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Afternoon reading

Thomas Boswell in chatting online right now about the Nationals and other sports topics.

Here's some of what he had to say about Stephen Strasburg's injury:

The Nats dodged half of a bullet with the diagnosis that Stephen Strasburg "only" has a subluxation of the patella. But only half. This is a bad injury and, imo, until he is throwing at his pre-injury level it is perfectly reasonable to wonder if he has an injury that can simply be "fixed" by proper rehad exercises between now and spring training. I'd say he probably will come all the way back, but I'd add that I'll "believe it when I see it."

In other Nats news, Ryan Zimmerman is among 10 "Dream Team for Public Service" winners from 53 nominees selected for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, which recognizes the top athletes who have given back to their community. The winners will be officially recognized in New York City at the third annual Sports Business and Philanthropy Luncheon on Dec. 8.

The other winners are: Curtis Granderson of the Detroit Tigers, Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders, Stuart Holden of the Houston Dynamo, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Tyrus Thomas of the Chicago Bulls, Justin Tuck of the New York Giants, Olympic sprinter Lauryn Williams and Grand Slam tennis champion Venus Williams.

Also, a few days ago MLB.com offered an update on how the Nats' Nyjer Morgan is recovering from his hand injury.

Finally, at 2 pm, the National League MVP will be announced. Dave Sheinin is off and Chico Harlan is still on vacation, but we'll have the news up on the Web site as soon as possible.

By Alexa Steele  |  November 24, 2009; 1:58 PM ET
 
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Next: An arbitration refresher

Comments

Albert Pujols of the Cardinals is the unanimous choice for NL MVP. The only surprise would be if anyone is surprised.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 24, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Also, a few days ago MLB.com offered an update on how the Nats' Nyjer Morgan is recovering from his hand injury.

Finally, at 2 pm, the National League MVP will be announced. Dave Sheinin is off and Chico Harlan is still on vacation, but we'll have the news up on the Web site as soon as possible."

Translation: If you want to hear news when it happens, go to MLB.com. Otherwise, you can read it here in several days. Maybe.

So why are we here, again?

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What 309 meant to say was "Thank you, Alexa. May we have another."

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

No I didn't mean to say that. Perhaps what I meant to say is that this post would be better titled "Several Afternoons Worth of Reading." What's the over/under on next post here? Monday?

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Chico Harlan is still on vacation..."

Story of his life. Or, at least the past 2 years.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 24, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Zimmy gets 2 10th place votes, for 2 points and 27th place.

Alas, fellow 'Hoo Mark Reynolds finishes 21st with 6 points.

Posted by: VladiHondo | November 24, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but Abe Pollin has passed away at age 86.

Posted by: HALjr | November 24, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Condolences to the Pollin family. It was Abe's vision that started the renaissance of the eastern section of downtown Washington. Before the Phone Booth was built, there was no reason to be in that part of town after working hours unless you enjoyed the Chinese restaurants. Hail and farewell to Washington's eternal sportsman.

BTW - The OP is having a NatsChat tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 24, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Might I add my condolences to the extended family of the Pollin's, including the Wizards & Capitals players & staff, both past & present, who's careers were touched by Mr. Pollin's stewardship of those franchises.

There is a great poll / discussion topic here, but now is neither the time or place for it.

Posted by: BinM | November 24, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of wankers....(last couple of posters excepted)

Posted by: fischy | November 24, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Pretty trivial in the scheme of things, but Zim certainly paid the price in the MVP voting for being on the worst team. Look at some of those names ahead of his two 10th place votes (which probably came from Wash. based writers -- not the WP, of course)

Posted by: nats24 | November 24, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Nope, nats24, Ben Goessling had a vote and did not vote for Zimm. He has a long post over at his blog, which they are actively updating, explaining his vote.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 24, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

well what I meant to say was "thank you".

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

thanks, CiL -- it's good to know he's getting a little bit of respect elsewhere, aside from the glove work

Posted by: nats24 | November 24, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

So sorry to hear about Abe Pollin. A man who has done a lot for DC and a great philanthropist.

Talking about philanthropists on a different level, congrats to Ryan Z. on his charitable work and recognition.

A little suprised that Zim didn't get more MVP votes.

Posted by: dmacman88 | November 24, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

A little suprised that Zim didn't get more MVP votes.

Posted by: dmacman88 | November 24, 2009 7:46 PM
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

how valuable can a guy be on a team that's won 118 games total the past two years?

Posted by: surly_w | November 24, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

@CiL: Just curious, but with the WaPo writers not voting on player awards, are the two voting "beat" writers Goessling & Zimmerman (both w/the Times)?

Posted by: BinM | November 24, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I don't know for certain, but I highly doubt it. There has actually been a decent amount of recent discussion--largely in connection with the NL Cy Young vote--on how the increasing prevalence of papers forbidding their writers from voting has impacted the results, because more national, stats-oriented guys are getting votes instead. So I don't think that one paper would get 2 votes.

Specifically, several non-local writers got votes this year, including Keith Law and 2 writers for Baseball Prospectus. Law has been heavily criticized for his NL Cy Young vote. The NY Times ran a big front-page article on the issue this past Sunday--since for them, baseball is a year-round beat.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 24, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Washington is a football / Redskins town, right?

Boswell's chat today - middle of the football season, baseball over...

Pro Football / Skins Questions & comments - 5
Baseball / Nats Questions & comments - 11

'Nuff said.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 24, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/nationals/2009-11-19-nationals-organizational-report_N.htm


in case anyone missed this.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-osshort1124,0,6885962.story

or this ...

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

@CIL: Thanks - I'd forgotten that some of the national press (USA Today/ESPN/SI) had been added to cover for local papers restricting their writers' voting priviledges.

Posted by: BinM | November 24, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@CIL: I do wish that there was full exposure on who was casting votes from the BBWAA. I don't necessarily care how they vote as individuals, but I'd be interested in who has votes and where their credentials are from.

Posted by: BinM | November 24, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The SS injury really pisses me off yeah, yeah, i know pitcher's shag flies but not your million dollar prospect and potential staff ace who knows how long and what effect this might have on this kid's career just plain stupid and goofy.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

@dargrgmag,

Actually he was not shagging flies he ws playing long toss. Long toss is a very normal activity for pitchers between starts to keep their arms loose. Obviously you did not read the story from Mike Rizzo. You can't completely baby SS, he has to play. Otherwise you might as well put him in a glass case at the Smithsonian.

Posted by: natsguy | November 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

i think the questions in the boswell chat say more about boswell than they do about dc sports fans

Posted by: artvandelay2 | November 25, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that, and gloated a bit, too.

Of course, we don't know what questions were submitted, only the ones he chose to post. And they don't necessarily represent 11 different question-askers--theoretically, they could all be the same person. And Boswell *is* known mainly as a baseball guy. And the other major sports in town are all in season, with their own regular chats, which probably draws off some of the clientele.

But we'll take it.

"To Manufactured Victories!!"

*************
Boswell's chat today - middle of the football season, baseball over ...
Pro Football / Skins Questions & comments - 5
Baseball / Nats Questions & comments - 11
'Nuff said.
Posted by: Catcher50 | November 24, 2009 8:45 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

So, my Red-Headed (More Strawberry Blonde These Days, Really) Cubs Fan Wife wondered if Zimmerman has incentive clauses for things like this--more about the MVP votes than the filant ... philenthrope ... good-deed-doing award.
Certainly he must have something in there for winning the MVP. Maybe for first-place votes. What would 2 10th place votes be worth? A nice bottle of Johnny Walker Blue?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 25, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Lukewarm Stove News, from MLB Trade Rumors: Omar Vizquel to CHW.

1:22pm: The signing is official, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
MONDAY, 12:13pm: Levine says Vizquel will sign a one-year, $1.375MM deal with the White Sox today.
*****************************

Vizquel is not quite twice as old as Danny Espinoza. FWIW.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

ChiSox also signed Andruw Jones (for $500k, whada bagain). Evidently they are trying to win the 1999 World Series.

Posted by: BobLHead | November 25, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, this is something like a fallback position for the Chisox. If they don't win the AL Central, we can see them in the DC suburbs, playing for the Ponce de Leon championship.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | November 25, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

A rare November Post of the Day.

