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Exit Notes From A Loud Night In Philly

We had Nats history tonight, and no, I'm not even talking about the 100th loss. In the sixth inning, Kory Casto's disputed home run triggered the first instant repay scenario in Washington history. (Yes yes, the where-were-you-when? moment) The little analog clock in the bottom right corner of my computer screen said this was all happening at 8:43, but my media peer Rich Campbell from The Free Lance-Star in Fredricksburg insisted it was 8:44. (I think he said, actually, 8:44 and 15 seconds.)


For two minutes (Two minutes and seventeen seconds, says Campbell), home plate ump Andy Fletcher disappeared inside the stadium concourse to watch a replay feed. He had originally ruled the hit a home run, and just a quick look validated the original call. Casto's shot, to right field, had been grabbed by a middle-aged fan who was sitting in the front row. He had leaned over a railing and attempted a catch. But the ball hit off his arm, and back toward the field.

"You're just kind of sitting there," Casto said, "and there's a moment with a little bit of indecision and you don't really know what's going on, and they could reverse it -- because at that point nobody really knew what happened."

When Fletcher reemerged on the field, he gave a little wave of his right hand, indicating the homer. Philly fans booed.

"It was the right call," Casto said.

Some other notes...

* Gotta love the fact that Philly manager Charlie Manuel decided to come out in the ninth to argue a potential strikeout call, even in an 8-4 game. His ire about the call -- third base ump Mike Reilly, on an appeal, said that Casto had tipped a two-strike pitch into the dirt -- led to a several-minute go-'round of Jerry Springer theatrics. Manuel was face-to-face with Fletcher, then Reilly. Even the first base ump trotted over to mediate. (Or just hear the antics.) In the end, Manuel was ejected for the fifth time all year. The fans were chanting, "Charlie! Charlie!"

* Collin Balester's dreadful night really ended his season on a sour note. His final stats for the year: In 15 starts, a 3-7 record and a 5.51 ERA. (His ERA was 4.83 at day's start.) Balester left the stadium last night saying he can't wait for spring training. Manny Acta, meanwhile, gave the indication that nothing will be handed to his 22-year-old when that time arrives.

"He had his ups and downs," Acta said, "and for what we've seen, it all depends on what we do in the offseason and spring training to consider whether the kid is ready to have a spot to start next year here."

By Chico Harlan  |  September 26, 2008; 11:10 PM ET
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Next: Sorting It Out


for all of you who are counting on a successful return by da meat loaf, reports that he weighed 310 POUNDS when he rejoined the team earlier this month. moooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted by: natsscribe | September 26, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"Manny Acta said today that some on his coaching staff will not be back next season...One team official called the staff the 'worst in baseball.'"

Fine, fire all of them. No big losses in ridding ourselves of the lot of them. But the question is whether we will hire anyone better. We have a bargain basement coaching staff and all indications are that the Lerners would just replace them with another bunch willing to work for the lower wages than their counterparts around the league. So what's the point? Either we need to make significant upgrades or else we might as well stick with who we've got.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"He did not mean to say that he had not HEARD of the PNats, I believe he was making the point that the level of interest in the team is just now emerging."

This is what Boswell wrote in his chat today, verbatim, typos and all:

"I have covered baseball for the Post since '75. If been to minor leagues from Spokane to Salt Lake City to tiny towns you can't name. But I'm not sure, until recent weeks, that I had ever HEARD of the Potomac Nationals. Or the'P'Nats.'

If a baseball lunatic like me has such a gap in his knowledge -- I'm not proud of it, by the way"

If that doesn't say that he personally had no clue as to who or what the Potomac Nationals are until just a couple of weeks ago, I don't know what would.

Posted by: do we need to get JayB to mis-spell it out for you? | September 27, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

If a baseball columnist (whose name we might not have heard of, but whose initials may stand for Tom Boswell) for a major paper doesn't know the names and locations of the team's affiliates, maybe Coverage is Lacking has a point. Especially since there is a booth, ads and occasionally the mascot for the Potomac Nationals during the game at Nationals Park.

Posted by: 422 | September 27, 2008 4:43 AM | Report abuse

As opposed to, say, the Orioles, who are just PACKIN' those fans into Camden. Boz heard of them?

Small pockets of us have followed [the P-Nats] for some time, but the general public is only mildly interested.

