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Padres 6, Nats 2

Jim Riggleman watched two hours, 56 minutes of baseball on Friday night, and liked none of it. He saw his team commit four errors, miss signs, and lose to the Padres, 6-2. So following the loss, the interim manager brought his team together for a tongue-lashing. You can read the full barrage of salty Riggleman post-game quotes in my gamer -- you can also get some player reaction -- but here's a taste:

"We just cannot play that sloppy and have that many errors through this point in the season and just say, 'Well that's baseball. That's OK. They're trying.' No. That's not fair to the fans who come out here and buy these tickets."

With four errors, the Nats have now committed a stunning 94 this year. In 96 games. Though he juxtaposed the games-played total and the errors total, catcher Josh Bard is well aware of the broader, embarrassing implication: "We've got 96 errors," he fumed after this game. "Ninety-six! We've played 94 games. You know, the next-closest team has 80."

And the best-fielding team, Toronto, has 35.

This was the 10th time this year Washington has committed three or more errors in a game. For perspective, Washington's opponents haven't committed more than two errors in a game once all year.

"Each guy has to go out there and play better," Bard said. "We talk about it 'til we're blue in the face. At some point there's got to be some fight. I think there are guys out here who are fighting, but we've got to put it all together... The one thing that I would say consistently hasn't been there is just catching the ball. This is the big leagues. You can't give teams four or five outs."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 24, 2009; 11:41 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineups

Comments

"Nationals fans, there is legitimate cause for concern here. All things being equal, Strasburg would surely prefer to stay in San Diego, his hometown, in an extreme pitchers' park with a laid-back fanbase."

Oh C'MON ,,, F^%&* that!!!

Ya know what my man Storen is from surfer's paradise and HE WANTS IT BAD! He wants to prove that HE is READY RIGHT NOW! Put him in, he's ready! He signed early just to prove that.

Strasburg is a cheeekin' sheeet, jelly belly, pork puke by comparison. C'mon Steven? What's the matter are you scared chicken sh%%? Look at what the other guys who were drafted below you are doing ...

You're a joke if you can't handle adversity. Why would any team want you if that isn't something you can stomach?

Posted by: periculum | July 24, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The changes in the organization are multi-fold.....

Posted by: CBinDC | July 24, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Look on the bright side -- it lets the Ponce de Leon 48+ players feel like major leaguers.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 24, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"Look on the bright side -- it lets the Ponce de Leon 48+ players feel like major leaguers.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 24, 2009"

Oh God ... what ... never mind.

If they are anything like me the many former major league players who written books or been quoted including the likes of Ben McDonald it would be:

My God you have no idea how lucky you are to play this game against the best of the best ... forget the marketing/sales/Boras agent hoopla ...
the game in its purest form ... and you are one of the best challenged by the best ... it feeds the soul ... not the damned pocket book for it if did fewer players would spend it all when they got it on sex, drugs, and well consumer therapy!

Posted by: periculum | July 24, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh, I somewhat agree with Periculum. I am not getting a good feeling at all about dealing with boras or his brainwashed clients. I don't think it is ss that is the problem, but do we really need this
S%^t?? SS is probably a pretty good guy, but he he is letting his agent ERRR advisor get him CRUSHED in the court of public opinion.

Posted by: chris88 | July 25, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Periculum et al,

Don't you all realize that Boras is just playing everybody? That is called negotiations and gamesmanship. He is very, very, very good at this kind of thing. That is why he gets paid so well.

I swear you guys would fold like a bad suit with Boras. Don't think anything will start to happen till 8/16.

Posted by: WashOut | July 25, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Why I'm not worried about drafting Strasburg:

1. Primo players never want to be drafted into the worst teams! Who would? However, the system is set up that way --- the worst team in baseball gets the first pick. SS should be sharp enough to get that --- even if he does want to go to San Diego.

2. "Rudderless" is the definition of the worst team in baseball. That's why teams are bad. Boras is just blowing smoke here.

But the "rudderlessness" is being rectified. Lots of the Bowden era guys are gone, and --- even if the course of the Bowden Plan is taking time to bottom out --- the changes are being seen on the field.

