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Jordan Zimmermann was good, and now it could get ugly

Morning roundup

In the Nationals clubhouse late Tuesday night, the main sounds were hushed interviews and forks scraping plates. They had lost a chance for their first four-game winning streak of the year and the opportunity to clinch their first victory in a road series since May 12, and they lost it in the 10th inning on two nerve-wracking, frustrating plays. At the moment, it was tough to shake.

But in the long view, the most important development happened while Jordan Zimmermann occupied the mound. Stephen Strasburg will not throw another pitch for at least a year. After Tuesday night, they know they'll still have one twenty-something ace to both lead their staff and serve as an example for their other twenty-something ace.

Zimmermann allowed one hit and faced the minimum in six innings, retiring the final 14 batters he faced. He struck out nine, including five in a row and eight of the last 11. He said he could have gone one more but understood the six-inning limit. He thinks his changeup and his curveball are both better now than before surgery.

Zimmermann was as dominant last night as Strasburg ever was in one start. It's not the be-all, end-all, but let's use Bill James's Game Score formula as a measure. Strasburg's score was 75, which he reached twice, in his debut against the Pirates and against the White Sox in his third start. Tuesday night against the Marlins, Zimmermann scored a 79.

Zimmermann made the Marlins swing and miss nine times. Strasburg made two starts against the Marlins and made them miss eight times and 10 times. Before Strasburg arrived, Zimmermann was the Nationals' best prospect, and it was reasonable to hope he might become one of baseball's brightest stars. Tuesday night, he delivered.

It was not all rosy for the Nationals, of course. They had to deal with their loss, and the part that may linger Wednesday - fair or not - is Nyjer Morgan running into Marlins catcher Brett Hayes.

Morgan's play Tuesday night was not dirty. You could argue if it was smart or not - both live and on replays, it sure looked like he may have had a better chance to score if he slid. But that's easy to say watching from high above the field. Manager Jim Riggleman said, "I don't have any problem with his decision." He watched a replay after the game and still didn't know if Morgan should have slid.

In that moment, racing home, Morgan thought he might hurt himself if he slid and his best chance was to bowl over Hayes. It was rough, but it was not malicious.

Of course, there is some extra context. And the Marlins know the context. Morgan ran into Bryan Anderson of the Cardinals on Saturday, going out of his way to hit him even though there was not a throw home, only a pump fake by Alberto Pujols that Morgan said fooled him.

So now the Marlins have a hurt catcher - Hayes's left shoulder was examined by team trainers afterward - and they have the background on Morgan's week. And they're not happy.

"I would say it was clean if I hadn't seen what he had done earlier," Marlins third baseman Chad Tracy said. "I think he would have had a better chance to be safe if he was sliding. It fires you up when you see the way he's been playing the last week or so. We were upset."

That take will probably upset Morgan, who said Monday he does not want to develop a reputation as a dirty player and does not believe he should.

On Sunday, in the wake of Morgan's first, less violent collision, Riggleman sat Morgan. I don't think Morgan will sit Wednesday. Riggleman, while saying the play was out of character for Morgan, admitted he did not condone Saturday's collision. Riggleman said he had no issue with Morgan's play Tuesday night.

If Morgan plays, I also expect the Marlins will throw at him. Morgan has said that's part of the game, that players police themselves, so I expect he'll grit his teeth and jog to first.

And then he better not get picked off.

FROM THE POST

This September will be fascinating for real Nationals fans, Boz writes.

The Nationals suffered a rough 1-0 loss to the Marlins Tuesday night, but Jordan Zimmermann's dominant start mattered most.

Rob Dibble was wrong, but he should get another chance says Leonard Shapiro.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 6, Buffalo 4: Danny Espinosa went 2 for 5. Seth Bynum went 3 for 4 with a double.

New Hampshire 1, Harrisburg 0 (10 innings): Ryan Tatusko, one of the two starters acquired for Cristian Guzman, allowed no runs in seven innings on six hits and two walks, striking out three.

Potomac 5, Salem 3 (Game 1): Derek Norris went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.

Salem 3, Potomac 2 (Game 2): Derek Norris went 1 for 3 with a home run.

Lexington 10, Hagerstown 7: Rick Hague went 2 for 5 with a home run and a double. Destin Hood went 2 for 5 with a double. Josh Smoker allowed no runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief on two walks and a hit, striking out two.

