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A little night baseball

Second half of this split-squad doubleheader was in Vero Beach tonight against the Dodgers. The big deal going in: Jason Bergmann was pitching. The big deal coming out: Perhaps "Little Papi."

Bergmann was, according to reports from Vero (to which I did not travel, I admit), just so-so. He allowed solo homers to Andy LaRoche and George Lombard (remember him?) in the second. Final line: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. He was quite late to the ballpark today and almost missed the bus, though I'm not sure that had anything to do with anything.

"Little Papi" would be Luis Jimenez, who is a big first baseman who's kicked around the minor leagues for a long time. The 25-year-old has a 6-4 frame and carries well over 200 pounds, but he's got pretty nimble with his feet at first base and moves pretty well down the line. Tonight, he clubbed a pair of homers in what became a 4-3 Nationals win.

Felipe Lopez also homered as well, this one off reliever Scott Proctor.

John Lannan gets the start in Jupiter (the town, not the planet) on Wednesday against the Cardinals.

There were a bunch of cuts Tuesday afternoon and night, though the club didn't announce them. The biggest name going down to minor league camp is likely Ross Detwiler, the first-round pick from last year. Others were told today (lefty Mike Hinckley, right-hander Tristan Crawford, etc.). GM Jim Bowden admitted the other day that in order to get camp down to workable number -- there are too many pitchers around now -- that some people would not get a fair shot. The reality of the situation. Full cut list to come.

Some $.35/$.50-edition stuff: Dmitri Young is battling his weight, in large part because of his diabetes, he says. Interested in your thoughts on that story. There's some Shawn Hill/Odalis Perez news in the notebook. And we have a story in the Metro section on the ticket sales, with the club blaming sheer volume for the delays many of you experienced.

Plus, Boz has an account of how much the players are looking forward to Nationals Park. It includes talk of cockroaches and rats.

Also, for more Dmitri, we have video.

I'll check with you when I get to Jupiter (the town, not the planet), which will probably be around 10 or 11 a.m.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 9:56 PM ET
 
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Next: Cuts are official: Detwiler, Smoker and Bacsik

Comments

Natsnut:

Reposting from the previous thread my answer to your question:

My take is this. Pitchers are never trying to just "throw strikes." Really they are trying to hit a spot no wider or taller than the size of two or three baseballs. Missing by just three inches means the difference between throwing a strike, getting hit hard, or missing the zone completely. As pitchers move up, their margin for error decreases. In other words, some pitches in the zone that missed the spot don't get hit by less talented hitters. When a guy gets to be big leagues, those pitches get hit causing him to try to be more fine. He then misses the zone more and ends up in the situation you've described.

It can be either mechanical or mental -- sometimes both. The bottom line is that the best hitters in the world will expose their weaknesses quickly.

The other thing I would add is that MLB pitchers are amazing athletes, regardless of the physical condition some of them may appear to be in. Their ability to repeat a motion over and over again in order to have the pinpoint control they need requires incredible tendon strength and balance. Their bio-mechanics must be nearly flawless. Some of the "I just need to throw more strikes" comes down to mechanical adjustments a guy needs to improve his command and his ability to repeat the motion.

Also, I agree with JayB's step-mom.

Posted by: #4 | March 4, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, thanks very much #4. That's exactly what I was looking for. That answers a lot. A big question-mark thought-bubble that's been floating around above my head is now gone.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

It would be great if you could pry from Kasten some information on how the tickets have been distributed for OD. It just seems odd that there should be only 4000 tickets available today. With from what I understand is 17,000 full season equiv.

Given how they treated the partial season ticket holders (only 2 tickets no matter how many seats you purchase) there seems to be something missing.

Posted by: NE DC Nat | March 4, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the RFK quotes in Boz's article are PURE GOLD! Still laughing....

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the late night baseball posting Barry. Nice treat before hitting the hay. See you all tomorrow.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

JayB -- you contribute nothing here except misguided bile. Go elsewhere asap, good riddance.

