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The implications of a lineup card

"Accountability" is one of those words preached my most managers and demanded by most fans -- but its application is often difficult to measure. That's especially true in baseball, where the lineup changes almost every day, subject not just to who's playing well, but also who's pitching, who needs a rest, etc. If a lineup is used simply as a vehicle for sending a message to somebody not performing, intentions can backfire; the entire lineup can be hindered.

But it's worth watching with particular interest tonight how the Nationals fill out their lineup card.

Two things in particular.

Does Willie Harris (3-for-5 over the last two games, with two homers and a triple) start?

Does Felipe Lopez (a critical error last night; 1 hit in his last 12 at bats) sit on the bench?

The Lopez/Harris scenario will shed some light on how willing Manager Manny Acta is to mold his lineup based on productivity. And it's not a tap-in decision, either. The reason for doing it? It shows a willingness to stick with the hot hand. The reason for not doing it? Basing managerial decisions on a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately question can ruffle players the wrong way, and often ignore the long-term track records.

Harris started last night in left field, but his versatility makes it easier for Acta to find a spot for him in the lineup today. He bats left-handed; Lopez is a switch-hitter. Tonight's pitcher for the Angles, Jon Garland, is a righty. Harris has never faced Garland before, and Lopez is 0-for-4.

Acta has a tough job here. Because so few people on this team have performed, Acta has admitted many times this season that "this is who I've got." In other words, when a whole team underperforms, a manager loses the ability to swap hot players for cold players ... rather, an entire roster goes cold, and removing players from the lineup (or the roster) for their failures becomes near-impossible. But here is an opportunity, if only for nine innings, to remove a player who helped lose yesterday's game in favor of a player who nearly helped win it.

Other reading for your morning:

The Erst. 35 Center story on Nick Johnson.

And, a sidebar story from Zach Berman, who joined the Post this summer as an intern. His first story from Nats Park (on local pitcher and possible All-Star game starter Joe Saunders) will assuredly not be his last.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 24, 2008; 9:04 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More weather and wrists
Next: Johnson: out for season

Comments

Willie Harris for Willy Mo, a no brainer. Hurting someones feelings shouldn't be a problem in this lineup. After reading the article on Joe Saunders, perhaps Nats pitchers should eschew location perfection for just throwing strikes early in the count. I'm not sure they have the ability to do it though.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 24, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Totally unrelated to the subject at hand, there was an incredible double rainbow over the Anacostia last night as the skies were clearing - impressive enough that lots of people had gone to to the top of the right field side ramp to admire it and take pictures.

Posted by: Traveler | June 24, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Nice angle, Chico, and a great dose of perspective. Lineups aren't quite so easy, I guess.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 24, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Chico Harlan: Tony Kornheiser often talks about the importance of the lead paragraph, and how it sets the stage for the rest of the article or column. Since you've started, your lead paragraphs have been impeccable. I don't know if you struggle with that paragraph, or if it just flows from your fingers, but I am constantly impressed by your efforts. Thanks.

Posted by: joemktg | June 24, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Acta's had a tough job this year. He probably stuck with Wily Mo longer than he deserved, but his patience with Elijah Dukes has been rewarded. Milledge doesn't belong in the #3 slot, but who on the active roster does? There is no blueprint for how to develop a lineup when your roster doesn't include a legitimate leadofff hitter, #3 hitter or cleanup hitter. That said, I'm at a loss as to how FLop keeps sliding back into the lineup. It's really hard to see what he contributes that Harris, Belliard, or Casto can't match.

Posted by: Brant Alyea | June 24, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Tonight, Harris and Orr should start, WMP and Lopez should sit.

I have a question concerning Manny's move to pinch-hit for Bergmann in the 7th. I'm not questioning the reasoning (he totally should have pinch hit), but I'm questioning who he sent up there. In this situation (runner on 3rd, one out, tie game), you need to at least get a sac fly to get the runner in. LoDuca has yet to show that he has any fly ball power this season. While he does make contact, it's mostly been ground balls and weak fly-outs to shallow outfield. If it wasn't for a bone-headed decision by Lackey to throw to third, Harris doesn't score.

Why not send Boone up there (or even Casto) instead of LoDuca? Boone has a better shot of getting a deeper flyball.

Oh yeah, how about that performance by Bergmann?! Way to go JB! Keep that up!

Posted by: e | June 24, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

FLop had an awful season last year but was pretty much given a pass by Manny Acta, saying he was going through some unspecified tough personal situation. Early this season he talked a lot about regaining form and despite his poor performance in Spring Manny gave him the starting position as a show of confidence in a veteran.

But again he has struggled offensively, leads the team in errors, routinely 'loses focus' on the field, and also routinely fails to run out hits and generally hustle (an Acta has not benched him nearly enough for it). Amid all this he is surly and has show bad attitude about not playing.

FLop, there are no free rides. You are not OWED a starting position. You need to earn it every day; with effort, staying focussed and performing. Manny has been letting you slide, but it can't go on much longer without p***ing off Bellieard and the other bench players that do hustle and focus.

Posted by: Section 221 | June 24, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

We have seen this scenario play out several times already this season, Chico. Felipe Lopez has one of his "moments" at a crucial point in a game, and the next day he's not in the lineup. No doubt the intent is to send a message to Lopez, a message he never gets. Why? Because the day after that Lopez is back in the lineup again. He'll play better for a while, then have another one of his "moments", and the scenario repeats like Groundhog Day. I fully expect another round of it tonight. Harris will be in at third, Belliard at second, with WMP (because he must be played) or Casto in left. Or some other combination like that. But Lopez will be back at second tomorrow.

Lopez really needs to ride the pine for a week or so to tattoo the message into his brain (he understands tattoos, dontcha know) but Manny's hands are tied for two reasons. One, there's no one with a really hot hand that he can justify playing instead of Lopez. And two, he's no doubt under pressure from Bowden to give Lopez, WMP and all the other marginal cases playing time rather than letting them rot away on the bench. Bowden clearly hasn't given up on these marginal cases, or he'd have cut them all by now. He's hoping that if they play they will turn it around either enough to be traded or enough to justify keeping them here. Either way, we're going to be stuck with the Lopez/WMP merry go round for the rest of the season. The only thing that would make it stop is if one of them gets hurt.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

i'm not defending flopez, he should be on the bench. but unless my memory fails me, he did *not* come out of spring training as the starter. belliard was the starter at 2B for at least the first few weeks of the season.

Posted by: 231 | June 24, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Tony Kornheiser often talks about the importance of the lead paragraph"

Well, for Kornheiser the lead paragraph is important because it's the only paragraph he writes. If that.

