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Nats Trade Belliard To Dodgers

Minutes after playing in his final game with the Washington Nationals, Ronnie Belliard stood in the losing clubhouse -- no longer his clubhouse -- and weighed his emotions. He recognized the good and the bad, he said. He was heading into the thick of a playoff race, traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named later. He was also leaving the team where he's spent the last three seasons.

"Both ways," Belliard said. "Happy because, hey, I'll be in LA. The Dodgers are in first place. And I'm sad because I'm going to be leaving a lot of friends."

The Nationals on Sunday afternoon traded Belliard in exchange for right-handed pitcher Luis Garcia, 22, a reliever with Los Angeles's Class A affiliate in the Midwest League. The player to be named later, general manager Mike Rizzo said, will also be a pitcher.

Garcia, pitching in Class A, had a 5-3 record with five saves and a 2.92 ERA (23 ER, 71 IP) at the time of the deal. His command appears good. He had walked just 15. Rizzo said that Garcia also has a 94 mph fastball.

With Belliard off the roster, Washington will recall centerfielder Justin Maxwell from Class AAA Syracuse. Maxwell will join the Nationals in San Diego, where they resume their road trip on Monday.

"It's a good opportunity for Ronnie," Rizzo said. "They came after Ronnie pretty hard. He'll be a good piece to their mix over there, and at this point in the season with Ronnie with a month left in the season we got two good young arms for him."

This season, Belliard's performance benefited with more playing time. Stuck behind second basemen Anderson Hernandez and Alberto Gonzalez earlier in the year, the 34-year-old utility infielder felt he deserved a larger role. Only when Jim Riggleman took over as manager did Belliard get that chance. Though he's hitting .247 (186 at bats) this year, he is hitting .325 since the all-star break.

Belliard was in the final year of a two-year, $3.5 million contract extension he signed in July 2007. In 2006, Belliard actually won a World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals; a photo of the post-game celebration, with Belliard in the middle of an on-field mob, hangs in the lobby at Busch Stadium.

"Hey, I have a chance to win another one," Belliard said. "I think I helped the Cardinals in 2006 -- some lucky hits I got in the playoffs and you know, I can maybe do that in LA."

At second base, the Nationals will now use both Gonzalez, a righty, and Pete Orr, a lefty. But expect Orr to play second and Gonzalez to play short in the next few days. Cristian Guzman, the regular shortstop, is still bothered by a minor foot injury and needs a few days to rest, Riggleman said.

Here is what Mike Rizzo said about the deal...

---

RIZZO

Q: What was the decision-making in dealing Ronnie Belliard to the Dodgers?

It's a good opportunity for Ronnie. They came after Ronnie pretty hard. He'll be a good piece to their mix over there, and at this point in the season with Ronnie with a month left in the season we got two good young arms for him. We were happy with the people we got in return, and it's a good baseball deal.

Q: You knew about this trade before the game. Were there any concerns about having him appear in the game today?

Yes. But we're here to win games. Jim asked, and I said, Yeah, if you need him at the end of the game to get a big hit like he's done in the past, by all means use him.

Q: Can you talk about the prospects you got from LA?

Well, one is a player to be named later, but the other one is a young kid named Luis Garcia who is a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher in the Midwest League. Our scouts saw him on several occasions this year. He's up to 94 mph with a fastball and he's got a slider and he's got really good command at a really young age. So we're happy with the results that he's had in the past. His performance has been good, and his upside is really good. We feel excited about getting him as part of the deal. He's a part of the deal that we fought hard at the end to extract him from the Dodgers rather than taking an older, more seasoned veteran minor league pitcher.

Q: Do you expect any more deals before the waiver deadline?

We're always open for business. Like I said, we're available for anything. But I don't see a lot more things on the horizon.

Q: What do you do with the open roster spot?

Yes, we are going to recall Justin Maxwell to meet us in San Diego.

Q: I get the sense this deal was in the works for at least a couple days. When evaluating whether to pull the trigger, how much do you look at the short-term contingency plans at the major league level -- for instance, how Pete Orr is playing? Stuff at the big league level.

