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The Story on The Deals

SAN FRANCISCO -- In one afternoon, with a pair of moves, the Washington Nationals removed all mystery about the status of their two most valuable veterans and answered several questions about how the team will look next season. The two moves - Washington re-signed shortstop Cristian Guzmán, 30, to a two-year, $16 million deal and traded closer Jon Rauch to the Arizona Diamondbacks - have one similarity: Both netted middle infield starters for 2009.

In exchange for Rauch, Washington received 23-year-old second baseman Emilio Bonifacio, who will be sent to Class AAA Columbus. Known for his speed and originally signed by former Arizona scouting director Mike Rizzo, now Washington's assistant general manager, Bonifacio likely will be promoted to the majors by season's end. General Manager Jim Bowden called him "our second baseman next year" and "our second baseman long-term."

The flurry of activity forced the Nationals into several short-term decisions, too. To replace Rauch on the roster, Washington recalled Garrett Mock, who's already made two starts, both losses, for the Nationals this season. But this time, Mock will pitch from the bullpen. Meanwhile, to replace Rauch's role on the team, Manager Manny Acta installed Joel Hanrahan as the team's new closer.

Without Rauch - "my security blanket," Acta called him - Washington removed the lone stabilizing presence from its bullpen. But the decision underscored the Nationals' strategy to build for next year - a tacit admission that 2008 cannot be salvaged.

In recent weeks, the team had looked into dealing Guzmán, too. After all, his four-year, $16.8 million contract was due to expire at year's end. His value, like Rauch's, had reached a high point. Washington's front office analyzed its future middle infield options, which included a minor league system barren of such position players, and decided that Guzmán was the best bet.

Guzmán, the team's lone all-star this season, had wanted a three- or four-year deal, he said, but was receptive to something shorter in large part because of sympathy. His first three years with the Nationals had been wasted by injuries and underperformance. Said Guzmán: "They had to pay for a player who was not on the field every day."

Guzmán was "sensitive to what we went through with his last contract, the four years where he was hurting for the most of it," Bowden said. "He gave back to the club by signing a two-year deal and he knows on the free agent market he gets the four years."
Asked about the length of Guzmán's contract, Bowden said, "We preferred two. We went through four years of injuries with Cristian. We didn't want to have another contract and all of a sudden we have injuries again."

Similar to the Guzmán deal, the trade for Bonifacio was layered in history. For more than a year, the Diamondbacks had expressed interest in Rauch. For just as long, the Nationals had kept an eye on Bonifacio - who, until two months ago, was "untouchable," Rizzo said. The Diamondbacks' recent bullpen problems ratcheted up their need for Rauch, 4-2 with 17 saves and a 2.98 ERA this year. In turn, their willingness to deal a player Rizzo called "the fastest player in all of baseball" loosened.

Rizzo first saw Bonifacio when the latter was a 16-year-old, trying out at the Diamondbacks' complex in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. As part of the drilling, players were asked to run a 60-yard dash. Rizzo watched a blur, looked at his stopwatch and gasped: Bonifacio had run a 6.22.

"I said, 'Is this 60 yards legit?' '' Rizzo recalled Tuesday. "'Or is this a Dominican 60 yards?' '' They re-measured the distance and confirmed its accuracy.

The Diamondbacks signed Bonifacio. Since then, because Arizona has Orlando Hudson at second, Bonifacio has played several positions, including center field. Some 10 days ago, Rizzo paid a visit to Class AAA Tucson to watch him play both. "A refresher course," Rizzo said.

But all along, Rizzo and others in the front office were convinced that Bonifacio belongs at second. Acta, who knows the prospect because of his ties to the Dominican winter league's Licey Tigers, compared Bonifacio to Luis Castillo of the New York Mets.
Before Bonifacio is recalled from Class AAA, he needs more seasoning. This year in the minors, Bonifacio, a switch hitter, is batting .302 in 367 at-bats. He also has 17 stolen bases in 25 attempts. He needs to cut down on his strikeouts and his boost his on-base percentage, though, before he develops into an ideal leadoff hitter.

"Tough to trade a closer," Bowden said. "It's hard to trade Jon Rauch. Very difficult. You have to trade a reliever when you have the chance to get an every-day position player who's 23 years old. You have to do it."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 22, 2008; 10:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

Stupid Bowden. AGAIN he trades pitching. He says he wants pitching. He always trades pitching. We dont have pitching.

Posted by: JoNAThan | July 22, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo did not draft Bonifacio, because Bonifacio was not drafted at all.

Posted by: proofreading gremlins | July 22, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

All your base are belong to Willie Harris.

Posted by: Us | July 22, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Pitching, pitching, pitching.
I never said whose.

Posted by: NR JimBow | July 22, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not thrilled with this trade, but you mistake the pitching mantra. You stockpile pitching in the minors so you have a comparative advantage and you can do things like trade a top MLB closer for a prospect when there's a .1% chance of being the division champ.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 22, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Is it too much to ask for FLop to hit a sac fly???

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | July 22, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Gremlins,

You are the man. I changed the mistake -- for both the blog and the print edition. Gracias.

Posted by: Chico Harlan | July 22, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris homers yet again... Player of the week suits him well.

Posted by: faNATic | July 22, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris apparently wants this to continue...

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | July 22, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Why is one of our better projected minor league starters being shifted to the pen?

Posted by: Bergmann on Man | July 22, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, look at the comments by Trader Jim and Rizzo. They have been trying to acquire this kid for at least a year. They have spent a lot of time thinking about who they wanted at 2B for the long term and this is the kid. We persevered and got 'em. Would y'all feel better about this if Chad was still wearing the straight-billed closer hat and we were "just trading a set-up guy?" Hmm?

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | July 22, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"You have to trade a reliever when you have the chance to get an every-day position player who's 23 years old. You have to do it."

