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Roster issues -- and a chat

Because there seems to be some confusion, and because the Nationals are saddled with all these injuries - guys coming and going, etc. - it might be a good time to go over just who's on the 25-man and 40-man rosters.

One other thing to keep in mind: A guy on the 15-day disabled list remains on the 40-man roster. Guys on the 60-day disabled list are moved off the 40-man.

Here's the current active roster:

Catchers (3):
Johnny Estrada (S)
Jesus Flores
Paul Lo Duca

Infielders (5):
Ronnie Belliard
Aaron Boone
Cristian Guzman (S)
Nick Johnson (L)
Ryan Zimmerman

Outfielders (3):
Austin Kearns
Rob Mackowiak (L)
Lastings Milledge

Utility (2):
Willie Harris (L)
Felipe Lopez (S)

Starting pitchers (5):
Jason Bergmann
Matt Chico (L)
John Lannan (L)
Odalis Perez (L)
Tim Redding

Relievers (7):
Luis Ayala
Jesus Colome
Joel Hanrahan
Ray King (L)
Jon Rauch
Saul Rivera
Chris Schroder

15-day disabled list (6):
RHP Chad Cordero
OF Elijah Dukes
RHP Shawn Hill
OF Wily Mo Pena
RHP Ryan Wagner
1B Dmitri Young

Other 40-man members (6):
Class AAA Columbus
IF/OF Kory Casto
RHP Tyler Clippard
RHP Garrett Mock

Class AA Harrisburg
OF Roger Bernadina
OF Justin Maxwell

Class A Potomac
LHP Ross Detwiler

Thus, the Nationals have some wiggle room. They only have 37 spots filled on the 40-man. This is a good time to remind folks that you can't be on the 25-man without being on the 40-man, and that there are guys at Columbus - Ryan Langerhans, Pete Orr, etc. - who are no longer on the 40-man.

There are, obviously, moves to come. Shawn Hill is close to coming back. We'll see what they say today. Wily Mo Pena is progressing well, and could be at Columbus early next week. The plan is still to move Jesus Flores to the minors, though there are indications now that he could fill in at Class AAA Columbus rather than Class AA Harrisburg, which was the original plan.

OK, this is old by now, but some might be interested in this morning's story about Tony Tavares and some of the people who got baseball rolling here. The Dmitri Young news, plus Shawn Hill's performance, is in the notebook.

And please join me for my 2 p.m. chat, which will be the first one live from Nationals Park.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 9, 2008; 11:56 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dmitri Young to the DL; Johnny Estrada recalled
Next: Frank Robinson in town Saturday


What should we make of the rumor on ESPN that Nick Johnson was "mentioned" as a target in SF Giants efforts to trade for a 1b. Is this old stuff based on us having Dimitri as a healthy 1b? Why would we trade the second best player on the team? But then maybe if you tell me who this kid Luis Jimenez is it might figure in?? I saw him play in Viera and he has some pop. Already 4 dingers at Harrisburg and supposedly a good defensive 1b???

Posted by: Cindy Lou | April 9, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

SF's minors are empty. they do not have any talent worth trading johnson for. unless they are giving up a mlb starter, which i do not see happening. i would disregard the rumor

Posted by: theraph | April 9, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

wait ... how many guys can you have on the 25-man roster?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 9, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

You can only have 25 on the 25-man roster, which is what they have.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | April 9, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Any idea when the deadline is to call up a player for that day's game?

I think I just saw J-Max parent's leave Olney for Nationals Park (not really).

Posted by: estuartj | April 9, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

wait ... how many guys can you have on the 25-man roster?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 9, 2008 12:14 PM


According to rule 9.45(b), subsection d, with the 5th substitute clause...

Posted by: Rules of Major League Baseball | April 9, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I've been a Giants fan for 30 years and can say there's nothing on the Giants that the Nats could or would want to trade for right now.

INF Eugenio Velez will be a star one day, but he's pretty much untouchable. The only other person worth acquiring from that team is P Matt Cain, and that's a position the Nats seem pretty set at, so that makes no sense either. Plus both are likely off-limits from a Giants' perspective.

The Giants' ugly this year is more than skin deep - it goes to the bone.

Posted by: Section408 | April 9, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it's hard to read snark or sarcasm in a blog post...

but did someone seriously just ask how many guys you can have on the 25-man roster?

Posted by: Matt | April 9, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I bet the games are actually a lot of fun, flynnie- it seems like a game that would be most fun to see live. The fans are definitely vocal, as I understand.

I am very unlikely to go to United games, though, since soccer is not my thing. I don't even get to as many Nats or P-Nats games as I would like.

Here's to a successful year for United, and no harassment for their fans.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 8, 2008 7:52 PM

And yet, this is the same guy who was questioning what type of/the majority of certain nationalities attend DC United games. Talk about complete ignorance, and probably some racism mixed in too. Sounds like a great guy.

