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Lineups

The lineups from Pittsburgh

And yes, we've got the return of Ronnie Belliard tonight. He went "zero-for-Harrisburg," as Manny Acta said (that would be 0-for-12) and last night, 0-for-3 in Class A Potomac. Maybe he can help the Nationals. "Well, I think my swing is 90 percent, or 80 and 85," Belliard said today.

Washington

Guzman - 6
Dukes - 9
Milledge - 8
Young - 3
Boone - 5
Flores - 2
Belliard - 4
Pena - 7
Redding - 1

Pittsburgh

McLouth - 8
Sanchez - 4
Bay - 7
Doumit - 2
Nady - 9
LaRoche - 3
Bautista - 5
Wilson - 6
Maholm - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  June 10, 2008; 6:11 PM ET
 
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Comments

Belli's back! Drop FLop!

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth would they bring Belly up before he has his swing back? He has no hits in his minor league rehab! I hope that this question looks foolish 9 innings from now, but their is desperation in the air!

Posted by: flynnie | June 10, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

eh, maybe he'll pull a Flores.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 10, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about it, even if he does absolutely nothing at the plate he will still run out every play. Something which FLop did not do.

So even if we get no production it will still be pretty much the same as we have been getting.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 10, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Flip can run. Belly can't especially with a bad calf, and Belly's sprint is 1/2 Flip's speed. Prediction - you will see Flip playing in this game. Have you forgotten the grand slam against the Mets? Or his line drive last night w/the bases loaded - he's hitting it hard. God, I want a win tonight!

Posted by: flynnie | June 10, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie, how many weeks ago did FLop hit a grand slam against the Mets? You can't pinpoint events like this, baseball demands consistency. Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while. FLop doesn't care and he's mailing it in.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 10, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Time for more self-inflicted torture for the next 2 1/2 hours...

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

..but I can't help myself. Kind of like having to look when driving past an accident on the side of the road.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see that the Nats have already spotted the Bucs three runs.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Great job by Redding of breaking out of the routine of cruising along until the sixth...he got hammered in the FIRST this time. That'll keep them guessing!

Posted by: nsfw | June 10, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Is it the sixth inning already?

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Maholm just needed 19 pitches to get thru 6 Nats and 2 innings.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

With three runs in the first, It looks like they have already given up. 7 pitches in the second inning, they're swinging to get the game over.

Posted by: Will O. | June 10, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

redding isn't doing anything to enhance any possible trade value.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 10, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Great DP

Posted by: Will O. | June 10, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

At least the Nats won't be no-hit tonight. Whether they'll score is another matter.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

3 pitches - 2 outs by Belliard and Pena - and then 6 pitches to Redding. Nice to see that Redding is willing to work the count. Maholm's total pitch count - 28 for 3 innings and 9 at bats. The Nats make anyone look good.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Everyone click on the Pittsburgh link. I think Chico is rubbing it in. And I believe I heard him say on the radio he could wait to get out of Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Tom | June 10, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Count

He's only pitching against the Nats Without Bats.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Tim Tolman, aka The Executioner.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

the grim reaper strikes again.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 10, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I second the Tolman comment. Sheesh.

Posted by: s | June 10, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Tolman strikes again. He wasn't even in position to wave him home

Posted by: Will O. | June 10, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Maholm - 37 pitches. He should be able to pitch a complete game - particularly with the easy outs at home.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Milledge looked good coming at least he kept his helmet on.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Coming home that is

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

With all the talk about Lenny Harris doing such a bad job, Tim Tolman got jealous, so he had to pull one of his famous dead-at-the-plate moves. Sheesh...Milledge was out by a mile...

Posted by: b-man | June 10, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Tolman and Harris should switch jobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

When it goes bad, it goes worse for this team.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Belliard!

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Manny knew what he was doing when he sat FLop.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I guess that's our one run for the night...

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I am joyfully eating crow. Crow can taste good sometimes.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow, hope y'all didn't turn off this game already...

Posted by: mrm0to | June 10, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

What was in Belliard's coffee this morning???

Posted by: MattB. | June 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Did he borrow some Vitamin V?

Posted by: SF Fan | June 10, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Asked and answered.

******************
Why on earth would they bring Belly up before he has his swing back?

Posted by: flynnie | June 10, 2008 6:19 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Belliard, you shoulda never left us...

Posted by: SF Fan | June 10, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Just because Carpy also announces college hoops games, that doesn't mean he should make analogies between baseball and basketball. They don't work, and just highlight Bob's minimal understanding of baseball.

Posted by: Carpenter stinks | June 10, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

So does this mean that our Harrisburg crew and their opposing pitchers are better than the Pirates? I mean, he DID go 0 fer...

Posted by: SF Fan | June 10, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Cardiac Ayala just doesn't have the same cachet...

Posted by: SF Fan | June 10, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Throw strikes to the leadoff hitter, in front of a guy who's got 2 HRs and a double, in a one run game? That's just what they'll be expecting .... heh heh heh

Posted by: Luis A. | June 10, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Pull Ayala NOW, Manny

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Belliard and Young both smacking the ball around? Has a familiar feel to it....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 10, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Belly.

Said Charlie: "A leadoff walk, usually a recipe for big trouble."

Has anybody taken up the "Ayala sucks" mantle? My tickets are in the PLoD-hater section, but I might sneak into that section for the next few innings.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 10, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else lose Charlie and Dave from mlb audio?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

all quiet here too, NatsNut. dangit.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 10, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Really, if it weren't for Charlie and Dave ...

http://tinyurl.com/6eqsll
I'm just sayin' ...

Posted by: Not Phils Exec (yet) | June 10, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Now THIS is the way to lose a ballgame. And I'm not being facetious either.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I've lost them too, NataNut. But I'm no longer sure whether that is a good or a bad thing at this point.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 10, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I am a GHF guy, but I have to admit, Carpy does indeed suck.

The other thing that sucks is whatever is required to suck on any given night in order to enable the Nats to lose. Good start? Bad bullpen. Some offense? Bad pitching. Some of that is chance, but not enough.

And I still think we can win this anyway. Go Nats.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 10, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

you mean there's actually Nationals LIFE in this game?

DUKES!!

