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Five Wins, Five Questions

April is over. April is over. I suppose you can take that one of two ways -- either as a sign that the Nats can start fresh in a new month, or as a reminder that the Nats still have five months (141 games) remaining in this impossibly painful season.

In April, the Nationals lost 16 of their 21 games -- the latest coming last night, when their starter set the Washington (2005-current) record for wild pitches and their pitchers combined for 11 walks. Just how bad was this month? Well, for perspective, here are the month-by-month totals of the 2008 Nats...

March/April -- 11-17
May -- 13-16
June -- 9-18
July -- 5-19
August -- 14-15
September -- 7-17

In other words, the first month of the Nats' 2009 season was worse than any in '08 except for that dreadful July, when Manny Acta was "showcasing" malcontented veterans and fielding some of the worst lineups in baseball history. (Example, July 18: Willie Harris, CF; Paul Lo Duca, 1B; Cristian Guzman, SS; Austin Kearns, RF; Johnny Estrada, C; Ronnie Belliard, 2B; Kory Casto, 3B; Ryan Langerhans, LF, Tim Redding, P.)

That kind of team should get five wins in a month. This one should not.

So now seems like as good a time as any to ask a few questions that take the pulse of feelings here. (I'll answer the questions, too, by way of a comment post below.) We've got five of 'em. Have at it.

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?

By Chico Harlan  |  May 1, 2009; 9:10 AM ET
 
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Next: Friday's Mid-Day Reading

Comments

1. Jordan Zimmermann.
2. (tie) Manny Acta, Stan Kasten, Mark Lerner.
3. Sell the team to Mark Cuban and then stand out of the way.
4. The start of hockey season.
5. 62. That's probably wildly optimistic.

Posted by: Hendo1 | May 1, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. [Insert bullpen member here]
3. Just one?
4. August 15, 2009 11:59PM when the Nationals finally sign Strasburg
5. It was 68. I'll say 64 now.

Posted by: Brian_ | May 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

1.) I'll give it to the FotF. Zim for all start starter - he leads the team with 16 ribeyes and plays sicko defense.

2.) HANRAHAN. I excpected it, but jeez. Atrocious.

3.) Sign Pedro.

4.) Winning streaks, which will come even if they're short. Seeing the young kids play well, making a big trade at the deadline, actually getting to be in DC and Nats Park.

5.) Lets see... we can still win 146. Yup. 146.

Posted by: nattaboy | May 1, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

1. Adam Dunn
2. Saul Rivera -- it is beyond me why they sent Jason Bergmann back to Syracuse and kept Rivera.
3. Designate Daniel Cabrera for assignment, Option Mock and Rivera to Syracuse and recall Bergman (RP), Ron Villone (RP), and Marco Estrada (SP).
4. Seeing Jordan Zimmerman, John Lannan, Scott Olsen, and Shairon Martis continue to progress.
5. 51 wins.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | May 1, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman, his defense lifts him above Dunn and Guzman missed most of the month.

2. Joel Hanrahan, only because we knew what to expect from Cabrera coming in. *Is this fair to call him a dissapointment when we made him the closer based on a 9-game try-out?

3. Deal for a reliable closer.

4. Jordan Zimmermann's and Shairon Martis' development. Close second would be when/if Jason Maxwell actually gets a chance to start in the bigs.

5. 68-94

Posted by: BigTrain | May 1, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

Adam Dunn: his arrival has spurred Zim's offensive resurgence because now Zim gets better opportunities to hit with Dunn providing cover for him,

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

Joel Hanrahan: I hate to say it but, Joel is a great guy, but he might not have the attitude to close.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

Beimel = closer but unfortunately we have to wait until May 6th for that.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

Warmer weather and enjoying the remaining 16 games in my partial season ticket plan.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?

I believe I previously posted 79 wins, I think I now say 67.

Posted by: markfd | May 1, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

1. Dunn
2. Rivera - he was so steady now horrible.
3. Find a loophole to get Beimel back now
4. Seeing rotation of Lanan, Olsen, Martis, Zimmermann and Strasburg.
5. 70

Posted by: Avar | May 1, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

1. FotF. Z's 1/3 of the way to DiMag and now that the extension is behind him, he will just ball. HM: Donkey

2. Hanrahan. I actually thought he would be league average, and not a coward. HM: Saul

3. Sign Mike MacDougal ans Shawn Chacon for bullpen "inventory." Pick the best 6, give them a role, and use them consistently in the correct role.

4. Over .500 ball the rest of the way. (A current NL executive said to me that this is by far the best Nats team since they returned to DC. Yes, infinately better than the sainted '05 squad).

5. 76-86. 71-70 the rest of the way. (Feel free to mock me now, just show the love if I'm right.)

Posted by: WebberDC | May 1, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. The Bullpen, minus Joe Beimal
3. Tough one. I'd probably confirm Rizzo as full-time general manager, and give him full authority to run (or ruin) the team.
4. Steven Strasburg's Nationals debut.
5. 72. I'm an incurable optimist.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | May 1, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I second your win total Webber, good call.

Posted by: nattaboy | May 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman.
2. The Bullpen.
3. Fire Stan Kasten.
4. Watching a young rotation grow, which hopefully includes Strasburg by September.
5. I still say at least 70 wins.

Posted by: Section505203 | May 1, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

- MVP: Dunn. His patience and presence has lifted our lineup.
- Disappointment: has to be Milledge. During the off season he was our most tradeable asset, now he's a middling AAA player.
- Immediate Change: find a way to replace Olsen and Cabrera in the rotation, whether it be a callup or trade or late FA signing.
- Looking forward to: wrapping up the #1 pick in next year's draft by mid-august instead of the last weekend of the season.
- Revised win total: 62-65.

