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The skating presidents

Mark Giannotto reports from Kettler Capitals Iceplex:

Our favorite big-headed former presidents picked up where the Caps left off after today's practice, running several of their signature Nats game races -- skates style. They must be practicing for a future promotion at Verizon Center.

For the full report -- and photos -- check out Capitals Insider.


By Alexa Steele  |  February 9, 2010; 1:34 PM ET
 
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Comments

hey Gang-this does NOT qualify as a new post...OK?
Go Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo2 | February 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

For all those carping about Rizzo, I would offer that there are three ways to make your big league roster better.

1. Make a trade for a major league ready player.
2. Sign a FA.
3. Bring people up from the minors.

#1 and #3 require having talent in your organization to begin with. The Nats have very little in their system that people would want and/or that they can afford to part with. Those of you calling for a trade to bring a front line pitcher: who exactly would you part with to do that? The Nats have maybe two pieces that would garner a #1 or #2 starter - Zimmerman and Dunn. After that? And please don't tell me they could "package" Willingham and two minor leaguers. Ask yourself how you would feel if the Nats got Willingham and two unproven marginal prospects for even say Lannan. Pitching is valuable folks. Rizzo has very little to work with. Yeah the Phillies got Halladay, but they had Cliff Lee to give up.

As for the FA signings, I'm not in favor of them chancing a big contract which would hang around their necks like an albatross.

I wish it were different but it's not. We need to be patient friends. They need to add through the draft - maybe some international signings, but even those are risky - and slowly build. At least with Rizzo, they appear to have an adult in charge. I for one will evaluate Rizzo when I see how his draft picks do this year and next.

#4 (old handle)

Posted by: db423 | February 9, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, last year the Presidents skated for a New Jersey/New York team's game (sorry, I don't follow hockey so I have no idea which one) and I think I read recently somewhere (Steinberg's Bog, maybe?) that they were doing a repeat performance this year. So just because they're practicing on the Caps' ice doesn't mean they're performing at a Caps game. Although it would make a lot more sense than them going to NY/NJ like they did last year.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

#4,

I agree to a certain extent. However, I think they can sign some FA's to help keep them competitive until help arrives from the farm and they don't have to be big ticket FA's. I wouldn't have complained if they signed a Lackey or a Tex but, to me it's not really necessary. More solid smaller signings would be more helpful in the Nats situation.

My concern is that they have drafted a lot for signability and have had zero impact internationally. The farm system being rated in the bottom 10 is troubling.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 9, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

505/203

Well, this was Rizzo's first draft this year, and I didn't see a lot of signability issues wrapped up in it. Storen was a great pick. It filled need and he is close to MLB for a team that needs help quickly. They got it done with Strasburg. After round 1 I think signability issues become less relevant.

I agree with you about the smaller signings to help tide them over. I think that's exactly what he's done. I'll be a little disappointed if they don't get one more pitcher - Washburn, Wang maybe. I just don't want it to be for more than a year. I guess my original point was directed to those who are burned up because Rizzo has not landed a front line starter.

#4

Posted by: db423 | February 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Teddy will still lose.

Posted by: jbartelloni | February 9, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

db423: Rizzo had at least one thing to work with this off-season -- money! I think that the club had cleared something in excess of $25M or so in salary from 2009's 27th ranked payroll, so he had more money than most clubs to spend even if the club was going to hold salaries to the same level of 2009 spending. And teams unloaded bad contracts all over the place and some times ate most of the money to do it, so there were unusual opportunities on the trade market that did not require moving high end talent for MLB players. I guess we have to wait until the season plays out to see if the money that Rizzo did spend was spent wisely.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 9, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I second zendo2's point! Where's the Nats Hot Stove coverage? This blog has dried up to a near trickle! Is there just no one working the beat right now?

Posted by: SBrent | February 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Sbrent.

former Times' writer Zuckerman starts a blog and asks the readers to pony up $5 grand to send him to spring training.

Nationals' fans covered it in 24 hours and the ticker keeps heading upwards and is nearing $6,000 as we speak.

We have to hire our own writer because other outlets--especially the Post--don't think that covering the days and weeks before spring training is important.

This isn't a knock at the Post per se, but goodness, how long does it take to hire a replacement for a guy who has made it clear he really didn't want to do his job since last summer?

Zuckerman's blog is going to be "the place" for Nats' info and no one will come back here again.

And that's sad ...

Posted by: rushfari | February 9, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I will acknowledge that not having a dedicated beat writer to send to Viera for Spring Training would be unacceptable. After all, Chico announced he was stepping down as the beat writer in November.

That being said, it's hard to get bent out of shape over the current coverage if nothing's really happening. Chico can't make the news.

If you want the beat writer to cover rumors or carry on pre-ST discussions, that's fine. But keep in mind that the Post wasn't doing that beforehand, so this isn't really a drop off from previous years.

I leave it to you to decide whether or not that's an acceptable level of coverage. But I don't blame it on Chico.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Chico, there is a new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 9, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

They were practicing for Monday's presidents race *on ice* at Nassau Coliseum: http://blog.letteddywin.com/2010/01/22/presidents-race-on-hockey-ice-skates/

Posted by: LetTeddyWin_com | February 10, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

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