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The Midseason Report (glossy cover sheet not included)

Last week, a succession of five daily polls sought, in a roundabout way, to examine the general mindset of the Washington Nationals' fanbase, or whatever portion of it exists on this Web site. The good news is, a lot of people voted; it costs less to rip Wily Mo's strikeouts online than it does to watch them from the Lexus Presidents seats. Also good news: This was an examination that involved neither Dr. Ben Shaffer, Dr. Tim Kremchek, Dr. Koko Eaton nor Dr. Lewis Yocum. So there. It can be done.

With all the data you guys have given me, I'll try to draw a picture -- albeit a primitive one -- of Mr. and/or Mrs. Typical Nationals Fan, 96 games (and 60 losses) into the 2008 season. The typical Nationals fan, first of all, has gone to somewhere between five and 15 games in the first half. He/she spends anywhere between $10 and $50 on each ticket. Ten dollar tickets are fantastic, and of unassailable value. Tickets pricier than that, especially once they hit, say, $38, gather a decidedly lukewarm evaluation. But that's still far better than any evaluation given to Clint -- perhaps the lone employee of the organization less tradeable than Felipe Lopez.

One poster's 8-month-old daughter is "afraid of Clint."

One poster said Clint insults his intelligence.

One poster, analyzing the stadium experience on a scale of 1 to 10, deducted two points of value for "the presence of Clint." That person, by the way, graded the value as a 7.

Evidently, the typical Nats fan gives vitriol only to the most deserving parties. You can either shout your way toward goat status, or you can let home runs bounce off of your glove. (As a general rule, it's never a good sign for the team's overall adequacy when its starting left fielder contributes half as many homers with his leather as he does his maple.) In one poll, seventy percent called Wily Mo Pena the team's most disappointing player.

Anyway, I promised some numbers. If you'll recall, the first two days of polling from last week relied on an infantile format. I hadn't yet discovered a way to post legitimate polls on the site, and thus, I had to tabulate the various results with old-school arithmetic. I got halfway through the Day 1 questioning when I felt some partial fraying in my labrum and my frontal lobe, so excuse me if I ignore the raw data, cut to the chase and simply say that if Michael Beasley has enough money to get this, perhaps he can also contribute something to the CC Sabathia Offseason Fund.

Mental Outlook of Nationals Fans Everywhere:

graphic1.jpg

The truth is, the typical Nats fan is both upset and ever-optimistic. [see Fig. 1.0] It takes a special soul to attend 15 games, watch 65 more (as some posters have) and still maintain a rosy outlook. But that is perhaps baseball's greatest trick. You cannot overestimate the power of Next Year. A few posters offered their thoughts on the rest of this season, but most have already fast-forwarded their thoughts to November and December and January -- the period when we learn that Sabathia is the team's newest ace, Adam Dunn its newest left fielder, and Orlando Hudson its newest second baseman.

Though a majority of Nats fans see the team holding off on contention until 2010, that doesn't mean 2009 will merely elongate the dark ages. According to polls, Ryan Zimmerman will be next season's all-star representative. Jon Rauch will still be on the team. Felipe Lopez will not be on the team. And Elijah Dukes, at least according to poster Capitol Hill, will become the " 'turned his life around a la Josh Hamilton' story of 2009."

There's no question that several potential stumbling blocks still make Nats fans feel even shakier than Dmitri under a pop-up. They're worried about the acumen of the team's GM, Jim Bowden. (He was graded, A to F, on a near-perfect bell curve, with 46 percent calling his tenure a C.) They're worried about how the minor league prospects develop. They're worried that the Lerner ownership group won't spend enough money on payroll.

The typical Nats fan, in the final analysis, is caught between love and disgust. And in that strange juncture, you're left with no choice: You wait for the better moments, and take the current ones with a fair humor. Watching the Nats, a poster named G wrote, is "better than watching Arena Football." So long as Elijah Dukes is yelling at somebody, the Nats are even on ESPN more.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 15, 2008; 7:43 PM ET
 
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Next: Nationals, Hood agree to terms

Comments

Would you please get an intern to write up and post a summary .pdf? Jeez: get them working.

And just a reminder: C.C. is CC, thank you very much.

Posted by: joemktg | July 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Great post Chico. I can admit you have pretty much figured out my exact thoughts as a nats fan this year! I am starting to appreciate your writing style more and more as the season goes on. You are very able to make your posts and articles enjoyable to read, quite humorous, and also, of course, informative. I'm sure most posters on here will agree?

Posted by: Jason | July 15, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Jason, I second you on thoroughly enjoying Chico's writing style, both on the blog and in the gamers and notebooks. I regret not being able to make the get-together this past Sunday, as Chico seems like he'd be a pretty funny guy to hang out with in person.

Posted by: faNATic | July 15, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Cheeks nice write up. I love the team but I have no faith whatsoever in the Lerners. It seems like each day that goes by, fans get more fed up with them.

Whether it's not paying scouts, postal service, the city or draft picks who make up the so called "plan" ... what makes any of you think they spend some on a marquee free agent in coming years (most notably this offseason)?

They care about how much green is in their pockets and not the smiles on our fans faces. Spend some money you dirtbags.

I love the Nats and have been to 20 something games already and plan on going to 20 more. But I must say, with how disgusting they have played and the state this organization is currently in ... I've never been this excited for football season.

Posted by: That's a shame | July 15, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

NUMBERS??!! You call this post NUMBERS?? The Post won't spend the resources to provide REAL NUMBERS! An intern probably counted up the numbers. That other wacky newspaper in town would provide more numbers, a gamer, AND a column! Peter Angelos probably pulled some strings at MASN so that the Orioles would get all the numbers.

The Lerners are too busy witholding (big) NUMBERS of dollars from DC to provide enough budget for numbers on this team. Lord, I hope they spring for some free agent numbers this winter to make up for the pitiful substitute numbers we have to endure on NJ.

PS - Thanks Chico. I appreciate your efforts, commitment and talent. But it seemed like the NJ Comments board was getting a little soft and sentimental for a minute there.

Posted by: Geezer | July 15, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Now I know whats at the end of a rainbow.

It Chico's data representation in graphic form. Hopefully you didnt have to use the whole WP production staff to put that little pot of gold together. H-I-larious.


Anyone watch the All Star game intros?

Just awesome. Mays, Aaron, Bob freakin Gibson. Chants of Reggie, Reggie!

Seeing Steinbrenner roll out to hand off the opening pitch baseballs was moving. After being such a dominant and overbearing figure in baseball during my formative years, watching Steinbrenner tear up was stunning. Say what you want about the Nats or the Lerners or the stadium. Baseball, especially in DC, still rules.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 15, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

LDO - yes, event he resident EE#4 fan was glad to see Steinbrenner handing the balls off to Whitey, Reggie, Goose and Yogi. He paid $10 million for that franchise? Not so bad with the money.

Posted by: PTBNL | July 15, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Chico Harlan ... Very Funny!

Of course, a lot of the polling occured at the *beginning* of last week. It would be interesting to re-poll and see if the balance between hopeful and miserable has taken a turn for the worse.

Are Nats fans still "day-to-day", or headed to the 60-day DL?

I remain hopeful because the alternative isn't as fun.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | July 15, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to take what I hope will the short-term pain, three or fewer years, for what I hope is long-term gain. The Nationals are basically a fourth-year start-up expansion team. The team had no owner and no real management or infrastructure when it was crated up and brought from Montreal for the 2005 season. The first-year players, probably astonished to see real, live people in the stands, had a ridiculously good first half that was proven to be a mirage by the post-All Star break record.
The highest win total for a fourth-year expansion team is 92 by the 2001 D-backs, who happened to fatten up with a lot of veteran free agents and won the World Series. Other respectable four-year-old teams included the 83-win 2006 Rockies; the 1964 Angels and 1996 Marlins, who each won 80 games; and the 76-win 1972 Royals. The worst? The 50-win 1965 Mets; the 58-win 1972 Padres; and the 59-win 1980 Mariners. The 1964 expansion Senators won 62 games.
The average number of wins for four-year expansionistas is 69. If you subtract the D-backs 92 wins, the average drops to 67 wins. Given all the injuries this season coupled with the lack of offense and imploding bullpen, I would be happy for the Nats to win 67 games. But, I don't have a lot of confidence that the current general manager is the right person to shepherd this team to the next level. It will take patience, astute drafting, judicious player signings and development to escape the morass in which the team currently resides. I would like a MacPhail-type GM who is patient and is respected by his peers when it comes to talking and making trades and evaluating talent rather than a brash showoff who feels he has to be the smartest person in the room running the team.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 15, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The Rockies team I cited was the 1996 team, not the 2008 team. Apologies for not being able to clearly read my handwriting.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 15, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh!!! THAT'S how you play baseball???

Posted by: Nats Watching ASG | July 15, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Nationals: please make a deal for Matt Holliday.

Posted by: Section 111 (Formerly 223 @ RFK Stadium) | July 15, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

what worries me the most about diving into the free-agent market is that players on other teams will hear about the lerners' way of doing business and the losing and would demand above premium price to come here. maybe not as bad as the angelO's "Confederate money" scenario of a decade ago, but a concern nevertheless.

Posted by: natsscribe | July 15, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

btw - who is michael beasley?

Posted by: natsscribe | July 15, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"caught between love and disgust"

That sums it up perfectly...

Thanks Chico!

Posted by: CajunD | July 15, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

@leetee1955 - Nice, interesting post, but I suspect it's going to take longer than 3 years for the Nats. Its going to take a couple of poor seasons before the Lerners change their ways.

I agree on Acta - this is MLB not the minors. Acta is too laid back. I dont want a Piniella but I would like to see a little fire once and awhile from Acta.

