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Friday Morning Reading

Here is Chico's final game story from last night, which appeared online only.

Everywhere they go, the Nats create turmoil! No wait, everywhere the Nats go, turmoil already exists. Oh well, close enough. The D-Backs have a new manager in time for tonight's game, and they've made some coaching changes as well.

Kirk Kenney writes about Strasburg's place in college baseball history.

This is the perfect time to mention again that Chico will be at tonight's Air Force-San Diego State game, which begins at 9 p.m. ET. Chico will blog from that and write something more on Strasburg for the Sunday paper. Freelancer Jack Magruder, who's written often for The Post, will cover the Nats-D-backs game tonight, so that means less blogging on the Nats and more on Strasburg. If I can stay awake long enough, I'll try to post lineups.

Come on, Bill Plaschke, tell us what you really think about Manny.

Oh, and here's Sally Jenkins and Tom Boswell on the Manny situation, in case you missed that.

The Boston Globe has Dom DiMaggio's obit. And here's a Dan Shaughnessy column from two years ago, when Dom DiMaggio turned 90.

Their team is having its best spring in ages, but Royals fans aren't able to listen to Paul Splittorff tell them about it. That's not right.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  May 8, 2009; 10:04 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Long, Crazy, Wild Win
Next: A New Year, A New Offense


Though I vote "no" in the "fire Manny Acta?" poll, Melvin would be a decent successor if a mid-season change were made. Further, there's the D-Backs connection with Rizzo...

Posted by: mvm2 | May 8, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

How Miltonian!

"Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell"


Everywhere they go, the Nats create turmoil! No wait, everywhere the Nats go, turmoil already exists. Oh well, close enough.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 8, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

grrr, all that typing and my post disappears. Let's try that again.

Thanks for all the reading, Tracee. If I can stay awake long enough (yeah, right), I'll read the lineups should you post them.

Will look forward to reading Chico's Strasburg piece. As a HOF guy once said, thanks for making this necessary.

I liked this kid's take on Man-Ram as well:,0,7296593.column

Hope that Splittoff gets better soon and is back in the booth. How cool is it that the Royals are in first place? (No offense to our fave Tigers fan.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 8, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Splittorff," I mean. Where's the coffee?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Man I love freakin baseball. My team stinks. One month into the season, they are already outta the race and way down in the cellar.
Yet I just watched a game last night until god knows what time this morning, one of the greatest games I've ever seen and rooted as hard as if it was the 7th game of the World Series. That was one epic beauty. What a game. What a win. Unreal!!! I Love Baseball!

Posted by: dovelevine | May 8, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

None taken! Truth be told, those are my two teams, probably in this order: 1. Tigers. 2. Royals. I grew up a Royals fan but it was tough not to fall for the Tigers of the Sparky era.

Those were some fun teams. They were game for anything we wanted to do with them. One time, our baseball section theme was "up the middle" or something like that, and we had Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell cradling a tiger cub (borrowed from the zoo). One year we put them bullpen in a pen with a live (and not too happy) bull. One year we had Sparky on the cover with live fireworks going off around him. He looks like he's smiling but he's really saying terrible, terrible things through clenched teeth because he thought his hair was going to catch fire.

Those were the days. I'd post those covers somewhere, but we were chiseling the news onto rocks in those days.

Posted by: traceeh | May 8, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Good find, 1a. While Plaschke's vitriol certainly resonates with me, Streeter's piece is the perfect tone for this occasion.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 8, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I hope "freelancer Jack McGruder" has an account to post to Nats Journal -- that should be part of the deal.

natsfan1a1: "Splittorff," I mean. Where's the coffee?

I think you just spit it all over your keyboard/monitor.

Posted by: tailwagger | May 8, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

natsfan, I had the same thing happen - put up a post and it was there for a while, then vanished.

Anyway, Chico, I see that Tyler Clippard is being used exclusively in middle relief in Syracuse. In 8 appearances, he's pitched 16-1/3 innings, ERA is 1.12, and WHIP is 0.979. I read that they're grooming him as a relief pitcher because in his history as a starter, he's effective the first time through the lineup, and then batters start teeing off on him the second time through.

So are the Nats thinking of bringing him up anytime soon? With Hanrahan apparently getting comfortable as a middle reliever, doesn't it make sense to have him and Clippard pitching the middle/setup innings, and give Beimel the job of closer?

