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The Reading List

According to the Capital Weather Gang, the chances of rain today are 100 percent. Given that it's raining right now, this seems like valid information. But the forecast also indicates that showers ought to pass through -- finally -- by the early evening, so perhaps the Nats can finally play a baseball game on time. If they do, they square off against former teammate Tim Redding, who is struggling (0-2, 9.20 ERA) in a manner that recalls, well, his former team.

Now, the full reading list...

Boswell, in his latest column, writes that blame for the current fiasco "must lie at the top with the billionaire Lerner family and team president Stan Kasten."

Here's the game story from Randy Johnson's 300th win.

As for other Unitary reading: Tim Lincecum tells the New York Times that "The only 300 I can see at this point in my career is the movie." ... The San Francisco Chronicle's account includes a list of Johnson's other milestone victories. ... Yahoo's Tim Brown writes about a career the Unit himself described as a "long road." ... Who's next to 300? Ted Keith gives it some thought. ...

An embarrassed Mets team comes to town after getting swept in Pittsburgh.

And Jose Reyes will be spending even more time on the disabled list.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 5, 2009; 9:16 AM ET
 
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Next: Silence Broken, Job Lost

Comments

>blame for the current fiasco "must lie at the top with the billionaire Lerner family and team president Stan Kasten."

Who?

Posted by: Brue | June 5, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

newposted:

raymitten: I'm with you.

twinbrook: you give new importance to the definition of "loser". I'm appalled that you took your *family* out to teach them how to root against the hometown nine? I hope your children move to chicago and pittsburgh. Were you rooting for R. Johnson to win any of the previous 299 games just because he's a future HOFer? Just tell me you were wearing your Giants hat/jersey/stirrups.

History is made every night. Round numbers and records are fascinating but not particularly special. How much better it would have been to say that we *beat* the pitcher who beat so many others? Alas, our team stinks and we didn't ... no thanks to you.

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 5, 2009 9:44 AM

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 5, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

i feel a little strange having launched a direct attack on another commenter in this forum ... but I can't abide the "fan" who roots against their team (especially when they team they ostensibly root for is the team that I root for).

Let's hope this doesn't happen again.

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 5, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

No need to feel bad ihatewalkds, you were a little harsh but, quite frankly spot on. I don't care if it was his 500th win, I'm not rooting against my team. Period.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Bozwell will probably be banned from Nats Park. He crossed the imaginary Lerner-StanK line of arrogance. Of course all one has to do is recall the grief that Svurluga took from StanK while he was on the Nats beat!

Like a caller said last night to "Stonewall Kerr", the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot just never happened and now the Lerner-StanK will reap what they failed to sow.

BTW I'm tired of the Tampa Bay analogy. The Rays had 10 losing seasons, they had zero community support and terrible ownership. They turned it around last year, however its beginning to look like a flash in the pan. They still can't draw flies, they can't get a new stadium built and with all things considered they might be lucky to finish slightly above .500. If thats the "Stan Plan" hmmm, we got 7 more years to go.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 5, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Thank You Boz,

It's about time someone called out the Lerner's and Kasten for this friggin' mess.

They tried to run things on the cheap and what did that get them? A flaming bag of dog crap.

All is not lost though, they can still put the flaming bag of crap out without having to stomp on it.

Sign Strasburg and your 10th pick and the vast majority of the first 20 rounders and be very very active in FA this offseason.

That can turn this thing around and get the fans back on your side.

However, if they do the same cheap arse crap they did the last 3 years, fans will continue to look elsewhere for their entertainment.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"They tried to run things on the cheap and what did that get them? A flaming bag of dog crap."

I think this is a bit of the passion of the moment. I can name some things they have done right:

Zimmermann
Lannan
Stammen
Martis
Detwiler
Dukes
Zimmerman signed
Flores

That's a pretty good list. We talk all the time about the importance of a veteran core to the team. Wouldn't that make an astounding veteran core?

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to say I don't see a change in the Lerners in the near future.
Not from owners who made $millions last year and then freeze the salaries of hourly wage earner employees at the stadium for 2009 . What cr-p.

As for Stan - he's a Brave in Nat's clothing, and I hate the Braves.

On a more upbeat note, its great to see that Zim has moved to 2nd in the all star balloting. I have done my part, voting 175 times for him Dunn, Nick and Guzzie on the 7 email accounts that my wife and I and my 2 kids have.

Come on get your votes in!

Go Nats.

