for a non-profit organization, working on promoting sustainable agriculture and green food choices.

Posted by: JennX | August 17, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it's a pity that the Phils have these Phans - I couldn't figure out why there was such loud booing when their two pitchers were pulled late in the game last night (thought it was poor behavior on our part), then realized that it was the Phans booing their own pitchers. I think the only justification for booing your own player is if he is showing poor sportsmanship, otherwise he deserves your support, for better or for worse. (I do understand groaning over poor play, but that's not the same as booing!) A good example of this came on Tuesday, when Redding pitched a great game, even hit a beautiful line drive double, but did get in trouble late - when he was pulled from the game we gave him a round of applause for a great overall performance, didn't boo because he had left with the bases loaded. This is the exact opposite of the way the Phans would react. I think the Phillies deserve better.

And, I agree with Matt, we should be a lot more vocal about the support of the Nats, especially with loudmouths in the park - starting tonight would be fine!

Posted by: Traveler | August 17, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

More than a little off-topic, but SI.com is reporting Zambrano & the Cubbies agreed to a five-year, $91.5-million contract extension.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Philly fans once booed a dog! There was a half-time show with an award winning frisbee-catching dog who showed off his incredible ability to twist, turn and leap to nab frisbees in mid-air. He demonstrated his ability time after time, but when he finally missed one, the fans resoundingly booed him.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | August 17, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Agreed JennX, damn the Phillies for being good. We just lost that one. But my hatred for the fans and their city is born out of disgust, not admiration.

Like your gmail idea, it'll be helpful also for posting my raw data for anyone that wants to do their own statistical interpretation of August coverage.

To Natscan, I'm a mid-twenties Hill staffer and media and politics junkie. But I love avoiding them in this blog, since it's my job. I secretly wanted to be an English major because I love literature (and would always fight in defense of poesy), but couldn't bear to go for that degree since we murder to dissect. I appreciate that aspect of this blog, too.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree with others that Nats fans might do a better job of protecting the house (for instance, by booing down the cheers of opposing fans, not by engaging in fisticuffs or insult-slinging with them).

I also agree that in cases where someone is being threatened or attacked, notifying the users/security personnel is the way to go. I've done this in the past (although in that case the offending fans were spoken to rather than ejected).

JennX -- brilliant idea re. the gmail account! I will contact you offline.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I meant the ushers, of course. Dang typo gremlins...

---

users/security personnel

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

On a slightly different topic, is Wily Mo here yet? Afternoon shuttle from Boston? Secret service escort from DCA?

Posted by: jon | August 17, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry-

What's the over/under on Zimm committing more errors than hitting home runs? Right now he has the same # of both.

I'm a huge fan of Zimm's, so I'm going to say he gets more homers than errors, but it's food for thought...

Posted by: LKitz | August 17, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

What's with all the hate? Geez. Stop the madness people!

Barry please put up another post so the masses will stop this craziness!!

Posted by: Ryan | August 17, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I recall some of the legendary mock battles between "Chief Zee" and "Crazy Ray" (RIP). We always gave the unofficial mascots from the other team some respect, not like our NL East neighboors to the North.

Posted by: Medium-sized Mac | August 17, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Kearns hammy from last night?

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Also, everyone should check out the ball-wonk's post on McGeary's sihning, funny stuff...

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Also, check out the online's Post Nationals section (Sights and Sounds area, I think it is) for the McGeary video, the Boz video with a tour of new stadium, and the podcast from yesterday's game.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of which, am I the only one who thinks that Don Sutton's demeanor in the photo on p. E2 is kinda comical? (Bowden is pointing and laughing at McGeary's new shoes. McGeary is laughing good-naturedly. Don Sutton is standing behind them with his arms folded, a rather inscrutable expression on his visage. Thought bubble ideas, anyone? Mine (for Sutton) is: "Jim Bowden. What a putz." Course, maybe Sutton is just restraining himself from laughing hysterically at JimBo's antics...

---

Also, everyone should check out the ball-wonk's post on McGeary's sihning, funny stuff...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Also, everyone should check out the ball-wonk's post on McGeary's sihning, funny stuff...

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 12:42 PM


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ESJ: ?????

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That's as good a segue as any.

I received my English degree from the University of Maryland in December (didn't start until I was 24 due to a six-year military committment). Moved to Minneapolis with my wife in January so she can finish up her BA a the U.

For the record, January is not the best month to move to Minnesota.

Work at a for-profit university. For those of you who think "for profit" and "university" don't belong together, well, you're right, but neither do "homeless" and "John," as far as I'm concerned.

-----

I secretly wanted to be an English major because I love literature (and would always fight in defense of poesy), but couldn't bear to go for that degree since we murder to dissect.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

natscan, if you Google "ball wonk" and "McGeary" it should get you there...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The ROTC pale ale program is a hoot, but i LOVE the Ball-Wonk floodgates posting!

Seeing the mugs of Ray "Triple Burger" King and Ayala on the Crescent City made me snort my beverage at my desk! As a regular to NoLa (my sister and nieces live there), I would set up King by the Lake Pontchatrain levees because a leftie could continue to face the city while holding back the floodwaters (the rightie would face Metairie).

I'm still giving big ups to King and Ayala for preserving the Nats win Wed night (and still think Ayala shoulda come in first instead of Rivera - bless his heart).

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many English or lit or journalism majors we have here? It is a particularly literate blog, IMO. My degree is in general studies, but there was a strong focus on English and literature, and my mom was an English major (who was constantly pounding the fear of the split infinitive into us...oops).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Philly phans --

that's why their teams are losers -- they have such losers for fans! Deep down in their subconscious, the players know they have loser fans and so they lose the game.

Posted by: rb | August 17, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Nationals fans....you will love me.

Posted by: Wily Mo Pena | August 17, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

With all the proofreading and the now-traditional double dactyl, I'd say a few.

-----

I wonder how many English or lit or journalism majors we have here? It is a particularly literate blog, IMO. My degree is in general studies, but there was a strong focus on English and literature, and my mom was an English major (who was constantly pounding the fear of the split infinitive into us...oops).

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Chico versus Glavine tonight, so I figured the following blurb from Onion Sports might be appropriate:


Tom Glavine Ominously Announces He Will Be Last 300-Game Winner

CHICAGO-Moments after the last out in his historic 300th pitching win, Mets ace Tom Glavine silenced a crowd of will-wishers by announcing in a cold, emotionless voice that he would be the last ever to win 300 games. "Make no mistake, after me, there will be no one else to win this many games as a pitcher. Ever," said Glavine in tones that froze the blood of all who heard it. "Randy Johnson will not recover from injuries. [Mike] Mussina will not play, and perhaps not live, long enough. And C.C. Sabathia, I beg you - you are so young, with so much to live for. Do not dance with the devil by attempting to win 300 games now that Glavine has done so." Upon hearing Glavine's chilling declaration, top pitchers Andy Pettite, Barry Zito, and Tim Hudson announced they would retire at the end of the season.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Dang, the Nats really DID get Wily Mo Pena ("and cash considerations for a player to be named later")!

Posted by: Juan-John | August 17, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Huh? Are you guys serious about Wily Mo?

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

You heard it hear first, I am a National. I will hit hundreds of bombs out of the new stadium.

Posted by: Mr. Pena from Boston | August 17, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It would seem so. There's an item on the Boston Herald site. Also on MLB Trade Rumors site. And WTOP just announced it. Barry's probably workin' it right now.

Talk to you guys later. natsfan1c and I have plans to play hooky for the rest of the day...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I get Nats text-mail updates on my cell. Nothing on nationals.com yet, though.

I imagine we'll hear from Barry soon.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 17, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

'Tis true, 'tis true, NatsNut. Wily Mo (Less) is a Nat.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | August 17, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

nationals traded for wily moe pena for cash and ptbl great trade for the nationals

Posted by: jarred | August 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

nationals traded for wily moe pena for cash and ptbl great trade for the nationals

Posted by: jarred | August 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

nationals traded for wily moe pena for cash and ptbl great trade for the nationals

Posted by: jarred | August 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo? Say it ain't so!
Ugh.

All right Kearnsie. Wake up notice has been sent - pick up your bat, and your head on the basepaths, and get to it!

And Wily Mo, I'm open to you making me a believer. Please change my mind, I'm begging you!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Also being reported on SI.com via Boston AP:

"The Boston Red Sox traded outfielder Wily Mo Pena to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later, the Red Sox announced Friday. The Red Sox also gave the Nationals cash considerations in the trade."

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo! I am stoked!

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | August 17, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

... thanx natsfan1a, for the nudge toward Google, and subsequently, Ball-Wonk.

... but it brings up a question for all of you. Admittedly, I am blog ignorant, if not a total Luddite. I have heard many of you as well as the Nats audiocasts make reference to the 'Nationals blogs', and have wondered what this kind of thing is all about.

... are these bloggers merely independent fans with more than a modicum of TechnoSmarts and time on their hands, and an insatiable desire to be heard? Are they otherwise employed sports writers or perhaps team staff members who simply cannot get enough exposure in the usual way? Or are they something else, completely different?

... uninformed but enquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

How much cash dd it cost them for us to tak WMP off their hands?

Does anyone know how the parameters for a player to be named later" are woked out? Do they agree "in principal" to the evel of player or I'd it dependent on the traded value's performance with the new team?

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Almost exclusively the first one...

... are these bloggers merely independent fans with more than a modicum of TechnoSmarts and time on their hands, and an insatiable desire to be heard?

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone put together a narrative on the pluses of WMP? His numbers by themselves don't look great...

Posted by: JennX | August 17, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a sez: "Barry's probably workin' it right now."

Probably not, I'd say. He did previously mention that he's off this weekend for the Mets series. The Post will probably drop this news on its website whenever the intern assigned to cover tonight's game gets over to RFK. Probably that won't be until shortly before game time, unless Joe Gibbs decides to call a media blackout for this afternoon and the Post sports department finds it has nothing else to cover.

Posted by: Section 419 | August 17, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

JennX, not an authoritative source but I did find a Wiki on him...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

To sum it up, JennX:

POTENTIAL

If I'm not mistaken, he's only 23. JimBo loves him for the same reasons he loves Kearns, Lopez, Wagner, and Dunn. Not to say Wil Mo won't ever be someone, but he's a free agent after this year, so this last month or 2 is basically an opportunity for JimBo to get a closer look at him (in my opinion).

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Great. A two fiddy career hitter with negligible power. My hopes for the future of the Nats just took a giant nosedive.

Posted by: joebleux | August 17, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow... fast web work. I clicked on WMP's name on the Red Sox mlb.com page roster, and it brings up his stats and whatnot with Nats banners and menu bars.

Posted by: JennX | August 17, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

What is it with the Nats collecting dismal outfielders? Does Pena add anything to an OF that already claims the likes of minor leaguers Logan and Langerhans, plus a struggling Kearns and Church? It's hard to imagine how Pena fits into The Plan -- unless The Plan is simply to build the Cincinnati Reds of D.C. Let's hope the player to be named later is in fact Langerhans ... or Screech. It's hard to see how this is a wise move.

Posted by: Fleegle | August 17, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Also, (someone correct me if I'm wrong) JimBo likely foresees him being a 40 HR-hitting corner outfielder, but take that for what it's worth. I believe in his best year he had 26 homers, and that wasn't even a full season, it was in 300-some at-bats.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

JennX, here is my narrative on the pluses of WMP:

.

Posted by: Fleegle | August 17, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

On the blogs, I would bet they're a bunch of soul-less bureaucrats using up your (well not you, Natscan, but most of the other "yous") tax dollars. I know I am!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Evry report I've heard on WMP says he has real power, but has not done well in bean town because of limited playimg time. Coming back to the NL should be a good move for him, and lord knows we can use another bat.

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Out of curiosity where did this "WMP has real power" rumor get started? Great American Park is of the most hitter-friendly in baseball. And WMP has 67 career HRs, since 2002. Dream on.

Posted by: Fleegle | August 17, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

JennX:
Ignore Fleegle. Hope for the best. If you are consistently negative and hate everything your team does, you end up like those Philly fans we've been ranting about. It's not like we signed him to a 10-year contract. We have him for a 1 1/2 month tryout, and Boston's paying some his contract.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo: definitely NOT Plan-worthy.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | August 17, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Matt: I've been trying with varying levels of success to ignore Fleegle for the last 10 years.

Posted by: JennX | August 17, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo is beyond plan worthy. They PAID us to take him. He has tremendous power and David Ortiz sees himself in Wily Mo. Remember when Ortiz was a nobody with the Twins so they traded him to Boston? I am not saying this will happen, but it is absolutely without a doubt worth the very little risk in this deal. Unbelievably good deal, even if he never turns it around.

And no I am not Jim Bowden. But I have been hoping they'd get Pena for months. Three years from now, we'll look back on this week as the week that the Nationals became contenders.

Posted by: GoNats | August 17, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo had precisely 26 home runs in 336 at-bats in 2004. He has 40 home run potential.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Gotta think the Willy Mo "player to be named" is anyone they can get through waivers. Church, perhaps?