Posted by: JayB's Stepmom | March 4, 2008 10:28 PM

Posted by: Reposting, for the good of the order | March 4, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Barry, the weather's WILD up here. Looks like mother nature is giving the new ballpark her own flush test, so to speak. We'll now tomorrow how well the new field drains.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

"know"

Posted by: I mean | March 4, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

interesting quote in the notebook re chico.

"Lefty Matt Chico started a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing three runs in three innings. He said he is still working on consistently shortening his stride, which allows him to stay on top of the ball better. "It's not natural yet," he said. . . ."

we sometimes forget that ST is for working on things. wins and stats are secondary. especially early on.

Posted by: 231 | March 4, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Have been lurking almost exclusively this offseason, and that may well continue for a while, but wanted to say, belatedly, big thanks to Jason and Barry for the recent Q&A. Also, it was just about heaven to hear Charlie and Dave tonight, even with a modified postgame show.

Posted by: samantha7 | March 4, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Video in the other paper (WT) on the transfer of homeplate from RFK to Nats Park plus some awesome film of the HD board in action. That thing is...breathtaking!

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | March 4, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"It would be great if you could pry from Kasten some information on how the tickets have been distributed for OD. It just seems odd that there should be only 4000 tickets available today. With from what I understand is 17,000 full season equiv."

Try these hypothetical numbers on for size. The stadium holds what - 40,000 or so? Take out your 17,000 full season equivalents and you're down to 23,000. Assume half of 17,000 is the number of season ticket accounts, and then if each account bought their allotted two tickets that's another 17,000 off right there and you're down to 6,000 seats left. Take out another couple thousand for VIP tickets, hold-backs for hoped-for future season ticket sales, seats in the Presidential/Diamond/suites that aren't available for single-game sales, etc, and there's your 4,000 seats left for sale this morning. Doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 5, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I am concerned about the Dmitri thing... for a whole bunch of reasons. First, there's probably not a person anywhere that wishes ill on Dmitri, and so I hope (and I suspect others do, too) he gets the diabetes under control and headed the right way with the weight.

Nobody has said anything about it... but if you read between some of the lines in the discussions about Dmitri, I wonder if some of the problem is a personal discipline problem (as in, having the discipline to train, etc)? Somewhere I read that Dmitri didn't pick up a bat at all during the winter... and this isn't what I would expect of a ballplayer that is aware that he has a health problem that requires active management on his part.

There were just several things in the piece that lead me to wonder why Dmitri is where he is today...

(I am not trying to be critical or point fingers... just a gut feeling...)

Posted by: Wigi | March 5, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Really.....OK, point taken and you many not like my approach but please recall I asked the question about Young's weight about a week ago after seeing some video of him "running". I started the renewed FA pitching debate 2 days before Jimbo announced (as did Manny) that they are actively looking for arms again....now I will ask what is Lopez looking like? He is not hitting again and my question to Barry is....what are the off record comments about him so far....is he starting to sulk again yet? I'll take my answer in the form of a column or story please.

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 5:01 AM | Report abuse

That's true, JayB... Dmitri's weight/diabetes only became an issue because YOU asked about it. Thank the stars you had the foresight to ask about it, because otherwise we NEVER would have heard about it.

Its really easy, what with that pesky week-long gap between your question and the story, to see how your question and the article were directly related. It probably had everything to do with your comment and nothing to do with Dmitri's actual weight, medical condition, or performance on the field. It's much more likely that your question was solely responsible for that article, and not the fact that Dmitri was actually gasping for breath running from first to third. I'm sure Barry read your comment a week ago and has been working on this article ever since, thinking "ohhhh, I hope JayB likes this, I really do!!"

Posted by: give me a break | March 5, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Not really the impression I intended but if you say so.....really the point was that the "bile" I ask Barry about is topical at least....like the $5Million they are paying Lopez to have him out hit and played by Guzman and Belliard....could it have been better spent on Pitching?

Oh and on the Young thing.....it is much like the Johnson thing from last spring... yes we all knew about the condition.....all winter no reporting on the status and what seems to be a regression now he pops up in ST and is gaining weight......what happened to playing the outfield and working hard all winter....that is the impression we were left with....

