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Minor League Awards Show

The Nationals haven't given out their minor league awards yet - that'll come sometime toward the end of next week- but it's worth looking back on a year in which the franchise believes the minor league system took some major strides.

Plus, the Journal staff got together this week and came up with our own award winners. You can see our awards show - "The Nationals Journal Washington Nationals Minor League Awards Gala Presented by Yoo-Hoo and Hosted by Gallagher" - on tape delay on MASN3 at 2 a.m. Oct 4.

But you folks get a preview. Our staff chose Justin Maxwell as the Nationals minor league player of the year and John Lannan as the minor league pitcher of the year.

Please hold your applause until all the awards are distributed.

Maxwell: He tore up the South Atlantic League at Hagerstown, hitting .301/.389/.579 over the first half of the season, then was promoted to Potomac. He was even going to go to Class AA Harrisburg but a bizarre injury in which he strained an oblique muscle while sneezing held him back. His numbers at Potomac were less impressive -- .263/.338/.491 - but he still hit 27 homers in the minors, and throw on his grand slam in Florida the other night, and his 28 homers lead everyone in the Nationals' system.

His combined numbers: .281/.363/.533 in 114 G/437 AB, 25 doubles, 27 homers, 83 RBI, not to mention 35 stolen bases in 43 attempts.

That would edge out a strong effort from Potomac outfielder Chris Marrero, who hit .275/.338/.484 with 25 doubles, 23 homers and 88 RBI in 125G/477 AB, following the same path from low-Class A Hagerstown to high-Class A Potomac. Marrero tapered off at the end of the season - he hit just .212 with three RBI in his final 10 games. But Baseball America, in their "Best Tools" issue, said he was the best hitting prospect in both the South Atlantic League and the Carolina League.

Marrero's probably got more long-term power potential than Maxwell, but the staff was told to base its choice on accomplishments this year. Plus, at 23, Maxwell had to come through with a big season. Time's growing short for him to stick in the big leagues. If he improves on this performance next year in the minors, his September call-up in 2008 could be for good.

Lannan: Call this the Upward Mobility Award. He started the year at high Class A Potomac, where he went 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA. That brought a promotion to Class AA Harrisburg, where he went 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA. Bump him to Class AAA Columbus, where he went 3-1 with a 1.66 ERA, add another injury to the Washington rotation, and presto, you have a big leaguer.

Lannan's minor league totals: 12-3, 2.31 ERA in 19 starts/124-2/3 innings, struck out 74 with 42 walks and held opponents to a .206 average.

We learned that Lannan is not overpowering, but he's a lefty who throws hard enough that if he can spot his fastball, he'll be fine. Stuff is better than, say, that of Matt Chico. He went 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in six starts for the Nationals, and he provided a glimpse of his guts when he struck out Barry Bonds - stuck on 755 homers - in the seventh inning in San Francisco back on Aug. 6.

Lannan will come to spring training as a contender for the rotation in 2008.

OTHER AWARDS:

Manager of the Year: Sergio Mendez, who manages one of two Nationals' Dominican Summer League entries. This one, Nationals 1, won the title, the first at any level for the Nationals since they moved to Washington in 2005. They beat the Yankees in the championship series, and club officials believe they have some serious arms down there - starting with Marcos Frias and Carlos Peralta. Lest anyone think this is some sort of backwoods baseball, keep in mind that the kids that are in this league - most of them 17 and 18 - are basically playing the equivalent of rookie-level Gulf Coast League action. Their clocks have started in terms of working toward six-year minor league free agency and for determinations as to whether they'll be included on the 40-man roster, etc. This is a significant part of the Nationals' development.

