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Paul Lo Duca: utility man

* Aaron Boone is back in the lineup today, batting seventh and starting at first base.

* Washington will need to figure out another starter to take Odalis Perez's place in the rotation the next time it comes up. Said replacement won't be Tyler Clippard, who handled the role admirably yesterday. It all goes back to that goofy transaction rule discussed in this space yesterday. Clippard could only come up from Columbus again in the case of injury. So, it looks like we'll have a few face. Or an almost-new face, if the Nats opt for Garrett Mock.

* Manny Acta said today that Paul Lo Duca, once he returns won't just see at bats at catcher. He'll also get some time at first base and left field. When Acta mentioned this possibility this morning, I suppose my brow must have furrowed, because he looked my way and smiled at the surprise.

"You've never seen Paul Lo Duca play first base and left field?" Acta asked.

I told him no. then again, since I started covering the team, I haven't seen Lo Duca play catcher, either.

"Oh, he got shocked by that one," Acta told the other reporters.

But then he continued.

"Yeah, we can throw him out there. We can see him. That doesn't mean he'll be out there every day, but we can get him some at bats. We need to be able to get the most production out of everybody here for that lineup to get going."

(Translation for all this: The more at bats Paul Lo Duca gets, the more chance he has to raise his trade value.)

By Chico Harlan  |  June 15, 2008; 4:37 PM ET
 
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Next: Washington, 29-42 (.408), W-3

Comments

boy, the sixth inning seems to come earlier and earlier in redding's starts. maybe he should be dl'ed when perez comes back to give him some rest.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 15, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

LoDuca in left.

Avert your eyes.

Posted by: 6 words | June 15, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie,

Did you see this headline on nats.com, "Nationals waiting for Pena to heat up?" I'd be happy if the real WMP actually decided to SHOW up.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 15, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

leetee,

I think the real WMP has been showing up...

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Can Bob Carpenter make it any more clear that he is against the use of maple bats?

Posted by: Jason | June 15, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe JimBo is just assuming that the way things have been going, someone else will go on the DL by next weekend and they can call Clippard up again.

Seriously though, Bowden's roster management this season has been absolutely horrible and, for me as a fan, incredibly aggravating. Between numerous games of competing with only 23 or 24 healthy guys and the continuing pattern he has employed of activating position players when pitchers go on the DL, and bringing up pitchers for position players, this really messes things up. So now he will carry 4 starting pitchers until next weekend. Then presumably he'll send down Casto for a pitcher...but it can't be Clippard because the call-up would be too soon.

So, even though Clippard was the best guy to pitch yesterday (according to the Nats) and did well, he can't pitch for the Nats next weekend. Makes no sense...why not send down Casto for LoDuca and keep Clippard up so he can take the next start? JimBo's attempts to be "clever"--here by only carrying 4 starters for a few games--seem to be backfiring over and over again.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 15, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

natsinthevalley,

I was trying to be kind to the Wasteland of Minimal Production.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 15, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, word. My bad.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Lo Duca played left field on occasion for the LA Dodgers as well as catcher.

By the way, has anyone seen a hit and run play with a 3-2 count before? That was interesting.

Posted by: ohplease | June 15, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I just wish the Lerners weren't cheap bastards and actually put Collin Balester on the 40 man roster. I understand that the club doesn't want to call him up for just one spot start, but this team isn't going anywhere. The kid is ready. Just call him up leave him up here all season.

Posted by: cheap | June 15, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

KOH-REEEEEEE CAS-TOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 15, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

i bet wmp is embarrassed.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 15, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Kory Casto: Not the utility infielder I would have picked to pinch-hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 15, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Instead of sending Casto down when Lo Duca returns can we please designate Wily Mo Pena for assignment? Casto can play 1B, 3B and OF. Wily can't play any positong and he couldn't hit the side of a barn.

Posted by: Bye Bye Wily | June 15, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mrs. Balester-

Your son has been outperformed at Columbus by Mock, Clippard and even GW Mike. His time will come. Maybe even as soon as the trading deadline.

Although I will say I dont understand the correlation of keeping a guy at AAA and the Lerners being cheap bastards when the current starting rotation makes less than $3 million combined.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 15, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I went to Bowie today to see the AA Harrisburg team lose to Bowie 5-2. I go to a lot of Potomac games so I enjoyed seeing Mike Daniel, Marcos Yepez, Roger Bernadina, Luke Montz, Ofilio Castro, and Devin Ivany in AA after seeing them in Potomac the last couple years. However, I am more convinced that Mike Daniel needs to be moved to AAA. He hit another home run today and is currently batting .328 Roger Bernadina seems to be the only other one ready to be moved up, although he was thrown out of the game today during the middle of an at-bat for upstaging the ump. The future does look fairly bright though as Harrisburg is much improved from last year.

Posted by: NatsFan | June 15, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I was under the impression that the NATS just completed a sweep of the Mariners. I can see by the tenor of these posts that I am wrong. My bad!!

Posted by: Sec 204 Row K Seat 11 | June 15, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"Lo Duca played left field on occasion for the LA Dodgers as well as catcher."

I think they had him playing left every fourth day to give his legs a rest.

Posted by: natrat | June 15, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

LDO

W L ERA PCT WHIP G GS CG SHO SV IP H
G Mock 4 2 3.12 .667 1.20 12 12 0 0 0 69.1 69
C Balester 7 3 4.19 .700 1.26 13 13 0 0 0 66.2 64
M O'Connor 4 1 2.21 .800 0.98 10 10 0 0 0 61.0 50

Explain to me where Balaster has outperformed either Clippard, Mock or O'Connor. Wins and losses are not what you look at in a pitcher. Try ERA, WHIP and quality starts.
Don't get me wrong, Colin is doing very well and will be called up this season. But to say he is outperforming the other three starters is not based on facts.

Posted by: Columbus Observer | June 15, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

This rule about call ups is not some obscure rule. It is a long term rule that is designed to prevent exactly what JimBo was trying to do.

Posted by: MLB Office | June 15, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"Your son has been outperformed at Columbus by Mock, Clippard and even GW Mike."

I think you may have misread my previous post.

Great game today. Almost feels like the batting lineup runs 6 deep with quality hitters.

Also seems like the balls bounced the Nats way this series. Squibblers turning into RBI groundouts and infield singles...pitchers overcoming errors and avoiding the big inning.

