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Nats Dismiss Cardenal

The Nationals on Thursday dismissed Jose Cardenal as special advisor to the general manager, a position he'd held with the organization since 2005. Cardenal served as a roving minor league instructor, working specifically with the organization's outfielders. He also spent time with the big league club during spring training.

Cardenal had been hired by general manager Jim Bowden, who resigned in March. Replacement Mike Rizzo is hoping to re-stock the front office this winter, and in September fired farm director Bobby Williams. He is also planning to find a new assistant general manager.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 8, 2009; 4:58 PM ET
 
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Comments

The Bowden Bunch purge continues.

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 8, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where are the lineups for today's game?

Oh yeah, Nats are done. Withdrawl symptoms are setting in.

Posted by: KenNat | October 8, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

You are right KenNat. However we can now move into the wildly speculative trade suggestions period.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The Cheech awakens! Hopefully by this time tomorrow, we will have recovery reports on the October 8th scheduled surgeries of both Guzman & Norris.

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@soundbloke: I'm on-board for some of that, as long as it doesn't involve Uggla. Give me a few minutes, and I'll toss together my pecking order of the current roster versus perceived needs of the big club. Then, let the speculation begin...

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I still dream of a defensive wonder at short-stop.

I wonder if we could get Texas to swap Elvis Andrus for Kearns.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I just heard that we're going to trade Guzman for Aaron Hill, it's just that news organizations aren't allowed to report it until after the WS.

Posted by: swang30 | October 8, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

O.K., here's my "pecking order" of the current 40-man roster.
No Way, No How(3): RZim(3B), Strasburg(SP), JZimm(SP-injured).

Not Today(6): Dunn(1B), Morgan(CF), Desmond(SS), Lannan(SP), Clippard(RP), Burnett(RP).

Let Me Get Back To You(5): Flores(CA-injured), Willingham(LF), Stammen(SP), Detwiler(SP), MacDougal(RP).

If The Price is Right(18): Nieves(CA), Gonzalez(MI), Guzman(SS-injured), Harris(UT), Morse(UT), Bernadina(OF), Maxwell(OF), Dukes(OF), Mock(SP), Martin(SP), Martis(SP), Balester(SP), Atilano(SP), Bergmann(RP), Segovia(RP), Garate(RP), English(RP), Mattheus(RP-injured).

O.K, Is There Anything Else We Can Interest You In(5): Padilla(OF), Olsen(SP), Estrada(SP), Chico(SP), Rivera(RP).

Free Agents / Other(9): Bard(CA), Burke(CA), D.Young(1B), Orr(IF), Kearns(RF), L.Hernandez(SP), Villone(RP), Kensing(RP), T.Young(RP).

Greatest needs for 2010, imo:
1) A true #1SP
2) 1-3 more steady bullpen arms
3) A ML-quality 2B or SS (pick one).
4) An emergency CA.

Discuss.

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I still dream of a defensive wonder at short-stop.
I wonder if we could get Texas to swap Elvis Andrus for Kearns.
Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 6:51 PM
-------------------------------
BBBB-WWWWW-HHHHHHHH-AAAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
More likely Michael Young ($16M/yr through 2013) for two pitchers & a prospect in a salary dump by the Rangers.

Good start to the wildly specualtive portion of the discussion.

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I just heard that we're going to trade Guzman for Aaron Hill, it's just that news organizations aren't allowed to report it until after the WS.
Posted by: swang30 | October 8, 2009 7:18 PM
---------------------------------
swang: That might have worked last year, but the BlueJays fired the village idiot (Riccardi) a week or so ago; Nice try.

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Guzman and who else?

****************
I just heard that we're going to trade Guzman for Aaron Hill, it's just that news organizations aren't allowed to report it until after the WS.

Posted by: swang30 | October 8, 2009 7:18 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Bin, how about that first draft pick? What do you think they could get for that?

(ducking)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3: Nothing - You get nothing, and like it. NEXT!

