Network News

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

Let The Games Begin

The games are almost here, Ian Desmond is OK, and Dmitri Young still can't grip a bat. Those are your morning headlines. That, plus 17 minutes of weather coverage, coming up...

First, the games. Tomorrow, the Nats kick off their spring training schedule -- 35 games, including one against Italy -- by taking a one-hour drive west to Kissimmee for a 1:05 game against the Astros. Bus departs at 9 a.m. John Lannan is your opening day starting pitcher.

For almost a week now, the Nationals have spent their mornings building up the fundamentals: batting practice, rundowns, baserunning, bunting, pickoff plays, double-steal strategies, relays, cutoffs, and even a little conditioning. But starting tomorrow, Washington can really start to evaluate what it has. "You see action," Manager Manny Acta said.

The Nationals plan to start easy, of course. Nobody who goes 0-for-4 tomorrow will lose a spot on the roster. Lannan will probably go two innings, and then give way to Shairon Martis, Garrett Mock, Gary Glover and Steven Shell.

Especially for road games this spring, Acta will use what amounts to a B-roster of players -- or essentially, a lineup similar to what the Nationals used on a regular basis in late-July 2008. (Sorry. That was snarky.)

Here's your traveling roster for tomorrow:

Catchers: Flores, Molina, Valentin.

Infielders: Belliard, Castillo, Casto, Cintron, Eldred, Gonzalez (Alberto... not, well, you know), Guzman (Joel), Marrero, Orr, Whitney.

Outfielders: Bernadina, Harris, Kearns, Langerhans, Maxwell, Milledge, Padilla, Pena.

Pitchers: Bergmann, Brownlie, Glover, Hinckley, Lannan, Larrison, Ledezma, Martis, Shell.

Now for Desmond and Young.

Desmond was in Baltimore yesterday, having his left hand examined by specialist Thomas Graham. The team -- and Desmond, a 23-year-old shortstop -- feared the possibility of surgery a possible stress fracture in his left hamate bone. But Desmond, after getting X-rays and a CT scan, was told that no surgery is necessary, and today he is back with the team.

"Definitely relieved," Desmond said.

Meanwhile, Young, who suffered a contusion after being plunked on the left hand Sunday, still is unable to practice. "He is having a tough time gripping the bat," Acta said. Young is listed as day-to-day.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 24, 2009; 9:38 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nats Ownership Encouraging Investigation Of Bowden
Next: The Offensive Prospects

Comments


What do the other guys do?

And btw Chico, we expect a little play-by-play here on NJ for tomorrow's game. Don't disappoint. ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Chico,

I just wanted to say that your coverage has been fantastic so far this spring. For a Nats fan stuck in Yankee country it is great to see so many new posts.

Would it be possible to get a post on how the young guys are doing so far like Marrero, Detweiler, Hood etc? Thanks.

Posted by: bigcountry22 | February 24, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Chico - Thanks for the update on Desmond.

Have any of the minor league guys (not with spring invitations to the big league camp) shown up yet?

Posted by: Brian_ | February 24, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

... I would have thought they'd (Manny, Jim) want to get NickyJ and ADunn a little game time right early. Anybody have a good reason why they'd leave them home tomorrow ... other than they already know what they got in them, and there are a few other OFs or 1B's they want to see early? Did I answer my own question?

Posted by: natscanreduxit | February 24, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yay, baseball - that's what I'm talking about!

I second NatsNut re. the play-by-play, although color commentary and updates would also be welcome.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Do we know which Nationals spring training games will be televised on A.) MASN B.) MLB Network or C.) MLB.TV?

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | February 24, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"What do the other guys do?"

They line up for their interviews and photo sessions with Nats320. Those that have been through the process before tutor the newbies on the finer points of curtseying toward The African Queen and whatnot. Then they hit the buffet table, hoping to get there before Dmitri Young does.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know if any ST games will be on the radio?

