Network News

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

Livo? No go -- for now

Some discussion about Livan Hernandez's comments on mlb.com about wanting to return to the Nats.

My reporting all along -- and it was reinforced today -- is that the Nationals are not going to delve into the market for remaining free agents. I am told the Nationals do not have a one-year offer on the table for Hernandez, who is no longer quite the innings eater he was in the past (eight-year low of 204 innings in 2007).

Now, could this change? It's possible. If the bottom falls out of the market for these remaining starting pitchers, then the Nats could dive in. But it would have to be a low-risk (read: inexpensive), high-reward situation. For now, they're set to go with Patterson, Hill, Bergmann, Lannan, Chico, Balester, Redding and Clippard.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 7, 2008; 12:24 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Teddy! Teddy!
Next: Patterson feels strong. Do you?

Comments

See? This is why we average only 46 comments per post. But thanks for the update.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

So when Bergmann, Hill and Patterson break down, we're going with a four-man?

Or... no.... PLEASE! NO BACSIK!!!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Sigh...

The 8-year low of 204 innings last year was an interesting comment. What we would give to get anybody over 150 innings, much less to 200. Helps save the bullpen.

I know, y'all are sick of hearing me go on my Livo rants...

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | February 7, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Livo can only help the Nats, not hurt them. 204 innings would make Manny and oour tireless bullpen very happy

Posted by: dirtball, in Clear Brook. | February 7, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

A common argument against signing a free agent pitcher is that doing so would block development of the young pitchers. That argument is bunk. It took 16 starters to get through the schedule last year. 164 innings topped the club in 2007.

A better argument is that you could use the $5-8M/year more effectively with cheaper pitchers. It's not my money, but this argument too is weak, for several reasons. 1) Don't risk hurting your young arms by relying on them too heavily. 2) Fans will pay to see a few more games to see Livan than they will to see a Simontacchi clone.

[insert gratuitous HDTV on MASN slam here] Bear in mind that if they did sign Livan, we would not miss HDTV so much. You don't need HDTVV to see Livan. He fills the standard definition screen just fine.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Not the innings eater he once was? Sounds like Barry got spun by someone at Nats Inc. Who on the Nats staff has ever pitched 204 innings in one season? Or is likely to do so this year?

Hernandez's innings went down in large part because Arizona was more competitive than the Nats and more likely to go to the bullpen. We all remember Frank keeping Livo out there for seven or eight innings even if he was losing 8-2.

Posted by: swanni | February 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

i have no interest in Livo coming back. it's about time to see if Balester is ready. otherwise, i'd rather make a trade for a Dave Bush type.

i like "Run Teddy Run" better than "Let Teddy Win". I hate the word "Let". I'm rooting for him but Teddy needs to do this on his own...

Posted by: longterm | February 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Livo says something like 'its not about the money its about how you feel.' So in that case, is it not possible that signing him would fit in the 'low risk high reward' category?

That aside, I still think Patterson should pitch the first game in the new park (if he is in fact healthy) -- he's been here the longest with consecutive service.

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The "Teddy Doesn't Win" joke stopped being funny in June.

Posted by: swanni | February 7, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

yea that's a big request for him to come back and want the opening game.

Posted by: longterm | February 7, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

We are going to blow $30M in young arms so we do not have to sign Levon for $5M. Sounds like D.C. logic to me.
Also, the Nats do not want to spend an extra $5 on Levon, or any other player, because they know they are going to need it for bail money during the season.

Posted by: ChrisC | February 7, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Come on, get Livo in here. He wants to be here, he'd arguably be one of our top pitchers. We have all of the question-mark-feeling 100%-this could be my year-if only he can stay healthy-pitchers we can stand.

This is ridiculous, pay him. In the end we'll just have to sell a few more curly pretzels. This is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Johnny Baconbitz | February 7, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh and I forgot to mention he'd be one of our best hitters!

Posted by: Johnny Baconbitz | February 7, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

i find it amusing that the livo supporters actually think any significant number of people would make a special effort to go see games he's pitching that they wouldn't already be going to because they have season tix. where does this "livo is a draw" concept come from? when was the last time livo was the kind of pitcher that people paid to go see just him? we're not talking santana here.

chris, there were 8 pitchers listed, so "when Bergmann, Hill and Patterson break down," there are still 5 men in the rotation (Lannan, Chico, Balester, Redding and Clippard)... ;)

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

... so Livo wants to come back ... now that he missed his chance to go to NY. That's the kind of obvious self-serving attitude, underscored and augmented by his comment about starting on March 30, that makes my Livo-loving heart cringe.

... I still like the guy, and I'd be happy to see his name on a Nats line-up. But although my heart would love to see him added to the squad, my clearly intelligent mind says, a la Thomas Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again". In other words, we've ready to benefit from all the bright young arms we set out to acquire, and this is their home now. Livo, you done us proud, but that the past tense.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 7, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Saying Livo is not longer the innings eater he once was is like saying Romney is not as rich as he once was. He's still rich!!!

But I think we should pass. Reason is that his 204 innings came at at 4.93 ERA and for a division winning team. That we can beat. "Qualified" NL pitchers last season averaged 4.16. Three quarters of a run per game below the average among consistent starters. Not worth much in my book.

I say pass.

Posted by: Avar | February 7, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"The "Teddy Doesn't Win" joke stopped being funny in June."

Really? What happened in June to cause it to stop being funny, swanni? Can you name the date or the specific incident that caused Teddy to jump the shark?

Actually, I wouldn't consider the Teddy = Loser thing to be a "joke" anyway. It's a means of drumming up interest among the fans, perhaps even drawing a few of them to the games just to see what happens with Teddy that night. And as such, I'd say it was pretty effective clear up to the last game of the season. Perhaps you missed that game, where probably the most sustained noise of the day came from fans screaming "Teddy! Teddy! Teddy!" well into the bottom of the fourth inning after he failed to show up for the race, showing up on the video baord instead from the new stadium. Were you in line for an Aramark hot dog at the time?

Now the Clint joke, that hasn't been funny since the first day he showed up - although I guess I'd have to agree that he's always been a joke. The hell with Charlie Slowes coming back or Teddy winning, here's what I want to know: When will the Nationals show Clint the door? (The hot Nat Pack girls, though, they can stay around...)

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 7, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Sure Livo would probably give us more innings that any other starter, but that much more? Last year was pretty bad health wise and the young kids just weren't ready. Both of those have to be different this year...

I think the Nats are wise to not get wrapped up in the fact that he wants to come back here. That's great and all but if he doesn't fit in the plan it would be dumb to throw some money at him and give him starts just for the heck of it. If everything goes right he won't be the last free agent that says I want to play in Washington.

And that doesn't mean we have to sign them all...

Posted by: Gibby | February 7, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see Livan back but I understand the logic in not signing him. Maybe he'll get cheaper and we'll ink him.

It would be cool if started opening day this year too, though it would probably mean very bad things for our rotation if he deserved it.

Oh and Teddy not winning is definitely still funny. No question there. The whole place was chanting his name at RFK's farewell for cryin out loud.

Posted by: nattaboy | February 7, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

St. Barry -

Don't drink the Kasten/Bodes Kool-Aid. Yes, Livo had an 8 year low in innings in '07, but consider this:

1. Chase Field was the 3rd most hitter friendly park in the NL last year (5th in MLB).

2. The Snakes were a playoff team hunting for wins. They also had Lyon, Pena, and Valverde to pitch 7-9 for them. No need to tack on an extra 7th inning from Livo.

3. Livo has posted 30+ starts for 10 straight seasons. Number of 30+ starts seasons for Patterson, Hill, Bergmann, Lannan, Chico, Balester, Redding and Clippard? Two. (Patterson in '05 and Chico in '07)

4. Livo had more starts (33 to Chico's 31), more quality starts (19 to Hill's 11), and innings (204.1 to Chico's 167) than anyone we ran out there last year.

Tell Bodes to call Livo and give him $5M/1 with a vesting option for '09 at $7.5 for 30 starts and 200 IP.

Now opening day is a different story. Livo's got to earn that from Manny.

Posted by: WebberDC | February 7, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the Teddy thing is pretty funny still, actually, to me the joke is the million different ways they come up with him losing. But the whole merchandising of it (which seems to be independent of the team) is running it into the ground, IMO.

What isn't funny to me is when Stan Kasten spends more time talking about Teddy than the players. Luckily that doesn't seem to be the case in '08, at least not yet.

Good point about the timing of Livo's comments regarding his sentimentality of returning here. We weren't hearing such things when he was close to signing with the Mets, were we?

Posted by: Ray | February 7, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Can Matt Chico give the Nats roughly the same quality and qauntity of innings that Livo could have been expected to?

Per baseball-reference, Chico went 167 innings in the NL and another 11 in Columbus last year. In the minors he has been between 150 and 163 in his 3 prior years. Figure he can in increase his load another 20 innings without concern for his arm, and he's up to about 195. In terms of quality, his ERA was 4.63, which is deceptive due to the RFK effect. ERA+ was only 91 (100 is average, low numbers worse than average), and the league average ERA in the parks he pitched in was 4.21. While his ERA beats Livo's 4.93, Livo pitched in better offensive parks (lgERA of 4.70). Livo's ERA+ the past 2 years has been 91 and 95. Given Livo's age, the quality of his past two years, and his decline innings, he's probably not much better than Chico going forward.

I'm not saying Chico's a world beater, but he can do the #4 / #5 starter routine good enough not to stress the better prospects if JP / Hill / others miss time.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 7, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Barry:

DC United just released its 2008 schedule today. Several home games take place at RFK Stadium on the same day as Nats home games, the most prominent one being a 12 noon DC United - L.A. Galaxy game on Saturday, June 29, broadcast on ABC, the same day as a 1:35pm Nats home game against the Orioles.

Have you heard any primal screams from the Nats' FO about this, particularly if the Nats still plan on offering free parking at RFK that day?

Posted by: Juan-John | February 7, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that remembers the 5-run first innings Livo used to put up for us? I agree with jca in that Chico is almost as good and has the potential to get better, whereas Livo will get worse. Save the money because Chico, Mock, Ballester, Lannan and Detwiler are all better options.

Maybe even Redding and Hanrahan.

Posted by: 307 | February 7, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Saying Livo is not longer the innings eater he once was is like saying Romney is not as rich as he once was. He's still rich!!!"

Actually, the better comparison would be "Saying Livo is 'not longer the innings eater' [sic] he once was is like saying Romney is not running for President anymore"

Oh, and the world is going to end if we don't sign Livon Hernandez.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 7, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Am I the only one that remembers the 5-run first innings Livo used to put up for us?"

I don't remember those, 307. I was always late walking over from drinks at Eastern Market.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 7, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Correction -- SUNDAY June 29, not Saturday.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 7, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is TOAST!!!

Posted by: PloD | February 7, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I have 13 different starters used by the Nationals last season, but your point is well-made. I actually WANT the young pitchers to be blocked from having to make MLB starts this year.

-----

A common argument against signing a free agent pitcher is that doing so would block development of the young pitchers. That argument is bunk. It took 16 starters to get through the schedule last year. 164 innings topped the club in 2007.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 7, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Seems from the MLB page that Livo is making some demands or assumptions, the main one being that he wants to reprise his role as opening day starter. Jim B. won't and can't make any such promise and the last thing he needs is an unhappy Livo in training camp or the dugout.

Opening-day pitcher will be determined in training camp, and to my mind both Patterson and Hill would have to lose that honor before LiVo should be even given consideration.

Posted by: old sec 322 | February 7, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I think a few hundred a game, at least. I would certainly be among them, so that's me and the missuz a few times a year, anyway. I can't be the *only* one.

The "ONLY 204 innings" thing is obviously silly; Barry probably regrets that one already.

I've posted this argument already, but 30+ starts, 200+ innings, with a sub-5.00 ERA, a live bat now and then, a veteran, professional attitude in the clubhouse, and a well-liked public persona that *will* reclaim at least a few of the fans The New Knuckleheads have scared off, has got to be worth a few $M a year to this team.
The new guys will get their shot here -- this ain't exactly the 1971 Orioles.

********
I find it amusing that the livo supporters actually think any significant number of people would make a special effort to go see games he's pitching that they wouldn't already be going to because they have season tix. where does this "livo is a draw" concept come from? when was the last time livo was the kind of pitcher that people paid to go see just him? we're not talking santana here.
Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 01:25 PM

Posted by: CE | February 7, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Every inning Livo would pitch is one less inning of experience for the group of eight that the Nats are looking at to be the core of the rotation for years.

We don't need an old pitcher eating innings. We need younger pitchers learning how to pitch in the majors!

Posted by: EnoughOfLivo | February 7, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't clear in Barry's book whose fault it was exactly (Guillen, Vidro, etc.) but Livan had trouble in that clubhouse.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 7, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Barry, Barry....come on....205 innings is not good enough for the NATS.....I'm glad you made nice with Stan and He gave you a Pretzel but where don't give up your last once of common sense.....Go with Patterson, Hill ........and just how many innings does that get them? PLEASE have a voice and stop being an outlet for Nats press releases......

Posted by: JayB | February 7, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"PLEASE have a voice and stop being an outlet for Nats press releases......"

why should he bother growing a set now when he's on his way over to the redskins beat, where he'll have to lie every time he refers to them as a "professional" football team?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

(raises hand) natsfan1c and I went to see him pitch when the D'backs were in town.

---

I think a few hundred a game, at least. I would certainly be among them, so that's me and the missuz a few times a year, anyway. I can't be the *only* one.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

you *presume* a few hundred based on you and the missus. do you really have anything more than a personal opinion that he'd draw?

and even if he drew an extra 200 to each game he pitched, 200 x 15 (presuming half his starts end up at home) x $25 = $75k. is that really all that important in the scheme of things? or if it's 400/game, $150k? eh, neither 400 people (1% of capacity) nor $150k a year means much in the scheme of things.

and i'm still not buying the "professional attitude" you're selling. as i've said before, and natsnut repeated above, livo wasn't exactly the model of professionalism in the clubhouse in 06 before he was traded. and if you think adding livo *WILL* reclaim fans the new guys reputations have scared off, you're adding a whole new level of mystique to livo that there just isn't any evidence to propose exists. unless you can point to some evidence beyond your personal feelings toward the guy that shows that.

and i don't dislike the guy. i enjoyed watching him pitch when he was here, too. and i wish him well. i just don't think he adds all that much to the team. it's not like adding a 4/5 starter with innings and a 5 ERA is going to push us into playoff contention, or help us build for the future, so why bother? nostalgia isn't a good enough reason.

i think a few of you need to consider the new moniker of "livan's mom" instead of your current handles. ;)

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Although we gave him an ovation upon his taking the mound, I followed up with, "You're goin' down, Livo."

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I call dibs on "everybody's mom." :)

---

i think a few of you need to consider the new moniker of "livan's mom" instead of your current handles. ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a/c, i presume a number of people did for that one start when he returned. and a cool thing at that.

but does that translate to that same number going to see 15 starts a year? will you plan out your games in 08 to make sure you catch livo as much as you can? will you go to extra games you wouldn't have gone to if we don't sign him? because that's what's being posited here, that the nats would sell *MORE* tickets to every game he pitches at home if he pitches here 15 times.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

jca-crystal city,
I think what you meant to say was that Matt Chico will lead the club in wins, innings, k's, and all-american poise. But don't sweat it, we all make mistakes.

Posted by: aaron | February 7, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

You know if there's one thing we've learned, it's that 32 year-old starters can consistently turn out high innings performances year after year after year and therefore past performance should be considered a perfect model for all future performance.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 7, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

What Barry should have said (and perhaps meant to convey) was that Livo is not quite the EFFECTIVE innings-eater he was in the past.

Look at this:

2003: 233 innings, 3.20 ERA
2004: 255 innings, 3.60 ERA
2005: 246 innings, 3.98 ERA

And then this:

2006: 216 innings, 4.83 ERA
2007: 204 innings, 4.98 ERA

There's a good point here, even if it wasn't expressed perfectly: Livo's performance might be dropping off a cliff, to the point where we're better off using 2008 to figure out whether Chico, Lannan, Clippard and/or Balester are part of a contender in 2010 than we are overpaying Livo for below-average pitching, regardless of how many innings (and other things) he eats.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 7, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Any Game not started by Billy T, Mike B, Jason S, Joel H, M. Bowie, L. Spagner......do I need to go on.....LIVO game will bet all of these every time. When Patterson, Hill, Bergman get hurt I would rather get my share of 205 innings of Livo....still leaves tons of bad innings for Balester, Reading and the rest of the AAA starters, No?

Posted by: JayB | February 7, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

What freakin' Einstein is nixing this deal? 3 years, as stated on MLB.com would be a super move. At the end of 2009, trade him again to a playoff contender for 2 solid pitching prospects. Win Win Win situation. Who's driving this bus?

Posted by: 6th and D | February 7, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

A shorthand way of looking at the numbers in my longer post above would be to say that Livo model 2006-7 is averaging about an inning less per start while adding a full run to his ERA.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 7, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

who doesnt love a 56mph 12to6? coming from a righty no less.

Posted by: theraph | February 7, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It's getting a little surly in here. Livo supporters on the left, non-supporters on the right....Let's get ready to rumble....

I'm on the Livon side. He's not magic, but I still fear that we need 50+ starts in 2008 from pitchers who are not currently in the organization. I hope I'm wrong. But, Patterson, Hill, and Bergmann all spend plenty of time on the DL last year. Chico threw alot of pitches for his 160+ innings and should not be counted on for more than 180 this year. Lannan is unproven, Redding uncertain, the prospects young.

Livon should not have to re-establsih himself, but if no one else signs him maybe he will take a one year deal with a chance to prove something to the league.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 7, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I heard something about a forthcoming announcement for single game tickets becoming available to STH in early February. Anybody have an update?

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 7, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

i think it's about time to start seeing who we have and trading for people we can keep around. no way would we be able to trade Livan mid-season or get compensated for him leaving year end. to me that makes him pretty much worthless in the grand scheme of things.

i don't want Detwiler or Balester pitching if they aren't ready either. but Chico wasn't "ready". Flores wasn't "ready". We understood it and were patient and were even more happy when they were successful. I can deal with that one more year as long as the hot dogs are warm and the scoreboard is legible.

all these jamey carroll/livan lovers will find new favorites soon enough. just wait for Milledge to hit his first leadoff homerun or steal third base in the 9th inning. we have plenty of hometown favorites right here just waiting for you to appreciate them. I can't wait to see Wily Mo rounding third to storm home plate. this is gonna be a fun team to watch as it is.

Posted by: longterm | February 7, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

One year deal, yes, multi-year deal, no.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 7, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

What are they doing it's geting as bad as snider and angelos except there not spending money!!!!!!!!!!!!! There all cheap

Posted by: DJ 26 | February 7, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Meat Hook "legging out" a triple!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 7, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

BANG

Posted by: DJ 26 Impersonator | February 7, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The question to ask regarding Livo is:

"Assuming everyone is healthy, will he be as good or better than the fifth best starter for tne Nats?"

