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One fantastic start

Aug 10, 2011, 5:19 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Chien-Ming Wang tossed six innings of one-hit ball to beat the Cubs.

CHICAGO — It’s only one start. That’s what Chien-Ming Wang and the Nationals had to remind themselves late Tuesday night after the right-hander carved his way through the Cubs’ lineup like a hunk of tender meat during a 3-1 victory at Wrigley Field.

There’s no guarantee he’ll do this again Sunday in Philadelphia or any other time he takes the mound over the next seven weeks. There’s no guarantee, after a major shoulder injury that took away two years of his life, he’ll ever be able to do this again on the big-league stage.

But there’s nothing wrong with fantasizing a little bit right now, wondering whether Wang’s six innings of one-hit ball might just be a precursor of things to come. Maybe, just maybe, he can join Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan in a 2012 rotation that might actually catapult the Nationals to heights previously unreached.

“That’s the reason why we took a chance on him,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “Because he was so good. If he comes all the way back … he’d be a good person to have in your organization.”

If there were any uninformed patrons among the crowd of 37,109 at Wrigley Field Tuesday night — those who remembered Wang from his dominant days with the Yankees but unaware of what has transpired
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  1. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    What a great performance given by CMW tonight! It will be great to see he gets the 2nd win in the next outing! Go Nationals!

  2. Scott from Burke - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    Morse's homer went far..real far…and the next two at bats were outstandingand Rizzo must feel great tonight..its the nature of the job all gm's get criticism, except the guy who wins it all, and hes probably feeling heat for the werth signing and disappointing year, but if wang can have 3 or 4 good saves in a row that will be some vindication.

  3. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    mark – in para 5, should be "uninformed" instead of "uniformed" – miggt even be worth updating the post on that one.

  4. Big Cat - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Wow….Wang……nasty sinker. Another feather in Rizzo's hat.Morse is hitting the ball so far it almost seems unnatural.

  5. Big Cat - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Good to see Burnett throw a scoreless inning when it counted. My boy HRod might just be on the backburner for a while. Sorry Henry

  6. Slidell - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Regarding Morse's dinger, the Cubs radio announcer said that he had been there 16 years, and he could not remember anyone hitting one out that far in CF.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Just last week the neganons were all over Rizzo for both Wang AND Gomes…. funny how silent they get when the Nats look so improved and the Orioles sink deeper into Angelos hell.

  8. Big Cat - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Gosh……the O's….what the hell happened. Watched a little last night and they had a pitcher who has started 28 games without a win. Now how does that happen……only with a pitiful ballclub

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    On another note…. I want to shout out to the Detwiler family and especially Ross's Dad who I had the pleasure of meeting last spring in Viera. I'm sure that they will make the trip to Chicago to watch Ross get his first road victory as a Major Leaguer. I'm still rooting for Ross to get over the "second time through" hump. He just has to stay out of the heart of the plate and not be afraid to "bore in" on right handers.

  10. flynnie - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Oh, for another Wang sinker-fest against the Phillies and their fans. Wang's singular advantage is that he does not speak English, so he won't understand the vile bile hurled his way.

  11. flynnie - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Natsjack – your comments are particularly valuable this morning, making us grateful for Rizzo, Wang and Gomes. And it's nice to hear that good folks like the Detwilers will see their son win in the City of Broad Shoulders and Slaughterhouses. @Bigcat – Blue called a safe O out on 3rd and then tossed Buck to squash the O's best chance to win.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I'm still in awe of Wang's performance last night. Once he got the 3rd out in the 1-2-3 first inning, his confidence seemed to just soar. So, if he really is back, say he has several more successful outings,Rizzo deserves some praise for this. But, again, if he's back, could he, and his agent, in good faith, not re-sign to a reasonable offer from the Nats? I mean without testing the free agent market. The Nats took a huge gamble on him and paid him for 2 years while he healed. I think that he will show loyalty to Rizzo. This will be interesting.

