Network News

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

Reshaping of Nationals' front office continues

The wholesale revamping of the Nationals' front office continued Monday when the team announced it had hired Jay Sartori as director of baseball operations. Sartori previously served as the contract administration manager in MLB's labor relations department, and will bring expertise in interpretations of contract language, the Basic Agreement and salary arbitration rules to his new job.

The team also made official the hiring of Bryan Minnitti as assistant general manager, after he spent the previous nine seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, most recently as director of baseball operations.

The Nationals now have made seven high-level hires to their front office since the end of the season: Roy Clark (vice president of player personnel), Doug Harris (director of player development), Kasey McKeon (director of player procurement), Minnitti, Jay Robertson (special assistant to the general manager), Sartori and Ron Schueler (special advisor to the GM).

In addition, the team is finalizing a deal to hire Davey Johnson as another special assistant to Rizzo.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 16, 2009; 2:02 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Zimmerman hauling in more than hardware
Next: Desert Dogs win East; see Strasburg and Co. Saturday

Comments

How's the reshaping of the Nats beat writer position going, Dave?

Posted by: section309 | November 16, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Dave is going to have to be the beat writer or take an early retirement.....Chico is gone.....good riddance really....Chico was did no original reporting and did not understand the game anyway. Dave is very good.....just tough to have to return to the trenches but times are tough.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't bother, they're here.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It's encouraging to see that they are bringing in new blood in an effort to rebulid the FO.

Now, it will be even more encouraging to see them spend a good amount of money on FA's in the offseason.

Posted by: Section505203 | November 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

For any organization to succeed sports franchise or otherwise it all starts at the top the "right" people in the right place's kudo's to Rizzo for getting it right as far as organizational priorities are concerned.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm also encouraged by the FO moves. I have a good feeling about the Rizzo regime, generally.

In D-Dog news, they'll try to clinch the AFL East this afternoon. And Drew Storen has a new post on the NatsTown blog (evidently his mother made him do it). :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited to have Davey Johnson in the fold. He truly was a success in baseball, and knew how to win as a manager. Think of him as an Atlanta or Mets legacy hire, not as one of the old recycled Reds.

Posted by: kevincostello | November 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Some of you may recall that Davey Johnson had an advisor role with the Nats for a while a few years ago. One of the things he did then was identify someone that he thought they should select in the Rule 5 draft. Guy named Jesus Flores.

Posted by: section309 | November 16, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Chico was no Blogfather, but I liked his work and enjoyed his writing.

But the absence of a beat writer is getting conspicuous.

RE: FO - Considering the bulk of the problems in Ashburn are due to a weak and unorganized FO, I like seeing that Rizzo is building his organization to his liking and is bringing in a lot of varied experience.

Now, about that roster...

Posted by: sec307 | November 16, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

When do the winter meetings start?

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Winter meetings are in early December IIRC.

Posted by: section309 | November 16, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Does it make anyone else nervous that the person they hired to be assistant GM (an important position, I'm assuming) spent the last 9 years with the Pirates? Clearly the Nats are nothing to write home about, but the Pirates haven't had a winning record in 17 years...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | November 16, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I won't get nervous until they hire JayBeee.

Posted by: section309 | November 16, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

What does "Director of Baseball Operations" mean? What other kinds of operations do they have: surfboarding operations? bingo operations?

Seriously, is this a baseball position -- or managing the business side of the park, labor contracts, minor leagues, etc?

Posted by: franklennox | November 16, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess Chico left without saying goodbye. Maybe we can share a blogfather with the Baltimore Sun.

Posted by: BobLHead | November 16, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice 309....let me know when you understand the game....clearly you are just a casual fan.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

r.e. Chico vanishing: his last Nats Journal post was at 7:05 PM on 10/22 -- it suggested he'd be back with AFL updates. He then filed another two or three dead tree edition stories in October. He's now been off the "by" line for almost a month. Maybe he's on vacation -- the page that lets you submit comments to him on his articles still exists. I hope that's so.

Dave, can you put all this speculation to rest and tell us when Svrluga Jr. is returning to Nats nation, if ever?

Posted by: wahoo2x | November 16, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

wahoo2x, it's been so long that I'm starting to wonder if the "AFL" Chico mentioned was the Arizona Fall League or the Australian Football League. Has Chico gone back to Oz to work on a a piece about 'footy'?

