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Zimmerman's D

So you might recall that Ryan Zimmerman committed a key error in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Phillies. Those of you who get home delivery would have a notebook in it that addressed the issue. Those on-line readers and folks who pick up the final at the Metro stop or Starbucks or something have a notebook about McGeary's signing, which, as we've discussed, happened rather late.

The issue about Zimmerman's defense, though, is an important one. Here, then, is what I filed for the earlier notebook, the one some of you got in your print editions. I think it's important enough to recycle it:

Less than 24 hours after he committed a key throwing error in the top of the eighth inning of what became a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was on the field yesterday at RFK Stadium. There, he and Manager Manny Acta worked on footwork and the stance from which Zimmerman throws in hopes of eliminating some of the sailing throws that have cost him.
"I don't think it's my footwork as much as I'm standing too tall on some of those throws," Zimmerman said. "I think it was good to go get that work in. I know what I'm doing wrong. You look at [Scott] Rolen. He's always low, even before the pitch. I'm a taller guy, and sometimes I stand up too high."
Zimmerman entered play last night tied with Florida's Miguel Cabrera with 18 errors, most in the majors for a third baseman. Acta and Zimmerman agreed that more of Zimmerman's throwing errors come on plays involving a slow runner. On such plays, Acta said, Zimmerman's feet are often too close together.
"Throwing is like hitting," Acta said. "It's like when you're going to punch somebody or when you're going to guard somebody playing basketball. Your legs have to be separated according to your body height. [ellipsis]
"I pointed out that whenever he dives and gets up and he doesn't have time, his feet are in perfect position."
Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel, whose club sees Zimmerman as often as any, said yesterday, "He has a chance to be real special. And you go look back at some of those real good third baseman. I bet they had a bunch of errors when they first came up."
Indeed, 10-time Gold Glove winner Mike Schmidt had 26 errors when he was 24, 24 errors the following year. Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Gloves, committed 21 errors at age 21.

Manuel's points were good ones, I thought. And Acta was emphatic, too, calling Zimmerman "terrific" and saying he didn't want to mess with anything that's good. But over the course of the year, he has noticed some issues, and it's better to take care of them now.

For reference, Zimmerman committed just 15 errors all of last season.

OK, back to the McGeary frenzy. We'll have a nice package in the paper tomorrow on all the signings and what they mean. And I'll get you lineups from the park. (Oh, and I'm off this weekend for the Mets series, gearing up for that 10-game road trip that follows.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 16, 2007; 1:14 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McGeary: Why it's significant
Next: Nick Johnson: Officially out for the year

Comments

Hey Barry, Manny's a busy man:

"Acta entered play last night tied with Florida's Miguel Cabrera with 18 errors, most in the majors for a third baseman"

Posted by: Proofreading Fairy | August 16, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Dangit, I thought I was going to get to correct that one.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 16, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

i agree that this is an easy problem to correct. but one has to realize that the throws Zim air mails are the easiest throws on the diamond. well, any that count. (obviously, the throw back to the pitcher after an around the horn). and because of that throws simplicity, its also easy to assume that the problem is fixable. however, if the problem persists, there might be a Knoblauch syndrome brewing.

Acta made the point that the errors are on "slower runners" when he has time to get ready. the plays where he is relying on instinct (diving plays), he is fine. Just how much thinking will be going on with trying to adjust footwork knowing full well he has plenty of time to get rid of the ball? every baseball player knows that the time to think is before the play. if he starts over analyzing while loading up to throw, i fully expect the errors to continue.

just some thoughts

Posted by: theraph | August 16, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

... speaking of Zimm and suggesting "there might be a Knoblauch syndrome brewing."

... is truly a nuclear-powered knee-jerk, IMHO.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 16, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Proofreading Fairy, don'cha recognize a gremlin when you see one (the kind that creeps into our work after it has hit the presses)? ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I posted this in the previous thread, but I didn't know if people stopped reading it after the new post.

Whats up with Keith Law at ESPN. He seems to criticize Bowden and the team regardless of what they do. The Nats signed a number of his top rated prospected, who he now says post draft are overrated. He was also calling for a firesale on any nats players (sans zimmerman) for anything. What other people write about prospect besides this loon?

