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Beltway Baseball Live – 7/21/11

Jul 21, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Thanks to everyone who watched today's live edition of Beltway Baseball at 1 p.m. Chase Hughes and I discussed plenty of topics, including the upcoming July 31 trade deadline, Chien-Ming Wang's pending arrival in D.C. and Stephen Strasburg's soon-to-be-pending return to Nationals Park. And as always, we answered your questions on the Nats.

If you missed the show live, no worries. Here's the entire episode, split into two parts, for your enjoyment. You can watch Part II below…Read more »

  1. Doc - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    WOW! 6:00 AM Mark! Talk about an early start!It was noted on one of the more recent broadcasts, that Davey was the Nats' guy that originally scouted Jesus Flores for the team. Apparently with the 21 HRs that he had for that Mets' A team, and Gary Carter's recs.Does Davey still think that Flores has it?Also, speaking of Kid Carter, would the Nats consider having a special day for Gary Carter, given his current health issues?

  2. Water23 - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    What is the status of draft signings?

  3. Jimmy - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Lance Nix might get traded and would Michael Morse move back to left and Marrero get a call up?

  4. Another_Sam - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    I'm still a Morse skeptic and doubter. I'm thinking that he can't play anywhere except first base. I hope the brass remembers that he was a pretty much a bust until moving to the right side of the infield.

  5. Unkyd - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    I have Beast at "1B/utility". +D, at 1B, decent bench value, elsewhere. As a starter, you want him at 1B. His bat is f'real, and that far outweighs any advantage LaRoche has with the glI've…Does LRoche figger to be well enough to trade, come ST? One year on his contract, and I don't recall the $$ being prohibitively onerous…

  6. Luqman Sh-Hersi - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    I am amazed how the Nationals have been performing during the season. I liked how Rizzo said they are still looking towards the trade deadline. My question is will the Nationals be buyers or sellers in the trade deadline to either improve the roster by building more arms in the bullpen or sell players to other teams like they have done in years past? What does the Nationals need to do to have a strong second half? I am looking forward to your response.

  7. Nats Fan in TX - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Why has the team defense slipped under Davey Johnson?

  8. Bups - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    I am very disappointed in Davey Johnson. The team is four under .500 since he took over despite a soft schedule. He seems lifeless and acts like an 80 year old.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    How much value do you think the Nats can/will get from Marquis? If you had to guess, where does he end up and what do we get for him?

  10. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    What long term value do you put on Zimmerman? Good defender but ole's the hot one's to his side. Can't trust his throws in general. Nice bat but prone to long unproductive slumps. Plus he's injury prone. I don't think he's an $18 million player. Maybe trade him while valus is high and count on Rendon?

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Are the Nats planning on lobbying for Espinosa for ROY? (Honestly, I wonder if they know how, but that's not a question.)

  12. goldglove silverslugger - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    As opposed to long, productive slumps?

  13. Big Cat - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    What is that saying that Bill Parcells had. "We are what our record says we are" Well, while improved, the Nats are a sub .500 ballclub. The pitching was magnificent the first half, but has slipped lately. The hitting will probably come around some this second half. Lord knows it couldn't get much worse. Rizzo has us on the right path though. I feel that old goat Manuel knew what he was talking about when he said we were 3 years away

  14. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Not to beat a dead horse… but any predictions as to how or when…or even if Werth breaks out of his horrendous season long slump? Im hoping you guys may have some insight… thanks.Nats fan from North Jersey(to be a little less anonymous)

  15. Big Cat - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Golly whiz…..Wewrth swung at a first pitch and hit the ball hard a couple times. As Eck said "…it plants the seed in their heads." Good going Eck, now go get your paycheck…..a job well done!

  16. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    I remember Cal Ripken changing his stance 2-3 times a year. Sometimes drastically. What would it hurt to push Desi and Ramos a couple inches closer to the plate and close up their stance a little

  17. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    There were comments yesterday on Werth in the clubhouse and his interaction (unpleasant) with some fans.Can't speak to either, but, my own observation was that when we were winning, he was the first out of the dugout to high-five other players, that he consistently encourages Bernie in centerfield, and that he's been mentally "in" every game. It speaks volumes to me that Morse was there first to congratulate him yesterday. Morse, who isn't paid 1/10 of what Werth is getting, is glad for his good at-bats. Doesn't strike me as the team resenting Werth or anything like that.What I think is this, the man wants to WIN, period. He doesn't take it as a "job". In contrast to Willie Harris (who I DO like and miss), he probably doesn't sleep well at night when things are going bad. Willie took a lot of guff for saying he sleeps fine after a loss if his mother is okay.You can't have it both ways. Would be interested in Mark's impressions on Werth as a teammate, if he can share them.