Well, we went with the highest-profile prospect we could get that would have the most impactful tools on the table. He was a guy, the two guys we got, Garcia won't impact for a while. The player-to-be-named later is somebody who could impact us in the near future.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 30, 2009; 5:03 PM ET
 
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Next: Strasburg in Viera, and Other Material

Comments

So, just as many suspected ... they did trade Belliard ... who's bat has awoken ... to a contender ...

There goes our good luck charm ... damned.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

perc: Ha.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Happy for Belli.

Wasn't that a pathetic swing, tho, his last swing as a Nat?

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 30, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The OF should be set for next year: Willingham, Morgan, Dukes.
3B Zimm; 1B Dunn.

That means Nats have to hold SERIOUS tryouts for SS and 2B.

Catcher: Flores + Bard or Nieves (probably Bard if he heals).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Bye-bye, Belli. Thanks for some fun times (especially the walkoff vs. the O's last year - that was awesome). Have fun in LA. I think you'll like Torre. He's a stand-up guy, IMO.

p.s. Sorry about the Belli-bashing during the winning streak. Superstitions are weird. But you're a ballplayer, so you already know that.

p.p.s. Hey, maybe you could be Manny's mini me?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"I've said before, we need to keep MacD until/if Storen is ready.
Lots of things could happen between now and then (injury, etc.). MacD is effective for us, was not effective for other teams. Clearly there is a fit. We need a closer, why trade one away?"

They'll keep 'em both. Storen will likely be on the squad next year. You need more than one and right now MacDougal looks to be god coming out in short relief. They just need some lefties to go with the right handers. At the beginning of the year they had a goodly number of lefties now they are definitely on the short side.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Desmond, Espinosa are what they have coming up.

They surely need to make some trades or go with Guzman, Desmond and maybe Espinosa. I don't know where Orr came from but they must think he is an option.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Garcia (RHP) currently pitching with the Great Lakes Loons. Ya gotta love minor league team names. (Vermont Lake Monsters, anyone?)

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's Garcia's page from the Loons' site (great name, BTW, and I see that they just clinched a playoff berth):

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=472610

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

hehe, I beat you to the punch that time, NatsLady. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy he gets a chance to play for a playoff team.Though the Dodgers have been struggling since the all star break.

Posted by: rachel216 | August 30, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Wait. No, I didn't. D'oh!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Belli did pretty well in the playoffs with the Cards back in the day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a1-

I think you were responding to me when you said you didn't think Kearns was dogging it. I agree- that is not what I meant. I really think he tried his best, but it just didn't work. Lopez absolutely did dog it, and I didn't mean to extend that accusation to Austin. I am really disappointed Kearns did not work out, and I will never know why it didn't/

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 30, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, PHS. I did misinterpret your post, in that case.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

1A, s'okay. You helped me a lot earlier because I didn't realize the WaPo search engine was so, well, not good.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

As for Belliard being traded, I wish I got my way so quickly after making a suggestion all the time. I take no credit for insight, of course- this was clearly in the works. I am glad to give Jim Bowden credit for similar previous trades which got us Shairon Martis and Luis Atilano, for instance. However, I hope that Rizzo proves to have made an even better trade.

The real question with Belliard now is whether he does in fact become another Nats boomerang (like Mike Stanton, Ray King, and Daryle Ward when he is called up in a few days). If he rides the bench and blooms in August again, we can trade him again. I would much rather sign a middle infield free agent, or maybe give Desmond a chance, but we all have been fond of Ronnie when he is hot.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 30, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Kearns was dogging it when he was playing. In fact, I suspect he was playing injured for a lot longer than he let on. But I wouldn't be surprised if the team has already reached an agreement with him on a buyout, and he didn't take a roster slot in late August or September.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, NatsLady. Definitely the search engine is not so good. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

PHS, I think you should take some credit for insight. Seriously.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

He's a free agent this winter BTW.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 30, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

So, Belliard to the LAD for 2 players - Another good move by Rizzo, imo. AGonz & Orr can platoon for the rest of the season to determine a MI slot in 2010.