Posted by: softballgirl | February 24, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The team site lists March 6, 18, and 25 and the April 4 exhibition as being on MASN. The March 6 and 18 games are designated there as MASN/MLBN.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

TV and radio broadcast information is available here:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/schedule/broadcast.jsp

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Also, the Bog still has a few leftover Nats posts (and a chat going on now).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Radio in the Spring:
http://www.federalnewsradio.com/index.php?nid=8

TV in the Spring (MASN - bonus full schedule):
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/spring_training/tentative.jsp?c_id=was

MLB Multimedia Guide for tomorrow (looks like you can stream the game audio from the Houston broadcast - if you subscribe):
http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/index.jsp#20090225

MLB Network doesn't have a good way to see what games they have coming up that I can find... (but who want's to bet the Nationals are not on the top of their list of games to broadcast?)

Posted by: OldDude | February 24, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Why is that ' in "wants" up there? Sheesh.

Posted by: OldDude | February 24, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Old Dude, I've been using this link for MLB Network scheduling:

http://mlbnetwork.mlb.com/network/schedule/

You can click on the calendar to bring up future dates (only one day at a time, though).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was kind of hoping MLBN would have a "Games this week" list or something.

Of course the MLB.com media guide is only one day at a time too... (and the "Next Day" link is busted)...

Posted by: OldDude | February 24, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

A this week listing would be great, Old Dude. Bummer about the "Next Day" link.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

So, when Dunn plays, he will be listed at which position...?

Posted by: fischy | February 24, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2009/267698.html

Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects. We have....one entry. Jordan Zimmerman, in at #41. If that's Jim Bowden's effectiveness at bolstering the farm system, then add that to the appropriate side of the scales when deciding on whether he should stick arond or not.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | February 24, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Zimermann

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

ha ha, make that Zimmermann. Hoist with my own (red) pencil...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

FYI. The below was posted by Kieth Law, nats hater #1, on his espn blog in commenting on the frowney fiasco:

"I am asked at least once a week by some FO exec whether Bowden has incriminating photographs of someone in Washington ownership. They are simply not respected by other organizations."

Can we get some more WaPo reporting on Bowden's rep around the league or would that put too much pressure on the WaPo-Bowden relationship such that he might not give inteviews on other subjects, like breaking trade news.

Posted by: tlynch44 | February 24, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

NFA has a pretty long interview with Keith Law, it is a good read. Whether he has something against the FO or not, I don't think it would be wise to discount what he says. If it is true that the Nats are not respected at all, and teams won't even listen to trade offers from the team because of the crazy stuff that JimBow has asked for, then he needs to be gone.

On the positive side, should some of the prospects who have been looking less than stellar rebound this year, the Nats will jump right back into the top half of minor league systems. So, let's hope that the likes of Marrero and McGeary get it together this year.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | February 24, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

TLynch44: I wouldn't worry too much about the dreaded FO exec as reported by Keith Law i doubt seriously that anyone in MLB is really that concerned about Jimbo's rep i mean after all how much more damage can he do to himself.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 24, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I suspect other GMs in baseball are most concerned with whether Bowden will trade something they want. I would think they don't take his calls, because he has nothing much to trade right now.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know. It's not only K.Law who is saying Bowden is not well respected. it's disconcerting to say the least.

Posted by: tlynch44 | February 24, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Do we all agree, though, that we don't really care if he's respected or not, except that that might impact his ability to make trades?

If so, our question for Mr. Law is whether or not he is unable to make trades. The Willingham-Olsen-Bonifacio score is a big point against that. What failed trades are there that were squashed by Bowden's personality?

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Soriano, Alphonso.

Posted by: sec307 | February 24, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, I agree that if JBow is a objectively a good GM, meaning he makes good baseball decisions, then I don't care what people think about him.

However, if it's true that many baseball people think his baseball decisions are poor that's cause for concern, usually gm's are pretty reticent to trash other gm's publicly. So jimbo must be doing something extraordinary. It's also concerning that some report he's a divisive personality within the franchise (a report backed-up by the recent story on NJ about ownership being divided over his future). The possibility that his ability to make trades with certain teams is diminished because other gms hate him is somewhat concerning but I doubt its true, outside of Kevin Towers.

