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Ode to RFK -- and Burgess earns honor

You could read my "game story" that has a lot of our discussion with Stan Kasten yesterday. You could read the notebook, which speaks to Jason Bergmann a bit, lays out some of the promo stuff for RFK's final weekend and touches on Bob Carpenter's future with MASN, which is in major doubt.

You could even watch Stan Kasten -- on "Washington Post Live" doing what he can to simultaneously promote his team and rip the Post. And, because there are precious few remaining, you could check out the podcast from last night's loss to the Mets, which, I have to say, isn't one of the best editions. (I was on a tight deadline, couldn't talk to many players, blah blah blah.)

But if you read one thing, you must read Thomas Boswell on RFK Stadium. I couldn't quite figure out what I felt about RFK or why I would even be a bit sad to see it go. Boz can and does, and he has a much deeper history with the place and its denizens than most of us here.

There's been a lot of discussion here and elsewhere about Boz and his allegiances, etc. He had the misfortune of becoming a baseball writer at the Post just as baseball left his home town. I can tell you, from sitting next to him on so many of those days and nights at RFK over the past three seasons, that there are few, if any, who are happier to have baseball back here. This column is a good demonstration of why, because Washington baseball is woven into his life, his experience.

There's a lot of stuff packed into that $.35 edition this morning -- not to mention the various "casts" online. You'd be hard pressed to find something more worth your time.

New addition: OF Michael Burgess -- one of the Nationals' two supplemental picks (along with LHP Josh Smoker) in this year's draft was named the top prospect in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League by Baseball America. Here's the BA entry:

"Burgess entered the year as one of the top high school position prospects in the draft, but clubs debated his worth because of his inconsistent performance in the spring--not to mention the legacy of his alma mater at Tampa 's Hillsborough High, which produced talented yet troubled big leaguers Elijah Dukes, Carl Everett, Dwight Gooden and Gary Sheffield and Carl Everett. But Burgess, put it all together in his pro debut, leading the GCL in on-base percentage (.442) and slugging (.617).

Burgess' bat speed, strength and leverage produce huge raw power, and he has enough maturity to keep his hands back to square up quality breaking balls. Burgess shows advanced plate discipline and pitch recognition, and his long arms allow him to cover any part of the strike zone.

Though he didn't look as athletic as he did as an amateur, Burgess still displayed plus arm strength in right field. He's a slightly below-average runner and projects as a right fielder with classic tools.

"He doesn't run real well, but when you hit it as far as he does it doesn't matter," said one scout from a National League club. "He was very aggressive in all phases of the game. He had something to prove. Pitchers really went after him and challenged him, and he just ate that up." "

Burgess was promoted to short-season Class A Vermont at the end of the year. The Nationals got him with the 49th pick, but GM Jim Bowden believes he was a top 15 talent. There's no way he would have slipped that far if he had produced a solid senior season. His misfortune may very well have been the Nationals' fortune.

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 20, 2007; 9:37 AM ET
 
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Comments

Ye gods, no wonder Barry's a little snarky now and then. Between us and Stan, he must feel like he's going into a war zone every morning. (Not to mention the cheery, no-pressure working environment that is the pressroom.)

Might make that interminable flight to Beijing almost worth looking forward to.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I posted the below on the previous entry just as this post went up. Barry, apparently you recognize the ridiculous situation you were forced into by your editors in referring to last night's "game story":

Barry,

Today's paper is Exhibit A in demonstrating what is wrong with the Post's coverage of the Nationals. You apparently learned a lot of very important stuff in your talk yesterday with Kasten. And your editors should have given you the space to properly report it in today's paper: specifically, you should have had 2 stories, one reporting the Kasten sit-down, and the other reporting last night's game.

Instead, you were forced to cram in to your story about last night's game a bunch of snippets from the Kasten sit-down, which had absolutely no place there. (I mean come on, who ever heard about mentioning Jones, Hunter and Rowand's looming free agency in an article about a game against the Mets!) As a result, readers of the paper were shorted on 2 fronts: (1) learning about many important aspects of the Kasten sit-down, as your blog entry and chat responses demonstrate, and (2) hearing about the game that the Nats actually played against the Mets last night.