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 16, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Chico has to be gone. Tracee and other (Chico himself) often reply to our lines of inquiry in these comments, yet their silence in regards to Mr. Harlan, has been deafening.

I'm sure there's some kind of behind-the-scenes drama, but I'm sure we'd all like to know who will be covering the team this offseason (Rizzo's first!).

We didn't even get a post telling us that Strasburg struck out 6 of the 12 batters he faced! (3.2 in, 0 runs, 1 hit, 6 k's, 64 pitches)

Posted by: sec307 | November 16, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Great move!! Hiring a Pirates guy. Look at how well they've done. Bad enough they brought Riggleman back. You've got talented bench managers and coaches on the Phils and Yanks and you don't look at any of them?? You take a Pirates guy to boot?? What the heck is going on!!! This is some kind of joke isn't it. This team's got a chance this year to be competitive with Strasburg/Storen coming up. You're set at 3b, ss and 1st along with left and center. You've got hole in right , 2nd and catcher (Flores is hurt) and a need for a veteran starter. Get it together and get Mark De-Rosa for 2nd (before my Phightins' get him), get Brett Myers for your Veteran starter, Get Carl Crawford or Jason Bey. Spend some cash!!! You went cheap with Riggleman!!! Phightins forever!!!

Posted by: billm32 | November 16, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Jason Bey? Any relation to Turhan Bey?
Of course, Jason Bay was with the Pirates, so he must be a bum--why would anyone get him?
Phillies are a fine team, playing in a town where the sports fan eat their own young.

If the Nats get two front-line starters, a shortstop (Guzman is already slotted for 2nd base next year--try to keep up, willya?), some bench, and a strong backup catcher, they'll still need bullpen help.
That's a lot to try to fix at the retail level.

If they can be at .500 around Labor Day, (which would be an almost historic turnaround from 50 games under) that will be a huge, huge improvement, and Riggleman is your basic .500 manager, so there's that. Which is nice.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 16, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the winter meetings are from December 7-10, JiM.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And my vote is just say "no" to Brett Myers.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Holy guacamole. The D-Dogs reall want to wrap this thing up. They're through 7 at Mesa and it's D-Dogs 11, Solar Sox 1.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I must have dropped this "y" somewhere.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Chico is gone.....good riddance really....Chico was did no original reporting and did not understand the game anyway. Dave is very good.....just tough to have to return to the trenches but times are tough.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 2:27 PM
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
note to post sports editor....it would help if your next nationals beat writer a) has a rudimentary knowledge of the rules of the game and b) actually LIKES the sport.

Posted by: surly_w | November 16, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Re: sec3mysofa's comments about what is really needed- that's still optimistic, given the state of injuries around here. 1: Nyjer could easily get injured, so we don't know if we have a CF (how many players have played that position, didn't we have a listing of that earlier this year, something like 35 in the 5 years we've had this team); 2: Flores at catcher is if anything even more suspect for injury; 3. Dunn is fine if we've got him signed for an extension but if not, he'll definitely be traded away by July; 4. Who exactly other than Lannan can you count on at starting pitcher, and 5. Can we really count on McDougal as our closer? Not to mention people regressing to the norm - I know we all believe in Zim but he did just have a career year, and even he spent a third of a year on the DL in recent memory... and the only others I haven't even mentioned here are Guzman at 2nd base (a question mark if there ever was one) and Willingham, who had a sturdy first half but hit .204 from Aug. 1 onward. Still seems like a lot of question marks and missing pieces to me. Riggelman will be pretty lucky to get .500 next year with this team - a lot of dice have to roll the right way. It's still early in the rebuilding process...

Posted by: jonb5 | November 16, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if "Send 'Em in Tim" will get any Indians runners thrown out at the plate from the bencjh?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4660087

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 16, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Great move!! Hiring a Pirates guy. Look at how well they've done. Bad enough they brought Riggleman back. You've got talented bench managers and coaches on the Phils and Yanks and you don't look at any of them?? You take a Pirates guy to boot?? What the heck is going on!!! This is some kind of joke isn't it. This team's got a chance this year to be competitive with Strasburg/Storen coming up. You're set at 3b, ss and 1st along with left and center. You've got hole in right , 2nd and catcher (Flores is hurt) and a need for a veteran starter. Get it together and get Mark De-Rosa for 2nd (before my Phightins' get him), get Brett Myers for your Veteran starter, Get Carl Crawford or Jason Bey. Spend some cash!!! You went cheap with Riggleman!!! Phightins forever!!!

