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Could Sean Burnett close?

Morning brushback

When the Nationals traded away Matt Capps, Sean Burnett became at least a temporary option to protect leads in the ninth inning. At the time, he said he felt like he didn't "have the stuff to close." In the past month, his stuff has been good enough to make Burnett one of the more dominant relievers across baseball.

So, does he think he can close games now? The Nationals have an unsettled closer situation for next season. Drew Storen may claim the spot in spring training next year, but the Nationals may also bring in a veteran or let some of their current relievers, like Burnett and Tyler Clippard, share the job until Storen proves ready.

"It comes down to getting three outs," Burnett said. "I believe in myself. I can get three outs against anybody, if that's what you're looking for. I'm not going to dominate. I pitch to contact. Most closers don't do that. That's the reason I said that. If you're a scout, you're probably not going to look at my stuff and say it's closer stuff. But I can get three outs consecutively most of the time. I believe in myself in that situation. Yeah, I could close."

Burnett, though, wasn't exactly lobbying. He can be more versatile in his set-up role, like yesterday when he entered in the seventh, retired three straight with a man on second, then fired a 1-2-3 eighth, too. He handed the ball to Storen, who went 1-2-3 in the ninth.

"I think the bullpen is deeper if you've got Drew in the ninth and other guys to set him up for the ninth," Burnett said.

Burnett is right in that the Nationals bullpen has a pretty good thing going. Burnett, Clippard and Storen form a young core that's difficult to find in bullpen, with Collin Balester (no runs, 21 strikeouts in his last 12 1/3 innings) and Joel Peralta (one earned runs, 15 strikeouts in his 11 1/3 innings) making cases to earn a spot for next season.

The Nationals bullpen has thrown 521 1/3 innings this year, more than any in baseball. Despite the immense workload, their 3.31 ERA ranks fourth in the major leagues, and their 8.48 strikeouts per nine innings ranks seventh. The Nationals bullpen, a disaster last year, is really, really good.

"They've been asked to do a lot for us," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "For them to be going this strong, this late in the year, it's really a testament to their preparation and the confidence that they're building."

The bullpen has become a tight-knit bunch, and Burnett has played a starring role there, too. Every Sunday, one Nationals reliever shines all the other relievers' spikes during the first inning. The ritual, started by Miguel Batista, is called "Shoeshine Sunday."

Yesterday, the was a trophy of a golden shoe sitting in Burnett's locker, presented to him by Batista because the Nationals had their best record on days Burnett shined shoes. (Batista had ordered the trophy online and then had a message engraved on it.) Fittingly, on the day of his first win, Burnett shined his fellow relievers' shoes.

FROM THE POST

The Nationals beat the Braves 4-2 to take both the weekend series and the season series.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Drew Storen got back on track with a save, Bill Ladson says.

The Braves will move on after losing a pivotal series to the Nationals, Carroll Rogers writes.

The Phillies failed to clinch the NL East at home, so they'll try to do it in Washington, Matt Gelb writes.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 27, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brushback  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Livan Hernandez hits 200 innings
Next: Ryan Zimmerman likely out for season

Comments

Repost: If the player is close to or over 30 then its a 2 year contract at most. Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 7:33 PM

That's a good justification for the Nats' lowest budgets. If it takes 6 years of MLB playing time for a player to get to free agency, most free agents are "close to or over 30." Et voila! The good ones will want at least three or four years. The best ones will get even more. This means the Nats take what's left; namely the less talented and, most importantly, cheaper free agents who will take what they can get. The same is true for players the Nats accept in trades.

Livan is a wonderful role model. He was cut by the Mets after a lousy few months of a season, and who else wanted him? The Nats took a virtually free chance on Livan, and what a success Livan has been as the team ace. If the Nats could only find a dozen-and-a-half rejects as good as Livan, we would definitely be talking about how the Nats are achieving the team goal of respectability.

Of course, Livan is 35. However, the Nats' worry over age only applies to those players who make decent salaries and are therefore destructive to the Nats' short-term profit picture. If you are 35 and cheap, then no problem. If you are 30 and fairly expensive, then let's study that age issue very closely until time runs out and the player leaves.

