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Kasten-MacPhail redux

Svrluga here again. So one more thing before Chico (the writer, not the pitcher) returns to the beat completely.

(There is the matter of last night's game, in which Lastings Milledge actually delivered a big hit and Tim Redding was ... well, what the Nationals have come to expect from him, even when he didn't have his best stuff. The notebook had stuff about the start for Chico (pitcher, not writer) on Wednesday, and Ronnie Belliard going on the DL. And Sheinin chronicled Ryan Howard's march to 200 strikeouts. Yikes.)

Anyway, last week, I wrote something about Stan Kasten and Andy MacPhail. In it, they expressed admiration for each other, and Bud Selig expressed admiration for them both.

But a couple things didn't make the story. First, there's this throw-away line from Selig when I asked about how he thought the whole Baltimore-Washington baseball thing is working out.

"When you look at the demographics," Selig said by phone from Milwaukee, "it's a two-team market. Baltimore has its fans, and Washington will have its. I think both franchises have a very, very good future. There's no doubt in my mind. In fact, I think they could be two of our model franchises."

I'd ask: Would you agree?

The other small point. I pointed out to Kasten that, because of Peter Angelos's strong objections to having a team in Washington a few years back, there is some thought that the Orioles and Nationals won't deal with each other, that they wouldn't make a trade, etc.

"That's silly to even suggest," Kasten said. He has a long relationship with Angelos, and he said there are no barriers -- geographic, political or otherwise -- that would prevent the two clubs from making a sound baseball trade.

I know we're a few days now from the completion of the Orioles-Nats series, and I know the Nationals are now 15-11 since starting 5-15, and I know Jason Bergmann faces Cole Hamels tonight. But I ask: What do you think is the relationship between the Orioles, the Nationals and their two fan bases?

(Can of worms, meet can opener.)

(Oh, and thanks for letting me interlope here for a day. Welcome back to Chico.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  May 20, 2008; 12:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineups

Comments

I was wondering about that Zimmerman headline for the gamer. I figured it must be a canned thing since it's possible Zimm will save many wins this year. Hehe

Posted by: Patty | May 20, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

As a Maryland native, but DC resident since 1995, I grew up an O's fan and then fully switched to the Nats when it became apparent that Angelos did not want me as a fan.

The O's pre-MacPhail and post Pat Gillick were basically and joke and an embarassment. I don't wish them ill will, I just let them go.

To me they are like a long lost ex-girlfriend compared to my current wife. I wish them the best but have moved on and committed in a direction in which I'm very thrilled and happy.

Posted by: Ryan | May 20, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Did I just come up with a way to categorize the O's most troubling years?

Like the year 32 B.C. or 125 A.D?

The O's "Pre-MacP and Post Pat G"?

Posted by: Ryan | May 20, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over (I'll carry on, carry over, Cary Grant ...)

Good post, Capitol Hill, I think you've hit on something.

As for Redding, he's on a one-year deal so we could trade him if the price is right and still re-sign him after the year, a la Ray King.

What's the right price? My guess is that the going rate is something like a mid-level prospect and a low-level prospect. Would we deal him for the equivalent of, say, Cory Van Allen and Smiley Gonzalez? I think I would.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 12:53 PM

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"So when the Nats beat writer is out of town during a series in which the Nats lose two of three to the Orioles, the perfect storm brews."

No, the opportunity arises for the journalistic entity in question (the Post) to show its depth and provide complete coverage of the beats it has committed itself to cover during this season, namely the Nationals and the Orioles. A wannabe world-class journalistic entity like the Post should be able to handle having one of its regular beat writers taking a day off without suffering a loss in its level of coverage of that beat when news is being made. By not subbing in an intern or a Shipley or God forbid even a low-budget alternate Saslow for Chico last weekend - instead of having its O's beat writer pull double duty - the Post revealed its total lack of a bench. Or if you want to consider Boswell and Sheinin as part of the Post's bench (they were at one or more of the games, after all), it revealed its atrocious roster management. either way you want to call it, that Post play over the weekend stunk.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This seems like a good time to quote from Barry's chat on February 14. See below. In my view the coverage point is kind of like the Lerners are cheap because we didn't sign free agents point. The Post is what it is, and the Plan is what it is. This is our team at the moment, and our paper at the moment, and I'd rather talk about something else.

Anyway, here's the exchange:

"Silver Spring, Md.: Many posters on Nationals Journal have been complaining about the uneven and sometimes superficial quality of Nats coverage in the paper.

I've tried not to harp on that theme myself, but the critics do have a point. Now, let it be said that you yourself do all that can be asked, given that you're one guy who answers to an editor.

