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A Hill to climb -- Plus Livo a Twin?

A late addition: Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com, who doesn't get things wrong, says Livan Hernandez will be a Minnesota Twin, making $5-$6 million this year. Thus, the debate about whether he should be a Nat ends -- or perhaps starts anew, now that we know the price.

In continuing the "we-touched-on-it-but-didn't-empty-the-notebook" theme on some of the pitchers, let's move on to the guy who has already said he'd like to throw the first pitch at Nationals Park, Shawn Hill. But before we do ...

... something else that got glossed over recently is the fact that the Nationals believe Joel Hanrahan is better off as a reliever than a starter. It's not huge news. Just something I hadn't mentioned.

"As a relief guy, he can come in and let it fly for an inning or two and have some success," Manager Manny Acta said, "instead of being in the situation where he was last year, where he was at the 100 pitch mark in the fourth inning sometimes." Acta said Hanrahan's velocity - he throws pretty hard - make him a good candidate.

On to Hill. I'm leaving personal feelings about his sinker out of this discussion (though Valentine's Day is Thursday, and I have a few things in mind).

Here are Hill's career stats. Six major league wins and 143 major league innings is not much to build on for a resume. But we know Hill's potential, and Acta said in the story we ran on Sunday that Hill had developed enough of a reputation that opposing teams were wondering aloud when he would pitch and if they would miss him.

So I asked Hill what he learned from last season - 4-5, 3.42 ERA in 16 starts - that he didn't know at this point last year. His response: "First of all, I wouldn't slide into third base."

Good answer. That's where all his problems started, when he dove back into third in Florida in April, messing up his left shoulder, which he believe then messed up his mechanics and put strain on the right arm.

Beyond that: "Even though I fell off at the end performance-wise - and that was because my arm was still barking - the big thing is I learned I can kind of hang around. I can pitch up there. Now, I'm just more comfortable. I'm working on what I have to work on. My mechanics are fine. I'm not as stressed as I was last year. There's not as much of a 'Do I belong here?' thing."

Then, of course, comes the question of health. Hill visited Dr. James Andrews, who performed his minor surgeries on his left shoulder and right arm last fall, last week, and Andrews cleared him physically .

"The forearm, it's been tight on and off. That I kind of expected, and when I'm throwing it doesn't bother me much at all. I've just got to build strength. It's gotten better the last two weeks, and it's pretty close to normal."

Is this any relation to putting strain on his elbow? "I think it's an isolated thing," he said. "I don't think it has anything to do with the Tommy John (surgery he had in 2004 that cost him all of 2005). It's a soft tissue thing. I think it'll be fine, no problem."

Now let me get one thing straight: These, of course, are self-assessments of players by themselves, though they are informed by other sources as well. I went and saw Nick Johnson work out in person because I thought it would be better to get a set of eyes on him than to call him up and say he feels great. That was instructive, because I could see him move without a limp, etc. Hill has been checked out medically and cleared to perform, other than taking it easy with the bat as he builds strength in his left shoulder. But until we see him, and until he makes it through spring training healthy, we don't know. No one does.

Here's Acta's assessment: "I think the whole league saw what this guy can do when he's healthy. I truly believe that if he's healthy, he's going to give you a chance to win every five days. He became the guy that when teams came to town, they wanted to know when Hill was pitching. That's how much of an impact he had."

Hill is very self-critical and doesn't allow that he pitched well even when he, uh, pitched well. But it's clear that those starts in the early part of the season meant something to him. Let's rattle them off:

4/3 Fla - 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER
4/8 Ari - 6-2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER
4/14 at NYM - 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER
4/20 at Fla - 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER (dove into third base, injuring left shoulder)
4/26 at Phi - 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER
5/1 at SD - 6-1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (re-injured shoulder trying to snare Dmitri Young's relay to first)
5/6 at Cubs - 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER
5/11 Fla - 5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER (came out with tightness in forearm)

At that point, he had a 2.70 ERA and hadn't allowed more than three earned runs in a game. So 2008 spring training could be different: "I threw fairly well," he said. "That was a wakeup call to me. If you can stay healthy and continue to do what you're doing, you can hang around."

