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Chat reminder

Right now I'm uninjured, slated for exactly zero MRIs, and ready to to chat at 2 p.m. Hopefully the next five hours don't change that.

I've been told by various members of the Nationals staff and beat writing corps that missing a 2:40 rain delay on an off day is a sign of charmed karma. I'm not so sure. Karma evens out, always does, and I'm working now with an uncomfortable oversupply. Death, taxes and Dr. James Andrews consultations -- those are the three things that always get ya.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 4, 2008; 8:42 AM ET
 
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Next: Lineups, neither of which includes Albert Pujols

Comments

just read zimmerman's answers. um, how are getting hit by a pitch and sliding into bases the cause of "freak injuries"? that's actually part of the game. i think deer meat when i hear "freak injuries".

message to zimmerman. before this goes to far, please do not follow the alex rodriguez political model of boring prescripted answer regardless the question. it's funny in bull durham, because it's annoying in real life.

regarding the draft: whoever we pick in the first round will immediately be the best hitter on the team. i'd prefer it be an actual position player.

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

quote of the day: "Sisyphus had a better record against the rock."

Ouch.

Posted by: 0 for infinity? | June 4, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed Kilgore's reference as well. Indeed it seems Greek tragedy is particularly appropo for us these days. Perhaps we'll hear of Ajax tomorrow.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"Do we pitch a few guys on short rest, do we see if we can squeeze a few innings out of Hanrahan in a start, or do we send Manning or Sanches back down in exchange for a minors starter (Chico, Mock, Balester, O'Connor)?"

Chico is getting an MRI, has apparently been having arm problems.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

If Odalis Perez can not only pitch, but pitch well while he's a) vomiting sick or b)recovering from a root canal THAT DAY, then his leaving a game early for arm pain is automatically serious.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 4, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"If Odalis Perez can not only pitch, but pitch well while he's a) vomiting sick or b)recovering from a root canal THAT DAY, then his leaving a game early for arm pain is automatically serious."

---

Maybe he just doesn't use his teeth or digestive tract when throwing. Arm trouble probably affects pitching performance a little more than either of those.

Then again, maybe we should slip him some ipecac and/or Vicodin the next time he starts, just in case.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

LOL. good point.
______________
Maybe he just doesn't use his teeth or digestive tract when throwing.

Posted by: | June 4, 2008 9:44 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | June 4, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I also enjoyed the gamer and the Sisyphus reference.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 4, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

One must imagine Sisyphus as happy.

Posted by: Albert Camus | June 4, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with you about Ryan's quotes, longterm.

I love him to death but he's too guarded and too cliche in all his answers and quotes. I'd like to hear some uninhibited answers sometimes.

The only time I ever remember unguarded answers from him was in Boz's article about RFK, when all the players were riffing on its awful conditions. That was HILARIOUS.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 4, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

But, as an addendum, can we ask Ryan not to reach Lo Duca like unguardedness?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

if tonight's game gets called due to rain, they may schedule a day/night DH tomorrow. They also could re-schedule it for July 7th since both teams have a scheduled day off then. STL is at home against the Cubs on the 6th, then has to travel to Philly on the 8th. The Nats are in Cincy on the 6th and come home to play the DBacks on the 8th, so they could conceiveably play here on the 7th and it wouldn't cause too much trouble with their travel plans.

And about last night, can we please stop playing FLop right now? I was all for giving him another shot and he had responded there for a little bit. But his lackadasical play at second, along with his lack of hustle running the bases AND his PATHETIC hitting the past month (.204/.275/.286) is showing me that he needs to sit. Maybe just a couple of games, maybe for the rest of the season.

Posted by: e | June 4, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, according to Barry's "What I'll miss" post, Zim's a cool guy and reasonably fun to talk to.

But from what I've seen in his interviews and (dare I even mention it) his blog, he's more comfortable snagging line drives than spouting spontaneous wit.

I say, when that many people are watching you, it's better to play it safe a la Crash Davis than to talk like Nuke LaLoosh and have to issue official apologies every other day.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Last night was simply terrible! I honestly don't know what Felipe was thinking. He played that gounder with no urgency at all, then failed to cover 2nd on the grounder to Boone. Get your head in the game!

At some point, Acta needs to start making examples of players when they don't hustle. He lets these kind of things slide all the time.

