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Just a heads-up. We're doing the usual online chat at noon today, not 2 p.m. Sorry for the change. If you're due for a power lunch at the Capital Grille or something, submit a question beforehand.

Looks like the following few episodes of baseball -- the homestand, and then last night's game -- provide plenty of fodder. I think we might even be able to get through the whole chat without a mention of "team orthopedist Dr. Ben Shaffer."

One note about today's game story, and I mention this only as a tail-between-legs explanation. You'll notice it focuses on the game-winning home run but gives short shrift to something Nats fans are probably curious about -- a post-home run disagreement between Manny Acta and Elijah Dukes.

Bottom line, I missed it (with great regret) because I had my head down at the computer, trying to make deadline. Sometimes, the need to file a "running game story" impairs the ability to do the most important thing in journalism -- watch everything. So, I'll ask the right questions today at the ballpark and learn more. Please accept my apologies for the whiff. I feel rotten about it.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 11, 2008; 9:04 AM ET
 
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Next: Dukes in the lineup

Comments

INEXCUSABLE! Bring back Barry what's-his-name with the missing vowels.

Seriously, Chico, you're doing good, keep it up, and find out what you can.

Posted by: Jeremy | June 11, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Your 2:00 p.m. chat should provide the opportunity to provide any further info on Mannygate.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

New posted. Not to rub it in, Chico, I did like your gamer, just wanted to feed the masses their blood.

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

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Frustrating watching MASN knowing something has happened, but Larry Michael on the play-by-play refuses to acknowledge it.

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

You actually think Ray Knight would notice anything of import?

Posted by: Ray Knight is Dullard | June 11, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame that this overshadows a great game by the Nats. At least we know Dukes and St.Claire are still boys, as his fist bop was accepted by Dooksie

gnatsgnation.blogspot.com

Posted by: gnatsgnation.blogspot.com | June 11, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Q:Is the correct term 'bold face lie' or 'bald faced lie' or another variation?

A: The correct usage is bald-faced lie, but I seriously doubt it has always been that way, as to say someone has a bald face is just plain silly. It probably was bold-face or something similar in the time of Shakespeare and has, like so much English phraseology, become distorted with use, regional accents, laziness, etc. and it can only get worse with the internet and the apparent willingness to write anything as a substitute for everything in the name of typing speed.


More Information
The phrase can either be used as bold-faced lie, as in someone with a bold enough face to lie (bold meaning daring) or someone bold enough to lie to your face; it can also be used as bald-faced lie, where the older meaning of bald (meaning uncovered or uncondealed) - the more correct usage with this term is bare-faced lie.

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

I'm going to reserve judgement on the situation until I hear some informed input from the participants. I mean on one hand, I like enthusiasm but Elijah (& Milly) need to cool it a tad and learn to play with class. On the other, Manny needs to swallow his tongue until he gets into the clubhouse.

I'm one of the biggest Acta supporters there is; however, even he has been a little too cool for my liking recently - I'm not saying go all Ozzie Guillen, but do something to show your guys you have some faith in them. When they got punched out on the 2 steal attempts in the first the other day, Manny should've come out and said something even if he knew they were out OR ESPECIALLY on that bomb that was called "in-play", he should've come out. The message he is sending to his guys right there is that I'll never have your back in anything....again, I love him but he needs to show something that will allow his players to have the feeling of "I'll run through a wall for this guy".

Posted by: Corey | June 11, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Chico...please tell me "head down at the computer, trying to make deadline" does not equal "head down at the computer, plugging away on priceline.com planning the next 3 day vacation".

Kidding of course.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 11, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The way it should go down:

E.D.: Hey, skip...sorry for getting out of hand last night. I got caught up in the moment and I honestly didn't mean to disrespect you like that. Things have just been going so badly lately and it was an exciting moment and I felt you were raining on my parade a little bit. But, it was still uncalled for and it won't happen again. Here's $5,000 for the impActa Kids Foundation to show you I'm sincere.

Acta: Listen kid, that was a heckuva at-bat in a clutch spot and that's the type of production I see coming from you. You've been playing your butt off the past few weeks and everybody has noticed it. Know that I've got your back no matter what, just don't make me regret it by doing stupid and useless stuff. You're a great talent with great potential and together we're going to do some great things. Thank you for the apology, but know that the next time something like this happens an apology won't be good enough. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but also don't hurt yourself by being an @$$ because if I see it then the other team sees it too.

Posted by: Corey | June 11, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The team's silence on this is deafening.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 11, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes, a whole 12 hours without comment is a lifetime

Posted by: The Team | June 11, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I note that Ladson on MLB.com has not reported on the incident. At least we got an explanation from you Chico. My guess is that Ladson, who reports on players based on his own personal feelings about them, chose to downplay this because he likes Dukes. If Brad Wilkerson or Austin Kearns had had a confrontation with Manny Acta, Ladson would have been calling for their heads on a platter.

It seems to me that where there is smoke, there is fire with Dukes. This is the third incident involving Dukes this season -- the 'softball girls' Mets incident, the umpire incident last week with the walk off home run, and now this. Maybe its not the rest of the world, maybe its him.

Posted by: Ray | June 11, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Chico, good of you to own up to it. This must be killing you. New guy to a pretty big and reputable newspaper missing a big story like that. Ugh.

No worries. I'd be more angry if you pulled a Ladson and got all defensive and tried to act like it wasn't your fault.

Or worse, made something up to cover your, um, bum. Yikes!

I think you've earned a little latitude. You'll get it next time.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 11, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Was it the fact that Milledge and Dukes were doing a little dance as they walked back to the plate after Lastings' homer? I'd love to see more of that, but I know the baseball purists always maintain that you should just walk back to the dugout after a homer with absolutely no emotion whatsoever (as if it never happened or something)...

Posted by: Juan-John | June 11, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, they were probably caught off-guard by the Baseball Tonight airing. Go figure - that's the only way a game between the Nats and the Pirates even got a mention.
_________________
Yes, a whole 12 hours without comment is a lifetime
Posted by: The Team | June 11, 2008 9:59 AM

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

chalk it up to growing pains. moving on.

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

Well I think we purest would say "you should act like you've done this before."
Granted, with 0-35 record trailing in the 8th, we had not done this before, nonetheless . . .
________________
I know the baseball purists always maintain that you should just walk back to the dugout after a homer with absolutely no emotion whatsoever (as if it never happened or something)...
Posted by: Juan-John | June 11, 2008 10:08 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | June 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I would disagree. I think this is the final word from the team and I think it's awesome:

"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."

Note the moves by Acta:
1. downplays the issue so as not to give power to the public over his team
2. establishes himself as the final authority on his team. "I'm not going to elaborate"
3. made it clear that the issue was settled because he settled it.

He's a heckuva manager.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

No point in seeing everything happen if you don't ever write about it. Don't see how you could avoid that.

Look forward to seeing what happened.

Personally I think Dukes has been doing great. I haven't seen him misplay a ball in the outfield all year and I think his at bats are improving and no episodes of any consequence.

I loved Steve on the Hill's comment the other day, summed up how I've felt about Dukes. Try having your dad in jail for murder when you're twelve and see how you're doing playing competitive baseball on TV everyday at 23 or whatever he is.

Plus, Manny will handle it, he always doesn.

