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Nick, Mock, and a 3-2 loss

Nats fall 3-2, though there were some decent pitching performances. Luis Ayala needed only nine pitches to toss a perfect fourth inning. Steven Shell, who continues to impress, gave up a wind-blown homer, but Manny Acta spoke highly of him afterward. And Adam Carr -- though clearly overthrowing in his first appearance in a Grapefruit League game -- got through a scoreless eighth with a walk and a strikeout, needing 15 pitches.

Garrett Mock is very happy with his time in major league camp. "A very positive experience," he called it, and he said he is learning every day. Today, for instance, Randy St. Claire told him he was falling into an easily identifiable pattern in his pitches.

As for his objectives, Mock said: "It's teh same as everybody else's. I feel like I have what it takes." But he also knows he has more to learn. And while Acta continues to be impressed with Mock's stuff, he did say, "He's still missing the best pitch in the game -- strike one."

Nick Johnson: 3 for 3 with two doubles, a slide into home plate and a pick out of the dirt of a Cristian Guzman throw. Johnson is now 4 for 15 on the spring with three doubles, a HBP and a walk. He's still picky about his swing. As he almost always says, he's got to "try to let the ball travel and not be so jumpy." He used another of his favorite phrases -- "hitting with skates on" -- after today's performance, especially on breaking balls. But the swing's coming, and he feels like he would be feeling this way at this point of spring training regardless of whether he had missed a year or not.

And the slide, too, was important. "He has no fear," Acta said. "He has shown that."

Time to hack. I'll check in when I leave Jupiter (the town, not the planet) and get back to Cocoa Beach. Perhaps it's time for a few dining reviews.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 7, 2008; 3:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Shawn Hill: Shut down or not? Zimmerman: Renewed

Comments

I've been a lurker for about a month and now want to play.
This is such an informative, literate and, for the most part, civil blog that it has become a regular part of my day.
Dipping a toe in the water I'll start with a big thank you to Barry for going out of his way to kep us informed and pick Escobar as my surprize of the Spring.
Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 7, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

SlowPitch63:

When you say that your surprise of the spring is Escobar, is that the same kind of surprise you have when you find that your cell phone still working after being left out in the rain all night?

Welcome aboard!

Posted by: Wigi | March 7, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Welcome SlowPitch63.

Looks like a solid performance today. I know Nick is only hitting like .267 so far but look at what he's done when the ball gets some wood on it: if 3 out of his 4 hits are doubles and he's still complaining about letting the ball travel then I like where his heart is for this upcoming season. Imagine when he isn't so "jumpy" and is letting the ball get a little deeper in the zone: oh my gosh he's going to wear that oppo-field gap out. No matter how he hits though, he's outplaying Dmitri - who we all like, but in the sheer competition of things is getting whipped by NJ.

Good stuff by the guys on the rubber - The Saint is back at it.

Barry, what is it with Guz's 2 errors today (and looks like Nick saved a 3rd)? Is he not setting his feet? Are the guys getting down the line that quickly to force him to rush a throw? Is he not staying down on a ball? or Has he lost a step of range?

Posted by: Corey | March 7, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Slick Nick had a great day - I hope we keep him!

Posted by: BigNatsFan | March 7, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Before somebody points out Dmitri is on the bench. I know that, thus why he's outplaying him. Tough to be competitive when you're in the dugout with icepacks on.

Posted by: Corey | March 7, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

This phrase stands out more than Nick's 3 for 3 day.

-----

...and he feels like he would be feeling this way at this point of spring training regardless of whether he had missed a year or not.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 7, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Two errors, no hits, and four men left on for Guzman.

And he had two RBI on the day.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 7, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

welcome slowpitch!

i heart baseball, and i am glad it is back.

i think we can get some great prospects for da hook if he falters. because NJ (nick johnson, not nats journal) has been looking sharp!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | March 7, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"He's still missing the best pitch in the game -- strike one."

Love it. Typical Manny, short and to the point.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 7, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Barry, I really enjoy the NJ, especially the reports from Viera. If you are looking for good food not far from Cocoa Beach for your dining reviews, try heading north a little bit to Port Canaveral and go to Fishlips. I had dinner there last year during spring training and it was great. Heading down next weekend and looking forward to seeing some games in person (and eating at Fishlips again).