Posted by: Count Demoney | July 15, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

click on the link in the post, natscribe

Posted by: NatsNut | July 15, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@Count

That's why I also said that I don't have much faith in JimBow and the Cincinnati mafia running things. I doubt there will be any real progress until those guys are gone and someone else is brought in to oversee the operation. Apologize for sounding like SoCH.
I know this is going to make me sound old, but I like Manny because he reminds me of how Gil Hodges was brought in as the expansion Senators manager in 1963 to help stabilize th operation. Under Hodges the AL expansionistas went from 56 wins to 62 wins to 70 wins to 71 wins to 76 wins. Besides, both Manny and Hodges both wore No. 14.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 15, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

now that the ASG is now a contest, i wonder if guzzie is being held back to pinch run in case the NL gets the lead run on base?

Posted by: natsscribe | July 15, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

thanks NN

beasleys an nba player. no wonder i've never heard of him.

Posted by: natsscribe | July 15, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Amusing, though Geezer's post was fantastically humorous, too. For those who wonder, Chico is a lot of fun to hang out with, but you have to watch him - he got me yelled at by the bar tender, who apparently allows "No Politics & No Miller Lite." I'll let you guess what our esteemed beat writer told me to say that incurred wrath.

If anyone else was wondering, 3 for 10 at Potomac in the last two days, with 2 2B, 1 R, and 1 K (0 BB). I have no idea if that's good news or not, because I'm not sure how to judge rehab starts. I just know I'm glad he's X for Anything right now. On Sunday, Chico mentioned he'd be headed to Harrisburg after one more game tomorrow night, most likely.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 15, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The esteemed 506 was posting my stats, of course. Also, you all should know he is totally the coolest guy ever, even cooler than Barry Svrluga, who once froze ice with his finger tip, he's so cool.

Posted by: Ryan Zimmerman | July 15, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, hey, cool! A shout out from Ryan Zimmerman, I'm so totally awesome, I guess!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 15, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

No, really, it's so true, you're an inspiration.

Posted by: Ryan Zimmerman | July 15, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

natsluck in the ASG? amazing.

Posted by: natsscribe | July 15, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

mm hm. And I'm in love with NatsNut.

Posted by: Patrick Dempsey | July 16, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

is dan uggla secretly FLOP in disguise?? 2ks a GDIP and 3 errors!!

Posted by: love | July 16, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

ok so 3ks, the silver sombraro, and 3 errors, which we will refer to as the silver mexican hat dance, dan uggla, first ever LVP, MVP gets a car, LVP gets his car taken away? UGGLA is FLOP

Posted by: love | July 16, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Despite the caught stealing, the failed sacrifice, and the lack of a hit, Guzman did us proud at the ASG. He made some nifty plays in the field at a position he had apparently never played as a major leaguer. If only Hurdle had put him at second base instead of third....

Posted by: Section 222 | July 16, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Please tell anyone with influence who will listen how hated Clint is in your poll. I am sick of listening to him. Maybe this will help take the microphone away from that annoying, smug bastard.

Posted by: thom202 | July 16, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

We see absolutely nothing wrong with the Harlan's data interpretation methods (too much hassle to compile all of that stuff).

Posted by: Nielsen ratings system | July 16, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

We see nothing wrong with Harlan's data interpretation methods (too much hassle to compile all of that stuff - just throw away the data and wing it).

Posted by: Nielsen ratings system | July 16, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

p.s. Our margin for error in posting is 1.

Posted by: Nielsen ratings system | July 16, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

p.s. Our margin for error in posting is 1.

Posted by: Nielsen ratings system | July 16, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

This description of the typical Nats fan has just about got me pegged. Love and disgust? Exactly.

Also, I have no problem with the mathless interpretation--if you guys want numbers, go back to the old posts and check out the results.

Posted by: BFG | July 16, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

We meant to say "margin of error." And to use a higher number. But who's counting anyway?

Posted by: Marge Innovera | July 16, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Why, oh why, doesn't Dan Uggla EVER do that when he is playing against us? And since the nl stranded multiple base-runners, failed to score risp, etc. etc. I guess the nats are in the right league since that's our mo.

Posted by: masnstinks | July 16, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Those who read Geezer's post as complaining about lack of numbers, check your snarkdar.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

masnstinks:

Uggla never does that when facing the Nats becuase he was not facing the Nats bullpen on the ASG.

Posted by: mjames | July 16, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I meant to post this in the previous thread (Rating Nats Park), but didn't have time yesterday ...

I used to like Teddy not winning any of the silly races. But now I'm thinking maybe they should just let him win already. Maybe the reason the team stinks is because Teddy's not allowed to win.

There's too much losing on the field right now. Let's reverse the curse ... let Teddy win and the Nats will start to win.

Posted by: e | July 16, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

about the all star ghame last night, talk about no respect, how does christian guzman end up playin 3rd? he was the only player in the game put at a position that wasnt his. and no one as said anything about it. what was that all about? wow!!!

Posted by: dk | July 16, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

the AL bullpen caused uggla to boot three balls?

just bustin yer chops, mjames... ;)

to be fair to uggla, that last error would have been a pretty tough play to make. i wouldn't have been surprised to see it ruled a hit. that last hop was nasty.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

it was mentioned earlier by section 222, dk. i thought he did pretty well there, considering he'd never played the position before.

he probably ends up playing 3B because wright was already in as DH and there were two other SS ahead of him. and both were playing very well. i didn't see it, but i was surprised they pulled ramirez for guzzie as PR so quickly, tho.

as far as the DH, iirc, if they'd moved wright to 3B, they'd have lost the DH slot for the rest of the game.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

about guzman, im racking my brain and i cant remember a time a player was ever put at another position but his. this is an all star game. can you imagine them putting tejada at 3rd or 2nd. or moving jeter or rodriguez. no matter what the reason, this is all about no respect. its really amazing.

btw concerning uggla, ive never seen a player in such a bad spot. the guy was obviously in the out-zone. everything hit to him was a close your eyes and pray play. hes a good player 2. but last night for whatever reason, offensively and defensively, well i dont think i can recall a player having a game like that.

Posted by: dk | July 16, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Wily Mo Pena is injured more than we know. It is the only logical conclusion for such a horrid performance by him to date. Let's not forget the situation past with our current lone All Star rep., C. Guzman. We were all ready to tar and feather him for his miserable performance a few years ago. Amazing what some healing and a little lasik eye surgery can do. Now he's the darling of the team. Funny how things can change. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that WMP will ever be a great outfielder and/or hitter. But I will say he is a lot better than what he has shown this year. And that is because of injuries. Take it to the bank.

Posted by: Let's Cut WMP Some Slack | July 16, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"There's too much losing on the field right now. Let's reverse the curse ... let Teddy win and the Nats will start to win."

e, I wish it were that easy. This team is not losing because of Teddy, and letting Teddy win wouldn't make the Nats any better. Major trends in on-field performance (not necessarily individual games, but approximations like "we lose 2/3 of the time") are not about money or character or President races. The Nationals lose so many games because they put nine men on the field every night who are not as good at baseball as the other team.

Teddy winning wouldn't make the Nationals good any more than it would help me beat Hanley Ramirez in a footrace. The Nats will start winning when they field a team of talented, athletic baseball players, and probably not before that. Sorry :(

That said, I'm a little disappointed that the Prez race became staged. I'd much prefer an actual race with ten-foot President puppets to a gimmick.

Posted by: go abe! | July 16, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

btw even though tejada was having a good game, he had alreay played about 3 innings. guzman shoulda replaced him at ss. guzman is a freakin all star who is leading the league in hits for goodness sake. hes not some scrub reserve.

Posted by: dk | July 16, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

wow, go abe! I didn't think anyone would take what I wrote seriously ...

Posted by: e | July 16, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, Honest opinion. Is DC a baseball town?

Posted by: 6th and D | July 16, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

For the record, after two Senator incarnations, I believe wholeheartedly that DC is a baseball town. We've never had a long run of winners, or money. But, we've got 75 years of history.

Posted by: 6th and D | July 16, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

maybe bowden asked if we could increase his trade value by showing him at multiple positions?

Posted by: longterm | July 16, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

dk, I had exactly the opposite impression: it looked like Hurdle made a big effort to get Guz into the game. As 231 notes, he was the third shortstop, so naturally he's going to be last off the bench. Hurdle could have just pinch-run him and left it at that; instead, he paid him the respect of assuming that he could handle a postion he'd never played before in the majors.

Unfortunately, I think Guz might have bumped up his trade value -- pretty obvious now that he can handle any position in the infield if needed.

Posted by: joebleux | July 16, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"im racking my brain and i cant remember a time a player was ever put at another position but his. this is an all star game. can you imagine them putting tejada at 3rd or 2nd. or moving jeter or rodriguez."

I remember (and this is vaguely, off the top of my head, so feel free to correct me) that happening in Cal Ripken's last ASG. I think it was the first inning, and Cal was playing third, and Alex Rodriguez was at shortstop, and A-Rod made Cal trade with him for kicks. It was a cute tribute to the Iron Man's earlier years. (And, as a 12-year-old die-hard O's fan at the time, I absolutely loved it.)

Not quite what you're referring to, but worth a mention. I was a little ticked at them doing that to Guz, but he made some nice plays over there and sure showed them!

Posted by: ah, the good old days | July 16, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

So, if Selig finds that one of the main reasons Nationals TV numbers are so low is the unfair MASN agreement, will he intervene? MASN was basically a consolation prize offered to Angelos for putting up with competition in what he perceived to be his market.

