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On Bonifacio

We've now had a week of Emilio Bonifacio. He's started all seven Washington games, during which the Nats have six wins. (Not a direct correlation, obviously, but it helps.) During that span, the Nats have scored 42 runs -- or 6-even per game. As a team, they're hitting .314.

Ask around the clubhouse, and you'll hear one refrain: Emilio Bonifacio has far surpassed his billing, and boosted the offense more than anybody anticipated. Granted, you cannot use one hot week as the base for grand proclamations. But it's safe to say that Bonifacio has the potential to be more -- much more -- than a weak-hitting defensive specialist who makes occasional contributions by hitting singles and stealing bases. As Lenny Harris said, Bonifacio is a "catalyst."

"He makes a difference, because he's at the top of the lineup," Odalis Perez said. "We need a guy ... if we would have had a guy since the beginning like him, to get on base, stealing bases, hitting triples, scoring runs, it would have been different. We've got Cristian (Guzman), a great hitter, but he doesn't steal too much and maybe he's slowed down for his speed. But Bonifacio makes a big difference."

His numbers since joining the Nats?

In 32 ABs, he has 12 hits (.375). He's hit three triples and stolen two bases. Bonifacio can turn the average gap shot into a triple almost every time. When he was traded here, some compared him to Luis Castillo. But right now, that looks like a discredit to Bonifacio's potential.

Scouts I've talked to say this much: If Bonifacio can keep his strikeouts down, he'll be a very productive big leaguer. Strikeouts are particularly damaging to Bonifacio because they erase his best asset -- his speed -- and indeed, we've seen a few occasions in the last week where Bonifacio has nearly beaten out routine ground balls in the infield. In other words, if the guy simply makes contact, even poor contact, he'll be a .300-.350 hitter.

The Nats' offense gets a great test tonight. CC Sabathia is pitching for the Brewers. I'm psyched to see him. His starts have become a Miller Park spectacle. And here, the Nats have a little chance to play spoiler. We'll see if the productivity of the first week of August can continue, but in the meantime, a question: Where does this stretch rank among the best weeks of baseball since the Nationals moved to DC?

By Chico Harlan  |  August 8, 2008; 8:31 AM ET
 
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Next: Lineups from Miller Park

Comments

During the broadcast yesterday they had Bonifacio timed home to first at 3.42 seconds. To give an idea of how fast that is:

mlb Average for righties: 4.3
mlb average for lefties: 4.2
time to attain an "8" out of 8 on scouting reports as a right handed hitter: 4.0.

Official records are iffy, but 3.42 is an incredibly fast time. They say Ichiro only does it in 3.7 and he's a lefty.

Posted by: Sec131 | August 8, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the Nats finally have a 'true' leadoff man. Haven't had one ever since the Expos moved to DC and became the Nats. And what a difference a good leadoff man makes. Hopefully it will continue.

Posted by: Wallpass | August 8, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

It's up there as best weeks.

Last September, whooping up on the Mets in Shea was fun.

There was a week in '06 right after the Lerners bought the team that we swept the Cubbies and I think the Giants (I know about the Cubs, but 70/30 on the Giants)

....Also funny, those same scouts are the ones saying that we didn't get enough for Rauch and that he's no more than a role player or defensive guy, at best --- now he's a productive contributor. Scouting reports are just like pre-season predictions....ya gotta strap it on and go play the game.

Posted by: Corey | August 8, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

That is an incredibly fast time! I hate to nitpick, but do you know what side Emilio was batting from when this time was recorded? I'm assuming left-handed?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Official records are iffy, but 3.42 is an incredibly fast time. They say Ichiro only does it in 3.7 and he's a lefty.

Posted by: Sec131 | August 8, 2008 8:57 AM

Posted by: Section 138 | August 8, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"Looks like the Nats finally have a 'true' leadoff man. Haven't had one ever since the Expos moved to DC and became the Nats"

Wallpass, are you forgetting Soriano? No offense to Bonifacio, but AS did a pretty fair job leading off, even if it was only for a year.

Posted by: Twinbrook, MD | August 8, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Let's not get toooo excited. The guy hasn't walked once. And while it's true that if he cuts down on his contact, he's going to improve, he's still someone who wasn't conistently a .300 hitter in the minors -- so he's sure as hell not going to be a .375 hitter in the majors.

This "we've scored X more runs per game with him in the lineup" stuff is crap. Just as it was crap two years ago when Bowden was preening about how the offense improved with Wily Mo playing instead of Church. We saw how far that got us this year.

If Flop had hit .375 (as if!), we'd be attributing the increase to Zimmerman returning or Kearns' surgery or something else entirely.

Posted by: Chris | August 8, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

We had plenty of awesome weeks in 2005. Even in 2007. This may crack the top 10, but not the top 5.

I still doubt Bonifacio's ability to produce long-term, but there's no denying he's fun to watch play.

Posted by: Tank | August 8, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm very impressed with Bonifacio so far - I'm hoping he learns over time to mix in a walk occasionally, but if he's content to hit .350+ over his entire career, I'm content to shut up about walks. The ability to get on base and bring a little speed, and combination of speed with a little power (like Milledge and Dukes) are the key to a consistently productive lineup, I think.

As for good stretches, Chico - the high-water mark is of course the 20-5 June '05 - this isn't even in that same weight class of good stretch. It is, however, somewhat similar to May last year when the Nats ran off 11 out of 15 to go from a laughingstock-worst 9-25, to a more middling mediocre 20-29. I'll be interested to see what they can manage at Miller Park, and then even more interested to see what they do against the Mets back here.

Posted by: Highway 295 Revisited | August 8, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Since the whole speed thing came up, how much faster is Bonsey compared to Nook? He was always mentioned as one of the top 10 guys in the league for speed.

Posted by: Section 138 | August 8, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The 10-game winning streak which brought the Nats to 1st place in 2005 is easily their best stretch.

Posted by: Positively Half St | August 8, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Great gamer in the paper this morning, Chico.

The best thing about this week for me is that it has felt so dang good to see the guys playing like they mean it, like they are happy to be out there, and like they are part of a team. It feels a lot like last season.