  13. flynnie - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    From Chicago by Carl (not Ryne) Sandberg, 1916"Hog butcher for the world,Tool maker, stacker of wheat,Player with railroads and the nation's freight handler;Stormy, husky, brawling,City of the big shoulders."

  14. flynnie - Aug 10, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    @Joe Seamhead:"Loyal? I'm the most loyal player money can buy."- Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, A's & Angels pitcher Don Sutton

  15. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    MarkZ, wondering if you can comment on the fact that we do not have a club option on Wang for 2012. It just seems odd tat Rizzo would invest so much for 2 years and have no control over next year.

  16. Joe Seamhead - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Anonymous said…Game was postponed last night and CMW still gave up 3 first inning runs. Sorry, that's mean. BUT TRUE!August 9, 2011 8:55 AMHey, man, you want some duck sauce with that crow?

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Here's my post during the rain delay last Wednesday on Wang's last start against the Braves. NatsJack in Florida said… While we are in the rain delay, let me say that the things I see in Wang are all fixable. Granted, his command isn't anywhere near what it needs to be and he tends to get on the side of his sinker more that on top of it but these can be fixed with a little work. He needs to do the same thing that LannEn has done and attack the hitters with his fastball, and he'll have to figure out a way to miss a few bats every now and then with his off speed stuff but all in all, he looks like he can make it back. That was August 3 at 3:13 PMLast night was vintage Wang. His command was there and more importantly, his arm slot was much more consistent.

  18. Joe Seamhead - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    @anon 8:11, I agree with you, but the fact remains that we have until 5 days after the World Series ends to sign him, or he becomes a free agent. flynnie, If he really looks to be "back," then I'm sure that Rizzo will do his darnest to sign him, but I sure hope CMW has some feelings of indebtedness.

  19. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    NatsJack, good job. Definitely wasn't getting on top of it before and his slider was garbage. Last night was impressive and it felt like a role reversal last night when Nats hitters have made an opposing pitcher who has struggled look like Cy Young.I liked how Wang came in on the lefties and was consistently down in the zone. The defense was great all game.I think the day-off yesterday for 6 days helped Wang and Storen and Clippard.Good team win with Gomes coming through big!

  20. NatsLady on her way home - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    You know it's a cheap motel when–The lady is surprised you are paying with a credit card.You know it's a cheap motel when—–the guy in front of you doesn't want to give his license number and the lady says, "We only call the cops if you leave a body behind in the room."—you have to make a deposit for the TV remote and the room key.—you don't have kids with you but are informed twice that channels 31,32 and 33 are "adult".—you say you hope there are not a lot of hookers and she says, "We try to chase them away."—the towels are thin as paper but there is a mirror on the ceiling.—you get back at 11:30 p.m. and the maid is cleaning rooms. You wake up at 6:30 a.m. and the maid is cleaning rooms.

  21. NatStat - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    As noted in a previous post, nobody, not even Sosa on steroids, ever has hit a ball farther than Morse in the past 16 years!Let's win 2 more!!Gooooooooooooooooooooo Nats

  22. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Anonymous said… MarkZ, wondering if you can comment on the fact that we do not have a club option on Wang for 2012. It just seems odd tat Rizzo would invest so much for 2 years and have no control over next year. August 10, 2011 8:11 AM _________________________This is why Rizzo screwed up. The Nats paid for 2009 a wasted $2 million + all costs on the Nats tab for rehabbing him. That's ok, it was a gamble that didn't pay off but the Nats had that 2011 as an arbitration eligible year and had him under TEAM CONTROL. They non-tendered him after the season so it looked like the experiment was over and that was fine. They took the chance…but thenIn December, Rizzo re-signed him for $1 million and $3 million in incentives and this time there wasn't that extra year of team control and that is where this is a colassal Rizzo fail. You can't invest this type of money and rehab him like they have without an exit plan. I would have been fine with any team option for 2012 so long as the team has some control.

  23. NatsLady on her way home - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I thought he threw fastball once, but when I checked gameday all it had was sinkers and a few sliders… Happy day for those of us who had confidence in Wang and Rizzo. May only last a day, but it's nice. I could see doing a trip around the country to see games in all the parks. This is REALLY fun.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    NatsLady…. His sinker IS his fastball.

