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NatsTown

If you turn on your television or radio this year, if you pop open your Internet browser, or if you open your newspaper (and careful research suggests that a few dozen still do), you will hear a lot about a certain place called NatsTown. This, I suppose, is better than NatsVillage. And it probably sounds better than Natsylvania. Maybe it's not as promising as NatsMetropolis, but hey, perhaps some better television ratings this year can take care of that.

Anyway, today the Nationals unveiled the slogan at the center of their 2009 marketing/advertising campaign -- yes, NatsTown. The "NatsTown" idea will attempt to convey the spirit (and here I quote the press release) that "unites all fans in everything Nationals -- at the ballpark, in the community, and in their everyday lives."

(Again quoting...) "The new campaign recognizes that every time a Nats fan comes to the ballpark, watches a game, visits the website, dons a Washington Nationals cap, or just checks the score, he or she is entering a Nationals state-of-mind and joining a community of fans in 'NatsTown.'"

The ad spots intend to feature players, coaches, etc., explaining what "NatsTown" means to them. The ads will also invite fans to "Get Your Red On" by wearing team colors and/or the Curly W cap.

See one of the theme logos here.

NatsTownOFFICIAL-1.pdf

And please. Share your thoughts on this one.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 5, 2009; 2:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Odalis Perez Signs Minor League Deal

Comments

If Clint is the Mayor of NatsTown, the population will be zero.

Posted by: Batboy05 | February 5, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

ClipArt 101

Posted by: Brian_ | February 5, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Capitals fans are laughing right now. Does NatsTown qualify for Baseball Disaster Relief funds?

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I live in NatsTown. The rent is very high and the owners of the town take a long time to fix things. They use a lot of duct tape and chicken wire to keep things barely working. And they use a lot 2nd rate laborers to do the work, which ends up being very poor in quality.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

OMG....slum district

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"I live in NatsTown. The rent is very high and the owners of the town take a long time to fix things. They use a lot of duct tape and chicken wire to keep things barely working. And they use a lot 2nd rate laborers to do the work, which ends up being very poor in quality.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2009 2:45 PM"

Isn't that how they built their malls, too?

Posted by: brewer1 | February 5, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

In 2007, we had "Pledge Your Allegiance." Last year we had "Welcome Home." This year, we get "NatsTown." Okay, so maybe it seems a bit pedestrian - because it IS a bit pedestrian. But, on the other hand, let it be noted that the Nats first urged everyone to "Get Your Red On" back in July 2006 at the RFK Grand Re-Opening Weekend, long before the Caps ever suggested that we "Rock the Red." It was a good slogan then, and it's a good slogan now. And "NatsTown," lame as it may be, is still heaps better than "This Is Birdland." Finally, any organization whose slogan for over a decade has been the nonsensical "If you don't get it, you don't get it" has no critical standing whatsoever to even be evaluating anyone else's marketing campaign.

(And for all you old-timers out there, this sure beats the crap out of "Off the floor in '64," wouldn't you agree?)

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Get your Red On? What a rip off of the Capitals' Rock The Red. Maybe the Nats organization should stop and think that NatsTown will be a ghost town if they don't sign some quality free agents....

Posted by: BobBarker | February 5, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1

I kinda liked "On We Drive in '65" myself.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Tried to comment on the Bog post about this but couldn't do so. I can't seem to get a comment through on the Baseball Insider, either. But so far I can here.

Anyway, I heard a commercial about NatsTown at one point but can't remember just where or when.

"BobBarker," the Nats had a get your red on promotion just after the Lerners took over, in June of 2006 if memory serves, so not sure who is ripping off whom there.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, nunof beat me to the punch re. the Nats get your red on promotion. Never mind.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't that how they built their malls, too?"

Actually, no. The Lerners have built some of the nicer shopping centers in the DC area. You've obviously never been to one of them, have you?

http://www.lernerenterprises.com/index.html

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm no marketing guru, but wouldn't something like "The Capital of Baseball" have been a better campaign?

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Lerner's didn't pay a lot for this marketing concept - because it looks like it could have been done by a group of 5th-graders (out of context skyline w/a "curly W" on the Capitol dome as an intro - really)?

I'd rather have had them work with the "Welcome Home" concept from 2008, with a cityscape surrounding the stadium as a central point.

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Not to re-start a old and boring argument, but hey Bob got any suggestions on who still on the market qualify as "quality free agents..."?

Posted by: estuartj | February 5, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the slogan should be “Get your rose colored glasses on”, because unless we add tow major players in the next week or so; this team’s upside is to loss only 90 games. I’m glad my son is only 18 months and won’t remember the 10 games we go to this year.

