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Lineups... and a team meeting

Here ya go...

ATLANTA
Johnson, 2B
Escobar, SS
Jones, 3B
Teixeira, 1B
Francoeur, RF
McCann, C
Diaz, LF
Kotsay, CF
Hudson, P

WASHINGTON
Guzman, SS
Milledge, CF
Zimmerman, 3B
Johnson, 1B
Kearns, RF
Belliard, 2B
Flores, C
Harris, LF
Chico, P

Manager Manny Acta said the decision to bench Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez was made merely because he felt Flores and Harris needed at-bats to remain fresh. However, as Acta also surely knows, Lo Duca is one of the few Nationals hitters with any success against Hudson (7 for 23 lifetime).

Other pregame nuggets:

*Acta had a closed-door meeting with his team at about 4 p.m. today, which lasted close to half an hour. He said he was the only one who spoke ("I'm not very democratic" in that regard, he said), and according to veteran reliever Ray King, the word that kept popping up in Acta's speech was "prepared" -- as in, be prepared.

*It appears Lo Duca will not be suspended for allegations that appeared in December's Mitchell Report linking him to performance-enhancing drug use. However, Lo Duca declined to comment about that decision.

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 11, 2008; 6:27 PM ET
 
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Next: Foundation News -- and some baseball

Comments

I don't exactly get all the worries, close door meetings, et. al., that we're seeing right now.

Any team, at any period in the season, can look terrible. The team will get hot, play well, and soon, most of us will forget about this embarassing start. I predicted 79-82 wins this year, and I still stand by it.

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | April 11, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

What aren't they prepared for?

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

Also, its good theyre getting the losses out of the way now so they can spoil playoff hopes in Aug./Sept.. And winning streaks are a lot more fun.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | April 11, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dave. Interesting.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 11, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

What's the O's winning percentage right now? You guessed it .666. That's right, the mark of the beast. This is the year Satan and all of his minions have their way with the humanoids on Mother Earth this year. This is the year the O's take the whole deal.

The mark of the beast. Remember it!!

Posted by: O's Exec | April 11, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

uh, mm-kay.

Posted by: Mark of the Beast | April 11, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice to hear from you again, Andrew Stebbins! Great thoughts, as always! I saw your post a couple days ago, as I neglected my hot-stove duties and am a recent returnee. I got to go to the park last night, and was just enchanted. With the kitchens and the supplies on the outside wall, you're always in sight of the diamond, the most beautiful thing in any park. This is an amenity which is not available at OPACY, as well as all the concourses and tables and places to just joint the crowd. My theory on the meeting is that Manny saw Felipe going at the crowd last night and doesn't want it to spread. I love Felipe, and he's hitting and fielding well (see previous 506 posts), but... Also, Manny sees a 10 game losing streak rearing its head and wants to avoid it.

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Streaks are random, see 2007 yankees, and if the right-fielder doesn't perform two circus cathces (he robbed Guzman of a double and knocked Nick's home run back into the park from the bullpen) the Nats win. Just two unlikely plays away from winning. Let's win tonight. We own this guy! (joking)

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

how many losses have we been totally out of it in? two? sure, when the manager calls a meeting it's cuz the team feels like it's in trouble, so i hope it bucks the lads up. still, no worries, mate...

Posted by: natty bumppo | April 11, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

And Dave - what was that sound that Bob and Don thought was Willie Harris' bone breaking when he was hbp Wednesday night? Thanks for sharing: "However, as Acta also surely knows, Lo Duca is one of the few Nationals hitters with any success against Hudson (7 for 23 lifetime)." That's why we love you!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Atta boy, flynnie! I like the positive vibe.

Posted by: BIM | April 11, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

This is important: The games they won were also VERY losable.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | April 11, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

So far this season, the team seems to rise (or sink) to the level of competition. Let's hope that continues with some upswing in performance tonight.