I don't know what the facts are, but if it were the case, I can certainly understand why Barry would want to move on to covering other topics, in light of the disrespect that the Post's editors have shown to the Nats. Barry, if Tyler Kepner had a lengthy interview with Brian Cashman, do you really think that the Times would force him to cram the results of his interview into an article reporting the previous night's Yankees' game? Of course not! Why does the Post aspire to anything less???

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | September 20, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Great article by Boz, which makes me ponder...if he has such strong feelings about baseball in DC why does he not provide more columns about the Nats or even history of baseball in DC? It seems like he writes a column about the Nats every other month or so.

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | September 20, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I think Boz already answered that, he loves baseball in DC, he just doesn't find it interesting enough to actually write a column.

Posted by: estuartj | September 20, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Thomas Boswell's column in today's Post is simply a brilliant piece of writing; the editors of the book series should go ahead and put it on the table of contents of the 2007 edition of the annual "Best American Sports Writing" compilation.

I'm reminded of a friend of mine, a sportscaster in "the other Washington", who one night several years ago told me over a beer how he almost went up to Boz in the Safeco Field press box during the 2001 All Star Game in Seattle but didn't take his chance to talk with him because he was too in awe of the man. He told me he knew how he would have started the conversation. "Mr. Boswell, I hate you. You are so much better at this than I will ever be."

Posted by: Section 502 (In Awe of Boz) | September 20, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Boswell is like the urbane, educated well-read adult man who understands and can expound profoundly on all the intricacies of James Joyce's Ulysses, but who also recalls and cherishes the Superman and Batman comics of his youth and can wax poignantly and with great nostalgia on them as well when the time is right. And that's all well and good, because in a baseball columnist a truly great newspaper needs someone who can both opine analytically and critically on the team of today and pull on the heartstrings of readers by prodding their memories of the teams of past years. The problem with Boswell is that his team of youthful memories played here in Washington, but the team of today that he chooses to follow and analyze with the critical and analytical eye of the seasoned baseball pundit plays up the road in Baltimore. If you don't believe me, go back and read his columns this year about the Orioles and Nationals, and tell me which ones have the insight of an adult discussing Ulysses and which ones are like the writings of a kid trying to pass off the latest Batman comic as the subject of his eighth grade book report. Boswell needs to ask himself this question: What Would Shirley Do? If he were alive today, do you think Shirley Povich would be writing word one about the Orioles? The Post needs a baseball columnist who will write critical and analytical opinion about the team playing in Washington today, and Boswell has proven over the past three years that he's not the man for that job. This doesn't mean the Post needs to can Boswell, by any means. Let him continue to write, but hire someone else to do the job he's not been doing. Otherwise, you're not fooling anyone no matter how much you brag about how well you cover the Nationals.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Carpenter won't return to broadcast


September 20, 2007

By Mark Zuckerman - Washington Nationals television announcer Bob Carpenter has been told by the club his contract will not be extended when it expires after the season, sources with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.

Carpenter, who has done play-by-play for all Nationals games on MASN the last two seasons, was informed during a Monday meeting with team president Stan Kasten that he will not be asked back for 2008 and the club will hire a new TV announcer to partner with analyst Don Sutton.

Carpenter confirmed he met with Kasten on Monday but declined to comment further until a formal announcement is made. Kasten did not respond to a request for comment.

The Nationals will be searching for their third TV play-by-play announcer in four years. Mel Proctor called games in 2005 with analyst Ron Darling; the duo was replaced the following year by Carpenter and Tom Paciorek. Both were hired by then-Washington president Tony Tavares and inherited by Kasten and the Lerner family upon purchasing the club last summer.

Carpenter, a native of Tulsa, Okla., spent 10 years broadcasting St. Louis Cardinals games before coming to the District last season and has called major league baseball games for parts of the last 20 seasons.


Posted by: The Washington Times | September 20, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I had to read this today in the Times. Could anyone at the Post have metntioned that there has been a beloved broadcaster in the booth at RFK whom the Nats have sacked?

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

from today's Post ... "Bob Carpenter, the play-by-play man for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, met Monday with Nationals President Stan Kasten about his future. Carpenter had no further comment, but sources said the Nationals will at least pursue other options in the offseason."

