Monday, October 08, 2007

In Which The Author Rams His Head Into His Desk

So, Mr. Beat Writer, what's your biggest surprise and disappointment of the year?

Answer: "It was sickening to hear some of the players blame Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for their problems with the bat. I never bought into that theory, because the opposing teams didn't have a problem hitting home runs at RFK."

So RFK had no effect on the team? Seriously?

The fact that superior lineups were hitting against Quad-A pitchers like Mike Bacsik this year or Ramon Ortiz last year might affect how many homers the team gives up, perhaps?

The fact that the power alleys are almost 400' from the plate has no effect on the team's ability to hit homers?

That the team nearly doubled their homer output AWAY from RFK means RFK had no effect? They've had more homers every year! Same for the pitchers. Every year they allow a lot more on the road than at home!

It just stuns me that someone watching the team closely doesn't think that park factors exist or play a significant factor in how a team does.

For the season, RFK allowed 30% fewer homers than an average major league ballpark. On average, over the last three years, it's been about 20-25% fewer. It's a significant factor in how the bats AND pitchers do, making the bats look worse than they are and the arms look better than reality.

  • Special bonus statistical oddity: 4 of the questions/rants in this week's mailbag are from our friends north of the border! Apparently, DC Nats fans aren't much interested in the ol' Nats mailbag!

  • 47 Comments:

    • Opposing teams hit over 220 home runs at RFK. The Nationals hit 168. Ryan Braun didn't have any problems hitting home runs there. Carlos Beltran didn't have any problems hitting home run there. The list goes on and on. FYI -- This is a friendly discussion. I come in peace.

      By Anonymous RL, at 10/08/2007 1:51 PM  

    • That's missing the point. You're not comparing apples to apples.

      If you took the Phillies and moved the team to RFK, it's a fact that they would hit fewer home runs if they played the same schedule.

      If you took the Nats and moved them to Coors Field, they'd hit for a higher average and hit more homers.

      What the hitters and pitchers do is entirely in the context of their environment.

      Mike Bacsik at Coors Field is going to give up MORE home runs to Ryan Braun then he did this year.

      Ryan Zimmerman in Coors Field is going to hit MORE home runs.

      Every single year Nationals pitchers gave up more homers on the road than they gave up at home. And Nationals batters hit fewer at RFK than on the road.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 1:55 PM  

    • FYI -- The author still receives plenty of e-mails from Montreal and Canada. Remember, he covered the Expos. The Rocket doesn't ignore DC fans. Peace.

      By Anonymous RL, at 10/08/2007 1:59 PM  

    • I don't think he ignores them; i just don't think he gets toooo many questions from DC. that's all.

      Besides, I'm sure he'd agree that there's no such thing as bad publicity!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 2:02 PM  

    • He gets plenty of e-mails from D.C. Any way, thanks for the "plug." Peace.

      By Anonymous RL, at 10/08/2007 2:08 PM  

    • You know, if you're going to get all upset when someone chooses to extend your remarks on someone else's blog in a direction you didn't intend for them to go, then you ought to extend Ladson the same courtesy. All he said was that he doesn't buy into the Nationals players using RFK as an excuse for their poor batsmanship, and that he's disappointed by them doing that. I read that as he's saying they shouldn't be making excuses for their poor performance, not that he thinks RFK didn't have any effect on whether their particular efforts at hitting fly balls ended up as home runs, doubles or long fly outs. He correctly notes that opposing players had no grounds for using RFK as an excuse, so naturally he'd be disappointed that the Nats were resorting to making excuses for their poor performance by blaming it on RFK.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/08/2007 2:25 PM  

    • I'm not quite sure what your point with that link is, but whatever.

      If he's saying that, fine. They shouldn't let the park get into their heads. They should just play the damn game, but RFK IS an excuse for why their power numbers are down. That's a simple fact.

      As far as your contention that that's not what he's saying, if that's the case, well, he has to write differently. "I never bought into that theory.." meaning he never thought that RFK affected their power.

      I don't see how you can interpret that statement any differently given how he phrased it.

      It's THAT contention I'm arguing with because it's not right.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 2:54 PM  

    • Also what can it mean to say "opposing teams didn't have a problem hitting home runs at RFK"? That has nothing to do with taking responsibility for one's play or not blaming the park or whatever. It's just a statement and, basically, it's wrong. Opposing teams did have a problem hitting home runs at RFK, in the sense that they found it harder to hit home runs at RFK than at other parks.

