Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

The Survey Data

I just took a look at the final data from the survey ranking the 10 most significant Nats developments, and the most basic information is quite promising -- and it speaks well to the proficiency of the general NJ population. According to the data from QuestionPro.com, 322 people started the survey. Also, 322 people completed the survey. The average time taken to complete the survey? Less than one minute.

Yes, as a group, we're pretty sharp.

Now, for the rankings, by importance. (The number to the right represents each storyline's mean ranking. For a more detailed description of each storyline, refer to the previous post.)

1. Nationals Park Opens -- 2.64
2. The Nats Lose 102 -- 3.05
3. Injuries, Injuries -- 4.49
4. The Young Talent Grows -- 4.67
5. The Bid For Tex -- 5.37
6. Crow Flies -- 5.71
7. Money Missteps -- 6.06
8. A Shortstop Emerges -- 7.17
9. Pink Slips For The Staff -- 7.69
10. Manny Loses His Halo -- 8.12

Here's the data in more detailed form.

Survey Data.xls

Thanks again for voting!

By Chico Harlan  |  December 31, 2008; 12:50 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Ten Biggest Developments of '08
Next: A Last-Minute Run

Comments

This was fun, Chico. Let's have more interaction in the new year! I liked it.

Also, have you considered some features that require less work on your part? There are plenty of stats heads around here that would be willing to create for you a post every week with some new topic of discussion.

Posted by: Section506 | December 31, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree this was fun.......For all the push back I get for being Mr. Negative....Iterestinly my ranking was almost exactly as the group. Top 5 were in the same order and only difference was the Acta related items were higher........Maybe I am not so dumb.....nay.....Happy new year to all and sure hope we get some wins this year.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 31, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

We could just all be as dumb as you, JayB!

I'll add my wishes for a happy New Year to yours.

Posted by: Section506 | December 31, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with JayBeee here.

Posted by: AnAppallingLackOfBaseballKnowledge | December 31, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the next one could be more "Family Feud" style--
Name an outfielder the Nats could play at first.
Name a high-priced free agent pitcher they should sign.
Name a song that could replace "Sweet Caroline."

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

That was interesting, Chico. Thanks for doing it. My rankings were also similar to the group's (with flip-flopping of a few entries here and there).

No offense to 506 or other stat heads, but my own preference would be to see Chico- or Post-staffer generated posts continued, with denizens weighing in with comments as is now the case. I can visit any number of fan blogs if I want to read fan-generated posts, but only here can I find Post staffer-generated posts (although I also appreciate the many educated, insightful, and scintillating comments that ensue).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I will add my Happy (Gregorian calendar) New Year wishes to all as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Mine was pretty much the same. 102 losses was pretty firmly entrenched in first place for me, but I'm not here to pick nits.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 31, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Name a song that could replace "Sweet Caroline."


BREATHE - PRODIGY

Can you imagine???

Waaah Ching waaahwaahwah ching...

That's what I'm talking about...

Posted by: Berndaddy | December 31, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Chico, great year from you and the rest of the Post Staff. Also, Happy New Year to all of the Posters - from a mostly lurking fan who's lost HOURS reading the comments.

At least I get one second back tonight:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/29/AR2008122901181.html

I'd like to think I will not age for that extra second.

Cheers!

Posted by: CajunD | December 31, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

2009 Top Ten:

1) No Clint
2) Nats spend most of season in playoff hunt.
3) No Clint
4) Zimmerman signs long term contract
5) No Clint
6) 10 Cent beer days
7) No Clint
8) Nick Johnson plays 150 games at first. Comeback player of the year
9) No Clint
10) Washington Post and local media covers Nats... on page E7 for most of 30 straight days.

Pitchers and Catchers are just six weeks away.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Batboy05 | December 31, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and let me echo the sentiment of appreciation. This was a really cool idea, and it generated some good discussions.

How difficult would it be to do something similar, only with the best moments of the year - on the field? I know there are a few fan favorites, but I think Chico could whittle it down to ten.

Zimmerman's Opening Day walkoff would probably be number one, but Belly's walkoff against the Orioles would likely be a top three finisher.

For me, the Nieves ninth inning walkoff against Chicago was a great moment. (The headbutt from a Cubs fan that followed was less stellar.)

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 31, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Are we gonna sign a professional hitter for this team or is this going to be another dog and pony show all winter long? Milton Bradley is still out there, we need a hitting lineup just so we won't lose another one hundred games!

Posted by: dargregmag | December 31, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@darg

Maybe this is the "professional hitter" the Nats are pursuing, at least according to ESPN.com.

The Washington Nationals are believed to have offered (Milton) Bradley $30 million over three years, and the Tampa Bay Rays are also in the mix, sources tell ESPN.

Just what this team needs...another injury-prone outfielder. Ah, Happy New Year, all. It CAN'T be as bad in 2009.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 31, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

ESPN reported the Nats are believed to have offered 3 yr/$30 mil to Bradley in the DeRosa trade article:

http://tinyurl.com/7wbb3x

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 31, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, thanks for the jynx.

-----

Just what this team needs...another injury-prone outfielder. Ah, Happy New Year, all. It CAN'T be as bad in 2009.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 31, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

ESPN reported the Nats are believed to have offered 3 yr/$30 mil to Bradley in the DeRosa trade article:
---------------------

Oh, now there's a positive influence for the clubhouse.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side, he's a switch-hitter with some pop; reputation for doing charitable work in the communities he plays near.

Downside - he's 30, had injuries over the last 3-4 years, has shown hair-trigger temper in past, and he's another flippin' outfielder.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but Elijah can be a steadying influence on Bradley. If his legs are OK, he'd be great. He used to play CF, but I would not count on it anymore. Great bat, and the Ump that called him out in SD was wrong and cost them the division. Whenhe plays, he'll be worth every cent.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 31, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

IF Bradley is signed, we might have two outfielders to move. Let's play the bad contract for bad contract game. If there were a bad contract we could take back in a trade involving AK, what position and/or who would it be? Dontrell? An overpaid middle infielder who we'd play at 2d?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 31, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Also, have you considered some features that require less work on your part?"

This is an example of that stuff you guys call snark, right? Because, really, could anything have required LESS work from Chico than this two or three days devoted to a meaningless survey? Sure, throw out the talking points like he did, let folks discuss them here (as they did), but rather than a detailed analysis of the results, how about some actual reporting for a change? I hope this isn't a portent of what's to come in the new year. With the price of what Svrluga not too long ago called "the 35 cent edition" now at a whopping 75 cents, and with that 75 cent paper shrinking before our very eyes on a daily basis, it's obvious the powers that be at the Post are trying to shift their readership over to the web. But when we come over to the web looking for actual content, what do we get? USA Today-style surveys and polls of "what our readers think". Not what this increasingly-disgunted Post reader is looking for. Come on, Chico, get to work! (Feel free to take tomorrow off as one of your floating holidays, though, if you must...)

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | December 31, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

SF for Zito? DET for DWillis? SEA for Johima? PIT for Wilson?
Baseball still has bad contracts, some of them worse than the deal the Nats currently have with AK.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Temperment aside, I think Bradley would be a much better pick up than Dunn. He can actually play the field and he has a better avg. and slg. than Dunn. Bradley can play RF, move Willingham to 1B, Millege to LF and Dukes to CF. Kearns is just dead weight at this point. I'd rather carry WMP for his pop, than Kearns as a defensive replacement (which is all I think he is at this point). But I think we're stuck with AK regardless.

