Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Managers of the Year: Melvin and Wedge

Bob Melvin of Arizona and Eric Wedge of Cleveland were just named NL and AL managers of the year, respectively.

Manny Acta received four third-place votes in the NL race, finishing behind Melvin, Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel, Colorado's Clint Hurdle, Chicago's Lou Piniella and San Diego's Bud Black.

Here's the voting, done by two members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) in each NL city on a 5-3-1 scale (five points for a first-place vote, three for second and one for third).

Bob Melvin, Arizona: 19 first-place votes, 7 second, 3 third -- 119 points
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia: 7 first, 11 second, 8 third -- 76 points
Clint Hurdle, Colorado: 4 first, 10 second, 8 third -- 58 points
Lou Piniella, Cubs: 2 first, 3 second, 6 third -- 25 points
Bud Black, San Diego: 0 first, 1 second, 1 third -- 4 points
Manny Acta, Washington: 0 first, 0 second, 4 third -- 4 points
Ned Yost, Milwaukee: 0 first, 0 second, 2 third -- 2 points

Interesting that Acta received more votes than Black but technically finishes sixth because Black received a second-place vote. (Not sure how he merited that considering the Padres merely had to win one of their last three games to get in the playoffs and couldn't do it, not to mention the fact that he basically threw his starting center fielder to the ground thus losing him for the season, but that's just me.)

Thoughts?

By Barry Svrluga  |  November 14, 2007; 2:00 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A year ago, a manager was hired
Next: More from Manny

Comments

Oh, it's not just you, Barry, but considering who the CF was, I think some folks wondered why it took Bud so long.
______
...not to mention the fact that he basically threw his starting center fielder to the ground thus losing him for the season, but that's just me.)
By Barry Svrluga | November 14, 2007; 2:00 PM ET

Posted by: cevans | November 14, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Like everything else in baseball, the Nats are just not on the radar, and it is hard for players and managers to get recognition if half the people still think the team is in Montreal.

It is completely plausible that the Nats win 90 games next year (not the most likely outcome, granted, but it is in the realm of possibility) and all of the sudden, the Nats are a headline team across the country... that is when Zimm wins the Gold Glove, and when Manny is the Manager of the Year... but almost certainly, it will be this year's performance as manager that will be the most notable.

Posted by: Wigi | November 14, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

One of the things I weight for MOY is how much the manager's team exceeded expectations.

Based on that criterion and -- let me emphasize -- my own expectations, in the NL, Manny would have finished second out of 15, just a whisker behind Bobby Cox (whose Braves I didn't see as having a ghost of a chance in April, much less into September).

And despite the so-called Choke and the unfortunate (and ridiculous) comparisons to Gene Mauch, Willie Randolph and his Mets exceeded my expectations too. (So did Charlie Manuel and the Phillies, and to a greater degree.)

Congrats to Melvin and Wedge.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I think Charlie Manuel is a TERRIBLE manager. Someone mentioned the high-risk, high-reward scenario of a daring manager in the last thread: Charlie is a high-risk, low-reward manager. He constantly did stupid, stupid things and his team won, often despite them, because they had Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Aaron Rowand, Jimmy Rollins, and on (and friggin on).

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 14, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

just wanted to reply to earlier comment about manny pulling pitchers seemingly early.

my theory is that most of these guys we pitched this year have been up and down in the game for awhile or were mostly minor leaguers, etc, etc. not like the guys are used to throwing 180 innings a year. so its an injury concern. but also we do have a good bullpen. so we should use it. a lot of teams have good starters and the bullpen kills them. so starters stay in too long. that's no good either. but, maybe it also is to protect their stats a bit in attempt to create some future trade bait (front office influence). probably a lot of reasons not to push these guys too much. chico really took one for the team this year and i think he has manny's gratitude for life.

i agree with hendo that bobby cox did a good job. he actually deserved to win this year in my book. not sure how weak +/- run differential in a weak division makes you a manager of the year winner.

manny did a great job. i'd love to see him stick around for the next 20-60 years.

Posted by: longterm | November 14, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Manuel IS a TERRIBLE manager. How anyone puts him into the MOY category is baffling. Howard, Utley, Rollins, Hammel, Rowand, etc.... How did he not win MORE? He held the team back. Good grief. Melvin is legit. You can make a case for Hurdle (sort of). But Manuel?