Posted by: Lynn | March 7, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

As one former lurker to another, glad you came out to play, slowpitch63, and welcome. Having briefly looked at a WP politically oriented blog today, I agree with you that NJ is ever so civil! For the most part...

Posted by: NatsFly | March 7, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hideeho, slowpitch63!

Barry: Next time you refer to Jupiter (the town, not the planet), how about just calling it Jupiter-TTNTP? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | March 7, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Nick is looking a little better, he's one of those guys who is always pretty critical. I also really like Mock so I hope that works out at some point. We could have a pretty good looking rotation in AA with him.

Did anyone catch the 8th inning of the Mets vs Indians game on ESPN today? They had a little chat about the NL east and mentioned an interview with Tim Redding where he predicted that if the Nats could hang around at .500 for a while they may be able to sneak in to a playoff race. The idea actually caused laughter from John Kruk and Carl Ravich (both of whom i a fan of) although some of the laughter was from the idea of a .500 club sneaking into the playoffs. I agree that these predictions are very premature and that a .500 club and a playoff contender are both at least a year or two away. I just wonder, if that same prediction was made about the devil rays (who i think could do some damage even though they'll still probably end up short of .500) would the reaction have been equally stunned? They did point out the young talent on the this team and the clubhouse atmosphere but failed to think of us as any better then fighting to stay out of the cellar.

Just something to think about.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | March 7, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Today's Worst Person In The World:

3. John Patterson
2. George W. Bush
1. Bill O'Reilly

Posted by: Keith Olbermann | March 7, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Where is jpsfanandproudofit when you need her?"

jpsfanandproudofit has been in Viera watching JP pitch in person. I saw him pitch batting practice (looked really good) and in his first game against the Orioles. He seemed very, very relaxed and happy this Spring for 2 very good reasons - he and Shannon Schambeau (Miss DC 2005) were married on Nov. 10, and his arm is completely pain-free for the first time since March, 2006. Some reporter described his first start as "shaky" but it looked good to me and here is why: He threw a lot of first pitch strikes; he didn't walk anybody - when his arm is hurting he has walked a lot of batters which is uncharacteristic for him; he struck out 2, though they were both swinging - he usually has more called strikeouts than swinging; he threw a lot of good curveballs. That is his out pitch and when his arm hurts it is very painful for him to throw it and he has to gear himdelf up to do so; he only really gave up one hit, the home run to Moore, the other was a fly ball badly misjudged by Kearns which definitely should have been caught; and finally, he looked very confident and was happy with his outing.(Acta was, too.) According to Barry, he was told not to go all out, so I am not worried about his velocity - that will come.

And no, I am not his wife, his mother or even his grandmother. I am exactly what my name says!

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | March 7, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I think there's a silver lining with DY's health issues. I do not want him or NJ traded. I think DY is exactly the kind of bench presence they need. He's a professional hitter, from both sides of the plate no less.

As long as he has a difficult spring, the Nats won't trade NJ, and they won't be able to get equal value for DY. In addition DY will be more likely to accept a back up role. Hence I get my wish and they both end up on the roster. This of course is assuming that eventually he gets healthy. I wouldn't wish long term ill health on anyone.

Posted by: #4 | March 7, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Where's a place to eat?
A restaurant called Fishlips
Sounds like a strip club

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 7, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

VT:

I did catch that Ravich/Kruck commentary on the Nats today. I thought they went a bit overboard with the laughter and were a bit demeaning in their criticism of the Nats without ANY acknowledgement of the progress made by the team this off season. The only positive comments came from their female partner (I didn't catch her name) who was actually the one who visited the Nats camp. She's the one who mentioned they had some young talent, had a positive attitude, etc, but even that was a little tongue in cheek and followed shortly by sarcastic laughter.

I don't mind the press largely ignoring the Nats given that they're in the same division as the Mets and the Phillies, but I thought they were a bit heavy handed. Whatever. I hope someone TiVo'd it so it can be sent with a nice big bow on it when the Nats start surprising some folks this year.

Posted by: MKevin | March 7, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

BTW... Welcome slowpitch. Semi-lurker myself but promise to be much more active when the games start counting.

Posted by: MKevin | March 7, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Ew, Los Doce Ocho. This is a family blog.

