Network News

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

Trivia answers

Answers to this morning's trivia quiz.

1. Without question.

2. b) 48 feet (per Hanrahan's own estimation last night)

3. d) foolish (as Hanrahan found after the ball skipped into left field)

4. Answer tailored to each individual. Please let me know the most popular choice

5. b) more strikeouts than he had in his six starts, total, last year (he struck out 10 men last year, including Barry Bonds sitting on 755)

6. c) fears Hanley Ramirez (per Acta's quote of last week)

7. The number of runs the Nationals average (3.56) is higher than Pi (3.14) - but just wait two weeks

8. Schneider: You've seen him. You tell me.

9. c) 16 percent, which is four Mets (Marlon Anderson, Endy Chavez, Ryan Church and Brian Schneider)

10. Personal preference

I'll talk to you from Dolphin Stadium, where a nation awaits a three-game series of simply epic proportions.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 18, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: After a 4-12 start, and 14 innings -- a quiz
Next: Lineups -- and general demeanor

Comments

Barry, I'm right there with ya brother; however, you be better be careful or Stan is going to put your seat on top of the pressbox.

Posted by: Corey | April 18, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barry,

Where is Stan through all this bad baseball? I miss his spin on what we are forced to watch. He is Mr. Entertainment Dollar......have not hurt a peep out of him for weeks.

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Uggh, this has been painful to watch. They can't be this bad all year, right?

Posted by: John | April 18, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Barry! We need a good set of Stan quotes. It's been a while since we've heard something from the man, myth and legend (but mostly myth.)

Posted by: Chris | April 18, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"I'll talk to you from Dolphin Stadium, where a nation awaits a three-game series of simply epic proportions."

Snark Master Max, we're going to miss you when you leave us!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

John:

I don't think it can be this bad but the only light I see is a train.

If I am Bowden, and to divert our attention from this wreck, I would not start introducing some of our youth. I know I have been down this path before but lets try Maxwell, de Castor and Jimenez. I know Langerhans is better than Rob (.000) Macko. Is there another Lannan that might be close. Why not give Ballester and O'Connor a shot. Maxwell takes Kearns' position.

Incidentally Jim, Church looks pretty good.

Posted by: mjames | April 18, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"Where is Stan through all this bad baseball? I miss his spin on what we are forced to watch. He is Mr. Entertainment Dollar......have not hurt a peep out of him for weeks."

Stan (as are the Lerners) is Jewish, and it is Passover after all. And maybe he also figured it would be a good idea to lay low this week while the Catholics were borrowing his new temple on South Capitol Street.

Actually, I did see Stan walking right towards me on the centerfield plaza just after I came into the park around noon for last Saturday's game. He had a look on his face like he was ready to snarl at someone, though, so I quickly moved on rather than stopping to tell him that JayB said hi. (Hmmm. I wonder if Barry was walking right behind me?)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Cordero needs to be at Columbus to get work. This sure isn't what I expected, heck, they might not equal last years 9 and 25 start, or whatever it was. Just a painful exhibition of AA ball.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 18, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

HMPH.

I played in the National farm system and I don't get any love.

Posted by: Nelson Figueroa | April 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

JayB, against my better judgment, I'm going to respond to your question in the last post about how this team can contend in 2010-12 by following The Plan. But I'm not interested in a lengthy debate as I think our respective positions on the issue are well established. So I'm going to respond by way of posting my 2011 lineup:

C - Flores
1b - Johnson (still just 32) or Marrero
2b - Stephen King or a FA
3b - Zimmerman
ss - Ian Desmond, Smiley Gonzalez or a FA
of - Three of WMP, Milledge, Kearns, Dukes, Maxwell, Burgess, Jake Smolinski, Stephen Englund and/or a FA
p - Five of Hill, Lannan, Smoker, Detwiler, Chico, Balester, Zimmermann, Clippard, Willems, McGeary, Carr, Mock, Martis and/or 1-2 FAs.

(By "FAs" above I mean free agents or players acquired in trades, for prospects or otherwise.)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 18, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

And that looks like a winner to you?

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

In all honesty time will tell but I have big doubts about...

King
Desmond
Smiley
WMP
Dukes
Maxwell
England

Pitchers

Chico, Lannan do not have the stuff needed....nice filler for now at #5's on decent team but that is it

Hill? come on.....

Others have the stuff but History tells us only one or two at most will pan out.....

So where.....crank up the FA cash...just hope they have it well invested...they are going to need it!

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh I must admit I thought you were joking about Kearns so I left him off

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@JayB, in fact yes - it does. And to support BobL's comment, I will re-post my own projected roster for 2011. If you have the time, you should check out their stats in the minors - you may be pleasantly surprised.

Nats Roster in 2011:
C: Jesus Flores
1B: Chris Marrero
2B: Orlando Hudson (perhaps?)
SS: One of the two Beckham's in this year's draft
3B: Zimmerman
LF: Burgess
CF: Milledge
RF: Maxwell
Backup Catcher: Devin Ivany
Bench/Utility Infielder: Ian Desmond
Bench/Fourth Outfielder: Elijah Dukes
Bench/Pinch Runner: Brandon Whiting

Rotation:
Shawn Hill (RHP)
John Lannan (LHP)
Ross Detwiler (LHP)
Collin Balester (RHP)
Jordan Zimmermann (RHP)

Bullpen:
Craig Stammen (RHP)
Zechary Zinicola (RHP/Closer)
Kyle Gunderson (RHP)
Kai Tuomi (LHP)
Cole Kimball (RHP/Set-Up)
Terrance Engles (RHP)
Colton Willems (RHP)
Hassan Pena (RHP)

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

We haven't heard anything from Stan because there's nothing he can BS about these days without getting called on it. He can't talk about the team. He can't talk about attendance. And he certainly can't talk about the huge HD scoreboard he was kvelling over all winter ("Adrian, look at the size of that thing!" HA HA HA HA) since his people have shown they have no idea how to actually use it.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I can only really trust what I have seen with my own eyes, thus I agree with our that Kearns is out as is Chico.

Maxwell.....I do not see it. Hill and Lannan no but for different reasons. Hill is too fragil and Lannan just not enough differental on Fastball vs Change up...but maybe...

O Hudson....I like it! Need a proven SS too....any I have not seen the 2 draft picks you note.

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Anybody looked back at pictures of Kearns with the Reds compared to Kearns of today? The guy is a rail now. He needs to get stronger and drive the ball or we will HAVE to get a better option. Love the guy to death but he is not a MLB player right now.

Posted by: natrat | April 18, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

at least we have diversions... we can watch the Skins screw up the draft, the United play boring soccer, les boulez lose to the Cavs... oops! The Nats WERE the diversion! sorry. just shoot me now!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Did you guys notice the shout-out Marc Fisher gave you guys in his blog post about Capitol Punishment and other Nats Blogs today?

"My personal favorite Nats community is the very active crowd that gathers over at Svrluga's Nationals Journal, but since Barry is a professional blogger, I thought it'd be best to feature someone who does this purely as a passion, and that's where Needham comes in."

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/04/blogger_of_the_month_capitol_p.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Posted by: SilverSpringNatsFan | April 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen Stan Kasten IS Susan O'Malley!
-----
On the grief scale I started at 5 with the hope that I could move to 1 but never quite got there...
-----
Then again I am a child of the Senators of the 60s (I fear I am not old enough to have rooted for the _real_ Nationals/Senators -- do I need to trade in my moniker for that?) so I'm used to this kind of thing...

Posted by: OldGuy | April 18, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I remember Paul Casanova (and Brinkman and Cullen).

I'm a big fan of Manny's. But I have had about enough of intentional walking the bases loaded during tie games. I'd rather get beat by Wright or Delgado than by Hanrahan (or Colome).

Posted by: lowcountry | April 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Posed this question to a very knowledgeable baseball man and he didn't have an answer. I tend to agree with him, but I thought it would be interesting to see what you all said. Try, please, to not use it as a chance to club another poster and instead contribute something to a dialog.

If Jim Bowden were fired today and the Lerners called you up on a telephone to be General Manager, what would you do? Since this is hypothetical, feel free to overstep the bounds of being a GM a little bit. And if anyone says they would take the field and hit 30 home runs in the next week, it's okay by me.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 18, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

JayB, I agree that not all of those guys will pan out and that we should have doubts about them. But this team is not three FAs away from contending. We need more like ten players, which is why pitching $200 million at three guys on the wrong side of 30 right now is the wrong approach (they won't get us to the promised land now, and by the time some of our prospects are ready, they'll be winding down their careers and weighing down the payroll preventing us from locking up our homegrown guys with long-term deals). Hopefully 6-7 of the ten players we need are already in the system someplace. Once we figure out who fills 6-7 of the holes, that's when we plug in the last few with FAs (or veterans we acquire in trades, with prospects from our 2007-2010 drafts).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the NJ community, please see the announcement in the prior post about our upcoming constiuents' gathering.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 18, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Just an FYI ... Jake Smolinski is playing 2B for Hagerstown. King has seen his playing time split beween 3B and DH (he's on the DL now with a hamstring injury). Steven Souza is currently playing 3B for them.

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"If Jim Bowden were fired today and the Lerners called you up on a telephone to be General Manager, what would you do?"

