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Strasburg's injury won't require surgery

The Washington Nationals were never so happy to hear the words "patellar subluxation" as they were Friday night, when they received word of that diagnosis--essentially a dislocated kneecap--in the left knee of prized phenom Stephen Strasburg, who injured the knee Thursday prior to an Arizona Fall League game. The news means the 21-year-old right-hander will avoid surgery and should have no trouble being ready for spring training in February.

"It was the best result that we could have hoped for," General Manager Mike Rizzo said Friday evening from his office at Nationals Park. "It's something where he just has to rest and follow a physical therapy regimen to strengthen all the ligaments around his knee. We think we dodged a bullet. From what you hear, and from what [witnesses] saw on the field, you always think of the worst and hope for the best."

Strasburg, who signed a record $15.1 million contract after the Nationals took him No. 1 overall in the June draft, was seen Friday by Dr. Lewis Yocum, a noted orthopedist based in Los Angeles, after an MRI taken immediately after the injury showed inflammation in the area.

According to Rizzo, the injury occurred while Strasburg and a teammate were playing long-toss in the outfield during batting practice before the Phoenix Desert Dogs' regular-season finale Thursday. Strasburg apparently went to field a ground ball that had been hit near him when his cleats caught in the outfield grass. Witnesses said Strasburg immediately crumpled to the ground and reported hearing a "pop" in his knee.

Despite the relatively best-case diagnosis, Strasburg remains scratched from his previously scheduled start in Saturday's AFL championship game, which is to be televised at 2 p.m. ET on the MLB Network. Strasburg finished the AFL season with a 4-1 record and 4.26 ERA, having previously missed a scheduled start in the league's all-star game after waking up with a stiff neck, which was later diagnosed as a strained muscle.

"It's disappointing for [Strasburg] for sure to miss [Saturday's] start," said Rizzo, who spoke to Strasburg earlier Friday. "I know that for a fact. He's an ultra-competitor and he really wanted to win for his teammates. He felt that with him on the mound, it gives his team the best chance to win the championship game. So he's extremely disappointed he doesn't get to finish out the season with his teammates and pitch in the championship game."

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 20, 2009; 7:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

A dislocated kneecap sounds horribly painful. But if Rizzo says no surgery and its the "best case scenario" then its all good in my book.

Dodged a bullet? More like a cannon ball.

Posted by: SpashCity | November 20, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

So, Mr. Strasburg has a 'floating kneecap' (that's how an Orthopedist described it to me, many years ago); I guess the good news is, it's his plant leg (left), so a sleeve should keep the injury relatively stable short-term & allow the ligaments to tighten up naturally. Ultimately, patellar ligament surgery may be needed, but not right away.
Whew, the Nationals may have dodged a bullet with this one.

Posted by: BinM | November 20, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, Dave. That's a relief. Now you can go back to reading to your kid. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 20, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that is great news on the outcome!

Posted by: dmacman88 | November 20, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't help it: After Flores, Zimmermann, Chico, Hill, Patterson, and so many other Nats -- all of whom were supposed to be OK -- I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Posted by: ammonite88 | November 20, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Two injuries in one fall league season? Doesn't bode well for the future if he is this injury prone.

Posted by: amorris525 | November 20, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

@ammonite:
Sadly, I think I'm with you on this one.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | November 20, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The stiff neck wasn't really an injury. They were just being extra careful with him because they just gave him $15 million. If his next start had been at the end of September 2010 to make the playoffs or not he would have pitched. There's no reason to risk a more serious injury because he's not 100% just to play in an AFL game.

Posted by: SpashCity | November 20, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Folks,

Enough with the doomsday scenarios. This is a new day, a new leadership team, a new future, for the Nationals. Unlike his predecessor, Mike Rizzo is a man of integrity. Let's let Mr. Strasburg rest, get stronger, and expect good things from him next May or June.

It may not happen right away, but this club is finally on the right track and I'm optimistic about its future.

Posted by: sonshinefcc | November 20, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Our Nationals nightmare hopefully is at its end.

Posted by: cokedispatch | November 20, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

This is Dan Snyder's fault.

Posted by: Goombay | November 20, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, (exhale). Sweet, blessed patellar subluxation.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 21, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

p.s. I love you. Hey, that would make a good song title. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 21, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Two songs, even.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w6FmuzSzEQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjLQ34PIjgA&feature=fvw


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 21, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to those who helped me with the pronunciation of Svrluga.

All these years, I had been pronouncing it "Barry."