Posted by: Barra Brava | April 9, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It's i hate walks, he was being snarky.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 9, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

And it's +.5St, there was no racism or ignorance.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 9, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Let me add my cheers to the exchange between CiL and 506 in the last thread. And a shout out to Dale for this:

"Watching Chico pitch is like watching a slow moving brush fire. You know that you are going to get singed around the edges but you can contain it."

Matt Chico, the human brush fire, ladies and gentlemen!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 9, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

From the Palm Beach Post

Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins' star shortstop, stepped outside the team hotel on his way to lunch when a tour bus screeched to a sudden stop on Connecticut Avenue. Pressed against the windows, dozens of passengers aimed their cameras and snapped away. But they weren't photographing Ramirez. They were shooting the hotel's stately entrance with its famous sign - The Mayflower.
The grande dame of D.C. hotels ... has become a tourist magnet since federal investigators said then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer booked Room 871 to rendezvous with a prostitute.
The Marlins, who tonight resume their three-game series against the Nationals, are the first baseball team to sample Spitzermania. Few players were amused.

"I can't believe a tour bus would stop because that's where the governor did his thing,'' pitcher Scott Olsen said. "You have the White House and the monuments and the Capitol, and they stop at the Mayflower? That's ridiculous."

Catcher Matt Treanor joked that he was staying in the room where Spitzer's alleged $4,300 tryst took place. Treanor actually was staying one floor below. Room 871 is temporarily off-limits, according to a desk clerk who did not want to be named, because visitors were knocking on the door and disturbing guests.
Two weeks ago, the "871" placard on the door disappeared. "We're keeping an eye on eBay,'' said Joseph Cardone, the hotel's resident manager.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over some business from the last post:

I have four tickets to the Friday and Sunday games this weekend (first row in the Upper RF Terrace, $10 apiece). But I'm going to the Caps games.

Does anybody want to trade Thursday and/or Saturday tickets for Friday/Sunday tickets?

If so drop me a line at (we can deal with any applicable price differences).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 9, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Monday night's crowd was not so bad. This portrait of opening day in Toronto agains the Red Sox is from the Katie Graves of The Gazette, The U. of Western Ontario's Student Newspaper:

But as the innings went on and the alcohol took charge, some fans showed their true colours.

In the 500 level, a section over from where I was seated, two men got in a fist fight that not only disrupted their section, but all the surrounding sections who could no longer focus on the game. Fans were distracted by the security guards dragging a pile of drunk guys out of the stadium. Once that was taken care of, a female fan decided to flash the crowd, and what would most fans rather watch -- the Jays beat the Sox, or the topless girl in the 500s? I think the answer is obvious.

Just when I thought people might start paying attention to the game, two idiots decided to run across the field. If these people cared at all about baseball, they would not delay the game and distract the players in the final minutes of the game, especially in a game your team is winning. As the cops removed the couple from the field in handcuffs, more foolish fans threw bags of popcorn, cups, napkins and other garbage into the outfield.

Those "fans" end up ruining the game for everyone else who just wants to see a good display of baseball. If you had time to think about arguing with your neighbour, throwing popcorn on the field, or contemplating running into the outfield, you clearly are not focused on the game; I am sure half of those people will not watch another Jays game all season.

Have some pride and show some loyalty if you are going to call yourself a Blue Jays fan. The Red Sox may have lost the series against the Jays, but the Sox fans would win in a test of loyalty and etiquette any day.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The one time, the ONE TIME i get personal attention to my question from the Svrulugmeister ... and it's a case of mistaken snark.

So here's a serious question: What's the benefit to being on the 26-40 portion of the 40-man roster? They're playing in the minor leagues but ... does it effect their salaries? does it effect their options? Does it merely designate them as the call-up apparent if the position they play is needed by the big club?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 9, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, flynnie! Sounds like Canadians treat their baseball just like their hockey! Trip to Toronto, now on my list of things to do.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 9, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Walks -- If you're on the 40-man, but not on the 25-man, you're using an option.

I think there are minimum salary considerations there as well, but that stuff's vague and hard to find.

Posted by: Chris | April 9, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

My take on the roster issues is that although I am In The Tank with The Plan, The Nats have to stop operating like they are the Pirates or the Royals, eand especially the Reds. Those teams tend to delay making personnel decisions because they haven't been competitive in the past decade and can afford to wait to see if injured players will get better without having to make a roster move costing another major league salary, It was apparent in Spring Training that DY was overweight and out-of-shape and he should have been left behind with a mandate to lose some tonnage. Manny has been basically playing with a 23-man roster, putting the Nats at a competitive disadvantage with other teams.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 9, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"When your big free agent acquisition is Odalis Perez, you deserve to have an empty stadium." Chris Needham Baseball Think Factory And more from Mr. Needham:

You've got cheap owners.

Rancorous DC politics.

Salivating media, assuring us that traffic was going to grind to a halt as if DC were overcome by a Buffalo snowstorm.

and cheap owners.

Add it up, and it's not unreasonable.