Staff of the Year: Short-season Class A Vermont. It became a habit of mine late in the season to check the Lake Monsters' box score from the previous night just to check the line on the starting pitcher. They tailed off a bit as the year wore on, but Darnell Coles's staff was pretty impressive, and Jim Bowden claims he didn't make at least one deal at the trade deadline because the potential trade partner wanted one of the Vermont arms. A look:

· RHP Adrian Alaniz - 8-2, 2.39 ERA, 62 K/8 BB in 60-1/3 innings (University of Texas product could be sleeper of 2007 draft)
· LHP Glenn Gibson - 4-3, 3.10 ERA, 58 K/15 BB in 58 innings (drafted out of high school in 2006, has developed into one of best pitching prospects in system)
· RHP Colton Willems - 3-2, 1.84 ERA, 31 K/26 BB in 58-2/3 innings (first-round pick in 2006 (behind Marrero) allowed just 55 hits)
· RHP Jordan Zimmermann, 5-2, 2.38 ERA, 71 K/18 BB in 53 IP (second-rounder in 2007 out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point had a stellar pro debut)

There are others on this staff - Cole Kimball, Hassan Pena, and at the end of the year both Josh Smoker (4 IP, 2 ER) and Jack McGeary (2-2/3 IP, 4 ER) - but those guys carried the team. Check out Zimmerman's strikeouts/IP ratio. That's overpowering stuff, and it's the one thing that keeps Willems from being the top guy on this staff. Scouts told me Alaniz is a competitive guy. They're not sure how his stuff translates going forward - it's not overwhelming - but that's a pretty successful debut.

Make-or-Break P.R. Moment for Ownership Award: This one goes to the Lerners/Stan Kasten for the signing of high school LHP Jack McGeary (mentioned above). Bold move to take the kid in the sixth round. Bolder move by GM Jim Bowden to come up with a way for him to attend Stanford and play pro ball. But boldest move by ownership to pony up the $1.8 million it took to sign him - bucking the MLB system. Not sure if McGeary will ever pan out, but the Nationals spoke a lot about being committed to building the farm system. This was a tangible move in that direction.

Biggest Disappointment: This is tough, but I think I'll go with Class AAA Columbus first baseman Larry Broadway, and only because he was expected to seize the Nationals' first base job out of spring training. His failure to do so brought us a summer of Dmitri Young, and I wouldn't trade that for much, but Broadway went down to the minors and produced a season in which he hit .249/.359/.441 with 13 homers and just 49 RBI in 105 games. He was passed off the 40-man roster during the summer, showing that no one in baseball is really high on him.

I'd also add Kory Casto (remember him?) to that list. This guy was under consideration for the starting left fielder job? He looked overpowered at the major league level, then hit .246/.334/.384 for Columbus with 11 homers and 55 RBI in 114 games.

Harrisburg reliever Zechry Zinicola (0-4, 5.46 ERA) also deserves honorable mention there.

The Quad-A Player of the Year: Much angst is spent around here - and elsewhere - about Brandon Watson. All he did was have an International League-record 43-game hitting streak and hit .313 for the Clippers. But his stint in the majors lasted just five games. I've said it before, but it's worth re-stating: This club, and other clubs, simply don't think the guy has a game that translates to the majors. It's enormously frustrating for him, but his .733 Triple-A OPS isn't going to get him a promotion.

The Forgotten Man Award: Lots of people loved lefty Mike O'Connor when he came up in the 2006 season. Local kid (Ellicott City) from local school (George Washington) plays for local team. Pitched decently in the majors, though his stuff clearly needed to be sharper. Offseason elbow surgery didn't prevent him from going on the Nationals Winter Caravan, where he and Nook Logan served as franchise whipping boys for eight straight days. O'Connor followed that up by going 3-7 with a 7.07 ERA for Harrisburg, allowing a stunning 21 homers in 71-1/3 innings over 15 starts. Yikes.

OK, thanks for coming. Don't trip on the red carpet going out. We'll wrap it up with a look at who's doing what going forward.

Arizona Fall League -- The following players will travel out west and begin play Oct. 9: RHPs Adam Carr, Garrett Mock, Alex Morales and Zech Zinicola, C Jesus Flores and OF Justin Maxwell. They'll all play for the Peoria Javelinas.

The Nationals will also host their own instructional league in Viera, Fla., where prospects such as Marrero, OF Michael Burgess, SS Esmailyn Gonzalez, and pitchers Zimmermann, Willems, Gibson and Smoker will begin workouts Sept. 17. They'll play a 16-game schedule into October beginning Sept. 22.

