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Bowden, Kasten and the World Series

Easy, now. No predictions on when that will happen. But ...

Jim Bowden and Stan Kasten will appear tomorrow night (Tuesday) for a special World Series edition of the radio show "Nationals Insider", broadcast on 3WT (1500 AM/107.7 FM) at ESPNZone downtown (on 12th St. NW). Marc Sterne (Nigel from the Kornheiser show) will be the host. The summary:

When: 7-8 p.m., Tues., Oct. 23
Where: ESPNZone, 555 12th St. NW, Washington, DC
Who: Jim Bowden, General Manager; Stan Kasten, President; Nigel, British dude; Clint from the Nat Pack (I kid you not); Racing Presidents (they have high ceilings there)

Brian Schneider will call in for a live interview.

Also: You'll be able to put down deposits for season tickets next year. Shocking.

Could be fun. Anybody going? As I'll still be in Boston, let me know how it was.

By Barry Svrluga  |  October 22, 2007; 10:15 AM ET
 
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Next: Pre-Series drizzle, plus minor Nats news

Comments

AND you get an MP3 player!

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Or at least the promise of one if you deposit enough $$$$$$$$$$ for season tickets.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Barry (or anyone)
Any update on how many deposits that Nats have for season tickets? I'm guessing they'll get 25K tops. Anyone else out there think otherwise??

Posted by: Loggie | October 22, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

What did the elder Lerner call the prices for last year's free agents? "Insane, wasn't it?" Stan's job has been easy so far:"Don't spend money." This team sure could use Torii Hunter. Is Mr. Lerner capable of the "insanity" that just bought the Sawx a pennant?

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

So no Charlie and Dave?

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 22, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

At the event, I mean.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 22, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

15,000 this year, Loggie, for a losing team in a beloved venue, where Redskins fans could tailgate and remember without 4 hours of mope and hope on the Beltway. Before the Yankees' winning run 15 years ago, Yankee stadium was only half-full. With no parking, I don't see them topping 15,000.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, no Charlie and Dave at the event. No contracts for them yet.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | October 22, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Good point, natsfan1a. This gives an inside look into who mattters most to the Nats hierarchy, and who they think will sell more tickets. Clint, not Charlie, not Dave, not Carpy. Bringing beloved broadcasters back would be a great way to market season tickets. This is distrubing.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Barry,
Any reaction from Kasten to the Byrd situation? I believe Byrd was in Atlanta when Kasten was? Also would be interested in your thoughts on the timing of the reports coming out and what is the standard MO for stories like this.

Posted by: NRCreager | October 22, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Barry, Thanks for the update re: Charlie and Dave. This shows ownership contempt for the fanbase. Helluva way to market season tickets.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

hello all, i have been away from my lurking for a while now, but who are those pests that have been posting and being completely obnoxious? i tend to overreact, but I do believe this is the nationals journal.

Posted by: theraph | October 22, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

You have a knack for hyperbole, flynnie. The Charlie and Dave question does not show ownership's "contempt for the fanbase" for goodness sake.

Yes, it would have been nice if they were signed with no question. It's called contract negotiations. They take time. It's a business with lots of considerations. Considerations that I doubt have anything to do with how Kasten and Bowden feel about the fanbase.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand, I *AM* still peeved about the stupid recycled MP3 player tactics. THAT might very well show their contempt for the fanbase.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 22, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"HGH therapy results in profound changes in body composition: fat mass is reduced while lean body mass increases"

"Acquired growth hormone (GH) deficiency results from the destruction of normal pituitary and/or hypothalamic tissue, usually from a tumor. . ."

Paul Byrd was being treated for a pituitary tumor.


http://pituitary.mgh.harvard.edu/e-f-944.htm

Posted by: Where Can I Get Me Some of That | October 22, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Why all the angst over Charlie and Dave not having contracts yet? There has been no, repeat no, official comment from the Nationals about them other than "We'd like them back." There has been no, repeat no, comment from Charlie or Dave either on-air or off that they would not like to be back next year. So why no contract yet? It's called negotiation, folks. They haven't agreed on terms yet. Doesn't mean they won't. But this is Charlie and Dave's only opportunity to get either a change in pay or a change in working conditions. Like maybe they would prefer not to have to hang around after games next year and talk to idiot listeners on Nationals Talk Live (or fill dead air when no idiot listeners call, which is probably even less fun). This is their chance to shove that job off to someone else, like Byron Kerr. There could be many other details that need to get worked out before they sign on the dotted line, but there's no, repeat, no indication that that won't happen. Unlike Bob Carpenter, Charlie and Dave hold the cards in their negotiation with the Nats. Why wouldn't they take full advantage of that and get the best deal for themselves if they can? Why sign now, just so they can get to give up another day off and appear at ESPN Zone with Stan and JimBo tonight?

I'm constantly amazed at the mindset of people here and on other blogs that says that all that's necessary to complete a deal is to throw money at someone, be it free agent, broadcaster or whoever. There are a lot of other factors that play into any decisions like this, yet you all just ignore all that and chide management for being too cheap to get a deal done. Just because you're desperate to grab any dollar that anyone would ever throw your way doesn't mean that everyone is.

Posted by: Section 419 | October 22, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut-Tell Joe Torre that "negotations" don't show contempt. There's no reason that our broadcasters don't have contracts, other than the Nats Hierarchy not wanting them or being cheap.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry, for the Charlie and Dave update.

Re. NRCReager's comments on timing of the leaks that have come out about some players, I'd also be interested in thoughts on the Red Sox-Mitchell connection and any conflict of interest issues that might apply as far as his investigative efforts.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/22/sports/sox.php

---

Also would be interested in your thoughts on the timing of the reports coming out and what is the standard MO for stories like this.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 22, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"On the other hand, I *AM* still peeved about the stupid recycled MP3 player tactics. THAT might very well show their contempt for the fanbase."

You know, if this was the BestBuy Journal I might be getting upset about stupid recycled MP3 player tactics. (I'd probably be complaining if there was Circuit City coverage here, too.) But it's not. It's Nationals Journal. So what's wrong with them trying to give away a bunch of no doubt el cheapo MP3 players they might have laying around?

And for that person who went ballistic the other day over not getting their promised MP3 player, I recall that sometime during the season vouchers were sent to those who had been promised MP3 players, with instructions on how to pick them up. Sounds like you didn't get yours. Probably a result of an administrative or clerical error, I'd bet. So, did you ever contact anyone in the Nationals office, like perhaps your season ticket account representative, to inquire about why you never got yours? Or did you just sit and seethe until finally you had to explode at the injustice of it all? You know, I bet if you called today and said you never got your MP3 player they'd probably send you one. But that wouldn't be as fun as complaining here, would it?

Posted by: Section 419 | October 22, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the "delay" on the contracts for Charlie and Dave is that they are working out the details of the "term" of their contract. They have been on 1 year deals. If the Nats are smart, they are signing them to muli-year deals. That is the kind of thing that takes time, as well as the details that Section 419 so deftly pointed out.

I hope they sign them to 4-5 year deals so that this is not an issue year after year. Also, don't they actually work for the radio station? Doesn't that come into play here?

I also hope they find a way to fire Clint. He is beyond awful!

Posted by: roman1735 | October 22, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

When will the second option year on the head coach's contract be picked up?

When is tip-off for the home opener in 2008?

What refs will be officiating the home opener?

Posted by: baseketball lovers | October 22, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

When will the second option year on the head coach's contract be picked up?

When is tip-off for the home opener in 2008?

What refs will be officiating the home opener?

Posted by: they like their basketball | October 22, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

As for the conspiracy angle on the Byrd leak - the investigation of this pharmacy was also the one involved with the leaks about several other athletes, including Rodney Harrison of the Patriots and Wade Wilson, QB coach of the Cowboys. I think Josh Gibbons was connected to this one. As everyone in this town knows, the thing about the best leaks is making it untraceable, so I guess we can just live with the conspiracy angles. But this newspaper that was the one to break BALCO and has been reporting on the issue pretty vigorously. I don't doubt that someone having info on Byrd would break the story during the playoffs becuase he was in the playoffs. howver, if I remember on the Rodney Harrison thing, though, it was tied to a DA in Albany, NY, doing the investigation, so that maybe the source and not MLB.

