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Details on the Doubleheader

Here are the details on the lost night, and what it means for tomorrow.

* We'll have a doubleheader with the first game beginning at 3:05 p.m. The second game will start approximately 25 minutes after the end of the first one.

* The starters:

Game 1: Jason Bergmann (1-8, 4.33) vs. Jeff Francis (3-7, 5.67)
Game 2: Odalis Perez (4-8, 4.16) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9, 3.61)

Bergmann was slated all along to pitch the Thursday afternoon game, so that doesn't change. Perez, after the rainout, was given the choice of whether he wanted the afternoon or evening start; he picked the latter.

Manager Manny Acta said that he's not yet certain if the team will need to use a spot starter somewhere later this week (probably Monday) to prevent Perez from going on three days' rest. That'll depend on how Perez feels, how much he pitches tomorrow, etc. But if the team needs a spot starter, Garrett Mock is your man.

Also, randomly, Barry Svrluga's photograph is available on the Post Web site for $29.95.

Please help our dying industry.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 7, 2008; 12:01 AM ET
 
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Comments

I ordered two! Where is it best to send you your copy Chico?

Posted by: junkbucket | August 7, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

someone needs to tell granpa boz that the fashion police will soon be on his trail for wearing tube socks. lol!

Posted by: natsscribe | August 7, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

wow a real double header...on a different note, kind of shocked flop got a deal before plod. not that i agree with it, but plod has a reputation as a vet voice with a decent bat and as a catcher to boot i thought he would be snatched up faster than you can say yo mtv raps. the cards picking up flop makes zero sense and i predict they will lose every game for the rest of the season (except last nights game which they won despite flops best efforts)

also great move by the rockies grabbing livo i hope we see him tomorrow

Posted by: love | August 7, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

At least Boz and Barry are color-coordinated in what are Supremely Harmonious uni's.

Posted by: flynnie | August 7, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

The Clippers plan to search for a new major-league affiliate for next season.

General manager Ken Schnacke said the team will allow its two-year agreement with the Washington Nationals to expire when the season ends Sept. 1. The Clippers will let Minor League Baseball know in early September that they want to explore options with other major-league teams. Once approved, they can begin negotiations Sept. 16.

The Cleveland Indians have been mentioned as a candidate. Cleveland's agreement with its triple-A affiliate, Buffalo, expires after the season. Schnacke could not comment on Cleveland's interest.

Other triple-A teams whose agreements end after the season include the New York Mets (New Orleans), Toronto (Syracuse, N.Y.), St. Louis (Memphis, Tenn.) and Kansas City (Omaha, Neb.).

The Nationals have told Schnacke that they would like to stay in Columbus.

Posted by: Jim B | August 7, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering who the other "subversives" were that Chico listed in the hard copy this morning.

I knew the gods of baseball were frowning on us Tuesday night when we had 3 baserunning mistakes that took players off of the bases (Milledge, Belliard and Zimmerman). They took their revenge on the bloop double that Ayala allowed, the rest of the runs were solely caused by the bad pitching, no external forces were needed.

Posted by: Dale | August 7, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

My first comment after that, Dale, was "uh oh, the gods of baseball will punish us for that one!"

They are just, folks, but never merciful!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 7, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Well, the obvious tack on the minor league affiliates is for Columbus to tie up with the Mets. I wonder if the long time NY connection doesn't play with someone in Columbus, particularly since they don't necessarily feel the Mets v. Yanks animosity.

That probably leaves us back in N.O. (which is fine with me, but not optimal for the club). None of the others listed seem likely to switch although it is my understanding that all of the agreements expire every even numbered year.

The real question is which of these cities is the weakest. That will probably be the one that the Nats will choose. BA has an interesting piece on the political machinations in Richmond and, with encouragement from the Nats, my guess is that Richmond becomes a perfect spot for our AAA team.

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 7, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Columbus is hoping to get Cleveland for a much more geographically close affiliation.

Cleveland would be leaving Buffalo. Buffalo would likely target Toronto who apparently will be leaving Syracuse. The rumors are that Syracuse wants the Mets.

So for those keeping score at home:

Columbus is Washington's affiliate; would become Cleveland's
Buffalo is Cleveland's; would become Toronto
Syracuse is Toronto's; would become the Mets

Meaning the Nationals would end up back in New Orleans.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

So how does it work when minor league teams switch affiliations? Are all the prospects and AAAA guys we have in Columbus still under contract with the Nationals organization, or do we effectively switch farm systems? Can someone fill me in on what happens now? Thanks.

