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Clubhouse Changes, Injury Updates and more...

Zach Berman here again from Nationals Park. Some quick notes to complement your viewing of the Nationals' offense hurting Johan Santana in the first inning...

* The clubhouse in the bowels of Nationals Park took on a different look. After a few times walking into the locker room, you know the location of each player's locker. So when John Lannan and Collin Balester were in a location usually occupied by veterans such as Austin Kearns and Ryan Zimmerman, it was clear something changed.

It turns out the clubhouse was reconfigured during the road trip. After a rash of trades and promotions, the order of the lockers was disrupted. With a better grasp on the composition of the roster, the new lockers are split so starters are with starters, position players are with position players - and even injured players with injured players.

"Reconfiguration is a good thing," Manager Manny Acta said.

* Some quick injury updates...
- Update from General Manager Jim Bowden on reliever Ryan Wagner: "He's progressing. His slider is back. He doesn't quite have the fastball back yet, but it's getting there. I'm not sure it's all going to come back this year, but the slider's there now."
- Update from Bowden on infielder Aaron Boone: "He's pretty close. I talked to him today. He's going to play tonight, he's going to play tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. We're going to bring him back out tomorrow, and I want to see how tonight and tomorrow goes, but he feels really good. He feels like he's just about there."
- Manny Acta confirmed shortstop Alberto Gonzalez will go on the disabled list and Garrett Mock will return to the bullpen.

* As you may have read on this blog and in the printed edition, the Nationals surpassed the slot recommendation to sign a pair of draft picks on Monday. When Nationals Bowden was asked about the negotiations, he took the opportunity to voice a gripe with an article from The Washington Post. On one occasion Bowden directly referred to an article in Sunday and on another occasion he alluded to the article.

Here are two of his comments, verbatim:

"I was reading The Washington Post on Sunday morning and numerous sources said we couldn't go over slot so I don't know where that came from."

"I like the truth and the facts, not these estimates and guesses I keep reading from unnamed sources. I don't know who they are. I think you should write their names down. Just like the sources that said we wouldn't sign any of our players over slot. Who are they?...I've been reading it and I just wanted to know."

In an article on Sunday, the following passage appeared:

"Unlike last year, when the Nationals issued several signing bonuses to players exceeding Major League Baseball's slotting recommendations, the franchise this year -- under a directive from ownership -- is operating with a more conservative approach, according to numerous sources."

The Nationals have signed nine of their top 10 choices, but first-round pick Aaron Crow remains unsigned. More on the negotiations can be found in Wednesday's paper.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 12, 2008; 8:04 PM ET
 
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Next: Draft Perspective

Comments

It's a good thing JimBo never talks to reporters off the record. He's right. Unnamed sources are terrible. What integrity he has, standing up for what he thinks is right, living his principles.

What an ass.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 12, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

1) Move Perez and get whatever you can for him. Minor league player, cash, stick of gum, etc. Promote young pitcher. Keep Redding for next year.

2) Sign Willie Harris for utility role next year. He's earned it.

3)Don't activate Boone. There is no point in him playing again this season.

4)Let Orr go and promote a young player.

5)Keep Belliard because I am not sold on Bonafacio.

6) Offseason....get a REAL #4 hitting 1B. In the meantime, I'd rather them promote a guy like Larry Broadway who is no great shakes, but is no worse than what we got now. He has played in the Montreal/Was minor league system for awhile. Just let him play. He can do no worse.

Posted by: needs to be done | August 12, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth with Milledge on second with no outs would you have Flores bunt......Stupid stupid stupid stupid

Let him swing away. We would have had three chances for a single to drive in a run, instead of 2.

Posted by: Nice bunt | August 12, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Nice...why wasn't Gonzalez put on DL when his injury first happened.

The Nats plan is to play shorthanded for weeks rather than call someone up

Posted by: on the DL | August 12, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave said that Jesus bunted on his own, which I believe.

Posted by: Radio | August 12, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Then Jesus made a bad decision.

Posted by: bunt | August 12, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or does this Crow guy sound like a real jerk?

There is an article by Bill Ladson on MLB.com Here are some excerpts:

"Crow wants a Major League contract and, according to published reports, $8 to $10 million. The Nationals don't want to give him that kind of money or contract.

During the Bowden era, the Nationals have never given Major League contracts to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, first baseman Chris Marrero and pitchers Colton Willems or Ross Detwiler. All of them were the team's first-round Draft picks.

Instead, the Nationals feel that Crow's salary should be similar to what Detwiler received. Detwiler, the team's first-round pick in 2007, received a $2.15 million signing bonus."

"According to one source, the Nationals have invited Crow several times to Nationals Park after the Draft, but Crow declined the invitations. "


Go back to college Crow. We'll go with two top 10 picks next year instead.

Posted by: Crow sounds like a douche | August 12, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Langerhans for cleanup hitter

Posted by: Langerhans | August 12, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

is he gloating a little bit? if so, good for him. i see progress.

Posted by: longterm | August 12, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

These umps have been terrible lately. Taking the run away by calling Guzman out. Not ringing Tatis up on his check swing.

