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Wednesday news and discussion

Jan 11, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

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I’m out of town on vacation until Jan. 16, but that doesn’t mean this site has to go silent. Please use this thread to discuss any news of the day or other topics you wish to bring up with each other.

204 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    No News for You!

  2. The Dude Abides - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I'm not sure I can handle another 5 days of jibber jabber.

  3. Anonymous8 - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Jibber jabber? How's about Boras doing a 1 year deal on Ryan Madson. Why didn't the Nats jump on that?

  4. LoveDaNats - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    39 days! Just sayin…..

  5. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    So….. Is there room for Kerry Wood in our 'pen?

  6. HHover - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Anon8Maybe because they have a guy named Drew Storen, who costs them about 1/25th what Madson would and is under team control for 5 more years?

  7. Anonymous8 - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    HHover, he didn't have to be a closer for the Nats. Same thinking as 3 months ago when Werth was trying to recruit him. Clip to Madson to Storen would be the best bullpen in the Majors. 1 year commitment was a lot better than 3 to 4 years when people thought it was a great idea.The Nats waiting around for Fielder while other players are gobbled up is frustrating. I still think the Nats should add Oswalt/Saunders to give them more pitching depth. Again, I have no problem spending Mr. Lerner's money!

  8. Gonat - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Unkyd, Phil Wood writes on Kerry Wood with a catchy title: Is-there-a-woody-in-nats-futurehttp://www.masnsports.com/phil_wood/2012/01/is-there-a-woody-in-nats-future.html?

  9. gonatsgo - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I still think the Fielder deal is being held up by the Darvish/Rangers situation. If the Rangers don't sign Darvish – they get Fielder. If the Rangers DO sign Darvish we actually might be the runner up.

  10. Sunderland - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Anon8, Madson was not going to sign anywhere to be a setup man. Come on. Isn't that obvious? He was going somewhere to close. That's how he builds up his value for next year. Pretty simple. "Does your team have an established closer? Yes? Then we have have nothing to talk about"

  11. #4 - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Three things need to happen for the Nats to sign Fielder (in addition to Fielder wanting to come here):1. The decision makers connected to the Nats (and the fans) need to change their mindset that DC in small to mid market. Given the market and the division they are competing in, the Nats should have one of the top five or ten payrolls every year.2.Yu Darvish needs to sign with the Rangers.3. The Nats (and their fans) need to stop worrying that the Nats won't have room for Zim or Morse. Too many good players is a problem? Please!!! Trade one of them if you can't fit everyone in. This is the biggest problem of all. I like the loyalty to "our guys", but Prince is one of the game-changing offensive forces available. He stays healthy and has shown he can be productive year after year. The above Nats I've mentioned don't fall in that category. Also don't underestimate the difference between a big LH and RH bat in the late innings. For the most part, the best closers are RH. Laying off that slider with the winning run on 2nd in the 9th inning is a lot easier to do when you are a LH hitter. That the Nats are RH dominant right now is a problem. #4

  12. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Sunderland, you bring him in as the closer and then things change. You spend $10 mill and you can make him the long relief guy.

  13. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Saw that, Gonat… That's why I was thinking aloud, there….

  14. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    My wife was driving home last night from work and she said she heard on the radio that the Giants were close to getting PF.Don't know if it's true, but was wondering if anyone could verify.TIA

  15. Sunderland - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Madson was not signing here or anywhere else unless the GM and Manager look him in the eye, shake his hand, and tell him he will be the closer. That's it. He ain't coming here for $10M. And seriously, if Rizzo inked a long relief guy or setup guy for $10M, he'd be ripped and laughed at. Let it go. We can't sign players who don't want to come here, and Ryan Madson had a very good reason to not want to sign here. He wants one job only, and we were not going to just give it to him.

  16. The Dude Abides - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    As I said.Jibber Jabber.

  17. Theophilus - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Sunderland re Madson is correct. Wood, on the other hand, has no such expectations. And he probably isn't interested in watching from the BP while the Cubs tank. He has health issues but I think he would be more reliable than Coffey. (Always had the feeling Coffey snorted coffee grounds to fuel his run in from the bullpen and had no idea where the ball was going to go.) As the 7th inning guy, Wood would be a good addition.

  18. CN - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Madson's an afterthought now, as he's apparently agreed w/ the Reds on a 1 yr $8m contract:http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7449185/source-cincinnati-reds-closer-ryan-madson-agree-one-year-85m-deal

  19. Section 222 - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I'm as big a spender of the Lerners' money as anyone, but there are few things as obvious as the following: they should spend their money on hitters, not relievers.

  20. Constant Reader - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Fielder to the Giants hasn't popped up on MLBTR yet and the MLB Giants beat writer said there was no way the Gaints had the money to sign him. However, I bet that was assuming 8 years at $200M. You know, the Giants make a lot of sense for Fielder if he retreats to a short term deal with an opt out.

  21. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Agreed, Twotey. I'm thinking Wood wouldn't be breaking any banks, though..

  22. Steve M. - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    If Hanley Ramirez can be moved to 3rd base, Ryan Madson can be the most expensive 8th inning setup guy like the Yankees did last year with Rafael Soriano.Obviously it won't happen now because he is a Red but if you can create the best 7th, 8th, 9th innings guys in the Majors, that saves a lot of innings for Strasburg as he could go 6 and hand the ball to the bullpen.Most likely the Nats aren't getting Fielder. He will probably end up a Dodger or a Ranger. If the Nats were willing to spend $25 mill on Prince, spend some cash to get Madson on a 1 year deal would have been a steal and improve the bench. So now people are suggesting Kerry Wood?

  23. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Just thinking aloud, Steve M. Not much else to do, this week….

  24. BinM - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Madson inking with the Reds is just one more sign that the Reds are "all-in" for the 2012 NL Central title. And why not; Milwaukee has lost the heart of their lineup, the Cubs, Pittsburgh, & Houston are all in varying states of disrepair, & StL isn't getting any younger. Madson would have been a pricey force-fit in an already solid Nationals bullpen. The need just wasn't there.