DC is a fickle market. There's a limited pool of natives, most of whom were at the game. The rest are the transients from all over the country. Why should they give up their teams, the ones they grew up with, for this crapbag team?

When the team wins, they'll draw. Just as they did in mid-2005. When they stink on ice -- as they have SINCE mid-2005 -- nobody cares. I don't think that's a bad market. I think that (in some ways) is a smart market.

I'm GLAD the team isn't being rewarded for dropping payroll below a level that MLB ran it at while moving into a new stadium. I'm GLAD that the team isn't being rewarded for calling Odalis Perez and Paul Lo Duca its big FA acquisitions. And I'm glad they're not being rewarded for trying to pass of their motley collection of future 4th starters as a burgeoning rotation, the next Smoltz and Glavine.

Stan Kasten has repeatedly said that "we'll get the attendance we deserve." He's right. They don't deserve crap with their pisspoor efforts on and off the field.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So what excuses have you guys come up with today to explain the Nats pitiful record, their pitiful attendance, the O's 1st place in AL record?

Posted by: O's Exec | April 9, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
It seems like everything's gone wrong
ever since Canada came along ...

Posted by: Cartman's Mom | April 9, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Today's guess the line-up entry;

1. Guzman (SS)
2. Milledge (CF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Johnson (1B)
5. Kearns (RF)
6. Maxwell (LF)
7. Lo Duca (CA)
8. Belliard (2B)
9. Bergmann (SP)

Posted by: estuartj | April 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Barra Brava,

Are you really implying that +.5St is a racist? Give me a break. Do you read this blog on a regular basis or did you just happen by and throw out the R-card?

Go back to watching men run around in tight shots, kicking a multi-colored ball and faking injury by rolling around on the ground.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Laughing here!
thank you Mrs. Cartman

Posted by: MIB | April 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Section408, i think i'd take lincicum, too, not just cain.

Posted by: 231 | April 9, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

wow that whole "be nice" thing here lasted about as long as the whole "avoiding injuries" thing.

Posted by: CE | April 9, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

ESPN mentioned Nick as a target for the Giants because ESPN still thinks of the Nats as a doormat who will trade off any talent they have for young, cheap players. But those days are over. Now, if the Giants want to dangle Lincecum or something like that, I imagine Bowden would want to think about a trade like that. But the Nats aren't about to trade Nick for unproven prospects, which the Giants don't really have to offer anyway.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 9, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Why would the Giants, who are supposed to be doormats this season, trade either of their young, supposedly-stud pitchers, for an aging, injury prone 1st baseman?

Anyone care to answer that?

Posted by: O's Exec | April 9, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The constant cries of 'the Learners are cheap' are completely unfounded. The fact that we didn't sign a big name free agent was a baseball move not a financial move. In the limited situations where the Learners have been asked to pony up $ they have.

What do we stand to gain from signing one or two big name players? Soriano, while exciting to watch, didn't put many wins on the board. The same would go for Hunter, A. Jones or Rowand the guys who were coveted at various times on this board.

Posted by: NoVA Nat | April 9, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

A "Dangling Lincecum" sounds like a really bad condition, probably requiring surgery.

Posted by: MIB | April 9, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a bit off topic but I couldn't resist posting. This is a crazy and random act of coolness directed at two little league teams. It sort of restores your faith in mankind!

Posted by: Eric | April 9, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I have a sense that United is mostly popular with the Spanish-speaking population of the area. I wonder if this will have an effect on their attendance this year.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 8, 2008 7:20 PM
I bet the games are actually a lot of fun, flynnie- it seems like a game that would be most fun to see live. The fans are definitely vocal, as I understand.

I am very unlikely to go to United games, though, since soccer is not my thing. I don't even get to as many Nats or P-Nats games as I would like.

Here's to a successful year for United, and no harassment for their fans.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | April 8, 2008 7:52 PM

This is why I question him section 505/203. He first assumes that DC Uniteds fanbase is mostly "Spanish-speaking" and than admits that he's never been to a game. For him to make that assumption is definitely ignorant and yes it is possibly racist to assume the only people who support soccer are "spanish-speaking."

Posted by: Barra Brava | April 9, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Eric. Nothing restores your faith in humanity like grownups messing with little kids' heads. All in good fun. Though I hear the kids Jim Grey tried to interview after the game refused to speak with him, citing his treatment of Pete Rose.

Posted by: MIB | April 9, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought Wagner was 60 day'd?

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | April 9, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think calling Nick injury prone is fair, but aging? He's 29 and playing a position (and playing it very well thank you very much) where players can continue to excel well past 35.

That said the trade still makes zero sense, first and foremost because are more than 1-2 players away from contention so why trade prospects or MLB level starting pitchers for a good position player?

A more likely move for SF to make would be to trade Cain or Lincecum for prospects.

How many of you out there would take a Cain for Jordan Zimmerman & Chris Marrero or Lincecum for Ross Detwiler and Justin Maxwell?

Posted by: estuartj | April 9, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Why do you think so, Andrew? The Nats Web site roster shows him on the 15-day DL.