Posted by: tcostant | February 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe even "Hosting the best of Baseball" as a overlying theme - after all, the WS champion Phillies will play here for 9 games, and BOS plays a 3-game set this year. Just sayin'.

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Like most of the team's marketing, it's stupid and half-assed, but I'm truly disappointed that it isn't also as painfully embarrassing as the "Nuts About the Nats" song.

Posted by: shekb | February 5, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

...Or "Welcome to Hard Times" for the team and the cafe in the ballpark?

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I's somewhat suprised that BobBarker didn't suggest "C'mon down" as a marketing slogan for the 2009 season.

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

PPPPLLLLEEEEAAAASSSSEEE NNNNOOO!!!!

You've got to be kidding me. This is total ripe off of the Caps. Uncle Ted is gonna get his pockets straighten by Teddy L. and he'll deserve it. HAhahahahahaha!!!

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I would've preferred a re-tooled roster and a first baseman who's durable to a new ad campaign.

Posted by: samantha7 | February 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

shekb - The salmonella outbreak is probably the only thing preventing a "Nuts About the Nats" ad campaign. Yay, salmonella!

Posted by: NTPNate | February 5, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

From SI.com: Sources tell SI.com Adam Dunn received an offer weeks ago from the Nationals, but he must be hoping for the Dodgers or someone else, as he hasn't yet taken it. "He's showing no indication he wants to go," said one person familiar with their talks.

Interesting. Hadn't heard that. But he isn't the answer anyway. We're loaded in the OF.
Would be nice if the Post ever got a scoop though.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't "Loserville" be more accurate??

Posted by: zav56 | February 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I like the progression of the slogans and NatsTown is totally fine.

I concur with 1a, Mr. Barker. Nats did "get your red on" in '06, long before the Caps.

leetee, great suggestion. But they should maybe wait until they're out of dead last place before using "Capital of Baseball."

I LOVE the Nuts about the Nats song. It's very old school and charming.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to NatsTown - Population~21000

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@samantha7:

What costs less, a revamped roster & a durable 1B, or the introduction of a new ad campaign?

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, the new and improved ad campaign!

Posted by: samantha7 | February 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Rick,

You didn't count the MASN 9000 in your census.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Since the Nats had the worst record in baseball last season, and this season will probably have similar results, the 2009 campaign should have been "Same sh*t, different pile".

NatsTown sounds so stupid. Seriously, our team is a joke.

Posted by: BillyBeane | February 5, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

NatsTown...
Check your expectations at the gate.

Posted by: jctichen | February 5, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Is the Red Light District surrounding or at the Capitol Building?

Posted by: FireBowdenNow | February 5, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

NatsTown -- that's the area around the stadium, right? The one where they started building and still no one came?

Posted by: fischy | February 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@samantha7:

And there you have your first understanding of the current Nationals' Ownership / FO. Marketing before substence (Sell it, then fill it).

At some point in 2009-10, the reality of "My god, we have this wonderful building that no-one comes to" may finally strike the ownership. Then, and only then, will they begin to grasp the concept of "substance over style".

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

...Or "Welcome to Hard Times" for the team and the cafe in the ballpark?

------

Stick your face in a steaming hot Ben's Chilli Bowl

Posted by: jctichen | February 5, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@jc

On a frigid day like today, I would relish a bowl of Ben's Chili.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@BillyBeane - It's slightly less patronizing than having Pledge Your Allegiance jammed down your throat while watching the 92nd loss of the year with 8000 of your closest pals.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

ya'll are a buncha scrooges.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Why RED?

I just Red myself does have the same punch as I just Blue myself.

Posted by: jctichen | February 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@BinM:

It's even a second-rate ad campaign. They've been dedicated to building this team on the cheap and, so, that's what they have, a team of re-treads and former problem cases who may or may not bloom. Meanwhile, they can't sign their arbitration-eligible players and are having a devil of a time attracting any FA player who would want to come here and deal with management.

Posted by: samantha7 | February 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"still heaps better than 'This Is Birdland.'"

Not really. Granted, "This is Birdland" is very dumb. But "Birdland," dumb as it sounds, at least seems to describe something. What it describes - the ballpark or the region up there - who knows, but it describes something. NatsTown, on the other hand, sounds like completely pointless marketing rhetoric.

I like the "Capital of Baseball" suggestion up-page. Now that sounds like it's describing something.

Posted by: bselig | February 5, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Geez, did everyone get up on the wrong side of bed? I like the logo--I think it's an easily remembered image and attractive. "NatsTown" isn't the most brilliant slogan I've ever heard, but it isn't horrible either. And as several people have pointed out, the Nats may have used the red thing before the Caps. Give the FO a break. I like it. And this is my team and i love it. So sue me.