All that said, Jimbos moves to date I think are some good and some bad. Maybe more leaning towards good at the major league level. Certainly some doubt has been raised about his drafts by BA and Klaw among others.

Thanks for the heads up on the NFA interview, that was interesting.

Posted by: tlynch44 | February 24, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Soriano as a failed trade? That was a pretty successful trade. We can talk about players respecting him, but that's different from what Keith Law was talking about.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"FYI. The below was posted by Kieth Law, nats hater #1, on his espn blog in commenting on the frowney fiasco:

"I am asked at least once a week by some FO exec whether Bowden has incriminating photographs of someone in Washington ownership. They are simply not respected by other organizations.""

So is he being asked this once a week by the same FO exec, or once a week by a different FO exec? Because, you know, he's not at all clear about that. And because, you know, that missing detail makes a lot of difference in what this says about league-wide perception of Washington ownership. You know.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

GMs are people, not robots. While we might want to think that a "rational" GM will do any deal with any other GM that is "rational" or "logical" for his respective team, the reality is much more complicated than that. Personalities matter. Deals often are organic and develop over time. GMs gravitate to other GMs whom they like, and whom they trust to deal straight with them. They talk more frequently to other GMs they like and trust, and they are more willing to be creative and brainstorm deals with guys they trust.

As an example, here's an excerpt from a San Diego Union-Tribune story from last December that focused on Kevin Towers (and which incidentally took some shots at Bowden courtesy of both Towers and Terry Ryan):

"Sometimes, you have to go with your gut and your sense for the seller's relative rectitude. The art of the deal, Towers says, is based on building relationships and understanding your potential trading partners.

"'Guys that you've got good relationships with, usually there's less cat-and-mouse games,' Towers said before leaving San Diego for baseball's winter meetings. 'Certain guys deal differently. Jim Hendry with the Cubs is very open, up-front, has a good feeling for value. Like with (Jake) Peavy, (Hendry's) not going to embarrass you and say, well, 'This guy's not available, this guy's not available, this guy's not available.' It's more, 'If I'm going to be in the running for Peavy, everybody's available.'

"If Towers trades his pitching ace to the Cubs this winter, it will be partially the product of the personal relationship he has forged with his Cubs'contemporary.

"Hendry has already told Towers to be cautious about a particular Cubs' prospect because of medical issues that might not otherwise have come to light. In a business where such information is precious and is often considered proprietary, establishing trust and cultivating candor are critical to getting deals done."

* * * * *

It's impossible to know what trades Bowden might have been unable to make as a result of the fact that some of his fellow GMs don't respect him. Some have expressly stated they won't deal with him. Others might politely listen to an offer, say "no," if they don't like it, but then end the conversation--and not explore other possible trades like they might with a different guy who they trust.

There is a lot of evidence out there that Bowden's personality handicaps the Nats when it comes to the trading arena. Law's comments to Brian simply reinforce this.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 24, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Also, as far as the Dominican developments are concerned. Kasten stated as early as last Summer that the Nats have been handicapped in their signing and development efforts down there as a result of the FBI investigation. That setback is on Bowden--regardless whether he is ever indicted, or convicted, of anything.

This is just another reason why the Lerners should get rid of Bowden now. Signing international talent was intended to be a major component of The Plan, and they've gotten nowhere on that front thanks to Bowden. The Nats are going to need to start over in the Dominican. They should start now, and try not to lose another year, or more.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 24, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the question, CiL, is then how much better would we have been with the waiver-wire GM? It's hard to imagine too many GMs that would have made significantly more progress than where we are right now, though we all wish we knew who he was.

Or she. When will we get a woman GM?

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I was referring to the failure to trade Soriano at the deadline. He was then lost to free agency without a fight.

Posted by: sec307 | February 24, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

tlynch44 and Cavalier83,

... you guys are probably quite right about Jim's, and therefore the Nats' reputation around the league being at an all-time low. I expect Keith Law knows what he's talking about on that front.

