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Kasten joins Magic in bid for Dodgers

Dec 2, 2011, 6:37 PM EST

Associated Press file photo
Stan Kasten, Nationals president from 2006-10, is bidding on the Dodgers.

When he announced in Sept. 2010 he was leaving his post as Nationals president, Stan Kasten made it clear he wasn't about to enter the retirement phase of his life.

"I don't feel like retiring," he said on Sept. 23, 2010. "I'm going to do something. I think it will be a while before I do."

Turns out "a while" was a little more than one year, because today, Kasten's name surfaced as a potential bidder for the soon-to-be-sold Los Angeles Dodgers. As part of an ownership group headlined by … wait for it … Magic Johnson.

Magic? Really? See, I would've pegged Stan as more of a Larry Bird guy.

But seriously, folks, this has the makings of a powerhouse ownershipRead more »

  1. Tcostant - Dec 2, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    I can hear the radio interview now; Giants fans, there are plenty of good seats to see the Giants in LA! Ouch.

  2. Brian - Dec 2, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    "And knowing Stan, you also have to figure he'll find a way to talk his way around the subject without actually revealing anything of substance"Do you miss it? I can still hear him give me the exact same answer, almost verbatim, when I asked him about the Nats' plans internationally in 2008 and then again in 2009

  3. MicheleS - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Tcostant…I got a chuckle out of that one. We will invite Angels, Padres, A's, and anyone else he can to boost attendance at Chavez Ravine.

  4. blovy8 - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    And he'll invite all the opposing fans to move down to the good seats in the seventh inning when all the Dodger fans are gone.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    ….so glad Ted fired that carnival barker/clown.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    So the used car salesman has another gig, huh?

  7. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Watch your wallet, Ervin.

  8. Anonymous8 - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    I don't have much respect for him but to take over a team with no farm system and come up with the right re-building plan and drive that point in the face of negativity while we were suffering with losses is what the Nats needed. He also helped pry JimBo's nose away from MLerner's posterior. Those are his only 2 accomplishments.Not sure how well he will do in Los Angeles which is a big spending town with a lot of tradition. Ah, who am I kidding, LA is the phony capital of the world so he will blend in well.

  9. Scooter - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Wow. I had no idea Stan Kasten had personally strangled so many puppies.Some of y'all are just mean.

  10. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Post of the day candidate from Anonymous8, on StanK in LA:Ah, who am I kidding, LA is the phony capital of the world so he will blend in well. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. I'll be shocked if other MLB owners allow Magic in their midst. Magic must be desperate if it's dipping into the StanK cesspool to gain a veneer of respectability. Advice to Angelinos everywhere: you're going to need the StanK BS-a-lator to figure out whether you really need that undercoating or not.

  11. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    In other news, I heard that the Main Event at each game will be the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves race. You didn't hear this from me but don't put your money on Dopey. He never wins.

  12. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Stan did a passable job in DC and would have done better without 5 tools Bowden.

  13. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Wonder if they'll hire Riggleman as the manager?

  14. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    StanK comments after retaining Bowden:"Jim is very smart,” Kasten said last night at RFK Stadium. “By smart, I mean analytical. I love that. I also think he’s very resourceful… And right now, as we’re building this—needing to speed the process up as quickly as we can, needing to shave any unnecessary steps—I need someone resourceful. I think Jim is really good at that.”Kasten would not discuss the length of Bowden’s contract, saying only that he considered the move “permanent.”

  15. JayB - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Could care less at this point and I am so glad we are past those days of Stan and Jimbo and Mark shagging balls in the OF….but since you bring it up Mark…..Stan did a good job in year one giving us some hope….He would make the rounds at RFK and would stop and talk with my ticket group most every game… beat watching Nook Logan and Robert Fick play….so thanks for that Stan.

  16. MicheleS - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Scooter.. it's not Puppies,It's that he INVITED and practically gave Philthy Fans tickets to Nats Park.. And made our Park Citzen's Bank South!!!!

  17. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    The sad fact for us is that Stan will not have to invite fans from other teams because the Dodgers already have a rabid fan base unlike wishy-washy DC fans.I welcome Magic and Stan to take the dodgers back to prominence (it is my dad's favorite team from the Brooklyn days).

  18. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Right on, MicheleS. I will never forgive StanK for that 2010 Opening Day debacle. There were so many Philthy fans in my section, I felt like I needed to take a shower by the third inning.

