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Series preview: Astros at Nats

Sep 9, 2011, 2:34 PM EDT

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Bud Norris (6-9, 3.83) vs. LHP Tom Milone (0-0, 8.31)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 188

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. — LHP Wandy Rodriguez (10-10, 3.47) vs. LHP John Lannan (9-11, 3.48)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — RHP Henry Sosa (2-3, 4.11) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 0.00)
TV: MASN, Ch 50 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183

ASTROS UPDATE
It continues to be a difficult season in Houston, where the Astros have boasted baseball's worst record for months. It doesn't help that the sale of the club from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane has proceeded at a snail's pace. The sale was announced in mid-May, but MLB has yet to approve the deal and Crane has been showing frustration lately with the delay.

On the field, the Astros have lost five of six, falling to 48-95 and becoming the first team in the majors to be mathematically eliminated this season. After trading away Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence, they've gone with a bunch of youngsters, hoping the experience gained will better prepare them for 2012. The results right now, though, aren't pretty.

Top second base prospect Jose Altuve boasts a solid .287 batting average, but he's drawn only three walks in 44 games, leaving his on-base percentage at .301. Rookie third baseman Jimmy ParedesRead more ยป

  1. Sec3,MyDopplerSofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Well, the rain train seems to have shifted off northbound 95, to going straight over the bay. So there's that.

  2. Paul - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    I love that Michael Morse is considered cold when his OPS is 'only' .802

  3. Steve M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    CBinDC said… If anything speaks to the continued constant pervasive culture of losing that this team represents is this curious fact of comparison,Tonight the Phillies Cole Hamel finished his 3rd complete game of the year and the Phillie pitchers have 17 complete games this year .The Nationals have just ONE complete game and that game was a LOSS….yes a LOSS September 8, 2011 11:01 PM Actually, there have been 3 complete games this season and one was a loss on an unearned in Anaheim where JZim lost 1-0. Livan and Marquis both had complete game wins.Complete games are great, but keep in mind some Managers don't believe in pushing their pitchers any more when the pitch counts are exceeded by that pitchers norms which makes CGs more rare these days. The Phillies have 3 workhorses that are "throwbacks". Halladay/Lee/Hamels are better than any threesome.I care more about ERA combined with 7 inning performances as I think the "quality start" stat doesn't tell a great story for low scoring teams. If they redefined a quality start to 6 innings of 2 earned runs or less than that should give you a better indicator of giving your team a chance to win. I don't consider a 4.50 ERA a quality start meaning 3 runs in 6 innings. The quality start stat was started by John Lowe in 1985 and he was a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jordan Zimmermann had by definition 16 Quality Starts and only 1 of those had 3 earned runs. You would think going at least 6 innings while giving up 2 runs or less would result in wins 90% of the time, right?

  4. YLLaGDI - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    And how can you possibly consider Tom Milone cold after one career start?! That's a bit of irresponsible use of statistics (and something I'm used to not expecting from you, Mark).

  5. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Regarding the Astros, word is that the sale is being delayed by Bud Selig because Crane won't agree to move Houston to the American League, thus allowing the Commish to implement his "interleague every night" realignment plan. I say Hold out, Mr. Crane! The longer you can delay that debacle the better baseball will be!

  6. Big Cat - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    NatsJack, what is your opinion of the job Davey has done with the Nats this year and of the possibility of him returning next year.While I don't question his knowledge of baseball, Davey seems to be far removed from that swashbuckling rebel commander who led the mid 80's Mets and the powerful Oriole teams in the 90's Gone is the guy who tore up a bill management gave him after his 86 Mets destroyed a team plane in a drunken party. Gone is the guy who pretty much told Peter Angelos to stick it. Now, I see a much more gentler Davey….a more timid Davey….a 68 year old Davey

  7. Bill B - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Wow! If the Astros aren't hitting in the Nat'l League, imagine what it'll be like if they move to the Amer League?!

