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Dodgers pregame (plus a Manny wig and vintage Maddux)

The lineups, folks.

Also, I just got off the field, where a gang of reporters nearly confused Jim Bowden with Manny Ramirez. Bowden wore long, thick dreadlocks -- a la Manny -- underneath a Nationals cap. Plenty can be said of Bowden, but don't call him boring.

And let me add some tidbits on the pitching matchup. The meeting between Tim Redding and Greg Maddux presents an interesting dichotomy. Redding's career descent into the minor leagues -- and the subsequent rise into the Washington rotation -- is well documented. And Maddux? Perhaps you've heard of him. Or maybe you just remember him as a contributor in this commercial.

Redding has 1-5 with a 6.63 ERA since the all-star break, but he hasn't faced many from the Los Angeles lineup during his career. That may give him a boost early, when the Dodgers take time to adjust. (Not that a guy like Manny Ramirez needs much time to make adjustments.) Let's see how Redding fares in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Maddux, meanwhile, hasn't won a game (0-6) against an NL East team this season. The future Hall of Famer is new in Dodger blue -- new for this season, at least -- having been acquired last week for his second stint with the club in the past two years. He was added as a final piece to possibly catapult the team into the playoffs. Tonight, he will just be trying to help Los Angeles break its funk; the Dodgers have lost five of their last seven and are losing sight of first place Arizona in the NL West.

Kemp -- 8
Ethier -- 9
Kent -- 4
Ramirez -- 7
Loney -- 3
Martin -- 2
Garciaparra -- 6
Blake -- 5
Maddux -- 1

Harris -- 7
Guzman -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5
Milledge -- 8
Belliard -- 3
Flores -- 2
Dukes -- 9
Bonifacio -- 4
Redding -- 1

(There were some glitches with the NJ last night -- all of them my doing, I'm sure -- which is why some of you may have had difficulty commenting. My bad. We should be on track tonight.)

-- Mark Viera

By Chico Harlan  |  August 27, 2008; 6:08 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Narrow lead, high drama
Next: Eckstein joins staff


Thanks for the lineups and the commercial. I'd never seen that one before. Was that Heather Locklear? There have been software glitches in the past. It happens. We'll survive. We're tough. We're Nats fans.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 27, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Who is Mark Viera?

Posted by: Ubi est Chico? | August 27, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

That commercial was awesome.

Posted by: BF | August 27, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Now this is a lineup that has some potential. Bonifacio batting 8th will be great if he can be patient.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking throwing fastballs up in the zone is not a good idea.
Thank dog for Nomah...

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Is this a sign of things to come from JImBo?

Posted by: mac | August 27, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

anybody having issues with MASN2 (now on Channel 641) on DirectTV?

Posted by: joNAThan | August 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

From - if this guy comes with such an impressive resume/reputation why the F--- has he not yet been promoted to the Nats hitting coach? Makes me question more about how this team is being run.


WASHINGTON -- Triple-A Columbus coach Rick Eckstein arrived at Nationals Park on Wednesday to become an extra hitting coach and do anything else manager Manny Acta wants him to do.
It's the third time in five years the organization has added an extra coach toward the end of the season.

Eckstein is considered by many to be a great Minor League hitting instructor who taught Ryan Langerhans how to hit again and put Kory Casto back on the radar screen in terms of getting another chance in the big leagues. General manager Jim Bowden believes Eckstein will become a big league coach some day.

Eckstein came back from China two days ago after being the bench coach for the Team USA baseball club in the Summer Olympics. The team ended up winning the bronze medal.

The Nationals felt it didn't make any sense for Eckstein to go back to Columbus for the last couple of games of the season, so they decided he should start working for the big league club earlier than normal.

"Rick brings a lot to the table. There a reason why Davey Johnson picked him to be one of his coaches on the Olympic team, because he is that good," Bowden said. "We have been very impressed in all aspects of his work ethic -- whether he is teaching hitting or whether he is doing infield. He is just a baseball rat, who loves the game. He is highly intelligent and well-respected by the players."

Eckstein, who is the brother of Blue Jays shortstop David Eckstein, enjoyed his time in the Olympics, but wished Team USA won the gold medal.

"China put a lot into it. They wanted to show the world what they were about," Eckstein said. "I tell you, it was nice -- where we lived in the village, the baseball facilities. You felt like you were somewhat at home with the way the facilities were."

Posted by: Eckstein for hitting coach | August 27, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The Post has finally changed the author of the blog to Chico from Barry. It only took three months and three emails to the ombudsman.

