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Posted at 3:25 PM ET, 01/15/2011

Back on campus, Stephen Strasburg hosts his charity event

By Adam Kilgore

SAN DIEGO - Stephen Strasburg crossed the finish line of his own charity race at about 8:45 local time this morning, some 35 minutes after the 5K began. The number printed on his runner's bib, naturally, was 37. He came in towards the back of the pack, but one of his running companions accounted for the slow time. Strasburg ran with several family members, including Bentley, his six-pound Yorkshire Terrier.

"We had to make a couple stops," Strasburg said. "She had to go No. 2 a couple of times."

So not even the phenom his teammates called "Jesus" is immune from cleaning up after his dog. It may have been the only blemish during Strasburg's first annual 5K fun run and walk, which benefited the San Diego State baseball team. More than 1,500 people attended on the SDSU campus, roughly double what he had hoped. Strasburg, sporting his new, Amish-style beard, signed autographs for an endless line, posed for countless pictures and led the San Diego State baseball team in the Aztec fight song.

Padres legend and SDSU Coach Tony Gwynn attended, his first public appearance since undergoing an operation to treat parotid cancer. Strasburg visited with Gwynn about a month ago, when each discussed their different recoveries - Gwynn from cancer, Strasburg from Tommy John surgery. Seeing his old coach at his charity event meant a lot for Strasburg.

"He didn't have to come out here," Strasburg said. "He really wants to be here. He wants to support this event. It's great. He's always thinking about other people."

Strasburg hopes to grow the event in coming years, adding charities and involving the Nationals. He focused on his former team because of cutbacks caused by the shortfall in California's state budget.

"The program really needed it this year," he said. "They're all Aztecs to me. We're all here for the same reason, because we love the game and we love this school. It's great to give back."

During an interview this morning, Strasburg was relaxed, confident he'll make a full recovery from surgery and at peace with the rehabilitation process. He's anxious to start throwing, which his schedule calls for him to do in a few weeks, before spring training arrives during the second week of February. Sometimes, he said, his physical therapist has to restrain him from pushing himself too hard, but he understands - and has embraced - the need for patience.

"When I start throwing, I'm going to start throwing," Strasburg said. "I just got to keep putting in the work. It's supposed to be a gradual process. They don't want ups and downs. They want it to be a slow improvement."

Strasburg has occupied himself in several ways, including taking classes at San Diego in order to work toward his college degree. He took two public administration courses, including PA 497, a thesis class. He chose as his thesis to write about Nationals Park and how newly built stadiums affect surrounding neighborhoods.

"I did some research," Strasburg said. "It was really interesting. I learned a lot about our organization in the process."

Early this week in the Post, look for a detailed update on Strasburg's offseason, with his outlook on his recovery.

By Adam Kilgore  | January 15, 2011; 3:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

"I did some research," Strasburg said. "It was really interesting. I learned a lot about our organization in the process." Strasburg laster went on to say, "The more I learned about the Natinals the more I cannot wait for free agency, DC is a dump."

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 15, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

""We had to make a couple stops," Strasburg said. "She had to go No. 2 a couple of times."

I hope San Diego has a pooper scooper law. Otherwise, rule number 1 of being in a parade is "never march behind the horses." Did you step in anything, Kigore? Did Sheinin? (Of course if Sheinin did, those shoes would be headed to the Hall of Fame along with Sheinin, when he makes it in. Not. Ebay, here we come!)

Posted by: nunof1 | January 15, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"Padres legend and SDSU Coach Tony Gwynn attended, his first public appearance since undergoing cancer to treat parotid cancer."

Sounds like a rather radical treatment there. Shouldn't this be reported in the Health section, not buried in a sports blog?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 15, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Three strikes and you three posters are OUT!

Seems like it was a nice event, and well attended. SS sounds relaxed and confident which is awesome. Good too to see that Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is making public appearances again.

Slow and steady sets the pace.

Posted by: dand187 | January 15, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

As sad as the lives of some blog posters must be, how sad were their lives before the internet?

Posted by: sollazo | January 15, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Word dand187 and sollazo.

Posted by: skidge | January 15, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

He would have done better but she had to poopy mcpoop a couple of times,and it was kind of loose.