So I'll ask the same questions about Hill that I asked about Patterson. How many starts and innings do you expect, and what would be his ERA?

A programming note: I'll be at the Congressional hearings with Messrs. Clemens, McNamee, Radomski et al on Tuesday and Wednesday, though Tuesday is more of a pre-cursor to the big show on Wednesday. Therefore, it's possible we'll have infrequent Nats posts. It's also possible that we'll have, in their place, live blogging of the hearings.

I'm also trying to schedule a pre-spring training chat. We'll see how that goes.

If you're at the Rayburn House Office Building the next couple days, stop by and say hello.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 12, 2008; 7:03 AM ET
 
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Next: Single-game tickets on sale March 4, with prices

Comments

Barry, your comment says that the Nationals think that Hanrahan is better as a starter than a reliever, but my interpretation of the Manny Acta quote is that it's the other way around. Why do you interpret his statement differently? Sure sounds to me like Manny's describing someone who's much better in the bullpen than as a starter.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 12, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Hill: 112 innings, 19 starts, 4.12 ERA, with conservative handling similar to what I expect for JP.

Hanrahan: I may be missing something, but Manny's quote seems to indicate that the Nats favor Hanrahan as a reliever rather than as a starter ("where he was at the 100 pitch mark in the fourth inning sometimes"). Or was Manny trying to contrast last season with what he expects for this season?

Posted by: Hendo | February 12, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

http://tinyurl.com/33vmze

Ya'll have to read this again. It's such a great post because it includes the first blush of sinker love, but also if you read our comments throughout the game, you see all kinds of Shawn Hill love. Dude got through the 8th on only 90 pitches. Also note the Chad Cordero heart attacks.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 12, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

"So I'll ask the same questions about Hill that I asked about Patterson. How many starts and innings do you expect, and what would be his ERA?"
Thanks for the update on Hill, but my answer is the same as for Patterson, why ask the question now when no one reading this blog has any idea of how these guys will recover from their injuries. This is better discussed a couple weeks into spring training.

Please find out when the Nats are going to release the plan for opening day tickets and single game tickets. When Stan tells you something and you publish it, if he doesn't follow through, don't that piss you off?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 12, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking Hill will get the team 10-12 wins, pitch somewhere around 165 innings and have an ERA in the 3.60 range. His style (keeping the ball down, lots of ground ball outs) should play well at the new park. It will be interesting to see what impact the park has on the team's flyball pitchers (i.e. Bergmann).

Posted by: TJH | February 12, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect, even knowing how they've recovered we'd never REALLY know enough to guess starts, innings and ERA. It's just for fun. Throw some numbers out there.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 12, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

... live blogging from the Hill would be a welcome addition to watching the sessions live on MLB, which I'll be doing. So go for it.

... it'll help pass the time until the Big (Florida) Show starts on Friday, when I expect, we'll all get a clearer picture of who's who and what's what. It'll be good to hear from Randy on 'our pitching' and more from Manny on 'just about everything'.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 12, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

At this point, I think when he's out there that Hill gonna give us more quality starts than JP. It's all guess work as we make our way towards Spring Training. I'm just hoping a couple of our starters make it through the whole year this time.

Regarding signing another starter, the ONLY reason for this is if they were concerned about the number of innings some of the younger guys were racking up as they really need to build up their stamina to go through a whole campaign. I don't see it at this point as they're in much better shape with some guys that'll be at AAA that can step in and start a few for them.

Yep - looks a lot like the Hanrahan sentence is backwards.

