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NatsPark Fan Tweets, Phase 2

With the Nationals starting an 11-game homestand on Thursday night,we're planning to reactivate the Nationals Park Fan Twitter project with eyes on a) getting even more participation and b) displaying and archiving the Tweets on washingtonpost.com.

If this project works, it will provide an interesting and useful way for people to get a feel for what it's like to visit Nationals Park. Ideally, it should be interesting to follow if you are at the park or not, and looking at it live or scrolling through the archives.

So to that end, I ask you: what kind of Tweets are you most interested in reading (or composing)? Here are some of the sorts of Tweets we got from the last homestand:

- Stadium ambiance and experience: "unknowledgeable braves behind me in sec 241″ or "ARG! Giffords is out of ice cream bars in the club level! How is that possible? Serious food #fail"

- TwitPics/yfrog pics from the park (Note: I love these)

- Game action, pretty straight description: "Incredible catch by Diaz- 2nd time the Nats have stranded the bases loaded."

- Game action, with commentary/snark: "Fat Ronnie is probably gassed from that 3b."

So please pass on your feedback, in the comments here or by emailing me at jon-dot-denunzio-at-wpost-dot-com or Twittering to @PostSports.

I am hoping to have a basic page up to capture the Tweets by COB today or early tomorrow. Will pass on the URL asap. And early next week, the page should add some cool bells and whistles.

How to Participate: During games you attend, simply add the #natswp hash tag and your section number to your Tweet. In a slight change from last time, no need for the second hash mark -- "#natswp 401″ is the way to go. And the section number is important; next week the way we display the Tweets will use those section numbers to make what should be a very cool web graphic.

Thanks for your help, input and participation ...

Jon

(Click here for the background on the "beta-test" round of this project from Fourth of July weekend.)

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 15, 2009; 11:07 AM ET
 
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Next: The Jim Riggleman Era

Comments

Cool. So Jon, is Chico going to be joining in this project and tweeting also?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 15, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Tweeting during a Nats game...might overload the WaPo obscenity filter.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 15, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

did zimmerman even play last night? the guy has no flair to his game whatsoever

http://www.comcastsportsnet.tv/pages/landing?blockID=63965&feedID=258

Posted by: nattylite88 | July 15, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Let me save everyone the trouble and demonstrate what it will be like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNiR5ZTb_MA

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | July 15, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't do Twitter, so none of the above. In my day we just watched the game and didn't play with high-falutin' eelectronic devices while doing so. A scorecard and a pencil were just fine, thank you very much. But nooooooo. Now we have to tweet and call people on the cell phone and wave at the camera. Gol durn technology...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

nattylite, if I recall correctly he went 0 for 2 at the plate and had one fielding chance (a line drive, which he caught for an out).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Also, I'm sorry to admit that when he first stepped to the plate with nobody on I said to myself, "At least he can't hit into a double-play." :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I am not interested in any tweets, Twittering, or Twit.

Posted by: MKadyman | July 15, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The blog is just fine thank you very much,for the most part i like my fellow posters they are insightfull,smart, and they know the game,not sure about tweeting or whatever they call it might need my sixteen year old for that.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 15, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman's first AB was a well-hit line drive, but caught for an out in center. The second AB was a routine fly-out to right. He saw a combined three pitches between the 2 ABs (meaning two of the three were for the outs, and the other was a first-pitch strike in the first AB).

Posted by: faNATic | July 15, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

i remember thinking how much i hate the nats home jersey lettering when i saw zimmerman last night. compared to all the other uniforms, ugh.

Posted by: longterm | July 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Amen, longterm.

As far as Tweets go, keep in mind that this is NJ. If we're going to do it, it's gotta be snarky.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 15, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Zimmerman to Mark Zuckerman in Yesterday's Washington Times:

I don't think we'll be seeing Elijah Dukes again.

The changes the front office "have made are building to us being a better character organization. If you look at all the teams that win, that year in and year out are competitive, they have good guys on their team."

"If you don't want to come to the park because you're not excited to see the guys you're playing with, that wears on you. I think they're taking steps in the right direction to make the clubhouse more enjoyable for everyone

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Make the clubhouse more enjoyable? That's Zimmerman for ya: always pushing for an XBox.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 15, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Can you trade tweets in baseball?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"tweet twit!"

Posted by: TWTIB | July 15, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to have to post my tweets before the game on Saturday. I'll be at the ballpark during the game, and they won't let me plug in my computer and monitor there.

And can you tweet from a rotary dial phone? There's no hash mark.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

If Steve Bartman had had twitter, would the Cubs have won the pennant?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

UGH. Least favorite new feature of NJ: Twittering.

Seriously guys, I put up with the stupid splash screen ads everywhere I click because I CAN'T get the reliability of information elsewhere. When I seek amusing comments from fans, I go to their websites.

Posted by: Section506 | July 15, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ugh! Why waste time twittering? I strike up a conversation with a neighboring stranger at nearly every game I attend. That's infinitely more rewarding than pecking away with my thumbs. But what do I know? I'm old enough to remember Brant Alyea?

Posted by: BrantAlyea | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Longterm,

I also agree with the Nats home jersey, awful, I have never liked it.

Now the Red DC jersey and the new away jersey. Love 'em!

Posted by: Section505203 | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Quite possibly the post of the first-half of the season!
______________________________
If Steve Bartman had had twitter, would the Cubs have won the pennant?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 12:53 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 15, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

506, I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Firefox.

Seriously, Adblock Plus is your friend.

