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Collin Balester provides some relief

Morning brushback

I assume what you do not want to read is more about the dominant theme of last night, which was basically embarrassment. In a few seasons, if the Nationals become contenders or, maybe, throw a celebration like the Phillies, yesterday's game might be looked as one of the lowest points. The Nationals are a better team this year than in recent seasons, but the general tone of the game was that the Phillies just walked all over the Nationals.

So, anyway, you'll get all you can handle on that in the game story linked below. It was hard to pull out a positive from last night, but you could: Collin Balester, it turns out, might be a really, really good reliever.

Balester has not exactly been challenged by clutch situations, but he doesn't choose when he pitches. And when he has pitched, he's been pretty untouchable. He pitched two innings last night and retired all six batters he faced: Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez.

Since the Nationals called up Balester this September, the league is hitting .086 against him. He has struck out 16 batters in 11 1/3 innings, walking six and allowed three hits. The Nationals, it seems, have found a place for Balester.

That Balester would succeed as a reliever shouldn't be a huge surprise. He can still light up a radar gun with a 95-mph fastball, and his curveball is a "plus" pitch, too. He was once considered one of the top 100 prospects in baseball. He has talent, always has. It took pitching out of the bullpen to unlock it. It reinforced to him the importance of getting ahead in counts, and forced him to emphasize his strengths.

"I've learned about pitching coming out of the bullpen than I ever have," Balester said. "It's just going out there and pounding the strike zone. You really feel the heat when you go out there and walk guys. When I'm able to throw strikes, my curveball has gotten a lot better this year, and it's a better one-two punch. If I throw strikes and get to that curveball, it's a little easier that way, instead of having it be 2-0. These guys can hit 100 miles per hour in this league. If you get ahead of these guys, you can pitch with your best stuff. That's what's been working.

"In the starting rotation, I was falling behind and just having to throw a pitch in there. These guys are great hitters. I'm just getting ahead of guys with my fastball. That's pretty much what I'm trying to do, is just pound the ball down in the zone. Ever since middle of the season in Syracuse, I've had a lot of confidence. I know that I'm good enough. I just have to keep working hard."

FROM THE POST

The Phillies dominated the Nationals every which way in an 8-0 Nationals loss that clinched the NL East for the Phillies.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

The way for the Nationals to stop getting embarrassed is to start winning, Mark Zuckerman says.

Ben Goessling looks at some individual milestones the Nationals could reach.

Michael Morse might be one of those players who blooms later, R.J. Anderson writes.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 28, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brushback  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tyler Moore, Tom Milone win Nationals minor league award
Next: Today's lineup

Comments

"I assume what you do not want to read is more about the dominant theme of last night, which was basically embarrassment."

Seriously, Adam? In my view, the more you and your colleagues talk about this, rip the Nats, and embarrass the Lerners about where things are at this point, the better. And the more I will read.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Why no comments from the designers of this mess?
WHAT NO Lerners NO Kasten (was he to busy partying with his friends in the stands ?) What about the new Face of the Front Office ? Was anybody happy or even in the stadium or were they in the Presidents club watching Lone Star or Chuck. These are the questions.

Posted by: CBinDC | September 28, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

If Adam rips the Nats, will he continue to be invited to the post-game buffet table?

Some help please from the Save Money group on this site: If free agents and trading for big money guys are detrimental to the team's future, then it stands to reason that the very few attempts to improve that the Nats have made were also detrimental. Dunn was the highest paid free agent in Nats' recent history under Lerner. He cost nothing but a little money. The Hammer was the most expensive-salaried player ever obtained in a trade since Lerner took over. (Soriano was pre-Lerner.) Hammer cost nothing in players traded (Bonifacio).

If it is hurtful to the franchise to build apart from the draft, then why were these two moves hurtful to the Nats?

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

CBinDC hints at an important question:

With Kasten leaving, are the Lerners prepared to take a more public role? If not, who will speak for the franchise, especially the off-field stuff?

The Lerners' invisibility has hurt them, their real estate developers' penchant for secrecy has not served them well. Ted won't change, but Mark needs to step up and take a more public role, and his Daddy has to be told why it's important so that he allows it.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 28, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

>"I assume what you do not want to read is more about the dominant theme of last night, which was basically embarrassment."