  19. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    MicheleSStan needed to invite Phlly fans to come down or be disgraced by having a ballpark full of less than 10,000 fans.

  20. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Stan promised much and delivered little and all the while Boz, and the media generally, treated him like he was Branch Rickey. I wish him luck in whatever he does someplace else; but I do not miss him one bit. dfh21

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Stan Kasten is a baseball joke and jerk. He sold group tickets to Philly fans BEFORE even offering them to the regular DC Nats fans.When those opening day tickets went on sale to the general public, they were gone in less than an hour.

  22. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Stan Kasten is a fraud. The Dodgers are doomed if he is calling the shots. He will hire Bowden as the GM.

  23. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    OK, so now MLBTR is reporting that the Marlins are kicking tires on Aramis Ramirez (as I had feared they might). They might actually shift gears altogether and try to trade for David Wright, though I am not sure aboult Alderson moving a guy like that in the Division. Who knows. If they get a high level 3B or Reyes, that club IS dangerous and may not be done adding pieces. Rizzo, you paying attention!? Get 'er done! :-)dfh21

  24. bups - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Bowden would still be the GM of the Nats if he hadn't gotten himself involved in the "skimming scandal" in the DR. That scandal certainly was hushed up after the Bowden resignation.

  25. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Nothing has come of the DR "smileygate" stuff, has it? The Post played it up like the feds were going to charge Bowden any day, and that was years ago.

  26. dj in Fl. - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    A quote from Magic that only Nats fans can appreciate, or not."We want to win. Not only do we have the guy who can write the check to buy the team, but we have to have somebody who can acquire quality people and talent, and Stan knows how to do that better than anybody. … We've got a great plan."

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Aramis Ramirez scares you? Man, dfh21, you really are a chicken little.And somebody ask Johann Santana how long it took him to get back to the Major Leagues once he started his throwing program after shoulder surgery. Oh… that's right… he's not back yet. …. Josh Johnson, meet Chien Ming Wang.

  28. phil dunn - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    The aggressive Marlins are making some bold moves while Rizzo sits on his hands. Nats could be moving back to 4th place next season if the holes don't get filled quickly.

  29. John C. - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Anon @ 4:49 and 4:53pm: Your idea that Kasten had to invite Phillies fans to fill the ballpark is demonstratably incorrect. First of all, there will never be <10,000 at Nats Park on Opening Day. In 2010, after consecutive 59 win seasons, the Nationals averaged 22,568 fans per game for the season. They even drew >10,000 to Opening Day in their last year in Montreal, although not by much (14,739).More importantly, the Nationals have been pretty consistent in their ticket sales for Opening Day. You can look it up:2011: 39,055 (Braves)2010: 41,290 (Phillies)2009: 40,386 (Phillies)2008: 39,389 (Braves)2007: 40,389 (Marlins)There weren't going to be that many empty seats on Opening Day regardless. What Kasten did in 2010 was lazy; instead of going to the trouble of marketing extensively in DC through the sale of individual game tickets to local baseball fans, he went to Philadelphia and pitched block sales to tour groups in Philly. By the time Nationals fans (even the casual ones that only show up for Opening Day) tried to get the tickets they were gone. Blame Nats fans for not purchasing blocks of 20-50 seats? How many times have you purchased a block of seats that large for a local game? The final result was to essentially sell the last (estimating generously) 2,000 seats at Nats Park. Even figuring an average ticket prices of $20, for $40,000 Kasten screened out locals and making sure that the tour group crowd from Philly had plenty of time on their bus trips to get boozed up. I was there, and it was disgusting (my brother-in-law, an O's fan, was hit by a bottle thrown into the crowd by a giggling Philthy Phan). He probably saved a bit more on marketing staff and events in DC for not having to sell the tickets he'd already sold to Philly – but at the cost of alienating a good chunk of his fan base. Smooth move, Kasten. For once I find myself in complete agreement with dfh21. Kasten has spent his career taking credit for other people's work (Schuerholz in Atlanta, Rizzo in DC) while conveniently passing blame for all the failures. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  30. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Mark Z said: " attach his franchise-running expertise to their deep pockets."Ha, ha!

