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Cordero, Pena updates... and lineups

Greetings... Dave here. Barry is taking a couple of days off, that slacker. (In all seriousness, I think these are his first days off since Feb. 25. Dude is an animal.)

News... Rather than activate Chad Cordero tomorrow, the day he is eligible to come off the disabled list, the Nationals will send him back to Potomac for another inning of rehab work that night, then make a decision. Manager Manny Acta said he expects Cordero to be activated on Sunday, barring a setback. Cordero, who threw a scoreless inning for Potomac last night, said today his arm felt great. Radar gun had him at 86-88 mph, which is just a couple of ticks below his normal stuff.

Wily Mo Pena... According to GM Jim Bowden, the team is "expediting the process" for Pena's return. He went 3 for 3 in an extended spring training game in Viera earlier today, and will play left field there tomorrow, followed by back-to-back games at Class AAA Columbus this weekend. "I'm hoping at least by next weekend he's playing [for the Nationals], maybe earlier," Bowden said.

And your lineups for tonight's 7:10 p.m. tilt against the Florida Marlins -- make that the first-place Florida Marlins:

FLORIDA
Ramirez, SS
Uggla, 2B
Hermida, LF
Willingham, LF
Jacobs, 1B
Cantu, 3B
Ross, CF
Treanor, C
Hendrickson, P

WASHINGTON
Guzman, SS
Milledge, CF
Zimmerman, 3B
Johnson, 1B
Kearns, RF
Lo Duca, C
Belliard, 2B
Lopez, LF
Perez, P

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 10, 2008; 5:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Lineups... and a team meeting

Comments

This is from Jason La Canfora's Redskins Insider blog (by far and away the most popular blog on the Posts website):

"Randoms: A lot of Nats fans have jumped all over me for remarks I made on Comcast about the empty seats at the first game at the new ballpark and my concerns over the attendance there. Well, since then they've failed to draw to draw 25,000 to a game, with entire sections of the park appearing vacant on TV the other night. And the weather yesterday was as good as it's been in seemingly forever. Again, try to convince me how this is a great omen? From what I am told the season ticket base this season is less than it was the first year back at RFK, and they project to 2.3 million fans or so in the first year of a brand new park with a team that is supposed to be on the upswing. don't get wrong, I love baseball and most of all love the fact that there's a spanking new park 10 minutes away from my house now . I'm not hating and I wish the Nats all the best and I'll be in the stands for many an afternoon game with Chloe by my side. But I have reservations about Washington as a true baseball town. Hope I'm wrong ..."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Let the good times roll!!!!

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

...or let the good times TROLL.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 10, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

OK, time to start fresh. Our crew has become almost Snakes on a Plane silly horror show by now over our dismay with the 6-game losing streak.

I mainly moped about the team today, and am looking forward to happy times again. At this point we are getting to the reminder that even the worst teams win 60 games in a year, so it will happen. I still am hoping we make a run for .500 this year.

Of course, Columbus is 1-6 (thanks NFA), and the pitchers there are not looking like they will give us much relief. You're on your own Odalis. Man up, and bring us a victory.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 10, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Dave. I see that you've already met our resident troll.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 10, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

And by "our crew," I mean our small devoted slice of The Constituency, not the players.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 10, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Moped? PHS was riding a moped around Nats Park? Why didn't he take the RFK shuttle? Or Metro? (Stan said to.) Oh, he moped about them. Never mind. I did, too.

Posted by: Emily Litella | April 10, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

""2008 Lerners -- $39 million payroll.
Get the idea?
Posted by: swanni | April 10, 2008 12:34 PM"
----------------------------
Obviously, you get your ideas from somwhere other than the fact based world. From Cots again:

Washington Nationals . . .
Opening Day payrolls for 25-man roster
(salaries plus pro-rated signing bonuses):
2008: $ 54,961,000"

You must be new here, or you'd know that swanni never lets the facts get in the way of one of his "Lerners are cheap" rants. Isn't it about time for you to be bringing up the Belliard bats thing and the Lerners wanted the city to pay for the players' uniforms thing again, swanni? Two urban legends there, if there ever was one.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dave. Welcome back. If we win tonight we might not let Barry come back - he'll be forever known as the Wally Pip of Nats Journal.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 10, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Re-posting this from the last thread:

6th and D: I'm gonna have to disagree with you on this one (which is cool). Diabetes is something that is treated with Medication and is requires a HUGE ajustment from the system. It can and does cause weight fluctuations amongst other things.
This does not even take into account the psychological side (I work in the field on this one, so it really isn't conjecture). I have worked with diabetics that struggle with depression as a result of the loss of control they feel. The depression is often manifest through weight gain. WHen you gain weight, you are going to be at risk to pull muscles etc. and much worse.
As for being fat and slow, lets be real here: He IS fat and slow and HAS been. I love DY's passion and love of the game, but come on...you can time him with a sundial. Same as last year...

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I love the "Lerner's are cheap" rants that start off by saying "Could have saved $10 million by nontendering Lopez and not signing Dmitri." Yes, it is true that those moves woudl have saved money. But it does not establish cheapness. A Leatherpants brainfart, maybe, but cheapness?

Posted by: logic | April 10, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Positively Half St - Columbus is now 2-6 because Colin Balester pitched an absolute gem today. Here is his line;

Balester (W, 1-1) 6.0IP 1H 0R 1BB 6K 2.61ERA

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Great news on WMP, I guess if things go well at Columbus this weekend he might join the team in New York on Tuesday.

God knows we need the bat, I just hope he can actually swing for power already, otherwise he won't be any better (and probably worse on defense) than Lopez.

Assuming all goes well and he gets activated on Tuesday, who get the boot?

I think Schroder goes down when Cordero gets activated on Sunday, Chico goes down when Pena is activated on Tuesday and Jesus Flores goes down when Hill is activated on the 18th.

If they don't feel Estrada can catch by the 18th than I think they have to DFA Willie Harris.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I guess all the posters usually on here have headed out to the ballpark to watch the Nats game. Right? Right?


hahahahahhahaha, I'm guessing that's a big 'NO'

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually I bet they are, I was posting from the game on my blackberry like crazy last night.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually I bet they are, I was posting from the game on my blackberry like crazy last night.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:18 PM
___________________________________________

So you'd rather do that instead of simply sitting there and enjoying the game with whoever you attended it with?

I find it amazing that people can't "disconnect" these days, even if it's just for a few hours. Kinda sad actually.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

O, the irony

Posted by: Nats Exec | April 10, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

If I'm at a game w/ family or friends I'll talk to them. If I'm there alone like last night (picked up a freebie from a co-worker) then I talk to all of you. Same deal if I'm watching from home.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

O, the irony

Posted by: Nats Exec | April 10, 2008 6:24 PM

Yeah it would be if I was actually at a game right now and not just killing off the day while at work.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Some people like to share what they enjoy with friends. Other people are so sick and pathetic that they have to sit almost 24/7 in front of screen and invade somebody else's party. O's Exec, You know you are sick. Once or twice a day is banter. Every hour every day is somebody pleading for help.

Posted by: Old Guy | April 10, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

O's exec - shouldn't you be watching your own team right now?

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

help

help


help

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Don't slack on that Job O's exec...Those french fries aren't going to fry themselves. The 18 year old shift manager will get on you if you burn another batch of fries...
-------------------------------------------
Yeah it would be if I was actually at a game right now and not just killing off the day while at work.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:29 PM

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Who's to say that I'm Not watching the O's right now?

Steve Trachsel pitching a gem today lowering his E.R.A. to 1.69

Bet the Nats would love to have someone on their staff with an E.R.A. around that.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

No worries TimDz. Anywho, how'd you like that "special sauce" I put on your burger for you last night?

Bet you gobbled it up.

hahahahahaha

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

It would be great if one of our starters had a 1.69ERA, your point?

Is the O's game not exciting enough to keep you attention? Or are you the one who can't disconnect enough to just watch a ballgame?

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec

I wasn't trying to rip you I was serious. You have problem just like an alcoholic.

Posted by: Old Guy | April 10, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Who's to say you can't do both? And my disconnecting point was made in terms of actually attending an event live and in person.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Well see Old Guy I'd get help except for that in most Recovery Centers you have to give yourself to God/Jesus/Religion and I'm just not ready to do that yet.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The Nats just CAN'T get swept by the Marlins. Can they?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

With Perez pitching, we very well could get swept unless the bats come alive. Maybe he's due for a good outing, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I'll be watching every pitch tonight regardless.

Let's Go Nats!

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@O's Exec,

so, you're our old friend satan?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 10, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

RE: WMP

That is very good news...

RE: Cordero

Probably good news that he's getting another inning of rehab... would love to see that radar gun back where it should be...

Posted by: Wigi | April 10, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's go GDI! 1-2-3 1st please. Let's start this evening off properly.

Posted by: MKevin | April 10, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Here we go.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 10, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

listening to charlie and dave. nats lineup sponsored by mattress discounters. appropriate for a snoozer of an early season.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 10, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Man... Perez is getting smacked hard. Foul so far but I sure hope they don't straighten these balls out.

Posted by: MKevin | April 10, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm 45 years old and live in my parent's basement. Go O's!

Posted by: O's Exec | April 10, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone watching this game on DirecTV on MASNHD? Am I crazy or is tonight's feed HORRIBLE? Last night's feed was sparkling and beautiful. Is there something wrong with my eyes?

Posted by: Ryan | April 10, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Direct TV feed looks good here in Hyattsville.

Pretty good outing for Perez so far, pitching well, especially spotting his pitches. If he makes a mistake they're going to hammer him though.

Let's get some runs!

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Nats get swept by the Marlins in spring training, or awfully close to it.

Posted by: Jeeves | April 10, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Lastings.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 10, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

WTG Yard Belliard!

