Network News

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

Dukes attorney: "There's nothing hanging over his head"


A Hillsborough County Court official confirmed that Elijah Dukes's probation - stemming from a January 2007 misdemeanor marijuana charge - was ended five months early in a hearing yesterday in Tampa. Dukes was on a 1 p.m. flight yesterday and was back at Nationals Park.

Grady Irvin Jr., Dukes's attorney, said he requested the physical labor for community service for Dukes.

"I'm extremely pleased with what occurred," Irvin said by phone. "We requested that Elijah have 25 hours of manual labor. We wanted him to do something. We wanted him to not sit at a park and do nothing, shoot basketball or something just to kill time. We thought it was important for him to realize what he could do one day, performing janitorial duties, fixing fences or cleaning out cages."

Thus, he ended up at the zoo. Dukes now has no legal matters remaining, according to both Irvin and court records.

"It's like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders," Irvin said. "Now all he's dealing with are the things normal people deal with, child support payments, things like that."

This was, in fact, a serious matter. If the judge had found that Dukes had violated his probation from this charge, he would have gone to jail. There were several chances for that to happen, Irvin said, particularly because there were miscommunications with Dukes's probation officer about whether he had checked in in a proper manner.

Dukes has passed six months worth of drug tests, Irvin said, and he is under no legal obligation to continue such testing. "A therapist found that Elijah does not have a substance abuse problem," Irvin said.

Perhaps for now, Dukes will be able to focus on baseball. "There's nothing hanging over his head," Irvin said.

A club official said Dukes will not address this matter today at the ballpark, so this is probably all we'll hear from his side.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 25, 2008; 1:14 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dukes: Probation over
Next: Dukes begins rehab tomorrow -- plus lineups

Comments

Congrats Elijah!

But do us fans a favor, keep doing the drug tests to prove to us that you're a changed man. Get a chip on your shoulder.

...And then hit 30 home runs.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | April 25, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Bad Timing repost:
I will be doing that Parent thing on Sunday and miss the NJ extravaganza as well as the Cubs series. Best to all!

Two observations about yesterday. First Barry/Dave have five pre-game postings (plus 2 more) and the Nats score 10. I'm just saying.

Second, you may have missed it, but the Reyes error on a routine ground ball was in fact the baseball gods smiling upon us and rewarding us for our perserverance. The hex has been lifted and passed to the Mets.

Posted by: Section 311 | April 25, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

From Barry's gamer:
"You can have the whole world believe in you, and if you don't believe in yourself, it doesn't matter," López said. "I believe in my abilities, and I'm very positive."

Sounds like he's saying that's a change, that he lost confidence for a while.

Posted by: CE | April 25, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, awesome win, but can we send a memo to Harris to stop trying for a web gem in center field and just corral the ball?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

So when can we expect Elijah to lace 'em up....tonight? this weekend? certainly in this homestand?

Posted by: Corey | April 25, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"...the Reyes error on a routine ground ball was in fact the baseball gods smiling upon us..."

311, I think you must be right about this, since the headline over at nationals.com after the last loss was "Baseball gods not in Nats' favor".

I thought at the time, wow, that's the ultimate "wave the white flag of surrender" headline, but in retrospect, this was clearly just good outside-the-box reporting on their part.

Hope we stay on the right side of the bbg's from now on...

Posted by: joebleux | April 25, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hamstring, huh?

I think his legal problems had him hamstrung...

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Bowden's roster management task is getting more complicated. I think he should just admit he made some mistakes, release Makowiak and LoDuca. I say let Dukes and Nieves stay and get some ABs.

Posted by: BofG | April 25, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

yea! lets get him some at bats!

Posted by: longterm | April 25, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Some opened the door for Elijah this weekend. It is time for the Nats to do the same.

Posted by: IBC | April 25, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about the Rally Possum, and it's actually got promise.
Thought experiment: late innings (say, bottom of 7), Nats down but in the game, not hitting much.
Cue the Rally Possum on the Big TV, playing possum (note: need "rally possum music theme). Cut to video montage of ringing alarm clocks, steam whistles, etc. with numbers interspersed counting down "3-2-1" (to cue the crowd to:) Cut to audio of screamed (all together now:) "WAKE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!!!"

Might take folks a while to get the hang of it, but we figured out the bouncy stands eventually, we'll get this.

Of course, if it happens too often I can see it getting on the players' nerves pretty quickly.

Posted by: MIB | April 25, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If I were Barry, I'd be ticked at Bowden for feeding me that BS story about rehab'ng the hamstring. But the Post and Barry have to live with these guys. Now, did Jim Bo say "he's going down to Florida for rehabilitation" and everyone assume it was the hammy he was talking about? That'd be cute.

Anyone curious about this from Barry in the prior post: "The club has not been forthcoming with details of Elijah Dukes's plans, so I'm quite familiar with the Hillsborough County (Fla.) courts by now." Is this a case where the paper agreed to sit on something as a favor to the team (like they occasionally admit to when a source requests them to)? Sorry, but I had to wonder.

Dukes will need at bats before he is back here. Next stop, Woodbridge?

Posted by: PTBNL | April 25, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's not get too excited about 30 year-old Wil Nieves, as incredibly awesome as I think he is.

His lifetime offensive numbers are:
.180/.224/.236 in 161 major league at bats and
.287/.333/.395 in 1,005 minor league at bats (13 years worth of play)

But, as long as this hot streak is going on, let's ride it out and enjoy this guy who really, truly, loves the game with his whole heart as long as we can.

Just saying, no need to burn bridges with Lo Duca.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Do you get the feeling that Barry thinks he was 'had' by Jimbo on the Dukes situation?

Also, why the 'Plan' isn't foolproof without spending on free agents:

The Washington Nationals first overall draft picks each of the last two seasons have been struggling as of late with the P-Nats...Last year's number one pick Ross Detwiler lasted just 2/3 of an inning on Wednesday and was pulled to due pitch count (40) after giving up two runs and three hits and suffering the loss against Winston-Salem...Chris Marrero, 2006's first choice, is marred in a 1-for-25 (.040) slump at the plate.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I nominate "Till Victory" as the Rally Possum song. No tix for Patty. Bummer.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 25, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I took that to mean Barry had to call the courts to get info because the team was stiffing him, but it's a reasonable question.