Posted by: Section109 | February 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

for the benefit of everyone who has been screaming about how the Nats are cheap idiots for not offering Ben Sheets a contract:

------------
The answer is that free agent right-hander Ben Sheets may need surgery to repair the torn flexor tendon in his elbow, and his former employers may be asked to pick up the tab.
---------------------


http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090205&content_id=3801488&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp&partnerId=rss_mlb

enjoy.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else notice that Nats Park is missing from the skyline? Thought that would have helped the visuals a bit.

Posted by: FireBowdenNow | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@109

We kid because we care.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

and yeah, the first time the Nationals Used "Get Your Red On", the Capitals were still wearing Blue and Gold.

so please stop with the "OMGRIPOFFTHECAPS" TALK.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. I live in NatsTown. I once visited wrigleyville and had an amazing time, bars and baseball fans (be it cubs fans, yuck) as far as these eyes could see. I wonder what the future holds in store for "NatsTown".

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | February 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhhh! NatsTown! What a concept. Man you can't make this stuff up.

Snyder and Tubby Teddy must be laughing thier a*** off.

Hey Dan, this is Ted Leonis, I know I'll never eclipse your numbers but those guys down over at South Capital must be dreaming. They are looking for NatsTown, well we know it ain't here!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | February 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine @3:26 - Dunn must be a fan of the Ramones.

"The Ramones

I Don't Wanna go Down to the Basement Lyrics:
Hey, daddy-o I don't wanna go down to the basement
There's somethin' down there I don't wanna go Hey,Romeo there's something down there I don't wanna
go down to the basement

(TWO TIMES MORE THIS SAME)
Lyrics: I Don't Wanna go Down to the Basement,
The Ramones [end]"

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

109,
I guess it's just you and me in NatsTown. Everyone else is in Poopyantsville.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@samantha7:

I've spoken to that very point (signing Arb-eligibles) earlier. It sometimes seems that the FO over-analyses the cost/benefit on players before moving forward. With in-house players, the team should have a salary range in mind and be able to move toward conclusion fairly quickly. In my mind, RZimm, Hill, and Olsen should already be under contract; Willingham is debateable.
The only thing stopping that from happening is if the Lerner's have a fixed-price that they want to hold to.

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

From a graphic design perspective, this image is a disaster.

There's something wrong with the people the Nats hire to do graphics. On last year's tickets, the shortstop and second baseman were both left-handed. The holiday card the Nats sent out in 2007 featured a reverse-image of a glove, where you could see the "Rawlings" image was a mirror image of the word.

Now this. They've screwed up the reflected image of the word NatsTown. They should've gone with a softer or angled approach on the reflected letters. Right now if you look at it, the "O" looks like an "8" or a lowercase "g" because it bleeds too close to the letter it is supposed to reflect. The same with the "W" which looks like two uppercase "X's" now.

Overall visual theme--image of a town painted red, red-white-blue color suite, curly W on the Capitol are all good. But they need to fix the reflected letters, now.

Posted by: ThinkingOne | February 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"The only thing stopping that from happening is if the Lerner's have a fixed-price that they want to hold to."

Or that Zimmerman, etc have their own fixed-price that they are holding to

Posted by: Brian_ | February 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

109,
I guess it's just you and me in NatsTown. Everyone else is in Poopyantsville.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 4:04 PM

don't forget me.

the rest of these folks are just bitter because the Nats have signed every free agent that's available yet, and they are taking their angst out on everything Nationals related that doesn't say "Nats sign every single FA on the Market".

once we sign Dunn(because apparently the Dodgers don't want him), they'll all get their NatsTown IDs as well.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I liked Nuts about the Nats, too, NatsNut.

BinM, good point re. a B. Barker slogan (either that or "The price is wrong, b----!" No wait - that would be a Happy Gilmore slogan. Never mind).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

^^^

that should say HAVEN'T signed every free agent.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

that should say HAVEN'T signed every free agent.

Or their first round draft pick. Or ANY big league free agent.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jon_heyman/02/05/scoop.pedro/index.html

------------------------
The Dodgers have weighed as backup plans Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, with Torre said by associates to prefer the consistently productive Abreu, by far the better contact hitter (not to mention a player Torrre had in New York).
-----------

Sources tell SI.com Dunn received an offer weeks ago from the Nationals,

but he must be hoping for the Dodgers or someone else, as he hasn't yet taken it. "He's showing no indication he wants to go," said one person familiar with their talks.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

that should say HAVEN'T signed every free agent.

