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Year in review: Nationals MVP

The theme today is looking back over the season, trying to develop a consensus of what Journal readers thought of the season. Before we get to the first poll -- MVP -- let me take a second to look back and look into the immediate future.

The simplest thing I can say: Thank you. I immensely enjoyed my first year covering the Nationals, and the first reason is the enthusiasm of the people who read the Journal and our coverage in the paper. I hope the Nationals realize how they lucky they are to have such passionate fans. I know I feel fortunate to have those readers.

In the next couple days, I'm going to look at one position in a post per day about what the Nationals have right now and what they may look to do in the offseason. (I'll also be keeping up with any news, which will include a press conference Wednesday with Stan Kasten. "My JetBlue press conference," Kasten said jokingly.)

As for the rest of the offseason, let me know in the comments section what you'd like to see this offseason in terms of coverage for the blog and the paper. Obviously, I can't promise to act on all suggestions. But hearing from you will of course help shape coverage. While you're at it, let me know what worked for you on my first year on the beat and what did not. (Don't bother writing "typos;" I'm aware and working on it.)

So, anyway, thanks again. Without further ado, let's get to it.

By Adam Kilgore  | October 4, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Year in review: Nationals Pitcher of the Year

Comments

With all due respect to all the individual contributors on the Nationals roster, there really cannot be a serious contender for most valuable player other than Ryan. Some may argue Dunn, or Clippard, or Livan, but day to day - at bat and in the field - Ryan Zimmerman is the most valuable player on the team. No if's, or but's. Anyone else is a rationalization.

Dunn can be his most valuable supporting actor. Clip & Burn can be the most valuable relief pitchers still on the team. Livan is the most valuable starting pitcher. But THE most valuable player is Ryan Zimmerman.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 4, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Adam, I couldn't care less about typos or grammar mistakes; it's a blog I read for free and get lots of enjoyment out of it, I appreciate you doing it.

What I like are the stories when you talk to players and get their thoughts and insights or tell us about themselves.

What I don't like is how troll posters can ruin a thread; I'd love a feature that lets you ignore a user and their posts should you choose to do so. Frustrating to get into an actual discussion about baseball and have someone posting useless comments over and over.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | October 4, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

SCNatsFan wrote:

Adam, I couldn't care less about typos or grammar mistakes; it's a blog I read for free and get lots of enjoyment out of it, I appreciate you doing it.

What I like are the stories when you talk to players and get their thoughts and insights or tell us about themselves.

What I don't like is how troll posters can ruin a thread; I'd love a feature that lets you ignore a user and their posts should you choose to do so. Frustrating to get into an actual discussion about baseball and have someone posting useless comments over and over.

>>>>>>>>>>>>


I agree completely on all three of these points!

Posted by: jdVA | October 4, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Don't bother writing "typos;" I'm aware and working on it."

Maybe they have some leftover Rosetta Stone packages for English at the ballpark. Now that the season's over, you probably wouldn't get in Mike Wise kind of trouble with the Post if Clint slipped you one. Drew Storen will be studying hard over the winter, so should you.

Posted by: FeelWood | October 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how we're supposed to vote, but Ryan Zimmerman has to be the #1 choice.

Posted by: twinbrook | October 4, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

1. RYAN ZIMMERMAN

2. ADAM DUNN

3. NOBODY ELSE

Posted by: frediemac1 | October 4, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

SCNatsFan is right on the money re: how a certain alien poster made the comments hard to read this past month. And I have no real problem w/ Adam's typos.

Posted by: nats24 | October 4, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I gotta vote for Dunn. Zim is the club's best player, of course, but in 2010 I don't think that he was the most valuable Nat. Maybe if Zim had played the full season (he played in 16 less games than Dunn), I'd vote otherwise.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 4, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Kilgore's typos aren't the problem. Those things happen. His problem is the constant brain f*rts or ADD or whatever it is that causes him to leave entire words out of sentences. At best, this leaves the reader saying WTF? At worst (like when he leaves out the word 'not') it totally changes the meaning of what he's writing. It's pretty clear that he never bothers to re-read anything before he hits submit. Even in the age of copy editors such behavior would be foolish, because an editor would not be able to find and correct many of those mistakes. Although this is admittedly just a blog, Kilgore is still supposed to be a professional, and as such the number of such mistakes he made this year screams nothing more than sheer incompetence. Let's hope he does something about this over the winter.

Posted by: FeelWood | October 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I count those among what Adam was referring to as typos, and any halfway-decent (not half-way, BUT half-assed; go figure) copy editor would catch nearly all of them, and a good one would get 99%. Just sayin.