  18. Scooter - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    A fine question, NatsLady. Little side note: I think Morse was "there first" because he had just scored on Werth's homer. (he was on first)

  19. sjm308 - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I realize this is supposed to be postings with questions for Mark but I wanted to clarify to NatsLady that my comments were not about Werth being a good/bad teammate but specifically how he treated a group of young female fans who were happy just to see ballplayers for the first time in person in a hotel lobby. It was not a classy act to say the least.

  20. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    sjm, thanks. There were some other postings about Werth having "cleaned up his act" in the clubhouse in Philly. Not going back through hundreds of postings to find it, but kind of struck me because of all the "Werth is a great veteran presence" talk we had from Nats this spring.

  21. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Like NatsLady, I can't speak to clubhouse or player-fan interactions, nor can I speak to what motivates any individual player, and I'm also not much inclined to take a third party's word on such things. That said, I did also notice the Morse-Werth post-dinger interaction on the broadcast last night. Morse made a couple of passes to tap Werth's helmet for him (as Morse does to himself after hits), and Werth finally tapped his own helmet once. I recall reading that Morse had long admired Werth and (if memory serves) even sought him ought for advice, so perhaps that factored into MM's reaction as well. Regardless of motivations, was nice to see, imho.

  22. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Disclaimer: I did not read the game thread last night and thus did not see sjm's comments or any of the Phillies clubhouse comments that were referenced (Although, do I really care about the Phillies clubhouse, either past or present? I think not. But I digress.). My comments above were general in nature and related to my personal inclinations regarding second- or third-hand information or anecdotal evidence. I prefer to form my opinions/impressions based on my own observations and/or research. Of course, others are free to do the same. Your mileage may vary. This offer void where prohibited. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Etc. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  23. NatsFan1a's legal department - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Offer not good after curfew in sectors R or N.Captcha: "prejoys"One can hope.

  24. gonatsgo - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Is there anyone, anywhere on any blog, newspaper, tv, etc. who has the cajones to ask why Matt Stairs is still taking up a roster spot? Pudge coming back soon – I guess Flores will go back to AAA – not saying he doesn't need it. Some of the pitchers have appeared to struggle working with him. Follow up to Bups above – why is Davey Johnson having so much trouble handling the pitchers?

  25. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Another topic: What is Detwiler's role, and why isn't he being used more?Silly word is "chantirr" — I guess that's me (singer).

  26. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Thanks, legal eagles. You can just put that one on my tab. ;-)My question: what is the team road record when CSN sends Mark on trips, as opposed to when they don't? Okay, not really.ummm…your best guess as to who could/would fill in the rotation when Z'nn is shut down and if another Nats starter (cough…Marquis) is traded?

  27. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jul 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Thoughts about moving Desmond and Livo to Arizona now that Stephen Drew is out for the season and get some building block pieces in return??

  28. al m - Jul 21, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Regarding Worth. He is on our team for many years and therefor I want him to do well and was happy he hit yesterday. BUT first hand, at the Nats dream foundation gals, I saw him turn down kids and adults asking for an autograph or picture with him. Not while he was eating or doing something, just when he was sitting. Every other Hat, and they were all there, signed and took pics with the fans who had paid alot of money to be at the event. That says much about the kind of person he is. Several other things happened there but I'll leave it at that.Al M

  29. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Honestly, I know they pay a lot of money to Werth, and I know it's obligatory that he show up at these events (like in the tux a few weeks ago), but it's clear he's not that type guy. Me, I HATE those kind of events and if I were Werth, I'd give back big bucks not to have to do them, put it in my contract.Well, he can't, it's part of big-league baseball. But I for one would rather have him hit .320 than sign even one autograph. That's just me.

  30. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 21, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    gonatsgo said… Is there anyone, anywhere on any blog, newspaper, tv, etc. who has the cajones to ask why Matt Stairs is still taking up a roster spot?What did they say when *you* asked them?