  31. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    It might be fun torturing the many Dodgers fans I know … or not … I can see catastrophe written all over this … making smilegate look fairly tame. Hire Bowden? Perhaps but Stan is the one who effectively blocked the Dunn trade that dfh21 is all hot and bothered about. Stan working behind the scenes often undermines the GM. Stan thinks he can manage any sport and win. Whatever the point is he will be the Theo Epstein of the Dodgers if the deal goes through.Bowden is and was as ignorant of baseball as Stan. He still is on the ESPN site. Davey Johnson taught Bowden a lot about GM'ing. And the only reason Johnson was fired was because Marge Schott didn't like him living with his girlfriend (now wife). Bowden is no threat to Stan. But Rizzo? And Clark? That's the beginning of a real baseball brain trust. Not a carnival barker joke. That's the HUGE difference in how the Nats are run today. They have real professionals who have been doing this from the bottom up for at least a couple of decades.Pity the poor Dodger fans.

  32. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    NatsJack — who does scare you? If the Marlins add Aramis Ramirez, the Silver Slugging 3B, nultiple 100 RBI season, .300 hitting 3B guy to the middle of their order that already includes some quality bats, is that some ho-hum moment for you? Nothing anyone in the NL East should be concerned about. Only Pjulos or Fielder or Reyes are FA splashes that matter? Get real. dfh21

  33. sjm308 - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    while I appreciate the time dfh21 spends in letting us know how he feels, I agree that worrying about who is being rumored to trade or sign for someone just might be an exercise in futility. I think we are really going to be just fine even if we stand pat. It would be fun to see us make a few moves and I understand we definitely have to fill our bench but if Harper wins a job out of spring training, that takes care of all the worry about the outfield. If LaRoche is healed, that takes care of the worry about more offense. If Wang proves he is 100% then we really don't need another veteran pitcher and Detwiler, Milone and Peacock can compete for that 5th spot. Who cares if an aging 3rd baseman like Ramirez signs with the Marlins? I have faith that Rizzo knows far more than anyone on this blog and while I love to read and hear reasoning behind everyone's thoughts I think we are in great shape no matter what Rizzo does. I also understand if he doesn't pull off some sort of addition dfh21 will scream "off with his head" so I am preparing for the end of the world if that happens.go nats!!

  34. Natsjack in Florida - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    I really get a chuckle about some of these posts.

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    1) My vote for Post of the Day to Tcostant.I can hear the radio interview now; Giants fans, there are plenty of good seats to see the Giants in LA! Ouch.2) As a lifelong (but now sorta former) Giants fan, I think Stan is a perfect fit for the Dodgers, and wish them many years together. Cuz he is gonna drag them into oblivion. Yay! But they'll still draw 4 million a year, at least during the fifth inning. 3) Bowden's not actually part of this, right? You all are just jumping on him, too, on general principles? Just asking.

  36. sjm308 - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    dfh21:I would never presume to answer for anyone else, but why does the signing of any other player to another team "scare" you? 1. you have no idea how well they are going to make the transition (see Werth, Jason or Dunn, Adam). 2. it really doesn't change the makeup of the team you are rooting for3. worry is a waste of time and energyI could care less if the Marlins sign Babe Ruth. I just want to see our team continue to make progress and the last time I checked, they won 80 games and the Marlins lost 90+. Lets say this WAR thing is valid and Rameriz helps them win 3 more games. Whoopee!! god speed to them. I am looking for us to win 85+ this year and if we are even a little better than that, we will challenge for a WC spot. Its fun to be a fan right now and for me Rizzo does not have to charge into free agent/trade land and make mulitple moves to make me happy.

  37. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Ha, I agree with sjm, my hypothecations are pretty futile, Lord knows — but I am not so much worrying about a guy going to this or that club so much as I am worried that our club is not getting players to compete. No club is standing still out there. So, you're damn straight I will be screaming off with his head if Rizzo does not make additions. His job is to improve the club and to bring us a winner. Winning games is his final arbiter and the honeymoon of his newness to the gig is long over. Standing pat is just not acceptable for a GM of a self-admitedly flawed club that has 3rd place as its best finish in a dog's age. I don't have some rich Uncle who pays for my Nats tickets (mcuh less the beers). Rizzo and the Lerners literally owe me a club that can win. dfh21

  38. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    I don't have some rich Uncle who pays for my Nats tickets (mcuh less the beers). Rizzo and the Lerners literally owe me a club that can win. And you know what dfh21? Rizzo delivered last year. 80 and 81. There's a very good chance that cancelled Dodger game could have ended up with a curly-W. Rizzo, Clark, Minniti, Harris, et al are delivering entertaining and winning baseball from the depths of the minors all the way up to the majors. Something that was completely missing when Kasten was still running the show with Bowden. Stop your bellyaching or go to Orioles games.

