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Nats: Flores expected back this year

The latest medical update on C Jesus Flores, passed along by PR man John Dever, says that the MRI taken this morning on Flores's left ankle confirmed a sprain, nothing greater. Flores is expected to return to play this season -- though the announcement did not specify how much time Flores is expected to miss.

I'll have more on Flores once I get to the ballpark today.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 3, 2008; 11:55 AM ET
 
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Comments

That's a relief! Thanks.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Several have stated that the hit on Flores is legal "until the rule is changed." How would an enforceable rule be worded that distinguished between a hard slide and a dirty play?

Posted by: Geezer | September 3, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

new posted...

Fair enough, Bob. And, LDO, I saw that, too. Did you catch when he took Levale Speigner's lunch money? The poor kid needs his milk so he can grow up to be strong.

The issue wasn't that what Utley did was cheating -- it clearly wasn't. It was irresponsible because it needlessly put himself and another player at risk of serious harm (again, the outside slide could have gotten him a better shot at being safe AND eliminated harm).

And it was disrespectful because he showed no interest in a fellow player's health. Not right after the play, when he was still excited, not a little after the play, when he got back to the dugout and might have taken a minute to look back on the field wondering what happened to that guy he just pounded, not when warming up when the whole sad scene was playing out in front of his face.

Kearns (who might be the only one who has collided at the plate, can we think of others?) certainly would not have done that.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Sure glad to hear the good news about Flores. Catcher 50, wd you like to weigh in on the debate?

Posted by: Section 109 | September 3, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Not off the top of my head, 506, but I do remember this:

06/26/2005 8:15 PM ET
Johnson suffers bruised heel
Home plate mishap leaves first baseman hobbled
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson had to leave Sunday's game against the Blue Jays in the bottom of the seventh inning because of a deep bone bruise in his right heel.

Johnson is listed as day-to-day and is expected to miss a few games, according to Dr. Bruce Thomas, one of the Nationals' physicians.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Nationals third baseman Vinny Castilla doubled over the head of left fielder Gabe Gross to score Junior Spivey and Johnson to tie the score at 5.

On the play, Johnson bruised the heel while scoring standing up. He landed at home plate awkwardly while trying to avoid catcher Gregg Zaun, who was blocking the plate. Johnson was taken to Washington Hospital Center for an X-ray and an MRI. Johnson had to wear a protective boot on the way to the hospital.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So basically, my point is, Big Nick wouldn't have done that, either.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Having experienced a similar situation, I can say a couple things.

1. Utley did nothing illegal (In a high school or most rec leagues, he would have been tossed and been suspended for the next game, but MLB rules don't say anything about slides). The action was, however, dumb. Not only did he blow a run, but he risked injury to himself.

2. Revenge is a dish best served cold. I had a similar event (and, yeah I did drop the ball) occur by a runner as aggressive as Utley. Sometime later he took another opportunity to slide into me. His knee needed serious work.

3. I have, actually, been seriously injured on a slide home. The really bad news was that the culprit was not the catcher, nor was it me. The attempted tag was done properly. The slide was almost picture perfect (feet first, I might add, as it should have been). Home plate was not properly buried. Snap. The sound of infielders going OOOOHHH, in unison, is not one I want to hear again.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 3, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

With the good news about the sprain, I'm now comfortable saying that it will be good to get a look at Luke Montz.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 3, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

How come we don't hear from O's EXEC anymore now that the O's are 12 games below .500 and own the AL East cellar by 8.5 games????

Posted by: N@sfan | September 3, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Do Flores and Dukes have the same blood type, maybe a tranfusion would do the trick and Jesus would be back by Sunday...

Posted by: estuartj | September 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no! It sounds like Jesus is the dreaded Day-To-Day.
Does anyone think he'll be ready prior to Opening Day 09?

Hope I'm wrong.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | September 3, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Very illuminating, Catcher50. Sorry to hear about item #3.

Posted by: Section 109 | September 3, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, Catcher50, I cringed at my seat!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice work Anonymous!

Another thing about Utley...he is a poor tipper and never holds the door open for ladies. He also parks in handicapped spaces and is a litterbug. Evil!

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 3, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

True story, I saw a guy dare Chase Utley to eat apple pie. He took a big bite and then when the guy turned around he spit it out and made a disgusted face.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that the fact that the play was by the books should keep us from holding a grudge against Chase Utley. This is baseball, after all.