Posted by: KenNat | November 21, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

If this injury (with same diagnosis) had happend, let's say last June 1, what would the impact have been on the draft and negotitations?

Posted by: KenNat | November 21, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

For this afternoon's game, it reads like the Javalinas are going to "all hands on deck" - Their announced starter (Anthony Varvaro) has been throwing late-inning relief in AZ. Bradshaw will probably have somebody up in the bullpen for the entire game.

Posted by: BinM | November 21, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

LOL! You got us that time, KenNat.

---

All these years, I had been pronouncing it "Barry."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 21, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This past Wednesday would've been Johnny Mercer's 100th birthday.

-----

p.s. I love you. Hey, that would make a good song title. :-)

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 21, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Any news on the game scheduled for today?

Posted by: dand187 | November 21, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

If this injury (with same diagnosis) had happend, let's say last June 1, what would the impact have been on the draft and negotitations?
Posted by: KenNat | November 21, 2009 9:23 AM |
-------------------------
Scott Boras' head might have imploded.

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

I hadn't realized that, JiM. He left a great songbook behind, IMO.

dand, there are game notes here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/documents/2009/11/21/7697730/1/Championship_Game_Notes.pdf

Is it a bad sign that one of the Javelinas trainers is nicknamed "Possum"? No rallies for you! >:-| (There. That ought to take care of it.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 21, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Tracee, if you're reading this, we're gonna need some follow-up on the second Storen item below - preferably with pics. :-)

NUGGETS: Attended Stanford University where he played with Astros and Saguaros catcher Jason Castro … has an extensive collection of hats and bobble-heads and is a gifted artist ... twice named outstanding student in art at Brownsburg (IN) High School.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 21, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Why do I feel Uncle Teddy just spent $15 million on the baseball equivalent of Mark Price? Stiff neck, disclocated kneecap (ouch!), what's next? Plantar fascitis, anyone?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 21, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, when did Tony Clark get so gray? I remember him as a rookie with Detroit. I guess we're all getting older. **Sigh**

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 21, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Would love to see the grown-up Nats get a ground ball to the right side with a runner on third and none out to score more runs.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 21, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe not just gray. Is it me, or are these guys not always sure which team is which? I think even the promo had "Drew Storen and the Javolinas" playing the Devil Dogs.

-------------
letee1955: My goodness, when did Tony Clark get so gray?

Posted by: KenNat | November 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm no doctor, but I did post a comment originally saying his teh patellar dislocation would be the most likely diagnosis. It's a big relief, if it's a good diagnosis. I was misdiagnosed with just that injury, but it turned out I'd actually torn my ACL and medial meniscus. Second opinions suggested I might have torn the cartilage, but that's it. Of course, Starburg's doctors have the benefit of an MRI -- my doctors wouldn't even order one...back in the days when the PPOs were no ordering tests to save money. It took me years to finally get an MRI. The glories of American health care.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Just read where Josh Johnson is not going to sign long term with the Marlins. Wondering what we could trade for him. He is the kind of #1 I would love to see here. I am guessing the Marlins will not do anything until next year.

Posted by: sjm3091 | November 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

We have such a long off-season ahead of us still. I need to think of something else, because I just longed to watch Nyjer Morgan track down a really long fly to center field.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | November 22, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

+1/2St. (and others)

You can go to timeanddate.com and create a countdown clock to when pitchers and catchers report (9:30am on Feb 18, 2010 I believe) or for first spring training game or first pitch of the regular season -- or all of the above.

Then your loved ones and friends may look at you as mine do while thinking, "you need help."

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 22, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

C'mon folks: There's still baseball being played in the Carribbean, the Winter Meetings are only two weeks away. There are Free Agent lists to peruse, team needs to be discussed, trades to be considered. This is Hot Stove season, and it's just getting started.

Posted by: BinM | November 22, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I am sensing that Nats are not going to do anything much in Hots stove. They missed JJ Hardy because they were not ready with all the Front Office moves needed to destink the Jimbo years. Rizzo has said that the Front Office moves were the most important part of this off season. That does not make signing a Lackey or trade for a SS very likely. Nope I think we will sign Bard and scrap heap relievers in late Feb like last year. Team will be much improved just by subtraction of Acta and Kearns types. Spending money is and making trades are not going to happen in my view. If Rizzo had the green light to spend we would know it by now. Look how many trades and moves have been made. Our Number one Need was SS and we let JJ Hardy go to Twins without a word.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Doomed. We're all doomed. We missed out on a SS who hit .229 and was demoted to the minors last year.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 22, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

+1/2St. (and others)

You can go to timeanddate.com and create a countdown clock to when pitchers and catchers report (9:30am on Feb 18, 2010 I believe) or for first spring training game or first pitch of the regular season -- or all of the above.