Brooklyn 8, Vermont 7 (Game 1, 12 innings): Chad Mozingo went 3 for 7. Jason Martinson went 2 for 6 with a triple.

Brooklyn 6, Vermont 4 (Game 2): Chad Mozingo went 3 for 4 with two doubles. Kevin Keyes went 2 for 4 with a home run.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Jordan Zimmermann was Strasburgian Tuesday night, Mark Zuckerman writes.

FanGraphs tries to project how much Adam Dunn will make through CrowdSourcing.

Nationals Baseball isn't so sure about Roger Bernadina.

Dave McKenna wants to see Rob Dibble back in the booth.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 1, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Jordan Zimmermann , Nyjer Morgan , Stephen Strasburg  | Tags: Jordan Zimmermann, Marlins, Nationals, Nyjer Morgan, Stephen Strasburg  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Game 133 discussion thread: Nationals at Marlins
Next: Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos and Collin Balester to be called up

Comments

Adam - perhaps a post of thanks, and a "congratulations and adieu" might be in order re NFA?

http://natsfarm.com/

All good things must come to an end....

Posted by: Barney001 | September 1, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Nyjer better dig in with shallow spikes tonight - I think he'll be spending some time on his back...

Posted by: comish4lif | September 1, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Just saw the posts and posting honoring Zimm yesterday and a quick late add-on to the party. He is the best defensive 3rd baseman of our generation. Hopefully his (relatively) poor first half with the throwing arm (and therefore, no All-Star tally) won't dissuade the voters at the end of the season. His second half has been superb, and defensively, the throws are back where they should be, and every game brings at least one beauty of a play.

I agree with one of the last posts -- whenever I'm watching another team play and a ball gets through the 3rd base area, my first reaction is shock because I'm so used to Zimm making that play look routine.

Posted by: mo_dc | September 1, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

That was going to be my comment, as well.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Back to the subject at hand, sounds like Riggs is basically telling Nyjer "I'm not saving your bacon again (like Sunday) -- you're gonna take your medicine (right in the back (hopefully)"

That play last Saturday against the Cards was total bush-league. Catcher was defenseless and there was no play. Plus it was idiotic because he missed the plate clearly in his attempt to dislodge some teeth from Anderson.

He absolutely deserved (at least) one plunking for that one, but no more games against STL this year. I wonder if the venom will be unleashed next year against Nyjer -- and, if that's the case, will he still be on the Nats when it gets dished out?

Nyjer, the former hockey player, might want to put some of those pads into his uniform first time up today. Marlins would do well to wait until the last AB to plunk him, as he'll be shaking in his shoes in every AB until payback is made.

Posted by: mo_dc | September 1, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Guys, I'm not a machine. I'm just Alberto ...

Posted by: gregoryfinley | September 1, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Is this Nyger's new strategy to get on base? Make the other team P.O'd so they hit you all the time?

Posted by: futbolclif | September 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Adam may of hit the nail on the head on this Nyjer Morgan newest problem. In watching the play it look so brutal and in some peoples eyes dirty what he did to the catcher. Was the play dirty, no that is all part of baseball. What Nyjer did is Baseball 101 when your about 10 feet away from the catcher and there is no chance of you making it home, you are just trying to get the catcher to drop the ball.
But that is the problem with this play that makes it so ugly, when Nyjer was two/three feet away and had to make the decision, Brett Hayes was still awaiting the ball. So Nyjer made a very, very poor decision to act like a linebacker instead of a baserunneer.
The thing we have to really think about in deciding the faith of Nyjer is how many of these split second decisions have been wrong and turned into bone-head decisions. Yes we can give Nyjer the benefit of the doubt on these types of decisions, but as we are all seeing now the fans and Riggelman are getting very tired of another bone-head decision.
Frankly after what I have seen from him this year, and now his complaining about batting eight the decision my management is easy, get rid of this bone-head before he becomes a cancer in the clubhouse. Remember on March 17th they made the same decision about Elijah Dukes and it stunned a lot of fans. But by opening day 99% of the fans couldn't care less about Dukes. The same will happen here, if the Nats get rid of Dukes we will all forget about him in a weeks time.

Mr. Rizzo, hope your reading what the fans are saying, get rid of Morgan now before he really becomes a big cancer on the Nats.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 1, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Three comments this morning:

1. Watched the whole thing last night. Zinn (we gotta quit calling him J Zim, and someone on Hamilton's chat suggested Zinn or Znn, and he gave us many moments of zen last night) was sublime. The play of the rest of the team, save one, was really good. Nice game.