      But then again, I have it on good authority that Chris was really mean to this other kid whose ran a lot and who had kind of a squeaky voice during elementary school.

      What a jerk.

      -- Sam

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/08/2007 3:05 PM  

    • You don't understand the link, eh? So I suppose that wasn't you halfway down the list of comments complaining "Where did I say that?"

      Let's look at what Ladson wrote and parse our way through it, as pointless and painful as that exercise might be, okay?

      First he says "It was sickening to hear some of the players blame Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for their problems with the bat." Note that he says "problems with the bat", not any specific aspect of batting such as power. But you extrapolate from that that he means power alone. On what basis, I don't know.

      Then he says "I never bought into that theory". What theory? Why, I bet it's that theory from his previous sentence, which mentioned "problems with the bat", not "lack of power", or "failure to hit home runs". In other words, he's saying that he never bought into the argument that all of the Nationals' problems with the bat were a result of RFK.

      Now, if you want to say that his stated reason for not buying into that theory ("because the opposing teams didn't have a problem hitting home runs at RFK") is insufficient, or incomplete, or just plain lame, well then I won't argue with you on that. As writers go, Ladson is clearly not up there with the best of them. He's often confused or confusing. I can understand why you don't care for him and are looking for any opportunity to point that out. But here I think you are stretching it just a bit too much, in order tro make your point. I know it's been a slow week, with no quotes from Kasten to turn into StanSpeak, so why not just take advantage of the lull and enjoy one of your favorite beverages rather than push buttons that really aren't there?

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/08/2007 3:22 PM  

    • Fine. I suppose it's possible to interpret it that way. I don't think that's what he meant -- especially because he posted in this goddamn thread arguing the same point -- but if that's the interpretation you want to give him, fine. On that basis, your assessment is fair.

      I don't read it that way, so that's why I wrote the entry I did.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 3:28 PM  

    • If I can change the subject real quick.......are any of my fellow Nats fans concerned that with Livan's performance in this postseason, he may be pricing himself out of our range for next year???
      I thought it would be a no-brainer to try and bring him back, given his history here and our lack of veteran starters. However, if the Snakes ride him to glory, he could be looking at a nice pile of cash for Xmas.
      And I may be crazy, but I'm actually getting kind of comfortable with the idea of an outfield of Pena, Church, and Kearns. With the way Wily hit for us, I don't think we can afford not to have him in the lineup.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/08/2007 3:56 PM  

    • He had one start, so I wouldn't be too worried about it. While I like his ability to pitch out of damage, a better hitting team -- or at least one that's not in a slider-swinging funk -- eats him alive in that game.

      I'm torn on bringing him back. It's going to take at least 9/$27, I'd guess. We really need an upgrade to the SP, but I'm not sure he's the target. I'll definitely look closer at this later.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 3:59 PM  

    • Capital,

      Read this line carefully: Along those same lines, it was sickening to hear some of the players blame Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for their problems with the bat. It says "with the bat," not with home runs. Peace.

      Your "new friend"

      By Anonymous RL, at 10/08/2007 4:01 PM  

    • My name is Chris. Thanks. ;)

      fine. with the bat.

      RFK depresses every offensive stat except for doubles and triples. Put any other team in the league in the park, and they're going to produce less offense than they did because of the park's dimensions.

      You've talked about being a Yankee fan growing up. Does YS have an effect on hitter's and pitcher's stats? It's the same thing here, and it does explain some of their struggles.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 4:07 PM  

    • I have seen quotes from players complaining about RFK fly balls that would be out at other parks. And I remember the chuckles during the Geico Park batting practice when Zimm's first shot died on the "track".

      Have the players complained about it being hard to hit at RFK other losing HRs?

      By Blogger Sam, at 10/08/2007 4:26 PM  

    • You mean 3/$27 I'm assuming. I was guessing about $10 a year, so I agree with you. I know it's just been one game, but I feel like the free-agent market is biased towards short-term memory, and somebody can get a lot more money for a good performance in october than one in june. ('Course he could always shit the place up next game!!)
      I would really like to see him back for sentimental reasons more than anything else. He could also help take some of the leadership pressure off guys like Zim who are too young to handle it. He would also help put asses in seats, which is high on the priority list of any franchise.
      Another possible benefit is Manny would have do do away with the clubhouse health food rule, which would improve morale.
      (You listening Dmitri??? Bring on the Ho-Ho's!!!)