****************
Anyone curious about this from Barry in the prior post: "The club has not been forthcoming with details of Elijah Dukes's plans, so I'm quite familiar with the Hillsborough County (Fla.) courts by now." Is this a case where the paper agreed to sit on something as a favor to the team (like they occasionally admit to when a source requests them to)? Sorry, but I had to wonder.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 25, 2008 2:05 PM

Posted by: CE | April 25, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Also, nice to see the return to conspiracy, it was getting too positive around here.

Is it really so impossible that while his client's on the DL a smart attorney would have the good idea to try to get him off early for manual labor?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Agree about Lo Duca, but I had the impression Nieves is here for his defense, anyway, not hitting.

*******
Let's not get too excited about 30 year-old Wil Nieves, as incredibly awesome as I think he is.

His lifetime offensive numbers are:
.180/.224/.236 in 161 major league at bats and
.287/.333/.395 in 1,005 minor league at bats (13 years worth of play)

But, as long as this hot streak is going on, let's ride it out and enjoy this guy who really, truly, loves the game with his whole heart as long as we can.

Just saying, no need to burn bridges with Lo Duca.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:07 PM

Posted by: CE | April 25, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This says it all:

"Originally, I was told Dukes would report to Viera to rehabilitate his hamstring. That didn't happen."

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

You have every reason to be down on Detwiler and Marrero. I will offer you Alex Cora for your two top 50 prospects.

Posted by: Theo Epstein | April 25, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It's certainly an improvement CE, but what makes you think it wasn't just because he was the best AAA catcher not named Jesus Flores to call up while Lo Duca was hurt?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Not to gainsay the main point, but I know you know better, Swanni, than to confuse "in a slump" with "he's a bum."
********
Also, why the 'Plan' isn't foolproof without spending on free agents:

The Washington Nationals first overall draft picks each of the last two seasons have been struggling as of late with the P-Nats...
Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:07 PM

Posted by: CE | April 25, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Granted they didn't have unlimited choices in catchers there. I was thinking more of our collective admiration for him than Jimbo's.

*******
It's certainly an improvement CE, but what makes you think it wasn't just because he was the best AAA catcher not named Jesus Flores to call up while Lo Duca was hurt?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:13 PM

Posted by: CE | April 25, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The point of the post:

History is littered with #1 picks who don't even make it to the Majors, much less become everyday players.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, ok, that *does* sorta contradict the Free Agent argument a bit. If guys are in slumps, but will be good later, then the Nats don't need free agents as badly as they would, if the guys in question are bums.

******
Not to gainsay the main point, but ...
Posted by: CE | April 25, 2008 2:13 PM

Posted by: me again | April 25, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

And there seems to be an awful lot of litter in History. Someone should put a dustbin or something in there.
Oh.
Nevermind.

Posted by: yeah, yeah. Me too. | April 25, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Proven free agents are more likely to produce than #1 picks. That's a fact. Of all the high-profile draft picks over the last two years, we will be lucky with one becomes a star and one more becomes a solid, consistent contributor.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Most everybody who does make it in the bigs was drafted by somebody at some point. The better you draft, the fewer of somebody else's draft picks you'll have to sign later.

Works better if you stockpile lots of picks, I suppose - one out of 30 isn't such great odds on getting the guys you want, even if you could know in advance who'll be good.

Posted by: ce | April 25, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

[quote]Do you get the feeling that Barry thinks he was 'had' by Jimbo on the Dukes situation?[/quote]

Well, if he does feel 'had', he shouldn't. Barry was well aware of Dukes's probation hearing on April 24th or whenever, he's been mentioning it in his blog for weeks. Does anyone reasonably think that it's not possible to rehab a hamstring injury at the same time you're doing community service? ("Uh, JimBo, I'm gonna need a couple more weeks on the DL. Had to stop healing while I was cleaning up the zoo. Do I get paid for that time? Baby mamas are all over me for scratch." Right.)

[quote]This says it all:

"Originally, I was told Dukes would report to Viera to rehabilitate his hamstring. That didn't happen."[/quote]

So Barry knows for a fact that Dukes never set foot in Viera all the time he was in Florida, swanni? What are his sources for this? Who did he talk to? Did Barry go to Viera himself to ask if anyone had seen Dukes there?

Telling half of a story truthfully to a reporter and not addressing the rest of it does not constitute lying or evasion, swanni. You're a big boy (I presume, although your fear of the dark does make me wonder about that sometimes) and you ought to realize that by now. All this says is that you have an unreasonable suspicion about and/or a personal vendetta against the Nats FO.

Posted by: keeping swanni honest | April 25, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Detwiler has been shaky from the start. He pitched so-so in the minors last year after being drafted; didn't look good in spring training; and is tanking in Potomac (Class A) this year.

Sounds like a big concern there. Wonder how Jimbo will cover up this one...

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"The point of the post:

History is littered with #1 picks who don't even make it to the Majors, much less become everyday players."

The blogosphere is also littered with posters who don't have a clue.

Posted by: keeping swanni honest | April 25, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I trust Barry's reporting and instincts -- if he says the Nats misled him on Dukes' "rehab," I accept that as fact.

The real question is whether Dukes was ever seriously injured.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Proven free agents are more likely to produce than #1 picks."

History is also littered with proven free agents who turn out to be ridiculously overpaid busts. Many of them were also at one time #1 picks themselves.

Posted by: keeping swanni honest | April 25, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"I trust Barry's reporting and instincts -- if he says the Nats misled him on Dukes' "rehab," I accept that as fact."

Barry, do you have any old junk in your garage that you want to sell? swanni's buying, and he's paying top dollar!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Expos/Nats #1 draft picks from 1996-2005:

1996 -- John Patterson, rhp
1997 Donnie Bridges, rhp
1998 Josh McKinley, ss
1999 Josh Girdley, lhp
2000 Justin Wayne, rhp
2001 Josh Karp, rhp
2002 Clint Everts, rhp
2003 Chad Cordero, rhp
2004 Bill Bray, lhp
2005 Ryan Zimmerman, 3b

I rest my case -- how many all-stars do you see there?