2. I am tired of watching Child Morgan. Not sure if that was a cheap shot on the catcher (last night) or not, but it sort of looked like it. I am sure that when he got a hit, he angrily spiked his arm guard at first and was pretty clearly sporting a 'tude all game, so a cheap shot would sadly be in character. I am also sure that his check of the St. Louis catcher was not appropriate; ditto his spouting off about his Manager. Contrast Pudge's adult comments to the umpire quoted in the gamer about the ump's correct call even though he thought it a bad call initially. That, Mr Morgan, is class. You should learn from him.

3. Boz has me all excited about September call-ups. But that happens every year. It will not distract me from noticing if the Cheaps do not sign Dunn and field a watchable team for 2011. I will no longer enable this mentality that the owners are entitled to take money from the fans and not return value right now. Not in 2012 or 2013--value is always 2 or three years away, but renewal of my ST is much closer. I have been a ST holder for a last place team long enough. If uncle teddy wants me to put up, he must do so first. Sign Dunn--there is nobody out there better and you owe it to your fanbase. I will still follow the team, but I will no longer be a ST holder until you show some respect to us.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 1, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I thought that was a low rent move by Morgan there. But one heck of a hit for sure.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 1, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

A printed sentence has never been more true.

"And then he better not get picked off."

Great line AK.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Whether it was a cheap shot or not, I don't know, but it was without doubt a bad play. If a 160 pound guy decides his best bet is to run over a 200 pound guy who is not even blocking his way to the plate, then he's made a bad decision. Morgan should be thinking slide every time unless there is some wild reason not to do so. Nothing in that play last night begged for a collision.

He's kinda old, he's not getting on, his ability to stay on the bases once he gets there is suspect and his glove has not exactly been golden. It's time for the guy to answer the call, put together a string of solid games in order to earn PT in September, show the world he can play -- and this is the performance he puts out?

Posted by: dfh21 | September 1, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@golfersal - I think you are right on.
The play was not cheap, it's a standard baseball play.
But it also was not wise, and given the game situation, was not appropriate.
Nyjer's baseball instincts are poor, he's shown that to us all season long, in the field, on the basepaths and in the batter's box.

He may or may not be the right guy to be playing center field for us today. I think he is not. Others think he is. This is fair to debate.

But what I think is not debatable is that overall he is one of the worst outfielders in baseball. As well as his OPS (dead last among all qualifying MLB outfielders), he leads MLB in caught stealing as well. (Which, if you'd like to extend to OPS, further reduces his OPS)

And his throwing arm is fully inadequate for an MLB outfielder. Somewhere in there factor in the mental errors, the poor instincts, and you end up with a very under-average MLB baseball player.

So maybe he's the best option we have, and maybe he's not.
Either way, there's no doubt we need better option for CF for 2011.

And frankly, I have no doubt that Rizzo's sees that as well.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 1, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

1) Nyjer is a professional baseball player, and had the capability of sliding to avoid the tag. He chose not to, yet again showing poor decision making. That + a low OBP + a relatively weak arm = change.
2) Adding to that: he needs to stop bantering with the fans!!!!!!!!!!!! There was a shot of him in CF during the bot of the 10th where his head is turned and he's yelling expletives. Doubtful he's in a shouting match with Michael. Did anyone else notice? This nonsense HAS TO STOP.
3) Can't help to think that 5 years ago Pudge makes that tag.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 1, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Ok, Nyjer maybe could've slid into home plate and might even had slid in safely, but with a plate at the plate you're not think. Nyjer isn't the biggest person and the Marlins catcher looked like he weighed at least 30 more pounds than Nyjer, so I blame the catcher for not knocking Nyjer on his rear end when he knew that a collision was about to happen. For Chad Tracy (who should be glad that he has a job in baseball) to make that comment is bush league. So what if Nyjer had a brain lock on Saturday, what is he not supposed to keep playing hard? My biggest issue with Nyjer is when the cameras showed him in the top of the inning out in center field, he was yelling with the fans and I read his lips call a fan a " fat bi*ch". Nyjer knows his days in DC are short, so he better be on hs best behavior, because the minors is a lonely place.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | September 1, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Although they weren't carbon copies, the two plays at the plate in the 10th illustrated the difference between smart baseball and something else. Ramirez did exactly the right thing when the catcher has the ball on the first base side; Morgan did exactly the wrong thing. The ball in the stands, the mouthing off about the manager, the jawing with opposing fans, the plays at the plate - why exactly is this guy still playing? Must be the .317 on-base %, or else maybe he'll take his Elvis wig with him when he's gone.

