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Anchored In The Middle

When Adam Dunn is not hitting well, he has only one strategy: He keeps playing -- without interruption -- until that changes. Dunn does not take breathers to bust out of slumps. As a rule, when he's healthy (and he almost always is), he plays. Just look at the number of games he played in the previous five seasons, dating back to 2004: 161, 160, 160, 152, 158.

Yesterday, when Manny Acta filled out his lineup card, Dunn was in a certifiable slump, his first of the season. A dismal homestand was already 10 games old. Dunn, during that span, was 6-for-35. He'd hit just one home run since May 10.

"It's just kind of the timing where I haven't been swinging good and facing some pretty good lefties," Dunn said on Saturday. "It's nothing I'm too concerned with. I'm not gonna panic yet."

"He's averaged 155 games the last few years, so he's a guy who needs to be out there," Acta reasoned. "I'm a believer in giving guys days off here and there, but you get out of a slump by playing. Plus, he's a guy who, with one swing, can change a game at any given time. So regardless of whether he's struggling or if he has a hard time against certain pitchers, he's one swing away or one hanging breaking ball away from turning the score."

Acta, for the record, said that on Saturday.

You can read about Dunn's two-homer, 6-RBI game here -- as Yanda details the strategy that loaded the bases for Dunn's seventh-inning grand slam. Boswell comes at the Dunn story from a different approach, writing about Dunn's anchoring role in the clubhouse, in the lineup, etc.

One thing to note: No matter how many injuries/trades/slumps we see this season, the Nats have established one part of their lineup that almost never changes. Ryan Zimmerman bats third. Adam Dunn bats fourth. Comparing 2008 to 2009, there's no greater change. And so long as those two are 3-4 and playing at their established levels, the Nats' lineup might go through some lulls, but the lulls will never last long.

This year, Zimmerman has batted third in all 44 of Washington's games. Dunn has batted fourth in 43 of those games. Compare that to the instability of last year, when Washington, in the third spot, used not just Zimmerman, but Lastings Milledge, Aaron Boone, Elijah Dukes, Cristian Guzman and Kory Casto. Casto, by the way, also batted fourth in one game. So did Ryan Langerhans.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 25, 2009; 9:36 AM ET
 
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Comments

Even as the team continues to struggle with wins & losses, there are significant improvements - the top half of the order is healthy & hitting the snot out of the ball, the starting staff is showing some stability & the promise of youth.

With more consistent play in the field, and a little help from the bullpen, this could be a competitve team in the NL. All is not lost.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

BinM, I'm with you.

There's plenty of reason for optimism about the future, and the Nats are still a fun team to watch day-to-day, because they can always score runs.

I am enjoying the team a lot more than I was one year ago.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 25, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"Why was Dunn taken out of the game after his home run? For defense? Ronnie Belliard at first base is a defensive improvement? Ummmm....I don't think so."

No, it's basically defensive equivalency. But Anderson Hernandez for Ronnie Belliard at second is defensive improvement, and we saw the result of it in the ninth inning, didn't we? No way Belliard makes that catch.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"As I've said before, you can have it both ways. You can build for the future and spend a some money on the ML roster at the same time. They refuse to spend money on the ML roster. Hence the poopy-arse product we have to endure year after year."

If you believe what Kasten and Rizzo have been quoted as saying, the Lerners have never once refused to spend money when their baseball people have recommended they do so. The Lerners are hands-off owners, content to let their baseball people run the baseball operations. That's a different model than you see with the Yankees under Steinbrenner, Orioles under Angelos, Redskins under Snyder. Just because the Lerners are not meddlesome owners doesn't mean they are cheap.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Nunof, I ain't buying it. A bottom 5 payroll every year, is my proof that they don't want to spend the cash.

You would think that people that grew up here and watched two teams leave because of cheap, shady owners would do everything possible to put a competitive product on the field from the start.