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 8, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

May have to turn in my Nats fan card,went to bed at the end of the sixth woke up around two thirty to get a drink of water almost checked espn but didn't want to wake up the wife and went back to bed checked the wapo internet before i took my daughter to school and WHOA!!!! WE WON!! could not believe it, now, i stayed up the night before for the 10-3 loss but after JZ got shelled in the first last night i hung out until the sixth and decided ok lets get em in AZ, this team has talent and they've got some serious wood in the lineup,did i hear Carpenter correctly on last night's broadcast say that we are batting under .100 with RISP! man that's not good at all.Bob Melvin for Manny Acta Why? i'm no fan of Manny's but i'd rather see Tim Foli get a shot.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 8, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

So is Lannan jealous at Zimmermann for getting the run support while Lannan gets nothing?

Posted by: swang30 | May 8, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

From Ladson's gamer, on the fly ball that Dunn & Dukes misplayed:

"Dunn said that a fan in the stands called for the ball, and Dunn and Dukes thought the other called for the ball."

Ouch. Punk'd by a lala fan. That's gotta hurt.

Dunn definitely made up for it later, though -- I think his two-out, lefty vs. lefty, 2 run double in the 7th was the (offensive) turning point of the game.

Well, that and Manny's brilliant decision not to have Hernandez bunt in the eighth, with runners on 1st and 2nd and no one out, which lead to Hernandez's infield single and a huge inning.

Posted by: joebleux | May 8, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Lannan got a little support(barely) on Monday and at least finally got the win. Maybe the hex is wearing off.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 8, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Okay, this comment's for you, NatsNut:

HOLY #@$!$!!!!! We WON last night?!!

(It just crossed my mind to check what the final score was about 10 min ago and had a great time reading through all your comments from last night. I also had a great time calling my best friend--a Dodgers fan--and giving him the Nelson Muntz "HAH HAH!" I had a wicked headache last night and went to bed around 11. What a game to have missed!)

Posted by: JennX_ | May 8, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

First thing I thought when I read about Melvin getting fired was the Rizzo/AZ connection. If Manny doesn't get this team on a hot streak (winning 7 of 10, 15 of 20) Melvin might be here by June.

Posted by: ajtrue78 | May 8, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice Emilio "shooting star" Bonifacio's BA is down to .250? AH OTOH . . .

Posted by: slewis1 | May 8, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Glad that I didn't offend, Tracee. Great stories, and it would be fun to see the covers. Maybe somebody somewhere has scanned and posted them (you never know).

Yeah, and that's about the noise it would make tailwagger.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 8, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I have to say I'm not convinced Dibble is the sharpest color commentator out there. Did anyone notice last night that he criticized Zimmermann and the coaching staff for not throwing enough fastballs and blamed that for his first inning problems? So, what do we read in today's article? That Z-mann turned it around last throwing LESS fastballs! What's up with that?

Posted by: baltova1 | May 8, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Please, just stop it. Melvin for Manny. Gimme a break. There is an old saying, you don't know what you're missing til its gone. I don't care to miss Manny. Manny Acta would be snatched up by another team faster than you can say Melvin should he be jettisoned. I say, exercise the option and lock him up long term. Just stop it with the fire Manny BS. Someday he will win the manager of the year award and I want to be in DC.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 8, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Watching Anderson Hernandez: 10 games ago, he went 0 for 5 (1 for 17 over 4 games), and his average hit .176. He had had a hamstring injury, and he was rushed back (he had two errors in his first game return and he and the AG were both being flogged for their defensive play)?

Anyhow, his Licey numbers (leading off there BTW, which did not agree with him here) of >.350, with a plethora of doubles and triples are looking more like they point to him batting .280-.290 at this level? Hope so.

Sending down AG seemed to wake him up a bit. He just has looked more serious at the plate and in the field, if that makes any sense. Like a game face. Anyone else notice this?

He has 0 Ks his last 18 Abs. His last seven hits all singles, but five doubles in three games before his ‘singles stretch.’ How has he been around the bag? Nifty or no?

Posted by: nova_g_man | May 8, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

JennX: As spectactular as the game was, I had a heck of a headache after it... even though they won.

It is amazing how bad your head hurts after furrowing your brow for almost four hours.

Posted by: wigi | May 8, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm still Gonzo about the AG's arm. Anyone else yet in his camp?

