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Brewers 7, Nats 3: Riggleman Gets Tossed

On Thursday, Jim Riggleman got tossed while arguing something he wasn't even sure about. There were no tirades, no YouTube meltdowns. Riggleman was ejected on Thursday, for the first time as Washington's interim manager, in a style that fits his personality. It was orderly but reasoned. The ejection, when it came, didn't surprise him. He argued because he thought his team needed an arguer.

In the third inning of Thursday's 7-3 loss against Milwaukee -- a game Riggleman watched primarily from his visiting manager's office -- Anderson Hernandez swung at a 1-2 breaking ball from Yovani Gallardo. The pitch was low in the dirt. Riggleman thought he heard the sound of wood on hide. But he wasn't certain. Home plate ump Joe West saw no foul tip, and ruled it a strikeout.

Riggleman walked from the dugout to debate matters with West. Neither man in this debate was really new to the honored protocol. Riggleman was managing his 1,189th regular season game. West was umpiring his 4,000th. Riggleman asked West to appeal the strikeout. West declined, and that was that. Or at least it should have been. Riggleman, still calm, walked from the batter's box toward the third base ump. Heck, he thought, if West won't appeal the call, I'll appeal it myself.

He also knew the consequences.

Umpires with 4,000 games of justice don't like vigilante interim managers.

"If Joe wasn't going to ask the third-base umpire -- if I have to take it upon myself to do that -- he's going to throw me out," Riggleman said. "But I just wanted to see if the third base umpire heard the ball-bat contact, and he wasn't going to answer that question unless Joe asked him to."

So that's the short story of how Riggleman ended up watching the final 6-plus innings of this game on television. There, just about every other little toss-up moment went against the Nats as well.

The most decisive Washington mistakes came in the bottom of the seventh, which began in a 3-3 tie. J.D. Martin took the mound for that inning with an efficient day; he'd thrown just 79 pitches through six, facing 23 batters, allowing two homers but leaving just two runners on base. He was working quick, feeling sharp. But then Milwaukee started the inning with a Mike Cameron double and a Casey McGehee single. Runners were on first and third, no outs. Martin got a short talking-to from pitching coach Steve McCatty, then turned his attention to Jason Kendall.

The infield was in.

Kendall dribbled a ball to third. Ryan Zimmerman charged, scooped, and sidearmed a throw home. It smacked Wil Nieves's mitt with plenty of time to nail Cameron. But Nieves had an Eiffel Tower-type pose atop home plate, and couldn't get the tag down. Cameron slid right under him, and Milwaukee had a 4-3 lead.

"By the time I felt it on my glove and went to tag, I just tagged him too high," Nieves said. "I should have blocked [the plate], and it's one of those plays, I just have to make sure it won't happen again."

By the end of the inning, Milwaukee led 5-3 because of one other costly fielder's choice play. Right after the Kendall at bat, Martin was yanked, replaced by Sean Burnett. After a sac bunt and an intentional walk, the Brewers had the bases loaded for Craig Counsell. The inning looked all but finished when Counsell bounced a would-be double play to short. Alberto Gonzalez underhanded a throw to second baseman Anderson Hernandez. But Hernandez's throw to first bounced low and wide of first base. Counsell was safe. Milwaukee had a 5-3 lead.

A few other notes here.

  • Nyjer Morgan (in your daily update/ode) went 3-for-4 with two doubles, all the more notable because Washington had five hits total. His batting average now as a Nat: .404 (40-for-99). He deserves NL player of the month consideration.
  • Ryan Zimmerman had all three Washington RBIs on account of his fourth-inning homer, his 19th of the year.
  • Gallardo struck out 11 Washington hitters.
  • Martin, for the game, threw 90 pitches, 66 strikes. In 12 big league innings, he has walked just one hitter. So far with Washington, he's thrown 69.8-percent of his pitches for strikes.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 30, 2009; 6:18 PM ET
 
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Next: Down to the Final Hours

Comments

Argh. Repost:

@ 1a1 - This is possibly the dumbest question ever posed on this forum, but have you reported abuse on this? I hope so. I have, and I would encourage like-minded folks to do the same.

Cynically assuming that this does not result in a remedy, I think the only reasonable recourse is to self-police. Given what is obviously a screaming need for attention, I'd say ignoring all of his posts, which is really tough to do sometimes, is the way to go.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I hope you won't let it get you down, because we'd all be the poorer for that. Cheers.

