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The Riggleman 'Did You Know?' Game

Today, Jim Riggleman will manage the 1,175th regular-season game of his major-league career. Much history is bundled into that span, some of it memorable, some of it terrific, some of it entirely forgettable. In 1993, his first full season in San Diego, Riggleman had the great luck to manage a certain Dominican rookie pitcher named Pedro Martinez; alas, this Pedro -- Pedro Aquino Martinez, who flushed out of the big leagues after 1997 -- is no Pedro Jamie Martinez.

In so many ways, baseball's greatest gift is its proper nouns. (Anybody who ever bought Topps can tell you that.) Riggleman, by now, has managed Anthony Young, Turk Wendell, Brant Brown, Bret Barberie, Kent Bottonfield, Amaury Telemaco, Mark Pisciotta and Archi Cianfrocco. He has managed, too, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace, Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman and Andy Benes. Oh, and he's managed Ray King and Micah Bowie.

So long as Riggleman is Washington's interim manager, we might as well get our trivia straight. Here are a few face to get us started:

Riggleman has seen, in person, the modern single season home run record extended three times. On Sept. 8, 1998, when Mark McGwire hit HR No. 62, Riggleman was managing in the opposing dugout. On Sept. 25, 1998, Riggleman's own player, Sammy Sosa, hit HR No. 66, briefly overtaking McGwire. Ah, but what about 2001, you ask, when Barry Bonds hit HR No. 71? That one came against the Dodgers...with whom Riggleman, of course, was a coach.

Riggleman grew up on Scott Avenue in Rockville. He and his friends called themselves the Scott Gang. Some of the Scott Gang members have remained quite close. Eric Mills was one of the guys who grew up with Riggleman, and years later, when Eric had a son, Zack, Riggleman was the godfather. Mills ended up playing quarterback at Penn State, and remains one of the classiest athletes I've ever covered.

Here's one out of left field courtesy of Boz: "Right now, as far as I can determine, the only man now wearing a major league uniform -- in any capacity, manager or coach -- who grew up in the Washington area, attended games here as far back as Griffith Stadium and spent his childhood and youth loving the Senators is Jim Riggleman."

There's the matter of his record. According to baseball-reference.com, Riggleman, as a manager, is 130 games under .500. Only 20 managers in baseball history sit further below .500 (by raw number, not winning percentage), and not one of them is active. Only seven of those 20 have managed 10 or more seasons, including Gene Mauch, Jimmie Dykes, and Connie Mack.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 9:05 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

... Jim Riggs said it all: "... the new manager would simply try to build on the messages of the old manager, because 'there's not a lot of change to make,' even down to the lineup, because "Manny had them aligned was pretty much the best way."

... an intelligent statement from an intelligent man. But a statement which nonetheless brings about a spate of scratched heads. Why then, did they make the change? Why then, did they fire Manny? Who has now been appeased by this unnecessary sacrifice?

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 16, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Other than maybe trading or DFA'ing Tavarez, what changes would you suggest, Mr. M?

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 9:24 AM

well for starters, let's take off the Iron Shackles that have Ryan Zimmerman held down in the #3 spot in the lineup. Let's try batting RZ 5th, with Willingham behind him. RZ batting 5th is not a terrible demotion. NJ is a near-perfect choice for batting 3rd, and a Morgan-Guz-NJ-Dunn-Zim-Willingham lineup is potentially very evil.

I'd also like to see routinely longer leashes on our Starters. Rarely did Manny ever let the Starters pitch into the 7th or 8th, and only recently. I think that pitching into at least the 7th should be a minimum goal, every start. rather than just an infrequent reward for really pitching well.

Posted by: MrMadison | July 16, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Happy to see Acta gone! People liked Manny, but didnt respect him. Big difference when it comes to professionals.

Good luck to Riggleman

N A T S ..nats...nats...nats!

Posted by: Nats1924 | July 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Mr. M, Thanks for reply, just commenting on pitching strategy. Question with your plan is about overusing young starters arms. Pitch counting or no. of innings is not the only measure.

Saw another post about Manny's tendency to use reliever for 2 innings and they blow it in the 2nd inning. Should relievers be expected to pitch 2 good innings, or should Rig-man go with 1 inning per no matter what?

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I guess all the trivia is neat, but that last point is really what matters in the end, right? With a team like this, he might fall even further down that line.

I will refrain from referring to this as an "era" until I get the sense that it will last longer than a mere 75 games.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 16, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I think what is needed is a major rework of the roster....start today.....

Cut Kearns and Billiard today

Trade Guzman, Johnson and eat salary if you must...but get some position player prospects of minor value but get something now.

Line up today should be

CF Morgan
RF Harris
1B Willingham
LF Dunn
3B Zim
C Bard
2B Hernandez
SS Gonzalez

Start rewarding AAA and AA players who are hot and have options....bring them up for a tryout of 30 AB's each over the next 2 months.

Make a statement by signing all of the first 30 Draft picks. Pick out 5 of the best of the rest and sign them away from college plans with above slot bonus money.

Establish a player’s court that fines players who do not give their best or make mental errors. Anyone not at the part 15 mins early gets a $1000 fine. All fines go to IMPACTA fund.

Go Nats

Posted by: JayBeee | July 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@JayBee --

Can't argue too much about the lineup, but I think I'd rather see Dunn at 1B, Harris lin left and Willingham in right. Harris has no arm in right field and Willingham has played better there than anyone expected (to date).

