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Nats way ahead of O’s in rebuilding game

Nov 7, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond and the Nats and in better shape than Adam Jones and the O's.

Ask a bunch of local baseball observers which of the region's two franchises is closer to contention, the Nationals or the Orioles, and the answer will be unanimous. Of course the Nats are in better shape than their American League counterparts up the road. There's nothing close to a debate to be had here.

Which actually is a remarkable development in itself, because it wasn't that long ago that the Orioles appeared to be the better-positioned franchise of the two.

Think back just three short years ago, when the Nationals were coming off a 102-loss season and attempting to construct a winner around a lineup that featured Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes and a rotation anchored by Shawn Hill and Jason Bergmann. At the same time, the Orioles (while hardly world beaters at 68-94) looked like they were on the right track with Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and a bunch of talented young pitchers who were about to arrive on the scene.

Read this paragraph I wrote on June 17, 2008, comparing the state of baseball in Washington to Baltimore:

"The moves Andy MacPhail has made since taking over have been quite dramatic and have completely reshaped the organization'sRead more »

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for Baltimore, as they did everything that they could for thirty years, both publicly and behind the scenes, to block DC from getting baseball back. I started drinking the Rizzo kool ade right from the beginning. I'm so excited about the future for the Nats, and unlike some others, I have also evidently gotten drunk on the Davey Johnson bug juice, as I think that he will lead the Washington Nationals to the playoffs in 2012. I'm looking forward to the day, in the near future, when Nats tickets will be hot items. As they say in the islands, "Soon come!"

  2. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Kind of tired of hearing the whining from the o's about the division they play in. Try hitting against the phils line up, followed by the braves bullpen about a million times a season. I will never forgive angelos for our crappy tv blackmail scheme deal. I hope we crush them in interleague play this year.

  3. sunderland - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    I'm kinda with you Seamhead, but I do feel bad for the Orioles faithful. They deserve better. That was a great baseball town until the day Angelos bought the team.

  4. Slidell - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Hmmm- posting story at 6:00 AM; wonder why?The O's retrogression should give the Nats pause- nothing much in this world is guaranteed and Rizzo & company should not relax and take anything for granted.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Sunderland, I liked the blue collar crowd at Memorial Stadium a lot more then the crowd after the team moved into Camden Yards, where it seemed to be a place to be seen rather then a place to see a baseball game. I also had the feeling from some of the faithful, local, O's fans that they resented the metro DC fans for "yuppiefying" their stadium, which really did happen in Camden Yards' first few seasons. Anyway, sorry, but I have a "screw Baltimore" mentality for at least as long as Angelos owns the team.

  6. natsfan1a - Nov 7, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Never followed the O's after moving to the DC (not Balto) area, and wouldn't care about them now except for the MASN deal. That said, I wouldn't mind if my team (the Nats, natch) took charge of the MASN cup and held it in future Beltway series. I do kinda feel for the fans because, as we Nats fans well know, it's not fun having the national (and, heck) local media making fun of your team day after day after day, after your hopes have been crushed like so many paper beer cups scattered under the El tracks…oops, sorry. Lost my train of thought there. :-) Only 105 more shopping days until pitchers and catchers report. Go, NATS!!

  7. Binx Bolling - Nov 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Baltimore is behind Washington in rebuilding due mostly to a serious lack of pitching. Only two Orioles pitchers, Britton and Guthrie, could even make the Nationals major league staff.

  8. Anonymous8 - Nov 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    I follow the O's from a standpoint of being educated on my hate for Angelos. McFail made some excellent trades and some good Draft picks but Angelos is and will continue to be the problem. The Uehara trade to Texas and getting K King Mark Reynolds for relievers filled a void for them and were good trades.It was their cheapness that again overtook them. Angelos has only stepped up in the last couple of years to compete with the Nats. That whole charade on getting an $8 million 1st baseman and played that game between Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche was to compete with the Nats. Very transparent when Angelos was just waiting for whoever the Nats didn't take and the O's did a typical 1 year deal.If the Orioles really went after a frontline pitcher which they haven't had since Mike Mussina, they probably could have competed given their young rotation that needed a veteran #1. They probably rushed their young starters too quick. They scored 708 runs except they gave up more runs from starting pitching in the Majors in 2011.6 years in a row with 90 or more losses. Now you have the embarrassment that Asst GMs didn't want the job. The funny part was when the O's won their first 6 of 7 games of the year in 2011 and the Baltmorons were celebrating like they were World Series bound. So long as Angelos owns that team, the Nats will have the upper hand and a chance to get the allegiance of younger fans in the regions whose parents are born and bred O's fans.

  9. blovy8 - Nov 7, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Schadenfreude does not become a team that has yet to have a winning season. Anyway, the Nats will need those couple extra wins they get playing the Orioles in interleague play.

  10. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    How bout dem Ravens!!!!!

  11. natsfan1a - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I like them okay, but Crows are pretty smart, too, and you see more of them in my neighborhood. What does bird-watching have to do with baseball, though?

  12. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    natsfan1a, sometimes I wish that we had a "like" button!

  13. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Big turning point for the nats franchise was the smiley gonzalez scandal . Without that, who knows how much longer we would have been under the incompetent "leadership" of jim bowden. Getting areal gm was critical, and seems to have helped the lerners understand what's needed to run a professional baseball franchise.Hard to see any hope for change in bawlmer until angelos leaves the scene.

  14. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    "He's a 5 tool player," GM Jim Bowden said of Dukes. "He will fit in well in the clubhouse."

  15. SCNatsFan - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    We are ahead of the O's… but so is just about every MLB franchise.

  16. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    It's shocking how much prime pitching talent dies on the vine at Camden Yards. I don't follow the O's much at all anymore, but how in the world did 4-5 true top pitching prospects manage to flame out at the same time? Was it lack of leadership? The fact they were all brought up fast and needed additional time in the minors?

  17. Paul - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Don't forget that the Nats are currently employing the manager that last took the O's to the playoffs and a winning record. I never forgave Angelos for firing the 1997 Manager of the Year and I take a lot of joy watching him push the right buttons on the Nats.

  18. Drew8 - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I'll throw this solitary bone to the Orioles. I'd trade our guy in the photo for theirs.This was a shocker, though. This year Jones had even fewer walks (29) than Desmond (35).