Posted by: swanni | August 17, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Geez guys, the Nats took a flyer on a 23 year old and gave up nothing in return (yet.) What is the problem? And don't give me any nonsense about "the plan." If "the plan" didn't include taking inexpensive flyers on guys, Dmitri Young wouldn't be here. Or in the majors.

My guess is that the Red Sox stopped asking about a relief pitcher when they got Gagne. That's all.

Posted by: amb141 | August 17, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Pena is 25.

Secondly, can we confirm his contract status? If he really is a UFA after this season, then this is really just a tryout. If not, we have a pretty full outfield (and still paltry numbers).

If Pena stays, at least the Dunn rumors are squashed (I hope). Church would move to a fourth outfielder who can play all three outfield positions.

I hope this isn't Bowden's solution to our lack of production from the outfield positions. I'm still thinking we need to look at CF options.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Out of curiosity where did this "WMP has real power" rumor get started? Great American Park is of the most hitter-friendly in baseball. And WMP has 67 career HRs, since 2002. Dream on.

Posted by: Fleegle | August 17, 2007 02:21 PM

********************

He did break my record for the longest HR hit at Fenway.

Posted by: Ted Williams | August 17, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

WMP - from 2004 - 2005, when he played enough to get 300+ ABs, he hit 45 home runs in a less than 650 ABs. Even last year, when he played regularly during Nixon's injury, WMP hit 11 HRs in 276 ABs. How many guys on the Nats roster hit 56 home runs in that period? Answer - Dmitri, and that's it (unless maybe you count Batista's Japan stats). I'm not sure if he is an FA next year - I think his service time is < 3 years. Just let the guy play every day. he's young, was rushed to the majors due to his contract.

Posted by: jon | August 17, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

John in Mlps,
Does your above comment say that you value Logan over Church? Or do you think the OF next year would be kearns in right Rowand (some FA) in center and Pena in left, with Church as the 4th and Logan as 5th off the roster?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Si.com claimed he signed a 1-year deal before this season. Perhaps that was an arbitration deal, and he's still arbitration eligible.

Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The low-down on Willy Mo:

25 yrs old (1/23/82). Not a UFA (doesn't have 6 years service time, although he's been in ML for 6 years he was in minors for part of some of those years).

Home stats: 278/331/503, 31 HR
Away Stats: 243/297/455, 31 HR

Great American Ballpark: 262/321/494

Thanks to Retrosheet.org for the numbers

Posted by: Section 418 | August 17, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If he is arbitrationelligble, if we offer and he signs elsewhere would we get compensated with a draft pick?

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

prior numbers do not include 2007.

Posted by: section 418 | August 17, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

That said, the Nats do have a pretty good track record with, excuse the expression, head cases. This is WMP's 6-week tryout for the locker room, as much as the outfield.

_______
It's not like we signed him to a 10-year contract. We have him for a 1 1/2 month tryout, and Boston's paying some his contract.
Posted by: Matt | August 17, 2007 02:21 PM

Posted by: cevans | August 17, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a big Wily Mo or JimBo fan, but.... if there is one thing JimBo can do, it's claim guys off the scrap heap. He's been doing it for three years here and that's why the Nats have been (reasonably) successful. I'm guessing the "player to be named" is somebody like Watson or Langerhans. "We'll trade you our OF we've given up on for your OF you've given up on." I think it's worth a shot. We won't be giving up any important pieces, and there seems to be some limited potential for a big upside. If the PTBN is somebody more important than I've suggested then I would question the move. I doubt it though. PTBN's are almost always pretty non-descript. In the great scheme, it's really a pretty insignificant transaction.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

amb141, the problem is that this is one more step towards doing nothing of substance in the off season. We don't need more potential. We already have Guzman potentially coming back next year and regaining the form he showed this year. We have Nick potentially coming back and being the hitter/fielder he's shown he can be. We have Kerns showing potential of being a decent corner outfielder. We have Nook as a potential Kenny Lofton type. We have Zimm being a potential .300/100/30 guy.

We don't need any more [RF]ing potential. We need proven impact players who can move us from being the worst offense in baseball.

WMP is yet another guy about whom you'd say, yeah, he'd be an OK corner outfielder hitting 6 in a really good lineup. We have enough of that already.

Posted by: joebleux | August 17, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Any word on who's coming off the 25 active roster to make room for WMP? Looks like we're exercising the same type plan we had this spring with pitchers....bring all the outfielders we can find in and let em compete for a roster spot. Only 1 more JimBow fantasy left I think...Adam (them I'm) Dunn with the Reds.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 17, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

joebleux:

Why? This doesn't change a thing about the off-season. They haven't given up on anyone important. This shouldn't stop them from going after a FA OF. To me it's a low risk/potential for high reward move.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, it's been awhile.

I am confused about something: Why did we get Wily Mo? Have we not, for the past long, long time, been discussing how our OF needs help, in the form of a big time FA like Rowand or Hunter?

I love Wily Mo, I really do. He's on my team in MVP 2005 (the Nationals of course), but I don't see what he brings that the player-to-be-named-later can't bring. We need BA more than power. Yes?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | August 17, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't disagree more Mr. JoeBleux. Worst case scenario you have more guys than you have spots for and you trade 'em for something you really need.

Posted by: GoNats | August 17, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

From Bill Ladson:

With the addition of Pena, the Nationals will move Ryan Church from left field to center, while Pena will play left. Pena will most likely bat cleanup or fifth, in order to protect Ryan Zimmerman or Dmitri Young.

Posted by: According to Bill | August 17, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I was actually going to WORK at work today, but then I accidentally went to NJ instead... so here goes.

I just want to make some kind of a shout out to all of the wonderful, beautiful, kind, loving, supportive people out there who happen to root for Philadelphia sports teams. Yes, the stereotypical Philly fan is a jerk, but we all know what happens when you put too much faith in stereotypes. As to the stories about brutal beatings, I don't think it's fair to imply (as I feel you all have, to some extent) that no one else in the world does that. Viciousness and violence aren't Philly Phan things -- they're Bad People things. And come on, you know that all Bad People aren't Philly Phans, and vice versa.

Also, I have a suggestion. Instead of booing down the other team's cheers, start up cheers for the Nats instead. And please, for goodness' sake, don't counteract a cheer of "Let's go Mets" with "Let's go Nats." It just sounds like you're helping them out. If you start a cheer with an entirely different rhythm ("Let's go Nationals," perhaps?) then positive support for your team will drown them out, leaving you with a really loud pro-Nats cheer. Just a thought.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 17, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clearing up Pena's contract status, 418.

To whomever wrote the comment pasted below, I was looking at it from the latter point of view, I think. I certainly like Church over Logan offensively, but I don't think I like the idea of Church as the every day CF. If our outfield is Pena/Church/Logan/Kearns next year, I don't know which way I'm going to lean as far as center is concerned.

Barry has pointed out several times that Church would be a good fourth outfielder on a contending team. It'd be nice to see if that's true.

-----

John in Mlps,
Does your above comment say that you value Logan over Church? Or do you think the OF next year would be kearns in right Rowand (some FA) in center and Pena in left, with Church as the 4th and Logan as 5th off the roster?

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

His OBP doesn't look too good.but those are great SLG numbers.

What are the best slgs for our current roster?

When is this deal official? Who is going to be sent down or cut to make room?

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

WOW...if it's true what *According to Bill* just posted, what the heck does that do for Nook. Seems he was just finding himself at the plate and his speed hence has become a positive aspect. I know Nooks outfield play leaves room for improvement, but, I just wasn't prepared to give up on him so quickly...not like they did with Watson or Chavez.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 17, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Not so sure I trust Bill Ladsen's scoops these days...

Posted by: JennX | August 17, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Out of curiosity, how does a guy batting .218 with 5 HRs and 17 RBIs "protect" Zimmerman and Young?

Btw I haven't seen anyone (unless I missed it) discuss the suspect fielding of Pena.

That's one more plus.

Posted by: Fleegle | August 17, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Folks -

The bottom line is that the Nats do not have ONE starting OF who would play for a championship team. I've seen enough of them to know that. Logan and Church MIGHT be 4th OFs. Letting Wily Mo play to see if he can reach his potential playing every day is worth a shot. We already know what the rest of these guys can do. And please don't tell me Nook's been hot lately. He's a below average CF who hits genrally hits about .275 with no power. He's not the answer. He's another candidate to be the PTBN.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

And yet, there you have it. Church is now the every day CF. I have no problem with that now, I just don't think it's the best idea for next season.

It does squash the Ladsonian idea of moving Dmitri to left, though, n'est-ce pas?

Will Pena* be available for tonight's game? If so, how do you see the lineup shaking out?

*I'll refrain from the Shakespearean "will" puns for now, seeing as how it's kind of a big news day.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

... thanx all, for the info on bloggers. Sect506: 'tax dollars'???

... onto the matter of WiMoPe, one question: if he cannot play CF, then why??

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Word is that Pena won't suit up till tomorrow. Which, if true, means they don't have to remove someone from the roster until after tonight's game. My vote is Nook.

Posted by: GoNats | August 17, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Geez guys, the Nats took a flyer on a 23 year old and gave up nothing in return (yet.) What is the problem? "

... plan or no plan, that is not the question. The question is why make the trade if it doesn't do anything to improve your team?

Posted by: natscan reduxit (professional conservative) | August 17, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Langerhans will get DFAed to make room, I bet.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Most important WMP question: how loudly does he cry "I've got it!"

Here's the thing with Willy Mo for the rest of this year:

We got him for almost nothing, except Player to be Named. Here's his stats for 2007:

Less than 243/297/455, 31 HR

If we don't like him at the end of this year we're still in a better position than without him. As to what to do with outfielders, I think Langerhans has the most to worry about right now. Ribs in Toronto, Ryan, we'll remember you.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a sez: "Barry's probably workin' it right now."

Section 419 sez: "Probably not, I'd say. He did previously mention that he's off this weekend for the Mets series. The Post will probably drop this news on its website whenever the intern assigned to cover tonight's game gets over to RFK."

--- --- --- ---

Section 502 sez: I suspect Barry Svrluga has already modified his weekend plans, and I do expect to see something from him in the paper or the website, if not here on NJ.

When an alarm sounds, firemen don't think about whether this is supposed to be their day off. When a story breaks, neither do reporters.

Good journalists (and Svrluga is one) tend to be motivated by the desire to get and then tell the story. And considering that as the Post's beat writer he's been developing sources in the Nats' organization since the club moved from Montreal, Svrluga knows he can get the story better than anybody else at the paper. (Frankly, whether that's true or not, that's what any reporter believes about his beat.)

It's funny, but on the way back from Cooperstown last month Ann and I were listening to the non-stop baseball coverage on XM (unsolicited plug: a service well worth the price if you spend much time in your car) and when the radio guys talked about the likelihood of this particular trade we discussed Willy Mo Pena to the Nationals. We wound up deciding it would be good for the Sox, but bad for the Nats if it required giving up anything more than a box of balls and an old-style catcher's mask. Since it sounds like that might be what we're paying the BoSox for WMP, I'm going to stick with my assessment from July but reserve the right to change my mind when the "player to be named" is named.

Posted by: Section 502 | August 17, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the idea here - and I'm coming around to it myself - is that, for virtually no cost, the Nats potentially upgraded in LF. If Pena reaches the potential some see in him, it's a significant upgrade. If he tanks, it still doesn't hurt the team.

The Nats aren't in a pennant chase, so they can take a chance on the guy and give him a tryout.

-----

... plan or no plan, that is not the question. The question is why make the trade if it doesn't do anything to improve your team?

Posted by: John in Mpls (Freelance Liberal?) | August 17, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

And how!

-----

Ribs in Toronto, Ryan, we'll remember you.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The fact that they are moving Church to CF for the rest of the season is good news. It means they don't think Nook is the long term answer. Play Wily Mo every day and see if he's got anything. Sign a FA CF. Then decide who among Pena, Logan, Church, and Kearns you keep. The Nats so badly need hitting at the top levels of their organization, it cannot hurt to give him a shot.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Note that the deal happened right after NJ checked in for more surgery. This makes it even more unlikely Da Meat will be chasing flies & frees up a potential slot in the OF, whether Hunter/Rowand decide to move here or not.

Look at it as an audition. If he flunks, the team can non-tender him in arbitration.

Posted by: Section 418 | August 17, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

RIBS in TORONTO?!

Posted by: Atlanta | August 17, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Philly fans. As I said before I wore my Card's hat to Cards/Philly games at Veterans Stadium in the 70's with no problem and there were no problems in my section the last two seasons. I always thought the baseball fans were a cut above the Flyers' and Sixers' fans (both with whom I had unpleasant experiences back in the day).

I do not know why we got Wily Mo but congrats to y'all who predicted we would obtain him (I personally thought you were smoking banned substance either of the Cuban or Grass variety). It does not cost us anything and could be a plus if Jimbo is proved correct in his enthusiasm.