Seriously, Adam? In my view, the more you and your colleagues talk about this, rip the Nats, and embarrass the Lerners about where things are at this point, the better. And the more I will read.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking

You saw what happened to the last guy who ripped the Nats, didn't you? This whole thing doesn't appear to be a public trust, just a money machine that keeps x number of people employed as long as they behave.
Like StanK said so famously last week - 'our season ticket numbers were down, but people still came out anyway'. To see the other team. It's useless to complain to the writers or announcers, they don't care either. Kilgore's probably from somewhere else and could give a damn about the Nats' results. It's just a job. A lame job, but a job nonetheless.

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Glad after a few curly W's the loss brings back all the resentment.

Hope Balester becomes known for something other then head hunting and his porn star stache.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 28, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Just an editorial suggestion for the Post and Adam, given the comment about the Lerners' increasing "public role:"

How about a story where the Lerners actually discuss their future plans for the team, their expectations for a win-loss record, attendance, overall revenue, likely team salary total for the coming years, offseason activity to bring in more talent and to sell more tickets?

If they decide they don't want to talk, do the story anyway, citing the fact that they won't publicly share their plans and then go ask a bunch of people around baseball what they know.

We fans deserve as much information as possible on what's going to happen next, whether we get it directly from the Lerners or from other sources.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 28, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

For a guy who posts here as often as you do, Brue, that was a remarkably ill-informed post. First, Adam is from around here. Obviously he didn't grow up rooting for the Nats unless he had an odd youthful fascination with French Canada, but he isn't "from somewhere else." And even a casual awareness of the Posts's relationship with the Redskins makes it fairly clear that the teams have no influence on who the paper assigns to cover them.

Posted by: zimbar | September 28, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

SC,

The wins and losses haven't mattered for many months.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Glad after a few curly W's the loss brings back all the resentment.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 28, 2010 9:57 AM

This wasn't just a loss - for the few people who actually give a crap about this team - it was another de-pantsing followed by an atomic wedgie.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

baltova,

Great post. This is exactly the info Nats' fans deserve and need.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

So let’s sum up the week's events:
Nationals 5-2
Orioles 2-4

So let's sum up the days events:
Orioles win, finally, behind a modest performance by one of their young, untalented pitchers [Matusz record 9-12, ERA 4.40].
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 9:52 PM |

There, fixed that for you.

Posted by: stantonpark | September 28, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

For a guy who posts here as often as you do, Brue, that was a remarkably ill-informed post. First, Adam is from around here. Obviously he didn't grow up rooting for the Nats unless he had an odd youthful fascination with French Canada, but he isn't "from somewhere else."

Posted by: zimbar | September 28, 2010 10:00 AM

Adam's from Maine, but he's worked for the Post before. He's not a Nats fan, but who cares. He chose to come back to the Post because these days it's as stable a paper you can find in the writing trade (goes to show how unstable all the others are). Left the Boston Globe to come back.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Orioles win, finally, behind a modest performance by one of their young, untalented pitchers [Matusz record 9-12, ERA 4.40].
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 9:52 PM |

There, fixed that for you.

Posted by: stantonpark | September 28, 2010 10:09 AM

Ugh - let's enjoy the morning before that social leper's mother wakes him up.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Last night was like being on South Broad Street instead of South Capitol Street. A nice feeling if you are a Phillies fan - not so much for a Nats fan.

Posted by: Intrudr | September 28, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Look I will say that this has all been part of StanK's plan to be the Commish. From the no-challenge of the MASN deal ...to the hands off Bowden until he was borderline criminal .....to the we will not push hard on the free agent market ( no credit to make offers you knew had no chance of working) ......to the honoring people who never even slept in DC much less played ..... All part of him showing he was a man of baseball .....and he even made contacts in congress ......something you really need as commish .....We were just a cog in a larger plan ...but our feelings were not important

Posted by: CBinDC | September 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

As Kev notes, it's evidently not show time yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_cwym9xXQA

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 28, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

CBin,

Unfair! You have to give the Nats credit for finishing second or third in landing good players. Without that good try, what have they done for the fans? You are taking away their only good efforts.

It's like this: you make an offer for a house and your offer comes up short. No real problem, because when winter comes, you can pretend to light a fire in the family room fireplace.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Last night was miserable, but don't forget we won four in a row last week. One thing that infuriated me was that (according to Adam's gamer--I didn't hear it on the TV) the Phillies fans, in the ninth inning, chanted "This is our house." I can understand their cheering their team and being happy about the division win, but that kind of stuff is totally gratuitous. Obviously, the Nats need to improve and then we won't be outnumbered in the stands, but that was still disgraceful behaviour from whatever percentage of the Phillies fans. I've never been to Philly when we played there--next year I will, so help me Stub Hub.