Resign and name Mike Rizzo the GM

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Brian wins.

Posted by: MrMadison | April 18, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Amen. You beat me to the punch.
________
If Jim Bowden were fired today and the Lerners called you up on a telephone to be General Manager, what would you do?"

Resign and name Mike Rizzo the GM

Posted by: lowcounty | April 18, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

(1) University of Georgia Gordon - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/events/draft_report/y2008/index.jsp?mc=beckham
(2) Griffin High School (GA) Tim - http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/events/draft_report/y2008/index.jsp?mc=tbeckham

There is a snowball's chance Tim is around at #9 this year. And Gordon keeps climbing the charts.

Posted by: Beckham Scouting Reports | April 18, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

first thing i would do is burn all those nice comfortable ugly uniforms and make these guys wear wool until they won 5 in a row.

o-dog? i would sign off on that.

Posted by: longterm | April 18, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"If you have the time, you should check out their stats in the minors - you may be pleasantly surprised."

JayB doesn't care about those stats. The only stat about a player he cares about is how much that player is being paid by some other team, so that he can demand that the Nationals immediately offer him twice that amount.

Why, if only John Lannan was getting paid more JayB might actually concede that he has some stuff. Gee, JayB, I wonder what those eleven Mets who struck out last night would think about your accusation that they whiffed so often against a pitcher who doesn't have any stuff? How many more might he have struck out if he did have some stuff?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Section 419+1/Nelson, why did you go back to posting anonymously?
--------------
"If you have the time, you should check out their stats in the minors - you may be pleasantly surprised."

JayB doesn't care about those stats. The only stat about a player he cares about is how much that player is being paid by some other team, so that he can demand that the Nationals immediately offer him twice that amount.

Why, if only John Lannan was getting paid more JayB might actually concede that he has some stuff. Gee, JayB, I wonder what those eleven Mets who struck out last night would think about your accusation that they whiffed so often against a pitcher who doesn't have any stuff? How many more might he have struck out if he did have some stuff?


Posted by: | April 18, 2008 12:34 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"If Jim Bowden were fired today and the Lerners called you up on a telephone to be General Manager, what would you do?"

Simple. Hand the job over to Mike Rizzo. Already under contract. Give him a nice bump in salary to cover the promotion, and a multi-year deal to keep other clubs from stealing him away.

Got any tough questions?

Posted by: Nelson | April 18, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Who's Section 419+1? For that matter, who's Nelson?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Please Nats, win! Just win.

Posted by: Patty | April 18, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

No wonder - have you ever tried to read the comments section he gets? OMG. The worst rants in here look like Thomas Carlyle, compared to them.
*******************
Did you guys notice the shout-out Marc Fisher gave you guys in his blog post about Capitol Punishment and other Nats Blogs today?

"My personal favorite Nats community is the very active crowd that gathers over at Svrluga's Nationals Journal, but since Barry is a professional blogger, I thought it'd be best to feature someone who does this purely as a passion, and that's where Needham comes in."

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/04/blogger_of_the_month_capitol_p.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Posted by: SilverSpringNatsFan | April 18, 2008 12:15 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Most important of all: Barry, Did you get an answer from our very own Einstein in shin guards concerning the "Paul L" commenter?

Posted by: LoDu??? | April 18, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Carlyle, huh?

Yeah. A little too "Dennis Miller"-ish? Shoulda gone with Susan Sontag?

Posted by: Mr In Between himself | April 18, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

So, you suppose they brought in Rizzo to light a fire under Bowden?

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

As per question #9:

Nelson Figueroa was with the Nationals organization in 2006 (AAA).

Posted by: Loyal Reader | April 18, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Brian, et al: Is there a well-known philosophical difference between Bowden and Rizzo? Not trying to be snarky, just trying to learn why/how Rizzo would be a better choice.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | April 18, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I guess the anonymous posting thing isn't going to go away, but you could at least be a man about it, and sign somebody else's name.

Posted by: Jack Handey | April 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The first thing I do is publicly blame Bowden for the mess in which the organization currently finds itself, and ask for the patience of Nationals fans while we try to right the ship.

That should buy me enough time to collect a few paychecks before it's painfully obvious that I'm dangerously underqualified.

Then I let Teddy win, resign amid the sweeping joy of that moment, and get a job on Cold Pizza.

-----

If Jim Bowden were fired today and the Lerners called you up on a telephone to be General Manager, what would you do?

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I would sign Barry Bonds to a long-term guaranteed contract.

Posted by: P. Angelos | April 18, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ahem, that's "Diamond" Ian Desmond.

-----

ss - Ian Desmond, Smiley Gonzalez or a FA

Posted by: John in Mpl | April 18, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe Rizzo has ever worn leather pants, ridden a Segway or gotten a DUI. That's a good start right there. Then there's the small matter of Rizzo generally being acknowledged as the guy who built the Dbacks team that very nearly made it to the Series last year, while Bowden is the guy who built the Reds.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I would decline, as I have a job, but I would suggest they don't need to fire Bowden, they should just send him down to AA so he can General Manage every day to improve his skills.

Posted by: MIB | April 18, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

There is a snowball's chance Tim is around at #9 this year. And Gordon keeps climbing the charts.

Posted by: Beckham Scouting Reports | April 18, 2008 12:32 PM

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

We have the 7th pick. We should be able to get one of the two of them, preferably Gordon since he's closer to being MLB-ready according to the scouting reports.

And if we can't get them, we could always go for Crawford, who's supposed to be the 3rd best SS available in this draft.

Thing is, if we go with pitching as our first round draft pick, I'm going to scream considering the plight of our middle infeild in the minors...

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals have the 9th pick in this year's draft

1. Rays
2. Pirates
3. Royals
4. Orioles
5. Giants
6. Marlins
7. Reds
8. White Sox
9. Nationals

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

...and Deez Nats.
The GM job isn't a turnkey operation. All the plan in the world won't help if you can't judge talent, and can't build an organization. Players come and go. In a good organization, good players come and the rest go. Cf the Old Orioles, the Old 49ers, the Braves up until recently, vs. the current Orioles, or the Cubs most anytime. (In fairness, I'm not sure where the Marlins fit there.)

*************
Then there's the small matter of Rizzo generally being acknowledged as the guy who built the Dbacks team that very nearly made it to the Series last year, while Bowden is the guy who built the Reds.
__________________________
Brian, et al: Is there a well-known philosophical difference between Bowden and Rizzo? Not trying to be snarky, just trying to learn why/how Rizzo would be a better choice.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | April 18, 2008 1:08 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Crawford at #9 would be a serious overdraft. You take the best player available. In the MLB draft, you cannot draft on need.

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Thing is, if we go with pitching as our first round draft pick, I'm going to scream considering the plight of our middle infeild in the minors..."

I think this would be the smart move. get the best available, as opposed to fitting a need. then deal pitching, because everybody always needs and/or covets pitching, and then get that MI that fits the bill.

Posted by: theraph | April 18, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say that I did catch this. I'm trying not to use blog respect as a measure of self-worth, but it's hard.

But really, if pictures of Ice Cube is all it takes, I offer you the following, and await the adulation of the Constituency:

http://tinyurl.com/6a32et

-----

John in Mpls, you're my new favorite regular here. Don't tell 506, ok?

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 18, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I was a bit snarky for my own tastes yesterday toward the Nats. I probably broguht the bad karma down on them. However, the teams performance to date has been pretty lackluster. Nieves played with energy and skill but he is never going to hit. Belliard was a little lazy on his approach to that ball. Zimmerman's swing was longer than the State of the Union. Kearns baserunning blunder was moronic. (I've been a faithful believer that Kearns is a worthy player, but we can't wait till June this year for him to find his swing). Zimmerman needs to come out of the lineup for a game or two (not as punishment, just for the settling effect it might have). Manny can't hit or pitch for these guys, but he is making some curious decisions -- Almost Frank-like except without the results.

I don't think the Lerner's are cheap, but they might have been given advice that has not worked very well. There are limited things you can do at a time like this but they need to do something.

To paraphrase the village police officer in Young Frankenstien: "A riot is an ugly thing ... and its about time we had one".

Posted by: NatBisquit | April 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

what hump?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

As for the discussions of Rizzo versus Bowden on a philosphical basis ... it's difficult to define Rizzo beyond the work he did in player development in Arizona. We really don't know how much input he had but he gets a lot of the credit for the Diamondbacks turnaround. He has demonstrated the ability to ID the best players available when the Arizona picks came up (check out the round he got Brandon Webb). With the approval of ownership, he did not let signability deter him (Stephen Drew & Max Scherzer were two guys who slid due to signability concerns).

Bowden's track record is a known. He loves his toolsy outfielders (and former Reds). His eye for pitching would not be classified as keen given the results.

The key difference is personality. One is more of a showman while the other appears more business-like

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I am very disappointed in you.

I have been a big fan of yours for years. I started buying the paper every day again in 2005 just to read your stuff, and your book "Nationals Pastime" brought back many fond memories of one of the most fascinating teams I've every followed.