3. Boras is exploiting free market strategies that allow draftees to get lucrative bonuses on signing. However, there must be ceilings on these. That's where good negotiation comes in.

4. Its up to the Lerners, Rizzo and Kasten to decide where the line must be drawn --- and the goof with Crow last year is putting them under pressure to go a bit higher.

Here's hoping both sides do their jobs. It would be bad for the Nats to miss SS and it would be bad for SS to have to sit out of MLB for a year because of desire for an extra $5M.

Posted by: nattydread1 | July 25, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Riggleman that it is not fair to fans who go out there and buy tickets. That's why I no longer go out there and buy tickets! Simple as that. They are not worth the money. Yes, I'm a fan but not a sucker. For the money I would spend at the stadium I can stay home with friends, have PRIME RIB sandwiches, top of the line beer, and turn the game off when it gets ugle.....lol usually after the first or second inning! GO RED SOX!!

Posted by: Pete433 | July 25, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Earlier in the year I sat next to a guy on the Metro going to a game. He told me his plan: buy a $5 ticket, get the promo giveaway, grap some autographs, and leave. Wasn't going to watch the actual game AT ALL.

At the time, I thought that was sick. Now I see his reasoning. And that is truly sad.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

FOUR errors - We are so pathetic!

Posted by: rachel216 | July 25, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

The reason we have any attendance is the weather. Now that we are about to have the real July--watch out. We could be heading for 9K.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Although, don't teams usually get a bump in attendance in summer when kids are out of school? I would also wonder whether all the rainy days might have affected attendance negatively (not to mention the on-field product and swarms of opposing fans, of course).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 25, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

(courtesy snark alert on)

Although, on the opposing fan front, sadly for Stan, we only have one more each of Phillies and Mets series here. Boo. :-(

Maybe he can encourage them to come root against the Nats no matter who is playing against them. Yay!

(courtesy snark alert off)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 25, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Another Example of Differences between Acta and Riggs......."We just cannot play that sloppy and have that many errors through this point in the season and just say, 'Well that's baseball. That's OK. They're trying.' No. That's not fair to the fans who come out here and buy these tickets."......That was a direct shot at Acta's approach and it is past time to make this move away from Manny. Riggs is never going to get another job unless he makes his mark....it is like the waiting period after the death of a spouse....it is time to get out there again.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 25, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is results. Riggleman's record here is worse (.222) than Acta's was. The errors, sloppy baserunning, going through the motions, etc, continue. Riggleman may have a different style than Acta did, but it's still not working with this team. Nothing was gained by firing Acta.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

In the latest estimated Elias rankings for A/B type free agents, Nick Johnson and Joe Beimel would both be B type free agents. I wonder how much we could get for Beimel.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17675287/Rankings-072509

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | July 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"I swear you guys would fold like a bad suit with Boras. Don't think anything will start to happen till 8/16."

And don't ever try to buy a rug in Cairo

Posted by: Section506 | July 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

So what's the record for the most errors in a 162 game season?! I'm sure we'll pass that by 20.

Posted by: rachel216 | July 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I was happy to hear Riggleman actually say something about the way the team is playing. Clearly as time goes on he is distancing himself from the Manny Acta approach, and that is good thing. These guys need to be in a culture where losing is not OK.

As a fan who has season tickets and goes out there night after night, I feel as though everyone -- the team, the media -- ignores the fact that I am paying real money to watch THIS team right now in 2009 -- not a team in the 'future'.

Its easy for Jon Heyman to write that the Nats should trade Dunn, Willingham, Beimel and Johnson -- but is he going to be paying to watch Nationals games after they are gone? No. All these plans and patience for the future are nice, but if they want people paying real money to watch the team right now, they need to work to make the immediate on field product better, NOT worse by getting rid of the best players on the team.

Posted by: raymitten | July 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I think we're going to get a chance to see if a different managing approach can truly affect this team's play. Riggleman has instituted more infield practice before games. They're still making errors.

