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A Mid-Spring Journal Poll

So the Nationals have only played 12 of their 30 official Grapefruit League games, but the franchise, which has not had a winning spring since it landed in Washington, stands at 6-5-1. We don't know much about lots of things, but we have learned quite a bit since this team gathered here back on Valentine's Day. There have been many eventful springs for the Nationals (see Soriano, Alfonso; 2006), but this one is probably right up there..

With that, on this day off for the players, we thought it would be a good time to take your temperature on the developments thus far with a little Nationals Journal poll. Vote early and often.





Have at it. I'll check in later in the afternoon with a note or two.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 11, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Who Is Brad Eldred?

Comments

Woah, Barry. Very high-tech!

Posted by: JennX_ | March 11, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Whoever the one other person who responded so far, we're in a similar mindset. I'm sorry for you.

Posted by: Section506 | March 11, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

This is so not old school. Please tell us that you still use the good old pencil and notepad for interviews, Barry. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Barry, before the week is over, I expect a nostalgic round of Guess the Rotation.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 11, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I'm surprised that Nick Johnson's health doesn't rank as a bigger surprise to folks around here.

Think about it: If he wasn't healthy, he'd be in the same category as Shawn Hill's arm, which is running away with the title for most expected development. Right? If that's the case, then how can his health not be a surprise?

I'll grant you that Bowden's resignation was a bit of a surprise, but then again, the guy was under investigation and coming off a 102-loss season. Most people around baseball probably weren't surprised at all to see him go.

And Frowney? This happens all the time, although usually it's 2 years instead of 4. And he was a low-level prospect, not, say, our starting SS who just received a big contract.

And Zimmermann was expected to contend for a rotation spot. Eight shutout innings and a feature story from Barry might mean he's exceeded expectations, but i still think calling him a surprise is a bit of a stretch.

Stump speech over.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a1 - Barry seems to me to be a PDA or utra thin laptop boy. The couple of times I've seen him on Comcast sports night I looks a bit geeky. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it makes me wonder if he ever played D'n'N or watched Star Trek...

Posted by: Berndaddy | March 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

but i still think calling him a surprise is a bit of a stretch.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 11:06 AM

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

My surprise about J-Zimm wasn't so much about his progress so far (before ST), but that I doubted he'd quite be able to keep up with the competition for the rotation.

I thought he'd need a little more polish or he'd maybe buckle under the pressure (I was thinking Detwiler) and since Balestar had already been up for awhile, I figured he'd be a lock. BIG surprise at how cleanly he had dominated the competition for the 5th spot.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

BobL, the reason for me that Nick J's "health" is not a surprise is because historically, he's usually healthy--until he's not. And then he's out forever. Also, I'm not sure that he is completely healthy--last thing I read, there was still some lingering pain in his wrist, though he is swinging the bat of course. It's not like Hill, where it's clear that he just can't go through the unnatural motion of pitching a baseball without being in pain. For Nick, it's the freak injuries, that always seem to happen to him, and that then last for an unexpectedly long time. I expect that, unfortunately, he'll suffer some new freak injury before too long. But the fact that it hasn't happened yet isn't necessarily a "surprise," at least to me.

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

Barry,

I read Post, Times and Ladson write ups of Rizzo's comments this week. Some here seem to think I am misinterpreting his comments about the Jimbo Days.

Dysfunctional vs. functional, Respect vs. disrespect.

How did you interpret these comments?

Posted by: JayBeee | March 11, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I was gonna post why BobL doesn't get my vote, but CiL said it much better than I would have. Nick Johnson has put together lots and lots and lots of 3-week stretches of being able to play the game. It's going past 100 or so games that is a real surprise.

On the other hand, I just don't get the sense it's that common for a ballplayer to turn out to be a) four years older and b) *someone else*! That's my take.

Posted by: Scooter_ | March 11, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

JayBee:

I understand your take on those comments, and I think you're definitely onto something. It's a nice way for Rizzo to say "We're going to be squeaky-clean and first-class and that will generate respect," without directly saying, "That's not the way we've been viewed in the past, if you know what I mean, wink-wink nudge-nudge saynomore saynomore."

Posted by: BarrySvrluga | March 11, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

yea, but isn't "dysfunctional" a stretch?

Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree, if Nick is still playing in July that will be a surprise, if he gets hurt in Arpril that will not be a surprise.