Posted by: erocks33 | July 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Looking at stats, Josh Willingham played 2 games at 1B in 2006 for a total of 3 innings in his career. I know his bat is hot, but are we basically agreed that the next 75 games are spring training? In that case, have at it, but the ticket prices should be according.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

JayB,

Amen to cutting Kearns and Belliard. We can't anything of value in a trade for these two guys and they are an anchor on the 25 man roster. Bring up some youth and see what they can do.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 16, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Let me say this about that,

Has anybody noticed the quote from Selig that says he and MLB sold DC , us and the Lerners NOTHING but air for a baseball team and at 460 million.
The quote is "They bought a team from Montreal that didn't really have anybody there"

Bud is true to his Used Car Salesman ways.

He got Bowden to give the paint a mayo polishing. Squirt some Febrezze to mask the mold smell.

Used Robinson, the only man who cared what was happening BTW, to shield from deep questions about the undercarriage.

And choose the only group that would not complain about how big a con this was, since they really did not want to drive the team they were going to lease it out. They just like the idea of owning and since they have a nice shiny new garage to store the team in who would notice.


Bowden is the point man on this con but Selig is it's master.

Posted by: CBinDC | July 16, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

100% agreed on Kearns. DFA him right now and take the $$ loss.

Belliard occasionally shows some flashes, maybe they can shop him around.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

JayBee- I like your enthusiasm and your desire to shake things up. However, I have 2 issues with your plan. For one, I'd rather not use too many minor league players' options this year if we can wait till September to give him a tryout without using his option. This is going to sound like a Lerner-style cheap move, but I'd rather give the Nats better flexibility in the future with their roster makeup. I have no problem starting those guys in September in order to give them a full month tryout, but I think at this point, having the extra option does hold value for the Nats. Remember we tried to keep Shell and Hinkley on the roster when they were pitching terribly because they were out of options? Same with Hanrahan? I want to avoid that situation in the future if at all possible.

My other issue is that I don't know if a 'player's court' will be effective. I don't see the type of maturity and leadership in our clubhouse for this concept to be effective. I like where your heads at though. And I love that the money goes to Acta's charity!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

We know Dunn can not play first base. I am betting that Willingham is able to learn just as he has in RF. Harris is weak armed but he can make up for that in hustle and charging the ball. Not a great solution I know but OK for now. This is a place I hope the return on trades will provide some prospects for or maybe Dukes earns his way back.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 16, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"My other issue is that I don't know if a 'player's court' will be effective. I don't see the type of maturity and leadership in our clubhouse for this concept to be effective. I like where your heads at though. And I love that the money goes to Acta's charity!"

http://images.usatoday.com/sports/bbw/2002-04-03/kangaroo.jpg

This is true. Do we have anyone who can muster this level of maturity?

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure that looking at all team rosters would reveal the same, but there are just some terrible contracts that Jimbo gave out!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/roster?team=was

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 16, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

JayBee I applaud you for this suggestion (both the court and the donation). I do recall that the Nats had such a court at one point, and I've questioned whether they still had one on this blog but it's never been addressed that I'm aware of.

---

Establish a player’s court that fines players who do not give their best or make mental errors. Anyone not at the part 15 mins early gets a $1000 fine. All fines go to IMPACTA fund.

Go Nats

Posted by: JayBeee | July 16, 2009 10:06 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I also agree with the thought that at current no leadership exists for the players court, but that is why it is needed. Put it in place an lets see what leaders we can develop. It can not hurt and putting it in their face each day that this is how real teams works and that Acta should be given some thanks for all he tried to do even if non of it really worked at all.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 16, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Hello, NJ peeps. Why did the Nats cancel Baseball 101 for ladies? Not that I would be going, that is a work day for me, but I think they should try to expand their fan base. Also what are they doing to encourage African-American fans? Especially after the flap with Mayor Fenty's boys going to play in Maryland rather than the District, maybe the Nats can fill a vacuum.

Where did Riggleman get his accent? Doesn't sound like Rockville to me. Just curious.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Before trying players court, I think we should give Rigg-man a chance to manage at least one game.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Riggleman tell them that he doesn't care if they lose 121 games this year. There is no distinction between bad and historically bad. What he wants to see is people who want to play baseball and who want to play it the right way. Take the pressure. Go have some fun. But play good baseball while so doing.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

that would be take the pressure "off" (of course)

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The Blogfather on kangaroo courts from back in the day:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2007/03/does_snelling_prefer_wallaby_c.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

folks, all the calls to promote players from the minors leagues are kinda pointless. any talent this organization has in the minors for position players is in the deep minors: Marrero, Espinoza, Norris.

save for Dukes and maybe Maxwell, there are no major league players at Syracuse. Seth Bynum is 28, not a porspect. in Double-A, only Rhinehart and Desmond can be thought of in that vein, but at 25 and 24, they are not dominating AA to the point of thinking "these guys should be in the majors".

sorry folks, you can hope for change to the unknown, but there just isn't much there to draw on yet.

i suppose if you want to jettison Kearns and Bellaird, that's great. but are you gonna call up Dukes just to sit on the bench?

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | July 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Why then, did they make the change? Why then, did they fire Manny? Who has now been appeased by this unnecessary sacrifice?