Would Selig renege on this offer if it became obvious that the deal was to the detriment of a franchise that could end up being worth more than the Orioles? My guess is no, but it might be worth keeping an eye on.

For what it's worth, I think Selig will eventually come out and say the Neilsen numbers were inaccurate. Apparently, the report was quoting Leslie Nielsen, not the ratings service.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

For the record, Beasley's tattoo is not the curly W of Nationals fame.

It's the curly W from Walgreen's.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

For the record, Beasley's tattoo is not the curly W of Nationals fame.

It's the curly W from Walgreen's.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 10:56 AM
======================

So that's his cover story, eh? And how does he explain away the interlocked DC underneath it?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

yes, good old days is right, cal and arod swapped positions in 2001.

and i agree w/joebleaux. after pinchrunning with guzman, he really didn't have many choices. there were no 3Bs left on the bench, so he could either move guzman to 3B, tejada to 3B, or move wright to 3B and give up the DH. i'm sure guzman was fine playing 3B for a while.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

dk, I had exactly the opposite impression: it looked like Hurdle made a big effort to get Guz into the game.
Posted by: joebleux | July 16, 2008 10:52 AM

wow thats pretty interesting that 2 people could look at the exact same picture and come out with completely diametrically opposed views. thats pretty wild.

Posted by: dk | July 16, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

You're still wrong, dk.

http://tinyurl.com/2egtem

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Here's the view of one season ticket holder this mid-season:
- I love my $60 seats and plan on having them till I die. Being near the field makes you appreciate what these guys can do and the nature of the game so much more. You also get to see the little things that make up a team. Watching Lenny Harris up close while he scouted the nearby fans for good looking women to throw a ball too pretty much cemented my opinion of him.
- Jim Bowden needs to be fired because we can't keep rewarding him for bringing on ex-Reds and others that he's liked before that add little or no value. It also doesn't seem like he should get the credit for the draft. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
- Elijah Dukes will never be the "Comeback P of Y" a la Josh Hamilton or Dmitri Young. Hamilton and Young are essentially good people who hurt themselves. Dukes has a mean streak a mile wide and was busy hurting other less able people. He argues with umps over good calls and plays juvenile games on the bench. He may be able to hit and throw and he may have a whole swarm of people helping him keep his temper in check, but I could never root for him like I do Dmitri.
- I'm a fan of Kasten but for him to tell Boz that he's surprised at the fan reaction to this team is unbelievable. I go to 16 games a year and hadn't seen a win in two months until last week. No one can put up with that for too long and he needs to at least throw us a bone for putting up with this season.
- If I hear one more DC resident whine about the Lerners or the stadium deal again I'm going to scream. First of all, I can't remember the exact number but 80% - 90% of the stadium was paid for by corporations based in DC. That leaves between $61M and $120M that joe taxpayer has to put up over some number of years. Can someone on this blog tell me what city budget has been cut the last two years because of the stadium deal? Can the same whiners look at the area where the stadium is and argue that they're not going to make back the $61M to $120M quickly between the stadium revenue (I happily pay you over $1 for every beer I drink) and all of the new property taxes you'll get from the 8 new buildings going up down there. The whole argument is unsupportable by any facts so give us some or STOP IT. And another point, no one can whine about the Lerners either unless a) they own/have bought some form of property and b) have ever had to argue with a builder or a landlord about getting things done that need to be done. It's curious to me that we haven't heard Mayor Fenty quoted about how the Lerner's are totally wrong. Anyone care to guess why???

I'll be in my seats when we make it to the Series but don't expect me to sit idly while we make the journey there.

Posted by: Natslifer | July 16, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Hurdle made a special effort to get Guzman in the game. He had him pinch run for Aramis Ramirez, who had just walked in his first at bat in the game. At that point Hurdle didn't have much choice but to leave him in the game at third. Thankfully, Guzman was more than up to the task, and because the game went on for so long he got a few at bats too.

I'm wondering why everyone assumes Guzman was the third NL shortstop rather than the second. As SoCH pointed out yesterday at firejimbowden.blogspot.com, Guzman has a higher batting average, more hits, more doubles, and a higher OPS than Tejada this year. There certainly was a good case for him being the second shortstop, but in the end Hurdle's choice turned out fine. Tejada made some great plays at short.

Here's my question for the crowd. If the game hadn't ended in the 15th, how many more innings would it have gone. Kazmir was the AL's last pitcher and he couldn't have pitched more than another inning, right? And Lidge was the NL's last hurler. How long could he go?

Posted by: Section 222 | July 16, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I had a dream last night that someone started complaining about the racing presidents.

Posted by: beautiful dreamer | July 16, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The ASG position shuffling happens all the time. Outfielders shuffling around, third basemen playing first. I recall Jose Lopez (2B) two or three years ago playing third base too after pinch hitting or pinch running.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 16, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

honestly, i presumed tejada was #2 because i hadn't realized how much he'd slumped in june and especially july. his OPS has dropped 100 points since june 1, while guzzy has been remarkably consistent all season. no big slumps and no monster hot streaks. just the same guy day in and day out. weird.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Responses to a few of Natslifer's points:

- on Bowden: Why shouldn't he get credit for the draft? I agree he shouldn't get ALL of the credit, but he is heavily involved, right? It's not the ex-Reds fixation that bothers me so much as the evaluation of talent. Jim Bowden and I disagree on what kind of player contributes to a good baseball team. I like high OBP guys who can hit to gaps and make things happen on the basepaths. Jim likes home runs. And strikeouts, apparently.

- on Dukes: I can hate some of the things he's done, but I refuse to declare him a bad human being and dismiss the subject. I don't think there's such a thing as a 'mean streak.' I think there is certainly such a thing as severe anger management issues, and I think Dukes needs to fix those the way Hamilton fixed his drug habit. It's a matter of conditioning more than anything. Also, I can't remember him arguing with an ump over a play that was obviously called correctly. And I enjoyed seeing the bench have a little fun with the game (it is still a GAME, right?), but I can understand why that would upset some of the old-fashioned among us. (I do remember stern rebukes in middle school softball games when we tried to yell anything but good-natured encouragement.)

- on whining about the Lerners: I agree. This is how contracts and contractors work. At this point, I really get the impression that people are just digging for reasons to criticize the owners. Just FYI, everyone, you hating the Lerners won't make the Nats any better at baseball. Might give you an ulcer, though.

Posted by: food for thought | July 16, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Surely you jest (and don't call me Shirley).

"Apparently, the report was quoting Leslie Nielsen, not the ratings service."

Posted by: NR Leslie Nielsen | July 16, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

- Jim Bowden needs to be fired because we can't keep rewarding him for bringing on ex-Reds and others that he's liked before that add little or no value.

Posted by: Natslifer | July 16, 2008 11:32 AM

Don't you hate it when facts get in the way of a pointless rant!

Posted by: ntr Dmitri Young | July 16, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Same goes for hatin' on me.

"Just FYI, everyone, you hating the Lerners won't make the Nats any better at baseball. Might give you an ulcer, though."

Posted by: NR Jim Bowden | July 16, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Same goes for hatin' on me.

"Just FYI, everyone, you hating the Lerners won't make the Nats any better at baseball. Might give you an ulcer, though."

Posted by: NR Jim Bowden | July 16, 2008 12:21 PM

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

Actually it was the fans hating Flannagan and Angelos that finally made Petey hire a real GM to turn around the O's. So actually hating upper management can work, from a fans standpoint.

Posted by: O's Exec | July 16, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

That's comforting, O's Exec. All we have to do is hate on upper management for 12 years and then everything will begin the process of getting better.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually it was the fans hating Flannagan and Angelos that finally made Petey hire a real GM to turn around the O's. So actually hating upper management can work, from a fans standpoint.

Posted by: O's Exec | July 16, 2008 12:36 PM

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

Two points:

1) I sure wouldn't feel good about an owner who makes his management decisions based on the opinions of bloggers over his own judgment or that of the experts on his staff.

2) I sure wouldn't feel good about an owner who does anything the same way as Peter Angelos, so let's hope the Lerners aren't listening!

Actually, maybe that was just one point.

Posted by: food for thought | July 16, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I happened onto a Dodgers blog this morning looking into the Saito injury and while I was there, I traded Rauch for Andy LaRoche (we can move him to first) and Chin-Lung Hu (ss).

They want Guzman too. Hey 506, what ever happened to your deal for Jose Reyes?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 16, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Clint Must Go!" Clint Must Go!" "Clint Must Go!"....

Posted by: Nats Fans | July 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't seem to remember what the rotation is going to look like after the break. Does Redding-Lannan-Perez-Bergmann-Balester sound right?

Posted by: John | July 16, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Aaaahhh ... music to my ears

Posted by: Fire Clint! | July 16, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"Just FYI, everyone, you hating the Lerners won't make the Nats any better at baseball. Might give you an ulcer, though."

Posted by: NR Jim Bowden | July 16, 2008 12:21 PM

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

However, your opinion COULD actually get me fired. So complain away!

Posted by: nr Clint | July 16, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I believe it got "sliced", Bob

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

You know, I don't like Clint, but I wouldn't like anyone who has that job. I hate the gratuitous "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee fun!" stuff between innings. I'd really appreciate seeing several of the big plays from the last inning shown between innings, perhaps with some music accompanying.

But I'm not going to win that battle, this is the way everyone does it now. So, instead of hating on Clint, who would only leave to be replaced by some equally vile MC running the stupid contests, could I just politely ask that you turn down the volume a little so opting out of paying attention isn't so difficult?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I worry that Clint actually reads blogs like this one, and I feel really bad about the stuff we say. In all fairness to him, he is doing exactly the job he was hired for, and obnoxious between-inning entertainment certainly was not his idea. In essence, we're shooting the messenger.