Posted by: Section220 | July 30, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 220. I posted a response in the prior thread.

In other news, the Pirates traded a few more players, I believe. It might seem like old home week for the fans when we come to town (no snark intended; I feel their pain).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 30, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your Perfect Offering.
There is a crack in *everything*--
that's how the light gets in.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

... so Riggs argues and gets tossed; Manny wouldn't have. The question now remains: what was gained? Nothing, in my estimation. Bring back Manny!

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 30, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over:

"is it harder to find middle infielders than other positions?"

506, is this a trick question? I mean, seriously, how could the answer be anything but yes?

---------

I was really fishing for some numbers. Anyone know of someone who has looked through all the prospects and see who panned out? I'm not sure how you'd even measure that. Total vs. how many have played more than 300 games in the majors? I think the Hall is way too arbitrary and awards like Gold Gloves (also arbitrary) or titles don't capture the total player thing. Dare I even suggest VORP....

Posted by: Section506 | July 30, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"Cynically assuming that this does not result in a remedy, I think the only reasonable recourse is to self-police. Given what is obviously a screaming need for attention, I'd say ignoring all of his posts, which is really tough to do sometimes, is the way to go."

Honestly, I sometimes wonder about the condition of the faculties of some of the folks here? One of these sports blogs featured a continuous on-the-blog and personal email attack between a professional teams' GM and a WaPo reporter.

I am not "screaming" for attention. I don't really care if there is a response ... honestly I don't have the time or inclination to worry about such things ...

But you old codgers ought to know an old school adage when you hear it. Whether and individual or clique wants to gang up on me ... well if you start then I will be happy to finish it stop.

Don't you have anything better to do than worry about what I post? It sure seems like you are sitting there waiting for Tapioca pudding to be served before night-night.

Surly_w went out of his way to provoke an attack ... not once but several posts ... should I push the abuse button every time he makes one of his cynical remarks literally about everything I say? That would be ridiculous. But if he keeps it up I have to admit that it is entertaining to try to come up with clever quips in response?

My rapier is focused and sharp ... :)

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Poor Pirates fans.
That club must really REALLY want Bryce Harper.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | July 30, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

As I understand it the purpose of this blog function is to share information and opinion about the Nationals and the stories herein.

If someone posts something that "you believe" is wrong, is it really that hard to post what "you believe" to be correct without insulting the original poster.

Although I rarely post on this blog I go back and read it often for updates.

Most of you have interesting things to add, sometimes even more interesting then Chico's original articles

It would be sad to lose this nice blog feature because it has been reduced to... well what it has been recently.

Thank You

Posted by: anyone1 | July 30, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Finally section 220, last time I looked you didn't and never have owned this blog. It isn't for the exclusive use of "old-timers" and "chums".

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

In other more seeming more important NEWS to Nats Fans:

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark tells us that with 28 hours to go until the trading deadline, the Nationals are still listening to offers on a group that includes Nick Johnson, Josh Willingham, Cristian Guzman, Ronnie Belliard, Joe Beimel, Ron Villone, and more.

But, said Nationals president Stan Kasten, "there hasn't been anything proposed to us that makes us better. There hasn't been one move that's been brought to my attention that we need to jump at. [GM] Mike [Rizzo] hasn't brought one deal to me and said, 'Let's make this deal.' There hasn't been anything offered to us, for any player, that makes us better or makes our future better. We could get lots of minor stuff done, or lots of non-prospects. But we're just not going to do that."

Baseball Prospectus
Hard not to keep Josh Willingham

"Willingham started the second half 0-for-14, but since then, he's been on a tear, hitting .444/.483/1.037 with four homers in 29 plate appearances, including a pair of grand slams on Monday. He's been spotted well this year and is hitting a searing .302/.414/.595 in part-time duty. With the ability to hit both lefties and righties, and to play both outfield corners and first base, he's the best bench bat available, and better than many a contender's starters." - --Jay Jaffe

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"As I understand it the purpose of this blog is to share information and opinions about the Nationals and the stories herein."

