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Once And For All, Manny Ain't Coming Here

There have been some whispers across baseball today suggesting that the Nationals might take an interest in Manny Ramirez, particularly if 1.) they cannot lure Adam Dunn and 2.) Ramirez somehow turns away from the Dodgers.

That said, Manny-to-Washington isn't happening.

"We respect Manny Ramirez as one of the best hitters of our era," GM Jim Bowden wrote today in an e-mail. "However, based on our plan on building a franchise, we have not and are not going to be making him an offer."

For the Nationals, the problems with Ramirez, who turns 37 in May, go well beyond his asking price.

First: Washington has preached this entire offseason about pursuing trades and free agents only if they build the team for the long-term as well as the short term. Much as the Nats need a middle-of-the-lineup power threat, a pursuit of Ramirez would be a pure push for the short-term gain, something that would counteract the strategy for rebuilding.

Second: Where would he play? Sure, Ramirez, on talent alone, would deserve a lineup spot before Lastings Milledge, Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes. But the latter three players are, in order, 23, 29 and 24. The Nats owe it especially to Milledge and Dukes to let them play every day and see what happens. Willingham could likely move to first base if the outfield for some reason got more crowded, but it's applicable here to remember what Bowden has said about his pitching rotation, also populated by youngsters. He doesn't want to add a veteran to that group if it forces a younger piece out of the picture. He doesn't see the wisdom of signing an older player if it simultaneously stunts the development of a younger one.

Third: What about the risk of signing Ramirez, who has a track record of souring on teams far more prosperous than Washington? Inviting Manny to DC would not have made the Nats contenders, but it might just have made them combustible. Just out of curiosity, I crunched the W-L records of Manny's teams throughout his career. The guy has had an unbelievable run. Only once since 1993, his rookie year, has he played for a team that finished worse than second place. Essentially, for a decade-and-a-half, Ramirez has lived life on a playoff-caliber ballclub. (Check out the graphic below.) If he signs with the Dodgers, that life can continue.


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By Chico Harlan  |  February 3, 2009; 8:17 PM ET
 
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Next: The Unemployment Line

Comments

Would someone please email this link to ken rosenthal

Posted by: theredskin | February 3, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Manny is the greatest winner in baseball:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/02/03/baseballs-greatest-winner/

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | February 3, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

So, Chico, you call yourself a journalist. Did you ask Bowden why they're monitoring the Manny situation if there's absolutely no chance whatsoever that they'd ever sign him? You mean you don't even wonder why that is?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 3, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This is just a shot in the dark, but it might be because they *are* in that line of work, more or less.
*****************
You mean you don't even wonder why that is?
Posted by: nunof1 | February 3, 2009 8:49 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 3, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I mean, none of us is working for a MLB front office, and we seem to be following the Manny Show.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 3, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought--maybe they are baseball fans.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 3, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

If he came here he'd make FLop seem like a pillar of the clubhouse

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are monitoring the Manny situation because it is tied to Adam Dunn. The Nats have given Dunn an offer, but Dunn wants to sign with the Dodgers. If Manny signs with the Dodgers, then Dunn might have to eat crow and sign with the Nats.

Posted by: bupbups | February 3, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@moron

No really. Manny wants a ring. He's not the animal people think he is. He just wants a ring. Just like Teix, just like Dunn. Regardless of why it's a bad idea to sign him, he ain't coming because he wouldn't want to.

I'm with 506, I'm out. See you guys on opening day.

Regarless of how you think we should get there, Go Nat's!

Posted by: soundbloke | February 3, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I just read that Brad Wilkerson signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox. We should have brought him back on a Minor League deal to back up NJ and play 1B. Remember when he face of the franchise as the team moved south in 2005?! Still praying for Ben Sheets...can I get an AMEN!!!

Posted by: reverendnat | February 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Hope you all have fun watching the O's cast-offs on your roster. I'm sure THAT will improve the Expos record.

Enjoy Freddie "Boom-Boom" Bynum, Alex Cintron, Corey Patterson, and Daniel Cabrera.

What's next, going out and signing Devi Cruz or Jay Payton?

HHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHA

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 3, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

just think, we could be hiring castoff Yankee fans, like that Jeffrey kid who cost them the last playoff series they were in, so many, many, MANY long years ago.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 3, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

There's no "I" in "Team," and there's no "RF" in "Manny." And there ain't gonna be any [RF]in' Manny.
OK?

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 3, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, I was just watching Caps replays. Dam, that's what a good team looks like.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 3, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I have an idea: Let's all be needlessly angry at people who don't have the same opinion on how to run a quality organization.

Once we start that, we can start hurling invectives and insults at each other.

Maybe after that, as a bonding activity, we can all just complain for awhile about the team that we're taking the time out of our day to comment on.

Then, and only then, after we've dismissed plenty of opinions of other passionate fans, and driven off other obsessive Nats fans, I bet the Lerner's will listen to what we have to say and sign every single free agent and draft pick available.

oh...wait...

Posted by: NattyDelite | February 4, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

That's the stupidest set of ideas yet.

Posted by: markfromark | February 4, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thanks to Chico for ending the pointless speculation that the Nationals would pay $25M per year for a 37 year old malcontent.

Thanks to Nats Management for not rewarding a quitter with stupid money.

And a general thanks to fate for ensuring that we don't have to endure a season(s) long soap opera called - "As the Manny Turns" - replete with national media focus, and nonstop 1-800-MANNRAM call-ins debating when and who we should trade Manny for. (Immediately, for Loney, Kemp, and DeWitt; or Immediately for Cano, Swisher, and Hughes; or Immediately for Burris, Cain, and Lowry; ...)

Posted by: natbisquit | February 4, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

And there you have the first sentence where "crow" and "sign with the Nats" have ever appeared together.

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | February 4, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Huh. After looking at this Valentin guy, having him compete for #2 catcher sounds like a swell idea. Not only is he a switch-hitter, he's much better as a lefty (against right-handed pitching).

As to the free-agent thing, BinM had the perfect solution last night: "The only legit FA player left on the board that hasn't been associated with a Nationals rumour lately is Abreu."

An egregious oversight. Let's get on that, shall we?

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 4, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@bupbups 9:37, of course

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | February 4, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

2 thoughts (both of them touched upon already):

1) Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports is the only (legit) journalist I see connecting the Nats to Manny. Everyone else I've read either points to Rosenthal or mentions "reports" or "rumors" started elsewhere. I have a lot of respect for Rosenthal, but as far as Manny to DC, he either needs to name a source or stop floating it. As explained here and several times previously this offseason, it doesn't make sense and there's no reason to believe the Nats are interested.

2) Why aren't the Nats looking at Abreu? He's a left-handed, high OBP power hitter who has said he is willing to take much less money than Dunn is requesting (currently). He's played RF, he can play LF, I imagine he could figure out 1B if we asked him to, I think the Nats should at least consider him an option.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | February 4, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Sawx sign former Nat Brad Wilkerson to minor-league deal

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2009/02/04/red_sox_add_wilkerson/

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 4, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Manny ain't coming and neither are any other A or B tier free agents for at least the next 5 years either. Hopefully every single one of our draft picks pans out one way or another. That new park FA/attendance boost was awesome wasn't it? Good thing the Mets/Yankees don't have newer/better parks and ownerships that are interested in winning. We better hope for perfect health this year or we're looking at around 52-110. With perfect health maybe 66-96.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"So, Chico, you call yourself a journalist. Did you ask Bowden why they're monitoring the Manny situation if there's absolutely no chance whatsoever that they'd ever sign him? You mean you don't even wonder why that is?"

Posted by: nunof1 | February 3, 2009 8:49 PM
______________________________________________________

I mean, was this necessary? Why the venom for Chico? I think it was a solid post that put a toe tag on the ridiculous speculation of Manny coming to DC.


Posted by: Section505203 | February 4, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"Manny ain't coming and neither are any other A or B tier free agents for at least the next 5 years either. Hopefully every single one of our draft picks pans out one way or another. That new park FA/attendance boost was awesome wasn't it? Good thing the Mets/Yankees don't have newer/better parks and ownerships that are interested in winning. We better hope for perfect health this year or we're looking at around 52-110. With perfect health maybe 66-96.

Posted by: RickFelt"

While you are in this visionary state you might as well predict an East coast tsunami, an earthquake will topple the Washington Monument and that it will snow on July 4. Your best hope is that all the bloggers here have a really short memory because you have set the mark for "irrational exuberance".

