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Bonus: Boz on Zimmerman

Please take a look at Tom Boswell's online-only column on the Zimmerman signing.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  February 20, 2009; 2:20 PM ET
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Once again Boswell proves that he's the Facebook of baseball columnists. Once you get past his confounding and confusing terms of service, he'll tell you who is friends with who. A few weeks ago we learned that Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman are BFFs. Today we learn that another of Zim's bosom buddies is Nick Markakis. Here's a thought, Boz. If you've got this amazing superpower, why haven't you been using it for good? Why didn't you tell Lerner, Kasten and Bowden back in the day who Esmailyn Gonzales's friends were?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 20, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I particularly liked how Boswell tries SO HARD to make Markakis and Zimmerman equals. The fact of the matter is, young power-hitting OFs with average defensive skills are common whereas young power-hitting 3Bs with outstanding defensive skills are rare.

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | February 20, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

... as a Canadian and a hockey fan, I was intrigued when I went to one of the Steinberg links, and discovered a tagline which led to a DC Pro Sports Report blog entry titled “Canada likes Ovechkin?” So I read it because this Canadian certainly likes Ovechkin – very much, and understands his value not only to Washington but to the whole league. (It bears mentioning here that nowhere in the blog did it even mention Canada, so what gives with the Post’s choice of tag?? But that’s not my point.)

... in that article, the writer attempts to compare Alex’ status and influence on the Washington sports scene with other prominent sports figues, like Arenas, or Portis or Moss. Nothing wrong there; he makes the valid point that Ovechkin occupies a higher level that the rest.

... but the kicker for me came when, in giving his litany of other DC teams, he reached the Nats, and said “The Nationals --- we aren't going there.”

... how hard it must be to built not just a fan base in the region but an image, in the mind of the sports fan, as a credible team doing a credible business.

... with issues such as Smiley/Frownie, the long wait time for a Zimm deal, the on-going rehabilitation of guys like Elijah and Dmitri before him, and a GM purportedly the lapdog of stingy owners, the road to acceptance must be that much harder.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | February 20, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Hudson just signed with the Dodgers

Posted by: dclifer | February 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Post assume we care what Mr. Boswell says anymore? Those of us who come here are die-hard Nationals fans who have a deep understanding of both the history, and the future, of the Nationals.

That's why we wince when we read Mr. Boswell. His articles have the feel of being written by a meandering malcontent, someone who listens to baseball's version of a police scanner, waiting breathlessly for the next crash to report.

In the past, we bloggers have had fun posting and dissecting Boswell's columns on our sites, pointing out the inaccuracies and misinformation they contain.

But I don't do that anymore. It just takes too long because there are so many mistakes to cover.

No, Nationals' fans don't want our writers to be "homers," but we do want them to be fair.

Chico is. Tracee is. Boswell isn't.

And that's really sad.

Posted by: rushfari | February 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Or came to terms, or whatever

Posted by: dclifer | February 20, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Orlando Hudson reportedly signed with the Dodgers who give up pick 17 to their division rivals the Diamondbacks.

At one time I was rooting for Hudson to sign here, but the draft pick issue was always troublesome. Having Hudson would have been a plus, but he clearly did not want to be here.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@ Natbisquit -

It would have been a 54th pick rather than 17th for us. Both of our top 15 picks are protected by rule. Big difference.

Posted by: WebberDC | February 20, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Speaking for myself, as I would not presume to speak for bloggers or fans at large, I'm always interested to hear what Boswell has to say, even if I don't always agree with him. A columnist and a beat writer play different roles, and one might expect that a columnist would take more controversial positions about a team than a beat writer would. My own impression is that Bos has written positive as well as negative columns about the Nats over the years.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

you are in la-la land.

"we bloggers"...we provide comments on a forum which in reality is the loosest sense of the term blog. Chico and Tracee are the "bloggers." We are merely commenters and you give us too much credit.

I don't agree with Boz 100% of the time. But at the same time, I respect his baseball knowledge, his access to Nats officials and players, and ultimately his perspective, whether I agree with him or not.

Posted by: dclifer | February 20, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with nf1a here. Like him or hate him, with Boswell and all other writers, we're at a point where silencing media voices on the team is hardly an idea worth contemplating.

In something akin to Bos' lede in his piece above, news is news, and even "medium" news is not really enough to slake the thirst of the information-parched Nats fans (clearly including myself) that reside on here.