A sweep is just what my doctor ordered (she is a Nats fan).

I noticed the sleeve on Jesus' right arm while he batted. Hadnt noticed it before. Is this new? Injury related?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 15, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Just like it is very difficult for the Lerners to spend money, it is very diffcult for Bowden to let go of WMP or any former Red. WMP is just not that good - I would venture to say that Langerhans is better. Despite today's homer, Casto has a better chance of being sent down than WMP being DFA'd.

I dont mind the idea of LoDuca playing first - just think of him as a much more expensive but better hitting Fick or Mackowiak. The Nats need to show he is healthy again and then try to trade him.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 15, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

HOORAY NATS WIN!!!! SWEEP!!!!! BRING ON THE TWINKIES!!! LET'S GO NATS!! LET'S GO NATS!!

Somebody had to say it

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 15, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Time to bring up Levale Speigner!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Trade value? Please.

This guy has "Bartender" written all over his forehead. Maybe Stan can find him a place in the Prez suites. A place where the booze flows freely, the ladies are attractive and the stories get larger every singe day.

Posted by: Viva La Livan | June 15, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah - the Nats did just sweep a series against the formidable Mariners. Yay!

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 15, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

In the years Felipe has been on this team I have NEVER seen his arms uncovered while in uniform (or otherwise, actually). I even thought Manny had a policy about covering tatts. But it's all out there on the front page picture on the official website. Weird.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 15, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Fun game. Nice to catch a break. Didn't see the game, just radio, but it sounded from Charlie like we got a break on the Casto homer, though the hit on the next AB would have driven in the run.

Now to this Bowden gaffe. This is seriously bush league nonsense. Because of this, we're not only going to have to keep Perez on the DL for an extra turn or 2 through the rotation, but we can't use Clippard, the guy we would otherwise want?

If this happened in NY or Boston it would be national news. If the Redskins did something like this, Kornheiser and Wilbon would spend 1000 words on it. He should be shredded. Chico--get Boswell out of the recliner and get him to tear into him. Chris--you have to come out of retirement and comment on this. This is total bad news bears.

This is the GM equivalent of Nook vs. Cleveland--"where was he going???? what was he thinking?????"

But no it's worse, cuz at least Nook was under pressure to make a snap decision. This is like the Minnesota Vikings missing out on their draft pick cuz they just used too much time. Even that wasn't as bad, becuase you can imagine being indecisive when you are on the clock on national television. It's really bad, but not as bad as this.

Bowden has to make 1-2 decisions a day, maybe. He can take all day to do it. He can ask as many people as he wants to review his homework.

Nobody better make excuses for this. It's not Marge Schott's fault. It's not the payroll or the Lerners. It's not Omar. It's not Bud Selig or Jeffrey Loria. You can't say "no one in baseball could have predicted it." This is just pure incompetence.

If this is acceptable to you as a fan, there is no bottom. If you accept this, you are saying that it's ok for our GM to just be a total bumbling buffoon who doesn't know even the basic ABCs of doing his job in the most minimal way.

If this is ok, what isn't ok? Is it ok for him to oversleep every day and forget to come to work? Is it ok to go on a bender in Vegas for a week during the June draft? Is it ok to take a crap under his desk and blame it on the cat? Seriously, if anyone defends him for this, I want to hear what WOULDN'T be acceptable to you.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"I even thought Manny had a policy about covering tatts."

If he did, wouldn't Rauch have to wear a turtleneck to pitch? Lopez too, for that matter. He has a neck tattoo as well.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 15, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"I even thought Manny had a policy about covering tatts."

If he did, wouldn't Rauch have to wear a turtleneck to pitch? Lopez too, for that matter. He has a neck tattoo as well.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 15, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah - the Nats did just sweep a series against the formidable Mariners. Yay!

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 15, 2008 9:10 PM

Sometimes it is very hard to hear you and SOCH over the sound of your axes being ground.

Posted by: Dale | June 15, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

ABM, do you know for a fact Manny doesn't, or didn't, have a policy on Felipe covering his tattoos or are you just arguing to argue?

Posted by: NatsNut | June 15, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@Dale--ok fine you're tired of me. Fine. I get tired of me sometimes. I'm sure ABM will also pipe up to disagree with me in a second just to be a contrarian.

But are YOU ok with a GM not knowing the basic rules of when you're allowed to call a guy up and when you're not? Are you going to let Bowden off the hook because you're tired of me?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"Now to this Bowden gaffe. This is seriously bush league nonsense. Because of this, we're not only going to have to keep Perez on the DL for an extra turn or 2 through the rotation, but we can't use Clippard, the guy we would otherwise want?"

I don't think they are FORCED to send Clippard down now, they are just choosing to do so. They'll bring up someone else to pitch in Perez's next turn if he's not back yet. Scheduled off days may allow them to use a four man rotation briefly as well. Meanwhile, by sending Clippard down now they gain a spot on the roster for an extra bat foe the next few days. That makes more sense than having a starter sitting on the bench duing that time. Clippard, Mock, et al were never intended as long-term callups at this point in the season. They're just filler and as such they are interchangeable parts. No gaffe here on Bowden's part, beyond the initial misunderstanding about the rule for placing Perez on the DL.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 15, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"ABM, do you know for a fact Manny doesn't, or didn't, have a policy on Felipe covering his tattoos or are you just arguing to argue?"

I'm not arguing, just pointing something out. I've been seeing tattoos all year on Felipe, Rauch, and even on other players such as Young, although his aren't as noticeable since he's black. A little tense, are we? Why would that be?

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 15, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

can i just say i think its time to trade guzman, right now. the redsox need him and his value will never be higher. we arent going to compete this year and we arent goin to resign him, especially if he keeps this up so lets raid the sox for a prospect or two and go with casto lopez(despite my hatred of him and his laziness) and belli on the infield till zim is back.

love guzie, and i never got down on him in 2005 because i knew he had this in him, but start the shopping because the most good he can do for the nats is fetching a fat prize before he gets injured or falls back to earth.

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Manny has a policy on it, but I read a while back that Felipe tended to wear long sleeves, even in the summer, to cover up most of his tattoos. He said he felt that was more respectful to the game. (Now, no reading too much into his decision to show off his tattoos, mmk?)