Then your loved ones and friends may look at you as mine do while thinking, "you need help."

Posted by: greggwiggins
---------
Just did it, Gregg. Thanks.

Posted by: Section109 | November 22, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about missing out on Hardy; he's not the only solution. There are other free agent and trade possibilities.

Heck, after seeing him play in Arizona I'd understand if the Nats decided to give a spring training audition to Danny Espinoza.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 22, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Look who got Hardy....Twins...they know what they are doing and have a long proven track record. If the Twins want his we should too.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Look how many trades and moves have been made".
Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 1:20 PM
---------------------
OK, I'll look - Four trades (Iwamura to PIT, Hardy to MIN, Teahen to CWS, Hermida to BOS), some re-signings, scattered waiver claims, and some MiLB signings (mostly by KC) so far. Not much, IMO.

The Hardy deal (MIL-MIN) might have been in the Nationals' wheelhouse, if the Nationals had offered Morgan straight-up, or Bernadina & a pair of pitchers. They may have been in the initial talks, but we'll never know, because the deal was made rather quickly.

Posted by: BinM | November 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Woe is me JayBee! Everything is always wrong! I think I'll have to go eat worms!

Jaybee, do you like anything or anybody?

Posted by: WashOut | November 22, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about missing out on Hardy; he's not the only solution. There are other free agent and trade possibilities.
Heck, after seeing him play in Arizona I'd understand if the Nats decided to give a spring training audition to Danny Espinoza.
Posted by: greggwiggins | November 22, 2009 1:56 PM
----------------------
Gregg: IIRC, Espinosa was in camp last year as a STI; He'll likely get the same this year. Unless he lights it up in ST, he'll likely start 2010 with HAR, but could be a September addition.

Posted by: BinM | November 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Sure I like winning team. I even like losing teams as long as they do not lead the lead in errors two years in a row.

I like the Morgan trade. I like signing a proven vet pitcher......Nats just have never stepped up to sign a Wolf, Garland, Lackey or even Levo back in 2007 when they should have. Team needs proven players and they cost money. I do not see it happening.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I recall hearing that the Nationals (under Bowden) tried multiple times to acquire Hardy and I do think Hardy would be a nice asset, but he seems to have proven some of his limitations at this point. He has power, but long streaks of unproductivity. He has a low career OBP including .302 last year. He would be a plus on defense. But in a cost/benefit comparison, the Twins had to give up a top CF prospect in Gomez to get him. With a number of players similar to Hardy still available in free agency and via trade I would think that the need can be filled better with less cost.

I do not share the ominous foreboding that the hot stove is passing us by. I think we will continue to see movement well into February and March as teams wait to understand how the economy is going to play out. Big time free agents like Holiday and Bay will get good money as always, but mid tier players may be available at a bargain and those players will still be sorting out late January/early February. Trades will trickle out all winter long.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 22, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

There is NO ONE in Free Agency like Hardy, NO ONE like Hardy up for trade cheap like that......Gomez is not a top prospect.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I say the problem was that Rizzo was not named GM early enough and then waited too long to start working on the New Front Office....they were not organized and may still be disorganized based on the current 40 man roster decisions. They risk losing Wilkie in Rule 5 because the have not been able to make decision on people like Saul R. or Olsen types.....Yes we are much better than Jimbo days, but we could be doing much better too.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"There is NO ONE in Free Agency like Hardy"
Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 3:32 PM
---------------------
JayBeee: So, in your mind, Scutaro is nobody? Should the Nationals jump all over somebody like Hardy, just to make you happy for the moment? I think not. Crap, the non-tenders haven't even been announced yet, and there may be something available via trade as well.

Dude, ease up, and try to tone down your over-hyped rhetoric a little - the rest of us on planet NJ might find your arguments far more understandable that way.

Posted by: BinM | November 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@Bisquit/biscuits: Agreed - I think Rizzo will go into the Winter Meetings with both a target list (players he likes), and an offer list (players he thinks are valuable, but in excess).

The Hot Stove will start to ramp up in a couple of weeks, during the Winter Meetings; Maybe we'll see a trade or two negotiated then.

