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The Morning of No. 162

Well, that was fairly compelling. And, of course, it leads to the 162nd game, which means something. You might want to check out Jim Bowden's strong words in the gamer this morning. He is very excited about the way this team is finishing, and with good reason. More over, he believes this experience - playing in front of all those towel-waving fans - will help when the Nationals, presumably, are playing in a race in coming years.

I asked him about that. His response:

"It's huge," Bowden said. "It matters right away, because they're developing. When you come in as Maxwell does [Friday] night and face Cole Hamels - a 14-game winner, one of the best pitchers in our league - with 45,000 people screaming so loud you can't hear yourself think, and have the kind of at-bats that he had, you grow up really fast. And a lot of these guys are grwoing up right now."

In the $1.50 edition, you'll also find my season wrap-up, which touches on what the Nationals think they have developed this year. And you'll find some quasi-news about the coaching staff, though I think we'll find out a bit more about that in coming days. Boz also chimed in on the Phillies, who are a very intriguing story.

My goal is to have my postseason awards post ready for Monday morning. But as we wait to wrap up this race today - unless, of course, there's a playoff on Monday, and maybe even another one Tuesday - I'd be interested in your votes for the following categories:

Player of the Year
Pitcher of the Year
Pleasant Development of the Year
Disappointment of the Year
Play of the Year
Game of the Year

I'll add some more fun categories, but it seems to me those are the most important. If you want, I'll give you lineups before Game 162 on Sunday afternoon.


By Barry Svrluga  |  September 30, 2007; 12:46 AM ET
 
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Comments

First, Barry... I would like to say that your work covering the Nationals has been nothing short of spectacular. Your gamers, the notebook, your chats and most importantly, the Nationals Journal, has made a huge difference in the way that I experience the Nats season... especially since I am so far away... but even when I am in DC, every word is a must-read. I don't necessarily agree with every word you write... but what you bring to the mix is the details and nuances of what is happening in the organization, on the field, in the stadiums, etc. that really make me (and I suspect others) feel like I am right there experiencing it along with the team.

As for the Nationals Experience of the Year, I would say that the season itself is the the greatest achievement. There are tons of players and plays and games that you could cite, but really, the season is the achievement. I think that most people might struggle with the concept of a rebuilding season, and really accept it... but I doubt that anyone that really watched this season critically couldn't see and understand the growth that was happening in front of us... but more importantly, that the growth was planned and orchestrated. Did everything work out as planned? No, but how could it? In fact, it exceeded almost everyone's expectations. There are so many organizations, not just in baseball, but in all sports, that move forward to develop their team, but there isn't a solid, overarching philosophy that guides it all. I think the Nats have done that... and while many in baseball may not realize it, just ask the Mets and Phillies if the Nats are for real.

The difference between 54 and 74 wins is a lot less than the difference between 74 and 84... so I think we should be realistic about the future... but there's no doubt that the Nats are on the right road.

Posted by: Wigi | September 30, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Dmitri Young
Pitcher of the Year: Shawn Hill
Pleasant Development of the Year: Jesus Flores
Disappointment of the Year: John Patterson
Game of the Year: RFK Finale
Most Awesomest of the Year: Wily. Mo. Pena.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Yes, please, on the lineups.

Will have to think about my votes.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year - Dimitri Youmg
Pitcher of the Year - John Rauch
Pleasant Development of the Year - Jesus Flores
Disappointment of the Year - John Patterson

Posted by: wash dc | September 30, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

uh.....yes Barry we would like the line ups and any game time news........do we need to say please now?

OK, PPPPPPllllllllease....

Posted by: JayB | September 30, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

(assuming weighted votes a la ROY)

Player: Zimmerman, Kearns, Young.
Pitcher: Cordero, Rauch, Hill.
Pleasant development: Young, Flores, Chico.
Greatest disappointment: Guzman's injury; lack of national props for Manny compared to Girardi this time last year; uneven marketing.
Play of the year: Either of Guzman's last two on the day he went down; any of the intentionally-fallen-in balls in non-IFR situations to double guys off.
Game of the year: August 3, 3-2 win over the Cardinals on Negro Leagues Night. Rauch blew the hold, Cordero worked a scoreless ninth (for the win, it would eventuate), Zimm did the needful.

