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Flores: sprained right knee

Just your daily fix of Nats' medical news...

In the bottom of the sixth inning on Saturday night, catcher Jesus Flores tried to score from first on a Ronnie Belliard double. The play at the plate -- he was thrown out on a relayed throw from center field -- cost the Nats more than an out.

Right after the game, Flores had his right calf X-rayed. Results came back negative, but he didn't play in Sunday's game.

This morning, though, Flores had an MRI that revealed a sprained right knee -- all part of the same injury, a team spokesman said. (The lower part of his knee and the upper part of his calf were banged up all at once.)

Flores is listed as (all together now) day-to-day.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2008; 4:49 PM ET
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Next: The Budget for the Draft


Of course he is.

Posted by: Ben | August 18, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Not even I had it that bad.

Posted by: Not Really the Old Testament's Job | August 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what the record is?

I feel like we must have shattered some record out there for:
1) most injuries in a season
2) most mis-diagnosed/ignored injuries in a season
3) most days spent undermanned on the 25 man
4) most days on the DL
and 5)most Opening Day starters lost to the DL


Posted by: NattyDelite! | August 18, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

On both NJ and NFA posters said things couldn't get any worse.

It didn't take long.

Don't tempt the baseball gods!

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 18, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

They don't have enough people to play two.

I have to think they DL him sonner and call up Montz. You can't have one catcher.

Posted by: John | August 18, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

We should DL Flores and bring back Estrada!

Posted by: I'm high on crack | August 18, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Not really surprised to hear that, unfortunately.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

less than two weeks til september callups, they'll probably just park him on the roster, regardless of health...

Posted by: 231 | August 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The news, that is.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

You can sprain your head just following this @&$% team.

Posted by: Shekb | August 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Good point about the callups, 231.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad...

Posted by: WN | August 18, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

read: Flores out for the rest of the season.

Can I 'sigh' without getting flamed?

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Me thinks it's OK if you *sigh*!

Posted by: N@sfan | August 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Can I 'sigh' without getting flamed?

Posted by: heh | August 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Something's got to give. One of the middle infielders will need to go down to make room for a backup catcher.

Unless Willie Harris can catch.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 18, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

*sighing* is only allowed when posting anonymously. signing your post invalidates any sigh.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

they HAVE to DL him. too risky to just have Nieves!

Posted by: nook logan circle | August 18, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Robert Fick can catch!!

Posted by: Nostalgic | August 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

can Kearns catch? I think I can tolerate his offensive numbers if it's coming from the catcher's position ...

Posted by: e | August 18, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Trying to stay positive here ... at least the Nats won't lose game #11 tonight!

Posted by: e | August 18, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

See. it's like this. We've already gone over our catching budget for this year. We've already poured over $6.5 million into catchers and while we'd love to have one more catcher, it just can't be done right now.

Posted by: Bean Counter | August 18, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

At the rate things are going -- Screech will end up on the DL and Louseal will be come in from Columbus along with the other September call ups.

Posted by: 422 | August 18, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

This is all Peter Angelos' fault. He's an ambulance chaser, right? maybe he wants to do a class action suit for worker's comp?

Posted by: SF Fan | August 18, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to Robert Fick?

Posted by: JT | August 18, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Call up Uncle Slam!
At the rate things are going -- Screech will end up on the DL and Louseal will be come in from Columbus along with the other September call ups.

Posted by: 422 | August 18, 2008 6:22 PM

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | August 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Willie Harris, I'd forgotten another of the highlights of my day at the park yesterday. Before the game, they showed a fan Q&A session with Willie on the scoreboard. One of the questions was "If you could have only one super power, what would it be?" - I laughed and told my husband, "That's funny, because everyone knows that he has many super powers." Willie played along, though, and pretended that he didn't, answering that he'd like to be invisible so that he'd know what people were doing when he wasn't around. Well played, Willie, well played.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

422 and Scott: What, Youppi's not available?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Fick visited the team on their recent L.A. road trip and Young was advocating for him to be picked up at that time, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Fick and Young are drinkin buddies

Fick visited the team on their recent L.A. road trip and Young was advocating for him to be picked up at that time, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 6:52 PM

Posted by: ruroh | August 18, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

From AOL's Sports Blog:

I've sat by idly watching the Nationals create their "foundation." I've watched vice president Stan Kasten create his plan and I've watched Fans may also turn their back on this dismal franchise. general manager Jim Bowden and manager Manny Acta execute it.

