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Sweep. Four Games. "See Ya."

My oh my, stakes are high for the Nats. Sure, they haven't yet gotten word on their $160 million potential investment, but while they wait, they're at least getting an equally hefty dose of, um, bravado.

Every month, Washington pitcher Collin Balester appears on a satellite radio show (MLB Home Plate, Sirius 210 and XM 175). It's called "Minors & Majors with Grant Paulsen." When Paulsen asked Ballester this week about his feelings if the Nationals sign Mark Teixeira, here's what Balester said...

"If that happens it's going to be a dream come true. That guy is a great player and if he comes to the nation's capitol, watch out, we're going to the World Series and we are winning it all. I'm calling it right now. We're playing four games in the World Series, sweep, see ya!"

(The small print on this item: For all the grandeur of Teixeira's first six seasons, he's never played for a team that has won a playoff series.)

In Teixeira news of a less bombastic proportions, it does indeed look like the Angels are out of the running for good. The team has confirmed it without hedging. As Buster Olney writes in his blog today, "It seems that the [Teixeira] game has played itself out, the last cards have been dealt, and now Teixeira is in position to make his decision."

By Chico Harlan  |  December 22, 2008; 12:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Larkin's New Gig

Comments

Hey Chico, is there any way that you guys at The Post could set up a text message option so any of us who sign up for it can get a quick alert when Teixeira signs with someone, whoever it might be? I think they do this with Skins news that is much less momentous, and something like this would be especially great over the holidays when many of us may be away from regular Net access.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 22, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

This is worth a read:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/teixeira-angels-games-2263331-first-series

Posted by: BobLHead | December 22, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Collin is either clueless or a blind homer. Even if the nats get Texiera they will be lucky to play 500 baseball. Worst roster in the MLB

Posted by: beas13 | December 22, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Collin, Collin, Collin...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I like his youthful enthusiasm but, ahem...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

You're an idiot, beas13. Obviously he was being just a little tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing.

Posted by: hokieg35 | December 22, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I love this. I'm sure he was joking, but it is good fun. It does show what a guy can do to energize a clubhouse. It also shows that the owners will spend money. I hope it happens. We had a bad team last year, but the team that was on the field was the team we thought were going to be on the field. If Zimm, Milledge, Dukes etc can play 155 games together next year, this team will be fine. People thought we could win 75-85 games last year and I don't know what changes if we can stay healthy. We will be competitive. It's baseball anything can happen. Every team has a chance in spring training.

Posted by: brothbart | December 22, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"You gotta have heart, miles and miles and miles of heart..."

Bally does not suffer from a cardiac insufficiency!

Posted by: ramgut | December 22, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ballester doesn't read this. Oh BTW perception is usually 50% of the game, what's it gonna take to fix this?

g. Good for Boston. Good for Anaheim. In this economy, should a baseball player be paid more than $20 million a year?

h. I'd love to have Mark Teixeira on my team. But at what price? Scott Boras is brilliant at creating leverage, but just because he creates it, it doesn't mean a baseball team has to knuckle under to it. Life goes on.

i. I want to be in the room when Teixeira signs with Washington and looks at Boras and says: "Are you kidding me? You've sentenced me to play for the Washington National for the rest of my career?''

Source: Peter King Monday Morning QB CNNSI page 6.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 22, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I believe that beas is more like a troll, hokie.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yea, BobL, a nice read. Kotchman at one time was a highly rated prospect, but just has not developed the power. Sometimes, the stretch drive gamble works, even if you do lose the guy. Best, of course from my world view, was the 2004 Garciaparra and Murton for O Cabrera and Mientkiewicz. Is that how the Expos got Brendan Harris and one of the Alex Gonzalezes? Here's not hoping Reagins drafts well with the compensation pick.

Tex of course only requires giving a 2d round pick in trade for the Nats. That's a projection, not yet a high rated prospect.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 22, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

And not to be cruel but it's not that far off from some of the optimistic ramblings we come up with on this board.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bob Carpenter is reading these quotes and nodding his head as he prepares to anticipate the call of his first double-play-turned-forceout of the spring.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 22, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Heck yes Collin. How do you not want your players to be like that? Of the 750 major league players who take the field (or bench) on Opening Day....every single one of them should be saying, "We're winning the World Series this year!"

In today's game, it's so easy for players to get caught up in the "job" aspect of it - show up, get paid, go home. Here's a young kid showing some life in a team that lost 102 games last year. I'd rather read this than, "Yea, I don't know how big of a difference he'll make...I mean we were so bad last year that no matter what ownership does, it just doesn't look good."

