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Boras: For Tex, It Just Came Down To Winning

Perhaps there's little sense in rehashing an old lost cause -- that is, unless Scott Boras gives you a belated call back to talk about it. When I spoke briefly with Boras today, the agent was decidedly eager to compliment the Lerners. ("It's clear you've got an ownership group committed to being successful... There's a passion there about what they want to get done," Boras said.)

More to the point, he added that the Nats couldn't have done anything more to improve their a shot at his client, Mark Teixeira.

"I think the Nationals did everything they could do both with their economic commitment, the time and effort that was made in every attempt to bring Mark to Washington," Boras said. "From the ownership level to the baseball level, it was a very concerted and professional approach they took to Mark, he was very impressed with what Washington did. I think the major consideration in the end was that he felt in his career he really needed to be working for a club that would be giving him an opportunity to win now."

Oh, and maybe you're wondering about Boras's other client, Manny Ramirez. Just for good measure I asked him -- twice -- whether the Nats have expressed any interested in the 36-year-old slugger. Boras didn't want to comment. Either time.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 26, 2008; 12:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

When I spoke briefly with Boras today, the agent was decidedly eager to compliment the Lerners. ("It's clear you've got an ownership group committed to being successful... There's a passion there about what they want to get done," Boras said.)

Keep that quote in mind when the Strassburg negotiations come calling...

Posted by: TimDz | December 26, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

So if Boras is to be believed, they had no shot. (What was he going to say? "Washington?? Bwaaa ha ha!!!"? He does still have to deal with this FO.)
But if he wanted to "win now" that badly, the Angels or Red Sox would have been better bets.

"Dahling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue!"

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 26, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

that's an awful lot of glowing praise for a "token lowball offer" that was "just for show" with absolutely "no intention" of actually trying to land a meaningful free agent.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 26, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chico! I'm working today, too, and appreciate this.

And I think that CEvans is right, you always regress to the mean, regardless of if you're above and below it. If the haze of freshman year stats can be properly penetrated, I believe that regressing has to do with lessoning the number of standard deviations you are from the mean, which is a measure that is an absolute value, meaning there's no positive and negative form.

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Madison, try this version:

""From the ownership level to the baseball level, it was a very concerted and professional approach they took to Mark, he was very impressed with what Washington did [and my other clients would be too, like Steven Strasburg, Manny Ramirez, and any of the overpayed mediocrities I represent]."

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

506, your version doesn't change anything he said regarding the Lerner's efforts to land Tex.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 26, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Probably because we both agree the Lerners did try to sign Teixeira.

Though, I don't think anything Boras or any other agent (or GM) says should be trusted. It's not personal, it's business.

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Chico, have you heard any rumblings regarding Adam Dunn or Orlando Hudson? Whats next for the Nationals? Are they just going to stand pat? As a fan, I appreciate their effort to get Tex, but I think they need to sign at least 2-3 more FA's.....that will contribute (Not two dudes named Gustavo).

Posted by: FloresFan | December 26, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Chico, have you heard any rumblings regarding Adam Dunn or Orlando Hudson? Whats next for the Nationals? Are they just going to stand pat? As a fan, I appreciate their effort to get Tex, but I think they need to sign at least 2-3 more FA's.....that will contribute (Not two dudes named Gustavo).

Posted by: FloresFan | December 26, 2008 2:36 PM

eh. I don't think much of anything is going to happen until after the New Year.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 26, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I still maintain that Boras was duplicitous in his dealings by making all the other bidders show their cards face up while dealing off the bottom of the deck for the Yankees. The scary thing is that Manny seems to be all about the money and winning may be secondary as long as he's paid.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 26, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I forget where I read it, but I remember a very credible source with a very compelling case that the Nationals management breaks out in la laughter when asked about signing Manny Ramirez. I also remember specifically Stan Kasten being quoted as saying the Nationals would be opportunistic regarding Manny, meaning only if he was such a bargain as they could not say no. But that's not going to happen. Ramirez will likely sign with the Dodgers. Although I have wondered if the Giants had the stomach for another eratic left fielder. That would be too funny!

Posted by: natbisquit | December 26, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

He wanted to go to a winning club? How selfish.

Goes back to Ralph Nader's comment when he learned the Post wouldn't cover his campaign because he had zero chance. "They cover the Nationals, don't they?" he countered.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 26, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I like the way you are thinking with all the questions about the pursuit of Man-ny. Hammer away with the Man-ny inquiries and let's get that monster into DC>

Get in there Chico Get. In. There.

Posted by: Brue | December 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I get it Samson! You're saying Ralph Nader needs a Plan!

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Justin Maxwell could become a Teixiera. If they get Dunn they can put him in left. Package Willingham, Millege, Kearns, Dukes (not all) + pitching to get pitching / catcher / 2b??.
Is Justin Maxwell almost ready?

Train Dunn to play first for when Nick gets hurt. Groom someone along with Guzman for the same reason.

Nick J. Zimmerman at the corners. Guzman and ?? up the middle to start off isn't bad if you are a pitcher.

Assume Flores improves both at and behind the plate.

1. Hudson (or someone like him who is younger).
2. Guzman.
3. Millege (Dukes, Willingham, Maxwell).
4. Dunn
5. Zimmerman
6. Flores
7. Millege (Dukes, Willingham, Maxwell).
8. Harris/Bernardina.
9. Pitcher.

Posted by: periculum | December 26, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"Get in there Chico Get. In. There."

Remember, this is the Washington Post you're talking about. It's only very recently that they've been led kicking and screaming to the realization that the Baltimore Orioles aren't their paper's home team of record. We'll be doing well if they manage to figure out who the Nats are going after by the day pitchers and catchers report in February.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 26, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Too old and expensive. Hudson may not even be within their "age bracket".


"I like the way you are thinking with all the questions about the pursuit of Man-ny. Hammer away with the Man-ny inquiries and let's get that monster into DC"

Posted by: periculum | December 26, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Justin Maxwell isn't even close to Teixeira performance or health wise. A nice thought, though, I think our farm is still the primary direction for looking.

Dunn is a spoonful of sugar. Makes the medicine taste better, but has little value.

Hudson is a step backwards for the Plan.

viva la plan

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

My View is that Lerners and Boras both knew up front that Tex did not want to sign with a loser organization and that Nats did not want to pay him. They developed a relationship were they both won but only real benefit to fans may be they have a working relationship established for Strasburg contract work. Trusting what Boras says after the fact is foolish and I agree with 506 on that one.

That said, Mr. Madison, as I recall the bet was thatNats would spend and sign a big name free agent or two that will help the team now.....tick tock.....Tex is out....Dunn and Hudson is what you need right? So far you have Sosa and Patterson signed…..good luck ……as I said back in November time will tell…..you wasted 45 days or so……half way to Spring Training.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 26, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Dunn and Hudson is what you need right? So far you have Sosa and Patterson signed…..good luck ……as I said back in November time will tell…..you wasted 45 days or so……half way to Spring Training."

We haven't seen Dunn or Hudson or Manny sign with anyone else yet, have we? The protracted Teixeira negotiations placed everyone in a holding pattern on other free agent signings. So 45 days have passed, big deal. It's not time wasted. Players if signed can't do anything until spring training starts anyway. Cool your jets, JayBeee, unless you want the rest of us to bring up the fact that 45 days have passed and Stan Kasten still hasn't gone anywhere, as you predicted he would. Time's a-wastin' on that misguided prediction of yours, isn't it?