“He is smooth moving to the ball with quick-burst abilities off the bat, and his arm is strong and true.”

"Any discussion of Alberto Gonzalez begins with defense. Alberto Gonzalez has one of the best infield arms in the minor leagues: a certified cannon.”

“Alberto Gonzalez is one of the top defensive shortstops in baseball.”

Posted by: nova_g_man | May 8, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

After drinking 2 large McD's iced coffees, I think I'm finally awake. Horrible game last night, then a great game, then horrible again and finally it ended great. Man, these guys are killing me!

Even without ManRam, I didn't think the Nats had any chance to win one in LA. Glad I'm wrong. Now, let's take at least 2 from AZ as I like our pitching matchups this weekend:

FRI: Martis (3-0) vs. Petit (0-2)
SAT: Lannan (1-3) vs. Davis (2-4)
SUN: Olsen (1-3) vs. Scherzer (0-3)

Davis has pitched really well so far this year, so I'm a little worried about tomorrow's game.

As for the San Fran series, I'm not too optimistic about the pitching matchups:

MON: Cabrera (0-3) vs. R. Johnson (2-3)
TUE: Zimmermann vs. (2-1) Cain (3-1)
WED: Martis (3-0) vs. Zito (0-2)

If Randy Johnson is erratic (as he has been about every other start), then Monday night's game has the potential to run around 4 hours. I'll probably take a nap before I watch that one.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 8, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Sending down AG seemed to wake him up a bit. He just has looked more serious at the plate and in the field, if that makes any sense. Like a game face. Anyone else notice this?

Seemed to wake up AH, i meant.

Posted by: nova_g_man | May 8, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Two sides of the same coin -- not enough fastballs in the first inning was bad, fewer fastballs in the next 5 innings good. But really, here is the reason both statements are true. Any pitch with good location and in proper sequence is a good pitch. And conversely any pitch thrown by Daniel Cabrera is likely a bad one. Z'nn it would appear is simply a good pitcher.

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 8, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Well said cokedispatch!! All I hear is what Manny does wrong, how about some credit when it works? The team stayed together last night and did not throw in the towel so there must be something he is doing right. How about pinch hitting Kearns? He was clutch and I am not a big Austin supporter but good decision.

Team Batting average .275 or 3rd in the NL.

We could realistically win both of the next 2 series and have an above .500 road trip.

Only 6 back

Go Nats, Go Manny!

Posted by: sec218 | May 8, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

RE: cokedispatch

I was one of the folks who mentioned the Melvin/Rizzo thing, and while I don't think we SHOULD fire Manny (at least not yet) it's inevitable that he'll be gone at some point if he isn't able to get these guys winning a few games by taking care of the basics - throwing strikes, playing the defense they're capable of (and yet NEVER seem to display) and getting consistent hitting with men on. At the end of the day, that falls on the manager, and if the players don't start showing it, he's gone.

Posted by: ajtrue78 | May 8, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Man, they should print that on a t-shirt and sell it to Nats fans. Post of the Day candidate.


It is amazing how bad your head hurts after furrowing your brow for almost four hours.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 8, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to my earlier comment
I don't believe anyone should be getting excess credit for NOT throwing in the towel and staying in games. That's a bare minimum requirement for a major league team. Production is what counts, and the Nats have been the worst team in baseball for most of the last three seasons - there's no denying that. It has to turn around, or he's gone. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: ajtrue78 | May 8, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Just want to add 2 things:

Guzman-haters: you like that all-glove flip on the ground ball up the middle to get the double play? AND he's hitting, what, .392? Yeah, yeah, he doesn't walk. What are you hitting?


thank you.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 8, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

mmm, iced coffee. Thanks, erocks. Now I'll be Jonesing all afternoon. FWIW re. pitching matchups, it can be helpful to see more than a hurlers W-L record before making projections, IMO.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 8, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

JennX, glad you liked the comments and the score this morning!

Gameday threads are always entertaining when you've missed the game, especially on roller coaster games like last night's.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

GUUZE! That is all.

Put that in your rostrum and smoke it. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 8, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The Nats won last night. Ergo, Acta was a great manager last night, right?

Posted by: fischy | May 8, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

At least we miss Lincecum in the SF series.

Posted by: slewis1 | May 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Good, because I'm really tired of seeing his commercial.

Also, new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 8, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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