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually, JayB, if I may intercede... we've always been told quite strictly by the front office that Dmitri's future will not be in the outfield with the Nationals. That speculation came from a lot of other places, mainly because he had appeared there in previous spots, but never from the front office. Manny's been pretty adamant about that at every step along the way.

Posted by: faNATic | March 5, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

I understand he is no outfielder....clearly not...but that is the impression he gave as well as working all winter to lose weight and be ready. Now we are hearing that he did not pick up a bat or do any workouts? Not saying he does not have a good reason....do not know what caused the change in approach...did the change in approach cause the Diabetes to worsen or vice versa?....ops more "bile"...sorry.

My comments about Times and Tom L being in the locker room so he could talk directly to Ross when he was send down.....yes I think it is telling the to divergent approaches of the two columnists we have in town.....I think Barry is great....but he is the face of the Post and he defends their coverage and Boz's work ethic so I think it is fair to point things out that seem to contradict his contention that the Post is improving as a baseball paper (it is by the way) but man the Times is showing what some resources and focus can do it a very short time.

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, JayB, maybe I missed what Dmitri told us a couple months ago. If you can point to what Dmitri said that ever gave a reasonable fan the impression that he was going to be in the outfield for the Washington Nationals, especially since the end of last season, then I may understand your confusion a little bit better.

I certainly don't recall anything of the type ever being said by Dmitri or the front office, but rather by people on this board and others of its ilk.

Posted by: faNATic | March 5, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Is Dimitri the kind of player that can go from zero to sixty in 3 weeks? I read the reports of him being out of shape and not swinging a bat all winter with grave concern. At first glance it seems that he has already conceded the first base competition to Johnson, despite his talk. Could it be that last year he had every motivational factor working for him and these factors are not present this season?
I doubt that Dimitri can get by on just "natural" ability. He seems to me to be the player that really has to work diligently in the batting cage and in fielding practice to succeed. Perhaps he is already seeing himself as just a pinch hitter and a designated hitter.

Posted by: Dale | March 5, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I do recall Dmitri mentioning last year something about maybe coming back lean and mean and able to work the outfield, or something to that effect. Maybe he was kidding, I dunno. But it did make the media ask the question for the FO to say so adamantly that no, he wouldn't.

His condition does stand out a little, just because so many others have arrived leaner and in better shape (King, Cordero, Johnson, Perez, etc). But I suspect that he entered the off season with good intentions then found that it was much, much harder than he thought it would be because of his diabetes. (That many insulin shots a day is a big deal).

I just hope he doesn't get dispirited by the disease and doesn't give up. I'm still rooting for him, big time.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Dmitri's situation is confusing. Not being a diabetic, I will give him the benefit of the doubt about what that does to your body, your diet, your ability to train and workout at a pro level - has to be hard to adjust to insulin shots, monitoring blood sugar level, etc.. That said, if he didn't swing a bat or maintain some level of fitness all off-season, then, frankly, shame on him. Hopefully he can get in shape enough to be attractive trade bait. At this point, you gotta believe Nick Johnson will be playing first and Dmitri will be sitting on the bench. For 5M. Ouch.

Posted by: Wallpass | March 5, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Barry didn't mention another Nats story: there's a piece on concessions in the Food section. Yum!

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

My mom has diabetes and I can attest to the energy levels, mood changes, and also the dispiriting aspect of it.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? ANOTHER Boone??

http://tinyurl.com/37smbg


tee hee.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I do remember reading somewhere about Dmitri's plans to lose weight over the offseason, and about dietary changes that he was making. Weight gain is a side effect of some diabetes medications, and I would not be surprised if that was a factor. I hope that the docs are able to find a good balance of meds for him (more for the sake of his health than anything).

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

It's getting so you can't tell the Boones without a scorecard. :)

---

Are you kidding me? ANOTHER Boone??

http://tinyurl.com/37smbg


tee hee.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Could someone please provide the link again for when the Nats will be on the radio, whether on 3WT or some other team's broadcast? Today's game is not on XM, and not on 3WT. I have to be home this afternoon, and would like to hear it if I can.

