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A Modest Upgrade

The Nationals Journal, you have probably noticed, has a minimalist design. There's a little banner up top, a simple font, a clean interface. I inherited this motif, and frankly, I like it. So no, for 2009, we're not exactly planning to blow up the model and turn this into some amphetaminic cable news war room. But, we do want to add a little bit.

And for this, I'm requesting your help.

During the Post's winter-long Blog Improvement Meetings, held over the course of eighteen leisurely weeks at the St. Regis hotel, we somehow decided that it might be nice to add slim column on the left-hand margin providing a roll call of other Nats blogs. Most of these I know well and visit regularly. Still, there is no better catch-all than the eyes of a community, and so here's the request:

1.) If you currently operate a (functioning, frequently updated) Nats blog and wish to see it included in the blog rollcall, send me a personal e-mail at

2.) If you do NOT operate a blog and would still like some input on this matter, feel free to post below. By all means, suggest the Nats Web sites you visit most frequently.

3.) No matter your currently blogging status, feel free to toss out some all-around baseball sites that you generally find to be good resources. I'm thinking we'll have a separate column for all-purpose baseball links as well.

Thanks so much for the help.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 9, 2009; 4:21 PM ET
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Next: Nats Cannot Lure Durham


This is the only blog I really check for the Nats so I'm looking forward to seeing what else is out there. For general baseball information you have to link to

Posted by: jogill | February 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there's a lot of sophomoric hijinks going on over there. But it's the one place that I know will have Nats information, when there's Nats information to be had.

Posted by: comish4lif | February 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

can't let this go by without mentioning the wonderful folks at WNFF:


the best Nats forum on the web, in my opinon.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 9, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

nats farm authority is strong. would it be in bad taste to suggest "chatter"? haha. on a different note...isnt it about time for GUESS THE ROTATION come on chico get on it!


Posted by: formerlylove | February 9, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

oh yes, can't forget NFA.

easily the best place to go for Nats Prospect Info.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 9, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Would it be possible to select one of several computer-generated comments to reply to a given post?

You know, so you could click on a drop-down menu and select "Learners are Cheap" and get the standard boilerplate argument.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 9, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Greatest and biggest Nationals board on the planet:

Washington Nationals Fan Forum

Posted by: fs228 | February 9, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I STILL really miss Ball-Wonk. Dude, wherever you are, know that you rocked while you were active!

Posted by: Juan-John | February 9, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

oleanders and morning glories
federal baseaball
nationals fanboy looser
Fire Jim Bowden
William World News
Nats Triple Play

Posted by: softballgirl | February 9, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Oleanders and Morning Glories" and "The Nationals Enquirer" belong on any Nats blogroll. For general baseball info it's hard to beat

Posted by: NTPNate | February 9, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

My list of favorites is:

Nationals Farm Authority
Nationals Enquirer
Oleanders and Morning Glories
Federal Baseball
We've Got Heart

and at least a couple of times a month I still look at Capitol Punishment...just in case Chris!

Also I use District of Baseball because of its news aggregator button, even though it is no longer updated. If you could add this service it would be GREATLY appreciated.

Posted by: angusgoodson | February 9, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse - Hendo's stuff is great

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!! This is diet-coke-out-the-nose funny. Totally laughing out loud on this one. You crack me up.
(still laughing)

You know, so you could click on a drop-down menu and select "Learners are Cheap" and get the standard boilerplate argument.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 9, 2009 5:10 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 9, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

check the no1 draft picks in the last 10 yrs

Posted by: theredskin | February 9, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

You definitely need to include NATS320. He seems to have more insight than most of the blogs out there.

Posted by: nationalsfan | February 9, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Kind of basic, but easy links for other WaPo Nats/baseball coverage (if I knew how, I'd add a link here for generic coverage is lacking rants) and Sports stories and blogs.

Posted by: utec | February 9, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse, aside from the name is fantastic.

Steven provides great number crunching and analysis. He rarely rags on JimBow, aside from the title of course. I heartily recommend it.

Nationals Pride, especially the Hutch (of Hendo fame) is a personal favorite.

and then NFA of course. That's pretty much the only reason I can sometimes feel like I really know what I'm talking about, in regards to call ups and what not.

Posted by: NattyDelite | February 9, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the shout outs to Nationals Pride... we have many interesting columnists if I do say so myself (and evidently I don't %^) )

Also, Facebook users might want to consider joining the group 'Washington D.C. Baseball History'; hat tip to fellow NP bloggist Mark Hornbaker:

And thanks to Chico for the outreach. Always nice to get some more buzz going in the Natmosphere (aka Virtual NatsTown).

