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Young Nationals will learn as they play

Morning roundup

If Monday night is an indication, the Nationals' final 18 games will include a lot of learning on the job. The team started five rookies (although Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina, with more than 800 at-bats between them, are hardly rookies anymore). Here's a quick summary:

*Starter Yunesky Maya surrendered four runs on five hits, three walks and two balks, pitching well aside from a horrendous second inning.

*Second baseman Danny Espinosa went 1 for 4 with a single that snapped an 0-for-14 stretch and a strikeout.

*Ian Desmond went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.

*Wilson Ramos went 0 for 3 with a strikeout, although he stung two deep drives to the warning track.

*Roger Bernadina went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Total it up, and you've got 1 for 14 with eight strikeouts and an uneven start. It was not a good night for any Nationals hitter, of course, and Derek Lowe would have been filthy even without the benefit of a generous - but consistent - strike zone.

What Monday night underscored is this: The current incarnation of the Nationals will create bright moments that make the future seem full of promise, that will make 2011 not be able to get here fast enough. It will also create dark moments - like a six-game losing streak - that will make 2010 not be able to get over with fast enough. This is part of the process, one the Nationals have not been able to get out of.

"That's the hard part with these young guys - they have to learn at this level," Ryan Zimmerman said. "You're going to fail. You just have to continue to work hard and finish strong, continue doing the same thing you've been doing all season. Just because you go through a tough stretch, you can't panic and change everything that you've done to get to this point. That's a good learning experience for them."

The team, for the most part, will be in the hands of rookies and call-ups. The faster they learn, the faster the Nationals will at least have a chance of not relying on more rookies and call-ups in Septembers to come.

FROM THE POST

The Nationals began a stretch in which they can play spoiler with a 4-0 loss to the Braves in which Derek Lowe set a career high with 12 strikeouts.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Winston-Salem 4, Potomac 0: Potomac fell behind 1-0 in the Carolina League championship series. Danny Rosenbaum allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings on six hits and a walk, striking out three. Chris Curran went 2 for 3. Derek Norris, the start of the first round victory, went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Drew Storen expects more from himself that his recent performance, Mark Zuckerman writes.

Mark Greenbaum and David O'Leary wonder if the Nationals are cursed by John Wilkes Booth. No, really.

Over at Hardball Times they compare baseball teams to Simpsons characters, and you know you want to find out who the Nationals are.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 14, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Game 144 discussion thread: Nationals at Braves
Next: Nyjer Morgan back in lineup as Nationals wait for ruling

Comments

Adam , why did you included that trash piece from Baltimore ....if there ever was a mean spirited , completely wrong piece of writing that was it (about sums up the internet does it not ). It feels like you have just thrown more fuel on the dark fires of Natstown.

Posted by: CBinDC | September 14, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

"That's the hard part with these young guys - they have to learn at this level," Ryan Zimmerman said.

This from the 25 year old 3rd baseman.

The more I read this blog, the older I feel.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 14, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm OK with including the "trash piece from Baltimore." It's relatively tame on the "mean spirited" scale, and a good reminder of the nonsensical notions that endure about Washington baseball.

It is a trash piece, though, and anyone who calls it "Griffith Park" forfeits credibility when it comes to Washington baseball history.

Posted by: KenNat | September 14, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Wil Nieves will get one more home start. It seems fairly obvious to everyone that we won't see Wil wearing the curly-W again. So letting him start the final home game would be a nice gesture.
He deserves that, and it seems like the kind of thing that the clubhouse would appreciate.

Thursday Sept 29 should be the Fully Unofficial Wil Nieves Appreciation Day.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 14, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Great sentiment, Sunderland. Whatever his flaws as a ballplayer, it's not his fault-or responsibility-to have them become "detrimental" to the team. Good guy, class act...and really, would we have rather had Bard or Estrada or LoDuca as our back-up?
He is what he is...hope he can stay in the organization in some capacity OTHER than a semi-regular. Then again, he'd be a perfectly serviceable back-up on a team with more talent than ours (or that plays up to their supposed talent level).
Go Nats.