Posted by: alm1000 | June 5, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

>History is made every night. Round numbers and records are fascinating but not particularly special.

300 wins? We've got some real geniuses on here. He'll be the last one to do it. Suck on it and like it. FOURTEEN-AND-THIRTY-EIGHT

Posted by: Brue | June 5, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

>Not from owners who made $millions last year and then freeze the salaries of hourly wage earner employees at the stadium for 2009.

You gotta be kidding. Cheap bastards.

Posted by: Brue | June 5, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

>Wouldn't that make an astounding veteran core?

*crickets*

Posted by: Brue | June 5, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't think astounding is the right word. Average maybe. Certainly not astounding.

Posted by: RickFelt | June 5, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

boy, someone is really grumpy this morning.

Look, I am teaching my kids to be baseball fans. The sport is bigger than any one team. I have rooted for winners and losers all my life. I became hooked by the Cardinals in the mid 1960s with players like Gibson, Brock and Flood. I Became a Brewers fan living in Milwaukee in the early 1980s with players like Yount and Molitor. I was an O's fan in the mid 90s untill Peter the Ungreat fired Davey Johnson. I am now a die-hard Nats fan, but more importantly I am a baseball fan.

The teams and the players change. Hopefully the game is bigger than all of that.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you, 505 and IHW.

I've done my civic duty as well, alm.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Adding to the reading list:

Fantastic post by Steinberg over on the DC Sports Bog about Jon Miller's memories of past presidents and baseball.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog

Posted by: joebleux | June 5, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Well gang..this team has tired me out. Great to hear from Boz-albeit a season too late. Twinnbrook, I'm with ya...grew up Cards/O's fan and the Cards-and a computer!-kept up my interest after the O's collapsed and til we got our own team! So....now? I'm tired...No matter what your political persuasion(Me-independant/libertarian/democratic republican...ie whatever WORKS)I think we could agree that the last administration was inept. And just when they leave...seems they've transferred their Mojo to our franchise...squared! This team is almost defiantly cruddy in every way..Go Nats.

Posted by: zendo | June 5, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Since 1992 the National League counts tickets sold in their attendance figures. Before that it was the turnstile count. Believe the Nats have 12,000 season ticket holders. The attendance yesterday was 16,787 which means only about 4,787 fans walked up.

Posted by: mgb711 | June 5, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"I am now a die-hard Nats fan"

twinbrook, I guess if you're a die-hard Nats fan, and you're rooting for the team the Nats are playing, then you must be dead. My condolences (and congratulations on figuring out that whole posting from beyond the grave thing).

Posted by: joebleux | June 5, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

506,

OK so, they have 8 players. There is no guarantee that all of those 8 players will make solid vet's in say 2-3 years, odds are a few will flame out.

They have some servicable parts but, they failed miserably in bringing in FA's to complete the roster in an effort to compete now.

Once again, you have to actually spend some damn money to win in baseball.

50 million dollar payrolls and not signing 1st rounders ain't gonna cut it.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Thank You Boz,

It's about time someone called out the Lerner's and Kasten for this friggin' mess."

The leitmotif of Boswell's latest screed is that the parsimonious Lerners have done Kasten wrong by not allowing him to replicate the miracle he worked in Atlanta from 1988-1991. Either that or the Lerners, who somehow have been phenomenally successful in every other business endeavor they've ever been involved in, have teamed with Kasten, who oversaw the building and operation of a team that won 14 consecutive division titles, to form a family business that's more dysfunctional than the Osbornes. As with most things Boswell, it's hard to tell which it is. But in the immortal words of a guy who got his start in DC sports way back when Boswell was getting his, how 'bout let's go to the videotape.

Atlanta Braves records during the golden years Tom Boswell says Kasten should have replicated here once he arrived halfway through 2006:

1988 54-106
1989 63-97
1990 65-97
1991 94-68

(Hey Nats fans. See any kind of familiar pattern in those first three years?)

Player moves by Kasten and the Braves cited by Boswell in his column today as having been the building blocks for that 1991 Braves team:

"In contrast, the '91 Braves had free agents at first base (Sid Bream), shortstop (Rafael Belliard), third base (Terry Pendleton, MVP), center field (Otis Nixon, 72 steals), left field (Lonnie Smith), closer (Juan Berenguer, 2.24 ERA) as well as (Neon) Deion Sanders. The rotation included Charlie Leibrandt, acquired in trade then re-signed as a free agent."

Household names all. Right, Tom? Hall of Famers, even. Especially that (Neon) Deion Sanders. My God, his personality, his aura. Positively Milledgesque. Dukesian, maybe even.