Posted by: JennX | March 7, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

hmm... interesting note that mike morse in seattle is out of options and on the bubble making the club on mlbtraderumors today.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/morsemi01.shtml

he hasn't played all that SS in the majors in a couple of years, but has a career OPS of 766 over a half season of ABs (OBP: 365), can play SS, 3B, 1B, and corner OF, and is just 25 or 26.

what's our waver position? would he be cheap trade option? he's a better utility option than some of the other guys we have, since we have 2B depth, but not SS depth, and all of our UT guys seem to be 2B/OF or corner IF.

Posted by: 231 | March 7, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

NJ's progress is very encouraging. I'm glad to see him back. I think he's vital to the success of the team this year. He has so much more range at 1B than DaMeat. I'm a fan of both but understand there's really not enough room for both on this team. I think JBow's talk about how DaMeat's weight and injury would be a bigger issue on March 20 than it is today is a way of keeping the press on DaMeat positive in order to keep his trade value up. I have a feeling 1B breaks like this:

DaMeat is traded this year for prospects.
NJ returns to form and 1 of 2 things happens:
1) - If the Nats are out of it by July NJ is traded for prospects.
2) - If the Nats are still competitive in late July NJ stays and the Nats take the draft pick/s for losing him in free agency in the off season.

Either way your 2009 starting 1B is Chris Marrero. A long way from Class A Hagerstown to the Bigs but unless they're going to lay out some cash for NJ on a 1-2 year deal (seems like he's want something longer term) I don't think they have much of a choice. I don't think they want to do a long term deal with a veteran at 1B because they want Marrero in the bigs with his bat sooner rather than later.

Posted by: MKevin | March 7, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to offend, JennX.

Slick Nick is signed through 2009. Same with Dmitri. NFA projects Marrero to start this year at High Class A Potomac and move quickly to AA Harrisburg.

Injuries/trades could create a spot in 2009, though I'd think 2010 in more likely.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 7, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected. I thought for sure NJ was an FA after this season. I still think 1B breaks the same way though just one year later. I still think DaMeat is traded sometime this season. I don't see the Nats counting on him as their 1B through 2009 given his health/weight status.

Posted by: MKevin | March 7, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I think this is the season that you see the Nats start to transition from net sellers to net buyers in the trade market, which, given the current health situation for Dmitri, probably makes Nick Johnson a "must keep".

If you go back to the day before Nick got hurt, and looked at the world from those 2006 eyes, you'd look at Nick's contract, and think that you're keeping him for the long-term, and you can't even see where Dmitri would fit in, even if you could have foreseen his 2007 season. We know that Nick is a little (OK, a lot) fragile, but he's also probably in the best shape he's ever been in. Perhaps that mitigates some of that fragility.

I think the Nats are now in the perfect place at 1B... an apparently healthy starter, two guys on the roster (Young and Belliard) that can play the position, and a prospect that has a shot two years down the road.

I feel kinda bad for Dmitri, but either his disease was inevitable, or he's chosen not to stay as on top of it as he could have. In either case, this would be the best outcome.

Posted by: Wigi | March 7, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll add my welcome as well, slowpitch.

On another note, I'm also encouraged re. Slick Nick's comeback.

Last, I'm loving the MASN commercial ideas. Could we also have a Nationals Journal commercial? Maybe something that incorporates haiku or Strunk & White?

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

actually, wigi, 3 guys. aaron "mf" boone is also 1b (and 3b) and is on the roster.

Posted by: 231 | March 7, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You can just call me "f" for short.

Posted by: Boone | March 7, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"actually, wigi, 3 guys. aaron "mf" boone is also 1b (and 3b) and is on the roster."

Isn't it Aaron F***ing Boone? I do believe his mother, Bob's wife, was left out of that equation.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 7, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

From the Nat's website
"Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill played catch on Friday, but he had to stop after a few minutes because his right forearm was in serious pain."

Too bad.

Posted by: Twinbrook | March 7, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I seriously hope jpsfanandproudofit is a chick/family or else it's seriously weird--and nasty might want to look into some personal security.

Posted by: WrongDog | March 7, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bob L. for the suggestion.

Morse has been suspended for admitted steroid use, but claimed his major league positive picked up traces from his minor league use. For injury recovery, not strength. I think his last positive was was in 2006, and he's been clean since.

