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Cubs 6, Nats 2

Washington's fresh start, that blessed byproduct of the all-star break managerial change, lasted all the way up until the moment baseball resumed on Thursday night. The Nats' 6-2 loss to the Cubs might as well have been a two-hour, 39-minute nonverbal message exclaiming: "It's not your fault, Manny."

Loss No. 62 in this season showed, at most, trace evidence of change/improvement. Rich Harden, well-rested, was throwing 98 mph smoke, and the Nats had only four hits all night. Washington's bullpen took its jackhammer to a close game, allowing three in the top of the ninth. Meantime, Ryan Zimmerman's peculiar throwing bugaboo continues. His 13th error the season, where a standard third-to-first throw took off like a kite, led to Chicago's first run... and Washington's 48th unearned run of the year.

"Obviously it's something I've been working on and will continue to work on," Zimmerman said. "I realize it's a point in my game that needs improvement."

Added Riggleman: "I think sometimes Ryan gets in between whether he's gonna pick it up and fire or take another step and throw it on the run. I think maybe we saw a little bit of in between there, and it just didn't come out of his hand good. We're just going to put the work in to cut down on that. He makes the play on the run so good that I think sometimes he gets in the position where he's anxious to do that, and now when he plants and throws he's a little out of whack sometimes."

Players, and even Riggleman himself, acknowledged that this game didn't feel much different from any that preceded it. "There's really not a whole lot to feel good about," Riggleman said.

"We're making stinkin' boatloads of money to go out there and win baseball games," Josh Bard said.

Before I sign off for the night, let me update the info on Scott Olsen. The Nats are hoping, at the moment, that the lefty can start on Monday. (He'd be, in essence, the fifth starter out of the break.) Riggleman said, "I'm hoping it's not an injury. I'm hoping it's just some soreness. It's underneath his left arm, lat area, whatever. I'm hoping it's just some muscle tightness that we just feel like we're going to be conservative with and back him off a few days and tentatively schedule him for Monday."

Olsen, who has a policy of not speaking about injuries, dodged the chance to comment -- even when somebody tried to ask him about his hoped-for recovery, not the injury itself. Olsen only said that, yes, he hopes he'll be able to start Monday. So, that's that.

Also, I'm gonna disappear for the next two days. Go totally dark. I'm hoping to recharge the batteries for about 48 hours, which means I'll be counting on you guys -- and perhaps a little bit on Mark Viera -- to keep the Journal pumping with life. I have a feeling y'all will be up to the task, but thanks for understanding.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 11:07 PM ET
 
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Next: Olsen Scheduled to Start on Monday (Updated)

Comments

I haven’t posted much at all lately, but now that An Briosca Mor, aka The Neapolitan Dracula, The Boor (Bore?) of Venice, nunof1, is staked and gone, I had a few things. BTW, what a load poncedeleroy is. And thx for calling him out, LosDoceOcho. A little of pericurlyW goes a long way.

Our All-Star now leads MLB in 3B errors? OK, tied with Boni, a second baseman. Get on the bench, boy.

Flynnie, now that Norris has cracked the top 50 minor leaguers, Brian says that he will be catching at Potomac. When he does, he may link up with a Suns’ battery mate in the 8th or 9th, Osvaldo Rodriguez, who was up for the last few games of the PNats run last year. This year a bit earlier. He has just turned 25, long in the tooth.
BinM has indicated elsewhere that Ozzie doesn’t have a breaking ball for strikes to brag about, but others have said that his curve ball is a “deadly and almost unhittable pitch.” I hope some PNats NJ fans will get a look at his out pitch and report 12/6, 1/5 or something else.

Here is an old chart with Ozzie on it at age 20. Note #s 3and 6. Interesting.

Minors Value Index, 2004 Los Angeles Dodgers Starters (Minimum 40 IP)
1. Greg Miller, LHP, Jacksonville 245.51
2. Edwin Jackson, RHP, Jacksonville 227.35
3. Chad Billingsley, RHP, Ogden 212.16
4. Osvaldo Rodriguez, RHP, South Georgia 202.69
5. Mike Megrew, LHP, Ogden 202.36
6. Joel Hanrahan, RHP, Las Vegas 187.20

Okay, a quiz. If we draft SS, we will then have two number one overall MLB draft picks in our organization. Who is the second? “He could start a fight in a monastery." “Once he was so angry with himself after an error he made cost his team a game that he slept on second base all night.” A potential, future manager of ours. Drafted number 5 that year? Another potential, future manager of ours.

Finally, if anyone collects old Senators/Nats stuff, there are three World Series programs being sold in one lot at auction on Saturday. 1924, 1925, and 1933. I know that commercial stuff is not for this site, so I won’t mention the seller, but if anyone wants to know, I’ll whisper the locale to them. Maybe Phil Wood knows someone interested? I’d prefer they go to one of you or other local fans rather than some out-of-towner(s). Riggleman may remember Valentine and O’Connell, but I’m back at Mcdermott (pinch-hitting pitcher), Valdivielso, Porterfield, Plews, bleachers, Griffith Stadium, doubleheader, 75 cents.

Go Nats! (okay, Sens!)


Posted by: nova_g_man | July 16, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

26-62

The Inverse return suck on it and like it.

I still like Riggleman in the pool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NOdgKZxLzA

Posted by: Brue | July 16, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh gee as the torch would say FLAME ON>>>>

"I really hate to be so negative. But enough is enough.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | July 16, 2009 "

First LosDoceOcho what the f&&& kind of FEM name is that? Did you see it on cerial box? The "sweet eye"? Does that mean you do something naughty? Is Hershey highway your specialty? Sheeesh, what a moron.

You leave yourself open for so much alt.flame abuse it's pathetic.

~really laughing now~

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

Clearly LosDoceOcho is 506 in disguise ... pathetic, really pathetic, so very, very pathetic.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, 506 and his nome-de-plume : LosDoceOcho fits the pathetic state of the Nats.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse


"LDO,

Nicely played. The tough guy stuff with 506 and making fun of NatsNut and 1a was to much for me as well.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 16, 2009"

Sheesh another pathetic nursing home / assisted living type ... sigh ...

