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Teixeira, Teixeira and Teixeira

1. And so, the Mark Teixeira Sweepstakes appear to have entered their critical phase, as all Scott Boras negotiations do, in which emphatic lines are drawn, and the trick is to figure out who's bluffing and who isn't.

I'm not quite buying the notion the Red Sox are fully out of it -- they have a history of beating Boras at his endgame games, perhaps best illustrated by the example of Daisuke Matsuzaka two years ago, when the Red Sox's braintrust was getting ready to fly back to Boston and made it clear to Boras that if Matsuzaka didn't board the plane with them, it was over. Matsuzaka boarded the plane.

2. It's time to pay very close attention to the Yankees in this process. Although they are saying they have not made a bid, they also are not saying they won't. And if the Red Sox truly are out of it, that gives the Yankees all the more reason to swoop in with the high bid -- because it wouldn't require a bidding war with the Red Sox.

3. This was the lede to my story on Nov. 14:

If you thought the lowly Tampa Bay Rays vanquishing the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series last month was baseball's ultimate David-over-Goliath moment, imagine a scenario in which the Washington Nationals, losers of 102 games and immeasurable amounts of local goodwill and national reputation in 2008, went head-to-head against the Red Sox for the services of potentially the most expensive free agent in eight years -- and won.

At the time, even I found it to be far-fetched, but here we are, five weeks later, and it seems more possible than ever.

By Dave Sheinin  |  December 19, 2008; 9:51 AM ET
 
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Next: Back To Where We Were

Comments

Collective pat-on-the-back for Dave. That and $4 gets you a trip on the Metro on 1/20/09.

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

New posted, of course....

Once again, BobL is dead-center on this one. The Sox quote amounts to a "check," not a "fold."

From what I have heard, Boras' reputation for misinformation is well-earned. The fact that the Sox have blinked means to me that the moment for signing is nearing.

Either way, I love the fact that we are in the bidding this late and considered a strong candidate to land a top-flight free agent. Maybe it's the right move, and maybe it's not, but you have to love the risk-taking.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 19, 2008 9:57 AM

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

i think the entire concept of a bidding war erupting with the yankees and red sox is absurd now. there are 4 teams actively involved at well over $150 million. the war started a long time ago.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"i think plate discipline and maturity can be contagious. these guys have all been together one year. add a stud and i bet they play much better. add a second stud and soon they are all playing where they are supposed to..."

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 9:58 AM

Would your first statement were true, but it's not. The A's for instance draft guys specifically based on their college walk stats because they know it's a hard thing to teach/develop.

I agree with your second statement though. I do think guys hit somewhat better when the pressure is off. Adding Tex would have collateral benefit on Dukes', Milledge's, and Zim's hitting stats.

Posted by: db423 | December 19, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

If we get Tex, I think he should hit 3rd with Zim cleanup. A lot of people will walk Mark, so it will give Zim better pitches.

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

i believe plate discipline can be contagious. of course it has to be an issue other than talent. if you have a slow bat or terrible pitch recognition you are doomed and are better off hacking. but milledge has great bat speed.

i'm thinking young guys just need to know the entire team is working towards an approach and everyone isn't up their on their own.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

But do the Red Sox really lose if Teixeira goes to DC? He's taken out of the Angels lineup, he doesn't go to the Yankees or Orioles, and the Sox still have a ton of money to spend from the deleting Ramirez, Schilling, Crisp and maybe Varitek from the payroll.

We'll see where all this goes.

Posted by: KG523 | December 19, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

deleting "of", sorry for the typo

Posted by: KG523 | December 19, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Some of the stats folks tell us it doesn't actually matter who's hitting around him, they'll pitch to him, or not, depending on their book on him, and the situation, regardless. But if the traditional wisdom is right, Zim should get better pitches hitting in front of, not after, a power hitter, because they don't want to walk themselves into a 2-run homer.
**********
If we get Tex, I think he should hit 3rd with Zim cleanup. A lot of people will walk Mark, so it will give Zim better pitches.