Posted by: jon | October 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

flynnie, get a grip.

first of all, torre wasn't insulted by teh yankees negotiations. he was insulted because there *WERE NO* negotiations. he was given a low-ball, paycut offer and was told that was it, no negotiations. he said he specifically flew to tampa to talk face-to-face to see if there was room to negotiate and was flatly told no. apples and oranges. (not to mention he's a hall of famer who just managed his 12th straight playoff team, a little different category of employee than charlie and dave, no insult to them intended.)

second, unless you have some inside information that the nats are negotiating in bad faith, or not negotiating at all, you have no clue whether the nats are the holdout in the negotiations or whether charlie and dave are the holdup.

hopefully they'll get it done soon, but the fact that it isn't done yet, in and of itself, isn't an evil thing nor does it show any "contempt for the fanbase."

Posted by: other 506 | October 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Knock yourself out, other 506, but Torre was offered more money, except that 3 M was in "incentives." I loved the barely-controlled rage in his voice when he said "as if I needed more motivation to move on in the playoffs." Don Sutton, the least loved of our broadcasters, has a 3 year contract because he's a friend of Stan's and Stan wanted it. Charlie, Dave and Bob have NEVER been offered a deal close to this. It shows the Nats attitude: "You won't get what you like and you'll like what you get."

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

So perhaps this has already been reported here recently and I missed it but I hear Coco Crisp is tagged as "interested" in the Nats. (Like players are ever not interested in a team paying them money, but whatever). Also I read on the TSN website that Griffey was a potential target. Who's got the scoop? Will it be WMP, Griffey, and Kearns for an all Reds OF or will WMP and Crisp form 2/3 of an ex-Sox OF?

Posted by: NatBisquit | October 22, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

i'm starting to realize you must believe in conspiracy theories, flynnie.

i'm not sure what any of what you said about torre conflicts with my position at all. i said there were no negotiations btwn torre/yanks. and there weren't. there was a single "take it or leave it" offer. he wasn't insulted by negotiations, he was insulted by lack of negotiations. there's a difference. so it's not comparable to the situation you compared it to, since there supposedly are negotiations ongoing.

Posted by: other 506 | October 22, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

oh, and please no jr griffey. i like the guy and if it was griffey when he was leaving seattle, i'd have been for it. but not aging, breaking down griffey at the end of his career. he's best served not playing in CF anyway.

i could live with crisp, if the price is right. maybe he just needs a change of scenery.

Posted by: other 506 | October 22, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Griffey played RF this year and actually it was one of the best years he has had in Cincy. I don't know who would play CF if they got him though. Crisp is just another version of Nook. Not much difference between them really.

Posted by: NRCreager | October 22, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree Crisp should be a non-starter (so to speak), his OBP/SLG percentages are better than Nook's but his numbers are otherwise similar (and not as good as Church's).

In other news, it snowed in Colorado, and LaRussa re-upped with the Cards (a two-year deal, plus they gave him a new MP3 player).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 22, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Jay Gibbons. how forgettable.

Posted by: jon | October 22, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Coco Crisp was so good this year that a team in the midst of a pennant race opted to go with an unproven rookie instead of him down the stretch. This is no knock on Jacoby Ellsbury who turned out to be quite a player, but it's certainly no vote of confidence for Coco either.

Posted by: MKevin | October 22, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I love the piece on MLB.com about how they have a heating system on the field in Colo.

Bud the Dumb's greatest fear: A blizzard in Denver and a Nor'easter' in Boston. You will know who is the home team by whether they are wearing Yellow slickers /w whaling hats or sheepskin lined leather jackets.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And the people on blog/fan sites across the country laugh while banging out post after post in the vein of "Serves Bud right", "You Reap what you Sow", "A problem of his own making".

===================

I love the piece on MLB.com about how they have a heating system on the field in Colo.

Bud the Dumb's greatest fear: A blizzard in Denver and a Nor'easter' in Boston. You will know who is the home team by whether they are wearing Yellow slickers /w whaling hats or sheepskin lined leather jackets.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 22, 2007 03:00 PM

Posted by: MKevin | October 22, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

cleveland crisp decent player, boston crisp mediocre. was it boston that made crisp bad or were his cleveland years (err... "year," i guess, since only one full-time season) a fluke? i mean, his OPS dropped 100 pts and OBP 15-30 pts from cleveland to boston (altho his steals and % got better).

Posted by: other 506 | October 22, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig on Global Warming: I'm all for it. In 5 years time we can add another 4 teams to the postseason, another playoff round, and have one playoff game per night in "regional primetime". Heck at the rate we're going we could extend the season into or even through December. Who says the NFL Playoffs are the kings of winter?

Posted by: MKevin | October 22, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the news this offseason will be at middle infield, not outfield. I think the only way to make a significant improvement there (outfield) would be to dive into the free agent market, and I don't see that the timing for that is right, or that the ROI is that great over what you already have. That is the biggest weakness right now, I think... middle infield.

Posted by: Wigi | October 22, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Kind of like Maxwell over Logan?

____________
Let's not forget that Coco Crisp was so good this year that a team in the midst of a pennant race opted to go with an unproven rookie instead of him down the stretch. This is no knock on Jacoby Ellsbury who turned out to be quite a player, but it's certainly no vote of confidence for Coco either.

Posted by: MKevin | October 22, 2007 02:56 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | October 22, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

With Crisp, what people hope for is that he can revert to his 2004 - 2005 numbers (~.345 OBP, ~.800 OPS, with 15 and 16 homers) and give you 20 - 30 steals on team that will turn him loose more than Boston. The idea is you throw out 2006, when he played with a wrist injury all year and never got going offensively, and focus more on his post all star numbers (really post June) this year when his OBP was back up to .340. In Nook's 2 seasons with over 300 ABs, his OBP was never higher than .305. Crisp played some pretty spectacular defense, too, but our Nook does that. The Red Sox need to make room for Ellsbury, so that's why they may move Crisp. Crisp is under contract for the next two years pretty cheap (figures are in the paper), with an $8 million option in 2010.

A deal might make sense for the Nats if you believe a healthy Crisp is already an adequate offensive CF, a potential lead-off hitter, has outstanding range and a passable arm. In that case, Crisp is an upgrade over Nook, and would be an everyday player you could try for 2 years who still has upside. Not a plan A guy core guy yet (Hunter / Rowand would be), but also likely $10 million a year cheaper for the next 2 years. Even if I believed that, I'd want to see the terms of a trade. I could just as easily be convinced that the extra $3.5 million a year over Nook / Church for the next two years isn't worth it.

Posted by: jon | October 22, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. Given my choice of Coco Crisp, even healthy, and a whole year of Maxwell I'd take Maxwell in a heartbeat. Especially in the position this team is in. Wigi's right. Save the $$$ and the moves for the middle infield.

===================

Kind of like Maxwell over Logan?

____________
Let's not forget that Coco Crisp was so good this year that a team in the midst of a pennant race opted to go with an unproven rookie instead of him down the stretch. This is no knock on Jacoby Ellsbury who turned out to be quite a player, but it's certainly no vote of confidence for Coco either.

Posted by: MKevin | October 22, 2007 02:56 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | October 22, 2007 03:30 PM

Posted by: MKevin | October 22, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

If you are of the MI prospect school, there is another Red Sox name to think of - Jed Lowrie. Probably blocked by Lugo who has an unmovable contract and by Pedrioa. Very good OBP, mediocre defense. Crisp and Lowrie in a package would fill some needs quickly if you think the Nats can get power from the 4 corners and catcher. Lowrie has all his options and could chill in Columbus until Guzman's contract runs out (or is traded mid year if he's playing well).

Posted by: jon | October 22, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

i don't think the team believes maxwell is ready for 08, so i don't think they will plan for him to be here until 09 (or maybe a late call-up next year). if they ended up with a FA or trade for CF, that's an issue that would crop up for 09/10. and possibly one could be playing a corner (a la cameron/beltran in NY a couple of years ago, but hopefully w/o the head-to-head collision).