But where are the big guns? Either (a) spinning on the Redskins or (b) trying to turn 15th and L into ESPN South.

I could turn this into a litany of all the things I'd like to hear about and am not. Maybe, in fact, that would be more constructive, but others have tried and would seem not to be succeeding.

If the Post's editorial policy were "We're All About the Redskins, With Filler from Other and Lesser Sports as Needed," they couldn't do a finer job of fulfilling it. Too bad, say I. What say you? What am I missing?

Barry Svrluga: This is a difficult question for me to answer, I suppose, because I'm right in the middle of it and would probably sound defensive if I, well, defended the paper.

But I'll try anyway.

Indeed, all indications the Post's editors and writers get -- both anecdotal and scientific -- is that the Redskins are the paper's biggest draw for sports. The rest of the sports subjects -- including the Wizards and G'Town hoops and Maryland, etc. -- fight for No. 2, and the Nationals have been right in the middle of that fight since they arrived.

It is a fact that we have one columnist, the unmatched Thomas Boswell, who is comfortable with and even excels at writing baseball. Wilbon has told me he just doesn't feel comfortable with the subject, nor does Mike Wise, though he has been out a few times. That puts a lot of pressure on Boz to write Nats a lot, and during the season, he does -- and he loves it.

I would argue, though, that the coverage isn't "superficial." I understand people probably wanted more offseason stories on the Nats than I produced this offseason, and indeed, that's my responsibility. But I'd like to think that when we hit, we hit with some substance -- such as recent stories on Johnson's recovery or Jack McGeary's experiment. I'd also point out, again at the risk of sounding defensive, that I had more bylines than any reporter at the Post last year, which is not to say that I'm working any harder, it's only to say that there have been tons of stories on the Nats.

At any rate, I understand the complaints, or at least try to. I've said it before: I think we're developing as a baseball paper, and I think we'll get better. My editor and I fought for more space for baseball in 2005, and we got it. I think we'll continue to evolve -- for the better."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I returned to Camden Yards a couple of weeks ago for a game for the first time since the Nats came in '05. I suspect serious fans, like me, who blew off Angelos and the Orioles in favor of the Nats will tend to drift back to see the American League teams they've been missing and perhaps be more selective re: the Nats games they attend -- at least until the team gets better. I am disappointed with my seats at the new park. The 4th row of the upper deck at Nationals Park is MUCH higher up than the 9th row was in the upper deck at RFK and I am tired of seeing better seats available for most games right up until game time. Unless they allow us to purchase 20-game plans in the better seats down lower and closer to the plate, I'll be tempted to bag the plan and pick and choose at both Nationals Park and Camden Yards next season.

Posted by: Alexandria, Section 306 | May 20, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

More that a little OT, but this is Washington, so ... doctors just announced that Ted Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a little bizarre that we continue to have a coverage argument here whilst many of posts over at the Times blog often get exactly zero comments.

If the Post is so bad, why do we all congregate here?

Posted by: Softball Girl | May 20, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking a Belester and Zimmermann clones for Redding. Too high (ie Bowden-esque)?

I think DY might be on the block too (along with Guzman, Perez and one of Rivera/Ayala/Rauch) if he can show he'll hit like last year and can at least field well enought to not be a DH only.

Posted by: estuartj | May 20, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"If the Post is so bad, why do we all congregate here?"

Some of us don't read the Washington Times, for reasons unrelated to its baseball coverage. Just as I'm sure there are people who don't read the Post, for reasons unrelated to their baseball coverage.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Poor Teddy. It's turning into a bad year. Tom Lantos, Jo Anne Davis, Craig Thomas, and more, I think.

Hopefully, he got to see the no-hitter last night, he is an avid baseball fan.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1222/1302882616_90f3b90013.jpg?v=0

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

One thing about O's fans is they don't cry like little babies when a particular newspaper decides to cover a certain team. They also don't cry over the coverage their own team receives in the paper.

Boo-hoo. Go cry me a river.

Posted by: O's Exec | May 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@O's Exec,

It's not like Baltimorons have a choice of what newspaper to read up there.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 20, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec, there's no use crying over water under the bridge.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

O's fans can't read.

Posted by: Dexter Manley | May 20, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Of course Bud Selig thinks DC is going to be a model franchise. His hand-picked owners aren't likely to be upsetting that salary applecart anytime soon.

Meanwhile, they're getting big market revenues for small-market expenses. Hell of a system they've got!

Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@O's Exec,

It's not like Baltimorons have a choice of what newspaper to read up there.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 20, 2008 1:53 PM
*****************************************

Well, see with this thing called the Internet you can read any city's newspaper from pretty much anywhere.