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 19, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

So my lineup would be:

1 Guzman ss
2 Dukes cf
3 Teixeria (big if, obviously) 1b
4 Zimmerman 3b
5 Willingham lf
6 Milledge rf
7 Flores c
8 Hernandez 2b

Maybe flip-flop Flores and Milledge for more speed at the bottom of the lineup. To harken back to some of yesterday's conversation, I think the 'big arm in right' theory is way overrated. I think your best outfielder should be your CF (Dukes) so that too average to below-average fielders are not positioned side by side. If the RF has a great arm, fine, but separating two less-than-stellar defenders should be a higher priority.

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

No way will the Nats pay Tex 20 million plus a year and put him in the 3-hole.
__________________________________________________________

If we get Tex, I think he should hit 3rd with Zim cleanup. A lot of people will walk Mark, so it will give Zim better pitches.

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: TimDz | December 19, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

what's the obsession with hitting Dukes at the top of the order? he's a power bat, we need him in the middle.

if anything, if you insist on hitting Tex 3rd(I'd bat him 4th), then bat Dukes 4th, Zim 5th.4th.

Guzman
Milledge
Tex
Dukes
Zimmerman
Willingham
Flores
Hernandez

if Tex really has to bat third.

i'd go with this though:

Guzman
Milledge
Zimmerman
Tex
Dukes
Willingham
Flores
Hernandez

what doesn't make sense about that?

I don't understand the fascination with taking power hitters and putting them in the first 2 slots in the order. first Soriano, now Dukes.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 19, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Should Tex come to the Nats, here's the lineup I would like to see:

1-Guzman 6
2-Milledge 8
3-Teixeira 3
4-Dukes 9
5-Zimmerman 5
6-Willingham 7
7-Flores 2
8-Hernandez 4

I don't think Milledge has even close to the arm necessary for Right Field. Putting Milledge in front of Teixeira means more fastballs, which he can actually hit. Pitching around Teixeira really doesn't gain anyone anything, 'cause Dukes can mash when healthy. Zimmerman should also see some quality pitches because Willingham at least has some pop.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 19, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm hopeful of Tex getting signed but, I won't believe it until I see him on the field in a Nats uniform.

IF the Nats sign him, he has to hit 4th in front of Zim. Zim will see better pitches from the 3 hole.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 19, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"No way will the Nats pay Tex 20 million plus a year and put him in the 3-hole."

Why not? Doesn't Pujols bat third for the Cardinals? Having your best hitter bat third guarantees that he'll always come up in the first inning, and over the course of a full season will get him many more plate appearances in which to do his thing. Teixeira, who averages around 30 HR a year, is not necessarily your typical big slugger bat who automatically ends up in the cleanup spot.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 19, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"I don't understand the fascination with taking power hitters and putting them in the first 2 slots in the order. first Soriano, now Dukes."

The number crunchers argue that you should have your best all-around hitter batting second. The combo of having the leadoff man on and how many more ABs the #2 hitter gets over a season than the #4 guy (at least 30-40 extra plate appearances) puts a few more runs on the board over the long run.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | December 19, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Batting Teixeira third is so wrong-headed. You pay the guy $200 million to be the clean up guy, not hit third. You are paying him the money to get Zimmerman better pitches and make Zimmerman a better hitter and get on base in front of him, to quit putting the team on HIS still young shoulders. Manny doesn't put the same lineup out there very often, but Zimmerman hitting third was about as consistent as anything.

The name of this game is the psychology of bringing in Teixeira to boost the bottom line, to boost the spirits of the fan base and the team. To then ask Zimmerman to bat cleanup behind this guy puts undue pressure on a player who is still young and ostensibly says to him that he is on an equal footing with someone who has proven far more.

You cannot discount how much players actually believe in the concepts of who bats where. You can look at countless players who could not handle the pressure of hitting leadoff or clean up, so why chance putting Zimmerman there after something as game-changing as signing Teixeira (if it happens). Still, if they sign him Manny can bat him last and I will still be happy.

Posted by: Juliasdad | December 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Now we're counting chickens. People are putting out line ups, come on people.
STOP COUNTING CHICKENS...STOP IT..