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Noting that "503" is awfully close to "506". Wonder if their caretakers accompany "them" to games. :)

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Section505203:

pericurlyW, another live one; i'm guessing meth.

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 16, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"Section505203:

pericurlyW, another live one; i'm guessing meth.

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 16, 2009"

"g-man"? Done enough work with them and the DEA. Its almost blatantly clear that these guys [506 503] ( or guy) lives in a nursing home or assisted living and has nothing better to do with their/his time.

Its called calling "a spade a spade".

G-man? That appears to be a non-sequitor.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

"Flynnie, now that Norris has cracked the top 50 minor leaguers, Brian says that he will be catching at Potomac."

He wasn't promoted. Instead they promoted Sean and Desmond mr. g-man.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Periculum,

Everybody has the right to be an A-hole but, you're abusing the privilege.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 16, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Chico, have a nice break. It is really great reading your stuff. See you on the other side.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

"Periculum,

Everybody has the right to be an A-hole but, you're abusing the privilege.

Posted by: Section505203"

Hope they had Tapioca tonight at your assisted living abode? I am sure you enjoy it.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Section505203:

pericurlyW, another live one; i'm guessing meth.

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 16, 2009 11:28 PM
___________________________________________________________

He's a live wire alright. He needs to put the crack pipe down.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 17, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Pitching Julian Taveres is proof positive that Riggleman is a dumb as Acta.

Posted by: bupbups | July 17, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"He's a live wire alright. He needs to put the crack pipe down.

Posted by: Section505203"

503 or is it 506 did you fall out of your wheel chair? Did you fall down and can't get up? And how was that Tapioca? You didn't drool too much did you?

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Section505203: loves the "Clapper".

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

They should have released Tavarez long ago ... but they were in no hurry ... they are in last place and perhaps the minors is a better place at this juncture for most of the prospects.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he figures if he pitches him enough, either a) his arm will fall off and he'll no longer be on the roster, or b) Rizzo will figure out how terrible he is and can him.
--
Pitching Julian Taveres is proof positive that Riggleman is a dumb as Acta.

Posted by: bupbups | July 17, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | July 17, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

This is possibly the worst defensive team in the history of baseball. They're like the Bad News Bears out there. Seriously, if I have to listen to Bob Carpenter talk about how great a defensive player Zimmerman is one more time I'm going to put my TV on mute for the rest of the season. Great defensive players don't airmail the ball to first base once a game. I saw better throws from Steve Sax and Macky Sasser.

You can't blame Manny for this one, Zimm. Only you gave up the first run of the game and then followed it up with 3 terrible plate appearances only to "redeem" yourself with a meaningless home run in the 9th.

To quote Charles Barkley, "Just Terrible"

Posted by: d-35 | July 17, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

FJB points statheads to Baseball Musings, where the Nats mid-point numbers are briefly dissected.

http://baseballmusings.com/?p=37506

Interestingly, Nats're among the top 6 NL teams in batting average, slugging pct and OBA (2nd!). In actual runs per game, we produce almost a half run per game below what the numbers predict.

Of course pitching stats are at the very bottom of the barrel. But we know how the relievers pull all the numbers down -- and our rookie starters are much closer to middling mediocre than nightmarish horrible.

What the numbers say to me is that, unless the team is intentionally throwing games or unless there's something creepy going on there's hope:

1) The relievers need urgent attention
2) Defense needs to focus focus focus (& Morgan was a step in the right direction).
3) Better coaching and small ball can help those runners score (by avoiding pickoffs, bonehead blunders & double plays, better situational hitting).

Reasons to Be Cheerful Pt. 4?

Unfortunately Riggleman doesn't strike me as the guy that's going to change the doomed outlook of this team into jumping jack optimism.

Posted by: nattydread1 | July 17, 2009 2:46 AM | Report abuse

What are the Nats going to do about Padilla? He's hitting better than .360 at Syracuse.

Dukes is doing fine, too, so I guess if NJ is traded, we get Dunn at first, and Dukes in RF, Willingham in LF.

So on Sept. 1, the Nats either bring Eldred or DaMeat up as the other option.

Might as well give Padilla look. Nothing else has worked.

Posted by: nats24 | July 17, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

... is it just me, or judging by the photo accompanying Chico's gamer, does Jimm Riggs look like he could be Stan Kasten's brother?

... also, where's Jesus Flores these days? For anyone who can't recall the name, he's the Nats number one catcher - or is he simply the Nick Johnson of the catching fraternity?

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 17, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

The team is celebrating a "fresh start" with a get your red on campaign such as they had in 2006. Players are wearing their red jerseys all weekend and fans are encouraged to do in an attempt to hit the reset button. IMO, particularly given the product on the field, the team should go all out with this campaign and offer discounted outfield seats as they did in 2006. That would probably just mean more Cubs fans, though. (as usual, no offense to 506' RHCFF)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

And I'm talking a serious discount, as they did back then.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Trade stuff involving Nats:
http://therocket.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/07/johnson_harris_on_trade_block.html

Posted by: joemktg1 | July 17, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Fire Riggleman!

Posted by: rachel216 | July 17, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

@natsfanreduxit
First, a belated welcome back. Second, Fores is on he DL for a shouldr injury, probably but not officialy for the whole season

Posted by: adhardwick | July 17, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I second the welcome back for natscan. Also, in a game broadcast last week, someone (Carpenter, I think) mentioned that Flores would be having a second MRI to evaluate his progress. I haven't seen anything on the results of that MRI.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Objectively, I don't understand the point of firing Manny Acta for Jim Riggleman. Riggleman has professed to doing the same things Manny did. The lineup was the same. He used the pitchers the same way -- Tavares in the 9th, predictable imploding.

If Riggleman is doing the exact same thing as Manny Acta, and everyone agrees Manny Acta was a great guy, why not just keep Manny Acta? If you fired Acta, you get someone who is going to do things differently. At least do SOMETHING differently.