Posted by: O's Exec | May 20, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It's clear the Nats and Orioles front offices are cooperating in co-promoting the series between the teams. Otherwise, why would the Nats send out promotional emails to their own season ticket base to solicit ticket orders for the Baltimore games? Orioles ticket holders should expect the quid pro quo.

And the Screech / Presidents visit to Baltimore was highly scripted, hence Angelos' acquiescence.

Regardless of the owners attempts at forging a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship, as Nats fans we have every right to resent the decades of abuse suffered by our baseball fans at the hands of a succession of Baltimore owners.

Posted by: tomterp | May 20, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"As for Redding, he's on a one-year deal so we could trade him if the price is right and still re-sign him after the year, a la Ray King."

Hey BLH, correction .... Redding is not on a one year deal. He was signed last year as a minor league free agent to a non-guaranteed deal. This past off-season he became arbitration eligible for the first time and the FO signed him for $1 mil. He is not eligible for free agency for another 2 years. He is ours until we ship him out -- but if we do we won't get him back.

Posted by: Steve | May 20, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec seems to be on to something here. We are a terribly whiney bunch, it seems.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Steve, where are you getting your info? The sources I see have him signing a 1-year contract in January 2008.

e.g.,
http://www2.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/players/Tim_Redding/

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

508 -- Steven is right.

One year deal or not, he's under 6 years of service time. So unless the team we traded him to non-tenders him, he's stuck with that other team.

Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Who knows. They already upset the apple cart when they paid McGeary first-round money.
____________________
His hand-picked owners aren't likely to be upsetting that salary applecart anytime soon.

Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2008 1:59 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | May 20, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve, I hadn't focused on the minor league deals. If he keeps this up he'll be worth a lot more than $1 million in arbitration.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I think that MacPhail changes the dynamic entirely, and that Balteemore can be treated almost like a major league team from here on out.

Now, if a Bowden-led team from DC can be described that way, we have the makings of a normal relationship.

Peter Angelos -- let's see: an opportunistic lawyer who made his money and bones off lawyerly obstinance mixed with being in the [sadly] right place at the right asbestos-ridden time. Convinced he knew more than anyone else, he wrestled Balteemore's [and DC's] love of the Orioles to the ground, and killed it.

But wait. . . . that love lives, at least in Baltimore. MacPhail is giving it mouth-to-mouth right now.

Yuck.

I hope that the Dukes-for-Markakis trade gets made before the end of June. . .

Posted by: 241 Scott | May 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=6754

ESPN is showing him six years of experience, that's enough for FA, no? Someone who understands contract rules, please!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Having grrown up in an American league city (KC) in the 60's and 70's I really liked the Baltimore club -- great players with a great baseball tradition. When I moved to DC was looking forward to seeing them up close until Angelos took over and ruined the franchise. Now I enjoy following the Nat's and am completely won over to NL baseball. In spite of the MASN atrocity I feel no ill will towards the BALTIMORE O's (except when their fans show up at Nat's Park and rudely perform their version of the national anthem). I feel bad for them because a fine franchise was wrecked but mostly don't care. Except for weirdos like the toxic Mr. "O's Exec" I don't feel there is any bad blood between the fans. As far as the players, it's really not a rivalry.

Posted by: NatMan | May 20, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"O's Exec seems to be on to something here. We are a terribly whiney bunch, it seems."

Orioles fans who read the Post ought to be just as disappointed with the substandard merged coverage the paper gave their team last weekend as Nationals fans who read the Post are. If there aren't any Orioles fans vocalizing complaints here about the coverage, what might that mean? Perhaps that there aren't many (or even any) Orioles fans who look to the Washington Post for coverage of their team? Shhh. Don't tell Emilio Garcia-Ruiz. It would totally burst his bubble to hear that....

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

More like SF-Oakland than Chicago or NYC, I think. Not so contentious, but not much overlap, either. Sorta like following your brother-in-law's career--it's nice if he does well, but you don't really care that much.
Unless you think the Nats are WaPo's ... how did Ozzie Guillen put it?

********
"What do you think is the relationship between the Orioles, the Nationals and their two fan bases?"

Posted by: CEvans | May 20, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut -- Fair enough. But that's a difference of $100K. A small dollar amount compared to FA contracts.

506 -- It's not the number of seasons he's played in, but the total amount of time he's spent on the roster.

If a player plays half a season in two years, that's only one year of service.

Until that total clicks up to six (and it hasn't because of all the time he's spent in the minors), he can't become a FA at the end of a given year (unless the team he's with non-tenders him).

Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

from Cot's baseball contracts -- looks like Tim's got two more years of arb eligibility before UFAdom.