  8. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Klaw made this point on Baseball Today re: the Nationals and Davey Johnson.The Nats have twice had to make a managerial move mid-season when choices were limited. Then they extended Riggs because he was here and not doing too bad a job. (Klaw's opinion, not mine). They shouldn't do that this time. They should make a full search in the off-season to find their manager for the next five years, because they have a young team. That guy could turn out to be Davey, but it shouldn't be him by default because he's here. I see what KLaw is getting at. With a young team you don't want to keep changing managers, especially such different styles as Riggs and Davey. Get a guy with the GOAL of keeping him five years (may not happen, of course). I don't know if that can be done, however. Having no idea who is out there, it will be interesting in the off-season to watch the process–and critique it, of course.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    A good point you have made before, Steve M, is that an average major leaguer is actually a really good baseball player. Maybe a 4.50 ERA and the Quality Start stat is like that–a measure of basic competence, not excellence. A team that has no realistic chance (in a given game, not expectation over a season) of scoring five runs is indeed low-scoring, but if QS is just a rough comparative measure of pitchers, maybe that bad offense is more the team's problem than a measure of the relative output of a given starter.Of course, situations matter, and giving up three runs some days will kill your team, and other days means they only win by six runs instead of nine. Like I said, a rough barometer of mediocrity.

  11. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Reports are that Davey tore up that bill in a team meeting. They said the team went wild. Management meanwhile were livid. That 86 team was riddled with cocaine and alcohol abuse. There is a book out The Bad Guys Won or something like that

  12. Mark'd - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    SteveM, I think the Nats are under achieving. What do you do to improve or dispel CBINDCs pervasive loser tag.

  13. NatsLady - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Looked it up (am stuck at the car repair shop).Here is the link:http://www.amazon.com/Brawling-Bimbo-chasing-Championship-Baseball-Uniform/dp/0060507322

  14. Just wondering - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Is the "Davey tore up a bill for drunken-party-damages-to-an-airplane" story supposed to be a positive or a negative in regard to Mr. Johnson's managerial abilities?

  15. jd - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    NatsLady, I am also of the opinion that the Nats should find a long term solution for the manager's position. I am not smart enough to judge Davey's moves like some of the other posters but I have heard him discuss some players (Desmond, Espinosa) and he made a lot of sense to me. The trick is to find the right man (we tried this with Acta but neglected to give him a team) not necessarily someone with a resume or a reputation but someone who is willing to think outside the box (someone like Maddon).

  16. Mick - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    I have been an early critic of Davey after I so excited about the hire in June. Davey is a class act and a Hall of fame player and manager in my view and should still work for the Nats in 2012 up stairs. Is it possible he needs a full Spring with this club? Unfortunately, I do not think that is the case. If the Nats were horrible before he took over, then I would give Davey a mulligan. However, look at what Riggs did when he took over mid season a few years back, the club played 500 ball or close to it. Then, when Riggs had a full year and a Spring training, the club at least improved without anywhere near the talent level they have now. Fast fwd to this season, Riggs leaves with a 38-37 record and 10 game winning streak without RYAN Z! Davey comes in and instead of improvement like we saw when Riggs took over, we have seen a regression. What makes it even worse is that Ryan Z, returns when Davey gets the job and instead of a team with a winning recoord improving, they have become almost horrible to watch. This is not the case of Davey needing a full Spring to see what he can do. It should be clear that he CAN NOT do it and it would be a disaster if he is the manager next season. If there were serious injuries and this was happening, then yes, I would cut Davey slack. This is not the case and the Nats and Rizzo better realize this. There are several managers that would be awesome to lead this club the next decade and most importantly, the Nats job would be a red hot one in attracting a top quality manager.

  17. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Sometimes a team needs an "us against them" mentality. A swagger, a cockiness when they take the field. I see Morse repeatedly drilled, Werth drilled. Any retaliation? No. This is a soft team with no personality

  18. JaneB - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    My point exactly, Mick. We were worse with Davey, even after getting back Ryan, than with Riggleman. I also hope they take their time and really search out a new manager. So done with pep, who gets these guys, and knows the current game. Someone like…Bo Porter. I think he could just do wonders, in charge, and I want MacLaren back, because it seems he was having a good impact. I don't knowifnhe will come back, but I hope he would. AND that we ask him too.But more immediately, I hope the rain is GONE and that Tom has a fabulous start tonight. And an even more fabulous finish.GYFNG!

  19. Feel Wood - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    However, look at what Riggs did when he took over mid season a few years back, the club played 500 ball or close to it.No they didn't. They were 33-42 (.440) – a winning percentage that is awful close to Riggleman's lifetime .445 over 12 seasons. Davey is 25-38 (.397) with the Nats, but that's a very small sample size. His lifetime is .559 over 15 seasons.With Riggleman, we saw immediately that he was what he was. With Davey, the jury is still out, but I for one would be willing to wait a good long while before concluding that he really isn't what his lifetime record says he is.