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I called that. Kinda.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Go Milledge!

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Blastings!

Posted by: Not P E Yet, dammit | June 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Woohoo Milledge!!

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Woo Hoo!!!!! Milledge, you son of a clint!! I can't believe my eyes.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Milledge/Dukes haters, show your faces! HAHAHA

Posted by: Jason | June 10, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

OK, BobL, we'll give you that one. G-d knows you won't get many chances ...

Posted by: CE, not PE | June 10, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

This is ALL Belliard. All of it. Has to be.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

He got all of that one...
Are the dimensions at PNC that much smaller than at Nationals Park? I know it is short down the right field line (320), but the HR's that they have hit have been deep shots...

Posted by: TimDz | June 10, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

So, do you suppose young Master Harlan will be ticked off by this?

Posted by: I mean, he is FROM there | June 10, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

That was awesome. Get em Rauch!

Posted by: Jason | June 10, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow...2 outs with bases empty in the ninth against a closer who was 15 for 15 in save opportunities and Dukes and Milledge get the job done. Way to go guys!

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

What's that guy called again? You know, the one who comes in and holds the lead? I can't remember the word for it...

;)

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Milledge takes handoff, scores TD. Washington 7, Steelers 2 FG's. Can the D hold up?

Wait, this is a Nats game? 7 runs? 5 Homers? Thank you Ronnie B!

In the thank God we didn't sign him department: Carlos Silva has losing record and a 5.00+ ERA. Good job Jimbo!

Posted by: joNAThan | June 10, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Chief?

******************
What's that guy called again? You know, the one who comes in and holds the lead? I can't remember the word for it...

;)

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:50 PM

Posted by: no, that's not it ... | June 10, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Ayala?

Posted by: noooooooo ... | June 10, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Rauch!

Posted by: That's it | June 10, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

A 1-2-3 9th? pretty boring...
Could really get used to it though...

Posted by: TimDz | June 10, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

CE, I don't need to tell you about the Cub-like anti-virtues of consistently losing 2-1 and 9-8 instead of winning 8-2 and losing 9-1.

We have lost of late, but tonight, tonight .... A win!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

closer

Posted by: nope | June 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Sweeeeeeeeeetttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the Wookie tonight.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 10, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The last time the Nats hit FIVE home runs in ONE game?

Posted by: TimDz | June 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Back online after spectacular lightning storm in Silver Spring. Way to go, Nats. One of the best games of the season. We'll see this one again on "Nats Classics."

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

That's right. CLOSER! It's been so long.

My gawd, this is awesome. It was so needed on so many levels. I'm serious. This fan does not require a lot. I just needed to see that spark, even if we'd lost it. The win is just icing.

BELLY YARD!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I got your 0-fer right here.

Posted by: Belliard | June 10, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chico:

WHat happened with Dukes and Acta when Dukes got back to the dugout in the 9th inning?? Was it because of him and Milledge celeprating at the place?? It looked relatively innocent, but the Pittsburgh announcers were mentioning it, and showed the confrontation...

Posted by: Wigi | June 10, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

That was fun. I don't care if it was just the Pirates. I enjoy winning (see my comments yesterday), and I can't wait to do more of it.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 10, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

So the patience brigade wins tonight. We are all pulling for them.

Hey Chico - time for a "find the silver lining" note about the OF and getting last year's stars going again.

Of course, "silver" in my accent sounds like "Silva" sometimes. Fess up - who said sign him this off season?

From CBS Sportsline:
"Silva is making a case to be one of the worst $48 million-pitchers in baseball history. His record stands at 3-6, however, he's lost his last four outings and six of his last eight. He's still owned in 23 percent of leagues, but you have to ask yourself if it is time to let him go. Luckily for Fantasy owners, he'll be easier to drop to the waiver wire than he will off the Mariners roster. His next start comes June 10 against Dustin McGowan in Toronto."

Posted by: PTBNL | June 10, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Nat's finally win and the blog is so happy. Kudos guys. So the team is how many games UNDER .500 now?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 10, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't understand ABM and the rest of the people supporting publicly funded stadiums. Someone made a comment about how they know what the political leanings of the stadium opponents are, but I can't see what serious modern political viewpoint could support this kind of thing.

Set aside your baseball fandom for a minute. Think about it, what other industry gets this kind of treatment? If McDonald's wanted to open a new restaurant, could they get the city to build it for them? If Wal-Mart wanted to build a new store in VA, would the state pick up the tab? Of course not. If those investments were profitable, the Wal-Mart and McDonalds would make them and that would be that.

Nationals Park is not a public facility like a school or a hospital--its a private profit venture. That's just not a legitimate public expense, any more than any of the examples above. If the city was cut in as a full partner commensurate with the investment they put in, that might be less of a rip-off for taxpayers, but that'd be an awful lot like socialism--essentially nationalizing the industry of MLB.

The only reason it happens is because MLB has an anti-trust exemption that allows the 30 owners to collude to leverage city and state governments for more and bigger subsidies. They can deny the city a team for 30 years, which never would happen if not for the anti-trust exemption, play each jurisdiction off the rest, and basically blackmail any city that wants a team for hundreds of millions. DC isn't alone in this--pretty much the entire recent generation of new stadiums were built with public funding, with MLB's club of 30 owners reaping the profits without putting up the investment in the first place. Not a bad way to do business, but a terrible way to run a government, if you care about taxpayers at all.

If market forces were allowed to operate, the Expos or the Pirates or the Royals would have moved to DC years ago because we're a more profitable market.

Think of it this way--if the Restaurant Association of America was allowed to act like MLB, they would shut down all the restaurants in VA and/or MD and/or DC and hold the states hostage until they paid for renovations for every restaurant in the state. If we went 30 years with no restaurants, we'd probably spend 611 million to build new McDonaldses all over town too. And with no true market competition, the service and food would be terrible but profits would be huge anyway. Sound familiar?

Seriously, what's the political philosophy that believes in this kind of thing? Conservatives like Cato believe in the free market and hate this kind of government intrusion in the markets. Progressives hate the subsidies for private profit.