Posted by: billm32 | November 16, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse
================================

Hey brain trust!! This guy was Director of Baseball Operations, which had nothing to do with player development or scouting!! He deals with contracts, budgets, rules, etc.
I think the Pirates have had issues with GM and Coaching decisions, not whether a contract is valid or not!! Oh, and several ownership changes as well!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | November 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Man, that seems like a decade away.

And from the smell in here, it would seem the pilot light went out on the hot stove.

-----

I believe that the winter meetings are from December 7-10, JiM.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 16, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I did leave out the fourth outfielder, who'd better be able to play center, that's true. As I've said many times before, Nyjer, bless him, plays a hyperaggressive game; that's why we like him, but getting hurt is *when*, not if, for guys like that.
2) hence, "strong backup catcher."
3) I think it will be hard to extend Dunn if they get off to another slow start, but I get the impression he's open to staying here, in principle. I think July 4 is early, but if they suck again, and can't re-up him, then mid-late August, maybe.
4) Sign 2 front-line starters, to go in front of Lannan, Livo (assuming they go there, as it's looking like they will), and one more out of J.D. Martin, Detwiler, Stammen, and probably some one else who has a good spring, all of whom are also backups for the inevitable injuries and flameouts, or trade bait. Maybe SS will be up in June, maybe not. Znn won't be back before 2011.
It will indeed take hard work, skill, and lots of luck to get to .500 for 2010.
Which will be good enough for an interesting season, probably, under the circumstances.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 16, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, didn't they have that mess with their first-round pick (last year?), although I'm willing to blame Boras for that.
**********************
I think the Pirates have had issues with GM and Coaching decisions, not whether a contract is valid or not!! Oh, and several ownership changes as well!!
Posted by: dkidwell61 | November 16, 2009 5:07 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 16, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, boys and girls. Plan to be in front of the tv or set your DVR/Tivo to record the AFL Championship Game starting at 2:30 ET on Saturday, as the D-Dogs have just clinched. Congrats to the team and I look forward to watching the game on MLB Network this weekend.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"The gypsy woman placed a curse upon my head. Because I smelled it, she decreed I would forevermore BE HE WHO DEALT IT!"

*******
And from the smell in here, it would seem the pilot light went out on the hot stove.
Posted by: JohninMpls | November 16, 2009 5:09 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 16, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 16, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should keep Strasburg up 24/7 between now and Saturday. You know, so he doesn't sleep wrong and have to get scratched again. Red Bull or coffee, y'think?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 16, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

working for organizations that aren't successful doesn't mean that you didn't do a good job. it may just mean the decision makers in the organization didn't take your advice.

i'm sure rizzo has paid attention to which decisions he was able to make and how they worked out before he made the hire. there are plenty of good people who work in bad organizations at some point in their careers. for those bashing anyone who ever worked for the pirates, i'm sure every company you ever worked for was totally successful at whatever they did, right?

Posted by: sec231 | November 16, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Red Bull.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 16, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the Pirates has not been identifying or developing talent but in KEEPING IT.

To object to Rizzo hiring from the Pittsburgh organization on the basis of how the Pirates have finished is to ignore the economic realities of the game.

With revenue sharing like the NFL, the Pittsburgh Pirates might be as successful as their Steelers' counterparts.

Posted by: leopard09 | November 16, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

So many items, so little time.

First, the good: In news from Arizona, the Desert Dogs took care of Mesa earlier today, with 11-1 holding up as the final score. Nationals of note:
Espinosa (SS)- 3/4, 1RS, 1-3b, 4RBI, 1SO.
Wilkie (RP)- 1IP, 0RS, 1K.

Now, the bad (part 1): Who let the Phillies fan in here, Kasten? Shoutouts to sec3_sofa & dkidwell for dealing with the twit in a civilized manner.

The bad (part 2): Somebody (or something) woke JayBeee from his winter hibernation, and boy, is he ever cranky. Who's responsible for this; sec307, Eclipse, Bueller?