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't want to weaken one position to "fix" another. If Storen is not ready find someone else and keep innings 7-8 as is. You can lose the game then too.

Posted by: 3B11 | September 27, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

First, you simply cannot use Clippard as a closer. You need "The Vulture" in a situation where you need to score the lead/winning run in a close game.

Second, what some don't remember, when Dunn was signed was two things: First, no one else really wanted him. Many of his HRs. were suspect because of the bandbox that he played in. Second, he was a defensive liability and wanted to play in the NL, because he didn't want to DH. Obviously, he has proven himself, offensively and has begun to learn to go to the opposite field (actually hitting some Oppotacos). He is beginning to learn to play first base, although he has made some really egregious mistakes, even in the last couple of weeks, with almost a year at the position.

Upshot: Sign him to a 3 year contract, even if you need to overpay, but without a no trade clause. His 2nd or even 3rd year, he becomes amazingly attractive to an AL club and might bring more than good value.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 27, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, Livan is 35. However, the Nats' worry over age only applies to those players who make decent salaries and are therefore destructive to the Nats' short-term profit picture. If you are 35 and cheap, then no problem. If you are 30 and fairly expensive, then let's study that age issue very closely until time runs out and the player leaves."

@EdDC,

This rationale doesn't explain Guzman who was very expensive and not worth the price they paid. Most players past 32-33 are in a definite decline. Name one that isn't. Look at the free agent list? Carlos Pena? The guy probably would go for a 1 year with an optional second at this point.

The guys post-30 who really are actually good ... even if declining they still out value everyone else with their WAR. But they are usually locked up by their respective team: Albert Pujols.

The only FA exception out there right now is Cliff lee and even he wants a 4 year or more extended contract. He would be 36-37. Do you believe he would be as effective then as now? Jermey Bonderman is only 28 and perhaps worth taking a flier? Dontrelle Willis?

If we follow your logic then the Nats would end up looking like the Chicago Cubs who have plenty of decrepit stars and can't get rid of them. So, instead their manager quit on them. Hey let's sign 39 year old Andy Petite? He could lead the Nats to the world series? NOT.

The Lerner's aren't holding the salary cap down for the sake of holding the salary cap down. They aren't Luria or the TB Rays owner who basically announced he had to cut payroll. The do seem to be taking the frugal approach of wanting to get the best return for their investment. To do that you have to trade for or sign younger players still in their prime to longer term contracts. Or ... you develop them in your own farm system

So far under Rizzo that appears to be what's happening.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't really see any deals out there that were reasonable that the Nationals didn't at least make an attempt at. Look at how they went after Chapman, Hudson or Teixeira. Soriano was the best non-signing they could possibly have made.

However, they REALLY, REALLY need to "Git'r Dunn"

Posted by: twinbrook | September 27, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"He is beginning to learn to play first base, although he has made some really egregious mistakes, even in the last couple of weeks, with almost a year at the position."

Over a year, actually. Don't forget that he started playing first when Nick Johnson was traded at the deadline in 2009.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 27, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem with relievers, except for the really good closers, is that so many of them are one year wonders, lights out one season and out of baseball the next. You need lots of them to have a chance to get a good pen in any given year.

Posted by: markfromark | September 27, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

peric,

If you are afraid of that 3rd or 4th Dunn year, I can understand. Let him go to a team willing to take the risk. I gave lots of examples of players who held up fine through 33 and 34 and won't do it again. You save money by letting him go, and that's the most important thing of all. Of course you will get someone even older and far less productive than Dunn.

Why bother to discuss? You love the do-it-on-the-cheap approach while I prefer a lighten-up-a-bit approach, at least to MLB average. You will find plenty of reasons to save money and I will always find reasons to make a commitment to the baseball side of the business.

Your approach works well for you, especially if the Nats can make it to 70 wins. I find it all disgraceful for a big-time region such as ours. We both have legitimate points of view.

OK, one example, in addition to Hondo, the Babe etc. Pudge. He had his last .300 year at 34. Of course if you wait until age 38, you get him much cheaper than if you had him signed through age 34. It is all about the money. I get it, believe me. The age 33 thing is just an excuse.

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Periculum and Twinbrook on this. You can't increase payroll in the abstract, you have to have an actual player who is worth paying the money to.