Posted by: Bazz | February 12, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Barrys hint of a pre spring training chat really gets the juices flowing. It is that time of year. My goodness, who knew? Well, its been a long offseason. Seems the anticipation of spring training is much more acute now that DC has its own. Shawn Hill...I'd say the upside is 15 wins...3.20 era...175 innings. I'd certainly take that, wouldn't you? What would you settle for...perhaps 10 wins...4.00 era and 140 innings. I mostly hope that his sinker is still working, it will be needed in the new park, what with the shorter dimensions. Get ya popcorn ready.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 12, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. Mis-typed on the Hanrahan thing. They are thinking of him as a RELIEVER, not a starter, as he was last year. It's fixed now.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 12, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Sticking w/ the optimism strain; I'll take 30 starts, 180 IP and 3.5 ERA.

Remember I can't JP and Hill's mom at the same time.

Posted by: Avar | February 12, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

May I suggest...(thank you, Google)

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9031348

I'm leaving personal feelings about his sinker out of this discussion (though Valentine's Day is Thursday, and I have a few things in mind).

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 12, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Correction noted, Barry. That wasn't really what worried me, anyway...

". . . Valentine's Day is Thursday, and I have a few things in mind."

Egad. Now THAT worries me. (Although I suppose it shouldn't worry me if it doesn't worry Mrs. NJ or Mrs. Sinker.)

Posted by: Hendo | February 12, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Falling in love again,
Never wanted to,
What am I to do?
Can't help it...

---

Ya'll have to read this again. It's such a great post because it includes the first blush of sinker love, but also if you read our comments throughout the game, you see all kinds of Shawn Hill love. Dude got through the 8th on only 90 pitches. Also note the Chad Cordero heart attacks.

Posted by: Marlene | February 12, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

And if it's unconstructive to guess about Hill and Patterson, then it's utterly random to guess about Hanrahan, so here goes.

Innings: 80
Starts: 7
Relief appearances: 25
ERA: 5.25

Posted by: Hendo | February 12, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

30 starts, 180 IP and 3.5 ERA. 15 wins.

Posted by: Hill's secret lover | February 12, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Are the proceedings on Capital Hill (Clemens, etc.) open to the public or is a close door session? Anyone??

Posted by: Section 315 | February 12, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I think Hill's more likely to be healthy than JP. I'll go IP-180, K - 155, WHIP - 1.23, W-15.

With Hanrahan, I don't see him better suited to be a reliever unless being one changes his mind set. The last thing a team needs is a bullpen guy who cannot throw strikes consistently. They generally come in with runners on base and need to attack hitters. Maybe Manny et al think that he will be more aggressive if he knows he'll only throw 20-30 pitches per outing and is already "in trouble"? Perhaps. But really his problem regardless of the role he is in is that he nibbles too much.

Posted by: #4 | February 12, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Hanrahan is to become the setup man while Rauch closes. Makes it possible for the Nats to trade Cordero.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 12, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Optimistically, 180 innings, 28 starts, 3.85. His ERA could easily be over 4.00 depending on how the park plays, but he proved he could pitch on the road last year, so with that sinker, I expect he will keep the ball in the park at the new stadium. BTW, I think he would benefit more than most Nats pitchers from a strong defensive infield. That's an argument for a healthy Nick Johnson at 1b and Belliard at 2b. Lopez has slightly more rnage than Guzman, but Guzman makes fewer mistakes with the balls he gets to. Johnson will minimize throwing errors if he is healthy.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 12, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

If you're traveling in the North Country fair,
where the sinker falls heavy on the (strikezone) borderline...
Remember me to a pitcher who lives there,
His sinker once was a true love of mine.

I'm a lot less worried about Hill's health than I am about Patterson's. Hill, having already had TJ, should be in better shape, and the shoulder thing was freaky. I think this is his breakout year (and I don't need near the level of rose colored glasses as I did yesterday).

34 starts (incl. Opening Day), 16-9, 3.65 ERA, 112-115 ERA+, some CY consideration, but he won't win because the Nats won't win enough.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (and the sinker from the North Country) | February 12, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm on my way to Minnesota

Posted by: ¡Livan! | February 12, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm going with 25 starts, 150 innings and an era around 4.00. I have much more confidence in Hill than I do in Patterson.

