Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Reading Material, Most of It Real

Just a few quick links for the morning.

As you probably know by now, Mike Rizzo is getting the full-time GM job -- another high note in what has to be the most relentlessly positive week in Washington Nationals' history. Hey, even Jon Heyman likes what he's seeing.

As far as the week's planned events go -- Thursday: Introduce Rizzo as GM; Friday: Introduce Strasburg -- Wednesday's appearance by T. Plush at the ESPN Zone could have been lost in the shuffle. Thankfully, Steinberg bails us out with this account.

Rockies 5, Nats 4. The Denver Post calls him Collin Ballster.

The Biz of Baseball Web site details the dysfunctionality of the slotting system for draft picks.

One last note. The Yahoo story predicting Jerry Dipoto's reign as Washington GM is only the latest in a run of Nats-related news reports this year that, to put it gently, were defeated by reality. A few of these stories have had the misfortune to be published. But here's at least one that never saw the light of day. ... As I mentioned a few days ago, in the hours before Monday's midnight deadline, I'd written the skeletal version of a Nats-don't-sign-Strasburg story. There seemed to be some curiosity among the Nats Journal loyalists to eventually get a look at the alternate universe scenario. So I'll paste the first few paragraphs below and let you imagine everything else...

This would have been a distinctly different week in NatsTown.

---

By Chico Harlan
Washington Post Staff Writer

Midnight passed. A deal never happened. Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals never got closer than a staredown. The pitcher and the organization, after locking into the highest-stakes contract negotiations in amateur history, never found common ground, and they parted at the midnight Monday deadline, both left to begin their futures apart.

In the end, the Nationals offered Strasburg a $XX million deal, far exceeding the record for an amateur draftee, the $10.5 million awarded to Mark Prior in 2001. But Strasburg, advised by Scott Boras, wanted more. That, or he wanted the chance to pitch elsewhere, even if it meant waiting.

By not meeting Strasburg's demands, the Nationals have made a franchise-defining decision -- one that will be revealed over time as either a sane, measured stand against unreasonable demands, or as a fatal inability to pony up big-time money for necessary talent. Without inking Strasburg, selected first overall on June 9, the Nationals will receive a 2010 compensatory pick, the "1A" selection. Strasburg can select from several options, most likely playing either a year of independent ball or detouring for a season to Japan and reentering the draft next season. Strasburg would have to give his consent before Washington could select him again, an almost inconceivable scenario.

A contract with Strasburg would haven given Washington, at once, the most hyped college pitcher in a generation and a legitimizing down payment on their build-with-young-talent blueprint. Now, they have to face a prickly scenario, as this inability to reach a deal could potentially alienate frustrated fans and exacerbate the team's league-wide reputation for haplessness.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2009; 10:39 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rizzo Will Be Named Permanent GM on Thursday
Next: When Strasburg Was Slothburg

Comments

There's an old post.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Chico - thanks for posting that. It's interesting to read - a bit like staring at the wreckage of a long-since-over car accident - "there but for Uncle Teddy's millions go we..."

I like reality better - that's a first for me, maybe.

Good news about Rizzo, too. Let's hope this week marks, finally, the week that it turns. Fare thee well, "Nats Fail."

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | August 20, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Sofa, please advise, were you the guy who went after Hawpe's home run ball on Tuesday night, and was then escorted out?

Posted by: Traveler8 | August 20, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Sigh.
Yes.
And consequently, I stayed away from the Wednesday event--didn't want to bring the bad luck on Plush.

The worst part is, now I have to stay away from three more games, just to get even.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes, an interesting read. Thanks, Chico. I liked the "defeated by reality" construct. Now for the countdown to a blogger (or maybe Biff Bobson) picking up the alternative scenario as a true story...3...2...1...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

And the Dollar Fridays doesn't count.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

hehe, Dollar Fridays are an anomaly.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"The Denver Post calls him Collin Ballster."

Well if he doesn't start getting some people out, he might want to consider changing his name.

OOOh, that was too harsh. We're relentlessly positive this week. My bad.

Belliard put me up to it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Not laughing at the ejection, but at the exception, BTW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Chico:

Thanks for the alternative history of the Strasberg signing. Kind of like "If the South won the Civil War". I hope you get overtime pay for this past week. Great job for keeping on top the insanity.