Now, does this franchise appear to have a bright future with all the youngsters they have? Absolutely, if most of these guys pan out, we will be competitive. They may even challenge if they fill in some pieces with legit ML talent. That part worries me, however. Are the Lerners willing to do that, their track record so far tells me no.

It didn't need to be so ugly the last 2 plus years if they would have just spent some cash on the ML roster in addition to building the system.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Lerners' willingness to spend money, I don't need to look farther than their bid for Teixeira. I just don't understand how people can call them cheap after that.

Posted by: Section109 | May 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Yeah if they get a couple of pitchers out of the current bunch, they'll be lucky. This whole thing about the newcomers being the second coming of the Atlanta rotation 'for the next 10 years' is grandstanding. J Zimm has a good future, no doubt, he just has to learn to take something off, but that will come in time. Has all the stuff you need. The encouraging thing about Detwiler is that he was about 3-4 mph faster, topped out around 95 in second start. That says a lot about how he's getting adapted to a relatively new lineup. It hit me in ST when Detwiler was being buried about his stats in the low minors that he probably would have done more good in the majors with better coaching. St. Claire worked with him this spring and in the offseason. I mean, his fastball is still 95 no matter what league he's in, and it's hard for anyone to hit when it's around the knees. As long as he doesn't rush, he should make decent progress. Besides, he's a helluva lot better than anyone else we had. Lannan - jury's still out in my mind, because he walks a tightrope with his stuff, and if he's mentally tough like he has been lately, and THROWING STRIKES, then he should be alright as long as his stuff has good movement, like his breaking stuff. But he has the ability to get pounded because he doesn't throw hard. Martis doesn't have as much movement as Lannan, and his fastball is about average, so he needs to locate and mix pitches probably more than anybody outside of Lannan.
Don't have an opinion on Stammen. His stuff isn't overwhelming, but maybe he's hungry enough to throw strikes and keep his pitch count down. Lot of ifs right now. But that's to be expected. I just don't understand why they had to go 13-30 to get all these guys up here. They knew what they had going into the season was garbage at the big league level. At least they should have known. Experiments are great, but not after this long, because it'll take another year or two to actually see if these guys can make it. Because they haven't made anything yet.

Posted by: Brue | May 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"It didn't need to be so ugly the last 2 plus years if they would have just spent some cash on the ML roster in addition to building the system."

You're saying then that you want meddlesome ownership, the Dan Snyder model. We've seen how that has played out, haven't we? Isn't having one team in this town that wins the offseason every year enough?

If you think the payrolls have been too small here, blame the baseball people (Kasten, Bowden, Rizzo) not the Lerners. The Lerners weren't vetoing Bowden's proposed FA signings like Marge Schott did. Aside from the Aaron Crow case, can you name one time where a proposed expenditure of money was vetoed by ownership? And even in the Crow situation, fingers have been pointed at Kasten for vetoing that, not the Lerners.

If you want to call the Lerners stupid owners, or poor judgers of FO talent, you might have a point. But the "Lerners are cheap" schtick is groundless.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

i can't believe the LAC theme is still running hard in here. i'm with nunof1 on this one.

i can think of too many reasons why what they are doing is right even if the results aren't reflected in wins yet.

don't forget how much other teams struggle with players we've let go. rauch, redding, livan, cordero, hill, etc, etc. it ain't easy. every team needs better pitching.

the nats carry much more respect than last year. and this team is fun to watch.

after three years of claiming zimmerman isn't a three hitter i'm glad to see i was wrong. very very wrong.