-----

ChiSox also signed Andruw Jones (for $500k, whada bagain). Evidently they are trying to win the 1999 World Series.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 25, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I second the POD motion. And as for Ozzie's geezers in Ponce, bring it on--we ain't afraid of nobody!
We don't *beat* nobody, either, but that's beside the point.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 25, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

and that's another thing--why doesn't the Post cover Ponce baseball? There's probably more people playing rec baseball in metro DC than read the Nationals coverage here--they could up their circulation just by adding a column.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 25, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

As for Boz's comment about the subluxation: The only other time I've heard the term used was for a subluxation of a pitching shoulder for a Red Sox reliever at the end of 2006. They gave him exercises and thought about making him a starter. He did the exercises, but wanted to continue as a reliever. They figured out a shoulder strength monitoring program for the guy. I kind of lost track of him, but I hear he dances a bit.

I'm guessing the big concern with SS is whether this will affect his motion and how he uses his leg. The idea that exercises can't take care of this thing is what I question.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 25, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

apparently, he's being put on an exercise program for this partial dislocation, and according to Boz at least, that is the standard treatment nowadays. are you saying you think exercise won't work, or that it will?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 25, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/joe_posnanski/11/25/pujols.hall/index.html?cnn=yes

someone seems to think zim is one of 10 major leaguers right now headed for cooperstown...indeed

Posted by: formerlylove1 | November 26, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Sec3 - I read Boz's comment as expressing a lot of skepticism about the ability of rehab to fix the injury. He calls it "a bad injury," and wonders if it can be fixed by rehab." I think I'm more optimistic. This does not seem like an unusual treatment.

Here is a quick sports med website description:
http://med.umich.edu/1libr/sma/sma_subluxin_sma.htm

Recall that for all the change his body has gone through over the past few years from "Slothburg" to FotF 2.0, maybe he left a little leg strengthening behind or out of balance. I'm just saying if Papelbon can go through a subluxation of his shoulder and save over 100 games the next 3 years, I think it is kind of chicken little to be calling this a "bad injury" and expressing skepticism about standard treatment.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 26, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Also, in fairness to Boz, his full answer is a heck of a lot more detailed than the squib quoted above. My reaction was to the squib. Certainly, he knows a heck of a lot more than I do about [knees][baseball][fill in the blank]

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 26, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, NJ!

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 26, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, a little late but my sincere best to everyone who post on this journal.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 26, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/is-ryan-zimmerman-probably-better-defensively-than-evan-longoria

Here's a nice little article from Fangraphs pondering who the better defensive 3B is. They are afraid to make the call, but the answer is Zimmerman.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 26, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

And here is the Joe Posnanski blog post to which fangraphs is reacting.
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/11/24/hall-of-fame-futures/

Posnanski suggest the original Face of the Franchise is one of the 10 best Hall of Fame candidates among players under 30 with over 500 games played (or 50 wins or 100 saves).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 26, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

You don't want to jink anybody, but Zim is ahead of Santo (who should be in the HOF) and Schmidt, who is, and this is on hitting alone. Somebody said a while back that it was ridiculous to compare Zim with Brooks on fielding.

I saw Brooks and I've seen Zim. Not much difference to me (unless we're talking WS pressure) I'd like to know what others here think.

Posted by: nats24 | November 27, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I've seen them both, too, and I've seen both make plays no other third baseman makes. The one diving horizontal, straight away from home, into almost medium left field, to get a popup, is my defining moment for Zimm's D.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 27, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I've never seen any 3B go to his left better than Zimm (including Brooks or Aurelio Rodriguez for that matter). Maybe I'm biased by his play in 1970 WS, but I'd put Brooks at the top for making the play going over the bag. But I'll admit that I'm a lot more familiar with ALers than NLers, especially from pre-ESPN era. Maybe arguments can be made for Clete Boyer and Graig Nettles too, but I'll let any Yankees fans who are so inclined make them.

How about charging the slow-hit ball? Old timers here will remember that '60s Senator Ken McMullen could make that play about as well as anyone, but this is surely one of Zimm's strengths too.

Of course, no one has mentioned yet Zimm's weakness--the unforced throwing errors. We can hope that he's got that problem solved (as it seemed in the second half).

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | November 27, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Brooks Robinson vs. Zimmerman: Frank Robinson saw them both, too. Plus, he may know more about baseball than everybody in this discussion combined. I remember hearing Frank tell an interviewer in 2006 that Zimm made plays "even Brooksie couldn't have made." I was impressed by that statement from that source then, which is why it sticks in my memory, and nothing I've seen since would make me disagree.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 27, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

A slightly different Fielding topic - SS.

Jaybee drew a bit of heat for his lamenting not getting in on Hardy. One of the replies was that it was early, and short term defensive shortstop solutions were plenty and should be around.

Well, this week 4 signed - Omar Vizquel, John McDonald, Juan Castro (unofficial, I think, but announced on MLB.com's phillies site), and, yesterday, Alex Gonzalez. That more or less leaves Adam Everett on the cheap end and Marco Scutaro on the more expensive end. Alex Cora has not been an everyday SS for a while, but plays both MI positions.

Scutaro is in a strange position. His team has signed 2 SS and probably would prefer that he declines arbitration, signs with another team, and they get a sandwich pick as well as a 1st or 2d from the signing team. However, to decline arbitration, Scutaro must be offered it. If he signs before the deadline to offer arbitration (I think in mid-Decmeber), then there is no risk to the Blue Jays (they get the compensation). Teams wanting to avoid giving up a draft choice might wait until after the arbitration deadline.

If no one signs him before the arb deadline, then the Jays would have to run the risk of offering arb and having him accept it. That would leave them with two starters and a backup, barring a trade.

Part of their calculation would have to be a guesstimate of his arb award. He's coming off a $2.2m contract, so usually his arb award might be based off of that - figure $4m - $6m for one year? But he has far outperformed his contract: using Fangraphs WAR, he is coming off of a $12m and a $20m season. So could he get a big arb award of $9m or so and getting expensive.

Scutaro is a bit old (34 next year), so he may revert next year. I don't think he is too good of a fit for the Nats if heis looking for more than 2 years, with Desmond and Espinosa (Desminosa) ready over the next year or two. I could see 2 years, $10m, if he is not offered arbitration, and playing him and Guz until Guz is traded, then bringing in Desmond.

My preference would still be Everett, who would be cheaper and has less downside risk (he already can't hit, so there's no down side if he follows his track record).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

jca: I was one of those who called JayBeee out for his screeds on Hardy, and used the very logic you mention. Although I still like Everett as a pure defensive SS, most everything I've seen on other sites has the Nationals looking elsewhere.

Scutaro had a very good Contract year, but I'd think he's looking for a three-year deal - given his age & likelihood of regression, he's probably not a good fit.

Given the Nationals 40-man lineup at the moment (very pitcher-heavy), it's more likely that Rizzo & Co. are thinking trade-first at SS & Catcher. We'll see what happens from now until after the Winter Meetings.

Posted by: BinM | November 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@CapPeterson: Your comments on 3B brought back some memories. I think the common thread linking the best of the era was the willingness to work at improving their defense. IIRC, Schmidt was less-than-good defensively his first 2-3 years with the Phillies, and Nettles was initially an OF prospect with MIN. Even Brooks Robinson (the best 3B Iv'e ever seen) took IF practice nearly every day.

RZimm has a chance to be a great 3B, he just needs to keep working at his craft.

Posted by: BinM | November 27, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I actually thought that JJ Hardy would have been excellent. My issue was that it was unfair to criticize Rizzo for not getting it done when we have no idea if he tried and simply didn't have the pieces to move.

I'm sure Rizzo wanted Hardy but what did the Brewers want from us? It is easy when playing on these blogs to forget there is always another side to every trade.

I've harped on this game before but try this: Go to a Brewers blog, come up with a username and post something to the effect of "I hear the Brewers passed on Justin Maxwell and JD Martin(or whoever) from the Nationals. Those guys are great. I cant believe we passed on them." See what responses you get.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 27, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think the offer should have been Ross D and Maxwell/Roger B + Jack McGreary if needed for JJ Hardy....

Bottom line is is nothing productive is happening with Nats. Front office is still disorganized and they are not responding to the marketplace yet. They have not signed any minor league free agents like many other teams have and they cost themselves Wilkie because they were not ready to dump Saul R. before the Arb deadline......I think new Front office is going to improve but right now they are doing nothing to help the team and they are just all very proud of themselves for nothing. Rizzo has said this was the most important part of the winter.....does not make me very happy to hear....signing players to help the club win...now that is important...scouts do not hit or pitch.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 27, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Agreed.