Posted by: tboss | May 1, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?
Ryan Zimmerman

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
For me to say Hanrahan must really mean that he has been attrocious, because I had no confidence in him to begin with.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?
a. Trade Willingham. His value keeps decreasing with each pinch-hit AB.
b. Edict that no reliever can be used on consecutive days.
c. Unscript the Presidents Race. Last night, my mom vehemently called it a bunch of garbage.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?
Watching Zimmermann and the offense, but I could honestly care less about the rest of the pitching staff.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?
63.

Posted by: dclifer | May 1, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP? Zimmermann

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
Cabrera

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?
Send Hanrahan to the minors, bring up Bergman for long relief

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?
Strasburg!

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?
71-91

Posted by: travisploeger | May 1, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

1. Adam Dunn, in a narrow edge over Zimmerman.
2. I’ll cheat a bit and lump together three players — Lastings Milledge, Joel Hanrahan and Saul Rivera. Let’s call them The Guarantees. These guys, with at least a little fanfare, were all “guaranteed” jobs by Manny Acta during the spring. Each, within a month, lost his role/job/and-or status as a big leaguer.
3. I’d yank Daniel Cabrera from the rotation. Immediately. Admit the mistake and cut ties. Among those I’d rather see in the rotation: Kip Wells, Collin Balester and Jason Bergmann.
4. Strasburg.
5. No change. I’ll stick with 68 or 69.

Posted by: chicoharlan | May 1, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

1. 5-16 teams don't have MVPs.
2. Dissapointed by Manny's: managerial abilities, his lack of enthusiasm, his unprepared teams, and his inability to right the ship.
3. Can I fire the Lerners? If not, I'd fire Manny. His comments in last nights presser. He had checked out. It's indisputable. Dead man walking.
4. Looking forward to... hard to be optimistic today.
5. Revised record - 59-103. 1 game worse than last year.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 1, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

1. Dunn. His presence in the #4 hole is the reason for Zim's good start.

2. Entire bullpen (save Beimel). I seriously don't know if dropping most of them and bringing up more from AAA will solve anything. Sometimes players need to work through their problems and need to know that they won't be treated like a yo-yo (sorry Bergmann).

3. Make a decision on who the GM will be. If it's going to be Rizzo, great. Make the announcement and let him do what he needs to do to get this team back on track. If it's going to be someone else, do it. Let them come in and fire or keep whomever they want. Just make a decision already.

4. Seeing JZim, Martis and possibly Stammen get some starts. Then hopefully sign Strasburg and put him in the bullpen for the rest of the season. This will give him some experience in the majors but will also limit the number of pitches on his arm so that he'll be raring to go next year.

5. I still say 75. I think they will figure out this bullpen mess and once they get a few wins strung together they are capable of playing around .500 ball the rest of the season.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 1, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

and while I would never want to watch another performance like Cabrera had last night ever again, he did keep this team in the game. As ugly as it was (and it was UGLY), he gave this team 6 innings and gave up 3 ER's, and left with the lead! Against the best team in baseball!

Still, I don't want him out there ever again.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 1, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

1. MVP: Zimmm by default
2. Biggest Disappointment: Milledge
3. Immediate change: DCab out - Stammen in
4. Looking forward: Strasburg, Stammen, Lannan, Zimmermann, and Martis (A 57 game hitting streak wouldn't be bad either.)
5. Revised win total: Stays at 69

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 1, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

MVP: Zimmerman (for the bat and the glove)

Disappointing: Bowden (this was the bullpen and rotation you were planning on going into the season with? Something could have been done in December or January)

Immediate Change: Cabrera's unconditional release, recall someone, anyone...

Looking forward: All the young pitchers (could be Zimmermann, Lannan, Strausburg, Martis, Baleaster and that's if we don't make a trade for pitching)

Record: I said 71 wins i'll stick with 71 wins.

Posted by: VT_NatsFan | May 1, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

1. None of the above -- though J. Zimm is a close second. Too early to tell.

2. Saul Rivera. What happened to this guy?

3. Fire Acta/St. Claire.

4. Daniel Cabrera being released.

5. 52 wins (maybe) it could be a little lower.

Posted by: randy_boyd | May 1, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@erocks - Regarding the GM, the problem with that it's highly unlikely that a replacement is available mid-season. The new GM (if not Rizzo) would most likely happen after the season when they (1) they are able to talk about a new job and (2) can bring in their own people. It's Rizzo for 2009.

Posted by: Brian_ | May 1, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

1. One of the Zimmerman's
2. Lannan
3. Owners being cheap
4. Not being able to Strasburg
5. 52

Posted by: LouMaryNick | May 1, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"The new GM (if not Rizzo) would most likely happen after the season when they (1) they are able to talk about a new job and (2) can bring in their own people. It's Rizzo for 2009."

For the same reason, it's Acta for 2009, so get used to it. If for whatever reason they fire Acta, with an interim GM the best they'll get to replace him is an Acta clone. No real manager is going to take the job mid-season working for an interim GM. Even Boswell seems to think that Acta is the real deal as a manager, who's just going through a rough spot right now. If the rough spot gets bad enough and you're forced to fire him, the best you'll get to replace him is someone like Acta who may or may not be the real deal. There are no guarantees. So if you're Kasten and Rizzo, you stick with Acta despite it all, and if you need to re-assess you do it after the season.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Correction to answer # 4 above, should read not being able to sign Strasburg due to owners being cheap

Posted by: LouMaryNick | May 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

1. Zimmerman (with a nod to Dunn for getting him better pitches to hit) - Every game he is smoking at least a couple of line drives

2. Milledge - He appears to have squandered his considerable athletic talents and guaranteed starting position with his poor attitude.

3. Release Cabrera. Put Wells in the starting rotation until Stammen/Balester is ready or Strasburg is signed

4.Strasburg

5. 72/73, down from 77.

