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Perez out, Clippard in

This comes in far too late for inclusion in Saturday's 50-cent fishwrap edition, so I'll just post here.

The Nationals have officially placed Odalis Perez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 4. (He last pitched June 3.) Perez has been slow to recover from shoulder tendinitis.

Tyler Clippard, who pitched at Nationals Park just last Monday, is now making his second start. The team will recall him from Class AAA Columbus to start Saturday against the M's.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 14, 2008; 2:04 AM ET
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ah, love west coast baseball!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 14, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Sweet to wake up to a win.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 14, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

From Mark Zuckerman in The Washington Times:

Much as they tried to downplay Tuesday night's dugout tussle between Acta and Dukes, the issue isn't about to disappear.

Replays of the ninth-inning shouting match were everywhere yesterday, on national TV, on local stations, on the Internet. Everyone wanted to know the same thing: What happened?

Was Acta upset at the choreographed celebration between Dukes and Lastings Milledge after the latter hit the go-ahead homer in the Nationals' 7-6 win over the Pirates? Was Dukes peeved at what he perceived to be a slight from Acta for not offering him a high-five when he returned to the dugout? Or was there much more to this story?

The answer still isn't clear. Neither participating party shed light on the matter before Wednesday night's game.

"It's over with," Acta said. "What happens in Pittsburgh is going to stay in Pittsburgh. We talked it out after the game, and we're cool. We're fine."

That was far more than Dukes had to say. When reporters tried to approach him in the clubhouse, Dmitri Young intervened and declared the 23-year-old outfielder wouldn't be talking.

Posted by: flynnie | June 14, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse


SEATTLE -- Before Thursday's game against the Pirates, Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes asked and was granted to hold a team meeting. He formally apologized to manager Manny Acta and his teammates for the misunderstanding that occurred between Dukes and the skipper during the ninth inning of Tuesday's game.

According to baseball sources at the team meeting on Thursday, Dukes said it was in the heat of the moment and he wanted everyone pumped during Tuesday's game, which the Nationals won, 7-6.

All has been forgiven.

"(Elijah) held this meeting on his own. It was his idea," said one baseball source that was at the meeting.

In the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday's game, TV cameras showed Acta dressing down Dukes in the dugout.

The confrontation came a few minutes after Lastings Milledge hit a two-run homer, scoring Dukes ahead of him. According to baseball sources, Acta was not angry with Dukes for showboating with Milledge near home plate after the home run. There was a miscommunication in the dugout. Dukes thought that Acta didn't want to shake his hand.

After Nationals closer Jon Rauch was able to record the final out of the game, Dukes refused to shake Acta's hand. A few minutes later, Acta, Dukes and general manager Jim Bowden had a closed-door meeting and settled the issue.

Dukes has been one of the hottest hitters on the Nationals. Entering Friday's action, Dukes is 18-for-59 (.305) in his past 18 games.

Posted by: Capital Punisher | June 14, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, CP. That's a good, mature move by Dukes, methinks. This version would seem to tie in with the video on the Pirates site, which shows Dukes exchanging high fives with some of his teammates, then whacking Acta's behind and Acta seeming to lose his balance (perhaps literally and metaphorically) before the skipper turned around and the dugout shouting match began.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 14, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hope this link works (Milledge swats a homer in the 9th):

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 14, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sounds as if Dukes may want to stay in the major leagues after all.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | June 14, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

As far as placating Acta, this meeting by Dukes was worthless. As far as placating fans, it was brilliant. And not on his own. But I'm glad he'll know how to do it on his own next time.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 14, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Okay, everyone needs to cheer for Lo Duca starting on Monday. He needs to pinch hit well enough to have trade value. At this point, no one is stupid enough to pick him as the starter over Flores, but we would be pretty well off if he was bashing over .300 and could bring something in return.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 14, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Catching up a bit, here are some thoughts---

@CE I totally agree with your post about the roster mismanagment. Yesterday I take it we were down 2 players on the active roster? Perez and Boone? It seems like we've been playing 1-2 short all year, whether it was carrying Zimmerman for a week or 2 before DL-ing him, DY's mysterious 7-day flu (I still say it was that he's too fat to play in 95-degree heat), Cordero to start the year, PLod and Estrada have both been unavailable an active, plus the LOOGY... Manny's hands have been tied more often than not. But when we're playing Ronnie Belliard at 3B and 1B? That's ugly.