And I just haven't seen anyone make a solid case for a free agent who would have been worth the money, who would have been willing to come to DC, and who the Nats didn't take a shot at. I think the comparison with the Cubs is apt, although I respect the fact you can make the opposite comparison (as Boz did last week) with the Twins.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 27, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Nobody I know wanted Soriano to be signed for that length and for that absurd amount. Does that prove all signings are no good?

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Aweeee. You guys are great. Wake up on this lovely, sunny southern-californian day, grab my cup-of-joe, waste some time on the computer while eating breakfast and whatnot before heading off to the gym.

And what do I see? Only multiple shout-outs to me during the weekend. Gotta love it. Gotta throw some shout out to my peeps like bromsky, periculum, and the others. You guys are great, one love!

Wow, so the Natinals won some games and the Orioles, while playing their JV-squad lose some games to the 'Jays. Rats. Great, gotta love the happiness of Natinal fans getting all giddy over the prospect of 70 wins. Oh man, talk about high (pun and no pun intended) expectations.

And peri, wow the 'Skins lost? Talk about a shocker. I mean, the 'Skins are a football powerhouse, what are they
doing losing?????

Oh and you know why I'm not bothered about the O's losing or the Skins playing like the Skins or DCU playing like the Redskins or Maryland stinking it up against FIU?

Because I went cage-diving with great white sharks this weekend and you guys, as awesome and entertaining as you are, blogged.

And new episodes of The Simpsons and Boardwalk Empire were icing on the already iced cake. Maybe some good tiramisu.

Oh and to the funny-guys that were entertaining the idea of Zack Greinke somehow, someway becoming a Natinal, thank you very much for a side-splitting chuckle.

Oh, and Git 'R Dunn? Really?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

although I respect the fact you can make the opposite comparison (as Boz did last week) with the Twins.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 27, 2010 1:16 PM

And the Reds
And the Giants (who also PAID for their park)
Even the Rockies

Getting outspent by the Reds (and now outperformed) is really an embarrassment. I've always like the Reds, but they are in a dying market.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

We will miss, among other things, Dunn's durability if we lose him. Liked how he missed only one game after getting hit on the hand and had a big day (5 RBI) on his return to the lineup.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 27, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually EdDC, I think they should in fact sign Dunn. And I firmly believe that Mike Rizzo will accomplish this. You can't lose our latest and greatest Washington Monument to free agency.

Plus there really are no cost effective alternatives out there or in house ... yet ... and the operative word here is: YET. With Just in Bloxom and perhaps Tyler Moore you do have 2 potential replacements for Dunn in about 2 years. Marerro, and even Burgess I think may just be trades waiting to occur.

its the two years down the road that Rizzo is looking at and you can see in Espinosa and Lombardozzi. The guys in Hagerstown are going to get promoted to Potomac and then after that, if they are successful its only a matter of time. Its not about the money per se' its about the energy, enthusiasm and the in-house training these guys will bring to the big club very soon.

Like Espinosa they will for the most part be better than free agents. Unless you liked having Guzman at second base, or even Kennedy? As I recall the Twins got rid of award winning Guzman ... I wonder why?

You have to pick and choose ... and right now because the farm system was in unbelievable tatters the Nats couldn't be players in that league of key trades. That is changing whether you see it or not.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Nobody I know wanted Soriano to be signed for that length and for that absurd amount. Does that prove all signings are no good?

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 1:18 PM

'Let's not spend money because a couple clubs spend money unwisely' is a common Lerner Syndrome symptom.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Reds, Giants, Padres all built from within using their deep farm systems. Right? Cain and Lincecum: from within NOT free agents.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

But next year the Natinals will trade for Zack Grienke, right?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Votto: the reason Dunn is not still in Cincinnati ... lest we forget.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Reds, Giants, Padres all built from within using their deep farm systems. Right? Cain and Lincecum: from within NOT free agents.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:30 PM

And 4 key members who were free agents making above the league average (Huff, Sanchez, Burrell, Rowand). And Zito. And Renteria. Who's making that kind of dough for the Nats?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

So the Reds let Dunn go before Votto blew up because the Reds knew he would blow up years after Dunn left?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

And Poopy, maybe next year the Redskins will finally get a real HC whose massive ego doesn't preclude him from hiring a real DC and special teams coach. Right? I know too many dreams of superbowls to be rising from the hallucinogenic vapors of your diaper genie. Along with your Showalters going to any world series while D'Angel"o" is still alive.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"And 4 key members who were free agents making above the league average (Huff, Sanchez, Burrell, Rowand). And Zito. And Renteria. Who's making that kind of dough for the Nats?"