Posted by: raymitten | July 17, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This team is probably incapable of doing a fresh start. The problems on this team are too confounding for more than just a managerial change. Our 3 and 4 hitters striking out five times is indicative of what is sick about this offense.

Zimmerman's error was hurtful in so many ways. First it cracked the door open for the Cubs on a night when Lannan was doing a good job of stifling them. Next, it planted the nefarious seed in the minds of the Nats--the 'here we go again' thought that is part of the culture of losers. Third, it caused Lannan to throw a lot more pitches than he needed to in order to retire the Cubs. This of course wore him out by the sixth inning, hastening the appearance of our bullpen.

Count me as one who can not wait for this team to be blown apart. I can only stomach the 110 losses this season if I know that we are unburdening ourselves of the inept, the slow, the defensively challenged and the horrendous members of our bullpen.

Posted by: driley | July 17, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

So, that post on Baseball Musings (thanks, nattydread) confirms a little more kvetching material. Given the OBP and slugging, the Nats should be scoring more runs than they are. AND given the runs they DO score, they should be winning more games than they are. (As of this writing, b-r has the Pythagorean W-L 8 games better than reality.) It all adds up to one big steaming bowl of AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGH!

Or, as the Bard once said: "We're making stinkin' boatloads of money to go out there and win baseball games." I know the quote doesn't really fit here, but I love it.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I am not big on people losing their jobs but I think we have played out the string on Julian Tavares. It is clear has run out of gas. I think the same maybe said for Villone. I would bring up some kid and see if has major league potential. I would also like to see Maxwell and Dukes being given a full shot. They have more upside than some of the guys on the major league level. As I said this is a lost season lets see what we have.

Posted by: mjames0 | July 17, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Josh is a funny guy.

Friday

1) Do laundry
2) Get Nats tickets for the weekend
3) Go to work to pay for the above.

(sigh)

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"If Riggleman is doing the exact same thing [during games] as Manny Acta, and everyone agrees Manny Acta was a great guy, why not just keep Manny Acta?"
Posted by: raymitten | July 17, 2009 9:04 AM
++++++++++++++++
In case you were serious, raymitten, I'll answer: because the manager does more than write out lineups and bring in relief pitchers.

(I have no idea, and you probably don't either, whether Riggleman will be better than Acta at motivating and etc. But they're hoping that he is.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

From a strategy perspective, I'm in favor of making no personnel moves other than trades until after the deadline.

Then I'm in favor of making a lot of personnel moves.

Posted by: Section506 | July 17, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Nats_Lady, is your laundry really that expensive?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Per Loverro at the OP, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Scooter, ha ha ha ha! Well, it's not free, like the Nats tickets SHOULD be--fair market value. Costs, let's see, .25 x 24 = $6.00 for my laundry, plus soap and fabric softener, so, say $8.00?

Maybe I shouldn't do any laundry til they win a game? Not buy tickets til they win a game?

Nope--creature of habit here.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I can get behind not doing your laundry. But not buying tickets to ballgames? That's just gross.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

... thank you all for your kind welcome back.

... now as to last night’s disappointment ( as opposed to all the other disappointments of late), I was truly disgruntled that Jim Riggs was unable to nail his first one, albeit to my fellow Canuckian, Rich Hardin. Alas, it was par for the course. (And at this point, I have to express some sympathetic admiration for both C. Harlan and many of the Nats’ members, whose capacity to find new and unique ways to explain the team’s dismal showing this year continues to be sorely tested.)

... and now for the ongoing ‘where are they’ saga. Wazzup with daMeat these days? Is he riding the buses to various minor league parks yet, or is the team still paying him to live in Florida, and if so, did they send E. Dukes down there too, so Dmitri could keep on mentoring him?

... it’s becoming far too easy to turn my mind to the forgotten ones this year. Wonder why that could be?

... I had a great time back in mid-June. I got to watch the guys on TV when the curly W's really meant it, and they showed the Blue Jays that any NL team could handle any AL team any weekend.

... but it's back to GameDay until August 11 when I get to see them play on Atlanta’s PeachTree – one game out of three anyway.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 17, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

natscan, if you have WGN in your cable package, I believe that the Saturday and Sunday games will be broadcast there (you'd hear their broadcasters, of course).

Dmitri played for the P-Nats (class A advanced team) the other day. Here's a link to the gamer:

http://tinyurl.com/n7kfv9

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

natscan, Young is indeed riding buses in the bushes. Can't remember which team he's with right now, but I know he's been showing up on the Farm Authority's game reports.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Sigh.

There goes another Coke.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

haha - I beat you to the punch, Scooter!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Things go better with Coke.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Daryl Strawberry? Is that you???

Posted by: soundbloke | July 17, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Not *that* kind of Coke, sb. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, they ended up discounting seats so much that single-game tickets were cheaper than what I paid per game for my 20-game plan.

In fact, with the price cuts following the grand reopening, single-game tickets two sections in front of me were still cheaper than what I paid per game for my 20-game plan.

I wrote them a letter, and they said they were going to give me a voucher for a free ticket for every remaining plan ticket I had. However, these never arrived.

-----

And I'm talking a serious discount, as they did back then.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 17, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm particularly impressed with Chico's ability to switch on the snark for his NJ postings. If you read this post, then go read the gamer, you'll get a sense of what I mean.

-----

And at this point, I have to express some sympathetic admiration for both C. Harlan and many of the Nats’ members, whose capacity to find new and unique ways to explain the team’s dismal showing this year continues to be sorely tested

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 17, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking about that last night listening to Charlie and Dave. We can have our bad days/moods around here. Those poor guys have to stay optimistic for nine innings practically every night. They are going to need a good vacation once this season is over.
____________________________
And at this point, I have to express some sympathetic admiration for both C. Harlan and many of the Nats’ members, whose capacity to find new and unique ways to explain the team’s dismal showing this year continues to be sorely tested

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 17, 2009 10:48 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Ray Knight had some flubs during the post-game. He kept going on and on about how Stammen was hurt and scratched from tonight's game. (I guess he meant Olsen)

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 17, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"Periculum...usually I just scroll over your nonsense. "

LDO speaks for me, too, in this case.

