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In The Aftermath Of A Loss, Two Questions

By the time Ross Detwiler and Joel Hanrahan were finished with their respective workdays last evening, the Nats' chances were basically finished, too. Detwiler (5+ IP, 9 H, 5 ER) couldn't keep his pitches down in the zone. Hanrahan (1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER) couldn't do much of anything. In large part because of those two pitching performances, the Nats came away with an ugly loss. More to the point of this blog post, they also came away with two prodding questions about how, in the upcoming days, to handle their pitching staff.

QUESTION 1: When Scott Olsen is ready to return from the DL early next week, do the Nationals return Detwiler or Craig Stammen to the minors?

QUESTION 2: What on earth do the Nationals do with Joel Hanrahan, so long as his struggles render him borderline-unusable?

Regarding the first question: Before yesterday's start, I would have suggested that Stammen, not Detwiler, should be sent to Class AAA Syracuse once Olsen returns. Detwiler's latest start didn't quite reverse that opinion -- there's no reason to make a decision so reactively -- but the outing served as a reminder of what the 23-year-old still lacks. Remember, Detwiler has never even pitched in Class AAA; he came straight up from Class AA Harrisburg, and at the time, acting GM Mike Rizzo stated a preference that his lefty first-round pick could eventually get about 10 starts with the Chiefs. In his eight starts with the Nats, Detwiler, like Stammen, has shown flashes -- particurly on nights when he's cranking strikes, keeping it low and working fast. (That six-inning one-hitter against Baltimore on May 23 comes to mind.) But Detwiler, in his last six starts, has given up 46 hits in 33-2/3 innings.

The Stammen-Detwiler question is a tough call. Detwiler has a slight edge in ERA (5.24 against 5.49); Stammen has a slight edge in WHIP (1.30 against 1.44). Detwiler has allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of eight starts. Stammen has allowed two or fewer earned runs in two of seven starts. Stammen, 25, is older. Detwiler has better pure stuff.

So the question is...

Now, regarding the second question: Even Manny Acta himself now realizes that Hanrahan cannot be counted upon in close situations. Or even semi-close situations. After last night's loss, the manager said that Hanrahan would have to pitch exclusively when the Nats were already trailing -- presumably by a lot. And they play lots of close games. Hanrahan has a 7.71 ERA this year. His last three appearances have produced, total, 2-1/3 innings, 8 ER, and a 30.86 ERA.

That's the picture of a pitcher who doesn't belong on the roster. There is, of course, one caveat -- and it complicates the decision-making with Hanrahan. This season is already lost. Hanrahan, despite providing vast evidence to the contrary, still has the potential to be a future piece in the bullpen. And it's not like the Nats are flush with relievers under 30. More to the point, Hanrahan is out of options. The day the Nats decide Hanrahan can't stick with them in the big leagues, they probably lose him for good. So you're balancing the short-term cost of sticking with Hanrahan against the long-term hope (and maybe it's just a slight fingers-crossed hope) that Hanrahan can somehow revive his career.

So the question is...

By Chico Harlan  |  June 27, 2009; 7:57 AM ET
 
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Next: A Few Small Notes From Camden

Comments

Stammen is older, has experience at AAA, and Detwiler figures to be a bigger part of the long term future. Protect Detwiler; send him down.

Time to cut bait on Hanrahan. I'd rather send him down the DFA him outright but that's possible. Being out of options is not his fault but his horrifying performance is.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 27, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather send him down THAN DFA him outright but that's NOT possible.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 27, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what anyone sees in Hanrahan. HE can throw hard. THat's it. H's wild in the strike zone and his fastball doesn't move enough.

IF we DFA him, and someone claims him, maybe we can get something for him.

Posted by: comish4lif | June 27, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

One 11-to-1 game means nothing. And what pitchers are changed around at this point also is insignificant.

Let's look at facts. The Nats are clearly on track to build a winning team. Fact: if the Nats were not on track to build a winning team, there is no way--no way--Rizzo would have drafted lower-rated pitchers that he could sign for under-slot at #10 overall in the first round and at the top of the third round in the draft earlier this month. The fact that the Nats were able to do so is the clearest indication you can possibly get that the Nats are ahead of schedule in their team-building. Moreover, the Nats were able to pass up the College Pitcher of the Year in last June's draft for the same reason. The did not need to sign the guy, clear and simple. What on earth would you do with him, given the existing pitching talent already being stockpiled, train him for long relief or something?

Posters on this site have cited the Nats' surplus of pitchers. The next step is position players. The Nats will get there. You just have to relax and have patience.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

reposting....

I am not and never will be a fan of the AngelO's. They were forced down our throats for more than 30 years before the Nats came south of the border. But there is one thing I admire about the organization. They're not afraid to make hard choices and stand by their decisions. This is illustrated in the tale of two pitchers - Daniel Cabrera for the Nats and Adam Eaton for the O's. When O's management decided they had enough of Eaton stinking up their rotation he was banged out of Baltimore no ifs, ands or buts. After Cabrera dropped to 0-5 with no hope of showing even minimal competency the Nats hemmed and hawed and dawdled even moving him to the bullpen before finally realizing what most of their fans already knew - that the guy was a waste of money and a roster space. In a roundabout way that brings me to question why Gas Canrahan is still on the roster? He can't start, he can't close and he can't pitch middle relief with runners on base. Like I said last night, it's like the Nats are afraid if they DFA the guy he'll one day figure it out and be for another team the pitcher that the Nats hoped for. God bless Hanrahan if he goes somewhere else and figures out that he needs to stop throwing that "hit me, please" slider and he become successful. Right now, like Cabrera, he's taking up a roster space and there is no immediate indication that he can help this team become even moderately successful. I know Rizzo still has "interim" affixed to his title but he's got to be willing to make the hard decisions about this roster and not look back.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 27, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 27, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

>Moreover, the Nats were able to pass up the College Pitcher of the Year in last June's draft for the same reason. The did not need to sign the guy, clear and simple. What on earth would you do with him, given the existing pitching talent already being stockpiled, train him for long relief or something?

Since you're hip to the Nats plan, I thought you would know the answer to that. They 'stockpile' pitching so they can trade them for hitters. This is because they have none in their minor league system. They don't have a single homegrown hitter that's within two years of the big leagues at a minimum. The AAA roster is a roadmap for failed veterans. There are only a few guys in the entire system that are even hitting .300. I know, I looked it up - there's less than a handful of them. And one of them is Ian Desmond. Ever wonder why it looks like our lineup is dogging it sometimes? That's because they know there's no one that can be brought up to replace them. Ever wonder why Kearns is still here? Ever wonder why Hanrahan is still here? Ultimately it's because there's no one to replace them. 21-50? No team is that bad unless there are fundamental flaws in your organization.