Posted by: zendo | September 14, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

You would think Nieves would get one more start; for all his faults Riggs has been loyal to a fault to the vets and I have a hard time believing he won't give him a chance for one more start at home.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 14, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I'll take a moment to stop complaining and stomping my feet and throw my support behind Unofficial Wil Nieves Appreciation Day (UWNAD).

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 14, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

At 1B, the Nats are finally getting a bit of luck these days. Carlos Pena is hitting just .200. If he finishes just a point or two lower, the symbolic hit to his value will be huge. Pena could easily drop into a range that is quite affordable for the Nats. Moreover, he will be 33 next spring. So you have a further advantage over Dunn. With Dunn, many wonder when he will start to fall into a state of decline, if he is not there already at age 30. With Pena, there is no such anxiety, as he already appears to be in a state of decline. Pena could be a good fit, budget-wise.

The Nats got a decent contract with Harper, a Boras client. The Nats can return the favor by signing Pena, another Boras client. It's business.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/penaca01.shtml

Posted by: EdDC | September 14, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Not a very pretty picture currently be developed in NatsTown. Its over folks. No matter what "Gentlemen Jim" does, "Carnie Barker" StanK says, "Ratzo" Rizzo promises or the SLOWES haul to the bank this steaming pile of waste matter is what it is.

The saddest part, its not going to change anytime soon. The SLOWES will entice the few STH they have left with Red carpet freebies and 2 for 2's, the Carnie Barker will insist that its all about the fan experience (thats for Phillie fans of course), Ratzo will tell you the pipeline is ready to flow and Gentlemen Jim will continue to pass his teach-able moments to Johnny and Phil after the game on Nats Xtra.

Get used to it folks, Dunn is gone, no true Class A FA is coming to DC (unless they play football or hockey), Maya = Mike Bacsik with hair, Nyger Morgan is one card short of a full deck and SS is now on the shelf till 2012. Hey at least they are only 6 games behind in the race for the #2 pick in the 2011 June draft. Should I renew my 42 game ST package, haaaah that is the question.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 14, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Young Nationals will earn as they play.

That is a scary headline. The Nats are preparing us for something along the lines of what the O's did years ago in the post Cal era: come see the baby birds! Sure, they have no chance, sure they are overmatched, sure they have no idea how to execute a run-down much less hit a curve ball, but look at how CUTE these youngins are!!

The new Plan will be to have all of these someday HOF talents (as Stan may spin it) at Nats Park cutting their teeth in the bigs (at a low total Nats payroll, by complete coincidence, of course). B/c when these guys mature, the Nats are gonna be something special!

Ugghhh. Yet another year of not even trying to compete is coming folks.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 14, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I apologize for beating a dead horse, but why in the name of God is it so hard for some people to spell Nyjer Morgan's name correctly? Is there some heretofore undiscovered g/j disability at work here? Is it intentional? WTF?

Posted by: Section220 | September 14, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Why is Niger Morgan still playing?

Posted by: jwing14 | September 14, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

23rd in payroll
22nd in attendance
24th in the overall standings

"As I have said many times before, owning the Nationals is a public trust that our family takes very seriously"

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The lowest level of mediocrity is probably around 70 wins, and many of us were pulling for the Nats to get there. Alas, the Nats are on pace for less than 70 wins, missing by a couple games.

The Twins have been a smart organization over the years, relying on the draft and youthful development. The Twins are also not afraid to take on salary in trades or free agency, moving acquired players for prospects when the time comes but keeping them if they can make a run for the pennant or WS. The Twins are in a region of 3.3 million people, much smaller than our region's 5.5 million. The Twins were able to add to their payroll recently, because they got a new ballpark to attract fans.

The Twins have a $97.7 million payroll, compared to the Nats' $66.3 million. More importantly, please look at two significant aspects of the Twins' payroll: (1) The Twins do not only rely of the draft, but are willing to supplement their young guys with prudently selected talent at positions of former relative weakness; (2) the Twins' payroll has grown significantly over time. Amazingly the Twins payroll was just $15.7 million in 2000. The Nats' payroll has been stagnating by comparison.