It's always a problem for big slugging 3Bs to stay on the bag their whole career, as I guess it's natural for them to put on weight as they mature & therefore difficult to maintain the agility necessary to play 3B. (See e.g. Jim Thome.)The desire to put in the hard work is key, and it looks like Zimm's got that.

JayBeee also noted in an earlier post that, besides Saul R., Marco Estrada is another pitcher whose presence on the 40-man list is hard to explain. Is this guy really still a prospect, or, as JB suggests, is the FO just not paying attention?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | November 27, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Jaybee

But there is my point. How do you know Rizzo didn't offer that?

Either way. We don't know if they are pursuing guys behind the scenes but, I would love to see a little more hot stove action. Maybe at the winter meetings...

Posted by: soundbloke | November 27, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Unless you are part of the FO how would you know what is going on. Thats the way it should be. If you tell everybody you are telegraphing your moves and raising the price.

Jaybee, if you are so all knowing I can't understand why Mike Rizzo doesn't come to you for all the answers. Oh right, he didn't HIRE YOU. Let him do his job for awhile and see what happens. We don't know what he might be pursuing.

Posted by: natsguy | November 27, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The last place I would be looking for talent advice is this site. Entertainment maybe. A good laugh definitely.

Posted by: natsguy | November 27, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Is signing minor league free agents part of Rizzo's job? Where are we on that task?

Posted by: JayBeee | November 27, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

several Catchers and Infielders signed this week mostly MiLB FA's none by the Nats. We need Catching depth bad....who would Nats not be playing in signing these types...no cost no risk....just effort really.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 27, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Jaybee,

How do you know they haven't signed anybody? The answer is you don't.

Most of those guys are just cannon fodder anyway. A little patience on your part would be nice. Wait till after this holiday week is over and we get to the winter meetings. If there is something more I'm sure Mr. Rizzo will call you personally.

Posted by: natsguy | November 27, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"they cost themselves Wilkie because they were not ready to dump Saul R. before the Arb deadline.."

They have not lost Wilkie just because they didn't put him on the 40-man roster. Some other team would have to claim him in the Rule 5 draft, which may well not happen. And if it doesn't, they still have Wilkie. Why all this angst over (a) a player that hasn't even been lost, and (b) a player you probably had never heard of until the WaPo mentioned him a week or so ago? Since when did Josh Wilkie become the future of this franchise?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 27, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Why risk losing someone who has proved something at every level of Minor Leagues and preformed OK at the AFL just because you are too slow to cut Saul R a week or two early. No they have not lost him yet but this team has such little talent why risk loosing what we have because they are slow to move on Arb types.....Clearly they are not going to offer Saul Arbitration.

I know every other MLB team has listed their transactions on MLB.com Hot Stove Page and the ONLY move made by Nats is listed there back in early Nov.

I think you all just don't like facts that show our "new Front Office" is not active. Look at Rizzo quotes and Lerner history.....nothing happening means nothing improved.....100 loses here we come again.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 27, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Any player they sign today can't take the field until spring training. We have not even reached the date when non-tenders are issued and FAs can sign with teams other than the ones they played for in 2009. It's not when a player is signed that matters, it's the production you get from the players you do sign that matters. Cool your jets on all this talk of inaction by the FO. There's a long time to go yet before pitchers and catchers report. Are we going to have to read this crap from you all winter, JayBeee?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 27, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

TheEclipseetc.; I have seen Josh Wilkie pitch -- earlier this month in Arizona -- and I know that every pitcher has a bad outing now and again and he seems (based on Blogmom Tracee's reporting) to be a nice guy who's already made his home in D.C. but let me just say that I really, really hope Josh Wilkie isn't the future of this franchise.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 27, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I am less concerned about whether there is some defect in the FO proven by the failure to land Hardy than I am with the BinM alternative of signing a good glove to fill in until a minor leaguer is ready becoming much more difficult due to the 4 off the board (McDonald/Vizquel / Castro / Gonzalez). True we cannot know what was offered for him (perhaps Maxwell or Bernardina and Martin or Bally gets it done), but I don't think the sit idly by strategy is paying off. It is the FO that has said they want to bring in a good defensive SS, so it is not off base to point out on what they have missed.

As for a catcher, Fangraphs has an article suggesting Kelly Shoppach might not be offered arbitration with Marson ready and Santana on the way. Shoppach has pop, and some indications that last year was flukey bad in terms of average (BABIP 50 points less than career and the type of contact he was making). He's just 30 and could be a full timer if Flores is not healthy or a back up if JF is healed.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 27, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

We shall see what Rizzo does in the next 3 weeks. I KNOW I do not like the wait till Feb and March and pick up whatever is left and call it building a team. That is what has killed this team year after year. Rizzo needs a plan to put a TEAM on the field NOT just whoever was cheap in March. Been there done that!

Posted by: JayBeee | November 27, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

If a team picks Wilkie they will have to keep him on the roster for the whole season. This is unlikely. Rivera is not a great player but he has pitched a lot more major league innings than Wilkie.

No one is picking up Wilkie because he is not major league ready. Not even close.

And it really is a good point. When did he get anointed 'next star-O-DC'? Come on. I know we are all bored antsy and impatient but this is getting a little out of hand.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 27, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

At this point in time, I'm personally hoping for defense first at both SS & CA, to support the still young pitching staff.

If Everett proves to be the best available SS after non-tenders are announced, offer him $1.5M w/a club option; Otherwise, look for a trade.

From the current FA crop at CA, Barajas, Pudge, or Schneider could work for the Nationals. B.Molina is good, but might be looking for more than the team is willing to pay in years (he'll likely want 2-3 minimum); Barajas may be looking for the same.

Either Pudge, or Schneider might accept a 1-year deal, with incentives or options. Think about Pudge @$3-4M, with a vested option based on GS (100 minimum), or Schneider @$1.5M, with AB incentives (say $50k for 150, 200 AB, and $400k for 250+AB).

Posted by: BinM | November 27, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@JayBeee: I'm not crazy about the Feb-Mar bargain bin either, but I don't mind waiting until the mid-December Winter Meetings to see what's really up for grabs.

I also think that Rivera could get dropped before the non-tender date, and Wilkie added to the 40-man; Management may be looking at Rivera's appearances in the Caribbean before making the final decision.

Posted by: BinM | November 27, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the deadline for setting the 40 man roster for purposes of the Rule 5 draft is past. Get over your fixation with Wilkie. It's clear that the organization values keeping Rivera et al over the slight chance that they might lose Wilkie in the Rule 5 draft.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 27, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Point is they are going to non tender Saul anyway. Just watch...wasted roster spots are what Jimbo was great at....I expect better from Rizzo.....or is he just hype?

Posted by: JayBeee | November 27, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"...So, the successor to Beat Writer Chico is Interim Beat Writer Chico. Somehow that seems fitting. Once I'm back from vacation, I'll reassume the day-to-day duties, posting here ..." So, I'm guessing the vacation will be over soon and the day-to-day posting will begin at that time???

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 27, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the team can drop a player off the 40 man roster, but they can no longer protect another player by adding him now. Players had to be rostered by 11/20. The following snagged from scout.com partially explains:

Rule 5 Draft
A player not on a major-league 40-man roster as of Nov. 20 is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if:
1. The player was 18 or younger when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since he signed.
2. The player was 19 or older when he first signed a pro contract and this is the third Rule 5 draft since he signed.
A player drafted must remain on the 25-man roster of his new team throughout the following season or be offered back to the team that lost him for half the claiming price.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 27, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Wilkie could get selected, but his chances of being selected and rostered for a full year are minimal. If he really impresses a selecting team might offer a another player in return. But because he's a one pitch pitcher and that one pitch is not a 90+ mph fastball, he does not profile as the sort of high reward player that is favored in the rule 5 draft.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 27, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Why the automatic assumption that they are going to non-tender Rivera? Just because you don't like him? Don't be surprised to find him still pitching for the Nats in 2010.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 27, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Why the automatic assumption that they are going to non-tender Rivera? Just because you don't like him? Don't be surprised to find him still pitching for the Nats in 2010.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 27, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

except ... Rule 5 guys, almost by definition, are left unprotected because their organization doesn't think they're going to get selected, or else are no great loss if they do, and mostly that's true, but the list of Rule 5 Guys who ultimately made major contributions, if not became outright stars, is not short. The Mets laughed at the Nats for taking Jesus Flores because NOBODY takes Rule 5 catchers, they never work out.

I got a bad feeling about this.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 27, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

The list of Rule 5 guys who have made major contributions may not be short, but it's small in comparison to the number of Rule 5 picks that end up as total washouts. For every Jesus Flores there are many Levale Speigners. Indeed, the fact that everyone knows the names of all the Rule 5 success stories is testament to how relatively rare they are.