There really are a lot more options out there and i'm going to guess there will be some moves that are only considered in conjunction with other moves or done because of other moves. Plus whatever other situations pop up on the trade market.

Posted by: other 506 | October 22, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut,

I saw your post from yesterday morning (which I copied in part below), addressing the fact that Barry hasn't really covered the Nats in print over the past couple weeks, a fact that others on this blog have been griping about. I wanted to address your comment, which is apropos of this entry from Barry.

Do you really think that Barry would be the "laughing stock" of the journalism profession were he to write about the Nats' AFL players while the playoffs are going on? Do you really think that it would be "irresponsible, not to mention ridiculous" for the Post, as a national newspaper, to do so?

I guess then, in your view the Chicago Tribune is irresponsible and their Cubs and White Sox writers are laughing stocks. See the following headlines below; and believe me, I didn't need to look hard to find these. The Trib is the first paper I looked at, but I'm sure that the LA Times, or SF Chronicle, or lots of other papers would produce similar results.

There is nothing wrong with being a bit parochial when it comes to sports coverage, even for a "national newspaper." This blog has always been friendly and collegial among the posters, and I would hope that in future posts you would not take such a harsh tone in criticizing other posters' views, as you were when you stated that their posts show that they "really don't know what it is to be a true fan of the game." Other national newspapers like the Trib publish post-season stories, and they still cover their local teams--which is all that other posters asked for in the posts that you ripped. Here are a couple of the Trib's recent stories:

Sox prospects on the clock
October 14, 2007
It was only the second game of the Arizona Fall League season, but the White Sox treated one game last week as if the future of the franchise were on the line.

Pitcher Kuroda on Cubs' wish list
October 14, 2007
Hiroshima Toyo Carp righty Hiroki Kuroda projects as a No. 3 or 4 starter, and Japanese sources say the teams with the most interest are the Cubs and Seattle.

_____________________________
To those who think people who read this site and the Post don't care about post-season coverage really don't know what it is to be a true fan of the game.

How incredibly short-sighted and irresponsible, not to mention ridiculous, would it be for a national newspaper to be writing about winter league teams with maybe a handful of *possible* Nats players or the status of injuries just a couple weeks out, during the POST-SEASON?? You've got to be freakin' kidding me? Barry, would be the laughing stock of his profession. Dude, I think that stuff can wait.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 21, 2007 10:23 AM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | October 22, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ouch!

Posted by: Dead Horse | October 22, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Is Clint some exec's son or nephew? What else could explain hanging on to that poseur.

Posted by: SuicideSqueeze | October 22, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Dearly Beloved, it is only right and proper that we who are gathered here today should remember fondly Charlie Slowes, Dave Jaegler, and Bob Carpenter who are still left twisting in the wind despite years of loyalty and good service. May they be welcomed and appreciated somewhere as is their due, perhaps even as much as Clint from the Nats Pack, who will be at the ESPN Zone tomorrow night.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Ouch (again)!

Posted by: Dead Horse | October 22, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

For those starving for Nats News (horsebeaters and others), there is an organizational review here that should be of interest:

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071012&content_id=310509&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

Also, the Javelinas are battling the Surprise (!) Rafters again this afternoon, you can catch the gamecast here:

http://www.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/?league=afl

Posted by: Bob L. Head(less Horseman) | October 22, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie:

I think your characterization of the broadcasting team's contracts as "twisting in the wind" is a bit extreme... Just because we don't know the progress of the negotiations doesn't mean that there isn't progress... and since none of them are really expected to do anything under contract for a few more months, there isn't really the kind of urgency that demands the contracts be done before the close of business Friday.

As for general appreciation of them all, I think it is safe to say that most of us here appreciate the broadcast team... some of us might have other preferences, but certainly nobody thinks that any of them are an embarrassment. I think we're way ahead of the game with the broadcasters we had this past year.

My guess is that you'll see contracts shortly. November is the month for contracts.

Posted by: Wigi | October 22, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If you're looking for even more Nats stuff, there is a page on the MLB website that is Justin Maxwell's journal, including a way to email questions to him:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071022&content_id=2275777&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

How is a guy supposed to get work done?

Posted by: Wigi | October 22, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh how I wish it was June and the Nats were still playing (or for that matter, October and the Nats were still playing, but I'm not delusional)....I am getting tired of tripping over all the dead horses everytime I try to make my way into this NJ territory

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | October 22, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Our Beloved Broadcasters are not dead to all of us, Barry's Babe, nor are we as sanguine as other 506 and Wigi that the Powers that Be of Natstown, who already offered Bob Carpenter some grape kool-aid, are beavering away to make Our Beloved Broadcasters welcome. But perhaps you would rather meet Clint at the ESPN Zone than see Stan and JimBow with their arms around Bob and Charlie and Dave.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how many separately bylined stories or columns there were in this morning's Post about yesterday's Redskins-Cardinals game? Did you say seven? You win! Seven, count 'em, seven. Yet when asked by the Post's ombudsman a few weeks ago what he'd like to do if he could increase his Sports department's budget, what was Emilio Garcia-Ruiz's answer? Add another Redskins reporter!

Although I have to agree that the Post really should be covering the playoffs to the extent that it is, with Svrluga and Sheinin up in Boston, would it be a terrible tragedy if they pulled just one person off the Redskins beat to provide a bit of coverage of Nationals prospects right about now? (Pipe down, Emilio. We already know _your_ answer.)

Posted by: Section 419 | October 22, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, maybe Barry and the Post wouldn't be the "laughingstock" if they, or someone else, were in Arizona covering the Javelinas or following Nick Johnson and John Patterson around.

But the couple of people complaining about the lack of coverage sounded pretty *freaked out* themselves that we haven't heard anything about that stuff and with that, I stick by my stance: it can wait.

There's not enough demand for it yet in this town, save for a maximum four people on this blog. It's a sound business decision for the Post to have put its primary resources in the playoffs.

BTW, Barry and Dave and Post editors, in case it's not obvious yet, I'm thrilled with the depth of coverage we're getting on the post-season.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 22, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

you lost me there "flynnie"...not sure how you equate the twin dead horses of whining about Nats vs. post-season coverage and of expecting Barry to write about broadcasters' contract negotiation status when there is no news to report with seeing anyone at ESPNZone, but to answer THAT question, I wouldn't go there to see Jim/Stan push season tix even if they had their arms draped over Walter Johnson instead of Clint-whoever.

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | October 22, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Barry's Lost Babe in the Woods:

"Indeed, no Charlie and Dave at the event. No contracts for them yet.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | October 22, 2007 10:38 AM "

"not sure how. . . you expect Barry to write about broadcasters' contract negotiation status when there is no news to report."

Maybe you mised it. Barry thought it to be significant. Since I care about and am grateful to Charlie, Dave and Bob, I agree with Barry.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

In this case it's not about writer resources, it's about space in the paper...which the aforementioned Mr. Garcia-Ruiz is clearly unwilling to devote to the Nats as he continues to grind his well-honed axe. For example, Barry was in Arizona, and he already told us that he would visit the Javelinas while there. So why no story in the paper? I think we all know the answer to that...and it's not because the prolific Barry Svrluga has suddenly lost interest in writing about the team that he's covered for the past 3 years.

There doesn't need to be a trade-off here; the playoff coverage has been excellent, but that doesn't mean that there needs to be a void of all things Nats. The Post has the space and just chooses not to devote any of it to the Nats.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | October 22, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Barry has posted Nats info in this thread, no?

Posted by: Irony police | October 22, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

so the "news" about broadcasters' contracts is that there's no news? and this is significant, other that to assuage those who are frothing at the mouth that they haven't missed the actual news yet?

if/when Barry has something to report--other than, "there's nothing to report"--then it will be news.

Posted by: section 506 | October 22, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut Says
"It's a sound business decision for the Post to have put its primary resources in the playoffs."