As long as we are talking Mariners, MLBTradeRumors also mentions that Sexson may get moved to the Mets, especially if Balentien starts well in AAA. Plan A would be for Ibanez or Vidro to play first, but if Balentien doesn't pan out, Dmitri to Seattle to DH might make sense (Ibaenz can stay in LF and Vidro 1st). Young might be this year's Darryl Ward, who we were able to move mid-year.

Posted by: PTBNL (Poster, not Post, to be named later) | March 7, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Eesh. Too bad about SHill. I seriously doubt we start the year with him in the rotation. Starting 5 looks like this then:

Patterson
Redding
Perez
Lannan
Chico

Still seems solid to me. Losing Hill for a while hurts but I don't think it's crippling.

Posted by: MKevin | March 7, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I honestly believe Hill is done. As in not this year and not ever. Sad, but it looks to be the reality.

What are the payroll implications of trading Dimitri? Anyone else think the front office thought Young would be OK and Nick would be valuable trade bait? But then Hook showed up out of shape and is now subsequently hurt. It appears he's the odd man out right now.

Posted by: FearlessFreep | March 7, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Patterson's forearm have "the worst pain he's ever felt in his life?" early last year? The cause of which was such a mystery he went on a worlwide tour in search of a diagnosis and cure? Um, I'm sure they've thought of this, but could it be the same thing?

I'm so incredibly bummed out for the guy (and for us) (OH! and for Barry), but I'm willing to hold out hope for him still. Johnson has taught me not to give up on an injured player too soon. Especially a young one.

Hang in there Shawn. Don't give up.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 7, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

ok...john patterson's arm pain whatever, he is just a little girl, but now shawn hill...GET OVER IT...your arm will hurt its a painful unnatural thing and it causes problems. i play church softball and my arm hurts, thats gonna happen learn to love motrin and the whirlpool and get on the field. im tired of the complaining

Posted by: love | March 7, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I think the rotation looks more like....

Patterson
Bergmann
Perez
Redding
Lannan

Posted by: BigRoy | March 7, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

joebleux, that's what was so funny about it. That one phrase being the only thing that stuck in however many spanish lessons, however many years ago.

And then you go and add this gem:

"(well, I also know that Lupe es de Guadalajara, but that didn't seem germane to Manny's question)."

Like Jimmy Rollins's pen being in the library WAS germane to Manny's question?

LOL!!! ...stop, you're killing me...

Posted by: NatsNut | March 7, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Journal, Barry. Without you there we might not believe the Nats are down there. You fill the gap that the Nats brass leave. One has to remember that this team is pretty much brand new. Still, one has to wonder why we can't even get radio broadcast coverage. Two weekend games coming up and if it weren't for HOU and MLB TV, we would have zero coverage. As it is, there will be no radio broadcasts, none for either team. If you look at the MLB multimedia listing you will see that Washington will be the only team without coverage. Are you paying attentions Nationals???

Posted by: Joe in Southern MD | March 7, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Holy Sh** I left off Bergmann. What a dolt. I'm going to have to replace the head of my fact checking department after this evening's posts.

Posted by: MKevin | March 7, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Just looked at the Nats' site about Shawn & I don't see any reason to jump to conclusions, though it's disheartening. Hang in there, Shawn. And Love, please act more like your nom de plume and stop practicing medicine without a license.

Posted by: Section 109 | March 7, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

license scmicense. vitamin M is all we need

Posted by: love | March 8, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are both the Devil. The sooner they're out of office the better. They've ruined this country, soiled this country's name, and have spit on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Liberal Lenny | March 8, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Barry,
You should run more polls here similar to the one during the Clemens hearing. For instance:

Who should the Nats keep?
Nick Johnson
Dimitri Young

Should the Nats sign a free agent pitcher such as Kyle Lohse?
Yes
No

Will Shawn Hill be on the mound or the DL on Opening Night?
The Mound
The DL

One thing: You would have to embed the poll in each new post during the day to allow people to keep voting -- and keep track of the results.

Posted by: swanni | March 8, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Barry....with
Right-hander Shawn Hill's turn in the spring rotation would have put him on target to start the opener, March 30. Hill threw for the second day in a row Friday as he works his way back from arm soreness. Acta said Hill would have to throw a full bullpen session before he is allowed to pitch in a game. . . .
OR
Bill....with
Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill played catch on Friday, but he had to stop after a few minutes because his right forearm was in serious pain. Hill will be shut down for the time being.