Posted by: zav56 | May 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"1. One of the Zimmerman's"

Can we agree that the plural of Zimmerman/Zimmermann is ZimmerMEN? Or if it must be Zimmermans, can we please do it without an apostrophe? Geez, don't they teach the English language in schools any more?

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of DCab. I forget who wrote about his aiming the ball, rather than throwing the ball, but it is very apparent that this is a problem now, and will be a problem with his health in the future, unless changed. Watching him last night, HE DOES NOT FOLLOW THROUGH!

Posted by: dclifer | May 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

okay, so we have the worst bullpen ever assembled. i don't think it's a surprise.

but just imagine if we still had lenny harris!

Posted by: longterm | May 1, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

MVP: R. Zimm, and NOT by default. Hitting streak, a little more vocal. He seems to be maturing and is shining a little more. Dunn is falling flat to me, but LOVE his contagious plate patience.

Disappointment: Hanrahan. He wasn't even question mark for me this year and now look.

One change: same answer. axe Clint.

final 5 months? Strasburg

wins: 60

Posted by: NatsNut | May 1, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Great questions, Chico.

1. Zimmermann
2. Hanrahan
3. Promote Uncle Slam. Honestly, I'm not willing to overpay in a trade for bullpen help, and no other solution makes this team palatable. At least this option would get rid of that creepy new Screech.
4. Caps playoff hockey
5. 55

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 1, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Acta may have the manager's job for the rest of the season. And maybe Boswell likes him too.

But damned if I'm "going to get used to it."

Posted by: comish4lif | May 1, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it should be Zimmermenn?

-----

Can we agree that the plural of Zimmerman/Zimmermann is ZimmerMEN?

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 1, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

You, sir, are going to give me nightmares.

-----

okay, so we have the worst bullpen ever assembled. i don't think it's a surprise.

but just imagine if we still had lenny harris!

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 1, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

1. MVP: Dunn, followed by the Z's.
2. Milledge
3. Cabrera cut loose, Balester called up.
4. Lannan, Olsen, Zimmermann, Martis, Strasburg (though I have a feeling that won't be the order 1-5 for long ;))
5. 72

Posted by: AnonymousSources | May 1, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering, was it Bowden or Rizzo, the talent scout, or Kasden who wanted Cabrera. I mean I only watch the games, but Cabrera did pitch for the Os so it was pretty easy to see him pitch. And even the Os finally said enough. Anyone who watched this guy knew he stunk. Seriously who wanted this guy on the team. Did they even watch him pitch? This is what I'm talking about. It aint rocket science. THey can't even make normal baseball decision. Cabrera has been horrible for 5 years. Who is running this ship????

Posted by: dovelevine | May 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Guzman needs to stop tipping pitches to the opposing teams. sheeesh!

Posted by: dclifer | May 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

1. Beimel (every team needs at least one reliever)
2. Randy St. Claire (Its NOT his fault, but you can't just pick one reliever)
3. Replace Cabrera with Stammen
4. I like the New Castle, but they keep moving the beer selection around in the stadium.
5. 63

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 1, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

isn't it amazing how a few crappy pitchers ruin a perfectly good offense? i don't see how we fix these guys in season.

i thought our bullpen was going to have a soft landing. then i thought maybe they were in a recession. but the entire team looks depressed and expects worse to come.

can we actually hit our way out of this until a few guys back there settle down? probably not. we're a much better team but we will still have the worst record in the majors this year. this team is actually more watchable than last year's version.

next season we see a huge bounce.

Posted by: longterm | May 1, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I think the plural should be Zimmerman(n)s. But thanks for catching that apostrophe nonsense.

"1. One of the Zimmerman's"

"Can we agree that the plural of Zimmerman/Zimmermann is ZimmerMEN? Or if it must be Zimmermans, can we please do it without an apostrophe? Geez, don't they teach the English language in schools any more?"

Posted by: noahthek | May 1, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Sad thing is that Cabrera had one of the better performances from last night (6 innings, 3 runs).

Caught the beginning of the game on the radio on the way home from work.

Dave (in a bemused tone): I don't know that I've ever seen a first baseman field a pitch before.

I guess that was the foreshadowing that it was going to be a long night.

So my answer for (4) is: skipping MASN and listening to the games on radio more often.

Posted by: joebleux | May 1, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

3. Trade Guzman for solid relief pitcher, or a true lead off hitter while he has value.

Posted by: cabraman | May 1, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the grammar lesson

Posted by: LouMaryNick | May 1, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmermann
2. Manny Acta
3. Release Cabrera
4. Warmer weather and more $50 CF Lounge seats for $25 on Stubhub :)
5. 62-100 ... not '62 Mets territory but still very disappointing.

Love you, fellas, but DAMN.

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | May 1, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Just wondering, was it Bowden or Rizzo, the talent scout, or Kasden who wanted Cabrera."

Classic Bowden scrap heap reclamation project. Probably had to get Kasten to sign off on the expenditure, but maybe not. Kasten doesn't do player evaluations. Rizzo probably wasn't even involved. Maybe Bowden asked St. Claire beforehand if he thought he'd be able to straighten Cabrera out, but more likely he just assumed. And you know what they say about assuming stuff.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

1. Jordyan Zimmermen
2. Rivera. I'm still bitter over the beanball-beanball-Howard HR in the home opener. Inexcusable.
3. Tempting as it is to call for Uncle Slam's arrival or Clint's departure (get on a bus or under it, guy), since I only get one move I'll go with signing Pedro. Fills Cabrera's rotation slot, and *SELLS TICKETS**. They need to make this team exciting, not painful to watch. Pedro creates buzz.
4. Wednesday, June 10th (Strasburg's first start. :))
5. 63

Posted by: yatesc1 | May 1, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

joebleux;

I agree 1000 percent. The radio guys are so far ahead of Carpenter and Dribble it's almost laughable.