Sometimes it takes a small move to trigger a loud response.

Bowden sent capable reliever, and the last remaining Montreal holdover, Luis Ayala to the Mets for 25-year-old utility infielder Anderson Hernandez Sunday. It's one thing to trade Ayala. It's another to give him away to a division rival.

This, after sending outfielder Ryan Church and catcher Brian Schneider to Mets in the offseason for Lastings Milledge.

I understand moving veterans for youth, but there are 28 other teams out there. Do we have to make our rivals better?

But that's not as laughable as Paul Lo Duca, arguably the worst offseason signing not named Andruw Jones, who was recently released and picked up by division foe, Florida. With Florida in the market for a serviceable catcher since April, why Bowden couldn't have parlayed Lo Duca for a prospect (or as Bowden likes to think of them -- slap-hitting middle infielders with little upside) is depressing.

Johnny EstradaBut not as laughable as signing Johnny Estrada to a contract when you have budding star Jesus Flores in the system and serviceable Will Nieves. After all, it was Jason Kendall who unseated Estrada in Milwaukee. Here's how that offseason conversation between Jimbo and Johnny "I'm spent" Estrada went:

Jim: Johnny, you staying in shape? We're looking for a veteran catcher to work with our young staff.
Johnny: I dunno, Jimbo. I'm not really feeling the game of baseball anymore, I mean geez, they brought in Jason Kendall in Milwaukee to replace me. Ya know how depressing that makes a human being, when Jason Kendall is seen as an upgrade over you? It's like replacing Rodney Dangerfield with Jackie Mason in Caddyshack II.
Jim: I loved Caddyshack II! It had that black bailiff from Night Court. What a great show, Night Court. Bull, he sure was tall. Just like Rauchy. Come on into spring training, we'll see what we can do with ya.
Johnny: OK, bud, if you say so.

But not as laughable as signing an overweight defensive liability who doesn't take his diabetes seriously to a multi-year contract that makes him untradeable. (see: Young, Dmitri)

But not as laughable as signing fragile Nick Johnson, a light-hitting first baseman to a multi-year contract, effectively inhibiting any prospects from manning the corner. Sorry, Larry Broadway or Chris Marrero.

But not as laughable as trading the best reliever on the market for one of those hard-to-find slap-hitting middle infielders. But hey, he sure is quick. So is Joey Gathright. So is Michael Bourn. Keep them and their miniscule OBP off my team.

But not as laughable as failing to sign draft pick Aaron Crow over a $500,000 dispute. Crow, deemed major-league ready, was always expected to be a tough sign. But when the gap came to within six-digits, the team should have ponied up to sign the kid. Why sign unproven talent to major-league dollars? Let's say they end up paying Crow $4 million per (what he wanted, the Nats came in at $3.5). What pitcher on the free-agent market are you going to find for $4 million per? That's fourth- or fifth-starter money and Crow is projected as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Yes, paying kids that sort of moolah isn't ideal, but the club drafted him knowing he'd be potentially great, and tough at the table.

But not as laughable as the Lerner family withholding $3.5 million in rent (as of July 11) to the city of Washington for receiving an incomplete stadium. Not just that, the Lerners are "demanding damages of $100,000 a day, dating from March 1," according to the Washington Post. Just to refresh, the city paid for this stadium using tax dollars. The team is playing in the stadium and the Lerners are collecting revenue. The Pope conducted mass in the stadium. The Presidents Race occurs during every home game. But it's incomplete to the point where not just rent is being withheld, but damages are being sought. I've attended three games and the only thing incomplete I've noticed is the on-the-field product. It takes a budding villain to make the public stick up for the city of Washington. Congrats Teddy.