I want my 22 y.o. stud to take the rubber every 5 days with the attitude that I'm going to absolutely shove it today.

To heck with anybody who doesn't read these comments and get genuinely excited.

I'm not saying we have to go out and pimp every homerun or show-up people (sorry Elijah) but, by god, let's not actually want our young players to hope for success and show a little fire.

Posted by: Corey42 | December 22, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Corey, did you say "22 y.o. stud"? Being a bit generous there aren't we?

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"This contract for Tex is a terrible deal for a building team....

Now go get Adam Dunn and start flipping the useless flotsam for prospects one of which may, or may not, pan out. See if we can get Carlos Gonzalez (or an equivalent) and a young pitcher for any combo or Kearns, Belliard, Pena, Belliard, Hill, Guzman, and so on and so forth.

...Either way tying up 20-25 million a year when we are at best three years from being competitive will limit us terribly."

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2008 12:13 PM

I don't get this reasoning soundbloke. If the Nats are moving toward a $100-$120 payroll, paying their best player $20 million is not out of line. This is not a small market team. They aren't the D'Backs. It should not limit them. Having 17-20% of your payroll tied up in one guy is not atypical for a winning team.

Secondly, our flotsam and jetsam will not get prospects, except maybe real long shots. Other GMs aren't idiots.

Lastly, I think we all misread JimBo's evaluation of Adam Dunn. I don't think he's that enamored with him. He's not a 1B and is barely a LF. What he really is is a DH. Spending money on him to "tide us over" would truly be a waste.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 22, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

In what respect?

He was born on June 6, 1986, thus, making him 22 years old (somebody check my math please).

He was taken in the 4th round, 6'4", pushing 200 lbs, with a solid frame and 2 solid pitches while working on a 3rd. I'm not exactly calling him the second-coming, but in this organization, at this time, I think he fits the description. I mean he's certainly more studly than Odalis.

Or, you can just pick out possible (not even probable) aspects of my thought and dispute it just for the sake of disputing while completely ignoring the objective of the post.

Either way, go get 'em Collin.

Posted by: Corey42 | December 22, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The Nats need more guys with Bally's attitude.

Posted by: Hendo1 | December 22, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The Nats need more fans with Corey and Hendo's attitudes.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I was just making fun of the idea of Ballister as a stud. It implies a certain level of dominance that he might not have. Just having a laugh, no harm intended. You point stands.

Although, if I were to be contrary I would say that saying he's more of a stud than Perez is damning with faint praise.

None the less accept my humble apologies if I caused offence.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The thing about "told you so!" is, 29 teams are NOT going to win the World Series; 29 teams are NOT going to sign Teixeira. To keep going on and on about how a team that was a longshot to get its calls returned in the first place doesn't have a chance of getting him, that's like bragging about predicting the Republicans would lose. Yeah, it's the likely outcome, everybody knows it, but what's the point? "Didn't happen" is not "couldn't happen."

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 22, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Nothing wrong with dreaming Collin, shoot for the moon so you'll land amongst the stars.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 22, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Point of contention: if Tex signs with Washington, he'd be coming to the nation's capitAL, not capitOL.

Of course, maybe the only way Tex does end up in DC is to see that new visitors center...

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 22, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

If he goes to the new visitors center for a tour, he'll be coming to the Capitol!

Posted by: Section314 | December 22, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

So Boston _says_ they're out, although nobody seems to believe them; the Angels say they're out, "no, really, we mean it"; Baltimore apparently isn't offering enough, but we don't know that for sure; and the Yankees are only a presumptive bidder, mostly just because they're the Damn Yankees.

Looks to me like the Nats are drawing to 6-8-9-10.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 22, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

1. "29 teams are NOT going to win the World Series; 29 teams are NOT going to sign Teixeira." So can we say we are in the playoffs?

2. "If he goes to the new visitors center for a tour, he'll be coming to the Capitol!" Please, please, please, let's not make any more connection between our building program and the CVC building program...

Posted by: Section506 | December 22, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I haven't kept up on the news - which now has a higher pricetag, Tex or the Capitol visitors' center? ;-)

Posted by: Traveler8 | December 22, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Capitol Visitors Center has a higher price-tag, but it was spread over more years...

Posted by: Section506 | December 22, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Post of the day!