Posted by: NATurallyYours | September 1, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

You have a fraction of a second to decide between a fastball and a curveball, so don't tell me Morgan couldn't adjust when he saw the catcher moving. He didn't want to. Maybe tonight he'll run into the ball hoping he can beat that too.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Morgan couldn't adjust when he saw the catcher moving.

There, I just told you.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Morgan was electric last year before being hurt and this year before being put on the DL. He runs down more balls in CF than his arm might cost. I have seen lots of stuff that falls in front of other CFers that he grabs. Yes, he has had slumps this year but for the most part everyone except Zimmerman blows it in the clutch. We love Dunn but when was the last last time he delivered with a guy on second and two outs. Nyjer is not the scapegoat.. How well did they do without him?

Posted by: golo1 | September 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Nyger Punk Morgan should be batting 11th.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

When Pete Rose knocked over Ray Fosse in the (70 all star game i think) no one said Pete was a dirty player he was just being "Charlie Hustle" but when Nyjer Morgan does it he's a dirty player, i saw the play live like most of you, Nyjer decided to try and jar the ball loose now the catcher for Florida is bigger by at least 30 lbs. so how was Nyjer being a dirty player? Yes Nyjer could have slid but it was a split second decision had he slid and not tried to jar the ball loose then some of you would be saying he's got no guts i swear the guy can't win and by the way that play by Rose in the all star game no less basically ended Ray Fosse's career.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 1, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW when are Ramos and Maya coming up?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

skins_fan_22: Oh! now he's a punk for playing the game the right way i played bsaeball for more than 30 yrs at almost every level sans the pro's almost every coach i had taught me the game the right way i.e. going into second on a grounder you slide to break up the double play to keep the inning alive, not dirty mind you but a clean hard slide, if you're comming home and the throw's got you beat then you try to seperate the ball from the catcher, that's basball 101 period end of story.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 1, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

That was an intense play. If Hayes had dropped the ball where would you all be?

Is the chance better that you would drop the ball with a hit like that or tag with a slide. We can have our opinions but Riggelman is right. Nothing wrong with what he did.

Posted by: golo1 | September 1, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The question isn't if it was his right to plow into the catcher - it is - but if that gave him a better chance to score. I'd rather a player play the game smart then hard, not that the two are mutually exclusive.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 1, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag and golo1,

All for hard play, and that's a part of the game. But the play was to slide to the outside of the plate away from the catcher, who caught the ball high and to the inside. Hook slide and he's safe. That's the crux of the debate, and to me the slide was the right play.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Nyjer is so busy tring to show everyone what a MAN he is that he doesn't understand that he is actually demonstrating what kind of TEAMMATE he is. In my view, he's not much of either.

I hope he plays, and gets hit tonight. I bet he goes after the pitcher because a plunk would be "unacceptable" to him.

One acronym for Nyjer - DFA. (After he gets hit though, we deserve that as much as he does.)

Posted by: ehay2k | September 1, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@joe: And I think for those of us seeking a little balance (on that play alone, trying not to let additional feelings for/against Nyjer enter here), the question is, did he have all the information that commenters have today in order to make that decision a CLEAR one in the opposite direction, as people assert?

I say no. I think sliding there probably would still have resulted in an out, but that's no worse than what did happen.

Do I have any problem with people saying they wished he'd slid? No.

Do I have a problem with people saying he definitely would have been safe and therefore this makes the list of top-10 reasons Nyjer should not be playing? Yes.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand all the hate for Nyjer. Sure, the guy has made some mistakes but, give it a rest. Last night was a good, hard, clean play. In hindsight maybe he should have slid but, so what. At least he is playing with an edge and I have no problem with it.

Posted by: Section505203 | September 1, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

>>skins_fan_22: Oh! now he's a punk for playing the game the right way

Morgan playing the game the right way?? Good 1.

Let's see:

Turning what should have been an out on a flyball that landed below his jump into an inside the park home run by being a little child and flinging his mitt to the ground in disgust. (The right way?)