  33. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Ditto, especially that last paragraph (and fwiw Zimm doesn't always sign, either, which I believe is due to some sort of contractual constraint). Also, isn't the goal of the Dream Foundation event to raise money for charitable causes? If so, then it went to a good cause, even if everyone didn't get an autograph. So there's that.NatsLady said… Honestly, I know they pay a lot of money to Werth, and I know it's obligatory that he show up at these events (like in the tux a few weeks ago), but it's clear he's not that type guy. Me, I HATE those kind of events and if I were Werth, I'd give back big bucks not to have to do them, put it in my contract. Well, he can't, it's part of big-league baseball. But I for one would rather have him hit .320 than sign even one autograph. That's just me. July 21, 2011 12:37 PM

  34. The Great Unwashed - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    There's a lot of questions about Werth lately so I'll add my own.I'm no hitting coach, but I've noticed that when Werth swings, he ends up almost kneeling down on one knee. It's bizarre. I've never seen anything like it and that body position would seem to take the power out of your swing. That may explain why he hits a lot of catchable fly balls.Has anyone else noticed that, and Mark, do you have any comments about that, or his work with Eckstein in general?

  35. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    why is Davey Johnson having so much trouble handling the pitchers?Loaded question that makes a presumption there, eh? Then we can follow with "when did you stop beating your wife?"

  36. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Mark, enjoyed the online show very much, except I couldn't always hear you. Heard the other guy just fine.

  37. raymitten - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Interesting comments about Werth at the gala. I wasn't there – but I can tell you that I met Werth at spring training and he was unbelievably nice. He approached me, shook my hand, chatted for a minute and signed a baseball and jersey. And he did this with no one around; it would have been just as easy for Werth to have blown me off — no one would have ever known. But he didn't. I'm a huge Riggleman supporter, and as such I can tell you my Werth fandom is certainly tentative at best these days, but I can tell everyone first hand that my personal fan encounters with him in Viera were incredibly positive.

  38. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Missed the live broadcast but will be interested to watch the video later.

  39. Steve M. - Jul 21, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    From response to the conditions at Pfitzner Stadium Nats High A from Prince William County's Mr. Stewart:“Rizzo ought to focus on doing his job, which could probably use some improvement,” Mr. Stewart said, voice shaking. “He’s talking out of his rear end. … He doesn’t know what’s happening because he didn’t bother to check.“Frankly, he’s not a good manager. He’s received a lot of criticism for his performance for the job he should be doing. He should stick to the job he’s supposed to do instead of getting involved in something he doesn’t know about.”This is my favorite line "He’s received a lot of criticism for his performance for the job he should be doing." I wonder if Mr. Stewart has read some of our opinions (criticism) on Trader Rizz! Harsh words!

  40. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Yeah, well, Mr. Stewart, I've been to the Pfitz on a day when it rained. If you were doing YOUR job, Bryce Harper would have spent some time there, why wouldn't he??? And if you don't clean up your act (and your stadium), Stras ain't coming there either.

  41. Dawn - Jul 21, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    While I have never asked for an autograph in my life, I know people who do with different results. Went to a fan/player banquet a few years ago and a high profile (serious AL Cy Young candidate this year)was present and signing autographs. I was standing in line with my nephew and just wanted to shake his hand, he had pitched in the WS the previous year, the guy in front of me had 2 balls to sign, he signed one, the pitcher smiled and said that was his limit. I thought it was arrogant until I saw that same fan hand the extra ball to his son in line behind me. The kid had changed his hat & shirt and was in line with his third ball. The pitcher muttered under his breath "it takes all kinds". My nephew got his handshake and the other fan and his kid probably had 5-6 balls they turned around and sold, no percentage went back to the pitcher of course. It is part of the gig and I never judge players unless I see the rudeness first hand.

  42. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Gotta go out and face the heat, so here is my last thought on the autograph subject:I've only gotten one autograph in my life, and that I regretted– a semi-famous British composer/conductor who clearly expected a crowd of autograph seekers and would have been offended if everyone didn't come forward, so I followed the crowd. (I've given autographs when asked.)But I've never understood why performing or playing isn't enough. If you perform or play well, you are totally focused on that, before and during, and you are exhausted and drained after. You have given everything, why do you have to give more? It's like fans want to suck everything out of you. I don't get it. (And that's not even considering the previous poster's comment about selling autographed balls).