Yes, Tony Kornheiser often talks. But fewer and fewer people are listening.

If I was Chico, I wouldn't be using Kornheiser as my role model.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Actually, 221, Felipe did not begin the season with a starting position. Belliard started 14 of the first 16 games at second before he fell into his own.

Felipe wasn't handed the starting position this season. This may be hard to remember due to his undeniably erratic, boneheaded play of late. During some of this stretch, Belliard wasn't even available as a substitute, and our bench was limited due to the pitcher injury shuffle that we've been playing with AAA.

I'm not defending Felipe or his quality of play, but merely suggesting that putting him on the field is not an entirely indefensible move on the part of Acta.

Posted by: faNATic | June 24, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Building value or winning games? Is there a difference? You can never, ever stop trying to win on a daily basis. It is the central most important concept in team sports. However, within that framework, there is room for taking a long view as well. Build value for your players as assets and sell high. With the current Nats, selling high does not mean getting big return. It may mean little more than trading for mild potential or aging character.

What it does mean is that you have to keep trotting under performing players out onto the field in hope that they hit a hot (luke warm) streak. The trick is knowing when to sell. As abysmal as he has been, dumping Pena would be selling low. As abysmal as Felipe has been, dumping him now might be selling high. Regardless, the GM will be criticized (didn't get enough, didn't sell sooner, didn't wait long enough, got bad value in return, etc...).

I don't know how the players are perceived in the clubhouse by their teammates, but I am guessing that there are some teammates who are tired of Felipe.

THe question is not if, but when does Felipe get moved and how. Right now if they can get a b level prospect they should take it. That might be optimistic though.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 24, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Incomplete thought:

"Belliard started 14 of the first 16 games at second before he fell into his own."

Should be:

"Belliard started 14 of the first 16 games at second before he fell into his own [early season malaise, injury problem, fill in the blank]."

Posted by: faNATic | June 24, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse


Count DeMoney and NatsBisquit - No way in heck will the Red Sox make a move for Guzman. They have Lowrie in AAA and Cora on the roster. The front office coveted Lugo for 4 years. They have depth at MI behind Lowrie in the system. Guzman can't work a count. Defensively, Lugo wild arm is a wash with Guzman's range, and at least last year they found some technical adjustments to cut down his error rate. Oh, and as good as Guz is hitting, Lugo's OBP was .035 higher going into this weekend.

Posted by: Theo | June 24, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

there is nobody on this entire squad that makes me think "major leaguer". i'm serious. no doubt some of these guys will eventually be up to snuff but manny acta has the toughest job in professional sports.

i'm going to the game tonight to watch the angels play baseball.

the nationals are the worst team i have ever seen and i doubt we'll ever see another one quite like it. unless we do it again next year which, of course, is very possible.

they are surrounded by so many problems it has become no fun playing "what should they do". they just need to pick a direction and start fighting.

they had better start signing some of these picks. because as it is now i'm sure some wouldn't mind skipping out, going to college, and hoping someone else drafts them.

Posted by: longterm | June 24, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

How about demanding accountability to send a message to the *other* players. on the team? I mean seriously, who cares about Felipe any more as far as the future of this team is concerned? And even if he were to miraculously get his act together and help the team win a couple more games than any putative replacement might (which is what I think Chico is suggesting), who really cares?

From a win-loss perspective, this season really doesn't matter any more. So isn't the best thing that Manny can do is send a message to the young guys--Milledge, Flores, Dukes, Zimmerman, etc.--that on his team, hustle and heads-up play are expected? He should be setting a tone for the future that he is going to demand that players play the game right, and not allow the clubhouse to become infected by Felipe's lack of hustle and passion. So Chico, I don't think the issue should be hot/cold. I think it should be hustle/not hustle. The attitude should be "we might lose, but at least we're going to play our butts off." At least that would be something I could respect.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 24, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to be facetious, but how do you know?

"Amid all this [Felipe] is surly and has show bad attitude about not playing."

Posted by: Section 221 | June 24, 2008 10:06 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | June 24, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

231, you're right, Bells was the starter. If Zimmerman were in, he probably would be again.

As satisfying as it might be to bench or DFA Lopez, doing so would mean that Harris can no longer come off the bench. Your pinch runner is going to be... Felipe Lopez. Your pinch hitter isn't going to scare anyone, but there's no change there. No double switch-defensive replacement is possible, unless it's Lopez.

I got worse news for everyone. With Orr on the roster there are four men who can play second adequately. There are only two men who can play short. And few people are offering anything for Felipe Lopez, though he would be better on a better team.

The writing is on the wall folks. You will get your wish of not seeing Felipe at second anymore.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Manny is a great guy -- however, I think he is sometimes too much of a "players manager" -- too patient, too understanding, too tolerant. Kind of like a parent that wants to be the kids' friend that ends up with bratty kids. Sometimes you just have to put the hammer down and get some tough love going. I can understand that when there is no depth he can't really sit someone down without hurting the team -- but if we're going to lose anyway.......

Posted by: mannyfan | June 24, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

might be the first time i agree with CIL. winning is a by-product.

Posted by: longterm | June 24, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I propose that Acta use the time honored tradition of youth baseball where everyone is guaranteed two innings in the field and one at bat per game.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, CiL. It's just as much about hustle/not hustle as hot/cold. I should have acknowledged that while explaining my reasoning in the post.

Posted by: Chico Harlan | June 24, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"The writing is on the wall folks. You will get your wish of not seeing Felipe at second anymore."

On Opening Day 2009. By then he will be gone for sure, no matter what. Even Bowden is not stupid enough to re-sign him as a free agent. Until then, though, he'll be on the team and he'll be playing more often than not, unless of course Bowden can unload him via trade. There won't be four guys who can play second after Odaliz Perez is reactivated this weekend. One of those guys (probably Orr) will get sent down to make room for Perez.

Why can I say this with certainty? Because who is on the 25-man roster at any given time is entirely up to Bowden. Manny just has to figure out how to put those 25 guys on the field each night and maybe win a game with them - although with what Bowden is giving him to work with that ain't easy. In essence Manny is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, and Lopez, WMP and LoDuca are hogging all the lifeboats.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

All I know is, if you are going to play the Weapon of Mass imPotency, maybe you should put him 3rd, 4th, or 5th. He has not hit at 6,7, or 8 and this wholse season is going nowhere anyway so why not try that. Heck, they are always talking about potential - so lets field the lineup based on that.

