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A Consistent Pattern

The losing streak hit 12 last night. After that game, when Ryan Zimmerman held court for a few minutes to discuss the losing, he fell back on the same banality that's found wide favor in the Nats clubhouse these days. The Nats, he said, were young and "inconsistent."

"It's so up and down, it's so inconsistent," Zimmerman said. "The hardest part about baseball is being consistent. That's what we're all trying to do at sort of the same time. And I think that's why you see so much of the rollercoaster -- because they don't have a backbone, and a couple guys that were supposed to be that this year have maybe been banged up or hurt. It's been a tough year."

But let's be honest here.

Yes, the Nats are young, but they are also the most consistent team in baseball. It requires a special, enduring strain of consistency for a team, within the span of three weeks, to twice be shut out by Brett Myers. (7 IP, 0 R on July 29; 9 IP, 0 R yesterday.) When you lose 12 in a row, a streak tied for the longest in the majors this season, that's consistency. The Nats don't just have more losses than any other team in baseball; their loss total is also higher than any other team's win total. In other words, the Nats provide a given outcome more predictably than any other club in their sport.

Where's the rollercoaster in that?

Anyway, for today's gamer, I decided to narrow the focus -- at least for a day -- and explore the development of Collin Balester, who's had his own strange sort of consistency. Almost always, he blitzes through the lineup the first time. Then, he hits a wall. You can read more about the reasoning behind this here, but here are some up-to-the-moment numbers to augment the pattern. Take particular note of the SLG numbers.

When batters face Balester for the first time in a game:
Avg.: .178
AB: 73
H: 13
HR: 1
RBI: 5
SLG: .247

When batters face Balester for the second time in a game:
Avg.: .306
AB: 72
H: 22
HR: 5
RBI: 15
SLG: .542

When batters face Balester for the third time in a game:
Avg.: .341
AB: 44
H: 15
HR: 2
RBI: 9
SLG: .591

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2008; 8:41 AM ET
 
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Next: Guzman Back, and the Other 17 Starters

Comments

How does that compare to other Nats starters performance in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd time through and compare to top starting pitchers in the league?

Posted by: estuartj | August 21, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Chico! Give us basement-dwellers a Google Doc spreadsheet to feast on!

Posted by: Stats freak | August 21, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Who minds the pop bottles flyin'?
The hisses and boos?
"The team is consistent ..."
Yeah, we al-ways lose!

But we're happy cuz

Posted by: We've got HEART | August 21, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"[Zimmerman] fell back on the same banality that's found wide favor in the Nats clubhouse these days."

Zim is dim.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

D****n NATS! I know -- The Nats, the musical!!!

Posted by: masnstinks | August 21, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

At 9:15 AM today, not only was there no link from the front page of the Wash Po.com website to a Nationals article, but also there was not a link to a Nationals article on the main page of the Sports section.

There were two Orioles stories. Of course, they won. :(

Posted by: PTBNL | August 21, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm a lifelong Washington sports fan, so I know what it feels like to endure losing seasons (see, Redskins 1994-Present..save for a few years they made the playoffs).

But this Nationals team, is very difficult to watch. There is a lack of something important when it comes to this team. What that is, I just don't know - heart? hustle? talent? discipline? I think it may be a combination of all of those things, but I don't think it's a matter of what they don't have, but what they do have - complacency. They are not pissed off about being the worst team in baseball. They are not fired up as all hell that day in and day out they are losing. They are not visibly upset that they have been shutout 19 times this year. When things go bad like this you need a leader to step up - someone to carry the team on their shoulders.

Unfortunately, Zim is not that leader. He'll be a good/great no. 2 or no. 3 or no. 4, but he is not the guy that leads this team out of this mess. Manny Acta - doesn't look like he's the guy either.

Any suggestions as to who it'll be?

Posted by: Nats Give me Gas | August 21, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Rather than dim, as alleged above, I suspect Zim is sending a signal that he can't wait to get out of DC.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | August 21, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@NGMG - you got it right the first time, guess #3 -- talent. They just aren't very good.
I'm not sure how you know how they feel, or what you expect them to do about it to show they're upset. Throw stuff? Fight with the manager? Kick their dogs? Hold their breath until they turn blue? They had Captain Redass--even BARRY called him that in the blog--and nobody here much liked him.
They just aren't very good. No amount of pouting, farting & fuming, or acting out is going to change that.