Posted by: NatBisquit | September 26, 2008 11:27 PM

Posted by: Sec. 3, my couch | September 27, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'll be the first to say this. Don't you think the fact that Acta says is coaching staff will change is an indication that Bowden is staying put? After all, who would make the decision to terminate the coaches? I doubt Acta wants to get rid of "his guys" because he always shows loyalty. If they were going to get a new GM don't you think he would decide the composition of the coaching staff? No, I'm afraid this means Jimbo is back in 2009. I'm also afraid this is bad news for the Nats. I may not be a Bowden hater but I remain convinced he's not the right person to run this team. Finally, if Bowden is retained I think it's one more indication that Kasten is being marginalized. I find it hard to believe Stan would keep Bowden after this fiasco of a 100 loss season.

Posted by: grf15 | September 27, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Maybe, grf15, but if the coaching staff is a bad as all that, some of them (unnamed as yet, remember) would be going, no matter who the GM is/will be. Manny himself may be firing them, for all we know.

Posted by: ce | September 27, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

make that "as bad as a' that," an' a' that

Posted by: Robbie Burns | September 27, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

But you can almost see their park from across the river--that qualifies you as an expert on baseball strategy.

"But I'm not sure, until recent weeks, that I had ever HEARD of the Potomac Nationals. Or the'P'Nats.'"

Posted by: Theda Bara (cuda) | September 27, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, show of hands, everybody who was counting on that.

In that other sport, you'd get fifteen yards for piling on, for that.

"Pffft. POUNDS! Mind you, not even kilos!"
--Kaspar Gutman

for all of you who are counting on a successful return by da meatloaf, reports that he weighed 310 POUNDS when he rejoined the team earlier this month. moooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted by: natsscribe | September 26, 2008 11:35 PM

Posted by: That said, he's not exactly Bat Outta Hell, is he? | September 27, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Bowden supporter, since I believe he has been handcuffed by the absurdly small Lerner budgets for just about everything, from draftees to free agents.

But I have never been able to understand the Dmitri signing. The idea is to buy low and sell high, but Dmitri was signed as an older player after a carer year for among the top dollar amounts in the Nats' sorry salary structure. His defensive liabilities were well known. Best I can figure, he was a consolation prize because the owners did not want to spend the really big bucks for a legit free agent.

But here's my real issue: both Bowden and Dmitri promised that Dmitri would be 240 pounds by April 2008. This is especially important for a player with diabetes. However, Bowden should be faulted for not putting a weight clause in the contract. Dmitri has been quoted since signing the contract something to the effect that weight doesn't make a difference.

Of course, if Dmitri simply can't help being 300 plus pounds because of the diabetes and medication issues that influence weight, then that's another story! You would think constant monitoring and medical attention in the off-season would have helped in that regard, both for Dmitri's well-being and to protect the Nats' investment.

Instead of wasting money on older, slower guys, the Nats should invest in signing Zimmerman long term!

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Asking not snarking - Lenny Harris wasn't Manny's guy, was he?

Posted by: Bonihernalez the 3-headed waterbug | September 27, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This is snarking:

Anybody who thinks we should fire Randy St.Claire is a raging doofus.

Posted by: Bonihernalez the 3-headed waterbug | September 27, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

To Natscribe and Kaspar: I sincerely hope you never are afflicted with diabetes but if you are you will understand about the weight fluctuations that are common when trying to adjust to the medications. I gained weight when I first started taking diabetes medications no matter what I ate and it was a year long struggle to get back to normal.

I don't expect Dmitri Young to play again and I am afraid the Nationals will have no choice but to release him as they did the unfortunate Patterson.

Your snide remarks show a complete lack of sensitivity and add absolutely nothing to the discussion on this forum.

We could sure use his bat.

Posted by: ladynatsfan | September 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

A Nat's a Nat, for a' that

Posted by: More (not F) Robbie | September 27, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Go Nats - pound those Phils! My love is like a red, red Nats cap. Or something like that...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 27, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

On the Acta announcement - My bet is Corrales "retires", Harris is given a minor-league re-assignment and both Tolman & Aponte are gone.
In regards to the situation at 1B - I hope this is where the Nats' FO focus is. Either go after a power hitter with a decent (.330+) OBP & glove on a short contract via trade and still have Johnson &/or Young as a bat off the bench or replacement, or roll the dice on Teixeira in FA.

Posted by: BIM | September 27, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm up

Posted by: new post | September 27, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I trust Richard Campbell's attention to minutiae implicitly.

Posted by: X. Bausch | September 28, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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