Posted by: Brue | June 27, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"What on earth would you do with him, given the existing pitching talent already being stockpiled, train him for long relief or something?"

Well you can never have enough talent. Worst case having the 09 Royals draft pick in this org means guys like Stammen or Martis can be traded for position prospects or player.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 27, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

this organization is plagued by the "two i's," indecision and inertia. it takes the nats too long to decide what to do with players like gascanrahan and then they play it safe rather than being decisive. speaking of indecision and inertia, how's the "search" for a new permanent gm going? rizzo probably can't take any bold steps because he doesn't have the full-time job. the lerners and stan k need to get off the dime before they lose all of their remaining fan base. right now, the emperor has no clothes.

Posted by: surly_w | June 27, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

It looks to me like Joel has anxiety disorder, like Dontrell Willis in Detroit. Put him on injured reserve and work on him.

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"It's very frustrating," Hanrahan said. "I know I'm better than this."

-----------------
No you're not.

Seriously, how many more chances does this guy get? How many more free passes does he get? Everytime he doesn't get the job done, he gets another shot the following game. I thought Manny said everyone in the bullpen is accountable and that if they don't get the job done they will be moved, why is Hanrahan an exeption? Why does Manny keep putting him out there in critical situations in ballgames? We've all seen it, he's never gotten the job done. It's insanity.

I am DYING for Redskins training camp and preseason games! (So I don't have to pay attention to this crap anymore.) 21-50? WHAT A JOKE! The second worst record isn't even CLOSE.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

flynnie2

the anxiety builds up in the fans everytime gascanrahan is waived in from the bullpen.

Posted by: surly_w | June 27, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

There's no borderline about it. Hanrahan is unusable. He must have compromising photos of someone or the organization is simply run by insane people, or both.

Posted by: SSB1 | June 27, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I'll repost this

"It's very frustrating," Hanrahan said. "I know I'm better than this."

I know he may be better but we have not seen it from him in very long time. I would also add I wish he would work out of it but he looks so lost when he pitches. At times he reminds he of Albert Brooks in Broadcast News when filling in on the weekend anchor role. All flop sweat and deer eyes.

The question is does his continuing on the roster hurt more (on a team with a lot of hurt) then the potential he posses if his talent were to be revived.

And of course how long do you wait for a bus to a land you have only heard about in myth and song?

Posted by: CBinDC | June 27, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

hanrahan is broken, It is best for him and the nats if they part ways. He needs to go back to the minors and relearn how to pitch.

Posted by: Tom8 | June 27, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

last offseason, i wasn't so sure boswell was right that they had to go after randy wolf or derek lowe, neither of whom are top ace material. but it would be nice to have one veteran (even groundball inducing) innings eater. these kids, for the most part, need to be in the minors a bit longer.

hanrahan, i voted 'dfa' but really, given the lost season, i think you keep him a bit longer, see if he can come around (putting him in down 9-1 or whatever it was is fine). we've seen their other options. and, tyler clippard, despite many calling for him to come up, is apparently not the salvation of the bullpen. need to spend a lot next offseason. look at the mets, went after santana then their bullpen was a disaster, next year they went and got k-rod and putz, etc.

there's a lot of puzzle pieces that aren't here (or in the system)!!!

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

cabrera and olsen I put in this jimbo category - low risk (money wise), possibly one might pay off. olsen has stretches where he's pretty darn good. but inconsistent, and not improving over time. still was worth the risk for a possible lefty starter.

and yes, keeping your salary overhead low is a key thing, if a top FA becomes available one year and all your overhead is tied up in existing contracts, you will miss out. the league is replete with examples of this...

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Brue,

Maybe you are right about all this. Maybe the Nats aren't on schedule (or ahead of schedule) for organizational success?

I am trying to understand why the Nats would draft and sign, for under-slot, two of the more poorly rated prospects at those draft positions among their top picks in the 2009 draft, and why they would not sign the College Pitcher of the Year in 2008.

Maybe it is NOT because the Nats have a surplus of talent and don't need the best players in their system? Maybe it is just because the Nats want to save a few hundred thousand dollars, and therefore decided to go cheap on the last two drafts? Maybe this is why the Nats are rated near the bottom in their organizational progress (for the major and minor league clubs)?

Brue, when you write "No team is that bad unless there are fundamental flaws in your organization," I am starting to think that you may have a legitimate point.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"The Nats will get there. You just have to relax and have patience.

Posted by: EdDC"

But even the "bad teams" have okay records. The Nats are so far behind everyone. 29 teams have 30 wins. We might reach 30 in September.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I may have been the only one watching the end of the game last night but did anyone else see Guzman just walk away from a dropped third strike. Weiters was so shocked by the lack of effort and fire that he felt bad and just quitely tagged him on the knee.

My question to all you Acta appologiests is.....is this the effort and leadership you say is plus side of an Acta lead team?

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

If Hanrahan has potential, he's not capable of putting it into practice here. He is a disaster.

I don't agree that this season is lost. This team has shown that it is capable of providing a positive experience for the fans who pay to see it.

Posted by: longhorn64 | June 27, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't get why the Nats are so enamored with Hanrahan. The guy has stunk up the joint from the minute he got here. When he was a starter, he was bombed regularly (I remember a game in Colo when he gave up something like 9 runs in the first inning). He has been the most ineffective 'closer' in baseball history (calling this guy a closer is like calling a short guy 'stretch').

The only thing I can think as to why the Nats management would be so in love with this guy is because he probably has good stuff when throwing on the side or in bullpen sessions and they are hoping/praying/expecting that it translate into to game success. It hasn't, and its pretty clear that it isn't going to.

Joel, NO, you're not any better than the way you pitched last night. You've pitched that way from the moment you arrived here.

I would have DFA'd Hanrahan two years ago. Do it now. For the emotional state of the fanbase, if nothing else.

Posted by: raymitten | June 27, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Jaybee, I saw that last part too. but I think its a bit of a stretch to say its indicative of an overall lack of effort. I'm not buying that the team is dogging it or that they've quit on acta, etc.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

No this season IS lost. I remember last year when the Nats won 6 or 7 in a row and Collin Balester mentioned "playoffs." lol, yeah right. They are 21-50 and are well on their way to 120 losses.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, they didn't care anymore cause they were down 10 runs, they just wanted to get the game over with, can't blame Guzman.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

it could have been just a little beffudlement - last strike in the last inning of a long blowout game. to say guzman is dogging it, quit on acta, no effort, please. dude while hitting regularly beats out infield throws to first.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

i said the season was "lost" as in "they are not contending," in the context of maybe you keep hanrahan around to see if something can be salvaged (he can throw 95 mph, and those types don't grow on trees), altho I did click on the "DFA him" button on the vote thingy.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

rache216,

I refuse to contemplate skins preseason. agh!