Yup WPost just keeps making sound business decisions one after another....WPRadio, ESPN Wanta be, MSNBC Wanta be, Stale Internet site (still waiting for a new picture and story), Yup more layoff and buyout on the way, but hey just keep listing to the same sound business advice I'm sure ignoring your core will work out someday. On a side note Barry did say he would write about the AZ fall ball stuff......Thanks Sports Editors.....bet you were the ones who sent in the replacement to the Philly Locker room too......oh Barry said he would explain that too.....list is getting just too long to keep track of!

Posted by: JayB | October 22, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

There aren't many postings of new Nationals news lately because there isn't a whole lot happening in public concerning the Nationals. The focus now is on the World Series and the two teams that'll be competing. That's [rightly] where the focus should be at present.

It does bother me that, on the Nats'angle, they can't seem to lock down their broadcast team(s). What gives?? I want Charlie and Dave back. And, again, from a business point, what's the deal, or lack of one? Just sign them. What's the problem? End of mini-rant. Go Sox.

Posted by: samantha7 | October 22, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Re ESPNZone: I'll just be out of the classroom after an exhausting day of teaching. And home to pack a suitcase to head out of town. Pass.

Coverage et al.: Should be lots of stuff to keep NJ and the 35-cent edition interesting in the off months. The MLB sites and the Farm Authority are holding my interest for now.

Re the MP3 player: Didn't get mine either. No biggie. Yeah, they flubbed it. At this point, unless it's loaded with "Brahms' Lullaby," it wouldn't do me a lot of good anyway.

Barry and Dave: Nice work on the MLB postseason. Seriously. Thanks for all the posts. Now get a couple days' rest.

Posted by: Hendo | October 22, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

samantha7,

The fact that the Nats can not hire radio guys is a pattern for this team. They completely blew the Carpenter deal on TV team and that is also telling. Given the short but checked past of the front office operations these issues are part of a bigger picture that deserves to be written about and commented on by the club that could replace the 4 week old story sitting there now. How about some digging on ticket sales status and the relocation process; anyone think this is really going to come in on time? How about some reporting on winter and fall baseball prospects? How about checking on the Metro Station that is due to open for April 08? Nothing going on.....really?

Posted by: JayB | October 22, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

uhhh, speaking only for myself, since I'm the one who asked about Charlie and Dave in the context of the ESPN event, I'm not frothing at the mouth, nor am I suffering from broadcaster angst (at least, not in that regard). I asked an (I thought) innocuous question, not intending to unleash a flamewar. We're all Nats fans here, and we each express that fandom in our own special way. We do have that much in common, right? Why not focus on what unites us?


Posted by: natsfan1a | October 22, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Vis-a-vis the Nationals coverage in the Post. For some posters is the issue really about a perceived coverage slight or is it more a seventh-grade "we're too cool" mindset and we want what we want when we want it? Are you going to stop buying the Post or stop reading it online? Check out other big boy newspapers that cover baseball teams. Except for New York, where the never-ending Joe Torre saga continues to be strung out, most other newspapers that cover teams not in the postseason are focusing on playoff coverage. And some of those papers are carrying AP stories about the postseason.

Some of you guys need to come off the ledge. For example, the New York Post hasn't written a new Mets story for more than two weeks - even after they choked like dogs down the stretch. The (Baltimore) Sun is carrying wire stories on the league playoffs. Could Emilio V\garcia-Ruiz be more Nats friendly? Definitely. But the Nats last played on Sept. 30. Do we really need eight inches about the players who were outrighted to Columbus? Or that much space about the new radio deal? Check out papers in NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco and Los Angeles to see the amount of coverage those teams are currently getting. The one exception is Boston where there is yet no known cure for a year-round malady known as "Red Sox Fever."

We are blessed with an exceptional baseball writer in Barry. But the sport exists beyond the Nats Neighborhood.

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 22, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"It does bother me that, on the Nats'angle, they can't seem to lock down their broadcast team(s). What gives?? I want Charlie and Dave back. And, again, from a business point, what's the deal, or lack of one? Just sign them. What's the problem?"

Indeed, what IS the problem anyway? They're in negotiations. Neither side has said anything other than that they want Charlie and Dave back in the radio booth next year. Carpenter has an offer on the table should he decide to accept it. Sutton is under contract for three more years. Spring training doesn't start until February. There's nothing for them to broadcast until then. Why then all this urgency that they're not under contract THIS VERY MINUTE?

BTW, I do believe Ryan Zimmerman hasn't signed for next season yet. Aren't y'all worried about that?

Posted by: Section 419 | October 22, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a, you are a blessed peacemaker, and your idea of having our broadcast teams at the ESPN Zone rather than Clint is lovely, as are you.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to find Clint at ESPN Zone and take him out. Seriously. Or else we should reinstate the military draft for the express purpose of getting that guy out on the front lines in Fallujah. Please, please, please--lose the frat boy. WE. ALL. HATE. CLINT.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | October 22, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

419: No worries re Zim. He'll be entering his last season before he's eligible for arbitration.

One hopes he'll get a raise, but my bet is that he'll get signed in November, when that kind of paperwork takes place anyway.

(To no one in particular: My, we do get antsy without our Nats baseball, don't we? Good for us.)

Posted by: Hendo | October 22, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked about next years schedule. The Phillies have their tenative '08 schedule on their website. It says that the Nats open IN PHILLY on March 31, also there April 2 & 3. Nats close the season IN PHILLY Sept 26 - 28. See the whole thing here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/schedule/tentative.jsp?c_id=phi&year=2008

Barry -- can we assume that MLB has given the Nats a big thumbs down for opening the season on Sunday March 30 at Nationals Park??

Posted by: Ray | October 22, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

And Steven on Capitol Hill is not a hater -just ask Paul Byrd. Steven, if Wedge had played Byrd instead of Betancourt, and if that human stop sign of a third base coach had waved Lofton home, would The Tribe be headed for the World Series?

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Steven: If there's a Post-worthy story early in this sere offseason, it might well revolve around Clint's reception -- be it warm, tepid or hostile -- at ESPNZone.

I suspect there's a contingent of kids and young females out there who like Clint just fine. Chacun à son goût.

Posted by: Hendo | October 22, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Wedge was wrong to put Betancourt on the mound. He was MVP if the Tribe won - 7 1/3 innings with 2 hits and no runs. But the wrongful out of Lofton at 2d - did it kill a big rally? Into the eighth, Games 7 was close. The Sox led 5-2, and the Indians had the tying run at the plate with no one out in the eighth inning of the latter (which brought Papelbon into the game, in a save situation). If Lofton is safe, is it 5-5 in the 8th? I feel cheated of a great game 7.

Posted by: flynnie | October 22, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Gee, thanks, flynnie!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 22, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Red Sox and Nationals fan here. I don't know if going to the NL would jump start Coco's bat or not. In a sense, it almost doesn't matter - Coco Crisp is the best defensive CF in the game. He's *so* good that I don't want to let him go. If I had my way, we'd find a way to play both him and Ellsbury next year, somehow rotating games so that they get more than just a strict platoon. Our real problem is that we can't put either of them in RF. (I think Drew will be much better next year, but he does have an injury history.)

By the way, Crisp was fighting a back injury down the stretch of the regular season, which is why he got several games off. Most of Ellsbury's Sept work was in place of Manny, who was dealing with a bad oblique. (That said, yeah, he got benched for games 6&7. I think he might be back for the WS though.) And Coco's injury in 2006 was a freak broken finger.

Crisp would do well on the Nats, and I'd love to have him still on one of my teams. Lowrie...I honestly don't know how blocked he is, but the Red Sox shortstop parade has *got* to stop sometime, right? (And Pedroia is certainly not sharing his job.) What would you suggest the Nats give to the Sox in return for Lowrie?

Posted by: Deb | October 22, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

A cousin of mine who taught journalism at Penn State used to refer to the WaPo as "the world's greatest unedited newspaper."

That judgment still stands. It is not evident in any of its sections that editing occurs. When I went to Notre Dame 100 years ago, the sports section of the Chicago Tribune was excellent. It clearly had alert and demanding editors. I don't know about the Trib today, but coming to D.C. and having to read the WaPo was cruel and unusual punishment after the Trib. The WaPo is way overrated, due to Watergate, Bradlee's preening, and the movie--and the fact that it has no competition to speak of.