Posted by: Hendo1 | February 9, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Bally's Blog

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | February 9, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Baseball95der26 | February 9, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

And then zimmermann or balester if cabrera can't find the plate, hill breaks his nail while putting his glove on and is out for the year and if perez gets bombed in spring training, Perez could also be a good bullpen arm.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | February 9, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, why not also show some Orioles blogs. They're much better than most of the drivel posted on other blogs about the Nats. Plus that way may of the fellow readers will be able to read up about future players that the Nats will pick up when the O's decided they're not even good enough to play in B-More.

The readers could've learned so much about Daniel Cabrera, Alex Cintron, Freddie "Boom Boom" Bynum, and Cory Patterson from O's blogs.

Who'll be next? Marty Cordova? Jay Payton? Devi Cruz? Travis Driskell?


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 9, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"Steven provides great number crunching and analysis. He rarely rags on JimBow, aside from the title of course."

He's living a lie now with that blog name. He's even closed down his petition site. He and JimBo will actually be vacationing together after the season. If Chico cleans up his act, maybe he'll get invited too.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

These are all great and I don't mean to change the subject, but...

After reading Chico's story the other day, it got me thinking - what would be the Vegas line on the under/over for Strasburg's opening bonus demand if the Nats draft him. Let's see it's Boras + 103 MPH fastball + a team that HAS to sign him. I think that equals $20 million. If the guy becomes your ace immediately and can't go to arbitration for three years, an ace pitcher for about $8 million a year isn't a bad deal.

I guess my question is what's your ceiling? What is the demand where even the the head cheerleader for the "Lerners are cheap" crowd would say,"Starsburg's being ridiculous". I think we might see it.


Posted by: db423 | February 9, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

A second for, particularly now that it is up and running again and 100% jihad free! (You missed a story opportunity there, Chico -- Islamofacist terrorists take over Nationals blog for an entire weekend with a hacked pro-Hamas website, and the MSM doesn't notice).

Posted by: wahoo2x | February 9, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I only want 1 thing, make sure there is a sign on button for blackberry users.

It's bad enough not having it now, but when the season starts I'm going to go postal witout it...

Posted by: estuartj | February 9, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and I forgot to also suggest It isn't strictly a Nats blog, but JD's ballpark coverage while they were building the stadium got many of us through the "wilderness years" at RFK. As she's already a Post employee, you'd even be helping one of your own!

Posted by: wahoo2x | February 9, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

If all of it is set up in a separate frame below the "Recent Posts" frame, I'd personally like to see NFA at great source for Nationals' minor-league system news & opinions), (for overall minor-league data), (for overall baseball news), Jeff's (Cot's) site at for player contract data, and for a couples' personal view on all things Nationals' (and some things D.C.).

Posted by: BinM | February 9, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse


If you think the opening line on Strasburg is $20M, I'm taking the "under". This is a depressed market, and even Boras will get that through his somewhat thick skull by June.

Posted by: BinM | February 9, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Your comment would seem to imply that Hill is fragile. It would fit for Alex Escobar maybe, but not Shawn Hill. Hill's been hurt for a long time, but with (serious)arm injuries. He pitched in pain through most (if not all) his starts last year and he neither complained nor made excuses for it.

hill breaks his nail while putting his glove on and is out for the year

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | February 9, 2009 7:05 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 9, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I know that there isnt much baseball talk on this blog, especially in the winter but it could be interesting in the heat of summer. the dc sports bog??

Posted by: mharman1 | February 9, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the pre-season stating five: Without looking over the archives, I'll hedge my bets with 1)Olsen, 2)Cabrera, 3)Lannan), 4)either Hill or Balester, 5)either Bergmann or Od.Perez.

Posted by: BinM | February 9, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I have the opening day rotation as Olsen, Lannan, Cabrera, Balester and Zimmermann.

Hill is probably if healthy, but what are the chances of that? Perez is likely if Balester or Zimmermann faulter in ST.

Posted by: estuartj | February 9, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse


Steinbog abandoned the Nationals' fan base early on, and only drifts back when something 'tweaks' his interest (i.e., Balestars' blogsite, or horribly bad ratings). IMO, not a true friend to either the Nats' Journal or Baseball Insider.

Posted by: BinM | February 9, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse


Agree to disagree - JZimm will get every opportunity to make the OD staff, but will more likely be a June-September callup.