Posted by: CE | April 9, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Jordan Zimmermann, 2 final Ns

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Saying that all soccer fans are hispanic is racist. Saying that soccer is very popular in the hispanic community is not.

Saying that the majority fans attending DC United games speak spanish (note he didn't say don't speak english, as far as I'm concerned being bi-lingual is a positive) is not racist either, but simple a reasonable assumption.

Posted by: estuartj | April 9, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@Barra Brava
Positively Half not racist. In my post (for which s/he thanked me ) I said that a lot of peeople in this country say they love Jesus and hate Haysoos and that is a shame. It's more than a shame. Let's get down to it - prejudice against Hispanics is real and sickening. Don't accuse Positively Half Street, a very welcome addition to this blog, so lightly. You're probably wrong, and you risk driving away a great contibutor, such has been done to NatsCan, 419+1 and others.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Barra Brava: I think you're looking for racism where it doesn't exist.

It's not racist to note that a particular sport is more popular with one demographic than another. Pos. Half St. is just making an extension of the point that soccer's a lot more popular in the rest of the world than it is here in the U.S. That's hardly news or controversial. Or racist.

Posted by: joebleux | April 9, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Me, for instance. I was driven away last year and never came back.

Posted by: Willie Gandébol | April 9, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Point is dude admits he doesn't go to DCU games, doesn't follow the club yet assumes that "United is mostly popular with the Spanish-speaking population of the area."

We all know what happens when people ASSume.

Posted by: Barra Brava | April 9, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The Giants were hesitant to give up either Cain or Lincecum for Alex Rios this offseason, so I really doubt they'd part with them for Nick. Considering our penchant for oft-injured pitchers, a Lowry deal seams more likely. The Giants are also close to giving up on Sanchez.

Arrording to Rotoworld:
7. Eugenio Velez - 2B - DOB: 05/16/82 - ETA: Now
.298/.344/.399, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 66/26 K/BB, 49 SB in 376 AB (AA Connecticut)
.278/.381/.278, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, 5 SB in 18 AB (AAA Fresno)
.273/.385/.636, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, 4 SB in 11 AB (San Francisco)
.303/.329/.461, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 17/3 K/BB, 14 SB in 76 AB (AFL Scottsdale)

Because he was in his age-24 season, Velez wasn't taken very seriously even after hitting.315/.369/.557 with 64 steals to earn Sally League MVP honors in 2006. The Giants let him play with guys closer to his own age last season, and he put up pretty average numbers in Double-A. Still, that was at a great environment for pitchers, and he continued to raise his stock with a nice showing in the AFL. It was only this spring that he really caught the eyes of most with his awesome display of speed. Both his bat and glove remain question marks. Velez has limited power and little patience at the plate. His infield defense is only adequate, and his best position may be center field, a spot the Giants just spent $60 million to shore up. Velez can pick up infield singles with the best of them and he will line the occasional triple to the gap, so he should be able to stick as a utilityman. He's just not likely to get much better than he is right now.

Posted by: Velez a star??? Hardly | April 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

And now back to baseball. On Monday, when I saw the Marlins, I thought, "These guys can hit hard!)just like last year. That's not supposed to happen w/o Miguel Cabrera, is it?" And, sure enough,, from today's Yahoo Sports: "Inside Pitch"

Seven games into the season, and the Marlins lineup doesn't appear to be missing the bat of Miguel Cabrera.

Florida has clubbed 11 home runs, which is tied for second in the major leagues with the Phillies, White Sox and Astros. The Diamondbacks are the runaway leader with 17.

While much was made about the loss of Cabrera's bat after his trade to Detroit in December, the Marlins' early power surge this season shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Last year, the Marlins hit a franchise record 201 home runs, with 34 coming from Cabrera.

"You take away his (34), we still hit almost 170. That's (167) from other guys," said 1B Mike Jacobs, who has two homers this year.

"We all talk about it--it's not just one guy to pick up the slack. It's got to be everybody. We have a team that can hit home runs whether Miggy's in the lineup or not."

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The point is that the Nats aren't going to trade Nick to the Giants. Period. Of course the Giants aren't going to offer Lincecum or Cain for Nick. Just like the Nats aren't going to offer Nick to the Giants for a bunch of prospects that the Giants don't have. ESPN's deluded baseball talkers (hello, Buster!) think the Nats are in the business of feeding talent to big-market teams, and they're wrong.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 9, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@Barra Brava
Apologize. You owe an apology for your false accusation. I don't attend Lisay or Aguila games. (The two Santo Domingo teams in the Dominican.) I assume their fan base is mostly Spanish speaking. And I am not a racist. Your accusation is nasty, and your reasoning weak.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be just as racist for someone to say something like "Eating chicken is mostly popular with the African-American population of the area" or if someone said "checking ones stock portfolio is mostly popular with the Caucasian population of the area." And I'd venture a guess that many on here would agree.

The fact that you all are sticking up for this guy and his comments speaks volumes.