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

So if the Cardinals do let Dave Duncan go (as rumor has it they might)--
Would he want this job?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and if there's any way to talk Bob Brenly into it, I'd take him here in a heartbeat. I wonder if he's waiting for the Cubs job (he says he isn't, but...)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3: The breakup of LaRussa/Duncan would be devastating - Do we really want the Nationals to be Duncan's "rebound" team?

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I saw BB catch many games at the 'Stick. One of my favorites all-time, just 'cuz. If they get him here, I'll lift the suspension.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

The thought occurs--the breakup of Cox/Mazzone didn't seem to help either one--who do you think we'd have to give them for LaRussa?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

It's really too bad POTUS isn't a Nats fan. What a recruiting asset that would be!
"Hello, Bob. This is ... the President. I'd like ... to talk to you about ... coming to DC."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Damm, that Broxton is a big guy!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and BinM, I can confidently report both surgeries were wildly successful.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

but they haven't happened yet? You rock! you can see into the future!

When are they going to announce the Hill for Guzman trade? (straight up, I tell you.)

Posted by: swang30 | October 8, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Hardy and Suppan for Stamen/Guzman???

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/268432-jj-hardy-make-it-happen-rizzo

With Flores, Norris and Harper next year, we're at least stocked at catcher for a while.

Posted by: imlazar | October 8, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3: Brenly could be worth an interview, imo; He was a smart player who got the most out of his abilities, but has only excelled as a Manager with a well-stocked ML team. There are others out there, I'm sure.

The guys that the Nationals need to avoid are the big-name Managerial signings like Valentine & Showalter, or Baker(CIN), Piniella(CHC), & other "veteran" Managers of that type (pitcher-killers). I'd have put Riggleman in that group, but he's either learned his lesson, or has been mitigated by the FO here.

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and BinM, I can confidently report both surgeries were wildly successful.
Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:30 PM
-----------------------------
Why would I have thought otherwise? As a matter of course, Guzman will now schedule bunion surgery in December, rendering him unplayable until the All-Star break, and untradeable for 2010.

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

and as for uninformed speculations:

I think the needs are many, and no one or two will be enough, but --

1. Defense, specifically
1a. very good middle infielder
1b. competent ML center fielder (Yes, I know, but he will get hurt again, and Willie Harris doesn't cut it. Sorry, Willie.)
1c. backup catcher who can start for extended periods if Flores can't.

2. Ace starter, preferably a veteran presence. Or two. Not counting Livan.

3. Bench. Maybe Guzman can replace Belliard, and maybe Morse can replace Willie Harris, and hopefully they can pick up a serious LH bat for late innings, preferably a fourth outfielder.

I'm not so worried about the bullpen, just because that should be easier to address when your GM isn't a whack job. But I am thinking that they won't see five starters hitting .300 again anytime soon.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman may have been "mitigated" by his record (I guess that counts as "learned his lesson")--or as Reggie Jackson used to say--"Has that guy read the back of his baseball card lately?" Not to mention, I don't imagine a Davey Johnson type would do so well working for Stan Kasten. I could be wrong.
BB's also worked well with young players, and we are hoping they'll be a well-stocked team sometime soon, nicht?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

and since 1a isn't here: Maybe Pete Orr for Andre Ethier.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Sec3

Given what we have available as trade bait a good defensive middle infielder would have to be too young to be truly MLB ready, very old or rotten on offense.

We just don't have the pieces to snag anything else.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

How about Pete Orr for Alcides Escobar?

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"the big-name Managerial signings like Valentine & Showalter, or Baker(CIN), Piniella(CHC), & other "veteran" Managers of that type (pitcher-killers)."

Hmmm. Lots of former catchers become managers, but are catchers less likely to become "pitcher-killers" than other players -- like those you mention, and Frank, and Billy Martin, et c.?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

no, soundbloke, it's Ethier/Orr.
But I could go for an Escobar/Pie right now.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

or maybe we can just get Belli back!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

probably, but you never know. Flores was a Rule 5 pick.