... but I can't accept the notion that because of our poor image, other teams wouldn't have some interest in who we might have on the block, especially if those players suited their purposes. It doesn't make business or baseball sense to ignore a player in order to slap the wrist of a GM or FO.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | February 24, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

506, not sure what you mean by "waiver-wire." There's a whole slew of young talented baseball execs (at least one of whom is in fact a woman) waiting for their first shot at GM. Brian just profiled some of them at NFA, but the lists have been around for a while.

As for me, I don't have a hard time imagining that one of them could have done better than Bowden the past couple years, but that's in the past anyway and I agree it is just conjecture. The question now is can someone do a better job than him going forward. When you add Bowden's personal baggage on top of his mediocre (at best) track record to date, I think the answer to that question is pretty clear.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 24, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"There is a lot of evidence out there that Bowden's personality handicaps the Nats when it comes to the trading arena. Law's comments to Brian simply reinforce this."

There is also a lot of evidence out there that this theory of Bowden's personality handicapping the Nats in trade negotiations is a bunch of hogwash. For instance, Kevin Towers's implication that in order to operate successfully a GM needs to have an open atmosphere of transparent trust, a sort of kum-ba-yah campfire circle with all the other GMs, brands Towers himself as a GM who is handicapped in negotiating with other GMs. The 30 MLB GMs do not consist of 29 saints and one d0uchebag. They consist of 30 men each exhibiting some degree of d0uchebaggery of anywhere from zero to 100%. In order to deal with the rest of the league in trades at a highly successful level, a GM has to be able to cut a deal with a d0uchebag if it will improve his team. If Towers is cutting himself off from dealing with other GMs simply because they're d0uchebags, then he's handicapping himself and his organization, and really he should be fired.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

It's a VORP joke, CiL. I'm not so ready to claim knowledge of the counterfactual. It's really hard to answer what someone else would have done. My mind isn't made up on this, there just seems to be a strong need to voice questions that look at Bowden from the "he's okay" perspective, since the "he's a baby seal murderer" perspective is pretty well covered.

Really, though, picking on Bowden is like picking on the tubby kid who wears dorky clothes and rides around on a Segway. He's waaaaaaay to easy to pin a fart on, when in fact we may want to examine the school cafeteria's nutrition choices if we are truly serious about stopping the stench.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2009/267698.html

Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects.

This was posted above by AtomicOvermind that Jordan Zimmermann at #41 is the only Farmhand in the Top 100.

That is pathetic as you would expect by average to have 3 in the Top 100.

Part of the plan was to restock the Minors and now is enough time to see better Baseball America ratings. Not that they are the absolute authority on ratings, but nobody in the Top 40 is another knock on the GM's department.

While I understand overall the Minors are performing much better than 3 years ago, they need to be creating the next Rookie of the Year candidates with all the high Draft Picks they have had.

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 24, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Here's what highly-respected and now-retired Twins' GM Terry Ryan had to say (or not say) about JimBo in the same article:

"In researching a story on Jim Bowden, then the controversial general manager of the Cincinnati Reds (now with the Washington Nationals), I called Minnesota's Terry Ryan to solicit an opinion.

'No good can come of this,' Ryan said, hanging up the phone."

* * * * *

We can either ignore what these other GMs have to say and argue that they are behaving irrationally, or we can recognize that maybe there really is something to it. No one is asking for a saint. But about how many other GMs do we hear the same kind of stuff that we hear about Bowden? Any of them??? Whether the other GMs are acting rationally or not, the evidence is there that this is what they believe. And that is meaningful, whether we like it or not.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 24, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I was referring to the failure to trade Soriano at the deadline. He was then lost to free agency without a fight.

Posted by: sec307 | February 24, 2009 2:58 PM
********************

mmm hmmm. And we got Zimmermann and Smoker for his departure, thank you very much. Zimmermann, as in he who was the organization's pitcher of the year last year and is already in big league camp.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Once a very few chats, I’ll send a Q to Chico or Boz asking what exactly JimBow did to earn such abject hatred from some folks around baseball. KLaw and Heyman at CNNSI hate JimBow with the fire of a thousand suns. Everything this franchise does is terrible in their eyes. The thing is … it’s not true. We had a good off season. Signed the second best hitter available on the market after making a serious run at the best (please don’t start a Manny fight over that statement—he’s a category unto himself). Traded almost nothing to get Willingham and Olsen. Signed Cabrera with all his potential to replace a retread whose top end has been seen and was lacking.

