Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: No Fighting In The War Room Edition

Well, today's the draft. We get number 15 and 22 in the first round. 15 is our rightful pick. 22 is a thank-you present from the A's for signing the execrable, but disabled Esteban Loaiza.

It's interesting this year, because no one seems to have any strong clue of what's going to happen. Last year, Baseball America nailed the first 18 picks (and got most of the first round right). This year, they'll be lucky to get 18 total in the first round. It's not a draft with a ton of talent; there aren't any projectable Alex Rodriguez' here. That's not to say that there aren't any breakout stars in here. It's just that you never know when a Pujols is going to pop up.

  • MLB.com is all over the draft. Check there and you can follow along live. (The MLB draft actually zips along with just a few second between picks -- as opposed to the NFL one, which has picks separated by epochs.)

  • Our friends at the Farm Authority ran a preview yesterday, looking at a few players who are possibilities.

  • The Free Lance-Star has a good overview of the draft and names some names of players the Nats are interested in.

  • John Sickels' site is sure to have lots of good info as the day progresses, but pleasae ignore their mock draft; it's not based on any sort of insider info.

  • Baseball Analysts focuses lots of attention on the college game, listing their top-40 college prospects. He also makes a few predictions. His overall assessment: "The strength of this draft is no secret. There are about 3 legitimate college position players, four solid prep pitchers, and about 5 first round-caliber high school hitters. The rest? College pitchers."

  • And the Grandaddy of the all, Baseball America's Jim Callis projects out the first 15 picks, and says we might get.... Well, click and find out! (Seems like it'd be a good pick!

  • Meanwhile, T(h)om Loverro writes a column about our favorite brain-mapping kook. Jon Niednagel, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago when Jim Bowden talked about how important his services were to the Nationals draft philosophy, is apparently no longer helping Bodes... or at least he's not talking about it.
    So I asked him about Sandbek's criticisms, and his brain type took a sharp turn.

    "I don't need this kind of a conversation," he said. "This is not what I am trying to bring up, and if anything is written in a way that is not accurate, it will be sadly refuted in the not-to-distant future."

    We didn't talk much longer. The next day, Niednagel called the paper looking for me. I called him back.

    "I never was working for the Nationals," Niednagel said.

    "I have a quote from you saying you were doing this work to help Jim Bowden," I answered.

    "Doing what work?," Niednagel said.

    "You said 'I'm doing this work to help Jim Bowden a little bit,' and I spoke to Jim yesterday and he had great things to say about you and that they were going to be using you," I said.

    Niednagel went on for about 15 minutes about how he wouldn't have the time now to work with the Nationals, and how he hadn't been ready for those kind of questions, and so I asked him again if he was going to work with the Nationals, and Niednagel said, "No. I mean, the only way would be if I felt it would still help in some capacity. At this junction, I don't know. I can't say absolutely I won't do it. It is at my discretion if I wanted to or not. It was an invitation from Jim, and that is where it is at the moment."

    Alrighty! Loverro's column makes the guy seem even creepier...!

  • Tom Boswell writes a column that probably deserves more attention than I'll give it today. He says it's important to trade off the players to build a foundation for the future, even if the team's hovering around .500 at the trading deadline, especially, because he thinks we have a soft schedule coming up that's going to make the team look better than it really is.

  • The Nationals Season Ticket Holder Picnic In The Park is this Sunday, the first step in a long journey of restoring good will. They promptly sent me my tickets, and even threw in a pair of nearly identical seats because this game isn't part of my regular plan. It's not often teams give stuff away like that.... I'll take it!

  • BPGers brought this to my attention, and they're saying it's legit. It seems that the Nats are working with a PR company to get people to go to Nats games. For $40 bucks, you get 4 ticket vouchers worth up to $35 a piece (if you splurge, you just pay the balance). It also comes with 8 buy one get one free tickets. And if you're a really big spender, they have a $100 voucher off luxury suite rental. Not a bad deal, especially if you're one of those who hasn't had a chance to go to many games yet. Interested? You can buy online or find more info here.


    • The ticket vouchers are legit, I picked one up and have been successful in using one of the coupons. I never got around to doing a post about it though, which I feel was a disservice to the Natmosphere.

      By Blogger WFY, at 6/06/2006 9:57 AM  

    • Last time we ever trust you then! ;)

      Sounds like a perfect MetroBlogging post....

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/06/2006 9:59 AM  

    • Boz apparently took his meds today. I was shocked that this recent streak hadn't made him think "World Series" but then again we all know he's not stupid, he's just playing fanboy.

      By Blogger Harper, at 6/06/2006 10:09 AM  

    • Chris: I know, I don't remember why I didn't get to it. I suppose there is still time.

      By Blogger WFY, at 6/06/2006 10:11 AM  

    • Boz's article today is actually one of the best he's yet written about the Nats. And I'm just as critical as the rest of the Nats blogs about Boz's homer tendencies. For once he's made a smart, farsighted point.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/06/2006 1:27 PM  

    • I was wondering if my tickets to Sunday's pre-picnic game would actually materialize, but when I got back from a vacation yesterday, there they were. Same range as my regular seats, not way the hell out in the outfield like I was expecting. Will there be a YudaCon during the picnic?

      By Blogger Carl, at 6/06/2006 3:02 PM  

    • Who wrote that column and what did he do with Boswell? Did Soriano put ipecac on his (soriano's) johnson yesterday and suddenly [insert your own euphemism for fellatio] lost its appeal?

      By Blogger Senor Beavis, at 6/06/2006 5:52 PM  

    • Chris, the vouchers ARE legit, but one of the caveats is, they cannot be used for the Yankee games or the Cubs games, they are exempted because the Nats have designated those games as premium. They did the same with the Orioles games.

      I bought some for a buddy of mine and his wife, and on Memorial Day Sunday, they went to R.F.K. with me and they got two seats in section 302 (first-base line) each worth $34, and they were in the shade, and it was VERY hot that day, if you'll recall. So he is $6 in the hole so far, but if they go to one more game, he's gotten his money's worth.

      I also bought two of those packages for my neice and nephew so that they could split them/share them, and maybe go as a group of four.

      It's a very good promotional plan. The free tickets are only for use in August and September (i.e. when the Nats are likely out of the playoff race and the team needs to fill seats). I recommend it to anyone who wants to go to at least two games with a friend/spouse.

      By Blogger Joe Riley, at 6/06/2006 11:51 PM  

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