  43. PAY TO PLAY - Jul 21, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    al m said… Regarding Worth. He is on our team for many years and therefor I want him to do well and was happy he hit yesterday. BUT first hand, at the Nats dream foundation gals, I saw him turn down kids and adults asking for an autograph or picture with him. Not while he was eating or doing something, just when he was sitting. Every other Hat, and they were all there, signed and took pics with the fans who had paid alot of money to be at the event. That says much about the kind of person he is. Several other things happened there but I'll leave it at that.Al M July 21, 2011 12:32 PM Al, I copied a description of the gala below and it doesn't seem to me to be the type of event for kids. I am sort of surprised there were kids there as I looked through photos on the Nats site and didn't see any children so if they were there I am sure there weren't many kids. Isn't the gala more of a meet & greet and shake hands and maybe take photos?http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/foundation/index.jsp?mc=photos&event=gala2011The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation will celebrate the Big Leagues at the annual Dream Gala. This year's Hollywood-themed festivities will take place at the spectacular Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor on Saturday, June 18, 2011.Meet the stars-the Nationals players, coaches and other luminaries-during the cocktail reception and silent auction at 7:00 p.m. An elegant dinner with live entertainment and dancing follows. The evening will be capped off with a VIP After Party in the resort's sleek Pose nightclub.

  44. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Those quotes by Corey Stewart are just pathetic. Ad hominem attacks by an elected representative are uncalled for and disturbing. I don't know what exactly the Commissioner of the County Board of Supervisors job description entails, but I am pretty sure it doesn't involve second guessing the GM of a professional baseball team.Rizzo comes off looking very collected and professional in that article, while Stewart looks like a total loose cannon. An embarrassment for PW County, IMHO.

  45. PAY TO PLAY - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Anonymous said… Those quotes by Corey Stewart are just pathetic. Ad hominem attacks by an elected representative are uncalled for and disturbing. I don't know what exactly the Commissioner of the County Board of Supervisors job description entails, but I am pretty sure it doesn't involve second guessing the GM of a professional baseball team.Rizzo comes off looking very collected and professional in that article, while Stewart looks like a total loose cannon. An embarrassment for PW County, IMHO. July 21, 2011 3:11 PM See, you know his name and title. Corey Stewart is getting his 15 minutes of fame. He may also be a baseball fan and have some legitimate criicism of Rizzo. He didn't elaborate so that may be in his next rant.I do agree that Stewart came across looking bad in this and many independent sources have said the Prince William field is in bad shape. It cost them Bryce Harper. I actually feel bad for the owner as he doesn't own the stadium. Possibly this is all political maneuvering by all parties to get the taxpayers of PW County to fund a new stadium otherwise I could see the Nats finding a breach of contract and other legal maneuvers to get out there and find another venue.

  46. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Anonymous said… Those quotes by Corey Stewart are just pathetic. Ad hominem attacks by an elected representative are uncalled for and disturbing. No kidding. Does he think Rizzo's the cause of so many games called because of unplayable fields?He's acting like a politician that's trying to cover his patooie.

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Patooie. Expectorate it.

  48. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Steve M and P2P, where can this article of which you speak be found?(And I LOL'd, sec3. Had I been imbibing, I would have spit it out all over my monitor.)

  49. NatStat - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    I always thought it was, 'patootie'. Ah, well, patooie, patootie—they still need to be covered.

  50. Gonat - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    natsfan1a, It was in the Washington Timeshttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/20/potomac-nationals-field-a-source-of-three-way-spat/

  51. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Thanks, Gonat, and good point, NatStat.

  52. Gonat - Jul 21, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Al M./P2P, on the Dream Foundation Gala, I was there and there were less than 5 kids there. Yes, if someone pays the $500 a head I guess they can bring kids although it is an adult event.After the dinner was over, I saw some people got their programs and books signed although it is the first time at a gala that I saw players signing but that seemed to be discreet and alright. I did see an older gentleman at the cocktail hour who had a team baseball he was getting signed which did raise a few eyebrows. Now on one hand it doesn't say "no autographs" but there is a time and place for everything. I can tell you that I saw Werth and his wife talking to non-players and seemed to be having a good time.

  53. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… Patooie. Expectorate it.My first out loud chuckle of the day.

  54. Mark'd - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Good stuff on an off day. Watch the Dexter Fowler hilights for the most amazing missed Suicide Squeeze steal of home you will ever see.