Posted by: Barra Brava | April 9, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The Giants have nothing,worse than the Nats,the Nats at least have a future.For you O's fans glad to see you're winning I like Trembley and the trading of Bedard might reap benefits down the road.Like I said in my blog Sunday Milledge needs to take at least fifty fungo's a day you can't become a good outfielder unless you do that, Trade A.Kearns now,for prospects and stick Maxwell out there(let him learn on the fly)Manny: get Willie Harris some at bats,I am puzzeled why Felipe Lopez is even on the team. Lets not panic Nats fans the season is a test of smarts,hustle, and ability along with a dose of luck.

Posted by: | April 9, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you seen this? It's a video of Taiwan Baseball. La New Bears SS Lin Zhi-Shen completely losing his mind after a close play at first in this Friday night's 5-5 tie with the Brother Elephants, charging the first base umpire at full speed from the dugout for about 40 feet and clobbering him with his shoulder and forearm. The Umpire, no small fellow, went down straight away, and Lin had to be restrained by teammates before inflicting and further damage.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Point is dude admits he doesn't go to DCU games, doesn't follow the club yet assumes that "United is mostly popular with the Spanish-speaking population of the area." "

So you're saying that United is mostly unpopular with the Spanish-speaking population of the area, then? Why do so many Spanish-speaking people hate United?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This also cracked me up. Reminds me of the Seinfeld where Kramer goes into the $1 Store and keeps asking how much everything is.


wait ... how many guys can you have on the 25-man roster?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 9, 2008 12:14 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | April 9, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The website has our probably pitcher for this weekend being Chico on Friday and Saturday and Sunday's starters as TBD. The game notes for tonight's game lists Saturday's starter at Tim Redding.

That might be a hint that Hill will start on Sunday and that Lannan is headed back down.

Equally likely that Ladsen as no idea what is going on with the team he's paid to cover...

Posted by: estuartj | April 9, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@Barra Brava

"The fact that you all are sticking up for this guy and his comments speaks volumes."

Just sticking up for the unjustly accused, like Positively Half Street and the Hispanic Population (legal or illegal.) But I tell you what I'm going to stop doing, is feeding a troll, which I now see that you are. Throw some baseball knowledge and NatsLove our way to prove you're not.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

CiL has it right. The Giants want more Cains and Lincecum's (they're both 23), not less. They would want to trade Zito (29 and underperforming, with a craptastic contract) for prospects.

Come to think of it, San Fran is a great example of how not to build a ballclub, at least in recent years. They signed free agents Zito and Rowand to huge contracts and are old and weak almost everywhere else (Cain and Lincecum aside).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 9, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Barra Brava,

You're a prime example of a growing disease in America, and that is accusing someone at the drop of a hat of racism.

You disgust me and I think you need to apologize to +.5St or better yet be gone from this blog and go over to the Huffington Post and throw down your accusations over there where all the all nut jobs well eat it up.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 9, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Continuing the stadium/anti-trust convo (those not interested in my curiously long macro-perspective posts don't have to read, but there were some thoughtful replies to my post, which I tried to make thoughtful, so I'm going to reply)--

The most important point I'm trying to get across is that we as fans need to understand why our team sucks eggs. At least for now, it's not Bowden or Kasten or even Omar Minaya's fault. The 29 other owners got together, took over the Expos, and ran the team into the ground--on purpose. They forced Montreal to Expo-rt (get it? eh, stolen from BP) all their talent because that's what was in the interest of the other 29 owners. In Vladdy's case, the Expos weren't even allowed to offer him arbitration so that they could get compensatory picks. CAn you believe that?? Selig just plucked him from the Expos and put him on the open marker for nothing. Oy. Then they decided that they would just contract the team unless they could get the total pillaging from DC or some other sad sack baseball-starved locale. DC laid down for them, but by the time the team arrived, the roster from the major leagues to the low-A minors was absolutely, completely looted.

Let's imagine if MLB hadn't taken over our team and allowed it to be gutted. If the Expos had simply been allowed to keep all their own talent and make no other moves at all, here's the lineup that would have arrived in DC in 2005:
C: Micheal Barrett/Brian Schneider
1B: Jose Vidro/Brad Wilkerson
2B: Brandon Phillips
SS: Orlando Cabrera
3B: Maicer Izturis/Ryan Zimmerman (by season's end)
LF: Moises Alou/Jason Bay
CF: Grady Sizemore
RF: Vladimir Guerrero
Rotation: Pedro Martinez, Chris Young, Javier Vazquez, Livan Hernandez, Cliff Lee
Bullpen: Chad Cordero, Luis Ayala

Sheesh. That, my friends, is a World Series squad. I didn't double-check every transaction, but I'm 95% sure that 95% of these players were lost to pure cost-cutting, forced by MLB. Of course this is a false hypothetical, because bad trades still get made, and even legit franchises don't resign everyone, but my point is solid, that the team we got was a pathetic shell of the franchise we would have had, if only the MLB corporate monopolist raider pigs hadn't destroyed it first. We could have a fun chat about what team in major league history has EVER been so devoid of talent from the majors to minors, top to bottom as the Expos were when they arrived in DC. Good arguments would be made for the Kansas City A's of the late 1950s and others, but your Washington Nationals of 2005-6 would have to be on the list.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 9, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Other replies to the responses to my post---