Posted by: Avar | June 11, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I am disturbed that Manny won't come out to argue calls with umps, he won't yell at Felipe Lopez for literally dogging it to first everytime, or to anyone who shows a lack of hustle. He will however verbally and almost physically (chest bump) Elijah Dukes when the kid is playing his heart out and seems to be the only player giving it 100% right now. I don't care what E.D.did, you talk about it offline after you congratulate him. ABSURD!

Posted by: Nats=class,class,class | June 11, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Here's the video from Baseball Tonight:

http://tinyurl.com/6mbjsu

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | June 11, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I did not see the kertuffle but did see the double and HR. I also saw the Dukes/Milledge celebration. It was a little "modern" for my oldtimer tastes but not too unseemly given that the two players help break a 5 game loss streak and have begun to perform in the manner hoped for. Manny can be a little more punctillious after the team has gotten to single digits below .500

On Boz's column today, I waited for Senators III (the team that went to Texas was actually a bit better than our NATS)and, if he is honest, Boz will admit he did too. On Aron Rowland, would he have made a difference this summer is games or would we have just been more entertained?

Posted by: Sec 204 Row K Seat 11 | June 11, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If "everything is fine," then Dukes had better shake/slap hands with Acta tonight if the Nats win again. Someone's gotta explain the concept of "in public" and "on camera" to him, if he hasn't already learned it.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 11, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"I note that Ladson on MLB.com has not reported on the incident."

mlb.com (a.k.a. nationals.com) has become insufferably pollyannic lately. My current favorite is where they combine two questions in the mailbag ("When will Austin Kearns return? Is there any reason to be optimistic about the offense?") into the insane headline, "When Kearns returns, will offense rebound?"

Posted by: joebleux | June 11, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Does Zuckerman have a later deadline than Chico or something? Was Chico in the clubhouse after the game? Candid mea culpa appreciated Chico, but I don't get it.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 11, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

what happened between dukes and acta? any1 know? news showed them goin nose to nose in the dugout after the game after dukes refused to slap actas hand following the win. any1 know what happened?

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It's true, and yet, it was on MLB.com that I finally found the clip of Acta and Dukes jawing, posted prominently as its own link.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned this briefly before, but it's really glaring to me when I watch the video: Dukes high-fived Milledge when he got home, like he was supposed to, and Lastings was the one who called him back and instigated the excessive (if that's what we're deeming it) celebration!

So why was Manny yelling at Dukes and not Millz? Did he see the incident wrong? Is there something else going on? I'm especially concerned that Manny got so worked up over something as simple as a home run celebration, given his stoic reputation.

Also, I don't mind the celebrating or the yelling when adrenaline is running high. I did think the high five thing was a little excessive. But I also think it's not a big deal. At worst, bench Elijah for one game (leaving him available as a pinch hitter, of course), and move on.

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

If "everything is fine," then Dukes had better shake/slap hands with Acta tonight if the Nats win again. Someone's gotta explain the concept of "in public" and "on camera" to him, if he hasn't already learned it.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 11, 2008 10:31 AM

=====================

I'm a big Dukes fan, but I absolutely agree. I'm the type to do stupid, petty things when I'm pissed off, but I doubt even I would pull a stunt like that on national TV.

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey, dk, welcome to the couscous party

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

dk, watch this from Baseball Tonight:
http://tinyurl.com/6mbjsu

The yelling in the dugout was actually BEFORE the high five incident.

What (presumably) happened was, Dukes celebrated the winning home run a bit too excessively. Manny told him off for it, and it escalated into a bit of a screaming match. Later, Elijah left Manny hanging. (There's a good shot of this, complete with yellow arrow, in the video.)

In talking to the press, Manny totally played the whole incident down. He said they talked it over and everything's cool.

Stay tuned for more details, because I assume Chico will post better info at some point in the day.

Posted by: summary fairy | June 11, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"On Aron Rowland, would he have made a difference this summer is games or would we have just been more entertained?"

The opportunity to view his batting stance alone would have been enough to bring thousands of new season ticket holders into the fold.

Seriously, when will Boswell and the other payroll-is-everything folks realize that short of signing a free agent whose notoriety matches that of Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, there's no one out there who will bring fans to the ballpark by virtue of his name alone? The thousands of people who are not coming to the park now to watch the Milledge-Dukes edition of the Nats lose are the same thousands of people who wouldn't be coming to watch the team lose if they had signed Torii Hunter or Aaron Rowand over the offseason. Winning is everything. It's no coincidence that the highs of attendance here were reached in the one year when the team started strong and had a winning first half of the season. For all the lamentation over the loss of Soriano, people seem to forget that the year he was on the team, attendance was down by over 500,000 from the year before. Fans will come out once the team starts winning, and not before - whether high-priced free agents are signed or not.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 11, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, summary fairy!

How did Tim Redding look last night after the 4th inning?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"what happened between dukes and acta? any1 know? news showed them goin nose to nose in the dugout after the game after dukes refused to slap actas hand following the win. any1 know what happened?

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 10:36 AM "

They were arguing, dk. Dukes was saying "Austin Kearns stinks! He can't carry my jock!" and Manny was saying "Austin Kearns is GOD, mofo!" Can't you read lips?

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 11, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

again, the Post drops the ball. last night's game is immaterial in the long run, the Dukes story is much more important. and the Post, one of the finest papers in the country, doesn't have the story.

sorry Chico, but sorry doesn't cut it here.

Posted by: Dave | June 11, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"Does Zuckerman have a later deadline than Chico or something? Was Chico in the clubhouse after the game?"

Actually, the deadlines for the Washington Times are earlier than the Post's. So, no excuse there. And, yeah, they're both in the clubhouse after every game...or should be.

Posted by: InTheBleachers | June 11, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Remember when a bunch of you were complaining about Ryan Zimmerman's lack of personality in quotes last week? Check out the last line of the Boz column today.

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

excessive celebrating? hmmmm. if this team wants to celebrate like it hasnt won before, which in the last month it hasnt, and wants to celebrate just in case they never get that chance again, which in the nats case seems pretty reasonable, well i dont see a problem with that.

as manny acta said, in what had to be a real shot at bowdon, this is our team.
well our team stinx!! and when they get thrown a bone once a month, damn the torpedos and party up boys!!

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 11:06 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 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the Manny camp on this one. He's not exactly a hothead, right? So if he felt the need to go after a player to make a point, he probably had a point. All that needs to happen now is that Elijah needs to echo what Manny said: We talked, it's over.

In other news, Brian at NFA reports that our 2nd round pick expects to sign. In five years I expect the outfield to consist of Hood in left, Maxwell in center and Burgess in right. (And yes, I'm talking out of my arse, but it's a free country.)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 11, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Exactly, Chico! Listen to your friend Dave! Clearly, the union will crumble due to your lack of coverage of a less-than-15 second argument in a dugout after a long losing streak! To think, an argument in a dugout! Do you know how RARE those are?! And you missed it!! The Post's reputation is ruined, never to be recovered! Now you go to your room and think about what you've done!

Posted by: Chico's Mom | June 11, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather see the gamer than gossip about grudges. I trust Manny to handle Dukes, and if he can't, well, good riddance.

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

I bet it was more about Dukes's turning to the pitcher when he was done with his little handshake thingy with Milledge than being about the celebrating.