Tim Redding rhp
1 year/$1M (2008)

* re-signed 1/17/08 (avoided arbitration)
* performance bonuses
o $25,000 each for 25, 27, 29, 31 starts
o $25,000 each for 180, 190, 200, 210 IP

* 1 year (2007)
o sent outright to AAA 3/07, contract purchased 7/3/07
o signed 2/07
o contract purchased 11/06
o signed as a free agent 11/06 (minor-league contract)
* 1 year (2006) (minor-league contract)
* 1 year/$0.75M (2005) (minor-league contract)
o contract purchased, DFA 7/05
o avoided arbitration ($1.4M-$0.575M)
* 1 year/$0.395M (2004)
* 1 year/$0.3M (2003)
* ML service: 3.167

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | May 20, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

carrying over from last post as well...

"Where was all this "30 is too old to sign" talk when Livo was a FA this off season?"

well, it wasn't from any of the group discussing redding in the last thread. (a) i was against signing either of them and i don't think anyone else who was talking about redding there was pimping for livo/lohse and (b) i don't think anyone in the last post was saying "30 is too old to sign." for myself, I was saying that i was unsure of signing him to a long-term contract (which, in light of the above, is a moot point) because a guy who'll be 31 and has had two good seasons (and 5-6 years apart) is a risky long-term signing at that age. but being able to hold onto him for a couple of years at a reasonable rate (which it looks like we should be able to do via arbitration) makes all kinds of sense.

anyway, to make a long post short, we don't disagree. i mentioned his age as more of an issue of how we view him for the next 5 years more than how i view him right now and the next year or two. you have to look at a relatively unproven 30-yr old having a resurgence differently than an emerging 25-27 yr old.

Posted by: 231 | May 20, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Alright, well that changes things entirely, I think. Here's my new Tim Redding philosophy:

- Keep him
- Trade him for hot AAA or more prospect(s), preferably at least one position player to a non-NL East team

I think Perez is our major trade-bait now.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

There are three kinds of fans:

Fans who could care less about the other city

O's fans who resent that D.C. has a team too and the O's are not the only game in the region

Nats fans who resent that their franchise's TV rights were given to a crybaby in Baltimore who is too much of a coward to compete on an even playing field. The Nats shouldn't have to subsidize Peter Angelo$ just because he doesn't believe in Baltimore.

Posted by: WFY | May 20, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"ESPN is showing him six years of experience, that's enough for FA, no?"

Some of those years are minor league years. For example, he spent the entire 06 season on Chicago's AAA team and was never called up. Notice in the "year-by-year" salary 06 and 07 are missing. As mentioned, 06 was in AAA all year, and he started 07 in Columbus for us. Redding spent part of 3 seasons in Houston (03-05) and was traded/let go -- i'm not sure which. Had he been signed to a major league deal going into 06 he would have been eligible for arbitration but only signed a minor league deal -- same with 07.

Since he finished the 07 season on the Nats 40 man roster he has to be treated like a major leaguer (does that make sense?). He is Nats property, just like Lopez, Cordero, Rauch, etc. The same will happen for another two seasons.

Posted by: Steve | May 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I was born and raised in NVA and I never had much of an opinion of the O's before the Nats came because, I was a Reds fan for most of life.

Now, I can't stand the O's, the owner is an arrogant jackass and the city, with the exception of the inner harbor area, is a complete S-Hole. It's also doesn't help that I'm a huge Steelers fan and hate the Ravens as well.

The O's having a "very, very good future" is a huge reach at this point, for one reason. Angelos. He has not proven he can keep can be hands off for any length of time. Hiring MacPhail is a step in the right direction but, Let's see how long that continues before they're given the title of "Model Franchise."

And honestly, you can't put the Lerner's as "Model" either because, 2 years is not enough time. However, I believe their a lot closer than the O's at this point.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | May 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

For thoughts on not changing your pitchers until too late, please see the well-reasoned and thoughtful discussion held by Philly fans last night regarding Charlie Manuel's bullpen management.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 10:08 AM

or well reasoned and thoughtful discussion by Mets fans who wanted the guy who had spent t hours in the emergency room for abdominal pain and "was not feeling the greatest" rather than Aaron Heilman, who had pitched 6 previous scoreless innings.

