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Reading Material

Here's the link to the WaPo's main Nats page, where you can swallow the blue pill (and read about the win in the suspended game) or the red pill (and read about the loss in the regularly scheduled game).

The Houston Chronicle recaps a busy day, made all the more interesting by Astros starter Russ Ortiz, who was pulled after three innings, a move he didn't appreciate. "It became apparent to me from the very beginning of the season that I wasn't going to be given much of a chance or room for error, and today is another example of that," Ortiz said.

Baseball Prospectus analyzes Adam Dunn's consistency.

The Nationals have one player among BA's top 50 midseason prospects -- Hagerstown C Derek Norris.

Garrett Mock, down (up?) in Class AAA Syracuse, continues his recent dominance. In his last five starts, he's thrown a total of 35 innings, allowing two earned runs. During that span: 28 Ks, 3 BB. (In a semi-related note, Manny Acta yesterday was asked about how his rotation would look after the all-star break. He said only this much: John Lannan will start the first game back. Scott Olsen will start the second. You'd imagine Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen will follow after that, but the fifth spot is up for speculation, especially with the way Ross Detwiler has been throwing. At minimum, the Nats will use the break to skip Detwiler's turn in the rotation. If the Nats opened the second half without reorganizing their rotation, Detwiler would have been on track to start the first game back.)

Shane Victorino wins the NL final vote, earning the last spot on the all-star team, well ahead of Cristian Guzman. Writes the Philly Daily News's Rich Hofman: "It ended 4 days of what could only be described as a public-relations dream: Victorino stumping door-to-door with Mayor Nutter, then filming a campaign-style commercial at Comcast SportsNet, then driving in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night and being greeted on the field by teammate Chan Ho Park wearing a sandwich board urging fans to vote."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 10, 2009; 9:52 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Astros 9, Nats 4
Next: An Off Day For Zimmerman

Comments

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Nationals are. You have to see it for yourself.

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

Dang, new posted (and oblivious to 1a's warning)

Those who follow baseball know what we were getting with Dunn. He was/is/will be a liability in the field. The only question going forward for the second half in my mind is: is he less a liability at 1B (given the regular opportunity to play the position)? To answer that, he probably will need to play 1B 3-4 times a week irrespective of what happens with Nick.

506 is right about contract status, as well. Dunn will have significantly more value at the trading deadline next year. I suspect Rizzo knows that too - although I think, his recent professions notwithstanding, he would move him this year if he was made an offer he couldn't refuse.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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

There's also some Nats reading on the Bog, for those who might be so inclined.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

What is a deke?

And it doesn't look like Dunn was just standing there ignoring the homer, Chico, it looks like he lost the ball in flight.


http://houston.astros.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200907095502931&c_id=hou

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Decoy, as in attempting to fool an opposing player.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Check out bottom of the sixth inning:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU200907090.shtml

Dunn makes both of those plays like an above average centerfielder and it only changes which at bat the runners come in.

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The thing about Dunn is, just because we knew he was a "bad" fielder when we signed him, does that mean he gets a free pass for everything he does in the outfield, no matter how awful? That's the part I don't get. Is he even trying out there? Sometimes, it's hard to tell.

On the "final vote" all-star thing, I think it's really funny how much attention gets paid to it, since a handful more guys will invariably get added to the team in the next couple days due to injuries and withdrawals. For example, Victorino probably would have been added to the team no matter what happened with the final vote, as they are going to need to replace Beltran.

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

it looks like we're seeing some very FLop-pish "get me outta here" behavior from No. 15 of the home team.

Posted by: surly_w | July 10, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree with coverageislacking. Dunn still needs to be held accountable in the field despite whatever offense he brings. I thought I remember Manny saying at the beginning of the year that he could be a good defender. Maybe I'm not remembering the quote correctly, though.

Posted by: derwink | July 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Guz is having his issues, but I don't know that I'd compare him to F-Lop or Ayala as far as "get me outta here" behavior (jerks - oh, sorry - lost my train of thought there). I've always had the impression that Guz is very proud and a hard worker who is motivated to do his best on the field. Maybe there's something else going on with him (or maybe he's just getting old).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Since when has being held accountable meant being embarrassed by your manager griping about you like a petulant child?

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Or calling you a piece of excrement, as Lou reportedly did with Bradley.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

506, what are you referring to? I must have missed that.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

For all the "trade Dunn!" people: Who do you trade Dunn for that will make the team stronger?

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

There's more Nats reading material on Baseball Insider, on Zimmermann. Speaking of the Z-Mann (and the Z-Man), there is a piece on both in this month's Washingtonian.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"I've always had the impression that Guz is very proud and a hard worker who is motivated to do his best on the field."