--Nice to win one. Too bad I couldn't watch it. But from the highlights and the box it sounds like this goes in the category of the blind squirrel finding a nut. Ten hits, just 1 for extra-bases, yields 7 runs? Sounds like we got a lucky run of slap singles. Nothing wrong with base hits, mind you, but you'll lose 7-6 games more often than not when you only get 9 singles and a double and no homers. Especially when you give up 15 hits and an E. And after the 2nd inning it looks like we returned to the Nats we know.

--The Mariners are terrible. Jose Vidro is not only your DH, but he bats 3rd? But after getting slapped around by the Giants and the Pirates I'm happy not getting swept.

--What's more impressive? DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak or Hanrahan's 10 IP no-BB streak?

--Shawn Hill gets a win! I'm still rooting for that guy. He's never going to be an ace, or even a 2, but he could be a 3 on a winning team.

--I stand corrected. TODAY is the last day this year the O's see .500. Go Bucs!

--Off topic, but... looks like another Boston franchise is going to cheat their way into another championship. Boooo!!

--The more detailed explanation of the Acta-Dukes thing convinces me even more that Manny screwed this up. Dukes hits a game-winning HR. Manny really and truly didn't respond when Elijah tried to celebrate with him. Elijah, being a thin-skinned, defensive, paranoid, troubled soul, decides that Manny is out to get him and purposely refused to shake his hand. Let's imagine Elijah then probably picks the fight and says something like, "hey you jerk why won't you shake my hand (this part isn't in the explanation, but it must have been something like that). Manny's gotta realize at that moment that there's an unnecessary misunderstanding happening, and just cool the man down. Give him a big smile and a hug, whatever it takes to cool the situation down. Whatever you do, don't aggravate Elijah's paranoid lunacy. Remember, we knew going in here that Elijah was a troubled kid who really really really has trouble getting along with people, and Manny's supposed to be the mature motivator/psychiatrist who can manage these guys. It's understandable given what he's had to deal with that his patience is running thin, but he has to protect Dukes, not escalate situations like this. He's acting like Mike Sciocia confronting Jose Guillen. He needs to be like Frank--give him plenty of rope, make sure he knows you're on his side, let go everything you possibly can let go, and let him play.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 14, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

506--I'm afraid you're barking up the wrong tree. There's no chance we should be playing the bad/old guy over the good/young guy. It's bad enough we signed PLod in the first place. Don't compound it by playing him over Flores.

And regardless, LoDuca's trade value isn't going to change by hitting well for a couple weeks. Everyone in baseball knows what he is: a terrible defensive catcher, a slap-hitting, no-power, SAFP GDP-machine, a PR embarrassment, and more of a clubhouse problem than "leader." Even when he was supposedly good, he was massively overrated. And don't forget, he's old, injury-prone, and too expensive. Did I mention he's a jerk?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 14, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

From Boswell's chat yesterday. (Boswell is a jewel, and I'm so glad we have him!)

Parkersburg, W.V.: Do you know what started the shouting match between Manny Acta and Elijah Dukes the other night in Pittsburgh? Also, has there been any repercussion to Dukes for snubbing his manager after the game?

Tom Boswell: I've watched it a few times. Very interesting. Acta approaches Dukes within seconds of Milledge's game-winning homer, gets right in his face, screams at him, gestures with two fingers __like "you've done that twice" maybe__ and then points to rightfield. Acta turns and starts to leave. Dukes starts to yell back at him. Acta spins, gets right back in is face and Dukes is silent as he walks away.

Nice mystery.

99% have assumed Dukes and His Next Manager would have to have a showdown because anger amnagement has always been a Dukes issue with authority figures. The hope has been that Dukes would keep some of his fire, but not let it rule him or damage his career. IOW, could he tolerate being chewed out, even in public, and cope witgh it, live with it, or would he come to another suspension-worthy confrontation with another manager/teammate.

I thought Acta's explosion __which I bet wasn't entirely spontaneous after the way Dukes showed up the HP ump after his homer a week earlier__ was worthy of Chuck Tanner, Dick Williams, Ralph Houk. It was old school. Acta is almost as physically intimidating as Dukes, though he never uses it. But it's there. Manny had a big temper in his early years as a manager.

