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Tavarez DFA'd; Kensing Returning

Sunday afternoon's game was a mess. "Just a breakdown all the way around," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. It was also Julian Tavarez's last as a member of the Washington Nationals. Following the 11-3 defeat against the Cubs, Tavarez, 36, was designated for assignment, the endpoint of an absolutely brutal month for the right-hander. To replace Tavarez, the Nationals will recall reliever Logan Kensing from Class AAA Syracuse, adding him to the 40-man roster.

"I've been in this situation before," Tavarez said. "It's just tough. I haven't been able lately to do my job. Just a lot of up-and-down this year. This doesn't surprise me. There are a lot of young arms down there, they had to make some changes, and they're going to bring some young kids over here. They have to get this ready for next year."

Tavarez must now be traded, released or placed on waivers within the next 10 days; if he clears waivers, he can either report to the minors or become a free agent. Tavarez, speaking just minutes after getting the news, didn't flat-out say he'd refuse a minor league assignment. But he was speaking like somebody who intended to be back in the big leagues -- with another organization -- before the year is out. "Tomorrow I'm going to be running and throwing balls, waiting for somebody to give me a call," Tavarez said.

With Tavarez gone, only one reliever, Joe Beimel, has been with the Nats since Opening Day. (And Beimel was on the 15-day DL at one point.)

In July, Tavarez had been dreadful. Six games, 3-2/3 innings, 11 hits, nine runs (six earned) and a 14.73 ERA. Opponents were hitting .521 against him during that span. Overall with the Nats, Tavarez had a 4.89 ERA in 42 games (35 innings).

This is Kensing's second stint with the Nats. Based on opportunity No. 1 -- which resulted in a 13.14 ERA in 12-1/3 innings -- it's downright surprising he's worked his way back this quickly. But then again, was throwing the ball well in Class AAA Syracuse. And numerous relievers were not throwing the ball well in Washington.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 19, 2009; 5:55 PM ET
 
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Next: Entering The Dog Days

Comments

but based on Nats history, I have to assume that we will not trade anyone of consequence. we always vastly overrate our players and ask for far too much, and then do nothing.

I'll be utterly shocked if we made any further trades beyond the Morgan/Burnett one.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 19, 2009 5:57 PM

eh, got newposted.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 19, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

------------------------
With Tavarez gone, only one reliever, Joe Beimel, has been with the Nats since Opening Day. (And Beimel was on the 15-day DL at one point.)

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

take note. it cannot be said that they have not been getting rid of the Players.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....r.e. bigmooks' comment: Agreed. I posted earlier on this from a "devils advocate " position. We are hearing alot of talk about changing the clubhouse culture. Get rid of the guys who don't act in the long established ways of a Maojor Leaguer. But being a "pro" is more than having your stirrups pulled up and being a good guy with your teammates. Being a PRO is about WINNING.Maybe the culture we want to expand is the culture best exemplified by Austin, Nick, ...perhaps Dunn and yes, Ryan, too, right? Stoic losing. Seems like maybe what we need is MORE of the kind we seem to want "out". Now Dukes(wildly inconsistent) Milledge(wildly overrated and entirely to full of himself) and, going back to last year, Lo Duca(over the hill and out of meds) aren't the best examples. But a bit of honest swagger and directed arrogance and anger ain't necessarily a bad thing. And of course the two aren't mutually exclusive. But maybe allot of our supposed "character" guys are also the core of the losing culture on this team.We could use some players whose definition of professionalism includes more than valiantly losing...while playing the game the "right way". WHERE-other than here-is the fire? I realize, faced with the shadow of an ownership which doesn't yet appear to value winning(or what is required to accomplish it in MLB) that it's probably easy to get complacent....and fall back on being good "clubhouse" guys and honoring all the arcane traditional ways a ballplayer is supposed to behave but...if memory serves me correctly, . Robby was a pros' pro to....any examples, gang, of a more recent vintage?
This hasn't been as coherent as I intended, but the Sunday Fog of another Nats "L" has me feeling groogy!
Go Nats....

Posted by: zendo | July 19, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Given how awful the Nats are, why not just seek an MLB exemption to the roster size, and combine the Nats' and Chiefs' teams? You could have a 50-man roster that way. You could have an endless supply of relief pitchers for the lopsided losses. If a player looks too accepting of another defeat, just yank him, and put another in right away. Moreover, you wouldn't be dumping all the carbon into the atmosphere transporting the guys back and forth between the two clubs.