Posted by: BinM | November 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg won't win 50 games for this team. He and Boras are laughing all the way to the bank.

Posted by: bundy44 | November 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Scutaro is going to be 34 years old. What is the point of that BinM?

You may not like hearing it but JJ Hardy was the move that was needed and Rizzo missed it.

Time will tell but I think the Nats are not going to do anything that costs any money.....just some late Feb early March Bard type pick ups yet again.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Dunn was a Feb pickup. How'd that one turn out?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 22, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Dunn is fun to watch but most Sabre guys will show you stats that he costs us more runs than he produced. She did not help us win did he? Not a real fan of guy who can not field a position....this is the NL.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 22, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Must stop chatting with him....

At the moment, I'm most interested in how the Rule 5 scenario will play out. The chances of hitting on a year-long keeper are slim, but the reward can be high. With first pick of the litter, last year the Nats took a player almost no one outside of the Reds organization had heard of and as best as I can tell, not a single impact player stuck with his team for the year. But we all know the success stories - Flores, Uggla, Santana, Ayala, etc ...

There has to be a player out there that can make an impact.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 22, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Rule 5 success stories are really not all that common. The Nats might be better off not picking anyone in that draft this year, since whoever they do take would be hogging a 25-man roster spot all season.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

They only take a only take a roster spot if you keep them and its always worth a look. They should definitely take a shot and they should definitely return him if he does not seem worthy in spring training. The Nats have at least two - and possibly as many as three candidates on their 40 man roster that could safely be removed to create room for a pick.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 22, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

If i'm Mike Rizzo i want a difference maker whether that person is a starting pitcher or an everyday position player not some over thirty halfway washed up player trying to cash in,look most of us who follow the game year round know free agency is a crap shoot. This franchise can't afford any misstep's so Rizzo should proceed with caution that's why he's cleaned house as far as the FO is concerned better qualified input from people he considers in the know.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 22, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

You know Jaybee, BinM has a point. The fact is that you don't know whether Rizzo asked for Hardy or not. Is it so inconceivable that he inquired and was told to come back when he had a center fielder to trade? Of course it is not. And we wouldn't surrender Morgan unless it was for someone much better than Hardy.

The fact is we won't know so better to judge the manager on the team he fields and the deals he does make rather than his failure to pull the trigger on trades we want him to make.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Aww, you're no fun anymore. Can we tear him for his bad verses, at least?
*************
The fact is we won't know so better to judge the manager on the team he fields and the deals he does make rather than his failure to pull the trigger on trades we want him to make.
Posted by: soundbloke | November 22, 2009 6:45 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 22, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

There have been good baseball players every year for well over a century and a half. There will be new good players this year, too. The trick is finding them, and the more good scouts you have working on it, the better. February will do.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 22, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"So, Mr. Strasburg has a 'floating kneecap' (that's how an Orthopedist described it to me, many years ago); I guess the good news is, it's his plant leg (left), so a sleeve should keep the injury relatively stable short-term & allow the ligaments to tighten up naturally."

BinM, It can be a sign that additional problems could occur with that knee. They need to get him on a hard core weight training program to strengthen the muscles around that knee in particular but both knees. He needs a good physical trainer that's for sure. And it may well be well worth the investment, at this point, for the Nats to hire one to follow him.

Posted by: periculum | November 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Before Dunn's fielding is judged. You probably should let him have an entire year at 1st base and see how it goes. The outfield play did appear to improve significantly once he was safely ensconced at 1st base. They appear to have a potential 'heir apparent' in the wings.

I think we have to see how it all plays out with Rizzo's offseason moves. In the end its going to be about pitching. That has to improve first for the standings to improve.

Posted by: periculum | November 22, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

JayB...I'm a bit surprised that you, as a defense & fundamentals guy, would overlook the value of Gomez's outstanding defense (non prospect?) as well as the steadily declining defensive metrics for Hardy.

Why are Hardy's offensive & defensive stats declining as he approaches his "peak" years? Does it make sense to pay in prospects & salary for Hardy only to hope he returns to 2007-2008 form? Isnt that something Jimbo would do?

Also, there is a comparable & younger SS available by trade (if you believe the rumor mill). Stephen Drew.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Fair Points and yes if we get Drew then I am happier.

Hardy was sent to minors to save service time once it was clear MIL was not going anywhere and his slump limited his trade value. It was a nice try by MIL to keep his value high in trade but in the end it hurt his value more than MIL thought.

