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Still searching for a win

Jun 4, 2011, 6:21 AM EST

Associated Press photo
Yunesky Maya couldn’t pitch through the fifth inning Friday night.

PHOENIX — The proliferation of advanced statistics has given baseball executives and fans alike new ways to look at players and performances, understanding some numbers don’t always accurately tell the story.

At the end of the day, though, the point of this sport is to help your team win games. And that’s simply not something Yunesky Maya has shown an ability to do since arriving in the major leagues last September.

On Friday night, Maya made his seventh career start. And for the seventh time, the Nationals lost the game, this one by a 4-0 count to the Diamondbacks.

Maya, who departed with one out in the fifth and the Nationals trailing only 1-0 at the time, was by no means the sole reason for this loss. Doug Slaten once again was unable to strand inherited runners and served up the bases-loaded triple that blew this game open. And a Washington lineup that had shown signs of life the previous three days was completely shut down by unheralded right-hander Josh Collmenter and two Arizona relievers.

But the onus still fell on Maya, who put his team in position to lose because he once again couldn’t navigate his way through the middle innings. Yanked by manager Jim Riggleman after plunking Justin Upton
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  1. sjm308 - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Not that anyone missed me but it's good to be back from 17 days in France. Amazing I could still read Mark from almost 4,000 miles way. Question, do we have another lefty in the minors waiting to takeover for Slaten? Could they try Detwiller in that role? I have not really had much time to check on things but it seems with Riggs talking about "health" that the dl is not far away for our lefthandedoneoutguy.Love to see us win two series in a row.Go Nats!!

  2. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Welcome back, sjm. I'm not jealous of your trip…much. ;-) Only problem is, after reading your comment, I crave a croissant. Furthermore, now that I've read the gamer, I'm hungry for a cream puff, too. Guess I'd better try to rustle up some breakfast here.Oh, and I'd be on board with another series win, or even a split. Now go find that bat rack, boys!

  3. sm13 - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Even with French subtitles, the Maya movie would look the same as it does here in the states — make it through 3 or 4 innings, then lose any idea of where the strike zone is, then suddenly look like you're too tired to pitch — THE END. I don't think one more major league start is going to convince anyone that Maya is not the same struggling pitcher from 2010. Call up Stammen and see if his numbers in Syracuse are a better indicator that he's learning how to succeed in the show.

  4. baseballswami - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Just awake and checking the results ( there isn't much to look at). Looks like even though MM's hit streak stopped, he played some D again. Was anyone expecting this? I know I wasn't – I thought he would hit well, but be awkward over there – this is a great surprise and should make it easier for AL to go ahead and have his surgery now.Think Hagerstown will sell a lot of tickets tomorrow? Oh – and how much more of S and S are we going to see? – Glad I was sleeping through it.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I feel badly for Doug Slaten, but man, we need the guy to be able to come in and get one bloody out. Just like his era is misleading, so is the 15/30 inherited runners scored stat, because if not for Laynce Nix's great catch, the numbers would read 18/30.Did anyone else find Jason Reid's column in today's Washington Post to come across as just trying to stir up crap? I know that some on this blog don't like the job that Rizzo has done, but I think most of us feel he's done a helluva job. Overall the pitching staff, both starters and relievers, are dramatically better then two years ago. The catchers were rotten then, too. The infielders are all huge upgrades from then also, with the exception of Zimm being down from injury. And opening day, two years ago, our outfield was one of the worse I'd ever seen. And there are at least a few rising stars down on the farm.This club was almost unwatchable two years ago, and now, they are very close to being very competitive. Jason Reid is some self professed muckraker that is offering nothing in his "evaluations" of Rizzo and the Nationals.

  6. Will - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    "You can't keep putting them in those situations," Riggleman said.Is anyone else amused by Riggleman's idiocy/hypocrisy/stupidity/whatever other word you want to choose?He calls out Maya for not putting the Nats in a position to win, yet Riggleman goes on to do everything in his power to ensure the Nats lose.Our worst pitcher in the bullpen? Doug Slaten. So of course, Riggleman uses him in a very high leverage situation: bases loaded and one out. Our LOOGY is getting destroyed by lefties, who are hitting .325 and slugging .607(!!!) against him. And what do you know, Slaten does what he's done all season- allowed every single inherited runner to score!Then needing some offense in the 8th, Riggleman inserts the worst batter on the team (second worst in all of baseball) into the game. And what happens? What has always happened- Stairs makes an easy out.What the heck is he thinking?! He said it himself, "You can't keep putting them in those situations"! How is he incapable of not seeing the irony here?