  55. A DC Wonk - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Mark'd said… Good stuff on an off day. Watch the Dexter Fowler hilights for the most amazing missed Suicide Squeeze steal of home you will ever see.Can you post a URL? Sounds intriguing.

  56. Mark'd - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    DC Wonk- it is in the MLB.com Rockies/ Braves highlights. I don't want to spoil it with a full description but it goes down as "I have never seen that before"

  57. FS - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Wasn't that play lucky? I mean suicide was on so Dexter was going to run anyway. Chacin missed the bunt but McCann dropped the ball so Fowler was able to score. Isn't that what happened?

  58. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    I don't think AZ is going to come to Rizzo for help. If they can't afford what it would take to get Jamey Carroll? You think they could afford what Rizzo would ask for Desmond?I don't see that happening.

  59. Mark'd - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    FS – super lucky. Missed suicide squeezes are almost always scored as a caught stealing. I thought the ball bounced off of Mcanns mask and when I watched live thought it was a foul ball. Crazy play.

  60. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    What about Milwaukee? Do they have anything we want? Don't they have problems in their infield?

  61. Gonat - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Remember that guy who annoyed the Nats in San Diego named Anthony Rizzo? He fell apart after the Nats left town and was sent back to the Minors.

  62. Gonat - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Mark'd, thanks for the heads up on the Dexter Fowler play.Here is the video clip calling it FOUL:http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17131523&c_id=col

  63. Gonat - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=rizzoan01&t=b&year=Anthony Rizzo batting .143 Look at his game stats from the callup against the Nats and every game after that.

  64. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/ozzie-guillen-hit-foul-ball-rant_n_905642.html?asid=779df12eOzzie Guillen's latest rant (not for the faint of heart).

  65. pos anon - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Watch a great and underrated baseball movie–Three Wishes starring Patrick Swayzee. Must see for baseball fans.

  66. Unkyd - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    So it's come to this….. Y'all are just running Desi up the flag pole, with a BOGO coupon pinned to his cap….

  67. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    Unkyd — Naw, we're just bored. We love Desi, we're trying to read Rizzo's mind.

  68. Al M - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    I sat next to him for dinner at the Gala and his wife was very pleasant. I'm not going to post any more negative stuff on a public site. He's on our team and I would rather he hit .310 also. He's a Nat so I will cheer for him, but he is who he is.

  69. FS - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Marquis, Coffey and Nix will be gone. They can be signed later in the off-season, if we are interested. I would not trade any players we have control over for more than a year right now, not even Burnett. Oh yeah, I want to hold on to both Livan and Pudge.If we really find the right deals for Clippard or Desmond, we should look to move them in the off-season, not right now.Some nationals fans have complained about not having a manager who blows up in the media or shows frustration. Well Guillen is your guy buddies. Never seen anyone more [expletive] expressive! LOLMark'd, I still can't tell how it was not foul. did it just hit his glove?

  70. Unkyd - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    NatsLady…. :)

  71. sjm308 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Just read that we have finally cut ties with Chico as well as Gaudin. I can look this up but were both on the 40 man roster. If so, does that mean we are going to make moves in house or is this setting something up for a trade?

  72. JaneB - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    Seems like the sound guy here wasn't quite awake…odd levels..I hope Wang really is healthy. I guess we may not see Marquis at home again.

  73. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Don't see either Gaudin or Chico on the current 40-man. Do see some strange names…http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=was

  74. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Can we have Justin instead of his brother??? That was a NICE home run he just hit in AZ.

  75. Gonat - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    NatsLady, I believe Gaudin was removed from the 40 man so the Nats have 39 currently since 60 Day DL players don't have to be on the roster.Now they have room to add Wang back next week.

  76. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Gonat, that makes sense. I didn't count 'em up. Not quite THAT bored…

