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Nats Bolster Front Office

The Washington Nationals have made significant progress in restocking their depleted front office, hiring Roy Clark as their new assistant general manager and promoting Kris Kline as their new scouting director, according to a source. The team could make the announcements official on Thursday.

Kline, who was already with the Nationals as their assistant director of scouting, will take over the position vacated by Dana Brown. Earlier this week, Brown took a job with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Clark, meantime, becomes the first significant outside hire made by General Manager Mike Rizzo. Clark was the longtime director of scouting for the Atlanta Braves, finishing up his 11th year in the position. But he joined the Braves in 1989 as an area scout, and has ties to current Washington team President Stan Kasten, the longtime president in Atlanta.

Finding an assistant general manager had been a need for the Nationals ever since GM Jim Bowden resigned in March, pulling Rizzo into his new job.

Kline, meantime, has a relationship with Rizzo that goes back to their days together with the Arizona Diamondbacks. When Rizzo came to Washington as an assistant general manager in 2006, Kline followed shortly thereafter, taking a scouting job with the Nationals. Before the 2009 season, he was given an assistant director of scouting title, and put in charge of "cross-checking" -- that is, giving second opinions on player evaluations from the regional scouts.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 14, 2009; 3:05 PM ET
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Next: Nats Hire New Point Man For Dominican


Strong progress. I'm guessing this can't come too soon for Rizzo. Perhaps additional announcements will be forthcoming. You know it is only about a month until the annual GM meetings, just 2 months to the winter meetings, and a little over 3 months to the arbitration hearings, and just four months to the start of spring training.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 14, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

So who was it at the Post who drew the short straw and had to wake Chico Harlan up from his long winter's rest that had only just begun, to tell him that there was Nationals news being reported everywhere else and he'd better get on the stick and do some reporting himself? Is Chico nasty when he first gets woken up, I wonder?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Also, posting here, but referring to previous posts. I think Tracee Hamilton has earned my "favorite blogger" praise. I absolutely loved our old vowel challenged friend, and I'm quite fond of Chico, Boz, and Boom-Boom, but Hamilton is clearly a fan who is also a good journalist and columnist. You gotta love a reporter who can ooze enthusiasm over the Arizona Instructional League.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 14, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what insight Clark will bring from the ATL. Maybe swing a Willingham for Escobar deal? If so, then you could have Desmond take a few more flyballs this spring to become an Upton-esque super-utility guy. The MadDog is against bringing in Nady, but he's nuts. Nady could replace Willingham (but be LH) and Escobar would fill our hole up the middle. Our lineup could look like:

CF Morgan
2B Guzman
3B Zimmerman
1B Dunn
SS Escobar
LF Nady
C Flores
RF Dukes/Desmond/Bernadina/Maxwell

This lineup alternates L/R and has speed in the 8th hole provided by the winner of a Spring Training Battle Royal for RF. I know there's been some hate for Guzy, but he provides a proven veteran bat - who gives Morgan plenty of chances to run - for the 2 hole. While his salary is too high, the team can afford it and I don't think we would be able to improve much via free agency. Morgan-Guzman-Zim-Dunn proved to be very sucessful while it lasted.

Posted by: sec307 | October 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr Swing-at-the-first-pitch does not mix with Mr Steal-every-base. You could hit into too many double plays.

Posted by: swang30 | October 14, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

So? How long DOES a 9 inning fall game take to play when there are no commercials? I bet under two hrs.

Posted by: 6thandD | October 14, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

And, yes, there's been a lot of agreeing with NatsNut over the years (we've learned that it's much smoother that way. Just kidding, NatsNut. Love ya!). ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 3:25 PM


Seriously, if everyone would just see things my way, we'd all be a lot happier around here.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Her posts always brighten up the day, natsbiscuit, IMO.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

LOL, NatsNut!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

OMG! REAL off-season nats news on this blog? i can't believe what i just read!

Posted by: surly_w | October 14, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what prompted 6thandD's question, but the answer yesterday was 3:05. But I have no idea if that's the standard. Guess I'll find out tonight.

Posted by: traceeh | October 14, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Tracee, any progress on being able to stay for SS AFL debut on friday?