Posted by: Baldino | August 8, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Got new posted:

1 - Major League Baseball
2 - Winning Major League Baseball
3 - The Nats are playing Winning Major League Baseball

Three small steps for the Nats...three giant leaps for Natkind!

Isn't this fun and who would have thought it.

I've been waiting all year...

Let's WIN two...oh, we did!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Best week?
Easy now, let's start slow.
It was a great DAY!
It was the best DAY this WEEK!
It was the best DAY this YEAR!

But the best thing of all, it has given us the promise that...

TOMORROW may be even better!

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Speed to first for two legends:

Mickey Mantle 3.9 on a drag bunt left handed.

Pete Rose 4.1.....
on
a
WALK.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The thing that might make this week not seem so remarkable is that it should be the norm. Like Baldino said, they're playing hard, like they mean it, and like they're happy. That *should* be normal, not remarkable.

Still, this week DOES rank up there, just for the sheer contrast. Such an extreme 180 happened in a matter of one day.

I just cannot believe what a smile-making, shoulder-lightening, hope-injecting week this his been.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 8, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to say the best stretch for me was back in the first half of 05. They were on a hot streak that included a fantastic come-from-behind win at RFK against the Braves. The place was shaking long after the game was over. Take any week during that 2-week winning streak. But this past week was special. They've just been out in front and in control for so many innings since the shake-up. It is fun to watch baseball with a lead!

Posted by: Tony D | August 8, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Good gamer, Chico - on the power thing, I think it's pretty clear that they need a bit more help there. The question to ask is where does that help come? Zimmerman, Dukes, Milledge, and Flores should all see some increases in their power numbers next year, as part of their development. I think you've got four guys there who can between them pile up 80-100 HRs, maybe a bit more. Bonifacio and Guzman are never going to be HR guys - slashers who can put up doubles and triples, sure, but counting on them for .500 slugging seems like a mistake. Positionally, if you're including Kearns and his eternal "feels like he should hit about 25" potential, that's all your OF spots, leaving only 1b..but you've got $10m tied up there, and NJ when he's back is another one of those 20-25 HR guys (when he's healthy). So, yeah, you can spend $150m+ on Tex, or try to get Dunn - but in either case, you've got to make a hole for them somewhere, either at 1b or in the OF - so the question I have is, where does that hole get made?

Posted by: Highway 295 Revisited | August 8, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Mantle was clocked a number of times at 3.1 seconds down to first. Of course, it was hand timed, so it may of been off a bit.
***********
Speed to first for two legends:
Mickey Mantle 3.9 on a drag bunt left handed.
posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 9:36 AM

Posted by: White Lightning | August 8, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'd second 295 re. '05, particularly the 10-game winning streak (during which my sister-fan-friend natsfan1b fell in love with the team - I was already smitten). The '06 Paint the Town Red homestand was also fun (and you're right about the opponents, Corey). This stretch is great, too, for the feeling of change and potential.

Re. Sori, wouldn't he be better suited to bat lower in the order, which he doesn't like to do?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I might get fired in 4.5 seconds after the season

Posted by: Jim Bowden | August 8, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Hadn't seen PHS' posting, so I guess I'm thirding re. the '05 stretch.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Not gone in 60 seconds, JB?

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, White Lightning, I was working from a somewhat faulty memory.

Anyone beat Rose's time on a walk?

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

agree with many above that the best of June '05 is way beyond anything this past week. Its hard to get too excited when you are DEAD last in MLB in just about every category.
However it sure is nice to have something to get excited about this season (finally) and have hopes for the future.

Posted by: pk | August 8, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Mostly in agreement here. This has been a fun week, just because it reminds you that watching baseball should be enjoyable, not torture. Any seriously fun week, though, has you checking the standings after you check the box score, which - because of the terrible starts - we haven't done since '06, and not seriously since '05.

On that note, what is the goal for the remainder of the season?
- 19 wins? (.404 ball, avoids 100 losses)
- 21 wins? (.500 ball post-purge)
- 28 wins? (9 games over .500, realistically w/in range of ATL)
- run the table? :)

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 8, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, beantown, none of those options even occurred to me as late as last Thursday.

But as early as Monday I was already counting how we could avoid 100 losses.

Bumping above Atlanta would be bliss.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I heard Mantle actually reversed time running from home to first once. He drag bunted, took off, ran so fast he Earth spun the opposite of it's normal direction, and after he got to first he found himself just stepping up to the plate.

Posted by: Cabraman | August 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I've been counting down on the 100-loss front for ages (GHF gal that I am). Agree that not finishing last in the division would be nice (and not finishing last in MLB - sorry draft fans).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Are you sure that wasn't Willie Harris, Cabraman? :D

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

It's the best week since before the break in '05 for me. But not necessarily due to on-field performance. As Mike Wise said in his column way back when the '05 Nats were a 'mirage.' And we knew that. We knew the '05 Nats weren't going to be the team that could put DC on the map. So, gradually, we started saying goodbye to the flawed but loved Nats of that year. Livo. Wilky. JAMEY CARRROL11!! Guillen (Crazy, yes, but remember the whole Guillen-Pedro Martinez rivalry? I'd be in New York with my hat on and Mets fans would just start in on me. These days, I'm just ignored.) Majewski. Royce Clayton (kidding). Then Vidro. Church. Schnieder. Patterson. Rauch. We couldn't win with those guys. And now I'm letting go of the Chief and NJ too. But these are the guys that brought baseball back into my life. That almost-cycle by Castilla? C'mon. A ridiculously awesome memory. We knew the contending team of '10 would be completely different from '05 (save Zim). But it's been quite a walk in the desert since then. I hope Bonifacio sticks. Because seeing him play the last week or so, I see the glimmers of truly competitive '10. And I'm beginning to the see the numbers--11, 44, 3, 31, 6--that my son might want to wear on the back of his Nats jersey. That's why it's been one of my top weeks.