Posted by: Trader Jim | July 22, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

How many times have the Nats had the lead going into the 9th inning this year? Do the Nats really need a closer right now, at least in comparison to the need of getting eight quality major leaguers to field and hit everyday? Once they have that, and some middle relievers to get the team through to the ninth, then Nats fans can have the luxury of worrying about whether we have a closer.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 23, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

what is wrong with chico?? no stones? ask the real question. why so little in return for a major league closer?
why trade a major leaguer for 1 minor league prospect???
pitchers especially closers are worth their weight in gold. 2nd basemen fall from the trees.
wake up chico. ask the real questions.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

who really cares who bowden has been trying to get for years. like he knows talent? flop, kearns, boone, loduca, estrada old mets and reds. b f d. the guys got no eye for talent. he gives soriano away for free then basically does the same with rauch. what a freakin joke.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

look at all the pitchers the os got in their 2 trades. you stockpile pitchers. you dont give em away. didnt we give away another pitcher for a utility 2nd baseman who we had for 1 season. oh yea jr spivey or somethin.
bowden is a complete arse.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Please send Mock back down unless we are starting him and call up Chris Shroeder.

youdeaddawg.blogspot.com

Posted by: Bergmann on Man | July 23, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

For the umpteenth time, Soriano was not given away for free. In fact, he wasn't even involved in a mid-season trade away from the Nats. There is pretty much zero similarity between anything that happened with Soriano and the trade that just occurred with Rauch.

Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

until he got hurt a couple months ago, I was drooling at the prospect of having furcal play short and lead off. obviously, that's not gonna happen now. thoughts? Chico: how's this set the table for the hot stove (since that's the only thing we have to look forward to now)?

Posted by: JEp | July 23, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

dk?

how is your english when you are speaking?

your thoughts more cohesive when spoken?

because your typed thoughts are loony and have the grammatic equivalent of a high school dropout on acid.

c'mon, man.

Posted by: Grammar Guy | July 23, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

You are not following the argument.

This was a guy who they consider to be part of the future - like Flores and Milledge and Dukes. Guys to build on.

Boone and LoDuca and Estrada were "this year" guys.. Jim and Rizzo did not spend a year working on a deal to bring them in.

Apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | July 23, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

In Arizona, Rauch struck out the first to cubs in the 9th, gave up a squibber single in the infield, then got Fukudome to ground meekly to 2nd for the final out. He got a nice round of applause when he entered the game and handshakes all around as the DBacks routed the Bruins tonight.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

1. this guy is going to be a rookie next year.
that means hes at least 2 or 3 years away.
2. when are we gonna start gettin real players who can play now.
3. this is the 2nd time bowden has traded a pitcher for a 2nd baseman--spivey.
4. we gave soriano away for nuthin cause we didnt get anything for him.
5. bowden should take some lessons from any mcphail. pitchers. pitchers pitchers.
6. what pitchers has he traded for. not away--FOR.
7. bowden thinks this guy can be a .270 hitter? thats the best he hopes for .270?
your closer for a .270 hitter.
sez it all.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

dk?how is your english when you are speaking?
your thoughts more cohesive when spoken?
because your typed thoughts are loony and have the grammatic equivalent of a high school dropout on acid.

heh heh heh. he said thoughts.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

is this team eva gonna sign some freakin veterans. oh you remember veterans dont you. guys who can actually play baseball NOW. not in 10 years. BUT NOW>

we're not paying deposit money on tickets are we? we're payin you full price NOW! how bout putting some real baseball players on the field jokers.

youve assembled the worst team in all of baseball. big congratulations. be sure to keep tellin us how good the minor league team is.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Dk- have you loaned the "ic" to someone. You need to get them back you are only half of yourself without them.

Seriously dude, drive up to Harrisburg or down to Potomac and see some of the kids. The draft picks we received for Soriano are GREAT. Hey man, the Senators are in Bowie tmr - you can take the bus there.

Stop being a whiner. Or be an O's fan.. they are always making "the last piece of the puzzle" moves. Worked so well for them over the past decade.

Posted by: The final say | July 23, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

dk, it's not like you haven't heard this approximately a billion times.

We DID get something for Soriano. We got two draft picks that - SURPRISE - turned into PITCHERS Josh Smoker and Jordan Zimmermann. Oh, and by the way, the double-N Zimmermann is considered to be our best shot at becoming a #1 or #2 starting pitcher in the majors.

Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Seriously dude, drive up to Harrisburg or down to Potomac and see some of the kids. The draft picks we received for Soriano are GREAT

of course theyre great. theyre in the minor leagues. b f d. if they were really great theyd be in the major leagues. 2 crummy draft picks who may never see the light of an mlb stadium for an all world player like soriano? freakin crime man. bedard brought in--what--5 and 2 of em are in the majors now.
gimmie a break.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

We've assembled an outstanding group of young men to bolster the minor leagues, with the big club in mind, of course. A house without a foundation will crumble faster than tree house in a tornado. You will all be thanking us for not deviating from our original plan shortly. Remember, we have only been in control of the team for half the time we've been in Washington. Had we taken control on day 1, it would be safe to say that we would be much further along in the building process. So, all I ask is that you show patience as we strive to bring winning baseball to Washington the right way, a lasting way, a way in which the entire community will be proud to be associated with.

Posted by: Lerner | July 23, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

We DID get something for Soriano. We got two draft picks

WRONG!
just to be clear. bowden got nuthin for soriano. he couldnt cut a deal. so we lost soriano. and by virtue of mlb rules, we were awarded a couple of draft picks.
big difference.
get your facts stra8.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

So, all I ask is that you show patience as we strive to bring winning baseball to Washington the right way, a lasting way, a way in which the entire community will be proud to be associated with.

youre kidding right>
patience? winning baseball to washington the right way?
youve got a gm in charge of the team who has nuthing but a losing track record.
hes been in baseball a long time. not just this season.
and his vision is LOUSY:
f lopez
a kearns
r billiard
p ladoca
e estrada.
you wanna know what their batting averages are? i dont think so.
how much more of the same do you want?
our gm stinks. our team stinks. the players he keeps getting are light years away from producing.
patience?
how bout you give me free tickets until you start winning.
you show patience by not charging me until you can at least play .500 ball.
yea right.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Ok, let's label a bunch of our minor leaguers are "untouchable" and wait for an idiot to come along...