And I'd like to associate myself with the 12:15 PM comments of my esteemed colleage from South Carolina.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

colleague

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

if that's not the OCD pot calling the kettle ADD ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

We're really debating who is the most valuable player on a team that has 298 games during the past three seasons?

MVP goes to us Nats fans who are still paying attention and rooting for the team. We are the MVPs for waiting a generation for a team to move to the nation's capital, and then enduring some of the most fundamentally bad baseball in the game.

I still wear my Nats hat though, and I want my MVP trophy.

Posted by: fitzroysq | October 4, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Adam - The typos don't bother me. You can't keep everyone happy and some people just need to have something to fuss about.

Posted by: CountDemoney | October 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

But speaking of alphabetics (as opposed to acronyms), I think Zimm is the easy choice for MVP, but I think you could make a good case that Livan was responsible for more of that 10-game improvement than he was.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 4, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

fitz, as they told Dibble, "You'll get nothing and like it."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 4, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"I count those among what Adam was referring to as typos, and any halfway-decent (not half-way, BUT half-assed; go figure) copy editor would catch nearly all of them, and a good one would get 99%. Just sayin."

Okay, play copy editor here for a moment. Say Adam means to write "I am not an idiot" but his ADD makes it come out "I am an idiot." Are you as copy editor going to correct that? If so, why?

Posted by: FeelWood | October 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

>We're really debating who is the most valuable player on a team that has 298 games during the past three seasons?

MVP goes to us Nats fans who are still paying attention and rooting for the team. We are the MVPs for waiting a generation for a team to move to the nation's capital, and then enduring some of the most fundamentally bad baseball in the game.

Posted by: fitzroysq

They could care less about winning. They could care less about the fans. Even the ones who have waited since '69 for a winning team. If they had won 70, that's all we would have heard this offseason while they drag their feet, leak information to make themselves look better, sign injured players, etc. - Brandon Webb? He's been on the shelf for two full years, he's topping out at 81 mph and the word is that the Nationals have interest?

Here's to hoping Dunn signs with the O's. At least I'll get to watch him every night if that happens. MacPhail will make it happen. You don't see him resigning from his post, do you? Hell no, it's just about to get good up in Harm City.

Posted by: Brue | October 4, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, an "ignore user" button would be great, so we could filter out the troll.

I know I'm one of the hated grammar police, but you'll note I only pestered the troll. If he was going to make the rest of us miserable, I wanted to return the favor.

I couldn't care less about Adam's typoz.

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 4, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was supposed to be a discussion thread about MVP. I think this is exactly what SCNatsFan is talking about ruining threads.

I voted for Ryan but considered Livo who was the only stable pitcher in the rotation. What surprised me was that Strasburg wasn't even an option. I'd have considered him near the top for the excitement he brought to the franchise. He wasn't the MVP in terms of winning games, but he may have been in terms of bringing in revenue and fans.

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | October 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna go left field with my vote -- not for Josh Willingham, but for Matt Capps as the Nats' 2010 MVP. Did a great job locking down games in the first half of the season, then was used to secure a potential future team MVP in Wilson Ramos.

Posted by: NearNative | October 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Ryan Zimmerman is the most valuable player on the team. No if's, or but's. Anyone else is a rationalization."

Set it down in gold on lasting pillars. He's the only player on the team who can plausibly be suggested as the best at his position.

He's a consummate pro any team would be delighted to have.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"We're really debating who is the most valuable player on a team that has 298 games during the past three seasons?

MVP goes to us Nats fans who are still paying attention and rooting for the team."

Very good point, though when you have someone the caliber of Ryan Zimmerman, you have to have to acknowledge what he means to the franchise.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 4, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"I thought this was supposed to be a discussion thread about MVP. I think this is exactly what SCNatsFan is talking about ruining threads."

Kilgore's the one who brought up typos in the original article. We're just running with it.

Posted by: FeelWood | October 4, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what I'm missing, but I don't see how to vote. It has to be Zimm. ONe of the most valuable players in the league, not just Nats MVP. Look at the offense the last week after he went out.

And Adam, don't worry about typos or other minor errors on the blog. We know there's no copy editor. I think it's the unavoidable downside of the immediacy which is a plus overall.

What I like best about this blog or any other resource is learning new things. So provide as much reporting as possible. I am steamed every time something happens and it's written that everyone on the inside knew it for a long time - like Kasten's departure, can't think of other examples right now. If the insiders know it, spill the beans.

Posted by: utec | October 4, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I vote write-in, Willie Harris/Justin Maxwell for their combined .171 BA over 328 at-bats. Awesome year, guys. And awesome work by the Nats to give them so many opportunities to show just how awesome they are.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | October 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If the guy who's the best third baseman in baseball isn't the Nats' MVP, then the term has no meaning.

The only guy on the team that made you smile whether he was in the batter's box or patrolling his position.