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Player of the year: Young. Team leader and near batting title.
Pitcher of the year: Rauch. Leader in appearances and great consistency.
Pleasant Development of the Year: Guzman revival.
Disappointment of the Year: Patterson
Play of the Year: Belliard's amazing turn
Game of the Year: Was: RFK Finale. Now: maybe Chico's clutch pitching yesterday. By tomorrow...?

Posted by: Sec 444 of old | September 30, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year - Zimmerman (defense)
Pitcher of the Year - I can't decide between Hill, Bergmann, or Chico (Rauch could fit here too)
Pleasant Development of the Year - The solidity of the pitching staff, Jesus Flores
Disappointment of the Year - Patterson (yeah yeah, I know it's not his fault, but it's still disappointing); Bacsik's performance after giving up #756
Play of the Year - Ronnie Belliard's backwards ball flip to Lopez for an out
Game of the Year - 6/1/07 vs the Padres when the Nats were ahead but the Padres tied it up in the 6th and the Nats won in the 10th inning on a Belliard RBI. Dmitri Young had 4 singles in 4 ABs and received the loudest ovation ever when replaced with Logan as PR. Or the Stars vs Grays game on 8/3/07 tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the 9th.

Posted by: misschatter | September 30, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to associate myself with Wigi's comments about Barry's remarkable work. Truth is, I'm more a baseball fan than a Nationals fan, pre se, but Barry has sure made following the Nats a lot of fun. As someone who spent 30 years in the newspaper business (covering politics, not the sports that are more fun) I am awe struck by the sheer volume of work. That it is insightful, well-written and smart is incredible.

Posted by: Salty Dog | September 30, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Another classic exchange from that Mets blog yesterday. One of the serial posters has this entry:

"Chico has only thrown 72 pitches. If we can get out of the 6th and retire Utley, Burrell and Howard cleanly and in order we will be in very very good shape with Rauche a few innings away, not sure about cordero in the 9th against the big bats. Not a good feeling."

Then the next guy responds:

"how does it feel calling the nats "we"? man, baseball. crazy."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Ryan Zimmerman.
Pitcher of the Year: Shawn Hill/Matt Chico
Pleasant Development of the Year: Dmitri Young.
Disappointment of the Year: Nick Johnson
Play of the Year: Zim's unlikely DP last week.
Game of the Year: Sept. 23

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: out of our position players, I'm tempted to say Robert Fick or the Nook, just to be snarky. But it has to be Dmitri, followed by Zimm.

Pitcher of the Year: Rauch. It has to be a member of the pen, and he's been the epitome of how that group kept this team respectable. Honorable mention for Saul Rivera.

Pleasant Development of the Year: Ayala coming back from Tommy John surgery and looking like he'll be every bit the elite set up man he was. Yeah there were some nice surprises elsewhere that people have mentioned, but this is the one most likely to help translate into a winner down the road. Honorable mention for the draft class, but of course only if they actually pan out, which we probably won't know for 3-4 years.

Disappointment of the Year: Austin Kearns. How can you still think of him as part of the future? .265-16-73 from your RF batting 5th most of the year? Oy. That's acceptable for a SS on a winning team (but only if he's also good defensively).

Play of the Year: gotta be one of Zimmerman's gems. Take your pick. I'll take the "stolen DP":
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl.jsp?w_id=601764&w=mms%3A//a1503.v108692.c10869.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/1503/10869/v0001/mlb.download.akamai.com/10869/2007/open/tp/archive09/092507_wasnyn_nats_dp_def_tp_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2007/09/25/wasmlb-nynmlb-1&mid=200709252230190&cid=mlb&fid=mlb_tp400&v=2&mType=w&urlstr=&mUrl=&type=v_free&_mp=1

Game of the Year: Hasn't happened yet. Today's game in Philly, I suspect a blowout behind a Bergmann a gem, caps off a fun finish of breaking the hearts of the teams we'll be hating for years, once we're competitive enough to care more about the race for 1st than the race for last.