Posted by: NATural | August 16, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

In Ladson's report on nats.com, he says McGeary had 80 K's in 40 innings. I know high school stats don't count for much, but WOW.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 16, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Chat with Keith Law right now on ESPN! Tell him yourself! I will!

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=16885

------
Whats up with Keith Law at ESPN. He seems to criticize Bowden and the team regardless of what they do. The Nats signed a number of his top rated prospected, who he now says post draft are overrated. He was also calling for a firesale on any nats players (sans zimmerman) for anything. What other people write about prospect besides this loon?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

re: Keith Law

I actually received an email from Mr. Law after repeatedly emailing him telling him he has no idea what he is talking about. Needless to say, he is an MBA from good schools and is 5'6'' 135 lbs. So he has never played the sport, and is making statements based purely on observations with personal biases. The topic of my rant was that he said Belliard was one of the worst defensive 2bmen in the league. For some reason, watching him daily, I disagreed. I mentioned that people view his comments as coming from someone with worthy prerequisites to make that decisions. But an MBA with a little bit of statistical work for a MLB does not make him a scout. So go at him. Hes a loser.


Natscan:
I didnt mean that to be a forecast. Just relating it to the type of problem - which is purely mental.

Posted by: theraph | August 16, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Natscan:
I didnt mean that to be a forecast. Just relating it to the type of problem - which is purely mental.

Posted by: theraph | August 16, 2007 02:09 PM

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

... I realized after hitting "Submit", that I might have been a bit too hasty. At any rate, let's both agree on this one thing:

GO NATS!!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 16, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Manny's comments about slower runners isn't mental, but physical. When he has to throw fast or from the crouch he has his feet set perfectly. When he does,kt have to rush he stands back up, short steps to 1st (thus getting his feet to close together). Just like in hitting if your base isn't set you can't get around on the ball right, same with throwing, his body and arm don't come around together and the ball skies. All you golfers know what I'm talking about, your body comes around before your arms and shoulders and you slice the ball into the next fairway.

Posted by: estuartj | August 16, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

estuartj:

i agree completely. however, i think that because he does stand up and he realizes that he has time, its the cause and effect. mental to physical. when he doesn't have time to think, easy going. when there is time is when the problems arise. but, you are spot on with the resulting mechanical problems.

Posted by: theraph | August 16, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Those errors sure look and feel mental. When I was a kid growing up in Silver Spring, there was an older kid that lived down the street from me (the kind of kid that my mother warned me to stay away from). He was a bit of a ball player (meaning, he owned a glove and a baseball). At some point in my late teens, I ran into him, and we talked baseball, and he was reminiscing about playing short, and how he liked to field grounders, and stand there for a second or so, toying with the batter, before sizzling it over to first. There was a certain cockiness about him... and part of his motivation was to put a small welt on the glove hand of the first baseman... but the instructive thing here was that he was (for all the wrong reasons) taking a very thoughtful and considered approach to fielding and throwing out the easy batters.

That's all I can think about when I see Zimmerman sail that throw to first...

Posted by: Wigi | August 16, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

reposting from the previous thread (can't help it... it must be the four hour time difference...) :

I would get home delivery, if it was available... My parents used to get the paper, and on one of my recent trips back there, I noticed they didn't have the paper on the kitchen table in the morning. My mom said that nobody was reading it.

I would definitely get it, if I could... though online is pretty cool, too. By the way, there is a "My Washington Post" interface that allows you to customize your headlines, etc. that is very nice, though it has its bugs, and the technical support people are not very helpful... I've reported bugs on occasion, and they tell me that it's my browser.

Anyway, as far as baseball goes... How 'bout those Nats?? A couple weeks or months back, I posted a note to the blog about how to measure the success of this season, and I think today is one of those benchmarks. This year is truly about what happens next year and the year after... and there honestly isn't much that's happening that isn't really positive. How many MLB teams signed every one of their first 20 draft picks? How many teams got essentially three first round picks (at least as far as talent is concerned)? How many teams will go into 2008 with plenty of promising young pitchers? How many teams have better records since May? I could go on...