RHP Shairon Martis and OF Roger Bernadina are both playing for the Netherlands in the International Baseball Federation's European Olympic Qualifier Championship in Barcelona. (Note to self: Why am I not covering this?) Martis threw six shutout innings against noted baseball power the Czech Republic on Sunday in an 11-0 win, allowing two hits and striking out eight with no walks. Bernadina is 8 for 12 with a double, homer, five RBI and four stolen bases in his first four games.

And finally, the records of all the affiliates, with some notes, courtesy of Nats crack PR dudes and minor league gurus Mark Rogoff and Bill Gluvna:

Class AAA Columbus - 64-80, 4th place in the International League's West Division, 18.5 games behind Toledo. Bernie Castro led IL with 34 steals. Chris Booker was second with 30 saves. Michael Restovich was third in slugging percentage at .503.

Class AA Harrisburg - 55-86, 6th in Southern Division of Eastern League, 26.5 games behind Erie and, as one scout told me, one of the worst teams he saw this year. Bernadina was second in the league with 40 steals, while 1B Josh Whitesell was second in OBP (.425), fifth in slugging (.512), and tied for eighth with 21 homers.

Class A Potomac - 69-68, including 40-29 in the second half in the Carolina League. First winning season for Potomac since 1998, when it was a St. Louis affiliate. Matt Rogelstad finished third in the league in hitting (.302), while Shairon Martis's 14 wins tied for second in the league.

Low-Class A Hagerstown - 55-81 combined (both the Carolina League and South Atlantic League divide their seasons into first and second halves). All the best talent here was promoted to Potomac at midseason (Maxwell, Marrero and fellow OF Mike Daniel).

Short-season Class A Vermont - 38-37, third in Stedler Division of the New York-Penn League, 5.5 games behind Oneonta. Adrian Alaniz tied for second with eight wins. Colton Willems had the second-best ERA (1.84). Boomer Whiting led the league with 37 stolen bases.

Rookie-level Gulf Coast League (Viera) - 23-31. OF Michael Burgess led league in OBP (.442) and slugging percentage (.617), and SS Stephen King tied for second with nine homers.

That is all for now. Mull that stuff over. I likely won't post again until Friday morning, when I'll be back in the chair at RFK. Thanks to the Talented Ms. Shipley for filling in down in Miami.


By Barry Svrluga  |  September 13, 2007; 11:12 AM ET
 
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Next: RFK: Thanks for the memories; Nats acquire Lefave from Brewers as PTBN

Comments

Applause to the honorees and judges.

The rubber chicken and peas weren't bad either.

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Thanks, Barry and NJ staff for baking "so damp and rich a cake." Also for the memory of Mike O'Connor. I'm still pulling for him but . . . what are his plans? Is he outa here? Will we see him playing college quarterback, a la Chris Wenke?

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Michigan needs a quarterback right now. If he's a minor league millionaire, I'm sure that would be so much the better.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This is GREAT stuff!!!

Thanks for keeping us informed on all strides player development has made!!

GREAT MATERIAL!

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | September 13, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

How much can be determeined from minor league records? If AA is where the talent's at, then it seems like The Plan is way behind schedule. "One scout told me that Class AA Harrisburg is one of the worst teams he ever saw." Maybe this was becasue all of their pitchers were at RFK, seeing as how being a Nats starter is akin to being the drummer for Spinal Tap.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

From previous thread, whomever suggested a full-time batting coach to work with WMP in the off-season (I thought he lived in Miami?) to lay off down and away sliders - can he take Zimm with him?

And, I have to agree with Hendo (again) for this bottom-line summary:

"What this team needs urgently is not necessarily a whole bunch more slugging. What this team needs is plate discipline, guys who are willing to work pitchers and take walks. Absent better at-bats, you're gonna be taking a lot more low-scoring losses -- and a lot more losing seasons into the record books."