So mediocrity in the sports section is par for the course. Sheinen wrote a piece on one of the games in Cleveland wherein he did not divulge the score or what happened but we learned a lot about Manny. That's the prima-donna writer stuff no sensible editor would tolerate. (Come to think of it, in a town full of prima donnas, perhaps the Post's approach to the news fits its audience better than I think.)

Svrluga is an exception--he actually gives the score and tells what happened--so his future at the Post could be an open question IMHO.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | October 22, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I've enjoyed Dave Shenin's writing this post-season, it's been great to see the Post use his talents more. I'd love to see him get a baseball column a la Boswell where he writes twice a week - once on the Nats, once on baseball in general - that would be cool AND give more coverage to the Nats.

I'd like to see two stories in the offseason - an independent assessment of the Nats marketing performance (seems dismal to me - will season tix sales for the new park confirm this) and, sorry to kick Seattle Slew as Barry says, an analysis of how the MASN deal impacts (or doesn't) the Nationals. If the Nats are the lowest rated team on tv (and the O's can't be much better) is MASN turning a profit at all -- or are they paying the $21 mil to the Nats out of hide? I don't know, maybe these subjects aren't newsworthy, but they are to me. I'm not saying the Post cut into Post season to cover it - but during the hot stove it'd be, I think, compelling reading.

Posted by: Natswriter | October 22, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Just a few notes:

Ray - There is nothing to indicate that MLB has done anything to dissuade us from assuming that the Nats would open on Sunday, March 30 at GEICO/FBR/MARS(got to think about that one)/CapitalOne/Eastern Auto Park. The plan always was to open at home, see what the glitches are, and go on the road for 10 days or so.

Flynnie - What in heaven's name gets you so excited about the broadcasters? Signing any or all of them is not a decision that is a reflection on the club or its philosophy. Last time I checked Ken Harrelson was the last team broadcaster that ended up on the field and had anything to do with the team's performance...and we all know how that ended up.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 22, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

We probably don't want to get all zotzed up about Crisp. He plays a good CF, no question, but so does Nook, both in and out of range -- never mind how (in)elegant either of them looks doing it.

Crisp is better than Logan with the bat, but not as good as Church. Nothing indicates to me that there's much to be gained, save heartburn, from a Crisp acquisition.

If the Nats just have to have another young power-hitting OF, they should call the Detroit FO and find out what the Tigers want for Curtis "Please Explain To Me Again Why I Wasn't On The All-Star Ballot" Granderson.

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

On Granderson - my first reaction was "goodness, what would be the cost?" He had an incredible break out year. Established young cost-controlled all-star level player. I don't know, start with the 3 best prospects in our system? To flip it around, what would people take for Ryan Zimmerman? My guess is Granderson would be more costly.

However, Detroit does have Cameron Maybin and Brent Clevlen (off year), so perhaps they may be willing to move a young stud OF (they weren't for Soriano when they were contending for the World Series last year). Cleven might be doable and worth a risk.

If we are building, then I'd perhaps we should be looking at riskier guys who are relatively cheap to acquire in terms of talent and contract. If they blossom, fine, if not, we just wait for Maxwell or some other system product. The reason Crisp's name is kicked around is becuase (1) it was in the paper, (2) his 2004-05 might show he's a value stock, (3) he's blocking a hot prospect, and (4) for the RSN bashers, he has a profile because he is on the team you love to hate. Two years of him as a flyer does not mortgage the farm (literally).

Hey, if we were willing to talk Detwiller, a VT starter, Schneider, and Ayala, you might be able to get Ellsbury and solve the .350 OBP / 30 steal CF with great range conuundrum ;)

Posted by: jon | October 23, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Folks, the way C. and D.'s radio contracts for next season are being handled by the Nationals is not at all uncommon in the radio business. They're not under contract at the moment so they're not taking part in a promotional event. There's nothing unusual about that at all, and it implies nothing about the state of the negotiations.

And even if their contracts are signed tomorrow (or got signed yesterday) I wouldn't expect any imminent announcement. Remember that this week MLB wants all the column inches and airtime to be about the World Serious and MLB actively discourages teams from making most announcements or sending out any press releases until after the postseason wraps up.

Posted by: Formerly Section 502 (and formerly in radio) | October 23, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"The Phillies have their tenative '08 schedule on their website. It says that the Nats open IN PHILLY on March 31, also there April 2 & 3. Nats close the season IN PHILLY Sept 26 - 28."
-------------------

Let's hope the operative word here is "TENTATIVE." It would totally suck (and make no sense -- at least to me) to neither open nor close the season at home.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 23, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I am getting uncomfortable about some of the comments about Clint. The guy is doing a job and has feelings like the rest of us.

Posted by: Old section 406 | October 23, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

i figure all we need is a couple more all-stars and we'll be fine. that ain't gonna happen this year. and i doubt we trade any pitching either. i mostly expect a quiet offseason.

i don't think it's that nats won't spend money. it's that they choose to spend it wisely. patience daniel-san. enjoy the new stadium. we have a manager that other teams want. we have a third baseman that every team wants. and we have a loaded top 3 draft class. this thing is gonna shake out nice.


Posted by: longterm | October 23, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

From the NY Daily News:

"SPRING AHEAD: While neither has been finalized, the Mets are moving in the direction of making a spring-training appearance in the Dominican Republic as well as opening the MLB season in the Nationals' new stadium with the opening game on Sunday, March 30, in Washington, D.C.

It would mark the second straight year the Mets will have christened the season. They opened 2007 with a Sunday night game in an NLCS rematch at St. Louis. After one game against Washington, the Mets would be expected to return to South Florida for a three-game series against the Marlins, then continue to Atlanta before the home opener against the Phillies."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 23, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse


"There's not enough demand for it yet in this town, save for a maximum four people on this blog. It's a sound business decision for the Post to have put its primary resources in the playoffs."

Please make that 5 people. I am much more interested in reading about my team both during the season and during the off-season than any other team whether it be play-offs , world series, or whatnot. I believe the Post gives us short shrift when it comes to Nationals coverage. And I too want to know what is going on with Nick Johnson and John Patterson - particularly JP as you can imagine! He was supposed to begin throwing shortly after he saw the doctor again - which should have been 3 weeks or so ago. Is he still slated to pitch in the Dominican Winter League and if so, when? They started playing about a week ago and run through about Dec. 22, I believe. There should be news out there, but we just aren't getting it.

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | October 23, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

We already have a raft of players "who would be solid 6th or 7th place hitters on a good team." Isn't Crisp in that category? He would be a decent leadoff man on a mediocre team. We should hold out for players that help us reach the goal of championships. I realize I'm not a scout or competent talent evaluator but it seems like our guys are. So agree, take a risk on a lesser-known quantity that hasn't maxed out on his potential yet.

Posted by: Geezer | October 23, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Geezer, we still aspire to be a "mediocre" team. You have to crawl before you walk and I think with more stability in the rotation (say 7 starters this year, vs 13), another great year by the bullpen (even better year if the starters can average at least 6 full innings a game) plus a moderate improvement in offense (full year of WMP, plus NJ and Guz back) and the effect of the new stadium on our teams offense (Kearns for one should have a big bounce back, ditto Lopez - plus Zimmerman should have a monster year).

Add all that up and I think the Nats win 85+ games next year and are in the wild card hunt till the last week or two of September...

Posted by: estuartj | October 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

So I see I didn't miss anything the four or five days I've been away from Nationals Journal. Thumbs up to the other 506 for about 85% of the stuff he or she wrote. Way to represent our former section.

I also found some concurrence with 419, my old sparing partner, and as always with NatsNut and natsfan1a's dose of sense with good humor. Thanks to Hendo and Catcher50 for the seam head wisdom, Bob L. Head with the usual good scoops, and the aptly named longterm with the generally sound eye to the future. Juan-John, Natswriter, theraph, et al., intriguing observations at the right time, as always.