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 16, 2009 9:30 AM
*****************************************

To distract us from the Lerners, specifically Theodore Lerner, who personally reviews and controls every expenditure, down to the usage of Fed Ex and the scouts' meal reciepts.

Thom Loverro, Acta Takes Fall, July 14, 2009, Washington Times:

Manny Acta is better off without the Washington Nationals.

That, no doubt, is not what Acta thinks today after getting fired from the job he worked so long to get.

No one likes to get fired, and Acta made it clear that he wanted to stay with the Nationals. But as the days and weeks pass, Acta probably will consider the pink slip a blessing.

Most people who leave bad organizations are better off, particularly talented people. And despite the results on the field, those in the game know Acta is talented and believe he still has a future as a major league manager.

A manager with a career record of 158-252 usually wouldn't get a second chance.

But Acta will because, in organizations where reason and respect reside, people recognize that winning 158 games while managing the Washington Misfits is a worthy accomplishment.

They will look at the way he handled the worst situation in baseball in his 2 1/2 years as manager, never losing his composure or the clubhouse.

They know Acta had to work with the game's most dysfunctional general manager in Jim Bowden and a family ownership group that was convinced it knew how to run a baseball team and knew how to do it better than anyone else.

How's that working out for the Lerners?

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 16, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

So lowcountry you are saying we have 75 games of spring training? Not sure I agree with paying major league ticket prices for that. Rather have R-man set some goals even if we don't know what they are. In a job you have performance goals and you are measured against them. It is a losers attitufde that it doesn't matter and that is what we should fight against.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Where is NatNut when you need her?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"These fans here have treated us well. If this were Boston, New York or Philly, it would get ugly," the manager said.

Wow, someone who gets it. If the local sports media took baseball from the "get-go" seriously and not an intrusion to Redskins 25X7X365 maybe just maybe the Lerners and StanK would have felt the pain long before mid-season 2009.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 16, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, Flynnie. But what becomes of us?
________________________
"Manny Acta is better off without the Washington Nationals."


Ringle - I'm pretty sure that we have 75 games of Spring Training ahead of us irrespective of what Riggleman says. To me, that is what the Acta firing signaled. The performance goals (if we must) are to be measured by how they play the game: situational hitting and pitching, hitting the cut-off men, not getting picked-off 1B to end the game, and such.

But the idea is for them to concentrate more on execution than on outcome. I think that they have been playing "not to lose." Ironically, if you removed the anxiety of winning and losing, I believe that they will actually win more games than if their performance goal is to have more than 60 wins.

But I don't have the luxury of being a STH - I can understand the concern of those, like yourself, who are however.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

That is SO true about the fans, although I think being a tourist town helps. At games you get a fair number of fans who a) are not Nats fans and b) are just going to a game because they are in town with their kids and how many monuments/museums can nine year-old boys (or girls) take?

If you read the Boston, NY, Philly blogs, though, they can be vicious. Nothing is ever good enough.

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

Sorry, am new to this. STH?

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Season ticket holder.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Now that the Nats have an experienced manager, a GM who is building his confidence with the Morgan trade, and a new top-to-bottom commitment to win throughout the franchise, how far can the Nats advance in coming years?

The Nats' payroll is in the range of San Diego and the Pirates' payrolls. Let's assume the Nats sustain their current $61.5 million payroll level (27th out of 30 in MLB) by bringing in new talent after Nick, Dmitri and Kearns drop off the payroll after this season. If they do sustain their payroll level, can they catch the Pads and Pirates over the next couple seasons? Hope so!

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4ew-fwu2XT3cpPRtt9qIGw

Posted by: EdDC | July 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm not signed up for it, NatsLady, but I hadn't heard anything about Baseball 101 being cancelled. Do you have a source?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

lowcountry, agree it would be nice to see well-executed games without stupid baserunning mental errors and with patience at the plate.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

STH = Season Ticket Holder

Posted by: sec307 | July 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

In Manny's first year, he benched people and pulled them out of games for not hustling and doing stupid things. That was the year the team reacted best to him. I hope that Riggleman begins doing the same. Someone makes alazy play on defense. Pull him. Not after the inning -during the inning. We need to change the attitude from "playing hard is important, but we are young and supposed to lose" to "playing hard is required and we are supposed to win". Discipline and accountability will foster that.

Posted by: NatsWin | July 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Fan1a, it was on Twitter, so I checked the site, here is the link.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/baseball_101.jsp

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree BF10 that the call ups will be sparse but IF Dukes or Maxwell or Desmond or whom ever gets hot then show that you earn your chance. Set the tone. If they do not then nobody comes up.

I would also hope that Johnson and Guz trades would bring some type of AA prospect who might be worth a look.

With respect to Options.....I am so tired of this type of loser mentality. This has been part of the problem If a player runs out of options after 3 years AND you can not trade him.....how good or valuable is he to a winning team......Get over this loser mentality people.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 16, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Me not a season ticket holder (STH). Go to games one at a time with or without buddies. Usually pay full price (stupid me), because I'm not wsure about craigs list if it's reliable.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, NatsLady. That's what I get for not being on Twitter. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm not either, Ringle. I've always put together my own "mini-plans" with my husband and a baseball buddy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mea cupla, Ringle. I misunderstood.

NatsLady - Now you've done it!
________________
Fan1a, it was on Twitter, so I checked the site, here is the link

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thank you low country. Didn't mean to start off on a bad foot. Don';t want to be cheap like the Learners but I do have to watch my pennies. If I am going to a spring training game, so be it. :).