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I said it last night in a despondent moment, and after sleeping on it, I haven't changed my mind; Detwiler can go down to SYR when they activate Olsen. Let him get a few starts in there & work on keeping his pitches down in the zone.

Hanrahan is completely lost at this point - since he's out of options, DFA seems the only route, so pull the plug & recall Rivera or select Sosa from SYR.

On another note, both DaMeat & Milledge started their rehab assignments yesterday with the GCL Nationals; since they're both 40-man (rather than 25-man) roster players, there isn't a clock on either of them.

Posted by: BinM | June 27, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

MalcolmYoung: If you refuse to pay attention to the Skins then how can you still pay attention to these Nats?! ;)

The Skins certainly can't be any worse than the Nats right now!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Detwiler or Stammen is a coin flip, is does not really matter. The Nats should DFA Kearns if they need a roster spot right now. If the Nats waive Hanrahan, who do they use instead? The kid has stuff and he CAN pitch, they should just place him in a role and stick with it for a few weeks. Acta has had no problem keeping under-performing players in roles before, not sure why it is so hard for him now (Zimm in the 3 hole every night last year while hitting .235 and Kearns hitting clean-up for mothns at something like .210). If waived he's picked up within a day and you just know some other club will have him mowing guys over in no time to boot. 3 to 1 K/BB ratio, K+/inning and does not give up the long ball?

Posted by: dfh21 | June 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I disagree, when the chips are done true character shows and walking to the dug out on a dropped 3rd strike is what it is. The fact that Acta and many of you are accepting of this effort IS the problem here.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan must go. He was an adequate closer last year for a limited time. But this year, he failed as a closer (remember the meltdown against the Marlins?), he failed as a middle guy, he failed as a closer again (remember, "Hanrahan is our closer, who else are we going to use," after the closer by committee plan didn't pan out?), and again as a long reliever. Now he can't even be effective in mop-up situations. Who cares if he might find himself and succeed with another team? That's baseball. I doubt very much that will happen, but if it does good for him. But he's not to going to rediscover his ability to get people out pitching only in a middle innings when we are ahead or behind by 10 runs and getting bombed anyway. Because if Manny uses him in any other situation, it would be managerial malpractice.

And seriously, after the way he has pitched this year, what team is going to pick him up and put him on a major league roster? My guess is that if he is DFA'd he'll end up agreeing to go to Syracuse where maybe he can rediscover his stuff, or develop a fastball with some movement.


Posted by: Section222 | June 27, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

One thing that is hard to get past this year, how much both Manny and Stan have in common in NOT standing up for and defending the very groups they are suppose to be defending.

Manny WILL NOT protect or defend any player from creeping injustice to physical threat. He just stands there steeped in his convictions as all around collapse.

Stan mirrors the same response. He does nothing to speak to our concerns and wants us fans to understand and understand and understand again. While the stadium is taken over by the visiting team. The TV network is occupied by the dark force of negative energy.
What does Stan say we get the attendance we deserve and I do not care about the TV network.

So move the deck chairs, throw the deck chairs, refinish the deck chairs, buy new deck chairs. But until somebody cares if this thing floats at all we are trapped in steerage while stuck in dry dock.

Posted by: CBinDC | June 27, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

JayBeee: Seriously? It's the last out and the score was 11-1. What did you want Guzman to do there?

Guzman always hustles and he always gives effort. Who could blame him when the score is 11-1?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree with leetee1955. This organization can't make a decision on anything to save it's life. You know that saying about doing something or getting off the pot. That applys to the Nats FO leadership.

It's obvious to just about everyone that Gas Can Hanrahan ain't got it and basically never has.

Cut his butt.

Manny, although a nice guy ain't got the fire in his belly to be a manager. His teams lack intensity, fundamentals and quite frankly, wins.

Fire his butt.

These decisions are obvious to my 6 year old daughter but, to the Nats FO, not so much.

I guess Uncle Teddy and StanK are to busy trying to find a way to stuff a piece of coal up Clint's backside in hopes that it will turn into a diamond to even notice that their team is a pathetic 21-50.

When the sorry arse O's make you look like a miserably run organization, you got a problem.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

and the sorry O's are only 7 games under 500!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 27, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't bear to watch the game last night, after i popped in and saw the score. In reading the post this morning I would say send Deitweiler down, he is has the true potential as a future starter. I think stammen is more smoke and mirrors and won't last long term. On a side note did anyone see on mlbtraderumors.com that the nationals are talking about trading millidege to the pirates for Nyjer Morgan? Also the Pirates asked about trading for Craig Stammen.

just a thought.
A serious look at the future rotation shows a strasburg, zimmermann, lannan, martis, and Deitweiler. That leaves Stammen, Balester, Estrada, Olsen, Martin, Chico as either future long relief or tradable commodities.

Posted by: wrw0601 | June 27, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"I disagree, when the chips are done true character shows and walking to the dug out on a dropped 3rd strike is what it is."

JayBeee, was Terry Francona showing his true character by throwing in the towel Thursday night and letting the pitcher bat in the ninth with two outs, down only 9-3? He still had Youkilis on the bench to pinch hit after all.

Why do you rant on about the chips being down when the score is 11-1 in the ninth inning? Is there ever a time for you when the chips AREN'T down?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 27, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Also if you have time look at our minor league stats and you will see we do not have any young relief pitching that overpowers the other team. Only Clippard, Zincola, and Mock have strikeout ratios of at least one/inning.
What is our long term answer for the bullpen?
Our starters can get us to the six/seventh inning averaging only 4 earned runs. Our offense can score 5 runs a game.
We do not have an answer in the minor leagues or in our major league team for a reliable bullpen.
Do we trade for relief? Do we sign it in winter? Do we continue the heartbreak of having a lead and losing it for the next two to three years?
check out the list of free agents for 2010 below. Who do we want?

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/2010-mlb-free-a.html

Posted by: wrw0601 | June 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Brue: You're right about the lack of everyday players close to making the step up to the Show. The Nationals do have some promising players in the minors, but they are at AA or lower right now, and will probably need another year or two. The position where the orginization is showing some depth this year is starting pitching, which has been the focus of the last three drafts.

Your assumption that the Orginization is fundimentally flawed is fair, but IMO is being corrected. This franchise was hobbled, then crippled and gutted by prior ownership (the Loria/Minaya, MLB/Minaya/Bowden regimes) over a 10-year period; the first couple of years with the Lerner/Bowden group working on the cheap didn't help as much as they could have, either.