The question becomes, who gets the call-up? Since SYR is technically "off-limits" (per Riggleman), is it M.Chico (SP-RP) or Montz (CA) from HAR, or an "off-the-wall" selection?

Posted by: BinM | August 30, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Clearly one reason they traded Belliard was to look at Desmond. With Orr at second and Guzman at short you have two left handed hitters along with Dunn at first. Morse is someone who might ostensibly backup Zimmerman plus Dunn at 1st and 3rd along with Orr.

In the outfield Harris is now your only left handed hitter with Morgan gone. They have left handed outfielders on the way up with Daniels and Leonard Davis. But they aren't really ready yet. Yet, Harris appears to be a terrible replacement for Morgan especially in the lead off spot.

I'd still like to see them trade Dukes, Mock, maybe Balester and Bergmann for someone like McCutheon. You just never know .. Pittsburgh might go for that deal.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

McD was released by the White Sox.

We signed him as a FA to a minor-league contract. He pitched for the Chiefs for a couple of weeks.

Three weeks later, we purchased the contract. Did it stay a minor-league contract?

Does that mean that the White Sox ate what was left on his 2.65 million dollar major league contract for 2009 when they released him? In other words, they didn't want him around, period?

There is a 3.75 million 'club' optiion for 2010 with a $325,000 buyout.

Is the club with the option the White Sox? Or us? When he was released, did the option disappear?

Who pays the buyout, if any, if the major league contract were bought out? Or does the buyout option disappear once the White Sox did not exercise their option?

Contract renewal time: what are we allowed to offer?

As you can tell, I have little handle on MLB contracts. Sorry to go on and on, but I like him as our closer to open the season; just don't know what dollars are involved.


Posted by: nova_g_man | August 30, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Finally a showcased player pays off. Nice trade.

On today's game. The 1st 3 in the lineup today went a combined 0 for 13...

Orr left 6 on base when the pressure was on.

Dukes came through. One observation, Riggles left Dunn in and Willingham doubles and Dunn can't score. Hindsight, pinch runner?

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

happy for belliard. happier still that gonzalez and others who need development time aren't going to be blocked. happiest when the fat little shortstop is also exported.

Posted by: surly_w | August 30, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"The question becomes, who gets the call-up? Since SYR is technically "off-limits" (per Riggleman), is it M.Chico (SP-RP) or Montz (CA) from HAR, or an "off-the-wall" selection?

Posted by: BinM | August 30, 2009"

If Syracuse was off-limits why did they reach out for Orr who was a starter ... albeit not one of their better guys ... if anything his leaving helped Syracuse. That was not the case with Padilla and Morse.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Nats press release:

The Washington Nationals today traded infielder Ronnie Belliard to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Luis Garcia and a player to be named. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Garcia, 22, is currently 5-3 with five saves and a 2.92 ERA (23 ER/71.0 IP) in 34 appearances with Great Lakes of the Single-A Midwest League. He shows plus command, as he has walked just 15 in 71.0 innings (1.9 per 9.0 innings) en route to a 3.7/1 strikeout-to-walk and 1.8/1 ground out-to-air out ratios. In 16 appearances since the All-Star break, Garcia has registered a .220 batting average against (26-for-118).

In five-plus professional seasons, the 6-foot-2 Garcia is 14-7 with 14 saves and a 3.38 ERA (73 ER/194.2 IP) in 97 games. His career batting average against is .230 (168-for-732).

The 34 year-old Belliard hit .246 (46-for-187) with five home runs and 22 RBI in 86 games for the Nationals in 2009.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

OT

Milledge is batting over .290 for the Pirates now. Happy for him as the trade worked out for both teams. His defense has to improve or else his value overall isn't great.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

NOOOOOOOO!!! Not Bellie!! Actually, I feel happy for him that he's going to get some October ball in. I'll miss him. He was one of my favorite Nats ever since he made the fantastic backhand flip at second base against the Reds back at RFK.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Bye bye Belliard, I'll miss you.

I'll always fondly remember chatting with you at the season ticket holder picnic.

Good luck on the left coast.