However, your "trivia content" made me cringe and I felt it was very unprofessional. If I was Manny Acta or a player like Ryan Zimmerman, I don't think I'd talk to you tonight. You expect people like Acta and Zimmerman to treat you like a professional, but you did not treat them like professionals in your posting. Do you think Zimmerman is trying to make outs, or that Acta is happy his players are throwing the ball around the field? Do you think they are not trying? Yes, the quiz was funny, and yes, I see that many of the people posting liked it. However, Barry, you're not one of the kids in the room. You're supposed to be the adult, the professional, the grown-up here. You're not just another fan.

I can see the circumstances-the team has been playing awful, the end of the game was terrible, you've had three hours of sleep, you have to stay on the road and cover them for two more stops before you can get home, and I'm guessing you expected the Post to have named your successor by this time. Still, that does not justify what you posted, especially since, after having the flight to Miami to think about it, you posted the answers without an apology or any remorse whatsoever.

I am a Tiger fan and regularly read John Lowe in the Free Press and Tom Gage and Lynn Henning in the News. They covered the 119-loss team in Detroit in 2003, and they had been covering the team for many down years by that point, yet they never wrote something like that. They were certainly frustrated with how the team played, and let us know that, but not in a mean-spirited way. They were professionals.

I hate to say this, but I think it's time for you to leave the beat. Now. Today. I think George Soloman should call you up, thank you for your hard work covering the Nats the last four seasons, let you know somebody will be taking over for you on an interim basis starting tonight (Dave Sheinin, Tom Boswell, even a smart young intern), and that you need to fly home today. On the way to the airport, I'd hope you stop by Dolphin Stadium and apologize to Acta and his club for what you wrote. When you get back, Soloman should sit down with you and have a long talk, give you a few days off to decompress because you're clearly burned out, and then send you out to Redskin Park on your next beat.

You can go the games in your seats in Section 219, yell, cheer, and say anything you want (even post on this blog as a fan, for all I care), but it's time for you to move on.

Thanks for the years of service,

Dave 22101

Posted by: Dave 22101 | April 18, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Here's a guy that would fit right in
http://tinyurl.com/5qwvyy
Lonnie Chisenhall

Posted by: MIB lawyers | April 18, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@Brian - I stand corrected. Damn. If only we'd lost a couple more games last year. Now who'd have thought a fan would ever say that?

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Reposting from the other day:

Man, a couple of bad weeks and you guys get downright testy.

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@BigNatsFan - You just might get your "wish" this season

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Barry, go stand in the corner and think about what you've done, young man.

Posted by: MIB | April 18, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

After watching WMP last night I finally got the word to describe him: OAF.
He looked like an oaf out there.
And I'm a FAN of the man.
He did NOT look comfortable in the outfield or at the plate. This is the very first time I've actually started to feel ... embarrassed. Hoo boy ...
Having said that, let's sweep the fish this weekend!

Posted by: Spalding | April 18, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"I think George Soloman should call you up, thank you for your hard work covering the Nats the last four seasons, let you know somebody will be taking over for you on an interim basis starting tonight (Dave Sheinin, Tom Boswell, even a smart young intern), and that you need to fly home today."

Tell George he might want to check with me first before doing anything, okay?

Posted by: Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, now the WaPo Sports Editor and chief Orioles apologist | April 18, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Tell George he might want to check with me first before doing anything, okay?"

No problem, Emilio! :)

Posted by: Dave 22101 | April 18, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dave 22101. I couldn't think of anything more irritating than the Nats' recent play, but your self-righteousness did the trick!

These guys make millions (sometimes tens of millions) of dollars TO PLAY A GAME, and are owed no apologies.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | April 18, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Rookie third baseman Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed Friday to a $17.5 million, six-year contract, a deal that could be worth up to $44 million over nine seasons.

Tampa Bay has a club option for 2014 and a second option that covers 2015 and 2016.

Taken third overall in the 2006 amateur draft, Longoria appeared in just six major league game before agreeing to the deal."

Posted by: Brodie Van Wagenen | April 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

One thing I will say is that when referencing the Tigers model of developing players, look at who their starters are today: Granderson is the only position player that came up through their system (although some of their SP did).

I say for $40 million increase, you can lose Kearns, Lopez, Nick (trade) and sign Sabathia, Tex, Furcal, and Lowe. With that, we should at least pack the park and be in the race.

Posted by: expo_ram | April 18, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I respectfully disagree with you Dave 22101.

Barry's checks are signed by The Washington Post, not the Washington Nationals. If Manny or someone else has issues with his professionalism then they will work it out; however, Barry is being honest and truthful. Remember, in today's media world it's ratings and circulation that counts and Barry's stuff is incredibly entertaining thus inviting to casual (and even avid) readers. Why do you think every talk radio show has a bunch of extreme blowhards hosting it, they ruffle feathers and get people interested.

Most importantly, I don't give a darn if they're trying or not. This isn't little league, they're professionals (well-paid professionals) and they are there to produce results. If we try to counterbalance our frustration with, "at least they're trying" then we have a looooong way to go to be a legitimate baseball city. Ever hear, "at least they're trying" come out of the Bronx? Queens? New England? Northside Chicago? Chavez Ravine?

To heck with trying, I paid thousands of dollars (and yes, I paid it and nobody forced me to do so) to see quality baseball execution....if I wanted to see effort then I'd save some $ and go see a J.V. game.

Dave 22101, welcome to the big leagues.

Posted by: Corey | April 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Back to the draft: how can you pass on a guy named Cutter Dykstra?
Yes, I draft on name alone.

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

An interesting gamble for the Rays. They are "overpaying" him by about three-fold for his first three seasons (compared to what they could just give him under the existing CBA). His salaries for years four and five are roughly what he'd expect if he performs at a level equal to his projected abilities. Six is an underpayment.

Worst case scenario, the Rays are spending bench player money for six years on a guy who doesn't develop.

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

There's no trying in baseball.

Do. Or do not. There is no "try."

Posted by: Casey | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Zoiks! This blog goes off in strange directions sometimes.

Nats Gas -- that post about superdelegates was hilarious.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, Barry.

I guess he told YOU.


(Besides, we all know the Post doesn't care what their writers post as long as they don't include pictures of them with mascots. Or drunk. Ha?)

Posted by: Atlanta | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@CE - What are your feelings on a catcher named Buster Posey or a pitcher named Shooter Hunt?

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Rookie third baseman Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed Friday to a $17.5 million, six-year contract, a deal that could be worth up to $44 million over nine seasons."

Does this mean she won't be on Desperate Housewives any more?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"According to th East Valley Tribune, Orlando Hudson, a free agent at the end of the 2008 season, will be looking for a contract that would pay him close to $15 million per year."

for those of you who want o-dog, do you still want him at $15m/year? long-term?

bobL, i was at level 5 before spring training ever started. all i want them to do this year is be competitive. in contention is a fool's expectation. my goals for this team are numbered in the teens, not in 08/09.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Huh? Eva Longoria signed with the Rays?

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

419+1 is believed to have said:

"I don't believe Rizzo has ever worn leather pants, ridden a Segway or gotten a DUI. That's a good start right there. Then there's the small matter of Rizzo generally being acknowledged as the guy who built the Dbacks team that very nearly made it to the Series last year, while Bowden is the guy who built the Reds.

Posted by: | April 18, 2008 1:17 PM "

Ok, look, the leather pants, Segway, and DUI are ad-hominem pot-shots that are not well received in this crowd. The pants are silly, the Segway dumb, and the DUI stuipdly dangerous, but not one of those has any direct correlation to his ability to GM an MLB baseball club.

Ok?

But addressing 506's question about what I'd do if named GM of this team leads me back to a real-world conversation I've been having with my baseball mentor since the start of the season. He keeps saying that we should hire "whoever the general manager of the Marlins is" and he's got good reasoning to back it up.

As much as I hated the Marlins for "buying" a series victory in '97 (I lived in Cleveland then), I have to give them props for being able to put together a winning team so quickly, dismantle it, put another one together six years later, and put together a team that has -- so far this year -- made us look silly. The Marlins? We got swept by the Marlins? And we get worried about attendance. Psh.

So without much from wikipedia I learned that the Marlins' GM is Michael Hill. Nobody seems to know anything about him except that he is one of the three black GMs in baseball. And he started last Sep. 29th. So he can't get too much credit for what's going on there now.

The previous GM (who is now the Marlins' club President) is one Larry Beinfest .. who, incidentally was replaced from the GM spot of the Montreal Expos by a guy named Omar Minaya.

So I'll leave you to put together what that all means, but the upshot is that if I were in a position to pick, I'd ask Beinfest to come GM the Nats. That way, even if the Learners ARE cheap (as has been mentioned here once or twice) we have a shot at a winning club. I mean, it cant be any worse than working for Jeffery Loria, right?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Barry's quiz. If we're going to ask reporters to blog rather than just write stories, they need greater latitude and everybody (including the players and manager) need to understand it.

It was a little snarky but certainly not mean-spirited.

He's done a terrific job since baseball returned to Washington and I wish he were staying on the baseball beat.

Posted by: Meridian | April 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"419+1 is believed to have said"

if you believe that, then you're delusional. that guy's gone. and good riddance too.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't Jimbo beating down the doors of the Cubs and Mets. Cubs have talent they desperately want to get rid of, and we all know Minaya's track record... The Cubs will want another righty OF bat (once they realize that Reed Johnson is a poor man's Austin Kearns). So why don't we just give them the real thing. Maybe pick up Matt Murton from them...