Posted by: Berndaddy | December 19, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey Manny...how do you like all these armchair managers. Tell you what Manny, I'm gonna leave it up to you as to where he bats and just watch. In Manny I trust. Of course, that is, should we somehow luck stumble into signing Tex. If that should happen, please address a front of the rotation pitcher, that is, if theres a few nickles left in the piggy. Perhaps Teddy ballgame Lerner could sell raffle tickets in order to raise money for an arm or two??

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 19, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Now we're counting chickens. People are putting out line ups, come on people.
STOP COUNTING CHICKENS...STOP IT..

Posted by: Berndaddy | December 19, 2008 10:53 AM

the Voice of Reason has spoken.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 19, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I hope this works out for us. It will be a major let down. I wonder who has the high bid.

Posted by: mjames0 | December 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

we have the high bid!

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Dave, please come back to the Nats gig full time.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | December 19, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

1. Guz 6 (really the only option)
2. Dukes 9 (high enough in the order to see fastballs and a great gap-to-gap swing)
3. Zims 5 (best all-around hitter and really effective when he doesn't have to carry the whole line-up)
4. Tex 3 (pay a guy 20M a year and put him at 4, his prescence right there alone makes everything better, and great balance with the lefty at that spot)
5. Willingham 7 (I don't know much about him but Jimmy thinks he's a middle-of-the-order guy so here's your shot)
6. Milledge 8 (a true 6-hole hitter, good enough bat speed to be effective without the pressure of having to set the table at the top)
7. Flores 2 (the fall-back option to drive in a couple guys if 5 and 6 are put outs)
8. Hernandez 4 (let's all pray he comes close to the production he had late last summer, and decent wheels on base for the bunt)
9. P (square early, bat out in front, keep the barrell up, and just catch the ball with the barrell)


.....Now what will it take for us to get Felix Pie from the Cubbies, park him as the lead-off guy in Syracuse for the season, and give him concrete goals to earn his way into the #1 spot for 2010.

Posted by: Corey42 | December 19, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It's not us.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"STOP COUNTING CHICKENS...STOP IT.."

Uhm, this IS the hot stove league...

Posted by: Section506 | December 19, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I think putting Tex as cleanup makes Zimmnerman in the 3-hole more dangerous (as 505203 stated). I guess it is all relative when you think about it, as Tex would clearly give Acta a whole lot of options.

Unfortunately, the realist/pessimist in me sees Boston as bluffing and eventually Tex ends up there. (PLEASE let me be wrong about that...)
________________________________________________________

"No way will the Nats pay Tex 20 million plus a year and put him in the 3-hole."

Why not? Doesn't Pujols bat third for the Cardinals? Having your best hitter bat third guarantees that he'll always come up in the first inning, and over the course of a full season will get him many more plate appearances in which to do his thing. Teixeira, who averages around 30 HR a year, is not necessarily your typical big slugger bat who automatically ends up in the cleanup spot.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 19, 2008 10:47 AM

Posted by: TimDz | December 19, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Beat me to it Berndaddy.

The nat's have been very good about this pursuit but I feel that we've already pulled out as many stops as we have. Not necessarily so for Yankees/Sox/Angels.

Which of these scenarios is more likely:
1) nat's sign Teixeria (and he bats wherever)
2) Boras is using the most desperate club to drive up the price for the teams that have a track record of giving him a lot of money.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

If by chance this works and we land this guy, I can just see the Mets fans howling . They know their team will choke big time.

Posted by: mjames0 | December 19, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"They know their team will choke big time."

I'm pretty sure they know that regardless of who we sign.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite Onion articles this last year:
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/struggling_mets_combine_to_form

Posted by: Section506 | December 19, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse


I am not doing lineups like other "crazy Nat Fans" I just want to know the date the playoff tickets go on sale!!

This would be a great Christmas gift for every Nat Fan!!!

Posted by: nickgoldblatt | December 19, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

once teixiera signs i wonder how many trades we are gonna have to make. some serious hot stove action!