Bowden and Kasten have really done exactly what they promised, and now they're faced with the much less daunting task of finding some hitting. A couple trades and/or free agent signings, and we have a 90 win team.

The Nats won't be a juggernaut next year, but they really don't need to be... 90 wins will get you to the postseason.

Posted by: Wigi | August 16, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Wigi points out, "90 wins will get you to the postseason."

You only need 83 to win the World Series and boast about it for a year, incomprehensibly.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey theraph,
Thanks for your posting about your history with KLaw. He's cocky enough to put his MBA to good use and confident in what he's spouting... Interesting that no one seems to be a star to him until after they become one - but that's my first exposure to him, and I get what you said. One thing I'll give him, he gets to A LOT of questions VERY quickly. Must be one of the world's fastest typers, posting in a Weingarten-esque blitz.

Hey, I'm 34, with an MBA and spend a lot of time on baseball (actually more on NFL) - why didn't I think of that!? There's still time!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Catching up a bit with a few comments re. yesterday's chat, having read the transcript after that fact.

I liked Barry's take on the team marketing front. I'd love to see a store in Virginia, in addition to the D.C. and Maryland locations. I'd also love to see more RFK-nostalgia-type items. I get lots of positive comments on my tacky RFK pin with the "exploding" curly W, but I haven't seen them at the team store for some time. I've seen some RFK coffee mugs, too, but that's about it. Also on the marketing front, nice to see that the Post has a promo item going for Sunday (a softee baseball, for those who don't receive the 35-center).

Last, Barry, would you be able to give a link to the AZ Republic item where the scout remarked on how "bad" and "disappointing" the Nats are? I'd like to see it. I'm guessing that the scout was from another team that was scouting the Nats (I wasn't clear on that after reading the posting). At any rate, I hope that you set the scout straight with remarks similar to those you made to the chatters (where you were preaching to the choir, I daresay).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Manny also noticed Post beat writer Barry Sverluga was typing while simultaneously working on the Post's Nats blog when Barry misidentified speakers he was quoting. Acta said he would work with Sverluga on his concentration during the upcoming road trip. For the record, Barry made fewer such errors than any current ESPN blogger.

-----------
Hey Barry, Manny's a busy man:
"Acta entered play last night tied with Florida's Miguel Cabrera with 18 errors, most in the majors for a third baseman"
Posted by: Proofreading Fairy | August 16, 2007 01:36 PM

Posted by: (not) Shirley Povich | August 16, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Shirley Povich, did you know that he's Maury's father?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Just in case you didn't see this info on Jayson Stark's ESPN column today:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2976815

So who's the National League Manager of the Year? Bob Melvin? Lou Piniella? Charlie Manuel? They've all injected themselves into the conversation. But one scout says: "They're all the runners-up. The manager of the year is [Washington's] Manny Acta. Look back on everybody's projection for that team. Look at the quality of their rotation, the patchwork staff and all the high-maintenance guys on that club. Now look at how hard they're playing, how seamless it's all been and that it's all being done in less-than-ideal conditions in that ballpark. That's your manager of the year." If Joe Girardi won that award last season based on how his team played after it bottomed out in May, there isn't much difference between Girardi's case and Acta's, is there? Over the Nationals' past 75 games, they have a better record than the Mets.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

What did Law say? Not a premium ESPN member, precisely because it's not worth the time to read drivel from Keith, Buster, et. al.

Posted by: Dick | August 16, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

is it me, or are people starting to double-post the same comments on different threads?

Posted by: cevans | August 16, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Sect. 506: Speaking of Shirley Povich, did you know that he's Maury's father?

natsfan1a: Ooh-ooh-ooh. Raises and shakes hand. Pick me! Pick me.

Sect. 506: Yes, natsfan1a

natsfan1a: I did.


Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Holy [RF]! Thanks for sharing that, SNF (guess it wasn't the same scout who was quoted in the AZ Republic item that Barry mentioned in yesterday's chat)...