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

A comment more on-target with the lede: Rizzo now seems to have a solid "Contracts" team in place. With Schueler (former GM) as an Advisor, Minnitti as the Baseball Ops. GM, and Sartori as Baseball Ops. Director, that looks like a good group overall. As a bonus, Minnitti graduated from Pitt with a double major (mathmetics & statistics) - Smells like a sabremetric guru to me.

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Continued high praise for re (strike "re") building the front office. This is a good group they have assembled. And let's give credit where credit is due: The Lerner's have made a number of mistakes but the Nat's Front Office 2.0 looks to be a smart, experienced, well respected group. Rizzo seems to have the confidence to hire big names. Kasten seems to be letting the GM do his job. (Maybe he was more involved with Bowden for a reason)

The Nat have now hired staff with experience from Chicago, Texas, Cleveland, San Fran, Atlanta, Colorado, Pittsburgh, and MLB Player Relations this off-season.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 16, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

BinM

Have you been reading and listening to BA, BP and others who yet again are telling it like it is......we got nothing in the farm system after 4 years of new ownership......#5 Starters and Middle Releivers at best. Storen would be at the end of Phils top 10.....We got nothing but SS after 4 horrible seasons at the MLB level and back to back 100 loses.....Until I see some moves to improve this roster....I think we are still the worst run team in baseball with the worst 25, 40 man rosters and the worst farm system.

What is Rizzo waiting for? It is time to spend some money and make some moves. Several Key moves have been made and I am tired of Nats waiting till Feb trying to save some money and pick up Josh Bard on the cheap again.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

This should be a good move. He's got nine months to lock and load for Boras next summer.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 16, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I swear to god, the second we manage to win the WS, the first person I'll be scouring the comments section for for a reaction will be JB.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | November 16, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

We are not going to win the World Series with these prospects and this 40 man roster. Rizzo needs to get to work. JJ Hardy was a good start.....for Min Twins.....What we did not need a SS?

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree wholeheartedly.

If they only sign one in addition to Livan, then let everyone fight for the other two spots, I'd be okay with that, too.

-----

Sign 2 front-line starters, to go in front of Lannan, Livo (assuming they go there, as it's looking like they will), and one more out of J.D. Martin, Detwiler, Stammen, and probably some one else who has a good spring

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 16, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

JIM....this team has NEVER signed a front line starter......of course we all would be fine with signing TWO......how cold is it up there?

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

We didn't even get a post telling us that Strasburg struck out 6 of the 12 batters he faced! (3.2 in, 0 runs, 1 hit, 6 k's, 64 pitches)

Posted by: sec307 | November 16, 2009 4:10 PM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
seems like that should have rmerited at least another link ffrom alexa "asleep at the wheel" steele,

Posted by: surly_w | November 16, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

BinM, don't go blaming me for JayBeee. He's a total self-starter, I have nothing to do with it. (Although I suspect alcohol does.) But I agree he's dumb as a stump. He even thinks I'm ABM, whoever that is.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 16, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

JayBeee- Rizzo cannot sign free agents yet. There is a mandatory 15 day "waiting period" between when potential free agents file for free agency and when they can talk to other teams. Right now, only the team a free agent played for last season is allowed to talk to the player.

Also, Rizzo has completely torn down and rebuilt the front office already this offseason. Virtually none of the evaluators and decision makers that were in place the last 5 years are still working for the Nationals. He's hired a full time manager and now they have to fill out the coaching staff. Rizzo is working on fixing the farm system and the on-field product, but he can't sign everybody yesterday.

Our farm system is coming along. True #1 starters are incredibly rare to find, and the Nats seem to have one in Strasburg. #4 and #5 starters that you are complaining about are actually really good trade pieces that we can get solid value for. If we have the middle relievers in our system you are complaining about, that would be an upgrade compared to what we had last year. Even if Storen would be # 9 in the Phillies system like BA said (not #10, FYI), he would still be the best closer in their system. So far it sounds like all your concerns are in fact being addressed. Chill out. April's still a long way off.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | November 16, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Well that's nice ABM....now everyone knows who is who

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Cheese.....fair points I guess but I still think this team needs to make moves in the Fall and big ones....not sign left overs in Feb like Bard.....time will tell if you are right about Rizzo's lack of support right now....it may well just be yet another excuse.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

@Eclipse: I didn't try to blame, only asked who had responsibility; He's a handful, isn't he?
On a historic note, ABM is shorthand for An Briosca Mor, IIRC; A gent of scottish (or Welsh) lineage, with wide-ranging interests who posted semi-regularly here a year or two back, and constantly got under JayBeee's skin.