  19. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Speaking of pitching – CMW did not look so good against the mlb team yesterday. Should we worry?

  20. sjm308 - Nov 7, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Drew: I make that trade in a heartbeat and will throw in one of our minor league pitchers as well. It won't happen but that would solve CF. We would still need to figure out the leadoff situation and of course Baltimore would never make that trade. They signed Hardy for several more years and have a hot shot minor leaguer as well. Still nice to dream about stuff for the next few months.

  21. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Wait, so the O's stable of young arms never materialized but the Nats should count on their stable of arms working out very well? We'll see.The 4th place Jays are a pretty good club. That is the AL East in a nutshell. The O's have some pieces, but they play in a Division that crushes them. The O's have Wieters, Hardy, Roberts and Jones up the middle (they are all All Star potential guys), with Markakis and Reynolds and $35M coming off the books, the O's are not exactly lifeless. And unlike the Nats, they have shown themselves actually willing to spend to and above the level of their market (for all the deserved bashing Angelos gets, they have not been a cheap club — and for all of Zuck's praise to the Lerners, the Nats have arguably been a cheap club). Sure, the O's would need a ton of ptiching to have a chance, but they have a leadoff man and a bunch of speed and power and they catch the ball pretty well too. They have the coins for Fielder (who has to like that short porch at Camden). We might see David Wright or David Ortiz in Baltimore next summer, who knows. But, who cares. It is an apples and oranges discussion. But, I guess that the bottom line is almost the same. The Nats, though looking better than the O's by at least the measurement of one Strasburg, are likely a 2012 4th place club at this point. Is that so much better than what the O's are looking at being picked to finish last in the AL East?dfh21

  22. MFG - Nov 7, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Could this be the Nats' CF of the future? http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15469

  23. Just wonderin' - Nov 7, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    So, is this guy on the Nats' list of potential CFs?http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15469

  24. Mark'd - Nov 7, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    dfh21, you are full of it. Angelos spent his money on Markakis and one proven player in Brian Roberts. Other than that it has been 1 year deals until McFAIL got Hardy to agree to a below market extension, and don't know how McFAIL pulled that off. They have never invested in pitching and Free Agency.When Bedard had ace potential and was going to cost them in arbitration, they traded him for Minor Leaguers which yielded Adam Jones and Bedard dell apart so they got lucky. Os fans were irate.The franchises biggest turn was Ripken retiring in 2001 and not keeping Mike Mussina who left in 2001 to the Yankees.Until the Nats arrived, the O's were the only game in town.

  25. Nattydread - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Nice post Mark. The irritating Poopy McPoop, who reviled whenever Baltimore came out in front of DC, pretty much stopped his childish scribbles in the other Nats website when the Birds hit bottom. He's sitting in a basement somewhere, reading Nats blogs, deeply depressed.

  26. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    O's have had draft blunders as well. Matt Hobgood was their '09 pick, they could have taken Leake or even Zack Wheeler.In 2008, they could have taken Buster Posey over Matusz.In 2006, they could have taken Lincecum instead of Billy Rowell. I don't even think Rowell is in AAA yet. The Hobgood pick was the worse b/c they went for a guy they could sign. You don't do that when you have a top 5 pick, you pick the premium talent, and then pay him. It's simple.

  27. John C. - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    @dfh21: Wow, it's really sad to attempt to defend Angelos and the O's by falling back on the old reliable "Lernerz R ChEep" song. When Bowden was GM there was justice in it – Bowden told the Lerners what they wanted to hear, and they took it hook, line and sinker. But the Tex pursuit, the Werth signing, the consistent overslot payments three drafts in a row and the resulting steady rise in the payroll should really put that old melody away for anyone who is paying attention.I don't hate the O's, and I do feel bad for their fans. That was once a proud franchise and how it's a laughingstock. I know that feeling, since I'm a season ticket holder for the Redskins. I shed no tears for Angelos, though.Could the Nats finish 4th in the NL East? Sure. They could even collapse and finish last. But there's as much chance of the latter as there is of the team going on a magical run to a Division title the way the Diamondbacks did this season (i.e., not much). The Orioles pitching and defense are terrible (Mark Reynolds makes Ian Desmond look like a vacuum cleaner), and their front office seems to be in a shambles. Their farm system is routinely ranked near the bottom of MLB (although Manny Machado looks like the real deal). Even an O's fan who steps back and looks at the team should be able to see that the Nationals are better positioned to move up into real contention in the next 2-3 years.

  28. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Mark'd — I am full of what, something closer to objectivity and relevance? Who cares about 2001 or the pre Nats landscape. In a Lerners to Angelos spending compare — the O's have outspent the Nats by more than $45M the last 4 years (in terms of Opening Day payroll via Cott's). I am not saying that bigger spending equals greater success (paging Mr. Henry!), but I am saying that the O's have some shiny pieces and they have payroll flexibility and they have spent money in the past to try to compete. As for the Nats, we can feel better about the club as it comes together more soldily year after year, but it remains well behind Philly and Atlanta and the Fish have at least comparable talent to the Nats (and are talking about making a run as they open their new park). Only the Mets can be very solidly expected to be behind the Nats in 2012. So, you may disagree, of course, but I am not full of it.dfh21

  29. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    First.. let's not throw stones at the O's fans (we can at Angelos). This organization WAS great to watch for Years – Brooks, Palmer, Cal, just to name a few, When Angelos took over the team, he ran everyone off (Jon Miller, Gillick, Davey, and even Cal after he retired). WE know what bad ownership looks like, we have a daily reminder up 95 that shows us. And for all their faults and mistakes, it looks like the Lerners have LEARNED from them. I felt when Stan K (despite letting Phillies fans invade) was here and he started to bring in quality baseball people – Rizzo – I knew that Bowden was going to be out soon. And thank the lord he is gone. Spending money last year – whether you agree with them or not on the Werth contract – opened the eyes of ALL of baseball. (Remember how that contract ticked off the Yanks/Sox/Phillies). To start to play with the big boys, you have to have one of these contracts. IT's the bad team tax. We tried with Texiera, that didn't work out. You have to land a guy and that's when people take your seriously.As we heard over the weekend on MLB network – the Nats are the Sexy Sleeper pick next year ( I love Larry Bowa for that). And we are being linked with EVERY free agent out there (right or wrong) Does Boras pay the Sports Illustrated guys to blather on about this – Yes I am talking to you Heyman and Verducci.I think we should count our blessings that our team is looking up and not at a major rebuilding and we have an ownership group that is starting to spend. Despite people like Poopy McPoop, we should keep our nasty remarks reserved for the Owner, not the fans, because we are not that far removed from that situation (Seriously, could it be worse to be run by MLB and have Bowden as your GM?)