You have to go back to the late 1800s and the original robber barons to find any serious political support for this kind of totally unchecked ultra-right wing defense of monopolies. John Rockefeller's lawyer argued that all anti-trust, child labor, worker and food safety laws were unconstitutional and inherently harmful, but except in the context of pro-sports, no one makes this argument today.

The reason this goes on in MLB is that Americans like our sports, we love our local teams, and we forget that the Nats and MLB are really just private corporations like any other. The Nats should have to turn a profit with their own investments and taking on the risk like any other. If building a new stadium is a good investment, they should raise the money from private investors, just like everyone else. And then if it works out, the investors will turn a tidy profit. If it's not they won't.

And here's the kicker. If those investors had real skin in the game, they would demand a better product of the field, and less of a non-sense ticket pricing structure. But when the government takes on all the cost and risk and the owners are guaranteed massive profits regardless of how well run the team is, well you see the results. You let your kid's college buddy run the team and laugh all the way to the bank.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 10, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes Wigi, I noticed that flare up in the dugout with Manny & Dukes. I wonder if the MASN crew picked up on it and what they said. I'll be in the DC area the next two days and hope to find out more on that. Looked pretty serious to me.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Nothing shown/mentioned on the MASN feed. I rewound on my DVR to try and catch it, but nothing. Was it after Milledge's homer??
***********************
Yes Wigi, I noticed that flare up in the dugout with Manny & Dukes. I wonder if the MASN crew picked up on it and what they said. I'll be in the DC area the next two days and hope to find out more on that. Looked pretty serious to me.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:11 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | June 10, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

NATS WIN!!!

Posted by: 422 | June 10, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Wigi/SCNF

I just went back on the TIVO and didnt see anything...when did this happen?

Posted by: joNAThan | June 10, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Steven, was that a cut and paste re-post of your rants from earlier this spring? I think you even used the same McDonald's analogy.

I don't disagree with you, not even a little bit. The situation stinks, and shows no signs of fixing itself. I just have to believe that the long-term view that those that capitulate to MLB teams' demands is that the overall revenue for the city is increased this way not to mention the cachet of having a MLB team in your town ... as if DC needed any more help to be "put on the map".

Posted by: i hate walks | June 10, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

When Dukes got back in the dugout the Pittsburgh feed showed Acta and Dukes in a shouting contest. Both were upset. Also, if you noticed when they were coming off the field and smacking hands after the win, Dukes did not slap hands with Acta and you could see the surprise on Mannys face. I'm sure there is more to this to come.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the highlights on gameday. It was a very good night for prostrate cancer research.

Dukes waited for Milledge, gave him a high-five at the plate and then called Milldege back for some more hand jiving. Money on Dukes getting hit tomorrow (if he's in the line-up)

Posted by: lowcountry | June 10, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I saw the flare up on mlb.tv (FSN Pittsburgh). Also, Dukes didn't give his hand to Manny after the game for hi-5s.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | June 10, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Poor timing Steven. We are celebrating a win here. I'm beginning to think that you and O's exec are one in the same.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm currently listening to Charlie and Dave on the internet radio feed and they haven't mentioned the Dukes/Acta confrontation at all. I'm guessing they're fed the MASN feed in there booth and didn't see it either.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

They just showed some of Manny's PC on Nats Extra and he didn't mention anything, in fact he praised Milledge and Dukes. If there is anything here, I'm sure Manny will deal with it, as he should, in-house.

Posted by: joNAThan | June 10, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Manny is a classy guy. But I'm dying of curiosity.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

On the FSN feed you can here Manny yelling at them to get in the dug-out. Once Dukes get's iin, he slapped Manny on the butt and said something to which Acta respnded by coming down off the top step and yelling something undiscernable back.

There's more here.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 10, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't get Nats Xtra down here, did Knight and Holiday have anything to say about it, or, maybe they didn't see it either?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The MASN feed did show the (probably) excessive celebration between Dukes and Milledge at home plate, and followed them to the dugout, but cut to the batter before Acta met Dukes coming in.
The MASN feed DID show Milledge and Dukes in deep discussion in RF at the top of the 9th, though. Dukes looked upset (but he kinda always looks that way...) and LMills was slapping his leg at the end of the in ear whispering, as if to say, "all good."

Posted by: Section 138 | June 10, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I guess we'll find out if our beat reporter can find out anything as I'm sure he reads this stuff. Ya listenin Chico? Theres a story here!

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

It was Kerr and Wood, but regardless, no mention. We also didn't get to see Duke's dissing Manny on the post game fist bopping.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I don't get Nats Xtra down here, did Knight and Holiday have anything to say about it, or, maybe they didn't see it either?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:25 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | June 10, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Good night all. Pleasant dreams!

Posted by: lowcountry | June 10, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Sec 138. I guess it went undetected by the DC coverage. Pittsburgh had it all visually, but I'd sure love to know what was said.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

This is ALL Belliard. All of it. Has to be.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 9:47 PM

-----

What was that about deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepth again? There's even a hit for Mr. Felipe Lopez on here!

Not sure what's up with Dukes and Acta, but Acta will take care of it and Dukes will learn, hopefully the easier way.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 10, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I've got a long drive to DC tomorrow (NVa) actually, so I'll be off this site til saturday. I'll be sure check back then though to catch up on the dirt. Night everyone.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 10, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm on travel in Kansas City and had to watch with no audio in a sports bar. The FSN feed really focussed on the Dukes/Manny confrontation. I saw what has been described including nDukes dissing Manny during the postgame lineup. I just hope Meathook sits him down tonight and he goes tail between legs into Manny's office tonight. Give you odds Elijah sits a game ot two and has to decide if he really wants this chance or not.

Ben

Posted by: dcben | June 10, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@lowcountry--yeah I know. I got started when it looked like we were going down in flames again, and then clicked submit anyway. So I'll now say..... HOORAY! WOO HOO! BELLY-YARD!!! WINNING IS FUN!! LET'S HURRY UP AND FIRE BOWDEN SO WE CAN DO THIS MORE OFTEN!!! :)

But I take offense at the suggestion that I'm anything remotely like O's Exec. A) even I'm not such a loser that I spend time taunting other team's fans. I do have SOME other interests in life than this. And B) The Orioles are a pathetic joke of a franchise epitomized by 2 sets of numbers: 30-3 and 0-21. I even root for the Yankees when they come to Baltimore (and I hate the Yankees like any decent human being would).