  25. Tcostant - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    I tend to agree with gonat, even if you put a high option ($8M?), so if he exceeds your expitaions you have a way to get him back without bidding.

  26. NatsLady on her way home - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    NatsJack, yeah, I got that. I guess I thought I saw one that didn't sink. Apparently–NOT!! Unbelievable that people are so negative, worrying about CMW's contract today when yesterday he was toast. If Rizzo had paid another $2 million (or more) to get a club option, and CMW bombed, then we'd hear it on THAT. Also, the story isn't over, we have to see if he can repeat.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Natslady…. I agree on the contract issues. Some people will complain just to complain. On the fastball that you THOUGHT you saw, Wang did have several pitches where hi arm slot lowered and the ball moved more in on righthanders than down. Fortunately, most of these pitches bore in on right handers (like the one that hit Bryd, which he started to swing at) and were effective, even if up in the zone.It's when those pitches are up and over the plate that he gets crushed.

  28. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    On the Orioles – when Monday night's game was rained out, I watched a little of the Os and White Sox to see how Adam Dunn looked. In the bottom of the 7th, the Os were down 5-3 and went ahead on a 3-run homer by J.J. Hardy. Top of the 8th, got an out, walked a batter, gave up a single, so 1st and 3rd with one out. Pierzynski hit a fly ball to medium center and with Lillibridge tagging, the centerfielder Jones had no shot at throwing him out. He tried anyway, missed the cutoff man, throw way offline, letting Quentin advance to second, and promptly scoring as the next batter got on a two-out single.Brought back not-so-fond memories of Nyjer last year, and a realization of how nice it is to have a team playing fundamentally sound baseball. Sure, there are a few partly mental errors (Livan's throw to 1st on the sac bunt last week comes to mind) but not the recurring numbingly bad bonehead plays we saw last year.By the way, Dunn was 1 for 3 with 1 RBI, a walk, and no strikeouts. I really hope he's coming around.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    I wasn't being negative. I was commenting on the end of Mr. Zuckerman's column. It's his blog, he reports information, we comment about it. As posted in the above column:Back in Washington, there surely are those beginning to call for the Nationals to re-sign Wang and make him an integral part of their 2012 rotation.General manager Mike Rizzo won't make that decision quite yet, not wanting to commit to a player based on one outing, no matter how dominant it was.But the Nationals do know their window of opportunity is limited. They have the exclusive right to negotiate a contract with Wang until five days after completion of the World Series. After that, he becomes a free agent.Having already invested two years and several million dollars in this rehabilitation project, there might be growing reason to believe it's worth it to invest some more time and money in a pitcher who could pay huge dividends for them down the road."The big thing is that he's a National, and we want him to get back close to where he was," Johnson said. "Rizzo signed him for that reason. If he gets back and keeps progressing like he's doing … that's a good thing for us. It'd be a valuable commodity."

  30. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    NatsJack, hope you aren't referring to me. There is a difference between complaining and putting your name on it and a pointing out that this is a potential flaw. Sure, we don't know how this will all work out except for better or worse there appears to be no exit plan. To NatsLady, that is one of the purposes of the club option and buyout is to protect the team when there is no other team control. Again, when the Nats signed him for 2010, he was still arbitration eligible for 2011 so Rizzo had that safety net there. If you don't understand that, sorry. This isn't complaining, this is smart business. People were saying this before, during and after, I don't think people remember that the 2010 contract came with 2011 team control. The Nats made the decision to walk away from that which made it odd that they went back to sign him again for this year.

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Our comments on the contract were more towards Gonat than you, Seamhead. Your's was a pertinent comment and as someone who has been around Wang for the better part of 2 years, I firmly believe he has a strong attachment for the organization and the patience (not to mention the cash) that they have afforded him.