Posted by: Trade with the Cubs | April 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Why is Stan the Man posting as "Dave 22101?"

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

"You can go the games in your seats in Section 219, yell, cheer, and say anything you want (even post on this blog as a fan, for all I care), but it's time for you to move on.

Thanks for the years of service,

Dave 22101"

Posted by: Section 420 | April 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was fast!!!
Longoria signs long-term contract with Tampa Bay
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/04/18/longoria.contract.ap/index.html

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Dykstra wouldn't be a bad pick-up...future 2B? Maybe...

As for drafting best available vs. drafting for need: I know what everyone's getting at, and yes I agree, you draft the best talent available. That being said, when you have a half-dozen guys lined up for one roster spot, and NONE for another, and there's only a bit of a difference between two players (potential-wise) that would line up in those two spots, which one do you go with? Why the one where there's nobody of course...

So in other words, we have a lot of potential in our pitching prospects, and in reading the draft reports, I haven't see all that much of a difference in potential between the pitchers and the middle infeild guys who are more badly needed in the organization in general.

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to GoNats and others who posted some links on the pitch count discussion. I'll look at them when I get a minute.

As for the question about what I'd do if I became GM tomorrow; I'd do nothing different. The Nats this year will give a bunch of players a chance to prove that they are long term productive big leaguers. All these guys deserve a shot - either because they are young or because they showed in the past that they could be productive at an all-star level, but are bouncing back from injury:

Zimmerman
Dukes
Pena
Milledge
Kearns
Johnson
Guzman
Hill
Bergman
Redding
Lannan
Chico
Hanrahan

That's almost ½ the roster. Throw in another couple starting pitchers called up during the year from AAA, and you get close to 15 guys we'll know a lot about after the year is over. We need to remember that this is a first year of a rebuilding plan. From 2005-07 the Nats were cobbling together rosters to be competitive with zero regard for the future. Adding some 30+ year old guys to the roster this year - particularly at a high price - simply to win 80 games and draw a few more fans would have been foolhardy. Yes, it stinks to watch the way they are playing right now. Yes, 16 games worth of results make JimBo's talent evaluation skills look bad. Let's reserve judgment though until we've seen 162 games.

Patience, folks. Patience

Posted by: #4 | April 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If Shawn Hill can't go on Thursday (no formal word as far as I know) who get the call for Thursday? Bergmann pitches tonight for Columbus, so if he gets skipped you might have your answer, more likely though is O'Connor, he last pitched on the 14th so it would be his normal day to pitch anyway, plus he put up a Gem his last time out;

6IP 5H 1ER (1HR) 10K 1BB

And he's off to a great start this year too;

3 GS, 16IP, 11H, 4ER (2HR) 16K, 4BB, .190BAA, 2.25ERA and .94WHIP

If he can translate ANY of that success to the big show he might be sticking aroudn for a while.

Just like our friend John Lannan...I believe Bill Ladsen at MLB.com took a ration of grief for saying Lannan should have been our opening day starter...who would argue with him now?

Posted by: estuartj | April 18, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

OK that was supposed to be SATURDAY - not Thursday...

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

"Dave 22101, welcome to the big leagues."

Thanks, but I've actually been there for a long time. I've been following the game for over 30 years and have written four books on baseball.

There is not reason we can't have civility in the "big leagues".

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

"Barry is being honest and truthful."

Where is the "honesty" and "truthfulness: in the following statements, for example? --

1. Mets catcher Raul Casanova went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts last night. Would he help the Nationals' offense?

8. Had Hanrahan not thrown a wild pitch to Brian Schneider with two outs and the bases loaded in the 14th, Schneider would have: a) grounded out, 4-3; b) grounded out, 1-3; c) grounded out, 3 unassisted; d) singled in the winning run

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

I don't expect Barry to gloss over mistakes or be Stan Kasten's press agent. A reposter has to be tenacious, which sometimes will cause a conflict with the club. Great. I expect his to tell me that the plays that ended last night's game were terrible and that the team is not hitting, and that they are not a good team. I expect him to tell me that Hanrahan threw a slider into center field. If a player is not putting effort forward or is acting unprofessional, I expect him to tell me that. That is being a professional journalist. If the players or the club can't take that, then they have a problem.

But, I don't need him to be mean-spirited about it and making fun of them, like Hanrahan meant to throw that ball into center field. That is not being a professional journalist. If he tells me what happened, I can come to my own conclusion about it.

Again, Barry's supossed to be the adult here, which I don't think he was in that post.

Posted by: Dave 22101 | April 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Among Jon Heyman's "Around the Majors" points":

• It's hard to imagine a better third baseman than the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman.

Posted by: Brodie Van Wagenen | April 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman - Yes
Milledge - Yes
Lannan - Yes
Chico - Yes

Dukes - 50/50 at best
Pena - 50/50 at best

Kearns - No
Johnson - No
Guzman - No
Hill - No
Bergmann - No
Redding - No
Hanrahan - No

Posted by: Still Nationals in 2 years | April 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"I am very disappointed...
(clip)
...very unprofessional.
(snip)
...mean-spirited...
(nip)
...apologize...for what you wrote.
(blip)
Dave 22101
"
Um. No. Let's look at it this way: Currently with Boz in his post-Masters hibernation we have no columnist writing about the team right now so Barry has (thanks you, man, we're really going to miss you) taken on the mantle, albeit only here on the Journal page (but the dead trees version will go away one day, so it's a natural progression - though I still need to find a device that I can read on the subway that won't give me a headache, but I digress). He just happens to have adopted the pointed stick with humor approach.
Whilst this will rub some of the players the wrong way (if they even read it) it is as likely that they will recognize that it is 1) True 2) True w/ exaggeration - a valid technique or 3) Silly exaggeration.
So I'll go with: Okay, that's you, no it wasn't and I don't think he needs to.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Keep Dreaming Guys...our day will soon come. Can you imagine a Nats team participating in such matchups like tonight's Mets v. Phils? Santana v. Hamels!!! Somehow, Santana v. Chico or even Hamels v. Hill just don't cut it.

Posted by: Keep Dreaming Guys | April 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Whilst this will rub some of the players the wrong way (if they even read it)"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: MLB players | April 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"419+1 is believed to have said"

if you believe that, then you're delusional. that guy's gone. and good riddance too.

Posted by: | April 18, 2008 2:14 PM

"""""""""""""""""""""

So step out from behind the curtian and put on a moniker and use it consistently. Posting with an empty name is annoying.

&&

John in Mpls: The Ice Cube interview was all about "place" and "home" and growing up and living and making music in Los Angeles ... and he is pictured wearing a curly-w hat. OH THE IRONY.

&&

Yes, conversation among this group DOES go off in strange directions sometimes. Wow.

22101 guy, go read Casey's response again. For me.


Finally,

Who is our starting catcher tonight? I think I saw Nieves play in 5/6 of the spring training games I saw this year and he won't impress with the bat, but he's got big-league catching skills. Somebody here said "Schneider-like" ... didn't he actually throw somebody out?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I saw an earlier supposition suggesting that Zimmerman should be given a day or two off to clear his head. I see three reasons why this is unlikely to happen:
1. His gold-glove caliber defense at 3B is better than anyone who would fill-in.

2. On any given night he has the potential to snap out of it. His best is better than the best of anybody who would fill-in.

3. He is a young man. He's not fatigued. Move him down in the lineup if you must, but let him work it out.

And finally.....................
4. I have a sneaky suspicion that Zimm has his sights set on Cal's streak 14 years down the road - - and that the Nationals would love for that to happen. I, for one, would love that to happen. I'd like to see play the next several years without missing a game and then things could get interesting.

Now watch Manny sit him out this evening and blow my theory totally out of the water.

Posted by: Doctor Joe | April 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oops, the Barry needs not apologize one up there was me.

Posted by: OldGuy | April 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

That's good, but they'd move up a level if they were Busty Poser and Hunter Shoot.

*************
@CE - What are your feelings on a catcher named Buster Posey or a pitcher named Shooter Hunt?

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Why is Stan the Man posting as "Dave 22101?"

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

Actually, that's pretty funny! I have heard Stan speak, have read Barry's coverage of Stan, and I can't stand Stan. I wish he'd leave town. However, I did not mention that in my earlier posts because that was not the point I was making.

Posted by: Dave 22101 (Section 216) | April 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

i hate walks. such a full name, isn't it?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

For all that went wrong last night, I do think we need to bring up the one thing that went right - Lannan was terrific. I look forward to seeing more of him.

Posted by: Traveler | April 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope they give the kid the night off after 14 tough ones last night.
************
Who is our starting catcher tonight? I think I saw Nieves play in 5/6 of the spring training games I saw this year and he won't impress with the bat, but he's got big-league catching skills. Somebody here said "Schneider-like" ... didn't he actually throw somebody out?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 18, 2008 2:31 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope they give the kid the night off after 14 innings last night.

And yes, with (according to Charlie and Dave) a spectacular perfect throw, in extra innings.

************
Who is our starting catcher tonight? I think I saw Nieves play in 5/6 of the spring training games I saw this year and he won't impress with the bat, but he's got big-league catching skills. Somebody here said "Schneider-like" ... didn't he actually throw somebody out?