TX beat the O's 3-1 in case any of our friends from Balmer were too busy Troll-ing to watch their own game...

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Navy Yard Belliard!!!!!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Navy Yard Belliard!!!!!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

God what a shot by Kearns, almost and other spot in the park and that's a dinger. Some guys just have no luck at all.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Sweet 6-4-3 DP.

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I'm not crazy, even my wife just looked at the TV and said it is a poor HD feed. I don't understand. And FYI, no I'm not on the regular 626 MASN, I'm on the HD MASN. I've switched to other HD feeds and they look great. I hate MASN.

While I'm hating MASN, please get rid of Ray Knight. I REFUSE to watch pregame shows where "journalists" refer to the team they are covering as "we" "us" "our". RIDICULOUS. What do you expect though when teams own the networks that cover them. **Sigh**

Posted by: Ryan | April 10, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Great news about Wily Mo Pena! Sounds like he'll be back in time to play vs the Mets!

Go Wily Mo! Http://SluggerWily.com

Posted by: Daniel | April 10, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Ryan: Knight's just trying to "homer" up to keep his job. He knows if he tries to look objective, he looses his "cred" as an ex-player.

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

nats leading 1-0, marlins rallying. i've seen this movie before.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 10, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Perez had his era down to 3.87 before he gave up that run.

Saul Rivera is up in the pen so hopefully Manny won't hang Perez out there to get killed like he did with Bergmann last night.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Harrisburg was no-hit for 5, but got 4 hits (including one by maxwell to get to the Mendoza line), and are up 2-0 over Trenton.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 10, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I just noticed all the position players are wearing the red stirrups. I like! That's what a ballplayer's supposed to look like!

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 10, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

am i the only person who thinks saul just plain sucks?

Posted by: love | April 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see someone else leave the bases juiced for a change.

Good outing for Perez, 6Ks in 5.2, should have been only 1ER too, that was a pretty sloppy .1 inning for Rivera.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Longing back to the day when starting pitchers were expected to (and could) throw 6+ effective innings. "sigh".

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

am i the only person who thinks saul just plain sucks?

Posted by: love | April 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's a good thing that Cordero is on the DL - At the rate we're using the bullpen, everyone else will be cooked by July.

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I am worried that all that crap about Brian Schneider being a genius with the pitchers might be true.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 10, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I was going to bark at LoDuca's game-calling abilities again, but that inning worked out rather well for us, yes?

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Nice inning for Rivera, where were those Ks when he had inherited runners in scoring position?

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that the MASN HD signal (on Comcast 226 in DC) looks like a 4:3 image stretched to 16:9? All night i've been trying to figure out whether it is my imagination or not. I think the players all look short and stubby....

thanks
J

Posted by: jindc | April 10, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm at the park. Good outing from Perez. Zim seems like he's pressing. Tried to bunt earlier for no apparent reason. Somebody needs to step up tonight and take the heat off of him. This park is a great place to see a game, mostly because there are so many many places to see the game from.

And, ESJ, I can walk to Franklins from my house, we should explore that further offline.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 10, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

+Half St: Schneider's trick was that he talked to his pitchers every day during ST. I don't think PLD spent a lot of time with them this spring (part personality, part rehab).

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time O's Exec got laid? Those heady World Series days of '83? What a pathetic existence; talking smack about a nothing team who have not been relevant for over 10 years. Please dazzle us with more of your inane analysis! I can't wait!

Posted by: mjwies11, Section 320 | April 10, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Shhh, the troO-exL has been quiet since his beloved O's lost almost 2 hours ago. Don't start poking him with sticks.

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Rally caps, everybody!

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

About Freakin' Time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Estrada for Ayala, Boone for Harris and Redding for Estrada.

To anyone scoring at home - you are done...

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Boone Pops out...theres a shocker

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, if they hold them here, it could set up a Millege hit and Zimmerman HR to end the game at the bottom of the 9th.
One can hope...

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

OK - Makowiak to LF, Rausch to the mound in the 9th. Bench is all but done, but 2-3-4 up in the bottom of the 9th if we can hold. Keep those rally caps on!!

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, so much for Zimmerman's walk off chance...

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Johnson gets the walk off???
Grasping here...

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Nationals bullpen = Gasoline Alley

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Lastings leads off with a double. MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN HERE!!!!!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Two run homer to tie???
Something, Zim!!!

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice Zim hasn't pulled anything all week? All year really...

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

NJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

YAY, Nicky!!!!!! Just missed a HR!!!! If only Saul (Sunoco) Rivera hadn't allowed that add-on run.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Would be ironic if Kearnsy hit one out to win it....

Posted by: TimDz | April 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Damn that was a home run if he didn't touch it!

Nick hittin' Nick!

Let's Go Kearnsey, let's get some runs!

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Kearns HBP! LoDuca let's see you back up your quotes and knock in two for the win.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, I think we'd rather have Kearns swinging than getting hit.

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

....yeah, the Marlins COULD sweep the Nationals. Say goodnight, Gracie.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lo Duca that was pathetic!

Posted by: estuartj | April 10, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

what a bum

Posted by: love | April 10, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

And Capt. RA grounds into a DP to end it... Paul, if you're gonna talk the talk, walk the walk. You're a MUTT.

Posted by: BIM | April 10, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Leading by example, making $5 million big ones--which is something he's got.

Posted by: Cindy Lou | April 10, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Talk some more cr@p tonight Paulie Walnuts. Pathetic.

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

This is getting annoying. Swept two teams that are not very good. Paulie... you make statements like yesterday's you have to start coming through in the clutch. We can't rely on Zim to bail us out every night.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | April 10, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are becoming kings of the futile rally. They do just enough to lose by one run.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Thats Paul Mitchell for you.

Posted by: Jason | April 10, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

How depressing. Obviously they are going win some games eventually, but I think we are in for a long frustrating season which will be worse than last year even if they have a slightly better record. To build more interest in this town, the Lerners need to sign at least one marquis player in the offseason. Soriano may have been overpriced but he would have meant more seats in the seats. Hopefully some interesting free agents will be available in the offseason.

Posted by: DkNatsFan | April 10, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

This team just can't catch a break. Because Atlanta got snowed out in Colorado, that means Tim Hudson is scheduled to pitch for the Braves tomorrow night. When it rains, it pours.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 10, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

they dont need any free agents, addition by subtraction, drop flop and lo duca they are cancer in the clubhouse

DROP FLOP

Posted by: love | April 10, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

PLoD should just go back to NY.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

DROP FLOP
DROP FLOP
DROP FLOP

Posted by: love | April 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as how Paulie has a new nickname and all, perhaps a poll could be run about a hairstyle for him, much like the poll that he suggested re. Nick's 'do. Black with white "wings" would have to be one possibility, naturally.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 10, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

DROP FLOP

Posted by: love | April 10, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

What a magnificent park! The concourses are the biggest I've ever seen and allow you to stroll as you watch the game, because the kitchens are on the outside wall, allowing a clear view of the field, like in Coors. The seats are roomy and comfortable. The scoreboard is beautiful, and the selection of food is beyond any stadium I've seen, from fish tacos to Pat's Cheesesteak to a D.C. original, the half-smoke. I had a Ben's all the way - why didn't any of you tell me it had a kick like a mule? I have never seen such care and thought given to the ordinary fan. Thank you Messrs. Lerner and Kasten! Thank you! What a beautiful place for our beautiful game! How can anyone leave that magic lantern on a spring night and not feel gratitude?

Posted by: flynnie | April 10, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Has everyone given up and stopped posting? Man, what a mess the Nats are turning themselves into. I can't wait to see what juicy quotes LoDuca serves up tonight about unacceptable performance, after he once again choked at the plate and failed to hustle both in the field and on the base paths. What a joke.

If only the esteemed and wise Boz were around to write a column and make sense of this all for us! What? What's that you say? Boz has a column in Friday's Post?!? What does he have to say? Huh? It's about golf? Boz is in Augusta? Oh well, nothing to see at Nats Park for Boz I guess (bet he hasn't been there since Opening Day). Just as well, I suppose...

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 10, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

And I only drank my own water, which the owners graciously allowed me to bring in. $7.50 just puts too much pressure on a Miller Lite. All we need to make the experience complete is Dave Scheinen to sing the National Anthem. Did any of you know that he is an operatic tenor, and that was his first choice of careers? I have begged him to cut a CD for us! Speaking of which, did you hear the National Anthem tonight by that theater group from Imagination Stage in Bethesda? Awesome! I commend to all of you an evening of baseball at this wonderful, wonderful facility. Looking at the development in the neighborhood, the years will prove that Tony Williams, MLB and the Lerners were visionaries who brought folks together again in D.C. from the $5 to the $300 seats. Thanks to all who made this dream come true!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

now batting, team killing double play hitting austin .212 kearns.
but hes such a professional. yea professional team killer.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

DK: are you aware that paul lo duca hit into the double play to end the game tonite? austin kearns was hit by a pitch and was on first at the time of the game ending weak dribbler that turned into a 4-6-3 double play.

DROP FLOP

Posted by: love | April 11, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

After tonight, I'm losing faith in Kearns. I thought he'd be a lot better in the new park, but he grounded into two DPs tonight. Zimmerman hasn't been producing lately either (I believe he was hitless this series), but at least Johnson finally came through tonight. If Kearns continues to struggle, does anyone think that Manny might consider him in right field once Pena returns (which won't be a moment too soon)? I'm not blaming LoDuca for tonight's loss. Remember, he doubled and scored a run earlier in the game. These things happen - at least he's getting on base once in a while. If Kearns hadn't been hit right before PLD came up, he would have been the second out. I'm actually surprised we held Florida to 4 runs, because they had ample opportunity to score many more and break it wide open (I think they ended up with 13 hits) - they left the bases loaded in the 6th inning after plating two runs, plus they left two on in the 8th. We were actually lucky to be able to pitch out of a couple of jams.