  39. Feel Wood - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…When those opening day tickets went on sale to the general public, they were gone in less than an hour.That's a flat out lie. Although that opening day game and some other opening day games (with the exception of 2008, the first game in the new stadium) were sellouts, they did not sell out in advance. Tickets were still available mere hours before the game – and not just the 500 or so $5 day-of-game tickets either. Real seats. How do I know this? I have friends that walked up and bought those tickets. Had those tickets sold out completely in less than an hour like you say they did, the game would have been announced as a sellout or SRO a month in advance. It wasn't.

  40. sjm308 - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Again, dfh, I love your passion – If I was worried about being owed a beer for the past 61 years (I started rooting at about age 5) then I would own a brewery by now (it would be a craft brewery with a nice variety)!! I am not sure how long you have been waiting, but I am so looking forward to a winning record next year and in my mind, no one "owes" me anything. Its a great game, our stadium is better than average and except for the beer prices I am fine with the total experience. And again, I don't need Rizzo making huge splashes anymore. He has drafted well and we have people coming in the next few years who will make huge noise. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

  41. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Stan Kasten made Susan O'Malley look competent.

  42. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    sjm — I have been a 4 ticket full-season STH since day one in DC. I am there for the games and to pull for our squad and enjoy the ups and downs, win or lose, I am by no means some fair weather fan. I am just tired of the losing and the lack of urgency. Blather about doing things the right way from people who don't wealk their talk very well. There have been way too many downs and not enough skill or will by the club to win. Bumbling, and under-spending and excuse-making. It has to end and now is as good a time as any. Ryan Zimerman walks out of DC and never looks back in 2013 if this club does not have a realistic chance to play post-season ball. So, they can put off the heavy lifting until next year if they want, but that is risky. Time is now.The Twins opened a new park and spent $100M on payroll, the Cards and Brewers went big too in their iffy markets. Now another club in our Division looks to be making a leap, taking chances, adding impact players to bring a winner. In 2008 with the new publicy financed park, they sat on their wallets. And we have been paying for that ever since. I am not sitting back and applauding some incremental improvement, I want to stand up and yell. Get it done! Give us a club that has a real chance, we've earned it.thanksdfh21

  43. jd - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    dfh21, Just because you make moves doesn't necessarily improve your club. For example signing a 34 year old reliever for a $27 mil 3 year deal is subtraction by addition as is signing a 32 year old above average outfielder to a 7 year superstar level contract. The idea is to make good moves not moves for the sake of moves. Stay patient and lets see what happens the rest of the off season and then we'll debate the merits of the moves.

  44. jd - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    This idea that Zim is walking out unless we have a WS contender is nonsense. First of all he has 2 years left on his contract and second of all players all declare that they are only interested in championships but in the end they all sign for who ever gives them $5 more than the next best offer with very few exceptions.

  45. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Is the idea that Zack Grienke would turn down coming to DC for less money on a contender nonsense too?dfh21

  46. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Is the idea that Zack Grienke would turn down coming to DC for less money on a contender nonsense too?If they manage to sign Fielder do you think he would do that now? They've got to do better offensively if they want to compete and that could theoretically have the greatest impact … going from well below average to Plus, plus offensively?

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Ryan Zimerman walks out of DC and never looks back in 2013 if this club does not have a realistic chance to play post-season ball. You may be assuming too much… Just sayin.

  48. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Also, you dropped something. Here you go, "m"

  49. baseballswami - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Anyone who thinks there isn't a passionate fan base around here should read the comments of the past day or so. Wow. I thought I was the only one still struggling with the Philly Phan invasion. I am shocked at the bitterness I felt when I couldn't attend that game – and I was actually glad I didn't later, it was just the whole principle of the thing that I was shut out of going. I don't think I really boiled it down to blaming Kasten before, but apparently he is to blame. I don't think the organization realizes even now what a festering wound this citizen's bank south thing is. I don't know if we, the fans can fix it, either. They need to pay attention as it doesn't seem to be going away. Will winning actually change anything? I do love it when we beat them here and I do understand that the mega-bucks they are spending benefits our team. It just gets to me, though. It seems like mlb ( well, maybe masn) wants our "natural rivalry" to be with the o's, but I think it's going to be with the sillies and may reach the emotional levels of the St Louis/Cubs proportions.

