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Draft Analysis: Nats No. 1 -- plus Game 2 lineups

Baseball America carries some weight in this sport, as they have a very insider's view of everything, pumping scouts for info, etc. Their rankings are fallible, of course, but they're a good guideline for things, and teams usually tout their high rankings when they have them.

Nationals GM Jim Bowden believes that Washington's low showings in BA's minor league rankings will change in the next few years, because the reputations generally trail the actual improvement. Well, here we go: BA came out with some draft analysis -- you have to be a subscriber to get the link here -- and the Nationals did really, really well.

The highest of the highlights: BA ranked Washington as having the best draft in baseball.

This is an extremely significant development, and not even because there are expectations that one player or another will pan out. The Lerner ownership group came here saying they were going to improve the scouting and development departments. This is a step in saying that process is working. It takes more than one good draft to rebuild a franchise, but this is a nice place to start.

The rankings:
1. Nationals
2. Rangers
3. Tigers
4. Giants
5. Yankees

Other highlights:
* OF Michael Burgess ranked as the second-best high school player selected, which is saying something considering he fell all the way to the supplemental round. He was also rated as having the second-best pro debut of any high school player.

* Burgess ranked as the fourth-best power hitter in the draft.

* LHP Josh Smoker, also a supplemental round pick, ranks as the third-best secondary pitch in the draft. LHP Jack McGeary, the kid taken in the sixth round but one who has first-round talent, was fifth in this category. Believe it's the curveball in both cases.

* LHP Ross Detwiler was ranked as the college player who's closest to the majors. Of course, Detwiler made his debut (albeit with one inning).

* Smoker ranks as the third-closest to the majors among high schoolers, which to me is a somewhat surprising development. Also significant.

Does this mean that all this will pan out? Of course not. But it's another step. If you believe in the plan club officials have been touting since they arrived, then here are some quasi-tangible results that the initial steps are working.

Here, then, would be your Game 2 lineups:

Colorado:
Willy Taveras -- 8
Kazuo Matsui -- 4
Matt Holliday -- 7
Todd Helton -- 3
Garrett Atkins -- 5
Brad Hawpe -- 9
Troy Tulowitzki -- 6
Yorvit Torrealba -- 2
Ryan Spilborghs -- DH

Ubaldo Jimenez -- 1

Boston:
Dustin Pedroia -- 4
Kevin Youkilis -- 3
David Ortiz -- DH
Manny Ramirez -- 7
Mike Lowell -- 5
J.D. Drew -- 9
Jason Varitek -- 2
Jacoby Ellsbury -- 8
Julio Lugo -- 6

Curt Schilling -- 1

I keep wondering if Clint Hurdle is putting out his best lineup. Matt Holliday, from what I've seen (two series in the regular season and all of the Rockies' postseason games), is not a good left fielder. Spilborghs is a good enough defensive outfielder that he played center when Taveras was hurt. Wouldn't it make sense to have Spilborghs play left here and have Holliday DH? Just sayin'.

Schilling either enhances or tarnishes his postseason legacy tonight. Should be fascinating.


By Barry Svrluga  |  October 25, 2007; 3:59 PM ET
 
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Next: Game 4: Lineups

Comments

Hey, Barry, welcome back! I was calling bail bondsmen in the Hub area to see where you and Dave were and whether you needed help getting out.

Posted by: flynnie | October 25, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This is fantastic. I'll take news like this over a Torii Hunter/Andruw Jones signing any day. Now if we can keep this up and keep scouting the international players (how is that going, I wonder?), we'll be in business.

Posted by: Dupont | October 25, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

What's the over/under on Red Sox doubles tonight since they hit 8 against the Rockies' ace last night? 10? 20?

Posted by: flynnie | October 25, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

It is *amazing* that they were able to pull this off in such a short amount of time. Owners were only approved in May 2006! They immediately got busy, managed to overhaul scouting and operations quickly, and obviously excellently, enough to pull off the best draft in baseball by the following June???

I am incredibly impressed and awed by this. Those guys are seriously, I mean *seriously*, walking the walk.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 25, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know if Fukudome's (sp?) recovered and is playing in the Japanese playoffs?

Posted by: Juan-John | October 25, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

great line from longterm's comment on the previous post, talking about sportswriters and broadcasters not paying attention to what's actually happening on the field:
_____
"its almost like in January somebody hands out 5 adjectives for each team and that's all they are allowed to use when referring to a team."

Posted by: NatsNut | October 25, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

One word - WOW!

Seriously, this is "The Plan" unfolding in front of us. Since this, they have added MORE TALENT to the scouting department! This speaks volumes of their dedication to The Plan. I do worry that it might also add to their reluctance to sign a high end free agent. I still think Torii Hunter looks good in center field!

Posted by: roman1735 | October 25, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"Schilling either enhances or tarnishes his postseason legacy tonight. Should be fascinating."

What a stupid thing to say. If Schill gets beat tonight it won't tarnish what he's done in his career in the post season or what he's done for the Red Sox organization.

Another gem from a media guy who doesn't cover the team/organization on a daily basis.

Posted by: caphcky | October 25, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

capicky, you seem to have mistaken this for Red Sox Journal. It is not.

Posted by: here's a clue | October 25, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

caphcky, what a snarky comment. What are you doing on Nationals Journal? Aren't you in the wrong sport? If you follow the Post and this journal, you should know Svrluga is detailed to cover the World Series, along with Sheinin and Boswell, and this is a space for commentary. He made a comment. (As did you.) His was something many other media "types" have been wondering about over the past week.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

caphcky, your mom is stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

caphcky, you've not been reading the blog this year. I would surmise you're primarily a hockey-fan, in fact. We've had this fight before and will again. You'll have to play a little nicer, though, since we get ejected for fighting instead of just having to sit in a box for two-minutes.