Gomez has a OBP well below what it should be and ALWAYS has had trouble getting on base. His SB average is also very low over his career. Not sure what your point is....If he is indeed some great a prospect then it just goes to show Twins paid fair price for Hardy who is indeed an all star. Watch.....the Twins have a Marlin type track record on these deals.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 23, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Marlins Josh Johnson and Dan Uggla anyone in the "Nats Brain-Trust" interested?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 23, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

My guess is Josh Johnson would cost significantly more than Olsen/Willingham did.

Nationals would likely have to start with one top five prospect (like Marrero) and at least one guy from 6-10.

Posted by: Brian_ | November 23, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@Tippy: As a fan, Josh Johnson might be worth a "feeler offer" to the Marlins. I'd take a pass on Uggla though; He has some pop in his bat, but his OBP & fielding leave me wanting.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The Gomez/Hardy trade was a positive for both teams.

Hardy was an All-Star in 2007, but had his worst offensive year last year. The Twins needed MI help, and they already have the offense - they needed stability. Hardy's price tag was probably lower than it's ever been.

Gomez was acquired from the Mets in the Santana trade, and he was a top prospect in that organization. But the rise of Denard Span made Gomez - a fan favorite - expendable. Gomez is exciting, but he's also a loose cannon (Gardenhire's actual term for the guy) and the team already has one of those in Casilla, and it was clear that Go-Go was making Gardy's hair even whiter.

Gomez could be a serviceable leadoff hitter in Milwaukee, but his real value is in CF. The Twins didn't need either of those components. He also has one of those things you can't teach - speed - which is good, because you can't seem to teach that kid anything.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 23, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So, JiM, you make him sound like Milledge with more speed and less bat.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 23, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Which opens the question, who would you be willing to give up for a shortstop? Not necessarily Jimmy Rollins, but a solid MLB fielder who makes the plays they're supposed to make, and hits well enough that he's not killing you in the 7 or 8 hole--say .250/.350/.400?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 23, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

and just to clear it up, let's make him young, and not so injury-prone you'd worry about it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 23, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sec3

I think the short answer is 'a hell of a lot more than the Nat's have to offer'. My guess is a something like Willigham+soft tossing 'prospect' or 'Dunn and we eat some salary'.

Until we have build up the farm and invested money in the free agent market trades are going to be very difficult because a package of Guzman and Stammen (or the equivalent) will bring a return of 'bag of balls'.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 23, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Then I'm selling the guy short, because he's nowhere near as problematic.

He's an ace on defense - no problem there. He's not a head case or a me-first guy, either. He just doesn't pay attention. There were times when the bench coach had to wave a towel from the dugout to get his attention because he didn't catch the signal for the defensive shift.

Gomez was nicknamed Go-Go. Milledge was No-No.

-----

So, JiM, you make him sound like Milledge with more speed and less bat.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 23, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Also, Joe Mauer is the AL MVP. Awesome to see.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 23, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@soundbloke: What you offer is a player (or combination of players) that fits a want or need of the club you are negotiating with.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3: Based on you criteria, S. Drew (AZ) & Pennington (OAK).

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

BinM

I understand the basic tenants negotiation thank-you but, the point stands that few teams would be greatly improved by anything we have to offer.

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

It is going to be hard to acquire players through trade in today's economy who are both under team control for 2+ years.

Only if they are up for arbitration and looking at big bucks will a team be likely to deal them.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 23, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@soundbloke: Sorry if my response seemed clipped. It's just that if WSH is trading with a team dumping salary, they would seem more interested in "controllable assets", wheras a team close to contending might be looking for proven ML talent at a higher salary.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

read my lips: Do Not Trade Dunn.

That is all.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 23, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Zimmerman has picked up another award; he and Curtis Granderson of the Tigers are the only baseball players among 10 athletes selected for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

From the Nationals' website:

# # # #

The list also includes notables like tennis standout Venus Williams, NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard and Dirk Nowitzki, Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck and Olympian sprinter Lauryn Williams.

The group will be officially recognized in New York City at the third annual Sports Business and Philanthropy Luncheon on Dec. 8. In addition, two top winners will be honored at the national Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 22.

Past Jefferson Awards winners include Oprah Winfrey, Alan Greenspan, Peyton Manning, Colin Powell, Lance Armstrong, Barbara Bush and Bill Gates, as well as four Supreme Court justices and seven secretaries of state.