Question: Any comment from anyone on the Dude who flits in and out of this Blog with the "Sorry to see you go in December Barry" post?
Barry ignores it as have you all. I must say it has me a bit apprehensive.

Posted by: Sec 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | August 17, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The obvious choice to disappear is Tony Batista. Say what you want about Wily's career so far, who would you rather see in a late inning pinch hitting situation: Pena or Batista? Fick stays as the backup 1B and lefty PH (as bad as that is) and Nook stays as a DR and PR (defensive replacement and pinch runner)

Although, it would seem to make some sense to just platoon Pena and Church in left. Pena's 271/342/472 vs. Church's 255/338/398 against LHPs.

I'd be willing to bet the PTBNL is not someone on the 40 man roster right now. The Sox didn't have room for Wily, they won't have room for the dregs of the Nats's 40 man.

Posted by: Kirk | August 17, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Here's a scouting report on WMP from sportsnet (maybe written by Jimmy B):

"Assets: Pena has great size and five-tool ability, excelling with runners aboard. Combined with his drive, he projects to be a formidable player.

Flaws: There isn't a pitch he doesn't like to swing at, particularly against righties. Unfortunately, his bat doesn't always make contact on those swings, piling up the K's. His defense is a work in progress.

Career potential: Star outfielder when he finally gets a chance."

I think this one goes firmly in the Bowden "stockpiling potential assets off the trash heap" category. Is WMP potentially better than Church/Langerhans? Sure. So you make the deal. Do we still need a free agent CF? Absolutely.

Posted by: Chet | August 17, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

OK #4...I'm coming around to see it your way...what the %*&% anyway. Not like we're playoff bound this year. Nook would be a nice fit on a team that already had a power hitting outfielder on board, a .275 hitter with speed is not a bad asset to have...is it?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 17, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Question: Any comment from anyone on the Dude who flits in and out of this Blog with the "Sorry to see you go in December Barry" post?
Barry ignores it as have you all. I must say it has me a bit apprehensive."

Somebody remember to ask him next chat. I don't delude myself enough to think Barry reads all our posts. I suspect he skims and scans as he is able to, because he does find them interesting. Though Mrs. Nationals Journal ought to read them all and quietly laugh to herself at how her husband came to be worshiped by a bunch of obsessive geeks for being an obsessive geek. I know *I* wish I could figure out how to do it!

I hadn't thought of it before, but does anyone think that JimBo in no way has lost confidence in Nook? Maybe he's trying Church and Pena (what's the character map code for the accent?) out for fourth outfield, planning on moving in Rowand or Hunter for left and keep highlight-reel diving Nook in center? You'd get Nook's glove (which is good and his eye is getting better) in center as a fast, slap-hitter (which has its uses) and an upgrade in the outfield.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It does improve your team. Willy Mo has to be better than Robert Fick. We already have Young & Batista at first.

Posted by: NatsFan | August 17, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

10 pinch hit RBIs, third-most in the league, according to the stat box next to the gamer a few days ago, if I remember correctly. I think they hang on to him for a right-handed pinch hitter.

Langerhans, on the other hand, has become redundant. Do the Nats really need a fifth outfielder and another left-handed pinch hitter?

-----

The obvious choice to disappear is Tony Batista.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Now if only you could get him a pair of lungs...

---
You'd get Nook's glove (which is good and his eye is getting better) in center as a fast, slap-hitter (which has its uses) and an upgrade in the outfield.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I think we should have seen this coming when they moved Logan back to hitting 8th.

Bottom line - this team needs more pop, WMP gives us (some) of that. Moving Church to CF gives us little loss in defense and WMP gives us much more offense. Logan might do well in a PH/PR roll.

As a roster move this is fantastivc, our 3 weekest players are Langerhans, Fick and Jiminez - now 1 of those 3 is replaced by a guy who can hit in the heart of the line-up.

For next year I see us getting a true CF hitter, if we can, and church is our 4th OF (if he isn't traded).

Tonights line-up;
1. Lopez
2. Belliard
3. Zimmerman
4. Young
5. Pena
6. Kearns
7. Church
8. Schneider
9. Chico

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you'll see Pena tonight.

Posted by: GoNats | August 17, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Pena's in today, esj (according to an earlier post this thread: "Word is that Pena won't suit up till tomorrow."). Also, how DO you do the tilde in WMP's name on a PC?

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 17, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm no expert in crafting lineups, but when I think about the possibility of adding Torii Hunter in center, I get a little excited.

Keeping Pena and adding Kearns - as well as hopefully adding a healthy Nick and Guz - would allow some of these guys to hit in more appropriate slots in the order. Barry has repeatedly pointed out that Zimmerman and Kearns would ideally be hitting lower in the order. Imagine if that could be true.

And man, if you have Belliard (L), Young (S), and Church (L) coming off the bench, that's quite a boost.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

WMP-- aaarrgh, no!! I did my time with this guy as a Reds fan prior to '05, I really don't want to suffer with his strikeouts or key errors again. I would much rather have Tony Batista up in a key situation than Wily Mo Pena. The guy is like a heavier version of Nook Logan -- all the tools that look good to scouts, but can't play, has no baseball instincts.

All that said, WMP is better than Robert Fick...but then again, so are half of the ushers at RFK. If Fick is the guy displaced, fine.

Church moves to center...I think this is a precursor to an Adam Dunn acquisition in the off season.

Too bad JimBo didn't go for the other end of that trade and get Arroyo. A good pitcher in a bad enviornment having a bad year. Nice third starter in my opinion.

Posted by: Ray | August 17, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I really do not like WMP. He is Langerhans with a bit more pop in the bat. Sure, if he hits the ball it will go far but everytime I've seen him he looks to be an easy out. There's not much a threat when you know you can throw junk out of the strike zone and he is going to swing (and miss) at it. I hope that "PTBNL" is not anyone halfway decent.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | August 17, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, but either someone finds out really fast, or we have to dump him at the end of the season. This WMP stuff is starting to get to me.

Yeah, I know, that's coming from a guy who types "Mpls" with every post.

-----

Also, how DO you do the tilde in WMP's name on a PC?

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm coming around to Wily Mo Peña on a 6 week tryout. Cheap tryout, hopefully light a fire, and find out if playing everyday will help him find his groove.

Just posting now so you can copy and paste his name without having to worry about typing the tilde.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Ray:

I don't think the Nats plan on having Church play CF every day next year. This is not a Dunn precursor. Now, they may add Dunn AND a CF, but they won't play Church in CF full time.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Piling on to: "10 pinch hit RBIs, third-most in the league, according to the stat box next to the gamer a few days ago, if I remember correctly. I think they hang on to him for a right-handed pinch hitter.

Langerhans, on the other hand, has become redundant. Do the Nats really need a fifth outfielder and another left-handed pinch hitter?

-----

The obvious choice to disappear is Tony Batista."

-----

I did a quick count with mlb.com and found in one plate appearances (the best I can do to track pinch hits) Batista is 6 for his last 10 with 5 RBI. I'm willing to revise the narrative on Tony from the days when he was worth some cold hot dogs.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ok, now that we have a copy-paste sample text:

As mentioned above, IF WMP does find his groove during the next 6 weeks, the Nats get a steal. If he doesn't, we hurt our chances of hitting the 75-win or .500 mark a bit. With the cash from Boston, we're getting paid to give him a tryout for the rest of the season with consistent playing time.

Langerhans has got to be the one on the outs, although Fick is possible if we feel ok in Batista at first. Perhaps all the haters of the Meat-switch late in the game will get their wish.

Player to be named:
if this is determined at the end of the tryout:
Good performance: Brandon Watson/Nook?

Bad performance: Micah Bowie? groundballing lefty

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I have to think that Bowie is worth more than that. I can see him the bullpen next year as a guy who can be both a situational lefty and a long reliever.

-----

Bad performance: Micah Bowie? groundballing lefty

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure that a Player to be named can not be on the 40 man roster.

Posted by: natrat | August 17, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

#4 -- I think you're right that the Nats don't plan on having Church play everyday, but they may just want to see him out there for the rest of this season in case they can't close the deal on any of the FA's. (I'm really warming up to the idea of Rowland out there, even though he had a tough series here.) I still think Dunn is coming though notwithstanding who ends up in center.

Langerhans is better than WMP even with his batting average on the interstate. But for some reason Langerhans has lost favor and I have a feeling that he may be the one that is gone. But I'm hoping and praying that its bye bye Fick.


Posted by: Ray | August 17, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

You don't know that JB didn't give up someone of value until you learn who PTBNL is. Usually the PTBNL is on the DL because you cannot be traded while on the DL. So look at the DL and assume one of those players is PTBNL.

Disabled List

Bergman
Bowie
Colome
Patterson
Simontacchi
Wagner
Guzman
Johnson
Escobar

Posted by: Tom | August 17, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Over 200 replies again. Awesome.

Of that list, I think Escobar or Simontacchi would cause me the least pain.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The PTBNL can be anyone. With more thought, the PTBNL will be one of the 7th inning relievers that the Nats have stockpiled (Bowie, Bacsik, Booker, Rivera, Schroder, Abreu). The Red Sox probably structured the trade this way so that they could add the guy after September 1st. That way they don't need to send a P down now, and they don't waste anyone's options. I'm sure they're looking for insurance with the way Gagne has started.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

John Mpls -

I'm with you that Bowie has a role here in DC land. I wasn't dissing him any, especially after he stepped up beyond the call of duty this year.

Maybe I should've started with the question: Does anyone know the ground rules (if any) for PTBNL?

I thought PTBNL can be selected after a pre-determined time based on performance during that time, similar to my Good/Average/Poor performance scale. Do the teams agree on who the player(s) in question would be up front?

And, as natrat asked, is there any restriction on PTBNL and the 40-man roster? I think I've remembered a PTBNL being on the team at the time, but now you got me thinking.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Can we still send them Vinny Castilla? How about a bag of used balls?

Maybe I will be proven wrong again (never though that inviting 37 pitchers to spring training would result in a decent starting rotation). I guess if the price on the back end is low it is worth a shoot. But seriously, if he was not putting dents in that wall in left in Boston what chance does he have in cavernous RFK for the remainder of the year as a try out? Plus, he defense is how shall we say - not good.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | August 17, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Fick's not going anywhere. He plays 1B, LF, RF, and (most importantly) catcher. He's needed in case Flores is used as a pinch hitter and then Schneider gets hurt. Notice how Manny NEVER burns him as a pinch hitter. That's a small part of the reason you see him go in for Meat in late innings.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Tom:

Good point about the DL angle. I hadn't thought of that. Maybe it's Escobar? That would trading two guys who need a change a scenery.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

For what we are about to receive let us be truly grateful! Welcome Wily Mo! And how 'bout some gratitude for Churchie! Two game winning home-runs in 5 days, 265 avg (best of the outfield) and does anyone else remember his game-saving catch into the left field wall in Pittsburgh that separated his shoulder, put him out of action for most of the season, and, had any of us attempted it, would have had our survivors collecting death benefits?

Posted by: flynnie | August 17, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

worst case scenario:
Guzman (SS)
Lopez (2B)
Young (LF)
Johnson (1B)
Zimmerman (3B)
Pena (CF)
Kearns (RF)
Flores (C)


Posted by: Next Years Lineup | August 17, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Fick mans the positions at 1B, LF, RF and (most importantly) catcher, but he doesn't really PLAY there. The play last week in LF when he turned spectator and forced Lopez to attempt a ridiculous over the shoulder catch should have gotten him a pink slip by itself.

But I agree, he's probably not going anywhere. I really wish Manny and JimBow would explain their allegence to him, because I don't see how he merits a spot on a major league roster.

Posted by: Ray | August 17, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I understand your frustration Ray, but really... who else is there as a third catcher/utility guy. If he was better, he wouldn't BE the third catcher/utility guy for the Nationals, he'd be a position player.

This brings up an important, oft overlooked, place we need to fill on our team in the off season, but I'm afraid will have to wait until Fick outright breaks or the position players get better: Third catcher/utility guy.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

While I've never been all giddy about Wily Mo, he might well be a good fit in Nats Park, especially if he gets to play every day.

Another positive: Bowden now has one fewer unrequited man-crush. He and we need to get this [RF] out of our systems before we get ready to cough up some coin for the Big Name Dude(s).

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Did Boz not call this year?

"This Nationals team does not have the dismal attitude, the dreary clubhouse atmosphere, the palpable cloud of depression that follows a breathtakingly awful team. An upbeat club, even if it lacks talent, can only be so bad. Knowing that you can't be a good team doesn't curse you. Hating your situation, rather than working realistically to improve, is what blights a season."
Tom Boswell, Washington Post Sports, April 20, 2007
I am grateful for this team, which, contrary to expectation, is, in most games, a good one. And I am grateful for the free ticket I just got, and am off to the game, where I would have gotten my BarryBook autographed, had Barry not stolen it.