Posted by: longterm | May 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Brue:

Valid outlook on the starting staff - IMO, Lannan & JZimm are probably #2-3 SP's in the long run; JZimm has got the stuff, & seems to have the mental toughness to bounce back from a bad inning; Lannan has the mound presence & isn't intimidated easily - he's also left-handed.
Detwiler could be a solid #3, but the sample size is too small for a judgement. Martis is sneaky fast, but needs better command of the strike zone to move beyond a #4-5 SP rating. Stammen's future may be as a LR-MR type, but he's fine where he is for now. If Olsen can come back from the shoulder problem & regain a couple MPH on his 2-seamer, he's good as a back of the rotation guy, along with Martis.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Was Dunn's first day off against SF during Zimm's streak--the game that the streak ended? Man I hope not. Cause when I saw he wasn't playin that day I knew that was a bad Omen for Zim. Dunn never shoulda been outta the lineup until the the streak ended.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I also disagree with the Lerners are cheap chorus. The 09 Nats are victims of failed experiments and extremely bad luck.

1) Milledge at centre. Blame this one on Bowden and Manny. Disaster #1. It lost us 5 games.

2) Cabrera. Blame it on Bowden, OK, but how St. Claire and Rizzo let this one by, jeez, I don't know. Disaster #2. Olsen is forgivable. Cabrera is not --- another 5-8 games lost.

3) Disintegrated bullpen. Its been said again and again that St. Claire is a top-rated pitching coach. How is he at evaluating talent? Somebody missed the holes in the bullpen coming into the season. Disaster #3. 5-10 losses.

4) Bad bad p#ss-poor luck. Its simply not conceivable to have worse luck at the end of games than the Nats have had. 5-10 losses.

Sometimes, the tide goes way way way out before a good flood tide. I think that's what's happening with the Nats.

This is a .450-.475 team, with major improvement in store.

Let's have an 8 game streak now.

Posted by: nattydread1 | May 25, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@dovelevine: Yes, Zimm's streak did end the day AD got his day off. And, yes, it was a factor in ending the streak because d---wad Bruce Bochy intentionally walked Zimm in the seventh to get to Willingham, batting 4th that day.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Flores and Dukes starting rehab assignments?

With the starting rotation seemingly improved (big question marks on Detwiler and Stammen's ability to maintain this level of performance) and the bullpen perhaps finally having turned the corner (if Hanrahan and Biemel are truely back to form) this team could really take off when we have our full line-up back.

Honestly with daily line-up of Guzman, Johnson, Zim, Dunn, Dukes, Flores, Kearns/Willingham and Hernandez this team could make a June run on par with the 2005 clubs 27-7 record between Memorial Day and the All-Star break.

Posted by: estuartj | May 25, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Why was Dunn taken out of the game after his home run? For defense? Ronnie Belliard at first base is a defensive improvement? Ummmm....I don't think so."

No, it's basically defensive equivalency. But Anderson Hernandez for Ronnie Belliard at second is defensive improvement, and we saw the result of it in the ninth inning, didn't we? No way Belliard makes that catch.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 10:24 AM |
--------------------------------------

I agree with the Hernandez/Belliard analysis. So why wasn't Belliard lifted for Hernandez and Dunn left at 1b?

Posted by: raymitten | May 25, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Not sure anyone can accurately call the Lerners "cheap", but the failure to sign Crow, the failure to even chase free agents of any merit prior to this year, the fight with DC over rent for the park, understaffing of concessions, lousy promotion of the team in prior years, the legendary control freak stuff we hear about Ted having to Okay the requests for additional paper clips and such, etc. -- all that can cause the casual fan to think: "WTF, they made $40+ Million in 2008 and lost 102 games!? Spend some freaking cash on a real team!"

The chase of Tex was nice, but they were never gonna have to spend that money as it was pretty clear to them pretty early in that process that unless the Yanks somehow lost their checkbook, Tex was gonn be in the Bronx. Nice pub, but that is about it.

This year (through season's end and hot stove to 2010) is the make/break year. Will the Lerners go hard after proven talent to mix in with the decent base they have? We'll see who is or who is not cheap soon enough.