Posted by: Who has it right? | March 8, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Barry made no comment on SHill being shut down or leaving his Friday throwing session due to "serious pain" in his Notebook this AM. Odd... The ellipsis at the end suggests this section could have been truncated by the editor. If so that's a heck of a chunk of data to leave out.

"Right-hander Shawn Hill's turn in the spring rotation would have put him on target to start the opener, March 30. Hill threw for the second day in a row Friday as he works his way back from arm soreness. Acta said Hill would have to throw a full bullpen session before he is allowed to pitch in a game. . . . "

Posted by: MKevin | March 8, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Beaten to the punch while I was typing.

Posted by: MKevin | March 8, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

I also saw the ESPN discusion of our Nats. The gal, who had actually seen the team, made several good points, to include the .500 record after our dreadful start last year. Ravich/Kruk dismissed her out of hand. They're young, from my point of view at least, and they'll learn dismissing a woman out of hand who is smarter than you is a dangerous thing. No mention was made of our excellent bull pen, of our improvements in the outfield or, hopefully, on offense.

Query for those of you on the scene: How is Kearns doing?

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 8, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

#4 has the DY situation nailed. The Darryl Ward comparison is interesting, but as trade bait DW didn't earn $5 mil and have diabetes. Unless DY comes around very quickly and perform very well, his trade value is going to be nil. I love him as much as the rest of us Nats fans, but I imagine well-paid overweight DH types with inconsistent health and no good defensive position are going to be cheap on the trade market. I like the idea of DY filling the D. Ward role on the Nats. He has more value to us than other teams due to Nick's history of injuries.

Welcome, Slowpitch. I lurk a lot too - there are so many times when my thoughts have already been better said by others, that I don't want to waste people's time.

Posted by: Geezer | March 8, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Just back from Viera and here are a couple of random observations:

"Fishlips" is decent. Keep in mind that Spring Break is in session and while Cocoa isn't a real hot spot, there is a bit of talent on display.

The Tiki Bar at the Cocoa Beach Hilton is awesome, especially on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Alison and Brian, the bartenders, will take good care of you. Look up Jim Sherman, one of the hotel managers. He's a DC area transplant and 'Skins fan.

Beef O'Brady's on Viera Blvd. is a good spot to meet the players after games.

Chad Cordero rules the bullpen with an iron fist. Check out what they do to rookies, it's brutal.

Ray King may never drop the "Burger" moniker but he is definitely smaller than last year. Looks good and is pitching well. Glad to have him back.

John Rausch is still growing! Or I'm shrinking. He looked very good on the days I got to see him pitch. Control and power.

The outfielders we have could very easily be the linebackers in a 4-3 defense or a 3-4 if you include Kearns who IMHO, will be traded for pitching if Dukes and Milledge stay under control and Justin Maxwell continues to develop.

WMP still needs to cut down on the K's. On the plus side, he has an absolute cannon for an arm.

Nick is coming around. I wish he hit for more power but it is what it is.

Zimm's defense is in mid-season form.

If you get the chance, bounce down to Vero to Dodgertown. I haven't checked the schedule to see if the Nats play them again there but if they do, it's your best chance to get autographs, etc. The players walk right past you on the 1st base side towards the dugout and all stopped and signed for us last week. A great selection of grub and genuinely nice folks there.

Avoid the "Florida Seafood Grill" on 520. Maybe I'm jaded because we have such great seafood here, but that place was awful.

God bless you if you're flying out of Orlando on a Saturday or Sunday, I have never seen so many booger machines in my life! I swear, it's baby stroller demolition derby. You've been warned. Conversely, mid-week escapes are pretty smooth through security.

Go Nats!
Early prediction...83-79 battling for 3rd in the division to the very end!

Posted by: FRANK 20 | March 8, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I gotta rant again. So now Dmitri is a "well-paid overweight DH types with inconsistent health?!?"

He is the EXACT SAME Dmitri Young we have always had, for crying out loud. Dude had a .320 average at the SAME WEIGHT and with the SAME DIABETES.

And he needs to "comes around very quickly and perform very well?"

He is injured, not in a slump. Please, just hold your horses on the Dmitri trash talk.