Posted by: cokedispatch | October 14, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....My 1st 2010 season contribution! And it's a semi-whimsical query, at that. Isn't Debbie Taylor Dana Browns' wife? I'm reasonably certain that I read she's married to someone in the Nats' hierarchy, and I' m pretty sure it's Dana. IF that's the case...well, does that mean we have a shot at upgrading our coverage crew? Nothing against Deb, but I always felt that she sounded like a preschool teacher talking to her students. And not just her tone...or cadence...but the questions she posed seemed to belie any real knowledge of SPORTS or competition-never mind baseball!Maybe we can get Amber from up in Bal'more-and not just because of her...ah....on camera "presence".
On a baseball note, as someone who felt that his sub par performance was more the result of age, combined with lack of playing time, rather than crummyness(O.K.,there was a bit of lack of hustle), way to go Ronnie B.! I admit as a lifelong Cards fan(don't worry,now #2 thanks to the Nats) I have fond memories from '06. And playing with his chum Manny must hearken him back to their Indians days.Too bad my Cards played so uninspiringly...but....hey, Mark Hudson, anyone? Or is he too old? And while I am all for sticking with the "plan"-what team isn't?-I also feel that after the unmitigated horror show the Slow Lerners have foisted upon us that we're OWED a decent team THIS YEAR. The Mariners are gonna be my winter mantra.Contention would be nice, but a winning record is a MUST!
Finally, I'd be interested in hearing from the rest of you who you're rooting for in the series. Not picking-rooting for.Now if I knew that they would meet them and win, I'd pull for the L.A. Torres' over the Yankees-talk about poetic justice, revenge being a dish best served cold, blah blah blah ... Otherwise, I believe I'm pulling for our N.L. Easts' own-the Phillies!(I hear Stan Kasten likes 'em, too). I've gone from really disliking Charlie Manuel, due to his feuding with F. Robbie(remember the game in Philly when a rookie Ryan Howard hit a bomb to send the game into extras, a game I believe we blew a 5 run lead in?-I digress)to taking a real liking to him AND his mostly home grown team. Next I'd hafta say the Angels, in the possible twilight of Vlads' career-plus the Maryland/Adenhart angle. Then the Torres'.
So-how bout the rest of you? Maybe Chico could rig up a poll, but then I'd miss out on hearing what you all have to say....
Yo-ho-ho and, of course,,,,,,
GO NATS!!!....(we're .500 right now!)

Posted by: zendo | October 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Debbi Taylor's husband is Wade Taylor. He is an advance scout for the Nats, not in the amateur scouting hierarchy.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | October 14, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Old news ... maybe ... when the Nats get popular enough (by that I mean over Snyder's dead desert dog Redskins) ... perhaps they might consider having Brian Oliver run their site allowing reporters access to his nice interface ... nah ... the SA's and Post Corporate would never allow it ... ;)

Posted by: periculum | October 14, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...thanks, CL. So we'll still be blessed by Debbies' interviews. But what about your picks?
Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo | October 14, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Mark Scialaba will get promoted?

Posted by: periculum | October 14, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....come on, Peri-I figure you'd be good for a long bit on the post season participants!
Go Nats....

Posted by: zendo | October 14, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

307: I too, would have liked Nady before he blew the rotator cuff on the throwing arm. Now, he's nothing more than a DH-level player; That's a big part of the reason why Ladson isn't crazy about him on the Nationals roster.

So far as Willingham to the Braves for Y.Escobar - not if anyone in the Braves' FO is awake when it's proposed. More like K.Johnson for Willingham, imo.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

zendo: As stated on a previous thread, I'd love seeing a cross-valley World Series between the Dodgers & Angels. Those were my teams growing up (used to listen to Scully on the radio in the 60's, and the Salt Lake Bees were Anaheim's AAA affiliate). Plus, both teams have Expos - Nationals connections with Vlad & Belli.

The $pankees, & the Phillthies, not so much in my mind.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The $pankees, & the Phillthies, not so much in my mind.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I know I've mentioned this to some folks before the end of the regular season but my nightmare was a Yankers-Phils World Series (who do I root *for*?). I still have this fear, which is why I have been trying to ignore baseball (hasn't worked, darn it). I'm still really hoping for the LA series.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | October 14, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The Dodgers have two degrees of Nats connection, with Belliard and Nick Johnson's uncle (Larry Bowa). They also have an Expos connection. Russell Martin and his dad followed the team back in the day while living in Montreal. I posted a link here to a piece about that at one point but didn't turn it up with a quick Google just now.

I have similar feelings to LNP's regarding a Yanks/Phillies series. Don't know that I could watch that one, as my head might just explode. It was bad enough watching the comeback against the Rockies the other day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Found the Martin story. Here's a link for those who might be interested:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Lurker: Should the sum of all fears become reality, you need to decide which team you despise more, for whatever reason & silently pull for the other team. There is only one possible scenario where I could pull for the $pankees - that would be against any team owned by Jeffrey Loria (currently the Marlins). If that were a World Series matchup, I would want the $pankees to sweep the Series 4-0, by ridiculously lopsided scores in each game.

The lowest of Dante's nine levels isn't hideous enough for Loria, imho. Steinbrenner isn't much better, but if they ended in the same place, submurged in whatever dreck covered the surface of that place, Steinbrenner would be standing on Loria's shoulders.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse


WASHINGTON -- Nationals closer Mike MacDougal had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip on Tuesday. The surgery was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo.

Philippon is the same doctor who performed similar surgery on Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez earlier this year.

MacDougal should begin a throwing program in six to eight weeks and should be fully recovered by Spring Training.

MacDougal had problems with his hip since late August, but pitched until the end of the season. In 52 games for the Nationals, MacDougal had 20 saves and a 3.60 ERA.

I don't recall any mention of a hip problem -- guess you don't advertise health problems with your closer. Hope it means he has better control next year.

