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Friends Recruiting Friends

Just some random musings for the morning.

* First, there was some discussion in these parts last week about the alleged Ryan Zimmerman/Adam Dunn friendship. So yes, I asked Zim about it this weekend. He confirmed and explained.

Zim: I have a mutual friend that's really good friends with Griffey, and I've been in his golf tournament a couple times and I've met Adam there. So, I've known Adam for a year or two. I'm friends with a lot of people in baseball. Baseball is so much different than -- it's kind of a friendly sport. Not a friendly sport, but you're not trying to sack a guy or kill him, so it's a little easier to be friends.

Q: Are you trying to convince him to come?

Zim: I'm trying to convince everyone to come. I mean, he likes this place. He likes everything about it, and obviously he knows Jim [Bowden], he knows what he's about. There are a lot of ties that are kind of in there. But it kind of goes back to what we were talking about before about the business side. He's kind of got to wait and see what happens. There's still some time. There are a lot of good players still out there, and we'll kind of see what happens when those other guys start to sign.

* One thing I neglected to report from Jim Bowden's Q&A session with fans on Sunday. Bowden was asked whether the Nats might take interest in a veteran pitcher like Tom Glavine, whose friendship with Stan Kasten has raised speculation about a match. Bowden didn't entirely shoot down the idea, but he came close, explaining that you don't want to sign a vet like that if doing so blocks and/or retards the development of the younger arms. "If he replaces the 12th man on a staff, it makes sense," Bowden said -- but not if said pitcher takes a rotation spot from Collin Balester or Jordan Zimmermann or John Lannan.

Not like Glavine would ever bump Lannan from the rotation. Bowden was just going the extra mile to make his point. The bottom line is, Washington seems very willing to enter the season using a rotation featuring nobody older than 27.

* Read this. You will have a new appreciation for Garrett Mock. The quicker this guy can become a player-coach in DC the better, I say.

* For the next few days, I will be off traveling on assignment, and at times I won't be able to post as frequently as I'd like to. Apologies in advance, and thanks for understanding. I'll come back with souvenirs.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 27, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
 
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Next: Dibble Replaces Sutton In Booth

Comments

What, no postcard?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 27, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Several Nats were at the Wizards game last night, signing cards, hats, etc. All seemed like good guys. Got my DC hat (which I just happened to wear) signed by Justin Maxwell, Garrett Mock, Terrell Young and Mike O'Conner (Steven Shell was taking a break). Bob Carpenter was there too.

Not really on point, but it was great to see them out promoting the team.

Sec314

Posted by: arlingtontwb | January 27, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

You know that old saying "Friends don't let friends drive drunk"? Well, here's another one along those lines. Friends can't recruit friends to their team in MLB. It's all about the Benjamins. Boswell's been around long enough that he ought to know that, and quit throwing red herrings like that one into his screeds...er, columns.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 27, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"1) When was the last time we signed a free agent to a big league contract?"

Probably Daniel Cabrera. How soon they forget...

Posted by: nunof1 | January 27, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

OK so Chico validates that what Boswell wrote about Zimm and Dunn being friends was true, and people still aren't satisfied? Still on the Boswell head hunt? Get over it. Boswell did more for the Baseball in DC movement than any other media member in this town. Find something meaningful to complain about like none of our televviion or radio stations in the area are attempting to grow interest in the team. Leave the guy who is keeping pressure on the team alone.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 27, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I find it pretty interesting that the Nats are showcasing Terrell Young so much. I got a picture with him and Garrett Mock at Nats Fest, and now he is signing stuff at a Wizards game. They either must be really sure that this Rule 5 pick is going to stick, or they simply know they can ask him to do anythng they want, and he'll do it for a chance to stick with the big club.

Posted by: kevincostello | January 27, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Natsbisquit,

Nice post and I wholeheartedly agree.

Boswell has been one of the most respected baseball writers in this Country for years.

Some people are to busy drinking the Lerner/Kasten Kool Aid to understand.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 27, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

MASN has named Rob Dibble as the new color commentator for the Washington Nationals. He will join play-by-play man Bob Carpenter in the booth beginning with the 2009 season under a multi-year contract with MASN.