Belli-YARD!! loved the grand slam!

Posted by: oneleggedNatsFan | August 30, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I forgot about the flip. That was so Ronnie.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Notice that with all the Belliard trade/waiver rumors out there for the past 10 days that no mainstream media type was willing to write on it as it was rumor.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess here's why they brought up Orr:

Orr else: Chiefs infielder Pete Orr went 3-for-4 in yes-
terday’s game, raising his average to .325 (25-for-77)
in August with 12 extra-base hits. His average has
spiked from .231 at the start of the month to .249 at
the outset of play today. The Canadian-born player
has six multi-hit games since August 11th. Orr has
also hit in five consecutive games, going 8-for-17 over
that span.

He had 4 triples in August for a total of 6.

An interesting side note ... Daniels, the left handed hitter, has be playing center field and leading off for Syracuse ... and has been fairly effective. Norris Hopper is in right with Leonard Davis another left handed bat in left field.


Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Darn them for not rumor-mongering! Stupid journalistic standards... ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie will be back in Washington at the end of September. Very happy for him. Hats off to Riggles (and staff) for doing a great job with him.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Darn them for not rumor-mongering! Stupid journalistic standards... ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 6:02 PM
:):);>):):):):):):):):):)

LOL. I think for the rest of the season, no mainstream journalist wants to fall into that 6 foot deep pothole!

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Have you noticed how much older the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs team is than Syracuse? A lot older, and they are the Phillie's affilliate.

Syracuse and Harrisburg have significantly improved, in terms of talent and getting guys whose age matches the level they are at. With the recent promotions from Harrisburg Syracuse looks a lot better going into next year.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

now can we get rid of guzman???!!

Posted by: rachel216 | August 30, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what they're going to do with the giant Peter Orr billboard on route 690 in Syracuse? Don't ask how I know about this billboard, it's not interesting.

Posted by: rnkorby | August 30, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know where Orr came from but they must think he is an option."

For the record, Orr was an undrafted FA signee with Atlanta in '99 and played parts of three seasons with the MLB club as a utility man. He was let go by the Braves after '07 and has signed two successive one-year minor-league deals with the Nats, getting brought up in both the '08 and '09 seasons.

Low-ceiling but low risk IMO.

Posted by: Hendo1 | August 30, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Guzman doesn't seem like the kind of guy you trade at the August deadline- too expensive for next year. I also am intrigued by those who have suggested having him play 2nd base next year.

At the beginning of the year, I would have expected Josh Bard to be another player that might have been traded about now, but his injuries (and perhaps a subpar year?) have kept him from having the value someone might trade for.

Unfortunately for us, I think the team has exhausted trade possibilities today. If Ron Villone or Jorge Sosa had maintained respectability, perhaps he would have been interesting, but they are part of the bullpen embarrassment here.

Let's just keep the faith, much of that in Mike Rizzo. If the team finally builds up the scouting department, as was promised to us long ago, perhaps there will be a REAL plan we can follow, and not the shambles we have been subjected to so far.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 30, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know I guess a part of this is Riggleman. He just isn't using the right players ... everyone complained bitterly about Kearns ... yet here were are with super willie hitting .226 not all that much better than Kearns? In the lead off spot?

___

Well, his biggest problem is that he's limited to using players the Nats have under contract. But Harris OBP is .355, about minimally adequate for a lead off hitter middle infielder/center fielder.

Posted by: markfromark | August 30, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Thrilled to see Belliard go to a contending team. The Dodgers got a good one.

Ronnie had been my favorite Nat since I saw him at ESPNzone in 2007. I'm glad I got to tell him at the recent picnic I love watching him play.

I didn't expect him to be around next year, and I have believed for a while that
the Nats have a black hole in the middle infield for 2010. I don't see anyone in the organization I consider major league level. Perhaps they can stop acquiring pitchers for a while and find us a real second baseman.

BTW Ronnie's wonderful backhand flip to Felipe Lopez is viewable on YouTube if you search on Ronnie Belliard. It's titled something like "The Sickest Play Ever."