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, JayBeee. As Ronald Reagan once said, there you go again. Here's a couple of facts for you that might come as a surprise. I'm not ABM, and Manny Acta is gone. Deal with it.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 16, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

BinM don't forget ABM is famous for having about 15 screen names going at once....mostly 40 characters or more....

Posted by: JayBeee | November 16, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@JayBeee: Once again, you're awake & raging against the machine; So nice to have your prescience back among us.
If it makes you feel any better, and helps calm some of your inner demons, I'll agree with your overall point that Bowden did more damage than good during his "reign of terror". Will you let it go now?

Rizzo is in charge now - It's a new day, with a group in place who at first glance seem to know baseball. Let's give them the off-season to see what they can deliver, OK?

One more thing before I go - "Lighten up, Frances".

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Methinks this ABM is naught but a legend in JayBeee's mind. Unfortunately, it seems to have knocked away any room for sense therein.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 16, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Stop chatting with him ....

.... This tidbit from Olney at ESPN on our good friend Nick Johnson:

He is now regarded as a way below-average defensive first baseman by scouts, and he really doesn't hit for much power. Because of his lengthy injury history and the questions about his commitment to conditioning, teams might be reluctant to offer him a deal of more than a modest year at a modest rate. But he does something better than any other free agent on the market: Johnson gets on base. He drew 99 walks in 133 games with the Nationals and Marlins last season, and batted .291, and could draw interest from teams closest to his home -- the Giants and Athletics -- and could fit with any number of clubs, including the Rangers and the Orioles. He might not get big dollars, but he'll have a lot of choices.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 16, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

If the Post doesn't tell us anything, not even a "chill, guys, Chico is on vacation" they can't blame us if we go off to commit a little investigative journalism of our own.

According to Chico Harlan's Facebook page he's out hiking the Appalachian Trail (for real, not in the Governor of South Carolina sense) and probably is off the information grid for days at a time.

Which still doesn't answer the question "who's got the Nationals beat in 2010?" but it does help explain why we haven't heard anything from him for awhile.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 16, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

In looking at some earlier posts on this string, I'll add the following:

For backup OF's beyond Willingham / Morgan / Dukes, I offer Bernadina (CF) and/or Maxwell (LF/CF/RF) as possibles as we enter the off-season.

At Catcher, the team definitely needs support for the current Flores/Nieves duo; Someone out of Barajas, R.Castro, Schneider, or a non-tender could work.

In the MI positions, if the team sticks with the Guzman to 2B decision, Alex Gonzalez, Everett, McDonald or Uribe might fill the bill as a FA acquisition, or another non-tender is possible.

For Starting pitching, the team might look for a trade first (ATL/DET?), FA/Non-tenders 2nd. Someone to fill the #1-2 slot (one of Lowe/Vasquez or Bonderman/Verlander) via trade & a #4-5 (Livo/Duchscherer/Davis/others) via FA or non-tender.

The bullpen currently holds some Arb-eligible players (Bergmann, Burnett, MacDougal, & Rivera); Figure out what to do with them first, then move forward. There is some depth in the system here to call on, if they prove themselves in the spring, or early in the season in 2010.

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Also, here is a link to an article about Lastings latest fresh start ...

http://www.newsday.com/columnists/ken-davidoff/davidoff-s-baseball-insider-1.1589685

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 16, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

A little morning reading material for JayBeee, filed by Chico Harlan from somewhere along the Appalachian Trail on 9/22/09.

"Dukes must solve the curveball. Compared with 2008, he is swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone, and pitchers have learned to pick on his impatience. Dukes calls the curveball his "weakness," adding, "I'm really, really eager to attack that."

Before every game, he drags Washington bullpen pitcher Jose Martinez to the batting cage and Martinez throws 30 to 50 curveballs, just to help with the timing. ("I just want to keep doing it to get the remembrance of it," Dukes said.) Dukes watches video of another low-crouching hitter, Albert Pujols, a master on breaking balls. ("All great hitters can hit the curveball," Dukes said. "He makes it look so easy, you almost have to slow-motion it.") And this winter, Dukes will play winter ball with the Tigres del Licey, a Dominican team.