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/08/2007 4:39 PM  

    • Chris-

      1. Montreal goes to Ladson. We log onto your blog and to the others.

      2. I can't imagine disagreeing about the effect of RFK on hitters, but I guess the coming year will provide more evidence.

      Rob-

      1. Yeah, I have a conflict with Livan. I wanted him to do well enough for a losing no-decision, so we had a better chance of getting him back. He would be a better bargain than Glavine for more money, I believe, although I would gladly take Glavine (and it's not my money!).

      2. I wrote the same to another blog about the outfield you suggested, but I think Church will be traded. Since his value has gone up, that might be good.

      Finally- The Peoria Javalinas start play tomorrow. if some of you can't stand the off-season any better than I can, we have a team to root for.

      By Blogger Skedeebs, at 10/08/2007 5:09 PM  

    • I will grant that it was probably very exasperating to hear the players complaining about RFK. But it doesn't mesh with the facts to say that opposing teams weren't affected by the ballpark either. Nationals' opponents scored 73 more runs in Nationals' road games than in Nationals' home games. More detailed statistics include a difference of: 0.48 HR/9 innings (almost one extra homer per 2 games!) more on the road, and a 21 point difference in batting average.

      A major reason Ryan Braun didn't have any problems hitting homers at RFK was that he got to bat against Mike Bacsik and Jason Simontacci. If Ryan Zimmerman and Dmitri Young got to face those guys they'd be putting a few more into the 500 level too. Also, Braun wasn't in the major leagues when the Nationals visited Milwaukee -- so we don't know what he would have done vs. Nats pitching at Miller Park.

      Beltran has hit very well at RFK in his career -- .327 / .415 / .600 -- but not as well this year -- .243 / .326 / .595 (but with 4 HR).

      By Anonymous Simon Oliver Lockwood, at 10/08/2007 6:12 PM  

    • Capital,

      Yankee Stadium no longer affects hitters and pitchers like it used to. That all changed in 1976 when it was refurbished. You no longer hear about death valley in left center field and center field. If Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio played in Yankee Stadium today, they would double their home run totals.
      Believe me when I tell you this, if A-Rod played in the old Yankee Stadium, he would not have 50 home runs. He would have no more than 40 home runs. Peace.

      By Anonymous RL, at 10/08/2007 6:56 PM  

    • That's definitely true. But it still favors lefty power hitters even more than righty power hitters, even if it's not to the degree that it was before.

      Just as RFK's dimensions affect the numbers (all of them, not just homers) that Nats' batters put up.

      I, too, was tired of Jose Vidro and Guillen whining about the fences wanting them to be moved in.

      But just because we don't want to hear their bitching doesn't mean that the point they're making is incorrect below the surface.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 7:01 PM  

    • Mr. Punishment,

      Kindly explain how RFK's dimensions affected the number of singles that Nats batters put up. You did say RFK's dimensions affected the numbers (all of them, not just homers) that Nats' batters put up, didn't you? Seems that you are making about as little sense with your extended arguments on this topic as you were accusing Mr. Ladson of making when you started it.

      Do you think RFK would have destroyed Pete Rose's career had he played here?

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/08/2007 7:11 PM  

    • Check the link for park factors I included above. RFK allows ~10% fewer singles than an average park.

      Why? I'm not completely sure. A few guesses.

      1) The hitting backdrop isn't great, and at night games, it's pretty dark back there. Also, remember Loaiza's 10-15K game back from 05 because the batters couldn't see the ball off the backdrop in the sunshine?

      2) The foul territory is huge, so batters are out on balls that would be 10 rows deep in another park, giving them another pitch or two to get a hit.

      3) Maybe the grass is cut a certain way, affecting grounders relative to other parks. Tigers Stadium, in the 80s, for example, used to have really long grass, slowing grounders, allowing the fielders to turn more of them into outs.

      Just a few off the top of my head.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/08/2007 7:16 PM  

    • abm: RFK has more foul territory (due to its circular shape) than most other parks. This causes fewer foul pop-ups to reach the seats. The new park's smaller foul territory may do more to increase batting averages than the change in OF dimensions.