Still, especially on away games, they usually don't "celebrate" at all, do they? It's always a high-five or slap on the butt, but that's it.

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

Yeah, but it would have made a juicy notebook.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

again, the Post drops the ball. last night's game is immaterial in the long run, the Dukes story is much more important. and the Post doesn't have the story.
Posted by: Dave | June 11, 2008 10:57 AM

seriously-- talk about whiffing. how do you miss the main story of the game that even the national news has? wow!

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

"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."

Milledge was celebrating way more than Dukes was, and yet you don't see Manny in Milledge's face. Something other than the celebration is at work here. Since Manny has already said that the incident has been resolved, and since the team won't let the press talk to Dukes without his handlers present, it's likely that we'll never know what exactly they were arguing about in the dugout, unless some other player speaks up about it. Was LoDuca anywhere nearby?

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 11, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Initially I was disappointed that Manny appeared to single out Dukes for the handjive celebration with milledge. However it appears that wasn't what caused the rift. According to Zuckerman of the Times, Dukes was taunting/showing up the pitcher as he crossed the plate during Lastings homerun.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Right, Another Biscuit, I think it has to be about something that was perceived as showing up the pitcher. My guess is that even though Manny said publicly, after the last incident with the umpire, that he didn't think Dukes did anything wrong, his private conversation with Dukes said otherwise. I bet this was strike two.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 11, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

My best guess is Manny was saying great hit, great win, but do it with class. Handshakes cool, taunting not so much.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

However it appears that wasn't what caused the rift. According to Zuckerman of the Times,

glad we need to quote the times to get the correct info. this is 2 much.
btw, acta blew it plain and simple. dukes is the only one playin out there. 2 outs game over, who kept the game goin acta? who didnt give up. the kid thats who. next time kneel down before him, kiss his foot and shut the blank up!!!

and oh yea, post writer, try to understand the main story next time! remember, dog bites man not news. man bites dog, news.

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Acta was in Dukes' grill over looking back at the pitcher after the hand-slapping thing, especially after the chest thumping incident last week, where the UMPIRE sought out Acta after the game and publicly said soemthing about it?

seriously, have some of you ever watched a baseball game before? have you ever seen professionals act like 12-year-olds on the field? this is a BIG issue witht he team, and some of you shrug it off. it's not hte celebrating that's the problem. his HOW and WHERE!

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

C'mon, you know darn well this is more than just Manny overreacting to celebrating. Have you read NOTHING about Dukes?
Or Manny, for that matter?
***************

Acta has the worse team in baseball and here he takes issue with how the team celebrates. Please give me a break.

Posted by: mjames | June 11, 2008 11:07 AM

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

guess what? this kind of stuff happens all the time. players/coaches, players/players, coaches/coaches all get in each other's face from time to time. this time, it happened to occur in the dugout. so what? let's move on. manny says it's over. it's over. and since I (nor none of us) were in the dugout, I don't see how we can pick sides on who was right and who was wrong. the only thing wrong was to do it in public. next time, I'm sure they'll walk the three feet into the dugout tunnel and have their 'discussion' there (which, btw, happens ALL the time throughout baseball).

so, tonight we've got Lannan vs Snell. Snell's last three starts: 0-3, 14 IP, 14 ER, 12 BB, 18 SO. let's jump on him early and often and take the first two in the series.

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

And one more thing, if Manny had already mentioned this to Dukes, maybe even more than once, and he STILL did it, that would explain Manny's anger.

I'm sorry mjames, but this team has bent over backwards for Dukes. He has a role in this too.

And besides, what has been the biggest complaint about Manny so far? That he's too calm. So for him to get this upset AND in public, means there's a lot more to it.

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

Has anyone here seen video that shows *the start* of Manny and Elijah's dust-up? Because on the only video I've seen, they are both already in each other's faces.

As a result, unless there's video others have seen that I haven't, I don't see how anyone can pin this on Manny before we hear more. For all you know, Manny could have calmly told Dukes to tone it down, and that could have caused Dukes to go ballistic towards Manny, to which Manny responded. Indeed, knowing Elijah's history, and that Acta is a composed guy, I think that is the much more likely scenario. Manny may yell at players (and with this bunch he should be) but he knows to do that in private. So let's not get ridiculous here in blaming the manager, without more info at the least.

Posted by: Coveraqe is lacking | June 11, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

LMillz is Manny's boy.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 11, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

And besides, what has been the biggest complaint about Manny so far? That he's too calm.
Posted by: NatsNut | June 11, 2008 11:35 AM

exactly. there have been a whole buncha stuff to get po'd about before this that really mattered that the guy never said boo about.
thats the point. maybe acta doesnt get it. maybe he doesnt understand when its important to get mad. this certainly wasnt the time.
ill take dukes anyday. acta hasnt shown much so far. what exactly has he done?
this team stinx!!
but at least it has its equal in the reporting.
perfect.

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

I'm not that concerned with how Manny handles, or has handles, this Dukes thing. What I'm more worried about is when is Manny going to take Ayala out of the 8th inning role?
There aren't great alternatives but surely he can cobble a couple of innings out of some combination of Rivera, Hanrahan, Sanches, Manning, or even Colome.

Posted by: CapHill | June 11, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Sorry - would the bending over backwards be the one strike policy? Or the "we'll cut him if he messes up?" threat?

Posted by: "Bent Over Backwards" | June 11, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, this needs to remain private. We need to not ever know what happened. We need it to stay over as far as we know. A well run team does not air its dirty laundry to the press.

"We had a talk and it's over"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

btw last time i looked the nats had won exactly 2--thats T W O---- games in the last couple of weeks. and oh yea, who was the person responsible for those wins???
exactly.
thank you.

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

btw ill be back in a couple of minutes. wanna go hit up the wash times to see if i missed any more news. bwahahahahahah. nice.

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

Two problems with the Manny/Dukes dust up.

First, why do it publicly? Unless Manny thinks Dukes needed a public upbraiding then it made no sense not to show Dukes up AFTER he had just pulled your bacon out of the fire.

Second, situation. Would anyone here be in the least bit upset with Manny if he gave it to Flop with both barrels after another lazy trot to first? But why after a cathartic win featuring two players of whom much has been expected and little received does he decide its time to blow up?

My guess is frustration at having to take crap from the Dukes celebration last week and seeing his backroom admonition ignored. Totally plausible.


Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | June 11, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sorry - would the bending over backwards be the one strike policy? Or the "we'll cut him if he messes up?" threat?

Posted by: "Bent Over Backwards" | June 11, 2008 11:42 AM

====================

This is the "He's a kid with a TON of potential, so we're willing to endure a few growing pains" policy. Same goes for Lastings Milledge. There's a little immaturity to be ironed out, but nothing to worry about in the long run. At the moment, yes. We're bending backwards. This is what it takes.

The plans you mention ("one strike" and "cut him when he messes up") are in reference to off-field troubles: death threats, assault and battery cases, women suing, etc. On those counts, I think we're doing fine so far.

Give the kid a break! Key word: KID. Or don't give him a break, and bench him for a game. How would you have held up to the kind of spotlight he's under at the age of 23, with his background or not? I'd rather see him here, where his biggest problems are whom to high-five after exciting come-from-behind wins, than back in the Tampa legal system.