Ronnie was the only current Nat to have appeared on the cover of SI.

Posted by: longhorn64 | August 30, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

bring up desmond and sit down the bunionator.

Posted by: surly_w | August 30, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, his biggest problem is that he's limited to using players the Nats have under contract. But Harris OBP is .355, about minimally adequate for a lead off hitter middle infielder/center fielder.

Posted by: markfromark | August 30, 2009 6:29 PM
---------------------------

The Nats revert back to April 2009 without a natural leadoff guy. Willie is the best the Nats have.

The loss of Nyjer Morgan is huge. HUGE!

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

On the pitch-to-contact spiel ...

Chico the big problem is that the bullpen has too many guys who are "pitch-to-contact" including Burnett, Bergmann, Vilone ...
The "strike out" guys have been screwing up with walks mostly ... and then with men on base serving up the big home runs and hits?
Sosa. Its why Kensing is in the minors. MacDougal and Clippard have been the only two guys doing decently well ...

The problem with your post is that you fail to look at the entire picture: the "control / soft toss pitchers" other than Mock because he has NOT BEEN WALKING GUYS after his stint in Syracuse have been doing significantly better than the "strike out" guys. And the strike out guys end up throwing more pitches in fewer innings to get those strikeouts. They really aren't efficient at all ... they only "efficient" strike out guy they have is Storen.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

3 losses in a row to end August ... closer to the 100 mark.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Bye Belli...I'll never forget the chugging around the bases as fast as your fat little legs could go...and for the walk off against that northern team!

Now can we sell the guz...the error meister?

And I'm interested to find out the IQ of the Nats. Poo-holes should have been out at second. Are they really stupid? Only the dugout was screaming at Mock to throw the ball to second. Dunn appeared to be looking at the batter. You didn't hear any player say anything until it was too late and the ball goes into cf.
Makes me believe that the Nats are not up to the mental makeup of their peers.

Posted by: M20832 | August 30, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how Guzman would feel about a shift to second base? Ray Knight said that Guzman is not a major league shortstop(fielding wise) kind of harsh in my opinion i like RK but i don't remember him winning any gold gloves during his career.I was reading an earlier post comparing Rob and Ray as analyst on the MASN broadcast i think Knight is more knowledgeable while Dibble tries to be funnier and at the same time give you "his" insight to what's going on during the game. I'm also wondering when Bob Carpenters contract runs out and if any of you think the Nats can do better in terms of play by play and was Mel Procter better during the Nats first season, i thought he was great doing Bullet games years ago.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 30, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, i really don't like this team without Morgan... we are 0-3...

Posted by: rachel216 | August 30, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, we had losing streaks even with Nyjer, and the Cards are a top team. But he is GREATLY missed, it seems like the team has had the life punched out of it.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

farewell to another of the blubbery bowden boys - belli, guz, meat loaf, d-ward.

Posted by: surly_w | August 30, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

You know, I just don't understand MLB TV. I'm watching the D'backs game, and on the last pitch they win the game but the pitcher is down because the batted ball nicked him. The trainer is out there, looks like it's his knee or ankle, then the screen goes to "commercial break". Really? They just cut off the picture in mid-syllable for the announcer.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

hmmm....

"The player-to-be-named later is somebody who could impact us in the near future."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about MLB TV but I just happened to tune in the second half of an MLB Network special following various All-Stars on road trips before and after the game. Pretty cool. Loved Maddon's compact bike, which he assembles for use after reaching the road game destination.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and NatsLady, TWIB featured the Rox this week. Just saw the episode this afternoon. The Nats should get the guys who did the Rox commercials to work with them next year.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

0-and-3, post-Nyjer.

This upcoming centerfield platoon of Willie Harris and Justin Maxwell does not inspire confidence.

Who takes over Belly-hard's whipping boy spot on NJ?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 30, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

1A, yes, that jumped out at me also. There is some rule about how soon the PTBNL has to be named, but I can't remember what it is.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 30, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

... don't know how much longer I can go on, when the good guys continue to be jettisoned to make way for ... for ... what?

Go Nats??