Posted by: nunof1 | December 26, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Bring it on....your right on Kasten, but the TOR job is still open too.......time will tell on both of our views.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 26, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

>We haven't seen Dunn or Hudson or Manny sign with anyone else yet, have we?

Get in there Man-ny. GET.IN>THERE

Posted by: Brue | December 26, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Given this Franchises short history I like my odds better than yours that being said I could see us both being wrong to improvement and Keeping Stan......how great would that be for the fans of this mess?

Posted by: JayBeee | December 26, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and how long has that Toronto job been open now and Kasten still hasn't taken it? If he wanted to go there, there's nothing to stop him. So why hasn't he gone there? Maybe because he's telling the truth when he says he's not? I mean, how frickin' hard is that to figure out anyway?

Posted by: nunof1 | December 26, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The Nats job mess get worse each day, Lerner's ignore his advice more each day, No progress on the field or with the customer vision he laid out.......will he be willing to stay around for cold hot dogs again on opening day with a hopelss lineup and C Patterson on the 25 man roster....we shall see....if I am wrong I will take a month off from you all......what happens when I am right that Nats spend no money?

Posted by: JayBeee | December 26, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

>....what happens when I am right that Nats spend no money?

Uh, I don't know. What? Does your head pop off like mine does for Man-ny to DC? Oh Man-ny you boiled down ice-vein approach delicacy

Posted by: Brue | December 26, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

JayBee's right about Stan. The relationship between him and the Lerners is dysfunctional.

Having said that, I don't think either is worth a toot. The reason the Lerners were chosen in the first place is that they brought Stan with them. Now they cannot make that relationship work. I don't think they're cheap; I think they tried with Tiexiera. I just think that they don't choose their managers well. Stan built his rep on the Braves, who couldn't sell out World Series games and won only because they had one of the great GMs ever. The Hawks and Thrashers were awful under his leadership and drew no fans. Jimbo is a C+ GM at best.

Jeff Zients to the white courtesy phone please.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is Boras paying back Lerner for helping to drive up the price for Tex, nothing more.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | December 26, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, I feel a lot better about saying this now:
Come on, career-ending degenerative hip disease!

Posted by: Section406 | December 26, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

huh?

******************
Oh Man-ny you boiled down ice-vein approach delicacy

Posted by: Brue | December 26, 2008 3:56 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | December 26, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

>This is Boras paying back Lerner for helping to drive up the price for Tex, nothing more.

The beginning of a beautiful relationship. No catacombs for Man-ny. Make it happen Ted. And there was joy in Mudville.

Posted by: Brue | December 26, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"JayBee's right about Stan. The relationship between him and the Lerners is dysfunctional."

And you know this how? Because you've read a few rumors on a blog somewhere? The mere fact that a team lost 102 games does not make its ownership group dysfunctional. How about providing a concrete example? (Hint: Saying that Kasten is not as publicly visible as he was this time last year is not an example of ownership dysfuction. I'm looking for REAL examples of REAL dysfunction.)

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Periculum / 506 - Hudson is 31 (b 12/12/77). How is a 3 year contract at $10 million (Furcal money) a set-back for The Plan. OPS+ above 100 each of the past 3 years says something about his offense. OBP above .350 the past 3 years. He could hit anywhere from 1 -3 in this lineup, even after a Dunn acquisition. Glove? Maybe by the time he's 35 he'll regress to average, but for now, he'd be an upgrade over Alberto Anderson, and I'm a big fan of "Not the Felon" Gonzalez's defense. Who is the 2d base prospect he'd be blocking? Espinosa? Again, I like that choice, but he's unlikely to be a call up until 2010/2011 if all goes well.

Even if Anderson Hernandez is for real, I'd rather see Guz who shown the door than back off on O-Dog. Guz is at best and average defender with good hands and below average range. He needs to maintain a .315+ batting average to be a leadoff hitter because he does not walk. That's not impossible, and I think it may be more likely than Hernandez becoming a quality regular, but I'd take AH (or AG) / OH in the middle defensively than Guz paired with any of our in-house alternatives at 2d.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 26, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

My information doesn't come from blog rumors. It probably comes from the same sort of place that JayBee gets his. DC's not that big a place.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

When I spoke briefly with Boras today, the agent was decidedly eager to compliment the Lerners. ("It's clear you've got an ownership group committed to being successful... There's a passion there about what they want to get done," Boras said.)

Keep that quote in mind when the Strasburg negotiations come calling...

Absolutely

Posted by: theredskin | December 26, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"My information doesn't come from blog rumors. It probably comes from the same sort of place that JayBee gets his."

Oh, I see. But could you be just a bit more specific? Are you pulling it out of JayBee's arse or your own?

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

There's plenty of conspiracy theory involving teams doing business with Boras and giving contracts/sweetheart deals to one of his players in order to gain favor later on. The Redsox (arguably) overpaid for JD Drew after he opted out and then got Dice-K for relatively cheaply (6yrs 52M).

Cynical viewpoint on: Nats set the market for negotiations on Tex as a favor to Boras, knowing that they'd never be able to compete with Yankees or Boston in terms of money, prestige or capability of winning now. Baseline deal 8/160M gives Boras what he needs to start his typical game of playing secret bids from teams off one another.

The favor returned will be less angst on Strasbourg deal ... though there's no way he signs until midnight on 8/15/09 so that Boras can still squeeze every little drop of dollars out of the process.

Posted by: tboss | December 26, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know JayBee and have never met him, so I'm not pulling it out of his. I'm not pulling it from mine either.

And I don't care to be more specific.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

>The mere fact that a team lost 102 games does not make its ownership group dysfunctional.

If they don't sign Man-ny or Dunn then it does.

Posted by: Brue | December 26, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know JayBee and have never met him, so I'm not pulling it out of his. I'm not pulling it from mine either.

And I don't care to be more specific.

#4"

You're not being asked to reveal your sources, you're being asked to give a specific example of dysfunction in the ownership group. Yet you can't do it. Might you begin to see why your statements here lack credibility?

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"You're not being asked to reveal your sources, you're being asked to give a specific example of dysfunction in the ownership group."

I would ask that you ponder that statement for another minute.

Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. You are free to judge my credibility as you wish. I have a sense where you'll come down.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. You are free to judge my credibility as you wish. I have a sense where you'll come down.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 5:35 PM

---------
you have just as much credibility regarding the inner workings of the Nats Organization at this point as I do, or any of those "Insiders" at OH have in regards to their organization.

which is, zero.

unless you can reasonably prove otherwise, of course. which you won't. because you can't.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 26, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Uncle!!!

I don't get the venom.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Uncle!!!

I don't get the venom.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 26, 2008 6:38 PM

---------

no venom.

just skepticism.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 26, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get the venom."

No venom. But you cavalierly state that the Lerner-Kasten relationship is dysfunctional, which is a pretty strong charge. Then, when asked why you think that's true, you say basically "Because I say so." You can't even give an example of what you mean by that statement, a specific instance of dysfunction, be it substantiated or unsubstantiated. You know, you're right, I don't get it. I don't understand why anyone's even botherig to pay attention to what you're saying here. I guess that's what you want, eh?

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Read between the lines, folks. #4 is on target. There have been plenty of articles suggesting frustration with the Lerners' parsimonious ways in the running of their operation. (The Texeira negotiations apparently being the exception.) Do you think Kasten is the only one who has no problems with the Lerners' management style? The rumors about Kasten looking around at other jobs are based in reality.