I have to chuckle at us. I came to this site to read professional writers muse about the awful game I watched last night, but I got caught up in the circus of comments. We are hilarious, really.

And, since I haven't figured out how to post from a blackberry since WP changed up the site, I should note that I really enjoyed the review of some very old comments that showed up a few days ago. :)

And please, pretty
consider my itty
request: in this forum
use a bit more decorum.
Avoid the ad-hominem
so when the boys eventually win
we can all toast and grin
and fondly remember these days as "when."


Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps he was hitting the bottle during the game, as with Uecker in the Major League films. :-D

---

Ray Knight had some flubs during the post-game. He kept going on and on about how Stammen was hurt and scratched from tonight's game. (I guess he meant Olsen)

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 17, 2009 11:08 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Interesting...I saw this on the CNNSI recap of yesterday's game.

"Cubs manager Lou Piniella visited the White House on Thursday and he and his family had a five-minute meeting with President Barack Obama."

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 17, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hi JohninMpls,


... I see what you mean about Chico and the Snarks. But it may simply be the result of a combination of general optimism understandably wearing thin, and resorting to the only reasonable comments left to write - especially when writing for fans who witnessed the game(s) anyway. How much credibility can one scribe afford to lose?

Go Nats!! (Save the Season; Bring Back the Meat)

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

So, have they DFA'd Tavarez yet? What is there to think about? Just do it and call up Sosa.

Posted by: FloresFan | July 17, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of heresy and at the risk of getting newposted, I would like to drag the conversation from our row in sec 315 over here and pose the simple question:

Why the heck would you ever trade Nick Johnson?

He is:

_as hard a-workin as any man playing baseball
_a >300 hitter
_a >400 on-base
_a 6'3" lefty first baseman (the extra 3" helps when you're catching throws from Ryan Zimmerman)
_a good fielder, not stellar any more, but never shameful
_a guy who can play every day
_a whole lot better than any candidate on the ML roster who could replace him at first

He also:
_does not have a bad attitude
_is not rediculously expensive for his numbers
_is just this year 30 years old (peak? 32?)

...the argument typically goes "but look what we could get for him..." and there is a long list of quality players for whom he could or could not be traded.

But you're still going to need someone to play first base. And hit. And he can do both well enough to not be a trouble spot.

Any age-related range reduction could be addressed with a spunky young 2B to his right, which we need anyway.

Granted, there may be one or two candidates in the organization to play this position, but Nick's one known problem is recovery time so you need to keep that guy ready for callup if Nick ever gets scuffed.

The Nats org has some starting pitching and a precious few Good Players, trading them away seems counterproductive.

...

One more comment, if The Plan is to cycle through a whole lot of cheap salvage players for a few years while building a young pitching staff, and then spend for 3-4 big stars, I am still with it. If the plan is just haphazard (as Jim Bowden implemented it) that's silly. In the end you're never going to spin straw into gold or make Demitri Young into Albert Pujols, but you will find a few players out there who are undervalued and can raise their level, given the right circumstances. I would say that this hasn't worked perfectly so far (Dukes), but if 25% of those kinds of risks pay off, that's a good thing.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chico/Mark,

How about a blog on this item...doesn't seem to be causing a media uproar, unlike anything and everything the worst team in baseball does...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/07/16/yankees.signing/index.html

"A top New York Yankees prospect is not who he claims to be, sources tell SI.com. Two weeks ago, the Yankees signed a shortstop purporting to be 16-year-old Damian Arredondo from the Dominican Republic to an $850,000 bonus. Now Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations has determined that Arredondo is not the player's real name and that he is older than 16."

Posted by: jbfromfc | July 17, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

IHW, I agree with you 100% about Nick. If we didn't have him, it would necessary to invent him (or, at least pick up someone like him in free agency).

I don't want to see either Dunn or Willingham at first next year. Bad defense is contagious, and I think a lot of our problems this year have come from being forced (through Jimbo's bizarre roster assembly) to play people in positions they have no business playing (like Dunn/Willingham in right; and Milledge/Dukes in center).

If you have Dunn or Willingham in left, that ought to be extent of your defensive liabilities.

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Why the heck would you ever trade Nick Johnson?

The answer is equally simple.... He's going to be a free agent at the end of the year, and we'll get nothing (except possibly a compensatory draft pick) if he signs elsewhere.

I absolutely love the guy, but we need to rebuild in a big way.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | July 17, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

We won't get a draft pick. Rating are based on your last two seasons an Nick din't play enough last year to count as a player.

So, er... yep. I agree trade him.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 17, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

>>I'm hoping to recharge the batteries for about 48 hours,

I thought thats what the All Star break was for. Who takes a break mid season immediately following the All Star Game? This is baseball--160 games. No vacations. Suck it up dude and get back to work.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 17, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Some morning reading:

http://aroundosceola.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4343&Itemid=7

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I love NJ, but you have to trade him. He'll be a free agent at the end of this season, and we will get no compensatory draft pick because we will not offer him arbitration, because that would be insane, because NJ lacks what some call the "sixth tool" - the ability to stay healthy. His injury history at this point is not a fluke or bad luck, he just can't play baseball for a full season. Love him as a hitter, seems like a nice guy, big fan. But you are not a serious team, at all, if you leave Spring Training thinking NJ is your solution at first. You have to trade him asap, while you can still get something for him.

Posted by: Section220 | July 17, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Section 220

Yes. That's what I meant. Only you did it clevererly.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 17, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

And while we're talking about trading guys I like to watch play baseball, I think Boz's "blow up the Nats" idea is completely right. There's not a single position player on the roster that should be considered untradable. Anyone we can get a good deal for, we should trade. The young pitching is promising, but the team needs an infusion of young talent at every layer.

Posted by: Section220 | July 17, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I have my ST's for the weekend, should I stay or should I go? You be the judge!