  32. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Tcostant said… I tend to agree with gonat, even if you put a high option ($8M?), so if he exceeds your expitaions you have a way to get him back without bidding. August 10, 2011 8:51 AM ____________________________Thank you. I was thinking the same thing, a $8 million option. If he stunk it up, you walk away and he is free to sign wherever he wants. Teams do this all the time and so do the Nats—-they did something similar with LaRoche just to get the potential 3rd year.

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Ooops… Simulataneously posting, I see. The idea was that Wang was close but the Nats didn't want to go for $2 million again, hence the $1 million with incentives. There were absolutley no guarantees that he would make it back and no one, including Wang, wanted to be contracted beyond this season unless he made it back.There is still a ways to go before this thing plays out, so let's just see how consistent he can be, then the Nats can determine if they want him back.

  34. JD - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    NatsLady and NatsJack, Thanks for introducing some calm and sanity into the discussion. As usual fans over reacted when the results were poor during the 1st 2 starts and as usual fans are over reacting following the good results last night. The bottom line is that Rizzo took a calculated risk at a relatively low cost but with a high upside potential. I am 99% sure that Wong's camp will be open to a reasonable extension given what the Nats did to resurrect his career. At best we have a chance to add a top notch proven pitcher to our rotation (much better than a known mediocre commodity like Marquis) and at worst we lost $4 mil for our troubles. Heck; we burnt more than that on Guzman, Young, Belliard et. al.

  35. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    You know what NatsJack, I guess you are the authority here and the last word. Most will agree with me as Tcostant stepped up. Its not negative. Its risky business. You take chances all the time when you sign players and especially marginal players. When you sign a guy with his shoulder shreaded you have to protect the team. 2010 was worth the gamble and it didn't work out. 2011 may have been worth the gamble if you had the same type of deal they had in 2010 with 2 years of control going into it.You saying "I firmly believe he has a strong attachment for the organization and the patience (not to mention the cash) that they have afforded him." makes me feel better only there is nothing contractual. It used to be a person's word would be his bond. NatsJack, it is great you are so positive on this. You were the one a few months ago that said how bad he looked. You are the classic flip flopper always jumping on the popular side. This isn't about popularity, again, its about smart business. I am practical and a shame you see other's points of view as COMPLAINING.

  36. A DC Wonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Gonat said… Last night was impressive and it felt like a role reversal last night when Nats hitters have made an opposing pitcher who has struggled look like Cy Young.Making it even more impressive: let's not forget that the Cubs have been on fire. Over their last nine games (before yesterday) they were 8-1, scoring an average of 6.3 runs per game.This is why Rizzo screwed up.Errr . . . isn't it kind of early to use that in a past tense?

  37. Mark'd - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    I predicted it. Every start would have people on both sides of the issue. It is like making a trade, wait for it to play out.

  38. Feel Wood - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Gonat, the Nats do have a club option on Wang for 2012. It's called "outbid all the other suitors." What makes you automatically assume they won't do that? Are you one of those Lerners-are-cheap guys?

  39. K.D. - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    NatsLady, your "cheap motel" post, hilarious. Hope last nights game made up a little for the inconvenience of the rain-out.

  40. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Feel Wood said… Gonat, the Nats do have a club option on Wang for 2012. It's called "outbid all the other suitors." What makes you automatically assume they won't do that? Are you one of those Lerners-are-cheap guys? August 10, 2011 9:48 AM________________________Feel Wood, that's why a negotiated option is there so you don't have to get into a bidding war and feel you have to outbid.

  41. Anonymous8 - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Glad I jumped on this morning. More self-serving pompous posts from NatsJack at 8:20AM and the story of meeting Detwiler's father is so touching. NatsJack, really?. I TOLD YOU ALL HOW WANG WAS PITCHING. Come on. You are wrong more times than you are right. Get off your soap box and try making your point before the fact. You remind me of Rob Dibble and thats not a good thing.

  42. FS - Aug 10, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Agree with KD. Best post was missed in this discussion by NatsLady. The motel post was awesome.Anyways, having a team option for next season would have been nice but like many have said, it is too early to talk about that. Let us see how he does until October. Then we can worry about extending him or not.