---

Just in case you didn't see this info on Jayson Stark's ESPN column today:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2976815

So who's the National League Manager of the Year? Bob Melvin? Lou Piniella? Charlie Manuel? They've all injected themselves into the conversation. But one scout says: "They're all the runners-up. The manager of the year is [Washington's] Manny Acta. Look back on everybody's projection for that team. Look at the quality of their rotation, the patchwork staff and all the high-maintenance guys on that club. Now look at how hard they're playing, how seamless it's all been and that it's all being done in less-than-ideal conditions in that ballpark. That's your manager of the year." If Joe Girardi won that award last season based on how his team played after it bottomed out in May, there isn't much difference between Girardi's case and Acta's, is there? Over the Nationals' past 75 games, they have a better record than the Mets.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | A

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, cevans, we tend to do it sometimes after an older thread has been abandoned. Because yesterday there were lots of shorter threads, maybe there have been a few more such duplicates than usual. Personally, I don't tend to go back and check older threads much, so I think it's a good thing when they're brought over.

---

is it me, or are people starting to double-post the same comments on different threads?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm staying at the same hotel as the SF Giants here in Atlanta (Ritz-Carlton), they were all checking out as I was heading out to lunch with my team. I chatted with a few of the coaches and players (talking travel, not baseball, since I didn't know a single one of the players). One of the guys (who I'm guessing is a bullpen catcher, just a guess since he didn't have the "look" of a MLBer). Anyway after 2-3 minutes of small talk with one of the coaches (older guy, no idea who he is) I asked him if he'd get me a couple comps for tonights game.

He made a somewhat snotty sounding remark about my Nats visor and said he "just couldn't do that" for an away game.

I wished him good luck anyway, but I was more than a little anoid with his attitude, um besides Bonds hitting 756 is there any reason to care about their crappy ass team?

Posted by: estuartj | August 16, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"...now they're faced with the much less daunting task of finding some hitting. A couple trades and/or free agent signings ..." - Wigi, 2007

... I agree that the acquisition of hitting will afll into place now that the pitching looks pretty good. But here's my question to all of you:

Do we trade for that hitting now before the cupboard gets too bare, or do we play out the season with what we have now, and wait until the winter and sign the best FA(s) we can get?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 16, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of RFK nostalgia, that reminds me of a classic and hilarious moment from last night's game that probably didn't make the TV or radio broadcasts.

Those of you who have been to a game in person lately know that they are doing a countdown of the number of remaining Nats games at RFK, and moving the count that's in left field down by one to great fanfare each night during the game. Last night they were all set to reduce the number from "2-1" to "2-0", but when they dropped the "0" to cover the "1" something went wrong and the 0 went fluttering to the ground. Pretty fitting and symbolic, I thought.

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that doesn't quite sit right with me about Ryan's high error count, and specifically Tuesday's throwing error, is his answer about it: "No, just a bad throw. If you have 300 attempts or whatever, you're going to throw a bad one every once in a while, and that's what happens."

We don't have the tone of the answer, but considering that Manny said the exact opposite, it made Ryan sound just a little defensive and arrogant. Several players along the way have come right out and said "yea, that was a bonehead/[dung] pitch/play that I did tonight. I cost/could have cost the game on that one."
I find it charming and human to hear that from the players and I hope Ryan's isn't a) getting too guarded and jaded with the press and b) getting too arrogant for a little humor and humility in front of his adoring public.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

... and by "fitting and symbolic", I guess I should clarify to say I mean of the state of the stadium and it's operational track-record, not of anything pertaining to our team! :)

Posted by: JennX | August 16, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Well JennX, dropping a BIG FAT ZERO on the ground could be a positive symbol for the team too, i.e. WE AREN'T ONE.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 16, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Or it could be representative of the number of hits that were made off our pitchers on a given night (hey, a fan can dream, can't she?)...

---

Well JennX, dropping a BIG FAT ZERO on the ground could be a positive symbol for the team too, i.e. WE AREN'T ONE.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I was concerned with Zimm's remark, too, but here's my take on it: Being a Nat these days isn't exactly easy (we're better than they said we'd be, but we're still not exactly the best team in baseball), and there's a lot of pressure on Zimmerman at the moment. He's supposed to be the face of the franchise, the up-and-coming star, the only one with job security, and the list goes on. When the injuries and losses pile on, one of the things everyone compliments this team on is its resilience, its ability to bounce back after tough breaks and bad calls. I think Zimmerman is just using the "tomorrow's another day" approach, which has gotten him and the rest of the team a lot of praise in recent months. In essence, we've told him that it's okay to shrug THIS off by complimenting him when he shrugs off a great play by the other team's D to rob him of a hit or another starting pitcher on the DL. What worries me is that he's not making the distinction between the things he can change and the things which he's better off not worrying about.