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Cot's Baseball Contracts:

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/washington-nationals_01.html

Bottom line: Redding has 3.167 years of service time (prior to this year, I think).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Despite the way that it's being spun that there is a "metroplex" linking Washington and Baltimore, they are, have been, and always will be two different cities with two different fan bases. While those of us at this end of the Washington-Baltimore Parkway may venture to OPACY to see the Nats play the AngelO's, I sincerely doubt there are many Balamer residents who come down the parkway when the AngelO's visit here. Baltimore has always had an inferiority complex where the cities are concerned that was only eased through the dominance that the Orioles and Colts had on Washington baseball and football teams. When I used to frequest OPACY, which is a magnificent place to watch a game as long as you don't have to sit either past first or third bases down the lines because those seats face the outfield (duh?), I used to hear the Balamorons grousing about how Washington-area fans comprised such a large contigent of fans of "their" team. Since 2005, they've been on their own and attendance has suffered without the 25-to-40 pface percent of DC-area fans who used to drive an hour or more to see baseball. If the television-rights situation wasn't so heinous, I wouldn't be surprised if the Nationals had surpassed the AngelO's in popularity by now. The good thing for AngelO's fans is that Peter the Grate and the other co-conspirators in the warehouse, now realize they had to do something to clear out the free-agent fat cats and bring in youngsters because no one besides Yankee and Red Sox fans actually pack the place anymore. And please, no shared Mr. Angelos Sports Network feeds when his team comes to town. You don't see the Yankees and Mets, White Sox and Cubs and Angels and Dodgers doingf such cross-promotion. It was just a way to save money.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 20, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

agreed, 506. redding's two club-controllable years makes him a far more valuable commodity, especially to the nats, and he should be kept unless the offer is too good to refuse.

and ABM...

"If there aren't any Orioles fans vocalizing complaints here about the coverage, what might that mean?"

i think you're far overthinking this. the reason you don't see orioles fans vocalizing complaints here is that this is a nationals blog, not an orioles blog. why would they come *here* to complain? they'd only get abused and be unlikely to accomplish anything. granted, CiL and others who think the nats are undercovered get that sometimes, but many agree with them. if it was an Os fan, tho...

Posted by: 231 | May 20, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey BLH, if Redding continues to pitch like he is now and finishes the season with 12-15 wins and his mid 3 ERA, I think he could easily make 4-6 million in arby next year. That or the Nats sign him for his last 2 arby years for around 10 mil. In either scenario we are getting a heck of a deal.

Posted by: steve | May 20, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

leetee, i take it you haven't gone to the Os/Nats games at RFK... there were always plenty of people in Os gear there. they travel well down here, and i expect they will for at least one more season, since i'm guessing plenty of them will want to check out the new stadium.

Posted by: 231 | May 20, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Just trade Redding for Jay Bruce. That's what I'd do.

Posted by: Hogie | May 20, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

D.C. = San Francisco during dot.com boom

Baltimore = Oakland w/o the beautiful weather.

That's why Angelos insisted, and Bud yielded, on the TV deal. The Nats get a great payout every year (according to Boz) but the Angel0s profit from Nats' success.

The question is, which franchise has Billy Beane? Which can look forward to more playoff appearances? Sheinen says it's a dead heat, but probably the Nats on pitching. So trade Dukes, Pena, Milledge, Schroeder, Detwiler or Mock for Markakis and Luis Hernandez.

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I got "blooped" by Gal and Steve.

I think this makes Redding more valuable as trade bait, he might well be worth a team's top-ten prospect. On the other hand, unless one of our own prospects steps up, we'd have to go out and sign another Redding to take his place.

I'm a little conflicted. I'd like to keep him, but it might be smart to sell high if we get good value back.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

With proven pitchers lasting well into their late 30's or 40's (Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, Mussina, Moyer) why trade Redding?

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Because Redding in his best days isn't one-fourth the pitcher that any of those guys you mentioned are?

Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Back to the main topic -- how do I feel about the Nat's/O's. I've battled back and forth about this a lot often thinking that at some point I'd like to route for the Orioles as my AL team of choice. But after visiting OPACY on Sunday I've finally decided that I just don't care about the O's at all and really have no desire to route for them ever. They aren't in this city, they just happen to be pretty close by.

If I'm going to route for an AL team I'd rather route for a team like the Rays ... a team that I would argue has -- built a team the right way. They are up and coming would be fun to route for.

The other thing that annoyed me about this weekend was my girlfriends bestfriend who we went to the game with. She tried to tell me that the Nats are the reason for the Orioles low attendance numbers this year. I just can't listen to this dribble.

GO NATS -- my one and only team.

Posted by: steve | May 20, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

On a positive note about this past weekend, I kinda did enjoy listening to Palmer and Button talk about pitching... it got a little esoteric at times, but they have perfectly suited personalities to irritating each other... not that it came across that way, but it was fun to listen to.

Posted by: Wigi | May 20, 2008 11:46 AM

So, Wigi, you want Dick Button to call the games? I'd like that. "Look at Redding's slide! Oh, perfectly executed helmet in the 2d baseman's crotch, breaking up the double play! He'll feel like he's got a triple sowcow down there tomorrow! And Lopez is safe at first! At least a 9.5 out of 10!"