  7. Julie B - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. DCDingo - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Perhaps bringing in Slaten was to prove a point to Rizzo. It's the only good that could come from it.

  9. HHover - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Maya is the easier problem to solve–unless the problems with Gorzo are bigger than we've been led to expect, Maya goes back to the minors after one more start, max, and maybe not even that. But what to do about Slaten? I know he's a reliever and we're talking about a small sample size, but his numbers (beyond that deceptive ERA) are horrible, high WHIP (2+), high BB/9 (6+), etc. I don't see how he sticks around for much longer.

  10. baseballswami - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I agree with DCDingo – if Stairs is your pinch hitter and Slaten is your loogy, then that's who is getting paid to go in there. You put them in there and they do what they do and it's a giant neon sign that maybe they should NOT be getting paid to go in there. It's on Rizzo at this point – even if Riggs begs to keep them,Rizzo needs to act. I still think Matt Stairs needs to do the manning up, though.

  11. DCDingo - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    I'm grateful that Reid's column reveals how we finally got to hear from Eckstein. Interesting that MLB had to get involved. Not so sure about the fairness of the opening grafs, but it is a column.

  12. JayB - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    "I'm the GM and I can do whatever I want" do we really have that quote unreported by Mark?Baseball Writers of America filed a complaint and Commissioner's Office Stepped in? Is that also unreported?No question to Eck about 2 Strike Approach and taken strike 3's…..What is up here?

  13. ihatelosing - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Jason Reid's knowledge of baseball would fit inside Angel Hernandez's strike zone. All he cares about is the nfl – he even says that he feels that's what most people care about. Baseball teams are created over a long time. You just can't go into the team store and pick up a power- hitting outfielder. Sometimes even when you have the money, you can't make a deal or you have to over-pay ( ie -Werth). Teams are built through many years of drafting for depth, trading for pieces and gambling on free agents. It's not like putting together a fantasy team – which is probably the only thing Reid knows about baseball. He is a hack – probably terrified that the nfl will go on strike and he won't have a job so he better start writing about baseball.

  14. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Just read the Reid piece. Give me a break. Like the Post ever gave a rat's patoot about their coverage potentially helping the team grow a fan base. Rather, they were worried about offending that other team up north by skimping on coverage of them from the get-go. Who the heck is Reid to write about the Nats, anyway? Guess they didn't want Boz or Kilgore to do the piece and potentially get frozen out on future access. Waah, Mr. Commissioner, we can't talk to the hitting coach…boo hoo.Ahem, well, I seem to have had a few pent-up issues there. I feel *much* better now. Thanks for listening. So, how much do I owe you for the session? :-D

  15. MicheleS - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Also jealous of the trip to France…Does anyone know when Gorzy is able to come off the DL? Also, Mark, ask the question of how Gorzy feels and if there is any unofficial update on his condition, because we have seen this act before and it usually involves a trip under the knife…But on a brighter note, we should see RZim back soon!

  16. D'Gourds - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Maya simply isn't major league material yet. As Ray Knight said on the broadcast, you just can't walk the opposing pitcher as a leadoff hitter–PERIOD! And Slaten was even worse. His first three pitches to Drew with the bases loaded and one out weren't even close to strikes. That can't happen in the Majors. I know pitching is hard, especially in pressure situations, but that is why these guys get paid. Maya and Slaten must be sent down and replaced.Coffey, on the pther hand, has been absolutely fabulous–I love that guy. I wish we could clone 4 of him for the pen. He has excellent control, one nasty slider, and balls of steel.

  17. Doc - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    For the next few starts, before Gorzo returns, why not bring up one of the pitching prospects from AA/AAA.We already know what Maya can, or can't do. Rizzo & Co. should have known that before they brought him back up—that's what our eyes and ears are for!!!