I’ll take it a step further. Who has this franchise let slip away you want in Spring Training right now today? Soriano? The Cubs way overpaid to get him. The only way that contract pays off for the Cubs is if he is World Series MVP for them. And the draft pick we got for the Soriano rental may be in the rotation this year. Anybody want to have Church or Schnieder back in place of Milledge or Flores?

We’ve had our share of FA failures (PLod, Estrada, Mackowiak), but we have had success as well (Willie Harris, Odalis Perez). DYoung fits into both categories. And despite the revisionist history, Aaron Crow’s agents tried to extort the franchise into paying their price whatever the price. The FO didn’t buckle. I just don’t think you can argue JimBow has been an utter failure in putting together a roster. When you are the most injured and youngest team in baseball at the same time, you lose 102 games. Not surprising and not evidence on its face to fire the GM. The Padres and Mariners both were far greater disasters than our franchise last year.

If JimBow can’t do his job effectively for this franchise because he is so hated around baseball, then obviously he should go. But I agree with several other posters that the WaPo should do a better job of exploring this question for its readers. Just because JimBow is slandered regularly by KLaw and Heyman is not evidence of JimBow being incapable of doing his job. The WaPo should do a bit more to substantiate or refute the ‘JimBow is hated’ issue so we don’t have to relive it on the board all the time.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | February 24, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Plus, when have Law and Heyman ever been baseball geniuses? I notice no one is trying to hire them away from their desk jobs...

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"No one is asking for a saint. But about how many other GMs do we hear the same kind of stuff that we hear about Bowden? Any of them??"

I don't know. Why don't you do an exhaustive Google search on the league-wide opinion of the 29 other GMs and get back to us on it? We can wait.

Oftentimes people only hear the kind of stuff that they are listening for in the first place.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I've touched on this before at NFA, but IMO Law, Heyman and even BBA and BP are all full of...well you know.

They are in the entertainment industry, selling scraps of info to a market desperate for "inside" information. Well guess what? The "info" doesn't exist. Unless someone is going to pay a boat load of money to run a full scouting department then you are going to get thumbnails of player info, it feeds the beast, but don't for a second think any of this is "solid" info. In the NFA interview Law even admits (He was bragging, but in truth he was incriminating himself) that he had seen McGeary pitch twice in HS. OK so based on two outings years ago your judging how he'll turn out as a prospect years later?

The truth is Law has no idea and is just feeding off tidbits he gets from other "insiders" who are either GMs "selling" him something or someone else tryinto rip a guy for their own gain. Guys like Law make up for their lack of ACTUAL knowledge by either being overly negative (who is going to call you on saying a guy "isn't as good as some believe" well who the hell ever is?) or by being a huge homer (if your only selling to one team, what's the hurt in wearing rose colored glasses, its what your readers - the fans - want!).

I'm not saying we should ignore BBA and everyone else, but the key to me is, anyone who has actual legitimate reliable info ISN'T GOING TO PRINT IT!

Posted by: estuartj | February 24, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

end of rant.

Posted by: estuartj | February 24, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The reason that I have now moved from Bowden defender, to concerned, to he has to go is that the situation has so deteriorated that the organization will be further damaged by his continued employment.

The Nats probably cannot fire him for being under investigation. I suspect that would result in a wrongful termination settlement, but they can dismiss him for performance. I'm guessing there will have to be some sort of negotiated settlement regardless.

Any HR experts out there?

Catbert?

Posted by: natbisquit | February 24, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Disagree nunof1. You don't have to try that hard to find negative Bowden sentiment. This is not a figment of imagination that he's widely criticized.

Also, whether gm's hate bowden is not a huge concern to me because I think his track record for trades has been average to pretty good (milledge olson willingham dukes). Somewhat debunking/mitigating the argument (which was well-articulated by covergeislacking) that his people skills diminish jimbos ability to make effecitv etrades. On this point, I agree with others that business people will get deals done where it makes business sense regardless of personality.