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"I rest my case -- how many all-stars do you see there?"

So, you're resting your case, huh? That mean you're gonna shut up now?

No?

Oh well, a guy can dream anyway...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Proven free agents are more likely to produce than #1 picks. That's a fact. Of all the high-profile draft picks over the last two years, we will be lucky with one becomes a star and one more becomes a solid, consistent contributor.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:20 PM

-----

swanni, shame on you, that's terribly disingenuous.

Proven talent is more likely to produce than unproven talent.

Of course, man, otherwise they're not proven. C'mon! And as a baseball fan, you should know the tremendous success of 1 out of every 3. The idea isn't that all your picks will pan out, it's that the more high-number picks you get, the better chance you have of finding gold.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Your honor, I ask for summary judgment -- the opposing attorney couldn't submit a counter argument.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the point of the post:

You can't succeed with draft picks alone -- no matter how good your scouts are. You have to spend money on proven players to compliment the young players.

Look at the Red Sox, the Tigers, etc. etc.

And then look at the cheap Lerners.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this is cruel...I really wish that there was something substantial 'hanging over his head.' He seems like the kind of person who needs obvious and dire consequences for poor choices (at least for now). I'm hoping the team will still provide that, but it was nice to have that extra probationary boost.

Posted by: Capybara | April 25, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

A lot of those draft picks were chosen because they didn't have big signing bonuses attached to their names. There were better players available to the Expos at those picks but they never would have been able to sign them.

Posted by: Expos Fan | April 25, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Woohoo! I'm heading out to the ol' ballgame tonight. Just got a seat - although in the dreaded front row of the 400 section but I can't beat the price!

Posted by: MKevin | April 25, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the point of the post:

You can't succeed with draft picks alone -- no matter how good your scouts are. You have to spend money on proven players to compliment the young players.

Look at the Red Sox, the Tigers, etc. etc.

And then look at the cheap Lerners.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:47 PM

-----

But, swanni, the good draft was not even a year ago, how on earth can you be arguing the free agents will be of any value now?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I truly hope that Dukes can find his way...but I have to wonder about Manny and Milledge last night. Kudos to Manny for benching him, but why use him as a pinch hitter? What's the message there? That what did is partially acceptable?

If you really want to stop his behavior, seems to me that you sit his butt on the bunch for the entire game.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

How many ways can I say it?

You can't rely solely on the draft in today's game.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Butt on the bench, that is. :)

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

That's not my question, swanni. No one in this blog or on earth thinks you can rely solely on the draft. The Plan does not call for relying solely on the draft.

What you neglected to answer was why you think there's any need for those free agents NOW, while the draft has had no time to pan out at all?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

If you really want to stop his behavior, seems to me that you sit his butt on the bunch for the entire game.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:59 PM
********************************************************************

While I can see that in the sense of "punishment", at some point you have to make the choices that will help you win the game. At this point the Nats need every win, if for no other reason that emotional well-being. The no-start was the punishment for Milledge. Keeping him on the bench when he was needed would have been punishment for the team. Just my opinion.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | April 25, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game in Viera when Dukes hurt himself trying to break up a double play at second. If he didn't hurt his leg, that was good scripting and acting.

Not even going to attempt to vouch for if/when he is well.

Posted by: Dick | April 25, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

My sense, and this is without detailed research because I've got to do some work, too, is that teams with a drafting focus have gotten a lot better at drafting and make fewer mistakes than a decade ago. Wednesday, Evil Empire #4 had active 4 of its top 5 picks from the 2005 draft (Ellsbury, Hansen, Lowrie, and Buchholz), and yesterday started its second rounder from 2006 (Masterson). The NYY are going with 3 recent draft picks on their staff - Chamberlain, Hughes, and Kennedy. Toss in the assorted Tulos, Zimmermans, Longorias, etc . . . and I don't think the draft is a real crap-shoot anymore.

That is different from TINSTAAPP (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect). You do need multiple pitching prospects to yield one or two pitchers for the rotation or a prominent bullpen role due the the high injury rate and the failure to live up to projections. That's why only getting Zimmermann and Smoker for Soriano has to be a disappointment, and you've got a legit complaint there.

But here the multiplicity that the Nats have vindicates the plan rather than indicts it. If Detwiler is less than what just about every single scout thought he was last year (that is, a potential #2 starter who was the 2d best college lefty after price), then there are Zimmermann and others at Potomac who are better than expected. Every pitcher in the Columbus rotation at the start of the year was thought to be a potential MLB starter. Some have done well, others not so much. The idea that 3 slots in the rotation could be filled by internal candidates by the end of the year was not unreasonable.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 25, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Lurker,
Maybe so, but....wondering how big the problem is.

For all his talent, Milledge seems to live in LastingsWorld. He sometimes runs the bases and plays the field like an immature 13-year-old.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Swanni: Help me out with the FAs who got the Rox to the World Series last year. I guess while you are at it, you can list the draft choices and players received for players drafted by the Rox.

Posted by: Ira | April 25, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

For tonight's line-up, Manny has said he'll start Estrada to get another lefty bat in the line-up. I wonder if Manny will reward Harris for good play in center yesterday (plus scoring 3 runs, though without a hit) or Pena for going 2 for 5 (though with 2Ks), Harris is a lefty of course and has a respectable though not impressive 750 OPS vs RHPs (and is hitless vs lefties).

I think they stick with Pena and the line-up is thus;

1. Lopez
2. Guzman
3. Zimmerman
4. Johnson
5. Milledge
6. Kearns
7. Pena
8. Estrada
9. Perez

Posted by: estuartj | April 25, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I truly hope that Dukes can find his way...but I have to wonder about Manny and Milledge last night. Kudos to Manny for benching him, but why use him as a pinch hitter? What's the message there? That what did is partially acceptable?

If you really want to stop his behavior, seems to me that you sit his butt on the bunch for the entire game.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:59 PM
----
the general rule of thumb in most parenting guides is that Time Out should be one minute for each year of age. So, by following those guidelines, Low Mileage should have been let out of Time Out after 23 minutes - which me think occurred.

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not doubting that Dukes wasn't hurt at one point -- perhaps in mid-March -- but was he seriously hurt? Enough to put him out of action for several weeks? Willy Mo had a more serious injury (oblique vs. hamstring) and he came back.