Posted by: NatBisquit | November 14, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Lasting image of Manny - running out to home plate in Baltimore to physically manhandle one of the Nats who was about to get ejected (Was it Schneider? Zimmerman? Someone he couldn't afford to lose). He was a picture of youth and energy - what the Yankees were after when they made the switch to Girardi; what the Mets covet when they were visiting Manny at Shea. What a recommendation that, at his age, he was chosen to manage the Dominican team in the World Baseball Classic. The Nats are underpaying him, and should lock him up for more than his current $700,000 with a one year option, before Omar Minaya makes him rich the year after next. Kudos to the Post for the incredible photo essay of Manny's heroic return to the Dominican after being hired last year. The hovels where these guys grew up never cease to amaze. And thanks to Barry, for reminding us of how grateful we should be for Manny as we approach Thanksgiving.

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget how thankful the managers of the Reds, O's, and Astros (who am I leaving out?) who owe their jobs to their predecessors being fired after being swept by the Manny-led Nationals.

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

One thing this team has done right is to hire Manny Acta to manage. I wonder how many other "name" managers who are used to leading better talent than Manny had to work with would have come close to the 73 wins he got last season? This is a longterm building process and the team didn't need a quick-fix guy looking for short-term gain. I hope the Lerners, Stan The Plan and JimBow realize what an asset they have and lock him up long-term. Manny may not have had the name, but he got results from a squad that national baseball pundits opined could have been worse than the 1962 Mets.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 14, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I believe that it was Lopez, flynnie.

---

Lasting image of Manny - running out to home plate in Baltimore to physically manhandle one of the Nats who was about to get ejected (Was it Schneider? Zimmerman? Someone he couldn't afford to lose).

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Avar, re the last thread, I don't recall you being among Manny's second-guessers on the Bergmann 110-pitch night.

It sticks in my mind vividly because I was at that game and watching this unbelievable performance -- and among the thousands crying "BERGMANN! BERGMANN!" afterward to coax him out for a curtain call.

Anyway, tough decisions happen. Some of them don't work well. Running Bergmann out there for the ninth inning might have been one of them. Once the decision is placed in the rearview mirror where it belongs, what matters is how you recover from an event like Bergmann going onto the DL (the fourth of the Opening Day rotation to do so, lest we forget).

Tactical nuances aside, Manny and the Nats didn't do half badly.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Melvin and Wedge are deserving choices. Hard to argue with Hurdle being up there as well. All of those guys, and Manny Acta, got the most out of the hands they were dealt. I'd put Black right after Manny, he also integrated some young players successfully but he had Peavy and Maddux to help. Yost would have been in this group as well had the Brewers not tailed off in the second half. Piniella righted the ship in Chicago after (another) awful start, but both he and Manuel had the horses to win and just tagged along for the ride. Blindly voting for the managers of division winners is roughly equivalent to giving gold gloves to the best hitters at every position.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | November 14, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

So the vote on Manny Acta is 45,982 to 0?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 14, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

GHF view, just like the Nats, Manny did not end up in the cellar.

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie,
it was the episode with Lopez, was it? I can't remember myself, and that's the only occassion that comes to mind for me.

I wish he'd gotten, you know, a token second place vote as greater recognition for what he did for this team. That being said, I think it's pretty impressive for a first year manager of a thoroughly mediocre team to be on the radar at all. Here's to many more seasons of Manny at the helm--forget 2010, I hope he's still here in 2020.

Posted by: Atlanta | November 14, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Re. managerial strategies, Bill Veeck (thank you, Sect. 502) said opined that you could find 100 fans in the stands at any given game who could call the right strategy at the right time with the same degree of accuracy as the manager (he also said that most old sportswriters could do the same). He maintained that the manager's role was to accommodate himself to 25 different personalities, to assess their talents, and to extract the fruits of those talents. (He also said that managers get fired because you can't fire the team.)

I'm not one of those 100 fans in the stands who could strategize along with the manager, but IMO Manny excels in the motivational department.

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hendo: "One of the things I weight for MOY is how much the manager's team exceeded expectations."

We know how each team finished, but vs. determining the benchmark expectation is problematic. Even if we could all agree on a starting point at the beginning of a season, teams are afflicted with injures or benefit from breakout performances at different rates, and thus expectations can shift as the season progresses.

Nonetheless, it's fun to try. I compared the projected wins as determined by the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projections, to the actual performance, to calculate who exceeded expectations by the greatest amounts. For the NL,

1 Rockies +11 (games won vs. projected)
2 Nats +7
3 Padres +3
4 tie - Phillies, D-Backs, Braves, Mets, Dodgers all +2.

So give it to Hurdle, with Manny a nice second place. If anybody's interested in seeing the entire 30 team list, see this thread, page down to post #22:
http://www.wnff.net/index.php/topic,5835.0.html

Posted by: tomterp | November 14, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as how both of the MOY winners were former backstops, I thought that this old baseball perspectives article on catchers might be of interest (with a tip of the cap to catcher50):

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article_perspectives.jsp?ymd=20050506&content_id=1040521&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Not by a long shot, natsfan1a. Given the flaws in the process, finishing sixth out of 16 managers (of whom nine did not garner a single vote, including at least one -- Cox -- who IMO deserved at least a mention) is not bad at all.