  25. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Unkyd, no kidding. Why get frustrated thinking about Prince Fielder when he hasn't signed anywhere. We can get frustrated that Rizzo really hasn't done anything except trade away 40% of the teams Top 10 in the Farm System for a guy that you all will be cursing because he will frustrate you more than that Lannan guy.This will be an interesting season if the Nats go in "as is".Desmond, Werth, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Morse, Espinosa, Bernadina, RamosStrasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Lannan, WangDeRosa, Cameron, Flores, Lombardozzi, VacantGorzelanny, Detwiler, Burnett, Perry, Rodriguez, Clippard, Storen

  26. Steve M. - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    BinM, then why look at Kerry Wood. That is a force fit. To have a bullpen that is "automatic" if your starters go a full 6 with a lead is comforting. It may be overkill but you have to like what the Braves have in their bullpen.

  27. John C. - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Fielder would make tremendous baseball sense for the Giants; they hit worse than the Nationals last year, and that's going some. With Fielder and a healthy Posey and their pitching staff they'd be heavy favorites in the NL West and a serious WS contender. BUT … the Giants have never gone high on payroll, and the money they do have largely seems to be allocated to trying to hold their rotation together. Which ain't dumb, IMHO.I'm skeptical that Fielder is coming to DC, but I'm willing to lay money he doesn't go to the Dodgers. I don’t think that Boras is going to wait until the Dodgers’ ownership situation is resolved. The original plan was for the sale to happen by April 30, and even that timetable is now likely kaput given the recent bankruptcy court ruling concerning the media rights. Do you think Fielder won’t be signed before spring training, much less before the season starts? Neither do I.Oh, and if Rizzo asks me I vote no on Madsen. Not that he isn't good – I think the Phillies made a mistake going to Papelbon instead of Madsen – but they have more effective ways to use that money (Fielder, Zimmerman, Morse; covering part of LaRoche's salary when/if they trade him, etc). Their bullpen is both good and deep: Storen, Clippard, Burnett, HRod, Gorzelanny, Stammen and Mattheus already lined up. While Clippard may well regress (it's hard to see who he couldn't), I expect Burnett to bounce back. Stammen and Gorzelanny have been very effective out of the pen. HRod is the wild card (heh); his stuff is amazingly good, but his control is just … amazing.But that lines up to a seven man bullpen with five RHP (Storen, Clippard, HRod, Stammen, Mattheus) and two LHP (Burnett, Gorzelanny). That may shift to four RHP and three LHP if Detwiler doesn't win a spot in the rotation; Mattheus is the most likely loser in that scenario. I think Lannan continues to start in Syracuse if he doesn't win a rotation spot.

  28. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I threw stuff, when I saw the Gio deal, but I'm firmly onboard with the move, now. I fully expect to be thrilled with NatGeo, over the next few years. His youth, his upside, and his right-now level of competence will make the team better now, as well as facilitate a move, after a couple of years, to possibly bring back some A+ prospects, as Purke, Solis, et al become ready…

  29. fpcsteve - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    In the same way (see BinM's remark on Madson @ 10:21), there is no clear need for Fielder here. The combination of LaRoche and Morse is more than adequate for next year and leaves money for a top-drawer CF in 2013(that is needed). I don't know the answer to this question, but I would like to pose it: Why isn't Milwaukee "all in" to resign Fielder after he (presumably) helped them reach the playoffs? What is holding them back? If the answer is "money and/or years," we may want to keep thinking about how much we want to invest in a guy who likely won't be effective for the duration of his contract but will affect our ability to sign other players.

  30. David - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    kerry wood! i approve, if this happens.

  31. Feel Wood - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    I don't know the answer to this question, but I would like to pose it: Why isn't Milwaukee "all in" to resign Fielder after he (presumably) helped them reach the playoffs? What is holding them back? If the answer is "money and/or years," we may want to keep thinking about how much we want to invest in a guy who likely won't be effective for the duration of his contract but will affect our ability to sign other players.The Brewers are a small-market team. The Nationals are not.

  32. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I agree that in the end, we won't be signing PF.It just seems that everything is laid out for us not to.Sign a CF next year to go with Harper and Worth on the corners and re-sign Zim to an extension. Move him to 1st when Rendon comes up late next year, then I think we end up letting Morse go in either trade/FA.This sets your lineup pretty much through 2016.

  33. Wally - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Anonymous8 said… The Nats waiting around for Fielder while other players are gobbled up is frustrating. I still think the Nats should add Oswalt/Saunders to give them more pitching depth.I agree with Anon8. They seem unwilling to do anything else while this Fielder* thing plays out, and that is getting frustrating. I really think that they should not be giving Cameron/Bernadina 600 combined ABs in CF, and absent some other addition, that is where things are heading. I have suggested Cody Ross a few times, and still think that he would be a versatile player that could adapt to any situation: starter, bench guy, etc. If you give him a 2 year deal for $8m or so, I think it would be money well spent.Similarly, we need another SP as depth. While I would love to see Oswalt, I don't see it with Wang re-signed, Lannan, and Detwiler out of options. My guess is if they knew Oswalt might be available for a 1 yr deal at $8m plus incentives, they might not have re-signed Wang. But realistically, I think signing a guy to a minor league deal, like Aaron Cook did with the Red Sox. They probably have to wait it out for a bit, though.* I am with SteveM on Fielder, I don't see it happening any longer. Each day that it drags on makes it less likely, imo.

  34. Nattydread - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Is anyone else as antsy as me — waiting for the PF Flyer to play out, waiting for anything, anything at all to happen on the Nats front, waiting for pitchers and catchers to report…???

  35. Steve M. - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Feel Wood, Market size has to be based on revenues and revenue potential and the Brewers and Nats are within $15 million of each other in revenue. The Nats were 16th in 2010 in team revenue which is remarkable to me given the state of the Nats TV contract, average attendance, no naming rights and sponsorships. These revenue numbers are from Forbes and of course based on estimates since the information is not public.Now that revenue sharing has basically gone away, the teams must rely on traditional revenue generation which is where the Nats could be most adversely affected by lack of TV revenue (MASN Angelos) and their seemingly inept marketing plan.