Instead of publicly being lowkey (and maybe saving the tongue-lashing for a private setting) he openly and justifiably rips the team for its effort last night. Anyone think we'll really see a change in the next few games?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 25, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The sad and inexplicable thing about this team is that it is NOT overmatched, statistically, at the plate. Against the Mets, the Nats stood 2nd in the league in on-base percentage. Even with atrocious pitching and fielding, how are that Nats 40 games under .500? That's what so, so frustrating.

Posted by: nats24 | July 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Go figure - Rizzo is a Boras client too!
______________________________
"Nats' GM Uncertainties a Concern for Strasburg"

Posted by: lowcountry | July 25, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For the record, they've been taking INFIELD practice. The fours errors were made by the pitchers(2), the catcher, and the LF.

The pitcher errors were classic, push the ball, drop the elbow throws by guys who didn't look very confident in what they were doing. Weekly PFP (pitcher fielding practice) repetitions might help. The catching situation defensively is not good. I loved Schneider, and I know he doesn't hit much, but there does seem to be a correlation between trading him and the team going from "overachievers" to "lazy bums". More than Bard's error, his passed ball in the first inning frustrated more. As for Dunn, he's just a bad defender.

I was glad to see Riggleman blast his players a bit without naming names. That game last night was just brutal, among the worst of the year. I'm going tonight. I plan to show up at 4:30 PM and watch the early defensive work. I'll be interested to see what they do.

#4

Posted by: db423 | July 25, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Also the record for errors in a season is in the 400's. The Nats are on pace for about 170. The last team to commit at least 200 errors was the '63 Mets.

Posted by: db423 | July 25, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, infield practice at 4:30 this afternoon when the heat index is like 105 is really gonna help the guys focus.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

On Strasburg -

All the hyper-ventilating about him has got to stop. We must accept that the Lerners made a colossal mistake when they bought the team by retaining Bowden. It has forced them to hit the reset button after three wasted years. Bowden appealed to Mark Lerner in the way that hanging with the "cool jocks" appeals to the jock-sniffers in high school. Bowden had lots of stories and was a likable guy with all the usual pro-ball vices that would attract someone new to the game like the Lerners who were starry-eyed about being first-time owners. Unfortunately it lead them down the road to laughing stock as Bowden continued to alienate the rest of the league and make ill-conceived decisions about trades, signings, and most importantly amateur talent.

At this point, we can hope that they'll open their wallets and that Rizzo and Kasten can convince Strasburg that the adults are in charge now.

#4

Posted by: db423 | July 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, infield practice at 4:30 this afternoon when the heat index is like 105 is really gonna help the guys focus.

Posted by: Nats_Lady

Hey NL: This team made errors in 40-degree weather in April. It's making them in 90-degree weather in July. I was there last night when Mock couldn't throw a 25-foot throw to first on target on a bunt. For that, I would not only make the guy take PFP today, I'd make him run laps at high noon. That's what my old high school coach made us do and, trust me, it does make your improve. Or quit. Which in Garrett "A-Run-an-Inning" Mock's case, might not be the worst career move. "The guys," as you phrase this bunch of bums, are making minimum $300G a year and most much more. For that, they can take fielding practice, trust me. Let's get a bit real, huh?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 25, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Comment of the day goes to db423 for this gem: "At this point, we can hope that they'll open their wallets and that Rizzo and Kasten can convince Strasburg that the adults are in charge now.

#4

Posted by: db423"

And you're so right about the Lerners being "starry-eyed." Reading Markie Mark's comments to Ladson confirms they still are. They are in Fantasy Land, totally out of their element in the bigs. Choices of Manny as manager, Sunshine Bobby as their TV voice and Dibs as dogcatcher prove that.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 25, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@jdschultz50: what bothers me more than whether or not they take practice in 90 degree heat is the idea that position players get a "day" off (courtesy R-man) because they have a heavy schedule. You want a day off, pray for rain.

Show people work 7 nights and 1 or 2 matinees every week, year-round.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I also don't buy this excuse: they can't practice on the road because they "don't have access to the field." Hello, go out and rent a little-league field, whatever it takes. Take practice a 9 a.m., then take a nap.