Incidentally, the top seven NL MOY finishers in the Internet Baseball Awards were the same as those of the BBWAA, although in a different order: Hurdle-Melvin a close 1-2, then Acta-Piniella-Manuel a close 3-4-5.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Department of malfunctioning context: "Not by a long shot" was in reference to natsfan1a's observation that Manny did not end up in the cellar.

We regret the confusion.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I knew what you meant, Hendo (and I daresay that I could give you a run for your money as far as context malfunctions).

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

No way -- none -- Manuel and Piniella did better jobs managing their teams this year than Manny. To take a team with that pitching staff and actually win one more game than they did last year -- and finish ahead of the more-talent-laden Fish -- and get a handful of token votes?
Don't worry, Manny -- we know you did the most with the least of anyone in MLB last season...

Posted by: formerly Sec. 419 | November 14, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

the result that really baffles me is pinella's solid fourth place. he is as bad an in-game manager as manuel any day of the week. at least manuel (though it could be argued that his second place rightly belonged to hurdle) had his team play very solid ball the last month of the season to overtake a prohibitive favorite, and did so with a very thin pitching staff. pinella took a big payroll team, played below everyone's expectations for 2/3 of the season, and barely hung on make the playoffs in the worst division in baseball. in my opinion, manny should have finished a solid and respectable fourth. it's a shame to see him sitting there behind pinella and black.

Posted by: blueson | November 14, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

He talked down Lopez in the night in question. Lopez went on to hit a triple that gave the Nats the lead, I believe against the Mets.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 14, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Despite finishing with a sub-.500 record, I think Manny shoulda won simply for helping keep the clubhouse in a positive attitude the whole season.

Would he have been able to do so with more volatile players like Jose Guillen? Dunno, but you play with the hand you're dealt, and I gotta think that consistent attitude was one of the factors that helped the Nats stay out of the NL East cellar for the first time in its modern existence.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 14, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Sect. 506, NatsNut, and other co-parents, our son is the NJ MOY...

---

So the vote on Manny Acta is 45,982 to 0?

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Yup, the entire village is claiming parentage!

Clearly, Sect. 506, NatsNut, and other co-parents, our son is the NJ MOY...

---

So the vote on Manny Acta is 45,982 to 0?


Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 03:49 PM

Posted by: Traveler | November 14, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Was it Lopez, Natsfan1a? And with Belly playing 2d, there was no one else to play short? Also, whoever Manny saved from ejection was killing the O's with his bat that day. Am I remembering this right? Another image I have of Manny is him running out of the dugout and re-directing Ray King who was charging the ump. This was no small task - Ray was is full cry. He saved Ray a several game ejection where most managers would not have

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and according to the game story, Manny spoke to Felipe in Spanish at the time (don't know whether the ump spoke it).

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Natfan1a, Atlanta and 506! Sutton will never accuse you of not remembering what happened in the fifth inning!

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget Manny deflecting the charging Ray King from that ump, who should also be saying a prayer for Manny over the Thanksgiving meal. Ray had just about reached the fatal speed of 30-35 mph that I always hear in wildlife shows where the cape buffalo or the elephant or the rhino or the bear is charging a doomed human.

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

So who voted for Acta, other than the Washington media contingent?

Posted by: Paul | November 14, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Had to be more than Washington, Paul. He got four votes. If I understand correctly, only two writers from each city are allowed to vote, and I'm not sure the Washington writers' employer(s) allow them to vote.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Bob Melvin deserves the award for being +10 in one run wins, and defying the Pythagorean theorem of baseball that a team cannot get into the playoffs allowing more runs that they score. Dave Sheinen's analysis was that he did it by saving the bullpen in blowouts, and keeping them fresh for close games. I love Eric Wedge and how the Tribe slew the Yankees and came within a 2-1 game (due to a pickoff of Sizemore by Papelbon) of slaying the mighty Red Sox. I would not trade Manny for either of them.

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Posties aren't allowed to vote, but I'm not sure about the Wash. Times.

Posted by: NatsTBD | November 14, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I thought Bud Black did a great job with an anemimic offense. I saw him beat the Diamondbacks by nearly getting tossed in the first inning when the ump started calling Webb's shin-high sinkerballs strikes. On Milton Bradley's last night of the season, I don't know what else he could have done besides get that man a rabies shot.