Posted by: driley | February 4, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Ramirez is a once in a generation talent. Where would he play?? Come on. The add of this guy to the Nats MIGHT make them contenders -- as ridiculous as that sounds, it is not THAT ridiculous. Manny, for all the bashing and all the hints at combustibility and such, has only won won won; his presence has not stopped the Dodgers -- hardly, he caried them to the playoffs, the Sox (two WS titles) or the Tribe (playoff appearances too numberous to mention). The guy has done nothing but mash pitchers and not get hurt. I would do Manny on a two year $45 Million deal in a heart beat. You pcik up a cheap LH bat to platoon with someone and trade some of those younger guys for other younger guys that fill current or near future needs (which is what the Nats will do anyway) -- we have no need for 11 RH OF's whether or not Manny magically appears.

Posted by: dfh123 | February 4, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Umm...I notice BRUE hasn't made any comments yet. We should have set up some sort of suicide watch on him when Chico posted this. BRUE...you still among the living?

Posted by: Section138 | February 4, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I apologize if my realism is being mistaken for irrational exuberance. No, I would not predict any of those things because they are not likely. We were on pace for 110 losses for much of last season and haven't improved heading into this year. When you lose that many games multiple years in a row you assume a stigma within the baseball community among top tier players who have some choice over where they play. Explain to me how my outlook then is irrational. This is an inexcusable squandering of the resources a new stadium can provide. We saw it in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and we are seeing it here now.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Time to reactivate (Acta-vate?) this one:

http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/reactiontime.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

(tip o'the cap for BobL on that)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Chico's point about Manny not "playing" for a team that finished worse than 2d shows his subtle sense of irony - Manny did not "play" in late August and September of 2006, the year his Sox finished third, behind both NYY and Toronto. He begged out with a mystery knee ailment.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 4, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

We aint getting Manny but we aint losing 110 games this year either.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 4, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with NatsNut. I have been critcal of late about them seemingly not being active in the FA market. I was encouraged to hear that they have made offers to Dunn and Hudson.

If this team doesn't sign anyone else, they will not lose 100 games much less 110. The injury bug couldn't hit us that hard again, could it?

Posted by: Section505203 | February 4, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Chico's point about Manny not "playing" for a team that finished worse than 2d shows his subtle sense of irony"

I'd rather see him develop a subtle sense of a work ethic. Not only did his "no way Manny" post lag the blogosphere by a day or so, he didn't even get it in early enough to have it picked up as a source by mlbtraderumors and the like. They're all using Ladson as their source on this story. Oh well, it's probably time anyway for another Harlan "vacation" or "on assignment", isn't it? Funny how none of those "on assignments" ever seem to result in a story, though....

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone say that there is no chance they lose 100 games? Tell me, what was their record last year? And now tell me did they improve over the off-season, stay exactly the same, or get a little worse? They sure as hell did not get any better, and they very likely may have gotten worse. I want the nats to do well, but honestly they are staring at a 100 loss or more season. Please, jump all over my post as irrational now.

Posted by: youMorons | February 4, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Joe Posnanski noted that Manny only had one losing season in his blog yesterday. You need to credit the source, Chico.

As for Manny and the Nats, the Nats have NO plan. They say they do, but they really don't, because if they did, they'd have signed the #1 draft pick pitcher they let go for money. Because they're supposed to have goo-gobs of cash from NOT signing free agents. They DO have a habit -- of signing other teams' young castoffs, so we've got head cases (Dukes, Milledge) and the injury prone (MeatHook, Willingham). You cannot excoriate Manny's behavior and have You Dead, Dawg on the roster.

Manny is one of the best hitters in the game at 37. The team is a giant sucking sound at the bat. So of course, through Bowden's reasoning, Manny's a bad fit because he could impede one of the head cases (since the injury riddled will be on the bench soon enough).

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 4, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

You know, you can have good players on the team while you also develop younger players. It has happened before.

To me, Manny makes a ton of sense for the Nats. This team draws virtual donuts on TV and radio, and they're about to see a natural drop in attendance after the first year in a new park. Additionally, the economy is tough (although better here than a lot of cities) and people are going to be making decisions about their entertainment income. People will pay to come see Manny smack dingers. They won't come to watch another 95-100 loss team.

Will manny win them the World Series? No, probably not. Certainly not this year. But he'd make them more credible to some of the other free agents out there, both now and in the next two years. That would help.

I agree that it isn't a good strategy to overpay for medicore players. You're better off developing your own youngsters. But Manny is a special player and a special drawing card. They ought to make a run at him.

Posted by: pondaz | February 4, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

youMorons,

I don't think your post was irrational.

They could lose 100 games but, my point is they got killed with injury's last year and barely lost 100 games. If the injury bug repeats itself, yes, 100 loses is entirely possible.

I just don't see how that many injury's is possible again. What are the odds?

I see between 90-95 loses with the current roster and an average amount of injury's.

Hey, I'm not happy with that, trust me, but, it is what it is.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 4, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@ youMorons (the poster),

All the questions you asked have be answered, hashed, rehashed, and rerehashed. If you read this blog on a regular basis (the comments in particular) you would know the amount of opinion that is out there and is counter to your argument.

/Jumping on your post as irrational...since, you know, you asked.

Posted by: Section138 | February 4, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to go off-topic here, but I thought this was interesting ...

According to the Washington City Paper, "The belt keeps tightening around the newsroom budget of the Washington Post ... Staffers at the paper will no longer get paid extra for doing chats and blogs on washingtonpost.com."

Looks like Ladson might be the only source online for those of us that need/like/want Nats info.

Also, why all of a sudden is this blog back to calling people names because they agree or disagree with another's opinions? I thought we had moved past this infantile behavior? Haven't we lost enough regulars in the past few months because of this attitude?

I like reading (and sometimes contributing to) the debates about why/why not something has/has not been done. But when some start calling people names and getting personal, I'm thinking that those that left might have had a good idea. And I am all for sarcasm and snarkiness, but name calling is better left on the playgrounds ...


Posted by: erocks33 | February 4, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Manny turned down 1yr $25M with LA, a team that's far better positioned than we are in terms of talent and accomplishments. Its obvious he wants a 3year deal if not longer.

Unfortunately his agent spent so much time with the ridiculous Teixeira deal that Ramirez is now hanging in the wind. He should have taken the Dodger's money when he had the chance.

I'd actually LOVE to see him here for a year. It'd be like what Soriano did for fan excitement only multiplied. One of the best 3 or 4 right handed hitters *ever* coming to Washington? Hell yeah i'd want him here.

did Chico actually say "we owe it to Milledge and Dukes" to play them every day? Uh, sorry Chico, you're absolutely WRONG if it means that one of them sits behind a future hall-of-famer who still is in his prime.

After the last 3-4 years of declining team performance and the generally bad treatment of fans, I am of the belief that the team needs to spend some money and have a reason to come to the ballpark again. Coming to see a 102 loss team starting 8 guys who wouldn't start on *any* other team in the league isn't cutting it anymore. Even our "franchise" player in Zimmerman is only by my count the 6th or 7th best 3rd baseman in the league (off the top of my head i'd take Wright, Chipper Jones, Longoria, A-Rod, Miguel Cabrera, Beltre, Aramis Ramirez, Braun and Lowell/Youklis before him).

Get a name player, make a statement to your fans that you are actually trying to compete.

Posted by: tboss | February 4, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@youMorons,

Care to make it interesting? ;)

With only half of last year's injuries, I think we'll be on par with 2007, if not better. But I'll bet you we lose under 100 games in 09.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 4, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Tboss and gbrooks are wise. Hopefully the 31K opening day "official paid attendance" figure will be sobering to the Lerners. It won't be, but hopefully. Anyone have the numbers on record low annual attendance for the 2nd year in a new park?

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Not a big fan of insulting other bloggers as it ususally reflects more poorly on the insulter than the insultee. And of course sometimes the intended wink or sly smile does not come across in the bland font in which all posts are captured here.

However, I grow tired of the repetitive, pedantic, and insulting passages posted here by the nabobs of negativity postulating on the nadir of the National's 2009 season a full fortnight before position players are required to report to Spring Training.