Posted by: flynnie | August 17, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note on the Nats site to the effect that:

Born in Lagunda Salada, Dominican Republic, Pena is reunited with Nationals manager Manny Acta, for whom he played during World Baseball Classic. Pena went 4-for-10 (.400) with one RBI and one run scored in three games during the inaugural tournament.

Posted by: Chet | August 17, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to consider. If we got rid of Fick, how would we censor ourselves? ;)

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 17, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Dewar's(tm) Profile:

Name: Hendo

Age: 44

Location: Silver Spring, Maryland

Occupation: Medical informatics consultant

Undergraduate major: Mathematics (at a Jesuit-run institution of higher learning, so plenty of right-brain exercise too)

Marital status: Single (probably best for all)

Current project: Running around like a chicken with its head cut off as I try desperately to get out of the country for the MedInfo conference in Brisbane next week

Quote: "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." -- Earl Weaver

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

[WMP]

(just kidding - for now)
--------
Another thing to consider. If we got rid of Fick, how would we censor ourselves? ;)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Since everyone already attributes the team's way-above-expectations play to Manny's great relationships with everyone, I'm thinking this is very, very good news.

----
Born in Lagunda Salada, Dominican Republic, Pena is reunited with Nationals manager Manny Acta, for whom he played during World Baseball Classic. Pena went 4-for-10 (.400) with one RBI and one run scored in three games during the inaugural tournament.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 17, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Boz's sentiments in April weren't unique; anyone who went to spring training saw what was happening here was positive.

I just wonder how Boz knew what was happening with 'both area teams' from his perch in Oriole Park.

Posted by: Ray | August 17, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering, in light of today's comments about the Phillies, which team you guys are pulling for to win the division. I think we're all realistic enough to rule out the Nats and Marlins, so it's a three-horse race with six weeks to go.

Obviously, we all want the Nats to win every game they have left, so I'm not asking you if you want, say, the Phillies to beat Washington so they have a better shot to overtake New York.

Personally, I hate the Mets and abhor the Phillies, so I'm kind of hoping the Braves pull it off. That being said, there are always subplots and ulterior motives, and I'm open to hearing them. I've got another forty minutes to kill at work, Barry's off today, and the Peña trade talk really requires him to have an at bat as a Nat (take that, Seuss).

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Church moves over to CF?!? Huh?!?

I thought he was a more naturally-suited corner outfielder. Didn't Svrluga/Boswell/Sheinin say that at some point in the past year during a chat or something?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 17, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

John:

This is a great question for which I struggle too find an answer. I have in three years developed a healthy dislike for all three teams. However, I kind of dig the Mets' mojo. I think Reyes is an unbelievable player, and I've always been partial to the Latin flavor of their roster. Saying I like them best among the three is like saying 1 is more than zero, but if I have to pick one it's the Mets.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

John in mpls:

I keep having this idiotic, irrational, ridiculous wish in the back of my head that says "there's still hope" for the Nats to go on a 20-game winning streak and completely blow up the NL East race. I know that's grounds for admission into a lunatics' asylum, but there you have it.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 17, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

this is exactly what we do not need at this point in time. So we picked up another "power-hitting" outfielder, just like Kearns and we all see how he has been working out so far.

Church moving to center field won't be near as bad as everyone is saying. He at least has a baseball head on his shoulders and isn't afraid to take charge of the outfield, something LangerLogan refuses to do.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 17, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

NOTE: Of Church's 3 errors on the season a grand total of 0 of them has come in CF. Even though more than a third of his put-outs have come in center.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 17, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

natsinthevalley:

Having watched Church play CF a lot last year, I can say that he does not have the range of an everyday MLB CF. 0 errors are nice, but he's not running anything down in the gaps to make an extra special catch. I thought his lack of range killed the Nats numerous times last year. His sum total as a CF isn't much different than Nook, but the point is that neither of them is the answer at that position.

Posted by: #4 | August 17, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Ship me off to the loony bin; I'm with Juan-John :)

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 17, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, your scenario is delightfully absurd, but I have to admit to allowing the same notion to creep into my head as I drift off to sleep every night in my Nationals pajamas.

#4, you've been such a rational, logical voice up until this point. Man, how I hate those Mets. I'm sure we merely disagree on our degrees of contempt, so I'll let it slide.

But to go a step further - will you root for the NL East winner in the playoffs? In basketball, I always root for the ACC because I'm a Maryland fan. But man, when Duke is playing...

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 17, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"I just wonder how Boz knew what was happening with 'both area teams' from his perch in Oriole Park."

Boz's son is an avid Orioles fan and they like to talk baseball. He's mentioned this a couple times. He has stated, unequivocally, in some chats in the past that he is a Nats fan. But I imagine he loves his son and so hears about the team from him and works in the Sports section of a national newspaper and so has time to hear a bit about a GREAT DEAL of major league teams.

Church in CF: Don't expect it to last. The real question is "who plays left field next year?" Church just conveniently is on a hot streak with power numbers, so it would be dumb to sit him down. Of course, I would like to see him go right and sit Kearns down since Logan is on a tear too.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I'll root for the Mets in the NL East because I think Willie Randolph is a pretty good guy. I also would like them to lose right away. My roommate is from Atlanta (in grocery store, I say, "look Pepsi is on sale", from three aisles away I hear, "we're not getting any [RF] Pepsi!") so I want them to lose. Besides, I want them to have nothing to distract from Michael Vick. Woof. And I hate Philly, as you may recall.

I have to admit, I am pulling for the Cubbies to go big in the post-season, but only in return for the loving devotion my Cubs-fan girlfriend has given to the Nats on behalf of me.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

okay, dumb question ..

Is "Wily Mo" a nickname for something, or is that his actual full first name ?

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | August 17, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I gotta go with the Mets if it comes down to those 3...that [RF] tomahawk chop and the annoying music that brings it on is more than I can tolerate.

But beyond that....well, if the Nats aren't in the playoffs, my heart belongs to Boston (OR...anyone but the Yankees)

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | August 17, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Barry's Babes:
The origin of Wily Mo:
Wilfredo Modesto ("Wily Mo") Peña

It's a pretty good Wikipedia entry, and already updated to reflect his being on the Nats, of course!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wily_Mo_Pena

Ok all, off to the park! Go Nats!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

From nationals.com and baseball-reference.com, we learn that the full name is Wily Modesto Pena. Welcome aboard, Wily Mo.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Depend on Wikipedia to get the rest of the name and ShawNatsFan to do the rest of the legwork. Welcome aboard, Wilfredo Modesto.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Haven't been on last few days. Actually on vacation. Will update on personal stats later. Since this group has, more or less, become a community there should be a separate section for us to update. Maybe that should be some sort of feature (if x # of posts, you get admission to a restricted area).

I think that I can explain the loyalty and attachment to Fick. He has never been a star. He is, primarily, a catcher. He watches 140 games a year from the bench. He communicates with almost everybody. He absorbs knowledge. He knows the organization. Pencil him in as coach /minor league manager/scout/whatever in '08 or no later than '09. You not only have to develop players, you have to develop staff.

BTW, don't think that getting WMP automatically keeps DaHook at first. If the Nats are going after a 40 HR guy, they need to do it in either the OF or 1st. NJ looks less and less like the answer. If you open up 1st (DaHook going to OF) you increase your possibilities.

Also, Please, please, please remember: They won't be in RFK next year. Long fly outs will be dingers and having three speedy defensive outfielders will be redundant. Probably! We won't really know 'til next September.

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 17, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I worked in NYC and spent a lot of time there in the 90s, in that time I developed an intense hatred (not as bad as philly) for all things Yankee. I surrounded myself with Mets fans and attended as many games as I could. So if someone has to winthe NL east other than us I would rout for the mets, then braves, marlins, prince of darkness and then finally the end of the world - all before philly.

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, you read my mind regarding Fick. May Number 13 bring us luck and hard work for many seasons to come.

"We won't really know 'til next September."

Whammy warning: Why not October?

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo Trade-Day Lineup (For Entertainment Purposes Only):

1B - Young
CF - Church
3B - Zimmerman
RF - Kearns
2B - Belliard
LF - Pena
SS - Jimenez
C - Schneider

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

WMP didn't play today for Boston so he is theoretically available. Does anyone have confirmation on him being or not being available for tonights game?

Even better, does anyone have tonight's line-ups?

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Nats:

Lopez - 6
Belliard - 4
Zimmerman - 5
Young - 3
Kearns - 9
Church - 7
Schneider - 2
Logan - 8
Chico - 1

Mets:

Reyes - 6
Castillo - 4
Wright - 5
Beltran - 8
Alou - 7
Easley - 3
Green - 9
DiFelice - 2
Glavine - 1

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

When I said September, I was referring to OxBlue Park, not roster.

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 17, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, re September: Me too. But I'm thinking the NL East will be just a little more interesting in '08.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know the timeframe for naming the new ballpark. I'm hoping we copy the one good thing our immediate neighbors up north did and name the park and the location.

Maybe US Government Park at Buzzards Point

Posted by: estuartj | August 17, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else have the game blacked out on MASN2?

Posted by: 1938FratStreet | August 17, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like da Meat got props (or maybe a dose of ribbing) from Rickey Henderson just now on that good catch.

Alas, the Wright kid spoils the party.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Wats with all the negativity we got a potential 30+ HR guy, w/ tons of potential for, basically nothing...Pena isn't a FA till after the 08 season so he'll definetly get his chance to show what he's worth plus he adds more power to our line up...As ppl have already none of our current OF's put fear into anyones heart so this is definetly an improvement!!

Posted by: GMU | August 17, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

1938FratStreet, don't know about MASN2 (being cable-free), but the game is on My20.

Which I forgot to look for until just now, so thanks for the aide-memoire. Not to diss the ever-enjoyable calls from Charlie and Dave on 1500, but I just love to see both Chico and Glavine pitch.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Possibly the prettiest DP of the year by the Mets just now. Damn.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Barry & fellow Nats' fans,

Hoping Mets' pen melts down in 9th!

A thought for next year - has the team considered platooning Church and Kearns in RF or LF? I think Kearns has good stats against lefties and Church against righties but not when they face a same side pitcher.

Together, they might add up to a good hitting outfielder.

Posted by: Natswriter | August 17, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The PTBNL has got to be one of the 7th inning guys named by #4 at about 4pm this afternoon (Bowie, Booker, etc) considering the mess that Gagne has been. I just hope it isn't King; WMP isn't worth King. I have no problem with this trade if it is a 6-week try out. Church in CF for 6 weeks is, imho, also a try out and probably his last one in DC b/f the Nats decide who to go after in the offseason (Jones, Hunter). Net-net, I think it's possible we gave up a replacable part for a 6-week trial who won't be here next year.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | August 17, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Had to leave the park early and just arrived to the game in time to see Zimm's double and RBI by Kearns. He might actually get 50 RBI!

Maybe I missed it, but has any announcement been made about who gets kicked off the island to make room for Wily Mo?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 17, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Y'all:

1/ since I have never been to DC, my most favourite city in the world is still New York, New York, that toddlin' town. Been a Yankees' fan since Whitey Ford threw BP. So if the Nats can't emulate the Mets, I'd accept the real Mets as my choice to win the division ... and taken to its logical conclusion, to win the whole ball of wax.

2/ let me ask all you amateur scorers a thing or two. If a regular CF has a range of say twenty feet on either side, and drops a ball within that range, I assume it's an E. But then let's say a fill-in CF who only has a range of ten feet comparably, doesn't reach the same hit ball and therefore doesn't get to drop it. Is the second play scored as a hit or an E?

To say it another way, Logan runs down a fly ball only to drop it = E; Church doesn't make it to the same ball = Hit or E?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 17, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Since Bacsik and Schroeder pitched tonight, don't think they would be part of the trade (same about King). I'm guessing Bowie or Colome. As for getting kicked off the island, think it has to be Langerhans (who did get in the game and struck out).

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | August 17, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm betting Langerhans.

Pro: Manny Ramirez isn't getting any younger.

Con: Langerhans' hitting.

If the "con" can get solved -- which may require resolution of some serious issue; I'm thinking it might be as bad as a torn labrum or something -- the Sox have a guy ready to fill the hole when Manny stops being Manny.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

natscan exposes the naked emperor: "Logan runs down a fly ball only to drop it = E; Church doesn't make it to the same ball = Hit or E?"

The answer is that the scoring of an individual defender's performer matters, but not so much as the performance of the defense as a whole. If you run Church out to center (and if your assessment of his fielding is accurate), better have a LF with range to pick up the chances on that side, and same for the RF on his side.

On-base-percentage-oriented teams, which I otherwise admire, have ignored this truth to their demise. I'm thinking Oakland A's here.

Posted by: Hendo | August 17, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm betting PTBN ends up a minor-league pitcher. Did we get PTBN from the Snelling deal yet?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

GHF: Fish lost tonight too.