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Steve, I think you have the numbers about right. And a two-year $10m deal would make a lot of sense. He might press for three years though.

Hogie, Jay Bruce should be in the majors now and is one of the best prospects in all of baseball; we're not getting him for Redding.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's go ahead and take poor Moose out of that list, flynnie.

Otherwise, Redding is a trade piece, not a keeper. He's not going to be here for the Decade of Dominance if any of the other pitching prospects have half the stuff of Lannan. It hurts now, but we should send him away, if the price is right.

But, if it's not, then he's a valuable anchor for the rotation. I put that value at at least one sure-fire position player (middle infield, preferably) and depending on that player, possibly another AAA prospect. Otherwise, let him keep the young guys centered.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

231

The Baltimorons may come down here only to unfavorably compare Nats Park to the empty green cathedral in their city. Remember how AngelO's radiocaster Joe Angel complained about the broadcast location during the exhibition game saying he "hadn't been this high since the 70s?" And becuse some fans wore Orioles gear to games at RFK doesn't mean they're from Charmless City.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 20, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

That was a great slide by Redding. I was sorry that Lopez was busy running down to first base; otherwise, he could have been paying attention to the nuances of how to break up a double-play (note, Felipe, that the slide doesn't end ten feet short of second).

Posted by: joebleux | May 20, 2008 12:01 PM

Exactly so, joebleux, a/k/a joebleuxme (dude, that was funny!). I thought that Flip would take out Reyes after he'd been plunked by Maine, but he seemed to do all he could to avoid contact. Too vulnerable to revenge? And then when Mora took out Flip's legs, causing a dp throw to end up in the dugout and the two winning runs to score, you'd think Flip would get the message that it is better to give than to receive.

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"she tried to tell me that the Nats are the reason for the Orioles low attendance numbers this year. I just can't listen to this dribble."

Why not? What could be more enjoyable than the Nats driving the AngelO's to extinction? It has such delicious karma.

Posted by: joebleux | May 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Although if Dukes had been playing 2d for the Mets, after he just caused Flip to get leadoff hit by a John Maine fastball, maybe Flip would have slid right into his essentials.

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Are Washington & Baltimore the same market? Well, perhaps according to the MSA definitions of the federal government, but realistically they stopped being the same market in about the mid 90s when the traffic issues in this area (along with the tech boom in northern virginia) made it close to impossible to get to Baltimore in a decent amount of time.

Say you lived in Reston and wanted to see a 7:05pm start time in Baltimore. what time would you leave your house? 4:30? 4pm? What if it was a friday? How about if you lived in the southern suburbs (south of springfield) or even further west in Ashburn/Leesburg? When you have to plan on a 2.5 hour drive to get to a stadium, its NOT YOUR MARKET anymore.

(and yes, i'm only considering people in the NoVa suburbs and less Bethesda/DC/PG county residents because lets face it; that's where the majority of baseball fans are coming from).

The analogies, btw, between SF and Oakland are hogwash. I can be standing at a BART stop standing in front of SF City Hall and be AT OAKLAND's stadium by metro in 20 minutes. You can be in SF proper at the foot of the bay bridge and be in Oakland proper by car in about half that. Its a unique situation that definitely affects both teams, but its not comparable to our situation being 50-miles or so from Baltimore.

You can't even get from Yankee stadium to Shea, or from Dodger Stadium to whatever atrocity the Anaheim/LA/California Angels play at in 20 minutes. And they're in the same cities.

My big regret is having to buy off the bastard Angelos by giving him the lions share of MASN. Frankly, i hope the network totally fails, it has to go under and then the Nats can do their own TV deals. Thats really the only way we can start to compete with the big money revenue clubs like NY, boston, Chicago and Atlanta.

Posted by: Sec131 | May 20, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of "whiners" re: the MASN coverage this past weekend. I would have preferred just MY (read: Nats) announcers on one channel so that I could ignore the other announcers. Not that the O's announcers are better or worse -- it's just that more than once during those broadcasts with three people in the booth, you could feel/hear two announcers start to talk at the same time.

It kinda dilutes the exclusivity of the local voices, IMHO.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 20, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, I read the MASN thing this way: they tried to do something fun and cute. It was dumb. They won't do it again.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 20, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

call last weekend's masn abomination the "peter angelos good neighbor policy." it was a stunt to build synergy between the teams that share the network. but the network is too baltimore-oriented in its programming and commercials. i want an anti-trust suit filed on the basis that if baseball is actually 30 separate entities, or teams, why should one entity be allowed to control the broadcast rights of another entity?

