Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

The Bullpen Gets Blown Up

After today's loss, Manny Acta came into the manager's interview room. He was seething. He sat down and said, "I think it's embarrassing. I think it's unacceptable. I think our fans have every right to be mad, like we are right now. And it's not going to be tolerated. We're going to have a brand new bullpen tomorrow, and if those guys that come in don't get it done, we're going to continue getting guys out of here. Because I think all of us deserve better... The fact is, you have to throw strikes. This is the big leagues, and they're big league pitchers, and you win with pitching. We had a chance to win three games in a row, we couldn't do it, and it's not going to be tolerated. So starting tomorrow we're going to have a brand new bullpen. Plenty of moves, and more to come."

The moves came a few minutes later.

Once Acta returned to his office, he and Acting GM Mike Rizzo called the players in one-by-one. First Steven Shell. Then Wil Ledezma. Then Saul Rivera.

Yup, overnight, three-sevenths of the bullpen is sent down. Counting the long-anticipated roster move -- C Josh Bard, gone; P Jordan Zimmermann, up -- this team is turning over almost a fifth of its roster.

Here are the moves:


* RHP Saul Rivera, optioned to Class AAA Syracuse

* LHP Wil Ledezma, designated for assignment

* RHP Steven Shell, designated for assignment

* C Josh Bard, optioned to Class AAA Syracuse


* RHP Garrett Mock

* RHP Jason Bergmann

* RHP Kip Wells

* RHP Jordan Zimmermann

(Zimmermann and Wells will both be added to the 40-man roster, which loses Shell and Ledezma.)

Acting GM Mike Rizzo elaborates...

Q: You have said Garrett Mock was being groomed as a closer. Will he be the new closer here?

I think that's to be determined. He's going to come in and be a member of the bullpen. I'm not sure where the bullpen will kind of all map out right now. It's a brand new bullpen, really. We've got some unanswered questions.

Q: This is almost a fifth of your roster turning over. How tough is it to be put into this situation?

Well, it's unacceptable to perform the way the bullpen has performed. It shows the incredible strain that it has put on the whole ballclub, and like I said since spring training, here it's all about doing the job and executing pitches and making it work. And it was clear that the people we had in there just weren't doing the job.

Q: Was today the final straw?

Yeah, the incompetence of the bullpen was drawn to a head today and it got to the point where it just wasn't fair for the fans, it wasn't fair for the rest of the teammates and the starting pitchers to go status quo. We're going to change things up. Mock and Bergmann had good spring trainings. They had options, so they got sent down. That was the rationale at the time. We're going with the guys that we feel give us the best chance to win games.

Q: And Wells?

Wells has been outstanding, probably as good a stuff and as good a performance as anybody. He's been a starter down there. He's had two starts, has a two-plus ERA down there. He's got power stuff, and we need power arms that throw strikes... He's got some experience, and he's earned the promotion to pitch in the big leagues.

Q: You've obviously seen Saul in better times. What on earth has happened with him?

Well he's a guy who pounded the strike zone, and we're going to send him back to Syracuse. We just had a talk with him, and that's one of the things he has to go back and get back into, is being the Saul that can hit his spots. You know, when you walk the fastest guy in baseball to lead off the ninth inning it just shows that you don't have the command of your stuff.

Q: Not to sound pessimistic, but if these moves don't work out, where do you go from here?

Well, we're going to run what we feel is the best 25 guys on the club, and we're going to just keep finding ways to acquire players and acquire talent until we find somebody who performs for us. I'm optimistic about this group. Like I said, Mock and Bergmann, as far as what their spring trainings were, deserved to be on the big league club... We gave the guys a chance to perform, and they didn't perform.

By Chico Harlan  |  April 19, 2009; 7:05 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Another Blown Save, Another Loss
Next: Zimmerman, Nationals Agree To Five-Year, $45 Million Deal


holy smokes! that's some strong language, Manny. I think you're getting a little fired up there. Finally!

This is good. It sends a strong message to EVERYONE. Enough with the mamsy pamsy patience, blah, blah, blah. We're sick of losing. Perform or get out.

I like it. And i like the chance the the new round of pitchers might bring.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 19, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Nats came with a "Report abuse" link like this discussion forum does. Today's game would have had me clicking all over that bad boy.

These bullpen moves are all a great step in the right direction. Can't say I'd have seen Jimbo doing this.