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

"You have to trade a reliever when you have the chance to get an every-day position player who's 23 years old. You have to do it."
______________

Arizona is getting 2+ years of Rauch. For that, we should have gotten more. Everyone on XM-MLB is saying the same.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Ok, let's label a bunch of our minor leaguers are "untouchable" and wait for an idiot to come along...
Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 1:20 AM

perfect.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

this is from cbs.com writer scott miller.

"As for the onfield product (of the Nats) now, well disaster. The Nats have the games worst record and maybe the most dislikeable team in terms of attitude and the way they carry themselves.
One big league coach was appalled at the way the Nats walked--sauntered-- on and off the field, saying it was the worst he has ever seen."

nice.

whats that carpenter and sutton, lots of character guys--right?

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, dk, everybody knew ahead of time that we would be getting the two draft picks, as a minimum, if we lost Soriano to free agency.

There's absolutely no functional difference between receiving two draft picks as compensation and later trading for the same two drafted players. MLB teams can't themselves trade draft picks like NFL and NBA teams, so taking advantage of the MLB system for compensating teams who lose players to free agency is generally a valid, fully-thought-out decision made by front offices across baseball, not just your whipping boy Jim Bowden.

Also, for the record, it's not like we didn't try to retain Soriano after he entered free agency. We offered him 5 years, $75 million, and he went ahead and took the Cubs package for more money and years. They'll be very sorry in 6 years when he's still under contract and not contributing at all, and hopefully we'll have two of the top pitchers in MLB to show for it.

No one is castigating Minnesota for letting Torii Hunter go through free agency because players do leave. It's part of baseball. Minnesota was compensated for his departure when they couldn't come to an agreement with him or trade him to another team last summer.

Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

No one is castigating Minnesota for letting Torii Hunter go through free agency because players do leave. Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 1:28 AM

oh no you dint.
dont even go there comparing minnesota, one of the top run organizations in all of sports (even if they do have a baggie for a fence) to the joke that is the nats.
2 compensation draft picks for soriano? TWO? for alphonso soriano???
you happy with that. if so youve got the right guy in charge.
an aging miguel tejada brought 5 players in return. thats FIVE!!!
enjoy your draft picks.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

dk: You might want to start following another team or sport. Sounds like you like the Orioles way. Trade for the George Sherrills and Luke Scotts. They really help you build for the future.

Stop following the Nats. You don't get what they are trying to do. They're not going to do what you want them to. Consider coming back when Jordan Zimmermann is a starter for them. In the meantime, save yourself lots of agony. Follow the O's, the Caps, the Wizards. Or, how about the 'Skins. They just made a trade giving up a piece of the future for a short-term fix. Just the way you like it.

Posted by: Ira | July 23, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

i love the spin on this stuff. nats call the new 2nd basemen the fastest player in all of baseball and virtually untouchable until now.
so the az dbacks, who are a pretty smart team, just gave away an untouchable who is the absolute fastest player in all of baseball for john rauch.
yea right.
were all these guys used car salesmen in a previous life?
geez.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

That's the entire point, dk. We make the exact same decision as Minnesota with respect to a marquee/potentially franchise player, and somehow they're right and we're wrong. That's absolutely logically inconsistent. If you're going to pan the draft compensation system, then don't laud one team for taking advantage of it while hanging another out to dry for doing precisely the same thing. That's disingenuous, at a minimum.

Second, nearly everyone panned the Houston trade for Tejada as a huge mistake, because they paid far too much for him. Teams are generally refusing those kinds of prices any more. Second, even assuming that such a trade could be repeated, not a single one of the players brought back in the Tejada trade is near the quality of a player that you're contending we should be dealing for. Luke Scott is a 29-year-old middle-of-the-road outfielder, at best, with a whopping 64 RBIs for corner outfielder that got regular playing time (hell, even your favorite, Austin Kearns, had 74 RBI last year); Matt Albers had a 4-11 record and 5.86 ERA; Troy Patton hasn't done a damn thing; Dennis Sarfate currently has a 1.59 WHIP and 4.03 ERA as a reliever (neither of which is appealing), and even worse, walks 7.66 batters per 9 innings.; and Mike Costanzo is hitting .269 in AAA-ball with 118 strikeouts in 349 at-bats. All in all, not a great haul. Keep on talking up a trade that you know nothing about.

Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

ira at least get your facts stra8.
the os traded bedard for 5--thats-FIVE players. george sherrill wasnt even the centerpiece of the trade. one ADAM JONES, who is a freakin stud and can play now and will be great for years, was, as well as a pitcher by the name of chris tillman, who is very highly regarded and projected to be an ace. PLUS 2 others. not bad.
thats how you do a trade mr bowden.

as far as luke scott. again he wasnt the centerpiece of the deal. but hes a nice player. 2 pitchers--THATs PITCHERS, were.

BTW ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE NATS AND MR BOWDEN IRA?

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

All in all, not a great haul. Keep on talking up a trade that you know nothing about.
Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 1:50 AM

hows this for something i know something about. the nats are the absolute worst team in all of baseball. why is that and who is responsible.
the team jim bowden has assembled absofreakinlutely stinks.
why is that?
just wondering.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

btw fanatic, thx for enlightening me. however the tejada trade was good for a ton of reasons. mr t was spent in bmore and had become a cancer in the clubhouse. until patton pitches an entire year as well as albers, its hard to tell. but all you can do is hedge your bets. thats why the os got 5 players. sometimes it works out sometimes it doesnt. it but you make the right trade. both the trade to the astros and the trade to the mariners were the right trade. one is a home run. one the verdict is still out.
the nats dont know how to trade.
a major league closer for a minor league 2nd base prospect.
that aint a trade. thats highway robbery by az.
and you know it as well as me.
just like trading a starting pitcher for a utility 2nd bseman spivey. mr bowden is out of his league.
unless of course you wanna build the absolute worst team in all of bseball.
oh yea he did that.
so hes a success.
sorry.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Astonishingly insightful analysis, truly. Thanks for playing.

Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

btw the nats being called the most dislikeable team around, hey i didnt say that, that was from a national (not nationals) writer quoting a major league mgr. i guess that falls on manny acta and the great job hes done.
wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

oh and harlan, thx for askin the tough questions. any more sugar on those and you coulda made cotton candy. thought u were a reporter dude not a whiffle ball tosser. ill look elsewhere for the real info.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

dk hates capital letters.

Posted by: FLAME! | July 23, 2008 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Relief pitcher is one of the easier positions in baseball to find a serviceable replacement. There's a difference between a good reliever and an elite one, and while Rauch is putting up some decent numbers this year he is not an elite reliever.
I don't think that this is that bad of a trade, but it does seem like Bowden could/should have been able to get more for Rauch.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

dude. chill.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | July 23, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Reasons why it's ridiculous to compare the Tejada trade to the Soriano no-trade: Soriano was a good hitter without a good position, whereas Tejada has always been a top shortstop; Soriano didn't have the track record of accomplishment that Tejada had -- (don't forget that the Nats were able to get Soriano for Wilkerson and prospects); and, most importantly, Soriano would have been 2-month rental, not an off-season deal -- no one gives the same kind of value for a guy who's going to test the market in a couple of months.

Could the Nats have gotten more than one prospect for Rauch? Possibly, but the Nats don't have a strong negotiating hand. They needed a second baseman in the worst way, and a closer is a luxury right now for them. And, to compare the market for Rauch to the offseason market for Erik Bedard or Miguel Tejada is just foolish. He's hardly an established closer.

Now, harkening back to Sunday's piece on the ways the Nats could improve right now: One down -- Trade Jon Rauch for prospect. Next up: Sign Barry Bonds. I actually think this would be a good thing. It would give Nats fans a reason to come out to games in August and September. It might even --gasp-- attract African-American fans. Lastly, even though it will cost $$$ to sign Bonds, the Nats should slash ticket prices, especially for those pricey seats behind home, and those outfield seats in right field that are always empty.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 23, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

The measure of this trade can't be the number of prospects it brought in, or could've brought in. Of course, it will be measured by Bonifacio's #s. If he succeeds, the trade will be a fine one. If he flops, it will have been a bad deal. It's that simple, but no one knows the answer yet.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 23, 2008 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Willie Harris knows, because he sees the future, but no one at the Post has asked him.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Willie Harris doesn't use an alarm clock. The sun asks Willie Harris what time he wants it to rise.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

The blog listing promised me Sverluga. Where's Sverluga?
"Nationals Journal: Barry Svrluga on D.C.'s very own baseball team."

Posted by: Editing is sorely Lacking | July 23, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Are you really trying to argue with dk? Isn't there a brick wall somewhere you could be trying to persuade?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Excellent point, 506.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 23, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, wholesome morning people! Chico, you really churned it out! Thanks for the hard work! The interview with Bowden gave us rare a rare glimpse of what Mike Rizzo and Trader Jim are after. Guzman's extension, the quiet way he goes about his business, especially in that All-Star game, (what an All-Star game!) really gives us a lot to cheer about. If Bonifacio was a certified major-league hitter, this trade would not have been made, and he never would've been sent back down. A lot of people think that he's not, and is Berardina II. I guess we'll find out soon, since it looks like he's coming in September, even if he's still got the batter's eye and OBP of Ray Charles. I wonder if his defensive range is so good that the f.o. would accept a .220 hitter, a la Woddie Woodward or Dennis Menke of old.

Posted by: flynnie | July 23, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

It's fairly obvious that dk does not understand modern MLB personnel rules. Soriano was a free agent at the end of the year. Anybody trading for him would get only the balance of that year's performance. So, no one would deal five players of any ability for him. Whether you'd rather have a prospect or two draft picks his debatable, but you weren't about to get a guaranteed starter for him. Plus (if you remember), we were axcited about watching him play during '06. By contrast, Bedard had two years to go before free agency when he was trading. So, Seattle dealt some players for two years (not two months) of the exclusive right to his services (subject to arbitration). Apples and mangoes.

Posted by: 307/418 | July 23, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Wow - another loss, some transactions and the feel-good bubble pops in an ugly way. The Torches and Pitchforks have re-emerged. Glad I was sleeping during most of the ugly tirades. Let's move on - another game tonite. Willie Harris is still with us and Zim is back and got a hit. Had to smile when I saw him back in the game.

Posted by: masnstinks | July 23, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Bonifacio is a player with a nice upside as well as a good person. It's always a gamble and there is no 100% guarantee on anything. Sometimes you just roll the dice and hope for the best. I think it's a trade that has a better chance to succeed than fail.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

One thing bothered me in Manny's post-game. When asked to comment on Willie Harris' power, he said, "Come to me when he hits 25 home runs and I'll talk about his power." Ray Knight was offended by this, and I was dismayed. Chase Utley's hit 25 home runs in 380 at bats which is one in every 15 at bats playing every day in that tiny park. Asam Dunn's hit 29, one in every 16 plat appearances at the Smallpark. Willie had 162 ab's. 25 home runs would be one every 6.5 ab's. No one does this. His 8 in 170 is 1 hr in every 21 ab's and that's not playing every day in a big park. Manny did not recognize that Willie has the most home runs per at bat of anyone on the team. The next is Zimmerman with 8 in 209 at bats - 1 in every 26, and this playing every day. I don't think Manny would be as dismissive of a question concerning Zimmerman's power, and dismissive he was. He laughed it off. What's Willie got to do to be taken seriously by his manager? He's given us the two best web gems of the season, and, at 30, has shortened his swing to become a power threat so that WILLIE HARRIS LEADS THE TEAM IN HOME RUNS PER PLATE APPEARANCE. Manny is supposed to be into stats. This does not bode well.

Posted by: flynnie | July 23, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Bonifacio's positives:
Better speed than Lopez
Better defense (probably)
Better attitude

If he hits for the same average as Lopez then you have to admit that this is an upgrade at an everyday position, which compensates for the loss of Rauch. If he becomes a good number one hitter who can steal the next base to get in scoring position then he should also have a lot more runs scored than Lopez. I see the upside to this trade. When you have a team that does not have a couple 30 home run hitters on it then you must have speed to get offense.