Posted by: Steven on Cap Hill | September 30, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Dmitri Young
Pitcher of the Year: Shawn Hill/Jon Rauch/Chad Cordero
Pleasant Development of the Year: Jesus Flores, Matt Chico, Tim Redding, Young Pitching Depth and Development
Disappointment of the Year: The Leadoff Spot, Starting Pitching Injuries
Play of the Year: Kearns' Dive on the Warning Track in Right Field
Game of the Year: Bergmann's Near No-Hitter vs. Atlanta, May 14th i do believe

I'd also like to throw in a nod for Jim Bowden as GM of the Year, Kasten as Executive of the Year, and the Lerners for Owners of the Year for getting the job done on the new stadium.

And how about Bob Carpenter and Don Sutton as TV announcers of the year? I really hope Kasten or whoever decides to bring Bob back and keep these two together for years to come.

Thanks for all you've done and continue to do Barry, I know I certainly appreciate it and enjoy every read.

Enjoy the last game everyone.

Posted by: DC4Life | September 30, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Ryan Zimmerman
Pitcher of the Year: Matt Chico
Pleasant Development of the Year: Ryan Church
Disappointment of the Year: John Patterson
Play of the Year: Zim's DP earlier this week
Game of the Year: Every one of them

Posted by: Farid @ Beltway Boys | September 30, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Embedded deep in enemy territory, having brunch at Benny the Bum's in the Holiday Inn on Packer Avenue. Fans in Phillies gear everyplace you look. (Also got a sweet parking spot, from which I just might be able to sneak out of town without incident.)

Who dat "we", Met fans? We are us. You are youse. Take care of your own business.

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Steven on Cap Hill -- the "Stolen DP" is a great label for that play, that's the one I was referring to as my play of the year as well.

Also, on further review, the pitcher of the year might be "the bullpen," and the pleasant development might be the emergence of pitching depth in the minors.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Player of the year: Dmitri.

Pitcher of the year: I can't decide either, Hill, Chico or Rauch.

Development of the year: I'm going off mainstream here and saying Kearnsy. Because his hitting wasn't so great for so long, his hard work went under the radar. But now he's been hitting and I have all this hindsight. I'm just really impressed with the guy.

Disappointment: Guzzie's thumb injury.

Play of the year: Hands down, BELLIARD'S FLIP.
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl.jsp?w_id=589033&w=mms%3A//a1503.v108692.c10869.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/1503/10869/v0001/mlb.download.akamai.com/10869/2007/open/tp/archive07/073107_cinwas_belliard_tp_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2007/07/31/cinmlb-wasmlb-1&mid=200707312121435&cid=mlb&fid=mlb_tp400&v=2&mType=w&urlstr=&mUrl=&type=v_free&_mp=1

Game of the year: last night's--clinching 4th place, rookie pitcher, on national TV, and keeping the 1st place team(s) on its toes.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 30, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the freakishly long URL.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 30, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh, anybody want a ticket? Cough up two bills, please. In the outfield.

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Reading Boz today, I CRACKED UP at this jab after Ryan Howard explained his weird error at first, making Dmitri Young, of all people, safe:

Ryan Howard: "The next time I reached for it, I didn't get it, plain and simple. Reached for it, tried to grab it and didn't get it."

Tom Boswell: Even though the ball was stationary.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 30, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Two intrepid Nats fans just wandered into Benny's. Nobody's giving any of us the business. (Yet.)

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hendo, our man on the inside. Give us news from behind the front when you can.