  43. FS - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    I think some people need to take chill pill. Personal comments are totally unnecessary. Just saying that we can have a good discussion without dissing each other.

  44. Feel Wood - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Gonat, did it ever occur to you that perhaps Wang's camp did not want to take a club option for 2012? Not because he intends to screw the club out of the rehab money if he does succeed, but because he wants to make what he's worth in 2012 if his comeback is successful? And as for your comment "that's why a negotiated option is there so you don't have to get into a bidding war and feel you have to outbid", isn't that just code for saying the only way the Nats would want Wang is if they can get him cheap? They are willing and able to pay fair market value for every other player, so why would they not be willing and able to pay fair market value for Wang?This whole Lerners-are-cheap mindset is just soooo 2007. And the thing is, it was wrong then and it's still wrong now. Put it to bed. Please.

  45. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    FS, I agree. Trust me, I am biting my lip. I agree with NatsJack on Anonymous posters and trying to ignore. I don't agree with him bashing me for my opinion. A shame and shows his character.

  46. Gonat - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Feel Wood said… Gonat, did it ever occur to you that perhaps Wang's camp did not want to take a club option for 2012? _________________Of course, then you walk away from the deal which essentially Rizzo did after 2010 as he non-tendered him only to come back for a true 1 year deal.By the way, I don't think the Lerners are cheap. Never did and never said it. I think they are tremendous business people that have done great things in Washington. After they signed Werth, I think they put all the doubters in check. I don't think they are the NY Yankees though!

  47. Joe Seamhead - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Wow. Sorry this morphed into this. FS, thanks for the level head.Changing the subject.Did you know that 6 out of 7 dwarves aren't Happy?NatsLady, your cheap motel post made me laugh this morning!

  48. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Just one thought on the debate over whether the Nats should have included a 2012 option on Wang's current contract: It's not like they're totally powerless here and at the mercy of all 29 other clubs. As I wrote in the article, they have the exclusive rights to negotiate with Wang until 5 days after the World Series ends. If he continues to pitch well, I wouldn't be surprised to see negotiations start, and perhaps they get something done before he ever has a chance to talk to other clubs.

  49. Matk'd - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Mark, all teams have that same ability. Worked well with Dumb and Soriano who both said they wanted to stay. Not to be cynical, except for a player I remember recently that stayed with the Cardinals, it is like Free Agent arbitration, its part of the process.

  50. Mark'd - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Darn Apple autocorrect. Dunn, not Dumb.

  51. SCNatsFan - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Assuming Wang pitches well it will be a tough decision to stay or leave. You have to think, assuming the Nats treated him well, that he will have some loyalty to the organization that supported him when he needed it. On the flip side, he's lost alot of income the last couple of years and this will be his last big paycheck; if somone offers multiple years to him with his shoulder history and we offer a single year both sides will have strong arguments why they did what they did. Right now we'd all love it of he signed here; how quickly we forget for 1 1/2 years he gave us nothing and you can't say that isn't a realistic option of happening again in the future.

  52. Section 222 - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    It's very hard to evaluate the deal Rizzo reached with Wang this year since we don't know what the negotiating positions or the constraints were. Surely Rizzo knows what a club option is — he had one for this year. Maybe Wang wanted more this year if there was going to be a club option for next year, and Rizzo preferred to pay him less ($1 mill this year vs. $2 mill last year) and take his chances after this season. Maybe the Lerners said, "we aleady paid the guy $2 mill last year to rehab, we're not going over a million this year," and Wang's people said, "fine, we appreciate what you did last year and we'll take a million, but we want to cash in if he comes back so no club option." It's all speculation. One thing's for sure though — Rizzo didn't forget to get a club option. By the way, I like hearing different views and I think Gonat expressed his well. I learned something from the discussion. No need to jump on him for it. This would be a boring place if everyone agreed all the time. I don't much care whether people call themselves Anonymous either. It's not like the names people use actually identify them so I could recognize them on the street or look them up in a phone book. So what difference does it make? We're all hiding behind our names to some extent, right?