Posted by: .390 | February 12, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and 12 wins.

Posted by: .390 | February 12, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The Twins just signed Livan Hernandez.

Posted by: swanni | February 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Continuing my Hot Stove dream sequence. I'm on record predicting Hill's opening day perfect game (but wait that was against the Mets on the 30 Mar with Ryan and Brian contributing to the 7 consecutive doubles and Guzman's triple as requested by Hendo - so I must have been dreaming). The reason JP does not win the CY in 2008 will be Hill's 22-5 record including the perfect game the night before JP's no-hitter. 3 more days and all will be right in the world!

Posted by: Section 311 | February 12, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

One year $7 million deal for Livo (if incentives kick in) from that "big market" team, the Twins.

Too rich for the Lerners, I guess.

Posted by: swanni | February 12, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

hey, i'm not cheap (about to go buy an itouch, just cuz i want one!) and it's too rich for me. there are legit differences of opinion as to what he's worth.

Posted by: 231 | February 12, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean we have to stop debating if Livo should be signed by the Nats?

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 12, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Twins sign Livo.
O's sign Trachsel.
Mets sign Armas.

This just goes to show how cheap the Lerners are. They could have signed any one of them, but NO, they're too cheap.

Or maybe, they're too SMART not to waste any money, time or roster space on these losers and has-beens.

Please, enough of the "they're too cheap" nonsense. It's getting old.

Posted by: e | February 12, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Ken Rosenthal reporting Livan Hernandez will be a Twin. Link added in text of entry above.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 12, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Very disappointing but not surprising that the Nats passed on Livan. $5-6 million is not a whole lot of money in MLB terms and Livan would probably have added five wins to the 2008 total. IF Patterson and Hill can combine for 30 wins, the Nats will be fine without him, otherwise the Nats could be looking at a third straight year of falling out of the playoff picture by June.

Posted by: PowerBoater | February 12, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Does this mean we have to stop debating if Livo should be signed by the Nats?"

Please don't. It's ever so entertaining and informative. Almost as enriching as reading poetic drivel about Hill's sinker or meaningless predictions about what a pitcher's ERA will be in games that won't be played for months yet or yet another complaint that Stan Kasten hasn't followed through on his announcement that he'd announce the plan to announce something that won't happen 'til next month anyway, and of course that's just another example of the total clusterf*** that is the Nats front office. All of that stuff helps fill the soul-sucking void that envelops those of us who come here looking for actual news, informed analysis and intelligent content from a blog sponsored by a supposed titan of the mainstream news media.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 12, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

JP: dl by opening day

Hill: 145 innings, 3.4 era (the new park's going to help him, not hinder him to all of you who say 4.00+) and 14 wins, oh and he wins a silver slugger for belting out the first grand slam at the park

maybe I'm just being optimistic though

Posted by: boomer | February 12, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

We're 49 days away from opening a new stadium and there's no news on when tix will go on sale. Whatupwidat?

Posted by: When will single game tix go on sale? | February 12, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"Please find out when the Nats are going to release the plan for opening day tickets and single game tickets. When Stan tells you something and you publish it, if he doesn't follow through, don't that piss you off?"

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 12, 2008 07:51 AM

It certainly makes me mad! I always give Stan the benefit of the doubt when he makes one of his big statements (the most recent being that season ticket holders would be hearing about single game tickets last week-NOT!), but most of the time it doesn't pan out the way he says. I just cannot fathom what is going on with that communications department. There seems to be zero accountability there.
Note to Nats: When you say something in a public forum, you should by God follow through with it!!

Posted by: frog7694 | February 12, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Was just told that info on single-game tickets will go out by noon today. I'll try to post it here but could be caught up in the hearing.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 12, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least one good prediction on the NJ. Yesterday -

"Tomorrow or soon Barry will profile Shawn Hill. My guess is we will go through the same starts / IP/ ERA speculation. 200 - 250 innings between them is reasonable. That's the innings if one is healthy and one isn't. Upside of 300 if both are good, downside of 100 or so if both are bad. Healthy, ERAs in the 3.8 to 4.2 range. Pencil in 34 starts combined, and hope to get lucky."