Historical statistics can give us a clue, but not the answer. In almost every category, the slope of Livo's performance is down. So it is safe to assume that it's not too likely that he'll be much better than last year, and it is more likely that he'll be worse. If he were the same as last year, he would have been number 4 or 5 with the Nats, except that he would have pitched the whole season.

The thing is... the bar should be raised this year... The Nats have one of the better crops of pitching prospects in baseball (hard to believe, huh?)... and at least a few are in contention to break into the rotation. Add to that three more or less proven starters - Patterson, Hill and Bergmann **, the competition for the last two (and I'll give you another spot to account for injury, so the last three) spots among five or six others should be intense... on a team where a break-out year by a pitcher could launch a career (you're gonna have to be a really great pitcher to get noticed in the Mets organization this year).

The thing is... if you sign Livo, he's gonna pitch, so you have to know NOW that he's going to be number 5 or better. I don't know that... and I suspect the Nats don't (or they do, and they know he isn't).

If they signed Livo, I would happily watch. He's one of the most entertaining pitchers to watch out there...

So... from an entertainment standpoint... sure... sign him. But I think it is anti 'The Plan'.

** by more or less proven, I mean that if they pitch at their healthy norm, they are in the rotation. Hold your criticism of Patterson, etc., we're assuming he's healthy for the purpose of this argument.

Posted by: Wigi | February 7, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats have one of the better crops of pitching prospects in baseball"

No, they don't. They have an interesting assortment of low minors pitchers, but it's nothing more than that. They're going to need to continue to improve, and fight off injury, complacency and the stagnation lots of prospects go through.

We should be excited that the minors are better, but we shouldn't think that we're "full" of pitching as is often tossed around.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

i think the key to the difference between what chris said and what wigi said is to understand where the prospects are.

organizationally, we have some very good prospects out there. but they're mostly in A or below (and some will be in AA this year). none are truly major league ready for 08. maybe 09/10. there are definitely some very good prospects, but they all need more seasoning against higher level talent before we can make any real projections of potential in the majors.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I was initially thinking that Livan would be a good addition, until I really looked at who we want here and who he'd replace.

LH's 2007 numbers: 11-11, 4.93era, 1.595whip, and about 6 1/3 innings per start

Assuming our #1-4 pitchers are Hill, Patterson, Bergmann and Chico), you've got Livan competing with these guys for the #5 spot (2007 numbers):

Bascik: 20 starts, 5-8, 5.11era 1.44whip, ? innings per start but it can't be more than 5 1/3
Simontaccchi: 13 starts, 6-7, 6.37era 1.67whipe, (0 Nds interesting), a littl more than 5 1/3 per start
Hanrahan: 11 starts, 5-3 6.00era, 1.9whip, less than 5 innings per start avg
Redding: 15 starts, 3-6 3.64era, 1.45whip, 5 2/3s innings per start
Lannan: 6 starts, 2-2 4.15 era, 1.53whip, 5 2/3s innings per start

And this assumes that we're not even considering younger arms like Detwiler, Mock, Clippard. If Patterson is still hurt, i think you go with Lannan as your 4th starter and then consider the above plus Clippard.

I think i'd rather take my chances on a guy like Redding and his good numbers rather than Livan.

OH, and to whoever said Bascik was crap; his whip was better than than every starter besides Hill and Bergmann, he's lefty and can fill the situational-lefty role AND a spot starter (something the 300lb+ Ray King certainly cannot). I think Bascik needs to make this team, cut King and have a more versatile bullpen.

Posted by: Sec131 | February 7, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"you *presume* a few hundred based on you and the missus."
--Yup, just a wild guess.

"do you really have anything more than a personal opinion that he'd draw?"
--I have several decades of seeing how much (or little) my own opinions tend to correlate to other folks, but yeah, it's just a guess.

"and even if he drew an extra 200 to each game he pitched, 200 x 15 (presuming half his starts end up at home) x $25 = $75k. Is that really all that important in the scheme of things? or if it's 400/game, $150k? eh, neither 400 people (1% of capacity) nor $150k a year means much in the scheme of things."
--No, it's not a lot of money in the short run (though strictly speaking we should include concessions and other peripherals, and then subtract overhead), but that's not the point. If it were, then "The Plan" would always reflect putting the *biggest draw* (not the Best Team) on the field at any given time, and starting AA guys who may or may not pan out ain't that.
The Plan is "win later and they will come (later)" -- fair enough, it's their team, but you won't get my money with that plan.

The value of a 3rd (at best) starter is usually modest, and always limited, but it's not zero. FWIW, I am not convinced letting A or AA guys get beat up in the bigs is in anybody's best interest -- let them throw to Flores in AA if playing every day is so useful.

What this can do is help build a long-term fan base -- c.f. all the long nj discussions on that topic for the importance thereof.

"and i'm still not buying the 'professional attitude' you're selling. as i've said before, and natsnut repeated above, livo wasn't exactly the model of professionalism in the clubhouse in 06 before he was traded."
-- I'm not selling it: you can take it or leave it; but I maintain that is a slander based on rumors and sour grapes.

Professionalism and leadership are not limited to singing kumbayah. If he got in a few faces on a last place team, as an accomplished veteran who takes the ball every fifth day for over ten years, injuries notwithstanding, it's because that is his to do. Perhaps you're confusing him with Jose Guillén, who *is* a windge.

"and if you think adding livo *WILL* reclaim fans the new guys reputations have scared off, you're adding a whole new level of mystique to livo that there just isn't any evidence to propose exists. unless you can point to some evidence beyond your personal feelings toward the guy that shows that."
--Call it faith-based if you like; it's true I haven't done the polling. It's one layer -- secondary, but real -- of what he brings, in my opinion. Anecdotally, he was and is well regarded, based on what I've seen in English- and Spanish-language local media since 2005.

"and i don't dislike the guy. i enjoyed watching him pitch when he was here, too. and i wish him well. i just don't think he adds all that much to the team. it's not like adding a 4/5 starter with innings and a 5 ERA is going to push us into playoff contention, or help us build for the future, so why bother? nostalgia isn't a good enough reason.
--A back of the rotation guy is not going to light the world on fire most days, no. And this team is unlikely to finish .500 if you handed them Johan Santana. But it is wrong to say it doesn't build for the future. Blowing out young arms is devastating for a team's future, and there is a cascade potential when the bullpen starts to go. Pitchers nowadays are famously fragile and short-winded, and it is dangerous to the player's and team's future to overwork them. They just aren't used to it.

"i think a few of you need to consider the new moniker of "livan's mom" instead of your current handles. ;)"

-- I always wanted a cool nickname. "Livo's Brother" is already taken, though. How about "Livo'sFan&ProudOfIt"?
Better still, how about "Cold Fusion"? Nothing to do with the subject at hand, but it sounds cool.

"Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 03:00 PM"

Posted by: LFyPOI | February 7, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

That said, not even EYE think Livo will be worth much in 2010.

What freakin' Einstein is nixing this deal? 3 years, as stated on MLB.com would be a super move. At the end of 2009, trade him again to a playoff contender for 2 solid pitching prospects. Win Win Win situation. Who's driving this bus?

Posted by: 6th and D | February 7, 2008 03:12 PM

Posted by: LFyPOI | February 7, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris is correct in my view. I finally got XM radio to get some MLB information because local radio and newspapers just do not cover it at all. It is amazing how poorly the Nats are though of outside the BLOG world.

I have called a few shows and Dibble and others laugh at us. Nats have nothing other than Zimmerman and they have the worst starting rotation in all of baseball are they types of comments you get from 'experts' on XM MLB Home plate. Who is right? Not sure but I sure would like to not be the butt of every joke in the league. Winning more games would help this impression and 205 innings of experienced, none Chico, Joel H 9 walks per 9 innings would help too......

Posted by: JayB | February 7, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The Mets were preparing to sign Livo if they had not traded for Santana. If Livo is good enough for the Mets, I think he's good enough for the Nats.

Posted by: swanni | February 7, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

My Plan-based arguments against Livo above notwithstanding, I agree with the sentiments expressed by Wigi below:


If they signed Livo, I would happily watch. He's one of the most entertaining pitchers to watch out there...

So... from an entertainment standpoint... sure... sign him. But I think it is anti 'The Plan'.

Posted by: Wigi | February 7, 2008 03:35 PM

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 7, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

But Chico and Flores *weren't* ready. They both should have been in AA, esp. Flores. Sure, they'd have been there for the DBax and Mets, so it's probably worth taking the hit, but it's almost certain they would have been better off. The NATS were better off with them up here vs. someone else's minor league system, but not the players.

And that's relevant because Balester et alia are already in the Nats' system.

Personally, I expect Detwiler up by July 4 just by attrition, but that's another post.
*****
don't want Detwiler or Balester pitching if they aren't ready either. but Chico wasn't "ready". Flores wasn't "ready". We understood it and were patient and were even more happy when they were successful. I can deal with that one more year as long as the hot dogs are warm and the scoreboard is legible.

all these jamey carroll/livan lovers will find new favorites soon enough. just wait for Milledge to hit his first leadoff homerun or steal third base in the 9th inning. we have plenty of hometown favorites right here just waiting for you to appreciate them. I can't wait to see Wily Mo rounding third to storm home plate. this is gonna be a fun team to watch as it is.
Posted by: longterm | February 7, 2008 03:30 PM

Posted by: LFyPOI | February 7, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

you didn't really win me over with your response to the first three items. anecdotal and gut evidence really doesn't mean much to me (unless you have decades of expertise with the topic at hand). and the money really is nothing.

along the same lines, i'm not sure what you base the comments of "slander" on. i haven't seen anyone with any knowledge of the team defend him. not other players, not different members of the media, not coaches or GMs. so again, i'll just agree to disagree with you there and take the word of the insiders instead.

and i haven't confused him with guillen, i didn't call him a cancer, just pointed out that attributing leadership to him is more wishful thinking than proven by history. being a veteran doesn't imply leadership.

while i'll buy the "don't burn out the bullpen" and "don't rush the younguns" argument to a point, i don't see where adding 6-7 innings a game of 5 ERA really make enough of a difference to care.

innings eaters are a nice commodity, but take a look at the industry right now. any solid live-body pitcher seems to make $5-10m per year now, and not a single team has made a decent offer to livan. i doubt it was because he was holding out for either the mets or the nats and told the rest no. there's a reason people aren't jumping to offer him a contract (including the nats). (which also underscores my amusement at the concept of "sign him for 2-3 years and trade him at the deadline for prospect(s)," which is laughable. if he doesn't have enough value for at least one team to offer him a contract, chances are slim he brings anything of value at the trade deadline.)

and those "long NJ discussions on the topic" are mostly due to a handful of people pining for him here... ;) and NJ is *not* a legitimate slice of the nationals fan base. it's a small nonrepresentational group of more dedicated fans.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

swanni, the mets *supposedly* were prepared to sign him, but that's because they have even less SP depth than we do. before signing santana, they had 1-2-3 set, but not much behind them.

besides, we still don't know if they'd have actually signed him. from what i'd seen, the main person floating that rumor was livan himself. they've also been in contact with a number of other FA pitchers.

and besides, it's not like the mets pitching staff was head and shoulders above the nats last year, *with* glavine (now gone), they were only 0.32 better ERA as a team (granted with more quality starts and a worse bullpen). but i wouldn't call "making the mets as a 5th starter" much of an endorsement. to be the 5th starter now, he'd have to beat out his brother. before he'd have had to beat out sosa, or maybe pelfrey.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

If I'm on the fence about heading to the ballpark after work, I'd much rather pay to see Livan than Bascik. Livan will give up a few runs through seven innings and consistently give the team a chance to win, with some of our pitchers last year you never knew if they were going to make it past the second.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 7, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I think that I take your point, 231. I'd go to see Livo, but I'd also go to see Hill, Patterson, and the others.

---

will you plan out your games in 08 to make sure you catch livo as much as you can?

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Unless you advertise the starting pitcher as Walter Johnson, I'm not headed to the stadium based on who's hurling. Even then, it's probably more out of curiosity.

I think that Livo needs a LoDuca-type deal or nothing.

The Mets are clearly idiots, so no one can use that to justify anything and carry any weight.

Cold Fusion is a good name.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 7, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, what do you expect, focus groups? OF COURSE it's anecdotal! And then argue lack of evidence because YOU lack anecdotes? An unsubtantiated slur *is a rumor*.

That said, one does wonder why he's still looking. Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Livo knows pudding better than Cosby. We'll see if he signs with anyone soon enough.

Posted by: Gee'zuhzaitch. | February 7, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of heading to the park after work, I heard that the Nats are going to be setting up mini ballpark tours for people interested in buying season tickets (basically, meet-your-seat in advance). I'm told that an announcement should be forthcoming within days.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 7, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who like to listen to Spring Training games, as I do, I found info on games that will be broadcast on 3WT radio:

http://www.3wtradio.com/?sid=1313107&nid=26

Bang! Zoom!

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

um... "argue lack of evidence because YOU lack anecdotes?" is that like the whole "if you can't prove god doesn't exist, then he does!" argument?

sorry, the whole point was that 'anecdotal' evidence has little validity without substantiation. so the fact that i didn't provide anecdotal evidence doesn't damage my arguments.

not quite sure what "An unsubtantiated slur *is a rumor*" is in reference to, tho.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told, I have made decisions to attend particular games based on who was twirling.

---

Unless you advertise the starting pitcher as Walter Johnson, I'm not headed to the stadium based on who's hurling. Even then, it's probably more out of curiosity.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

and thanks for that bob! i'm definitely interested in a tour. hope it's ok that i already have my tickets. well, i've paid for them, at least. probably won't have them until late march, unless they've figured out how to print tickets in less than 3 months.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

i've made that decision myself, natsfan1a. but usually it's something like "oswalt is pitching tonight," not an over-the-hill livo. can't wait until we really have our own "oswalt/santana/bedard/etc" to look forward to.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll second that emotion.

---

can't wait until we really have our own "oswalt/santana/bedard/etc" to look forward to.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think the comparisons to Chico are intriguing. Here's why.

Honestly, I think Chico was the MVP of the Plan last season. On a team that started thirteen different pitchers, Chico was the only guy who was able to take the ball every fifth day.

As far as the Plan is concerned, that's one less starting spot that has to be filled by a young prospect.

For the Plan to work, you need the rotation to act like the cork on a bottle of wine, allowing the wine to age to perfection. If that wine is poured too early, it's effectively ruined. Chico was the only part of that cork that worked last season.

Fortunately, they had Bacsik, Bowie, Simontacchi, and the rest to step up. I'm not sure how many spot starters remain on this team right now, though.

So, from a Plan perspective, do you try to bring in Livan's 200 innings to stop up the bottle? I don't know.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 7, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Can they be our 1, 2, and 3 starters, respectively?

-----

can't wait until we really have our own "oswalt/santana/bedard/etc" to look forward to.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 7, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Livo could stop up a culvert, much less a bottle!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 7, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

you'd written that you haven't heard of anyone contradicting stories of Livo being a problem in the clubhouse. My point, then, was that it is disengenuous to say I had only anecdotal support, and then turn around and offer the lack of even *that*, nevermind the kind of hard data you seem to expect of me, to support a negative: "no one stood up for him, so it must be true." Saying Livo was unprofessional is -- OK, maybe "slander" is a little strong -- it's unfair, unless and until someone in a position to know says so, and says why, and not in some anonymous quote somewhere.
THAT would be what I meant by "unsubstantiated rumors."


****
um... "argue lack of evidence because YOU lack anecdotes?" is that like the whole "if you can't prove god doesn't exist, then he does!" argument?
sorry, the whole point was that 'anecdotal' evidence has little validity without substantiation. so the fact that i didn't provide anecdotal evidence doesn't damage my arguments.
not quite sure what "An unsubtantiated slur *is a rumor*" is in reference to, tho.
Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 04:53 PM

Posted by: I'm losing interest fast. Can we stop now? | February 7, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I have been known to miss games, because I was hurling. Does that count?

*****
Unless you advertise the starting pitcher as Walter Johnson, I'm not headed to the stadium based on who's hurling. Even then, it's probably more out of curiosity.
Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 04:54 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

231,
No one has less depth in starters than the Nats. You would have to take a Bob Beamon-style leap of faith to think that the current group of Disabled List regulars constitutes depth.

Posted by: swanni | February 7, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

... as we approach the heady air of spring training, and all its accompanying idealistic promise, it might be good to remember this one truth. These are the days we fans indulge in the freedom to see our team as competitors for the prize; even to imagine our team as world champions. But as wonderful as these days are, we must remember the reality in the midst of the ideal.

... one of the most difficult things for a team which is still on the up-slope in terms of building, is to resist doggedly the temptation to feel - as we get closer and closer to the competitive level aimed for - that we've made it, when the truth is we've still got a year or three to go.

... if that is a correct view, and it seems reasonable to me, we should keep in mind what we want to do this year. Coming out of this season, we still will not have 'made it', so it behooves us to keep on track - on The Plan, as it were.

... one thing I suggest we have to do, is to resist making moves and signings designed to make us competitive - for this one season - with the rest of the division. We are far ahead of last year but we're not ready to compete with the other teams yet for the ultimate championship.

... with that in mind, we shouldn't sign Livo even for a year, at the expense of making important decisions designed specifically for the development of our young guns.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 7, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Natscan.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 7, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Now that you've brought it up, shall we have a vote? :)

---

I have been known to miss games, because I was hurling. Does that count?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

swanni, don't confuse "quality" depth with depth in general. i didn't say they had a good rotation, just that they have a long list of SPs, most of whom are back end of the rotation guys and spot starters. but they *do* have a lot of those guys. if hill/pattersone were/are healthy and on their games, we'd have maybe a 2 and a 3, but still no true #1. and those are huge "ifs". but there are at least 8 contenders for the rotation on opening day. and possibly a few others to come up during the season.

to whoever i'm discussing livo with (the rotating moniker person), that's a fair enough comment, in some ways. but there's a pretty big difference between hearing from numerous sources that he was a problem, including intimations by barry, iirc, and choosing to believe where there's smoke there's fire; and hearing those things and choosing to believe the opposite, that he'd be a team leader.

and wouldn't it be reasonable enough to believe that if he was a team leader and a good clubhouse guy, that at least one teammate or coach or manager would have stood up for the guy? or are you saying the rest of the guys aren't good enough people to stand up for a teammate (even if it's an ex-teammate). he11, some guys even stood up for barry bonds. i read as much as i can about the team and i've never seen it.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I couldn't even read them all.

I am on the 1-year Livo side, although I can buy the arguments on the other side which are not about money.

However, I think this whole discussion shows a maturing of the Nats analysis. This is not to say it is more logical or less emotional. It is more like the discussions of other teams. Livo represents a shared experience we all have with the team, someone who warrants a deeper discussion. Is the the Livo our team had before, or not?

He is the first ex-Nat that might become a Nat again.

I think we are all desperate for spring training. Eight days, folks.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (8 more days) | February 7, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Ack!