Costing his team what would have been the winning run and the game by not understanding the circumstances and getting thrown out at 3rd base for the 3rd out of the inning before your lead runner crosses home plate. (The right way?)

Initiating contact at home plate when the catcher isn't even blocking the plate and there isn't even a throw to home plate and on top of it you miss home plate and cost your team a run (The right way?)

Getting picked off of first base--oh I don't know-- 100 times?? (The rightr way?)

Trying to take out the catcher when a simple slide scores the run and maybe wins the game instead of trying to hurt the catcher and getting the other team all fired up and of course they use that to win. (The right way?)

Gimmie a freakin break. You played baseball for how long?? Yea right.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Section505203: Agree it was a good hard clean play this is just Nyjer bashing when he's gone and torturing us with some other team then we'll all be happy.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 1, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

stevie, you offer a good perspective here. My criticism is of the thinking, not the execution. Nyjer clearly locked in on the idea of colliding with the catcher much earlier than necessary, which gave him no chance of scoring. If he had held off on a decision for a stride or two and slid instead, he would have had some chance of scoring. Not a great chance, but a chance.

And if it seems trivial to criticize him for not waiting a second or so to make a decision, that's how sports work. And it's one of his biggest recurring problems.

BTW, darg, Pete Rose did take some criticism for that hit on Fosse. But he was also an established All Star with a proven record, something Nyjer isn't.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 1, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Please do not post anything form "Nationals Baseball" again. Maybe I'm biased because I disagree with his analysis and overall attitude towards life, but it was incredibly poorly written. The posting was riddled with run-on sentences, poor grammar, and typos. It made me angry reading it.

Posted by: Kavorka | September 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

>>when he's gone and torturing us with some other team

That's a laugh. Unfortunately Morgan tortures his own team far more than opponents. That's the problem. Wheteher it be in the field, on the bases or at bat, Morgan has demonstrated over and over, he doesn't really understand the game. That's the main problem. Amd it doesn't look to change. His biggest asset, his speed, isn't really an asset anymore as his caught stealing percentage and picked off base percentage far outweighs his actual steals. He can't even read the pitcher.
Therefor Morgan is a major liability. And it only took the genius Riggleman until almost September to realize it.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Anyone defending Nyjer's play can't be watching. Simply the dumbest player I've watched in 40 years. Just plain dumb.

Comments about the minors are out of line. No minor league team would want him around. He's a dishwasher - if he can hack it.

Riggleman's insistence on putting him in CF shows his competence (1 full winning season in his managerial career - most with the loaded Cubs).

Dunn will be gone, and the dumb trust will be back. I can't handle another year of this crap.

Posted by: bflorhodes | September 1, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the Rose play if we are trying to make a comparison? Fosse was blocking the plate. He was on the third base line and he didn't give Rose any plate to slide. Morgan had a plate to slide into just as Ramirez did. Very poor decision by Morgan. Pudge made a bad tag, by the way, on the winning run. If he goes to the corner of the plate he has an out. Instead he goes for the body. Morgan would have had the same chance with a correct decision to slide.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | September 1, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Remember the play in 2005 where Nick Johnson danced around the catcher and injured his heel?

After the game, Frank Robinson expressed his annoyance, saying "When the catcher blocks the plate, you knock him on his butt."

So there was nothing dirty in Nyjer's play. Was it the SMART play? Harder question, but Nyjer's penchant for dumb decisions -- together with the fact that he was out -- makes it more difficult to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 1, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

And you can't compare it with the Rose play.

Rose was criticized not because he hit Fosse but because it was the stupid All-Star game and a lot of people felt a meaningless game shouldn't cost a catcher his career. A lot of other people disagreed.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

As dumb as Morgan is and as bad a player as he is, he isn't the problem. He is simply a symptom. Rizzo and Riggleman are the problems. So benching Morgan although the right decision won't change anything because the (lack of) brain trust remains.
Riggleman is awful. A good manager matters. Just look at the Os. And seriously what has Rizzo done? Just one thing please.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@balt: we'll just have to disagree, I suppose. I don't see any way you can say that he "clearly locked in on the idea of colliding with the catcher much earlier than necessary."

A second before the collision, it seems to me, the player had his foot on third base, rounding.

50/50, bang-bang play. I do believe that in this case, Riggleman's apparent agreement with that is telling.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Got Ramos for Capps.