Posted by: JT | August 27, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, everyone must be at the game or glued to their car radios out in the....

Zim homers! 5-3 Nats..... Redding outlasts Mr. Maddux. Emilio 2-3 with a run scored. Everyone contributing.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Guess I jinxed it... Way to go Saul. Challenge Blake and then walk the .143 guy.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan trying to nail down a 1+ inning save. Don't remember too much of that from the Chief. Can't actually recall a single one, but I'm sure it was tried.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | August 27, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Two in a home, yet! Who knew?

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 27, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall Cordero ever coming in in the 8th, either. Yanks and Red Sox do it all the time.

Way to go, Joel! [thanks for bailing me out of that jinx thing...]

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we won a series at home!! Very exciting. I can now sleep well.

Interesting story out of Pittsburgh and their draft choice. Man, Boras is a SOB of the top order. At what point do the parents of the kid say, "hey, wait a minute, we are talking about walking away from $6M?? what gives??" Guess that may be why I work in cubeville.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | August 27, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Radio for me, cat daddy (one of 26,500). You didn't jinx it (are you related to Jinx, the cat?). Good to see Zimmerman get a homer - maybe his shoulder is getting better. The Nats have already won the series - now where's that whisk broom?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 27, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Boras seems to be top of the order - one might say a leadoff man - in that regard. :D

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 27, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah leetee1955, pretty cool...

W: T. Redding (9-8) L: G. Maddux (6-11)
S: J. Hanrahan (6)

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Radio eh, natsfan1a. So were you up on the roof with the transitor or up on the hill in your car with the raw potato and tinfoil on the aerial?

I'm just the 1 of 1 in this time zone, following along with the cartoon graphics interface of the internet tubes...

Great to see Zim launch one, and it was needed.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Happily, the reception was good enough that I didn't have to employ any of those methods, and the broadcast didn't cut out once.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 27, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of pitches they wish they had back, I loved seeing the billboard in the commercial that read "It really is the shoes!"
Well, the shoes and the "B-12" injections, anyway.

And speaking of not-really, Chico, I know they're old, but the Dods must be getting pretty nearsighted if they're losing sight of the DBax from 3 games back, in August.

Charlie just said Arizona is 30-51 in their last 81 games -- a pair of numbers we don't soon forget, ain't it?

Posted by: CE | August 27, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little torn about tomorrow's game, though. That Joe Torre seems like such a classy guy, I'd hate to see him get fired again.

Posted by: CE | August 27, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

a couple of more wins and we surpass the 62 Mets!

Posted by: Cabraman | August 27, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

@ natsfan1a , must have sounded pretty good, then. CBS Gamecenter used to have a sound effect for homers [a crack of the bat and crowd roar] that made it a little more enjoyable.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah CE, that would be a shame. They may even decide that Kent and Nomar need to join Andruw, wherever he is.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 27, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Weren't they 42-120? We are at 48-85 right now.

a couple of more wins and we surpass the 62 Mets!

Posted by: Cabraman | August 27, 2008 11:11 PM

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | August 27, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Chico. I know you have a pic of Bowden in dreads somewhere....

Posted by: NatsNQ | August 27, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

No comment on Alverez? And you call yourselves baseball fans? You guys are weak!

Posted by: 756* | August 27, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I won't call Bowden boring. How about a blundering, blabber-mouthed, blockheaded, bozo? Actually I don't care what anyone calls him. As long as ownership calls him into the office at the end of the season to terminate his contract.

Posted by: grf15 | August 27, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

This is one fight Jeff Kent isn't going to win
Second baseman disagrees with Vin Scully, and just about everyone else, on reason for his recent success.
T.J. Simers


August 17, 2008

He's been cantankerous all week -- like that's different than any other week, but he's really been Jeff Kent ornery and then some -- peeved at anyone who might suggest he's doing better because Manny Ramirez is hitting behind him in the lineup.

It's obvious, though, everyone noticing it, Kent going into Saturday night's game hitting .500 behind Ramirez, Vin Scully mentioning it during each broadcast.

"Vin Scully talks too much," Kent said.

Kent went on to criticize Scully for never coming to the clubhouse, saying, "Just ask Derek." The nearby Lowe yelped, "Leave me out of this!"

Scully had no comment.

Posted by: flynnie | August 27, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

From the "Walkoff Walk" blog

By Chief WahooAuthor on August 18, 2008 9:36 AM

Anyone still have questions why so many of Kent's teammates over the years have tried to punch him?