Doesn't make him less annoying, but perhaps less culpable.

Posted by: for what it's worth | July 16, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

NO.

Fire the annoying slicky boy!!!

Posted by: Fire Clint! | July 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Clint is a human being with feelings, I get that but, I think he has got to go.

I vote the Nats make a run at Erin Andrews for between innings entertainment. That will get people's attention.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I vote we forgo commercial breaks, thereby eliminating the need for inter-inning entertainment altogether.

Posted by: I can dream... | July 16, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Clint's feelings?

THE WAY OF THE FIST!

STRIKE FIRST! STRIKE HARD! NO MERCY!

Posted by: (fake) John Kreese | July 16, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Combined record of top four minor league teams this season (Columbus, Harrisburg, Potomac, Harrisburg)

Wins -- 173
Losses -- 138

Not bad, but only about .550 winning percentage.

Wonder if the Nats' minor system is a bit overrated?

Wonder if Baseball America will rank the Nats as high as #9 in its next ratings -- particularly if they don't sign their first top five picks.

Wonder if we've all been led to believe the young players are the salvation when they are just slightly above average?


Wonder

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for anyone who's not overly optimistic or overly pessimistic and knows what they're talking about at least a little bit (if any of those exist around here):

When it comes to signing our top draft picks, I've heard both ends of the spectrum. Some people say the Lerners and JimBow are crazy and refuse to pay above slot, so we're going to end up with no one. But some people point to last year and say that we're obviously willing to do what it takes to build our farm system through the draft, and there's nothing to worry about because most of these signings tend to happen in a wave later on in the summer, if not ten minutes before the deadline.

Which of these perspectives is closer to the actual truth? Is there anyone with better reasoning than 'I don't like Jim Bowden or his stupid, smelly Blackberry!' who can tell me whether we're actually likely to sign these guys??

Posted by: BFG | July 16, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

or maybe we should wonder whether a "winning record" in the minor league system necessarily means more talent.

guys are in the minor league system more to learn how to do their jobs than they are purely for winning. not to say that they don't want to win and aren't trying to win every game, but a lot of times guys are working on specific things. so if a pitcher is trying to learn a new pitch, he's learning how to use it on the job. does it mean he's less of a player if missing with that pitch as he's learning it causes a home run and a loss?

and players on the minor league teams shift more than they do on the major league team.

basically, i'm saying don't get to worked up, either positively or negatively, over the record of a minor league system. it probably means more than a spring training or football preseason record, but not as much more as people often make it out to mean.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

BFG, i can't bother to get worked up over it until they're actually not signed. there's still a month left in the signing period. unless there's a specific pick whose negotiations have broken down irreparably to point to, the fact that they haven't signed yet isn't indicative (in and of itself) that they won't sign. no reason to say the sky is falling when we haven't even been hit in the head with an acorn yet.

this becomes an issue (or a non-issue) on august 16, after the deadline's past.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

231, I remember earlier in the year when the Minor League record was better, the Nats were quick to issue a press release saying they had the fourth best minor league record in baseball.

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

At this point, it's hard to point to 3 guys who are guaranteed impact players in the Nats minors.

Not Detwiler with his 5 plus ERA. Not Marrero or Maxwell with their low .BAs.

Maybe there's isn't even one...

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

ohplease: Boswell reported on his chat this week that the Nationals' minor league teams have the 2nd best W-L record in baseball. They were 30th 2 years ago. Certainly not a guarantee of any future major league dominance, but I'd rather be 2nd.

It's a shame that the ASG ended so late. Sheinen's gamer (web only) is a darned fine piece of writing.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | July 16, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

But who are the players who will have an impact in the bigs? I can't think of one.

And I wonder if Boswell got those stats from the Nats...

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The #9 ranking by Baseball America was a bit too generous in my opinion. They have certainly made strides in the farm system (though record isn't the best indicator). They are a top 15 organization on talent.

Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree they have made strides, but the nats and the Post would have us to believe there's a gold mine down there.

Hard to even see any nuggets.

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

and I think you are going too far the opposite direction. There are signs of things improving. Players like Leonard Davis, Craig Stammen and Bill Rhinehart outperforming expectations. Some of the high schoolers drafted in 2006 and 2007 are showing signs of growth (Michael Burgess, Stephen King, & Colton Willems).

It's too early to write off Detwiler and Marrero was still young compared to the level he was playing.

Nationals fans can be optimistic. Cautiously optimistic. But I beg to differ that there's no "nuggets" down there.

Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Burgess looks like the only guy who might be an impact player some day. The rest look like Chicos and Kastos.

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

and what exactly is wrong with developing Chicos or Castos? Not every player is going to turn into an "impact player". In fact most in every organization aren't. Teams need the complementary pieces not only for their benches but also as parts of seals to acquire major leaguers. The Nationals turned Glenn Gibson into Elijah Dukes.

Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you could trade Chico or Kasto for a door-stopper now. No value at all.

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"It's a shame that the ASG ended so late. Sheinen's gamer (web only) is a darned fine piece of writing."

I agree! I really enjoyed it, with the exception of the line,

"...with the starters joined at their positions by 49 living Hall of Famers..."

What, were they going to truck the dead ones out, too? But really, I recommend it to anyone who needs a five minute break from work.

Posted by: sos | July 16, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I heard a rumor that Fox's ratings dropped 98 percent when Don Sutton came on screen.

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I gotta million of 'em.

Look out O's Exec, you've got someone on your tail for King of the Mouth-Breathers

Posted by: ohplease's internal monologue | July 16, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"I have a question for anyone who's not overly optimistic or overly pessimistic and knows what they're talking about at least a little bit (if any of those exist around here):"

Well, that excludes me. But I'm going to put in an answer anyway:

We talk about the player market many times like it's a giant Wal-Mart full of talent and all you have to do is buy it and put it out there. This is why some folks insist that all we need to do is raise pay roll and the team will approve.

Others here, treat it like a more realistic Wal-Mart, where the discerning GM must decide which pieces are overpriced, which are just right, and which are a steal. Persons with a good eye for products can do this better and both save the team money and build a quality winner.

But an even more accurate analogy is that of a souq (or bazaar, for you Persian-lovers). You offer an unfairly low price, the seller responds with an unfairly high price, and you go back and forth trying to bluff your way to something you can stomach. This may involve elaborate arguments, perhaps even a ploy or two, maybe even dramatically storming out.

In the end, you either come to a price you're willing to buy for or sell for, based on your understanding of worth, or else you let the deal go and hold out for the next customer to see if you can get something better.

Also like the unregulated marketplace, your position in life determines how much you're willing to be overcharged/underpaid.

In my reading of the current situation, the Nationals feel like they're no longer in the position where they have to bite their lip and grossly overpay for talent, like last year. So they're willing to play tougher with these kids. In August, we'll determine just how much they really are willing to overpay.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I've been to close to 60 games over the course of the last 4 years. I don't get the Clint hate, and want someone to explain it. I don't see him as anything but benign - read the trivia, choose the song, do the pushups, etc. Hardly a polarizing figure. Is it his looks? Does he look down at the fans off camera? Gimme a clue! He could stay or go and I would not notice.

Posted by: 6th and D | July 16, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Clint just needs to turn down the volume control from 11 to something under 10.

Posted by: ohplease | July 16, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Clint is way too smarmy/fake for me. I understand that it's part of the job to be all enthusiastic and whatnot, but he just comes off as arrogant and disingenuous.

Posted by: Boo Clint | July 16, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Short chat, Chico. Who are you? Felipe Lopez at bat?

regarding this question:
"Wily Mo Pena: Listen, Harlan, I don't care what your survey says. I am not as bad as I've been playing. No way. Not even close. Your readers crucified the Guz a few years back for his bad play and now he's the team's lone All Star and its "darling." Why? Because Guz was playing hurt and so am I. Why can't people see that? And like Guz and the Phoenix, I will rise from the ashes when I get healthy. Regardless of whether is it with the Nats or some other team. Guaranteed."


I sure hope we don't have to endure another 2 years of Willy Mo sitting on the DL, only to return and hit a ton of singles. Guzman is an all-star this year, props to him, but was it worth the misery of past 3 years. As for Guzman being "hurt" in '05, somehow I feel either the team or Guzman should have realized that he couldn't see straight. Isn't that what team physicals are for?

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

oh please, of *course* the front office trumpeted their winning record in the minor league system. it makes them look good, and that's exactly what PR folks are supposed to do, point out statistics that make their organizations look good. but like anything else, a single statistic taken in a vacuum has limited value. and the won/loss record of a minor league system doesn't necessarily predict success or failure of a club's minor league players in the major league. it's a very, very broad indicator and is not necessarily the best barometer to judget whether individual players in the system have the talent, drive, and skill to become effective or star-quality players in the major leagues. it's possible to have a handful of really good players, but still have a losing record. it's also possible to have rosters full of marginal major league players that could win a lot of minor league games.

so no, i don't buy into the winning record meaning the minor league players will be good major league players any more than i believe a losing record would mean there aren't any good players, either.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't listen to the haters Clint. They all wish they could stand next to that hot Nat Pack girl, be on the big board, and give out free crap at the games.

In all seriousness, Clint's just trying to do his job. Kasten is the person responsible for trotting him out there every half inning ad nauseum.

Note to Stan: Get rid of the "Highlights of the Game" feature. I hate watching the highlights of Nats players getting bases-empty singles, or making routine defensive plays! It's insulting for the fans who are still there watching a 5-0 game (Nats losing) to see a montage of highlights that makes the team look its winning. It's the lowest form of self-promotion and we all see right through it!!!