Sec3

Given what we have available as trade bait a good defensive middle infielder would have to be too young to be truly MLB ready, very old or rotten on offense.

We just don't have the pieces to snag anything else.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 8:58 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie Belliard. Unbe-goddamn-lievable.

However, Ethier/Orr cheered me up no end. Puntastic!

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Belliard!!!!

couldn't resist.

Posted by: Section222 | October 8, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

So was Everth Cabrera.

And we passed on him. Spectacular.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"1b. competent ML center fielder (Yes, I know, but he will get hurt again, and Willie Harris doesn't cut it. Sorry, Willie.)"

Morgan, Maxwell, Berndina, Daniel : 3 lefties and a righty. Seems like this will work?


1. Defense, specifically 2. Ace starter, preferably a veteran presence. Or two. Not counting Livan.

These two should be joined ... so I did. That's the key to a winning season right there. If the pitching prospects strive for rapid improvement perhaps even further. Just need MI (Desmond, Espinosa, Guzman, Belliard? :) ) and a catcher to finish.

Posted by: periculum | October 8, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

we might be able to get Holliday after tonight, maybe for a package of Orr and Guzman?

Posted by: imlazar | October 8, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Your defensive wonder at shortstop next year - John MacDonald. Go get'em.

Posted by: slopitchtom1 | October 8, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

He may be available by the end of the week at this rate.

Gotta feel for the man. I've had bad days at work, but it's been a long time since I had that bad a day.
**************
we might be able to get Holliday after tonight, maybe for a package of Orr and Guzman?

Posted by: imlazar | October 8, 2009 9:36 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Keep cleaning out the Bowden deadwood Rizzo!

Posted by: cabraman | October 8, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"We just don't have the pieces to snag anything else."

"Posted by: soundbloke | October 8, 2009 8:58 PM"

Rizzo: Cagey as a rascally fox in a hen house.

Posted by: periculum | October 8, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and after going through the early season posts, I'm reminded I owe Chone Figgins an apology. He's not over the hill.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

And as the eighth inning started Lackey became too valuable for the Nat's.

The post season. Where dreams die.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 9, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

How sweet is this morning for Ronnie Belliard? The Cards dismiss him after he helps them win the World Series because he's not cut up like one of LaRussa's juicers, and, in the bottom of the 9th in game 2 - Belliard ties the game! Belliard ties the game! Torre benched O-dog for Belliard! Take 'em to the Series, Ronnie! With the buggy whip swing, one of the best walk-offs in NatsPark, against the O's, and 100+ career home runs - sweeeeet! It's so good to see Ronnie fired up in the post-season! Good times!

Posted by: flynnie321 | October 9, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, folks, I guess if Barack Obama can win the Nobel Peace Prize after 9 months, Mike Rizzo can win GM of the Year after the Winter Meetings!

Go Mike!

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | October 9, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I was going to suggest Ben Ali for the Nobel Peace Prize, until I remembered the distinct lack of peace I get in my gut every time I eat one of his half smokes all the way. Still, he will be sadly missed in this town, and not only because he was the architect of the only unbridled success story to emerge from Nationals Park to date.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 9, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

greetings, flynnie. it's been too long.

Posted by: surly_w | October 9, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Kasten interview, I posted the following comment on Steinbog's blog, posting it here as well. The Posnanski piece is quite thought-provoking when it comes to thinking about the "future" of our Nats. Here's my post:

Here's the thing. Stan absolutely wants fans to focus on "the big picture." It's just that he believes that he can't say that, because he thinks it will alienate fans who think the Lerners don't care about the awful teams they have been fielding. So, he talks about how bright the future is and he panders to the fanbase about how torn up they are about the losing, with the underlying premise that if you are sophisticated and smart like him, you can see beyond that and you'll be happy about "the big picture." Which, as others have pointed out, is an incredibly condescending approach.