Perhaps we could refocus our attention on the fact that the Nationals still have a little over six weeks to craft the opening day roster and that while the organizaiton may not have grown in the number of high profile players on the team, it has never had more depth - position by position - than it does today. If they do face another injury riddled season, they will not be forced to start a washed up catcher in leftfield or first base; 1B will not be manned by a middle infielder; an overmatched AA outfielder will not need to be recalled to start and bat leadoff; if the 3B or SS go down, there will be proven major leaguers to play those positions; and the Nationals will not need to lead the league (once again) in appearances made by rookies.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 4, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone have the numbers on record low annual attendance for the 2nd year in a new park?

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 11:51 AM"

Won't matter, Rick. The felting of the economy as a whole would invalidate any such record every bit as much as the cream and the clear invalidated Barry Bonds.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

tboss:

No dispute that a selection like Longoria could be better than Zimmerman in terms of "franchise-ness." However, Beltre's gotta come off that list - in 11 major league seasons, he's hit more than 100 RBIs once. Of course, in Zimmerman's first full season, he pulled that off.

Let's also not fail to mention that Zimmerman has a higher career AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. In addition, Zimmerman has a higher career fielding percentage, despite the 2007 season, when he admittedly had the "yips" on some of his throws to DY at first.

That's without even getting into the age difference and albatross of a contract that Beltre has (regarded to be an awful overpayment/signing at the time by the Mariners).

Posted by: faNATic | February 4, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I would be willing to make interesting. I just see a team of underachievers that will push the 100 loss mark. Injuries are going to occur to any team, although maybe not to last years degree. And they will happen this year. I just disagree with the sentiment that 1) injuries were why they sucked last year and 2) this years squad has depth to cover certain injuries.

Posted by: youMorons | February 4, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

According to the Washington City Paper, "The belt keeps tightening around the newsroom budget of the Washington Post ... Staffers at the paper will no longer get paid extra for doing chats and blogs on washingtonpost.com."

Ah, now we begin to see the REAL reason why Boswell canceled his season tickets.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

RickFelt is right -- and also very crafty with the pen it seems. Both on the content of posts and the status of the club. There is still some time and there is no way this 2009 club can be as bad, any where near as bad, as the 2008 version. Thank goodness that it is HARD to lose 102 games once much less back to back! I look to Dukes to threaten 30/30 (he did 13/13 in 81 games last year), Zimm to start finding his much ballyhooed stride, Hanrahan to close well, Willy Mo, Flores and Lastings to get better, at least average production from 1B, etc. . . . even without the likely FA add that is coming (gotta think that someone out there O Dog, Dunn, Wolf, etc.) ends up a Nat, it's just gotta be a lot better. See you all on opening day!

Posted by: dfh123 | February 4, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Dukes to threaten 30/30"

So long is 30/30 isn't codename for his ex-wife

Posted by: jctichen | February 4, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

From the foreword to the 2009 edition of Baseball America's Prospect Handbook:

"Walking through our clubhouse after Game Seven of the American League Championship Series, I was struck by how many of our players, now drenched in champagne, were signed by Rays scouts and developed in our minor league system. Now, they were days away from being introduced to the entire nation on the biggest stage in baseball, most of them for the first time .... Our player development guys will sometimes refer to 'back field guys' -- insider jargon for those young players who have promising futures but are still under the radar, honing their skills on the back fields of our minor league complex in anonymity .... Our minor league system is our lifeline, and the success we enjoyed in 2008 was built on a foundation of scouting and player development .... For most fans that foundation remains hidden from view, but here in our offices, it is our primary focus and something we cannot live without."

-- Andrew Friedman, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited that Flores has already been catching Cabrera (w/Licey). It's a good head start.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 4, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

BobHead,
That is a great quote. But the difference between the nats and rays is their scouts actually find talent. They continue to have a minor league system ranked in the top 5 or so in baseball. The nats, not so much.

Posted by: youMorons | February 4, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The Rays were terrible for over a decade before they broke through. They stocked years and years of top 10 picks. As a result they have essentially no fan base or reliable revenue stream and when their great young talent outlives their rookie contracts they will start all over again. That's fine for a market like Tampa but the fact that we are being fed their unique success story as rationalization for our complete inaction in a top 10 market with a new stadium is insulting. Not to mention that for every 2008 Rays there are 30 2008 Pirates. As an aside, Price, Longoria and maybe Upton are better than any player in our entire organization. So we have a way to go regardless.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

>BRUE...you still among the living?

Yeah, a little under the weather. This news doesn't help. I figured the whole thing was just speculation, they're too cheap and anal and pedantic to do anything major. They'd rather be defensive and lecture people on the right way to do things than to actually DO some of the right things. That would be too easy. They're like politicians - they don't seek truth in their arguments, they only seek to support a point of view. It's like listening to a bunch of morons who were given one of the 30 jobs in the world and we're stuck with them.
The thing about 'owing' Dukes and Milledge playing time is a load of garbage. Dukes maybe, but if they're insistent on having Mills take up one of their outfield spots, there's no way this team will get over the hump. The joke's on us - Dunn isn't coming here regardless of what LA does with Man-ny. He sees the same thing that everyone else does - that the team is run by clowns. He'll probably take a one-year deal somewhere and just move on with his life while we're stuck in Mudville waiting for somebody to come up with a clutch hit for the 101st night in a row.

Man-ny? He's the greatest. But apparently that's not good enough for these scheisters.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

If you want to compare the Nats to the Rays, please take into account that the Rays took 10+ years to build their system. The Nationals are now 2.5 years into the current ownership and no more than 3 years into building the farm system as the first year 2005 was bereft of any scouting reports leftover from the Expos whatsoever.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 4, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anybody knows whether the Nats have amassed the kind of talent in the minors that will eventually lead to a contender in DC. It's a crapshoot. True, we dropped from #9 to #21 in the rankings this year, but that followed a ridiculous climb from #30 in the prior year that probably wasn't justified.

Also, the slide this year has everything to do with the fact that 2008's #1 prospect Marrero got hurt, #2 Detwiler struggled early (but recovered to post a 3.84 ERA and a 52-18 K/BB ratio over the final two months); #3 Balester graduated to the majors, #6 Smoker got hurt, #8 Maxwell got hurt, and #10 Lannan graduated to the majors. Take seven of your top ten prospects off any team's table and I'll show you a similar slide.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

>If you want to compare the Nats to the Rays

Not really, but if you're going into those waters - what the hell. You can sit there all day and compare the two organizations, but Tampa Bay didn't even exist at the beginning. How many years and how many drafts do you think it would have taken them just to get to the point the Expos were at in '04? You're talking about A LOT of rosters spots at all levels that needed to be filled. Years worth of signing minor league FAs, drafts, and overseas acquisitions, and what you're trying to do is compare year three of Tampa Bay's existence with year 3 of the Lerners existence. The Nats have been in business since 1969 whether you like to admit it or not. And that '05 team was better than any of the trash we've seen in the intervening years.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Fire Jim Bowden. Read what others are saying about the Nats and get on the bandwagon at:

http://natsnewsnetwork.blogspot.com/

http://firejimbowden.blogspot.com/

Posted by: uncledak | February 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, the Expo's system had warm bodies, but just barely. They were arguably worse off than an expansion team when they got here--at least those teams get to pick in a draft.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Kasten is the only lawyer in the bunch.

********
But apparently that's not good enough for these scheisters.
Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 1:41 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for holding management's feet to the fire when it comes to evaluating whether The Plan works at the end of the day. I just don't think it's the end of the day yet, and I do think that The Plan is the right way to go to build a contender. And Stan is right when he says that for the first time we have a pipeline of players in the minors that can feed the major league team. Will they all succeed up here? No. Again, it's a crapshoot. Which is exactly why you need the pipeline:

C: Flores, Norris, Nieto

1B: Johnson, Rhinehart, Marrero

2B: Hernandez (OK, 2b is weak, but can be filled by failed shortstops)

3B: Zimmerman (who cares after that, maybe L. Davis, then S. King I guess)

SS: Guzman, A. Gonzalez, Desmond, Espinosa, S. Gonzalez (this is also weak, in part b/c Desmond may not hit and Espinosa and Smiley might have to move)

LF: Willingham, (Milledge), Hood

CF: (Milledge, Dukes), Maxwell, Bernadina (weak)

RF: Dukes, Burgess

So, as we all know, pretty weak up the middle and too many LFs.

But, see the next post.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

>To be fair, the Expo's system had warm bodies, but just barely. They were arguably worse off than an expansion team when they got here--at least those teams get to pick in a draft.