@IHW--yeah I posted about this here before (though just cuz I make a detailed, lengthy post doesn't mean I'm ranting--I know when I'm ranting, and that wasn't a rant--that was just long-winded--not the same). But even if South Capitol Street booms like the Penn Quarter, it still isn't a good use of taxpayer dollars--you would get way more return on a public investment putting those dollars into a million other things, and any economist would agree with that. It's just that sports fans are so nutso crazy mush-heads about this issue. People just go "we want a team, and we want to go to a nice stadium!" and completely lose a handle on reality or any sense of their own self-interest or politics. It's just "Who cares about taxpayers! who cares about budget deficits! I just wanna go to a baseball game!" I can understand that last part, especially if you've waited 30 years, and it's clear Congress isn't going to change the law to end the monopoly. But people shouldn't be so mush-heads about it.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 10, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Baseball Tonight just showed the confrontation in the dugout and it didn't look pretty at all - Acta and Dukes were really yelling at each other. And Dukes totally dissed Acta in the line-up after the game. The commentators didn't know any more than what's already been said here, but one of them (Buck?) said it didn't look good. Hmm...

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Holy moses, they just showed the dugout "conversation" and subsequent non-high-five on BT, no idea what was said...
Any slo-mo lip readers out there (I figure there's a good shot, this close to Langley)?

Posted by: nats del negro | June 10, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"But even if South Capitol Street booms like the Penn Quarter, it still isn't a good use of taxpayer dollars--you would get way more return on a public investment putting those dollars into a million other things, and any economist would agree with that."

I agree with this, I'm just not sure of the relevance now, because I don't buy the "business as keeper's of public trust" line of thinking. I'm with Fenty, the city's been willingly hoodwinked, but now that it's happened, get the most out of it.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 10, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Elijah, you can't do that to the manager until you're hitting .330 for a season.

Posted by: Dmitri Young | June 10, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Re: the Acta/Dukes confrontation. Interesting that it clearly illustrates the character of both people: Acta normally calm, quiet and non-confrontational, but when he feels something needs to be said to a player, he will get in the player's face and say it. And Dukes, twice now, has illustrated that he's a total whack job by not being able to control himself when things are going well. Can you imagine what a head case he'll be if ever experiences long term success? How much self-control does it take, when you're getting your umpteenth chance in life, to put your head down and LISTEN when your manager is telling how to be a big leaguer?

Posted by: joebleux | June 10, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The confrontation didn't look good but maybe it will light a fire on this team. Manny needed to do this earlier in the season that when the team is losing and losing badly that this is not a cheerleading camp and how to look like an idiot after hitting a homer. Let the steam out Manny.

Posted by: Will O. | June 10, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"I can't understand ABM and the rest of the people supporting publicly funded stadiums."

Hey Squire Badbreath, aka Steven of Clueless Hill: I have not written anything here either supporting or opposing publicly-funded stadiums. I have simply said that the Lerners were not given a $600 million gift, which they weren't. As I said, a case can be made that MLB extorted the DC Council in order to bring the team here. If the DC Council hadn't played ball with them, though, they'd just have extorted some other city and put the team there. That's the way it is. Doesn't mean I necessarily like it, but the deed is done and I'm glad I have a team here to support. Obviously you aren't. But the least you could do is shut your mouth for the brief while it would take you to read and correctly comprehend the comments of others. But you don't. You just rant on. That's why you are Squire Badbreath as far as I'm concerned. Your rants leave a foul odor on my olfactory senses.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 10, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I know, I'm obsessing about this..but if anyone wants to get a glimpse of the live "dust up" between Dukes and Acta, MLB Gameday's video of the Milledge homer is up, and you can see the initial dugout entrance. It's live action, and really small, and no replay, but you can see dukes slap manny, and manny turn around and say something.
tin yurl:
http://tinyurl.com/3fwf9a
You have to click on the "Gameday" tab, then click "video" on the right upper portion of the screen. Scroll all the way down to Milledge's homer.

Posted by: Section 138 | June 10, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I caught the confrontation on Baseball Tonight as well and no, Manny did not look happy. I hope it's not more than just the celebration. But even then, I would hope Manny wouldn't be getting that upset at a guy having some fun after a pretty bad week of losing. Dukes is showing enthusiasm -- he started the "softball cheers," etc. -- I say let them play.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | June 10, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

138, I've watched that scene a couple of times and I don't think that's it. That shot looked like Dukes gave him a celebratory punch and Manny gave him a high five back.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, anyone notice the kind of off-to-the-side nonchalant catch Dukes made of the last out? I'd be surprised if he doesn't get benched for at least one game. Or the two remaining games in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: joebleux | June 10, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that clip better not be it, it's even weaker than the supposed umpire taunt. There's nothing in it to suggest anything more drastic than "don't touch my lower right soft tissue extremity."

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 10, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Wait. So ya'll aren't talking about a confrontation AFTER the game? Was that one shot of everyone in the dugout after the homer the one everyone's talking about?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

and dontrelle willis demoted to class A. there's a contract detroit's going to regret for a while.

Posted by: 231 | June 10, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I'm talking about where Acta and Dukes are angrily jawing at each other in the dugout. At one point Manny turns to leave, and then Dukes is still yapping, so Manny comes back and says something else, and then someone steps between them.

Posted by: joebleux | June 10, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

okay. That I haven't seen. thanks, cuz the home run celebration didn't look like anything.

But whoa! Manny is NOT the guy you wanna jaw at if you're already on a short leash. Sheinin said a long time ago that Dukes won't last here.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 10, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I have watched the mlb version of the video at least 10 times. Someone please tell me that Elijah is not saying "want some of me? I can fight you, I can fight you"...please no...

Posted by: Sec 317 | June 10, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I just saw this post from Steven on Capitol Hill, and I had to respond -- here's what he wrote, in part:

"Set aside your baseball fandom for a minute. Think about it, what other industry gets this kind of treatment? If McDonald's wanted to open a new restaurant, could they get the city to build it for them? If Wal-Mart wanted to build a new store in VA, would the state pick up the tab? Of course not. If those investments were profitable, the Wal-Mart and McDonalds would make them and that would be that."