Posted by: i hate walks | April 18, 2008 2:31 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

HEY! they told me the first one got rejected!

Posted by: CE again | April 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I'm shocked that some think we have reached the "fire the GM stage". I do agree that Rizzo would be a better long-term solution than Trader Jim. I don't want to lose Rizzo to another team. (Obviously I am an expert in baseball operations... HA!) I know we kid and joke here in NJ, and also bounce ideas around. I also learn from most of you who know more about baseball than I do. Maybe we are just "ahead of the curve" and getting prepared for the inevitable!

Posted by: 425 | April 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

That's great you've been around it for so long, and this isn't a personal attack on you or your character. Heck, we're all friends here so let's go grab a beer sometime. All I'm saying is that, to me, it seems you're bent on the "trying" aspect or the "intentions" aspect. At the highest level of anything neither of those 2 things matter: results matter. I don't care how hard they tried or what he did/didn't mean to do - I care about what he did....people that try hard or mean for the best thing to happen aren't spraying each other with booze in the locker room in September & August.

If a corporation continually posts in the red quarter after quarter....I'm sure their staff tried hard and their executives had the best intentions - but if the Board of Directors were still pleased then I'd be very concerned about the direction of said corporation.

Posted by: Corey | April 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to belabor the point beyond this, but you can always tell that it is me (if the copious length, parenthetical asides, and gratuitous punctuation don't give it away before you get to the bottom).

I'd just like a handle for referring to you when I'm digesting what you write or conversing with you here. I don't care about knowing anyone's real name ...

... Except "Dave 22101" because I'd really like to investigate these four baseball books.

Posted by: i hate walks | April 18, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Or to put it another way: read the NEW YORK Post lately?

Posted by: MIB, on behalf of pompous gits everywhere | April 18, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

i'd be surprised if o-dog got $15mil. we should definitely put some feelers out there though.

here's an option: draft a pitcher. trade marrero. resign nick johnson. i know that goes against all my past love for marrero but zimmerman's glove deserves a steady first baseman, as do all our pitching prospects. marrero is a stud with the bat so trade him to the AL. find two middle of the order bats in LF and RF and we'll be fine. sure would be nice if burgess and dukes can fill in but i'd plan they won't.

Posted by: longterm | April 18, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

bignatsfan, you *always* draft best player available in the first round (with signability in the back of your mind). whoever you sign rarely ever moves up the next season (zimmerman is the exception, not the rule). and you can *never* have too much pitching. if you have excess pitching, you can trade that for position players. trading excess position players for pitching is far more difficult. and, most importantly, you just never know what will happen next year, the year after, or the year after. drafting a 3B isn't a bad thing. 3 years from now, god forbid, zimmerman could have a catastrophic injury. or could be out for a full season with an injury. gotta have someone to fill in then. and if you end up with an allstar 3B and a potential allstar 3B blocked behind him, you can always trade one. having zimmerman shouldn't preclude you from drafting an evan longoria, if he's the best player there.

you can draft for need in the 3rd round, but in the first, you get the best guy you can, regardless of position.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"• It's hard to imagine a better third baseman than the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman."
_______________________________

Especially if you are a pitcher who can consistently throw the ball a foot off the plate.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 18, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

re Nieves: Exactly! Behind the plate, he was VERY Schneider-like, which I personally think is one of the reasons Lannan had such a tremendous outing (not to take away from Lannan, but they do form a battery).
I was always a fan of Schneider, and was very sad to see him get traded/very afraid that his replacement wouldn't call a game as well. So here's to hoping that Neives sticks around. I'd just never expect anything from his bat, but I'm OK with that. What he does behind the plate is more important.

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Looks like big baseball writer with lots of time on his hands Dave is Nerd King for today.

What should Barry have written?

Posted by: natsfan | April 18, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

So am I now allowed to use the New York Post as a model of baseball coverage to show why the Washington Post's coverage of the Nats stinks?

* * * *

Or to put it another way: read the NEW YORK Post lately?

Posted by: MIB, on behalf of pompous gits everywhere | April 18, 2008 2:44 PM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 18, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If they're going to get Hudson, they have to get a few more "win now" types to go with him. I love watching him, but he's 31, too old to build around even if he is good for another five years. Still, it would be nice.

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse


• It's hard to imagine a better third baseman than the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman."
_______________________________

Especially if you are a pitcher who can consistently throw the ball a foot off the plate.

Posted by: lowcountry

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

FYI, generally when a sports writer makes a statement like that, they are speaking defensively. If they think he's a great hitter, that is not relevant to the position he is playing, unless they state that specifically, as in "best offensive 3rd baseman in baseball".

Posted by: Matt | April 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

why is nieves getting credit for calling the game. i thought it was manny who was sending in signals. manny knows our pitchers better than any of our catchers still.

Posted by: longterm | April 18, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Not up to me what you get to do here, but for the record, I was only suggesting a benchmark for comparing Barry's rude remarks. And they were pretty rude. Which is ok, the team played pretty bad.

****************
So am I now allowed to use the New York Post as a model of baseball coverage to show why the Washington Post's coverage of the Nats stinks?

* * * *
Or to put it another way: read the NEW YORK Post lately?
Posted by: MIB, on behalf of pompous gits everywhere | April 18, 2008 2:44 PM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 18, 2008 2:54 PM

Posted by: MIB | April 18, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@231 - I understand what you're saying, and I don't neccessarily disagree with you. We should get the best talent available, but for this draft class, I think the best talent available is in the MI, which the organization happens to have none of anyways, and really needs in the long-term.

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's look at the D-Backs roster for a second and how it was put together:

C - Chris Snyder (2002 draft)
1b - Conor Jackson (2003 draft)
2b - Orlando Hudson (2006 trade for Troy Glaus)
3b - Mark Reynolds (2004 draft)
ss - Stephen Drew (2004 draft)
lf - Eric Byrnes (2005 as FA)
cf - Chris Young (2005 trade for Javier Vazquez)
rf - Justin Upton (2005 draft)
sp - Micah Owings (2005 draft), Brandon Webb (2000 draft), Danny Haren (2008 trade for prospects), Edgar Gonzalez (2000 amateur FA, he was 17 then), Randy Johnson (reaquired in 2007 trade w/NYY)
cl - Brandon Lyon (2003 trade w/BoSox for Schilling)

So since 2003, five years ago, they dealt Troy Glaus, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson and Javier Vazquez (among other lesser lights) for prospects and focused on the draft, while holding onto young promising arms in Brandon Webb and Edgar Gonzalez. They found their first baseman, third baseman, shortstop, right fielder, and three starters in the draft. They got their 2b, their cf and their closer by dealing veterans they didn't think would be part of a 2007-2012 contender. They signed a FA left fielder in 2005 and then traded prospects for two starters (Danny Haren and Randy Johnson, again, in 2007 and 2008), when they felt ready to contend. They went to the NLCS last year and lead the NL so far this year. And 9 of their key 15 guys are 27 or younger, meaning they can expect to contend for the next five years without significant changes.

That's a plan in action. Let's hope Rizzo can do that again (my working theory is that Rizzo is here to handle the scouting and Jimbo's the wheeler dealer).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 18, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

George Will has a son named David and has written baseball books and has a large reservoir of pomposity from which to draw ...

Posted by: hmmmmm | April 18, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Ugh - you can really tell we are losing by the content in the blog these days.

Posted by: Patty | April 18, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Barry is with the team pretty much every single day. I'm impressed that he's got the stones to throw out this kind of harmless sarcasm, knowing he'll be face-to-face with them in a few hours.

Besides, he's running OUT of professional ways to describe their losses.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I actually think that the NY Post's beat writers for the Yankees and Mets are rather objective, and good writers.

Now, do Joel Sherman, Kevin Kernan, Larry Brooks (who should stick to hockey) et al. speak their mind and get "rude" (I think "blunt" is a more appropriate adjective) on occasion? Yes, sure they do. But they're columnists. Something the Washington Post does not have when it comes to baseball. Those guys in NY write pretty much every day. It would be super if the Washington Post had columnists who wrote about baseball on even a regular basis, much less every day. While a bit more bluntness and topical writing from columnists is clearly one of the things that the Washington Post lacks, to be clear, I would not expect that the Washington Post, if it were to have such regular columnists, would adopt the tone that the NY Post employs. They are different types of newspapers.

As for Barry's position, I think the beat writer/blogger dual role is a difficult one to straddle. I think he has done a great job with it, with minimal additional resources to complement him. Did he cross the line with his quiz? I don't think so, but I wouldn't use columnists in the NY Post as the measure to compare him against.
* * * *
Not up to me what you get to do here, but for the record, I was only suggesting a benchmark for comparing Barry's rude remarks. And they were pretty rude. Which is ok, the team played pretty bad.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | April 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed watching Nieves play too. I only wish we could inject him with a "hitting" gene. Anybody know if he will have to clear waivers to be sent back down?

Barry, I wondered if the tone of your piece on the game in the paper was appropriate. But since the NJ is by design, less formal, I figure you should be allowed to express opinions more freely. And nobody on the Nats staff should be afraid of criticism.

But I think we all should thank Barry for the great job he does with the NJ, I fear it won't be the same without him.