Posted by: wahoo2x | April 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

finally some evidence that manny actually cares about his job.rizzo didn't pull any punches either. manny is in full job preservation mode now.

Posted by: MrMadison | April 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The answer I want to know is why Rivera was still in the game at all after walking "the fastest man in baseball" or after giving up the tying run?
After either of these at bats I don't understand why Manny did not pull him out.

Posted by: janus4444 | April 19, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

because Ledezma was his only other option.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 19, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Kip Wells??? Wow. He couldnt pitch in Mt. Lebanon lillte league.

Posted by: gbrant | April 19, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: theredskin | April 19, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Manny does not really think on his feet very well...that is why....If he really did not want to use Beimal then he new that at the start of the game...he has to have a back up.....Lannan on 3 days rest for an inning? I don't know I am not in the dug out...but Acta never thinks on his feet when things go off script....he needs a back up plan at this point.

Posted by: JayBeee | April 19, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Tavarez was warming up in the 9th, was he not?

Posted by: janus4444 | April 19, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

you're right. Tavarez was warming up. I just watched the masn video of Manny and he said something like it was either Rivera or Ledezma and Tavarez was for emergency. I'm guessing he was saving Tavarez for the extra innings? who knows.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 19, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I think it is great to see them shake things up. I'm interested, however, in the first question about Mock...He wasn't one of the four listed as being called up. Does this mean that other moves are on the horizon?

Posted by: Cavalier83 | April 19, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Titanic, we officially have relocated the deck chairs. Full speed ahead, Captain Acta!

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 19, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Mock was the first one listed as being called up, read again :)

Posted by: PGM17 | April 19, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Rivera was in the game because there were no other options. Hanrahan and Beimel had pitched in 3 straight games. I guess you could've rolled the dice with Hinckley or Ledezma, but in that situation Rivera's the one I'm most confident in.

I didn't like pulling Dukes to put in Watson, but there weren't all that many better options (I probably would've moved Dukes to left, put Watson in center, and pulled Dunn, but Dunn has something like a .500 OBP and has the best chance of getting runs in with a homer), and if the bullpen is walking everybody anyway, then it doesn't matter who's in your outfield.

There were two main culprits today: the bullpen and batting with RISP. They've addressed the first, and there's really not much you can do about the second. The hits will come.

Posted by: WMPete | April 19, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Why the HELL are we babying Joel Hanrahan? And letting Shell go instead?

Just stop already.

His ERA is lower--plus he's two years younger. (Do they forget his 2.16 last year?)

Now we may lose him? For Hanrahan? Why because he's got a charity?

Come on...

Posted by: inthestreetindustry | April 19, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Jesus (and I don't mean Flores)!

I like that Manny is showing some fire, and I like that things are getting shaken up in the 'pen. Hope this will bring some curly W's.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 19, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

rushfari writes: "Based on talent, I still believe this is a team capable of winning 77-81 games."

I do that comment merits one to believe drug testing should be mandatory for NJ contributors. That 77-81 range means the Nats would have to go 76-and-75 the rest of the way to match your low-end estimate. Unless they've got more talent at SYR than I suspect, I don't believe that's realistic.

rushfair, my man: I picked the Nats to win 57 games. That means they would have to go 56-and-95 to meet my low-ball prediction. And I don't think they can do even that.

Water seeks its own level. So does sewage.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 19, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if they've given any thought to Ballester as a closer. From what I've seen, he pitches hard and fast for about two innings, then he gets figured out. Seems perfect for a short reliever or closer.

Posted by: mvm2 | April 19, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm an right past Mock. Dumb.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | April 19, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"I just watched the masn video of Manny and he said something like it was either Rivera or Ledezma and Tavarez was for emergency."

See this is where Manny makes no sense, the emergency was last night, as soon as Hanrahan let the first baserunner on, THAT'S when you bring in Tavarez, that was the "emergency" situation he should have been used in.

Posted by: skippy1999 | April 19, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

You have to send a message but don't see the upgrade in sending down Shell and bringing up Mock.

Hope I am wrong.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | April 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I like Mock. He'll throw inside.

Bowden: gone
Thrilledge: gone
'Relief' Pitchers: DFA/optioned

Nats: headed in the right direction, growing pitchers, buying bats.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

It's frustrating to read Rizzo say that based on the Spring that Bergmann and Wells had, they "deserved" to be up here, but they started the season in Syracuse, b/c they had options, but NOW we're going to do what gives us the best chance to win games.