Posted by: natscanreduxit | August 30, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"0-and-3, post-Nyjer.

This upcoming centerfield platoon of Willie Harris and Justin Maxwell does not inspire confidence."

I could live with Maxwell in center for the interim.

But who leads off? The only guy they have who ostensibly could do that, get on base ... set the table is Padilla. Since he's done it this year. Pete Orr?

I think surl_w is right its time to trade Guzman, a guy who should not be batting second given his dearth of walks and propensity to swing rather than work the pitcher.

Looks like we're stuck as Rizzo doesn't think there is any interest in him at this point.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

In the questions not asked department, with Belliard gone who's the backup/defensive replacement for Dunn at first?

Posted by: nunof1 | August 30, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, good point, nunof.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Man, can't believe all the dissing of C. Guzman.

Tell me who the Nats have a real chance of getting for 2010 at Shortstop that is going to give more than Guzy.

Also, Guzy has been playing hurt. Sure, a couple of errors this week, but I still don't see Guzy as the problem here.

Let's fix 2nd base first or move Guzy to 2nd and find a Shortstop at that point.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 30, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh well I guess Rizzo gets to draft Bryce Harper. No decent FA probably will even consider the Nats ... not even Smoltz. Rizzo will have to make trades to improve the team next year.

100 games lost is a easy lock they way they are playing with Harris as your starting center fielder, along with Maxwell.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"In the questions not asked department, with Belliard gone who's the backup/defensive replacement for Dunn at first?

Posted by: nunof1 | August 30, 2009"

Orr or Morse. Morse is more the "offensive" replacement though.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

This was predictable. I think 2nd base and relief pitching will be our major offseason moves. Looks for Guz to be back at shortstop. His contract makes him impossible to move.

Posted by: Tom8 | August 30, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Didn't want to bring this up but...., anyone else out there just had enough of Carpenter, I mean the guy has an absolute man-crush on anything/everything St Louis. Yes, yes I know the history but come on Bob, most of us could care less.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 30, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

At this point perhaps its best to root for the 1st place GCL Nationals, the Syracuse Chiefs and the Potomac Nationals?

This team is dying again.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

well, in other "good" news, the Royals finally won a game, extending our lead in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 30, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Didn't want to bring this up but...., anyone else out there just had enough of Carpenter, I mean the guy has an absolute man-crush on anything/everything St Louis. Yes, yes I know the history but come on Bob, most of us could care less.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 30, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse
+++++++++++++++++++++++
I don't mind it, except when he gets stuff wrong, like he did the other night about Schoendienst. I wonder how often other stuff he says is wrong? I happened to grow up in St. Louis, so I knew he had messed up a few of the "facts."

Posted by: twinbrook | August 30, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@Tippy: Count me among the ones absolutely sick of Sunshine Bobby. I just hate the way he rags on opposing players, but refuses to be even remotely honest about our bunch. I still can hear him pitching Austin Kearns for a Gold Glove. And screaming, "Good take by Austin!" when he managed to lay off a curveball. Time to clean house in the broadcast booth as well as in the clubhouse. Can Rizzo DFA Sunshine too?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 30, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Who takes over Belly-hard's whipping boy spot on NJ?
++++++++++++++++++++
I nominate that low-life Josh Willingham. I mean, come on, he wasn't even good enough to start in Acta's outfield at the start of the season. If you can't win a starting job over Lastings, then how can you possibly be any good?

Posted by: twinbrook | August 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and one final thought for the night... do you suppose there are Dodgers fans out there who've googled Belliard to see they can find out about their newest acquisition, and if so, what will they think if they stumble on all the Bellie bashing here on the NJ? I can just imagine them thinking "why did we get this bum? His own teams' fans seem to hate him."

Posted by: twinbrook | August 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Low-life Josh Willingham it is, twinbrook.
You're right. He couldn't beat out Thrilledge and that perennial All-Star Austin Kearns for a spot. He can't possibly be any good. Let's try him as backup first baseman, and then maybe he can find at spot at what Debbie Taylor calls our AA affiliate, "Hagersburg."

