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Today's lineup

Nationals

Morgan - CF
Bernadina - RF
Zimmerman - 3B
Dunn - 1B
Willingham - LF
Rodriguez - C
Desmond - SS
Kennedy - 2B
Strasburg - P

Royals

Podsednik - LF
Kendall - C
DeJesus - CF
Butler - 1B
Guillen - RF
Callaspo - 3B
Betancourt - SS
Getz - 2B
Bannister - P

By Alexa Steele  |  June 23, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
 
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Next: In-game chat: Nationals vs. Royals

Comments

first!

Posted by: casser | June 23, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Bottome Line: If it's Riggleman's decision alone to continue to play Morgan, who is a hindrance to the team both offensively and defensively instead of the superior hitting Morse, then Riggleman should be removed. However if it is Rizzo who is sending down the law, then he should state publicly that it's his and his decision alone and state why. Because it is making Riggleman look like a complete incompetant. Otherwise this is sheer lunacy day after day keeping the best current hitter on the bench. Absofreakinlutely insane.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Next!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Next! is better than first.
For one thing, you're never wrong. For another, you can let someone else go ahead of you, and you're still next. When you're in a long line, being next cheers you up.

I think Abraham Lincoln said that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

dove, I think you're confusing this with a democracy. It doesn't matter whether the fans understand the rationale, or agree with the reasons. It only matters if they pay for their tickets and watch on TV, and they'll do that if the team wins. If they're losing, nobody cares why.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Also it may be time to break up the 3-4-5 especially 4-5. Might be a reason why all our homers are solo.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 23, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

>>dove, I think you're confusing this with a democracy

No I guess what I was confusing this with was a legitimate baseball franchise run with some sort of baseball acuman and intelligence. Silly me.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 23, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest moving Willingham into the 2-hole on days when Pudge is in the lineup, that way we have one of the best OBP guys in baseball setting the table for Zim/Dunn and Dunn still gets protection.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 23, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW let me get this straight, Kennedy makes what could have been his umpteenth almost game costing error last night and gets rewarded with another outing at 2nd, where he stinks, and Morse gets base hit after base hit and does positive things for the team and gets rewarded by polishing the bench. Maybe he should start striking out and dropping balls like Kennedy and then he'll finally get some playing time.
As for Morgan, well once they name a bobblehead date for you, you're in like flint and safe for the season. Right?

Posted by: dovelevine | June 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, we know that, but my point is, a legitimate franchise doesn't have to answer to the fans or publicly denounce himself as you suggest.
And it's "incompetent" -- no "a."

>>dove, I think you're confusing this with a democracy

No I guess what I was confusing this with was a legitimate baseball franchise run with some sort of baseball acuman and intelligence. Silly me.
Posted by: dovelevine | June 23, 2010 1:22 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, the GM would denounce himself, not the franchise.
I'm going to submit myself for re-education now.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

>>a legitimate franchise doesn't have to answer to the fans

Of course not but when inferior players are consistently played over superior players it surely gives one pause and makes all question the team's motives.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Burma Shave! (Oh, we're not playing that? Never mind.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 23, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@dove & sec3 -
Would you two prefer pistols at 10 paces, or cudgels at close quarters?

Posted by: BinM | June 23, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, question their competence, surely. Maybe their judgement, maybe even their motivation (or lack thereof), but I don't think they're trying to [mess] up. That would be silly talk.

Now, Nigeria missing 2 open nets--that's gonna make people wonder.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine: Is Morgan responsible for this team's recent slide? No! their's plenty of blame to go around how about we not send the guy packing without a fair shot. Nyjer was the only reason most of us continued to watch this team last year and because he's not duplicating last year's heroic's now it's time to move on, i swear some of you on this journal kill me with your bandwagon attitudes toward some of these players.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What?? We were playing nice.
************
@dove & sec3 -
Would you two prefer pistols at 10 paces, or cudgels at close quarters?

Posted by: BinM | June 23, 2010 1:57 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, water pistols might be not be a bad idea what with the heat and all. Just a thought...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Dar, I think "most of us" may be overestimating it a bit. But to the extent that's true, it was precisely because he was the sparkplug to the offense, which means yes, this slump IS partly on him. You can't have it both ways.
I think last season was the exception, not his normal level, and if that's true, then he's Nook Logan (whom I would have kept, FWIW) without the Mitchell Report hanging around his neck. Good enough, some of the time, but you keep shopping for better.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

(Oh, and "Flynn.")

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 23, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Twenty-first!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The standard baseball canard is that if a player plays well the manager will find a place for him in the lineup doesn't apply to Morse, who I believe has the team's highest BA.