Given that Schilling's post-season legacy is brilliantly shiny, I think that anything less than spectacular is tarnishing, technically. It might have been a leeeeetle dramatic, though.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 25, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry, for the great draft info and the lineups. Wouldn't mind having Hurdle tweak things a bit.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

caphcky is Barry's ex-wife.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

on point 506 - tarnish doesn't necessarily equate to the defcon-5 scenario. downgrade, yes - due to the top notch historical stats.

more red sox propoganda. they are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Posted by: theraph | October 25, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

or wicked stepmother

---

caphcky is Barry's ex-wife.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Just a little old school NJ terminology, fellas.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Tarnish-ment is not in the realm of possibility. Schilling is such a post-season god that we even named the team after his bloody footwear.

Posted by: RedSawxNation | October 25, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't you mean ketchupy footwear?

---

Schilling is such a post-season god that we even named the team after his bloody footwear.

Posted by: I am curious red | October 25, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

here's a fun one. I think Ryan Zimmerman was #6 (or was he #4?) in the 2005 draft and Tulo was taken #7. Anyone would swap them?

Posted by: jon | October 25, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Aw, can't we have 'em both, pleeeze??

Bill/Bob/Biff Ladson has an interesting Kearns Q&A up on the Nats site. I like that Kearns doesn't make excuses and that he isn't content with surpassing media predictions for last year.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I saw this today on MLB Trade Rumors - does the name Ryan Church come to anyone's mind?

According to Tom Powers, GM Bill Smith notes the team's continued focus on left-handed hitters who can use a short right field to their advantage.

Posted by: estuartj | October 25, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, perhaps Ladson should henceforth be referred to by denizens of this journal as Billy Bob Ladson.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Bill Smith is the GM for the Minnesota Twins in case anyone doesn't know that off the top of their head - which I certainly couldn't do.

Posted by: estuartj | October 25, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap! One troll and the snarky levels go off the charts. I love it.

Anyway, great news on the draft and that Kearns Q&A is nice to see.

Posted by: Jersey natsfan | October 25, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Was it baseball america that had Burgess listed as the #1 prospect in the Gulf Coast League?

Posted by: estuartj | October 25, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Great post, Barry! The 2007 season is not even over yet and my appetite is already growing for Spring Training.

Here's to "The Plan"

Posted by: Viva Livan | October 25, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Belliard and Kearns were the two most under-the-radar, under-appreciated guys on the team. Even though Kearns wasn't hitting too hot in the first half, he was as solid as they come. Didn't he make only something like 1 or 2 fielding errors all year? And didn't he miss only a couple games all season? It took awhile for me to notice Kearns, and until I started paying attention I didn't really like the guy. But when I DID start paying more attention, he fast became one of my favorites. Same for Belliard.

I was happy also to read that he and the others weren't content with the year's results, even though I think most of us were thrilled to death with them. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Kearns does next year. I bet I'm totally going to be his mom, just watch.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 25, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

For sure, I was happy with the results, too, NatsNut. Maybe we can be co-moms??

---

I was happy also to read that he and the others weren't content with the year's results, even though I think most of us were thrilled to death with them. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Kearns does next year. I bet I'm totally going to be his mom, just watch.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, my entry in the last post got zero play. Maybe it was lame. But at the risk of being rejected again, here it is:

Slow day here on NJ so I went shopping for middle infielders and CFs that are either free agents or rumored to be available in trades, and that can hit at the top of the order, and that are relatively inexpensive.

The best I found: Luis Castillo and Edgar Renteria. (If we're not going to sign one of the big-name CFs we're better off platooning Church and Logan for next year).

Castillo, 32, is a free agent. He hit .301/.362/.359 this year, and stole 19 bases, and these numbers are consistent with his career averages. We could probably sign him to a 3-year, $15 million contract and stick him in the leadoff spot.

Renteria, also 32, hit .332/.390./470 this year, with 12 homers and 11 SBs. He's a free agent after 2008, but may be available because it looks like Yunel Escobar is ready to take over at short for the Bravos. He makes $9-10 mil, which is too much, but Boston covers about a third of that, which makes him reasonable.

So, how would this look in 2008:

1. Castillo, 2b
2. Renteria, ss
3. Zimmerman, 3b
4. Young/Johnson, 1b
5. Kearns, rf
6. Pena, lf
7. Church/Logan, cf
8. Schneider/Flores, c

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 25, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

theraph,

Thanks for your insightful views on the Rockies in that last post! I AM optimistic! I have to be - I've waited too long for baseball to return to spoil it for myself with pessimism!

One point we both forgot in our discussions - Balt. has had a baseball team in town since 1954 - 54 consecutive seasons. Nats have that 33 year gap - and MLB's "stewardship" for the first 1.5 years of the 3 the Nats have been here. My point - it takes time to build up a fan base and a following across a wide area - winning certainly helps, but I hope the Nats patiently build a team that can win or compete most every year than go for the quick fix like the Cubs did this year. It will haunt the Cubbies eventually...

That brings me back to the Post on Baseball America - kudos to the Nats, lets hope the future results confirm the analysis!!

Posted by: natswriter | October 25, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Re. Renteria and Castillo - I'm not sure that getting either makes a great deal of sense. First of all, the Nats already have 3 veteran middle infielders under contract for next year, so I'm not sure they need a 4th right now. The only way that it would happen, I think, is if they wait until Renteria becomes a FA at the end of next season and pick him up to replace the departing Guzman. I suspect that it's far more likely that they go with the players that they have now, batting Guzman in the leadoff spot. It will be interesting to see how they handle the 2nd base position. Is the job Lopez's to lose? Will he compete with Belli for the job in spring training? Could they possibly platoon them? Getting back to Renteria and Castillo, I think the latter will probably re-sign with the Mets. Should Atlanta decide to trade Renteria, I'm sure they will want young arms back. And personally, I'd like to see the Nats hang onto theirs for a while.

Posted by: blueson | October 25, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Also, Schilling was very solid tonight, and did nothing to diminish that big game reputation. And while he is no longer the pitcher that he once was, it's hard to see why Boston wouldn't try to bring him back for one more year next year.

Posted by: blueson | October 25, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Ignoring the childish name calling....
HEY BARRY, tarnish this!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Barry, an interesting story about Chuck LaMar leaving the Nationals FO to become the director of professional scouting for the Phillies.