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I understand, Ringle. One of my own austerity measures is to buy my tix at the box office rather than online so as to avoid "convenience" fees.

hehe re. Twitter, lowcountry.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

NatsLady, you rang?

If you meant about the baseball 101, I haven't heard anything. Though I'm sure if it was cancelled it was because of lack of interest.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 16, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

My post was blocked, I guess I used a naughty word (bu--) as in I get mine down to the park to avoid $8.75 fees on a $10.00 ticket.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, Flynnie. But what becomes of us?
________________________
"Manny Acta is better off without the Washington Nationals."

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 11:05 AM
*****************************************

What, indeed, lowcountry, what, indeed? To paraphrase Otto von Bismarck, "Those who love baseball [substituted for law], like those who love sausage, should avoid seeing it made." These last few shameful days where all but the clueless see the damage that Theodore N. Lerner has done have killed my desire to ever go to the park again. This whole D.C. baseball endeavour was not designed for the purpose of giving him another income stream.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Welcome Jimmy R.! The team cannot play worse for this guy than they did for Acta and he may even shake things up a bit.

An idea: get Zimmerman out of the 3 hole and move the guy down for crying out loud, he is awful -- for a couple of years now -- with RISP and despite the "Defining Moment" from Opening Day 2008 we keep seeing on MASN, he has not hit his weight after the 6th inning either.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Here's the rest of Thom Loverro's article on Manny:

The Nationals are not now going to become the Colorado Rockies, who turned their season around after firing Clint Hurdle. If you think otherwise, you are delusional enough to work in the Nationals' front office.

The Rockies have players less than two years removed from a National League pennant. The Nationals have spare parts no other team in baseball wanted.

The Nationals have been baseball's 12-step program, a Boys Town for miscreants and malcontents - Dmitri Young, Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge, Ronnie Belliard, Paul Lo Duca, Felipe Lopez, Odalis Perez, Robert Fick and Johnny Estrada.

Acta had to be a keeper, a baby sitter, as much as he had to be a baseball manager.

Consider, in addition, the overrated talent Bowden gave Acta to use, particularly among what passed for pitchers. The only pitchers from last year's 59-win team that have been in a major league starting rotation for any length of time this season are Washington's John Lannan and Tim Redding and his 7.14 ERA with the New York Mets. The same goes for the 2007 staff as well.

Now the Nationals, nearly three years to the day after the Lerners and Stan Kasten took over ownership, must start all over again this offseason.

They have to find a new manager, someone willing to work for a franchise with one of the worst reputations in baseball and for owners who aren't about to write a big check to hire a manager.

The only choices will be desperate retreads, and, like Acta, those looking for their first major league managing job.

This is the poison that Bowden left behind, the poison the Lerner family embraced.

That poison set the Nationals back for years to come. For all of the hoopla about the club's young pitchers, the farm system has nearly nothing in the way of position players.

Now suddenly the Nationals' best position prospect is Derek Norris, who is 20 years old and at Class A ball in Hagerstown. Chris Marrero and Michael Burgess have been disappointments so far. The club's minor league player of the year last season is Leonard Davis, who is 25 and still at Class AA Harrisburg.

Yes, they will line up to manage this organization. Bobby Valentine? Are you kidding me?

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@NatsNut, you are probably right. Friday is a work day for me, otherwise I might have considered it. I have a couple of friends that I took to their very first baseball game on July 4 and they are now hooked and want me to go to Baltimore. (Insert appalled look here).

No explanation was given.

Twitter is OK, but I don't see typing on it at a game. I kind of prefer to TALK to my friends or even the strangers sitting next to me. I must admit, though, I do have Charlie and Dave in my ear during games.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Oooops, sorry, that was not a clear post. (Grammar police fail)

No explanation was given for cancelling Baseball 101.

My friends explained to me that they want to go to Baltimore because the Orioles are a real team with real fans.

Fortunately, I think my car doesn't know the way up there.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

BTW, speaking of my car, I understand we have to use LOT 7 at RFK this weekend instead of LOT 8 because there are soccer games. Anybody know what that involves, if I am, say, on 395/295 coming from NW?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, NatsLady, I thought your post was clear, and the wording was particularly excellent in the portion quoted below. Thanks for the laugh.

---

I have a couple of friends that I took to their very first baseball game on July 4 and they are now hooked and want me to go to Baltimore. (Insert appalled look here).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Can't help you on the route, NatsLady, but hope that someone else can. I share your preference for conversing with seatmates at games. I tried bringing a radio to listen to C&D some years ago but couldn't get a good signal. Perhaps because it was a cheap radio. That was at RFK, not Nationals Park, so perhaps I should try again. The time lapse was a little off-putting, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I subscribed to MLB on my mobile phone and I get a clear signal on my bluetooth (sorry, am a bit of a techie). It's $5 per month, and I expect to be traveling by car quite a bit for my vacation in August, so it seems worth it to me--also I can fall asleep listening to Mariners games...

Before that I had an a.m. radio headphone that I got from RadioShack, worked ok but was fuzzy.

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

Another benefit of having it on my cellphone and bluetooth is that people at work can't tell I am listening to a game. Really.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Thom Loverro writes: "The Nationals are not now going to become the Colorado Rockies, who turned their season around after firing Clint Hurdle. If you think otherwise, you are delusional enough to work in the Nationals' front office. The Rockies have players less than two years removed from a National League pennant. The Nationals have spare parts no other team in baseball wanted."