There's one thing for you, skins_fan.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

>>Got Ramos for Capps. There's one thing for you, skins_fan.Posted by: stevie_in_gp

What has Ramos done so far? Just wondering.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Heh, dude, if your criterion for a successful MLB GM is that his moves must pay instantaneous dividends in the form of ML stats and big-league wins . . . well, then you know even less than your prior, overheated posts would lead me to give you credit for.

I didn't say I disagreed with you, but hyperbole just kills your arguments.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"When Pete Rose knocked over Ray Fosse in the (70 all star game i think) no one said Pete was a dirty player ..."

Rose got lit up for that play at the time and for years afterward, and "dirty" was probably one of the kinder things said. If he hadn't done something else serious enough to get him kicked out of the game, it would be the mostly highly criticized incident of his career.

Posted by: zimbar | September 1, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

What kills his arguments is the word "skins" in his moniker.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Section505203 | September 1, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

>> . . well, then you know even less than your prior, overheated posts would lead me to give you credit for.

I'm sure I do. But I'm still waiting on just 1. Don't see them piling up yet.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me the major difference between Morgan's and Ramirez's plays at the plate is, Nyjer rounded third expecting the throw to go to first, while Hanley surely expected a throw to the plate.

Posted by: shygaard | September 1, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

You asked for one, I gave you one. A super-obvious one. I suspect you're the only one who would argue it. No wonder people aren't lining up to respond to you.

Have the grace and intelligence to admit you exaggerated.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I give Nyjer a pass for the play last night. And I give him a pass on the Commissoner's Office accusation. With his arm, how could he hurt anyone with a throw into the stands? But he clearly lacks the intellect and good sense to ever be an outstanding player. Is there anybody left who still thinks he'll be in center field when the Nats win?

Posted by: fluffy4 | September 1, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Burnett for Hanrahan (Morgan for Milledge is looking like a wash).

Hayes is just lucky it wasn't Bernadina trying to score, or Dunn under other circumstances. And no, you can't change your mind and slide, from ten feet away at full speed. That's just silly.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Just as I thought. Not one actual player on the Nats major league team. Exactly.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, they have to be position players? Ok, I'll start with Pudge. Great get.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll start with Pudge. Great get.Posted by: Sec3mysofa |

Seriously? Listen I love Pudgy as much as the next guy. Great loveable dude. But a 90 year old catcher batting .267 with 2 dingers and 37 RBI?? Come on. That's a difference maker? ANd please don't tell me about the great job he's done with our "young pitching staff". You know the ones with the worst ERA in the league. That great minor league staff put together by one Mike Rizzo.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Pudge. No, that won't work for ya. Sharp swoon.

Strasburg? Broken. Ooo, tough one . . .

Storen? Er, blew a save or two . . .

Does it have to be after being named full GM, or does interim count? No, oh geez.

Umm, Batista? Meh.

Morse. No: prior watch, I suppose.

I know, I know: Livan! No? Wow, tough.

Zimm's extension? No way to know if that was Bowden or VP of Ops Rizzo you say? Ok.

Peralta. 2.35, .181 against. My final answer.

Nope. You're right, skins_. By your rules, Rizzo deserves to fired this minute.


But I'm glad no one plays by your rules.

(Seriously: did I just destroy a child? I feel kinda bad.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

There you go again, skins_. Nats are 19 out of 30 in ERA in the majors, 12th of 16 in the NL.

But now at least I know you're just pulling our legs.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

>>Nope. You're right, skins_. By your rules, >>Rizzo deserves to fired this minute.
But I'm glad no one plays by your rules.
Posted by: stevie_in_gp

Stevie you are obviously Mike Rizzo's #1 fan. Suffice to say we disagree. YOu forgot his greatest play, extending manager Jim Riggleman for another year, after what I consider to be one of the worst jobs of managing I've seen in a long time. So enjoy Riggleman and what else did you say... Batista and Peralta...wow the future looks real bright.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

That's actually the funny thing, skins_. I'm not in or out of the bag for Rizzo, and I am pretty d@&* critical of Riggleman at times and pretty sure he is NOT the guy to take this team to the promised land.

I just don't like poor arguments. They overshadow the good ones.