Posted by: Section109 | September 28, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I agree as well.

* * *

"baltova,

Great post. This is exactly the info Nats' fans deserve and need."

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 10:07 AM

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That was a pathetic game to watch. Pathetic that this team can do so little. Pathetic that team management/ownership thinks that it is just fine to fill our stadium with Phillies fans and solicits their business (after attending the first 2 games with these cretins, I have stayed away from the park in all subsequent Phillies games). Just all round pathetic.

I do wish Ballister well. Unlike a certain lousy starter who sulked upon assignment to the pen, Bally clearly wants to stick in the bigs any way he can and will embrace the role that gets him here. Good for him, hope he makes it.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 28, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's a good memo for the Lerners...

"Rays' Longoria: Where are our fans?"

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5625055

There's a franchise that built from within and only started getting things right after ten years of abject failure. They've never gotten over the stain left by all those horrible teams between 97 and 06. The legacy? People still don't show up to watch a wonderful team. Of course the stadium is a significant factor, but what damage did all those 95+ loss seasons have on the Rays traction in the Tampa area? And is this the kind of risk the Nats are taking - can you lose a city forever? The (Devil) Rays had ten terrible seasons - we're on our 5th...

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The fans need an outlet with Uncle Teddy similar to the one we have with our other Uncle Teddy. The Learners just need to be truthful with us fans.

It seems that families with young children are often put on the back burner for the red porch crowd. The Nats need realize they are alienating families for the red porch crowd. 1/2 Street should be closed and turned into a kid friendly Mecca on game day weekends with admittance back and forth during game time. Some teams even offer free kids tickets to kids under twelve. The pricing is ridicules for food is obscured, a kids meal deal at a brewers game is $4.00 it even comes with a baseball card. At Natstown you have to bribe a concessioner with cash for those type of prices. At many parks the batting cage and other attractions are free. At Natstown you need to bring two rolls of quarters one for the games and another to fend off the Phillies fans. Most have face painting balloon animal and other things for them to do. At Nats town the closest thing to animal you can take home is a $20.00 build a bear. The playground is situated in a bad spot sitting in direct sun light. It is also next to a smoky BBQ. The Playground attendants are very rude to boot. The play land should be located where the batting cages are. Then there is kid’s run the bases, to even get out of there at a decent time you need to line up at the 8th inning OUTSIDE the stadium in a location with no TV’s or sound. Whose brilliant idea was that? And don't get me started on the birthday packages starting around $1,200 dollars. They say Kids are the future and if this is true the Nats won’t have one because parents will just stop going and the kids won’t then care.

Posted by: hansenjo | September 28, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The fans need an outlet with Uncle Teddy similar to the one we have with our other Uncle Teddy. The Learners just need to be truthful with us fans.

It seems that families with young children are often put on the back burner for the red porch crowd. The Nats need realize they are alienating families for the red porch crowd. 1/2 Street should be closed and turned into a kid friendly Mecca on game day weekends with admittance back and forth during game time. Some teams even offer free kids tickets to kids under twelve. The pricing is ridicules for food is obscured, a kids meal deal at a brewers game is $4.00 it even comes with a baseball card. At Natstown you have to bribe a concessioner with cash for those type of prices. At many parks the batting cage and other attractions are free. At Natstown you need to bring two rolls of quarters one for the games and another to fend off the Phillies fans. Most have face painting balloon animal and other things for them to do. At Nats town the closest thing to animal you can take home is a $20.00 build a bear. The playground is situated in a bad spot sitting in direct sun light. It is also next to a smoky BBQ. The Playground attendants are very rude to boot. The play land should be located where the batting cages are. Then there is kid’s run the bases, to even get out of there at a decent time you need to line up at the 8th inning OUTSIDE the stadium in a location with no TV’s or sound. Whose brilliant idea was that? And don't get me started on the birthday packages starting around $1,200 dollars. They say Kids are the future and if this is true the Nats won’t have one because parents will just stop going and the kids won’t care.