Posted by: dfh21 | May 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW it was also reported that Johnson was pulled after a so-called deal with the Saux for Delcarmen was in the final stages. But then nixed.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 25, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@dovelevine: Yes, Zimm's streak did end the day AD got his day off. And, yes, it was a factor in ending the streak because d---wad Bruce Bochy intentionally walked Zimm in the seventh to get to Willingham, batting 4th that day.Posted by: jdschulz50

Seriously how could Acta do that. You don't mess with anything during a streak like that. I mean during Mothers Day, when everyone was using pink bats, Zim was allowed to use his regular bat. How could you mess with the most important thing, his protection. That's mindboggling. Zim always felt comfortable during the steak knowing Dunn was in the on-deck circle. And then he looks over and sees Willingham and on top of that, they intentionally walk him because of it. Unreal of Acta.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 25, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"I mean during Mothers Day, when everyone was using pink bats, Zim was allowed to use his regular bat. "

It's the player's choice on whether they use those pink bats on Mother's Day. They're not forced to. So Zimmerman wasn't "allowed" to use his regular bat, he chose to use it.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I think this Nationals team is close to being a contender. The heart of our batting order (Johnson, Zimmerman, Dunn, Dukes, Flores) is definitely one of the best in the game, and our rotation is now entirely homegrown and under the age of 25. Even without the addition of Stephen Strasburg and the #10 pick, we still have a surplus of young arms in the minors (Balester, Smoker, McGeary, Willems, etc).

Posted by: GBroder17 | May 25, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

>Stammen's future may be as a LR-MR type, but he's fine where he is for now. If Olsen can come back from the shoulder problem & regain a couple MPH on his 2-seamer, he's good as a back of the rotation guy, along with Martis.

Yeah the thing with Olsen is that he has to build arm strength back, like when you have surgery, you have down time to let it heal, and then gradually work it back, but stronger, and that usually takes about a year. The tendons have to grab again after the repair, all the while you're abusing them while throwing. Thing is, when he's finally back, there won't be any room for him, because that's the timetable for the current batch, including the top few guys in the minors. Unless he gets a few public auditions specifically designed to draw trade interest this season. But like you say, he's got to get up over 90 if he really wants to be effective. The increased arm speed will also speed up the break~sharpness on his breaking pitches too.
It's like with Martis - it's a perfect example of not having a big enough sample - he can bump it up to 93-94, but only in spots. Let's say he focuses on getting some more push with his legs, and turns his fastballs into power pitches more often, as opposed to something he has to spot, it might be a whole new dynamic. Once you achieve the rpm/mph, we already know he can make people look stoopid with his changeup. And the thing with JZimm is that they're going to have to cool him off probably by September because he'll be way over his IP limit by then. There will be a point of critical mass where they start scrutinizing every start individually when the innings get high enough, and he can get shut down at any time. I normally wouldn't approach it like that, but his innings totals are so low over his career that you might actually do some damage because he's a hard thrower.

Posted by: Brue | May 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the Hernandez/Belliard analysis. So why wasn't Belliard lifted for Hernandez and Dunn left at 1b?

Posted by: raymitten | May 25, 2009 12:31 PM
-----------------------------
Laws of probability? Dunn had already made a couple of good scoop plays on throws from the IF, but has a .949FP at 1B; maybe Manny thought it better not to test his luck (Belliard has 'soft hands' and can make the basic catch & touch plays at 1B).

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Brue:

You may have answered yourself in that 'stream of conciousness' - Olsen will take a while to bounce back, and JZimm will probably need a shutdown at some point in Aug-Sept. Meanwhile, Stammen (hopefully) stays in the rotation, or bumps to the bullpen for a period when Olsen is ready to return.
Between Lannan & Martis, Detwiler, Olsen & Stammen could see the team through the season.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

An additional thought is to consider the possible return of M.Chico to the active roster late in the year. While the team FO still regards him as a SP, I personally think he'd make a damn-fine LR/MR, capable of getting once or more through a lineup with minimal damage.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

big curves eat up dunn. it was as fine a day as any other to sit him versus zito.

blaming manny for zimmerman not getting a hit one day is dumb. seriously. it was a hell of a streak. appreciate it for what it was.

load up on all the #2-3 starters you can. they can take turns having career years and we'll be contenders.