No, he is not the first. I mean he is the first that really matters. Left-handed situational guys like Ray king and Mike Stanton aren't of the same caliber, although I loved them.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (8 more days) | February 7, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Positively Half St....

"It is more like the discussions of other teams. Livo represents a shared experience we all have with the team, someone who warrants a deeper discussion.."

... absolutely. It is a humbling, but oh so rewarding feeling when one realizes how ingrained we have become as Nats fans. We, along with the team, are growing up.

... by the way, as an old-time Robert Zimmerman fan, I love your moniker.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 7, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to respond to this post:

where does this "livo is a draw" concept come from?

Well, most people in the DC-metro area have little concept of the Nats existence and Livo gives a draw back to the 2005 when many more people seemed aware of and interested in the team. Others are casual baseball fans who couldn't name any Nats beyond Ryan Zimmerman, but they know who Livo is, he has a history in baseball, is colorful, marketable, only the fanatics, people like us, get into baseball and the Nats enough to discuss the merits of a Livo signing. From a recognition sense, he gives the Nats some play - they have very little so far - Examples: one casual fan asked me if they would fund the new ballpark soon - 3 months ago! Another HUGE fan - Phillies & Orioles albeit -- who went to 10 games at RFK last year, commented how surprised he was that the Nats stadium wasn't red brick...2 days ago!! I'm on the fence about Livo's signing from a baseball sense, but he WOULD add recognition and that adds FANS - and I want lots and lots of fans because I don't ever want a DC baseball team to leave again!

On the Teddy angle - how about showing an old clip of Teddy Roosevelt saying "bully" with our Teddy dancing on the dugout while the song "Wolly Bully" plays? Great idea? Foolish? Sad? What do the NJ readers think?

Posted by: natswriter | February 7, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Enough of this talk about posssible rotation problems on the Nationals. Let's discuss a local team that will be facing REAL problems with its rotation this summer. I'm speaking of course of the Washington Post baseball coverage team. It's already been announced that Barry Svrluga will be moving on to burgundier and golder pastures with the Redskins. No replacement for him as Nationals beat reporter has yet been named. Now, today the Post announced another upcoming round of buyouts in order to trim its staff. You've got to figure that Boswell has been around the Post long enough to be offered a buyout, and I've got to presume that he will take it. Last year he threw the dice on an attempt to resurrect his stagnant career as a columnist by becoming a self-proclaimed Gibbsologist, to decidedly mixed reviews. But now Gibbs is gone. Is Boswell going to want to intensely cover some other old Fassel from now on? Or would he rather sit at home in Annapolis instead of attending 16 Redskins games plus preseason games next year? (At least he can rest assured there will be no playoff game trips.) If he takes the buyout, he might come back under contract like Solomon and Shapiro to write the odd baseball or golf column, but I doubt his production would be up to even last year's lackluster standard, when he diasppeared from print for weeks at a time.

So who will the Post have on the baseball beat this season? Sheinin and Carig covering the non-home teams, a Nationals beat writer TBD (and with the budget cuts you know it won't be anybody good), and maybe a bit of Boswell columnizing. That's a piss poor rotation if you ask me. Can Livo write? Maybe the Post should sign him!

Another thing: There have been several mentions of Steinberg lately by Barry, after his name has rarely if ever shown up here before. Could he be being groomed to take over as Nationals beat reporter per chance?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 7, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"On the Teddy angle - how about showing an old clip of Teddy Roosevelt saying "bully" with our Teddy dancing on the dugout while the song "Wolly Bully" plays? Great idea? Foolish? Sad? What do the NJ readers think?"

Foolish and sad, yes. But at least it would be original with the Nats, not stolen from some other team like Sweet Caroline. For that reason alone I'd be all for it.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 7, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I like it.

"On the Teddy angle - how about showing an old clip of Teddy Roosevelt saying "bully" with our Teddy dancing on the dugout while the song "Wolly Bully" plays? Great idea? Foolish? Sad? What do the NJ readers think?"

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

TR - OK, but only if we can use "WOOLY Bully" instead.

Posted by: Wally Bully | February 7, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

natscan reduxit-

Thanks, pal. I hoped someone would get the allusion. There are many great monikers in our crowd. I wanted the positive feeling about Half St and the new stadium as part of it, along with the song reference. I am amazed nobody has taken bangzoom! in honor of our man Charlie Slowes.

The fact that we care at all about Teddy also means we have something unique for ourselves, as well. It will only get better as we build a local tradition of baseball again. Let's all get to more games this year than last year to do our part.

Those of you with partial or full season tickets, I don't mean you- you are the heroes of the organization. Do any of you buy season or partial tickets with 3 young kids? I sure can't- tell me how, if you manage it. I got a call from the team, but had to beg off their sales call.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (8 more days) | February 7, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch Wally Bully, yes, I meant Wooly Bully, I never learned my spellin' lessons real good!

Posted by: natswriter | February 7, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

natscan reduxit-

Thanks, pal. I hoped someone would get the allusion. There are many great monikers in our crowd. I wanted the positive feeling about Half St and the new stadium as part of it, along with the song reference. I am amazed nobody has taken bangzoom! in honor of our man Charlie Slowes.

The fact that we care at all about Teddy also means we have something unique for ourselves, as well. It will only get better as we build a local tradition of baseball again. Let's all get to more games this year than last year to do our part.

Those of you with partial or full season tickets, I don't mean you- you are the heroes of the organization. Do any of you buy season or partial tickets with 3 young kids? I sure can't- tell me how, if you manage it. I got a call from the team, but had to beg off their sales call.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (8 more days) | February 7, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I've come to expect this bunch to pick up on these references. It is a really good one, btw. Nicely done.

"bang-zoom" is of course not Charlie's, but I know you know that.


*******
Thanks, pal. I hoped someone would get the allusion. There are many great monikers in our crowd.
...

I am amazed nobody has taken bangzoom! in honor of our man Charlie Slowes.

Posted by: The Great One | February 7, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

come to think of it, "and awaaaaaaaaay we go!" would make a good home run call.

Dibs.

Posted by: C "Cold Fusion" EvansJr | February 7, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

yes! yes! "woolly bully" is a great song! and anything that drives neal diamond out of hearing is worth agitating for. i don't know boz personally but i have read him for thirty years now with great pleasure and enlightenment so i hope he does not take early retirement. he got taught baseball by earl weaver and has a fine mind. i know some of you don't like him but no writer is universally acclaimed...

Posted by: natty bumppo | February 7, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Graet One-

Yes, of course. I didn't mean Charlie invented it. It sure works for us when combined with the fireworks, though.

If he said certain home runs went to the moon, though, it would still work.

Whoever first talked about cherry bombs (in reference to the soon-to-be-planted trees) deserves some credit, because some sportscaster will use that this year, for sure.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (8 more days) | February 7, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Boswell is a superior writer, a knowledgeable baseball observer, and a delightful read. I have never understood the animosity aimed at him. I have read his work faithfully for more than 20 years. I would be truly sad if he were to leave the Post for any reason.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 7, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Mets pitchers - It's official: Pedro Martinez is a cock teaser!
http://tinyurl.com/yu5csv

Posted by: The Chicken Dance is our new theme song for the Mets! | February 7, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The Cherry Bomb Pavilion was mentioned in NJ sometime this fall. I wish I could take credit, but we can look it up if need be.

How Sweet It Is!

Posted by: CEvans | February 7, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

i think the animosity toward boz has to do with him not really covering the nats as much as you would expect from the local baseball columnist. plus i think some really don't like him writing about the Os. i agree with the first half, to a degree, but not necessarily the 2nd.

natswriter, we'll have to agree to disagree that livo would provide much of a draw. just because some might recognize his name more than any current SP doesn't mean people really want to go out of their way to see him. that's kinda like damning him with faint praise. the stadium will be the draw this year, next year they need to be competitive enough to draw fans for the games themselves.

Posted by: 231 | February 7, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

So, to recap: We've got

"The Curly (W) Shuffle"

"Wooly Bully" for TR

something from Damn Yankees, probably "You Gotta Have Heart" but I'm holding out for either "Who Gets A Pain When They Do The Mambo?" or "I Thought About The Game"

and when Pedro is pitching, The Chicken Dance.

Posted by: CE | February 7, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me, CE.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Now that Pedro has been seen at cock fights, perhaps he might be available soon in a trade...listening Jimbo...we know how you jump on bad reps. DY, prepare for another pupil. On a serious note, I don't think Livo would be a bad sign, if he's very, very cheap. He could be useful as an insurance policy in protecting the younger arms from over extending themselves before this team is really ready to compete for October play.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 7, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

CEvans wondered: The Cherry Bomb Pavilion was mentioned in NJ sometime this fall. I wish I could take credit, but we can look it up if need be.

I searched and found:

I put forward a motion to call all homeruns into the left field porch 'cherry bombs'

Posted by: CeeGee | November 1, 2007 02:04 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 7, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Now you just KNOW someone will suggest they could get Juan Marichal cheaper ...

**********
Now that Pedro has been seen at cock fights, perhaps he might be available soon in a trade...listening Jimbo...we know how you jump on bad reps. DY, prepare for another pupil.
Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 7, 2008 10:23 PM

Posted by: maybe even me... | February 7, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I'd encourage those hoping for a Boswell buyout to read any one of his baseball books. Most of his books are collections of articles and I'd recommend "The Heart of the Order" and "Why Time Begins on Opening Day".

Sure, I read the same piece asserting Gibbs would stay with the Skins which immediately preceded Gibbs' resignation.

I've also read & reread countless articles on the Nats leading up to Opening Day 2005 or how Angelos ruined the stupid Orioles.

Has he focused recently on the Nats? Nope. But when he does, it will be the first baseball item I read that day.

Having Boswell write in DC isnt the same as Conlin in Philly or Shaughnessy in Boston, both of whom are consistly blasted by readers, bloggers and sports experts. Boswell is well respected throughout all levels of the game and one of the reasons I enjoy following baseball.

Overlooking his complete body of work and urging a buyout based on recent articles sounds incredibly foolhardy...to me at least.

I for one cant wait for Boswells reaction to the exhibition game and then the Sunday night game.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 8, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Boswell has declined dramatically as a columnist in recent years. His columns show that he does a minimal amount of work in writing them, and they show a minimal amount of reflection by him. Rarely does he include quotes from sources or show that he has talked to anyone in connection with writing his column. When he does deign to write about baseball, his columns are more concerned with writing baseball "poetry" than just with good writing.

Perhaps most galling though, is how quickly and easily Boz will contradict himself. For example, compare his May 10, 2007 column ("Paying the Price For A Plan") with his column just three weeks later on May 30, 2007 ("If The Plan Pans Out, the Nats' Future Could be Wow"). Both columns are meandering and poorly written, but suffice to say that they couldn't contradict each other more completely.

Here are excerpts from the May 10 column:

"Nice work, Stan. So, this is The Plan? What's the guiding concept here? Are the Nats trying to alienate the very fan base that tempted the Lerner family to spend $450 million for the team and lured the District into a $611 million gamble on a new stadium? Every day, as his roster of discount vagabonds implodes, losing 25 of 34 games, threatening to make a run at Worst Team Ever, Kasten's supreme confidence that his scheme is "ahead of schedule" looks more ridonkulous. And if you doubt it, just ask him.

* * *

"In one sense, this season is a lark for the Nats, a 162-game tryout camp. Yet watching such a precarious team, which may battle its way to being merely bad, but could collapse completely, is a gnawing worry. Kasten, Bowden and principal owner Mark Lerner work lunatic hours and seek nothing less than a jewel franchise. The sport, including Bud Selig, now assumes Washington is like any other top-dozen rich mega-market. Build a flashy new ballpark, promise to field a contender soon and 3 million fans a season will stampede the turnstiles to watch.

"But none of these people, regardless of good intentions, knows this town. Or how alien, remote and forgotten baseball became for millions here during the third-of-a-century the game was gone. "They'll love us when we win," is the mantra. We'll see. If The Plan, so ideal in theory, fizzles in practice, will baseball regret squandering the glorious goodwill in the summer of '05 when the box seats bounced at RFK? Whatever the cost in wasted cash, I'd never have taken such a chance."


Here are the final paragraphs of the May 30 column:

"For the next few weeks, until healthy pitchers return, the Nats remain in jeopardy of looking foolish, as they did in last night's 10-0 drubbing by the Dodgers. But the big question about this season probably has already been answered.

"The stars, comparable to Zimmerman, that a winning team must possess will not arrive in Washington -- from the minors or other teams -- until the club plays in Southeast. But 15 or more of the franchise's other core players are either on display at RFK now or will be by midseason. The Nationals' future is arriving fast, and much of it suddenly is well ahead of schedule."


So, in discussing the Plan on May 10, Boz criticizes it and says he "never would have taken such a chance." Yet three weeks later, Boz is extolling the virtues of the Plan and how it "suddenly is well ahead of schedule"? Come on...this is the insight he is paid big $ for??? This isn't the only time he pulled a stunt like this...he did something similar last Spring in ripping the Nats' staring rotation, and then writing that the rotation wouldn't be as bad as everyone expects. Bottom line, Boz has become a joke and he is no longer relevant on the national scene (except maybe, of course, as a "Gibbsologist").

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 8, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

I echo 'coverage is lacking.' Boswell's columns are meandering and usually just resort to pure cheerleading. He doesn't offer a critical eye, just says everything will be great in the future.

His projections ("if so-and-so keeps at this pace, he will have 186 HRs by June!") are laughable.

Posted by: swanni | February 8, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Every time Boswell writes a column on the Nats, it is a treat for me. I do wish the Post would hire another columnist to cover the team, but that just doesn't seem realistic in this climate, does it?

Thank God for blogs. If any of you are new to NJ, and unaware, there are a good number of Nats-related blogs out there, covering different aspects of the team, with sensibilities ranging from outright-homer to 24/7 snark. The quality is across the board, as well, but the team is covered, inside and out, and stat-analyzed to within an inch of its mediocre life. Sportspyder.com's Nationals page will keep you up to date with most of them.

I don't want to wish a week of my life away (on my 44th birthday, I wish it would all slow down), but I am desperate for the papers to have daily missives in addition to the blogs. Please report early, pitchers and catchers!!

Posted by: Positively Half St (One more week) | February 8, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, PHS!

Put me down as another who has enjoyed reading Boswell's books and columns.

I'm not really into blogs other than this one, but I'm aware that they're out there. I check a few out once in a while but I tend to prefer journalistic sites for my Nats updates (just my personal preference).

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

OK Stan, it's Friday. What's up with opening day tickets?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 8, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

First of all, I have absolutely no problem with Tom Bosewell (or anyone else) for changing his mind from week to week or cheerleading for baseball and the Nats. He, more than anyone in the media, is responsible for there being baseball in DC. We should never forget that!

While he does not attempt to break news, report rumors, or otherwise churn out the commodity news that many other columnists around the country do, he does paint a beautiful picture with words that capture the spirit of baseball. He never "mails it in". His commentary has helped focus attention on the positive aspects of baseball and helps create a nurturing environment for the Nationals and Baseball in DC. That benefits all of us who are baseball fans.

I wish he would write about the Nats 3 times a week year round instead of once or twice a month in season, but his work is always appreciated when it comes and is perhaps a little sweeter for the scarcity.

Thank you Tom for your efforts!


Posted by: NatBisquit | February 8, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Didn't know if anyone has seen or has any interest in espn's top 10 spring training locations, but i think we've all heard of #1:
http://sports.espn.go.com/travel/news/story?id=3230603

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 8, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Coverage is Lacking on Boswell. My biggest gripe about him is his Orioles love, insisting that there are "two area teams."

This isn't Baltimore, and the Orioles are as irrelevant to Washington as the Redskins are to Baltimore. Although there was no Baltimore NFL team for ten years, and the Redskins were the closest NFL team there for that period, would you ever see someone in the Baltimore Sun writing that there are "two area football teams"??? I think not.

Barry aside, the entire Post staff is not local enough in its sports coverage. Michael Wilbon announced on PTI the day after Soriano signed with the Cubs that "Nobody Cares About The Nats." Some Washington columnist.

Posted by: Ray | February 8, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

On Livo: I think 131's comment from about 4:00 yesterday catches the meat of the discussion (no Livo pun intended!): If you had to line up the rotation, it would go something like Hill (if he's healthy), Patterson (until he's hurt), Bergmann (unless he stinks), Chico, and then a bunch of ?'s - Lannan, Hanrahan, Redding, Clippard, Mock, Detwiler, Balester, Bacsik, etc. Whether or not you think we should sign Livo I think depends a lot on where you think Livo would fall on that list. To me, it's a completely "meh" signing - if it's cheap, if he stays somewhat trade-able, fine - not like Hanrahan or Bacsik were going to be much better, but I think I'd like to see if those guys at the top are really healthy before I decide.

On Boz: Actually, the Livo comparison works here too - he used to be a fairly good writer back in his day, now getting by on memory and lyricism. He doesn't bother me as much as some, but I'd really like to see Sheinen get his own twice-or-thrice-a-week baseball-focused column. I love his Sunday stuff. That, or I'd love for WaPo to let Barry take the gloves all the way off on the blog - let it be his own opinion entirely.

On nicknames: I'm going to claim this one, inspired by P 1/2 St.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (talkin' over-the-hill-pitcher blues) | February 8, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Any Game not started by Billy T, Mike B, Jason S, Joel H, M. Bowie, L. Spagner......do I need to go on.....LIVO game will bet all of these every time.

Livo isn't capable of THIS anymore:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN200706090.shtml

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | February 8, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

On Livo:

If we can get him pretty cheap at a 1 or maybe even a 2 year deal (it'd have to be real cheap) then i'd be all for it. It never hurts to have a live body ready to throw every 5th day, and even if Livan is in decline, he's still at least arguably better then at least our 4-5 starters. At 11-11 on an D-Backs team that put up fewer runs then most he could give us a shot to have a starter lead the team in wins this year. I agree that if health Hill is a better pitcher, Bergmann is most likely a better pitcher, and Paterson has at least shown he's been capable of being a better pitcher, but those are big IFs. None of these guys has come close to making it through a full season and I for one would like to have something a little more stable in the rotation this year, even if he puts up a 5+ era as long as we get close to 30 starts and 200 innings. He wont stop up the back of the rotation for young guys because when Hill, Patterson, and Bergmann are riding the pine on the DL like always (i'd like to think it wont happen this year but lets all be honest...) then Livo will be getting shelled in the 1st of a 6 inning start just like always, and we'll thank him for it. If the price tag doesn't come down though... let him go somewhere else, we can always throw Speigner in again.

On Post coverage:

Yeah it'd be nice to have a baseball column every once in a while but you have to remember ITS FOOTBALL SEASON. Boo hoo the Redskins get so much coverage, they earned it, they are a storied franchise with three world titles and hall of fame players and coaches. They've been around for a bit longer too. The community has a vested love for the team that is a borderline obsession. As a simple example: i learned Hail to the Redskins around the time i learned Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and that's with an Eagles fan for a father and a Steelers fan for a mother. During baseball season we typically got at least 1 baseball related column per week with 2 or 3 when something interesting was happening. Yeah, nobody's commented in a while but some extenuating circumstances intervened as well: Star player shot (necessitates a few columns) Winning streak to squeak out playoff berth (a few more) HOF coach retires (the list grows) Incumbent coaches overlooked (i think youre getting the point)...