I am curious about when did the beat writers learned about this news. Before the Baseball America news release, the same time, or much later.

Posted by: Viva Livan | October 26, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I am inrigued about what the "philisophical differences" might be that led Chuck LaMar to leave for the Phillies. Since he was part of the scouting team that did so well last year, it seems fair that he got a better opportunity as a reward. Still, "philisophical differences" with a man who ran the Devil Rays are probably understandable.

Posted by: Four more months | October 26, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Mr. or Ms. caphcky, it seems that some blogsters veered into the ad hominem area, which we tend to avoid here, in responding to your posting. That is regrettable. However, I believe that some of the other postings were more in a jocular than a jugular vein (I know that mine was). By way of explanation, there is a tradition on NJ of referring to denizens who enthusiastically (some might say blindly) support a particular player or Blogfather (i.e., Barry) as the mother of the object of their affections. Conversely, there is a tradition of referring to those who seem to have an antipathy towards someone as being their evil stepmother or ex-wife. Also, you may already know this, but troll is an Internet term that is widely applied to those who post inflammatory remarks in a forum with the purpose of inciting other members. This is not to say that you were doing this, but because the term was used, I thought that an explanation might be in order.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 26, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I recognize that the Nats have Guzman, Belliard and Lopez already under contract for next season. The problem is that none of those guys can hit 1-2 for a contender, and we don't have anyone in the minors within screaming distance of starting in the majors. Now, I'm not saying that Castillo and Renteria are worldbeaters, just that they're the best available at the moment. I agree that we should not trade any top-flight young pitchers to get Renteria, though, and it might make sense to wait until the trade deadline in 2008 before making this move.

Eighth inning last night, Holliday scorches one up the middle for a two-out single, almost taking out Papelbon and Pedroia in the process. He represents the tying run in a 2-1 game. The Rockies know that Papelbon is slow to the plate and that he has never picked anybody off first in his career. They also know that in the ALDS, the Angels' Howie Kendrick stole second in the eighth inning of a tie game with Papelbon on the mound, and that there was no throw. So Holliday is thinking steal.

Problem is, the BoSox advance scouts have noticed that Holliday likes to steal on the first pitch when there are two outs. So they call a pickoff from the bench. Papelbon takes his time, allowing Holliday to take a big lead, then nails him to end the inning.

Now that's playoff baseball.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Clarification: When I said above that nobody in the minors was within screaming distance of starting in the majors, I meant middle infielders that could bat in the 1-2 slots.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Bob:

I really like Belliard and I believe he is just as good on the Nats as he was for the World Series Cardinals team. Second base is fine, maybe a shortstop upgrade but how can you tell for sure? If Guzman his 75% of what he did last year, it will be a great season. If not, then Lopez gets another shot. I think there is a solid core of players, and they are only a few pitchers away from being more than relevant. I am not really sure how to put team chemistry in a statistical analysis, but I would say the Nats are in the top 5.

Posted by: theraph | October 26, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Bob L - saw your Rentaria post but wanted to research a bit before I knee jerked a response. I also wanted to ID other names.

No question, Castillo's performance level his career is what you want out of a lead-off hitter. But, the 3 things that mitigate against signing him is his recent injury history (missing good chunks of time the past 3 years), his age (32, 35 at the end of the 3 year contract you think he'll get), and the surplus right now at 2d. His knees have required him to sit a lot, which may be more troubling than his quad / leg problmes this year. My guess is his age is more of a problem recovering from injuries now, and his average will decline as he slows a bit. The logical way to address the 2d would be to keep your more flexible player as backup (Lopez) and release your older guy (Belliard) unless you think Castillo can backup SS (when has he played there) or you are willing to paly Zimmerman there for a game or two while you bring up dreck from the minors. But - Lopez makes too much to be a back up, his trade value is low, and I like Belliard.

As for Renteria, I'm not up for a 1 year rental at SS if it would cost anything more than a middle reliever. I'd be curious if the cost relief on his contract would go with him (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't). Even if it does, you may still be stuck paying Guzman, so the relief may be a wash. Not that I don't think the Nats should avoid taking back a bad contract for a player who can help, but when they do, I would want a prospect thrown in as an incentive.

For what it is worth, I looked (a lot) at Sons of Sam Horn yesterday and, in their next year thread, some of the geeks their focused on 2 players on the Nats - Flores and Nick. They were talking Lugo and Crisp as be bait. Now, before anyone jumps on me, there is no way in heck I move Flores, we've discussed Coco to death, and I'd infinitely prefer Jed Lowrie for the Nats to Lugo due to contract and OBP, but what I think that thread shows is that there is a potential for fit if you work through the positions of depth on each team.

Posted by: jon | October 26, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

How old are Lopez and Belliard? You'd think that since I'm Belliard's mom I would remember his birthday but I don't.

Posted by: Geezer | October 26, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Can Barry or Dave please ask Tom Boswell to stop using the word "Rox" in his columns. He sounds like an old dude using cool words to sound hip. And it ain't workin'.

Posted by: SuicideSqueeze | October 26, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Theraph, I like Belliard as well, I just like him hitting sixth or seventh instead of second. I am also not a Guzman hater and hope he returns to form. However, my thesis here is that this team needs to high OBP guys at the top of the order and that, as many of us have said before, we have too many guys that should bat 6-7-8 on a contender. So the 1-2 hitters have to come from somewhere; and on this team that should be from middle infield and center.

Jon, I agree that Castillo has missed 10-15 games in each of the last few seasons. This is not a problem if we keep Belliard though, which I would do. And I would also want to resign Renteria to a three year deal (i.e., a two-year extension) before making the deal (and I might not do it if the salary relief didn't come along with him).

Of course, signing Renteria and Castillo would leave us with too many middle infielders, and I agree that trading Lopez or Guzman at this point would be selling low. But I hope Trader Jim can pull something off that improves the top of the order.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

FLop turns 28 in May.

Belly will be 33 in April.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard anything about Alexei Ramirez the Cuban Free Agent? He has played CF and both IF positions before, but I don't know where he projects as a major leaguer or what kind of contract he will require. The big benefit is he won't require compensatory draft picks (ditto that w/ Fukodome if they go that route at CF).