GHE: Is Chico just too tired to pitch anymore?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

HOLY SMOKES, BRIAN SCHNEIDER IS THE GREATEST PLAYER ON OUR TEAM!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Nationals#Career_records

Somebody better look at this Wiki...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, there are like 78,000 outfielders on this team, but when it comes time for a player to be sent down, it's Chico? Jesus, guys, I realize this season has been a stretch for him, but all he's done has been show up every five days and pitch. Show me someone else on the Nationals in the last two years (other than Livan) that's done that. Chico?!?

Posted by: Atlanta | August 17, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Not too worried about Chico. He hasn't been traded, just sent down. It's a bummer, but he'll probably come back up September 1. We're about to play some tough teams and he's just not pitching very sparkly. I sense things are about to throttle up a little and although Chico gets a huge pat on the back, steady-but-so-so isn't quite enough.

Natscan: you asked about the tax dollars? I believe he (506?) meant that a lot of us are government workers (read: paid by tax dollars)and we're wasting them by spending all day reading and commenting on this blog. I know present company can be included in that statement. One of the reasons I won't 'fess up to my profession! ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Only TWO runs out of TEN hits?!?

[RF] [RF] [RF]!!!

I like Chico's attitude about being sent down to AAA Columbus, especially since he's never actually PLAYED in AAA before (if memory serves, he made the jump to the majors straight from AA).

My kingdom for a first-pitch TAKE from Langerhans one of these days!!

With two outs in the bottom of the 9th, I kept thinking, "If Lopez and Belliard can somehow just get on base, Zimmerman could at least tie the game and then Young, Kearns or Church could..."

{sigh}...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 18, 2007 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Chico's demotion is a momentary puzzlement, but there are multiple currents in the stream, and each must be reckoned with.

On the one hand, when you start the season by inviting 37 pitchers to spring training, at some point in the campaign it is painfully likely that you will have too much pitching. (Not that this staff is to be confused with that of, say, the '71 Orioles, to be sure.)

On the other hand, there is a dearth of hitting on this club. It's not Matt Chico's fault that his team only got him two runs last night.

On the other hand, we still have a couple of good hitters in sick bay.

On the other hand, Chico has been struggling mightily of late.

On the other hand (if you're counting hands, you may have guessed that Ganesha is the Hindu deity that I find most interesting), that *was* Tom Glavine out there for the enemy last night.

Not everything will sort out at once. September will ease some pressure, though, and offseason work by the FO will ease some more.

And Matt'll be back in '08 (not to mention in September '07). Bet on it. Someone with his attitude isn't gonna just flame out.

Posted by: Hendo | August 18, 2007 4:58 AM | Report abuse

It's great that Matt Chico has gone to the post every time he's been asked this year. He should be applauded for that. However, we need to take a sober look at his year. His recent long stretch of ineffectiveness can be chalked up to one of two things:

1. His conditioning isn't very good. He's thrown 132 innings. That's not very many folks. If he has a tired arm, either he's not taking care of himself or the Nats training staff is again not doing their job. If a tired arm is the reason, I'm guessing the latter.

or

2. He's not that good. Let's remember he was the 2nd best prospect in last year's Arizona trade (Garrett Mock being the first). He was widely seen by MLB scouts as a potential #5 starter at best. Again I think he deserves a pat on the back for what he's done this year, but he has a limited amount of focus and talent. I'll bet he's not in the Nats' or anybody else's rotation in April 2009.

To John in Mnpls:

Scratch what I said about the Mets. After enduring all the Mets' fans at RFK last night, I'm no longer rooting for them. If the Nats don't go on a 20 game winning streak, I vote that the NL East simply does not send a representative to the play-offs.

Lastly, I leave this morning for a business trip and will have no internet access for 6 days. I will miss these discussions. I'm hoping WMP has at least 4 dingers by the time I return.

Posted by: #4 | August 18, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Just catching up, but I see no mention above of the fact that WMP and Churchie are to platoon in left. Did no one else catch this during the game broadcast last night? They showed Manny discussing how he broke the news to Church.

Posted by: JennX | August 18, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

And Juan-John steps up with the first Will Shakespeare reference in tribute to today's trade.

---

My kingdom for a first-pitch TAKE from Langerhans one of these days!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, you all have been busy! Guess Barry's vaca *did* start yesterday. We may have to break out a Mr. 300* posting soon..

natsfan1c and I went to the Montgomery County Fair last night (which I recommend for locals who like good old-fashioned agricultural fairs). I was representin' with my Nats cap and baseball seam bracelet and, as was the case last year, there were plenty of others there doing likewise. I didn't even see one person in the gear of, well, you know, that other team that plays in Maryland (the baseball one, I did see people from the football one that plays in Maryland but has a Washington name).

#4, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who isn't going to root for someone else to take the division should the Nats go on a super tear and suddenly be contending. As usual, I'm gonna root for my boys to be spoilers and take some teams down, and to play hard down to the wire to get the best possible record they can. I can root for an NL team in the postseason, but not for a division rival while my team is still playing down the stretch. Or perhaps I misunderstood the question. If so, never mind...

We'll miss you, #4. Have a good trip!

Oh yeah, and math, Hendo? I had you pegged as an English or Lit major. The right-brain workouts must have served you well (as a lefty, I'm always in my right mind...)

---

Scratch what I said about the Mets. After enduring all the Mets' fans at RFK last night, I'm no longer rooting for them. If the Nats don't go on a 20 game winning streak, I vote that the NL East simply does not send a representative to the play-offs.

Lastly, I leave this morning for a business trip and will have no internet access for 6 days. I will miss these discussions. I'm hoping WMP has at least 4 dingers by the time I return.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

JennX: are you serious about the Church/Pena platoon? Yikes. How DID Manny tell Church? I really hope it doesn't mess with his head.

On the other hand, I wasn't terribly excited about the alternative either--Church in CF with Logan out completely. Even though Logan's fielding has been a little smelly, he's sure been hitting fine. And I just don't see Church having a lot of range out there. He's just not the sprinting, diving, leaping kind of outfielder we want to see in CF.

Hm. As I'm writing this, I'm wondering if Manny's not just thinking it's Church's turn. Logan got through the platoon and came out hitting better, maybe it's time to give him a chance and make Church take a turn platooning? I dunno. All I do know is that if St. Barry were here, we would have had the full scoop on this last night. Sigh...

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

506 (AM): When I first saw your link, the first thing that came to mind is that Fick has played another hilarious joke on Schneider. You think?

____
HOLY SMOKES, BRIAN SCHNEIDER IS THE GREATEST PLAYER ON OUR TEAM!!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Nationals#Career_records
Somebody better look at this Wiki...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 17, 2007 11:51 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

To take or not to take. That is the question...

---

My kingdom for a first-pitch TAKE from Langerhans one of these days!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I said: "...All I do know is that if St. Barry were here, we would have had the full scoop on this last night. Sigh..."

Sorry Steve Yanda. I came here first before going to the WashPost Sports section, which answered all my Church/Pena platoon questions. Great job on the Notebook, gamer, and the WMP story. One request though: could you suck a little? We'd like to keep Barry around and it would be easier if he didn't have such a good backup.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Tis true, NatsNut. Even made the 35 cent edition in Barry's absence:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/17/AR2007081701236.html

I didn't catch the whole thing as I was in the midst of getting ready to go out to dinner (the Blue Duck Tavern rocks btw) and just had the tv on in the other room. I heard Manny say that he had a talk with Church and broke him the news... maybe someone else can fill in with more detail. I was busy putting on eyeliner. ;)

Posted by: JennX | August 18, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Getting WMP reminds us of what this season is about - finding some usable parts for the future. We have an outfield full of major-league average or worse replaceable parts (sorry Ryan C. and Austin, I hung in there as long as I could). Why not take a flyer? We're not gonna learn anything new about our current outfielders this season. The weird fascination wiht the Nookster will continue I bet. And it's a very unsettling feeling to have a flutter of optimism and excitement when Tony F. Batista pinch hits - I trust him as a PH more than WMP for sure. Fick stays as the third catcher.

Who goes from the 25-man roster? Bye bye Ryan Langerhans. His ceiling offensively is below league average, even giving him a pass on the current reality.

Who's the PTBNL? Has "the Plan" (tm) developed enough minor leaguers to have spare parts to deal?

Posted by: Geezer | August 18, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

... let me say this: I'm not upset that WiMoPe is coming our way. But I don't see him as the great Latin hope for the Nats. My concern was who goes down to make room for Peña?

... now I know. Matt Chico! I would never have suspected that. What it tells me is that in spite of all the praise lavished on Randy St. Clair - praise well-deserved IMHO - it has to be said that someone fell asleep at the wheel while Matt went from promising rookie hurler to a kid playing over-his-head in the bigs too soon. How can that happen? The only explanation I can come up with is that Randy is simply over-worked and has far too large a workload.

... but to demote a pitcher doesn't make much sense considering the pitcher selected is the guy who has been the most consistent in terms of appearance. Two rough outings can and surely have happened to others in the past. But why not send down a role player - Jiminez, or Batista? Or another bullpen arm like Bacsik or Rivera? Clearly if WiMoPe must be here, someone else has to go, so bite the bullet and sacrifice someone, but not a guy who should stay up.

... nonetheless, Chico is now back where he will get the best chance to regain the form he showed earlier, but hell, it was at quite a cost. Matt is far from being down and out in this game, but this morning I have to ask "Was this trip necessary?"

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 18, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Geezer: As much as losing Langerhans would make sense, alas, Chico is the 25-man roster casualty for Pena.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"... wondering if Manny's not just thinking it's Church's turn. Logan got through the platoon and came out hitting better ..."

... but is it just me, or does anyone else also feel that Church hasn't given any indication lately that he needs "a turn"? It seems to me he's been doing relatively well at the plate lately; seems to me it started at the end of the trade deadline talk, when he found out he was staying. While I'm willing to accept he may benefit from it, I just don't think he NEEDS "a turn".

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 18, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

So this means that Mike Bacsik takes Chico's next two turns in the rotation? Until Chico's back after Sept. 1?

Posted by: Kirk | August 18, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

You all are thinking of this from the wrong perspective. Stop being fans hoping to make .500 and start being a GM hoping to get a jump on picking next year's team. After all, real games are a lot better than spring training.

So, you acquire WMP and want to know if it stands for Weapon of Massive Power. Great. Someone has to go on the 25-man.

Is it:
1) Langerhans, the supposedly superior fielder who is really struggling at the plate? No, because then you have to release him or have him clear waivers, which limits your ability to trade him - and someone WILL trade for him.

2) Nook or Churchie, two fourth outfielders who look like they've finally got it together and therefore make even better trade bait this winter

3) A reliever from the best bullpen in baseball. Keep in mind, all your guys with options (Schroder?) are the ones that also need more appearances to evaluate them next year.

4) Lannan or Hanrahan, two young starters that might be people you want on the team next year.

5) Chico. A guy you've seen all year long, who has options, and can come back on September 1. You can replace him with Bacsik from the bullpen without having to make another move and thus not lose control of a single player, while still getting a hard look at some possible ones for next year.

The answer is obvious. It explains both Chico's optioning and the LF platoon.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 18, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Sect506:

... not sure to which post your comments refer, but since I was one of those who decried the demotion of Chico, I'll respond.

... I can only comment as a fan, since that is who I am. As a fan, I want the manager and GM to make decisions which appeal to me and my 'fan-ness'. So when the choice is made to demote Chico, I as a fan, respond by putting myself in Matt's place. That means I feel short-changed and disrespected since I have done all asked of me.

... as a fan, I see the team as a group of individuals, and as a cohesive unit - both at the same time. If a move is made for the good of the team and its future, that's fine with me. But its effect on the individual player must also be voiced. That's what my comments mean and where they come from. It might make all kinds of managerial sense to choose Chico, but it takes a human toll, and I don't want that forgotten.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 18, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Couple of comments, and Barry really has to write something soon. This thread is getting absurdly long.

I'm about to bail on Nook. Sure he's got speed, but most of it is wasted. Last year we saw Soriano make strides, almost game by game to become a better outfielder (BTW, you'd think that the Yankees would've made that move years ago). I haven't seen anywhere near that improvement in Logan. Yes, you can have a slap hitting CF, if he can all but cover line to line and almost never make mental errors. That seems not to be happening with Nook. And he does not seem to be improving.

Until the young arms begin to be ready for the Majors, the Chico / Bascik / whoever scenario will continue. Assuming that Detwiler is more than he has shown, so far, that is one advantage. He is 22/23, not 18. I would expect him to show up at the tail end of '08, ready to pitch at this level. Those in VT probably won't be ready until at least '09 and maybe '10. Mr. Stanford U. is probably pointed towards '11. OTOH, with relatively limited work, he probably has less chance of arm injury at a young age. If you want to know how prevalent that is, look in the pica type in Baseball America at the TJ surgery list among 19 & 20 y.o.s.

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 18, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey, heads up if you're going to the game tonight and thinking about donating blood at the blood drive: You should call the Red Cross at 1-800-448-3543 ahead of time to make an appointment. It's going on all day, 10-7 I believe.