Casto
Milledge
Dukes
Pena
Flores
Young
Guzman
Belliard

Posted by: GoNats | June 24, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I wish it was as easy as just cutting everyone that is not going to be a part of the future, bringing up anyone who might be and just giving them the experience of playing for a minor league team in a big league city.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 24, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

trade tim redding. let's gut this thing.

Posted by: longterm | June 24, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Tips for keeping your sanity in these difficult times:

1. The season is already lost. Win or loss makes no difference anymore. Relax and enjoy baseball.
2. Nats radio Ads already feature stars from the opposing teams. Enjoy the prospect of watching Carlos Beltran or Ryan Howard! Remember the days of your youth when the reason to attend Bullets' games was to see Michael Jordan or Patrick Ewing.
3. The Nats have gotten progressively worse over the years while saying that they are getting progressively better. Now we know it has all been a lie. Be happy that you know the truth.
4. There is always next summer and the team will look completely different. Think "Major League" different.
5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Posted by: 756* | June 24, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

6. Check in here daily:
http://farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/

Good things come to those who wait!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Count DeMoney and NatsBisquit - No way in heck will the Red Sox make a move for Guzman. They have Lowrie in AAA and Cora on the roster. The front office coveted Lugo for 4 years. They have depth at MI behind Lowrie in the system. Guzman can't work a count. Defensively, Lugo wild arm is a wash with Guzman's range, and at least last year they found some technical adjustments to cut down his error rate. Oh, and as good as Guz is hitting, Lugo's OBP was .035 higher going into this weekend.

Posted by: Theo | June 24, 2008 10:17 AM
____________________

I think they were speculating that the Sox are interested in Guzman as short-term insurance, for this year's playoff run, and not as a long-term solution. You throw stats out there, but insurance can be had and sought at the right price. (Though Bowden is probably looking for 2 major-league-ready prospects and a happy ending...)

Posted by: 756* | June 24, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

6. Check in here daily:
http://farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/

Good things come to those who wait!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 11:15 AM
_________________________________

Sorry, that's included in the #3 Propaganda and the #4 motley crew that will grace Nationals Park next year. Hopefully, MASN won't drop games in favor of world-series poker reruns from the '80s.

Posted by: 756* | June 24, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

i still believe that the sox would be more likely to go with lowrie for their playoff run than they would be to trade for guzman.

"2. Nats radio Ads already feature stars from the opposing teams. Enjoy the prospect of watching Carlos Beltran or Ryan Howard! Remember the days of your youth when the reason to attend Bullets' games was to see Michael Jordan or Patrick Ewing."

i haven't caught those yet, but if that's true, i'll be very disappointed. that's one of the reasons i stopped following the bullets.

Posted by: 231 | June 24, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Reposting fromthe end of the last thread, because, as long as we are talking about the future, the topic of contracts and the roster is on point:

"On the issue of signing players, including Zimmerman: I do think that the management here may not completely comprehend salary inflation in baseball. Baseball has never had the kind of revenue growth it has had recently. Recall that in the offseason before '07, people had a hard time comprehending the money thrown at marginal pitchers like Gil Meche and players like JD Drew and Gary Matthews. Sure there were bad signings too (like the money tied up in Brandon Inge and Joe Crede, etc . . .), but after the last offseason, we can see now that the Hunter / Rowand / Silva deals, those pre-'07 contracts are beginning to look cheap for above-average outfielders and ##3-4 starters.

"As for pitching, given its uncertainties, we may be better off throwing as many John Lannans against the wall and hoping a few stick. But field position players will cost more and more. I think when it comes to Zimmerman, it is true right that he is less of a player than David Wright and, I/M/O, hard pressed to have as good a career as even Ian Kinsler at a more scarce position. But Zimmerman will end up with a contract more like Wright than Kinsler because his 3 years of arbtration and his free agency will be after 5 or 6 more years of revenue growth and salary inflation than Wright and 4 more years than Kinsler."

Posted by: PTBNL | June 24, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, forgot that Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus and the laws of probability are owned by the Lerners! You're right, our farm system isn't drastically improved and one of the top ones in baseball!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

GoNats

I think it would a good idea to try Pena in the four hole. Young would bat 5 and could provide some protection. I would go with that. What is so frustrating is that Manny will not try it. If you keep on batting Pena 7 or 8 he will not hit.

I continue to be amazed by the quotes coming from Manny and Bowden concerning team play and injuries. They blame everything on injuries. This team has quit and so has Manny. Bowden is delusional with the his "bs" quotes. Why the press accept their comments is beyond me. The NY papers would not stand for the Manny and Bimbo act. The Nats are going through the motions. What is even more disturbing is that the Lerners and Kasten are silent. It is as if they are distancing themselves from Manny and Bimbo.

They better do something as they are losing significant fan goodwill. I do not live in Washington but I have to believe attendance must be dropping off.

Posted by: mjames | June 24, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes, but PTBNL, what incentive does ZIMMERMAN have for signing a contract now? If he has even half a brain he will know that he'll get a lot better and want to hold out until the numbers of the salary match the numbers that everyone says he's capable of.

We have no idea why there's no long term deal and the fact that no one is leaking anything makes me suspect there's still a very good faith interest in making one.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

F the NY Papers!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Fans Below the Mason-Dixon Lines | June 24, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh, for Feck's sake. NFA is not propaganda. It's being used by propaganda by idiots who don't understand things, but I think if you ask Brian, he'd tell you that the farm system isn't nearly as good as most make it out to be, and that there are surprisingly few true impact players given all the hype.

Posted by: Chris | June 24, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

longterm, this is actually the *perfect* situation for a young player just drafted. There is no org backlog of players at their positions and they can rise quickly with the nats and get big league exposure. The nats playing poorly is NOT going to influence an 18 year old kid not to sign here--quite the opposite. It's pretty much the same exact reason the chief signed with montreal in the first place: opportunity.

Posted by: .390 | June 24, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you neglect to mention that there are unsurprisingly more impact players in the farm system than in the majors....

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Again all rumors - my understanding is that the Red Sox (as pointed out by 756) are interested in Guzman for the short term. I am not familiar with the situation, but Lugo's issues go beyond his playing performance - hence the interest in a short term fix for the right price.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 24, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Not a commentary on the caliber of play on the field, but what's up with the policy for bringing in outside drinks to the ballpark? At Saturday's game, free plastic bottles of iced tea given out outside the stadium were confiscated by the hundreds at the gate and thrown away. In other words, clear water is in, flavored water is out. Are the Nationals that hard up for revenue? I certainly hope that in a "green" ballpark the bottles were at least recycled.