I know it's still early in the season, but every loss makes the hole deeper. We really need to take at least 2 of 3 from Atlanta, then head up to Shea and pick up where we left off with the Mets last year before facing the (gulp, first place) Marlins on their home turf next weekend.

Posted by: BSG | April 11, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Oops...it's way past my bedtime :) I meant does anyone thing Manny might consider moving Lopez to right field once Pena comes back? My mistake...

Posted by: BSG | April 11, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

And that should be "think," not "thing." The possiblity of moving FLop is a random thought that crossed my mind tonight and I have no idea if it would even be considered. Anyway, time to call it a night...

Posted by: BSG | April 11, 2008 1:51 AM | Report abuse

To answer an earlier question, MASN HD last night was NOT HD -- it was stretched to fill the widescreen. Why? Who knows...

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 4:16 AM | Report abuse

I see no need to rush Cordero back...afterall, you only need him when leading late in the game.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 11, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

RE: FLop in RF

I seriously doubt it. For better or for worse AK is a favorite of both Manny and JBow. He may get a day off here or there but the only way FLop replaces AK on a regular basis is b/c of injury. I think FLop has taken up permanent residence in a place called utilityville.

Posted by: MKevin | April 11, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I am getting a sense of inevitability about the outcome of games during this streak. Odalis pitches very well and the bullpen leaks runs, Johnson wakes up and Kearns becomes specialized into making more than one out in an at bat, Zimmerman, well perhaps it is time to think that hitting 3 is not working. Lo Duca has a chance to lead this club from the field and hits a pitiful DP in the ninth. Ahh the miseries of a streak.

Posted by: Dale | April 11, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Look at the third picture in the photo gallery with Barry's story. It's awful. Ramirez is sliding home, the ball is right there and LoDuca is standing there looking at it. I wouldn't be surprised if he were yawning under his mask. He's really starting to pi** me off.

http://tinyurl.com/45nnsd

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

No way that LoDuca catches that ball. It was thrown into the runner because Zim had to rush it -- thanks to the poor relay from LF from Rob Worthless.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

The trading of Brian Schneider will haunt this team in more ways than we will ever be able to comprehend he was great with rooks and vets alike,when this trade was hatched I was screaming all the way from my home here in the Atl. Say what you want about his bat but his knowledge about how to handle pitchers was immeasurable, did anyone ask Randy St.Claire before this trade was made,not good Jimbo not good at all.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | April 11, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Ok so I was at the game last night in my seats in left field and got a small laugh when Felipe was playing a ball in the corner (3rd or 4th inning) with Hanley Ramirez tearing around the bases. FLop kinda nonchalantly jogged over to get the ball while he was too busy watching the runner. After the play he was absolutely cruxified by the fans out there for not hustling. Then he seemed more concerned about jawing back than paying attention to the rest of the inning... forunately a run didn't score but I thought it was an ironic microchasim of his career in Washington.

Appropriately, when Harris and Mackowiak made hustle plays on similar hits to left field they were both loudly applauded for the hustle even though runs scored on both plays... take a lesson FLop, hustle goes a long way...

Posted by: Gibby | April 11, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Dargregmag,

The trade was not a one way deal as you know. In 2009 you will have Flores catching and Milledge in center. Milledge is already improving to be an offensive upgrade over Logan.

At this point Lo Duca leaves me muttering as well. But it is this very wise management that kept Flores on the bench while we suffered the play of Lo Duca. I also question Lo Duca's handling of pitch calling but that might be St. Clair's script that is being followed.

Posted by: Dale | April 11, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and it was my 3rd time and my 2nd bad experience. This was partially my fault as I somehow dropped my ticket in the concession line, but then we were trying to eat in our seats and the usher asked for tickets. When I didn't have one of two (my wife did have hers) she made me get up and go to the box office. Luckily I found someone above her on the concourse who came back and told her to let us sit.

Never lose your ticket! Anyways, this has me regretting Season Tickets--I could watch at home for free without being mistreated. I love the new park but I really get the sense they are just not a first class organization. It's sad. I noticed the Speed still wasn't posted on the scoreboard and strangely the Ice Cream place only had helmet cups from the Pirates and Padres and Cubs. Random.

Oh and the team stinks...but I suppose I can handle that a while longer.

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

A few observations:

(i)Manny - Enough with the "its still early" quote.
(ii) Manny - Zimm is hitting 209 and not 230 - so no need to move him out of the 3rd spot besides it "still early" and he has one of the best batting averages on the team.
(iii) Bowden and Manny - Have to love your right fielder - he brings it every day - one of the best 5 hole hitters available.
(iv) Bowden and Manny - I hope you can work Jim M into left field. We need his bat in the line up.
(v) Bowden - easy on the pitching -your starters are giving you a good 4 innings every outing. What more can you ask for.

A Suggestion:

For starters - bench Kearns,cut Jim Mack...., bring up Escobar and have him play right field, go with your young pitchers - this year is lost and I really think we are looking at close to 100 L's.

Lastly what is the deal with Dukes. He went down a week after Pena and it was only ruled tightness in his hammy. Now we do not know when he is coming back. It would be nice if the real story is reported. I was hoping this guy would be one of players to help us out of this morass.

The team is in deep trouble, it is seriously flawed and Bowden is trying to camouflage/mask the problems with questionable moves - Mackowiak, Boone, LoDuca, Perez, etc. I would much rather see Ballester go five innings than Perez. Why play Flores at AAA when he is better than anything you have at the major league level.

Posted by: Mjames | April 11, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to keep yappin' on this but does anyone know an email address to send a letter to at the Nationals??

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I am with you Dale...I try to explain this to people all the time. Schneider was worth dealing for Milledge...LoDuca was separate terrible mistake. Frankly, Milledge is the only person on this team I feel good about at the moment--although Zimm certainly has earned some patience and NJ looks pretty good. But you know Marrero is the 1B longterm. And of course Wily Mo when he returns I think can provide some energy to a dull atmosphere.

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I just read where Escobar is back on the DL with a strained hammy - so much for my previous post. I suggest we consider bringing up Maxwell then. He is no worse than Kearns and shows more potential at the plate. It looks the Reds were not so dumb in trading Lopez, Kearns and Wagner. The trade is a wash except we are spending about $8mm for Kearns and Lopez and the Reds have basically dumped all their players.

Posted by: mjames | April 11, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

GoNats, there is an email address to send comments listed in your season ticket book (I would post it but don't have mine with me), or you can send an email to your account manager. Also you can send an email to Stan.

Did you have your MVP Card with you? If you had that with you and showed it to the usher instead of a ticket and she still gave you a hard time, that is ridiculous. Also, what section are you in that ushers are cracking down this hard? They have been very lax (to lax) in most of the park as best I can tell.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 11, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I am a partial season ticket holder and last night was not one of my games. We bought some extra tix in a bout of preseason optimistic madness. Actually I wanted the car magnet.

I was in 417, Row A. Whose moving up to those seats? I think they gave her a beat down because after that she was letting people move all around.

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

That shoud have read "They have been very lax (too lax imo) in most of the park as best I can tell."

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 11, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Coverage is lacking.....waaay too lax, especially with obnoxious trash talkers who ushers obviously know don't belong down on the rail. I don't mean to be speaking from a high-horse, but I paid thousands of dollars for my seats and I don't enjoy people just moving down to yell obscenities and make it miserable for everyone.

Posted by: Corey | April 11, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Message for MASN:
Stretching the normal TV screen is NOT High Def.

Posted by: Figure it out | April 11, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

For the record, I agree with you guys about needing to keep people from moving up and disrupting people. My complaint was more the way I was treated given we did have the one ticket, and not that our tickets were checked.

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

GoNats I agree. People who work with customers as ushers do need to be able to exercise some degree of judgment. Big difference between the circumstances that Corey and I are thinking about, and yours based on how you describe it. Hopefully, with time and experience the ushers will get it too.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 11, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Gibby, thanks for posting about that. I was sitting down the right field line, and I noticed Lopez waving his glove at the crowd and making a few gestures with his hand after that play.

I wondered if they were getting on him. They should have; Ramirez could have very easily taken third the way Flop loafed his way to pick up that ball.

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

No wonder Church and Schneider were ELATED when they got traded. What a mess. We can't hit. We can't catch. We can't sell ice-cream in a NATS HAT. Back to my question that I posted yesterday. Someone tell me the reason why we don't play our players of tomorrow at the major league level, especially the pitchers? Is the reason that we do not psycological? Is it akin to flying a jet - where you wouldn't want to put a pilot in an F-16 after only 1 year in a Piper Cub? I would think that all ships rise with the tide and if we train like we fight, we will fight like we train. I posted this question yesterday hoping that the more knowledgeable out there would give me a reason. All I got was "it's not done".

So, since our current crop of talent in the bigs does not have any.....I say let the youngsters have a crack at it.

Posted by: 6th and D | April 11, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to give this one more shot.

Think of it this way: There are 162 games in a baseball season. We're 10 games in. That's the equivalent of having played ONE football game (1/16th of the season). We had a great first quarter, but we ended up losing the game. Time to focus on next week (i.e., the next 10 games). DEFINITELY NOT time to cut proven regulars who got off to a slow start in favor of guys on the practice squad.

Austin Kearns is one of the best right fielders in the league. Any discussion of benching him in favor of anybody anywhere on this team, in the majors or the minors, is ridiculous. Would all of us, and everyone in the Nationals organization, like to see him hit 30 homers and 30 points higher? Of course. But most of the teams in the National League would trade their current RF for Austin Kearns in a heartbeat. And some of the ones that might not would not do so on the grounds that they have a young guy that they're hoping will one day become at least a solid major league regular like AK, if not an all-star (which, at 27 -- often a peak year for ballplayers -- he still might well be, and more than once).