  18. Anonymous8 - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    sjm308 said…Question, do we have another lefty in the minors waiting to takeover for Slaten? Could they try Detwiller in that role? -________________________ Welcome back! Your comment was echoed back in Spring Training by your namesake SteveM and everybody thought it was a lousy idea including me. Now it looks like pure genius but it still WON'T happen because Rizzo doesn't want to do anything, clearly. He is the BOSS as he has told everyone. What games is he watching. Nats now in games where Slaten allows an inherited runner to score 1-7 record. All other Slaten games, the Nats are 6-9. Coincidence? No. I think the more likely scenario is they will DFA Slaten and just bring up Balester. I think HenRod would be more effective against lefties than Slaten, heck RICK ANKIEL should be the new LOOGY and Riggleman wouldn't have to doubleswitch!Generally your past results are the best inidcator of the future. Well, we know Maya is good for 4 innings. Sounds like he should also be in the bullpen like Detwiler who can only pitch 3 innings. Rizzo, open up your eyes as you have a team in Washington that needs some CHANGE.

  19. slade - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Coffey's balls aside I agree with Gourds….Slaten and Maya must be replaced. It really seems to me like Rizzo is jamming Maya down our throats…I mean if the guy was major league material do you really think he wouldnt be on the yanks or red sox. Last season we gave him a pass because of his layoff…but spring training below average….Syracuse below average…and two starts not so good.The frustrating thing is there are other options….it is time we see them.

  20. Richard - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Yeah, the Reid article was amateur, high school newspaper stuff. He says the "GM has a lot to learn". Yeah, right. Primary he has to learn that you don't tell a Washington Post prima donna reporter who doesn't give a rat's patoot (thank you 1a) about baseball to back off. (He's like many in the Washinton media who are still, here in June, talking about the woe-be-gone Redskins, including, I'm sorry to say b/c of the Mark connection, the CSN cable station — oops, pent up Washington media issues here, too …). Reid criticizes Rizzo's baseball results briefly, without ever analyzing the pros and cons. Heck, he's a glorified blogger not a journalist. For example, Rizzo "grossly overpaying" for Werth and the roster stinks. But 95% of the article is about how Rizzo dissed the press. What a colossal jerk, IMHO ;-).

  21. rogieshan - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    The only viable option in the system to replace Slaten right now is Oliver Perez, but whether the latter is willing to be strictly a situational reliever is another question. I'd much rather see Balester or Mattheus get the promotion — sometimes the whole lefty-lefty matchup thing is overplayed.

  22. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    rogieshan, any data, examples re "sometimes the whole lefty-lefty matchup thing is overplayed"? Maybe the 30 MLB teams should know about this.

  23. masnstinks - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Looks like Maya is just not ready – or he has the stuff but just can't figure out how to pitch. With Pudge behind the plate, if you can't figure it out , you never will. Look at Garrett Mock ( I know, most of you would rather not), his "stuff" is constantly mentioned, but he just can't seem to pitch his way out of a paper bag. Other pitchers seem to get by on smoke and mirrors without electric stuff. Perhaps the problem is actually not in the arm, but between the ears? Isn't Burnett left-handed? Maybe we use him more often – he seems to pitch better when he pitches more often – and make him the loogy – I really think his problems are temporary and he will go back to his previous form. Lots of arms in the minors, maybe it's time to spot start each fifth day until Gorzo returns – eerily quiet on that front, isn't it? Paging Dr. Andrews?

  24. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Maya has no business pitching in the majors. This was a pathetic signing by Rizzo and the guy is 30 years old so he has no upside. Ankiel needs to go along with Stairs. Both are automatic outs. I think Rigglemen likes them because they remind him of himself when he tried to be a baseball player. So, it time to weed out the non producers and let's start with Maya, Ankiel and Stairs.

  25. Feel Wood - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    "I'm grateful that Reid's column reveals how we finally got to hear from Eckstein. Interesting that MLB had to get involved."Read that part again, and note that MLB got involved because of a complaint from the Baseball Writers Association of America. That complaint surely came from the Washington-Baltimore chapter of BBWAA, which consists of beat writers and columnists from the local media. (Note also that in the latest listing of BBWAA members in the Nats 2011 Media Guide, Jason Reid is not even there.) So here's how it went down: The Post writers who were frustrated that they couldn't talk to Eckstein put on their BBWAA hat and complained to MLB. MLB "had to get involved" just like your dad had to get involved when you kids were messing around in the back seat and "if you don't pipe down I'm going to have to stop this car." And this whole complaint about not being able to talk to Eckstein is right along those lines. "Daaaad, Mikey won't let Ricky talk to me!" Eckstein's job is to coach the hitters, not explain himself to the press. And even if Eckstein did want to talk to the press, there's nothing wrong with his boss Rizzo saying "No. Do your job." That's what a boss is supposed to do, set priorities for his employees.