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, natsfan1a, I'm glad you still enjoy his book.

To give it another plug, we're talking about "Veeck as in Wreck", the autobiography of baseball owner Bill Veeck, "the man who sent a midget up to bat".

It's one of the best -- and most fun -- baseball books ever written and if you haven't read it, I strongly recommend picking up a copy to help you through those cold weeks until pitchers and catchers report.

--- --- --- --- ---
Re. managerial strategies, Bill Veeck (thank you, Sect. 502) said opined that you could find 100 fans in the stands at any given game who could call the right strategy at the right time with the same degree of accuracy as the manager (he also said that most old sportswriters could do the same). He maintained that the manager's role was to accommodate himself to 25 different personalities, to assess their talents, and to extract the fruits of those talents. (He also said that managers get fired because you can't fire the team.)

I'm not one of those 100 fans in the stands who could strategize along with the manager, but IMO Manny excels in the motivational department.

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 03:21 PM

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

Posted by: Formerly Section 502 (Hopefully Designated for Assignment on Friday | November 14, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

>Posties aren't allowed to vote, but I'm not sure about the Wash. Times.<

Why isn't the Post allowed to vote?

Posted by: Paul | November 14, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

WPost policy prohibits writers from voting. One reason Barry has cited (perhaps there are others) is that players get money for winning awards (or possibly even votes for awards) based on contract incentives, and writers covering players should not be put in position to vote for a player in exchange for a cut of the player's bonus.

Speaking of bonuses, A-Rod is reportedly returning to the Yanks with his tail between his legs; the team has supposedly set two conditions to negotiating with him: (i) he has to give up the money that Texas would have had to contribute towards his salary over the next three years ($21m) had he not opted out; and (ii) they will not negotiate with Boras.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | November 14, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the "era of Boras" is over.
_____________________________

Speaking of bonuses, A-Rod is reportedly returning to the Yanks with his tail between his legs; the team has supposedly set two conditions to negotiating with him: (i) he has to give up the money that Texas would have had to contribute towards his salary over the next three years ($21m) had he not opted out; and (ii) they will not negotiate with Boras.

Posted by: lowcountry | November 14, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I hope he's here in '10. If not it's because he gets poached. Mets would be my guess.

Posted by: Mick | November 14, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The selection commitee. These writers are amazing. With their total lack of knowledge/imagination, whatever, they seem only capable of evaluating the obvious. That team won-therefore best manager, MVP, etc. Power ratings-Hey, we'll pick the teams how they rate in the standings. My collie could do that.
Considering the Nats were, according to some reviewers, to be, just possibly, the worst team in history, and despite numerous injuries,(try four-fifths of the rotation for starters)they still had a record better than almost a third of the teams in baseball. Pineilla, Manuel !! Give me a break. Melvin, Hurdle O.K. I buy that. But Manny, you were the best.

Posted by: j.campbell | November 14, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

A-Rod and the Yankees need to put as much distance between themselves -- and between themselves and Boras -- as possible. What's over is over.

Boras seems to believe sincerely that he's bigger than baseball. Now I don't begrudge players their salaries -- they do enrich their owners, so why shouldn't they enrich themselves? -- but Boras needs to reexamine his brusque, grandstanding approach. It's polarizing and needless.

The players' salaries today dwarf what they were getting before the '94 strike, and most of them are doing it without Boras.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

And J. Campbell, you are fantastic, despite injuries to your offensive line and having the only man on your team who can catch the ball as your tight end.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 14, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Or 100 fans at any given baseball game ...

----------
The selection committee. These writers are amazing. With their total lack of knowledge/imagination, whatever, they seem only capable of evaluating the obvious. That team won-therefore best manager, MVP, etc. Power ratings-Hey, we'll pick the teams how they rate in the standings. My collie could do that.
Posted by: j.campbell | November 14, 2007 05:25 PM

Posted by: as in | November 14, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Of course catchers do better as managers, they are running the game their whole career. My contention is, and has been, is that the best managers are those who:

1. Have had a long and undistinguished career. Years riding the bench provide better training for becoming a manager than being a superstar (with all proper respect to F Robby).
2. Played a "thinking" position. Basically, catcher or short stop.

Actually, and please don't come down on me, I thought that Joe Torre deserved some serious consideration for MOY in the AL. It is often more difficult to manage a bunch of raging egos than a team where everyone knows his or her role.

BTW, of course Manny deserved serious consideration. When you consider the difficulty of taking a team, with a disastrous start, managing to keep them focused, and come through with a .500 record for the last 4 months of the year, it is very easy to understand why the Mets put out feelers. That alone should tell someone what a good job Manny did.

