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Wrapping Up the Dibble Hire

As we might have suspected, opinion around the blogosphere and among our own commenters was acutely split between those who hated the hiring of Rob Dibble as MASN's color commentator for Nationals games, and those who loved it.

Over at Capitol Punishment, Chris Needham (welcome back from exile, Chris) uses a one-word unprintable to convey his feelings. But the folks at Nationals Enquirer applauded the move (though perhaps with a healthy measure of sarcasm).

A few other Dibble-related notes, before we (hopefully) turn our attention back to whatever it was we were discussing before:

*To clear up some confusion: Dibble's Monday-through-Friday gig on Sirius/XM Radio -- which, as we noted, will be from 4-6 p.m. during the baseball season -- will be produced from the stadium (whether at home or on the road), and not from the studios up the road.

*I was told that Dibble signed a long-term (either four- or five-year) deal with XM before the merger with Sirius that had to be honored after the merger, so it seems he had some leverage with the Nationals and MASN when it came time to negotiate his deal. Also, he was in talks with at least two other teams (the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox) about TV jobs

*To the best of my knowledge, Don Sutton hasn't spoken to any Washington-area media outlets, but he did speak to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in this piece this morning, and says there were two reasons he wanted to leave his Nationals gig. He doesn't exactly say what those reasons were, but he implies that one was being unable to do any play-by-play. The Braves' broadcasters split play-by-play and color-commentary duties, but here he was strictly a color man.

*A little messing around with Google ("Dibble" and "outspoken") brings up this link from last fall, which is relevant here for this quote:

Asked about the surprising success of the Rays, Dibble says (in part), "The guys that they got rid of, like Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes, didn't play the right game of baseball and didn't fit into their plan."

By Dave Sheinin  |  January 28, 2009; 8:58 AM ET
 
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Next: Obama and Opening Day

Comments

Rob Dibble...former Red...

When will it ever stop?

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm willing to give Dibble a chance.

Sutton was OK and I actually liked Tom Paciorek, even during his days doing White Sox games. Ron Darling, not so much. Not a bad guy just raw at the time.

I prefer someone who will say what he feels and I think Dibble will provide that. If the team or an individual is stinking up the joint then it needs to be said.

It's funny, people seem to get more upset about this move then the lack of moves for players that could actually help this ball club. Baffles the heck out of me.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Shiner - go back and read for content.

Sutton said “I can’t give you two reasons for wanting to leave [the Nationals]" - that's a little different than how you phrased it.

But the other comment is odd - does that mean that Carpenter wouldn't let him do a little play by play - or was it MASN/Nats not letting them switch things up a little.

Posted by: comish4lif | January 28, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I actually really liked Ron Darling. He called it like an old, wise baseball player would. He really knew a lot, he was just really calm about it.

Posted by: Section406 | January 28, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

In posting my disappointment in the Dibble hire [ "The Nail In The Coffin"

http://www.mouthofthemule.com/2009/01/nail-in-coffin.html ], one commenter captured my sentiments perfectly:

" I know, can you imagine listening to this gibbering jackass for three hours every night? I guess the Nats figured they could risk alienating the nine people who actually watch the games if they could attract the ten people who apparently find this guy interesting. But you couple this hire with the lack of free agent signings and the season is shaping up as 102 losses while someone runs a belt sander across your brain.

There oughta be a law ... "

Posted by: muleboy | January 28, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"does that mean that Carpenter wouldn't let him do a little play by play - or was it MASN/Nats not letting them switch things up a little."

If Sutton had done any play-by-play, then Carpenter would've been doing color. You want that?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 28, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The reason this upsets me is that I watch pretty much every game, every inning on TV (other than the games I go to), and putting this idiot Dibble on the telecast ruins that.

I'd like a color commentator who opens his mouth when he has a thought to convey. With Dibble, he just runs his mouth constantly, apparently on the off-chance that the random spewing of words will eventually produce a thought (the infinite monkeys/typewriters/Shakespeare theory, I guess).

Posted by: joebleux | January 28, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"The reason this upsets me is that I watch pretty much every game, every inning on TV (other than the games I go to), and putting this idiot Dibble on the telecast ruins that."

You have uncovered the real reason behind this move, which is to force you and others like you to go to more games. The Nats already make their MASN money whether anyone watches or not. They want their hand in your pocket for all 81 games now, and this Dibble move might just do that.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 28, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think an announcer needs to enjoy the work. Slowes and Jaggler play off one another well and employ a little gallows humor to keep things light. Carpenter is quite the opposite. No sense of humor, focuses unremittingly on the failures of the team until you want to... I don't think it matters who the color guy is or what he gets to talk about as long as Carpenter is there like an anchor around the neck of the whole operation. Dibble might be fine with a solid partner who was smart enough to use his talents. Joe Morgan is not a great announcer truthfully, but Jon Miller gives the enterprise an air of intelligence and humor. Carpenter will never be able to pull that off, so I will continue to watch on TV with the Radio playing.