Posted by: natsscribe | May 20, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If we could pull the equivalent of Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz, I'd volunteer to hold Redding or Perez's furniture in my apartment.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 20, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

leetee, never heard (or saw) joe angel's comment before (kinda funny, tho).

"And becuse some fans wore Orioles gear to games at RFK doesn't mean they're from Charmless City."

i have to say that plenty of them came across as actual people from baltimore, not just local DC people who still prefer the Os to the nats at the two Os/Nats games I've seen at RFK. i'm not sure why this would shock you so much. it's just 45-60 minutes down the road for the sat/sun games. why wouldn't some of their die-hard fans make the trip? it really shouldn't be that surprising.

Posted by: 231 | May 20, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"(and yes, i'm only considering people in the NoVa suburbs and less Bethesda/DC/PG county residents because lets face it; that's where the majority of baseball fans are coming from)."

And why would you say that? Is the total population of NoVa that much greater than Bethesda/DC/PG County? (And what about the rest of MoCo - Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, etc - which are just as close if not closer to DC than they are to Baltimore? Why aren't you including them in your comparison?) Is there some reason to think that the percentage of the total population that likes baseball is higher in NoVa than elsewhere? I don't see why that would be. This whole myth that the majority of Nats fans live in Virginia is just that - a myth. Nats fans live everywhere in the DC area. As for O's fans, of course there are more in Maryland than in Virginia, simply due to proximity. So if anything, there should be more baseball fans in DC and the Maryland suburbs than in NoVa, not fewer.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Quick Survey:

How many people annoyed at the MASN coverage and feel slighted by the Baltimore bias are either from or currently live in Virginia???

I said months ago that the Nats are probably gunning to VA for the majority of their fan base, and I still feel that way.

There is a trend there. Most people from Maryland should not have any animosity to their most well known city. I just do not get it.

If it is a DC v MD or a VA v MD thing, I get it...

Posted by: theraph | May 20, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Juan-John, I read the MASN thing this way: they tried to do something fun and cute. It was dumb. They won't do it again."

Unfortunately, I don't think the MASN people are smart enough to figure this out. They probably will do it again when the O's come to DC.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"There is a trend there. Most people from Maryland should not have any animosity to their most well known city. I just do not get it."

Many people who live in the Maryland suburds of DC identify more with Washington than they do with Baltimore, just as many people (actually most, when it comes down to it) who live in the Virginia suburbs of DC identify more with Washington than they do with Richmond, even though Richmond is Virginia's most well-known city. Identification with one city to support its sports teams also does not equate to animosity toward another city.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I went up to Camden Saturday night dressed in red head-to-toe just to instigate a little bit.
One thing is for certain: O's fans are a helluva lot more vocal and energetic than Nats fans. It's like nobody in this town CARES about the Nats - at least when you're actually sitting in the stadium. Much rowdier, younger crowd at the O's game as well. I'm not sure what this means or how to improve it, just an observation from a sad Nats fan who wishes more than 12 people in a stadium of 28,000 would act like they care about the team they are supposed to be rooting for.

Posted by: AJ | May 20, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

In the pre-Nats day, I considered myself a casual O's fan, heading to OPACY about a half dozen times a year and singing its praises and those of its host city. After watching Angelos' efforts to deny us a team of our own, I will never again set foot in their stadium or wish anything good for the team. Had Angelos recognized the inevitability of a team in DC and shown a shred of respect for this city and his fans to the south, I'd be a fan of both teams and happy at the abundance of baseball options available to me. Angelos dug his own hole and I'm happy to watch it collapse around him.

Posted by: Jim B. | May 20, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

ABM, I agree with what you say. But you did not answer my question. Identifying with a city is one thing, having an ingrained disdain for a city is another.

And, I would be willing to bet that a large portion of those suburbs you mentioned are not from the area originally, which would lend to your statement of identification.

I just feel if someone is from Maryland, they should not have any negatives towards their state. Same way with Virginia. But if someone moved to MoCo from Illinois, lets say, then they obviously have some attraction to DC and their children will as well. Its a matter of perspective.

Posted by: theraph | May 20, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

i'm up.

Posted by: guess who? | May 20, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

So if anything, there should be more baseball fans in DC and the Maryland suburbs than in NoVa, not fewer.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 20, 2008 3:28 PM
----
It's a known fact that the majority of the fans that attend the games at Nationals Park are from Virginia. Sheesh.

Posted by: N@sfan | May 20, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Based on the Redding contract info above I retract my Redding for Balester & Zimmermann level prospects as being too Bowden-esque.

Having him under team control and for 2 more years is HUGE and if someone doesn't match or exceed the above offer I would have no qualms with keeping him in DC to anchor our rotation for a least 1 more year, especially is Shawn Hill's latest health issue is more than a 1 start loss.