Posted by: SackMan | August 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"hehe, Dollar Fridays are an anomaly."

Not if they don't start winning next year, they won't be.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Belliard might want to consider changing his to Belli-yard. Or not.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Go ahead and laugh. My family all did.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Good point, sec3. Hope that they have no reason to even consider such a promotion next year.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Well, okay, if you say so. I just LOL'd.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, the thing I'm really mad about is totally misjudging the fly ball--I thought Morgan had it on the track. It only hit about five empty seats from me. That's a ball that HAS to be caught. Gotta make that play.
Of course, if I had caught it, they would have 86'd me anyway, for throwing it back. But I bring a new Ponce league ball for just such contingencies, so I would have kept the Hawpe ball.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the sun was in your eyes? :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"I checked the team site earlier and also thought it might have been deleted, but I found it after a bit of digging:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090819&content_id=6499136&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: natsfan1a1"

And how does this Ladson story differ in any way from Chico's story? Other than that it came about two hours after Chico's did - meaning that if Ladson was bandwagonning, Chico got a seat on there before he did. Again, if what Ladson did was in any way wrong from a journalistic standpoint, so was what Chico did. Either they're both saints or they're both sinners.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 20, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"another high note in what has to be the most relentlessly positive week in Washington Nationals' history."

You seem to have forgotten June 2005, Chico. Go read your predecessor's book, why don't you.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 20, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Dear Tony Plush,

Please keep hitting over .300 so your antics can be amusing and endearing. Because if your average goes to .299, I will have to spend a long time defending you from charges of character flaws, like another, big-mouthed former Nationals centerfielder who stopped performing and had his nickname turned into a sarcastic jab.

~506

Posted by: Section506 | August 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Sofa, why do you have to stay away for three more games, "to get even" - get even with what??

Posted by: Traveler8 | August 20, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hot off the presses from the MASN site:

Rizzo to be introduced as GM today
By Pete McElroy

At 4:00 p.m. today, the Nationals will formally introduce Mike Rizzo as general manager and senior vice president of baseball operations. Rizzo had been the interim GM since March 1 when Jim Bowden resigned.

Under his reign, Rizzo acquire outfielder Nyjer Morgan and left-hander Sean Burnett from the Pirates for outfielder Lastings Milledge and right-hander Joel Hanrahan. He also.upgraded the bullpen by adding Mike MacDougal, Jorge Sosa and Ron Villone.

Rizzo replaced manager Manny Acta with current interim manager Jim Riggleman, who has guided the Nationals to a 17-16 record since taking over as skipper after the All-Star break.

But his biggest signing was that of San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg, just moments before the deadline Monday night.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"You seem to have forgotten June 2005, Chico. Go read your predecessor's book, why don't you."

I disagree. This is like measuring the height of a mountain from sea-level. Sure, Everest may be tops from sea-level, but as a geologic formation, Mauna Kea beats it by 3/4 of a mile.

Posted by: Section506 | August 20, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the 4PM announcement will be carried live? Where?

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

FWIW (it's by Ladson ;-)), a piece on the 4 p.m. Rizzo as GM announcement is on the team site as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

joemktg, the OP says that it will be broadcast live on MASN (not sure which channel).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mae West: "I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better."

NatsNut: I've seen Strasburg signed and I've seen him not signed. Signed is better.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 20, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

To paraphrase another West quote:

It's not the pitchers in my life that count, it's the life in my pitchers...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Chico,

Awesome, thanks for posting that! I've always loved looking at that type of "alternate universe/what if" stuff...like all those t-shirts that must exist somewhere reading "Arizona Cardinals, 2008 Super Bowl Champions!"

Posted by: HenryStin | August 20, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

NN

bring it on! lol!

===========================================

surly, are you trying to keep the superstitious Belly-bashing going or are you serious?

Because if you're serious, we might have to have words. >:[

Posted by: NatsNut | August 20, 2009 10:45 AM |

Posted by: surly_w | August 20, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Or like those Patriots 19-0 perfect season tees? Oops.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

BTW: The Nats rank sencond for team Web Gems on ESPN according to today's edition. The Hammer! has one from yesterday.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 20, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Mike Rizzo for his well deserved promotion.