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

So the AAA All-Star Game is on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. tonight, featuring our very own Garrett Mock, as well as our up-and-coming 1B/LF prospect Chris Carter, the player we acquired from Arizona last year in exchange for the estimable Emiliano Fruto. Carter is batting .288/.349/.511, with 19 HRs and 66 RBIs this season for ... the Pawtucket Red Sox. Yep, sorry for the unpleasant reminder that Carter was the PTBNL we sent to Boston in exchange for our very own Wily Mo Pena! Aaaargh!

Baseball Santa, can we please have some good news in the second half? Such as, we make some surprisingly good moves around the trade deadline, Burgess gets promoted to Potomac and keeps hitting, Rhinehart continues to surprise, Detwiler finds his control, Zim doesn't need surgery and, along with Kearns and even WMP, puts some pop back into our lineup, and Zimmermann pulls a Detwiler and gets a September callup? That's really not too much to ask, is it?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 16, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"Don't listen to the haters Clint. They all wish they could stand next to that hot Nat Pack girl, be on the big board, and give out free crap at the games"

No, actually, most of us would prefer to watch a baseball game and not have to deal with any useless schtick

Posted by: Fire Clint! | July 16, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I am hereby announcing a one-day moratorium on Post of the Day, in honor of this excellent tidbit from Chico in the chat. It's a great combination of snark and accuracy - a fusion we will henceforth refer to as snarkuracy - and it is worthy of recognition.

It's Chico's blog now. We're just posting in it.

-----

The real question is, if Ayala were to TiVo his own performance, sit down to watch and then somehow feel the compulsion to hurl his remote in disgust, would he be able to hit a 27-inch screen?

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

506, I like the souq analogy. The only difference is, in the case of the draft, the Nats will get a draft pick in the same round next year as compensation for not signing the player. So there's some protection.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"It's a great combination of snark and accuracy - a fusion we will henceforth refer to as snarkuracy"

This is NOT the post of the day, thanks to our temporary moratorium on PotD's.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

506, I like the souq analogy. The only difference is, in the case of the draft, the Nats will get a draft pick in the same round next year as compensation for not signing the player. So there's some protection.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 3:35 PM
_________________________

Yeah, but doesn't it come at the end of the round? 9th pick in 2008 < 33rd pick in 2009?

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting point, JiM, but isn't that comment really more about inaccuracy?

Since we've brought up the NatsPack girls can we have a little intervention with them about tanning? Please go with dark hair and dark tan or light hair and light tan, but never light hair and dark tan.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats were to not sign Aaron Crow, they would get selection 9A in 2009. That pick would come after the #9 pick in 2009, so assuming no other higher 2008 (1-8) picks were unsigned, it would be pick #10 in 2009

Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@756- no, you get the pick just after where you picked the previous year. So, when you draft at #9 in 2008, you'll get the #10 in 2009 if you fail to sign #9.

Posted by: John | July 16, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

In my reading of the current situation, the Nationals feel like they're no longer in the position where they have to bite their lip and grossly overpay for talent, like last year. So they're willing to play tougher with these kids. In August, we'll determine just how much they really are willing to overpay.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 2:45 PM

The fact that they have yet to come to terms with any of their top 5 draft picks is unnerving. Other top picks are playing in the rookie leagues, gaining pro experience perhaps accelerating their development. Ours are not and that's a problem.

Money should not be an issue here. The gap between revenue and payroll has to among the largest in the game. This market should sustain a much higher payroll. The difference between what they should have in payroll and what they are paying should be invested in these young players. There are a lot of ways to do this . . . international signings, over slot draft picks, even taking on major league salary in exchange for prospects or draft picks. But the current FO doesn't seem interested or creative enough to try all these avenues.

I certainly hope their instringence on draft bonuses isn't affected by the Commissioner's Office. If Bud Selig is pissed that the Nats are blowing up his slotting system, %&^%&*^% him. He's the one that helped destroy this franchise before it got here. One stinking all star game isn't going to make up for tons of lost revenue from a half empty stadium and pathetic TV ratings.

Even if they sign all five picks, they have shown a tendency toward cheapness that does not bode well for the future.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 16, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Between the comments made by Mark Lerner regarding signing the top 5 picks and the lack of international signings, I'm really beginning to question the commitment to the 'plan.' I don't see how management can honestly profess to be committed to building a quality major league team through the farm system, yet at the same time say that they are a slot team and that they'll be content to take the same pick in the following year's draft (where they could face the same problems all over again, and lose a year of development time). If Lerner's comments were just a negotiating tactic, it was a poor one. It only served to cause more unrest with the fans of this currently abysmal team. If you aren't going to spend money on fielding a quality major league team by signing free agents, then you should be committed to building the farm system, making sure you sign your draft picks, and going out and finding top international talent. All we have is hope for a better team tomorrow, and comments like those made by Lerner are quite unsettling.

Posted by: Paul | July 16, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone post a website that shows which 1st and 2nd round selections (of all teams) have been signed?

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@756* - http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/draft/2008/bonuses/signing_bonuses_08.aspx

That's for 2008.

Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Brian,
That's exactly what I was looking for!

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

How much above slot does Crow want? I mean, it seems that being picked #9 was right where he deserved or better even. If I'm correct, Smoak is a Borris guy, so no wonder why he's still unsigned.

Hood is another story. He won't sign unless we go above slot. Question remains...how much?

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@756* - Crow was considered one of the top 5 players in the draft by most experts. There is nothing concrete but rumors are he is/was asking for $6M+ and a major league deal (i.e. immediately going on the 40-man). That could explain his slide to #9.

As for Hood, the most commonly referenced $ figure is $1M.

In both cases, I see more posturing from their respective "advisors" than lines in the sand.

Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@JiM: Actually, if Ayala threw his remote at his t.v. he'd put it dead-center in the screen, and it would fly out of his living into the front yard.

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

What does cheap mean?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone four times what you think they're worth?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone two times what you think they're worth?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone a 50% increase over what they think you're worth?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone what you think they're worth?

Are all cheap? If we want to look at the signings or not signings of draft picks to judge whether or not the Lerners are cheap we should 1) set a definition of cheap, and 2) make a real effort to determine what the Lerners think various players are worth.

Dunno how we can do number 2, since what they say will be nothing more than bargaining fluff, but how about number 1?

What percentage of a player's estimated worth in the eyes of a franchise that that franchise is willing to pay demarcates the cheapness line?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Touche.

-----

Interesting point, JiM, but isn't that comment really more about inaccuracy?

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Double touche.

Man, I'm really starting to regret the moratorium.

-----

@JiM: Actually, if Ayala threw his remote at his t.v. he'd put it dead-center in the screen, and it would fly out of his living into the front yard.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 16, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd vote for no tanning (or spray on tan), due to possible health risks associated with tanning.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 16, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

What does cheap mean?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone four times what you think they're worth?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone two times what you think they're worth?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone a 50% increase over what they think you're worth?

Is cheap refusing to pay someone what you think they're worth?

Are all cheap? If we want to look at the signings or not signings of draft picks to judge whether or not the Lerners are cheap we should 1) set a definition of cheap, and 2) make a real effort to determine what the Lerners think various players are worth.

Dunno how we can do number 2, since what they say will be nothing more than bargaining fluff, but how about number 1?

What percentage of a player's estimated worth in the eyes of a franchise that that franchise is willing to pay demarcates the cheapness line?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 4:14 PM
______________________________

Answer:

Cheap is refusing to pay someone what the market thinks they're worth.

With Crow, he was picked about at the right slot. And he should get somewhere between what #8 and #10 get. What's he going to do? Go back to college for another year? What does he have to prove? Will he really improve his draft position? I doubt it.

With Hood, he was picked lower than he would have normally been picked. So the 2 sides should agree on a value higher than the slot but lower than where he would have gone (which is of course, very debatable).

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

And probably much closer to what Hood thinks he should get...

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay, well Crow thinks he's with $6M (according to above)

#10 was paid $2,070,000
#6 was paid $2,300,000

So Crow is starting high, I suppose. The link posted above (and included below) shows that in the first few rounds teams seem to be following that method as a rule of thumb. After that, it gets a bit dodgier, presumably because of the Hood Corollary you outlined.

A few follow up questions:
1) If Crow refuses to sign for $2M - $2.3M then the Lerners are not cheap for walking away?
2) Does "the market" really assign his value if there's no competition for the bonus, only for the right to negotiate a bonus?
3) The Market explanation as described above only accounts for a global market, not the individual markets within the franchise. It's possible that demand for Crow, for example, is different within the Nationals than it might be within the Red Sox. Am I missing how this is accounted for when figuring worth, and therefore cheapness?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/draft/2008/bonuses/signing_bonuses_08.aspx

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 16, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd vote for no tanning (or spray on tan), due to possible health risks associated with tanning.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 16, 2008 4:17 PM

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

Personally I'm a fan of tanning-beds.

Posted by: Marty Cordova | July 16, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I am troubled by Director of Scouting Dana Brown's being "devastated" at the Lerners' refusal to go along with his recommendations. I am troubled that Mark Lerner shows an unwillingness to sign draft picks or free agents in the press, saying so to Chico, something which 29 other owners would never do. The take-it-or-leave-it-hard-bargaining with prospects makes no sense - even if you gave each of them $2M over slot, you would never get talent so cheaply. It's how they got Zimmerman and Lannan. You don't see the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Mets or Tigers making such statements. You don't see them telling their free agent All Star shortstop to sign cheaper with them because he's already been paid a lot, like Trader Jim said to Guzman under ownership pressure. I am especially troubled that Chris Needham would break his silence at Capitol Punishment, a silence he has maintained since May, after seeing Mark Lerner's comments. Mr. Needham began blogging in 2004 when the team was still in Montreal. His blog was widely quoted in Baseball Think Factory and recommended as a site worthy of daily visits by Barry Svrluga, the WaPo Nats beat writer. Read his post. It is a white hot jet of rage. He loves the team, having put an insane amount of energy into writing about it. That he would be so angry is alarming. Maybe they'll sign all the picks+Texeira, Sheets, Sabathia, Guzman and/or Orlando Hudson,(Team Boswell) and all of this worry will have been needless, but that does not apper to be what's happening.

Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Bob L - How'd you know my name is Carter? Does that explain all the EE#4 references?

Posted by: PTBNL | July 16, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

3) The Market explanation as described above only accounts for a global market, not the individual markets within the franchise. It's possible that demand for Crow, for example, is different within the Nationals than it might be within the Red Sox. Am I missing how this is accounted for when figuring worth, and therefore cheapness?
_______________________

IMO, there are two differences.
1. If the Red Sox had selected him at pick #9, then I'd say they might have to pay more to sign him than we do. But we shouldn't confuse the FA signings or major league contracts with draft signings. I think it is entirely possible to have a high team payroll but to be very shrewd with the slot.

Maybe the Nats have identified themselves as an above-slot team from their actions last draft, but the solution to reversing that perception is not to ween off of it cold-turkey. It would be better to go incrementally down.

If Crow wants 6 mil (or even 4 mil) and sticks to that, I don't think we'll be calling the Lerners cheap. There is no way he should get even close to Beckham.

My best guess is that they won't agree until Matusz signs and that Crow will get 0.5-1 mil less than Matusz.

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

the lerners are:
C
H
E
A
P

we nats fans are all doomed.

Posted by: doomsday | July 16, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

haha just read what Chris wrote over @ Capitol Punishment. Couldn't have said it any better myself. Nice.

Posted by: Section 111 (Formerly 223 @ RFK Stadium) | July 16, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

With whatever I said before, I have no idea what figures are being discussed, but if Crow is asking for 0.5 - 0.75 mil above slot, I'd sign him right now and put him him low A. I hope he is not asking for 6 mil, cause then this will go down to the wire.

I feel like any negotiations with the Lerners are going to be a battle for sanity. If they start getting down to the FedEx package details, then Crow might decide that he doesn't want to play for the team.

Posted by: 756* | July 16, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Marty," I hear you. I had a friend who fell asleep in a tanning bed. It was not pretty. :D

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 16, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Bill Ladson definitely is part of the Blue Ilk in Chico's chart.

Whether or not Ladson's Nats tinted glasses helped create the headline, well, whos to know.

Anyhow, thanks Bill, for stating the painfully obvious.


http://tinyurl.com/6lurxu

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 16, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, LDO. I wonder, though, why Ladson thinks that the Lerners or any owner would take cues on running a team from the media or from fans on message boards (see, for example the recent Onion piece on the fantasy team owner ripping his team). ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 16, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is from today's Crowd Noise:

Before we get to today's contest, I suppose I should issue what has become a near-daily apology/clarification for something I've done/said/insinuated:

I am truly, madly, deeply sorry for not realizing how sensitive Nationals Journal readers are about Orioles fans who mock their favorite team.


Oh my, seems like my Feathery Fists of Fury O's have ruffled a few feathers.

Posted by: O's Exec | July 16, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little bothered by M. Lerner voicing his (percieved) thoughts in front of Bos & Chico regarding draft signings, and the subsequent mentions of Nationals' DoS Dana Brown being "devistated" by that. Negotiations should NEVER take place via the media (see the current drama queen Farve vs. GB Packers dilema). I only hope the last few days amount to just so much posturing, and that the majority of the draftees' end up under contract. The alternative is future draftees' agents looking at this franchise as an unfavorable place to sign, and additional fan disconnects.

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@OEx: Personally, no feathers ruffled here. I was suprised to find that a displaced Bawlmer boy actually took the time to lurk & post to a WaPo blog. Dude, you're in SoCal; Whadda doin' wasting time posting EastCoast snark with the babes, beaches & other distractions sittin' outside your door?

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

This is the most attention I have received for anything that I have ever done in my life. I should probably bring more attention to myself. I am so awesome! Best. Week. Ever. (hi-fives self)

Posted by: nr O's Exec | July 16, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/33/biz_baseball08_The-Business-Of-Baseball_Income.html

Sort by operating income . . . who's #1?

Operating Income $43.7m 1st.

2008 payroll -- 54,961,000 26th

Into this massive gap COULD go over slot signing bonus, international signings etc. But it doesn't. It should. Until it does, the Lerner's should be presumed guilty of cheapocity.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 16, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@OEx: No, it's just sad.

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@GRiP: How does expending $11.3M in ML player-only salary above operating income consitiute cheapness? The 2008 payroll only covers the 25-man roster; It excludes other players on the 40-man, all Managers, Coaches, and players throughout the minors that are not rostered. Additionally, it excludes adminsitrative costs, travel costs (at all levels), and other incedentals. Even though I hate sounding like an apologist for them, the Lerner group has only been at this for 2+years; they're still learning the ropes.

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

How long did it take BoSox ownership to learn the ropes?

Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@OEx: No, it's just sad.

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 6:39 PM

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

Don't hate the playa'
Hate the game

Posted by: O's Exec | July 16, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

...crickets...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Lindsay Applebaum's apology (It is the first "apology" I've ever seen that told the aggrieved to "toughen up." Where did she learn etiquette - the Sudanese embassy?):

"I suppose I should issue what has become a near-daily apology/clarification for something I've done/said/insinuated:

I am truly, madly, deeply sorry for not realizing how sensitive Nationals Journal readers are about Orioles fans who mock their favorite team. A sampling of the backlash:

Pot meet Kettle: Just to be clear, this guy's a fan of the perennial 4th place Orioles and likes to hang out on a Nats blog, and make fun of how sorry the Nats are? Ok, got it.

Post Exec: Really. This is your featured commentator. A one-trick pony [note to self: ask bosses why we don't bleep this word]. Are there any adults left at the Post or have they all taken the buyouts and been replaced with moron interns?

No, there aren't any adults left at the Post, but we've found that an office run by children is actually far more productive, not to mention cost-effective. My 8-year-old assistant works 14 hours a day on a salary of 30 Air Heads per week.

Look, I received multiple emails requesting an O's Exec profile. Sure, half were from him and the other half were from his mother, but I simply did what the people asked.

I've learned my lesson, and I'll never profile anyone controversial again. That being said, for the love of Jesus Flores: toughen up, people!"

Hey Lindsay - Flynnie here. Take your apology and ride off into the sunset with it and O's exec - you deserve each other.


Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

===
How long did it take BoSox ownership to learn the ropes?

Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 7:04 PM
===

boston ownership is a troika.

it took larry lucchino a while, but luckily for the red sox, he had years to practice as president/ceo of the orioles.

john henry bought his first baseball team (AAA) in 1989.

tom werner bought the padres in 1990 (but sold it in 1994).

so one might say they had plenty of baseball experience long before they bought the red sox.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

i'm with lindsay. people should just relax. if you want her to profile someone different, nominate them.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lindsay - Flynnie here. Take your apology and ride off into the sunset with it and O's exec - you deserve each other.

Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 8:55 PM

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

This dude is the biggest playa' hata in the game. He's just upset because he hasn't been profiled (on the Posts website that is) yet.


Here's a question for everyone else...

Who's greedier, Lerners or Angelos?

At least Angelos lets you bring your own food and drink into the stadium.


Posted by: O's Exec | July 16, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

you can bring your own food to nationals' games. i don't remember being able to bring anything other than water into camden yards or memorial stadium (which is what you can bring into nationals stadium (and before in RFK)).

i do remember that bringing your own food to memorial stadium was *ONLY* through gate e, which i thought was odd.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

i meant any "beverage" other than water above.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"It's why we win," David Ortiz said.

He pointed to Ichiro Suzuki, the Seattle Mariners' wisp of an outfielder, a man who still uses a translator to do interviews with English-speaking reporters - and happens to be baseball's amalgam of Anthony Robbins and George Carlin. Every year, after the AL manager addresses his team, Ichiro bursts from his locker, a bundle of kinetic energy, and proceeds, in English, to disparage the National League with an H-bomb of F-bombs, stunning first-timers who had no idea Ichiro speaks the queen's language fluently and making returnees happy that they had played well enough to see the pep talk again.

The tradition began in 2001, Ichiro's first All-Star appearance, and the AL hasn't lost a game since. Coincidence?

From Yahoo Sports

Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Flynnie, that's good.

Posted by: CE | July 16, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Chico...tell us about Zimmermann vs. Tillman. That was a heck of a minor league matchup.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 16, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

In 2002 John Henry led a purchase of the Boston Red Sox with partners Tom Werner and the New York Times Company from the Yawkey Trust headed by John Harrington. Henry, as principal owner and, Werner, as chairman, assembled a front office team headed up by Larry Lucchino with the express goal of winning a championship, a feat accomplished in the 2004 World Series, and again in 2007.

Posted by: flynnie | July 16, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

wow O's exec, this is the least amount of media coverage i've ever seen go to someones head...congrats on being the kim kardashian of nats journal

Posted by: love | July 16, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

yes, flynnie, all of that is true. but there are no real parallels between boston and DC as far as a change in ownership. it's a completely different situation. in what players boston had in 2002. in what kind of fan base (and rich history) boston had in 2002. in the experience of the new ownership. they're really not comparable.

boston's 2002 roster included manny ramirez, nomar, johnny damon, jason varitek, cliff floyd in his prime, pedro, derek lowe, wakefield, urbina... a very different situation altogether.