I remember Dukes running out a grounder on his last at-bat on Opening Night. No limp that I can recall.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It's also permissible to trade for high-priced talent.
_________________________________________

Swanni: Help me out with the FAs who got the Rox to the World Series last year. I guess while you are at it, you can list the draft choices and players received for players drafted by the Rox.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Marrero, 2006's first choice, is marred in a 1-for-25 (.040) slump at the plate.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 2:07 PM "

hmmm... sounds like the streak a "proven vet" went through to start this season in the majors: any idea who was 3-43 with 1 extra base hit through april 12? i'll give you a hint, he's considered one of the best clutch hitters in baseball.

"Kudos to Manny for benching him, but why use him as a pinch hitter? What's the message there? That what did is partially acceptable?"

shenanigans. he benched the guy, he made his point. pinch hitting with him is what was necessary to win the game at that point in time. i don't think it belittled his punishment at all.

"You can't rely solely on the draft in today's game."

true, but not one person anywhere i've seen is claiming that, not here or the nationals' FO/ownership. if you have a quote that says they believe that, please feel free to post it. otherwise, that comment's rhetorical bluster at its worst.

as many of us (including barry) have said, the proof will be in the pudding over the next couple of offseasons, when the nats should be supplementing the impending arrival of draft picks from the past couple of seasons. we can debate whether that should have started this year (and there are good arguments no both sides), but to pretend it's an "all or nothing" deal is naive at best.

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Swanni thinks Milledge plays like a 13-year old. I think he plays like he just took the game up in Spring Training. If he keeps showing up late, I'll change that opinion to 'he plays like a 13-year old who just took up the game in the Spring'.

Pretty easy, after less than a month, to see why the Mets gave up on him. Also, easy to see why he was viewed as a phenom. Will he ever 'get it'? If so, will it be for the Nats?

Good AB last night. I thought he had done some SERIOUS damage before that ball went foul. Wonder what he could do if he had 5 ABs every game like that? Will he ever let us find out? It's all up to him! Not Manny or JimBow.

Posted by: Dick | April 25, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm not doubting that Dukes wasn't hurt at one point -- perhaps in mid-March -- but was he seriously hurt? Enough to put him out of action for several weeks? Willy Mo had a more serious injury (oblique vs. hamstring) and he came back.

I remember Dukes running out a grounder on his last at-bat on Opening Night. No limp that I can recall.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:17 PM
-----
Dukes injury was reported, if I remember correctly, as a Grade 2 pull. If you've never pulled a hammy, you can't begin to appreciate how bad an injury it is. To be back after 3+ weeks would be VERY impressive IMO.

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"It's also permissible to trade for high-priced talent."

i think that's often a far smarter way to handle adding expensive talent. when a talented player signs his first long-term contract today, it's usually before he hits FA. that means a year or two into the deal, it may feel expensive to his current club, but it's still probably less than he'd get on the open market. if your trade chips are used well, i think it's a great way to upgrade the team and add salary.

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Dukes played 2 weeks after the injury first happened -- and then suddenly couldn't play for almost four weeks after that.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

so swanni, you're implying an ever widening conspiracy???

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Nobody said you couldn't trade for talent, Swanni. But I suspect the trading partner might want something of value in return.

Want to take a shot at filling me in on who the Rox FAs were? I guess Jamey Carroll was one of them, wasn't he?

Posted by: Ira | April 25, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm saying that I am dubious -- and I think Barry is dubious, too.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

sorry, meant to sign

Posted by: n@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"I'm extremely pleased with what occurred," Irvin said by phone. "We requested that Elijah have 25 hours of manual labor. We wanted him to do something. We wanted him to not sit at a park and do nothing, shoot basketball or something just to kill time."

Shoot basketball? Did Dukes' attorney forget that his client has a "hamstring injury?" That shooting basketball would be an odd thing to even suggest under the circumstances?

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, so a pulled hammy was a convenient way to cover for moonlighting at the Tampa Zoo. Sounds so Ludlum. Next thing I know is you'll be telling me that the NASCAR Nextel Champ has already been picked...

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

swanni, you sure you haven't just seen the movie "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times?

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I think Bowden has been playing games with the DL to keep his 25 man roster under control. I have no doubt that Dukes had a lingering injury, but I never believed Bowden when he said 'We'll have to be very careful with Duke's injury, it'll take time' (quoted from memory). Guys in the NFL miss a week or 2 usually with Hamstring injuries. I think they knew that Dukes would need time away from the team, but they probably don't want to just send him to the minors where he won't be under as much supervision. And they just can't reactivate him without making some other move.

Posted by: BofG | April 25, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

No, but Manny Ramirez was...
_______________________________________-

"Want to take a shot at filling me in on who the Rox FAs were? I guess Jamey Carroll was one of them, wasn't he?"

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

BoFG -- I think you nailed it.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

There's only one group that could successfully pull off a conspiracy of this magnitude: The Pentaverate

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I recall. He didn't limp, I think he pulled up a bit on the way to first or something. I definitely remember turning to my brother and saying, "$20 bucks says he's on the DL tomorrow."

__________________________
I remember Dukes running out a grounder on his last at-bat on Opening Night. No limp that I can recall.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:17 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | April 25, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I remember telling my wife, "$20 bucks says he's in a Tampa courtroom tomorrow."

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's a big conspiracy or a fake injury.

506 had the best explanation: He tweaked his hamstring opening night. It may or may not have been serious. Either way, his lawyer pounced on the opportunity.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 25, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I remember telling my wife, "$20 bucks says he's in a Tampa courtroom tomorrow."

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:41 PM
---
lol - nice

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

His lawyer and JimBo.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

BofG and Swanni,
What? 25-man roster under control?

Hasn't the big complaint been that we've been carrying 23???

Posted by: NatsNut | April 25, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"so swanni, you're implying an ever widening conspiracy???"

And along those lines, swanni, I've been meaning to ask. Did you make that red tin foil Curly W hat you wear yourself, or did you buy it somewhere?

Posted by: too cheap myself to pay team store prices | April 25, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Park shall hereafter be known as, "The Meadows."

