Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Trade!

Who'd we get?

No. Really, who?

Does it matter?

This is the best kind of trade... the something from nothing trade. At one point a few years back, I had the grand idea of doing transaction trees... finding out where players came from. Ie: Zimmermann came from Soriano who came from Wilkerson, who was a draft pick of the team.

Those are fun moves... but the really fun ones are the ones like this where they're making a free-talent acquisition. They turned a little bit of cash that they used to sign a free agent into an honest-to-god prospect. Even if whatever-the-hell-his-name-is turns out to be the next Wil Nieves, it's a good move.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dunn and Mr. Belvedere

Here's the thing I haven't seen anyone point out about the Dunn visiting Uecker thing.... (and perhaps someone did in comments; i haven't read that much)

It was the bottom of the second inning in a game on the road.

Was Riggleman really going to bring in Adam Dunn for defense in the second?

Now, I realize that Mike Morse was in the game, and you never know when you're going to need to double switch him out of the ballgame, but...


On a related note, the first few posters at Nats Journal ripped Adam Kilgore for snitchin' on Dunn. Really? Oy. I hope Mr. Kilgore didn't strain his eyeballs when he rolled 'em.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Old Emails

I'm cleaning up the approximately 56,340 GB of emails in my mailbox, and ran across this exchange I had with someone who wrote/write/not-gonna-let-you-tense-your-way-into-figuring-out-who-it-is/was just prior to the 2007 draft. In light of Ross Detwiler's magnicient start today, it's especially fun.

I've got bad news for you Chris... the Nats won't take Matt Wieters, even if he falls to them. It's not about signability. They simply don't like him. I was told he's a No. 6 hitter in the bigs and an average catcher...

if one of Vitters, Moustakas, Price, or Detwiler fall, that's what they'd like to happen. My guess is Moustakas, with Detwiler being the Wild Card if he's there.

As for Wieters, they like him to a point. But I *think* the person I spoke to was being honest when they said he's no more than a No. 6 hitter and an average catcher. That person said he wants a 3/4 hitter with the 6th pick or a No. 1 starter. Can't blame them if that's true.

Of course it's not like Wieters is smacking the crap out of the ball... He's hitting like a 'roided up Nieves. I, like you, am eagerly awaiting Ross' ascendancy to the No. 1 slot in the rotation.


You write enough stuff on the internet, you're going to 1) say something stupid, or 2) say something that's completely wrong.

Lord knows I've done both.

With that caveat, this is pretty freakin' hilarious.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Don't Not Trade Dunn For Nothing

If I were the Nats I wouldn't not trade Dunn for nothing, unless they didn't get something less than nothing, no? Got it? No? Well head over here then for more clarification.

Rob Dibble's Thin Skin


“I've been in broadcasting for 12 years, whether it was ESPN or Fox, but this (being the Nats' TV color man) is different, because people are far more critical of one-liners and throwaway comedy lines,” Dibble said. “There's (more criticism of people in the public eye) because of the internet.


He said he accepted the job after the Nationals offered it to him for the second time.

“The first time was when MLB owned the team,” he said. “I figured they weren't going to ask me a third time, so I'd better take it.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scout Him Yourself

I'm still not inclined to give the team the benefit of the doubt. Until I see what his numbers look like after 40 IP, I'm agnostic.

But here's some video of him pitching. At least til the MLB Nazis take it down.

Progress, I suppose. Not about the Nazis, but the signing. Duh.

Paging Mr. Black

Via friendly commenter Mr. Sam is this sentence from today's Nats Journal on Ian Desmond hitting second. "We didn't really have anybody else to hit eighth, to tell you the truth."

This mirrors my reaction.

Ian Desmond is quite the horse.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Superstar Matt Capps

So I wrote about our beloved All-Star. Dude got the win; He was clearly, by definition, the MVP, no?

So that's increased his trade value, right? Well, we'll see.

Friday, July 09, 2010

It might be, it could be, it . . . isn't?

You know what I was looking forward to reading today? Anti-Yankee screeds. Those are fun: They're too rich! They're killing the sport!! They're evil!!! Love those. Started composing one in my mind, matter of fact.

But you have to hold off on actually submitting them for public consumption these days, lest you detrimentally rely on MLB Trade Rumors and the assorted Twitterati and fall victim to an early trigger. And so we have today's events -- in which, inter alia, the same guy has reported that the Yankees are "all but certain" to trade for Cliff Lee and that Yankees are not in the running for Lee's services (seriously; he means it). At least for now. Who knows about ten minutes from now, but there are lots of people out there reading the tea leaves for us.

Speaking of which, the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate scratched tonight's scheduled starting pitcher; is that a sign that the Lee trade is happening? Maybe!

We are getting dumber, you know. Of course, the human race as a whole is getting progressively smarter -- of that there can be no doubt -- but, as we become more sophisticated, we are capable of staggering idiocy. That is the only explanation for the rise of the twenty-four-hour baseball rumor industry. It used to be that we would get plenty of rumors, dumb or otherwise, during the Hot Stove season and around that trade deadline. Now we get them all the time, literally all day. Local beat reporters, national columnists, and assorted other baseball writers all dip their toes into the rumor game -- and now we have websites dedicated to mining these reports with an incredible obsession to detail. So we get things MLBTradeRumors dutifully quoting snippets of a Joel Sherman (or Buster Olney or whomever) report or, better yet, Tweet -- such that the specific (and often banal) word choice employed by the writer is now assigned significant weight, as if to suggest that something is really happening, right now.