Posted by: BIM | April 11, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I've been happy since walking around Our Beautiful New Home for Our Beautiful Game!
What would look great where the Giant Baseball was supposed to be is a Giant Globe that turns at the same speed as mother earth and shows the night and day. PlanetNats! With the photos from space now available, it would be awesome! I used to go with my dad (when we weren't watching/playing baseball) to the Waterman Steamship headquarters when I was a kid and watch a giant globe with all the shipping lanes lit up. Everybody loves their Mother, and what better way to get the message across that this is the Home of Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Beltway -- I agree it's too early to panic, but it's not too early for concern. A loss today means they've blown almost 5% of the season, straight. That's not nothing.

But that's all for me -- I'm leaving work now so I can listen to the game on my ride home.

GOOOO NATS!

Posted by: Cliffy | April 11, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else wince @the "reconstruction"
ad for the season tickets on the radio? Something about baseball being gone for 30 years and this southern voice saying "This is another reconstruction I can get excited about?" Are you kidding me? Stick to Charlie doing IHOP!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Robbed, again!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Cliffy, considering that you are in the playoffs with 92 wins, which is 56.7% of the season, 5% is nothing.

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

flynnie: The "southern voice" is Abe Lincoln in that ad.

Posted by: Tom | April 11, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, he was raised in Kentucky. I have a southern accent myself. I'm no marketer, but Father Abraham wasn't around for much of Reconstruction, and I can think of happier subjects with which to to market our team . I mean, Reconstruction did not end well for those emancipated. Sorry, Tom, if you wrote the ad, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I just heard the whole thing. Father Abraham WAS from Kentucky. I've got a southern accent myself. Reconstruction did not end well for those emancipated, largely because of Father Abraham's assasination, and putting all this in my head to try to get me to buy baseball tickets is, well, Tom sorry if you wrote the ad but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, man, the other teams in our division sure hit for power. GO NATS!

Posted by: flynnie | April 11, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie-

Yes, that part of the commercial made me wince immediately
, as well.

The current score also makes me wince.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

ah man. why steal in that situation?

Posted by: SF Fan | April 11, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, do NOT put Chico back out there. Let him have a successful outing, even if he can't get the win. The pitchers need something to build on.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, well. I hope I am wrong

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

nice job by chico.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

well done chico. maybe the offense can, you know, do something to help you out.

Jesus
Harris
PH

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 11, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Rauch is playing the role of Cordero now, digging a deep hole. We need him to hold the score at 1-0.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

when did the chief get so tall?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 11, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I am interested to see what new and fasinating ways our boys can find to lose. We are poised to see the loss in a 1 run pitchers duel.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | April 11, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I am one hit away from an early exit. I just can't take this anymore. It makes obsessing over this team all offseason even more idiotic.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

OK, double play, please!

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, maybe

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 11, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Preparation--Manny wants the guys focused on things they can control, not dwelling on the things behind them that they can't.

And I line that LoDuca is benched. It's just out of my ass, but I think Manny is quietly reining in the Captain Red Ass Crap. The last thing Chico needs is a chat at the mound like this: "ok Matt, this next pitch is the most important pitch of your life, and if you screw it up, the sky will fall and the world will come to an end. So don't f it up."

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

These add-on runs are killing the Nats!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

well, once again we keep it so close until the very end...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 11, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

And now they're in at least a 3 run hole going into the 9th. Good night nurse... its 2007 all over again!

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | April 11, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Moylan's in. Can history repeat?

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Guess history can't repeat. A typical non-effort at the plate by the Nats Without Bats. Good night, Gracie.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

8 in a row... some plan Stan... some plan.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | April 11, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Not to beat a dying horse, but who was behind the plate for the final innings? None other than Capt.Red-A$$!! Would the Lerner family be willing to eat $5M in salary on this putz?

Posted by: BIM | April 11, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Same here.

---

Flynnie-

Yes, that part of the commercial made me wince immediately, as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 11, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep the chins up. We're taking our lumps, but it'll get better.

Chico (one of the few guys on the field tonight who will be relevant to our first WS run) pitched great. Thank goodness we didn't spend 4 million to give that start to Lohse.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I was proud of Chico tonight.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 11, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

ok, time to end the streak. how? change mascots. put out the four worst presidents. yep, buchanan, harding, nixon and bush minor. nixon can do a commercial, "we want to kill our opponents. that's the kind of genocide i can really get behind."