Unfortunately, we just don't have much that other teams want, so we're stuck trolling the discards and try to shine 'em up with some spit and polish with a last chance. Redding and Hanrahan were both top prospects in their orgs, but tossed. If St. Claire can't get them to form, who can?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 13, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Also, I heard Phil Wood this morning on WTEM say that he had spoken to 2 N.L. GM's and 1 AL GM about Shawn Hill. All said that he would be a 3 or 4 starter on any team in baseball. e.g. Yanks, Sawx. Phil says that Hill's stuff is "electric." As far as other starters, the silence was deafening.


Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Animal of the Year: The Raccoon. The way the Nats started the season, I was sure he/she would get the call to come up. I guess he never made it out of Viera.

Posted by: ChrisC | September 13, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Barry, at some point I would appreciate it if you could tell us who the NJ staff is - much as we love you, you make it clear that you don't and can't do all this work on your own, and it would be nice to know the names so we can give credit when due -especially if we see them again, writing for the WP or WP.com.

Apropos of nothing, I love the name, Peoria Javelinas, right up there with the Utah Jazz or Los Angeles Lakers for non sequitors. I have a fantasy, what if instead of the Boston Braves finally migrating to Atlanta, it had been the New York Yankees - we would have had the Atlanta Yankees!

Posted by: Traveler | September 13, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Proper credits (i.e."props") are given to the Lerners, Mr. Kasten and Mr. Bowden for signing all draft picks and for the Dominican academy team. This is how Messrs. Kasten and Schuerholz built that juggernaut in Atlanta, now being dismembered by Time-Warner. The plan is unfolding in the Dominican, where baseball is really serious.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"RHP Shairon Martis and OF Roger Bernadina are both playing for the Netherlands in the International Baseball Federation's European Olympic Qualifier Championship in Barcelona. (Note to self: Why am I not covering this?)"

---

Good question! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 13, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

And hooray for Justin Maxwell! Did you see how serious he looked when the Nats blew the lead after his grand slam? A team guy! A center fielder with pop! Hurry up, Justin!

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

flynnie, I think that what should be noted is Class A Potomac's record. These guys are next year's AA, in all likelihood. I'd be utterly shocked if we didn't see a whole lot of dead-weight cleaned out this off-season and a whole lot of promoting going on.

Don't forget, this is Year ONE of the Plan.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Awesome post, Barry. Thanks!

Posted by: G-town | September 13, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

AA Harrisburg will be significantly better next year, or at least for the first half.

I bet that Detwiler, Meyers, Martis and maybe Jordan Zimmerman will start there next season. They'll have much better position players too since Maxwell, Daniels, Desmond and Flores (just my opinion). Will start there next year.

High A potomac will probably be great to see next year too since Willems, Gibson, Alandiz and Pena will all pitch there at some point and up and coming position players like King, Burgess and Whiting will probably spend the bulk of their season in Woodbridge.

I'm very curious to see how many of the "older" DSL standouts like Pitchers Tanco (21yo), Peralta (21yo) and Urena (20yo) plus position players like LF Beltre (21), SS Soriano (20) and Catcher Tavernas (20) move up beyond GCL for next season. Not to mention of course "Smiley" who though only 17 played at GCL this year.

I think our lower farm teams are starting to be fully stocked with real prospects, hopefully with that extending to AA this year. Help from the farm is on the way, but is still probably 2-3 years away from truely reshaping the look of the club at the major league level.

Posted by: estuartj | September 13, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the curly W on Gallagher's bowler hat was a very classy touch.

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Great point, 506! And to better see The Plan unfold before our eyes, I did a Pentagon City to Navy Yard metro trip. 25 minutes with one change at L'Enfant Plaza.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It will also be a short walk from Capitol South or Eastern Market to the ballpark for anyone who doesn't want to deal with the Metro "Crush" on the green line and switching trains at L'Enfant Plaza.

I think if enough of us who can and should take the metro next year do so instead of driving that the parking situation (and traffic!) will be much easier on those who live in the hinterlands and must drive.

Posted by: estuartj | September 13, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"First winning season for Potomac since 1998, when it was a St. Louis affiliate. Matt Rogelstad finished third in the league in hitting (.302), while Shairon Martis's 14 wins tied for second in the league."