  30. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Angelos is to the Orioles what Snyder is to the Redskins (oops a deadskin reference). Angelos took a great franchise and turned it into one of the worse in all of baseball and until he sells the team, they will never get better. I would hope someday that both the Orioles and Nats become good, although the Nats look as if they will be first to do it, creating an exceptional rivalry that would be great for both set of fans, cities, and baseball.But until Angelos sells the team, then O’s fans will have to suffer with 14 and counting years of non-winning baseball. Serves Angelos right for keeping D.C. from having a baseball team for years, trying to force us to be O’s fans, and forcing us into that ridicules TV deal. Go Nats!

  31. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    On to CMW' outing yesterday. He is a sinker ball pitcher – a "Feel" pitch. He has been off for a month, so I chaulk it up to rust and not to any red flags (she says hopefully). I say we look at how he is in Spring Training after a few starts before we get too worried.

  32. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    John C — fair enough. The Nats have some hopes for good pitching, that is the glaring difference in the clubs. The O's hit, run and, I think, field better (when Roberts is healthy and with Reynolds off of third and at DH, I think they are better). Pithcing is what wins, so the big failure of the O's to stock arms is glaring and they are a long way away from getting it together. OK.I agree that the Nats are in a better position, but it is not as if they are in a good position, but for the ability to spend like a big market club to fill the gaps in order to be a NLCS type club. Are the Lerners going to do that any time soon? Who knows, maybe they are all in after the Werth deal and we'll see a big jump tp contention this off-season. But, the Phillies and Atlanta are better by a lot. And the Fish are a comparable club, at worst. So, the Nats are looking at 4th, maybe 3rd in the NL East. I don't understand what Zuck is saying, the Nats right now at least are not a sleeper candidate any more than any other club but for the Padres, Stros, Mariners and Mets.dfh21

  33. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Anonymous said… Mark'd — I am full of what, something closer to objectivity and relevance? Who cares about 2001 or the pre Nats landscape. In a Lerners to Angelos spending compare — the O's have outspent the Nats by more than $45M the last 4 years (in terms of Opening Day payroll via Cott's). I am not saying that bigger spending equals greater success (paging Mr. Henry!), but I am saying that the O's have some shiny pieces and they have payroll flexibility and they have spent money in the past to try to compete. As for the Nats, we can feel better about the club as it comes together more soldily year after year, but it remains well behind Philly and Atlanta and the Fish have at least comparable talent to the Nats (and are talking about making a run as they open their new park). Only the Mets can be very solidly expected to be behind the Nats in 2012. So, you may disagree, of course, but I am not full of it.dfh21 November 7, 2011 10:18 AMI have been avoiding wasting a comment on this thread as "who cares" and then dfh21 has to bring up salaries and Lerners are cheap. Who cares. If you can win at $45 million or $200 million the Tampa system works and so does the Yankees so I don't feel sorry for the Orioles as they were once a guaranteed sell-out and all they had to do was field a decent team. All the years they were making tons of money was pocketed instead of reinvested.The highest payroll in the NL is the Phillies and the Nats are competing with them and it takes time.Now if someone knows the reason why Angelos spent $66 million on a RF named Nick Markakis when he could have gone through arbitration at a fraction of what he paid him and used those dollars on pitchers. It goes against any previous logic the Orioles used on long-term contracts in the past with their 2nd largest contract Brian Roberts at 4 year $40 million, I just see a lot of money spent on players that are a hodge-podge that don't seem to fit a long-term strategy.I think McPhail was on a path that could have worked and they didn't spend the money in pitching.

  34. Mark'd - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    SteveM, Angelos had known Markakis through his affiliation with Greek ballplayers and supposedly mandated that he was the 1st pick in 2003. Luckily for Angelos he wasn't a dud and is the equivalent to Greeks that Wang is to Taiwan.I think Markakis is worth the $12 million he will make this year and then he jumps to $15 million for 2013 where he will be paid on the elite player scale.

  35. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    I would like to see our expectations lowered a bit. At this rate, we're not gonna come in under the radar.I also think all NL East clubs have problems. The Braves have major starting pitching issues. The Phillies just signed a $1+mil pinch hitter (see Stairs, Matt – 2011) and the Mets are in disarray. The Fish will be much-improved in 2012, coming into a new ballpark.If we were in the AL East, we'd be struggling to compete, too. To compete realistically, you need to fill the ballpark each day. The O's used to. The Nats need to start that in 2012.

  36. PAY TO PLAY - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Anonymous said… I am saying that the O's have some shiny pieces and they have payroll flexibility and they have spent money in the past to try to compete.dfh21 November 7, 2011 10:18 AM That's some revisionist history. They raised their payroll when the Nats came into existence. When Angelos bought the team and the new shiny stadium and had Cal Ripken as his centerpiece and a winning team and sell-outs every night, where did he spend money in 2000 and beyond to make his team better?His idea was to bring in "big names" on the cheap beyond their prime like Sammy Sosa, Vlad Guerrero, Rafael Palmeiro to being a gate attraction.Then he attaches his name to Free Agents just to show he is trying to improve with no intention of getting them. All smoke and mirrors and that tiger will never changes his stripes.

  37. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Anon @10:56, while the comparison of Thome to Stairs is close, Thome will hit HRs. I don't get the signing but was glad to see it. Any club the Nats compete with that makes moves like that is good for the Nats.Word I am hearing that the Braves want to re-tool and take a step back to take a step foward.