# # # #

The link is:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091123&content_id=7706310&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 23, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

To add one more paragraph from the Nationals website with more details about the Jefferson Awards:

# # # #

Established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft Jr. and Sam Beard to establish a Nobel Prize for public service, the Jefferson Awards' primary purpose is "to serve as a 'Call to Action for Volunteers' in local communities,"

# # # #

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

BinM, my response was a bit tart, sorry.

Either way, we really don't have anything worth trading.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Tim Deirkes (from MLBTR) has a report that the Braves could be looking at Willingham (among others) to bolster their offense.

While I personally think Josh is a good fit in LF for the Nationals, would the Braves offer up either Lowe (and some salary relief), or Vazquez as a starting point?

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

From the same report on MLBTR, the Cardinals are also interested in Willingham; I don't see a pitcher of reasonable value that I think they'd be willing to part with, but Brendan Ryan (SS-2B) would be interesting.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Nats Journal is pretty lousy. Hot stove is cooking and it is 3 days between posts on a baseball blog? Come on.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21: When the blogmasters don't feed us, we hampsters try to go out & forage, then come back & share what we found.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sad that the hamsters rule the roost for days at a time. Might just as well do this someplace that provides something of value or which does not generate income for the not providing content Wahington Post.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Chico's new nickname has to be "Ducky" Harlan. But don't call him "Pajo Cojo"--that's just rude.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 23, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The more I look at the current 40-man roster vs. minor-league players, the more I think that Josh Wilkie deserves a 40-man spot over the likes of Zach Segovia, Saul Rivera & Ryan Mattheus. He's younger, had a better K:W ratio & BAA in 2009, and hasn't needed surgery to re-start his career.

Plus, he's another player with local ties (a GW grad, who still lives in DC). I'm admitting a man-crush on the kid, and I want him on the roster.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

me too, BinM. I was really bummed Wilkie didn't make the 40-man.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 23, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I have to take exception to dfh21 -- NJ is not lousy. Sure, we'd all like more posts, but I enjoy and am often enlightened by the observations made by the regulars (OK, so maybe I, too, would like the personal hits toned down). If you don't like it, nobody is forcing you to read it.

Posted by: nats24 | November 24, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Ian D has 17 Strikeouts to 2 walks in winter ball.......I do not have the strength to face how many errors he has made in 17 games. Plan can be Desmond at SS. If they do they are asking to repeat 100 loses, firing the manager, starting all over again for the 3rd straight year with a whole new staff again.......Rizzo needs to get a proven SS with some pop that is not over the hill.....JJ Hardy type....not a Scutero type.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 24, 2009 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Tracee? Dave? Boz? Can we get some love over here?

Posted by: NatsNut | November 24, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

OK, I know its Thanksgiving week and that there seems to be no real Nats news, but I've got withdraw and I still need my fix.

Make something up, a little conjecture, call Colin Balester or Drew Storen. Somebody who's willing to talk.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I should have been more clear -- I love the banter, the dialogue, the occasional idiocy (likely to be mine from time to time) of Nats Journal, but the Post's contribution is what stinks.

Nothing on Josh Willingham rumors, nothing on who the club may be targeting, nothing on Nyjer Morgan at the Kidney ball the other night, nothing on anything for days. NJ is not exactly chock full o' information opr the word o nthe street for the Nats fan, but for that which is brought by Nats fans. This could be hosted anyplace. The Post needs to step it up.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 24, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Worst. Answer. Ever.

From Bill "Idiot" Ladson's Q&A to a query about SS's durability:

"The Strasburg situation reminds me of what Jose Vidro went through in Montreal."

Huh, what?

Let's hope like, with 95 percent of what Ladson writes (remember Austin Kearns' potential for a break-out All-Star season in '09?) he is wrong. Because I shudder to think about Veeds when I see SS on the mound.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Don't like Washington Post baseball coverage? Move to Cleveland, read the Plain Dealer.

"Indians skipper Manny Acta: 'I want to become one of the elite six or seven' managers"

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2009/11/indians_skipper_manny_acta_i_w.html

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Q. Describe a perfect spring training.

A. The perfect spring training is getting out of there without anybody getting hurt. We want to set the tone about how we're going to play the game. How I approach the regular season, how I approach the individual players on a day-to-day basis so they get to know me better.

I want to establish some kind of identity for our ballclub. Competing is not enough. We want to win. It sounds good when people talk about competing. Competing one-on-one is fine, but as a team, we want to win.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Q. What can you do about the team's slow starts in five of the last seven years?