"Nationals 1, won the title, the first at any level for the Nationals since they moved to Washington in 2005."

"The Plan" gets closer and closer to D.C.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I could use a short walk, esturatj.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Re your comment about the "noted baseball power" Czech baseball team: Please don't make fun of us Central Europeans. I've seen the Czechs play and I'm certain they could beat at least half of the American Legion teams in the U.S. That said, they do have an excellent facility in Prague that MLB helped pay for (although I'm not sure of all the details) during a period when MLB owned and was essentially strangling the Expos.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | September 13, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Those who like to stroll up Capitol Hill from RFK today might enjoy the walk to L'Enfant from Nats Park next season. (Or at least once some of the rest of the neighborhood starts filling in.)

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Have you been down that way lately Hendo, I can hardly recognize it from when I was house shopping there in '05. All the projects are either demolished or soon to be and the row houses that are left are going for at or above 500k. Now is some smart investors were to use some of that space for parking...

Posted by: estuartj | September 13, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I just drove across the newly-paved bridge and past the stadium the other day. Were it not for the Capitol squarely in front of me, I'd hardly have recognized anything in the neighborhood. (A good deal of which, it can be argued, wasn't worth recognizing.)

And, of course, all that is as nothing compared to what we can expect as the months and years roll on.

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry and staff. That was a great minor league wrap-up, and I look forward to hearing about the off-season leagues as well. That is encouraging news about the Dominican squad! Hopefully the plan goes well, and our minor leaguers continue to grow and improve.

Posted by: Patty | September 13, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, in the .35 edition today I learned who the Yankees and Mets will face in their final home games NEXT year. Any hints you can drop about the Nationals' 2008 schedule (opening day, interleague opponents, etc.)?

Posted by: Cosmo | September 13, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Barry, this is what you said in your chat yesterday when asked what time on Thursday Patterson was to have surgery on his arm: I don't know the time, but I'm sure I can find out. I'll post it on the Journal.

You're not much one to keep your word, are you Barry?

Posted by: seekinginfo | September 13, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Bratislava: You think a guy named "Svrluga" is going to make fun of Eastern Europeans? Come on, now.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 13, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ditch the Red Hats.

Build a pedestrian bridge from Poplar Point.

Get new uniforms with a Curly W on the left breast.

The rest will take care of itself.

Posted by: 6th and D | September 13, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Hendo sez "Those who like to stroll up Capitol Hill from RFK today might enjoy the walk to L'Enfant from Nats Park next season. (Or at least once some of the rest of the neighborhood starts filling in.)"

For those traveling on the Blue/Orange Line the walk to Capitol South might be better than L'Enfant, so as to possibly grab a seat on the train before it hits the train-changing station crunch at L'Enfant. I did the Capitol South walk myself one day last spring when I went to check out the new ballpark. It wasn't a bad walk then, much of it was through rather barren rather than dicey-looking neighborhoods, and once you get north of the SE-SW Freeway on New Jersey Avenue you're basically in Capitol Hill. I plan to make another ballpark visit sometime this fall, and I bet the neighborhoods along this walk will have already improved more over what they were last spring.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 13, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what's wrong with Barry, anyway? Instead of giving us the critical information about what time JP's surgery was, which no one cares about except for JP's mom (for some bizarre reason), he drops about 2000 words worth of info about the minors that all Nats fans can enjoy.

C'mon Barry, get your priorities straight!

Posted by: joebleux | September 13, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

419 points out: "For those traveling on the Blue/Orange Line the walk to Capitol South might be better than L'Enfant, so as to possibly grab a seat on the train before it hits the train-changing station crunch at L'Enfant."

For sure. The advantage to walking to L'Enfant vs. Capitol South is probably greatest for Yellow Line riders, who would then not have to change trains to go to Virginia.

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Peoria Javelinas is not a non-sequitor like the Utah Jazz. Playing in the Arizona Fall League, Peoria is a suburb of Phoenix and a javelina is a mammal found in the Southwestern US. Specifically, it is in the Peccary family and resembles a feral hog.