---
There's only one group that could successfully pull off a conspiracy of this magnitude: The Pentaverate

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:39 PM

Posted by: Capitol HIll | April 25, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

how bout this lineup:

lopez 2b
guzman ss
milledge cf
zim 3b
johnson 1b
dukes/maxwell rf
pena lf
flores c

Posted by: dk | April 25, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Ok Swanni, let's go with your conspiracy theory.

Let's just say that Duke's had a pulled hamstring that would have kept him out for 2 weeks. Fair enough?

Then the FO told him to take another 2 weeks to do his community service and have his court date(s). Maybe they wanted to keep this on the down low in their effort to keep the media off of him, just like they did when he reported to Spring Training.

Also, getting this stuff taken care of now may allow him to relax and not worry about stuff "hanging over his head."

Is there a real problem with handling it that way?

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 25, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Swanni:

There is a certain underlying premise to your argument that doesn't wash... It is almost as though you treat the draft and player development systems of baseball as a generic machine that more or less randomly creates major league players, and that there's no skill or method to it... and that isn't the case.

Of course you can't rely solely on draft picks. There is a well-known adage in baseball, relating to the draft, and it applies to other sports too... but that is, you draft the best available player, rather than draft to the need, because 1) it is a better value for you to get more talent, and 2) there is a considerable time disconnect between draft and Major League debut... so what you need now may not be what you need then. All teams do this, and thus the need to trade, either prospects for proven players, or prostpects for prospects, or proven players for proven players, in order to meet your personnel needs... and when you can't meet your immediate personnel needs by draft or trade, there's free agency.

The second part is (and this is where the Nats are presumably better than most of the rest of baseball) how you develop the players once they're in your system... and this is the part that I think you overlook. If the Nats have a superior scouting and development system, then they will develop more players who make it to the majors than other teams.

If the Nats are BETTER than the vast majority of the teams at acquiring and developing talent, then the emphasis should be doing what you do best. That doesn't mean that you can't trade the prospects... though it might mean that you have more and better prospects to trade. You might also decide that you want to keep some.

I know that you understand all that... but there is considerable evidence that strength in personnel management more consistently leads to winning organizations than does simple spending.

Another thing that one should consider about free agency is that the big spending teams get some return on investment just from signing high-priced free agents, because the signing itself generates some exposure in the media... but the team has to be in a position to exploit that exposure, so even if it generates some return, it may be wasted in the short term... at least on the Nats.

I repectfully suggest, swanni, that you'll be pleasantly surprised... but not this year... and perhaps not next year.

Posted by: Wigi | April 25, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the ball club should be honest with its beat reporters -- and fans. Choosing when to be honest is a dangerous game.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Wigi,
As I have been saying here now for almost 2 years, this club doesn't have the luxury to build a team over several years. The fan base isn't there for that. It has to win soon -- or risk even further dwindling crowds.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

btw concerning the new park, and swanni made a good point yesterday about no distinguishable element which a agree with. also the outfield walls are all equal height and small all the way around the field. no high wall in one area, no differentiation between the rf, cf or lf. they all look the same. looks like a tinker toy park.

in potomac we have a big train stadium which is really cool and has a fenway like scoreboard where the numbers are removed and replaced by people behind them. that has more character than anything at nats park.

Posted by: dk | April 25, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

My line-up above was my best guess at what Manny would do tonight, coming of a 10 run performance I wouldn't expect him to shake things up too much, but I think he'll need to eventually.

What I would like to see is;
Lop (S)
Milledge (R)
Guzman (S)
Johnson (L)
Zimmerman (R)
Pena (R)
Estrada (S)
Kearns (R)
Perez (L)

Posted by: estuartj | April 25, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Park shall hereafter be known as, "The Meadows."

---
There's only one group that could successfully pull off a conspiracy of this magnitude: The Pentaverate

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:39 PM


Posted by: Capitol HIll | April 25, 2008 3:49 PM
----
Do you know if they've found a replacement for the Colonel?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Things I have learned the last 3 days:

1. If you take someone else's seats at a stadium you are a stealer. shame, shame on you, you stupid stealer.

2. Teams should not lie to the public. At all. If caught lying, everyone should assume they are covering up for the government - it all ties to UFOs.

3. The Nationals have crappy fans, crappy ownership, crappy management, and crappy players.

4. There is no gray area in life.

5. This paper does not cover anything well.

6. Annoyance scale: Mets fans < Phillies fans

7. FLop lives.

Posted by: theraph | April 25, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

btw concerning the new park, and swanni made a good point yesterday about no distinguishable element which a agree with. also the outfield walls are all equal height and small all the way around the field. no high wall in one area, no differentiation between the rf, cf or lf. they all look the same. looks like a tinker toy park.

in potomac we have a big train stadium which is really cool and has a fenway like scoreboard where the numbers are removed and replaced by people behind them. that has more character than anything at nats park.

Posted by: dk | April 25, 2008 3:56 PM
-------
So, you're making comparisons between Pfitzner and Nationals Park? I can see we have nothing further to discuss.

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"btw concerning the new park, and swanni made a good point yesterday about no distinguishable element which a agree with. also the outfield walls are all equal height and small all the way around the field. no high wall in one area, no differentiation between the rf, cf or lf. they all look the same. looks like a tinker toy park."

Posted by: dk | April 25, 2008 3:56 PM

___________________________________________


The wall in RF is 14 feet because of the out of town scoreboard and the rest are 8 feet and Bullpen walls are different looking from the rest.

So, I'm not following the "the outfield walls are all equal height and small all the way around the field" part of your post.


Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 25, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Nothing about trust status and interstate commerce, theraph? You haven't been paying attention!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

23 or 25 man... I suppose my thinking on Bowden using the DL to help manage his 25 man roster goes back to the end of Spring Training. They came north with 4 man rotation and Pena was on the DL. Now DY and LoDuca are on it with Dukes. If all 3 got healthy, what moves would Bowden make? Send Nieves back down? Cordero onto the DL? Who else do you move? I think he's trying to keep a 27-28 man roster by moving people off and on the DL.

