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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/17/2011

Long toss: Are you a believer?

By Washington Post editors

This morning's blog post about Livan Hernandez sparked an interesting debate. Based on statistics, some readers are discouraged by the fact that Hernandez will probably be the opening day starter. Others are charmed by Livo's "magic."

Adam Kilgore wrote:

There is, as you know, some magic to the way Hernandez pitches. He confuses hitters with 60-mph curves and high-80s fastballs on the corners. He surrenders plenty of contact, but it is not the kind that produces screaming line drives. He seems to possess the ability to deaden the bat. When the snake charmer doesn't get bit, no one calls it luck.

Commenters have differing opinions. Fairfax6 opines:

Livan's career is mostly weak seasons, with a few pretty good to very good ones sprikled in here and there. He's never had back-to-back winning seasons, and last year was his first sub-4.90 ERA campaign since 2006. Some ace. I say this year he reverts to type and has an ERA of at least 4.50.

While markfd says:

Every team needs a Livo!

What do you think? Do you believe in luck or the numbers?

By Washington Post editors  | February 17, 2011; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Livan Hernandez  
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Next: Nationals pitchers, including Stephen Strasburg, get their first work in


Unless Zimm or one of the other kids tears it up at spring training, why not Livo? I have loved watching him for years. Believe in the magic!

But what I really like is Zendo's Albert dream from the lkast post. My brother in law is a big Cards fan and I texted him this morning saying "If you guys don't want Albert, can we have him please?"

Posted by: NatsFly | February 17, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Make that "the prior post". Hate posting typos...

Posted by: NatsFly | February 17, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I've always been a Livo fan and continue to be. Not sure how much more he has left in the tank, but I sure wish him the best this upcoming season.

Posted by: dontknowdiddley | February 17, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Wow...after the winter doldrums, these posts are coming fast and furious! So, I'm gonna "re-post" my last bit of deep thinking-or fantasy!
Well, it's that time of the year again! Thank the Gods! And to start out on an appropriately far-fetched note....8 years, 30 million for Albert! Hey, as I've noted before, my pre-Nats (and lifelong) team was the Cards (and O's). Still root for em but for the Cards to low-ball Albert the way they did.....
Any Hoo -this man is vaunted for any number of reasons, but his intensity and dedication to the game-WHO better to "tutor" young Mr. Harper? We can debate the insanity of the money involved, but that's the going rate. And the Lerners (I've dropped the "Slows" moniker-for now!) not only have the money to pay Albert, but I figure they owe us some "back salary", just like Albert. And this could really jump-start DC as a top baseball market in terms of fan interest (and money spent!). If Philly and Boston can flirt with 170 mil payrolls....well, I admit this is mostly wishful thinking. But really...we could DO this! AND make it WORK! Now...if our pitchers could just perform up to potential just ONCE (we're due for some good baseball karma!)...Ahhh, I can FEEL that first series ring!
Like I said, I'm just giddy that the game is back so forgive my dreaming but Hey....
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | February 17, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Livo: rubber armed spot-starter reliever back-of-the-bullpen.
Maya: Livo's repertoire with more velocity potential #3 starter.

That's it in a nutshell.

Posted by: periculum | February 17, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

No, Long Toss, I am not a believer. Unless you are asking if I believe that Long Toss is a total waste of time, in which case I do believe. What does this Long Toss have to offer that the comments section of Kilgore's post of only a few hours ago wasn't already providing?

Posted by: FeelWood | February 17, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody know when the first Nats grapefruit league game will be on the radio?

Posted by: dontknowdiddley | February 17, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If you believe Long Toss is a total waste of time, then why are you reading them AND posting on them?

I would have to say I believe in luck AND the numbers. They aren't mutually exclusive.

The career numbers indicate he is a back of the rotation starter. His 2010 numbers would indicate he is a mid-rotation starter.

Luck is hard to define and prove, but... I would have to say based off of his career numbers, his 2010 performance was helped out significantly by "luck", whatever that is.

Hopefully he remains "lucky"... he hopefully is not our best starter in 2011 (hopefully JZimm picks up that mantle)... but, barring a terrible ST performance, he probably deserves the nod in game # 1, with JZimm going in # 2.

Posted by: Ghost7 | February 17, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

When your are "filled with #3 pitching" (according to Mr. Rizzo), Livo for $1M, why not? Truth the Nats would be thrilled to pay Livo his $1M and have 5 other pitchers rise up and remove him from the rotation, but that will not happen this year or at least this half of the year.

Heck, they're spending $3M on Wang for a known nothing until 2012. That was a good gamble which looks like it won't pay off. The team needs 10 such gambles to get 1 winner.

Livo is here, he'll go out every 5 days, give up 5 runs and give you a chance. That's the only known quantity in the clubhouse. Occasionally magic and, most importantly, some butts in seats.

Hold your nose and give him the ball on Opening Day. The Lerner's made the salad, they have to learn to eat it.

So what's better? 7 in the 3 hole or 1 in the 2 hole?

Posted by: DCSec112 | February 17, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I love Livo but dont push your luck Nationals!

Posted by: Badwisky | February 17, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Does anybody know when the first Nats grapefruit league game will be on the radio?"

Any good substance abuse counselor will recognize this question as a desperate cry for help. :-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | February 17, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, when do the broadcasts begin and on what DC station?

Posted by: luv2bikva | February 17, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, when do the broadcasts begin and on what DC station?"

First game is to be broadcast February 30th on WNOTS, 1313 on your AM dial. Make sure you're within a mile of the ballpark though, it has a very limited broadcast range.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | February 17, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Inning eater is what we need and livo does.

Posted by: dcad | February 17, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I love Livan' Large. He is a workhorse that this staff needs.

Posted by: mjwies11 | February 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

If I wanted to watch a flutterball I'd go to a flower garden and throw stones at butterflies....

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | February 17, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Livo has one quality that sets him apart...he consistently pitches a game that the Nats have to try to lose. Unfortunately, they often find a way to do it, but that's not Livan's fault. Looking over the field (and remembering some of our recent opening day starts), I'm fine with Livan getting the ball.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | February 17, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I scored my Opening Day tickets today and I'm hoping Livo is on the mound. Old age and treachery should be good enough for one more year. Go Livo and Go Nats.

Posted by: Donkeyfarmer | February 17, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

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