Why didn't we do what gave us the best chance to win games from the very beginning??

Regardless, I like the moves; let's start winning some games. The season is less than 10% over, we can still make it a respectable season.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I think kicking Shell to the curb might be a little premature after all he hadn't pitched in four/five days it could turn into another Shawn Hill fiasco, Hanrahan should have been sent down to wake his azz up, like I said its some free agents out there who haven't been picked up because of salary demands if i were Rizzo i'd compile a list and sit down with Manny and see who fits.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 19, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse


Sorry, I wasn't clear in my thoughts. What I meant was that the team had the talent to win 77-81 games, that this horrid start hadn't changed my view.

Obviously, in real wins and losses, that's now out of the question.

Posted by: rushfari | April 19, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone asked Acta why he, for the last three games, has replaced Dunn and/or Dukes for AAA outfielders in the middle of the game, leaving two of our best three hitters on the bench when the game was on the line in the late innings?

Has anyone asked Acta why Willingham was bi-passed to pinch hit today for ALEX CINTRON -- with two runners on base in the late innings?

Its easy to make Stephen Shell the skapegoat here, but the problems lie much deeper.

On the positive side, another longtime favorite of Manny's for no apparent reason (Saul Rivera) has taken his rightful place in AAA. Can Hanrahan please be next? Hanrahan is the Milledge of pitchers -- he's good only because people say he's good, he's never done anything on the field to show he's even a passable major leaguer (but, unlike Milledge, Hanrahan does seem to be a first class person...I just wish he could pitch).

Posted by: raymitten | April 19, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Moves this drastic come from the top. The Lerners are inexperienced owners and have now learned the hard way what it means to be the proverbial penny wise and pound foolish.

Not playing their best team at the end of spring training has cost them WAY more than they saved in options and salary and all the rest.

Baseball is not a construction project that has a completion date. It never ends and is a cruel mistress.

Posted by: Mental5 | April 19, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me management's plan for not just the bullpen but for the entire pitching staff for 2009? I am getting the sinking feeling that the current pitching staff, including today's call-ups are just another extension of Boweden's delusions of grandeur.

Boswell corrrectly maintains that there were several quality mid-tier free agent pitchers on the market and available for under 5 million per , some much less. Why didn't we bring back Livan Hernandez or re-sing Tim Redding. Kris Benson was avail. on the cheap and he is of the player-coach type that we need.


Posted by: stevestegman | April 19, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 19, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope I'm wrong, but I think all these relief pitchers, the ones going down and the ones coming up, are about equally as talented, or non talented. This is change for change sake. I'd agree they had to do something, but really, in the end I'll be surprised if does much to change the outcomes. Go easy on those Rolaids Manny.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 19, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I was there today, and either the Marlins are the '27 Yankees or the Nats are the '62 Mets.
As for the moves: Good to shake it up, and new guys couldn't do worse. Gotta throw strikes, especially to a Bonifacio.
True, though, that the runners left on base continues to be a problem (as does the defense to a lesser degree); but at least they are hitting and have three good starting pitching performances (wasted).
If Hanrahan fails again, then send him down too for a mental health break and reshuffle the deck.
I've still got faith in Manny and Rizzo, but it's brittle at this point.
One more thing: fans oughta to stop sitting on your hands at Nats Park! What a bunch of corpses! There's only 17,000 of us, we gotta make some noise. I know it's a symptom of the lousy team, but we've gotta do our part, too.

Posted by: jdsp2000 | April 19, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

It's stuff like this that makes me so glad I'm a Nats fan. (No irony or sarcasm intended, truly). These trials are the things that endear a team to its fans, that make the excellent emerge from the mediocre. We all know the stories of the young Sandy Koufax or Nolan Ryan who could throw hard but couldn't find the plate, the Mike Schmidts and Willie Mayses who couldn't buy a hit for their first 20 games. We're in this with the Nats now, and maybe someone is going to learn from this and step up. Maybe 2 or 5 years (or two months) from now we'll look back on that series with the Marlins, where the team was leading three straight games in the 9th and lost all three, and say that was when the team learned how to win. You don't get that with the Yankees.