The amazing thing to me is how Stan has been able to get almost a free pass from the media when he makes these assertions that the "future is so good" or talks about his "long list of pitchers." The fact is, it's not true. Aside from Strasburg (who has not pitched in a minor league game yet), the Nats really don't have any standout prospects among all of baseball. His "long list of pitchers" is comprised of guys who for the most part don't have very high upside. And also, it's important to remember that every single team has prospects. Each of the other 29 teams have their own Derek Norris and Drew Storen, if not more of them. The top prospects lists are hardly littered with Nats. Here's something that Joe Posnanski wrote recently about the Royals, but it is equally apt for the Nats:


"Bill James said something a while ago that I thought was about as good a thought about bad baseball teams as anything I’ve heard. He said, “The future is not a plan.” And I think that’s exactly right. Every baseball team has a future. Every one. Every team has “prospects” — Baseball America next year will list off 30 for each team. Every team is loaded down with players in Class A who, if things go well, can emerge as the next great superstar. Every team has pitchers who could, and hitters who might, and catchers who should, and base runners who conceivably can. Every team in baseball.

"And because every team has a future, it’s easy to fool yourself. It’s easy to talk about how things will get better. This is not always a bad thing. This is what gives fans hope every spring training. This is what keeps players inspired. This is what keeps baseball people going forward. And sometimes, rarely, a team even might fool itself into believing that it is better than the apparent talent and play at that higher level, at least for a while.

"But … more often than not, fooling yourself isn’t much of a plan for survival. And thus, The Hochevar Principle: The future comes to all teams. Some teams wait for it. Those teams finish in last place a lot."

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/10/05/the-hochevar-principle/

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | October 9, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

For those interested: Shawn Hill was released by the Padres yesterday. I wonder if anyone else will take a flyer on him or if he is done.

Posted by: TimDz | October 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

CoverageIsLacking, your problem is that you confuse Kasten's statements of confidence in his plan with the plan itself. Kasten is following his plan exactly as he laid it out when he came here. Focus on building the team first through prospects and the draft, next through trades, and only finally by signing free agents when they deem the time is right. That is what he said they would do, and that is exactly what they have done. He readily admits they have not succeeded yet as the W-L record shows, but one would certainly hope that he retains optimism for future success, wouldn't one? I don't find it condescending at all for him to say that fans should judge the performance of his team and its ownership by the results of games rather than on "big picture" pronouncements, because ultimately that is how the judgment will occur. When and if the team wins, just as this town is going ga-ga over Leonsis being such a great owner even though the detractors were all over him before his approach bore fruit, they will do the same with the Lerner/Kasten ownership. As Bob Dole once said, you know it, I know it and the American people know it. Stop calling Kasten condescending for merely speaking the truth.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 9, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

i don't think it's condescending to say the future of the nats will show us a marked improvement. they will be better. they were certainly more fun to watch this year than last year.

they have obvious problems and have already begun addressing them. i'm not a homer by any means. but i can be patient. even the yankees have had terrible stretches. nobody said it would be easy.

go nats.

Posted by: longterm | October 9, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Nunof, you're missing the point. The problem with Kasten's comments is when he puffs about how good the future looks. It is not just optimism. He is either (a) lying to the fans or (b) being lied to by his player development people, which I think is doubtful under the Rizzo regime. The future, by any objective measure, is not so bright. I don't have a problem with the plan in theory. I do have problems when Kasten makes huge exaggerations about how well it is being implemented.

As for the condescension comment, I am hardly the only one who has made that point, if you disagree with the assessment you're free to do so.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | October 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Given that he's running a business, isn't lying to customers something of a "man bites dog" story, CiL?

Honestly, I would be more worried if he said what you want him to. At least this way we know that he knows what he's supposed to do, even if he's not doing it very well.

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I have not yet made up my mind about Lerner/Kasten. I have doubts, but retain hope. The next few years will tell.

I give Kasten credit for the "we'll get the attendance we deserve" comment. It is in sharp contrast to the bad mouthing we used to get from Calvin Griffith and Bob Short.