Also, you're killing me, sec3. En fuego again, I see.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Brant Alyea," I agree. That's one of the most enjoyable features of taking in a game at the ballpark. I've met some great people at games and have enjoyed conversations with them about the game, players, keeping score, and so forth.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I've even had some good conversations with opposing fans. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, but the Hero doesn't just amuse, he must return with some received wisdom gained at great personal sacrifice.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2009/04/the_official_2009_prediction_p.html

It was harrowing, I'll tell you, re-reading posts from those first games, re-living the homer-that-wasn't-off-the-sign-really, seeing the opening day 25-man roster again... .

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm still shaking ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

That first game in particular, Sec3. None of us felt good after the opener, and it turned out to be more portentous than even the most cynical of us could have imagined.

I can't really argue with any of Chico's picks in the last post. But the opener should at least have an honorable (or a dishonorable) mention somewhere.

In fact, one could argue that there were enough moments to give gold, silver, and bronze medals in certain categories.

And yet I'm somehow depressed that there's no Nats game today.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

but my own predictions seem to have gotten lost off the page ...

jdschultz was the least deludedly optimistic, predicting 57 wins. Most of us were in the 70s.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, I forgot to include these lines in my post:

"I realize that Twitter is not for everyone. You have my word that this Twitter content is not replacing other Nats content in The Post and on its web site."

Those of you who do use Twitter -- or are willing to look at it -- I do really want to know what sort of info you'd find compelling from fans at the game.

Thanks again,

Jon

PS -- CiL, I will ask Chico about it.

Posted by: Jon DeNunzio | July 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

1a, just how do you mean that, sir?

Thanks for the tip

Posted by: Section506 | July 15, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the edit, Jon. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

...just being nit picky but, the Nats are at home for 11 days but only play 10 games....we have an off day on the 23rd...or did I miss something.
(btw - I don't twitter, but might learn)

Posted by: rvrtis | July 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, 506, and you're welcome.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

506, he means: "quitcher bichin you geezers."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jon!

Posted by: Section506 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

whoops, you meant 1a, not DeNunzio's vow.
My bad... (little finger in side of mouth)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Twitter could be useful for relaying info about in-game injuries. Also, they might be helpful relaying stats between innings.

For example:
1. Nats pitcher A has thrown x pitches, _ for strikes. The last time he worked this deep in a game was ___.
2. Up next for the Nats, Zimm, Dunn, and Willingham. Zimm is __ for __ lifetime vs Santana.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

If you don't feel like going back tot he post, here are Chico's picks:

1. 2009 win total – 69
2. Attendance at Nationals Park (81 dates; last year’s was 2.32 million) – 1.95
3. All-star representative(s) – Ryan Zimmerman
4. Adam Dunn’s home run total – 38
5. Date of Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut – Aug. 4, 2009
6. Nick Johnson’s total games played – 122
7. Wins for John Lannan – 11
8. Percentage of season Dmitri Young spends in big leagues, not on DL – 43%
9. Josh Willingham’s total at bats – 312
10. Innings pitched for Daniel Cabrera – 67
11. Team ERA leader, among starters – John Lannan, 3.93
12. Team batting average leader, among starters – Cristian Guzman, .309
13. Biggest surprise – Austin Kearns
14. Biggest disappointment – Anderson Hernandez
15. Current minor leaguer (not counting Zimmermann) who will make an impact – Craig Stammen

It's funny how accurate his is in some of his predictions. Zimm was the All-Star, Guz is hitting .304, Stammen is already up in the bigs, Lannan has a 3.70 ERA and is on pace for about 11 wins, and I could see Dunn around 38 HR.

Of course, he's still off in other areas. They aren't going to win 69 games. Johnson is on pace for over 150 games (!) this season. Kearns has been surprisingly terrible, but that's not what Chico meant. Willingham will be closer to 400 ABs, and Cabrera made it through just 40 IP.

And for Young to play 43% of the season with the Nats, he'll need to be called up very soon. We only have 47% of the season to go.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 15, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Also, Crawford's catch: mediocre.
Posted by: Section506

+++++++++++

This was from a couple posts ago, but it was dead on.

That's one thing I'm thankful for this season: between willie harris and nyjer morgan, i think we've had some of the best highlight catches in the league.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I didn't revisit the link (don't need the shakes on this end), but I was reminded of how I was feeling nostalgia for the hope-filled era of the stadium construction camera the other day. Oh, and of anonymous monikers used for benign comic effect.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2008/03/spotlight_ray_burger_king.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Heyman discusses GMs on the "hot seat"...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jon_heyman/07/15/gm.hotseat/index.html

2. Mike Rizzo, Nationals: According to Nationals president Stan Kasten, they plan to hire a permanent GM soon. Acting man Rizzo appears to be a candidate, though some outside rumblings regarding Rays executive Gerry Hunsicker, White Sox exec Rick Hahn, Marlins scout Dan Jennings and Red Sox exec Jed Hoyer can't make Rizzo feel completely secure. Kasten, who was being virtually ignored for a while, gets to make the call, as he should.

Rizzo is known as a superb judge of talent. But he isn't an experienced administrator, and it's possible he may not have detested Jim Bowden enough for some Nationals people (though they shouldn't hold that as a standard since it was Nationals ownership that allowed Bowden to be GM for several years). The other names are all extremely well-regarded, but at least Hunsicker -- the most experienced of the group and a longtime Kasten friend -- is not believed to be interested in leaving what he considers an excellent and flexible situation in Tampa's brainy front office (he travels between Houston and Tampa Bay). Ultimately, it'll come down to how comfortable Kasten feels with Rizzo.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 15, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

At the first winter meeting after he bought the team, Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner said that the prices needed to pay free agents was "insane." I am surprised more is not made of this, since it is his last public pronouncement on the subject. When I see Orlando Hudson, Trevor Hoffman, Brad Penny, Aaron Rowand, all of whom were there for the taking, all of whom would be here if George Soros owned the team, I could weep.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

more Heyman

• Golden Spikes winner Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 pick of the Nationals, suggested in interviews that the Nats have yet to make an offer. If he's signed a minute before the deadline, it'll be an upset. Speaking about Strasburg and the Nats, Selig said, "That's a decision they have to make ... I have very strong feelings on that subject." In other words, he isn't favoring going too far above Mark Prior's $10.5 million record for guaranteed money.