Posted by: longterm | May 25, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Chico has to build up the arm speed too. Seems like he started out alright, but just kept losing arm speed. I really liked his breaking stuff when his arm was relatively healthy. He had a three foot break on his slider, like Orosco. His velocity will probably steadily increase over time. It will be gradual, because he had major surgery, imo. Like you say, you can never have enough lefties. Ever. I'm sure that Chico can throw better than Jamie Walker, for instance.

Posted by: Brue | May 25, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

longterm:

My thoughts exactly, although I'd love for the team to have a bona-fide #1 already on-board. Strasburg might be the real deal from this years' draft, but I'd rather not see him in the #1SP role for WSH come April, 2010. Better for him & the team to have him at #3-4, if they sign him.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Brue:

Chico will never be a 'power' pitcher, but if he can regain a 90-mph 2-seamer, an effective off-speed pitch & still throw the slider for what look like strikes initially, he's the perfect candidate for spot starts / long-middle relief. Two innings (or more) an outing twice a week from the bullpen, or the occaisional 5-inning outing as a starter - if he can give the Nationals that, he's golden.

He's a tough little dude - I hope he comes back strong.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Nunof,

Do you really think that Kasten and Rizzo are going to throw the Lerner's under the bus and call them cheap? Not exactly a good way to have job security is it.

Tex was a PR thing. They knew there was no way they were going to get him. It fooled a lot of people at the time, including me.

Please, stop with the defense of them. Are they the worst owners in baseball? No. But in only 3 years they're already getting national attention for being not exactly great either.

If they sign Strasburg and the 10th pick and a couple of high quality FA's in the offseason to help the BP and other area's of need, I will admit that I was wrong.

But recent evidence (the last 3 years) is on my side of the debate here. Dunn is the only qualtiy FA they signed and they only did so because the bottom fell out of the market.

Do you really believe that if they went to Bowden/Rizzo/Kasten and said "make it happen" the check book is open up to say 100-125 million they would be signing Loduca, Mackowiak, Estrada and the like?

I'm not asking for them to the Yankees but, for crying out loud bring the payroll to at least the middle of the pack.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 25, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

blaming manny for zimmerman not getting a hit one day is dumb. seriously. it was a hell of a streak. appreciate it for what it was.Posted by: longterm

Sorry. Disagree. Players are the most superstitious of all. Everything has to be just the same during a streak. To make such a drastic change as to sit Dunn, Zimms protection and comfort zone, during the streak is absurd. As soon as I saw the starting lineups I made a comment before the game stating this was a real bad idea. And then on top of it, Bochy doesn't have any concerns about intentionally walking Zim.
Sorry I don't care if Dunn never had a hit off of Zito, he has to play, as well as Johnson, until the streak is over.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine:

Disagree - Fans are probably as, if not more superstitious than players. Sitting Dunn against Zito made good baseball sense at the time, regardless of individual streaks. What's done is done - get over it & move on, please.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

There was no need to sit Dunn that day - the following day was a day off travel day anyway, on a Thursday coming home. Manny takes the blame for that one, imho.

Posted by: DCguy7 | May 25, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"Please, stop with the defense of them. Are they the worst owners in baseball? No. But in only 3 years they're already getting national attention for being not exactly great either."