Posted by: ce | August 21, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

IOW, they don't need a leader, they need a couple of power bats, better defense, at least one stud starter, and a bullpen, with a closer.

Posted by: ce | August 21, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

and a hitting coach, a third base coach, a bullpen coach, and a training staff.

Posted by: ce | August 21, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

and after they get that, they need a new broadcast deal, and a local paper people aren't embarrassed to be seen with, covering them.

Posted by: ce on a roll | August 21, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Zimmerman is truly the face of the franchise. Overrated, over hyped and deeply mediocre.

Posted by: Ben | August 21, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Did I mention a competent GM?

Posted by: you don't make Post of the Day like that, evans... | August 21, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

You think this franchise is over-rated?? Hyped at all?? Mediocre??!! They ASPIRE to being mediocre.

***************
Zimmerman is truly the face of the franchise. Overrated, over hyped and deeply mediocre.
Posted by: Ben | August 21, 2008 9:49 AM

Posted by: But Zimmerman, you may have a point there. | August 21, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

See? Now THAT's how you get Post of the Day!

Posted by: Not that I read the DTE | August 21, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Now, be fair. It may be the franchise Ben had in mind was The Washington Post.

*************
Zimmerman is truly the face of the franchise. Overrated, over hyped and deeply mediocre.
Posted by: Ben | August 21, 2008 9:49 AM

Posted by: POTD This | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Chico, stop it.

You know exactly what he means by inconsistent. In any given week all infield positions, besides 3rd, could have any number of players. The lineup could have a .235 hitter in the 4-hole. Or not. Kids up and down from Columbus, guys in and out from injury.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

...and you can't tell me that inconsistency doesn't matter

Posted by: NatsNut | August 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Chico--I wonder if it's occurred to you that ALL pitchers have this pattern of getting hit harder the 2nd and 3rd time through?

Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/65vstj

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree. Talent wise, the nats are very, very weak. But it gets to a point where these guys are just flat out not performing. Austin Kearns should not be hitting .216 He's at least capable of hitting .235 :)

Ultimately though, we have no other options than to field the team we've have. Manny can threaten to bench these guys, but for who? Other AAAA players? That'll surely make things worse.

And if Zimm does decide to take off, that will really retard our ability to sign and hold future prospects.

Posted by: Nats Give me Diarreah | August 21, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Dale nailed it a day or two ago....they are "comfortable" losing. That is all on ACTA. Acta is part of the problem.

CE is correct they need all those things in the future. Today they need a wake up call to start the process.

Today they should start the process by Firing Harris, Tolman and Jimbo. All replacements should be interim only.

Put Acta on notice that a team 'comfortable with losing" is not acceptable.

Zim no doubt will leave. He is not that good anyway, nice player, no leadership skills at all. Not really a big loss. Nats drafted the wrong Ryan....Give me Braun in LF and you have a building block. Zim and 3B, you have a final piece of an already winning team.

Posted by: JayB | August 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The other key concept you might want to read up on is "sample size."

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 21, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

So wouldn't it make sense to change pitchers every time through the lineup, and have them go every other day or so? All bullpen, all the time?
*********
Chico--I wonder if it's occurred to you that ALL pitchers have this pattern of getting hit harder the 2nd and 3rd time through?
Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/65vstj
Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 21, 2008 9:56 AM

Posted by: ... and statistics | August 21, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Chico, you're only giving us half of the story (Zim's "banal" answer). What was the death-defyingly fascinating question that you bright young reporters asked which prompted that response? Let me guess: "Uh, duh, Ryan, so whya think youse guys is losin' and stuff?".

The non-banal answer to that question is "Because Flores and I are the only guys on our roster who would be starting on most teams, and half of the other guys wouldn't even be on the 25 man roster". So blame Ryan with having too much class to tell the truth.

Posted by: joebleux | August 21, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Clichés are your friends. Learn them. Remember them.

Posted by: Crash Davis | August 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

and the sad part is, JoeBleux's answer is still being kind.