Maybe he does a lot of heroics while being benched that we do not see. Too valuable there to put him in the lineup, you see. It's not as if the Nats are tearing up opposing pitching without him.

It is a puzzlement.

Posted by: JohnRDC | June 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not a big mystery, it's just a decision. Willingham-Bernadina-Morse might be a better outfield, but that leave Morgan on the bench pinchhitting instead of Morse, along with Willie Harris and probably Kennedy. It's still a patchwork, duct-tapey roster with holes in it, and this is how he's covering it. Wouldn't be my choice, but that's the deal.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Dovelevine,

As Shakespeare said, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." I think the same holds true with respect to your suggestion that Riggleman either out himself as a dunce (your sentiment, apparently) or out the team as trying to show off the goods in the hopes for a trade, etc. Just ask Generaly McCrystal how showing up the bosses works out.

So, going back to the Bard, ours as fans is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die. Or in today's weather, watch and fry.

Piece out.

Posted by: flotsam3 | June 23, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I think that was John Donne.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

and the bard in question would have to be Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 23, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Sec3, I was just going to post something similar

Posted by: RPrecupjr | June 23, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The current team has versatility, but still has liabilities, as well - If Bernadina goes to CF, and Morse takes up RF on a regular basis, the bench holds Harris, Nieves, AGonz, Morgan, & either Kennedy or Guzman. No deep-ball threats to be seen there, unless Harris gets his 'mojo' back.

Riggleman may be holding Morse back as the only bat with consistent 'pop' off the bench; It sucks for Morse, but that's the way this team sets up, imo.

Posted by: BinM | June 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Thank you for the sane post concerning the Nats current versatility and liabilities on the roster. It is refreshing to read something on this site that actually makes some sense unlike some others.

Doveline,

Tell me why Michael Morse languished on the bench in Seattle and spent so much time in the minors all these past 10 years or so? Do you think the professional managers, coaches, scouts, etc see some shortcomings in his game that perhaps you and I don't?

Rant and rave all you want but I'll trust the professional baseball people to fill out the lineup card and not some wantabe.

Posted by: CHAMP1464 | June 23, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Why did Jayson Werth spend 10 years jumping between the minors and part time roles in the majors before he got the full time RF gig in Philly in 2008? Or, for that matter, why did Mr. Morgan spend 7 years in the minors doing that same thing before getting an everyday gig just last year at age 28!

I'm not saying Mr. Morse is the next Jayson Werth, but, man, the dude certainly has some serious power... and he has turned in a .303 batting average in about 400 major league at bats...

I understand the issue of not having pop off the bench... but, that arguement really doesn't hold water. Would you rather have a guy you think can pop the ball getting 5 at bats a week, or 25 at bats a week? Having a weak bench is not ideal, but it is better then having a weak everyday lineup!

I'm rooting for Morgan to catch fire and provide the spark he did for the Nats in 2009... but, in the interim, while he is cold and Morse is hot, why not split the CF/RF at bats a little more evently between Morgan/Bernadina/Morse, and see if two of those guys continue to push their ways towards being every day players.

Anyway... carry on...

Posted by: Ghost7 | June 23, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@Ghost7:

Werth is a good example of a player who matured (or 'got it') later in his career. Morse is still 'finding his level', imo; He has never really shown consistent power, and has been bounced around in the field, as well.

He's hitting really well right now, but is still behind Bernadina (RF), Dunn (1B), and Zimmerman (3B) at his best three defensive positions.

Posted by: BinM | June 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

So why not use Morse while he is hitting well and see what you got? He obviously isn't going to play 1st or 3rd... but splitting at bats in CF/RF between Morse/Morgan/Bernadina for the time being and seeing if 2 of them can step up to prove them selves as every day players is, in my opinion, a sound move.

Everyone is basing Morgan's status as the everyday regular CF on, basically, a torrid 200 at bat run he had with the Nats last year. Before the 2009 season, Morgan was basically in the same boat that Morse is now. He had bounced up and down between the minors and part time roles in the majors, never really proving to be capable of handling an everyday job at the major league level. He definitely made a leap in 2009 and looked like he could be an everyday player... but in 2010 he definitely has taken a step back and I think the question has to be raised again, is Morgan capable of being an everyday major league OF? Why you are trying to get that question answered, why not also try to get another question answered, that being, is Morse capable of being an everyday major league OF?

Between CF and RF, there are about 50 at bats available a week... why not give all 3 of those guys 15-20 at bats a week and then adjust that total based off of performance.

Anyway, that horse is dead... I'll leave it alone... until I see Morgan make a few more outs!

Posted by: Ghost7 | June 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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