But back to the seemingly small things. Here's what really set things off, laughably speaking, in this blogger's dome. The Nationals are Ted Lernerlast in the league in giveaways. Dead last at 35 per 81 home games, according to the Sports Business Journal. The Marlins, a team like the Nats which entered the season with little hope to compete, lead the league with 141 giveaways. Couple this with the fact that season ticket holders had to actually show up to these atrocious games (but only specific ones) to receive their complimentary yearbook and replica stadium is well, laughable. I received mine Friday night and as the guy who handed it to me said upon seeing my disappointment in the craftsmanship, "I hear some people are using them as ashtrays."

Having a plan that requires patience is one thing, using it as an excuse to be miserly is another. One season doesn't make a rich data pool, but if Year 1 of Ler-Kas-Bow is a sign of things to come, it's safe to say this team is destined to complete the trilogy of Washington teams leaving the area.

But I offer a solution, and it's so simple I demand it: An apology not just to season-ticket holders like myself, but to all Nats fans.

Dear Nationals fans,

We're trying here in D.C., but we've been out of the baseball game for a while, which explains why we don't know how to treat fans at the ballpark, why we don't know how to do the whole TV thing well (the Nats are dead last in TV ratings), and why we don't know how to do the whole personnel thing well. But we'll get better, starting with the removal of Jim Bowden from the general manager post. We'll bring in a smart baseball guy who has a fine-tuned balance between objectively analyzing players and pulling the trigger on a brash big-ticket signee when it fits the plan. We'll provide incentives to attend the ballpark, which Washington was nice enough to build (despite its many flaws), like free caps and balls (but no cowbells). In short, we'll do things better. But stay faithful, please. We've waited a long time to have baseball back in D.C., let's not rush this job. Let's set up a foundation that will ensure the District has the best baseball franchise in MLB. If we don't fulfill our obligations above, we promise to sell the team to Ted Leonsis and never entertain any offers from Dan Snyder, no matter how much money or Lions for Lambs paraphernalia he throws our way.


Ted Lerner

Posted by: ohplease | August 18, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

What are we, chopped liver?


Chad Cordero, Shawn Hill, and Nick Johnson

Posted by: Montreal holdovers | August 18, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

so that "aol sports blog" writer describes a career 850 OPS as "light hitting?"

i guess he/she really knows their stuff...

Posted by: 231 | August 18, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, NattyD. If you look at some other rosters out there (Dodgers, Braves, ouch) we're not the only ones hurting. We started out as a weak unit. Add in the injuries and now we are on record pace for losses. Next season will be better!

By the way, has anyone taken a peek at the Yankees roster and salaries lately? My goodness! You forget if you don't look for a while.

Posted by: Patty | August 18, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, anyone who says this:

"Let's say they end up paying Crow $4 million per (what he wanted, the Nats came in at $3.5). What pitcher on the free-agent market are you going to find for $4 million per? That's fourth- or fifth-starter money and Crow is projected as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher."

is basically saying:

"I don't know anything about baseball."

If you don't know how incorrect (actually completely moronic) that statement is, then neither do you.

Posted by: Matt | August 18, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Natsfan1a, I liked your Willie Harris story. I just noticed that his jersey number is 1...well of course it is!

Posted by: Patty | August 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Tim Tolman should lose his job for sending Flores home on that play. They were down 11-4 with the bases loaded and onwe out (that's ONE out). There is no need to take any risk trying to score Flores on that play. None. If they held him at third, they still have second and third with one out, down 11-6. Instead, Tolman completely takes the wind out of a rally.

Oh, and the Estrada cracks above are classic. My seven-year-old daughter had the line of the night Saturday when she asked me who I thought would win a foot race between Estrada, Dmitri Young, and Livan. I thought about it for five minutes and had no answer whatsoever.