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

listen manny cant give it to any of the washington reds players----aks, flop, pena, cause those are bowdens boys. any other reds flunkies we can grab--ray knight, boone? so what that lopez flies out with the bases loaded to end the game or kearns hits into a 1-6-3 double play to squelch a rally ot pena turns a routine fly into a triple. no biggie. instead hammer the young player who is busting his butt out there and actually producing. yea good idea.
perfect.

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

I love how people are ragging on Manny, when no one here, in the ballpark, or writers that cover the team even know what happened. Most have assumed, based on a pieced together t.v. replay, that they know why Manny went at Dukes and in classic NJ fashion have taken that and run with it. I'm GUESSING it was something significant enough in Mannys eyes to react the way he did. If it was for taunting, i applaud him.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys, we've beaten the Dukes/Acta thing to death, and until there is some more light shed everybody knows everybody's opinion.

So to change gears:

There seems to be a consensus that Ayala has vastly underperformed in the "set-up" (aka 8th inning man on a losing team) role; therefore, how this. We seem pretty stocked for starting pitching and who knows what FA may join up this winter; therefore, move Rauch back to the 8th and groom Hanrahan for the closer's role. Unless Chief proves that he isn't completely shot, he seems potentially lights out if he can take care of his command and pound the lower half of the strike zone consistently. He has an electric (albeit, sometimes flat) fastball and a plus slider aka Papelbon Light. If he knew that all he had to get was 3-outs maybe he would attack hitters more consistently. On the flip side, Rauch could've thrown the ball into a thimble last night and his trade value greatly deminishes if he is moved out of the 9th inning role (but, he probably wouldn't close on a contending team anyways).

Long story short: Hanrahan (Papelbon light) could be the closer of the future.

Thoughts?

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

People always say background. Give someone a break because of their background. Here's the thing: plenty of people the world over, not just in this country, grow up in shoite situations, but when they reach adulthood, or something approximating it, they don't go ballistic. They don't issue threats, they don't beat other people. Same with sports. Most know not to celebrate excessively, taunt other players on opposing teams, show up their own managers.

Posted by: samantha7 | June 11, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see the taunting. Did see Milledge try to execute a complicated celebration. Did see Milledge appear to console Dukes in the outfield at the start of the next inning.

Dukes may not know how to act, but he will learn. Acta is showing that he can teach during the course of the season. I think Milledge is learning to play better defense. I think Dukes will learn to celebrate with more respect.

Taunting is never appropriate - even as retaliation for previous slights (I have no reason to believe there was a previous slight). If that is what he did, then stop that. On the other hand, we don't know if Dukes and Capps might not have faced each other somewhere else along the way in the minors or winter ball. Might there be more to the story?

Regarding Acta, he's the boss. Whatever he says goes. Right or wrong. Do what the boss says.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 11, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

With Dukes, we're talking about a guy who in the past--in addition to his off-field "personal" problems--has choked a teammate and gotten into physical altercations with coaches.

I think most people around here want Dukes to succeed. I know I do--both for his own sake, and as a Nats fan, because Dukes has real talent. But people who dismiss this story by pointing to things like "this happens in baseball" or "Dukes has been responsible for our last 2 wins so give him a break" are missing the point about Dukes' history. He simply won't be able to stay in baseball if he can't control his anger. Which would be too bad for him, and for all of us.

There is no information out there that Manny went after Dukes first. If he calmly said something to Dukes and Elijah exploded (which IMO is more likely), that's a problem for Dukes and shows continuing issues with managing his anger.

I think people are concerned about this largely because who was involved, and it is an issue. I think people want Dukes to turn things around, and are concerned that incidents like this show that he might not be.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 11, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

heres my question, the nats are the worst team in baseball. if you go back and read all the posts and scribes prior to the season, we were supposed to have a better team this year than last.

so i ask you, who is to blame? lerner, bowden, acta, kastan, the players?

thoughts?

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Time to head over to the chat everybody.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 11, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Toolsy makes a good point. And so did Gal Revels (Levale?) before. Without further illumination on the situation, it is reasonable at this point to trust Manny's judgment in rebuking Dukes when and where he did. It is not reasonable to assume you know what they were talking about or even who started it. As a lot of people have said, a tiff like this one, which lasted all of ten seconds, is not out of the ordinary. Let it go. Let's talk about something else.

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the Ayala bashing. He's had a couple of bad outings lately. Heck, who hasn't on this club?

Before his blow-up on Saturday against the Giants, here's Ayala's last 10 appearances (5/14-6/5):

10 APP; 10.2 IP; 4 H; 1 ER; 1 BB; 8 SO; 6 for 6 in Holds.

Oh yeah, the Nats went 9-1 in those 10 games.

Posted by: e | June 11, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

for those that didn't see it, it's available here:
http://bottomfeederbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/06/for-all-apologists.html

what Dukes did that pissed off Manny was cross his arms and look over his shoulder at the pitcher, disrespecting him ON THE FIELD OF PLAY. that is a very big no-no in the world of sports. do your dissin' in private. it's especially egregious (bad, for the uneducated) to do it on the visiting field.

as for those saying get off Dukes' back cause he's one of the few trying? give me a break. he's accountable for his actions--good and bad.

Yay for doubling with two outs in the ninth. Boo for taunting the pitcher and raising his manager's ire during the game.

Posted by: Dave | June 11, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ow! Ow! Quit it!

Posted by: Dead Horse | June 11, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I think that we should bat Dukes lead-off tonight. That way, we are guaranteed to begin the game with a man on first.

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

cross his arms and look over his shoulder at the pitcher, disrespecting him ON THE FIELD OF PLAY

are you freakin kiddin me. boo freakin hoo.

he crossed his arms. wow. call the police. hey ive seen roger clemens throw a bat at a player from the pitchers mound and all any1 talked about was his competitive nature.
he crossed his arms. well call out the national guard. what a buncha pansies.

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

Ow! Ow! Quit it!

Posted by: Dead Horse | June 11, 2008 12:08 PM

*********************

I think that we should bat Dukes lead-off tonight. That way, we are guaranteed to begin the game with a man on first.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 11, 2008 12:10 PM

*********************

hahahhaha

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

he crossed his arms.

did he hurt the poor pitchers feelings by crossing his arms. at least he didnt pull out a sharpie and sign home plate like to woulda done.
get real.

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

really, dk, i think we've had enough.

go read the chat.

Posted by: everyone else | June 11, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

While I agree with the comments about Nationals.com and it's "house organ" policy, get off Ladson's fanny here. He's not covering this series. So someone else glossed it over.

Posted by: Anon 3:16 | June 11, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I can see it now! Dukes gets benched or cut for celebrating. Put the the steroids issue aside we have a real problem with celebrating. I am glad Manny is leading the charge in trying to clean up the game and rid it of these guys who look at pitchers, umps and who, God forbid, celebrate. This purist BS is just that - BS. So what if Dukes looked at the pitcher. Manny R watches everyone of his home runs. Bonds did the same thing. I have seen pitchers fist pump after a strike out. If do not see what the problem is with looking at the pitcher. The umpire last week blew a strike call - plane and simple. Dukes got the hit despite the ump's efforts. The ump got PO'd at Dukes for this. I do not know who started this stupidity but Acta did the most damage. Dukes has problems. Some might say he is emotionally injured. If that is case you watch how you manage such a guy. You give this guy the stick behind closed doors. You do not do it in public.