Posted by: Atlanta | June 15, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The best part about this game was the fan reaction when Guz (?) fouled off a pitch right after Casto's HR - they all waved him around, a-la an umpire.

I also liked when Don Sutton got all crumudgeon-y when they showed the kid w/ a mohawk.

Posted by: mrm0to | June 15, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

wow stephen is an angry dude...5 of the 8 players on the 15 day DL started opening night...not easy to juggle that many roster spots, he fixed it, clippard got a win...what more is there to say?

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I know this may come as a shock to most of the NJ regulars but, I don't think that SoCH likes Jim Bowden.

SoCH, Did Jimbo stand you up for the Prom or did he put a restraining order out on you and that sent you over the edge?

We got it. You don't like him as the Nats GM and you will go to any means necessary to prove your point.

I'm not a real Stan Kasten fan, I think he's a used car salesman but, I don't go on and on and on about it. I think the phrase LET IT GO fits here.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 15, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

No Ray it is a gaffe.

First, Perez is going to be gone 7 days more than he should have been. So he's going to be stuck on the DL when he should be pitching because Bowden screwed up the retroactive DL thing.

Then, if you KNEW you were going to be without Perez for 3-4 turns through the rotation, you don't send Clippard down after his first start.

I admire your loyalty and/or your Christian impulse to forgive, but this is a total bonehead gaffe.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Good fans get MAD when they're team is completely horrifyingly embarrassingly awful.

Maybe you don't really care whether the Nationals are good or not, but then just say that. Don't tell me as a fan who DOES care that I should just get over it when the GM makes mistakes that an unpaid intern would get fired for.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

thank god steven is here keepin jimbo honest, who knows what horrible fate would befall the nationals should odalis perez fail to come off the DL on the day originally intended, i dare say that western civilization may crumble...or perhaps one of the other 100 pitchers in the organization could take the spot he wont have a year from now anyway.

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@505/203--Don't change the subject. We're talking about the Nationals, not me. You think I should be fired as a poster. Fine. If this was "Steven on Capitol Hill Journal" you could lead a fascinating discussion with ABM on the topic.

Do you really think it's ok for the GM not to know the basic rules of when you can bring a guy of the DL and when you can't? 16 years as a GM, and you think it's ok for him not to know this? Seriously???

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

@love--So you think it's ok for the GM not to know the rules of when you can call a guy off the GM and when you can't? What if it was Jake Peavy missing the tie-breaker to decide the season? Would it still be ok?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Caught this one earlier:
"Rauch for president! 12 pitches, 10 strikes, 3 strikeouts. 1 more save.

Posted by: SF Fan | June 15, 2008 1:02 AM "
-------------------

Well, he's already as tall as the Racing Rushmores, and his head is pretty close to Teddy's size. Go Rauch!

Posted by: PTBNL | June 15, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone. The Nats won today!!! Completing a sweep of an AL ball club, no small feat in the days of interleague ball even if it is just the Mariners.

Also, we have now won 4 of our last 6. Cool huh.

Dukes has raised his average .074 points in the past 13 days. Thats great news too!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

and good fans dont look for the negative in everything. we just swept a team that was picked by many to make the playoffs. underachieving they may be, still talented. and even when we lose 10-0 there is still value to be found, elijah dukes patience and lastings milledges growing baseball acumen, clippard and mock getting their feet wet. pardon me for being a barrack obama type fan, but what makes a good fan is hope. and i see something every day from this team that gives me hope, so i choose not to care about how many all stars on jimbowden rosters were deserving and whether or not he acquired them, and such things, watch the games, enjoy the players and their progress, you will live longer and be less...reviled? not by me i could care less i just dont want visitors thinking you are the majority

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Every weekend should be Father's weekend! Way to go Nats! Great to see Kory come through - they are showing some real signs of playing like a team.

Y'all need to leave SOCH alone on this one - he has the better point. I'm not one to embrace his comments most of the time but the roster move was a big time gaffee. Bowden looks good with his acquisitions of Dukes, O.Perez, Clippard, and Nieves right now, but his roster management has been suspect at best.

Happy Father's day to all (even all you mothers/or simply those who have fathers.) Revel in the sweep. You have earned it.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 15, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@love--Fair enough. We'll agree to disagree. You don't care if they win or not. I do. That's fine. Based on what this team is doing, you will live longer. Mazel tov.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"16 years as a GM, and you think it's ok for him not to know this?"

I, for one, do not care a whit. There's 1000 arcane, stupid rules in baseball to govern the play on the field, let alone all the front-office crap. So we're stuck with Perez on the DL for an extra turn? So what. Is there really a world of difference between Perez, Mock and Clippard? Not at this point in their careers. I expect the same out of all of them; maybe an extra couple innings out of Perez, but for one start I'll let it slide.

Besides, we don't know the inner-workings of the Nats' FO. Maybe some intern dropped the ball on updating the chart that shows all 456123049 possibilities for DL'ing a player. I mean, we could be getting in a snit over HR giving a summer job to the wrong nephew.

Posted by: mrm0to | June 15, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

So because I don't have irrational hatred toward our GM, I'm not a fan who cares? Get over yourself, Skippy.

And just in case you didn't know, it's a game, and whether the Nats finish with 62 or a 102 wins, life moves on.

Seriously Steven, for the love of God relax, have a beer or move to Boston and root for the Red Sox.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 15, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

you dont seem to care much about winning either, 4 or 5 words about a sweep today and 4000 about an issue that in all probability will not cost us a win this year and may help a younger pitcher progress...im busy being happy and hopefull because of the win today...you are busy being angry at the GM of the winning team...

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"Good fans get MAD when they're team is completely horrifyingly embarrassingly awful."

Yeah, like when the team is on a three game winning streak but deep inside you know they're really awful, that's when a good fan gets even madder, right? Makes sense to me. Or at least as much sense as anything else you say. Which is to say, it makes no sense at all.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 15, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should ask. I'm mourning the loss of interesting exchanges of *new* ideas on this blog.

I just came back from a weekend away and when i would normally DEVOUR every word of every comment that I missed, usually with a smile or laugh-out-loud, I'm now scrolling and frowning and scrolling and frowning. This makes me sad and it makes me grouchy.

I no longer feel a kinship with so-called Nationals fans in this space.