Guzman, Marquis, Dunn, Zimmerman in another losing campaign.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Votto: the reason Dunn is not still in Cincinnati ... lest we forget.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:37 PM

How about Scott Rolen - he's worked out for them amazingly well? When do we get to trade for a guy making 11 million clams (who then signed for 7.6)? Or sign a free agent closer for 12 million?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Redskins and O's have a better shot at the postseason than your beloved Washington Senators, I mean Minnesota Twins, I mean Texas Rangers, I mean Montreal Expos, I mean Washington Natinals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"How about Scott Rolen - he's worked out for them amazingly well? When do we get to trade for a guy making 11 million clams (who then signed for 7.6)? Or sign a free agent closer for 12 million?"

That was Guzman ... remember?

This year its Rizzo not Cincinnati Red rejects. Let's see who he trades for to move into a top of the rotation spot for the 2011 Nats. Let's wait and see what this key offseason brings.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Guzman, Marquis, Dunn, Zimmerman in another losing campaign.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:42 PM

How about Adam Kennedy, Nyjer Morgan, Brian Bruney and Wil Nieves. Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Jim Haslett has a better chance of taking a duke in your diaper genie than the Redskins do of going anywhere soon ... they went way too old, way to fast following the Bruce's Dad's mantra of the future is now. Except Old GA actually won.

And your Showalter O's. Not while a really cheap owner owns that team. The Browns will return to the old AAA Orioles before too long I expect. Oh, the "Browns"? No wonder you like them? Diaper Genie baseball for Poopy!

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The Natinals big offseason signing is going to be when they bring in Rodrigo Lopez and Jay Payton.

And you guys will be wetting your diapers.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Kev,

I think my favorite Lerner Syndrome argument is that the best and only way to build a club is to rely exclusively on the farm system. None of the proven methods the winning clubs have used over time should even be tried.

When the captor deprives those held captive of food and water, the captives start thinking about all the advantages of doing without.

As it pertains to captive fans, this is called "being good." If the captives behave well (by buying tickets to one of the most boring teams in baseball), some day they will be rewarded with mediocrity. They may never get this promise of mediocrity fulfilled, but the hope for mediocrity or respectability is always pushed out further and further into the future for them to thirst after.

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"How about Adam Kennedy, Nyjer Morgan, Brian Bruney and Wil Nieves. Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap."

Ahhhm, look at the Reds payroll? They have these guys too. They just have good starting pitching (rookie Mike Leake) plus guys like Votto that they developed.

This is still coming for the Nats. But it does seem to be coming.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"And you guys will be wetting your diapers."

Poopy, you and old man Joey Galloway. Wonder if he wears depends? He is old enough.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. Thanks for the laugh periculum. Just how much of a "big spender" is your beloved Natinals owner?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Certainly building from within is a good thing to do, and yes MLB destroyed our farm teams so that isn't going to be accomplished overnight. But after 5 years the Nats have to field a team that is worth watching NOW, not in some ever receding future season. The first step to doing that for next year is to sign Dunn, most likely to a 3 year deal. At 30 he will be the same age or younger at the end of that deal as the replacements they are looking at now. Obviously, starting pitching is a need which must be addressed, and they need an outfielder. Some FA acquisitions are the only way to field a watchable team next year, and the Nats really need to do that before their fan base dwindles past a point of no return.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Peri, who pooped in your coffee today? Also, thanks for the shout-out this past weekend. Loved it.

Gotta love that you're thinking about me on a weekend, while I'm out having a boatload of fun. Different priorities for different people I suppose.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhm, look at the Reds payroll? They have these guys too. They just have good starting pitching (rookie Mike Leake) plus guys like Votto that they developed.