J-Zimm is going a bit better than I had hoped, Balester slightly less. There is still a month to go in ST so a lot can and will change, if I was a betting man (and I'm not) I would say both are in the rotation going North.

Here is my current, Guess The Rotation, (in order of their probability to make the rotation not pitch once in it);
Lannan
Olsen
Cabrera
Zimmermann
Balester

I'm also thinking Martis will be in the bullpen for opening day.

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hi Barry, glad to have you back around for a bit.


Folks: seriously, you can't come up with a better nick than J'Zimm? That's just ... gross.

The piece in the paper on him was cool. At first getting hit by a drive and having his jaw wired would make me admire him, but then I think "yeah, but getting out of the way would make me admire him even more." And then I think, "how many near misses do you have to survive to be really amazing at it?"

And, I will note, I played catcher in little league because I got all the protective gear. My physique was better suited for a pitcher, but I wasn't about to get crushed by a hit baseball. No way.

Posted by: ihatewalks | March 11, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Good arguments from CiL and Scooter. Also I thought Jaybee's take on the Rizzo quotes was not unfair. A bit negative, perhaps, but not really a mischaracterization. It seems to me that Rizzo's point isn't really that the Nationals were, in fact, dysfunctional and disrespected under Bowden, but that, like it or not, many perceived them that way. So the message is, whatever you may have thought of us (Jim) before, we now have a clean slate and we're going to do things the right way. So answer the phone and give us a relief pitcher, dammit!

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Some bloggers and commenters are still wont to call the Nats FO dysfunctional, even with Bowden gone, just because there's an occasional hint that every decision is not reached with complete unanimity of thought from all participants. They try to spin webs of intrigue just because sometimes Kasten gets his way while other times Rizzo gets his way (and which one of them has Mark Lerner's ear today?) over the matter of who should be drafted or how much a player should be paid. They seem to think that only a dysfunctional GM-manager combo would ever consult and work together to decide which players need to be on the roster or who should perhaps be getting more playing time. I have news for these bloggers and commenters. ALL teams work like this. If any team appears not to be working this way, i.e. if they seem to have only one true path being laid out by the owner and all the management layers below him kowtowing lock, stock and barrel with never a murmer of dissenting thought or opinion from any of them, then THAT is the dysfunctional organization.

So yes, using the term dysfunctional to describe the Nats FO under Bowden is indeed a stretch. In fact, it's unexceptable to call it that. Bowden's FO may have been incompetent, arrogant, even crooked, but it wasn't dysfunctional. It got the job done. Just because the job wasn't done well doesn't make the FO dysfunctional, any more than a family not being able to keep its head above water makes the parents dysfunctional.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Blogfather,

In your honor, my Guess The Rotation:

Lannan
Olsen
Cabrera
Don't-Call-Me-Ryan
Martis

I don't think Hill will be ready (even if he's healthy) since he's starting his program over from scratch. And so far, Martis has out-pitched Balester for the last spot.

By the way, DCMR has a lock on the 4th spot, in my opinion. Based on the rhetoric, I think we've passed the point of no return on sending him down. The dude has been our best pitcher (so far) and I, for one, see no downside in letting him learn on the job.

Posted by: sec307 | March 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hiring and signing all the ex reds was dysfunctional...a functional FO could trade with any club...Jimbo had only a few who would even take his calls. A functional FO would not put Rijo in charge of DR and never have checks in place to see if he was meeting benchmarks.

Most importantly a functional FO would no have the Team President requesting MLB and FBI investigations of his own GM as a last resort in a 2 year effort to get rid of him. A functional FO would not keep a GM had kissed up to the son of a 84 year old owners and let that son shag balls like a little kid in a candy store......That whole mess was dysfunctional....Stan will never tell us the truth but come on....Barry said it on day one when Lerners keep Jimbo and Barry said it again last week.....Jimbo keep his job because of his brown nosing of Mark Lerner.

But hey that is all in the past……I am really starting to like 2009…..I think with a trade for Vet Middle Relief we could be .500! That is progress….back to 2005!