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

If we sign Teixeria, he will become our best hitter. He's the one who's average is over .300, not Zimmerman. The only reason he batted 3rd is because nobody else was any better. I believe he's really a 5-hole hitter, but would bat cleanup, behind Tex (because getting Tex pitches is more important than getting Zim pitches), because he's the best protection we can offer.

I put Dukes in the two hole because of his on-base percentage.

2 Dukes - best OBP
3 Tex - best overall hitter
4 Zim - 2nd best hitter / best power option not named Teixeria

Like others have said, Pujols hits 3rd because he's their best overall hitter (not just power hitter), Manny hit 3rd in Boston, Griffey used to hit 3rd. I believe the 3-hole is the premier spot in any lineup, more so than cleanup. More at-bats for Tex, plus he makes the first inning much tougher for the opposing pitcher.

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

STOP COUNTING CHICKENS...STOP IT.."

Uhm, this IS the hot stove league...

Posted by: Section506 | December 19, 2008 11:05 AM

Sec506 is that the chicken or the egg cooking, eh...

Posted by: Berndaddy | December 19, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

i agree that zimmerman is more a 5-hitter than 3 or 4.

tex hitting 4th is better for the rest of the lineup. get him as far away from the pitcher as possible. i think dukes and tex are the two best hitters. most power and best obp, anyway. maybe zimmerman can hit 2nd and suck it up for the team.

next year we talk pitching!

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

A question for all you "Zim should at 3rd or 4th guys/gals":

Given the same amount of experience and ABs, who is the best hitter? Dukes or Zim. I love Zim, but the answer is Dukes. Zim should bat 2, and Dukes 3.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 19, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Fairly disjointed post there... my apologizes. Won't let actual work get in the way again.

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@Longterm

"when Teixeria signs"?

Really guy? Getting a little ahead of ourselves here aren't we?

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

new post from Boz over at BI makes more sense than anything else I've read...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/baseball-insider/2008/12/teixeira.html

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

i've been calling for him to sign here as part of the plan two years. if he doesn't come here...well that's not worth worrying about anyway.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@soundbloke "really guy?"

that's hilarious.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

307 - Ortiz hit 3d, Manny 4th. But I still like cart-before-the-horse 3d.

Guz leadoff? Really the only choice? 147 players had sufficient ABs in baseball to qualify for the batting title in 2008, per ESPN. Only 2 Nats did - Lastings and Guz. Lastings was 50 in pitches /plate appearance at 3.95. Guz was 145th at 3.21. In OBP for the year, Guz was 80th (.345) and Lastings was 110th (.330), but past all star break, they were .356 and .355, respectively. Milledge is better at drawing a walk than Guz. Guz's OBP came mostly from his high average. He'd be better 6th, with runners on, where his hits could drive guys in.

A better order might have Milledge in either of the top 2 spots, a WillieBelli platoon (also good OBP/ p/PA numbers) also 1st or 2d, and Guz 6th behind FotF, Dukes, and 1b in whatever order. The missing corner OF (Willingham or Kearns) 7th, then Flores.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 19, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Boswell? Sense?

The mind reels.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 19, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Teixeira lifetime batting average at Fenway: .193

Posted by: joemktg1 | December 19, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

last year we were crushed with injuries. best case has milledge as our leadoff. it's nice to start a game 1-0 every once in a while.

so if i'm a bit overbearing on the "tex is ours" rally cry it's probably because i'm so sick of the "nats are losers and have no chance because they have always been losers" crowd. a little spine goes a long way.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the title of this post should be read in the tone of the Brady Bunch, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia..."

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

To the 'don't count your chickens' crowd: relax.

The fun of the off season is discussing hypotheticals. I also enjoy the back and forth about what guys should hit where and where or not a big arm is 'necessary' in right. Otherwise, my head might explode waiting on this Tex thing to play out.

For the record, I believe it's more important for the big arm to be in center (more touchs) than right and I believe your best hitter hits third, even if he's your best power guy too.

And frankly, after watching Austin Tap-It-Back-To-The-Pitcher Kearns hit cleanup for a 100 loss team, talking about a real bonafide major league hitter potentially coming to town is more like theraphy than anything else (much cheaper too).