  26. DCDingo - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Feel Wood, Lots of people on this very board wondered why we didn't hear from Eckstein. But agree, the column was in the worst parachute-in-and-throw-your-weight-around style of jounalism.

  27. JayB - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    I agree that Reid is a joke of a baseball writer….that is not the point…the point is the real baseball writers…..Mark is just about it really….did not report any of what is a real story about how Rizzo has really gone into a North Korea type lock down and may be losing his perspective and ability to make objective reflections on his off season plan. Rizzo has always had trouble admitting mistakes…..Recall his quotes from his "major International signings" last year…..Martin and Maya are MLB ready and the rest of the league is envious of our efforts….Chapman and Maya….a wash….right Mike.

  28. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Who cares about Reid he is worse that Stairs and Slaten put together.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Just got back from Chien Ming Wangs final extended ST outing before he goes out on his rehab assignment and it wasn't very encouraging.He was the victim of some shoddy shortstop play (an error in each inning) and his final line for 1.1 innings was 40 pitches, 2 hits, 2 walks, 1K, and 3 runs (2 earned). The discouraging part was that he hit 87 once with his sinker while the rest of them were 85 – 86. And his command was poor. I will be suprised if he gets past his 30 day rehab assignment successfully.

  30. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Seriously Riggleman has to stop pairing left handers against left handers until he gets a lefty who can get outs. Let his best do the job, Kimball, Rodriguez. Riggleman can be so mechanical it's frustrating…

  31. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    did not report any of what is a real story about how Rizzo has really gone into a North Korea type lock down and may be losing his perspective and ability to make objective reflections on his off season plan. I also really like Mark's former partner in crime Ben Goessling. Ben has been pretty patient with me. When I would get high "C" fan angst he would patiently, and carefully infer that the problems did not start with Riggleman but went much higher. And that a lot had to with lack of access. I thought about that carefully for awhile and realized he was right. And JayB, its not just Rizzo. Rizzo may be reflecting Ted Lerner's attitude (or as Boz put it: the invisible Lerners. This, I agree is a serious problem.But putting the entire onus on Rizzo (as Reid did) was incorrect. He really needed to talk to his colleague Boz first. That is "the Mayor's" mistake. He should be writing about the "deadskins" and not the Nats as well. It begins with ownership and works it way down. They set the tone (as well as the budget.) Fan access to ownership is severely limited. Thus the drop-off in season ticket sales. Given the drop-off in posters here and their demographic there are times when I think it is a sort of conspiracy to change the demographic. To get rid of the old-time, old-school, (read older) Senators fans and bring in younger, upwardly mobile fans. If that's the plan, let's face it its working.

  32. JD - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    - Nats Jack; I agree with you. It's sad. He used to be so good. – Slaten is not long for this team I,m sure. As soon as Rizzo is past the draft this week you will see a few changes let by the Slaten extraction. – The Nats are now projected to draft Bubba Starling on Monday; that would be awesome. Starling is considered the best athlete with the biggest upside in the draft but is scaring some people off because of sign ability/Boras issues and the fact that he is only projected to get to the majors in 2014. – Keith Law also has the Nats taking Alex Meyer; a stud college pitcher at 23.

  33. JD - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    JayB, Rizzo also brought you Capps, Nix and Coffee. Your criticism should be balanced. No one hits .1000 when filling a roster.

  34. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Bubba Starling has also signed a letter of intent to play football at Nebraska, and that might scare off people too. Given the choice of baseball or football the choice seems easy to me.

  35. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Question, do we have another lefty in the minors waiting to takeover for Slaten? Could they try Detwiller in that role?Detwiler is a 25 year old left handed power pitcher. No Rizzo and his brain-trust are not going to give up on him as a starter quite yet. For references see Garret Mock's age and he is right handed.Do they have left-handed relievers in the minors? The answer is yes. Attie Severino is back in Syracuse and on the 40-man but has yet to pitch a major league inning. He has been on the 40-man for around 3 years now? When are our beat writers going to ask Rizzo pointed questions about him? They DFA'ed Lee Hyde to get him off of the 40-man and he is a lefty reliever who is also back in Syracuse.Hassan Pena (he is right-handed) is another latin American power-pitcher in the H-Rod, Elvin Ramirez mode and is now in Syracuse. The closer in Syracuse is right-handed "Wang clone" Ryan Mattheus. In Harrisburg Cory VanAllen (a lefty) seemed like he was coming on but regressed. Patrick McCoy is another. Oliver Perez (a lefty) is currently a starter. After that there are lefty relievers like Josh Smoker and Evan Bronson who still look to be a ways off. Christopher Manno looks very interesting but he is still in Hagerstown.So, they would likely have to go outside to find a left-handed reliever at this point in the game.