Posted by: Softball Girl | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Finishing last, finishing 2nd to last, finishing 3rd to last --- who the f*** cares?! So if the Nats don't finish as the worst team in baseball, we can proudly declare that the Padres were worse? Is that the shred of "dignity" you can muster from this nightmare of a season?

Posted by: 756* | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"This "we've scored X more runs per game with him in the lineup" stuff is crap. Just as it was crap two years ago when Bowden was preening about how the offense improved with Wily Mo playing instead of Church. We saw how far that got us this year."

That was actually last year, not two years ago. In fact, WMP arrived just about this time last year so the extra run production he brought with him didn't even start until then.

Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Bonifacio went from a .333 OBP in AA (Mobile) at age 22 to a .356 OBP in AAA (Tuscon and Columbus) at age 23. He's shown some progress nearly every year as he's gone to a higher level (ignoring the Cal league spike due to the Cal league being ridiculous). He'll need to learn how to steal on something other than raw speed (his % declined as he went higher). MLB leadoff hitters average around around .340 OBP. If he can do that, then I'll be happy enough, figuring his glove saves more runs than average. Now, if he somehow can hit like Brett Butler (.290 / .377 / .376), I will be ecstatic and speak in tongues. Please, Please, Please - learn to draw walks!

Posted by: PTBNL | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It's been a really fun week. As I was hoping as we entered the end of July, the new kids who are being provided an opportunity are definitely bringing some excitement and energy (to both the team and us fans).

But honestly, we are in the last third of a disappointing season and on our way to probably the worst finish since the Nats arrived. There is nothing but pride and the future to play (and root) for at this point. So at least for my money this doesn't come close to anything that happened in 2005.

Posted by: MountieNatsFan | August 8, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Slowpitch and Cabraman- you crack me up, even if Rose really did that on a walk.

Softball Girl- Excellent post all around.

I would love to avoid 100 losses, and would be fine not having the first pick if we sign our stinking draft picks this year.

Posted by: Positively Half St | August 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This Milwaukee series is really interesting as a test for the "new" Nats ... this is where we find out if a 6-1 August is due to a better team or craptastic opponents.

That said, if the Nats put the same kind of hurt on the Brewers (3-1 or even a split) I can't wait to see the donnybrook in the home dugout.

Posted by: A Cautious Optimist | August 8, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

A snippet from the DH gamer on the Rockies site. I think that it sums up the new energy nicely:

Throughout the Washington series -- and especially on Thursday -- it was hard to tell which team had the worst record in baseball and which team was fighting for its playoff life. The Nationals out-hustled the Rockies on defense, came up with clutch hits on offense and pitched like the season was on the line.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"The thing that might make this week not seem so remarkable is that it should be the norm."

6 out of 7 is an .857 pace, which stretches out to a 139-win season. That's never been done, so a 6-for-7 week will never be anyone's norm. 6 of 7 is a damn good week. It's often said that the best team in baseball will average 4 wins a week, while the worst team in baseball will average 3.

Now, as to the style of play that got them there, yes it would be nice if that became more normal.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 8, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: 756* | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM

::::::roll eyes::::::

Posted by: gah! | August 8, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"you've got to make a hole for them somewhere, either at 1b or in the OF - so the question I have is, where does that hole get made?"

It would appear that the hole has already made itself.


"Finishing last, finishing 2nd to last, finishing 3rd to last --- who the f*** cares?! So if the Nats don't finish as the worst team in baseball, we can proudly declare that the Padres were worse? Is that the shred of "dignity" you can muster from this nightmare of a season?"

Hey, 756*, since you missed the memo I'll summarize for you: The Nationals had a terrible first half of the season when they appeared jinxed. They dumped two high-profile, fan-despised players and traded a fan-favorite for an uncertain prospect that was greeted with trepidation. Instead, the team is dramatically changed, as if it's an entirely new entity.

And the 2008b Washington Nationals are 6-1.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The last one was me, my computer glitched out on me and didn't post my name. But, it's interesting that "Anonymous" is now posted instead of just a blank.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Possible rallying cry for the Nats in Milwaukee: "Let's pile it on the Cheeseburger, boys!"

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Where does this stretch rank among the best weeks of baseball since the Nationals moved to DC?

Nowhere close to any week in 2005!!! Let's be honest we aren't in a playoff race like we were then. I think it's the best week this year and maybe in the last few. It feels a little like when the nats traded for Kearns and Lopez. It's nice to see the team rebuilding, however we need to hold this team's feet over the fire and demand they sign their top 5 draft picks... Otherwise it is a total waste of opportunity to add more assets.

Posted by: NatsFan | August 8, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: 756* | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM

Posted by: ...scrolls... | August 8, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

That gave me goosebumps, 1a.

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

Heck, I'm just glad to see the Nats get more than one *extra*-base hit per game!

Posted by: Juan-John | August 8, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Um. Yea. Actually it is. And I'm proud of it.
______________

Is that the shred of "dignity" you can muster from this nightmare of a season?

Posted by: 756* | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM

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

"Bonifacio went from a .333 OBP in AA (Mobile) at age 22 to a .356 OBP in AAA (Tuscon and Columbus) at age 23"

He also went to one of the best hitter's parks in one of the best hitter's league's in the game.

Posted by: Chris | August 8, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

That gave me goosebumps, 1a.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 8, 2008 10:28 AM

-------

I second that.

Posted by: 3434 | August 8, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm withholding any judgement on the draft picks until after 8/15, since it's likely to come down to that. That said, however, I really hope we're not seeing the "we had to hold the line" arguement for not signing folks. It's as if we had a star player go down in a playoff hunt - we're negotiating from a place of weakness - both sides know we need to sign most of our picks, so we're gonna be forced to go above slot. Just do it. After we've filled our system in a year or two, we can start being harda$$es at the signing table. Until then, we need to go the extra mile.

It may be that the Lerners are willing pay the money, but don't want the wrath of the teams in front of us whose draft signings will rely on Crow's bonus. If that's the case, screw 'em. It's the same thing as when some team goes out and upsets the whole FA market because of a dumb, overpriced signing. Let's get this done, Stan!