  20. Mick - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    JaneB:I agree with you and Bo Porter could be the right fit in 2012 and beyond.

  21. Mick - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Feel woodYour point is correct on Riggs record, however, what were the Nats prior to Riggs taking over? I think that was my point. Also, I disagree with you in terms of looking at a lifetime record to justify the present. I stated that Davey was Hall of Fame manager in my view and that was 10 years ago. Yes, what we got with Riggs is about all we were going to get and I never suggested that Riggs was the long term solution. Although Riggs took the Cubs to post season. All I am saying is that the game has cleraly in my view passed a great manger by. He had a heck of a lot more talent than Riggs had and that should be a concern.

  22. CBMcGill of Loudon County - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    I know nothing about Bo Porter except that he implemented some creative spring training drills and that in every situation in which I see him interacting with the players, it seems obvious that the players adore him. If he's good on the strategy/in-game management side — and the fact that he's a third base coach at such a young age and that he was not swept aside in the post-Riggleman housecleaning suggests that he's got real potential — then he's someone we don't want to lose if he has managerial options for 2012 and if Davey's maximum tenure is only a year or two.Having said that, I have no idea if Davey Johnson still has it or has lost it, but there is no way someone with his resume should be judged by a partial season with a roster that doesn not fit his managerial style and during which he is making lineup decisions with an eye toward next year and seeing what we have in the pipeline. We've got a 36-man active roster for cripe's sake and we're playing like it's little league and everyone has to see playing time at some point. Nobody can seriously think that Davey thinks he's fielding his best team day-in and day-out. So if he's coaching now with a long-term lookout, he's either taking one for the team or he plans to be back.

  23. Mick - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    CBMcGilulTrue about the 36 man roster in Sept. But what does that have to do with Davey taking over a club on a roll in June who had a 10 game winning streak and just got their best player back? The Nats at least had a better than 50/50 shot to win over 81 games at that point and with all due respect, I do not recall the Nats management expressing a mind set that they were going to experiment with what ever Davey wants to do to the exepense of throwing 2011 down the drain Instead, we got too see Davey manage and blow an 8-0 lead at home in the 6th inning against one of the MLB's worst teams, keeping players in games to long when it was clear that it was not the player's night, experimenting with relief pitchers who should not even be on the club and putting pitchers like Henry Rod in games with bases loaded, knowing that he as a history of walking batters. i can go on and on. But, if you all like Davey and I am wrong, I will be the first to admit it. I hope I am.

  24. CBMGill - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Mick,Agreed that Davey's not made himself indispensable in his time on the job, but I just chose a longwinded way of saying put me in the camp that this season is too small a sample size to condemn someone with his career achievement. As well, I believe this team has turned in some epic late season collapses before, under Riggs and others, so I don't know that it's fair to assume we'd continue on .500 pace had Riggs not lost it and quit.

  25. jd - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    JaneB, How do we know that Porter is a good manager?

  26. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Bo Porter? Bring back McClaren? How can we live without Jim Riggleman?What a joke. This board needs some new blood. Please someone direct me to a better blog or board that actually talks baseball. This is getting like facebook where some fools post every thought that pops in their head all day long. . Natslady needs a 3 post a day limit. This crap is unreadable most days.

  27. jd - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    I think that the winning streak in June was a mirage. It happens once in a while. This team was never good enough to play .500 and it would have slipped back under Riggleman as well. I think that debating managerial moves is fair game on these threads but calling out moves with allowing for the possibility that one may just be wrong is presumptuous at best.