Net value is $461 probably could only get 50% of that standing on Half St.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 17, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

ditto on trading NJ: Nats have to get something for him, as much as I like him. As for Tavares: I'm going to lose it if they run him out there again. DFA, today!

Posted by: nats24 | July 17, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

We're not going to get anything worth having for Nick Johnson, unless Jim Bowden gets a job as GM of some other team and starts assembling a roster of ex-Nationals. Re-sign Nick!

Posted by: TomServo | July 17, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming that since the Nats fired their manager during the break, Chico had to stay around and do some reporting, otherwise he probably would have been gone for a couple of days just like the rest of the team (although some could argue that this team has been gone for more than just a couple of days) ...
---------------------------------------
>>I'm hoping to recharge the batteries for about 48 hours,

I thought thats what the All Star break was for. Who takes a break mid season immediately following the All Star Game? This is baseball--160 games. No vacations. Suck it up dude and get back to work.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 17, 2009 12:04 PM

Posted by: erocks33 | July 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I love the fact that everyone (self included) feels the need to stress how much they like Nick beefore saying he needs to be traded. Obviously a lot of affection for the guy.

TomServo - I'm not remotely suggesting we could get a haul for NJ. But, I think you could get something for him from a contender looking for a bat down the stretch. And, again, we get nothing when he leaves after the season (there's no reason to think we could resign him - he's getting "baseball old" to hang around for a rebuilding project.)

Posted by: Section220 | July 17, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Heh. "beefore." Nice typing, self.

Posted by: Section220 | July 17, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Define 'not worth having'. He's gone for nothing in three months anyway. So a AA long-shot pitching prospect becomes more valuable than Nick.

And I assume resigning him was a joke.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 17, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

So last year Ian Desmond hit .256/.318/.406 for AA Harrisburg. This year he hit .306/.372/.484. He might have turned the corner. It would be great if we actually had a middle infield prospect in the system.

And the Yanks got Smileyd!

Posted by: BobLHead | July 17, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@joebleux,

How much is Willingham a defensive liability? I thought he made several good plays in right last night. I would say that Kearns is a good right fielder, but his glove does not make up for his bat.

I can see leaving left field as a defensive liability, especially with a spunky young SS with good range and leap.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I love Nick Johnson. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Now trade him. (and kasten 2.)

Posted by: dovelevine | July 17, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

More reading from WJLA's Tim Brant (and Boz):

http://www.wjla.com/blogs/sports/nats_fire_acta_.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The Nats should definitely trade NJ, among others. If he stays healthy and continues to play the way he's playing now, he will likely get a good free agent offer from somebody else and take it. I wouldn't sell Rizzo short on making a good deal, given what he got for Hanrahan and Milledge.

My question is, who else do you trade? Willingham? Dukes? Dunn? Do you trade one of the young pitchers for a young everyday player?

Given what we're seeing here now and what's available in AA and AAA, I think the "clean house" method is the way to go.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 17, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

ihatewalks makes a good point by asking about Willingham. How much do you sacrifice defense for offense? IMO, you can't have Dunn, Willingham and Guzman on the field at the same time if you want to be a winner. I'm not sure you have two of them on the field. Willingham is a lousy outfielder and Dunn isn't any good at either LF or 1B. I think in the long run it would be a mistake to keep Willingham if you plan to play Dunn at 1B. I'd trade him now while he's having a good year.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 17, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Given what we're seeing here now and what's available in AA and AAA, I think the "clean house" method is the way to go.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 17, 2009 12:48 PM
____________________________________________________________

Baltova,

I agree.

At this point, sitting at 26-62, just call in an air strike and start all over again.

Hopefully, Uncle Teddy will open the checkbook as well in the offseason and we may see a marked improvement.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 17, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@InTheCheapSeats :)

"Why the heck would you ever trade Nick Johnson?

The answer is equally simple.... He's going to be a free agent at the end of the year, and we'll get nothing (except possibly a compensatory draft pick) if he signs elsewhere."

-- --

Well put. Then how about instead of trading him you offer another year with mutual option year on a contract? How much do you make that contract for, per year?

&&

@sec220

Why not resign him and put an at-bats clause in the contract?

And: with the amount of affection for him, and the assumption that we won't get an NJ-level player back for him, why not re-sign him?

@soundbloke

Why would resigning him be a joke? Because the Learners are cheap or because you don't think Nick would go for it?

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"I think Boz's "blow up the Nats" idea is completely right. "

Then you and I, Sec220, are going to have to agree to disagree. :)

Go Nats (whomever you are!)

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

To clarify: If Rizzo can get something worthwhile for Nick, I'd be OK with a trade. I just don't think that's likely to pan out. In recent years, teams have been less willing to part with quality prospects in exchange for a short-term rental, like Nick would be. I don't think that we should trade Nick just to trade him. And no, I wasn't joking: if Rizzo can't get value for Nick, then he should absolutely try to re-sign him. To cite my favorite stat, Nick's VORP is 14.2, which makes him a significantly better-than-replacement-value 1B.

Posted by: TomServo | July 17, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

IHW - I think the broader point is that, much as I try (daily) to wish this away, this team is not going to be a contender in 2009, or 2010. If you have a piece, like Nick, that you can trade for someone who could potentially help you in 2011, I think you have to pull that trigger.

To answer your specific question, I can't imagine Nick agreeing to a one-year deal or an at-bats clause. Even beyond that point, I can't imagine Nick really wanting to hang around for another year of scuffling around and watching the young pitchers develop.

I'd also say, because of my, and everyone else's, apparently, affection for the guy, I don't even WANT that to happen. I'd love for Nick to be traded to a contender and make an impact in a pennant race and even the playoffs. Not that this is the basis on which a front office should make decisions, but this just seems like a win-win.

I repeat, I heart Nick Johnson. But if there's a market for him, or, really, for any of these guys, we need to be working it.

Posted by: Section220 | July 17, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

IHW, Willingham's plays in right only look good at the end, because he has to make last minute adjustments for his initial misreads -- i.e., he's turning routine plays into adventures.