There's no way to quantify what 'warm bodies' means. The point is - they had 5 minor league teams and the Rays had none. That's 100+ slots to fill. You just can't pick up a ton of players that fast. It isn't fantasy ball.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Knock it off with the "Milledge is a head case" nonsense already, will you please? What did he ever do besides play the game and enjoy it with the people paying to see him do that?

***********
so we've got head cases (Dukes, Milledge)

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 4, 2009 11:12 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually you can. Expansion teams get to draft off the other rosters at all levels to fill out their squads.

I tend to agree that it would have been better to draft as an expansion team than to take over an Expo system that had been bleed to death in preparation for contraction.

But the main point is that it takes time to build up a system from top to bottom. It took Tampa a while and it's going to take a while here too. But Potomac won both halves of their season, so the depth at the lower levels has improved. The thing that hurts the Nats rankings is the lack of a real blue-chipper. Marrero could be that guy, but he has to stay healthy. Now that McGeary is full time baseball, he could be that guy too. I'm not ready to write off the farm system but there is certainly room to do more. Not signing Crow was a massive step backwards because it puts us a year behind, even if we get a comparable player this year in that spot.

Posted by: sec307 | February 4, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The point was, these were "players" in the sense that they were wearing uniforms and on a roster. They weren't good, mostly, and you CAN get 100 guys like that pretty easily, especially in the "contraction draft" of sending most of your best people to the other 29 owners' teams.


***********
>To be fair, the Expo's system had warm bodies, but just barely. They were arguably worse off than an expansion team when they got here--at least those teams get to pick in a draft.

There's no way to quantify what 'warm bodies' means. The point is - they had 5 minor league teams and the Rays had none. That's 100+ slots to fill. You just can't pick up a ton of players that fast. It isn't fantasy ball.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 2:04 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

or 28, considering they wanted to contract the Twins, too

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

As we also know, the strength looks to be on the pitching staff. A few years ago we brought in thirtysomething (number) thirtysomethings (age of journeyman pitchers) to compete for starting spots.

Now, we have Olsen (24), Cabrera (27), Lannan (24), Balester (22) and Hill (27) (maybe) at the top of the depth chart. Behind them we have Zimmermann (22), and Detwiler (23). A bit further off we have McGeary (20) and Smoker (20), and hopefully, we will add Strasburg (20) in June (or at least August). Will all of these guys make it? Nope. Can we find 3-4 guys in this group that can start for a contender, and then fill the last hole or two via trade or free agency? That's what we need to find out.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

CEvansJr,

I'm also growing tired of the Milledge bashing. He's a young kid, who cut a risky rap song and high fived a few fans after a HR. You would think that he committed two felony's here.

The kid enjoys the game and is always smiling and playing hard. Get over it.


Posted by: Section505203 | February 4, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

>They weren't good, mostly, and you CAN get 100 guys like that pretty easily, especially in the "contraction draft" of sending most of your best people to the other 29 owners' teams.

There was no contraction draft because there was no contraction. Have no idea what point you're trying to make with that.

The expansion draft, however, is an exercise in picking up unprotected players from other teams. There's a reason they're unprotected - because they're not that important to the host team. Castoffs for the most part. You can say that the Expos minor league system consisted of nothing but warm bodies, but their major league record was always better than the 102 loss season last year. So how bad is the Nats farm system if they have a worse major league record than Montreal ever had?

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I also think that Milledge gets a bad rap (so to speak). I've really come to appreciate the young man over the course of his time as a Nat.

On a related note, when Dibble was on MASN Sports recently, he made a hypothetical reference to Milledge in speaking about how he'd not be afraid to address a player's issues on the field but would not get into any issues that they might have off the field. I was scratching my head a bit on that one.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"I apologize if my realism is being mistaken for irrational exuberance. No, I would not predict any of those things because they are not likely. We were on pace for 110 losses for much of last season and haven't improved heading into this year. When you lose that many games multiple years in a row"....
RickFelt

.
Sure, I'll take the bait. My reality is different from yours. We lost 102 games last year, not 110. The year before we lost 89 and the year before that we lost 91. Last year was bad, very bad but there is no need to make it worse. We have not lost over 100 games multiple years in a row.

"As an aside, Price, Longoria and maybe Upton are better than any player in our entire organization..."
RickFelt

The price paid to be able to draft a Price or Upton is to lose more games than anyone else. We paid that price last year. If we draft Strassburg then you will not be able to make this claim as well. The fact that we have two of the top 10 draft spots in this year's draft will raise our rating in the farm status sweepstakes by this time next year.

"our complete inaction"
RickFelt
We had the highest bid for Teixeira. We have outstanding offers out for Dunn and Hudson. We traded for Olsen and Willingham. There are still many free agents on the market. It is a long time til the season starts.

"I just disagree with the sentiment that 1) injuries were why they sucked last year and 2) this years squad has depth to cover certain injuries."

Posted by: youMorons | February 4, 2009 12:32 PM

When you have the most injuries in the major leagues in terms of starters out of action in 2007 then injuries do play a part in the losses. I won't recap the number of disabling injuries and players that tried playing through them before going down altogether. We are deeper than last year plus we won't be burdened with playing with Felippe, Lo Duca, Estrada and Mackowiac. By this alone I would happily get in on the wager that we will not repeat as 100 game losers. By adding Gonzales and Hernandez we have plugged our middle infield depth, by adding Willingham we have upgraded our outfield and first base depth. Next year you won't have to watch catchers try to play outfield and middle infielders playing first base.

Posted by: driley | February 4, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

One more, for the bullpen. After Saul (31), it's young, but potentially deep.

Bergmann and Hanrahan are 27. Hinckley is 26, Shell and Mock are 25, Clippard is 23, and Martis is 22. Behind those guys in the minors, Stammen and Estrada (both 25) could see time this year, as could Martis (22). (Martis could also start, as could Mock, but from what I've read both might have higher upside out of the bullpen. Also I forgot to list Graham Hicks (19) in the starter pipeline above).

Overall, we're woefully short of southpaws in the pen (only Hinckley is a lefty), so that's a weakness. But if Hanrahan can close, Mock and Hinckley can set up, and Bergmann and Clippard can take the long roles (just to pick a few), we might be just fine. Only time will tell.

The point is, they said they were going to focus on scouting and building through the farm. They have been doing that, and we're just starting to see the results. We are weak in spots, but again, they said they were going to focus on pitching first on the grounds that it was easier to trade pitching surplus to fill other roles than to do it the other way around.

So, to paraphrase Dennis Green, they are who they said they were. Now let's see if it works. There is a ways to go, to be sure. We need to find, say, six position players from this group that can hit in the right spots in the lineup on a contending team. We need to find 3-4 starters, and 3-4 valuable relief arms. And we then need to have enough assets to (i) trade for a missing starter/closer/CF/SS; and/or (ii) sign top-tier FAs to fill the final holes.

You can rail against The Plan if you want, but it is what it is. I choose to simply root for it to work.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Balester, 1st round (6th) 2007
J. Zimmermann, 2nd round, 2007

pre-Lerners Expos/Nats draftees
Lannan 11th round, 2005
Balester 4th, 2004
Hill 6th, 2000

Scott Olsen, Marlins, 6th round 2002
D. Cabrera, B'more, not drafted--free agent 1999

That's 2 out of 7 who might pitch in DC this year. This is gonna take a while.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"So how bad is the Nats farm system if they have a worse major league record than Montreal ever had?"

They say a fish rots from the head. A baseball organization, OTOH, rots from the minor league system up. It takes oh, four to five years for that rot to work its way clear up to the top. MLB gutted the Expos system from top to bottom prior to moving the team to DC. The rot in the minor league system finally made its way clear up to the top last year. Is that so hard to grasp?

And get over this fiction that the 2005 team was better than any team put on the field here since. That 2005 team played way, way over its head for half a season and then showed its true colors the second half of the year when they went 30-51. In case you weren't paying attention in math class, that translates to 102 losses over a full season - just like last year. That 2005 team wasn't all that OR a bag of chips.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

hooray for driley! well said.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 4, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

In other news, who knew that SI had their own Wiki? The Nats page could use some updating, I'd say.

http://siwiki.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/Washington_Nationals

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

>You can rail against The Plan if you want, but it is what it is. I choose to simply root for it to work.