Posted by: Juliasdad | January 28, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Shoot, I watch 150 games a year online... and I don't have the choice to go to the stadium to escape Dibble and Carpenter if I need relief... and it also doesn't work for me to listen to Charlie and Dave, because I can't get the play by play to sync up to the action!

Sutton was the devil you knew.

My fingers are crossed.

Posted by: wigi | January 28, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Darling got better in the last quarter of his only season in DC. Prior to that, he was just too quiet. The broadcast frequently had to survive utter silence when Darling didn't take the queue to add some color.

I liken his development in the booth to Milledge's in CF. There was a lot of progress towards the end, but maybe not enough to make folks feel 100% comfortable about his abilities going into the next season.

-----

I actually really liked Ron Darling. He called it like an old, wise baseball player would. He really knew a lot, he was just really calm about it.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 28, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Also, three posts about the MASN color guy. This is officially the biggest acquisition of the offseason for the Nats.

You had your fifteen minutes, Glover!

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 28, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Also, three posts about the MASN color guy. This is officially the biggest acquisition of the offseason for the Nats."
_____________________________________________________

Man, that is depressing.


Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

You can always listen to the other team's feed...

-----

Shoot, I watch 150 games a year online... and I don't have the choice to go to the stadium to escape Dibble and Carpenter if I need relief... and it also doesn't work for me to listen to Charlie and Dave, because I can't get the play by play to sync up to the action!

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 28, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Include me on the long list of people who are thankful for Charlie and Dave.

We've seen them dance ... if only they could do both TV and radio.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | January 28, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Was Buck Martinez trying to go from O's to Nats? I like him (and Dibble) on XM, but 2 totally different personalities. To be honest, I think the Nats should get Kevin Kennedy away from XM and put him in the FO (maybe even for JB).

Posted by: goexpos2 | January 28, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think after all these years on the air Dibble is by now a professional. As a talk show host, mouth-running isn't exactly unusual. Dead air is the biggest no-no on radio. He'll understand the difference in roles I hope. And he has raked Dukes over the coals several times - be interesting to see if he calls a truce.

Posted by: utec | January 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The more I think about this the more I like it. I hope he sticks to his not a homer plan and calls out the cheap Learners every chance he gets. He is the kind of guy who would do it.
Letting good players go, Not paying rent or taxes, giving lip service to the farm system on and on and on.
Go get'em Dibs! Don't hold back!

Posted by: brianbu | January 28, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Section505203,

To carry on a pointless and annoying fight (which is still more interesting that talking about the TV color guy);

What annoys me is when you and posters like you talk about how cheap the Lerners are and that they should make some big FA signings to improve the team, but you never (or at least rarely) talk about who you want them to sign.

I was discussing the FA options (Hudson, Dunn, Sheets?) vs the trade options (KK, Gonzalez) and you didn't comment at all!

Posted by: estuartj | January 28, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I hate to sound like an old fart, but back in the good old days, the NY teams had 3 broadcasters each, and they would rotate through the radio and TV booths during the games--three innings of each with a little bit of overlap so you'd have. Each would do play-by-play and color for some part of the game on each medium. Depending on how Officer Dibble works out, it might be something that the Nats might try (especially since I can't hear Charlie & Dave here in Prince William County anyway).

Posted by: ramgut | January 28, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

These are the saddest of possible words: Glover to Dibble to ___? (purely from a no-big-news-related standpoint)

---

Also, three posts about the MASN color guy. This is officially the biggest acquisition of the offseason for the Nats.

You had your fifteen minutes, Glover!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

But keep those posts coming, Posties. Maybe the big FA one is just around the corner. Hey, it could happen (obligatory Glover movie quote reference).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between being a "homer" and being informed. If Dibble watches the Dukes that I saw on the field last year, he will have to mollify his words soemwhat. I can't imagine Dibble could criticize anyone for on field histrionics since he was a fist pumping demonstrative strikeout pitcher himself. Whether he has something to say about game preparation or past transgressions will be of mild interest.

My general feeling is that national broadcasters usually rely on second hand news, not personal observations so their perception is skewed toward the negative since that is what makes the national news. If you weren't in DC last summer, your only frame of reference on Dukes was from the NY Mets games. Your perception of Milledge was based on the previous year with the Mets. Christian Guzman wasn't even on your radar, and everything you know about Willie Harris is based on the highlight reel catches he made against the Mets. They've never even heard of Saul Rivera, Garrett Mock, or Colin Balester and the only reason they've heard of Wil Nieves, Alberto Gonzalez, and Angel Hernandez is throgh their connections with New York teams.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 28, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I really like this. Dibble was a very good co-host on the Dan Patrick Show, especially when he was talking about the game of baseball and baseball players. IMO it could be a very good match.