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 8, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone have independent confirmation of this 3.42 split for Bonifacio running to first? The same guy who told us that last night also asked Sutton whether a ball that hits the backstop is in play like a ball that hits the outfield wall, and said that during a recent Prez race Teddy was flirting with Martha Washington until he got decked by George. (It was Tom, you dummy, pay attention!)

It was a great week for sure, if only because of the comparison to one of the worst weeks ever that preceeded it. Nothing like pretty much any week in June 2005 though.

Posted by: Section 222 | August 8, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the future location of the Nats' AAA affiliate, I thought that the Braves were vacating Richmond after this year. Wouldn't that make a heck of a lot of sense? Or are the stadium battles with the city something the Nats don't want to deal with (since they have enough of it in DC)?

Posted by: Section 319 | August 8, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Softball Girl,
That was beautiful!
Thank you.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The Braves are taking the AAA affiliate to Georgia ... the Nats would have to find someone willing to move their AAA team to Richmond.

That's the short answer - longer answers in old posts here or at Nats Farm Authority.

Posted by: Not Really Brian | August 8, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/business/?p=85

Posted by: Still Not Brian | August 8, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Nats Nut,

That's me next to you mustering dignity just as fast as I can.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

1a,
You make me feel good.
Thanks,

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Teixeira lovers -
Per Ken Rosenthal, Teix is seeking a 10 year deal, which would take him through his 38th birthday. Assuming the compromise position is 7 years + options, are we still interested?

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 8, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

What makes this week so amazing is a convergence of several factors. First, this team had been mired in a hopeless 9 game losing streak. Everyone felt down and were about to burn effigies (or the real people) in a fan riot. The acquisition of two supposedly defensive middle infielders did not immediately ignite the passions of half of the bloggers and few of the "expert" opinion dealers in the media. The nearly simultaneous dumping of Lo Duca and Flop with the start of both Gonazales and Bonificio on field was explosive. It was one of the most dynamic remixes of team chemistry that I have ever witnessed. And now to go 6 out of 7? This is special, to me more special than 2005. 2005 was a chimera, we all knew that it could never last. This streak is being done with 24 year olds in the middle of it all--that is what breeds hope and confidence for the future. To pivot out of the depths of desperation and nihilism may be the watershed for this franchise. That is why this is so much sweeter than 2005.

Posted by: Dale | August 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Is that the shred of "dignity" you can muster from this nightmare of a season?

Posted by: 756* | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM
_________________

Welcome to "rebuilding (including the foundation and all utilities)".

One hopes this is the turnaround from the bottom of the well, but you won't know that for sure until later (much later). And you just have to accept that because, well, that's baseball.

Posted by: OldGuy | August 8, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Teixeira seeking a ten year deal? GAAAAAAK! I just coughed up a hairball.

Posted by: Dale | August 8, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to have the top pick in the draft, if only to see Mark Lerner's forced grin as he signs a $6 mil bonus check.

Posted by: Not going to happen, ever | August 8, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I agree, nothing beats the excitement of the 12-1 homestand, including a 10-game winning streak, from May 30 to June 12, 2005.

* The Nats were 7-1 in one-run games on the homestand.
* Chad Cordero saved 8 games in two weeks.
* Luis Ayala won 4 games out of the bullpen (granted, one win followed a blown save opportunity)
* The Nats went 26-6 from May 29 to July 3, including a 17-2 record at home and a 9-4 record on the road.

I get misty-eyed just thinking about it.

Posted by: Section 420 | August 8, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Dale,
Well said!

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe no one has posted this yet!

http://tinyurl.com/6hwypl

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Check NFA to see Brian's draft status update.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 8, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Re: Tex, why are people so scared about a 10-year deal for a 28-year-old position player who has already proven he's one of the best in the game?

With salaries and revenues escalating, locking him in for the long term could be smart. Just structure the deal like Manny's with the Red Sox (8 years guaranteed, 2 years of club options). And God knows the Nats have the money and the need for an impact player.

This is the major leagues, after all.


Posted by: Ashburn | August 8, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I also can't believe no one else has mentioned:

Joel Hanrahan MUST be a record holder now, no? Has anyone else ever gotten MORE than 2 saves in a single day? If not, Joel has to at least tie someone in this feat.

Posted by: Section 138 | August 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Chris - do you have PECOTA or other league and park adjusted OBP for 2008 on Boni? Does the pattern hold up of pretty consistent progress on OBP as he goes higher (excluding the Cal league but includign the PCL)?

Posted by: PTBNL | August 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not ready to call Emilio a superstar or a hitting machine, but I just love the energy and passion he brings for the game. It's total opposite of what FLOP brought everyday. I understand the logic by holding on to FLOP for so long to showcase him for other teams, but if only we made this move earlier - we'd have a few more wins in our column.

Posted by: Section 111 (Formerly 223 @ RFK Stadium) | August 8, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like a little winning streak to bring out some posters we haven't seen in awhile -- greetings folks! (And I say that as one who has taken some stretches off this season as well, following the Cubs, or just unable to watch the Nats at times.)

Let's face it, we endured a ridiculous four months. Patterson Pattersoned. Hill unable to pitch. Cordero toast. Gasoline Ayala. Rauch traded. Dmitri out of shape, then injured, then sick. Nick out for the season (again). Felipe Mopez (I stole this from someone in a recent post but I think it's the right post-Nats name for him). Zim out for an extended period. WMP hurt, then craptastic, then out for the year. Injuries to Dukes, Milledge, Kearns and finally, Guzman. And constant roster mismanagement, playing shorthanded with guys out of position, trying to "showcase" bad, unlikeable players for trade deadline deals that never happened.

Then, the purge. Suddenly, speed, pitching and defense. In a nutshell, competence. With a dollop of excitement.

And we can finally see it, what Chico called a "nucleus" in the gamer. Our Opening Day roster in 2009 should include Flores, Bonifacio, Zimmerman, Milledge, Dukes, Lannan, Balester, and hopefully, Zimmermann. All 24 or younger. That's a platform that can be built on.