Get over yourself

Posted by: Did you read this? | September 20, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

OK, as long as we're regurgitating stuff from the previous blog entries:

====

Bob C.'s mom: I expect Barry will report on this when he has facts as opposed to rumors. You may recall from the Josh Smoker signing that Smuckerman at the WaTimes isn't so particular in this regard.

Personally, I prefer "get it right" over "get it first", but that's just me.

====

I'd also add that it's easy (but not necessarily journalistically responsible) to take something that's 95% true and present it as 100% fact -- i.e., Barry could have very well said "sources say Carpenter's gone" rather than "sources said the Nationals will at least pursue other options in the offseason".

Really, reading between the lines, it's the same thing, but one's fact, and the other's speculation. I like facts in my newspapers.

Posted by: joebleux | September 20, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I want to give a public thank you to Bob Carpenter. What a professional! You could not tell from last night's broadcast that anything was amiss. He called a sweet game, made a funny comment about how Jesus Colome would make a great evangalist as reaching heavenwards seems to be part of his routine on every pitch, and educated us all on a bad call by umpire Tony Randazzo, who called Paul Loduca out when he was hit by a pitch. Why would you swing at a pitch that you were trying to avoid? Even Don Sutton agreed with him. And then Bob covered up some really awkward broadcasting by Sutton about how funny was the name Randazzo, and how it conjured up "guys pulling an Italian ice cart." (What's next, Don? Polish jokes?) Anyhow, we've had the privilege of listening to Bob's play-by-play for two years, and it's been wonderful. I look forward to listening to him and rooting fo whatever lucky team picks up, unless Stan Kasten comes to his senses.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Boy, ya'll musta got out of the wrong side of the bed or you need your coffee or something. What's with all the bit**ing today?

Right on DYRT: Get over yourselves already.

Posted by: Speaking of Snarky | September 20, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Watched the Kasten podcast. For those who can't, Dave Sheinin kicks it off by saying that the Nats' season, though more successful than expected in terms of wins, has actually been disappointing because it has been "built on the backs of thirty-somethings" like Meat and Belly and hasn't produced any new young players that look to be a part of a promising future contender. He says he would rather have 110 losses and a few promising youngsters than 70 wins.

Kasten, who is very combative and really has it in for the Post, responds by saying that the Post has it all wrong as usual and has to keep looking for negative things to say in order to justify how wrong their preseason predictions were ("thirty-first out of thirty teams"). He then says that the reason more young players haven't emerged this year is because the Nats didn't have many that were ready to come up. He says "we didn't have the farm system we wanted" and that although there might be some surprises, he "doesn't see anyone at Columbus or Harrisburg that's ready to break through" next year. (Ouch.)

He also reiterates that the Nats will not sign a major free agent "just because the Post wants us to" but says they might make a "wise free agent signing," whatever that may be.

Barry, many posters here have critical things to say about the Post's coverage of the Nats, but most of the criticism seems to revolve around lack of coverage, as opposed to unnecessarily negative coverage. Stan takes a lot of (in my mind) unnecessary digs at the Post in that interview, what's the deal with that?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

i think people continue to misunderstand Boswell's job. he writes about baseball for the worldly Washington Post. he's a fan of the Nats. but he's not our Nationals writer. I always get the impression when he writes about the Orioles that, as a baseball fan, he is frustrated that such a historically great franchise has been decimated and continues to embarasses itself.

i'd rather read intelligent observation than nanny nanny boo boo you suck dribble. we are lucky that the Post kept a top writer focused on baseball when we didn't even have a team!

my love of the game outweighs love of any team so i'm on Boz's side for this stuff. i'd say too many are fans of winning and only show up, often annoyingly, when a local team is a success. anyway, boz's represents a bit more of the literature aspect of reporting and we are lucky to have it as part of everything else.

exit soapbox.

Posted by: longterm | September 20, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Sutton's a funny sounding name. Makes me think of guys holding rebel flags and billy clubs.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

okay folks -- I'm a little jet-lagged (got into Dulles at 6:10 am), and I'm STARVED for Nats news. In Zambia and Botswana, I could only get rugby world cup on CNN Intl and BBC World Service. Couldn't even get the NFL scores. At one point, I did get washpost on-line, and saw that Maxwell got his grand slam. So, what's happening? Looks like there is exciting stuff for Sunday's game -- I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | September 20, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Carpenter was loved. He's obviously a really nice guy. He called the Bonds homer really well. But, come on. He calls things before they happen--like when he "see you later-ed" Justin Maxwell's warning track almost-homer. That's annoying. He's a good man, but not the best play-by-play man. I wish him all the best.