Still I thonk we are sellers more than buyers leading to the trade deadline and looking at the guys I think are on the block and my VERY general evaluation of their relative value;
Young for 1AA and 1A position prospect (Desmond & Rhinehart)
Guzman for 1AA position prospect and maybe 1A level pitching prospect (Desmond & Alandiz or Willems)
Perez for 1AA pitching prospect (VanAllen)
Rauch for 1AAA reliever and 1AA starter (Schroder and VanAllen)

That would be a tough set of losses for the Nats MLB roster when you think that the starters would then be Hill, Lannan, Balester, Bergmann and Chico/O'Connor or Mock and the starting shortstop would F. Lopez again (or Orr?)

Posted by: estuartj | May 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh yea, one thing I forgot, since Guz is a FA (ditto Perez) they are more likely to move at the trade deadline. Young, Redding and Rauch are under contract (or team control) for 2009 so it might be more profitable to wait foer the off season to trade any of those.

That said I can write the headlien now for June;
"Johnson's return pushes Dmitri Young to the front burner of the Hot Stove"

Ditto that for Rauch and Cordero.

Posted by: estuartj | May 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

AJ - At least you were dressed in red. "Our" announcer, Don Sutton, was in orange and black. Had the young AngelO's rowdies just returned from "the running of the urinals" at the Preakness infield? Have you seen that on the Baltimore Sun page? What a descent into Hell! One guy running atop the urinals is hit hard right in the face by a full beer can at 35 yards and drops like he was shot. Looked like an orbital fracture at best.

Posted by: flynnie | May 20, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

An Briosca Mor: are you from this area? If so, you'd know that native "washingtonians" all say we're "from DC" when asked in other parts of the country, despite the fact that almost none of us actually live within Washington DC. Of course a Bethesda resident identifies more with Washington than Baltimore. Hell, even people who live south of Fredericksburg, VA would claim Washington allegiance before Richmond since they're probably commuting to DC or the Pentagon.

To answer your question before though; its mostly about demographics. Go to a Nats game and take a look at the general fan base we have. Its mostly white, mostly suburban, mostly older and with families.

In this area, (and yes this is a generalization because i know such white families can live in DC, PG county, Harlem, or wherever) that usually means a northern virginia suburb. DC itself is something like 56% black and generally don't support baseball at any level (ask yourself how many DC public schools even field baseball teams?) PG county is even more tilted towards that demographic fact (66% overall black residents) though is more residential obviously than Washington proper.

Montgomery county is far more similar to Northern Virginia in its demographics but is about half the population size of its NoVa counties (1M residents in Mont county versus about 2M total for Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William).

I'm sure there are official studies that support this somewhere on the net, but you should get the idea...

Posted by: Sec131 | May 20, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Here is the problem with the Times web site, although I find Zuckerman and Loverro and Goessling content great. But if you post something, there is a great wait in order for the Times to review what is said, and then approve for posting. To me, that 1) takes too long, and 2) violates my 1st ammendment right to free speech.

I wish the post had a columnist that focused only on the Nats. I like Chico Harlan but would like him to write gamers, someone else to write "the story" of the night, and then the columnist to fill inches about 4 times a week.

========================================
I think it's a little bizarre that we continue to have a coverage argument here whilst many of posts over at the Times blog often get exactly zero comments.

If the Post is so bad, why do we all congregate here?

Posted by: Softball Girl | May 20, 2008 1:27 PM

Posted by: 6th and D | May 20, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

there really *is* a new post.

Posted by: 231 | May 20, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The analogies, btw, between SF and Oakland are hogwash. I can be standing at a BART stop standing in front of SF City Hall and be AT OAKLAND's stadium by metro in 20 minutes. You can be in SF proper at the foot of the bay bridge and be in Oakland proper by car in about half that. Its a unique situation that definitely affects both teams, but its not comparable to our situation being 50-miles or so from Baltimore.

-------------------------------------------
No - I'd say they are still pretty similar. I've lived in both areas. You can't just consider SF and Oakland. There is a little city (about 1M people) down south here called San Jose that's part of the Bay Area which the Giants and the A's (and the Niners/Raiders) consider part of their markets. In fact they fight over areas in much the same way as the O's and Nats. For a long time the A's have not moved out of Oakland (to maybe SJ) because of the Giants. And I don't want to leave out the towns and cities North and East of SF and Oakland and even south of San Jose who will claim either the A's or Giants as their beloved teams. In good traffic, it takes about 1 hour to get to SF and a little longer to get to an A's game on a weekday evening from SJ. If you take BART or Caltrain it will take longer. It's really a very interesting comparison - perhaps more similar than you think.

Posted by: Patty | May 20, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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