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Sunday news and discussion

Jan 15, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

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My vacation’s almost over — I’m flying home tomorrow — 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.

  1. natsfan1a - Jan 15, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Safe travels to the Zuckerman family and we'll "see" you soon.

  2. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    I'm in my little red corvette goin crazy like its 1999., thinking about my darling Nikki…wondering when doves cry?Please sign Fielder,

  3. Tom in AR - Jan 15, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    The long Nationals nightmare is nearly over! I am pretty sure Prince Fielder has been waiting to sign until Mark gets back.

  4. Sunderland - Jan 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    A haikuIt's not happeningLerners do not trust BorasLearn to love LaRoche

  5. JayB - Jan 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    IF Nats can get Fielder for 6 years or less THEN it is a great move at any cost. More that 6 years I say no.IF Nats wait till Feb to sign bench bats they need THEN they will get hosed again with old over the hill Willie Harris types. Not sure why this relatively cheap part of the roster build each year is so poorly handled by Rizzo.IF Nats do not address lead off slot and use Ian D there THEN they will not be anything more that a .500 team.

  6. whatsanattau - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Not a haiku …There once was a man named PrinceWho couldn't get off of the fenceWith issues of … wait… and no equally large matehe pines for more moneywhile the fans think its funnybut the Nats are clearly his fate

  7. sjm308 - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    I think most regulars here know I am a baseball fan first and foremost. That being said, I can't remember a more exciting 4th quarter then what I saw yesterday with New Orleans and San Francisco going back and forth. Great stuff and I could forget about Prince, our CF situation, leadoff, and the bench. Now, if this group can just get my Marlyand Terps to play two halves of consistent basketball things will be even better.Hurry home Mark and I did reread your last sentence to make sure I had permission to write about other news here.

  8. natsfan1a - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    As y'all know, I'm not really into that pointy-ball game (although I did root for Joe Montana's 49ers as a younger gal–grrrrowl). That said, I happened to click over to the game in the 4th quarter. Shortly after I'd clicked over, my husband came downstairs to see what the shouting was about. We watched the rest of the game together. He said later he was glad he'd come downstairs to see what the ruckus was about. I was a teeny bit conflicted because I've always kinda liked Brees, but I'm glad that SFO won. Can't wait 'til I'm rooting for the home nine in the postseason.

  9. natsfan1a - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    In baseball news, MLB Trade Rumors says that contract length is the biggest holdup in the Darvish talks, but I think we all know they're just waiting until Mark's back on the beat. ;-)

  10. Sunderland - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Deb Taylor's first gigWhere is our big first basemanMadam I'm Adam

  11. Just wonderin' - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    JayB – when you say "IF Nats wait till Feb to sign bench bats they need THEN they will get hosed again with old over the hill Willie Harris types. Not sure why this relatively cheap part of the roster build each year is so poorly handled by Rizzo" who do you have in mind? Almost by definition, when you talk about 'bench bats' as being a 'relatively cheap part of the roster' you're talking about veterans who are, indeed, 'Willie Harris types'. But what's the alternative? I'm not trying to be negative here, just honestly wondering who — that's been available this offseason — fits your model signee?

  12. natsfan1a - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Speaking of haiku, I rather enjoyed "Baseball Haiku: The Best Haiku Ever Written about the Game." Wonder whether NJ's Haiku Man of old ever visits this blog? :-)

  13. sjm308 - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I think that Ankiel might be the best of the bunch that is left and he actually could end up a starter. I realize that is what he wishes but in my mind he is in the same catagory as Bernadina/Cameron etc. Just a decent #4 outfielder. I stil think the throw to 3rd to nail Reyes was one of the best plays I have seen. Of course the Bernadina catch was another. I am also wondering who else is out there to sign for our bench. I like DeRosa, Cameron was not risky at all, and Flores is a terrific backup catcher. I am thinking there is just one more spot at best open.

  14. lesatcsc - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Mr Cameron will be very pleased to be described as a "decent #4 outfielder" because he hasn't been in some time. Flattery will get you everywhere!

  15. Mick - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    SJm I could not agree more about game . How bout TERP Vernon Davis! Any way, its about time you come back Mark and next time you need to get permission, lol

  16. Mick - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    SJM 308, Hi Coach, I do remember you n the 90's coaching at Chevey Chase. kudos to you, hope all is well

  17. JayB - Jan 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Nix and Ankiel should have been keep or D. Dejesus signed as 4th OF/5th OF pinch hit types.Ryan T or J Carroll would be the Infielder of choice for me. G Dobbs the Pinch hitter type…..all signed by other teams for more money than Rizzo will spend……but not anything that would break the bank….These are the moves that build winning teams…not Cameron and Willie Harris. Go back the past 5 years and you see a very ugly unproductive trend…..Doug M. and Chris Duncan…….here we go again.