"I don't really want no time off," Dukes said. "I just want to keep seeing it, keep seeing it, until spring training of next year. I just haven't figured it out yet. . . . The curveball is the last piece."


What makes JayBeee so smart and a front office full of lifetime baseball men so dumb that they'd let Dukes go down to the Dominican to keep doing what he was doing at the end of the season? Do you think they even have batting cages and bullpen pitchers down there, not to mention video? It's such a primitive place after all. How did Albert Pujols ever learn to hit a curve anyway, coming from a place like that?

Posted by: section309 | November 17, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Overall, and assuming Davey Johnson comes on board, I may have to reassess my pessimism regarding the Nationals' future.

I'm now in the "trust but verify" mode. And I'm not looking to next year's season to "verify." Too soon.

Have to give the new FO at least several years. So it will be a long, slow, slog with a few Zim (and Nyjer) highlights in the immediate future for entertainment.

Posted by: JohnRDC | November 17, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Reminder: It is not necessary to continue a debate beyond the point of annoyance.

Moving on: Scott Olson quoted as saying, "Personally, I would like to be back. I think the Nationals are a very upstanding organization. Now that they have hired Rizzo full time, things are looking up. I would like to be part of the future there. It's not my decision. If they don't want me to come back, I'll find somewhere else to play."

The full note:

http://therocket.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/11/olsens_shoulder_feels_100_perc.html

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 17, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Listen up XM-175 MLB Homeplate fans; the most dispicable of human beings has gotten a full time gig on the radio, week nights from 1800-2100. No its not Holden Kushner, (that clap-trapper is reserved for the weekends on MLB Live), its none other then Jim "PT" Bowdoin. Yupper thats right Jim Bowden has been teamed up with Jim Joyce weeknights on XM-175 MLB Homeplate to give a GM's perspective on the "Hot Stove" and all the other things that will be happening between now and the opening of Spring Training.

Question for Jim from TippyC in Va;

Tippy: Hey Jim;
Bowden: How's it going TippyC, is that your real name?
Tippy: Yeah, its Irish!

Tippy: Jim, how have you been able to avoid jail time and much blame are you willing to take for all of the shenanigans that occured on your watch with the Nats?

........Click, Jim, Jim, damn they hung up on me.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 17, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, when Bowden's not running a team he can be quite entertaining, don'tcha think? And what is radio if not entertainment? Sounds like a great fit. You're listening, obviously. That's all they want. You don't have to like it...

Posted by: section309 | November 17, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Jim Bowden in the media will end worse than the Steve Phillips saga. It might not be today, it might not even be this year, but lets just say that Bowden won't leave the media spotlight on his own terms!

Re Scott Olsen (since somebody posted a quote from him earlier): The Nats need to non-tender him. If they feel he's still valuable, by all means work out a deal to bring him back! But he's due to make more than $3 Mill if he goes to arbitration. Between his sub-par performance when he was healthy last year, and his serious injury that leaves many questions about his performance in 2010, he is not worth $3Mill+. But he's not good enough to guarantee overpaying him just so that no other team gets a chance to sign him. Take the million+ they will save by avoiding arbitration and spend it on a FA middle infielder or a good starting pitcher.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | November 17, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey kiddies, there's a new post from NJ's own MVP. (Guess who?)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 17, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I like the way Rizzo is running things so far however, I want results when Free Agency officially opens. Spend some dollars for a change. The farm system is coming along but, it has a long way to go. In the mean time, they should fill the rather large gaps in the roster with A. Dunn like signings, 3-4 pitchers, a SS (so Guz can move to 2nd) and a quality back up Catcher.

You guys can call JayB "cranky" all you want and frankly he is but, he brings a lot of good points to the discussion on here and in my opinion, is right a lot more than he is wrong.

As for the muliple monikered knucklehead "ABM", he is not a "legend" in anybody's mind, "FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome", he's reality and he's a pain in the ass.

Posted by: Section505203 | November 17, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

err, ummm.... they don't have to non-tender him. They can just sign him to an incentive package. base +innings+performance.... That seems the most likely scenario to me.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 17, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company