I wouldn't worry too much about the bullpen, because by the middle of the season half those guys will either be injured or lit up due to overuse. Just like Rauch, Ayala, Colome, Cordero, on and on. Didn't matter how old those guys were, they were all in their 20's too. This team doesn't know how to take care of the guys it has because holes in one area invariably affect the development of players in another area. Like I said, you can put frustrated starters in the bullpen all day if you want, but it's not gonna solve the main problem, which is starting pitching. Last year they could barely get out of the fifth, and I fail to see much difference this year.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to choose to believe it's because you're under the weather, rather than being disengenuous.

"Contraction draft" was a figure of speech, alluding to the systematic dismantling of the Once-Proud Expos farm system via completely lopsided trades, as if other GMs got to pick players, kind of like a reverse-expansion draft.

**********
There was no contraction draft because there was no contraction. Have no idea what point you're trying to make with that.
Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 2:27 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

driley, we havent lost 100 games in back to back years, but we lsot 91 and 89 prior to the 102. Those loss totals are pretty close to 100. A slight twist here or there in either of those seasons and they could have ended up 100 loss seasons. Clearly they did not, but its not like those teams were vastly superior to a 100 loss team. And the team has simply not improved that much this off season. I think they will lose 100, but even if the manage to "only" lose 89 or 91 games, in the end it really is the same result...an atrocious baseball team. I genuinely hope that come seasons end everyone on here can tell me how wrong i was, and i will gladly eat my words then. Unfortunately, i just dont see this team improving.

Posted by: youMorons | February 4, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Man, I already miss 506.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 4, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Major-league record, minor league system: two different things.
Major league record reflects the last ten years or so of drafts. As somebody pointed out earlier, take that away from any team, and they'll lose a lot of games in a few years, once it works its way up thru the system. So the Expos/Nats farm system that the Lerners *inherited* was, indeed, very bad.

The expansion draft is of unprotected players, by definition not top prospects, that's true, but even then, getting to pick from other teams' depth, or misunderestimation of talent, is very different from having them pick you over like buzzards on a corpse.

*************
You can say that the Expos minor league system consisted of nothing but warm bodies, but their major league record was always better than the 102 loss season last year. So how bad is the Nats farm system if they have a worse major league record than Montreal ever had?
Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 2:27 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

>>Next year you won't have to watch catchers try to play outfield and middle infielders playing first base.

Yeah, but you might still have to watch left fielders playing center field and first base.

I'm a fan of The Plan, but I also expect it to be executed, preferably sooner rather than later. The Team That Shall Not Be Named managed to trade a middling pitcher for a true CF prospect (Pie) and to sign a plus-fielding corner infielder with some pop (Wigginton) as a free agent this offseason. Jimbo needs to get something done, one way or another.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

and that would be "disingenuous" there. Well, it should be, anyway.

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What he said.

*********
Jimbo needs to get something done, one way or another.
Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 2:59 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

>>That's 2 out of 7 who might pitch in DC this year. This is gonna take a while.

Exactly right, CE. We won't know until 2011-12. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't see some progress now. I guess Olsen and Willingham constitutes progress, but I'd like to see them throw us at least one more bone before the season starts.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Me, too, JiM.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

>Major-league record, minor league system: two different things.

Not when you overvalue your prospects because you want to put them on the major league roster. In most cases it doesn't promote development, what it usually does is created a video file for the rest of the league to attack their weaknesses. You'd like to have your players work out fundamentals in the minors instead of getting embarassed on the big league level. If the big league team has more competent, experienced players, the prospects get more time to develop. Jordan Zimmerman is a perfect example - going three levels in one year and being a front-runner for a spot in the rotation. After one year in pro ball. You better hope he doesn't overthrow and end up crippled like Patterson or Hill, because he's got zero to fall back on as far as knowledge of big league hitters goes. In other words, he won't be able to out-hink the opposition, so he's going to have to out-throw them.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The Nats don't want to spend money on FA pitchers because the Nats don't want to impede on the development of young talent and because they view FA pitchers as high-risk in terms of dollars paid vs performance. The Nats don't want to spend money on all other positions because they don't want to stunt the development of young talent and because the monetary cost is still too high. Why?

Why not sign an older FA who might push a developing player back to the bench or AAA for one more season? Isn't it possible the young talent won't develop and you'll still have a decent team to field? Isn't it possible the young talent could push the old FA to compete at a high level, because if the old FA doesn't then they won't play or won't stay?

Isn't it possible that if they stay a sub .500 team for much longer, that it will take the occasional fan even longer to warm up to the team and spend money to go to the games and buy the merch than if the Nats were competitive?

I'll admit right now, that from a monetary standpoint, I'm an occasional fan. I may read the blogs now and again, but I also may not even go to one game a year because I don't think it's worth the money when the team is much more likely to lose than it is to win. The Nats surely won't make the franchise a gold-mine (a la Redskins, Yankees, etc) as long as they are as bad as they are. Isn't that still the one of the two biggest points of owning a pro sports team? That not only does someone own a team because they love the sport and all that goes with it, but ALSO because they are successful business men (and women) who like to make money?

Posted by: cgriesba | February 4, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Who's 506?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow - I was going to post a comment, and then I realized - I haven't the faintest idea what this argument is about. I went back and read each comment, fully, carefully, thought about it...and still, I have no idea what this argument is about.

One side seems to say "Our farm system sucks, and our last three years haven't been very good."

And then the other side says "Yes, but you're ignoring the fact that our farm system sucks, and the MLB team has underperformed the last three years."

And then "But the prospects aren't good, and the team has been terrible."

I think the technical term for this is "violent agreement."

Some optimistic folks seem to think that the team will be better next year; other pessimistic folks seem to think it won't be. Hold on tight folks; only a few more weeks till spring training.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 4, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Not when you overvalue your prospects because you want to put them on the major league roster. "

Ahem, Brue. They haven't been putting their prospects on their major league roster because they want to. They've been putting them on the major league roster because they HAVE to. There was no major league roster to speak of when the Expos came to town, and no matter how much you all delight in saying the Lerners should have spent big money on a major league roster, in truth there have not been enough free agents out there at any price for the last few years for them to have been able to avoid playing players who really should have remained prospects instead of big leaguers. Particularly on the mound. Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

506 is the guy that's 505 spots ahead of you on the NJ game board, nunof1!

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What "few weeks"? It's only 10 days away. Yippeee.


*************
Hold on tight folks; only a few more weeks till spring training.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 4, 2009 3:23 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 4, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I think 295 summed it up best (or at least well enough to bring me out of my personal NJ hibernation):

Everything just sucks. But spring training is just around the corner.

And if you don't agree with me, you suck too. (But remember, I am a legend around here ;-)

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 4, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Did I mention recently that I appreciate the focus that CIL brings even when I am disagreeing with him (which I don't as often as I used to).

Posted by: natbisquit | February 4, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nice to read the tone and quality of conversation has greatly improved since I left. Boy I was really dragging you all down I can see. I sure hope the team improves soon so I can post again with my new all good news all the time mantra....until then ……..I will let you all do the talking.

Posted by: JayBeee | February 4, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

>They've been putting them on the major league roster because they HAVE to.

Bowden's on line 1 - he's offering an unpaid/intern scouting job instead of a paying one. Why? Because he HAS to. lol

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I am excited that baseball is coming back, but I am nowhere near excited about the upcoming Nationals season. The only interesting thing about the season will be individual player performances (Zim, Dukes, Milledge, Lannan, Balester, and Zimmermann).

Anyway, I'm rooting for the Giants to sign Manny since I'm living in San Francisco now- that would give me even more incentive to go to one of the nicest (if not the nicest) ballparks in the country.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | February 4, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"driley, we havent lost 100 games in back to back years, but we lsot 91 and 89 prior to the 102. Those loss totals are pretty close to 100. A slight twist here or there in either of those seasons and they could have ended up 100 loss seasons. Clearly they did not, but its not like those teams were vastly superior to a 100 loss team....
Youmorons"

Sigh. In often quoted words, "It is what it is." Don't go adding 10 or 11 losses onto a season if it is not there, unless you totally exist to paint a bleak picture by exageration.

What made last season so tough for some of us is that we actually expected to have a better record than the 2007 season. We did not, mainly because of injuries up and down the lineup. I like it that we are not going into 2009 with illusions of being a .500 club because that means we have a very low bar to jump over. I actually think our chances are far, far better to be nearer 87 losses than 102 losses. I do think that the product on the field will be more watchable because of the storylines of the young players on the field. The core of fans will have more interest in seeing the development of the younger players than seeing the rental type of free agents that were brought in for last season. There are players like Balestar, Lannan, Flores, Zimmerman, Dukes, Milledge and Hanrahan that I find far more appealing than Lo Duca, Perez, Estrada, Mackowiac. I hope to see them mature as players and grow in stature with the fans. By growing up as a Washington Senators fan I already learned the rewards that patience can bring to a baseball fan.