Posted by: Dale | July 23, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Stolen from Baseball Prospectus:
If the Cubs do break their century-peat of futility, it's in spite of their highest-paid player, not because of him. Soriano has missed much of the season with a mix of leg and hand injuries that are a combination of both the chronic and the traumatic...the leg injuries are starting to make Soriano less like a healthy Andre Dawson and more like a modern-day Ken Griffey Jr. With five more years to go on Soriano's big contract, the Cubs medical staff is going to have to find a way to stem that progression, or the next owner will be writing checks for a sunk cost.
-----

Risks like these are why we didn't try that hard to keep Soriano.


Posted by: Section 303 | July 23, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Good post, Flynnie.

I sometimes wonder as well about Manny's biases. For example, he kept Zimmerman in the number 3 spot for two months when he had nearly zero rbi production. Another example is that seems not to pay attention to the hot hitters. He took Nieves out of the equation when he was batting .300 and basically made him a once a week player. Playing Estrada for Flores last week was baffling as well. So now Manny believes that Harris can not hit home runs, well let him keep believing it.

Posted by: Dale | July 23, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Obviously it will be some time before the Nats can figure if they got value for Rauch. Based on what I have read so far Bonifacio strikes me as another Willie Harris - great speed, a great glove but with, at best, an average bat. A couple of years from now, Bonifacio will probably be one of those players, like Harris, that can play any outfield and infield position.

Posted by: Count Demoney | July 23, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Here's something DK quoted in the wee hours:
this is from cbs.com writer scott miller.

"As for the onfield product (of the Nats) now, well disaster. The Nats have the games worst record and maybe the most dislikeable team in terms of attitude and the way they carry themselves.
One big league coach was appalled at the way the Nats walked--sauntered-- on and off the field, saying it was the worst he has ever seen."

I have been following baseball only since the Nats arrived so I don't know much. What do the rest of you think of this? Thanks.

Posted by: Section 109 | July 23, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dale -

Harris came through in the top of the 5th with a solo home run. How did the rally, which was the Nats' best chance to win, die? Flores struck out w/ Zimmerman and Belliard on base. To read the post, you'd think Lopez cost the Nats the game. For Harris to be laughed off struck me as distinctly biased. Let's hope Willie plays every day, stays hot, and forces a re-assessment.

Posted by: flynnie | July 23, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Chico - great work!

I like the trade. Like most trades it could blow up in our faces, but it makes sense to me. Just as baseball is a game of rippling consequences, where a hustling play in the first that results in a batter being safe but being stranded does help turn the lineup over so the heart can come up in the ninth so is running an MLB team.

I have wanted to get rid of FLOP but would hate to have to play with only 8. Somebody has to play second. Bonifacio apparently has some real strengths. If he can play solid defense (spectacular would be better), hustle every play, steal some bases and hit above the Mendoza line for 4 or 5 years it's a good deal for us. If he exceeds those modest goals, all the better. We have no phemons in the minors at second. By trading Rauch at his peak value we now have someone with whom to work and can dump FLOP. Combine this with signing Guz and we have an MLB-quality middle infield. This should allow the plan to continue in a reasonable way by SIGNING OUR DRAFT CHOICES and not having to trade our young arms to patch up a middle infield that would have been horrible without GUZ and Bonifacio.
I don't share the hatred of Bowden but I'm not his biggest fan either. I trust Rizzo for now and think we may have gotten a steal in Bonifacio.
Any thoughtful criticsm of my position is welcome.
Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | July 23, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

An anonymous coach's comments on the Nats does not merit reply. Was it a p.o'd Braves coach after losing the series to the Nats? We see this team every day. We know it's not true. They just took two of three from the Braves. This is a day to celebrate Guzman and awakening bats, not to give a negative poster continued, undeserved attention.

Posted by: flynnie | July 23, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I was indeed impressed at another Willie Harris home run. Did you know that Willie Harris is the only man in major league history to hit a 5-run homer?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Unless you're a Trevor Hoffmann, which Rauch is not, what's the harm in taking a chance on Bonifacio? Hanrahan deserves an opportunity to blaze his pitches in - let's see what he can do.

JimBo is right. You have to trade a pitcher for an everyday player if you have the chance. 2B was a quandary. Lopez is not the answer long term. Neither is Belliard. And, this saves money to help sign draft picks.

Posted by: DanD187 | July 23, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I remember that day well, 506. The five-run homer came because Willie Harris stole first base while Willie Harris was still at bat with the bases loaded.

Posted by: faNATic | July 23, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Before any of you nitpickers start attacking flynnie, don't forget that Willie Harris appeared to Abner Doubleday in a dream and dictated the rules of baseball to him. Unfortunately, he did not dictate proper tactics at corps level.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Flynnie. I basically hate to see the Nats criticized, which is why I was asking.

Posted by: Section 109 | July 23, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I have been following baseball only since the Nats arrived so I don't know much. What do the rest of you think of this? Thanks.

Posted by: Section 109 | July 23, 2008 8:55 AM

@109

This is not news....this is exactly why I have been so negative on the Plan as Nats have executed it for so long. To date, Stan's and Acta's promise to play hard, pay the game the right way, and never give up has been a joke.

While I do see some hope in Dukes, Harris, Kearns and Guzman, for the the most part the Cubs MLB reporter is seeing the real problem facing this team. This team has learned to lose and do it with a bad attitude. Lopez, Estrada, Pena, Lo Duca, Young, Milledge and many others have no heart and care much more about themselves then the team. If the Nats do not clean house soon it will be too change the tone. Zimmerman is not a leader of men, he plays hard but has not ability to lead the team.....the void in leadership on this team has produced what the Cubs Reporter is hearing from MLB coaches....why Boz can not open his eyes and write about this mess I do not know.

I like the trade if only one thing plays out from what Jimbo and Rizzo say about the new 2B, he plays hard and with energy.