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Swami, it is indeed all about the Ws. A passionate fan base of several dozen people would be helpless before the zombie onslaught.

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Auntie M!

  52. baseballswami - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Yes, I know we are not a huge group – but I think perhaps for every vocal blogger there is a group of silent fans out there keeping it to themselves. The "invasion" seems to have really touched a nerve even with people I know who are basically casual fans. And I really don't think the organization gets how much it bothers a lot of people. I think they are under-estimating the resentment that was created. This may be a small sample size, but I think it represents a larger attitude. I guess you are right – winning is the best revenge. GYFNG!

  53. Muddy Ruel - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    I agree with Swami that StanK's infamous invite to Philly fans and the Nats' facilitation and sales to the invaders touched a nerve, even if most Philly fans need no invitation from Stan; and that the organization doesn't get it. Nor does it get how tedious and negative it has become, even to casual fans I'm betting (and hoping), to have Teddy lose every race, even to casual fans.

  54. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    "franchise-running expertise"Mark….specifically….what did Kasten do during his tenure as President of the Nationals to warrant such continued, fawning praise from the local media?

  55. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Mark….specifically….what did Kasten do during his tenure as President of the Nationals to warrant such continued, fawning praise from the local media?Fortunately for Dodger's fans there are the Angels … and for some the Padres … but who knows maybe Stan will move them back to Brooklyn.

  56. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    And speaking of Phillies Phans and their base … they suddenly seem very frightened by the Nats rise from obscurity … and make their case with an astute analysis of what might occur this offseason …And they are right signing Prince Fielder would have the most dramatic effect on their offense bar none given that he is left-handed. But he would have to be joined by Morse in the lineup in order to realize the dramatic improvement.

  57. The Dude - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Nobody has responded in 5 hours?Davey played golf today at his home course in Winter Park. Leaving for Dallas in the mornimg.

  58. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Hey, the Dude – don't want to go another five hours. How weird would it be to have Oswalt on our team? I have to tell you it took me a while to warm up to Jayson Werth because I was so used to disliking him as a philly. Would the phans boo Oswalt endlessly also? I would love to see Werth have a fantastic year, yes, for our team, but also to shut them the heck up.

  59. Know-nothing - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Kuroda seems to be on the market now. Is he a viable option for the Nats?I'm just hoping for anyone but Wilson or Oswalt.

  60. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    We're not in Kansas any more, sec3. In other news, mentioning the man's experience developing other franchises qualifies as fawning? Tough crowd.

  61. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    IN other news looking at possible Rizzo/FO offseason approach via advanced metrics:Pitchers. Three metrics expected innings pitched xIP, tRA a park and defense neutral pitching metric, and pitching runs above average.For pRAA High positive numbers are good. Negative numbers are bad.The key for the Nats are starters as it with many other teams:The good: xIP tRA pRAAJordan Zimmermann 161.5 3.48 14.6Stephen Strasburg 23.7 1.04 8.6Bradley Peacock 10.1 1.95 2.6Tommy Milone 26.9 3.43 2.6Now let's look at the bad – from better to worse:Tom Gorzelanny 85.3 4.39 -0.9 **Jason Marquis 121.0 4.51 -2.9Yunesky Maya 24.2 6.17 -5.0Ross Detwiler 53.3 5.34 -6.2 Chien Ming Wang 60.4 5.51 -8.2** as a reliever Tom Gorzelanny fared much betterTom Gorzelanny 21.7 3.05 2.1The absolute worst.LIvan Hernadez 172.9 4.94 -12.4John Lannan 182.3 5.04 -15.1Now the potential FA's:CJ Wilson 224.4 3.34 28.3 [elite]Roy Oswalt 146.7 3.10 19.5Mark Buehrle 208.5 4.15 7.7Edwin Jackson 123.2 4.35 1.7 CHISOXEdwin Jackson 76.0 5.23 -7.9 CARDSAs one can quickly surmise both Oswalt and Wilson easily surpass the Nats best starters. Even in an off year pitching fewer innings Oswalt still managed close-to-elite numbers. Wilson was an elite pitcher last year. Buehrle clearly was not. And the two worst starters for the Nats most in need of replacement?Livan Hernandez and John Lannan NOT Tom Gorzelanny.

