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Nationals Park Debut sets ESPN record

This is interesting. From an ESPN release forwarded by the Nationals PR department:

"ESPN's Major League Baseball Opening Night telecast - Atlanta at Washington on March 30 in the debut of Nationals Park - averaged 2,700,000 households and 3,656,000 viewers to become the most-viewed Opening Night ever on ESPN networks. The previous record audience was St. Louis at Cincinnati, April 3, 1994, which averaged 2,595,000 households and 3,612,000 viewers. The corresponding 2.8 rating for the Atlanta at Washington game was the highest-rated Opening Night since Chicago at Seattle in 1996 (3.4 rating)."

Perhaps the idea of baseball in Washington has some cache. Jim Bowden, obvioiusly excited before the opener, said, "We're going to compete in every area. This is a top-five market. We won't compete with Boston or the Yankees financially, but everybody else, we'll be right there."

There is a sense that the opening of the ballpark completes the transformation of the franchise -- or at least allows the transformation to near completion. Follow Bowden's logic: Increased revenue=increased payroll=major contracts for superstar players=a championship-caliber team.

As we watch the franchise develop this summer, and as we monitor how big (or small) the crowds are, keep all that in mind. Next winter is likely the time to begin holding ownership's feet to the fire. Do they, indeed, increase payroll because of the increased revenue? Or do they fall back on the player development/scouting mantra that, for now, is the backbone of the organization?

Today: Tim Redding vs. Cole Hamels. Sounds like a mismatch, doesn't it? Well, let's review. Odalis Perez vs. Tim Hudson. Matt Chico vs. Brett Myers.

So much for mismatches.

Keep in mind I have a chat at 1 p.m. Ballgame's tonight. Day game tomorrow. Enjoy it all.

Oh, and I almost forgot one more thing: "C-A-P-S CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!"

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 2, 2008; 10:05 AM ET
 
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Next: Nationals lineup vs. Phillies

Comments

Woohoo for record setting audiences!

and woohoo for the caps destroying Carolina last night!

here's hoping for three in a row tonight everyone!

Posted by: VT Mikey | April 2, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

WHOOOOOOOOOOOO! I haven't been this excited since Christmas Day, 1986. I was six years old and I saw so many presents under the tree, it took me hours to get through all of them. Actually, this feels a bit better.

GOOOOOOOOO NATIONALS! Yeah CAPS!

Posted by: Nats=class,class,class | April 2, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

mlbtraderumors.com is reporting that there were talks throughout the spring with the Tigers about one of our bullpen arms (Cordero mainly - along with Ayala and big John).

Could Nate Robertson be on the table? Cale Iorg could also be a good filler piece.

Posted by: Corey | April 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Robertson's value has declined recently, but still has good stuff and is relatively young.

Iorg was drafted in the 6th round (I think) as a SS/3B, but has taken some time off of baseball for a 2-year mission trip through his church. He was projected to be a 1st rounder if he didn't go on the trip.....kid his .280 as a true freshman at Alabama (in the SEC West as a frosh, that's pretty darn good). He says he is dedicated to working hard and getting his game back in shape after his mission.

Posted by: Corey | April 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Wow! This is really exciting! Maybe now we'll get some national TV love.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 2, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

only thing that might hurt the chances of a cordero/rauch/ayala trade to detroit is that none of them are really strikeout pitchers. i remember readin something on ESPN about how much not having that big strikeout guy in the bullpen is the biggest part of their bullpen problem. i don't think any of their bullpen guys have a k/9 ratio over 7.5. and schroeder is the only nat over an 8 k/9. (ayala, 6; rauch, 7.3; cordero 7.44).

not to say they wouldn't do it, but the guys they're struggling to replace were better K guys (rodney, 9.6; zumaya 10.5 (when healthy)).

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Love the Caps love!

Posted by: Zack | April 2, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Robertson also blows a mean bubble if I recall correctly. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 2, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

No complaints about the Lerners being cheap? No complaints about a non-baseball reference on the Nats Journal? Wow, 2-0 must really get y'all in a good mood.

Posted by: Wow | April 2, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

wow, its still early in the day.

