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State of the Nationals (With a Side of Wings)

Just so we can direct this blogspace on a assured turn away from politics, let it be known that the "State of the Nationals" address is actually a Q&A, and has nothing to do with a Congressional joint session. Rather, it's an event at the ESPN Zone (555 12th St. NW): Tomorrow at noon, Nats GM Jim Bowden and Nats assistant GM Mike Rizzo will appear at the ESPN Zone to field questions from fans about the state of the team. I received a press release mentioning the event, so I figured I'd pass the word along, allowing you almost a full day to draft your questions.

(If you're looking for me, just try to spot a guy sitting behind a messy stack of baby back ribs.)

One other Nats/community note, while we're at it:

Tonight, Manny Acta's charitable foundation -- the impACTA Kids Foundation (note the wordplay) -- will present two District seniors each with a $2,500 scholarship to be used for higher education. The recipients (Vincent Omekan, from School Without Walls, and Pilar Barreyo, from Wilson High) will be recognized in a ceremony before tonight's game.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2008; 2:44 PM ET
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Next: Tonight's lineups


Good one, Chico! If Charlie will be moderating as with player sessions, maybe you should challenge him to a round of that boxing game that he's always talking about on the air.

That's cool about the impACTA Kids Foundation presentation. Atta boy, Skip!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Just another day at Shea:

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

anyone see my band?

Posted by: Buddy Holly | September 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ohh eey ohh
I look just like Buddy Holly
Aye ohh
And your Mary Tyler Moore

Posted by: Weezer | September 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Inre the sentiment about going after "big free agent" pitchers:

What makes you guys think that Sabathia or Sheets will WANT to play in Washington? Why would any major free agent come here right now? The ownership has stated they're building from within and has no intentions of trying to compete for several years. Why would a top end pitcher go anywhere in free agency except a contender who gives him a shot to make the playoffs immediately?

We'll be looking at the same typeB/typeC retread free agents trying to find lightning in a bottle if we decide to go that route.

I think we cut loose OPerez, resign Redding in arbitration and go into next spring training with
- Lannan, Balester and Redding as rotation locks
- Hill, MEstrada, Martis, JZimmerman, Clippard, Mock, Bergmann and Brownlie competing for 2 rotation spots.
- we find next year's Kyle Lohse and the above guys all compete for the 5th starter position with the rest filling out AAA rotation. And the current Columbus rotation of O'Connor, Stammen, Kown, Bascik and Tankersly are all cut to make room.

Mock, Bergmann probably will stay/become bullpen guys. Hill has to show he's healthy or he'll get cut ala Patterson. JZimmerman may be ready to go. Martis looks like he needs one season at AAA. Clippard should be ready to go and could be our 5th starter. Brownlie probably needs a season at AAA as well.

Early predictions:
Nats: Balester, Lannan, Redding, JZimmerman, FA
AAA: Martis, Clippard, Brownlie, MEstrada and one from VanAllen, Jones, Alainz, Stammen, Kown

Posted by: 131 | September 18, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

What makes you think they don't want to play here? Amazingly, different people have different motivations in life. Aaron Rowand signed with the Giants last year, Torii Hunter with the Angels.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 18, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Nice post (and re-post) by sec131; I agree on the pitchers, but still think the organization is more likely to attempt to upgrade via trades than FA. Not sure this is the best idea, especially since our top pick is protected this year (and hopefully not next year).

As for position players, given the recent resurgence of offense and the contract obligations at positions we would otherwise wish to improve via trades or FA I see the roster looking something like this;

OF - Dukes, Milledge, Kearns w/ Pena and Harris off the bench
CA - Flores and Nieves (or Montz?)
IF - Zimmerman, Guzman, Bonifacio/Hernandez & Johnson with Young and Gonzalez off the bench.

That is 14 players meaning if everyone is off the DL at the same time you would have a 6 man bullpen which would not work long term. I would not be at all surprised to see DY retire before ST and work out a deal for an organizational job with his remaining contract dollars spread over several years.

Your line-up could look something like this;
1. Guzman (SS)
2. Milledge (CF)
3. Johnson (1B)
4. Dukes (LF)
5. Zimmerman (3B)
6. Flores (CA)
7. Kearns (RF)
8. Bonifacio/Hernandez platoon
9. Pitcher

Posted by: estuartj | September 18, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't it be "impACTA Kid" with no s at the end of kid?

Posted by: will | September 18, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

tsoP weN

Posted by: Over there, that way... | September 18, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

i cannot wait until lunchtime tomorrow. it should be GREAT theatre.

Q: Jim, in retrospect, do you think the Manny Ramirez wig was a good idea?

Charlei Slowes: Let's move to the next question!

Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball

Posted by: Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball | September 18, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

ImpACTA Kids (plural) Foundation is correct.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

anyone see my band?

Posted by: ...crickets... | September 18, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

To estuartj

You're forgetting about Belliard, who is under contract for about 1.9 mil next year. Not enough room for Belly, Boni, Harris, Hernandez and Gonzalez. Pick 3 (more if DL or a deal). I'll go with Belly, Harris, and Hernandez while Boni works out his hitting in AAA.

Posted by: Dogface | September 18, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

chico would you pls ask mike rizzo and bowdwen why they dont even have a scout in venezuela or rest of latin america,i know they have in dominican,but venezuela is hot ,especially rizzo went he was in arizona got players like carlos gonzalez,alberto gonzalez,gerardo parra,javier brito,miguel montero ,not to mention players from venezuela like santana,ordonez,miguel cabrera,zambrano ect,they will never be competitive if you not scout venezuela,would you ask that?thanks

Posted by: rafael | September 19, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

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