Posted by: section 117 | June 24, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is the farm system better now then it was in 2005? Yes. But anything short of disbanding affiliates would have netted an improvement. The team had a threadbare scouting/player development budget when they showed up in DC. And the current ownership has invested in improving that dramatically, but there is still a ways to go.

Are there promising signs? Yes. They have reinstituted their Dominican program and have made an effort to go after the best player available in the draft. They need to keep at it. Signing all of their first 10-15 rounds worth of picks will continue the process. And they need to continue to demonstrate progress in not only the Dominican but also in other areas internationally (Asia, Europe, etc)

Is the farm system as good as some sources make it out to be right now? No. They are better but it's way too soon to think that the work is anywhere close to being done. The reconstituting of the farm system is not a one year fix. It's not a two or three year fix. It's an institutional change that is going to five years (or likely more) to get things in a position where they can or should be considered a premium farm system.

There are a good number complementary pieces for relief, back of the rotation and bench spots in the higher levels of the minors (Double and Triple-A). But there are only a handful of guys Nats fans can hope become impact players at the major league level.

Posted by: Brian | June 24, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Bowden just finished his chat. What a waste of time that was.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | June 24, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

this is how much of a waste of pixels the "chat" with jimbow was:

baseballmod:
11:11 am Topic: Nationals baseball

metsrule8:
11:11 am Do You Regret Tradeing Ryan Church?

nats_guest:
11:13 am No. We think Lastings Milledge will continue to develop into an outstanding player. When we made the trade, we said publicly that the Mets would have the benefit in the short-term but we would have the long-term benefit.

nats_guest:
11:14 am I think the best way to judge this trade is in five years when Milledge is 28, Church is 34 and Schneider will be 36.

mdcityfan:
11:15 am Jim, you don't have the luxury of having a $90 - $100 million payroll. Do you and the scouts feel more pressure in finding talent with the resources you have?

nats_guest:
11:15 am It is obviously more challenging and more rewarding.

the_lucas:
11:16 am How close are you to signing Aaron Crow?

nats_guest:
11:18 am Negotiations have been dissapointing to-date. We were hoping that he would sign quickly, as did Ryan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler and Chris Marrero. In my opinion, Aaron is missing out by not signing because he is one of the rare drafts, like Ryan Zimmerman, that can reach the Major Leagues quickly.

wilnieves:
11:19 am Do you expect Zimmerman to return after the All-Star break? What about Nick Johnson? Do you think they will be able to turn the team around when they come back?

nats_guest:
11:21 am Ryan Zimmerman is making progress and is expected to start swinging the bat again on July 1. We will make a decision at the All-Star break if his shoulder is healthy enough to play or if he has an operation. Nick Johnson was operated on this morning at the Mayo Clinic. He is expected to be out for the season.

wilnieves:
11:21 am My current record as a game attending fan is 5-1 (including Dukes' walk-off home-run, Zimmerman's opening night miracle, and the 14-inning marathon last week). Can you give me a spot in the dugout?

nats_guest:
11:23 am We'd love you to attend more games... especially with that win-loss record. Although we cannot give you a seat in the dugout, you can purchase Presidents Club seats and observe our players up-close from your perch above the indoor private batting cages. Call 202.675.NATS for tickets.

wilnieves:
11:24 am What about Dukes' attitude? Is he fitting in well with the clubhouse? Is Dimtri providing a good role model for him?

nats_guest:
11:25 am Elijah has been well-received by his teammates and is fitting in well. Dmitri Young, Austin Kearns, Willie Harris and Lastings Milledge have been good influences on him.

itsmeMark:
11:25 am Jim, what grade would you give yourself for the team that you've put together? The Kearns/Lopez deal with the Reds looked good at the time, now those two are struggling...

nats_guest:
11:26 am I would give an A to the Farm System and scouting and a D to the Major League club and it's been difficult for all of to show the patience of waiting for our A-work to get to the Major Leagues to improve that grade.

natsfan4evr:
11:27 am What is the future for Luke Montz? Jesus Flores looks to have the catcher spot under control for quite some time. Are there plans to have him play another position?

nats_guest:
11:28 am Jesus Flores is presently our future catcher. Luke Montz will be given an opportunity next year to compete for the backup job. We have been impressed with his development both offensively and defensively.

nats_guest:
11:29 am We have time for three more questions.

nbnym86:
11:30 am what are your thoughts on instant replay?

nats_guest:
11:31 am I have been a longtime supporter of instant replay, as long as it does not effect the time of game. I think that the first part of instant replay implementation will be on home runs fair or foul.

three_d:
11:31 am How hard is it to work in the long term when you know most fans want to win now?

nats_guest:
11:36 am It is a difficult balancing act between building the franchise the right way by player development and scouting versus looking for quick fixes for instant gratification. We appreciate the fans that understand the organization's plan that we're carrying out.

nats_guest:
11:36 am Last one...

rohlinmt:
11:37 am Jim, are you worried about losing young talent like Ryan Zimmerman and John Lannan because they don't have the same quality of supporting cast they could get elsewhere?

nats_guest:
11:39 am Both Ryan and John are an important part of our future. They both understand our direction and are supportive. They are excited about our drafts the last few years and recognize the talent, like themselves, that are on there way to support them.

nats_guest:
11:40 am I want to thank everyone for their questions and comments and more importantly your patience and undestanding. I hope to see you at Nationals Park sometime soon.

Posted by: natsscribe | June 24, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's the chat transcript.

baseballmod:
11:11 am Topic: Nationals baseball


metsrule8:
11:11 am Do You Regret Tradeing Ryan Church?


nats_guest:
11:13 am No. We think Lastings Milledge will continue to develop into an outstanding player. When we made the trade, we said publicly that the Mets would have the benefit in the short-term but we would have the long-term benefit.


nats_guest:
11:14 am I think the best way to judge this trade is in five years when Milledge is 28, Church is 34 and Schneider will be 36.


mdcityfan:
11:15 am Jim, you don't have the luxury of having a $90 - $100 million payroll. Do you and the scouts feel more pressure in finding talent with the resources you have?


nats_guest:
11:15 am It is obviously more challenging and more rewarding.


the_lucas:
11:16 am How close are you to signing Aaron Crow?


nats_guest:
11:18 am Negotiations have been dissapointing to-date. We were hoping that he would sign quickly, as did Ryan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler and Chris Marrero. In my opinion, Aaron is missing out by not signing because he is one of the rare drafts, like Ryan Zimmerman, that can reach the Major Leagues quickly.


wilnieves:
11:19 am Do you expect Zimmerman to return after the All-Star break? What about Nick Johnson? Do you think they will be able to turn the team around when they come back?