To: "i hate walks"--I totally agree that we should root for our Nats (although I won't say "Go Nats," which sounds like "gonads" to me). Revenge against the other 29 owners is a key aspect of the Nats' appeal, at least for me (especially Omar and the Marlins, who played key roles in our destruction--Wikipedia tells the story basically right:

Besides, it's pointless to boycott or not enjoy yourself. I'm going to my first game tonight and will get out to probably 20 more this year. (That said, if there was some organized boycott against MLB to force a change, then maybe I'd be for that, but this ain't Birmingham and this ain't Jim Crow, so I can't imagine there being much grassroots energy for the kind of boycott that would get MLB's attention).

Also to "i hate walks"--yeah there are more pressing issues facing society, but I'm just less interested in the mortgage meltdown and Iraq and global warming than the Nats. I think this audience understands!

The funding of the stadium--I just don't buy the whole idea that since the stadium subsidy was offset by a new tax on business that somehow this isn't *really* public money paying for the park. Governments levy taxes, then that money is a public resource, and it's the legislature's job to use it wisely. Sometimes legislatures do a good job or bad job, but that's our form of government, whether you live in the land of Marion Barry or the land of Macaca Man. Those tax dollars could have gone to better uses, and DC government ineptitude or no, I defy anyone to walk through Eastern High and then go to a Nats game and NOT feel like priorities are out of whack.

What do you do? Call your congressman (Tom Davis is ranking on government oversight, which should have discussed this exact issue when instead they were playing games with Clemens). Then go to the Nats games and boo Omar and the Fish and all the other dirty rotten owners who stole our players. AND when discussing the state of our current losing but improving team, realize that we are building from NOTHING and that the clock didn't really start ticking till the Lerners bought the team.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

San Francisco is a great example of why we have to stick to THE PLAN and not sign FA's just for the sake of doing so. You end up with long-term contracts on short-term roster fixes.

Barry - thanks for the Tavares article. I was thinking a lot about him and Mayor Williams on Opening Night. We owe them both a lot of gratitude for their labor, the fruits of which we're enjoying now.

Posted by: Sec 317 | April 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

You, the 3 posters ranting about soccer and racisim. Go meet up and buy each other a round, because you're probably the only three people in this city who care about soccer. The other people in the stands, incidentally, still think that the Nats play there.

Posted by: You Idiots! | April 9, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Re: Capitol Hill's thing on the Minor leagues' opposition to repealing the anti-trust exemption. Yeah I'm familiar and you're right, they don't like it. And they're probably right that the minor leagues would probably disappear (actually I think the most sensible thing would be to keep a AAA-level league and just allow MLB teams to have like an NFL-style practice squad of 25, but that would wipe out approx. 80% of minor league teams). But I don't understand why minor league baseball is such a good idea, or why allowing MLB to use college and the international leagues as their developmental leagues the same as basketball and football do. Minor league games are fun I guess, but are they more fun than college sports? I don't remember anyone filling out their AAA brackets in "August Madness." College baseball would become a much bigger deal, but the amateur experience would still be there. College cities would benefit, minor league cities like Durham would suffer a bit (in some cases a lot, I'm sure), and Crash Davis would play in Mexico or Japan. Who cares? The Durham people are all Duke basketball people anyway.

I also don't see how it's good for the players--most minor leaguers never get above the low levels, and with no college education, what do they have? Eighteen year-olds shouldn't go to the NBA, but at least those kids usually make big money right away. I guess one could argue in the case of pitchers that a minor league manager is going to be more careful with a developing arm if he's affiliated with a major league team, but college coaches who get a Dusty Baker reputation don't last long because their recruiting goes to hell, so I don't really buy that. Besides, how could you do worse than MLB is doing now protecting young arms?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 9, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: the NFL teams that move, and how the Cleveland and Baltimore fans were screwed. I agree that's a lousy aspect of allowing the free market to work, but I think it's less bad than what we have. After all, those markets got teams back anyway, didn't they? I'll take the invisible hand over Bud Selig's hand any day. Eeeeeeew.

Re: The benefits of a new stadium to the community. These are real and good. Like any economic development, it's generally good. I'm not like some of these people who just say "all gentrification is good and the poor people should stop whining," but generally I think all things equal economic growth is better than the alternative in any community. That said, we should have had this economic growth years ago, and with no subsidy. Moving the Expos (or Rangers, Twins, Pirates, Rays, or Royals) to DC makes good business sense WITHOUT the subsidy. But the monopoly created a massive market inefficiency (30 years in a great baseball market with no product provided), then allowed the league to leverage a massive subsidy from the city. Like someone else pointed out, MLB paid $12m for the Expos in 2002, and got $611m from DC 4 years later. That doesn't happen without massive Enron-scale collusion/fraud/whatever you want to call it.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 9, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Point is dude admits he doesn't go to DCU games, doesn't follow the club yet assumes that "United is mostly popular with the Spanish-speaking population of the area." "

So you're saying that United is mostly unpopular with the Spanish-speaking population of the area, then? Why do so many Spanish-speaking people hate United?