This is still coming for the Nats. But it does seem to be coming.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:50 PM

They also have talented, well paid guys whom they traded some of their young talent for (Phillips). I certainly hope that is coming for the Nats.

They have their fair share of reclamation projects that have gone well, whereas we have ones that just plain sucked. But the proof is in the pudding - they have better paid players and a lot more wins. And they paid more for Chapman, but we were in it right til the end! :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"I think my favorite Lerner Syndrome argument is that the best and only way to build a club is to rely exclusively on the farm system. None of the proven methods the winning clubs have used over time should even be tried."

You can never rely exclusive on the farm system. There are always failures there as well! And don't we know it!

Again, EdDC, if you don't read Mike Rizzo's blog you should. He can be quite revealing ... especially when he contradicts double switch the manager. He has said the number 1 priority going into the offseason is the starting pitching rotation, especially the top of the rotation. That is his number 1 priority, Maya's signing is a part of attempting to address that ...

You're just going to have to see what he can put together this offseason to accomplish that. He now has enough young assets (that the other teams actually want ... not the old decrepit ones you seem to favor) to make a trade for a Greinke type pitcher.

We'll have to wait and see.

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Natsfly, the Natinals don't need just one outfielder, they need at least 3 outfielders.

The Orioles outfield makes the Natinals outfield look like a 10-12 little league teams outfield.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Poopy, the Ori-holes have a deep farm system. The problem is your fearless leader Angel-"O's" turns them over to trim the payroll. Kind of like the Expos used to do dontcha know?

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

How much better was the weekend without this braying jack@$$? I actually thought the Post had sacked up and banned his juvenile crap.
Oh well ... guess I'm off to find a more grown-up blog.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | September 27, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Poopy having a boat load of fun with the kids at the pool launching those brown submarines again ... oh, that's right pool's closed ... so you were watching the Redskins get massacred as if Jimmy Zorn were still in charge ... hey even Jason Campbell beat that team ... they looked pretty pathetic ... but I'm sure you enjoyed it eh?

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Wait, why would Angelos turn over prospects in the farm system to keep payroll low?

Anyone knows most young, players from the minors are under the clubs control for a good amount of years at a very cheap rate, or atleast compared to free-agent signings.

Shows just how little you know about MLB. Not that it's anything new for a Natinals fan.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

To be clear, you do rely mainly on the farm system. We can all agree--that is most important.

You supplement that strategy with other strategies that do not sacrifice your future. Take a risk on some international guys (not just the low-budget ones). Trade for guys even if they make decent salary (the Nats have never done that under Lerner, much to their disgrace). Should Dunn be the only $20 million free agent under the Lerner in all the Lerner years? No! That's short-sighted foolishness.

And when you build your club, the better players will want to join in the fun. The reason the Nats get the worst players is the Nats' lack of commitment to MLB baseball, not poor scouting or whatever.

Case in point Ryan Zim. He was drafted: great. He was re-signed to longer term: even better. But his career as a Nat will expire without a good club around him. Not so good. Naturally, Zim will go elsewhere. You have to do more than just draft and wait, no matter how attractive that is financially. The Nats promise an afterlife that never happens.

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Poopy,

So your mom took away computer privileges for the whole weekend, huh?

Posted by: stantonpark | September 27, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

That or cage diving with great white sharks off the coast was just a bit more appealing than sitting on a computer "blogging" about how crummy the Natinals are.

But different strokes for different folks.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Please stop feeding the troll!

Posted by: LandoverHillsBoysClub | September 27, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"I think my favorite Lerner Syndrome argument is that the best and only way to build a club is to rely exclusively on the farm system. None of the proven methods the winning clubs have used over time should even be tried."

Yes, I suppose this is exactly why the Lerners signed Dunn and traded for Olsen and Willingham two years ago and signed Pudge, Capps, Kennedy, Livo and Marquis last year. Build from within. No other explanation seems remotely possible.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 27, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I suppose this is exactly why the Lerners signed Dunn and traded for Olsen and Willingham two years ago and signed Pudge, Capps, Kennedy, Livo and Marquis last year. Build from within. No other explanation seems remotely possible.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 27, 2010 2:18 PM

Lerner Syndrome is not about the Lerners themselves, it's about tortured fans of their ball club. Some choose to side with their captors. Others want to loudly complain that they are not doing enough to strengthen baseball in this city.

