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Off day

Lastings Milledge: "A day off is good."

Ryan Zimmerman: "It will be nice to take a day off and get away from it."

Ryan Langerhans: "I think it's good, you know."

Odalis Perez: "It's good. We haven't had an off day in a long time."

Aaron Crow: Off day? What off day? We play Grand Prarie today at 7:05.

OK, let's get on with things. I think the point of all the above comments -- except for Crow's, which was expertly falsified by a journalist -- is that off days are good, but they're even better when they allow you to break away from a 10-game losing streak, the most staid and persistent spell of bad baseball all year. (Though, to be fair, because of this trade, they ended the day with less incompetence than they started it.) The Nats have now played 125 games, winning 44. They're on pace for a 57-105 record, which, in my opinion, would look like a very comfortable bid to claim the Stephen James Strasburg Trophy.

Because this has been such a draft-heavy week, I thought I'd provide some statistical updates on the players this team actually signed. Granted, some of these guys have only been at it now for weeks, or in some cases, days. But it's a start. (If you're wondering, Crow still hasn't pitched in a game for Fort Worth.)

Rd. 2 -- Destin Hood, OF (GCL Nationals)
Hood has a .180 average (with no HRs) in 61 ABs; .230 SLG, 9 RBIs, 5 BBs, 16 Ks

Rd. 3 -- Daniel Espinosa, SS
Has not yet appeared.

Rd. 4 -- Graham Hicks, LHP
Has not yet pitched.

Rd. 5 -- Adrian Nieto, C (GCL Nationals)
Nieto is 4-for-7 in his first two games.

Rd. 6 -- Paul Demny, RHP (GCL Nationals)
Four games started, eight games pitched total: He's 3-0 in 22 IP with a 1.64 ERA.

Rd. 7 -- Daniel Killian, C (GCL Nationals)
He's hitting .157 in 115 ABs.

Rd. 8 -- Ricardo Pecina, RHP (Vermont Lake Monsters)
Seven starts, 10 games pitched: He's 1-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 38-1/3 innings.

Rd. 9 -- John Higley, LF (GCL Nationals)
He's hitting .337 in 95 AB with no HRs, 14 RBIs and 27 Ks.

Rd. 10 -- Tom Milone, LHP (Class A Hagerstown Suns)
With Hagerstown, he's 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 21 IP; he had a 4.57 ERA in 21-1/3 IP earlier with Vermont.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2008; 8:22 AM ET
 
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Next: Flores: sprained right knee

Comments

Espinosa has played two games with the Vermont Lake Monsters so far. He is 5/6 with two doubles, a run & stolen base.

Posted by: Brian | August 18, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the 2008 draft could play at Williamsport to pad the stats a little. Maybe pick up a home run or two.

Just make sure they don't have to play Jesus Sauceda.

Posted by: Scott | August 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chico-

Any word on Belliard to LAD? Has the waiver claim trade period elapsed?

Also, have any other Nats players either cleared waivers or been pulled back after a claim?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | August 18, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Ricardo Pecina was just promoted to Hagerstown this weekend and Graham Hicks is tentatively scheduled to make his professional debut for the GCL Nationals on August 26th (per a good source ... his father).

Posted by: Brian | August 18, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Once again ( sigh), how a brand new prospect does in his first few appearances has very little to do with what kind of player he will be in a couple of years. Think fine wine, not grape juice. Patience , people. First we got a team, then owners, then a park, rebuilding the farm system, tweaking the roster. The Yankees have been doing it for years and throwing money around like it's new year's eve and they are having trouble fielding a winning team. We are very unrefined at this point and boy does it show!

Posted by: masnstinks | August 18, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Chico, I do hope that you will be doing some reporting about this draft signing budget that Bowden talked about and how he said it limited his ability to sign guys he wanted at a price he believed was fair. As others have aptly stated the issue is not that a budget exists at all, the issue is how small the budget is. Just how serious and committed are the Lerners to this plan of theirs?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | August 18, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Do posters use the word "sigh" in their posts when they want to try to adopt an air of superiority and disdain with respect to other posters' comments but they are not articulate enough to use actual words and argument to explain themselves?

Posted by: just curious | August 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Good one re. the falsification, Chico.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Does posting pithy and snarky comments under anonymous IDs give one a similar air of superiority?