Posted by: BofG | April 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

bignatsfan, i think you're pretty alone in ranking MI so high. most of the rankings i've seen have very few MI in the first round and not many in the top 100.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

y'all is crazy. we'll get it straight. rehab is going good, i'll be back soon. the hits will start falling for us an we'll play better ball. be patient!

Posted by: Elijah D | April 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

D-Backs are the exception that proves the rule. Look at the roster and draft dates. We have one person from 2005 draft they have 3 in the starting lineup. 2 of their 3 are better than Zim.....

Are you banking on that happening again for anyone, especially Jimbo with his flawed man crushes? Our top picks are still in rookie and High A league. D-Backs picks are stars in the MLB.....D-back players are 5 tools and complete....

Nats picks have no position. Even Burgess is being looked at as a 1st Baseman in the future......Anyone who is rationalizing the Nats plan by pointing to the D-Backs is hoping against hope to catch lighting in a bottle several times over.

I do not care if we develop our own players or trade for others and sign free agents but I do care that we are realistic about what is likely to happen and in what time frame. This team has gotten worse each year but and are living on over estimated levels of talent. If Ross D was as good as the is you all make him out to be he would be pitching in Was by now. He is in Single A people and he is in his second professional season after 3 years of college.

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Zing!

-----

Besides, he's running OUT of professional ways to describe their losses.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 18, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Barry, was that really Elijah?

Or is the joker who didn't believe Bergmann came here toying with us??

Posted by: NatsNut | April 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Are you serious? Who cares! The guy has been in the minors for 8+ years going from this org to the next. There's only one place for him to go from there...Japan (ala Rick Short)!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Will Nieves clear waivers? | April 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wikipedia had Nieves as Mike Mussina's personal catcher.

But I guess he couldn't hit there either.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The D'backs are nasty. Living in AZ and following them as my #2 makes the Nats debacle a little easier to deal with...

Posted by: expo_ram | April 18, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

expo_ram,
You are lucky. The rest us us simply have to turn on the tv and dream that our squad is the opposing team.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Keep Dreaming Guys...our day will soon come. Can you imagine a Nats team participating in such matchups like tonight's Mets v. Phils? Santana v. Hamels!!! Somehow, Santana v. Chico or even Hamels v. Hill just don't cut it.

Posted by: Keep Dreaming Guys | April 18, 2008 2:30 PM

-----

Santana v. Speigner, anyone?

So it seems there are two agreed upon options here. Hand over the Keys of St. Peter's of Nationals Park to Rizzo or be patient and remember that it is a rebuilding year.

Handing over the keys to Rizzo avoids the bigger question of what to do with this team now. It's somewhat messianic, in my opinion. We'll give it to Rizzo. What will he do? I don't know, but then we'll win!

So if anyone is still interested, I would be interested to hear what you would do if you were drafted as GM and could not give up the post for the rest of the year.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 18, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"If Ross D was as good as the is you all make him out to be he would be pitching in Was by now. He is in Single A people and he is in his second professional season after 3 years of college."

JayB - People might be overselling Dtwiler but you are going way too far in the other direction

1. TB - David Price (3 years college) - not pitching in full season yet due to injury
4. PIT - Daniel Moskos (3 years college) - same level as Detwiler in the Carolina League
5. BAL - Matt Wieters (3 years college) - playing at the same level as Detwiler (Carolina League)
7. MIL - Matt LaPorta (4 years college) - Double-A ball
8. COL - Casey Weathers (4 years college) - Double-A ball

Some folks may be setting too high expectations for Detwiler. Others are setting the bar too low

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

JayB, you can't start the Nats clock in 2003, when the D-backs started theirs. You have to start our clock in 2007, the first year we had a deep draft and paid players above slot. Hence, 2010-12. Nobody is arguing that the Nats are the D-backs right now.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 18, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse


"...Marlins...I have to give them props for being able to put together a winning team so quickly, dismantle it, put another one together six years later...
Posted by: i hate walks"
-----
Hrmmm... six years later... SIX (6, seises, sechs, sei) years later. And, if I recall correctly, when they blew up the team they only did that on the Major League level. Can we try to have just a bit of patience here when they've only had a year to begin the build? Hrrmmmm?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Keep forgetting to sign there... I'm six in several languages boy...

Posted by: OldGuy | April 18, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

No bad mouthing Rick Short, I wish we had a single bench player that could hit like him.

Posted by: estuartj | April 18, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, don't be too hard on Barry. He was this nasty about the starting pitchers last April, too. But he's not banging on them now. His nastiness was funny, too, and accurate, which still isn't pleasant, but I'll take it over unfunny, inaccurate hating any day.

I laughed through the tears.

We're not at 9-25 yet, boys, there's still time.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 18, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Recall all the moves I have asked for all winter like non-tendering Lopez and signing David E., Signing Tori Hunter and Livo......BUT that is not what you asked me to do here is it.....

FIRST THING FIRST...DL Chad and Young. Replace them with Hottest bats I can get from AA or above. Carry 13 Pitchers and CUT Rob M, Lopez....Get the idea....face the reality not live in a dream world that this team is good now.

SECOND, Fire Lenny H and Tim Tolman, both who should never have been rehired last Fall.

THIRD, Look for high priced bats that other teams want to unload due to salary not lack of production.

Fourth, sit down with Acta and let him know the whole, we were not supposed to win so what's the big deal if we stink, routine stops today.

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

JayB --

where did you see/read "Even Burgess is being looked at as a 1st Baseman in the future"? Everything I've read says he's slotted to be a corner outfielder.

Posted by: e | April 18, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Recall all the moves I have asked for all winter like non-tendering Lopez and signing David E., Signing Tori Hunter and Livo......BUT that is not what you asked me to do here is it....."

I do, but recommending that the Nationals should go back in time and listen to you is kinda stupid.

Thanks for the answers. Others?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 18, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

i'm tellin ya, he's buckin for columnist if boz takes the buyout!

jayb, who replaces flopez as backup SS if you cut him?

i think your "third" is something worth pursuing as we come up to the trade deadline, depending, of course, on who it is. ;)

oh, and meathook *is* on the DL.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I think I read it on Nats Farm Authority from a Baseball America scouting report. Could be wrong about where but I know it was not ideal talk.

Much like other Jimbo Loves he has not natural feel for outfield and a week arm.

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Ops I wanted to add 60 day DL there....Young is done...use the spot on the 40 man and fill it up from other teams waivers

Posted by: JayB | April 18, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"I agree that not all of those guys will pan out and that we should have doubts about them. But this team is not three FAs away from contending. We need more like ten players, which is why pitching $200 million at three guys on the wrong side of 30 right now is the wrong approach"

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


Exactly. The Nats don't need all of the prospects to pan out, but we need some. There's simply too many holes to fill. And there's no point in wasting money on FAs until at least some of the prospects are ready to go. It's brutal to watch now, but so were the Braves circa 1989-90.

Posted by: LANats | April 18, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

If e were to become GM today, he would not do anything, because picking the right free agents who will perform well is really really hard to do and they are also really really expensive. He wouldn't make any trades because trading for the right guys is really really hard to do and he might mess up. He would participate in the amateur draft but he wouldn't draft anyone in an early round who was a potential star because those guys demand really really big bonuses and most of them flame out anyway and so that would be a waste of money. He would reconcile himself to the fact that the Nationals are a bad team and can't get any better forever and ever.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

1. Wait until Felipe Lopez or Belliard string together some hits and trade either for whatever we can get. Read: Cubs. Dodgers.
2. Do the same with Kearns. Cubs. Heck, they wanted Marlon Byrd.
3. Put Dimitri Young in RF. Ha! Just kidding! Put J. Max in right.
4. Gulp...sign Mike Stanton. We need another lefty bullpen arm.
5. Let Chad C rehab in the minors. Trade him in July/August to Mets/Brewers. By then Gagne's arm will have fallen off.
6. Sign/draft/hold another GM hostage to get a lefty bat! For crissakes, the lineup is stupid as is.
7. Keep Flores at AAA for the year. (Why we gave Lo Duca $5 mil and scoff at bringing in a serviceable pitcher to eat innings is beyond me)
8. Accelerate development of minor leaguers by handing out roids.
9. When meeting with Boras re clients, get on his good side by paying for his room and services at the Mayflower.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If I was the GM...

1. DFA O. Perez or trade him for a small bag of peanuts, bring up O'Connor.

2. Bring up Balester if Hill can't go or if he can then trade Tim Redding (Large bag of peanuts?)

3. Trade Christian Guzman for maximum value, give Ian Desmond a taste of the bigs, he'll probably bat worse that Guz did in '05, but at least he's a good glove.

4. Trade Ronnie Belliard for maximum value, now that he's hitting #2 he'll start to look good again, then we'll find out if Felipe Lopez can play and hit at 2nd base, he's young enough to still be worth a look.

5. Trade (medium bag of peanuts) or Bench Austin Kearns when Dukes comes back putting Pena in RF & Dukes in LF.

6. DFA Harris and Mack, bring up Maxwell to be the 5th OF if/when Young is back.

7. I would look long and hard at replacing Boone on the bench

8. Bring back Schroder and DL Cordero until he get's his velocity back (or DFA him, who would pick up a $6M closer who throws 78mph?).