I guess it's my own problem, so don't mind me. Please, by all means, continue arguing about Livan the innings-eater, the 2007-8 free agent class, and 10 paragraph-long manifestos on whatever.

**************
A little tense, are we? Why would that be?

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 15, 2008 10:00 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | June 15, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Love, Great post, minus the Barrack Obama hope stuff.

mrm0to, I also agree with you. Perez, Mock, Clippard, who gives a rat's ass. Besides what started all of this is that Perez needed more rest and therefore, miss more than just 1 start.

SoCH, face it, you're always ready to club Bowden on something. You don't like the guy, it's very clear but, try not to make it so obvious.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 15, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

@love--OK you're right. But seriously--we just got our brains beat in by the Pirates and the Giants. Then we go to Seattle and sweep the only team in baseball with a worse record than us, a team that is in an absolute total tailspin, that today started Willie Bloomquist, Miguel Cairo, and Jose Vidro in the same game. And we completed the sweep on the strength of a bogus foul ball HR in a game in which we completed the rare feat of 3 errors in one inning. And because of that marvelous achievement, you think it's ok for the GM to not know the basic rules on when you can call players off the DL?

@502--My desire to see Bowden go isn't an "irrational hatred" at all. Calling it that is just a dodge. Seems more like you have an irrational insistence on defending him no matter what. Then your last point that we should all just shut up and happily buy our 70 dollar box seats and 7-dollar beer regardless of whether they're a historically awful team or not... that's not at all compelling to me. Even Stan doesn't say it as straight out as that.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

SoCH, face it, you're always ready to club Bowden on something.
______________

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. I am ALWAYS READY to celebrate him for building a winner. WHEN THAT HAPPENS I WILL LEAD THE PARADE. BUT OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!! IT'S NOT HAPPENING!!!!!!

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I doubt JimBow has even heard of Nationals Journal. If he has, I doubt he's ever read it. He's to busy playing with his blackberry and waiting for the Reds to return his calls.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 15, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@ABM--why I'm talking to you I don't know. If I told you to please not jump off the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, you'd be over the edge in 5 minutes.

But really you think it's ok for the GM to not know when players can be put on and off the DL? You're ok with that? Really? A sweep of the only team in baseball worse than us makes that ok? REALLY????

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

SoCH,

I don't recall telling anyone to "shut up." I did tell you to "relax, have a beer" or "root for the Red Sox."

Funny, whenever someone here calls you out on your hatred of Bowden, you immediately jump on them and say, in essence, that they are "defending him."

Has it ever occured to you that we are tired of hearing the same old same old from you? Play a different song or hell learn a new one.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 15, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Nats win again!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

thats 3 in a row valley,natsinthe!

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

"but what makes a good fan is hope. and i see something every day from this team that gives me hope, so i choose not to care about how many all stars on jimbowden rosters were deserving and whether or not he acquired them, and such things, watch the games, enjoy the players and their progress, you will live longer and be less...reviled? not by me i could care less i just dont want visitors thinking you are the majority

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 10:23 PM
*******************************************

Dude, you are not just funny, you are wise!
Did Redding strike out Ichiro? Wow! Did Cory Kasto hit a game-winning home run in the pinch to the section where his dad was sitting on father's day? And his dad got the ball from the dude who caught it for two hats! What a beautiful day! Tuesday we get to see Our Beloved Nats and Livo! Thank God for Fathers and Baseball!

Posted by: flynnie | June 15, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. I am ALWAYS READY to celebrate him for building a winner. WHEN THAT HAPPENS I WILL LEAD THE PARADE. BUT OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!! IT'S NOT HAPPENING!!!!!!

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 10:48 PM

___________________________________________

Different sport here but, I am a life long Steelers fan and the thing that makes them successful is patience from ownership.

I'm willing to give Jimbo some time. Looking at the organization as a whole, The minor league system has drastically improved, even if the wins on the Major League level haven't. It's still early this team could surprise in the second half. If this team is playing like this say, this time next year, I may be calling for his head.

But until then, Steven, I say patience and perhaps a beer or three for you.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 15, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you ever been to the Dairy Bar in Falls Church and tasted the frozen custard? NatsFan1A, it gives gellato a run for its lira! The vanilla frozen custard is an argument for the existence of a good and benevolent God! NatsNut, it's the cure for the last two day's posts! Open til 10 except Fridays and Saturdays, when it's open til 11.

Posted by: flynnie | June 15, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

love, flynnie, natsinthevalley, you are stars in an inky night. Thanks

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

i cant drive to falls church for custard man! are you crazy? this should be a good week for the nats, i like our chances in minnisota and i will be in the house for friday night v texas with the girlfriend. thanks for the tix nationals fan residing between mountains!

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

What a great sports day. Halos shutout the Braves. Tiger with a birdie on 18 to send the Open to Monday. USA pounds Barbados in world cup qualifying. Unbelievable Turkey vs. Czech Euro 08 match. Celtics vs Lakers in the finals.

And yet all I can keep reflecting on is Kory frickin Casto hitting a pinch hit three run homer.

Imagine an offense of Milledge, Dukes and Flores combined with normal work from Zimmerman, Kearns and Johnson. Murderer's Row it is not. But its something I really look forward to seeing in coming months...maybe (hopefully) it pans out.

Anyone figured out the sleeve on Flores' right arm?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 15, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

@503/203--I can agree with what you're saying here. Patience from ownership is important, and for certain I don't want knee-jerk overreactions. A year ago, I was where you are now. For me, the year passed. I hope I'm wrong and you aren't with me in a year.

Still, telling me I'm irrational in response to my case against Bowden IS defending him. You aren't responding on the merits of what I'm saying, you're just dismissing it all out of hand, saying that I'm just irrational. That's defending Bowden.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 15, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

506, back at you, and where's Bob L Head? Are you ready for Dmitry v. Delmon? Dmitry is uniquely qualified to keep Elijah out trouble, and is doing a fine job of it, going up to the press and saying on Elijah's behalf, "He's got nothing to say." I was so p.o'd at Manny, but if Elijah can forgive him, so can I, and isn't forgiveness the most necessary and difficult skill for a happy life? That apology to the team, like that home run past the 402 sign, was, to quote Mike Rizzo, "for men only."