I'd like to believe that in the last year or so, this ownership group is "getting it" in terms of understanding what it takes to run a MLB franchise. Only time will tell.

Posted by: BinM | June 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, at this point could Justin Maxwell be worse than Kearns? Could Ian Desmond be worse than Belliard? Could Jason Bergmann be worse than Gas Canrahan? Could Saul Rivera be worse than Colome? Now that the season is all shot to hell, why bring up other players to get an eyeball evaluation rather than muddle along with the same old non-productive veteran mediocrity? It should be tryout time.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 27, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

er...should have said why NOT bring other players to get an eyeball evaluation....

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 27, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think Mr. Cricket has it right about the Detwiler / Stammen decision.

"Stammen is older, has experience at AAA, and Detwiler figures to be a bigger part of the long term future. Protect Detwiler; send him down."

Detwiler needs to build strength to get deep into ball games, and could use an improved K/BB ratio of 3:1 (which I think he can do). He has things he can learn in AAA. Stammen is what he is. He'll always be a guy who relies on his fielders and his control. A trip to the minors would not change that.

On Hanrahan, he should stay but be used properly. Last night, what was he doing pitching with runners on first and third, no outs, with the score 3 -1? That is not a game that's lost, that's a games that is potentially getting out of hand. That's Tavarez / Villone territory, or hopefully Clippard in a week or so. Choke the rally off, then go to the lesser reliever. If Tavarez throws a groundball DP there, it's just a 4 run game. A K is nice first, but Tavarez actually has more Ks's in his 10+ innings this month than Joel in his 10+ (10- 7).

At this point, Hanrahan is a mop up guy. He should be brought in to start innings when the game is under control or out of hand until he shows more. Once he shows signs of figuring things out, move him up from 7th arm in the pen.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

DFA Hanrahan and move Detwiler to the bullpen.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | June 27, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"that brings me to question why Gas Canrahan is still on the roster? He can't start, he can't close and he can't pitch middle relief with runners on base."

really kinda limits his value, doesn't it?

Posted by: surly_w | June 27, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

WRONG as always ABM....Yuk pinch hit earlier in that game, check the box score, Red Sox had nobody but pitchers left...that tells me Terry F used everyone in the effort to come back, not that he gave up....Face it Acta is just the worst manager in baseball again.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see any player, whatever the score, at least try to run to first on a dropped 3rd strike. History tells us you never know what might happen. And noneof1, when Francona let the pitcher bat the other night in the 9th, he was out of position players, so it's a totally different situation.

Posted by: nats24 | June 27, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The two efforts are also completely different ABM....Yes the Red Sox put in subs and yes they ran out of players and had to have a pitcher hit. The difference is what happened.....Only one team had a player who would not run the dropped 3rd strike out.....That is the real issue...not who was hitting at the time but what they choose to do faced with a situation. The Nationals player choose to hang his head and walk away. I want a team that ALWAYS runs done to first on that play because that is the right thing to do.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I have always wondered what those on here think was the real Jim Bowden.

WAS he

1. A victim of circumstance and luck

2. Incompetent

3. Incompetent and Criminal

4. Crimnial

5. An ego so huge it destroys all it touches.

6. He was great it was the people around him that caused this mess.

Posted by: CBinDC | June 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

On the JBow question:

3+5+7(Simply an idiot)=15; right smack in the middle of the "total d0uch3" range on your scorecard.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | June 27, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Good Question CBinDC

Jimbo was several of these things....Mostly He was Incompetent and his ego was so huge he destroyed all he touched. He may well have been criminal in some ways...I do not think he skimmed bonus money from DR, but I would sure check his tax records if I was the IRS.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Players should instinctively run out a dropped 3rd strike --- getting on base is getting on base! What if Guz hit to short and didn't run it out? PROBLEM.

Posted by: nattydread1 | June 27, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

jaybee, did guzman see the 3rd strike drop? if he did, it might well have been a brainfart, nonreaction - definitely not a deliberate "i'm doggin it cause I want the game to be over" in any event.

you have a lot of baseball sense/commentary, but here this seems like trying to prove a pre-determined point with sketchy evidence. inductive reasoning is a bit passe, what with the whole enlightenment western civilization renaissance deal of a few years ago.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

From Boz's chat on Thursday: "Bowden was always shocked at how little money he was given to work with. One main reason that Bowden remained so long was that Kasten realized that he was as good a bargain-hunter (after his years with Marge in Cincy) as he was likely to find. But the day Kasten came on board, I don't think he had an idea how hard it would be to get ownership to follow his Atlanta model."

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

CBinDC,

I say a little of 1, 2, 5 and 6.

You can't put this all on Jimbo.

He made some bad moves and has a supersized ego no doubt.

But, how can he do his job effectively with cheapass owners giving you a shoe string budget and a used car salesman president hocking ticket plans to anyone and everyone, including opposing fans?

I'm glad he's gone but, the other knuckleheads remain.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Kasten is the one proven part of the Nats organization. He's as in charge as he will ever be with the Lerners as his boss. Will that be enough for him and/or the team to be successful? I don't know. He works 24/7. My guess is that he has too much pride to leave a botched job behind him. But I doubt that, five years from now, that this will be his last stop."
Boz'a Thursday Chat

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

CBinDC

I'm closest to #6 on your list. JimBo wasn't "great" of course, but was a very good bargain hunter. He had among the worst budgets in baseball to work with. We won't know how good JimBo could have been with fewer financial restrictions that hindered his every move.

Of course, getting mad at JimBo, Manny, the hitting coach, the pitching coach, Kasten, etc. are all distractions from the excessively tight financial restrictions by the Lerners on all phases of the Nats' operations. The day-to-day (like not running out a dropped 3rd strike and whether that proved Manny is no good) can be very distracting from the overall parameters that doom the Nats.

Boz is hopeful that the Nats will start to become less cheap. Let's hope a dramatic turnaround can be achieved in the commitment level of this ownership group.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

How ya like those Yankee wins now? Betta give ole Manny an extension immediately. Just remember Stank told us he's Bobby Cox reincarnated.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 27, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Guys, JimBo was many things but incompentent? No. Did he deserve to lose his job? Sure. But he was not incapable. The guy assembled a roster upon orders and restrictions placed upon him by the club. JimBo got Dunn, Zimmerman, Willingham, Olsen, Guzman, Flores, Lannan, Zimmermann and Dukes -- all either via the draft or on the cheap. Bowden is responsible for the great 2007 draft. Sure he had a bunch of failures, the D Cab nightmare (though several other clubs were trying to get Cabrera too, so it is not like JomBo saw something no one else did), LoDuca, F.Lopez, to some extent Aaron Crow, Smiley-gate, etc.; they are all his doing too. But the Nats have not moved any player that has turned out to be better than they were here (the Chief, Matthews, Bray, Rauch, etc.) and the Nats's worst contract is Kearns and he is expiring. There is no Juan Pierre, Milton Bradley, Eric Byrnes, Barry Zito, Gary Matthews, etc., on this club eating $10+ Million for years to come. The jury on Bowden -- who was tasked with building a long term club and for building pitching via the draft -- is still out. Players he got should be performinng better than they have, for that I blame Acta (when it is many players in many facets of the game for many games, it's a management problem). If nothing else JimBo did no major harm to the long term club mission by not leaving the Nats with any giant obligations to questionably valuable players. Jump around on his grave all you want, and I am glad that he is gone as he was a distraction and all, but the guy was really not all that bad.