Apparently, though Steven works on Capitol Hill, he doesn't know diddley about how state and local governments work. Wal-Mart, Target, et al., get substantial subsidies for their "investments", because they play the exact same game that sports teams play -- playing one community off against another.

It's called tax-increment financing.

Walmart or Target say they want to build in such a state or in such a town, and bring in all those jobs and maybe anchor a big shopping center, but they just can't bring themselves to do it, unless the locality agrees that they won't pay taxes on their sales.

The localities issue tax-exempt bonds to finance the initial investment. Then, the corporation pays off the debt with the revenues which are collected tax-free so long as they go to paying off the debt. You'd be amazed at how long that takes, what with improvements and such. It's probably be a cold day in hell before any of those big box anchor stores actually pays any local taxes.

Here's a report on how badly Target took the City of Chicago for its stores: http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/pdf/TIF_dollars_to_Target_analysis.pdf

It's not just limited to the big retailers. Defense contractors, oil companies -- they all get tax-free treatment...meaning the investments are subsidized by tax dollars.

For a general description of tax-increment financing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_increment_financing

Don't tell me it's only sports teams that get away with playing one city against another to get public subsidies. Nonsense. 49 states and the District of Columbia have TIF laws on the books -- and the biggest beneficiaries nationwide are not sports teams.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 10, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow. How did MASN miss this confrontation and not even discuss it after the game?

Posted by: Fair and Balanced | June 10, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

My 3 cents: If there was an excessive celebration it was Milledge's fault. He got one hand slap out of Dukes, and didn't think it was enough, so he held out for more. Duke seemed like reluctant accomplice ot Milledge's antics, when I saw it live.

On other matters: DC United should get a stadium -- Fenty reneged on a deal that would have had the team building it with no money from the city, other than paying for public improvements. All the team ownership wanted was the right to develop around the stadium. DCU had done all the legwork to make the transfer from the federal gov't. MY guess: Fenty didn't like the way the team was courting Ward 8 leaders, whereas his Bethesda/Northwest developer friends were telling him they wanted a piece of the action. So, he cut DC United out of the deal to develop Poplar Point. That was a bad move to begin with. Now, the team can't finance the stadium without city help. So, the city ought to do it, economists be damned. Teams are a huge part of the social fabric -- something economists can't measure. Soccer teams, even more so -- because they link the city to other teams/cities around the world such that DC will become a destination for international soccer. You can't put a price tag on that.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 10, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not seeing it! Help! It feels like one of those Magic Eye pictures. I see them go in the dugout, Dukes slap high fives, smack Manny's backside, continue down the dugout, then Manny reaches over and grabs him by his big bald head (but his face is away so I can't see his expression). Manny turns around (I can't see Dukes), then turns back around and leans over and says something else, then turns back around. Total time, something like 3 seconds.

Is this the thing, or is it something else?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 10, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

506: it's something else. I don't if there's a clip up anywhere; I saw it on Baseball Tonight. Unfortunately, my DVR's not Internet accessible, or I'd point you to it. They're very clearly jawing face to face. Wily Mo's the one who eventually steps in between them (I guess if you're going to keep someone of Dukes' size around who has a history of trying to choke their teammates to death, it's also a good idea to keep someone of WMP's size around to prevent same from happening).

Posted by: joebleux | June 11, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I watched the video on MLB and it may be that Dukes was running his mouth at the end of the dugout and Acta went over to tell him that there is still another inning to play and what you don't want to fire them up or show them up.

It is hard if after Dukes hits him on the butt that Acta slaps him on the head or turns around and says something. It is hard to determine how much time between home run and confrontation.

I just don't understand Dukes not slapping his hand.

Posted by: BRothbart | June 11, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I finally got the mlb.com clip that Sec 138 tinyurl'd above to load in my browser. The confrontation happens about 55 seconds into the "Dukes gets dressed down by Acta" clip.

Posted by: joebleux | June 11, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

http://tinyurl.com/3fwf9a

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

We've got the Dukes vs. Acta clip from BT in all its glory. The no high-five treatment by Dukes? Not good...

http://www.nationalsenquirer.com/

Posted by: The Nationals Enquirer | June 11, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

From Saturday's dead-tree:

"On Thursday night, Elijah Dukes's mammoth home run to dead-center -- his first of the season -- capped a 10-9 Washington Nationals comeback win. It also triggered anger from plate umpire Doug Eddings, who, Acta said, was displeased by Dukes's celebration."

I'm guessing Acta let one slide, but a second unsportsmanlike celebration only a few days later was too much and he wanted to let Dukes know that humility is a virtue. Then the back-and-forth erupts/escalates from there.

Posted by: mrm0to | June 11, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh. That is. . .not good.

Also, is it strange that the Wily Mo Pena that exists in my head is an enormous teddy bear of a man? Bizzare.

Posted by: Budapest | June 11, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Manny is shouting in Elijah's face, his neck corded in rage, his hands raised as if he is gesturing the number 3. And this after Elijah hit a miraculous two-out top of the 9th inning double to set the stage for Lasting's miraculous home-run. I've never seen anything like it in baseball since Jays manager John Gibbons tried to fight Shea Hillenbrand in the dugout, and, before that, back to Billy Martin. Can you imagine Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Bob Melvin, or Clint Hurdle doing this? Bud Black didn't even do this to Milton Bradley, when Bradley was about to fight an umpire! Elijah just handed his manager a victory, and he gets a face full of rage and spit? Manny snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, failed to mirror the enthusiasm of his young players, and acted like a bully. He's lucky Elijah didn't hit him. I don't blame Elijah for not high-fiving him. I have seen Manny looking like he was trying to get fired lately, looking like he has had more of this team than he can stomach. E.g. his presser after the Brewers nearly overcame a 7 run deficit. Tonight Manny looked a lot like Billy Martin. I don't want Billy Martin managing this team. I've been thinking for the last week or so that Manny wants out to manage the Mets.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve Berthiaume on Baseball Tonight summed it up: "Krukie's right-it certainly spoils a nice come-from-behind win for the Washington Nationals. They don't get too many of those."

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Good thing Chico has ElijahGate thoroughly covered in the gamer. Oh wait...