Posted by: flynnie | June 15, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Los Doce Ocho,

Well put. Way to spread it out for us in a nutshell.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

spread it out in a nutshell?

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

how you doin? im a professional writer

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

how are you doing? I'm a professional writer

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 15, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

OK here it goes -- I am one of the "haters" on NJ b/c I dont like how the Lerners are so cheap and greedy and are slowly ruining the franchise. I am hardly unique in belief - and two sportwriters of some renown have raised the "cheapness" as a possible concerning issue - Rosenthal & Boswell. Further, according to 505/203 I have suspect political beliefs b/c I dont like how the Lerners are gouging DC and the fans. OK out of my system and I wont bring it up again for awhile. NJ was a happier place in the past, but my increasing nastiness comes from my perception that the team has gone backwards in its 4th year. Anway, it will be much more fun to engage in fantasies about some potential trades.

My snide remark aside, it was nice to sweep the Marlins. Hopefully we can take 1 to 2 from the Twins.

SoCH - Bowden is not the worst - he is just very mediocre I also suspect that there isn't a GM in MLB that could (have) make things much better for the Nats right now (previously). Bowden did make a roster mistake and this Reds fetish is worrisome. Adam Dunn should be here anyday now to join WMP, Kearns, etc... Bowden is the reality and hopefully Kasten can keep his leash short.

Now on to the fantasy trading. In terms of decent trade bait, the Nats have Guzman, Rauch and maybe Redding. Lower level trade bait includes LoDuca, Nieves, Boone (before anyone sqawks - remember Marlon Anderson and Boone has been as good), Lopez, Perez and Belliard. Long shot/desparation trade bait includes Young (bat) and Harris (speed & decent flexible fielder. I will try to find opportunities to drone on about in the future.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 15, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

we swept the marlins too!! things really are looking up...i thought it was just the mariners

mariners catch marlin and are located as far away from florida as is possible in the lower 48.

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

i think count demoney may be ginny, valley,natsinthe

Posted by: love | June 15, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The broadcasters were funny today. Dave was saying that Charlie broadcast Mariner's Miguel Cairo's first major league home run when he was in Tampa in 1998. Charlie got a catch in his throat, which caused Dave to say that he didn't know that it was such an emotional moment in Charlie's life, and a great rif ensued. On TV, when Kasto's home run hit the foul pole, Carpenter started speculating on what foul poles would look like in the future to make home runs clearer, and someone in the crew said the one in Seattle would squirt coffee. And did you see the Silver Fox's Silver Coat? Ray Knight wore a coat that I haven't seen since Liberace passed. Great day.

Posted by: flynnie | June 16, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh and how could I forget.

Guzie has a 9 game hitting streak going. With 15 Hits in those 9 games and 5 multi-hit games.

Time for a trade?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 16, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

The Seattle sweep highlighted positive changes buried in the morass of the previous 10 games.

DC is building a lineup that can hit and run. Milledge, Dukes, Casto, and Flores are the future.

Mired as we are in injury, I like this rising tide. It is beginning to click.

This lurker is ever hopeful.

Posted by: natty dread | June 16, 2008 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Natty dread-

I am happy to see Casto do better this time up with the big team, but I am not sure about his role being that large in the future. He could stick as a utility guy, I guess.

I agree with you on Milledge, Dukes and Flores, though.

Posted by: Positively Half St | June 16, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that elaboration, Count Demoney. There's certainly plenty to be frustrated with on this team, especially from the big picture perspective. It seems our opinions on Bowden range from very negative to very neutral. It would be nice to suddenly see a lot of positives, but I think that he's just one of those guys that is always going to be divisive.

I'll disagree with one thing: you can't be a true hater if you can still see some things that make you happy, like a sweep of the Mariners or some interesting play by Harris.

Your post made me reflect that baseball is a strange game to be a fan of. We rely so heavily on statistics, but we live for moments. We glory in Ted Williams' .344 career batting average, but we also immortalize a baseball going between the first basemen's feet to decide the game.

It's a sport where our heroes fail 70 percent of the time on offense. No quarterback or point guard would still be playing if they only succeeded 30 percent of the time. We send those folks to our All Star game. Every game we cheer for the improbable while often at the same time touting our pride at his less improbable career averages or angrily insisting we would have played someone who has a four-tenths of a percent larger chance of not failing.

It's no use not being elated by a sweep of the Mariners. We won the only game we played yesterday and all the games we played last weekend and, in baseball, the immediate is as exciting as the long term.

Whew. Now I'm going to boycott thinking the rest of the day.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 16, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

LoDuca is a utility man? Cool, because I've got some lightbulbs at my house that need changing, and I think my A/C is starting to go. And after he's done with that, I'd like to get him to climb up the utility pole and hook me up to ComCast. Then at game time I would turn the sound down and we could sit on my couch and provide color commentary for me, personally.

THAT would be some serious utility.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 16, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie: Keep a lid on that Frozen Dairy bar talk. I like that place to be my secret, even though it has been an institution in the area for half a century. ;) Also, I tried the gelatto at my last visit to Nats park and thanks for the tip!


Regarding the "arcane" rule discussion: There are a lot of details that I don't have to know or worry about as a fan, but I expect the management of the team to have a complete knowledge of them. Jim Bowden just showed himself to be an amateur with this. It is the same with any job. The details and complexities are what one gets paid to attend to. If Mr. Bowden can't handle that he should stick to fantasy baseball.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 16, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Okay I haven't read all of the discussion of this whole arcane rule thing. But I'm wondering, do we have any reason to think that JimBow was NOT aware of this rule? Is there any way he could have played this differently to get Clippard up pitching again without DLing Perez longer than we want to?

I don't like Bowden. I really, really dislike Bowden. But are we sure he's really being incompetent in this instance, or is he just between a rock and a hard place, stuck without Clippard due to a technicality he couldn't avoid?

(Please don't chew me up and spit me out here. I'm just playing devil's advocate.)

Posted by: monday morning | June 16, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

What else can we think of to keep PLOD busy so that he doesn't get to come in and drive our already mentally fragile pitching staff right around the bend? Seriously, he's like the crazy uncle at the family reunion -- maybe start a conversation about horses and he won't notice what's going on out on the field.

Posted by: FloresFan | June 16, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Livan on Tuesday. Slowey (the guy we did not trade for) on Wednesday. Dmitri's little brother and Brendan Harris also on the team.