  28. Steve M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Mark'd / CBinDC – I don't agree that they are pervasive losers. It is continual improvement and a need to never give up. The team could use a few more high energy pieces. I said many times the team had to shake it up and DFA Stairs and bring in some youth. Espinosa of 2010 September is that type of player who energized the team in the short-term. To further my points up above on Complete Games, the Atlanta Braves have only had 3 complete games this year and 2 by Jurjjens and 1 by Hudson and the San Fran Giants have had 3 complete games. Arizona DBacks have had 4 and Milwaukee has had only 1. So that gives you an idea of the playoff type of teams. Philadelphia skews the league average to 4. There are so many other factors of what CB calls the constant pervasive culture of losing .A constant pervasive culture of losing is an interesting phrase. One person here this week called the rest of the season "meaningless" and I debated him on the use of that term. Clearly among a few posters here, they are more accepting than I, in losing.Mostly looking in hindsight, I could name a few things that would have changed this team for the better from the start.1) The Nyjer debacle. Rizzo went into 2011 with no leadoff alternative and suffered in low OBP from the leadoff. 2 years in a row made a Spring Training move in the outfield that left a gaping hole2) Putting Matt Stairs (Stares) on the Opening Day roster. It was counter-intuitive to even his own definition of an "athletic" team3) Stuck with a bad bullpen to where I have estimated 7 to 12 losses cumulatively. Risk didn't pay off with Rule 5 Broderick. Slaten has been a disaster. Burnett has the worst reliever rating in the MLB. To make it worse Coffey and Clippard went through many stretches of over-use. HenRod has been too inconsistent to carry on a MLB roster.4) Rizzo took too long to make changes. The Nats were the last team in the MLB to DFA a player without options. Hard to believe Slaten is back on the roster which tells you Rizzo's thinking on some players. Stairs wasn't DFA'd until Davey took over. It was no secret how Riggleman felt about Stairs to the point where he just stopped using him. It is difficult enough playing with 25 men let alone 24.5) Rizzo allowed the trade deadline to become a distraction. It seemed to demoralize players on the bubble instead. It was around July 19th that the team started to slip. That was the last time the team saw a .500 record6) The team got away from the small ball/smart ball philosphy and playing for the extra run. Under Davey, the team is behind Riggleman's pace by only .1 per game. The close games are turning to close losses under Davey. Davey is a big inning type of guy. The change in philosphy seems to have hurt.7) I said my peace early on about Wang. It didn't make much sense then and not much sense now. It is all about risk/reward and this had too much risk. I believe it sent the wrong signal to a team that was already struggling and under stress over the trade deadline to have a reclamation project pitching in games that count.8) I still believe Rizzo since Kasten left has a lot to learn about trading. The Willingham trade, Nyjer, AGonz, etc, luckily Rizzo at the trade deadline did a "Just Say No".

  29. Steve M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Mark'd / CBinDC – What would I change going forward:1) #1 priority is signing Ryan Zimmerman to an extension as soon as possible. His situation has to be resolved now as he goes into 2012 as a "short term" player. Rendon's future with this team is largely predicated by Zim's future.2) Extend Michael Morse also. He has earned it.3) Get a solid upgrade at #3 in the rotation from the Free Agent market. Clearly you have a great 1-2 in JZim & Stras. Lannan needs to be a #4 on this team and the Manager can then have the remaining internal candidates battle it out for the #54) The team needs to find a short-term answer for leadoff as a good stop gap. If Desmond turns out to be the answer at lead-off, great then you have a situation of an extra player! Just don't go into 2012 thinking Desmond is the solution.5) Blow up the bullpen and start over. Don't keep Burnett just because he is under contract for 20126) Make sure all the pitchers can lay down a sacrifice as well as JZim and Livo. I think Strasburg is sound. Lannan and Detwiler don't look comfortable.7) Don't make another trade deadline a distraction to the team. 8) Don't make off-season trades for the sake of making trades. I could see Rizzo trading LaRoche because he becomes short-term so only do it if you get an overwhelmingly great deal.9) Pick a Manager who will be here for the long-term with a philosophy that matches the core personnel you have

  30. Steve M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    jd said… I think that the winning streak in June was a mirage. It happens once in a while. This team was never good enough to play .500 and it would have slipped back under Riggleman as well.September 9, 2011 2:18 PM You don't know that but are entitled to your opinion.Don't they say you are never as good as you are during a winning streak?You still take the winning streaks when you have them because they balance out the losing streaks.This team was never a pla..play…playoff team but they could have been a 82-80 team. I still believe that Riggleman did a good enough job to play to the team strengths. He got better production out of the bench and players like Nix and Hairston then I could have envisioned. The starting rotation stepped up for him and Espinosa was an All Star calibre for him.

  31. Section 222 - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    The sky is a strange and unfamiliar shade outside in downtown DC — it's been so long since we've seen the color that I've forgotten its name …. "blue" maybe. Could we actually play a game tonight without rain?

  32. jd - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    SteveM. Believe or not I agree with you on almost all of your points especially point # 4. I still think we need a short term solution in CF and you may as well use that as a fallback for the leadoff hole (Crisp for 2 years sounds pretty good to me). I don't know how you avoid making the trade deadline a distraction with all the rumors flying around. I think that Storen for Spann was a reasonable deal. You won't trade LaRoche because we are over paying him (that is unless you eat most of his salary. I think he'll be the 1st baseman next year with Morse returning to 1st in 2013. So far I am not buying Marrero; not bad but nothing special.