  38. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    The Braves have killer pitching and very solid postion players, many of them young and under control. Why would they be taking a step back at this point with Ryan Howard on the fritz for ahlf a season in 2012 and Chipper at the sunset? It is a better bet that they are going to try to make a run, especially after the big colapse last year.dfh21

  39. SonnyG10 - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I have nothing against the Oriole team or its fans. I hate Angelos with a passion. My first turn-off with Angelos was when he fired Davey Johnson. Then he kept putting up road blocks to us getting a team in Washington, and the final straw was the television deal. I hope somehow the Orioles are rid of him. Maybe I could like the Birds as my second team if that were to happen.

  40. NatsGuy - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Ken Rosenthal as well as Sports Illustrated are saying the Braves are open to deals for the long-term. Tim Hudson isn't getting younger and they are concerned about the health of Jair Jurggens and Chipper jones. Derek Lowe has been traded and they have been shopping other trades.

  41. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    All I can say to this is : Hahahahaahahahahahahahaahahah Poopy McPoopback to the fecal laden waters of the Innuh Habbah with ya!

  42. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    And Hahahahaahahahaahahahahahahah Pete Kerzel and Goose Bumps Goesling … hahahahaha he's your boss … ahahahahahaahahahaahahrevenge is schweeeeeeet!

  43. sjm308 - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    I see three "shiny pieces" on the O's and absolutely NO pitching at this time. Still think the young pitchers could develop but they certainly took steps back this year. I think dfh is not full of it but also not totally correct either. If you go position by position Nats vs O's its actually pretty close until you get to pitching!! I would rather have the O's SS, CF, RF and I will call the catching even since both are young and look to be good for years to come.For the Nationals, we crush at 3b, LF, 1b (assuming LaRoche or Morse is there), and 2b we are just a little better with huge potential. Roberts has not played much the last 2 years with concussion issues so I give us the edge. But pitching is off the charts both starting and in the bullpen slanted toward the Nationals.Now the other crusher in my opinion is that the Orioles are farther from the 4th place team in their division (whose assist. GM turned down Angelos for a head position) then we are from First place. Phillies are getting older, lost 25% of their big 4 pitching, won't have Howard for at least 1/2 the season, and are probably going to lose Rollins and their closer to FA.Braves relief pitchers were outstanding last year but that is a crap shoot each year and I am not sold on their everyday lineup as Chipper fades into the sunset. Everyone talks about the Marlins and their new park but their pitching is not that solid and they have holes in the field as well. We might not win the division this year but I really think we can challenge for the wild card. O's 15th straight losing year.

  44. Tom - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Pay to Play – Palmeiro was not past his prime when he came to Baltimore. He was a great player (although apparently on the juice). I grew up rooting for Ripken and the O's and remember the great teams they had under Davey Johnson.Fortunately Angelos made it easy to hate them and now we have our own! And they definitely have more upside right now than the Orioles.

  45. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    'The Braves have major starting pitching issues'. Really? With Hudson, Hanson, Jurgens, Minor, Teheran, Beachy and a killer pen pitching is not their problem. They have some holes in their lineup namely in left and short and a lousy manager but they can pitch.

  46. JaneB - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    I was never an Os fan, as they are not in The One True League. I feel for their fans, but not their owner.I am just glad to read about my Nats. If the subject were "what's their favorite color," it would still beat pages on pages of Redskins blah blah blah in the paper today. Mark and you all are keeping me sane. Ish.

  47. Wally - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    I think that the O's are a cautionary tale for us. I agree that Angelos is bad news for a team as its owner, but they had some budding stars/prospects that failed to progress the way they expected. Not all of that can be placed on Angelos. The three main areas that I am thinking of is (a) Adam Jones, (b) Markakis, and (c) their young pitching. Jones – in his first season after the trade, he put up a .270/.311/.400 slash line with plus defense in CF (at 23). Fast forward 4 years, he is now 27, still looking for his first 3 WAR season and has been negative defensively the last 3 years. He is still a fine player, but he looked like a superstar in the making and that is not what he has become. Markakis – 2008 (the year he got the contract, I think), he put up a terrific .306/.406/.491, also with plus D in RF (a 6 WAR season). Since then, he has seen his defense deteriorate to being worse than average, and his hitting has fallen off so much that he hasn't posted a 3 WAR season since. Interestingly, I remember at the time that writers like Boz generally felt like the Markakis contract was less risky for the club than Zim's contract. Hardly worked out to be the case.But Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman, etc is the biggest mystery: what happened to these guys? Just at the beginning of last year, they were thought to be a very promising group. Matusz was coming off 175 innings of quality ball in his first full year (2.7 WAR, higher than any of our 2011 guys except Zimm), but he just fell off the map, and pitched at worse than replacement level last year. He also has been steadily losing velocity over the last few years, which is very worrisome for a young guy. The other guys have similar, if less dramatic, stories. Something is going on in their player development efforts.The caution (I think) is that young guys don't always keep going at the rate, or to the levels, that they seem like they should. Maybe we should temper our expectations (but not hopes) for Espy, Desi, Ramos, etc. And maybe Lannan should get a little more of a break for producing so consistently?

  48. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Everyone talks about the Marlins and their new park but their pitching is not that solid and they have holes in the field as well. We might not win the division this year but I really think we can challenge for the wild card. O's 15th straight losing year.With Anibal Sanchez? Josh Johnston? Ricky Nolasco? Vasquez? Surely you jest? They are still a couple of players away from competing for the division title. They may not have done as well as Tampa Bay on the cheap but they haven't done all that badly either. The Marlins probably WILL go after those players as they need to showcase the new ballpark. The Nats play in the toughest division in baseball period. The Orioles live in a DH division laden with power guys. The NL East plays the best ball in all phases of the game. Don't ever forget it.

  49. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    And maybe Lannan should get a little more of a break for producing so consistently?His FIP and xFIP tell the real story. The guy can't get through the fifth inning without running into trouble. And I believe Fangraphs is right in characterizing him as very lucky. For the first time in his career he now has real competition for the starting left hander in the rotation job. Three in the fold and two more close and on the way. And that my friends is the difference between the Nats and the Orioles. They don't stop at a Strasburg. One need only look at this year's draft to know that. Rizzo, Clark, etc know the value of pitching perhaps more than any FO in the majors. They are talking about the AZ set up with Epstein. He's copying what Rizzo has done in Washington. I'll take a Roy Clark over a Jed Hoyer.