Posted by: BofG | April 25, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Please enough with the Dukes hamstring conspiracy theories already. I was sitting behind the Braves bullpen on opening night. An inning or so before Dukes ran out his groundball, he started after a foul ball down the LF line: ran hard for a few steps but then just loped after the ball. Thought at first he might have been dogging it but realized afterward his movements fit the MO of someone aggravating his hammy.

Posted by: CapPeterson | April 25, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing about trust status and interstate commerce, theraph? You haven't been paying attention!"

"Things I have learned the last 3 days:"

I already knew all of that, 506. duh.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

i remember opening day thinking why is dukes playing in this cold if his hammy is a problem. right about then everyone accused him of loafing after a foul ball behind 3b. haven't seen him since.

"are you really going to arrest me over a little sac of weed"

i'm sorry but that is hilarious. i myself once thought that very same thing. he has my sympathies.

is texas really worse than the nats? what's their excuse?

Posted by: longterm | April 25, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

We all should be concerned about Detwiler's and Marrero's start this season. By all means, let's get rid of the 22 year-old pitcher and the 19 year-old first baseman. If they can't come right out of the gate smoking hot, then what good are they?

Detwiler's stats to date:
3-3, 13 GS, 3.99 ERA

Johan Santana's first two years in the minors:
7-10, 22 GS, 5.52 ERA

John Smoltz:
11-20, 38 GS, 4.87 ERA

Yeah, it's time to dump Detwiler.

Posted by: e | April 25, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

sorry, that was me.

Posted by: theraph | April 25, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Swanni:

I don't agree with you... in fact, I think the opposite is true, and proven by the Caps this year... The fan base will turn out when you have a winner, and not before. Rushing to create a winner (assuming you can do that) creates one winner... Building a machine that regularly cranks them out creates a marketing dynasty...

Posted by: Wigi | April 25, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Theraph,

I think that about covers it, well done.

I move that from here on out, Nats Journal (NJ) should be renamed Negative Journal.

All in favor?

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 25, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing about trust status and interstate commerce, theraph? You haven't been paying attention!"

"Things I have learned the last 3 days:"

I already knew all of that, 506. duh.

Posted by: | April 25, 2008 4:16 PM
---
so obvious to even the most casual observer...Jeez!

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

swanni is a hater. right now, he hates the lerners, kasten, bowden and acta, and has nary a good word for any player currently in the organization. but if the entire FO was replaced with new guys, he'd be hating on them. if high-priced free agents were brought in, he'd start hating on them. he's a lower form of life than even mets and phillies fans are. at least if their player does something good, they cheer - until he screws up and it's time to start hating again. swanni doesn't even do that. he hates 24/7/365.

swanni is not even worth engaging with in a conversation.

Posted by: i feel so unclean even typing this much | April 25, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

That's a terrible idea 505, you obviously know nothing about nomenclature. You should be fired.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Nuh uh.

Posted by: swanni's mom | April 25, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

That's a terrible idea 505, you obviously know nothing about nomenclature. You should be fired.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 4:24 PM
-----
I hate that too.

Posted by: swanni wannabe | April 25, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"I don't agree with you... in fact, I think the opposite is true, and proven by the Caps this year... The fan base will turn out when you have a winner, and not before."

Posted by: Wigi | April 25, 2008 4:19 PM

___________________________________________


I was at the Wizards game last night, it was a sellout and man, was it loud. A far, far cry from the Wes Unseld (the coach) days when the house was half full and about as loud as a morgue. Win and they WILL come. Period.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 25, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Barry,
I hate to say that I out-scooped you, but I did...

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/article472065.ece

I guess whatever is best for the team. But Bowden didn't have to keep us in the dark. Saying he was going to FL because the warm weather was better for his injury was quite a stretch.

Posted by: * | April 25, 2008 9:53 AM

Posted by: * | April 25, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I thought that we had already established that Swanni was Peter Angelos's screen name

Posted by: lowcountry | April 25, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I thought he was Schilling?

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The 25 Rules (from "Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct," as featured in a recent Post article:

1. Pay attention.
2. Acknowledge others.
3. Think the best.
4. Listen.
5. Be inclusive.
6. Speak kindly.
7. Don't speak ill.
8. Accept and give praise.
9. Respect even a subtle "no."
10. Respect others' opinions.
11. Mind your body.
12. Be agreeable.
13. Keep it down (and rediscover silence).
14. Respect other people's time.
15. Respect other people's space.
16. Apologize earnestly.
17. Assert yourself.
18. Avoid personal questions.
19. Care for your guests.
20. Be a considerate guest.
21. Think twice before asking for favors.
22. Refrain from idle complaints.
23. Accept and give constructive criticism.
24. Respect the environment and be gentle to animals.
25. Don't shift responsibility and blame.

Posted by: Food for Thought | April 25, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, everyone. Pick whether you would rather be Team A or Team B on this list of 14 years worth of Number of Wins:

A 73 67 54 87 76 67 89 85 63 71 88 98 79 78 74
B 72 69 54 63 65 94 98 104 68 90 96 101 106 103 95

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's all pile on Swanni and give him a noogie!

Seriously, my reaction to the headline above this post was the same as Capybara's above (never disagree with a giant guinea pig). Specifically, I thought to myself, I wonder if Elijah isn't better off when he has something hanging over his head.

Like a giant carrot peeler.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 25, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"Let's all pile on Swanni and give him a noogie!"

Let's not. He'd just tell us we were doing it all wrong anyway, and that instead we should have brought in a bunch of high-priced free agent noogie-givers to do it for us.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 25, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll see if they let me slip a giant carrot peeler through security.

Posted by: Capybara | April 25, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

It was a nice win last night, but I am concerned about how well this team will play and draw in attendance. My job keeps me on the road alot and I already had a quite a few comments from folks in other cities. The comments generally run along the lines of "why is attendance so poor in a new stadium but I guess that due to a bad team [or] I guess DC is not a baseball town. Rockies had great attendance in their new stadium and they were a new franchise." Annoying but true. Starting with the Rosenthal article last spring along with the arbitration threats to DC over minor expenses this spring causes this fan to wonder if the Lerners really will able to spend the money on FA's when it's time. They haven't signed Zimmerman, but they sure like milking him for marketing. Building a great farm system is critical but it is also relatively inexpensive compared to signing FA's. Anyway it is still early and I really hope I am wrong.