Posted by: jon | February 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes to live blogging!

Posted by: Nate | February 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I think this really closes the window for getting a veteran pitcher, and opens the door for discussing the rotation we actually have in even greater detail.

One thing folks seem to forget is that TIm Redding signed a major league contract for $1M. I really think he is likely to be in the rotation.

Posted by: Positively Half St (3 more days) | February 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"IF Patterson and Hill can combine for 30 wins, the Nats will be fine without him, otherwise the Nats could be looking at a third straight year of falling out of the playoff picture by June."

wha? PB, you're saying that if we don't sign livo, we have to make up for his *30* wins elsewhere?

Posted by: 231 | February 12, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Ticket info coming by noon today? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting...

As for the cheap Lerners... $7M for Livo, anything more than zero is too much for Armas, I prefer to think of the Lerners as smart for not wasting money on garbage because there was nothing better.

Hill, Patterson, Bergman, Chico, Redding, and Lannan, Mock, Balester, Tyler Clippard sounds like plenty of starting pitching to me.

Posted by: Sec 114, Row E | February 12, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

If there is no meaningful baseball news on a cold day in February then it is the responsibility of our local sportswriters to MAKE SOMETHING UP, DAMNIT!

I AM ANGRY AT INANIMATE OBJECTS!

Posted by: Cranky | February 12, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Livo to the Twins story - The Twins have been bringing in at least one absolutely c*aptstic veteran starter a year for the past couple of years. They probably had a left over uniform from Sidney Ponson that fits Livo, so they save a bit of money there. Ramon Ortiz was another flame out. They did this in 2006 and it came close to costing them the division by keeping Bonser and Baker down too long. Last year, they held off Garza at the start of the year and held back Slowey when he was dominant. They are not quite so stocked at the top of the minors now, but Livo will be the 5th guy in a rotation of Liriano, Baker, Bonser, and Slowey, and allow Blackburn (their top prospect) to start the year in the minors. He'll fill the role Chico, Redding, and Bascik have here, at 5x the price combined.

Posted by: jon | February 12, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Nats didn't sign Livan because we actually have a farm system that has pitching on the way. The Twins rotation is abysmal having traded Garza and Santana and hoping that Liriano has actually recovered from TJ surgery. Seriously, Livan, Traschel, and Armas!?!? that's what we are supposed to lose sleep over? Please, we have 6 guys already that are better than them, not including Balester and Detwiler! Those moves reek of desperation. Good riddance. this isn't even about the money...

I'm with Hill's mom. 185 innings. 15 wins. 3.50 era. That would include cordero blowing 3 or 4. 15 wins would be absolutely huge on this team.

Posted by: longterm | February 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"You're saying that if we don't sign Livo, we have to make up for his *30* wins elsewhere?"

15 combined wins from Patterson and Hill would be a disappointment considering that they are projected to be our #1 & #2 starters. Replacing them with our young prospects will reduce, but not eliminate, some of the other 15 wins we're counting on from those starting spots. Hence my statement that Livan adding five wins to the Nats season total would have provided the best available contingency plan in case our less than dependable starters miss significant time.

Posted by: PB | February 12, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

oh yea, hilarious to think we've been accused as free loaders. i'm sure all the pop-up adds and sidebars are just for our entertainment. silly of me to think that the Post wouldn't try and profit from this blog.

seriously though, i do thank Post for not implementing a subscription or some other properly worded fee...amazing they do what they do for the price.

Posted by: longterm | February 12, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I like 6th & D's idea about Hanrahan to Rauch, as does my cardiologist.

7 mil for Livan...this is a case of absolutely needing to assuage (or try to) the fans after trading Santana.