  50. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Johnston coming back from TJ and Javier Vasquez retired.Not saying the Fish are going to stink (the mets will take care of that), but they have holes as well. And it all depends on how much they can spend next year with the new park. Everyone says they have money, but their owner is only slightly better than Angelos.

  51. Petey - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    If this nasty invective continues to be hurled at me, I will be forced to sue for defamation of character.

  52. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    'but their owner is only slightly better than Angelos.' No he's not. As a long time Expos fan I can tell you that Jeff Loria is not better than anyone. He happens to have a great GM in Beinfest but that city is a lousy Baseball town and they will find out like everyone else does that shiny new stadiums only postpone the inevitable by a couple of years.

  53. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    A good comparison on the Nats is to who they say in front of them as Wild Card contenders. Even for 2012, the Phillies have to be considered favorites for best record in the NL.The Braves are still going to contend for the Wild Card and whichever doesn't win the NL Central out of the Cardinals/Brewers and the same out of the NL West Diamondbacks/Dodgers/Giants appear to all be .500 or better teams.If the Nats can't improve in offense, I don't think the pitching and defense can improve enough to give the Nats more than 84 to 86 wins. The rest of the wins have to come from improved offense.

  54. NatsLady - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    "they will find out like everyone else does that shiny new stadiums only postpone the inevitable by a couple of years"Hey, I like our shiny new stadium. At first I missed RFK, but I'm over it. Apparently, someone who knows how to run malls is taking a crack at running a stadium. There still seem to be some fails:1) Who eats tacos at a baseball game? Apparently, not many people, as there is never a line at that stand. But I like that ownership is experimenting, and I hope that keeps up.2) Gotta, gotta, gotta improve the vending when the crowds are large. 30K seems to be the tipping point when they run out of everything. This year, with the improved team (YES!), there are going to be crowds. Get on it, Lerners.

  55. UNTERP - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Steve M. said… A good comparison on the Nats is to who they say in front of them as Wild Card contenders. Even for 2012, the Phillies have to be considered favorites for best record in the NL. The Braves are still going to contend for the Wild Card and whichever doesn't win the NL Central out of the Cardinals/Brewers and the same out of the NL West Diamondbacks/Dodgers/Giants appear to all be .500 or better teams. If the Nats can't improve in offense, I don't think the pitching and defense can improve enough to give the Nats more than 84 to 86 wins. The rest of the wins have to come from improved offense.This is right. Not only is this the high end if their offense doesn't improve, but it's not etched in stone that they will win any more games '12 than this season. It could be 74 to 79 wins. Not enough credit goes to the starting pitching who were handicapped most of the season in most of the games pitching from behind or without a lead. It's amazing how pitching without thinking you have to be perfect to win a game will do for you…

  56. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Wally said…The caution (I think) is that young guys don't always keep going at the rate, or to the levels, that they seem like they should. Maybe we should temper our expectations (but not hopes) for Espy, Desi, Ramos, etc. And maybe Lannan should get a little more of a break for producing so consistently? November 7, 2011 11:53 AM Wally, I for one am not even thinking improved offensive expectations for Espy and Ramos, just a better approach/plan at the plate. If they improve, it is a bonus. Desmond has to show he can be that guy we saw at the end of 2011. If he isn't, then shortstop becomes a position of weakness.I do expect each to improve defensively and I think that is a reasonable expectation. With LaRoche back, that should make Espinosa look even better at 2nd.All 3 finished strong offensively and I believe Davey's guidance has really helped each of them at the plate.

  57. Will - Nov 7, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Anonymous said,"With Anibal Sanchez? Josh Johnston? Ricky Nolasco? Vasquez? Surely you jest? They are still a couple of players away from competing for the division title. They may not have done as well as Tampa Bay on the cheap but they haven't done all that badly either.The Marlins probably WILL go after those players as they need to showcase the new ballpark."MicheleS already pointed it out. But JohnSON is currently injured with shoulder problems, similar to Brandon Webb, that could potentially end his career. Javier Vazquez retired. A rotation of Sanchez, Nolasco, Volstad, and Hand is pretty weak.And I don't know where these new players are going to come from. Hanley Ramirez is coming off a terrible season. Logan Morrison might get traded for half his value, and their second best batter was Emilio Bonifacio. Yes, that Emilio Bonifacio. Their farm system is devoid of any top prospects, and if you ever expect Jeffrey Loria to spend money, then I have some ocean front real estate in Nebraska that I think you would be interested in.I'm much more worried about other things in the Marlins' new stadium, like their new HR aberration… I mean HR feature, than who they put on the field.

  58. UNTERP - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    I expect the team to improve at the plate, and therefore score more runs, and consequently win 89 games, and subsequently contend for a wild card spot.That is all…

  59. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    UNTERP said… This is right. Not only is this the high end if their offense doesn't improve, but it's not etched in stone that they will win any more games '12 than this season. It could be 74 to 79 wins. Not enough credit goes to the starting pitching who were handicapped most of the season in most of the games pitching from behind or without a lead. It's amazing how pitching without thinking you have to be perfect to win a game will do for you… November 7, 2011 12:43 PM Good points on that. I think Jordan Zimmermann learned a lot about pitching without a lead. Lannan had lived through it before. Your point on moving backwards on W/L record is a possibility on all teams. Rizzo has to keep pushing towards his off-season goals of getting his veteran pitcher and his outfielder.I still never looked at the Nats as having a lucky year, rather I thought finally some of the parts came together and bad luck reared its ugly head with injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche and extreme under-performance in the 1st half by Jayson Werth.The fortunate part in the 1st half was Morse and Espinosa exceeding expectations. If the Nats didn't have those 2 prolonged losing streaks under Davey in the 2nd half, the Nats could have been at 84 to 86 wins.The future is bright and it is up to Rizzo to plug the 1 gaping hole in the outfield and for Davey to choose wisely on his final roster.I had the chance to see Bryce Harper play Saturday night in the Rising Stars game. His last 2 at-bats show how far he has to go. When the TV cameras are on him, he tends to over-swing trying to send out pitches 500 feet. The last 2 at-bats, I think he struck out both times on 1-2 counts and looked very un-ready.I don't think we count on Bryce Harper in 2012. If he comes and contributes, its a bonus.