nats_guest:
11:21 am Ryan Zimmerman is making progress and is expected to start swinging the bat again on July 1. We will make a decision at the All-Star break if his shoulder is healthy enough to play or if he has an operation. Nick Johnson was operated on this morning at the Mayo Clinic. He is expected to be out for the season.


wilnieves:
11:21 am My current record as a game attending fan is 5-1 (including Dukes' walk-off home-run, Zimmerman's opening night miracle, and the 14-inning marathon last week). Can you give me a spot in the dugout?


nats_guest:
11:23 am We'd love you to attend more games... especially with that win-loss record. Although we cannot give you a seat in the dugout, you can purchase Presidents Club seats and observe our players up-close from your perch above the indoor private batting cages. Call 202.675.NATS for tickets.


wilnieves:
11:24 am What about Dukes' attitude? Is he fitting in well with the clubhouse? Is Dimtri providing a good role model for him?


nats_guest:
11:25 am Elijah has been well-received by his teammates and is fitting in well. Dmitri Young, Austin Kearns, Willie Harris and Lastings Milledge have been good influences on him.


itsmeMark:
11:25 am Jim, what grade would you give yourself for the team that you've put together? The Kearns/Lopez deal with the Reds looked good at the time, now those two are struggling...


nats_guest:
11:26 am I would give an A to the Farm System and scouting and a D to the Major League club and it's been difficult for all of to show the patience of waiting for our A-work to get to the Major Leagues to improve that grade.


natsfan4evr:
11:27 am What is the future for Luke Montz? Jesus Flores looks to have the catcher spot under control for quite some time. Are there plans to have him play another position?


nats_guest:
11:28 am Jesus Flores is presently our future catcher. Luke Montz will be given an opportunity next year to compete for the backup job. We have been impressed with his development both offensively and defensively.


nats_guest:
11:29 am We have time for three more questions.


nbnym86:
11:30 am what are your thoughts on instant replay?


nats_guest:
11:31 am I have been a longtime supporter of instant replay, as long as it does not effect the time of game. I think that the first part of instant replay implementation will be on home runs fair or foul.


three_d:
11:31 am How hard is it to work in the long term when you know most fans want to win now?


nats_guest:
11:36 am It is a difficult balancing act between building the franchise the right way by player development and scouting versus looking for quick fixes for instant gratification. We appreciate the fans that understand the organization's plan that we're carrying out.


nats_guest:
11:36 am Last one...


rohlinmt:
11:37 am Jim, are you worried about losing young talent like Ryan Zimmerman and John Lannan because they don't have the same quality of supporting cast they could get elsewhere?


nats_guest:
11:39 am Both Ryan and John are an important part of our future. They both understand our direction and are supportive. They are excited about our drafts the last few years and recognize the talent, like themselves, that are on there way to support them.


nats_guest:
11:40 am I want to thank everyone for their questions and comments and more importantly your patience and undestanding. I hope to see you at Nationals Park sometime soon.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 24, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"At Saturday's game, free plastic bottles of iced tea given out outside the stadium were confiscated by the hundreds at the gate and thrown away. In other words, clear water is in, flavored water is out."

This has pretty much been the policy since day one at RFK. You can bring in one unopened, unfrozen, commercial plastic bottle of water per person (i.e. it can't be a reuseable water bottle you filled up, it has to be an Aquafina, Dasani or the like). No other drinks are allowed. Enforcement seems to be at the discretion of the gate attendants who search bags before you go in, and if it's crowded they may miss calling you out for things like vitamin water or opened bottles. Tea or soda would be hard to slip through, though, I'd think. I bet those iced tea bottles on Saturday were not being handed out by the team, and whoever was handing them out probably didn't know the rules for carrying in drinks.

I think the "no opened bottles" rule is to keep people from filling a Dasani bottle with vodka or gin and bringing it in. I got burned by that rule one day when I opened my water bottle and took a sip while walking to the ballpark from Capitol South.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

As pointed out in a Post Baseball Sunday article, every Nats player except for Christian Guzman has a negative VORP--the average minor league call-up or bench player replacing any of the position player except for Guz would result in BETTER production. There should be no long pauses debating whether to bench someone for losing focus or not hustling. Felipe Lopez should have been cut from this team a long time ago.

Posted by: Cut Felipe | June 24, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

.390. i agree that it should be a great situation for a signee to come here and have free and clear access to the major league team. but i also know when people have leverage and start using it things change. i'd like to hear more positive gains from the draft. but it has been quiet. when 3 of the top 5 picks are high schoolers i start to wonder what their true intentions are...

Posted by: longterm | June 24, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"when 3 of the top 5 picks are high schoolers i start to wonder what their true intentions are..."

Wow, that was the creepiest sentence written in here for a long time! Does this have to do with Nick Johnson's mustache?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"when 3 of the top 5 picks are high schoolers i start to wonder what their true intentions are"

8 of their top 15 were from college. That number increases to 11/15 if you count Community & Junior College.

12 of their top 25 were from college (19/25 including Comm/Junior College).

Posted by: Playing with numbers | June 24, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought Bowden's comments were interesting for what he didn't say. For example, his answer regarding the payroll did not include anything about increasing it in the future. He didn't bother to put a positive spin on that answer by adding something like "and we fully expect to have the resources to add the right players at the right time, which we expect to be very soon," or something to that effect. Instead, he tacitly acknowledged that his instructions are, indeed, to find talent with limited resources. And then he gave the Farm an "A" and the MLB team a "D" and acknowledged (twice) that it was "difficult" for him to wait until the drafted talent was ready for the majors. And finally, he said "We appreciate the fans that understand the organization's plan that we're carrying out." Not "our plan" but "the organization's plan" that he's carrying out.

Methinks Jimbo might be frustrated by The Plan which will not bear fruit for 3-5 years and may not include a budget for free agents in the interim.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 24, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"their" being high schooler's intentions. not the nats breakdown. i doubt high schoolers feel the need to sign as much as say a junior pitcher in college might. last i heard nieto wasn't happy going late, 5th round, or wherever it was. they are only great value if they sign. otherwise we are the houston astros.

Posted by: longterm | June 24, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I am bringing a buddy to the game on Wed night and it his first game at Nationals Park and he is VERY excited. He just bought his first Nats hat is definitely one of those fans that they could win over like the rest of us.

This has me thinking. If this team is finally good 5 years from now will the new fans really start to come on board? Is there a baseball example or otherwise to the contrary?

Posted by: GoNats | June 24, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually caught the game last night on the Angels feed. Wow. Good teams find ways to win and bad teams find ways to lose. Which one of those is the Nats? I'm pretty sure we all know the answer.

