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As we await the Riggleman presser...

Well, folks, that right there is what we call a five-blog-post day. To recap the day's news:

Jim Riggleman = manager of team

Ryan Zimmerman = golden of glove

Stephen Strasburg = healthy of neck

Here is the dead-tree-edition story, and a reminder that Boz will be chatting Thursday at 11. I'm told the Nationals have a news conference scheduled this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Nationals Park to introduce their new/old skipper. I will be in attendance (assuming we're all not under water) and will be updating you here on any developments.

Some of you have wondered about Bo Porter, the former Marlins third base coach who, as I reported in the dead-tree edition, was in the running for the Nationals' managing job until this week. He left the Marlins' organization last month and accepted a job yesterday as third base coach for the Diamondbacks.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't point out this embarrassing bit of irony: it appears as if I got scooped on the Riggleman story by a certain former general manager of this team. Yes, folks, as best I can tell, Jim Bowden IV, himself now a member of the media, beat me by about 15 minutes in posting the Riggleman news. Ah, well ... win some, lose some, right? And anyway, I have to admit: Bowden probably has better sources in the organization than I do.

I'm guessing, however, that Bowden wil not be attending the news conference.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 12, 2009; 9:02 AM ET
 
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Comments

Attaboy. Thanks for keeping us in the know yesterday.

---

Well, folks, that right there is what we call a five-blog-post day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Unlike the hyper-active bloviations that take shape annually over in Ashburn, the Nationals let you know right up front where they stand.

1. Riggleman is the interim caretaker of Plan 2.0. We'll see you in 2012. Thanks StanK.

2. As a loyal 6yr STH, I'll use my points for a club seat when SS pithces in say June, thanks Uncle Ted.

3. Its still NatsTown to me. Thanks Synder-Rato!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 12, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, in an earlier post, someone wondered whether Zimm's Gold Glove would make the front page of the WaPo. I said you'd be lucky to even find it in the sports section.

Okay, that might have been an exaggeration.

But here's the Dead Tree edition of the first page of today's sports section: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/print/sportsfrontimage.html

Half the page given to a profile of John Riggins.

Zimmerman gets an "Oh, BTW" line under the Riggleman story headline.

Posted by: gilbertbp | November 12, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if Zimmerman started sporting a mohawk and making Unabomber YouTubes he'd get some better press. Clearly winning Gold Gloves is not cutting it.

Posted by: section309 | November 12, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't think I've seen anyone post this yet, my apologies if I missed it. SI piece suggesting Nyjer should have won a Gold Glove...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/ted_keith/11/11/gold.glove.awards/index.html

Posted by: Section220 | November 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

First, congrats to riggs and Zimm. I agree we need players. A catcher (Pudge would be perfect), still talented and somewhat young veteran pitching, and a couple good not trash heap bull pen arms. Espenosa is our SS and Desmond will be a nice 2nd baseman. The problem is the the stench of the Bowden era. Two years ago, I was coaching T-Ball with then ace of the Brewers Ben Sheets. When finding out that I was a Nationals fan he told me, around the league they call the Nats "Zimm and the Crims.." he was refering to Dukes, LoDucca, Milledge, and Young. Sadly untill all the stink is gone from "Nats Town" Rizzo is going to have to make trades.

As far as Tony Plush we need to have a back-up plan for him. My Idea is, now that the Tigers are dangling Granderson, give them what ever it would take for him(with-in reason) put him in right, sit Dukes on the bench and bat Granderson second. It would add speed and legit back-up to Morgan and he is a triples machine. Think of the lineup: Morgan, Granderson, Zimm, Dunn, Whillingham, and Pudge plus the back end speed of Espinosa and Desmond. WOW!!!

Posted by: hansenjo | November 12, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm liking where this team is going now. I think Riggleman did a great job with what he had, and I think Rizzo did a phenomenal job rebuilding the bull pen during the season and the trades that he made.
That all said the second I get paid I'm putting my deposit down for season tickets!

Posted by: Elbaryn | November 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I am almost embarassed to ask this...I feel as someone who reads NJ every day all year round I should know the answer to this...but here goes: Are we able to watch the AFL games on TV? Online replay? Certain hole-in-the-wall sports bar in Lanham with a special satellite dish? I have DirecTV if that makes a difference and get pretty much every sports channel available...

Thanks!