Maybe we should be grateful the headline wasn't "Zimmerman: Nats 'spineless'

Posted by: piling on | August 21, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Your comment means absolutely nothing, and it surely doesn't make SOCH's post less meaningful.
The point is, ALL pitchers pitch worse as they cycle through the lineup.

(I can't believe I am pounding home a SOCH post, but it's very valid.)
**************************************
So wouldn't it make sense to change pitchers every time through the lineup, and have them go every other day or so? All bullpen, all the time?
*********
Chico--I wonder if it's occurred to you that ALL pitchers have this pattern of getting hit harder the 2nd and 3rd time through?
Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/65vstj
Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 21, 2008 9:56 AM

Posted by: ... and statistics | August 21, 2008 10:02 AM

Posted by: Section 138 | August 21, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"The point is, ALL pitchers pitch worse as they cycle through the lineup."

So don't cycle them through. Simple enough.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Chico you da MAN

You have said what I have been screaming at my radio and TV for weeks.

Posted by: CBin DC | August 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Can't pitch, can't catch, can't run, and can't throw, can't coach either. GM?, Kasten?, Lerners?
Maximize profits, shaft fans.
HERE ARE YOUR NATS!!
Not even a AAAA team.

Posted by: johnbear1 | August 21, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Inconsistent, yes and all of the above that is associated with losing maybe consistent is a word you can stick in there too like consistent losers!!!. The Lerners must be thinking what did we get ourselves into? a gm that does not have a clue, a manager that can't motivate, and a so called president of baseball operations that is in over his head if you're a season ticket holder or even a casual fan these are tough times,the Lerners better think fast and think smart because this situation is unraveling as we speak.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | August 21, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Posted by: Nats Give me Diarreah | August 21, 2008 9:57 AM "

You did a better job of spelling diarrhea than JayB would have, I'll give you that. But you're still inconsistent.

Posted by: which translates to | August 21, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Felipe Lopez is hitting .325 with 4 walks and 2 triples in 40 ABs with the Cards. He's also 3-3 in stolen bases. I know it's not a large sample size, but just saying. We could very well be cursed. (Luis Ayala has pitched 0.2 perfect innings with the Mets!)

Posted by: Jason | August 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

And let's not let the guilty party off so easy...

....TOLMAN!!

Posted by: gnatsgnation.blogspot.com | August 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

well sure all pitchers' stats degrade, in general, as they go through the lineup the 2nd, 3rd, 4th times. i didn't get the feeling chico was saying that only balester has that problem.

but the 140 point difference in BA and 300 pt difference in SLG are pretty telling. look at the links you gave.

1st: 252
2nd: 266 (+14)
3rd: 290 (+38/+24)

then look at balester:
1st: 178
2nd: 306 (+138)
3rd: 341 (+173/+135)

balester's are much more dramatic.

how about SLG?

avg pitcher:
1st: 396
2nd: 428 (+32)
3rd: 469 (+73/+41)

balester:
1st: 247
2nd: 542 (+295)
3rd: 591 (+344/+49)

yes, you're also right that sample size has some effect, but when the differences are that dramatic, even with the sample size, there's probably something to it.

Posted by: 231 | August 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The focus on Collin Balester was interesting, but I'd like to see a more coverage of the game itself in the "gamer." Today's article reads more like a feature or a sidebar than a game story. For instance, you mentioned that "the Nationals couldn't score in the first inning Wednesday (when five batters came to the plate and four reached base)" but never explained why or how. Who were the batters, how did they get on base, and how come no one scored? I had to hunt down an AP story for the details.

Posted by: Union Station | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Personally I feel a little bad for Manny. Sure he probably isn't the best, but what has he been given to work with.

Frank didn't have very good teams either, but he got them to play hard!

Posted by: Bowden must bow out | August 21, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

where is barry when you need him. now the nats beat is really bad.

Posted by: chico must go | August 21, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Union Station:

The focus on Collin Balester was interesting, but I'd like to see a more coverage of the game itself in the "gamer." Today's article reads more like a feature or a sidebar than a game story. For instance, you mentioned that "the Nationals couldn't score in the first inning Wednesday (when five batters came to the plate and four reached base)" but never explained why or how. Who were the batters, how did they get on base, and how come no one scored? I had to hunt down an AP story for the details.