Posted by: GoNats21 | December 26, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Chico. Hope you had a nice holiday. Thanks for the Boras follow up. Interesting in light of his role as regards Strasburg down the road.

ce, thanks for the progression/regression distinction. I was beginning to wonder whether there was a new usage of which I wasn't aware (also, New York, is where I'd rather stay; I get allergic smelling hay.).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 26, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, Viva Licey:

http://masnsports.com/2008/12/dominican-league-playoffs-begi.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 26, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, just because someone is frustrated with their boss or doesn't always agree with their boss or sometimes has to do what the boss wants rather than what they want doesn't make the employee-boss relationship a dysfunctional one or mean the employee is going to up and quit out of frustration. Other than these reports that Stan Kasten is sometimes frustrated with the Lerners - which BTW are never substantiated with hard facts - I see no evidence that he's planning to leave. He knew going in that he wouldn't be the ultimate boss of this franchise, just as he wasn't the ultimate boss of Ted Turner's Braves franchise. If he wasn't prepared to handle some frustration, he never would have gone in with the Lerners in the first place. And if he's been so frustrated for so long that he wants to leave, well then why hasn't he left yet? There's nothing holding him here.

People have been predicting since Day 1 of the Lerner-Kasten-Bowden menage a trois that this marriage wouldn't last. Rather than admit that it actually IS lasting, they continue to write it off on a daily basis. If anything, I'd say that the longer it stays together during these tough times of losing, the stronger it may actually be. Get used to it, because it's not going away.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Are unsubstantiated assurances that all is well among the Nats upper management somehow more credible than unsubstantiated rumors of Kasten leaving? Kind of funny that we are debating whether commenters should stick to verifiable facts when the host of this blog is a news organization that makes liberal use of unnamed sources.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | December 26, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

that's an awful lot of glowing praise for a "token lowball offer" that was "just for show" with absolutely "no intention" of actually trying to land a meaningful free agent.

"Token lowball" meaning the highest bid in the auction.

Posted by: markfromark | December 26, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"Kind of funny that we are debating whether commenters should stick to verifiable facts when the host of this blog is a news organization that makes liberal use of unnamed sources."

And how many times has the Washington Post itself engaged in speculation that Kasten is unhappy and will be leaving? None that I can recall. That says a lot, doesn't it?

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"There are rumblings that [Kasten]'s very frustrated and ready to walk away."

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | December 26, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Token lowball" meaning the highest bid in the auction.

Posted by: markfromark | December 26, 2008 10:01 PM

your sarcasm detector is broken.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 26, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"There are rumblings that [Kasten]'s very frustrated and ready to walk away."

Outstanding investigative reporting there. Woodward and Bernstein would be proud.

Not.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 26, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Why are we arguing about this again?

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Why are we arguing about this again?

Posted by: Section506 | December 26, 2008 11:57 PM

------

beats me. I guess some people justify their fanhood by trying to make everyone else feel miserable about the team. *shrug*

me...I'm about to get wrapped up in some covers and put the TV on channel 280 and watch the MLB Network previews/filler content and giggle with excitement.

5 days until I don't have a reason to watch Baseball Tonight!

Kruk, Ravech, Olney, your days are numbered....5 days until you aren't the only game in town!

Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, Barry Larkin, Matt Vasgersian, etc.....come on down!

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

http://mlb.mlb.com/network/

i forgot the link for the MLB Network site. so there it is.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Teixeira "entertained" offers from Baltimore, DC, Boston and LA. He wanted two things: to win, to be nearer to home. Undoubtedly DC and Baltimore were much more interesting to him than to Boras.

One can imagine DC and Bal'more using the "play close to home" argument, and Tex listening closely as Kasten painted the homeboy picture.

For Boras, DC and Bal'more were bidding tools.

There was probably a point where Boras sat Tex down and said, "Tex: This is about money. NYC is MONEY. Forget about playing at home. When you've got $180 mil in your account, you can go home. Now lets go after MONEY meaning salary PLUS BIG MEDIA CASH."

So much for "It's a Wonderful Life". CEvansJr. had it right. Pottersville here we come.

"Dahling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue!"

Posted by: nattydread1 | December 27, 2008 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Madison,

I was watching that MLB Network promo hour show last night too......it was great! See we are not that different at heart.....we both love baseball. How many Nats did you see? I saw one highlight against us....with Fat Boy Young reacting on the bench...as usual....I saw one Expo......that was about it........

I will be a much happier Nats fan when the team wins some games and puts a competitive product on the field again.....2005 was great fun to go the park. 2006 was still fun because we had Alfonso to watch and everyone in baseball was watching too. Then the Lerners, Stan the Plan and we have been a joke for 3 years now. Spend some money on the best players in the draft and sign them, spends some money on International talent like the A's are doing, spend some money on your own young talent, like Rockies and Rays did.....Spend some money on FA's like the Royals have.....stop making excuses of injuries when you plan is to count on Nick and D Young............that was and still is a joke!

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

So, is this MLB Network thing gonna be part of basic cable, or one of those you have to pay extra for? (Since we're local, I'm on Comcast in Alexandria if anyone knows specifically.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 27, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

MLB Network'll be on the 2nd tier cable for Cox in Ffx Co., channel 261. I've been giggling with glee as well at the thought of all those great oldtimer games finally being shown again.

As for the argument here - I personally pay no attention to 'sources close to the blahblahblah'. The only Rumours I pay attention to is Fleetwood Mac's. You guys are like the mlb.com Hot Stove sometimes - making up stories to fill space. I come here for banter, not facts, because unless you're quoting statistics, you have no idea what Stan really thinks, how well the management group gets along, how much money they've spent.

JayBee is a loudmouth, spewing the same drivel all the time. He has no clue, won't go get himself one, and likes to be negative. Fabbo. When his tree falls in the woods, I'll not be around to hear it - therefore it does not make a sound to me.

Some of you all post up neat stuff. That I enjoy. Let's all hope Nick is on his game this year. I have an autographed ball by him. If he can stick it together, things'll be MUCH better all the way around.

How many more days until pitchers and catchers report? :o)

Posted by: dand187 | December 27, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Let's all hope Nick is on his game this year. I have an autographed ball by him."

NOW THERE IS A PLAN for winning baseball

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of MLB Network, Santa brought cable for Christmas. We'll be up and running in the New Year. Woohoo!!

BTW, MLB Network will also be available via the Verizon FIOS Essentials and Extreme HD packages on channel 86:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20081110&content_id=3672475&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Speaking of MLB Network, Santa brought cable for Christmas. We'll be up and running in the New Year. Woohoo!!"

Remember, you'll still be watching those Nats games on MASN, mostly in their hurting standard definition. Still.

Sorry for the buzzkill there.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Not a buzzkill at all. Having the opportunity to see every Nats game on tv as opposed to seeing only the weekly TV 20 game = priceless.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"Not a buzzkill at all. Having the opportunity to see every Nats game on tv as opposed to seeing only the weekly TV 20 game = priceless."

Exactly my sentiments last year at this time when I switched over to cable. Then I discovered that you really notice how much MASN sucks when you watch it every day rather than just once a week.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'll agree with ABM on this one....MASN and MASN HD experience provides the worst picture quality of all your channel options....just hard to believe it can be this bad.......I hope for improvement this year.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Still no buzzkill here. Sorry.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Is that buzzkill for buzzkill?