Posted by: MarkW | September 13, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know when the Dominican Summer Team prospects will go to once they get here? Are they going to A or AA league ball or do they stay in the Dominican for a while? sounds like there are some serious prospects there. Look at how many of the best players come from the DR. The list is very long including Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Miguel Tejada, Pedro Martinez Alphonso Soriano, Vlad Guerrero, Jose reyes, WMP, Belly, Placido Polanco, Francisco Liriano, Bartolo colon and others. Talk about a "hot bed" for prospects!

Posted by: roman1735 | September 13, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Can "resembles a feral hog" become the new official blog insult?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm working on getting the Patterson info. Don't have it now. Will have a complete update by the end of the day, I suspect.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 13, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Roman1735,

Check out the Nationals Farm Authority, they did a great piece on all the players on both DSL teams.

He also said that many of the younger players (6 of top 15 are 18 or younger) will probably stay in the Dominican for another year, but the older guys I mentioned earlier will certainly play in the US. There are a host of other players in between that might stay in the DSL for cultural and language classes that are part of the "Academy" Rijos runs. My guess is that the bulk of the top prospects will spend some time at the GCL next year.

Posted by: estuartj | September 13, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Barry, better watch out giving time and locations out for John. It could be a crazed fan out to do in the Big Nasty for good!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I really like the feral hog thing, and yes, I learned something today. Even so, naming anything in Arizona "Peoria" could be considered a non sequitor by itself. (Grunt, grunt)

Posted by: Traveler | September 13, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

So the talented Ms. Shipley takes over for a few days and her story lands on the freaking DrudgeReport!!! Picture and all too...Dude, you snooze (in your wifi inaccessible den)... and you lose....

Posted by: Phillip | September 13, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what Traveler said. The Peoria Indians never made it past Oklahoma, as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I would be curious to know if team that are considered to have good farm systems necessarily have winning farm teams? Those things don't necessarily seem to follow...

Posted by: Wigi | September 13, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Very exhaustive report Svrluga! Great to read about this and very exciting. In the back of my mind I've trusted that things are happening down in the minors, but it's wonderful to read the specifics. Since I'm too lazy to check it out for myself, thank you for spoon feeding me. Delicious!

Posted by: NatsNut | September 13, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Snort! Can we make it a "warthog," as in the Winston-Salem Warthogs, whom I saw playing at the Pfitz earlier this summer (and beating the P-Nats, grrrr)?

---

Section 506 pondered: Can "resembles a feral hog" become the new official blog insult?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 13, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Patterson update: He in fact will have surgery TOMORROW morning. Not sure where the mixup in communication was. As for time, I've been told there's a "large window" to perform the surgery, but I should be able to get you an update from the park, before the game starts.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 13, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the JP update, but no need to break a sweat getting an update. We're good.

Posted by: All But One of Us | September 13, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

All But One of us, you can speak for yourself - some of us want updates on Patterson.
Thanks Barry. I'll look for info tomorrow.

Posted by: seekinginfo | September 13, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Wigi "would be curious to know if team that are considered to have good farm systems necessarily have winning farm teams? Those things don't necessarily seem to follow..."

True, because of promotions, demotions, washouts and such.

But take cheer: the Nats' farm system really isn't good! (Yet.)

Breathtakingly improved? Lauded in the national sports press? Exemplary for its direction? Oh, you betcha, all of that.

But as for player personnel, there's still a ways to go. As should be expected: as mentioned above, we're still in Year 1 of the You-Know-What.

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

All But One of us, you can speak for yourself - some of us want updates on Patterson.
Thanks Barry. I'll look for info tomorrow.

Posted by: seekinginfo | September 13, 2007 03:48 PM

----

sigh...