Another case for random drug testing among NJ contributors.

Guz is a dog. Just another example of Manny's Dominican pipeline (Ayala, Hernandez, Rivera, etc, etc) running completely dry. Why don't we accomodate this guy's wishes and trade him outta here. Where is the bring-back-Jamey-Carroll crowd when we need them?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Here is an interesting article for those interested in the latest efforts to better quantify defense:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/sports/baseball/10cameras.html?th&emc=th

Posted by: slewis1 | July 10, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Please. If you think Adam Dunn is the problem with this team, you really don't know baseball.

Posted by: raymitten

Couldn't agree more, RM. Dunn obviously is no Torii Hunter out there. But at least he seems to be trying. That's more than can be said for Guz, Kearns, Hernandez, Gonzalez, etc. etc. Even Zimm appears resigned to a 50-and-112 season. Does Manny buy it during the A-S break?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't think prior knowledge of Dunn's lack of defensive skill automatically requires one to give him a pass when he screws up. However, on Bourne's triple, he made the same mistakes that both Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada made on two different plays. 1-He misplayed the ball off the wall, allowing it to bounce past him towards the field (Carlos Lee on Dunn's double in the first) and then he didn't come up throwing to third, which would have toasted Bourne there (Miguel Tejada. I think this was on the same play...He took the cut, and when he looked up Zim was on his way home. By the time he threw it, way off line, Zim had scored.)

Now, I'm not saying that we should give Dunn a pass because he is similar to two light-fielding guys from the other team. What I am saying is that the other team made the same mistakes, albeit two different guys, but we're not talking about that one play costing them the game. That would be because they continued to hit and their bullpen shut the Nats down.

We can call Dunn out, but there is so much wrong with this team right now that I won't put too much of the struggle on his shoulders.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | July 10, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

In the post game Knight said that Guzman looked like he was pouting since being put in the 6 hole. Lack of concentration on defense, lack of aggression at bat.

Knight and Dibble ranted about how this team doesn't play hard for entire games. I have to take anything Dibble says along those lines with a grain of salt but there you go. Knight said it's the manager's job to get guys ready to play and some guys ought to be sitting if they can't play hard all the time. Guz was the only one they named.

It was as openly harsh as I've seen yet on MASN.

Geezer

Posted by: utec | July 10, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

That should read "on the same play."

Posted by: Cavalier83 | July 10, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

From the last post, re LoDuca: "It's hard to be a team leader with a syringe sticking out of your butt. Just a thought Posted by: natsfan1a1"

In the name of all that is holy, do you really think Paul Lo Duca is the only Nat of note to use illegal performance whatever? You don't have to believe that they all do, but to pretend that there's only been one is just disingenuous.

(And jd, I'm certain Luis Ayala is Mexican. Didn't bother checking the others.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that you were never on the debate team, jd.

---

Another case for random drug testing among NJ contributors.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Rivera is from Puerto Rico.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm not pretending, Scooter. I don't know about the others, as I don't recall having read about test results for them.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

And I'm not being disingenuous either. I'm pretty sure that I'd be the judge of that. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Man Dibble went off after last night's game, too bad he isn't running this ballclub,i've said it once and i'll say it again Acta should have been fired after last season. I can't imagine that the effort will get any better as the losing continues that's the culture of this team Dibble had it right some players on this team are comfortable with the way things are, once the season started going south some of these guy's said the hell with it and have been mailing it in and given the fact that the "manager" is hardly a factor one way or the other it's no wonder we're thirty games under .500. Stan Kasten and the Lerners are responsible for this situation, since the firing of Frank Robinson the game of baseball has been a joke in this town and don't get me wrong F.Robby had issues but effort from the players wasn't one of them, upper management has done a piss poor job of giving the fans of DC a winning product. The second half of the season will be unwatchable unless the the Lerners demand that Kasten and Rizzo make some changes starting in the dugout and weed out the knuckleheads, as fans we'll know how serious the Lerners are about changing the sorry ways of this team and bringing some sanity about baseball back to DC.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

At least, going by this definition and usage note.