One of my favorite highlights from watching the game was the guy sitting right behind homeplate in a USC jersey who was cheering on the Angels after every pitch/play. What a fan.

Tonight the O's begin their series with the best team in baseball and you all can watch it if you wanna see 2 classy, above-.500 teams playing since the game will be broadcast nationally on WGN.

So go out, get some crab cakes for dinner along with some delicious beer (none of that miller, bud, coors, etc. junk) and sit down and watch an exciting game. Because you all already know how the Nats game tonight is going to turn out.

Also, don't see too many Lopez lovers on here now. Wonder why? Oooops, E-4, run scores.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm struggling to remember a time when there was any quantifiable number of "Lopez lovers" in here.

I think that for the most part, people have ranged from apologetically tolerant to downright [RFing] pissed off re: Lopez.

Posted by: faNATic | June 24, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

WaPost Nats Journal tagline: "If you don't get the creeps here, you don't get the creeps here."

**********************
"when 3 of the top 5 picks are high schoolers i start to wonder what their true intentions are..."

Wow, that was the creepiest sentence written in here for a long time! Does this have to do with Nick Johnson's mustache?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 12:18 PM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | June 24, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't that guy have some flies he could be pulling the wings off of?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ooooops, forgot to add that I'm still laughing (seriously) from the guy yesterday who posted thinking that with Nick Johnson and Chris Marrero injured the Nats are now the front runners to land Mark Teixiera in the offseason. Talk about a whopper of a joke.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

did anyone catch the Harrisburg game on tape delay on MASN last night? I completely forgot about it and of course didn't TiVo it.

They are scheduled to show another game tonight at midnight. I'll definitely will be checking it out, especially since Zimermann is slated to start for the Senators.

I really wish the Nats and MASN show more minor league games. Show them on tape delay, show them the day after, I don't care. I think it would be cool to see some of the "prospects" play.

Posted by: e | June 24, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chico, I hope that the issue of hustle, and how Nats' management is addressing it, is one that you and your colleagues pursue as this season plods along. When out-of-town media are commenting publicly about the Nats' lack of effort, it's hard to ignore that there might be real issues here, beyond just the players' talent level. For example, I read that Jack Morris said on the air in Minnesota that the Nats were playing like they had already given up on the season. Those are pretty strong words.

Now, I understand that Manny's approach may be that he does not want to rip guys publicly. But is he *doing* anything about their lack of hustle? Is Bowden? If Manny wants to stick around here long-term, he's not going to be able to just flip a switch in a couple years and say "ok, now I mean it." Talented teams--which the Nats aren't even close to being--can underperform too, especially when they have bad attitudes and don't hustle.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 24, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Haha, Section 3 of my couch gets my post of the day nod. That was hilarious.

----------------------------

WaPost Nats Journal tagline: "If you don't get the creeps here, you don't get the creeps here."

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | June 24, 2008 12:55 PM

Posted by: faNATic | June 24, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@Bob L. Head - I suspect your thoughts on Bowden are spot on. The days of trading for a Soriano are over.

Posted by: Count Demoney | June 24, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

CiL, it would be interesting indeed.

Also, if anyone from management has half a brain, this is what you need to do:

1. Have an "unnamed player" tell the press about how upset Manny has been with the performance and how it's a serious concern inside the clubhouse, but how he believes it's absolutely wrong to air that in public. I recommend Lo Duca, because no one likes a rat and no one likes Lo Duca.

2. Have Manny deny that there's any problems and say he stands by his players, but avoid commenting at all on reports that it's true.

3. Tell everyone to run real hard all the time.

4. Buy me ice cream.


It's like PR 101, guys.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, fanNATic. That dates back to several other posts, spring training IICR.

Posted by: Sec 3 (MC) | June 24, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

So the line on Nick Johnson has moved from possibly missing the rest of the season to likely missing it?

Yesterday, Chico wrote,"Bowden said Johnson, 'might be out for the year.'" Today, Bowden chats, "He is expected to be out for the season."

Not a huge bomb, but worth mentioning.

Also, in ST last year, with Johnson hurt and Young in the accelerated camp, Casto took some practice at first base. No real game experience there, but why not go for it?

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 24, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

After twice reading JimBow's chat comments, he sounds as frustrated as some of the posters here about budget constaints. Seems as if the Lerners and Stan the Plan Man are telling JimBow, and by extension the fans, you better be willing to live with what you've got because the purse strings aren't about to be loosened anytime soon.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 24, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey now. Don't knock him. Felipe is a very good looking guy.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 24, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

NN,

but is it better to look good than to play good?

Posted by: natsscribe | June 24, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Man, that's brilliant.

As far as ice cream, just buy a dinger. It's like donating money to charity and getting a free delicious ice cream sandwich.

Plus, every time I bought a dinger at a game, the Nats hit a home run.

-----

I recommend Lo Duca, because no one likes a rat and no one likes Lo Duca.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 24, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

um. yea. that was snark.

guess I need to work on it.

Posted by: NN | June 24, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

That depends on what you mean by "start to come on board." Show up at games? Sure. Buy MLB-licensed dry goods? No doubt.
But care about the team's progress, know the game, show up before the National Anthem, and stay for the whole game? I'm inclined to skepticism there. This may be a front-runner town (how would we know?), but it most assuredly is not a baseball town.

Still, enjoy the game. That's the point.

********
I am bringing a buddy to the game on Wed night and it his first game at Nationals Park and he is VERY excited. He just bought his first Nats hat is definitely one of those fans that they could win over like the rest of us.

This has me thinking. If this team is finally good 5 years from now will the new fans really start to come on board? Is there a baseball example or otherwise to the contrary?

Posted by: GoNats | June 24, 2008 12:34 PM

Posted by: CE | June 24, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Also forgot to add a fun thing I like to do with Boog (my dog), some peanut butter, a pair of boxer briefs (or lack thereof!), and a nice bottle of Merlot. Use your imagination! And, as always, crab cakes for dinner.

Life two games over .500 was never so good.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

And get him an honorary pitchfork and torch. He'll need it here.

*****************
He just bought his first Nats hat is definitely one of those fans that they could win over like the rest of us.
Posted by: GoNats | June 24, 2008 12:34 PM

Posted by: CE | June 24, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

What time should I arrive at the game tonight to ensure getting a t-shirt?

Also, does anyone know what the shirt looks like tonight?

Posted by: Calvert Street | June 24, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Merlot with dog? I'd go with something more like a pinot grigio with white meat.

Posted by: but that's B'more for ya hon | June 24, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, O's Exec, that's pretty messed up. Who names a dog Boog?

