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Tonight's lineups

New York

J. Reyes -- 6
Murphy -- 7
Wright -- 5
Delgado -- 3
Beltran -- 8
Church -- 9
A. Reyes -- 4
Schneider -- 2
Santana -- 1


Hernandez -- 4
Guzman -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5
Milledge -- 8
Dukes -- 9
Boone -- 3
Harris -- 7
Nieves -- 2
Redding -- 1

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2008; 3:44 PM ET
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Next: Can Syracuse be a Match?


Interesting move having Hernandez lead off instead of Harris, I guess Manny wants to see if Hernandez if for real by challenging him.

Posted by: estuartj | September 18, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I got new posted;
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 benchCA - 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 platoon9. Pitcher

Posted by: estuartj | September 18, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

NFA is reporting that Kasten and Bowden are in Syracuse negotiating with the SkyChiefs to be our new AAA affiliate.

Posted by: MO Nats Fan | September 18, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Syracuse is an ok stop-gap, but I think that, long term, the answer has to be Richmond. They just need to be talked into a new stadium, which won't be easy until the financial climate improves.

Deals w/ minor league franchises are generally, as I understand it, for two years. The Nats would need to identify a AAA team that is not performing up to expectations and convince them to move to Richmond. Not so easy.

Of course, Bud The Turkey could always identify 2 minor league cities capable of supporting a MLB franchise and award them, which would make the Majors more sensible. Oddly enough, one of the answers is the New York area. Truth is, Chicago really has 3 franchises (the northern suburbs of Chi are actually closer to Milwaukee than the Loop).

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 18, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, are there really enough obnoxious New York City fans for three teams?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Manny, Manny, Manny why aren't you playing the percentages tonight . . . I'm 1-0 against Johan!!!!

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | September 18, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

syracuse beats the hell out of vegas.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 18, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The Brewers have zero following in the northern suburbs of Chicago I assure you. They're the Wisconsin Brewers.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 18, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

AAA affiliates for Washington is fore sure they one and only thing that Syracuse is better than Vegas for.

Posted by: estuartj | September 18, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

C50 / 506 - I've heard you could split the NY market 3 ways and still have 3 of the biggest fan bases in baseball. Larger than Charlotte. Personally, I'd love to see a North Jersey team. Call it the Sopranos. Sausages from Satriales. 8th inning song could be by Journey. The Bada Bing could supply . . . (dang ellipses again!).

Estuartj - I'm still not so sure of the middle infield acquisitions that I'd give them two roster spots. Gonzalez has options, and the jury is out on Boni. Your roster omits Belliard, who is an adequate defender at 2d, has a good bat, is under contract, and is versatile. I've stated my preference for starting with a Harris / Belliard platoon at 2d, with Harris as our 4th / 5th OF.

Also, while Kearns is supposed to be untradeable, I would not be surprised if he ended up in a package to a contender. Don't forget that is how the Marlins marketed Beckett and Cabrera - you have to take Lowell (coming off a year about as bad as Kearns and older) or Dontrell if you want the candy. Now I'm not saying we have anything comparable to Beckett or Cabrera as a sweetener (there'd be hell to pay if we included the Face of the Franchise), but we could probably trade a Martis with Kearns to a big budget team that could use him at worse as a 4th OF / platoon / defensive replacement. Who knows? Perhaps the NYM would like a Kearns / Church platoon?

If Kearns were moved, then our mystery 1B/OF would have a place to play. As previously suggested, if Nick is healthy and wins a survival of the fittest, a Kearns deal in the spring might work.

I'm more of an optimist than 131 on our ability to sign someone if we are willing to spend. It might mean taking a chance on someone who has question marks, like the Tigers did with Pudge and Magglio, but there are ways to structure contracts to not leave you liable long term. In fact, I bet there are some former Lehman Brothers traders who the front office could hire to do so.

Posted by: PTBNL | September 18, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

C'mon guys, I set you all up with one of the straight lines of the century.

"Why yes, 506, in fact, there are so many obnoxious New York fans that you could..."

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 18, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Trading Kearns now just as his trade value is at it's absolute lowest point sounds like exactly what this team would do.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 18, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If they were willing to spend the money I think Sheets could be available since he likely won't get full price or years this off-season because of his injury concerns. I don't think they'll make that kind of gamble though, but I'm at a loss as to what we can do pitching wise in FA, more likely is a trade for someone like the Marlins young starters who are hitting arbitration.

I think Belliard will be traded to a contender, he deserves one more chance at a ring and he doesn't fit into The Plan 2.0 (post 8/1/08).

I think Kearns is movable despite his contract, but he needs to come out of ST healthy and at least moderately productive and then I think their are some takers for a defense first RFer with so so power potential. Of course for that to work we'd need to sign or trade for our mystery LF/1B guy and bench Dukes till Kearns can be shopped, fat chance! I think I'm ok with a Dukes/Milledge/Kearns of with a hopefully healthy and productive WMP ready to step up for injured guys or in LF if Kearns can be shipped.

And as for 2B, do you think we can package Boni or Hernandez with say Redding and a VanAllen or Wilems (likely all of the above plus maybe burgess or Marrero) for Dan Uggla? He for sale this winter for sure!

Posted by: estuartj | September 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to estuartj for what i consider to be a realistic post on next year's roster. With some luck with guys staying healthy, there's plenty of reason for optimism. Who knows, maybe Kearns will even come around.

I do agree 100 per cent with PTBNL though about the middle infielders. Hernandez is showing some promise but do we want a roster spot for someone Acta is holding out against LHP and who can't hit breaking balls. I also think a Harris/Belliard combo will serve us better at 2B.

Go Nats! Three out of four against the Mets would be great!

Posted by: ladynatsfan | September 18, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I was optimistic in February and March.
Then the season started.

There is no remembrance of former things...

With some luck with guys staying healthy, there's plenty of reason for optimism.

Posted by: ladynatsfan | September 18, 2008 5:54 PM

Posted by: Qoheleth | September 18, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Go Nats! Slug Santana!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Go Nats! Slug Santana!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Oops, but it bore repeating anyway. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Just thinking, lighting up Santana today reduces his value, so that the nats can afford to get him. Isn't that wonderful?

Posted by: SF Fan | September 18, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Nice, SF.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Not to discourage anyone's mocking of Minaya, but we couldn't get Carlos Santana, let alone Johan.

Posted by: estuartj | September 18, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Back to the musical listing, we can have Carlos Santana do "Cry, Baby, Cry". Not sure for which team though. :)

Posted by: SF Fan | September 18, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

As the sun is setting, my 1500 AM signal is dying...damn you to hell, Bonneville!

I wonder if I can learn to love Bob & Don as I've loved Charlie & Dave.

Posted by: Radioland | September 18, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Come on over and visit me...

Posted by: New Post | September 18, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Carlos Santana (Catcher) was traded already this yer to the Indians.

Steven - the assertion in MBLTR was Kearns is not movable, and I suggested he could be moved. In fact, you could look at the Lowell and Willis trades as being done at percieved low value. For Lowell, it was, for Willis, it was a short sale. For Kearns, I agree it is better to wait until he shows he is healthy. That could be as soon as this Spring, but, perhaps, more likely in the middle of the '09 season.

Posted by: PTBNL | September 18, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Radioland, I had some success on 1500 with my husband's portable world band radio tonight - the only radio that could pick it up. The signal is not super clear and I sometimes have to turn cartwheels with the radio to pick up the signal, but I was able to hear the game. My song nomination for late 2008 Nats radio reception: Turn, Turn, Turn.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 18, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

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