Posted by: estuartj | October 26, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I am using my real moniker until the early(?, hope hope) November revelation from NATS management gives me,, 506 before moving, and other our new ones. A comment on and to Caphcy is indeed a regular denizen of the "Capitals Insider Blog". The members there tend to be a bit more emphatic in their posts and a whole lot more negative. Who knew Caphcky followed baseball? Caphcy, a bit of context. In some circles the Redsox HAD to win last night or they would be doomed in the "Bandbox" of Coors field. That meant Schilling HAD to do his thing and, again in same circles, doubt had been raised that he could still do so. Barry's statement of tarnish or add lustre to reflect sentiments in some baseball circles and was true. If the Redsox had lost, Schillings past achievement would have been forgotten in a Big Popi moment by "The Nation". Rejoice that Schilling added lustre to his record and is still loved by the fickle (like some Caps fans I have read) Nation.

Posted by: A Hardwick (Formerly Sec 417 Row 8 Seat 9) | October 26, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Bill James ranked the top young talent in baseball. Ryan Zimmerman is #11 (right above Tulowitzki).

See the rankings here:

http://www.baseballdigestdaily.com/bullpen/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=351&Itemid=39

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

ROFLMAO;

Lets break it down:
"In some circles the Redsox HAD to win last night or they would be doomed in the "Bandbox" of Coors field."

Doomed? I don't think the team with the best record in baseball would consider throwing in the towel going to Coors tied. o NEVER MIND, its not anyway.

"That meant Schilling HAD to do his thing and, again in same circles, doubt had been raised that he could still do so."

HAD is strong/wrong but the point about the circles is right on. The NATIONAL media i.e., Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver come to The Fens and talk thru their butts
trying to tell you they KNOW about the Sox. I think if you ask the Indians in Game 6 (ALCS) and the Rox (last night) they'll tell ya he's still got it.

"Barry's statement of tarnish or add lustre to reflect sentiments in some baseball circles and was true."

LOL, If he lost last night his post season record would be something like 10-3. TARNISH? Some ignorant baseball circles.

"If the Redsox had lost, Schillings past achievement would have been forgotten in a Big Popi moment by "The Nation"."

ROFLMAO, stop now! The guy goes out and grinds in 2004 (Game 6) and thats going to be forgotten because he lost last night?
THATS HYSTERICAL. By the way its Big Papi (the circle would spell better if he/she knew anything about the team).

"Rejoice that Schilling added lustre to his record and is still loved by the fickle (like some Caps fans I have read) Nation."

Rejoice? Too early for that. I can assure you we're not printing up championship t-shirts (see Cleveland 2007) until we're 11-? in the postseason. Its amazing how The Nation has gone thru so much, yet when we're on top we're fickle. Thats LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY. Caps fans are fickle?
There aren't enough of them to get a real read on that subject. All fans are fanatics in my mind, but the atmosphere last night was AWESOME....something that area (Baltimore/D.C) have never seen.

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Cool link, Mr. Head.

You know where we REALLY need an upgrade this off-season? In AA.

Who will play middle infield?

What if J-Max sneezes too hard again in center?

What is the bridge between Detweiler and whatever boys from Vermont make it out alive?

Burgess is only one corner OF, where will the other come from?

Who will spell veteran Jesus Flores?

Can Marrero play first base?

What if Zimmerman gets hurt?

We don't have to answer all seven of those questions in AA, but I'd say we have to answer five of them. Can't declare victory after our BA top-honors, because there's so much more to do.

The '08 middle-infield questions pale in comparison. So make sure the moves on the field that will answer THOSE questions.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Okay, caphcky, I was nice to the first time. But, it's clear, that you're an idiot. Go post on a Red Sox blog.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

OBP guys... Meat Hook in the 2 hole??

let Zim and Pena and Kearns back him up. It even works if Johnson is in the 2 hole. It might take away his ability to drive in runs, or the fact that he runs like an anchor and might not score that many runs. But if we are worried about OBP and are not changing the structure of the team - why not try it?

Posted by: theraph | October 26, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

caphcky - obviously, you're not a golfer.

Posted by: theraph | October 26, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

so you result to name calling EVERYTIME somebody doesn't agree with you?
How old a woman are u?

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Caphcky, ageism and sexism are NOT COOL.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

caphcky seems to have too many pucks to the head. What are you doing on this blog anyway? We're Nationals and baseball fans. You seem like a riled-up hater.

Posted by: samantha7 | October 26, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Who said sexism is not cool?

Posted by: Ike Turner | October 26, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Caphcky, in order to post on NJ, one needs to have successfully completed third grade. It is clear that you have not met that criterion. Please go elsewhere.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | October 26, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Caphcky, ageism and sexism are NOT COOL."

Only to old women!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"What are you doing on this blog anyway? We're Nationals and baseball fans. You seem like a riled-up hater."

LOL....ok, so now I'm not on topic? It was your boy Barry who posted the World Series (non National) information. Thats what happens on this here internet comuter thing gomer. We post our comments! Scroll up on your screen....see it? "Post a Comment"!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

In the draft department, the Nationals have established themselves as being miles ahead of Joe Gibbs' picks (or lack thereof). As the news of the Nats' FO success in the 2007 draft seeps out, it may have a positive effect on Nats coverage hereabouts, perhaps taking a few column inches away from the coverage of the lame Redskins, who last Sunday at home had a terrible time beating an OK team with a one-arm QB.

Here's to many more successful drafts, because the Nats have so many gaping holes to fill. I don't see Nick Johnson as being capable of ever playing a full season, and who was it that spoke the unthinkable--what if Zimm gets hurt? Don't even think about that!