Well, we do work in some Bull Durham references, bad jokes, restaurant reviews, and the odd song lyric. And Willie Harris legends. Can't forget Willie Harris legends.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and did I mention spelling and punctuation lessons?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Short-term, it was worse than that. They do seem to have pissed off the umps, and maybe encouraged the Brewers thereby. But this team doesn't have a short-term, in the same way that, say, anti-social people have no future. Riggs is making a point for the team's benefit. A little Western Union, there.
Now, was *that* a good idea? We'll see.
********************
So Riggs argues and gets tossed; Manny wouldn't have. The question now remains: what was gained? Nothing, in my estimation. Bring back Manny! Go Nats!!
Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 30, 2009 7:21 PM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

LOL, sec3!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 30, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Short-term thinking is a well-armed duck disputing the vote. Long-term thinking is revising the menu.

(Yeah, yeah, I know it's "sheep" in the original--I think "duck" is funnier. Think "Destroyer Duck" -- the sequel to Howard.)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, and did I mention spelling and punctuation lessons?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009"

Guess the testosterone replacement therapies haven't been working ...

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought you'd like that little insert, there, 1a.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Rapier: very sharp weapon ... very precise.

Just saying ...

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of long-term, it occurred to me the other day, seeing Barry's picture in the paper, that Chico is now the blogfather. The New Number Two.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't they know Nyjer doesn't care 2 pins about mud?!!! The dirtier the better. His drycleaner must make a FORTUNE.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 30, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse
*****************************************

And I'm sure that as soon as team returns home, the Lerners will have a conversation with Nyjer about this matter. Those drycleaning bills add up, you know.

Posted by: BGinVA | July 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorta like the new Doctor. It always takes a while, but he grows on you.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Drycleaner?? they only get wash-and-wear polyester. I wonder sometimes if Bud didn't talk them out of silkscreened unis, instead of tackle twill.
*****************
Don't they know Nyjer doesn't care 2 pins about mud?!!! The dirtier the better. His drycleaner must make a FORTUNE.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 30, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse
*****************************************

And I'm sure that as soon as team returns home, the Lerners will have a conversation with Nyjer about this matter. Those drycleaning bills add up, you know.

Posted by: BGinVA | July 30, 2009 8:13 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, but how long is the good Captain going to play his heart out for this bunch?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009"

Perhaps if he feels that most of the pitchers are hustling to do everything in their power to limit walks, wild pitches, free rides (and yes home runs) he'll continue.

He doesn't seem like a quitter. Neither does Lannan for starters.

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, now that you mention it, we haven't had a good restaurant review in a really long time . .

Posted by: lowcountry | July 30, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

You pose an interesting query, 506: how to quantify what position is harder to fill. I'll chew on it. Here's an idea for a direction you could think about: the spread between the best and worst regulars at each position. That might start to get at it, yes?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 30, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, anybody know a good place for lunch in Frederick? I have a morning game.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@ Sec3 - wait, you're a Doctor Who fan? Sweeeeeeeet!

Posted by: Section220 | July 30, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe failure rate would be useful--how many people come up to MLB at a position, and don't make it? You'd have to have some "multiplier" for positions like catcher, maybe. It seems to me we had a similar discussion in 2006 ...

******************
You pose an interesting query, 506: how to quantify what position is harder to fill. I'll chew on it. Here's an idea for a direction you could think about: the spread between the best and worst regulars at each position. That might start to get at it, yes?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 30, 2009 8:23 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

William Hartnell, particularly. I started on the Third Doctor, but Hartnell still defines the role.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little worried about this new kid, but we're getting just a bit OT, methinks.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

To a certain extent, he'll always be Tom Baker to me. It's cool that your favorite is not the one you started with - I think most fans sort of lock on to the first Doctor they see.

Posted by: Section220 | July 30, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I have a Tom Baker-like scarf knit for me by an ex-girlfriend. It's fantastic, so my Red-headed Cubs-fan Fiancee lets me keep it.

I like the spread idea, Scooter, because it requires a lot less time and I suspect it would give us a pretty good sketch.

Posted by: Section506 | July 30, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if there could be something of an observer effect in looking at failure rate. By which I mean, if there is a *perception* that certain positions are harder to fill, maybe more players are drafted to attempt to fill those positions, so the observed failure rate might be higher? Worth thinking about.