dis·in·gen·u·ous (dsn-jny-s)
adj.
1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who ... exemplified ... the most disagreeable traits of his time" (David Cannadine).
2. Pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naïf.
3. Usage Problem Unaware or uninformed; naive.
disin·genu·ous·ly adv.
disin·genu·ous·ness n.
Usage Note: The meaning of disingenuous has been shifting about lately, as if people were unsure of its proper meaning. Generally, it means "insincere" and often seems to be a synonym of cynical or calculating. Not surprisingly, the word is used often in political contexts, as in It is both insensitive and disingenuous for the White House to describe its aid package and the proposal to eliminate the federal payment as "tough love." This use of the word is accepted by 94 percent of the Usage Panel. Most Panelists also accept the extended meaning relating to less reproachable behavior. Fully 88 percent accept disingenuous with the meaning "playfully insincere, faux-naïf," as in the example "I don't have a clue about late Beethoven!" he said. The remark seemed disingenuous, coming from one of the world's foremost concert pianists. Sometimes disingenuous is used as a synonym for naive, as if the dis- prefix functioned as an intensive (as it does in certain words like disannul) rather than as a negative element. This usage does not find much admiration among Panelists, however. Seventy-five percent do not accept it in the phrase a disingenuous tourist who falls prey to stereotypical con artists.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

BBTF From SI: Marchman: Clopser by Commitee Gains New Respect: "Which brings us to the significant point: Most of the reason that the Red Sox gave up on their experiment was that it wasn’t successful, because they had a lot of lousy pitchers. Part of it, though, was that there was a lot of loud whining from the press and the fans about how the team was poking the third rail with a metal stick by not naming Chad Fox or Luis Tiant or whoever as their closer.

There hasn’t been much, if any, of that kind of whining in Atlanta or Tampa Bay this year. Of course the South isn’t New England, and of course the great Cox and the smart set running the Rays—who are generally regarded around St. Petersburg with something like the spooked reverence that remote villagers might accord a child who speaks in tongues—are given more deference than Theo Epstein, Bill James and Co. were in their first year formally running the Fenway show. Still, that two teams in the playoff race can so brazenly ignore a sacred chapter in the sport’s famous Book and get no stick at all for it is something new and intriguing.

All those who militate for such bullpen reforms as not feeling the need to designate a single closer have really ever argued is that teams should use a strategy that fits their personnel. That can mean running out Joe Nathan or J.P. Howell every time a save chance comes up. It can also mean handing the ball to an obscure pitcher like Randy Choate, or splitting work between two more or less equally talented pitchers to take advantage of matchups. It’s hard to say why this was ever controversial, but at the year’s halfway point it’s starting to look as if it’s less so than it has been in a very long time."

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

1a1:
Nook Logan was also named in the Mitchell Report. As a friend remarked to me at the time, the fact that Nook was doping really shakes your faith in performance-enhancing drugs.

Posted by: TomServo | July 10, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I should have been more clear in my previous comment with respect to Dunn's fielding. The point I was trying to make was really directed more towards the idiotic way that Manny has dealt with the issue in his responses to media questions, than it was to Dunn's defense itself, or any specific play last night.

Why, in response to questions about Dunn's defense, would Manny say something like "it is what it is' and "we didn't bring Dunn here to play defense." Passive-aggressive crap like that is hardly productive or positive in the clubhouse. It also does create the impression, real or not, that Manny will accept whatever happens out there, because "we didn't bring Dunn here to play defense."

The way Manny should be dealing with this in the media is to address whether Dunn is working as hard as possible, and making his best effort in the field. If he's going to take questions about Dunn's defense, that's all he needs to say, if that's what he believes--"Adam is giving full effort out there, and I can't ask anything more from him." On the other hand, if Manny thinks Dunn is loafing, then he should say that. But this nonsense where Manny compares Dunn's defense to Morgan and then whines about it is just ridiculous.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 10, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

And Hollywood is resurrectiang Moneyball, starring Brad Pit as Billy Beane. I can see the first scene: A foggy night, Bill James making his rounds in the pork and bean factory, Bill James sitting at a metal desk, totally absorbed in bunting statistics. And then, a sunny day on the
Diamond in Oakland! Gripping stuff.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Guz is a dog. Just another example of Manny's Dominican pipeline (Ayala, Hernandez, Rivera, etc, etc) running completely dry."

Wow, this is ignorant. Maybe even bigoted. Both because of the aforementioned non-Domincan-ness of two of the mentioned players and because all of these guys were put on the team in the interlude when Manny was not associated with it.

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, 1a, that was presumptuous of me, wasn't it? I promise from now on I'll stick to calling you naive. :-)

And slewis, that Times article is awesome. Thanks.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'll agree to that, CiL.

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

This was written in response to a rant about Adam Dunn jogging to 2d on July 6 against the Rockies and then getting picked off at third. Again, thanks to Baseball Think Factory.