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

For what it's worth, FJB/SOCH has some fancy stats that project that the Nats will win 75 games. I'd say that's about right.

Also, welcome back, CiL and Jaybee. You morons.

;)

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Spring training, heck, there is real, live baseball on tv this week. Ya-hoo!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program: point-counterpoint.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

More like Oink-Counteroink. It's messy in here.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"More like Oink-Counteroink. It's messy in here."

Bravo, BobL. Bravo.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 4, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I cannot understand why brining Manny on would be a bad thing. We'd have him for two years only, we could still continue to build but add some instant offense and credibility. I also don't understand the "I'd rather have Abreu over Manny" logic.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | February 4, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

JayBeee! What up man? Where ya been lately?

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

>"I'd rather have Abreu over Manny" logic.

They're not getting Abreu either, pal.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

well, since this has been discussed ad nauseum on every post in here, I'm just going to take the lazy way out and copy/paste my previous comments, for the benefit of the newbie doomsayers.

I will say this, just so everyone is clear, and I'm gonna put it in all caps, to ensure that it is read:

I AM AN ADVOCATE OF SIGNING FREE AGENTS. DUNN, ABREU, OR MANNY WOULD BE FANTASTIC. I AM NOT "AGAINST" SPENDING MONEY.

now, with that said:

I think that everyone spouting off about how the team hasn't improved at all, and predicting 100 and 110 loss season in 09 just because we don't sign Manny is being utterly ridiculous and is assuming the absolute worst-case scenario just because it better fits their doomsaying agenda. and/or they only looked at the standings from last year and haven't been paying attention.

If we ARE indeed a 110-loss team, then adding Manny won't help much. we add Manny, then we'll be a 100-loss team. not much better in my book.

However, I don't believe we are a 100-loss team in 09, and I don't subscribe to the "assume the absolute worst case scenario" theory. I think at absolute worst, we lost no more than 90 games. that's what I view as "absolute worst-case scenario".

the 09 team WILL NOT BE anywhere near as bad as last years team was. and anyone who thinks and/or assumes it will be hasn't been paying attention.

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

and the sad thing is,

*if* we do sign Dunn or Manny, and the team is better than it was last year, people like "RickFelt" and "youmorons" are going to say "oh it's because we signed Manny/Dunn", when in actuality the team really wasn't as bad as they are claiming it would be "if we don't spend any money on free agents", but people like that refuse to see it.

and furthermore, the "RickFelt" and "youmorons" of the world don't seem to understand that Free Agency is a two-way street. the player has to want to be here as well.

We've got offers to both Dunn and Hudson on the table as of now, and have had them out for a while now, if reports are correct. and both Dunn and Hudson have let those offers sit, trying to get better offers from other teams. Yet we are here railing against the Lerners for not signing them yet. You can't put a gun to their heads and force them to sign. all you can do is offer the contract.

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

Well said Mr. M, well said.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 4, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

^^

I WAS gonna copy/paste, but it was too long, and I didn't feel like breaking my posts up into smaller ones.

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

Free Agency is a two way street, I think people get caught up and forget that. If Player A can get about the same or more money from a contender then why would he sign with a team that is not a contender?

My concern was that the Nats weren't even on the street but, now that some evidence is coming out that Hudson and Dunn have been given offers by the Nats, I at least know that they are being open minded about the idea. Which I doubted before.

This is not a bad lineup, offensively and not a horrible staff, pitching wise if, IF they stay relatively healthy. I think 90 losses is a good call. If they happen to sign Dunn and/or Hudson that could change the lose total a bit.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 4, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

If you would pay attention to my argument you will notice that at no point did I argue that signing Manny would make the team necessarily better - we could lose a league high with him or without him. My argument was strictly from an interest/revenue driving perspective. Like it or not thousands of baseball fans didn't renew aren't renewing their season tickets and this low grade roster isn't going to fuel game day purchases to pick up the slack. The TV numbers will be as bad or worse (if that's somehow possible) as last year, which reflects even more poorly on our reputation with regards to the fan base. Players and potential free agents notice these stories and it directly affects where they want to play.

And MrMadison, if free agency is truly a two way street as you state, we better be investing heavily in some top tier talent scouts in the minors because no free agents actually WANT to play here and they won't for a while. Unless of course we offer them above market contracts which I can assure you the Dunn/Hudson offers are not.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, got posters mixed up on the last comment

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Without knowing the details of the Nationals offers it would be hard to really comment on the strength of the Lerners' efforts or the adverse feelings the players have towards coming here, wouldn't it? Like I could offer Adam Dunn a six-pack a week to be on my softball team, but he probably wouldn't take it. In fact, yeah, I'm officially doing that right now. I am putting an offer of one six-pack* per week on the table to Adam Dunn. If Mr. Dunn would like to accept, he can contact me through the comments section at this blog. He probably won't, but I'm on a two way street right?

*of beer

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 4, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

it's very easy to judge the willingness of players to come here. just look at how many FA's we've offered contracts to.

we offer to Tex and got dissed.
we offered to Milton Bradley, and got dissed.
we offered to Dunn, and he's dissing us unless Manny signs with the Dodgers.
we offered to Hudson, and he's dissing us unless he can't get a better offer.

I think it is fairly safe to say that Washington is not a prime destination for major free agents.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 4, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Then make better offers. The Teixeira thing is different because by all accounts the Nats made a strong run at him and yeah, got dissed. But I believe the Nats offer to Bradley was 3/30, which is the same offer he signed with the Cubs. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to make that choice.

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 4, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Then make better offers.

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 4, 2009 7:10 PM

that simple huh?

Do Dunn and Hudson even have official offers from anyone else besides the Nats?

from every indication, they do not. so how much "better" does our offer have to be, if it is the only one?

your quote here reminds me of Peter Griffin in that Family Guy episode where he keeps raising his bid, even though he's the only one bidding, and ends up buying a cheap antique Vase for like 100 million dollars.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 4, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

ok Adam, we are offering 3 years, 30 million dollars for you to play in DC.

Dunn: Eh, I wanna play for the Dodgers, I don't want to play in DC.

Nats: ok, 3 years 36 million.

Dunn: Eh, I wanna play for the Dodgers, I don't want to play in DC.

Nats: 4 years, 50 million!

Dunn: Eh, I wanna play for the Dodgers, I don't want to play in DC.

Nats: 4 years, 75 million!

Dunn: Eh, I wanna play for the Dodgers, I don't want to play in DC.

Nats: 5 years 100 million! pleeeeeeeeeaaaaase?

that kinda what you are looking for here?

Posted by: MrMadison | February 4, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

>Do Dunn and Hudson even have official offers from anyone else besides the Nats?

These leaks about the Nats making offers are so incredibly self-serving that you can almost see it coming. Why would they care whether the public knew that they had made offers to Dunn and Hudson? Because it's a plan of last resort - blame the players for not accepting. It's transparent, and has no value in the negotiations. It doesn't help negotiations, In fact, it does the opposite because it points the finger at the player. And guess what? The next wave of type-A free agents is going to play the tape back and refuse the Nats again. What you don't appear to understand, is that the team is the one doing the dissing, the players are merely responding to a set of circumstances -- drum roll -- created by the team. It's like the old folk logic = EVERYBODY can't be wrong. If the only thing these players have in common is that they dissed the Nats, then the Nats need to look at themselves and fix the problem. If you're in a business, and you don't get the best products, you either shouldn't be in business, or you should look into getting the best products. You don't blame the products that you don't have simply because you choose not to include them in the final product. It's your own damned fault. If they didn't have the money to acquire the resources, then that's one thing. But we all know that they're loaded, and that they're basically just cynical, pedantic and hostile to anybody that sees the fault in what they're doing. It's like they've never been criticized before and don't know how to handle it. Whether they're losers or not, I don't know, but they act like losers (by making excuses) and players can sense that.

Posted by: Brue | February 4, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I dunno Brue. Hudson himself is the one who leaked that the Nats made him an offer, from what I recall.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 4, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

How much some of these guys depends a lot on what is being offered and what it would theoretically take to sign them.