Also, a plug for the Post today: Coverage is definitely not lacking. Great stories by our own Snarkmaster General (Svr-lu-ga! Svr-lu-ga! I think it works!) as well as by the sometimes-maligned (here) Mr. Boswell. For those who dwell only in cyberspace, take a walk to the newstand today and pick up a copy, it's a keeper.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, that's the best part of the Boz column, along with this:

"Then, in a slapstick seventh inning, the Nats were given the two decisive runs as, essentially, gifts of the phrazzled Phillies. Huge first baseman Howard tried to field a wildly spinning Dmitri Young dribbler about a yard from first base. Howard bobbled it, then he thought he had it and stepped on first base only to realize he didn't have any ball in his mitt after all. Howard located the devilish object at his feet and -- with the lumbering Young still several nautical miles from first base -- grabbed hurriedly at it again, missed it and slipped to his knees as Young was safe and Lopez scored from third. The sight of their 46-home-run slugger making a spectacle of himself may have been the worst image for the Phils to see."

Also, the Mets bloggers were calling Howard "Buckner" after that play.

Hendo, I wonder if you'll get a pass from Philly Phans today -- after all, they were probably referring to the Nats as "we" while we were sweeping the Mets a few days ago.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Player (comeback) of the Year: Dmitri

Pitcher of the Year: Starter = Hill; Reliever = the 'pen

Pleasant Development of the Year = Team as a whole for exceeding expectations

Disappointment of the Year = Marketing

Play of the Year: Any of Zimmy's web gems; also Belli's flip

Game of the Year: I'm enjoying the pennant race games down the stretch

I'll also add the following --

Rookie of the Year: Tie between Chico and Flores

Gold Glove: Zimm (honorable mention to Austin Kearns)

Most Valuable Players: The entire team for their heart and for picking each other up over the course of the year

Coach of the Year: Randy St. Claire (runner up: Pat Corrales)

Manager of the Year: Ma-nny Ac-ta!!

Call of the Year: Slowes' Nook Logan call

Beat Writer of the Year: Bar-ry Svr-lu-ga


Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Bob, a pass? Perhaps. Possibly no one will notice my DC face paint and Young jersey. We shall see.

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I also liked this Boz passage:

"And, after Chad Cordero worked a perfect ninth inning to secure Chico's win, the crowd literally threw in the towel. Out of the upper deck fluttered dozens of the white give-aways."

Also the bit about Chico not realizing how many people were watching the game on tv.

And the bit about CBP being "a pitcher's hell that serves cheese steaks."

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

and in Barry's piece, which I thoroughly enjoyed, this description of Chico's calm demeanor:

"They sent him down to Triple A, and it was the same expression," catcher Brian Schneider said. "He came back up: same expression."

To which Barry adds: "He pitched in a frenzied atmosphere: same expression."

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

On the standings front, I find it interesting that only two of the teams that currently rank below the Nats had lesser payrolls this year. The others have higher payrolls, a number of them significantly so.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Boz got me chortling at "the lousy Nationals." I am so damn tired of reading about this or that team punting a game to "the lowly Washington Nationals."

It's time follow Boz' example and pull out all the stops, and I'm glad to get the party started. May our loathsome Nationals slink into CBP and pull the rug out from under the Phillies this afternoon.

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Okay, Hendo, but don't pull the stops out at CBP, please. We want you back here in one piece!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

player: Ronnie Belliard
pitcher: Matt Chico (sadly)
development: Jesus Flores
disappointment: Opening Day pitching staff
play: Belliard's flip
surprise: Jonathan Albaladejo

Posted by: Mary | September 30, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

before season ends can anyone tell me who that guy was behind the dugout in RFK with the chicken and want it meant?

Posted by: section 223 | September 30, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

All my other choices have already been mentioned, but I'll throw one out that hasn't -- play of the year: Dmitri's triple.

Posted by: Cosmo | September 30, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Also, a plug for the Post today: Coverage is definitely not lacking. Great stories by our own Snarkmaster General (Svr-lu-ga! Svr-lu-ga! I think it works!) as well as by the sometimes-maligned (here) Mr. Boswell."

Of course, they did manage to get in their obligatory cheap shots on attendance (Svrluga's year-end wrap-up) and parking (Sheinin's "3 Up & 3 Down"). And Boswell? Looks like he muscled out Eli Saslow for the spot of Phillies beat writer in the so-called "Washington" Post. Couldn't he get at least one quote from someone in the Nationals' clubhouse? Did they have the impression that the Phillies were tight or choking, as Boswell did? Might be nice to have their perspective on that from the field as well as his from the press box, wouldn't you think? Or are they not talking to Boswell any more in the Nationals clubhouse?

