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Spotlight: Dmitri Young

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  March 5, 2008; 11:15 AM ET
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Are his finger nails painted black?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 5, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Just a guess, but I think Nick Johnson will beat out a 300 lb., 34-year old diabetic. The Nats might be stuck with Dmitri's contract though.

Posted by: John | March 5, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Nick Johnson might beat out a 300lb, 34-year-old diabetic. And then Nick will get injured. Again.

Posted by: Matt | March 5, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If his nails are painted black, 10 bucks says it was his daughter. And if that's the case, let me just say, as a daughter, that Dads who indulge their daughters by letting them paint their nails, especially in the face of macho clubhouse ribbing, are GOLDEN.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

At least Nick showed up in shape. He looks better than I can ever remember.

I like Dmitri and don't mean to be mean, but he looks ridiculous in that video. If I were the Nats, I'd have to at least consider voiding the contract(assuming there's a provision for guys who show up that out of shape). I guess we'll see what happens.

Posted by: John | March 5, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Agraid, NatsNut. I remember when my dad taught himself to french braid my sister's hair after my parents got divorced. It looked terrible, but it meant a lot to her.

I think Meat has two sons, though, no?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 5, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I seriously cannot believe my ears (eyes). He looks ridiculous??? What has changed since last year? Not a single thing has changed about Dmitri Young people. This is the exact same Dmitri Young that everyone was cheering about when we signed a two-year contract, who we loved to love. His poking-out, afro hair? Check. Goofy grin? Check. A little pudgy around the middle? Check.

In fact, not that long ago we all found his look quite charming and endearing, if not down right encouraged. When he actually turned his first triple in years and then looked toward the dugout, sticking his tongue out like a panting dog? Hilarious. When fell hard catching a soft foul along the 1st base line? We cheered him harder.

Plus, I don't think his hitting suffered for his size either.

Boy you guys sure turncoat awful fast around here.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

True, John. I guess I am a little attached to Dmitri because he was a symbol of last season's team and how they were "scrappy underdogs" and all that. I just remember Nick from those seasons where the Nats were less inspiring.

Posted by: Matt | March 5, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

506, I tried to look it up. I think he has three kids. Not sure if one of them is a girl.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I really hate it when people post under my name.

Posted by: The original Matt | March 5, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Not the orignal Matt | March 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Now worries... just wanted to make the distinction between us

Posted by: Matt | March 5, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I am still a carnivore, NatsNut. I agree with the sentiment that there's no need for a firesale to ditch either Nick or Meat, take some time and see what we can get on the market. I don't want EITHER of them here in 2010, except maybe in a support role or with the organization in a non-starting capacity.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 5, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

found it.

two sons, Owen (6/21/97) and Damon (7/7/99) and daughter, Layla (2/15/02).

She just turned six. Painted fingernails had to be her.


Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut: You can't tell that he's gained significant weight since last season? He's probably 30 lbs heavier than he was during last season and he was supposed to lose 20 lbs this offseason. That's a 50 lb turnaround from where he was expected to be.

Like I said I like him, but am very disappointed that he didn't train this offseason and has seemingly taken advantage of Jim Bowden signing him to a guarenteed contract.

Matt: I agree. I rooted for him last year and am(despite my negetive posts) again now, but he looks terrible in that video and it gives the appearence that he knows he has $10 million in the bank and didn't care to train at all.

Posted by: John | March 5, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

506, you don't want Nick here in two years?

When he'll be (a hopefully healthy) 32 year-old gold-glove caliber first baseman with power and an obscene OBP?

Sounds like a good anchor to a competitive team to me.

Posted by: joebleux | March 5, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

According to the article, he weighs 291, which is where he was at the end of last season. It's heavier than the team wanted him, but it's not the thirty-pound gain you suggest.

I don't like the idea of him not swinging a bat all offseason, but I'm also not willing to atttribute his lack of weight loss to an unwillingness to train.

As some have pointed out here - and as the article suggests - the problem has to do with his diabetes. It makes it harder to train, and the medication may actually be adding weight to his frame. Hopefully they can find that balance that suits him and allows him to drop some pounds.

Most important right now is for him to recover for that strain. The Nationals don't want to carry both guys into the season, but Meat's condition is preventing Bowden from being able to shop either one. He needs to get some ABs and get into playing shape not only to create a market for himself, but also to allow the Nationals the luxury of shopping Johnson.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Just a heads up, there will be a Live Chat with the Nats Beat Writer over at The Other Paper at 1pm.

Posted by: MrMadison | March 5, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I know what you're saying John (not in Mpls) but I just don't see it. Both these photos were from early last year.

He looks exactly the same to me.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Where in the hell do you see 30 extra pounds on Dmitri? he looks pretty much the same size as he did last season. maybe a little bigger, but not 30 pounds bigger.

that's Dmitri last season.