I liked Sutton too and thought he brought a lot to the broadcast when he talked about pitching. It's too bad he wanted to leave the Nats.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | January 28, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

When I watch sporting events I shut the sound off. Don't need anyone to tell me what I am seeing. Doesn't make any differnce dwho is giving the color.

Posted by: boyn4884 | January 28, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,

I have said many times on this blog since we lost out on the Tex sweepstakes that we desperately need a LH power bat and Adam Dunn is a must.
If they sign him, I get off their backs.

Hudson and Sheets would be nice but, I don't think they are a must have. They both have major injury concerns and the Nats have a enough of those type guys.

Payroll is a huge thing. It doesn't guarantee a playoff spot, let alone a title however, it can give you an advantage.

7 of the 8 playoff teams in 2008 were in the top 15 in payroll, with Tampa being the lone exception. 5 of the top 8 made the playoffs.

In 2007 5 of the top 8 made the playoffs.

the Red Sox are a fine example solid minor league system and they spend money on the ML roster.

The Lerners don't need to spend 133 million like the Red Sox did but, why can't they spend like say, the Brewers (15th at 81 million) and help the ML product without completely comprising "The Plan" of building up the minors?

I'm growing tired of being told to be patient but, seeing us in the bottom 5 in payroll.

If we lived in Pittsburgh, an extremely small market, I would understand but, we do not and it is insulting that the Lerners are getting a pass.

Is spending 20-30 million on Dunn and say Randy Wolf or a Fuentes really going to F up "The Plan?"

Give me a break.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I saw some mention of Jon Miller above. Is there some chance he could join the Nats' TV team? That would be GREAT! He's fantastic, insightful, quick, descriptive and funny. I've missed him ever since he left the O's.

Carpenter is a bore, and so was Don Sutton. Miller and Dibble would make a great team and I could stop trying to synchronize the timing of the radio sound and TV picture to hear the absolutely wonderful Slowes and Jaegeler, who are the best radio team in all baseball in my opinion.

The only radio sports announcer who makes you actually see the action in your mind's eye as well as Slowes and Jaegeler is hockey's Ron Weber.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | January 28, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that signing Dunn and Sheet damages 'The Plan'. The thing is that it doesn't advance it either. A trade for Gonzalez, KK, Barton or Pie (&$!#*!!!) does by adding a long term piece. All Dunn does is buy us a year or two to see what's available on the farm.

Sheets might work out long term but, he does have a very bad track record with injuries.

The Red Sox are a good example of a team that develops talent, then fills the gaps with money.

I would a trade but that is why Dunn fits in better than anyone else. If we can't trade there are simply no other choices at 1st.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

est...
Of course no one here can make a trade or sign a FA, and any suggestions are worthless; what, you think that Bowden/Kasten/Lerner would consider a fan's suggestion? I doubt they even read these comments!!
The point here is, given that we lost 102 games last season, aren't there one or two FA's out there that are better, more talented players that the guys we have? If so, why not sign them? Do SOMETHING to at least attempt to get better! Heck, I'm just a fan...I don't even know who's available out there, but it sure seems to me that no one could say that our players are better than all the available FA's.

Posted by: al852 | January 28, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Trades are fine but, not if we have to send 2-3 prospects to get someone. We are just now getting our minor league sytem back from the fleecing by MLB.

I don't want to start trading pieces and stunt the growth of it.

That's why I think a couple FA's, at this time, helps keep the minors intact and helps the ML product get better.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

502203

It is very true that we have a depressing lack of tradable pieces.

I would love to get Barton for Johnson but I can't see Oakland making that trade. I think Willingham is the only guy we have who is both attractive enough to fetch something, and too old not to be worth keeping around. Or Milledge, but I would expect more than Gonzalez, KK or Barton for him.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

@ Section505203 and others.

What have we seen so with the 2 of the 3 major trades that Jimbo has pulled off in his tenure?

The Soriano trade aside, the other two were trades where we sent younger cheaper talent for arb elligibles. I'm taking about the Kearns/Lopez and Willingham/Olsen deals. Because we don't have an abundance of top talent nor are we willing to give them up, I see Bowden continuing to do these types of deals, which are fine, but don't return the top talent, IMO.

I think we need to expand our expectations of FA signings. Signing someone to a 2-4 year deal doesn't mean that we need to keep them the entire length of their contract. Granted, there is always the hope that they overperform for the $$$ we pay them, in which case, we'd most likely keep them for the duration. But even if, let's say, they overperform and the team pulls another 2008, why not then trade them for prospects? In an era of increased parity, there are more potential suitors at the trade deadline.