• If Selig has strong negative feelings about the Nats' troubles, he wasn't saying. "I have faith in (the club-owning Lerners) and the Nationals," Selig said. "They are on the right track. And they need to continue on that track." What's he going to say? That they're currently a mess? Well, President Obama was a bit more blunt, saying about baseball, "every team has a chance ... except for the Nationals."

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 15, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and don't think I missed this, Scooter. (crosses arms and taps foot)

(Looks like there's a new post. Should annoy 1a. Heh.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

There is a tendency to think that the Nats do not need the big talent guys, the big arms and costly position players. The feeling is that if the Nats are wise and draft conservatively for value, sign free agents for value, and trade for value, then the Nats could be almost as well off as they could be if they spent up to an average MLB level.

CoverageisLacking is so right. Detwiler was the conservative pick in 2007. Detwiler was a slot guy. Porcello was an expensive pick, a $7 million guy who has all the tools--not a conservative move at all. And he cost in between the LoDuca and Dmitri contracts (significant money but not break-the-bank money).

So Porcello was a risk for the Tigers, and Crow was a smaller risk money-wise for the Nats, but I'll take the guys with all the tools. Detwiler and Storen could turn out to be fine, and they did save money, but wouldn't you want to take a chance on the best talent instead of conservative "value"?

The percentages say that you go for talent, even if you have to pay for it at the MLB average level. Rizzo, like Bowden before him, operates within a budget. Rizzo cannot deliver the Nats into a contending situation just through wisdom and getting lucky with under-slot guys. At some point you have to invest.

If you do not know whether the Lerners are cheap or not, have you looked at the investment numbers?

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

My initial reaction to the Storen pick was that we got a guy whose numbers didn't warrant the 10th pick.

Storen (at 10) looked equally or less talented than relievers drafted at the end of the first round last year.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 15, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

To counter that, dclifer97, Storen looks unbelievably awesome right now in the minors. This discussion will undoubtedly be ongoing, but he's tearing up everything he's seen so far. Obviously, there's a long way to go for him, but it appears to be promising to date.

In addition, his season numbers this past year were marred by one awful outing at Arizona State, and a quite dominant remainder of the year. Again, this doesn't serve as a defense of the money spent on him or devoted to that particular spot, but rather a proviso that this is one draftee from the 2009 draft who already looks like he's ready to move on up through the Nationals system.

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

Here you go, 506, though I think it's mean to make me do research on my own DFA. ;-)

http://tinyurl.com/mybcyq

---

I missed the DFA 1a joke, can someone dig it up out of the archives? Hmm, who would be good at that?
So, question gang, who do we fire next?
Posted by: Section506 | July 15, 2009 11:05 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Flynnie. You could also look at what Mark Lerner had to say to Boz and Chico almost exactly a year ago, when he told them that he didn't think that Johan Santana was worth his contract, because hadn't won enough games for the Mets yet:

"Nobody wants - you don't want to be in the situation where you wake up one morning and Johan Santana has won eight games all season and you owe him $150 million. That's the thing. You see a lot of guys for $150 million, but we're going to stick with what we're doing. We're going to take a lot of heat from you and everybody else, but I think you're starting to see it"

I think they actually put a muzzle on Mark after he made that idiotic comment; I haven't seen him talking about baseball issues since then. Anyone know if he has? I thought it was interesting that Sheinin's premise of his question to Selig yesterday was that "the Lerners don't talk to the media."

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 15, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

At the first winter meeting after he bought the team, Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner said that the prices needed to pay free agents was "insane." I am surprised more is not made of this, since it is his last public pronouncement on the subject. When I see Orlando Hudson, Trevor Hoffman, Brad Penny, Aaron Rowand, all of whom were there for the taking, all of whom would be here if George Soros owned the team, I could weep.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 1:55 PM
_____________________________________________________________

Flynnie,

The Lerner's are cheap and this quote, which I actually remember, that you found is just more evidence to the fact. And I agree, that the fact that we don't have a owner that will pony up for the players is enough to make me "weep" as you said.

But please, stop bringing up the MoveOn.org smear merchant guy. It makes my stomach churn everytime I see his name.

How about you just use his initials from here on out, GS, I can live with that.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 15, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Good to see HaikuMan getting in on the Bog chat today.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 15, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I saw that, JiM.

Also, Adam Dunn is a blogger now.

http://masnsports.com/2009/07/welcome-to-getting-it-dunn-onl.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Jon, thanks!

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CIL. 505203, if "GS" as in George Steinbrenner owned the team, or "L" as in Lucifer, neither of whom I admire personally, we'd be better off. This from Boswell, Dec. 5, 2006:

"The Nats are playing a high-stakes game in which they bet that Washington fans are sophisticated or patient enough -- or gullible enough -- to embrace a horrible team that didn't have to be bad. The Nats have a respectable everyday lineup and a solid bullpen. If the Nats go 56-106, it was a war of choice."

"The Nationals should rethink what now appears to be their plan for radical inactivity in '07. You don't damage a team's fundamental morale or ruin your relationship with your fans by losing 91 games. But there is some number of defeats -- and it's a lot less than 119 -- that may cause the Nats far more damage than they imagine possible. When you're building -- long-term or short -- penny wise is almost always pound foolish."

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

So, as far as this blog in concerned, the Lerners are considered the SS Kresges of baseball?