Posted by: Ed | April 2, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I have said this for several years now, "Washington will be a great sports town by 2010." By then, the Nats will be competative, the Caps will be solid, La'Bullet will still be the Wizzards, and Danny Boy will have a new coach... Well anyway the teams I care about, Nats & Caps, will be fun to watch.
Lets Go Caps! Lets Go Nats!

Posted by: ChrisC | April 2, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

chrisC, I'd say dc IS a great sports town right now. The caps have a probable mvp and are trying to make the playoffs, the skins have been to the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years, the wiz are now perrennial playoff contenders and the nats have their new stadium and a solid group, minus starting pitching. It's a GREAT time to be a dc sports fan right now.

Posted by: .390 | April 2, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully those ratings will convince the TV people that they can show teams besides the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox on national television and people will watch. I don't think the Nats are scheduled to be on the Fox game of the week once this year, and this was their only appearance on the ESPN Sunday night game. I know they're not supposed to be a contender, but that's ridiculous.

And let's go Caps!

Posted by: Fingerman | April 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

re: bullpen. K/9 is nice to have, but right now the Tigers bullpen doesn't get anyone out. The Nats bullpen does. I don't care how they get them out, just get them out. And in that ballpark in Detroit, any of the Nats bullpen would do well. Not saying I want any of them to leave, but if there was any team that would benefit from getting one of our guys, it would be the Tigers.

And to carry over from previous thread, I am not worried about Milledge in center. The guy is only 22 (23 on Saturday). He only got to play about 14 of his 100+ games in NY in center. The Mets totally screwed up his progress and two games in DC is not enough of a sample size to gauge whether or not he'll be good in CF or not. If, after 2 games, you all think he's that bad, I bet the Nats could go and get Nook back if you'd like. Or perhaps you'd prefer Marlon Byrd? Luis Matos? Preston Wilson? Jeffrey Hammonds? Brandon Watson?