I still would like to have had Livan on the team this year, but we don't. But for to get a jump on the revival of the debate that over whether we should have signed him: I think the main value of signing him would have been to give the bullpen more rest. Perhaps Ayala and coompany would have had more rest and thus been more effective if we had at least one starter going 7-8 innings every start. Plus, we would have had an additional pinch hitter. Plus, I just like watching him play.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 16, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

have all of you livo lovers actually checked the man's stats? in 15 starts he's pitched 89.1 innings, allowed 136 (yes, 136) hits, 63 runs, 58 earned, 13 hr's 15 bb and 28k's. projected he would pitch 203 innings, allowing 310 hits, 144 runs, 132 earned, 30 hr's, 34 bb and 64k. get over yourselves.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 16, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

How would you like it if every time you made a mistake at your job, a big red light and sirens went on and 20,000 people booed you and threw garbage at you called you a bum and an imbecile?

Posted by: Jacques Plante | June 16, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Lighten Up Frances. He's also pitched 89 innings which would lead the Nats. You can hate him if you want.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 16, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

the argument wasn't that livo can pitch well, just that he can pitch for a long time.

if you're happy with a guy going 7 to 8 innings and giving up 3-5 runs every five days, then he's your man.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Just to anticipate, natsscribe, they're going to argue that that's more innings pitched than any of the current staff and the point of Livo is to be a workhorse to give the bullpen some rest and we have the most overworked bullpen in baseball, sigh, they need a rest, look at Chad, that's what happens, it's called dead arm, we should fire Jim Bowden, etc., etc.

Yep, it's going to be another great off-day.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 16, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

oh to add to that previous post:

this season he's averaging a little over 4 runs in a little under 6 innings per start. so those numbers i made up are optimistic.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

so, Anon, you're suggesting signing Livo would be a great move as long as the team averages five runs every fifth day?

Here that, Livo Lovers? Only five runs.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 16, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"I don't like Bowden. I really, really dislike Bowden. But are we sure he's really being incompetent in this instance, or is he just between a rock and a hard place, stuck without Clippard due to a technicality he couldn't avoid?"

Remember, the pitchers involved in this fiasco (or is it a debacle, or perhaps a travesty?) are Odalis Perez and Tyler Clippard. Not Josh Beckett and Johan Santana. Really, what's the difference at this point if the next couple of starts are made by Perez, Clippard or another pitcher such as Garrett Mock? The season's not on the line here, nor is the future of the franchise at stake. Perez will be gone at this time next year, and if either Clippard or Mock are major league pitchers, they'll be pitching here next year, and if not they won't, whether or not any of them gets a start this week or next. The only thing at play here in this incident is Steven of Capitol Hill's irrational obsession with Jim Bowden. (Yes, it is irrational, and it is an obsession. Get some help, Steven, or get a life.) If Steven hadn't mentioned it here, no one would have paid any attention to this supposed fiasco, travesty or debacle. Why? Because it's not important.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 16, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

well 506, as long as we don't score any for the four days in between Livo's starts, to score five once every five days wouldn't be bringing our runs scored average up TOO far overall...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey, if the bullpen could count on coming in in the seventh, and the offense could figure on being down ONLY 5, that would be an improvement on a lot of starts we've been seeing.

Posted by: couch | June 16, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

(Can't remember if I thanked BobL or not for the monniker, so h/t to him on that)

Ok, I can't believe I'm about to do this, but...

As much as we don't like it, SoCH's got a point. You all are mostly dismissing it because he takes every psuedo-point he ever makes and uses it to grind his own axe. But here, this is a point - this LoDuca/Clippard/Perez thing is a fairly major screwup. The rule seems arcane to us, but it shouldn't to somebody who is a professional in the field - if JimBo doesn't know the impact of the rule in this specific case, clearly somebody in the FO should and should apprise him. More importantly, this isn't the first time this has happened. Remember losing Darrell Rasner because Bowden couldn't handle the "arcane" waiver-wire rules? Remember losing Claudio Vargas for the same reason? This is one of those - it doesn't make him the worst GM ever (though it sure doesn't make him Branch Rickey, either), and by goodness, SoCH has a way of, rather than disagreeing without being disagreeable, of disagreeing in the most disagreeable and tiresome way possible, but on this one, you got to throw him a bone - this is a screwup.

Not only will Perez potentially be gone longer than he needs to be, we've yoyo'ed Clippard up and down unnecessarily, but we're about to yoyo somebody else up and down unnecessarily. More importantly, the whole episode suggests to me that that the 25-man roster is being managed to fit today's needs with no real thought to the future - it's all "What do we need to get through today's injury problem?" Considering the whole mantra of the team is "building for the future," it's a bit jarring to see these slipups.

Now, having dealt with that ugliness - yay! Three wins in a row! And not just three wins in a row - three wins where we got enough runs from enough people and hit the ball enough and the bullpen hung on to a lead. My favorite part of the game yesterday - 1. Dukes single, steal/error to third (loved LMillz fake bunt) followed by that insurance run (ended up not needing it, but it was good to see) and 1a. Hanrahan pitching a clean 9th. I think the whole "should we trade Rauch or not" thing hangs entirely on how well Hanrahan and Colome develop as relievers (they both have that "closer" stuff) - I was really happy to see Manny let Hanrahan work the ninth in a lower-consequence environment.

Separately...so, we going back to the three-catcher experiment? What happens to Nieves now? Why didn't he go down to Columbus when LoDuca came back, which would have avoided all this Perez/Clippard/Whoever stuff?

Posted by: Highway 295 revisited | June 16, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Baseball is a soap opera, spread out over six months, with 182 episodes a year, and a few miniseries at the end. Take it for what it is.
This is more like a late-night situation comedy. Can't you just see Stan Kasten doing a classic Edgar Kennedy slow burn, as he reads the news, and screams "BOWDENNNNNNN!"

**********
Why? Because it's not important.
Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 16, 2008 9:43 AM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | June 16, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

ABM -- That argument holds no water with me.

What if you paid someone to mow your lawn and they mowed over your flowerbed. Do you shrug it off and say "Hey, it's just MY lawn not the White House. It doesn't really matter that much." Or do you get upset with the idiot operating the mower who really should have known better?