Still, it's fair to ask - How hard is it to NOT be the worst team in baseball year after year?

Posted by: KenNat | October 9, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree with CiL that the farm system is not as good as we've been lead to believe. As Bill James points out (thanks CiL), every team has "top prospect" in A ball, but where are the guys in AA? All our hopes are pinned on a couple guys like Marrero and Desmond and Norris because that's all we have. As for the so-called pitching depth - we may have quantity but we do not have quality. Again, all our eggs are in the Strasburg basket. Once ZNN went down, we were left with only Detwiler as the only legitamite middle-of-the-rotation pitching prospect. Martis, Martin, and Stammen look like back of the rotation/long relievers to me. Since the Expos came to town, we have lacked a true #1 or #2 pitcher that can potentially shut down any lineup anytime. Hopefully SS will be our #1 and ZNN could be our 2, but there are no guarentees with pitchers and their arms.

The facts are that our scouting department is short-staffed, our Dominican efforts have been a disaster and are back to square-one, and our Asian scouting is completely non-existant despite DC being the most international town in all of America. A big-time Japanese player could create enomous interest (and butts in the seats) and would make Nats Park and must-see destination for a lot of Pacific Rim tourists.

But the FO has done nothing outside the American draft. The farm system fell in the rankings last year to the back of the pack. There are no top prospects knocking down the door other than Desmond - and he has some pretty big question marks.

Combine that with 200 loses and it's not hard to deduct that this organization, and this FO in particular, have accomplished little to nothing to develop a winning Major League team that will have a permanent home in this town. Instead, they have wasted time and money and goodwill.

Mr. Kasten, we have a saying where I come from: "Don't pee on my head and tell me it's raining." That is what Kasten is and has been doing since Day One.

I have hope for this offseason and for the base of players we have, but that does not change the fact that we should be better than we are across the board and the only reason we are not is because of gross incompetance from the FO to this point. I believe Rizzo will change things, but let's not let Kasten pull the wool over our eyes.

Posted by: sec307 | October 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

You said it, 506. But looking back at my initial comment, I said I didn't think the media should be giving him a free pass on his puffing. He can try to lie all he wants, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't get called out on it.

Anyway guys, it's nice to be back, but I am now taking off for the holiday weekend, see ya! (nunof, this means you get the last word and I won't be able to respond to your next inflammatory post).

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | October 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Why do posters taunt each other?

Posted by: longterm | October 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

longterm, cuz it's fun. what do you know anyway?

=)

Posted by: NatsNut | October 9, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I didn't read from the beginning, CiL, just commented on the most recent one. I feel like it's a story somebody would want to right, but I guess it's just not. We're all too busy figuring out reasons why our head of state shouldn't have been awarded one of the world's highest honors. I only mention this, because no one else understands the analogy I've been using to explain my happiness... it's like getting to the World Series as a wild card. You know you shouldn't be there, but, hey, we'll take it!

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

There's a simple three word reason why Obama won the Peace Prize. He's not Bush.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 9, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"How sweet is this morning for Ronnie Belliard? The Cards dismiss him after he helps them win the World Series because he's not cut up like one of LaRussa's juicers, and, in the bottom of the 9th in game 2 - Belliard ties the game! Belliard ties the game!"

You must realize that this is all our fault? With the tremendous number of denigrating posts aimed at Ronnie Belliard intending to "rub Testudo's nose" we have turned our favorite Nats gargoyle into a super powered superstar! Pushing the guy Ladson has been promoting to play second base for the Nats right out of the starting lineup! Its Natsfan mojo is what it is.

Posted by: periculum | October 9, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

So, let's talk TLR. The man can never be better than an average manager, in my opinion, because his moments of pure genius are balanced out by his moments of idiocy.

Like not pulling Franklin last night.