Posted by: sec307 | December 31, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Out with Sweet Caroline. In with the Junkyard Band "Sardines". This band got its' start at Barry Farms (across the river from Nats Park). Decidedly DC!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaMLTVs2f30

Posted by: 6thandD | December 31, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

As jca has already alluded to, IF the Nationals sign Bradley, we might have two outfielders to move. The team would have to make an immediate move, as they are already at the 40-man limit.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chico, for giving us a baseball fix. Here's to a happy 2009!

Posted by: miseaujeu | December 31, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

So, I would have thought that IF we sign Bradly, Willigham goes to 1st, Dukes to centre, Milledge to left. Seems just fine. All we'd have to do is move Kearns/Pena, which will be almost mpossible but has always been a need of ours.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 31, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the posters here are serious when they suggest we should sign Milton Bradley. Who says he can play the outfield? He hasn't been a regular there for 3 years! Why would you give him a 3-year contract, he's only been with one team for 3 years, everywhere else he's worn out his welcome incredibly quickly. Finally, why in heaven's name do we need another outfielder? We have about 3 too many now. Yes, JimBo might be able to trade one or two but there's a real glut of OFs on the FA market right now, it's not going to be easy to get anything of real value going that route IMO. I thought we were looking for a first-baseman with power not an OF with a personality disorder. Yikes, this move makes absolutely no sense to me.

Posted by: grforbes | December 31, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Settle grforbes.

It's poster speculating on speculation. That's why the word IF is being thrown around. It seems unlikely, and my guess is that would only go after him because Dunn is lost to LA.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 31, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm with hatemas. Chico's a good guy but I am a very, very underserved reader. The cool factor for this survey and results lasted about a minute.

We need more posts. Surely there must be some interesting tidbits can be gathered besides these 10 factors.

This has to be the only town that has shut down baseball news completely and I think it's lame.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 31, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

TGHP, NNut: Yeah, but we're having so much more fun entertaining ourselves with tidbits / Rumours / innuendo without the WaPo interrupting us with new "news".

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

JiM, I like the 'best of' idea. Speaking of which, the MASN site has a post where you can weigh in on your defining Nats moments of '08 (wonder whether it will show up on the site if I weigh in re. my fave Belli moment vs. the O's? bwah ha hah!). I also liked the Guze cycle and many of Super Willie's catches (I think that I like the one that robbed Wright @ the Mets best.)

http://masnsports.com/2008/12/defining-moments-of-2008.html

There's also this montage at the team site:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/fan_forum/top_10_moments.jsp

Even a bad year of baseball has some good memories.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The second Google hit, Acronym Finder sez: TGHP stands for Three Gorges Hydropower Plant??

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, my MASN moments submission is being held for review...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe Charlie and Dave don't make the list anywhere, even without a "What was he thinking!!!???" moment.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

And if the lack of coverage (including MASN) is a top story, is that an oxymoron?
(or is Palin's daughter's MIL?)

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

ooooh, did I just post that??

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

OK, now I'm seriously thinking about it.
How is Bonds home run not there? Gotta be more memorable than about half that list, no?
OTOH, I didn't think of it myself until just now, so maybe not.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Good point about Charlie and Dave, CE. They are a pleasure to listen to even during the worst blowouts (at least until the unfortunate turn of events compels me to turn off the radio).

Oxymoron is good, but somebody needs to coin a term for CIL being a top story.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Bonds HR was in 2007, no?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

speaking of morons ...
of course it was 2007.

Don't ever get old.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Not being able to hear Charlie & Dave in Prince William County, VA will be a top story (in my list) in 2009, if the Nat's don't GET A NEW RADIO CONTRACT!!

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Too late, CE, I am so there.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I second that emotion, BinM (but for points farther north).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"Our top story tonight - Coverage is Lacking" - that makes me dizzy.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

1a1: How much further north - Leesburg, Bethesda? I'm just curious as to how crappy Bonneville's AM signal really is.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

In Virginia, just north of PW County, and it's very weak here.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

1a1: I grew up in Salt Lake, and can remember being able to hear the dulcet tones of Vin Scully doing Dodger games back in the 60's, and the occaisional SF Giant game, when conditions were right.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the Cubs think Bradley can play the OF because, if you attach any credibility to the source of this article on ESPN, they are maneuvering to make a 3 year bid, too.

"DeRosa has been traded to the Cleveland Indians for minor league pitchers Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer and John Gaub. DeRosa will likely slide into Cleveland's opening at third base.

"With the Cubs close to finalizing another trade -- right-hander Jason Marquis to the Colorado Rockies for right-handed reliever Luis Vizcaino -- the deals are seen as a precursor to the Cubs negotiating a free-agent deal with outfielder Milton Bradley.

"The Washington Nationals are believed to have offered Bradley $30 million over three years, and the Tampa Bay Rays are also in the mix, sources tell ESPN."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3802342

Before his knee injury in 2007 and after his end of June trade, he played about half time in the OF for SD. In 2006, he played only 96 games, 94 in RF. It really comes down to gauging the health of his legs. If healthy and with self control, this guy is a relatively cheap big bat. If we got him, I'm sure Trader Jim would move the pieces we have to get him the playing time.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 31, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

OK, that gives them about a 25-30 mile radius signal. That's just ... pitiful.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

jca: ESPN has it all wrong - the Nationals were in fact, in negotiations with Milton-Bradley (the toy / game company) to produce a version of Monopoly based on acquiring real estate & ultimately, a sports franchise called "Natopoly".
I guess Olney didn't vett his sources properly.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Waitaminute - This from Bill Ladson (mlb.com) "According to a baseball source, Washington has serious interest in free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley." ..."He also would play center field."

Bradley - CF; In what alternate universe? I'd give him an over/under of 20 games before he either A) tweaked a quad muscle, or B) blew a hamstring. The man hasn't played OF on a regular basis since 2004.
Yikes!

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

BinM, ahhh, Vin Scully. Re. the Giants games, I remember liking the way that the broadcasters pronounced the names of the Alou brothers (though they would not be pronounced the same way now). The signal is indeed pitiful.

Also, Natopoly is rich.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

if we sign Bradley he HAS to play a Corner, or 1B.

putting him in CF is stupid. putting him in RF would be fine, with Dukes in CF and Willingham at 1B though.

putting him at 1B would be fine too, I think.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 31, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Another '08 Nats moment, the one where Milledge broke up a double play and up-ended Utley (after Utley had disabled Flores). And the crowd goes wild. ahhhh...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Just remember that Milton Bradley had a better OPS last year than Mark Tiexiera and is only two years older. Yes, his durability is very questionable, but he can swing it when healthy and is one of the few younger LH or switch bats left on the market. If they have to move Kearns or Pena, who cares. I'd take just about anything for them at this point.

When I was a kid growing up in Bethesda in the 70's and early 80's I could get the "Spirit of 76" - WJR Detroit every night. Anybody else remember "Farmer Jack's savings time - 9 PM"? Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey were the best calling Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker DPs.

Posted by: db423 | December 31, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

1a1: You mean... "in left field, batting third, Fell-eep All-ooo, in center field, batting first, Manny All-ooo, and in right field, batting seventh, Jay-seuss All-ooo"?