Posted by: EdDC | July 19, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

zendo et. al: If you are still out there, it can be tough to turn a losing culture around. I am concerned that the guys who are here this season, including Ryan Zimm, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham, guys who I believe have a really competative spirit, may get such into this losing vortex.
I hope not.

Posted by: bigmook | July 19, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

It has dawned on me that given we (the Nats) have a fair number of ballplayers who have trouble performing well in the Majors, but then are lights out or perform very well at AAA level.

Maybe we just have a lot of guys in the Nats organization that are AAA level players. That are maxed out at AAA, and don't have the stuff to play at Big League level.

Posted by: bigmook | July 19, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

comiserating with a cold one.... Watching the braves and Mets for the second day in a row. Neither of these teams is good, but both are light years away from where the Nats are. Maybe this offseason the Nats will finally listen to Boswell (or better yet, give him the GM position and some money to improve the team) and go out and spend some money and sign legitamate major leaugue players. One can only hope....

Posted by: chris88 | July 19, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Just finished absorbing NJ posts made while I was over there in Southeast this afternoon. Have nothing intelligent to contribute regarding past, present or possible future of the Nats as a franchise but Princess Grey and Lady Silver (my kitties) didn't go to the game, and they are comforting me. Game report:

GOOD
- weather
BAD
- weather (it didn't rain out the game)

GOOD
- DC Washington, a local musician who sang National Anthem and God Bless America. Despite some bad ones, I really like that we have auditions and real people doing this. Young boy last night was also outstanding.

BAD
- Abe Lincoln, who won the President's Race, causing all the Cubbies fans to get on their feet and cheer as if Soriano was hitting a home run. Little TOO much hospitality there, Prez Guys. Nats Park is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

GOOD
- Someone blew an amazing, huge, soap bubble that hung in the air for maybe a minute. Major excitement for Nats fans on the LF side in the top of the 9th. Glad I stayed for that.

BAD
- Riggleman conceded the game in the 4th when he brought in Tavarez. Sheesh.

GOOD
- attendance at Nats games causes me to miss The Dribble's commentary.

BAD
- attendance at Nats games causes me to miss The Dribble's commentary, of which I only get hints by way of Twitter. Here is a sample tweet:

"Welcome to Rob Dibble's Homoerotic Podiatry Hour. #Nats"

Help a person, please, what did he say?

GOOD
- Staff at Nats games are friendly, polite, and very helpful people.

BAD
- There are Nats games.


Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 19, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Moreover, you wouldn't be dumping all the carbon into the atmosphere transporting the guys back and forth between the two clubs.

Posted by: EdDC | July 19, 2009 6:31 PM
----------------------------------------

Excellent point.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 19, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

It does appear that using Acta as the scapegoat has not exactly worked considering the Cubs are pretty much a low offense team and we lose 4 so will someone explain what the purpose was of firing Acta , maybe because Acta was really that good we just give him the rest of the year off with pay , not that he doesn't deserve it
Now the Mets are in and guess what? another possible sweep so as Adanm Dunn and Zimmerman spoke "we need a stronger voice in the clubhouse" how about an errorless team that doesn't leave 12 guys on base .
Isn't that what you guys get paid for ????

Posted by: kjmoon | July 19, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Another thing that stikes me about the Nats, is how unbalanced the team is personality wise. A lot has been made of the obvious roster imbalances (ie. way too many LF-DH types) but this team is full of guys like Zimm. And please believe me this is not a knock on Zimm. He is who he is and should not try to be anyone else. Zimm is guy who goes out and tries as hard as he can, works hard and keeps his mouth shut. A team needs the majority of its roster to be filled in with guys like that,
But you also need a couple of guys like Kevin Garnett or Derek Jeter or Jason Varitek who will drag other guys along kicking and screaming until they get with the program. I don't see anyone like that on this team. Every good team Has to have that type of leadership ON THE FIELD.
You also need some glue guys. Kevin Millar types. We used to have those guys. Fick, schneider, Jamey Carroll, Even Dmitri when He first got here. Maybe i am overthinking this, but I am just searching for answers...

Posted by: chris88 | July 19, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

watching the mets leads me to ask tis question regarding Scneider, If you are going to blow up your pitching staff and go with a rotation of 4 rookies and a second year man, Why dump your veteran catcher?? I don't care if he only hits .220, he would have been A HUGE help this year. Remember the revolving door of reject pitchers that came through her in 05,06 and 07 and some how performed well( read better than what we have now)? I used to think it was St.claire, but I gues that's not the answer. I think it was #23.