And as for the Post's obsession with attendance, here's an idea: Surely there will be an ad in the new park that says "The Washington Post", as there was in RFK. In the interest of full disclosure, which the Post is so big on, let's see a line below it that says "Today's paid circulation: XXX,XXX" so we can watch the number go down as the Nats' attendance increases. As for parking, let's make sure the reserved spaces at the new park are well marked, and that the one that bears the name of the Washington Post has Marlon Byrd's name crossed out above it, so that fans who are mad that they couldn't find a spot will know exactly where to take out their frustration.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 30, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

As exciting as the playoff implications are, I am excited that Pleasant Surprise Jesus Flores becomes a Real Live National once the game and season end. We should definitely mine the Rule 5 supply again next year- you never know.

D'meathook was the player of the year (imagine if they had chosen Travis Lee over him?), the disappointment was Nick Johnson, although he was well replaced. Every win after 41 was the Game of the ear, a poke in Buster Olney's eye.

I look forward to a full year with Wily Mo and without Nook Logan. I will be sad to say goodbye to Ryan Church, but feel his trade value has risen. I puzzle over how Nick Johnson and Dmitri will both play, but won't worry about that until Nick is finally in the lineup again.

I wonder with trepidation who the Nats beat writer for the Post will be...

Posted by: Scrub fan | September 30, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

What do you want, 419? Barry did a swell job in the gamer and the D9 feature. By contrast, Boswell was writing a sharply angled feature for national syndication.

Tell ya what, next time *I'll* turn in the dispatch the way you want it. How's this:

"PHILADELPHIA - The wretched [I'm on a roll, folks] Washington Nationals took advantage of four errant plays by the opposition in a sun-drenched 4-2 victory before 44,532 witnesses this afternoon.

"Speculation was rife that fans were unhappy and that the mood in the home-team clubhouse was something of a daze. However, we here at the Post are all-Nats, all the time, so you'll just have to wonder."

Or visit philly.com for further details, which is what readers will do if they don't think they're getting the whole story from the Post. That will be just wonderful for a newspaper that you already damn for underreporting the Nats.

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Dear Hendo,
I might be a little bit in love with you. In a totally non-creepy, anonymous person on the internet kind of way.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 30, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Player of the Year - Meat Hook

Pitcher of the Year - Jon Rauch

Pleasant Development of the Year - Jesus Flores/Shawn Hill

Disappointment of the Year - John Patterson

Play of the Year - Close one between the Belli flip and any Zimmerman play. But im going to have to go with the Kearns face plant in right. Who could also forget the Nook catch on the hill in Houston.

Game of the Year - The crazy Zimmerman walk-off grand slam after 2 rain delays when the clock read quarter to 2 in the morning.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 30, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

419: Can't we be positive just for one day? Honestly, I just spent the last hour reading all the print stories, logged on here to catch up on blog postings, and was rolling along quite contentedly until your predictably negative screed harshed my buzz. It's the last day of the season. Please hold your fire for a few hours while the rest of us enjoy this.

Posted by: JennX | September 30, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta, well... uhm... oh, well, anything to take the pressure off Svrluga, I guess...

Posted by: Hendo | September 30, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Somebody really ought to figure out a way to post links to all of the nominees for play of the year someplace and let us all vote on them (with a tracker). NJ Nerds (and I mean that as a compliment), step up to the plate.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Zim. Now if he were to work on that throw...

Pitcher of the Year: Chico. Played the whole year. Solidly.

Pleasant Development of the Year: Belliard. I didn't get the "he's a nat" feeling until he broke up the Smoltz no-hitter late in the season. Now he's *in* with me.

Disappointment of the Year: Teddy.

Play of the Year: Zimmerman shirt-catch. Granted he didn't get the out, but just look at it! http://tinyurl.com/2ynr75

Game of the Year: So many to choose from. I'll leave it at "the big upsets".