Posted by: estuartj | April 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

506 - As GM I'd tell Manny that the day to day managing is now in his hands. This ship ran aground the day we heard the FLop was going to play LF. I suspected that was not Manny's idea then and am even more convinced now.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 18, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If e were to become GM today, he would not do anything, because picking the right free agents who will perform well is really really hard to do and they are also really really expensive. He wouldn't make any trades because trading for the right guys is really really hard to do and he might mess up. He would participate in the amateur draft but he wouldn't draft anyone in an early round who was a potential star because those guys demand really really big bonuses and most of them flame out anyway and so that would be a waste of money. He would reconcile himself to the fact that the Nationals are a bad team and can't get any better forever and ever.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 4:12 PM
-----------------------
Huh?

I never said I wouldn't make any trades or sign any FA's or not draft top talent. The Nats have done that. Some have worked out, some haven't. Just because the Nats didn't sign the FA's YOU wanted, or didn't trade for the players YOU wanted doesn't mean that they are cheap.

And if you want to start making it personal, let's do it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh Barry. You'll be so, so missed. I hope you contribute at least some occasional snark to good ol' NJ after you leave the beat post.

Posted by: Mick | April 18, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

1. George Will is not spending his time on NJ

2. Rizzo's obviously great with draft picks. However, where's the love for DC native and D'Backs GM, Josh Byrnes. He had more to do with their success than Rizzo. The Lerners should have gone after him hard before he signed a long term deal with AZ. I know he would have loved to return to DC.

Posted by: #4 | April 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Now I am confused. Is the anonymous poster 419+1/Nelson, or is it e? Or are they all the same person?
______________________
Huh?

I never said I wouldn't make any trades or sign any FA's or not draft top talent. The Nats have done that. Some have worked out, some haven't. Just because the Nats didn't sign the FA's YOU wanted, or didn't trade for the players YOU wanted doesn't mean that they are cheap.

And if you want to start making it personal, let's do it.

Posted by: | April 18, 2008 4:21 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"use the spot on the 40 man and fill it up from other teams waivers"

Interesting. You blast them for doing basically this during the offseason, and then when asked what *you* would do if you were in charge, you bring it up as one of your main actions. If Bowden and Kasten are two-faced liars, then what would this say about you?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not one to complain about ESPN coverage, but did anyone else see their gamer on us from last night? It was ok up until the 14th inning when they talk about the intentional walks and then the wild pitch, but nothing on the 2 bad throws that put the winning run on 3rd, the intentional walks were incidental, except that it made Hanrahan (who was already having control issues) throw away 8 pitches before facing Schneider - which they didn't mention that anyway.

Posted by: estuartj | April 18, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Barry, help! We need a new post!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 18, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Who's 419+1? Who's Nelson? Who's e? Who here is *not* anonymous?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

1. Trade/DFA Odalis Perez, promote O'Connor

2. Trade Lo Duca and Estrada. promote Flores to be everyday. Let him learn where he'll play, and who knows, he may surprise the critics. Keep Neives as the back-up. have Neives, Corrales, and Daddy Boone teach him what to do behind the plate. I've always wondered who's supposed to be his mentor when he's in the minors?

3. Trade/DFA Mackowiac and Harris. Promote Orr and Escobar.

4. DL Cordero. Have him rehab in the minors. promote Schroder.

5. Put Belliard, Young, Cordero, Rauch, Ayala, Colome, Rivera, Lopez on the trade block. Trade as able, some quicker than others (Young, Lopez...)

6. Follow through with another draft like last year's - signing the top 20 or so no matter what it takes. Keep as much depth in the minors as possible. Heck, create a new AAA team (Richmond) if needed (ie if we had more minor league players than roster spots).

7. Persuade Stan to cut ticket prices - I liked the day-of-game discount idea! Get butts in the seats.

8. Keep Johnson. Marrero and Little Papi may never pan out.

9. Trade Kearns in offseason if he fails to produce all year. Same with WMP, but keep Dukes (younger).

All that being said - I honestly think Jimbo and Crew all do way better than I ever would, and hence why I am the Fan and they are the Pro's! (but it can be fun to be an Armchair-GM sometimes)

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 18, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

who's on first?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Assuming this was e who responded and not 419+1/Nelson/Mr. Anonymous/Delusional, here is what you (e) wrote yesterday:


Can anyone tell me with 100% certainty that any of these 20 pitchers would absolutely help the Nationals win more games this year (or save bullpen arms)? Sure Livan, Lohse, Wells, Tomko, Chacon and Hendrickson are pitching well right now, after 2 or 3 starts. But where, in their past history, does it show that they will keep this up all year long?

As you all know, picking successful FA's is a crapshoot. The Nats basically had a 1 in 20 shot of getting a successful pitcher. All of these pitchers are stopgaps anyway. None would be considered a National after this season, so why is it so important that they should have signed any one of these guys?

Posted by: e | April 17, 2008 5:42 PM


To me, that sounds pretty much like saying you think the Nats should not sign any free agents because it is really really hard to do, which is what I said you believe. For the record, there are no particular players who I wanted the Nats to sign or trade for. I just would like to see the Nats stop being so cheap and disrespecting their fans by fielding a sorry excuse for a team under the pretense of a "Plan" that is supposedly going to bring sunshine and flowers to DC three years from now. I would like them to at least try to be competitive now. And to preempt your silly little "provide me details of what they should have done" retort, how they try to do that is their responsibility, not mine.

_____________
I never said I wouldn't make any trades or sign any FA's or not draft top talent. The Nats have done that. Some have worked out, some haven't. Just because the Nats didn't sign the FA's YOU wanted, or didn't trade for the players YOU wanted doesn't mean that they are cheap.

Posted by: | April 18, 2008 4:21 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey - 0cho Cinco is looking for a new team...oh wait...

Posted by: Patty | April 18, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't speak for the whole year, but I'd start by placing Cordero and LoDuca on the DL retroactive to their last appearance.

I'd then call up Schroder and the hottest (not best, but hottest) AAA bat with options. I would strongly encourage Acta to start this guy and promote the idea that if you perform, you play.

Cordero would get a rehab assignment in Columbus. Lo Duca could remain with the team, since reconditioning doesn't appear to be necessary.

I would consider eating Mackowiak's contract in favor of a twelfth pitcher or Maxwell. He's not a part of the future, and it's not all that much money.

But really, I'm averse to blowing anything up. A knee-jerk reaction on April 18th, 2008, could repurcussions in September 2009 or March 2010. Trading guys below value because the team is on a losing streak is bad baseball.

And I'd make a call to the Twins and see what it would take to get Casilla. Having him in Columbus not only gives the Nationals an option at SS (and 2B, if they're willing to be more patient than Minnesota was), but the competition might bring out the best in Diamond Ian. It doesn't hurt to look at the price tag.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 18, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

#4 - Josh Byrnes was hired by the Diamondbacks after the 2005 season. Much of the work was already underway. I'm not saying Rizzo is the sole answer for Arizona's success but he was certainly a key aspect.

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

if you discount "day of game" tickets, what's the incentive to prepurchase, other than *maybe* guaranteeing better seats? that's not necessarily the best business decision. prepurchase >> day of game purchase, you know, the "bird in the hand" thing. plus it's snubbing the STHs, who get discount by buying volume in advance, to discount the tickets as much (or more) for walkups.

"putting Pena in RF"

really, estuartj? you want to take our worst defensive OF and put him in the more difficult corner? LF is easier than RF. RF requires more long throws (as well as more accurate throws) and a quicker release because of those longer throws. you'll almost never see a LF throwing to 1B (unless he's doubling off someone who's already rounded 2nd), while the RF has to hit 3B (or that cutoff guy) much more regularly.

if we ended up with WMP in RF, the pitchers should go on strike.

a lot of hate for odalis here. while he's not an amazing pitcher, he hasn't sucked, either. he's only allowed more than 2 runs once in 4 starts. now, if someone offered something worthwhile for him, i'm all for trading him for long-term value, but i don't get the "DFA" sentiment with him.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Who's 419+1? Who's Nelson? Who's e? Who here is *not* anonymous?
Posted by: | April 18, 2008 4:38 PM


I'm not anonymous. I am Spartacus.

Posted by: Spartacus | April 18, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

A combination of good pitching and our hitters having a break-out game leads to a big Nats victory tonight. Lock it in.

Posted by: (419 + 1) * 0 | April 18, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

LaC, i took estuartj's comments about those 20 FA SPs to mean none of them (that we had a real shot at) were all that palatable of an option, to begin with. which i would agree with. so we could have taken a shot with a bunch of risky guys at higher prices, or taken a similar shot with cheaper guys. with a 1 in 20 chance, wouldn't you prefer to do it for less than $1m on a 1 yr contract, especially if you won't be contending? or do you really think we should have spent $5-10m+ on risky SP when we won't be contending anyway? it's a lot less painful to dump odalis perez if he doesn't work out and bring someone up from AAA when he's cheap.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Where would this team be if they had signed Torii Hunter during the winter? 6-10? Maybe even 7-9?

The Nats just aren't at the point yet where 1-2 free agents are going to make them competitive. It's nothing to do with being cheap. It's the reality of the situation. Until the farm system is rebuilt and the prospects start to mature, big-time free agents would be a waste of money. Oooh...with just one more big bat, we might finish 81-81.