And what a BLISTERING Kasten interview.

Yes the predictions were dire. But how could they not have been? Any reporter in spring training claiming the Nats had a .500 team would be seen as a homer at best and incompetent at worst.

Sure, the Post's coverage of the Nats could and probably should be better. But it's where we WANT to go for the news. We love Barry so much as to paste Times articles into the comment section of his blog for fecks sake. Because that's what fans are reading. So--Post editors/reporters--we want to like you. We really, really do. Please don't cast us as whiners.

Kasten shouldn't be biting the hand that feeds him either. (Though he'd argue the Post has been starving him all year.) Rather than de-pantsing Dave on how stupid his "big-splash/free-agency" comments were (cause they were, c'mon) why didn't he spin it? Why not say we could have more to cheer for though smart trades than an underperforming FA? Chicago certainly hasn't given Sori any slack for his ok season. Can you imagine us shelling out big bucks for Jones only to watch him decline?

I, for one, think Trader Jim on Kasten's leash could make for a really exciting hot stove this winter. I only hope the Post covers it.

Posted by: Can't we all just get along? | September 20, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps some of you have not met flynnie before. Allow me to introduce you.

flynnie, these are other Nationals fans. They/we love the team and all things associated with it, but they/we are still capable of recognizing the team/organization's faults, and call them out on them when we see them.

Everyone else, this is flynnie. flynnie loves the Nationals also. flynnie thinks Ryan Chuch is an all-star outfielder, Felipe Lopez deserves a lon-term deal, Nook Logan is the answer at Center field, and that Bob Carpenter is getting screwed by the Nationals.

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Great article by Boz, except for the fact that it would be a much more apropos one if RFK were on the verge of being torn down. It's not. DC United will continue to play there, he acknowledged, most likely (hopefully?) until a new soccer-specific stadium is built on Poplar Point, and once the RFK field is converted back to a soccer pitch, I'm sure there'll be plenty of international soccer games held there like there were before the Nats arrived.

RFK, dilapidated and old as it is, will rock on.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 20, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

stan kasten sounds like happy and confident man in charge of the situation. i'm not sure about winning more games next year but i agree with how he's building this thing. i don't want marlinsesque success. i want atlanta and yankeesesque. improved consistency is success.

Posted by: longterm | September 20, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Did you read this, Joe Bleux, et. al. -
You are mistaken. The paper that was delivered to my driveway this morning made no mention of Bob Carpenter. It could and should have done. It was in The Times.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen Kasten's video yet, but judging from your comments, he must have been a little snarky himself about the Post coverage. If that's the case, it shows the journalistic integrity of the Post that they aired it on their own website. Barry even PLUGGED the thing here on the Journal, for goodness sake. Impressive. Nice going Barry.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Do you work for Karl Rove, dude? This is the second time that you have swift-boated me i.e. responded to a rational position with an ad hominem attack. You have admitted that you are ill-equipped to speak to Bob Carpenter's excellence as a broadcaster, since you don't listen to him. So don't go equating my love of carpenter with the other straw men that heve erupted from your fevered brain.

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Snarky" doesn't do Stan justice. He was Uber-Snarky, Snarktastic, Snarkalicious. Or something like that. Somebody help me out here.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Speaking from recent experience, it seems as if there's plenty of ad hominem to go around. It needs to be toned down.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Quit putting my name on your posts.

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Look, I just think it's silly that you blindly support all things Nats. You should realize that when you do that, none of your support or opinions are taken seriously, that's all. When you extoll the virtues of Nook Logan and Felipe Lopez, how can I (or anyone else) take what you say about Carpenter seriously? Maybe he really is one of the best in the business, but I'm not going to take YOUR word for it.

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

nats fan in annandale: I'll let others fill in on recent events, but re. Sunday's game, see yesterday's thread for details on our tailgate plans. Hope you can make it!

---

So, what's happening? Looks like there is exciting stuff for Sunday's game -- I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Hendo, as do the Blog's guidelines for posters.