As far as votes. I assume that the Times has no restrictions. Does that mean that the 2nd vote from DC comes from the CityPaper?

As to ARod...do not even begin to think that he will go back to the Yankees and give up $21M & Boras. Both LA teams would love to have him, for a variety of reasons. Additionally, the outside endorsements would be much higher in LA than in NY where (as I have previously pontificated) Jeter is king.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 14, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I was guessing the Examiner.

---

As far as votes. I assume that the Times has no restrictions. Does that mean that the 2nd vote from DC comes from the CityPaper?

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 14, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I can see A-Rod playing short at the Navy Yard.

Posted by: 6th and D | November 14, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but MLBTraderumors.com is reporting that the Nats are trying to trade for Elijah Dukes of the Tampa Bay Rays. This is right on the heals of reports that the Nats are after Baldelli...

Why would the Nats give up anything, especially prime prospects (of which we have too few already) to get a player no better than the guys we already have in the organization?

Why would we want Dukes when we have Justin Maxwell? Why would we want Baldellii (or Patterson for that matter) when we already have Ryan Church?

I think this is all posturing for negotiations with Andruw Jones. I think that the Nats "rumors" of CFer via trade is showing Andruw that we don't "Need" him THAT much.

Based on the great DC maxim that "You can always tell when a politician is lying because their lips move" I think that Jones recent comments AFTER meeting with Kasten that he acknowledges the relationship he has with Kasten and whatshisnamethehittingcoach, BUT that they have to talk to my agent, etc - that Jones wants to be re-united with his old friends but won't (or Can't) let it look like he's settling for less than full market value.

This will be double true for Boras if the rumors about his being cut out of the A-Rod/Yankees negotiation are true.

Posted by: estuartj | November 14, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

And one final thought before bed regarding Andruw Jones.

If we can get him at 5 years, $90 mil it's a no-brainer YES, if it would take 7 years, $140 mil it's a no-brainer NO. In between? Who knows...

What about Ryan Church though? If Ryan were a FA this year how would he compare to Jones, Rowand, Hunter and Patterson? What kind of a contract would he command?

Posted by: estuartj | November 14, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

"What about Ryan Church though? If Ryan were a FA this year how would he compare to Jones, Rowand, Hunter and Patterson? What kind of a contract would he command?"

Excellent point, estuartj. Please, Nats FO, let's not piddle this guy away only to discover that he's the kind of guy we might want.

Yes, I've made this point before, and I'm going to keep on making it until I get it right. Or until somebody in the FO indicates that they're listening.

Posted by: Hendo | November 14, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Dang flynnie. You got a good memory yourself (Sutton's comment).

_______________________
Thanks, Natfan1a, Atlanta and 506! Sutton will never accuse you of not remembering what happened in the fifth inning!

Posted by: flynnie | November 14, 2007 04:07 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | November 14, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a, I think the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star gets the second vote. At least, I recall reading that somewhere at some point, but I don't know for sure. Hopefully, Barry will chime in to clear this up, and maybe, if we're really, really lucky, he'll tell us who he would've voted for, if the Man didn't insist on bringing him down.

Posted by: Atlanta | November 14, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Dukes is an incredibly talented tragedy who I would not bail out. I'm sorry. When you google elijah dukes, the top 4 entries have 2 stories about him threatening to kill his wife and a third is about him threatening to quit after several problems at Durham in '06.

While the .190 BA over 181 ABs at Tampa might lead to a knee jerk "what is so special about him," note that he still hit 10 HRS and his OBP was .318 while playing a good CF. His OPS in AA was .833 when he was 21, and in AAA it was .889 at 22. I honestly do not believe there is anyone in the Nats organization (majors and minors) whose pure athletic ability and skills are in his league. He's far more advanced than Maxwell having "played" the past 3 seasons at AA and above.

BUT -- I put "played" in quotes because he was suspended so many times at durham that he played only half a year and was eventually kicked off the team, while at Tampa he was on leave after May. He has a history of violence and irresponsible behavior that is far more than an isolated wrong step or two. I love a nice recovery story and hope his life turns around, but I think there needs to be more evidence that he is salvageable in order to trade even the (non-existent) rights to Robert Fick for him.