  60. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Unterp, This is pie in the sky. You should expect some players to improve and some to the decline and others to stay where they were. It's rare that an entire team improves offensively without personnel changes. Steve M. is correct in his assessment of Espinosa, Ramos and Desmond. What they have in common is that they don't have good 2 strike approaches. Desmond made great strides in not giving away at bats by waiting for his pitch especially in the last month. Even if all 3 improve somewhat there is a fair chance that Morse will decline some and that production provided by Nix in the 1st half will be hard to repeat.

  61. MFG - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Apparently the Giants traded Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals for Melky Cabrera. I'd imagine that the Nats could have put together some kind of package involving Bernadina and some low-level prospects to get Sanchez.

  62. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    'If the Nats didn't have those 2 prolonged losing streaks under Davey in the 2nd half, the Nats could have been at 84 to 86 wins.' Steve M. They also had 2 prolonged winning streaks so yes what you say is right but they also could have very easily been a 74 – 76 win team.

  63. Wally - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    SteveM – To me, if Ramos could be the exact player he was in 2011, just expand the rate stats for another 200 PAs, I would take that in a heartbeat. That is something like a 5 WAR catcher, of which there was 1 in 2011 (Alex Avila). That is a lot of playing to ask of a catcher, though. Only 1 (Santana) had over 600 PAs last year.On Espy, I thought that his D was pretty good, but hope for improvement on O. I have suggested in the past that the Nats won't be able to contend with both Desi and Espy at MI, because I don't see BOTH improving their O to sufficient levels, and carrying both bats is hard. There is room to give it another year to see for sure, though.Agree about Davey.

  64. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Will, good analysis on the Fish. I think the same could be said for the Braves. I know JD is bullish on the Braves staff and while I think they are very good as a group if Jair is healthy, this is the year I believe the Nats are going to be better. They can keep riding Tim Hudson but Jair J has been injured and Hanson didn't finish strong and came back to a 3.60 ERA. Betting on Beachy, Minor and Teheran as Rookie types is a risky bet given their experience level. Here's a good read from a Brave's perspective on their pitching staff:http://www.talkingchop.com/2011/11/1/2528016/2011-atlanta-braves-player-reviews-jair-jurrjens-tommy-hanson

  65. natsfan1a - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Oh. My. G*d. Is that a joke? If so, it's more like an abomination than an aberration, imho. I'm much more worried about other things in the Marlins' new stadium, like their new HR aberration… I mean HR feature, than who they put on the field. November 7, 2011 12:58 PM

  66. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    With Melky Cabrera traded by the Royals as an expendable extra outfielder goes my hopes that Alex Gordon will be traded. I knew in October that Dayton Moore was shopping a top outfielder for a starting pitcher and middle infielder and catcher. Now they will move Cain in CF with Gordon in LF and Francouer in RF and still have Wil Meyer in waiting.Sanchez was the weak link for the SF Giants last year so the Giants got the better of that deal as many saw Sanchez as a non-tender anyway. Good move by Sabean.

  67. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Steve M. I am not crazy about the Braves staff I just don't think it's reasonable to call it a major problem. I agree that we could challenge the Braves especially if Fredi is still their manager.

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    natsfan1a said…I like them okay, but Crows are pretty smart, too, and you see more of them in my neighborhood. What does bird-watching have to do with baseball, though?Did you know blue jays are corvids? I just learned that.

  69. Mark'd - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    SteveM, I was hoping you were on to something with Alex Gordon. Sounds like the Royals had extra outfielders and probably got nervous about getting a deal done before the Free Agents starting moving around.The Royals are also selling naming rights to get higher revenue before the All Star game so they probably will increase payroll.With any luck Gordon will be available on July 31st.

  70. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    jd, I didn't think I disparaged the Braves rotation. Did someone else?

  71. natsfan1a - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Magpies, too, she chattered.Now I think I have to lie down for a little bit after watching that Marlins video. Da-ang.Did you know blue jays are corvids? I just learned that.

  72. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Mark'd said… SteveM, I was hoping you were on to something with Alex Gordon. Sounds like the Royals had extra outfielders and probably got nervous about getting a deal done before the Free Agents starting moving around.The Royals are also selling naming rights to get higher revenue before the All Star game so they probably will increase payroll.With any luck Gordon will be available on July 31st. November 7, 2011 1:37 PM Mark'd, the Royals were dangling Melky, Cain and Gordon. They wanted a blockbuster for Gordon and too much for Cain. With Melky, they got Sanchez and a AA arm.I thought Rizzo could put together a package with Detwiler, Lombo and Flores potentially and I am sure the Royals wanted more than Detwiler and maybe Espinosa.You heard last week the Braves were talking Jair Jurjens for Lorenzo Cain and others.You know what they say about trades, sometimes the trades you don't make are your best trades.On to other options.

  73. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Now I think I have to lie down for a little bit after watching that Marlins video. Da-ang.I know. I hope it's big, at least. Why go half crazy?

  74. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    So what does anyone know about Yoenis Cespedes that wasn't in Kilgore's post this morning?

  75. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Polanco- 36 year old gold glove with lingering injury issues.Howard- torn achilles, tough come back especially for a big man. 32 years old, will likely miss early part of season.Ruiz-35 years old.Ibanez- likely gone.Utley- lingering lower body injuries, a shell of his pre 2011 self.Thome will be 42. Can't play anywhere in the field without seriously being a negative. Great guy, great career, very good DH, though never has been a good PHRolllins- a free agent that has seen his prime.Oswalt-probably gone.Madson- the best they had in a fairly weak pen is a free agent that wants a lot. Might be gone.Lee and Halliday- two great pitchers that both threw a bunch of innings in a "win now" season. They can't keep leaving those guys in for over a 100 pitches a game.Pence- A terrific pick upVictorino-solid John Mayberry- if he fills in for Howard at 1st base they're short a quality OF.If they don't hold on to their pending FA's, plus make a serious splash in the off season, they won't be the division winners next year.Their farm isn't overly rich either. I see the Nats and the Braves in a dogfight in September

  76. MIcheleS - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    OMG.. My EYES.. that HR thing is HORRID. Let's hope it NEVER goes off

  77. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    I got cut off. Anyway, I see the Braves and Nats in a serious dogfight in September for the East title, with the loser contending for the wildcard. The Phillies will be watching the playoffs from their rocking chairs.