Posted by: indy | August 7, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The affiliation agreement only has to do with the phyiscal location of where the team plays. Most of these agreements are two-year deals.

The players are under contract with the Nationals and are assigned to their respective teams by the organization.

The affiliate city has no say in who they get as players.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"So how does it work when minor league teams switch affiliations? Are all the prospects and AAAA guys we have in Columbus still under contract with the Nationals organization, or do we effectively switch farm systems? Can someone fill me in on what happens now? Thanks."

No, the Nationals don't switch farm systems. They just pack up and move the Columbus team lock, stock and barrel to whatever new city becomes their AAA affiliate. Not unlike the way a company that is renting its office space just packs up and moves everyone to a new office building down the road when its lease expires. And for that matter not unlike the way the Montreal Expos were packed up and moved to Washington. Same team (for better or worse), different city.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 7, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, RKGF. So why do we have to move the Clippers all the way to New Orleans? If they orchestrate all those switches Brian mentioned above, the Indians, Blue Jays, and Mets all end up with AAA affiliates pretty close to home. Why can't we move our affiliate to, let's say Richmond, for the same conveniences they're getting?

Posted by: indy | August 7, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Gee, that is such a useful phrase, I bet it catches on in Washington:

The economy - it's day to day
The war - it's day to day
The Anacostia - it's day to day
Passing a budget - it's day to day

If there are any PR people out there who can work the phrase "it's day to day" inot any agency, WH, or Congressional announcement, we should chip in a prize. Perhaps a certificate to the same bird bath Screech uses.

Posted by: Day to Day | August 7, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Thanks, RKGF. So why do we have to move the Clippers all the way to New Orleans? If they orchestrate all those switches Brian mentioned above, the Indians, Blue Jays, and Mets all end up with AAA affiliates pretty close to home. Why can't we move our affiliate to, let's say Richmond, for the same conveniences they're getting?"

The affiliate is not moved. It's an existing organization. With only a few exceptions, minor league affiliates are owned/operated by people not associated with MLB. The team that is currently in Richmond is an exception. It is owned/operated by the Atlanta Braves and they are moving their affiliate to Gwinett County, which is right outside of Atlanta.

There are presently no Triple-A ownership groups looking to relocate their team from where they currently are, so whatever city they are currently in is where they are going to be.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

For those interested, the following ten Triple-A PDAs (player develepment agreements) expire after the 2008 season (current affiliation in parens):

Buffalo (Cleveland)
Columbus (Washington)
Syracuse (Toronto)
Albuquerque (Florida)
Las Vegas (LA Dodgers)
Memphis (St. Louis)
New Orleans (NY Mets)
Omaha (Kansas City)
Portland, OR (San Diego)
Tacoma (Seattle)

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Right, we'd have to convince the owners of the New Orleans franchise to move it to Richmond, or buy the franchise and move it ourselves. Hey! Let's take up a collection! Who's in?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | August 7, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

And cue cheapness of Lerners!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 7, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@Bob - It looks like Richmond is going to be getting a Carolina League affiliate (same league/level as the P-Nats). Baseball America is reporting that two teams from the California League (Bakersfield & High Desert) are rumored to be joining the Carolina League ... High Desert to Richmond and Bakersfield to Fayetteville, NC.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So, if Perez just cleared waivers, does this mean we can expect a new Arizona prospect sometime soon?

Posted by: Ben | August 7, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we could end up further than New Orleans. At least there is a direct flight from Albuquerque to Marshall / BWI. The Isotopes is such a cool name for a team. The only solution to the Richmond dilemna is buying out a team.

Brian - are there AAA teams in financial difficulty who might want to move? After Ottawa moved, I thought the rest are pretty solid.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 7, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@PTBNL - None that I have heard or read about. Ottawa was realistically the last one with the financial issues.

My guess is the Nationals end up in New Orleans for 2009-10 and hope they are a more appealing option for one of the closer teams who have deals expiring after 2010 (Charlotte, Norfolk, and Durham being the closest)

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

One has to wonder if this is just a negotiating tactic.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Clippers will let Minor League Baseball know in early September that they want to explore options with other major-league teams. Once approved, they can begin negotiations Sept. 16.

Posted by: TimDz | August 7, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@TimDz - It's possible, but I doubt it.

There have been stories out of Columbus for the last two years that the Clippers were hoping to lure the Indians away from Buffalo for the 2009 season. Columbus is completing a new stadium and the story is they wanted to bring the much more local Cleveland Indians to Columbus to open the new park.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Another questions about the minors: When a team's AAA affiliate moves geographically farther away and has a AA affiliate much closer to home, it would make sense to keep more of your back-and-forth guys on the AA roster. Did the Nats do this before when we were in NO?