Posted by: also curious | August 18, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

the yankees have trouble fielding a winning team? Are you kidding? Theyve made the postseason 12 years straight, and will still finish above .500. When will the nats finish above 500? sorry, above 400?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow! So much hostility this morning (and not without reason). Crow not signed, another losing streak, another marginal talent acquired, etc... The good news is that it can't get much worse than this.

Posted by: 756* | August 18, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It can't get much worse, but it can continue indefinitely. Might as well re-name them the Bullets.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Chico:

Any thought at the Post to doing a standard weekly feature (in print) on the Nationals minor leagues? A weekly recap and a player feature at each level would be a great way to educate the casual fan about the progress (or lack of progress) of the Plan.

Posted by: Other Marc with a C | August 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

so my thought this morning is that bowden is let go first day after season ends.

we hire gm with the thought that his first two major negotiations will be with scott boras (teixiera and strasburg).

boras gets the talent so we better be able to deal with him.

so...whats all this about dukes being a fast healer?

Posted by: longterm | August 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what happens to Crow if he doesn't sign by 8/15 next year? Does he become a free agent?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I believe the team that draft him next year will have until the week before the 2010 draft to negotiate with him. After that he would become a free agent available to talk to whomever he wants. Though I'd need to re-read the MLB CBA.

Posted by: Brian | August 18, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

afaik, crow cannot become a FA by continually not signing in the draft.

Posted by: 231 | August 18, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

do posters "just curious" (or something similar) in their signatures when they try to adopt an air of superiority and disdain but they are not secure enough to use their regular signature??

Posted by: more curiouser | August 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

well, i'll bow to brian's knowledge, as he's got more insight on the draft than i.

Posted by: 231 | August 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Failure to sign Crow yet another misstep for Nats

Saturday, August 16, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry

The Nationals' failure to sign Aaron Crow is yet another strike against the regime of embattled general manager Jim Bowden, whose name has popped up in the investigation into embezzlement of signing bonuses in Latin America.

In full-on spin mode, Bowden now is claiming that Crow and his advisors didn't give the Nationals any indication before the draft what it might take for Crow to sign (even though this information was common knowledge in the industry) and didn't provide a dollar figure until Aug. 12.

If the Nationals genuinely didn't know what Crow wanted, it was either willful ignorance or the worst case of a signability analysis I've ever seen. And if they weren't willing to go much over slot, they could have just taken Arizona State's Brett Wallace (taken by the Cardinals at No. 13) or Long Beach (Calif.) high school hitter Aaron Hicks (taken by the Twins at No. 14), signed either for slot at No. 9 and made the plausible argument that they took the best player available.

Posted by: more salt for the wounds | August 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

that was Keith Law, ESPN.
I'm not an "insider"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@231 - You might be right. I have asked a couple of people I know will have the definitive answer.

Posted by: Brian | August 18, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"do posters "just curious" (or something similar) in their signatures when they try to adopt an air of superiority and disdain but they are not secure enough to use their regular signature??"

Posted by: more curiouser | August 18, 2008 10:58 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

To this disdainful poster, the "curious" routine is getting a little tired. Also, note to whoever the heck is so interested: the below is not an actual English sentence.

-------------------------------------------

"do posters "just curious" (or something similar) in their signatures when they try to adopt an air of superiority and disdain but they are not secure enough to use their regular signature??"

Posted by: more curiouser | August 18, 2008 10:58 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:03 AM

Posted by: faNATic | August 18, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"do posters "just curious" (or something similar) in their signatures when they try to adopt an air of superiority and disdain but they are not secure enough to use their regular signature??

Posted by: more curiouser | August 18, 2008 10:58 AM"

Is there any difference between using an anonymous handle like Anonymous to post here and using an anonymous handle like just curious, Lerners ARE Cheap, Ray King's Gut Feeling, section 506, natsfan1a, NatsNut, etc, etc to post here? Unless your handle can point the reader to somewhere off this forum that you exist (even if it's just another blog like NFA or CP) aren't you ALL anonymous? And why should anyone care who you are or aren't, anyway? If your comment is crap it's obvious to everybody, and on the rare occasion where it's not crap, why that's obvious too.