And again, if Josh Wilkie gets claimed is it really that much of a loss in the grand scheme of things? I think not. Had Tracee Hamilton not written about Josh Wilkie no one would be noticing that he was not put on the 40 man.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 27, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I like Wilkie too, but for crying out loud, no one, absolutely no one except his friends and family believe he will be anything more than a middle reliever. A good middle reliever would be excellent, but you don't use one of your 40 man roster spots for an unproven middle reliever when you can use it on someone with higher upside. I'm not sure I believe in Segovia, but even if they took him off the roster, I'm not sure Wilkie gets his spot. Novoa is also hanging out there.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 27, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

He was one of six Nats players in the AFL. Tracee's piece was nice and all, but we would have noticed.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 28, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

FromTheEclipse is right on about wasting a roster spot. That's why the Nats should probably pass on picking a Rule 5 draftee and expecting much -- it essentially assigns your team to also-ran status. It's a long odds gamble. But if the Lerners don't mind eating the money...

Posted by: nats24 | November 28, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

been reading all of the wilkie love posts and looks like there is a lot of premature evaluation among the constituency. people...stop falling in love with guys you haven't seen play. i trust this front office more than any other the nats have had in place where talent appraisal is concerned. wilkie would make a great "local boy makes good" story but rizz and the revamped FO have a much better handle on the situation than those of us who aren't in the FO.

Posted by: surly_w | November 28, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The front office is simply suffering from an overdose of tryptophan. They'll wake up in time for the winter meetings.

Posted by: BobLHead | November 28, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Wilkie is much more likely to turn out to be Mike O'Connor v2.0 than Jesus Flores v2.0. Get over it, folks.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 28, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

On another topic, the Hall of Fame Ballot is out. Who do you like?

I hope it's The Hawk's turn. His 438 homers and 314 steals are a rare combo of speed and power. Robby Alomar may not be the spitting image of a Hall of Famer, but he hit .300 lifetime with 2,724 hits, 474 steals and 1,134 RBI. I'm not well-versed enough in the defensive stats to make a judgment. Crime Dog's 493 homers are looking better and better.

Here's the list -- discuss: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Ellis Burks, Andre Dawson, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile

Posted by: Drew8 | November 28, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't think my personal man-crush would draw so much comment. But at the very least, some of you have found it worth commenting on, so that's good, right?

On to other things - Does anybody see a SS still available via trade - Stephen Drew(AZ), Macier Izturis(LAA), somebody else?
Does anybody have a favorite, and what would make a good trade?

Posted by: BinM | November 28, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's the list -- discuss: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Ellis Burks, Andre Dawson, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile.
Posted by: Drew8 | November 28, 2009 11:27 AM
------------------------
Here's my two-cents worth (if I had a ballot):
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Robbie Alomar
Tim Raines
Lee Smith
Mark McGuire
Jack Morris
Alan Trammell
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff

Posted by: BinM | November 28, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My list is

Here's my two-cents worth (if I had a ballot):
In this year and long overdue
Bert Blyleven

On the bubble again I would put them in
Andre Dawson
Lee Smith

Long Shots not likely ever
Tim Raines
Jack Morris

That is it....none of the others really are worth talking about

Posted by: JayBeee | November 28, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

BinM

nothing personal regarding your bromance, but NJers at times set their personal expectations of minor-league players so high or so unreasonable that you almost feel like cringing. all most posters probably know about wilkie is what was in the great story that was recently written in the post on which their assumptions are based. i try to follow advice i once got from a longtime baseball scout who said "don't fall in love with a player because it hurts more when he fails." NJ posters get all churned up when someone has a good week at the plate or two strong starts in SYR or HAR while never taking into account the level of competition. let's wait and see how some of these potential saviors perform when it counts. stats on paper mean nada.

Posted by: surly_w | November 28, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

surly:
Thanks for the personal note, but it's all good - Hard analysis says Wilkie isn't ML-ready, but the other side of me said "He's a good kid, with local roots that deserves a shot".

Your scout accquaintance was right, from a professional standpoint - But as a fan, that's harder to do.

Posted by: BinM | November 28, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, it seems like RedSox Nation wants M.Scutaro at SS, but only on a 2-year deal (thanks to sosh.com & mlb.com).

Posted by: BinM | November 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"NJers at times set their personal expectations of minor-league players so high or so unreasonable that you almost feel like cringing."

I don't disagree for a minute, but I think you're missing the point. We (that is, myself and the group that includes me) root for players because we like them and they're familiar--"good ballplayer" isn't the only criterion.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 28, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I mean, if you're only going to handicap the odds of someone succeeding in pro ball, and "being a fan" consists of patting yourself on the back for being good at predicting other people's accomplishments, what fun is that?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 28, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Which is, I know, not what you do.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 28, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"all most posters probably know about wilkie is what was in the great story that was recently written in the post on which their assumptions are based. i try to follow advice i once got from a longtime baseball scout who said 'don't fall in love with a player because it hurts more when he fails.'"

You say that like it's a bad thing. An article like that is an excellent reason to root for someone to succeed. Your longtime baseball scout was obviously never a Cubs, or 20th c. Red Sox, fan.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 28, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Sec3, you've pretty well limned for us the difference between a fan and a scout. (F'rinstance, scouts do handicap who will succeed and pat themselves on the back if correct.)

Quick Wilkie thing: everyone keeps mentioning his DC ties as a reason to like him. I agree, but I doubt the Tigers do. In fact, it may even make him less attractive. Just a thought.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 28, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"On to other things - Does anybody see a SS still available via trade - Stephen Drew(AZ), Macier Izturis(LAA), somebody else?
Does anybody have a favorite, and what would make a good trade?

Posted by: BinM | November 28, 2009 11:36 AM"
-----------------------------------------
Just for fun, I'd like to see the Nats try trading for Jhonny Peralta just so I could have the copy editors at the Post go crazy. I'm surprised by some of the UZR & plus minus data that show him to be a bit above average defensively. He's young, Celveland might want to dump salary, so maybe we can get him and Shoppach at a bargain price.

As for HOF, I'd say Blyleven, Dawson, Blyleven, Edgar, Blyleven, Morris, Blyleven, Alomar, Blyleven, and Blyleven.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 28, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

if I'm not mistaken (and I often am), there was some talk last year about Peralta here, but I think it was just outside speculation. anybody remember?

I started a HOF list, with a brief bit of reasoning behind each, but realized that would take way longer than I was going to spend on 10 selections.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 28, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The Post doesn't have copy editors. Just ask Boswell and the ombudsman about that.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 28, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I believe the following are arbitration eligible and the numbers represent their 2008 salaries. I am not sure if Orr still belongs on this list since he is not on the 40 man. I am really puzzled by the Kensing salary. Seems like he would be an excellent candidate to non-tender. I hope they tender Olsen. Rivera seems like the only other questionable tender offer. Anyone got more detail or insight (anyone, anyone, cough, WaPo, cough, anyone)

Jay Bergmann 3.064
Sean Burnett 3.085
Jesus Flores 2.158
Logan Kensing 4.035
Mike MacDougal 5.143
Wil Nieves 3.092
Scott Olsen 4.101
Pete Orr 3.096
Saul Rivera 3.056
Josh Willingham 4.123

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 28, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

biscquit(s), I'm guessing those numbers are years of service time.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 28, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I, too, hope the Nats offer Olsen arbitration. Despite being hurt, he showed flashes of what he can do, especially the last few starts before he went down. He's young and has far more experience than anybody else we're counting on to develop. The Nats can make a relatively low-ball offer and probably win, given his record and injury last season.

Posted by: nats24 | November 28, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

ah, yes I believe you are right. (but I still can't see tendering Kensing).

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 28, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

For Kensing, I think tindering would be more appropriate.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 29, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Bisquit: Both Orr & Kensing were removed from the 40-man roster - Kensing accepted the assignment & was re-signed to a minor-league contract.

Flores may, or may not qualify - it depended on the final "super two" number, and i've read differing reports.

Posted by: BinM | November 29, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

"The one diving horizontal, straight away from home, into almost medium left field, to get a popup, is my defining moment for Zimm's D."
___

Best play I've ever seen. There was a rain delay that night, we gave up and went home, walked in the door as the national anthem was being played, drove back to the ballpark, I decided to walk around inside the ring rather than out to our seats, and saw that as soon as I stepped in. Unbelievable, the play and the circumstances that let me see it.