Here is the Twins' payroll growth over time:

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/minnesota-twins_17.html

Now here is the payroll of the Nats:

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/washington-nationals_01.html

Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

Posted by: EdDC | September 14, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

EdDC, I think the most interesting fact of all in that review of the Nats payroll is that Forbes says the franchise is worth less now than what the Lerners paid for it in 2006. If that's true, that might allow them to play poor with their future plans, or at least continue to be "frugal" in their contracts.

On the other hand, it might occur to them that the reason the franchise has lost value is because they put out a lousy product in the first few years of the team's existence in town, which meant they failed to maintain fan interest and saw a drop in attendance in revenue. The phrase "you gotta spend money to make money" might be appropriate here....

Posted by: baltova1 | September 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW,

The Nats do not exclusively rely on the farm system for players. The Nats also fill in positions where they do not have MLB-ready players, and I did not mean to imply otherwise. The Twins are not unique. All teams do so. However the Nats rely on other teams' discards mainly, or anyone else they can get who will not stretch the budget. So it is not a question of do you fill in or don't you, since everyone does. It is just a question of the quality of player pursued. With the Nats, affordability trumps talent.

Posted by: EdDC | September 14, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

baltova1,

That's a good point, and it is true of any business. If GM sells low-quality cars, their company value declines.

The Nats focus on short-term profits while risking long-term value.

Posted by: EdDC | September 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

EdDC: all valid and defensible points. However:
1) Rizzo's tenure is so damn brief at this point, so his impact has yet to be fully experienced;
2) The farm system was a joke up until recently, and the club is still in the initial stages of turning that around.
3) The Twins' young guys are far more experienced that the Nats' young guys: at what point can this be a valid comparison?

I'm not at all pleased with the performance this year, but they've been competitive and watchable (at least up until very recently). So I've got to give Rizzo the opportunity to execute cleanly over the next few years, and then make the judgment as well as compare the Nats to other organizations.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The phrase "you gotta spend money to make money" might be appropriate here....

Posted by: baltova1 | September 14, 2010 10:38 AM

Oh the Lerners are making money... but it could be at the expense of the club's future value. And they said publicly that they "won't take money out of the team". Seems that's exactly what they are doing. That and cashing fat profit sharing and MASN checks. Sometimes I wonder if step one of The Plan was "behave just like Jeffrey Loria"?

I guess then step two would be "consistently lose to Jeffrey Loria's team" :-(

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The Twins payroll in 2000 was indeed 15.7 million. They had lost over 90 games 4 seasons in a row. However, their core of young players were in place, having built by drafting and improving their farm system. The team's record improved the next year after escaping the possibility of contraction. The payroll escalated once they turned around their record. I know its a 'chicken and egg' argument but in the Twins case the team became competitive following the 2000 season. The parts just had to be in place first. I see the Nats as parallel to the Twins in this manner: build a system with good young players and young pitchers. The results will follow. The Twins success has enabled them to sign their home grown franchise player to a long term contract.

Unfortunately for the Nats fans the first couple of years of the franchise were basically lost under the stewardship of Jim Bowden. Rizzo has really had to start from scratch. Rizzo should be given four years to see how his system of analyzing and building talent comes to fruition.

Constantly harping on the payroll size is a myopic way of analyzing the growth of a team. For some it seems to be the only yardstick. A team like the Minnesota Twins is a good way of showing how the rise in payroll expended at the right time can have a positive effect on the team's fortunes. There are more cases of teams signing free agents after their most productive years that show the burden of adding payroll costs prematurely (NY Mets, Chicago Cubs). The payroll yardstick is a two edged sword to use as a measure.

Posted by: driley | September 14, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The Twins also went 8 years averageing 66 wins before their success started. Without further investigation I can only hope that their change in fortunes was due to a restructuring of their farm system and the rise of yourng stars. In other words The Plan.