My opinion, this 4:30 practice stuff is just for show, just like firing Manny. The root of the problem is getting players. And Mock et al., should have learned to field in the MINORS.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Does the team's use of a sports psychologist as revealed by Debbi Taylor in a sideline bit last night mean that we might at some point see a psychologist's visit to the mound?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 25, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

1a-- if that's what it takes.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The reason we have any attendance is the weather. Now that we are about to have the real July--watch out. We could be heading for 9K.
+++++++++++++++++++++
And the "official" announced attendance will still be 23K. LOL

Posted by: twinbrook | July 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@twinbrook: yes, that consistency is amazing. So now we have hot weather and no Met/Cubs/Phillies fans... Wonder if the $5 and $10 seats will still be "sold out" at the box office on the day of the game?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Give Riggleman 20 games before getting out the rope.

Posted by: nattydread1 | July 25, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

> Anyone think we'll really see a change in the next few games?

No.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@nattydread: He's getting another 67 games, rope or not.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

They did play badly, but what a nice night, major league baseball, a Zimm homerun and a couple of nice plays (with accurate throws to first), fireworks, and a bunch of people out having a nice time. I would say people should try to relax and enjoy what they have. Life's to short to be so full of hate and anger over a game.

Posted by: markfromark | July 25, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@markfromark: they do put on nice fireworks, not cheap. And if you think of it as a picnic, and a fun time with the peeps--yeah, that could work.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

ABM,

It took 2 1/2 years of Acta to get the team to where it is now. It will take more than 10 games to change the culture of losing is fine, teach and preach and no matter what all is good.

Give it a few more weeks. I think it will take.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 25, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Worst baseball I have ever witnessed in a major league park.

And the beer wasn't very cold, either (at the stands which were open, which wasn't all of them).

Fortunately, parking isn't bad at all around the stadium. Remember when _that_ was what we were all worried about? THOSE were the days!!

I wouldn't have gone last night if it were not my share of the season tickets from our group. I am definitely not renewing next year. That isn't reactionary to (just) last night's game, but it certainly helped me come to the conclusion.

I can think of better things to do on a Friday night in July in DC. Seriously; check Yelp.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 25, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@JayBee:

It is a rare opportunity so I'm going to take this chance to say I wholeheartedly agree with you on this.


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

ABM,

It took 2 1/2 years of Acta to get the team to where it is now. It will take more than 10 games to change the culture of losing is fine, teach and preach and no matter what all is good.

Give it a few more weeks. I think it will take.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 25, 2009 1:47 PM

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 25, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This team - Acta + Riggleman = SSDD.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

To make myself feel better I'm watching video highlight (if you can call them that) clips of Willy Mo Peña.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 25, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@jdschultz50: what bothers me more than whether or not they take practice in 90 degree heat is the idea that position players get a "day" off (courtesy R-man) because they have a heavy schedule. You want a day off, pray for rain.

Show people work 7 nights and 1 or 2 matinees every week, year-round.

My opinion, this 4:30 practice stuff is just for show, just like firing Manny. The root of the problem is getting players. And Mock et al., should have learned to field in the MINORS.

Posted by: Nats_Lady

Damn that's ignorant. lol man - that's just too funny. Infield practice is just for show! Yeah, they should 'remember' how to field, right? Hey it looks easy, and those are just average looking guys, right? Not hard work at all! Yeah but what show people do is PLANNED. It's the same all the time. You have to work yourself into a position so that you can REACT properly during a game, because it's not scripted. That's what makes it hard, and that's the part you don't understand, obviously. You just see the end result and can't work backward from that.

But you might be right, for all the wrong reasons, that firing Manny's sorry ass is just for show, because they should have done it while they still had a chance to be competitive instead of waiting to be 40 GAMES UNDER .500! This team's got plenty of stats in the middle range of the league, they just gave up along the way. It's the manager's job to create urgency with these guaranteed contracts, because there is no built-in urgency otherwise. That was a funny post though, and I hate to scold people, but you sounded like you needed some guidance. lol>

Posted by: Brue | July 25, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

>This team - Acta + Riggleman = SSDD.