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@ IHW - We can certainly agree on "Go Nats!"

Posted by: Section220 | July 17, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo's trade of Hanny and Milledge was excellent, irregardless of whatever those 2 guys become. Just getting Burnett for those 2 woulda been enough. But to also get Morgan and Burnett, and really not give up anything, was pretty pretty good. No complaints there.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 17, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Such a pretty drive to the stadium. Nats (or Cubbies) must be doing something right, couldn't get the seats I usually like for Sat or Sun, had to take my 2nd choice.

Have expressed my opinion before, they should trade Willingham for a solid reliever and some position-prospects.

Don't think they will (or should) trade Dunn. NJ, although he has a good attitude, might not accept an extension, so best to shop him while you can (SF Giants?) DO NOT TRADE WILLIE HARRIS.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Seriously try Zimm at 1B where he won't have to throw the ball so much.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"irregardless" !!!

Oh no! I hope NatsNut doesn't see this.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Willingham is probably both a better 1st baseman and left fielder than Dunn. His power numbers aren't bad either. But he doesn't bat from the left hand side like Johnson and Dunn both do.

I am going to be interested in watching the 2nd half because the top half of the order (sans trades) is pretty rare in the major leages:

Morgan left handed
Johnson left handed
Zimmerman right handed
Dunn left handed
Willingham right handed
Guzman switchhitter
Bard switchhitter
Gonzalez right handed
Pitcher.

Offensively this should be a very effective lineup in the 2nd half. Although, I think I would move Guzman to the end of the order before the pitcher. If he gets on base in the late innings Riggleman could pinch hit to move him up.

On defense you still have Dunn and Willingham in the outfield ... a critical weakness that probably will continue to lead to losses that will not be counter balanced by the offense. The relief staff does not have a close, nor a reliable "hold". No consistent long relief. We have seen that when this is the most frustrating, and aggravating thing because that plus poor fielding outfielders seemed to consistently lead to opposing teams rally's in the late innings typically leading to heart breaking losses.

It may sound nuts, but this team appears to be a pretty fair (and even a very good team (wildcard?) with just the addition of a closer and 1-2 consistent relievers) American League team. Imagine Dunn as your DH with Dukes in right field, Willingham in left. Flores back with Bard backing him up. I think its that close and that's why it probably feels so frustrating to the fans, the players, and the FO.


Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with something Section220 pointed out. Trade Nick to a contender for a propect or two. He's a good guy and has fought tooth and nail for this organization. Give him a chance at making the postseason.

If we can do a handshake deal with Da Meat Hook and let him just pick up a pay check, we should be able to make this happen for NJ and get something of substance in return.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 17, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

> "irregardless" !!!
>
> Oh no! I hope NatsNut doesn't see this.

No kidding. Surly that should be "disirregardless".

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Nats_Lady, you've raised a point that may actually have to be addressed soon. If Zimm can't stop making bad throws do you have to move him off of 3B? The most logical place to go is 1B. I'd hate to see it but he may throw his way out of the position.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 17, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"DO NOT TRADE WILLIE HARRIS. -- Nats Lady"

Mike Rizzo has found someone, who is younger and looks better than Belliard in Mike Morse. He is hitting in the .400 high .300 range in Syracuse.

If they can get something for Harris it may make sense. Next year Bernadina (a young left handed hitter) will be back, and they still have Dukes and Maxwell.

Natslady, the season is over, all that is left is to try to use the rest of the season to ensure this doesn't happen again next year, and hopefully the succeeding years.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think she's here. Irregardless, I think we are pretty much agreed Rizzo got a good deal on the Pirates trade, even though apparently Burnett fits right in with the Nats fielding.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

You're not going to get much for Johnson, he had the injuries and his contract is up. Nor for Guzman, perhaps more for Willingham because he is signed ... and Dunn's complete lack of fielding prowess makes him more a liability than advantage.

So, you are looking at young starting pitching, Zimmerman, Harris, perhaps Hernandez and Gonzalez. The consensus baseball wisdom appears to be that Rizzo will wait until the offseason to wrangle the very best deal.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

hehe. I'm gonna go pop some corn so I'll be ready to watch the fun when she gets here.

---

> "irregardless" !!!
>
> Oh no! I hope NatsNut doesn't see this.

No kidding. Surly that should be "disirregardless".

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2009 1:21 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Zim stays at third nats_lady, Baltova. Remember, in a sense, Zimm hasn't honed his skills in the minors as most major leaguers have. He is still doing that ... unfortunately, with the parent club.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Perc, I disagree that the season is over. Of course it is, standing wise. But you have to develop the baby pitchers. Ergo, you must have good defense and reliable relief. We cannot afford to give up any good defender. That's why I say trade Willingham for the relief, dump Kearns, Belliard if you have to, trade NJ if you have to for reasons mentioned above.

Also, we as fans, have to have something fun to watch for the next 74 games. A constant series of stupid errors is NO FUN, a great catch is FUN FUN FUN.

Don't disregard the fan factor, or you will have attendance of 9K and the Lerners will get even more tight-fisted (if that's possible).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Natsnut is an SysAdmin for WaPo, she's around somewhere ... might be taking time off because Chico is taking time off.


Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Zimm doesn't have to stay at 1B FOREVER. Just if you trade NJ, put him there for now, and work on his skills over the winter. Better him there and Willie or one of the young guys at 3B, rather than Dunn or Willingham at 1B. The outfield is further from the pitcher's mound that 1B is.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Trying to follow trade buzz surrounding Nats players, esp. NJ, Guzman, etc.:
http://twitter.com/nyp_joelsherman/status/2689804176

Don't know which Nationals players are free agents at the end of 2010, but those are the guys you want to trade. Toronto is approaching this correctly with Halladay so as to maximize the return. Waiting until the walk-away year diminishes the return.

Posted by: joemktg1 | July 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Also, we as fans, have to have something fun to watch for the next 74 games. A constant series of stupid errors is NO FUN, a great catch is FUN FUN FUN."

Then you bring up those prospects, the rest of those "baby" pitchers, hire an additional pitching coach, hitting coach just for the second half. And you give them major league exposure.