This is baseball. For the most part, the games, and the seasons, unfold slowly. We've only uncovered a small portion of the canvas that will be the 2008 Nationals baseball season. Relax, sit back and try to enjoy the show. There's no point in screaming at a painting, or a painter.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

6th and D, look for any faltering pitchers to be replaced by youth as early as May. Our rotation in August will be very different. The problem is we don't have the talent for position players.

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Why on earth did anyone think the Nats would be even slightly better then last year?

Because Kasten and Co. wanted you to buy tickets to the place on South Cap. Hey I'm a season ticket holder going on 4 years so I took the bait too!

At this point I would rather watch Lannen, Ballester, Mock, Chico, and Clippard get their heads beat in night after night, then sit there watching scrape heap hired-hands and 4A level pitchers go 5 and then implode.

AKEARNS is a disaster, he just never got over being traded.
FLOP is a major head case with no future.
RobMACK is washed up, yet they signed him for 1.5M why?
Paulie Walnuts might have a Red A** but he ain't got much bat anymore.
The BULLPEN is a shambles.

Of course the weekend brings; Hudson, Glavin and Smoltz-can you say 10 in a row?

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | April 11, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Bob (your name is my second favorite behind Positively 1/2 street),

Nice post and excellent points. While I screamed at my TV when LoDuca dribbled that double play ball, I have to take solice in the long term. The pieces are starting to pull together (although current results fly in the face of that statement) and the team will not go 3-159. When a team is going well, the breaks go their way. When they are not, the breaks go the other way (NJ's homer bid comes directly to mind).
Long season folks.

Posted by: TimDz | April 11, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Still fuming over the picture of LoDuca.

I'm not mad he didn't catch the ball. I'm talking about his positioning and his body language. He's not even *reaching* for it. That photo just looks awful and makes me mad.

(Third photo in the gallery accompanying Dave's gamer: http://tinyurl.com/45nnsd)

______________
No way that LoDuca catches that ball. It was thrown into the runner because Zim had to rush it -- thanks to the poor relay from LF from Rob Worthless.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 8:05 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I think what managment had inmind for the outfield goign into the year was a 4 way scramble for playing time among Dukes, Pena, Milledge, and Kearns. Ride the hot hand. I think their plans were messed up a bit by the injuries. They can't afford to give Kearns a day off if he's cold.

Rob (Don't call me Jim) Mackowiak's role here was also to spell the corner OFs against righties occasionally, but the Dukes and Pena injuries mess that up a bit, too. Maybe they misplayed their hand for a week or two by not bringing up one of GGuzman / Langerhans etc . . . to give the extra flexibility, but they made a call to see if they could get extra value out of Felipe. Turns out, he isn't a disaster in the field, and has been getting on base at .333. Small sample size, but that near the .340 range most teams get by with in a lead-off hitter.

The toy with the batting order idea may have some merit. With CGuzman's reverting to career norm in OBP and showing some extra base power, maybe he is your 6th hitter and you leadoff Felipe. Also, since Nick is still your best OBP guy (and always will be), perhaps it is time to flip - flop Zimmerman and Nick. Kearns isn't much protection right now, though, and I can't see CGuz batting #5. WMP, please come back, we miss you.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I agree with 6th and D . Give the kids a chance.

Posted by: mjames | April 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Wide Screen Guy Mad at MASN:

When you get the widescreen fattening effect on your TV, all you need to do is hit your TV's menu button and adjust it. I forget what the three options are called, but that's all it takes.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the widescreen was on an HD channel which means you can't reduce it to 4 x 3.

Also, an update on the security situation at Nats' parking lots. I parked last night again at Lot W -- no security in sight when I returned. Just an elderly parking attendant sitting at the gate.

Also, no further word from Stan Kasten and the Nats on whether this will be permanent.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

A friend of mine ran into Zimmer last night in Georgetown at the Gryphon Room (it's a bar) after the game.

So, for the record, in the middle of a seven game losing streak, our best players are going out and having fun. I'm not sure if this is a good thing (the players are still relaxed and enjoying themselves) or if it is an awful thing (they don't take losing as seriously as they should).

I will be at the game tonight and I better see some hustle from these guys. Also, LoDUCA IS A BUM!

Posted by: Nats=class,class,class | April 11, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks swanni and others for confirming my fears that MASN HD isn't HD.

To 10:21 AM: I was watching on the HD channel, so a true HD signal should not require using the TV's own internal stretching/zoom effect. It should already be in fullscreen 16:9.

MASN was doing the stretching, effectively faking an HD broadcast.

I called them and wrote a letter, but am not sure where else to complain. Any suggestions?

thanks
J

Posted by: jindc | April 11, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think now more than ever the Nats need to be going out and trying to have a good time.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 11, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Jindc,
I think you did what you could -- complain to MASN, telling them that you weren't fooled by the old widescreen trick.
You can't force them to broadcast in HD, but you can let them know that you want them to and might reconsider watching if they don't.
Swanni

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I guess we know when Sheinin takes over he is not going to update this.

He must be too busy trying to find tidbits about the Os and other teams to report on.

Honestly, the WaPo drives me crazy. Why do they even cover this team? Excuse me, they don't

Posted by: C'ville | April 11, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So the team is in the midst of a large losing streak...

What should Zimmerman do? Go home and sulk? Go take batting practice after the game? Go for a relaxing drink and some good times?

If you take out the word "team" and replace it with "things at my job" and replace the word "losing streak" with "are going crazy for me" wouldn't you want to go and blow off some steam?

Posted by: TimDz | April 11, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Dude, when did this become the ballpark/MASN feedback blog? I am all for a little bit of it, but, wow! I'm completely uncomfortable asking folks to stop, though. It's just kinda not any fun. In the end, baseball is about fun for me.

As many of you know I closely follow international politics as an aspect of my job and after this week's Iraq news and Tibetan violence, I can't get too upset about a couple of losses. It's a game that amuses and distracts me. Here's to hoping for a better ending tonight! Raise your hand if you ever thought you'd be happy to Hudson and Chipper Jones?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

yeah, but how many of the 'jobs' require top notch physical conditioning and hand eye coordination?

how many people can look at the computer screen without wishing for the pillow, let alone run/field/hit and mentally prepare for an opponent.

its a game, and they get paid well for it. they should take it seriously. save your bar going for the day OFF. not after games.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

MASN wasn't "faking" HD last night, at least not on DirecTV. They broadcasted both feeds (analog and HD), on two different stations. I thought the same thing as you at first when I went to the regular MASN channel, the went one channel up and got the HD station. The MASN website indicated that the HD feed would be on the same channel that the regular feed is on, but apparently DirecTV just started carrying both (or maybe it was a one night thing?).

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | April 11, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Scott in Shaw,
No, I have DIRECTV and Comcast and the game was not in HD on either. It was broadcast on the HD channels (626-1 on DIRECTV) and 226 on Comcast (Mojo usually), but it was not produced in HD. It was a standard-def broadcast stretched to fit the HD screen.

Trust me, I know a few things about this subject:
http://www.tvpredictions.com

I have call into MASN to try find out what happened.

My educated guess: They had a last minute problem getting the HD truck in time for the game. But they were set up to broadcast on the HD channels. So they had to stretch the SD broadcast to fit the HD screen.


Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

To the unsigned poster:
Gimme a break. Using your logic, I am guessing that you don't go to happy hour until Friday's because the weekends are your days off. Bet you have gone to a few happy hours after Monday-Thursday as well.
Having a job of an athlete does not mean you cannot relax for a few after a game.

-------------------------------------------
yeah, but how many of the 'jobs' require top notch physical conditioning and hand eye coordination?

how many people can look at the computer screen without wishing for the pillow, let alone run/field/hit and mentally prepare for an opponent.

its a game, and they get paid well for it. they should take it seriously. save your bar going for the day OFF. not after games.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 10:50 AM

Posted by: TimDz | April 11, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

coupla points:

schneider and church are not the answer. their numbers in a couple weeks will be back down where they were last year.

zim we're cuttin a break cause he's zim and has earned a break and we believe he'll be bk.

la duca who im sure is really jimmy kimmels guiermo and estrada, who is the funniest lookin player ive eva seen are both worrisome.

austin kearns STINX. PURE AND SIMPLE. CUT YOUR FREAKIN LOSSES. AUSTIN KEARNS STINX.

bring up dmax and stick flores at catcher. put pena in left and dukes in right. then see what happens. and make bergmann who is a great 4-inning thrower, a long reliever.

it aint to late folks if you understand whats happenen.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Just so long that Zim didn't knock back another bottle of Abolut 100 with Sprite, I think there's nothing to worry about.

Zim is 23 years old, but probably the most conscientious and dedicated player on the team. He'll be ready tonight and every night.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

btw on a regular night the most you can suffer is 1 loss. 2 would be extreme, but 3??
well im an os fan also so yesterday was a real bad day. 3 games, 3 losses.
my head still hurts.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@swanni

Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I thought 626-1 was in HD in my household last night. There was a noticeable difference in picture quality between 626 and 626-1. Because my tv and box are set up to stretch SD stations anyway, I would have thought they would look the same if 626-1 was just stretching the SD feed.

I will defer to your expertise, though. It clearly wasn't that big of a deal to me last night (after all, I've been watching $*%#& MASN broadcasts for years now), nor is this worth discussing according to Section 506 ;-)

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | April 11, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Scott,
The widescreen stretch effect can be confusing, but if you saw Wednesday's night broadcast, you would know the difference. Wednesday night (and Monday) was in crystal-clear and gorgeous HD while last night was just a SD picture stretched.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Haha, thanks Scott. Go ahead and discuss, I feel bad trying to tell anyone something is off topic. Besides, you're not complaining right here, so much as asking questions, so it's not lame.