  18. Sunderland - Jan 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    JayB, it ain't so simple. A lot of the borderline guys are looking for spots where they are confident they will start. J Carroll is not going to sign with Rizzo to be a backup infielder, even for more money. He wants to play everyday, that's more important than some extra cash. Same with Theriot. He's looking for a situation where he can play every day, and he is not going to sign to be anybody's backup middle infielder until he's sure that's the best he can do. Theriot and Carroll are not signing in December / January to be a backup. That's just the way it is. That's why filling out the bench takes time.

  19. JayB - Jan 15, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    OK……so how is it we end up with historically bad benches and other teams do not…..I understand what you are saying but J. Carroll has signed as a back up many many times….for good money in December and Jan…..How do we get quality players waiting to the last min and signing what is left over AND CHEAP.

  20. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I'm still thinking Matt Murton would be a good hitter off the bench and occasional starter in left.

  21. natsfan1a - Jan 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Jamey Carroll signed a two-year deal with the Twins, I believe.

  22. natsfan1a - Jan 15, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Oh, never mind.all signed by other teams for more money than Rizzo will spend……

  23. JayB - Jan 15, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    J Carroll has never been a starter and has never had more than 500 ABs…he is 38 and in great shape but he knows he will get about 300-400 ABs tops…filling in around the INF for any team he signs with.

  24. sjm308 - Jan 15, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    JayB – I liked all the guys you named especially Dobbs but he chose to stay with the team that took a shot on him last year and you can't blame him for that. Are we going to start Lombardozzi in AAA or give him a shot, along with DeRosa as that utility guy?Mick – not sure how you figured it out but thanks for the nice words. (oh, wait, I do have that picture up now don't I?) Those were fun times. Always good to see a Terp perform well on the big stage!!lescat – looking at it without curly W colored glasses, on Cameron, you are correct. I am using my nationals bias to provide Cameron with a hopeful comeback season earning him playing time and a shot at comeback player of the year. Can't we all dream just a little at this time of year?

  25. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    IF Nats do not address lead off slot and use Ian D there THEN they will not be anything more that a .500 team.JayB's the guest on Jeopardy! The answer: a second baseman lead off hitter who won a minor league gold glove, excellent leadoff hitter and with hitter?The question: Who is Stephen Lombardozzi?

  26. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Texas, the Marlins and the Nats all in for Fielder. My guess is Fielder is checking in on all of the possibilities before making the call. Given the Nats track record with big ticket free agents (with the exception of Jayson Werth who really is more middling') Fielder will eschew the Nats and go with the Rangers but the Nats will have put in the highest bid.

  27. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    My guess is the Nats trade for Seth Smith if they can't get Fielder. That would allow them to season Harper in the minors for another season or so. If they get Fielder expect to see Harper in the outfield and in the lineup as early as possible.

  28. From MLBTR just now - Jan 15, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    "Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals have agreed to terms on a contract extension, according to the team's official Twitter feed. The deal runs through 2016, with club options for 2017 and 2018.Gonzalez, 26, was eligible for arbitration for the first time as a Super Two this winter. The extension will lock him up for all four of his arb years, plus one season of free agency. With the two club options, the Nationals have potentially bought out three of the southpaw's free agent years."

  29. Gardner - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    I like the extension on NatGio – no arbitration slash distractions year over year. I'd love to see the numbers but since it's not my cash and nobody knows the theoretical deepeness of the Lerner's budget for the 2014 season (as many present to), I only moderately care.

  30. Wally - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Love the structure of guaranteed money with team options on the back end.But I think it curious that they extend Gio before JZimm. Granted, Gio has an extra year of performance but JZimm is the homegrown guy. Hopefully they are also talking with JZimm (and Morse).

  31. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Haven't seen what the salary figures are yet for the Nat Geo extension, but I guess this is a good thing. Certainly shows that Rizzo is all in on him. Let's hope he performs like a #2. I'd like to hope he ws worth the four great prospects it cost us…

  32. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    I'll gues 35 mill

  33. gonatsgo - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    I am still dreaming of a trade for Bourjos. I think he would be a great fit for us. I also think Cody Ross would be a good signing – I think he still has gas left in the tank,he would be a good clubhouse guy and he has been in the playoffs.But, I think he will hold out to be a starter somewhere as has been discussed above.