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie,

And the sad thing is, the Lerner's have deep pockets and could be active in Free Agency, and building a first class organization but, their just flat out to cheap to do it.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Would a geezer's tweet be the same as a rasberry?

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I remember reading that quote about Santana that CiL shared above, but I must have totally misunderstood it. I thought he was saying Why bring in a great pitcher who's only gonna win 8 anyway when the rest of the team's not ready. But did Santana have 8 wins at the time (apparently halfway through the season), and THAT'S what he meant?

Even under my interpretation, it was a questionable statement at best. But this new meaning sets quite the standard for silliness.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks, CIL. 505203, if "GS" as in George Steinbrenner owned the team, or "L" as in Lucifer, neither of whom I admire personally, we'd be better off."

This is my nominee for post of the day.

Posted by: Section506 | July 15, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think all of the critiques of the '09 draft depend on SS. If they sign him, I don't really have a problem with under-slot guys. But in general, I'd say that ranking baseball prospects is much more difficult that any other sport. Just because a guy's agent thinks he's great doesn't make it true. Ryan Zimmerman was a slot guy (under if I remember correctly) but he signed quickly and beat everyone else in his draft class to the majors.

Posted by: sec307 | July 15, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the important assessment of Rizzo is even as we "tweet" being borne out ..

He is a great assessor of talent. I think we'll see that in the rapid improvement in Storen and Holder. In Nyjger Morgan. In Mike Minor (hitting like there is no tomorrow in Syracuse). In that second baseman from Cal, Jeff Kobernus. And there will be others ... a greater number than what we saw under Bowden.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I think that you may have the wrong end there, periculum. Did I just type that?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

As the nation's most wealthy region and as the 9th largest region in America (not counting Baltimore), the Nats should be investing well above average amounts in the on-field product. Yet the Lerners are near the very bottom of MLB in their investments. Just to get up to MLB-average levels would take a huge attitude adjustment for this ownership group.

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Jesus Flores will have competition next year?

http://natsfarm.com/

Promotion News: The Nationals are reportedly going to promote CA Sean Rooney from Potomac to Harrisburg and CA Derek Norris from Hagerstown to Potomac. It appears that CA Javi Herrera will be the player removed from the roster in Harrisburg.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Flores, any word on the results of the new MRI that he was said to be undergoing?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

502503

For the purposes of this discussion I'm willing to concede that the Lerners are, in fact, cheap.

That having been said, the amount of money that certain people are getting to play baseball is, without a doubt, insane compared to, say, what we pay teachers or police or firemen who objectively contribute more to our society than do baseball players. And Mark Lerner's recognition of that fact does not constitute evidence that he's cheap, only that he recognizes that it's crazy what some people get paid to play baseball. Mark Lerner was not the first person to make this observation.

And just to be clear, I'm not saying that players don't deserve a fair share of the revenues from MLB (which they do). But still.

Posted by: TomServo | July 15, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Can't remember which game but, if I recall correctly, the MRI plans were mentioned in a broadcast on the Houston leg of the road trip.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Frank Howard sighting, courtesy of NFA by way of We've Got Heart:

http://natsfarm.com/2009/07/15/frank-howard-in-syracuse/

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

From the guys who used to own Wheaton Plaza a place where "Woodies", SS Kresges, Marriot's Hot Shoppes Cafeteria and the King Cole burger used to lurk.

Washington's Leading Private Real Estate Developer Aggressively Continues Its Green Initiative

North Bethesda, Maryland, February 1, 2007 – Lerner Enterprises, Washington D.C.’s largest private real estate developer, is pleased to announce the further expansion of the company’s Green Initiative Program by purchasing wind power for Dulles 28 Centre, a 300,000 sq. ft. retail center now under construction, in addition to the Residence Inn - Dulles Airport at Dulles 28 Centre, a 157 room hotel, both located in Dulles, Loudoun County, Virginia. Lerner is quickly becoming one of the leaders in eco-friendly building efforts by purchasing wind energy, designing new development projects to meet the stringent LEED™ certification standards, and implementing energy conservation efforts throughout its portfolio of office, residential, retail, entertainment and hospitality assets.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

“We created the Green Initiative Program with the trust that everyone within our organization will do their part to conserve natural resources and protect the environment,” stated Mark D. Lerner, Principal of Lerner Enterprises. “We want to make a positive impact on the environment through changes in our business practice in both new projects and our existing portfolio. This is a business priority that we are undertaking and encourage other developers to follow”, he added.

Lerner previously announced that two of its newest developments, 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard (a joint development with The Tower Companies of North Bethesda, MD) in Rockville, Maryland, and 20 M Street in Southeast Washington D.C., were designed and have applied for the prestigious LEED™ Gold Certification. The LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System® is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders. LEED™ emphasizes the most comprehensive state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard will serve as Lerner’s new corporate headquarters in Fall 2008, and 20 M Street, located two blocks from the new ballpark for the Washington Nationals, will be delivered this Spring. Lerner and The Tower Companies also announced recently the purchase of wind power to provide 100% of the energy needs to Washington Square, a million square foot Class A trophy office building located at 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW in Washington D.C.’s Central Business District.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Definitely DC locals:

About Lerner Enterprises

Lerner Enterprises of North Bethesda, MD, founded by Theodore N. Lerner in 1952, is Washington, DC's largest private real estate developer and is involved in all phases of office, retail and residential real estate including planning, development, construction, leasing, asset management and property management. Lerner's office portfolio has several well-known developments including: The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II, McLean, VA; The Corporate Office Park At Dulles Town Center, Dulles, VA; Washington Square at 1050 Connecticut Avenue, 1133 Connecticut Avenue, NW and 20 M Street, SE in Washington, DC; Flint Hill Office Park, Fairfax, VA; White Flint North, North Bethesda, MD; 7799 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, VA; Sterling Park Technology Center, Sterling, VA and 400 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA, among others. The Lerner Family recently became owners of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club (Nationals.com).