Posted by: natty bumppo | April 11, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Great pitching from Chico.

Kearns with TWO hits!

Johnson hitting the ball hard.

Ewwwww, that's about all of the positives that I saw. (Benching Lo Duca and Flop counts as a positive, I reckon.)

Posted by: Dale | April 11, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Hitting, Hitting, HITTING!!! This team is approaching .200 batting as a team. Hitting is our problem people. It's not pitching.

Posted by: Ed | April 11, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

For those still wondering where our major-league-ready prospects are--

Brandon Phillips (traded from the Expos by Omar Minaya while under MLB control and facing imminent contraction along with Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Lee Stevens for a one-year rental of Bartolo Colon) is 2-3 with a double and a walk.

Jason Bay (traded from the Expos under similar circumstances for journeyman utility guy Lou Collier) is 1-2 with a dinger and a walk.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Did not see the game but from the box score it looks like Chico did alright. That is the positive to take from this game. Outside of Chico it looks like more of the same. We have no bench. We cannot do much with the starters but lets get rid of some of the deadwood. IE. Rob Mack..., LoDuca, Boone, etc. When Dukes and Pena get back I hope Acta plays these guys. Kearns has had his shot - trade him.

I have some concern about Zimm - He is trying to carry the team for the second year and it is too much for this guy at this stage in his career. Get him some help (ie Maxwell, Jimenez). It does not seem to bother the Marlins when they play rookies.

Lastly I think we are seeing the true Rauch. Trade him.

Posted by: mjames | April 11, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

i tell you, there are so many one issue people around here...

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

what's our magic number??

Posted by: yikes | April 11, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

well, at least it's a relevant issue!

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Dimetri helped Zim last year. DY is not a great fielder, but last year he was a consistent, clutch, hitter.

Posted by: Ed | April 11, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

maybe if we had started 0 -3?

Posted by: oh no | April 11, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

wasn't just talking about you, steven, but i don't really think brandon phillips is relevant at all, personally. it's just beating a dead horse.

Posted by: 231 | April 11, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey yikes; we are only 3 1/2 out of the wild card race! Yippee!

Posted by: who's counting | April 11, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

We stink right now; the question is, will it change? or are we looking at a 100 loss season........

Posted by: natcrzy | April 11, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Manny, how about another closed-door meeting, and this time, NO BUFFET afterwards

Posted by: New Stadium Blues | April 11, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know when our batting practice starts tomorrow? I can't tell from the Nats' site. Thanks.

Posted by: Section 109 | April 11, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

No BP on Saturday- threat of rain and good pitching! (Back to Back 45 year olds coming at us!)

Posted by: F.Lopez | April 11, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I believe it's team policy that fans aren't allowed into the stadium to watch the Nats' BP. The usher explained that they want to prevent "distractions."

So that's what the fans are, the "distractions."

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 11, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

for some reason (they talked about it on XM, but i forgot), it's tradition for the home team to take BP first, which means parks opening early means you get to see the visiting team. buck martinez was talking about how he thought the order should be switched around so fans could see the home team BP instead of visitors.

but it's not a "nationals team policy," that's supposedly the way it's done across MLB. to see nats BP, they'd have to open the park even earlier. when we saw nats BP on opening night, i think it was about 5:30 or so for an 8:15 start (my photos of meathook bunting in BP have a 5:55 time stamp on them). if that's average, the gates would have to open 2.5 hrs early.

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

Day games tomorrow and Sunday. Alternate home jerseys? iF SO, What the hell, let's steal a theme from the Caps and ROCK THE RED!

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 11, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, stat heads: Can someone explain the normal rates for line drives, ground balls, and fly balls dropping in vs being outs. Seems like our line drives are all at'em balls. Nick whacked the heck out of ball the past two nights. Good to see a few drop for Kearns.

Was Milledge's bunt called as a sacrifice or was he trying to push it by Hudson? It looked awful hard for a sacrifice. And is typical to hit and run on a first pitch? Did it look like the Braves new what was coming and go outside to Flores when Kearns was caught stealing?