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 11, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Went to sleep with a smile on my face right after Byron Kerr and Phil Wood signed off of the MASN post-game. Then I woke up to check your thoughts on this ridiculous win and I'm so grateful to all of you who posted about the Dustup in the Dugout. MASN mised it completely. And I'm just sick about it. Elijah had just finished giving his all-I've never seen a player try harder, run harder, more eager to come through - until the fly ball to end the 9th. Manny just killed the enthusiasm of one of our most promising players. That is just dreadful management.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy Tango, good thing for NJ, MLBTV & ESPN.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow...2 outs with bases empty in the ninth against a closer who was 15 for 15 in save opportunities and Dukes and Milledge get the job done. Way to go guys!

Posted by: BSG | June 10, 2008 9:49 PM
********************************************

Come on down to the dugout so your manager can scream in your face!

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

And Jimmy Tango, it ain't ElijahGate - it's MannyGate.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Chico, we need more.

"After the homer, a television camera caught Acta and Dukes engaged in what appeared to be a spirited conversation."

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Boz, you saw the game - we need more:

But between now and then, what torment awaits Nats fans? For every 10-9 win on an Elijah Dukes walk-off homer last week or 7-6 win last night on a two-run homer in the ninth by Lastings Milledge, ....

What torment, indeed!

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

"The fact that they've won 26 games, they have a great comeback win in the 9th inning off a great closer, Matt Capps, and then it's ruined by this debacle that turned out in this ballgame in the ninth inning, you know, the thing is, when you're going to go after someone like Manny Acta did, you wish they would learn by everything they see on this show and Sportscenter that they would do it behind closed doors, where there is no camera and no one can see it. But to me, regardless of what happened in the dugout, you're grown men, you put it behind you. This is something that should never happen. This is something that should be dealt with."

John Kruk, Baseball Tonight

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie, get off your pollyanna high horse re: Dukes. Manny never loses it. Dukes has a history of doing so. If Manny got upset with Dukes last night, it had to be over something significant. You try to go manage Dukes and a whole team someday. They'd flatten your silly a**.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Kruk went on to say that Dukes should be credited for shaking his teammate's hands, but should've high-fived Manny. I don't know anyone who would've high-fived Manny under these circumstances. I salute Elijah for his restraint. God, I pray that they can forgive and forget and get past this! But if it's my team, or my business, I've got some great minor league managers who I don't have to worry about being a stumbling block to a guy the manager should be helping. And Manny wasn't helping.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie, get off your pollyanna high horse re: Dukes. Manny never loses it. Dukes has a history of doing so. If Manny got upset with Dukes last night, it had to be over something significant. You try to go manage Dukes and a whole team someday. They'd flatten your silly a**.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie, get off your pollyanna high horse re: Dukes. Manny never loses it. Dukes has a history of doing so. If Manny got upset with Dukes last night, it had to be over something significant. You try to go manage Dukes and a whole team someday. They'd flatten your silly a**.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie, get off your pollyanna high horse re: Dukes. Manny never loses it. Dukes has a history of doing so. If Manny got torqued at Dukes, it had to be over something significant. You try to manage a pro team someday. They'd flatten your silly a**.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Well that was not boring was it? MLB has the whole game now as well as the clips. Not pretty.

Good test for the team how they reach to this drama. Do they close ranks around Acta and move on....I would hope so, may be a defining moment for the franchise.

Acta is correct in schooling Dukes and I think it was escalated in public by Dukes not Acta. I would have hoped Acta would have gotten this lesson taught back in spring training but better late than never.

This franchise is bigger than any player or group of players and those guys need to how to act in the top of the 9th in a one run game.

As I have said Dukes is the real deal and will either be a super star of out of baseball in 2 years. Acta was correct to address the behavior and Dukes handled the lesson the wrong way. Still I would guess that all is forgiven and he plays as soon as he learns to apologize in private to Acta. Acta and the whole team will get their stories coordinated and move on.

Summary, good news for the long term health of the team, Acta earns his pay tonight.

Posted by: JayB | June 11, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

And Jimmy Tango, it ain't ElijahGate - it's MannyGate.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:35 AM

Flynnie, god love you, but you have a lot to learn about baseball....keep working at it.

Posted by: JayB | June 11, 2008 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Dang it! Count me with Flynnie on this one.

This has been one excruciating month of baseball to watch. This team had no spark. Manny has been way too cool, too even, too "it's a long season" approach. There are certain players whose fires burn closer to the surface. A team needs these if they are going to go on emotion--like winning games in the ninth with two outs.
There are two kinds of "attitude"--Flop's self centered moping, and Duke's, where those inner demons get focused in one intense, glorious moment. Manny has been way, way too tolerant of Lopez's play. I suspect that Belliard will be at third base and Flop back at second any day now. Now that would be saying something about Manny, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Dale | June 11, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

By the way,does anyone else see a similarity between Wily Mo and and the big Indian from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? I am hoping that Dukes and Milledge become Wily Mo's Randall and inspire or needle him to start playing with power. Maybe seeing an infielder come in from the "0 for Harrisburg" stint and swing like mad man is what it will take. I just the feel like the real Wily Mo Pena who can hit 400 foot flies all day long is trapped inside and needs to be let out.

Posted by: Dale | June 11, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

"Still I would guess that all is forgiven and he plays as soon as he learns to apologize in private to Acta. Acta and the whole team will get their stories coordinated and move on."

This is probably the truest thing posted yet on this.

Ronnie Belliard!!!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

"I know when I'm ranting, and that wasn't a rant--that was just long-winded--not the same"

SoCH, you're right and I retract my comment that you ranted. And as stated several times before, I agree with you.

If you can help me figure out a way to solve the biopoly of the two-party system, I'll help you with figuring out a way to dissolve the MLB monopoly. I'm serious. If we can work toward that and still get my (very modest, by regional standards) NoVA mortgage paid (on time), I'm all in.

But at quittin' time I'm heading to the stadium to have a beer and watch a game and pass the time. I don't care how bad the team is, who the GM is, who owns the team, who paid for the stadium, or who is in the White House or what letter of their name might be coincidentally part of the team's logo.