Posted by: jon | November 14, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice post Jon. We don't need Elijah Dukes, Jose Guillen, or any other Milton Bradleys that might be available. The grounds crew are fresh out of tranquilizer darts. The clubhouse does not need dark, oppressive anger. I don't want it at my work. Why should the Nats want it at theirs? And JimBow, do not trade Justin Maxwell, with his Ripken-esque attitude (did you see his face when the team blew the lead after his grand slam against the Marlins?) He's all about team and easy to root for. Be careful with Tampa. "With all due respect to the Tampa Bay detractors, I don't think you guys realize just how dramatic a transformation their front office has undergone. Andrew Friedman has been the GM for all of two years. They're doing a hell of a job down there." They were ranked #3 in all baseball organizations, and do not part with young talent easily. And this ranking by http://ussmariner.com/2007/10/12/organizational-rankings/, who predicted Cleveland's current success 4 years ago, when the Twins were the class of the AL Central. If Tampa is giving up on Elijah Dukes, why should the Nats trade for him?

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Atlanta, for the vote info.

Jon and Flynnie, I agree re. Dukes. I believe that the idea was cussed and discussed (as natsfan1c would say) by denizens of this blog earlier in the year.

Thanks to Barry for including the Acta quote in today's MOY story. While reading the Acta-related tidbit aloud to natsfan1c as we drank our morning java, I proved without a doubt that (a) I am Manny Acta's mom and (b) there *is* crying in baseball. I'm just lovin' Manny more and more each day!

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, Natfan1a, or any other victims listening, was it to you that Sutton was rude in Pittsburgh as you waited for an autograph? "I bet you don't even remember what happened in the 5th inning!" was his his response to "Don, just a gentle suggestion - it's Schneider, not Sneider." When you first posted this, some wag wondered what he called Mike Schmidt.

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

It was NatsNut, flynnie (grrrrrr).

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys, can somebody point me to a Comcast or WaPo archive file of Barry's Nov. 9 appearance? I couldn't turn it up after some poking around on either site, though I did find a brief piece on Nats Park on the Comcast site. Thanks!

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, natsfan1a! Natsnut, before I learned of Sutton's boorishness, he was not my favorite. He talked over Carpenter and talked ceaselessly, all of pitching, in a "World at War" voice that I didn't want at the end of the day. Did the experience affect your reaction to him when you hear his voice?

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Yea, I was a little disenchanted, to say the least. But since I don't have a TV anyway, I've been spared.

I'm a big Slowes and Jageler (sp?) fan anyway.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 15, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

And from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, an explanation of Stan's $300 seats:

Braves appear to be flush with cash

The Braves, whose player payroll peaked at $105 million in 2003, started the 2007 season with an $81 million payroll, about the same as the three previous years and in the middle of the pack among MLB teams. The Braves added about $5 million in payroll at the July 31 trade deadline, although at least some of that was offset by insurance reimbursements on injured pitcher Mike Hampton's contract.

Despite the free-agent market having opened for business this week, McGuirk said he doesn't have a 2008 payroll budget.

"We haven't landed on it yet," he said. "When we think we have the right team for the right money, we're going to stop. All I can tell you is we're going to spend more money. We'll spend many millions of dollars more."

On a recent conference call with Wall Street analysts, Liberty CEO Greg Maffei said the company is "pleased with strong operating results in several of our ... affiliates, including the Braves."

While disclosing the Braves' operating cash flow for the two quarters in which it has owned them, Liberty, a diversified media holding company based in Colorado, did not reveal the team's profit. Operating cash flow would be larger than profit.

"There's a lot of dials we can turn inside the franchise to make it more efficient, and we have done that over the years in bringing profitability back to the team. I think we are poised to have some fantastic years ahead, and I think we will get back to the playoffs."

The Braves have started construction on one multi-million-dollar capital project at Turner Field this off-season: the "Dugout Club." It consists of 150 pricey close-up seats in the arc behind home plate and an upscale lounge accessible from those seats.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2007/11/14/bravesbiz_1115.html

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Thank God that the Lerners don't say things like, "We're pleased with strong operating results in several of our ... affiliates, including the Nationals."

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Hey, anybody from Nats Hierarchy, how about an apology from Don Sutton to NatsNut. She followed the team to Pittsburgh only to get insulted by your broadcaster with the only multi-year contract the Nats. Perhaps he can invite her to the booth in the new park. Bob Carpenter will make sure things go smoothly. And what of Charlie and Dave?

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm now flynnie's mom.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 15, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

You all are going to think someone is posting under my name, but A-Rod probably would be worth the money on the field for the Nats. He's possibly the only free agent we've talked about this year who I think is going to increase on returns. However, the irreparable damage he would do to the team off the field makes it not worth it.

Jones is not worth any amount of money. You heard it here first: the reason he suddenly tanked in 2007 is not because of a bad year, it's because he stopped doping. I'm not accusing Mr. Jones, exactly, but I'm saying I would only raise one eyebrow if the news came out. He will not rebound significantly, ever.