Posted by: seanmg | January 15, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Stras in good spirits and working hard to get back. As for the lame posters, I'll leave them behind. Seems its always raining for some.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 16, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Let me chime in,same lame posters different year,all last year prior to the start the Nats wouldn't win 10 games to hear these clowns,and here we are again. Did some research,DC is a dump can't wait for FA,what kind of tool writes that? To the post that asks what these lame-o-s did before the internet,my guess would be masturbate---24/7 or as much as their sorry a$$ed bodies would allow,did I just drop to their level,probably but I wanted to make sure I posted something they could understand. I am so sick of these so called fans crapping on this team every chance they get,it's ridiculous. What we have is a good young team,being built the right way,that before we all know it will be built,not building. When that happens these same tools will be then yapping about how Strasburg should have won 25 games and he sucks for only winning 22,that Harper should have hit 50 homers not that measly 45. These tools will never be satisfied,they live in their glass houses,and wear teflon suits,and their fingers will never stop criticizing,real fans know we don't want you and we surely don't need you---so hit the bricks go somewhere else and trash them,or in tool terms go the hell away,you all smell like Strasburgs dog's number 2.

Posted by: mfowler1 | January 16, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Nah,

Have more compassion. They drink governator William Donald Shafer's koolaid. They eat the feces laden oysters and crabs that hibernate around the innuh harbuh?

B-more is AAA bush league and always will be ... just like their owner Angelos.

Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2011 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha, Strasburg will be lucky to win 22 games total in a Natinals uniform, let alone 25. Just wait though till he's a free agent and signs with Baltimore. Cy Youngs will be rolling in left and right.

As for Harper, the Nats will burn him out in the minors, promote him to the big leagues way too early (in some pathetic attempt to sell a few extra tickets) and Harper will be lucky to become a decent MLB player. All because the Natinals player development is pathetic. Harper, who just signed not too long ago, is already counting down the days he can leave the banks of the polluted Anacostia.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 16, 2011 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Kinda strange how "all" of the scatologically inclined posters seem to get online in the same time frame and fling their, um, insults back and forth. Maybe it's just one puppetmaster trying to stir things up? Nah.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 16, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I used to get annoyed by those posts; now I just feel sorry for them. How bad their lives must be to waste time doing what they do. When you think about it it's nit pathetic, it's just sad.

C'mon Rizzo, get us some more pitching this week. Can never have too many arms trying for a spot in spring training.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 16, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

>>"We had to make a couple stops," Strasburg said. "She had to go No. 2 a couple of times."

Looks like Pants is a little upset at getting no pitching help this offseason.

Posted by: Brue | January 16, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

How sad were the lives of these posters before the Internet? Pretty sad when they'd just filled up their diapers (presuming they were more than a twinkle in Daddy's eye).

As much as I'd love to see another starter come on board, it looks like everyone who is available carries a good bit of risk. I'd love to be a mediocre free agent starter this year; I'd be set for life.

Posted by: p-man | January 16, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

>>How sad were the lives of these posters before the Internet? Pretty sad when they'd just filled up their diapers (presuming they were more than a twinkle in Daddy's eye).

Posted by: p-man

Yah, at least Pants lets loose and has his players clean up the mess.

Posted by: Brue | January 16, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@mwfowler
You stole my thunder. Thanks. Unfortunately, the only thing that will work is to ignore the idiots. There is plenty of criticism to be leveled at this club's owners and management over the years. There is plenty of well thought out critique on these boards. However, the junior high school imbecility (with apologies to most junior high schoolers) of some gets tiresome. The same old negative garbage trotted out as nauseum. DC is a bad baseball town, the stadium sucks, the neighborhood sucks, the parking sucks, the team sucks, Zimmerman can't throw, Desmond can be projected to make 40 errors per year forever, the pitchers can't pitch and the hitters cant hit. Yawn. Most of these people get a thrill by seeing responses to their tripe. And I suppose that I am feeding them by even posting this, but will no more. Hopefully we can all simply talk Nats baseball - warts and all - and ignore trolls.

Posted by: Natstoyou | January 16, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

>>the pitchers can't pitch and the hitters cant hit. Yawn. Most of these people get a thrill by seeing responses to their tripe.

Posted by: Natstoyou

I'm just looking for a response from Pants. Not you. He's too busy doing #2 during Phase 2, apparently.