(And yes, I genuinely think Rizzo deserves more time before judgment is passed. Letting Dunn go to free agency would probably be enough for me, to be honest. Dig watching that guy bop!)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Wait, first you implied they had to be major leaguers, producing today, this minute, while we blog.

Now you're looking into the future? See how that's confusing?

Sigh.

No, of course I'm not arguing that Batista or Morse or Peralta is a hugely important player. I'm arguing that - by your criterion - no one is. Well, short of Albert or A-Rod, anyway.

OK, enough fun.

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

>>Nats are 12th of 16 in the NL in ERA.

My bad. We're 4th worst. Now that's something to hang your hat on. BTW forgot all about mentioning Dunn. Not trading Dunn (and don't take my word for this, it's pretty universal) was considered a complete disaster. This is Soriano all over again. And now we lose him for nothing. And don't tell me about some draft picks that we won't see for 5 years. Unbelieveable blunder.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Skins_fan, please stop cheering for (doesn't really seem like you do) and commenting on the Nats. Save your unjustified criticism for the Skins. That organization obviously makes great decisions about building a team through the draft and developing young talent. You are the typical Skins fan who loves the Skins during the off-season when they pick up overpriced veteran (read "old") free agents, then hates them when none of those players pan out.

The Nats continue to build a farm system of young talent. Baseball organizations and fans need to be patient in order to build a franchise that harvests young talent. So an argument that says that none of these guys are in the majors yet is one of short-sightedness. You obviously do not have the patience or foresight to be a baseball fan anywhere except NY.

Posted by: Kavorka | September 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Kavorka, how do you know how I feel about the Skins and their offseason. Show me one post on it.
Also nothing wrong with building thru the draft but you also have to supplement the draft with real major league players--not the minor league sludge we've been having to pay to see. In case you hadn't noticed we've been served up the worst teams in baseball for years at Major League prices.
Patience? Puleeze. And with double-switch RIggleman at the helm again next year, things won't be much different. Bank on it.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"A few days ago, we ranked dead last in 'six-inning starts.' We were first in 'most different starters.... You're in constant danger of being in disarray. I don't know how we've got 57 wins."

You know who said that folks? Not me. No. Your leader Stan Kasten. The person in charge of putting together your team. Read Boz today. Pretty sad. And pretty telling.
That's your future right there.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

skins fan, we got Jordan Zimmermann for Soriano. Guess that is looking pretty bleak right now. We'll get a similar pick for Dunn.

You are just making your arguments worse. It's clear you don't like the direction the team is headed and that's your right but you cannot ignore facts just to try to make an argument.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 1, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The Nats continue to build a farm system of young talent. Baseball organizations and fans need to be patient in order to build a franchise that harvests young talent. ...You obviously do not have the patience or foresight to be a baseball fan anywhere except NY.Posted by: Kavorka | September 1, 2010 1:39 PM

Does this mean it hurts the future to hire anyone other than bargain basement types to complement the kids coming up? The Nats have signed only one $20 million free agent in all the Lerner years, Adam Dunn. Was he a mistake?

The Nats have traded for only one guy who makes a big salary--Soriano (before Lerner got here). Was that a mistake? When he signed with the Cubs, the Nats netted Jordan Zimmermann and a first rounder as compensation. Should the Nats have not signed Soriano in the first place?

In recent years, the Nats have signed just one international guy for pretty big bucks, Maya for $6 million over 4 years, as I recall. Was that a mistake?

The very few times the Nats have spent money did not hurt their future at all. In fact those moves helped a lot. Why not do more of this in addition to cultivating a good farm system? Is it essential to have a low payroll in order to have a good future?

Posted by: EdDC | September 1, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

>>skins fan, we got Jordan Zimmermann for Soriano. Guess that is looking pretty bleak right now. We'll get a similar pick for Dunn.

We lost Soriano at the end of the 2006 season. Next year will be 5 years and Zimmerman has yet to pitch an entire season. So you're content to wait another 5 years for a player for Dunn?
Also Soriano batted .277 with 46 homers and 95 RBI in 06. A straight-up trade of Zimmerman for Soriano would hardly considered a good trade especially since teams were offering multiple players. And so far Zimm's career stats are 3-5 with a 4.652 ERA. Hardly anything to write home about.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

We have one of the largest regions--and most affluent--in all of baseball. It is consistent with a good future to spend wisely. No, you don't sign old, fat, over-the-hill guys. But if the Nats ever developed a MLB level payroll to go with their farm system--watch out! At least a MLB-average level of payroll would help immensely. It would revitalize this region for the Nats.