Posted by: dfh21 | June 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

One poster pointed out that the Red Sox series alone - 3 games - paid at least 1/10th of the Nats' payroll. Boswell said that "One thing is clear: the Nats are financially very sound."

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

From Boz's chat on Thursday: "Bowden was always shocked at how little money he was given to work with. One main reason that Bowden remained so long was that Kasten realized that he was as good a bargain-hunter (after his years with Marge in Cincy) as he was likely to find. But the day Kasten came on board, I don't think he had an idea how hard it would be to get ownership to follow his Atlanta model."

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 12:36 PM
______________________________________________________________

I missed this Flynnie, Thanks for posting.

I harp on the Lerner's are cheap thing but, I think this answer from Boz in his chat shows the main reason we are 21-50 and why I harp on it. The Lerner's are trying to run this franchise like it is KC.

Any franchise will have a hard time competing if you don't spend some money on the product somewhere.

If they're not going to spend it on the ML roster, than they damn well better spend it on scouting, drafting and signing the best draftable players not, the best signable players. And they better spend it on signing International players.

The Lerner's are not spending in any of these areas. Hence, 59-102 and 21-50.

Unless they start, it will be a long time before this franchise wins anything.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

If my math is correct this franchise has a .345 winning percentage over the last season and half.

That folks, is awful, Cleveland Indians of the 1970's awful.

And people want to just stand pat and be patient? Absolutely blows my mind.


Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Sec505203,

When you say the Nats are as cheap as KC, please keep in mind that KC's payroll is 17 percent higher than the Nats' payroll in 2009. Please do not flatter the Nats by saying their commitment is as good as KC's! KC is 20th among MLB clubs in payroll for 2009, while Washington is 27th. The Nats are beneath many small market teams in payroll.

Source:

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/washington-nationals_01.html

dfh21:

You give a nice summary of JimBo's successes with low budgets. But in citing Daniel Cabrera as a failure, please keep in mind that when you are required to go bargain hunting, your rate of success is always going to be much lower than a team where the owners are committing money to success.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If Hanrahan stays, Colome must go. Only room (maybe) for one "lets throw him out there when its 11-1" pitcher in the pen.

Posted by: jfromPG | June 27, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of reasoning/lines of thought:

http://www.ewu.edu/x6671.xml

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 27, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

Thanks for correcting me. Wow, that is very telling.

27th in payroll folks. As Brue or Joey Eischen would say suck on it and like it.

As I've said many times here before you need to spend money in MLB to win and the year by year payroll standings in the decade prove it. If you doubt me, research it yourself.

The few times a team in the bottom half actually makes the playoffs they have a tremendous minor league system. Like Tampa, FL, or Minnesota. Why do they have great systems? Because they put a lot of money into it.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Players should instinctively run out a dropped 3rd strike -"

They should but they don't. Just about every game you'll see a dropped third strike where the ball doesn't get far away from the catcher, and the batter just stands there and waits to be tagged.

I can't remember whether it was last night's game, or the last game against Boston, but there was a strikeout w/ dropped third strike, where the opposing batter didn't even bother waiting to get tagged; he just walked back to his dugout and the ump called him out for leaving the field.

I guarantee you that about 95% of major leaguers wouldn't bother running to first on that dropped third strike that ended last night's game.

To try to draw any kind of conclusion about Guz or about Manny's motivation of the team based that play is just nonsensical.

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

Milledge.......Cabrera...........Kearns........
Hanrahan...........It's takes this team forever to get rid of their DEADBEATS......and all the while ,the fans get more and more ESTRANGED from these Keystone LOSERS.........UNTIL Strasburg is SIGNED.....this team is "DEAD to ME".........

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | June 27, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

1a1,

i like that, thanks for the link.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

On the "if we were to trade Nick, who'd be interested" front, it looks like our recent visitors may have a hole at 3d. Mike Lowell's hip has been acting up, despite plenty of rest. He had the torn hip labrum before A-Rod and Utley, linking all the forces of evil in one megaplot. With Youkilis capable of inducing chants of "Youk" from both corner infield spots (sometimes when he isn't even at the position), Nick becomes an option if Lowell does not respond to the Synvisc lubricant he will receive.

By the way - to clarify - the "expiration date" comment on Nick did not mean to infer anything about his physical condition. It had to do with the fact that there are important dates in making a decision on him, as those dates go by, his value steadily drops to the team, and, worst case, if he's not offered arbitration and does not resign, we are left with something that has no more value.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 27, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

exactly what free agents are available to pick up today and start spending money on?

we're in the middle of the season.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

joebleaux, Corey Patterson did run on a dropped third strike in one of the games against the Yankees (I think the second), and safely reached first base -then stole second. It did not come to anything as he never scored, but it was a beautiful thing to see, as was the steal on top of it.

Posted by: Traveler8 | June 27, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

boston might need a 3B (though they've been effectively juggling IF from day one), so how does a trade for nick johnson figure into that?

get on the horn with the boston GM, i'm sure no one's thought of this one yet, and only this phone call will convince boston to trade us (who? clay bucholz?) for nick j.

they need to pursue all of this - trades, free agents, eventually get back into international (i dont count it as a failing that they are trying to be deliberative in doing that).

the teams not that good, there is some reason for hope in the system (though it is still dysfunctional), but trying to get huge impact players today to turn this season around isn't going to happen.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Malcolm,

If that is all you can come up with as an argument, there really is no need to go into it further.

Holy crap.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

justin maxwells issue is he can't hit.

best way to deal with that is leave him in the minors to get every day At bats.

bringing him up here to platoon - why?

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

505203,

no, I agree with you! we have a pitiful payroll, partic for our division, their profits, the stadium, etc.

just not sure why its timely to harp on it today?

this season seems basically like one long spring training bad acid daydream.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

traveler8 -- that ball went to the wall.

I'm talking about dropped third strikes that stay near the catcher, and those are frequently not run out. Not saying that's a good thing; it's just the way it is.