Posted by: JayB | July 23, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

JayB how can you make a blanket statement that Young, Lo Duca, Pena (who played hurt seemingly the entire year) and Milledge (I'll give you Lopez) have no heart? Whats your basis for such a statement? And Estrada? He hasn't even been around to see whether he has heart or not.

Of the suppossed "no heart crew" 3 (Lo Duca, Estrada and Lopez) won't be back next year, so the changes you call for will be in place--but its not about their heart as much as being one year rentals (LD and Estrada) and poor performance or a combo of both.

Posted by: joNAThan | July 23, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

JayB, you left out Belliard, our .230 hitter strutting around after he hits a HR. Section 109, I think it's very unfortunate but for now true that the Nats do not project themselves, as a group, as particularly classy or professional on the field. Hopefully that will change as the roster starts to turn over--but I'm not quite sure why fans like flynnie would so readily dismiss the comments of another team's coach as sour grapes. If it was just sour grapes, you would see comments like this much more frequently, about many more teams--but you don't.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

When Milledge cares more about moving runners then how he looks on the the HD TV behind him I will take notice.

Yes, several will be gone but is the damage done already.....what message has Acta and Jimbo sent the team by re signing, signing if the first place and then playing these guys in front of Flores, Orr, Harris, and Casto. These guys would not be my choice (I wanted A Rowland, if you recall, leading this team) but to play Estrada, Lo Duca, Lopez each day sends all the wrong messages to the whole organization.

Posted by: JayB | July 23, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I can never tell when you're spelling it wrong, or just can't read.

That said, it's unlikely the anonymous source is jealous of the Nats' success. I'm inclined to believe that he believes it; I'm just not convinced he's right.

*******************
this is from cbs.com writer scott miller ....
Posted by: Section 109 | July 23, 2008 8:55 AM

-------
the void in leadership on this team has produced what the Cubs Reporter is hearing from MLB coaches.
Posted by: JayB | July 23, 2008 9:30 AM

Posted by: CE | July 23, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Well said CIL

It is very clear what message this team sends out each day. I for one am not a fan of the style of substance approach. If not checked by Acta (and it may well be too late for him), it will take more than players to set the tone needed to be a world class organization.

Posted by: JayB | July 23, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the comment of an anonymous coach to a cbs.com writer who has seen MAYBE 5 Nats games are about as enlightening as the anonymous comments of a scout accusing the Nats brass of cheapness - there's a little bit of an agenda, and a lot of not broad enough exposure to make that judgment.

506, you convinced me not to pick on Flynnie's thing about Harris and HR/AB. I'll only say this - Willie Harris has now hit as many HRs this season (7) as he had hit in his ENTIRE previous MLB career. So, his HR/AB for his career pretty much approaches 1/infinity, you know? Coincidentally, 1/infinity is also the time it takes him to run the bases.

Posted by: Highway 295 Revisited | July 23, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

and what would your reaction be if some anonymous NL manager were quoted as saying "BFD--Talk to me when Willie Harris hits 25 home runs."?

Really, Manny ...

Posted by: CE | July 23, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, in a doggy-dog world, you gotta play hardball or sink.

*****************
I for one am not a fan of the style of substance approach.
Posted by: JayB | July 23, 2008 9:52 AM

Posted by: Section 3 over my couch | July 23, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Zimmerman is not a leader of men, he plays hard but has not ability to lead the team."

This has been bouncing around in my head a lot since I saw LDO's positively brilliant impression of Zimmerman at the get together with Chico.

It seems to me that Zimmerman is Derek Jeter. Jeter has the charisma of a melted popsicle, but the media adore him because of his great performance. So much so, that he's become team captain and spokesperson, though no one would ever follow him based on his personality. Seriously, would you rather watch an interview with Alex Rodriguez or Derrek Jeter. And this is even AFTER it's become well known that Jeter is the Face of the Franchise.

So Zimmerman as leader? In baseball, sadly, all superior defense gets you is a role as a bench player. He's going to have to start producing consistently (not even greatly) with his bat to be the team leader. I think he will. And then we will all be "treated" to many, many Ryan Zmmerman interviews.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

So are we done, or is there a good chance of more news in the next week or so?

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

And while we are discussing great Bowden deals, how about that 2-year deal they gave Dmitri? That's sure working out great. Basically, the same situation as Guzman. Give a guy a 2-year extension based on good, not great, 1/2 of a season, pre-All Star break numbers.

The Red Sox were after Rauch too. Seems they are loaded with prospects. Why not deal with them?

Posted by: Sec 214 | July 23, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

'Cause Rizzo wanted his guy.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

So the Mets lost another game last night that Johan Santana started. I guess Mark Lerner is right that Santana's a complete waste of money...

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Does it bother anyone who defers to Rizzo's Diamondbacks insight that the guy from Arizona's system who the Nats have dealt for and who is performing the best is the guy we flipped to Boston?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with this trade, all this we could have gotten more, we should have waited is all BS. We have no idea what other possibilities are out there...

I hate to lose Rauch, but who needs a closer when you can't get a lead? Also, MI is a huge whole in the organization from AA up and the idea of having Belliard to Lopez at 2B until someone like Stephen King is really sickening (sp?).

I hope we find a partner for a Lopez trade (and Lo Duca, Estrada or Nieves), I think each of those could return a low-A level hitting or pitching prospect, but we'll see.

I am VERY happy to see this team getting younger and faster.

Posted by: MO Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with flipping Carter to Boston for WMP. It was a smart move to fill a position of need and at the time we were flush with 1Bmen, there is no way you could anticipate Johnson, Young AND Boon all going down at the same time. That said, I think letting Josh Whitsell go to ARI on vouchers was a HUGE mistake!

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Cubs reporter? Where was the Cubs reporter mentioned? I thought that the info was allegedly from cbs.com (and secondhand, at that)? Rumors take on a life of their own and are distorted on the Internet worse than in an old-fashioned game of telephone tag. Never mind.