Posted by: e | April 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

End of discussion!

~~~~~~~~~~~

I bet the Nats could go and get Nook back if you'd like. Or perhaps you'd prefer Marlon Byrd? Luis Matos? Preston Wilson? Jeffrey Hammonds? Brandon Watson?

Posted by: e | April 2, 2008 11:34 AM

Posted by: MKevin | April 2, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

you may not care as much about the strikeouts, but managers do. if you have guys on 2nd and 3rd (or bases loaded) with 1 or no outs in a 1 run game, the K makes a difference. and a flyball pitcher isn't as good of a guy to put in there.

now, i'm not saying the tigers wouldn't be interested, just that none of those three is the ideal guy for them. that said, they probably don't have the ammunition (read: prospects) to go after that guy.

and don't mistake someone commenting about some issues milledge is having in CF to mean people are saying he's a failure or we should dump him. it is what it is: he's having some defensive problems right now. let's not go overboard, sheesh.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"great sports towns" have great fans. we're not there yet.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Caps guy too (since the unlikely John Druce playoff run in 1989-90). They had a "plan" as well and it's all coming together. They did the right thing and signed their homegrown superstar to a super long-term contract and appear poised to do the same with the other young guns. And they added a few solid free agents in the offseason, and a few more at the trade deadline. Let's hope the Nats follow suit over the next two years.

e, fair point on Milledge's lack of experience in CF at the major league level, but presumably he played some CF in the minors, no? I've been reading doubts from scouts as to his long-term future in center for awhile now. Does that mean I want to exchange him for Logan? No. I was just raising the question, as the early returns seem to bear out some of these concerns. Hopefully, he will improve. And in the interim, perhaps his offensive contributions will outweigh his defensive shortcomings.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 2, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"Follow Bowden's logic: Increased revenue=increased payroll=major contracts for superstar players=a championship-caliber team."

Doesn't that run directly contrary to the conventional NJ logic? How could Bowden possibly create a championship caliber team by increasing payroll when there are no players worth signing? If that were true, that would mean that the reason the Nats won only 73 games last year is because the Lerner's were cheap.

Posted by: PowerBoater | April 2, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Christina Karhl always gives a good read on Baseball Prospectus, and I suggest a subscription. In return for that small advertisement, I quote a very small part of her discussion of the Nats and NL East today. Again, a citation, not my words:

"Overview: It's a fun team, as a reflection of Jim Bowden's rapacious acquisitiveness as a general manager, as a testament to how other people's castoffs can be put to good use by Acta, and increasing to the player development and scouting program of Mike Rizzo and Dana Brown. Wherever you think the Rays are in turning their ship around, there may be no better "bad" team to enjoy coming around to the upswing in the years to come than the Nats."

Posted by: Positively Half St | April 2, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"great sports towns" have great fans. we're not there yet.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 11:47 AM

----------------------------------------
The Redskins have the most dedicated fan base of any team in the US. DC is a fine sports town, with large fan bases for pro and college basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer.

Posted by: PowerBoater | April 2, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

as if last year's FA crop was the only one that ever existed and as if the only way to add payroll is to sign FAs...

but you keep pushing that single-minded agenda, PB. ;)

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

.390 - If you consider winning records, making the playoffs, and a new stadium, a good sports town, then good for you. As for me, I want to see a "World Champs" banner at the Nationals Stadium, the Caps raise The Cup in June, the Wizzards stop talking about 1978/79, and The Skins go for ring number four. IMO, both the Caps and Nats could do that in 2010... for several years to come.
You come across as a Buffalo Bills and/or Atlanta Braves fan.

Posted by: ChrisC | April 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

It's funny who the players are that are considered "super stars" thses days. A hitter who doesn't have to hit 300 and a pitcher who only has to pitch five innings or less!! Wow, that does wow ya. Talk about lottery winners!

Posted by: Gaithersburg Pete | April 2, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"You keep pushing that single-minded agenda, PB. ;)"

I post on lots of topics, maybe you only focus on one. ;)

Posted by: PB | April 2, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

*shrug*

i think DC has rabid redskin fans, but not necessarily knowledgeable ones (and i say that as a multi-generational skins fan). we're a good college basketball town and a decent pro soccer town. a good pro WNBA town, but a mid-level NBA town at best (the wizards are dead center in attendance). the Caps fans are a small, but dedicated group, but this is not a hockey town at all.

i think baseball *can* be successful here, but that hasn't been proven yet. other than the 2005 season, attendance wasn't necessarily all that great (granted, the team on the field wasn't great, either).

the reality is this is primarily a pro football town, with college basketball #2 (hopefully to be overtaken by baseball). the rest of the teams lag behind. DC is a middle of the road sports town, imo, at the moment. the only thing that gets the town going rabidly are the skins. will the nats get there? i certainly hope so. our college basketball teams have good support. but the other franchises have much smaller (granted, tho dedicated) fan bases.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Next winter is likely the time to begin holding ownership's feet to the fire. Do they, indeed, increase payroll because of the increased revenue? Or do they fall back on the player development/scouting mantra that, for now, is the backbone of the organization?"