Posted by: DKNatsFan | April 25, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

DKNatsfan --

The "attendance is bad" stories all related to the second game in the new park and were correct at the time. But since then attendance has actually been quite strong. The second game looks like an aberration.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 25, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

don't worry, DKNatsFan, you're wrong.

Posted by: . | April 25, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Park shall hereafter be known as, "The Meadows."

---
There's only one group that could successfully pull off a conspiracy of this magnitude: The Pentaverate

Posted by: N@sfan | April 25, 2008 3:39 PM


Posted by: Capitol HIll | April 25, 2008 3:49 PM
----
Do you know if they've found a replacement for the Colonel?

Posted by: | April 25, 2008 4:05 PM

--

Oh, I hated Jim Bowden and his WEE BEADY EYES!! Because he puts an addictive chemical in his Bens Half-Smoke that makes you crave it fortnightly, Smart-A%&!!

Posted by: Capitol Hill | April 25, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Bobble, that was exactly what I was going to say. I hit refresh and your answer was already there.

Everyone was freaking out about that Monday night, the second home game, but attendance is fine. It's not great, but it's fine. Hovering around 30K most days, right?

The rest of the week after that awful Monday there was an uptick in attendance and by the next weekend we were well over 30K.

Attendance is not a story anymore.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 25, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans (and team execs posing as fans), you are right. Everything is fine, wonderful, in fact. A record of 7-16 is exactly what we all dreamed for in the first year of the stadium.

Kudos to everyone who's responsible. You couldn't have done a better job...

...of running this team into the ground with your cheap ways.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

swanni es en fuego!

Posted by: natsscribe | April 25, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I should have said,

"And/or team execs posing as fans..."

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Okay, everyone. Pick whether you would rather be Team A or Team B on this list of 14 years worth of Number of Wins:

A 73 67 54 87 76 67 89 85 63 71 88 98 79 78 74
B 72 69 54 63 65 94 98 104 68 90 96 101 106 103 95

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 4:36 PM

-----

Team A was the Baltimore Orioles, who built a winning team by hiring free agents. Note continually hovering around the same number of wins every year.

Team B was the Atlanta Braves, who built a winning team based on some plan some cheap, incompetent team president assembled a team to follow. Note 9 consecutive seasons with over 90 wins, four with over 100.

Extra Credit: What is with that drop to 68?

My conclusion. Buying free agents BEFORE the draft crops are ready to be harvested is a recipe for perpetual mediocrity. They would certainly be better than they are now, but they would never be championship level.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Attendance
(41,888)
20,487
23,340
24,549
28,051
32,532
29,151
32,780
29,750

Average w/out opening night: 27,580 per home game

Average WITH opening night: 29,170

It's not every night sellouts, but it's pretty respectable. AND we're losing.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 25, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@506,

Could the drop off to 68 wins by Atlanta be because of the 1994 strike?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 25, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

72 69 54 63 65

If that's what the Lerners do in the first five years, here's the attendance average in those years.


25,000
24,500
21,000
18,000
17,500

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The strike?

Posted by: pick me! pick me! | April 25, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Yep, that's it. They were on pace for sticking a 107-win year.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

you sneak. it was the strike season.

Posted by: theraph | April 25, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

You can't stop swanni, you can only hope to contain him.

Posted by: dan patrick | April 25, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

72 69 54 63 65

If that's what the Lerners do in the first five years, here's the attendance average in those years.


25,000
24,500
21,000
18,000
17,500

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 5:10 PM

-----

What's the attendance for the next five years? 94 (NL), 98 (NL), 104 (NLE), 107 (est.), 90 (WS)?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

And, folks, the Orioles' analogy isn't correct. With the big brain on Jimbo, he would know which free agents to sign.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Holy lord. I go away for an hour or two to get in a run before the game and look at all I've missed. Where were you people all day when I was bored out of my skull at work?

I can not believe I missed out on the Col. Sanders/Petaverate bit. Hilarious stuff. I believe my ride to the Meadows leaves shortly so enjoy the ballgame folks. OOOHHH Dalis!

Posted by: MKevin | April 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

NL= National League Pennant
NLE= Division champ
WS= World Series Champion

And for fun, here's the next five years:
NL
NLE
NLE
NL
NLE

Oh, five more?

NLE
NLE
NLE
NLE
NLE

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

506,

How dare you do research and make a valid conclusion based on facts rather than bloviating your on personal feelings.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 25, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"They haven't signed Zimmerman, but they sure like milking him for marketing."

oh how i love comments like that. they totally ignore how both sides need to want a deal to be done for it to actually happen. since the deal hasn't been signed, that automatically means the team has either (a) not bothered to even have conversations or (b) has embarrassingly lowballed him. the whole concept of (c) zimmerman wants to wait until he's in arbitration to consider it or (d) zimmerman wants stupid money isn't even considered.

now, i don't think it's (d), but i think at least part of it is (c). zimmerman's own comments when asked confirm that there's at least a little bit of that involved. but including that information undermines the "LERNERS ARE [RF]ING CHEAP!" mentality a little, so why bother considering it?

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

correction: make that "own" personal feelings not "on"

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 25, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"And, folks, the Orioles' analogy isn't correct. With the big brain on Jimbo, he would know which free agents to sign.

Posted by: swanni | April 25, 2008 5:14 PM "

ooh, again with the witty "rhetoric." so much better than acknowledging or addressing the issue. it requires little thought or fact.

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

506: Was 68 the 1994 (strike (actually lockout) year?

Posted by: 307/418 | April 25, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling like a Quiz Master today, so here's another one:

1. You are a young athlete hoping to negotiate a long-term contract. Should you sign one:
a) As soon as you possibly can.
b) After a year in which you show tons of potential, but manage to get a ton of errors, possibly because of your first baseman
c) After what all the experts predict will be a breakout year in which you may very well win a gold glove?

2. You are GM. You hope to sign a young player you imagine will be a super star. When should you sign him?
a) As soon as you possibly can.
b) After a year in which he shows tons of potential, but manages to get a ton of errors, possibly because of your first baseman
c) After what all the experts predict will be a breakout year in which he may very well win a gold glove?