Man, did it look like they were trying to force things. I guess Manny thinks they have to. Still would like to see a batting order shuffle.

Oh, and from the last post - I'm not advocating a league switch. I like the variety in the area and go to both parks. I just thought it was an interesting topic others were talking about.

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

For what it's worth I still feel good about this team. Nice work by Chico, and that's important. Bats are too quiet, but that hasn't really been the problem, we have been in every game. Bullpen is a mild concern only, esp with Chad coming back. Nats fans, stay the course. Even if we have to wait until 2010, or even 2012, you will want to be able to say that you were there when ....

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 11, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"And is *it* typical to hit and run on a first pitch? Did it look like the Braves *k*new what was coming and go outside to Flores when Kearns was caught stealing?"

Proof before post, proof before post, ...

Posted by: PTBNL's editor | April 11, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Ya'll were talking about the impACTA foundation in the last post.

Zim has his website up now too for his foundation:

http://www.zimsfoundation.org/

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

Thanks for the info on BP. Sure hope we win tomorrow.

Posted by: Section 109 | April 11, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The same thing happened last year after a skid. Manny held a team meeting right before they faced some amazing pitcher and they lost. In fact, I think Barry or Manny actually joked about that in the story.

But after that they picked back up again, so maybe tomorrow breaks the streak.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 11, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

but it's not a "nationals team policy"
__________

I'd be shocked if MLB mandated this. In fact I'm sure that this is something decided by the team.

But I'm not shocked to learn that this thoughtless disregard for the fan experience is common across MLB. We may have cornered the market on #5 starters, but the Nats have no particular claim on disdain for the fans.

I do remember when I was a kid in Chicago that I ALWAYS got to see the Cubs take BP. And for a kid, it's the best part of the game--way better than the game itself. So this is a new thing, at least in the last 20 years.

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

i'm just reporting what was said. i have no reason to believe buck martinez doesn't know how BP works. it would seem to make sense that all teams do this the same way. and from what i've heard, all teams do it this way. do you remember how early you had to get there to see BP when you were a kid 20 yrs ago?

Posted by: 231 | April 12, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

You asked: "OK, stat heads: Can someone explain the normal rates for line drives, ground balls, and fly balls dropping in vs being outs. Seems like our line drives are all at'em balls."

The stat you are refering to is BABIP which stands for 'batting average on balls in play'. Per baseballprospectus.com, .290 is "normal".

Posted by: PTBNL's dictionary | April 12, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Bob L.--I feel good too. Let's think about this--who on this team has a chance to be a part of the first great Nats team?

Milledge: .788 OPS (and who ever said this guy was a bad seed?)
Zimmy: struggling, but who's worried about him?
Chico: 19 IP, 3.25 ERA, 12 K, 4 BB
Kearns (I guess): .395 OBP (before tonight's 2 for 3)
Flores: 4/9, 1 HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI
Bullpen: same old, same old--Rauch, Rivera, Ayala just doin' their thing.

FLop, PLod, Perez, Bergmann, King, Johnson, Redding--all these guys are just fill-ins while we wait for the kids to come.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 12, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

i'm just reporting what was said. i have no reason to believe buck martinez doesn't know how BP works. it would seem to make sense that all teams do this the same way. and from what i've heard, all teams do it this way. do you remember how early you had to get there to see BP when you were a kid 20 yrs ago?
__________

No I don't remember, but I know the gates were open!

I know you're just passing it along. Clearly, this is what seems to be the status quo these days, along with HGH, publicly funded stadiums, and home run records that don't mean anything. Boy has Bud done his best to ruin a great game!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

DROP FLOP

Posted by: love | April 12, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick aside regarding previous players for our Nats,
just saw a BT highlight of Livo fanning J. Guillen, it was weird to see, but definitely happy for Livo... he's 3-0 now?
I definitely miss ol' Houdini!