My bigger concern is that jimbo is widely considered to make poor baseball desicions (perhaps as evidenced by the poor review of our farm system.

Another big concern is that he may be divisive, as corroborated by the implication in the WaPo post by Sheinin and Chico that jimbo has used his relationship with M.lenrer to keep his job when others in the organization (including stan, who IS widely respected) dislike him.

As has been stated, I can't think of many other examples where a GM is roundly critizized as being incompetent and hated league wide. Although I agree that some of these reports have to be taken with a grain of salt, that can't be a good sign.

Posted by: tlynch44 | February 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I was referring to the failure to trade Soriano at the deadline. He was then lost to free agency without a fight.

Posted by: sec307 | February 24, 2009 2:58 PM
********************

I don't see that as a failure at all. Soriano was in the midst of joining the 40/40 Club and Kasten was under pressure from a vocal group of fans not to trade him. Kasten knew the 2 outcomes would be he would be a Type A Free Agent (Zimmermann & Smoker) or would be re-signed.

If Zimmermann turns out to be a great Nat then this was a steal!

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 24, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

...sigh...

I'm going to go read one of my 2009 baseball preview magazines now.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

puuullllleeeeese!

You gonna make us sit here all day without any updates on the Nats? (But it has to something besides ManRam, Jimbo or smiley - those nails have been POUNDED into the pine far enough) No new sandwiches at Panera? They changed the Marquis at the lone movie house in Melbourne?

Posted by: 1of9000 | February 24, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem with not trading Soriano (the hottest commidity on the market at the time) was that we did not get anything that helped the team immediately. For one of the best players of the time, we got two picks that we're still waiting on, instead of two guys who were almost ready to make an impact. We lost 102 games because we had no organization depth - no one that could step up when guys went down. The further down the system a guy is, the more question marks he has. While JZim and Smoker COULD turn out to be world beaters, we still don't know the answer yet. Had we gotten some more advanced talent for AS, we might have another core guy or two to build around today, instead of a couple maybes for down the road.

And wasn't Detwiler supposed to be in the majors already? Our system is regressing because Bowden has been unable to stokepile it thru trades and the draft. Guys get hurt (like Marrero); that's whay we need numbers.

Bowden's record is mediocre and with this cloud hanging over him, it's just not worth having him around anymore.

We're unable to sign guys from the DR because of this cloud - which is reason enough for him to go, in my view.

Posted by: sec307 | February 24, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Am I the ONLY one who thinks the current Nats 40 man team is the most talented group they've had since coming to Washington? Three guys on the team (Dukes, Milledge, ??) listed as top ten potential breakouts... Two or three with potential to make real come backs... A new set of coaches who SEEM to be on the ball. A real power hitter. Enthusiasm.

Right, the pitching is still bottom half, and the farm is poor. But I wont be surprised if this team wins over 75 on the strength of hitting and youth. Last years pitchers were fire sale material --- this year's group is at least set going into ST.

It Bowden goes --- meh. He's a jerk, a sleaze and a bozo, and he has no sense of decor. But he has made some good moves, and if the team is successful in 09, he deserves
some credit.

Posted by: nattydread1 | February 24, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

>This is not a figment of imagination that he's widely criticized.

Not widely criticized enough. He still has a job.

Oh Jim-bo you lo-life irredeemable oxygen-wasting PT Barnum recurring nightmare

Posted by: Brue | February 24, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"Disagree nunof1. You don't have to try that hard to find negative Bowden sentiment. This is not a figment of imagination that he's widely criticized."

Not my point. Where's the evidence that he's the only GM getting negative sentiment, or that he gets prohibitively more of it than anyone else does?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"The problem with not trading Soriano (the hottest commidity on the market at the time) was that we did not get anything that helped the team immediately. For one of the best players of the time, we got two picks that we're still waiting on, instead of two guys who were almost ready to make an impact."