Posted by: y8s | September 30, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year Ryan Zimmerman

Pitcher of the Year Shawn Hill

Pleasant Development of the Year Austin Kearns' second half.

Disappointment of the Year John Patterson.

Play of the Year Kearns bowling over Corky Miller at home plate

Game of the Year So many good games...but I'll pick the last game at RFK. A perfect day.

Posted by: Ray | September 30, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Your line ups from philly

lopez
belli
zim
young
kearns
pena
flores
jmax
berggy

jroll
victorino
utley
howard
rowand
burrell
dobbs
ruiz
moyer

i know this is horrible of me to say, but a 4 way tie would be awesome. either way the game ends, depending on the mets, will be fine with me though

Posted by: love | September 30, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Dimitri Young - Player of the Year
John Rauch - Pitcher of the Year
(tie) Matt Chico and John Lannan - Pleasant Development of the Year
(tie) Nick Johnson and John Patterson - Disappointment of the Year
Justin Maxwell's Grand Slam first hit - Play of the Year
September 30th win to eliminate the Phillies - Game of the Year

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Look at today's line-up and think how much difference there is from where we were on opening day. In fact if you replace Young with Johnson and Lopez with Guzman and you have a pretty good guess of what the staring line-up next year will look like, if now for opening day then probably by mid-summer;

1. Guzman (SS)
2. Belliard (2B)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Pena (LF)
5. Johnson (1B)
6. Kearns (RF)
7. Maxwell (CF)
8. Flores (C)
9. Bergmann (P)

Posted by: estuartj | September 30, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

wow, the mets game just started and they are already folding spectacularly!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 30, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Top of the first at Shea...

Glavine looks rocky, and so do the Mets... 4-0, so far.

Nets better do their stuff today!

Posted by: Wigi | September 30, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Nats, that is...

Marlins chase Glavine, who looked terrible... after hitting Dontrelle with the bases loaded, to advance the FIFTH run in the top of the first...

Lets hope the same snake bit the Phillies.

Posted by: Wigi | September 30, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Dmitri Young (great line from my nine-year-old daughter when she first saw him early in the year: "But he doesn't look Russian?")

Pitcher of the Year: John Rauch

Pleasant Development of the Year: Jesus Flores

Disappointment of the Year: Nick Johnson's failure to heal properly

Play of the Year: Zimmerman's walk-off grand slam

Game of the Year: The one where the Nats beat the Cardinals so badly the Cards sent in their second-string second baseman to pitch.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | September 30, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what happened with our coaching staff? I know they were being told before the game whether or not they were being retained but I haven't heard the skinny on that yet.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 30, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Natsinthevalley, Barry's notebook quoted Manny as saying, after a meeting with Bowden and Bob Boone, that "it's almost certain that almost everyone will be back," including pitching coach Lenny Harris.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hitting coach Lenny Harris ...

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann's lost his control. Get somebody up.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The Mets bloggers are ready to trade Reyes. Jim, give 'em a call after the game today. Or right now maybe.

Also, Carlos Delgado got hit by a pitch and broke his hand. Rough luck for the Mets today.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Game of the Year - 4th of July - Cubs walked Zim to load the bases, and Dmitri hit a grand slam home run - 6-0 final for the Nats!

Posted by: Traveler | September 30, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Way to go AK! Nats have one. Wi-ly Mo! Wi-ly Mo!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I too will echo wigi's sentiments and will give a warm thank you to Barry and the staff. The volume of hard work and information has made this season quiet enjoyable. I would be lying if I said I am not going through withdraw symptoms.

And after seeing what this club has done this year, I wouldn't let Buster Olney write horoscope predictions for the National Enquirer. On to the picks.

Player of the Year - The Meat Hook. Sort of a no brainer for me.
Pitcher of the Year - John Rauch
Pleasant Development of the Year - Jesus Flores
Disappointment of the Year - John Patterson
Play of the Year - Belliard's flip
Game of the Year - Cordero surrenders three-run homer to Indians' Martinez. I'll never forget how quiet RFK got afterwards. Plus the Nook Logan running mistake in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. As described by Charlie Slowes -

"Now the set, here's the pitch... Swing and a GROUNDBALL! Flagged by Borowski! He throws home, and that's all they'll get.