PB noted this ironically, I think, but it's a serious question: at what point do you abandon what's working? The way they're going is getting them more competitive--it remains to be seen how much more, but the difference is significant, and undeniable. If they finish ahead of, say, the Mets with Santana, doesn't that argue against big signings?

Posted by: CE | April 2, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And why *isn't* plowing money back into organizational infrastructure going to help, up to the point where you already have all the best people you can get (which they aren't near, yet, IMUO).
Signing talent is flashy, but baseball history is littered with the shells of wasted seasons of all the Albert Belle-type signings, or A-Rod in Texas signings.

Posted by: CE | April 2, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I found this in an old 2005 scouting report on Lastings:

"Defensively, Milledge features a right field arm and center field range. He does not always run good routes, but he has enough speed to outrun most mistakes of judgement .... For all his talents, Milledge does have some weaknesses .... He can be inconsistent with the glove, and will have to show that he doesn't just rely on his natural ability to cover for lack of polish."

Has he outgrown this? Maybe not yet, or not all the way?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

As opposed to coming across as a frontrunning, what-have-you-done-in-the-last-five-minutes Phillies fan?
********
You come across as a Buffalo Bills and/or Atlanta Braves fan.
Posted by: ChrisC | April 2, 2008 12:04 PM

Posted by: MIB | April 2, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"Signing talent is flashy, but baseball history is littered with the shells of wasted seasons of all the Albert Belle-type signings, or A-Rod in Texas signings"

There was nothing wrong with the Belle (pre-hip problem) or A-Rod signings, in themselves. The problem primarily was what else those teams did, and to some extent, when). They paid large sums for great talent, but then they paid additional sums for pretty terrible veteran talent otherwise. Neither team had a good base of young talent in place.

Posted by: Henry Mateo Fan Club | April 2, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

And howzabout throwing some of that new payroll at the ticket distribution, team marketing, and buying out MASN, while you're at it.

Posted by: MIB curmudgeoning | April 2, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated predicts Nick Johnson will be Comeback Player of the Year in the NL; Verducci expects 25 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a .400 OBP.

Has any team ever had player A win the award while replacing player B, then have player B return the next year to win the award while replacing player A (who had originally replaced player B)?

Posted by: Section 133 | April 2, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I assume all those viewers turned in primarily to see Bush get booed.

Posted by: People's Republic of Arlington | April 2, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

well, in the arod/texas case, his signing was so expensive that it almost precluded texas' ability to sign other quality players. one player getting more than 30% of the team's payroll is usually not the best way to run a team. it works for the yankees because it's 15% of their salary, not 30+%.

the problem with the belle signing was that it was done more as a "whoops... we screwed up resigning our own guys at a discount so we have to overspend in the FA market to make up for it" signing than a "this guy could put us over the top" signing.

i.e., if the Os had gone ahead and signed palmiero at the below market rate he was willing to sign for (as mussina would probably have done as well), then they wouldn't have needed to go spend market+ money on belle.

imo, the proper way to build a team is to build a good foundation with good drafting/trading of prospects and smart reasonable signings to get your team close to contention. then when you're close, go out and spend what it takes to fill the gaps to push the team over the top.

if you spend that kind of money when you don't have the foundation, it just makes you a more expensive mediocre team (a la the Os for the past 10 years).

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Redskins have the most dedicated fan base of any team in the US."

Now that is funny. I think that honor would go to the Steelers or Packers, if your talking football only. The Redskins aren't even in the top 5.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 2, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Corey, Nate Robertson? Do we need a 29-year old back-of-the rotation guy? Am I missing something? Cale Iorg, another story. Detroit has middle infielders ranked #2, 3, 4 and 8 among their top prospects (via Baseball America). Of course, they sent some of their top guys to Florida for D-Train and Cabrera, but still, if we could flip a reliever for one of these guys (perhaps among other things), it might be a good fit.

Section 133, great question. Seems unlikely, but it's worth checking out. Let's hope Verducci is right.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 2, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Section 505/203 - "I think that honor would go to the Steelers or Packers."
Based on what criteria? Because you think it's so? The Skins have been selling out every game since the 60's in a larger stadium charging much higher prices.

231: I agree with your assessment except the part about "not necessarily knowledgeable ones"; while the level of football knowledge is mixed amoung Redskins fans, I'd wager that it's not much different than that in other cities.

Posted by: PB | April 2, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to go way back, but I haven't had a chance to respond to someone who asked why I thought Ronnie Belliard's stats would go down this year. My reasoning is that at 33, he's at the age where stats generally start dropping. In addition he posted one of his best 2 or 3 BA, SLG, and OBP's of his career last year. Look... I love the guy. He should be starting considering what they have. But in the context of comparing last year's line up to this year's, it should be noted that he probably won't be as productive. That's all I was saying.