  36. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    I think the Nats could end up with Geritt Cole … or Anthony Rendon.

  37. Grandstander - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    At a certain point, you have to realize this guy can't make an out. Just because he's LH, doesn't make him a LOOGY. Here's a list of our bullpen's BAA and OPS against Lefties this year.Burnett – .188/.508Clippard – .167/.535Coffey – .286/.875Kimball – .188/.600Rodriguez – .208/.595Slaten – .351/.952Storen – .211/.487Clearly, this isn't working.

  38. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    He calls out Maya for not putting the Nats in a position to win, yet Riggleman goes on to do everything in his power to ensure the Nats lose.And as I recall, his favorite guy Lannan barely made it alive through five against the Phillies and was rescued by lefty Sean Burnett. Lannan in many respects has looked worse than Maya.

  39. yankish2 - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Remember Jason Reid was trained by Michael Wilbon.

  40. Grandstander - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Bubba Starling is an interesting choice for the Nats. First, the Nebraska scholarship is classic Boras leveraging. He's going to be asking for well over slot for this kid, so he needs it.Now, the Nats have shown a willingness to go above slot and they've had high-level negotiations with Boras the past 2 number 1 picks. I think Rizzo is confident he can sign him and I'm confident the Lerner's will pay (I think they've bought into the idea of the value of the draft, getting great players on the cheap).The biggest problem I see with this is I don't know how high Rizzo is going to be on a "toolsy" high school kid. Rizzo loves college pitchers and there's a lot this draft.So far, the Pirates said they are taking Cole, and the Mariners have said they're taking Rendon. Let's see what happens.

  41. NatsNut - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Wow, 1a! nice rant! My hair blew back from the force of it! LOL

  42. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Thanks, NN. And I hadn't even had my morning coffee yet. 8-|

  43. jd - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Grandstander, Rizzo also drafted Cole and Ray out of high school. I'm not sure where we came up with this idea that he doesn't like high school players.

  44. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Oh, wait. I had my coffee earlier than that. hmmm…that could explain a few things…Let's see. The mind is the first thing to go. The second thing is…um…where did I put my coffee cup? Guess I'd better go have some more so I can stay up for Livo tonight.

  45. Gonat - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    “Slate’s a gamer,” Manager Jim Riggleman said. “He gives you everything he has. I’m not convinced Slaten feels good. His gun readings are what they are. They’re pretty much the same as they were. But when you’re missing with your pitches, you’re not confident to throw your slider for a strike and run your fastball in on guys. “I don’t know that he’s really 100 percent right now. The results are so different than what we had seen last year. I check with him all the time. He says, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ I know he’s better than this, you know?”

  46. Gonat - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    @Anonymous8 said…I think the more likely scenario is they will DFA Slaten and just bring up Balester. I think HenRod would be more effective against lefties than Slaten, heck RICK ANKIEL should be the new LOOGY and Riggleman wouldn't have to doubleswitch!June 4, 2011 9:38 AM Bingo, we have a winner! Go to HenRod or any effective person in the bullpen not named Slaten as they are all better than Slaten vs. Lefties.Riggleman, you aren't small ball but I thought you are smart ball? You keep going to the well and getting a pail full of sh*t from your well. Don't dig another hole, dig deeper!!!!That same advice goes for Stairs also. Jason Marquis is a better choice for a pinch hitter if you need a ball hit into the outfield.