Posted by: Brue | January 16, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Moving past the lame juvenile posts, maybe we can get a more productive and scatological free thread going here.

Pitchers and catchers report date is just around the corner. The Goessling Game had an informative post on Spring Training facilities and things to do. I have never been on a spring training trip, but I am thinking of trying to go down one weekend in March. I'm thinking of maybe taking the Auto Train down so I'd have my own car and am interested in recommendations from any of you veteran spring training attendees on places to stay, restaurants to visit and things to do or avoid. Thoughts, anyone?

Posted by: NatsFly | January 16, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The Auto Train is a good idea.Sanford,which is the terminal,is only about an hour from Viera.Viera looked like a very recent creation so I think it's mostly chain restaurants.Don't know about where to stay because we kept on going south after passing through.It was cool to see a DC flag in Florida,too.

Posted by: seanmg | January 16, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

NatsFly, fyi we had a couple of threads with commenter ST recommendations over on NatsInsider before the MASN thread appeared. Check out the last few threads over there if you're interested.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 16, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

brue when you post baseball you can be intelligent. Too bad you seldom do.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 16, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

See specifically the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday news threads for the Nats Insider ST comments.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 16, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The only way the Natinals can get anyone to come watch their games (whether it be at spring training or at Natinals Park) is to bus in convicts and the elderly.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 16, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes the troll season is in full bloom and the mention of excrement gets them in a feeding frenzy. Can't wait to spread their's around.

Posted by: Natmeister | January 16, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

>brue when you post baseball you can be intelligent. Too bad you seldom do.

Posted by: SCNatsFan

Sounds like a personal problem. Still hung up on what other people are doing? Put the big boy pants on. No more number 2's on the sidewalk for you. You still read me because you know deep down I know what I'm talking about. What would you like to know? Not only are they running the same pitchers out there that lost 90+ games, they don't have Strasburg. Sure, Zimmermann and Maya might be a little better, but what does that mean, exactly? 6 innings if they're lucky? None of these guys could finish a game to save their lives, and Philly's got at least 4 starters that can.
Of course, none of this will stop me from going down to spring training (got family down there), and blowing cigar smoke in Pants' face for being an excuse-laden loser. Like some people on here.

Posted by: Brue | January 16, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Hmm let's see @brue looking for a response from Rizzo ... instead he often sounds like an embittered Leather Pants Bowden? the true toten hosen.

Although the starting pitching is the critical piece Mike Rizzo has managed to:

Upgrade CATCHING so that it could now be as strong as any in the major leagues down into the minors. It could get stronger.

Upgrade OUTFIELD so that it may be the strongest, most athletic and youngest the Nats have seen in their short history in DC. Again extending into the minors with additions of Harper plus Corey Brown and the majors with Werth. Eury Perez, an international signing, continues to progress nicely at age 19. Even AAA/AAAA depth he signed looks to be younger and better.

Upgrade MIDDLE INFIELD. Younger MORE ATHLETIC than ever before! This mostly came about via two prospects coming through in the form of Desmond and Espinosa but he also upgraded this position down through the minors with Kobernus, Hague, et al.

EXTREME BULLPEN MAKEOVER which continued this year. 6-7 guys acquired/drafted/developed who can throw smoke by @sunderland at between 95-105 mph.

STARTING PITCHING continues to be the sore point but its what many teams continue to seek including competitive franchises like the Twins and Yankees.

However, starting pitching should improve even without any additional moves. They have Maya, Zimmermann, Marquis, and Detwiler, and perhaps Wang? through spring training and hopefully throughout the entire season. They have a couple of potential sleepers just recovered from TJ in the form of Barthmaier and Mattheus. There's Tatusko. There's Milone (although he is another soft tosser). They have a pretty large group including hold-overs both young and older from last year's crop.

Are they the equal to having Stras? Or Grienke? No. But Stras can't do it alone. Clearly Grienke did not wish to. So Zimmermann needs to develop that potential he has. It would help if Detwiler did the same.

And at some point some luck needs to turn in their favor.

Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

1a1-thanks for the site suggestion. Good info there.

Posted by: NatsFly | January 16, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"And at some point some luck needs to turn in their favor."
-->Seems like your eating Poopy's brown stuff in the Anacostia, Periculum. They will become the Pittsburgh Pirates South and continue to enjoy a nice futile run.