---

Speaking from recent experience, it seems as if there's plenty of ad hominem to go around. It needs to be toned down.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Matt - Sorry. That was me. I was wrong - new of Bob Carpenter's firing is in the last two lines of the notebook in my paper at home. But it was buried. This all being said, it was not buried in The Times, and I didn't have to call home to enlist my son-in-law to read it twice to see that it was in that paper.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to introduce my persona for the day. I will be playing the lurker in the bushes. I will gladly follow along and laugh to myself while there's still blood in the water for the sharks here today to feed on.

Posted by: MKevin | September 20, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, I disagree. We don't all have to love each other and agree on everything. There's no name-calling or bashing going on, so who says we can't disagree and have a little arguement or debate every once in a while?
---------------------------
I agree, Hendo, as do the Blog's guidelines for posters.

---

Speaking from recent experience, it seems as if there's plenty of ad hominem to go around. It needs to be toned down.

Posted by: natsfan1a

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Argument and debate are not the same as bashing.

"[O]ther straw men that heve [sic] erupted from your fevered brain"? I can go to The Fix for that.

I'll weigh out for awhile.

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

MKevin:

that role is taken, thanks. but since you stated your role publicly, you lose the lurker title. now you are just like everyone else. enjoy.


(just bc everyone is pissy, that was said in jest.)

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

I can take that... I'm not easily offended. Defensive, perhaps, but not offended.
----------------------------------
Argument and debate are not the same as bashing.

"[O]ther straw men that heve [sic] erupted from your fevered brain"? I can go to The Fix for that.

I'll weigh out for awhile.

Posted by: Hendo

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Can't we all just get along - Bob Caprpenter was not the only one to think Maxwell had hit the home-run the night before last. In yesterday's discussion, Barry Svrluga wrote, "I was absolutely certain that his ball to left field was gone off the bat last night (caught at the wall)." Do you want to fire Barry?

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Yowza,
See what losing does to the tempers and tone of this blog?

Get to it tonight Nats or there will be some blood in the water! And we haven't even seen postings from a couple of our more regular "rays of sunshine" yet!

On a different note, I saw pictures of the Diamond Park on the water on JL's site -- REALLY looks like a great possibility for a water taxi launching spot. As someone who used to take the water taxi from Manhattan to LaGuardia (where one could bus to Mets-ville), I'd like to see this idea get more ink and discussion. There's only 6-1/2 months to go until opening day!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 20, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of defensive, at no point in this entire difficult year did the Nats commit 13 errors in 4 games, or whatever the Mets have done. Good lord, talk about a collapse. When Willie Randolph loses his job, who can we poach from their organization?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

A water taxi would be very cool! Also, when we were visting natsfan1b in Chicago last year, we road a Wrigley-dedicated double-decker bus from the Loop to the ballpark.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

nooooooo, not the dreaded reverse whammy!!

:-)

---

And speaking of defensive, at no point in this entire difficult year did the Nats commit 13 errors in 4 games, or whatever the Mets have done. Good lord, talk about a collapse.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Good call. I'm still pretty stoked about swiping Flores from them. Next year we should look for an unprotected Philly player to rule-5. Successes like that seem to taste a little bit sweeter when they're form a division opponent.
-----------------------------
When Willie Randolph loses his job, who can we poach from their organization?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving)

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Successes like that seem to taste a little bit sweeter when they're form a division opponent."

Right on, Matt, especially against the Phillies. And you all know that I hate the Phillies...

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Matt's right. Debate livens up this rest home of a journal. Matt's arguments are also straw men. The only thing that is true is that Bob Carpenter is getting screwed. The other statements that "flynnie thinks" are not, and never have been "what flynnie thinks." And lost on all of you above-the-fray Nats Fans is a proper thanks to Bob Carpenter for two years of great work or a proper condemnation for a nasty act by Kasten.
"flynnie thinks Ryan Chuch is an all-star outfielder, Felipe Lopez deserves a lon-term deal, Nook Logan is the answer at Center field, and that Bob Carpenter is getting screwed by the Nationals."

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Sect. 506, give us a little reminder Philly rant? Puleeze?? Or maybe at the tailgate... ;)

---

And you all know that I hate the Phillies...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Cmon gang, let's argue the merits of our opinions but not criticize each other. So what Matt if you think flynnie isn't a critical enough fan? Just scan the signature lines, skip his stuff and let it go. I want to read opinions about the Nats, not bloggers criticizing each other. I'm not a big Carpenter fan either, but if somebody else loves him that's ok with me. We have lost Natscan Reduxit somewhere along the way this year during some previous personal spats and I think it was a shame.