Posted by: randy_boyd | May 1, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Very unscientific research here:

* there have been 8 different games where the Nats have either been in the lead or tied headed into the 7th inning or later in which the final outcome have been losses.


Posted by: erocks33 | May 1, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Guzman is the LAST guy we need to get rid of. Seriously.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 1, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

1. Dunn
2. Milledge
3. Replace Kasten as President with someone who knows baseball and has previous GM experience (a la Schuerholz), and give him total control over baseball operations, including ability to pick the next GM.
4. Watching Jordan Zimmermann (and, hopefully, Strasburg), develop
5. 60

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 1, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

#1. Adam Dunn is MVP,#2 Bullpen #3 cut Cabrera(did you think he would change?)#4 Jordan,Martis,Stras,Olsen,Lannan. #5 70. The Lerners need to rid themselves of Stan the Plan and make a call on the status of Rizzo, is he in or out? but here's the problem Stan's got em between a rock and a hard place due to the Lerners inexperience that's why if i was Mark Lerner i'd call F.Robby and bring him on as a consultant and give the Plan his walking papers.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 1, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

You can't vote for team MVP a guy who can't run, field, or throw. Even Tiger Woods made a joke about Dunn when he was in town.

Posted by: paulkp | May 1, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Different question -- for Tracee:

RE: "Sugar" -- Does Jose Rijo have a future in acting?

Posted by: fischy | May 1, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?
Dunn - he is doing his best to lead and keep panic from setting in.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
Acta - He did not do his job this spring...he did not have open and fair competition for jobs. He picked starters for role without regard to performance and them bragged about how spring training does not matter. Examples of Shell, Milledge, Harahan, Saul R., Cabrera, Bard, all started in roles they did not earn at all this spring. Acta is a farce as a leader.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

Field - DFA Cabrera, Replace with Bergman
Manager - Fire Acta replace with Rigglemen, (I know it is not Acta's fault.....he lost the team, it is not coming back....wish it would but it is too late....he wants to got to the Mets...good for him.....just like so many others addition by subtraction....we need people who want to be here. Acta does not want the job so let him go.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

Strassberg for sure but I think this team is much more fun to watch than 2007 or 2008. With a new manager and some reworking of the roster...they will win plenty.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total

I think it is going to be a very strong finish with a push for 70 wins within reach. Just need to make the moves now....New Manager would do a good 50% of job.


Posted by: JayBeee | May 1, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

1. RZIMMERMAN

2. Manny Acta, Mike Rizzo, Stan Kasten

3. The Lerners buy Stan out, hire a permanent GM, show Manny Acta the door. Then take out a fullpage add in the WAPO apologizing to everyone that has ever bought a ticket and letting them know that the days of 4A baseball in DC are over.

4. The CAPS in the Stanley Cup finals and Redskins Mini-camp, OTA's and Training Camp.

5. 58 if they can string together more then a monthly winning streak of 5

Posted by: TippyCanoe | May 1, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Rivera. I'm still bitter over the beanball-beanball-Howard HR in the home opener. Inexcusable."

Does anyone know of why Cabrera would want to plunk Pujols. That pitch last night was just dangerous and stupid. I was a tad pleased when Pujols took him yard later in the AB, if only so the young Nats players could see howw it is done.

Posted by: dclifer | May 1, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Why would you ask if Cabrera wanted to plunk Pujols? Cabrera has a hard enough time plunking Flores' mitt.

What an awful and embarrassing pitching performance by Cabrera. I have no idea how he managed to allow only three runs. And he made it thru 6 innings and threw only 93 pitches - while walking 5 guys.

I would have preferred that Jimbo had signed real pitchers and not the reclamation projects that he was so fond of - but Cabrera is a reclamation project, making real pitcher money. Cabrera makes me miss Odalis Perez.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"Acta - He did not do his job this spring...he did not have open and fair competition for jobs. He picked starters for role without regard to performance and them bragged about how spring training does not matter. Examples of Shell, Milledge, Harahan, Saul R., Cabrera, Bard, all started in roles they did not earn at all this spring. Acta is a farce as a leader."

Let's assume for a minute that Acta DID have a fair and open competition for jobs in spring training. Except for Dukes over Milledge (which played itself out in the first week of the season) what difference would there be now? All those other guys who were supposedly guaranteed jobs in spring training and have failed to pan out, who would have beaten them out and be doing the job now? The same guys who are now stinking up the joint. So slamming Acta for not having a fair and open competition for jobs makes no sense at all. The fact is that Acta did base his choices on performance when he gave those guys the roles. He used last year's performance (or in the case of Rivera, the last couple of years' performance.) It's not Acta's fault that all these guys failed to produce as they had in the past.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

R. Zimm...

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

non really. it was obvious this team had no pitching, so what's to be disappointed about? the hitting has exceeded expectations.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

Get rid of whomever decided the pitching would be adequate. please.


4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

watching the nat's when they are at bat.

Posted by: stevie2 | May 1, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually excited about this team. Is it really a shock that Cabrera and the current bullpen put 15 on? Really? to answer Chico:

1) Ryan Z... no doubt. His defense is superb and he's hitting far better than I expected -- he's been a very slow starter in the past. Dunn and Johnson aren't far behind.

2) Hanrahan, Milledge.

3) Changes: give Cabrera the month of May to figure it out, than let Bergmann hold doen the 5 spot til Strasburg is ready. Also, cut Rivera and every other underperforming reliever. Bring up the kids in the minors who've shown any hint of fearlessness on the hill. Tell 'em "Throw strikes or you're gone".

4) Watching this team grow through the season. There really is a ton of potential here. ZNN, Lannan, Martis, and Olson look like a strong group in 2010. Just keep them focused on the future.