Posted by: MrMadison | March 5, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If he would only accept it, I would love to have a DY come off the bench. Trade wise, at his salary, there won't be a market. Can't say I'm overly concerned about the $5 000 000 per year other than how that affects said trade value.
There are other possibilities at first. Whitesell, Whitney, and h'mm-Jimenez. Now he sounds intriguing.
I had given up on Desmond but last season, especially the final month, he came on big time. He has reasonable speed and is outstanding defensively. Apparently leadership qualities as well. And, although he seems to have been around for years, he's only 22.
Carr-just maybe the best reliever in the system and I mean now.

Posted by: Jeeves | March 5, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like someone just doesn't like Dmitri.

infact, I've seen such sensationalist bashing of Dmitri before on another site....hmmmmmm.

Posted by: MrMadison | March 5, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

my last comment wasn't directed at Jeeves, but the other guy that said Dmitri gained 30 pounds.

Posted by: MrMadison | March 5, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Right. He's 291 now, which is about where he left off last season. He came in at 298 this spring, so it looks like he's been able to drop some weight already.

He was able to shed 20 pounds last spring. Hopefully they can find a balance in medication that helps him to do so.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

His fingernails indeed are painted black - and I apologize for not asking him about them! Barry - any way you can dig around to find out the reason why?

Posted by: Forsythe | March 5, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone figure out where to listen to the game today? My MLB gameaudio doesn't have it listed, and W3T doesn't have it either. A web feed would be fantastic!

Posted by: Section 241 | March 5, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a, you care to take this again?


Did anyone figure out where to listen to the game today? My MLB gameaudio doesn't have it listed, and W3T doesn't have it either. A web feed would be fantastic!

Posted by: Section 241 | March 5, 2008 12:59 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | March 5, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"There are other possibilities at first. Whitesell, Whitney, and h'mm-Jimenez."

I repeat. Two words: Aaron Boone. Why, you ask? Well, consider this.

(a) He's a corner infielder, and we all know he ain't gonna be playing third.

(b) He has a guaranteed contract for what, $1M?

(c) His name is Boone.

My take is this: No way Johnson is being shopped around right now. He's shown no indication yet that he won't be back to his pre-injury form, which puts him in the same situation as Cordero, i.e. more valuable to the Nationals than anything he would bring in trade. Unless he gets hurt, he's the starting 1B all season long. Dmitri will either get his act together during spring training and become the #1 bat off the bench, or he'll end up on the DL (even if they have to manufacture a reason to put him there, which wouldn't be hard given his health issues). They won't just cut him, and there's no trade market for him even if he does shape up until at least such time as an AL team in the hunt finds themselves in need of a DH. If he does get his act together before Opening Day, Dmitri might bump Boone from the 25-man roster. But in that event a way will be found to stash Boone on the DL in case he's ever needed. Whitesell or Whitney, should they really tear it up during spring training, might conceivably bump Boone, but I think they'd reeally have to show a lot to do so. I'm thinking that Aaron Boone will turn into this year's Robert Fick, which even if he never steps up to the plate will be a quantum leap improvement over last year's Robert Fick.

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

My take on Young is that his struggles with diabetes contributed to his not coming into camp in as good shape as either he or the Nats wanted. Of course, none of us want that, especially Young himself, but he's doing what he needs to get into shape.

Prediction: DY starts on the IR, opening up a space on the roster for Boone. Then, take the first month or so of the season to see what you've truly got in Johnson and (if DY gets in shape and healthy) put him (Johnson) on the trade block for more prospects.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | March 5, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, lots to comment on today.

JayB -- I think your baseball-related comments are generally welcome, some of us (myself included) get a bit tired of the Post-bashing that sometimes creeps in here. It is what it is.

Type II -- thanks for the contribution. It does seem that some diabetes medications cause weight gain so I'm not inclined to hold that against Meat Hook, and I agree with those who have said he looks about the same as last year. I'm a little less sure about why he would not have picked up a bat in the offseason, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for the present.

The cuts -- Detwiler is the only mild surprise. But I suspect that the performance of Perez, plus the possible addition of another FA starter (who may well be a LHP), led them to conclude that he would not have to be rushed to the majors. I think that's the right move.

Promotions of Carr and Desmond -- with respect to Carr, we have bullpen depth to deal so perhaps this is a way of checking whether he can fill the spot occupied by one of our veteran relievers if we deal one away. Baseball America says he could be a setup guy in the majors by midseason so he's not far off.