IMO, the right free agent at the right price still holds true. But not signing someone in favor of turning to youth who still need seasoning in the minors hurts the team in many ways.

Lastly, what happens if Lannan pulls an '08 Kearns. Kearns was established before we got him, and has clearly regressed. Do we really want to put that much pressure on Lannan (and the entire staff) right now? By not having an established innings eater?

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke,

I agree if we can get someone to take an extra OF or some other extra piece off the ML roster then do it but, like you I don't see it happening.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of inviting Poopy to post, Jim Callis's response to a q comparing Strasburg, Zimmermann, Balester, and Detwiler to Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta, and Erbe was interesting. From his BAA caht of 1/26, answering a question from Justin Smith of Severna Park, Md.:

"Strasburg would give the Nationals the most impressive pitcher in that group, but the Orioles' arms would be better as a whole. While Matsuz was the best pitcher in the 2007 draft, scouts consider Strasburg a cut above, a Mark Prior/David Price type who comes along only once every few years.

"But for the rest of the matchups, the edge goes to Baltimore. Tillman and Zimmermann are very, very close, but if I had to pick one, I think Tillman has a little more upside. I prefer Arrieta to Balester because he has more swing-and-miss stuff, and I'd take Erbe over Detwiler for the same reason."

I think either he had (or the BA consensus was) Tillman at #23 and Zimmermann at #27. If Zimmermann is that close to Tillman, that is saying a lot because Tillman is thought to be a solid #2 pitcher. And the Price /Prior comparable for Strasburg is nice to read.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 28, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I meant "chat," not "cart."

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 28, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

jchtichen

I favour youth above all things but you are right that the failure to land Wolf or some-such-guy was a mistake. We've been talking a lot about emulating the Red Sox, and they always go into spring training with a massive pitching surplus. Pitchers break down, are streaky but, most importantly are easily moveable.

I wonder what the Nat's would have had to add to Redding to get C. Gonzalez. It makes me sad we couldn't find a way of making that work. But like we all know, adding a Belliard, Pena or Kearns to any deal hardly sweetens it.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Two reasons why trades and FA signings to acquire roster changing talent will not happen between now and ST:

1. It's clear that the Nats will need to overpay for any FA. They cannot force people to come here. The Nats will not and should not blow their salary structure in order to go from 70 to 75 wins and placate fans. That would be a bad long term move.

2. In order to trade for a roster changer, a team must have a surplus of roster changers or at least potential roster changers at one position. That Nats do not have that.

Please stop holding your breath. It's not going to happen. There's nothing Jimbo can do about it, except draft better and sign the guys he drafts.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 28, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

What the He!! is up with the former Reds players in this organization. Give us a break Bowden- this is one of the many reasons this organization is a joke.

Posted by: richard_cranium | January 28, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

cmon, estuart, chill. you're taking way too much out on 505+. He's hardly the only one saying stuff like that and his/her post that sparked this little spat was one of the most innocuous ones I wrote. If you want to argue with the concept that MANY people write about, then write it generally. No need to get so personal.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 28, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"...sparked this little spat was one of the most innocuous ones I wrote"

Ooops. I meant "HE/SHE wrote" hahaha 505203 isn't me.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 28, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Sheinin, stay over here pleeeeease? Baseball Insider has plenty of people talking general baseball stuff. We need you here, filling in Chico's many gaps.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 28, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

#4,

I agree to a certain extent but, adding 29 year old Adam Dunn for say 12 million/yr doesn't exactly blow up their salary structure. Their payroll last year was a ridiculous 55 million, 26th in MLB.

He may have his warts defensively but he brings some pop and OBP something this team is severely lacking. And he is young enough that he could still be helping us in 2-3 years and be a piece to a playoff team.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"It's clear that the Nats will need to overpay for any FA."

---Overpaying in this market is still vastly cheaper than we thought it would be going into the offseason.

"In order to trade for a roster changer, a team must have a surplus of roster changers or at least potential roster changers at one position. That Nats do not have that."

---Chicken or the egg. If we have no "roster changers" to trade, then we either have to draft and develop them or...sign them. OR as I was trying to say in my previous post, we can continue to look for teams with miniscule budgets and trade for their players once they become arbitration elligible. But are they "roster changers"?

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut,

I'm a He and Thanks. You are one of the nicest people on this blog and probably one of the best fans as well.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

jchiten

I don't know if #4 meant this but if you read his comments he said "will not happen" not "should not happen".

#4

This isn't your first prediction based on the Lerners is it?

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Ben Sheets, for instance.
What's the market for him these days? Around 2 years? Can you imagine what we could get for him if he had a healthy start...