"the void in leadership on this team has produced what the Cubs Reporter is hearing from MLB coaches.
Posted by: JayB | July 23, 2008 9:30 AM"

Posted by: Huh? | July 23, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

95% of you are overvaluing Rauch. closers grow on trees. fast, excellent defensive second basemen do not.

the news from yesterday that Bowden should be taken to task on is Guzman. $16MM for a lifetime .305 OBP? with little-to-no range at short? at least it's only two years, the Nats won't be competing by then anyway.

Posted by: Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball | July 23, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Dave, I think that's the idea. Guz isn't great at shortstop, but he's also not completely useless. He'll play something on the order of an average shortstop, which makes him the best deal we can get for the next two years. This signing is not part of The Plan, but it should seal us up at that position until the bulk of The Plan takes effect.

Not sure I'm happy to see him of all people the highest paid player on the team, but I can live with this deal.

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Cubs reporter? Where was the Cubs reporter mentioned? "

Cubs is how JayB spells CBS. You know JayB, he's the guy who's not a fan of the style of substance approach - especially when it comes to use of the English language.

Posted by: Meat Hook's Massage Magic | July 23, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

All yall complaining about Bowdens ability to spot talent in trades. Please realize this is a Rizzo guy Rizzo signed him with the D'Backs and wanted to bring him over here. Hopefully his superb range at second will make up for Guzmans lack there of.

As far as Mock, some people here are really overvaluing him. He's just a solid arm. He doesn't have the electric fast ball Balester has. Or the repetoire Lannan does and I don't think he's part of the rotation of the future either. Where's the room?

Crow/Lannan/Zimmermann/Martis/Balester, all have better minor league numbers than him are younger, etc... etc... That list doesn't include next years high draft pick or a FA. Mock/Clippard will not be in the rotation when we're trying to compete. They could be part of the bullpen though.

Posted by: Marcus | July 23, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

i hope dk found his pill bottle last night and is resting comfortably this morning. i'm pretty sure he had at least 3 aneurysms last night.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This is not a kid to build with. He never gets on base. All the speed is wasted.

Horrible deal.

Posted by: dagger | July 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Not sure that this is any better but as of now Kearns will be the highest-paid player on the 09 Nats, not Guzman. That is, until the Lerners sign Teixera and Sheets this winter. Yeah, right...

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I usually just lurk from the other side of the Atlantic, but this trade and the Guzman signing made me want to scream -- I choose to write instead.

If the Nats were really that locked in on getting a second baseman for Rauch as has been reported (by Ken Rosenthal for example), there have to be consequences. How do you limit your options like that??? I understand there's a need in the middle infield, but if you can get more or better talent in exchange for Rauch on other positions, you have to be flexible.
Rauch was one of the best relievers available, his contract situation is fantastic for any team, and we only get one prospect that many other scouts and execs have doubts about because it HAD TO BE A SECOND BASEMAN? Unbelievable!

What puzzles me just as much is the Guzman signing for two years. Now, it's probably true that he's been fair with his demands. But how is it a good idea to keep him just as long as the team won't be competitive And then what? You have the same problem at SS that you have at second base right now.
So would it not have been a good idea to get a couple of prospects (again, not SS prospects...) who might actually still be around when the team has a shot at the playoffs?? Instead, they throw 16 million at him just because they're afraid they need his offense so the team doesn't suck as much offensively next year.

If The Plan is mainly about stockpiling talent, both these decisions have been miserable. You could have gotten four or five decent prospects for your two best trade commodities and you end up getting one. Who might or might not be good enough to be a starter on a team that can make the playoffs. Guzman very probably won't be around for that any more.

Chico, I have enjoyed your work a lot so far. I really hope that you will ask some hard questions on this one.

Posted by: german natsfan | July 23, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

good morning all. feel better after a good nights sleep.
couple o points.

1. i am not a hater. i love the nats. otherwise i wouldnt give half a hoot about all their bonehead moves. i go to the games, i watch the games, i want the team to succeed.

2. i also root for the os. that doesnt make me any less a nats fan. it simply makes me a person who lives in md and has access to 2 teams to go and see. and for 30 odd years or so the nats werent around so i didnt have much choice.

3. i have no problem with the nats trading their "closer". i had hoped they would. i was just amazed at the paltry return this closer brought. and closers with rauchs stats do bring in more. i can only feel that most gms decided not to deal with bowden just like they decided not to deal with him when he asked for a kings ransom for soriano.

4. my dislike of austin ks and flop etc are not personal but based on longterm production or lack there of. these guys stink. and it bugs me when carpenter and sutton continue to tell me what great work ethic and great guy austin ks is etc when he plain stinks.

5. getting younger is good. but you need some proven vets. again, this team is the absolute worst in baseball. this is jim bowdens team. this is his work. hes responsible.

6. every team has injuries. you cant keep using that as an excuse. if your team stinks after you get injuries, then you didnt plan ahead correctly.

7. in closing id just like to wish everyone a very happy wednesday and let people know there is actually a team worth watching in the md, dc area and thats bigtrain. nice team, great stadium, fantastic evening of baseball.
good day.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Fast like wind, hitting 300 in AAA...OK, but can the guy field and make the pivot?

Posted by: joe c | July 23, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I vote that we trade dk and FLoP for some fast food ketchup packets?

Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 23, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

dk, you did not address the accusations that you hate capital letters.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I vote that we trade dk and FLoP for some fast food ketchup packets?
Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 23, 2008 11:04 AM

hey now. dont underestimate those packets. when youre out of ketchup. and your dogs layin there in the bun completely dry. remember that feeling you get when you spot that lone packet resting on the counter from last nights micky d meal. a little piece of heaven.
thats me.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Only if they'll throw in one or two honey mustards. I'm not a big ketchup fan.

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, or those Taco Bell hot sauce packets with the witty comments on them?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

That was pretty funny, dk.

Willie Harris wrote all those witty sayings on the Taco Bell hot sauce packets.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Kept flipping back and forth between the Nats/Giants and Cubs/Diamondbacks game.

The latter was much more enjoyable. Hudson had a great homer after setting up Sean Marshall, and Jamie D'Antonia - who was hitting .367 in AAA before his callup - got a hit in his first MLB at bat. Seriously, .367? Was he untouchable, too?

