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Small bits of pregame news

No Dmitri Young. Still no timetable. His neck is still really stiff.

Cristian Guzman took batting practice again. Manny Acta threw again. He'll have a simulated game tomorrow, and unless Ross Detwiler makes it into tonight's game, Detwiler will throw to him. They'll likely tell him what pitch is coming -- curveball, changeup, fastball -- but he'll get to see the ball come out of an actual pitcher's hand. Looks like he's headed for the last four or five games of the season.

You may have read my chat, which contained lots of stuff from a media lunch with Stan Kasten. It's possible/probable I was overly snarky in the chat. Independent observers have drawn that conclusion. There is, however, some good information:

* Kasten reiterated that he does not believe free agency is the best way to build a ballclub. He said it's more likely the club will trade for talent. He also said that the upper levels of the minor leagues are not as developed as they need to be, but he thinks the pipeline is way further along than it was at the beginning of the year.

* He expects to add payroll, but does not know how much.

* He pushed Metro as the best way to get to the new ballpark -- most convenient, most affordable, etc.

* Expects to have seat relocation process to the new park done in "four to six weeks," or sometime in November. This is a complicated process, and he has told me before that he does not want to rush it. He has to make sure it's done right. It's made more complicated because there are season-ticket holders behind the plate at RFK who can't/won't move into similar seats at the new park, because those are "premium" seats that cost big bucks. Therefore, those folks have to be moved to the baselines, and there's a whole trickle-down. They're taking this serioiusly.

* And he listed an array of things the Nationals are doing for the final week at RFK, including a T-shirt giveaway on Sunday -- commemorative RFK T-shirts to the first 35,000 who come in -- as well as the appearance of nine former Washington Senators, including Frank Howard. They'll have a postgame ceremony in which they'll extract the home plate from RFK out of the ground, likely for delivery for the new park. Not sure if they'll actually use the old one or if it'll just be on display. They will have video tributes, etc. On Saturday night, they're giving out the team photo. And merchandise at the team store is half off beginning Thursday, I believe he said.

Your lineups:

Mets:
Reyes -- 6
Castillo -- 4
Wright -- 5
Beltran -- 8
Alou -- 7
Conine -- 3
Lo Duca -- 2
Milledge -- 9
Pelfrey -- 1

Nationals:
Logan -- 8
Lopez -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5
Pena -- 7
Kearns -- 9
Belliard -- 4
Fick -- 3
Flores -- 2
Chico -- 1

Enjoy the game. If the Mets take a 4-0 lead, don't worry. That's right where the Nats want them.

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 19, 2007; 6:22 PM ET
 
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Next: Ode to RFK -- and Burgess earns honor

Comments

Barry, you indicated at the end of your chat that you may not be doing the Nats beat next year. Any idea who the new guy or gal will be? Will you move to a pseudo-sheinin role, become a boswell in waiting, or do restaurant reviews for the Style section? Montmatre was great, btw.....

Posted by: derek | September 19, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

>> It's possible/probably I was overly snarky in the chat. Independent observers have drawn that conclusion. <<

Barry, not to be a shill for you, but "snarky" is why we read your stuff (and Capitol Punishment, etc.). If we wanted just the PR spin, we'd read the Nats web site.

Posted by: Ashburn | September 19, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

>> Barry, Will you move to a pseudo-sheinin role, become a boswell in waiting, or do restaurant reviews for the Style section? <<

Maybe Barry could write reviews of the new restaurants/clubs at the new ballpark.

Posted by: Ashburn | September 19, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you might've been a tidge heavy on the snark, but it's why we like you. I mean, you can basically do no wrong. How many other beat reporters get dubbed a saint?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Any confirmation that Carpenter's not coming back at MASN?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

A little comment about Nick Johnson. Monday night we were on the field for a parade of flags from Peace Corps countries.As we were walking off the field we passed a little posse of Mets players. Friend in front of me overheard them gossiping, "Nick Johnson, man, that dude smokes a pack a day..."

Don't see that helping recovery much. But then again, no telling the variety of nasty habits any one of these guys might have and still be great.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

There's our 4 run lead boys. Get to it. Remember, nine innings. Long time.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

What a jerk.

Posted by: Mike Morgan | September 19, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

er....5 run lead that is.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Um. Who?
____
What a jerk.

Posted by: Mike Morgan | September 19, 2007 09:30 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Ya'll did a good job boys, making the Mutts sweat a little.

Next victim: The Frillies.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey. Where is everyone? Am I the only one not at the game tonight?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm baaaack from the game. Bummer.