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

In July 2006 Major League Baseball awarded the Washington Nationals franchise to an ownership group lead by the Lerner family. "It has long been my dream to bring the national pastime back to my hometown, the nation's capital" said Theodore N. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner. "Now that it has been realized, I plan on doing everything I can do to make sure this franchise becomes an international jewel for Major League Baseball, the nation, D.C. and its wonderful fans"

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Washington, D.C., July 12, 2009 – One of the not-so-secret ambitions I shared with my father for years was returning Major League Baseball to Washington, D.C.,” says Mark D. Lerner. His family bought the Washington Nationals in 2006 and Lerner is still pinching himself to see if it’s real. But don’t mistake his lingering euphoria for daydreaming; the 54-year-old heavy hitter hasn’t neglected his duties as a key player in Lerner Enterprises, led by patriarch Ted Lerner, arguably the most powerful private commercial builder-developer in the D.C. area.

How big is big? Founded in 1952, Lerner Enterprises comprises a full-service real estate portfolio that includes 20 million-plus square feet of commercial and retail space, as well as more than 22,000 private homes and more than 7,000 apartments. The company developed, built and manages many of the Washington area’s best-known commercial sites, including Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Galleria, Dulles Town Center, White Flint and Wheaton Plaza.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

there is nothing that has brought me more joy than being a part of seeing Major League Baseball return to Washington, D.C. My family and I take this stewardship very seriously. … We believe the game and the new ballpark will again be something vitally important to the life of the nation’s capital. I feel it, and I see it in the faces of the fans.”

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

For years, both Lerner Enterprises and its officers have been famous for not wanting to be famous. But with such an impressive roster—the company is a minority partner in Lincoln Holdings, Ted Leonsis’ sports group that owns the Washington Capitals hockey team and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, plus 44 percent of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the Verizon Center—will its top executives be more willing with such previously unheard-of practices as granting interviews? Lerner quickly sends up a pinch hitter: “Stan Kasten remains the most frequently seen and quoted management figure for our franchise. Obviously, there are still some cases that demand some statement or comment from ownership, but that is still more the exception than the rule.”

For years, when it came to professional sports, the Washington Redskins were the only game in town. That’s clearly changed. Why, Flyer asks Lerner, is this city suddenly a great sports town?

“I believe you’ll see some D.C. sports franchises take advantage of this city’s place in the minds of America, rather than just positioning themselves by the games they play. For instance, the Nationals are talking up more, and marketing more, the fact that they uniquely represent the ‘national pastime in the nation’s capital.’ And that’s something no other sport in any other city can claim. I think the Capitals have certainly capitalized upon—no pun intended—the fact that their international squad enjoys success in the most powerful city in the world. The Capitol Dome and area monuments are important parts of their look, and that of the Nationals as well. That hasn’t always been the case.”

Now that Washington’s No. 1 commercial real estate family owns outright or has a piece of Major League Baseball, NHL hockey, and men’s and women’s professional basketball teams, isn’t there one piece missing in the sports pie? If Daniel Snyder, say, ever decides to put the Redskins up for sale, would Lerner Enterprises be interested in buying the franchise?

Lerner’s rapid response: “That certainly represents a far-fetched hypothetical that has not ever even been discussed.” Maybe not. Or maybe Lerner’s too smart of a sportsman to reveal his team’s game strategy, even hypothetically.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"Now that it has been realized, I plan on doing everything I can do to make sure this franchise becomes an international jewel for Major League Baseball, the nation, D.C. and its wonderful fans"
____________________________________________________________

Well, Uncle Teddy, that jewel is looking more like something you get out of a 25 cent gumball machine right about now.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 15, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Mark Lerner instead of Danny Snyder and Vinnie Cerrato? Hmmmmm hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Sec. 307 says: "I think all of the critiques of the '09 draft depend on SS. If they sign him, I don't really have a problem with under-slot guys. But in general, I'd say that ranking baseball prospects is much more difficult that any other sport. Just because a guy's agent thinks he's great doesn't make it true.

If an under-slot or slot guy is the best of the bunch, in your opinion, then go ahead and draft him. But signing someone to save money when there are better players available is silly, if the goal is to build a winner. You only get to do this once a year, so draft the best you can. These young guys don't cost that much, and it is a shame not to go get the best guys you can just to save a few bucks.

Look at these descriptions, for example, and then say that the Nats are extending themselves financially in the last two drafts:

http://mlbbonusbaby.com/2009/07/07/draft-review-washington-nationals/

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2009/267400.html

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Chris Needham on Strasburg: June 1, 2009 www.nbcwashington.com

How bad are things going for the Nats? So bad that their top pitcher lost to a college team.

OK, so technically Stephen Strasburg isn't quite a Nat yet -- though Ken Rosenthal delivers the non-scoop scoop that they're going to draft him. And The UVA Hoos aren't exactly the Little Sisters of the Poor.

But with the way things are going for the Nats, it figures that the one time most Nats fans could actually watch him, he gets hit around.

Strasburg dominated without really looking amazing. He struck out 15 batters, walked none, but allowed two runs. One was a homer in the first. The other was the result of a Danny Cabrera-like wild pitch.

His fastball was in the 97 mph range (proving again that anyone yammering about 103 mph pitch is a yahoo), and he had a hellacious slider which broke like a sharp 12-6 curveball. But that was it. He didn't really throw a third pitch, other than a show-me changeup, which he threw only a handful of times per game.

Any scout who insisted that he was every bit as good as A.J. Burnett should turn in their scouting card. Great prospect, yes. Great pitcher? Not yet.