Posted by: Section220 | July 30, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

My red-headed Cubs fan wife has a very long 4th Doctor scarf -- knitted for her by an ex-girlfriend, too. What are the odds?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

and would that bias itself make the position harder to fill? I think so.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Which position most difficult to play--good question for Willie when he does his chat.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

but 220 may be on to something there. What if you took everyone who is drafted, sorted by position--plenty of data there--maybe give .5/position to someone drafted as a 2 position-player, for instance--and see how many of them wind up playing that position (again, "pro-rated" for time spent there) in MLB?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Another good question, Nats_Lady, but different. 506 wanted to know the hardest position to draft for effectively.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

OK, sorry. I misunderstood. Drafting pitchers, I would say, off-hand, is the biggest crapshoot, so many are drafted that don't work out. Very hard to know if there are potential (or even existing) propensity for injury.

A statistical look at drafting of position players (including/excluding catchers?) would be fascinating.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I think I would start with something simple and quantifiable, like how many players by position are drafted and don't make it to the majors within x years by reason of injury.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Also, I assume you would be looking at effective drafting for defense, since effective drafting for batting average would be the same across positions, no?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@506, sec3: IMO, the hardest positions to draft are straight up the middle [C, 2B, SS, CF]. Many players who start out at those positions in HS or College tend to either 1) physically "grow out" of that position, or 2) cannot adequately field that particular position at higher levels & have no other skills, or 3) are viewed as still valuable in a different position, simply because they can hit.

Posted by: BinM | July 30, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

506, I think you can rather easily find the league averages in key categories for both positions as well in order to establish a relative mean.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

A very insightful look at the philosophy behind the recent draft:

Brian Oliver:

"But digging deeper, there appears to be more to the philosophy.

Storen has received kudos from other coaches on the way he handles himself, from his composure on and off the mound to his focus and dedication to refining his craft. Kobernus was described as the quiet MVP for the Bears, a testament on a team that had two highly thought of draft prospects (Brett Jackson and Blake Smith). And Holder has received praise for returning to college and acting as a team leader for the Bulldogs.

It appears that the Nationals selected three players who are smart/team-first guys. Now I realize that only goes so far and talent and prodiction on the field is critical. But given the players with baggage that Bowden brought in on his watch, it appears that Rizzo and the Nationals are attempting to shift the mindset from players with problems to players who can be leaders."

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Brian Oliver:

"With their second pick, the Nationals went with Stanford right-handed pitcher Drew Storen, a draft eligible sophomore. His was a name we had heard floated prior to the draft. From what Acting General Manager Mike Rizzo said, it appears that Storen will be a bullpen option; one who can realistically make the quick move to the Nationals. If he signs early, and from reports it sounds like it will happen quickly, Storen could very well be in the bullpen by late August.

In the second round, the Nationals chose University of California-Berkeley junior second baseman Jeff Kobernus. Scouting reports describe him as a prototypical #2 hitter with solid defensive skills. Given the lack of middle infield prospects in the Nationals organization, he is an intriguing choice.

With their final pick of day one, the Nationals selected University of Georgia senior right-handed pitcher Trevor Holder. This was off the board for most experts. Holder was selected in the tenth round of the 2008 draft but chose to return to Georgia for his senior season. The reports of his stuff leave lingering questions. His fastball reportedly plays best in the 87-92 range, any faster and it becomes straight and hittable. His slider is in the mid-80s but has been described as inconsistent. The initial comments from the folks on the MLB channel are that he is a right-handed workhorse type pitcher."

Nationals 2009 3rd round draft pick Trevor Holder has been promoted from Hagerstown to Potomac. Overall with the Suns, the right-handed Holder compiled a 2-0 record with a 3.55 ERA and a 12/3 K/BB ratio. Holder seems likely to replace RHP Adam Carr in the P-Nats rotation (Other SPs are RHP Hassan Pena & Brad Peacock and LHPs Will Atwood & Tom Milone). The P-Nats have yet to announce their SP for Friday’s game.

Additionally, the Suns will receive 2009 4th round selection A.J. Morris to replace Holder. Morris had been playing for the GCL Nationals. Morris was 0-0 in two appearances (5IP) for the GCL Nats with 0.00ERA and 0.00WHIP and four strikeouts.


Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I would think if you simply sought draftees who ended up in the majors for more than 300 games, it would control for things like fielding and batting average, since those are ultimately a function of position based on the assumptions of my question.

You couldn't do years to majors, because things can hold up prospects like injuries or other players blocking them. I think a little under 2 years worth of games allows us to count utility players as well, who, we would have to admit, have made it also.