... if any of these things happened to the Nats during baseball season and there were columns about the Cap's off season moves getting in the way we'd be up in arms so quit your complaining. Spring break is only a week away and with it will come daily stories, columns, NJ posts, and real news!

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 8, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I recall the Zits comic strip when Jeremy says, "All I want is what I want, when I want it! Is that too much to ask?" I am willing to be unreasonable about wanting more Nats stories, although VT Nats Fan is right on the mark.

Ryan D.- good name, but hopefully most of our pitchers won't be over the hill, but approaching the hill for the first time.

Posted by: Positively Half St (One more week) | February 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't try to debate the subjective opinions of an authors work. Some readers like Tracy Ringolsby. I don't. Some readers don't like Keith Law. I do.

However, context is needed when using excerpts to dispute the merit of content.

If you recall, the national mindset surrounding the Nats heading into the 2007 season wasnt exactly positive...'possible worst team ever'...'could surpass the record for losses'.

On May 10, the date of Boswells first referenced article, the Nats were 9-25 and well on their way to being the worst team in the league. The team had just lost 8 or 9 in a row.

Then they started winning. They beat the Braves. They clobbered the Reds. By the end of the month, when Boswell wrote the second referenced article, there was much more optimism surrounding the team. Even national experts were second guessing their worst team ever projections.

I'd have to check the 2007 schedule, but I bet the stretch between Boswells two articles coincides with the most productive stretch in terms of wins for the Nats in 07.

Hill & Bergmann were pitching well (pre-injury) and showing signs of being part of the future. Chico showed he wasnt overmatched after jumping from AA ball. The bullpen continued to show incredible depth. Lannan, Maxwell, Marrero & Daniel were off to solid starts in Potomac & Hagerstown.

The Plan was showing tangible results with long term hope. Boswell's second article is a reflection of the Nats hope, not a an impromptu contradiction.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 8, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

OK, time to weigh in on Livo. Barring injury or exceptional ballooning in the offseason, he's a rotation candidate with this crew.

But he is where he is on the career and performance path, so the FO needn't trundle after him with their tongues hanging out.

If the opportunity presents itself, let's try to sign him for a season or two at a million per, tops. If we don't, we'll get by.

Posted by: Hendo | February 8, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Ocho.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

for all of my haranging about livo, if they signed him for $1m for a year (with incentives, sure), i wouldn't whine about it. i'd rather not see 2 yrs, unless it's a 2nd yr club option or something that vests with the completion of a very good season for livo.

Posted by: 231 | February 8, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Any of you who think that the "it's football season rationale" justfies the Post's level of baseball coverage should take a look at the NY Times archives from January. The Giants were in the middle of a Super Bowl run, and the Times covered them thoroughly. Yet the Times also managed to have significant baseball coverage at the same time. There were articles about baseball, Murray Chass had his regular "on baseball" pieces and Sunday page (when was the last time Sheinin ran his baseball page or wrote a bylined article?) and columnists wrote about baseball. Barry has already admitted that the Post's baseball coverage is not up to par, and the disparity recently is just another example.

I'm not sure how this relates to Boswell in any case. He is niminally a baseball columnist who doesn't actually write much about baseball, he takes long vacations during the baseball season, and when he is actually working during the summer, he spends significant time away from baseball to write about golf tournaments...which he writes about more thoroughly than baseball. I think Barry has mentioned that Boz tries to take in 1 game a week when the Nats are at home or something like that--huh?!? And when he does write about baseball, he mails it in with little reflection and providing little insight. It's too bad.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 8, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ocho - It's a fair point, but I think it gets at what bugs me most about Boz's style - it's completely caught up in the moment. If you think about a baseball season like a novel, with each game as a page, and the game story as its narrative, then the columns should have more context, be able to take a longer view, and specifically NOT get caught up in "Hey! We're 9-25! The Plan is a failure!!" and then "Hey! We won a bunch of games! The Plan Rulez!" Some folks like the columns to be a reflection of the moment - I'd rather have them be more contextual. But like you said at the top, your feeling about columnists is subjective - that's why I'd like to see more than one columnist (in baseball season) covering baseball.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (talkin' lack-of-context blues) | February 8, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Ocho, Boz has "reminded" us time after time that even the best teams go through horrible stretches and even the worst teams go through good ones. So any baseball columnist whose opinion about the long-term prospects of a team (not their specific fate in 07 mind you) can be changed in 3 weeks is a joke who is mailing it in. Columnists are not paid to just reflect popular opinion and change their views whenever the wind blows. Also, these 2 columns are only one example out of several where Boz has disagreed with himself...the horrible/not horrible starting rotation columns last spring are another example.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 8, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Boswell (I used to be, oh, about 15 years ago when he was a regular contributor). But if there were buy-outs, I would rather see the ESPN-ers hit the road -- enough with the national coverage designed to please the bosses in Bristol rather than the readers in DC.

Posted by: swanni | February 8, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

And do you really think Barry would leave the Nats' beat if the Post's editors considered it a valuable (and career-boosting) assignment? Hardly -- his departure speaks volumes to the Post's indifference to anything besides the national stuff (for the ESPNers' egos and careers) and the Skins.

Posted by: swanni | February 8, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Rob Pegararo says at his blog that a cable "tipster" says MASN is planning to offer at least 60 games in high-def this season.

Posted by: swanni | February 8, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Livo has typically pitched better when the games mean something. I would like to see what his career statistics (including average Innings per start) when he has been on a team that is at least eight games out of first place. My sense is there might be a significant disparity. I remain in favor of acquiring an "innings-eater" for the right price - but I'm reluctant to think Livo is the best deal out there. Besides, if we sign him we own him - I can't see any play-off teams lining up to trade prospects for him come July 31. Teams are seeking winning pitchers in August not "innings eaters."

Posted by: lowcountry | February 8, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I would rather take the money that would go to Livo and instead put it into long term contracts for the young guys, like for Chad, Zim, WMP, Kearns (I realize the Nats need to look at him in 2008 before doing this), and even 2 or 3 years for FLop. The Nats have no middle infielders who could come up before then.

To do all that, you need more than Livo money, but it is a start.

Posted by: EdDC | February 8, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"when was the last time Sheinin ran his baseball page or wrote a bylined article?"

You mean other than his co-bylined article with Svrluga this morning about Clemens and McNamee both being on the Hill yesterday? Guess the Post thinks anything happening in Congress is a home game, one step below the Redskins, so they assign two reporters to it. Oh yeah, there was a bylined article by Sheinin that ran earlier this week on the same day as Svrluga's McGeary story. It happened to be all about the Orioles possibly trading Bedard to Seattle. Funny thing, that. It wasn't breaking news on the day it ran (the trade rumors had been all over the Internet for several days at that point), and it STILL isn't breaking news because days after the story ran that trade has yet to be consummated. There was absolutely no reason that Sheinin story needed to run on the day it did except to counterbalance the long Nationals story the Post was running that same day. This IS a two-team baseball town after all. Boswell told me so. Too bad the Post only has a AAAA team of reporters and columnists covering the sport.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"Any of you who think that the 'it's football season rationale' justfies [sic] the Post's level of baseball coverage should take a look at the NY Times archives from January. The Giants were in the middle of a Super Bowl run, and the Times covered them [assume he means the Yankees?] thoroughly."

See guys, even the Times covers the Baltimore Orioles!

Also, it's important to note that a 105 years of history in a town and 3 years of history in a town are, in fact, equitable and no account should be taken of the difference when judging the level of commitment by local institutions.

So when a 105 year old baseball team still gets coverage when the corresponding 83 year old football team is going for the championship, we should take it as the standard that a town with a 71 year old football team going for a championship and a 3 year old baseball team releasing only rumors about trades should be judged.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Don't give me that 3 years of history business. Washington has 74 years of MLB history. That's my biggest gripe in that nobody is tying the history together. Baseball in DC with the current Nats - it's like it never happened before. BS

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I've never been a fan of Boswell, personally, but he doesn't bother me. I can't remember the last time he told me something I didn't know, or something I did in prose that impressed me. Maybe he wrote well in the past, but so did Ring Lardner; this is a daily paper. De gustibus, non disputandam est.
Speaking of which, and of monikers: thanks to Gal Who ..., we just got a whole new meaning for "Hit the showers."

Well, new to most of us, anyhow.

Posted by: Ce | February 8, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"Also, it's important to note that a 105 years of history in a town and 3 years of history in a town are, in fact, equitable and no account should be taken of the difference when judging the level of commitment by local institutions."

It's a newspaper, dude, not a history book. Different standards apply. The Post seems to think it's in the same league as the NY Times, but in the sports coverage arena it's obviously not even close. If the NY Times is the standard for major league sports coverage in a major league city, then for everything except the Redskins the Washington Post is basically operating at the AAAA level. And with impending budget cuts, they have nowhere to go but down.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Also, it's important to note that a 105 years of history in a town and 3 years of history in a town are, in fact, equitable and no account should be taken of the difference when judging the level of commitment by local institutions."
*************************
You mean "equate-able" = equivalent -- not "equitable" = "fair", don't you?

Posted by: who you sayin' ain't got no editors?? | February 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Wrong 506, in that sentence I meant the Giants. My following sentence said something like "yet the Times also managed to have significant baseball coverage at the same time.". I never mentioned the Yankees or Mets, and this isn't about the way the NY Times covers local teams. Though it does cover local teams better and more thoroughly than the Post does, the NY Times' coverage of baseball goes way beyond the local teams, even last month when the Giants were making a Super Bowl run. Among many other things, Murray Chass's baseball page runs regularly throughout the year, and it doesn't focus on local teams.

Previously you have defended the Post and stated that you don't believe the Post's Nats coverage is sub-par. Now you are agreeing that the Post's coverage is sub-par but saying that you think that is ok because the Nats are a new team. Not much more for me to say about that except I disagree, and it's too bad that you have such low expectations and are willing and eager to settle for so little.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

and for all mine, I'd go $1M-2M plus incentives, but yeah.

*****
for all of my haranging about livo, if they signed him for $1m for a year (with incentives, sure), i wouldn't whine about it. i'd rather not see 2 yrs, unless it's a 2nd yr club option or something that vests with the completion of a very good season for livo.
Posted by: 231 | February 8, 2008 10:24 AM

Posted by: CE/LFyPOI | February 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

6th and D, baseball never did exist in DC. For me. And for anyone who was not born before 1971 or did not live in DC before 1971. I know a lot of folks here remember those days, but you have to realize that for people under 34 or with less than 34 years of history in DC, the only baseball we knew was the Orioles.

My father told me about the Senators, but he never had anything nice to say about the team, not after they left town. I was taught to despise the (Expansion) Senators for betraying our city just like the original Senators did. I feel no loyalty to those old boys - though I don't really feel betrayed or angry either - and I suspect a lot of folks who are under 34 on this blog might feel similarly. After all, I never enjoyed one of their games at RFK, all I know of them is their abandonment.

To me, these Nationals are a new team. Those plucky Montreal boys come down to a place that MLB will finally give them what they deserve instead of unfairly treating them like outcasts. If I want to look gratefully at baseball history it will be to the Expos, rather than the Senators.

Why does this matter to the Washington Post? Because they want to sell ads to me, an 18-25 year old male. And unlike me, most of my peers have not caught on to baseball yet. A lot of them did not have parents that loved the game a lot to reluctantly follow the O's and were raised without baseball at all. Much of the target ad demographics does not even know baseball. But EVERYONE in DC knows football.

Is it really so opaque? Is the reason for coverage really so perplexing? Are you really so naive as to not understand why it's unbalanced?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Coverage, you make me feel like a presidential candidate! "You take my remarks out of context." hahaha

Thanks for the clarification on your remarks, I don't think it changes my argument at all. I've never argued I thought the Post's coverage was my ideal - I would read an entire Nationals section every day, if I had a choice - only that it makes sense as a business decision.

Why is it so hard to understand that I agree with the business decision, but am disappointed with the result? Seriously, is it that hard to understand?

Also, I said that I think Boswell does a fine job and I maintain that position.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The "plan" this year has added new wrinkles of moves made to protect and nurture young talent. Per that refined "Plan", bringing Livan back for a year makes sense.

1) The Lo Duca, Boone, Estrada, Redding, Harris decisions bring cover, buffer, quality depth and veteran leadership to nurture the growth of our young talent;
2) starting Belliard and Guzman over Lopez, Young over Johnson, Estrada/Lo Doca over Flores, Kearns over Dukes defuses the pressure to perform by players you're trying to emotionally rehab and nuture are smart and patient moves;
3) using Boone, Lo Duca, Young, Estrada and Belliard to mentor Milledge, Flores, Dukes, et al, makes sense--part of the refined "plan";

So why not bring Livan back as part of that refined "plan?" To bring a 200 inning workhorse back as a safety net, a veteran presence with playoff experience, a buffer to develop younger arms, and a Nats charter Member--throwing the first game for the new Nats--with a sentimental story to this year's larger legacy story, how right is that? I for one would go to the Nats stadium knowing every 5 days Livan would show up with his lunchpail and give you a rock of Gibralter start. More fun, I would go every 5 days just to watch him bat and clear the bases of runners. (231's intractable arguments are tiresome. No amount of discussion will move his position.)

Posted by: Eric | February 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

506, now you are arguing with Barry too. Although he did chicken out with his promise of a "how the sausage is made" blog post, he did say that they recognize the coverage level is not where it should be. Not that the coverage level reflects a business decision and is where they want it to be.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 8, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

lol at eric. you do realize it takes at least two opposing viewpoints to continue an argument, right? i'm no more "intractable" than the pro-livan crowd. i have no issue with being called stubborn (i am). but if you're going to criticize me and call my arguments tiresome, at least be willing to realize that the opposite argument, made over and over and without backing down, is just as "intractable" and "tiresome." maybe if i was the only person not that interested in bringing livo back...

anyway, it takes at least two to tango. ;)

as far as the rest, i'll agree with 1 and 3. but 2, not so much (other than flores).

lopez isn't starting (for now) because he didn't hit worth a cr@p last year. if he hit 285 with a 350 OBP, he'd be the starter at one of those spots.

we have no idea whether it will be NJ (if healthy) or meathook starting at 1B (meat was physical health insurance, not mental health insurance).

and dukes never was nor is intended to be competition for kearns. kearns is the lone entrenched starter. dukes has always had milledge and WMP as competition for time.

Posted by: 231 | February 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Why does this matter to the Washington Post? Because they want to sell ads to me, an 18-25 year old male. And unlike me, most of my peers have not caught on to baseball yet. A lot of them did not have parents that loved the game a lot to reluctantly follow the O's and were raised without baseball at all. Much of the target ad demographics does not even know baseball. But EVERYONE in DC knows football.

Is it really so opaque? Is the reason for coverage really so perplexing? Are you really so naive as to not understand why it's unbalanced?"

Apparently you are too young and, yes, naive to remember what the Post's sports coverage was like back in the early 1990s, when the Redskins were still a team that had some game and the closest MLB team to Washington was the one in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the newspapers of that day are not archived on the web for me to be able to extract any data, so you'll have to take my word as someone who was a daily subscriber then (as now) and accept my anecdotal remembrance. The ratio of football to baseball coverage (on an annualized basis to avoid any in-season/out-of-season arguments) was less then than it is now, i.e. there was more baseball coverage then than there is now. The ratio of coverage of the "home" teams was also tilted more toward baseball then than now. The Orioles then had more coverage relative to the Redskins than the Nats and Orioles combined do now. Sheinin made his name at the Post as the Orioles beat writer, and Boswell made his name as first the Orioles beat writer and then as a columnist writing mainly about baseball and the Orioles and Ripken in particular. So you say it's perplexing that anyone would question why the emphasis is as it is now, that it's obviously a business decision? If that's the case, then, it's been a very bad business decision, as the Post has been losing circulation steadily ever since it peaked at 832,232 in 1993. (According to the story in today's paper about the buyouts; current daily circulation is about 638,000 according to the same story.) Advertising sections have shrunk enormously since then (I know, because the first thing I do every day is pluck them out and pitch them in the recycle bin) and I'm sure advertising revenues have shrunk accordingly. No, there has to be some other reason for the Post deciding to de-emphasize coverage of baseball in general and the Nationals in particular in favor of becoming a 24/7/365 Redskins media outlet. What that reason is is opaque to me, but saying that Emilio Garcia-Ruiz is at the heart of it and for some reason he hates the Nationals is not much of a stretch in trying to see through that opaque curtain.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute! We've all overlooked one thing. According to the espn list of minor league stadium oddities, the GM of the minor-league team that plays at Space Coast Stadium (the one with the Space Shuttle in the front) is named Buck Rogers?! Really?!!
--------------------
Didn't know if anyone has seen or has any interest in espn's top 10 spring training locations, but i think we've all heard of #1:
http://sports.espn.go.com/travel/news/story?id=3230603

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 8, 2008 08:56 AM
-------------------

Posted by: e | February 8, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Single-game tickets: Kasten said there would be an announcement on that this week, likely Friday. Prices, etc., are still being finalized, though we all know they snuck onto the Web site a week or so ago. Should have an idea of how many extra seats season-ticket holders are allowed to buy for Opening Night, too."

Posted by: PB69 is still waiting | February 8, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

419, perhaps I am too young and naive, but I thought the fact that the O's were serious contendors who regularly beat the tar out of the Yanks and Sox and looked like likely World Series champions might account for why the coverage had so much more of baseball during the early '90s.

That would be stupid! Covering a team because they look like a lot of people are on the bandwagon and would buy the Sports section in order to read about it! No way! I shouldn't be so naive and instead should expect a paper to set layout and stories based on an editor's grand vision of what folks who read the paper SHOULD know about.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I just loooooove the Post's coverage debate.

Tell us more because, you know, maybe everyone will change everyone's mind THIS time around.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"So you say it's perplexing that anyone would question why the emphasis is as it is now, that it's obviously a business decision?"

And I said...

"Why is it so hard to understand that I agree with the business decision, but am disappointed with the result? Seriously, is it that hard to understand?"

In reference to my wishing to read more, but understanding why the decisions were made. Not even saying I friggin agree with them, just saying it makes sense. A lot more than some weird conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

P.S. not aimed at anyone specifically, just the whole coverage argument.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

So the Post's circulation has been declining since 1993? And that's of course, in the Lacking universe, entirely due to the way the Post chooses to cover sports. I guess we'll have to assume, Lacking other evidence, that all of the other newspapers in the U.S. have enjoyed boom times since then.

1993, 1993....gosh, what happened back then? Some WWW thingy? Whatever happened to that? Don't suppose that could have anything to do with declining circulation...