It would be cool if the team had back to back Comeback Players of the Year. Of course it also says something about their need to rely on oft-injured/troubled players. Nonetheless, I'm rooting for it.

Slide over in the Caps bandwagon. I'm looking for a seat. I hope it's a long ride.

Posted by: #4 | April 2, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. Detroit is the other team I follow. I love Nate Robertson. He'd be a great pick up for the right price. I think it would be buying low to get him right now.

Posted by: #4 | April 2, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

About Free Agents -- 231's got it right. If I were running the nats and wanted to make a run next year, I'd go find the best SS available and make him a good offer. The other pieces are in place, and there's nobody in our pipeline who can do the job. Otherwise, we're set for now and the future in the outfield, the rest of the infield, and we've got lots of pitchers. Similarly, a mid-level innings-eating starter would be a good pickup if need be.

Posted by: Section 303 | April 2, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

well, we're not really set at 2B. and we *hope* we're set at 1B after 09, but we won't know until marrerro proves he can hit up here.

fair enough on the "knowledgeable" part, PB. i agree that other teams' fan bases have similar issues. i have to say, tho, that i think i find more "rabid" skins fans w/o a clue than i have other cities when i lived elsewhere, but that could just be anecdotal.

that was me who asked about belliard, #4. while i think it's possible he could begin to slide, he's also the kind of hitter who doesn't rely on raw talent to hit. s a contact guy, not an overswinging guy. he's a smart hitter, one who relies on his wits more than some more talented players. those guys don't tend to decline quite the same way. his smarts won't desert him.

i think if he declines, we're talking 720 OPS instead of 750. not big differences. and that's still respectable for a 2B.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Who gives a flying [RF] what kind of sports town DC is? It's MY sports town and that's the most important kind. What's with all this "boohoo, this isn't a sports town, the fans suck" nonsense? Aren't you all the fans? Or are those some other fans? Are you going to move to Beantown, because you think it's a better sports town? Awesome, Bob Short.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 2, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

231:

Your wits over talent argument was proven to be a fallacy by Bill James. He looked, albeit mostly at pitchers, at guys who had long careers. Almost all of them were guys who were considered to have lots of talent as youngsters. The idea is that everyone's talent diminishes. The guys with "extra" talent can make adjustments to remain useful. Shawon Dunston would be an example. Those doing it right from the get go on smarts have nowhere to go when they start declining.

Posted by: #4 | April 2, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Positively, I stopped reading at "rapacious acquisitiveness." It really couldn't get any better than that.

Great to see the Caps love. I hope that persists if the Capitals make the playoffs and 3WT broadcasts hockey instead of the Nationals for a little while.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 2, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I agree with you but I also agree with #4. Robertson is not a quality front-line guy, but nobody will give up a quality starter for a bullpen arm (unless it's Papelbon). This just adds depth, a quality arm who knows how to pitch, has good stuff, and like #4 said a buy-low situation.

I'd take Iorg (or another top MI prospect) and Robertson for any bullpen arm in a heartbeat.

Don't look at this as the Nats throwing a bunch of cash at a guy via free agency, which I wouldn't do with Robertson - this is just a trade piece for a bullpen arm (and hopefully can net a MI'er too)

But, there is a reason why Jim Bowden sits in the office he does and I don't.

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

i guess we'll see with belliard, then. while i hate to go against bill james, guys like moyer don't fit into his mold.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Section 303 recommends signing a FA shortstop. There are actually some relatively interesting possibilities:

Orlando Cabrera: 33 years old, his .301/.345.397 last year for the Angels, with 8 dingers, 86 RBIs and 20 SBs. 2008 salary: $9m. LDO, comments?

Rafael Furcal, 30, .270/.333/.355, 6-47-25. What's not to like? Well, that $13m salary. But that's not to say anyone makes the same mistake again and signs him for 3 years, $39m.

Edgar Renteria, 32, .332/.390/.470, 12-57-11. The Tigers hold an $11m club option though.

Felipe and Guz are also FAs after this season. We know nobody's knocking down the door in the minors, at least not yet. So do we sign one of these guys in December? At the right price, I say yes, meaning, 2-3 years, about $7 per.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 2, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps the idea of baseball in Washington has some cache." well, it was hidden in a cache for a while, but now it has cachet.

Posted by: beware french words | April 2, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Corey, that's where I ended up after reading #4s post as well (always good to get the inside scoop from fans of other teams). If you could somehow get Robertson and a ss prospect for a reliever, I'd do that in a heartbeat.

Speaking of relievers, does anybody get the feeling that the statement that the Nats are "not thinking about putting Chad on the DL ... yet ..." is kind of like saying that Ray King is not thinking of wolfing down that second burger ... yet?"

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

231:

Moyer is a very notable exception - one that is almost always cited when this argument comes up. Frank Tanana is the usual response.

I don't like any of those SS possibilities. I think everyone of those guys will get overpaid.

Posted by: #4 | April 2, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

well, he would be the first guy that comes to mind.