Posted by: SackMan | October 14, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

SackMan: Since his right leg is the leg he pushes off the mound with, who knows? He was probably going at 80% for the last month or so, in terms of generating velocity from his legs & hips - I just hope he didn't muck up his shoulder or elbow by compensating with arm speed.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I remember talk on the tv broadcasts of MacDougal not being 100 percent down the stretch but don't recall whether they specifically mentioned his hip.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Desert Dogs vs Mesa in a 9:35EDT start tonight; Hope Tracee is enjoying herself. FWIW, the Oct. 14th Media notes have Strasburg starting Saturday the 16th against Scottsdale.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

BinM, that description of your feelings for Loria was just delicious. Well done. (still laughing...)

Posted by: NatsNut | October 14, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I remember talk on the tv broadcasts of MacDougal not being 100 percent down the stretch but don't recall whether they specifically mentioned his hip.

Posted by: natsfan1a1

No, of course we didn't hear it on Nats broadcasts or the inaccurately named Nats Xtra. That's because Sunshine, Dribble, Johnny the H and Knight all spoke in code. Examples:
1. They knew Manny would get sacked, and never broke it.
2. They knew the starting pitching bit, but never never touched it.
3. They knew Kearns was a dog, but kept pushing for a Gold Glove. Thanks, Sunshine. Good for you credibility.
4. They knew catching was a disaster area, but kept plugging hustle and guts.

There are a thousand more examples. One basically needs a handbook of NatsSpeak to English to discern this foursome. Charley and Dave at least are connected to the real world.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | October 14, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Money quotes from both Limbaugh and Sharpton about Limbaugh being cut from Rams'ownership consideration. Apparently this is an indication of the decline of our country as well as a moral victory.

Limbaugh's football ownership is about America's future, people!

Posted by: NatsNut | October 14, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut: Glad you got a laugh out of it, but you wouldn't want to hear what I really thought of him.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, BinM-don't know where ALL of the animus for Loria comes from..but as an added bonus from my end...well. I'm an artist(among other things.).Been told my stuff is really great-but as an unknown, I gotta get in a gallery. Course, galleries won't take me, because even tho they,too think my stuff is great-I'm an unknown! And how did Jeff make his mega's? He's a freaking ART dealer!!! I could go into an apoplectic fit just THINKING about it. That, plus him stealing all of our terrific talent evaluators when he "traded" franchises....firing Girardi...trashing Freddie(the OTHER young, upcoming Hispanic mgr.-the SUCCESSFUL one)...
Now, BinM-as to that valley rivalry-which one are you gonna root for if they do meet up?
Smiles to all, and.....
Go Nats!!

Posted by: zendo | October 14, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"NatsNut: Glad you got a laugh out of it, but you wouldn't want to hear what I really thought of him."

"Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009"

He's just making money appealing to the same audience and proto-archetype that Hitler did. Hitler had a pretty long run ...

Posted by: periculum | October 14, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

oops thought you were talking about Limbaugh.

Posted by: periculum | October 14, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Be nice if instead of AZ they were doing this in Hawaii. Still think the Nats need a AAA franchise in Hawaii ... :)

Posted by: periculum | October 14, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I think you may be onto something.

The lowest round of hell is for those who have betrayed their patrons and betters. I'm not sure Loria quite ranks with Judas and Brutus, but the interesting part of the metaphor is how Dante and Vergil move on to Purgatory--they have to climb down on Satan. They can't avoid any part of hell if they want to get out.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 14, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Whereas the sowers of discord, and schismatics, are only in the ninth gulf, somewhat above that point.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 14, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

but still, not very much above, really. Pretty much at the bottom.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 14, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

zendo: My anger toward Loria stems from how he got to where he is today in the sport - the cash-call leveraged control of the Expos; The subsequent gutting of that franchise's talent to maximize profit & devalue the franchise once he gained control; The "sale" of the Expos to MLB & acquisition of the Marlins from John Henry; His immediate cries for publicly financed stadiums in both cities where he has held ownership; And finally, his continued proclivity for selling off on-field talent to keep expenditures low & profit maximized.

His methodology, while admired by many in a profit-driven society such as ours, disgusts me. He has risen to his current stature by being a leech, feeding off the acquired talent (and co-investors' trust), throughout his career, then selling them off or forcing them out once he has maximized his gain from them, yet rarely exposing even a dime of his personal wealth.

To me, he is the real-life version of Gordon Gekko from the movie "Wall Street", truly living by the motto of "Greed is Good".

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

sec3: What about the RICO suit brought against Loria by the remaining Expos' investors - Wouldn't that qualify as "a betrayal of his patrons & betters"?

I'll get off the soapbox & put it away now - Thanks for letting me vent.

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

zendo: If it truly comes down to Dodgers vs Angels, I've got to go with the Dodgers. They were my first MLB exposure (summer of '62), and the team that made me fall in love with the game (Alston, Wills, Roseboro, Tommy Davis, Hondo, Koufax, Drysdale, Podres, Perranoski).

Posted by: BinM | October 14, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say he didn't qualify, just that he wasn't worth the jaws of Satan himself. Bernie Madoff, for instance, would probably be way ahead of him in that line.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 14, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

as opposed to, say, those who sow the wind.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 14, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

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