I got 50 days till pitchers and catchers report. But I'm a bad counter.

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

according to Olney, we're talking with Orlando Hudson now.

no word on Dunn or Manny though.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I know it's been discussed previously, but Hudson would be an interesting piece to the short-term puzzle. His bat would settle questions about the leadoff spot, he'd bring a gold-glove calibre resume to the middle-infield, and if signed, would set up someone like Belliard as a trade piece.
His downside is that he's a Type-A FA (two draft picks), and he's had back trouble; Would he be willing to sign a 2-year deal for something below Guzman's contract?

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

His downside is that he's a Type-A FA (two draft picks)
---------

we'd only lose one pick.

in the revised CBA, the 2nd pick is created, but not taken from the signing team.

and besides, if there was any year to lose a draft pick, this is it. we've got two top-10 picks that are untouchable. so losing a draft pick or two this particular offseason does not hurt quite as much.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

sorry, not CBA. I forget what exact document regulates the draft.

but whatever it is, they changed it last year, and the way draft picks are assigned for FA signings was one of the changes.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

What do anti-ballistic missiles have to do with MASN, JayBeee?

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"What do anti-ballistic missiles have to do with MASN?"

They both talk up a big game, but in the end they're just bombs!

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

:)

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

MrM: Forgot about that change - so a "wrap" pick is awarded, and the Nationals would lose their 2nd round pick in 2009.
Still leaves the back problem, and the value of a short-term (2-yr) contract as open questions.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Running back to an older subject (acquiring LH-power). Has the Nationals' FO considered checking with SD for Adrian Gonzalez? They've got depth problems at C, SS & OF; An offer of one of our OF (Bernadina, Davis, Maxwell, etc.), Alberto Gonzalez, & a low-minors C (Solano or Nolan?) might get them thinking.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the problem of another year not discovering whether Gonzales or Hernandez should be kept around for the future or the problem of both our middle infielders growing towards retirement on a team that's supposed to be growing towards its prime.

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Wily Taveras signed a 2 year deal with the Reds.

thank god.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the problem of another year not discovering whether Gonzales or Hernandez should be kept around for the future or the problem of both our middle infielders growing towards retirement on a team that's supposed to be growing towards its prime.

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 2:07 PM
-------------------------------------------

I'm guessing you're referring to the rumoured courtship of Hudson at 2B. Let's be honest - the team is currently growing towards being competitive, not its' prime. Which Opening-day lineup would seem better suited to that purpose?

2B- Hudson
SS- Guzman
3B- Zimmerman
1B- Johnson
LF- Willingham
RF- Dukes
CF- Milledge
C - Flores
P - Olsen

- or -
SS- Guzman
CF- Milledge
3B- Zimmerman
1B- Johnson
LF- Willingham
RF- Dukes
C - Flores
2B- Hernandez
P - Olsen

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Not so fast, Mr. M. I *know* you know that means he'll be here in 2011.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

506: Don't get me wrong - I'd love to see Hernandez / Gonzalez get a fair shot in ST. It's just that the statistics suggest that if Hudson is available, you get him on-board.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

ce: I'm more concerned that now he'll be invloved in an off-season trade. Yikes!!

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

somewhat overlooked aspect of Hudson's game: He puts up enough flashy plays to keep the fans in the game, which is no small trick for the Nationals. With Zimm, and the occasional Willie Harris OF dive, even watching them get beat like rugs might not be a total loss.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

somewhat overlooked aspect of Hudson's game: He puts up enough flashy plays to keep the fans in the game, which is no small trick for the Nationals.

There is that to consider as well, from a pure ESPN-highlight aspect.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Plus, they call him O-Dog. (They do call him that, right? It's not just that bozo on ESPN who calls everybody named Orlando O-Dog?) Cool nicknames are always fun.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 27, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I would rather see

SS- Guzman
CF- Milledge
3B- Zimmerman
1B- Johnson
LF- Willingham
RF- Dukes
C - Flores
2B- Hernandez
P - Olsen

And I'm being completely honest about it. Mediocrity or failure is far easier to swallow when it's by kids learning the game than when it's by old vets who, while dynamic, can't win the game by themselves.

Dunn is tolerable at first, because he doesn't hold anyone up in the system with Marrero's delays and dubious abilities with a glove. Hudson is not, since we have young talent that we need to be evaluating now. He slows down the Plan, no matter how much I would enjoy watching him play.

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

506: Fair enough; A straight-up call - I appreciate that.
BTW, I detest Dunn as a 1B, but admit to looking a him as a short-term answer at 1B (even though he's less-than-good there).

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

bold prediction: the yankees miss the playoffs and zim,dukes and lastings as a group we'll double their homerun output

Posted by: bford1kb | December 27, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I would shed no tears if Dunn didn't come here. I only mention him as an olive branch to those who want to see some change now.

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Along 506's line - The next wave.
Who do you think will make the next step up in the National's orginization? Eligible players would include non-regulars in 2008, and any minor-leaguers currently in the system. Name as many as you think will make the everyday lineup (or roster, from minors) for 2009 & beyond.

My list (top-10):
Anderson Hernandez (2B)
Jordan Zimmermann (SP)
Craig Stammen (SP/RP)
Bill Rheinhart (1B)
Jason Maxwell (OF)
Alberto Gonzalez (SS)
Zech Zinicola (RP)
Cory VanAllen (SP)
Leonard Davis (LF-3B)
Ross Detwiler (SP)

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I know I tire some or maybe all of you but I have to ask..........looking at this list......
My list (top-10):
Anderson Hernandez (2B)
Jordan Zimmermann (SP)
Craig Stammen (SP/RP)
Bill Rheinhart (1B)
Jason Maxwell (OF)
Alberto Gonzalez (SS)
Zech Zinicola (RP)
Cory VanAllen (SP)
Leonard Davis (LF-3B)
Ross Detwiler (SP)

Does anyone see any talent at all? I could be very wrong but I do not see anyone who would start on a winning team.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

JayB, I see quite a few names that would start on a minor league winning team. "Talent" is not made over night.

This year we will see Hernandez, Zimmermann, Rheinhart, Gonzalez, Zinicola, and Van Allen, I think. Poor Maxwell doesn't stand much chance behind our glut of outfielders unless some trades are made.

Posted by: Section506 | December 27, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Rationale -

My list (top-10):
Anderson Hernandez (2B)- If no replacement signed (Hudson).
Jordan Zimmermann (SP)- #4-5 come July at latest.
Craig Stammen (SP/RP) - Replaces Estrada in May / June.
Bill Rheinhart (1B) - Gets opportunity no later than September, barring additional signing.
Jason Maxwell (OF) - Best opportunity via trade.
Alberto Gonzalez (SS) - MI injury callup (June).
Zech Zinicola (RP) - 1st option if either Hanrahan or Rivera stumbles.
Cory VanAllen (SP) - 2nd option if SP falters.
Leonard Davis (LF-3B) - Currently better suited elsewhere.
Ross Detwiler (SP) - 3rd option for SP problems.


Posted by: BinM | December

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

BiM:

Not to beat a dead horse (something I'm good at), but I don't think there's one position player on that list that ever plays a significant role - 350+ ABs - on a winning Nats team. I hope I'm wrong. Circumstances may dictate that Hernandez gets a lot of ABs this year, so I guess you could say he's "next". If the Nats have all those guys on their roster in 2009 or 2010, that means they aren't very good offensively.