-----

I haven't kept up on the news - which now has a higher pricetag, Tex or the Capitol visitors' center? ;-)

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 22, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Any word on seeing if the Nats have upped their offer. I don't know why we have to read from other writers about what the Nats have done or not done. Does the Post do any "investigative" work when it comes to the Nats or do they just report what others have reported? Why does Buster Olney have a source inside and the Post doesn't?

Posted by: brothbart | December 22, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but Tex has the higher ticket price.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 22, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"I haven't kept up on the news - which now has a higher pricetag, Tex or the Capitol visitors' center? ;-)"

Unable to tell at this point. Capitol Visitor Center is done, Teixeira isn't done yet.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 22, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Crapgame: Hey, Oddball, this is your hour of glory. And you're chickening out!
Oddball: To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich, not some nut who takes on three Tigers.
Kelly: Nobody's asking you to be a hero.
Oddball: No? Then YOU sit up in that turret baby.
Kelly: No, because you're gonna be up there, baby, and I'll be right outside showing you which way to go.
Oddball: Yeah?
Kelly: Yeah.
Oddball: Crazy... I mean like, so many positive waves... maybe we can't lose, you're on!

Posted by: 6thandD | December 22, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Look what your negative waves did. You blew up the bridge.

Posted by: Section506 | December 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sign Tex and Dunn and 2 or 3 good pitchers, and we're somewhere in the mix. Hey, its only money !! Lerner can't take it to his grave with him. The Nats finding success will be much more a memorial to him than his shopping centers.

Posted by: PostToastie | December 22, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahhaha.....in four games.....wahahhahahhahahaha...world series....bawahahahahahahahahha.....washington nationals....bwahahahahahahaha, are you kidding me? You have not even broken .500 baseball yet. Maybe, maybe Daniel Cabrera can win 20 games, and you can ride him to a 4-0 post season record. LMAO! oh my god my side hurts. From a Boston Red Sox fan in CT.....I HOPE Tex ends up in DC. That way you can be hated by the Orioles, and we can laugh up here in New England about the President, and Texiera LOL

Posted by: capt1073 | December 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to read the post-mordem on the Tex sweepstakes. The Nats are being very quiet, it must be killing Bowden.

Was the Nats offer of 8yrs for $160 million ever confirmed? Or did they offer more and leak that it was only $160 million? Heading out to Las Vegas, the story line was that the Nats hope to blow Tex away with their offer. $160 million over 8yrs seems only like a starting point to me.

If Boras was telling the truth, then the Nats have offered more, and either:
(a) Tex wants to play for Boston, and gave them the opportunity to match or beat the Nats offer, or...
(b) Tex wants the most money he can get, and Boston has more to give.

I find it hard to believe that Boras would outright lie and overstate an offer they had received, which would be different than saying "This is how much we want to sign with you". Maybe I'm naive, but if he always lied, it would get around and no GM would ever believe him.

Posted by: psubman | December 22, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

My understanding was that Boras always lies and no GM ever believes him.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"From a Boston Red Sox fan in CT.....I HOPE Tex ends up in DC. That way you can be hated by the Orioles, and we can laugh up here in New England about the President, and Texiera LOL"

Oh Theophilus Eaton, thy wit surely provokes the stern approval of Providence!

Posted by: Section506 | December 22, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, JiM, that also sounds like Bowden.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 22, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

JiM and LDO:

Two men are at a salary negotiation and you have to choose one of their paths to get safely out of the jungle of the off-season. One of them always lies and the other one, well, he always lies, too, aw nevermind.

Posted by: Section506 | December 22, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

So, during his chat today, Wilbon agrees with a poster that the Teixeira derby has gone on too long. He's not Barry Bonds at 28, Wilbon argues, nor is he even Frank Thomas at 28.

Fair enough about Bonds, who, based purely on statistics, had one of the best careers in baseball history. He also used PEDs. So I'm just leaving that one alone. But let's look at Thomas, shall we?

In 1997, Thomas turned 28. That season, he hit .346 with a .456 OBP and .611 SLG. He hit 35 HR, 35 2B, and drove in 125 RBI.

Last season, Teixeira turned 28. He hit .308 with a .410 OBP and .552 SLG. He hit 33 HR, 41 2B, and drove in 121 RBI.

Look, a 38-point difference in BA and 46-point difference in OBP is significant, to say the least. Wilbon clearly wins the argument. And yes, given market inflation, I'm sure we'd be talking about a $200+ contract were a 28 year-old Frank Thomas available this offseason.