Let's also keep in mind that Colorado has a payroll that is 21.5 percent higher than the Nats' payroll. Colorado has ownership that tries harder. Denver achieves this level of investment in the on-field product despite having a regional population less than half that of Washington's region (2.5 million compared to DC's 5.4).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_metropolitan_areas

Posted by: EdDC | July 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The time lag is a little annoying, have same problem if I try to watch on TV with Charlie and Dave on the radio. That's how I end up with Sunshine and Dibble on TV days.

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

Nats_Lady: regarding RFK parking during soccer games, not a big deal going in. Coming off 395/295, you will be told to drive thru lot 8 over to lot 7. The bigger issue is leaving because you can't exit back through lot 8, so you have to exit onto the streets on the other side of RFK. Best bet for me was to turn left out of the parking lot and get over to East Capitol Street. Good luck.

Posted by: slewis1 | July 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. On the bus last time the driver said if they try to ask you to pay for parking for the United game, you just have to say you are there for the Nats game.

I hope that works because on Saturday I don't get off work until 6:00, so already I know I will be just barely making it to RFK in time for the buses. It might be better to (sigh) pay for parking.

Sorry to distract from the Rockies comparison. I must say, their winning streak was amazing. Like a month-long version of the Astros game the Nats won 13-2. If a game like that is possible, why, oh, why, can't we make it probable?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info on equipment options, NatsLady (from a nontechie, in case you can't tell).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Ed keeps harping on it, and he is right....it's all about the money. Seriously, doesn't the FO HAVE to sign some good (expensive) FA this offseason? At a minimum, Nick (5), Kearns (9), Meat (5), Belli (5), and Biemel (2) won't be back, saving $26 million off an already minuscule budget!

Posted by: goexpos2 | July 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the team is going to DFA Kearns before the trade deadline. They may need a lukewarm body in the outfield if Dunn, Harris, and Willingham are traded.

Can anyone remind me of the latest Dmitri Young update?

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 16, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

JinM--can't see them trading Dunn, at least not this year.

They could get something for Harris, but it would be a mistake with the weaknesses in defense to trade him.

That leaves Willingham, for whom they might be able to get a reasonable reliever plus a bench-sitting position player (another Nyjer???? if Rizzo has sharp eyes).

So do you trade hits for reliable relief?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Goexpos2,

Thanks. The Red Sox have twice the budget of the Nats and win twice the games. Not a coincidence. The two regions (Boston and DC) are similar in size. (Actually the DC region has almost 900,000 more population than does the Boston region.) Yet the Nats are in the range of Pittsburgh in the ownership's investment in players.

Posted by: EdDC | July 16, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I meant, a position player who is sitting on someone else's bench (like Nyjer was in Pittsburgh) not one who will sit on our bench.

If you are going to grow the baby pitchers, I think you absolutely MUST have good defense behind them so they have confidence, and reliable relief so they don't die from frustration that a good day's work goes for naught. That's why I think an experiment like Willingham at first is not a good idea right now. We just don't need errors in the infield. Period.

Dunn, Guz, Zimm and Nick (if he stays) should take care of getting hits, that is their job.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the Lerner's to put up or get out. (I would say shut up but, they don't speak to anyone)

Posted by: Section505203 | July 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

No bad foot at all, Ringle. Being so far away, I'm just envious of all you who get to go to games regularly and, in my jealous heart, think you must go to every game!If any faux pas was committed it was by me for not welcoming you to NJ (Nats Journal - although sometimes Nick Johnson):

Welcome! Go Nats!
_________________________
Thank you low country. Didn't mean to start off on a bad foot. Don';t want to be cheap like the Learners but I do have to watch my pennies. If I am going to a spring training game, so be it. :).

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 11:37 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"The two regions (Boston and DC) are similar in size. (Actually the DC region has almost 900,000 more population than does the Boston region.) "

This doesn't really matter because they are funded by their boundary-less legions of insufferable bandwagon fans. I'd say there are probably 900K or so of these "fans" in this region actually.

Looking forward to the game tonight, hopefully we'll start seeing a different spring in their step now that that no talent is out of the dugout.

Posted by: RickFelt | July 16, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

While I tend to agree, Nats Lady, I think they'll entertain offers for just about anyone prior to the deadline.

And I'm not expecting to be blown away by the returns. At least not immediately. But hey, we got Martis for Mike Stanton.

A lot of folks assume they'll trade Johnson and Guzman. They may not be able to trade either. The big move could be a surprise - maybe someone like Balester or something.

But they'll hold on to Kearns in the meantime, just in case.

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

Fundamentally sound baseball would be nice.

The Nats have to go 55-20 in the second "half" to finish at .500. Even if we traded our team for the NL All Star team that wouldn't happen.

Heard today San Fran might have an interest in Nick. Hope the Nats hold on to him - I think he's a good part of the nucleas. I still think you can get some pieces for Dukes and either Guzman or Gonzalez or AHernandez. Don't need all three, Willie can fill in at 2B.

Looking forward to tonight's game - feels like a fresh start, as much as I liked Manny.