As far as the pitchers go, Zimmermann and Detwiler will both get significant innings sometime in the next two years. I think we'll see Stammen as a 7th inning guy too. They should be positive additions.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 27, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh I agree on a minor league team.....I just do not see MLB talent....very different thing.....and then Starting MLB talent that is a whole different level. Where is our Wiethers, Price, Leister, Beckmen, Posey.....every team has top talent that you can see even when they are in Single A at age 18 or 19.......we have none. Zero........

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

JayB: I'm glad you've found an outlet for your anger management therapy here. Please, by all means let loose your agressive tendencies & vent here if it saves someone from suffering harm somewhere down the line.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

JayBeee, I'm still clueless as to what you're getting at with the MASN-missile connection, but whatev. It makes no less sense than any of the other bombastic drivel I've seen you post in the month or so I've been around here. If you hate the Nationals so much and can see no talent anywhere in the organization, why don't you just pick some other team to watch? I hear you can get a package on DirecTV that will let you watch every MLB game. Why not do that, and then you won't even have to aim any of your missiles at MASN.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take on a honest view of Nats Talent and progress on a Plan.....sorry if I am not optimistic.....draft a real talent and sign the talent you draft and have your MLB peers take notice...have Baseball America rank your prospects in the top 100 and then I'll be happier...thanks for your concern for all I come in contact with….

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@4: Probably not, but given my caveats, Hernandez, JZimm, Stammen & maybe Rheinhart could play parts in 2009; If we get much deeper than that , heaven help us again.
My greater point being, the farm system is getting close to bearing some fruit; Its' significance will be determined over the next 2-3 years.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

JayB: AC was the only 1st rounder (real talent) not signed by the Nationals since the Lerners' took charge - wassa matta, you related?
The Nationals' jumped from 30th to 9th in BaseballAmerica's overall minor-league ratings for 2008; the 2009 ratings are due in April. A reason why BA didn't have a Washington National player in the top-100 is that Lannan (Topps' ROY-2009) and others got called up to the big club.

Try looking at the 'big-picture' before you fire another broadside at the orginization, and its' fans.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

JayB: Oops, forgot you're already a 'fan' (season tickets since 2005, and all that). O.K., that buys you the right to be cranky, 'cause the overall on-field play hasn't been good lately, but it should end there.

Try not to bust on anything & everything the club does (or is unable to do) to improve the overall (not just the ML) system.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I thought he was kidding at first. TGHP, am I missing the snark or do you really not recognise the reference to another Before Chico poster, An Briosca Mar (ABM for short)? Not that you should have to, it's just ironic, given your handle and ABM's occasional tendencies to rant.

***************
JayBeee, I'm still clueless as to what you're getting at with the MASN-missile connection, but whatev.
Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 4:01 PM
-------------
I'll agree with ABM on this one....MASN and MASN HD experience provides the worst picture quality of all your channel options.
Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 11:37 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Detwiler - ranked 51 in 2008

Lannan would have been ranked higher than Detwiler, if not for this little thing about pitching in the Majors fulltime.

Detwiler was a top 100.

Lannan, Dukes, Milledge would have all been top 100 as well(and have been in the past, in Milledge's case), if they actually spent time in our Minors last year. but they don't count, since they are full-time Major Leaguers at age 24.

Jack McGeary would be a top-100, but due to the deal we gave him, he doesn't pitch enough. McGeary was a projected first-round pick that fell to round six *not because of talent*, but because it was ASSUMED that he would never sign with anyone, and was 99% going to play baseball at Stanford. the Nats took the chance on him, and got him to sign. McGeary was one of the top 2 or 3 pitchers in his draft class, talent-wise.

Marrero would have been a top 100 as well, but he lost the majority of his season to injury.

Zimmermann should be a top 100 rated prospect this year.

but the fact is this...

another fact is..the majority of our system's big talent is in the lower-half of the system. Potomac and below. the majority of AA and AAA prospects are remnants of the old Expos system that was bled dry by MLB. it's going to take another draft or two before we start to fill AA with *our own* prospects.

to criticize our farm system operations and the way the Lerners have done things on the minor-league side, for anything other than simply not signing Aaron Crow is ludicrous at best.

and anyone who does so is being ridiculously short-sighted, in the name of "trying to find something to complain about".

Posted by: MrMadison | December 27, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I wonder that myself about a lot of folks here, including me sometimes, but here's the thing with that: By that logic, if you hate the posters here that much, what are you doing reading them? Just scroll on past.
I don't often agree with him, and I spell better than he does, but the haterade drivel usually manifests as ad hominem attacks on someone making a point, or more often, someone failing to recognise the wisdom of one's superior argument. And Jaybeee isn't the one doing that, here.
Just sayin.

*******
If you hate the Nationals so much and can see no talent anywhere in the organization, why don't you just pick some other team to watch? I hear you can get a package on DirecTV that will let you watch every MLB game. Why not do that, and then you won't even have to aim any of your missiles at MASN.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 4:01 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"I thought he was kidding at first. TGHP, am I missing the snark or do you really not recognise the reference to another Before Chico poster, An Briosca Mar (ABM for short)? Not that you should have to, it's just ironic, given your handle and ABM's occasional tendencies to rant."

Huh? Are you talking to me? As I said upthread, I've not been here long. My handle is one I came up with for the Post's On Faith blog, and this registration system forces me to use it here too. I'll not bore you with an explanation of what it means. If you care, I'm sure you can dig it up over at the other blog.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Man, I've always wanted a cool nickname.

************
Plus, they call him O-Dog. (They do call him that, right? It's not just that bozo on ESPN who calls everybody named Orlando O-Dog?) Cool nicknames are always fun.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 27, 2008 2:50 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

CEvansJr, are you accusing me of hating the posters here? Don't know where you're getting that. I just don't understand why someone who claims to love good baseball but can't seem to find anything but bad things to say about the Nats just doesn't move on to another team. There are after all 29 of them, one just up the road a bit, and the others readily available on TV.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

How about CE-Dog? :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

As a nickname, I meant (clarification due to intervening post, or CDIP).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Yup.
I figured it was a Dickens reference, and a fairly clever one at that. We get a lot of that in here. I used to have a bunch myself--as close to a cool nickname as I'm going to get, apparently **sigh**--but I'm too lazy to re-register any of them.
But that's beside the point. His reference was to something you don't happen to know about. Now you know.


**********
Huh? Are you talking to me? As I said upthread, I've not been here long. My handle is one I came up with for the Post's On Faith blog, and this registration system forces me to use it here too. I'll not bore you with an explanation of what it means. If you care, I'm sure you can dig it up over at the other blog.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 5:03 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 1a, but "you old C-dog!" just doesn't seem like me, somehow. Anyway, I'm more of a cat guy.
"Section 3, my couch" doesn't really roll off the tongue, and anyway it wouldn't fit on the jersey.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 27, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

MrM: Detwiler is top-100, Lannan 'would' have been top-100 - agreed; Milledge, Dukes = not eligible. I agree that RZimm was a 'miss', but McGeary & Marrero didn't post enough IP to qualify.

Posted by: BinM | December 27, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

That was one of the best monikers ever, ce.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

ABM is good at screen names, not sure who he thinks he fools though.......