  36. John C. - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    @Diz: I just do not understand the eagerness to move Zimmerman to first base to clear a spot for Rendon. Zimmerman is a legit gold glove at third base, the best defender on the team by a fair amount. His reputed throwing woes were a double product of recovering from abdominal surgery and changing his throwing motion – by the end of the year he was much, much better. The change in his mechanics should solve the one minor flaw in his game, his tendancy to sidearm throws. There really is no reason to think he's not going to be arguably the best defensive third baseman in the majors this year, and one of the best offensively. Yeah, let's shift him. For a guy who hasn't played a professional game yet. Sheesh.Even if Rendon is on the Zimmerman timetable, we won't see him until September. I really doubt we see him before 2013, as he probably starts in high A ball (Potomac) and works his way up. Do I like his prospects? Yes. Do I think they should start him at 3b? Yes – it provides insurance in case Zimmerman falls apart or the Nats can't extend him (I don't expect either to happen, but having a Plan B is good). Then when/if Rendon works his way to the majors you move the non-All Star level player to make room, probably at 2b or 1b.But to just assume that Zim is moving … stop. He's just fine where he is.

  37. Steve M. - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Wally, don't worry about Bernadina/Cameron getting 600ABs in 2012. They will get much less once Bryce Harper is the starting RF.A few weeks ago I figured the Nats sign Fielder and trade LaRoche + $5 million cash to Tampa for BJ Upton which would push the Nats over the top.Now it is looking like P2Ps roster above. One bench spot to fill and possibly the spot in the bullpen with Perry's name on it.At least sign Cespedes as the runner's up prize if you don't get Fielder.

  38. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    John C.: Amen.

  39. UNTERP - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    For all concerned, the Nationals will sign Fielder next Thursday the 19th for seven years and 161M according to my sources…

  40. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    What time…?

  41. UNTERP - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Noon announcement, but I can't tell you what time zone…

  42. Exposremains - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I'm warning everybody that if nothing happens soon, I might start making up rumors.

  43. Rabbit - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    If something comes along, and you need to trade Zimmerman or Morse to get it, trade them. Believe me, Zimmerman or Morse would leave in a second for more money.

  44. DH - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    #4, Feel Wood:I'll give you the DC has POTENTIAL to be mid to big-sized market, but it's a nice thought, not a fact. Somewhere I read you'd need to draw more than 35K/game to afford 'the big-three' long term, on top of other richer revenue streams. Do you see that happening? Has it ever happened to any sports/entertainment in DC? 35K tickets for 81 events? That's pie in the sky-ish, to be honest.btw MIL drew much more than DC and they can't/won't buy PF's service.John C.:don't the Giants see 1b as Posey's eventual position due to injury concerns? similar to the nats Zman problem…

  45. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I hereby announce that I will be eating lunch at approximately 12:36 PM Eastern time today.Also, on the CF front, maybe they're waiting for Cespedes to become a FA, which wasn't supposed to happen until after January 15 (he wanted to wait for Mark to get back, I think).

  46. Feel Wood - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Feel Wood, Market size has to be based on revenues and revenue potential and the Brewers and Nats are within $15 million of each other in revenue. The Nats were 16th in 2010 in team revenue which is remarkable to me given the state of the Nats TV contract, average attendance, no naming rights and sponsorships. These revenue numbers are from Forbes and of course based on estimates since the information is not public.Now that revenue sharing has basically gone away, the teams must rely on traditional revenue generation which is where the Nats could be most adversely affected by lack of TV revenue (MASN Angelos) and their seemingly inept marketing plan.The Brewers are a small-market team that has maxed out its revenue potential while the Nationals are a large-market team that has vast untapped opportunity for revenue generation. The TV money may be partially out of their hands, but look at all those empty seats behind the plate and all the empty suites and you'll find millions more dollars that are there for the taking. And as for the supposedly inept marketing plan, there is nothing at all wrong with it that winning will not solve. Attendance waves typically ride a year or two behind on-field performance waves, so the Nats are still paying the price now for the two hundred-loss seasons. But the performance wave is on a decided uptick for the last two seasons, and the attendance wave will soon follow. If they sign Fielder to a reasonable (i.e. non-Pujols) deal and win with him as expected, there will be more than enough revenue to pay him and also afford Zimmerman, Strasburg, Harper et al. That's how large-market teams that are consistently in the hunt do it.

  47. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    There is no Zman problem.

  48. UNTERP - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    There are 5m people in the DC metro area not including Baltimore. Most of them are not Nationals fans. Be that as it may, winning is the tie that binds attendance here. After the Nationals sign Fielder and the season starts with the Nationals out of the blocks quickly, you won't be able to get a ticket come July. It will be like a Beatles reunion concert every night or like Strasburg's debut…

  49. Feel Wood - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Do you see that happening? Has it ever happened to any sports/entertainment in DC? 35K tickets for 81 events? That's pie in the sky-ish, to be honest.The Nats averaged 33,728 attendance over 81 games in 2005. And that was in a dilapidated football stadium with zero amenities. Averaging 35,000 in a state-of-the-art baseball stadium with a better team on the field is by no means a stretch. Not to mention that each ticket sold in Nationals Park brings in considerably more revenue than it did at RFK.

  50. she said - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Have fun with Slaten, Pirates!

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I had a tip on Fielder to SF weeks ago, from the capcha. I tellya, that thing knows something…

  52. #4 - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I agree with Feel Wood. I have one thing to say about this. C-A-P-S, Caps, Caps, Caps. If a team wins, DC fans show up. To compare the 96 win 1st place Brewers with the 80 win (much of that toward the end of the year) 3rd place Nats in terms of revenue is not exactly apples to apples.#4

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Pirates sign Slaten to minor league deal from MLBTR

  54. Binx Bolling - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Although there are 5 million people in the DC Metro area, bad traffic to and from suburbia and exurbia cut into the actual potential base of fans who are able to attend games at Nats Park. For someone who lives in outer North Virginia or outer Maryland, a 2 1/2 hour game starting at 7:30 means not getting home to close to midnight. As someone who lives in Queens Anne's County, attending anything other than a day game is impractical. Furthermore, many central-city folks(blacks, white liberals) are not baseball fans or can not afford to attend a Nats game. So perhaps the potential fan base is at best one-quarter of the 5 million people living in the DC Metro area. It may be that even if Mike Rizzo produced an Atlanta Braves(circa 1990-2011) sort of team that annually reaches the playoffs the Nats may not draw much more than 30,000 a game and may not be able to afford too many super-millionaire players.