"... Now ROUNDING THIRD, Logan!?! WHAT IS HE DOING?

"The throw to third - He's out and the game is over!

"WHAT was Nook Logan THINKING? WHAT was he WATCHING? WHERE was he GOING?

"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! He's out, it turns out to be a double play, and the game is over!

(7 seconds of silence)

"THAT is shocking. Unbelievable!"

Posted by: Viva Livan | September 30, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

For awards, I also want a shout out for the grounds crew at RFK - keeping the field playable for that 13 inning, raining throughout game, against the Braves, not to mention throughout the season, kudos.

Posted by: Traveler | September 30, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Some touching words just now by Bob Carpenter about his past and possible future career in Washington. Said he talked with Stan on Friday and that maybe his leaving Washington isn't as certain as he thought it was. Interesting.

I, for one, really like Bob and hope he stays on.

Posted by: JennX | September 30, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The reason the Post could devote so much space to the Nats in today's a.m. paper is because the Shredskins aren't playing this week. If they were, it would be business as usual, with the Nats relegated to the inside pages. The off week also nicely coincides with the down-to-the-wire finishes in the NL.

I like the idea of the Post's putting up a sign at the new digs with its circulation figures as the highlight item.

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | September 30, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

you know, for all we complain about the Post's coverage, life could be worse. we could be DC United fans, and get practically nothing, despite drawing solid numbers and being, you know, really really good at their sport. So there's that.

Posted by: Ava | September 30, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to see Moyers gone...

Posted by: Wigi | September 30, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The other side of the Carpenter coin -- I found his "announcement" cloying and self-serving. And I for one hope that the Nats stick to their guns, let him go and hire an announcer that actually likes the team.

The only thing worse than losing to the Phillies today is the prospect of listening to Bob Carpenter root for the other team 160 times for another season.

Posted by: Ray | September 30, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Nothing against Carpenter, but I think he contributes very little to the broadcasts.

Posted by: Ed | September 30, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The other night Carpenter said the Dodgers left Brooklyn 30 years ago. How does anyone that knows anything about baseball make that mistake?

Posted by: Ed | September 30, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year
- Nats - Dimitri Young
- MLB - ARod

Pitcher of the Year
- Nats - Rauch
- MLB - Peavy

Pleasant Development of the Year
- Nats - The Nats Resiliancy
- MLB - Many Teams in the Playoff Hunt

Disappointment of the Year
- Nats - Nick Johnson Health
- MLB - Barry Bonds Breaking the Record

Play of the Year
- Nats - Anything Involving Zimmerman, but particularly the Mother's Day Marathon Miracle
- MLB - Unfortuntely Bonds Record Breaking HR

Game of the Year
- Nats
- MLB

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Ray-- I've heard this argument before but think that it is pretty unfounded. Carpenter is very obviously cheering for the Nats in every game I watch (and I watch close to 100% of the games I don't attend in person). Acknowledging good plays or strengths of other teams does not mean you don't still hope they lose. The funny thing is that the 2nd common refrain from Carpenter critics is that he's too much of a homer. How exactly do you reconcile those two, apparently equally felt, perspectives?

Posted by: JennX | September 30, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

... and if there's something we can all agree on, it's that MASN's camera work sucks.

Bob Carpenter just compared Austin's throw to Clemente. But he probably meant that in a negative way, right Ray?

Posted by: JennX | September 30, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Dmitri
Pitcher of the Year: Rauch
Pleasant Development of the Year: Belliard
Disappointment of the Year: F.Lop
Play of the Year: Belly's Double Play Turn
Game of the Year: RFK Finale

Posted by: Sec 312, Row 1 | September 30, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So long, Nats. Thanks for a fun season!

Posted by: JennX | September 30, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Journalist of the Year: Barry Svrluga

Thanks Nats, BRAVO ZULU WELL DONE.