Posted by: Section506 | July 30, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

You know, 506 (et al.), I've chewed on this a bit, and I think the easiest answer is also correct. Surely you're familiar with the defensive spectrum? I believe Bill James gave it that name, but it's a pretty simple concept. Anyway, if memory serves, the spectrum looks something like this: C-SS-2B-CF-3B-RF-LF-1B. From left to right, that's the positions with the worst offensive output, on average, to those with the best.

Two things about the spectrum: 1) it shows where teams are willing to sacrifice offense to get good, or passable, defense; and 2) players only ever move in one direction. You'll see a catcher moved to third or even second, or a shortstop moved to first, but never ever ever (um, with one notable local exception) do you see a third baseperson moved to short.

So basically, as things shake out, there are fewer players available to play middle infield. And if there are fewer of something, that makes it harder to find. Right?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 30, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

willie needs to start playing second asap

Posted by: bford1kb | July 30, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I mean, this ties in with what was observed above: most major-league ballplayers were, at some point, the shortstop (or maybe pitcher or center fielder) on their teams, because that's where the best athletes go. And I'm pretty sure that the most heavily-drafted positions (among position players) are short and center. (If someone could find an actual sortable list and confirm this for us, that would be so raven!) So basically, teams keep trying to draft those elusive middle infielders. Some fail because of injuries, felonies, attitudes, whatever. Some fail because they just can't hit. And some "fail" to other positions because they ain't got the glove. Teams know this, so they draft accordingly.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 30, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse


Scooter - I think you are right about James' spectrum but it seems 2B (in more recent seasons) is a position where many teams have been willing to sacrifice D to gain a little O. This may be a more recent trend, but guys like Roberts, Cano, Kinsler, Hill & Uggla sure emphasize the O than the D.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse


"willie needs to start playing second asap
Posted by: bford1kb | July 30, 2009"

That is the customary position he plays in the infield.

Kobernus had a knee injury and is going to rehab in Florida... so ... you won't be seeing him until next year. He was the top position player selected in this draft ...

Makes the possibility of a trade or trades greater I guess.

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly I just found out that Aaron Crow still hasn't signed with KC. Could he go two drafts without signing??? Doesn't this delay put even more blame for not signing in 2008 on his shoulders?

Posted by: anyone1 | July 30, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"Kobernus had a knee injury and is going to rehab in Florida... so ... you won't be seeing him until next year. He was the top position player selected in this draft ...

Makes the possibility of a trade or trades greater I guess."


How is this conceivable? Kobernus was playing short season A ball. How could this possibly impact a trade?

I can just see the Nats braintrust sitting around the war room table..."Kobernus is hurt...now we cant trade anybody or if we do, we need to pick up another low A middle infielder".


Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Its getting really very stuffy with all the 'lofty' proselytizing here ... hmmm time for a great PTD from RI:

"Can you describe to me what constitutes a "good fart"?

A good fart is one when used strategically allows you to rid yourself of the company of people you'd prefer not to be around.

A better fart occurs in the privacy of your SUV/car/bathroom when it seems so bad you're amazed by the brimstone cloud of funk your colon is able to eek out of whatever dinner was.

A woman who stays with you when you release a fart is one you should marry right away.

Finally, there is no truth to the urban legend that a lighted match will cause flames to shoot from one's backside while issuing a fart: this was learned after multiple attempts while in college and a marriage where a woman didn't mind that I farted.

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, Tell me if this is crazy:

Sign and trade Strasburg to SD with Nick Johnson for Adrian Gonzalez and SD next years pick.

Thoughts?

Posted by: curz | July 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Curz: It could happen.

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sign and trade Strasburg to SD with Nick Johnson for Adrian Gonzalez and SD next years pick.

This is crazy

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@curz: not sure I follow your logic. They can't trade for draft picks.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

ok, make it Adrian Gonzalez and prospects.

Point is, we may not get SS, and he wants to go to SD. Why not get value in Gonzalez?

Every wins?

Posted by: curz | July 30, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Curz, I think they would still have to sign SS first though ...

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Everyone* wins.

The point is, we may not get SS, he wants the Padres and I am sure they want him.

We sign and trade SS, we get Adrian Gonzalez who is about 27?

Change the other details all you want, Nick Johnson, prospects, etc.