  78. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    I just spoke to my contact with the Royals and as expected they moved Melky and aren't looking at moving another outfielder right now.They are still hoping to extend Alex Gordon and pointed out that their farm system is stacked with young outfielders especially with top draft pick Bubba Starling.They are looking at an increase of revenue from selling naming rights as well as season tickets sold to guarantee All Star tickets for the 2012 season which will give them money to spend for new contracts and some pickups in free agency.

  79. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… I got cut off. Anyway, I see the Braves and Nats in a serious dogfight in September for the East title, with the loser contending for the wildcard. The Phillies will be watching the playoffs from their rocking chairs. November 7, 2011 2:31 PM Now there is a bold prediction! Its possible like the fate of the Yankees a few years ago that they got old quickly and didn't make it.

  80. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    When did this become a KC Royals blog?

  81. NatsGuy - Nov 7, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Joe Seamhead, I see the Philthies as the top of the National League based on nothing more than Halladay, Hamels, and Cliff Lee and the ability to spend $20 million in Free Agency.

  82. Steve M. - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/trade-and-free-agent-market-for-starting-pitchers.htmlThere's John Lannan's name mentioned as possibly available. They also list the A's Gio Gonzalez and Brandon McCarthy. I think McCarthy could be a hidden gem out there if available.

  83. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    On Another note… for those of you that are into stats… MLB Network has a new show call "Clubhouse Confidential" and they say it's a stats show. It's with Brian Kenney (formerly of ESPN). I had a chance to run into him a few times at the Hall Of Fame inductions ceremonies at Cooperstown. He loves baseball and hasn't missed an HOF induction in like 25 years. And was nice despite being mobbed by people. I will be curious what are stat fans think of it.

  84. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Steve M. You did not disparage the Braves staff. Someone else called them a huge problem and then we got into this cross conversation. BTW I think the Royals pulled off a major heist in getting Sanchez for Melky. I think Melky is nothing special and you don't give up a solid arm like Sanchez for nothing special.

  85. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Selling naming rights? They're going to be the KC Masterpieces, or something like that?

  86. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    NatsGuy said…Joe Seamhead, I see the Philthies as the top of the National League based on nothing more than Halladay, Hamels, and Cliff Lee and the ability to spend $20 million in Free Agency.NatsGuy, I see your Halladay, Hamels, Lee, and $20 Mil and raise you Strasburg, Zimmermann, Wang, our Rising Stars, and what ever Mike Rizzo wants the Lerners to pay for. Plus I think our manager is better.

  87. Wally - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    JD – that was my first reaction, but after thinking about it, I think it is a wash. I agree that Melky is nothing special, but Sanchez has failed to reach his potential, no hitter notwithstanding, and is starting to get expensive. I see Ollie Perez as his comp. Steve M – I would be pretty happy with Gio or McCarthy, depending on what we have to give up. Also, did you see the speculation about D. Wright for Bourjos + other stuff? That one actually makes a little sense.

  88. Gonat - Nov 7, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Steve, I think the A's would be a good trading partner for Gio Gonzalez or Brandon McCarthy. I still believe the Willingham deal was a poor deal for the Nats and hope the Nats if they trade with the A's can get a better return this time.I read that the Phillies are also interested for Willingham for RF if they don't get Cuddyer.

  89. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    As always.. Sec 3 is BRINGING IT! Sec 3, My Sofa said… Selling naming rights? They're going to be the KC Masterpieces, or something like that?

  90. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    I would love to see Willingham with Philly. Josh plays a very mediocre OF. He would just be another chink in their rusty armor.

  91. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    I am really interested in Cespedes. Might take the guy some time to adjust to the Bigs, but he could be something special if we can buy some of the hype around the guy and given that the guy has what looks like awesome athleticism and strength. And on the relative cheap at $30M+ over 5 years. COULD be a killer combo from the right side with Harper.I am guessing that the Blue Jays land him at $33M/5 yrs plus an option of some kind.dfh21

  92. NatStat - Nov 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    The Nats should be suspicious of Cespedes age (26??) and his reportedly below-average arm for CF. He can catch everything, but he can't throw it!

  93. Just sayin' - Nov 7, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    If you believe some of the chatter appearing today on various websites, the Marlins — in addition to their over-the-top HR display and some garish new uniforms — seem to have received marching orders to treat their new stadium and cash cow and start spending money. Chatter is cheap, of course, of allegedly the Marlins are going after either Fielder or Pujols, plus Reyes, as well as this newest Cuban amigo, Señor Cespedes. Unclear what they would do with Gaby Sanchez or Hanley Ramirez. What does that mean for the Nats? Maybe nothing, particularly if nothing comes of it. But if they make any of those signings early, it will certainly raise the stakes for everyone in the NL East.

  94. Just Sayin's copy editor - Nov 7, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    That should have read: "…to treat their new stadium as a cash cow…"

  95. jd - Nov 7, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    I don't get Thome for Philly. He's 41 and hasn't played in the field for years. This is the National league. Is he strictly a pinch hitter?

  96. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Thome is Matt Stairs but with more upside and more fan appeal. They will sell enough jerseys to make the signing work.The Fish have some options. Chatter is indeed cheap but they did not go trade to get Guillen to manage the club in order to play some long term "build it the right way" game (owner speak for keep fan expectations low). They likely will spend. The Twins opened their new park with a $100M payroll. The Yanks and Mets, each opened spending more money than God. 2006 Cards opened their new place at $88M. The 2008 Nats, bigger market than either St. Louis or Minneapolis, in their new, publicy financed park in DC — $55M and Manny Acta, to add insult to injury. Some clubs know how to get a fanbase excited and some clubs are the Nats. Anyway, the Marlins have some very tradable guys and Hanley may be cool with playing 3B if it meant Reyes and his club drawing tons of fans and having a chance for the playoffs. Two guys with batting titles in the same infield, both of whom can steal 30+ bases? Throw in Infante, Sanchez and Buck, uber talent in RF in Stanton, Morrison in LF and Bonafacio and his 40 SB's in CF? That's a very exciting lineup.Gotta love the Hot Stove. We'll see what happens.dfh21

  97. Gonat - Nov 7, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    dfh21, I think the Marlins are trying to generate additional buzz and their big signing will be nothing spectacular. It is one thing to do a 1 or 2 year deal at $16 million and another thing to do a 6 to 8 year deal for $120 million.