Ahhh June 2005... I was a season ticket holder back then and went to all 10 wins. What a buzz that was. I can't wait to get it again and if things keep going as well as they have been, maybe in 2011 we can see first place again!

Got my $1 ticket - section 108L - for the press conference/game Friday. I wouldnt miss SS's intro and hope to catch him in spring training, then Nats Park next year some time.

Go Nats!

Posted by: alm1000 | August 20, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Don't let that "other" story go to waste. Publish it tomorrow on NJ.

Posted by: Section222 | August 17, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse
______________________________________

I feel like a proud papa. Thanks Chico. What a painful story that would have been to read in the paper on Tuesday morning. I'm glad it only saw the light of day here at NJ.

On the other hand, it would be really interesting to read the true backstory of yesterday's "Dipoto to be named" debacle. Was StanK behind it playing a devious game? Was Dipoto himself hoping to tip the balance his way? Was the Yahoo! sportswriter just makin' stuff up? I guess we'll never know because the one thing investigative reporters will never write about is the identity of their sources even when those identities and their motives are actually the story.

Posted by: Section222 | August 20, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

May/June 2005 was the first time that natsfan1b visited from Chicago, whereupon she promptly fell in love with the Nats (who wouldn't have, really?).

The Hammer's sliding catch yesterday reminded me of one he had in the exhibition game vs. the O's this year, which we attended. He also had a grand slam in that game, whereupon I promptly fell in love with him as a player (who wouldn't have, really?).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

From what I have been reading elsewhere, no one has said Dipoto is not coming to the Nats, he is just not coming as the GM. Maybe he fills Rizzo's slot as AGM or some other baseball sounding title to do with baseball operations

Posted by: markfd | August 20, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad that I'm reading that now rather than at 12:20AM Tuesday.

BTW, no response yet to my letter from Gordon Edes or from Yahoo! Sports.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 20, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Not to dis the catch, of course. Can't find a gamer, but I believe the catch, and my fangirl affections, developed after his offensive fireworks had taken place.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, there's a new (slothburg) post. Cue music from The Way We Were (sorry for the earwig).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh. It's a Bog post. Never mind.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for Edes. Clearly, he got used by his "multiple" sources. (Hopefully, they weren't named Bowden and Phillips). You can tell from today's "Rizzo is hired" story that he is in full CYA mode.

As for Ladson and Chico, you HAVE to report that a major outlet is reporting that X is happening. That's not the same as reporting that X is a fact. I learned of it in rotoworld.com; I certainly did not take rotoworld to be reporting as a fact.

Besides, if it was a fact, WaPo would never credit the original source...

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 20, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
I'll add my thanks for posting the alternative. It would have been appropriately sober and measured.

Ah June 2005. It was unlike anything I experienced with the Senators. But it seemed fragile, and the looming stadium issue nagged at me. So I'll take where we are now. History is important, but after 33 years of looking back, I really want to look ahead.

Posted by: KenNat | August 20, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

They shouldn't have 86'd me, it's an unreasonable rule. Costing them money is my best option among limited recourses, and so I figure, with markup and all, that's maybe two games. So three, just to be sure.

***********
Sofa, why do you have to stay away for three more games, "to get even" - get even with what??
Posted by: Traveler8 | August 20, 2009 11:34 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course, this was one of the rare times I was alone, so in fact it's about nine or ten tickets unsold, probably.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The Nats got a good deal from SS, and I'm glad the final offer was accepted this year! If you agree the first arb year would be about what the $3 million salary for 2012 turned out to be (in other words, it's not an added payment), then you could consider the $15.1 deal to be worth $12.1. That's pretty far less than the record, inflation-adjusted.

Posted by: EdDC | August 20, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

And I was in Plush mode, too, as a test. Imagine a full section in center, wearing porkpie hats and dark glasses. Oh well. Guess I'll go back to the other surly ushers in 236. When I go back.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Thanks for posting the alternative universe story.

Days like this make me think of late December when I check NJ every day (or so) looking for any crumb of news about the team. ..while wearing copious amounts of clothing relative to today.

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 20, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, 506, that was a pretty good couple of weeks. Giddy, even.
**********************
"You seem to have forgotten June 2005, Chico."
-----------
I disagree. This is like measuring the height of a mountain from sea-level. Sure, Everest may be tops from sea-level, but as a geologic formation, Mauna Kea beats it by 3/4 of a mile.