Posted by: chris88 | July 19, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

oops!! should be "through here" not "through her" Big difference. ;)

Posted by: chris88 | July 19, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@chris88, a caller on Nats Talk brought up a point which I think is somewhat similiar to yours. Where are the guys who cover for (read: help) other guys? Nick Johnson is one who does--how many potential errors has he kept from being errors? But who else? The caller made the point that when there is an error, the whole team just seems to fold in on itself, with the thought of "here we go again."

Where is the guy or guys who refuse to give in to that and drag the others, kicking and screaming, BACK INTO THE GAME.

Yeah, the first error in the 4th inning today was bad, but WHY did it have to be the end of the game??? As bad as April and May were, I remember games where the team fought back when they were down. Now it seems like one error, bad call, or just simple bad luck bounce, and it's over.

Yet, in the end, I come back a point made by markfromark this morning, namely that all this analysis of bringing up who and what from Syracuse, firing coaches and managers, and criticizing Willie Harris' sleep patterns won't translate into a good team because: It's the players, stupid.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Nats lady, they are pretty quick to throw in the towel. I guess 66 loses by mid july will do that. I just hope that the FO is VERY active at the trade deadline, if for no other reason than to rid us of a lot of that negativity.

Posted by: chris88 | July 19, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Chris88 brought up a good point that has crossed my mind on and off this season, esp. as we have watch the Nats pitchers throw the wrong pitches over and over again, and get creamed as result. We lack a veteran catcher who knows how to call a game for them, calm them down when things go a little (or lot) bad. And I even wonder if Jesus Flores can do that the way Scheider did (and does now for the Mets).

Posted by: bigmook | July 19, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Bringing in some fresh blood, and shipping out some of the folks who have become part of this year's losing epidemic may help. Take Nyjer Morgan for example.

And getting some decent relief pitching will also.

Posted by: bigmook | July 19, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Continue to get a laugh about the "great young pitching arms"! The Cubbies come in here and raise their team BA by many, many points.

Posted by: navboss | July 19, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

So glad to see that Tavarez is gone. He brings nothing to the table and we might as well give younger bums a shot than older bums.

Posted by: souldrummer | July 19, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

souldrummer, I think you have uncovered the true secret of Stan Kasten's plan: "we might as well give younger bums a shot than older bums."

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, Julian, and thanks for your hard work! Hope you can bounce back somewhere and shut down batters against the Mets, Phils, Braves, and Marlins!!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 19, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

souldrummer, I think you have uncovered the true secret of Stan Kasten's plan: "we might as well give younger bums a shot than older bums."

Posted by: baltova1 | July 19, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Now That is funny!!!!

Posted by: chris88 | July 19, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

oh well, at least the mets won't leave town above .500 after sweeping the nats. did i say that?

Posted by: surly_w | July 19, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Good to be at the game today. Bad to see the how it was played. Observations and questions:

1. We were very puzzled by the double (triple?) switch in the late innings. The one that brought in Anderson Hernandez and SuperWillie -- and put the former in left, and the latter at second! Anyone listening to TV or radio guys? Was there any explanation or at least speculation? Seemed very odd. I'm wondering whether the team is trying to "showcase" SuperWillie in the infield. Good gravy, I got enough showcasing last year. If they're just running auditions out there, these games should be billed as pay-what-you-can previews.

2. Ray of hope dept: the relievers who actually did well today were the young bums. 'Twas the older bums who got lit up.

3. Only one "LET'S go CUBbies" that I noticed, and it was at the very end. Methinks fear of reprisal by Sec3 had them appropriately cowed.

4. DC Washington is teh awesum. Sings the songs well, and moves through them.

5. Soriano likes hitting in DC. Man.

6. I love this useless crud: the run charged to Tavarez in the 4th was earned for him, but unearned for the team. From the team's standpoint, that sac fly should have been the third out. But when Tavarez came in, there was only one out, so he expected to need to get two. So everything he let in was earned for him. I just like to point out this stuff when it happens, because it's the very height of geekery to even know that rule. And I relish my height.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

DC Washington is the man. I don't think I've seen him live at Nats Park this year. He should be on the permanent National Anthem staff.

His rendition of GBA leaves everyone else's in the dust. And you're right, Scooter: the way he zips through those songs maintains both the songs's and the performer's dignity.