Posted by: AsstGM | July 16, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you lowcountry. Would go to every game if I could. Maybe if/when retriement, except then I probably could not afford the cost of livign around here.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope they trade Nick for whatever they can get for the guy. He is too old, way too brittle and he does not hit for enough pop to be an above average 1B. And his once very solid glove has not been so wonderful either this year.

I'd really like to see them go hog-wild and move a couple of the young starters and a prospect to SD for Adrian Gonzalez. But, that aint gonna happen.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@JohninMpls

While I agree the Nats will "entertain" offers for anyone, I can't see Dunn going anywhere. Not with another $10M due him in 2010. Johnson is a possibility since he's a FA after the season -- not much of a risk there. And even if the guy slumps he'll STIll get on base almost 40% lf the time!

Guzman? Hits great, hands of stone. And he's owed $8M in 2010.

I think the only other trade bait is Beimel (also a FA after the season). I thought maybe Villone might be but he seems to be fading...

Posted by: outsider6 | July 16, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

re: Villone. We seem to have had several like that, guys who come in and seem like miracle relievers, then fade. Makes you wonder.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, he's only 30, is on pace to play in over 150 games this year, and is fourth among NL 1B in OBP (seventh in BA).

I know he has an injury history, and his six HR and .425 SLG make him a middling 1B in terms of power. But on a 26-61 team, he's the least of our worries.

He's a UFA next year, and I understand if they trade him or don't retain him. But considering who we have in the pipeline, I wouldn't cry if they extended him, either.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, outsider. I think a team might look to rent someone like Dunn or Guzman, but I don't see any great offers coming in with the money they're owed next year. Rizzo probably won't be overwhelmed.

Honestly, though, I think there might be more of a market for Dunn than Guz at this point. But hey, I've been wrong before.

Bottom line is all of the players the Nats are considering trading have a significant downside as well.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Nick does OK, and he's toughed it out this year. Again, despite his failure re:the foul ball last week, his fielding is usually on par, and, again, it's helpful to have veterans in the infield, especially if you are going to platoon 2B and maybe SS.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

RickFelt, calling someone else insufferable. . .

EdDC - agree the budget is far lower than what this area can support. Wasn't the major pitch for baseball in DC over the years the size of the market and its wealth?

There is no excuse for not having a major league average budget. There is organic growth that allows a building teama to operate below league average as young stars work their way through the pay cycle (prearb, arb-eligible, FA). We are starting to see some of that growth, as Zimmerman has moved through the cycle to his long term contract. However, as low as the budget has been the past couple of years, there have been about $15 - 20m in useless player cost each year. It's not just that the budget has been low, it's that the money has been spent unwisely, too.

The failure to trade guys when their value was high has been a huge organizational failing. Players like Belliard and Dmitri, probably Chad too, should have been traded for the minor league positional player depth that everyone knows is lacking in this organization. Instead, we sign these guys or go through arbitration and get stuck holding the bag when they implode.

My favorite trades along these lines (that I bring up ALL THE TIME) are the deals TB pulled off for Ty Wigginton and Aubrey Huff. When Aubrey huff was traded for two AA prospects, Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbott, no one heard of those guys. Those moves saved money and brought exceptional talent. Last year's Casey Blake for Meloan and Carlos Santana deal is another example.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 16, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Dunn, Johnson and Guzman are all movable if the Lerners are willing to eat some salary. This is of course as likely as Beliiard making next years all-star team.

They have to view prospects they may get from these trades as being 'bought'.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls that is really funny. If we had any player without a downside we wouldn't be looking to trade him now would we? Thats where smart trading comes in.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Periculum, your comments towards our female posters offend me. Cease.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009"

Your attitude toward my humor offends me. Shut it dude because that attitude will get you a good old fashioned curb sandwich.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

All good ideas for trades.

I wonder if anyone in NJ-land thinks it might be helpful if the nats relaxed their restrictions on tradinfg for players who make decent salaries? I'm thinking that some teams may want to unload these kinds of players, and you can pick them up without costing you a lot of talent. jason Bay comes to mind from last season's trades.

So far under the Lerners, the biggest money guy in three years or so to come over in a trade has been Josh Willingham, who makes $2.95 million, which is not much by MLB standards.

The thought here is that if you expand the salary range from small salaried guys to medium and large salary guys as well, you expand the talent pool you can trade into. You can always trade these guys later for prospects, or get good draft picks when they sign elsewhere. It might be a good team-building strategy! Does this make sense, or not?

Posted by: EdDC | July 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Do you mean like Jason Bay, or do you mean like the low-budget version (Lastings Miledge)."

EdDC,

Jason Bay was drafted by the Nationals, nee' Expos in one of the middle rounds. He IS a low-budget, blue collar, solid attitude version of Lastings Millege.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, gentle folk of all genders, it's been real. Off to work, where I will catch an occasional audio bite (byte) of the game. If it goes 14 innings, I'll be back home and posting.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing funny about commenting on our female posters inappropriately. Once or twice may just be ignorance, but you are now doing it deliberately. Just in case you were very ignorant, there it is. I will report you from now on.

In other news, Ron Villone is practically the definition of "regressing to the mean."

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Nats_Lady,

Villone, is just a "stop-gap", an interim reliever until they can build a young bullpen. As much as the choice of Storen is criticized, right now Rizzo looks brilliant for that move.

The guy has 21 strike outs in less than 13 innings with NO base-on-balls. That's a reliever, if it can be translated to AA, AAA and the the majors. That guy is as hungry as he claimed when he signed on the dotted line. Yeah, EdDC, I like guys who stand behind what they say. He is doing that in spades.