Posted by: markfromark | November 29, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the story behind it, Mark. Where were you when you saw it?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 29, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Here's a tidbit for all of you -
The Washington Nationals ranked 2nd overall in # of infield fielding chances in the NL in 2009, but were the only team in the top-3 at each position. 1B- 1,570TC(3rd), 2B- 872TC(1st), SS- 750TC(3rd), 3B- 491TC(1st) [TC= Total Chances (PO+Ass't+E)].

Only the St.Louis Cardinals ranked higher overall in total infield chances. With that many infield opportunities for outs, it's no wonder the team is looking for defensive players in the MI positions.

Posted by: BinM | November 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Where were you when you saw it?

I had just walked into the upper deck ring,through a walkway a bit on the outfield side of the first base dug out, so I was looking across the infield at it. I thought for sure the ball was going to drop in for a hit until he launched himself.

Posted by: markfromark | November 29, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

BinM - hate to make you do work, but where did you get those stats from? I've been curious about whether Lannan gets more than normal help from his third baseman. I'd want to look at his ball in play distribution and compare it to MLB and team average. If it is a lot of work, then I'd focus on 9 or so games - his 3 best game scores, his 3 worst, and his around the median performance. Do you think I could figure that out from your source?

What looks weird about you numbers is that there seemed to be more 2d base chances than SS. Sure some of that is on 5-4-3 DPs but there aren't that many. 1B inclades POs as well as fielding, I assume.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 29, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Just a guess here, but I'd expect a fair number of those 3rd base chances would be ss chances with, say, Kouzmanoff at third instead of Zimm.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 29, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Likewise, many of the first-base putouts have to be on balls only Zimm gets to.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 29, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Probably right, section 3, but what I'm really trying to figure out is the mystery of John Lannan. If there is an explanation for why he is effective that holds up, then he projects not to be the #4/#5 starter his peripherals say he is; rather, he is the #2 guy his performance would say he has been. Is he a sell high guy who you bail on before the collapse or is he a sign long and cheap guy who is a corner stone?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 29, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

You might look at the starters' ground outs/fly ball outs ratio. Lannan's went much more ground-heavy in 2009 over 2008. He said he was trying to keep pitch counts down by throwing more ground balls early in the count, and so was the rest of the staff, to some extent.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 29, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@Jaybee...we seldom agree, but you are absolutely correct on HOF. I'll by Blyleven, but the rest are marginal at best.

@Sec3...Somebody may be making the point that a perfect inning is 3 pitches.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 29, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Sec3 - IF you buy Fangraphs batted ball records, which I think is BIS data, then his k/BB declined, and his GB/FB ratio went from 2.03 to 1.72. His fly balls went from 26.7% to 30.1%, and his GBs went from 54.2% to 51.9%. His big improvement this year was on keeping the ball in the yard. In 2008, 15% of his flies went for home runs while in 2009, that dropped to major league average 10%. With the flies staying in the park at normal rates, those generally convert to outs at a greater rate than groundballs. IOW, it was not more ground balls this year that led to his slight drop in ERA, it was a lower HR rate.

There's been a lot on stat geek sites Hardball Times and Fangraphs on Lannan, trying to break down whether there is something unusual about his pitches and location to see if it explains his unusually low hit rate on balls in play (around .275 BABIP). After a lot of number crunching, everything the writers come up with still seems to come back to "luck," probably better defined as doing something the geeks can't figure out.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 29, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Ought to note Lannan's WHIP stayed constant, so his slight drop in in walks was made up for by an increase in batting average against.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 29, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Nothing personal, but I hope that I never see cheaters like McGuire, Arod, Clemens, and Pete Rose make the HOF. Add Bonds to that list.

McGuire, Arod, Bonds, and Clemens would have had great records anyway but they chose to get greedy and sully the game of baseball an their own reputations. What Pete Rose did speaks for itself. The actions of cheaters should never be condoned or rewarded. Pete Rose knew what he was doing.

Posted by: natsguy | November 29, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

pete rose never cheated...he broke the rules, but he never cheated

Posted by: formerlylove1 | November 29, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

McGuire? Ryan McGuire? He's not going to make the HOF. Fear not, but calling him a "cheater"? If he cheated, he wasn't very good at it....

Posted by: fischy | November 30, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Fischy,

I never wrote he cheated. Betting on baseball while playing is just as bad if not worse.

I meant McGwire but was just spelling it like BinM. Perhaps he meant Ryan McGuire.

What I was getting at is that there is a whole generation of "stars" who do not deserve to be in the HOF because of PED enhanced stats. I love baseball, but this has to be addressed or there should be no HOF as it will not mean anything.

Posted by: natsguy | November 30, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

jca: The position #'s were from fangraphs. I was working on some overall NL numbers last night, but probably won't have anything together until later tonight.

natsguy: I don't want to re-open the PED argument here or anywhere else. I could have put Dave Parker or Dale Murphy on my list just as easily. I'm in synch with the thinking that Blyleven (& maybe Dawson) are the most-deserving of the honor.

Posted by: BinM | November 30, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

The Chicago Tribune reports that Bud Selig will "step aside" from the office of Commissioner of Baseball after the 2012 season.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-29-rogers-inside-baseball-nov29,0,7878474.column

This means Selig will be the one negotiating the next labor agreement with the players; the current pact expires in 2011.

(Is there an over/under on when there'll be a mention of this on The Post's "Baseball Insider" blog? I mean, one from a Postie, not from a reader?)

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 30, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

"(Is there an over/under on when there'll be a mention of this on The Post's "Baseball Insider" blog? I mean, one from a Postie, not from a reader?)"

Never, twelfth of.

Posted by: section309 | November 30, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I tried to put something about Selig's retirement in the comments section of the most recent (if that's the right term for a post which is itself eleven days old) and discovered that all comments to the Baseball Insider blog are "temporarily" blocked.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Is it 2012 yet?

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

My computer crashed on Friday and I had no access to the internet until this AM...

I guess I didn't miss anything?

Posted by: TimDz | November 30, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Section222 | November 30, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody else remember back when we used to have a Washington Post blog about the Washington Nationals? And sometimes there would even be news stories about baseball in the paper! Those were the days! Apparently it's the Cold Stove season at the Post.

Posted by: SBrent | November 30, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Guess that I didn't miss much while we were away for Thanksgiving. Other than the doings of that pointy-balled team, that is. I don't tend to read it myself, but I'm guessing that coverage of the latest debacle on that front will take up a day or two at least. On the plus side, the winter meetings start next Monday, so I'd guess that things would pick up on the baseball front by then.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 30, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Move all Selig!

For great justice!

***********************
The Chicago Tribune reports that Bud Selig will "step aside" from the office of Commissioner of Baseball after the 2012 season.
Posted by: greggwiggins | November 30, 2009 8:24 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 30, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

My only regret is that the stepping aside won't occur sooner.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 30, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

also from the self-proclaimed WGN:

By Phil Rogers Tribune staff reporter
November 29, 2009

"According to figures published by Baseball America, the two best fastballs in the Arizona Fall League belong to Nationals No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg and White Sox reliever Sergio Santos, the latter a former first-round pick of the Diamondbacks who played infield until 2009. Others in the top five: the Rangers' Tanner Scheppers, the Mariners' Felipe Aumont and the Nationals' Drew Storen. ..."
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-091128-rogers-whispers,0,3130925.story

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 30, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

What, no Josh Wilkie in the Top 5? With all the fuss about him here, you'd think he'd be at the top of that list.

Posted by: section309 | November 30, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Hall of Fame, I was pleased to see that Ken Griffey Jr. hit .214 this year. I don't wish Junior ill, but it was oddly reassuring. That's how it's supposed to work when a great turns 40. A once-incandescent star has a rise, a peak and a decline. In 1951 Willie Mays flashed through centerfield like lightning and robbed Vic Wertz. By 1973, Willie was kicking the ball around Shea Stadium. It's sad, but it's normal. What is so galling about Clemens and Bonds is that they would have been Hall of Famers anyway. But they turned their greed into a Dorian Gray act to eliminate the decline phase through chemistry. They made a mockery of the record book, padding their stats and their coffers in the process. So, here's a toast to the noble Junior. I'll be pleased the day he joins the pantheon at Cooperstown.

Posted by: Drew8 | November 30, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Make that 1954 on Mays snagging Vic Wertz's drive -- but you get my drift.

Posted by: Drew8 | November 30, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, no story on the arbitration eligibility yet?