Le Metaphysicien Posted: July 07, 2009 at 12:09 PM (#3244422)

After reading this, I pulled up the condensed game on MLB AtBat, and this whole tirade is dumb. Dunn was most definitely not "jogging" from 1st to 2nd; he is just slow. And the pitcher on the "pick off" (is that really the right word for getting thrown behind on a ball in play) made a great play when he leapt to catch a ball that bounced high and then possibly deked Dunn out by turning towards first initially. Dunn didn't get back in time because, again, he has the footspeed of an elephant seal on land.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

By the way, on Dibble's rant last night. Who, specifically, do you all think he was calling out? Ray at least had the guts to name someone in particular (Guz). Dibble didn't say; if he's going to make comments like his "pathetic" comment, he should have the guts to back it up with specifics.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

1a, I bet you learned that in Baseball 101!
(he said disingenuously).

***************************
What is a deke?
Posted by: ihatewalks | July 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse
---------
Decoy, as in, attempting to fool an opposing player.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 10:37 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This story linked to earlier is really exciting.
(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/sports/baseball/10cameras.html?_r=1&th&emc=th)

But I am nervous... wouldn't this also settle boundary disputes, a la tennis?

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

But this is one of the few open questions left around here: when some (e.g., derwink above, and the always genuous CiL) call for a player to be "held accountable," what does that mean, really? Especially someone like Dunn. What are they going to do, not pay him? Trade him to an even worse team? I agree, when players dog it (ftr, I don't think Dunn does), the manager should address it with them, directly, immediately, and unambiguously, but not necessarily publicly, which is what these posts seem to be calling for.

It's easy to forget, when you're up to your ass in alligators, that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.


*************
Since when has being held accountable meant being embarrassed by your manager griping about you like a petulant child?
Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 11:06 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Trading Dunn, Guz and some others will make the Nats even worse this season. But bottom line is you trade if you can make a good trade that helps you in the future, regardless of contract status of the veterans. If you can get more by waiting until next year, then wait. If you can get the players you want now, then pull the trigger. There are no arbitrary rules that make you do one or the other.

As far as the inconsistency of wanting the Nats to sign free agents over the winter and now saying it is OK to trade Dunn: that's not inconsistent. Many of us have long said that you need to build assets, whether it is through trades for guys who make decent salaries (the Lerners do not do much of that--the last $10 million guy was Soriano, pre-Lerners), or whether it means that you sign free agents. Dunn was the only free agent making decent money the Lerners have ever signed! And Dunn probably does have AL market value.

You build these assets to have a more interesting team while you have the guys, and so that you can trade them for prospects when you can get the ones who can help in the future. If the Nats had collected whole bunches of assets, then they could make multiple trades for young guys-- or get draft picks when you don't trade them and they sign elsewhere.

These are better strategies than holding tryouts all year for marginal big leaguers, one after another.

Posted by: EdDC | July 10, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I realize that, TomServo, but Logan is also no longer on the team (Guillen, either, for that matter).

Apology accepted, Scooter, though I don't think that I'm naive, either (too old for that, methinks). There likely are/have been some juicers lurking in Natstown but not as many have been outed as with other teams (cough... Orioles). I do believe that not all players have gone that route (maybe that's naive, but I don't think so).

haha, sec3. Very funny. ;-) I've not been to a Baseball 101 class yet, but I've picked up terms from watching/listening to games and from reading baseball books. I've always been interested in slang and my fave baseball reference is Paul Dickson's Baseball Dictionary. Baseball has such a rich vocabulary. That's one of the things I love about it. (Yes, I'm a word nerd.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The core of another brilliant marketing campaign that'll never see the light of day.

***************************
No one can be told what the Nationals are. You have to see it for yourself.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 10:11 AM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Since it can't star David Carradine, we may have to settle for Leonard Nimoy.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me, has anyone else seen that commercial for a local D.C. lawyer, with William Shatner? WTH? Did he lose a bet?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Nimoy voiceover: "No one can be told what the Nationals are. You have to see it for yourself."
(grainy, indistinct footage of a large hairy left fielder chasing down a ball into a forest)
...
(ends with Sasquatch's face suddenly full into the camera--
Gilbert Gottfried/Sasquatch: "and you can't trade draft picks in baseball!!"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

In addition to all the other problems, our boys seem to have gotten the knack of forgetting how to hit halfway through the game. Last night was typical: four runs early and then nada.

Let's look at Zimmerman, e.g. One could say charitably that the pressures mount in a close game, especially for someone playing on such a woeful club. But are opposing pitchers making adjustments, to which he's not readjusting? And/or is he subconsciously satisfied with his two hits in his first two ABs? (I noticed that the TV guys praised his hitting, ignoring his failure--along with everybody else's of course--to get a big hit when the game was on the line).

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | July 10, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think you've got something there, sec3!