Posted by: | April 9, 2008 2:14 PM

I never said anything of the such Mr. Anonymous poster. Stop putting words into my mouth. All the evidence I'm using were words spoken/typed by the poster.

Baseball knowledge, you want baseball knowledge flynnie? How bout how last night that A-Rod had 4 k's in the Yankees loss and helped the Royals move to a 5-2 record, second best in all the AL. The Royals have a stud 3rd basemen in Alex Gordon. Or let's talk about how Jeter is out for the next few days with an aggravated groin muscle. Or lets talk about how the Mariners (who many picked to win the AL West) have started slow and got swept out of Baltimore and have their current closer on the DL and could've really used George Sherrill to hold some leads, ironically the same thing Sherrill was doing for the Orioles against the Mariners. Or lets talk about how the new look Tigers with the D-train and Miguel Cabrera have started the season horribly and are the only winless team in the league. Or lets talk about the gutsy performance last night of Diamondbacks pitcher Doug Davis who beat the Dodgers and starts treatment for thyroid cancer today. Or you wanna talk about the stud pitcher for the Reds, Johnny Cueto, who in his 2 major league starts has struck out 18 batters and walked 0.

Or lets stay on the topic of the current thread ask as why the Giants would trade either of their young, star pitchers for an older, always injured, moderately-decent 1st basemen? What benefit would that bring the Giants? Why would they trade their future for now, when it's obvious they are the worst team in MLB?

That enough baseball talk for ya?

Don't forget though about your buddies arguably racist and definitely ignorant comments.

Posted by: Barra Brava | April 9, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Brava, drop the circular firing squad. I'm glad your looking out for signs of bias, particularly checking on our spanish-speaking brothers and sisters who have come under a disgracefully high amount of fire lately. Keep it up man, it's a noble pursuit.

+.5St and Flynnie are sticking up for them, too, as the post log shows. Taken as an isolated incident, I would agree with you that his comments are suspicious, but in the entirety of his body of posting it's very clear he's on the good guy side.

And no, nice comments haven't disappeared already! I thought that i hate walks snark was positively hilarious and burst out laughing in the office, thanks, man!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 9, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Missed a "you're" and didn't clarify that I applaud Brava sticking up for spanish-speaking peoples.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 9, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"What benefit would that bring the Giants? Why would they trade their future for now, when it's obvious they are the worst team in MLB?" -Barra Brava

You obviously don't know anything about baseball, because that's precisely what the Giants would do.

Posted by: Sabean's an idiot | April 9, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Boy, I head out only for a little while and the whole blog turns into a big soccer-racism chat-fest. See people this is what happens when I'm not here.

Anyways, after all the negativity that's gone on here today here's something to lighten the mood. Enjoy!

Posted by: O's Exec | April 9, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

That was a great video, Eric. Thanks for sharing it!

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 9, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@ Steve on Cap Hill,

I couldn't agree with you more. The anti-trust issue is the biggest racket going in sports. MLB did nothing but strip this team of all is quality players when they had control of our team and I'm reminded of that every time i see a grady sizemore or brandon phillips highligt on the four-letter network. thanks for posting the baseball reference article link. It was a good read.

Posted by: BigRoy | April 9, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The "Jackass O's Guy" had to "head out for only a little while..."

Loser BS Translator: Driving in his parents 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass the 33 year old man swung by the comic book store on his way to pick up his Mom at work.

"Mom! The Meatloaf!"

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 9, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

steven on CH

You're attributing some things to MLB that just weren't their fault.

alou went to Fla in 1997.
pedro went to boston in 1998.
would the team have kept both barrett/schneider?
if the team was really that good, zimmerman wouldn't have been drafted here.
phillips was out of cleveland before he broke out unexpectedly in cinci (can't remember if it was rule 5 or waiver pickup), so you can't presume he would have broken out in montreal/wash, or even lasted long enough there/here. maybe he would have, but maybe he'd have floundered just the same until 06 and been out of the nationals' system.

not to mention it's silly to presume they could have signed all of those guys and kept them. you could make the same kind of list about a whole lot of teams and who've they've traded away if you go back 10 years.

what MLB did to the franchise isn't so much those trades in 02-04 (although they were painful) as it is what they did to the minor league organization as a whole, gutting the scouting and coaching and killing a few drafts in the process, not to mention international signings, which are far more important now than 10-20 years ago. and loria gutted everything he could on his way down to florida.

Posted by: 231 | April 9, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec = Post Sports Editor??