Also, the blood drive is not actually AT the stadium, but right around the corner at 1901 Independence Ave, SE.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This is where we really miss Barry when he's gone. He would know how it was pitched to Chico. Obviously, publicly you can't say "we're having try outs for next year" because it will hurt morale and piss off the fan base. But privately, it's easy to say "Hey, Matt, we've been happy with your work, we're sticking you in Triple-A because of the situation, you can work on some things while you're there, but if not for the roster juggling needed you would stay up here."

Barry could get that sense from folks.

Besides, it's Chico, he just hides stuff deep down to come out in therapy in forty years.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 18, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Pros for donating blood:

two free tickets to a future game
may see Chad Cordero
help mankind
cheaper buzz

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut asks a favor of Steve Yanda: "could you suck a little? We'd like to keep Barry around and it would be easier if he didn't have such a good backup."

There's good and then there's good. And Yanda is good. But AFAIK he hasn't yet started peppering his stories with the occasional "adorn" (Svrluga) or "debutant" (Sheinin -- I like to fell outta my chair when I read that).

When he does, look out. Style like that helps keep the Post sports page eminently readable.

Posted by: Hendo | August 18, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I for one don't get this wily mo and church platoon. Why don't they platoon our worst outfielder, kearns, with wily mo? Church has definitely proved his worth this year and his stats are all better than kearns...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 18, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the info on the 9/23 game. Please keep posting that stuff until the last minute. I get back home from a South Africa trip on 9/21 (my retirement celebration!), and I'm looking forward to that last home game! Just think, next year, I can go to all these day games at the new stadium...

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | August 18, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Sneaking in one last post before I head out of town:

1. The platoon has to be with Church. WMP's a RH hitter. Church is the only LH hitter in the starting OF. I'm still disappointed they don't just play WMP every day for 6 weeks to see what he can do.

2. Someone mentioned that they hoped to see improvement from Nook in CF. Position players are what they are at 25. He turns 28 this November. Unless one is trying something completely new - like Alphonso in LF - there isn't going to be marked improvement. There's a reason guys cease being prospects after the age of 25. It's because they usually don't improve much. We've seen Nook's best. It's not good enough.

3. I'm still playing the "guess the PTBNL game". Seeing who played/pitched last night and who didn't is irrelevant. I'm guessing they don't send anyone to Boston until at least September 1st. I doubt Boston wants to send anyone down now. The only thing I don't know is if the player arrives on 9/1 or after, is he eligible for the post-season roster? Does anyone know? I know if the trade is made after 9/1 he wouldn't be. How about these PTBNL situations?

4. Sending Chico down makes perfect sense the more I think about it. He's useless for another 4 days anyway. Bergman might be activated to take his spot in the rotation. Meanwhile you have an extra bench player for 4 games. It's a good strategic move. When Bergman's activated, one of the bench players, probably Langerhans, will go. In the mean time, someone might get hurt or soemthing else may happen. There's no reason to trade one position player roster spot for another right now.

Posted by: #4 | August 18, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Natscan,

It has become pretty apparent that you don't know much about baseball. This blog would be more enjoyable if you lurked silently for a while and stuck to hockey. Your 2 posts below that I have excerpted are just examples of your nonsense, here's why:

1) You are worried about the "human toll" on sending down Matt Chico??? You have it completely wrong, dude; if anything, any human toll would have been imposed by having him pitch in the big leagues this year and letting him get knocked around well before he was ready for this level, as everyone acknowledged (similarly inane is your fantasy about McGeary pitching for the Nats in 2009).

2) You are a Yankees fan, and a Nats fan, and you would be happy to see the METS win the World Series? I can't stop laughing. Real Yankees fans never root for the Mets, and if you had ever been to DC and a game against the Mets at RFK, you would understand why real Nats fans can't either. Let me try to translate for you: that would be like a Rangers fan pulling for the Islanders to win the Cup, or maybe a Habs fan pulling for the Leafs to win it (though these days, since all the Canadian hockey teams are so bad and never win the Cup, maybe you do in fact pull for each other).

I know you want to learn about baseball, and that is commendable. Maybe you should stop posting so much, and watch and learn for a while. Thanks,

____________________

1) ... as a fan, I see the team as a group of individuals, and as a cohesive unit - both at the same time. If a move is made for the good of the team and its future, that's fine with me. But its effect on the individual player must also be voiced. That's what my comments mean and where they come from. It might make all kinds of managerial sense to choose Chico, but it takes a human toll, and I don't want that forgotten

2) since I have never been to DC, my most favourite city in the world is still New York, New York, that toddlin' town. Been a Yankees' fan since Whitey Ford threw BP. So if the Nats can't emulate the Mets, I'd accept the real Mets as my choice to win the division ... and taken to its logical conclusion, to win the whole ball of wax

Posted by: tired of natscan | August 18, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

What would this team look like if MLB had ever owned them for the few years they did. Guerrero would probably have resigned, we would still have J. Bay and Sizemore. Pretty impressive outfield that would be rated one of the best.

Posted by: Long Time Franchise Fan | August 18, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

What would this team look like if MLB had ever owned them for the few years they did. Guerrero would probably have resigned, we would still have J. Bay and Sizemore. Pretty impressive outfield that would be rated one of the best.

Posted by: Long Time Franchise Fan | August 18, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

To whom it may concern (I can't address you by moniker since you chose to post your anti-natscan screed anonymously):

First, I'm assuming that you are new to this forum, as we tend to avoid flaming each other here and you do not seem to be aware of that (the Washington Post guidelines, which you may have noticed at the bottom of your screen, do ask us to refrain from personal attacks).

Second, natscan has been an active and valued participant in this forum from its early days.

Third, natscan is an elder and has been a fan of this franchise since its Montreal days. In many areas, not only that of baseball, one could learn much from him if one was open to the possibility.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

ToN, you can easily pick out Natscan's posts because he follows the quaint Canadian custom of beginning a sentence with three periods rather than ending it with one.

So it seems like it would be trivial to just not read his postings if they upset you so.

Maybe you just need to find a cool place and lie down for a while. You seem cranky.

Posted by: joebleux | August 18, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a, your assumption is wrong; I'm not new to this blog. As to your point 1, let me remind you that natscan recently jumped all over other posters for critiquing the Post's coverage of the Nats, even though that is surely a legitimate topic of discussion. He apparently didn't like those posts and said something about it, and I don't like his, and I explained why I don't. Same difference.

_________

First, I'm assuming that you are new to this forum, as we tend to avoid flaming each other here and you do not seem to be aware of that (the Washington Post guidelines, which you may have noticed at the bottom of your screen, do ask us to refrain from personal attacks).

Posted by: tired of natscan | August 18, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

ToN: Dude, chill. One of the coolest things about Natscan is that he is a *BASEBALL* fan over and above any single team. That the man is in Canada, transferred his Expos love to the Nats when most of us would HATE the city/team that took our team from us, hasn't even been to a Nationals game, yet STILL shows up here, cheering the team on and simply contributing his opinions and baseball love, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. This goes a long, long long way in making him a much more welcome contributor than a cowardly know-it-all who can't keep it light and friendly.
But thanks for sharing.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Can't help posting again.

To Tired of natscan:

I pride myself on openly disagreeing with people on this blog whenever possible. Disagreement and discussion make to world a better place. However, let's disagree without being disagreeable. Holy Cow, your screed is being the pale. I for one will bail on this blog if people start ripping each other like this.

Posted by: #4 | August 18, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I mean to say "beyond the pale". Where's my proofreader.

Posted by: #4 | August 18, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Just checking in today with our push for 400* on this string.

First off, the hatin' on Natscan is a little harsh, man. There's been nothing but positive thoughts coming from New Brunswick all season, and because his fan-ness doesn't fit your definition of fan-ness (I don't think you gotta be a hater of another to be a fan of your team - isn't that what we're complaining about Phillies and Mets fans for doing?) I don't agree with you questioning his way of cheering. Also, it's a wimpy way to post in anonymity when you're hatin' on a pillar of this community. You don't have to love him, but step out with conviction if you're cutting down someone.

Re: Chico - I'm pretty ok with the decision. In fact, he's shown plenty this year, and that's a good thing. My personal take is that his arm/head is a little wiped out - for starters it isn't just about innings pitched (all the warm ups and off-day throwing) but times on the hill matters and he's shown his stuff.

Re: the Sox and PTBNL...
To be on the playoff roster, you must be on the Aug 31 roster. However, if they want PTBNL on the playoff roster, they can send someone (a starter who has just thrown, similar to Chico's situation) down or on the DL before Aug 31, and call back on Sept 1. Dunno who, but just sayin'

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 18, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

#4 are you a split personality, because I'm pretty sure that was you who vilified natscan.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

wow, my mouse just collapsed while trying to scroll through this whole string.

I forgot about the platoon situation. I'm agreeing with the post about platooning with Kearns - he's the one who needs to pick things up a notch and has seemed to comfortable with .250.

My take is that if we're gonna see what WMP is about, let's see it. Especially when lack of at-bats are cited as the reasons for his struggles this year. Platoon Church and Kearns (RH bat) or Nook (RH bat). Hopefully he gets his feet wet quickly in a good way, and we maneuver the others the rest of the way.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 18, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ah... the wonders of the anonymous internet. Perhaps like in letters to the editor they should make us sign our names so that we cannot be accused of being mean spirited by other anonymous cowards. In the mean time, I'll continue to always post using my handle.

Posted by: #4 | August 18, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Okay - I'm back. Did anything of note happen?

I can't believe it. For two weeks before the trading deadline I'm checking NJ 40 times a day. Then, I am forced out of cyber-space for a week by the necessary administrative work of a new semester only to come back to a nearly new team. Smoaker, McGreary, and Pena here - Johnson and Chico gone.

What have y'all been doing in my absence? Keep it up (I think). Disappointing about Johnson and Chico though.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 18, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

>> 2) You are a Yankees fan, and a Nats fan, and you would be happy to see the METS win the World Series? I can't stop laughing. Real Yankees fans never root for the Mets, and if you had ever been to DC and a game against the Mets at RFK, you would understand why real Nats fans can't either. Let me try to translate for you: that would be like a Rangers fan pulling for the Islanders to win the Cup ... <<

This is nonsense. First of all, Yankee fans don't have to begrudge the Mets their success. We have 26 World Series to comfort us. And, these days, Yankee fans have respect and affection for the Mets' manager. If you have to ask why you aren't paying attention.

This notion that someone can only get pleasure from and root for only one Major League team is puerile.

Posted by: amb141 | August 18, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

And, while I am here ...

Barry, I know you have the weekend off -- but WE WANT BLOG!

Posted by: amb141 | August 18, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Not nonsense at all, notwithstanding your say-so. Willie being the Mets' manager doesn't change that. You are right that it is childish to suggest that a baseball fan can only root for and get pleasure from one team winning (though I don't think that your use of an intentionally intellectual-sounding word like "puerile" makes you any more correct). But there are certain things that real fans don't do.

Real Yankees fans don't root for and get pleasure from the Mets, any more than they can root for the Red Sox (which made 1986 quite the dilemma). If you disagree, perhaps you aren't as much of a fan as you fancy yourself. And when the Nats fans rise even close to the same level of passion as Yankees fans, that will be a very good thing.

---

This is nonsense. First of all, Yankee fans don't have to begrudge the Mets their success. We have 26 World Series to comfort us. And, these days, Yankee fans have respect and affection for the Mets' manager. If you have to ask why you aren't paying attention.

This notion that someone can only get pleasure from and root for only one Major League team is puerile.

Posted by: nats fan on U Street | August 18, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

don't know what the etiquette on the blog is, but Gordon Edes in the Boston Globe reported in their $.50 edition this AM that an unidentified source says the the PTNBL is an AAA 1st baseman in the D-Backs system - Chris Carter. How the Nats get him I don't know, but maybe an NL waiver claim and they ship him to Boston after the season. Here is the link to Edes story: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2007/08/18/pea_goes_to_nationals/ Sorry Barry - you got scooped, but for an extra $.15, Edes has to earn it.

Posted by: jon | August 18, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"don't know what the etiquette on the blog is. . . " Right now, Jon, I don't really either. I don't know what's up with the not-so latent hostility, but personally I think you should all get over yourselves. I don't even know what the topic is anymore. So. . . Wily Mo in for Church tonight. Discussion? I love it when we stockpile mediocre outfielders. LOVE IT.

Posted by: Atlanta | August 18, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

re: Prez race Saturday night. Anyone notice the irony of the Secret Service agents guarding Lincoln? He'd have lived if he actually had them in real life.

Posted by: Ashburn | August 18, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Wily mo has a hit and 2 runs so far, but that merely raises his average to a tepid .222. One easy play in the outfield. So my jury is still out.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 18, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

How many times lately has Felipe Lopez come up with 2 outs and men on base, and blown it? What exactly is he providing in this lineup, or on defense with a lot of lazy plays??