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | October 26, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Re: The Puckhead and Schilling, I think there has been a lot of back and forth about something fairly innocuous. Barry simply pointed out that Schilling had a postseason legacy that would either be enhanced or tarnished by his performance last night. "Tarnished" might not have been the perfect word (the best antonym for "enhance" in this case is "detract"), but it seems clear that a strong performance would enhance a legacy and a weak one would detract from it. As it stands, Schilling pitched well, but not for very long; had the bullpen imploded and lost the game then we would be talking about Schilling being too old to be dominant anymore, having failed to get out of the sixth. I guess I agree that his legacy would not have been "tarnished" by such a result. "Detracted," maybe only a little. But it could have been tarnished had he pulled a Tom Glavine and given up seven runs in the first. Anyway I don't know that it's something to get TOO RILED UP over.

Theraph, pushing higher OBP guys up in the order is a good alternative, at least in theory, but in the Nats case it means having rather well-rounded guys hitting in those slots, like Johnson, Young and even Belliard. The guys that we would want up there (Guzman, Lopez, Logan) have OBPs of .302, .328 and .314, respectively, which is lower than the batting averages of many 1-2 hitters. So do we go Belliard (.338), Kearns (.359), Zimmerman (.343), Young (.349)/Johnson (.395)(!)? Maybe but then the second half goes Pena (.316, ugh), Church (as usual, a somewhat surprising .348)/Logan (.314, ugh) and Guzman (.302, ugh) or Lopez (.328, meh).

I'm a little intrigued by Kearns or Church in the two-hole but I sure wish we had at least one true top of the order guy.

And 506 (before moving), good point on developments at AA (that's why I was looking for 2-3 year stopgaps in guys like Castillo and Renteria while we wait for the draft picks to come along).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Great commentary, as usual, Bob. I got your point about the stop-gap quality of Castillo and Renteria, but I forgot to type that my concern was they would cost something that would set us back in AA. I know you take this concern in mind too, just operating under the delusion that people care if I add my point of view...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Seeing how the Rox blew out our very own Cardiac Cordero earlier this year, it'll be interesting to see how they handle Papelbon in their own kooky park...

Posted by: Juan-John | October 26, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

One more time for the reading imparied:

"Barry simply pointed out that Schilling had a postseason legacy that would either be enhanced or tarnished by his performance last night.

And it was a ridiculous comment.

"Tarnished" might not have been the perfect word (the best antonym for "enhance" in this case is "detract"), but it seems clear that a strong performance would enhance a legacy and a weak one would detract from it."

The guy took the hill last night with a record of 10-2 in the post season, how does a bad outing vs. a good line-up tarnish/detract? Everybody is quick to RE-HASH the terminology, but so far I've seen nothing to defend the accusation.

"As it stands, Schilling pitched well, but not for very long;"

Look at the line:
Schilling 5 1/3 innings
Jiminez: 4 2/3 innings

Theres like 20 years difference between 'em, why can't the kid go long?

"Had the bullpen imploded and lost the game then we would be talking about Schilling being too old to be dominant anymore, having failed to get out of the sixth."

He is too old (41) and he doesn't HAVE to be dominant....but in the past two games he was better than everybody else and thats the name of the game.

"I guess I agree that his legacy would not have been "tarnished" by such a result."

Thats better! I guess it only matters who's keeping the legacy....the ovation he got last night.....more sparkle than tarnish.

"But it could have been tarnished had he pulled a Tom Glavine and given up seven runs in the first."

Not where it counts....Red Sox Nation!

"Anyway I don't know that it's something to get TOO RILED UP over."

Not riled up at all....laughing at grown ups (assume) name call just because they don't agree with a comment. To those people I say, NEVER get married or you'll never wear pants again.

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Seeing how the Rox blew out our very own Cardiac Cordero earlier this year, it'll be interesting to see how they handle Papelbon in their own kooky park..."

The Rox have a good line-up, they will adjust and get back in there. But please don't use Cordero and Papelbon in the same scenario.

Its the Pap-ajima show!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Caphcky,
there's nothing more for you to see here...time to move along. here's a map: http://www.sawxblog.com/

for the rest of you...uh, let's not feed the beastie, and maybe he'll wander off in search of someone who will.

Posted by: a civil sox fan | October 26, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The NYY used Johnson at #2 for a year or two. I don't mind less of an emphasis on speed at the top and more on getting on.

BTW - loved that Zimmerman / Tulo comparison. So I guess James would not criticize the draft choice.

Posted by: jon | October 26, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Caphcky,
there's nothing more for you to see here...time to move along. here's a map: http://www.sawxblog.com/

for the rest of you...uh, let's not feed the beastie, and maybe he'll wander off in search of someone who will."

No need to map sparky, no all about SB.com. Shame this venue can't do anything but call people names and not have a proper discussion on the sport. Does Leonsis control this one too?

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I resemble that remark!

Caphcky, I've been a Sawx fan since before you were even a drop in yo mama's turkey baster, and if you took a look at half the people in the Fenway seats last night, you'd realize you are WAY outnumbered in our RSNation by those you denigrate. Consider your citizenship revoked.
==========================

""Caphcky, ageism and sexism are NOT COOL."

Only to old women!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 01:24 PM "

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | October 26, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Caphcky, I've been a Sawx fan since before you were even a drop in yo mama's turkey baster, and if you took a look at half the people in the Fenway seats last night, you'd realize you are WAY outnumbered in our RSNation by those you denigrate. Consider your citizenship revoked."

Do you speak English? I did take a look at the people in the Fenway seats last night....I was in one of 'em!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

506, agreed, I wouldn't mortgage any significant part of the future to get Renteria. I would take a bad contract for a year, though. And all of us here are operating under that same delusion ....

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

i congratulate you on all of your accomplishments and personal satisfaction when your team does well. considering you are such an integral part of that organization, being from the Nation and all. do they pay you overtime to antagonize a fan base that is not only 8 hours away, but also in another league? i would want benefits with that responsibility, if i were lucky enough to be employed by the Nation.

Posted by: theraph | October 26, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey caphcky, what do you think of the Post's coverage?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

yes, little boy, I speak English. They taught us that at Harvard back in our day. Did I use a big word that you didn't understand, so that you thought it might not be English?

And like I say, you may have been "one" of them, but unless you were wearing your beer goggles, you would have seen that more than half of your fellow spectators were women or men over 40, and a good many of those over 50 as well.