Posted by: JayBeee | March 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

My own take is that while Jaybee or anybody else is entitled to their interpretation of a piece, I prefer to see the quotes in the full context of the piece and make up my mind for myself. That is why I'd prefer to see a poster give a URL or a source for the item in question, rather than interpreting the piece and telling me that somebody "openly said" something when at best it was implied.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the intervening post by Jaybee but my point stands. Interpret things however you like. I ask only that you point other readers to the source so that we can do the same for ourselves. Thanks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of URLs, here is a tin one that shows the area of visibility for tonights moonlight shuttle launch:

http://tinyurl.com/dh6jbg

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

ihatewalks, I agree about the lame nickname for Jordan Zimmermann. But everytime I write something about him, I come up blank with a good substitute, except maybe (n), which is still lame.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

307,
It will be interesting to see if as The Zimm Reaper continue to excel is ST if they make the same kind of unofficial, wink wink nod nod kind of way that Balester and Martis are battling for the #5 spot.

I also think they'll make some unofficial statement after Shawn Hill is finally back on the mound that they see him starting the season in the minors to "fully recover and build arm strength", can they do that on a DL stink or do they have to option him down and does he have options left?

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

On the "Guess the Rotation" front, I've been thinking about Jordan. (When don't I think about Jordan? ... sigh ...)

The man clearly has something to work on: that changeup. I'm not a pitching coach, nor do I play one on TV, but I could see a situation where it's best for the kid to spend a couple months, half a year, in the minors, where he can focus on learning rather than winning. Of course, the Nats have shown little reluctance to have guys learn with the big squad. But it's just something I was thinking.

Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on that.

Posted by: Scooter_ | March 11, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Well said, IHWalks ... even Zimm,J would be better. Zim and Zimmy?

Posted by: dottdc | March 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

One big bonus of having J-Zimm work on his changeup with the big league club is that he'll know exactly how much he needs to slow it down to work on big league hitters. It won't help him too much to get his speed differential up to 14-16 mph and then come up to find it needs another 3-4 mph to be effective.

If his other pitches are working in the bigs he can use the changeup in controlled circumstances until he's confident enough to use it as an out or set-up pitch.

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

WaPo sports editor: Can we please have two people on the Nats beat? :) It's nice to have both.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 11, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Hiring and signing all the ex reds was dysfunctional...a functional FO could trade with any club...Jimbo had only a few who would even take his calls."

Oh really? Take a look at the list of trades completed by GM Jim Bowden during his career, at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/03/jim-bowden---gm.html. I count trades with over 20 other teams during his four-year Nationals career alone. Included on the list is at least one GM who supposedly wouldn't return Bowden's calls, Kevin Towers. He's on there TWICE, actually.

"A functional FO would not put Rijo in charge of DR and never have checks in place to see if he was meeting benchmarks.

Most importantly a functional FO would no have the Team President requesting MLB and FBI investigations of his own GM"

Oh really? Seems to me that having an investigation conducted is actually putting checks and balances in place, isn't it? And for the record, Kasten may have requested MLB to investigate (which made sense, since MLB was a partner in a lot of areas, such as verifying identities and ages of players), but he did not request the FBI to investigate. They did that on their own, and Kasten just asked for the results in a timely fashion. As one would expect in a functional FO.

"A functional FO would not keep a GM had kissed up to the son of a 84 year old owners and let that son shag balls like a little kid in a candy store......"

Oh really? That kid is himself one of the owners of the team. If he wants to suit up and shag flies during BP, who's to stop him? And such stunts by owners are nothing out of the ordinary in baseball. Hell, the Yankees let Billy Crystal suit up and bat in an exhibition game. Is the Yankee FO dysfunctional? (Okay, bad example...)

But really, why let facts get in the way of a good argument?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The question regarding whether Zimmermann makes the majors out of spring training also has a financial aspect to it. Teams make decisions that consider the financial implications. If the Nationals keep Zimmermann in Syracuse the first two months of the season (roughly 50+ days), they can almost certainly delay his first year of arbitration until after the end of the 2012 season and free agency until after the 2015 season. If he starts the season in the majors, both of those get moved up a year. By delaying arbitration one season and pushing free agency out that extra year, the Nationals position themselves payroll-wise moving forward.

It's not the only consideration, but it's an additional wrinkle that a rebuilding team might weigh out.