Can't pitch, can't catch, can't run, and can't throw, can't coach either. GM?, Kasten?, Lerners?
Maximize profits, shaft fans.
HERE ARE YOUR NATS!!
Not even a AAAA team.

Can't hit either especially when it counts. That's why. It does not matter who the batters are – they all are interchangeabley – consistently – inept!!

Posted by: AAAA team | August 21, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"The focus on Collin Balester was interesting, but I'd like to see a more coverage of the game itself in the "gamer." "

Then read Carig's gamer on last night's O's-Sox game at Fenway South. He describes what happened in the game in a way that will illuminate both those who saw the game and those who didn't. I was at OPACY last night, but my view of one play in the left field corner was blocked so I had no idea why the batter only got a double rather than a triple out of the hit. Carig explained it to me in his gamer: ball girl interference. Contrast that with Chico's "game within the game" Nats gamer this morning, which tells me nothing about how the game I couldn't watch because I was at another game actually went down. I learned as much about the Nats-Phillies game last night from the out-of-town scoreboard at OPACY as I did from Chico's gamer. Namely, I got the score. Whoopee!

Posted by: and i'm not even an o's fan! | August 21, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I am posting the following again to vent as it is healthier than going "postal".

That was a very damming assessment of the Nats by Heller in the Times today.
Manny may in fact be a casualty. I am no fan of Bowden and he should be fired immediately. I think his arrogance , conceit and bluster has set the Nats back years. His attitude had a role in the Crow debacle. If I was Kasten and the Lerners I would have Rizzo as the interim GM or have Kasten take over until a new one is found.

Speaking of GMs Brian Cashman would bring respect and credibility but I am not sure he could operate without a 200mm budget and we know $200mm is not going to happen with the Nats. I also hope the FO does not go and saddle itself with a monstrous FA agent contract just for the sake of placating the fans. We have to be smart. Kasten and the Lerners have to start repairing this team's reputation. Unless they hire a GM with respect in the industry, one can forget about signing Strasburg. He will not come.

Posted by: mjames | August 21, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@231--You're right, Balester's splits are extreme. I don't think there's *nothing* there, but if we're going to present those stats it should be in context that a) it's a pattern that is common to all pitchers to some extent, and b) the sample size is tiny.

I just did a longer post on this on my blog if you are interested.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 21, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Lately I've wondered what would happen if we went to a four man rotation and asked them to go four innings, then ask for four more innings from one of our ex-starters in the pen. Start with a soft-tossing lefty, then go to a hard throwing righty. It might look something like this:

Lannan/Redding
Balester/O'Conner
Perez/Mock
Bergman/Manning(Chico)

Shell and Rivera in reserve, Hanrahan to close.
Of course it will never happen, (and there are plenty of reasons not to do it) but sometimes i wonder "What if?"

Posted by: Dogface | August 21, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Dogface,
Well, that's one way to work every lousy pitcher we have into the lineup. Increased number of lousy pitchers = increased misery.

Posted by: 756* | August 21, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

How about we work every utility infielder we have into the lineup? Oh wait...

Posted by: 756* | August 21, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I've actually wondered what would happen with a pitching staff of "closers" -- or at least short guys. Given that starters pitch so few innings these days, it certainly feels worth trying. Take advantage of that first-time-through-the-order thing.

The two problems I always run up against are a) finding that many guys who can regularly pitch on shortish rest (pitching lots of games is still fairly rare) and b) you've left yourself with little margin for error -- the proposal above, using 8 regular pitchers, would leave only 3 men for emergencies.

Oh, third problem: starters want IP and wins for their salary negotiations, and relievers want saves. You'd have to get the staff to buy in.

Posted by: Scooter | August 21, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

In the depths of a 12 game losing streak Zimm's droning on about inconsistency? Zimm is a sleepwalker on and off the field apparently.