By the way, nice of someone here to refer you to SawxBlog...I guess they didn't realize you had been virtually kicked off there by "public opinion" too, just like here.

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | October 26, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on the English Barry!

Is there a point to the demographics of the ballpark last night?

Kicked off Sawxblog? ROFLMAO stop.....I'm
on there now.....maybe you're just dilusional.

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You should use Firefox, I think you need the spell-checker

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Bob! I am winding someone up for my own amusement again! It's just too funny to resist.

What do you think of Bob Carpenter, caphcky?

Would you agree with me that John Patterson is a great pitcher? Or would you possibly say something negative....

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"What do you think of Bob Carpenter, caphcky?"

The broadcaster or the hockey player?

"Would you agree with me that John Patterson is a great pitcher? Or would you possibly say something negative...."

Patty is NOT a great pitcher. Nothing negative about John, he's one of the best the Nats have....but far from "great".


Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

My son has never played well with others. Please just ignore him.

Posted by: Caphcky's Mom | October 26, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Caphcky should be ticketed for PWI (posting while intoxicated) whether in reality or due to excessive consumption of Red Sox Kool-Aid.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"The broadcaster or the hockey player?"

Either/or, I guess. Maybe both. Who would win in a fight? On a surface with a temperature above 60 degrees? What about on hot-coals?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Patty is NOT a great pitcher. Nothing negative about John, he's one of the best the Nats have....but far from "great"."

tick..tick...tick...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

you posed the question....

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I've seen ya'lls definition of "tarnish"
I can't wait to hear what you would call "great"!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

506, don't you agree that if the BoSox win the WS, they will be the weakest team in history to have done so?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

LOL....Bob you NEED a little head!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Totally, Bob, the 2006 Cardinals could run circles around them.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm flying to Charleston, peace out all. I've got internet in the hotel, so if there are any food tips, I'll check in.

Hey I heard Schilling might retire to Charleston, since no one is going to pick up such a rusty, tarnished bp pitcher.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 26, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

re. Renteria -- If the Braves were to deal him away next year, I don't think they'd pick up any of his remaining contract. It's just not their style. As a matter of fact, the reason that Atlanta can afford him now is that the big spending Red Sox are still paying a meaningful portion of his salary.

Posted by: blueson | October 26, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'll ask him when I get to Colorado!

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure if any of the current Red Sox could start for the 2008 Nats. Well, Beckett would fit in nicely behind Patterson and Hill, but other than that ....

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe not on the actual roster...but that Papelbon kid has some dance moves that might make him a better draw than Clint up in the stands

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

theraph, did i read a big lebowski reference up there?

so apparently next years draft class won't be as deep. i doubt we dilute system so fast by moving anyone from this past years'. especially since we won't have as many picks.

nick johnson would be perfect for the redsox though. they could let lowell go, move youks to 3rd. NJ is used to that atmosphere and has type of glove and approach at the plate they love. get that man healthy and move him immediately for coco.

Posted by: longterm | October 26, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Longterm, yours is often a calm voice of reason, but a healthy Nick Johnson for Coco? Coco and Jed Lowrie, maybe, but I don't think we need Coco. We need the next Tulowitzki, the next Pedroia. "We need more Zimmermans."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure if any of the current Red Sox could start for the 2008 Nats. Well, Beckett would fit in nicely behind Patterson and Hill, but other than that ...."

LOL, O the sports knowledge of Washington.

Jon Rauch led the Nats with 8 wins.
Matt Chico had 7....

Boston can't match those number, must be why they are still playing and the Nats aren't.

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

caphcky, were you surprised that the Sox took 2, considering that the Rockies took 2 out of 3 in Fenway this past July? Would you be surprised if the Rockies take the next 3 at Coors?

Posted by: flynnie | October 26, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Discussion Guidelines:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/liveonline/delphi/delphirules.htm

Hello, moderators??

Posted by: FYI | October 26, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Why's everyone picking on caphcky? He/she/it is the only one sticking to the topic of the blog entry ("Daft Analysis").

What? Oh, "Draft". Well, that's different then.

Posted by: joebleux | October 26, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

RE: Renteria

1) My spelling is getting better.

2) Would you think ATL would trade him in the division for any discount? I'd think a trade to the AL (CWS?) or the NL Central (St.L?) would make more sense. Less of a chance he haunts you.

Posted by: jon | October 26, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Jon, I'm not sure they would trade him for a discount, but I've been hoping that the Nats could succeed to the deal whereby Boston picks up a third of his salary. Also I'm not sure Edgar falls into the category of players that can't be traded inside the same division. Sure, the Lakers may not want to give Kobe to the Mavs, but we're not talking about a franchise player here. That said, all things being equal, I can see the Bravos taking a deal from the ChiSox over a deal from the Nats.

Again, my thesis, on a slow NJ day earlier this week, was that we need hitters at the top of the order that fit in middle infield or CF. If The Front Office (TFO) is going to increase payroll this year, and is not going to chase the leading free agents in CF, or A-Rod (decisions I support), then it seems to me that the best available options are Castillo and Renteria. Other options and opinions are more than welcome! Come one, come all, to the Nats hot stove league, featuring Da Yule Log.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 26, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

According to the Nats site, Da Yule Log just received another comeback player award. Congrats!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 26, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"caphcky, were you surprised that the Sox took 2, considering that the Rockies took 2 out of 3 in Fenway this past July?"

It was June and no I wasn't surprised the took 2 in the World Series. The Sox are a much different team now then in June.

"Would you be surprised if the Rockies take the next 3 at Coors?"

Not at all, they could certainly come back to Boston UP 3-2, but they'll earn that 3rd one when they face Beckett in Game 5.

Posted by: caphcky | October 26, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Padres released Marcus Giles, who had a terrible year and didn't live up to his contract. He was once a good young second sacker on the Braves, but has struggled of late, and he's now 29. A Bowden reclamation project? Not sure he's any better than Belliard or FLop.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 27, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

He is better than FLOP!.....several years younger than Ronnie.....He plays hard (not like Plop, ops Flop) and knows what it takes to win....I like it, cut Lopez now he is not worth $4 Million admit it and move on.