The Lerners have said that they were going to increase payroll and we are currently in an offseason where free agent contracts have plummeted. Buy low. Buy a John Garland.

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

#4

last post was a rhetorical question not, snark.

Just appreciating you observation that the second anyone said "we may have to pay above market price", the Lerners wallets curled up like a frighted hedgehog.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My comment was more out of frustration, as I think we can do better than troll the rosters of the Marlins and Reds, looking for players they can no longer afford.

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Carpenter better have some pretty good life insurance. Apparently Dibble can get pretty lathered up during a game.

Got to figure by June "Blow Dry Bob" and his Okie-Dokie style will grate on Dibs nerves to the point where anything could happen. Hope there are no "butter knives" in the TV booth.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"The Lerners have said that they were going to increase payroll"
____________________________________________________

I remember hearing this quote to, I believe it was from Kasten or Jimbo.

As we sit here on 1/28/09 it does not appear to be the case. There is still time to increase but, I'm not going to hold my breath.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Dear Nationals Journal:

Please post something - anything! - so the Dibble posts aren't the three most recent.

I'm begging you. Work a review of Paul Blart into a post. Post the winning recipe from the cook off. Discuss whether the Nats are "shovel ready" and thus qualified for the stimulus. Whatever.

I just don't have the strength yet to face a season of Rob Dibble. I'll need about a month of Spring Training to a) conquer my gag reflex or b) find a way to sync up the radio with MASN.

Until then, surely the Nats must have signed some minor league A. Nonimouse or been turned down by another over-priced FA. Post that - it's bad news I can handle.

But Dibble? No mas, por favor.

Nauseatedly yours,

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | January 28, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut is a peach, 505.

In other news, congrats to the Licey Tigers on their 20th Dominican Winter League Championship (in which Nats Hernandez and Belliard played a role).

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090125&content_id=3771818&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Also, I'm behind in my reading but I just noticed that MLB Network will be airing Caribbean World Series games live from Feb. 2-7. Cool.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Diamondbacks are about to sign Garland. The Diamondbacks...

This is a market, I remind you, where Pat "the Bat" took the same contract that we offered Guzman. Granted, Burrell's was discounted, but might not be if he were still available now.

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

TippyC -- "Blow-dry Bob," I'm stealing that, it's pitch perfect, as Ted Leonsis would say.

Also, 2009: The year of the Rally Hedgehog?

Did the Sandhill Crane get an invitation to Spring Training?

Posted by: BobLHead | January 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

1a,

You are right there with her. Nice and a great fan.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Also, 2009: The year of the Rally Hedgehog?"

Just Say No to any notion of the Nats hiring Ron Jeremy. In any capacity. I don't care how big a bat he carries.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Garland signing - I'm pretty sure that we'll get the same mileage from Cabrera for about 1/3 the price.

Before I go and generate one myself - does anyone know of an online source that has the roster and the 2009 salaries all laid out?

Posted by: comish4lif | January 28, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

BobL, hmmm, maybe. Could it be a Sonic Hedgehog - might be more fearsome that way? Speaking of rally critters, the strange phenomenon of the werepossum was brought to my attention via a recent tv program on lycanthrope legends. Heh, who knew?

505, thank you, sir.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I know we have too many outfielders already, but is anyone besides me nostalgic for a Brad Wilkerson signing? He can hit from the left.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 28, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Aw shucks, ya'll.

1a: Ramon Ortiz and Jesus Flores were on the Licey team too.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 28, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Not nostalgic for Wilkerson. Has batted .222, .234. and .220 since leaving here. I think he's done. He's looking at a minor league deal at best after those 3 seasons.

Posted by: comish4lif | January 28, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Cool, NatsNut.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Lastly, what happens if Lannan pulls an '08 Kearns. Kearns was established before we got him, and has clearly regressed. Do we really want to put that much pressure on Lannan (and the entire staff) right now? By not having an established innings eater?

Posted by: jctichen


Ummmmm, how does having an "eatings eater" or not having one affect Lannan? Lannan will go every fifth start. He will pitch as many innings as he is effective and Manny will pull him while under a 100 pitch count. At about this time last year there was a small, persistent chorus for an "innings eater" as I recall. For the life of me I do not see how someone who pitches 6 innings a game and gives up 4 to 5 runs per start helps this team progress in any fashion. It would make a lot more sense to get an extra middle or long relief pitcher to add to the bullpen. They don't cost much, they are plentiful, and they do more to save a pitching staff than any "innings eater" plus they give the manager one more option to use to save a game where the starter is having trouble.
Bergmann, Mock, Chico, or a sixth starter would do very well in that position and would gain added experience at the major league level.