Posted by: curz | July 30, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure SS would sign with the promise of being immediately sent to SD.

Isn't that allowed?

Sorry if I am missing something and way off base.

Posted by: curz | July 30, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

It may be crazy, but I like it. Is Adrian Gonzalez on the last year of his contract with SD?

Maybe it's not so crazy.

Posted by: bigmook | July 30, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

OK, ALL TOGETHER NOW:

YOU CAN'T TRADE DRAFT PICKS.
YOU CAN'T TRADE PLAYERS DRAFTED FOR A FULL YEAR.

I'm picturing the opening to The Simpsons, with Bart writing "I will not post about trading draft picks." 1000 times.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg can not be traded for a year from the date he signs a contract.

He could be a PTBNL, but thats at least six months from the day he is signed (I think).

Besides, the Nats arent going to spend $15-20 mil only to trade him.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa: Awwww, it was fun to dream...

OK reality. That trade can't happen.

So who do the Nats trade before the deadline, and for whom?

0r maybe they don't make any trades in the next 27.5 hours.

Posted by: bigmook | July 30, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

(southern drawl) you're not from around here are ya boy?

Posted by: NatsNut | July 30, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Re: Strasburg...

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned here (or I have missed), is the fact that San Diego may not have the $$$ for SS next year. SD is a smallish market and SS would be taking a huge (IMHO) risk thinking that he could get more money next year.

Of Course, there IS that home-town discount thing...

Posted by: TimDz | July 30, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:

There are two rules to a PTBNL transaction. The deal must close within a six-month time frame following the conclusion of the rest of the trade, and the player must change leagues.

So Strasburg could not be a Player To Be Named later because the Padres are an NL team like the Nats.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I love that movie!

Posted by: bigmook | July 30, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"Curz, I think they would still have to sign SS first though..."

Is this a joke? I laughed. Out loud.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Thought I would change the subject to the department of interesting promotions: The Marlins have a "family concert" Sunday after the game, with the Village People.

Posted by: paulkp | July 30, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

You can't trade draft picks? Who knew?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 30, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

LDO, I just did the most disgustingly unscientific survey of offense at 2B vs CF. This year at least, the 2B do indeed appear to be outhitting the CF. (Eyeballing the list of guys with at least 310 PAs, the 2B seem to be better at both the top and the bottom.)

By the way, if you put "defensive spectrum" into a google, you can find the article about it on the Wikipedia. There's an interesting note there about the only time the spectrum has shifted -- in about the 30s, I think it said, when 2B defense was adjudged more important than at 3B. Fun stuff.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 30, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow vs. the pirates (or those in pirate unis) will mark the return of Blastings Thrilledge to the bigs (if that is what the pirates are). This could get interesting, or at least worth watching.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 30, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

OK, so I am crazy. (or I just dont know the rules about trading recently drafted players). My bad

Posted by: curz | July 30, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

and in honor of the Pirates, who don't do anything (right)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaWU1CmrJNc

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

curz, don't worry, it was a fun dream while it lasted...

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Pirates hope to boost attendance by promoting this as Lastings' "Revenge Weekend." Sadly for them, Pittsburgh fans probably know more players on the Nats than their own team..But that's what they get for their hockey team knocking the Caps from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 30, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Nats_Lady.

I would love to see Adrian Gonzalez in a Nats uniform.

Posted by: curz | July 30, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

It's still tough to take seeing the original blogfather now posting on the Snydermens' training camp. We'll keep the light on for ya, Barry.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 30, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

RE: PTBNL: "and the player must change leagues."
This I did not know, so I looked up why:

The player may not have been playing in the American League at the time of the trade). This rule was instituted after Harry Chiti was traded for himself in 1962 (he was traded from the Indians to the Mets for a PTBNL, which turned out to be himself.

Ahh. The ole Harry Chiti rule.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Everybody,

I have been very ill of late but have watched a site I used to enjoy very much sink into levels of depravity that I sometimes can't believe.

Periculum, you need to seek some professional help. When you are criticized you strike back with language that is totally unacceptable in any format. Being anonymous on the internet does not give you permission to write some of the things you have written.

I am a former Washingtonian who now lives in Oregon and was ecstatic when baseball came back to D.C. I have gone back every year to watch 5 or six games. My favorite being the June 10th, 2005 game during the 10 game winning streak. I had hoped for that night for 33 years. This site gave me the chance to communicate with fellow Nats fans since there are not too many of those out here. I doubt if I will be around for another year.