Posted by: Positively Half St | March 5, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

To get back to the topic of whether 4,000 seats was a reasonable number of OD tickets to have left for sale yesterday morning, there is also the issue of the $5 grandstand seats which are available only as walk-up sales on the day of the game. There look to be around 500 of those seats, at least, and they would be counted among the total number of seats in the park. I have seen varying reports as to whether the Grandstand seats were made available for sale yesterday or are being held for day-of sale on Opening Day. Of course if those 500 or so seats are being held for OD sale, then that makes an even better case for why only 4,000 seats were available for sale yesterday morning.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 5, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

only problem with the WT columnists is... well... they're terrible. maybe they appeal more to the negative nancys that post here sometimes, but all of them are "chicken little" style columnists. and i don't find any of them to be very eloquent. to be fair, loverro is the best of the bunch, tho (and knott is the worst).

Posted by: 231 | March 5, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

I think you mean Odalis Perez.

I haven't seen Beltran Perez since 2006. When I saw his name, I was pretty curious about what he'd been up to. I was actually a little disappointed to find out the notebook was about Odalis.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

diabetes is no joke. that being said, i prefer nick johnson at first base and dmitri rotating in occasionally. i think belliard and meathook are gonna be great options for manny but they shouldn't play everyday. it will be a nice surprise to see dmitri starting one day as opposed to coming in and seeing RF as first.

impossible for me to see how dmitri gets any time in the outfield.

didn't felipe hit a homerun last night?

flores/patterson should be opening battery.

Posted by: longterm | March 5, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

For those who are interested in such nonsense, I picked up MLB 2008 The Show (PS2) yesterday. It looks like the Nationals got a little more attention this year (Bergie has a face this year). The AA and AAA rosters feature a few notable prospects, but younger guys like Smoker aren't there.

The rotation is as follows:

Patterson
Bergmann
Hill
Redding
Chico

Aaron Boone is on the bench, Meat defaults to left field (I switched that right away). Estrada is a free agent and Flores is a backup (fixed that, too). All in all, though, it's pretty close for a game that was designed months ago and was released during the first week of Spring Training.

As you scroll through the teams, the key players for the Nats are Zimmerman and Hill.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

"Young and his lawyer missed a court appearance earlier this month, and an arrest warrant was issued for the player, who is accused of choking a 21-year-old woman from Toledo on April 14 at a suburban Detroit hotel."

The two year anniversary is coming up.

Posted by: I'm still rooting for him, big time. | March 5, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Lopez did go 1 for 5 with an HR.....He is now batting 0.118 for the spring where as Ronnie is batting 0.600 and Guzman is 0.462 and yes it is early....my point it is Lopez we are talking about here and he seems to have a history with lacking perspective in slumps....ops...more "bile"

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Ref: $ 5.00 seats for opening day.

I believe the Nats said that these would be available for OD, but I just don't buy it. The last thing they want is people coming down to the ballpark area without tickets. It's going to be congested as it is. I agree with 419+1 that 4K is reasonable amount to be available. I'm a season ticket holder and I bought two extra and I'm sure the majority of STH did.

Posted by: 315 | March 5, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

jayb, better talk to the mets about santana, he looked bad, too..

J Santana 2 4 3 3 0 1 1

13.5 era, even worse than chico. good thing we didn't trade for him.

Posted by: 231 | March 5, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Which one has a history of sucess at the major league level and cy young award? Which on has over powering stuff and which one is a soft tossing lefty who has shown lack of comand of that week stuff weak stuff? Which one was sent down to the minors in Sept....need I go on?

Try again 231 but a little harder please...

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

New, trivial topic--stadium cam, 12:45 yesterday--did we hear rumors of a change in Screech? Is that a mascot in red I see on the sidelines? But I guess someone would have reported it. Dirt wouldn't show as much on red.

Posted by: Section 109 | March 5, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Point on Lopez is not that 0.118 mean anything at this point to me or a resonable mind but based on Lopez's past history, my question is does it mean something to him? Is he starting to shut down like last year or is he a new and improved model....only someone like Barry on the ground can answer that by asking others and observing him.

Seems like a far question, no?

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Point on Chico is different. He has very Basick like stuff and it seems short sighted of the Nats to so of our season on the hope he can be Tom Glavin.