Posted by: jonb5 | April 19, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to try to win with minor league players or at least teach them to be major leaguers prematurely, you need a manager who is more of a teacher. John Stearns has coached and taught most of these kids at AA and AAA. The Nats need to give him a chance in DC.

Posted by: cbffsa1 | April 19, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I blame Rizzo -- he sent down two of his best spring training relievers because they had options left.

This is what happens.

Posted by: rushfari | April 19, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

A 1-10 start was enough to get Eddie Jordan fired by the Wizards... and he led his team to the playoffs four straight years! Now that the Nats are an equally abysmal 1-10, how much longer before Manny joins Eddie Jordan and Jim Bowden in the unemployment line???

Posted by: bigmac128 | April 19, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

OPTIONED TO UNEMPLOYMENT LINE: MANNY ACTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KGG769 | April 19, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: KGG769 | April 19, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: KGG769 | April 19, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Saul Rivera!!! Yippeeeeeee!!!! Go Syracuse!!! Sorry Put in L in your record!!! 0-3 WOW!!!!!!

Posted by: KGG769 | April 19, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Long past time for Manny to go! He and the team are embarrassments.

Posted by: albi06 | April 19, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

and why is Hanrahan still in the major leagues???

Posted by: erniek4567 | April 19, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The Eddie Jordan firing was a joke, though...

Don't blame Acta for the fact that the bullpen is talentless... I do wonder why Willingham was bypassed as a pinch hitter and I also wonder why Dukes would ever be subbed out when he is a perfectly good defensive outfielder... and with the lead so slim, it is foolish to take our most potent bat (Dunn) out of the lineup.

If Acta has to fall on the sword and you reasonably believe a new manager would jump start the team, then go for it, but who are you going to bring in better than Acta? You better get results or you come out looking like a fool.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 19, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to blame the bad bullpen that Kasten, Bowden and Acta put in place. It was obvious from the get-go this starting pitching staff and bullpen was pretty bad. I mean come on--hiring Cabrera? So when these guys perform up to their best, which is to say--they fail cause they basically stink, whose fault is it, the bad pitchers, or the front office who put them there.
This is a real joke. The guys they're bringing up, except for Zim, aint any better.
This team decided not to invest in any good pitching and surprise, their pitching stinks. On top of that their manager should also be fired.
Wouldn't hurt.

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Harahan and Acta should also be gone. Harahan has been pathetic (Saturday was particularly galling especially after Friday). Manny has shown nothing as a manager. He follows the conventional wisdom that the starter is followed by middle men and the closer. This works fine for staffs that have bullpens who can get people out. With this team, he should try something different like leaving releivers in for 2 innings if they're getting people out. Instaed, he lacks imagination and follows the same deadend script. I'd also suggest getting rid of Kasten and the Lerner's. They have taken the team backwards by willingly letting a player like Soriano get away and hiring a manager with no previous experience. This group is enroute to giving the nation the impression that baseball can't work here due to a lack of support. They owe us better in order to get fans to come out. After all, fans want to at least hope their team is committed to winning. 1-10 usually signals a change in management.

Posted by: LA55 | April 19, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Please Chico, ask Manny why he used Cintron instead of Willingham to pinch hit today, and why he keeps pulling out our best bats (Dukes and Dunn( in the middle of the game for AAA outfielders. These things are downright assinine.

Posted by: raymitten | April 19, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW What the Freak is the point of pulling your best player Dukes from the game. Nice play in center by the sub. That dive looked a lot like Milledge opening game when he gave up the inside-the-park HR. Dukes is a great hitter and CF. Acta is really outta his mind.

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I also love how the announcers are so shocked that our "Closer" Hanrahan has been hit so hard. Just because you call a guy a closer doesn't make him any better than he really is.
Hanrahan was basically a guy who didn't succeed in the middle innings last season but when Cordero went down and Rauch got traded he somehow ended up in the 9th inning job. Well he's the same in the 9th as he was in the 6th.
I don't care if you call him a closer or a tomato. Doesn't make any difference. He's still a stiff.

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I think another 1 and whatever week and the shake-up, deserved or not will extend to Manny. (maybe it's good for him that we aren't playing the Marlins for awhile)

Posted by: 1of9000 | April 19, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Mike Rizzo says; Mock and Bergmann had good spring trainings. They had options, so they got sent down. That was the rationale at the time.

