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2010 Nats predictions

Apr 5, 2010, 1:55 PM EST

OK, the clock is ticking and we're in the final countdown toward the first pitch of the 2010 Washington Nationals season. So it's time to make some bold predictions on your hometown team.

My beat writer counterparts and I came up with 10 categories that seem appropriate for the Nats, and they were all kind enough to let me publish their predictions here. So, here we go…

Who will represent the team at the All-Star Game?
Mark Zuckerman (Nats Insider/ — Ryan Zimmerman
Adam Kilgore (Washington Post) — Ryan Zimmerman
Dave Sheinin (Washington Post) — Ryan Zimmerman
Ben Goessling (MASN) — Ryan Zimmerman
Bill Ladson ( — Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Ian Desmond
Pete Kerzel (Associated Press) — Ryan Zimmerman
Craig Heist (WTOP) — Ryan Zimmerman

What will the total season attendance be?
Mark Zuckerman — 1,652,378
Adam Kilgore — 2,100,000
Dave Sheinin — 1,900,000
Ben Goessling — 1,585,031
Bill Ladson — 2,500,000
Pete Kerzel — 1,819,111
Craig Heist — 2,400,000

When will Stephen Strasburg make his big-league debut?Read more »

  1. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Bill Ladson is one optimistic guy. Except when it comes to Jesus Flores.

  2. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Bill Ladson ( — Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Ian Desmond (all-stars)Bill Ladson — 2,500,000 (attendance)Bill Ladson — 83 (wins)Wow. Leave it to Ladson to be the eternal optimist. I seem to remember him having these kind of bold predictions in the past… quite a lot actually… and right before two 100 loss seasons.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    And this is the reason why I have chosen to read Mark's blog instead of Ladson's. I don't enjoy being lied to over and over again.

  4. B.R. - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Bill Ladson doesn't lie. He believes in it. It's not lying when you believe. What you mean is you don't enjoy having false hope over and over again.That said, my modest 74 win prediction would place me 3rd on this list of optimists behind Ladson and Craig Heist.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    The most significant prediction is when will the Nats first use a 6th starter then followed by how many starters the Nats will use this year.The range is from 10-13. My guess is in this order of appearence: Olsen, Martin, Wang , Detwiler, Strasburg and Zimmerman (hopefully for just a cameo in Sept).There maybe some September call ups like Thompson , Myers but that is just too fluid to call at this time. I think Mock will be given the shortest leash and it could be no more than 2-3 starts. The difference between Rizzo and Riggleman and the former "brain-trust" is that they will not put up with bad baseball.

  6. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Ok, maybe I am drinking the kool-aid, but weren't the Nats 33-37 after they finally got rid of Acta? And half of those were without Nyjer. Why can't we play close to .500 baseball since our roster has done nothing but improve since those last 70 games last year? (Marquis instead of JD Martin, Capps/Bruney instead of McDougal, Gonzalez on the bench where he belongs, etc)

  7. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    One more, please, Mark:What's the order of finish for the first 4 or 5 picks in the 2011 Draft? (i.e. Nats worst in baseball again, or merely worst in the division and better than the Pirates, Padres, Royals, etc.)Happy Opening Day!NatinBeantown

  8. Positively Half St. - Apr 5, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Ladson's optimism is obvious, and I am willing to drink it in on Opening Day. Let's hope for 83 wins.

  9. natsone_va - Apr 5, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    So who does Ladson say we're playing in the World Series???

  10. Sam - Apr 5, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Is it 1:05 yet?Does anyone know what radio station I can listen to baseball talk on? I mean, anything. I'd prefer the Nationals, but I doubt they have one (by the way, I am in school in Boston and live in New Jersey in the summers, so I don't know anything about Washington area radio/television).