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The other guy got pummelled in the pile after the game winning hit last night, but it was Belliard who was truly clutch. If he had made an out the game would have been over, but he delivered, just like he did quite a few times as a Nat. That's a guy you like having on your team.

By the way, there's an interesting discussion on FJB about which of the Nats' arbitration-eligible players should be non-tendered. The candidates are:
Jason Bergmann, Sean Burnett, Logan Kensing, Wil Nieves, Mike MacDougal, Scott Olsen, Pete Orr, and Josh Willingham.

Worth checking out, and weighing in.

Posted by: Section222 | October 9, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Logan Kensing is the only one I would even consider. We need something, even if we end up ditching them later.

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Remember, we can always try to resign someone who was non-tendered. Allowing them to go to arbitration would mean they end up making more than last year. Seems to me only Willingham deserves that. Do we really want to pay Olson around $3 million next year? I don't think so.

Posted by: Section222 | October 9, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

MadDog is reporting more firings, including the AA manager. Spring cleaning is coming early this year. Go get 'em Rizzo!

Posted by: sec307 | October 9, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd do Willingham and Burnett for sure, probably MacDougal, maybe Bergmann, but cut the rest loose and try to resign Kensing (to a minor league deal) and Olsen. I hate to give up on Olsen so quickly considering his age, but I don't think he's worth $3 mil. Although we paid $2.6 to Cabrera and Olsen is a much better bet than he is/was.

Posted by: sec307 | October 9, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

McDougal is just not a good enough closer to get the kind of money he would get in arbitration. If we want to keep to him, we should non-tender and try to resign him. It's not like a contender if going to jump at a guy who walked more batters than he struck out this year.

Posted by: Section222 | October 9, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Kensing throws 96, which is why I would bring him back after a pay cut. But I'm not going to shed any tears over GasCan 2.0.

My roster locks are:

Zimmerman
Dunn
Willingham
Guzman (I can't believe Toronto would take him... anybody else heard the Hill for Guzzie rumors?)
Morgan
Flores (if healthy)
Harris
Desmond (I think he earned a roster spot if not a starting spot - could back-up the MI if we bring in a better shortstop)

Lannan
Livan
Detwiler

Clippard
Burnett
MacDougal (may not be the closer, but I think he makes the team for sure)

That's it, that's the list. Dukes, Bernadina and Maxwell will have to fight over maybe 2 spots. Orr would be a solid bench player, but I'm not so sure we can't upgrade over him. I've liked Morse as a backup corner IF/OF but he'd be a 25th guy type who probably has options left. I think we'll have a new backup C - Schneider anyone? - and two new starting pitchers not named Livan. The bullpen is a crap shoot. I'd like for them to bring in a closer for Storen to setup. I hope he makes the team out spring training, but you never know. It seems all great closers setup at least a year to prepare - see Riveria and KRod as two prime examples (also our own Rob Dibble!).

Posted by: sec307 | October 9, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else see the statement on Zimmerman's blog to the effect that the Nats should extend Dunn's contract and "I know he'd love to finish his career in DC"?

I'm sure Dunn's agent doesn't like to see those sorts of statements, but I think there's enough smoke around the idea of a Dunn extension to suggest that the front office is working on something. I don't think the team could come up with any better options at first through 2012, at least. (I'm not high on Marrero, and can't imagine he's going to be as good as Dunn 3 years from now.) I think this is going to happen early in the off-season at a reasonable price for the Nats.

Posted by: jcj5y | October 9, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I've become a big fan of Dunn since he left left field. I'm definitely on board the extension wagon.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 9, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

jcj: If the team were to get Dunn to agree to an extension, then Marrero can split time between 1B & LF in SYR next year, or be part of a trade for a "player of need". Not quite sure I'd want to give up on him yet; he's only 21, and lost most of 2008 to a broken leg.

Posted by: BinM | October 9, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on Marrero. I'm not saying give up, I'm just saying Dunn at age 33 is almost surely more productive than Marrero at 24.