I haven't seen the Shatner lawyer commercial (I'm pretty sure I've seen Captain Kirk's other commercials a few too many times, though).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Out-of-market spot: for airing in Phila. and NYC markets:

"Schadenfreudian Slip"
Plenty of good seats at Nationals Park! Come on down! It's like homecoming games in high school, except the beer is served legally.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

from the Houston Chron's gamer:
"They already had been on the wrong side of the Astros’ first walk-off defeat in Minute Maid Park history, at the hands of the lowly Washington Nationals no less.
So losing two games Thursday night to the Nationals, who easily own the worst record in baseball, would have been unthinkable."

We're ticked off in here just having to watch this. Imagine how it must feel to have to BE this. There ain't enough Prozac in the world to cover that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Asking again: Those who would trade Dunn - who would you trade him for that would improve the team?

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

It is an absurd question, gilbertbp. The possibilities are nearly limitless (except, of course, you can't trade draft picks . . .) Someone would have to first want Dunn, then we could see what they have in return. (all that said, I'm for keeping him around unless we were to get "wowed" with an offer. Something I consider unlikely)

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

CapPeterson:

I agree with you on how disappointing the lack of late-game hitting is, at least anecdotally in the last few games. Re: Zimmerman specifically, though, the only at-bat that was really weak was the final AB in the ninth inning, after the game was MacDougaled beyond reach in the 8th.

Even Zimmerman's non-hit ABs earlier in the game were hit quite hard (especially the 3rd AB, the flyout to deep center). To me, last night's offensive doldrums were traceable much more to Nyjer and Guzman each going 0-3 with RISP. Neither of them got on base at all, however, so that appeared to be flat-out cold hitting more than an inability to come through in an important situation.

Guzman popped out with the bases loaded and 1 out. Both Guzman and Nyjer grounded out to end an inning with a runner on second. Nyjer struck out with a runner on second. Those are the things that killed our offense last night in my mind.

Posted by: faNATic | July 10, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

OK, OK, so I confused my Dominican Republic slackers with my Mexican slackers. For the record, here's my list of the Nats' never-do-well slackers and their list of third-world environs: Gooz (D.R.), Manny (D.R.), Hernandez (D.R), Ayala (Mexico), FLop (Puerto Rico), PLoD (Brooklyn) and, just to irk all you Maxwell-lovers out there, Justin Maxwell (U. of Md). You can suck on it and like it.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

jdschulz,

I thought that people on the far left were incapable of being bigoted. I guess you have blown that theory right out of the water.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 10, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals have one player among BA's top 50 midseason prospects"

But if we sign Strasburg, then we'll have the #1 prospect.

I say, trade Dunn to the Braves for Heyward...I mean whoever that Freddie Freeman is.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 10, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

gilbertbp: Asking again: Those who would trade Dunn - who would you trade him for that would improve the team?

lowcountry: It is an absurd question, gilbertbp. The possibilities are nearly limitless
=================================================
If it's an absurd question, then the cry to "trade Dunn!" is even more absurd, if you can't say who you'd like to replace him with.

Practically speaking, the possibilities are NOT limitless. If you trade Dunn, you need to get someone who can play left field. Presumably you'll want someone who can play left field better than Dunn AND who hits just as well, or if not as well, more than makes up for his hitting with his fielding.

So what's the available pool of left fielders who can hit like Dunn and field better?

Now you could put Willingham in LF, but he's arguably no better there than Dunn, and his bat isn't as good, and you then have to find an available right fielder who hits as well as Willingham and fields better. Don't tell me Elijah Dukes is the answer.

So what's the available pool of right fielders who can hit like Willingham whose fielding makes up for the difference between Dunn's bat in left and Willingham's?

The possible answers are NOT limitless. I suspect they're pretty narrow, in fact.

Anyone in the "trade Dunn" camp have an answer?

Anyone?

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 10, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Plus, if any of this sturm und drang about fielding is legitimate, Josh Willingham in right field has got to be at the top of the list of defensive liabilities. Thanks to all the arguments with JayB last year, I actually noticed the circuitous routes he takes to balls. Except unlike out old Milledge debate and older Logan debate, Willingham does not have the speed to make up for his "poor instincts."

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Matt Holliday's contract is up & the A's are looking to deal.

Trade Dunn for Holliday conditional on Holliday signing for next year. Presumably, you'd have to offer him a bundle, but his market value will never be lower than it is now. His numbers in Oakland are not great.

Would the presumed loss of offense be worth the gain in defense? I'd guess that in Nats Park, Holliday would hit better than he has in Oakland but not what he did in Denver.

Posted by: chiefwj | July 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Improve the team?

We lose with Dunn and we will lose without him. I guess the idea would be to trade Dunn for a top prospect and hope that he will be REALLY good in the future. It hurts to trade one of the teams best hitters, but the team is dismal regardless, and his will return the best players.