Plus all the umpire blunders in the Brewers series. Manny must have done something bad to the umps

About time he gets fired up. they've been screwed very often lately. I would get myself tossed

Posted by: NatsVerse | August 12, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Can someone confirm for me that Gonzalez has not played since his injury, and can therefore be placed on the DL retroactively. Please.

Please! I've got a gin in my hand and a chair under my feet.

Posted by: Ben | August 12, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

nattydelite, you may not realize this, but tatis is hammering the ball this year.

his line this year:
OPB-349/SLG-497/AVG-305/OPS-846

he's got 9HRs, 33RBI in just 197 ABs.

Posted by: 231 | August 12, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain why Bonifacio batted in the 9th with Orr and Casto on the bench? I know they are left handed, but Emilio has not smelled a hit in a week.

Posted by: fredva | August 12, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I think it's funny how bonafacio and his enthusiasm was supposed to turn around our season and now he can't get a hit to save his life.

He is completely overmatched. they should probably send him back down to AAA.

Posted by: NatsVerse | August 12, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

why did bonifacio switch numbers???

Posted by: PennQuarter | August 12, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"why did bonifacio switch numbers???"

He's apparently completing his transformation into this year's Nook Logan, alas. Blinding speed that can't get on base to save his life.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 12, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow.

Thanks, 231. I had no idea that he could play.

Isn't this the same Tatis that could not stick in the big leagues or with an organization for like...ever?

What happened? How many ABs does he have? I can look these up, but I'm still astounded.

This must be some kind of chimera....

Posted by: NattyDelite! | August 12, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I just got back from the game and I have to wonder what Acta was thinking having Flores bunt. He was 2/2 with an RBI and is our best hitter with RISP. Of course Flores put down a horrendous bunt and didn't advance Milledge to 3rd, to me, that was the difference in the game.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | August 12, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah, he came out of nowhere. almost like a successful jimbo reclamation. he's got 197 ABs.

Posted by: 231 | August 13, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners are cheap instead of flying someone out to Colorado or to Milwaukee the team has to wait to come home before placing him on the DL. (which has not happened yet) More than likely the Nots( no typo) are waiting for Boone to heal so the team can suffer more when he comes back.

Posted by: Frequent Flyer Miles | August 13, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

in Manny's post-game comments, he indicated Flores bunted on his own and he mentioned something like "You have to take that with a bunch of 23 year olds." I'm not sure why you have to take it, except the only option--taking away playing time--hurts the team worse than Flores' blunder.

Posted by: Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball | August 13, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

If they activate Boone and play him, then I am done with the Nats for the rest of the season. There is no reason to use him. I'd rather them even bring up Broadway or someone else in the minors to play 1st other than Boone

Posted by: NatsVerse | August 13, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

so you think it would be better to bring up a young kid not really ready who'll most likely spend most of his time sitting on the bench instead of a veteran who might be able to help teach young players how to be solid major league players?

Posted by: 231 | August 13, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

yeah flores bunting was a bad choice but you gotta love the team first attitude. he wanted milledge on third for a sac fly and thought the best way was to bunt. he is a pull hitter and knows the odds of a grounder to the right side are weak. would have rather seen him hit away, but jesus...leave him alone his team spirit was in the right place. willie harris should be leading off with milledge cleaning up...but manny seems too stubborn, shocked that he actually argued tonight, maybe he will get in gear with tweaking the line up

Posted by: love | August 13, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Boone WILL be activated! the young guys will come up in a little over two weeks with Sept call-ups.

Posted by: i need my daddy | August 13, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

This team is the ultimate excuses team. Make a damn play, dont wait for someone else to. By leaving guys out for time, it gives them the chance to say "well we didnt have them" Happens all the time, ever year. This is how bowden operated in cincy. He talks a nice game, but it never comes to fruition. "just wait for results, they will come." OK jimbo. Maybe when your a*s is out of here

Posted by: luv da nats | August 13, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I know he will be activated, but I don't think they should use him as much more than a pinch hitter and would rather bring up a younger guy to see what we have. We already know what we have with Boone. He's 35 and washed up. I see your point about him being a mentor to younger guys, but I wonder how effective of a role model a guy is if he has only been with the team for one season and has appeared in only 71 of the 120 games. He's been out awhile.

I guess that Kasto has fallen out of favor. He hasn't started since Colorado. I read an article a couple of weeks ago on the Nats website proclaiming that Kasto is part of the future and that he will be the starting 1b here on out. I guess they changed their mind. his performance has been bad

Posted by: NatsVerse | August 13, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse


zach,
Good gamer.
Thanks for keeping us informed yesterday witht he posts.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 13, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Is there any doubt that Bowden was the source for that article? He is truly a A+ jerk.

Posted by: ohplease | August 13, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Who is Zach Berman?

Posted by: ohplease | August 13, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I think we may be judging Crow by entirely by hearsay. JB and unnamed sources attribute various statements or positions to him but we hear nothing directly from either him or his agent. I'm not willing to judge him entirely on the statements of others. I am not a JB hater, but I think we can all agree JB would not cause Diogenese the slightest pause.