Anyway, Acta is not a motivator, nor some supreme tactician and now he has the stink of a loser on him (maybe he'll be Joe Torre in 15 years, who knows, but he needs to get fired here first for that to happen -- I say let's help Manny take the next step). Bowden has way more losses than wins in his role (and beyond the substance his style does not score points either, with Cordero, the DR bonus stuff, the Crow screw-up, the DUI); he is not likely to be the guy that is going to get the Nats headed north in the standings. The Lerners can't find their wallets unless and until the money goes IN (I guess that they will have to wake up on some level, because the new park aint the new park anymore and people will want a reason to go beyond admiring the lack of RFKishness of the place).

Despite some pretty solid advantages over teams in lousy markets and such, this organization is broken on more levels than maybe any other in the game. Sad, when you think that they had the chance to establish a culture from scratch - so far, they have completely blown it.

Posted by: dh | August 21, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of GMs Brian Cashman would bring respect and credibility but I am not sure he could operate without a 200mm budget and we know $200mm is not going to happen with the Nats. I also hope the FO does not go and saddle itself with a monstrous FA agent contract just for the sake of placating the fans. We have to be smart. Kasten and the Lerners have to start repairing this team's reputation. Unless they hire a GM with respect in the industry, one can forget about signing Strasburg. He will not come.

Posted by: mjames | August 21, 2008 12:20 PM

Yes, let's bring the baseball genius who gave Carl Pavano $40 million, gave a 36 year old catcher a four year deal (shocker he's hurt) and lavished a huge deal on Igawa??? How much did he pay for Clemens last year?

Yes, the man who actually has a NATS CASTOFF in his starting rotation. Yes, a pitcher the Nats WOULDN'T have in their starting rotation is taking regular turns for this baseball savant.

See, its all what you know.

The state of the organization will have almost nothing to do with whether a draft pick comes here or not. The only thing that matters is cash on the barrel head. Remember those great schools in Colorado? Mike Hampton wanted those schools for his kids . . . the comically overinflated contract had nothing to do with it. Pay the player and he will come its as simple as that.

Of course, based on available evidence, this ownership group has no intention of paying anyone. When that principle is applied to the Mike Hampton's of the world it is laudable. When it's applied to Aaron Crow and every single talented international player this year it is a HUGE sign about relative cheapness.

Chico, ask the question: with a bottom 5 payroll, a bottom 5 signing bonus payout and no international signing of note . . .where is the top tier revenue this franchise is generating going? Was the HD screen in the park THAT expensive?

Can they tell you how the $300,000 they saved by replacing Luis Ayala with Anderson Hernandez will be used?

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | August 21, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I've been wondering lately if maybe it would work to have 25 players on the active roster who are healthy and able to play?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 21, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

but then wouldn't we have to pay them all?

Posted by: lifelong lerner | August 21, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Re: playing w/ 25 able-bodied players- we would have to pay the players that replace the players that should have gone on the DL, so yes, it would be more costly. Who wants to play without a competitive disadvantage though? That would be boring.

Posted by: Offense/offensive | August 21, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"I've been wondering lately if maybe it would work to have 25 players on the active roster who are healthy and able to play?"

I bet if you did a detailed team-by-team analysis of the number of days per injured player that players sat on the bench rather than being DLed thereby leaving their team to play shorthanded that day, you might find yourself surprised at the results.

Posted by: there are lies, damn lies, and statistics | August 21, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

From today's espn.com's Keith Law chat....

Billy (DC): After failing to sign Aaron Crow, how is the Nationals organization viewed within the industry? And will the MLBPA ever sign off on a "hard" slotting system?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:06 PM ET ) They're not viewed in a positive light, or at least the GM isn't. There's a fair amount of schadenfreude out there over his involvement in the Latin American scandal and the mishandling of Crow. (By the way, Brett Wallace is in AA and Aaron Hicks is tearing up the Appy League. Either would have signed for slot at #9.) The union would sign off on hard slotting in exchange for other major concessions, but I wonder if that would just lead to an antitrust lawsuit (or challenge of the exemption).

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 21, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating ..."

They aren't good at ANY level. Owners to beer vendors. Even the fans don't know their burro from a burrow.

This is it. This is what we get for $611,000,000. Get used to it.