Posted by: deep throat | August 18, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Where is the accountability in this organization? What are the "Plan" timelines? If you run a business there has got to be accountability for failure. Regardless of circumstances, the inability to field a competitive team or show production from the farm system equals failure. Ownership proclaimed that they will not take a dime out of the team for a decade - does this mean that all the profits (substantial profits) are being spent on debt management? It clearly isn't being spent at the major league level (to say nothing of the fact that what was spent was done poorly). It seems clear that the international players are not interested or being offered the needed premiums. Where is the money going?

Posted by: 117 F | August 18, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

using a handle promotes community and continuity. if everyone just used "anonymous" for a handle, there would be no conversations because you couldn't respond to individuals.

deep throat, do you object to using a regular handle? if so, why?

Posted by: 231 | August 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Clearly people are angry and frustrated this morning, rightly so. Anyway, how about we change things up and talk about some baseball--even if that subject is somewhat frustrating too?

Does anyone have any views on Bonifacio as a base stealer? I was at the game yesterday and focused on him when he was on first in the second inning, as I thought it was likely he would try to steal second. Well, he got a bad jump, and Iannetta--who is only throwing out 20% of baserunners--nailed him pretty easily. Boni is now only 2 for 4 on stolen bases since joining the Nats. Maybe he just needs some time to learn pitchers' moves, but his numbers at AAA this year were not very good either. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | August 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The good news is that it can't get much worse than this.
__________

Oh, great, someone just challenged "worse"...
They could go 0 for the rest of the season...
NEVER challenge "worse".

Posted by: OldGuy | August 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

By now, don't we really have to take most things written by Keith Law about Jim Bowden specifically or this team in general with a grain of salt? When I tried to use google to find a reference to his supposed $8 - 10 million contract demand that was well known before the draft, I could not find any postings anywhere. I do think the demand came out of the blue, but if someone else can come up with an actual reference to his predraft demands, it would be appreciated (I'm lousy with google searches).

Also, on NFA, Brian has found another commentator who backs Bowden on this negotiation. We've kicked this thing around quite a bit. Can anyone bring something new to the table that does not repeat something that's been posted before?

Posted by: Poster to be named later (PTBNL) | August 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Chico,
I'm with CiL and many others. Please query the FO and ask them to describe their "Plan." I just don't see how a smaller than average draft budget fits with what we've been told.
To give the FO some credit they did go over slot for #2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15. Whoopee. Slot has no basis in reality. They paid those players what they thought they were worth. Good deal. Failing to sign #1, 14, 20, 26, 32 etc and spending less than the average for total bonuses this draft reminds me of the actions of MLB with the EXPOS.
I'm looking for something to believe in, here, because I am a fan, and I have hope. To say they would have spent more had Crow signed for their reasonable offer is unsatisfactory since we've already been told Ramirez would not have been signed. How are they going to make the worst team in MLB better and when will they do it.

Thanks for keeping us posted. YOu might relay to the FO just how upset we are.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Google searches are pretty complicated

Posted by: Bill Gates | August 18, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"using a handle promotes community and continuity. if everyone just used "anonymous" for a handle, there would be no conversations because you couldn't respond to individuals. "

you're not responding to "individuals". you're responding to cartoon or sitcom characters at best, random begrudgers at worst. why do you care what those randoms call themselves (or don't call themselves)? what difference does it make?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

LAC - if you look at Boni's minor league numbers, his stealing % has dropped a bit as the quality of the catching he faces gets better. In Rookie league (age 18) he was 83%. In A (ages 19 -21), he fluctuated between 76% and 81%. In AA, AAA, and MLB (ages 22& 23), he's been 65/94, or 69%. Maybe at lower levels he could get by on pure speed easier than in upper levels.


Posted by: PTBNL | August 18, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Y'all want to have flame wars, then flame away, but what exactly is the point of calling out specific posters like me below?

---

Is there any difference between using an anonymous handle like Anonymous to post here and using an anonymous handle like just curious, Lerners ARE Cheap, Ray King's Gut Feeling, section 506, natsfan1a, NatsNut, etc, etc to post here? Unless your handle can point the reader to somewhere off this forum that you exist (even if it's just another blog like NFA or CP) aren't you ALL anonymous? And why should anyone care who you are or aren't, anyway? If your comment is crap it's obvious to everybody, and on the rare occasion where it's not crap, why that's obvious too.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I too was at the game yesterday and had a similar view of Bonifacio. He is not, at this point in time, a good player. He is certainly not even a marginal ML player. I have yet to see any the extraordinary physical talents ("Fastest player in the ML") others have proclaimed. A team of this caliber can develop through the draft, international signings or free agency. This front office has not, by any reasonable measure, handled any of these avenues well. I hope I eat "Crow" in 2010, but I doubt it.