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

zimmerman's smart enough not to say something to embarass himself. well i like to think he is which is why i'd like to see some personality shine through. team leaders and face of the franchise players set the tone for a clubhouse. we could use a bit of personality to help us deal with the lack of quality play. anyway, not my intention to bash him. i like him.

honestly i think we should take the celtic route and tank the season, although not so blatantly disrespectful to the league as they did. i want that number 1 pick! not the number 9 pick 8 years in a row.

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I hate to rub your nose in it, but...
__________

If Perez beats Lohse tonight will all the Bowden haters officially have to drop him from their "Livo or Lohse inning eater FA signee non-signing proves Bowden is dumb and the Lerners are cheap" rants?

Posted by: estuartj | June 3, 2008 4:16 PM

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

was flippie really as bad in the first inning last night as the gamer makes it sound? i was off coaching t-ball. where i may have seen better fundamentals than those of you at the park last night.

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

felipe is the kind of player who needs to be in a good situation to shine. we are worst case scenario for him so, apparently, now he is for us as well.

honestly i barely watch these games anymore. it's gotten hard. i love baseball but this is not an interesting team at all. and i have season tickets. i'm on board for the long haul so i guess i don't have to get caught up in the grind. that's their job, not mine.

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Yes. He was that bad. He wasn't the only one, though. I watched the top of the inning from the centerfield plaza, so I was front and center for the Langerhans gaffe. Ugh.

Posted by: q | June 4, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

From today's gamer, I think Chico's been channeling Shirley Povich:

"One of those days" could aptly describe the Nationals' performance as well. No more than 5,000 of the original 26,875 fans remained by the end, which is perhaps how the Nationals preferred it: The fewer people around to summarize this homestand opener, the better. The Nationals, already proven masters at losing baseball games by not hitting, had spent the evening reaffirming that proficiency and adding another -- the ability to lose a baseball game before they even had the opportunity to hit. "

No complaint here.

Posted by: tomterp | June 4, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

thanks q. yikes. can we trade flop for a sandwich pick? or just a sandwich?

if gordon beckham, or matusz or crow, fall to the nats on friday then i may resume using capital letters. a lot of people seem to think we will draft a high school outfielder like hicks or collier. those guys seem to be a reach at #9. brian?

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm a patient man but, Lopez is starting to really tick me off. It seems to me, that he is not mentally tough enough for this game.

Acta won't do it in public but, I hope he ripped his butt in the clubhouse. No excuse for not covering or barely covering 2nd twice in the same game.


Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the gamer was written by Kilgore.

Posted by: Kilgore's mom | June 4, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what this means...

"felipe is the kind of player who needs to be in a good situation to shine."

Playing everyday, leading-off, and having the green light aren't considered allowing him to shine? If the Nats are guilty of anything, it's of being TOO patient with him.

For those of you who missed the 1st inning, you should be thankful.
>Barton was hit by a pitch. (Way to start off the game)
>Mather flied out to center fielder Milledge. (In the 2nd inning, Perez walked Mather with 2 outs to face Pujols = smart baseball?)
>Pujols safe on fielder's choice and Lopez's error, Barton to second. (Felipe...)
>Ludwick doubled to left, Barton scored, Pujols to third. (It was actually a single that skipped past Langerhans on the wet grass).
>Glaus grounded out, third baseman Boone to first baseman Young.
>Molina homered to left on the first pitch, Pujols scored, Ludwick scored.
>Miles infield single to first.
>Lohse grounded out, third baseman Boone to first baseman Young. (Lopez didn't cover 2nd)

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

NJ regulars: I'm planning on taking in a game at Dodger Stadium later this summer and I'm hearing and reading about the woeful traffic situation at the park. (Bad as in beyond even Stan Kasten's ability to fix.) Does anyone have any experience with the park, can offer any tips for getting in and out? Thanks!

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | June 4, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what this means...

"felipe is the kind of player who needs to be in a good situation to shine."

------

What he (she?) is saying is that Lopez has (or at least seems to me to have) a tendency to sulk and play at less than 100% effort when he/the team isn't performing particularly well. It's not that they're not giving him enough opportunities to break out. The "situation to shine" is a situation in which the people around him are shining. Maybe when no one else is performing he feels good play would be futile?