I don't know how to express it exactly, but I think this had to happen. Can Dukes cope with genuine discipline? If he can, he has a career. If he can't, he'll be an ex-Nat fairly soon and, perhaps, an ex-professional athlete not long after.

I mentioned to Dukes the other day that I enjoyed watching him in the outfield. "That's my pride and joy," he said. I find myself pulling for this guy, though I know that a quick "google" would give me the chills again. If they can 'save his soul,' they may have quite a ballpalyer in a couple of years. But the Nats may think that his past history is so extreme that he has to accept an extremnely high level of discipline.

Posted by: flynnie | June 14, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Il Duce v. El Duque

Posted by: Manny looks like Benito | June 14, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to the Washington Times' Mark Zuckerman, & the posters here for covering Manny's "roid rage" at Dukes.

Posted by: flynnie | June 14, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

You all catch that O's/Pirates game last night? Of course you all did, because deep down you're all closet-O's fans.

Gotta love how the O's came back from being down 6-1 to win the game 9-6. They came back against the Pirates, something the Nats sure couldn't do.

Also, for all you attendance nay-sayers out there anyone of you see the figures for last nights game at The Yard?


You all come talk to me when the Nats have that many people in the stands for a home game that isn't the grand opening of a new stadium. Also, I thought (according to the attendace nay-sayers) that the O's only got high attendance when either the Sox or Yanks were in town.

Guess that shows them.

O's record: 33-33

Nats record: 27-42

Looks like the O's are 6 better in the win column and 9 better in the loss column. And that's with the O's playing 3 fewer games than the Expos, I mean Nats. Sorry for the slip up, it's just when I see all those empty seats at the new Nats stadium it makes me still think the team is playing in Montreal.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I take back what I said about pulling wings off flies. The metaphor is wrong. If the Nats stink, then Hoser would BE the insect.
Drawn all the way from SF, iirc.

Posted by: CE | June 14, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

SoCH - I kinda agree with 506 -it would be nice to have Lo Duca hit fairly well in order to trade him. I think Lo Duca has more value than you credit - he is only signed to a one year and while the skills are fading, he is still a good stopgap catcher/season rental. Look at Gary Bennett and how he hangs on. I hope the Nats can find a trade even for a single prospect.

While I have always heard he is jerk and have no reason to doubt it, Lo Duca was firendly and approachable at the P Nats when I saw him. He willingly signed numerous autographs.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 14, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Little things, slow afternoon
Jayson, if you're reading this: dude, buy a ruler.

"Game of inches? I think it's a game of centimeters."

A centimeter is bigger than an inch. You mean millimeters.

Throw strikes and get outs, pal, and you can measure it in cubits if you want to.

Posted by: CE | June 14, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, just out of curiosity, what WOULD give you a reason to doubt it, then, if personal experience doesn't?

While I have always heard he is jerk and have no reason to doubt it, Lo Duca was friendly and approachable at the P Nats when I saw him. He willingly signed numerous autographs.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 14, 2008 12:19 PM

Posted by: Just askin | June 14, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Count--You're assuming that playing PLod will increase his trade value. I say that IF there's still a GM out there who felt PLod had above replacement-level value (and I'm betting JimBo was the last), that playing PLod will only provide more evidence of the folly behind that belief. Better to try to trade him now before he once again proves himself to be no better than whatever Wil Nieves or Chad Moeller is hanging around out there.

Besides, I wanna see the kids play. If we're going to lose 100, at least give the kids a shot.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 14, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@Just askin'--

is 12 consecutive drug-free months too much to ask? How about a couple weeks without publicly dumping on a teammate? That would be a start.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 14, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Jayson, if you're reading this: dude, buy a ruler.

A centimeter is bigger than an inch. You mean millimeters.

Posted by: CE | June 14, 2008 1:03 PM


Uh, CE, may I recommend you take a look at a ruler?

Posted by: jcville | June 14, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, for DY, it's really a game of kilograms.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 14, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, an inch is MUCH bigger than a centimeter.
I hope my boss at NASA doesn't read this.

Posted by: CE | June 14, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

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