And speaking of performance enhancement, do you all think that maybe Mike Hargrove's "loss of love of the game" had something to do with the Mitchell report? We know of at least one 2007 Mariner who flagrantly doped all over baseball (including sending his drugs to the Oakland Coliseum).

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 15, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

506, gimme some of THAT coffee you're drinking!

Posted by: flynnie | November 15, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Who are you and what have you done with Sect. 506? Next thing we know, you'll be singing the virtues of Philly...

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't want E.Dukes anywhere near our major league clubhouse, but if you could get him for a bat and a bag of balls, stash him at AAA-Columbus, hope he matures, then trade him when he is worth much more. GM'ing is not for the faint of heart. As much progress as the team has made in the last three years, they are probably still 3-5 years away from having a fully developed farm system. Gather as much talent as you can, and then you can trade 2 prospects for 1 major leaguer.

But, please keep the felons, malcontents, and psycho's out of the major league club house.

BTW, my guess is the current rumors on Dukes are coming out of Tampa Bay organization not the Nats. Just a guess.

Posted by: NatBisquit | November 15, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Excellent, flynnie...

The team has announced that Dave will be back, but nothing on Charlie yet. Hope that they're just working out the details...

---

Hey, anybody from Nats Hierarchy, how about an apology from Don Sutton to NatsNut. She followed the team to Pittsburgh only to get insulted by your broadcaster with the only multi-year contract the Nats. Perhaps he can invite her to the booth in the new park. Bob Carpenter will make sure things go smoothly. And what of Charlie and Dave?

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Off-the-field issues aside for a moment, if the Nats were at 85 wins, I could see bidding for (Boras-free!) A-Rod. (Even at 81 wins, the organization felt it was worth trading for Soriano. Given healthier pitching and better run scoring, that decision would have looked much shrewder than it ended up doing.)

But this is not an 85-win team. It is a 73-win team that still needs to build a core. Even if A-Rod alone were to take the Nats from 73 to 83 wins, that's very possibly still a fourth-place finish.

The magic moment when it's right to spend big on a five-star talent hasn't arrived yet. It's a year closer. Meanwhile, breathe.

Posted by: Hendo | November 15, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have a problem with taking a flyer on Dukes IF the price is right. The names mentioned in the mlbtraderumors (ballester, Glenn Gibson, etc.) are WAY too much for a problem child like Dukes. Maybe for Logan and Josh Whiesell or something comperable, but I doubt the Rays would give up on Dukes that much.

It would be interesting to hear the conversations between Dukes and Young....

Posted by: estuartj | November 15, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Random musings on the cameras...

Wonder what's in those crates aligned along the outfield wall today....

Hey, maybe they should put up a big sign with pulloff numbers counting down the days until the opening game on them (the reverse of the RFK final game countdown)...

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Slightly OT, but USA Baseball's doing pretty well in the World Cup over in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei for you commies out there).

http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/schedule_world_cup.jsp

RHP Chris Booker's on the roster.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 15, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

>But, please keep the felons, malcontents, and psycho's out of the major league club house.<

You me like Da Meat? If memory serves everyone's favorite 1B was released last season as a club house killer and has a conviction (recent too). Don't judge the reputations too harshly, so clubs just can't get the best out of players on or off the field.

Posted by: NatsTBD | November 15, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Is it fair to compare Dukes and Young?

Young's demonstrated that he's a stand-up guy. His issues have been, to a significant degree, medical, and in any event he has taken ownership and responsibility for them.

I don't see anything like that from Dukes, nor any indication that his behavior would become acceptable upon his joining another club. For now, let's let Dukes alone.

Posted by: Hendo | November 15, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hendo, I don't think it's fair to either of them to compare their bad behaviour. I don't like lumping together guys like Young, Dukes and Guillen as "Troublemakers", each mans experience and actions are unique as are their path to redemption...

Hopefully IF Dukes were to join the organization Young could be a good mentor and role model for turning your life around a focusing your energy in a positive manner.

I think I'm channelling Dr. Phil today...God help me...

Posted by: estuartj | November 15, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

i hope they rumors about dukes are just that, rumors. i'd hate to see the nats take on that meltdown in the making. and given his injury history, i'd be very wary of acquiring baldelli. if memory serves me correctly, he's pretty much been injured or has underperformed since his rookie campaign. if it were a single season, that would be one thing, but now there have been several such seasons, and i just don't know that he's worth giving much up in the way of prospects.

i still think that unless they can get a steal of a short or mid-term deal (2-5 years) on andruw jones (highly unlikely, given his agent, despite his subpar performance this year), the nats should give a church a full season in the new park and see what kind of numbers he puts up, if necessary, platooning him with nuke or some other right handed bat.