I'm not defending the Lerners against any other charge than being cheap. You could say they are not the smartest owners out there, you could say they are not the best owners out there, and I would not argue your point. But get off this "cheap" stuff. Payroll isn't everything. You think Stan Kasten was protecting his ownership, not throwing them under the bus, when he made his "you don't care about payroll" speech at NatsFest? I don't. As I said, the Lerners are not meddlesome owners. They're letting their baseball people call the shots, letting ther baseball people tell them when to spend money, not the other way around. The Lerners may be stupid owners, but they're at least smart enough to know that you can't buy a pennant. Can you buy a mediocre last place team, like Nats 2005-2006, if you spend a bit more money? Sure. But Kasten has decided he doesn't want to do that, and if the Lerners did want to do that, he talked them out of it. They are executing Kasten's plan the way Kasten laid it out at the beginning. Plain and simple. So please get away from this tiresome "Lerners are cheap" nonsense.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

nunof,

If payroll doesn't mean anything then take a look at the payroll standings for every year in this decade and see how at least 50% of each years playoff teams are in the top ten in payroll.

No you can't buy a championship or a playoff berth in the...NFL but you damn sure can in MLB. It is a proven fact, the payroll standings don't lie.

Again, I'm all for building up the minor league system, that part of "The Plan" is sound but, this go cheap on the ML payroll in the mean time, is complete crap. And the results we have the last 3 years stinks on ice.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 25, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

What's done is done - get over it & move on, please. Posted by: BinM

If you ask anyone now or at the end of the season what was the biggest thing you'll remember from this season or the biggest accomplishment of this season and it will be unanimously Zims hitting streak. And every time Zims hitting comes up, so does the discussion of Dunn hitting behind him and Johnson hitting before him. Every time.
To alter that and risk hurting one of the great streaks in all of baseball is mindblowing to me. And Acta just doesn't seem to get it. And he was as much responsible for Zim's hitting streak coming to an end as anyone. Sorry.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 25, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Another point I forgot to make is:

How is rushing guys to the Major's helping "The Plan?" Having a talented ML roster that has some place holders in the mean time while the youngsters can actually develop in the minor's at their own pace, I would think be better for execution of "The Plan."

Rushing a young pitcher to the ML level and having him get shelled and then sent back down can mess with some kids heads and they are never the same.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 25, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: bhyman1 | May 25, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Lineups are up.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 25, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"If payroll doesn't mean anything then take a look at the payroll standings for every year in this decade and see how at least 50% of each years playoff teams are in the top ten in payroll."

If 50% are in, that means 50% are not. Flip a coin and you're right 50% of the time too.

Look, you may think payroll matters, but obviously Stan Kasten doesn't. He's the one calling the shots here. So complain all you want about the Lerners being cheap, but as long as Stan Kasten isn't complaining about it you might as well get used to it. They're not cheap. Find a better and more nuanced argument for why the Nationals have done you wrong, please. The cheap stuff is incredibly tiresome.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 25, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

nunof,

50% is a helluva lot better than 0% don't you think.

You mean to tell me as a fan you wouldn't take a 50% shot at making the playoffs every year?

Right now and the previous 2 years we bascially had 0%.

Heck, I'm not even asking them to be in the top ten in payroll, I'm just asking for top half. I don't think that is to much to ask, after all this ain't Pittsburgh it is a top 8-10 market.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 25, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

nunof: "Just because the Lerners are not meddlesome owners doesn't mean they are cheap."

nunof: "Look, you may think payroll matters, but obviously Stan Kasten doesn't. He's the one calling the shots here. So complain all you want about the Lerners being cheap, but as long as Stan Kasten isn't complaining about it you might as well get used to it. They're not cheap. Find a better and more nuanced argument for why the Nationals have done you wrong, please. The cheap stuff is incredibly tiresome."

You're right that 1)an owner who doesn' meddle isn't necessarily cheap, and 2) Kasten and Rizzo aren't complaining.

That doesn't prove your point about the Lerners, however.

GMs and team presidents who want to keep their jobs don't complain much publicly about the rich folks they work for. Doesn't mean they don't secretly think they're cheap. Jim Bowden certainly thought that.

The Lerners don't spend a lot of money on the team by comparison with other owners. They're firmly in the middle.

They probably consider this good business management. Some fans consider it being cheap (with some justification, obviously).

Do you have any other evidence that would dispute the accusation, other than Kasten and Rizzo's silence?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 25, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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