Unfortunately, to my dismay, one disgusting voice has begun to keep me from reading this site. I will join the other person in reporting his behavior to the Washington Post.

Periculum, I strongly urge you to seek professional help. Your violent writing is a little scary.

Posted by: natsguy | July 30, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Get well, natsguy.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 30, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, but how would changing leagues prevent a guy from being traded for himself? (Thanks, 12-8, this is really cool).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 30, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

actually, if the team changed leagues in the meantime (as the Brewers have), then he could be traded from a team in one league, and PTBNL'd back to the first team, and stay still change leagues.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Marlins on the hunt for Nick Johnson...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/marlins-making-push-for-nick-johnson.html

I'm not liking this....at all.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 30, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't the Marlins already have a significant degree of ownage of the Nats WITHOUT Nick?

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 30, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"stay still changed leagues"???
(shaking head)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Think Bonifacio, Leetee... This could work.
**********
Don't the Marlins already have a significant degree of ownage of the Nats WITHOUT Nick?

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 30, 2009 11:14 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not real sure where the whole league change comes into effect. A quick bit of googling shows Chiti was a Mets expansion draft pick traded back to the Indians. Doesnt appear as though this had any impact whatsoever since Chiti never played in the majors once he was traded back to the Indians.

I can only assume teams were wary of the potential to trade away players for cash or lesser prospects and a PTBNL knowing their traded player would be the PTBNL at some point in the future.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 30, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"Tomorrow vs. the pirates (or those in pirate unis) will mark the return of Blastings Thrilledge to the bigs (if that is what the pirates are). This could get interesting, or at least worth watching."

Provided, of course, that Milledge manages to show up on time.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 30, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

SS won't wind up in San Diego.
The Padres are about 8 games out of last place, but in a pack. If the Nats don't sign the guy this year, and can't next year so they'll take someone else with picks 1 and 1b, letting SS fall to third overall (and that's gonna cost him money, I've got to believe), the odds of being next worse, even if they're trying, aren't that good.
I think the Nats will sign him, probably, but only Boras knows for sure.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Pirates traded Grabow and Gorzelany to Cubs for flotsam and jetsam. Apparently, everything (and everybody) must go from PNC Park.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 30, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

@ Sec3mysofa: I made that same point ($$$-wise) in an earlier post. Given SD's ownership issues and their market size, SS will be leaving a whole lot of money on the table if he doesn't sign this year. I said at the get-go that 18-23 million gets it done. I would LOVE to see the FO come out with a nice big # publicly and let Boras deal with the backlash...

Posted by: TimDz | July 30, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm really enjoying all the different thoughts on measuring difficulty in filling positions with adequate talent. When August comes, maybe we can find time to run some of these.

In the meantime, it's good to see the Pittsburgh ball club finally do what is needed to keep their most valuable member:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/50814

Posted by: Section506 | July 30, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

506, if you're gonna insist on actually using, like, numbers and stuff, your idea of 300 major-league games sounded pretty good to me.

I wonder whether those 300 games need to be *in the middle infield* (or wherever) in order to answer your question. That is, do you need to exclude guys drafted as shortstops who then moved to third (or wherever)?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 30, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

onion = good

Pirates havent had a winning season since 1992. Sucks to be PNC Ballpark (and a PIT fan).

So, if I am drafting based on position difficulty, I would draft C, SS, CF, 3B, RF, 2B, LF, 1B. Starting pitcher would always come first however.

I havent given any shout outs recently. So I figure 12:15 AM is as good as any. Jim Duquette on MLB Power Alley with Seth Everett is great. Fantastic insight during the trade rumor season. Check them out on XM 175.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 31, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9871032/MLB-trade-deadline-buzz:-Thursday%27s-edition

UPDATED -- Marlins waiting for answer from Nats — 12:30 a.m.
The Marlins are waiting to hear if the Nationals will accept their offer for first baseman Nick Johnson, according to major-league sources.

The proposed deal would send Class AAA right-hander Ryan Tucker to Washington, with the Nationals paying part of the approximately $1.8 million remaining on Johnson's contract.

Posted by: curz | July 31, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Natsguy, I'm with you, and followed your lead.