  34. baseballswami - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Has anyone read the dreadful article in the post today by Boswell about the Nats and Boras? That's journalism?

  35. Gardner - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I like Bourjos as well but we shot our proverbial prospect load to acquire Gio – who's left to deal without weakening the big club?

  36. Grandstander - Jan 15, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I think because of the favorable way the deal is structured, with 2 club options, the salary will probably be pretty high, my guess is a hair under $40 million. Either way, really liked to see that, would love to see a similar deal with JZimm as well. Think about this, Stras, JZimm and Gio are all locked up until at least 2015. That brings a really REALLY big smile to my face.Unfortunately, I don't see them extending Morse like that. He just had a career year so his value is too high. If he has another like it, then yes, absolutely, pay that man his money. But he has a bit of an off year, you can probably get him cheaper (or maybe decide you don't want him at all).Of course, no matter what, there won't be a move on Morse until there's a decision on Fielder. Cust kayin'

  37. whatsanattau - Jan 15, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I used to enjoy Boswell who has always been at his best when memorializing the nobility of baseball, but has become a bit boorish and schizophrenic in recent years. There is little continuity and less sense in his columns these days. IMHO. I'd welcome back the old Boz, but I find it more and more difficult to wade through his recent work.

  38. whatsanattau - Jan 15, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Gio, Gio, its off to work he goesHe throws those diamonds by the scoreHe doesn't know where the ball will goHe just winds up and lets it goGio, Gio, Gio, Gio….

  39. Farid - Jan 15, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    In five years, Gio will be 31, Zimmerman 30 and Strasburg 27. Still young, still strong and still under team control. Zimmermann will surely be signed to an extension. I just don't know if Boras will go for "the greatest pitching prospect in generations" to sign an extension and not test the free agent waters. Here are the ages of the rest of the (probably) starters in five years:C-Ramos (28)1B-Morse (34) assuming, of course2B-Espinosa (29)SS-Desmond (30)3B-Zimmerman (31)LF-Harper (24)CF- ??RF-Werth (37)Only Werth is old enough now to be of concern five years from now. This team can remain as is for another five years and have no concerns regarding age. That's pretty cool.

  40. sjm308 - Jan 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Really happy with this extention – He will be with us, or under our control for the next 6 years and I love that we control the last two years with team options. He is the first of our 7 players under arbitration to have his contract taken care of and you know that JZ has to be next.

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Farid…While all this looks good on paper, it might be best if the group actually wins on the field first.

  42. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    NatsJack – thanks for the reality check,(I think?), or for throwing cold water on our pretty little daydreams…..Do you have a mean streak?

  43. JayB - Jan 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    My though as well NJack….Ian D is going to have to really improve to still be "the Guy"

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Not really. It's just extremely hard to anticipate how a team is going to look 5 years out. That and the fact that they really need to win something first.I'm as pumped as anybody for how the organization is shaping up but they have to really step up and press the Braves and Phillies.

  45. natscan reduxit - Jan 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    "That's journalism?"… well, no. But it's not exactly intended to be. As far as I know, Boswell offers personal comment in the form of regular columns. Journalism OTOH, involves providing information free of personal editorialising.Go Nats!

  46. Anonymous - Jan 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    baseballswami said…Has anyone read the dreadful article in the post today by Boswell about the Nats and Boras? That's journalism?FYI, Thomas Boswell is one of the nation's best baseball writers. Enough said. How many of you agree with this statement?

  47. Unkyd - Jan 15, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    @3:21….I hope not.

  48. Feel Wood - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    FYI, Thomas Boswell is one of the nation's best baseball writers. Enough said. How many of you agree with this statement?Not me. He used to be a good baseball writer, but hasn't been for at least the last 10 years.

  49. Sunderland - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    FYI, Thomas Boswell is one of the nation's best baseball writers. Enough said. How many of you agree with this statement?Not me. He used to be a good baseball writer, but hasn't been for at least the last 10 years. *****Ditto

  50. The Fox - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    ESPN reports:The Washington Nationals have signed left-hander Gio Gonzalez to a five-year contract extension that keeps the club's new starting pitcher in their control through the 2016 season.The deal, reports ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas, is worth $42 million guaranteed, or an average annual salary of $8.4 million, and comes with two options — it's unclear whether they are of the club, player or mutual variety — that can bring the total value to $65 million.

  51. greg - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    agreed. boswell *WAS* one of the best baseball writers. i don't know what happened to him, but he's gotten… odd. i don't know a better word to describe it. very sad, because he used to be one of my favorite writers, but something happened to him.

  52. Rabbit - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    I am still sick that we gave up Peacock and Milone for Gonzalez. Please, anyone make me feel better.