Posted by: 117 F | August 18, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Agreed on Boni, PTBNL. By the way, that was me and not LAC who raised the question--kind of funny in light of the chatter on screennames.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | August 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

My point being that I don't care to participate in your flame war, in case that wasn't clear.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

CiL, PTBNL,

Do we have anyone on the current coaching staff or on any of the minor league staffs that can coach base stealing? He's got the speed but neither the knowledge nor the technique. Would it be too much to ask that we train the kid?
This is not a good week except....it is better than not having baseball.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 18, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Here is something new:

How the Nationals Were Winners at the Draft Deadline
http://www.baseballdigestdaily.com/bullpen/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=520&Itemid=39

Posted by: 756* | August 18, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"My point being that I don't care to participate in your flame war, in case that wasn't clear.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 11:53 AM "

Are you saying that natsfan1a is not an anonymous handle? Who are you then? Where else besides here can we find you? My point being that you along with everyone else here, named or not, are anonymous. Does that bother you?

Posted by: deep throat | August 18, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Take no notice of ABM, RKGF and 419+1 - He brings nothing to the discussion. As Brian said, just move on.

Posted by: NJ reader, but that could change | August 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the point, deep throat/Anonymous, is that even though almost all of us who post here are "anonymous," the use of consistent screen names is helpful to our ongoing discussions. Many of us have been posting here for a relatively long time. I think a lot of us find that using consistent screen names over time facilitates our ongoing discussions and in fact makes them more fun and interesting, because there is an established background and history. So we may be "anonymous" in the true sense of the word, but it is not true that we don't know anything about each other--we have our established history and discussion as posters here to draw from.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | August 18, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

From the last thread:

There are two different issues at work in this year's draft - the issue of a budget, and the issue of what to offer Crow... and I will demonstrate the fallacy of linking them with a story.

If I asked one of my kids to run to the store and get a list of items, and hand him $20, he will go to the store, and when nine of the ten items cost $6 total, he will go and find the last item for $14, no matter what it is... or in reverse, he'll grab the most expensive item first at $14, and then try to get the other nine for $6.

This is how a teenager thinks... and a version of this argument is being made about the draft. Crow was unreasonably expensive (and additionally, his agents were either incompetent, or more likely, doing their best to keep their client from playing in DC), and even with an unlimited budget, the result should have been the same. As for Ramirez, we can't know, but my guess is that despite what Jimbo said, he would have been signed at that price regardless of the outcome of the Crow negotiations.

What is probably true about the interrelationship of signing Ramirez and Crow is that once Crow fell through, there wasn't much point in a counter offer just to save $100k one way or the other. If you're that close (with Ramirez) that deal was getting done no matter what. What probably isn't true is that if Crow had signed, that Ramirez wouldn't have been signed.

Posted by: Wigi | August 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"I think the point, deep throat/Anonymous, is that even though almost all of us who post here are "anonymous," the use of consistent screen names is helpful to our ongoing discussions."

So this is a closed group, then? A bunch of people who don't know diddly about each other except for whatever they have chosen to spew here, but who know who they like and who they don't like? Well, okay then. As suggested earlier, movin' on...

Posted by: deep throat | August 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Cil, by using consistent screen names we have revealed what we choose to reveal about ourselves and have learned what other posters have chosen to reveal. I enjoy discusing issues with long time posters here when I have some idea of their backgrounds and they some idea of mine.
For better or worse I will continue to use mine. You know some of my past postings or couldn't care less, your choice. You may decide to give more weight, or less to what I have to say but it does make responding to me easier.

Let's play two!

Let's play two

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 18, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"What is probably true about the interrelationship of signing Ramirez and Crow is that once Crow fell through, there wasn't much point in a counter offer just to save $100k one way or the other. If you're that close (with Ramirez) that deal was getting done no matter what. What probably isn't true is that if Crow had signed, that Ramirez wouldn't have been signed."

Ah, but that would make sense. Therefore, it must be wrong.