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, can't fault you for that.

I get that sense of wild optimism when I see Dominican prospects getting signed again.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh great, NatsNut, now I'll have the Brady Bunch theme music dancing through my head all afternoon...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 19, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Bos does make a great point.

Really, if Boston really were stepping away from the negotiations, why would they announce it? What benefit could that possibly have for them?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 19, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

jca - my bad.

But for the record, Tex hit 3rd for LA. I also agree that Guz isn't really a leadoff guy (more of a 2 I think), but numbers aside, I think Lastings is still too young to handle it. Same goes for Dukes. A guy like Zimmerman has been around long enough now that we can stop trying to protect him, but the same cannot be said about the LM and ED. But ideally, Lastings would hit 1st as kind of a poor man's Soriano-Ricky Henderson hybrid (emphasis on 'poor man's').

Posted by: sec307 | December 19, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Deep breaths...all I want for Christmas is Tex!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | December 19, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Okay, my lineup with (purely speculative) production:

1. Guzman SS -- .275-5-50
2. Belliard 2B -- .280-15-60
3. Zimmerman 3B -- .285-18-110
4. Dunn 1B -- .245-40-100
5. Dukes RF -- .270-25-85
6. Milledge CF -- .275-20-75
7. Willingham LF -- .265-22-75
8. Flores C -- .260-10-50

Perhaps Milledge would be better in the two hole, but I was very impressed with Belliard batting 2nd last year.

I still don't think we'll get Texeira which means it's a Dunn deal all the way

Posted by: rushfari | December 19, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The thing about seeing is sometimes the other person has just been bs-ing you and sometimes the other person really has it.

Posted by: Section506 | December 19, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I like the line-up, but I think Hernandez has the inside track on 2b, which is a good thing.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

new post from Boz over at BI makes more sense than anything else I've read...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/baseball-insider/2008/12/teixeira.html

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2008 11:48 AM

This would be the same Tom Boswell who laid out his credentials as a professional Gibbsologist and predicted that Joe Gibbs would not be quitting his contract before its full five years ran out - on the very day that Gibbs did exactly that.

Point being that Boswell is opining out of the very same orifice that everyone else is on the Teixeira negotiations, and thus by definition there's just no way he can introduce any sense into the process. We'll know when we know. Until then, EVERYTHING is speculation.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 19, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

True, gutfeeling, but Boswell's speculation is far more reasonable than other speculation.

Posted by: Section506 | December 19, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I got your chickens...right here!

Posted by: fischy | December 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

>True, gutfeeling, but Boswell's speculation is far more reasonable than other speculation.<

Yeah but Boz has never seen a Lerner negotiation. Neither has anyone else.

Posted by: Brue | December 19, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah,

Boswell seems to be reason more based on history and behaviour patterns rather than the logic of "I want him sooo bad".

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

506, please remove your lips from Tom Boswell's prostate. I read NJ at the office, and if you keep doing this you'll make it NSFW. Then I might actually have to start doing what the man is paying me to do, and we wouldn't want that.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 19, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the camp that thinks Zim is a 5-hole hitter (who can hit at 3 or 4 in a pinch). I would prefer to hit Dukes at the 3 because of his speed and baserunning ability (which is also a good reason to bat him 2nd). He can run and steal bases, and I love his aggressiveness. He can also mash, which is why I think he goes at the 3, not the 2.

It would be great to see Milledge develop into a solid 2-hitter. Not quite enough power for cleanup, but I like his speed toward the top of the order. His swing is too loopy, IMO, to hit #2, though.

Right now, I think Guz is the best #2 hitter the Nats have (other than Nick). He doesn't have quite enough speed to hit leadoff, but is a great contact hitter when he's on.

Enough rambling. Put me down for....

Guz 6
Millz 8
Dukes 9
Dunn/Tex 3
Zim 5
Willingham 7
Flores 2
Hernandez 4

If Hernandez developed lead-off skills, what fun that would be....

That's enough roster-bation for the day.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 19, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Teixeira/Boras priorities, not necessarily in order: dollars, years, contender, East Coast, hometown.