Or their first round draft pick. Or ANY big league free agent.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 4:14 PM

yeah, you must REALLY be new around here. Aaron Crow has been discussed to death here. that horse is dead and buried.

and yeah, not ANY free agent, because they are ALL employed right now, and there are no more left to sign. yes?

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Just to give you an idea of how things change in NatsTown...

I just pulled the 2008 pocket calendar off my wall. Dimitri was pictured on the front cover and Wily Mo was on the inside. They are the only 2 players on the calendar.

Posted by: jctichen | February 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, MrM. I think NatsTown stinks and I don't believe they should sign every free agent.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

TOUCHE!

**********************

for the benefit of everyone who has been screaming about how the Nats are cheap idiots for not offering Ben Sheets a contract:

------------
The answer is that free agent right-hander Ben Sheets may need surgery to repair the torn flexor tendon in his elbow, and his former employers may be asked to pick up the tab.
---------------------


http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090205&content_id=3801488&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp&partnerId=rss_mlb

enjoy.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, MrM. I think NatsTown stinks and I don't believe they should sign every free agent.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 5, 2009 4:20 PM

personally i don't really care either way about the Marketing Slogan.

it doesn't affect the W/L record.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@Brian:

If RZimm's fixed price is $3.9M, pay it - he's worth it. That's the part of the point that the Learner's need to grasp. Value has it's price - I'd think it equates to marketing space to a cornerstone store in a mall. "You'd be a major draw to this location - we can offer you a lease rate of $X per square foot, per month, over a 5-year guaranteed contract" to lock him down. Instead, they seem to be treating him (and all players) as purely hired help.

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I had NO idea his lack of signing no longer had an effect on the long term prospects of this organization or served as an indication for its mismanagement. I must be REALLY new here. Are you the pledge trainer?

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I think this bears repeating, since we are apparently headed back towards another CheapLernerDoesn'tWantToSpendMoney horsebeating:

---------
Sources tell SI.com Dunn received an offer weeks ago from the Nationals,

but he must be hoping for the Dodgers or someone else, as he hasn't yet taken it.

"He's showing no indication he wants to go," said one person familiar with their talks.
---------

note, there is no indication that he's received offers from OTHER teams.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

""still heaps better than 'This Is Birdland.'"

Not really."

Yes, really. Because DC isn't part of Birdland any more, and let's not forget that. Okay, Mr. Boswell?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I had NO idea his lack of signing I must be REALLY new here.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 4:24 PM

yes, you must be really new here, because if you were not, you'd know that we've all discussed Aaron Crow to death, over. and over. and over. and over. and over.

I made no suggestion that it "no longer had an effect on the long term prospects of this organization or served as an indication for its mismanagement."

I merely said we've discussed it to death already.

if you want to take a few more pointless whacks at the dead horse, go right ahead.

I think the consensus around here is that the only mistake the Nats made with Crow was drafting him to begin with. But I could be mistaken.

personally, I think they should have drafted Justin Smoak.

this is the part where you say OMGTHEYDIDNTSIGNHIMBECAUSEOFOAMEASLY300THOUSANDDOLLARSCHEAPCHEAPCHEAPCHEAP!

and then I explain in detail what actually happened with Crow, because there is a lot more to it than "the Lerners didn't want to pay 300k". but god, I've done this so many times already, and it is really pointless.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@BinM - I agree with your premise ... to a point. But who is to say Zimmerman isn't asking for something more than that. Something akin to what David Wright received (or more). We just don't know. If anything, Zimmerman's agent has shown a tendency to not buy out arbitration years as a rule.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Dovelevine - You said that we are "loaded in the outfield" - while I expect Dukes, Milledge and Willingham to be better than last year's setup of Pena, Milledge and Kearns, the Nats are far from loaded in the outfield.

Adding someone like Dunn who knows how to hit - would strengthen the lineup from top to bottom.

Posted by: comish4lif | February 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"for the benefit of everyone who has been screaming about how the Nats are cheap idiots for not offering Ben Sheets a contract:"

MrMadison, this is neither the time nor the place for bringing this up. This is the time and the place for all those people who have been complaining for years that the Nats don't do any marketing to start complaining that they don't like the marketing the Nats are now doing. Hold your thought for another day, okay?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

and no, I'm not any sort of "insider" or related to Crow or anything, but the specifics of the Crow Fiasco is pretty common knowledge around here, I do believe.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

MrMadison, this is neither the time nor the place for bringing this up. This is the time and the place for all those people who have been complaining for years that the Nats don't do any marketing to start complaining that they don't like the marketing the Nats are now doing. Hold your thought for another day, okay?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 4:33 PM

do I have to?

but good lord, that's a really good point, nunof1.

NJ Commenter: OMG WHY DON'T THEY ADVERTISE! CHEAPCHEAPCHEAPCHEAPCHEAP!