"From 1993 to '96, the Braves added all-star free agents Fred McGriff, Greg Maddux, Marquis Grissom and Denny Neagle, all at elite-player prices."

But wait, Tom. The Braves didn't start signing these high-priced all-star free agents until two years AFTER the four season time period you're now saying the Lerners prevented Stan Kasten from replicating here during the past three seasons. Tom, methinks that during your trip in the Wayback Machine Mr. Peabody and Sherman have seriously jumbled your brain. You might want to consult a doctor about that. Don't tarry, though. The Post could go under and pull the plug on your health insurance any day now.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

twinbrook,

Sounds like from they way describe yourself you'll be a "die-hard Nats fan" until you move to a different city or something more nice and shiny comes along.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't rooting for the other team. I was rooting a player, who happened to be on the other team. It really isn't all that complicated. :-)

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Don't you applaud when the other team makes a great play, like that double play started by Washington native Emmanuel Burriss last night?

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Some interesting points made by nunof. Also, a tip of the cap for the Bullwinkle reference.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

nunof...

With the team on the field and the organization getting worse (seemingly) every day, why do you and others continue to defend Kasten, the Lerners and Manny?

I'm just curious....

Posted by: comish4lif | June 5, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm with Twinbrook on this (except for the O's fan part--I can't go there).

I'm a baseball fan, specifically a National League fan. I follow this team as an accident of geography. I've said this before, but if you picked a team to root for the same way you choose, say, what TV to watch them on, there's no way I'd pick this one. But I live 5 stops from the park, so this is my local team, just like Adrian Fenty is the mayor, whether I voted for him or not. My choice is "take it or leave it," and I take it because I'd rather watch bad baseball in the hope it improves someday, than none at all.

I have no intention of telling you who you're allowed to root for, or how.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Or Rocky and Bullwinkle, rather.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Nunof,

I'm trying hard to figure out your point. Is there one in that long post of yours or is it just your normal Boz bashing?

Actually, nevermind.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

cause we knew it was going to be painful.

Posted by: longterm | June 5, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

And as I read Boswell's column, he was calling Stan out for not standing up to cheap rookie owners who don't know baseball, and this is the result.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

sec3: interesting take. I'm exactly the opposite -- I haven't been a baseball fan in general since the strike; I'm strictly a Nat's fan.

I wouldn't tell anyone else who or how to root, either, but it does seem odd for someone to call themselves a die-hard Nat's fan and be actively rooting for our players to fail (Dunn to strike out; Hanrahan to blow up).

Posted by: joebleux | June 5, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Just to clear up a little something about Boz's column:
Out of the free agents mentioned that eventually ended up in Atlanta, only Maddux was actually signed as a free agent. McGriff, Grissom and Neagle were all added via trade, costing the Braves prospects ranging from the forgettable Donnie Elliott to the rememberable Tony Tarasco to the actually pretty decent Jason Schmidt.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | June 5, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

great homestand so far....last one was pretty good too !!!!!

guess we'll just sit back and watch this ship wreck until September before anything gets done...

sorry Manny...you had your chance.

Posted by: outrbnksm | June 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

JimBo's lost another job. Details in the new post.

Posted by: BGinVA | June 5, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Noneof is right on. Though I am a big Boswell fan, I have to ask the obvious question - So, Boz, if only the Nats had signed Randy Wolf or Jon Garland, they'd be, what, 16 - 36? I also have to point out that it really wasn't Kasten who built the Braves, it was John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox. Kasten wasn't even a "baseball man." He came over from the Atlanta Hawks.

Posted by: truke | June 5, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"And as I read Boswell's column, he was calling Stan out for not standing up to cheap rookie owners who don't know baseball, and this is the result."

If that's what he was doing, why couldn't he come up with even one instance where the cheap rookie owners quashed Stan from doing something that he really wanted to do? Boswell does have the ears or the sources that let him know what's going on in that ownership dynamic, or so he would have us think. He's able to pull out all kinds of juicy little "insider" details that are basically irrelevant (like the team giving Milledge a talking-to for being late for his surgery) but when it comes to backing up his overarching conclusions, he's got nothing.

So the cheap owners are cramping Stan's style. Did that start before or after Kasten himself warned the Lerners that people would call them cheap if they followed his plan?