      By Anonymous Simon Oliver Lockwood, at 10/08/2007 7:18 PM  

    • I think Chris hit the point you guys are all making in his earlier comment: RFK, to a degree, did affect offensive numbers. However, nobody wants to listen to a $5 million-a-year athlete make excuses for why he isn't performing on the field. I don't have a lot of sympathy for guys who don't perform at this level. They are professionals first and foremost, and I think this fact can get lost in all the hollywood and hype.
      Bottom line, this is a major-market team in a sport without a salary cap. The teams that CONSISTENTLY contend for the playoffs spend a lot of money. It's been three years now, and the excuses and the 'plan' are wearing thin. How long do we have to wait?
      (Any Cubs fans feel free to tell me to shut the fuck up!)

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/08/2007 7:29 PM  

    • I don't know which is more pathetic, that I'm trying to take the piss out of you on a topic as insignificant as this one, or that you're actually taking me seriously and responding with statistics and reasoned arguments. Factoring in web host and server factors, this blog seems to be about 10% less snark-repellant than most blogs I've found. Svrluga has nothing to worry about from you on that account. But then again, I guess he is a professional...

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/08/2007 8:08 PM  

    • Hey Rob B, it may have been three years for you, but it's only been a little over a year for the Lerners/Kasten and The Plan. Only one draft, actually. So be patient. No one is feeding you any excuses, just a consistent party line. More games were won this year than last, even though less money was spent. If anything is wearing thin, it's complaints like yours!

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/08/2007 8:22 PM  

    • ABM,
      that last statement was made halfway in jest....I realize that Kasten's only had a year, but his recent comments about free agents really pissed me off. We're not gonna go after the top tier guys cuz they're overpaid, but the second tier guys aren't good enough....beautiful.
      So where does all that money we saved this year go?? It seems to me that putting cash in the owner's pockets is a little too big of a priority. (Someone who can afford a pro baseball team really needs more money???)
      Like you said, we won more games this year than last. So it's very possible that we are only one or two big signings away from contending in a tight division. But we only put up 'big money' for a couple draft picks who someday MIGHT make it to the bigs?? I'm left scratching my head by some of our managerial decisions. They owe it to the fans to put a winning team out there, and not in 2012.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/08/2007 9:01 PM  

    • Also, don't forget that it was the city that paid for the new stadium, but I'm pretty sure that the team is gonna get the $100 mil for calling it Viagra Park, or 7-11 field, or whatever the hell they're gonna call it. (Anybody know what the real name is gonna be?)
      And comment under your real name, Stan!! ;)

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/08/2007 9:13 PM  

    • Rob B, the latest word on naming rights is that there won't be a deal on that any time soon. The new stadium will be called Nationals Park probably through the entire 2008 season. So there's $100M you can't complain about the Lerners not spending, because they won't have it to spend.

      As for Kasten's quote, he probably did say what you said he did, i.e. that there is a top tier of guys who will be overpaid and a second tier of guys that aren't good enough. But when did he ever say that there aren't guys worth going after, if not as free agents then by trade? You probably read Svrluga's summary of that meeting Kasten had with reporters, but that wasn't the whole story. Somewhere, I forget where, I read a much more comprehensive account of what Kasten said, almost a transcript. It didn't sound anything like the way you're portraying it. I really think you should watch the actions and go by them, rather than judging prematurely on words that may have been taken out of context. Let's see what happens this off-season, and by spring training we'll know whether or not you have any basis to complain. Complaining now is premature.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/08/2007 10:05 PM  

    • I don’t why anyone should rely on your vague recollection of an entire transcript of what Kasten said when you made such a long and tortured attempt at parsing 2 simple sentences right in front of you and still got it wrong. Evidently there are a lot of out of work or frustrated Kremlinologists looking for a new gig interpreting the intentions of Nationals FO. The same incorrect parsing occurred last year by some who tried to say that the Nationals didn’t mean it when Svrluga said the Nats wouldn’t spend any money to pursue FA pitchers which in fact they didn’t do. It’s just this simple, Kasten doesn’t want to spend cash on FAs so he’s looking for trades that are salary dumps or other players that fit the need of the team. This whole notion that people shouldn’t comment on what was said but only on what may or may not happen is ridiculous. The Nationals FO have been given for free a revenue generating machine and everyone wants to see them maximize what has been given to them for that goal. There are many ways to build a team. Those ways should be debated and discussed. If you don’t like that than find a board or create a blog with trained parrots and sycophants that will discuss only what “happens” this off season. My bet is there won’t be a lot happening there.

      By Anonymous Tulsa Fan, at 10/09/2007 8:33 AM  

    • clearly we are all missing the best part of ladson's post, possibly the funniest thing i have read in years.

      " Will Justin Maxwell be given a shot to be the starting center fielder next year?
      -- John S., Alexandria, Va.