Listing the above players (minus Dunn and Marquis) does exhibit some Lerner Syndrome defense symptoms. Willingham, Pudge, Livo and Capps were good signings - but bargains. Kennedy's just flat out cheap.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Cage diving with white sharks eh? Hmmm, yeah if its near the Morro Bay sewage treatment plant ... or San Simeon's for that matter no wonder you call yourself poopy_mcpoop. Lots of stanky primary effluent upon which you feed dude!

Posted by: periculum | September 27, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

So what's more likely?

1) Mr. Poop is an international man of mystery who goes "cage diving with great white sharks" (not just diving, but cage diving! not just sharks, but great whites!)?

Or,

2) he lives in a trailer down by the river?

Posted by: stantonpark | September 27, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

actually stantonpark if you could get your joke right it'd be living in a VAN down by the river.

But no one ever accused you of getting your Chris Farley SNL jokes right.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Dunn and Marquis were also relatively inexpensive. Most clubs would not feature them as their marquee big-money players. The rest are bargain bin.

Posted by: EdDC | September 27, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, why should we care?

McP is a regular on a number of WaPo sites, playing the antagonist for the most part. It's what he does.
----------------
So what's more likely?

1) Mr. Poop is an international man of mystery who goes "cage diving with great white sharks" (not just diving, but cage diving! not just sharks, but great whites!)?

Or,

2) he lives in a trailer down by the river?

Posted by: stantonpark | September 27, 2010 2:31 PM

Posted by: BinM | September 27, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Poopy,

obsessive knowledge of juvenile comedy, merely confirming that you are a zit faced adolescent...

Posted by: stantonpark | September 27, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Regarding spending money and fielding a major league team, it's obvious and not even worth debating that the Nat's screwed this up for about 4 years.

Proof point 1 - Season ticket sales down from roughly 22,000 to now under 10,000.

Proof point 2 - Under slot drafting through 2009. By far, the cheapest way to acquire talent, and they did this wrong for years.

Prior to Rizzo the Nat's FO made big mistakes that they will still be paying for years from now.

The two questions now are:
- How effective will Rizzo be in getting the checkbook to open up?
- How effective will Rizzo be in spending what money he is budgeted?

To me, these are still very open. Rizzo has done some really good things, most notably the 2010 draft and the Capps / Ramos transactions. Even not knowing how Maya is going to work out, I give him props for that.

Hopeful? Absolutlely.
Optimistic? Not yet.
Trusting Rizzo? Yep

Posted by: Sunderland | September 27, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Can Burnett close? No. Lefties don't close in the bigs unless they can throw it by guys more often than not. Sean does not have dead bolt lock swing and miss stuff. It's that simple.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 27, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Add the Rockies to the list of teams that built primarily from within. They drafted well and then developed their players using a consistent model throughout their farm system (saw that at Tulsa, their AA ballclub). Best I can tell, that is what Rizzo and the Nats are doing now. Success in short run will make the Nats more attractive to prospective free agents.

Posted by: fpcsteve | September 27, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The Rockies are a good example of a team that the Nationals are trying to emulate. On the surface that would seem to be a good thing. Unfortunately, the circumstances are different. The Rockies had built in advantages from starting as an expansion team and made good use of them. Plus, they were fortunate enough to start off with a bit of success (playoffs in their third season). They've also never lost 100 games, though they've had some lean seasons.

The Nats are in a much different scenario. They've hurt themselves with terrible, unprepared teams in a finicky, beaten up market. There just needs to be more urgency. I hope in 5 years we can say that the Nats have drafted as well as the Rockies and Reds - but will anyone even be paying attention in four more years if they lose another 400 games?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I think they should figure out what their payroll is and spend that, rather than using the loose change to pay off debt. Re-sign their players they want to keep, then spend the rest on the best combination of free agents out there each year. That way they have done as much to build for the future as they're doing now, and the team wouldn't be so gosh awful lousy while we're waiting around for that.

Also, sign Dunn.

Posted by: markfromark | September 27, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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