Posted by: 3B11 | September 14, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

driley, you're right to point out that payroll size isn't the best judge of a team's success. The one thing I would add to this debate is that the Lerners should have had two goals upon assuming ownership: start to put together an organization that could produce competitive teams, and begin to develop and expand the fanbase.

Given the state of the other franchises in town in 2006, the Nats had a real chance to build on the initial excitement of the team's arrival and develop a really strong base of fan support. If it meant signing a bunch of veterans to free agent deals so you could build a .500 team, I would have done it. Yes, most of those guys would have been gone by now and you may have "wasted money" on guys in decline, but your attendance probably wouldn't have dropped and your TV/radio ratings wouldn't have been invisible. And instead of sticking a bunch of promising rookies out there to "learn as they play" you'd be blending them into a decent team that would start to look like a contender.

I think the Lerners (and us, as fans) will pay for the mistakes of '07-'09 for a long time to come.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 14, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"I think the Lerners (and us, as fans) will pay for the mistakes of '07-'09 for a long time to come" baltova1

I'm more worried about the mistakes of 2010-11. For all the remaking of the organization, they can not allow a culture of losing to take root. IMO, that means Riggleman must go with his "oh well, what more can we do" approach.

Dunn would be nice but his money would be better spent elsewhere.

Go all in for Crawford, pay overslot in the draft, invest internationally and be ready to go in 2012 when Strasburg/Harper get here.

Posted by: 3B11 | September 14, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Man, so many posters making excuses in one way or another for this awful management team.

Rizzo has been in the GM seat since early March, 2009. And he was in this front office before in a high ranking office. He has no excuse for not knowing the organization or its players, owners, etc. It’s a bit of a stretch to call his tenure “so damn brief” when he has been with the club since mid summer 2006 and he’s been the guy for 2 spring campaigns. Jed Hoyer’s been on the job less than 1 year in San Diego. His tenure really has been damn brief, but his impact might be easier to see, no? This supposed wunderkind Rizzo, who is no kid, has not yet shown himself to be a genius – he has not done anything superlative to date and he’s had chances.
The Lerners have been telling us for 4+ years that building the farm was the priority, but they did little to get that done. They only hired a real MLB caliber scouting department last winter. Into the 5th year is not the initial stage of building. The fact is that they have stunk it up on that front, and they sold us a bunch of BS that they were getting it done when they had not even assembled a full front office for 3+ years. They have not built the MLB club well and they have not built the farm well either.
If the Nats plan on STARTING a youth movement in the 5th year of ownership with hopes that the youth may mature into something decent a few years out, then we’ve got real problems. Expectations for this club should be to contend, not simply to trudge along and hope all the pieces from the farm come together in 2014.
The Twins and Rays are not the rule in MLB, the Yanks, Phils, Sox, Cards, Angels and Chi Sox are the dominant clubs year in and year out (Yanks and Bo Sox having taken 7 of the last 15 WS), because they simply get/produce the best players one way or another, usually by spending. The Nats have the means but they have not shown much will or skill to compete in MLB on anything other than a last place level, and sadly, we have no real reason to expect them to do anything but come in last or near to last for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 14, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

There are more cases of teams signing free agents after their most productive years that show the burden of adding payroll costs prematurely (NY Mets, Chicago Cubs). The payroll yardstick is a two edged sword to use as a measure.

Posted by: driley | September 14, 2010 11:15 AM

Of course, I don't think anyone here is asking for a Cubs/Mets blind spending model. All we're asking for is Kansas City Royals spending (maybe 75 million instead of 60) - which if done appropriately from 2007-2010 could have prevented the massive cratering that occurred with this club. 35,000 a game came to watch .500 baseball in 2005 - people only need a team with a pulse, not the Yankees.

Sure there is smart money and there is dumb money. But to be miserly when a city's baseball status is so fragile can be really damaging. In Tampa, they asked for patience with 100 loss teams for a decade - now they have a fantastic ball club and no one there wants to watch, because they have a terrible stadium and the brand was tarnished in all those years of struggle.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If it is unfair to use the Twins as a comparison, what about the Reds? Here's a region of 2.2 million people, much smaller than the Twins' population of 3.3 million and far less than half our region of 5.5 million people.