Posted by: break20 | January 16, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Strasburg getting in a 5k. 37 minutes is slow --- even for a 10k --- and even with a dog in tow. Hope his arm is coming along well!

4 more weeks of unbearable trolls and nothing news before we start getting real stories!

Posted by: nattydread1 | January 16, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"-->Seems like your eating Poopy's brown stuff in the Anacostia, Periculum. They will become the Pittsburgh Pirates South and continue to enjoy a nice futile run."

Seems to me Baltimore and Pittsburgh will become even more pathetic as the Nats join the Boston/NYY making a triumvirate of teams willing to pay over top dollar for the best free agent talent. Especially Pittsburgh.

The trend we see now is for irresponsible over spending teams like the Cubs to hold out for quality and youth. Teams like the Pirates and O's will attempt to emulate the uber success of the and ultra low pay roll of the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Nats seem more likely to mirror the BoSox.


Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, none of this will stop me from going down to spring training (got family down there), and blowing cigar smoke in Pants' face for being an excuse-laden loser. Like some people on here."

I didn't know Jim Bowden smoked cigars? What would his honey say?

Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It must be so frustrating to have so much baseball knowledge, yet your only outlet is to post on a blog, or maybe once a year get close enough to the gm to blow cigar smoke in his face. Yeah, he's the loser and you're the winner. That's obvious. LOL

Posted by: sollazo | January 16, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Periculum,
The Gnats have overpaid for one player! Seems like your drinking the Lerners kool-aid. Worst owners in sports. Go jump in the Alleghany or one of the two others rivers in Poopy's crap.

Posted by: break20 | January 16, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Of course, none of this will stop me from going down to spring training (got family down there), and blowing cigar smoke in Pants' face for being an excuse-laden loser. Like some people on here.

Posted by: Brue

Good, I am sure the state of Florida - and your family - is eagerly waiting for you to come and annoy them. God willing you won't have internet access when you arrive.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 16, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"While the Nats seem more likely to mirror the BoSox."
----------------

Yeah, if you mean going 80+ years before winning a WS title.

Other than that, no comparison can be made between the Sox and Natinals.

Thanks for the laugh, though. Laughing so hard brought tears to my eyes and a cramp to my tummy.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 16, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

People ignore the trolls,they are but human garbage pails. Away w/you trolls!

Lets go Nats!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 16, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Poopy and break20 aren't trolls they are something worst:

Angel'O fans. They eat and drink the bird poop from Camden Yahds. The days of McNally, Cuellar, Palmer and Dobson are long gone. Ripken's teams never won even when they had Eddie Murray.

The O's are going to end up as a AAAA franchise which is why so many of their fans refer to their GM as McFail.

Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Actually Periculum, Ripken has won more WS ring than Hondo (and every other no-name Senator) as well as Zimm, Nieves, Strawsburg, and B Harp. The curse of 1924 lives at the bottom of Poppy's crap in the Anacosita.

Posted by: break20 | January 16, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"Ripken has won more WS ring."

He won one. But B-more bottom dwellers act like he is Albert Pujols when he isn't even in the same league ... nor the same league as A-Rod.

The Arbutians got milk.

Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of lower the plane of this discussion, I want to ask about the pique a number of posters have demonstrated regarding the double-switches used by Riggleman.

Let me hasten to add that I am not especially enamored of a lot of Riggleman's managerial decisions. In particular, leaving Guzman in RF in that 9th inning loss in Houston in May particularly rankles.

The oppobrium directed toward the double-switches, however, leaves me mystified. In the NL, when trailing in a game and switching pitchers, with the pitcher's spot likely to come up next inning, it is standard practice to double-switch in order to postpone the arrival of the pitcher in the batter's box, for two obvious reasons: (1) to facilitate a possible rally and (2) to prevent lifting that pitcher for a pinch-hitter when he could otherwise remain in the game. (One might argue that, given the past state of the Nats' bench, the pitcher might not have been much worse than the alternatives. But that's another story, and may be remedied starting this year, one hopes.)

Now, the Nats found themselves trailing in a lot of games this past year (duh!) and their starting pitchers often entered the 5th or 6th inning already having thrown 90 or 100 pitches (as Brue often notes). Perhaps Riggleman's hook was occasionally too hasty. Having decided to change pitchers while trailing, however, it would seem that the usual considerations of playing baseball in the NL would apply.