Posted by: Catcher50 | February 12, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"It certainly makes me mad! I always give Stan the benefit of the doubt when he makes one of his big statements (the most recent being that season ticket holders would be hearing about single game tickets last week-NOT!), but most of the time it doesn't pan out the way he says. I just cannot fathom what is going on with that communications department. There seems to be zero accountability there."

I really don't understand all this angst and anger over the announcement of single-game sales and the like not having been made by X date when Stan Kasten supposedly made a "big statement" that it would happen then. First off, in this situation and pretty much every other one like it, he doesn't make a "big statement" or a formal announcement or anything of the sort. Rather, a reporter asks him a question about when such-and-such is planned, and he gives a target date. Would you prefer he instead just answer "No comment" or "We don't know yet"? You'd probably scream even louder at that, and the conspiracy theories would start immediately. Really, he's in a no-win situation every time someone asks him a question like that. So what if they said they would tell you on February 9th that single game sales will start on March 4th, but then they don't tell you until February 13th that single game sales will start on March 4th? What's the difference? Does having to wait a couple of extra days to find out on what particular day three weeks hence you'll be able to do something really ruin your life? Are you that tightly scheduled that you need to enter into your BlackBerry TODAY that on a day three weeks from now you need to find a couple of minutes to go online to buy tickets? (And if you are that tightly scheduled, why then is it that you can't get to your seat until the bottom of the second?)

Second, on virtually all occasions when the Nats have officially and formally announced that something would occur on a certain date, it does. (There are of course some exceptions, like delivery of last year's season tickets. No one is perfect.) Yet people forget that. Now, if they announce today that ticket sales will begin on X date, and X date arrives and they haven't started selling tickets, then you have a legitimate gripe. Otherwise, chill out, okay?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 12, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh, please, this team's credibility gap is wider than the Grand Canyon.

And I thought the major objection to Livo was a multi-year deal that would disturb the progress of tomorrow's stars.

The Nats' failure to go one year looks like a money decision.

Posted by: swanni | February 12, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Tuesday: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, hearing on Myths and Facts about Human Growth Hormone, B 12, and Other Substances, 10 a.m., 2154 Rayburn.

Wednesday: February 13, full Committee, to continue hearings on The Mitchell Report: The Illegal Use of Steroids in Major League Baseball, Day 2, 10 a.m., 2154 Rayburn.

Both hearings will be open and you'll be able to walk in as space is available. You should definitely get there early, though, as it will be widely attended.

Barry, maybe I will venture over and mix with the riff-raff in the people's house.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 12, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

to me the major objection to Livo wasn't multi-year, or the money. it was Livo himself is terrible and in the midst of five consecutive years of decline, about to be six in the AL Central (ouch!). why give him 200 innings?

we started over a couple years ago. we aren't starting over this year. we are beyond this.

anyone else here think Snyder hiring young unproven head coach has anything to do with Manny Acta's success?

Posted by: longterm | February 12, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"seriously though, i do thank Post for not implementing a subscription or some other properly worded fee...amazing they do what they do for the price."

Get ready for that to happen, probably sooner rather than later. As the print edition continues to hemorrhage readers and advertisers - and the corresponding profits - several things are happening that are readily apparent to anyone who's paying attention. They are copying more and more content from their website over to the print edition, rather than the other way around. This includes stuff like "best reader post on Redskins Insider" (which fills space in the print edition but costs them nothing) as well as "excerpts from Carolyn Hax's or Marc Fisher's or Dan Steinberg's, etc, chats and blogs" which does cost them, in that they are paying the salaries and expenses of these writers. Most but not all of these writers are employed by the WaPo newspaper, not WaPo.com, which in effect means that the newspaper is subsidizing the cost of the web operation. (And as an FYI, the Post just last week announced that these two formerly separate operations are being combined into a single unit.) But the two operations together will need to turn a profit over the long term so as not to be a drag on the overall corporation, which actually makes more than half of its money from its Kaplan educational unit, not from the Post, Post.com and Newsweek. With ad revenues and circulation revenues going down at the Post, and with Post.com ad revenues probably not going to increase, the company will need to make up those lost revenues somehow, or cut expenses, or both. They are already heading into another round of buyouts to cut expenses, but that can only go so far. Sooner or later they are going to need to raise revenue, and the only available way for them to do that will be to start charging for the web content that they are now giving away for free.