Posted by: just sayin' | August 18, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

http://www.graystorm.com/wordpress/?p=14

Posted by: Flame War | August 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

No, it's not a closed group. It seems to me that posters here are generally extremely encouraging to new posters and lurkers who post. You were asking why screen names are important to anyone here and "what difference does it make," and I gave you an explanation. That's it. If you are going to stay and continue to post as deep throat, then welcome to the party.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | August 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Back to baseball, the question of Bonifacio's bona fides on the basepaths is indeed an intriguing one. Here are my beleagured thoughts:

First of all, while Ianetta is only throwing out 20% of the runners he sees, he only has one error over the past two seasons. He's an accurate thrower, and, as Carpenter suggested yesterday, looking at that throw, there's certainly a chance that a good deal of those steals were off the pitching staff. I'll throw that throw out of the equation for the sake of argument.

Perhaps more importantly, though, for Bonifacio to be a good base stealer, he has to earn his way on base in the first place. A .280 OBP doesn't lead to a whole lot of opportunities to steal, does it? I mean, since his call up, he's been standing on first after exactly 16 of his 71 ABs.

Then, when actually on first, he doesn't do much to draw the attention of the pitcher. He doesn't appear aggressive, doesn't seem to draw many throws, and does nothing to disrupt the game. For a leadoff hitter, this is especially disappointing.

He's only 23, so there's certainly some hope he'll learn. But right now, after a handful of MLB ABs, there is not a lot to get excited about.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 18, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I was questioning why my moniker and those of others were being brought into an argument between you and another poster.

===========

Are you saying that natsfan1a is not an anonymous handle? Who are you then? Where else besides here can we find you? My point being that you along with everyone else here, named or not, are anonymous. Does that bother you?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"If I asked one of my kids to run to the store and get a list of items, and hand him $20, he will go to the store, and when nine of the ten items cost $6 total, he will go and find the last item for $14, no matter what it is... or in reverse, he'll grab the most expensive item first at $14, and then try to get the other nine for $6."

Sort of. A little bit more accurate would be: You ask one of your kids to go to the store to buy a list of items and you give him $20. He/she has 2.5 months to negotiate the best price for each item with the shopkeeper. Hopefully, they will agree on prices quickly, so you may enjoy the goods all summer, the shopkeeper will have money, and the good would be used and not wasted sitting on a shelf. If your kid does an outstanding job and buys all the items for less than $20, then you will pat him/her on the back, give them some twizzlers as a bonus, and allow them to do the same next year. If they fail to buy all of the items, then your cupboards will remain barren until next year, and worst case, your family will starve.

Incidentally, when the end of the 2.5 months is nearing and it looks like $20 won't be adequate to purchase all of the items, your son/daughter can also call you up to ask for more money, seeing as you are worth millions (billions?) of dollars.

Posted by: 756* | August 18, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

they're "anonymous" in terms of it's not your real name. but using handles do help keep conversations going. you can respond to a name. it's easier to follow if i say, "well, deep throat..." instead of "well, 11:58...". with the former, you know who i'm responding to immediately. with the latter, you have to go back and see if that was you or someone else.

and, as i said, it fosters community and a better understanding of the poster you're conversing with if you already know what their general mindset is.

i don't think this is a "closed group." i think CiL was explaining why people like signed posts. not to say there's anything wrong with posting anonymously, per se. and it's sometimes amusing to do it for effect. but there *is* a benefit for continuity to adopt a handle and use it.

Posted by: 231 | August 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

That said, and as others have noted, moving on...

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, my most recent comment related to my own prior comment, not to any intervening comments. Moving on... ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

It's time that Boni learns plate discipline. He must be more selective at the plate...take pitches in otherwords. He'll get his pitch eventually if he just exercises that option. Teams do not want to walk him as his speed is a weapon. He's just been swinging at to many early pitches and his tendency to do so has become knowledge throughout the league. Of course, a more talented lineup following him wouldn't hurt his chances of improving. This is going to be a slow, painful road to go down. take the rest of the day off.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 18, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Wigi @ August 18, 2008 12:38 PM:

"If you're that close (with Ramirez) that deal was getting done no matter what. What probably isn't true is that if Crow had signed, that Ramirez wouldn't have been signed."


Jim Bowden @ August 16, 2008:

"We had enough money to get Ramirez because we didn't sign Crow."

"We wanted to save our money in case we could save Crow. That was what we were trying to do. Our scouting budget that we had to sign players - we were saving it for Crow. When he fell apart, we picked up the deal and closed it at the last minute."