Posted by: BinM | February 9, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Pride
Oleanders and Morning Glories
MLB Trade Rumors Nationals Page
Nationals Review (why not include it under the rubric of "Nationals Resources," as opposed to just "Nationals Blogs")
How about your competitors' blog at The Washington Times?

Posted by: jdsp2000 | February 9, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The best baseball sites I frequent:

Baseball Prospectus
Tom Tango's The Book blog
The Hardball Times
Baseball America
Beyond the Boxscore
Squawking Baseball
The Biz of Baseball
Baseball Musings
Minor League Ball (John Sickels)
Joe Posnanski

Then these team blogs are excellent:
The Good Phight
USS Mariner
Cubs FX
Mets Blog
Aaron Gleeman

Posted by: sbiel2 | February 9, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse


that's my guess at the rotation based on what we have and what we know now.

I dunno why everyone is putting Cabrera at the top of the rotation. I wouldn't be surprised if was cut before OD.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 9, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

>I dunno why everyone is putting Cabrera at the top of the rotation. I wouldn't be surprised if was cut before OD.

Wouldn't they have to eat his contract? Are you losing your mind? These guys squeak when they walk.

Posted by: Brue | February 9, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

NFA and Nats 320 both offer good original content and research. JDLand was exceptionally good leading up to the ballpark grand opening and continues to offer good information about the Park and neighborhood as available. Of course Capitol Punishment was a most excellent site, but ....

I agree that the SOCH web site that must not be named has good content. I admit to reading it from time to time, but the name of the site does him a disservice.

Pro Sports Daily MLB News and MLB Trade Rumors are good baseball news sites.

Also, I recommend including up to date links to all the minor league web sites and Baseball Reference.

And keep up to date links to the Posts Baseball/Nats related chats, Sports Bog, and Baseball Insider.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 9, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I was gonna be snarky and say something like, "Isn't that what most of your blog posts are anyway, Chico? Giving us links to other news sources?" But I thought better of it because content has improved a bit lately.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 9, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Not a blog addition, but is there any way that you can make this blog mobile friendly, or have a mobile version. I do most of my sports reading via blackberry on the metro, and at other convenient times.

Posted by: vo_37 | February 9, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

For the people missing Capitol Punishment, you know Chris is blogging for $$ at NBC now, right? His posts are very brief and not all that frequent (I assume NBC kinda stupidly imposes a word limit), and his tart humor is mostly neutered, and he doesn't really delve into stats at all anymore, and sometimes he writes about those hosers on the ice pond, and it seems he's not permitted to curse at or personally insult commenters... so it's not exactly what you came to expect from Capitol Punishment.

But you can get his posts here:

Posted by: sbiel2 | February 10, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Would like to know who is Tweeting on the Nats

Posted by: joemktg1 | February 10, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Perez--Manny loves him, he's a lock for a starter, has under 4.00 ERA til August

Lannan--of course

Zimmermann--why waste his 150 innings in the minors?

Olsen-- may be the worst of the starters, but for 2 mil he will be there

Hill--Shawn comes back "All---The---Way!"

Cabrera is too wild--still wondering about this signing, Balestar needs time in the minors to get a repeatable throwing motion (i.e. learn control again), Bergmann will be the sixth starter and first to enter the rotation if a starter is injured. I would love to see Mock actually be allowed to compete for a starting position but I think that he is penciled in at the bullpen level.

Posted by: driley | February 10, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

How about changing the bland overexposed "Washington Nationals" logo (ugh, the worst in baseball) with the curly "W"??? The "W" is under-marketed by the organization. The "DC" is OK, but that "Washington Nationals" logo is the pits.

Posted by: natsfan7 | February 10, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

A direct link to BI and the Bog would be nice.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 10, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Most are repeats of other recommendations:

Baseball Almanac
Baseball Index
Baseball Reference
Collin Balester's blog
MASN site
Nationals Farm Authority
Nationals Pride
Nats 320
Planet NJ
Ryan Zimmerman's blog
SABR sites (local chapter and/or national)
Washington Examiner Nats blog**
Washington Nationals team site (and affiliate sites)
Washington Post Baseball Insider blog
Washington Times Nats blog**
We've Got Heart

*Fan site (of the nonsophmoric variety :-D). Currently revamping but anticipate that it will be up again by spring training.

**If that's not bad form to suggest.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 10, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I'll take the "most" back and say that "some" are repeats, as the list grew before I hit "submit."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 10, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, would you say this a full-time gig?