As for Desmond, BA rates him as our #14 prospect and says the following:

"Desmond was developing slowly but steadily before Washington rushed him to Double-A in 2006, and he struggled mightily and took a full year to get back on track. He was sent back to high Class A in 2007 and batted just .239 before the all-star break, though the National insist it was the hardest .239 you'll ever see. He worked hard to get his hands into a good hitting position and let balls on the outer half [of the plate] travel farther before he knocked them to the opposite field. In the second half, he also made progress turning on inside fastballs and laying off breaking balls in the dirt, and it all clicked in August, when he batted .362/.455/.574. He also drew 57 walks -- 23 more than his previous season high -- illustrating his new, more patient approach. Desmond's quick hands generate plenty of bat speed, which translates into gap power and still could lead to average home run pop. He's a very good defensive shortstop with plus range and arm strength, and he has improved at keeping his focus to make routine plays. He has become a very smart baserunner with average speed. He's a confident, hard-working player whose professional manner is contagious. Desmond still has plenty of work to do at the plate, where his stance is too spread out, causing him to dip and get underneath the ball at times. But he's finally ready for Double-A and still has a chance to be Washington's shortstop of the future. After all, he's still just 22." Lots to like in there.

Ticket problems -- evidently they sold 4000 tickets in 6 minutes. It seems to me that if you have a system that can handle that kind of load, it's a pretty good one. Why would you have a system that could handle any more than that? When would you need it? Demand far outstripped supply, there was no technological glitch, just not enough tickets to go around. I understand why some folks on partial plans, or folks who share season tickets with a group, are disappointed that not everyone in their group can get OD tickets. In fact, I am one of those people. However, I don't think it would be fair to sell all of the OD tickets to ST holders -- perfectly fair to make 4500 tickets available to the general public, in fact, that's a pretty small number it seems to me. Would it be nice if all of the people that bought those tickets were true Nats fans that planned on attending the game themselves, as opposed to turning a profit online? Yes. But I'm not sure how you police that. Also, the paper says 400 $5 seats have been reserved and will be sold on a first-come, first served basis on OD.

Finally I enjoyed the posts by "Lerners are cheap" in an earlier thread, and I thought Los Doce Ocho had some good points about Jimbo's pursuit of pitching, well said.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

honestly, i dont see why johnson cant be the starter for the next 3 years at least. he is a great hitter. if he plays regularly, i expect massive numbers.

and i know the response "if he plays, hes always injured", etc...

it just seems like they are trying to trade all ties to the expos. how many are left?

Posted by: theraph | March 5, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

OK since we're in such a re-posting mood:

Misguided or not,
any bile's unwelcome
Batter up - bang-zoom.

Posted by: G. Thompson (MIBs haiku name) | March 5, 2008 01:13 PM

Posted by: CE | March 5, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Baseball schmaseball, I'm worried for his health. His legs ain't much but I'd like to see him keep them both, at least through the contract, anyway.

Posted by: Mr In Between | March 5, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: red | March 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

very few, theraph. but i find myself hard-pressed to see an "ant-expo" thing going on. it's not like anyone's been "dumped" from that crowd. i think they've been good trades.

Posted by: 231 | March 5, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you mentioned a few posts back that you wanted to hear what we thought on the DY story. I liked it - thought it was an interesting counterpoint to the standard "Player X is in the best shape of his life, and looking to have his bestest year EVAR" story. Part of what I like the most about DaMeat is that he's relatable. He's had issues, he's fighting those issues, and he still manages to be a positive force, so it was interesting to read. Some of the comments getting on him for being out of shape are a little rough -If Wilbon still wrote for the Post, it would be interesting to read his take on living with diabetes and maintaining a fairly rigorous schedule.

That said, if he's not ready to go, he's not ready to go - competition over. NJ starts and plays every day - let Dmitri work it out on the DL, or the bench. Like Sutton said during the broadcast yesterday "Sometimes these roster issues resolve themselves."

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (talkin sugar high blues) | March 5, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

My opinion on DY and NJ is that they both may very well make the team. NJ starts and DY being the 1-2 time a week starter and switch hitter of the bench.

If Jimbo can trade one of them for more than just a bag of balls he may. But, having both of them on the team for the first couple of months of the season and letting things play out is how I see it going. Plus, NJ may cut himself shaving or stub a toe and then he is on the DL, therefore, problem solved.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 5, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we'll miss Dmitri much if NJ is back for good.

we got Whitesell, Whitney, and Jimenez who could duke it out for the backup job.

if Dmitri can get himself in shape he'd be an asset off the bench for sure, but Dmitri isn't anything other than a short term solution, and I'm pretty sure the unanimous consensus is that he wouldn't start over a healthy NJ.

Comeback-Player-of-The-Year notwithstanding, Dmitri is expendable as long as NJ is healthy.

that's my opinion of it.

Posted by: MrMadison | March 5, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

What the? Who was shouting "earthquake" when Dmitri slid? I like the "ADD" alibi for Teddy. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 6, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

imo, if you are making 5 mil a year, you must FIGURE OUT how to lose the weight, not watch tv all day and drink all night.
why wasn't he working out with delmon?
is he siting back now because he got the contract, and time to relax now?

Posted by: notmatt | March 9, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

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