  47. Feel Wood - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    The whole Eckstein brouhaha was a creation of lesser members of the press corps trying to make a name for themselves and sell papers. It was not a North Korea type lockdown at all. Rizzo made no mistake here other than ruffling idiots like Jason Reid who would have found something else to get ruffled about if he had made Eckstein available earlier on.Eckstein is a hitting coach, low on the totem pole. Dan Steinberg tried to compare it to an NFL team not making the offensive coordinator available, but it's not. More like the quarterbacks coach. And all a coach at that level can ever tell the press is generalities anyway. He can't reveal what he's got individual players working on, out of respect for their privacy and also not to provide information to opposing teams who would read the press comments. Likewise he can't talk overall strategy except at the most vague level. Responsible journalists like Zuckerman and Goessling knew this all along, which is why they didn't make a big deal out of it. It's only the overly self-important guys at the Post with an ax to grind who blew it out of all proportion.

  48. Gonat - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    rogieshan said… The only viable option in the system to replace Slaten right now is Oliver Perez, but whether the latter is willing to be strictly a situational reliever is another question. I'd much rather see Balester or Mattheus get the promotion — sometimes the whole lefty-lefty matchup thing is overplayed. June 4, 2011 10:06 AM That isn't the " only viable option" but thank you for coming up with something. Its either Detwiler or Perez, pronto or what I said in my last post.The LOOGY philosphy is as flawed as the Stairs idea of using a guy who can't do anything except try to hit a HR for you that never happens. He's slower than Todd Coffey and fields worse than Dmitri Young.If one-dimensional guys made sense, teams would hire sprinters to pinch run and steal bases. Hmmm, I actually like that idea. Is Bob Hayes avaialble?Earth to Rizzo, earth to Rizzo, we have a problem in the Nation's Capital!

  49. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    The whole Eckstein brouhaha was a creation of lesser members of the press corps trying to make a name for themselves and sell papers. Feel Wood, as Ben Goessling himself inferred its the sign of a bigger problem and then he created an indirection to the top.THERE IS NO PRESS ACCESS to Ted Lerner. There IS NO (or extremely limited) fan access to ownership. Ben laid this out as food for thought. What does that make you think?

  50. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Just for the record 5 people have joined Slaten and Stairs Must GO!!on facebook.

  51. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    I concur, Feel Wood. I don't really know Reid from Adam, but I gather he writes about the pointy-ball team, which I don't follow closely? Actually, I might know Kilgore if I saw him, because his pic is posted over on the NJ.On another note, daggone post gremlins ate my previous, very insightful and witty comment (trust me), so I'll have to craft a new one. The natsfan1 cohort regrets the error.I was curious as to the basis of Anon@12:57's comment as quoted below. My own impression has been that the quantity of comments here has risen over time, and that the number of individual commenters has risen as well. As for age, my impression has been that there are a number of "old-timers" in the crowd as well as young-uns. I suppose that I'm an old-timer myself, though I didn't live here during any of the former baseball team editions. I don't tend to read the comments at NJ or MASN these days, so I can't speak to a comparison as far as number of comments and comments. I also don't have a basis for commenting on team marketing goals, so I won't speculate on that front."Thus the drop-off in season ticket sales. Given the drop-off in posters here and their demographic there are times when I think it is a sort of conspiracy to change the demographic. To get rid of the old-time, old-school, (read older) Senators fans and bring in younger, upwardly mobile fans. If that's the plan, let's face it its working."

  52. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Make that "commenters" and comments.

  53. Knoxville Nat - Jun 4, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    With all the calls from certain posters on this site about the need for Eckstein to talk to the press, explain the "2 strike approach" many 3rd strike looking at bats, etc, why is it that seemingly no one has bothered to ask for Steve McCatty to explain Slaten's problems? Seems to me a double standard is in play here, attack the hitting coach but the pitching coach gets a pass.

  54. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 4, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    @ Knoxville We are talking about D.C. here. Double standards are always expected in this town.

  55. Feel Wood - Jun 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    "THERE IS NO PRESS ACCESS to Ted Lerner. There IS NO (or extremely limited) fan access to ownership."Ted Lerner is something like 85 years old. He is the patriarch of the family, but it's a family-based ownership and they are clearly grooming Mark Lerner to be the Managing Principal Owner when Ted is gone. There will be no Jack Kent Cooke/John Kent Cooke scenario here. Ted Lerner doesn't need to be available to the press unless for some reason he wants to be. Mark Lerner is every bit as accessible as any other MLB owner is, and he carries the full power of ownership whenever he speaks. That's more than good enough.