I was a season ticket holder before the Lerners took this team to joke status with Fick and then 102 loses the next year. This is my team and want to see good baseball again. Period.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 27, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I think Lannan was still a rookie last year. He pitched 34 2/3 innnings in 2007, so I think he did not lose eligibility. I even think he was named Rookie LHP starter on one of the 2008 rookie teams. The reason he was not on the BA top 100 in 2008 was because he was not regarded as a top prospect. Just a young lefty junkballer. Looking at the BA top 100 for 2008, we had Marrero (27), Detwiler (51), and Balester (86). ESPN (Law) also had Detwiler at 51, Marrero at 64, Zimmerman at 83, and Smoker at 90.

With Marrero taking a step back due injury and a below expectation season before his injury, I'm not sure how many top 100 position prospects we would have. I'll guess someone might rank Burgess near the bottom of the top 100, and perhaps Baseball Prospectus will be impressed with the catcher we had at Vermont, although he's a projection. The pitching is way ahead of the position players by all accounts.

I've been on the Hudson bandwagon for while. I think he solves a big problem offensively (leadoff), I do not think he blocks a real prospect, and, at 31, I don't think he's much of a risk for falling off the cliff during a 3 year, $30m contract. Having said that, I took a quick look at his defensive stats on Fangraphs, hoping to find the clincher, but I did notice a few negative stats on his defense. Could a real stat head weigh in?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 27, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure someone else has said this already, but I'm just too tired to read all 98 posts.

So what Boras is really saying is, "Jim, we never considered signing with the Nationals; we just used you to bid against the Red Sox and ultimately the Yankees."

"But you played the gave very well."

Oh yes, that was worthwhile.

Posted by: rushfari | December 27, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"So what Boras is really saying is, "Jim, we never considered signing with the Nationals; we just used you to bid against the Red Sox and ultimately the Yankees."

Boras wasn't negotiating with Bowden (or even Kasten), he was negotiating with the Lerners. That's the thing that all the Bowden-bashers and Kasten's-leaving crowd doesn't understand. There's a pecking order in the front office that delegates responsibility down from the top. Acta, Bowden and Kasten are all aware of that, and they are operating within that paradigm, just as they have been from day one of the Lerner regime. Can that organization hold, with none of the prinicipals leaving or being fired? Time will tell, but as each day passes without it coming apart, it's beginning to look more and more like the management order on this team is going to hold. Better get used to it, I'd say.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

These are the best of times. These are the worst of times.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 27, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to take a brief moment here to say that I'm thankful that the Reds managed to sign Willy "I hate walks and high slugging percentages, but I will entice you with my speed" Taveras to a 2 year deal, sparing us from Bowden signing him and taking valuable at-bats away from Milledge or Dukes. I am afraid that Corey Patterson's presence might do that, but he only signed a minor league deal so there is hope...

Posted by: Offense-offensive | December 27, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Well done, Jeeves. The entire passage could be applied as well, I think:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 27, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I usually disagree with JayBee about most things. He really has exhibited an appalling lack of baseball knowledge.

That out of the way, I just want to burst his bubble about MASN/MASN2. When this nonsense started four years ago, we were all upset that the DC folks had been screwed over by Angelos and that this really had been a great idea that would pay off for Peter the Troll, giving him a truly sweet deal. There were discussions about turning it into a true regional sports network, emphasizing the LaCrosse powerhouses that exist with the local colleges, both Nats & O's discussions, regularly scheduled, maybe MD state HS tournaments/championships in Baseball, Football, Basketball, etc. Basically, it was a real opportunity. After four years, I see two possibilities:

1. This has been a four year shakedown cruise and we are going to see the real MASN/MASN2, all HD in the upcoming year.

2. Peter the Troll has proven that he is incapable of actually providing a first class operation at any level, and just like the Os (now doomed to no better than fourth place for at least another five years) has turned a likely golden goose into goose....

I vote for option 2.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 27, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

By the way, the way I see it, Boras never actually considered anyone but the Yankees for Tex. It's been a long time (for the Bombers) since their last World Series victory. Neither ARod or Jeter is getting any younger. Beyond the F/A signings, their pitching staff (especially without Pettite) is suspect and, great as he is, MR has been seriously lit up more over the past couple of years than ever before. He may be just about ready to have a fork stuck in him.

IMHO, Boras managed to sell the proposition that Tex really wanted to win, now. I think that he managed to flip the situation on its head. He convinced the Yankees that they needed him to win, now. I wish him the best of luck, but it is entirely possible that he may spend the last six years of that contract with a club that is struggling to make the playoffs each year.

But then, I'd love to see the buyout / option clauses in that contract.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 27, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"1. This has been a four year shakedown cruise and we are going to see the real MASN/MASN2, all HD in the upcoming year."

Well, we know that ain't happening. They've already announced that they will broadcast 80 O's games and 80 Nats games in HD, like that's some momentous thing. But all it really means is that they'll need to grab a dedicated HD channel for MASN on each of their cable partners, instead of squatting on MOJO or the like as they did last year for their paltry HD offering. But on the standard def side, which is where they'll need to show all 162 games for both teams, it will surely be the same as last year. MASN2 won't really exist as a second channel, they'll just grab space on some other channel and call it MASN2 whenever there are two games to broadcast at the same time. In other words, (Orioles) business as usual. Bank on it. You know Angelos will.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 27, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

C50, once again the voice of baseball wisdom.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 28, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

NEW POST!, PLEASE.

Something, anything.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 28, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, I can't add anything to this post.

Posted by: Section506 | December 28, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Perfect natsfan1a1-seems to work all the way through.
Catcher 50, the only problem with the Yankees decline with that of their aging stars is they will just go out and BUY new ones. Then again, how many World Series have they been in over the last several years! We can only hope.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 28, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Don't recall whether this was posted already. Good news: Super Willie is #1 on list of top 10 bargain free agents. Bad news: LoDuca is #10 on list of top 10 busts, and piece points out that LoDuca, Mackowiak, Estrada, and Boone [AB?!] signings negated the Harris bargain.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pagetwo.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 28, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

I should add that the top 10 lists were for the hitters category.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 28, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

...and that there are some former Nats, and some who were proposed as Nat pickups in hot stove days of yore, listed (guess which Nats and which list). As for current Nats, uh, do minor league teams count?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 28, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

49 days to pitchers and catchers.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 28, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

yay!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 28, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Tracee, Chico, the ghost of Svrluga past: Will somebody please feed the hamsters?

Posted by: BinM | December 28, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Can't help with a new post, but how about some opinions (I asked this question a while back, but nobody responded, then a new post came about):

What are the thoughts of Signing Andy Pettit (if he choses not to retire)?

If offered a contract, how long and how much?

The Yank-me's only offered a million for a one year deal, but apparently withdrew it.

A guy who can teach the new arms how to win would be a good thing, if he has an interest in such a deal...

Posted by: TimDz | December 28, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

TimDz:

It may have just been a typo on your part, but the Yanks offered him $10 million for one year, not $1 million. For that price, I don't think I'd do it. Plus, why on earth would he come here for any price? My guess would be that he has only a couple of years left. He's got to want a team that will contend in '09.

Thanks at least for giving us something to chat about.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 28, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

db:

That was a brain cramp...my mind was saying 10 million, but my fingers typed a million...

I still believe the Nats need pitcher that can lay claim to top in the rotation...