As far as I'm concerned, once the final notes of the national anthem echo away we enter a parallel, analogous universe where baseball is what's important. When we return, no less than fifty-three outs improved, we have learned something of ourselves we can apply to our endeavors in this more tangible of realms.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 11, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Dale, I don't think you should be posting that you want Wily Mo Pena to smother Milledge and Dukes on the internet...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Watched the dust-up and non-hi 5 on SportsCenter this morning. There is definitely more to this story. I thought the celebration outside the dugout was a little over the top, but would be surprised if that was the sole trigger.

Chico - More info, please...

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | June 11, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I can't help but add that I wish the "spirited conversation" between Manny and a player was with, or was also with, the pitcher who made Milledge's home run necessary.

Luis Ayala: STOP WALKING PEOPLE!

Posted by: i hate walks | June 11, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Loved Boz's article this morning. Unfortunately there is simply no way the Lerners would seriously try to sign Hudson, Furcal, etc... A nice fantasy but a fantasy. This team will compete every once in awhile when we have enough young talent coming up and before they sign as free agents elsewhere.

Funny Boswell reminded me of the lie that the Nats would sign real free agent talent when the stadium opened. Didn't happen. We better get used to Mackowiak and LoDuca type of free agents.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 11, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

OMG. That's exactly what he's saying. That's just sick.

*********************
I have watched the mlb version of the video at least 10 times. Someone please tell me that Elijah is not saying "want some of me? I can fight you, I can fight you"...please no...

Posted by: Sec 317 | June 10, 2008 11:46 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | June 11, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I lost Charlie and Dave along with my power at about 8:30 last night (thunderstorm). Nice to wake up and learn that our guys won, even if I did miss all of the excitement.

---

Anyone else lose Charlie and Dave from mlb audio?

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 11, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Count D:

I hope you're wrong but the tea leaves are all in your favor . . .

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | June 11, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Based on the quotes I've read, most recently in the Boz article, I just want to mention that I am afraid that LoDuca is a bad influence on Zimmerman and may turn him into an a%%R@!#@

Posted by: GoNats | June 11, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

From Thomas Boswell's column today:

"For two years, people like me have nagged the Nats to waste perhaps $10 million a season in extra just-to-please-the-fans payroll."

What a liar!

Posted by: ohplease | June 11, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

And of course the OTHER paper had much more details on the Dukes-Acta tiff....

Posted by: GoNats | June 11, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

For me, benefit of the doubt goes to Manny right now. Sorry, Elijah - history matters.

And in the spirit of morning-after apologies . . .
SOCH - I retract my O's exec comment. You right, I went too far. Mea culpa.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 11, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Boswell has been a consistent supporter of the Plan.

What a boldface lie!

Aren't there any editors left at the Post? Can columnists write anything without regard to the facts?

Posted by: ohplease | June 11, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Dukes should be released today to send a message to the team that there's only one boss in the dugout. Doesn't matter if he may hit 60 HRs one day, he's still more likely to hit a teammate or a manager or a defenseless woman.

Posted by: ohplease | June 11, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Release him, release him! No player has ever gotten in a fight with his manager before!

Posted by: Vox Populi | June 11, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

From The Washington Times, Mark Zuckerman:


But the aftermath of Milledge's homer, which featured manager Manny Acta chastising outfielder Elijah Dukes (who had begun the rally with a double off the right-center wall) for displaying too much emotion, put at least a slight damper on the evening's proceedings.

As Dukes and Milledge crossed the plate, Dukes looked back at Capps (who blew his first save in 16 tries this season) in a move that could have been perceived as taunting the opposing pitcher.

When Dukes returned to the dugout, Acta had words for him. Dukes yelled back at his manager, prompting Acta to yell back himself and players to get between the two.

Dukes later took his position in right field for the bottom of the ninth with a menacing glare in his eyes, forcing Milledge at one point to come over and try to calm him down.

As the Nationals gathered in the middle of the diamond to congratulate each other at the conclusion of the game, Dukes did not offer his hand to Acta, who only smirked.

Dukes was not made available in the Nationals' clubhouse after the game. Several players bristlede when asked about the incident. "It was just a little misunderstanding in the dugout that I'm not going to elaborate on," Acta said. "We talked, and everything is fine."

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, how can the WaPo not have ANYTHING, other than one sentence that alludes to it in the gamer, on this? I'm gonna be mad if this level of coverage continues and I'm forced to read the right wing propaganda paper.

Chico, man, where's the info??????

Posted by: .390 | June 11, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

JayB- You told me your college coach never yelled at you or showed you up in public. Is this really the kind of leadership you expect to see from an MLB manager? One reason that I liked Manny was that he kept his cool, and I thought we had a Dominican Bobby Cox, who could handle the most difficult players, even Sheffield after his racism allegations, and have them call him "Mr. Cox." and speak glowingly of playing for him. I saw that remarkable video that the Post had of Manny being welcomed home after the Nats hired him - the abject poverty of the house where he was raised, the hero's welcome. Most confrontations that I've seen where guys are screaming like Manny was in another man's face end up with blows thrown.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

For those interested (which appears to be everyone), here's the link to the Times article, which has good coverage of the incident (though you'll note not much on the game, looks like the Times subscriber has the same frustration we do sometimes on that count).
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jun/11/power-display-charges-emotions/?page=1

For those uninterested (there must be someone else), what did you think of Redding last night? He went longer, but he didn't look as good. Of course, I missed a chunk of the game because of the storm, so I don't know how his third time through the order went. Anyone?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 11, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

After watching the video on the Nationals site, I have to say that Jim Bowden has managed to assemble a cast of players where too many of them do not represent the best in ML baseball, to put it mildly. The on-field antics followed by the dugout fracas and the missing high-five was horrifying from a PR point of view. ESPN is correct in giving the events a lot of play, even if the local media lackeys have ignored it (Times excepted).

Lopez, Milledge and Dukes, to name three, should not be here. Boswell's column entirely misses the point that too many Nationals players are classless, no matter how talented, and should not be on a team that purports to represent the Nation's Capital. A low-ball hiring policy may work OK elsewhere, but in the glare of publicity that surrounds and magnifies everything in DC, Bowden, and by extension, Kasten, have shown they have moved out of their depth in taking jobs here.