Small pleasures. The baseball is so bad. Little did I know last night, when I was at the 5-4 loss, that I was watching the best game of the weekend for the Nats.

Good riddance, Tavarez. But Lansing? (Or what did that person call him last time he was on the team? Lensing? Leasing? Anyway, I mean Kensing.) Are you kidding me?

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 19, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,
i did see your response and appreciate the stories/explanations you're asking for.

my point was more to illustrate that Boswell has no qualms calling the ownership out. That your specific questions haven't been addressed in an in-depth analysis speaks more to probably wapo's lack of time/resources than any kind of sympathy or soft spot for the ownership.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 19, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Van Helsing? Nah.

---

But Lansing? (Or what did that person call him last time he was on the team? Lensing? Leasing? Anyway, I mean Kensing.) Are you kidding me?

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 19, 2009 9:25 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 19, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I was watching the game but don't recall an explanation at the time of why Hernandez was in the outfield rather than the infield. Maybe they gave it after I left* the room.

*ran from while screaming and tearing my hair

(I didn't really do that. I'm used to the tragic trajectory by now and can even sometimes predict the downward course.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 19, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Re the innovative playing of the second baseman in left field and the left fielder at 2nd: "Anyone listening to TV or radio guys? Was there any explanation or at least speculation?" The radio guys remarked on it, thought it was strange and hoped someone would ask about it in the press conference. Don't know if anyone did.

Posted by: mvm2 | July 19, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

While we're talking about the National Anthem, did anyone happen to see Thursday night's version. I'm in the quartet that did it. Comments (good or bad) welcome. I know I'll find nothing but honesty here. :-)

Posted by: Section222 | July 19, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I left for the gym after it was 8-2 couldn't take it anymore ran into a couple of Braves fans on their way to Turner field who asked how'd the Nats do i just gave em the look(rolled my eyes) and they told me to hang in there, sometimes i get mad when i think they fired F Robby who was twenty games under .500 after two years with a so-so roster but they let Manny hang around and infect this club with a culture of losing and now we are the worst franchise in sports, but i can't lay all the blame on Manny,the Lerners and Stan Kasten are just as responsible if not more, in my opinion MLB picked the wrong ownership group.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 19, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Didn't catch it, 222, but wish I had.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 19, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game today and it made me sick to my stomach. 39 games under .500 after 91 games. Ridiculous.

I absolutely agree with EdDC, the Lerner's need to be called out for their lack of investment in this team. A 5 part investigative analysis of the situation. You know, journalism.

Save me the stories on friggin' wiffle ball like in today's dead tree edition.

I encourage anyone who has seen enough to email and/or write letters to the Lerner's and respectfully tell them enough is enough. Time to spend some money.

I sent an email in response to the email letter I received after Manny was fired and I'm also going to send a had written letter to them as well.

Time to let this cheapasses know how we feel.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 19, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks 1a. When the YouTube version is up, I'll post the link!

Posted by: Section222 | July 19, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
You wrote a tremendous article about Julian tonight, and as a fan of his I just have to say well done, sir. Fans don't generally give a darn about a player's story, only what can you do for me now, so thank you for giving people a little insight into Julian, a guy who came from absolutely nothing to have a pretty good career, but never forgot where he came from and who helped him along the way. The Nationals just became alot less interesting without Julian Tavarez, who unfortunately just didn't seem to be able to get it done anymore but who cared probably more than most on that team and gave it all he had. Thanks again Chico, and thanks Julian for all that you tried to do for this team!

Posted by: skippy1999 | July 19, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@Section222: I was at the game and enjoyed your work. My friend, John McQuaid, who was with me said it was the best rendition of an anthem this year. Keep up the great work.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 19, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the MASN pre or post game shows down here with the mlb package, but I do download what they put on the media page. Just finished watching the interview with Pat Corales by Debbi Taylor and he sounds enthused about the farm system. I've not heard that much optimisim from anyone outside the organization about that, so I'll take it with a grain of salt. That being said, I do hope he is right. I need something to hang my hat on, I guess thats it.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 19, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

222, I'll be looking for that link. Thanks.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 19, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

the laughable loser got swept by the loveable losers...

Posted by: FloresFan | July 20, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

This team is cursed.

Teddy Roosevelt's ghost is angered at being humiliated day after day and night after night. Study the history of the man --- that was one competitive guy who could not tolerate losing.