  11. peric - Apr 5, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    The ESPN simulations predict around 74.7 wins, the same as the fish. Which is still more than a 10 game improvement. That is very optimistic. I expect the Nats will make a deal for a right fielder by May. Ben Goesslings take on it had specifics: even BJ Upton of the Rays was targeted. Guess that would the best move over Corey Hart, Dye, etc.The reason given that didn't happen was because the Rays are in competition. One could pick either of TB, Boston or NY to win that division.

  12. Craig - Apr 5, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    1. ASG – Zimmerman2. Attendance – 2.1 million3. Strasnburg debut – June 6 vs Reds4. Strasburg wins – 75. Storen debut – May 7 vs Fish6. Starter wins – 107. Players with Saves – 58. 6th starter – May 16 at Rockies9. Flores – August 15 vs Dbacks10. Wins – 72

  13. bdrube - Apr 5, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    There is a fine line between being optimistic and being delusional, and Ladson is walking it.

  14. peric - Apr 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    For those who took exception to JayB's (as well as Dibble's and mine) that MIke Morse should be given a shot at right field before signing a guy like Dye. The rationale? Hasn't proven he is a major league hitter?He compares pretty well with someone else who is starting and hasn't proven that: Jason Heyward 2009:A+ 189 AB, 34 RUNS, 56HITS, 12 DBLS, 0 TRPLS, .296 BA, 31 RBI .318 OBP, .519 SLG, .88 OPSAA 162 AB 32 RUNS, 57HITS, 13 DBLS, 4 TRPLS, 7 HR, .352 BA, 30 RBI .446 OBP, .611 SLG, 1.057 OPSAAA 11 AB, 3 RUNS, 4 HITS, 0 DBL, 0 TRPL, 0 HR, .364 BA, 2 RBI .462 OBP, .364 SLG, .825 OPSMike Morse 2009:AAA 425 AB, 59 RUNS, 137 HITS, 26 DBLS, 3 TRPLS, 16HR, .322 BA, 86 RBI, .383 OBP, .511 SLG, .894 OPSThe guy has progressed from when he was suspended for Steroid use etc. You numbnuts may look at his age but the guy can surely hit, and for power, possibly better than Heyward, if he were given the chance.

  15. Sam - Apr 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    The difference is Heyward is 20 and Morse is 28. Also, Heyward was had consistently higher BB%, lower K%, and higher wOBA at all levels than his elder counterpart Morse.I'm not saying that Morse isn't good. He could be, and I think he deserves a shot to start some games and get, hopefully, around 300 at bats this year. But handing over the position to him? That is what I think is foolish.

  16. greg - Apr 5, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    "possibly better than heyward"wow, talk about drinking the freakin koolaid. seriously, peric, your koolaid isn't spiked, it's laced. i mean, i'm willing to consider that morse might turn out to be ok, but let's not pretend that he "might be better" than the consensus top position player prospect in baseball. you know, mock might turn out to be better than strasburg, too.

  17. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Two questions: Is the press box divided into section, and if so, does Ladson sit in 7G?

  18. Marc - Apr 8, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    Ladson = SHILL FOR MLB. What a joke. 3 all-stars?? 2.5 million+ in attendance? baawww haaww hawwww

  19. SpringfieldFan - May 10, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    And the first to be decided was "When will they use a sixth starting pitcher for the first time?" April 23 vs. Dodgers: Luis Atilano. Who takes that win, you or Sheinin? Gotta keep a scorecard!

  20. Mark Zuckerman - May 10, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    SpringfieldFan: Actually, we awarded that title to a member of the Nats PR department. A couple of them were invited to participate as well, though we couldn't make their predictions public (you can imagine why). Anyways, one of their guys came closer to the date than any of us.

  21. SpringfieldFan - May 11, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    And did any of those mysterious PR folks name Pudge as an all-star, for the first question? :)

  22. Mark Zuckerman - May 11, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Springfield Fan: Actually, no. Everyone had Zimmerman as the lone All-Star except for the one entrant you see above. In hindsight, all of us would have been wise to pick Pudge.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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