It's the hate-arade that's been going around here lately that gets me. All I was thinking was that with all the terrible things going on in this world, I can't imagine how one can get so passionately irate about certain things that are supposed to be diversions.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

While LoDuca is not my favorite player (or person), he is not the sole reason why this team lost last night nor why their struggling. Also, same could be said for Lopez. For all the virtiol aimed at these two guys, why hasn't any been thrown towards Zimmerman and Belliard? Sure, Belly hits a homer last night, but that's about the only thing he's hit so far this season. Apparently, the only thing Zim has hit in the past week or so has been the bottle. I love both of these guys, but if people are pinning blame on the team's lack of success so far, let's be fair and put these two in the mix as well.

One problem I have with that throw to home in the 9th last night, Mackowiak's relay was PATHETIC! He had two guys he could have hit with the cutoff throw (Guz and Belly). But his throw went past them towards Zim (who was in foul territory!), who quickly tried to nail Ramirez at home. The throw was directly behind the runner and LoDuca had no chance to catch it (I'm not sure he even saw it).

And let's give a little praise to Odalis Perez for his performance last night. I went to the game thinking he'd get shelled, but he pitched pretty well. I wouldn't have pulled him after 5.2 IP, as I thought he would have gotten out of the inning. But he was cruising along through 4, gave up a couple of hits in the 5th, and left the game with the Nats still in it. The bullpen has been very ineffective so far, allowing way too many runs when they need to hold the other team down. And has Rauch had one good outing yet? He's looked bad each time he's pitched. Maybe he can't wait until Chad comes back ...

Posted by: e | April 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

By example, NBC last year ran a stretched, "upconvert" of the SD signal for Wimbledon. Since the picture was better than the analog broadcast, a lot of people thought it was HD, but it wasn't.

To avoid charges that it was trying to fool anyone, NBC actually issued a statement saying the broadcast was not in HD.

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

dk

Spot on - you make a lot of sense. you are at least maximizing the assets we have at our disposal. Another poster stated that Kearns was one of the best RF's in the league. If that is the case then maybe we can get a decent prospect for him - something along the lines of what the Marlins have playing for them. Better yet why doesn't Kasten try to get Benefest as our GM or at least promote our current AGM to GM.

Posted by: mjames | April 11, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Jimbo has job security because he has Mark Lerner's ear.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Just to play devils advocate here... if it were Lopez, Kearns, or Lo Duca that were rumored to be out at a bar... would this forum be so willingly to brush it off and say everything will be ok?

Just curious. I have no feelings on the issue. The way I see it, Zim gets the benefit of the doubt in everything he says, does, and how he plays. People want to give Kearns grief, but he isn't the only one that sucks at the plate right now. And how does anyone know that Zims struggles are not related to the fact that he is "polishing off bottles of Absolut" on a regular basis?

You can't cite his maturity in one instance, and then cite the fact that he is 23 and needs to be young in the other. That means you are bending emotion and providing excuses to fit the argument.

But like I said, I do not have feelings on the issue. The team stinks, and it will lose more games this year than last year. Oh well.

Posted by: theraph | April 11, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

so far, LoDuca is 4th with a .333 avg (4 for 12) with runners in scoring position. Guz (2/4, .500), Milledge (4/8, .500) and Nick (3/8, .375) are ahead of him. Zimmerman is .000 (0 for 11).

Again, I am in no way a LoDuca person and I love Zimmerman, just trying to be fair.

Posted by: e | April 11, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and ... I have a lot of notes to post here later but two questions for the Constituency:

- what's the Paulie Walnuts reference? I don't get it.

- which of you made the comment that LoDuca, being involved with horseracing, is (likely? certainly? verifyably?) a gambler? Putting that idea into my head made some very harsh accusations come out of my mouth after watching his play last night.

TGIF!

Posted by: i hate walks | April 11, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Whether you believe (mistakenly, IMO) that baseball is a game of emotional intensity like football or (accurately, IMO) that its a game of focus and poise, more like golf, the most important factor is that Manny is an advocate of focus and poise. He's in charge, and LoDuca should follow his lead, as Zimmy does. If we want to fire Manny and put Mike Ditka in the dugout, then LoDuca and stomp around and scream all he wants.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

to whoever complained that this team can't score, the nats are 8th in the NL (dead in the middle) and would be tied for 4rd most scoring in the AL in scoring so far this year (13h overall out of 30 teams). they're tied for 2nd in the league in doubles. granted, they should have scored more with all of the squandered bases loaded situations, but those will even out. this team has hit much better this year than last.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Whether you believe (mistakenly, IMO) that baseball is a game of emotional intensity like football or (accurately, IMO) that its a game of focus and poise, more like golf, the most important factor is that Manny is an advocate of focus and poise. He's in charge, and LoDuca should follow his lead, as Zimmy does. If we want to fire Manny and put Mike Ditka in the dugout, then LoDuca and stomp around and scream all he wants.

My prediction is that Manny will quietly rein in LoDuca, and we'll see a reduction in the Captain Red Ass routine. There will not be however a reduction in PLod's GIDPs or increase in CS rate.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Message for MASN:
Stretching the normal TV screen is NOT High Def."

On Tuesday night the HD picture on MASN looked better than it did last night. (Don't know what it looked like on Wednesday because I was at the game.) Perhaps I was just blinded by my memories of the craptastic MASN standard-def picture, but the Tuesday HD picture looked like true HD whereas last night's looked more like stretched standard def. I wonder if maybe MASN wasn't able to arrange for the use of any HD cameras last night (surely they don't own their own, or they'd be doing more than just 80 HD broadcasts this season) and just decided to try to slip one by their audience instead of not broadcasting the game in HD as they'd announced. This is the kind of thing the Post ought to be looking into, but will they? Oh yeah, their sports TV guy, Leonard Shapiro, is covering the Masters with Boswell. So probably not, huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

steven on CH, are you saying that you think every player on the team should mirror the manager's temperment? sorry, not gonna buy that one. nothing wrong with different personalities on a team.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

on a side note, at least we're not on the "100 year rebuilding plan."

amusing article from a "the onion" like sports spoof site.

Cubs' 100-year rebuilding plan beginning to bear fruit
http://www.sportspickle.com/features/volume2/2003-0910-cubs.html

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

so far, LoDuca is 4th with a .333 avg (4 for 12) with runners in scoring position. Guz (2/4, .500), Milledge (4/8, .500) and Nick (3/8, .375) are ahead of him. Zimmerman is .000 (0 for 11).

Again, I am in no way a LoDuca person and I love Zimmerman, just trying to be fair.

________

Is someone arguing that Zimmerman hasn't given this team enough big hits? I hope not. RISP stats for 08 are all way too small a sample size to mean anything.

Relatedly, LoDuca's BA will always tend to overstate his actual value. He's a hitter who never walks, hits into a ton of DPs, and in recent years has lost much of his ability to slug. So he makes a lot more outs and creates a lot fewer runs than you'd like by just looking at his BA.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

IHW, the gambling comment was me.

It wasn't a leap from horse-racing to gambling. He's been in gambling trouble in the past.

He gambles and he's been "protesting too much."

As soon as I saw quotes from Sutton and others, "it's like they know what's coming," that was my first thought and it's been with me since.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Zim (or anyone else on the team) hanging out at a bar after the game: these guys don't have to be in the office at 8:00AM the next day. I don't know what time they get to the park to work out, etc., but wouldn't think it would be before 1:00PM or so for a 7:00PM game.

I don't see the point in begrudging them time to chill with their friends after work.

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

true on that, joebleux. now, if we hear that he's getting s|-|t faced every night, that's a different issue. but having a few drinks with friends? whatever, people are just looking for things to be pissy about.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

i hate walks

I live in the CT suburbs of NYC and it was reported on the local sport station, either last year or the year before, that LoDuca was involved in horse racing, gambling and young women while married(not underage but around 18 - 20). Not making any judgements as his interests are different than mine - but that is what I heard

231

Maybe the team can score but absolutely inept when it comes to situational hitting.

Zimm gets a bit of pass as he has won two of our three games. If he had hit our record would be a little different however - maybe 5 -5.

Posted by: mjames | April 11, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If you want to be picky, Anonymous Poster, Zimm does have 11 at bats with runners in scoring position and has a big doughnut. That's enough to qualify as a slump, even if it's not enough at bats to make a seasonal judgment on.

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

I'm going to cut out for a bit and hope this becomes a rational, literate baseball blog again.

For those in my ilk, or for those whose ilk I am in, the backchannel, perhaps?

Also, Harper at OMG has the right take on the season so far here:

http://mvn.com/mlb-nationals/

Finally, for those like me who bring kids to games, if your kid suddenly comes down with a bad earache in the middle of the first inning and you think you're going to have to go home, having wasted $100 on three outs or so, make the trip to the first aid room in Section 107 where, believe it or not, they will give you a free dose of children's Tylenol. And that, combined with a dinger (ice cream sandwich) from the nearby cart to buy time until the meds take effect, can save your day.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

backchannel??

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I was just trying to point out that most people are laying blame on LoDuca and Lopez for not contrubuting at the plate. There are others that have been just as ineffective. I'm not saying this will continue (lawd, I hope not). I'm just saying let's be fair on the criticisms.

On a ballpark note, I went last night for the second time (Opening night being the first). Both nights, my daughter wanted some ice cream (the kind that comes in the baseball helmet). Both nights, there were no Nats helmets available. We got the Mariners on OD, and the Angels last night. Are you kidding me?! I know this may seem trivial, but they just opened a BRAND NEW BALLPARK and all they can offer are AL West helmets?! Stan, come on ...