Posted by: Not that I'm bitter | August 21, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Add Teixeira and Sabathia to this club in the off season and all of a sudden, the lineup looks pretty solid, maybe

Bonifacio (maybe in a platoon)
Guzman
Zimmerman
Tex
Dukes
Lastings
Pena
Flores

And Sabathia adds 200+ innings of premium pitching to a club that has shown it can pitch to some extent in its current form.

Add those two guys and the Nats are in the running. All it will take is about a $200 Million comittment to TWO players. Yikes.

Posted by: dh | August 21, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for zim. WAY too much pressure on this guy from the beginning on. They keep saying hes brooks and cal rolled into one. He isnt. That's not his fault, he just isnt. HES going to be a very solid player, maybe make a few all star games but i doubt it, and a number 5 hitter on a really good team. I wouldnt be shocked if he picked up his sh*t and left after his 6 years of service time are up. He has to be fed up with it all

Posted by: luvdatnats | August 21, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Billy (DC): After failing to sign Aaron Crow, how is the Nationals organization viewed within the industry? And will the MLBPA ever sign off on a "hard" slotting system?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:06 PM ET ) They're not viewed in a positive light, or at least the GM isn't."

"The industry" is a rather broad term. Which industry? The industry of MLB players? The industry of MLB owners/management? The industry of agents and player "advisors"? Methinks the only "industry" that Keith Law can accurately speak for is the bloviating industry.

Posted by: this business of show | August 21, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention that pretty much everybody in OB already had made up their minds by now, and the Crow thing isn't going to change that by much.
**********
Methinks the only "industry" that Keith Law can accurately speak for is the bloviating industry.
Posted by: this business of show | August 21, 2008 2:14 PM

Posted by: Shoes for Industry | August 21, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

You lost me at "Pena"
*********
Add Teixeira and Sabathia to this club in the off season and all of a sudden, the lineup looks pretty solid

Posted by: dh | August 21, 2008 2:10 PM

Posted by: Annie Savoy | August 21, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bonifacio is not a leadoff hitter. Sure, you could put him there, but he wouldn't be very good.

Posted by: Carl Williams | August 21, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I could bat leadoff.

Posted by: Toonces | August 21, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

GRIP (or anyone else who knows)--point of information--where does one find info on intl talent and signings? Thanks.
***************
Of course, based on available evidence, this ownership group has no intention of paying anyone. When that principle is applied to the Mike Hampton's of the world it is laudable. When it's applied to Aaron Crow and every single talented international player this year it is a HUGE sign about relative cheapness.

Chico, ask the question: with a bottom 5 payroll, a bottom 5 signing bonus payout and no international signing of note . . .where is the top tier revenue this franchise is generating going?

Posted by: Section 109 | August 21, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"Bowden has way more losses than wins in his role (and beyond the substance his style does not score points either, with Cordero, the DR bonus stuff, the Crow screw-up, the DUI)"
________________

To be fair, if you created this monster of a team, wouldn't you want to get drunk and cruise around Florida? Drinking and driving...yeah!!!

Jimbo is an idiot and a child.

Posted by: 756* | August 21, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Bowden has way more losses than wins in his role (and beyond the substance his style does not score points either, with Cordero, the DR bonus stuff, the Crow screw-up, the DUI)"
________________
and the leather pants ... You forgot the pants.
and the bad spelling--wait, that was people in here.
and taking off every other homestand so some intern could do his job--oh, wait, that wasn't him, either.

Posted by: Pot | August 21, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

A little dated, but
International Signing Period Preview
Baseball America from June 2008
http://tinyurl.com/6cqtuf
****************
GRIP (or anyone else who knows)--point of information--where does one find info on intl talent and signings? Thanks.
Posted by: Section 109 | August 21, 2008 2:29 PM

Posted by: ce | August 21, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Cheap teams/owners always point to lousy free agent contracts (even if not their own) as an excuse to not spend. In reality, they are simply cheap. Obviously, there aren't any sure things in baseball, but you have to play ball, and you have to be willing to spend some cash in order to play ball.