He may lose 1B, but who knows, maybe the guy would PREFER to work off the bench. I wouldn't mind his .320 bat off the bench, that's for sure.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 8, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

One reason Barry made no mention of Hill cutting his tossing short because like with Patterson's start yesterday, Barry was not there and it seems neither was any other Post writer.....that leaves Barry having to wait for "The Nationals reports trickling down" to him. and thus as someone put it once....."it is what it is"

Posted by: Where is Boswell? | March 8, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Swanni-

Nick needs to start at first, whether or not Meathook stays.

We don't want to mess with Lohse.

Hill will be on the DL, perhaps for the year. This nerve problem is perfectly reminiscent of Patterson last year. I admit I don't believe Patterson will start the year either, in spite of what they say.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 8, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I think getting Kyle Lohse would be a great move he'll give you innings and he will help the rotation a ton.

Posted by: DJ 26 | March 8, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I also echo #4's view of the DY situation. Bad news for Hill if true, hopefully Barry can provide an update.

And lurkers, welcome to Nationals Journal (the planet, not the paper).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 8, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing what terrible hitters our scrub backup catchers are. Two of them hit under .200 in limited major league time last year. However, although Jesus Flores has a higher career MLB batting average than any of them, I am on board with Cota, Nieves or Moehller (sp?) going up north while he goes to Harrisburg.

Has anyone actually seen any of these guys play? Is there any reason to favor one over the others defensively?

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 8, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Why would we even vaguely consider trading NJ. I've said and still say this team with a couple of breaks (read health) could challenge for a wild card position. But the team needs NJ. He is a good defensive 1st baseman who will have 25 HRS, 45 Doubles, 400OBA. He is a dominant player and assuming health, one who can be totally counted on. Oh, and he's here for two more years at a reasonable cost.
And the accusation by love that such players as SH and JP are whimps ( or something to that effect) is absurd.
Must be easy for the obviously macho love to judge the pain these pitchers have. Maybe the Nats shoud give him/her a tryout.

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

You are very wise, slowpitch. :)

---

...and they'll learn dismissing a woman out of hand who is smarter than you is a dangerous thing.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 8, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Good to "see" you, Frank20.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 8, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Please Sighn me.

Posted by: Kyle Lohse | March 8, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Shame about Hill. To call him wimpy just is the wrong call. He so much wants to the job but, just seems snakebit. Looks like JP is headed to the 3/31 debut at Nats Park. Heres hoping NJ (the player not the blog) has mended and is headed for a productive season. I'm type II diabetic also so I can empathize with DY, it is a struggle, but don't give up. Fishlips...hmmm, guess I'll give it a taste test next weekend.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | March 8, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

couple of comments.

a) meathook is a better player right now (at his current weight and with diabetes, just like last year) a far better player than daryle ward ever was. significantly better at the plate and pretty much the same in the field. it's not a fair comparison. meat is an everyday hitter (tho better suited for DH than field play), ward is a bench player, better suited for DH/pinch hitter. meat has more value, without a doubt.

b) as much as i like NJ, and prefer him at 1B, don't get carried away. he's never hit 25 HR (as penciled in above). career high is 23 (06)and never hit more than 15 before that in his career. he hit 46 doubles once, in 06, but never more than 35 before that. so let's not consider his career bests the baseline expectation for this year. especially coming off an injury like he had without playing in 18 months. probably more realistic to look at 35 2B and 15-20 HRs.

still, remember what ward brought? anyone? i looked it up. Luis Atilano. if that's the kind of offer for meat, keep him.

Posted by: 231 | March 8, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Nats PR has dropped the ball. Radio coverage stinks..not even on the weekend! And Barry is slowing down badly to boot.( Fishlips maybe?)

Posted by: Dissatisfied natsfan | March 8, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Go Nats!
Early prediction...83-79 battling for 3rd in the division to the very end!

Posted by: FRANK 20 | March 8, 2008 08:04 AM
_________________________________________

Hey Frank 20, can you please please mail me some of the pot that you're smoking that makes you think the Nats will finish with an above .500 record this year. Please mail some of that diggity-dank herb to me pal.

Posted by: Reality | March 8, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Natsfanfa,

I learned from two wise and patient grandmothers, a loving wife, a wiae a** younger sister, and in a bizarre circle of life situation, from two wise and patient daughters. The sons are easier... I just play ball with them.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 8, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Couple of interesting articles on the "other" paper's site:

http://tinyurl.com/26enqg
http://tinyurl.com/2g3s9t

Posted by: MKevin | March 8, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

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