A. We're going to make them aware of it. I think guys in baseball rely too much on the long season. Too many times, guys say "it's 162-game season, we'll be OK." In our division, we have to make it a priority, that every game is important whether it's played in April or September.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Q. Your clubs in Washington didn't have a lot of speed. How will you use the speed and versatility on the Indians' roster?

A. We have a lot of pieces in place here that we didn't have before. We have guys who can run and steal bases. We have already identified those guys and they'll have the green light.

It's not so much about stealing bases. It's going from first to third and being able to score from first on a double. Eliminating extra outs that you might give away on the bases. Those are the things we'll address.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Q. Do you have a lot of rules as a manager?

A. I'm not a ticky-tacky rules kind of guy. I believe this job is tough enough to play. I like to keep my guys happy.

But everybody needs structure. ... The main thing will be to show up on time, play hard, and there's no excuse for not doing that, and respect. You respect each other, respect the game, respect the coach staff and respect the fans.

Q. Will each player be treated as an individual in regard to team rules? Or will there be one set of rules for everyone?

A. Everybody has the same rules around here. You just don't treat everybody the same -- meaning one guy won't get preferential treatment over the other one. It's just different personalities. Everybody is different.

There are guys who need more patting on the back than a kick in the butt and visa versa. There is one rule for everybody here, and we do have a clubhouse full of high-character guys, and I don't foresee that being a problem.

Q. If you do have a discipline problem with a player, how do you deal with them?

A. We'll bring him into the office and talk. Nowadays there's so much exposure about everything. We're going to try and stay away from being on You Tube and not representing the Indians the right way.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Q. How hard was it to be told you weren't going to make it to the big leagues as a player at 22 and having to change course and try to make it as a coach or manager?

A. It was tough. My scout and friends helped me out. They kept hinting to me. Even two years before I became a coach. They told me, "The day you stop playing, you're going to stay here and keep working." I was saying, "Why is this guy saying that to me? I'm still a player." What made my transition easier, I had a few injuries the last three years of my career where I couldn't play. I could see my talent wasn't there when I compared myself to the other guys. Once that day arrived, the next day I said, "Now the goal should be making it as a coach" to the big leagues.

Q. When you got fired in Washington, did you think, am I ever going to manage again?

A. It was tough at the beginning. It was the first time I'd ever been fired from any job. Yes, you get hired to be fired, but I'd never experience that. I felt I was going to be there for a long time.

But I was confident I'd get another shot. Over those three years, I kept talking to a lot of people in the industry and they kept praising the fact that our character never broke down. The great managers had been through rebuilding programs and they knew what I was going through. Guys like Bobby Cox and Jim Leyland always encouraged me.

Q. The day after the Indians made their managerial change on Sept. 30, they said one of the first managerial candidates they called was you. How did that make you feel?

A. It gave me a lot of hope. Right off the bat, it made me think I had a chance to get back into managing quicker than I thought.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I was never one of those guys who thought Frank Robinson was a bad manager, so perhaps that is why I never completely warmed up to Manny Acta. When others saw Frank as going against the book and not playing the percentages I saw it as managing managing from his experience and gut.

IMO, the problem with going by the book all the time is that it is a soul-less experience that robs players and managers of some of their competitiveness and certainly takes the element of suprise out of the equation.

In retrospect, was it really so bad that Frank would bunt with his cleanup hitter, send a runner with two out and a power hitter at bat, or pinch hit using a pitcher when he still had a position player on the bench. He gave those teams character. My major complaint about Manny is that he never got as much as could be expected out of his players while Frank got more than could reasonably be hoped for.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Note to WaPo - folks, even if you don't have "hard news" to report, this is a fan blog. I mean, all you need do is put up a headline and prompt us for answers. Like:

What available relievers that are FA do we think would be a good fit in DC?

or

Today's small writeup is on Juan Jaime...

Posted by: dand187 | November 24, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There are two sports chats later today: Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog at 11:30am and Boz at 1:00pm.

While neither of these fine journalists is responsible for the lack of posting activity here or Baseball Insider, maybe a surfeit of questions asking about it will get the attention of their higher-ups?

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 24, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

You know, Cindy Boren over at Redskins Insider is always throwing these out to the fans, even though they have tons of posts.

Then again, they do have about a dozen people working that beat.

-----

Note to WaPo - folks, even if you don't have "hard news" to report, this is a fan blog. I mean, all you need do is put up a headline and prompt us for answers.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg of the "D.C. Sports Bog" used a few electrons of his chat allotment "to complain about the fact that I have to go to FedEx Field to watch a turkey giveaway instead of posting a photo of Nyjer Morgan with Blondie. Sheesh."