Nats Announce Marketing Slogan and Marketing Plan:

NJ Commenter: OMG THIS MARKETING SUCKS! CHEAPCHEAPCHEAPCHEAPCHEAP!

MrMadison: *shrug* Hey, you asked for it. be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

As simply as possible: how can you argue that the offer is proof of anything when you have no idea of money involved?

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree they shouldn't have drafted him to begin with. So we agree on that. The 300K is neither here nor there. Drafting him to begin with was an inexcusable mistake.

Anyway, moving on to living horses the Lerners remain cheap and the org clearly put no effort into this marketing slogan.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

At least "Birdland" is a really good tune (Weather Report - 1977, later covered by Manahattan Transfer as a vocal).

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@Brian_:

The Arbitration #'s are set for 2009 - If Zimmereran is asking for $3.9M, sign him.
His agent might be looking for David Wright-like #'s now, but if the Nationals started with a 5-yr, $46M long-term offer, don't you think they'd listen?

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

As simply as possible: how can you argue that the offer is proof of anything when you have no idea of money involved?

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 5, 2009 4:36 PM

you are absolutely correct. Offering Contracts to two of the Major Free Agents available on the Market(Dunn/Hudson) means absolutely nothing because the NJ Bloggers don't know the exact details of the offer.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

The offense, barring an overload of injuries, will be fine. They were not far off league average 2d half of last year, and are adding Johnson/Willingham at first, have FotF healthy, have Flores rested (unlike the tail end of last year before he was hurt), and have swapped Boni for some sort of combo of Hernandez / Harris / Belliard.

Defensively, this team is still a bit backwards, stronger on the corners than up the middle, but I don't see us weaker in any spot other than possibly left.

First half of last year, starting pithcing was OK while the bullpen imploded and the bats died. Second half, the bats were there, the starting pitching collapsed, and the bullpen improved to spotty.

I still see the staff as the biggest unpredictable this year. A more pessimistic view would be "likely subpar," an optimist would say the starting pitching has two lottery tickets mixed in with some young arms that eventually will be major leaguers.

As for FAs who are still worth bringing in, there are FA bullpen guys that can be brought in cheaply that I think would help a team that is committed to internally developed pitching and young chancey veterans starters. For lefties, lots of good options: Beimel, Ohman, D Reyes look good. For righties, skipping Curz as a Type A, there is a lot of broken down old guys: Isringhausen, Foulke, and Gordon. I/M/O, the lefties are where the action is. Trot out 2 year, $5 - 6 million deals and see who bites.

With one of the lefties, we push Hinckley back to a middle inning match up guy. We still could use a righty, too, but perhaps a trade of an excess OF would work.

Hypothetically this bullpen would be competitive: Hanrahan, Reyes/ Ohmann/ Beimel, Mystery Righty, Rivera for innings 7 - 9 , with Hinckley, Shell, Young, Bergmann (?), maybe others fighting it out for slots 5 -7 in the pen. Mock goes to Syracuse to close.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 5, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

So, the Nats are back to WFED? I guess that means another year without a radio deal...

Posted by: comish4lif | February 5, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

can someone explain to me how it is more financially suitable for Zimmerman to sign now, after his worst season, as opposed to taking the arb money, and playing this season, and then asking for a bigger deal next offseason, based on what will most likely be a much better season than last?

it's beneficial for the Lerners, sure. but not for Zimmerman.

I get the feeling he's gonna do the smart thing,and just wait. he's never given any indication that he's in a rush to get this done, and he understands the process pretty well.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

----------
from MLBTR:

3:39pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman talked to Sheets' agent Casey Close, who said his client will have elbow surgery. Sheets hopes for a July or August return.

-----------

anyone still upset that the Nats didn't offer him a contract?

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I plan to be "loaded in the outfield" as much as possible this season.

Posted by: frog7694 | February 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

incidentally, I signed up for Twitter yesterday..and I'm pretty hooked.

mini-blogging if pretty damn cool.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@MrM:

You're probably right that he (& his agent) will wait. I just trotted out a reasonable base offer for a long-term contract that falls between Tulowitski / D. Wright (where IMO, he belongs).

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

To quote the poster legend: "Everything just sucks." Including NatsTown.

But...can we have a new game? Fun with snark:

NatsTown: Like BoysTown, rehabilitating America's misguided youth since 2008.

NatsTown: Like Johnstown, post-flood.

NatsTown: Now with that refugee from Funkytown, Clint.

NatsTown: Like Jonestown, only with better Kool-Aid.

Thanks, thanks. Tip your waiters and waitresses.

NatsTown:

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I plan to be "loaded in the outfield" as much as possible this season.