  55. lesatcsc - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    OUTFIELDERS! The Nats need OUTFIELDERS!Not MadsenNot OswaltNot Saundersor at least not until they have solved the OF problem.They have 2They need 3It is simple math. Harper is not #3, or at least not until the season is half over (and if they go with Bernadina/Cameron in CF until then, half over really means over, as in done, sub-.500 and boring to watch). Lots of stuff can happen between now and 2013. I think the Nats should have their eye squarely on competing in 2012. That's how you attract FAs next winter.

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    wait, white liberals are not baseball fans?? [Where] did you get that from?

  57. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    wait, white liberals are not baseball fans?? [Where] did you get that from?Probably stems from when Obama showed up to throw out the first pitch wearing a ChiSox hat. Resentment lingers.

  58. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    "wait, white liberals are not baseball fans?? [Where] did you get that from?"(rofl….)

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Probably stems from when Obama showed up to throw out the first pitch wearing a ChiSox hat. Resentment lingers. POD.

  60. NatsNut - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Binx Bolling said "Furthermore, many central-city folks(blacks, white liberals) are not baseball fans or can not afford to attend a Nats game."baseball is, by far, the cheapest sport to attend and I PROMISE you they can afford it. They may not KNOW they can afford it yet, but folks can go to games for the same price, or cheaper, than a movie. Good views for $5-$10 max and you can bring in a $1 bottle of water and a $5 footlong from Subway with you. It's not a matter of affordability, it's fandom. Make them fans and they can afford to come.

  61. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Dang, we *really* need baseball to start up again, or failing that, a new post. Who did Mark leave the blog keys with, again? :-)

  62. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    @John CWhen I wrote "next year" for Rendon, I meant 2013, not 2012. I don't see Rendon here until Sept. call ups in 2013 as well.That being said, I think he will be on the infield in 2014.The reason I said that about Zim is that Rendon either comes up at 2nd or 3rd and that would leave 2 options (assuming an outfield of Werth, CF signed in 2013, and Harper): First we sign Morse and he goes to 1st, Zim stays at 3rd and then Rendon goes to 2nd and we probably move Danny to SS and trade Ian.or we trade Morse and Zim moves over to 1st and Rendon takes over 3rd in 2014.The direction will become more indicative this spring as Rendon gets assigned a position at the minor league level. If they don't give him innings at 2nd, then it's safe to think they have him taking over the "hot corner" from Zim at some point.

  63. Water23 - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    On a different note, how about the Nats promoting Tim Raines HoF ballot next year. He is the second best lead-off hitter of his time and maybe ever and would go in as a Expo. It may be the last chance for an Expo to enter as Vlad has come back to the pack.

  64. NatinBeantown - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Thank you Anon @ 1:09 for making a joke of it. Binx Bolling's "market analysis" is about the furthest thing from accurate or rational that I've read this week, and not just the "blacks & liberals" comment.D.C. has the population and demographics to make the Nats a mid- to large-market club. Since there wasn't a team for three decades, and there hasn't been a decent team in five, there's no fan loyalty to draw on now. Win. Market well and extensively. Keep winning.People will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

  65. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Well, "white liberals" was probably code for gays, who of course are more concerned with singing Broadway tunes at karaoke bars. And the blacks are likely drunk or high, and most are sleeping on grates and listening to gangsta rap.(Note: I am trying to lambaste the post, not what I think)

  66. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    @John C,On a final note, even though both Rendon and Zim have a history of injury, Zim will be 30 in 2014. I think it would good to move him over to save some wear and tear on him as well.

  67. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    So, since liberals don't like baseball according to Binx, it must have been a bunch of conservatives and libertarians who booed Bush when he threw out the first pitch that time. Who'd have thought it?

  68. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Beantown……:(baseball….)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SB16il97yw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  69. The Dude Abides - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Binx Bolling.The epitome of jibber jabber.

  70. Steve M. - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Feel Wood, Yes, the potential for revenue growth -appears- to be greater for Washington based on market size and income demographics.The major issue at hand is the value given to TV markets which the Nats have not received FMV to date for TV revenue. Unless the Nats can get their fair share of the TV market the Brewers and Nats potential on revenue won't be that much different unless attendance changes.The Brewers have a Fox TV deal and crush the Nats on attendance. The Brewers averaged 37,918 per home game compared to the Nats at 24,877. That equates to over 1,100,000 more fans plus the Brewers have a retractable roof stadium creating revenue for other uses for their stadium.

  71. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    The Nats know who their paying demographics are and if they don't, shame on them. It doesn't take a genius to look around on game day and see the demographics of the workers, the players and the people occupying the lower level vs. the upper level of the stadium. The ads on Metro buses aren't getting to people in Loudoun County and probably not too many of the suburbs. We don't see it where I live. Loudoun is the wealthiest county in the area and there is no marketing except TV ads on MASN. The Nats may be visiting schools in DC but why aren't they visiting schools in Loudoun County? Why aren't the Nats players doing radio interviews on different radio stations. Why aren't the Nats doing appearances in the suburbs. It seems to me that the Nats marketing dollars and community relations dollars are mostly to the urban population of DC.

  72. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Funny about Doug Slaten being a Pittsburgh Pirate and the news that Madson's base with the Reds is $8.5 million not the $10 million reported.

  73. that, or fan the flames - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Anonymous said… Well, "white liberals" was probably code for gays, who of course are more concerned with singing Broadway tunes at karaoke bars. And the blacks are likely drunk or high, and most are sleeping on grates and listening to gangsta rap. (Note: I am trying to lambaste the post, not what I think) January 11, 2012 1:47 PM

  74. fpcsteve - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    "People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come." One of the greatest and best-delivered movie lines ever. I also agree with NatinBeantown's point. How much fun will this season be? Can't wait…

  75. Erik - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Diz-Ryan Zimmerman played just 67 games in the minor leagues before playing in Washington. Rendon is a higher rated prospect and projects to be just as good, if not better, than Zimmerman. I think if he hits well in the minors we could see him up this summer should Espinosa or Desmond really struggle. Not saying that it is definitely going to happen, but just a thought. That was also probably Zimmerman's best year to date, so just because he is young, doesn't mean he HAS to spend almost 2 years in the minor leagues.