Posted by: JayB | October 27, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

But how much is Marcus Giles worth? And why did he have such a bad season?

And where would Giles fit, seeing as Bells -- whom I don't see leaving in 2008 -- is installed at 2B, and Giles hasn't played any SS in the majors?

If it were another team cutting him loose, say the Dodgers, I'd be more inclined to give Giles a look. Kevin Towers is a pretty savvy trader, though, and wouldn't be parting ways with Giles if he saw any benefit to retaining him.

I'll not say "never," but I'd have to be talked into a Giles project.

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Looks like they're calling for football weather in Denver this weekend.

One would like to hope that would encourage the players to pick up the pace some (and the men in blue to keep it picked up), but sad experience teaches us otherwise.

Fan-numbing tedium aside, this snail's pace just can't be good for pitchers. It wouldn't be surprising to see an arm or two ruined in this weather.

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Giles would replace Lopez as the backup utility infielder for 2008. Cut Lopez (same reason Giles was cut from SD...not worth the money due him, nobody wants to trade for him), and spend that cash towards a 200+ innings pitcher like Livo....never should have traded him anyway. Chico is not even going to be in the Majors, nor Mock when Livo retires in 2016 still pitching effectively at 75 MPH.

Posted by: JayB | October 27, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Bob L - I'm 100% on board with your analysis of what we need. Top of the order OBP out of CF and the middle infield. My gut tells me that we have adequate power from the corners and catcher, so the best way to add runs is through more base runners. I'm just concerned about the price in trade for Renteria because he has a reputation as an All-Star caliber SS. I'm still in the bargain bin mode, unless the NL East sets up as an "anyone can win it in 2008" division.

By the way, to back up my gut instinct, I went to ESPN's website (and a few others) to look at a few statistics on road hitting. I figure that mostly neutralizes the RFK effect. I would have wanted to tease out post-All Star numbers (or, even better, post May) so we could get figures from the .500 Nats and not the early spring team, but could not find a site that let me do it easily. I'm not a hard core stat wiz, but I like to play a bit.

One interesting figure that backs up my gut instinct is PA/HR Away. The Nats were 4th in the NL. However, they were fairly low in SLG away, and they were the most ground ball prone team in the league (overall and away). One reason for the low SLG might be the low batting average (bottom of the league or near bottom) because if you aren't getting hits, you don't increase the numerator. I could not find isolated power (SLG-BA, I think), but in eye balling the the team stats, it looked like they were in the mid-range of the league. This tends to say that power may not be the source of the run production problem (with the caveat that the GO/AO points the other way).

Posted by: jon | October 27, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Google caphcky and troll...

Posted by: FYI | October 27, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Have a look at baseball-reference.com, jon. There we learn that the Nats were second-worst in the NL in slugging percentage, and tied for fifth-worst in on-base percentage. That's not a formula for scoring a lot of runs.

The isolated power numbers aren't calculated by baseball-reference, so here they are, by division, for your enjoyment:

PHI .184
FLA .181
ATL .160
NYM .157
WAS .134

MIL .194
CIN .169
HOU .152
CHC .151
PIT .148
STL .131

ARI .163
SDP .160
COL .157
SFG .133
LAD .131

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Google caphcky and troll..."?

Sounds like the double-play combination for the '43 Boston Braves.

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Spahn and Sain and pray for...caphcky???

Posted by: #1 Lurker | October 27, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Cancel my earlier whine about football weather in Denver.

That was Denver, NEW YORK, which is the default you get when you type "Denver" into the AccuWeather search. Denver, Colorado, is supposed to be nicer than DC this weekend.

Still wish they could find a way to pick up the pace of the games, though.

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Hendo - Thanks. I could not quite figure out how to do the two subsets of stats I wanted on that site - post all star and away. I'll assume those are whole year numbers?

For what it is worth, I went back to ESPN and first did a sort by Away stats. I recalculated what I think is ISO power (Am I doing it right? SLG-BA?). I calculate Nats at .143 (.397 - .254), which is ahead of 6 teams, or near the middle of the league. I did not fully crunch things out post all star, but league average SLG-BA was .426 - .273 = .153. Nats were .420 - .266 = .154. Am I doing this right? Does this support the idea that the priority should be getting runners on ahead of their power?

Put another way, if the Nats sign Mike Cameron rather than a slap hitter with an adeqaute glove and a .360 OBP, should we scream?

Posted by: jon | October 27, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry?
Are you out here? You haven't posted ANYTHING are you workin pal?

Hope they aren't paying you for this!

Posted by: caphcky | October 27, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

No problem, jon. Yes, mine are whole year numbers; I appreciate your taking the trouble to want to do pre vs. post AS breakouts.

"(Am I doing it right? SLG-BA?)" Yes: ISO = SLG - BA.

". . . if the Nats sign Mike Cameron rather than a slap hitter with an adeqaute glove and a .360 OBP, should we scream?"

If we're looking for ISO, we should scream for joy. Cameron's 2007 batting line is .242 / .328 / .431, for a .189 ISO. Nook Logan's is .265 / .304 / .345, for a .080 ISO.

They're about equal with the leather, if not in fielding elegance. (Nook's FP is a little better, but Cameron's range is a little wider.)

Keeping in mind that Cameron will be 35 next season, he might still be a good pickup at the right price.

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

caphcky is swanni's evil twin.

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Cameron + Renteria = pennant. OK, I'm being glass half full. Of Jack Daniels. And that's one of those big mugs.

BTW - on the off chance anyone is wondering why B & D haven't started a new thread, apparently some of the writers are having internet connectivity problems (according to Boston.com). But - Taveras is out, Sullivan is in and batting 8th. Matsui, Tulo, rest the same until Sullivan. Sox benching Youk, Tacoby Bellsbury leadoff followed by Pedroia.

Posted by: jon | October 27, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"Cameron + Renteria = pennant. . . ."

Hmm, jon, I like a tot of JD myself now and then. But before we top off the big mug again, let's keep in mind that we're looking for transitions to circa 2010, when the farm dudes are (we hope) ready for a long stay at Nats Park.