But consider the fact that 1997 was Thomas's eighth season. Last year was Tex's sixth. And really, the stats weren't nearly as different as I imagined they'd be.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 22, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Who knows what is going to happen but I just realized from reading Olney's blog again where the Nats say they don't think they will get Texiera. What else would they say? He's in the bag? They, too, are playing Boras' game. If the Nats say he's ours, the Sox would know the offer Boras SAYS he has is probably true and will be incented to raise their offer.

So, a front-office guy for the Nats saying 'we ain't gonna get him' means nothing.

While we might not get Texiera in spite of our best efforts (could be one of the 29 teams that don't), it is clear to me that the Lerner's made their money negotiating deals similar to this one. I'm quite sure Ted knows how to play this game and how to bluff without showing his hand.

By the way, when will it be OVER?????

Posted by: Section314 | December 22, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, JiM, there is a way to make sense out of what is going on with the leaked bids. Sheinin figured the Red Sox are sitting at about $174m. The number $184m was floated, probably by Boras, as the number he wanted from the Red Sox to do the deal last Thursday night. My guess is that $184m did not come out of thin air. My guess is that is where the Nats are at. The $195m is a number that, if anyone came in at, including the Nats, it would end the wait. The $180m that was sought from the NYY is a touch more than halfway between the $184m and $174m. Boras is trying to get one of the contending teams to get closer to the Nats offer. The Angels probably were below $174m and said, "we're out." The Red Sox statement was more, "we are not going up to $184m, or even $180m, so take those if you want."

Now I will literally go back and stare at some tea leaves (Peets Holiday Breakfast Blend - yum!).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 22, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

JiM:

Another factor that balances Thomas' and Tex's stats: scoring is down in MLB in 2008 as compared to 1997. Every run produced is therefore more valuable now.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 22, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Christmas is just three days away...tick tick

Posted by: PattyinSJ | December 22, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Collin is so FUNNY! :D I remember last year when the Nats were like 25 games under 500 and they had won 6 in a row and Collin mentioned the P word... PLAYOFFS!! That's hilarious, but hey, ANYTHING is possible, as the Rays showed, they give us HOPE!! :D WORST TO FIRST!! :-) GO NATS!! (can't wait for some baseball as the Skins season is wrapping up and Wiz suck)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 22, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats do pull of a Teixeira deal, what are the chances it gets front page attention on wapo.com?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 22, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I laugh every time a sawx fan thinks they are the opposite of the yanks. capt1073 all of those creepy laughs only leads me to believe that you are a bit insecure and a typical sawx fan. When they're good that is.

Posted by: RCT18 | December 22, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, that Balester's a funny guy! I mean, he *was* trying to be funny...right? But heck, either way, with how things are going for the 'Skins and Wiz right now, we could use some hilarity around here...especially when I'm facing the prospect of having to follow hockey until spring training begins. But personally, I think it's more likely Nick will play an entire healthy season than that Tex will land here...and that it wouldn't necessarily be such a bad thing.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | December 22, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the up coming holiday, is it too late to put in my X-mas wish list?

#1) May the Teixeira saga wrap up quickly, one way or the other.
#2) May MASN turn MASN-2 over to the Nationals.
#3) May the Nationals get a good radio package for 2009 & beyond.
#4) May all of you out there in planet NJ have a wonderful holiday, and a safe, healthy & happy New Year!

Posted by: BinM | December 22, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

beep-beep

Posted by: BinM | December 22, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Balester for President 2012!! Wait Bally would only be 25 years old. Ok Balester for President 2024!! Thats what this team needs is a front runner like Balester.
I would sign this kid to a long term deal and keep him in the organization for a lifetime.
Go Balester!! Go Nats!! WS Champs 2009.
Wow is this Spring Training 2009 going to be awesome.
With Balester's attitude, he is not only wanting to make the rotation but I am sure he is thinking about being the ACE of the staff. That is the attitude every player should have.
Bally, thanks for firing us up!!
Merry Christmas, Collin. You are a gift to the fans of the Nationals!

Posted by: Spinman | December 22, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I love Collin Balester. Its all fun with him... Do you expect him to piss and moan?
No way! He's going to enjoy his ride through life.

We can ride along with him and laugh or get hung up on reality... While you can't necessarily change certain realities, you can change your approach to reality.

Posted by: warsaw63 | December 22, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I remember being 22 the whole world ahead of you nothing is impossible, This is the only way to believe as far as I'm concerned, baseball has too many stats, and stats are all about past actions, one cannot change the past only learn from it (if one is smart). There is nothing wrong with possitivity about the comming season@!

Posted by: shikibal20 | December 22, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

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