Posted by: Geezer | September 20, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I saw a Royals post-game last night. They were talking about needing upgrades at center field and shortstop. "Happy teams are all different, and miserable teams are all the same."

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok, ok, ok... I apologize if I did a bad job of making my point. All I was trying to do was point out to flynnie the "boy who cried wolf effect" that was happening, at least to me. If you come to the defense of every single Nationals player every time someone rips them on here, (ie: Logan, Lopez, Church, etc) then when you really want to support someone like B.C., it's not taken seriously because, hey, you love everyone blindly.

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and with that, I'll drop the subject.

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Um, Michael Burgess top prospect in GCL by Baseball America. Woo hoo!!!!

(Trying to bring up a happy topic.)

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 20, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

heres another happy topic:

$5 seats, no one breathing down my neck or standing in my face, MGD vendors that know my name, and a good sunset when you look out of section 528 (I know they arent the fivers, but thats another reason to cheer)

Heres to RFK, my comfortable concrete friend.

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's move on.

Good news from Barry re: Michael Burgess. We now have some depth, particularly with pitchers, in the low minors. Stan has referred recently to having "excess pitching" and has indicated a willingness to deal prospects. What is our appetite for dealing, for example, Lake Monster pitching for offensive help at the major league level?

Obviously it depends on what Trader Jim is able to put together, but in a vacuum, I would rather keep the young talent and continue building from within, at least until we have a contender on the field (at which point you deal prospects in order to stay in contention and fight for a title).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... :-)

I saw theraph raise his/her head so what the heck I'm back in (I just don't need the confrontation with the kind of week I've had).

I was all set to commend BoZ for his poetic ode to RFK but at the same time wholeheartedly disagree with his opinion on the hulk itself. That was until I read theraph's post. Wow... that couldn't be more true. I personally can't wait for the new park next season for all the obvious reasons but boy am I going to miss being able to wander wherever I want to, get 3 or 4 different view points at each game, and relocate to sparser populated sections when surrounded by the blue/orange or unfriendly red clad denizens of visiting fans invading my space and hurling obscenities in earshot of my 3 year old daughter.

Thanks theraph for finally identifying for me what my family and I will spend our weekend appreciating the most.

Posted by: MKevin | September 20, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling a little stingy with our plethora of really young pitching. None of them are far enough along in development to gauge yet how good they'll be which means a russian roullette chance we trade off a Cy Young guy to another team.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Michael Burgess, whose name and exploits should further season the debate between Sheinin and Kasten.

Wonder exactly what BA means by "he didn't look as athletic as he did as an amateur"?

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I wondered the same thing. I had a friend who wrestled in high school and later found out the coach either provided or overlooked steroid use. It just briefly crossed my mind.....

Nah. Couldn't be....
_____
"Wonder exactly what BA means by "he didn't look as athletic as he did as an amateur"?"

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked why all the b*tching today. Well, I will tell you why I am upset: the Nats have made major news the past few days, and the Post's coverage of it stinks! Barry is great, but he can't (and shouldn't have to) do it alone. Here are some of the things that have happened the past few days: (1) the Nats played the team with the best record in the NL, thick in the middle of a playoff race, and they HUMILIATED them two days in a row; and (2) Stan Kasten discloses tons of important information about the future plans of the team on many topics, including free agent plans, Manny Acta's contract status, and new stadium progress and ticket sales.

So what do we get in the Post reporting on all these important developments? Barry's "gamers." That's it. Nothing from any other Post writer. There was A LOT that Kasten told Barry that "didn't make the paper" but should have, because Barry clearly wasn't given the space to put it in there. Meanwhile Sheinin, who for some reason hates the Nats (remember his story that Acta's hiring "reflects the Nationals' standing in baseball's hierarchy"?) and apparently knows nothing about them (as he demonstrated yesterday on WPL), writes 2 stories on the Mets, and Boswell gives us poetry about his boyhood memories of RFK.