Also, the "Rookies" concession stand by the kids play area needs some serious help. Got to the ballgame early last night to see Nats BP. After the BP (around 5:45), went over to get a Jr. Hot Dog for my daughter. They couldn't take any orders because they didn't have the cash drawers yet. They said to check back in 20-30 minutes (try telling a 3 year-old to wait 20-30 minutes for a hot dog -- and no, she didn't want any other kind of hot dog either). The stadium had been open for over an hour at that point and they still didn't have the cash drawers yet?! Oy.

Posted by: e | April 11, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

ihw: Paulie Walnuts is a character on the Sopranos (the one with silver-winged hair).

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Can someone repost the link to the 'stadium experience' blog that Barry once mentioned. I agree we should be talking baseball over here, but I do like sharing that other stuff too. I wonder if other new stadiums had the same issues.

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Gibby,

I saw the play involving FLop and the fans jawing at him. Very amuusing. He needs to stop yapping at fans and play full out for 9 or more.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 11, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

stadium experience blog = Grounds Crew

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/grounds-crew/

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Boy, looks like some of the Nats stinkiness hopped on a plane and went and infected the O's down in Texas. Thanks stink-tastic Nats.

BTW, last nights attendance was 24,549. No Wiz, Caps, or DC United playing. So what's the excuse for Thursday night? Were The Wiggles in town?

Posted by: O's Exec | April 11, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

don't feed it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dude, I love the Wiggles! I need to kidnap a child to take to the show.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of feeding, I can tell you from last night's experience that if you know in advance that you're going to be seated right by a really cute ball-girl, Ben's Half-Smoke "all the way" is wrong direction to choose food-wise. It's pretty much impossible to impart the proper air of studliness when you have chili smeared all over your face.

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Now THAT's the kind of insider tip, I'm talking about, joebleux! Get this man on the grounds crew blog!

I'd also recommend against the Hard Times "Frito Pie"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I didn't watch or listen to the game last night. It was both a superstitious effort to end the losing streak (which failed) and an attempt to regain some lost sanity in the midst of all this panicking (which, up until reading many of these posts, succeeded).

The only question I have for those who saw the game (in captastic SD, no less), I have just one question.

How did Ray King's fingernail look?

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 11, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

So let's all pick which day we think the Nats will finally break the losing streak.
Picking a game that gets rained out does not count.

I will start with: Sunday

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

JiM: dang, I could have given you the inside scoop on that if only I'd thought to look -- he came over to the right field rail and signed autographs for some kids after the game. Which I thought was pretty cool...

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to the game on Sunday. Anyone know who is pitching for the Nat's? Thanks.

Posted by: Dan | April 11, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Man, I'm all about tonight. The Nats played good baseball last night, the Fish are just locked in.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If you've listened to Manny's presser on the website of the area's other newspaper (certainly not Barry-esque coverage), he says that they have a meeting before each series. All I know, is that this afternoon's meeting better have some Knute Rockne in it - I think I'm the only baseball purist, play loyalist, anti-Disney atmosphere person on Earth who is under 25 and I agree baseball and football are different; however, something needs to spark something. (holy run-on sentence) I read earlier on here and agree completely - how many times last September did we say "if only we had played better in April", let's turn this thing around right now.

We're taking at least 2 this weekend.

Posted by: Corey | April 11, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

that would be, "plan loyalist", as in Stan the Plan

Posted by: Corey | April 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Acta will be telling his group before tonights series is to start looking forward to the 2009 season because the team stinks and soon enough all the fans will be up at Camden Yards to watch the O's and their fantastic team/record.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 11, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I have a really off topic question / idea. Anyone know if the Clark Construction camera is going off line soon?

Personally, I find it rather enjoyable to click on it from time to time during the day just to see what is happening (Lining the field, cutting the grass, BP, etc.).

I think that keeping this thing going would be an inexpensive and pleasurable way to provide some connection, on an ongoing basis for many of us.

Posted by: catcher50 | April 11, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

OK, I did not succeed in staying away, in part because when the page refreshed after my last post, a lot of interesting stuff suddenly appeared. Hmmmmn ... should I be reading anything into this?

Anyway, Steven on Cap Hill, amen to this:

"Whether you believe (mistakenly, IMO) that baseball is a game of emotional intensity like football or (accurately, IMO) that its a game of focus and poise, more like golf, the most important factor is that Manny is an advocate of focus and poise."

And 6th and D, Steven's point goes a long way towards answering your question as to why we don't suddenly bring in all of the prospects from the minors. They have the athletic ability already, no doubt, but they are still learning how to play the game the right way in every situation, because that's what they need to do in order to succeed at the major-league level. It's a complicated game, a chessmatch, much more than it appears on the surface.

I hope I'm not insulting anybody because I have a lot to learn about this game myself and I've been watching it since Jack Brickhouse and Lou Boudreau were calling Cubs games in the early 1970s. But the reason they want to send Flores down, and the reason they don't want Maxwell up, is because they want them to learn situational hitting, and how to field their positions in every possible circumstance.

A recent example off the top of my head: The other day Zimmerman purposely smothered a liner into the ground, rather than catch it, so he could turn a double play instead of just getting a single out. Nobody would have criticized him if he had simply caught the ball, but he stole an out with that move and, as we know from recent experience, giving a team extra outs (or stealing outs from them) is what the game turns on.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Bob, on all points.

I also think that learning to keep your head in the game and not in last night's game is the most important skill that Manny could teach. We all know how mental baseball is and also that different people need different mental states to perform best. What I like about Manny insisting on always doing it his way is that it doesn't distract from others (Lo Duca) doing it his way.

Also, did you see the high-socks for position players last night? I like that the team is banding together to try to change their luck.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

baseball town--yea or nay?

first off no one sells out in this area except the redskins and theyver been around for more than half a century and have won multple super bowls.

the wiz rarely sell out and lets face it theyve only been winning for about 2 years.

we've had baseball in dc for exactly 2 years and both years have been losing seasons.

lets give ourselves a break. i dont care about a new stadium or old stadium. put a winner on the field and people will eventually come. but youve got to give it time.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

austin kearns cried all last year. wah wah wah my stats sink cause of rfk. well whats his excuse now. i dont care how much bowden loves this guy and why ill never know.
austin kearns stinks. and he was lucky he got hit by the pitch in the 9th or he woulda struck out. you could see the look on his face. the guy is terrified at the plate.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Where's Dave?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

couple of thoughts on those comments, DK.

redskins sold out regularly long before the super bowls. the sellout streak started in 1966, when they were terrible (6 years before their first super bowl and many years since their last NFL championship). and they had good attendance numbers for a long time before that.

the wiz won before, unfortunately 30 years ago (1978 championship). don't know how well they drew in those couple of years they were good, tho.

baseball has been here exactly 3 years (05-07). this is the 4th season.

but you're right, winning is the best tonic for poor attendance.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

sorry meant 3 years and thats an extra losing season.

btw lastings milledge is gonna be a great player for a long time. i hope you guys love watching this guy as much as i do. hes the real deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to pick up on Manny's response to Barry about not changing the batting order?

Again, too early to panic, but:

1) CGuz has reverted to his career average OBP of around .300, so is it naive to think he will improve to the .340 that average NL leadoff hitters perform? OTOH, he is spraying the balls for doubles, triples and homers like his peak seasons. Drop him to 5th or 6th to take advantage of two of our better OBP guys, Nick and Austin? (for all the AK-hate, he is getting on at a .381 clip and was one of the team's better OBP guys last year).

2) FLop's .333 with no pop. But that .333 looks pretty close to what you would want in a leadoff hitter. Give him a shot (figuratively, not literally)?

3) Besides Nick and CGuz, LMillz is the only other hitter with a positive OPS+. Looks comfrotable where he is.

I think I'm on board with keeping Zimmerman at #3, but we've talked about flipping him and Nick.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I say this is a baseball town. But the building process is going to take more than three seasons, especially considering the bare-bones state the franchise was in when it was trnasferred here. This is really the first full year of The Plan. Let's give it time to take root and see what unfolds.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

At this point I'd just like to interrupt to point out that ONLY the marlins have a winning record currently in the NL East. We're nowhere near out of the race yet, folks. Things will work themselves out, and give folks like AK a chance to get into the swing of the season before you start calling for their heads.

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

forgot to sign my name. last post by me.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

doesn't sheinin know it's past feeding time? where's the new post?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 11, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

yea its early but you can see whats right and whats wrong already. and if you move on that you can improve.
guz, milledge, zim and johnson are a great 1 thru 4.
when pena comes back he should be 5. dukes or dmax should replace austin .212 kearns in right.
the longer you keep that loser in there, the longer you pay.
laduca thats a tough one. cant get a read on him.
pitching will have to be played with but i like perez.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

bergmann should be a long reliever.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

One other thought - when WMP comes back, do you give Lopez a chance at second? How would this be for an order:

Lopez
Milledge/OBP-08 .333, 07 .341, minors .380
Johnson/ OPS+ 152,
Zimmerman
Kearns
Guzman
Pena
Lo Duca

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Came October 1924, with the Senators a World Series team, and now the nation's capital exploded emotionally. Inured to the excitement of presidential inaugurations, calm in the midst of history-making legislation and callous to the fetes for visiting princes and potentates, the population went wild at the approach of the Series. For the pennant winners, A Pennsylvania Avenue parade led to the White House, where both President and Mrs. Coolidge promised to attend the Series opener. They would attend all four home games.

The sentiment for the Senators against the Giants was nationwide, with Walter Johnson's coast-to-coast admirers having lusted for that day when he would finally be on the World Series stage. Unfortunately, it would support the aphorism that hope deferred is often bittersweet. Johnson made two starts, lost them both, though they were tough, hard-bitten defeats.