Posted by: JayB | March 5, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

109-

Nah, that is still Screech. If you see the WT video, he figures prominently in the transfer of home plate from RFK, and he is looking pretty dirty.

JayB- Your question on Flip is appropriate, but very premature. I think if he was batting 0.118 in late April, it might be more to the point. The story we did get on Lopez within the last few weeks indicated that he does care, and really wants to do better this year.

It seems that St. Louis isn't braodcasting today's game either, by the way.

Posted by: Positively Half St | March 5, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Here's a 3WT link. As far as I could tell, today's game won't be broadcast on the radio by either team.

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

---

Could someone please provide the link again for when the Nats will be on the radio, whether on 3WT or some other team's broadcast? Today's game is not on XM, and not on 3WT. I have to be home this afternoon, and would like to hear it if I can.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

419+1

"Take out your 17,000 full season equivalents and you're down to 23,000. Assume half of 17,000 is the number of season ticket accounts, and then if each account bought their allotted two tickets that's another 17,000 off right there and you're down to 6,000 seats left. Take out another couple thousand for VIP tickets, hold-backs for hoped-for future season ticket sales, seats in the Presidential/Diamond/suites that aren't available for single-game sales, etc, and there's your 4,000 seats left for sale this morning. Doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me."

You make the assumption with the 17,000 FSE that there were 17,000 tickets purchased. No partial plan holders were eligible to buy their normal allotment of tickets for OD (unlike previous years). I would suggest that number is smaller.

The purchase of 2 extra gets a bit more complicated because it is not based on FSE it was based on holding a ticket plan. So this could be well above that 17,000, but with a cap of 2 tickets per plan a normal holder of 4 tickets could only get 2. This obviously skews the numbers.

I agree with you on some for VIP. A couple of thousand may be a bit much.

It very well could be as cut and dry as you suggest, I just think it would be interesting to look at given Kasten's propensity to not discuss his ticket numbers and the problems that were had by many people yesterday.

Posted by: NE DC Nat | March 5, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"Young and his lawyer missed a court appearance earlier this month, and an arrest warrant was issued for the player, who is accused of choking a 21-year-old woman from Toledo on April 14 at a suburban Detroit hotel."

The two year anniversary is coming up.

Posted by: I'm still rooting for him, big time. | March 5, 2008 08:32 AM

Posted by: and you are still evidently passive-agressive | March 5, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

Can you give any info regarding the signing of Maekawa? I haven't seen or heard one thing about him all camp and so far he hasn't shown up in any games.

Is he already gone? I heard some good things about him down in Mexico and I thought he would be competing with Ray Ray (look at how much I weigh weigh) from the left side out of the bullpen.

Any thoughts?

TIA

Diz

Posted by: Diz | March 5, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Diz,
It was reported here a week or two ago that it doesn't look good for Maekawa. He can't get a visa, probably because of his legal problems leftover from a couple years ago.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

As a Type II diabetic I understand Young's situation very well. First, if he is taking insulin several times a day the condition is far more advanced than most Type II at his age. I can't believe his doctors are not yelling at him to get his weight down to get the diabetes under control. This has nothing to do with him being a professional athlete. He doesn't seem to be heeding their "advise". Perhaps the Nats should have included a weight goal in his contract for his own good. His outwardly caviler attitude about taking personal responsibility for the diabetes is not a good sign for him in the long term.

Not withstanding the consequences of DY not working harder to get the diabetes under control for his personal health, what are the affects on the team?
First, DY is supposed to be the great locker room leader. What kind of leader doesn't lead by example. DY coming to camp totally out of shape is an example of selfishness. I wouldn't want this type of leadership if I were JimBo or Manny.
Second, there is no competition at first base. NJ is the really only option. So far he looks good. But, what if . . .
Finally, by not coming to camp in shape DY also removes both himself and NJ from the trading block. JB cannot trade DY and he can't afford to trade NJ. DY has totally tied JB's hands. So we now have an out of shape $5 mil pinch hitter which also means when he gets a hit he'll need a pinch runner.

Maybe its time for JimBo to have a heart to heart with DY like he did with Jay Berg last year.