Posted by: frustrateed | August 18, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Won't a position player need to be shed to make a slot for a pitcher to replace Chico? Or will the bullpen be an arm short for 2 weeks?

And ToN, really. This blog is full of nice folks who educate each other as they share opinions. If you know more than the rest of us please raise us up, don't knock us down.

Posted by: Geezer | August 18, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Bummer,
Welcome WMP, and a classic case of a couple big plays at opportune times and it's a different ball game.

Hopefully catch some of you at the park tomorrow. I'm staggering a bit after giving blood and having a bevvie or two.

;-)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 18, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Langerhans just got DFA'd, per Nats news. Colome activated.

Posted by: Ashburn | August 18, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

A guy goes out of town for a day, and has to spend two hours catching up...

I didn't get to watch too much of Saturday's game... sounds like Wily Mo had a pretty good game.

I liked Langerhans, but it makes sense.

The Nats are going to go through the same process again (and again) as pitchers come off the DL.

So, riddle me this... How about this outfield (in no particular order): Kearns, Rowand, Pena, Church?

We're one free agent signing away from that.

(thank goodness the Cubs signed Zambrano... think how ugly it would have been to have teams swooning over him...)

Fishing again tomorrow.

Posted by: Wigi | August 19, 2007 3:17 AM | Report abuse

I liked Langerhans, too. Heck, he inspired one of the best blog calls of the year (RIBS in Toronto??). Seriously, I know he struggled with his hitting, but I'll miss his defense.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. I see we're still participating on the same posting.

Anyone else think this lack of new postings while on weekend vacation before a 10-day road trip is Barry proving to Mrs. NatsJournal that he can go cold turkey for a couple days?

Mrs NJ: "Isn't it enough that you're on the road or at the park all the time? Now you have to be checking in and posting on that darn blog all the time with updates and player/coach/FO insights. And, there are a lot of women on that blog too, right?"

Barry: "Uhhhh (in his best podcast Uhhh), I can go without NJ for a weekend, promise. See, I won't post for the whole 3 days and the group will keep going without me. And, it's mid-August, not like anything substantial's going to happen. I mean, the non-waiver trading deadline has passed without any moves, Chico's still playing over his head, and Langerhans is stinking up his platoon but is still a left-handed bat. What in the world could happen while I'm off?"

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Loved the dialogue, SNF! Say, perhaps the Nats activity is due to a Nats Journal Non-Posting Whammy Phenomenon (or NPWP)?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I've been at the park or otherwise occupied all weekend while you guys have been tearing it up over here.

I'll just report these few things:

I think J. West is the worst MLB umpire I've ever seen.

Willy Mo hit the ball HARD when he hit it last night. This makes me believe the line from Lopez (via Ladson) about him having power.

On the basepaths and in the outfield he was NOT fast, leading me to call him "slow Willy Mo"

One of Willy Mo's outfield catches last night was Logan-esque only instead of running back first and then up to the ball, he ran straight into it ... a little to much. But he made the catch so we won't dwell on it.

I'm not negative about having Willy Mo (yet), I think his right-handed power (for the sake of this argument) gives Acta a lot of options.

On a ball hit to left center Logan clearly communicated to Willy Mo, something I haven't been asking Logan to do all season.

Ricky Henderson knows a thing or two about stealing bases. One of the things I've learned this season is how much of a difference the basecoaches can make.

Flores is a good catcher, but I think his playing the ump with framing pitches and the like is too un-subtle. Teach him, Schneider.

Losing stinks.

Posted by: i hate walks | August 19, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Don't think we're going to hear from Barry this weekend, bummer!

WMP - I don't get it. Granted, it doesn't cost us much cash or roster spots to guys who deserve it. But, what good is a 6 week try out?? He's been in the bigs since '02, playing fairly regular since '03. Even if he might be a late bloomer, what can you tell in 6 weeks?

What worries me is that it's not just a 6 week tryout, that they will go through arbitration w/ him and sign him for '08 and try him on in LF and not sign another PROVEN LF in off season.

Still hold out hope for Rowand or Hunter in CF but I don't think we're going to the playoffs w/ Pena in LF.

His numbers;
Career; BA - 256, OPB - 312, SLG - 46, OPS - 780, RC/G (my favorite saber stat) - 4.9. Projections based on 162 games; HR - 24, RBI - 68, 2B - 20, K - 154!!!!, BB - 31. That is a very average starting LF.

My research from Baseball Reference for the '06 season shows that guys w/ a primary position of LF (sometimes a judgment call) and at least 300 AB average; BA- 281, OBP - 369, SLG - 500, OPS - 869, HR - 24, RBI - 78.

Even in '04, his best year, 110 games and 336AB's his numbers were below those averages.

I can go to a bar and find a guy who can hit upper deck HRs in BP, the problem is he has only demonstrated a limited ability to do it in real games. His '04 numbers project to at best 35 HRs not 40. Above average sure but that is only a projection.

I don't like it. Bowden is just re-building the Reds here and they were never a consistent contender under his guidance.

Not happy. Still hope for big time CF in off season and get Guzzie back to '07 form next year, either Johnson back at 1B or Young stays there, Kearns has a better year, Lopez/Belliard at 2B, Zimm continues to improve, pitching staff stay slightly healthier and they could easily be above 500.

OK, we need Barry back.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | August 19, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, remember that WMP cleared waivers. That means no one wanted him at his current salary of $1.875m, including the Nats. And the Sox were about to send him to the minors.

We always talk about what would a guy be on a contending team? Well, on the best team in Baseball this year, Pena is a minor leaguer. Don't get it.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | August 19, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I think WMP did well enough last night to earn himself another night of playing. My philosophy is this is a try-out. I say, don't put him in Center, since I still want to fill that slot with Aaron Rowand. But we need to decide if Churchie or WMP should be the starting LF next year. We know Church. Can hit for power, tolerable fielding, sucker for curveball low and away. If WMP is better, we keep him, trade Church. If he's not, we can WMP, keep Church. It's win-win. And if Church sulks, he just ups our incentive to ditch him. If he's a pro, it ups our incentive to keep him.

Anyone else excited to have Everyday Colome returning? Rivera needs a break, he's pitched-out.

To the guy who flamed natscan, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wish you had expressed your feelings on what it means to be a fan WITHOUT targeting one of the pillars of this community. Natscan brings something very special to this blog and he should never be silent. When he errs, as you accuse him of doing, and someone corrects him, he always learns from it and thanks the corrector, which is a model of grace that I know I - and most of the rest of us - could benefit from emulating.

But as you posted, your interesting thoughts on what it means to be a fan that could have lead to a fascinating exchange have been overshadowed by your mean-spirited attack on someone respected and appreciated. Not only have you offended Natscan's friends, but you have robbed the blog of a line of discussion that could have proven fruitful.

And as to the Yankees thing, I think it has something to do with his childhood, if I remember correctly. And if you have trouble with people having fond memories of their childhood, you're a tool.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 19, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

But of course...

all's well that ends well...

---

Anyone else excited to have Everyday Colome returning?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Please Shawn Hill, give us a thrill; prevent that nasty sweep. On this day, let us play a game we'd like to keep. That new outfielder in RFK, his name is Willy Mo; please contribute to a Nats win, before on the road you go. Not to nice, those Phils & Mets, what they've done to our Nats; but it all could have been different, if we would have wielded some power hitting bats.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 19, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Yup, SC Nats Fan, that about sums it up! I do want to see some real power hitting out of Wily Mo - if last night was representative, it's pretty clear that no one is looking to him for his fielding work, which seemed as clueless as Nook, only slower.

Posted by: Traveler | August 19, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm on board with that, SC Nats Fan!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Lineups just posted - ALERT!
(I'll try to get the full lineup asap)

CF - Kearns
LF - Church
RF - WMP

Get after them Hill.
Nick Johnson (the other NJ) on the pre-game show now. MASN2

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Nats:
SS - Lopez
2B - Jimenez
3B - Zimmerman
CF - Kearns
LF - Church
RF - Pena
C - Schneider
1B - Fick
P - Hill

Mets:
SS - Reyes
2B - Castillo
3B - Wright
CF - Beltran
1B - Green
RF - Milledge
LF - Anderson
C - Alomar
P - Hernandez

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 19, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

You know... if you're gonna take Nook out, and put Pena in right, it seems to me that you should leave Belliard and Young in... and really stack the lineup with bats. Who cares if it is Sunday....

Posted by: Wigi | August 19, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Man, dumb play by Kearns running inside the line. Smart play by El Duque to hit him (looked intentional to me). Bad break by Kearnsie - he hit the ball hard.

Did y'all see that Shawn Hill slider to strike out Milledge? NASTY!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Radio just pointed out to me that Langerhans is DFA. I guess that explains which 4th outfielder Willly Mo is replacing.

Posted by: i hate walks | August 19, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's a shot...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ho, Wily Mo!

Welcome to the first of hopefully many more HRs to come!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Since Barry is a taking a few days off, I thought it would be interesting to read what other newspapers have the Nationals ranked in their MLB power rankings.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch writers Rick Hummel, Joe Strauss and Derrick Goold have the Nationals ranked at 21 this week. Their comment is fitting, "Acta should be manager of century if he keeps this club under 90 losses."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Meyer's Power Rankings has the Nats at 22.

The Seattle Times' Larry Stone has ranked Washington at 23. His comment about the Nats is a bit snarky, "As long as Jim Bowden is in baseball, Wily Mo Pena has a job."

Yeah, well Mr. Stone, WMP just crushed a ball just below the upper deck. Go Nats!

Posted by: Viva Livan | August 19, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess that blast will answer the questions remaining about Willy Mo as a power hitter.

A "tremendous blast" per Slowes.

Posted by: i hate walks | August 19, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Nats, Wily Mo Pena! A monster blast, just below the upper deck!

Posted by: Viva Livan | August 19, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

On another note, this thought kept recurring for me during this homestand:

These days I think all of us could legitimately post with "i hate walks"!!!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

From the "Glass Half Empty Department:"

Before you get too in love with Wily Mo Pena, remember that Preston Wilson hit a home run in his first AB with the Nats.

From the "Glass Half Full Department:"

Wily Mo Pena is no Preston Wilson.

Posted by: Wigi | August 19, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I think I first started following this blog about the time that the Nats were playing in Chicago, where I saw 2 of the games, and both might have been won, or at least would have been respectable if there had been fewer walks, including instances of walking in runs. When I saw "i hate walks" my reaction was, yes, that says it all, my feelings exactly! However, the name was already taken...

Posted by: Traveler | August 19, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I like this new outfield set up better having pena play right, kearnsie in center, and church in left. I don't think the defense will suffer with the loss of logan because kearns usually gets a great first jump on the ball.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 19, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ladson is hinting that Kearns in center is more than a one-time deal. I'm curious to see how long this set up works - I like the idea on the offensive side but do think we lose a bit with Kearns in center.

If you're not putting WMP in left, I'm thinking it is better than putting Kearns in left and Church in center, despite Church spending some more time there in his career.

I sure hope this lights a fire for Kearns and adds some real pop to the lineup. Guessing that WMP is thrilled to be out of Boston's logjam in the outfield.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Natsinthevalley:

I agree with you, provided that Kearns is able/happy to stay in CF. A lot of the criticism of Logan is that he starts off in a bad position (breaks back, breaks incorrectly, etc), but uses his speed to get in position to make the play. Kearns is slower, but seems to make the right choice.

I am of the mind not to give up on either Kearns or Church as hitters (even though I have suggested trading Church). I believe life will be different in the new park for hitters... but the other thing that I have thought was important was a power threat... now they have it, and I will be curious to see how Pena affects the hitting chemistry of the team.

(I still think they shoulda left Belliard and Young in today...)

Posted by: Wigi | August 19, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Well...at least we are figuring out who's going to be here in 2008 and who is not. Rauch is making a bid not to be here.

Posted by: Ed | August 19, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else ready to put Rauch and Rivera in time out for about a week? I am so tired of the Wookie being unable to even pretend like he is a major league pitcher. He's tired. Sit him down and let some other folks take a shot. I mean, Billy Traber could come into a game and give up four runs while only getting only one out.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 19, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I've been a big Rauch fan over the past few years. Filthy stuff when he's on - a couple weeks ago I thought he was unhittable.

Seeing him this week has me thinking he could use a rest. Colome is back, Ayala has been awesome, and Schroeder is really bringing it. I'm with 506 on giving Rauch and Rivera a little breather.

I do hope Chief gets a lot of work this next week though, as we gotta get some leads against Houston, Colorado, and LAD.

On a tangent, as someone who was in Yucatan last week (hence my absence), I'm feeling for those in the way of Hurricane Dean. Glad it mostly avoided the D.R. and the Nats camp there, although Jamaica seems to be right on path today. Wondering if the hurricane will have any impact on Houston/Galveston this week...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 19, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please. Both of you go sit in the corner, now, and think about what you did... Seriously, I would think that they could use the rest and that having Colome back would help.