Tom Boswell watched, and had a measured reaction: "He's not on a different level. He's not The Best Pitching Prospect Ever. He's the best one since the last one."

Boz points out that the top of the Hoo order didn't really have a problem with him, as they went 6 for 18. Worse, he argues, the No. 9 hitter, a 140-pound freshman, even managed a hit.

"You don't pay $50 million, or probably $20 million, for a pitcher who loses a pitching duel to a U-Va. freshman, gives up a long homer, staggers through the first two innings, allows eight hits, looks like a jittery 20-year-old and doesn't knock the bat out of the hands of a 140-pound freshman batting ninth."

But he's gotta be better than Cabrera, right?

Chris Needham used to watch Capitol Punishment. He's looking forward to having the #1 and #1A picks next year.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Heck, my P-Nats replica championship ring looks better...

---

Well, Uncle Teddy, that jewel is looking more like something you get out of a 25 cent gumball machine right about now.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 15, 2009 3:22 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

>Last point--the Tigers had Verlander because they took a risk with him also, and went over slot to get him, too. My point is, it has to start somewhere--and it should have started a couple years ago for the Nats. That was what "The Plan" was supposed to be about.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 15, 2009 11:47 AM |

Agreed. I defended The Plan, which was supposed to be about investing in the farm system through the draft and international signings, enduring a few lean years without big-ticket free agents and then reaping the benefits of a deep farm system, both in prospects that reach the majors and in others that can be traded for the missing pieces. Three drafts into the Lerner regime, there is precious little evidence that The Plan is actually being implemented. I find that extremely disappointing.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 15, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Worst post: Toughest injury for me would be Sean Hill, who didn't even get to play with us this season.
Posted by: poncedeleroy

Hey, ponce, you're kidding, right? Shawn (correct spelling, BTW) Hill made a pair of five-inning starts for the Padres before making his inevitable, annual trip to the disabled list. He's a nice guy, true. But he's a nice guy with a dead arm. FO has made some gaffes but Pattersoning this guy was not one of them. Get over it.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 15, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

You assume that the most expensive players are the best players. The point I was trying to make is that the draft, overall, is a crapshoot. Lannan was an 11th rounder, for instance. Should we knock the organization for letting him drop so far? Or call them cheap because he was a value?

All I'm saying is that these scouting reports don't mean a hill of beans. The way to rate our draft is to see what kind of players these guys turn out to be a few years down the road. So to crush the Lerners and Rizzo for drafting Holder and Storen, without any kind of reliable professional stats, is crazy. Sure they were cheap, but as long as they turn out to be good players, who cares.

Most of the big money guys, like SS, are high risk / high reward guys, who sometimes don't pan out. So if Rizzo thinks it's best to draft a bunch of college players at or under slot to complement Strasburg (and his soon-to-be-record-signing) then I'm at least going to wait until I've seen these guys some before I knock him.

But if they don't sign SS, then I say we grab the pitchforks, set some torches on fire and burn their "jewel of a franchise" to the ground. Failing to sign SS not only sets back this draft class, but next years' too, when we'll need our focus to do this song and dance again with Boras over Harper, who'll probably want a contract bigger than SS.

It's kind of ironic that the money the Lerners saved on free agents will be spent on a two draft picks who are nothing more than potential due to the terrible record of the team. Strasburg and Harper are the definition of "two in the bush".

Posted by: sec307 | July 15, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I've read recently that Shawn Hill is undergoing a 2nd tommy john surgery.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 15, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

You probably have something against Fuddruckers, too.

(you have good taste)
-------------------
"i remember thinking how much i hate the nats home jersey lettering when i saw zimmerman last night. compared to all the other uniforms, ugh.

Posted by: longterm | July 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse "

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 15, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Being A Nats Fan Stinks

Chris Needham, May 20, 2009 www.nbcwashington.com

Cheer up, Nats Fans! You've got good reason to be miserable. The Nats are leading the league in Misery Index, according to the numbers wizards at the Wall Street Journal.

If you're shocked that the 11-win Nats are leading the league in misery, well, you haven't been paying attention. (And for that, you should consider yourself lucky.)

The Misery Index is an attempt to weigh the factors that make stinky baseball so terrible to watch.

The Nats .289 winning percentage is last in the league, and the team is a full two games back of the next worst team.

Nats games also are among the longest in the league, ninth overall. Not only do Nats fans see losses, they see LONG losses -- but at least it means more time for beer sales.

A combo of terrible relievers and Manny's itchy trigger finger means then Nats lead the league in pitching changes. So there are more soul-ripping, mid-inning pitching changes where the only thing to do is watch clueless Manny scratch his butt on the mound.

Offensively, the Nats are eighth in pitches seen per plate appearance. While that's probably a good stat in terms of putting runs on the board, all those extra balls make each play take longer. It's a way of stretching out the misery.

The Journal also measures how long it's been since the team had a championship. Here, they err and say 40 years -- since that's how long the winless Nats/Expos franchise has been in existence. The truth is, 99 percent of DC sports fans don't care about that. The Nationals themselves haven't won since Walter Johnson beat the New York Giants in 1924, with a big assist from a pebble.

Add it all up, and the WSJ concludes:

"Each night, half the bars in America host the beery laments of baseball fans convinced their team is the most wretched in the majors. And many of them have a point. Baseball is a game of failure, with plenty to go around. Empirically, though, no one tops the Washington Nationals."

Ain't that the truth.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He's never been happier. Thanks, Xanax!

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I saw that, too, NatsNut.

Do we really want to single out "worst posts"? If so, those consisting of ad hominem attacks on other posters would be high on my list.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Sec. 307,

You said: "EdDC, You assume that the most expensive players are the best players."