Posted by: Stop making stuff up | August 18, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

wow - checking in on my lunch time - looks like I need to apologize for my superior sounding *sigh* earlier this morning - didn't mean to set off a round of name calling. Just frustrated with hearing the same torches and pitchforks day after day. Let's all retract our claws and take a deep breath. We have the Phils this week and may need all of our strength to get through it. Someday we will all be bragging to the new posters about how we paid our dues by being fans in 08 when it was really hard and we had to go to games uphill both ways in the snow...

Posted by: masnstinks | August 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

756*, regarding your comments...

My point was not about what Bowden did or didn't do... it was about those that criticise the outcome on the basis of price and budget combined... and that I don't think it is a valid argument.

Anyway, what actually happens in my house is the kids get the groceries for $5 and spend the other $15 on sodas and candy... which is why I don't send them to the store with $20.

Posted by: Wigi | August 18, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

CiL, LAC - all those C's, all those L's . . .

On a different topic - are there any good indexes of Nat related blog postings across several sites? For example, if I wanted to find several different postings on the Nats player budget, is there an index where the topic was discussed by Capitol Punishment, Nats Pride, here, etc . . .? NFA does a great job on player development, and I suppose Steven will probably grab any posting on Jim Bowden as a GM. Are there others?

Posted by: PTBNL | August 18, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

to "Stop Making Stuff Up":

I didn't make stuff up... I said, "What probably is true..." Meaning that there is a fair chance that I was wrong, and that it is my interpretation...

I read Bowden's comments, and he's prone to hyperbole... and it serves the Nats purposes for them to be perceived as having a hard budget... so I don't see my comments and his as necessarily in conflict. This goes back to the point that some have made about budgets. It may well have been that had they signed Crow, that Bowden might have had to ask for a budget adjustment to get Ramirez in, too. I still think it would have happened.

Posted by: Wigi | August 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I would love to have the FO answer some questions about next years budget now (will never happen and not sure they should give that information out loud anyway) but really, in order to sign the players they need to sign, their budget for the first round next year has to be 10M+, and their budget for the rest of the draft has to be 5M-6M.

If it is not then the Plan really does not exist, because you won't be able to draft and sign the quality in the draft without spending that.

Posted by: Other Marc with a C | August 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to use this as approval to go home without running it by my supervisor. Thanks!

Agreed on plate discipline, though. To draw a strained comparison, let's look at Guzman. Both are Dominican (both were born in Santo Domingo, actually). Both like to swing, particularly at the first pitch. As the saying goes, you don't walk your way off the island.

The difference between the two? Well, if you're looking at 2005, perhaps there aren't any. And really, Guzman has a career .304 OBP, just .023 higher than what we've seen out of Bonifacio in his 106 MLB ABs.

So what happens if Bonifacio develops into this season's version of Guzman, only a better defender? Looking at Guzman's first season in Minnesota, it's not unimaginable. How would you all feel about that? Given the promised success in future years, will that be enough out of your leadoff hitter?

-----

This is going to be a slow, painful road to go down. take the rest of the day off.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Wigi @ August 18, 2008 1:16 PM

"I said, 'What probably is true...' Meaning that there is a fair chance that I was wrong, and that it is my interpretation"


Wigi @ August 18, 2008 12:38 PM:

"If you're that close (with Ramirez) that deal was getting done no matter what."

Posted by: Stop making stuff up and backtracking | August 18, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Wigi @ August 18, 2008 12:38 PM:

"If you're that close (with Ramirez) that deal was getting done no matter what. What probably isn't true is that if Crow had signed, that Ramirez wouldn't have been signed."


Jim Bowden @ August 16, 2008:

"We had enough money to get Ramirez because we didn't sign Crow."

"We wanted to save our money in case we could save Crow. That was what we were trying to do. Our scouting budget that we had to sign players - we were saving it for Crow. When he fell apart, we picked up the deal and closed it at the last minute."

Posted by: Stop making stuff up | August 18, 2008 1:02 PM "

Are you saying that Wigi = RKGF? Is Wigi an a**hole too?

Posted by: just askin' | August 18, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Texieira not only isnt coming here, he wont even show up to the stadium for a tour. Imagine that conversation with bowden. "well we dont like signing guys who can help us, but we'd like you to be a show pony for us."