Posted by: joebleux | February 8, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see, 506. It's not a coincidence that since 1993 the Orioles have gone down the tubes, the Redskins have gone down the tubes, and the Post's circulation has gone down the tubes. It's NOT the Post's fault, everything they do is perfect. It's all the fault of the Redskins and the Orioles, right? If they would just win more often, the Post would sell more papers?

"I shouldn't be so naive and instead should expect a paper to set layout and stories based on an editor's grand vision of what folks who read the paper SHOULD know about."

But isn't that why they continue to cover the Orioles, even though there's a baseball team right here in town now? Do you think they sell many Washington Posts in Baltimore to people looking for coverage of the O's?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

New Post.

Please, Barry. Put up a new post. I'm begging here. For the love of all that's sane and decent.

Posted by: Wishful thinkin | February 8, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

In deference to dearest NatsNut, I offer the olive branch to the Glass-Half Empty Clan. Sorry, gang.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Why is it so hard to understand that I agree with the business decision, but am disappointed with the result? Seriously, is it that hard to understand?"

So, you agree with the business decision (people around here like the Redskins, so the Post should cover them ad nauseum because then they'll sell more papers) and you're disappointed with the result (the Post ISN'T selling more papers). That I understand. What I don't understand is why you're so in favor of them continuing to go with that obviously flawed business decision. I mean, they're admittedly increasing their Redskins coverage by adding a third beat reporter (Barry) despite overall budget retrenchment at the paper. How can you as a baseball fan be in favor of that, or even neutral about it? Even if you do like the Redskins too?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

506, You can honor the history of the Expos all you want. But I'm a DC boy that was a "new" Senators fan. You don't have age to remember how pathetic the Redskins were to match the Senators. The Redskins did not get good until George Allen came along - after the Senators left. So, forgive me if I feel like we DC boys were gypped out of a lifetime of hometown baseball. Had the Senators hung around for a few more years, I believe the Metro system would have save the game in the city. Ownership would have been commited to DC. Winners would be put on the field. Don't you bet that the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers would NOW trip over themselves to be the franchise in Washington? You bet your sweet bippy they would (another saying from the '60s). With that, the Post would be covering the 'Skins and Nats equally.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

More on what Rob reported on his blog. It will be interesting to see which cable/fiber/satelite/OTA systems carry these games.


http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2008/02/up_next_on_your_hdtv_could_be.html

Up Next On Your HDTV? Could Be MASN
Just about anybody who's bought a high-definition TV wants to know when they'll have more HD programming to watch. And around the Washington area, one of the bigger gaps on the high-def menu can be blamed on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
MASN has been in business since 2005 and has expanded its schedule from Nationals and Orioles baseball games to include many other local teams (like my Hoyas), but it has yet to break out from standard-definition broadcasts. That, combined with the network's unwillingness to offer anything but vague hints about its HD plans, has annoyed Nats and O's fans alike.
In my Web chat yesterday, however, I got this tip:
MASN, HD: MASN will offer at least 60 games for the Orioles and Nationals in native 1081i HD in 2008.
That's the info we have from MASN. (I'm with a cable operator in the area)
I asked the tipster to get in touch with me afterwards. This fellow--who works for a local cable company but didn't want any names used--forwarded the e-mail MASN had sent to his employer:
MASN is pleased to announce that we will be offering at least 60 Major League Baseball games in 1080i High Definition as part of the MASN service for the 2008 baseball season. The HD schedule will be divided evenly between the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals. We are offering these games and future High Definition games on MASN at no additional charge.
I am attaching an amendment to your affiliation agreement that sets forth the terms and conditions under which MASN is offering these High Definition telecasts. We hope you will take advantage of this offer.
In order to properly prepare for the upcoming season and to ensure that your subscribers receive all of the available High Definition game telecasts, please have an authorized representative sign the amendment in the appropriate space and return it to my attention no later than February 15th, 2008. Naturally if you have any questions or concerns about this amendment or the High Definition games, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me.
We look forward to another year with you and hope you are as excited about the coming season as we are.
Note that the phrase "at least 60 games" could mean we'd see less than a fifth of Washington and Baltimore's combined games in high-def. For now, we don't have a more exact number: MASN publicist Todd Webster e-mailed to say that the company wasn't ready to break any news.
It's no secret that MASN continues to work with all of our 21 cable and satellite operators on providing some games in HD in 2008. When we have reached agreements with all of the operators and are prepared to make an announcement, we will do so.
Some in the news business would call that a non-denial denial, as nothing in that statement says "it's not true."
Let's leave it at that. Assuming that MASN will soon air high-def broadcasts of some games, what's the next channel you'd like to see upgrade to HD?
By Rob Pegoraro | February 8, 2008; 9:16 AM ET |

Posted by: HD Nats fan | February 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"1993, 1993....gosh, what happened back then? Some WWW thingy? Whatever happened to that? Don't suppose that could have anything to do with declining circulation..."

Sure, but it only reinforces my point. If the Post's continuing shift of coverage away from baseball/Orioles/Nationals and to football/Redskins hasn't done anything to stem the loss of readers to the Web, then why do they continue to do it? Coverage of Nationals plus Orioles in the Post in 2005 was more than it was in 2006, and more in 2006 than in 2007. A declining trend, and it can't be explained (as 506 would argue) by some drastic improvement in the Redskins over that period. Saying that Garcia-Ruiz and the Post for some reason do not like baseball in general and the Nationals in particular is as good any explanation for it as anything else I've heard.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"It will be interesting to see which cable/fiber/satelite/OTA systems carry these games."

Apparently my20 (OTA) is already HD-capable. Let's hope they get more Nats games to broadcast this year than they have had the last couple of years. (The number of games on my20 was pretty high in 2005, but dropped off considerably in 2006 and 2007.)

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Any news on single game tickets?

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | February 8, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Did ya'll see this article in today's paper yet?

http://tinyurl.com/2lsgmz

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, I mean any news on season ticket holders being able to purchase single game tickets. The Nats website says the general public will be able to purchase tix starting on March 4.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | February 8, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Bippy, 6th & D?

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Apparently my20 (OTA) is already HD-capable."

You are correct and my guess is the agreement with DC(MY)20 will be the linch pin for DC viewers in terms of number of games they'll see in HD. The info. from MASN doesn't suggest that they will be providing a new "MASN HD" channel - though that could be what is in the attachment/agreement referenced. So therefore they may be just providing an HD feed to those stations that can already broadcast in HD. If that is the case and DC(MY)20 only carries a few games, those of us in the DC metro area may get far less than 30 games and maybe even none at all.

Posted by: HD Nats Fan | February 8, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Promotions are up on the Nats site:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/schedule/promotions.jsp?c_id=was&y=2008

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Cap City Brewing will be the offical brew company for the stadium.

Posted by: 315 | February 8, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Some bobbleheads, T-shirts every Tuesday, just a Lanyard for opening day. Does anyone actually want a green Nats hat?

Sun., Mar. 30 Braves Curly W Lanyard
Thu., Apr. 10 Marlins Schedule Magnet with Curly W Car Magnet
Sat., Apr. 12 Braves Car Flag
Wed., Apr. 23 Mets Jackie Robinson Day
Tue., Apr. 29 Braves T-Shirt Tuesday
Thu., May 1 Pirates Dmitri Young Bobblehead
Sat., May 3 Pirates Salute to the Negro League
Sun., May 11 Marlins Mother`s Day White Hat with Pink Curly W
Tue., May 20 Phillies T-Shirt Tuesday
Tue., Jun. 3 Cardinals T-Shirt Tuesday
Thu., Jun. 5 Cardinals Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead
Tue., Jun. 24 Angels T-Shirt Tuesday
Tue., Jul. 8 Diamondbacks T-Shirt Tuesday
Sat., Jul. 12 Astros Hispanic Heritage Night
Tue., Jul. 29 Phillies T-Shirt Tuesday
Tue., Aug. 12 Mets T-Shirt Tuesday
Tue., Aug. 26 Dodgers T-Shirt Tuesday
Sun., Aug. 31 Braves Kids Run the Show
Tue., Sep. 2 Phillies T-Shirt Tuesday
Wed., Sep. 3 Phillies Roberto Clemente Day
Tue., Sep. 16 Mets T-Shirt Tuesday
Wed., Sep. 17 Mets Green Hat with White Curly W
Tue., Sep. 23 Marlins T-Shirt Tuesday
Thu., Sep. 25 Marlins Fan Appreciation Night

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Good catch, e. I didn't pick up on the name, other than idly musing that it would be funny if it were "Buck Turgidson."

---

Wait a minute! We've all overlooked one thing. According to the espn list of minor league stadium oddities, the GM of the minor-league team that plays at Space Coast Stadium (the one with the Space Shuttle in the front) is named Buck Rogers?! Really?!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It's like you're reading my mind, NatsNut. ;0

---

I just loooooove the Post's coverage debate.

Tell us more because, you know, maybe everyone will change everyone's mind THIS time around.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

New from the Nats site:
"Single game tickets for the Nationals 2008 season go on sale March 4."

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, PB, for the promotions and single-game tix heads up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

No problem, I'm still waiting for the update on opening day ticket distribution that Stan said was coming today.

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

for just a moment, i thought PB's post on promotions was a joke post. i mean, why would i want a marlins magnet schedule? or a braves car flag or a cardinals/mets/phillies/dodgers t-shirt?

then i looked at the formatted list on the nats site...

Posted by: 231 | February 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Bobblehead? I've arrived.

Posted by: Ryan Zimmerman | February 8, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Didn't they already make a Zimmy bobblehead?

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

barry will be answering questions on mlbtraderumors.com as part of the "rumor royalty" series.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/02/rumor-royalty-.html?cid=100662488

Posted by: 231 | February 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

You'd think they have Roberto Clemente Day against the Pirates and not the Phillies. That's sort of dumb especially in this region where you have a lot of (former) Pittsburghers living in the area. Can you change this Stan??

Posted by: Loggie | February 8, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

e, great find re: Buck Rodgers at Spacecoast.

Maybe every time the Manatee's get a man in scoring position, the loudspeaker blares "Danger, Will Robinson!"

Coverage: it's lacking, at least at times; there are probably business reasons why that is the case; that may or may not represent a bad strategy on the part of the Post; and we all wish there was more coverage. What's to debate? Let's move on.

We have a baseball team, a new stadium, a pile of prospects, and a few days to go before pitchers and catchers report. The sun is shining. It's morning in Viera!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 8, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

the tshirt tuesday promo is something alot of teams do. the O's did it last year. the tshirt that is the jersey, with name and number on the back. i like that. obviously there is a let down on the bobblehead front. and the meats should be a bobblebelly like screech.

Posted by: theraph | February 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Bob L., I didn't bring it up. My initial post was about why Boswell is a joke, which is a different topic. Others brought up the coverage, and I responded.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 8, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

That would be, Buck Rogers, not Rodgers. Or Dodgers, for that matter. Roger that.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't they already make a Zimmy bobblehead?"

Yes they did. I own one. But it isn't one of the give-away bobbleheads from a game. Those have little heads, and the Zimmerman bobblehead has a big head. I bought it a year or so ago from the mlb.com store. It was the only Nationals bobblehead they offered. But before the end of last season, when I looked there again they no longer had even the Zimmerman bobblehead at mlb.com. The Nats had apparently become non-bobblehead-worthy.

Presumably the giveaway Zimmerman bobblehead this year will be the little-head style (actually normal sized head relative to the body size) rather than the big-head one I have. I only hope that Young and Zimmerman don't suffer the same fate that Jose Guillen did after his bobblehead night in 2006. A couple of days later he went on the DL, and I don't think he ever played for the Nats again.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Coverage is Lacking, I didn't mean to single you out, my intent was simply to comment on the general topic of "coverage." I should have been clearer.

My point was that I thought perhaps there was a reasonable consensus that could be gleaned from the back-and-forth and that maybe it was time to discuss something else.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 8, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

No announcement yet on opening day tickets, should I give up waiting, or is Kasten going to come through as promised.

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"I just loooooove the Post's coverage debate.

Tell us more because, you know, maybe everyone will change everyone's mind THIS time around."

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, except for the powers-that-be at the Post. Presumably since this is a Post blog the editors might look in here every now and then, and if they do wouldn't you want them to think that maybe they could be doing a better job? Or would you rather they just think everything is hunky-dory the way it is now? Remember, budget cuts are the name of the game from now on. They're more likely to cut the budget of an area where they think everyone is reasonably happy than of an area where readers are already complaining. Even 506 would probably agree that it's a better idea to spread a little pain evenly across the board than it would be to apply the fatal blow of pain to a chunk of your readership - even if it is a relatively small chunk. Mildly unhappy readers are still readers, while turned-off readers are gone forever.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Noted mlb.com rapper L'il Badson has a story on Garrett Mock that begins with this:

WASHINGTON -- If Garrett Mock had his way, the baseball season would have started already. The right-hander badly wants to show he belongs in the Nationals' starting rotation this season.

"I wish we could play 365 days a year," the giddy Mock said by phone. "Of course, that would be tough on my arm. But why not? Baseball is the best game ever."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 8, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

419+1, if the reason for going on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the post's coverage are for the remote chance the decision-makers are reading it, you're in the wrong forum. Write letters TO THEM.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Really, 419? Because the baseball coverage discussion is fast turning this reader off...
______________
Mildly unhappy readers are still readers, while turned-off readers are gone forever.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 03:14 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Is there any word from Stan on when 20 game plan holders will be allowed to by opening day tickets?

Posted by: HD Nats Fan | February 8, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Nats320 reports that Church and the Mets agreed on a one-year, $2m contract. Nice raise from the $395k he got last year with the Nats.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 8, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Re: Roberto Clemente Night.

I believe that is a MLB-wide day. If I remember correctly, all the teams remember him that night and recognize their nominee for the award. I could be mistake though.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I hope opening day is sold out, but only after I buy my ticket. The last couple of years at RFK have been disappointing. Also, I hope the Nats snag a radio affiliate in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Lots of us vacation there. Ms. Chatter has a very nice write up about a Kasten interview over at the Castle on the mall. I think it was last night or a couple of nights ago. Stan spoke about Livan but thinks the 10 starting pitchers we have will render 5 quality starters by the end of spring training. I don't think I agree, or at least think we'd be nuts not to sign Livo if he wants to come here.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ref: Clemente

Thanks for clarifying Clemente. Makes total sense.

Posted by: Loggie | February 8, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

WTF? The Nat's site earlier today said single game tickets will go on sale March4. I checked back, hoping for info on 3/30 and now that information is gone and it just says that tickets are not on sale yet. Any clues out there?

Posted by: Twinbrook | February 8, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

i'd be another one that has taken a break from participating here when the discussion turns away from the players and the game.

i'll keep voting against Livan coming back. i think our pitching is better off without him. our steady bullpen is gonna make it much easier to transition the prospects into starting roles. even if it is a bit of a round robin patchwork for awhile, the staff will still be more effective than 1/4 of the teams out there. it was last year and we were decimated by injuries. maybe more than anything it's just a strong indication we have a good manager but still i'm ready to go with these guys as they are...

Posted by: longterm | February 8, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 419, for the bobblehead background.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what's up but it did say March 4 earlier. I saw it, too.

---

The Nat's site earlier today said single game tickets will go on sale March 4. I checked back, hoping for info on 3/30 and now that information is gone and it just says that tickets are not on sale yet. Any clues out there?

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You know what stinks? You can buy oriole opening day tickets right now on the o's web site. I don't know how long that has been up, but I wish the FO would just open up the sale already.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"419+1, if the reason for going on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the post's coverage are for the remote chance the decision-makers are reading it, you're in the wrong forum. Write letters TO THEM."

Oh, right, it makes no sense to make comments about the Washington Post's coverage on a Washington Post forum. Let me rush right over to the Nationals site and make my complaints about the Post there. That will surely work. Meanwhile, y'all continue to make your complaints about whatever Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden are up to right here on a Washington Post site. That makes perfect sense, too.

Hmm, I wonder when the Nationals are going to start selling Opening Day tickets? Let me ask the Washington Post! Oh, I already asked there and didn't get an answer. Let me ask again. No one there will mind...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Nats front office seems to have a very hard time making decisions. Everything is delayed, they promise information that they don't deliver, they post things on the web-site and then take them down. Whoever is in charge over there needs to make up his mind and go with it.

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"You know what stinks? You can buy oriole opening day tickets right now on the o's web site. I don't know how long that has been up, but I wish the FO would just open up the sale already."

Last year the Nationals didn't start selling OD tickets unti Feb 23rd, to season ticket holders only. The world didn't come to an end. Be patient. And admit it, if they let you buy a ticket today, you'd just be complaining because they charged your credit card for it already.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Read my post again. I said send your letters to the Washington Post decision-makers.

This is a Post-sponsored forum about the Nationals whose target audience is baseball fans. If you want to communicate your displeasure with the Post's coverage, write it to the Post, not to the Nationals fans who come here to talk about baseball.

If you're trying to drum up a consensus, you know who you have by now. And both of you should write TO THE POST.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats front office seems to have a very hard time making decisions. Everything is delayed, they promise information that they don't deliver, they post things on the web-site and then take them down. Whoever is in charge over there needs to make up his mind and go with it."

I think the real issue is that they have problems with their Internet security. They probably put things up thinking they're not visible to the public and then discover a leak in their firewall, rather than putting stuff up and then pulling it back as you presume. Remember last year when someone put up a link to the 3-D stadium viewing tool a week early? Same kind of thing. I bet if you started hacking around the Nats web site now you could probably find a way to buy an OD ticket. That might actually be more productive for you than continuing to complain about it here...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of tickets, anyone else just get that fun email saying that the "My Nationals Tickets" site will be down from Monday until mid-March?

Sounds like 419's technical suspicions may be correct - and this is just another way to attempt stop the bleeding re: inadvertent release of information (although admittedly, most of the other inadvertently released info has come from subpages on the Nationals' main site).

Posted by: faNATic | February 8, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"I think the real issue is that they have problems with their Internet security."
Wrong, Stan made the statement that they are still working on setting their ticket prices.

"That might actually be more productive for you than continuing to complain about it here..."
Maybe instead of complaining about my complaints, you could figure it out and let me know.

Posted by: PB69 | February 8, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"If you're trying to drum up a consensus, you know who you have by now. And both of you should write TO THE POST."

How do you know we're not? And have you not noticed that after the first comment I ever make on the subject of the Post's poor coverage, all other comments are in response to someone else's negative comment to me? In other words, if you all were not prolonging the discussion, it would be a very short one. So it's rather farcical that you all make so many complaints about not liking my comments. But you know what? It's Friday, I'm in a good mood, so I'll give y'all the last word here. Go for it!

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Now there's irony for ya...
_______
That might actually be more productive for you than continuing to complain about it here...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 04:40 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

in the words of the GZA:

"Too many songs, weak rhymes that's mad long; make it brief son, half short and twice strong."

Posted by: theraph | February 8, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Nats have gone FUBAR again.

The Promo schedule that was up earlier today, is gone already.

Posted by: Section 114, Row E | February 8, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Nooooo, NatsNut, I didn't mean to stop arguing so you could be sucked in!