I don't really have anything to add, I'm waiting to unleash in the "coverage" thread still, but I did want to ask what I thought was the obvious question about broadcasters:

How do we know that it's the Nats that are holding up negotiations?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Nobody except those involved in [the broadcasters'] negotiations knows what's going on, if one or more broadcasters is perhaps stonewalling, or no, or hoping for better terms and conditions. I'm curious myself. But the Post probably has limits on # of pages per section, and with the Redskins imitating the stock market, and football controlling much of the country, I imagine most baseball news is restricted to World Series items right now, due to space or lack thereof. The Nationals are not hot news right now, much as Nats fans want to know what's going on with the team, stadium, and next season. Thanks to Former Section 506 who was also formerly in radio for his comment earlier about MLB's preferences.

Posted by: samantha7 | October 23, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I think that it was Sect. 502 (I've confused them in the past myself)?

---

Thanks to Former Section 506 who was also formerly in radio for his comment earlier about MLB's preferences.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

It's easy:

- Did the commenter actually do something in his life and has some real-world experience? It's 502.

If it denigrates, Philly, it's probably me.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 23, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

506, you put a smile on my face every time you mention your impending torrent of comments that you are going to unleash in the promised "coverage" thread. I am waiting with baited breath. Will your posts bring all 5 snark tools??? I sure hope so, we NJ readers don't want to be cheated out of any of your valuable snark references.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | October 23, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey now, don't sell yourself short on what you bring to the table, Sect. 506.

And you're definitely not to be surpassed in Philly dissing.

---

It's easy:

- Did the commenter actually do something in his life and has some real-world experience? It's 502.

If it denigrates, Philly, it's probably me.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey 506 (before moving), this from abcnews.com:

"Philadelphia is home to the least attractive people in the United States, a survey of visitors and residents showed on Friday.

The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the "America's Favorite Cities" survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News."

See the full article here:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3753596

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, that last Philly post was mine.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 23, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

hey, I'm a Trenton NJ native -- no one can beat me in Philly dissing! LOL.

Anyhoo -- has anyone purchased single game tickets for next year yet? Of course, I'm also thinking about Opening Day...

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | October 23, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bob... Tread carefully... DC was a very close 24 to Philly's 25. Yikes!

=================

http://www.travelandleisure.com/afc/2007/category/1/subcategory/2

Rank Score City
1 4.53 Miami
2 4.50 San Diego
3 4.43 Charleston
4 4.40 Austin
5 4.34 Honolulu
6 4.31 Los Angeles
7 4.28 San Francisco
8 4.26 Minneapolis/St. Paul
9 4.25 New York
10 4.23 Denver
11 4.18 Chicago
12 4.14 Seattle
13 4.13 Phoenix/Scottsdale
14 4.10 Las Vegas
15 4.09 Nashville
16 4.09 Boston
17 4.08 Santa Fe
18 4.07 Portland, Oregon
19 4.04 Atlanta
20 4.00 New Orleans
21 3.99 Orlando
22 3.99 San Antonio
23 3.98 Dallas/Fort Worth
24 3.95 Washington, D.C.
25 3.75 Philadelphia

Posted by: MKevin (24 and proud) | October 23, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahhahahahahahahaha, Philly sucks!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 23, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Anyhoo -- has anyone purchased single game tickets for next year yet? Of course, I'm also thinking about Opening Day..."

You mean single game tickets for the Nationals? That would be kind of hard to do, seeing as how the schedule has not even been released yet. And, for that matter, no one has even purchased a season ticket for next year either at this point. Many of us have put down deposits, but we don't know yet where our seats will be, and we haven't made our final payments yet.

Single-game tickets will probably go on sale a month or two before the start of the season, and if the pattern holds from past years season ticket holders will get first dibs at buying them, i.e. they will open up single game sales to STHers several days before they start selling them to the general public. I myself am counting on them doing this, because my 20-game plan will not include Opening Day but I plan to get my OD ticket as soon as they go on sale to STHers. I wouldn't be surprised if Opening Day is completely sold out before sales are opened to the general public, due to all the available seats being grabbed by STHers. Yet another reason to get season tickets, even if you never get your MP3 player.

Posted by: Section 419 | October 23, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh man. Talking about opening day, season tickets, new stadium. I'm already getting giddy. How many more days?

Posted by: NatsNut | October 23, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, all those showgirls, and Las Vegas only makes the middle of the pack? ;)

---

Hey Bob... Tread carefully... DC was a very close 24 to Philly's 25. Yikes!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Would you like me to denigrate Philly radio? It's not hard.

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

- Did the commenter actually do something in his life and has some real-world experience? It's 502.

If it denigrates, Philly, it's probably me.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving)

Posted by: Formerly Section 502 (Has Visited Philadelphia) | October 23, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I count 158 if the home opener is on March 30. Spring Training games would start a month or so before that, right, and pitchers and catchers would report sooner?

---

Oh man. Talking about opening day, season tickets, new stadium. I'm already getting giddy. How many more days?

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a asked:

"...Spring Training games would start a month or so before that, right, and pitchers and catchers would report sooner?"

If I counted correctly, it's 17 weeks until mid-February, when pitchers and catchers report.

17 X 7 = 119 days

119 X 24 = 2856 hours

But those are only rough estimates.

Posted by: Formerly Section 502 (has 2008 calendar) | October 23, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Sa-weet!

---

If I counted correctly, it's 17 weeks until mid-February, when pitchers and catchers report.

17 X 7 = 119 days

119 X 24 = 2856 hours

But those are only rough estimates.

Posted by: natsfan1a (has little mathematical ability) | October 23, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Anyhoo -- has anyone purchased single game tickets for next year yet? Of course, I'm also thinking about Opening Day..."

I just checked with the Nats yesterday about tickets for the opening game. They told me that they will go on sale in February or March. Current season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to buy, then the general public.

Posted by: Baldino | October 23, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Following up on an earlier comment about the Phillies having already posted their 2008 tentative schedule on their MLB.com website, I clicked around on a few other team sites. Turns out the Braves, Marlins, Reds, and Rockies have also posted their 2008 home schedules, while the Diamondbacks -- like the Phillies -- have included both home and away games. Neither the Mets nor the Cardinals have posted anything (ditto the Nats' website as of 3:45 p.m.). Those are the only teams I checked, but it seems clear there's no MLB prohibition against posting these tentative schedules. How about it Nats management? Even if you put in a big disclaimer that you're still trying to arrange a pre-March 31st home opener, it would be nice to see what we can expect.

Posted by: RFK Section 314 | October 23, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi, I'm Stan Kasten. I have a nightmare already in trying to avoid the pitchfork, torch-wielding crowds after me over season-ticket relocations and crummy give-away MP3 players. The last thing I need on my plate right now is irate calls from people who made plans to go to a game that doesn't exist anymore, because the schedule drastically changed due to my pleading about a Thursday opener.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 23, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

careful, my 506 compatriot. any attempt at rational thinking could be met by pitchforks, tar, and feathers...

Posted by: other 506 | October 23, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

506: the snark meter is pegged out

Posted by: NatsNut | October 23, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Somebody grab me the smelling salts, quick. From Nationals.com:

"Fans purchasing season ticket packages, including full season, half season and partial game plans, will be able to purchase parking in the area surrounding Nationals Park. . . .

"For fans without season tickets that choose to drive to Nationals Park, or season ticket holders who choose not to purchase parking, there will be free parking at RFK Stadium with a speedy and free roundtrip shuttle service to the games."

Am I reading that right? FREE parking? Not $35 FedEx style parking? Not $15 RFK parking? But FREE RFK parking?

I'm willing to suspend disbelief. Oh, Lord, am I willing...

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that is pretty cool. PARTY BUS!!!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 23, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hendo -- Where did you see that quote? Could you provide a link? I couldn't find it. Particularly since my chin's been scraping the floor at the mention of free parking at RFK...

Posted by: Juan-John | October 23, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Awesome news if true. Although the skeptic in me thinks that you can have one (at most) of speedy and free.