Are some of the bashers of double-switching merely long-time AL fans who have been spoiled by the DH? Just wondering.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 16, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Make that opening sentence "At the risk of lowerING the plane of this discussion..."

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 16, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Man, there are some hater trolls on here that just flat out need their teeth kicked in. Seriously, how bad does your life have to suck to talk crap to fans of a perennial struggler? Do they leave here to post garbage on Browns Insider?

Posted by: Kev29 | January 16, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

bertbkatz, my problem with the double switches were that they caused him to use the hook too quickly; it wasn't his fault that too often the player entering the game should have been at AAA. If he had more competent players on the bench, like he will this year, the lineup that we had at times won't at times resemble a minor league game.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 16, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post,

Is there any way you can block these pathetic negative posters who show up on all the sports blogs, not just the Nationals? They don't represent real D.C. sports fan like myself who don't believe in mythical curses and believe all our teams, even the Redskins, are on the path to great success. Go Strasburg and best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Tony Gwynn. Go Nats! Go Skins! Go Caps! Go Wiz! Go United! Go Ravens! Go O's!

Posted by: jmarks09 | January 16, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

@SCNatsFan:

So you think the double-switches motivated Riggleman to change pitchers, rather than the other way around? I could be wrong, but I didn't feel that Riggleman changed pitchers in order to demonstrate his ability to double-switch. I figured he made the decision to change pitchers first and only then figured out whether to double-switch or not. Is there any way to substantiate the idea that he was eager to change pitchers because he wanted to show off his lineup permuting skills?

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 16, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Love the comments, keep 'em coming.

The real question is, how much does your life suck that you're playing keyboard cowboy and anonymously wishing physical harm come to people you've never met.

Oh, and the O's will end the 2011 season with a better record than the Natinals. Book it.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 17, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

That's the same thing you said last year, moron. Whoops ...

Posted by: mjhoya12 | January 17, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

That's the same thing you said last year, moron. Whoops ...

Posted by: mjhoya12 | January 17, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

@bertbatz,

At the risk of awakening some of the trolls who love feasting on the bones of contention over Riggleman ...

"Perhaps Riggleman's hook was occasionally too hasty. Having decided to change pitchers while trailing, however, it would seem that the usual considerations of playing baseball in the NL would apply."

Well, there was the game where Mike Morse hit 2 home runs and Riggleman double-switched him out for pathetic hitting Willie Harris. Please show me anywhere in the history of the NL where a manager double-switched out a guy who just hit 2 home runs in the game ... and then proceeded to lose the game?

On way too many occasions Riggleman went out of his way to keep non-walking, singles only hitting Guzman in the game instead of double switching him out. Or double switching him into games everyone was hoping he would be kept out of. The guy had clearly lost all power where hitting a double was highly unlikely, his fielding ability and range were clearly gone, and he never walked. Please enlighten me as to why?

Riggleman himself admitted this was a mistake ... that he should have played Kennedy more ... even Gonzo and Guzman a lot less. Riggleman referred to Guzman as his "starting utility guy" ...

Then there's JMax ... although he stayed away from that at the end of the year ...

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and could and have been accused of being a broken record when it came to Giggleman's Island.

"Are some of the bashers of double-switching merely long-time AL fans who have been spoiled by the DH? Just wondering."

No. When it is used properly by a good manager. I believe Riggleman might have cost the Nats several games because of his moves.

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

""Ripken has won more WS ring."

He won one. But B-more bottom dwellers act like he is Albert Pujols when he isn't even in the same league ... nor the same league as A-Rod."

Ripken has the same amount of rings last time I checked as Alex ROIDriguez(is he really better than Ripken since he's a juicer and has fallen in stature since admitting it) AND Albert "whiney the" POOHujols.


Ripken is a HOF and a damn good one which you can't say about a single DC player in almost a century. Pudge might not even get in now. Baseball does nOt belong in DC!

Posted by: break20 | January 17, 2011 3:45 AM | Report abuse

jmarks09-
I guess your not a BELIEVER in the first amendment. We are ALLOWED to talk as long as we conform to the rules, which Poopy and I have been doing.