I remember Angelos complaining about Albert Belle's contract. Once it was over, they finally had some dough to spend on payroll... Gimme a break! His contract wasn't even that big. But at least Angelos was complaining about a contract that he approved. The Nats' front office has been trying to convince all of us that if we're not going to win 81 games, then we might as well win 55 and save $20 mil. Well, I'm not buying it. There is no sword to fall on here. This is baseball. I would much rather win 81 game with an 70 mil payroll than 55 with a 35 mil payroll (what is it now, dropping?). I would much rather watch CC pitch for 20 mil/year, than to watch rejects like LoDuca, Estrada, Dimitri (sorry), etc clog up the DL.

The biggest crime this ownership ever committed was convincing the NJ majority (growing less by the day) that spending money and winning is bad. Like there is something extra noble about non-spending money and developing the team. Kasten's right way to win. That's a bunch of BS. The Lerner's a millionaires/billionaires(?), I won't feel bad at all if they have to spend $20 mil on a FA. They bought a MLB baseball team, not the Dollar Store.

Posted by: 756* | August 21, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ce.

Posted by: Section 109 | August 21, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Add Teixeira and Sabathia to this club in the off season and all of a sudden, the lineup looks pretty solid


HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Rick.Felt | August 21, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Add Teixeira and Sabathia to this club in the off season and all of a sudden, the lineup looks pretty solid


HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

I echo those same sentiments. Add those two and you've got two all-stars surround by a bunch of mediocre players. So Tex will hit .315/35hr/120rbi and the rest of the lineup will bat .245. CC throws 7 strong innings each game and the bullpen blows it, every time. Then the other 4 days of the rotation. Yep, lousy performances. So with adding thsoe two guys our win total would increase by 8-10 games, tops.

Posted by: Agreed. | August 21, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

y'all might as well stop dreaming about any of the major free agents parachuting into nats park for next season. most FA's have two criteria - can the team I go to pay me? can the team i go to win? the answer to the first question is "maybe" where the nats are concerned. the second question is an unqualified "no."

Posted by: natsscribe | August 21, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I think we may all need to resign ourselves to the fact that next year will be another long year for Nats fans. I just wish the Front office would be candid with us.

How about this for a sales pitch next year:

NATS FANS....WE ADMIT IT...THE TEAM IN 2009 IS GOING TO STINK AS BAD AS THE ANACOSTIA AFTER A THUNDERSTORM, BUT....WE HAVE A GREAT FAN EXPERIENCE WAITING FOR YOU AT *CAPITAL ONE BALL PARK*. EVEN THOUGH WE WILL NOT BE SPENDING THE MONEY FROM THESE NAMING RIGHTS ON BIG LEAGUE PLAYERS. WHO CARES? THIS YEAR WE HAVE THE RED SOX COMING TO TOWN!!! WE HAVE THE CUBBIES COMING TOO!!! YOU'LL STILL SEE THE BIG NAME STARS, JUST NOT ON THE HOME TEAM... BUT...
YOU CAN BUILD A BEAR THAT WILL LAST LONGER THAN NICK JOHNSON.
YOU CAN ALSO GO TO THE BATTING CAGE AND STRIKE OUT...JUST LIKE AUSTIN KEARNS...
COME TO THE RED LOFT AND HAVE A FEW BEERS (WE'VE ADDED THREE MORE ATM'S AND WILL HAVE LOAN OFFICERS STANDING BY IF YOU RUN OUT OF CASH...)
PLEDGE YOUR ALLEGIENCE...OR NOT...JUST BRING YOUR WALLET!!!!

*sigh*

Posted by: TimDz | August 21, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

So if there is no point in signing CC or Tex, then there is no point in signing middle road FA, then there is no point in signing Crow or draft picks = Lerner's win.

Slight correction: CC has been going the full 9 half his NL games.

Rebuttal: Winning is infectious.