  62. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    In other words Buehrle is not the better fit. Not by a long shot.

  63. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    anon – maybe if stats were the only story. Part of the fit is supposed to be a mentor to our young pitchers. Buehrle could easily be the better fit there. Rizzo has said that he is not looking for the most skilled pitcher, but a pitcher than can help teach. Stats are fun but are rarely the entire story.

  64. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Buehrle could easily be the better fit there.Over Oswalt who has pitched in the NL his entire career? While Buehrle has been exclusively in the AL? Not hardly. However, each pitcher comes with both pros and cons … Buehrle's main "pro" is his left-handedness going with the consistency. The interesting thing about those stats is that they remove any doubts about which pitchers pitched the best. Clearly for the Nats it was Zimmermann and Strasburg; but after them there is a rather precipitous drop. Peacock and Milone show some potential toward addressing a part of that. Gorzelanny appears as the next best … making 4 total … The stats show that the rest are below average to quite bad. In other words this may be one perspective that the FO is using in their approach to the offseason. And within the numbers you can see the gambles: Chien-Ming Wang was the third on the bad list … they are gambling on continued improvement … but also from Ross Detwiler! It could also mean they have not yet given up on Yunesky Maya as a starter. But in the end there are too many high risk gambles in the starting rotation.This analysis appears to show that the Nats need not just 1 but 2 of those names on the free agent market … or a trade should be facilitated to acquire a starter.

  65. John C. - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    On the "advanced metrics" analysis, a link to the sites and/or an explanation of how the figures were arrived at would be helpful. Further perspective on two of the pitchers analyzed:(1) CMW's numbers were dragged down by his first 2-3 starts, which were NOT promising. I'm not writing him in for 19 wins, or even as a solid #3, but his trend line was pretty steadily up as he got used to pitching regularly again.(2) Sabremetric types hate John Lannan, because he has been outperforming his "advanced" stats (thinking here of FIP and xFIP) regularly since he came up. Although I use advanced stats regularly, I have to admit that I've reached the point with Lannan where I no longer assume that he's blind lucky. It has become apparent that there is something about his game that the advanced stats are not capturing properly.

  66. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    I'm not writing him in for 19 wins, or even as a solid #3, but his trend line was pretty steadily up as he got used to pitching regularly again.That is in fact the case and the stats do show that. In other words in spite of his recovery period he still finished ahead of Lannan and Livo. That in and of itself makes a statement.However, you are I believe missing the point. These advanced stats appear to show just how precarious the National's starting situation is. It all stats with starting pitching: National's management is gambling on too many unknowns and the potential for back slipping appears to be quite high without management taking appropriate proactive steps.My assumption is that they will take those steps. The stats above appear to indicate that they may be better off starting Tommy Milone with a Buehrle or Wilson, while trading Ross Detwiler and John Lannan, meanwhile bringing Sammy Solis and Matt Purke along in the next wave.That they may be better off with Bradley Peacock as a #3/#4 starter at this point. But the risk appears high. Adding a veteran to the front of the rotation instead of toward the rear as they have the past 2 years would go further toward ameliorating risk. The stats of course come from Fangraphs and their affiliate sites. And although they do not tell the whole the story … they appear to do a good job of measuring that part of pitchers' performance that is quantifiable.

  67. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    And once again I will point out that pitching was not exactly our main problem in 2011. Cy Young couldn't win with our hitting.

  68. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    Screw the idiots.91 wins and let the Marlins do whatever they want.

  69. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    The potential trade partner : the TB Rays starting pitching:Again, xIP = Expected innings pitched derived by xOuts/3 tRA = Park and defense neutral pitching metric scaled to R/9 pRAA = Pitching, runs above average derived by (lgTRA * xOuts / 27 – xRuns) James Sheilds 240.6 3.63 22.8 [elite]David Price 224.7 3.70 19.6Jeff Niemann 135.9 4.72 -3.7Wade Davis 184.9 5.09 -12.5

  70. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    And once again I will point out that pitching was not exactly our main problem in 2011. Cy Young couldn't win with our hitting.Actually both areas. Which is more important?Nationals rotation pitching:xIP = 921.6 tRA=4.52 pRAA = -22.8Hitting:wOBA 0.312 bRAA = -.40.1Let's use Tampa Bay and Atlanta in comparison:TB Rays rotation xIP = 1043.8 tRA = 4.34 pRAA = 16.3TB Rays hitting:wOBA = .332 bRAA = 23.0ATL Braves rotation:xIP = 955.4 tRA=4.09 pRAA = 22.2ATL Braves hitting:wOBA = 0.316 bRAA = -19.2Clearly TB was the better team of the three … yet the disparity between the Nationals rotation + hitting and the other two is marked. I've always assumed that pitching was most important but it is true that without Michael Morse's year the Nats offense would have been pretty pathetic.