  53. Tim - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    This only counts as a Rizzo fail is Wang gets 15 wins with another club next season (or something like that)… Plenty of time to evaluate him this year and plenty of time to extend him or match an offer on the FA market. Not saying that an club option for next season wouldn't be nice, but who is to say that he will be worth $8m next year…

  54. Section 222 - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    One other thought — Wang has had one great start. Granted, it was a beauty. But the list of Nats pitchers who have had a good starts and gone nowhere is very, very long: Jason Simontacci, Mike Connor, Shawn Hill, Ramon Ortiz (he had a no no into the 9th once), Garrett Mock (wait, maybe not), Estaban Loiza, Tim Redding, Odalis Perez, Matt Chico, Craig Stammen, Scott Olson (he had a no no through 7 innings once.) Need I go on? Ok, none of those guys had the history and therefore the promise that Wang does, but let's not go overboard based on one outing.If Wang had blown up last night like he did in his previous two starts, I probably would have wondered out loud how long the experiment should last. Could Gorzolanny be any worse? But based on last night's peformance, I'm certainly fine with keeping him in the rotation for the rest of the year, come what may, to see what we've got. But that's about as far ahead as I'm willing to look right now.

  55. FS - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    100% agree with what section 222 said about different views and anonymous posters. I highly doubt he gets $8 million on FA market. I believe healthy Marquis and LaRoche got that much. Why would a recovering player (assumption: probably at innings limit) get that much money? Then again Werth's contract was a surprise to everyone. If there is one thing is common among all MLB players, it is that they are all overpaid, even the draftees.Talking about draftees, Zachary Houchins has suggested that Nationals do not intend to sign him because of his racial tweets earlier in the season. I think we should sign him since he has apologized and provided a valid reason for his comments (his company).

  56. Tcostant - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Mark – I'm surprised you have that view. Almost no one signs in that 5 day window. After all, if you wait a week, you know the real market. Why wouldn't you just wait???

  57. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Tcostant: I'm not suggesting the Nats are going to re-sign Wang during those five days after the World Series. I'm suggesting they may attempt to do it sometime between now and then. In other words, before the end of the regular season.

  58. JD - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Section 222, Good post. The key when evaluating a player coming back from injury or even a young up and coming prospect is to look at the process not just the results. NatsJack correctly pointed out that even when the results were bad the velocity was there; the ability to miss bats was there and it was just a question of command and execution.

  59. Carpe Diem - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    @Sec222 By the way, I like hearing different views and I think Gonat expressed his well. I learned something from the discussion. No need to jump on him for it.I agree with you. Fascinating as I never considered when they signed Wang for 2010 that it was a 2 year deal.Why did Rizzo non-tender him only to re-sign him as a Free Agent? Was it to get more reasonable terms then they would have in a 6th year arbritation case?What is part of the $3 million incentive package? I am curious to know how that is paid.The problem as I see it is the Nationals lost leverage here. Without a contract for 2012, they negotiate for there open window like they did with Adam Dunn. Can they offer him Free Agent arbitration like they did with Dunn or is that not part of it since he isnt a Type A or B Free Agent?

  60. A DC Wonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Sec222, you wrote two great posts. Thanks.I'm amazed that when the Nats don't sign somebody, or don't make a trade (e.g., Jul 15 deadline) — immediately it's Rizzo's fault, even though none of us know what the other party was asking for. Folks were ripping Rizzo last year for not re-signing Dunn or trading him before Jul 15, but nobody knew what Dunn's asking price was, or what other teams were offering. So, too, with Wang. We have no idea what he was asking for in return for an option year.And, also, thanks for the reminder that even awful Nats pitchers can pitch a beauty from time-to-time (Ortiz's no-no until the 9th stands out). My family was at one of the best games Patterson ever pitched (he shut down the Phillies, making it extra nice), and I told my son: remember that name (Patterson), he's going to be a star. That didn't turn out so well, either.But, let's be positive. Let's hope Wang pitches well, feels loyalty, signs with the Nats, and becomes a solid member of the rotation next year. Hey, it can happen!