Posted by: EdDC | September 1, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"YOu forgot his greatest play, extending manager Jim Riggleman for another year, after what I consider to be one of the worst jobs of managing I've seen in a long time."

Is your memory that short? Does the name "Acta" mean anything to you?

Posted by: waittilnextyear | September 1, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

>>Does the name "Acta" mean anything to you?

Yea sure. It's Spanish for passive aggressive sleepy underachieving Austin Kearns lovin homosapien.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

But, skins fan, you are sure that any players we would have got for Soriano would have had an immediate impact or be more valuable to the franchise then Zimm, a potential #1 starter who is 24.

Not everyone get Marquis and Wainwright in a deadline deal like the Cards did. And if you don't see a significant upside to JZimm then I don't know how you could be a Nats fan becasue he excites the heck out of me.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Very nice translation of "Acta", skins fan!!! I couldn't agree with you more.

Regardless of what one might think of Riggleman, at least he will venture onto the field to fight for his team.

Posted by: waittilnextyear | September 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

i'd rather have morgan give the catcher an unnecessary push than all that hugging and kissing that goes on between players and their "opponents" these days. i always thought you were suppose to beat your opponent, not pat him on the butt cheeks.

Posted by: stevie2 | September 1, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

>> And if you don't see a significant upside to JZimm then I don't know how you could be a Nats fan becasue he excites the heck out of me.Posted by: SCNatsFan

NatsFan we all love and get excited over potential. But eventually to contend you also have to get someone who has already fulfilled their potential and is an outright star in their prime....you know to go with all those potential guys. And who exactly has Rizzo gotten that fits that bill?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

JZimm would make lots of excellent, proven rotations in MLB.

Posted by: EdDC | September 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

skins fan, my argument is you said that like Soriano we are losing Dunn for nothing. I just showed evidence to say that is not true, not remotely. You can argue that the draft player may not be good, he may be good in a couple of years, he may be horrible but we still will be getting an early pick for Dunn should he leave, and that is clearly not nothing. And, like Soriano, maybe the brass feels Dunn isn't woth a terrible long term contract; that doesn't excuse the lack of stars on the team but mgt clearly was right on Soriano. Spending money just because you can isn't a wise thing to do, although I certainly agree this team would be better if pursestrings were loosened but to use Soriano as an example proves my point more then yours.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"And then he better not get picked off." Well . . . it's Nyjer you're talking about. Aside from making boneheaded borderline plays almost all the time of late, getting picked off is something he's come to excel at. Surprised the coaches haven't told him to cease and desist because his judgment with that is pretty lousy (as it is in most other areas of his game now, too). And that play last night fired up the Marlins and hurt their catcher. Good job. Now they'll be playing even harder against us.

Posted by: samantha7 | September 1, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

wow-wee-wow-wow......has baseball been gone from dc so long that no one here knows how to build a franchise. the lerners are obviously new at this whole process. perhaps they are a little better at it than daniel synder. it took him 10 years and counting to sort of figure it out. the lerners at least know you have to have a strong foundation to build upon. they are still working on a form of payroll structure that meets major league levels. it is a process. in the meantime, they brought a skeleton franchise and have been attempting to put some meat on the bones and at the same time give a palatable product to the fans. the fans who pined and sighed for a baseball team for what, well over 30 yrs. the last 5 yrs. has been spent building that foundation. for the next couple of years you want to see some of the amenities go into the structure, but to bicker about the things that are bickered about here, come on...10 yrs. ago we all were either trying to watch baltimore do a worse job than the lerners are doing, or completely ignoring baseball all together. it's funny to me, only because, i'm just happy that there is a team playing baseball in dc. i hope it gets better sooner than later, but i'm not mad about nothing right now. well ok, i would like to see dunn signed. other than that, ya'll need to calm down.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

It's a clean play if the catcher is blocking the plate or remotely close to it. If your options are 1) run straight ahead and cross the plate without touching the catcher, or 2) miss the plate entirely and go way out of your way to hit the catcher -- and you choose #2 -- that's a dirty play.

When your manager calls the opposing manager to apologize for your dirty play, there isn't much left to be said.

Posted by: higginsrj | September 1, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

You're talking about the play against the Cards, right, higgins? Is anyone saying otherwise?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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