Boni's not going to hit .350. I'd love to see .280/.360/.420, but at his age, .270/.340/.400 would be acceptable.

As for the record through the end of the season, put me down for 70 wins.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | August 8, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Great posting, Dale. And I'm with you, NatsNut and SlowPitch. Last, my Spybot blocked the URL that you posted, 506. Sect. 138, Hanrahan did tie someone - can't recall who that was, though.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the other two saves in one day this season were by Texas' C.J. Wilson per Chico's item.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

you know what? it's just nice to see the whole team have some energy and give a d@mn. it's funny how that not only changes everything for the team itself, but for much of the fanbase as well.

it's not as good as winning regularly, but at least it makes not winning regularly easier to bear. and baseball is worth watching when your team cares, even if they don't win more than they lose. but if they don't care, losing is unbearable.

Posted by: 231 | August 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, 231.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I find it very hard to believe that the departed Nats didn't care. As poorly as they preformed at times, they were all professionals playing at the highest level of their sport. I think that it was more the frustration of failure manifesting itself in self-perpetuating negative behavior.

I'm sure Flop cared, I know PLod cared. he was one of the more vocal players.

Posted by: Twinbrook, MD | August 8, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Twinbrook,

Caring is just part of the issue with Flop and Plod. Focus, concentration, desire and hustle did not manifest itself the entire time Flop was on the field. That to me would be "playing at the highest level of their sport". I feel more neutral toward Plod. He did try but his skills have eroded. He was willing to play any position but any position he played would mean that a more deserving player would be forced out out of the lineup. I never doubted Plod's desire to win. It was just the incongruity of him making a speech and then failing to deliver afterwards that irked me. Later in the season it was the forced playing time to "show" him that really bothered me.

Posted by: Dale | August 8, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's another try at the link, 1a

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/local_idiot_to_post_comment_on

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"So if the Nats don't finish as the worst team in baseball, we can proudly declare that the Padres were worse? Is that the shred of "dignity" you can muster from this nightmare of a season?"

Posted by: 756* | August 8, 2008 10:11 AM

Actually, yes.

Posted by: Sec 222 | August 8, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure Flop cared, I know PLod cared. he was one of the more vocal players."

Someone far wiser than me, you or even Chris at Capitol Punishment once had this to say about that (not specifically, but it definitely applies): Talk is cheap. Paul LoDuca was the Costco of talk while he was here, but he delivered his goods more like the bread aisle of Safeway 10 minutes before the big blizzard hits.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 8, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Emilio Jose Bonifacio Rosario...Married to Coralina...Attended Loyola High School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Boni video interview:
http://tinyurl.com/5u4gkf

From Chico:
Rizzo first saw Bonifacio when the latter was a 16-year-old, trying out at the Diamondbacks' complex in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. As part of the drilling, players were asked to run a 60-yard dash. Rizzo watched a blur, looked at his stopwatch and gasped: Bonifacio had run a 6.22.
"I said, 'Is this 60 yards legit?' '' Rizzo recalled Tuesday. " 'Or is this a Dominican 60 yards?' '' They re-measured the distance and confirmed its accuracy.
End From Chico

From Goessling:
,,, Acta, whose running philosophy is derived from data that suggests there's no correlation between stolen bases and winning.

“Guys need to learn when to pick the spot. You just don't run to run,” Acta said. “If a guy, like [last Sunday], [Reds pitcher Johnny] Cueto was really quick to the plate, there are times when you just need to shut it down.”

“It doesn't matter how fast Bonifacio was [Sunday],” Acta said. “Cueto was able to stop him just by going 1.1 [seconds] to home plate with a good catcher. But also, when you have the type of speed that he does, and you get whoever's on the mound rushing to home plate, they have a good chance of hanging a breaking ball. So that's what speed does for you.”


Rizzo again:
... He's left-side dominant right now, and he's still a work-in-progress with the right hand. But he's really gotten a feel for playing the little game ... For him, fly balls are bad. He makes his living on the ball on the ground ... He's probably the fastest player in all of baseball right now."

Some Dominican League stats from last winter(At Bats, then OBP first, BA second):


Emilio Bonifacio
140 .359 .300
Ronnie Belliard
82 .290 .195
Elijah Dukes
55 .408 .236
Jose Bautista
31 .314 .258


Emilio alone:
Age 18 - .199/.287/.219, 15 sb in Rookie League
Age 19 - .260/.303/.319, 40 sb in A-
Age 20 - .270/.341/.330, 55 sb in A-
Age 21 - .321/.375/.449, 61 sb in A+
Age 22 - .285/.333/.352, 41 sb in AA
Age 23 - .302/.348/.387, 17 sb in AAA


Boni K percentages:
24, 29, 30, 17, 19, 19. Then, in AAA 8 PERCENT!

Boni walks about 8% of the time.


1. He's not a hitting machine, but he is a triples sustantivo (machine).
2. He hits lefty 40-50 points above righty.
2. He's shown bunt a few times. Once his bunting is involved, look for .280 minimum, .295 possible. Compare Weeks, Ugglia, Matsui; also Cano and Roberts.
3. Fewer Ks, more BB, bunts, drag bunts, better basestealing skills (his CS is too high, near 30%?)

http://boniblogdc.blogspot.com/
boni pix here; one when he was beaned.


estoy firmado! Segue to Segway! Go away FBI! In the name of General Manager and YMOS James Gordon Bowden III

Posted by: Jim B | August 8, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of whether Bonafacio is going to stick with the team or not, he's a blueprint for how the Nats can win. Speed! And it also proves that Manny can manage pretty well if he has the right people. So I'm loving the small ball. Now if Manny would just bunt a little more.

This Adam Dunn thread I've been seeing is crazy. Of the former reds we've had over the last few years only Kearns has really stuck. For the love of god, can we stop with the Reds.