Posted by: Type II | March 5, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Nationals today assigned right-handed pitcher Adam Carr and shortstop Ian Desmond to big league camp. The Nationals also reassigned left-handed pitcher Mike Bacsik, infielder William Bergolla, outfielder Roger Bernadina, right-handed pitcher Tristan Crawford, infielder Yurendell De Caster, left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler, outfielder Frank Diaz, left-handed pitcher Mike Hinckley, catcher Devin Ivany, left-handed pitcher Charlie Manning, outfielder Tommy Murphy, outfielder Jorge Padilla, infielder Antonio Perez, right-handed pitcher Ismael Ramirez, left-handed pitcher Josh Smoker and right-handed pitcher Jim Ed Warden to minor-league camp. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcements.

Posted by: Press Release | March 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that we gave Dimitri a two year contract at pretty sweet terms. He's a great guy and I don't blame him for his physical situation, but Bowden has control over his check book--or Stan does, and the old complaints about Lopez and Guzman may look hollow indeed when Dimitri is languishing on the bench--or somewhere because no one is trading for him now. He will be pulling down one of the highest salaries on the team. Spend money on pitching?? Why would we do that? The fans don't pay money to watch winning baseball, just to watch the ball fly out of the park. That is Bowden's philosophy and it does not win ballgames.

Posted by: Cindy Lou | March 5, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

If I recall, Dmitri was the same weight last year and I didn't see ya'll complaining about it then.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks NatsNut.

That's too bad though. I think he would have made an already good bullpen even better. (Meaning, I still have my doubts about Pei Wei Ray)

Posted by: Diz | March 5, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Seriously. I can't believe how quick people are to call for Dmitri's head. Shameless.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh yea, I found it. May 1, A newsy start to Saturday:

"Things aren't as good for Japanese lefty Katsuhiko Maekawa. His visa has been denied, and Acta suspects it's because of his legal problems in Japan stemming from a hit-and-run accident a couple of years ago. Acta indicated the club would try to help him however they could, but it doesn't sound promising, and the club appears ready to just leave that as it is. I doubt Maekawa will ever show up here."

Yea, it is a bummer.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

jayb, track records not withstanding, the first start of the spring means next to nothing statwise. players, esp pitchers, are often working on things that may not be conducive to good stats. new mechanics (which chico was), new pitches, etc. if he's still doing this in 2-3 weeks, i'll worry.

and "the hope he can be Tom Glavin(sic)"? rhetoric much? even the most pie-in-the-sky fan hasn't said that. most of us, esp the rational ones, just hope for a league-average lefty. i'd be satisfied with that.

Posted by: 231 | March 5, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

NE DC Nat sez "You make the assumption with the 17,000 FSE that there were 17,000 tickets purchased."

Well, the key variable here is the number of season ticket *accounts*, and that is a number I don't ever expect to see released by the club. I assumed an average of 2 seats per account, which may or may not be right, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's pretty close to that. I would say that it's a virtual certainty that each account holder, however many there are, bought their alloted two extra OD tickets. I know I did, even though I only have one 20-game plan in my account. (The extra ticket is taken already, so no need for anyone to grovel here.) I think this is a point that a lot of people don't realize, namely that the number of two tickets per account was chosen to make sure that there would be enough available for everyone to get their allotment during the presale, while still having some tix left for the general public sale. If they'd done a one-for-one during the presale, the numbers probably wouldn't have worked out that everyone would have been able to get that.

"I just think it would be interesting to look at given Kasten's propensity to not discuss his ticket numbers and the problems that were had by many people yesterday."

I think it would be necessary to separate the discussion of the number of available tickets from the discussion of the problems people had yesterday with tickets.com. The problems came about because the demand clearly exceeded the supply by a huge margin, and tickets.com doesn't seem to be set up to handle that type of situation very well. Unfortunately, the Nationals had no choice other than to use tickets.com, because that's the official ticketing system of MLB. Every team has to use it, no matter how deficient it is.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 5, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

thought I'd put my two cents in on the Santana/Chico comparison from earlier in this thread. In Santana's first year in Minnesota:

86IP, 2-3, 6.49 ERA, 54 BB, 64 SO, 1.81 WHIP.