Posted by: nunof1

Who said Riggleman's any better? Just the fact that he has a pulse sets him apart from Acta. But he's still low-rent.

Posted by: Brue | July 25, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

> Who said Riggleman's any better?

Quite a few people in this thread and earlier. I just don't see it myself, though. And the W-L record speaks for itself.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The point on firing Acta was not that the Nats had a budding John McGraw waiting to replace him. The point was that losing, uninspired baseball was not acceptable. Letting Acta finish the season would have made the statement that management does not really care. The opposite message needed to be sent to both the players and the fans. You can perhaps say that it was "for show" in that respect, but sometimes that helps shake up the atmosphere. It may not pay dividends in 10 games or ever, but it had to be done.

#4

Posted by: db423 | July 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Brue--I didn't say they shouldn't practice.

What I said was 20 minutes of practice at 4:30 on a hot afternoon doesn't cut it. Nor does Riggleman cussing out the guys.

That's just for show, in my opinion, to "show" the fans something is being done. I also am not convinced that yelling at guys or "punishing" them with workouts is effective management.

If practicing is going to improve them, then they need SERIOUS sessions. They should be practicing EVERY DAY for maybe 2-3 hours in the cool of the MORNING.

However, my main point is that you should not be "practicing" to be a major leaguer when you are in the major leagues, any more than a diva should be practicing when she is singing at the Met. Years and years of training in High School, college, the minors and spring training--that's when you learn your trade. MLB isn't (or shouldn't be) on-the-job training with very rare exceptions (e.g., April and September, and the occasional necessity to bring up a promising young guy).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to imply that divas don't practice when they've made it to the Met--they do--and many hours a day, in addition to performance. What I meant was they don't become divas by being hired, they are divas BEFORE they get to the big leagues. You thing baseball tickets are high-priced, try opera tickets.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Despite all of the above, I plan to go to the "Battle of the Basement" tonight, and have a good time, and maybe see Nyjer catch a fly or steal a coupla bases, maybe someone hits a homerun... and get fat on some of those chili-cheese nachos.

But I don't have expectations that the team is going to improve in any significant way with the players we currently have.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

As to Riggs vs. Acta: huge sample size discrepancy. Come on, get real. Over two and a half years, Acta's record got worse and worse. Riggleman's been on the job for less than two weeks, with players who were taught byy their manager--as Brue says--that losing is okay. I think the quote from Riggleman in today's Post show clearly that those days are gone. I never heard any of that stuff from Acta.

As to the comparison btw. these guys and show people--having been a show person myself professionally, I would agree once again with Brue. You cannot compare what a stage actor/performer does with what these players do. Even "improv" acting happens within predictable formulas. There's never any split-second making of new decisions in the theater like there is in baseball.

And, by the way, show people (at least those on Equity contracts) get one day off every week. Eight shows within six days. The Nats are playing 25 straight days of games.

Once again, no comparison whatsoever.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 25, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@db423: I take your point and agree to some extent--basically, Manny was fired because they couldn't fire the 25 (or 40) guys on the roster.

But let's not pretend Riggleman is the answer to anything.

Let's not hang him for losing. But it is also foolish to buy into the idea that he is somehow shaking up the team or changing some mythical "culture of losing" with a few workouts and blowouts. He didn't do it in Seattle and he won't here.

What would interest me is an analysis of how teams do turn themselves around within one season--like Seattle seems to have done.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@shepdave203: that is one of the funniest things I ever heard!! In live shows, there are split second decisions made ALL the time. Hopefully without the audience ever knowin. Been there, done that.

(You are correct about Equity contracts, though. It just makes me mad that these guys wimp out so much).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I have always had a hard time understanding pitching. The really bad ones look bad, and I can see the movement a bit when they superimpose the box on the replay, but other than that...Anyway, after the first inning, what was so bad about Mock?
I can immediately think of two things I really like about this season: Nyjer Morgan and the organ music. I know Nyjer deserves a night off but I sure missed him last night & I wonder if the team really misses him & his high standards. BTW, does anyone know where the organ & organist are in the park? An usher told me he thought they were in the press center. Anyone know?