Posted by: Jack | August 8, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 506, that was hilarious! Perhaps he is related to this fellow:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/fantasy_baseball_owner_rips_team

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else watch the broadcast last night to get the 3.42 comment verified? It was a bunt attempt in the middle innings, from the right hand side. After Bonifacio turned a bad bunt into almost an infield single, Sutton was going on about how he couldn't believe how fast Bonifacio had gotten down the line. He re-ran the play and estimated his time home to first at 3.5seconds by hand.

About 5 seconds later he chimed in that the "van" had timed it at 3.42 seconds exactly. From the RIGHT side. Which is pretty amazing if true.

Anyway: i'm of mixed emotions about this winning streak. At this point i'd rather finish dead last and get Stephen Strassburg. He's already being annointed as next year's #1 pick, is the only amateur on the US Olympic team and had some just sick numbers at SAn Diego St this year.

http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/sdsu-m-basebl-CumulativeStats.html

Posted by: Sec131 | August 8, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

STOP IT!! JUST STOP IT!! Nice to see the Nats put some wins together but this in no way compares to 2005 as a fan back then you couldn't wait for the game, Frank had them playing way over their heads hustling all the time even had them playing with a bit of "swagger". So Chico don't even go there!!.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | August 8, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of level of effort on the field:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8426884/Report:-MLB-investigating-Manny's-Boston-exit

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

506, I too love the onion article - thanks!

Posted by: Patty | August 8, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a, belated thanks. And thanks for the quote from the Rockies site--beautiful!!

And I agree with nat in beantown on our draft strategy. We have to go at least a little over slot this year: until yesterday, we were the worst team in baseball. The Lerners still need to convince me that they're going to spend like the owners of a large-market team. There was much big talk from Stan the Man when the new group took over about establishing an "international presence" blah blah blah but seemingly very little follow-up. E.g., Brian from NFA knows of no follow-up scouting trips to the Far East since one by Bill Singer in 2006, I believe. C'mon, Lerners and Stan, let's not settle for mediocrity!

Posted by: CapPeterson | August 8, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Respectfully, 131, I hope the Strassburg obsession quiets down. Not only because it feels wierd hoping the team will finish dead last, but because if we've learned anything from the past few years, it's that (a) "can't miss" prospects often do (injury, flameout, whatever), and (b) the importance is on quantity of quality.

I'd rather have #3 next year, sign our top picks, and have some momentum from a good finish this year than to put all of our eggs in the Strassburg basket (and also have a lousy, attendance-deflating finish to this year).

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 8, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

No, 7-10 years for Texiera is not too many. He is a proven, durable, game-changing middle -of-the-order bat. When was the last time the Nats had one of those?

If you said "never" - ding ding! - you win.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | August 8, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I could have been the one.

Posted by: Vlad | August 8, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

On mlbtraderumors.com, there is a rumor going around that Rizzo will replace Bowden at the end of the season. I like that.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | August 8, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The impaler? (just kidding)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

That related to Vlad's posting (having experienced postus interruptus).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I could have been the one.

Posted by: Vlad | August 8, 2008 1:46 PM
_________________

*...sigh...*

Repeat after me:

The Expos were purging to be contracted (or treading water so that they had no long term 'assets' and/or 'anchors' to facilitate the sale. So there was no chance for him here. EVER.

Can we please consider that none of the "what if the 'franchise' had only kept X player while they were still in Montreal" scenarios are not/would not/could not/will not ever have been possible/have happened/be true and _move on_?

No?

Oh well.

*sigh*

Posted by: OldGuy | August 8, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Teixeira is 28 years old. He will likely still be productive at 33. But if you were to look at him at 33 would you think that you are going to get 5 more years of equal productivity from him? Ten year contracts are kind of absurd in baseball, with all the risk being taken by the ballclub. A chronic injury would be devastating to the ballclub carrying that player.

Posted by: Dale | August 8, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

)

Posted by: You forgot this, OldGuy | August 8, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I think signing another 1b only player would be a mistake. Then only upside to the Dunn option is that at least he can play LF and 1B (though he is a minus defender at either position IMO).

I'd love to see them get another LF/1B lefty, but can anyone think of one that might be available?

Posted by: estuartj | August 8, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I think adding one power bat would definitely help. I don't think trying to get more than one will, however. Assuming that our young guys will improve their hitting (avg, obp and slg) over the next year or two, this teams could have 5 players that could hit 20+ home runs:

Zim
Dukes
Flores
Milledge
FA Bat

Now that the steroid-era is (hopefully) over, I think it might be a good idea to revert back to the Whitey Herzog era brand of baseball. Those 80's Cardinals had no power whatsover, yet they kept winning games and making it to the playoffs. Particuarly in 1985.

That year, they had the best record in all of baseball (101-61), they led the NL in runs scored (4.61 r/g), in batting average (.264), obp (.336), were 6th in slugging (.379) and 11th out of 12 teams in HR's (87). They led the NL in walks and in stolen bases (they weren't "great" at stealing, successful 76.6% of the time).

I'd love to go back to that time of small ball. Get on base via a single or walk. Steal a base then have your middle of the lineup guys get you in with a single or double or sacfly.

Posted by: e | August 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"STOP IT!! JUST STOP IT!! Nice to see the Nats put some wins together but this in no way compares to 2005 as a fan back then you couldn't wait for the game, Frank had them playing way over their heads hustling all the time even had them playing with a bit of "swagger". So Chico don't even go there!!."

At least until the Fourth of July, anyway. Frank's team then swaggered its way to a 31-50 second half of the season. Which would you prefer, a team that plays way over its head until it realizes just how bad it is and then the bottom falls out, or a crappy team that remakes itself into an outfit that might actually win a good many games over the long term? I'd prefer the latter, myself, so hopefully Nats 2008 v2.0 will continue to deliver on its early signs of promise.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 8, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

)

Posted by: You forgot this, OldGuy | August 8, 2008 2:01 PM
____________

Rats! :)

Even if I rely (very) heavily on the Firefox spell check I do at least try to close all my asides (and I tend to use them often [and nest them too {it can drive readers to distraction -- if you can believe that}]) properly.

Posted by: OldGuy | August 8, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm... serious power, good OBP, hits lefty, can play left field, maybe draw a few fans, but there's no serious competition to sign him ... yes, but who? WHO??