  76. NatsLady - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    The Caps are advertising something like "Caps in the schools" where they are using the sport to teach Math, etc., with the reward being visits by players to the schools. Nats should be doing that too!

  77. UNTERP - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    PAY TO PLAY said…You make an excellent point. The Loudoun County folks would eat up the Nationals if they made visits out there. Too bad the Nationals organization don't have people persons in their management. No reason for the Nationals not to being visiting the suburbs…

  78. MicheleS - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    P2P..I live in Loudoun and i go to games all the time. and i don't work in DC. I work outside the beltway.Oh.. and now we have Slaten on the Pirates – WOO HOO!!!!

  79. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    MicheleS, I live down Rt 7 in Loudoun and go to games. There is no Nats marketing and if they did, they would strike a gold mine. The Lerners own Dulles Town Center mall. What a bonanza to use that with a Nats team store and giveaways and appearances. Its so simple but they won't do it.

  80. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    The Rangers paid $50 million, just for the right to talk with Darvish. They would've spent that kind of money, unless they are assure of signing him. I also have heard (through the Internet) that PF will get 7 years and close to $160 million. Mid-week next week is when he'll sign. LaRoche will be peddled elsewhere in a minor deal sometime later this winter.

  81. The Dude Abides - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    You know if they (the Rangers) don't sign him they get the 50 Mil back, right.

  82. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Erik,I agree he could be that good and get the call up in 2012, and believe me, I really hope he is . Zim had a lot of things going for him when he got the chance late in '05.We weren't good and were not expected to be, so he was something fresh for the club, new to DC and was something JimBo could build around (the face of the franchise).Vinny Castilla was also gonzo in 2006, Ryan's first season, and the 3rd base vacancy certainly helped pave the way for him to get to the Bigs.He didn't have Rizzo as GM. Rizzo has said he wants his players to get accustomed to life as a professional ballplayer. His stance on Harper, moving him through the system, makes me believe he'll do the same thing with Rendon. Harper is supposed to be more gifted too, with nobody blocking his path to the bigs like Rendon has with Zim.As much as I would like to see Rendon here, I just don't know if it's going to happen. Hopefully, he's doing well enough to get called up in the fall. It would be great to have Harper and Rendon here in 2012!

  83. MicheleS - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    P2P..The Dick's at the Dulles Town Center would be an excellent place to have a Nat's Promotional Tour. A team store would be GREAT out there! Agreed – Absolutely no Marketing out in Loudoun.Now… if they build that minor league park.. dump Woodbrige and move the A ball team up there! That might help…

  84. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Wait, Vinny was a journalist, too? Awesome.fwiw, Ladson's saying a DC Prince signing is unlikely to happen.

  85. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    The rangers haven't paid a dollar, yet… No signy, no checky…

  86. MicheleS - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    1A.. you beat me too it on the Ladson story.. Great minds think alike.

  87. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    MicheleS, if you mean the Loudoun Hounds, they're building but won't be affiliated with an MLB team.

  88. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    LOL, MicheleS. It's your turn again on the next story.MicheleS said… 1A.. you beat me too it on the Ladson story.. Great minds think alike. January 11, 2012 3:23 PM

  89. MicheleS - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    1A..not tech savvy,.. but here is the next story..Another MLB Columnist pumping up the Nats…http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120111&content_id=26309444&vkey=news_was&c_id=was

  90. RPrecupjr - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Anon @ 3:03 said:The Rangers paid $50 million, just for the right to talk with Darvish. They would've spent that kind of money, unless they are assure of signing him.People seem to keep forgetting that if the Rangers DON'T sign Darvish, they get their money back. The money goes to Darvish's Japanese team ONLY if he signs here, as compensation for losing him.

  91. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Ladson has an article up on MLB. There is a "99 percent" chance that the Nationals will not sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, according to a baseball source.http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120111&content_id=26314680&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb#disqus_threadThe imbedded video says exactly the opposite…too funny.

  92. UNTERP - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Diz said… The article itself is ridiculous and not news. Of course the Nationals are unlikely to sign Fielder at 10 years and $240 Million…

  93. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Thanks for the link, MicheleS.On the embedded video, I didn't watch it but it features a Heyman appearance on the MLB Network, right? A different point of view from someone who doesn't work with the team. (Which is not to say that Ladson is always right.)

  94. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Or that he isn't sending a message to Fielder and Boras, for that matter.

  95. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    If Fielder doesn't sign here and Laroche plays anything like he did last year, expect to hear some serious boos. He has shown me nothing to be excited about, and aside from decent defense, adds nothing to the roster. I would be better off just having Morse at first and signing anothiner outfielder or bringing up Harper just to keep Laroche's useless bat on the bench. An injury alone is no excuse for the awful plate approach and disgraceful hitting he showed last year. He is a number 7 hitter at best and will single-handedly kill any chance this team has of competing next year

  96. DH - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Unkyd,no, there is no Zman problem, but then there's the speculation of the Zman problem from the mainstream media…Feel Wood,huh? 2005? the premiere season? the good old days when STH base was ~25K and everyone thought their house worth $1MM or more?UNTERP,the only Strasmas sell-out was the debut… in 2010!but i agree that winning is the only surefire way to grow ticket-buying fans. but how much and how soon and for how long? that's debatable.

  97. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    To Diz from @ 3:16 (oh no… not Tebow again!)..Big difference between Zim and Rendon versus Harper.Two guys 21 years old with 3 years of college compared to an 17 year old sped through his sophomore year of high school, 1 year of juco ball in his home town and introduced to professional baseball before his 18th birthday.Certainly a measureable difference.

  98. UNTERP - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    DH said… Actually, Strasmas first few starts were sell-outs in 2010. If you check the attendance; the sell-out crowds were below 40K because many of the tickets were free-game tickets but were still considered sell-outs. Also, I wasn't intending to say that all the games would be sell-outs. Just making a point that people underestimate how big a draw they would be or will be. All we can do is wait and see. This town is dying for a winner and believe me baseball's still the big draw over anything other than the NFL, which is only played 8 times out of the year at home…

  99. Diz - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I agree NatsJack. Like I said, it would be great if he made it here in 2012.Another point is that, by the time spring training starts, Rendon wouldn't really have played the field since the first week of June 2010 (as an everyday player). That's almost 2 years.I am sure he'll pick it up quickly again and has been working on it this winter, but it is a long time. Hopefully, he'll be ready sooner than later.