I know, I know, a Billy from Bawlmore!

Speaking of our homely neighbor to the north, I just finished reading a book called Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets about the Baltimore homicide squad. Great stuff, and I'm not usually a true crime reader. It's by the guy who made Homicide, The Corner, and The Wire and if you like any of those, it's a must. The difference is that this is all true, based on a year he spent trailing the fuzz.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure it has short sleeves, a big hole in the bottom and a smaller one on top, with writing. But I haven't seen it.

******
Also, does anyone know what the shirt looks like tonight?

Posted by: Calvert Street | June 24, 2008 1:30 PM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | June 24, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I still miss Homicide. Great cast, great scripts.

Posted by: CE | June 24, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Almost too subtle for this room, 506. Hilarious.

*********
Wow, O's Exec, that's pretty messed up. Who names a dog Boog?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 1:34 PM

Posted by: CE laughing | June 24, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, CE. I could never get into CSI or Law and Order, but wouldn't miss Homicide.

Here's the Amazon citation, this is a must:

http://www.amazon.com/Homicide-Killing-Streets-David-Simon/dp/0805080759/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214329088&sr=8-1

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'd say if you get there at least a half hour or so before game time you'll be guaranteed to get a T shirt. As for what it looks like, there was a picture of the shirt in an ad in the WaPo print edition yesterday. It's a white T shirt with a red curly W on the front where the pocket would be. On the back are listed the Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Game at Nationals Park. Not one of their better T shirt efforts, if you ask me. They obviously didn't pony up the big bucks to get any of David Letterman's writers.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

4a. Said ice cream must be served in a little *Washington Nationals* batting helmet. :-D


4. Buy me ice cream.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 24, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually, now that John mentions it, our guys hit a HR at the game where I bought a Dinger as well. hmmm...

Also, methinks you underestimate our appreciation of subtlety here, CE.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 24, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Aww c'mon I only wear boxers, not boxer-briefs.

Now the part about peanut butter, my dog, and booze.....well that may not be to far from the truth.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"On the back are listed the Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Game at Nationals Park."

Woah, that's just asking for trouble.

Posted by: 756* | June 24, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I'm so flattered that someone feels the need to impersonate me on an internet message board. Touches my heart to know that I've touched you all so much with my factual posts that someone feels the need to use my identity.

I'm oh so flattered.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Reading? There's no reading in Baltimore!"

Posted by: Jimmy Dugan from "A League of Their Own" | June 24, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of a promotion at the Yard one night in 2002. It was Miller Lite Floppy Hat Night and the boys were just home off a 1-8 road trip out west. After dropping a 10-2 nailbiter to the Twins, I was lucky enough to run into famous announcer Michael Reghi leaving the stadium. Twelve Natty Bohs later at some Quality Inn in Dundalk, well, some things must remain private, but I'll always remember Mike in one of those floppy hats (and not much else) screaming "SEE! YOU! LATER!"

Get some crab cakes for dinner, and see you out at the Yard.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

" 'On the back are listed the Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Game at Nationals Park.'

Woah, that's just asking for trouble."

They're pre-printed, not fill in the blank. Of course, if you bring a Sharpie there's plenty of room on the front to write "I came to see a baseball game but all I got was this lousy T shirt."

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Touches my heart to know that I've touched you all so much with my factual posts that someone feels the need to use my identity.

Posted by: You can't handle the facts! | June 24, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

You know what hurts? Everyone in this town is winning.

1) Redskins - playoffs last year with a lot of optimism this year.

2) Wizards - playoffs this past year for what the 4th straight year? Gilbert will probably re-sign as will Jamison, lots to look forward to.

3) Capitals - they finished the year in the same way the Rockies did last season, but the Caps have more pieces in place than the Rockies and most other NHL clubs ... future very bright.

4) DC United - has turned things around and haven't lost a game in what 5 or 6 contests?

5) Orioles - Tremendous start for them. Sure they are buried by the rest of the AL clubs, but Trembley is a manager full of heart and his team loves playing for them. Much better roster than the Nats (and a much better payroll as well).

The Nationals are still my favorite team, but I've never wanted football to come ASAP as much as this season b/c of this horrible year.

Posted by: Dagger | June 24, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are really the only ones to be excited about. The Wizards are spinning their wheels and the Jim Zorn Era is going to be an unmitigated disaster (mark my words).

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 24, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Redskins - playoffs last year with a lot of optimism this year."

That'll change. Jim Zorn = Steve Spurrier part deux. You heard it here first.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are still my favorite team, but I've never wanted football to come ASAP as much as this season b/c of this horrible year.

Posted by: Dagger | June 24, 2008 2:08 PM

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

Seems like alot of Nats fans have been throwing in the towel lately. Hope that means that even that many more O's fans can get tickets to the Battle of the Beltways series this weekend. Nothing would be sweeter than seeing more O's fans at the Nats stadium.

As Ric Flair would say, "Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo."

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Shocking that O's Exec would quote a professional wrestler.

Posted by: It's still real to me, dammit! | June 24, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Hell no I'm still going to games. Went last night, plan on going to four more this week.

I'm just looking forward to the Skins season, that's all.

Posted by: Dagger | June 24, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

refresh!

Posted by: stupid browser | June 24, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Pro wrestling is the male-version of the soap opera.


nWo 4 life. It's just too sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Hollywood Hulk Hogan 4 life. Wolfpac 4 life. Scott Hall and Big Sexy Kevin Nash, The Outsiders, 4 life.

None of it though still changes the fact that the O's are better than the Nats.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hell no I'm still going to games. Went last night, plan on going to four more this week.

I'm just looking forward to the Skins season, that's all.

Posted by: Dagger | June 24, 2008 2:17 PM

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

Actually I think I saw you on tv when I was watching on the Angels feed. You were dressed up as a blue seat right?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Average Att.
WSH - 29,137
BAL - 27,531

Nice try. Oh and Nats record vs. O's all-time? 8-7 Nationals.

Any more brain busters!

Posted by: Section 111 (Formerly 223 @ RFK) | June 24, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

506 BM - "Yes, but PTBNL, what incentive does ZIMMERMAN have for signing a contract now? " Now, none. My guess is from the description of the off season negotiations and Jim Bo's comments at the time is that Jim Bo and the team will offer money based on old contracts rather than projecting out what the market in '09 - '12 will be paying. Zimmerman should be patient unless the Nats make an offer that reflects the way the market will be (think Drew & Hunter), less an uncertainty discount.