Posted by: frog7694 | February 5, 2009 4:53 PM


Post of the day. Nice work.

Posted by: sec307 | February 5, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Is that true? Are radio broadcasts only on 1500AM????? OMG. Does anyone think in that front office? Charlie and Dave were the sole reason I stayed on listening to games that tanked. Besides, they should be shooting for as broad a reach as possible (if they knew how to run a sports team) for their product.

Posted by: samantha7 | February 5, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I would rather get my win on than my red on.

Nice logo. Lazy slogan. I'm not really glass full or empty on this one. Sorta glass medium I guess.

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

Thank you, Thank you! I am putting that on my resume!

Posted by: frog7694 | February 5, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

NatsTown: Like Youngstown, only more depressing

NatsTown: Like Pottstown, only with more Phillies fans

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

I nominate Mr. Madison as PR Director/Mayor of NatsTown

No one can put a positive spin on this steaming pile of Poop the way he can.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Whatever.

In other news, MLB Network starts its 30 teams in 30 days coverage on February 20. The Nats segment will first air on February 28, with repeats on March 1 and 2. (Not sure how they determined the sequence, as it seems to jump around among leagues and divisions, but the Red Sox and Yanks are among the first teams up. hmmm...)

http://mlbnetwork.mlb.com/network/schedule/?ymd=20090228

Speaking of MLB Network, the Dominican team was on the losing end of a slugfest yesterday. Hope that they can pull out a win today. Also, I am becoming a Cookie Rojas fan.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The art is fine, but the phonetics of NatsTown (naTssssTowwwn) doesn't exactly roll of the tounge, more of a tongue trip. I'm guessing this was not tesssttt marketed before it was adopted.

Not that it will stop me from supporting the team, but something more aliterative or rythmic would be nice next time.

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

NatsTown: The Capital of Birdland.

NatsTown: Where to go when you need to get away from your nasty neighbors in Raljon.

NatsTown: Washington Post home delivery not available.

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

I nominate Mr. Madison as PR Director/Mayor of NatsTown

No one can put a positive spin on this steaming pile of Poop the way he can.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2009 5:19 PM

eh. I've got no positive spin skills.

I just don't think the franchise is DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED like everyone else seems to.

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

Not all of us think that it's doomed, MrM.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's doomed either, I just think it's not a very good product...right now, I think it will get better, however.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

NatsTown: Ya gotta wonder why the people who think it's Ground Zero just hang around whining instead of getting the hell out of Dodge.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

It's financially suitable depending on the deal he makes. He could sign say a 5-year deal and if he liked the price, have financial security regardless of performance or health, not have to go through the headache of arbitration, and hit the open market at 28 if he was unhappy with the team. Of course that's just a theory but there are enough benefits for both sides that there are plenty of reasons why the should negotiate.

And even given your argument the Nationals should at least be working very hard to avoid arbitration this year, which hopefully they are.

************

can someone explain to me how it is more financially suitable for Zimmerman to sign now, after his worst season, as opposed to taking the arb money, and playing this season, and then asking for a bigger deal next offseason, based on what will most likely be a much better season than last?

it's beneficial for the Lerners, sure. but not for Zimmerman.

I get the feeling he's gonna do the smart thing,and just wait. he's never given any indication that he's in a rush to get this done, and he understands the process pretty well.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 4:48 PM

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

pretty sure get your red on was before rock the red.

also i like the logo. the name is kinda strange, but ill get behind it.

Posted by: sect104 | February 5, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Another random comment: Right now, the Nats second round pick will be #45 in the draft, with the potential to be bumped down to #52, depending on where 7 FAs end up: O-dog, Manny, O-Cab, Cruz, Sheets, Grudz, Reyes.
http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=39837&st=0 (he does not have Weathers resigning with Cinci). Let's no Sheets signing, and Manny back to the dodgers. That would put the pick no worse than #50.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 5, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"Let's SAY no Sheets signing BEFORE THE DRAFT DUE TO INJURY, and SAY Manny back to the dodgers. That would put the NAT'S pick no worse than #50."

Joy in NatsTown. We aren't an Empire or a Nation, but it's a start.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 5, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Fun with word find in the comments section of this thread:

Instances of the word "cheap": 21

Times used by MrMadison: 16

Times used quoting MrMadison: 2

Times used by all other NJ commenters: 3 (once as part of the word "cheaply")

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

Dovelevine - You said that we are "loaded in the outfield" - while I expect Dukes, Milledge and Willingham to be better than last year's setup of Pena, Milledge and Kearns, the Nats are far from loaded in the outfield.