Posted by: driley | January 28, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Comish - Try Cots for salaries of anyone under contract now. It might include a few of fthe 40 man, but it's close.

Google Cots MLB contracts.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 28, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Did the Sandhill Crane get an invitation to Spring Training?

Posted by: BobLHead | January 28, 2009 2:55 PM

*******************
That was one of the funnier posts Barry gave us. The title was classic.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2008/03/nats_sign_crane_insert_him_imm.html

Posted by: NatsNut | January 28, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

That was a funny post. Don't know whether the crane or the raccoon got an invite to ST.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The ways things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to see Niles or Frasier Crane invited to ST.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

BTW Sutton didn't say there were two reasons he wanted to leave, he said he couldn't give you two reasons why he wanted to leave but could give you 20 reasons why he wanted to be back with the Braves. Simple facts, man get it right. What else do we get that's wrong?

Posted by: dovelevine | January 28, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

>It would make a lot more sense to get an extra middle or long relief pitcher to add to the bullpen. They don't cost much, they are plentiful

They are plentiful because they have fewer types of pitches than a legitimate starting pitcher does. Most of them only have one or two major league pitches. That's why they can't go through a batting order more than once without generally getting torched.

Posted by: Brue | January 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Ummmmm, how does having an "eatings eater" or not having one affect Lannan? Lannan will go every fifth start. He will pitch as many innings as he is effective and Manny will pull him while under a 100 pitch count. At about this time last year there was a small, persistent chorus for an "innings eater" as I recall. For the life of me I do not see how someone who pitches 6 innings a game and gives up 4 to 5 runs per start helps this team progress in any fashion. It would make a lot more sense to get an extra middle or long relief pitcher to add to the bullpen. They don't cost much, they are plentiful, and they do more to save a pitching staff than any "innings eater" plus they give the manager one more option to use to save a game where the starter is having trouble.
Bergmann, Mock, Chico, or a sixth starter would do very well in that position and would gain added experience at the major league level."

Innings-eater doesn't mean some bum you start to labor through 6 innings or run out there when the game is out of hand. An innings-eater is a proven starter who can go 200+ innings a year without his arm falling off. Generally speaking, guys who go 200+ innings per year last 6-8 innings in an average start. These pitchers provide stability in the rotation and are typically costly. Garland is signing for $6mil, that's very cheap.

But who you describe, 6 innings and 4-5 runs per start, sound more like the young guys set for the '09 rotation (namely Balester) and the guys who you mention - Chico, Mock and Bergmann.

It's almost like the FO is afraid to sign legit players and we are giving them a free pass.

Posted by: jctichen | January 28, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Rob Dibble is an idiot. Its documented here: http://www.firejoemorgan.com/search?q=Rob+Dibble

I'm now 100% positive the Nationals hate their fans.

Posted by: BillyBeane | January 28, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. Predicting that the Nats will lose the arbitration cases with Olson, Zimmerman and Willingham, the Nats will have an opening day salary of about $45 million. I also made some guesses about the pre-arbitration guys that will just get renewed (like Milledge, I guessed $450K, Hanrahan $425K, etc.)

Additionally, the Nats will have to eat $5M for Dmitri Young and $2M for Wily Mo.

Posted by: comish4lif | January 28, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The other huge bons to having an innings eater would be the ability to give our bullpen the odd day off. We relied on our pen too heavily for about 5 years now and as a consequence have seen a lot of them flame out.

This is a young pen this year and it would be good if we weren't sending them in to games as early as we have been doing. if the pen can be more rested it does give you the advantage of not leaning on young starter arms so much throughout the year.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

jctichen and soundbloke:

You're right that the market is down. Still the point is that if we overpay for Dunn, when it comes time to sign Zimmerman or any other young guy worth keeping, it'll be tougher and cost more. That's the salary structure I am referring to. Some of you will react by saying that the Lerners are cheap if they think this way. Well... one person's cheap is another's sensible. I agree that their payroll should be closer to $100 million. However, if they go throwing exorbitant money at players who aren't worth it, it'll eventually catch up with their reputation as negotiators and cost them players.

You're also right that one way to bypass my "roster changer" argument is through a fire sale trade. The Nats did that once already this off season with Olsen and Willingham. I doubt there are any more out there.

For these two reasons I'm convinced that the roster we see now is the one they'll go into ST with.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 28, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, if average 6.06 innings per start, you throw 200 innings.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 28, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

#4

I agree that this is the roster we will see in ST. I actually think that if we are going to spend money it should be eating salaries of the veterans we trade away for youngsters. But holding on to the belief we can do that is about as realistic as thinking we could sign Teixeria...

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

God almighty is that all???