That was a big criticism people had last year. He wasn't performing, so he wasn't trying, so he wasn't performing.

Posted by: w | June 4, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Eew, Souff East, that's rotten.

But, the good news is, with Felipe Lopez returning to team goat then maybe things are getting back to last year's status again!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what this means...

"felipe is the kind of player who needs to be in a good situation to shine."

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 10:54 AM

i'll tell you what it means. he's affected too much by his surroundings. he appears emotionally unable to focus on his job if the outcome is not likely to be positive.

it means he's a goner. and i've stuck up for him the entire time.

put him on a team where he can hide behind a few big names and fans feel like his contributions have little affect on the outcome and he'll put up "numbers".

this team is a mess.

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and you can compare that perspective of Lopez to Ryan Church, who was borderline AAA with the Nats but is having a heck of a year in New York.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

last was me. sorry.

Posted by: w | June 4, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

secret revealed: longterm is a 32 year old boy.

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

right on w. exactly what i was thinking. we can't change this culture overnight. hence, THE PLAN, and MINOR LEAGUES, etc.

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Completely OT, but my friend went to the game last night for the first time. He mostly loved it (didn't mind the rain delay since his kid could go play video games/take batting practice/etc).

He did mention, though, that he was a little miffed that the kosher stand was without sauerkraut. He thought that since the Nats hadn't been home for a week-plus, they should have had all the condiments/food readily available.

Since I wasn't there, could someone that was there confirm/deny the omission of the sauerkraut? I only ask since there has been no sauerkraut on the premises for about a month now (maybe longer) and I just can not understand how this is. If the company is not delivering the sauerkraut, then get a new company. At the very least, got to Costco and buy some yourself.

As you can tell, I'd rather complain about anything else other than what's transpiring on the actual playing field.

Posted by: e | June 4, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"But, the good news is, with Felipe Lopez returning to team goat then maybe things are getting back to last year's status again!"

That's NOT good news. We've already got last year's retreads like Langerhans back. We've got a new wacky guy named Rob who can't hit for crap. (Mackowiak rather than Fick.) We've got a so-called ace pitcher with mysterious arm issues. (Hill instead of Patterson.) We've got guys who were starting to turn it around at the plate ending up on the DL. (Zimmerman this year, Guzman last year.) Nick Johnson's on the DL, and every time it looks like he might be coming back the date gets pushed out another month. So if things are trending back towards last year's status, my God what's next? Bacsik? Nook Logan? If this is your idea of good news, I don't want to know what bad news would be!

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 4, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

i just wish we had as many draft picks as we had last year. we won't get nearly the boost this time around...

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I could only stomach watching the first inning of the game last night. First off, the game should have never started on time - it was raining when the managers handed lineups into the umps, and continued to get worse until the delay. I'd like to say the rain had something to do with it, but every player on the field for the Nats looked listless, pouty - shoulders were sagging, heads were down, every out was an adventure. I don't know what it's going to take for some kind of sense of urgency to hit this team, but it hasn't happened yet. Like so many others, I've been a big fan of Manny since he started here - but that lineup really bothered me last night. Millidge batting 3rd? Are you kidding me?!!! I thought it was common baseball knowledge you put your "best hitter" at #3. So why is Guzy, the only possible all-star on this team, still batting #2? I know he doesn't have middle-of-the-order power, but at least the man is batting .300. Ray Knight said something I agree with on the pre-game as well - if you expect, or hope, that WMP and/or Dukes will eventually be a 30+ HR guy, why don't you try them up in the lineup where pitchers are forced to pitch to them? Seems to me it's like never taking a '65 Mustang out of New York City. I understand we have an injury riddled team - but that should be all the more reason to bat these mammoth men higher in the order - as poorly as they are batting, they still represent our only offensive hope right now. Or maybe this team just stinks.

Posted by: AJ | June 4, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Who wants to take bets on whether the Lerners will raise ticket prices next year - not including the President/Diamond sections?

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 4, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I just want to second AJ's statement that last night "every out was an adventure." That is exactly how it felt to me the whole time, too.

Posted by: asdf | June 4, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

e: wasn't there last night, but was there on May 20 and there was no saeurkraut then either.

Watched through the first rain delay. Fielding was terrible. Bats ditto. The Cards had to be laughing.

