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Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Long toss: Is it enough?

By Washington Post editors

In this morning's newspaper, Adam Kilgore chronicled the Nationals' progress in the Dominican Republic since the Smiley Gonzalez scandal.

Despite the positive steps, one reader -- PowerBoater69 -- zeroed in on an old problem.

"one of the smallest budgets in the majors"

That's all I needed to know, the rest of it is just the same stuff we've been hearing for years. How about no more articles about how the Nats are planning on improving the team via international signings until it actually happens?

What do you think? Are you happy with the progress the Nationals have made in the Dominican Republic?

By Washington Post editors  | February 8, 2011; 12:31 PM ET
 
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Comments

I thought the more important passage in the article was the importance in the DR of "word of mouth". It's hard to spend money down there when the buscones have no respect for what you are doing. Rizzo has done his usual measured job of building something with solid foundation. I'm willing to give it a few years to see if it pans out.

I would also quibble with the words "smallest BUDGET in the majors". That implies the Nats refused to spend more than did. I think they wanted to spend more (in other words the budget line item was bigger) but couldn't given the buscones attitude toward the organization.

Posted by: db423 | February 8, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Almost every single prospects pundit (esp. Brian Oliver and Sue Dinem) believes that the Nats must do more when it comes to developing International players. It was a point of focus for the KC Royals and Dayton Moore starting in 2006:

"The Royals also made a greater commitment in Latin-America, hiring Rene Francisco from Atlanta in 2005 to run their international operation and opening a new academy in the Dominican Republic"

The Nats seem to have shown improvement with a new academy and improved infrastructure on the ground. Maya will likely be the best International player followed by Eury Perez. There's Atahualpa Severino signed by Montreal in 2004. That's pretty much it. The Nats dramatically improved their drafts ... and that's clearly obvious. But the short-fall of quality starting pitching (non soft-tosser) is still an alarming side-effect of the poor drafts by Mr. Leatherpants Segway. One way to mitigate this is by following up after Maya Internationally.

Rizzo just has to focus more resources on the International scene and not just in the Dominican but also the Pacific Rim.

Posted by: periculum | February 8, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Shoot, with their shoestring budget, I'm surprised that the Natinals just haven't gone out and signed Elian Gonzalez. He'd bring some publicity to the fledgling franchise.

I don't see the Natinals making it to at least 3rd place in the NL East for at least a decade.

A shame too, because all the teams losing will do is make all the old Senator/Natinal fans more bitter (since they're still smarting over losing the Senators TWO TIMES).

No worries, though, they'll all be welcome on the O's bandwagon with open arms this year when the O's are dominating the AL East, the AL, and all of MLB on their trip to the World Series.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 8, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"No worries, though, they'll all be welcome on the O's bandwagon with open arms this year when the O's are dominating the AL East, the AL, and all of MLB on their trip to the World Series."

Nah, Poopy we both know that as soon as the shoestring and a prayer O's franchise actually makes inroads to progress your good pal Angel-holio will SELL THE ORIOLES to Vegas interests ... and
HEY! The Vegas Vivas will come to life and poor Camden Yahds will be back to rooting around looking for a AAA franchise to call it home which is exactly what belongs in B-town a bush league baseball town. Maybe if you are lucky, Poopy, Rizzo will move the Nats AAA franchise there in time to see Harper just before he makes it to the majors ... that would be something now wouldn't it? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA get your fake Elvis on ... long live the KIng!

Posted by: periculum | February 8, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

From Churchill's article on how to create the best farm system:

"The baseball draft has picked up steam the past few seasons, too, with early and impact returns coming from each of the five classes between 2005 and 2009, including Troy Tulowitzki, Tim Lincecum, Longoria, Stephen Strasburg and Posey. But the international route can't be ignored."

'"You can't ignore any area of talent acquisition," the scouting director said. "It may be more fruitful to spend on the draft, but there is a lot of talent in Latin America, Asia and even Europe. Leave no stone unturned."'

"While the Rays have done the vast majority of their talent acquisitions via the draft, other organizations lean toward international free agency or trades. The Texas Rangers were the owners of the game's top farm system in each of the past two seasons, largely due to a few key trades and the club's work in Latin America."

Mr. Rizzo, please leave no stone unturned! Given your personality and approach to your job it should be completely unfathomable for you to do so!

Posted by: periculum | February 8, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this is not meant to feed the troll, but I seriously would like to ask Sir Poop how he reconciles his support for the Redskins with his disdain for the Nats? I can understand if he grew up following the O's and wants to stay with them, but where's the hate for the Nats coming from?If he won't tell his sordid sports history and some other blogger knows, will you share it with me? My guess is its the result of an abusive childhood. Nothing else makes sense. But then why should this make sense?

Posted by: bosco3 | February 8, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Despite the positive steps, one reader -- PowerBoater69 -- zeroed in on an old problem"

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

Don't feed the troll.

Posted by: fischy | February 8, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

We pause for a special announcement ...

Uhm Adam who the heck did they DFA to get Gorzelanny on the 40-man? Its been over 2 weeks now?

Posted by: periculum | February 8, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to resist the urge to jump on the negative bandwagon. That's too easy. I'm grateful for more information about the Nats progress. I can't say I'm satisfied, but I'm glad they are pushing restart.

Bottom-line in all of this is we know they can not compete on the field right now so we need to judge how they are competing in every other area. Comments about small budgets in any aspect shows they are not gaining ground on other clubs. Brilliance can make upf for lack of investment occasionally (De la Moto, Rizzo, etc.), but the Nats need to outspend everyone, everyhwere and for a long time just to make up for the past ten years commpetitive disadvantage.

It does not sound like the Nats are anywhere close to competing in DR or Latin America. Never mind winning.
Please keep us aprised! I'm desperate to increase my sample size and mark the progress. Find the money and report on it. Thanks Adam.

Posted by: DCSec112 | February 8, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Agree with periculum and DCSec112. Nice, albeit small, steps in the Dom. Rep. but what about the rest of the Caribbean and Asia? Understand that the Lerners' money may not be good enough right now for the Cliff Lees of the world, but it's as good as anybody else's for investing in international scouting. Is Bill Singer still our head scout for the Far East? What does he do?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | February 8, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Despite the positive steps, one reader -- PowerBoater69 -- zeroed in on an old problem"

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

Don't feed the troll.

Posted by: fischy | February 8, 2011 2:28 PM
=============

Fischy I remember you saying you were leaving Natinals Journal, and yet now we've had multiple posts from you since that declaration.

Glad you decided to stick around.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 8, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

We pause for a special announcement ...

Uhm Adam who the heck did they DFA to get Gorzelanny on the 40-man? Its been over 2 weeks now?

Posted by: periculum | February 8, 2011 2:49 PM
________________________________

Martis was DFA'd...
cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Syracuse. Kind of got lost in the shuffle of the J-Max DFA/Trade...

Posted by: TimDz | February 8, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

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