  100. Theophilus - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    See that LAA signed Kendrys Morales for $3MM. This is the non-Fielder/LaRoche flops Plan B. If Morales is healthy he could banish thoughts of Prince Lardbottom for ten years.

  101. Knoxville Nat - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Anon 3:50…………my award for dumbest post of the day.

  102. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Adam Laroche is not good at baseball

  103. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Knoxville Nat…. I don't know. That Binx Bolling comment on liberals not liking baseball was pretty stupid.Will we be seeing you during Spring Training this year?

  104. Theophilus - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    3:50/4:43Anon is speaking from experience. He strained an oblique firing paperwads at his wastebasket but his shooting percentage remained above 50 percent.

  105. Mick - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    I come here to talk baseball and escape people like Binx Bolling. Are you a cat Binx, or am I thinking of the cat in Hocus Pocus, lol? Binx, here is something for you to think about and it comes from George Will. I probably disagree with Will on 95% of all issues however the one issue he is spot on about is what makes baseball special. That is no matter what age, no matter what race, religion, political affiliation, etc.., this special game brings everyone together through the generations. I can sit down and talk baseball with Will and enjoy it. If you were a true baseball fan, I think you would understand this Binx ole boy, MEOW!

  106. Sunderland - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    If Adam Laroche plays to his potential, as he did every year between 2005 and 2010, he would be the best #7 hitter in the NL.Comparing him to all MLB 1B's is not real fair, since half of the AL 1B's are also DH's.2010, NL only, LaRoche did just fine compared to other 1B's. He was 9th in OPS, 8th in HR, 6th in RBI, 8th in SLG. He's a good hitter. And we need his LH bat breaking up our power righties.

  107. Rat Man - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Perhaps LaRoche and Desmond can go on a canoe trip together and suffer the same fate as Ned and Jon would have had not Burt bailed them out. That might solve the Nats' problems. Insurance would pay for La Roche's and Desmond's contracts and would could fit Fielder and Lombardozzi into the line-up.

  108. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    For those waiting around for Laroche to give us his "25 HR 100 RBI" statline that we were promised, please don't use the the excuse "slow starter" when he is batting .172 and striking out in every key clutch situation like last year. I agree with Rat Man, without Laroche and Desmond this team would be addition by subtraction.

  109. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    We really do need a new post. And fwiw, today has been an object lesson that anonymity is not necessarily the problem.

  110. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    That, and will someone please put new batteries in the clock?

  111. mstomper - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    How about the "he was injured and needed major surgery" excuse? You'd think the guy had been under the Mendoza line for his entire career. He's not in Fielder's class, but he's not Lyle Overbay either.

  112. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    OK so Nationals are no longer looking at signing Fielder. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  113. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Ohhh…thank goodness the issue was clock batteries. I thought I'd stepped into a time warp or something.

  114. Unkyd - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Wow… I thought Wednesday was Hump day…. This week, it's dumb butt day… Nightnight..,

  115. Joe Seamhead - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Lame.

  116. Section 222 - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Boy, so sorry I missed today's conversation. Zzzzzzz. I will say that an Anonymous commenter reporting that he read "on the Internet" that PF would sign with the Nats next week was the humorous highlight.

  117. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Fielder will not be signing with the Nats

  118. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Fielder will be signing with the Nats

  119. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    I'll believe it when I see it. Last year he was an automatic out. Do we really wanna put that between Z-man and Morse? Unless he tears up spring training to prove he still has value, he has no business in the lineup.

  120. gonatsgo - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    He needs to sign with somebody soon and put everyone out of their misery. The countdown has a first number of 3 – I like it.

  121. Gonat - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Bill Ladson say 99% chance that he DOES NOT sign with the Nats.

  122. Anonymous8 - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I like where this is going. I live in Montgomery. The only time a Nat has been in Montgomery County to show up for an event is when they are golfing at Avenel or Congressional.

  123. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    In 2010 he had a 0.0 bRAA. That says it all sunderland. Just flat-line average. That's well below Morse, Zimmerman in an injury year, Ramos, Espinosa, and Werth in an off year. Too many strike outs not enough walks. Its why he was ushered out of AZ along with Reynolds. In 2009 Fielder was 52.2. 49.9 in 2011. That's elite.

  124. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Then he'll get swapped out for Morse, go to the bench and they'll check out Harper, Hood, Rendon, Brown, etc.Add in the possibility that Ramos may not be totally healed from his ordeal?But then there's the recovering Flores?Just might not be competitive and may end up finished 4th instead of 3rd. They might exceed expectations and they might not.

  125. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    They've got two: Morse and Werth. You're stuck with Werth and Morse? Because of Werth you might lose your best hitter at some point to make room of Harper. If you mean CF its likely they'll get BJ Upton somehow either this season or next. That's who Rizzo has been aiming at all this time. As for this year Bernadina, Brown, DeRosa, Cameron will have to do unless Hood and Harper both make it this year. But both are corner outfielders. Outside chance of Perez. Very outside chance.

  126. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Good question. I don't think anyone is "all in" on Fielder not at those prices. No one likes the no-trade clause. Consider what it is doing to the Nats outfield today with Werth? Its the years and the no-trade.

  127. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Read Pete Kerzel's article Gonat. I think he has the best "take" on it. Its all about negotiating with Boras. On the Nats terms not on Boras terms this time. If he comes great, if he doesn't the Nats continue on as Rizzo stated.

  128. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Giants eh? Makes sense. But do would the accept a long-term no-trade clause? Otherwise, the Marlins would be "all-in" and have a dearth of offense just like the Nats.

  129. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Oswalt might be waiting to see what happens with Fielder. Keep in mind Texas might also be in play for Oswalt!

  130. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    LaRoshe back at 1st Base next season. Ho-hum…They got to go out and get some bench players and it sure wouldn't hurt to sign Roy Oswalt. Just why not? Trade Lannan or Detwiler for some offense help or another upcoming young player.