Posted by: Natsfly | June 4, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

ABM, I was just using a little gallows humor.

Last year wasn't that bad, come on. We had a guy named Meat who subbed for Nick and made a run at the batting title while always playing with a grin. We had a little utility man who insisted he was a stud and came up with a few big hits at memorable moments, even if he never counted for much. We had a bullpen that was respected in baseball with a unique closer that wasn't overpowering, but got the job done. We had a manager that never gave up and a team that eventually learned they had to do it together, whatever it was from him. We had a surprise rookie catcher that got us excited for the future by playing hard, smart, and well, even though no numbers indicated he should be able to perform like that.

It was a fun year.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"i'll tell you what it means. he's affected too much by his surroundings. he appears emotionally unable to focus on his job if the outcome is not likely to be positive."
_______

Woah! I definitely agree with you about Lopez, but I think Acta should take a tougher approach. Just want to point out that we're not running a day care here. It's one thing to examine the mental aspects of a hitters slump, but to walk on egg shells so as not to upset the guy who can't emotionally focus in the first place, blah blah...

Are we saying that if Acta gives Lopez a "mental day" that he can't call it a mental day. He has to call it something else so as not to damage Lopez's fragile ego?

I don't know what goes on behind closed doors, but this whole situation makes me question Acta's ability to manage. He's a "players" manager, I guess, but those guys aren't always successful. IMO, he needs to be able to take appropriate action when a young player isn't hustling so that they don't form bad habits. If he can't have a meeting with a player to express why he took that action, then I question his ability to communicate.

Bench Lopez immediately after he pulls his crap. Have a meeting with him after the game. Say "Felipe, you did not cover 2nd base. That is why I benched you. I want you to learn from this. You are an important member of this team, and I need you play your hardest all of the time. You are still the starter and will start tomorrow. Do you have anything you want to say? Ok, I'll see you tomorrow before the game and we will treat it like a new day."

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Who wants to take bets on whether the Lerners will raise ticket prices next year - not including the President/Diamond sections?"

I fully expect them to raise prices next year in sections such as Infield Gallery that are clearly underpriced right now, while lowering prices in sections that are currently severely overpriced - like the RF Mezzanine (those 3 to 5 sections that are nearly always empty unless the crowd is 30,000+). Overall, I would think they'd want to alter the pricing balance between the infield and outfield seats. That's one thing they got seriously out of whack when they set the prices at the beginning of last year's relocation process. Someone in the front office (Stan, perhaps?) thought that fans here would pay big bucks to sit in the outfield since there are good sightlines from there and the seats are much closer to the field than RFK's outfield seats. Clearly that's not the case, and one would hope that the FO is smart enough to realize that.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 4, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

When will it end?

Bergmann draws Lincecum on Friday night. The guy never catches a break. Just once could he oppose someone who was not the other team's bset pitcher?

Also, please be on the lookout for lost offense. Last seen Friday night in Arizona. Averaging only 3.6 runs per game for the season, but scored only 1 in last three games.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 4, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Good news -there was sauerkraut to be had up on the 300-400 level. That may be the only thing that went right last night!

Posted by: Traveler | June 4, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"ABM, I was just using a little gallows humor.

Last year wasn't that bad, come on. ...
It was a fun year. "

We all know that sequels are never as good as the original. We don't need this year to turn into a sequel of last year. Last year may have been fun, but this year sucks.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 4, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

ken rosenrosen had this interesting thought:

"The trade activity before the July 31 non-waiver deadline could be greater than expected, and not simply due to the closeness of the races and emergence of surprise teams. The early forecasts for next year's draft should make clubs more inclined to trade potential free agents, knowing that any compensation picks they receive might be less appealing than in the past. This year's draft is not considered especially deep, and some major-league executives project next year's to be even weaker. So, the Indians might be better off trading left-hander C.C. Sabathia rather than settling for, say, the 22nd and 31st picks if he departs as a free agent. Ditto for the Reds with left fielder Adam Dunn, the Brewers with right-hander Ben Sheets, even the Braves with first baseman Mark Teixeira."

so, does this mean we are buyers, or sellers? or both?

here's a list of the guys that will be free agents after this season (courtesy of cot's):