Posted by: hansenjo | September 28, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Damn double post monster

Posted by: hansenjo | September 28, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The Florida Marlins also have cursed themselves with no fans. Tampa will build a new stadium and no one will come.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick note about Stan. He brought credibility to Lerner and is a prime reason Lerner got the team. He had some rights (money) vested if he served a certain length of time (through the 2010 season), and he got out as soon as he could.

No, he couldn't blast Lerner. You don't fight your own paycheck. But you also don't stick around when the team owner does not support basic moves to get better. I wouldn't blame Kasten at all, when a team president depends upon the owner to get things done. Kasten did not all of a sudden become incompetent after many years of success in Atlanta, where he did get support from ownership.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

mlbtraderumors.com now reporting that the Nats probably won't resign Dunn...

(Stands back and waits for EdDC's explosion, followed by cheapness rant).

Posted by: TimDz | September 28, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

mlbtraderumors.com now reporting that the Nats probably won't resign Dunn...

Posted by: TimDz | September 28, 2010 12:32 PM

Via Goessling...

http://www.masnsports.com/the_goessling_game/2010/09/sources-nationals-unlikely-to-resign-adam-dunn.html

I had the tiniest of hopes that they might get a deal done before "Fan Appreciation Day" tomorrow. Operative word being "tiniest"

Though this is pretty interesting...

"I can tell you the only person in the front office who wants to resign him is the owner," said one scout for an opposing team who covers the Nationals regularly.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

kev:

If the owner really wanted Dunn signed, don't you think he'd just pull a "Snyder" & tell Rizzo to get it done?

Posted by: BinM | September 28, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

If EdDC can ever rise out of his own likely drug-induced fantasy world, it would be interesting to hear his thoughts on Goessling's report that the ONLY person associated with the Nats who is in favor of resigning Dunn is the owner. This is the most confusing plot development I've seen since the Bizarro Jerry World episode of Seinfeld. Of course EdDC is playing the part of Kramer.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If the owner really wanted Dunn signed, don't you think he'd just pull a "Snyder" & tell Rizzo to get it done?

Posted by: BinM | September 28, 2010 12:40 PM

That's the same question I just asked myself.

(Yes, this team often has me talking to myself)

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

1a (and also sofa king, sec3), your minds operates where my just can't. Your stuff goes over my head so often that when I do get, I am actually proud of myself!

While I hated Opening Day 2010 as much as anyone, what I observed the Philly fans doing last night was perfectly fine given the state of our team, the paltry number of Nats fans in the house, the importance of this game to them, and the thoroughness of the victory. To expect them to quietly slip out of the stadium whispering to themselves "we just won the division title, tee-hee" is a bit too much.
Know why it's OK for them to chant "This is our house!"? Because last night, it was indeed their house.

Our ushers do seem a bit too appreciative of anyone wearing visiting team apparel. They are obviously trained and expected to give excellent service to visitors. It is a bit much to tolerate.

hansenjo - nice post.
One more thing that the Nats could improve if they really were interested in building a fan base.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 28, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Dunn is not the whole picture. Naturally, you sign him just to stay even with 2010, and then build from there with quality additions. Now the Nats step backwards and hope to catch up with "even" before opening day. Who knows, with Kasten gone, the Nats may even have a 2011 payroll that is even lower than the 2010 payroll. It will be harder to attract quality pitchers without your best run-producer, and it will be harder to attract quality hitters when they know they can be pitched around. So you see, Dunn was not the whole strategy, just a building block.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Though this is pretty interesting...

"I can tell you the only person in the front office who wants to resign him is the owner," said one scout for an opposing team who covers the Nationals regularly.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 12:36 PM

* * *

But Kev, even that quote--if true--is meaningless without context. What is the budget that the Lerners have given Rizzo to work with? The smaller the budget, the more careful Rizzo needs to be with his money, and the fewer "risks" he can afford to take. It becomes harder for him to use a large chunk of the budget on a guy who (everyone would agree) does have some drawbacks. He has to keep trying to get the "perfect player," who won't come to DC anyway.

So it's nice to hear that Mark Lerner has a big crush on Dunn and wants him to stay in DC. But unless the owners are actually willing to start spending, it's all a bunch of BS.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

If EdDC can ever rise out of his own likely drug-induced fantasy world, it would be interesting to hear his thoughts on Goessling's report that the ONLY person associated with the Nats who is in favor of resigning Dunn is the owner.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 12:42 PM

Is Rizzo's reaction to the potential 4 year 60 million the owner wants to give Dunn, "How will that handcuff me in those four years? Will I be left with no money to spend and a poor defensive first baseman with declining power numbers?"