The time to make big free agent signings is when the core of the team is in place. Then you spend money to fill in the final 2-3-4 pieces.

Posted by: LANats | April 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't complain about the snark. It's right on target and a good sight more entertaining than most of the games have been. (Although props to Lannan for his pitching last night. That was worth a few hours of attention.)

Posted by: samantha7 | April 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

what? I don't know. :)

---

who's on first?

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 18, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The problem I have is with the "especially if you won't be contending" and the "when we won't be contending anyway" comments and mindset. Who says? This is the NL after all, look at some of the teams who have been in contention for a playoff spot the past few years. Were all the posters here delusional who were predicting a few short weeks ago that the team *as presently constituted* would end up with 80+ wins? Take a shot with signing some pitching and see where it gets you. What was there to lose? And, oh yeah, as discussed yesterday, if they had done this before last season, maybe it would have saved some wear and tear on our bullpen to boot.
___________________
LaC, i took estuartj's comments about those 20 FA SPs to mean none of them (that we had a real shot at) were all that palatable of an option, to begin with. which i would agree with. so we could have taken a shot with a bunch of risky guys at higher prices, or taken a similar shot with cheaper guys. with a 1 in 20 chance, wouldn't you prefer to do it for less than $1m on a 1 yr contract, especially if you won't be contending? or do you really think we should have spent $5-10m+ on risky SP when we won't be contending anyway? it's a lot less painful to dump odalis perez if he doesn't work out and bring someone up from AAA when he's cheap.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:07 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"D-Backs are the exception that proves the rule."

That's "proves" as in "tests."

And nobody "has stress" -- she WEARING A DRESS.

I HATE it when people get clichés wrong!

Posted by: Just keeping my nerd card punched | April 18, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

LAC --

that was me that forgot to sign. My apologies.

What I was trying to say in my previous post was that the Nats signed a FA pitcher (Odalis). He hasn't been great, but he hasn't sucked (yet). The list I provided was meant to show that (IMO) none of the FA starters were worth throwing gobs of money around. At least nothing in their past history showed that they were worth more than signing Odalis.

The same goes with position players as well. At the time, some thought the signing of Boone, Mackowiak and Harris were decent moves. Some thought they would be better than Fick, Jimenez and Logan. But so far, they haven't been. Maybe in time, they'll start to do something. I don't know. At least they tried. They easily could have just sat on last year's roster and not done a thing. So maybe the problem isn't with them not ponying up the money. Maybe the problem is the selection of players?

But, at least I'm willing to wait and see if any of the draftees from the past couple of years can make a difference (either by playing in DC or being part of a trade to get better players). If none of the 2006-2007 class shows any improvement, or gets a cup of coffee with the Nats, then maybe I'll be more concerned.

Posted by: e | April 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it's also possible that Torii Hunter would be hitting .224 if he were in this lineup. Just sayin.

***************
Where would this team be if they had signed Torii Hunter during the winter? 6-10? Maybe even 7-9?
Posted by: LANats | April 18, 2008 5:10 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

if you thought--and especially if you *THINK*, given what's happened so far this season--that this team is ready to contend, then i contend you don't really know much about baseball.

true, anything can happen, but only a fool actually believes this team is ready to contend right now, even with a couple of FAs. and using that mentality gets you to where the orioles have been for the past 5-10 years.

and yes, i think all of the posters who were predicting 80+ wins may have been a little delusional, altho that's a bit harsh and i would have said they were suffering from "homeritis." i'm a glass half-full guy, but i'm not unrealistic, either. this team is *not* ready to contend.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

THERE'S NO TRYING IN BASEBALL.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

btw, remember that signing good FAs means giving up compensation picks, which is not conducive to rebuilding a team, especially one that is still rebuilding a decimated farm system.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@231
You're right, "delusional" is a little harsh.
"Unjustifiably optimistic," I'll stipulate to.

Posted by: CE (86-76 - that's my story and I'm stickin to it) | April 18, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to get it validated at the team store for parking credits.

---

Just keeping my nerd card punched

Posted by: NR Stan Kasten | April 18, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to be starting 3-4 lefties then LF is going to be the hot corner OF. I didn't think anyone had a problem with Pena's are, just him moving all that bulk. I could be wrong on Pena's Defense I admit.

My only real problem with Perez is hisa age, he's not an innings eater and he's not a piece of the future so why have him up instead of Balester or O'Connor?

Posted by: estuartj | April 18, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I forgot to mention this earlier, but this is easily the post of the day, maybe even of the week:

I would decline, as I have a job, but I would suggest they don't need to fire Bowden, they should just send him down to AA so he can General Manage every day to improve his skills.

Posted by: MIB | April 18, 2008 1:18 PM

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I actually didn't think that this team would win more than 70 games. I thought that they overachieved last season and that this year would be a rude awakening to that fact, even with the new additions to the team. Unfortunately, it looks like that may be coming true.

However, having said that, I still think ownership should have taken a shot to at least field a competitive team. I believe that what they did last season with the starting pitching was embarrassing and reprehensible, and what they did this season by not trying to upgrade was almost as bad. So that's why I pointed out that I have a problem with your "not ready to contend" comments. Even if a team is not "ready to contend" I believe ownership has an obligation to their fans to at least try to field a competitive team. (And while I'm not saying that I believe the team is only a couple players away, if your team is competitive, who knows when magic might happen--witness the 2005 team, which was in contention for the wild card into September.) The only countervailing argument I can think of is saving money until the team is "ready to contend"--i.e., cheapness.
______________________
if you thought--and especially if you *THINK*, given what's happened so far this season--that this team is ready to contend, then i contend you don't really know much about baseball.

true, anything can happen, but only a fool actually believes this team is ready to contend right now, even with a couple of FAs. and using that mentality gets you to where the orioles have been for the past 5-10 years.

and yes, i think all of the posters who were predicting 80+ wins may have been a little delusional, altho that's a bit harsh and i would have said they were suffering from "homeritis." i'm a glass half-full guy, but i'm not unrealistic, either. this team is *not* ready to contend.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:32 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

i think you're significantly overthinking by saying there would be a LH pitching effect.

and movement/footwork *is* important in RF. you not only have to have a good arm, you have to run yourself into the proper position to make that throw to 3B. or be able to throw from a less-than-optimal stance.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

i think ownership has a responsibility to improve the team every year. while i don't know if this team will have a better record, i do think that, as far as long-term goes, this team is better. better positioned, at least. they definitely put themselves in a better position long-term in the OF, where most of their moves were centered (starting in august with WMP, then adding dukes and milledge). SP *should* be better, both from what's coming up from the farm (some possibly by the end of the season) and in that chico and lannan should be better with another year of experience.

we have different ideas of how to build the team and how to handle the major league roster while it's being rebuilt. the only guy out there we didn't go after that others have complained about i would even care about might have been lohse when he was down to a 1 yr contract demand. the rest of the options? eh.

Posted by: 231 | April 18, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

This is very true. My point was just that the Nats are a lot more than 1-2 high-priced free agents away from being a contender. But you're right.

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

Of course, it's also possible that Torii
Hunter would be hitting .224 if he were in this lineup. Just sayin.

***************
Where would this team be if they had signed Torii Hunter during the winter? 6-10? Maybe even 7-9?
Posted by: LANats | April 18, 2008 5:10 PM

Posted by: CE | April 18, 2008 5:30 PM

Posted by: LANats | April 18, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Refusing to throw money away for no reason isn't being cheap. It's being smart. Just sayin'

Posted by: LANats | April 18, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 18, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

LANats, what do you consider "for no reason"?

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | April 18, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

One very important fact to keep in mind is that no player in the organization is under contract beyond 2009, that gives the Lasten/Bowden/Acta brain trust an amazing amount of flexibility to rework their product, most other rebuilding teams would kill to be free to make the kind of moves we can make in the near future.

Also, I think the Lo Duca signing shows the Lerners are certainly NOT cheap, but they refuse to lock themselves into deal they believe will not benefit the long term success of the team. IF they could have gotten pitchers better than the ones we have now AND been able to get favorable contract terms (in years not dollars) I think they would have jumped at it.

I don't think any FA from this off-season I can think of would have fit that bill.

Also, the one big move they did make (Milledge for Schneider/Church) is looking pretty good to me, if only we could jump in the time machine and switch Kearns for Church!

Posted by: estuartj | April 18, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I see JayB has been manipulating the time space continuum once again as he shuffles the roster.

Please, do not let 2008 JayB come into contact with 2007 JayB during your time travels. I don't think the NJ would be able to survive that version of the butterfly effect.

The roster maneuvers are amusing...DFA Cordero & Perez? Bring up half the Columbus roster...guess that would turn our AAAA team into a AAA1/2 team.

Another issue I question is having lower level prospects play multiple positions. Why is this bad? Why does gauging a defensive position devalue a propect? Braun and Justin Upton are two off the top of my head that have juggled positions. If a general rule is power from the corner infield and outfield spots, then why not find the best defensive spot for your power bats?

Same theory also relates to middle infielders...Chipper Jones, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips & BJ Upton were drafted as shortstops...Utley played half his minor league ball as a 3B.

So Burgess got a look as a 1B in extended spring training and Smolinski & King are bounced around in low A ball. Hopefully they can turn out to be our Ryan Braun and Chase Utley.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | April 18, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company