Adding someone like Dunn who knows how to hit - would strengthen the lineup from top to bottom.
Posted by: comish4lif | February 5, 2009 4:31 PM

Comish, I fully expect, barring injuries, for Mr. Dukes to push .300. He is the real deal. I also expect Milledge to be much better than last year. And without even seeing him, I'll say Willingham will be an improvement over Mr. Kearns, who honestly should be cut or traded.
As far as Dunn, this must be a real down year for his name to get so much play. Although I don't see anyone running to break down the door to sign him. He has a low BA and a high K-Ratio. So it's all or nothing, HR or K for him. I'd pass. I'd rather have Maxwell as a backup. Like I said, our OF is fine. It's our pitching that's gonna get hammered. And as we all know, pitching wins games. Period.

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

Fun with word find in the comments section of this thread:

Instances of the word "cheap": 21

Times used by MrMadison: 16

Times used quoting MrMadison: 2

Times used by all other NJ commenters: 3 (once as part of the word "cheaply")

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 5, 2009 5:46 PM
such is the price of satire, I guess.

now try that game with any other entry in this blog. :)

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

And as we all know, pitching wins games. Period.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2009 5:46 PM

no. because pitching doesn't score runs.

Pitching keeps you from losing. it doesn't win.

scoring runs while your pitching keeps you from losing is what wins games.

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

Okay, I'll start with a positive. It's infinitely better than Nats Nation. I hate the predilection of sports media members for adding "nation" to a team to describe its fan base. It's dumb and unoriginal.

Speaking of dumb and unoriginal, we have NatsTown. Only the Nats could find a way to be self-derivative. Last year's "Welcome Home" idea was much more appropriate. Somehow, that home has swelled into a settlement - and from the looks of it, this one could go the ways of Roanoke's Lost Colony.

And it only gets dumber with "get your red on" hanging around.

The only thing that saves this announcement is Chico's idea of Natsylvania. It may sound dreadful, but at least it's funny.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 5, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Even "NatsVille" would have been better.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 5, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

NATSTOWN IN DA HOOD!!!!!! BOOOO-YAA!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | February 5, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Pitching keeps you from losing. it doesn't win. Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 5:55 PM

Pitching wins. PERIOD. Otherwise you're the Texas Rangers scoring 12 runs a game and still losing by 3.
God pitching will beat good hitting any day just like defense will always prevail over offense.
This aint rocket science.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Pitching wins. PERIOD.


This aint rocket science.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 5, 2009 6:39 PM

you are correct in that it is not rocket science.

you can't win if you don't score.

Your pitchers can throw no-hitters, but if your offense can't score runs, you don't win. "PERIOD".

0-0 is a tie ballgame. not a win.

Good Pitching doesn't win games, Good Pitching prevents You from Losing. there's a difference.

NOTE: I am not saying that Pitching is less(or more) important than hitting. that would be silly. I am disputing your notion of what exactly pitching does for your team.

You need both in equal amounts.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have been telling their fans to wear red since April 14, 2005:


Now the Nationals are coming home. For the first time in 34 years, the nation's capital will be the site of a major league game when the Nationals play the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at sold-out RFK Stadium. The throng of 45,000-plus will include President Bush and numerous other dignitaries.

Nationals manager Frank Robinson issued a public appeal to fans attending tonight's game at RFK to wear red.

"Tell all the Nationals fans that come out to put their red on," Robinson said.

Even the president"

"He can wear a red tie if he likes, but I'm not going to tell him what to do, just like I wouldn't want him to tell me what to do," Robinson said.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | February 5, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Otherwise you're the Texas Rangers scoring 12 runs a game and still losing by 3."

Ya gotta admit though that the Rangers have a pretty good record in games where they score 30 runs.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

NatsTown: Ya gotta wonder why the people who think it's Ground Zero just hang around whining instead of getting the hell out of Dodge.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 5:33 PM
____________________________________________________

I have to take issue with this statement because quite frankly, it’s a little pompous. 2 years ago this blog was very positive. Now, not so much. There a few who are still positive, without being snippy at those who are not always positive (NatsNut, natsfan1a1, 506, BobLHead, etc) and I admire that.

People are getting antsy and frustrated. Why is that such a bad thing? And why do you take it so personally?

Speaking for myself, I have been a 20 gamer every year so far. I watch almost every game on TV. And I'm on this blog almost everyday, year round. I would put my ability to be a fan up against anyone.

So, just because I'm not Captain Positive all the time, like you, that annoy's you? Or are saying that I’m not as good of a fan as you are?

Or do you think this is some kind of Country Club style blog and you look down your nose at us “negative types?”