Posted by: joebleux | October 23, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, the quote is at least from an e-mail sent to current season ticket / partial plan account holders earlier today. It reads, in full:

The Washington Nationals announced today that all season ticket holders will be offered the opportunity to purchase parking for games at the new ballpark. Fans purchasing season ticket packages, including full season, half season and partial game plans, will be able to purchase parking in the area surrounding Nationals Park.

Available surface parking spaces and/or garages are currently being designated, and the process is an ongoing one. The Nationals and the District have been working very diligently for over a year to provide parking for their fans.

"We are very excited to announce that, due to the hard work of many, many people, we now feel confident that we will be able to provide parking spaces for purchase by any season ticket customer account," said Stan Kasten, President of the Washington Nationals. "We understand there has been a great deal of concern and speculation regarding parking availability at the new Nationals Park for 2008."

For fans without season tickets that choose to drive to Nationals Park, or season ticket holders who choose not to purchase parking, there will be free parking at RFK Stadium with a speedy and free roundtrip shuttle service to the games.

The process of selling tickets and acquiring parking spaces will continue throughout the offseason. More details about parking, including policies and prices, will be announced at a later date.

The Nationals have recently completed the first phase of their season ticket holder relocation process, and those customers who made deposits for season ticket packages in the new ballpark will receive their invoices, seat locations, and additional pertinent information during the first half of November. Season Ticket holder Relocation Guide »

Season ticket packages may be purchased online at nationals.com or by calling 202-675-NATS (6287).

Posted by: 408 Row 1 | October 23, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, it came in an email from Nationals.com -- perhaps just to season ticket holders?

BTW, another tidbit from the same email:

"The Nationals have recently completed the first phase of their season ticket holder relocation process, and those customers who made deposits for season ticket packages in the new ballpark will receive their invoices, seat locations, and additional pertinent information during the first half of November."

That would be by, like, November 15. Three weeks from Thursday.

My jaw is still on the floor too. Hell, I'd give Stan an MP3 player right now.

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Can this thread, or ones like it, keep going until spring training? It would keep up the morale, for sure.

Keep it up, please.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | October 23, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

No, I get it now. The mail must actually have been routed from Sports Illustrated. It's a Sign Of The Apocalypse.

I'm picturing a couple hundred dropped jaws at ESPNZone in an hour or so. Not to mention some scrambling editors at the Post.

And Barry thought he was getting a couple days off, heh heh...

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

It's on nationals.com (under "Official Releases" near the bottom of the page):

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071023&content_id=2279581&vkey=pr_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: joebleux | October 23, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Apologies to Barry for that last. He's been writing his tail off, as I just discovered now that I'm home from the whiteboard jungle.

Especially nice feature on Clint Hurdle, though it has the feel of having been somewhat choppily edited. Or maybe, perhaps in light of today's events, I'm just expecting too much.

(Cue the film trailer dude: "In a world where parking at Nats games is absolutely free...")

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's to Barry for a beautiful article on Clint Hurdle. My favorite clint quote:

Dave Jaegler: "Go easy on us tonight, Clint."

Clint: "Oh, go easy on the go easy! You swept us at RFK!"

Posted by: flynnie | October 23, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

That's amazing news about the parking... not that it matters much to me... I've driven to one Nats game in three years, and I parked next to Hendo... I am a red-to-green line kind of guy...

Christmas in October (snowed here last night...)

Posted by: Wigi | October 23, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

More Sweet Nats News from Barry:

Nats Add Second Scout Who Has Ties to Arizona

Tuesday, October 23, 2007; E02

The Washington Nationals made another key addition to their scouting department yesterday, adding Ed Durkin, a 22-year veteran scout, as a special assistant to the club's baseball operations hierarchy -- General Manager Jim Bowden, Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo and Vice President of Player Development Bob Boone.

Durkin and Rizzo worked closely with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where Durkin spent the previous 11 seasons. Rizzo called him the "heart and soul" of a Diamondbacks' scouting operation that produced the vast majority of players who took Arizona to the National League West title as well as the National League Championship Series.

Durkin will serve as a "national cross-checker," and his presence further emphasizes how much the Nationals value the amateur draft. He joins Kris Kline, one of the Nationals' most respected scouts, as a defector from Arizona, where Rizzo previously served as scouting director.

In other news, Bowden and team president Stan Kasten will appear at 7 p.m. tonight at the ESPN Zone restaurant downtown. The pair will take questions for an hour, and the event will be broadcast on 3WT (107.7 FM, 1500 AM).


-- Barry Svrluga

Posted by: flynnie | October 23, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the broadcast reminder, Flynnie. Turning it on now.

Wigi, if the stars align (and I don't have to haul a carful of stuff), we can ride to the season opener together next March.

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

So Charlie and Dave are taking part in absentia thanks to the canned Meat Hook montage.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

It's Wigi!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Wigi, dude, way to get on the broadcast!

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Your turn, Hendo!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to get my jaw off the floor, natsfan1a...... 8^D

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Wigi...nice job on the 3WT broadcast at the Zone. NICE

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | October 23, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Excellent work, Schneiderman!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

As you can see, Stan and I go way back...

and Hendo, you're on... now that we know you'll have a place to park... or should I say 'WE' have a place to park.

If you read between the lines of what Stan said, I think the Sunday home opener is a done deal... they just are not able to announce it until after the World Series.

As for Bowden... I guess there's nothing he could say in answer to my question... but he's a slippery one!

Posted by: Wigi | October 23, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Funny how he slipped in a Redskins analogy at one point.

---

As for Bowden... I guess there's nothing he could say in answer to my question... but he's a slippery one!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Wigi, I'm thinking that where we'll park is at RFK for a season-opening tailgate.

Some of that tasty salmon will be a mighty sweet kickoff to the season. And, weather permitting, the top of the MX-5 will be down again to let the tunes float out.

Lord, is it still another 150+ days? I'll be counting them down...

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, BTW, anyone else thinking of heading West to catch some Arizona Fall League? (I'm planning to be in Peoria the weekend of November 8-9-10, on my way back from a business trip to L.A.)

Posted by: Hendo | October 23, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

For those of us not able to make it, details?

Posted by: Atlanta | October 23, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

It was fun. Was able to ask Kasten after the radio show ended why the schedule hadn't been finalized yet, and he said they wouldn't release it until after the World Series. They're still working on nailing down the Sunday Opening Day game with ESPN.

So a little while later I'm sitting at the bar with some other Nats fans (Charles and Lynn), and Clint -- yes, that Clint --stops by and has one last trivia question for us, which was Where Did Stan Kasten Go To College? We all yelled out names of schools, and after a few tries by pure luck I yelled out "NYU?" Clint said "YES!" And I wound up walking out of ESPN Zone with a Manny Acta-autographed baseball, a Racing Presidents Bobblehead Set, and four tix to a weekday, non-premium game in 2008.

The only thing I can't decide is, in what order do I put the bobbleheads on my desk? In chronological order of their presidencies? Alphabetical? Random?

Any suggestions welcome! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | October 23, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Seconding Atlanta, Hendo, Wigi, 1a, somebody fill us in.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 23, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, I wasn't there... I listened on the internet...

I would be more cynical about the whole thing except for two things... First, the Nats did indeed have some good news to report today about the parking situation... and Stan made me an honorary season ticket holder.

Where my cynicism comes in is that it was an hour-long sales pitch for season tickets... but, there were lots of good questions from callers, and it was good to hear Brian Schneider call in and fill everyone in on his offseason.

I was just about to say that you probably could get everything that you wanted to get from it by listening on the radio, but Juan-John scored some pretty good swag.

Juan-John, my suggestion would be... in the off-season... make a little desk-sized winner's podium, with four levels, and then after each game, you can place your bobbleheads on the podium in the correct order of finish... Man! What an idea... they should sell that at the Nationals Store.

Posted by: Wigi | October 23, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't there, either, just listening on the radio. But I agree with Wigi on the sales pitch aspect. It was good to hear from Schneider and interesting to hear the answers to the questions from the callers who got through.

Juan-John, I'd be inclined to go with chronological order. I like Wigi's suggestion, too, though. natsfan1c had plans to race his across his desk occasionally but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe when the hot stove fires up...