Posted by: joebleux | June 27, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

One more - On Francona mailing it in. He managed Thursday with a midroad trip, season perspective. He had Smoltz bat in the 4th or 5th inning because he wanted him to get through 90+ pithces and get stretched out. He went to Bard in the 6th because Bard is their #12 pitcher right now and they want him to get experience. He started to pull his position players because they had a flight to Atlanta that night and 6 more games before coming home. Ramirez his because, I'm not sure about this, but Beckett may have been in ATL already, Smoltz was out of the game, and none of the rest of their starting pitchers have that much experience hitting (Wakefield, maybe). So, yes, he managed that game not so much to win it but to do what was best for the season.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 27, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else get a sense that Dukes was loafing it fetching that ball on Jones' triple in the 8th or 9th inning. I sort of wish that Jones would have went for the in the park HR so that Dukes' lack of effort would have been noticed/discussed by the typically clueless and apologetic MASN crew, but maybe with the O's crew helping out it would have been aired.

I know Dunn loafs but Dukes hasn't earned that right.

Posted by: TheMacc | June 27, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

1a,

They should add a 16th item to the list of 15 Styles of Distorted Thinking and entitle it,

"Lerner's cheapassery"

"The delusion that you can run a MLB team on a shoe-string budget for the ML roster, minor league system, and international signings and be competative, while stating "we have a Plan."

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

With Josh Bard hitting over .400 in the month of June should we be expecting him to be signed to a 2 year / $10 million extension any time soon?

Posted by: TheMacc | June 27, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

sec 505203

I don't mean to correct you. Just pointing out that KC is sort of trying, while the Nats are not. For example, KC is ridiculed for giving $55 million to Gil Meche over 5 years. Meche has actually been a fairly decent pitcher for the Royals, with an ERA under 4 since the Royals signed him, notching up some good wins.

Meanwhile, the Nats are ridiculed for giving $2.6 million for Daniel Cabrera, a sum so high for the Nats that they could not afford both Tim Redding and Cabrera (guys with similar contracts).

My point is that Meche and Cabrera were both risks. But when you spend $55.0 million vs. 2.6 million, the odds are that you are going to be more successful with Meche than Cabrera. There's a reason why one guy commanded so much more than the other guy.

The Nats have the 9th largest regional population (not counting the Baltimore region), and DC is among the very richest and most stable. But the Nats spend like they are a poor cousin of KC.

I can handle some cheapness. But when it comes to being cheap in drafting and signing players, in building their minor league system, then that's when the cheapness drives me nuts.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the natives sure are restless today. I guess an 11-1 beat down does that huh?

hahahahhahahahhaha

Posted by: Os_Exec | June 27, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec! You seem to have a lot of time on your hands for such a successful Hollywood Actor. Isn't it time for the matinee at the Lutherville Dinner Theatre's production of Cats?

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually the show is being performed in Perry Hall. And it's Rent, not Cats, that we're doing.

Posted by: Os_Exec | June 27, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

o's exec - tell angelos to get a job as a busboy and give his wealth to a charity for the victims of mesothelioma and throat cancer who he stole it from. then give me back my over the counter liteweight speed substitutes which I could use right now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Angelos

actually, i will say this, the o's are keeping some of their better pitching prospects in the minors this year, which may pay off relative to nats approach (partly forced, due to lack of veteran FA signing last offseason).

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is, thank goodness the Nats got beaten soundly, so that certain folks around here can get back to their REAL hobby- complaining.

I was starting to run low on bile. No worries now!

Posted by: TomServo | June 27, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

That parenthetical was funny, jca.

---

With Youkilis capable of inducing chants of "Youk" from both corner infield spots (sometimes when he isn't even at the position), Nick becomes an option if Lowell does not respond to the Synvisc lubricant he will receive.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 27, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Malcolm, why it's timely to talk about tightwad owners. Various fans are trying to understand how Our Team got to 50 losses so soon. CBinDC brought up Bowden, as did Tom Lovarro in a vicious column in The Times. (To be fair, CB was not blaming all Nats ills on Bowden, as Lovarro did.) And that's how we got to "Lerners are cheap" in mid-season. Boswell said as much in the Thursday chat, more directly than I've ever seen. And, as elegantly stated by EdDC: "Of course, getting mad at JimBo, Manny, the hitting coach, the pitching coach, Kasten, etc. are all distractions from the excessively tight financial restrictions by the Lerners on all phases of the Nats' operations. The day-to-day (like not running out a dropped 3rd strike and whether that proved Manny is no good) can be very distracting from the overall parameters that doom the Nats."

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

So was the dinner theater item, Flynnie. I'm thinking that O's Exec might be perfect for the part of either Macavity or Mr. Mistoffelees.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 27, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

actually, i will say this, the o's are keeping some of their better pitching prospects in the minors this year, which may pay off relative to nats approach (partly forced, due to lack of veteran FA signing last offseason).

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 2:21 PM
------------------------

But wait, that completely goes against what a fellow Natinal poster said last night when he said:

The O's "have no pitching on the way."

Posted by: jpt1002 | June 26, 2009 10:27 PM

Guesg jTP does have no idea what he's talking about.

Oh well.

Posted by: Os_Exec | June 27, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

So it's come to this. The Lerners are cheap crowd is now arguing with itself. Kind of like what the Republicans are up to now. If two losers are arguing with each other, is that because it's the only hope they have of ever calling themselves a winner?

Whatever. I've had enough of this crap. You all can start thinking that someone else is this ABM person, whoever that is.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 27, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

flynnie,

fair enough. lots of timely stories about the subject, you're right.

yes, I try to take a longer term outlook too, (and i'm not focused on a dropped third strike, was just arguing that particular play didn't prove the point the poster was attempting to make).

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

505203: Step away from the keyboard, walk outside, take a few d-e-e-e-p breaths; Stop feeding on your own angst for a minute or two, and take a look at the overall orginizational depth.

Regardless of $$$ spent to date, there are players in the minors who could still contribute in the next year or two - (Rooney/ Norris at C, Rhinehart/ Marrero/ Moore at 1B, Lombardozzi at 2B, Desmond/ Espinosa at SS, and Milledge/ Padilla/ Baez/ Daniel in the OF.

There are also a number of pitchers now under team control that could have value, either in WSH or on the open market - Detwiler, Martis & Stammen (MLB), Balester & Martin (AAA), Arnesen & Atilano (AA), Meyers & Mandel (Hi-A).