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

#4: being west of the Rockies blocked me from Buck in StL, Harwell in DET & alot of the legendary announcers on the east coast. But being able to hear Scully open a broadcast with "And it's another beau-ti-ful night here in Dodger Stadium, as the home team prepares to take on the..." in the early-to-mid 60's helped shape me as a baseball fan.
I want to keep that memory going with the Nationals, but the current contract makes it difficult, if not impossible.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

BinM:

It's interesting because 1500 AM has always been a terrible signal. It supposed to be the "clear channel" 50K watt station for DC - like WJR, or KDKA in Pittsburgh, etc. In Bethesda, I could get games from New York - Phil Rizzuto, Boston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, WLW in Cincinnati and on a clear night even Jack Buck in St. Louis. However, you go 30 miles outside of DC, you couldn't get Caps games on WTOP. It was ridiculous. It hasn't changed. The problem is that as far as I can tell none of the AM signals in DC are very good. Maybe it has something to do with the government or national defense? I don't know.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 31, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

BTW - Scully is a classic. Have you ever heard Jon Miller's imitation of him? It's unbelievable. One of my favorite memories when NBC used to do the Game of the Week was when the Orioles were on and Scully was doing the game. The producers had Miller do the starting line ups as Scully. "Batting 6th, Leo Hernandez - muy bueno; batting 7th Kelly Paris - tres bien."

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 31, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

#4: No, it's the number of and location of "signal repeaters" or amplifiers a given station/signal has installed over their broadcast area. AM (Amplitude Modulation) radio doesn't lend itself to long-range broadcast without a network of repeaters. FM (Frequency Modulation) radio has a much higher "carry" range, when atsmopheric conditions are good.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

BinM, don't you have that reversed? FM is line-of-sight signals, and lower power. AM is more or less bounced off the upper atmosphere (why atmospheric conditions affect it) and can carry thousands of miles.

and THIS definitely makes my top five

************
Another '08 Nats moment, the one where Milledge broke up a double play and up-ended Utley (after Utley had disabled Flores). And the crowd goes wild. ahhhh...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2008 7:08 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

oooh what about Patterson's Pink Slip?

which would be a great name for a rock band, or a bar.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I suppose Dmitri's health issues are subsumed under Injuries, and "Money Missteps", but it almost rates its own line item, for me.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

#4: Jon Miller's imitations of Vin Scully are good (he's got the tone & inflection right), he's just W-A-A-Y over the top. Vin might have been one of the first announcers' to really work at getting a hispanic / latino players name pronunciation right. I don't remember a mis-step from his microphone, although there must have been some along the way.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Whereas, listening to Harry Carey try to pronounce anybody's name was always an adventure by the late innings.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember the A's announcer, the late Bill King, insisted on pronouncing the then-rookie's name HO-SAY CAHN-SEH-KO.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@CE: Absolutely correct - AM can "bounce", FM must "blast" (High School electronics) - my mistake, thanks for catching it.

So why can't I get a decent AM signal for Nationals' games, sitting atop one of the highest points in Prince William County, VA? If the Nationals' still had an FM feed, i'd be able to get them.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

In 1984 the Cubs had a setup guy named Porfi Altamirano they got from the Phillies. He only lasted a few weeks, as I recall. Rumor had it they had to patterson him because there was NO WAY Harry could say "Porfi Altamirano" by the seventh inning.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

AM is very susceptible to interference from adjacent frequencies -- jamming, basically.
That, and sh**ty towers--no really tall buildings in DC means no really high broadcast antennae.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

and "Sh**ty Towers" would be an excellent name for a rock band.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Whereas, listening to Harry Carey try to pronounce anybody's name was always an adventure by the late innings.
-----------------
CE: True, that - even when WGN went nationwide on cable in the 70's. Seems like once he did "Take me Out to the Ballgame" in the 7th-inning stretch, Steve Stone was working alone in the booth.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

or the lead singer.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Stadium Cam we watched all last fall and winter would fall under New Ballpark. I do miss it, though.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

CE: I guess that's why you find most of the radio broadcasters in the area are based in either Bethesda, Baltimore, or Arlington. The lone exception that jumps to mind is WJFK-Fairfax.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm gonna go make some noise. Happy and HEALTHY New Year, to all.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

BinM, that's true, but it just can't compare with coming from the top of, say, Sears Tower.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 31, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

and "Sh**ty Towers" would be an excellent name for a rock band.
-----
or the lead singer.

Not so much anymore - OK for a punk band (i.e. Sex Pistols), but punk is so, idunno, 1999?

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough - To ALL who have frequented NJ over the course of 2008, may I wish you a safe, healthy & happy new year.
I'm outta here.

Posted by: BinM | December 31, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

As for AM 1500's bad signal in areas east or west of DC proper after dark, its signal pattern changes after dark from one that blankets the area to one that goes straight north to south - from the Maritimes to Puerto Rico - to prevent overlap with KSTP, a 50,000 watt station in Minnesota. I miss the days of baseball being on radio super stations. In the 60s, 70s and 80s at night you could hear the Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Red Sox, White Sox, Indians, Tigers and Yankees games in this area. Now many of those teams have gone to smaller, lower power stations and aren't as readily available.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 31, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Barely understood many of the blogs in this post. Just thought I'd add to the overall boredom. Milton Bradley was a product of the Expo system, a pretty good product at the time. No innuendo or thoughts on this, just a bit of trivia which most of you knew anyway.
And a Happy New Year to you guys and gals out there in NJ land.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 31, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, just out of curiosity...Has Bradley, in his Major League history ever had an injury free year.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 31, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Looks like y'all had some fun last night.

Jeeves, I see that the most games Bradley has played in a year was 141 in '04. Then 126 last year, down to 101 in aught-three. So the answer to your question may well be no.

Apparently, the Nats are hoping that their superior strength and conditioning techniques can get more out of him than other teams could.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 1, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Happy new year to all. I've not posted in a while, but appreciate everyone's opinions while lurking.

A favorite radio baseball moment was Jon Miller doing an impression of Vin Scully saying a John Wayne soliloquy out of a western movie. (HEYYY, there, PARDner,....) Rain delay in an O's game in 1980 or so.

Agree that Charlie and Dave are terrific. They share with Jon Miller the rare ability to find humor without ridicule.

Geezer

Posted by: utec | January 1, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

From today's editions of Newsday.com

One free agent who does not appear to be in the Mets' plans is Manny Ramirez, who reportedly reopened talks with the Dodgers this week. With Ramirez already having turned down a two-year, $45-million offer from Los Angeles in December, the Mets have no desire to pay him $22 million to $25 million per season on a multiyear deal. Boras, who also is the agent for Ramirez, could get Washington involved in the bidding. The Nationals missed out on Teixeira despite their willingness to approach $200 million for the former Baltimore high school star.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Now that my power is back, thanks to BinM for the Alou brothers flashback, and to others for sharing their radio memories.

CE, I agree re. the stadium cam. Also, it occurred overnight that I'd have to add my first sighting of the ballpark on exiting the Metro. ahh, the memories, and the anticipation.

Good point re. the humor without ridicule, Geezer.

Also, you all were on a roll last night!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

...occurred "to me" overnight.

Also, that's an interesting character in leetee's post. Must be a cut and paste symbol artifact.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Jon Miller's imitations of Vin Scully are good (he's got the tone & inflection right), he's just W-A-A-Y over the top. Vin might have been one of the first announcers' to really work at getting a Hispanic / Latino players name pronunciation right."

BinM:

I think that's what Miller was poking fun at. Vin definitely was among the first to pepper his broadcasts with heavily accented Spanish phrases and reasonable name pronunciations. It moved the Anglo announcers from the era when they referred to the Pirates RF as Bob Clemente.