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 4, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Definitely Zimm. Watching him play offense is fun, and watching his defense is pure joy. Livo and Dunn had their moments, most certainly, but overall it has to be Zimm.

Count me in the "don't care about typos" crowd. Nor have I ever had a moments trouble figuring out what was being said, even on the infrequent occasions when a word was missing. Having suffered through a period where NJ was being run by someone who knew very little about baseball and didn't want to be a sports writer of any kind, I am very happy with Adam K. The number and substantive quality of the posts are greatly increased, which is what I care about. I just don't get the nasty comments about typos in a blog.

Posted by: NatsFly | October 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"I count those among what Adam was referring to as typos, and any halfway-decent (not half-way, BUT half-assed; go figure) copy editor would catch nearly all of them, and a good one would get 99%. Just sayin.

And I'd like to associate myself with the 12:15 PM comments of my esteemed colleage from South Carolina."

---------------------------------


speaking of typo's, you are aware you misspelled "colleague" right? Just enjoy the effort the man is putting out to write about your team, go bust on the Braves or Mets chops..

Posted by: jredden | October 4, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS......

Obviously the MVP AWARD goes to the FANS who spent their $$$$...and schlepped to Southeast DC to watch these uninspired Bottom Feeders.....

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | October 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman. Though contributions from Livo and Burnett have also been valuable, they aren't out there for nine innings just about every game.

Re. blog suggestions:

- yes to the ignore button request (or at least acknowledge "Report abuse" submissions in some manner)

- yes, I'm one of those who thinks grammar and spelling matter, even on blogs, and I appreciate that Adam is working towards improvements on that front

- yes, to affirm that the volume and timeliness of posts here have increased tremendously with Kilgore at the helm. Thanks for that, Adam.

jredden, sec3 corrected himself in a subsequent post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The comment nominating Matt Capps as MVP is a good one. He pitched great for us in the first half, and was traded as we all knew he would be. In return, the Nats actually got their catcher of the future and Ramos will be a big help, especially since it looks like Flores is done. I voted Dunn the team MVP as he was the one player on the team that opposing pitchers clearly feared. His defense wasn't up to Zimm's, but if you haven't noticed, most NL first basemen aren't defensive marvels. Adrian Gonzalez may be the best defensive first baseman in the NL and the last thing you hear discussed is his defense. Hopefully Zimm can crank up his power numbers next year since it looks like Dunn may well be gone. If he is, then Rizzo looks like an idiot for not trading him. It would be nice to get something more than compensatory picks for a player as good as Dunn. Hopefully management will come out of its fog and realize that they need people to come to games, and Dunn could help draw fans with his power. Adam, I have a few suggestions: a column outlining the future leadership of the Nats since Kasten's leaving. A column discussing the future of the right field position and (obviously) one outlining offseason needs and projections for next season lineup and roster wise. Finally, it would be nice to see the Lerners questioned about their time frame for getting this team to compete for a playoff spot. Fans don't come see loser franchises, and the Nats are going to lose whatever momentum they have (based on some of the "crowds" it isn't much) if they don't start to compete for NL East titles soon. The time to become competitive is now as HanRam's time in Florida is just about over, as is Uggla's; Philly's team is getting older and both Werth and Ibanez (at least) are out the door after this year; Atlanta will be rebuilding as Cox is retiring as is Billy Wagner and after next season (at the latest) Chipper will be gone too; and the Mets are a completely directionless mess.

Posted by: orangeskin | October 4, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and as for the coverage question, just a few ideas off the top of my head: ex-Nats in the playoffs, Nats in the instructional league, Nats in the AFL, possible player transactions (which would come after the Series, I presume).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 4, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SCNatsFan
What I don't like is how troll posters can ruin a thread; I'd love a feature that lets you ignore a user and their posts should you choose to do so. Frustrating to get into an actual discussion about baseball and have someone posting useless comments over and over.
============
All YOU deluded/blind faith NATZ NERDZ in Denial.... need to go to this site & STAY THERE, until YOU CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH...

Join in their Circle Kumbayas.. drinking and bathing together in Natz Koolade...and whatever else might be going on at a NATZ Circle Kumbaya.

http://www.federalbaseball.com/

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | October 4, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Adam - I greatly appreciate your coverage, and especially this blog. I read every blog post every day, and every dead-tree article, even if I don't post very much. So again, thank you!

I apologize for being one of the grammar cops, but the "typos" (or word glaring word omissions/sentence mis-constructions) do bug me. If it's a matter of it not being easily fixable - that is, if fixing them would detract from your ability to get post out quickly - then I'll live with them. But if it's a simple matter of a quick proof-read, then, it'd be great to see that improve. Otherwise - great reporting!