Posted by: ptbnl | June 24, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Average Att.
WSH - 29,137
BAL - 27,531

Nice try. Oh and Nats record vs. O's all-time? 8-7 Nationals.

Any more brain busters!

Posted by: Section 111 (Formerly 223 @ RFK) | June 24, 2008 2:28 PM

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

But you forgot the most significant "BRAIN BUSTER" for ya pal-0-mine.

O's record: 38-36 (2 games OVER .500)
Nat's record: 30-48 (18 games UNDER .500)

I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that at no point this season the O's will be a pathetic (and whopping) 18 games under .500

Kinda funny that you forgot to mention that "brain buster" in your little stat-driven post. Of course I'd expect you to leave out stats that show just how stinky your team is.

Also here's another nice "brain buster" fact for ya dude.....

O's average attendance in 1992 (opening season of Camden Yards) = 44,047

Nats average attendance in 2008 (opening season of Nats Park) = 29,137

Snap, Crackle, Pop. You just got owned son. And you got served too. Just like Tom Selleck getting sent over seas to play baseball in Japan with Pedro Sorrano/The All-State Guy/President Palmer in 24 in "Mr. Baseball."

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. But now... now I'm washing lettuce. Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill. And pretty soon, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."

Posted by: O's Exec talking to the new guys at work | June 24, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Since 2005

Washington 255-309
Baltimore 251-309

They both stink

Posted by: Ummm | June 24, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Comparing the Nats and O's is like trying to figure out who is less retarded, and the O's have had a breakthrough in speech therapy this year.

Slow down, guy.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 24, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. But now... now I'm washing lettuce. Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill. And pretty soon, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."


Posted by: O's Exec talking to the new guys at work | June 24, 2008 2:51 PM

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

What fast food joint lets you surf the internet while washing lettuce or making burgers or memorizing the "secret menu" of In-N-Out?

Oh wait, that's right, I'm lounging out at the pool surfing the net via my wireless connection while watching some hot chicks hanging out at the pool. Boy is my life sweet.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"MOM, THE MEATLOAF!!!"

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to be childish, can we at least battle rap?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey 506, you're famous again ("our relievers are going crackers out there").

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 24, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"MOM, THE MEATLOAF!!!"

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:55 PM

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

Fake O's Exec, you got a problem with crashing funerals to pick up hot chicks?

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec,

Didn't I see you working at McDowell's with Semmi and Akeem?

Posted by: What? | June 24, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was the one with the super-wet jheri curl.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Man, I need to start saying negative things more often. They always get in the paper!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"So Letcha Soul Glow!"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

So a fan of the fourth-place Orioles spends his time taunting fans of the fifth-place Nationals. Talk about pathetic. Disengage, NJ faithful, he's harmless if you just leave him alone.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 24, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse


HEY!

Nobody seems to care that we got a Nats story from another writer in today's dead-tree section E?

CiL, are you there? HELLO? HELLO? IS THIS THING ON?!

Zach Berman, nice work. Thank you for bringing us more baseball news. Don't let anybody give you any guff just because you're an intern (providing you heed the advice dispensed in the DCist http://dcist.com/2008/05/28/how_not_to_be_t.php )

Posted by: i hate walks | June 24, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

So a fan of the fourth-place Orioles spends his time taunting fans of the fifth-place Nationals. Talk about pathetic. Disengage, NJ faithful, he's harmless if you just leave him alone.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 24, 2008 3:06 PM

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

I'm just sticking up for all the other O's fans out there who've had enough of being taunted by Expos fans. Fight the power!

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec's specs are dreck, he's wrecked.
His brain's, in pain, and lame, insane
He's hatin', and baitn', and waitin'
On all of us to fuss and jus', cut loose on him
but in, the end,
he just wants, a friend

------

O's Exec, if you want to reply, you have to battle rap back. Or terrible white boy battle rap back.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Nobody seems to care that we got a Nats story from another writer in today's dead-tree section E?"

It wasn't a Nats story, it was an Angels story with a local angle. There is a difference.

By your reasoning, the Post's coverage of the Pope's visit would count as a Nats story because he said mass at the ballpark. Does Jimbo praying for Colome's buttocks and his family count as a Religion story?

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 24, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Does Jimbo praying for Colome's buttocks and his family count as a Religion story?"

It should!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Jim's chat: Yawn.

Although I was pleased with his candor on the 'D' rating.

That's all I want from Management at this point. A little candor.

Well. That and a better team, but you know what I mean.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 24, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's what the forum for another miserable team looks like. http://forums.seattletimes.nwsource.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=61726

Looks like a place that O's Exec could run wild...

Posted by: 756* | June 24, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Well. That and a better team, but you know what I mean."

And a slurpee. Mmmm, slurpees.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

IHW, you mean the article about the Angels' pitcher Joe Saunders? Not sure how that qualifies as a Nats story, but I'm glad the Post has now given us more information about Joe's personal life than it has ever told us about most of our Nats. And if the sotry lays the groundwork for more actual Nats stories down the road, great. While we're waiting, would you like to read some more about Todd Collins's wine collection? Or how about whether any Skins' draft picks overslept last week and what their big brothers have to say about it?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 24, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, CiL, given his enjoyment of smelling things, Todd probably has an excellent wine collection. Best in the NFL, I would wager.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans think their slick and all cool.
All they end up doing is lookin' da fool.
Just look at their team, that says it all.
Lopez can't even field an easy groundball.
Watching the Nats makes everyone shiver.
Especially when a body washes up in the Anacostia River.
The Nats think their hot with their brand new stadium.
When the only thing worse is snorting up radium.
No worries though, the team'll leave town.
Just like before, the fans'll all frown.
Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo, they'll cry and complain.
While the O's and their fans are sippin' champagne.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 24, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec:

-2 for two incorrect "theirs"
-1 for lack of discernible rhthym
+4 for the body on the Anacostia

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 24, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

RKGF, good point. I caught the second instance of that nuance (heh) when proofing my post and called it a "baseball" story.

Clearly, Berman has not yet written a Nats story but I think it is noteworthy that there's another pen inking potentially nats-relevant junk into the paper.

So I'm surprised that there's no reaction whatsoever to all the folks who came down on Harlan last week for writing a gamer like something out of the "Style section", and the folks who've complained that we're not getting enough output from the Post.

That's all. Maybe tomorrow Berman will have something that can be called a "Nats story."

Still, welcome aboard, Zach.

--one of the creeps in here.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 24, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

RKGF, just drop the charade and go back to your original moniker, we've missed 419+1 around here.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Why would you sip champagne after an eleventh straight losing season?

Posted by: Curious George | June 24, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

NEW POST

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

NEW POST

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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