5) They won't lose 100 and they'll start surprising people by July. They play hard and are in every game. Once they get a bullpen that's not afraid of the strike zone, they'll reel off a few streaks.

Posted by: outsider6 | May 1, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow Nunof1.... that's two days in a row I've agreed with you. Scary...

But you're dead on... well said.

Posted by: outsider6 | May 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?
-Nick Johnson. He's been a spark for the offense, getting on base in front of ZimN, Dunn and Dukes, and he's been a bright spot in the field. I have nightmares about what this team would look like if they relied on putting Dunn at 1B full time...*shudder*

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
-The whole bullpen. No brainer.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?
-I don't even know where to start...

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?
-JZim's development and Strasberg (Please?!)

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?
-57

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | May 1, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Why would you ask if Cabrera wanted to plunk Pujols? Cabrera has a hard enough time plunking Flores' mitt."

Having a hard time throwing strikes is one thing, but throwing a foot behind Pujols' head is a separate matter. Hence the reason why I asked if anyone knew of a beef. DCab seems bone-headed enough to do such a thing or start crap for no reason.

Posted by: dclifer | May 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

Adam Dunn.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

Lastings Milledge

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

Cancel my season ticket order.

Oh, wait; I DID that after the 2008 season!!!

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

A summer without baseball.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?

64 wins

Posted by: mistermuleboy | May 1, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Acta caused the problem by not stress testing players in Spring Training....Saul, Hanrahan are a huge part of the problem and they did not have to prove they were ready for the season after the WBC. Error Acta, Cost Nats at least 5 wins so far. Players who proved they should play ......sat for most of the early part of the season......while players who did not prove they were ready for the season were given starting roles......Examples are many.....This killed the believe that Acta wanted to win and more importantly this lost the players...they know who is ready and who is not....they know when a Manager is playing favorites and is fooled by hype......Milledge over Dukes, Cabrara over Bergman, Lodezma over Anyone, Shell over Mock......Citron over Willingham for Pinch Hitter....Hanrahan over everyone else.....all these lead to loss after loss and Acta should be held responsible for his poor Spring Training Decision.

Posted by: JayBeee | May 1, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Get rid of whomever decided the pitching would be adequate. please."

That would be Bowden, and he's already gone. Although Thom Load-verro and his ilk refuse to just let him fade away into obscurity.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

1. Z'n/Z'nn tie

2. Hanrahan

3. Slash beer prices?

4. Jordan Zimmermann

5. 63 wins

Posted by: Kev29 | May 1, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

ABM,

Were you not the one who said Jimbo and Stan would be here for a long time and that all was functioning fine this past winter?

Posted by: JayBeee | May 1, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll play....

1. So far, who is the team MVP? When a team loses 16 of its first 21 games, there is no MVP.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment? Manny Acta for apparently not priming his team to get off to a least a mediocre start. Too many mental and physical errors to sustain continuity and the bullpen, YIKES!

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be? KI would ship out converted starters Hanrahan, Hinckley, Mock and Wells and search waivers and the minors for honest-to-goodness relief pitchers who can throw strikes.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months? The end of the season when the contracts of Kearns, Johnson, Da Meat Loaf, Belliard and Cabrera are off the books and the Nats go after some Major League tested pitchers - both starters and relievers.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total? I originally said 75 wins, but I'd be happy with 63-99.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Just remember folks...if it was left up to Mark Larner, the Ass-Clown on the Segway would still be helming this creaky ship of ours.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | May 1, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

1) Nick Johnson deserves a vote (ok, Zimmerman really)
2) Hanrahan (cabrera was expected)
3) Bring Stammen up for Cabrera
4) Zimmermann getting even better
5) 70

Posted by: curz | May 1, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

1. Zimmerman, HM Dunn

2. Bullpen (despite low expectations); HM, Milledge

3. Find a new closer, but I honestly don't know where I'd find one. HM: Convince MLB to shorten official games to 8 innings.

4. It getting better. It has to. It just has to. Doesn't it? Please tell me it does.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total? No comment.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Going back to last night's game -- anyone know who called the balk on Hanrahan (and was it a blatant balk)? I'm just curious if it was our old friend Angel Hernandez.

(I fast-forwarded in disgust after Flores dropped the ball to make it 7-4, so I didn't see the rest).

Posted by: joebleux | May 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Acta caused the problem by not stress testing players in Spring Training....Saul, Hanrahan are a huge part of the problem and they did not have to prove they were ready for the season after the WBC. Error Acta, Cost Nats at least 5 wins so far."

You might could make a case that maybe Acta should have forbidden Hanrahan and Rivera from playing in the WBC, but beyond that how did he not "stress test" them in spring training? There's no such thing as a save situation or even a setup situation in a game where all minor leaguers are playing after the fifth inning or so. You can't show that you can close a game that counts until you play a game that counts.

"Players who proved they should play ......sat for most of the early part of the season......while players who did not prove they were ready for the season were given starting roles"

Aside from the Milledge/Dukes thing that you've beaten to death already, where else did this occur? (And don't go saying Citron over Willingham as PH, since Willingham's pinch hitting has sucked almost as much as Citron's.)

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Chico, may I offer a question six?

6. Where's the bar?

Seriously, this season's going to ensure a cirrhotic liver.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 1, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It has to be gratifying for this ownership to have fans who cheer for them to save money and be frugal. This region probably has more understanding fans as a percentage of their fan base than any other, just judging from all the sympathetic posts over the years.

Nonetheless, the Nats have a tiny and shrinking fan base. The Nats have to get others interested, to be successful. The early years are the worst ones to be frugal, since now the Nats are not in the minds of sports fans in the region.

The Nats have been far too frugal. OK they have to pay off their debt in buying the club (they could write a check for the whole thing if they wanted). The free stadium has to help.