Posted by: HenryStin | November 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Give Morgan a full season and I think he wins a glove. that injury probably is what hurt him.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 12, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Henry:

You can only watch the ones broadcast by MLB Network... which means that the only one left that you can watch on TV is the championship game, Saturday, Nov. 21, at 2:30 p.m.

Also, for the Nats-related language from the SI Gold Glove analysis, here's the relevant sections:

Third Base
NL winner: Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
Should have been: Zimmerman
Zimmerman not only led the league in Plus/Minus, his 18.1 UZR was an astonishing 10.1 higher than runner-up Casey Blake. For good measure, he also led the league in assists and ranked second in putouts.

Outfield
NL winners: Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn, Matt Kemp
Should have been: Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Randy Winn
Nothing makes the Gold Gloves seem more arbitrary and ridiculous than the fact that year after year, they are awarded en masse to center fielders as though right and left fielders simply don't exist. It may have been put in place to benefit those players who frequently play multiple spots in the outfield, but if that's so, then who does Morgan complain to? Not only did Morgan produce the best UZR among all NL outfielders at 27.8, he managed to rank third in assists and range factor while committing just four assists. Even more amazingly, he ranked second in Plus/Minus in the league at both left field and center field. Not one or the other, both. He also saved more runs in left field (8) than any other player in the NL and more in center (15) than any player in the NL. It is simply stunning that he did not win a Gold Glove.

Posted by: faNATic | November 12, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Now that Riggleman has been given cart blanche to run up our young pitchers pitch counts with impunity, I hope that Rizzo focuses on the very serious business of sorting this roster out.

Lets not forget that this is still a 100+ loss roster and I haven't heard any real rumours involving the Nat's yet (not that I'm on the cutting edge there). Either way we have a few very serious holes and no depth at all.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 12, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Jimmy!! And good luck to the Nats. Now its on to filing in the roster. Bobby V will have to keep his glasses, nose & mustache under wraps.

All I can say is its oooonnnnn!

Posted by: alm1000 | November 12, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

OK, on that pitch count complaint about Riggleman ..... thpppt!!!!!

I think you will be hard pressed to find more than a handful of games where Riggleman asked a Nats starter to go more than 100 pitches and probably none where they exceeded 110.

Where are you getting that from? I've see no evidence that Riggleman has ever been a pitch count buster at any stop. Certainly not here in DC. Are you saying 90 pitches is too much to expect a starter to contribute? Perhaps we could put a lawn chair out behind the pitcher's mound and let them sit down between pitches.

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

Dear Santa,

I've behaved in a very adequate way this year. Sure I've had too many freedom lights at times. Yes I've yelled obscenities at the park and at my TV screen after watching 100+ losses. Nonetheless, I feel I still deserve to ask for a couple presents this year; if anything out of pity.

1. I would like an experienced catcher to help our young pitchers and let Jesus rest every now and then.

2. I would LOVE two free agent pitchers that want to win right now.

3. An all star second baseman would be nice; perhaps even a great short stop.

4. Finally, and I really don't this this is too much to ask; I would love for the Nationals to win the pennant next year.

All the best,
Nats&skinsareclass,class,class (except Snyderato)

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

I agree, it would be really nice to have Granderson back, even if he plays left. So, what would you consider "within reason"? By which I mean, Detroit (not me or you, Detroit) could reasonably be expected to think they got a good deal?
I've gotta think they'd want Willingham or (less likely) Dukes in that deal, plus maybe a starter and a AA toss-in. (I started to type "Wilkerson" -- no, they don't want him.)
********
As far as Tony Plush we need to have a back-up plan for him. My Idea is, now that the Tigers are dangling Granderson, give them what ever it would take for him(with-in reason) put him in right, sit Dukes on the bench and bat Granderson second. It would add speed and legit back-up to Morgan and he is a triples machine. Think of the lineup: Morgan, Granderson, Zimm, Dunn, Whillingham, and Pudge plus the back end speed of Espinosa and Desmond. WOW!!!
Posted by: hansenjo | November 12, 2009 10:46 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 12, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

mediocrity, jim riggleman is thine face and name.

Posted by: surly_w | November 12, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"I feel I still deserve to ask for a couple presents this year; if anything out of pity."


and if it's not asking too much ...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Pi3JWxWnU
Percy Mayfield, via Freddie King

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 12, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I've got the perfect job for Manny Acta -- Secret Service agent! A man of character and integrity who could stand all day in his suit and tie and show no emotion whatsoever, regardless of what was going on around him. My heartiest congrats to Jim and Ryan.