No one was going to trade two guys like that for a two-month rental of Soriano. Rumors at the time were that that was the price Bowden was asking, and no one would go that high for him. Clearly what was offered in trade for Soriano was less than the equivalent of what the Nats got in the draft picks they picked up when he left. The Soriano non-trade was definitely a win for Bowden.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"It Bowden goes --- meh. He's a jerk, a sleaze and a bozo, and he has no sense of decor."

I do believe this may be the first time in the modern era that a baseball GM has ever been called worthy of firing on account of his interior decorating abilities. Would y'all agree?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

If this was said in 2008, it would be a precursor to his hand falling off in July.

I really hope the new med staff is better.

-----

But Desmond, after getting X-rays and a CT scan, was told that no surgery is necessary, and today he is back with the team.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 24, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"...no sense of decor."

Bad taste --- Airplane farting jokes, etc.

Posted by: nattydread1 | February 24, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Re: whether firing Bowden would result in a wrongful termination settlement by the the Nats, the answer is likely to be "no." I imagine his employment contract gives the club total discretion to terminate him, although it would presumably have to pay him for the rest of his contract unless it could show he was guilty of serious misconduct (i.e. a "firing offense").

Posted by: Natsgal | February 24, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

nattydread: I believe you mean decorum.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Any ideas who they might have in mind to replace Bowden?

Posted by: periculum | February 24, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"...no sense of decor."

Bad taste --- Airplane farting jokes, etc.
-------------
Decor - Furnishings, properties, draperies, and decorations of setting.

Decorum - Appropriate social behavior; propriety; A convention of social behavior.

Two little letters make all the difference.

-Mr. Pedantic
:-)

Posted by: OldDude | February 24, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"nattydread: I believe you mean decorum."

Exactly. But I'm sure he's a poor interior decorator too.

Posted by: nattydread1 | February 24, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"I do believe this may be the first time in the modern era that a baseball GM has ever been called worthy of firing on account of his interior decorating abilities. Would y'all agree?"

I'm pleased at hearing something new, though.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Here is an interesting Fangraphs article suggesting that #2 hitters. Suggests that rather than having slap-contact hitters at #2 with low power, teams with base stealing leadoff hitters should look for perhaps guys who hit fastballs, have high isolated power, but perhaps have trouble with breaking stuff.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2-hitters
I'm not sure the Nats would have the type of base stealing threat leadoff to make this work (perhaps Lastings?), and I'm not sure who the ideal #2 guy would be for this, but maybe this suggests Lastings / Dukes / Nick / FotF / Dunn? Someone (Natsbisquit?) suggested Dunn as #2. Perhaps he'd be what the author has in mind?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 24, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's my take on the Jimbo Limbo. Forgive me if this sentiment has already been expressed; I haven't had the time to catch up on the posts yet.

If Nats execs want to fire Bowden, that's fair. They can use any of the following for cause: 102 losses, failure to sign a first round pick, LoDuca/Estrada/Lopez/Mackowiak, the Florida DUI, the mere hint that he knowingly traded an injured Majewski. If Bowden had been excused after last season, I doubt there would have been many public outcries or declarations of injustice.

If they fire Bowden because of possible wrongdoing, though, they're essentially ending his career. To be fired for putting a terrible team together is one thing. GMs survive those dismissals. But to be dismissed for this would truly be the end for him. The implication would be that the Nats know more about the investigation than the FBI or MLB are letting on. He would be tainted as a crook, not just fired for signing LoDuca and wearing leather pants.

I guess some people don't care about this personal aspect. Bowden has been compensated for his work, that's true. But I feel that it would be ethically irresponsible to fire him amidst these allegations (and keep in mind we're the only ones alledging anything - the FBI has not indicted Bowden).

When the news came out, I immediately thought, "Fire him!" and used words like "fraud, "distraction," and "ineptitude" (and yes, "tool") to back this knee-jerk reaction. I'm no Bowden apologist. But I think a bit of patience and perspective is valuable here.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 24, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

So you're suggesting the Nats trade for Church?

Or am I just fixating on the whole "trouble with breaking stuff" part?

-----

teams with base stealing leadoff hitters should look for perhaps guys who hit fastballs, have high isolated power, but perhaps have trouble with breaking stuff.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 24, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Re: BA's Top 100:

I decided to dig into these rankings a little bit (had some free time today), particularly with regards to the position players.