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | August 7, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I was in Columbus last week and the stadium was full of Indians fans. I suspect that many people there have no idea that the team is a Nationals affiliate. Cleveland is a natural fit and I agree with Brian that things are likely headed that way.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | August 7, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

They used New Orleans as their affiliate for the back-and-forth guys.

The difference was that the Nationals have used Columbus for rehabbing guys more often than they did with New Orleans. When New Orleans was their Triple-A affiliate, they used Potomac & Harrisburg much more often for rehab time given its proximity to DC.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

they often do that regardless of distance, SS. the reason being there's generally more *talent* at AA and more AAAA guys parked at AAA "just in case" they're needed. but the very best players usually don't spend much time in AAA.

Posted by: 231 | August 7, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

231 (and Brian),
On that note, what's the next step in the upward progress of the prospects? Last year they were pretty uniformly kept in (A) Vermont, with a few getting late-season promotions to (A) Potomac (Columbus and Harrisburg were TERRIBLE and full of organizational filler). This year, that class appears to be mostly in Harrisburg and Potomac, with more recent draftees in VT. Where will most key guys start next year? Marrero in Harrisburg, Rhinehart in (TBD) AAA affiliate? Smiley in Potomac?

Related: Is anyone far enough along that they need to be put on the 40-man for Rule 5 protection (Davis, Zinicola)? Goodness, that would be a sign that the system has come a long way...)

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 7, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

wow, if this doesn't make a statement about flopez...

[quote=chico]In recent days, since Bonifacio and González have joined the team, the Washington Nationals have emphasized the basics -- in part because players are no longer subversive about participating. One day after the infield drill, the team took a Sunday morning batting practice, a rarity for big league teams. [/quote]

"in part because players are no longer subversive about participating"

hmm... i guess it could say something about lo duca, too. but i doubt it wasn't aimed at flopez.

Posted by: 231 | August 7, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I just read Felipe's comments...

He's a typical follower, do the bare minimum. Ever thought about being a leader, Felipe? Taking charge? Setting a good example for young players? What a bleeping loser!!!

I can't stand the Cardinals, so I'm glad that soon he'll infect their clubhouse. How long will it take before they cut him loose?

Posted by: 756* | August 7, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@nib - It's all a wild guess as to who starts 2009 where. For the guys you mentioned, today I'd guess Marrero is back in Potomac to start 2009; Rhinehart is in Harrisburg; Smiley is in Hagerstown. The perception I got this year was they were not going to push the prospects too much too early.

As for the guys to the 40-man, the guys who need to be added to the 40-man in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft are Ian Desmond, Marvin Lowrance, Leonard Davis (for the 2nd time ... he was eligible for the R5 in 2007), Mike Daniel, Marco Estrada, and Craig Stammen ... from a quick scan

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

No offense to you legends of the WP, but who would actually shell out $30 for that picture?

Posted by: 756* | August 7, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Brian. My simplistic memory was just "guys you could keep on an ML roster that you don't want others to pick off like we stole Jesus." Zinicola seemed like he might fit that category. What constitutes R5 eligibility?

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 7, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Brian - I'd be curious as to your take on Desmond. He was trumpeted as the next big thing, and has been patchy since. I thought he'd vanished completely, then Bowden started to bleat on about him as the future up the middle guy.

Posted by: Exposition | August 7, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Here is who is EXEMPT from the Rule 5 draft ...

Players signed at age 19 or older are exempt from the Rule 5 draft for four years after being drafted (in the amateur draft) or signed by their current organization; players drafted or signed at age 18 or younger are exempt for five years. For example, players drafted in 2006 (or later) at age 19 (or older) will be exempt from the 2008 Rule 5 draft, as will players drafted in 2005 (or later) at age 18 (or younger).

Zinicola was drafted in 2006 and was older than 19. So he is exempt from the 2008 R5 but eligible for the 2009 one.

The pieces I have missing from my names above are the international free agents. I have not scanned through them to see who has to be protected from them

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

re: Desmond ...

My guess is he ends up being added to the Nationals 40-man roster. He's certainly not what the claims were during 2005 spring training but more a system so bereft of middle infielders at the higher levels of the minor leagues, he is worth a 40-man

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@231,

Good thing we keep him so long, we would have been in real trouble if we had to play Orr or Harris instead of Lopez right?
:)

Posted by: JayB | August 7, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"No offense to you legends of the WP, but who would actually shell out $30 for that picture?"