Posted by: jcj5y | October 9, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

507:
I tend to agree with you (in principle) on the 2010 outfield - LF)Willingham, CF)Morgan, with RF & two bench spots between Bernadina, Dukes, Harris, Maxwell & Morse. Harris & Morse can also play IF positions, so they get additional looks there as well.
Around the infield, I agree that Dunn & RZim are locks at the corners. I'll believe Guzman at 2B only after I see it. Desmond (despite his offensive production in Sept) is still not-quite-ready for primetime defensively; He's another Spring Training test case, IMHO. Orr & AGonz are both decent players in the middle, but not starting nine quality on an everyday basis. Harris & Morse are again utility / defensive replacement options.
Behind the plate, Flores is a question mark, having finished the last two seasons on the DL. The Bard/Nieves replacement platoon was a little less than what was hoped for, but didn't kill the team.

The pitching, well that's another entry of its' own.

In summary...
- The OF is fine, unless something falls in Rizzo's lap in the off-season.
- A MI with proven defensive skills and decent gap-power would be welcomed here. The corners (3B & 1B) are covered.
- Either a couple of defense-first catchers(with some pop) on minor-league contracts, or a solid #1 (with an arm) that can handle a relatively young pitching staff.

Posted by: BinM | October 9, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on Marrero. I'm not saying give up, I'm just saying Dunn at age 33 is almost surely more productive than Marrero at 24.
Posted by: jcj5y | October 9, 2009 6:03 PM
------------------------------
We're probably getting well ahead of ourselves here. The question should be, will Dunn be a better player overall than Marrero in 2011?

Posted by: BinM | October 9, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Marrero is any defensive whiz, so my guess I'd that Dunn is better all-around in '11, '12 and '13.

Posted by: jcj5y | October 9, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I'm confused---Isn't this NJ blog post under the heading: Jose Cardenal?

I didn't closely count the exact number of response comments, but at 8:15pm Friday, there are seemingly 80+- reader response comments posted....and exactly ALL about the wished-for 2010 Nats team.
With not even ONE comment about Mr. Jose in the bunch!

Chico:
You may have missed the target on this one.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | October 9, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@1stBase Coach: Yeah, but that was the last point he swiped from Ladson on mlb.com. The minor-league manager & coaches getting canned aren't directly tied to the Nationals', so why should we get a new post?

Posted by: BinM | October 9, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Still no news on the Guzman & Norris surgeries (scheduled for Thursday, 10/08/09). Hello?

Posted by: BinM | October 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

@BinM
They're Wildly Successful. Why are you even asking the question?

Posted by: swang30 | October 9, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Ladson is reporting that:
AA Harrisburg Coach John Stearns
A Hagerstown/AAA Syracuse Pitching Coach Rich Gale
Gulf Coast Basrunning/Outfield Coach Cesar Cedano
have been let go

Posted by: swang30 | October 9, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

BinM

I think they are listed as day-to-day.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 9, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

You know, I watched the poor Twins leave all those guys on base and I thought, "Gee, we could do that."

Posted by: Section109 | October 9, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I would love to have Dunn extended. And Zimm said Dunn said what he likes about DC is the museums. The guy is interesting.

Posted by: Section109 | October 9, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

If Dunn would agree to an extension, hellyes. I just can't think of a reason why he should.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 9, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm still just sitting here watching Torii Hunter and thinking "Damn!"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 9, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope everyone else noticed that poor umpiring in tonights Twins-Yankees games - we might need to check up on JiM :). Even with a leftfield umpire, they blew a call by calling a ball that was fair by several inches a foul ball, and the Spank-mes went on to win. Absolutely horrible. I have not been on the replay bandwagon up to this point, but I think MLB needs to consider it for calls like this, especially in the playoffs. It definitely cost the Twins a run, and possibly the game.

Posted by: thepostischeap | October 10, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

You couldn't pick three worse potential managers than Valentine, Showalter and Baker. Valentine and Showalter are gigantic egos that do nothing but alienate both players and the front office. Neither has had much measurable success for all of their years managing. Both are terrible micro-managers (read as believing managers actually effect the outcome of ball games).