Albaladejo did a great job, and Schroder surprisingly gave up a series of hits that isn't his style.

So, who's the jerk?
(Other than those obnoxious Mets fans)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 19, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for the sanctity of the game and honoring the pennant race, but we should start J-Max the last 10 games. Nook's 4? Ks and GIDP aren't doing it and Maxwell looks like the real deal with the bat, but let's get him some more at bats and see how his defense is.

If he excels in ARI fall ball I think we should give him every oppertunity to make the team next year. He clearly should be the CFer of the future and at 23 the future is now. I'd love it if he starts in CFer next year, Guz and Nick come back with a vengence next year and we get Alexei from Cuba to play 2B next year.

Your 2008 opening day starting line-up;
Guzman - 6
Maxwell - 8
Zimmerman - 5
Pena - 7
Johnson - 3
Kearns - 9
Gonzales - 4
Flores - 2
Hill - 1

Reserves
Church
Young
Belliard
Lopez
Schneider

Rotation;
Hill
Bergmann
Detwiler
Balester
Chico

Bullpen
Cordero
Rauch
Rivera
Ayala
Munoz
Abaladejo
Schroder

Posted by: estuartj | September 19, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

So, another thing, Nats play of the game:

Nook's double play ball up the middle. Who would've ever thought that was possible?? Game unraveled from there, in my opinion.

So, pretty clear that the Mets go as Reyes goes, eh?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 19, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Woops, my new dream middle infielder is Cuban Alexei RAMIREZ, not Gonzales...

And I even used to work for a Cuba - I am full of shame!

Posted by: estuartj | September 19, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

CubaN - missed a letter, damned blackberry!

Posted by: estuartj | September 19, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Felipe has looked better since he came back. Something's going on in his head. How is Jennifer right now? Not to pry...

Also, how about that nasty running strike zone the ump had going? Everyone could hit it.

Finally, maybe Chico is cursed. He pitched better than Redding or Hanrahan, but he comes away with the big L. Kudos to Manny for playing until the end though, bringing out Muñoz.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut:

Even *I* was at the game!

It was great to be back at RFK... and of course, the outcome was less than I would have hoped for (but my streak is intact, going back to April, 2005).

I was disappointed in the scoreboard operation... specifically the pitch information. It was blatantly not correct... wrong pitchers, wrong pitch count, etc.

That is pretty bush...

I'd forgotten why I liked Clint... or at least I thought I had... I might have been mistaken.

I sat on the third base line... WMP is a big dude.

Something that should be fixed next year... someone who is at the game should have at least as much information about the game as someone watching on TV... so there needs to be some sort of way to make that happen...

Posted by: Wigi | September 20, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Barry,...not the beat writer next year...say it ain't so...with all your loving friends on the Journal...why the change?

Did Kasten say how he expects to raise payroll without signing a free agent? And who he expects to trade?..."a glut of minor league pitchers"...perhaps we should keep them for the major league rotation ... which sure could use em...

Posted by: Missed Florida | September 20, 2007 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bill Ladson:

THIS: "I'm making progress. I'm not walking [hardly] anybody."

SHOULD BE: "I'm making progress. I'm [hardly] walking anybody."

8th grade stuff, man.

Posted by: Writing 101 | September 20, 2007 6:36 AM | Report abuse

>>Maybe Barry could write reviews of the new restaurants/clubs at the new ballpark.<<

Does that mean that Tom Sietsema will cover the Nats? Interesting...

Posted by: aces | September 20, 2007 7:14 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 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I had to read about it in The Times. Bob Carpenter, whom I have grown to love as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Nationals, has been fired. A good and decent man at the height of his powers with kids to put through college doesn't know where his next paycheck is coming from. The Lerners, Stan Kasten, and Don Sutton could have stopped this with a word. And it wasn't newsworthy enough to get Barry's attention. Bob has been called "close to perfect" as "calling a sweet game" with knowledge and humor by others in this Journal. Please take the time to wish him well here, and to tell The Nats Hierarchy that this is a mistake.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

"A good and decent man at the height of his powers with kids to put through college doesn't know where his next paycheck is coming from."

Come on, you've got to be kidding me. "A good and decent man..."? Perhaps, but do you really know? Of course not. Maybe he's a jerk that no one likes and that's why they're letting him go. You have no idea, and neither do I.

"...with kids to put through college doesn't know where his next paycheck is coming from." PUH-LEASE! I'm pretty sure Bob Carpenter doesn't have to worry about money after being on tv and/or radio for 20 years.