Willingham's "natural position" is LF, and it follows that he plays LF better than he does RF, which is tons better than Dunn anyway.

Dunn to an AL team makes a lot of sense. He's a perfect fit for DH, and is relatively cheap for next year. Does he have an opt-out clause if traded? Maybe he'd revoke it if traded to a contender. But yeah, it seems like a win-win situation for us. Trade him a top-flight prospect(s), or keep him.

But the fact remains, who would play 1B if NJ and Dunn were traded, and even more so, would it even matter?

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 10, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Trade Dunn for Holliday conditional on Holliday signing for next year. Presumably, you'd have to offer him a bundle, but his market value will never be lower than it is now."

Sorry, not going to happen. We saw this last year with Tex. Boras' clients will not extend right before free agency. That's why they chose Boras in the 1st place.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 10, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm not one of the people advocating trading Dunn. But I agree that the questions asking "who would you trade him for" are pretty absurd. We all have no idea who is on the market, or who other teams might be willing to give up. That doesn't mean that it's wrong for someone to think that the Nats would be better off trading Dunn if the return value is there.

But anyway, if we're going to have fun with this:

Trade Dunn for Austin Jackson, Phil Hughes, and Andrew Brackman. Cashman should jump at that.

Or, how about this one: trade Dunn for Lars Anderson, Michael Bowden, and Daniel Bard. Yup, I want all three of them. I think the Sox would make that trade without hesitation.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 10, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"But the fact remains, who would play 1B if NJ and Dunn were traded, and even more so, would it even matter?"

Mike Morse or Ronnie Belliard. There's always someone else to play at first. The question is, do you want to?

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Sad days are yet ahead fella's.
After the ALL-STAR Game it will be less then 2 weeks till the opening of NFL Training Camps. No doubt in my mind the little extra print and broadcast media time the Nats have endured for the past few weeks will disappear.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 10, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

How ludicrous can you get? With Dunn they are the worst of the worst, worst than when they were owned by Major League Baseball with a puny budget!

It starts with Acta ... I suppose the jury is out on Rizzo ... and Kasten.

In left Dunn can be replaced by: Dukes, Maxwell, Willingham, Harris, Padilla (.357 avg.) ...

Trade for?

That's easy! A replacement closer for Chad Cordero. I think that is the most desperate need this teams has right now. I believe the rest of the relief positions can be filled from the minors. Releasing Tavarez, Beimel, and Villone. You can't rescue the season and these guys are more likely to make things worst than better.

So ... you get a really good closer and fill the back-end with guys from Syracuse and Harrisburg. My god, do we now have to pin our hopes on Storen moving up fast?

Yes you damn well trade Dunn, Guzman ... the guy you keep would be Johnson ... okay if you trade Johnson must now hope that Marerro will rapidly move up from advanced A to the majors? That he won't be another Larry Broadway?

Trade them all if necessary to build a team that won't quit. And bring back Frank Robinson. He was better than Acta without even trying.

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

CiL...

I think we would jump at those trade, but the Yanks and Sox...doubtful. The Yanks are hesitating putting Phil Hughes in a deal for Halladay, and Bard is the Sox closer of the future, as Paps will hit free agency after next year. Plus, where are you DHing him in Boston? Papi's bat has come to life. No chance of either of these getting done. I like your moxy, but let's not get nuts.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 10, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on the prospect angle, CiL, but I'm not sure Yankees and the BoSox would be the leading suitors for Dunn even if we put him on the market. Boston has Ortiz at DH, and the Yanks have Matsui. Even though those guys are both having down years, I don't think the upgrade to Dunn would be enough to pry top prospects away -- not to mention three of them.

But what about Detroit? A contender that could use an offensive boost to replace Magglio's power outage, with an open slot at DH (benching Marcus Thames shouldn't cause any angst). Dunn for Josh Anderson (cf), Cale Iorg (ss) and Scott Sizemore (2b)?

Posted by: BobLHead | July 10, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll play (mostly so as not to appear to curmudgeonly) -

Dunn and Mock (and through in Villone if needed) to the Rangers for Smoak.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

It's not is usual mode, but I would recommend checking your snarkdar on CiL's proposed trades. I may be wrong...

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

that would, of course, be "throw in"

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I was afraid mine was giving a false positive, 506.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah guys, I was being just a bit sarcastic there. Anyway...

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"It's not is usual mode, but I would recommend checking your snarkdar on CiL's proposed trades. I may be wrong..."

whew...that makes me feel better. I was a littel worried for the sanity of CiL. ...just my snark detector...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess Seattle could theoretically use Dunn, he could platoon with Griffey in left and at DH, and we could take back a cf prospect (Greg Halman or Michael Saunders) and ss Carlos Triunfel.