A 2-time All Star and MVP of the 1990 NLCS with the Cincinnati Reds, Dibble was part of the "Nasty Boys" bullpen which helped Cincinnati win the 1990 World Series. His broadcasting career includes stints at ESPN, Fox, and FoxSports.com.

"I'm excited to join MASN in covering one of the great new franchises in baseball, and I'm honored to be part of the MASN and Nationals' families. I will try to bring my experience as a pitcher, a ballplayer, and a broadcaster to the booth and bring fans a deeper understanding of what's happening on the field," said Dibble. "I've never been shy about sharing my opinion, so fans will know where I'm coming from."

"MASN has earned a national reputation for its commitment to the Nationals and to bringing fans inside the game, with features like Wired Wednesdays and pitch tracking. I'm looking forward to being part of the biggest baseball network in the country."

Dibble's arrival at Nationals Park will be a reunion in the broadcast booth, as he worked with Bob Carpenter at ESPN in the 1990s.

The Nationals' former color analyst, Don Sutton, who was halfway through a 4 year deal with MASN, had asked to be released from his contract for personal reasons.

"I have truly enjoyed the two years I had in Washington covering the Nationals and working for MASN. I will always be thankful that my wife Mary, my daughter Jackie and I had this experience. MASN is a first-class operation and deserves great credit for their pioneering success at presenting the Nationals games and effectively promoting the team. I appreciate that MASN has granted my request to be released for personal reasons, and I'm grateful for their understanding and cooperation," Sutton said. "I'm going to miss the class, the professionalism and the friendship of the folks who made sure we got good pictures on the air."

Dibble will make his high-energy debut in the MASN booth during Nationals spring training in March.

Posted by: Brian_ | January 27, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Have a nice trip, Chico.

Seamheads will enjoy this analysis of outfield arm strength:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/best-outfield-arms-of-2008/

Posted by: BobLHead | January 27, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Dibble used to make regular appearances on the Dan Patrick show on ESPN Radio. He probably would've made 2008 broadcasts more entertaining.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I understand what Bowden (and others here) are saying about Glavine blocking the path of youngsters, but over at BI, Sheinin comments on the Yankee's signing of Pettitte by saying: "You always want to start the season with seven or more MLB-ready starting pitchers, because of the likelihood of injuries, even if a couple of them are stashed at Triple-A."

I guess that pretty much sums up the argument for signing someone like Glavine. You really are not going to block a qualified Nat's starter by bringing in someone like Glavine - not for more than a month anyway. There are always injurries and poor performances to suffer through. So what if Carberra, or Balester, or Zimmermann have to spend an extra month working on their arm slot in Syracuse. By mid-May someone will be injurred or hurling a 6.50 era out there. You need to have some hurling insurance.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"OK so Chico validates that what Boswell wrote about Zimm and Dunn being friends was true, and people still aren't satisfied?"

Not saying I don't believe it's true. Never did say that, actually. I was just skeptical about it. What I'm saying now (validated by what Chico got from Zimmerman) is that the friendship is absolutely irrelevant to whether or not Dunn ends up coming here. Boswell might as well not have even mentioned it, much less make it one of the supporting points to his argument.

"Boswell did more for the Baseball in DC movement than any other media member in this town. Find something meaningful to complain about like none of our televviion or radio stations in the area are attempting to grow interest in the team. Leave the guy who is keeping pressure on the team alone."

Well, I saw stories about NatsFest on several local sportcasts (major network, not MASN) but nothing from Boswell either before or after the event. His latest column was brought up by questioners a couple of times, and the Nats FO basically poo-pooed it every time. Was Boswell even there to put any pressure on or to find out the FO's side of the story? Apparently not. Boswell himself is becoming increasingly irrelevant in this town. Better get used to it.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Boswell has been one of the most respected baseball writers in this Country for years."

Boswell and has-been are words that are growing ever more suited to each other with every passing day.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 27, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Let's just both agree to disagree. Your wrong. You have no historical perspective and your claim that Boswell didn't write about NatsFest is naive. In fact, he set the tone for NatFest by shining a spotlight on the need for action the day that NatFest kicked off. That was not an accident. It was a public service.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he's just good at it, and doesn't have anything better to do?