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 30, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Well Ronnie, when we win the World Series you will be on the guys we look back at with fondness and say 'Remember Ronnie Belliard'.

This trade was the right move but, I'll still miss him.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 30, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Do we really need a whipping boy?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Amy Shipley's story on The Natural's first day is on the website.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/30/AR2009083002506.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 30, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Time to move the Guz!!! He's got no mobility at SS. He doesn't charge balls. No way they can go with him next year.

Posted by: billm32 | August 30, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

This team is dying again.
___

Riggleman's fault. He needs to get thrown out of a game while making a double switch. That will fire up the team and show he's smart.

Posted by: markfromark | August 30, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

we could call it "Hammer Hating".

Posted by: twinbrook | August 30, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, Smithers.

---

Riggleman's fault. He needs to get thrown out of a game while making a double switch. That will fire up the team and show he's smart.

Posted by: markfromark | August 30, 2009 9:21 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 30, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It was nice having Ray Knight in the booth this weekend. I generally like Dibble, but he's a big second-guessing know it all. Ray tells ya the right move BEFORE it happens, not make it up afterwards, or contradict his earlier comments.

Posted by: NatsMan21 | August 30, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Guzman at 2nd base, with say Desmond at short is intriguing because when all is said and done he is a switch hitter. Just not someone you want at the top of the batting order, either batting 1st or 2nd. Not on a contender.

Basically it does seem as if they would be better off moving to the next thing ... but because of his contract, his switch hitting and the time to Espinosa ... without some sort of blockbuster trade for MI I'm not sure you move Guzman, except way down in the batting order.

Posted by: periculum | August 30, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Periculum,

Orr was a utility infielder at Atlanta for several years and a whole lot of luck against the Nats.

Posted by: WashOut | August 30, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Willie will be next and our last trade before the waiver wire deadline, everyone else on the roster is either untouchable or undesirable.

Guz will be our SS until next years trade deadline and we will still have to pick up half of his salary.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 30, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

The "Good Luck Scapegoat" will have to present itself naturally, you can't force these things.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 30, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Dodgers all the way!!! Go Ronnie!!!

Posted by: big_game_lannan | August 30, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you! My husband and I just got back from a week's vacation that started in Syracuse for the series against Durham. I saw the billboard but didn't catch who it was. I did see the Brad Eldred one every night though.

(Side note, on Tuesday was the Family FunFest at Alliance Bank Stadium and after I got my picture taken with Casto and Orr, my husband asked them if they needed a ride back to DC, aka to re-join the Nats. They laughed and said "We'll see". Turns out that Orr gets to fly back after his detour to St. Louis and San Diego).

*****************************************************************
I wonder what they're going to do with the giant Peter Orr billboard on route 690 in Syracuse? Don't ask how I know about this billboard, it's not interesting.

Posted by: rnkorby | August 30, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | August 31, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

re: sickest play ever on you tube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ir7CHPsSXw&feature=PlayList&p=C82FA53D6D472D56&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=22

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Belly played some nice baseball for us. I think he's been under-rated player for a long time. Twinbrook mentioned that great, highlight flip that I'll never forget. I don't care how deep he played, if he got the guy out. Made sense to me. Good luck to him (just not when the Dodgers come here in Sept.)

Posted by: nats24 | August 31, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"The "Good Luck Scapegoat" will have to present itself naturally, you can't force these things
Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 30, 2009 10:44 PM"
++++++++++++++
Well, of course you'd say that, because you're an idiot who never says anything productive and constantly drags our conversation down to the myopic and the puerile. Presently, I've no desire to watch you in the title role of an eponymous stage production!!!

(Hrm. That felt ... off. I can haz cheezburger coach me?)

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 31, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Ronnie Belliard was one of those rare Jim Bowden moves that, well, was good. Belliard signed a $750,000 minor league contract to come to Washington in 2007. The prior season, he had a .272 average and a .725 OPS. Oh, and won the World Series with St. Louis.

For a team that finished 71-91 to get a guy like that at a discount is what one would call a steal. He went on to hit .290 for the Nats in that feel-good 2007.