I have particularly enjoyed the difficulty of position discussion this evening - and who'd a thunk the ole Harry Chitni rule?

Posted by: Traveler8 | July 31, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

All I know is that Harry Chiti sounds like a condition...

Posted by: HotNats | July 31, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Welcome home Chico. Enjoy the view from the press box. Just don't look down. What transpires on the field this weekend could set baseball back 100 years.

Posted by: NoRebound | July 31, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Good to have a head-to-head series against Milledge (and Hanrahan). Looking forward to playing against the bum; he'll break the wong way for sure. I hope someone throws at him. Riggleman put up with Betancourt, who was their Lastings? Lucy got some ‘splainin’ to do. Not Sonia, tho.

Elijah Dukes is double-jointed.

Nats_Ladyl, they like Ryan Langerhans in Seattle. The kid who replaced him in the outfield is hitting .180.

I just don’t care enough.

Harper, Strasburg, Foli: 3 Number 1’s in our stable?

Norris has 16 errors? Maybe more by now. Anyone know how many were PBs?

Who is this total load, perispeculum?

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 31, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to say that we do NOT need Ryan Tucker. Sheesh.

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 31, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

natsguy, I have always enjoyed your contributions here and hope that you will continue to contribute as you are able. I also hope that your health takes a turn for the better.

Re. the Marlins trade, I didn't follow the link but after reading the lede I had a brief frisson (and not in a good way) in thinking that we might be getting Boni back in the trade. What? A pitcher? Okay, then. If it does happen I will wish Nick well and bid a fond farewell to the last of the Expos and a real ballplayer.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 31, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Then again, good point on the Marlins' ownage of the Nats. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 31, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Three quick thoughts before I walk the dog...

1) We're all in this lifeboat together. Since there's no sign of land in sight, let's all try to get along and share the supplies carefully.

2) Disregard point 1 if anybody brings up Doctor Who again.

2a) That was a joke.

3) We should get more than a AAA pitcher for Nick Johnson, even if I don't know anything about the AAA pitcher.

That is all.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

The Marlins expect the Nats to give them Nick Johnson for a Triple A pitcher, Ryan Tucker, with a 1-2 record, 8.04 ERA and 14 walks in 15 innings? Do the Fish take the Nats for idiots? May Mike Rizzo not bite into this rotten bait. Johnson is worth at least a major league calibre young starter or reliever or preferably a high-grade middle infielder a la Eric Davis Jr on Colorado's Triple A affiliate.

Posted by: mx_heinrich | July 31, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Let me join mine to the voices saying this Nick-to-the-Fish deal doesn't sound like the Nats get much back. Fuhgeddaboutit!

And I'll also join the efforts to respond to Nats Guy's call to arms for keeping this blog reasonable and pleasant. And get well, Nats Guy!

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 31, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

If Rizzo takes a AAA pitcher for Johnson, that mean nobody offered more. If you'd rather keep him and try to re-sign, fine with me. But you're not going to get much at this point.

Posted by: sjt1455 | July 31, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

We could also trade Nick and then re-sign him in the offseason, a la Mike Stanton.

Also, it's Eric YOUNG jr, not Eric Davis jr. in Colorado. But the larger point is that the economics of the game have changing and now teams are much more reluctant to deal top prospects. We're not going to get equal value for our guys, so I've said for a while that we're better off keeping actual major leaguers instead of dealing for maybe major leaguers.

Burnett had a great quote about the Bucs, "I guess their A and AA teams will be good."

I watch games in SE not Woodbridge.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Sorry... 'are changing' not 'have changing'... haven't had my coffee yet.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I saw something on the MLB trade rumors site that specified two pitchers, and it also noted that negotiations were ongoing. Then again, it might have been Ken Rosenthal reporting. BTW, I also heard that he was going to be traded to ESPN for a manual typewriter and a dried up bottle of whiteout.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 31, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Rosenthal, that is.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 31, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Boo on Ryan Tucker. Come on, Fish, do you want to win the division or not? Put something out there.

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 31, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Ryan Tucker is the youngest pitcher on their AAA roster. Also ranked as their #5 prospect by BA.

2006 - #10 ranked for FLA
2007 - #8 ranked for FLA
2008 - #3 ranked for FLA
2009 - #5 ranked for FLA

He appears to have had some injury issues this year or something else leading to limited activity.

Posted by: sjt1455 | July 31, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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