like i said, we'll see with belliard. i don't think he's going to suddenly tank. i think he'll regress a bit more gracefully than that. and he hasn't shown any outward signs of it yet this year (which mostly means ST, for whatever that's worth). i wouldn't count on him a couple of years down the road, but i won't presume he'll have any serious decline this year, either.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm all about the baseball so, while I wish them well, I hope that the Caps don't bump my Nats from the radio (I don't have cable so most of the games come to me via C&D - Charlie and Dave).

---

I hope that persists if the Capitals make the playoffs and 3WT broadcasts hockey instead of the Nationals for a little while.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 2, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

This town is probably capable of supporting a payroll around $100 million. It is about the 10th most valuable franchise per Forbes. The DC TV market alone is about that size, IIRC. The opening day salaries (posted on the last thread) has the tier of salaries after the 10th team around $100 million. The TV revenues from MASN are very good and in the top 10, even without accounting for the % of equity that is expanding.

But that does not mean bump the salaries up to $100 million next year.

Some of that revenue will go to keeping talent once it hits the point when it is due that money. For example, if Chad turns out to be an effective closer in the new park, he'll probably get a contract for at least $9 million annual average and multiple years now that he has only one year left of arbitration. Zimmerman has at most one more cheap year, and no one should be surprised if he jumps up into the $8 million range his first year of arb. That'll be the natural growth of the payroll, and you can only hope that one or two of the outfielders are in a similar pay range not long after. So, even before we pick up a single free agent or try to resign anyof the veterans, by 2010 Cordero, Zimmerman, and say Milledge could add $18 million between them. In a sense, the $54 million the team makes today is really for $75 million in long term talent when everyone hits the point at which they get paid free agent value.

That'll leave money for 2 or so signings, really, and only after we are sure which of our internal options pan out.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 2, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Section 505/203 - "I think that honor would go to the Steelers or Packers."
Based on what criteria? Because you think it's so? The Skins have been selling out every game since the 60's in a larger stadium charging much higher prices."

PB,

The Packers and Steelers can boast the same amount of sellouts give or take a few years. Plus, they travel very well to games all over the country. You can clearly hear their fans at road stadiums on TV. The Redskins? Not so much.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 2, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

the only reason the packers don't have more consecutive games sold out in green bay is because they played games in milwaukee as well. but they've been sold out *in* green bay longer than the skins have at RFK.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

longer as in "more years."

to back that comment up, from wikipedia:

"Despite the multiple expansions of Lambeau Field, all Packers games have been sold out since 1960, and over 74,000 names are on the waiting list for season tickets."

the skins have been sold out since 1966.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

From Barry's chat today:

"There was no mistaking what Zimmerman mouthed on his way to first base the other night, and it does show some confidence. He certainly has done it before, and it's stunning that he now has four game-ending HOMERS since June 2006. That doesn't count four other game-ending hits. Incredible."

Anybody else read this and feel their heart flutter? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | April 2, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

About Zimmerman and confidence and hearts fluttering: yes, agreed. It was nice to see him first "talking" to the ball and then exulting. And my heart flutters, albeit in a slightly different way where he's concerned.

Posted by: samantha7 | April 2, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

While I agree with you completely PTBNL that this team could have a $100 million payroll next year or in the very near future, their is one thing that you aren't taking into account. While you are right that guys like Zimm and Cordero and even Hill and others are gonna get big salary bumps in the next year or two you forget all the money that comes off the payroll also. 2.5 million for Vidro (2008), 4.9 for Felipe (2008), 4.2 Guzman (2008), 1.9 Belliard (2009), 5.5 Johnson (2009), 5 D. Young (2009), 5 lo Duca (2008), 1.25 Estrada (2008), this totals up to 29 million. This team should have plenty of money to spend. The thing is to not ignore free agents when there is talent out there, the problem was this year outside of Arod and maybe a reliever or two there was any real good talent out there that was worth paying big money too. Next year could be different, up the middle we could add a Mark Ellis or Orlando Hudson at 2nd and O Cab or Furcal at short (if the price is right) and at the same time we could add a top pitcher like Sabathia or Sheets.

Posted by: Steveo | April 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

nouvelle post

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I didn't get this in before new posts went up (actually did some work today *gasp*), so i'll follow this blog's standard and re-post it to the current thread, but I have to chime in with a response to this:

'Oh, and I almost forgot one more thing: "C-A-P-S CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!"'

My brother has always tried to get crowds at Nationals home games to chant: "N-A-T-S NATS! NATS! NATS!" but it has never caught on. Why? If there's ever going to be an organic tradition grow around our local teams, this would be a good one. Scream it with me:

N-A-T-S NATS! NATS! NATS!

Posted by: i hate walks | April 2, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

That's a NY Jets chant, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 2, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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