Posted by: nats del negro | April 12, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

can i just say that in the caps game tonite dude took a puck in the balls and may lose one...he is now half way to being FLOP

DROP FLOP

Posted by: love | April 12, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

At last, an explanation for double posts. Do you ever hit submit, get an hourglass, and, eventually you think you're looking at a refreshed screen and your post is nowhere to be seen? From Yahoo Science: "You're pounding the keyboard, double-clicking away, sighing and grumbling, but to no avail: That devilish little hourglass icon refuses to give way to the Web site you're trying to reach. Most Internet users have encountered trouble reaching online destinations, but they often attribute the problem to their wireless network cutting out or a server momentarily going down.

Sometimes, though, the problem is more mysterious. At any given moment, messages throughout the world are lost to cyber black holes, according to new computer science research."

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

This team is 1-1 against Hudson, and it took a walk off against a reliever on opening night to accomplish that. That's nothing to be ashamed of. They were shut out by the Braves' ace. Chico looked great. And you could always switch to Steve Colby or Joe Benadotti and watch the Redout at Verizon Center-what atmosphere! Truly Canadian!- and what a game! The Nats will beat someone soon. They will not go 3-159. And stop blaming this on one player. It's creepy.

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Re. BP, they don't always tend to have it for a day game after a night game. At RFK, our team did take BP first, but at RFK, the gates did not open 2.5 hours early, as the centerfield gate at Nats Park does. I would think (hope) that one might get to see some Nats BP this year by showing up when the centerfield gate opens (though, as noted, I would think that they might not have it today).

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 12, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Dictionary - Thanks. I had heard that the rates for balls in play vary by the type of ball in play (flies easiest to turn into outs if they don't leave the park, line drives most likely to drop, ground balls go thorugh slightly more than .300). It just seemed that our liners aren't dropping in (small sample size). Maybe normal cycle of luck?

BTW - I don't remember "Sweet Caroline" being played last night, but had a one inning time out walking around.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 12, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Moments before Green's second goal, he drilled Flyers winger Patrick Thoresen in the groin area with a slap shot from the point. Thoresen remained on the ice when Green scored, effectively making it a two-man advantage, and later had to be helped to the dressing room. Afterward, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said Thoresen was en route to Washington Hospital Center and possibly was facing testicular surgery.

"Obviously, I would have liked to see a whistle with the result there," Flyers Coach John Stevens said.

Posted by: OUCH!!!!!!!! | April 12, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I wasn't here for the bells and whistles accompanying the millionth post that points out that the Expos had Brandon Phillips.

Kyle Lohse would really have helped the Nats last night.

Posted by: mike8 | April 12, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Chico was brilliant. He held the Braves to one run. Could Kyle Lohse have hit last night? I'm sorry I'm here for the millionth post about a pitcher the Nats ate up last year.

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@ PTBNL

I don't believe there was a middle inning pitching change last night. That's when they seem to play that song from Boston. Great game experience last night even with the loss. Took the quick bus from RFK for the first time and it is HANDS DOWN the best option for getting to Nats games. Simple, FAST and FREE. Whoever thought that up is a genius.

Posted by: 6th and D | April 12, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the Nats winning a playoff game like the Caps did last night? The third baseman takes a hot shot to the groin and goes down! Play ball, says the ump! And here's the pitch-a line drive over the prone third baseman! Johnson steps over the writhing third baseman and heads home! Nats win! Bang, zoom, etc!

Posted by: Why I Love Baseball | April 12, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

flynie-- I'm not saying that losing 5% in a row is DOOOOOM; obviously it isn't given that in some seasons even the best teams don't play .600 ball. It's just there's a chorus around here and elsewhere (even if it's a minority view) that it's not a big deal that we keep dropping games because it's early. (In fact, I subscribe to this view more than the other, much as I'd like 'em to win a frikkin' game.) My point is just that -- it's not all that early any more.

Posted by: Cliffy | April 12, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Cliffy - Yeah, I'm waiting for some angry poster to say, "Fire the offensive coordinator!" April's still early, see Yankees, 2007, O's 2006, Marlins now. God, how I hope that the Nats win today!