Here's what also helps. The Nats have signed ONE significant free agent under the Lerners. I didn't want aging veterans like Torii Hunter, Alphonso Soriano, or Orlando Hudson. But at some point you have to trade for some guys who make decent salaries. The Nats have NEVER done this under the Lerners. At some point you have to add some free agents. That way, you get quality players coveted by other teams. You can trade them for prospects. Or you turn them into high draft picks after their Nats' contracts are through. And the draft is the worst place to save money, with an over-reliance on slot guys that has to hurt.

The Nats are getting a little better. But they still spend like a small market team.

The fans urging frugality win all the arguments on these fan boards. Congratulations on that. However, the fans who would otherwise be speaking out don't bother. If you squint a little you can imagine them among the 25,000 empty seats.

Posted by: EdDC | May 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Acta's poor PH choices are indeed hurting the team. Willingham is wasting away and Alex C is what 0 for 15 now?

Posted by: JayBeee | May 1, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

7. By what date will Rob Dibble say something so wildly inappropriate that he has to apologize for it the next night?

I got May 12th.

Posted by: joebleux | May 1, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman for defense, for offense, for signing with a team that NEEDS that vote of confidence.
2. Shawn Hill. Sigh.
3. Serious investment in all third world talent sources.
4. Progress down on the farm, Espinoza, Desmond, Marrero,STRASBURG, etc.
5. I'm still sitting on 81. Bullpen has been horrible, offense a real improvement, and there is hope in the starting rotation.

Posted by: angusgoodson | May 1, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Right now, I think Dibble is more in danger of getting canned for being open and honest about the team and putting some blame on the Lerners. I think that's more likely than him saying something crazy.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 1, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Watching on replay this AM: The HP ump called the balk, and it was pretty clear. I imagine at least one other ump might have been just about to make the call, too, but I had gone to the john on my way home.

Posted by: paulkp | May 1, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

1) Adam Dunn
2) Joel Hanrahan.
3) Balester or Stammen getting a shot in the rotation in Cabrera's spot.
4) Watching Ryan Z. have an all-star caliber year and watching Jordan Z. compete for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
5) 65

Posted by: VaNat | May 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey nunof, where are your responses to Chico's questions? I'd truly be interested to read them and not just your critique of others'.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 1, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

1. Dunn, thats why Zimmerman and dukes are doing so well.

2. Hanrahan

3. Sign Pedro to close, his arm cant handle starting

4. Watching Zimmerman have a better season than David Wright

5. 70 wins

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | May 1, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

JayBee,

15 walks last night... how many blown saves thus far? After a rough 2 trips through the rotation the starters (DCab excluded) have been pretty strong. They're hitting well and scoring runs... But Manny's PH choices are the culprit for a 5-16 record?

C'mon.... to paraphrase Bill Clinton circa 1992: It's the bullpen stupid!

Posted by: outsider6 | May 1, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?
Dunn - getting on base almost half the time. I'll take it.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
Saul Rivera - from dependable to terrible.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?
Have MLB.TV not black out the games more than 300 miles away (so I could watch them lose)! Or fire Manny and watch them win an extra 5+ games this season.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?
Strasburg and a good (quick) signing at #10.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?
62

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

Thanks, paulkp. I know Hernandez wasn't behind the plate, so that answers that.

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

1) There's a lot of valuable players, hard to pick a most: Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, Jordan Zimmermann. A lot of bright spots getting obscured.
2) Biggest disappointments: Hanrahan and Milledge.
3) To do: Cabrera is cut or sent down, replaced by Bergmann; I would replace the all the relievers as soon as feasible--they have had their chances to throw strikes and failed. I'd consider firing Manny too (I'd be looking around now for a replacement who is a disciplinarian and fundamentals-oriented and high-energy guy).
4) I am looking forward to (being an optimist here) either Manny pulling it out or his replacment putting the team on a positive footing.
5) 50 wins, 112 losses

Posted by: jdsp2000 | May 1, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

#1: 4/16, 8-2 v. Phil. Dunn: 3-run HR
#2: 4/20, 3-2 v. Atl. ZNN: 6 IP, 2R; Flores singles in Dukes.
#3: 4/21, 4-3 v. Atl. Dunn: 3-run HR.
#4: 4/26, 8-1 v. Mets ZNN: 5-1/3, 1R; Flores HR, 3 RBI
#5: 4/29, 4-1 v. Phil. Hernandez 3 for 4, 2 RBI, 1R

but honestly, I'm inclined to agree with commish. yeah, they'd probably be 3-18 without Dunn, but so what?

Posted by: CEvansJr | May 1, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

1. MVP: Dunn...he's had an impact and has protected Zimmerman, helping him.
2. Disappointment: Bulllpen. Everyone expected them to be por but not his poor.
3. One change? Unclog the logjam at OF. Willingham and/or Kearns can go.
4. Seeing some young guys like Maxwell and Balester come up and make a difference. That was the fun part of following the Expos, you always had young guys with potential coming up and doing well.
5. 67 down from 75

Posted by: derwink | May 1, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

biggest disappointment: Kasten.
Bowden should have been gone a long time ago, and now it's going to cost them Manny, too, for waiting so long.

Posted by: CEvansJr | May 1, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

1. Zimmerman(n)
2. The Bullpen
3. Fire Acta, I know 3000 fans who could do a better job
4. Heckling my own team. I pay my $5 dollars and have a right to be angry.
5. 42 - They will actually be on pace to win 52 but will forfeit some at the end to honor Jackie Robinson.

Posted by: vo_37 | May 1, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

1. R Zim (might very well be a tie w/j zim if he had been 4th starter and made all his appearances)
2. hanrahan/rivera
3. trade kearns or ham for relief pitching
4. zim getting the gold glove
5. 68

Posted by: bford1kb | May 1, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

One thing, first thing -- sorry, Manny. Not your fault. Give our best to Schnieder, Church, and Livo for us.