I guess we're going to skip conjecture and go straight to posting whatever MLB.COM reports after the fact.

I know, I know the Nationals don't like to comment on these things in advance (like the other 29 teams are just busting to tell the journalists in their towns). If KC and TB and Pittsburgh papers can write articles about their teams arbitration eligible, why not the Washington Post? Not even a blog entry????

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Last Tuesday I said "What's the over/under on next post here? Monday?"

Those who took the over, you're looking good.

Posted by: section309 | November 30, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Chico is on vacation.......just ask Alexa....nobody told her he is not coming back.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 30, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

You know, they have drugs you can take to help you remember things ...

******************
Make that 1954 on Mays snagging Vic Wertz's drive -- but you get my drift.
Posted by: Drew8 | November 30, 2009 1:37 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 30, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It's closer to 2199, I think. Whoops, you were supposed to take the red pill before I said that...
**************
Is it 2012 yet?
Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 10:00 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 30, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Save Ferris.

Posted by: dand187 | November 30, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 30, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics.

Posted by: Drew8 | November 30, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Bob Carpenter fan, but ...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/11/30/tbs.caray.ap/index.html

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWzMyKSIbFY&feature=related

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 30, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

eeeww re. the Grady Sizemore story that is linked to from the above-mentioned SI story. (Can you hear me now?)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 30, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Nice article on the draft class:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091130&content_id=7728424&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@Formerlylove...Actually, there is a pretty good chance that Rose did cheat. A pretty good case has been made that he managed, particularly pitchers, in such a way as to give him an advantage in certain games. Also, he batted himself more times than he should have, as manager, in order to break some records, rather than to win games. Ergo, he cheated.

Also, If Bud the dumb is going to retire after the 2012 season, it is irrelevant since that is 10 days after the end of the world, according to the Maya calendar. Or, we will all be much too busy trying to find new calendars covering the next 26,000 years. One or the other.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | November 30, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Another interesting article - this one comparing 05 and 09 Nats talent:

http://bleacherreport.com/washington-nationals

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

natbiscuits, I hope you aren't suggesting that the Nats replace Carpenter with Chip Caray?????

Unlike you, I strongly dislike Carpenter. I think he is one of the worst TV play-by-play guys in baseball. But if anyone could be worse than Carp, Chip certainly fills the bill. For a third-generation broadcaster, his total lack of feel for the game, and his complete inability to provide accurate play-by-play, are astounding. Add on top of that his annoying turns-of-phrase (can you say "fisted" 50 times a night please?) and you have one of the worst broadcasters ever.

Now, on the other hand, if Carpenter were to be offered the vacant slot with TBS, and allow MASN to replace him (with someone other than Chip) and end our long nightmare of trying to determine "how far is that going?"...now, that is something that I would be completely in favor of.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 30, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Here is what the NY Times's Richard Sandomir had to say about Caray today on their Bats blog:

"Caray’s high-volume style was mixed with a penchant for bad play calls, embellishments and factual errors. His best known incident occurred during the American League Central Division tie breaker between the Twins and the Tigers in October. He called an obvious lineout this way: “Line drive. Base hit. Caught out there. The runner tags. Throw to the plate. On target. And in time! A double play!”

According to Sandomir's story, Turner is in the process of looking at candidates to replace Caray. So perhaps there is hope that Carpenter gets hired away.....

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 30, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I was not so much suggesting that the Nats should replace Carpenter with Caray as implying that the Nats could be considering it. (No factual basis here) I was making the Atlanta connection and wondering. I believe the Nats have not yet renewed Carpenter. As I said, I like him (except when he goes on about the Cardinals). I hate the high volume football style baseball broadcasters and Carpenter strikes the right rhythm for me.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 30, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

So, CiL, which TV announcers do you like? I mostly only get to listen to radio guys, out of town, but on the rare occasions I do get to see & hear other local TV crews, our guys look better and better. Mark Grace, in Phoenix, for example. Dibble is the Anti-Grace, and I like that about him.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 30, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are currently using a Carpenter "See. You. Later." call in their radio commercials for season tickets. Seems like if he wasn't going to be back they'd be using a Slowes call instead. So perhaps you guys need to start asking yourself "How long is this career going?" and get used to it. At least it's not "Thuuuuuuuuuuh Yankees win!"....

Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Los Angeles Angels have voted the estate of pitcher Nick Adenhart a full playoff share as most of you know he was tragically killed this past baseball season by a drunk driver. This was a very classy move by the Angels it reaffirms my faith in humanity,good for them.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 1, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Hey WP, how about deputizing Natbiscuits to write a blog post or two while everyone you pay a salary to is on vacation/"on assignment"/asleep? At least then we wouldn't have to scour the comments for reading material about the Nats. Thanks Natbiscuits!

Posted by: Section222 | December 1, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I understand that these are no posts because nothing is really going on but for goodnessake! Give us a rumour. A whisper in the wind. A suggestion of who the Nat's a sounding out. Anything.

False hope beats no hope at all fellas!

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Sec3, as far as TV announcers go for me, my primary criteria is "don't get in the way of me watching the game." I don't think TV play-by-play announcers really need to do all that much, since the picture tells a lot of the story. So it isn't so much that there are a bunch of guys who I like, it's more that there are guys who I don't dislike because they don't get in the way. I can't necessarily come up with a list of those guys, because I largely consider them non-entities.

That said, I do have the extra innings package, and there are some guys who I think are very good. Vin Scully, of course, is amazing in my opinion. He makes watching any game better, and I find myself learning things about players--even players on the visiting team--that you wouldn't learn elsewhere. I also think Duane Kiper is pretty good for the Giants, and I like the NY guys--Michael Kay and Gary Cohen both do a good job. I enjoyed Matt Vasgersian when he was the Padres' play-by-play guy, and I think Josh Lewin is pretty good as well.

By the way, Sec3, maybe I missed this a long time ago--I saw your reference to your Cubs fan wife: are you also 506, just using a different screen name?

Section309, we can always hope. But anyway, you aren't perhaps posting from the Eclipse, the place that Bob Carpenter calls home, are you? ;-) Maybe you have a vested interest in the issue. As far as radio guys are concerned, I do think we can all agree however that John Sterling is awful. Even most Yankees fans agree on that.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 1, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Steinbag is bloviating over on his daily rag sheet that the "death of the redskins strangle-hold" locally is greatly exaggerated.

I guess the WAPO Sports desk got the message because it looks like we Nats fans are doomed to stare at the Cold Stove Abyss until March.

Only 5 more weeks, only 5 more weeks, only 5 more weeks and then we can have our FREEDOM!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Section 309 is nowhere near the Eclipse, wherever that is, although it is close to the broadcast booth where Carpenter and Dibble do their thing. And basically, I'm indifferent about Carpenter. For me, he doesn't get in the way. And he has reduced the annoying things he did his first year here, like calling plays before they happen (although he's done it subtly, saying "there's a double play ball" instead of "there's a double play", or asking the question "how far is that one going?" instead of saying "See. You. Never mind."), talking about Scott Rolen all the time, etc, etc. And he works well with Dibble, unlike Sutton who constantly made his disdain for Carpenter very clear. I can live with him.

And boy, CoverageisLacking must absolutely LOVE Tim McCarver, who never shuts up and makes every point at least twice.

Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

WaPo - so will your baseball staff have a story on the players around baseball not tendered arbitration by midnight tonight and how it might affect the Nats participation in the free agent market? Some analysis and / or speculation?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 1, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Cold Stove Abyss (how's that for a segway, er, segue?), I noticed that Modell's has a Nationals Snuggie-type wrap for $24.99. Come on, you know you want one. You don't have to wear it in public. Just the thing for cold winter nights in the Basement Sports Lair... :-)

I saw similar wraps at Bed Bath and Beyond for $5.00 less, but they had only NFL logos (blech).

Modell's also had Nats fan wear on sale. My (northern Virginia) store had a pretty good selection. I hope that 1c will enjoy his clothing item. I know that I'll enjoy mine. hehehe. What? WHAT?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's some more news the Post is ignoring. Brian Schneider is returning home! Is this good or bad news for the Nats?

http://tinyurl.com/yckgcn8

Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Only 5 more weeks, only 5 more weeks, only 5 more weeks and then we can have our FREEDOM!"

Unless the Skins' 5th-round pick misses a day of minicamp with a migraine. Because of course, that's page 1 material.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 1, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Even the crickets are silent. Dead?

How long after the comet passes before they realize the entire baseball coverage team perished?

How about a Zombie posting?