-----
The only thing that doesn't quite sit right with me about Ryan's high error count, and specifically Tuesday's throwing error, is his answer about it: "No, just a bad throw. If you have 300 attempts or whatever, you're going to throw a bad one every once in a while, and that's what happens."

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 16, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Look at the quality of their rotation, the patchwork staff and all the high-maintenance guys on that club"
-Jayson Stark

Maybe it's just me, but I remember as a kid watching ESPN, I considered everything that came out of their mouths to be gospel. If they said it, it was fact. I'm now at the point where I don't believe a single word they say. NOT A WORD, and it's been like that for quite some time now. That quote is a perfect example. Who exactly are "all the high-maintenance guys" on the Nationals? What a moron. Talking just to talk, with nothing to back it up. And you know what? There are more than a few people around the country thinking "geez, poor Manny Acta, having to deal with all those high-maintenance guys in ONE clubhouse."

On a similar note, I like how KLaw said that the Nats "didn't have a top-5 draft, just an ok one", then went on to predict that the Nationals will first make the playoffs 12 years from now. Look, I'm no scout so I can't call him wrong or a liar, but it seems to be gernerally acccepted that Detwiler, Smoker, and McGeary all were 1st-round talents on more teams' draft boards than not, and Burgess was a 1st-rounder until there were some questions re: his swing. Four (debateable) 1st rounders in one draft, and that's not top-5? Who did better? Nevermind, don't answer that, I won't believe it anyway. 12 years my ass.

Posted by: Matt | August 16, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

...or maybe he does take it seriously and is willing to change, but feels awkward talking about it to the media. I doubt I could gracefully handle national media attention and I'm only a wee bit older than 22. IS he 22 yet?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut:

I saw that Zimm quote too and didn't like it. I think his throwing problems are a reflection of his youth and immaturity which have been on display most of the year. Don't get me wrong. I like him a lot as a player and think he's a cornerstone, but he's also shown he has some growing up to do with his slumps and quotes like these. It'll come though.

As far as his mechanics and how Manny is handling it, this is absolutely a mental problem which manifests itself with mechanical issues. He starts to think too much, his feet stop moving, causing his arm to drop and the ball to sail. Manny's right to focus on the mechanical because if he focuses on the physical, he'd be calling his player a "head case" to the press. That's something a manager never wants to do. He's also right to take him out for some extra work. If Zimm gets the muscle memory going in the low pressure situations of practice, he's likely to limit those mistakes.

Lastly we should NEVER mention Chuck Knoblauch again. That's like pointing out that a pitcher has a no-hitter.

Posted by: #4 | August 16, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Pushing 23.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 16, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Zimm turns 23 in September.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

23, it is. In that case, there's absolutely no excuse.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like ESPN is the official delivery vehicle for the post-slot-busting wrath of MLB.

I have a four-letter word for the four-letter network. More than one, in fact. In hearty Anglo-Saxon.

But those can wait. Meanwhile, let ESPN shred what's left of their credibility with anyone who still idiotically clings to it. We'll still be around.

Posted by: Hendo | August 16, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

#4

i should have known. i have lost the face of my father. sincere apologies around.

however, "he whose name is lost" won multiple rings, a gold gloves, a ROY. so i tend to let the Yips pass over my memory as a secondary feature.

would you take the rings for a case of the yips? fair trade?

Posted by: theraph | August 16, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

You know, if he has problems talking to the media, he should watch Bull Durham. There are some great scenes there where Kevin Costner explains to Tim Robbins how to interact with reporters...

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 16, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

theraph:

I don't know. The yips are one of the most emasculating maladies for a ball player. Since I have no rings (but have had the yips) it's hard for me to judge.

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

Natscan:

The trade will come in the offseason... the problem with making a waiver wire trade is that it is hard to trade anything but spare parts... someone will make a claim and rain on your parade. My prediction is it will be what appears on the surface to be painful... probably involving Ryan Church and a pitcher (I think there is a lot of upside with Ryan Church, but perhaps not in Washington).