That doesn't seem like a lot. Thanks for the stat.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Tom Paciorek was the best, funny knew the nuances of the game,didn't overtalk his play by play partner. As I said yesterday Dibble is gonna wear out his welcome PDQ, so its going to be interesting.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 28, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I found this blurb about what Lannan has been up to in the offseason to be interesting. Maybe we'll see more innings out of him, assuming his pitch count stays low.

http://tinyurl.com/Lannan

Posted by: psubman | January 28, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for baseball season to start.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 28, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Not that I'm drinking all the kool-aid, but consider this: Olsen is a solid, 6IP+ starter, Cabrera could be this years' version of Livan (on the mound, at least; at the plate, not so much) & chew up innings. If Lannan is anywhere close to the pitcher he looked like in 2008, he's solid as well, in terms of ppi/IP. That's three decent pitchers at the top of the rotation for the time being.

While I'd have liked the Nationals' to sign a FA SP as a 'stop-gap' player to anchor the rotation & teach the pups how to win without their best stuff, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

It looks like Viera will have Bergmann, Balestar, Hill, Clippard, Martis, Detwiler, Estrada, Atilano, Towers & J.Zimm (both NRI's) battling for the 4-5 slots & the LR/'swingman' slots on the Nationals 25-man roster.
Overall, that's better than what the big club went into Viera with in 2008, imo.

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

BinM

There is a big difference between seeing hope and buying into Bowden... er... yeah, let's say kool-aid shall we.

This is a better, younger healthier pitching staff. They aren't league average but they might be come July.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 28, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

OK I'm not trying to get personal on any posters, but I do get really annoyed when people post that the Lerners are cheap or that Kasten/Bowden haven't done enought to improve the team, but don't have anything to say about what they should do.

I think it's terribly lazy to say "That's Bowden's job, I'm just a fan". If thats the case then why not talk about Willingham/Olsen/Cabrera how do you know Cabrera and Olsen won't win 25 games each and finish 1-2 in Cy Young voting or that Willingham won't hit 75 HRs and be the league MVP?

As to payroll, I don't completely agree with Kasten's comments that payroll is irrelevant. Being willing to spend more on the players on your team does make you more likely to be competitive, however Kasten is dead on that spending that money doesn't mean you will win.

Looks like we have about 55-57 million obligated to next season. This market can surely support a payroll in excess of 100 million, but where exactly are you going to get 45 million worth of talent? FA, just like the draft, come in waves - you can only sign whos available and a lot of the garbage out there would not be any better than the talent we already have.

I brought up 3 potential signing, Sheets (too injury prone, the NJ of pitcher), Hudson (declining defense, middling bat and would cost us the first pick in the second round) and Dunn (king of Ks, terrible defense). If we could get 1-2 of these at the right price (which I count in years, not dollars) they could make the team better, but if we had the possiblility to trade for a young 1B man like KC's KK or Gonzalez from Colorado I would prefer that.

It's very tough to judge JimBow on those potentials when we don't know what the terms would be for the FA (or if Dunn is willing to sign if he will be at 1B) or what the cost in prospects would be in trade for the type of players I outlined.

I'd love to see some moves to make this team better, and I do think we'll see at least one more "significant" signing or move, but I have to trust in Kasten and JimBow to make smart moves to build a championship team and hopefully not make desperation signings/moves that will sacrifice the long term potential of the organization to win 5-10 more games.

Posted by: estuartj | January 28, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the unibomer-esque rant, but since I can't post from my blackberry (hey blogmaster, can we fix that?) I have to save it all up till I'm in front of my laptop.

Posted by: estuartj | January 28, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@sound:
I try to stay optimistic in most situations, but on a blog, that equates to 'drinking the kool-aid" in a lot of peoples' eyes.

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@estuart:
If I caught the general 'drift' of your rant, I think I'm by-and-large on board;

>Spending money on FA's just because it's supposedly there isn't the best move - Agreed.

>Acquiring FA's on short-term (1-2 year) deals to serve as 'stop gap' players, without "breaking the Bank" - Agreed (just disagree on players listed).

>The Nationals' will probably spend in excess of $64M for their current 40-man roster in 2009 - the 25-man might be between $50-$57M - Agreed; they can (and should) support more salary if it puts a better overall product on the field.

>The team will make at least one more "significant" move before ST ends - can't agree, but they need to; the 'glut' of players in the OF needs to be resolved, hopefully through trade for a solid LH hitter or the SP 'anchor' we crave.

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"OK I'm not trying to get personal on any posters, but I do get really annoyed when people post that the Lerners are cheap or that Kasten/Bowden haven't done enough to improve the team, but don't have anything to say about what they should do."