As bad as they are Baker is the worst possible choice of the three. He is a veteran presence manager. He will not play anyone who doesn't get AARP literature. We will see 8 Rich Aurileas before one Ian Desmond if Baker were the manager. Baker is not the manager of a young team.

Still, that reliance on veteranocity is not Baker's worst trait. He's an arm killer. He absolutely killed Prior and Wood. Look at their pitch counts the year before each got hurt. With Zimmerman, Stammen, Strasburg, and Lannan, you don't want Baker managing.

The first need on this team is to get Guzman moved. I'm not big on the importance of defense but Guzman's defense is awful. Matched only by his bad attitude. Deal him first and then play Desmond.

After that, fill in as needed, do not make wholesale changes. This team isn't competing next year and unless they are going to what the Yankees did last year in free agency, they should spend much on second tier free agents. Suffer through this season with what they have.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | October 10, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn ended the season in a protracted slump i have mentioned the availability of one Adrian Gonzalez(Padres) who is a first baseman by trade hit forty homers this past season and he hit for a higher average and doesn't strike out as much as Dunn that being said i like Dunn but i want to see this team win and A.Gonzalez gives the Nationals the best chance to be competitive in their division,if Rizzo could pull it off then i for one would be in favor of that trade.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 10, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag

What exactly do you see us giving up for Adrian Gonzalez. We don't have the trade pieces to compete for him. Not only that but we would have to give away everything of value we will need to get a middle infielder. There is no way a team like the Nat's will get rid of all their good trade pieces to upgrade a position that already has a 38HR hitting piece sitting there.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

So the funny part will be when they sign Orlando Hudson for big money to play <100 games at second, and the Dodgers keep Belliard, and keep winning.

Yeah. I'm laughing already. Hmmph.

Might as well sign Tim Hudson while they're at it. Hey, you don't suppose they could get Danny Hudson from the White Sox, too, do you?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 10, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Sec3: Look, if you want to talk about reforming the Hudson Brothers, you're posting on the wrong blog - Try PostRock.

Seriously, if Belliard can take Orlando Hudson's starting 2B job with the Dodgers, why would Rizzo (or the Nationals) consider him as a type-A FA? I'm putting him in the same bin as Uggla (Hazardous Materials).

Posted by: BinM | October 10, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

For your offseason perusal, a Ryan Zimmerman highlights video:

http://tinyurl.com/yzzz9ks

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 10, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

And, especially for sec3, a Tony Plush interview audio clip (scroll down to October 8):

http://www.espn980.com/audiovault/

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 10, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I resemble that remark! :-)

---

and since 1a isn't here: Maybe Pete Orr for Andre Ethier.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 8:56 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 10, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

mmmm...ice cream...

---

no, soundbloke, it's Ethier/Orr.
But I could go for an Escobar/Pie right now.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 8, 2009 9:10 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 10, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Agreed re. Belli. I'd also give props to Casey Blake for coming back and walking after taking exception to that check swing call.

p.s. "Hi" to Flynnie.

---

The other guy got pummelled in the pile after the game winning hit last night, but it was Belliard who was truly clutch. If he had made an out the game would have been over, but he delivered, just like he did quite a few times as a Nat. That's a guy you like having on your team.

Posted by: Section222 | October 9, 2009 1:45 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 10, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Just saw Strasburg's stats for his second (and I think final) Florida start:

3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K

That's all the info I have.

Posted by: jcj5y | October 10, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Just saw Strasburg's stats for his second (and I think final) Florida start:

3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K

That's all the info I have.
********************************

Chico's got all the 411 in a...NEW POST!

Posted by: thepostischeap | October 10, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

thank you 1a
(although I am reminded why I don't listen to sports radio)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 11, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

You're welcome, sec3. I don't listen to it either, but a baseball buddy alerted me to the the TP clip.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 11, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

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