Posted by: CEvansJr | May 1, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

looking forward to summer in DC, with baseball teams, REAL LIVE baseball teams, coming here to play.

Posted by: CEvansJr | May 1, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?
Nick Johnson. Plays hard on offense and defense and produces at both.
2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
Joel Hanrahan. I can forgive breakdowns in confidence or mechanics (Rivera?) but only Joel--maybe Cabrera--proves he doesn't THINK on the mound.
3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?
Hire John Lannan's sport psychologist for the entire team.
4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?
Buying a $10 seat and moving down to the vacant seats behind the dugout for the games I bother to show up for.
5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?
63. Or 55 if they trade Johnson or Guzman for prospects at midseason.

Posted by: mlantry | May 1, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Since you asked:

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

Lastings Milledge, because he single-handedly generated more fan unity than anyone else in the history of Washington baseball.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

Jim Bowden. He promised a whole season's worth of entertainment and bailed before the team even made it north. Who will pray for Jesus's buttocks and his family now?

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

Turn the Presidents Race into a real race instead of the farce it is now. And make it a hurdle race over the supine bodies of Clint, Screech, the Geico gecko and that usher who does the dugout dance to Sweet Caroline. That way all of them would be bound to take a foot or two into the sack at least once a night.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

Certainly not having to try to make sense of JayBeee's tortured grammar and syntax before I can even think of trying to come up with a reasoned counter-argument to whatever his rant of the day happens to be.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?

I predict that the Nats won't ever have to revise their win total. Once a Curly W goes into the books, it counts. No revisions allowed.

There. Now I bet you wish you hadn't asked.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey nunof, where are your responses to Chico's questions? I'd truly be interested to read them and not just your critique of others'.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 1, 2009 12:59 PM
______________________________________________________________

I agree. I would like to see what the all-knowing ABM has to say.

What say you?

Posted by: Section505203 | May 1, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I can't see 65 wins on the remaining schedule.
They will either continue to implode, and actually be historically bad this year, esp. if people keep getting hurt, or they'll find a bullpen, and a clubhouse voice, and get semi-watchable. but I doubt it. Let's say they double their current pace for the next five months -- that's 55-107. Ouch.

Posted by: CEvansJr | May 1, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

1. The fans – for showing up despite little hope.
2. Cabrera – we need him to throw strikes over 90 MPH – like he’s paid to do.
3. Open the Lerner’s vault – go get a SP that scares opponents.
4. Signing Strasburg – is he really like knowing you’re drafting Roger Clemens?
5. 60 – as long as Dunn or Zimmerman don’t go down. Otherwise, it’s the MLB loss record.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 1, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, I think nunof1's answers made as much sense as anyone else's. There's no rational answer to this.

Posted by: CEvansJr | May 1, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't going to play - the thought of it brings me to the verge of tears... but, what the heck, it's Friday, I'll go home early...

MVP: Dunn. Take out Dunn, all of the batting goes to pieces.

Disappointment: Lack of team discipline. How can you make as big an improvement in offensive talent (and starting pitching) and still get the same results? ERRORS are the number one problem, followed closely by the bullpen.

Change: a spring-training-like emphasis on fundamentals. IF practice, baserunning (are you listening, Elijah?). Honorable mention: find bullpen pitchers that want the ball... the ones we have treat it like it has cooties.

Thing I am looking forward to: Finding out if the keel has ballast (an obscure nautical reference to whether or not the Nats ship is capsizing or not).

Final record: 5-16. This season is probably over already. OK... 70... but with a bullpen, they could've won 80.

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

"April is over. April is over. I suppose you can take that one of two ways -- either as a sign that the Nats can start fresh in a new month, or as a reminder that the Nats still have five months (141 games) remaining in this impossibly painful season. "

I take it to mean that the time for excuses and saying "It's only April" is over. We're rapidly approaching a statistically significant sample size and this team is performing worse than last year. So what are Acta, Rizzo, and Kasten going to do about it? The fans deserve some answers.

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

1. So far, who is the team MVP? Tracee.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment? Acta hasn't joined the unemployment ranks. But it's early.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be? Make Clint Sarah Palin's running mate in 2012 so he would be off the premises.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months? Beer.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total? I picked 57. I just hope my Kentucky Derby pick is as prescient.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 1, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

Ryan Zimmerman, w/ Dunn second.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

Millege, this was supposed to be the year he became a tested MLB player. Hard to be "appointed" about a bullpen that was glaringly bad to start with.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?

Trade any one or two of Kearns, Willingham and/or Milledge for a reliable relief pitcher. And cut Cabrera while you're at it.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

Watching Ryan and Elijah and Dunn score some runs. And watching the battle royale over trying to sign Strasburg.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?

63 (from 77).

Posted by: OutsideTheLaw | May 1, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"baserunning (are you listening, Elijah?"

It would be nice if he just stopped getting picked off, but he also needs to learn to run full to second when he does get picked.

You're not going to get out of a rundown, but once in a while, especially with E.D.'s speed, you can beat the throw to second.

Posted by: joebleux | May 1, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Rob Dibble is cool with me i like someone who's not playing company man and he played the game,HELLO!!! What's not to like? sure he'll probably say something that will rub the Lerners the wrong way but they ought to be able to take constructive criticism,especially about this team hell he might even give Carpenter a new lease on life.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 1, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

If the Nationals swapped their bull pen with the Potomac Nationals one night, would anyone notice?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 1, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How come no one gives Manny Acta credit for his outstanding prediction? He said they wouldn't go 0-for-April. And they didn't. Five big wins. Not even close!

Posted by: nunof1 | May 1, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?
Ryan Zimmerman. That contract is starting to look pretty good.