Posted by: mjames | June 11, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

did he hurt the poor pitchers feelings by crossing his arms. at least he didnt pull out a sharpie and sign home plate like to woulda done.
get real.
Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 12:14 PM

HaHaHa. Now that's pretty funny. I'd like to see someone do that.

Posted by: Potomac Jeff | June 11, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

yea who cares about steroids and greenies and corked bats exploding when we have real issues like players staring at each other and crossing their arms.
wheres mitchell when you really need him?

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

He didn't cross his arms at the pitcher, he turned and tipped his cap.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | June 11, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks GaW, I agree, enough about the tiff until we get more info (if we do). It appears they would like this to go away. What i'm most happy about today is the win and the way we won. After giving up the lead, after we came back,it could have been deflating. i know it was for me watching last night. I know if I was saying "here we go again", its safe to think the team would too, but the didn't. They came through in the, wait for it.....clutch (hehe) and i don't about know about anyone else but that was awesome to watch. Sadly after about two weeks of futility(actually the whole season), i've resigned myself to losing. So when Lastings bust a Capps in the Pirates A$$ i went nuts last night. 5 homers, in a word, Awesome!

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

After last night, this is not where i wanted this story to go, especially since i'm on the Dukes bandwagon and am rooting for the guy (im with Manny on this one though).

From Zuckerman:

"This much I am certain of: Despite the Nationals' best efforts to try to get Dukes to turn his life and his baseball career around, there are plenty of people in that clubhouse who simply don't believe it's going to happen, are fed up with the outfielder's actions and would wholeheartedly support his removal from the roster. That said, there are several people in that same clubhouse who have grown to like Dukes very much and believe he's on the right track."


Uhhhh not good, not what i want to hear at this stage of the season, not after a win like that. Wow nice carry over from a great win last night, really.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how many of Dukes's detractors are white and how many of his supporters are black?

Where's Reverand Jackson? We got a live one!

Posted by: Al Sharpton | June 11, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Uuuuuuugh.

Top reliever again blows lead to bad team.

Player gets big hit, his buddy gets go-ahead homer.

Player is pumped up and cheers, may or may not try to show up the pitcher.

_________________

Manager and Player have a brief exchange.

_________________

Manager and Player scream at each other when both tempers snap.

Manager says it has been talked about and it is over.

Fans conclude it is the apocalypse.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

To Toolsy and Zuckerman:

Wow! That's some hard-hitting news! Some players want him gone and some want hom to stay. Guess what? You can go into each and every clubhouse in the majors and each one will have some players that want one player to leave and the other players want that same player to stay. Nothing new. Not a news story.

Posted by: e | June 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

there are plenty of people in that clubhouse who are fed up with the outfielder's actions and would wholeheartedly support his removal from the roster.

well until those peeps are batting over .300, tell them to shut their yaps and get a freakin hit. how bout that?

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it's fair to point out to Chico that Barry had an extra set of eyes implanted surgically so that he would never miss something while typing and retyping and retyping.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Post of the day

And that's saying something with this thread
-----------------------------------

I think that we should bat Dukes lead-off tonight. That way, we are guaranteed to begin the game with a man on first.

Posted by: Corey | June 11, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, lets please not go there. If we're going to have this discussion, let it be about baseball etiquette, and not a black/white issue. I'm black i support Dukes in the sense of turning his life around primarily, help this team win secondarily. That being said class is class no matter what. I'd like to root guys whom carry themselves it that manner. Yes i'd like for this team, any team that i root for, to have great talented players. My hope is that they carry themselves with a bit of dignity in how the approach their jobs and the opponent. No Terrell Owens please.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I saw that, 506.

Posted by: NR Svrluga | June 11, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

To Toolsy and Zuckerman:

Wow! That's some hard-hitting news! Some players want him gone and some want hom to stay. Guess what? You can go into each and every clubhouse in the majors and each one will have some players that want one player to leave and the other players want that same player to stay. Nothing new. Not a news story.

Posted by: e | June 11, 2008 12:38 PM

_________________

Thank you, wise and all knowing of the inner workings of a professional clubhouse. Thank your for you having bestowed upon me your knowledge of all things basebell, nee life. I guess i'll leave this blog a better man today.

Posted by: Toolsy | June 11, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I guess i'll leave this blog a better man today.

Posted by: Toolsy | June 11, 2008 1:04 PM

-----

We can all only aspire to do as much!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't blame Chico for missing the bruhaha in the dugout because he was busy typing his gamer. No, I blame the WaPo because they only allow one beat writer to cover this team. Imagine what the coverage would be like if they opened their pocket books a little and hired a second set of eyes? If they can't afford to hire someone, isn't that what interns are for?

Posted by: e | June 11, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, wise and all knowing of the inner workings of a professional clubhouse. Thank your for you having bestowed upon me your knowledge of all things basebell, nee life. I guess i'll leave this blog a better man today.

Posted by: Toolsy | June 11, 2008 1:04 PM
---------------------------------
You're welcome.

Oh, wait, were you trying to be snarky or just a jerk? If the former, keep trying. If the latter, congratulations!

Posted by: e | June 11, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't blame Chico for missing the bruhaha in the dugout because he was busy typing his gamer.

times only had 1 reporter and he didnt miss it. next.

btw as far as starin at the pitcher, ty cobb woulda taken off his cleat and hurled it at the guy. b fd.

Posted by: dk | June 11, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Can the Nats get a credit on those Anger Management Classes that Dukes took?

Posted by: Manny A | June 11, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, wait, were you trying to be snarky or just a jerk? If the former, keep trying. If the latter, congratulations!"

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

By the way, this deserved a tip of the hat:

They were arguing, dk. Dukes was saying "Austin Kearns stinks! He can't carry my jock!" and Manny was saying "Austin Kearns is GOD, mofo!" Can't you read lips?

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 11, 2008 10:52 AM

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Posted by: | June 11, 2008 1:12 PM

-----

I thought we concluded we were leaving race out of this, anon.

Disclosure: I bombed at the Apollo

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

To follow up on the chat. Specifically the Dukes "over the top" business.

I am the last one to criticize umpires, but those very obvious bad HR calls last week definitely gave the players room to think that they had found a chink in the armor. Additionally, I saw a player (don't remember which game) jaw at an umpire after a (correct) call on a strike 3 in the SuperRegionals. The blue didn't dump him, which is what he should have done (by any standard, much less NCAA). Nothing exists in a vacuum and, although that incident was college ball, the players begin to think that they have more latitude with the arbiters.

Just like the pharmaceutical stuff, I think that Bud the Stupid probably needs to do some cracking down (yeah, like that is going to happen).

Posted by: Catcher50 | June 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

players in clubhouse that would like to see Dukes gone = Kearns, Langerhans, Pena, and Mackowiak (b4 being cut)...

Posted by: expo_ram | June 11, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm inspired by an off-handed comment made by dk (the broken record with the intermittent shift key).

Who here would want Ty Cobb on this team if he were around today? Sure, he's one of the greatest players of all time, but, well, he could have used a few anger management classes himself. He once jumped into the stands and pummeled a fan in a wheelchair because the man had called him a "n***** lover."