The way to end the Curse of Teddy?

Let him win. I guarantee you. Let him win and the whole thing will turn around.

Posted by: nattydread1 | July 20, 2009 3:33 AM | Report abuse

The team is cursed.

We've angered the ghost of Jim Bowden and so apparitions of overrated, past their prime toolsy players keep appearing on the field dropping the ball and striking out.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 20, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Uh, not to throw cold water on the curse theory or anything, but...

The real TR hated baseball. He is famously quoted as saying it was a game for "mollycoddles."

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 20, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Just reading articles in Baseball Biz.

1) How has the real-estate bust affected the Lerners financially? We know that construction of the wonderful neighborhood of condos, restaurants and shops around WW Park has slowed dramatically, and we have a big hole and fences instead. Are the Lerners servicing debt for any of that?

2) It's really sad to see that only RZimm is on the lists of high paid players by position--and he is lowest of the top 10 third basemen. Whatever you may think of him right now, overall, those lists show the lack of investment in high-price talent. On the other hand, after reading the Post article about the Mets today, a small measure of Schadenfreude is allowed, I guess--Nats could be paying BIG BUCKS for a disaster. We get the economy class disaster...

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 20, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...with apologies to "Noslok who wrote this comment on the gamer-I'm just to disheartened this a.m. to add my own thoughts " noslok wrote:
"At least the Nats get the first pick in next year's draft, Bryce Harper."

No. They get the right to draft Bryce Harper. As we are about to find out with Stephen Strasburg, having the first pick in the draft in no way means getting the best player, until you sign him. Does anyone really think that is going to happen?

My Dad (A life-long Senators fan) is flying-up from Florida to see the Padres series with me (capping-off what is sure to be an 0-11 home stand). If it weren't for him coming, I would not spend one dime on this team. I will not be attending any more games this year, or next, after the Padres leave town.

I am one of those Washington baseball fans who waited 34 years for its return. I never rooted for any other team during that time. When anyone asked me who my favorite team was, I always said, "The Senators" -- even when I knew that answer wasn't going to make sense to the person asking.

My feeling was that if there was no team in Washington then I wasn't going to root for anyone.

Well, that pretty much sums-up things now. Until baseball returns to Washington, I'm not rooting for anyone.
7/20/2009 12:28:17 AM
Well...gotta go to see the doc
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | July 20, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

The Cubs were hitting .216 with RISP - as KJMoon said, one of the lightest hitting teams in MLB - until they got here.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 20, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Flynnie--we are just so glad to help...

Zendo--keep posting. Won't try to dissuade you from going to games, that's a personal decision. Just keep hanging here because, as they say, misery loves company.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 20, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

hmmm, this may have some merit. To continue with the Bowden theory, his musings continue to appear on this site in the form of tweets posted on this or the DC Sports Bog. Furthermore, the Post has now implemented a Twitter the Games feature for fans. The team continues to struggle. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Curse of Twitter. Elementary, really...

---

The team is cursed.

We've angered the ghost of Jim Bowden and so apparitions of overrated, past their prime toolsy players keep appearing on the field dropping the ball and striking out.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 20, 2009 7:27 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 20, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Referring to the fans, Beimel said: "I've been kind of shocked no one gives you a hard time around here. Maybe they just don't care enough."

---

Or maybe they're just too busy tweeting...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 20, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I was actually excited that both games were on TV up here this weekend (on WGN, the Cubs network). But both games - especially yesterday's - just hammered home how depressing and embarrassing this season has become.

Watching this team is so much more difficult than listening to this team (which, I suppose, is more taxing than simply reading about it).

As we creep closer to a 120-loss pace, I ask, were the '62 Mets this hard to watch? Were they this embarrassingly bad? It's unfathomable.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 20, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

What a shame it has all come down to this.

The Cubs were barely treading water a week ago, they leave just 2 games out of the NL Central race.

The Mets are in the throws of tossing in the white towel but if the gods are on their side they could grab three and be right back in it (at least the WC race).

The Padres are by far the other worst team in the NL, yet they will probably pull in and take 2.

There you have it Nats Fanatics, we are are on the brink of racking of 70L's and it ain't even August yet.