----

Thanks for the JP update, but no need to break a sweat getting an update. {+++{We're good.}+++}

Posted by: {+++{All But One of Us}+++} | September 13, 2007 03:30 PM

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Re "You think a guy named 'Svrluga' is going to make fun of Eastern Europeans?": Central Europeans, please. Remember, Prague is west of Vienna. And I just assumed that Svrluga had way too many vowels to be Czech.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | September 13, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Seekinginfo: your irony alert going off yet?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 13, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

And Vienna is west of Istanbul. How come the Czech restaurant in SF is called "Heart of Europe"? The Czecho's are calling themselves central. Dobrerono, Rexono!

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I have a doctor appointment at 9:45 tomorrow, just in case that's really important to anyone besides me.

Posted by: Not JP | September 13, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I have been in both Central and Eastern Europe a lot in the past 12 years or so, and I think the problem is that a lot of people in the US just figure that anything on the other side of what was the Berlin Wall is east. I was just eyeballing the map, and since Europe goes from Portugal to the Urals, it looks like Prague is right in the center.

Now, much more important, Bratislava, can you tell us anything about the baseball season, and how to get more info on schedules and venues? And MarkW, is there a website to follow the Javelinas' progress?

Posted by: Traveler | September 13, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Arizona Fall League web site:
http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=l119

Posted by: Cosmo | September 13, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Traveler, so true regarding Europe georgraphy. I think because of the cold war so many of us grew up thinking of Western Europe as Europe as a whole and everything behind the Iron Curtain as Eastern Europe or virtually Asia.

Also, Brian Oliver at the Nationals Farm Authority will have updates on all the Nationals participating in ARI Fall Ball with the Javelinas.

Posted by: estuartj | September 13, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Cosmo, estuartj, thanks for the info.

Posted by: Traveler | September 13, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

You know, in my illustrious dating career one of my exes lived in good ol' Wien (Not the one that called my handwriting "adorably juvenile", this was the one who asked me at a dance if I could "even hear the music") and I have to say that there are some who would believe that was eastern, not western, Europe.

The etymology of the name, in fact, shows that the Germanic people themselves think of it as eastern. Osterreich means the Eastern Realm.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

506, you got any exes in Texas too?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 13, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, any chance you'll come meet with us on 9/23?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 13, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Well we never dated and she was crazy. And lives in Vienna, VA now. Actually, also another girl who moved to Texas. And was also crazy. Hmm.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the cue, NatsNut!

It might be, it could be, it IS...almost time for the NJ bloggers' end-of-season tailgate event!

Date: Sunday, September 23

Time: From 10:05 AM (when parking lots open) to approx. 11:35 AM (game time is 12:05)

Where: Southeast corner of Parking Lot 8 at RFK (see team site for directions)

Here's Your Sign: Look for Hendo's black '07 Miata with the Planet NJ sign on top. Hendo will also provide a sound system for our musical pleasure. Could double-dactyls be far behind?

Attire: Baseball casual (Nats gear or Meat Hook t-shirts for the carnivores among us)

What to Bring: Chair, if desired, your own drinking water, and something to eat or drink. Volunteered so far have been sweet muffins or scones and fruit, bagels and cream cheese, English muffins and hard cheese, poached salmon, coffee, white wine, and plates/cups/napkins/utensils.

Your hosts include: Jenn-X, Hendo, Natsfan1a, SC Nats Fan, and Wigi.

About a dozen other bloggers have expressed interest in attending at one point or another, but we'd be happy to see more. Please come join us so we can put faces to the monikers!

---

Hey Barry, any chance you'll come meet with us on 9/23?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 13, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Sect. 506 reminisced: Well we never dated and she was crazy. And lives in Vienna, VA now. Actually, also another girl who moved to Texas. And was also crazy. Hmm.

Which brings to mind a favorite despair.com poster: http://despair.com/dysfunction.html

Not that it applies in this case, of course, it just came to mind. ;-)

Despair.com is a funny site, IMO, and they even have glass half empty mugs (no glasses half full there, nuh-uh, you have to go to Successories for that kinda thing.).

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 13, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Re. the second question, wow. No wonder she's an ex...

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(Not the one that called my handwriting "adorably juvenile", this was the one who asked me at a dance if I could "even hear the music").

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 13, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh I got tons of them!