It's ok to develop an attachment to a person or a team, but let's not feel sorry for any of them. They're living the life..

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

My sense of Barry's career path: If you are tagged as the Nats' career beat reporter, you might as well be covering Charlie Weiss in South Bend--i.e., in journalistic Siberia.

The Nats as seen by those outside the Lerner/Kasten group (e.g., WaPo management and tons of other businessmen in the D.C., area--witness the unsold "premium" season tickets) are going nowhere anytime soon. Wouldn't you want to bail out, too?

Don't get me wrong, we've got ML (sort of) baseball back in D.C. For me, that's all that counts. Where the team finishes from year to year is secondary. Unfortunately, I doubt if there are enough fans who feel the way I do and are willing to follow the Nats as they try to reach .500.

So Barry's departure makes perfect sense to me.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | September 20, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

I read the blog, I read the chat, I read the columns, I listen to the podcast - I am sick that you won't be covering the Nats next year...although I certainly understand that bigger/brighter things are ahead of you. The reason I pay attention is that you make it fun for me to enjoy the Nats and not take it too seriously. By no means were you snarky, we (who read you a lot) know that you are fair and very straight-forward in your writing. But we also look forward to that New England sarcasm in the blogs and chats. It's why we read you.

Posted by: phillip | September 20, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Saw the Bravos drown the Fish here in Atlanta last night. Turner Field, a very nice park, had surprisingly low turnout for a pennant race. Perhaps Wednesday being church night had something to do with it.

Re Barry, you folks certainly know how to get a guy's heart started in the morning. Lest a panic ensue, here's what I read in the chat yesterday.

DC: ". . . you will be [covering] the Nats again next year, right?"

Barry: ". . . I'm sure I will be writing a lot of Nats-related stuff next year even if I'm not the day-to-day guy."

We already know that Barry's going to the Olympics in China next year. That's a lot of frequent-flyer miles right there, and between that and the New England vacation, we'd be seeing lots of other beat writers anyway (hopefully lots of Amy Shipley and Steve Yanda).

Thankfully, it sounds like Barry will be very much in the picture, irrespective of his day-to-day role, so we can all relax a bit.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Hendo: Turner Field is always that empty. It's sad, and one of the lessons-learned I hope Kasten brought with him.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Love the snark. Keep the snark.

Posted by: kwamesnani | September 20, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a: Re 9/23 -- Yeah, i'll bring some nametags and a couple of sharpies. I know Hendo keeps one in his game bag for autographs, too. :)

I guess last night's game stunk. I wasn't able to watch it like I was the previous two. Maybe that's the difference? Tonight I'll be at the park. Root root root.

Or maybe someone's lucky socks are in the wash.

Posted by: i hate walks | September 20, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

PSA, apparently:

Barry works for the Washington Post. The Washington Post considers him a top-tier Sports reporter. The Washington Post is covering next year's Summer Olympics in Beijing and will be sending Barry there because they want a top-tier Sports reporter overseas.

Barry is probably not choosing his assignment (though I would choose that one too, presuming baseball in DC will continue more than one more year). I would expect him back for the 2009 season.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Last night's rally killers:

FLop getting picked off first twice in the same inning (the ump called him safe the first time).

Nook hitting what initially looked like it might be a run-scoring ground ball up the middle, only to have the shortstop field it with one foot on (near) the bag and throw to first for the inning-ending double play.

Now the Phillies enter Manny's "construction zone." Shouldn't we all wear hardhats?


Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

DO YOU?!

Posted by: Manny Acta | September 20, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

IHW, thanks re. the nametags and sharpies.

Bob L., the Phillies will need their hardhats and steel-toed shoes as they enter the place where pennant dreams go to die...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

New post alert...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Forecast for 9/23...

Tailgate time (10:05): 73 F
Game time (12:05): 79 F

And sunny skies. Should be a peach of a day.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

New post is up. I'd love to join y'all on Sunday morning for a bit -- as my pregame work allows. I'll let you know in the next day or two what time I'm likely to get there.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 20, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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.

Posted by: joebleux | September 20, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The way they say it over at the Associated Press wire service is pretty good:

"Get it first. But first, get it right."

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

Personally, I prefer "get it right" over "get it first", but that's just me.
Posted by: joebleux | September 20, 2007 10:07 AM

Posted by: Section 502 (Anybody Still Reading Old Posts?) | September 20, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

New post is up. I'd love to join y'all on Sunday morning for a bit -- as my pregame work allows. I'll let you know in the next day or two what time I'm likely to get there.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 20, 2007 09:53 AM

Posted by: Yay! | September 20, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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