I don't begrudge Boswell waxing lyrical about whatever he wants. His column about RFK is nice, and maybe he can put it in a book some day. But what I want--and what we deserve as readers of one of the most important newspapers in the US--is a baseball columnist who is going to dig in to the news about the local baseball team, interview some people about it, be critical when it's warranted, and tell us what he thinks, whether I agree with it or not. What I want--and what we deserve--is a paper that gives space to the baseball beat writer to give us the important news that we deserve to know, and that gives us additional feature stories, whether they be written by the beat reporter or a second writer. Maybe some day the Post will get it, I sure do hope it does before it becomes irrelevant...

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | September 20, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

We know, 419, we know.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning referred to our manager in a quote as "Manny Acosta."

How many regular AJC readers caught that, do you suppose?

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Amen to that, NatsNut. I was thinking along the same lines. Don't want to have regrets down the line about what might have been had we not traded away a pitching prospect...

---

I'm feeling a little stingy with our plethora of really young pitching. None of them are far enough along in development to gauge yet how good they'll be which means a russian roullette chance we trade off a Cy Young guy to another team.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

So what did they say about him, Hendo? Do tell.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning referred to our manager in a quote as "Manny Acosta."

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of lack of coverage... After I got home from RFK Monday night I was watching my Tivo'd MNF game. The ESPN crawl for MLB shows the final score, the W/L/S pitchers, and significant contributions by individual players (sometimes from one team, sometimes from both). For a 12 - 4 Nats drubbing of the Mets the players they chose to highlight were Beltran and Green (each had HRs). No Nats stats. Unreal.

Posted by: MKevin | September 20, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan, I find all of your Nats' coverage outrage humorous. And on Boswell, while the Nats doing better than expected is a nice story, trainwrecks like what's going on 28 miles north make better columns.

Posted by: tallbear | September 20, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Coverageislacking, my sense is that to a large extent you're preaching to the choir here. Maybe you should write a letter to the editor?

In the meantime, for some reason, Barry has volunteered to become our own personal Nats beat reporter this season, given us all kinds of extra information at all hours of the day, even seeking answers to ridiculous questions from certain obsessed posters (JPs mom).

Personally, while I would like to see more in the paper Post, I'm very grateful for this post. Thanks Barry.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Second that, Bob L. The Blogfather goes above and beyond.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

For the record, whoever is posting as "Coverage is lacking" is NOT me. Sadly, since I don't post here under my real name (although anyone who wanted to follow the bread crumbs from here through other blogs could easily find out what my real name is) I can't even go after "Coverage is lacking" for mis-using my name, can I? So I guess there must be two of us out there, huh guys? (Say, "Coverage is lacking", you wouldn't happen to be female and hot, would you? You are? So, do you have a date for the final game at RFK yet? We could ditch those losers at the NJ tailgate and go have us some real pregame fun, y'know what I mean?)

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

You're both welcome at the tailgate, Sect. 419 and "Coverage is lacking," should the proposed hookup not pan out for you. :)

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(Say, "Coverage is lacking", you wouldn't happen to be female and hot, would you? You are? So, do you have a date for the final game at RFK yet? We could ditch those losers at the NJ tailgate and go have us some real pregame fun, y'know what I mean?)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Hmph.
_______
"...ditch those losers at the NJ tailgate..."

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 01:45 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Our Leader (text next to his photo)...

"HE SAID IT: 'And we are playing for something. This team has finished last the last three years. I don't want to finish last this year.' -- MANNY ACOSTA, Nationals manager, on his team taking two of three from the Mets this week despite being well out of the playoff picture."

GHF: Mercifully left out of the quote was that Acosta has given up two hits, two walks and two runs in two-thirds of an inning in his two appearances this week.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

MKevin:

no problem. i just respect my little place of peace in a city/area/society that is anything but. hope you enjoy the games, ill be going out tonight myself.


Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

One man's opinion on the WaPo coverage of local teams:

There is an established pecking order for the local pro teams and from my vantage point it currently falls in this order:

1. Redskins
2. Wizards
3. Nats
4. Orioles
5. Ravens
73. Caps

While one could argue where the Nats fall in places 3 - 5, there can be no debating the first 2. Let's face it, the Redskins will ALWAYS be priority one in DC and in the WaPo. Places 2 - xxx will fill themselves in as public interest waxes and wanes with the success of the product on the field/court/ice. The WaPo editors will print what they think will sell newspapers. I hardly think that the coverage of a contending/division winning/NLCS/World Series Nats team would be the same as a 4th place finisher.