Stories. And exes. Hmm...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 13, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the invite, NatsFan1A! That is just so nice! Just 10 days hence! A Sunday against Philly, the blue-collar grounds-crew rescuing Rocky Mountain storm-defying Phillies, with the happy Shane Victorino, whom I will always remember anchoring that tarp in a driving, cold rain. The Nats will be eliminated, but I can't root against them, because they are like my children - here, and in need of support.

Posted by: flynnie | September 13, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, flynnie. Look forward to seeing you there!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 13, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Boy, I wish I could be there for the last game (and the tail-gate!), but I suppose I'll have to content myself with SI articles about Manny. . .

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/john_donovan/09/13/acta.nationals/index.html

for anyone who hasn't seen it.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 13, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta, you'll be with us in spirit, and we with you.

Thanks for the SI link, by the way. Well worth reading. And for the deconstructionists and media analysts among us, I offer this...

Number of Kasten quotes in the article: 5
Number of Bowden quotes: 0

Thoughts?

Posted by: Hendo | September 13, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I second that emotion, Hendo. Atlanta and our other far-flung blog buddies who are not able to attend (I'm thinkin' of you, Natscan) will be with us in spirit.

Thanks for the link, too, Atlanta!

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Atlanta, you'll be with us in spirit, and we with you.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 13, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I think the quote breakdown makes sense, given that they are really talking about team philosophy, rather than personnel... which would be more about Kasten than Bowden... and how Acta implements that philosophy in the clubhouse.

Posted by: Wigi | September 13, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey bloggers and/or Barry,

Have we ever gotten word on the PTBN from the Brewers for Ray King?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 13, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the PTBNL will be anyone of note or interest. We all love The King, but a 30 something lefty specialist who's inelligble for the post season, and thus will only play for you for 5 weeks doesn't get a real prospect in return.

Posted by: estuartj | September 13, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Atlanta for the link to the article. Glad to see some recognition from the national press (as opposed to the Nationals press) for the job Manny's done.

On another note: I'd love to see Randy St. Claire get some ink for the job he's done this year (and last and last).

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 13, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice feature on RFK by Barry this morning. Makes it juuuust a little easier to say g'bye to the old ball yard.

Posted by: Hendo | September 14, 2007 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, this line in particular caught my eye (er, nose):

"In the heat of summer, this area [the clubhouse] emits an unholy stench that stadium workers must knock back by pouring gallons of bleach down drains."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 14, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

say what you want about the condition of RFK (which I will save my opinion because I feel players are sissies and are catered to entirely too much - bigger clubhouse? who cares, get over it. What are you doing that requires so much space?... Wait, I guess I just shared my opinion).

Anyways, I like the larger ballparks. It makes teams adapt to the style of play - speed, good defense, contact hitting. Basically what the guys are whining about are that their 380 foot fly balls are not home runs. Thats another "Get over it". If you hit it out, you hit it out. Some junk fly ball shouldn't be a home run just because its a home run in another ball park.

That doesn't stop other teams from jacking HRs out against the Nats. Nor did it stop players back in the day playing at huge stadiums such as the Polo Grounds and Griffith Stadium. If you hit it, you hit it. All the smaller stadiums do is reward getting under the ball and popping out.

Sorry for the rant, this just gets under my skin. I say move the fences back to 400 all the way around. Screw it.

Posted by: theraph | September 14, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barry --

Any word from the FO re: who they'll send to Hawaii?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 14, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Nats aren't sending any players to the Hawaii fall league bacause they are hosting their own fall instructional league in Viera Beach.

Posted by: estuartj | September 14, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

New post is up. Enjoy. And yes, I'd love to stop by the Nationals Journal tailgate, if you'll have me. As the date gets closer, give me an exact place in the parking lot.

Thanks.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 14, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

That's great, Barry, we'd love to have you stop by! Hendo, could you fill us in on the specifics of your fave parking lot locale as the date approaches? Thanks!

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New post is up. Enjoy. And yes, I'd love to stop by the Nationals Journal tailgate, if you'll have me. As the date gets closer, give me an exact place in the parking lot.

Thanks.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 14, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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