You bring up guys who deserve a shot, like Martin, Padilla, and draft pick Bynum. You play them and give them that shot.

The trick is, if you bring them up you have to play them ... they need the experience.

Which is why you trade NJ, Dunn, Willingham, Harris, Beimel while releasing Tavarez, Villone ...

That can be fun ... for the prospects its 0-0. They've just arrived. Its a new season for the prospects.

Otherwise, its likely going to be more of the same for this misplaced American League team.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

They really don't have anything like a Halladay in 2010, closest might be Dunn.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Guys and gals, this is a great discussion. Really sorry I have to go to work. Might be able to check in later if I get a break. To be continued...

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 17, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

A word about putting Zimmerman at first:

No.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Srsly.
He has one problem, which he keeps repeating, but it's fixable. He'll fix it by playing, not by having his career flash before his eyes.

Of course, if he *does* turn into Chuck Knobloch, well, then ... Bowden's an idiot for not trading him when they could.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a Ponce de Leon 48+ rec league, even if they do play like it sometimes. These are highly accomplished specialists. (How many people in this room have reached an equivalent level in our own professions?) You don't have to have any sympathy or empathy for their feelings and self-image to understand that those things will always affect an athlete's performance.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"He has one problem, which he keeps repeating, but it's fixable."

That's what I thought a couple of years ago. I'm not so sure now. This is clearly firmly in his head now. The next play after he threw the one into the stands last night, he fielded a bunt and threw to first completely flat-footed and off balance -- he was obviously afraid of throwing another one away.

Watching Charles Barkely trying to fix his golf swing has given me a healthy respect for how hard it is for even a good athlete to overcome something once it's really gotten into his head. It's not just a matter of practice, practice, practice -- the bad habits still come out under stress.

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"A word about putting Zimmerman at first:

No.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2009 2:11 PM"
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Some more words to explain why: look at Zimmerman's fielding statistics. You'll see that he is 3rd among MLB third basepersons in UZR/150, 2nd in raw UZR, 2nd in range factor per 9. He's tops in the NL in all those metrics. He's putting up the best defensive numbers (as measured by UZR) of his career. He's been among the leaders in +/- for the last two years.

It's frustrating to watch someone so good blow the easy plays, but it's frustrating precisely because he is very ... very ... good.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Well put Scooter.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 17, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. Scooter is looking like he's ready to get called up to The Show, here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

(When they fired Manny, I dug out my Bull Durham DVD.)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 17, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 17, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"test

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity"

...nope, didn't work. Please try again.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Uncle Teddy will open the checkbook as well in the offseason and we may see a marked improvement.

Posted by: Section505203

No offense, Sec, but I believe this falls into the category of "when pigs fly."

What indication is there of that? If nothing else, I believe the recession has caused UT to short-arm more checks than usual...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 17, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Seriously try Zimm at 1B where he won't have to throw the ball so much.

Posted by: Nats_Lady

Congratulations, Nats_Lady! Join the club. I raised this point a couple weeks ago and got reamed for it. But I think it's the only solution. Zimm's problem is no longer mechanical, it's mental. Mechanics can be fixed. Mental, not so much. You can "hide" his wacky arm at 1B easily. Plus, he's obviously got the hands to dig out low throws as he's shown that ability repeatedly at 3B. I think you are ahead of the wave on the Zimm-to-3B movement.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 17, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

No offense, Sec, but I believe this falls into the category of "when pigs fly."

What indication is there of that? If nothing else, I believe the recession has caused UT to short-arm more checks than usual...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 17, 2009 3:06 PM
____________________________________________________________

jdschulz,

Hey, a man can dream can't he?


Posted by: Section505203 | July 17, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Put me down for a "No" vote on Zim at 1st Base.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 17, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

1) In addition to the NYY, the Nation apparently has a "Smiley /Frowny" problem.
http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=47243&pid=2426322&st=0&#entry2426322

2) A trade of either Dunn or Guzman will require eating a large chunk of their contract. The only exception might be the NYY if Matsui has to be long-term DL'd.

3) I'm firmly in the camp of "trade nick now." i'd settle for Dmitri, Belli, or Casto for the rest of the year if we think 1st base glove and Dunn/ Willingham don't belong in the same sentence.

As for what we should be able to get, at the risk of repeating myself, here are some comparables for stretch drive trades of corner IF in the last year of contracts:
2006 - Aubrey Huff for Ben Zobrist & Mitch Talbott
2007 - Ty Wigginton for Dan Wheeler
2008 - Casey Blake for Carlos Santana (1st half top minor league catcher per BA) and Jonathan Meloan (a AAA prospect who has stepped back a bit and was traded this year for Winston Abreu, who went into Cleveland's pen).

In short, it is not uncommon recently to trade a quality corner infielder with an expiring contract for a substantial contributor.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 17, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Natslady: You might be on to something this might be the cure for Knoblockitis, and i for one would be all for it because whether we want to admit to it or not this a problem and it's not getting better its getting worse and it will eventually start to effect him at the plate.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 17, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Marrero makes the BA Hotsheet. That's Norris and Marrero back to back ranked second in hotness.

Posted by: longterm | July 17, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous! 13 errors has lead to what, 4-5 runs? How many runs has he saved with his glove that any replacement player would not. I'd bet my house that it's far more. The man has a glove that was born to play 3rd...you don't dismiss that just because he throws a few balls away.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 17, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

PTBNjca, you follow such things much more closely than I, so: would you describe your examples above as typical (or even exhaustive), or did you pick your favorites?

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Based on MLB trade rumors and others Rizzo is asking far too much for Johnson. Looking at another way Rizzo could provide a team an entire starting infield with Guz, Johnson, Hernandez, and mebbe Bynum, plus Belliard. 2/3'rds of a pretty good starting outfield with Willingham and Harris. An AL team a pretty good 1-2 DH punch with Dunn and Willingham. Or Johnson and Willingham.