Anyway, if you want to play the troubled childhood card, his mom shot his dad when he was 16.

So who on this blog would put Ty Cobb in our lineup if he were available today?

Posted by: mmm metal spikes | June 11, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

ABM: "Fans will come out once the team starts winning, and not before - whether high-priced free agents are signed or not."

Yes, that's numb of the problem, unless DC fans turn out to have the patience of Cubs fans and turn out anyway because its a social event.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | June 11, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with what Elijah Dukes did last night.

Posted by: Terrell Owens | June 11, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Acta should have sent him to the showers, instead of back out onto the field.

Posted by: Section 222 | June 11, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Section 117: Hi, Chico,

Looking ahead to this winter's free agent class, given the Nats' revenues proving that they're a big-market team that can afford a $100 million player payroll, how does this sound for FA targets?

1B -- Teixeira

2B -- Loretta

SS -- Furcal or Eckstein

OF -- Burrell and/or Dunn

Yes, Loretta's 36, but he's remarkably consistent when it comes to career OBP (.362) and he plays steady defense. Definitely an under-the-radar guy. Everyone else is relatively young (no one older than 32 I think) and also good career OBP (no lower than .350).

Chico Harlan: That sounds like an expensive .500 team.

Posted by: Chat Highlight | June 11, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, that's numb of the problem, unless DC fans turn out to have the patience of Cubs fans and turn out anyway because its a social event."

You obviously haven't been to any games at Nationals Park. The "social event" fans are already there.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 11, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

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

*******************************************

Great post, mjames. We have Dukes to thank that there was no dugout fight. We have Manny to thank for an ugly display that will, without a miraculous and heart-felt clubhouse apology, create a racial split in the clubhouse,which, if you read Zuckerman, has already happened.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This one needs a nomination as well
_________________
players in clubhouse that would like to see Dukes gone = Kearns, Langerhans, Pena, and Mackowiak (b4 being cut)...

Posted by: expo_ram | June 11, 2008 1:18 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | June 11, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"You obviously haven't been to any games at Nationals Park. The "social event" fans are already there."

And by the time you hit the seventh inning, they're already starting to leave.

Posted by: i stay till the end. always. | June 11, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

For me, the best part of the fight clip is Jesus Flores, standing awkwardly in the foreground looking with confusion around the dugout as if to say, "What is happening here?!?!" Poor Jesus.

Posted by: Atlanta | June 11, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I asked this question in the chat but Chico ducked it. How do the African-American players not see this as a racist outburst by Manny, scapegoating one of their own by a manager who's mad at one of his own -"Louie"? How is this not a macho, stoic Dominican being intolerant of another culture's innocent celebration? If it was the celebration, why didn't he go after Milledge? Huge public (in front of the team and then the camera) apologies are owed by Manny to Dukes, and a private meeting with the African-American players may save the clubhouse. And Manny may want to read the Book of James: "Be slow to anger, for nothing good comes of human wrath."

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh your assumption that Manny is being blatantly racist sounds more blatantly racist to me than anything Manny did.

You really presume to know what this argument was about?

Posted by: 228 | June 11, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If the kid can hit, you must acquit!

Posted by: Jackie Chiles | June 11, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

So who on this blog would put Ty Cobb in our lineup if he were available today?

Posted by: mmm metal spikes | June 11, 2008 1:19 PM
*******************************************
you mean Ty Cobb = Manny?

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"And by the time you hit the seventh inning, they're already starting to leave."

Except for the ones whose planned entry at the top of the third got delayed by a Metro derailment. They're still filing in.

Honestly, I have seen people climbing up to their seats in the Upper IF Gallery for the first time in the fifth and sixth inning. And it's not because they're moving up to better seats.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 11, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I went to answer my own question since Tim Redding's performance is now completely irrelevant. One doesn't need to care about starting pitching if there's a player-manager fight, after all. I learned from Wolf Blitzer that it's only the biggest drama that matters, not the overall "situation."

Bottom of the 1st, Pirates Batting, Tied 0-0, Tim Redding facing 1-2-3
2B, 6-3, 1B, HR, BB, F8, K
3 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB. Nationals 0, Pirates 3.

Bottom of the 2nd, Pirates Batting, Ahead 3-0, Tim Redding facing 8-9-1
1B, GDP 5-6-4, [2nd time through order] 4-3
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Nationals 0, Pirates 3.

Bottom of the 3rd, Pirates Batting, Ahead 3-0, Tim Redding facing 2-3-4
K, F8, 2B, 6-3

Bottom of the 4th, Pirates Batting, Ahead 3-0, Tim Redding facing 6-7-8
F7, 5-3, 1B, 1-3
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Nationals 0, Pirates 3.

Bottom of the 5th, Pirates Batting, Ahead 3-1, Tim Redding facing 1-2-3
[3rd time through the order] 4-3, 1B, K-CS
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Nationals 1, Pirates 3.

Bottom of the 6th, Pirates Batting, Ahead 3-1, Tim Redding facing 4-5-6
HR, 5-3, F8, F7
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Nationals 1, Pirates 4.
Pinch hit by Lopez for Redding

First time through the order: 4 for 8, .500
Second time through the order: 2 for 9, .222
Third time through the order: 2 for 7, .286

Now you know you won't hear me call that solved based on such paltry numbers, but it is the best outing he's had for awhile.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Felipe Lopez can walk down to first on every groundball he hits and Austin Kearns can hit south of .200 for the better part of six weeks and nothing is said, but Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes win ballgames and get dressed down?

Defend their rights! They say JimBow, we say hell no!

Posted by: The Justice League | June 11, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie's comment is so ridiculously over the top, there should be a BS meter on here that automatically weeds out moronic statements like that.

Posted by: what a tool | June 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the biggest news is:
"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."

MILLEDGE? clam him down? does this not show how far the team has come? shouldn't they get SOME kudos for this?

Posted by: SF Fan | June 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree, 506, that this was one of Redding's better outings in awhile.

And, if the 1B ump calles Bay out at first like he should have, who knows how this game turns out ...

Posted by: e | June 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

506 - Looking at your lines, I wonder if Redding changed his approach the first time through last night in order to compensate for his previous difficulties. It would be nice to know pitch selection ( not that I'm asking you to compile that as well!)

Posted by: lowcountry | June 11, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"You really presume to know what this argument was about?"

Actually, I'm just assuming they were filming a follow-up commercial to those Lou Piniella and the umpire commercials that run during Fox and ESPN games. (Another example of the power of good advertising. I remember the commercials but haven't a clue what the product is that they're trying to sell.) Here's the actual dialogue from last night's shoot:

MANNY: We only have a minute here, so let's get this on the first take, okay?

ELIJAH: You dead, dawg, if you think I can't do that.

MANNY: So where are you and Dmitri chowing down after the game?

ELIJAH: I dunno. Is that Primanti Bros any good?

MANNY: Yeah, but it's no Ben's Chili Bowl. Yo, Pena, that's your cue to come in and pretend to break us apart..

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

GRiP - my guess is Manny went after Dukes when the team went ahead rather than Lopez last week was because sometimes managers don't want to jump on guys who are already down. They wait until there is some success and then prick the overinflated bubble. Belichick in particular is notorious for this.