Of course you could always trade him to the AL if he's not fitting the bill in a couple seasons - or would a four year deal make that a lot tougher and more expensive?

There's just so much we don't know. I still want to sign him, but who knows what's going on.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

But Kev, even that quote--if true--is meaningless without context. What is the budget that the Lerners have given Rizzo to work with? The smaller the budget, the more careful Rizzo needs to be with his money, and the fewer "risks" he can afford to take. It becomes harder for him to use a large chunk of the budget on a guy who (everyone would agree) does have some drawbacks. He has to keep trying to get the "perfect player," who won't come to DC anyway.

So it's nice to hear that Mark Lerner has a big crush on Dunn and wants him to stay in DC. But unless the owners are actually willing to start spending, it's all a bunch of BS.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 12:48 PM

I hear ya'

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I didn't fall for the line that the owner is the only one to want to sign Dunn. Look, we have heard lots of stories about how Lerner wants to up the payroll but Rizzo and before him JimBo talk him out of it. They actually have had to wrestle the checkbook out of Lerner's hand. It is all BS. Rizzo loves being a GM, even for the Nats. He will protect the owner by getting word out that Lerner is the one who wants to spend, not him. He may get the word out himself, or leak it through a trusted aide who will spill the beans over a free lunch with a reporter. This is done all the time.

Let's just re-state the obvious here. Rizzo works for Lerner, not the other way around. If Lerner says sign the guy, Rizzo doesn't say, "Well, sorry, I can't do that because Pena (hitting .198) is a better fit at 1B, even if he is an older guy." Instead, Rizzo says, "Yes, sir."

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that if an owner told an employee to do something, and the employee knew that doing something else instead might lead to success but could also lead to failure which would end up costing the employee his job, but doing the thing the owner wanted might lead to failure but even if it did the employee's job would be totally secure because he was just doing what the boss wanted him to, that the employee would do what the owner wanted, wouldn't it? Everywhere except in the bizarro world of Kevins, I suppose.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Let me get in line in support of baltova's post: the Lerners need to make some kind of public statement about the direction of the club. Even publicity-shy Landover Danny went public last year to quell the mob.

On CB's point about StanK as commish, let us not forget also the connections he has established with the Japanese ambassador and others in the diplomatic community. Didn't mean squat as far as the Nats signing Japanese players, but then maybe that was never the goal?

On Rizzo's seemimg reluctance to re-sign Dunn, of course we don't know all the factors, but I wouldn't discount purely baseball concerns on Rizzo's part (age, defense, etc.), as floated in Boz's column a while back. The In Rizzo We Trust faction also has to come to terms with the inconvenient truth that Rizzo really likes Nyjer Morgan in CF.

On going to Philly to see a game, did that with friends back in 2005 to see Patterson pitch. He lost a heartbreaker. Our enthusiastic cheering of the Nats did not sit well with the Philly faithful, but no incidents.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 28, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

FW,

You would think so. It didn't work with Kasten, and is not working with Rizzo either.

Sometimes the guy in charge really is in charge. We have seen this with Dan Snyder, Abe Pollin, Leonsis and now Lerner. The owner sets the style and direction. We are also seeing welcome new changes with Leonsis for the Wiz. When Mark Lerner takes over, maybe we will see some good changes there too for the Nats! But please don't be fooled into thinking that Ted Lerner just takes advice from Kasten and Rizzo.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

So let's sum up the days events:
Orioles win, finally, behind a modest performance by one of their young, untalented pitchers [Matusz record 9-12, ERA 4.40].
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 9:52 PM |

There, fixed that for you.

Posted by: stantonpark | September 28, 2010 10:09 AM
---------------

The Natinals and their fans would wet themselves with the prospect of having a pitcher as good as Matusz.

However, leave it to some ignorant Natinal fan to cite a win/loss record as a the end-all, be-all in determining just how good a pitcher is. No one ever accused this Natinals fan of being a smarty-pants, I'm guessing.

One thing I think all fans can agree on, though, is that celebrating in the lockerroom and wearing goggles while spraying champagne is just a wussy thing to do.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and stantonpark here's how Matusz ranks among rookie starters in the AL

1st in games started
1st in innings pitched
1st in strikeouts
Tied for 2nd in wins (with that oh so terrible record)
1st in WHIP
2nd in ERA
1st in quality starts


Oh snap, someone just got taken out to the toolshed. Took you out in the back of the toolshed.