It looks moreover as though the Lerners are clueless about both baseball and their reputations. They have given Bowden/Kasten free reign (albeit within a parsimonious budget) with results so far that can only be described as disastrous. It used to be said that DC was a bad baseball town and that it did not deserve a team; now its fair to say that the Lerners must take the blame for lukewarm fan support, last night's fiasco being exhibit #1.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | June 11, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The term is "bald-faced" lie.

***********
What a boldface lie!
Aren't there any editors left at the Post?
Posted by: ohplease | June 11, 2008 9:04 AM

Posted by: Editor | June 11, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

If anybody wants me, I'll be in the teakettle.

Posted by: Tempest | June 11, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse


I really don't want to do this, but Zuckerman over at the Times has it covered, and the Post doesn't.
He thinks it may be more towards Dukes looking back at Capps. It does look like he kinda tips his visor in Capps direction on the video.
http://tinyurl.com/3gr8q4
***************************************
I can't help but add that I wish the "spirited conversation" between Manny and a player was with, or was also with, the pitcher who made Milledge's home run necessary.

Luis Ayala: STOP WALKING PEOPLE!

Posted by: i hate walks | June 11, 2008 7:49 AM

Posted by: Section 138 | June 11, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Don't get new-posted. Come see me on the other side.

Posted by: new post | June 11, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

So, if WMP is Chief Bromden, and Dukes is McMurphy, doesn't that make Manny Acta ... Nurse Ratched?
And Felipe Lopez would be Cheswick?
Who's Billy Bibbitt, then?

Posted by: CE | June 11, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Boz's article made for an interesting read today. I want to do a little work on the normal attendance spike that he cites. I'd like to compare % to %, rather than raw #s.

As for spending some good faith money, you could argue that some of that went to a few contracts like giving arbitration to Chad and Felipe, resigning Nick, AK, and Dmitri (especially Dmitri for 2 years at his age and health condition). That's about $25 million (just a guess, did not look that up).

Boz, LAC, JayB and the Count will find some support for their argument that the team will most likely need to spend more to have success in this Hardball Times article:
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/beyond-moneyball-player-development-part-2/
It gets a little dense for me, but some of the major points are:

1) the expected yield out of a draft class of 50 is about 2 players
2) Citing a Jim Callis article from BA, 5% of players taken in the top 10 rounds of the draft achieve above-average performance, 23% have an MLB career lasting as long as a few years
3) Given the failure rate, "year in and year out only one factor appears to have any significant long-term effect on this success: money. The more money the organization has, the less efficient it has to be to field a competitive baseball team."

Sabremetrics and data-driven techniques can give a bit of a bump, but think of it as trying to consitently beat the stock market when everyone has access to the same info.

While we may glorify last year's inexpensive Rockies, D-Backs, and Indians, and chuckle at the failings of the New York teams since 2000, we can't let a few teams having isolated success blind us to the truth that Boz points out - more money gives more margin for error. The Nats seem to get this when it comes to player development, by drafting and paying over slot. But their single focus on that aspect of the organization is likely not to yield too many more players per year (3 would be doing it 50% better than average, and 3 above average regulars out of every 4 drafts would be terrific). The good faith money at the major league level has to come soon, or we will get into the situation where system guys will be able to walk as FAs.

Posted by: PTBNL | June 11, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the most disingenuous things I've seen in a long time:

"The players the Nats have drafted highest and touted most -- such as Potomac's Chris Marrero (batting .230 entering last night) and Ross Detwiler (5.76 ERA) -- have miles to go. Justin Maxwell (.233 at Harrisburg), Cory VanAllen (injured) and Mike Burgess (76 strikeouts in 222 at-bats at low-Class A Hagerstown) aren't quick answers. Garrett Mock and Tyler Clippard, up from Class AAA for starts against the Giants, didn't look any more promising than the rotation already at Nationals Park."

Watch what I can do:

The players the Nats have drafted highest and touted most -- such as Potomac's Chris Marrero (OPSing 728 while playing his third position in as many years) and Ross Detwiler (who has struck out 54 batters in 50 IP) -- seem to be developing on schedule. Justin Maxwell (.826 OPS at Harrisburg), Cory VanAllen (posted a 0.66 ERA in Potomac before being promoted and getting injured) and Mike Burgess (Slugging .500 including a league-leading 12HRs) may be better than advertised. Garrett Mock and Tyler Clippard, up from Class AAA for starts against the Giants, showed why both have near ML-ready stuff for four innings before succumbing to nerves and heat.

Oh, oops, I think I just wrote Boz's next column. Oh well, at least we won't have to wait three weeks for that one.

Posted by: Buy-out Boz | June 11, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I have read the various posts on the Dukes/Acta confrontation. The whole episode is absurd since I believe it was due to a case of over-celebrating. Acta has the worse team in baseball and here he takes issue with how the team celebrates. Please give me a break.

I am not condoning Dukes' behaviour but Acta should have a better idea how to manage. I thought Acta's strength was managing people. I do not know this fellow Dukes but it is appears he suffers from low self esteem and a lack of self confidence. Last night he contributes to a win and what does he get. He gets embarrassed by his manager in front of the whole team. The guy has probably been treated like this his entire life and here we have Acta doing the same thing. If Acta was displeased he should have had a private meeting with Dukes to discuss his celebratory behaviour (God this team has more troubles than dealing wiht some guy celebrating). We have Lopez and a few others who float and we have Dukes who quite frankly busts his tail and has contributed to the team's last two wins. What does he get for his efforts? He gets embarrassed. Some players have a thick skin and such an embarrassment would not bother them. Dukes has a very different personality. That was not the thing to do with him. The look on his face in right firled said it all. This guy was literally destroyed by Acta. Managers are supposed to lead. Acta did not lead last night. I know Dukes has his flaws but if we had 25 guys who gave his effort overnight we might be a better team.

It gets old reading from posters who never tire of tearing this kid down whenever he does something. I would like to know how these sanctimonious dolts would have fared if there had the same upbringing as Dukes.

If anything Actas and the team owes an apology to Dukes. He and a few others are the only ones trying. Acta and some of the others players are the losers not Dukes.

Posted by: mjames | June 11, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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