ESJ:

I think the reason that people don't have anything to say is that there is nothing to say. There are no sensible/realistic moves to make out there. I'd much rather JimBo sits on his hands than trade good prospects or tie the team to a stupid contract. He isn't going to get Kila from the Royals for three guys named Austin Kearns.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 28, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The reason that I don't have anything to say as far as signings, roster moves, and so forth is that my opinion does not affect the outcome in any way, so it strikes me as a waste of my time and energy to posit about it. It's the same reason that I don't get into making predictions about season W-L records or postseason play outcomes. But that's just me, and I realize that others enjoy doing it.

estuartj, after your self-characterization I will be picturing you in sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt, huddled over your keyboard ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

estuartj, after your self-characterization I will be picturing you in sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt, huddled over your keyboard ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 7:52 PM
--------------------

Or poker cards (al la Phil Lech(sp?), aka "the Unibomber".

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I had to Google that one, BinM ("Laak," it turns out). :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

@4:

There are always things to say - that's what makes it 'Hot Stove Season'. What it lacks is sometimes is sensible, or rational things to say...

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

@1a1:

D'oh! My bad, but that's why I ?'ed the spelling.

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave are the way to go. I cannot stand Carpenter's sing-song junior high school teacher's voice; and Sutton's was gravelly and unprofessional, too. And they clearly detested one another.

The Carpenter/Dibble duo most likely represent the lowest, or near-lowest-paid TV broadcasters in ML baseball.That's what MASN and the Nationals are about. Squeezing the nickels. You get what you pay for.

Posted by: JohnRDC | January 28, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"The Red Sox are a good example of a team that develops talent, then fills the gaps with money."

Soundbloke: The Red Sox are everything the Nationals are not.

Posted by: JohnRDC | January 28, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

No problem, BinM. Just thought I'd add that because you were wondering about the spelling.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 28, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

@JohnRDC:

I agree with your "Charlie & Dave are the way to go" statement, but what does how much MASN pays Carpenter/Dibble have to do with anything?

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@1a1:

thx - sometimes, I'm just a knucklehead & type before I think to verify stuff.

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

JohnRDC - are you another long lost poster, JohnR(VA)?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 28, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

here, here on the Charlie and Dave love. If I'm not at a game, 9 times out of 10 I'm listening to those guys. And happily. 3+ hours is such a long time it's so easy for the smallest phrase or tick or habit to get annoying, especially when there's no video to go with the audio. But these guys do it, 3+ hours, practically every single day and it's always smooth as silk. they've never annoyed once.

On the other hand, I think I watched 2 games on TV all year and the one thing that drove me crazy about Sutton, and I've never heard anyone else comment on it, was the faintest of clicking noises, like he was chewing gum or clicking a pen or something. It drove me nuts.

I'm all Charlie and Dave, all the time and if they even THINK about messing with that team, I will go ballistic.

BTW, JohninMpls, you had me laughing uncontrollably on your baseball trifecta. Huh-LARious.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 28, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Bobl, this one's for you.
http://tinyurl.com/djk7ub

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 28, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Hear, Hear! NatsNut. I have to pay either way - to listen or watch. There is just something about baseball on the radio, especially with Charlie and Dave.

Posted by: lowcountry | January 28, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I completely missed a mention of this previously (or a lengthy discussion), but it was news to me when I found out that Centerplate is out as the Nationals Park concessionaire this year. I found the following at the Sports Business Journal:

----
Levy Restaurants and Facility Merchandising Inc. are taking over the food and retail accounts, respectively, after the Nationals cut ties with Centerplate, according to several industry sources.

It was no secret the Nationals were unhappy with what officials felt was Centerplate’s subpar performance at Nationals Park in 2008, the team’s first season at its new $693 million facility.
---

I don't know what this means to the offerings at the park, but trust that Ben's Chilli and Red Hot & Blue, et all will still be there.

I know Chico is off on "assignment" again but perhaps someone at the Post could track this down in his absence or point me to where it has already been written about.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 28, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"Innings eaters" redux...

I found that in all of baseball in 2008 there were only 27 pitchers that had an ERA under 4.00 that had 200 or more innings pitched. Hopefully, that will put to rest the notion that a gm can breeze down the isles of the free agent supermarket and pick them off of the shelves. Had Lannan's position not been held by Chico at the beginning of the year he would likely have qualified in this rather small group.

Posted by: driley | January 29, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Bring on Dibble! Why not get the guy who might say something provocative now and then? No one is watching anyway on MASN, so is it really that important?

Posted by: dfh123 | January 29, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

>Bring on Dibble! Why not get the guy who might say something provocative now and then? No one is watching anyway on MASN, so is it really that important?

It'll be important if it gets some people fired. The truth will set you free.

Bring on Dib-ble. Make that a Dou-ble Dib-ble.

I need a double shot of my Dib-ble's love

Posted by: Brue | January 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

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