Posted by: PTBNL | June 11, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

the blogger on the Times had pitch selection ...

***********
506 - Looking at your lines, I wonder if Redding changed his approach the first time through last night in order to compensate for his previous difficulties. It would be nice to know pitch selection ( not that I'm asking you to compile that as well!)

Posted by: lowcountry | June 11, 2008 1:48 PM

Posted by: postings is lacking | June 11, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

For crying out loud, how did the Dukes/Acta thing become a racial issue?

I find it utterly ridiculous that speculation some how starts to become fact over time. Why don't we all relax and see what happens here. I'm quite confident it will all sort itself out.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | June 11, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Zuckerman had a chat today too. Nothing more on Manny/Dukes than has already been covered here. Other (minor) news: The Nats like Mock and he'll probably be back up at some point later in the year. Manning is not regarded as strictly a LOOGY because he's getting righties out, something Ray King was not doing. The Nats will probably go above slot to sign their draft picks, perhaps not all of them like last year, but anybody they think they really need. (Note to team: That would be all of them.) Lots of injuries, yes, but no reason to blame those on the trainers given how they happened. Are trades coming? Probably not until closer to the deadline. Then, Guzman and Belliard may draw some interest. The team has been shopping FLop since Spring Training and has found no takers. (Shocked! Shocked!) Rauch may be too valuable to trade even if Cordero comes back. That's about it.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 11, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"And Manny may want to read the Book of James: "Be slow to anger, for nothing good comes of human wrath.""

flynnie, after Manny gets done with it, see if you can borrow it for yourself. You go from zero to nuts faster than anyone around here.

By the way, great prediction on Belliard last night:

"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"

Could you please rant hysterically about Lannan before tonight's game? Let's go for two in a row!

Posted by: joebleux | June 11, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that Zuckerman session about blows the doors off Chatting With Chico.

Posted by: Barry's Kid | June 11, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

from MLB.com:

Acta did not return a phone message, while Dukes and Bowden weren't available for comment.

It's the third time in less than a week that Acta, who is usually a patient man, has displayed his emotions with a player in public. Last Friday against the Giants at Nationals Park, Acta came out of the dugout and spoke heatedly with right-hander Jason Bergmann after the latter had walked opposing pitcher Tim Lincecum with the bases loaded.

A few minutes later, Bergmann threw a slider up in the zone and Jose Castillo deposited it over the right-center-field wall for a three-run homer. After the inning ended, Acta showed his emotions again. He was upset that catcher Jesus Flores called that particular pitch against Castillo, and told the catcher so in the dugout. Acta believed Bergmann should have used his curveball, which is his best pitch.

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I kind of think one of the reason it seems that Manny pounds on Dukes rather than others is precisely because Dukes f-ups have been after wins. He probably will not pound on guys who are / should be down after a failure. Again, kind of like Belichick pounding on Brady or Vrabel. Dukes is a little young, and has had anger management issues, and probably does not get that he is the one taking the fall for team-wide f-ups because he has provided the high points, thus the explosion.

Posted by: PTBNL | June 11, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

this:

"what happened between dukes and acta? any1 know? news showed them goin nose to nose in the dugout after the game after dukes refused to slap actas hand following the win. any1 know what happened?"

followed by this:

"seriously-- talk about whiffing. how do you miss the main story of the game that even the national news has? wow!"

= pure comedy

dk is a comedic genius.

in honor of dk, and the nats 1 game win streak, i will no longer use capital letters (sorry to sorta steal you bit, bob l.).

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 11, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for staying above the fray 506 and joebleux and Mr. Head.

Posted by: Toolsy McClutch | June 11, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Haha LDO that's a perfect homage to dk.

Since you have capital letters in your signature, you do use the shift key. It's just... sporadic.

Posted by: sparky | June 11, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

DK, IS A TERRIBEL POSTER. IN PROTEST I WILL ALWAY U'S CAPITOL LETTERS!!!!

[Hopefully, there's a few posts in there to make sure the true dk contradictory posts homage works out. Though not too many, so that no one has to scroll down to see the opposite thing stated a tick earlier. ~ 506]

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho Halloween Costume | June 11, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yessssss, nailed it and in a way that disproved poor Toolsy who thinks I have some sort of maturity. Mr. McClutch, Bob L. and joebleux are two of the real professionals around here, I never deserve to be listed in their company!

Thought it was interesting that Zuckerman claimed Mock made a better impression, am I right in saying we all feel the opposite?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

dk is a comedic genius.
----------
You go from zero to nuts faster than anyone around here.
----------

Wow, this is getting brutal!

After a rare win, we get confused and flustered. With no miserable players to pick on, we can only survive by turning our wrath toward our fellow NJ posters.

I wonder if we can get a fight going? And I hope WMP lurks here so he can break it up before it gets really ugly.

Posted by: instigator | June 11, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

A strange explanation of the flap from Ladson:

"WASHINGTON -- In the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday's game between the Nationals and Pirates, TV cameras showed Nationals manager Manny Acta dressing down outfielder Elijah 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."


Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 11, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

What??

Ladson is positively indecipherable.

Posted by: and his grammar is awful | June 11, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Bob, that would explain the hiney-smack that then escalated to a confrontation...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Shocker! Gibberish from Ladson!

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 11, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"A few minutes later, Acta, Dukes and general manager Jim Bowden had a closed-door meeting and settled the issue."

So that would be like Dukes is the student, Acta is the teacher, and they both get called down to the principal's office after class. Except the analogy breaks down faster than an Ayala relief appearance as soon as you start trying to imagine Bowden as the principal.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 11, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Ladson's take makes a bit oif sense. When Dukes came back into the dugout, Manny wasn't waiting for him to give him an earful. Dukes was slapping hands with everybody and reached over to tap Manny on the bum. Manny turned around and appeared to try to give Eli some love, but he had made his way down to the other end of the bench. Maybe this is where Dukes stews a bit and gets bitter at his skipper and hilarity ensues.

Who knows? This scenario would be a LOT more palatable than the others that have been discussed.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 11, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I think this is perfect.

After all our discussions of traumatic childhoods and latent racism and hopeless immaturity and last chances, it was just an innocent misunderstanding over a handshake.

For all we know, they had settled it by the end of the game, and when Elijah didn't give Manny a high five he was kidding around. All we see is the back of his head; he could be grinning.

I like this explanation.

Posted by: girl at work | June 11, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Bob L - Thanks, at last an explanation. Let's hope that the closed door meeting with JimBow repairs the damage.

joebleux-you are absolutely correct in that I was completely, and now joyously wrong about Belliard, but you left out that I was right about Flippie playing and hitting.

I always enjoy your posts - and thanks for the admonition re: anger. I wasn't angry- just alarmed. I love the team, just love it.

I loved Manny - until last week, when he got in Bergmann's face, and then last night was just, well, inexplicable. it's hard to love a bully. I've been pulling for Elijah. It looked like he was coming around. His teammates, especially Lastings and Dmitri, seem to really like him. (Remembeer the gatorade bath Lastings gave him after the walk-off?)