  53. Drew - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Farid wrote: "Here are the ages of the rest of the (probably) starters in five years:C-Ramos (28)1B-Morse (34) assuming, of course2B-Espinosa (29)SS-Desmond (30)3B-Zimmerman (31)LF-Harper (24)CF- ??RF-Werth (37)"You need to do a switcheroo in your projected infield, Farid. You've left out Anthony Rendon. BA says he was the best talent in the draft, and the Nats didn't pick him to ride the pine.Top items on the Terry Malloy ("I coulda been a contender") To Do list:1. Lock up Ryan Zimmerman with a Tulo-style deal.2. Settle on a cf ballhawk who gets on base (Bourn, Upton, Goodwin?)3. Move Espinosa to ss, install Rendon at 2b and give Ian Desmond some lovely parting gifts.Even without Fielder, the Nats will transform their lineup once they have cf Bourn/Goodwin and 2b Rendon setting the table at the top.

  54. Anonymous - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Even without Fielder, the Nats will transform their lineup once they have cf Bourn/Goodwin and 2b Rendon setting the table at the top.Under the heading STATS DON'T lie? Boz compares the 2009 offense as a standard for the Nats to achieve. I agree. It was slightly above average whereas the last 2 have been well below average. The difference? Nick Johnson at first base putting up the numbers he did in an reasonably injury free year. That's Anthony Rendon except he is likely gong to be better. Either Desmond/Lombardozzi … even Upton can lead off. What's important is having a high OBP guy batting 2nd. That does not fit your description but it would raise the Nats offense considerably statistically.

  55. Anonymous - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Touché

  56. Gonat - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Drew, I think part of the problem is people are penciling in Werth year after year in the starting lineup like you did. I give him 3 years before he is playing as good as a bench player.Does Rizzo sit him on the bench while paying him $21 million a season? For those complaining in Chicago and NYY about their players who are at the top of salaries and not performing, you can easily see it happen. I think the Angels will see that in a few years with Pujols too. His last years are at $30 million a season!

  57. N. Cognito - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    greg said… "agreed. boswell *WAS* one of the best baseball writers. i don't know what happened to him, but he's gotten… odd. i don't know a better word to describe it. very sad, because he used to be one of my favorite writers, but something happened to him."You liked him because he quite often used to write about the romantic side of baseball. The articles that reminded you of playing ball when you were a kid or going to the ballpark and rooting for your favorite team.When he tries to write anything else, he's terrible. He rarely gets his facts right, he sites dubious sources, like some posters here, he sometimes thinks he's a mind reader and he constantly flip-flops on basic philosophical positions regarding the operations of the Nats. He's been this way for at least as long s the Nats have been here.

  58. sjm308 - Jan 16, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    N Cog:Agreed!! Boz at one time was excellent. I remember enjoying one of his books and his articles were always pro Baseball. I am bothered by his flip flopping and using all kinds of stats from years ago to prove points and then the very next week having a completely different view point. I also agree that once we got a team he became a completely different writer. I remember how excited he was when it was announced. Even though some here disagree, I am happy to have anything in print on baseball as Redskin driven as the news is around here but it would be nice to have it well written and factual.On a different topic. Will the pitching order be JZ – GG – SS orSS – GG – JZ or will they throw the 2 righties back to back with GG as our #3. My thoughts are that both JZ & GG will NOT have an innings count. JZ earned the #1 spot after what he did last year and even though I think SS is the best of the 3 I am thinking he should settle in this year at #3 so I would go JZ-GG-SS

  59. Anonymous - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    Another possibility, slot SS at 5 and let him miss a few turns. It is an unusually busy schedule to start the year. One off day after the opener then no off days until week three. If they pitch GG in the opener then JZ could be in line for the home opener.

  60. natsfan1a - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Re. Boswell, I didn't grow up here and thus don't have the historical basis on which to base my opinion, though I've read a number of his books and columns. That said, I believe that he's forgotten a lot more baseball than I'll ever learn, and I'm not inclined hold his feet to the fire for capriciousness as a columnist (because that's what he is now, not a reporter/beat writer). I will admit that I am bemused by his columns at times. Then again, aren't columns designed to make one think/react? I do enjoy his philosophical bent, literary allusions, and the way he tends to keep the humanity of the players in mind. I'd also opine that a bad day of Boz writing beats a good day of fan/journalist blogging/tweeting, but that would stir things up so I won't. Oh. Oops. :-)

  61. natsfan1a - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    btw, MZ doesn't fall into that fan/journalist category. :-)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 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.

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