All of us here love and appreciate what this team has done in relation to expectations this season, but lets face it... we're still talking about a 4th place team in a football crazy town, during week 3 of the NFL season with the Redskins off to a 2 - 0 start.

Would I like to see better/more coverage? Absolutely. Do I think the team/fans deserve it? You bet. But I can still see both sides.

The WaPo after all is said and done is simply giving what they think the public wants in order to sell papers.

Posted by: MKevin | September 20, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

yea and espn refers to the mets as losing to the last place nats twice. lazy.

basically the redskins are 2-0. follow the money. it's easier to be a casual football fan that manic baseball fan.

really, i'm not sure what sheinen was expecting. six young everyday players working their way into the lineup? i agree with Kasten in that he has no idea what the situation was prior. Kasten was basically laughing at how little baseball smarts shenin displayed. probably a little frustrating that this year is still not fully appreciated. MLB raped and pillaged this team. and it's worse than expansion because we didn't even get compensation for startup. everyone else owned us!

but, our day is coming. i have complete faith in this franchise.

in two years we'll sign Texiera and all will be fine.

Posted by: longterm | September 20, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Bob L., I have written letters to the editor on the Post's coverage when I believed it was warranted. Would it surprise you to know that Mr. Garcia-Ruiz and his colleagues seem not to care? I appreciate tremendously Barry's efforts, as I have made clear repeatedly, and I continue to believe that the Post can and should do better and that this blog is an appropriate forum to express that belief.

As for Section 419, this confirms that he and I are 2 different people. I too am not able to post under my real name (obviously). Sorry 419, I am not female, though my wife apparently thinks I am hot. I will be there to wish RFK a fond farewell on Sunday however. Looking forward to it, I hope the Post does it justice with coverage notwithstanding the fact that there also is a football game on Sunday.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | September 20, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Lineup posted for those interested.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 20, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MKevin | September 20, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, so I watched the Sheinin-Kasten "interview" and two possibilities occurred to me: (1) Kasten thinks his bashing of the Post is witty banter or (2) Stan Kasten is a complete jerk. I'm strongly leaning towards the latter.

Posted by: 426 | September 20, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"The WaPo after all is said and done is simply giving what they think the public wants in order to sell papers."

Which probably explains why their circulation is in steady decline and may soon approach free fall, eh? The real question may not be "Will the Post cover the Nats appropriately when they reach the playoffs?" but rather "Will the Post still be relevant (or even be around) to cover the Nats when they reach the playoffs?" In other words, which is steeper, the pace of the Nats' ascent or the pace of the Post's descent? When will those curves intersect, if at all? Any mathematicians or statisticians out there that would like to tackle this one?

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

flynnie-

Barry's not a play-by-play man.

And I don't blame Bob for THINKING the ball was gone. I blame him for CALLING it gone before it was. It's his job. RFK has swallowed TONS of should-be homers in the last two years. He should know better. Just like the "Easy inning-ending double-play" he's called countless times before FLop throws the ball into the visitor dugout. Just becasue a slow roller SHOULD be a double play doesn't mean it WILL be. Call the game, man.

It's subtle, but Charlie does it great on the radio. You hear the excitement in his voice as a ball screams toward center and you're on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. It adds to the drama. Bad calls can take away from it.

Posted by: Can't we all just get along? | September 20, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bob-

SEE-YOU-LATER! And please take flynnie with you.

Posted by: happy trails | September 20, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I believe that this inter-blog strife stems from baseball abandonment issues being stirred up by the wind-down of the season and the move from RFK. Don't worry, we'll have baseball next year and for many more years to come.

Posted by: Dr. Phil | September 20, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Maxwell's almost, Bob should've used Harry Kalas' qualifier on a long drive he isn't sure of -- "It's got a chance." You almost never hear Harry pull a goof on such things, unlike, say, John Sterling (the Ted Baxter of play-by-play).

Sorry to see Bob go; for the most part, I liked his work. Hope Kasten doesn't bring in another Atlanta crony. (I personally would like to see the Nats hire Scott Graham, former Phillies announcer.)

Posted by: Vincent | September 20, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

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