I have seen racial divides in clubhouses become irreperable for less than this. It needs to be addressed. "The human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9

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

The scenario just doesn't seem to jibe with the video, which has Manny holding up two fingers and (I think) pointing to his eyes, and then gesturing towards home and towards the pitcher. It looked a lot more like "don't you dare show up the pitcher by glaring at him when you cross the plate" than it did like "sorry I didn't shake your hand when you came into the dugout."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 11, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Bob L. for the Zuckerman recap.

Also, last night Nationals Enquirer posted a link on here to the now-infamous Manny-Elijah dustup. I thought that was cool of them.

There's a Barry S. sighting today. He's on E3 of the paper edition, having written a featurette about one of the top U.S. women's gymnasts.

Posted by: samantha7 | June 11, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

wait, flynnie, are you actually calling manny a "bully?" based on 1-2 moments when he got in a guy's face for not performing (and to be fair, bergmann was "not performing" spectacularly)?

Posted by: 231 | June 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Good to see you're still in yesterday's form, 506.

Other than the pitch he hung in the sixth that was promptly deposited in the right field bleachers, I'd say Redding seemed to get better as he went deeper. The numbers you provide seem to back that up.

I wonder how much it has to do with pitch count.

-----

I thought we concluded we were leaving race out of this, anon.

Disclosure: I bombed at the Apollo

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Or he could have been animatedly explaining to a non-understanding Eli that he was still watching a tight game in the top of the 9th.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 11, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing better to do with my work day than watch the BT video over and over and over, scouring it for every last detail. And I have a question for the general masses. After the lack of high five, Manny smiles. Is it a "Haha remember that silly fight we had over handshakes; I'm glad it's over!" smile? Or a "I can't believe you just did that on camera; I feel horribly awkward!" smile?

Posted by: 228 | June 11, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, dang, flynnie, it takes all the fun out of zinging you if you go and get all disarming on me...

Acutally, I agree with you re: Bergmann -- Jason's problems seem to stem from a lack of confidence, and I don't know that having the manager dress you down on the pitcher's mound is the best cure for that.

Still very pro-Manny, though.

Posted by: joebleux | June 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much it has to do with pitch count.

-----

Yeah, I didn't have time to load up game day and check that. But I'd love to hear.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to believe that Eli was just making a funny when he didn't shake Manny's hand after the game, but if the issue was settled at that point, a post-game meeting with Bowden wouldn't have been necessary.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 11, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

It's a hard read, 228, but I actually took it to be Acta's aknoweldegement that he had a problem he needed to address, if that makes any sense.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 11, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

231 - what would you call it? You see any other managers publicly screaming in their players' faces, since Gibbons fist-fight with Hillenbrand that got Gibbons fired?
It's not good.

Bob L - I think the team explanation about a handshake is corporate crap which to quote Jimmy Tango, would be "a lot more palatable than those discussed."

JoeBleux - you deserve the props for your posts. Doesn't Manny's screaming fits concern you? I mean, Manny was cool, that's one reason why we liked him.

And Wigi, you were the first to spot this, quickly followed by lowcountry and other posters while the Post was silent. Thanks for scooping our host paper, and sending the rest of us to watch Baseball Tonight!

Posted by: flynnie | June 11, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The thing is, Maholm got through six innings with a pitch count in the low sixties (I think 61 or 62). Even after Meat's homer in the seventh, the Pittsburgh announcers were wondering aloud whether Maholm we be allowed to bat for himself in the eighth (he was due up to hit second).

He really only made two mistakes in the seventh, too. It's hard to blame Maholm for the Flores dinger - Jesus just made somthing out of a pitch (Maholm's 71st of the game) low and in. I don't even think it was a strike.

But the look on Maholm's face after giving up the Belliard homer was just one of shock.

-----

Yeah, I didn't have time to load up game day and check that. But I'd love to hear.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 11, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Pittsburgh feed on Extra Innings, so I'm not sure many of you heard what I heard.

When Milledge reached the dugout, he let loose a stream of profanities so loud that either the game mic or Bautista - who was wearing a mic at third - was able to pick up pretty clearly.

Honestly, it just sounded like a big, dirty sigh of relief.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

manny got himself under control real quick. it seemed to me that dukes was challenging him after he had final word in the dugout. at this point manny is doing his job, dukes is not. totally understandable why manny flipped.

that smile aftwards had the "okay MFer, okay. i know who's job is on the line here though" kinda look to it. but he made sure to give the next guy in line the right look as if it didn't affect him.

manny is class act. dukes will adjust or he won't. i'm definitely pulling for him but doubt i would ever take his side over manny's.

it is very apparent that most people here prefer to side with players over management or ownership. for some reason i find that hard to do in most cases.

Posted by: longterm | June 11, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

How many sell-outs have the sub-.500 Nats had this year?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 11, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Tim Redding, pitches by inning:

1st: 28 pitches, 2 pickoff attempts

2nd: 11 pitches

3rd: 14 pitches

4th: 9 pitches

5th: 15 pitches

6th: 19 pitches

96 pitches, averaging 16 pitches per inning. Perhaps his efficiency in innings 2-4 allowed him to be more effective in the his last two innings.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Clint Must Go! Clint Must Go! Clint Must Go!

Posted by: A Subject Where We Can All Agree | June 11, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Over 250k more in attendance than the 1-game over .500 O's.

One of 13 teams north of a million for the year.

Posted by: Stat Boy | June 11, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"How many sell-outs have the sub-.500 Nats had this year?"

One. Which is one more than the Orioles have if you don't count games they play in Fenway South or Yankee Stadium South, known the rest of the season as OPACY.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 11, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if we covered this last week, but when Manny PHed Redding for Bergmann, was that a signal not only for the bench, but Bergmann also? I mean, it would make sense if he was going to put in Redding in long relief, but Colome went in. So Redding is now a backup pinch hitter?

Posted by: SF Fan | June 11, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

okay, hard for me to side with anything from O's executives.

Posted by: longterm | June 11, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

When Manny dressed down Bergmann last week, that wasn't a screaming fit. Last night's altercation with Dukes wasn't a "screaming fit", either. I doubt Manny screams. Maybe he yelled last night, or rose his voice, but these haven't been "fits". And I agree with longterm, I can't see taking player sides over the manager's, especially not with this manager.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

flynnie, being a bully is a personality trait. if in over two hundred games, manny's done that, what, once? i don't call that being a bully. i call that a guy who just couldn't take the poor performance he was seeing any more and showing his anger publicly.

was he wrong to do that? i don't know. trust me, i've seen *plenty* of managers do similar things in my 30+ years of watching baseball. it's not something that never ever happens. and it's only something i might consider an issue if he did it regularly. but once in 200+ games? eh, i'm not going to get my panties in a wad over it. especially because jason probably knew manny was right in what he was saying (even if some might disagree with his delivery).

Posted by: 231 | June 11, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Though on Bergmann, I seem to recall that both last year and earlier this year a swift kick in the rear was what worked best. As Chief Gymnastics Beat Writer Barry S often said, Bergmann's got major league stuff, but he sometimes gets in his own way.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | June 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow.

With this many posts, it's almost feels like it's the Redskins blog.... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | June 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

New

Posted by: Post | June 11, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Chief Gymnastics Beat Writer" - lol

It's a good story, really! Gymnast in question isn't one with her name in [gymnastics] news all the time, either.

Posted by: samantha7 | June 11, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Bob L. re. the official explanation not seeming to jibe with the video.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 11, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

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