Periculum-
I think you are on Giggleman's Isle so to speak. Ummmmmm, let's see you like the Lerners, like Rizzo, but hate the only person in the organization, who has any credibility other than Davey Johnson, Jim Riggleman. You have to be kidding me. He managed Sosa with Cubs to the playoffs. He's the only REASON why the Nats didn't have 100 losses. You an Acta fan also? Did you make the trip to Cleveland this year.

Poopy's poop keeps getting the best of you and always will!

Posted by: break20 | January 17, 2011 3:52 AM | Report abuse

break20, spoken like a man who is on a message board at 4 in the morning.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 17, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Regarding "Double-switch Riggleman":

I liked your answer, Periculum. I think it confirmed my point: the problem was not double-switching, per se; it was Riggleman's judgement overall. In particular, he used Guzman and Harris too much, and used Morse and Kennedy too little.

Some of this was due to Riggleman's overuse of lefty-righty (or vice-versa) matchups. Before Willingham got hurt, he wanted to use Morse only against left-handed pitchers, if at all. Some of it was playing the "hot hand". Early on, Guzman was hitting well, which resulted in Kennedy seeing a lot of time on the bench.

Not only was Guzman hitting well early on, but a number of hitters tailed off as the season wore on. Pudge and Bernardina were two regulars who suffered such a decline. Morgan had a good April and July (and that was about it). Willingham stopped hitting after getting hurt. Dunn started slowly, got hot and reached .290 before subsiding to his norm. Gonzales was hitting .300 before tailing off in August and September. Desmond and Morse were the only ones whose hitting improved as the season progressed.

The decline in hitting more than offset what I recall as an improvement in pitching during the season. True, Strasburg was lost in August, but Lannan was solid starting in late July, Marquis pitched will starting in mid-August, and the bullpen (keyed by Burnett's resurgence) was solid despite trading Capps.

From June on, the Nats were a bad fielding, less-hitting, good pitching team.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 17, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Make that "Marquis pitched WELL starting in mid_August...".

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 17, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"break20, spoken like a man who is on a message board at 4 in the morning.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 17, 2011 8:26 AM"

TOdays a federal holiday fool, I was sleeping at 8:26 when you were pathetically up.

Posted by: break20 | January 17, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Poopy's poop keeps getting the best of you and always will!
Posted by: break20"

Useless drivel from two Redskins fans who by all accounts ought to be Rave .. oh that's right Cleveland BROWS to go with St Louis BROWNS to go with POOPY's BROWN's in other words: rooting for the Ori-holes.

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

TOdays a federal holiday fool, I was sleeping at 8:26 when you were pathetically up.

Posted by: break20

You're right. Your posts read the same when you are rested. And your right, working for a living makes me pathetic.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 17, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Peri,

I implore you, please stop interacting with the Trolls. It just clutters up the blog. Thanks.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 17, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

How is it AK is not ALL OVER the Alex Cora 'eminent signing'?

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | January 17, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

>>Are some of the bashers of double-switching merely long-time AL fans who have been spoiled by the DH? Just wondering. Posted by: bertbkatz

B- Allow me.
Sometimes it's simply OK to use a PH. Also the reason you put in your starting 8 position players in a given game is because they are supposed to be your best option to win for that game.

To save 1 AB and sacrifice one of your position players (usually Morse last season), who is a superior batter in say the 4th or 5th inning, for a weaker bat (usually Harris) which Riggleman did quite a lot, not only doesn't make good sense, it completely weakens the team.

You've now put in a weaker bat for at least 2 or 3 ABs to save 1. Sometimes a simple PH works just fine.

You don't have to prove how wise you are with all this doubleswitching, which if you look at the results from last year's games, never really panned out positively anyway.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 17, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Alex Cora? Hahahaha didn't even know he was still around.

Yeah, he's the one that'll lead the charge for the Natinals in 2011, lead the charge all the way to last place, not just in the NL East, but the entire NL.

Hahahahhahaha. Guess he's part of that "re-tooled" roster Rizzo is so proud of.....

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 17, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Heck Poopy is way ahead of AK on Cora? He must have gone back on vacation visiting that excellent foreign correspondent Chico Harlan?

Just kidding. Actually many are using AK's twitter message as the primary source although Ben Goessling credits Peter Gammons with first breaking the news. I think AK was the first to turn it from rumor into fact.

As far as this blog. The thing is a monstrosity anyway and rifled with Ori-hole trolls.

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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