Be nice if there were more relievers with those kind of stats. The closer in AAA Syracuse is Logan Kensing, followed by Ledezma, hopefully Zinicola will adapt ... but so far ... yikes!
There just isn't much down there reliever-wise.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Nick Johnson would be a short-term rental for another team is a reason for the Nats NOT to trade him, because nobody's likely to give up much for two or three months of Nick Johnson. If Rizzo can find a team desperate enough to offer him something valuable in exchange for two or three months of an average-to-good-fielding first baseman with a high OBP, he should trade Nick. If not, and Rizzo can re-sign him, he should.

Posted by: TomServo | July 16, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Periculum, your comments towards our female posters offend me. Cease.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009"

Your attitude toward my humor offends me. Shut it dude because that attitude will get you a good old fashioned curb sandwich.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 1:59 PM
_____________________________________________________________

Alright, go easy there, Toughie.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 16, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"There is nothing funny about commenting on our female posters inappropriately. Once or twice may just be ignorance, but you are now doing it deliberately. Just in case you were very ignorant, there it is. I will report you from now on."

My 506 you are either a misanthrope or a true cretin IQ wise. There was nothing in what I said that was indecent, crude, or inappropriate. Not inappropriate because what I stated is true: you can find there postings on player's blogs. I can produce the evidence which would be enough in any court.

Again shut it. You're out-of-line, the lady made her response, she can take care of herself. She doesn't need a total nincompoop to do it for her.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

curb sandwich?? huh?

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

OK, one last post. Peric, agreed on Villone. We all know they brought in veteran guys because the pen was folding in on itself in April.

Just, he came in, had that 0.00 ERA for what seemed like forever, then, yuck city.

Next, our dream man was MacDougal...
And I think there were a couple before that, flashes in the proverbial pan (pen?).

Now I am really stepping out of here before you and 506 come to blows. Can that happen in pixels?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

TomServo is right.

All the pundits seem to agree that Nick Johnson won't get much in return. Given the dearth of good fielding / good hitting left handed 1st basemen on the Nats roster. Signing him to a 1-2 year deal appears to make the most sense at this point.

Dunn is worst at 1st base than in left field.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Now I am really stepping out of here before you and 506 come to blows. Can that happen in pixels?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 16, 2009"

Happens all the time in the Matrix movies. :)

Villone was never a "miracle cure". Nor was McDougal. That was why they kept bringing back Hanrahan, why Bergmann goes down to Syracuse and comes up.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@506:

Don't waste your time with priculum. He's your classic internet tough-guy. Talks a big game from the anonymity of the web but is basically just an empty suit. Mostly he craves attention and says outlandish things to get it. It's unfortunate because he actually has quite a few valid opinions... just hard to out up with him long enough to get to that point.

I'm sure I'll be threatened within an inch of my life for this post... and I haven't even brougt up his typical grammatical failings (there, their).

I'll leave it at that... 1a gets very upset when the blog degenerates into this sort of foolishness. This was just a PSA for 506... and newbies like ringle.

Posted by: outsider6 | July 16, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

See you later, NatsLady. Don't work too hard.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

With Strasberg (if he signs and produces as expected, all big ifs) they would have a potential rotation that could include at least 10 young prospect major league starters ... some of those could be middle relief and spot starters.

The current "holes" are short relief, the "holders" and the closer.

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

"Talks a big game from the anonymity of the web but is basically just an empty suit."

Actually no. But I'll admit I did enjoy the halcyon days of alt.flame quite a bit.

Thank you for the sideways compliment Outsider6.

I'm not sure my opinions are valid. I do know I am very frustrated with this season and this team. I am very, very hopeful, given that Mr. Riggleman has suffered it both as a Senators fan and as a professional, that he will rise above the "Peter" principle and strike a blow for we downtrodden.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

PS. I am a touch typist but still think a lot faster than I type ... thus the grammatical errors Outsider.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking for the two-finger club, you guys are not grading on typos, are you.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Guess I better go back to lurking til I figure out what the rulesare here.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

So basically the we just wait until the deadline and give up whatever we can for him.

Either way he is leaving and does not qualify as a type B free agent. So whatever we can get right?

Don't listen to them periculum. Everyone respects the man who makes physical threats. Especially over the internet. Shows real strength.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Jason Bay is low-budget by MLB standards. I agree with you.

However, Bay makes more money than anyone the Nats have ever acquired in a trade under the Lerners. So that makes him a high-salaried version (by Nats' standards) of the truly low-budget guys, like Milledge, that Nats' GMs are allowed to trade for.

My argument is that you can improve the club if the GM is allowed to trade for guys making decent salaries, at Bay's level or even much higher. It would expand the talent pool of guys you can trade for. Sometimes small market teams, like the Pirates, seek to unload higher-priced talent, and you can get quality guys making decent salaries by giving up very little, just to help other teams out with their budgets.

Posted by: EdDC | July 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

jca I didnt know you were such a big Sox fan. My apologies.

Posted by: RickFelt | July 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I have said all I need to say on periculum, don't worry. I believe I was completely clear.

We are about two weeks from the trade deadline, gang, predictions on who will go?