The Nats can offer him four of those, but have to make the case that they can contend soon.

Boston can also offer four (all but hometown), but if it's true that they have made their best offer on dollars and years and been outbid, we just might have the edge.

Obviously this all depends on the order of priorities and the relative weights assigned to them, but I don't think it's fair to argue (as some in the press and blogosphere have) that it would be somehow irrational for Teixeira to choose Washington.

The offer: $180 million over 8 years; opt-out after 4 years; limited no-trade clause (e.g., restrict to east coast teams).

Posted by: BobLHead | December 19, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

raykingsgutfeeling, you're a prick, and what's worse, a dumb one.

Posted by: Section506 | December 19, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The line-up questions with regard to Zim and Dukes revolve around OBP, the ability to take walks and power numbers. I like Dukes at the three spot because of all the three. My choice would be to put the Zim-meister at the 5 spot.

Posted by: 1of9000 | December 19, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

BobL,
Also don't discount the fact that Boston screwed him over on the draft and he walked away from their 1.5 million signing bonus to go to school.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I would adjust Zimmerman's lineup spot lower at the start of the season. By his own admission he consistently has horrible springs. Let him bat 6 until he catches his rhythm. Until then Dukes would be my #3 hitter.

Posted by: driley | December 19, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's my Nats line up 2009. After all the deals I'm sure we'll make. ( if you can't beat them join them, eh )

1) Grady Sizemore (CF)(I don't know how we pulled this off. Jim was on crack one night and freaked someone into it..)
2) Christian Guzman (SS)
3) Ryan Zimmerman (3B)
4) Tex the $200 man (1B)
5) E.Dukes (RF)
6) Lastings M (LF)
7) Orlando Hudson (2B)
8) "Da" Jesus Flores (C)
9) J. Peavey (P)(We sent SD Belly, Zimmermann, J.D.Martin, Martis and Chico Harlan)

Hey I left some current Nats in the dream line up...

Posted by: Berndaddy | December 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Gut...That wasn't very nice....not to mention a highly disturbing visual...
_________________________________________________________

506, please remove your lips from Tom Boswell's prostate.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 19, 2008 1:36 PM

Posted by: TimDz | December 19, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Not necessarily the lineup I would put out there on opening day 2009, but how great would it be if our guys grew into the following roles (frontloading speed with a gradual transition to power, then back to avg/obp (though less speed and power) before the pitcher):

Milledge, cf (.300/.360/.420)
Dukes, rf (.280/.380/.480)
Zimmerman, 3b (.290/.370/.490)
Teixeira, 1b (.290/.380/.540)
Willingham, lf (.270/.370/.470)
Flores, c (.260/.320/.420)
Guzman, ss (.300/.350/.400)
Hernandez, 2b (.280/.360/.400)

(resumes counting chickens ....)

Posted by: BobLHead | December 19, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

BobL,
Also don't discount the fact that Boston screwed him over on the draft and he walked away from their 1.5 million signing bonus to go to school.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2008 1:47 PM

NatsNut, that one gets debunked by the fact that Boston's current ownership/management wasn't there when Tex got snubbed.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 19, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I actually thought that Boz's BI post on Tex was one of the better things that he's written in a long time. He talked to and quoted inside sources (something he rarely does anymore) and he didn't make the kind of ridiculous assertions or predictions that he often makes these days. He gave us insight based on experience and inside information. It would be great if he wrote like this more often, on the few occasions that he deigns to write about baseball in the first place.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 19, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

while I'm trying to be as positive as I can be (I'm even wearing my Sunday-alternate red jersey to work today, thank you casual Friday), let's not put all our eggs into Anderson Hernandez's basket right now. I hope he's found his stroke and can contribute offensively (and defensively) at second, but let's take his mashing in the Dominican league with a grain of salt ...

Of those with at least 150 AB's, in 6th place batting a robust .335/.408/.422 is none other than Luis Polonia! Yes, that Luis Polonia. The 45 year-old, having-sex-with-a-15-year-old Luis Polonia.

And not too far behind him batting .323/.420/.478 is Timo Perez. So perhaps we should temper our excitement for Mr. Hernandez' hitting just a little bit.