      This is a great question. Right now, the Nationals are taking a conservative approach."
      .......

      "the Nationals announced that he was going to watch and learn from his elders. The team said the same thing about Maxwell, but he turned out to be better than Nook Logan..."

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/09/2007 8:56 AM  

    • Tulsa,
      his statement was posted on Nats.com about two weeks ago. While you're at it, read Bowden's Q&A where he reiterates the exact same theme: The team is going to LOOK at all possible options, but they dont feel Free Agency is the best way to build a team. However, in the same interviews, they state that there's nobody in double or triple-A ready to move up and produce.
      This worries me because it sounds just like last year: Good FAs are too expensive, and the farm system sucks, so we're tanking the season to get better draft picks.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/09/2007 9:27 AM  

    • "This worries me because it sounds just like last year: Good FAs are too expensive, and the farm system sucks, so we're tanking the season to get better draft picks."

      And boy, didn't they do a great job of tanking 2007, eh? Why aren't you complaining about that? How pitiful can management be, to announce that they are going to tank the season to get better draft picks, only to end up winning more games than the previous year and not even finish in last place in their own division? Fire the bums!

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/09/2007 9:41 AM  

    • "The Nationals FO have been given for free a revenue generating machine and everyone wants to see them maximize what has been given to them for that goal."

      The Lerners got the Nationals FOR FREE? Boy, old Ted will sure have some 'splainin to do when the wife asks him where that $450 million went, won't he?

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/09/2007 9:47 AM  

    • 1.I think Tulsa was referring to the new stadium that the city paid for.


      2."not even finish in last place in their own division?"

      Think about how bad that sounds. That's how low our expectations are now???
      Look, I love this team and I want them to win just like (I hope) everybody else that would take the time to read this blog. We all know EXACTLY what last season was, and despite our 'best efforts', we still ended up with high picks in the draft.
      I just don't want to sit through another losing year, because I don't see any reason we should have to. We are closer than people think to contending, I want to see us take that next step sooner rather than later.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/09/2007 10:07 AM  

    • Rob B, if it was so easy to just go out during the offseason and buy a bunch of high-priced players to deliver a winning season the next year, don't you think Daniel Snyder or Peter Angelos would have done it by now?

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/09/2007 10:16 AM  

    • Well Snyder sure tries his damndest, haha. He's limited by the cap, unfortunately for us Skins fans. MLB has no salary limit, so I don't know what the hell Angelos' problem is, but the Sox and Yankees seem to do okay through FAs.
      My point is more that I don't think we need a BUNCH of FAs. I think we're already close, and I think just a few might do it, maybe two SPs and another bat. I just want to see us give it a shot, I'm positive that we have the money to at least try.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/09/2007 10:29 AM  

    • Park Effects? Don't exist. Trust Me.

      Vote Bichette for HoF

      By Anonymous Dante Bichette, at 10/09/2007 10:34 AM  

    • Angelos has tried to buy a title, but he's too incompetent and meddling.

      The Yankees, however, tried to buy some and have gotten away from their roots which in turn has killed them. They won titles in 98-2000 with home grown talent (Jeter, Bernie Williams) but have since gone into the FA market to build a super power (Giambi, Mussina, Clemens -- this time) and have seen their hopes die every year in the playoffs. There's something to be said for building from within.

      But, the 2001 Diamondbacks and a much better example of the 1997 Marlins show it is entirely possible to buy a championship. But, in both cases, the money those teams spent (and lost) crippled the franchises for years.

      I actually believe in "teh plan" and hope it works. The Braves did a great job of building from within and using trades, then resorting to the FA market to fill targeted holes (Maddux, Pendleton, McGriff). But -- we're not the Braves. We're not in the same market, and we have to do things differently. Atlanta had an established fan base (albeit a small one) and weren't competing with the Hawks or Falcons for love in the city. In DC, we have no natural fan base, and the Redskins are very well established. If the Nationals don't do something this year to try to win a fan base (new stadiums draw interest, not fans), then they are going to lose the potential to grab people now while they have the chance. In the end of 2005, people went to games because we were winning, not because we had baseball in the city (that's why they went in April/ May). Sorry this rant is so long.... oops.

      By Blogger Natsfan74, at 10/09/2007 11:53 AM  

    • Chris needs a 40th comment.

      By Anonymous Post Padder, at 10/09/2007 12:05 PM  

    • the 2001 Diamondbacks and a much better example of the 1997 Marlins show it is entirely possible to buy a championship.