First Basemen
Rich Aurilia SF
Ben Broussard TEX
Carlos Delgado * NYM
Nomar Garciaparra LAD
Jason Giambi * NYY
Wes Helms PHI
Kevin Millar BAL
Richie Sexson SEA
Mark Teixeira ATL
Frank Thomas OAK
Jim Thome CWS
Daryle Ward CHC

Second Basemen
Jamey Carroll * CLE
Ray Durham SF
Mark Ellis OAK
Marcus Giles COL
Mark Grudzielanek KC
Orlando Hudson ARZ
Jeff Kent LAD
Felipe Lopez WAS
D'Angelo Jimenez STL
Pablo Ozuna * CWS
Nick Punto MIN
Jose Valentin NYM
Jose Vidro * SEA

Shortstops
Orlando Cabrera CWS
Alex Cintron CWS
Alex Cora BOS
Craig Counsell * MIL
Adam Everett MIN
Rafael Furcal LAD
Cristian Guzman WAS
Cesar Izturis STL
Ramon Martinez LAD
Edgar Renteria * DET
Juan Uribe CWS

Third Basemen
Hank Blalock * TEX
Joe Crede CWS
Morgan Ensberg NYY
Chipper Jones * ATL
Corey Koskie MIL
Greg Norton TB

Catchers
Rod Barajas TOR
Henry Blanco * CHC
Johnny Estrada MIL
Toby Hall * CWS
Adam Melhuse TEX
Mike Redmond * MIN
Ivan Rodriguez DET
David Ross * CIN
Javier Valentin CIN
Jason Varitek BOS
Vance Wilson DET
Gregg Zaun * TOR

Outfielders
Bobby Abreu NYY
Moises Alou NYM
Garret Anderson * LAA
Rocco Baldelli TB
Willie Bloomquist SEA
Emil Brown OAK
Pat Burrell PHI
Endy Chavez NYM
Carl Crawford * TB
Adam Dunn CIN
Jim Edmonds CHC
Juan Encarnacion STL
Cliff Floyd TB
Brian Giles * SD
Ken Griffey Jr. * CIN
Vladimir Guerrero * LAA
Raul Ibanez SEA
Jacque Jones DET
Mark Kotsay ATL
Rob Mackowiak WAS
Kevin Mench TEX
Jason Michaels * CLE
Craig Monroe MIN
Jay Payton BAL
Scott Podsednik COL
Manny Ramirez * BOS
Juan Rivera LAA
Rondell White MIN

Starting Pitchers
Kris Bensen BAL
A.J. Burnett TOR (may opt out)
Paul Byrd CLE
Jon Garland LAA
Tom Glavine ATL
Mike Hampton * ATL
Rich Harden * OAK
Orlando Hernandez NYM
Jason Jennings TEX
Randy Johnson ARZ
John Lackey * LAA
Esteban Loaiza OAK
Braden Looper STL
Derek Lowe LAD
Pedro Martinez NYM
Matt Morris * PIT
Mike Mussina NYY
Jamie Moyer PHI
Mark Mulder * STL
Carl Pavano NYY
Brad Penny * LAD
Odalis Perez WAS
Oliver Perez NYM
Andy Pettitte NYY
Mark Prior SD
Horatio Ramirez SEA
C.C. Sabathia CLE
Ben Sheets MIL
John Smoltz * ATL
Julian Tavarez BOS
Steve Trachsel BAL
Brett Tomko KC
Claudio Vargas MIL
Randy Wolf SD

Relief Pitchers
Tony Armas Jr. PIT
Luis Ayala WAS
Joe Beimel LAD
Joe Borowski CLE
Juan Cruz ARZ
Ryan Dempster CHC
Brendan Donnelly BOS
Scott Downs TOR
Alan Embree * OAK
Scott Eyre CHC
Kyle Farnsworth NYY
Casey Fossum TB
Brian Fuentes COL
Aaron Fultz CLE
Tom Gordon * PHI
LaTroy Hawkins NYY
Mark Hendrickson LAD
Trevor Hoffman SD
Bobby Howry CHC
Jason Isringhausen STL
Steve Kline SF
Brad Lidge PHI
Brandon Lyon ARZ
Damaso Marte * PIT
Tom Martin COL
Julio Mateo PHI
Guillermo Mota MIL
Will Ohman CHC
Hideki Okajima * BOS
Darren Oliver LAA
John Parrish SEA
Chris Reitsma SEA
Dennys Reyes MIN
Juan Rincon MIN
Francisco Rodriguez LAA
Brian Shouse MIL
Rafael Soriano ATL
Jorge Sosa NYM
Mike Stanton * CIN
Salomon Torres * MIL
Derrick Turnbow MIL
Oscar Villarreal ATL
David Weathers CIN
Dan Wheeler TB
Dave Williams NYM
Matt Wise NYM
Jay Witasick TB

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"We all know that sequels are never as good as the original."