Posted by: TimDz | December 28, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank the heavens, something to discuss - Pettitte = not with the Nationals (sorry, TimDz), for a couple of reasons. Reason 1) the Nationals are building from the bottom-up, and a 36-y.o. LHSP doesn't fit the profile, 2) He's represented by the brothers Hendricks (the team that brought us Mssr. Crow); enough said.

Byrd or Garland would make more sense from the FA pool (should cost less), but I don't think the Nats are going to go that way - Look for a trade instead for a SP.

Posted by: BinM | December 28, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Pettit just doesn't fit and the $ has nothing to do with it.

He is not a pitching coach (we already have one of those) and doesn't seem the "leader" type, which doesn't even make sense given where the Nats are in the building (hopefully) process. By the way, if you are looking for a spot for a veteran, been there, done that, pitcher to bolster your staff, the Rays are a much better fit.

Much more likely to go with one of the LA teams (remember Torre was his Manager for a number of years, so I would lean towards the Dodgers). If he decides to come back, it will be with a team looking to add one more piece (or one of a very few pieces) on the way to the playoffs.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 28, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@ jcampbell1. I know what you are saying about the Bombers just buying the next great star, but, except for the 90s, that has not really been the case.

Remember both ARod and Jeter were not guarantees. Oddly enough, historically (and by that I mean: if it ain't 50 years old, it's news not history) the Yankees spent their money on a good minor league system (including KC, after it got into the AL), and plugged in key individuals, when they were needed and became available, for short terms. To wit: Country Slaughter, Johnny Mize, Bob Cerv, etc. Most of their products were home grown: Gehrig, Ford, Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, Howard, etc. They simply outspent other clubs on infrastructure, scouting, minor league development, etc. As I understand it, that is, essentially, what the Lerners are trying to do.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 28, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

BiM:

I understand the thought that they ought to trade for a SP. I guess I just don't see how that gets done. SPs aren't cheap, and the valuable pieces they have are SP prospects, Zim, Dukes, Milledge. That's about it. I wouldn't be in favor of trading any of those. I don't think a package of the questionable position players - Johnson, Kearns, one of the MIs - is going to return any pitcher we'd be particularly excited about. Our only hope might be another fire sale like Olsen.

As for Byrd and/or Garland, They'd be great to get. It seems like Byrd would be about $7-8 million per and Garland $12 million. It would take pressure off the youngsters since they both are good for 180 innings.

The only question I have - with Byrd particularly who seems like a gamer - is why would they sign here for 2-3 years? I think the Nats would need overpay to convince them. Would that be smart?

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 28, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

BibM: No apologies needed and the nugget about the bros. Hendrick prety much seals the deal (I was not aware of that).

I would agree (and it seems like the consensus is that another SP is needed) that another SP is needed. I just fear that the FO will go cheap again and will start looking through the scrap heap. Garland and Byrd are logical choices in the FA pool, but who is available via trade? Peavy...ain't happening in my book, but who else is on the block?

Posted by: TimDz | December 28, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

BinM...not BibM...I need a bigger keyboard or smaller fingers...

Posted by: TimDz | December 28, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Having been out of town for several days, I haven't been able to keep up with NJ. However, I am not surprised in the least about losing MT to the NYY. I've always thought the chances were remote at best. Perhaps Dunn will be the answer, perhaps not. I'd just as soon see Nick (healty I hope) Johnson manning the 3 position as anyone. If I had my druthers, I would want the pitching positions firmed up with some decent arms. Beyond that, a stroke of good luck with the injury bug is just what Santa needs to have delivered 3 days ago. GO NATS...get the hot stove burning...

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 28, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice little article comparing Odalis Perez and Oliver Perez. If our old OP could be had for less than $5 million, I would not mind bringing him back.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/lesser-alternatives

I am of the opinion that no spot in the rotation should be conceded to a pitcher who has not pitched at least a full season in AA/AAA (Jordan Zimmermann), but that seems to be the direction we are going in.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 28, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Since you asked....

Here is infor on Hudson, (courtesy of info from Bill James 2009 Book). Hudson was fifth in the Fielding Bible awards behind Phillips, Ellis, Utley, and Pedroia. However, his range factor has dropped over the past few years and this past year his range factor was 4.82 which put him at 18th of 28 2b who played enough to be listed as starters. (Anderson was 5.02. FLOP was 4.68, and Belliard 4.43). In 2007 Hudson was 4.91 (16h). I believe he is a former gold glove winner. Range is just one factor, so it would be incorrect to assume that Hudson is only an average 2B. Double play capability and fielding percentage are also indicators. Ian Kinsler had the best range factor among 2b starters last year, but also had 18 errors and and a .974 fielding percentage. His statistics for double plays and pivots are among the best in the NL.

Other things from Bill James: Hudson was a +2 baserunner in 2008 (meaning just a littel above average, but had been +13 in 2007 so health probably limited him in both the field and on bases. He earned 17 win shares last year in just 107 games (comprared to 26 for Pedroia and 34 for Pujols who both played full years).

So all in all Hudson is an above average fielding second baseman with average range and above average double play skills. He is an average to above average baserunner, he has good on base averages for each of the last three years, and steals rarely but his % was over .80 each of the past two years. He's a switch hitter who hits better from the right side, but is decent against lefties.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 28, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

jcaTBNL, I don't think anyone in the Nats' organization is ceding a roster spot to Jordan Zimmermann. (I remember the quote about Balester -- who *has* pitched a whole season above AA -- not being awarded a spot.) It's just that when we nattering nabobs look at who will fill the 4th and 5th slots, we're limited to the names we know. We don't know who will be signed or traded for, so we default to Martis/Zimmmmm/whatever other name we know from the bushes.

I do think that Zimmermann should be given the chance to compete for a rotation spot in spring training, but he should only prevail if he's the clear choice -- the presumption, in his case, is that a year at AAA is best for him.

Thanks to bisquit for researching Hudson. I found the last sentence confusing, so to clear up for everyone else: Hudson is better as a left-handed batter against right-handed pitchers. (I'm not used to calling batting left-handed "the right side;" maybe y'all are.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 29, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

If they get a big-name SP it would have to be for attendance and marketing, not a "baseball decision." A one- or two-year "rental" before he goes elsewhere works for a team ready to win. Even Peavy, who's only 28 and figures to have several good years in front of him, probably doesn't stay here long enough to be here when they need him, and a long term contract that would keep him here doesn't make much business sense.

Maybe by July, if the Nats are 51-30 we'll find out that all these young guys matured at the same time, and then you get somebody like that (they'll be available).

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 29, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I would prefer to go with Hernandez over Hudson. I'm not saying he is better overall, but Hernandez is an excellent defensive player, better than Hudson at this point. In a very limited debut with the Nats, (81 at bats), he had a BA of 330, an OBA of 407, and 17 RBI's. As a prospect he had good projectability and apparently he's doing exceptionally well in Arizonia. He might be the type of player the Nats can build with.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 29, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Jeeves

I like the Hudson pick up, if we can move Hernandez to Short and use Gonzalez as back up. The thing is that Guzman is lesser version of Hernandez, so it's hard to justify carrying them both. In the way Willigham is a lesser Adam Dunn. Both are good signing but only if we flip their Jr. Versions for pitching at which point we are firmly entrenched in pipe dream land.

Given that we are still definitely rebuilding I'm not sure that it isn't a good idea to try Gonzalez and Hernandez to see what they can do, and get someone to back them up. Florida have Uggla and Ramirez so they may be willing to part with this kid they have whose a defensive whizz called Bonafacio. That is, if 'The Plan' means anything. Wait...