Teixeira--"Ya,im heading home, later jimblow"

Dude is from baltimore. The last place hes going is DC

Posted by: who cares if its anonymous? | August 18, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm using this as an off day, as well. No postings (um, er, besides this one) for me. Just reading, and filing away stuff.

Posted by: Section 138 | August 18, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wigi, in my estimation, is one of the more respected posters on this site.

What I view as right or wrong does not make it so. Its a shame someone would interpret anothers view as a point of fact and subsequently denunciate said poster based on their view.

I'm sure most here on the NJ would appreciate if you found a more appropriate way of disagreeing.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | August 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Mark Charles "Big Tex" Teixeira (pronounced /tʰɛˈʃɛɹə/, born April 11, 1980 in Annapolis, Maryland) is a Major League Baseball player with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He is mainly a first baseman, but has also played at third base and in the outfield.


Annapolis isn't Baltimore.

Posted by: 756* | August 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Do posters use the word "sigh" in their posts when they want to try to adopt an air of superiority and disdain with respect to other posters' comments but they are not articulate enough to use actual words and argument to explain themselves?

Posted by: just curious | August 18, 2008 9:31 AM

I think posters use *sigh* when they are prepared only to state the obvious. Useful, original insight never follows the *sigh*.

Meanwhile, I just flew back from 2 weeks out of the country, and man are my arms tired...wait, I mean man do the Nationals suck.

I guess Crow didn't want to be a National. He won't be offered that kind of money again.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | August 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Annapolis isn't Baltimore."

But if you go to a bar there you'll find the O's on the TV.

Posted by: Cal's Stance of the Day | August 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"But if you go to a bar there you'll find the O's on the TV."


And if you go there, you'll find a bunch of people who work in DC.

Posted by: 756* | August 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Also, when he was growing up, there were no Nationals, nor were the Ravens in Baltimore. There was no Baltimore/Washington rivalry of which to speak. Nor is there much of one today, for that matter.

Texiera's going where the money is. Rivalry doesn't have a place in the wallets of ballplayers (see: Damon, Johnny). The price tag goes up because the Nationals are terrible, not because of a supposed Orioles rivalry. If anything, the proximity to his home town is the lone plus.

-----

Annapolis isn't Baltimore.

Posted by: John in Mpls | August 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

""But if you go to a bar there you'll find the O's on the TV."


And if you go there, you'll find a bunch of people who work in DC.

Posted by: 756* | August 18, 2008 2:07 PM "

When they're not watching the O's on TV, that is.

Posted by: Cal's Stance of the Day | August 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It is awful tough in here today. Losing 10 in a row is making some people a little snippy.

To quote Rodney King: "can't we all just get along."

Posted by: Section 505/203 | August 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Bumps in the road; that's all we're seeing. I remember when the AL Champion '64 Yankees became the 6th place and very bad '65 Yankees. It took them almost a decade to rebuild the franchise. During that time, things wen't sour in the amateur draft, injuries ended or slowed down the careers of many of their most important players ..... you get the idea.

Bowden is collecting multiple pieces of the puzzle because he knows among five or six middle infielders who look like major league quality, two of them will make it. He knows of the 15 or so starters currently in the minors that look like major leaguers, 3 or 4 of them will produce at this level. Michael Burgess might become a stud. Maybe not. Chris Marrero might become a stud. Maybe not. Destin Hood might become a stud. Maybe not. But of those three, one of them will be a solid regular for the Nationals at some point in the future. Maybe Jesus Flores is "all that," but maybe he isn't. If he's not, Adrian Nieto might be.

Bowden is developing a minor league system where quantity, and quality, is developing. Sooner or later, one of these guys at each position will produce. When this happens, the free agents will be signed. If the team's starters remained healthy and produced in 2008, if the rotation was just one player short of solid, you can be that the Lerners would pony up the money and sign a Mark Texiera or C.C. Sabathia. But why sign them at $17 million/year if the team can't at least make a run for the wild card.

No, just bumps in the road. The free agents will come when they're needed, and not before.

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | August 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I have made a couple disparaging remarks of late regarding the FO and their poor (and I use that term advisedly) performance in the draft. Look at the facts.
http://farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/files/NFA_Draft_Track.htm

Bowden has been in charge long enough. He has very, very little to show in the farm and even less in the ML. There is virtually NOTHING to get excited about in the minors. Some potentially nice players, sure, but nothing you could point to and think "Building block"

Posted by: 117 F | August 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

At last, someone gets it! After all these years!