They avg 31K over the weekend, all be it the majority for the visiting team here at Welcome Wagon Park, but do you think think the Lerners are worried. Full gates for Cubs, Phillies, Mets, Braves, the AL East and the Lerners just laugh all the way to the bank. Hey, hey woulda say, the Nats are gonna win today!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 20, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Last week or so, I posted this at the end of an old thread, but would like Bowden critics to think about this:

Theo Epstein is a fine GM. He picked up Jason Bay in a trade. He signed expensive free agents (like JD Drew for $70 million). He signed Matzuzaka for $100 million, counting compensation to Japan team (OK, he's been hurt but was 18-3 last season). Epstein made many such moves, building up a $122.6 payroll.

Questions for Bowden bashers: How would Epstein have done with the Nats' payroll level of $61.5 million? What if Epstein could trade for guys only if they made $3 million a year or less? (Willingham is the biggest salary guy the Nats have ever traded for under the Lerners at $2.95 million.) What if Epstein could not go out and get international stars like Dice-K or Okajima? What if he had to draft and sign under-slot guys in the draft?
Given the same restrictions, what would Theo Epstein's results have been with the Red Sox? What could Theo have done here, if Theo had been the Nats' GM with the Nats' minuscule budgets? And what results would JimBo have achieved if he had Epstein's budget as the Nats' GM?

Yes, Bowden traded for toolsy guys, but they were cheap toolsy guys--longshots to become stars.

Posted by: EdDC | July 20, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

hmmm, after watching yesterday's loss, and seeing as how the St. Louis makeup game eliminates the off day, I was thinking about giving myself a break by not watching tonight. But JiM gives me an idea. Maybe I'll listen instead. Charlie and Dave are always good for a few laughs. D'oh! Just remembered that I can barely pick up 1500 AM at night here.

---

Watching this team is so much more difficult than listening to this team (which, I suppose, is more taxing than simply reading about it).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 20, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

1a, if you have a cellphone with the internet you can pay $4.99 per month and listen (even in the car with a bluetooth headset). Or you can get gameday audio which is $15 for the whole year and listen on your computer.

By the way, I did end up using the a.m. headset during the game yesterday for Charlie and Dave because of the lag on the cellphone audio. But if you are not at the game that doesn't really matter. So what if there is a little lag in the bad news?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 20, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think Tavarez was dogging it in order to get closer to J-Lo?

Posted by: Tom8 | July 20, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip, NatsLady. My cell does not have Internet access but that's good to know. I do know about gameday audio but I'm resistant to the idea of paying $15 for what I was able to hear at no cost before they dropped the FM station. I may try the AM radio route next time I'm at the park, though.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 20, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Also, as previously noted but perhaps before you joined the list, my tv is in the basement and my (desktop) computer is upstairs.

On another note, speaking of dogging it, new post up, on dog days.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 20, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Tom8, no, but i wondered how tavares must feel when, at 4:30 in the morning, you're drunk, and the 600 lb woman starts to look like JLo, and SHE rejects YOU.

Seriously though, i agree with skippy-I loved hearing about him and am really impressed with his focus and dedication. It showed that he didn't really think any of this was a joke.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 20, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I went to Sunday's game and I haven't laughed so hard in months. I didn't laugh this hard the last time I saw Lewis Black! After the leadoff hitter got on at the top of the 5th, the Cubs were batting .500 that day. Five hundred. The 4th inning was Cubs' BP. And the funniest part was when McCatty went out to talk to Tavarez, and the organist played "Stop! In the name of love".

Look, shouting at guys may help fielding (and Lord knows, they could stand improvement there) but it's not going to help pitching. The first five hitters are decent -- I really like Nyjer Morgan. He may not be better than Miledge three years from now, but the Nats need respectability NOW and that guy plays the game the right way.

Remember, there's no "O" in Nats, no "D" in Nats, only "TS". Too bad your owner was handpicked by Bud Selig (who, let's remember, voted to move the Senators to Texas, worked with Angelos to keep MLB out of DC for 30+ years, and foisted the Lerners on DC as owners when he had no choice but to return MLB to DC, so you cannot be surprised with the outcome and you are delusional if you think things are ever going to change while Ted Lerner draws a breath).

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 20, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

By the way, it looked like the crowd was 80% Cubs on Sat night. Every crowd shot showed blue and Cubs jerseys. There were even Cubs fans behind the plate. Was it really this bad? Don't Kasten and the Lerners have any pride at all? There were way more Nats fans at Sunday's game, and it still felt like a Cubs home game.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If they (or the fans, writers, and on-air personalities) had any pride, would they be calling this team Nats, as in gnats?

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 20, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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