Posted by: 231 | July 16, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I can do F-bombs, too.

Posted by: Chase Utley | July 17, 2008 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Especially tragic because he volunteered to be featured on a lame blog about bloggers, which nobody reads anyway.

"wow O's exec, this is the least amount of media coverage i've ever seen go to someones head...congrats on being the kim kardashian of nats journal"

Posted by: Nats Exec | July 17, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

flynnie makes a valid point. Regardless who the Red Sox had on the team when Henry purchased them, this team is far different since his group assumed ownership. They are an exceptionally well run organization. Their deep farm system allows them to replace aging players or trade for players they need. The Sox have the money to play in free agent market if they wish and are willing to spend to retain their core players. They sign their draft picks with little fanfare. They are one hell of an organization. The Nats are the complete opposite in every way.

Heller's column in the Times today was spot on. Zuckerman on the other hand was a little too generous in some of his grades. I wonder when the Post's reprt card is coming out.

Posted by: mjames | July 17, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't hold my breath on a Nats story, mjames, as today's Post has zero Nats coverage (although it does have a nice big O's story, including a box on today's upcoming series). But maybe you can find Nats-related coverage at the Sports Bog - oh wait, the latest Nats-related post is another in the series of posts engaging fans in a debate about their reaction to a story about tv ratings (executive summary: the Post is right and the fans are wrong). Well then, you can look over at the Crowd Noise blog - what's that you say? The latest Nats-related item features an Orioles troll? I think that Coverage is Lacking has a point, and my report card for Nats coverage today features an F.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 17, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Post editors take note: the previous comment comes from the eternally positive and never critical natsfan1a, not one of us blowhards.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Consider something to occupy our time until Friday night.

What do you think of changing the All Star rules to allow re-entry into the game in the same place in the batting order? This would allow almost everyone to play but wouldn't leave either team without players in case of extra innings or, heaven forbid, injuries. Catchers are already allowed to re-enter in certain circumstances .

This is my transparent attempt to get your keen baseball minds and sharp wit involved in something other than a blog about blogs.

I'm happy to be the target for either. I won't be back on line until about 1:00.

Have fun.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | July 17, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

mjames, flynnie's original comment was "How long did it take BoSox ownership to learn the ropes?"

if you read my answer to that, it shows how much difference there is between the ownership groups. boston's ownership group is three experienced baseball guys as compared to the lerners. there is/was a huge "learning" gap between the groups.

and it's a little early to compare what the two teams have done in the farm system. the lerners and kasten have only had one full season/offseason with the team (two years total, but they started mid season). they obviously made good strides in the farm system last offseason.

look, i'm disheartened by what lerner said. and i'm worried for the future too. but comparing the situation that henry et. al. took over in boston to the situation taken over here is really apples to oranges.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

@231: Agreed. The real difference was (and is) in the overall conditions of the franchise at the time of purchase. Boston had a proven core of quality players at the ML level, and a sound, stable farm system. Washington recieved a fair number of ML-quality players, but a minor-league system that was horribly damaged & gutted of any high to mid-level prospects.

Posted by: BIM | July 17, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

From the "Be Careful What You Ask For" Department:

We complain about the coverage the Nats receive, especially from columnists, but the Times today features a columnist who says that the Nats should simply give up during the second half of the season. He then proceeds with a series of lame jokes to insult the team.

Posted by: Positively Half St | July 17, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Going back to the minor league record discussion earlier.

Minor league records do matter because the other teams' minor leaguers are working on stuff, shifting more, and learning on the job too.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 17, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

even the major league teams weren't comparable. the sox started with the best pitcher in baseball at the time, two other quality starters, the best 1-2 hitting punch in baseball, a franchise SS, a top CF, a top catcher...

the lerners got no 1-2 starting pitchers and a whole bunch of 4-5s, one top OF with a half season left on his contract, one future franchise guy, a quality 1B who's injured as much as he plays, a decent bullpen... and that was about it. a team mostly bereft of talent at all levels.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

natsnut, i didn't say they don't matter, i said they weren't necessarily indicative statistics in a vacuum because of other factors. there are too many other variables to just take the record at face value.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Though, minor league records are fun. It's fun to win. Remember?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

sure. and i'm sure the players all appreciate it, as do the fans who go to the games. i'm not saying it's a bad thing at all. just that we shouldn't get carried away with using that statistic to predict future success in the majors.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It's fun to watch a team who if they actually win a game, you don't think they got lucky.

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Look on the bright side, 1A, at least Wilbon filled his annual baseball article quota today.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 17, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't hold my breath on a Nats story, mjames, as today's Post has zero Nats coverage (although it does have a nice big O's story, including a box on today's upcoming series). But maybe you can find Nats-related coverage at the Sports Bog - oh wait, the latest Nats-related post is another in the series of posts engaging fans in a debate about their reaction to a story about tv ratings (executive summary: the Post is right and the fans are wrong). Well then, you can look over at the Crowd Noise blog - what's that you say? The latest Nats-related item features an Orioles troll? I think that Coverage is Lacking has a point, and my report card for Nats coverage today features an F.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 17, 2008 7:17 AM
___________________________________________

Wow. When 1a is disgusted, it is time to take notice. And I happen to agree with her.

Could it be that Coverage is Lacking was right along?

CiL, your rantings use to get under my skin but, I got to tell you, it appears that you were onto something long ago and I was giving the the Hometown paper to much credit.

Coverage is Lacking. I never thought I would type that but, damn is it true.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, the O's article is pretty interesting today.

BUT

Why couldn't a Nats story on the exact same topic... nearly with the same lines... be written? Whether the Nats buy or sell or stand pat at this trade deadline is one of the major questions not just of this season, but of the next five seasons.

Hey, Washington Post, why isn't THAT an interesting topic?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Hey, Washington Post, why isn't THAT an interesting topic?"

Because there are only 38,000 Nats fans...

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

OK, I think I'm losing it. I just read Andrew Astleford's piece online titled "U.S. Olympic Baseball Team Is Announced" (here's the tiny link: http://tinyurl.com/62gfnk).

In it, he writes: "The team features 14 players in Class AAA ball, 7 in AA, 1 in Class A and 1 in college." But nowhere in the article can I find the list of the players! I can't seem to find a link to see which players were announced.

Am I that blind? I eventually found the roster, but shouldn't an article that is titled "U.S. Olympic Baseball Team Is Announced" feature the names of the players that had been announced?

Posted by: e | July 17, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Baltimore opens it second half tonight while the Nationals open theirs on Friday???

Just sayin'

Posted by: Or could it be ... ? | July 17, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

So tomorrow we'll see an article like this on the Nats?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I'll have a story in Friday's paper that addresses the talent the organization has right now, and where it will all lead.

and

Silver Spring, Md.: Does the Post plan to publish an article on the Nationals first half season and a look ahead to the second half? I realize that the team's first half was pathetic and the second half will likely be bleak. But I noticed that the Baltimore Sun has a big article today about the O's second half chances and grades on the first half. A detailed look at the direction of this team seems to be in order.

Chico Harlan: Friday.

Whatever you see in the paper, it'll probably be one-third the length I want it to be. I'll funnel some other content toward the blog, though.

Posted by: Chico's Chat Yesterday | July 17, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It is totally lame that there is no Nats article in the Post today. I would venture to guess that the main newspaper every other market with a baseball team has at least one feature-type article on the team every off day during the all-star break. Moreover, the O's have a feature piece in our paper today, which I have no problem with, but it just shows what the Nats coverage should be. LAME, LAME, LAME!!

Posted by: Sec 135 | July 17, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

If Friday's article is too long for the paper, then split it into two pieces and publish half TODAY and half tomorrow. LAME!

Posted by: SEC 135 | July 17, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The Post is a Liberal Rag that is always on the Democratic side of things. Do we really expect it to be fair in it's baseball coverage?

Nationals = Conservatives

Orioles = Liberals

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'

Posted by: Actually, It's Pretty Obvious | July 17, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

As we anxiously await something, anything, on this blog with the dead trees edition today devoid of Nats news, here's my suggestion for making sure the next extra inning All Star Game doesn't end with David Wright and J.D. Drew on the mound --

1. Any selected player (usually a pitcher) who his team doesn't want to be used must be replaced before the game. No exceptions.

2. Each manager gets to select one additional pitcher from his OWN TEAM to be the designated extra innings innings eater. (DEIIE). The DEIIE can only be used in extra innnings and only if all other pitchers on the team have been used, and must pitch until the game is over. The manager can pick a long reliever or a starter whose turn in the rotation is coming up.

Adopting this rule should avoid all of the problems that faced Terry Francona in this week's game.

Posted by: Section 222 | July 17, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

3. This is an exhibition game. Any ridiculous link to post-season home field advantage is hereby terminated. Games still tied after 12 innings end in a tie.

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Wait, why are the O's Liberals and the Nat's Conservatives?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@GRiP: How does expending $11.3M in ML player-only salary above operating income consitiute cheapness? The 2008 payroll only covers the 25-man roster; It excludes other players on the 40-man, all Managers, Coaches, and players throughout the minors that are not rostered. Additionally, it excludes adminsitrative costs, travel costs (at all levels), and other incedentals. Even though I hate sounding like an apologist for them, the Lerner group has only been at this for 2+years; they're still learning the ropes.

Posted by: BIM | July 16, 2008 6:56 PM

Are the Nats the ONLY team that has these other expenses? Of course not. Every team has them. I am sure some teams are more economical/efficient with this spending but I doubt it comes to an appreciable difference.

Detroit has a $100+ payroll. In a much smaller market. Are you telling me that Detroit can sustain a $100m+ payroll in a smaller market while the Nats can't?