OK, who doesn't want to know more? Hello, Post posters?? Is anybody out there???

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 24, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

He also commented on "boggable" vs. bloggable re: Zimmerman's most recent award:

"To me, this would merit a paragraph or two on Nationals Journal, and maybe a couple sentences in the paper. Maybe something longer about his public service, but you know it's tricky to do those things without making them entirely boring."

Exactly. And yet, here we languish.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Now we see the existential choice that faced Chico Harlan. Write something boring, or write nothing. He has chosen nothing.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"our coverage of the city's MLB franchise is at the center of our department's mission"

I guess the sports editors forgot to pass that on to the baseball crew!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 24, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Thought I'd take a moment to see how some of our current players are doing down in the Caribbean League (as well as some former Nats players). Today, I'm checking on the Tigres de Licey, currently 17-13, 1.5 games out of first:

Current Batters:
Elijah Dukes – RF.
.300/.467/.900 in 10 AB’s. 2 HR. 5 RBI. 4 BB / 4 SO. 0-for-0 in SB.

Ian Desmond – SS.
.213/.231/.328 in 61 AB’s. 1 HR. 10 RBI. 2 BB / 17 SO. 2-for-2 in SB.

Former Batters:
Bernie Castro – 2B. Played 42 games for Nats in 2006. Spent 2006-2007 in AAA.
.344/.379/.389 in 90 AB’s. 5 BB / 9 SO. 9-for-12 in SB.

Emilio Bonifacio – 2B. Played 41 games for Nats in 2008.
.313/.362/.359 in 64 AB’s. 5 BB / 11 SO. 4-for-7 in SB.

Juan Melo – 1B/2B. Spent parts of 2005 and 2007 in AA and AAA for Nats.
.286/.340/.327 in 49 AB’s. 4 BB / 9 SO.

Wily Mo Pena – OF. Played 37 games for Nats in 2007. Stole money from Nats in 2008 pretending to play.
.268/.362/.415 in 41 AB’s. 2 HR. 6 RBI. 4 BB / 14 SO.

Anderson Hernandez – 2B. 28 games in 2008 and 77 in 2009 before being traded.
.232/.295/.268 in 56 AB’s. 5 BB / 9 SO. 5-for-6 in SB.

D’Angelo Jimenez – 2B. Played 73 games for Nats in 2007.
.143/.362/.143 in 35 AB’s. 12 BB / 8 SO. 2-for-2 in SB.

Current Pitchers:
Atahualpa Severino – RP.
0-1 … 2.16 ERA … 15 G … 8.1 IP … 5 H … 4 BB / 7 SO … 1.08 WHIP

Former Pitchers:
Jorge Sosa – SP. Split time between AAA and Nats in 2009 before being released.
3-1 … 3.27 ERA … 5 GS … 22.0 IP … 22 H … 5 BB / 12 SO … 1.23 WHIP

Daniel Cabrera – SP. Spent most of 2009 being a bum in a Nats uniform.
0-2 … 4.66 ERA … 6 GS … 19.1 IP … 23 H … 14 BB / 10 SO … 1.91 WHIP

Felix Rodriguez – RP. Played 31 games for Nats in 2006.
0-0 … 10.12 ERA … 3 G … 2.2 IP … 5 H … 1 BB / 0 SO … 2.25 WHIP

Jhonny Nunez – RP. Spent 2007-2008 in A and AA for Nats.
0-0 … 13.50 ERA … 3 G … 2.0 IP … 5 H … 0 BB / 2 SO … 2.50 WHIP

Up Next (might be) the Leones del Escogido.

Posted by: erocks33 | November 24, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Thought you could sneak that in there, didn't you?

-----

Stole money from Nats in 2008 pretending to play.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 24, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of grand larceny -- Daniel Cabrera, pretending to pitch ....

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 24, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

and don't forget this one:

"Spent most of 2009 being a bum in a Nats uniform."

Posted by: Section505203 | November 24, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

While we're on the topic of Post sports chats -- and to return to the topic of Strasburg's knee injury -- the first item in Tom Boswell's chat today is about his personal knowledge of patellar subluxation.

The chat is at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/11/23/DI2009112302991.html

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 24, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Boswell's kneecap flip-flopped the same way his columns do.

Posted by: section309 | November 24, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

New post is up

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 24, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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