I'd love to see Flores back, because he may be the best part of this season, and he is one of the few we know is going to stay longer term. In the meantime, let's throw in a few starts for Luke Montz.

Posted by: Positively Half St | September 3, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think that the fact that the play was by the books should keep us from holding a grudge against Chase Utley. This is baseball, after all."

Speaking of grudges, I have a few thoughts on the Philadelphia Phillies...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

you know, i don't think any of us could hold a harsher grudge on the phillies than their own fans do, at times.

sad, really.

Posted by: 231 | September 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

this from the ny post:

Brian Cashman has been linked to the Seattle and Philadelphia GM jobs. If Washington dumps Jim Bowden, expect Cashman to be mentioned in the city he attended college (Catholic University).

puleeze!!!!!!!

Posted by: dk | September 3, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

If we dump Jim Bowden I hope they go with Rizzo as GM. We are likely getting close to the point of promoting him or losing him completely.

Someone is going to give him a shot, better us than Seattle.

Posted by: estuartj | September 3, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

btw this is how dumb don sutton is, right after bergman won his 10th game the other night, he and carpenter had a half inning discussion concerning it was the first time a nats pitcher had won 10 games since ramon ortiz did it a few years ago.

anyway, during last nights game, the trivia question was who was the last nats pitcher before bergman to win 10 games. carpenter acted as though he had never known the answer and said, "i'm gonna say, maybe ramon ortiz." to which don sutton replied, i have no idea.
unreal. you talked about it one day earlier. do you even listen to each other?

Posted by: dk | September 3, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I need a dk to english translator-

does "puleeze!!!!!!!" translate to "yes, I want cashman" or "no, I dont want cashman"

I see caps in the NY Post reference, dk. Say it ain't so. I pray it was only a cut & paste.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 3, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

231 is absolutely correct about the Phil. fans holding a grudge against their own team. However -- one of the things I am looking forward to in the future is a great, big rivalry with the Phils and the Mets. I can feel it building already - starting with Lannan's unceremonious debut last year and our spoiling ways in September. Right now we are the Gnats annoying them but watch out -- a good grudge can be very exhilarating! I am usually very mild-mannered in my daily life but my alter-ego comes out when I am at a game. The name Chase Utley is already causing my blood to start boiling, even if the play was "just baseball".

Posted by: masnstinks | September 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

506, are you by chance affiliated with this site? It's been a while since you've had a good Philly rant... :D

http://ihatephilly.blogspot.com/

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

We or somebody needs to remind Sutton that the last Washington Nationals' Pitcher to win 20 games was Bob Porterfield and that this is the 55th anniversary of that feat.

To further make my point, maybe we should try and make it a point to reclaim our baseball heritage.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 3, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"btw this is how dumb don sutton is, right after bergman won his 10th game the other night"

This is how dumb YOU are. It was Redding who won his 10th game the other night, not Bergmann. Or is 'bergman' how they spell 'Redding' in your world without a shift key?

Posted by: this pastime of nationals | September 3, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Utley ticked me off even before he pulled his guided missile act on Flores (which was not by the book, damnit). The umps shouldn't let him get away with leaning into pitches like he does.

Posted by: joebleux | September 3, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I only like to post on nj when the nats lose. when they're winning, i have nothing to contribute.

Posted by: dk | September 3, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Utley is so mean that...

...he'd stab you in the back, then have you arrested for carrying a weapon

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Utley is also a heavy breather and chews with his mouth open.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Here's the college rule on collissions at the plate:

Collision Rule
SECTION 7. The rules committee is concerned about unnecessary and
violent collisions with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all
bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive
players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.
a. When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is
in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
(1) Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner
have reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s
path to the base was blocked);
(2) Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate)
or attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder; or
(3) Whether the runner was using flagrant contact to maliciously
dislodge the ball.
PENALTY—If the runner attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall
be declared out even if the fielder loses possession of the
ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return
to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

Posted by: Arkymark | September 3, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Some season ticket prices have been lowered, according to an email I just received from the Nats.

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

Holy cripes, they officially lowered prices for '09 tickets! I wonder if the gaping hole in the scoreboard pavilion will still exist.