Posted by: soundbloke | December 29, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

In terms of an addition to the starting rotation, I was thinking more of a pitcher that can 1) anchor a staff & keep them out of 8-game losing streaks, 2) give the team 30+ starts & 190+ innings, with a reasonable WHIP & ERA. Cabrera can't do that, imo.

Posted by: BinM | December 29, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Since the subject of 2B has come up I thought it might be interesting to apply Bill James' Major League Equivalent formula to Anderson Hernandez' AAA stats to give us an idea of what we might expect from him. He's had 1708 AAA at bats, so you'd think it would be a pretty good indicator. According to the formula, if AH gets 500 at bats this year, this is what he'll probably do:

ABs:500
H:111
2B: 16
3B: 5
HR: 3
RBI:33
BB: 28
BA: .222
OBA: .263
SLG: .293

There's a reason it only took Luis Ayala to pry him away from the Mets.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 29, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The Nats need to KNOW that they are MUCH better going into 2009. For that reason I am for signing Hudson and Dunn if they can get them. I like Hernandez and Johnson and would love to see both have full season success in a Nats uniform, but you really can't count on either one. Hernandez should be on the team regardless, while Johnson probably would have to leave if Dunn or another 1B was acquired.

The Nats can be 20 games better next year (that would be 79 wins) and still finish in fourth/fifth place. You can argue that given where they are starting from, they should not invest in free agency, or you can argue (as I do) that this is the best year to invest in free agency - while the market is down. If the Nats approach a .500 record this year, their attendance could/should actually go up. As bad as the economy is in other areas of the country, it should be relatively stable here in the land of federal jobs. Buy some players now, keep growing players in the farm system, and hope to add another 10-20 wins in 2010 to make it into contention.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 29, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

bisquit: I'd be on-board for Hudson, but admit that Dunn still gives me heartburn defensively. If both could be signed to signed to 2 or 3-year deals, ok.

We'll see over the next 30 days or so if anything comes of it.

Posted by: BinM | December 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

And there is lies the real disaster of the 2008 season. We were horrific, but not young enough to justify it as a step towards a brighter future.

If we become reactionary and abandon our youthful expansion all we do is become the Orioles. There have been plenty of players who have had a bad year or two in their development and Hernandez might just be one of them.

We are not going to develop into a great team to compete in the year x if we have veterans like Hudson and Guzman in the middle of our team. Maybe one, but not both. If we do compete for a World Series in four years we cannot say at this point that Milledge/Hernandez/Gonzalez/Dukes will not have grown into the sort of players we need. What we can say for certain is that Hudson/Guzman/Kearns/Willighma will most certainly not be there. So why have them hanging around eating payroll? Because there will be a fan revolt unless the ownership "show" they are willing to spend money? That is no way to run a team. Build or compete. Simple as that. Farting around inbetween those options lead to season like last year and players like Paul Lo Duca being on your team.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks like folks on NJ are having to make due with week old news. While somewhere around the WAPO Sports Desk the brain-trust continues to find a way to create another miserable angle on a completed Redskins season. Man thank the lord the NFL only plays 16 games, enough is enough already! Sure looking forward to watching the MLB Network starting at 6PM on 1 Jan 2009. Check with your local cable operator to see if they are offering it. DTV Channel 213 and Verizon FIOS channel 86 has been confirmed as local carriers.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 29, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

You can type in your zip code here to find out where (if) you can get MLB Network in your area:

http://mlbn.viewerlink.tv/

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 29, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Tippy: Yeah, they haven't fed or watered us in a while - the community is starting to eat their young.

In Prince William, MLB network is Comcast 280. Regular baseball programming, classic game replays, all ramping up towards ST - yea!

Posted by: BinM | December 29, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I understand the warning against signing veterans, but neither Hudson nor Dunn will be blocking prospects for 2009. Possibly they would be in 2010, but then you can trade them. Dunn was not offered arbitration so he costs you nothing in the the draft. Someone will take him in a pennant race later at 2009 prices while returning a prospect. Hudson will be 32 entering the 2010 season so he's not exactly old.

The tradgedy that befell the Orioles (besides Angelos) was that they chose poorly and executed badly. They bought one dimensional old players and failed to move them while they still had value. (Although you could argue that their return on Tejada, Beddard, and Hernandez has been pretty good). If they had any kind of pitching at all, and were not in the AL East, they would be pretty decent. Huff, Roberts, Markakis, and Wieters make a decent core group. But I digress....

The Nats need to demonstrate a willingness to bring major leaguers in now so that the young players don't implode before they can mature. Zimmerman, Milledge, Dukes, etc... need support. Even 'The Plan' calls for adding a few freee agents along the way. Execute the plan.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 29, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Plan calls for signing free agents where you don't have a viable youngster. Hudson blocks Hernandez. Unless you put Hernandez at short and scrap Guzman. Center field (given the assumption that Milledge moves to left) is a place where a free agent might make sense. The rotation could use a veteran. Dunn, makes sense as there is no one else to play there.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 29, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The thing is, I don't think you can scrap Guzman. He signed a below-market contract as an act of good will because he stunk in 2005, missed 2006 (remember Royce Clayton?), and was on the shelf for half of 2007.

We all see how the national baseball media view the Nationals organization. From the Dominican investigations to the Crow mess, there's a perceived lack of credibility. The coverage of the Nats (or lack thereof) during the Teixeira sweeps only amplified this. Trading Guzman could further sully this reputation.

Plus, do they even want to trade him? He's a cheap, short-term shortstop who gives you below average range, but might just hit .316 again. Would they really consider moving Guzman and playing Hernandez there?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 29, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

While killing time at work today I did some noodling with Dunn's stats. Here is his average season over the last five years:
BA .249
OB .388
SLG .533
HR 41
RBI 100
That .921 on-base plus slugging average over the past five seasons would rank him 12th among all active players.
Sure, he's a defensive liability -- but so are/were Willy Mo and Da Meat Hook, and they played just about every day without generating anywhere near that kind of productivity.
If the Nats can sign Dunn for three years at $33 million to $36 million, I say plug that left-handed stick into LF or 1B and trade the leftover parts for some 2B or bullpen help.

Posted by: NearNative | December 29, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

And acquiring an FA centerfielder requires a lot more than just moving Milledge to left. It means finding a way to cram five outfielders (Dukes, Kearns, Milledge, Pena, and Willingham) into two slots.

We can talk about trading Kearns until we're blue in the face, but is it really going to happen? What's the trade market like for a guy like that? Probably about the same as the market for Pena, which is to say nonexistent.

Pena and Kearns had bad years on the worst team in baseball. They have one-year contracts (Kearns has a club option for 2010) ranging from $2 million (Pena) to $5.83 million (Kearns). Both were injured last year, and neither hit over .220.

My hunch is they'll put Pena on waivers and if no one bites, they'll buy him out. I think you can find a way to get Dukes, Milledge, Kearns, and Willingham into an acceptable platoon situation. But adding a CF means another move would have to be made.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 29, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

And reality slaps my dreams again.

I think shipping Guzman off would be a PR mistake as well, which is why I can't justify signing Hudson. So we are stuck with him.

And no, I guess Kearns can't be traded (child like pouting at computer monitor). He can certainly be benched though. He is also an example of this half committing to the The Sacred Plan that has been marring this whole organization.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 29, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Gnu post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 29, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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