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 1, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

If WaPo sports staff could tear itself away from the Deadskins it might want to follow up on this from The Wall Street Journal yesterday:

Nats Try to Give Away Their Season Tickets
In an attempt to raise attendance next season after it fell 22% in 2009, the Washington Nationals may be giving away thousands of season tickets in the next few months. The team is giving one free season ticket for every two that somebody renews, a move that comes after season-ticket renewals dropped about 30% last season, according to Chris Gargani, a Nationals' vice president and the managing director of sales and marketing. "We needed to do something," he says.
—David Biderman

Posted by: JamesWebster | December 1, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

You people are crazy if you think Redskins coverage in the Post will drop after the last game of their season. Ha! That's when the Zorn firing watch will begin, followed by the new coach hiring watch, followed by the "who's the QB?" watch, yada yada yada. You forget that these are the NFL's annual Offseason Champions we've got here. The Post would sooner go out of business than quit covering them.

On the Titanic as the ship sank to its doom, the musicians played Nearer My God to Thee. On the Post, they'll be playing Hail to the Redskins.

Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

First POD nomination of December goes to
So perhaps you guys need to start asking yourself "How long is this career going?"
Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 7:30 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

No, he has a red-headed Cubs fan girlfriend (now fianceé, I believe). I have a More-like-strawberry-blonde-lately Cubs fan wife (for 26 years, as of the middle of this month).

***********
By the way, Sec3, maybe I missed this a long time ago--I saw your reference to your Cubs fan wife: are you also 506, just using a different screen name?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

No NJ post for a week?? With arb offers going out, the hot stove getting warm and the winter meetings days away? The Journal seemingly reporting the club is GIVING AWAY seats?? And nada? This is a lousy site.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 1, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

with an Honorable Mention for
***************
On the Titanic as the ship sank to its doom, the musicians played Nearer My God to Thee. On the Post, they'll be playing Hail to the Redskins.
Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 1:14 PM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Radio broadcasters: I miss listening to Kuiper, unnecessarily since I get the MLB radio package. I was in SF when he took over the postgame show from Joe Morgan, but didn't rename it--just kept "The Joe Morgan Show ... starring Duane Kuiper" (because who could replace Joe Morgan?). Funny, funny guy. Great stories, by and about him. Scully is in a different line of work than other broadcasters. He *still* comes up with more and better background on the Nats players than Charlie, Dave, Carp, and Dibble put together. And he practically defined "feel for the game."
That said, I want an announcer who announces. I can always mute it if I don't like them. Color guys especially--they're supposed to know more than I do, and tell me about it. Even when they're wrong, it's a POV to consider. I used to like Joe Morgan for that, but he seems to have run out of new material, and yet kept talking. I liked Harry Caray, back in the old Cardinals and White Sox days.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"The Journal seemingly reporting the club is GIVING AWAY seats??"

This is not news. The WSJ is referring to the points-based season ticket purchase incentives that were announced before last season even ended. I believe the Post actually even mentioned it at the time. Might be nice to get some followup on how the program is working, but that'll never happen because (a) the Post won't ask, and (b) Kasten wouldn't answer if they did.

Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

This is good for everybody. He gets to play for, maybe finish his career with, his hometown team, and they don't compete for a backup catcher with the Nats. Unless they know something we don't... Hmmm.

***********
Here's some more news the Post is ignoring. Brian Schneider is returning home! Is this good or bad news for the Nats?
http://tinyurl.com/yckgcn8
Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 12:39 PM
-------------------------
It’s what Brian Schneider has been waiting for.

After passing a physical on Tuesday, the Northampton graduate signed a free agent contract with the Phillies, his uncle, Northampton athletic director Mike Schneider said.

Schneider, drafted out of high school, will serve as the team’s backup catcher behind starter Carlos Ruiz. The Phillies announced that the deal is for two years.
....
Schneider, drafted in the fifth round by the Expos in 1995, has been a Phillies killer throughout his career. In 108 games against the Phillies, he hit .273 with 54 RBIs and 42 walks. His walk, RBI and total bases (139) totals are the most against any opponent.

Schneider had interest from several other clubs, including ones in which he could have been a starter.

However, he not only wanted the chance to play for a contending team, but the team he grew up rooting for as a kid, Mike Schneider said.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, Schneider got a two year deal from the Phillies. I don't think anyone who's advocating for the Nats to sign a veteran catcher to bridge a possible Flores gap would be saying they should sign the guy for more than one year.

Posted by: section309 | December 1, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

This is a long afternoon.

Posted by: longterm | December 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The deal on the give away of seats is a bit of a joke. IF you renew for full season then you can earn points toward free ADDITIONAL seats for certain games. Brilliant marketing. I cannot get people to take the seats I pay through the nose for, so offer me some additional free ones in order to get me on board. Smart guy that Stan Kasten.

If Zaun gets no arb offer from Toronto, he may be the guy they ink.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 1, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The deal on the give away of seats is a bit of a joke. IF you renew for full season then you can earn points toward free ADDITIONAL seats for certain games. Brilliant marketing. I cannot get people to take the seats I pay through the nose for, so offer me some additional free ones in order to get me on board. Smart guy that Stan Kasten.

Posted by: dfh21
________________________________________

Actually, the Red Carpet Rewards program, which is what the Nats call this offer, is a great deal for STHs, especially for groups that share tickets. Think about it-- You've got a group of six that shares two seats. And all of them would like the seats for one of the White Sox games on a beautiful June weekend. Instead of having a lottery and picking the three lucky winners, everyone can get tickets for that series as part of their package. Or maybe everyone in your group wants to see Aaron Crow pitch against Stephen Strasburg when the Royals come to town. (hah!!) Now you can do it without having to buy extra tickets. The program even lets you use your points to reserve a luxury suite for a night, or to upgrade to the Diamond Club to see your favorite visiting team. It's about time the Nats rewarded their most loyal fans who have suffered through five years of losing baseball, and I, for one, thank the Nats for coming up with this creative benefit. When we're a playoff bound team that sells out Nats Park every night in the summer of 2014, something like this won't be possible. But when they average 25,000 empty seats a night, why not let the STHs bring a few more people to the park without paying extra -- some might even become fans.

Posted by: Section222 | December 1, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well Section 222 beat me to the punch about the Red Carpet Rewards. One thing that was not mentioned was that it applies not only to full season plans, but also half and partial (but not mini or flex plans). There are also black-out dates: the Red Sox exhibition game, opening series with the Phillies, the Orioles series, the Friday and Saturday games with the White Sox (but not Father's Day) and July 4th against the Mets. I believe it is also only for those who are renewing their plans, not new accounts ( could be wrong on that). I frankly like the rewards idea.

To dredge up a topic from earlier, Bob Carpenter is on my "bad" list for now due to the final call of the final home game this season. Maxwell has just hit a walk-oiff grand slam in what was one of the most riveting game of the year and all that we get is "The ball is apparently gone"? Like or hate Dibble, but he was showing some proper enthusiasm (aka, going crazy along with the fans).

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | December 1, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This is a long afternoon.

Posted by: longterm | December 1, 2009 2:35 PM
_____________________________

Then maybe we can get Al Pacino to give us an update.

Or maybe John Cazale?

Posted by: TimDz | December 1, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Lurker, that was easily the worst call in the short history of the Nationals.

Compare it to the radio call by Charlie Slowes. I know there was some question about whether or not it was gone, but Charlie doesn't let that get in the way of a very dramatic moment.

Carpenter robbed the moment of any drama whatsoever. It was awful.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Attica! Attica!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually, 506 recently (can't quite remember when) revealed on here that she is now his wife.

---

No, he has a red-headed Cubs fan girlfriend (now fianceé, I believe). I have a More-like-strawberry-blonde-lately Cubs fan wife (for 26 years, as of the middle of this month).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Schneider signs with the Phillies and the Indians trade Kelly Shoppach to the Tampa Rays. The backup catchers are flying all over the place, but none have landed in DC (yet). Maybe the Rays will look to get rid of Dionner Navarro now??

Posted by: erocks33 | December 1, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I wish Schneider well. I wouldn't think that his being with the Phillies would hurt the Nats any more than his being with the Mets did. Now, if he'd gone to the Marlins... Eh, never mind. They already "own" us.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

JinM, you are so right about that call. That is probably one of the best half- innings I've ever seen. And when I went back and re-watched the whole thing, I could not believe Carpenter's call. You had to almost laugh it was so bad. But Slowes. That was a nice call.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 1, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Buck says we trade Willingham for Derek Lowe.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 1, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a1: I wonder if you are the only one who got that reference...