Bowden is dealing with a fixed set of rules. Some of them may be corner cases, and some may be nuanced, but he isn't having to do science to learn them. All he has to do is open the book and follow them. If he can't do that, I don't have a lot of patience for him to learn how ... especially since he's been in this kind of role for more than a decade. Why would someone entrust an $80M or $100M budget to someone who makes blunders like this? Why wait until something like this happens when dealing with Josh Beckett and Johann Santana types?

Seriously, is it that you have so much love for Bowden or is it that you must take the opposite view of SoCH regardless?

Posted by: i hate walks | June 16, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

ihw, I still don't understand what Bowden could have done differently to avoid this issue and have both Clippard and Perez available when we want them. Could you enlighten me, please? Thanks.

Posted by: monday morning | June 16, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, you speak the sad truth. 506 did an admirable job trying to bring it back around, but yours is truly the post of the day. Unfortunately, it's also the front-runner for post of the season.

-----

I no longer feel a kinship with so-called Nationals fans in this space.

I guess it's my own problem, so don't mind me. Please, by all means, continue arguing about Livan the innings-eater, the 2007-8 free agent class, and 10 paragraph-long manifestos on whatever.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 16, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh no, they got to you, too!

-----

Yep, it's going to be another great off-day.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 16, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

from Rotoworld:

Washington - Tyler Clippard threw well in a win over the Mariners, but he's expected to head back to the minors to make room for Paul Lo Duca on Tuesday. Garrett Mock could be brought back when a replacement for Odalis Perez (shoulder) is again needed later in the week. Lo Duca will return as a backup catcher and possible occasional first baseman and left fielder. The Nats should be open to trading him to any team willing to pick up his salary. Even as much as he's declined, he'd be an upgrade over Brad Ausmus for the Astros. ... With Austin Kearns (elbow) due back around the end of the month, this is a big week for Wily Mo Pena. If he doesn't heat up soon, he could find himself on the waiver wire when Kearns gets back. He passed the 150-AB mark on Sunday, yet he still has just one homer. ... Neither Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) nor Nick Johnson (wrist) is looking like a very good bet to return before the All-Star break. Perhaps Kory Casto will have a little value in NL-only leagues after all.

Posted by: 756* | June 16, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"Separately...so, we going back to the three-catcher experiment? What happens to Nieves now? Why didn't he go down to Columbus when LoDuca came back, which would have avoided all this Perez/Clippard/Whoever stuff?"

Nieves didn't go back to Columbus because he can't be sent back to Columbus without passing through waivers first. Some other team would surely have claimed him, and he'd have been lost. Imagine the outcry there would have been here if that had been allowed to happen!

"More importantly, this isn't the first time this has happened. Remember losing Darrell Rasner because Bowden couldn't handle the "arcane" waiver-wire rules? Remember losing Claudio Vargas for the same reason? "

Actually, no, I don't remember. Which is kind of my point. Neither of those events were turning points - even the most minor of turning points - in the history of the franchise. As is the case with this current Bowden incident. Sure, they're screwups, but they're the most minor of screwups and you all are turning them into a federal case, claiming that they represent a pattern of mismanagement by Bowden. Sorry, that doesn't wash. In the midst of hundreds if not thousands of player transactions made by Bowden over the years, you've found that he's made three mistakes? That sounds like a damn good record to me, and I'm not even a huge Bowden fan myself. If anything, I'm neutral on Bowden. (Cue Steven of Capitol Hill to say that I'm now flip-flopping on my previous Bowden support, when in fact this is the first time I've even said what my personal opinion of Bowden is.) If you all weren't looking at this current incident with your inherent anti-Bowden predisposition, you'd realize what a minor blip on the screen it really is. Bowden has been mowing your lawn for fifteen years, and one time the mower slipped and he wiped out your flowers. Big deal.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 16, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

monday -- I don't see how you could have both Perez and Clippard available in the desired timeframe. That's not really the point, is it? The point is Bowden (or the organization he ostensibly manages) failed to know and adhere to the rules.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Alternate conversation for those who need it:

Yesterday was Tim Redding's first quality start since May 19, five starts ago. He threw 111 pitches to get it over six innings, which has more to do with Ichiro than Redding, but it was good to see him closer to early season form.

I listened on the radio. How did he look? Charlie and Dave didn't comment on whether he looked sharp or not. Did his breaking pitches break? Or were the Seattle hitters just bad?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 16, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, big deal is exactly right. This isn't a federal case.

Shrug it off ... but you'd be sure that's the last time that particular lawn-care provider ever stepped in my yard.

Which is exactly my point.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"More importantly, this isn't the first time this has happened. Remember losing Darrell Rasner because Bowden couldn't handle the "arcane" waiver-wire rules? Remember losing Claudio Vargas for the same reason? "

Actually, no, I don't remember. Which is kind of my point. Neither of those events were turning points - even the most minor of turning points - in the history of the franchise.
-------

Losing Rasner remains a big deal to this day. If you don't remember, I suggest you familiarize.

Posted by: 756* | June 16, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"The point is Bowden (or the organization he ostensibly manages) failed to know and adhere to the rules."

And you know this how? All you know is what you've read in the Post, which is what Chico decided to write about this incident. There could very well be multiple rules at play here, or even a situation where there are conflicting rules such that there was no way that one of them could not help but have been broken. We have not seen the complete list of MLB rules or an analysis of what was at play here. Yet somehow you and others know EXACTLY how Bowden screwed up. How is that? Oh right, I forgot. This is the web. Never mind.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 16, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to ignite the Livo thing again. My major point in that post was that we were going to see old friends Livo and Harris and that we would also get to see Dmitri's little brother and erstwhile Soriano trade bait Kevin Slowey. (I also mentioned that I like Livo - excuse me if that is inflamatory. I also hold a warm spot in y heart for a number of other 2005 players like Guillen, Baerga, Castilla, and Loaiza. I'm a fan. I'm nostalgic. I don't have a feeling of entitlement.)

Here are some interesting stories for the 2008 team: Christian Guzman never gave up; Nick Johnson overcame a catastropic break of the biggest bone in his body; Shawn Hill (unlike John Patterson) decides to pitch with pain; Odaliz Perez - who many thought washed up - can still pitch; Lastings Milledge turns out to be trainable and eager to learn; Jesus Flores goes from AA to perhaps an all-star candidate; Paul LoDucca turns out not to be a jerk; Elijah Dukes turns out to be clutch; Cory Casto turns out to be a real major leaguer; Joel Hanrahan re-invents himself as an above average reliever. There is more of course. Not as evocative as bashing Bowden, Livo, the Lerners, etc..., but plenty of great topics....