Leetee:

Interesting tidbit about 1500's nighttime broadcast direction. I went to college in FLA and was always amazed that while I couldn't get Caps games when I drove out I-66, I could sometimes pick them up in Orlando. That explains it. Thank you.

Happy New Year everyone.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 1, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for doing the groundwork, Scooter.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | January 1, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

From the Curse of the Nats Calendar Department: I was just looking at my 2008 Nationals calendar and noting the number of represented players who were lost to trade/release/injury. Pretty much everybody on it, though I suppose that Guze gets a technical pass for being day-to-day and avoiding the DL, and probably Belli for only missing out the last couple of weeks...

I don't have a 2009 Nats calendar. Don't tell me who is featured on it. :-(

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

ohhh, very nice snark, Scooter. :-D

---

Apparently, the Nats are hoping that their superior strength and conditioning techniques can get more out of him than other teams could.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, yesterday afternoon & evening was fun - some memories, some snark, no trolls. Good times.

So, what have we got to yap about today?

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

BinM

If you want a good laugh, check out the latest nationals.com posting, "GM Bowden not done improving Nats." Sometimes, I swear it's almost like JimBow wants us to believe that someone else created this Isle of Misfit Toys roster.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

> 6 hours+ to the MLB Network kickoff.
> Newsday.com "..Boras could get Washington involved in the bidding"... versus mlb.com "Nationals not interested in Ramirez".

Anything else strike someone's fancy?

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

leetee: Read that a few minutes ago.. maybe Dunn (shudder), maybe Fielder, or the team's 'stuck' with Slick. Milledge could be tradebait, oh, and always more pitching.

To quote a cartoon great: "What a Maroon".

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

ehh, what's up, Doc?

Wish that my cable was hooked up now, so that I could watch Larsen's perfecto on the MLB Network tomorrow. I see that it'll be run again on Jan. 14, though.

On another note to CE and others, I know that we said that we needed a Nats player to step up on the expletive-deleted front, but in reviewing my '08 memories it occurs to me that Chase (Boo? Ut you! World Ut-ing Champions!) Utley could be an excellent candidate otherwise.

um, how many days to pitchers and catchers again? Only 24 shopping days until the Nats Fan Fest. Better pick up those deals now so that you can trot them out at the fest, Jimbo.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

1a1: That's today, Jan. 1, not tomorrow.

Regariding your suggestion for the (RF, AB) front, Chase is our version of the mascot in Bull Durham - our own personal pitching dummy. Maybe ST will uncover another 'blue-tounged' gem.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by my count, 59 days to pitchers / catchers in Viera (Valentine's day, Feb. 14).

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

BinM

I just hope about this coming season we fans aren't uttering one of my other favorite classic Warner Bros. cartoon lines uttered by one Mr. D. Duck..."Shoot me, shoot me now!."

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 1, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ack - disregard the 12:18 post (WRONG)! Try 45 days, with C/P reporting on Feb. 14.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

leetee: I said that enough last season, peppered with an expletive or two.

The spring is a season of rebirth and renewal, both for the land & baseball fans. We, as fans, have to hope for the best.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the P&C count and broadcast date correction, BinM. I approve of the Chase Futley pitching dummy role as well (although, also as in Bull Durham, perhaps the occasional Cabrera wild pitch might plunk Screech - oopsie).

A Bugs thought for 2009: Don't take life [or baseball: ed] too seriously. You'll never get out alive


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

1a1: My pleasure. The Cabrera-Screech thought was LOL funny - thanks. Now, how do we deal with Clint....

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps, a boating incident, involving sea-bass with laser cannons?

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

1a:

Your bugs thought reminds me of what my grandfather used to say:

Take your job seriously, but don't take yourself seriously.

I doubt the thought was original to him, but it's nice to be reminded.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 1, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Woody Guthrie's "Take it easy, but take it."

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, but Elijah can be a steadying influence on Bradley."
-- jca-CrystalCity

Wow, jca, I thought I'd never see those words! If we're relying on Dukes to be a steadying influence, we're entering an alternate universe.

Bradley strikes me as another Jose Guillen -- a heckuva hitter but a bad attitude that usually blows up within a year or so.

Posted by: AshburnVA | January 1, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Happy New Year everyone.

The Nats can only get better in 2009.

Posted by: AshburnVA | January 1, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn: I belive that was snark coming from jca. And yes, your connection of Bradley = Guillen is correct, except Bradley is Guillen on meth.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

From a piece on the launch of the MLB Network (would be terrific if it does represent all teams equally, IMO):

Now that you know it is free and you know where to find it -- or how to get it if you don't have it -- the other key question that is constantly asked by fans pre-launch is whether the MLB Network will equally represent the fan bases of 30 Major League clubs. The answer from network personnel is a resounding yes, as best represented by the backlit logos of all 30 MLB clubs ringing the ceiling of the elaborate Studio 3.

One immediate example will be the ambitious project called "30 Clubs in 30 Days," in which the MLB Network will travel to every Spring Training site and produce a one-hour special on each team. So at some point in February or March you will see an entire show devoted to your club, and that should set the tone for how the "MLB Tonight" signature show will cover all 30 teams every night during the 2009 season.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081231&content_id=3730730&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, a slow day overall - but only 3 1/2 hours till the launch of MLB Network; anybody else as geeked-up as I'm getting?

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

1a1: Let's hope they don't run them down on a worst-to-first basis. I don't want to go through ST with an early February version of "the state of the Nation(als)" available on mlb.com.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn - you caught the intent.

By the way, there was a nice post on baseball think factory using ZiPS projections for our local 9, as the roster is currently structured. Reviewing 2008, the author said that it is hard to imagine a group of hitters as snake bit as the Nats last year, even considering the injuries. He also suggests that one of the most important factors with last year's failure and this year's hopes is Nick's health. Has very high expectations for Elijah (shall we now call him "the steadying influence"), and is pretty up on FotF, Lastings, and Lannan (107 ERA+). Other than Lannan, the staff looks below average.
http://tinyurl.com/7mvfrq

Finally, happy New Year to the host, Chico, the .com team, and to all who comment here, including the OCCASIONAL troll post and the one-notes who hold others accountable.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 1, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

jca: Good stuff - thanks for the link. At least from the ZiPS analysis, the SP staff isn't hideous; the bullpen #'s could be a little skewed, with pitchers like Hinckley, Chico & O'Conner rated as SP, when their future is most likely as RP.
But that what happens when you push career statistics through a program.

If Chico can get healthy at some point during the season, I'd be o.k. to start the year with Estrada, Mock, O'Conner, Shell, Rivera, Hinckley & Hanrahan in the bullpen.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

T minus 2.5 hours till MLB Network launch, I'm juiced. Lets hope it aint Red Sox-Yankees 24X7X365. If for no other reason then MLB Network giving ESPN-Faux Baseball Tonight a ride for its money, that alone will be well worth watching.

Bill Ladson is a lap-dog, whatever crumbs ol JimBo and Kastenet throws out there this guy picks up. Outside of O-Dog (and thats probably because he ain't got no other place to go), Dunn, Bradley and Manny will make an appearence at Nats Park in 09 in the other teams uniform.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Tippy: MLB Network launch = totally geeked. An all baseball network, working toward 7/24 coverage - Yousa!

Ladson (although I'm not crazy about him) is more scavanger than lap-dog, IMO. In the off-season, he scrapes up wire sources, rumours, old news, etc. along with the seemingly rare FO conversation to cobble together a report.