Can't WAIT for next year.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 30, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Unnamed: "- Nats - Anything Involving Zimmerman, but particularly the Mother's Day Marathon Miracle"

Took me a while, but you mean the late game the night before Mother's Day, eh? (Which, technically, was mother's day by the time it ended) I believe Kearns had an in the park home run that night as well, which is another play that should be remembered.

Posted by: misschatter | September 30, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll second (or third) that, Jenn-X and Juan-John!

Thanks, Nats, for a great season. See you next year at the new park...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year - Ryan Church
Pitcher of the Year - Jon Rauch
Pleasant Development of the Year - Flores and Chico, plus 73 wins!!!
Disappointment of the Year -- < 2 mil in attendance (but please nothing on why or Post's coverage - way past time to move on)
Play of the Year -- Belliard's no-look glove flip to Lopez
Game of the Year - Final game at RFK

Here's hoping for some excitement in the off-season! Thank you, Nats for a much better than anyone thought season!!

Posted by: natswriter | September 30, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

natswriter--why Ryan Church? not trying to sounds condescending, i'm just curious why you picked him.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 30, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, that was a little anticlimactic. I had the Mets making a dramatic comeback but falling just short, and the Nats making a dramatic comeback and winning it in the 9th, followed by a playoff tomorrow between the losing teams today (i.e., moral victory for the Nats). Ah, well. Great season all, looking forward to the playoffs and the hot stove league.

And another vote here for Barry, Baseball Beat Writer of the Year. Svr-lu-ga! Svr-lu-ga! We'll miss you in 2008. Come back to the beat in time for the pennant in 2010!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 30, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Barry's been really good at compiling them, Bob L.

---

Somebody really ought to figure out a way to post links to all of the nominees for play of the year someplace and let us all vote on them (with a tracker). NJ Nerds (and I mean that as a compliment), step up to the plate.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, there will be a one-game playoff in Denver tomorrow between Colorado and San Diego.

---

Well, that was a little anticlimactic. I had the Mets making a dramatic comeback but falling just short, and the Nats making a dramatic comeback and winning it in the 9th, followed by a playoff tomorrow between the losing teams today (i.e., moral victory for the Nats).

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Dmitri Young
Pitcher of the Year: Matt Chico
Pleasant Development of the Year: Jesus Flores
Disappointment of the Year: John Patterson
Play of the Year: Belliard/Lopez double play
Game of the Year: When we blew it against Cleveland because of Nook Logans incompetence running the bases and Cordero giving up a 9th inning bomb.

Posted by: Jason | September 30, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

apparently a couple of Mets fans think Frank is a candidate to replace Willie Randolph. To which I say, Well, fellas, if you think that's really a good idea, have at. Could create a VERY interesting dynamic twixt the Mets and the Nationals.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

From this far-flung Nats fan -- thanks for all the treats -- the .00 center, the Journal, the Podcasts. Cool year. Dimitri/Rauch/Chico/Lopez/Belliard's flip (runner-up for symbolism, the standing ovation for Maxwell's debut fly to the right field wall)/no vote. Thanks from dukeland, BS.

Posted by: NatsNC | September 30, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Barry. You do good work.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | September 30, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

New post, my baseball buddies!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 30, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Player of the Year: Ryan Zimmerman- he's been the constant on this team. Through all of the ups and downs, he's been there. And he's played pretty well too.

Pitcher of the Year: Shawn Hill- While he's missed a lot of time due to injuries, he's been outstanding. Consistency is what I'm driving at with this pick.

Pleasant Development of the Year: Matt Chico- I would've never thought that he would be the mainstay of this rotation. While he's been inconsistent, he's definitely shined this year.

Disappointment of the Year: J Patterson- WHAT A BUM!! That's all I have to say.

Play of the Year: Ronnie Belliard's backhanded flip to Lopez after rushing to cover second on the hit and run.

Game of the Year: May 14th- Jason Bergmann's no-hit bid against the Braves. Nothing better than watching games like that.

And I'm going to add my own category- Most Annoying Thing About Watching Games at RFK: There's only one nominee and it's Clint.

Posted by: Reston | September 30, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

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