RE: ESPN and other media - Be glad they don't get it... it is part of the "Stealth Initiative" of "The Plan".

Yes, that's right, everyone. The Nats are pathetic, and will not make the playoffs for 12 more seasons. Keep repeating that.

Posted by: Wigi | August 16, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hendo and Matt,
I hear ya about ESPN in particular, and lots of media in general, about spouting off to fill air time.

One important element, however, is regardless of how much you might dismiss the blowhards, their commentary (or lack of any) is what the greater fan audience hears. So, like I do with my clients, I emphasize it is important that the talking heads are at least knowing more "good stuff" to include in the blabbering they're gonna do anyway.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of Zims throws would have been snagged if Slick Nick would have been healthy and at first all year?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 16, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice spin, Wigi. We'll just keep flying under the radar, keepin' a low pro, and then, WHAM -- did somebody say surprise team?

---

RE: ESPN and other media - Be glad they don't get it... it is part of the "Stealth Initiative" of "The Plan".

Yes, that's right, everyone. The Nats are pathetic, and will not make the playoffs for 12 more seasons. Keep repeating that.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

espn...used to be pretty good, but so much of there programming has turned to fluff. The biggest waste of time was the recent "Whos Now" garbage. I changed channels every time it started to air...yuck..just stupid.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I like that natsfan1a...stealth initiative, very nice...shhhh.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 16, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

It's getting late... I wonder where the lineups are?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Rather than analyzing and critiquing Zim's public comments about the errors why don't we all take a couple of deep breaths and back off. He's a smart guy, he'll figure it out.

FYI: Was at a game a couple of weeks ago when he airmailed a throw past the Meathook. Afterwords he squatted down and very slowly smoothed the infield dirt. You could tell the E really bugged him and he was trying to center himself. Don't worry, he cares. Probably not into public self-flagellation for the media.

Posted by: loman | August 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

SC Nats Fan,

You mean Yao Ming...
... most of the routine play throwing errors have been air mails, not worm killers.

--------
I wonder how many of Zims throws would have been snagged if Slick Nick would have been healthy and at first all year?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

100 years from now, they'll be asking "Did you know that Shirley Povich had a son?"

[actually, he had two]

"Sect. 506: Speaking of Shirley Povich, did you know that he's Maury's father?
natsfan1a: Ooh-ooh-ooh. Raises and shakes hand. Pick me! Pick me.
Sect. 506: Yes, natsfan1a
natsfan1a: I did.
Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 03:05 PM"

Posted by: Section 418 | August 16, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Thats the answer SNF....draft Yao next year.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 16, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

We can credit Shaw Nats Fan with that concept, SC Nats Fan (wish I'd thought of it, though).

---

I like that natsfan1a...stealth initiative, very nice...shhhh.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, but I feel terrible about all the pressure being put on him. Don't want to put him under so much stress he can't grow out of it.

-----
Rather than analyzing and critiquing Zim's public comments about the errors why don't we all take a couple of deep breaths and back off. He's a smart guy, he'll figure it out.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 16, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I've been meaning to ask, Hendo, will you be able to make cameo appearances on the blog over the course of your trip? If not, we'll miss you (and your double-dactyls for all of the games that we'll be winning over the next two weeks).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

loman says, "Rather than analyzing and critiquing Zim's public comments about the errors why don't we all take a couple of deep breaths and back off. He's a smart guy, he'll figure it out."

(in bratty kid voice) Barry started it!

I absolutely don't mean to give Zimm any more pressure than he's already getting. It just stood out amid the various articles Barry had written about it and I thought I'd comment.

Point taken though.
As far and wide as the viewership appears to be on this thing, we are technically "the media" too, especially in the vein of public pressure.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I second that, Hendo!
Love the double-dactyls.
Safe travels!

Oh, I think it was Wigi with the "stealth initiative" - credit where it belongs.
ssshhh...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Position players who have cleared: Troy Glaus, Jack Wilson, Pat Burrell, Dmitri Young, Omar Vizquel, Jeff Conine, Mike Piazza, Wily Mo Pena, Jason Lane.