---

Anyone else ready to put Rauch and Rivera in time out for about a week?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Some GHF thoughts (from a radio-listening perspective today):

1. Florida lost, too, so we're still just one game back.
2. Wily Mo showed his HR power when it counted and sounded as though his fielding may have been better in right.
3. The Nats are heading to Houston, where the team hasn't played all that much better than us.
4. Every Day Colome returns.
5. No more "Jose" song serenades for a while (priceless, that one).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Also GHF: Quality start by Hill.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

>> I still think they shoulda left Belliard and Young in today... <<

I think the mistake was letting Fick hit, and not having Young pinch-hit for him. Takes away the automatic walk (with only one out), and preserves the possibility of keeping Hill in the game (pitch count only at 80-ish)...which turned out to be crucial. And yes, let Young play the field in the 8-9 innings.

Still don't know why the Nats didn't trade Rausch at the deadline. They've got a surplus of relievers, and Rausch has shown nothing special, even when he's on...which he hasn't been the past several appearances. Sit him down, please.

Posted by: Ashburn | August 19, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a very astutely observed: "No more "Jose" song serenades for a while."

The solution, which I hope all of us at future games vs. the Mets can use frequently, is (first) for the Nationals to get the putout against Reyes, then (second) for all of us in the stands to sing "He's out," to the same melody as the "Jose" song. (Try it at home, it works just fine.)

Posted by: Section 502 (with a suggestion) | August 19, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note from the Twins-Rangers game, where Johan Santana struck out 17 Rangers... six of those strike outs were of former Nats Brad Wilkerson and Marlon Byrd (three each).

Posted by: Wigi | August 19, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sect. 502, I will give that a whirl at the next opportunity. Last night in the section (right field) where I was sitting, we mostly just booed the singers down, but I don't want our players to think that I'm booing them (that's not how I roll). I've also heard opposing fans singing the "Jose" song when Reyes makes an out. Maybe it's my imagination, but it seems to me that Nats fans have improved a bit at "protecting the house" in the past few years. Or maybe I've just been sitting in particularly feisty sections lately (I'm not a STO, so I'm a bit of a nomad).

---

The solution, which I hope all of us at future games vs. the Mets can use frequently, is (first) for the Nationals to get the putout against Reyes, then (second) for all of us in the stands to sing "He's out," to the same melody as the "Jose" song. (Try it at home, it works just fine.)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, make that "not a STH."

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Boy, it is not fun going from the hottest team in baseball to the second coldest team in baseball (won 3 of the last 10). Who shares our woes? None other than the Milwaukee Brewers. If my Cubs-fan girlfriend actually followed the Cubs (she doesn't, she follows the Nats, she's not a practicing Cubs fan) she'd be licking her lips.

Which brings us to rain in Chicago. While they're busy worrying about whether they can lengthen the distance between themselves and the Brewers so that they can fold spectacularly in the post-season, we're disappointed because it screws up our GB/A list. Because I don't want to wait up to find out the result since 1) I'm still annoyed at Cards fans from my trip and 2) Zambrano is an animal, I introduce a choose your own adventure list. If the Cubs lose or the game is called, go to page one. If the Cardinals win, go to page, uh, one. But further down.

But first, the coldest team in baseball...

Chicago White Sox. ONE for their last ten.

30. Tampa Bay (47-76), .382 (-7.5)
29. Pittsburgh (52-70), .426 (-2)
28. San Francisco (54-70), .435 (-1)
25. Chi Sox (54-69), .439 (-.5)
25. Cincinnati (54-69), .439 (-.5)
25. Texas (54-69), .439 (-.5)
24. NATS!!! (55-69), .444 (--)
23. Kansas City (55-68), .447 (.5)
21. Florida (56-68), .452 (1)
21. Houston (56-68), .452 (1)
20. Baltimore (57-65), .467 (3)
19. St Louis (58-62), .483 (5)
-OR-
19. Oakland (61-64), .488 (5.5), if the Cards beat the Cubs

FINALLY, since people are beginning to notice how wrong they were about the Nationals not being the worst team in baseball history ("Oh, Manny Acta is just manager of the century, that's it. Otherwise, we would have been right, blah, blah, blah...") I inaugurate a new Sunday night feature.

Henceforth, I will post what the record of the Nats for the remainder of the season must be in order to NOT ONLY not be the worst team ever, NOT ONLY not be the worst team in baseball, NOT ONLY not be the worst team in the National League, but ALSO MATCH (or one-up, depending on the rounding of that particular day) their record last year, WITHOUT Alfonso Soriano, Nick Johnson, Marlon Anderson, Jose Vidro, or Jose Guillen. Actually, scratch that last one since he was useless last year.

The Nats must win 17 of their remaining 38 games. That's taking at least one in the 12 remaining series and 5 more here or there.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 19, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sect. 506, for the GB/A and the new aspect you've introduced, which is terrific. You're the best!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

p.s. Okay, I'll admit it. I've been calculating the margin needed to match (or, gulp, best) last year's record as I sip my morning cuppa joe for while now, which is probably why I love Sect. 506's idea.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Full disclosure: I used my secret government spy satellites to steal the idea out of natsfan1a's head.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 20, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

G'day from Brissie, for those who care.

I go away for THREE STINKIN' GAMES and y'all let it get to THIS? Bitter Hendo is all fired up. ;^|

Nice work by Hill. Also by the Pena kid. (How many would have moved Kearns to center? I wouldn't have thought of it. Disclaimer: I am still bleary-eyed, and haven't read all y'all's posts quite yet.)

Posted by: Hendo | August 20, 2007 2:59 AM | Report abuse

It never occurred to me to put Kearns in CF, but once they did I just slapped my forehead, "of COURSE!". Makes perfect sense to me.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 20, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

My bad, Sect. 506, as I forgot to don my tinfoil hat yesterday.

---

Full disclosure: I used my secret government spy satellites to steal the idea out of natsfan1a's head.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

No problem, natsfan1a. Wear the one with the "Make Way for DucklingS" pattern. It looks a lot cuter on you than the "Big Momma's House 2" one.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 20, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey, (Bitter) Hendo, glad to know that you got there safely. Looking forward to hearing more when you are less bleary-eyed.

I wouldn't thought of Kearns in center, either, but as NatsNut noted, it makes sense.

---

G'day from Brissie, for those who care.

I go away for THREE STINKIN' GAMES and y'all let it get to THIS? Bitter Hendo is all fired up. ;^|

Nice work by Hill. Also by the Pena kid. (How many would have moved Kearns to center? I wouldn't have thought of it. Disclaimer: I am still bleary-eyed, and haven't read all y'all's posts quite yet.)


Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sect. 506, for the stylin' tips!

---

No problem, natsfan1a. Wear the one with the "Make Way for DucklingS" pattern. It looks a lot cuter on you than the "Big Momma's House 2" one.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

No computer at home this weekend, so I just had to scroll through two and a half days of posts. Yowza. You guys have been busy (and one of you has been mean).

My baseball weekend consisted of a wet St. Paul Saints game (American Association of Independent Professional Baseball - not even minor league), featuring Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. at first base.

Then, I got to see Santana strike out 17 in a two-hit win against the Rangers, whose lineup, as Wigi points out, features ex-Nats Brad Wilkerson and Marlon Byrd (as well as Nats fan-favorite, Jarrod Saltalamacchia).

But then I come back to read of the sweep and Chico's demotion. Ouch.

But the good news is Barry's coming back, and the Nats move on to the DisAstros. A four-game sweep there should have us all smiling by Friday.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 20, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it's about time to drag out the Plante again ...
"How would you like it if you were sitting in your office and every time you made a mistake, a big red light went on and 18,000 people jumped up and started screaming at you, calling you a bum and an imbecile and throwing garbage at you." --Jacques Plante, NHL HOF goaltender


_______
Anyone else ready to put Rauch and Rivera in time out for about a week?
Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 04:30 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

And now for some good news:

Right-hander Jason Bergmann had his third rehab start [Saturday night], second with Columbus, and he pitched six shutout innings against Triple-A Toledo. Bergmann struck out six and walked one. He threw 84 pitches -- 57 of them for strikes.

Question: If Bergmann is called up, who goes down?

The official site states Bacsik is slated to take Chico's spot in the rotation, which would fall on Wednesday (just three days of rest for Bergmann).

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 20, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I like the Plante quote and agree with the sentiment, anonymous, but, for the record, it was not I who posed the question re. Rauch and Rivera. Rather, I was one of several who responded to it.

---

Looks like it's about time to drag out the Plante again ...
"How would you like it if you were sitting in your office and every time you made a mistake, a big red light went on and 18,000 people jumped up and started screaming at you, calling you a bum and an imbecile and throwing garbage at you." --Jacques Plante, NHL HOF goaltender
_______
Anyone else ready to put Rauch and Rivera in time out for about a week?
Posted by: natsfan1a | August 19, 2007 04:30 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Happy Hendo is back, if still monstrously jet-lagged. (Getting my laptop back up to speed helped. It was looking a wee bit puny yesterday morning.)

Just a note on the sweep -- Nats runs scored in the respective games: 2, 4, 2. If we had twelve Walter Johnsons on the staff, there's no guarantee that the outcome would've been different.

Let's put up some big tallies in Houston.

Posted by: Hendo | August 20, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

i think BA has had Kearns as CF in Nats projected lineup ever since we got him. Nook definitely makes more sense as a PH or PR. This team won't be fully established this offseason so Wily Mo could play well here. I like how the Tigers kept adding one stud FA each year until they suddenly appeared out of nowhere. That timeline could fit Nats perfectly.

Posted by: thePlan | August 20, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Over 91 hours since Barry's last post...

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 20, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious Plante quotation!

I still standby my statement, though. Rauch and Rivera have looked extremely shaky their last few outings and have both been lit up. You can't have watched Rauch on Sunday and not thought "what is going on?!" Most of the hard hits that came against him were on early pitches in the count, too, it's not like he worked himself into holes.

I'm not saying he's worthless, I'm just saying something is up and now that Colome is back, giving both him and Saul more time to relax is an option that we should take.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 20, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The Plante plant was mine; I gotta start signing these before I enter the comment.
Didn't watch Sunday, but yeah, something *is* going on .. and on, and on, and on: Manny is working the guy like a rented mule -- of COURSE good hitters will take your lunch money under those conditions.
My point was more aimed at the Phillie-esque "what-have-you-done-for-us-lately" tone I thought I was seeing. A slippery slope, people.

Posted by: cevans | August 20, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

This string is unbelievable, you guys have been seriously busy! And yes, someone was definitely sipping on Haterade this weekend.

I really hope Slow Mo Pena does well here, he brings some serious beef. Church is definitely trade bait this off season.

Posted by: G-town | August 20, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, cevans. You won't hear any "Burrell Sucks" chants coming from me. I just think Rauch and Rivera need some rest mentally. It's taxing always being the one counted on to keep the team competitive. Now we can use Colome and Ayala to do the same thing and maybe bring in Rivera and Rauch when there's a lead. God knows both of them must have nightmares every night about being asked to preserve a tie against the meat of the Phils and Mets line up.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 20, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

But back to the [WMP] "Chris Carter" trade -- you mean to tell me we traded a serious *young* power hitter who may very well be the 40+ HR guy everyone says we need and who plays a position that will certainly be open in two years if not sooner, for ANOTHER onesie-toolsie outfielder we don't even have a spot for? BEFORE WE EVEN HAD THE GUY? That has to be some kind of record.
But no pressure, Willie Mo...

Posted by: cevansjr | August 20, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Section 506 reminds me of something I've been thinking for the past couple weeks... that is... Lots of people have been telling us not to expect too much from Ayala this year... that he would be up and down... but I think he's been mostly up. We are certainly fortunate in that respect... because if I remember correctly, the first season back after that surgery is kinda iffy...

Posted by: Wigi | August 20, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And get Yanda warmed up, we need a new thread ...

Posted by: c jr | August 20, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

My kingdom for a new Barry post!

(last time I ever quote that particular piece of the Olde Bard, I promise)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 20, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Barry will probably post after he gets settled in Houston, reads through this thread, and finishes tearing his hair out.

Speaking of Yanda, one of his sources must have misinformed him re. the Colome injury, which he reported as a "right leg" problem in today's Post. I'd fill you in re. the actual injury deets, Steve, but we probably don't want to go there again on this blog...

Oh, I kinda like the Bard refs, Juan-John.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I should have said "infection" rather than "injury."

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The Proofreading Fairies are never around when you need them...

I should have said "infection" rather than "injury."

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"As thick as hail
Came post with post..."
Macbeth

Posted by: Willie the Shake | August 20, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

You hit the ball outta the park with that one, "Willie."

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"You hit the ball outta the park with that one"

True, true. We are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 20, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Happily, due to the team's better-than-expected performance this year and excellent 20-20 draft, we will not have a winter of discontent...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Is this blog finished?

Posted by: aaaaaa | August 20, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Barry's has a new post, folks.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Barry has" (darn PF's* missed it again)

---

*Proofreading Fairies

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 20, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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