As for the off-season, what I'd like to see: As much "insider" reporting (comments/insight from front office officials, ownership and players) on all that is Hot Stove: Trade talks. Free agent talks. Arbitration decisions. Action at the Winter Meetings. Some coverage of the instructional and Arizona Fall Leagues - particularly on the high-level prospects who might make the ML club next year, and those returning from injury (ala Flores).

Next year, the ONE thing I'd like to see more of on the NJ is: more frequent updates on delay/rain-delay games. Whether I'm sitting at home or at Nats Park, the single biggest vacuum of info for me as a Nats fan is that which exists while waiting out a rain delay. Even if there is NO NEWS, regular updates on a game's status would be GREATLY appreciated. NO ONE on the web seems to do this with any regularity. Thanks again!

Posted by: TheBorg | October 4, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Pudge. He was on fire in April and May. For someone that was to be a part time catcher, he did a wonderful job behind the plate.

Posted by: Batboy05 | October 4, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I would like to say thanks for your coverage this year, I enjoyed it. As for the off season, I would like to see an in-depth analysis of the National’s payroll and profitability, as well as a comparison with other teams with similar earnings. In a nutshell I would like to know if the Learners are being cheap as some accuse. I would also like to hear of their plans for improving the team through free agency and some analysis of their top prospects throughout their minor league system.

Posted by: 64Fairlane | October 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@jdVA, gilbertbp and anyone else who has made comments about our little troll issue:

I contacted the ombudsman at WAPO (knowing full well this was not the right person, but also knowing that I would get directed to someone) and I received an e-mail address:

interactivity@washingtonpost.com

These folks apparently oversee the website. I made a request for the aforementioned "ignore" button/option. While I have not gotten any response as of yet, I will pass along anything I get in the way of responses.

In the mean time, I would strongly suggest that everyone else send a similar e-mail. Maybe if enough make complaints, these guys will take some action.

Posted by: TimDz | October 4, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh....And I voted for Zimmerman as team MVP. The team just did not play the same once Zimmerman was shut down.

Posted by: TimDz | October 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg. He brought excitement and fun and WINS!!! That 2 months were the most exciting of the season.

Posted by: Dog-1 | October 4, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Adam,

Just want to thank you for the continued coverage this year. Right now following this team can be painful, but I think we all believe the corner is about to be turned.

Posted by: The_Herndon_Kid | October 4, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"I hope the Nationals realize how they [sic] lucky they are to..."

Given your concluding promise to work on typos, I applaud your sense of humor about it all.

I think the following could be a bit clearer, too: "In the next couple days, I'm going to look at one position in a post per day ..." It seems you have already covered more than one position today (if I recall correctly, which may not be the case) and certainly more than one post today.

Posted by: KilgoreNeedsACopyEditor | October 4, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

The team really didn't perform as well when Ryan Zimmerman was out at the end of the year. Ryan was the team MVP

Posted by: mnbvcx | October 5, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Youe typos, etc. don't bother me. What bothers me is having a lousy team, year after year, with no prospects of it getting better, as long as we have the present owners. They're great at making money and lousy at building a competitive team, like they promised us they would do, once they got into the new stadium.

You looking, at one position, per day, should be interesting. There are only about three worth examining: Zimmerman, Hernandez, and Willingham (since we've almost assuredly lost Dunn, due to the owners' continued cheapness and lack of foresight.

You're right, the Nationals are fortunate they've had such passionate fans, but you can only bleed your fans, so long, before they get wise to the owners' game -- making good profits, not spending reasonable money to get good players. The owners haven't kept their promise, to make this team competitive.

I'm voting, on the team, with my money, from now on: I'm not attending or watching any more games, until the owners either change their cheap ways or we get new owners -- and there's not much chance of either, I'm afraid.

Posted by: mcjr | October 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Re. the MVP voting: although clearly Zim seems a natural choice and it's easy to argue for him; the offense was so mediocre as a unit - and though Zim put up excellent numbers, at times he was a contributor to the lack of production - my vote for MVP had to go to Livan. Without him, the Nationals would have likely had their third 100-loss season.

Re. the discussion of typos, etc.: my real issue is with all the typos that appear in the Washington Post proper, which are a complete embarrassment to a paper of its stature. Minor errors on blog pages are bound to happen from time to time and, while perhaps annoying, they are certainly excusable. I can't say the same thing for the errors that seem to routinely appear in the paper itself.

Posted by: mgilham | October 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Adam, you forgot Miguel Batista. He did everything -- emergency starts, (very) long relief, saves, holds -- and he did it consistently well.

I'm not saying that he'd necessarily beat out some of the guys on your list, but he deserves to be considered.

Posted by: rkmille | October 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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