Posted by: Shirley Povich | April 11, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

My comment this morning about taking Zim out of #3 is for a short term basis only. Zim is in a horrid slump right now. Guz and Milledge have been setting the table for him on most nights and the runners are not getting batted in. I would move Johnson to third because he will have a better chance of continuing a rally because of his OBP and he actually has rather decent at bats. Zim batting fourth will help in two ways. The first is he is getting a lot of pitches on the outside of the plate. This sets up for him to drive to the right side of the infield which will be better for advancing runners. In the first few games (remember way back when we won games?) he was hitting to the right field side and going with the pitch. The second reason is that Zim is showing some power with long flies and doubles (as in St. Louis). I would get Kearns out of the fifth spot strictly because he has looked awful at the plate and has not done anything except kill rallies as of late. Put Belliard in the fifth spot. Although this basically strips 6 through 8 of anyone resembling a hitter at this moment it may produce more runs overall.

Posted by: Dale | April 11, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

am i missing somethin here? why on earth would you even want lopez in the lineup, let alone starting him when guz is having such great at bats leading off. also zims not a cleanup hitter. and if loser .212 kearns has to be in there, move him to 8th.
actually i like larussas idea. bat the pitcher eighth and put belliard 9th as a defacto leadoff hitter.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing what a gigantic collection of nerds you people are. Do you all clip your submissions here and keep them in a scrapbook or something ("Look, Junior, this is from the day when I posted 10,000 words on Nats Journal. Right here is where I told off that O's fan.")?

Posted by: amazin' | April 11, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls, it was Perez' fingernail, and it must have been just long enough to get him into the sixth.

Nats will win tonight, and tomorrow, for good measure. Zim, AK and Slick were all inches away from going Navy Yard last night. They do that and we're singing a different tune today.

Joebleux, hilarious about the chili face!

Dan, your Sunday starter is Tim Redding, according to today's dead trees edition. Chico v. Hudson tonight, Lannan v. Smoltz tomorrow (I like that for some reason) and then Redding v. Glavine on Sunday. If we can just get a win behind Chico tonight, I think we might just win a pitcher's duel on Saturday and then have a chance to sweep on Sunday. It's Smoltz and Glavine, yes, but it's also 2008 not 1998.

Corey, you need to help us convert some more of your brethren!

Catcher50, I add my vote to retain the construction camera, though perhaps we need to give it a new name.

Finally, PTBNL, my guess is that Manny might not want to fix the only thing that hasn't really been broken thus far, meaning his top two hitters. But your logic is sound, at least based on the early going.

As Bergy said, the sun came up again this morning. Yesterday is history. It's a beautiful day for baseball in the Nation's Capital.

Let's go, Chico.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

So let's get this straight.

We hate Kearns, Lopez, and Lo Duca
We love Zimmerman, Guzman, and Belliard

That's a leeeeetle arbitrary, don't you think? Here's the AVG, OBP, SLG breakdown on those six:

AVG
Guzman .298
Lopez .250
Lo Duca .233
Belliard .229
Kearns .212
Zimmerman .209

OBP
Kearns .381
Lopez .333
Lo Duca .324
Belliard .308
Guzman .292
Zimmerman .222

SLG
Guzman .553
Belliard .400
Zimmerman .395
Lo Duca .333
Kearns .273
Lopez .250


Maybe you guys just like slugging?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting amazin'! Have fun at whatever blog you go to with all those really cool, hip people who post on the internet all day long!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

506 look at the big picture. look what these guys have done over the long haul. kearns is just continuing his dismal performances that have gone on now for more than 2 years. lopez, the same. guzman was on fire last year before gettin injured and is playin great now again. zim is in a slump but has a get outta jail free card for past work.
come on now. get wit da program.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

btw where are your hittin into game killin double-play stats. kearns leads that 1 also.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Way to get a few more words in there, section 506. You remind me of the people that always sit behind me at Nats games, just waiting for a chance to explain the infield fly rule to someone. But when they get the chance, they always get it wrong...

Posted by: amazin' | April 11, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@506,

Me, an arbitrary?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The response to amazin' was hilarious, 506. I was thinking that discussing baseball with other baseball fans was not exactly the nerdiest thing one could be doing, but your response was better. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to run to the store to get a new pocket protector and some masking tape for my horn-rimmed glasses.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

maybe you should post the hitting into DP stats, DK. seems to be your bugaboo. ;)

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

231, "dk" stands for "doesn't know." Which explains a lot, actually.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Jimbo has job security because he has Mark Lerner's ear.

Posted by: swanni | April 11, 2008 11:14 AM
-------------------------------------

Is he holding it for ransom?

Posted by: LANats | April 11, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

231, "dk" stands for "doesn't know." Which explains a lot, actually.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 2:46

oh wise 1, pleeze teach me. i want to learn. i crave knowledge. and when youre done, grab the pebble from my hand grasshopper.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I think I may be a few words shy of being awarded my nerd badge, so I'll toss this in. This will sound like a commercial from the Nat's front office, but...

Went to my first Nat's game at the new park last night. I was vocal prior to the start of the season about my reservations about the parking situation, and said I wouldn't going many games if I couldn't drive and had to take Metro.

So, I'd just like to say: Nat's Express is awesome. It's absolutely pain-free, and very quick. In fact, since you don't get tied up in traffic around the new stadium, I think it's nearly as convenient as parking right at Nat's Field. And the bus drivers and folks directing people onto the buses are all extremely courteous and friendly.

I was on the bus and moving within a few minutes of when I parked at RFK, and at the Nat's Field in a few minutes more. I was a little bit worried about what the lines would be like after game, when everyone's leaving at once, but the buses got loaded quickly, and I was back at my car at RFK in no time.

Anyway, big props to Nat's management for getting this right. A+ effort, two thumbs up and four stars for Nat's Express. Looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time (and money) at ball park this summer.

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"sorry meant 3 years and thats an extra losing season."

No it's not. 81-81 in 2005 was not a losing season.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay, leaving aside the Kung Fu like statements of DK, I anticipated that criticism and so I immediately set to work on a new version on the list that included career numbers.

AVG
Guzman .298 (.264)
Lopez .250 (.258)
Lo Duca .233 (.287)
Belliard .229 (.274)
Kearns .212 (.265)
Zimmerman .209 (.279)

OBP
Kearns .381 (.360)
Lopez .333 (.328)
Lo Duca .324 (.338)
Belliard .308 (.337)
Guzman .292 (.301)
Zimmerman .222 (.340)

SLG
Guzman .553 (.380)
Belliard .400 (.412)
Zimmerman .395 (.466)
Lo Duca .333 (.413)
Kearns .273 (.448)
Lopez .250 (.395)

And here's my humble, unscientific analysis of what we can expect if they regress to their career numbers, as players tend to do.

Guzman: - - AVG, 0 OBP, - - - SLG
Zimmerman: + + + AVG, + + + OBP, + + SLG
Belliard: + + AVG, + OBP, 0 SLG
Lopez: + + AVG, - OBP, + + + SLG
Lo Duca: + + AVG, - OBP, + + + SLG
Kearns: + + AVG, - OBP, + + + SLG

Good news is that we can expect much more out of Zimm. As to Guz, let's enjoy this hot streak while we have it and hope for a career year.

The three public enemies around here should get significantly better, though all will wind up on base a little less.

And, yes, Lo Duca is a special case. But the juice would have much more effect on his SLG and only a small impact on his AVG and OBP, no?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

joe sounds good though last nights crowd was pretty small so i wonder what itll be like on the weekends. however whats ur beef with metro. i metro it to all the wiz and old rfk games as well as fedex and its pretty ez. and i heard this stop is right next to the stadium. that seems the best way to go. though my first game wont be till the 23 against the mets. see how that goes.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

dk: I don't have a beef with Metro as such; it's just that the way the logistics work out for me, it's an hour plus to get to the game from work (vs. maybe 1/2 hour via RFK/Nat's Express).

One thing about crowd size: 24k in 41k park actually feels reasonably full. I went to a lot of games at RFK, and last night's crowd, to me, had the feel of about a 30-35k crowd at RFK.

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

dk: I went to last night's game via metro. No problems, the stop is right next to the stadium. I got there about an hour and a half before 1st pitch, and lots of others were arriving then too. Stadium was a little over half full. Frustrating game. Monster slump from most of the bats. Guys just look flat. No idea why.

Posted by: NatsFly | April 11, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

dk - actually, I'm suggesting Lopez over Belliard, not Guzman, when WMP is healthy, assuming things don't turn around. As bad as you trash Lopez, he gets on at a reasonable rate 3 out of the last 4 years when he has been a regular (05 -.350+, 06, .350+ and this year, .333). Simply put, batting average is not the way to look at lead-off hitters - OBP is significantly better (I'll also say base running skills, but both are reasonably fast and neither is particularly heady).

As for AK, in addition to his defense, he also has been getting on at a .380 rate. Middle of the order, his batting average and slugging is more important than the OBP, and both just have not been up to snuff. The double plays have been frustrating, too. The problem is, this team does not have a classic #4 guy. Best guy, long term, I think may be Zimmerman.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Dang. I'm having a lot of trouble with those articles today. Here: "a", "the". Sprinkle where needed in my previous posts.

Posted by: joebleux | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

dk, I meant no harm, that's what's known around here as snark.

Metro is more convenient for some than others depending upon how easy it is to get to a station in the first place and how and where you need to change lines. But I'm a Green Line guy myself and it's an easy trip, especially if you invest in a SmarTrip card, because there are "express lanes" for those cards at the Navy Yard station. And you can even get one with a Curly W, or a picture of the new park, on it if you like. And the stop is indeed right next to the stadium.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I am taking off early today fellas to go pre-game at the Penn Quarter sports tavern prior to going to the game. LET'S GO NATS! LET'S GO NATS!

Update to my earlier comment to which Zimmer was out at the Gryphon room last night, apparently several other Nats were there with him! Hopefully these boys can pull a Pete Rose and rock those bats today vs a very good pitcher.