An opening day tailgate could be fun, depending how things fall into place.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking about something... were there any commercials during that?? I bet it was an Nationals Infomercial...

Posted by: Wigi | October 23, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

They did have commercial breaks, if I recall correctly. I liked the audio montages with Charlie and Dave. Made me wish it was baseball season again.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 23, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a:

They did have breaks, but if I remember correctly, the only spots in the breaks were advertisements for the Nats... so it was Nats programming, punctuated with Nats ads... and lots of phone number-giving-out...

Is that right?? Am I remembering correctly? It may seem like a small thing... just a little media ethics thing...

Posted by: Wigi | October 23, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"Where my cynicism comes in is that it was an hour-long sales pitch for season tickets."

"They did have breaks, but if I remember correctly, the only spots in the breaks were advertisements for the Nats... so it was Nats programming, punctuated with Nats ads... and lots of phone number-giving-out...

Is that right?? Am I remembering correctly? It may seem like a small thing... just a little media ethics thing..."

Funny how people criticize the Nationals for not doing enough marketing, and then when they do do some marketing, people criticize that. The old phrase "damned if you do, damned if you don't" comes to mind.

This was a marketing event, plain and simple. No one ever said it wasn't. Where does "media ethics" come into this at all?

Posted by: Section 419 | October 23, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

419:

I've never criticized the Nats for their marketing... in fact, I think their marketing up until now has been very shrewd...

My criticism of today's broadcast is one that echos all through the media... and that is the distinction between content and advertising. If you look at how the broadcast was billed, it was promoted as

". . .a special World Series edition of the radio show "Nationals Insider", broadcast on 3WT (1500 AM/107.7 FM) at ESPNZone downtown (on 12th St. NW). Marc Sterne (Nigel from the Kornheiser show) will be the host. The summary:

When: 7-8 p.m., Tues., Oct. 23
Where: ESPNZone, 555 12th St. NW, Washington, DC
Who: Jim Bowden, General Manager; Stan Kasten, President; Nigel, British dude; Clint from the Nat Pack (I kid you not); Racing Presidents (they have high ceilings there)

Brian Schneider will call in for a live interview."

While the announcement that Barry posted at the top of this entry (and I am not suggesting that Barry or the Post were a part of how it was portrayed, I think that Barry was just reporting... that's all) clearly states that someone that was attending could purchase season tickets, the implication of calling it a "Special World Series Edition of Nationals Insider" implies to me that it was a radio program, and that 3WT was providing content, and that there was at least some disconnect between content and sponsor... and the format implies (note that I say implies, not dictates) that the program was news and or information.

This is really no different than product placements in movies or television programs, except that for the most part, people understand that those are for the most part fictional. At the other end of the spectrum, news outlets have an obligation to disclose the financial interests that they might have as it relates to the content.

I think this program was somewhere in between... and not really a flagrant breach of ethics... but it raised my eyebrows... From a Nats marketing standpoint, it was very effective... the Nats successfully addressed one of the biggest stumbling points in their ticket sales process, and turned it into a media event. My criticism wasn't with the Nats... it was with 3WT... and even then, it was minor.

Posted by: Wigi | October 23, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

What saved the show from a complete infomercial was the guy with the booming voice who required Sterne to take some calls. Was that guy "the stinger?" Anyhow, IMHO he saved the show from being a wall-to-wall sales pitch.

Great to hear Wigi from Alaska.

I wonder how many listeners the show had, aside from the die-hards?

It was preceded by a liberal gal (does she drive a Yugo?) ranting somewhat exaggeratedly about how Bush is sending untold hundreds of U.S. citizens to the Gulag (Peoria? Crawford?) who are subsequently tortured and never heard from again. (Hasn't anyone read Solzhenitsyn?) Not exactly the best intro to a baseball show, IMHO. Then again, she was better than a Kornheiser monologue, so I guess we should be grateful for small favors.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | October 24, 2007 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Alas, methinks that you should have patented that, 506 (see the headline in today's sports section). ;-)

---

You heard it here first. The Rockies and the Red Socks have a Rock 'em, Sock 'em World Series. 7 games. Who knows who wins.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving)

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

That's right, JohnR(VA), it was the Sting-man himself.

---

What saved the show from a complete infomercial was the guy with the booming voice who required Sterne to take some calls. Was that guy "the stinger?"

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

That may be so, Wigi. I'm a very poor marketing target because when I do remember a commercial, I don't necessarily remember what it was for (at least, not consciously). I tend tune them out.

---

They did have breaks, but if I remember correctly, the only spots in the breaks were advertisements for the Nats... so it was Nats programming, punctuated with Nats ads... and lots of phone number-giving-out...

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Nats may have jumped the gun with the free parking at RFK announcement, evidently the District has not signed off (and the RFK lots belong to them).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 24, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Life would be very dull indeed if the Nats and the District were ever on the same page.

Posted by: Hendo | October 24, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John,

You have got to put Teddy first! That way he wins at least one race, even if only on your desk.

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

The only thing I can't decide is, in what order do I put the bobbleheads on my desk? In chronological order of their presidencies? Alphabetical? Random?

Any suggestions welcome! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John

Posted by: Formerly Section 502 | October 24, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to come out of lurking to point out that the Twin Cities ranks #8 on that list of cities with the most beautiful people. Stylish, active, friendly, and worldly, that's us!

In your face, New York!

Posted by: John in Mpls | October 24, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I think the correct President's answer is, from left to right, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Geographically is the way to go, Juan-John. From left to right, George, Tom, Teddy, and Abe. That's how they appear on Mount Rushmore.

Once the season starts, you can work on some sort of ranking system based on the races.

Man, I love these important off-season issues.

Posted by: John in Mpls | October 24, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Good to "see" you, John in Mpls!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

In his "Raw Fisher" blog this morning, Marc Fisher puts forth a fairly damning assessment of the Nats Park parking situation.

Surprisingly, his entry hasn't generated a bunch of discussion. Maybe years of living in the area and observing the operations of the District have inured us to apparent disconnects like this?

Or is the Nats Park parking crisis just a tempest in a teapot?

Posted by: Hendo | October 24, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It might also be because Fisher is a boorish hack. I normally don't defame writers under a pseudonym, it takes a lot of guts to put your thoughts out there to be misinterpreted, but after the Tech shootings last year (either the next day or two days later), Fisher said the school was criminally negligent because they accepted someone that had been in psycho-therapy and that those people should be kept out of colleges. It was insensitive, incorrect, and ignorant and it wasn't the first time. but it was one of the worst.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The following statement is going to be unrepentantly eliteist, and I suspect subject to significant criticism from some, but here goes anyway:

By promising parking to every full season, 1/2 season, and partial plan ticket holder, the Nats have done everything they really need to do in order to solve the parking problem at the new stadium for next season. If driving is that important to you, buy a 20 game plan + a parking pass. if you're not willing to pay that much, take the Metro and do not grouse about the added time it may take to get to the game.

It really comes down to which you value more with respect to entertainment (which is all we're talking about here): your time or your money. The Nationals have now provided options for people who fall into both categories. As someone who has had a middling price level 20 game plan since 2005 (and without knowing how much parking will be next season, my guess is $30), I don't think the place they've set the bar for those who value their time over their money is too high, particularly when compared to what the Redskins demand of their fan base.

In an urban environment, where even in the current slump real estate is still at a significant premium, the largesse of a 10,000 car, available-for-all parking lot as found at RFK is a dinosaur, just like the 75 cent (or less) gas that enabled the car-culture which required those lots to be built way back when. People need to start to realise, as they already have in Europe, that owning a car, driving it into the city, and parking it exactly where you want to is a privilege, not a right. In this world privilege is expensive. So long as the Nats are making that privilege available and attainable for most who reasonably want it (i.e., us 20 game schlubs, and not just the $300 a seat crowd), I don't think people can complain about the hard choices they've had to make about parking.

Please remember, MLB stuck both D.C. and the Lerners with this site; if you're going to complain about parking, complain about what Bud Selig did in 2004 and 2005; do not complain about what the team is trying very hard to do now to make its most loyal and long-term fans happy.

Posted by: 408 Row 1 | October 24, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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