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Links, Stories, A Few Exclamation Points

Good morning from Nats Park.

First, a few links from around the league:

The New York Times (with Scott Boras ghostwriting?) recommends ending the draft, calling the payment system for young players a "bargain that has distorted the game's economics. Minor leaguers and players with less than three years of service time remain pseudoslaves."

The Globe has a profile of Nats minor league pitcher Jack McGeary, trying at once to be a Lake Monster (in Class A Vermont) and a Stanford student.

Gamers from yesterday. The Post. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Second, two little stories that don't really pertain to anything important but amuse me tremendously. I should have mentioned these earlier, but never found the occasion.

* My favorite moment from Friday's Strasburgeddon came in the minutes after the on-field press conference, when a fan seated along the third base line roared, "Boras! Next year we want Bryce [Harper]! Bryce next year, Boras!"

Boras heard, oh did he ever.

There was a wry smile, and Boras, for at least a second, looked like somebody holding a winning lottery ticket.

* Mike Rizzo's dad, Phil, is 79 years old, and he still scouts for the Nationals. Good thing for this organization (and for Boras), he does not negotiate contracts. Speaking about Strasburg, Phil Rizzo said, "You know how much I would have paid him?! Zero! He's never put on a jock! I would have said to him, you'll make millions IF you perform. IF you do this, and IF you do this. Every sentence would have started with IF."

By Chico Harlan  |  August 23, 2009; 10:41 AM ET
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Next: Lineups From Nats Park


God bless Phil Rizzo. And methinks eliminating the draft could result in many players being paid in accordance to the Phil Rizzo scale. Not all, but many.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 23, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

We take a step forward(8 game win strk.)and two steps back(5 game losing strk. and counting, at home no less!).You can't let opposing teams come into your stadium and b!tch slap you around i don't blame Riggs for this i blame the players their has to be a voice in the clubhouse other than the manager a player who has the respect of his peers.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 23, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Gotta say I agree with Mike's dad! Weren't we talking about Jordan Zimmermann the same way a couple of months ago????

Posted by: nobleman1 | August 23, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the previous post that should have been continued concerning team leadership someone has to step up and it should be now to set the tone for next year. Phil Rizzo is old school with a bullet, dude you ain't said nuthin but a word, i'd pay to see Phil and Boras go at it that conversation would be priceless and definitely X rated and is the jury still out on Riggs as skipper for next year? Need to get off the schneid today.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 23, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The losing streak is mainly an exposure of the quality of our young (and not so young) pitching. I'm no scout, so don't know if they have the potential or stuff to improve, but not a quality major league staff now.

And as much as I like the guy, Dunn's range is about zero on ground balls. An extra hit or 2 to right per game isn't helping the pitching. We've really improved (T.Plush!) the outfield D but hurt the infield D. Although he's doing well on catching throws from the infielders in the games I've seen. And seems to be in position on cutoffs and the like.

Posted by: utec | August 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

utec: You're right with your read on Dunn @1B. Right now, he can handle the basics at 1B, but doesn't seem to trust his footwork going to his right, and either can't (or won't) drop/dive for ground balls. He's a work in progress at the position - I'm personally suprised that he's been even this good.

Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... LH starting for MIL today (Parra). Maybe give Dunn a day off, and go with this lineup?

CF- Morgan
SS- Guzman
1B- Morse
3B- Zimmerman
LF- Willingham
RF- Dukes
2B- Belliard
C- Bard
P- Stammen

Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

My Gonzaga High School baseball coach, Joe Kozick, was a scout for the Phillies. He would have agreed 100% with Phil Rizzo.

I can hear him turning over in his grave, saying "Horsesh*t. Don't give the guy a dime!".

Posted by: nattydread1 | August 23, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't mean to nitpick, but shouldn't it be "one step forward and 5/8th of a step back?"


We take a step forward(8 game win strk.)and two steps back(5 game losing strk. and counting, at home no less!).

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 23, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, Macha's gone all "LaRussa" on us with the lineups - Parra(P) batting 8th, Escobar(SS) batting 9th.

Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

hacman: Mathmatecally, its' two steps forward, one & 1/4 steps back to-date, with the common denominator being four.

"One step up; two steps back. Right on the money, got me right on the line...". Lowell George & little feat. (Just because).

Posted by: BinM | August 23, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

BinM, thanks for the clarification. Still, we've lost 5 in a row. The sky is falling and thus I will not renew my season tix or give any more of my hard-earned money to the Cheap Lerners;)

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 23, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

More room for the rest of us--

Posted by: paulkp | August 23, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Dunn's D at first base is a work in progress, but so is his hitting. He hit a fly out to LF last night. Granted, it was an out last night, but if he starts hitting all over the park....

Posted by: miseaujeu | August 23, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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