I said in my earlier post: "If an under-slot or slot guy is the best of the bunch, in your opinion, then go ahead and draft him."

I don't know if you see a difference?

Anyway, it can't be all blindfold-random. You do have scouting reports, etc. I don't believe the Nats when they say the under-slot guys or even some of the slot guys are the best available. But if you think the Lerners have credibility, then great! Hopefully you can save your money and draft the best, without any inconsistency. That would be nice to think.

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

flynnie, I really would not put any stock into anything appearing at nbcwashington.com. That site is just garbage from top to bottom (and I say this as someone who watches nbc4 for local news).

Apparently someone there decided a few months ago that "hysterical" was the appropriate tone for a news channel's website, and it's read like the National Enquirer ever since.

I had the impression that Needham was a decent Nat observer, but even his stuff is mostly junk on that site.

Posted by: joebleux | July 15, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Talk about a transition. You went from rational to revolution in half of a heartbeat!

(For the record, that's not a criticism.)

-----

But if they don't sign SS, then I say we grab the pitchforks, set some torches on fire and burn their "jewel of a franchise" to the ground.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 15, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

Looks like the Nats ranked a 'B' draftwise, based on your links.

But the 2012 starting line up needs to change.

I think that there is a marked difference between a Jim Bowden starting lineup and a Mike Rizzo starting line up.

Instead of a "line up" examining the potential 25 - 40 man roster next year and in 2011?

Catcher : Flores, Norris, Rooney.
1st Base : Dunn, Marerro.
2nd Base : Morse, Bynum, Lobmardozzi, Kobernus,
Gonzalez, Hernandez.
Shortstop : Desmond, Espinosa, Gonzalez,
Hernandez
3rd Base : Zimmerman, Morse, Bynum

Outfield : Morgan, Maxwell, Dukes, Lowrance,
Davis, Daniel, Bernadina.



Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The Storen pick was a bit of a reach talent-wise, especially if they plan on bringing him along as a reliever. When multiple beat writers with MLB sources, magazines and websites like Law, Sickels, Goldstein, and BA all say that guys like Grant Green, Tyler Matzek, and Alex White are more likely to be better major leaguers, I have to respect them. Sure, Rizzo and Brown could guess right, players are undervalued all the time, and you never really know about a draft until 3 - 5 years down the line, but you can make a best guess in the interim. Having said that, given the uniqueness of the Nats position at #10 (coming after the SS pick, the need to sign #10 or lose it), you can make a case that they needed to overdraft someone who would be likely to sign.

The track record for relievers taken in the 1st round and used as relievers is not good. We probably had the biggest outlier in Chad, but there have been more than a few wasted picks doing what the Nats did.

Picking Storen essentially was being given a key that would let you start any car on the lot, and deciding to take a Buick when you had a chance at Lexus. The Lexus is not the Ferrari - that'd be Strasburg. A Buick is a good car and can give you years of excellent transportation with a reasonable cost of ownership. I'm sure there are plenty of Lexus owners who are disappointed, too, with how their cars ended up being. And if you have a preference for buying American, that can be a knock against the Lexus, too. But, for most people, the Nats selecting the Buick instead of the Lexus (a/k/a Grant Green) is a disappointment. Now that we have the Buick, I hope we get many miles from him.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 15, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

periculum,

Yes the Nats got a B, but only because they picked first (a nice advantage) and only because Stasburg was in their draft. Under the circumstances, and especially since the Nats have a loooooong way to go, maybe we should insist on an A once in awhile? After all, 2008 was not so hot a draft either (and I gave you a Baseball America site saying that, posted above). So it's two in a row.

Here is the wording of the 2009 analysis. I gave you the full site URL earlier. What's up with the Nats "not having the money to really think big"? You tell me! The Lerners are rich, DC is a huge market, and the major league payroll is tiny, way below MLB average (27th in MLB to be exact).

"I give them a B, only because of Strasburg. ...Overall, though, I think the Nationals did a nice job of adding some talent with some upside, though they didn’t have the money to really think big, and that must be disheartening. However, Brandon King is a nice late-round sign, and little things like that can help build farm systems back into respectability."

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Here is the wording of the 2009 analysis. I gave you the full site URL earlier. What's up with the Nats "not having the money to really think big"? You tell me!"

I don't know for sure. Has Lerner Enterprises over-leveraged themselves? They are #1 commercial realty in this area, but in this economy of ghost-boxes? Its hard to tell. Factor in the amount of money they have tied up in almost every other area team except the Redskins.

The Redskins are now probably the most profitable sports franchise in the area ... and rank in the top 3 in the NFL I believe.

Perhaps, Ted Lerner is pulling back a bit because of the economy ... getting into an SS Kresges mode when it comes to his investments? In other words becoming ultra conservative with his cash flow and risky investments?

Its hard to tell ... one this is sure, in the end baseball and sports come in second to their real estate ventures. Even in their press releases the very first things they mention are their pursuits and endeavors in that arena/market. Their sports holdings are always at the very bottom.

With Dan Snyder it appears to be completely the reverse.


Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

As far as this draft is concerned compared to the past ...

1. Mostly college players, with decent upsides
but older.
2. "Hungrier" players like Storen and Kobernus.
This draft featured young college types who
were "leaders" in their respective
lockerooms. Holder, Kobernus, and Storen
certainly were. This is significantly
different from a Willems or a Lastings
Millege. Strasberg may fit here as well.
3. Emphasis on relief and potential long
relievers.
4. Emphasis on players where fielding was a
strength.

These appear to be the attributes that bear the
"Rizzo" stamp this year.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi, joebleux. I look forward to your posts, especially since some long forgotten poster was calling everyone cowards for posting anonymously and you gave the immortal response, "OK. Joe Bleauxme." I still get a chuckle out of that one.