I duuno. How much are dart boards going for these days anyway?

Posted by: ntr CIL | August 7, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm guessing this isn't possible since no one is suggesting it, but does New Orleans have to get a Triple AAA team if the Mets leave? Why not move the Hagerstown Single A to New Orleans and put our Triple AAA affiliate in Hagerstown? That's nice and close to DC. Does it have to do with the stadium size?

Posted by: Section 222 | August 7, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@S222 - That wouldn't happen.

New Orleans is a Triple-A team in the Pacific Coast League (in fact, they are one of the easternmost teams.) Hagerstown is a Low A team in the South Atlantic League.

Geography would keep that from happening.

Stadium size would keep that from happening.

But more than that New Orleans ownership would not agree to being downgraded from AAA to Low-A (nor would the PCL agree to such a deal).

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, this is where things get a little disturbing, and we might get shafted. N.O. is, as I understand it, locally owned (as opposed to being part of one of the minor league conglomerates...i.e.Ripken Baseball). They were the first pro sports team to get back to playing in New Orleans after Katrina.

Florida, I'm sure, would find New Orleans a much more convenient place to plant their AAAA players and having bounced around affiliations for a number of contracts, the ownership group might prefer a more stable, geographically attractive relationship. That would leave us, basically, with Albuquerque, unless we could reach some sort of accord with one of the West Coast teams that has an East Coast AAA team (i.e. San Fransisco / Connecticut).

What makes all of this even more interesting is the possibility that, once again, the Miami stadium does not happen. If it falls through another time, the Miami ownership may just give up. If that happens, Charlotte, which threatened to be in the mix for the Expos, might be ready to be a player (as I said, back around the turn of the century as it became increasingly obvious that Montreal couldn't support a Major League team, Charlotte was an obvious destination, but wouldn't have the economic base to go Major League, but might in 8 or 10 years).

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 7, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah having the AAA team in New Orleans kinda sucks because if they're on the road, they're out West someplace. We really need a team in the International League instead of the PCL. Charlotte would work (currently a ChiSox affiliate, and NO wouldn't be a bad swap for them). Ditto for Durham (Devil Rays). Less sure about Norfolk (Mets), where I think they have a pretty stable relationship and the geography doesn't work as well.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | August 7, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Norfolk, Bowie, and Frederick are all run by the same guy and they are all Orioles affiliates ... which makes Norfolk a tough get in 2010.

Durham seems extremely satisfied with Tampa given the level of prospects they get to see there.

Charlotte is the one I'd hope the Nationals would target in 2010

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

If anyone's curious, Lopez was 1 for 3 last night, with nothing else to show for it, having been tagged out at home on an Izturis 2-out grounder to the shortstop.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 7, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I would love Charlotte to become the AAA Nats affiliate. I saw the stadium they play in and it is just a super facility. Only a 3 hour drive for me...I'd go quite a bit as I also have friends who live real close to the stadium.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 7, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The New York Daily News reports that "it appears the Mets no longer have their hopes up that Ryan Church will return this season."

Church briefly return followed a concussion, but has been out since early July and refused to speak to reporters after taking batting practice Wednesday. "I'm not optimistic about that," manager Jerry Manuel said. "It's very foreign to all of us and we just aren't sure as to where it could go. And historically, it hasn't gone in our direction. We've been going through this, I don't know how long. Two months? Whatever. But, if it does turn out to be something favorable for us, it would be very, very welcome."

Posted by: The song remains the same | August 7, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

brian is the man!

Posted by: lucky reader | August 7, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Hope that Church is able to fully recover from the concussion effects/syndrome. Brain injuries are not to be taken lightly.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 7, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Knights to Nats: Nuts!

*********************
I would love Charlotte to become the AAA Nats affiliate.
Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 7, 2008 12:55 PM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch, acting slotman | August 7, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ewnay Ostpay

Posted by: Igpay Atinlay | August 7, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Does Charlotte ever play Lansing? Good thing there are no ties in baseball.

New Nats' Knights Knot 'Nuts

Posted by: S3MC | August 7, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

ustjay ymay ucklay ...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

anksthay

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 7, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

an'tcay ommentcay erethay?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 7, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

evernay indmay.

Posted by: milyeay itellalay | August 7, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Brian - On New Orleans switching clasifications to free up a AAA for Richmond: I would guess it'd more economical for NO to be in either the Southern or Texas Leagues (AA) than the PCL. Perhaps there is some flex to shuffle classifications.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 7, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ratday, oiledspay the unfay.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 7, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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