Posted by: blueson | November 15, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget that Church looked much better in platoon than when playing every single day. Like, so much better that it's unlikely to be accounted for by other factors.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 15, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

i like the malcontents. it gives me someone to latch onto. the world isnt sunshine and puppies, and its ok to have "one of those" on a team just as long as "they" dont cause a major distraction. plus, public perception and media coverage should not be used as a crutch to deny someone the right to play ball on another team. after all, life is about surviving.

and i am sure i will get crucified for this. im not sure about maxwell. regardless of what you have heard, hes wayyyyy too into himself. but he does know his place on the team and his role in the clubhouse as a rookie. so ill put my thoughts in the freezer, bring them out in 2009 when we are talking about the merits of his talent/accomplishments/personality. just remember i said it now. once again, everything isnt as it is perceived in the media.

plus, lets not forget church was tied for 8th in the NL in 2bs. also 8th was d.lee (100+ more ABs). holliday had 50 with 160+ more ABs. let him play in the new park, platooning if necessary. church had alot of monster hits this year in crucial situations. he deserves the chance to play in the new park and deserves the opportunity to start.

Posted by: theraph | November 15, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"the world isnt sunshine and puppies . . ."

God knows that's the case, as we'll be reminded the first time the Nats drop four or five in a row next season (as happens to about every team).

" . . . and its ok to have 'one of those' on a team just as long as 'they' dont cause a major distraction."

I was an Eddie Murray fan, but Murray was pretty distracting at times. Dukes is way beyond that.

"plus, public perception and media coverage should not be used as a crutch to deny someone the right to play ball on another team. after all, life is about surviving."

Good points. However, I don't think the media's been unfair to Dukes. In any event, I'm willing to give the man enough credit to say that, no matter his past or present personal issues, he can choose at any time to turn his public perception into a more positive direction.

Which he might. I just haven't seen it yet. (And, yes, there might be factors out of his control, but it would be patronizing to assume that.)

If he and the Nats prove me wrong I'll fight my way to the front of the line for a Guzie-sized plate of crow.

Posted by: Hendo | November 15, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"im not sure about maxwell. regardless of what you have heard, hes wayyyyy too into himself."

While we're on the subject of perception, what's the source of that evaluation?

Posted by: Hendo | November 15, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

well i wasnt specifically talking about Dukes, but it could be applied i suppose. im not a fan bc i dont think we need him.

source: current Nats player. roundabout way of meeting/talking about things in person. its a decent story, told better than typed. put it on the list of things for an early season tailgate checklist.

Posted by: theraph | November 15, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"source: current Nats player. . . . its a decent story, told better than typed. put it on the list of things for an early season tailgate checklist."

Will do. Interesting. Self-centerness probably doesn't help the ol' BA a whole lot (unless you're Ted Williams).

Posted by: Hendo | November 15, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of tailgates and such, would anyone be interested in having an armchair GM gathering over the winter? It could be associated with the Nats fan fest (which will be in late January according to the earlier Post piece on team choice of venues) or it could be a get-together at a centrally located restaurant or other venue.

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

here i am firing off gut feelings and you all are talking to players!?!? i need to move closer to the city.

we could use pretty much any bat from tampa bay. besides everyone is worth trading for. just don't overpay. elijah has huge talent. so what if he needs to grow up. delmon young was labeled with the same type of issues down there not too long ago and now he's a supposed model citizen. i'm sure that's a very frustrating franchise to be involved in.

long term's middle name is 'benefit of the doubt.'

i'm still a fan of rocco. and coco crisp. by the way i too have my doubts about maxwell. no reason to think he's a future starter here yet. but, he's the first homegrown who's gonna get a real shot so that's nice. but it just means we all want to like him.

Posted by: longterm | November 15, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

nice thing about being self-centered is you don't get distracted much...

Posted by: longterm | November 15, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Only by reflective surfaces...

On another note, Barry's got a new post up.

---

nice thing about being self-centered is you don't get distracted much...

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 15, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Speaking of tailgates and such, would anyone be interested in having an armchair GM gathering over the winter?"

As long as it's ONLY in the District of Columbia, none of that suburbs stuff, we OWE the Council!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 15, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

My Tickets is up. You can see your seating assignments now!

I got Sec 105 Row D. I've been a full season ticket holder since day one in 534 Row 1. So I'm *very* happy with my placement.

Posted by: Paul | November 16, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company