Touche!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

What do the "*" stand for?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

* First Basemen

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

* = team option for 2009

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 4, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"We all know that sequels are never as good as the original."

I beg to differ. Sequels are USUALLY not as good as the original, because Hollywood thinks it can create a carbon copy of the original that will sell just as well.

Think of all the great sequels you've seen. (Come on, it's not that hard. Godfather II. Star Wars V and VI. Indiana Jones 3. They're out there.) Those manage to keep what we know and love from the original, while adding new and equally brilliant aspects, as well.

This team is the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Someone very mistakenly seemed to think that what made the original good was a lot of Johnny Depp acting as though he was under the influence, and not much else. So they brought that back with none of its original charm and added special effects. Not too surprisingly, this yielded awful films.

In this analogy, Johnny Depp is our bullpen. Kind of the same as before, but just different enough to actually be awful.

To be one of those rare, good sequels, we would have needed to keep what was good last year and add more good stuff.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"We all know that sequels are never as good as the original."

I beg to differ. Sequels are USUALLY not as good as the original, because Hollywood thinks it can create a carbon copy of the original that will sell just as well.

Think of all the great sequels you've seen. (Come on, it's not that hard. Godfather II. Star Wars V and VI. Indiana Jones 3. They're out there.) Those manage to keep what we know and love from the original, while adding new and equally brilliant aspects, as well.

This team is the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Someone very mistakenly seemed to think that what made the original good was a lot of Johnny Depp acting as though he was under the influence, and not much else. So they brought that back with none of its original charm and added special effects. Not too surprisingly, this yielded awful films.

In this analogy, Johnny Depp is our bullpen. Kind of the same as before, but just different enough to actually be awful.

To be one of those rare, good sequels, we would have needed to keep what was good last year and add more good stuff.

Posted by: wait, this isn't a film blog? | June 4, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

That was wrong, sorry

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And Felipe would be Lindsay Lohan, showing up drunk and not caring one way or the other???

(Not saying he's a drunk)

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

felipe's orlando bloom. the people in charge like him enough to give him top billing, but he was never really brilliant at his job.

also, his best attribute may be that he's really pretty.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Another mock draft, helps for player familiarity

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/06/04/mock.draft/index.html?bcnn=yes

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Who's Kiera Knightly?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

sorry, i should have noted that the asterisks in the free agent list above indicate that the applicable contracts include an option for 2009.

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ wait, this isn't a film blog? : The sequel of your comment was not as good as the original.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 4, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@ wait, this isn't a film blog? : The sequel of your comment was not as good as the original.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 4, 2008 12:33 PM

-----

Thanks, now my head hurts.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

i got "blooped" by LDO on the asterisk point.

so, what do we do folks? deal nick/meat/flop/guz/op for prospects and sign teixeira, hudson and furcal? (i'm just throwing something out there for discussion.)

i agree with abm on ticket prices, the $10/$20 seats are far superior by value to the $60 seats; i suspect the gallery prices will rise and the lower outfield prices will decline.

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If Guzman is not traded for something of value prior to the deadline, then Bowden should be fired on the spot (well OK, granted he should've been fired previous to this as well).

Not getting something for the only semi-desirable commodity that Nats have (who's in a contract year, BTW) would be downright criminal.

Perhaps we could trade Lenny Harris for something of equal value ... oh wait ...

Posted by: Section 408 | June 4, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Dear SS,

Dodger Stadium is a wonderful place to watch a game. Unfortunately, it is true - based on my travel, the traffic throughout the greater LA area is much worse than here. The key to getting to Dodger Stadium - STAY OFF THE HIGHWAYS!! The highways are in a perpetual rush hour state for 14 hours a day. Now I know why Dodger fans arrive in the 3rd inning and leave in the 7th. I used the GPS that came with my rental car and set it to avoid highways. Drove from Torrance to Chavez Ravine doing quite a bit of zigging and zagging around, but it was a breeze. And there is plenty of parking at the stadium.