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 16, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This is my favorite story so far, NatBisquit:

Jesus Flores can't hit AA stuff. It's too easy.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 16, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I think the big factor that is being overlooked or misunderstood in this perceived screw up by Jimbo, is that Perez was only going to miss 1 start.

When it became apparent that he needed to miss more than one start, and thus go on the DL, is when all the questions came up about the roster management. Enter SoCH and the others on the Pitchfork crew....

Look folks, Jimbo is an average GM, who has a huge ego and personality and he rubs people the wrong way. Hence the haters.

Vinnie Cerato/Dan Snyder he is not. Those are examples of a horrible GM who don't know talent or how to manage a roster.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 16, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Even people who spend a lifetime in a sport and are in the hall of fame sometimes mess up the rules at crucial times.

Posted by: Joe Gibbs | June 16, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

ABM -- ok, your point is taken. I'm relying on the coverage I get from the Washington Post to formulate my opinion. Sure, I don't have any inside knowledge, and it is true I'm not a member of the Bowden fan club so I'm going to tend to be critical.

But it is my observation of the situation that the club intended to do a thing and then ran aground of the rules which foiled their plan.

It has also been listed in this conversation the ways that this has happened before and negatively impacted the team. I guess those facts are suspect, too, because they were reported in the Washington Post, eh?

Posted by: i hate walks | June 16, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Nieves didn't go back to Columbus because he can't be sent back to Columbus without passing through waivers first. Some other team would surely have claimed him, and he'd have been lost. Imagine the outcry there would have been here if that had been allowed to happen!"

ABM - I miss your trolling days at CapPun. I believe this is plain wrong - factually incorrect. Nieves began the year at AAA, and came up - he was assigned to minor-league camp and removed from the 40-man roster on 23 March and added back on April 16 - He's cleared waivers as recently as last year with the Yankees, so I think he may have options.

"Actually, no, I don't remember. Which is kind of my point. Neither of those events were turning points - even the most minor of turning points - in the history of the franchise."

Here I just disagree - If we don't lose Rasner the year before, he probably gives us 30 starts last year (or at least prevents us from seeing as much of Bacsik and Simontacchi and Bowie as we did). It's certainly not a World-Series losing decision, but arguing that the consequences of the decision determine whether or not you should care about the decision is sort of silly - my personal debt is absolutely inconsequential to the national economy, yet my creditors will certainly be upset if I make poor decisions. Similarly, I don't expect to win the WS this year or next, but I do expect the club to operate with a minimum level of competence.

Monday Morning - what should have happened was, last week, when Perez first got hurt, he should have gone on the DL right then and there and Clippard never should have gone back down in the first place. At the very least, when Perez got hurt, the FO should have had a meeting to plan out what was coming - I appreciate that they've got a lot of moving parts right now with the injuries, but it's not like it was unforeseen that Lo Duca was on the way back, or like MLB just created this rule.

However, this is a combination of FO screwups leading to a poor outcome - because the Nats let their semi-injured players hang around on the active roster for a while, Clippard HAD to go back down last week because Perez was still on the active roster. So that created the need to bring him back (and so delay Perez). Meanwhile LoDuca came back, necessitating opening up a spot for him, so now Clippard has to go back down, so now we'll get Mock. ABM is totally right in that the consequences aren't disastrous - but it's yet another example (like Rasner and Vargas) of Bowden not quite having full control of his professional responsibilities. Everybody talks about how smart he is, and he may well be, but this is just plain poor management.

Could we talk about Flores instead, though? How many other catchers would he need to beat out to make the AS team? Molina in StL just got hurt - McCann, I guess, is the starter?

Posted by: Highway 295 Revisited | June 16, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 16, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

ouch on the Joe Gibbs reference

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@IHW--Precisely.

@Highway 295--nice job remembering that this isn't the first time Bowden has made this kind of novice bonehead error. I had forgotten about the Darrell Rasner thing.

@monday morning--Good question. Yes we know that it was a mistake because the team originally announced that Perez would be on the DL retroactive to June 4, then later, after they called up Clippard for the 2nd time in 10 days, someone in the league office informed Bowden of the rules, and they announced that because of the error Perez's DL stint will now be retroactive to June 10. Chico Harlan explains it in his "A technicality...." post.

Here's what they could have done differently: don't send Clippard down after the June 9 start. He stays up, gets the June 14 start that he got anyway, and Perez comes off the DL on the 19th in time for the next start after that. (OR you could have kept Mock up to fill that spot in the rotation, but they sent him down right away too. OR they could have just kept Perez on the active roster, send down a Langerhans or a WMP--not that I would have favored these necessarily, just laying out the options.)

In any of these cases, Perez would be making the next start, since he's ready, not sitting on the DL, not actually hurt, but just collecting a check for free because he boss screwed up.

Harlan has described this rule an obscure technicality, but this is actually a totally logical and important rule. If it wasn't for this rule, teams could, theoretically, carry 4 extra position players and just send their whole starting rotation down to the minors after every start. Or, if your bullpen gets burned up and you need 2-3 extra guys in a pinch, no problem, just open up the roster spots by sending down the starters who aren't going to be available to pitch anyway.

There are other limits on this kind of churning, namely that guys have limited numbers of "options," or times they can be sent down, after which they must pass through waivers, but even with this GMs would still be able to expand their rosters in this way, and they would in fact do so in a pinch, especially down the stretch if they get hit by injuries of a run of bad starts. Young SPs with lots of options left would be come more valuable commodities because they'd be "churnable."

It's really quite simple and routine. If Perez is out for 15 days retroactive to June 4, you need someone to fill 2 starts. That's Clippard, so he's up for 2 starts and can't go down between starts, period. Bowden, by sending him down, tried to unfairly expand his roster by 1 in exactly the way this rule is intended to prevent.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 16, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Now that it looks like St. Louis may need a catcher, the Nats should trade Lo Duca to the Cards. . .

Posted by: Andy | June 16, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 23, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

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