Posted by: Paranoia Central | April 9, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Does Boswell like crab cakes? I forget.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

What do they discuss on the Nationals baseball blog?

how many guys can you have on the 25-man roster?
Posted by: i hate walks | April 9, 2008 12:14 PM

Posted by: MIB threads | April 9, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

231 While i agree with on alou and pedro. the bartolo for lee, sizemore and phillips is the one that really hurt. But your right about the draft. We virtually didn't pick up anyone except Cordero and Bray. I think Steve On Cap Hill was mostly focused on the anti-trust issue and how MLB goes about its business. The was it has hurt directly is basically being handing a expansion franchise, not having control over our own media rights. Which by the way is the biggest load of dog doo ever! I'm not disagreeing with you just expounding on his points.

Go Nats! New winning streak begins tonight.

Posted by: BigRoy | April 9, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

will not update unless I do this

Posted by: site | April 9, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

This from Tom Verducci, on his observation from the first week of the season

5. Nationals home game appear amateurish on TV.

"The camera behind home plate is much too high. Considering how many more people know the park from television rather than in person, how could Washington not make sure their product is made for TV?"

Has anyone else noticed this too? Games look like they're being shot from a blimp.
Boston has a high press box too, but the position a camera lower (in front of the 403 club) for this very reason.

Posted by: Big Roy | April 9, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, apparently Verducci isn't big on doing his homework (or having his interns do it for him), or he'd know the Nats don't control their own TV rights, or MASN.

Posted by: CE | April 9, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

To continue the anti-trust thread: One of the best reasons to see to the ongoing health of the minor league system is that it exposes a tremendous number of kids to baseball who would probably not have that exposure otherwise. If kids are not going to games, they may not be playing baseball, and soon the talent pool starts to get shallow and muddy.

I hate the idea of monopolies... but almost everything about baseball is anachronistic. I think it is a flaw that we'll have to live with... it's not like MLB is controlling the price of oil or something...

Posted by: Wigi | April 9, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Nobody hates MASN and their priciple owner as much as i do, but they don't tell the Nats where to position their cameras.

Posted by: Big Roy | April 9, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

that would be principle

Posted by: Big Roy | April 9, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

with most prices as they are ($5 seats not withstanding), i think there are less kids going to games today than in the past. add in the cost of a coke and some food, even a $5 seat can turn into a $20+ outing for a kid in the cheap seats. if you have more than one, that makes games pretty expensive. i'm glad they made the $5 seats, cuz there would be a lot less opportunity for kids at the game if they didn't exist, i think. especially kids without parents with deep pockets.

Posted by: 231 | April 9, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my.

Barra Brava- No, not racism. I was remembering back to some articles I had read about DC United, and made a comment which may have been off the mark, but not mean-spirited. My comment about the possible effects on attendance were an extension of the stories on local soccer leagues which are suffering because players are not willing to play for fear of being harrassed. I meant my wish of good will for DCU and the fans.

So, no apology here for comments that I threw out for discussion, not out of spite. I had been tempted to needle soccer snobs who hate the Nats, but I instead thought about (a subset? a loyal portion?) of the DCU fanbase that just wants to root for their team, but is part of a community (legal or otherwise) that is under pressure in this area right now. If they are not a majority of the fanbase, feel free to call me an ass, but not a racist.

Thanks for defending me, friends, and I have no ill-will, Barra B. Just one thought, though- what brought you to the discussion? Are you a baseball fan, too?

Posted by: Positively Half St | April 9, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Steven on Capitol Hill - Oh, lemme catch my breath! Good one! But is it a bad thing? A subtle, organic way of saying, "Cowboy up?"

(although I won't say "Go Nats," which sounds like "gonads" to me)

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I've only been skimming this anti-trust conversation and am not really that interested in it, but kudos to those of you who are having it. I think it's cool that we have a blog that can talk about something like that in depth. Well done

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 9, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

And stop feeding Barra Brava the Troll - his "baseball knowledge" is a digest of today's New York Post or some other AL sports page. He's a Yankees fan and doesn't want to throw us any NatsLove. Could be wrong, but he hasn't made PlanetNats a better place. I've been here two years and have never seen a fellow fan called a racist.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Steven on the Hill - If they had that team, they wouldn't have come to D.C., they would have thrived in Montreal.

Because they lost those players baseball came to D.C..

Posted by: Andrew Stebbns | April 9, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I know the Sizemore to Cleveland trade was for pitching in a playoff race (Bartolo Colon, I think) and both Omar and Manny say that they would do it again in that situation. Without a new park, they weren't keeping Pedro, and the tax situation would probably have kept many of Steven's All Stars from staying in Canada.

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

new post up

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

There's a new sabremetric study by two physicists (one at the U. of Toulouse and one at- guess where? BU!) in which they say that streaks are random numeric and not self-feeding events. So take heart, PlanetNats (a huge Daily Planet-like globe that turns at the same speed of Mother Earth would be better than the Huge Baseball!) This losing streak is as doomed as my last winning streak in Vegas!

Posted by: flynnie | April 9, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 2, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 7, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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