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The Lohse comment was sarcasm, Einstein. Maybe if I had gone the Tori Hunter route, you would have gotten it.

Probably not, though.

Posted by: mike8 | April 12, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

It's time for Manny to come out of the dugout. I mean, remember when Pinella blew up last year and exploded out of the Cubs dugout and pitched a tantrum with the 3rd base umpire...remember. The cubs were floundering at the time, but what happened. As I recall, they snapped out of the doldrums they were in and made the playoffs. I'm not assuming the same thing would happen with the Nats, but, Manny needs to do something on the field to ignite this team. There were a couple of plays last night he could have come out and kicked dirt, threw his cap, point his finger, raise some cain, get thrown out, something. Though the umpires were correct in both calls, so what, he needs to support his players and show some spunk occasionally to help fire this bunch up. Do something other than just stare and lean against the dugout wall. That tactic sure isn't working. EXPLODE Manny...at least once in a while. It just might shock the players into a different attitude or perhaps just rally them a bit. What the he** would he have to lose by trying a different approach once in a while. In the year + he's been in command, has he ever had a heated arguement on the field, I can't think of one.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 12, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

SC Nats fan - This will not happen. Manny does not see how the manager getting thrown out helps a team win. Manny is a great manager, not Ricky Ricardo. Pinella's antics had exactly nothing to do with the Cubs winning. See previous posts on the nature of baseball. How'd it do for the Cubs in the playoffs, and they should've gone deep in the playoffs, considering their Yankee-esque payroll

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mike8 - I figured it was stupid or sarcasm, and, having just read the repeated, dull scapegoating Felipe, guessed wrong, and went for stupid.

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie...All I'm sayin is that the status quo is not getting it done. It's time to do something different. The LP sample was just a small example. There have been plenty of managers that will show some emotion at times when they feel it's necessary to give the team a 'banded together' feeling. Just get some emotion once in a while. This sleepwalking has to end before to much longer. The whole team just seems flat. While Milledge came back to the dugout on that close play at first, Manny should have jumped to his aid by arguing the call. Yes, the umps got it right, but it was close eneough to warrant Manny to take some Acta with the umps.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 12, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

*yawn* now that Kearns was 2 for 3, maybe we can set the BENCH KEARNS!!!11!!1! hysterics aside. He's obviously not as bad as he hit the last few games.

Posted by: meh | April 12, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

SCNats - I don't remember seeing flat. I remember Belly slamming his bat down in disgust after popping up with RISP, which is a bad sign. Think golf. Baseball is a lot more like golf than football. If you see Tiger slamming his iron into the fairway, it's not a good sign. And if you want to trade Manny for ANY other manager - Torre, Cox, Francona, ANY of them, you would get serious consideration from any front office in baseball. I would not trade Manny for anybody. When things are going bad at your job, do you want to be around a screamer? Do you think that set a good example?

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

In a losing streak, it's good to remember Bobby Cox. He was coming out onto the Diamond before a game and a reporter asked him where his team was. "They're having a players only meeting. I don't know why. They never do any good."

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Bobby Cox has been thrown out of more games than any manager in the history of baseball. How many division titles did they win in a row? Just sayin

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 12, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Bobby Cox has been managing longer than anyone in baseball. He has a lot of records. He is known for his calm in the clubhouse. Even Gary Sheffield called him "Mr. Cox," and commented on how he always treats everyone with dignity and respect. Do your want anger when things are going bad at your work - quiet anger, loud anger, any anger doesn't help. Keeping focused and prepared does. I was impressed with Manny's message last night. Chance favors the prepared mind.

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

wondering from any1 who has been to the new stadium, how does it really compare to camden yards. better, worse, or the same.

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I do want some anger occasionally. Not directed at my players, but on close plays that show support and to spark the team...you best believe I do. In an office environment, no, it wouldn't be prudent or proper.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 12, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

btw any1 notice the nats uni looks exactly like the dbacks. that aint right.