Needham's posting on WNBC is a pasteurized version of his Capitol Punishment rants, but I've come to think that he was way ahead of everyone here in figuring out that the that the Lerners are the problem. (Maybe Lerners ARE Cheap deserves that credit, too). Ahead of Boswell, even. And he cares so much about the team. Time makes him look better and better: This is from Capitol Punishment, Dec. 4, 2006: If ripping a hole in the bottom of the barrel is the approach the team is going to take, then they need to go hole on [sic] the hog. Blow the roster up. I love Austin Kearns, but he's not especially young, and he's arbitration eligible. Someone would love to have him. Trade him. Brian Schneider's a good luxury for a team, a left-handed defensive specialist. But on a lousy team? Trade him. Nick Johnson's my favorite Nat, but someone will give up a ransom for him, especially with his bargain-basement contract. Trade him. Chad Cordero's a good, but replaceable closer, who's about to be overpaid for what he can give in relation to a minimum-salaried guy. Trade him. Trade them all. If they're really rebuilding, let's really restock the system.

I want to see 2 or 3 Rule 5 selections this week. If you want to reload a system, why not take other team's prospects? If 2007 doesn't matter in the eyes of Kasten or Bowden, they we'll have no problem finding roster spots for them.

If 2007 doesn't matter, then make it not matter in the right way.

(And if 2007 doesn't matter, why should I renew my season tickets?)

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 15, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody watch the Riggleman presser? I only saw about the last 5 or 10 minutes of it. He seemed nervous, or maybe he's just not used to public speaking. Sounded like they took a question from Chico at the end so maybe we'll be seeing a posting about it here at some point.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

This geezer tried to twitter but only coughed and wheezed and now my eyes are watery.
Geezer.

Posted by: utec | July 15, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I DRVed it and just finished it. Ouch.....Almost makes you wish for Acta......you might as well have the original model....All he could get out was he was not going to change anything...nothing is wrong so why change anything...if that does not work it was not meant to be.....Great hire Rizzo.......I bet he gets fired within 30 days and they go with someone like Foli who has at least some energy.....Jim R looked like he was dead, worse than Manny Acta.......I am not optimistic about this one. I wanted Sterns or Foli or Eckstien.....Not this dead fish.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 15, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman's role is the manager-protem ... when the manager you started with gets fired. Probably why they hired him in the first place. Pat Corrales, same deal.

The season is over. Its now all about the GM, or GM pro-tem rebuilding/building for next year and the future. A large part of that future now resides in Syracuse, Harrisburg, Potomac, and Hagerstown. Some of it may percolate up from Vermont, the GCL, the DSL. Therefore you leave your good coaches there for the interim. Except pitching coach because of the number of prospects/young pitchers you have on your MLB roster.

You make a decision about who you would like managing the new team during the winter months.

Not now. Not in the midst of this debacle.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Ladson predicts that they won't lose 100 games.
That they will play respectable baseball.

Does it matter? Rizzo is going to listen very carefully to every single trade offer. I would if I were him. The key to respectability is a roster of guys who have been consistently playing together, playing consistently good baseball.

If trades are made for prospects and they are added to the major league roster there will definitely be some pain before there is any gain. We all have to be prepared for that.

But the promise tied up in the plethora of young starting pitchers does dangle the possibility of rapid accession to respectability, perhaps even the playoffs in the next year or two. However, I guess that will require some really good, sound baseball decisions on the part of Mike Rizzo.

Posted by: periculum | July 15, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, now I see. The Nats have to draft and sign below-slot guys, never take on big money guys in trades, avoid the free agent market except for Dunn, and have the 27th largest major league payroll (out of 30) all because the recession hit the Nats harder than it did the other teams. Got it. Thanks.

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/33/baseball-values-09_The-Business-Of-Baseball_Income.html

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

That is one back asswards plan isn't it?

I call it cheap. Call me crazy but, I think you feel the same way.

Note to the Lerner's: Spend some damn money for Pete's sake!

Posted by: Section505203 | July 15, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the laugh, Geezer! :-D

---

This geezer tried to twitter but only coughed and wheezed and now my eyes are watery.
Geezer.

Posted by: utec | July 15, 2009 6:30 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 15, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

505203,

Several of us do see that the Nats are not just cheap but amazingly so, given the wealth and size of this region and the state of this team. The Nats' business model is simply to cut way down on costs so that the franchise does not need much revenues to turn a nifty profit. See the site a few posts up.

Why don't more people on the NJ site see it this way also? The ones who frequent NJ are the true-blue fans. They believe, like true fans should. Conversely, the fans who have been driven away don't waste their time (like you and I do) worrying about the Nats. They have other interests. They could have been great fans, but they do not see the Lerners putting out a sufficient investment for the on-field product. so why bother?

How do you gauge their interest or lack thereof? You can't. If you go to Nats Park, can you talk with the 25,000 ghosts in the vacant seats? Nope. They are gone! And that is why the Lerners' business model is a good short-term strategy only. It hurts baseball in DC tremendously.

Posted by: EdDC | July 15, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

New-era-ushering post up.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 15, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, I know how you gauge their interest. Bring a new team to town, even if it's a crummy, 40-year-old "ballpark" they play in. No-name roster, no big draw besides a manager who was a great player back when Bonanza was a hit show. If they win, and draw well, that's a good indicator of what's there. I recall Boswell at the time saying 2.7 million fans could be considered the "floor" for this franchise.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 15, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Twitter? No thanks, I won't be contributing and won't read be reading it. I go to a game to watch and "enjoy" (despite many losses) the game being played on the field -- not to be distracted by text messaging, Twittering, 'the wave', or Clint's incoherent rantings.

Posted by: MCarroll63 | July 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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