Please feel free to explain.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

505203: Nothing wrong with being positive about a team one claims to be a fan of, obviously. Nothing wrong with being negative at times about a team one claims to be a fan of, either. But one has to wonder why anyone who claims to be a fan of a team, but who can never find anything to say about that team but negative things, and who piles on at each and every opportunity whether or warranted or not, is hanging around on a team-related blog. If something is that distasteful to someone, if they can take absolutely no pleasure at all in it other than to run it down or run down those who do have positive things to say about it, then what good reason is there for that person to just be able to spew their hate unchallenged?

Of course I'm not saying that you're one of those people. They know who they are, and so do the rest of us.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

And one other thing. You say "2 years ago this blog was very positive."

Sorry, no it wasn't. Go back and re-read the archives, as I have. There were positive folks here then, and negative ones as well. The problem is that many of the positive folks have left or been driven away, while most of the negative ones are still here.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I resemble that remark!

*******************************
The problem is that many of the positive folks have left or been driven away, while most of the negative ones are still here.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 8:40 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 5, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

What they don't want you to see about Natstown: http://tinyurl.com/d7l2mj

And there's an exciting new post just the other side of this one.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 5, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 5, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Back Odalis!!!

The Nats signed him to a minor league deal. He may not be CC Sabathia, but Odalis went out there and took his turn last year. I really think he deserves the right to come back. Good for the Nats. Good for Odalis.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 5, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Natstown - Where open criticism of the way an organization is being run is labeled whining

Two years ago the blog was more positive because there were more positive fans in general because the team looked headed in a hopeful direction. The mass exodus of season ticket holders tells you all you need to know about where the "positive" folks went. They were driven away alright, by the organization.

Label me a non-fan all you want but I went to 20 games last year, including 3 at Wrigley in my Milledge jersey cheering in the bleachers. I won't go to any this year unless you guys have some free extra tickets. If you do then I am IN.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

How about NAT-CITY. Their in the City and not a Town. Or, NATS-COUNTRY - We are the Capitol of the Country. COME SEE THE NATS, A CAPITOL IDEA!

Actually "Birdland" was used a long time ago pre-Camden Yards when the O's played at Memorial Stadium. The Orioles seem to have a "retro" theme going on by putting Baltimore on their Jerseys, new versions of old videos and the use of Birdland in their promotions.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | February 6, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but this new inventive slogan is seem very uninspiring. It is about as dull as the welcome-home slogan. But, I guess the Nats think it will generate money for them so they can't be faulted for trying. As for me, I'll go to a Nats game because they are the Nats and not because a slogan got me fired up.

Posted by: Pete433 | February 6, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the shout out, 505203, and nice find on the Robinson quote, PB69. I'd forgotten about that one. I have a happy memory of the Get Your Red On promotion, as my t-shirt was handed to me by Nick the Stick himself (stay well, Nick).

I'm okay with the NatsTown campaign and logo, though I also liked Welcome Home and wouldn't mind if they'd used that again. Better NatsTown than Nats Nation, as JiM noted. If they'd used Natsylvania, people might think we were Phillies Phans. [PHILLIES? ACK! PTOOIE! -- inserted as a proxy for 506] I like the Capitol idea as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 6, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

They should call it "Minorleaguesville," where you can see minor league "talent" for major league prices.

Posted by: futbolclif | February 6, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

it's not shocking the Nats center the marketing campaign around an amorphous idea instead of something tangible--like, say...the team? "NatsTown" means nothing.

DC certainly isn't a Nats town. right now, it's a Caps town. usually it's a Skins town. it's always been a college basketball town. but it's a neophyte baseball town, and even then there are usually just as many out-of-town fans as Nats fans.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | February 6, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Just remembered a point that I wanted to make. It's easy to shoot down the ideas of others rather than to float one's own ideas.

Perhaps we as Nats fans might consider directing some positive energy towards coming up with a unique fan-based tradition (right now only pointy-ball examples come to mind: the Hogettes and the Dog Pound).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 6, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

How many of you felt you moved to NatsTown only to realize that you are waking up every morning in Laughingstockoftheleagueburgh?

Posted by: dboz1970 | February 6, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Srsly, there's a natsload of new posts up now.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 6, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

You have GOT to be kidding me. THAT'S the logo for "Nats Town"???
Please, dear God, do the Lerners UNDERSTAND what we old (expansion) Senators fans waited 34 years for?? REAL baseball being played in this city??
And we're rewarded with..."Nats Town"??? This is right up there with "Come to Birdland". Who's the marketing "genius" who dreamed up THIS load of you-know-what???
Somebody SHOOT me, please...

Posted by: jakecave | February 6, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Nats Town or Nats Down? It may be hard to tell the difference.

Posted by: miseaujeu | February 6, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

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