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/cincinnati-reds_24.html

Please scroll down the list of players signed. They extended themselves to sign players to complement their kids. The Reds' payroll has been much higher than the Nats' payroll every year the Nats have been in town. And many of the Reds' kids are young, just coming up, like the Nats' kids.

When the Reds signed Aroldis Chapman, many people didn't like it, calling the signing a waste of money. And we still hear that, calling the Reds "desperate" to win. Golly, I would like to see the Nats get desperate and foolish like the Reds when it comes to getting young talent. Look, I'm positive Chapman will give up at least one earned run this season, even though he has not done so yet in 7 major league games. But how do you disagree about a 22 year old who can throw 104 mph and who is still learning the game?

The Reds want to win. Of course, the Reds did less well than the Nats where it really counts, in the profit rankings. The Reds finished 25th compared to the Nats 3rd place finish. Go Nats!

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/33/baseball-valuations-10_The-Business-Of-Baseball_Income.html

Posted by: EdDC | September 14, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Dunn would be nice but his money would be better spent elsewhere.

Go all in for Crawford, pay overslot in the draft, invest internationally and be ready to go in 2012 when Strasburg/Harper get here.

Posted by: 3B11 | September 14, 2010 11:45 AM

This is Lerner Syndrome. Fans of many other clubs would say "sign Dunn and Crawford - give me a reason for optimism" They could probably sign both and still have a total payroll under $80 million. That's less than what Milwaukee pays their roster - in the 33rd ranked media market in the country.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

These kids are the future but we need to get other players to play with them. We need a CF, maybe that is Rog, maybe not, and we will need a RF to tend RF for a couple of years and probably a LF too depending how strong the Hammer comes back and finally a 1B if we do not sign Dunn. Looks like Mr. Rizzo has a lot of work cut out for himself to put us back on track for 2012.

Posted by: markfd | September 14, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

" This supposed wunderkind Rizzo, who is no kid, has not yet shown himself to be a genius – he has not done anything superlative to date and he’s had chances."

dfh21


Signed Strassburg, signed Harper, signed all but one of the top 15 picks this year. Traded a signed free agent closer for the catcher of the future. Totally revamped the bullpen and the starting pitching staff from 2009. The decisions prior to 2009 were Bowden's decisions. Paint them as Rizzo's if you like but you would be wrong. He has had but one offseason to acquire and trade for talent.
The entire organization can not be turned around from the farm system to the major league club in one year. Not every decision he makes will be textbook perfect, not every decision he makes will be approved by the owners, not every move will show its effect immediately. Trades can only be made when you have something of perceived value to offer to another team--and Washington has had little of that asset. Rizzo is changing the whole organization by bringing in "his" people and imprinting "his" philosophy. These changes will take time as contracts expire at the top level and players develop at the lower level.

Posted by: driley | September 14, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to not focus on the issues that EdDC and baltova and Kev29 are writing about. I agree with them, and appreciate that their positions are based on facts.
But it's beating a dead horse, and my arm's tired.

driley makes good points too. I'm with him also that Rizzo has done some real good stuff. It was obvious at last year's draft that Rizzo's hands were still tied, his budget still too tight. And it was just as obvious at this year's draft that he has made progress in getting the Lerners to open up a bit. Rizzo is, I believe, our best and only hope within the Nats FO.

I'd rather try and find something good, something positive to focus on. And so I'll wax redundantly and offer again Thursday Sept 29 as Unofficial Wil Nieves Appreciation Day (UWNAD).