Now, we can argue all day about whether or not Bowden should have extended Belliard. But signing him was a great move.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 31, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Last year Belliard went on a tear when he came off the DL. Even this year, when he got the playing time he produced. I don't think it is a question that extending him was one of the few good JimBo moves.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 31, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

WOW, I would have been surprised if they had gotten a bag of poo for him.....but instead they got TWO players for him!!!!! TWO!!! Mike Rizzo is Amazing.....

Posted by: Cartaldo | August 31, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"I'm also wondering when Bob Carpenters contract runs out"

At the season ticket holder event on the 22nd, Carpenter said his contract runs out at the end of the season; he'd like to come back but Carpenter said he hasn't heard anything from the Nationals about that.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 31, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what they're going to do with the giant Peter Orr billboard on route 690 in Syracuse?
----
I think I recall an ad featuring Collin Balester airing on Chiefs radio broadcasts even after he got the call to Washington. Now they are "current" again.

Great year for the Chiefs, and after many locals were bummed about not afflating with the Mets.

Posted by: KenNat | August 31, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Carpenter fan. I hope he comes back. I like Dibble too. I still think Wimpy was fun, and Sutton was stuffy. Ray Knight does a fine job in relief. And we may have one of the top five radio broadcasters in baseball with Charlie and Dave. Keep Carpenter and go work on a real problem like getting out of the MASN contract or finding a second baseman.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 31, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Carpenter is going anywhere. He seems to be becoming entrenched here. For instance, they let him MC the Strasburg introduction, a gig that in past years would have gone to Slowes or Sutton. So better get used to him, looks like he'll be around here for a while yet.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 31, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Ronnie! I'm gonna' miss you and I wish you the best with those Dodgers. I hope you get another ring. Thank you.

Posted by: susandea | August 31, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I see we're not mentioning the new post, so Sec3 won't find it.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 31, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

>Oh, and one final thought for the night... do you suppose there are Dodgers fans out there who've googled Belliard to see they can find out about their newest acquisition, and if so, what will they think if they stumble on all the Bellie bashing here on the NJ? I can just imagine them thinking "why did we get this bum? His own teams' fans seem to hate him."

Posted by: twinbrook

They'll probably figure it's a bunch of idiots trying to figure out a last place team.

Posted by: Brue | August 31, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

When I yelled from the living room that they were saying on TV that the Nats had traded Ronnie Belliard, my wife yelled back, "Who did they get for him? Another stupid young pitcher?" If they keep trading her favorite players, one of these days, her question is going to be, "Why do you want to renew those stupid season tickets?"

Posted by: fluffy4 | August 31, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

AFLAC?

---

I see we're not mentioning the new post, so Sec3 won't find it.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 31, 2009 9:41 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Good one Scooter!! I could'nt agree more with your assessment.

Posted by: ripndot | August 31, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

It's so nice to see Justin Maxwell get rewarded for his stellar season in Syracuse. He played in 111 games, hit .242 and struck out 136 times.

Posted by: bupbups | August 31, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Belliard had some good moments with the Nats, but his last AB was positively pathetic. He looked at two fastballs in the strike zone, then waved at a pitch in the dirt. I'd be interested to know if he had already been told about the trade when he went to the plate.

Posted by: icefandc | August 31, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Go Ronnie! Sorry to see you go. Maybe you can help knock the Phillies out of the post-season this year.

Posted by: Donkeyfarmer | August 31, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I guess that seals the deal that in the post season, I'll be pulling for Belly and the Dodgers. Please continue the bashing so that he may get another ring, the bum.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 31, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I've been a Ray Knight fan since his Reds playing days, but his obsession with John Smoltz was extremely annoying. Did Smoltz have photos of Knight in a compromising position?

And Knight's bragging about opposition fans was also ridiculous. If you think Cubs fans are 'the best in baseball' Ray, try sitting among those annoying obnoxious specimens during a Cubs visit to DC.

And Ray, how could St. Louis be 'the best baseball town in America' but the Cubs fans 'the best in baseball'? Both statements were made by Knight in the past week.

Posted by: raymitten | August 31, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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