      So would your example still hold water if Luis Gonzalez had missed that last Rivera cutter?

      Its really very simple. Get enough good players to give you a chance of making it to the postseason and hope you catch lightining in the bottle. (I'm looking at you St. Louis circa 2006)

      How you do it is a function of your revenue stream . . . the Yankees can and should be buying talent (For every Jeter there are several KEvin Maas's). Most other teams can't and must rely on the system to allow them to buy production much cheaper than the market cost.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/09/2007 12:44 PM  

    • On the surface, I completely agree. It is better all around if a team can develop talent internally and win with that. If a team has the resources (Cubs, Mets, Yankees...), then it is in their best interest to pay the market rate and acquire top level talent.

      And yes, if Gonzalez strikes out, they don't win that game. Nor do they win it without Schilling and Johnson... yada yada yada.

      But, I would argue that the 2008 Nationals are an exceptional case. If the owners do not make at least one outward sign that they are willing to invest to make the Team better (I hear all about their investments to make the stadium better, but don't believe them either), then they risk losing a fan base before ever getting started. Fans will only watch crappy baseball in a beautiful stadium for so long.

      I apologize if I sound like a pessimist. I'm a huge fan, and I like what we have done so far, for the most part. I am just saying that this is the year that the owners need to make one strong outward sign that they are committed to investing the resources necessary to win at the Major League Level.

      By Blogger Natsfan74, at 10/09/2007 1:34 PM  

    • "I am just saying that this is the year that the owners need to make one strong outward sign that they are committed to investing the resources necessary to win at the Major League Level."

      So I guess fielding a team that played the rest of the major leagues to a .500 record over the last three-fourths of a season (after an admittedly poor start) is not enough of an outward sign? I mean, it was enough of a sign to get close to two million tickets sold in 2007, despite playing in a dilapidated stadium on its last legs, wasn't it?

      Could you perhaps name one or two players who, if signed as free agents this winter, would be big enough outward signs from ownership to turn around what you obviously think is a sinking ship?

      Aside from A-Rod, who ain't comin' here no matter how much money the Lerners might throw at him, I can't think of one free agent this winter whose name alone would be enough to put any additional fannies into the seats of Nationals Park over and above those who would already be there. No matter how the team is built, if it's winning attendance will go up. If it's not winning, attendance will go down. You people who are forecasting doom and gloom before next year's team is even fielded need to calm down. Didn't you learn anything from 2007 about how wrong pre-season predictions can be?

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/09/2007 2:05 PM  

    • ABM,
      you're right about attendance going up if we start winning games. However, I honestly think Andruw Jones would get some more people to the game. There are a lot of Braves fans in VA due to the Richmond AAA club. He could help convert some of them to support the Nats. And even if they come to root for the Braves, our team still gets the gate money!
      I personally would go to a game just to see Livan, but I'm probably alone it that aspect.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 10/09/2007 5:26 PM  

    • AMB -

      Rowand, Jones or Hunter in CF would be a good start.

      Some Starting Pitching would really help too - any two of these would be fine with me

      SP - John Smoltz
      SP - Carlos Zambrano
      SP - Jake Westbrook
      SP - Curt Schilling
      SP - Jason Jennings

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/09/2007 7:48 PM  

    • None of those guys you named are big enough names to turn this team around in the eyes of fans based on name alone - which is what eveyone who says that expensive free agents MUST be signed in order for ownership to demonstrate its commitment to winning is REALLY saying. Why can I say that? Because the ones with the biggest names, and therefore the biggest drawing power, will provide the least benefit toward winning sooner as well as later. Schilling and Smoltz are probably the only recognizable names in the bunch to the casual fan who is not already coming to games - which is who needs to be attracted to ramp up attendance. Smoltz might come here due to ties with Kasten, but is he even a free agent this year? (Maybe you meant to say Glavine rather than Smoltz.) Schilling? He ain't coming here no matter how much the Lerners throw at him, because he doesn't have many years left and he wants to go to the Series evey year. I bet he stays in Boston. Andruw Jones is known by Braves fans, sure - but they're already coming to the games in droves. We need new people, and he won't be known to them.

      Really, as I said, the only real guarantee is winning. And you don't need a bunch of overpaid free agents to win.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 10/09/2007 8:21 PM  

    • By Blogger wwwwww, at 10/22/2009 10:54 PM  

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