**********
I'd love to see them get another LF/1B lefty, but can anyone think of one that might be available?
Posted by: estuartj | August 8, 2008 2:02 PM

Posted by: Section 25, my couch | August 8, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Just piling on for the 2005 streak. This was a nice week, and maybe if it proves more than that, in hindsight we'll remember how we all knew at the time this was the start (even those of us who didn't {no, OldGuy, that's not you [hey, this nesting is fun]}).

Posted by: CE | August 8, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Funny reply to the 2:10 poster, OG! Nice to see a solid grouping of nested brackets, braces, and parens (although they have been known to drive me to distraction when proofreading equations).

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and count me in the small-ball, station to station (not Bowie's best album, but it _did_ have "Golden Years" on it -- so there's that) baseball with speed, defense and pitching. I find that much more fun to watch than all swings are for the fences type play.

Posted by: OldGuy | August 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm on board with small ball, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm... serious power, good OBP, hits lefty, can play left field (um, sort of, if you squint your eyes just right and ignore the lack of running ability), maybe draw a few fans (and drive others away), but there's no serious competition to sign him ... yes, but who? WHO?? And is just a *gem* (<-sarcasm) to have in your clubhouse.

Posted by: There, fixed | August 8, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm... serious power, good OBP, hits lefty, can play left field (um, sort of, if you squint your eyes just right and ignore the lack of running ability), maybe draw a few fans (and drive others away), but there's no serious competition to sign him ... yes, but who? WHO?? And is just a *gem* (<-sarcasm) to have in your clubhouse.

Posted by: There, fixed | August 8, 2008 2:23 PM

*************

I don't really want him, but I gotta admit he'd fit in well around here...

Posted by: jklP | August 8, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

2005 - the 1str half - was the best by far. Unlikely win after unlikely win, surprising Charlie into "Bang Zoom" with the surprised intensity that we heard on Z's opening night walk-off, getting someone who knows the team as well as Bill Ladson excited and actually believing they had a chance for the playoffs. July 2005, the slump, the slip from 1st was the worst. Like before this week, you thought they'd never put together another win streak. Now I'm ready to say this is the best if they go 45-7 and end up leading the division. Bonifacio reminds me of Orlando Cabrera in the 2004 AL playoffs. Pitchers worry about him so much that they walk batters and otherwise screw up.

Posted by: flynnie | August 8, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHA

"getting someone who knows the team as well as Bill Ladson excited and actually believing they had a chance for the playoffs"

Posted by: flynnie is quite the jokester | August 8, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Not Nats, or baseball, but a very good read.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/08/AR2008080800009.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Boz! | August 8, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

A few thoughts that came up as I read ...

1. Me, I might rank this week as better than those weeks in 2005. I say this because now, we know what the depths of despair are. In my mind, it makes the joy that much sweeter.

2. Honestly, a few of you people are quite perverse. The first overall draft pick is a consolation prize. Never is it a goal. Please don't ever root for your favorite team to not win ball games. Let Richard Strauss or whoever flame out for somebody else.

3. Redacted.

4. As to small ball ... depends how you define it. If you're talking about lots of sac bunts, no thanks. If you're talking about not hitting very many home runs, then that's absolutely fine with me. Just get 'em on and get 'em in.

Posted by: Scooter | August 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in

Posted by: chicks dig the small ball | August 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Jim B - sorry, but he had 68 Ks in 398 ABs. That 17%. If you do it over his palte appearances (438), it's 15.5% for Boni's K rate in the minors this year. No change from in the past on his contact rate. His walk rate is 31/ 438, or 7%.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

2009 Free Agents
The following players have contracts expiring or should have the six years of service necessary to become free agents after the 2008 season.
* - player whose contract includes 2009 option

First Basemen
Rich Aurilia SF
Ben Broussard TEX
Carlos Delgado * NYM
Nomar Garciaparra LAD
Jason Giambi * NYY
Wes Helms PHI
Kevin Millar BAL
Richie Sexson NYY
Mark Teixeira LAA
Frank Thomas OAK
Jim Thome CWS
Daryle Ward CHC

Outfielders
Bobby Abreu NYY
Moises Alou NYM
Garret Anderson * LAA
Rocco Baldelli TB
Willie Bloomquist SEA
Emil Brown OAK
Pat Burrell PHI
Endy Chavez NYM
Carl Crawford * TB
Adam Dunn CIN
Jim Edmonds CHC
Cliff Floyd TB
Brian Giles * SD
Ken Griffey Jr. * CWS
Vladimir Guerrero * LAA
Raul Ibanez SEA
Jacque Jones DET
Mark Kotsay ATL
Rob Mackowiak WAS
Kevin Mench TOR
Jason Michaels * CLE
Craig Monroe MIN
Jay Payton BAL
Scott Podsednik COL
Manny Ramirez * LAD
Juan Rivera LAA
Rondell White MIN

Posted by: Jim B | August 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

On the Strassburg sweepstakes. Thanks but no thanks. Get me wins.

Also, while Strassburg may be the consensus now, Pedro Alvarez was at this time last year, not Beckham.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 8, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of dunkhoffs the whole lot of you are.

Posted by: Blimpy the Whale | August 8, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm insulted?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

http://postgamerants.blogspot.com/2007/10/earl-weaver-on-managers-corner.html

The definitive word on "speed" vs. "power" in baseball. NSFW

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | August 8, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

PTBNL et al:

Sorry for that big mistake on my part.

Posted by: Jim B | August 8, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Taking 6 of 7 from the Reds & Rocks...thats nice...but what will help define the second half is how they do the next 7...against the Brewers & Mets. We'll have better insight once the next week passes. GO NATS...STAY HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 8, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Gal Revels in Pee, thanks!