Posted by: fluffy4 | November 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't feel bad for being allegedly 'scooped' by Bowden. When I first saw this on MLBtraderumors.com, and saw Bowden was the source, I completely did not believe it.

Posted by: raymitten | November 12, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

How does one decide who beat who in getting a story out? I thought I heard on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday night about Riggleman getting the job. Maybe it was a rumor at that point that they went with, but if they said that first, doesn't that count? And why does all of this matter anyway. How about quality of reporting vs. worrying about who was first?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | November 12, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Santa baby, just slip a pitcher under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a backup catcher would be good, too - likes chew
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

...eh, I'd better get back to work

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

Riggleman is fine and all. Local boy makes good. He probably isnt the manager to shape an organization like Scioscia or Maddon or Cox, but he shouldnt cause any loses. Thats a plus.

More importantly for me, what will Team Rizzo do this offseason to improve the ballclub?

I was scanning team payrolls. The Nats have a lone contract commitment after the 2010 season. Its Zimmerman's. Thats it.

Going into the upcoming season, the team has $28.85 committed in contracts. Add arbritration and team controlled salaries. That will leave approximately $14-15 mil to spend, by my crude estimates, assuming the team stays at a $60 mil payroll.

The team has young, non-impact player type of pitching to trade and payroll to spend. This offseason appears to be perfect for the Nats to absorb a contract or two via trade or free agency for little to nothing. Under 30 all star types like Doumit, Phillips, Granderson and Hawpe (just turned 30) are reportedly available by trade. Injured all star type starters like Bedard, Sheets, Harden, Penny and Duchscherer are available non-comp (not type A) free agents.

Seems to me the Nats have an ideal situation to trade for long term pieces and sign short term ones for pennies on the dollar. Most teams not located in LA or NY appear to be struggling with payroll/income. But the Nats are a money tree, according to Forbes. Hopefully the team seizes upon the opportunity to put a better starting 9 on the field in 2010.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 12, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Good players make good managers. If Rizzo is proficient at his job, Riggleman will be at his. I think it's really that simple. Torre, LaRussa et all couldn't have won in DC last year. You think Girardi is as good as LaRussa or Torre, I don't think he is even close, but good players dragged him to a ring.

Posted by: cokedispatch | November 12, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Amen to all that, coked.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Where are you getting that from? I've see no evidence that Riggleman has ever been a pitch count buster at any stop.

Posted by: natbiscuits
-----------------

Kerry Wood's treatment with the Cubs is the best example of why Riggleman has a reputation of risking young pitchers' arms through over-use. This blog post sums it up nicely:

http://firejimbowden.blogspot.com/2009/07/jim-riggleman-scourge-of-young-pitchers.html

Here's the most relevant excerpt from that post: "Kerry Wood
"You know this tale of woe. Wood was called up at age 20. He won the rookie of the year with a 3.40 ERA and 12.6 Ks per 9. He also walked 4.6 per 9 and was therefore prone to high pitch counts. Riggleman didn't care. He had Wood throw 166.2 innings, including pitch counts of 133, 129, 123, 123, 122 (twice), and 121 (twice). After the season, Wood had Tommy John surgery, missed two full seasons, and has never become the guy he might have been."

Riggleman has sort of a history with pitcher abuse similar to this, though Wood's story is probalby the worst. We know more about this sort of thing now than we did at that time, and I'm sure Rizzo and whoever the pitching coach is will watch this too. However, with a "once-in-a-generation" pitching prospect due up this year, I I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous about this history.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | November 12, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

>mediocrity, jim riggleman is thine face and name.

Posted by: surly_w

It's almost like endorsing 90 losses.

Posted by: Brue | November 12, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If there's one nice thing about the Riggleman hiring, it's all the Acta p*ssers having to take up a new tune. Their old act was getting kinda stale anyway.

Posted by: section309 | November 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Rizzo will make an effort to plug any leak that goes out to Bowden.

Posted by: periculum | November 12, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Might be worth suffering 70-80 losses if they play Espinosa at short and Desmond at second and let them mature and blossom ala Zimmerman? In any case the pitching still needs some seasoning before its ready ... figure another year or two and then ...

Posted by: periculum | November 12, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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