For instance 2 years of Manny would be great, but he already turned that down from the LAD, he wants 4 guaranteed years, so is he worth 4 years 100mil? I think not.

Hudson would probably be worthwhile on a 2 year deal, but he likely wants more. I'm still not ok with giving up the top pick in the 2nd round, but if the deal was short enough he could be a good deal.

Dunn is an interesting case, I think the issue for him is more his desire to play outfield (and NOT 1B) than dollars. Years are another question, I don't think anyone (even the LAD sans Manny) are going to give Dunn more than 2 years, but I'm not sure he'd be worth giving more than that for us and it would probably take 3-4 years to get him in DC.

Posted by: estuartj | February 4, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, the "RickFelt" and "youmorons" of the world? They're blog posters. You're a blog poster, albeit with a formal salutation. What the "MrMadisons" of the world don't understand is this is an exchange of opinions and yours is not more valid based solely on the power of conviction.

So before you go on explaining what others don't understand, you should explain why you're qualified to do so. Because I'm guessing your baseball management resume is pretty similar to RickFelt's, or youmoron's or mine.

Awesome Family Guy reference.

*******
the "RickFelt" and "youmorons" of the world don't seem to understand

Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 4, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda... Sign Teixiera / Manny / Hudson / Dunn / Lowe / Wolf / etc. You're stupid, and here's why - no, you're more stupid, and here's why. Yikes!

We're not even out of 'Hot-Stove' & we seem to be "eating our own"; I myself admit to being guilty of some of the transgressions described above, and wish the FO had done more in the off-season. My point being, the Nationals' are seemingly unable to lure targeted FA's into signing here. Is that due to low-$ / short-term offers; the "In-contention" factor; National TV exposure, or one of a multitude of other factors? Who knows? - certainly not any of us who spend countless hours reviewing comments & posting our heartfelt comments to a blog page, just to get our voice heard.

Only nine days to Pitchers & Catchers in Viera - Let's try to calm down & play the cards as they were dealt. There are still FA's on the board, and 29 other teams that might need someone that the Nationals' have available.

My apologies for the long-winded post.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, the "RickFelt" and "youmorons" of the world? They're blog posters. You're a blog poster, albeit with a formal salutation. What the "MrMadisons" of the world don't understand is this is an exchange of opinions and yours is not more valid based solely on the power of conviction.

So before you go on explaining what others don't understand, you should explain why you're qualified to do so. Because I'm guessing your baseball management resume is pretty similar to RickFelt's, or youmoron's or mine.


Posted by: LarryBraverman | February 4, 2009 7:52 PM

yeah, this is basically a roundabout way of saying "I have a right to express my opinion".

which is something I've never actually disputed. I've never even suggested that I was more qualified, or that "the rickfelts of the world" were less qualified to have an opinion.

what I did, was disagree with the opinion, and I've stated WHY I disagree with the opinion.

nothing at all wrong with that.

so I dunno why you are even trying to have that particular conversation.

let's try not changing the subject, shall we?

you seriously think we should bid against ourselves for Dunn and Hudson, even though they likely don't have any other offers on the table yet from anyone else?

Posted by: MrMadison | February 4, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to double down on my projection for 2009. If Nick Johnson can start 100 games and Shawn Hill can start 20 and we have a fully recovered Zim, Dukes, Milledge, Kearns and Flores I think this team wins 82 games.

There I said it (again) everyone throw rocks if you wish, but be ready to quote me in October!

Posted by: estuartj | February 4, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Why do I get the feeling that all the top free agents consider coming to Washington like going to the minor leagues? Is the perception that bad? Thats a lot to overcome, a perception that although you are a major league city, you're thought of as a minor league outfit. That sucks. We need change we can believe in...oh, sorry, that slogan is already taken, by another temporary Washingtonian. Perhaps we can all put our heads together and find a new motto that fits.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 4, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

That's the spirit, estuartj! Be bold!
You're nuts, of course, but that's OK, somebody has to be. Good for you.


*************
There I said it (again) everyone throw rocks if you wish, but be ready to quote me in October!

Posted by: estuartj | February 4, 2009 10:32 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 4, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

ok Adam, we are offering 3 years, 30 million dollars for you to play in DC.

The offer isn't that big. We would have heard the exact figures if it was. I'm actually opposed to signing Dunn as well, he will bring us a minimal number of wins and generate little excitement in the fan base for 6 or 7 mil a year or whatever we are trying to get him to play for.

My only hope is that the millions of dollars we aren't spending this offseason will be used towards signing Strasburg. Because we're going to need them.

Posted by: RickFelt | February 4, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

All we have heard about is hte splash that we are going to be making in the off season - now that we have all of the money that we did not spend last year. If one minor trade is the best we can do, just pack the team up and move it somewhere - please. The ownership is penny wise, pound foolish if they do not sign Manny, who shoul dget a two year contrsact - about 45 million. Will he do that great? Who knows - he just is a winner nad can have a great effect on this ball club - which depserately needs a professional bat to get the youngsters better pitches to hit. The lack of effort this team appears to be making is causing many of us Nats fans to be very circumspect of the "plan." Show me the money Mr. Lerner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jgdonahue | February 4, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

""However, based on our plan on building a franchise, we have not and are not going to be making him an offer."

I love it. The "plan" is not spending any money. We got stuck with the cheapskate Lerners instead of Fred Malek

Posted by: nativedc | February 5, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"We got stuck with the cheapskate Lerners instead of Fred Malek"

Dream on.

Q: What grade would you give the Lerner family as the new owners of the Washington Nationals?

Fred Malek: I’d give them an “A.” Of course, I wish I was on the winning team for the competition to own the Nationals. It was a pleasure to work with a visionary leader like Mayor Tony Williams and all the members of my Washington-based ball group team. That said, I am pleased that the team is in the hands of strong local owners like the Lerner family, with a solid team president like Stan Kasten. I’m also satisfied with the way the management team has kept salaries under control. Runaway salaries are a big issue in baseball today. The Washington Nationals are proof that you can have a team with a lot of heart and will to win, but with respectable salary levels. Not many teams can boast that. As far as individual players go, I think Ryan Zimmerman is someone they need to hold on to forever. They can build a future around that kid.

http://tinyurl.com/4nx8mj

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

vocabulary word for the day: pedantic

(1) obsolete : a male schoolteacher
(2) a: one who makes a show of knowledge b: one who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge c: a formalist or precisionist in teaching

That description may fit some of our NJ denizens, including myself (cough - 2a), but I don't know that it fits the Lerners.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm not ready to make a projection yet because I think there are still some roster movement yet to come, but I do not think it is unreasonable to project 75-81 wins. That would be 15-22 more wins than last year. I don't think our pitching staff will be worse than last year and I think the offense will score more runs. Last year the Nationals led the league in ground balls, grounded into double plays, and the fewest total bases and extra base hits.

Clearly that was in large part a measure of the talent on the team. But it seems likely to have also been a factor of the approach of Hitting Coach Lenny Harris. Players like Milledge, Dukes, Zimmermann, and Kearns are capable of driving the ball much more consistently than they did last year. Hopeflly Eckstien can help batters more effectively than Harris was able to. If only one player was hitting the ball into the ground or failing to drive the ball you could blame it on the player, but when the entire team is struggling you have to look a little deeper.

Harris had been an accomplished pinch hitter in his career in part because he was on the bench most of the time. He got a lot of pinch hits just by making contact. But might the Nationals failure to garner more extra base hits last year be in part an emphasis on making contact rather than driving the ball?

I don't know. Just asking.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 5, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I dropped a 'pedantic' on the nabobs of negativity yesterday in the context of someone who is "unimaginative" and "narrow minded". Was that an incorrect use of the word?

(BTW, for those who might not know, a Nabob of Negativity is someone who has a wealth of negativity. Know anyone like that?)

Posted by: natbisquit | February 5, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand this piece. To me it is saying: "Look how much of a winner Manny is! Ever team he's played on has been a winner! We don't want that for the Nationals, so no thanks." I can't figure out how signing one of the best hitters in baseball (ever) could hurt. It would give the Nats much more credibility throughout the league, and drastically improve the fan base. Isn't improving the fan base right now as important (if not more so) than improving a young hitter?

Posted by: japhy_ryder | February 5, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Interesting post, natbisquit.