I am thinking
Beimal
Harris

I would send Willingham, too, but I figure there has to be one controversial hold over. Nick gets an extension at the end of the year. Again, I wouldn't do it, but that's not the question.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"My argument is that you can improve the club if the GM is allowed to trade for guys making decent salaries, at Bay's level or even much higher."

Agreed,

The point is: they actually had Bay! They let him go. If this is going to be a "skin-flint" franchise run by a thread and a shoe string Syd Thrift's quote (that someone here remembered) comes into play: the best trades are often the one's you don't make.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"I have said all I need to say on periculum, don't worry. I believe I was completely clear."

As was I 506, if you step out of line you'll get squashed.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

506

Hmm, I would trade Willigham too. He is not a long term solution so why not?

I can't imagine for a second that Johnson would accept an extension from us. He has made it clear that he wants to play for a winner and, that doesn't sound like us.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Trades? The fear is that the best trade bait that the Nats and Phil Rizzo have are those young starting pitchers, those arms that are finally rapidly filling up the roster to the point where they may lose some to rule 5!

You're not going to garner much for Willingham, perhaps a bit more for Dunn. Beimel? Not hardly.
Nick Johnson ... probably more than than the others. Guzman probably not. Their best non-pitcher trade-able likely is Zimmerman.

Another Bill Bray deal?

I guess if you look at it from this perspective most of the action likely won't occur until the offseason when they've had a chance to a complete evaluation of the 40 man and farm rosters.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"I can't imagine for a second that Johnson would accept an extension from us. He has made it clear that he wants to play for a winner and, that doesn't sound like us."

If that's true, we got off cheap. I'm in the minority in thinking Johnson's lack of even a single season that didn't include a DL trip is a major problem, I know, but there it is.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, you can't blame him. Money is money but life is short. If a good team made an offr why would Johnson stick with theNats? You watch these guys retirement is not so much fun, so you have to have some reward in your playing years besides $$.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't blame Johnson for wanting out, and while I don't think it would be bad for us. His defense is in decline, and frankly I still don't trust his body.

I hope we can get something for him, but I think it's obvious that if we could he would have been shipped by now.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Zimmerman and all the kid pitchers would be off the table. Beyond that, I'd bet everyone could be had... but I just don't see much coming back. I think you'd actually have to PAY to get someone to take Guzman's or Dunn's contracts because they're signed thru 2010. And Johnson and Beimel, though solid, ain't exactly Mark Texeira-type deadline acquisitions. They won't fetch much.

Posted by: outsider6 | July 16, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Nats have no one of any trade value that they want to move except Johnson and possibly Guzman. Kearns and Belliard would have been DFA if there were players at AA or AAA who were worthy of being on the roster. Trading Dunn after he's had an excellent season and has another year left on his contract makes no sense and will only further alienate the fan base.

Not much more that Rizzo can do at this point besides try to get Strasburg signed by the August deadline. This franchise was essentially stripped before it was moved to D.C. and Bowden only made it worse with the scrap heap pickups. We can only hope that Rizzo and Kasten really have the authority to build a real major league team since it wouldn't matter if we had Tony Larussa to manage the current club.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 16, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I would bet we see one or more of the young pitchers go during the winter, but I don't think any of them would draw the prospects we need at trade deadline. That's people looking to sure up on vets for the playoff run, and we have can't really command much in that market.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

well if you are going by fan favorites then how can you suggest trading Willie H.? I don't know how mch attention they pay to that.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@Wizfan:

Agreed. That's why I hated to see Manny go. As Riggleman confirmed in his presser, Acta was doing everything right... per conventional wisdom anyway. He got as much out of a poorly assembled squad as anyone could. I would have liked to see Manny retained through 2010.

Posted by: outsider6 | July 16, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Riggleman, first lineup of his "era" is up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

In response to the first comment...

Acta had the lineup assembled in the best possible way and was for the most part doing things right. Regardless, you make the change hoping a new manager will be able to get more out of his players. Hopefully they will try a little harder, dig a little deeper, etc. And for the sake of you Nats fans, change the losing mentality of the club house. If Riggleman can get these guys believing that they can win, whether they actually get any wins or not, would be a major success. From an outsiders perspective, you can just see it on their faces. These players are lost and don't know even know what winning feels like anymore. Jim has a huge task at hand and I hope he can turn them around.

Posted by: PhilliesPhan | July 16, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Re Acta's firing. When the on-air commentators offer the opinion that the current Nats are "listless and don't care whether they win or lose," any management consultant can tell you it's the result of poor leadership. Acta was too much trying to get the team to like him rather than respect him for demanding the best from them which apparently he never did. Check out the really ggod MLB managers (Torre, LaRosa,et al) and you'll find them quiet but tough and demanding nothing but the best from their players and laying down the law when they don't get it.

We can't expect any better from a manager who describes himself as a "softy" and has no problem with million dollar players dropping balls as long as they chase after them. Heaven help us and the working girls!

By the way - Did you know??? The only Washington MLB team that was officially the "Senators" was the team before these Nats that absconded to Texas and is now the Rangers. Both the original National League team that folded and the American League team that took over, owned by Clark Griffith, and managed by Bucky Harris and others, were officially the "Washington Nationals",not named for the league but for their location. The old Washington Star always called them "the NATS." Of course, today they are the Minnesota Twins.

It is aklso a bit of a stretch to say that Jim Riggleman grew up watching games in Griffith Stadium. He was 9 years old when the last game was played there.

Posted by: beliason | July 16, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

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