Posted by: Doctor Joe | June 4, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"so, what do we do folks? deal nick/meat/flop/guz/op for prospects and sign teixeira, hudson and furcal? (i'm just throwing something out there for discussion.)"

Nah, I perfer to have winning minor league teams than to have a winning major league team. (read with sarcasm).

The real answer is to have both!

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Smoltz is out for the season and possibly out for life. The Braves have no closer. I love John Rauch, but would this be a good time to offer him in trade? Completely dreaming here, but say FLop and Rauch for Kelly Johnson? The Braves would probably not do that, but the Nats should.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 4, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Completely dreaming here, but say FLop and Rauch for Kelly Johnson?"

Take that one, if you get it offered.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's take some time to appreciate the talent that was in the 2005 draft.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/draft2005/news/story?id=2075697

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Or even Guzman and Rauch for Johnson. Guzman is in the last year of his contract, plus isn't going to be playing SS much longer. Seeing Rauch over and over will hurt, but I think Johnson has a lot of upside. Hmm, I dunno. It's a thinker.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

GREAT POST, Bob L.! And, looking at it, I am reminded of Bill James' rules 5 & 6 from his 1988 Baseball Abstract:
5. Players taken in the June draft coming out of college (or with at least two years of college) perform dramatically better than players drafted out of high school.

6. The chance of getting a good player with a high draft pick is substantial enough that it is clearly a disastrous strategy to give up a first round draft choice to sign a mediocre free agent.

Posted by: flynnie | June 4, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

OK, we can forget a bunch of those FAs.
The former Reds that I can spot whom Bowden might be interested in are:

Ben Broussard TEX
Felipe Lopez WAS
D'Angelo Jimenez STL
David Ross * CIN
Javier Valentin CIN
Adam Dunn CIN
Ken Griffey Jr. * CIN
Rob Mackowiak WAS
Brett Tomko KC
Mike Stanton * CIN
David Weathers CIN
Dave Williams NYM

Am I missing any? Is there any point in discussing anyone else?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 4, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Chico Harlan has a Barry Svrluga poster on his bedroom wall.

Barry Svrluga doesn't wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.

Posted by: Ron Burgundy | June 4, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

And, by the end, his heart was gone.

Hey, it wasn't MY analogy.
******************
felipe's orlando bloom. the people in charge like him enough to give him top billing, but he was never really brilliant at his job.

also, his best attribute may be that he's really pretty.

Posted by: | June 4, 2008 12:18 PM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | June 4, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

fyi, the braves *DO* still have a closer. rafael soriano. he was the closer before smoltz got hurt and decided to be a reliever again. i don't think rauch would necessarily be an improvement over him. i think the braves are far more concerned about replacing smoltz as a starter (and have been since he got hurt the first time) than they are as a closer.

Posted by: 231 | June 4, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I think that has to be Zimm.

*********
Who's Kiera Knightly?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:30 PM

Posted by: Sec. 3 | June 4, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

But I'm sure Frank would be Gov. Swann (Jonathan Price), her father.

*********
Who's Kiera Knightly?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:30 PM

Posted by: Sec. 3 | June 4, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

why? I don't follow...


--------

I think that has to be Zimm.

*********
Who's Kiera Knightly?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 12:30 PM

Posted by: Sec. 3 | June 4, 2008 1:47 PM

Posted by: boo | June 4, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

flynnie -- so as Mariners GM in 1993 you take Darren Dreifort over the guy the M's actually took, some Miami HS shortstop?

BTW, the next four picks in that draft all had college experience. Not one of them will have to worry about which hat they wear into the HoF.

Also, unless the rules have changed, I believe that you lose a first round pick for signing a Type A FA only if the pick is 16 or below. If your first round pick is 15 or better you get to keep it and give up a 2nd rounder. That's why the Nats didn't get the Cubs top 10 pick last year for Soriano.

Anyway, besides Texeria, Sabathia and Dunn (maybe Burrell) is there anyone on that FA list that is useful and on the right side of 30 (i.e. not likely to decline over the course of his bloated FA contract?)