Like a million of us have said over the past two weeks, they flat out are a dysfunctional organization. To admit that you didn't put your best foot forward becuase you had options tells me your either full of sh*t or just plain stupid.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 19, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

(maybe it's good for him that we aren't playing the Marlins for awhile)
Posted by: 1of9000

Yea we had such a stellar record against the Braves and Phillies this year. Good thing.

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bowden nice team and manager you left us with. Good job there.

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please tell me WHO decided to let Shawn Hill go after the Nats nursed him (and paid him) through two injury-plagued seasons. That move, with Hill now starting for the Padres, is the biggest embarrassment of all.

Posted by: tradeczar | April 19, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Eddie Jordan firing may have been a joke, but it wasn't an April Fools joke... it really did happen! I'm not saying I'm in favor of Manny being fired, I'm just bracing myself for the realistic possibility that it could happen at any time. Who could we bring in who is better than Manny? Glad you asked. When Frank Robinson was released, I wrote letters to Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden imploring them to hire Davey Johnson... the last manager the Orioles had who was worth a damn! He is one of the best managers in baseball history who is still alive and still actively involved in the game. The Nats front office should offer him Daniel Snyder-type money to take over this team. There is enough talent on this team and in the farm system for a brilliant manager like Johnson to find ways to win games. He may be a pain in the ass to every front office he works for, but who the hell cares! We need to start winning so we can build a fan base around this franchise!

Posted by: bigmac128 | April 19, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Good start, but the first thing to do would have been to FIRE RANDY ST. CLAIR!!! It will do no good to bring in new talent, or old talent when you no talent coaching them. There must be a better pitching coach out there. There must be.

Posted by: AWWNats | April 19, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I remember during spring training suggesting that the Nats go after Orlando Hudson now playing second base for the Dodgers and hitting .365+ but others suggested he might be too expensive for us, i mean are we dealing with stupid owners who are also cheap? please say it ain't so.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 19, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please tell me WHO decided to let Shawn Hill go Posted by: tradeczar

Shawn Hill is 1-0 with a 3.6 era in 2 starts this season and has pitched great against both the Phills and Giants. Man Oh Man.

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten obviously was not the brains behind the Braves. Seriously what has this guy done worth praising?

Posted by: dovelevine | April 19, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Wells has been outstanding, probably as good a stuff and as good a performance as anybody. He's been a starter down there. He's had two starts, has a two-plus ERA down there. He's got power stuff, and we need power arms that throw strikes... He's got some experience, and he's earned the promotion to pitch in the big leagues.

Here is an idea: Try Olsen in the bullpen, and keep Wells doing what he is doing well -- starting.

Here is another idea: While they are cleaning house, get rid if the numbnuts who thought it was a good idea to give up on Hill and send out Olsen and Cabrera to start. If thet insist on keeping their jobs, they should donate their salaries to reimburse everyone who bought tickets to Nats games...

Posted by: fischy | April 19, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

When I bought tickets, I thought it was to watch a major league team play. I was deceived.

Posted by: fischy | April 19, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Nats Front Office... Do whatever it takes to make it happen, but HIRE DAVE JOHNSON!!! When he comes in here and starts winning, it will be the ultimate F-U to Peter Angelos, who was stupid enough to fire Davey after he led the Orioles to back-to-back A.L. Championship Series... and was voted Manager of the Year!

Posted by: bigmac128 | April 19, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

They just gave Zim $45M for 5 years.

Posted by: Dutchml | April 19, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Deck chair re-shuffling

Posted by: mdpilot | April 19, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Shawn Hill is one of those chances you just never know if you should take. The #1 problem with the rotation over the years was injuries. They'd had enough. They got it right when they let Patterson go. Hill? That's a tough one. I was getting a bit uncomfortable with him too but probably they should have given him one more try. So he's pitching well for San Diego. Let's see if he's still off the DL at the end of the year and then we'll see if we should be upset.

Randy is a good coach. The best one they've ever had and they are smart to keep him. It's tough when someone else decides what junk you get to work with and then you've got to make something out of it. If you take the pitching talent we've had the last 5 years and coach it with most other fellas I doubt you'd even get the result we have thus far.

The root of the front office problem is the Lerner family check book. Fair enough they shelled out a lot of dough for this team and then the recession hits (which considering their industry it's probably not been great for them). I'm a Stan fan but for the rest of the guys.... well... don't know what to say. It is a bit of a worry when they tell you they didn't put the best guys on the field and they knew it.