Posted by: BinM | June 27, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

here is your Meta-NJ for the day:

some people (lerners are cheap) need to vent (and thats good), and some of these may also think this is one way to send a message to the owners, by posting on here.

others like to post/read here to talk about the game, yes the team too (long term), but get annoyed at the first group.

the second group is not the intended audience of the first (the owners are, or the FO).

the second group (who thinks group 1 should pay for some couch and therapy time to vent) then gripes at group 1, who get lost in meandering rants, and thus, NJ plays itself out.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, does not prove the point as it is just one play.....how about 50 loses and the worst defense in baseball? Not enough for you? How about Acta telling us this is the best talent he has ever had and that He trusts Joel H as his closer and so should the fans. How about Milledge is a CFer and leadoff man......then oh wait we all knew in the organization he was not a CFer but he is all we had.....Come on people what is it going to take for you to open your eyes and call it like it is?

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Well Section505203 - I presume you know how much money the team is spending on scouting and the minor league system in order to justify your statement? The W-L record is not the bottom line in terms of spending. Just ask the Yankees.

Lannan, Zimmermann, Detwiler, Martis, and Stammen - looks like the scouting and drafting are doing well. Guess they're spending money there, eh? Wait until they sign Strasburg. You'll still say they're cheap. Just give it a rest.

Think quality of dollars spent, not quantity.

Posted by: dand187 | June 27, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

jaybee,

those are good points, but don't prove your point. the team is not that good. fire manny, fire manny, fire manny and here are fifty reasons why, and if you quibble (i.e. refute factually) with any of them, here are fifty more (yet these don't hold water supporting the theorem either). to what end? play out the season, evaluate what little we have, try not to wreck our young players, thats just where we are. firing manny (and hiring who? don't answer, the speculations to this point are boring) i'm not sure that helps in any way shape or form.

where does the phrase "way, shape or form" originate, by the way?

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

If the Nats' minor league organization can get itself rated mid-pack or higher among all the MLB clubs, then you will start to look OK in your assessment. But the Nats have a ways to go to climb all the way up to average!

Your OF prospects, for example, are top prospects only in the eyes of Nats' fans. How many Nats are rated among the top 100 baseball prospects by Baseball America? Maybe one? If the Nats were serious about building, they would have a half-dozen or more, and a few in the top 50 as well. Strasburg will get there once the new ratings come out, and Zimmermann may be starting to climb. but the Nats are not loaded.

What did you think about the Nats' draft of lesser-regarded talent, relative to the slot at which they were picked--guys who would agree to sign for under-slot money? Wise money management? Maybe, but only if you look at the short-term dollar savings and not at team-building.

The Nats urgently need a better balance between saving money and developing a good product.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

dand187 - It wasn't 502's statement. It was Tom Boswell's statement. And, yeah, he knows a lot. And one of the tings he knows are that scouting and drafiting are not enough. The team's been here since 2005, when they were in 1st place on June 26th. If scouting and drafting are going so well, why are they at 50 losses? Are you happy with that? Do you think it's inevitable?

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Look what change has done for the Rockies....we know what more of the same will do for the Nats. Foli or Eckstien are my choices for the rest of this year. I disagree we are not as bad as our record. This talent is not a 115-120 loss team. Why would you want to make it into one by holding on to a leader that is not gettting the best out of anyone on this team.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

shaking things up can sometimes light a fire, yes.

you say the talent isn't as bad as the record. i agree. but still the bullpen talent apparently is that bad (though here, manny could do better - that I WOULD agree with, in some game situations). the defense is pretty bad though (not just a hustle issue, some of it has been inherently bad).

so what the rockies fire their manager, and win a few more games. they still suck, so what. it doesn't always work out that way, and players going thru rough times can also appreciate faith and support from the top too. i still go back to, this season seems like a long (bad) spring training of evaluation, and a complete revamping of manager/organization with some interim group in the middle of one of the worst seasons ever adds to that how?

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, 1A! Remember that fabulous first season, Charlie shouting "Bang, Zoom go the Fireworks!" after the Chief saves yet another improbable one run win? We would do well to read Les Carpenter's final column in the Seattle Times "Seattle fans far too nice to their franchises"

http://tinyurl.com/mt6jax

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

i have a hard time analogizing seattle as a place where civil unrest and revolt need to take place to turn their rained out hippy coffee and reefer addled franchises around. yes, owners need to feel some pressure from below, but seattle? really? sorry, they are too easy to make fun of.

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

JayBee - Eckstein? "No! No! You have no integrity!" Eckstein??? The hitting coach who has no answers for a team-wide slump for the last month? Better than Manny???!!! The hardest time to lead is when you're losing, and Manny is a leader. Tug McGraw, Connie Mack and Billy Martin together could not coax another 10 wins out of the pitching staff that opened the season.

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Manny's use of the Bull Pen and his lineups both have led to several loses. Would you have brought in Hanrahan last night. They just had a day off. If you did bring him in would you have left him that long? Would you put Dunn in RF...ever? Would you put Bard behind the plate ever? Would you work with Zim on this footwork and mental approach to throwing? What is he uncoachable? Would you have waited till Mid June to play Harris in CF? Would you have keep putting Kearns in the line up until his Avg hits .170....how about .150....how low do you need to go before you know that Kearns is done as a player (sad to see but it is just true). When would you put Alberto in as defensive replacement for Guzman, the 7th inning 8th or never?

Things should be different and could be different but for Manny.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

There may be a method to the madness. It may be a small but integral part of the plan.
To whit, it's really hard to "tank" a season without being obvious about doing so.

What's the name of our 1st overall draft pick for next year?

Posted by: shygaard | June 27, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie, you have your view and I have mine. I know Eckstien some and I know what he brings to the table.....a fire that is missing from Acta. Not sure where you have been for months but it is clear you missed Spring Training when many of us got to see first hand who has the players attention and who does not. Not sure why I care coming from you but "no integrity" seems a big off base.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"If the Nats' minor league organization can get itself rated mid-pack or higher among all the MLB clubs, then you will start to look OK in your assessment. But the Nats have a ways to go to climb all the way up to average!

Your OF prospects, for example, are top prospects only in the eyes of Nats' fans. How many Nats are rated among the top 100 baseball prospects by Baseball America? Maybe one? If the Nats were serious about building, they would have a half-dozen or more, and a few in the top 50 as well. Strasburg will get there once the new ratings come out, and Zimmermann may be starting to climb. but the Nats are not loaded."


Oh, come on, EdDC, you know the Nats are just loaded in the minors. I mean seriously, Edgardo Baez is tearing up AA at just 24 years old! Dude is hitting a solid .265, and he's only stuck out 50 times in over 220 at-bats! Seriously, he has prospect written all over him. I think he might be another Brandon Watson in the making. Things are going to be OK here in DC.