  61. NJ Neganon - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Gonat made a fatal mistake Saturday night. He segued into that Livan conversation about golfing with him. Mr Insider Jack of Florida will forever be jealous and try to discredit you. He has done it to others on NatsJournal and here with his "stay positive" message. Ironic.His shout out to Ross's Dad who he had the pleasure of meeting last Spring in Viera is more of Jack's chest thumping to convince us he is an Insider. I'm ok with it. Just stop railroading other people with knowledge.

  62. Natslifer - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    222 and Wonk – perfectly said.

  63. Carpe Diem - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/michael-morse-explains-it-all/2011/08/10/gIQA6Mvw5I_blog.html?wprss=nationals-journalExcellent Michael Morse story. "…he’s become one of the best hitters in the National League, a contender for the batting title, a player who could appear on the fringe of a few MVP ballots…" I know I read that quote here a few days ago from someone.

  64. Feel Wood - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Fascinating as I never considered when they signed Wang for 2010 that it was a 2 year deal.It wasn't. They signed him to a one year deal, but since at the end of that year he would not have had enough MLB service time to be a free agent, he was still under team control for 2011 – which also meant that the terms of any 2012 contract would have been subject to the rules of arbitration. Under those rules, Wang would have been guaranteed a substantial raise over what he made in 2010, even though he never threw a pitch. That is why Rizzo non-tendered him, so he could sign him back to an incentive-laden one year deal. Why no club option for 2012 in that deal? Simple. After 2011, Wang will have enough service time to be a free agent, and no player is going to sign away his first year of free agency on a club option – especially if the base contract is only paying him $1M in guaranteed money. Rizzo didn't "forget" to get a club option. It was a non-starter all along.

  65. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    "…he’s become one of the best hitters in the National League, a contender for the batting title, a player who could appear on the fringe of a few MVP ballots…" I know I read that quote here a few days ago from someone.So you're accusing Kilgore of plagiarism, then?

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I liked the Livan golf story. I like on-site intel.I didn't/don't think gonats was complaining. Mistaken, perhaps, but well within what I understand the rhetorical bounds to be. FWIW.Now, suppose the Phils light Wang up, but his next start is decent, and he finishes out ok, but only ok, what's the offer? How much is a competent RHP worth, to this club? Marquis money? More?

  67. Carpe Diem - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    @FeelWood "no player is going to sign away his first year of free agency on a club option"Has it been done? I don't know. Evan Longoria signed a multi-year deal during his rookie season. That was a first. Then Ryan Braun did something similar. Then Troy Tulowitzki. Then Braun signed a longer term deal this year.

  68. Carpe Diem - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    @Anonymous said… So you're accusing Kilgore of plagiarism, then? August 10, 2011 12:26 PM Not at all. More tongue in cheek. Just good to see Morse getting respect like that from Journalists. He deserves it. Morse is still one of the best kept secrets in baseball.I remember reading on here someone mentioned that Morse will get some MVP votes and compete for the batting title and may compete with Prince Fielder for the Silver Slugger. Bold statement. Dunn got MVP votes last year and was 21st in overall voting. Morse will certainly get some votes. I think it is on a 1st to 10th place scale so he will certainly get some votes and do better than 21st place.

  69. Feel Wood - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    @FeelWood "no player is going to sign away his first year of free agency on a club option"Has it been done? I don't know.Let's put it this way. No player on the cusp of becoming a free agent is going to sign that away for a club option and $1M of guaranteed money in his walk year. What does the player have to gain there? If he underperforms in his walk year, the club option will be declined and he gets squat. If he exceeds expectations in his walk year and the club option gets picked up, he's guaranteeing that he'll be underpaid the next year compared with what he could command as a free agent. The player has nothing to gain and everything to lose by taking a club option. (This of course is a totally different situation from Longoria, Tulowitzki, etc. Those players were signing away free agent years that weren't coming due for a long time, in exchange for a boatload of guaranteed money.)