********
I find it pretty interesting that the Nats are showcasing Terrell Young so much. I got a picture with him and Garrett Mock at Nats Fest, and now he is signing stuff at a Wizards game. They either must be really sure that this Rule 5 pick is going to stick, or they simply know they can ask him to do anythng they want, and he'll do it for a chance to stick with the big club.

Posted by: kevincostello | January 27, 2009 12:31 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

If only they'd had that in college.
What? Oh. Nevermind.

"There's no such thing as too much pitching."
*********
You need to have some hurling insurance.
Posted by: natbisquit | January 27, 2009 12:43 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 27, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals' former color analyst, Don Sutton, who was halfway through a 4 year deal with MASN, had asked to be released from his contract for personal reasons."

Was it his personal hatred of Bob Carpenter, his personal love of Atlanta, or both? They don't say.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 27, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I *wish* Glavine were blocking somebody in Syracuse for a year. If he can't go, he isn't blocking anyone. If he's pitching well, *he's* not blocking anyone, the #5 guy is. And if Tom Glavine is their fifth-best starter, well ...

Maybe last year was just the beginning of the end, or maybe he was just hurt, is better now, and will make 25-30 starts.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 27, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe he's just good at it, and doesn't have anything better to do?"

I thought perhaps that was why Mike O'Connor was there.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 27, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

But even with Glavine, they're going to need a lot of long relief, 5th-6th-7th inning guys. Opportunities to pitch in DC have never been at a premium.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 27, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Cevans - eewwww!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 27, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

re. the "hurling insurance," that is...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 27, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Ladson reports that Rob Dibble will replace Don Sutton. A good choice and a fun guy to listen to. I like listening to him on XM MLB Live.

Posted by: NatsWin | January 27, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: Terrell Young. It's my understanding that we got first pick of the rule 5 drafts so that could mean something about the kid.

Also, my friend Amy and I interacted with him at the ESPN Zone celebrity cookoff. As I said in a prior post, he was engaging, unguarded and playful. His interactions with fans and the other players tells me they won't mind showcasing him a lot.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 27, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

CEvansJr - Which is why I think they need to bring a Dennys Reyes or Joe Beimel and move Nick for an Oakland bullpen righty.

Right now, there is something like a 7 player scramble for the rotation: the 5 favorites - Olsen, Cabrera, Lannan, Ballester, and Zimmermann - plus Bergmann and Hill, who clearly have issues (consistent control, health), plus Martis who is ready to spot start when someone is hurt, and hopefully Detwiler, Van Allen, etc. assuming some role by the 2d half of the year.

It is not obvious that they need a veteran, although if Perez would sign for the same terms as last year, or if Glavine would pitch at a discount, there would still be opportunities for the young'ens. My head tells me I'd like to see Ballester and Zimmermann start the year in Syracuse under a structured program that limits their innings and makes them the first call ups when Cabrera et al has their problems.

But if you don't bring in a veteran or two, you darn sure need bullpen depth. A back four of Rivera, Reyes, Casilla, and Hanrahan would push the Hinckley, Shell, and Mock into the middle innings and long relief roles instead of the set up roles. That would give the Nats guys who can bail out the young rotation when they have the inevitable blow ups.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 27, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's not let Boswell off the hook with the Zimmerman/Dunn frienship thing. How does Zimmerman know that Dunn likes him back? I'm just skeptical that anybody could be friends with anybody unless I know about it, and nothing I've read here allays that skepticism.

Posted by: markfromark | January 27, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

So the color of our new analyst is Red.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 27, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

markfrommark, maybe Kearns passed Zimmerman a note from Dunn (Do you like me? Check "yes" or "no." That type of thing.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 27, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So, you're bringing back souvenirs? So when you get back, I'll ask "What did you bring me?" LOL

I never liked R. Dibble when he was playing, so I'm not crazy about him replacing Sutton. Oh well, I guess I'll give him a chance!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | January 27, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Umm, Chico, you think having a player in a 14-16 year league old intentionally hit in the ribs with an 86-91 MPH fastball makes Garrett Mock a GOOD candidate for player-coach? I have to say it seems totally irresponsible to me. Of course, there needed to be discipline for the show-boating bunt, but it's just crazy to risk injury to a teenager.

I'd say this should disqualify Mock from ever coaching a youth team again. As well as the coach on the other team who went along with this dangerous and mean-spirited stunt.

Posted by: DougHerbert | January 28, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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