Do you want me to go back to arguing?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

must...

stop....

arguing....

moot points...

(whew. I think I got it 506. Thanks)

Posted by: NatsNut | February 8, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Tiwns single-game tickets went on sale a few weeks ago at Twins Fest, which featured former and current Twins at the Metrodome.

I know that would've been hard to do in an incomplete stadium, so I'm not being critical of that point. But really, the Nationals have had ticket problems since day one.

-----

You know what stinks? You can buy oriole opening day tickets right now on the o's web site. I don't know how long that has been up, but I wish the FO would just open up the sale already.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 8, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Do you want me to go back to arguing?"

Don't start with me; you know how I get...

(All of a sudden I remember what pumped up Barry's post count last summer...)

Posted by: Hendo | February 8, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

""I think the real issue is that they have problems with their Internet security."
Wrong, Stan made the statement that they are still working on setting their ticket prices."

Right. So they put a draft version of the ticket price list up on their internal intranet, but there's a hole in their security and it leaks out to people who aren't supposed to see it yet because it's not final. That's the pattern of what's been happening, and that's exactly what I'm talking about. They're not releasing it and pulling it back as you presume they are. Presumably just to taunt you, of course.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"The Nat's site earlier today said single game tickets will go on sale March4. I checked back, hoping for info on 3/30 and now that information is gone..."
_______________

"The Promo schedule that was up earlier today, is gone already."
_______________

Front Office Dude(ette): Okay, that looks good, put it on the test site so we can make sure it formats right and the links work and we'll finalize it.

Worker Bee: Rightie-o!

(1 hour later)

FOD: The TEST SITE you moron! Get that page down NOW!

Whee...

Posted by: OldGuy | February 8, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, NatsNut, I was kinda hoping you'd ask me to argue again, I'm in training for opening day when the Phillies come to town.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 8, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear God, after the web site snafu, does anyone have confidence that our season tickets will be sent more than a week before Opening Day? (Like last year)

Posted by: swanni | February 8, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

you have to wonder if they'll *ever* get ticketing right. every single year, every single one, has been a cluster-something. it just boggles the mind. you'd think they hired only people who'd never done anything like this before, then fired them as soon as they figured out how to do it and then went out and hired someone clueless again.

are there other teams in the league who have this much trouble with basics like selling tickets on time? or getting them to the STHs more than 7-10 days before the home opener?

and the whole "prices, etc., are still being finalized" is just another symptom of the overall problem. wtf? they still haven't sorted out ticket prices yet? is this the kind of thing you backburner until spring training? i can't believe they haven't figured that out yet.

Posted by: 231 | February 8, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

is anyone in here interested in the actual baseball?

Posted by: longterm | February 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"is anyone in here interested in the actual baseball?"

Yes, yes! Good gravy yes!

19 days and 1 hour till the first Spring training game...

Posted by: OldGuy | February 8, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't give me that 3 years of history business. Washington has 74 years of MLB history. That's my biggest gripe in that nobody is tying the history together. Baseball in DC with the current Nats - it's like it never happened before. BS

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 11:21 AM

... absolutely 6th and D. I may have lived in eastern Canada all my 61 years, but I clearly remember listening to Senators' games on the radio back when I was in my teens.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 8, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

This blog has become the most boring bit of crap I've read since The Happy Hooker. Wait a minute. Xavier wasn't this bad.
Any trade rumors?

Posted by: Jeeves | February 8, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Bippy, 6th & D?

Queried by: NatsNut

... where are Jo-Anne Worley and Henry Gibson when we need them??

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 8, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Any trade rumors?"

Boswell to whatever is the Annapolis version of the free paper they throw down at the end of your driveway, in exchange for a box of recycled newsprint.

George Costanza picked up on waivers from the Yankees front office by the Nationals to straighten out their ticketing operations. He'll report as soon as he wakes up from his nap under the desk.

That boring enough for ya?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 8, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I thought I'd throw in a line from Laugh-In after being chastized for insisting on a collective Washington baseball history. Laugh-In ended shortly after the Nats did.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

The O's continue to implode. Bedard to Seattle. When will Roberts go? Can we get him?

Posted by: 6th and D | February 8, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

So, earlier this week I made a complimentary comment about how Belliard looked like he was having fun playing in the Caribean series. Then watching another game the broadcasters took a couple of shots at Belliard saying that he has gotten a reputation of being a little lazy on the field ... doesn't play with enough excitement ... probably at this point in his career will never get that enthusiasm.... I'm not sure who the announcers were. But I thought it was worth noting.

Also, I noted that he did not play as far into the outfield in the game I was watching as I remember him playing for the Nats last year.

I'm still a Belliard fan, but I certainly understand how Ronnie creates the impression that he is lazy. He likes the baggy uniform, does not demonstrate alot of excitement etc.... The counter to that is that he plays year round in the majors and then in the Carribean. He seems to take each at-bat seriously, and is a good baserunner. (Doesn't steal, but runs the bases well).

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 8, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I like it, 419...

---

George Costanza picked up on waivers from the Yankees front office by the Nationals to straighten out their ticketing operations. He'll report as soon as he wakes up from his nap under the desk.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 8, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Verrry eeenteresting

Posted by: Sweet Bippy | February 8, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Gee, we almost made it all the way to the start of spring training without running out of topics. Nice way to entertain ourselves. We could come out with a "Best of NJ" album, or go to the Budokan for a live set (Maekawa could drive)(no he can't).

Let's see, best of might include:
1) Trade a reliever (to the tune of "I'm a Believer")
2) Who's on first (Fat Boy Slim)
3) How Deep is Your Middle Infield? (BeeGees a/k/a Brothers Guzman)
4) Livo Innings Eater (who did the Purple People Eater song?)
5) Long Term (not yet covered by R. Zimmerman)
6)[I didn't read it in the] Sunday Papers (because coverage is lacking)(Joe Jackson)
7) Baby You Can't Park My Car

Other songs that could describe our typical topics?

Posted by: Topics | February 8, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Topics-

Very nice, well done. I should take your challenge to come up with more, but I think it better to simply acknowledge your wit.

My wife and I went out and saw the play "Trad" near the Gallery Place Metro and Verizon Center, and ate at a trendy restaurant for my birthday. Friends had our 3 kids. Last time at trendy restaurant? I am trying to remember if we ever managed it.

I may be a Nats geek, but it did occur to me again that the fun we had around the Verizon Center is exactly what the city hopes for around Half St. some day. I hope it works- We didn't need to go to a Wizards game to enjoy the area.

We'll all be there soon to imagine the possibility, friends.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (One more week) | February 8, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Purple People Eater

Posted by: Sheb Wooley | February 9, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Slinking back toward the original topic... Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus does not despair of the Nats' chances at breaking even, although he certainly qualifies his enthusiasm:

"If Shawn Hill, Jason Bergmann, and Matt Chico stay healthy all year and pitch as well as they did at their best, the Nats can reach .500. They can also do this if it turns out that Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes can fly."

Sheehan also speaks highly of JimBow's offseason moves and warmly of Manny's field management. Plus he thinks bringing Livo back as an innings-eater is a good idea; I don't know how many minds he'll change on that one.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

We're moving back to D.C. this summer, and I expect to be able to stroll down to S. Capitol Street any day or evening in August or September and pick up a ticket for a good seat. The 2008 Nats will be one of the few MLB teams to NOT sell out the season upon opening a state-of-the art facility. You can hear the thundering silence of the average D.C. fan already.

The problems: limited parking and no sizzle on the field.

My guess is the heavily-subsidized Nats will be hard-pressed ever to sell out given the hugely inconvenient parking offered ordinary fans and the lackluster management. But that's great for me, because I'll be using the subway and I like to see baseball at any level (remember when GW played its home games on the Ellipse?).

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | February 9, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The sad thing about the parking situation is that nearly of all of the close in spots have been reserved by the team and allocated to season ticket holders. (As opposed to Verizon Center where most of the garages are cash lots.) So that when the guys with the good seats skip many of the games like they did at RFK, there will be plenty of unused spaces near the ballpark. Meanwhile there will be non-plan holders watching the games on MASN because there is no convenient spots available.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 9, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Spring Training opens next week.....would it be too much to ask for a story in the paper today as we have a cup of coffee Barry?

I guess that DC united story if going to sell more papers. Like I have said before, you folks at the Post deserve every lost subscription you get (lost mine with the Philly Game Story). The Sports Section has become a joke Barry, how do you keep your head up?

Posted by: JayB | February 9, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I could be mistaken JayB, but I believe Barry said that his spring training primer was running in tomorrow's paper. That makes sense, as not everyone subscribes to the whole week, as you clearly are loathe to admit. The Sunday paper, with it's broader spectrum, should be the one that gets the ST primer.

Your personal attacks on Barry aren't going to do anything but make you look like a jerk, and anger everyone else who relies on this page for information. So just save it, will ya?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | February 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Fill me in....how are the Nats heavily subsidized?


Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 9, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"given the hugely inconvenient parking offered ordinary fans and the lackluster management."

I'm glad to hear that the lackluster managers get inconvenient parking spaces. If the managers with luster get better parking spaces, then that will be an incentive for the lackluster managers to improve.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 9, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Spring Training opens next week.....would it be too much to ask for a story in the paper today as we have a cup of coffee Barry?"

In compliance with the posting guidelines of this blog, which read "We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.", I offer this comment:

Right on, JayB! Although personally, I blame Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, not Barry. And where is Boswell these days? Did he retire along with Joe Gibbs? There hasn't been a word in the Post from him in the month since Gibbs retired. Meanwhile, Wilbon had a heart attack, but he's still writing. Is Boswell circling in an endless loop around S. Capitol Street trying to choose his parking space?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 9, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

One story a week what a deal.....Jamie

Posted by: JayB | February 9, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Whew. Planet NJ is exhausted. With the topic of parking problems I think that we've hit all of the winter topics that bring us down except middle infield. Lots of good thinking and commentary in this thread, I'm not criticizing anyone, but I am tired. February is such a long month, even if you only count the 2 weeks waiting for pitchers and catchers to report.

My take on Livo - JimBo is probably confident that he can dig up as many AAAA pitchers with 5+ ERAs as he may need to eat innings if necessary, even 204, without spending $5m. I think he's right. Pitching looked bleaker last February than it does today, and I don't think the team's management of the pitchers burned anybody up - hope I'm remembering correctly. Certainly guys got hurt, but I don't think from overuse of underprepared youngsters.

I have never minded Boz's shameless contradicting of himself. His role is to give me something to think about or react to. He engages in these little exercises that go one way one day (or week or month!), another way the next. In sports and politics, folks who say the same thing over and over become really dull.

Posted by: Geezer | February 9, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

noooooooooooo, not the "p" word...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

noooooooooooo, not the "p" word...

Posted by: | February 9, 2008 11:29 AM
--------------------------------------

Pitching? I mean, I know the situation's not ideal, but that seems a little harsh. . .

Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Collin Balester of our Columbus Clippers was on XM just now, on "Minors and Majors". There was nothing that exciting for him to say, really, but it was fun to have one of our own on the show. He mainly talked about hoping to make the big league club, although he will gladly go wherever they send him.

He seemed like a good kid, excited to start the season and to try to make the team. I hope he is able to impress starting FRIDAY (woo hoo!).

Posted by: Positively Half St. (6 more days) | February 9, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Friday?? +.5St, that is some kind of good news -- not that we haven't all been glued to the calendar like a hen on a hot rock. (And HB/MHR, by the way.)

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

not pitching or parking, the other one...

---

Pitching? I mean, I know the situation's not ideal, but that seems a little harsh.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm curious. If not pitching or parking, what is the other P word?

Purple People? Patterson? The Post?

Posted by: NatsNut | February 9, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Fill me in....how are the Nats heavily subsidized?"

Los Doce

For starters, Los, a free state-of-the-art stadium.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | February 9, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

JohnR, I disagree. I'm pretty optimistic about attendance this season. Once people get the hang of getting to the ballpark, it will be fine. And who says we won't have sizzle on the field?

Care to make it interesting? ;)
_____________________
The 2008 Nats will be one of the few MLB teams to NOT sell out the season upon opening a state-of-the art facility. You can hear the thundering silence of the average D.C. fan already.

The problems: limited parking and no sizzle on the field.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | February 9, 2008 09:10 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 9, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Someone is actually complaining because the Nats gave parking priority to season ticket holders? I've held a full plan from the day season tickets went on sale, attended over 150 of the games (the rest are shared with friends in a season ticket group), my seats are rarely if ever vacant. I just committed over $10K for baseball in 2008. I'm not a corporation, just a fan. There are plenty more like me (many of them post on this blog regularly).

I'd be plenty ticked off if I weren't given parking priority over someone who just goes to a couple of games a year.

Giving preferential treatment to season ticket holders is good business.

Posted by: Ray | February 9, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

When I attended a Nats game in San Fran last summer, I paid $35. to park in a garage not far from the stadium. So, parking costs are pretty high everywhere I guess. And though this first year promises to be nightmarish, in due time they will overcome it as buildings with garages are built and made available.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 9, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Let me add to the growing chorus saying that Barry should not be taken to task for his coverage in the print edition. His frequent posts here tell you that he's not some lazy beat reporter; he works his butt off. The Post has simply decided that the Nats are not worthy of serious coverage in print.

Now, you can make a case that Barry doesn't take an adversarial stance towards Nats management in his stories; that he's too willing to accept what Kasten, Bowden and the Lerners say.

But that may be his approach because it's at the direction of his editors. As a newspaper, the Post has shown no interest in challenging the team over a multitude of issues, from finances to ticket snafus to cooperation with city planners to insufficient marketing plans to "The Plan" itself.

I don't think that's a coincidence; it's a newsroom policy.

Posted by: swanni | February 9, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

In sports and politics, folks who say the same thing over and over become really dull.

Posted by: the "p" word | February 9, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"For starters, Los, a free state-of-the-art stadium."

How is the stadium free to the Nationals, JohnR(VA)? They are leasing it from the DCSEC. While they may not be paying "rent" per se, there are taxes built into the cost of tickets, concessions, etc. The Nationals are paying that money that they otherwise would be pocketing to the DCSEC. (Of course, they are passing that cost on to the consumer, as any good business would.) Also, in addition to the continuing payments to lease the stadium, the team has sunk something like $50M of its own money into the stadium, to spruce it up over the bare-bones facility offered by the city. In essence, the team is paying for it to be state-of-the-art. I suppose one could argue that because there are also taxes being paid by other businesses in the city that help to fund the stadium the rent being paid by the Nationals is subsidized. But that's a far cry from being free.

Really, before you start complaining, dude, you ought to get a clue.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 9, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Not quite free:

Nats signed a 30 year, $5.3-5.5 mil/yr lease. Also, the Lerners have paid $40 mil+ for stadium improvements and are on the hook for stadium cost overruns.

Are there other subsidies I haven't heard about?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 9, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Hendo-

+.5St.- That was great. I will probably shorten to that eventually.

I just checked the countdown on the official web page, and they finally got it right. At first it was calibrated to next Sunday.

A Fox Sports story on the best, still-available free agents. He had Livo at number 5, and really made it read like many teams could use him at the back of their rotation. I would still like to see it, after all the discussion.

Since we are about to see the guys get back to camp, can anyone tell me any more about Rob Makowiak? has he been a popular player where he has played? If he a tough-nose, hard-working type, a joker like Fick? I know little.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (6 more days) | February 9, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"a joker like Fick"

Shouldn't this read "a JOKE, like Fick"?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 9, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"But that may be his approach because it's at the direction of his editors. As a newspaper, the Post has shown no interest in challenging the team over a multitude of issues, from finances to ticket snafus to cooperation with city planners to insufficient marketing plans to "The Plan" itself.

I don't think that's a coincidence; it's a newsroom policy."

Doubtful. After all, these are the same editors and the same newsroom policies that recently released the hounds on Daniel Snyder, in the form of Sally Jenkins. The Post has run plenty of stories that negatively reflect on the Nationals, on all of the multitude of issues you cite, swanni. How would you want them to further "challenge" the team? Does it ever occur to you that the Lerners and Stan Kasten are not evil men trying to rip you off at every turn, but rather just run-of-the-mill, average, nothing-special people who are trying to do a good job and sometimes fall short? You know, like the vast majority of people. So, they are the Nick Johnsons and Dmitri Youngs of ownership, not the Babe Ruths and Walter Johnsons. Deal with it. Every team owner is not going to be of Hall of Fame quality, and it's not a federal case if they're not. Perhaps you should quit trying to make it one, and move onto something else for a change.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 9, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, Swanni, we've seen Barry's sometimes contentious relationship with Stan the Plan in the past. I mean, personally, I laughed at that "Can you finish 31st in the league?" joke, and then I laughed harder when Stan got all Giuliani-esque to Sheinin and Thaler, and the fallout with Barry getting snarky and Stan getting pissed.


Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"The 2008 Nats will be one of the few MLB teams to NOT sell out the season upon opening a state-of-the art facility"

What constitutes a sell out?

If its selling 100% of available seats for a season then none of the clubs with new stadiums since 2001 (there would be 8 of them) have done this.

Is it 95%? None of the 8 have sold 95%.

Is it 90%? 3 have done that (PHI in 04, SF in 06, STL in 06).

MIL sold 82% in 01
PIT sold 80% in 01
HOU sold 74% in 02
CIN sold 69% in 03
SD sold 89% in 04

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Mackowiak could be an interesting case. He showed promise in the Pittsburgh organization as he was coming up through the minors, but never posted world-beating numbers at the MLB level.

His performance tailed off badly after the White Sox traded him to the Padres last season. Successful surgery this offseason to correct a (so-called) sports hernia might well enable him to bring his numbers back up, although it's hard to picture him doing much other than some pinch hitting on this club.

There is no evidence that he wasn't well liked or a hard worker either in Pittsburgh, Chicago, or San Diego. Given the somewhat, um, volatile nature of the 2008 Nats roster, that should be cause for hope, or at least relief.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Following on Los Doce Ocho's calculations, if my numbers are right, Detroit sold 75% in 2000.

And that was before the Tigers really started to stink out the joint. At the nadir in 2003, they sold just 42%.

Being back in the hunt seems to help; they sold over 90% in 2007.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I found this on Mackowiak:

Assets: Mackowiak can spray the ball to all fields from the left side of the plate and into the gaps for doubles. He's got a lot of hustle, surprising pop in his bat, and can play infield and outfield.

Flaws: He has discipline problems at the plate, perhaps swinging for the fences more often than he should.

Career potential: A quality all-around utility player.

This is currently up on a sports website but sounds like it was written awhile back. I don't see anything in his numbers that suggests he's too much of a free swinger. His three-year averages are .274/.344/.392, so he's getting on base at a decent clip and not exactly swinging for the fences, at least not successfully.

My sense is that he's one of those guys that realized he was only going to stick if he played a lot of positions and practiced good situational hitting. Also good to know he's "got a lot of hustle."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 9, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

And, happy birthday, +.5St. Sounds like we're in similar boats, my girls are 6 and 3. They'll be wearing their Nats jerseys and attending at least 4-5 games with me in the new park this season.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 9, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

... echoing my Dylan fan/pal who said:

"Hendo-

+.5St.- That was great."