PS. LET'S GO CAPS (as well!)

Posted by: Nats=class,class,class | April 11, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Joebleux, I agree with you about attendance. The park feels so much more intimate than RFK. Aside from the bald spots in right center (where they're still holding two entire sections for what they hope will be season ticket holders) and behind the plate (hopeless), 25k is a decent crowd. The other thing is that there are so many great spots to see the game, you don't really need to stay in your seat. Every time I get up to rail some food or a beer I end up watching half an inning from someplace I discover along the way, just to check out the view. I think a lot of others are doing the same, which contributes to the number of empty seats you might see on television from time to time. If they average in the mid-20s for weekday games in April they're doing quite well.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the "G" on dk's keyboard is broken

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | April 11, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The problem is, this team does not have a classic #4 guy. Best guy, long term, I think may be Zimmerman.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM

what about wily mo. i know i know he ks a lot but it could be like old times frankie howard--hr or k. he actually may be better than that. but definitely move him to 5th. and i still say bat the pitcher 8th and put bellard or lopez 9th.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like LoDuca is off the hook with the new MLB drug program agreement:

"As part of the agreement, major leaguers -- including those named in December's Mitchell report -- will join Major League Baseball's efforts to educate youth about performance-enhancing drugs. The players' association will contribute $200,000 to an anti-drug organization.

In exchange for those two provisions, baseball commissioner Bud Selig agreed not to discipline players implicated by Mitchell during his 1½-year investigation."

Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

So is the comma and the shift.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with how intimate the park feels, Bob L. Head. My friend and I, aware of the attendance for the two previous games, were trying to guess the attendance for the game last night. We guessed between 28K and 31K, based on how the stadium looked... and I was extremely surprised to find out the 24K+ number.

I also agree that many people are out of their seats at pretty much all times of the game. People are walking around, checking things out, standing at the bar areas in the Red Porch, or standing in the outfield area (I don't know the formal name for it... it's beer garden-esque). That said, this place has the distinct advantage of looking far fuller than RFK ever did, regardless of whether the same or smaller crowds show up. The only problem is that the very full sections are not on camera, so the empty behind-plate section (which maddens me) and the occasional random entire sections in the outfield are what jumps out when watching from home.

In my experience thus far (comprising Opening Night and last night), not many ballparks actually look even better in person than on camera, because the camera can normally focus on just the positive aspects, but its an absolute truism in this case.

Posted by: faNATic | April 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Re-reading gremlin says: by the way, didn't mean to suggest that my ballpark experience has been limited to the two nights listed below (that applies only to Nationals Park).

---------------------

In my experience thus far (comprising Opening Night and last night), not many ballparks actually look even better in person than on camera, because the camera can normally focus on just the positive aspects, but its an absolute truism in this case.

Posted by: faNATic | April 11, 2008 3:52 PM

Posted by: faNATic | April 11, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

dk, if WMP turns out to be our missing 40-homer bat then at least I personally can tolerate a lot of strikeouts (hopefully not quite as many as he's racked up so far, but even at 150ks/500 ABs, he'd be better than Adam Dunn).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

WMP definitely has potential for the number 4.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

You say that like it's a bad thing.

__________________

Do you all clip your submissions here and keep them in a scrapbook or something...?

Posted by: amazin' | April 11, 2008 2:16 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

my guess is that our down-the-road #4 hitter is not currently on the roster. maybe even for 09. unless dukes really breaks out and turns into that 40HR guy some predict.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

and the .

_______________
So is the comma and the shift.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 3:50 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of dorky, isn't it? I mean, I do the same thing, but you have to admit...

Still, keeping it up is like free advertising. So the next time you need a stadium built, the first words that pop into your head are Clark! Hunt! Smoot!

-----

Personally, I find it rather enjoyable to click on it from time to time during the day just to see what is happening (Lining the field, cutting the grass, BP, etc.).

I think that keeping this thing going would be an inexpensive and pleasurable way to provide some connection, on an ongoing basis for many of us.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 11, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Should be: "So are the comma and the shift."

-----------------

So is the comma and the shift.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 3:50 PM

Posted by: faNATic | April 11, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Thursday night attendance around MLB......

Tampa - 11,898
Texas - 15,560
Pittsburgh - 9,798
Toronto - 16,521
KC- 16,143

let's put things in perspective, April is not a good time for baseball attendance. Of course you will never have the DC baseball nay sayers provide any info like that to compare

Posted by: Cabraman | April 11, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahahahahaha, faNATic, has the post of the day, in my book. Well snarked.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

dk, 506, and Bob L - agree that we could live with WMP at #4 if he hit enough HRs (my threshold would be 30) even with his Ks. I think his K rate drops when he plays every day. As 231 ponts out, it would not surprise anyone if we don't yet have the #4 hitter on the roster, though. It's just, as the roster is currently structured, my sense is that Zimmerman will be the most reliable hitter with pop, and that it's a waste to have your two best OBP guys behind him rather than at least one in front of him.

By the way, on AK's DPs - one factor to cut him a bit of slack on is that he has Nick in front of him. Nick is slow, and on a lot. Zimmerman's ground balls are less likely to be DPs because he hits behind #9, Guzman (low OBP, with a fair amount of XBH), and Lastings (faster than Nick). I'm actually surprised Lo Duca has not hit into more so far (no slight to him, just an observation about hitting behind 2 slow OBP guys).

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

i think your own speed tends to be a bigger factor in DPs than the guys on base in front of you. slow runners are more likely to hit into DPs because it takes them longer to get to 1B. the infielders get the ball to 2nd base far quicker than the turn to 1st, and most of the time when infielders miss DPs it's not because they couldn't get the lead runner and just throw to 1B, but because the hitter got to 1B before they could turn it.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Too many lefties on this team, I tell you.

Still, glad to see things have calmed down here. I just checked the stadium camera, and, much to my surprise, the sky has not fallen.

(I should also point out that when I said earlier that I smelled a big year for Kearns, I was not predicting that Kearns would stink big time. (Not that he does.))

-----

John in Mpls, it was Perez' fingernail, and it must have been just long enough to get him into the sixth.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 11, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

faNATic:
It's the Red Loft (bar) and the Beerpen (standing next to it). Both are awesome spots to watch the game.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

231 - right. Although I don't think Nick will be busting up too many guys making the turn!

I'll be in 208 tonight. Unfortunately, I've got to wear the EE#4 (former #2) Trot Nixonesque hat in honor of the 1 vs. 4 match up at the Fens.

BTW - on Sons of Sam Horn, there's a thread to adopt the Nats as the favorite NL team. Also a suggestion to swap leagues between TB and DC to light a fire under Angelos's butt and create a better rivalry in Florida. On the bright side, we could play Dmitri at his best position.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 11, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut: thanks for the assist on the Beerpen/Red Loft. It was driving me crazy not remembering what the actual name of the Beerpen was. It also drove me crazy that there was a cover charge for it on Opening Night, but I was glad to see that it was open-access yesterday evening.

506 (Before moving): glad you liked that one, haha. I couldn't resist.

Finally, as to PTBNL's carrying-over of the suggestion to switch leagues... while I like the effect that might have on bringing the DC/Baltimore rivalry to the next level, I have to think that the Commish would balk on the idea of switching TB and DC. That would be the effective death knell of baseball in Florida, which largely subsists in Tampa Bay only on Boston/NYY fans anyway. I have to say that the two lackluster teams/fanbases in Tampa Bay and Florida won't generate much excitement on their own. Absolutely great call on playing Dmitri at his best position, although judging by his appearance last night... Estrada may prove to be a heavyweight competitor.

Also, for what it's worth... The Nationals vs. Marlins also provided a funny insight into who lies about what re: lineup and physical characteristics. For instance, we've already been over the hilarity of listing Da Meat at 220. Johnny Estrada was listed at a svelte 210 on the scoreboard last night.

This was contrasted with Hanley Ramirez, who was listed by the Marlins as 6'3" and 200 pounds. Now I absolutely believe the 200 lbs, but there's no way Hanley is even close to touching 6'3", as he was definitely shorter than Nick Johnson (also listed at 6'3") while standing at first. Kinda fun to figure out who's lying about what.

All of that fun aside, I'm all on board for any and everyone to adopt the Nats as everyone's favorite NL team.

Posted by: faNATic | April 11, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

hanley ramirez is simply one of the best i have eva seen. eva! guy can ball.

Posted by: dk | April 11, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

In the interest of good karma for the Nats, I'm making another contribution to ImpActa Kids. Address (in case you are interested) is ImpACTA Kids Foundation, PO Box 459, Lyndhurst NJ 07071. They're not doing online contributions yet.

Posted by: Section 109 | April 11, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Switch leagues?! Heaven forfend! Only if Baltimore is the one to change and comes over to play real baseball. I have to admit that I'm _almost_ glad that I didn't have to suffer with _my_ team playing with a DH, scourge of all that is right and proper about the game (well, not _all_ that's right and proper, but it is an abomination.)
Hrmmm, is it period inside the closing paren or outside?

Posted by: OldGuy | April 11, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

doesn't sheinin know it's past feeding time? where's the new post?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 11, 2008 2:02 PM
______________

Lineups, please!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The Constituency is really hungry. No feeds the entire day.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

As sect. 106 noted, the foundation doesn't seem to be set up for online contributions yet, but here's the URL in case you want to learn more about the organization:

http://impactakids.org/home.html

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 11, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

p.s. I sent a contribution earlier this year. Manny gave me the sign to go for it. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 11, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Switch leagues! It is to laugh. As someone who grew up in an AL town, I can not describe how much more interesting baseball is when the pitcher has to bat.

Also, the DH adds a half hour to games, which is about 26 minutes too many.

Posted by: Cliffy | April 11, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 11, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

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