Hey flynnie, welcome back.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | June 27, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

jaybee,

situational bullpen and lineup I will give you - sometimes - but not all of them - the other options are also bad! there is at least some reasoning to some moves, and if one bad player is bad, it doesn't mean a different one would have changed the whole scenario.

ok, hanrahan was bad last night, but villone (relatively good for us) was equally bad later. it wasn't quite garbage time, but it was getting there, and maybe throwing hanrahan into some kind of pressure might have helped him.

ok, dfa him, fire manny. then what? guzman might run to first on a dropped third strike in the ninth down 11-1 and start a 12 run two out rally? we need to keep our wits during an atrocity of a season. no matter what, we can't panic - we're DEAD IF WE PANIC. oh, no, I'm panicking!!

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Flynnie was referring to Eckstein's shouting "You have no integrity" to the umpire.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 27, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

JayBee- Dunn made some beautiful plays in right field in the World Baseball Classic. That decision was made by some guy named Davey Johnson, who is good for an additional 10-12 wins a season. Kearns would not have given up on that ball last night, and I would have yanked Dukes for Kearns immediately, but I don't have to manage Dukes, and something tells me that being mean to him may not be prooductive. Kearns hit a 500 foot shot in Miami, but has deteriorated under the tutelage of your man, Eckstein. Manny's doing what he has with what he's got. Have you met him? There's a reason he's the only guy from the baseball-mad Dominican managing in MLB at 30. He's special. He has "it." He will manage a World Series some day, though probably not for the Lerners.

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Eckstien ruined Kearns....now that is funny......

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Yep, I have some very fond memories of that season, Flynnie. Thanks for the reminder.

---

Howdy, 1A! Remember that fabulous first season, Charlie shouting "Bang, Zoom go the Fireworks!" after the Chief saves yet another improbable one run win?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 27, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyhoo, it's hot and stuffy in the computer room. I think it's time for some ice cream. Seee youuuu laterrr!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 27, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

And your sgtatement that Manny lacks fire is flat out wrong. He has it, you just can't see it through a tv set, and that's why this team has played as hard as it has. They did just win a series against the Yankees and Blue Jays. They came back from allowing 11 against the Red Sox to play hard and beat them. Give Manny some credit, JayBee. Yes,my heart sank when I saw Hanrahan coming into the game when it was 3-1, but after he got out of a similar jam the appearance before last, the decision to use him was not from outer space. The longer we stay with Manny, the better things will be.

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The WBC as an example of good roster management....Flynie....your very funny

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If that were only true....but player after player has told us that Manny is EXACTL the same on TV as he is in the Clubhouse....NO DIFFERENCE...Zim has said that, Wil N has said that, Johnson and Dunn have said it all this year.....The play on the field says it! Facts are that every year and almost every month under Manny has been worse than the prior one....Based on what do you say Acta will lead to better baseball?

Posted by: JayBeee | June 27, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

JayBee - you played college ball. Have you ever heard a manager tell an umpire that he had no integrity? After a called strike? Can you imagine the blue whirlwind that would reap whenever we face that ump again?

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 27, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Coverage,

You are right about Baez.

and what about Jorge Padilla, also mentioned as a top Nats' prospect? He won't turn 30 until August, over a month away. He is a minor league lifer, hitting .286 over 12 seasons. He is hitting .356 this season at AAA, and it's his production that knocks your socks off: 10 RBI so far for the season to go with his 2 HR.

In contrast, Mike Daniel, also mentioned as a top prospect, has more power than Padilla. He is a .266 hitter over 5 seasons. He is hitting .264 at AA this year and is 24. However, he has 50 percent more HR than does Padilla. Daniel has 3 HR as a corner OF.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

EdDC: I never mentioned anything about the overall minor-league system ranking; I simply expressed one fans' view of who looks like a promotable player in the near-term.

Stop reading intent or "hidden meanings" into a blog post - It's simply one person's read on a situation.

Posted by: BinM | June 27, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it matters much who gets sent down here, since they'll be back in a few weeks. It's OLSON we're talking about here. The 1-7, 7 point something ERA Olson.

Posted by: jaumiusk | June 27, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I would like to thank those who answered my question earlier. Most interesting that JimBOw
was not held as responsible as had thought people might. BTW I say he is 3 and 5

Posted by: CBinDC | June 27, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

olsen

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | June 27, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

BinM:

BinM:

What's the hidden meaning? You see a quality organization in the Nats' minor league systems and I don't. Just a difference of opinion, that's all. We fans are powerless. The owners will do whatever they want.

Still if you write that they are doing a good job in building a quality organization, it just enables their cheapness. They may even believe it themselves.

Actually I envy you in a way. I wish I could be more hopeful about the Nats' direction, and I mean that sincerely. The whole town and region have much invested in the choice of this ownership group by Bud and the other MLB owners.

Posted by: EdDC | June 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

1st note - New post.
2nd note @EdDC: I'm from a minor league town originally (SLC - Angels' AAA farm club when I was there). Maybe that's where I get my patience from.

It's not that I see a quality orginazation right now, but more that I see an orginization finally moving in the right direction.

Posted by: BinM | June 27, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

flynnie2 -
"The team's been here since 2005, when they were in 1st place on June 26th."

Yes, they were - and they were owned by MLB. As devastated as the team was by Loria's fleecing and MLB's non-interest in running the club, there were no players put into the pipeline that amounted to much. Guererro was allowed to become an Agel before the team even showed up. And the team really sat dormant until June 2006 which is when the Lerner's and their mgt had their first control of the team. The first thing they did was start hiring scouts. Really, they have had their scouting crew in place for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 drafts. That leaves really just two drafts that the current ownership has had control over who was drafted who can have any impact on the MLB roster.

If scouting and drafting are going so well, why are they at 50 losses?

Because no one was put into the pipeline for three years. The coaching staff has been replaced twice. They've had 3 or 4 hitting coaches? The staff is soooo young. We have no closer. I mean, you know why...

Are you happy with that?

No, I'm not. I want to see them be successful as much as anyone. I go to 25+ games a year. I'm supporting this team while they are going through the growing pains. No other team in the majors has 4 rookies and a sophomore in their starting rotation. Storen instead of Crow is an awesome pick. Strasburg can get a little seasoning before he makes the show and get some perspectives on pro ball.

Do you think it's inevitable?

Sadly, yes it is. The team of 2005 had to be deconstructed, and the farm system completely replenished from scratch. Look, the Metro rides home are much longer after a loss. But at least it's my team losing the games. All of this will be forgotten sooner than we think. Go Nats!

Posted by: dand187 | June 27, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Whatever. I've had enough of this crap. You all can start thinking that someone else is this ABM person, whoever that is.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 27, 2009 2:33 PM
__________________________________________________________

Does that mean you will leave forever, or come back under yet another moniker?

Don't go away mad just go away.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Why is that Kool Aid drinker usually = unknowledgeable fan?

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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