But you can imagine them going back to the Lerners and saying we need this we need that it will cost you this it will cost you that and being thankful just to be able to sign Adam Dunn. Although they were prepared to drop the dough on Texiera so maybe I'm completely off base. Anyway... I just get the feeling that part of the problem is that they have to keep being creative because they can't spend the dollars to fill a few gaps with quality people.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | April 19, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Where Lou Piniella goes, winning follows. Where Tony LaRussa goes, winning follows. Where Jim Leyland goes, winning follows. Where Dave Johnson goes, winning will follow! Managers who have won in multiple locations in the past can win in Washington! HIRE DAVE JOHNSON!!!
(Sorry for being repetitive. I guess I'm hoping a Post writer or someone in the Nats organization will be reading this blog and pick up on the Dave Johnson idea and run with it. God knows we could use some good sports news in this town... Wizards 19-63; Nats 1-10; Caps down 0-2; Redskins 8-8 after a 6-2 start; Only one major local team made the NCAA tournament this year (and just barely); Could things be much worse around here? Having a baseball team after a 33 year absence is nice, but having a competitive team that can draw 30,000 a night into a new stadium would look and feel a lot nicer...)

Posted by: bigmac128 | April 19, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse


The reason Manny keeps pulling Dunn and/or Dukes is that Rizzo told him about the double-switch after the home opener when he pulled Tavarez for Hinckley who then got the last out and led off the next inning so a PH was needed and then HR Saul came in and lost the game on 4 pitches. Manny had never heard of the double-switch and wondered what those other NL managers were doing -- he thought they were cheating and couldn't figure out why the umps wouldn't stop it. As others have posted tonight, Manny is clueless and his new found "discipline" is a last ditch effort to save his job. Manny has taught his players nothing, although that's the reason he was hired. Maybe he gets credit for Lannan's 2 SH on Friday -- first time a young Nats P has laid even one down, but probably was the hitting coach. MANNY MUST GO!

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | April 19, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I love the optimism that oozes off this board. 151 games to go and you people want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

The point is, they have some options to work with now. There are people in the pipeline, and they made some moves.

Shut UP about the Lerners already. RZim is now signed for 5 years. Get that? 5 years. $45M. Dunn was signed for $10M/2 yrs. They arbitrated for Olsen and Willingham. Guzman was signed for 2 years as well. You 'cheapskates' out there need a new tune.

Milledge is gone. Dukes is in Center. Awful about Bernadina, but Justin Maxwell is getting some time now. Our Loria/MLB devastated minor league system has people in the pipeline finally. Pay attention to those 'Down on the Farm' reports!

I am so tired of the Fish beating up on us you cannot imagine. But had the bullpen held, we'd be 4-7. A few other non-mistakes, the record would be better than that. Remember 2007 like Manny said, when they brought 12 guys in for 5 SP slots...

This team is better than this start.

Posted by: dand187 | April 20, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Shawn Hill was my favorite player and I think that they gave up on him too early, but it wasn't a crazy decision given his injuries. It did feel, though, that his arbitration victory influenced the front office's thinking, at least a little bit. That is worrisome, if there is anything to that. And I think that they are giving up on Shell too early now; he can be a useful player.

And as for the Lerners, I agree that they have been pennywise and pound foolish. I think that they will pay money when they feel like a player really is a quality player, but they will not pay absolutely anything for what they think is a major league average or less player. While that can work if you have a robust farm system with players you can plug in who can be MLB average players, the danger is that you don't and you get several players who cannot provide even that kind of performance. So your team suffers through stretches like this, and attendance suffers as well. That is what I mean by pennywise and pound foolish. For an extra $5m this offseason, they could have added Lohman and another quality reliever like Juan Cruz to Beimel and had some real options, and I'll bet that it would have paid for itself in attendance.
It seems like there is a real panic going on in management, and I hope that they pull it together, because I do not think that they are anywhere near as bad as their current record.

Posted by: Willy2 | April 20, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Add insult to injury (no pun intended).

Posted by: Windup | April 20, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

hanrahan has as good of stuff as anyone on the staff. his problem before was throwing strikes. he has now found the zone he needs to make that one pitch to put guys away. we do not want to lose this guy.

Posted by: rbur4d | April 20, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company