I am going to withhold judgement until he either signs (please!) or tells his side of the story.

As for the rest of the draft, I'm pleased with the signing of 2-10 but am a little disappointed with 11, 14, 15 & 20 plus my pipe dream of Silverstein. I consol myself that they may be waiting until the last minute because (I'm begging here) they are willing to go way over slot and want to hide that fact.

Oh, well, so far so good.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 13, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised nobody said anything about Kearns stealing 2nd last night.

I am totally Kearnsy's mom, but even I was shocked: Did Kearns just STEAL???

That was awesome.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 13, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

And I sort of agree with CSLaD on Crow in the sense that he's asking for too much. There's an air of entitlement that just galls me, especially from some punk-a$$ kid.

(Of course, sign him and I'll probably have instant amnesia about saying that, as is the NJ way)

I'm very happy with the position we are in in signing 2 thru 10 and would not be the least bit upset if we don't sign him.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 13, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut:

I saw that Kearns steal, too and thought it was great. He hustled and got there just before a very good throw. Given the situation, it seemed obvious that the Nats would prefer to have him on 2nd to avoid the dp, get him into scoring position and all that.

Too bad it was wasted.

Posted by: i hate walks | August 13, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Based on Ladson's article, it looks like the Nats really are laying the groundwork for not signing Crow. If he really is demanding 8-10 million and an ML contract and won't budge, I'm OK with the Nats not agreeing to numbers that are outside the realm of reasonableness projected for Crow. If we can believe what we are hearing, it sounds like this is shaping up to be JD Drew-type demands, except Crow and his agent haven't talked publicly like Drew and Boras did (and bonuses in general are bigger today since 10 years have passed).

But Bowden and the Nats could have handled this a lot better from a negotiating and PR standpoint, such as this crap Bowden now is pulling about unnamed sources, when there's little doubt his people have been the ones talking. Also, he should stop yapping about "two top 10 picks" next year since, if someone else ahead of Crow doesn't sign, they wouldn't have two top 10 picks. Kind of like how he couldn't shut up about the fact they would get two first round picks for Soriano, which then didn't happen since Sori was signed by a bottom-15 team.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | August 13, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Who is Crow's agent?


and


Has anyone emailed Jim Bow'n the links to the articles/blog posts with the directly attributed quotes about paying over slot? If you have, could you post a copy of it here, please? (at least so I can give my "aye" to it also)

Posted by: i hate walks | August 13, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't recall Bowden ever saying we'd get two FIRST ROUND picks. Just the two picks that we got.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 13, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse


UP

Posted by: NEW POST | August 13, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"Based on Ladson's article, it looks like..."

Yeah, don't put any stock in what Bill Ladson says, okay? Ladson speaks from Stan Kasten's shirt pocket. He normally borrows Kasten's pen to write his articles.

"But Bowden and the Nats could have handled this a lot better..."

Yeah, really? Not a new concept, unfortunately.


Who is more likely to gas a fire, Louis Ayala or the Nationals' front office? Discuss.

Posted by: i hate walks | August 13, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to assume they'll keep trotting Boni out there the rest of the year with an occasional start to Harris or Belliard. If that is right, then Manny really ought to flip-flop him and Harris in the order. Harris has been an effective lead-off hitter. Manny's tried to take some pressure off Flores and Milledge by batting them 5th and 6th instead of higher in the order, and they seeem to have prospered a bit. Do Boni the same favor by batting him 7th, and put a more disciplined hitter 8th. We've made a long term commitment to Boni, so we need to play him.

Oh, since more than a few of us coveted Jed Lowrie, I thought maybe a comparison between what he's done since the Rauch trade to what Boni's done would make a few of us spit some of our morning coffee (and thereby ruin productivity):

Since July 23:
Lowrie: 16/59, 6 Rs, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 BB, 16 RBI, 0 SB, .271 / .353 / .458
Boni: 12/52, 5 Rs, 1 2B, 3 3B, 0 BB, 4 RBI, 2 SB (1 CS), .231 / .231 / 365.

Recall JimBo reportedly asked for Lowrie and Boston's top minor league starter for Rauch. Maybe it would have been more realistic to offer Rauch and Guzman instead of resiging Guz, then trade for the ex-Attorney General. Lowrie would have wlaked into the club house and been our best healthy young hitter.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 13, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I also thought that Kearns' steal was awesome, NatsNut. Not surprised with the silence from the Kearns haters, though.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 13, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

With Miledge on second,Flores needs to drive the ball to the right side, he is not a bunter!! I can understand the team first attitude but if he is not proficient at bunting then he is an automatic out let him swing away he is one best hitters on the team. Manny's comming out to argue Easley's hbp was just goofy the ball clearly hit Damon's helmet, please!!.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | August 13, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Acta isn't a good manager. Not really sure why we're beating around the bush here. No fire, bad game manager. Probably a nice guy. Good for him.

Posted by: Rick.Felt | August 13, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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