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Morning Reading

First things first: Barry's already sent you to his bullpen story; his notes from the print edition today deal with Daniel Cabrera. And the transcript to Boz's chat from Thursday can be found here, although I'm guessing a lot of you visited it in person.

An athlete does something nice.

Pedro Martinez to the Dodgers? Bill Plaschke says do it.

Bart Hubbuch of the NY Post, however, has seen Tim Redding pitch and it's making him yearn for Pedro himself.

What's the opposite of backing down? That's what Jonathan Papelbon does.

And as you know, Chad Cordero signed with the Mariners. Here's what the Seattle Times' Larry Stone had to say.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 13, 2009; 9:10 AM ET
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[reposting, since Papelbon is part of Tracee's morning homework]

... another thought for a Friday morning:

... I was always supportive of Lefty Carleton in his on-going avoidance of the sports media, specifically baseball writers. In spite of the fact I would have wanted to know what Steve felt about all manners of things from pitching to peace, I realized that for him, as well as possibly for many others, the bottom line was pitching and that maybe, just maybe, he had to ensure that part of him was secured before presenting himself as a 'fan fave'. So I came down on the side of the individual’s right to administer that part of his life where his views and ideas were concerned. It was his, as it is each of our, right to withhold comment as much as it is to offer the same.

... today ESPN’s Eric Young has suggested the Jonathon Papelbon, Red Sox’ quality reliever, has crossed a line by doing the opposite. In his piece this morning - – he says “ ... I do believe that there are unspoken rules and that Papelbon just broke one of them.”

... to respond to Young’s very basic premise about rules, I say emphatically there should be no unwritten rules – whether to speak one’s mind or to keep one’s mind a secret – in baseball or in life. Unwritten or not, there should be no rules to govern the freedom of personal opinion.

... as a baseball fan, I stand in support of Papelbon’s decision to voice his opinion about Manny being Manny, and recognizing his propensity for offering comment, would welcome anything else he might want to say about the game. If the issuing of comment by one player causes discomfort for any other player or team, then so be it. The rights and freedoms of the individual surely must trump the self-proclaimed rights of some to avoid conflict.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 13, 2009 8:50 AM

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 13, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Bear in mind, Papelbon has done little to dispel the notion that he attended Mississippi State solely on the basis of his baseball prowess.

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | March 13, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

In Washington, we are so used to people not having the Steele to stick with what they said and meant, so I can see why Papelbon's honesty and directness would catch us by surprise, even moreso when he does not say he was misquoted, flips, and blames the media.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 13, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Politics aside (this is a baseball blog, even if the team does play DC), I don't see a problem with Papelbon's comments. Manny isn't even with the team any more, and I suspect that people have already formed their opinions about him one way or the other.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Does play "in" DC rather.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Dave Cameron has a nice Jim Bo quote and an analysis of the Chad signing at

I think last offseason, before I used PTBNL, I had said I thought Seattle or San Fran would have been a good landing spot for Chad with his flyball tendencies, and that he could have set up for Putz and allowed Morrow to go to the rotation, in lieu of the Silva signing. I forget who I thought would be a good return. I may have thought Balentein or Jones, before the Bedard trade. Seems JimBo and Bavasi also thought there might have been a deal to be made, but JimBo's first counter demonstrated a certain lack of seriousness. From USSMariner:

"At the USSM meetup in Tacoma a few years ago, Bavasi was giving us the rundown on some of the things that he tried to do at the trade deadline. He talked about trying to get Mark Loretta and such, and somehow, the topic of Jim Bowden came up. Bavasi kinda smiled and said something to the effect (not a direct quote) of “you know, I called Jim about their closer, Cordero - he asked for Clement and Morrow. I hung up. I haven’t called back”"

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 13, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Putting aside the question of whether the Red Sox reliever's comments constitute a Papelboner or not, and back to the bullpen, one of the issues I don't think Barry mentioned in his post is option years.

AFAIK, Martis still has options, so he's down. So do Hinckley and Mock, I think, so they're probably down, too. If Hill can go, he probably bumps Balester or Zimm down. So that leaves Hanrahan, Rivera, Colome, Ledezma, Chacin, Shell, Young, Bergmann competing for 7 spots (I'm with Barry - they've got to have 12 pitchers on the 25-man). Bergmann and Chacin are your long-men/middle-innings/swing starter guys, Ledezma is your lefty specialist, and Hanrahan and Rivera are locks. TY is a Rule 5 guy, so he probably sticks for a while - Shell also has options, Colome doesn't, so that probably makes that decision. Bring up the option guys as the other guys don't make it.

Not to say that really great or really terrible performances don't possibly change things, but this is how it porbably shakes out everything else being equal, I think.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | March 13, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Missing from the list is WMP so are you releasing him, trading him, sending him to the DL, or asking him to go to Syracuse?"

Really, who cares? Pick one, any one. They all cost roughly the same - he's getting his $2M no matter what. Just make him go away.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 13, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Colome signed a minor league deal, so he can go down. But it still saves an option on Shell.

I'd say May would be the earliest we'd see Hill. He's only thrown 1 inning so far. I think he'll need at least 5 'starts' before he'd be ready for the season, probably more. We have to remember it's been a while since he pitched and his arm strength has to be crazy weak.

There is no reason to rush Martis, but I think he's earned his way into the rotation, if the season started today.

Of topic... anyone concerned with Willingham's play? Of all our outfielders, he may be the most tradable (outside of Milledge). I wonder is his slump is hampering efforts to move him.

Posted by: sec307 | March 13, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Non-tendering TRedd is beginning to look like the smartest thing the Nats have done in two years. Now, can we do the same to Clint...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 13, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

It's sad about Chad going to Seatle. I'll miss him.

He was the face before the face...

Posted by: Berndaddy | March 13, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

So the Chief signed a non-guaranteed minor-league deal w/ Seattle - one of the most messed up franchises in sports. Surely the Nats would have given him this deal so it wasn't that someone offered him money and he had to lock it down when he could. He just didn't want to come here after the FO cut him loose in the middle of the season. I'm not really a Bowden hater but that is one that he really messed up.

Posted by: Avar | March 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there's anything about Cordero's signing that says he didn't want to come here.

I think it's a bit of a leap to assume that the Nats offered anything or even wanted to offer anything for him to snub anyway.

In fact, there seems to be more evidence supporting Cordero's need to sign anywhere. Plenty of teams were looking at him and nobody bit.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 13, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Sorry guys. Shell has no options. They were all used during his time with the Angels.

Posted by: fanofnats | March 13, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Good looking out, FoN, thanks.

Posted by: sec307 | March 13, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Carrying forward this good catch (as it were) by fischy. I seem to recall that Zimmerman was taking a rehab only approach:

So -- about this Zimmerman-Gordon piece. Did the one reporter, Brendan Roberts, perform surgery on Zimmerman's shoulder last year? I'm pretty sure no one else has claimed to have operated on Zimm's shoulder, but Roberts write that Zimm did have surgery. Does he know something the rest of us don't?

Posted by: fischy | March 13, 2009 12:37 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

BTW, new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Also, the Baseball Insider has a Cordero item up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Papelbon is such a despicable piece of garbage.

Posted by: RickFelt | March 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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