Santana's first year was less than stellar. Basing his results from that year, no one would have forecasted that he would become the best pitcher in baseball today.

Now, I am not saying Chico will ever come near Santana's greatness, but you can not truly tell how a pitcher's career will go after their first season. If they are a good pitcher, then they will learn from their mistakes and will improve. If they are a bad pitcher, they won't. But you have to give them time. Chico proved to me that he is worth another year of looking at. And two performances in ST are not enough to gauge how he will progress/regress this season.

BTW, Tom Glavine's first full season in Atlanta:

195.1 IP, 7-17, 4.56 ERA, 63 BB, 84 SO

Matt Chico:
167 IP, 7-9, 4.63 ERA, 74 BB, 94 SO


Posted by: e | March 5, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"Second, there is no competition at first base. NJ is the really only option. So far he looks good. But, what if . . ."

Two words: Aaron Boone.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 5, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

question regarding yesterday's ticket debacle:

why didn't the Nats put just the OD tickets on sale yesterday, then put the rest of the games on sale starting today?

I read that a lot of people were having difficulty getting in at 9am as they were trying to purchase Cubs tickets, or Orioles tickets, etc.

Is it possible that those fans trying to purchase non-OD tix were locking the fans trying only for OD tix out of the process? Would it have been that difficult for the Nats to stagger the sale of tickets so that OD buyers were the only ones trying to get through?

Posted by: e | March 5, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, get mad at the Nationals. Just ignore our inferior product that was the real problem.

Posted by: Tickets.com | March 5, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

(silence)

________________

"Bowden can't believe that, after muttering he couldn't see the spin on pitches in his original roof-top box, the Lerners built him his own low-level suite." --Tom Boswell

Posted by: Lerners Are Cheap!!! | March 5, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

(silence)

____________________
"There was an envelope placed in Manny Acta's hand, and inside the envelope was a letter. The letter was from the Lerner family, which owns the Washington Nationals, and inside the letter was a check."

Posted by: Lerners Are Cheap!!! | March 5, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

What concerns me about Dmitri's situation is that he didn't just become diabetic. This was known last year and his weight wasn't a big issue; now it is ... did something change that we've missed?

Posted by: weeble | March 5, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It is disappointing that DY has not brought his weight under control. If he was at 290 to end 07 then he should have been able to come in below 270 at least. Clearly he has some behavioral issues (over-eating/under-exercising) to wrestle with in addition to his other health problems. None of that stops him from being a good teammate, a valuable leader, or even a good hitter. It does however limit how much better he can be at all of those things. Is he still a good leader? Is anyone following? Reports seem to indicate that the answer is yes. Is he still a good hitter? Probably, but there is no DH in the NL and you have to be able to run.

I thought DY's comments as reported this morning might indicate a willingness or recognition that he needs to be a bench player. I would love to have DY off the bench this year. Let him start 1-2 games a week until Nick is 100%. Then if there is a market, trade him. Otherwise, let him play the year from the bench and be ready to take over for Nick if he needs to.

Posted by: NatBisquit | March 5, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: 231 | March 5, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

**Dimitri is languishing on the bench--or somewhere because no one is trading for him now. He will be pulling down one of the highest salaries on the team. Spend money on pitching?? Why would we do that? The fans don't pay money to watch winning baseball, just to watch the ball fly out of the park. That is Bowden's philosophy and it does not win ballgames.**


Your sarcasm is misdirected.

Couple of Bowden quotes below based on a cursory Google search:

"The bottom line? Get pitching anyway you can; pitching is how you win."...from Bowden in a 2006 Examiner article.

"Don't ever think you don't need a Brandon Webb or Jake Peavy to get to the postseason. That's how you are going to get there. That's how you are going to win"...from a November 07 Nats.com article.

You may also want a refresher on the 07 draft where the Nats focused on drafting pitchers...Detwiler, Smoker, Zimmermann, Alaniz, McGeary, etc.

I didnt agree with Dmitri's 2 year deal. I would have liked to have seen him flipped for a couple prospects at the deadline. But I can understand the rationale at the time. Johnson still had hip issues and there was not an alternative in house for 2008.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 5, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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