All of this on top of the fact that NJ participants spend copious amounts of time digesting opinions of fellow commenters that are equally meritorious or laughable (depending on your perspective and the issue) to those espoused by Boswell. If you regard him as nothing more than another online voice (like this column essentially is, by the way), then you don't have to worry so much. Inevitably, there will always be something to quibble with regarding a columnist's work, and that may indeed be part of the motivation underlying any particular piece.

Posted by: faNATic | February 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Boswell is a boob. If the Nats go to arbitration with Zimmerman, it's terrible news. If they sign Zimmerman for one year, it's terrible news. If they sign Zimmerman long term, for the wrong price, it's terrible news. What wonderful anaylsis.

Posted by: grforbes | February 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

i'll take boswell over gammons anyday.

Posted by: longterm | February 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Not to be an apologist or anything, but:

"with issues such as Smiley/Frownie, the long wait time for a Zimm deal, the on-going rehabilitation of guys like Elijah and Dmitri before him, and a GM purportedly the lapdog of stingy owners, the road to acceptance must be that much harder."

1) Frownie was supposed to be checked by MLB and was good enough to get by them twice. I don't know if Rijo was in on it or not (I suspect not) but it's certainly not something you can pin on the Lerners.

2) For Zim, it takes 2 to party. I think that the Markakis deal DID affect the signing of the long term deal, and I'm in the camp that thinks Zim SHOULD wait out the year. Why would he sign now?

3) Rehabilitations, I like how both ED and DY turned their life around. I think the contract to DY was fine. Certainly, having a brother who has Type I diabetes, I can appreciate how diabetes and the associated weight gain can sneak up on you. ED hasn't done anything bad since joining, and looks to be stabilizing at least. Why wouldn't fans want to support an organization trying to do good by its players?

3) GMs being a lapdog of the owners. Umm, who else are they supposed to be lapdogs of? Last time I checked, GMs have a fiduciary responsibility to the owners of any company.

3) Stingy owners - I was willing to wait and see, I thought that they were willing to open their purses last year for a bunch of stop gaps, and I don't think the draft problems was entirely the owners fault. I liked how they were willing to spend on Tex, and how they got Dunn. I don't see, at this point, "stingy" owners. Maybe monetarily inefficient owners, but that's just experience...

Posted by: swang30 | February 20, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, I can only count to 3...

Posted by: swang30 | February 20, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I didn't notice until you pointed it out, swang, but three-fer is better than oh-fer. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Boz is really out tere on this one. He should have stopped at the medium news part. This is just not a big deal no matter how you slice it and Boz going all crazy with the HOF stuff at the end was comical. Maybe Zimm will find the cure for cancer and won't the Nats REALLY be sorry then when he have not locked him up!!

Posted by: dfh123 | February 20, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Nick Markakis:
6 years/$66.1M (2009-14), plus 2015 mutual option

Dustin Pedroia:
6 years/$40.5M (2009-14), plus 2015 club option

Can we please stop using Markakis's deal as the measuring stick? If Pedroia's worth $41 million, I'm pretty sure Markakis isn't worth $66 million, and Zimmerman is worse than both.

Posted by: rovner | February 20, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

swang -- Dy has Type 2 diabetes and there is no weight gain associated with Type 2 as a symptom for adults, in fact weight loss is the norm. DY's poor dieting, a problem he admits, makes his condition worse. His rehabilition will be to eat heart healthy and lose the 50 extra pounds he carries on his frame. I hope for his sake that he conquers his diet demons.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 20, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, could have sworn he had Type 1. (Or maybe, I just assumed...) Cuz my brother had Type 1, and he gained like 30 pounds. It was hard to get it off, what with needing to be careful about insulin and stuff. It took him several years.

Posted by: swang30 | February 20, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Hi swang30,

... don't get me wrong. I don't disagree with your assessment of the specific Nats' issues I listed. I think it is a very good thing when teams give players, down on their luck, a second chance (and I'm glad we did it for Dmitri and Elijah); I think that there are many teams and team players who find themselves in contract disputes and hard negotiations (such as what we are led to believe is the case with Zimmerman); MLB has clearly stated that situations such as the one involving Alvarez/Gonzalez are common around the league. None of those things are peculiar to the Nationals.

... now the case of Jim Bowden is different, IMNSHO. From what I've read (and therefore from what a great many other fans without access to the inner workings of the team have read), he has made a name for himself as someone who has gone to great lengths to ingratiate himself with the Lerners. Who can say how those efforts have played out.

... my point was not that the things I listed were negative in themselves, but that they provide much fodder for anyone who wants to use them to denounce the Nationals; to claim the team is a laughing stock instead of the credible team it really is.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | February 20, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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