  33. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Anonymous said… Bo Porter? Bring back McClaren? How can we live without Jim Riggleman?What a joke. This board needs some new blood. Please someone direct me to a better blog or board that actually talks baseball. This is getting like facebook where some fools post every thought that pops in their head all day long. . Natslady needs a 3 post a day limit. This crap is unreadable most days. September 9, 2011 2:15 PM Cant you at least humor us with a "handle" so we dont have to call you Anon?What suggestions do you have for those non-worthy here.Have you ever been to a restaurant with a large menu? Skip over what you don't like and read what you want to.I do not post much however I enjoy reading most of this and I think NatsLady has some good perspective. I am sure Nationals Journal and Nats News Network needs some new visitors, try there.

  34. jd - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Steve M, 'He got better production out of the bench and players like Nix and Hairston then I could have envisioned. The starting rotation stepped up for him and Espinosa was an All Star calibre for him.' Bingo; Hairston and Nix played way over their heads and Marquis and Livo pitched way over their heads. Their lifetime numbers say that this was not sustainable.

  35. jd - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Steve M. I wanted to throw an idea at you: Say we sign Zim to a 5 year extension (+ 2 that he has left); what do you think of this trade? Rendon, Lombardozzi (Or Desmond), Ray for Matt Kemp? (I know you can't trade Rendon for a year but teams get around that by using the player to be named later). Who hangs up?

  36. David - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    i think why we're so fed up with Davey is that he's not coaching for his job (like Riggs was) ie: winning this year. he's coaching the team to get all the young'uns ready for next year. which means taking some losses this year. although i could see his style this year being a problem if he were to be the coach next year. how do you switch up styles from one year to the next? will the players respond to that?

  37. Steve M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    jd said… SteveM.Believe or not I agree with you on almost all of your points especially point # 4. I still think we need a short term solution in CF and you may as well use that as a fallback for the leadoff hole (Crisp for 2 years sounds pretty good to me).I don't know how you avoid making the trade deadline a distraction with all the rumors flying around. I think that Storen for Spann was a reasonable deal.You won't trade LaRoche because we are over paying him (that is unless you eat most of his salary. I think he'll be the 1st baseman next year with Morse returning to 1st in 2013.So far I am not buying Marrero; not bad but nothing special. September 9, 2011 2:42 PM Thanks. I didn't want to be redundant and put names to it but I still think Buehrle and Crisp make good candidates for this team. Crisp is a player that will be better than a Jerry Hairston in production but will be an improvement in leadoff and team speed. Crisp. I don't think he is a 7 day a week player. The A's give him 1 game off a week it seems and it has worked. I'm not seeing a star in Marrero although I do think he would be a good backup to LaRoche. Marrero has shown he can hit LH pitching well. What I don't like is he has followed to much of the norm on BA w/ RISP. 0-7 so far.

  38. lesatcsc - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Mick:"He had a heck of a lot more talent than Riggs had and that should be a concern." What talent is that pray tell? Are we only talking about RZimm? Have you factored in the departure of Marquis? Espinosa's sudden offensive drop-off? The bottom line is, that with the exception of about a ten day hot streak, this has been a consistently sub-.500 team that has gotten better pitching than it expected and virtually no hitting. There is no manager in the history of baseball that would have won with this team. Riggs was obviously a placeholder. At least DJ has a pedegree. He is someone that has won, even if he isn't winning right now. I don't know if he's the long term answer, and I think that Natslady has a point when she talks about at least considering long term stability at the manager position when you're building a young team. I wonder if DJ is in this for the long term or is only willing to manage for a year or two. Who knows if he is even willing to manage that sad bunch again next year. In any event, I don't think that we would be any better off if Riggs had stayed, in other words, I don't think the Nats fall from "grace" is the manager's fault.

  39. Steve M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    jd said… Steve M.I wanted to throw an idea at you: Say we sign Zim to a 5 year extension (+ 2 that he has left); what do you think of this trade?Rendon, Lombardozzi (Or Desmond), Ray for Matt Kemp? (I know you can't trade Rendon for a year but teams get around that by using the player to be named later). Who hangs up? September 9, 2011 2:50 PM Yes I do that deal if you can extend Kemp simultaneously. Next year is his last year before Free Agency so don't need a 1 year rental. I think he will be traded this off-season so you are on to something. He plays in a hitter's park but also plays in a pitcher's division. He is an elite clutch player. The fact that he is having a MVP year in a non-Contract season is huge. Also, he showed that 2010 was a fluke.