Posted by: longterm | February 10, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Ballpark Guys.

Viewer discretion advised. But it's one of the best, quickest places to get Nats news. It's also amusing, if you're into that kind of thing.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | February 10, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

You absolutely have to have Posnanski in there...

Posted by: WrongDog | February 10, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Meant to type "Planetary Nats Blog" on my list rather than domain info.

(Females/feminists may not find Ballpark Guys so amusing, but that's just my personal opinion.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 10, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

So if Ryan Zimmerman is healthy and resumes his development should we expect 20/100/.280 or better this year. He hit well (.300?) after coming back from the disabled list after slipping into the .260 range in 2007. RBI are largely a factor of men on base in front of you and games played, but 100 seems reasobable out of the 3-hole. I suppose he could get to 25 homeruns, but 30 seems too much to ask (He's no ARoid).

Posted by: natbisquit | February 10, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Why not include the actual links to the minor league teams like the AAA Syracuse Chiefs, AA Harrisburg Senators, Hi-A Potomac Nationals, and Lo-A Hagerstown Suns.

I'm a big fan of the Nationals Farm Authority but sometimes I like going to the actual site itself.

Also, what about a link to the message boards under the fans section of

Posted by: PNatsFan | February 10, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Not to promote rivals too much, but a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constition, Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the NY papers, and the Miami Herald so we can track the division. They can reciprocate, too. Pump up your hits.

Maybe a rotating link to a paper from the town of our current opponent and maybe next on the schedule.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 10, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Ray Durham turns down Nats minor league offer today? The idea that the Nats are after a low budget deal with an aging player to stop-gap 2B is just not a good sign. What the eff are these guys thinking?!

Posted by: dfh123 | February 10, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Females/feminists may not find Ballpark Guys so amusing, but that's just my personal opinion."

Maybe that's why they call it Ballpark GUYS. I bet there's not much reader overlap between BPG and, say, We've Got Heart.

And the thing about BPG that might be annoying for office-surfers (unless you like to live on the edge) is that every thread in there has the potential to turn NSFW (or cause you to lose your lunch in disgust) at any moment. Enter at your own risk.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 10, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the Nats took a shot at signing Ray Durham to a minor league contract.

Seems like a good move, but Durham (38) wants a major league contract. Still he would have been a good candidate for leadoff hitter (.380 OBP). Maybe it will still get worked out. Sort of indicates that they were willing to move on from Hudson though. (Which they should at this point). Hudson just does not seem willing to come in from the cold.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 10, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Your source for comprehensive Nats coverage with a healthy dose of snark and irreverence. Check it out today!

Posted by: Zornado | February 10, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Ballpark Guys/Dugout Chatter is the best site. Please link all the way down to the Nats discussion board, and not to the main board, which has lots of other stupid teams nobody cares about.

Posted by: ThinkingOne | February 10, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Adam Kennedy was just released by the Cards fox sports is reporting. That would be a decent lefty bat at second too. Nats should sign one of them.

Posted by: tlynch44 | February 10, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse


At BPG we exercise a kind of self-conscious and self-aware infantilism that even gets a bit much for me sometimes.

But nowhere else did I get a complete guide to spring training in Viera, for example, or the first links to the A-R*d scandal. It's a great aggregator for Nats news.

It's also a great place to see what happens to baby-boom guys when they hit middle age.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | February 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Durham can't lead off -- the lead off man has to be able to run to second once in a while. (And the way that nats have played in recent years, it really is only once in a while that the lead off guy has to do that.) Ray's wheels are long gone.
Belliard is basically the same player but from the right side and Hernandez is a Switch so why go with old man Ray? What part of the Magic Plan does that jive with?

Posted by: dfh123 | February 10, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: tlynch44 | February 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

They didn't offer Ray Durham a minor league contract so he could play second and/or bat leadoff in DC. They offered him a minor league contract to fill out the roster of one of the minor league teams in the organization. Even if your organization is thin on prospects at a position, SOMEONE still has to suit up and play the games down on the farm.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Bog makes another Nats reference. In the chat today, Stein pointed out that one of the reasons he passed on the Pro Bowl was so he could attend Spring Training.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse


I think they will take their time with Hill and reward Colin's nice work on the blog with the last spot.

Posted by: sec307 | February 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to shepdave for the BPG news content info.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 10, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Miss Chatter

Distinguished Senators


Posted by: JoshHamilton | February 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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