I've gotta be honest though - it seems like more than the WaPo beat writer has done over the last 6 months.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm also excited about an "all baseball, all the time" (also the official motto of natsfans 1a and 1b, BTW) network.

I hope not a worst-to-first order, BinM, though maybe it would be better to get it over with now so as not to bring us down once a (one hopes) better baseball year is underway.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

1a1: 2009 has got to be better than 2008 - the team is healthy again (relatively speaking), and they won't need a 'cattle call' in Viera to fill roster spots (ca.2006). I'm also hoping for some clarification of the OF situation (without losing Milledge), and the further advancement of players in the system.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

New Years' resolution for the 'feeders' at NJ - 1 reasonablly well-thought post a day (minimum); wire feeds & polls don't count toward the goal.

Posted by: BinM | January 1, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

MLB Network in less than 20 minutes!

*parks self on the couch*

Posted by: MrMadison | January 1, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I liked both of your philosophic takes, #4 and CE.

Thanks for the positive thoughts re. next year, BinM. Maybe I should have some sort of ritual destruction of the 2008 Nats Calender of Doom just in case...

Have fun watching MLB Network and the perfecto, guys. Can't wait until our cable is up and running!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Ladson provides a good service. Like the other 29 MLB "reporters" he ensures that someone is writing about the team every week. Its not going to be hard hitting or groubdbreaking, but if you follow the sites like MLBTradeRumors and you get the sense that he delivers at least as much content - if not more - than many of the other MLB staff.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 1, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

So far the only hint of a presence of the Nationals on the MLB Network is showing a clip of Ryan Zimmerman grounding into the double play that gave he Phillies the NL East championship last September. *Sigh*

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

A fan comment for the most recent Ladson article on the Nats MLB site is reporting this rumor -

"Lastings Milidege traded to Reds for three top AAA prospects. Todd Frasier (IF), Daryl Thompson (P) and Carlos Fisher (right handed Releif pitcher)."

Posted by: CountDemoney | January 1, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

that's just trolling being done by some wishful reds fan.

no way in hell we traded Milledge to get Darryl Thompson back.

Posted by: MrMadison | January 1, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

That would be quite something. Daryl Thompson - a local guy - was a throw in on the Kearns/Lopez trade.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 1, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

It would be an interesting trade. Frazier is a middle infield prospect who's about two years away. He hit with some pop this year splitting time between low and high A. Thompson and Fisher are both middling pitching prospects who are close to the majors, I think. Maybe a #4/5 starter and a middle relief guy respectively. Frazier would immediately become one of the Nats best 2 or 3 position player prospects - maybe the best. He played well in Hawaii this winter.

Posted by: db423 | January 1, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

What's interesting is that Bowden, through Ladson, is starting to swing around the idea of having to go with Johnson at first. This stinks of them slowly realising that they are losing out on their top targets.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 1, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I hear what you're saying soundbloke. The only thing is that I've always thought it was a pipe dream to think that JimBo could put a package of players together to get Fielder or another big bopper that wouldn't have seriously decimated the limited number of prospects they have. Fielder probably would have required giving up Milledge and the top drawer pitching prospect or two. I wouldn't have supported that.

If this trade goes through and they can sign someone like Bradley, then you start the season with an OF of Bradley, Dukes, and Willingham with Johnson at 1B. If Johnson goes down, then JW goes to 1B and Kearns gets in the line up.

Really here he's dealing from strength with a glut in the OF. He shores up the major weakness in the system - MI prospects. He gets a big arm in the pen in Fisher. He's averaged 9+ K per 9 innings most of his minor league career. Lastly you get another possible starting pitcher.

I guess how one feels about this is totally dependent on what one thinks of Lastings potential to become a star. I always thought it was about 50/50, so I'm willing to give this trade a try if it in fact goes through.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 1, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

My defense of Ladson aside, basing any conjecture on rumors reported by MLB.com is dicey at best. Milledge is tradeable and may need to be the one moved, but I doubt they would give him up for prospects unless they had already landed a free agent. They could be discussing deals, but it seems more likely to be a contingency. Sign Bradley then Milledge can go. Sign Dunn, then Johnson can go. Talk about keeping Johnson and dunn's agent has less leverage. Try to remember that all these rumors are generally strategic at this point. Maybe they won't be successful in signing or trading for an impact player, but interpreting the rumors as a calculated let down seems a little premature to me.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 1, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"is totally dependent on what one thinks of Lastings potential to become a star"
Exactly, db. And I'm one who thinks he will definitely be a star. I honestly would hesitate to trade him even up for a poor fielding first baseman such as Fielder. To consider including a couple of our top pitching prospects as well would be absurd. I believe I'm in the minority on this forum when I say that Bowden's good moves far exceed his poor ones. His poor ones only wasted some money. Oh, and the Crowe debacle which should have been researched more before selecting him. In past posts I've said this and gave my reasons.
But if he would make the above trade for Fielder, this fan would no longer be a supporter of the GM.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | January 2, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Put me in the Trade Milledge camp. He has not position. I and many others said he had not CF instincts as soon as we saw him there. He did not improve and instincts are not learned for CF. His arm is the weakest other than Juan P.........I really am angry that after a whole season of Acta and Jimbo saying Lastings is the CF and he is improving; feeding you all with misinformation; we are once again without a CFer going into spring training.....getting old Jimbo......Trade Milledge for prospects if needed I doubt he has much value in terms of getting a MLB ready player....Church/Schneider trade was all about cutting payroll and will go down as one of the worst Jimbo moves....just like Lopez/Kearns will.

Interestingly to me at least…..many of you and the Nationals Front Office are coming around to the facts on Lastings……9 months late but hey……

Posted by: JayBeee | January 2, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

"Put me in the Trade Milledge camp. He has not position."

Celebrating the MLB Network's debut a little too heavily, JayB? ;)

Lopez/Kearns is a tough analogy, because that looked like a steal for a season and a half, then a pretty good deal for another half a season. Now it looks more like junk for junk, which is a depressing trade, but if it's the worst JimBo move, then we can rate him pretty highly as a GM.

Lastings is a solid hitter and a tolerable fielder. I don't think you can even compare that to where we were last year without some major manipulation of facts.

Posted by: Section506 | January 2, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse


"I honestly would hesitate to trade him even up for a poor fielding first baseman such as Fielder."

Jeeves:

Really? I'm struggling with that one. The Nats desperately need a big LH bat. Fielder hit 50 HRs in '07 and even in a down year, '08, had an OPS of .879. Milledge's was .732 last year. It's not like Milledge is Gary Maddox in the OF either if you want to compare defensive production. In addition Fielder is only two years older than Lastings. I suppose you could argue that it's in these two year that Milledge will make his leap to stardom. I guess I'm just not seeing it. I remind you that at comparable ages, 22, Fielder had an OPS which was over 100 points higher, .840.

Now, you say only that "you'd hesitate" so I guess I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I still stand by the assertion though that JimBo would have to add a significant prospect to the pot to make this deal. My point then is that it becomes too much. It's why trying to use Milledge by himself as bait for getting a big hitter probably isn't going to work.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 2, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

My point if all the lost time and Millions of Dollars spent on Kearns and Lopez killed the clubhouse, the Fans and the Team Rep as a hard working under achievers for 2 years.........