Posted by: Section506 | August 20, 2009 11:36 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

To follow up my kudos to Chico -
I received a text from a bud saying Rizzo was gone - then I started hunting for confirmation. I came here and saw that Chico had reported there was a rumor. What he did was confirm the rumor existed, which at that point I completely dismissed; knowing full well the NatTown was not about to squash the SS goodwill by tossing the guy responsible less than 24 hours after it happened, and while the $1 cupcakes were being distributed. Sanity obviously prevailed, but Chico was on the mark for me by confirming the lack-of-information aspect of the story.

What seems to me is there is some "unnamed source" is doing their best to whizz on any parade the Nationals get going - by talking to Smarmenthal about Manny, and now spreading vicious gossip about Rizzo.

Where are the plumbers when you need them?

Posted by: dand187 | August 20, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

> Besides, if it was a fact, WaPo would never credit the original source...

So let me get this straight. If WaPo doesn't credit the original source, it's a fact. If WaPo does credit the original source, it's not a fact.

Crediting the original source or not has nothing to do with it. Journalists are under no obligation to pass on rumors that happen to be floated relative to their beats, no matter how widespread they are. And if they do have reservations about the veracity of a rumor, e.g. if it doesn't pass the "smell test", they really ought to air those reservations right along with the rumor that they're passing along. Otherwise they're nothing more than rumor-mongers themselves, are they?

Both Chico Harlan and Mark Zuckerman of the Times have admitted in print after the fact that they didn't think the Edes rumor made sense when they first printed it. Yet they printed it anyway, unchallenged. Really, in this whole episode they were really no better than Edes himself. All were rumor-mongers, none were responsible journalists.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 20, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Atilano and Kensing are on the Syracuse pitching staff. Maybe last chance for Atilano a former 1st round pick? Leaves 2 spots open in Harrisburg. SYR put Dave Williams the lhrp on the DL. Williams is having a Gascanrahan year, as is Kensing.

Right now Wilkie and Storen appear to be the best relievers available from the minors.

The reason why this is interesting? Now that Rizzo "is the man". I wonder if he will be more aggressive about finding out who he can rely on to put a winning team on the field next year? Or will he take a kind of Bowden-like patient approach with veterans and prospects ... or will he fall in the middle?

Its going to be an interesting ride ... unlike watching the hapless offense of the Washington Redskins get led like lambs to the slaughter against Pittsburgh.


Posted by: periculum | August 20, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

No, don't give up on the Plush Fan Club!! That would be awesome.

---

And I was in Plush mode, too, as a test. Imagine a full section in center, wearing porkpie hats and dark glasses. Oh well. Guess I'll go back to the other surly ushers in 236. When I go back.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 20, 2009 1:36 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting it, Chico. It's a good piece, but it's also much easier to read now that it didn't happen.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 20, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Very astute point, but still doesn't get those who were ready to burn NatsTown at the stake for believing Rizzo was getting pushed aside.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From what I have been reading elsewhere, no one has said Dipoto is not coming to the Nats, he is just not coming as the GM. Maybe he fills Rizzo's slot as AGM or some other baseball sounding title to do with baseball operations

Posted by: markfd | August 20, 2009 12:39 PM

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 20, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Atilano is pitching a shutout in Syracuse. I think Rizzo's hiring has convinced them all that they actually have a shot.

As much as people may nay say or criticize I believe that the promotions of guys like JD Martin, Padilla, and Morse ... and what happened with Morgan getting center field over guys like Maxwell, Dukes, and Milledge ... :) has gone a long way toward convincing all the minor leaguers that there aren't really any "slots" reserved for "special" prospects. Everyone has to earn their "slot". Even Strasburg.

Certainly the pitchers must now be convinced that everyone has a legitimate shot with JD Martin still in the starting rotation.

Posted by: periculum | August 20, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

In all this Rizzo good news, how's about an update on Jordan Zimmermann's Tommy John surgery which was yesterday?

Also, rumor has it that Bernadina is running around in Viera without pain on that surgically prepared ankle.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 20, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

surgically prepared .... heheh

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 20, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I hear the doc sprinkled in a lovely vinaigrette.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 20, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company