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Correction dk,

The dbacks uni looks just like the nats.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 12, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

True, the d-backs switched to the red unis after the Nats already had theirs.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

DK- The new stadium is better than OPACY. Bigger concourses, seats, public gathering areas, what reminds me of a beach bar in center field, picnic tables for anybody. The storage and kitchens are all on the outside wall, so you can see the field while walking or at the concessions. At OPACY, your view is blocked. And the batting cages are really cool. You get to pick your pitcher, Pedro, Pettite, etc. and there he is, life size, glaring at you. Those pitches are probably coming out of the life-size MLB pitcher's hand at batting practice speed, and are unhittable. Gives you an appreciation for what you see on the field. Also, better scoreboard, better food. It's still on its' shakedown cruise - slow concessions, some overly zealous ushers, but that will get better, and quickly. When it comes to the fan, NatsPark is an unmatched facility in which to watch a game. I hope yo get to see it soon!

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Boy the Nats EIGHT GAME LOSING STREAK practically makes the O's minor losing streak actually feel like a WINNING STREAK.

How bout all those fans who again dressed as empty seats for the game?

I know I know, they were all at the Caps playoff game instead, right? And they were all also at the Hanna Montana concert too, right? No wait, they were all at Budds Creek in Southern Maryland watching some local stock-car racing right?

Posted by: O's Exec | April 12, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

DK- The new stadium is better than OPACY. Bigger concourses, seats, public gathering areas, what reminds me of a beach bar in center field, picnic tables for anybody. The storage and kitchens are all on the outside wall, so you can see the field while walking or at the concessions. At OPACY, your view is blocked.

Posted by: flynnie | April 12, 2008 12:22 PM
***************************************

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What's funny is, the past day or 2 there was some Nats fan on here posting saying that in particular seats your view is blocked and you can't see all of right field, or something like that, because of the overhang.

Why don't you also mention that buddy 'ol pal?

Posted by: O's Exec | April 12, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

wondering from any1 who has been to the new stadium, how does it really compare to camden yards. better, worse, or the same.

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 11:02 AM
___________________________________________

Camden Yards is still considered to be one of the 5 best ballparks in all of MLB (right up there with Fenway, Wrigley, and Yankee Stadium) while the Nats new digs are considered to be in the top 10-12.


That's the TRUTH.

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

thx flynnie. sounds good. ill be there the 23rd. cant wait. always loved camden yds so was wonderin. btw some1 should make the dbks change. not right to have them wearin our unis.

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

speakin of unis, any1 think its time for baseball to adopt what the nba and nfl do as far as unis.

in baseball the away team always wears this dreary gray uni and its really a drag. in football and nba the away team wears their colorful uniforms and the playing field is much more colorful. i think baseball should adopt something like this. tired of half the field always being drab gray.
any1 agree?

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

No offense guys, but the Diamondbacks were in MLB just a little bit before the Nats came into existence. So if anyone should have to change their uni's, it should be the Nats.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 12, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

speakin of unis, any1 think its time for baseball to adopt what the nba and nfl do as far as unis.

in baseball the away team always wears this dreary gray uni and its really a drag. in football and nba the away team wears their colorful uniforms and the playing field is much more colorful. i think baseball should adopt something like this. tired of half the field always being drab gray.
any1 agree?

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 12:31 PM

*******************************************

Are you there for a fashion show or are you there to watch the game?

Geez, some people.......

Posted by: O's Exec | April 12, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Atarashii poosto imas'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

well whoever came first, the other should change. crazy havin 2 teams with identical uniforms. no other teams have that. not right.

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

come on os guy. dont be a hater. when i go see the wiz play the celts, i get to see the classic greens. its part of the lore. id love to see the yanks with pinstripes instead of the drab grey that every1 wears. like to see the dodger blue etc. other sports think it makes sence. and i think its time for baseball to follow suit (no pun intended).

Posted by: dk | April 12, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

On the way to the game. DK, c'mon down to SouthCap and see for yourself. The park is great. Hard to beat the retro parks built right into the fabric of an old city neighborhood though. Ours is built into a construction zone at the moment. But that will change over the next few years and I fully expect it to be grand. It is already a great place to take in a ballgame. Go Lannan! Go Nats!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 12, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 12, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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