... I will add that it's really great to be back with such an erudite crew, and will ask as well: is there no pre-ST dactyl to be had?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 9, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Bill James grades Machowiak as a plus 8 baserunner. He notes the Machowiak was on 2nd when a single was hit 11 times last year and all 11 times last year making him the MLB leader in that statistic. (He also noted that Belliard was on 1B 7 times last year when a double was hit and scored all 7 times)

Machowiak also graded out as having above average range in both RF and LF. (Kearns had the third highest range factor for all MLB rightfielders).

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 9, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"I don't see anything in [Mackowiak's] numbers that suggests he's too much of a free swinger."

He draws bases on balls a little under 10% of the time. His strikeouts are pretty high, though. That might not be so bad if he goes deep into counts, but it's still a little worrisome.

Whether or not a BB is as good as a hit, a K is unquestionably an out.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

If Stan got snippy with Barry, it's probably because he was accustomed to getting kid-gloves treatment from the Post.

Hmm, I may have to start my own site on the Nats...

Posted by: swanni | February 9, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Natscan, let me read that back to you in verse:

"Nattily-battily
Nationals Journal an
Erudite crew does
Undoubtedly boast.

"Can Hendo's Muse give a
Spring-inspirational
Boost to the blog in a
Dactylic post?"

The Muse and I will certainly try.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The ChiSox Ozzie Guillen had this to say about Mackowiak last year (evidently when he, and the rest of the team, was in a bit of a slump):

''I believe Mackowiak can hit,'' Guillen said. ''He's not the only one not hitting. The whole ballclub isn't. Mackowiak has hit in the past, and he has good at-bats. He's always in on the play and does things, and that's why we keep playing him.''

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 9, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Equivocation upon a Utility Fielder

Nattily-battily
Robert Mackowiak
Earned Ozzie's praise for his
Patience at bat,

Logging three-fifty-four
On-base-percentagewise.
Can he repeat this now
That he's a Nat?

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Yay, the muse is back! Thanks, natscan and Hendo.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 9, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,

... I would respond in a most fitting way and tell you you're great. But I don't want to run the risk of aiding and abetting a swelled head. So I'll simply say Thank You, and keep up the dactylic good work. Hopefully the muse will become infectious.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 9, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"Hopefully the muse will become infectious."

I wouldn't count on it, but some temptations are irresistable. If anything, thank the Nats for picking up a dactylic utilityman on the cheap.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

it's really not fair to barry to use sally jenkins as a comparable. being a beat writer has significantly different responsibilities and style than being a columnist. a columnist can be as snarky, confrontational, and controversial as they want to be (and sally jenkins goes for that style regularly). a beat writer is supposed to be more reporter than analyst/opinion.

now i'd like to see what barry would do if he was allowed to play columnist instead of beat guy. he definitely has the gift of snark and i presume that would come through even more in a column.

Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but would it make him a better writer?
I have my doubts.
But then, I was always more of a Tastes Great fan, over Less Filling.

*************
now i'd like to see what barry would do if he was allowed to play columnist instead of beat guy. he definitely has the gift of snark and i presume that would come through even more in a column.
Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 07:21 PM

Posted by: CE | February 9, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

barry's a bad writer? i've always enjoyed his writing.

Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

My point was not to compare beat-writer Barry with columnist Sally. My point was that if, as swanni suggested, it was editorial or newsroom policy for the Post not to "challenge" the ownership of local teams, then obviously swanni's suggestion of Post editorial or newsroom policy was incorrect because the Post is currently "challenging" the owner of the Redskins rather severely. Still waiting for swanni to explain why he thinks the Post isn't "challenging" the ownership of the Nats, and indeed what he would have them do that they're not already doing to be "challenging" the Nationals to his specification. I won't hold my breath waiting for an explanation from him, though.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 9, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

'Skins name Zorn head coach.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 9, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

off topic, but an update on jp is available. he sounds really optimistic. if he can bring it back to 05, wow.

http://mlbfleecefactor.com/2008/02/09/john-patterson-update/

Posted by: ed | February 9, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

The topic was pitching, ed, so it's not that far off.

Thanks for the update, and here's hoping for JP.

Posted by: Hendo | February 9, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

well, if the post is going to "challenge" the nats ownership, it would have to be done with a columnist, not with the beat writer. and since we don't really have a columnist who pays a lot of attention to the nats, that may be why it hasn't been done, not because of a wapost policy in general.

on a side note, i don't think the post, as a company, has any love lost for snyder. i think there have been issues between them, so i doubt they mind any snyder bashing.

Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Yippeee! Barry's ST preview is up. If that doesn't get this forum focused and united, I don't know what will.

I'm surprised Kory Casto is on the 40-man. Is he a waivers risk or something? And I've completely forgotten who Willie Harris is??

Posted by: NatsNut | February 9, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Who said Barry's a bad writer?

*****
barry's a bad writer? i've always enjoyed his writing.
Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 07:48 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | February 9, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

i presumed that's what CE meant in this exchange.

===

now i'd like to see what barry would do if he was allowed to play columnist instead of beat guy. he definitely has the gift of snark and i presume that would come through even more in a column.
Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 07:21 PM

*************

Yes, but would it make him a better writer?
I have my doubts.
But then, I was always more of a Tastes Great fan, over Less Filling.

Posted by: CE | February 9, 2008 07:39 PM

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

i presumed that's what CE meant in this exchange.

===

now i'd like to see what barry would do if he was allowed to play columnist instead of beat guy. he definitely has the gift of snark and i presume that would come through even more in a column.
Posted by: 231 | February 9, 2008 07:21 PM

*************

Yes, but would it make him a better writer?
I have my doubts.
But then, I was always more of a Tastes Great fan, over Less Filling.

Posted by: CE | February 9, 2008 07:39 PM

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

I haven't bothered to read the most recent 200 posts so I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but Nats320 has posted a whole pile of ballpark pictures from a visit there Friday. And he confirms that Coca-Cola products will be sold there.

http://nats320.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Cosmo | February 10, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Since Dmitri cant win the Comeback Player of the Year twice in a row, we should pick up Livo. He is a great candidate.

Posted by: Kamau | February 10, 2008 2:39 AM | Report abuse

I never said it's the Post's policy not to challenge local teams. I said the paper doesn't challenge the Nationals.

Posted by: swanni | February 10, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

And I did cite instances of that indifference in my previous post, such as:

* Failure to examine the team's finances (Are they putting profits into the team as they promised? What's up with the MLB revenue sharing money? Are they pocketing that or spending it on the team?)

* Failure to report on the team's fight with the DC Sports Commission over cost overruns (The Washington Times wrote an article; the Post still hasn't);

* Failure to note that MASN is the last regional sports channel NOT to air teams in high-def (I know it's not a Nats management issue, but it's related.)

* Failure to report on the team not acting like a big market team despite big market prices;

* Failure to report on the team's unwillingness to spend money on almost anything that would suggest a professional operation, including buying 12 bats for Ronnie Belliard, allowing secretaries to send package by Federal Express, allowing scouts to submit expense reports without feeling like they are under investigation by the FBI.

* Failure to deliver tickets to season ticket holders more than one week before the season begins (three straight years now; hopefully not four)

And so on. and so on.

Posted by: swanni | February 10, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Mackowiak info, all.

I'm sure it wasn't lost on all of you that there was a Nats preview today, but not one for the Orioles. Maybe there will be one, but it seems to me to be another step in the evolution of coverage from two team to single team.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

That was it, Barry?

Just a reprint of roster, depth chart from MLB Site a story about Chico with several weeks old quotes and Patterson's word on how he feels. How about some independent backup of what we are going sold on his "health"......

No columns.....nobody could wake Boz or the National (no pun intended) columnist to have an opinion?

Posted by: JayB | February 10, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

JayB,
The Nats simply don't matter in that newsroom.

And there's no career-benefit for a Wilbon or Wise to write about the Nats -- so they don't.

Posted by: swanni | February 10, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

NL catcher ratings by Sporting News:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=349091

Posted by: Schneider's mom | February 10, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

JayB, they couldn't even wake Boswell to get him to write on deadline about the Redskins hiring Zorn as head coach. Wilbon, Wise, Carpenter and even Solomon had columns about that this morning. But Boswell, who was attached at the hip to the Redskins all of last season, was nowhere to be found. Obviously he wasn't writing about the Nationals, so where is he? Easing into retirement? (Good for him if he is.) On vacation? (If so, he must have a sweet Johnny Carson deal, because he's been missing for a month after taking at least a month off last summer too.) Sick? (God I hope not, but if so I'm sure we all wish him well.)

Obviously the Nationals are not a priority this year for Boswell or the Post, as really they haven't been for a while. But kudos at least to the Post for not running an Orioles spring training preview this year right alongside the Nats preview, as they have for the past three years. I'd like to think that this is because Garcia-Ruiz has finally figured it out, but I doubt it. The real reason behind this is probably budget cuts. But for every cloud, there's a silver lining, right? Hopefully this is bye-bye to the O's in the Washington press.

Now to swanni. Dude, the Post doesn't investigate the finances of any other team, local or not. Why then should they be diiging into the internal workings of the Nationals? All of your other topics are either last year's issues that blew over because they were irrelevant, red herrings or non-issues. The Nationals aren't a big-market team yet. The "big market" prices haven't started until this year, and they are only now beginning to collect that money. You want they should be spending money they don't even have yet? Well, they have been spending money, on the stadium, parking, infrastructure, etc, and yes even on players to a limited extent. They are still receiving the subsidy from MLB like other small-market teams. Your call to the Post to challenge them for not behaving like a big market team is ridiculous on its face. I do agree with you that the Post needs to do more coverage of the Nats, but the stuff you want to see is not what they should be doing.

Go ahead and start your own blog to air these issues. In fact, I challenge you to do that, because if you do then you'll truly find out what it means to be challenged.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 10, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, it's not as if the football team is getting the front page above the fold ...
What? WHAT??

Posted by: D'OHHH | February 10, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I was glad to see the page of Nats preview. An article on the pitching staff, an analysis of main questions going in, some Spring Training schedule and details. That works- thanks Barry.

As for Wilbon and Wise, it is true that the Nats don't register, but we knew that. The Redskins hiring Zorn was actualy news, and it makes sense that it would dominate today.

I saw something I forgot on the depth chart in the preview- we invited Pete Orr to Spring Training as a possible backup at second base. It's funny that it is so hard to find a decent 2nd baseman. It doesn't seem to be the throne of many big stars right now, and I guess the best talents in the draft are usually playing shortstop rather than second if they play middle infield.

I have no great desire to see Orr actually make the team, because I'd like the team to at least keep Matt Whitney, if not both him and Garrett Guzman. If the team is going one more year without realistically contending for the playoffs, I would like the Rule 5 draft to be a way to boost our prospect pool. I know that these guys will more likely play like Tyrell Godwin (yeah, we kept him, but why?) than like Jesus Flores, but snagging other teams' talent is consistent with The Plan.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

to be fair, Swanni was citing past examples of overlooked stories, he clearly didn't mean they were all current issues. And I disagree that how a quasi-public business (figuratively speaking) like the Nats spends money is not newsworthy. It doesn't matter whether DC is a "big market" -- this is the WASHINGTON Post, it's a LOCAL market.

That said, if the Post rolls over like dogs for warmongering profiteers, it's no surprise they don't get in baseball's face.

Posted by: CE | February 10, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Schneider's Mom-

Thanks for the link to the Sporting News rankings. The Nats are at 10, only 4 spots behind the Mets. What was more interesting was that the Nats' outfield was only ranked 11 in the NL. Part of that might be that the author failed to include Elijah Dukes as one of the backups. The Nats were low for both infield and rotation, but not last in any. The team will not get respect from national writers any time soon, it seems.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

To suggest that the town's leading newspaper -- and one of the most famous newspapers in the world -- should have no interest in examining the finances of a high-profile local company like the Skins or the Nats, etc. is ridiculous.

(Particularly with the Nats, which are benefiting dramatically from a taxpayer-subsidized stadium.)

The Post has a Business section, doesn't it? The finances of a local sports team is a real issue which should be covered like a blanket. Other local newspapers cover the business side of their local teams. Why not the Post?

Posted by: swanni | February 10, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

OF may be ranked low because there's only one "proven" player in it, and even he hasn't lived up to his offensive expectations. beyond that not one of those OFs has played a full season as a starter. no reason to rank them higher purely on potential. and adding dukes wouldn't change that at all, he's still all potential.

the nats have a lot of potential in places, but most of it not realized, so there's no reason to get respect there until it's earned.

as a glass-half-full guy, i think (hope) that much of it will be, but it's still possible much of it won't.

Posted by: 231 | February 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Other local newspapers cover the business side of their local teams. Why not the Post?"

A valid question. But before they do that, I for one would hope that they start doing a better than perfunctory job of covering the baseball side of their local team. I'd rather read that than a business analysis, wouldn't you? After all, unlike you I see absolutely no evidence that the Lerners are skimming profits (like that's a crime in any kind of business anyway), bilking the public or doing any of the other nefarious things you accuse them of, swanni. But then again, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a baseball fan.

And since you harp on the taxpayer-financed aspect of the Nats, I would submit that the real aprty in that partnership that needs to be investigated is the DC government, not the Nats. And the Post does its fair share of investigating the DC government, don't they? Ironically, though, the one area where the DC government seems to be performing as it's supposed to is the baseball stadium. There wouldn't seem to be any crooks operating on either side of a partnership that's soon to complete the opening of a new stadium on time and on budget, would there?

swanni, you're barking up the wrong tree, dude. Start crusading instead for an investigation into an owner who has really raped the fans of his city: Peter Angelos.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Another thought on one of our players:

Around Labor Day last year I took my mom for a long weekend to Atlanta to celebrate her birthday. We watched two Mets-Braves games, and after the Mets won them both, we left content that her Mets had pretty much wrapped up a trip to the playoffs.

Oops.

We sat in good outfield seats for one of the two games, and Willie Harris was playing center field instead of Andruw Jones. This was very popular with one of the fans in front of us, a boorish, quickly drunk guy who yelled at Harris at the top of his lungs. He went on and on about how Harris should start instead of Jones all the time, and was rapturous when Harris made a really good defensive play.

He eventually wore out the patience of people whose views were blocked by his standing performance, and his friends dragged him off when he started to become bellicose. Still, it cemented Willie Harris in my mind, and I was shocked when he was available and the Nats picked him up.

I shouldn't have been, of course. I am pretty sure that the drunk loud oaf wasn't a scout.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Last one, and then I am leaving the computer alone fr a while. No, really.

A NY Post writer included this in a story on Fox Sports today:

. Nick Johnson, Nationals: Didn't play at all last year after breaking his leg late in the season at Shea in 2006. Washington gave Dmitri Young a two-year contract late last season to play first, so Johnson will be showcased in spring and no one should be surprised to see him reunited with the Yankees.

That would disappoint me greatly. I have to admit that I want to see Nick play first for better defense, and also hit for better OBP. I love Meat Hook too, but Nick Johnson is better when healthy. Then again, I wonder who the Yankees would give us for Nick.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I bought the dead-tree edition this morning to read on the plane to Dallas. It was gratifying to see some Nats-related stories in the Metro section, including the one about the Nats Park job fair.

Even more interesting is that -- according to Nats human resources VP Bettina Deynes, as reported by Daniel LeDuc -- "the pay range at RFK was $7.50 to $8.50 an hour; at Nationals Park, it will range from $9 to $14."

Hardly a princely wage, and there's no mention of benefits -- then again, many of these are part-time jobs. Still, the pay boost is a welcome sign.

... Back on topic, Barry did a very nice job controlling readers' hopes for the starting rotation: "If they are healthy -- and the 'if' should be simultaneously marked in bold and ALL CAPS and italics . . . "

Don't they have computerized typesetting at the Post plant? The thought of a big, bold, italicized IF in the middle of the page gives me a chuckle, and I just know Stan and Manny would have enjoyed it.

Posted by: Hendo | February 10, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

ah, but it's so much more effective to *say* "and the 'if' should be simultaneously marked in bold and ALL CAPS and italics" than it is to actually do it. ;)

Posted by: 231 | February 10, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight: you want to Post to cover the Orioles more??
And you metaphor selection is getting a little barky, too.
***********
swanni, you're barking up the wrong tree, dude. Start crusading instead for an investigation into an owner who has really raped the fans of his city: Peter Angelos.
Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 10, 2008 01:38 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | February 10, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, forgot to sign that last one

OH, and now they won't let me.
Well I never...

Posted by: CE | February 10, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

That may not be the most ringing endorsement we've seen in this space, +½ St.
; )
*******
Willie Harris was playing center field instead of Andruw Jones. This was very popular with one of the fans in front of us, a boorish, quickly drunk guy who yelled at Harris at the top of his lungs. He went on and on about how Harris should start instead of Jones all the time, and was rapturous when Harris made a really good defensive play.

Posted by: CE | February 10, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

True, although my inner proofreader was quietly querying as to why "bold" wasn't in bold type and "italics" in italic type since "CAPS" was in caps. :)

---

ah, but it's so much more effective to *say* "and the 'if' should be simultaneously marked in bold and ALL CAPS and italics" than it is to actually do it. ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 10, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"Let me get this straight: you want to Post to cover the Orioles more??"

In this one case, I would relax my normal standards on what is and is not appropriate for the Post to cover, if for no other reason than to show swanni what the difference is between bad ownership and good ownership. He's blinded right now by his "the Lerners are cheap" mindset. Maybe they are, maybe they're not, but they're doing exactly what they said they would when they bought the team. That hardly is a reason for the Post to "challenge" them as he continuously advocates.

Note, swanni, that I said good ownership, not great ownership. I don't need the Post to be telling me why the Nats' owners are good but not great. I'd rather they spend their energies making their own paper great again rather than barely good and slipping daily. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 10, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

309 comments, that should help our average.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 10, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Back downstairs where we have the fire going- Spring Training 5 days away, and it is going down to 13 degrees tonight?!? The lights just flickered, as the wind is trying to knock out our power.

Anyway, although a Pirates blogger is not a baseball expert, necessarily, here was his take on the Nats, whom he thought had one of the 5 best off-seasons. I offer it mostly because it is fun to see the perception of the team around the country turn to the better:

Nationals: The Nats aren't going to be very good next year, it's true, but GM Jim Bowden has improved to the point that he might actually be one of the better GMs in baseball, and more importantly, the Nats showed that they have nothing to do with those pathetically short-sighted and frugal last few Expos teams. They swindled a very high-upside talent from the Mets (Milledge - see above), then grabbed another very talented (though clearly insane) player in Elijah Dukes for next to nothing. And most importantly, their farm system is finally in good shape - Baseball America recently ranked Washington the ninth-best organization in baseball after ranking it dead last in 2007.

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

With all the issues about coverage and the stadium, I'm happy we have a team, it's enough for me - a night at the ballpark is just a great night and nowhere better than in the nation's capital.

