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Minor League Minutia

Today is the official reporting date for all the Nationals' minor leaguers, and it's worth pointing out a couple of things.

* Carlos Alvarez is not here. No idea when or if he will be, but visa issues are holding him up. He will appear, however, in the Nationals media guide under that name, with a sentence explaining that he is the player who used to be known as Esmailyn Gonzalez. (Kinda as if he used to play outfield or he used to pitch.)

* Jack McGeary is here. It's not normal for a 20-year-old pitcher who made 12 starts in the Gulf Coast League and one in the New York-Penn League last year to hold a news conference the day he arrives at camp. But the Nationals are getting some reporters together to talk to McGeary (you remember: sixth-round pick, first-round money in 2007) so the kid can clarify his future.

More is being made of this than it means, but the upshot is this: McGeary is not dropping out of Stanford. Rather, he plans to skip the spring quarter and pitch an entire professional season. That, the thinking goes, will better help his development. He will then almost certainly return to Stanford -- where he is ahead of things academically -- in the fall, likely take two more quarters of classes, and return to baseball next spring.

Anyway ...

As I mentioned, night game in Kissimmee against the Astros. Right now, some of those not making the trip -- Austin Kearns, Nick Johnson, Josh Wiillingham -- are taking BP at HSCS with the ever-present hitting coach, Rick Eckstein, logging some hours before the road trip. The difference between Eckstein and Lenny Harris is striking. I may elaborate that on another post before I leave here tomorrow.

Enjoy your Friday afternoon.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 13, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
 
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Comments

"The difference between Eckstein and Lenny Harris is striking. I may elaborate that on another post before I leave here tomorrow."

... anyone capable of reading between lines two feet apart have already picked up on that by now. But we do want to hear what you find out about the already-perceived differences.

... have at it.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 13, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please do elaborate.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"The difference between Eckstein and Lenny Harris is striking" .... the baseball.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan1 | March 13, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Good one, ANF!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Jay Gibbons was released by the Marlins: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2009/news/story?id=3977262

Someone should email the Nats' front office. I heard they could use an extra outfielder.

Posted by: AlexL925 | March 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the McGeary update.

Posted by: Brian_ | March 13, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The Blogfather has still got it. While I enjoy Chico's writing as well, Barry just seems to understand the stories that I want to know more about - like McGeary and Eckstein and previously WMP, J. Zimm and Balestar.

We miss you - and the snark.

Posted by: NatsWin | March 13, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

HOW MANY TIMES DID I CALL FOR LENNY HARRIS TO BE FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO MANY CALLED FOR HIM TO BE FIRED IN 2008 BUT MANY OF USE KNEW HE WAS A WASTE in 2007.....this is one reason I have no respect for Lastings Milledge.....he always talked about how great lenny was because he would play cards with him.....great, just great!

Posted by: JayBeee | March 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

You expect LMillz to speak ill of a coach?

Posted by: sec307 | March 13, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Well I was going to post something about Eckstein's "striking" approach but ANF's response was funnier than mine so I'm keeping quiet.

(Kind of like the Nats bats did under Lenny.)

Posted by: BobLHead | March 13, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Geez, I think Eckstein and Johnson have a little man-crush thing going on

Posted by: von_bluff | March 13, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I'm also curious what Eckstein's approach to developing a game plan will be.

Posted by: psubman | March 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, good move by McGeary. A BA chatter said recently that he could be in next year's top 100 prospects (presumably, occupying the sole honorary Nationals slot currently occupied by the Broken Cheese of the Franchise).

Posted by: BobLHead | March 13, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, ANF. Well done.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 13, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

>HOW MANY TIMES DID I CALL FOR LENNY HARRIS TO BE FIRED!

Lol dude, you're a nobody. After I saw some of your roster suggestions, it finally occured to me. Even BPG doesn't get this stoopid. And they're pretty stoopid over there. You can't actually think that anyone wants to fight you over Lenny Harris, do you?

Posted by: Brue | March 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey I am a nobody but I am a frustrated nobody. Nats defended Harris. Nats rehired Harris. Nats defended Jimbo and told us we were a world class organization. Nats told us that Injuries were the problem and it was no ones fault. Nats told us that the club house chemistry was fine and no problems existed

At the time they new Harris was a waste, they new DR was a mess, they new the Medical and Strength people were not effective. Nats knew they had major clubhouse issues with Lopez, Lo Duca, Rob M, O Perez,

All I ask is for some level of honestly with the people who pay the bills. I expect them to say we had major organizational problems and we have made major mistakes in DR and in baseball operations. We were in denial and that has hurt the organization. That would be honest.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

All I ask is for some level of honestly with the people who pay the bills. I expect them to say we had major organizational problems and we have made major mistakes in DR and in baseball operations. We were in denial and that has hurt the organization. That would be honest.


Posted by: JayBeee | March 13, 2009 3:37 PM

Dorothy, wake up...
You realize you are asking for honesty in the NATIONS CAPITAL, right?

Posted by: TimDz | March 13, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

JayB,

Name me one sports organization that tells the flat out truth? They all spin their answers, to sound more positive. They're not going to tell you that "so and so was a disaster and we screwed up." It is what it is.

You'll have a lot less to stress and worry about if you accept (or as nunof1 would say except) that fact.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 13, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I have been in DC for over 25 years. Baseball has been hear 5 years....I was hoping that the Nats would be able to rise above their setting.....Hey Barry, want to do a follow up book someday about early Lerner years and how they learned for their mistakes?

Posted by: JayBeee | March 13, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, flowers are beginning to bloom in my neighborhood, I have a good supply of Thin Mints in the house, and there's a new post up. Life is good.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually, make that two posts.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Spin crap and you still get crap. All these errors are so obvious and it is clear to everyone what happened here for the last 3 years. Honesty is called for, what happened to the franchise and why it happened...Stan saying he wanted to keep Jimbo and that Jimbo was good for the team is a bad choice. Jimbo saying Lenny Harris is a great coach and that Ross D is a great draftee and MLB ready by 2008 is a bad choice. ....Still I am optimistic going forward.....being honest and holding people accountable gives them the launching pad to change the culture.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 13, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Honesty is highly over-rated. There's no placebo effect, for one thing.

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 13, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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