I think the other teams all want the Nat's pitching. Its pretty impressive (in spite of the nay sayers) when a team can"rotate" an entire rotation of young pitchers between AAA and the majors ostensibly to "shut them down" and rest their arms as has now happened with Martis and Detwiler. REALLY IMPRESSIVE. I am sure there a more than a number of other teams that are taking note of that. You have to believe that the first thing they are going to ask is about those pitchers. If I am Rizzo I am going to listen to trade offers, and sit on them until I get an offer I can't refuse ... as Rizzo himself said.

Unfortunately, Nick is probably involved with that.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Marrero makes the BA Hotsheet. That's Norris and Marrero back to back ranked second in hotness.

Posted by: longterm | July 17, 2009"

Need to be in AAA, AA to be really impressive first. And even then who knows what happens when they get to the majors.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

(How many people in this room have reached an equivalent level in our own professions?)

I have. I'm the willie harris of my team, too.

Of course my team is the equivalent of the Mets (the expansion Mets).

...Ok, joke's over. Let's get back to talking about Zim at 1B.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 17, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Naugatuck, don't worry about it. People are just reacting to what they see, and what they remember seeing. Our biggest star making a few screechingly horrid plays really sticks out in one's mind. So just look at the numbers and ask "Whom are you going to trust? Me, or your own two eyes?"

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 17, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Hello again. I'm not an expert but maybe one of you guys has some stats on how often a guy has gone form 3base to 1base? But somethings need shaking up and no one owns their position unless its in the contracdt, can they put that in Zimm's contract? Because I remember Willie H. said in my heart i am an every day player but in my contract I am a utility playr." So how much freedom does the manager have in switching or benching players?

Posted by: Ringle | July 17, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

There is a new post up. One in which everyone is expressly prohibited from even remotely suggesting that Zimmerman move to first base.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 17, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, what does that mean about a new post?

Posted by: Ringle | July 17, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Zim is still an above average third baseman even with the throwing errors. The idea of wasting his glove at first is a non-starter.

Even his throwing errors are overstated -- they just look worse because they happen on ordinary plays. Other third basemen throw the ball away on tough plays that Zim converts (and if the runner doesn't advance, they might not even get charged with errors on those throws).

Zim's throwing is of obvious concern, but it's certainly not time to put him out to pasture this early in his career.

Posted by: joebleux | July 17, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Scooter - i only looked systemmatically at 2007. there were other midseason deals, but I thought those were most comparable in terms of the position player / veteran involved. There were other deals that year. I'm doing this from memory, but you might consider Milton Bradley for Andrew Brown a comparable, too. Brown I believe was a well regarded AA/AAA pitcher who has spent time on Oakland's roster after the trade but I think is hurt. I don't think Teixeira is comparable. Other veterans dealt would include some pitchers. Dotel has been flipped around a few times, but I don't know how to compare him to Nick.

Recall the Nick for Manny Delcarmen rumor? To my eye, that looked a bit like the Wigginton for Wheeler deal, which is how it probably got discussed / planted in the media.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 17, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

All the games people play now,
every night and every day now,
never meaning what they say, yeah
never saying what they mean...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Also, "eye" in spanish is "ojo," not "ocho." All this information could be found on Google. It'd be much more constructive for you to look things up before you waste time making fun of somebody, and calling them an idiot, when you are in fact wrong."

I am in fact educated in Italian at the Universita per Stranieri ... like "cave canem" Latin for "beware of the dog" or "beware or I'll sing" it can mean either thing ... "sweet eye" or "12 or 8", in other words: dialect.

Look it up.

Posted by: periculum | July 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: lerici | July 17, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

hmm, what happened to the new Viera post? Must have gone to Bizarro NJ Land.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut probably put a witches hex on it.

Posted by: lerici | July 17, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed the same thing happening with Viera's post this afternoon. First it's here. Then it's gone. Then it's back and now it's gone. Frustrating.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | July 17, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

...on a lighter note...

I live up in CT so I'm subject to the NY sports radio broadcasts. This afternoon, on my drive home, a couple of yahoo's (Beningo and Evan) on WFAN were talking about how bad a third-baseman they think David Wright is and how his throwing is atrocious. They concluded the spot by praising our own Zimm as a much, much better third baseman. I thought that y'all might like to see someone else trashing a very good third baseman. See..we're just like NY!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 17, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Vanishing posts...transmogrifying commenters...strange doings in NatsTown...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

That's funny, Naugatuck.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 17, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

wha'happened to the viera ghost post?

Posted by: surly_w | July 17, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Zimm's not a bad third baseman. He is just a third baseman on a bad team.

Posted by: lerici | July 17, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Fat Boy got benched tonight. Gonzalez at SS. Only took him one day. There I go being clairevoyant again. The way to send a message to the team is to deal with one of the talented guys so that the team can see you mean business. You don't pick on some scrub, you get one of the .300 hitters that's underproducing and bench him. This team needs to score runs any way it can.

Posted by: Brue | July 17, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he was trying to post a new line up and blew away the previous posts.

N. Morgan, CF
N. Johnson, 1B
R. Zimmerman, 3B
A. Dunn, LF
J. Willingham, RF
W. Harris, 2B
J. Bard, C
A. Gonzalez, SS
C. Stammen, P

Guz appears to be out and Gonzo in.

Posted by: kgwcoach | July 17, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Seeing the same thing on gameday. That drops a left handed hitter from the lineup. Gonzalez is in the right slot given his current batting average. If he gets on they can pinch hit for the pitcher / sacrifice bunt in the late innings. Good lineup.


Posted by: lerici | July 17, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Guzman's foot is too painful to play. It is bunions, and it just didn't start tonight. It was bothering him in Houson and Colorado - another good reason to fire Manny. Just like when playing Nieves and not Bard was a reason to fire Manny, and Bard had a ripped groin.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 17, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Loved Nyjer the Savior's base-running last night. Did Riggleman make him drop and give him 20 for getting picked off of first? And the situational hitting! Oh, Manny was the problem, wasn't he? Truly a new accountability is present in the locker room.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 17, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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