  56. DC Brewer - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I am pretty sure Joey Eischen is available!

  57. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    INFERENCE = what the receiver has inferredSigh, yes @DavidBinMD, my usage was correct. This was indeed what I inferred based on the context and not what was actually said.“[Language pedants] whip out their Sharpies and take away and add apostrophes from public signs, shake their heads at prepositions which end sentences, and mutter at split infinitives and misspellings. But do they bubble and froth and slobber and cream with joy at language? Do they ever let the tripping of the tips of their tongues against the tops of their teeth transport them to giddy euphoric bliss? Do they ever yoke impossible words together for the sound-sex of it? Do they use language to seduce, charm, excite, please, affirm and tickle those they talk to? Do they? I doubt it.They’re too farting busy sneering at a greengrocer’s less than perfect use of the apostrophe.”In other words languages are living things … not the stuff and nonsense people like to throw on white boards. Given the influx of Nationalities learning English for the first time … EVEN TODAY! It seems highly likely the language will evolve dramatically in just a few short years. It will be "epic".

  58. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Ted Lerner is something like 85 years old. He is the patriarch of the family, but it's a family-based ownership and they are clearly grooming Mark Lerner to be the Managing Principal Owner when Ted is gone.Ted was the guy who with Rizzo directly negotiated with Grienke and Werth. Look it up Feel Wood. He is still deeply involved much like JKC and will be until he keels over. Mark appears much like JKC son John. Unable to stand in his father's footsteps.

  59. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    The press is one thing, but as a fan I don't require or desire personal access to the owners (disclaimer: your mileage may vary, as always).

  60. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    I was curious as to the basis of Anon@12:57's comment as quoted below. My own impression has been that the quantity of comments here has risen over time, and that the number of individual commenters has risen as well.Another inference on my part based in observation NOT an implication. I have observed a drop-off in the original posters on the WaPo NJ site from 2 years or so ago. I noted and carefully considered Golfersal's impassioned entreaty. I should qualify: the older Senator's fans have been fading … and perhaps giving up their season's tickets to Nats games? And perhaps they will be replaced by a far younger crowd? I don't really know the answer …

  61. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:14 PM

  62. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    The press is one thing, but as a fan I don't require or desire personal access to the owners (disclaimer: your mileage may vary, as always).Not personal per se' but the same as any other owner of local sports franchise's. That access is typically through the press, through fan requests, issues and problems issued to ownership through the hierarchy. For example:George Steinbrenner was accessible to the press and so one could INFER some access by the fan base as well.

  63. Mark'd - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    I like creative suggestions to help this team. Oliver Perez and Detwiler are 2 good ideas.I also agree the concept of a LOOGY isn't what this team needs.Otherwise Kimball is your best option if he can take the pressure of coming in with men on base.

  64. KC5 - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    I suspect the drop off at NJ has more to do with that awful software upgrade than anything else. That is one of the reasons I am here. That site is terrible now and for someone that does not post too much I gave up.

  65. baseballswami - Jun 4, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    I have stopped posting , and also following very much on NJ because of the terrible format. People get cranky here, but it's doable. I concur that perhaps we do not need a Loogy at this point – starters have to get out lefties and righties, perhaps bullpen guys can do that also. We already have one specialist – the " one who shall not be named" , who supposedly can only do one thing – except that he can't seem to do it. I like the guys who can do many things in many places for now. Perhaps in a few years when we are a veritable powerhouse team and have an incredible roster top to bottom, we can have specialists such as a loogy or a pinch hitter who does nothing else. For now – give me players with multiple tools so that we can cover for the inevitable disabled list people. How about we specialize in hitting, fielding and throwing strikes?

  66. Ribuld - Jun 4, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    I'd like access to the owner of the Washington Post. It's time for WAPO to invest in some major league writers and DFA the career minor league hacks like Reid.

  67. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Thanks for clarifying, Anon@4:12. As others have noted, the new interface is the main reason that I only rarely read or post comments on NJ. That said, I'd also noticed a commenter drop-off there compared to early times.

  68. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Specifically, too slow to load. Too cumbersome to post.

  69. Anonymous - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Looks like Mr. Boswell has joined his colleagues lately and has been quite hack like himself. I expect more from someone with his background.

  70. natsfans1 - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    LOL, 4:14. That's one of my favorite scenes. Actually, I have a lot of favorite scenes from that flick.

  71. natsfan1a - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Christopher Walken had a good one. But I digress.

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