The point is: for an enterprise of their kind, the payroll bucket is only half filled. There is money there to do creative things. In fact, the spending on the '07 draft is the best example of how they should be spending this shortfall.

Now, should they not continue this in the '08 draft (haven't heard of any major international signings since Smiley??) then I would put forward a cheapness charge. If you aren't spending at the major league level and you aren't at least spending on new players, what are you doing with all your revenue?

This is not Pittsburgh or Kansas City. This is a major market team. The FO needs to exploit this fact. Not through spending on overpriced mediocre major league FA's but through other avenues like the draft and overseas. There are market inefficiencies that can be exploited here. Why do you think Billy Beane of the small market A's just paid $4.5m for a 16 year old Dominician pitcher.

And BTW -- what did John Henry do before he got into the baseball business? He was a trader, exploiting market inefficiencies to make a boat load of cash. he transferred many of those same skills to baseball . . . So I guess this means we Nats fans get the parking lot magnate experience translated to our front office, pushing the seats closer together, making the signage impossible to decipher et al.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 17, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

506 - Because Angelos is a trial lawyer and the Lerners have Georger Will in the expensive seats?

Posted by: PTBNL | July 17, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with outfielder Destin Hood, the club's second-round selection in this year's First-Year Player Draft. Hood will be assigned to the Nationals' Gulf Coast League affiliate in Viera, FL. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden, Vice President of Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager Mike Rizzo, and Director of Scouting Dana Brown made this joint announcement.

Hood, 18, was a two-sport standout for St. Paul's Episcopal High School in Mobile, AL. This year, the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder batted .485 with 19 extra-base hits, eight home runs, 32 RBI and 17 stolen bases while leading his team to the 5A state semifinals and earning a spot on the USA Today All-USA High School Baseball Team. Hood was recognized as the Alabama Sports Writers Association's 5A Player of the Year, and was named the High School Baseball Player of the Year by the Mobile Press-Register. He was a 2008 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American, after batting .517 with seven home runs, 36 RBI and 43 stolen bases as a junior. His impressive junior campaign earned him AFLAC All-American honors and a spot in the AFLAC All-American Home Run Derby, which he won with eight homers.

This season on the gridiron, Hood caught 56 passes for 995 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to Alabama's 5A State Championship. A starter at wide receiver and defensive back, he was named First-Team All-State by The Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Hood, who attended the same high school as San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, had signed a letter of intent to play both baseball and football at the University of Alabama

Posted by: Nationals signed Destin Hood | July 17, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

GRiP - You make some very valid points.

Posted by: mjames | July 17, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

why did it take so long? what did he sign for? why haven't they signed the other top 4 picks? why are the Lerners so cheap? why can't I be happy for one minute?

Posted by: the voice of many here | July 17, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the best points are made by NsDH.

I have full faith that we'll sign these guys no matter how much they cost. It's all part of the bargaining process...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has already been posted, but:
http://farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/2008/07/17/nationals-agree-to-terms-with-destin-hood/#comments

Hood signed...no word on bonus money. I thought he would end up going to Alabama on that dual scholorship...

Posted by: TimDz | July 17, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It has been...

Posted by: TimDz | July 17, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Hood signed. Hopefully not the last of the top 5 signed.

Interesting comment from farmauthority website. I asked if Hood would be considered top 10 prospect material immediately. Response was not necessarily but right in the discussion. Definitely top 10 for bats which I totally agree with.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | July 17, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Cheeks-

This is nothing against you because I know you get some well deserved days off this week, but the problem with the Washington Post (I'm a subscriber and always will be), is when it comes to online content ... if the Redskins had just signed one of their draft picks ... someone one the WashingtonPost.com's website staff would make note. How come some editor can't log on and post the news for Nats?

Posted by: Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm is a funny dude | July 17, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Here are some of the Olympic Team players
http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1365

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Man, I LOVE me some NFA, but has anyone else had the problem with not being able to comment? I fill out all the comment fields, hit "post", the screen refreshes, yet my comment never ever appears. It's lost in posting limbo somewhere. I've tried different user names, different emails, all to no avail.
Also, Brian, would it kill you to put some contact info for yourself on your page somewhere... anywhere?

Posted by: Section 138 | July 17, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I can't seem to remember what the rotation is going to look like after the break. Does Redding-Lannan-Perez-Bergmann-Balester sound right?

Posted by: John | July 16, 2008 1:09 PM
*****************************************
Clipped from the Times' blog on 7/12:
"Acta laid out the team's starting rotation after the All-Star break, and it will look like this: Tim Redding will pitch the first game July 18 at Atlanta, to be followed by John Lannan and Odalis Perez. Jason Bergmann will start the first game of the series at San Francisco on July 22, followed by Collin Balester. Because his next scheduled start is 12 days after his last outing (on July 10), Bergmann will be available out of the bullpen during the first two games of the Atlanta series."

Posted by: Section 138 | July 17, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This is from today's Crowd Noise: SNIPPED
Posted by: O's Exec | July 16, 2008 6:11 PM
******************************************
What the hell is "Crowd Noise"?

Posted by: Section 138 | July 17, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

wow O's exec, this is the least amount of media coverage i've ever seen go to someones head...congrats on being the kim kardashian of nats journal

Posted by: love | July 16, 2008 11:35 PM

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

Well, I have appeared on TMZ before so we do have that in common.

Posted by: O's Exec | July 17, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Section 138. Looks like I'll get to see Bergmann vs Barry Zito next week. We might just have a chance in that one.

Posted by: John | July 17, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"So I guess this means we Nats fans get the parking lot magnate experience translated to our front office, pushing the seats closer together"

while i'm frustrated with the width of the seats, i'm pretty sure that was determined before the lerners bought the team.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

John,
You don't remember the last time Bergmann faced the Giants? It was F-U-G-L-Y.

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"So I guess this means we Nats fans get the parking lot magnate experience translated to our front office, pushing the seats closer together"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

How bout trying to lose some weight?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@Section 138

You are the first to have complained. I have had no problem either from home or "other" desktop.

Posted by: Section 204 Row K Seat 11 | July 17, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

How bout trying to lose some weight?

Posted by: | July 17, 2008 1:37 PM

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

I gotta say... I'm not exactly Barbie, and I regularly sit in a row of people trying to eat and watch the game, and I've never had a problem with the width of the seats.

Posted by: another opinion | July 17, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

So sweet. Glad I dropped that TMZ reference...that'll get those hamster wheels turning in their heads. They gotta know by now they're dealing with a serious Hollywood talent. I can't believe I was featured on the blog about blogs...so rad!

Posted by: O's Exec's Conscience | July 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else getting their posts blocked? I have a substantive post that is getting blocked, but what I am trying to submit is not against this site's rules.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'll chime in on the "seat width" issue. All this reminds me of The Simpsons episode "King-Size Homer" where Homer purposefully gains weight to get disability. Here's an exchange when Homer is out buying new clothes...

Homer: I'm looking for something loose and billowy, something comfortable for my first day of work.

Salesman: Work, huh? Let me guess. Computer programmer, computer magazine columnist, something with computers?

Homer: Well, I use a computer.

Salesman: [quietly, to self] Yeah, what's the connection? Must be the non-stop sitting and snacking. [more audibly] Well, sir, many of our clients find pants
confining, so we offer a range of alternatives for the ample gentleman: ponchos, muumuus, capes, jumpsuits, unisheets, muslim body rolls, academic and judicial robes....

Homer: I don't want to look like a weirdo. I'll just go with a muumuu.

No one complaining about the seats have been out muumuu shopping recently have they?

Posted by: O's Exec | July 17, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

What's a "parking lot magnate"? The one who owns the monopoly on all the beer at the tailgaiting?

**********************
"So I guess this means we Nats fans get the parking lot magnate experience translated to our front office, pushing the seats closer together"
Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 1:32 PM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | July 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow, more original stuff from O's Exec. Can't believe his comedy career failed with the new and inventive material he keeps bringing!

Posted by: Carl Williams | July 17, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Josh Smoker got demoted from Hagerstown to GGL almost a month ago for being blown up in four games. While on the GCL NATS roster, he has yet to make an appearance. Aforementioned NFA knows nothing. Could you find out (anyone who knows feel free to comment)?

Posted by: Section 204 Row K Seat 11 | July 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I think he's a domesticated troll. A pet troll.

Posted by: St. Exupery | July 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey, check me out.

Posted by: New Post | July 17, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"No honey, you can't come back east to live with us again. We've told you before, you need to get on with you life and grow up some.

Now, get off the computer and go meet some girls. Your dad and I know it's a long shot but we would like some grandkids at some point."

Posted by: O's Exec's Mom | July 17, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Josh Smoker got demoted from Hagerstown to GGL almost a month ago for being blown up in four games. While on the GCL NATS roster, he has yet to make an appearance. Aforementioned NFA knows nothing. Could you find out (anyone who knows feel free to comment)?

#############################

And while you're at it, does anyone know how Alex Escobar's release came to pass, or did I miss that piece of info?

Posted by: More ?'s | July 17, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I see no new post. Is my computer broken?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

maybe we are playing hard with crow with an eye towards strasburg negotiations next year? if we pass on crow we could potentially sign strasburg (is david price a fair comparison?) another top 10, and pickup a nice free agent this offseason without losing our top picks to compensation. we may be about to pick up some steam here. i'd prefer we just sign crow though. who knows if strasburg will still be healthy next year...

Posted by: longterm | July 17, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"The typical Nats fan, in the final analysis, is caught between love and disgust."

As a lifelong Mets fan, I know this feeling well. At least it's better than having the expectation that your team will win every game.

Posted by: PTO'd | July 18, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

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