From what I remember about the carnage of last year was that there was a collective slump among all the hitters except Guzman for the first two months. Zimmerman was pathetic, leaving every runner on base imaginable, Johnson was getting on base mostly by getting hit by pitches and walking, Dukes was below .100, Milledge below .200 and Kearns was just too painful to watch all season long. Harris kept the mantra up of "wait for your pitch" and patience at the plate. Could it be that the players actually started to listen to him after all? It seems that Dukes benefitted the most from Lenny's teaching, and even Milledge stopped swinging at first pitches. Beyond the constant "wait for it" I did not hear much else emanating from the hitting guru. If Eckstein can keep the hitters from going into a collective April/May slump he will have accomplished far more than Lenny did.

One reason that we had a lot ground balls is that this team just died offensively against good sinker ball pitchers. I recall hearing Sutton talk about how the hitters need to adjust to a sinker ball pitcher by stepping forward in the batter's box and that our hitters refused to do that. A lot of the shutouts recorded against us happened when we faced good sinkerballers.


Posted by: driley | February 5, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually opposed to signing Dunn as well

----------------------

see, but I'm not opposed to signing Dunn. I'm in favor of it.

I just disagree with the "Doomsday, Assuming Worst Case Scenario" opinion that you've been touting.

the team as it stands, isn't as bad as people think it is, and it certainly isn't as bad as it was last year. not even close. especially when you factor in the amount of injuries to everyday players we had last season.

it just doesn't have any "Big Names". but not having "Big Names" doesn't equal "automatic 100-losses, worst team ever."

Absolute Worst Case scenario, this team loses 90 games, with or without Dunn.

i think it is more likely that this team ends up 77-85. give or take.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 5, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"I don't understand this piece. To me it is saying: "Look how much of a winner Manny is! Ever team he's played on has been a winner! We don't want that for the Nationals, so no thanks." I can't figure out how signing one of the best hitters in baseball (ever) could hurt. It would give the Nats much more credibility throughout the league, and drastically improve the fan base. Isn't improving the fan base right now as important (if not more so) than improving a young hitter?

Posted by: japhy_ryder "

Signing Manny is the great tease being dangled out there now. I can see reason why he would be good for now but I can see more reasons why he should not be signed. In the non steroid era a 37 year old player is at the end of his career. What year do his stats fall off of the cliff? If that player wants to sign a 3 year contract at 25 million per year can you afford to risk paying out that amount to a player in the last two years of his contract? If you do how does this affect your signings in 2010 and 2011? If Manny takes over right field from Dukes how does this positively affect Dukes' development?
Signing Manny is like throwing a large rock in a small pond. You will get an immediate splash but you will also spawn a large series of ripples that may swamp everything else around it.

Posted by: driley | February 5, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I hadn't picked up on your use of the term, natbisquit, only the use by another poster (but I will confess to scrolling many of the recent comments without reading them - particularly the lengthier ones). That said, your intended meaning makes sense to me (not that I agree with it, necessarily, not knowing the Lerners personally).

I'm old enough to remember hearing nattering nabobs used by a public figure. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

scrolling *through,* rather (editing online again)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's an article on Strasburg

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=3884236

Posted by: jctichen | February 5, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

All of you who are whining about the Nationals not going after Manny, just thank your lucky stars they weren't able to go cheap and cowboy up instead.

"Jays, Kevin Millar Close To Deal
By Tim Dierkes [February 5 at 8:52am CST]
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, first baseman Kevin Millar is "almost certain" to sign a minor league deal with the Blue Jays today or tomorrow. The Mets, Yankees, Nationals, and Rangers had also been in on Millar.

Millar, 37, hit .234/.323/.394 in 610 plate appearances last year."

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

>One reason that we had a lot ground balls is that this team just died offensively against good sinker ball pitchers.

They hit ground balls because they were too anxious and were out on their front foot. That's how you top the ball. Got nothing to do with whether it was a sinker. They were hitting fastballs for grounders too because the pitches weren't strikes that they were swinging at.

Posted by: Brue | February 5, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

But it's *not* actually a great tease being dangled out there.

Has anyone read the title to this post? All the speculation and arguing is originating HERE. WE'RE the only ones talking about Manny Ramirez coming here, fercryinoutloud.

Repeat after me: Manny Ramirez aint coming here.

*********************
Signing Manny is the great tease being dangled out there now.

Posted by: driley | February 5, 2009 9:31 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"Has anyone read the title to this post? All the speculation and arguing is originating HERE. WE'RE the only ones talking about Manny Ramirez coming here, fercryinoutloud."

Wrong. The Manny discussion here was actually spurred by speculation raised on mlbtraderumors.com earlier this week. For example:

"Ken Rosenthal suggests the Giants and perhaps the Nationals as Manny's remaining suitors if the Dodgers drop out."

"Ramirez has turned down the Dodgers' one-year offer, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports. The Dodgers have confirmed it.

Hernandez lists the Mets, Giants and Nationals as teams that are monitoring Ramirez' market."

Repeat after me: Breaking news? Not from Chico Harlan or the Washington Post, fercryinoutloud. If hadn't have been for the discussion here, the Post never would even have noticed this story.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@nunof1
key words: "suggests", "perhaps" and "MONITORING the Ramirez market."

The Nats have vehemently denied wanting him. And Chico's post might not be breaking news about the *suggestions* of *perhaps* Nats being a suitor, but it states pretty clearly that it aint happening.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand how you could argue 90 losses as worst case when exactly 2 rotation spots are set and the other candidates are underachieving castoffs from other lowly teams or rookies being rushed to the show. At least we had some relatively proven veterans in the rotation last year. Couple this with the fact that we were near dead last in the league in every offensive category and our best hitting talent is one blowup away from being let go/in prison. Oh, and we still don't have a true leadoff/cleanup hitter or any balance. Other than I guess Willingham the only positive from the offensive side is that we don't have Tolman running us out of innings anymore. That won't make up those 12 games though, probably only 5 or so. And the bullpen is young. And we didn't sign our 1st round pick last year.

-Nabob of Reality

Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"The Nats have vehemently denied wanting him. And Chico's post might not be breaking news about the *suggestions* of *perhaps* Nats being a suitor, but it states pretty clearly that it aint happening."

I'm not arguing that. I'm merely pointing out that you were wrong in your assertion that all discussion about the possibility of Manny coming to the Nats originated here on NJ, when clearly it didn't. The discussion here was spurred by the external comments I quoted, among others. Don't believe me? Go back and read the archives. And Chico didn't call Bowden and jump in on this topic until well after the discussion here had already played out. Even Bill Ladson picked up on the story before Chico did.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

How can we not be excited about are chances in '09, Nick Johnson isn't hurt...yet...(Looks behind him, scans the area)...

Yes, Nick Johnson is still not hurt!

Posted by: estuartj | February 5, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

One reason might be that we lost only 89 games in '07. If you recall, we had only ONE guy set for the rotation going into spring training, and even he was coming off surgery.

**********************
I don't understand how you could argue 90 losses as worst case when exactly 2 rotation spots are set and the other candidates are underachieving castoffs from other lowly teams or rookies being rushed to the show.
Posted by: RickFelt | February 5, 2009 10:48 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

To those who disagree with my opinion this team is headed for a 100 loss season, i appreciate your optimism. I am sorry that I cnat help but be a pessimist. The people saying that this team might only lose 75-85 games are saying that the team is vastly improved. All i ask is how is it improved so much over last year? I am not asking in an accusatory manner with the intention of implying they havent improved. It happens to be my OPINION they are not all that improved. I would like to understand better why people (like Mr. M) have the opinion it is improved. And please do not say because there wont be as many injuries, because who knows, there may be more. Just looking at the expected roster for the 09 seasons vs the roster for 08, where are the improvements? Thanks for offering your opinions.

Posted by: youMorons | February 5, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

nunof,
no, no. my point is that it was one guy, speculating and using very vague language, a week ago, that has since been shot down at least twice by the team, including in this very post.

Yet the discussion is STILL going on like there's a chance the guy is actually coming here.

New post.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 5, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Jim Bowden is not very good at what he does.

Posted by: 6thandD | February 5, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

>Has anyone read the title to this post? All the speculation and arguing is originating HERE. WE'RE the only ones talking about Manny Ramirez coming here, fercryinoutloud.

I hate to say this, but if Dunn goes to LA and the Mets get cold feet -

Man-ny would still be available. Oh Man-ny you neglected punklike savant hitting machine. Get in there. The Price Is Right Ted!!!! Do it for the kids!!!!!!!

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

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