Posted by: John O. | August 18, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Patty. Good point on the jersey number! ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

John O., I'd like to add Carlos Baerga into the mix on the foot race for nostalgia's (and also humor's) sake.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse


I can't find that post on AOL's sports blog, mlb fanhouse. Gotta link?

I love the line about Church and Schneider vs. Milledge. Love the timeliness. Especially when the writer gets on the Nats case about signing Johnson to a 3 year contract. Too injury prone. Kind of gives me a headache, that one. Like . . .

For the fun of it, here a link to an article on on Lastings at CBS Sportsline's MLB site.

I kind of like this bit, too, on the player news page:
"Milledge puts nice streak together: OF Lastings Milledge continues to perform well for the Nationals even when his team is struggling. Milledge has hit safely in 16 of his past 18 games, going 26-for-71 (.366) with five homers, 11 RBI and nine extra-base hits. His season average is up to .261. (Updated 08/18/2008). "

Posted by: PTBNL | August 18, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse


Baerga would be a good participant in that foot race. When he ran, it looked like he was running in mud, spinning his wheels like a cartoon character.

Posted by: John O. | August 18, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

That's an excellent description, John O. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

What is it that bugs ohplease so? It's hard to tell from her rambling screed, no cliche, no baseless canard left unsaid as it were. Is she upset that the Nationals have sent substandard players to the plate this season, or that the team did not provide her with enough commemorative tchotchkes to keep track of all those players? Does ohplease really want that Johnny Estrada commemorative catcher's cup, that Paul LoDuca facsimile Daily Racing Form, the Dmitri Young imitation isulin syringe, or the Felipe Lopez temporary tattoos that didn't get handed out to fans this season? Would any one of them make ohplease happy all by itself, or does ohplease need all of them to achieve satisfaction?

Posted by: ohreally? | August 18, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't get that AOL thing. Based on what I've seen of Ayala lately (and that's a lot), I think you'd WANT to give him to division rivals. The writing is so poor, maybe I'm missing her tone, but is she saying it was bad to trade Ryan "I'm injured, like always" Church and Schneider for Milledge, who's really the only Nat worth watching these days?

I was at the game yesterday, and was somewhat surprised that Kearns and Zim were "resting." Please.

Posted by: natty bo | August 18, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I hear the front office was trying really hard to come up with an Emilio Bonifacio-themed giveaway for later this year. But ultimately they struck out.

Posted by: i'm here all week, folks | August 18, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd definitely feel more comfortable with our hitters facing this year's version of Ayala than facing Rauch, natty bo.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Can someone with better baseball smarts than me tell me why the Nats keep trading for middle infielders when we already have the capable Willie Harris who can play OF or IF?

Is Willie's defense not up to par or something? Personally I would rather see Willie Harris at 2b and Rauch still in our bullpen. I'd rather see Harris backing up Guzman than Gonzalez/Hernandez/Orr.

I'd rather give Willie the 2B job and make trades for OF

Posted by: Willie Harris's Uncle | August 18, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't count on Flores coming back any time soon. If the Nats medical staff traveled back in time, they would list the following people as "day to day":

Lee Harvey Oswald after he was shot by Jack Ruby

Joe Theismann after the Monday night sack by LT

Mussolini after he was hung and dragged thru the streets by the Italian people

Posted by: Cabraman | August 18, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse


"Mussolini Day-to-Day After Minor Neck Strain in the Third."

Posted by: NatsNut | August 18, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: new post | August 18, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Ray King can catch... a Big Mac!

Posted by: 307 | August 18, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

In my 40 years of watching baseball every day, I've never seen a team this snake bitten regarding injuries.

I always go back to the '69 Senators as a comparison (for everything). I can only recall one substantial injury -- pitcher Dick Bosman, who still started 25 games. Other than that, all the regulars (those not platooned) played at least 150 games.

Of course, the 2008 Nationals have seen every position player (in some cases multiple players) go down with injuries.

I still think these injuries cost 10 wins in real terms, and another 5-10 because the team has begun to "give up" due to all those injuries.

Time to look forward to 2009.

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | August 19, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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