Lastings is just another wasted Jimbo Trade.....Church and Brain S would have produced much more than Lastings and Lo Duca

Posted by: JayBeee | January 2, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for Bowden bashing but, firstly he may get more for Milledge this time around that he would have for those two, if we trade Milledge. Secondly, Milledge is not the first prospect that didn't quite pan out instantly. That's how it works with young guys, you try them out and some turn into diamond, and some don't. You can't exactly blame Bowden for taking a chance on a kid with Milledge's, bat speed, speed, and athleticism. And Bowden is not the only person on the baseball world to think that he was going/still may turn into a stud.

He's also still young. A guy like him could still turn into a star.

I think it would be a mistake to get rid of him.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

A lot of the post Teixeira talk on this blog revolves around outfield and first base. I would love for a reporter to actually do a reprise on last winter's article on Nick Johnson's health status. Is he cleared to work out? If not yet cleared what is the prognosis? If Nick is indeed able to come back healthy it makes no sense to trade for yet another first baseman, especially if you give up young players like Milledge or our best young pitchers.

I actually enjoyed watching Milledge's progress last year. On an emotional level the only satisfaction that I got from last season was watching the development of Lannan, Dukes, Milledge and the play of Willie Harris. That I know is small comfort for others. I am confident that 2009 can not be worse than 2008 in terms of injuries. Zimmerman is now fully healed, we have upgraded at second, we have one more option in the outfield, and we won't have to go through a free agent caroussel at catcher again. If Johnson returns to form we have a viable infield. As for the starting pitchers, well, let's just say I will have a wait and see attitude. Is Olsen or Cabrera an upgrade for Perez? I think that will be a wash. Will Lannan, Bergmann or Balestar improve? Will J. Zimmerman grab a spot? All I have for the pitching is hopes, and low expectations.

Posted by: driley | January 2, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

While I've guessed Milledge is trade bait since the Bowden / Rizzo ESPN Zone talk in September, I am an emphatic believer in his offense. I know what I saw last year, and was pleased with his second half.

The high end offensive predictions are coming down, but going into last year, Baseball Prospectus had his top 2 comps as Rondell White and Dwight Evans. A pretty good hitter and a slightly below the borderline hall of fame case (granted, that's Dewey's offense, not defense). The Baseball Think piece I linked to, above, projects him as .280 / .343 / .452, with 18 HR and 21 steals, and an OPS+ of 110. That is assuming only 128 games, based in part on last year being only his first full season up. Up the games and ABs, and the counting stats go up. I don't have Bill James or other projection systems here so can't put up their views.

Projections are projections and not results. JayBee may end up being right about how he'll end up, but as long as there are projections for him still to be above average to a star, there will be folks who will want him in trade.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 2, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Maybe you guys have already talked about this, but they're listing game times now on the schedule.

Looks like only a handful of weekday day games. Even then, most of them are late-ish anyway, at 4:30. :(

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up, NatsNut. I hadn't realized that the times were in there now. I see that they've also filled in the spring training schedule.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

In case some of you haven't seen it, head over to the Baseball Insider blog to see Cameron's post about Nats' free agent options. While Chico is busy with polls, at least *someone* from The Post is giving us some analysis about the Nats to chew over.

Happy New Year to all!

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 2, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Right jca

Jaybee will probably be right but, we have to try these kids. I think 506 made the point that now is when we have to try them.

I wanted to put 105 losses as my 1st, but I think I would do it for different reasons. 105 losses upset the fans so much, that there has been a small revolt, and management are looking to make some immediate improvements to keep hold of them.

Not that that's not awful, but right now if we have a large upside prospect he needs to play because the more pieces of our World Series Challenging Team for the year 20xx we can find now and groom the better chance we have, trading in the future for mild improvements so as to avoid a terrible season is a bad thing.

If we eat Kearns salary, trade him for a long shot prospect, that's still a good investment. If we can dump Redding and play Olson, that's a good investment. If we trade Milledge, and play Willigham that is a direct betrayal of the play. Unless Milledge gets us Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez. Then I'll forgive him. And die of shock.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 2, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey, no fair adding three losses, soundbloke. 102 was bad enough. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I heard rumors a few weeks ago that the only OF who is untradeable at this point is Lastings Milledge, or at least that is what JimBow is saying internally.

He is the most moveable, but I think we'd be selling low on him. I think Kearns may have some trade value if we're willing to eat a big portion of his '09 salary. He's a plus defender and could rebound with the bat in the right ballpark (ie Texas, Philly or the like).

If it comes down to needed a roster spot I also think WMP is a prime candidate to be DFA's, he's hurt and owed $2mil, no way anyone takes him off waivers and also very doubtful he'd decline the assignment to be a FA, he won't get a better shot at playing in the bigs anywhere else...

As for what to do with 1B, I think we go into ST with NJ as the starter, but signing Dunn would give us the option to play him in LF while NJ is still healthy and then start Willingham or Dunn at 1B when he isn't.

The questions I'd like answered to get a better feel for where JimBow is going is;

1. Are they set on moving Milledge from CF or does he still get a shot out of ST to show he can play in the middle?

2. Does Willingham have the arm to play RF or is he strictly a LF/1B guy?

3. Do they feel that if Milledge is going to LF that Dukes can handle CF or are they looking for an outside candidate for CF?

4. If they sign Dunn are they looking to hime as a LF/1B or just at 1B, if that is the case, what do they plan to do with NJ?

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As for the pitching staff I like the moves so far, Olsen and Cabrera are upgrades (though marginal) on Redding and Perez, plus both have huge potential upside that the incuments lacked. They probably won't pan out that way, but it's a low risk, high reward situation on both counts. I think Lannan has a third rotation slot locked up and the last two will likely be Balester and Jordan Zimmermann if they perform out of ST and Bergmann, Hill, Martis, O'Connor and Clippard as options if healthy and more productive in ST.

The bullpen is still going to be a free for all, but I think Hanrahan, Mock, Rivera (and Young?) are a good starting point with 3-4 guys (including some of the above mentioned SP candidates) filling in.

With all that youth in the rotation I think they have to have at least 2 guys capable of long relief (Bergmann and Mock?) to eat 3-4 innings when one of the kids needs to come out in the 2-3 innings.

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Oops. How did I do that?

Also, yeah. What estuartj said.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Lastings Milledge fan. The fact that he has trouble going back on a ball in centerfield does not make him a failed prospect. That is silly. If he has to become a corner outfielder, then fine, but at 23/24 he still has time to improve his skills. At age 23 he had a pretty productive year. He was in the unfortuate position of needing to be our offensive leader much of the year. (Yikes)

If Dukes, Zimmerman, and Willingham can stay on the field this year and Guzman can repeat his production then Milledge and the team will be in a much better position to grow.

If they trade Milledge two things will be proven true: 1) despite the distorted views on Milledge coming from NYC, other teams view him as a prize commodity, and 2) the philosophy of stockpiling young players is working. (The whole point of stockpiling young players being that you can keep some and trade some because you have a stockpile) Our stockpile is still meager, but it is growing.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 2, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I like your first point bisquit, but I think your second may be incorrect. I think trading Milledge at this point would show that they are willing to sacrifice the The Sainted Plan in exchange for a modicum of respectability next season.

I too though am a huge fan of Milledge. He has all the tools to be a great player, and if he already knew everything about centre field he wouldn't be a prospect. He will learn to be fine in centre field and did improve over last year.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 2, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Gotta go with JayBeee agian in this Milledge argument. He's been spot on as always.