Posted by: Brian_ | March 11, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Metalface
The Wiscosinn
The Brokenn Face of the Franchise
Jaw-Z
Jordannnnnn

But my favorite: K-Zim

Posted by: nattaboy | March 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Re. JZ, I kinda like "The Zimm Reaper," which has appeared here from time to time. Also "Don't Call Me Ryan," but that's a long one.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, K-Zim is nice!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually I reconsidered and I like Jaw-Z the most.

Posted by: nattaboy | March 11, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

If Shawn Hill can't go then it's pretty hard to see The Quiet Man starting the season anywhere but in the rotation.

(OK, The Quiet Man isn't sticking as a nickname, either, I just stole it from Barry's piece this morning. Anything but J-Zimm, though.)

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Jaw-Z is hilarious!! Also still laughing a the broken face of the franchise (BFOF)!

Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

jeez nunof1, are you related to Jim Bowden?

as one of the bloggers that you criticized in your earlier post, i have to tell you that not all bloggers are making things up in their mother's basements. some of us have journalistic integrity, as in: we have sources and we double-check them before we write something. sure, a lot of what's written on blog is opinion, and that's the point. but some of us actually know what we're doing and can flavor our stories or opinion with background information we've obtained, without violating our sources.

so dismissing the genre in toto is disappointing on your part. hopefully you'll come around. after all, you're reading a blog right now!

as for Bowden though, i respect your opinion that his tenure was not dysfunctional, but we'll have to agree to disagree on the definition of dysfunctional. because from where i sit, it was the very definition of dysfunctional.

best,
Dave Nichols
http://natsnewsnetwork.blogspot.com/

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | March 11, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"jeez nunof1, are you related to Jim Bowden?"
__________________________________________________________

nunof1 = Bowden's Mom? Grandma? Girlfriend?

Posted by: Section505203 | March 11, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

My interpretation (FWIW) was that the reference to bloggers related to commenters on this site rather than to weblogs generally.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

But that's just my own interpretation, of course. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Dave Nichols, whoever you are you sure have a mighty thin skin. I say "some bloggers and commenters" and you automatically think I'm talking about you? Really, the only answer I have for you is this. If the shoe fits, wear it. Don't go putting words in my mouth, worry more about whatever words are coming out of your own.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I didn't insinuate that you were talking about me specifically. I was speaking as an independant blogger. And I was specifically addressing your veiled point of bloggers making uninformed comments.

But I won't let that deter from your rant, as you continue to hide behide your anonymous screen name.

best,
Dave

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | March 11, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

As far as a nickname for Jordan Zimmermann goes, you guys need to start thinking bigger. Change the team's name to the Washington Zimmermennn, steal Don Zimmer away from the Rays and make him the mascot instead of Screech, and put that guy Andrew Zimmern who'll eat anything on the Travel Channel in charge of stadium concessions. Tell me that putting a giant Zorro Z on the front of the jersey wouldn't send merchandizing sales through the roof!

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

is it "dysfunctional" or "incompetent?" does it really matter?

i find it amusing when people get hung up on a single word instead of the actual meaning someone's trying to convey. it turns into arguing about arguing and totally derails any functional (pun intended) conversation.

Posted by: sec231 | March 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"And I was specifically addressing your veiled point of bloggers making uninformed comments."

So your contention is that no blogger has ever made an uninformed comment? Okay. Don't let me be the one to burst your bubble on that one.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The biggest surprise of the spring will be when nunof1 is revealed to be Jim Bowden

Posted by: dclifer | March 11, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"i find it amusing when people get hung up on a single word instead of the actual meaning someone's trying to convey."

This kind of attitude is unexceptable. The internet has digressed beyond it years ago.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I vote for the "Zimm Reaper."

Posted by: CapPeterson | March 11, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I thought JayBeee was Jim Bowden. You know, JB. Same initials. Just trying to keep some buzz going about himself out there, because as we all know the only bad publicity is no publicity. JayBeee, Jim Bowden. Gone but not forgotten.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Zimm Reaper dates back to his time with the Vermont Lake Monsters, I think it was someone from the front office who mentioned the nickname to Barry after a trip to see him pitch. Does anyone else remember who is was who came up with it?

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"some of us have journalistic integrity, as in: we have sources and we double-check them before we write something"

Source 1: my imagination
Source 2: Will Carroll.

Source 1 might be more reliable, all things considered.