Face it, you are not likely to build a winner through free agency unless you are prepared to go the Yankee 200m payroll route. How that working out for them this season?

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | June 4, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

yeah, gal revels, that's the problem -- free agency doesn't help when you need, like, 8-10 players. it works when you need 2-3. this year was supposed to be about which of kearns, lopez, pena, dukes, and milledge could be part of a contender in 2010. it would really suck if the answer proved to be "none of them."

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Bob, but I think that Dukes and Milledge are leaning on the side of "yes."

Lannan is yes, likely.

From last year:
Flores and Zimmerman are yes.

That's some progress

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

not a 2nd rounder, a "sandwich" pick. one that comes between the first and 2nd.

Posted by: 231 | June 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

i'm on board with flores and beatnik lannan and, of course, zimmerman. i'm not sure about milledge and dukes. there is talent there, certainly, but i think the jury's out on whether it will be used properly.

i would trade rauch to the braves for brent lillibridge and gorkys hernandez.

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

now you just have to get the braves to need rauch and you might have the beginnings of a deal.

Posted by: 231 | June 4, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Milledge could be just fine as a left fielder, but needs to bat 2 again. It suits his aggressive nature.

Dukes, oddly enough, might not be a 30 home run guy, but he might be the Austin Kearns we always wanted.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

March 01, 2008
Acta-Mania
Capitol Punishment cites another reason to love Manny Acta. It's like he grew up reading Bill James and Baseball Prospectus. If and when this team starts spending money on players, Manny is going to be very tough to beat. Is he this generations Davey Johnson?

Posted by: flynnie | June 4, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

This is gold:

"Dear Jesus,

"Your teamates want you to stay. And not just because you bring great Venezuelan take-out food to the ballpark to share. Right now, you're the best bat in the lineup. You have to stay. You will."

Chico doubters be darned. Like socks.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

yeah, chico's answers on the chat have been as solid as flores behind the plate. maybe one day we'll be posting superhero stories about him on this blog.

Posted by: bob l. head | June 4, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

It's true, but Barry used to answer a lot more questions than Chico and do it telepathically.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

so, think they'll be able to fit in a game tonight?

Posted by: the tornado outside your window | June 4, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

only if they're playing water polo...

Posted by: 231 | June 4, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it's supposed to slow down for the most part by 8 or so and be done raining entirely by midnight. This could be another long one...

Posted by: NOAA | June 4, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't trust that Ark-builder!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 4, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see this lineup tonight against Todd Wellemeyer:

2B Harris
CF Milledge
SS Guzman
1B Young
3B Boone
RF Dukes
LF Casto
C Nieves
P Lannan

Posted by: e | June 4, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Questions:
1. Do the Cardnals still have to give up a pick for signing Lohse? (Since he was signed after the season started)
2. Same question but with Benson and the Phillies (pretending he was a class-ranked FA if he wasn't).

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The lineup I'd like to see:

SS Furcal
CF Milledge
3B Zimmerman
1B Texiera
RF Dukes
LF Burgess
C Flores
2B Belliard
P Lannan

Posted by: Souff East | June 4, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Brewers seemed to have found a way to hit the D'Back's pitching.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about Lohse (or Benson et al) but the compensation comes only if the player was offered and turned down arbitration.

I think the "sandwich" pick is the gravy but the team outside the top 15 still loses its 2nd round pick for a type A signing.

Milwaukee picks 53 and 54 (from the Reds and the White Sox) for the Francisco Cordero and Scott Linebrink signings. They also pick 32 and 35 for those two signings as well.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | June 4, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

lohse was signed march 13, a couple of weeks before the season started.

Posted by: 231 | June 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Tonights lineup...

2B Lopez
SS Guzman
CF Milledge
1B Young
RF Dukes
LF Pena
3B Casto
C Nieves
P Lannan

Posted by: Pablo | June 4, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Re: Dodger Stadium

Went last weekend to see them take on the Cards. Stadium might be legendary, but the prices for EVERYTHING there made me a "little" more thanful for Nats Park.

Parking = $15
Game tix = $50 and they werent very good
Dodger Dog = $6
Little Beer = $10, larger one for $12

There's only one way in, and one box office and no signs showing you how to get to either.

Good Luck. Have Fun. Take CASH!

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | June 4, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

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