  131. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    I think Zim would move to 2nd base before first base. If anything according to Rizzo that spot would first be allocated for a decrepit Werth when he reaches a certain age.

  132. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    You're missing the really important part: no-trade clause inclusive?

  133. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Because Oswalt might just be waiting for the PF dust to settle. Its possible he might just choose the Nats if they sign Fielder and look like they could make a serious run. With Oswalt plus Detwiler the Nats would on paper have a formidable rotation.They aren't going to trade Detwiler unless they somehow manage to purloin #14 David Price. Young left-handed, power pitcher. A controllable starter just starting to get really good? You don't trade them unless there's something better to be had.If the Nats sign Fielder it means they are going all out for Ted Lerner starting this year. Oswalt and Upton might the only two pieces missing.

  134. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    No its not the problem.

  135. Gardner - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Fielder needs to sign somewhere quick. My boss just asked me what natsider.com was and why I go so often…I struggled for a good answer.

  136. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here.

  137. lesatcsc - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    That is exactly my point. They have nothing! Perhaps they can run a promotion at the games and raffle off a start in the OF for the lucky fan with the winning ticket. Barring a sudden breakthrough, Bernadina, Brown DeRosa and Cameron are a nightmare scenario. Bernadina doesn't hit ML pitching, Brown doesn't hit AAA pitching, DeRosa has been hurt non-stop for several years and Cameron is flat out finished. What responsible GM goes into a season with such a glaring weakness. It's not that there is NO depth, there aren't enough starting quality players to begin with. If Werth were to get hurt and LaRoche doesn't return to form causing them to move Morse to 1b, they could have an entirely AAA or lower OF. Lets hope that Davey Johnson isn't walking into the locker room in May and asking "So who wants to try CF today?"

  138. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    But they are NOT going to sign Fielder. That has been all over the news today.

  139. NatsNut - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Amen!

  140. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    LOL.

  141. Section 222 - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    One of the things I like (or liked) about this blog was that the format and look didn't keep changing, nor did the comment posting interface. Now all of a sudden there's a reply to comment feature like over at Nationals Journal. Ugh. Now if I check in after several hours and want to read only the new comments, I can't just read the most recent comments, I have to go back and look at the entire thread. Why Mark, why? Anyone else similarly annoyed?

  142. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Uhh, he's not here. Might be CSN and I think their comments work similarly?

  143. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    "Kid's eye view" of the Prince shenanigans … tries to nice when mentioning the physicality issue … ;) http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/washington-nationals-may-want-prince-fielder-to-join-team-but-its-a-close-call/2012/01/10/gIQAUjTqrP_story.html

  144. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Per the new notice at the bottom:"Owned and operated by the Comcast Sports Group."

  145. Unkyd - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    I think Mark checked in ths afternoon, and hit the format button, on the way out, leaving us on Arizona time, as well…. There's noplace like home, there's no place like home…..

  146. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Hey everyone,I had no idea that the commenting format was going to change. It appears this was a change implemented by Google's Blogger platform without prior notice, though they claim this was done in response to overwhelming requests from other bloggers to institute "threaded" comments (in which you can directly respond to one comment instead of just posting something new at the very end of the post).Personally, I prefer the old format (and I get the sense most of you do, too). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out yet how to disable the threading function and revert it to the old format. I also have no idea why the time stamps were backed up three hours.I'm still on vacation the rest of the week, so I don't really have much opportunity to try to work on these things. But I'll see what I can do to make things look like they used to … that is, assuming the majority of you prefer the old look vs. the new "threaded" look.

  147. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Phoenix is only 2 hours behind us in the winter. They don't do DST. The last thing they need is more daylight.

  148. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    This might keep the >200 posts from running into a second page. Just a thought.

  149. N. Cognito - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Section 222Jan 11, 2012 06:18 PM"One of the things I like (or liked) about this blog was that the format and look didn't keep changing, nor did the comment posting interface. Now all of a sudden there's a reply to comment feature like over at Nationals Journal. Ugh. Now if I check in after several hours and want to read only the new comments, I can't just read the most recent comments, I have to go back and look at the entire thread. Why Mark, why? Anyone else similarly annoyed?"Much so.

  150. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Could be me, but it seems to load slower, too.

  151. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    UPDATE-I just took a look back to check–the change is retroactive, the old posts are now showing the new format, AND all the posts appear on one page, with no jump for posts above 200. So there's that. I'm indifferent to the change, personally. FWIW.

  152. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    Hi Mark,PLEASE, pretty please, change the format back if you can! I would appreciate it greatly.Corky

  153. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    Same here … get on WaPo, (and this is somewhat better) and its kind of similar on all of the other major Nat's sites like MASN and FederalBaseball. Meh. Either way. But then I am just an anoymii and have no say … :)

  154. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    Looks like Boras or someone wants us to know that the Lerners met with Scott Boras at the owner's meeting at the Camelback Resort in Scottsdale, AZ … did someone mention Arizona time, is it serendipitous? In any case good ol' JimBos is tweeting the new but Kilgore has posted an article where his sources indicated that Nats are patiently pursuing Fielder. AND that Rizzo is really hot for Cespedes? Could be another ruse to pry lose BJ Upton from the Rays … or not.

  155. Section 222 - Jan 12, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    Strongly prefer the old format, for the reasons stated. 200 comment posts are unusual, particularly when Mark is posting more than once a day. And threaded comments can be useful when there's a wide variety of topics discussed, some of which are of interest and some not. But when the discussion centers on a topic and virtually everyone's comments are worth reading, it's just annoying and time consuming to have to circle back to the top of the comment list. Cast your votes folks. It sounds like Mark is listening, and for that we thank him.

  156. natsfan1a - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I also liked the old format. The only good thing about this one is that it prompted a comment from Mark. Wait, that's a *bad* thing for him because he's supposed to be on vacation. I'm so confused! :-)Thanks to Mark for taking the time to check in and keep us informed on the change, for soliciting input, and for your plans to look into it further upon your return. Now get back to relaxing and showing off that cute little grandkid!btw, ST countdown in the 30s now, and MZ countdown in the lower numbers. ;-)

  157. natsfan1a - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    And what am I doing up so daggone early – 3:26?? Geez, I'm going back to bed.