Posted by: JhonnyBheGhood | March 11, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Will Farrell is occasionally one of my sources. But when he is, I at least have the journalistic integrity to reveal it.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We could base Zimmermann's nickname off NJ bloggers:

NNof2
JayZee

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

He's from Wisconsin. Let's just call him Cheese.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a blogger, I'm just a commenter. If I was a blogger, I'd have to exhibit journalistic integrity, and I just can't handle that kind of pressure.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

To estuartj:

What, exactly, do you see in Balester that qualifies him as a fifth starter, even for this team? Maybe at SYR, not here. He's a run-an-inning guy in the big leagues.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 11, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe WAWTOTTEHTPWTSLN? (What Are We The Only Team To Ever Have Two Players With The Same Last Name)

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

jdschulz50, I'm not ready to throw Balester out of my rotation yet, I think he's still on the bubble, but he showed some good stuff last year, good velocity and movement on his pitches, but he (clearly) hasn't put the package together yet.

If he continues to pitch like he has this spring over the next 4 weeks he'll be back in AAA.

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

A couple of Nats-related items in BA's chat today:

Jeff, Chicago: Jordan Zimmerman has been dominating so far this spring. Do you feel his prospect star is rising? How do you think he'll fare this year if he's slotted in the rotation right away? Would that be rushing him a bit?

Ben Badler: (2:04 PM ET ) No, I don't think anyone's stock is rising at spring training; the only thing that changes is media perception/attention. I have him as one of the top 25 pitching prospects in the game, and I don't think that's changed.

George, FLA: Who are 5 guys, currently not in the top 100, that you could see make a big push in 2009?

Ben Badler: (2:12 PM ET ) Juan Ramirez, Chris Coghlan, Nick Barnese, Danny Duffy and Derek Norris, though Coghlan might lose his prospect eligibility this year.

(Norris is a Nats catching prospect.)

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"nunof1 = Bowden's Mom? Grandma? Girlfriend?"

No, they all hate him.

Posted by: Section506 | March 11, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

estuartj, you have a good memory. I found this old NJ item (thanks, Google):

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2008/06/the_zimm_reaper.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

p.s. If we took on Zimmer as mascot could we roll him around like Pedro did?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Those minor league reports came from Bill Gluvna (thanks again, Google), so maybe we credit him for the Zimm Reaper (which is growing on me by the minute).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I like our pitching staff to a certain extent but, it is begging for 1 veteran starter and 1 veteran guy in the pen.

I'm not a big fan of giving the spot to a young guy, letting him get shelled for 5 starts and then sending him down. That can mess somes kids up. Balester seems pretty laid back and may be OK but, I think he needs to be in AAA a little longer.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else seen videos of Nick Johnson running this spring? In my opinion, it doesn't look natural. He looks as Bo Jackson did when he finally returned from the broken hip injury. It is almost painful for me to watch him run. Does anyone else feel this way?

Posted by: 6thandD | March 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

p.s. Aren't off days fun? Good times.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"I'll grant you that Bowden's resignation was a bit of a surprise, but then again, the guy was under investigation and coming off a 102-loss season. Most people around baseball probably weren't surprised at all to see him go." - BobLHead

Well, the surprise wasn't that Bowden is gone. The surprise was that he resigned.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | March 11, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"nunof1 = Bowden's Mom? Grandma? Girlfriend?"

No, they all hate him.

Posted by: Section506 | March 11, 2009 2:18 PM
_______________________________________________________

Thanks for clarifying 506.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 11, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, I miss the days of commenting on a Svrluga post regarding really bad puns made by Gluvna.

It's like a world series mis-spell-a-thon.

I think there was an earlier reference to the nickname than the minor league report posted by Barry, but whatever, unless someone makes a stink I'm glad to credit Gluvna.

The only problem with calling him The Zimm Reaper is that we need shorthand to use here, spelling out Zimmermann every time is a pain, which is why I usually use Zim for the 3rd baseman.

I'm a big fan of J-Max for Justin Maxwell, so maybe J-Zimm is good to off-set all the Belli, Guz and Kearnsy folksyness.

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Has anyone else seen videos of Nick Johnson running this spring?"

Can you give us a url to see footage, I haven't seen any...

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

While I've used the 'Don't-Call-Me-Ryan' nickname, I've gotta say, I really like 'Cheese'. Of all our suggested nicknames, 'Cheeeeeeese' would be the most fun to yell at the ballpark, and that's gotta count for something.