  40. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    The team isn't losing because Davey is a bad manager, it's losing because Davey is blowing up the roster.It's been said before, but Rizzo didn't have many options when Riggleman didn't get on the plane. He wasn't prepared to replace Riggleman long-term right then, McLaren is Riggleman's best friend and would not accept the job for more than a few days, and the team had the momentum of an unexpected winning streak at the time. So, when Davey Johnson, already in-house, says he wants the job, how does he say no? Practically the first thing out of Davey's mouth was that the roster was pooched, so he basically went to war with the team he wished he had, instead. Now maybe that was the only sensible thing to do, but in the short run, it means another year of WTF.

  41. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    I have heard it said many times that a player should not be just handed a starting spot. But yet, it appears that Rizzo just handed Davey a starting job for next year before he actually showed he could do the job. The organization owes it to the team and the fans to do a thorough search with an open mind. If DJ is the best among competition then ok, if someone else seems like a better fit, especially someone that can go forward with the team for a few years, then we should go with a new person. I think Johnson has been given way too much autonomy without any accountability.You should not just hire the first person that pops into your mind and then hand over the keys and let them drive into a wall.

  42. jeffwx - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Lots of good comments on the managerial situation. I'll be keeping score of questionable moves to get the rookies in that could cost a loss(e.g.: Peacock's relief in his first MLB appearance). Still think the nats have the start of a pretty good bullpen next year with Clippard, Storen, Kimball and yes HRod.

  43. jeffwx - Sep 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Frontline news…Rizzo steps down (forced out) after not getting the freedom he had in 2011 and the Lerner's start questioning his offseason moves (e.g.; DJ as Defacto manager next year, repercussions from trusting him on the Werth signing, the Willingham trade, No humility in his body…) Too many risky moves that didn't pan out.He'll be a great director of minor league scouting for someone else though.

  44. sjm308 - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Steve M;I also agree with almost all of your points and resigning Zimm tops them all, no doubt.I don't think we will ever have calm at the trade deadline because Rizzo has actually stockpiled some decent talent in the minors. We also have to decide what to do with LaRoche and I think the way most of the poster here have it, we play him the first half of the season and they try and make a trade moving either Morse or Marrero in.Hope neganon finds a better site but this old fan will stay right here. I don't always agree with everyone but its fun to read. Learned about Gomes from Flynie, learned all kind of stats from Natslady, learned a new drink from Sunshine Bobby, and some people actually read my posts and commented on them as well.Sun is shining, sky is blue and I am off to the park carrying my broom for a sweep over the Astros. Interesting that Desmond sits tonight but Espinosa is not at SS. I think Lombardozzi is auditioning more for the Cora role than a starting position.Bench next yearFloresLombardozziMarreroAnkiel/BernadinaI start Werth in CF Morse in LF and I have no clue about RFI make that trade for a solid starter just as Steve M suggested and with Lannan #4 and Milone/Peacock/Detweiler/Gorzo #5 I am happyI keep either Detwiler or Gorzo in the bullpen,release Slaten(no brainer) Balestar (harder) Coffey (really hard because used right he is very useful) I will not release Burnet, I am keeping him because of what I saw last year and I think he will bounce back in a contract year. That gives us 2 lefties plus Clip & Store, HRod & Coffey – my surprise bullpen choice is R. Martin the 26 year old from the Mexican league who was lights out this year in AA. Go Nats!!

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Hope neganon finds a better site but this old fan will stay right here. I don't always agree with everyone but its fun to read. How much you want to bet we couldn't get that lucky, and he has nowhere to go?

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 9, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Saw a cartoon once, long ago [by Phil Frank, fwiw], of two women discussing a guy sitting at a card table, who is playing cards with a beef roast. "I don't mind him playing with his food–it's the continual losing that gets to me."

  47. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…Saw a cartoon once, long ago [by Phil Frank, fwiw], of two women discussing a guy sitting at a card table, who is playing cards with a beef roast. "I don't mind him playing with his food–it's the continual losing that gets to me."——–NegAnon here…Thanks so much for that amazing joke post. I was ROFL. This site is great. I'll never get those 8 seconds back it took me to read that. What a waste…

  48. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 10, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Whoooosh….Right on by…

Archives

NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS

FRI: Game 1 at Washington, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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