  158. gonatsgo - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Is it my imagination or does the print look very crowded now? Maybe I will get used to it but right now it looks very cluttered.

  159. NatsNut - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Yea. Same reason.

  160. MicheleS - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Don't like the new thread and agree with gonatsgo that it looks crowded.I do have to get a chuckle out of the Kilgore vs Ladson reports on PF Flyer. It's great. Team planting 1 story and the agent plants another.Mark Z, you're in AZ.. go to the Owners meeting and straighten this out. It's obvious they need you.

  161. MicheleS - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    and now the posts are on West Coast time! WHATEVER!

  162. The Dude Abides - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Well now at least the Anons that don't use a handle can see how little they are of influence on this site.

  163. natsfan1a - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    It does seem more cluttered. Not sure whether it's a smaller font, tighter margins, or what exactly. Re. the time change, hope that Gardner doesn't now get in trouble with the boss for showing up three hours late as well… :-)

  164. Slidell - Jan 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I would very much prefer the "old" way. Like some others, I have no desire to fish through the entire list each time I check in. The "new" format may work okay for a less-active blog, but not here.And, the print IS smaller.

  165. natsfan1a - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Seems like the Google Blogger change broke the auto new post as well. Or maybe it will show up at 10:00 AM.

  166. NatsLady - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  167. NatsLady - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    oooooo– I can reply to a deleted comment!OK, let's agree NOT to use the "reply" button and then the list will function more or less as it did before.And anyone who uses the reply button– WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE (er, sort of).

  168. N. Cognito - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    test to see if I can post from work, after several months of not being able to

  169. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I much prefer the old style. This pretty much gives me a headache.

  170. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Not using my real handle here for an obvioius reason — I can see this from work now, because BLOG is no longer in the URL, and this it's not blocked from my office. LOL

  171. Friend of all the World - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I strongly prefer the old format.

  172. Knoxville Nat - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Put me in the category of prefering the old style instead of this new thing.And NatsJack, to answer your question from yesterday, no I will not be at spring training this year. No particular reason other than I'm contemplating taking a road trip to follow the Nats this year in season to a couple of cities and really can't afford the time away from work to do both trips.

  173. Tcostant - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Didn't see a Thursday discussion yet, but I wanted to get this out there. I think I'm fine with a three year offer in the $80M-$85M range to PF, but no more years/dollars than that. This is a buyers market.http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/12/scott-boras-met-with-the-nationals-owners-last-night/

  174. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    This format looks great on an iPhone.

  175. Drew - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I don't like the new format, either. It's cramped, makes for unpleasant reading and lends itself to intramural skirmishing.Also, If Sec3 is unhappy, look out.Beware Charlie X.

  176. ehay2k - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I wish Mark had given Chase the keys to the blog while Mark was on vacation! (We could have had a party.) I agree wih those who feel that the Reply feature does make it harder to check in to see new posts. Saw this on a post it note blowing down half St. : "Fielder signs with Nats for 3 years, 78 million."Must be true. :-)

  177. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Old Format. Also:Day games. One admission double headers. $5 Beer. $1 hot dogs. Lead off hitters who take a couple to see what the pitcher has today. A fast ball in at the ribs next time up after a home run. Chuck Brown on the dug out roof for the 7th inning stretch. Those are my votes.

  178. ehay2k - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Posting comments from a tablet (android in my case) is practically broken – you can't see the captcha unless you figure out how to scroll to it, and you have to click the Publish button to get the cursor to move to the a captcha input box. Then you have to Edit your post because the Publish button on the captcha window doesn't work, and after you edit, you can click the Publish button on that window.Took me five minutes to figure it out.

  179. Section 222 - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Anon at 6:23 am (PST I assume): Comment of the day, and comment of the year from an anonymous commenter. Well done.I also commend everyone for essentially voting with our comments by not hitting reply!

  180. MicheleS - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Kilgore is doing at Chat with Tracee at 11 am on WaPo site

  181. ehay2k - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Chuck Brown? Awesome idea. "Bustin' Loose" would work.

  182. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I kinda like being able to reply directly, and it allows me to skip threads I don't care to read.

  183. NeedANatsFix - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I've been a little slow picking up on sabermetrics, but over the past few years have picked up on some of the more basic elements. I would really like to dive in a little deeper and would appreciate any help from Insiders on which books or articles would be a great place to start.

  184. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    It also seems to have broken Mark's preset morning posts, unless he stopped it on purpose while he tries to fix this. I'm going to be in the minority here–easier to get used to it than to fix it.

  185. m20832 - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I too like the old format. I didn't need my reading glasses with the old format, now I do. This change was not for the better…

  186. natsfan1a - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    My theory is that the new post will appear at 10 AM due to the time difference.

  187. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    different font

  188. Friend of all the World - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    NeedANatsFix,If you haven't read them already, i would check out "Baseball Between the Numbers" and "Mind Game" by the folks at Baseball Prospectus. Also "The Book" by Tom Tango.

  189. natsfan1a - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    D'oh! Another theory shot to h-e-double hockey sticks. :-)

  190. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    a distinct possibility. Will I have to switch my animosity for MS to Google now? Dang.

  191. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Yeah, it seemed like it would be easier to accept double-knits, so we did, and the next thing you know most of the world was playing with a DH.

  192. Constant Reader - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I am so resistant to change!That said, we should definitely sign Fielder (tongue firmly in cheek). ;)

  193. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  194. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    TAKE 2 – this time without angle brackets@m20832–CONTROL +zooms in, and makes the type bigger(without the shift key–really CTRL =, but it's easier to remember if you think of it as +)and yes, having to scroll to get the capcha is a PITA.

  195. Knoxville Nat - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Yes, Binx did make a rather stupid comment.Not likely for ST this year. Thinking road trips to ATL and Cincy instead during the regular season as well as a couple of minor league trips to see Pensacola play.

  196. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    "We fear change."

  197. sjm308 - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I definitely vote FOR Chuck Brown (anywhere anytime) and against the new format. Not sure a white liberal can still post here, like baseball or Chuck Brown but I took the risk.

  198. sjm308 - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    did not enter commas after like baseball, or Chuck Brown. Do not want the wrath of FeelWood coming down.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

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