Posted by: Jim B | August 8, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

There's an awful lot of old people on that free agent list :-/

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | August 8, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"There's an awful lot of old people on that free agent list :-/"

That's what happens when teams hand out 7-10 year contracts to free agents. They tend to be old guys when they come back on the list. Until then, they spend several years as old guys on whatever team signed them to that long contract. Had the Nats signed Soriano after 2006 as so many wanted them to do, he'd be an old guy dragging down the Nats in 2012 or so. Instead he'll be dragging down the Cubs then and the Nats will be using the money they aren't paying him to pay some younger, better guy. That's why The Plan doesn't include making massive free agent signings every year.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 8, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Funny, SC Nats Fan, before the Colorado series everyone was saying the real test would be Colorado and Milwaukee! Here's to the real test being the Mets and Colorado...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Three things about the broadcasts yesterday.

1. Dave said that Tim McClelland threw out Jesus in New York in May for asking where that pitch was - no profanity or anything, which I found odd. I've been asking and not getting an answer since it happened in May.

2. Bob Carpenter said that Manny spent a whole between-innings break in the 2d game in a heated discussion with the home plate ump. Anyone know what that was about?

3. Did anyone else notice Don follow Bob's comments on the kids out for a summer afternoon at the ballpark with, "And a lot of older guys with their nieces" followed by an uber-creepy chuckle? Should I make my daughters wear burkas to the ballpark, or just run when they see Don?

Posted by: flynnie | August 8, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree, flynnie! Sutton can be a real creepy mofo sometimes. That and when he starts telling ethnic jokes, like the time he said someone with the name Saltellamacchia should be pushing an Italian ice cart, overcharging kids.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

So 506 - Chico wrote, "I asked Manny Acta today if he believed his team could contend without adding more power. He thinks the lineup needs more power before his lineup can become legit.

His words: "We do need more power. We need probably a big power threat in the middle of our lineup, preferably that can hit from the left side."

Barry Bonds bats left. How good is he? This from Wikipedia on slugging percentage.


"For example, in 1920, Babe Ruth played his first season for the New York Yankees. In 458 at bats, Ruth had 172 hits, comprising 73 singles, 36 doubles, 9 triples, and 54 home runs, which brings the total base count to 73 + (36 × 2) + (9 × 3) + (54 × 4) = 388. His total number of bases (388) divided by his total at-bats (458) is .847, his slugging percentage for the season. The next year he slugged .846, and these records went unbroken until 2001, when Barry Bonds achieved 411 bases in 476 at-bats, bringing his slugging percentage to .863, unmatched since."

Posted by: flynnie | August 8, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Note to Ray King's Gut Feeling: They slipped in the 2nd half because they got no help(trade,minors,) mlb basically owned the team so no help was forthcomming by the trade deadline and they ran out of gas,they still played smart,hustling baseball.The jury's still out on this streak and this team.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | August 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

1. Dave said that Tim McClelland threw out Jesus in New York in May for asking where that pitch was - no profanity or anything, which I found odd. I've been asking and not getting an answer since it happened in May.
**************
I've umpired with plenty of guys that have tossed Division I catchers out for that. They know better than that at that point.

2. Bob Carpenter said that Manny spent a whole between-innings break in the 2d game in a heated discussion with the home plate ump. Anyone know what that was about?
****************************
I'm *guessing* it was after the 2-2 pitch that looked like it caught the corner but was called a ball. Next pitch was sent out for a 2 run homer?

Posted by: Section 138 | August 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

We've got Sutton chuckling about old guys with their "nieces" during our broadcasts -we might as well have Bonds on the field. He'd sign for the minimum right now, and we wouldn't be waiting for Wily Mo to hatch. Can you imagine all the RISP's knocked or walked home if we'd had Barry all season? Tolman would be the one getting shoulder surgery! Our top of the order's been fine - it's 3,4 and 5 that's been killing us. I want a playoff now, so sign Bonds now! Isn't this the team that inspired "Damn Yankees" in which success is attained at the price of one's soul? It happens all the time here - a fitting emblem for Our Nation's Capitol!

Posted by: flynnie | August 8, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

3. Did anyone else notice Don follow Bob's comments on the kids out for a summer afternoon at the ballpark with, "And a lot of older guys with their nieces" followed by an uber-creepy chuckle? Should I make my daughters wear burkas to the ballpark, or just run when they see Don?
*****************************
They were talking about businessmen heading out to the ballpark for a day game, but not bringing their wives. Instead, bringing their "nieces."
Posted by: flynnie | August 8, 2008 3:38 PM

Posted by: I think | August 8, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Favre Ex-Press has slowed down, can you imagine the swarm of papparazzi and breathless ESPN reporters crawling like a stepped-in fire ant bed all over NatsPark if we signed Barry Bonds? I wouldn't have to fast forward to see one play, if any, from the Nats game on Baseball Tonight. No more anchor poodles saying, "Why are we showing hightlights of the Nats and Rockies?" which I actually heard last night. Pedro Gomez would have to live in a tent under the Douglas Bridge. ESPN would buy the cement factory. Oh, I'm liking this!

Posted by: flynnie | August 8, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of dunkhoffs the whole lot of you are.

Posted by: uh, it's dummkopf | August 8, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

They were talking about businessmen heading out to the ballpark for a day game, but not bringing their wives. Instead, bringing their "nieces."
_____________________

Right. And that's CREEPY.

Posted by: what? it is! | August 8, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

RE: free agents to be ...

if the Mets don't re-up his contract, what do you all think if the Nats try and get Carlos Delgado? If they sign him for 1-2 years? He is 36 right now and his current contract is ridiculously high ($16M), but he might agree to a one or two year deal for considerably less. He's hitting better this year than last, projected to finish with 33 HR's and 100 RBI's.

If the Nats don't want to commit a ton of money and years to someone like Teixeira, would someone like Delgado be a decent pickup for 1 or 2 years?

Posted by: e | August 8, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie, although I haven't met them (as far as I know), I bet your daughters can take Sutton. No need for them to run.

And I'm chuckling at the idea of Tim Tolman fraying his labrum waving all those runners home.

Posted by: Scooter | August 8, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris could replace Tolman while he's day-to-day. He'd just have to hit all home runs that day.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 8, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

brilliant 506, took the words right out of my ... fingers?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | August 8, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

New post.

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