Haven't seen anyone mention this little nugget from Stark's column today.

Maybe what they meant by "more tradeable" after signing the extension was really "easier to sneak through waivers."

Posted by: Jayson Blair | August 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Tomight's line-up;
1. Lopez
2. Belliard
3. Zimmerman
4. Young
5. Church
6. Flores
7. Kearns
8. Hanrahan
9. Logan

Posted by: estuartj | August 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

So, in the wake of all these draft choice signings for big bonus money, what did Zimmerman get as a signing bonus? As I remember, he signed right away so that he could start playing right away, and eschewed holding out for the biggest possible contract.

Then, last offseason, the team signed him to a low salary (minimum?) because they own his rights. Other young guys (David Wright, Cecil Fielder) have gotten big dollar, multi-year deals so the clubs could extend their rights to these players' services.

Do you get any sense that Zimmerman is getting disenchanted? Please tell me that the front office is making the right moves to keep this guy around for his entire career. He is a franchise player and the kind of talent upon which the team can build a winner.

P.S.: Aren't you glad the Lerners make the front office sell these moves to them, instead of being like Dan Snyder and spending big bucks left and right without any serious reflection?

Posted by: rb | August 16, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan before Logan? This is your lineup, not Manny's, I take it? I like it, though.

Posted by: just another nats fan | August 16, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Just what popped into my head as I sit here on my blackberry. I was going to go to the Braves - Giants game but my distaste for the Braves and freshly renewed hatred for all things SF (see earlier run in with Giants players and coaches) made me think there is no way I could enjoy the game unless serious injuries were to befall players from both sides.

I actually think Kearns will be at 5, Flores at 6 or 7 with Church at the other slot and Logan at 8.

Are the phillies putting up a righty or lefty (my shaky memory thinks lefty)?

Posted by: estuartj | August 16, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You're right, ShawNatsFan. Sorry for the misattribution, Wigi!

---

Oh, I think it was Wigi with the "stealth initiative" - credit where it belongs.
ssshhh...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Sigh... new post.

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

Hello, NatsJournal Nation! On behalf of all of us I sat behind the Phillies dugout and thanked them personally for coming to the rescue of the Rockies grounds crew with the deadly tarp during the windstorm. They were wondering how high a pitch-count Sean Hill would be allowed on Tuesday night - anxious to see the last of him and his embarrasing sinker (Phillies fans were shouting helpfully - "This is baseball, not bowling!" as Ryan Howard & Co. swung at pitches in the dirt. Then BAM! REDDING AND CHURCH ON WEDNESDAY! BIG RAY CLEANS UP A BIG MESS! LUIS AND THE CHIEF END THE SERVICE WITH SWEET VICTORY! And, BIG NEWS - my copy of Barry's book was stolen! We always have to be happy to see a wider distribution of quality literature! Barry, did you steal it?

Posted by: flynnie | August 16, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Double sigh...

---

Sigh... new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

ESJ-

Cole Hamels, All-Star lefty pitches tonight.

Posted by: flynnie | August 16, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Sect. 506 (AM):

LOL. Maury used to have a local daytime show on Channel 5 during the 70's called "Panorama." Not as sensationalistic as his national outings.

---Speaking of Shirley Povich, did you know that he's Maury's father?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 16, 2007 02:54 PM

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | August 16, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Nice post (not) Shirley, but you spelled "Svrluga" wrong.

moowahahahaha
______
"Manny also noticed Post beat writer Barry Sverluga was typing while simultaneously working on the Post's Nats blog when Barry misidentified speakers he was quoting. Acta said he would work with Sverluga on his concentration during the upcoming road trip. For the record, Barry made fewer such errors than any current ESPN blogger."

Posted by: (not) Shirley Povich | August 16, 2007 02:51 PM

Posted by: Proofreader fairy strikes again | August 16, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, we don't have the Proofreader From Hell up here...
______
Nice post (not) Shirley, but you spelled "Svrluga" wrong.
moowahahahaha
Posted by: Proofreader fairy strikes again | August 16, 2007 11:29 PM

Posted by: (not) Shirley Povich | August 17, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

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