Then, in the eighth, Hudson got plunked on the ankle by a slider from Hart, and he went down hard. Carried off the field, he couldn't put any weight on that leg. At that moment, you could hear Bowden laughing maniacally as Bonifacio borded a plane to the District.

X-rays showed no fracture, though. Rauch finished up the 9-2 win in the ninth with two strikeouts, allowing only one hit.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 23, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Chic-Fil-A has a new sauce,,,its magnificent--a combo of ice cream and intimate relations. Willie Harris invented the sauce. So you know its good.

Seriously, its called "Chic-Fil-A" sauce and it debuted in my neighborhood this week.

Posted by: joNAThan | July 23, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

All this talk about Boni got me thinking about prospects.

Check out what Baseball Prospectus said about the Nationals farm system this year:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7181

It really is an art, not a science.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

What concerns me about these deals is it makes pretty clear, especially in conjunction with Lerner's comments, that the Nats are not planning to add star power to their lineup at any position through free agency or trade. They are trying to shoot the moon and hoping that, aside from Guzman, every other position player becomes something more than he currently is. And that really is not a plan, it's hoping that you get lucky.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"6. Jake McGeary, LHP"

- from that Baseball Prospectus link

Posted by: it's Jack, right? | July 23, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

was anyone else that watched the game as upset as I was over Lopez' at-bats?

In the second, with LoDuca on second base with two outs, Lopez walks. Usually not a big deal, but when he's got Bergmann coming up next (the pitcher that has ZERO hits this year and has looked absolutely horrible at the plate all year long), as the #8 hitter you HAVE to be aggressive with a runner in scoring position with two outs!

In the 4th, LoDuca on first, Belliard on third with one out. He strikes out on THREE PITCHES! He looked totally uninterested in that at-bat. A simple fly ball probably scores Belly and would have tied the game up. And don't get me started on his error in the bottom of the 4th ...

Posted by: e | July 23, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't think you measure Rauch's value as a "closer" you can measure it in terms of his excellent Ratio and k/bb numbers. And his durability. Absent the save numbers, he's an excellent relief pitcher and cheap for the next two years.

I like the idea of the trade . . . they identified a weakness and tried to fill it. A middle infielder, good defender with speed who can lead off.

However, his numbers however don't portent a useful major league hitter (and especially NOT a lead off hitter) though and that's worrysome.

Somewhere JimBo compared Bonifacio to Chico's namesake Jose "Chico" Lind. How the Pirates got Lind and Van Slyke and the elder Belliard giving them a solid middle leading to their successful late 80's early 90s run.

Well, a Chico Lind-type at 2b is OK IF YOU HAVE BARRY BONDS to pick up the offensive slack. I don't see a Barry-type in the pipeline. JimBo may have compared Bonifacio to Luis Castillo too. I may be wrong but Castillo got on base a lot. Didn't hit for power but did get on base. I'd be thrilled with a vintage Luis Castillo (not the current overpaid garbage cluttering the Mets lineup thanks Omar!!!!)

For 2+ years of Rauch, this seems like less than what should be expected. Rather disappointing.

Now please, let's move a couple of the catchers, Flop and Odalis Perez.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 23, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Is that anything like a "dog-eat-dog" world?

"Hey, in a doggy-dog world, you gotta play hardball or sink."

Posted by: Emily Litella | July 23, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Carter was never really ours in the Pena deal. The ability of people to just continue to pound meaningless minutiae is astounding.

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If you are referring to my earlier post, then your ability to completely misunderstand and distort a simple post is astounding.

* * * * *

Carter was never really ours in the Pena deal. The ability of people to just continue to pound meaningless minutiae is astounding.

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 11:36 AM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"good morning all. feel better after a good nights sleep.
couple o points...."
Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 10:58 AM
********************************************
Not interested in your points. Thanks, though! Learn capitalization, grammar, and the ability to have an adult conversation and I may change my mind.

Posted by: dk = DK? | July 23, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

All breaking balls, too.

-----

In the 4th, LoDuca on first, Belliard on third with one out. He strikes out on THREE PITCHES! He looked totally uninterested in that at-bat.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 23, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Yup. That's why they called him the Table Setter.

Not sure what they call him in NY, though.

-----

I may be wrong but Castillo got on base a lot. Didn't hit for power but did get on base.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 23, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

All this talk about Boni got me thinking about prospects.

I agree, 506. How about Shairon Martis with 12 Ks in 5 2/3IP last night? I'm looking forward to this kid getting a look in September.

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

capital letters are overrated.

punctuation, however, is not.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Come see about me.

Posted by: New post. | July 23, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Bonifacio/Rauch deal had to be approved by the real GM...Willie (6 tool) Harris.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not interested in your points. Thanks, though! Learn capitalization, grammar, and the ability to have an adult conversation and I may change my mind.
Posted by: dk = DK? | July 23, 2008 11:44 AM


wow grouchy. me thinks some1 needs a nap.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

lol... i have to say that's amusing after your rants last night, dk. ;)

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

lol... i have to say that's amusing after your rants last night, dk. ;)
Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 12:04 PM

rants = passion. when i stop ranting, thats when you have to worry. thats when ive given up. and trust me, theyre really trying my patience right now. it aint ez.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ell, a Chico Lind-type at 2b is OK IF YOU HAVE BARRY BONDS to pick up the offensive slack. I don't see a Barry-type in the pipeline.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 23, 2008 11:30 AM
--------------------------------------------

Despite your very interesting posting name, you overlook a possibility I mentioned earlier. There is a Barry-type player out there, for the taking. C'mon Lerners, lighten up a little. Bring in Bonds, and give us a reason to show up and spend all that money inside your gleaming baseball palace....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 23, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Bowden is a moran cordero in my opinion blew his arm out we'll never hear from him.You traded rauch for a guy that we can't even put in the majors imediatly we are the worst team in baseball and we can't even try out the guy we gave up our closer for this is disgusting.Rizzo better no what he's doing.

Posted by: DJ 26 | July 23, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ламинат | August 11, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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