Nice recall on the Attica! Attica!

Posted by: TimDz | December 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Buck says we trade Willingham for Derek Lowe.
Posted by: NatsNut | December 1, 2009 3:46 PM
++++++++++++++
NatsNut! You're ON!

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 1, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Natsnut

I'd take some of that action! And I'd love that trade. I'm not sure Atlanta would be so thrilled.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

That was a classic, TimDz.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

How about that John Casale -- no field, all hits. Before he died at 42 in '78, he was Fredo in two "Godfathers," Sal in "Dog Day" and Stan in "The Deer Hunter." Pretty impressive run.

Posted by: Drew8 | December 1, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well Hudson just got a damn site more attractive to the Nationals! Go get him Rizzo.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

LurkerNowPoster (welcome, btw) is right about the black out dates for Red Carpet Rewards (I guess I picked a bad example with the Chisox), and about its application to partial plans. He is also right that it only applies to renewing plans, not new plans. That's fine with me. The renewers are the ones who deserve a little love after what we've been through. Maybe we can pool our points and reserve a few suites for a game and invite all NJ commenters to attend. Of course, if there is never another NJ post to comment on, as it seems now since everyone at the WP is on vacation, NJ may not exist next season...

Posted by: Section222 | December 1, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Ben Goessling has a new post up over at the Wash Times Nats' blog:
http://washingtontimes.com/weblogs/chatter/

Posted by: Section222 | December 1, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I wish we'd find out the spring training schedule, which supposedly was going to appear by early Nov. Did folks notice that Barry contributed to yesterday's story on Tiger Woods?

Posted by: Section109 | December 1, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Still not sold on the Red Carpet Rewards stuff -- sure, free stuff is nice but they could have just reduced the price of the tickets instead. Tell the renewing people that they get a bargain, just a simple bargain not some point system for me to navigate. It is 4 guys, $5K each for our package. Not sure we'll be swayed by the ability to get more seats to the Royals matchups.

We can just go buy good seats to the games we want and keep the extra coins - -even if we pay a premium on StubHub, we'd be ahead. That is what Stan and his Red Carpet thing are up against, people wanting select games from the full set, not people wanting the full set PLUS extras for certain games.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 1, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

dfh21, these are fair points. If I were paying 20 grand for my package I might feel the same way. I guess I start from the assumption that the Nats will never, ever, reduce the price of tickets.(They did it after the first year for some seats, but that's because they had improperly priced certain sections.) If you want to pay less, there's always the option of moving to less expensive seats. So I look at what value I am getting from the seats that I have. I want to hold on to them for that mythical summer of 2014 when everyone and their brother wants to buy my extras. For now, I just like going to baseball games, and Red Carpet Rewards means I (and my ticket group partners) will be able to go to more games without spending more money (except on food and beer). That's a good thing, and the flexibility of the program, which allows us to try out different sections (I'm particularly excited about the option of getting seats in a shady section on hot summer Sunday afternoons.) Plus, we'll be able to sell more tickets, defraying the cost of our plan (lots of Phillies and Mets fans around here), and still be able to go to the games ourselves. That's definitely a good thing.

By the way, we have a few slots still open in our 4 seat plan (yes, in Section 222). $600 entitles you to 40 tickets. Respond here if you're interested.

Posted by: Section222 | December 1, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

If I remember correctly, Casale got a hit in Godfather II, TimDz. Well, technically, he *was* hit, I suppose.

Re. Hudson, didn't Biff Bobson recently report that he and Super Willie are BFFs? hmmm... Or was the reference to a Hudson other than Orlando? If so, never mind.

Not to discourage welcomes, but LNP isn't a new poster here, sec222, but rather one who frequently, well, lurks. Interesting idea about the NJ suite.


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Also, thanks for the heads up re. the Chatter post. The Nats corner of the MASN site has been fairly active as well, methinks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, we've topped the 200 mark. Wonder whether Mr. 300* is still around?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I've seen nothing on players to whom we have offered arbitration. Any news, anyone?

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | December 1, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

yea, I'm not buying that there's no news. Phil and Byron are posting at least once a day. This one's fun:

http://masnsports.com/2009/12/a-bullpen-option-with-local-fl.html

Posted by: NatsNut | December 1, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

s109, there's a Grapefruit League master schedule here (hat tip to the Times' Chatter blog for the link):

http://www.springtrainingonline.com/features/master-schedule.htm

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Look at the Red Carpet Rewards for what it is, not what it isn't. It's not giving away more games to people who already have all the games they want - although it could be used like that if you want. But really, it's more like frequent flier miles or credit card points. Use them for upgrades. Sit in the Presidents Club or Diamond Club sometime. Rent a suite. Bring some friends to a game or two. Or, if all you're in it for is to go to a few games yourself and scalp the rest, use the points to get good seats to games for nothing and then sell them yourself on StubHub. Even if you sell for less than face value, whatever you get is still all profit for you.

Geez, quit complaining when they give you stuff for free, you bunch of ingrates.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | December 1, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, Scooter, Soundb: Willingham for Lowe - Count me in on that trade.

As much as I think Willingham is a decent fit here in DC, a 2010 starting outfield of Maxwell/Morgan/Dukes, with Harris & Bernadina in reserve, PLUS a starting rotation of Lowe/Lannan/and a pick-3 of Stammen/Olsen/Martis/Detwiler/Mock/Martin, with Strasburg in the wings? Yeah, I'd be OK with that.

Posted by: BinM | December 1, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I didn't necessarily say I liked the possible trade for Lowe, but I bet it happens.

I think losing Willingslam still leaves a hole in our lineup and wanting for another outfielder. JMax can maybe field it ok, but his bat hasn't been consistent when he's up (last home game notwithstanding).

On the other hand, Lowe would be good fit for that veteran starter we need. I'd mourn the loss of Willingslam maybe a day less if we got him.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 1, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Now all we have to do is convince the Braves. Oh well...

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

+1/2 St: Other than Brian's speculations on NFA, I haven't seen anything solid.

BTW, a hat-tip to Brian Oliver for the nice compilation of the Rule-V eligible players from the Nationals' rosters, also on his website.

I wish the WaPo would update the weblink[http://natsfarm.com/]. The guy clearly has a passion for Nats-centric info, & has good knowledge of the minor-league system.

Posted by: BinM | December 1, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

No kidding? Mazel Tov!

*************************
Actually, 506 recently (can't quite remember when) revealed on here that she is now his wife.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 1, 2009 3:36 PM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

@soundb: A deal like that would probably hinge on how much of Lowe's salary the Nationals were willing to swallow - He's due $15M a year through 2012. If the Nationals agree to eat 55% to 70%+ ($8-11M) per year, I could see a deal getting done.

Posted by: BinM | December 1, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Lowe for Willingham, but it weakens the outfield and the offense. I'd feel a lot better about it if they had maybe a Sergio Santos from the CWS (now blocked by 3, an almost-all glove guy)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Lowe for Willingham would be an unkastenly trade. A pitcher says it never gets made.
(of Yeungling)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the offer, 222, but I've always kinda had my eye on 236, just into fair territory. I still think we'll see some balls up there. Not that I have any reason to associate that with good things...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd pay both Willigham and Lowes salary to get a decent pitcher.

Willingham is one of our only decent trade chips though and I really think he needs to be used in order to obtain a shortstop. Not that I would turn the deal down but short stop remains our biggest need.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

sure is quiet in here ...

http://tinyurl.com/y8ua3x8

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 1, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals didn't offer arbitration to Kearns!!?!! After all he has done for us? This is an outrage!

Hehe!

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

109, there's a Grapefruit League master schedule here (hat tip to the Times' Chatter blog for the link):

http://www.springtrainingonline.com/features/master-schedule.htm

Posted by: natsfan1a1
**************
Terrific natsfan1a1, thanks very much!

Posted by: Section109 | December 1, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

If you Tweet, Lannan and Balester are racing to see who gets 500 followers first.

I think Lannan only signed on today and already has 260 followers!

Posted by: NatsNut | December 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Not much to cheer about from the guys who didn't get offered arbitration. I've always liked Randy Wolf, and Washburn might be worth a look. But they won't take the Nats very far. A healthy Vlad would be nice, altho it's pitching we need most.

Posted by: nats24 | December 1, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

nats.com reports the team didn't offer arbitration to any of their free agents. But **gulp** Villone is a possibility to return next year.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20091201&content_id=7738406&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 1, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

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