Wake up, people. Kasten is the architect of this team, and he's doing it all exactly the way he said he would when he took on the job. So he hasn't replicated his Atlanta miracle yet? Take a look at the Atlanta record for his first three years there. See any difference to what we're seeing here now? I don't.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

nunof1 what flavor of Kool-Aid do you drink? Man for the life of me I just don't get you and some of your fellow psyco-phats.

What Bozwell is trying to say is......, hey is anybody home? is this the Lerners version of a well run organization? how many more years of execuses does your dwindling fan base expect to suffer through.

This organization had a golden opportunity to cement itself firmly in the daily psyche of the DC Metro, they blew it outright. NatsTown is just another lame marketing pitch that resonates with no-one. I hope all the Kool-Aiders enjoy sitting in a stadium when the visiting team fans out number the home-team becuase the majority of the 12K STH's don't show up anymore. Wait until the Red Sox come in a few weeks, oh its gonna be as bad or maybe even worse then what goes on in Birdland when they come to OPACY. Thats the extent of the damage done so far by these people and it speaks louder then words.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 5, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Nunof,

I see our record getting worse year by year and not at least a little better like in Atlanta.

And do you really think that this team is on pace to win more than 90 games next year?

The only way they could possibly win 90 is if they hit FA hard this offseason and based on The Lerner/Kasten record of cheapness in that area, I wouldn't count on it.

I think the person that may need to wake up is you.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, I think what Nunof is saying is that we have NOT been lied to by Stank et al. We may not like what we've got on the field, and we may not agree that the team's approach is a sound one or even a tolerable one. But we are getting exactly what they told us we'd get three years ago. Years of early pain with supposed blooming thereafter.

In that sense, we're on pace for an other miserable year, but we're not necessarily off Stank's pace for this illusive plan. Hate the plan, hate the product, if you want, but that doesn't mean the Nunof is smoking anything.

Now if Stan's quote to Boswell -- the team is going to be more active this off-season -- proves BS, then that's another story.

Posted by: cdstej | June 5, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"I am now a die-hard Nats fan..."

Unless the other team is doing something cool, right?

Listen, I have lived in several MLB cities and have always, after growing up a Cubs fan and learning this important lesson from Harry Cary: "root, root-root for the HOME TEAM."

And I agree with you, it is bigger than any one team (good thing, because this one team stinks), but actively rooting for your team to do badly on any one pitch/play/game/season is ... unconscionable.

That said, it's just a pass-time. One that I enjoy getting wrapped up in. I am amused by how I see myself reacting. I know it is silly. I don't mean any of it personally. I went to the park on Wednesday hoping to see a long-time master get beaten by our young hotshot but got drenched instead. Had I seen the 300th win I would have noted it in my scorebook and on my ticket and maybe told my grandkids/grandcats about it someday.


Also, Brue: how many guys have made 299 wins? how many have made 301? Is 300 any more or less special than those? Personally, I'd like to see him get win #307 because that number is prime!

...sigh....

It's a base-ten world we're living in, but this here's a three-base game.

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Lets also remember that in the 1st round in 1990, prior to the turnaround - they drafted Chipper Jones with their final high draft pick for over a decade.

David Justice was rookie of the year. Ron Gant was flashing his talent. And the team was terrible.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | June 5, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't you applaud when the other team makes a great play, like that double play started by Washington native Emmanuel Burriss last night?

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 11:14 AM

- -- --- - -- - - -

I do. It is always enjoyable to compete against a worthy competitor.

But that applause for a job well done comes after the fact. I applaud all the more when our boys hustle even harder and beat out the highlight reel play. :)

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 5, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

See there is another difference GoNatTerps, the Braves signed their 1st round picks.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that Boswell called out the Nats front office before Manny Acta takes the fall in a few weeks. The embarrassments of signing has-been FA's the last two years (except Adam Dunn) and not signing their No. 1 draft pick Aaron Crow last summer are just a couple of the examples of how the Lerner's focus on the "bottom line" has led to a terrible team and one that doesn't draw.

Maybe now that Bowden is gone, the fans can direct the ire at the ownership as leadership starts at the top. I personally have turned down free tickets at my office this year as there is little reason to go unless a marquee team is visiting like Philly, NY Mets, or Chicago.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 5, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

No worries for the Mets. They've found a cure for a losing streak, and it's right there on their schedule....

Posted by: fischy | June 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

TWINBOOK

You are not a fan. I have been a "die-hard" Reds fan since 1968. I have lived in 7 states and 14 cities over the last 41 years and no matter where I go I root for the Reds every single year, win or lose.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | June 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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