"Put it right on top of your forehead
Took you out in the back of the toolshed
Now you know what you're f_ckin with... Maynard's d_ck!"

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 28, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

>I didn't fall for the line that the owner is the only one to want to sign Dunn. Look, we have heard lots of stories about how Lerner wants to up the payroll but Rizzo and before him JimBo talk him out of it. They actually have had to wrestle the checkbook out of Lerner's hand. It is all BS. Rizzo loves being a GM, even for the Nats. He will protect the owner by getting word out that Lerner is the one who wants to spend, not him. He may get the word out himself, or leak it through a trusted aide who will spill the beans over a free lunch with a reporter. This is done all the time.

Let's just re-state the obvious here. Rizzo works for Lerner, not the other way around. If Lerner says sign the guy, Rizzo doesn't say, "Well, sorry, I can't do that because Pena (hitting .198) is a better fit at 1B, even if he is an older guy." Instead, Rizzo says, "Yes, sir."

Posted by: EdDC

This organization is so tight-***ed, that the only things that are leaked are the things they want leaked.

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I didn't go last night, but I think there is a big difference between being so busy trying to leverage opening day tickets into group and season tickets that you end up ruining the day for the home fans, on the one hand, and just having a bunch of fans come into a nearly empty stadium in the hopes of seeing their team clinch, on the other. The first was a big mistake that they're apparently just not going to apologize for. The second is what happens when you're a really bad team playing the Division winner on clinch day. Though what they have in common is that good management will prevent them both.

Posted by: markfromark | September 28, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"[This wasn't just a loss - for the few people who actually give a crap about this team - it was another de-pantsing followed by an atomic wedgie."

Sure wish there was a "Recommend" feature available here, that certainly deserves it.

"Last night was miserable, but don't forget we won four in a row last week."

So what? I believe the Nots were the last team to manage that pedestrian feat this year.

As to this:

"One thing that infuriated me was that (according to Adam's gamer--I didn't hear it on the TV) the Phillies fans, in the ninth inning, chanted 'This is our house.' I can understand their cheering their team and being happy about the division win, but that kind of stuff is totally gratuitous."

Management rolled out the red carpet and ushered them into the ballpark. Why shouldn't they feel that way and boast of it? As others have pointed out, such displays are about all that might embarrass management into doing something other than obsessing over every last nickel that's spent putting a team on the field.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 28, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that if an owner told an employee to do something, and the employee knew that doing something else instead might lead to success but could also lead to failure which would end up costing the employee his job, but doing the thing the owner wanted might lead to failure but even if it did the employee's job would be totally secure because he was just doing what the boss wanted him to, that the employee would do what the owner wanted, wouldn't it? Everywhere except in the bizarro world of Kevins, I suppose.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 1:06 PM

I might actually be in bizarro world, because I have no idea what you're talking about.

Uh oh, Poopy time. See you all tomorrow morning.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

W/r/t who plays first next year, it will almost certainly take a minimum of a 3-year deal to land Dunn, and management is no doubt figuring that this year's Carolina League MVP Tyler Moore will be ready to take over 1B before that contract runs its course, so either Derrek Lee or Carlos Pena will do just as well until Moore is ready. Great as Moore's numbers are, single A is a very long way from the big leagues, and Dunn could always be traded, but that sort of thinking doesn't seem to enter the minds of whoever is ultimately responsible for making decisions down at Nots Landing.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 28, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"One thing that infuriated me was that (according to Adam's gamer--I didn't hear it on the TV) the Phillies fans, in the ninth inning, chanted 'This is our house.' I can understand their cheering their team and being happy about the division win, but that kind of stuff is totally gratuitous."
---------------------------

Well, it IS the Phillies house isn't it?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

best rookie starter in the AL...

reminds of that line about being thinnest kid at fat camp.

Posted by: stantonpark | September 28, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah lets see how the Natinals staff fares after going against the AL East all year.

And, how'd Strasburg's numbers end up? He ended up pitching a ton of innings, struck out hundreds, led the league in wins, WHIP, etc. right?

Oh wait......

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 28, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"wah wah wah...our division is too hard."
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop

Posted by: stantonpark | September 28, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Never said that cry-baby but keep thinking that.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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