Posted by: flynnie | August 28, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

From Blue Notes, LA Times:

Watching Jeff Kent screw up that play, I suddenly realized why we've been losing. It's simple: Jeff Kent's comments about Vin Scully have angered God. We are all being punished for Kent's lack of judgment.

Posted by: Amy | August 27, 2008 at 05:30 PM

Posted by: flynnie | August 28, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I like winning and all, but I kind of feel like we should be fighting for the worst record in baseball instead. I know it's not right, but this season is lost anyway. We do have a little bit of room on the competition right now, but these two game winning streaks really worry me. I mean, what if two turns into four? Then where are we?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Why would you bother even trying to get the No. 1 draft pick? We'd just lose him when the Lerners would refuse to pay the 42 cents postage to mail the kid his contract.

Posted by: | August 28, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

We're now officially at the no one cares point of a throughly pointless season. The listed attendance was 22K, but if there were 20K actually there I'd be surprised. Maybe EBoni can hit a little in the 8 hole - where if you're going to use him at the ML level is where he should be.

Posted by: No More | August 28, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Of course, there was nothing else going on in the country last night that at least half of Washington-types would be interested in staying at home in order to watch....

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 28, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

That's cool about the Game Center crowd effect, cat daddy. Too bad that they stopped doing it. One of our more tech savvy NJ denizens should pull together a Nats Park sound track for you to deploy as appropriate.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 28, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

That wacky Jose Guillen is at it again...

Royals general manager Dayton Moore met with Jose Guillen Wednesday after the outfielder confronted a heckling fan in Kansas City the previous night.

Guillen had to be restrained by catcher Miguel Olivo, third-base coach Luis Silverio and others when a fan down the right-field line harassed him in a 2-1 loss to Texas.

"Jose has got to remain focused to what happens on the baseball field," Moore said Wednesday. "It is certainly inappropriate to engage in any conversation with the fans during a game. ...

"We'll just continue to work with Jose about managing what he says and how he responds."

It was Guillen's fourth public outburst this season. The former Mariner called teammates "babies" during a 12-game losing streak in May, made profanity-laced comments in June while saying he could "care less about" fans who were booing him, and had to be separated from pitching coach Bob McClure on July 5.

Royals manager Trey Hillman said he missed Guillen's confrontation with the fan.

"I was actually in the toilet, so I didn't see it," Hillman said. "Managers do have to use the restroom and I guess I picked a bad time to be in the restroom. ... There's no sense on commenting on it."

Guillen, who at $12 million a season is the highest-paid player in franchise history, is hitting .249 but leads the club with 17 home runs and 80 runs batted in.

"I understand who I am and the money that I'm making," Guillen said. "I understand that I'm hitting .250, and the fans are expecting a lot more than they're seeing. But the word he said, trust me, anybody would want to go there."

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 28, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the rain kept away the fair-weather fans last night, or perhaps it was fear and loathing as regards the possibility of seeing Jim Bowden in dreadlocks.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 28, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Kent has surely angered the baseball deities with his dissing of Mr. Scully...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 28, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: New | August 28, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

What's going on here? This Journal has been taken over by those who don't care about a win for the home team? Keep to yourselves your Cosmic Ennui, your depressive let's finish last, your NFL "the season is pointless unless we finish in the playoffs," your refusal to appreciate our guys playing their hearts out and winning! The Nats were magnificent last night! Hanrahan comes in with the bases loaded and saves the game! Zimmerman hits into the center field bleachers! EVERY GAME MATTERS!

Posted by: flynnie | August 28, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Go Nats! Go Flynnie!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 28, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Please tell me why the Nats are the only franchise involved in the Dominican kick back scheme to not fire the parties involved? I know if I was an owner and word came out that some employees were stealing money I would bring down the hammer and quick....unless I were in on it. The fact that nothing has been done leads me to believe that is the case.

Sad sad state of affairs. This ownership group is off to a poor start.

Posted by: BigQ | August 28, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I love the that commercial Mark. It gave me a good little at work today.

Posted by: JMUNats | August 28, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else at the game last night think that Maddux was upset with Milledge about something (perhaps his stolen base in the first), plunked him, then totally set him up with the play that resulted in the rundown at third?

Maddux wasn't particularly sharp last night, but his gold glove defensive skills were clearly on display.

Posted by: Part Timer | August 28, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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