  71. Anonymous - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    The argument for signing Prince Fielder appears to only get stronger.

  72. John C. - Dec 4, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    These advanced stats appear to show just how precarious the National's starting situation is. It all stats [sic] with starting pitching: National's management is gambling on too many unknowns and the potential for back slipping appears to be quite high without management taking appropriate proactive steps.Virtually all teams are a couple of injuries and/or underperformers away from pitching disaster. The Red Sox went into 2011 trying to figure out what to do with all of their pitchers. By September they were trying to figure out who was going to pitch.Which is my way of saying that the Nationals "precarious situation" isn't helped by signing free agents. Buehrle and Oswalt are both at an age where a pitcher can do downhill in a hurry – and Oswalt has a bad back. Wilson has only two years of starting, and it remains to be seen how his arm will react to the workload. Darvish (if he posts) has no big league experience. It all sounds pretty precarious to me. Even accepting the diagnosis of the stats you use (and you are using stats I haven't seen before), the steps you advocate just shifts the focus around rather than eliminating the problem. All while spending lots of money that could be used elsewhere.My assumption is that they will take those steps. The stats above appear to indicate that they may be better off starting Tommy Milone with a Buehrle or Wilson, while trading Ross Detwiler and John Lannan, meanwhile bringing Sammy Solis and Matt Purke along in the next wave.That they may be better off with Bradley Peacock as a #3/#4 starter at this point.Better off starting Tom Milone and Brad Peacock? Does the phrase "small sample size" have meaning for you? And over Lannan? You never addressed my observation that Lannan has consistently overperformed his sabremetric stats in his career (which is why sabre types hate him). Lannan's real problem is that he's been a good #4 or great #5 starter miscast as a top of the rotation guy. That's not his fault.You're right that the Nationals hopes for 2012 are riding on a full season from Zimmermann and a comeback season from Strasburg similar to Zimmermann's from this year. Those are gambles. Lannan really isn't much of a gamble; he's been remarkably consistent in his career. Not great, but consistently decent. Wang, Detwiler, Milone, Peacock are all big gambles; if one or two of them really step up, the Nationals may well contend in 2012.

  73. John C. - Dec 4, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    And the reason that I stressed for 2012 in my previous comment is that I believe the Nats management feels that their window is just opening in 2012, and they want that window to stay open as long as possible. That creates less incentive to go all in for 2012 by making short term moves (Oswalt, Buehrle). They may go for a Darvish or a Fielder because they are in their 20's and have a decent chance to be productive for years. Yes, the Nationals pitching has some question marks. The Nationals want to find out the answers to those questions, not to try to eliminate all questions (which isn't possible anyway). That will tell them how best to keep the team on the rise as the farm starts to really produce.The principle of question marks also applies to the offense. Zimmerman should be healthy and Werth should regress towards his career averages, but neither are guaranteed. Ramos and Espinosa had promising rookie seasons but both really struggled at times and are also question marks. Desmond is Desmond – the Nats can only hope that his success late in the year under Davey isn't a mirage. There's a hole in the OF they hope Harper can fix sooner or later – but Harper is a huge gamble as he hasn't played above AA ball yet. The first baseman, who is coming off a serious shoulder injury, seems like a placeholder (for Morse or Fielder).Could the Nats contend in 2012? Yes, certainly. They could even make a very serious post-season run IF a LOT of things break right for them. But to me they are at the final stages of a three year (since Bowden left) rebuilding process from the dregs of baseball. I believe they are in position to try to win in 2012, but 2012 isn't the target. 2012-2018 is more the target. The playoffs are a crap shoot – they should want to make it as many times as possible to maximize their chance of winning it all.IMHO :-)

  74. Scooter - Dec 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    That's pretty good stuff there, John C.





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