Posted by: Sunderland | September 14, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I think Rizzo's handling of Capps and turning him into Ramos can be viewed as "superlative"

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so the four "rookies" struck out 8 times last night 4 by Desmond). But four definitely not rookies (Dunn, Zim, Morse, and the AG) struck out 6 times. I'm getting sick of Zim, Riggs, and others making excuses because this is a "young" team still "learning the game". Of the 13 players with the most ABs this year, only 2 -- Desmond and Bernadina are rookies. Kennedy, Dunn, Pudge, Willingham, Guzman, Harris, and even Zim are established MLB players. They are far more responsible for this sorry season than the few starts that Espinosa and Ramos are now getting.

Posted by: Section222 | September 14, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That's just it. We can be on the right track, if the Nats give Rizzo and his team the necessary support. Rizzo has done a superlative job shopping in the bargain basement bin and signing the players he has drafted. If he can have more flexibility, the Nats can climb out of last place and move up in the standings--bringing excitement, a bigger fan base, greater revenues and a brighter future. We are all on the same page. I greatly favor the Nats' focus on youth, and urge budgetary flexibility to make the youth movement work.

Posted by: EdDC | September 14, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo does not some huge credit for having drafted and signed Stras and Harper. And the organization has been turning it around for going on 5 years and we're still in last place in a Division that laps us.

Rizzo's move for Ramos looks good, but it is hard for me to call it superlative when the jury is still way out on that move as Capps was still arb eligible (and Storen may not be the guy to close for this club) and Ramos is not a MLB caliber player quite yet (he may turn into something special, and it was an area of need for the Nats, so I like the move, but it is not some crazy coup that he pulled off or anything).

Rizzo is a smart guy and he knows talent, I have no doubt, but he has not yet done anything magical. Not to say we should expect magic from the guy, but the "we should trust Rizzo" stuff gets a little thick in here. Mike to date, ranks as a midling GM, maybe worse.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 14, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo inherited a team with little major league talent and one of the worst minor leagues. To ask him to do a superlative job is ludicrous; there was only one guy who could turn water into wine and he won't be our next GM. Growing by drafting well and spending wisely is the only was this franchise will improve; if he is run out of town it will because of poor drafts or lack of movement on an international scale.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Look who is pitching for the Jays tonight vs the Os-- Shawn Hill. How bout that.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 14, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

>The Twins also went 8 years averageing 66 wins before their success started. Without further investigation I can only hope that their change in fortunes was due to a restructuring of their farm system and the rise of yourng stars. In other words The Plan.

Posted by: 3B11

That's nothing - the Nats have averaged 67 wins the first six seasons. And they have the benefit of a brand new stadium and all the revenue streams. Btw, Carl Pohlad ($3 billion net worth) tried to sell the Twins to MLB for 150 million as part of the contraction scheme in 2001. He's dead now, but it's a lot like Lerner - he'll have his coffin stuffed with gold when he takes his dirt nap. They're all pigs.

This thing about Rizzo being smart - I don't get it. He's just a scout, he doesn't know how to look at the big picture and assemble some depth so that he has some trade chips to deal. He never signs anyone long enough to increase their value in a trade. Why would you want some run of the mill MLB ballplayer that's only signed for one or two years? If they had signed Dunn for three or four years, the White Sox would have fallen all over themselves to get him. It's just like the O's the last 10+ years, there's no depth at the big league level, so you're going to get a bunch of guys going through the motions. He thinks that he's still adding 'pieces' like it's a puzzle. He gets bench players for the bench. Why shouldn't you get a starter and put him on the bench in order to threaten the guy in front of him? Because it costs money? No. Because they have positions mapped out for certain people, and they think that's good enough. He needs to create COMPETITION at every spot. Only then will you know what you have when everybody's job is on the line. They don't know what Dunn's true value is because they haven't surrounded him with enough help. So, now they're making excuses to unload him. It's ignorant. You don't blame the best player on a bad team because 'we can come in last without him'. And believe me, that's the way they think, because if they wanted to go to the playoffs, they would have at least negotiated with him, instead they treat him like trash, the same way they treat their fans, announcers and employees.

Posted by: Brue | September 14, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

there was only one guy who could turn water into wine and he won't be our next GM.

He's our injured catcher and pitcher.

Posted by: markfromark | September 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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