Posted by: Section109 | July 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

> What would interest me is an analysis of how teams do turn themselves around within one season--like Seattle seems to have done.

Apparently the formula is fire your manager, make Riggleman the interim guy, then fire him. So the Nats are right on track.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

> I have always had a hard time understanding pitching.

You should read John Feinstein's book Living on the Black, about Mike Mussina's and Tom Glavine's 2007 season. You'll learn a lot.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to vote for this one as Post-of-the-Day. Of course the day's not over yet...

==========================================
Apparently the formula is fire your manager, make Riggleman the interim guy, then fire him. So the Nats are right on track.
Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 3:13 PM


Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@Nats_Lady: Do you really want to try to compare an actor's timing an entrance or joke to an infielder's deciding whether to throw to first or second? Or an outfielder's deciding which way to break when a ball is hit?

I'm sorry--I am failing to make the connection.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 25, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, there are some real similarities there, shepdave. Individuals working as a team, picking up their colleagues after mistakes. If you've worked on AEA contracts, you know how even the temperature in the room can change the overall feel of a show.

Since this is our all-show-biz thread, I'll toss in something about the pregame fielding: Nats_Lady, don't think of the pregame fielding work as basic instruction, but rather more akin to, perhaps, fight call. (Dunno if y'all have that in opera, but we had plenty of it in theater.) You've already had the training and rehearsal; this pre-performance repetition is just about reminding your body of the necessary motions.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 25, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@shep2003: No, I was talking more about a hundred people on stage, with orchestra and chorus, in costume, with treacherous scenery involving stairs, props I wish you could see-- and the soprano drops a measure. I was talking about curtain fail, people tripping, etc. etc. etc., I could tell you some stories...

Also, as for the "routine" of a baseball game, it is, in many ways, as predictable as a show. There are only so many ways you can hit a ball (fly or grounder or foul)... There are situations that occur over and over again (man on 3rd w/ less than 2 out)...

This is what you rehearse, and this is what you do, correctly, time after time, when the curtain comes up and there is an audience. And if you make a mistake, the other actors cover it, because the most important thing is a good show (or, in the case of baseball--A WIN).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@Scooter-- yes, musicians and singers have warm-ups and refreshers even in a long run, and some directors have pre-show "fight calls," some don't. To me the "fight call" never made much difference, my adrenalin was always there, but I guess it was needed for some people.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course, to be fair, fight call is more about safety, so maybe that's where this analogy breaks down. I never held a fight call to get people "up;" it was to keep them from hurting themselves. Now that I think about it, I guess this fielding practice might be more akin to a brush-up partway through the run. Those I held rarely (the runs weren't that long, really), but I did call them occasionally.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 25, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@scooter: You absolutely have to warm up before a show, and atheletes do too, the body needs that, and I'm assuming no trainer would seriously let the Nats play without a warm-up. But 4:30 for a warm-up/workout doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

When do you eat? We could never eat for 2 hours before a show, could you? So if you have these defensive workouts from 4:30 to 5, and then I hope take a shower, then you are eating at 5:30 or 6, which is really not good. We were always taught to eat a substantial meal at least 4-5 hours before showtime, and a very small snack later.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Frank Barone "Holy Crap!"

How on God's green earth did this blog get on the discussion of comparing MLB with a friggin' play or "show?"

I love to see some weak sister actor take a 92 mph fastball in the ribs on stage, it would probably kill the poor SOB.

Geez.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 25, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Brava, NatsLady!

Also, new post up (and that's "Headley"!).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 25, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

And I second that emotion.

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I'd like to vote for this one as Post-of-the-Day. Of course the day's not over yet...

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Apparently the formula is fire your manager, make Riggleman the interim guy, then fire him. So the Nats are right on track.
Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 3:13 PM


Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 25, 2009 3:15 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 25, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse


You should read John Feinstein's book Living on the Black, about Mike Mussina's and Tom Glavine's 2007 season. You'll learn a lot [about pitching].

Posted by: nunof1 | July 25, 2009 3:15 PM
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Thanks Nunof1|

Posted by: Section109 | July 25, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

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