  77. Drew8 - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    Notes from Game One of the six-game Richmond Harperama, an 8-5 Richmond win over Harrisburg.For much of tonight's contest, Harper did not look hitterish or fielderish. He looked lost.Playing before a sweltering, boisterous crowd of 9,560 the Kid went 1 for 5. While he wasn't charged with an error, he also misplayed two balls in left field, contributing to four Richmond runs. Note to self: He's tremendously gifted. He's also 18.Here's the rundown:Top of the 2nd: Harper is either kinetic, of just fidgety in his first AB against lefty Clayton Tanner, an Aussie. He fouls off a fastball, checks his swing on a ball, then shows bunt before going down on a weak comebacker. Second baseman Adam Fox follows with a homer to left.Bottom of the 2nd:Harper ends the frame by catching a fly and tossing it to a kid wearing a Jeter jersey. Wrong hero, kid.Middle of the 3rdThe PA announcer urges a certain fan to call his parole officer, adding: "It's important!" Seriously. A Mexican restaurant sponsors the video part of the scoreboard, so certain opposing hitters are pictured wearing an animated sombrero. At least it's not the Golden Sombrero. (Harper is spared this indignity.)Later, Young Cheerful People(TM) toss plastic pig snouts into the stands. (Don't ask me.) It's the Bonfire of the Inanities.Top of the 4th:Tyler Moore comes to the plate and the PA guy plays the MTM theme: "You might just make it after all…." Cute. Guess Moore isn't pleased. He crushes his 22nd homer over the left field wall.Tanner gives Harper a steady diet of breaking stuff. He strikes out swinging.Bottom of the 4th:The inning starts well enough, then turns into an adventure. Harper glides to his right to catch a fly for the first out. Then he makes a fine running catch to his left.But then, with two outs and two on, he appears to take a bad route on a liner down the left field line. He takes a step in, then steps back and raises his glove in a futile gesture. Two runs score. Juan Perez is credited with a double.Bottom of the 5th:Oh no. With two outs and two on, Harper breaks in on another liner by Juan Perez. The ball sails over his head and two more runs score. Perez is credited with an even more charitable double. Top of the 6th:Harper leads off the inning. Harrisburg trails 8-3. Facing righty Edwin Quirarte, he rips an 89 mph fastball to right, to break the 1-for-27 drought. Attaboy.Stephen King homers to left, scoring Harper. It's 8-5.Top of the 7th:So much for the storybook ending. Following walks to Bill Rhinehart and Tyler Moore, Harper comes up with a chance to be the hero. I'm hoping he'll hit one off the diaper billboard above the right field wall. (Hit diaper, win steak?)Alas, on a 2-2 pitch he chops some 86 mph slop to the first baseman.Bottom of the 7th:Nats fans behind the cage hold their breath for an anxious moment. Harper chases a fly ball into foul territory and slides into the barrier between the field and the bullpen. He stays on the ground for what seems like a standing 8 count, but he's apparently just catching his breath. Whew.Top of the 8th:Derek Norris guns out Perez stealing second. Norris is having a nice game, with his 52nd walk and a triple that shoots the gap in right.Bottom of the 9th:Harper closes out the game with an OK Corral at bat against Richmond closer Heath Hembree, who can bring it. Harper draws "ooohs" from the crowd by fouling back some 96 mph cheese, then lofts an 86 mph breaking ball to the warning track in left center.First impressions — Harper's like a young lion. He's not there yet, but you can see the potential, and he sure is entertaining.P.S. He raised his average to .175.

  78. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    Drew8: tl;dr, but the first part was very funny. I'll read it later.Al M, good on ya, mate. Keep the vibe up. FWmhoIW."pakerd"Don't know what to think about that.

  79. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    Drew8, thanks, great report! Really makes you think about the amount of skill (not just talent) that goes into being an MLB player.

  80. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:13 AM

    NL, I suspect you are one who knows show business is 10% show and 90% business.

  81. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    "Harper is either kinetic, of just fidgety"Did you mean kinesthetic?Serious question.nevermind. the captcha was "trash" and the next one was "verati"The blog is confused.

  82. Drew8 - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    Sec:By kinetic OR just fidgety, I just meant that he's constantly in motion.

  83. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    you can call me Sofa.Fidgety. Ok.

  84. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Didn't follow the link but am not a big fan of Ozzie's rants. Still recall the time he went off on that young pitcher. (Jerk. Oops, did I type that out loud?)

  85. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    This wasn't one of his better ones–more profanely depressed and disgusted at his own team's lack of an approach at the plate, and general sleepwalking. He did make it a point to say, several times, that the KC pitchers were good, no disrespect intended, but his hitters were dogging it.

  86. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Sean Tracey was the (White Sox) pitcher in the situation I was recalling. One version of the story was that Guillen went off because the kid got a groundout (after going inside on the batter twice) rather than plunking the batter. Pierzynski had been HBP twice earlier in the game. (And that's a problem why? Just kidding. Sort of.)http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2485365

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