Posted by: Cheap? | September 3, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

SOME season ticket prices have been lowered, not all.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's the text of the e-mail:

September 3, 2008

Homestand Highlights


Dear Nationals Season Ticket Holder,

The Washington Nationals today announced the 2009 prices for season tickets at Nationals Park. The team will continue to provide affordable, fan-friendly entertainment at Nationals Park by decreasing season ticket prices for 7,500 seats at the ballpark - 3,400 of which are located in the lower seating bowl. The team will not increase prices on any of the 41,888 seats for season-ticket holders who renew their season tickets for 2009.

"The Nationals are pleased to lower the price of a considerable number of season ticket locations at Nationals Park in 2009," said Team President Stan Kasten. "We will also continue to offer partial and full season ticket plans for a family of four for as little as $40 a game. We think for a day at the ballpark, it's one of the most affordable experiences in sports. We thank our fans for their continued support of the Washington Nationals."

Current Nationals season ticket holders will receive renewal information in mid-October. Fans who want to become a new 2009 season ticket holder may place deposits to secure seats starting on September 9 by calling 202-675-NATS (6287) or going online at nationals.com. Single game and group ticket prices will be announced at a later date.

The average season ticket price for a non-premium seat will be just under $29.00. Over one-third (15,219) of the non-premium seats offered at Nationals Park will be $20 or less. The total cost of tickets for a family of four attending a Washington Nationals game in 2009 could be as inexpensive as $40 for season ticket holders on the gallery level or $80 on the field level.

The ballclub lowered season ticket prices by $10 or more in over 2,700 seats at Nationals Park, in the Center Field (CF) Reserved and Lounge (Section 100), Left Field (LF) Reserved (Section 101-102, formerly LF Bullpen), and increased the number of seats in the LF Corner (Sections 108-110) and Right Field (RF) Corner (Sections 135-137). CF Reserved (formerly known as the CF Club) and CF Lounge tickets will cost $30 and $50, respectively, down from $40 and $60 in 2008. The CF Lounge seats include an added value of $20 for food and beverage and fans seated in the CF Reserved area may enjoy in-seat service. Season ticket prices in the LF Box (now Sections 103-107), RF Reserved (Sections 138-143), and Scoreboard Pavilion (Sections 237-243) have also been reduced.

The Nationals will offer partial season ticket plans (41- and 21-games) in areas of the lower bowl not offered in 2008, including the CF Reserved and Lounge and Baseline Reserved (the upper half of Sections 111-113 and 132-134). All partial season ticket plans will now include tickets to the 2009 Opening Day at Nationals Park.

Please see the Nationals Park pricing guide and seating diagram to the right for further details.

We look forward to seeing you at Nationals Park next year.

Sincerely
The Washington Nationals

Posted by: Juan-John | September 3, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The price increase seems just to be recognition that those outfield seats were overpriced, but giving all season ticket holders opening day tickets is simple justice. Good decision, imo.

Posted by: Arkymark | September 3, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"giving all season ticket holders opening day tickets is simple justice"

It's also going to be easy to do next year, since they won't sell out the game.

Posted by: Trapper John | September 3, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This is how dumb YOU are. It was Redding who won his 10th game the other night, not Bergmann. Or is 'bergman' how they spell 'Redding' in your world without a shift key?
Posted by: this pastime of nationa

bergman, redding. all those guys look alike.
btw is it possible for bob im running outta things to say carpenter to go a half, just 1/2 simple inning without giggling like a little girl at one of don suttons inane comments.
is that 2 much to ask?
ive given up asking for a whole entire inning. would settle for a half.

Posted by: dk | September 3, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Is there really any reason to rush Flores back this year? They should just shut him down for the last 20 plus games.

Posted by: TimDz | September 3, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Utley ticked me off even before he pulled his guided missile act on Flores (which was not by the book, damnit). The umps shouldn't let him get away with leaning into pitches like he does."

Posted by: joebleux | September 3, 2008 3:15 PM

I was thinking the exact same thing. On the HBP the other day he made absolutely no effort to avoid the ball, and it even looked like he leaned into it a little, just to make sure it caught a bit of his uniform. I was under the impression that if you don't make a move to avoid the pitch that the Ump can decide not to give you the base (seems that should have been the case).