Posted by: AnAppallingLackOfBaseballKnowledge | January 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

bisquit: You make a sound point regarding Milledge & some of the players surrounding him. He, along with Guzman, Flores & Harris had to carry what little offence the Nats had in 2008. Good players all, but not what you'd want leading most statistical categories.
Determining the health of some of the returning players (Slick Johnson, Dukes, Kearns, even Zimmerman) will help some in 2009, along with Willingham. The team will need to clear some of the current 'glut' of OF's (8, 10 if you include Casto & Harris), and settle on the Starting pitching; the bullpen might be ok as currently staffed.

Time will tell - only 44 days till C/P report.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

You can still listen to Vin on xm sirius when the Dodgers are at home. And I didn't know until last night that he broadcast the second half of Larsen's perfect game. "The most important inning in the history of baseball" and "Yankee stadium is shivering in its concrete foundations."

Posted by: markfromark | January 2, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Even though I don't live within driving distance of Nats Park, I too find it disappointing that they're still not scheduling that many weekday afternoon games.

I love listening to those games while at work.

Not a good way to start 2009.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

On a completely seperate note; we would have to give up our 2nd round pick to sign Orlando Hudson, correct?

I think Teixeira was well worth losing that pick, but I'm not at all sure I'd agree O-Dog is worth it.

Dunn doesn't cost us anything but money and has the flexibility to play LF or 1B (he won't play them well of course...). I love the idea of having NJ and Dunn in the same line-up (even if only for 50 games this year). How does this look;

1. Guzman (SS)
2. Dukes (CF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Dunn (LF)
5. Johnson (1B)
6. Willingham (RF)
7. Flores (CA)
8. Hernandez/Harris/Belliard (2B)
9. Olsen/Cabrera/Lannan/Balester/Zimmermann

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

WOW!
The MLB broadcast of Larsen's Perfect Game was a treat.
In 1956 I got out of school (6th grade if you must know) and ran all the way home (up hill, against the wind...) in time for the last inning. I didn't understand the "Perfect Game" reference - I assumed a Perfect Game meant 27 strike outs. How nice to see and remember how quickly and cleanly the game was played. Seemed like a much bigger strike zone and very little arguing with the ump. I think only Collins (NY) and Robinson stepped out and may have questioned a call. Otherwise it was "Let's play ball. You pitch it and I'll try to hit it." After the game I went out to the back yard and played ball with my friends until dark. We argued halfheartedly about what a perfect game was.
What a wonderful game we love.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | January 2, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,

Your outfield looks like a it is going to let a lot of runs in (has Dukes even played CF in the majors yet?), and the ERA of our starters is going to be around 4.5 at least so I imagine that this outfield will have to produce an extra two runs a game for us to get to a break even shot to win a game. It seemed like every play that Dunn made in the outfield was an adventure, some of which did not turn out so well. Is Willingham's arm and range in RF going to be viable? What will the learning curve for Dukes be in CF? The Nats were generally horrid in defense last year, this would cement their standing at the bottom.

Posted by: driley | January 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how trading Milledge flies in the face of the plan. In fact, I'd say it strengthens it. I'd make this argument:

1. Trading him a for a slugger that is 28+ years old would be going against the plan. I haven't heard anyone suggest they do that though.

2. Trading him for Prince Fielder exchanges a right handed bat for a left handed bat. You gain offensively but lose a bit defensively. Their ages are similar enough to be almost immaterial. The Nats would be getting a proven commodity. If they need to throw in a significant pitching prospect, I wouldn't do it.

3. Making the suggested trade with the Reds exchanges an OF prospect (Milledge) for an infield prospect (Frazier), something they desperately need to do. Yes Milledge is more of a proven commodity than Frazier, but they are also receiving two good arms in the process (Fisher and Thomson). Just about every position player they have in the system who can hit a little has played corner OF. Trading one away is not the end of the world.

I'm a big believer in the plan. I'm willing to be argued off this point in a heartbeat.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 2, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

On the Mariners fan blog Bleeding Blue and Teal, a nice summary of Hudson's circumstances:
http://tinyurl.com/7x5y3w

Hudson is Type A, so yes, signing him costs the whomever their first pick not in the top 15.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@ driley: Dukes played 38 games in center field for Tampa, and one for DC last year.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

driley, I agree that having Dunn/Dukes/Willingham as our outfield would be a defensive disaster, but would maximize the offense. More likely I think you'd see Dunn/Dukes/Kearns and then have Willingham sub for Dunn when he plays 1B and then Milledge is off the bench. I doubt we'll sign Dunn and instead try to find a young 1B prospect like KK they can trade for I think that would be much better. Maybe even try Rhinehart out part time, it would be a huge stretch for him after half a year at AA.

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Good to "see" you back here, SlowPitch. Thanks for the report on and memories of the perfect game. We're waiting for cable hookup this weekend so I missed the broadcast this time, but according to the schedule it will air again on January 14. I'm looking forward to seeing it. It is a wonderful game that we love, isn't it?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Like 90 losses just waiting to be played, just for the starting pitching alone. And the lineup should keep Dr.Douoguih off the links until October.

*****************
How does this look?
1. Guzman (SS)
2. Dukes (CF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Dunn (LF)
5. Johnson (1B)
6. Willingham (RF)
7. Flores (CA)
8. Hernandez/Harris/Belliard (2B)
9. Olsen/Cabrera/Lannan/Balester/Zimmermann
Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 12:44 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

driley - Dukes played 332 innings in CF for TB in 2007, and maybe a couple of games there in 2008 for us. He also played mostly CF in AA (2005, Montgomery).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 2, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Who knows how the SPs will work out this year, could be like '05 or '06. I think they have to carry 2 long relievers in the pen to eat 3-4 innings when one of the SPs blows up in the 2nd inning.

One other thing to keep in mind for 2B, if they do have Dunn (or Willingham) at 1B it would be a good idea to have a glove first 2Bman to cover up the lack of range at 1B and (to a lesser extent) SS.

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's a poll:

Over/Under on
-number of players who spend more than 15 days on the DL
-total number of players who get on the regular season roster at some point during 2009

bonus question:
-first player on the 25-man injured and out for the season


(Must be the weather; glass is looking mostly empty today)

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

A gold-glove veteran who can hit, ideally. If his middle name were "Thill," so much the better.

***********
One other thing to keep in mind for 2B, if they do have Dunn (or Willingham) at 1B it would be a good idea to have a glove first 2Bman to cover up the lack of range at 1B and (to a lesser extent) SS.

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 1:31 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe. Could be like the Braves in 1991, too, but somehow I don't think so.

The 2005 rotation was more veteran (Livo, Loaiza, Drese, Okha) than prospects (Patterson, maybe Armas), and none of them has had a decent year since.

2006 we know about.

***********
Who knows how the SPs will work out this year, could be like '05 or '06.
Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 1:31 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

estuartj, driley - Asking Dukes to play CF between the likes of Dunn & Willingham would likely destroy him even before Johnson could get hurt again. As the team is currently configured, I could see a five-man rotation based on matchups, with either Johnson or Willingham at 1B, and an outfield rotation of Willingham, Milledge, Dukes & Kearns.

I'm probably wrong, but Dunn is such a weak link in the field that I just can't see the Nationals throwing money at him.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I bet we see a lot more baseball transactions starting Monday. Can't wait.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

If Hudson passes a very carefully done physical, and nobody else throws crazy money, I think they need to get him. He's already about 32, and it's not like they have someone in AA he would be blocking. Keep Belli, and wrap Nick in bubblewrap between, if not during, games, and cross your fingers.