Ooooh, the deal is "imminent." Aaaaah, the deal's hit a "snag." But wait, a deal remains "likely." Nope, there are still "big concerns." And so on. It's fun reading, and plenty of us click over to read it, but it's dumb reading.

* * * * * * *

Cliff Lee, of course, is not a National and won't be traded the Nationals. He was a former National only in the most symbolic sense, and he likely won't ever be a National. Lee's not the only starting pitcher available in the trade market. For instance, Roy Oswalt might turn out to be second prize for a team that does not end up acquiring Lee.

Remember those heady days a month or six weeks ago when the Nationals where rumored to be interested in acquiring Oswalt? That didn't happen -- 8-19 months tend to sour expectations -- but the Nats still figure to have an abundance of starting pitchers for the remainder of the season, or so Tom Boswell conveys.

Generally speaking, I think Boz sums things up pretty well: Strasburg is a rotation fixture (albeit one likely to be shut down before the end of the season); Jordan Zimmermann should be given a clean shot at establishing himself because his raw ability is surpassed only by Strasburg; Ross Detwiler heads a group of rather non-descript guys trying to establish themselves because he's a little more, well, descript than the Stammenseses and Atilani of the world; the injured vets (Marquis, Wang, Olsen) will be returning at some point; and John Lannan is floating out there in the ether somewhere. Oh, and Livan is fun.

If this seems like an overabundance of pitchers, two points must acknowledged: 1) outside of Strasburg and hopefully Zimmermann, most of these guys aren't good enough to be considered mainstays, or at least aren't good enough anymore; and 2) at least some of these guys will likely prove unreliable due to arm troubles. Still, though, Nationals Park will soon enough serve as the confluence of a whole lot of guys who want to start some ballgames.

Just throwing this out there, but here are some possible guiding principles:

a) Shut down Strasburg whenever the hell you deem it necessary, and no later;
b) Recall Lannan in September, essentially as Strasburg's replacement, to see if he's figured things out;
c) Ease Zimmermann back in, since he's shown real progress;
d) Get Detwiler back in the rotation as soon as he's ready, so the team can get another look at what they have in him;
e) Be very conservative with Wang, since he can't become a free agent until after next season and his recovery has seemed to hit some bumps;
f) Same deal with Marquis, as he has more value to the Nats next season if he can return to form;
g) If anyone offers anything close to worthwhile, trade Livan;
h) Use Stammen, Atilano, and Martin to fill in the remaining rotations spots as needed; and
i) Use Olsen as a lefty reliever once rosters expand in September.

I don't know; the last one is a throw-back to a post I noodled a couple months ago about how Olsen could follow the J.P. Howell path to success. It was never written, though, and chances are it won't ever happen.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

'The PLAN!' is Dead! Long Live 'The PLAN!'

Funny, we haven't heard much about "The PLAN!" lately, have we? I wonder why that is. Hmmm.

Maybe this is why?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I've come to grips with Jim Riggleman as a master over-manager.  Not since the dark days of the Robinson regime have we seen a manager so willing to put his hands around the throat of the team he's supposedly leading.

But with 1 out, and runners on 1st and 2nd, why the FUCK is Livan bunting?  Time and time again, he has the pitcher bunt in that situation.  And I'd guess it's only really worked something like 50% of the time.  I can recall a bunch of forceouts, and a few strikeouts... which is nutty with someone like Livan or Stammen -- guys who won't trip over the plate.

Keep in mind that "working" in this situation means you've got one chance with one batter to get one hit.  So, yeah.  Brilliant move.


If there's one thing Rob Dibble knows, it's class.  Pure class, he.

Dibble said that Pudge Rodriguez is one of the classiest players in the Major Leagues, perhaps in history. He's right there next to Stan Musial, no doubt.

Need further proof? Look at that tasteful back yard.

On Bob Carpenter

While watching Ian Desmond's homer sail out of the park, I thought something I've been meaning to get down.

For all the bitching I've done about Bob Carpenter in the last few years, it seems like he's made a conscious effort to cut down on the number of times he anticipates plays.   I can't recall a single "How far is this one gonna go!" on a flyball that doesn't make it to the wall.  I don't really remember any "This could be two!" on a grounder that Desmond would airmail past the second-base bag.

So good on him.  The guy's always been a pro.

95% of my criticism of him (beyond those points) were style-based; and I'm not stupid enough to think that my style is everyone else's.  We can't all be like me and rock the jean shorts.

I will say this: when he was paired with Ray Knight, it wasn't half bad.  Carp and Dibble sometimes bring the worst out of each other.  But with Knight, it was two hayseeds in the booth.  And just like how when you multiply two negative numbers and get a positive one, bringing two hayseeds together with a mic somehow just sorta works.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Which One is the All Star?

A: 36.2
B: 36.2

A: 2
B: 2

Hits Allowed:
A: 29
B: 44

Runs Allowed:
A: 11
B: 19

A: 53
B: 32

A: 1.06
B: 1.39

It'd be one thing if the Nats were sending one of their two truly deserving players.  But Matt Capps?  At least he's better than Evan Meek.  Perhaps.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Nats' Window of Opportunity

With the trading deadline approaching, what should the Nats do?

Maybe dumping all those carcasses on the side of the road isn't the smartest idea.  At least that's what I kinda sorta maybe argue over here.  Read it.  Papa needs some new shoes.  And a belt.  And something other than boxed mac and cheese to eat.  :-(

Hungry.  So very very hungry.