  98. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    I don't think we count on Bryce Harper in 2012. If he comes and contributes, its a bonus.Sorry but I think you (and so many others) continue to look at this from the wrong perspective. Like it or not even next year the Nats are still rebuilding. IN the tough NL East this is life in the big city. Davey Johnson is a manager who likes to develop young players. He has no ego having been there and done that on all levels. He has nothing to prove. Yes, he likes to win but he is going to find a way to do that WHILE developing young players. IN OTHER WORDS they won't have to be forced on him as Riggleman was with Desmond. Riggleman wanted to play Guzman yet again and maybe use Desmond as a utility guy. It was Johnson who said Desmond should be the shortstop. IMO Harper is far better prepared as an offensive force than Desmond. And certainly in his horrendous rookie year Desmond wasn't all that wonderful in the field. IN that sense Harper again, is ahead although he has a bit of an advantage playing the easier to manage right field. YES Johnson will pick and play Harper. He will continue his development in the majors. Why? Is playing with Johnson, Bo Porter et al better than Syracuse? At this point given all factors and how poor a developer of young talent that the departed Riggleman was … YES. If Riggleman were still the manager it would be a different story and certainly Harper would be better off in Harrisburg and Syracuse.But with Johnson and company? And the fact that every single player on the active roster believes that Harper could help them? Sorry my friend but you'll just have to put up with Harper's gaffe's as we did with Desmond and to a lesser extent Espinosa. It may not be pretty but Johnson wants to build a winner. He isn't coming in to take over a team that is ready to win … he is building that. And from all I've read Harper looks like a big part of that … but he will have to really hunker down and have a great spring ….

  99. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Chatter is indeed cheap but they did not go trade to get Guillen to manage the club in order to play some long term "build it the right way" game (owner speak for keep fan expectations low). They likely will spend. This is a good point. I can't see Ozzie sticking around otherwise–he never struck me as the patient type.

  100. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Or, he could tell the owner to st[RF]u, and get fired inside a year. He wouldn't be the first one.

  101. Wally - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Been thinking about this Melky/Sanchez trade. Harper at Nationals Baseball points out that it suggests that the CF market is a sellers market, and I think that I agree, based on this trade and the rumors of David Wright for Bourjos + prospects.I guess maybe I am coming around to signing Crisp. I am a little worried that prices for trade guys, be it Bourjos, Upton, Span or whomever, is going to get crazy. I want to fill the spot but sometimes the market gets away from you and it. Is better just to hunker through it.

  102. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    I don't get Thome for Philly. He's 41 and hasn't played in the field for years. This is the National league. Is he strictly a pinch hitter? Yes, but I thought he was done when he went to the White Sox. Who probably wish they had him last year instead of Dunn. So there's that.

  103. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Crisp? I think they'd be better off with Ankiel and Brown backing up Werth in center.Unless its a Borjous (preferable) an Upton, etc. it just isn't worth it. They already have enough in house that look better? And Harper is going to be in right field ostensibly with Morse in left? Where is 666 zillion dollar Werth going to play? CF. CF. CF. CF. Okay?

  104. Theophilus - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Johnson is playing for two years. He's making predictions about winning a pennant next year because he wants to go out on top, not because he is confident they'll win a championship. Having made those kinds of predictions, he won't quit just because he finished a game or two out of the playoffs, just to see the next manager grab the brass ring. So Johnson will be here in 2013, and he will manage so that all of the pieces are in place for a big finish in 2013.That means, Harper will sit in 2012 until he's ready, and the Nats have a solid, defensive outfield.

  105. Drew8 - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Somebody found a workaround to the bizarre 20-minute Yoenis Cespedes The Showcase video that had been removed from YouTube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kREZHmOR1bgThe Cuban defector is clearly a remarkably strong athlete, but (BIG profanity alert) his taste in music is atrocious.They're also apparently trying to avoid showing him throw from the outfield. Anybody need a $30 million DH?The "Star Wars" beginning is cute, but as to the ending with the pig on the spit????

  106. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Drew8, his taste in music is AMAZING! But yeah, it's not safe for work. But then again, neither is GYFNG.DL in VA

  107. Drew8 - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    DL, you can have Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Wayne and Jay-Z.I'll stick with old-school Stevie, and his heroes:"There's Basie, Miller, Satchmo and the king of all Sir Duke."And with a voice like Ella's ringing out, there's no way the band could lose…"

  108. SBrent - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    You know, seriously, MLB should find a way to force a sale of the Orioles to a new owner. Angelos is just destroying the franchise and everything he touches turns to crap. They made the Dodgers owner sell, right? They should do it for Baltimore too. They've suffered enough. And hey, while they're at it, after MLLB takes over the O's, it can undo the travesty of the MASN ownership deal.

  109. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    Drew8, I choose to have both. ;) Why limit oneself? Back on topic, this Virginian grew up hating Angelos for preventing DC from having a team. This Virginian is fine with Baltimore's sliding into obscurity, because I am seeing more and more Marylanders talking about the Nats, and going to Nats games. That's MY team! That's paying our players' salaries. Maryland has some great baseball fans that are eager to spend their money watching a winner. (And I'm not interested in watching the Orioles.) I'm glad to have them on my team. DL in VA

  110. Drew8 - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    In the AFL, Walters goes 2-3 with a double and his 9th RBI. He creeps above Mendoza at .203.

  111. joemktg - Nov 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    6:54AM and no new post. MZ's slippin'…

  112. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Oh ye of little faith, joemktg.

  113. Joe Girardi - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Tell me about it.Sec 3, My Sofa said… Or, he could tell the owner to st[RF]u, and get fired inside a year. He wouldn't be the first one. November 7, 2011 7:36 PM

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 48 --
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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