If they can get three legitimate prospects for Milledge (and that's not out of the question, I think, but not a given either), they have to take that. Otherswise, give him a decent chance in ST to earn CF.

Hudson 4
Guzman 6
Zimmerman 5
Johnson 3
Dukes 9
Willingham 7
Milledge 8
Flores 2
p

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

but really, I expect a significant trade or two, plus a FA or two.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see Hudson as a fit, he's older and shows some signs of decline defensively. Also I think it would cost too many years and don't forget about the 2nd round draft pick.

Posted by: estuartj | January 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Internal poll -
The arbitration filing period begins Monday, Jan. 5. Of the four players the nationals have under arbitration, what will the ask / offer prices be?

3B) Ryan Zimmerman
RHSP) Shaun Hill
LHSP) Scott Olsen
OF) Josh Willingham

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

estuart - Disagree; IMO, Hudson would be a nice fit, if the price is right (2-3yrs, $7-9M per). He's reportedly good in the clubhouse, a solid leadoff hitter, with gold-glove bona-fides. A. Hernandez could stand as a late-inning replacement for either MI position, and Belliard could be moved to a contender for prospect(s) in June.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

CEvans- Hudson was born on 12/12/77, making him 49 weeks short of 32.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?playerId=5029

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 2, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

On other news, Bill Ladson's last two reports on mlb.com were SF Giants stories (Ramirez / Crede). Has there been a sea-change at mlb.com, or is the Nationals' FO so quiet that Ladson can report on other teams?

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or is anyone else having problems submitting? The only way I can get through is through preview / post. A straight 'submit' gives me an error on page, then nothing.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

testing, 1, 2, 3

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I got through via 'submit,' BinM, though it was a tad slow.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I've become agnostic about O. Hudson. One the one hand, he'd finally give us a real lead off. On the other hand, his defense may have already started to decline. NatsBisquit pointed out his #5 status in the Fielding Bible awards, which mixes a number of ways of evaluating defense. That's good, and perhaps outweighs the BIS based RZR and UZR evaluations of range (especially because the Bible is compiled by John Dewan, who same the zone ratings). If it came down to Derek Lowe for $40 million over 3 years, or Hudson for $30 million over 3 years, I'm not sure I would not want Lowe (not that Lowe would come here, but I'm tossing him out as a type).

If we did bring in Hudson, my preference might be for Guz back in the order. He does not work the count and his OBP is completely dependent on his contact and hits falling. As has been pointed out, contact helps more than walks when runners areon in front of you.

Perhaps something like this:

1) Hudson 4 S (P/PA - 3.8 career)
2) Milledge 7 R (p/pa - 3.95 '08)
3) Johnson 3 L (p/pa 4.3 4 out his last 5 seasons)
4) Dukes 8 R (p/pa 3.8)
5) Zimmerman 9 R (p/pa 3.8)
6) Guzman 6 S (p/pa 3.2 '08)
7) Kearns 8 R (3.9 '08)
8) Flores 2 R
9) XXX 9

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 2, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Wow, and yet a fourth post of the day from Cameron on Baseball Insider! This fellow is at least watching the wires carefully & trying to grow readership - On planetNJ, the sky is seemingly choked with a lack of attention. Harlan (you slacker), you out there?

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

jca - Well thought out analysis. I, for one would take Lowe over Hudson in a 'NY minute', particularly at the prices you quote. I also agree with Johnson 3rd and Zimmerman 5th in the lineup, if they sandwich a "scary" hitter. Dukes can fit that bill over short stretches, as can Willingham, but the Nationals still lack that 'middle-of-the-order' player.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Compare and contrast NJ results with the Nationals Enquirer 2008 Hangover Edition - Top 37 Storylines of 2008, over here:

http://www.nationalsenquirer.com/2009/01/enquirer-exclusive-top-11-nationals-storylines-of-2008.html

Enjoy.

Posted by: TheNationalsEnquirer | January 2, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. That's on the good side of "about 32," I guess.

Speaking of lazy, in advocating for hiring Hudson, I'm pretty much ignoring the maybe $10,000,000 x 3?? 4?? of Lerners' money (easy for me to say), because they don't seem to have anybody else there, (re?)gaining respectability won't be cheap and might not even be reasonable, and they really, really, *really* cannot afford another 90+ loss season. Nevermind the playoffs--it'd take them ten years to dig out of that marketing abyss. It's probably going to take two or three to get out of this one, and that's *after* they start winning.

*******
CEvans-Hudson was born on 12/12/77, making him 49 weeks short of 32.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?playerId=5029

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 2, 2009 3:00 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

and yeah, the Caps started drawing when they started winning--with the consensus MVP, and probably CoTY, neither of which the Nats have (yet -- I'm looking forward to that #6 pick, though).

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 2, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Dream with me for just a moment - a Starting staff of Lowe, Olsen, Lannan, Cabrera & either Hill or Balestar in 2009, and Lowe, Lannan, Olsen, J. Zimmermann & Balestar in 2010. This, backed by a starting lineup of...
(2009)
1- 2B) Hudson
2- CF) Milledge
3- 1B) Johnson
4- LF) Willingham
5- 3B) Zimmerman
6- RF) Dukes
7- SS) Guzman
8- CA) Flores

and in 2010...
1- 2B) Hudson
2- SS) Hernandez/Gonzalez/Desmond/???
3- LF) Milledge
4- 3B) Zimmerman
5- CF) Dukes
6- 1B) Rhinehart/Marrero
7- RF) Maxwell/Daniel/Burgess
8- CA) Flores/Montz/Rooney/???

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I know I shouldn't have done this. I promised I wouldn't. You can scold me for it, but dammit, I'm frustrated with Chico. As enjoyable as it is to read commenters, (I love ya'll to death) it's not what I come here for.

Look at what we got last year, the day after New Year's. I wanna cry.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2008/01/new_years_resolutions_edition.html

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Man, you really shouldn't have, NatsNut.

That post is sad for more than a few reasons.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

NNut: What's past is past. That noted, I've posted on here for a new-years' resolution (referendum) from the WaPo for a 'post-a-day' on planet NJ. We have (as a group) kept discussions flowing, sometimes without help from our 'beat writer' over the past few months in particular.

We, the 'hamsters' of planet NJ deserve & demand better - Harlan, either do a better job of feeding us on a regular basis, or turn the job over to someone who is more adept.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

They're cutting back at the Post. Perhaps Chico's been DFAed.

Posted by: TheGhostOfHatemasPast | January 2, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

BinM

The only slight hitch with your dream is that Lowe has repeatedly stated that winning is his primary concern And he's not even from Maryland...

Posted by: soundbloke | January 2, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The thing I like most about Hudson - he was asked about his interest in the Nationals, and he said he was interested in any team that was interested in him. Which means he'd give the same effort no matter who he signed with. He's a real professional imo. Got a great demeanor, smart. I just hope his broken bones heal alright. Make sure he doesn't have any fault lines in there.

Posted by: Brue | January 2, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Fine - Assign the slot to Cameron Smith, with Tracee Hamilton (editor) as a back-up; Turn Baseball Insider into a 'blurb-feed' for Boswell & Sheinen, with the occaisional assist from an intern / editor.

Just give the local fan base better service than the've recieved since 'the Blogfather' (Svrluga) got transferred to one-of-six+ on the Redskins' beat.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

sound: I said it was a dream; don't spoil it for me by injecting reality.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Finally, a new post.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company