Posted by: 756* | August 21, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Add Teixeira and Sabathia to this club in the off season and all of a sudden, the lineup looks pretty solid"

And don't forget....drumroll....Willy Taveras! He can bunt, he can slap, and Willy's got wheels, baby, wheels! We've got the good news from Denver Post dot com linked up over here:

http://www.nationalsenquirer.com/

Posted by: The Nationals Enquirer | August 21, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Note to Bowden must bow out now: You're right F.Robby did get them to play hard every damn game but he was "too hard," too demanding" in case you're wondering i've held a grudge ever since Stan the plan let Frank go, not against the team just the three stooges(Manny,Jimbo and Stan)Frank has forgotten more baseball then those three know combined the Lerners let two goofballs (Jimbo and Stan) make this franchise the outright laughing stock of major league baseball,Frank would have never let that happen he was a winner and just to be real clear about this whole F.Robby scenario i beleive race played a factor anyway this season is a disaster if the Lerners want to save face they better get those three incompetents outta here the sooner the better!! WHEW!! now I feel better.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | August 21, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I echo those same sentiments. Add those two and you've got two all-stars surround by a bunch of mediocre players. So Tex will hit .315/35hr/120rbi and the rest of the lineup will bat .245. CC throws 7 strong innings each game and the bullpen blows it, every time. Then the other 4 days of the rotation. Yep, lousy performances. So with adding thsoe two guys our win total would increase by 8-10 games, tops.


Not to mention we would have to offer record contracts for either to even consider signing with us, especially Bath.

Posted by: Rick.Felt | August 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Honestly! Can we please please drop the topic of signing Texeria and Sabathia. There are richer, more competitive teams, who will break the bank for these guys, offering them play-off baseball. We neither can nor will compete with the likes of the Angles and Yankee's this year in the free agent market. And both? Honestly! When was the last time any team signed both top free agents in one winter (I'm actually expecting someone to hoist me on my own petard for that last statement, but what the hell...)? Least of all a team with as little draw as the Nat's.

This team is going to be built a little at a time. Not because we should, or because it's a plan, but because it's the only way we can. So let's all be a little realistic. You too Bowden.

Posted by: Ben | August 21, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

F-ROB WAS CANNED CUZ HEZ AFRICAN AMERCAN AND TEH LERNRZ R RACIST AND SHUD BE RUN OUTTA TOWN TARRED AND FETHERD ON A RALE!

Posted by: REPARATIONS!! | August 21, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"The biggest crime this ownership ever committed was convincing the NJ majority (growing less by the day)"

That's more on the tone change and lowered level of discourse here than the ownership.

Posted by: Just saying | August 21, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

sabathia? teixera? gawd, why would those two FA's want to waste their peak performance and peak earning years playing in the gulag on south capitol street? the general manager would only surround tex with mediocrities and cc can't pitch every third day. dream on.

Posted by: natsscribe | August 21, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty certain there won't be one free agent signing this offseason. No reason to even try really.

Posted by: Rick.Felt | August 21, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Frank would have never let that happen "

Frank would send you back to third grade faster than a Matt LeCroy passed ball so you'd learn spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Posted by: and he wouldn't cry about it either | August 21, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Intern to be Named Later Zach Berman is apparently covering tonight's game. Harlan probably couldn't take any more.

Posted by: new post | August 21, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

In the real world, where you you either produce or you get the ax, the current mediocrity would cause the organization to replace its management team. Frank had the same group of lousy performers, but would not stand for lack of enthusiasm and hard work. Acta is a nice guy, but he is a big part of the problem. If the organization were interested in fielding a creditable team, Bowden, Acta and Harris would be long gone. However, the "fan experience" seems to be the only focus in hope of filling seats.

Posted by: jjburns | August 21, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Natls Enquirer: Good call on Willy T. from the Rox. Interesting.

Maybe the move will be to trade for Holliday. Get the guy for the one big year (then either sign hm long term trade him away or take the draft picks when he leaves after '09). That makes the fans happy to have something to see at the park and the Nats don't have to pony-up for multiple years of big money. The Nats WILL make a splash -- I mean the Lerners do have to walk around in this town and they do have to sell tickets next year.

The Nats have to go the path that the Tigers took a few years ago when they overpaid like crazy for Ordonez, Pudge and Kenny Rogers. They sucked and they had a huge new stadium -- sound familiar? Did not take very long for them to go from worst to first, amazingly enough. The good news is that all it takes is money to build a team that can compete, the bad news is that it takes the money.

Posted by: dh | August 21, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Note to and he wouldn't cry about it either: WHATEVER!! Who died and left you in charge.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | August 21, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Who died?? I didn't even know he was sick.

Posted by: What | August 21, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

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