*******************
So this is a closed group, then? A bunch of people who don't know diddly about each other except for whatever they have chosen to spew here, but who know who they like and who they don't like? Well, okay then. As suggested earlier, movin' on...

Posted by: deep throat | August 18, 2008 12:39 PM

Posted by: Luigi Pirandello | August 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

and about time, too!

Posted by: Franz Kafka | August 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference? It will all end in tears anyway ...

Posted by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky | August 18, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

So what? We've still got baseball!

Posted by: Walt Whitman | August 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Baseball? You call *that* baseball? The beer is warm, the team is cold, and I'm hot under the collar!

Posted by: Groucho Marx | August 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

This whole Crow thing could be (and has been) stated so much more simply by merely concluding that the budget wasn't big enough and it didn't need to get a whole lot bigger to get Crow signed.

All the rest -- Crow's ridiculous starting point figure, the Ramirez thing, the Hendricks being history's greatest monsters, whether Crow should suffer one or two torn labrums -- are all fairly incidental to this one overarching concern.

Posted by: Henry Mateo Fan Club | August 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"This whole Crow thing could be (and has been) stated so much more simply by merely concluding that the budget wasn't big enough and it didn't need to get a whole lot bigger to get Crow signed."

That's a rather simplistic view of it all. Therefore, it has to be right.

Posted by: NOT! | August 18, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey y'all. Guess which MLB team has the worst record since the All Star break?

(Hint: It ain't the Nats.)

Posted by: Oakland A's 5-23, 2.5 GB | August 18, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Good question, PTBNL, I don't have a definitive answer but am interested also. I do know that Chris Needham has been maintaining the "What to read today" list over at CP, but that's not a topical index. The only other thing I can think of is that you can perform your own topical search on Technorati--though I am by no means fluent with that site. Anyone have any other ideas?

* * * * *

On a different topic - are there any good indexes of Nat related blog postings across several sites? For example, if I wanted to find several different postings on the Nats player budget, is there an index where the topic was discussed by Capitol Punishment, Nats Pride, here, etc . . .? NFA does a great job on player development, and I suppose Steven will probably grab any posting on Jim Bowden as a GM. Are there others?

Posted by: PTBNL | August 18, 2008 1:14 PM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | August 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

you're right, teixeira is actually from Severna Park (where his family still lives and still attends orioles games) Teixeira has said on many occasions over the past three years that "it would be a dream come true" to play for the orioles. Among other things. Not saying hes going there, but my point was hes not going to the nats. End of story

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Aaron Crow and next year's draft, this is from Jim Callis at Baseball America

"I think [Crow's 2009 signing deadline is] Aug. 15 b/c he won't be a college senior, but I'm not sure. He [n]ever becomes a FA [unless] he goes unselected, [then] he's a FA that year. Think he could be redrafted after that, too."

So basically until Crow either is drafted & signs or goes undrafted, he'll keep going back into the draft.

Posted by: Brian | August 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't know of a topical index to Nats blog postings either. Some Nats blogs do have links from their home pages to recent entries on other blogs; at least some of those would likely touch on the same news/developments.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I usually just use each of the major fan driven blogs to hop around and find the materials on the Nats I'm curious about.

Not exactly what y'all are looking for, but that's the best thing I've found.

PS Where's Father Flynnigan? He needs to exorcise the Journal...

Posted by: NattyDelite! | August 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson leads the Nationals with 33 walks. Did I mention that Johnson has been on the disabled list since May 13? Nationals baseball: Embarrassing our nation's capital one day at a time.

Posted by: N@sfan | August 18, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"Annapolis isn't Baltimore."

But if you go to a bar there you'll find the O's on the TV.

Posted by: Cal's Stance of the Day | August 18, 2008 2:05 PM
*********
why go all the way to Annapolis when you could watch the O's game on TV at Sequoia last Saturday night. I asked why they don't put on the Nationals game and the bartender said because they suck. I was unable to come up with a better argument and switched my attention to Jets pre-season football instead.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

sorry that was me at Sequoia

Posted by: N@sfan | August 18, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I warned you about challenging "worse"!

Posted by: See the New Post | August 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Excellent suggestion re. the Father, Natty D.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

new post. Flores out for the season.

Posted by: Ugh | August 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Day to day, for now?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

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