Posted by: WN | September 3, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

There was a game last year against the Padres at RFK in the pouring rain (remember the sandbagged dugout and Lake Kearns? Not to mention Zimm's homer) where a San Diego batter didn't try to move and the ump called him back when he got half way to first.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that needs to happen, when Utley leans into one (and he does), is for the blue to do what he is supposed to...call a strike. Sorry, batter, that pitch was a strike, you moved into the strike zone, get back into the box. Better yet, if there are two strikes, Zip him up, Loudly and Visibly! That will put him on notice.

As far as Flores is concerned, it depends how you define a sprained ankle. If he tore some tendons or ligaments (even a little), shut him down for the rest of the season. Presumably, Flores & Nieves are our catching team for the next 4 - 5 years. Showcase Montz and see if there is value for him in a trade.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 3, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Off topic...

Does anyone know how I can catch the P-Nats game tonight on the radio? I live in Northern VA. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Pablo | September 3, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

From last week’s chat:

the sweet-smelling Golden Triangle:
2. The backup catcher doesn't get enough starts. Catchers get beat up during the course of a game, and Flores is too important an asset to tarnish. Playing him as much as they do risks at best, burnout and at worst, injury.

Chico Harlan:
As for the back-up catcher complaint, this is the first I've heard of such a thing. Wil Nieves is ideally a once-a-week starter. Acta has been using him as such. Catcher is a hard position on the body, but Flores is playing there no more frequently than most starters. Plus, the Nats need his bat in the lineup.

How do you reconcile saying this on Wednesday in a chat and FOUR DAYS LATER in the paper having a Nats Notebook piece titled "Long Season Begins to Wear Down Flores"? Here are some select quotes: "Over the last month, he'd seemingly hit a wall... He said that he feels neither tired nor overworked -- but, rather, he feels the grind of the season in subtler ways. After several starts in a row, his body needs a longer time to recover. Sometimes, he said, his bat feels heavy."

Jocks are famous for being less than forthright about their health and energy level to ensure PT: playing time. This is especially so for young players who aren't established in the league. So it's quite an admission for Flores to confess publicly to any fatigue at all. Meanwhile, his stats (.179 average in August with 23 strikeouts) speak volumes, at least to a manager who's listening.

There are two points here: First, my initial post was prescient regarding Flores and the potential for injury, and second, you dismissed a line of reasoning from a reader and then days later picked it up for a piece in the Sunday paper. Wow, that is really weak.

Posted by: the sweet-smelling Golden Triangle | September 3, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

While the focus of this article is on whether finding patient hitters (high pitches per plate appearance)is an advantage in fantasy baseball, the analysis also shows how patience correlates with power and runs create per 27 plate appearances. Because we've kicked around going for Adam Dunn, and because many have complained about the Nats lack of patience, I thought it'd be a fun read. Guz of course is near the bottom in terms of patience, but his contact rate and moderate K rate make him pretty productive (5.1 RC/27) for an MI.

Posted by: PTBNL | September 3, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link to article I menitoned - PTBNL

http://fantasynews.sportsline.com/fantasybaseball/story/10959344

Posted by: The rest of me | September 3, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

pablo, I've not tried it but there's a link on the P-Nats site that says you can listen to the game live at no charge (though you have to register):

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t436

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Pablo-

You can hear it through the computer at milb.com, usually. Good idea. Better than the convention.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | September 3, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

P-Nats are only on the internet.
Goto www.milb.com
It's free.

Posted by: Tom | September 3, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I have only three words to say "DRILL CHASE UTLEY"!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | September 3, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

School will be in session for Mr. Utley.

Posted by: Nats school marm | September 3, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

How come we don't hear from O's EXEC anymore now that the O's are 12 games below .500 and own the AL East cellar by 8.5 games????

Posted by: 13 now | September 3, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

[quote=golden triangle]First, my initial post was prescient regarding Flores and the potential for injury[/quote]

this injury had absolutely zero to do with being tired or beat up or burnt out and everything to do with being steamrolled. if this had happened opening day, same result. let's not get carried away patting ourselves on the back with "prescience."

it's a fair question on the rest of it. he's showing signs of wearing down in many ways and chico shouldn't have blown you off. but let's not go blaming his injury on anything other than it was.

Posted by: 231 | September 3, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

how come you actually care what Os exec thinks?

;)

Posted by: 231 | September 3, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

and new post.

Posted by: 231 | September 3, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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