I want to hold the Post and the Lerner's and the Nats to high standards, but I want to enjoy having them, too, especially local owners who will keep the team here well past 2038.

I hope everyone debating so passionately will bring the passion to Nationals Park - often - so we beat the 2005 attendance mark!

And Section 506, it's so great to have the younger fans without all the two-teams-left baggage us old-timers carry with us - we need to allow you all to make your own baseball memories - hopefully much better ones - free from that baggage. Stop me if I bring it up again!

Let's go Nats! Lets go fans! Let's fill Nats Park every game next year -- whether we think the Lerner's are cheap (I don't) or not!! And take Metro, it's not that bad!

Posted by: natswriter | February 10, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Barry-

The Yankees blogosphere is all abuzz about the possibility of the Yankees trading for Nick Johnson if he shows he is healthy this spring. Have you heard anything of the kind?

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I like it when Swanni posts about the business end of things. I frequently disagree with him, but I would not say that he is barking up the wrong tree. There are squirels in some of those trees.

I do find the attacks on Bosewell and Svrluga objectionable.

I would like to see more baseball coverage, but personalizing that into a failure of specific employees is reprehensable and wrong-headed.

Be careful what you wish for. If you get adversarial media coverage, you may find it difficult to enjoy watching your team. Then we all lose.

Ask good questions, report the facts. Offer reasonable opinions, embrace the subject matter. But don't rant against the baseball coverage in early February. There will be daily stories starting later this week. They will run through September (or later).

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 10, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

there are plenty of people who prefer adversarial relationships between the media and their sports teams. NY is a prime example. and what's happened to sports talk radio in the past 5-10 years as well. i'm not one of them, but i realize that there's a growing base of negative and adversarial fans out there. you know, the kind who love jim rhome.

Posted by: 231 | February 10, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson to the Yanks might havemade more sense had Melky or Matsui been moved. Then Giambi would DH and Damon play the OF. Johnson is a grinder, OBP guy, and as long as they power out of the rest of the line-up, they can afford a little less power for a glove/OBP guy.

As for a name back from them, Humberto Sanchez would be worth a shot, I/M/O. He was a highly regarded prospect they received for Sheffield. Projected as a Mo replacement until an arm injury and surgery last year. I think it was Tommy John so it should not be a long term problem. If it was labrum / rotator cuff, forget it.

Posted by: jon | February 10, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Jon-

Good work. Let's keep the hot stove warm a few more days. I don't want Nick to go, but nobody else wants Dmitri, apparently. Do the Yankees have anybody good stuck behind Jeter or Cano we could get?

Posted by: Positively Half St. (5 more days) | February 10, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I agree, calling the Lerners cheap is just wrong. The McGeary article, among others, is good reminder, and they have apparently put several tens of millions of dollars (tho I can hear Caspar Gutman/Sidney Greenstreet saying "Dollars, mind you! Not even pounds!") into the ballpark. Yes, it benefits them, but that is precisely the difference between "cheap" and "careful with money." Cheap won't spend even when they see it is in their own interest to do so.

Nicky to NY for 2b/SS prospect(s) might be interesting. I think they would have to do better than, say, Clippard (no offense, Tyler), but it would solve a couple of problems, maybe.
Just so long as they don't trade Charlie Slowes. If I find out that's what was holding up the signing, I'll be unhappy.

Posted by: CE | February 10, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez had Tommy John last spring...not sure if there was any surgery after that.

I'd hope Horne or Marquez were in the Johnson trade conversation as well.

Unfortunately, their best middle infield prospect appears to be a guy they just signed out of high school (Angelini) and not available for trade until a year after he signed (7/07?)...unless he's a player to be named later

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 10, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson just seems so fragile to me. I remember in '05 when he was coming home against the Blue Jays, and the way he stepped around Zaun to touch the plate messed up his heel. Never knew exactly what that meant. Was it a bruise? Rolled ankel? It just boggled my mind that Redskin players are in a "car wreck" every play and get up and come back for more. Now I know that Nick broke his leg on a freak play at Shea, but I watched that collision on tv and it just did not seem that violent. Again, not even an average NFL tight end/linebacker collision, yet Nick busted his leg. I think maybe some guys are just as fragile as china. So, in a way I'd be happy to see Nick dealt for talent. I have to say that every game I went to or watched in '07, 2 things happened. Da Meat played, and Da Meat hit.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 10, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

...and I second the notion that the Lerners are NOT cheap. I'm so glad that they own the Nats and not Snyder. The Lerners have put a ton of dough into their product. As a native of the District, I am grateful.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 10, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The learners have not been in control long enough to see how "cheap" they really are. I for one agree that savvy and cheap are two very different things that can be confused by a pessimistic person. I'm, at the very least, willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

As for Nick's durability, from what i understand about many "injury prone" players is that they tend to heal more slowly then most athletes. That means that the little bruise that many can shake off becomes a nagging bruise. That nagging ankle sprain becomes a serious ankle problem. Any serious injury can turn into a lost season (a la nick's leg last year). I love him in the lineup, but if its for the long term good of the team, anyone's on the block as far as im concerned.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 10, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

JayB, they couldn't even wake Boswell to get him to write on deadline about the Redskins hiring Zorn as head coach. Wilbon, Wise, Carpenter and even Solomon had columns about that this morning. But Boswell, who was attached at the hip to the Redskins all of last season, was nowhere to be found. Obviously he wasn't writing about the Nationals, so where is he? Easing into retirement? (Good for him if he is.) On vacation? (If so, he must have a sweet Johnny Carson deal, because he's been missing for a month after taking at least a month off last summer too.) Sick? (God I hope not, but if so I'm sure we all wish him well.)

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 10, 2008 11:26 AM

* * *

Maybe Boz is taking a long break after writing two idiotic columns in the space of a week that first explained to us all that the Skins would beat the Seahawks simply because the Skins had a tougher strength-of-schedule than the Seahawks (a ridiculous premise rendered even more ridiculous by the Skins' results in those tough games), and second that Gibbs was a lock to return as head coach based on Boz's experience as a "Gibbsologist" (a prediction proven false within hours of publication). The guy has become a joke. He puts no thought into what he writes--and he rarely writes about baseball or the Nats anyway. The best thing that could happen is that he retires. Then, we will see if the Post has any intention to cover baseball or not, as they will either name a new columnist who writes real columns about baseball, or they won't. Either way, their priorities will be apparent.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 10, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't compare that to "an average NFL te/lb collision," compare it to the hit on Joe Theismann.

********
Now I know that Nick broke his leg on a freak play at Shea, but I watched that collision on tv and it just did not seem that violent. Again, not even an average NFL tight end/linebacker collision, yet Nick busted his leg.
Posted by: 6th and D | February 10, 2008 07:47 PM

Posted by: CE | February 10, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, speaking of single game tickets, ebay is starting to get an assortment of home and away Nats games, including the 3/30 opener vs. Atl., the Cubs, the Marlins, and several games on the road.
Good seats, too. Have the STHs gotten their tickets in yet, or are they selling short?

Posted by: CE | February 10, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

no, STHs don't have them yet. they're selling tix they know they'll have when they're shipped.

Posted by: 231 | February 10, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Barbaro, I have held back a bit on the Livo debate. I think we need about 220 innings* out of starters not named Patterson / Hill / Bergman / Chico / Redding. My guess is that the 2008 plan is that, if one of those 5 is not healthy, the Nats hope Lannan can win a spot out of Spring. Failing that, it's pretty Bascik (or other non-prospects) until one of the near-major league prospects (Lannan, Detwiler, Clippard, Mock, and Balester) gets hot in Columbus. I think they place a higher priority on finding out what they have behind the front 5 than they do on having an average major league starting staff for a year, which is what they'd have under if Livo gives them 4.63 and 180 innings (those are Bill James's projections in his 2008 book).

* 220 innings? - Just a guess with a little number cruching:

2007 NL Team Average innings by starters - ~ 930;
Bill James projected innings for Bergman, Chico, and Redding (470) and for JP (113), plus Hill's 2007 innings (97) = 680;
I'm comfortable with working our bullpen 30 more innings than average in the NL because it is a strength and it would be fewer innings than last year;
930 - 680 - 30 = 220.

That does mean we may expect 530 - 540 innings out of ##4 (Redding), 5 (Chico), and our replacement starters this year. That's pretty high. Last year, the rest of the NL averaged about 360 innings from the starters who were not in their top 3 in innings.

Posted by: jon | February 10, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

drop the "under," over.

Posted by: jon | February 10, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a-

11 Spring Training games on the radio? Excellent! Hopefully XM will carry some more as well.

Posted by: Positively Half St (4 more days) | February 11, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

So today we should hear when STH can buy individual game tickets? That's what TWT is reporting in their chatter blog.

Also, has anyone heard confirmation of any kind on what parking assignments they recieved? I know I sent in my money on time and they accepted my payment. Of course, it's really difficult to tell what I bought because green, blue, and orange zones are so large. Should I be happy? I may not know until the end of April after a few games.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 11, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

... just kickin' around waiting on Barry for a new post, when I read that Marlins fans are being schmoozed and stroked by David Samson, Jeffrey Loria's boy wonder, about a proposed new baseball stadium in South Florida.

... if any of you guys are on speaking terms with any Marlins fans, you might want to remind them that a large grain of salt is in order. Once a carpet-bagger, always a carpet-bagger, and as for stadium announcements, it would do them good to Google similar public presentations from Montreal a few years ago to get a taste of their shenanigans foisted on Expos fans.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 11, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

um, an ineffectual comparison, as football players (TE's/LB's) wear something called pads under their uniforms, which help absorb collisions and lessen any chance of injury. And I watched that collision live (and numerous times in replay) and what I saw was a pretty violent collision between Nick and Kearns. And if you didn't think it was, then check out Kearns' reaction immediately afterwards (and throughout the rest of the game). He was devastated because he knew how violent it was.
--------------------------
Again, not even an average NFL tight end/linebacker collision, yet Nick busted his leg. I think maybe some guys are just as fragile as china.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 10, 2008 07:47 PM

Posted by: e | February 11, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Nothing personal, 6th/D, but that's easy for you to say.
Speaking as an old catcher, in a play at the plate, there's 2 things that can happen: you get creamed, and hold onto the ball, or you get creamed, and drop the ball.

Next time you see a couple of 225-250# ish guys, get them to run right at each other, hard as they can, and stand in between them. When you come to, tell me it how it wasn't so violent.

Posted by: Catcher | February 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

not THAT catcher 50, different guy

Posted by: Anonymous | February 11, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I thought Miami already told them "No, but hey, enjoy Penn & Teller." Twice, IIRC.

******
... just kickin' around waiting on Barry for a new post, when I read that Marlins fans are being schmoozed and stroked by David Samson, Jeffrey Loria's boy wonder, about a proposed new baseball stadium in South Florida.

... if any of you guys are on speaking terms with any Marlins fans, you might want to remind them that a large grain of salt is in order. Once a carpet-bagger, always a carpet-bagger, and as for stadium announcements, it would do them good to Google similar public presentations from Montreal a few years ago to get a taste of their shenanigans foisted on Expos fans.
Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 11, 2008 08:28 AM

Posted by: CE | February 11, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

adding to your comment, e, don't forget Vidro's reaction too. He heard it and immediately knew how bad it was because he waved the medics in before he even got to Nick.

Shiver. I get a knot in my stomach just thinking about it.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Hi CE,

... it may old news, and it may be that Miami has already told them to 'take a turnpike'. I was simply basing it on a story carried on today's news line-up on MLB.com.

... but no matter; reading the story brought out oh so many sore points; it sounded far too much like the bumph they spread around lo those many years ago.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 11, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Natscan. A buddy on another forum is a Marlins/Nats fan but he is definitely on to Samson and Loria.

---

... if any of you guys are on speaking terms with any Marlins fans, you might want to remind them that a large grain of salt is in order. Once a carpet-bagger, always a carpet-bagger, and as for stadium announcements, it would do them good to Google similar public presentations from Montreal a few years ago to get a taste of their shenanigans foisted on Expos fans.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 11, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Same here, NatsNut. That was a horrible day. I remember wanting the game to end after the accident occurred, not caring about the final outcome but just wanting it to be over. It just seemed to go on forever.

---

Shiver. I get a knot in my stomach just thinking about it.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 11, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Let me take this opportunity to rescind the kudos I offered to the Post yesterday for finally deciding not to do an Orioles spring training preview after three years. In this morning's paper there was a full-page Orioles preview, probably bumped to today by all the Zorn news yesterday. Obviously Emilio Garcia-Ruiz hasn't learned a thing about which baseball teams call Washington home and which don't. Oh well, why am I not surprised?

And yet another day on the "Where's Boswell?" front. Wilbon, Wise (twice), Solomon, Carpenter, LaCanfora, Jenkins have all weighed in on the Zorn hiring. But not Boswell the Gibbsologist (and his man Joe was at the press conference yesterday). He's not writing about the Redskins. He's not writing about the Nationals. He's not writing about the Orioles. He's not writing about NASCAR. He's not writing about golf. Does he even write for the Post any more, or has he been put out to pasture?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

uh oh...only baseball article in the print copy is about the stupid Orioles plus several pages of skins articles....if you guys find a dead horse nearby tell him to run & hide as he surely will be beaten

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Twelve Eights, could your timing have been any better?

Posted by: NatsNut | February 11, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

As for comparing the Nick/Austin collision to a TE/LB collision... it's way off, TEs are expecting the hit off the line without the ball, expecting the hit when blocking, and expecting to get crushed when they go up in the air to catch one.

As for a 1B and RF, neither one is expecting the collision and is not ready for it.

Nevertheless, TEs and 1B are carted off the field, when they get hit in the wrong way and something gets twisted the wrong way.

There's other instances where you could Nick is made of glass, the Kearns collision wasn't one of them.

Posted by: Section 114, Row E | February 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Actually, as an avid Nats fan and baseball fan, I am thrilled to have an Orioles preview today. Quit killing my joy.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 11, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Three short things:

1 - Love the return of the dactyl, Hendo.

2 - Absolutely impeccable timing, Los Doce Ocho.

3 - Like many others, I'm sure, I was both at the game itself and watched the replay in horror many times afterward. There's no way that the hit was in any way comparable to a football hit, for the reasons noted above (lack of pads, inadvertent nature of the hit - meaning neither player was mentally or physically prepared for impact). While I agree that Nick's middle name may be "Glass", that stems more from the recurring heel and other injuries that stem from seemingly innocuous plays, as well as a generally slow recovery time.

Maybe he hangs out with Escobar too much?

However, ultimately, my point is that it seems pretty difficult to deny that the Kearns-Johnson impact was a brutal one, no matter how fragile either player is or was.

Posted by: faNATic | February 11, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I would rather see a Nats story than yet another Orioles story. But I am happy to see any baseball story over yet another Redskin story.

My God, my local Post newspaper carrier will probably file 2,000 words in tomorrow's edition on Zorn's likely impact on everything from Jason Campbell to global warming.

Posted by: swanni | February 11, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

While the Nats prepare to lose their beat writer -- and apparently -- are not covered now by a single Post columnist.

Posted by: swanni | February 11, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

From Hardball Times:

10-10, 184 IP, ERA 4.96, WHIP 1.53

A lot worse than Bill James's. What's BP's PECOTA projection?

Posted by: Another Livo Projection | February 11, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"uh oh...only baseball article in the print copy is about the stupid Orioles plus several pages of skins articles....if you guys find a dead horse nearby tell him to run & hide as he surely will be beaten"

You people who think that commenting on the decreasing amount of Post coverage of the Nats is "beating a dead horse" remind me of that old story about "First they came for X, and I ignored it. Then they came for Y, and I ignored it. Etc, etc, and then there was no one else left, and they came for me." You may be happy now with your NJ blog and the coverage you're getting, but with Barry leaving, Boswell MIA, and no one else writing about the team, it may not be much longer before you'll have to insert your dactyls and grammar corrections and haiku and rememberances of Canadian teams past and "the Lerners are cheap" arguments and "why don't we have any pitching" and "FLop is a flop" discussions, yadda, yadda, yadda as rogue comments on the Redskins board, because the Nationals will have no Post presence at all other than an AP story and box score. When that finally happens, I'll join y'all over on Redskins Insider just to say "I told you so."

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 11, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

New post, ahhhhh...

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 11, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, who needs Barbaro when we can pile on 6th/D?

Posted by: 6th/Fla. | February 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

We get it. We agree with you, too.

I have many of the same concerns relating to the lack of Nats coverage offered by the WP. I'm sure most of the posters/lurkers would offer similar views as well. I don't recall seeing a post that stated "WE WANT LESS NATS BASEBALL COVERAGE". Has there been one I've missed?

I've chosen to address my concerns directly with the ombudsman, department head, editor and staff members. I'd like to think direct contact would have more impact, if any at all, than voicing an opinion on a baseball blog. It also makes a little less space between actual baseball player & team posts on the NJ.

Here is the WP contact list of any/everyone appropriately willing to listen to these concerns:

http://tinyurl.com/ywh78q


***Please note the contact list did not contain the URL to the Nats Journal***

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 11, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Ok ok! I should never ever have compared a baseball collision to a TE/LB. BUT, for godsakes someone go look that the replay on MLB.com. Both players are already on the ground sliding into each other and the legs come into contact first. I've seen hundreds of baseball collisions far worse than this one..which is the only point that I was trying to make. CERTAINLY the results were horrific. CERTAINLY Vidro is calling for the medics right away...but it isn't because the impact appeared catostrophic. He heard it, or he saw the result which sickened us all. But, this is no way near comparable to a catcher/baserunner collision. It is no way near many of the outfielder collisions we all have seen. This isn't even in the same universe as LT and Theisman. Kearns and Johnson are seemingly sliding into each other, already on the ground, with a very very bad result in terms of Nick's injury. Again, back to my point before I stuck a stick into a hornets nest..Johnson is fragile.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 11, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Well.
Why didn't you say so?

*********
Again, back to my point before I stuck a stick into a hornets nest: Johnson is fragile.
Posted by: 6th and D | February 11, 2008 06:20 PM

Posted by: La La La La La La | February 11, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

OhKAAAY! We've officially reached Godwin's Law!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

**************
You people who think that commenting on the decreasing amount of Post coverage of the Nats is "beating a dead horse" remind me of that old story about "First they came for X, and I ignored it. Then they came for Y, and I ignored it. Etc, etc, and then there was no one else left, and they came for me." You may be happy now with your NJ blog and the coverage you're getting, but with Barry leaving, Boswell MIA, and no one else writing about the team, it may not be much longer before you'll have to insert your dactyls and grammar corrections and haiku and rememberances of Canadian teams past and "the Lerners are cheap" arguments and "why don't we have any pitching" and "FLop is a flop" discussions, yadda, yadda, yadda as rogue comments on the Redskins board, because the Nationals will have no Post presence at all other than an AP story and box score. When that finally happens, I'll join y'all over on Redskins Insider just to say "I told you so."
Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 11, 2008 12:53 PM

Posted by: Mr. IB | February 11, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company