Glad to hear that CiL's snarkolator is up and running. Overall I remain unsure that Dunn would fetch more than one top prospect. But it's nice to dream.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 10, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Lowcountry, I hear that the Rangers' ownership being bankrupt has stopped all trades with them. And periculum, I loved Justin Maxwell when he first came up a couple years back knocking one out of Joe Robbey and still looking bereft because the team lost. But he can't hit. And I hear Ladson say yesterday on Charlie and Dave (it was to Byron Kerr) that Maxwell was crushed by his being sent down, and he hopes that he can recover. I took that to mean that he's giving up on his ability to hit MLB pitching and that his confidence is so low that he can't hit AAA pitching. I know you want him back up here, but why? Nostalgic for an outfield that can't hit?

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

All snarking aside.

I think asking 1 top prospect for Dunn isn't crazy. You get Dunn for 1.5 years, plus 2 draft picks if he leaves.

Smoak looks awfully good, but doubt the Rangers would dare giving him up. Really makes you rethink the draft-pitchers-first aspect of the Plan. Also makes you rethink the over-hyping of one's own prospects, i.e. *we have uber-prospect Marero and therefore don't need Smoak* hogwash.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

25-59. God, I want a win tonight! consider that a heartfelt prayer.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Reading Material:

TRADES: Latest on Johnson, Kearns
Washington GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that, "We don't have to move money, and that unties our hands a little bit. That means we're going to make good solid baseball decisions, based on building this franchise the right way."

For teams looking to add a decent bat, that news is disheartening. That's because the Nationals are not necessarily going to trade Nick Johnson or Austin Kearns. Plus, if the Nationals find a deal for a player they covet, they're in a position to kick in some money.


Uh any day now Phil, any day now ... the natives are getting more than a bit restless ...

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I did not know that about the Ranger, flyniie. Too bad. I think of all the AL teams in the hunt, the Rangers are probably the most desperate to make the play-offs. Maybe Minnesota. But with Lee and Blaylock the Rangers are relatively deep at first (although I have my doubts about Lee). And, whatever happens whenever, I really think that the Nats will be the last team for whom Dunn plays in the field on a regular basis.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Always a pleasure, Mr. Head! Dunn next year probably commands more price for a team in a situation like Atlanta (coming down to the trade deadline and surprisingly close to first place..."hey, maybe we could actually DO this...")

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

For Dunn: what about Baltimore?

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I would think that 29 other GM's would value Dunn less than ours does. He was on the free agent market for a long, long time despite not costing the acquiring club a draft pick. He was signed at a discount to his desired salary.

With the emergence of a young group of starters does he fit in with the concept of putting them into a situation where they may have a worse defense in Washington than they did in Syracuse? Is this a forward thinking way to build a staff? Does putting a lineup consisting of Guzman at short, Belliard at second, Willingham and Dunn in the outfield give the pitcher any sense of wanting to "pitch to contact"?

My hope is that Rizzo can build a solid defensive club in the very near future to make the life of the new starting pitchers easier. Acquiring Nyger Morgan is in the right direction. We also have managed to form one of the slower clubs in the major leagues. Morgan's play has proven that defense can win games. This team will be built one piece at a time and sometimes not in a linear direction (i.e. Rausch enventually for Olsen and Willingham). We have already lost the season by any sane standard and next year will not be better unless there are major philosophical as well as personnel changes on the club roster. Is further proof really needed to show that the current assembly of Nats is not a viable option?

Posted by: driley | July 10, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow - you can tell we are losing and are sick of it. It's downright extra snarkey in here this morning/afternoon.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | July 10, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry - I don't think that the owners are bankrupt yet, but they are close, and any transactions that lower the value of the franchise within 6 months of the bankruptcy can be set aside.

Periculum - please, enlighten me on your frequent calls for Maxwell to be brought back up!

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"For Dunn: what about Baltimore?

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009"

I think they have a closer up for sale and a few prospects one could risk a young prospect pitcher or two on.

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

driley, I think Dunn's lack of speed - "slower than an elephant seal on land" - gives the false impression of lack of effort, which cost Dunn a lot when he was slandered last year by Toronto GM Ricciardi. I love having him on the team, and would love it even more if my team were in the American league and needed some pop.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Keeping with the theme of this thread:

Who would I trade Dunn for....the Trinity it is the only think that can save this team now.

Posted by: sdrappa | July 10, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The Trinity?

Uh ...

Flynnie, 1a, and a new post?