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?
Milledge.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be?
Lower beer prices. I'm serious. I'm not sure there's an on the field move that will immediately improve the team, so try to build some good will while you wait for the team's fortunes to turn.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?
Signing Strasburg.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?
You know what, heck with that. I said 75, I'm sticking with 75. They're not as bad as they looked in April.

Posted by: Section220 | May 1, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

1. MVP to date: Ryan Zimmerman
2. Biggest disappointment to date: Joel Hanrahan
3. Immediate change: If only it were that easy -- can't fix the bullpen in one step
4. Looking forward to: Seeing Jordan Zimmermann (and Stephen Strasburg) pitch
5. Predicted record: 62-100

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 1, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

After listening to Rob Dibble the other night telling it like it is with "Nationals pitchers scared to throw strikes," I am now a fan.

The Nationals have unleashed talent and owner's with deep pockets - they just need to utilize both.

Half-price beer night would get me on the metro despite Biden's warning.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Eh, rationality is overrated. Jerk those knees!

-----

I dunno, I think nunof1's answers made as much sense as anyone else's. There's no rational answer to this.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 1, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

1. MVP? Ryan Z.

2. Disappointment? Relief pitching in general, Joel H. in particular.

3. Immediate change? Sign Pedro M., if only for the sake of the fans who've already bought tickets.

4. Looking forward to? Getting back to the U.S. to see a game, preferably with Jordan Z. or Pedro M. pitching.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total? Under 70.

Posted by: eddinska1 | May 1, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

That's my nod for Post of the Day.

-----

1. So far, who is the team MVP? Tracee.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 1, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

1) Nick Johnson because he gets on base and hits and fields
2) Hanrahan and Acta
3)Fielding practice
4)Watching Jordan Zimmermann pitch, the reappearance of Justin Maxwell, and the team getting in synch.
5) 81 wins, wishful thinking

Posted by: roseglasses | May 1, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

1.Ryan Zimmerman

2. Lastings Milledge

3. Pitching staff

4. Seeing Stephen Strasburgh

5. 50-112

Posted by: arcassells | May 1, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP? Ryan Zimmerman

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment? I would say Lastings Milledge, but his ineptness is no surprise. Overall my choice would be the lack of playing time given to Josh Willingham.

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere in the organization -- what would it be? Either fire Manny Acta or bring back Brian Schneider and see if the pitching would improve with an experience catcher who knows how to handle pitchers.

4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months? Four and half months without Manny, and all five months without Lastings Milledge.

5. What is your predicted (revised) win total? I stick w/ 75 wins, the same prediction as I had in March. I think the team will get better as the year goes by.

Posted by: raymitten | May 1, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

1. Zimmerman, despite hitting into all those doubleplays.
2. Kearns 225 BA. ((Cabrera was expected to be terrible, so how can he be called a disappointment. We already knew that..))
3. Get rid of Rob Carpenter as soon as possible; bring back Mel Proctor
4. Play all those young guys now; sign Strasburg immediately
5. Without change: 65

Posted by: JimG4 | May 1, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. Josh Willingham, for lack of playing time more so than for performance
2a. Slow development of recent draft picks
2b. I FORGOT about Lastings!
3. Get rid of Citron in favor of anyone else
4. The draft, and two first round picks getting SIGNED
5. 61

Posted by: TheMacc | May 1, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I like Dibble but his comments that "this team can win 10, 15 games in a row" makes me question his sanity

Posted by: TheMacc | May 1, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

1. So far, who is the team MVP?

Adam Dunn

2. So far, who is the biggest disappointment?

Josh Willingham

3. If you could make just one immediate change -- on the field, in the manager's office, anywhere
in the organization -- what would it be?

I would add Strausberg to the rotation as soon as I signed him.


4. What are you most looking forward to during the season's final five months?

Great weather at the stadium.


5. What is your predicted (revised) win total?

69

Posted by: 6thandD | May 1, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

MVP: Zimmerman
Biggest disappointment: Hanrahan
One move: Fire Acta, just to show fans -- and players -- that this kind of record isn't acceptable
Looking forward to: Not being worse than the '62 Mets
Record: 53-109, unless we pick up a decent starter and another bullpen guy.

Posted by: nats24 | May 1, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well . . .

1) Ryan Zimmerman is playing well enough that we can no longer call him FotF because the FotF must reflect the franchise. The best reflection of the franchise is . . .

2) Lastings Milledge, who just so undershot his talent that he perfectly reflects this collection.

3) The one immediate change I would make is to scour the Mexican League for the next Joakim Soria.

4) What am I most looking forward to? June 23 -25, and finally having some fans to cheer with.

5) 72. I'm backing off 5 wins.

By the way, for all the grief one JayBeee gets, he has one of the more optimistic predictions. He isn't a hater, he just hates bad baseball.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 1, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

1. Zim or Dunn.

2. Everyone in the Pen except Joe and Jason. Joe has been lights out and The Bergmann has gotten a raw deal

3. Just one, I would say get rid of manny since he doesn't seem to do anything that changes what the players do.

4. Hopefully getting free tickets from corporations my friends work for since I dont want to pay for games now.

5. 62 wins thats down from about 70.

Posted by: hoyaboyd | May 1, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

1. Ryan Zimmerman - with Dunn and Guzman getting a mention

2. I really thought Milledge would be ok - never had confidence in Hanrahan but the entire bullpen has been a huge disappointment

3. Move Cabrera to the pb and bring up another youngster (Ballestar or Stamen)

4. I am looking forward to this team clicking at some time soon - will hope our pitching settles down and will enjoy the offense - I am an old guy who is just happy we have baseball in DC
again

5. I think we can win 70 games (down from my 75-78 earlier)

Posted by: sjm3091 | May 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Any day now Act gone, Rizzo gone, possibly Kasten gone.

Posted by: periculum | May 1, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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