Seriously, why do you people think it's Kasten/Bowden that is holding this deal up?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 25, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Re: Dukes:

I think there's a rule against stashing someone on the DL when he's not actually injured, so if Bowden was lying to MLB he wasn't about to tell the truth to Barry.

Posted by: 307/418 | April 25, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Even your example of the Red Sox last year as a team stuffed with high priced free agent acquisition and avoiding the draft is wrong. The World Series roster had 4 guys who came as high price FAs - ManRam, Lugo, Drew, and Dice-K. They had 6 significant draftees - Papelbon, Delcarmen, Lester, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkilis. The rest of the team came as cheap FAs originally (Ortiz, Okajima, Timlin most prominent) or via trade (Lowell, Beckett, Schilling, Gagne, Varitek being the biggest).

Sure, their ability to pay allowed them to keep Varitek and Ortiz once they blossomed, and their financial resources let them take on Lowell, Beckett, and Schilling, but those moves tend to vindicate the Nats plan. Lowell and Beckett were acquired for HanRam and Anibal Sanchez. If we ever get into a position to contend, maybe those trade names are Smiley and Detwiler? The money Ortiz and Varitek grew into, is that going to be Lastings's and Zimmerman's? The Manny Ramirez contract - that was with a team that had already developed Nomar and had acquired (pain) Pedro, so Manny was a round out guy. The Lugo/Drew/Dice-K contracts - again, if this team has been to a world series, develops 2 or 3 idenitfiable gaps, and needs to fill them, perhaps smart money (although in Boston, you'll get arguments about that).

The Plan is about knowing where you are in the development cycle and deploying your assets in ways that make sense. Going over slot for McGeary. See if a raw talent becomes an all star. Draft well so you can start 3 home grown guys when you go to the World Series, have game 4 started by another draftee, and closed by a 5th.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 25, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@swanni, re jimbow and free agents

you mean we would get all of the ex-Reds players jimbow hasn't acquired - like eric milton, sean casey and jason larue?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 25, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of free agents, I used to love watching Nick Esasky play. He "sat in a chair" for his batting stance. I couldn't believe the Red Sox traded him, and thought the Braves had scored a major coup. He was out of baseball the next year, with the Braves' $5.6 million in his pocket.

Nicholas Andrew Esasky (born February 24, 1960 in Hialeah, Florida), was a Major League Baseball first baseman and third baseman.

Though he twice hit more than 20 home runs in a season with the Reds, his best statistical year came in 1989 as a member of the Boston Red Sox to whom he was traded for switch-hitting first baseman/outfielder Todd Benzinger. During that season, he hit .277 with 30 home runs and 108 runs batted in. That offseason, as a free agent, Esasky signed a three-year, $5.6 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, but was forced to retire after playing just nine games due to developing vertigo stemming from an ear infection. His salary was paid for by insurance.

Posted by: flynnie | April 25, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

As much fun as it is to pile on the negative nancies, or swannis as it were, it gets old.

Swanni brings up good points, and everyone else brings up good counter-points.

What it really all boils down to is this (506, I may need to steal your quiz questioning skillz)

1) Do you believe that the draft is the way to develop a consistent winner?
a) yes
b) no
c) I ate fruit loops this morning!

2) Will the front office make the necessary acquisitions to make the Nats a force in the World Series?
a) yes
b) no
c) But I don't like the zoo, why did Elijah work there!?!

and lastly:
3) Does DC rely solely on winning percentage when determining how often they will attend a game of any sort, whether they understand how its played or not?
a) yes
b) no
c) wait, games? We have to pay for them? shoot.

Feel free to add the necessary questions as needed, but let's talk some more baseball huh?

To start: Most important hole to fill this off season: 2B? SS? SP?

I say SS with the condition Lopez proves he can play the game again.

2B if he doesn't, and then put OHud there. What say you?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | April 25, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I dont entirely think the attendance issue is entirely dead. While not as woeful as some Nats haters may have secretly hoped, the games are not close to sellouts. While the new stadium may be a novelty whose time has come and gone, other new stadiums did sell out - Cleveland and Denver come to mind. Camden Yards is another, but, at the time, Camden was the only big sport in Baltimore and could count on roughly 10,000 trekking up from the DC area each game.

While it is probably true that there is two sides of the story with Zimmerman, the other stories of ownership tightness do cause concern. But as I said, its early, and despite earlier despair, I am still going to go to games (circa 20 as done in past years).

Posted by: DKNatsFan | April 25, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

so, the owners overpaid for Dmitri, LoDuca, Mackowiak, Felipe, Belliard and Cordero. But they're cheap for not signing Zim to a long-term deal?

Posted by: can't have it both ways ... | April 25, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

if hudson really wants $15m/yr (which is the rumor), then no thanks.

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah, 231 you fail the quiz! You only answered the last question.

But I agree if he costs 15 mil, then we can make do. Or is it make due? Spellcheckers/Grammar police?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | April 25, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I have to think about the NJ gathering. I would love to do it, but would have to bring all 3 of my kids. Is that bad? NO!!

I just have to check if they already have things planned on Sunday.

If I don't make it, have fun.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 25, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

technically, i answered *no* questions from the quiz. i answered the "let's talk some more baseball" question. ;)

Posted by: 231 | April 25, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | April 25, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Hope to see you and your kids on Sunday, PHS. If not tomorrow, perhaps at a future gathering.

---

I have to think about the NJ gathering. I would love to do it, but would have to bring all 3 of my kids. Is that bad? NO!!

I just have to check if they already have things planned on Sunday.

If I don't make it, have fun.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 25, 2008 6:18 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 25, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a-

Thanks. It turns out I will have to do another one. We had signed my two daughters up for a softball clinic that follows a George Mason women's softball game. I will be watching a game, but it won't be the Nats. It will be fun seeing my girls learning more about the game.

I will also have to keep my kindergarten son from flirting with the players. I'm serious.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 25, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

We'll see you another time then, PHS. Good luck to your girls with the game. That's cute about your son!

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 25, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

With the clinic, rather.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 25, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I visited the DuPont Deli in 229 at the National Ball Park, and the sandwiches were stacked and off the hook, and the people were nice and friendly, and I will be going back each time for the excellent service.

Thanks

Posted by: click10 | April 30, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company