  70. Carpe Diem - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/2011/aug/10/news-flash-michael-morse-hits-some-ridiculously-lo/More Morse love. "Later that night, Michael Morse showed that he can talk power with the best of them when he stepped to the plate in the sixth inning and hit a ball so far to center field that the first and only comparison that came to mind for many longtime Chicago scribes was Sammy Sosa. Hittrackeronline.com measured the blast at 466 feet, the longest of the year for Morse in a season that seems to be filled with bombs. In fact, also according to Hittracker, 14 of Morse's 20 home runs this year have been over 400 feet. Six have been longer than 444 feet. Tuesday's blast was the longest home run hit at Wrigley Field this season — by 20 feet."

  71. A DC Wonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    NJ Neganon said… His shout out to Ross's Dad who he had the pleasure of meeting last Spring in Viera is more of Jack's chest thumping How in the world is that chest thumping? He was at Spring training and we weren't. He met him, and we didn't. So what? Was I also boasting when I spoke about being in Shea stadium the day in 1969 that Nolan Ryan got the win and the Mets won their first pennant? Is NatsLady boasting because she was at the game in Chicago?Oh, wait. Drats. I forgot. One shouldn't feed the trolls.NatsJack — I'll ignore him if you ignore him!

  72. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    OK… Gonat wasn't complaining (I guess) but to state unequivicolly "this is why it is a colossal Rizzo fail" when discussing Wangs contract status this year constitutes some form of negativity.And, Sec 3, My Sofa…. I liked the Livan golf story, too. But NJ Neganon…. you must have me mixed up with somebody else 'cause I hardly even read NatsJournal and have only posted maybe 5 times in two years.And finally, I was not expecting much out of Wang after seeing his efforts in extended Spring Training. He was barely hitting 87 on the gun and his command was horrible but since he started the rehab assignment, his velocity picked up and his command has slowly improved. And I said as much after each of his first two Nats starts. I wouldn't call that filp-flopping.Unlike others, I don't predict how players will perform in the future. I just try to acknowledge what I see and how they may perform provided they put in the proper work to continue improving.

  73. A DC Whonk - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Hittrackeronline.com measured the blast at 466 feetWe should add:Seventh longest hit in major leagues for the entire year!

  74. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Thanks D C Wonk….

  75. Big Cat - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Don't let em get to ya NatsJack. You, unlike most people on this blog, have seen most of these guys up close and personal. I think your insight is very knowledgeable and helpful, especially in winter ball

  76. Anonymous - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Aim low Nats Jack, they're riding Shetland ponies!

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Thanks Big Cat…. which reminds me that after the draft picks get signed by Monday night, I'll get to see them up close and personal once Florida Instructional League starts in early September.That's my second favorite time of the year with Spring Training being my favorite.They actually play a 25 game schedule with 6 games a week (Sunday is "Camp Day"). All games are at 1:00 PM Monday through Friday with Saturdays game at 10:00 AM. This works great as I can watch a game on Saturday morning and still catch all my favorite college football games.

  78. JaneB - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    I was one of the ones who was wondering why we got Gomes, especially when I read how angry he was to be traded. But I quickly got on hisnside when I read about him in these comments (I forget who posted them, but thanks for that). FP has made me love him even more than his two dingers did. But what most impressed me was his aggressive base running.Wang…I was all wrong, prepared to concede every fifth game so we could see what he was able to do. Turns out we can see what he's able to do without having to concede a thing. I can't imagine he wouldn't sign with us, given the investment the Nats have made in him. His agent would be diminishing his own stock to make that kind of move. Maybe it will be only a short deal, so he can go after more money later. But it will be with us if we want him. Don't forget how angry a lot of people here would be if we owed him another year and he wasn't pitching well. I know he is waking up today, a happy person…hope not too sore. Flynnie, you made me snort coffee. NatsJack, thanks for the reminder of what you have been seeing in Wang. Here's hoping Ross performs brilliantly tonight.

  79. Sec3MySofa - the Pos that refreshes - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    …constitutes some form of negativity.To be fair, not all negativity is bad. Just sayin.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 53 43 --
ATLANTA 54 44 --
NEW YORK 46 52 8.0
MIAMI 45 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 55 11.0
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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