You can take that one to the bank, and when you do, remember that you heard it here first. How much will YOU be willing to pay to post your meaningless rotation guesses in February 2009?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 12, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

419+1, you just wrote a much longer post about why fans shouldn't care about the ticket announcement than anyone wrote to complain about the delay. It is you who is worrying too much.

Posted by: PB | February 12, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"anyone else here think Snyder hiring young unproven head coach has anything to do with Manny Acta's success?"

No. I doubt Snyder even knows who Manny Acta is. He probably thinks he's one of those janitors over at Six Flags who is taking naps all day in the back of the maintenance shed. Or maybe he was the foreman of that crew who cut down the trees for him on that park land next to his mansion. I can picture him now, actually. "Smithers...er, Vinny! Who's that lollygagging layabout over in sector 7-G?"

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 12, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners are cheap because they didn't sign Livo? Wise up. Livo will get shelled in the AL and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets let go by the All-Star break.

Funny, I didn't hear them being called cheap last year when they signed their first 20 draft picks and totally rebuilt the scouting dept.

Throwing money at over the hill/overrated players doesn't work. Ask Danny "Punk" Snyder how that has worked out. And I'm not even a Redskins fan.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | February 12, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

419, the complaints about the tickets situation is as much because so many other teams have already taken care of it. and because the excuse is lame. why would they still be hashing out ticket prices? can't figure out why that had to wait until mid feb to get resolved. they knew what the pricing for STHs was in july.

swanning, there were more objections than to just the length of a deal for livo. plenty of us just don't think he adds enough to the team, esp for 5-6m. i'm on record saying 1-2m with incentives for one year, fine. even if just for sentimental reasons, on top of insurance. but 6+? no thanks.

Posted by: 231 | February 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

So the Nats are cheap for not bringing in Livan, when the entire U.S. Congress won't bring in Andy Pettitte? (OK, he's a lefty, but still).
http://tinyurl.com/2azou7

Posted by: Emily Litella | February 12, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

How about this for the wish list:

Hill and JP between them give us 50 starts, 375 innings, 3.5 ERA, 25 curly Ws.

Posted by: Gusto | February 12, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!! CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!! ANOTHER 17 DIIFERENT GUYS TO MAKE STARTS WHERE LUKY IF 1 GUY MAKES IT TO 110 INNNINGS AND 17 STARTS.

Posted by: DJ 26 | February 12, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

419+1, I would much rather have heard "we don't know yet" if that was the honest answer. What I don't like is being told "sometime this week", rushing home to check my email (can't check it at work), and not hearing another thing about it after the date has come and gone. From what I understand the pre-sale is a short window of opportunity and I don't want to miss it because I have some travel coming up. As for the personal attacks, I don't have a Blackberry so that's just really a meaningless attempt at an insult, and I just don't understand the stuff about getting to my seat until the bottom of the second. I come to games early and stay late.

Posted by: frog7694 | February 12, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that he's capable of throwing 200 but that's the problem. I really hope Acta babies this guy. He is really talented, but his body isn't used to the abuse of a full season. This is a critical year for him developmentally. He's been set back by the injuries--not so much in his ability--you can clearly see that, but in his endurance. He needs to work up to 200 innings. Throwing him into the fire will be suicide and it's goin to be a real temptation. Innings-wise, they should treat him like a rookie. Give him a ceiling of less than 150 innings, and give him a couple breaks during the season to let the injuries heal up. Look what happened to John Patterson or Francisco Liriano. If you overuse he'll get hurt. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Posted by: Jack | February 12, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

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