From Wisconsin, throws hard, fun to say... what's not to love!

Posted by: sec307 | March 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

No launch tonight. Too bad.

Posted by: aneedell | March 11, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

As long as we are discussing nicknames, what did we settle on for Adam Dunn?

I prefer Mongo, but it looks like The Big Donkey got a lot of play and then everyone settled on The Dude. Do I have an accurate sense of the Natosphere?

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

They call him MISTER Dunn.

Posted by: Scooter_ | March 11, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"No launch tonight. Too bad."

Source? NASA TV (live launch coverage) hasn't said anything about that (nor has it hit the NASA website)...

Posted by: OldDude | March 11, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Danged Hydrogen leak.

(That's the reason for the Shuttle scrub, not a proposed nickname. Kinda catchy though.)

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Gluvna's puns were the best, estuartj. There could well be an earlier Reaper reference that I didn't turn up with my quick Googling. Good point about the shorthand quandary.

I'd love to see some NJ (and other) ST video clips, too. I can't get the media player on the team site to work for me lately, so I don't know what all's on there. Maybe one of the local network news sites would have some clips?

Would we have to wear those weird cheese head hats, 307? Steinberg would probably like that...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I like Git R Dunn, but I guess nobody else does.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Of course, there's no shuttle launch tonight. Barry has the night off. I blame it all on Dave Florida.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 11, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't heard the Dude applied to him. There was the Big Lebowski reference in the Boz piece, though.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Darn that Dave Florida. grrrr...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Brett Haber has interviews with players (including Nick) here. Don't know whether they include any game footage.

http://www.wusa9.com/sports/springtraining/news.aspx

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

More from the BA chat:

Rick Porcello: Am I the Tigers 5th starter?

Ben Badler: (2:56 PM ET ) I don't think so. I wouldn't want to jump a 20-year-old pitcher from 125 to potentially 200 innings in one season.

*****

This made me rethink the issue of whether the Zimm Reaper should start the season in the rotation. He pitched 134 innings last year. They probably want to limit him to something like 160 overall. They could probably do that by sticking him in the #5 spot and skipping him a few times, but this might bear watching.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Also, the Zimm Reaper reaps what he SO's (strikes out).

Posted by: BobLHead | March 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Groan, BobL! (hee hee)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

As long as we are discussing nicknames, what did we settle on for Adam Dunn?
______________________________________________________

The guys on the Cincy TV broadcasts just called him "Dunner." I thought that was a little to simple IMO.

I like Mongo.

I offer up some other suggestions:

Big Tex (since he's a Texan), The Monument, Bam Bam, Big Sexy, Baby Huey, The Big White Hurt (playing off the Frank Thomas nickname).


Posted by: Section505203 | March 11, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

What's not to love about 'Big Donkey'? Imagine the absurdity of tens of people making border-line inappropriate donkey noises throughout the duration of his at-bats (which tend to take a while).

We could wear donkey masks and ride broomsticks. Then, whenever Big Donkey Dunn goes yard, barrels of hay explode from behind the outfield wall!

Of course somebody will have to nicknamed the Big Elephant to make it bi-partisan. Too bad Ray King is gone.

Posted by: sec307 | March 11, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone else gets the Mongo reference (go rent Blazing Saddles if you don't).

I'm comfortable with The Dude, seems to fit his personality and would be fun to yell at the ball park as he come up and comment on after he hits a dinger or strikes out (The Dude Abides). Plus it makes for a good jumbo screen movie vid when he comes up ("I'm not Lebowski, I'm The Dude!")

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I love Bam-Bam.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I saw this post by a fan at espn conversation, not sure who it is, but they make a great case;

"It was mostly the guys not on the roster this year(or at least no expected to be) that destroyed the teams offense last year. If you add up all the at bats given to Boone OPs .683, Bonifacio OPS .649, Lopez OPS .619, Orr OPS .589, lo Duca OPS .581, Mo Pena .509, Mackowiak OPS .462, J Estrada .370. The above names combined for 1276 at bats. That is more than 2 full time players worth of at bats without much hitting at all."

Imagine those 1276 at bats being replaced by Adam "The Dude" Dunn, Nick The Stick Johson and Josh "The Hammer" Willingham. Those 3 have career ops of .899, .852 and .833 respectively.

How many wins is that worth?

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

New Post

Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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