Got 'em all.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Periculum - please, enlighten me on your frequent calls for Maxwell to be brought back up!

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009"

I think Dukes had it right. Suddenly guys are liking Syracuse a lot more right now:

1. They win. They have a chance to win a ring.
2. Their pitching and defense is better than the
parent club's. Led by their statistically best
pitcher and ace JD Martin.
3. See 1. They have fun again.
4. Maxwell has more than 10 homers, Dukes was
hitting the cover off the ball. He is hitting
again and he does do a better job fielding.
With Morgan, clearly you might be better off
with an outfield of Maxwell, Morgan, and
and Dukes.

My thoughts on Maxwell et al? Bring up Foli, JD Martin, Padilla, Maxwell, and Dukes. Put an emphasis on winning as a way of enjoying the game more.

At this point why does it matter? You might as well play them just to see what they can do.

Are you having fun watching this team? People used to have fun watching the lowly Mets. Do people enjoy watching this team? Might as well encourage the players to audition and have fun.

Bring up players who want to play and won't give up. Bring up Foli to match McCatty.

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"I would think that 29 other GM's would value Dunn less than ours does. He was on the free agent market for a long, long time despite not costing the acquiring club a draft pick."

I checked his stats in hopes that his K/AB rate was lower, but alas, he is the model of consistency.

You make a good point, but then again, I would say that GMs now have a better idea of the holes in their lineups.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 10, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

We have already lost the season by any sane standard and next year will not be better unless there are major philosophical as well as personnel changes on the club roster. Is further proof really needed to show that the current assembly of Nats is not a viable option?

Posted by: driley | July 10, 2009 4:01 PM |

This is where it gets tricky - there's no doubt they have to upgrade the roster, but my problem with dumping players while Acta's in charge may lead to some long-term mistakes. I don't think you can do an honest appraisal of each player unless you look at them in a competitive context. It's human nature to say screw it when you're 34 under .500. The fans are saying screw it, why not the players? I can almost guarantee that a majority of them, if they were sent somewhere else, would play fairly well, because they have some talent. We've got about 5 hitters hitting around .300. We've got two backup/starting infielders in Hernandez and Gonzalez, that imo have improved noticeably this year. Both of those guys were career minor leaguers, and now they're proven big leaguers. Harris is a keeper. See, they have to be careful who they dump (position players), because there's nobody coming out of the minors to fill in. And I mean no-body.
They need to use the second half to evaluate the players honestly without Acta's dark cloud over them. I still don't think the team's that far away talent-wise. See, it's not even a point of like/dislking Acta, he's lost the team, and objectively, you HAVE to fire him. He simply can't coexist with the team any more.

Posted by: Brue | July 10, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

506, I agree that a contentder (or near-contender) would be more likely to give up a decent prospect or two for Dunn than a team that was out of the running. I thought about Baltimore but to my surprise, Luke Scott is batting .304/.386/.589 as the O's DH, with 17 dingers and 50 RBIs. And they have four young OFs. Don't think they need him. The Braves could contend in the East and need offense (minus-9 run differential), and they do have some interesting OF prospects (Heyward is probably untouchable but Jordan Schafer might be available (particularly in view of his HGH suspension last year). The Bravos do have Garret Anderson in left though so adding Dunn would create a bit of a logjam. What about the Marlins? They're in the same place as the Braves (borderline contender with a minus-8 run differential). We could offer to eat some of Dunn's salary if they would give us, say, 2b Chris Coughlan and one of their 1B prospects (Logan Morrison or Gaby Sanchez). I could make a similar argument for Milwaukee, but with Braun in left and Fielder at first, Dunn doesn't fit there. Same deal in Chicago with Soriano and Derrek Lee, and in Houston with Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman. He's not going back to Cinci, and the Cards don't need him, so that leaves the West. The Dodgers have Manny and don't need offense, which leaves the Giants. Actually, San Fran is a decent fit, Dunn would improve them substantially (on offense) at first and in left. Although they don't really need offense (plus-41 run differential). Still, maybe they would give us DC native Manny Burriss (starting 2B demoted to the minors) and SS Ehire Adrianza.

OK, I'm done overanalyzing potential trades for a player we've said we're not going to trade.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"Guz is a dog. Just another example of Manny's Dominican pipeline (Ayala, Hernandez, Rivera, etc, etc) running completely dry."

Wow, this is ignorant. Maybe even bigoted. Both because of the aforementioned non-Domincan-ness of two of the mentioned players and because all of these guys were put on the team in the interlude when Manny was not associated with it.
--------------------------------------------
Well said 506. The haters are most often haters period in other senses too, and always ignorant.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | July 11, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

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