* 61 out of the Top 100 are position players.
* 3 teams didn't place one person in these 61 position players: Nats, Tigers, Angels.
* 3 players of these 61 have yet to play one inning of minor league ball: #81 Brett Lawrie; #61 Dayan Viciedo; #12 Pedro Alvarez (I sort of understand listing Viciedo based on his years playing in Cuba, but how does Alvarez get ranked #12 when he hasn't played yet?!)
* 13 of the 61 had their first year of pro ball last year.
* 12 of the 61 position players are CATCHERS!!

One could make a strong case for Derek Norris to be listed in here. His numbers from last year:

Level: low-A
Age: 19
G/AB: 70/227
BA/OBP/SLG: .278/.444/.463
HR/RBI: 10/38
BB/SO: 63/56

Compare these to these ranked catchers:

Tyler Flowers
Ranking: #99
Level: high-A
Age: 22
G/AB: 122/413
BA/OBP/SLG: .288/.427/.494
HR/RBI: 17/88
BB/SO: 98/102

Wilson Ramos
Ranking: #71
Level: high-A
Age: 20
G/AB: 126/452
BA/OBP/SLG: .288/.346/.434
HR/RBI: 13/78
BB/SO: 37/103

Jason Castro
Ranking: #53
Level: low-A
Age: 21
G/AB: 39/138
BA/OBP/SLG: .275/.383/.384
HR/RBI: 2/12
BB/SO: 22/32

All of these catchers are older and are either at the same level as Norris, or is just one level away (and if you go back and look at what those two did at low-A you'll see that Norris still had better numbers then they did, even if they were older than Norris is in low-A).

Posted by: erocks33 | February 24, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

While the Soriano no-trade is a bit tough to analyze, it does seem that there was a pretty good plan B for that failure. Some GM's like 2 high picks when you are stocking the system. Plausible non-deal if there were not legit offers back. IIRC trying to look at MLBTR last year and not seeing very many credible offers in their Soriano history link.

The Soriano discussion covers up a bigger failing, which is the failure to flip the high risk, successful gamble for useful prospects. Other than Mike Stanton and Livan, can you think of a midseason trade structured that way? I thought the purpose of signing the Loaizas, Reddings, Perezes, Dmitris, Belliards, etc ... was to flip them to contenders if they did pan out, but none were traded and two (three for time) were resigned.

BTW - I don't count the Tex/Bray/Galarraga/Harris deal, because it was system products for vets, mostly. Kind of the opposite of what I'm talking about.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 24, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Hallelujah, NatsNut!

Also, thanks for your optimistic post, nattydread.

As for the interior decorating issue, I would think the ongoing National rebuilding project might qualify a person for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

teams with base stealing leadoff hitters should look for perhaps guys who hit fastballs, have high isolated power, but perhaps have trouble with breaking stuff.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 24, 2009 5:59 PM
-------------------------

JiM: What about LMillz / Harris at #1, followed by either Dukes, Guzman, WMP(!), or even Flores(!!) at #2, depending on who the opposing SP is?

Posted by: BinM | February 24, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

BinM - I guess out of those you name, Guzman would be more of the type Dave Cameron suggests should not be a #2 hitter. Guz is going to get fastballs as a #2 hitter if Harris or Milledge is on in front of him, but he does not drive them (low ISO). In some ways, Guz is a traditional, contact/slap #2 hitter, but what the article suggests is you give the pitcher a dilemma: throw fast balls to help your catcher keep the runner from stealing but give the hitter balls he kills, or attack the hitter's weakness but let the runner move to scoring position more easily through a steal. I'll add Guz would not take pitches and give MillzWillie a chance to run.

I've suggested before Johnson would be better at #2 than Guz, behind LMillz and ahead of FotF and Dunn, and I find the idea of batting him 6th as some suggest hard to understand, but that's not an argument worth having again. What I'd say is that if we do not go in that direction, then either Dunn or Dukes might be worth a try.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 24, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes! The snark is back!

Posted by: bmorenate | February 24, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company