So the question becomes, are guys like Cameron and Renteria transition guys, or rent-a-pennant pieces? What the Nats don't need is to buy a postseason berth just for the hell of it. While that might put fannies in the seats at Nats Park in the short term, it wouldn't do much to replenish the farm. That's what the FO has been preaching, and it's the right thing.

So I guess I'm not altogether on board with the notion of either Cameron or Renteria. Now, come to me with that kind of deal in five or ten years, when the cupboard is -- we hope -- less bare, and I'll give it a longer listen. (At least if you're buying the rounds.)

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Hendo, you do Swanni a disservice. :)

Posted by: JennX | October 27, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

True, JennX. But the swannmeister has been remiss in posting of late, so he deserves whatever he gets. 8^D

Posted by: Hendo | October 27, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Barry!
You wrote the whole post w/o mentioning the "Plan". Way to go!

Posted by: Tom | October 27, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Jon and Hendo, thanks for a truly great back-and-forth. In my view that's the kind of correspondence that this blog should be about (together with the usual snarkology, blatent Natsfanism and good natured banter that appears here most of the time).

A lot of true baseball fans post here, as evidenced by, among other things, "Google caphcky and troll..." which to me (recovering Cubs fan) equates to "Tinkers, to Evers, to Chance ..." Good stuff. Intelligence, balance and humor are a good mix for baseball fans, and baseball blogs, in my huble opinion (yeah, I typed that out on purpose).

Substantively, I like Cameron, but I think there is a difference between signing a 35yo OF (where we have a MLB average platoon in Church/Logan and hopefully JMax in the wings) and signing one or two 32yo middle IFs like Castillo or Renteria (where we have Belliard (I like him but not in the two slot, to beat Secretariat again) and apparently nothing in the wings.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 27, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Insert joke about my "huble opinion" here.

Posted by: Bob L. Head (after drinking) | October 27, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Clint Hurdle: Bad manager or WORST manager? All series, he has left his pitchers in way too long. He is managing his team into run defecits.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Hurdle - the hit by DiceK was the killer. Would a quicker hook have prevented it? Yeah, probably, but he anticipated an out and being 3 runs down early, which isn't a crisis in Coors.

Major contrast with Manny's management of Nats staff: bad starters, good bullpen = early exits.

Cameron - no. Nats should take some risks with younger players instead of acquiring old free agents. Play Church in center for 125 games with fill-ins by Logan or another platoon player. His offense against RH is better than Cameron's. His range is less, but he's average. The new park will reduce the impact of range. This lineup basically replaces Nook with Wily Mo.

I may be falling into the trap of becoming attached to players I have rooted for, although to improve the offense we need to make changes. But players like Cameron aren't the right answer for 2008.

Posted by: Geezer | October 28, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

"The new park will reduce the impact of range." Good point, Geezer, although I might have said "alter" rather than "reduce."

Specifically, as we've been speculating practically from the moment that we knew it would be built, the new park will alter the dynamic between pitchers and hitters. But the degree to which that dynamic will be altered is something we won't know until a season's games have been played there, through all the vagaries of wind and weather.

I don't know if that's an argument for conservatism in this offseason's acquisitions. But I would be a bit hesitant to project results -- in particular, wildly optimistic ones (for hitters) or pessimistic ones (for pitchers) -- in a park that no one has played in yet.

While I agree with Geezer and others that changes are required to improve the offense, to overspend on those changes in the 2007-08 offseason would be speculative at best and needlessly damaging to the Plan (apologies to Stan for the hateful P-word) at worst.

We'll know a lot more a year from now. The biggest thing the team needs to do between now and then is to continue to position itself to act on that knowledge. I see no indication that the current course of farm-building and shrewd, cautious trading isn't the one to stick with.

Posted by: Hendo | October 28, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Barry and Dave don't want to jinx the Sox by putting up a new post.

Posted by: here's a thought | October 28, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

By the way, for those who wonder what Barry does with all this time on his hands, see the "Online Only" article on Ellsbury on the Post's MLB page:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/28/AR2007102800157.html

Not having seen "Online Only" baseball content before on washingtonpost.com, I wonder if we can expect to see more items like this online? (I'd be all for it.)

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

Online Only just means it missed the deadline for the paper version......

Not overly impressed with what 3 full time writers are pumping out of Game 3 at least....think they might be able to post on the Journal as well.....my guess it they are to busy with food columns on the side.

Posted by: JayB | October 28, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Not overly impressed with what 3 full time writers are pumping out of Game 3 at least."

Well, there's not all that much raw material to work with. "Rockies Getting Steamrolled" -- or even "Fogg, To No One's Particular Surprise, Fails To Impress" -- only have so many angles.

Posted by: Hendo | October 28, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

All the more reason to check in with the NJ and Nats news......

Posted by: JayB | October 28, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

yeah, since there's going to be a ton of news coming from the Nationals. I heard Selig likes it a lot when teams make big decisions in the middle of the World Series.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how Dmitri's diet plan is going. I bet he loses 50 lbs by spring training and comes back an entirely different person.

I also suspect the team's saying 'no way' on him playing outfield is his personal challenge. That's why he has said he'll play outfield if Nick comes back even though the team insists he won't. He knows he'll work on getting thinner and more agile and will be able to play OF. Just a hunch.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 28, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking it would be nice to check in on Young and Johnson and their respective LBS.

How about Patterson's pitching or not....he was to pitch in the winter leagues....how about that Fall league write up Barry talks about or who is going to fill the 300+ innings cut from the 40 man roster this month. Just a few of many stories that would beat nothing posted....Oh and my personal favorite, how the Wpost sent ended up writing a game story for the Philly Inquirer and printing it in the Post. Barry did say he would explain how that happened too...

Posted by: JayB | October 28, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Alternatively, the Post could offer season ticket holders free parking at 15th and L, with frequent, speedy shuttle service to Nationals Park.

Posted by: Hendo | October 28, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Good one Hendo....Maybe they could even go into the Nats locker room and cover the team when they are playing at home and Barry takes a night off.....

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