The again, after watching "Miracle on 34th Street" for the umpteenth time last night (the original, not that horrid remake, or that other horrid remake), I will channel my inner little Natalie Wood and keep repeating:

"I believe ... I believe ... It's silly, but I believe."

Posted by: erocks33 | December 19, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought that Boz's post was his best recent work as well, CiL.

And great post, erocks -- new info, good analysis, and a bit of holiday cheer. As Ted would say, pitch perfect.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 19, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Boz also spent 30 minutes with Charlie Steiner on XM this afternoon. Very good stuff.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 19, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

If Tex is a no go, I would love the Nats to sign Orlando Hudson 2b and Adam Dunn of/1b and another starter like a Randy Wolf, Livian Hernandez or Jon Garland.I want the front office to show me something this year!!!!

Posted by: sazzwho | December 19, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

mlbtraderumors.com just posted that the 'Angels are operating as if Mark Teixeira will sign with the Red Sox'. Now I don't want to start the debate about where he will end up again but, I feel the Nat's should be doing this too. And I'm not being negative but, there is no harm in hedging your bets.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

i think those top teams always assume the other is going to be better every year. it's the media and fans that assumes we will suck every year. funny how they still don't talk about the rays but the rays are better than them all.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

There it is, the first official NJ Livan request of the offseason!

I figured it couldn't take long. Ladson recently said it would be a good idea in his last mailbag.

-----

If Tex is a no go, I would love the Nats to sign Orlando Hudson 2b and Adam Dunn of/1b and another starter like a Randy Wolf, Livian Hernandez or Jon Garland.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 19, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Zimm's slot in the order, didn't Barry used to say that he's ideally a six-hole hitter?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 19, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

It's not that they are assuming that the Sox will get better, it's more that they are covering their backsides in case they don't land the top free agent. I would like some reassurance that the Nat's are taking that into account.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

very very quiet on the teixiera rumor front today.

i'm just going to go ahead and assume daniel snyder sent the plane to pick him up for us...

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Longterm,

I know I had a go at you for it earlier but you relentless cheer is infectious. Let's dream the dream for one more night shall we?

Posted by: soundbloke | December 19, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Pretending for just a few minutes that it was my burthday and Teixeira had just been signed, I would then (because remember, its my birthday) trade Johnson, Belliard, and Kearns to various trading partners in various packages to receive in return a) a left handed hitting backup catcher to compete/platoon at catcher, b) a left handed hitting outfielder to rotate into the mix in the outfield, and c) a starting pitcher. Then go ahead and re-sign Odalis Perez.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 19, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

erocks makes a good point about Hernandez's Domo League stats. They are particularly unreliable before Christmas because a fair number of big leaguers don't start playing regularly until later in the season down there. The pitching is mostly AAA at best.

As an aside, I've attended several Las Estrellas de Oriente games in San Pedro. The Dominican League is a trip. Pints of rum in the concession stand and NFL style cheerleaders on top of the dugout make for a raucous atmosphere. I was there two years ago when Robby Cano made his season debut for Las Estrellas. It was electric. I strongly recommend the experience for any baseball die hard.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 19, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I spent a college J-term working as one of those cheerleaders for Las Estrellas.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 19, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

BobL,

That visual is, um, ... disturbing.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 19, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

If there is another NRBQ fan out there, soundbloke inspired me to put "I Want You Bad," which is a good thing.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 19, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

OK, no I didn't cheer for Las Estrellas.

But I loved how #4's post took us straight to the ground floor of erocks' earlier one, and thought I'd shoot us right down into the basement just for kicks.

Now I'm gonna get me a pint of rum, put on "NRBQ's Christmas Classics" and flip through BA's 2009 Prospect Handbook.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 19, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

BobL - knew there was a reason I found your writing persuasive.

Angels look like they are out of the "Man-ny, Plan B" derby. They resigned Juan Rivera, who will play when Vladi DHs. They bring back Matthews, Hunter, Vladi, Willits, and Rivera. Looks like it's Tex or bust for them, I suspect.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 19, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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