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What’s the effect of Cameron retirement?

Feb 20, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Good morning again from Space Coast Stadium, where today pitchers and catchers (plus the coaching staff) undergo their annual physicals. Thankfully, they don't make the reporters do this, because the results wouldn't be pretty. Let's just say none of us showed up to camp in the best shape of our lives.

Though position players don't officially report until Thursday, plenty have already arrived in camp, including Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Rick Ankiel, Steve Lombardozzi and Roger Bernadina. I suspect we'll see even more new faces today.

The one guy we definitely won't see, of course, is Mike Cameron, who surprisingly announced his retirement yesterday morning before ever donning a Nationals uniform once. The Cameron news elicited quite a response, both from ex-teammates, coaches and reporters who raved about the quality ballplayer and man he is, and also from fans who are trying to figure what this all means for the Nationals.

Really, this shouldn't have a huge impact on things in Nats camp. Yes, Cameron was expected to make the club and share the center field job with either Ankiel or Bernadina. But he wasn't expected to hold that jobRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Well That's enlightling about wanting his presence in the clubhouse. I think between Werth, Lidge, Ankiel, RZ, and De Rosa (plus I think Ian/Espi will have their say), they will be able to mentor/keep Harper in line. I also think Bo Porter will be really good for Harper.How great is it that the Retirement of a backup is something we are arguing/discussing and not the state of the entire team. Days of the cattle calls for every scrub in the league are over in Nats Town!PS.. Clipp better watch out.. Sounds like NatsLady has a new crush on EJax.. ;-)

  2. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Mark, Making the Playoffs or not is going to come down to a few wins or loses. Not having a RH bat and CF option for two months is likely going to cost this team more than just a few wins. Recall how many loses Matt Stairs cost this team. Before that, as you know the Bench cost this team key pinch hits every year. Recall Alex C and Manny Acta's love of using him in came winning AB's (o for 25 or so as I recall).Point is the team does not have 2 months to put a sub par solution for CF and Bench onto the field. That is going to be the difference between 85 and 90 wins in my view if all else goes well.

  3. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Jason W. is not a help in any clubhouse…nor is R Zimm…..that is why Rizzo wanted so many new vet types….Harper is not ready to be in a MLB clubhouse….not even close….have you all seen his twitter stuff…..it is like he is 15 years old not 19……I know I spent a good part of my professional life working with teenagers.

  4. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    JayB. I think your idea of sub par maybe different than mine. I think if RZ/Morse/Werth and the young guys keep up a good pace at the plate, We will be good for those 2 months, with Either Ankiel in CF or DeRosa in right. Since Harp is a slow starter, His bat may not be missed as much (plus he can work on the OF routes/Throws in AAA and not learn on the Job in the Bigs)

  5. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    JayB.. beg to differ on Werth in the clubhouse. Ian/Morse were constantly praising him last year about his clubhouse leadership. Plus DeRosa is good in the clubhouse. As far as Harper's tweets, go look at Logan Morrison's tweets if you want to see a 15 year old. Harper's tweets are harmless.

  6. Natsfly - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    JayB–a backup CF worth 5 wins all by himself? Really?

  7. SonnyG10 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    They better get some right-handed offense off to bench to replace him.

  8. The Dude Abides - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Can anybody tell me how many games Stairs lost for the Nats last year? 10? 12? 3? And how many games did Desmond lose us early in the season in the leadoff spot? Please, somebody give me the number so I can join JayB in the Rizzo bashing.

  9. Marty - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    I wish Cameron all the best, but can't say that I am disappointed to hear he is retiring.We'll see how all the guys competing for a spot perform in spring training, but honestly i'd rather see them bring in a short term RH bat instead of bringing someone else's Bernadina on for two months (Michaels or Carroll.)Seems like a fitting end to a career to bring in Vladdy for two months, let him hit 3 or 4 dingers and retire after Harper comes up as an Expo/Nat.

  10. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    I would Like Corey Brown to get a shot. He had the injury/illness bug last year, so I would hope he would get his shot to put it together on last time.

  11. Avar - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    JayB. I don't think any objective observer has ever valed Mike Cameron at 5 or more wins. That's insane. There is actually almost no difference between Cameron, Ankiel and Bernie. Losing Cameron is sad because he's a class act but doesn't cost the Any wins at all. And how exactly do you have any idea the effect these guys have in a club house in which you have never set foot? Everyone who has been in that club room says Werth, Zimmerman have an excellent effect in it. I'm all for your rants but you are way off base today. You can't support those claims in any way.

  12. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    RH Bench Bats….RH CF Option….right now we have nothing…not even basic replacement level players…..yes that will cost the team big for as long as they fail to have it. 2-3 months….just look at last year to see what that looks like. Then look at what Rizzo was able and willing to get to try to fix it…..Johnny Gomes….that costs wins too.

  13. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Not saying Mike C was the answer….saying we have not answer…same as I have been saying since Nov…when you all said just wait till spring training…Rizzo will fix it…..well he did not.

  14. Gonat - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Time to call the Royals and see what it would take for a Lorenzo Cain trade. Unless Cain has improved hitting RH/RH he is the perfect platoon outfielder.

  15. Gonat - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    JayB said… Not saying Mike C was the answer….saying we have not answer…same as I have been saying since Nov…when you all said just wait till spring training…Rizzo will fix it…..well he did not. February 20, 2012 9:29 AM ____________________________I don't think Cameron was anything more than an extra glove if the Nats didn't fix the situation so I'm not sure why it is a big deal he retired. His numbers in Boston last year were worse than JMax.The overall issue is being at the start of Spring Training and Mark DeRosa playing corner outfield to push Werth to CF is the best solution right now.

  16. Sunderland - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Seriously, if Camreron showed up to camp, went through most of spring training playing fine baseball, then sprained his knee or shoulder or whatever so he had to miss 2 months of the MLB season, there wouldn't be much noise made. A platoon guy, weak bat, good D, 4th outfielder got hurt. Plug in someone else.

  17. Joe Seamhead - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Hey, JayB! Easy on Gomes! He had the best walk-off HBP that I've ever seen!

  18. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I would truly love to know how JayB has been spying on the clubhouse before during or after games to determine that RZ and JW have NO influence. Seems to me that even though JW did not put up good numbers, his run-in with Nyjer early in spring training and then his constant will to win by playing with minor hurts showed our team something about winning. I have no idea if it did or not but I will not put things out there like our new resident negative. If I "think" its possible I will use that type of phrase but to say it like fact is just another reason to dismiss him. Of course JayB is praying for the nationals to fail so he can brag "I told you so" on here. I am with the Dude also on trying to figure out just how many games one person can lose when the game is played with 25.I am guessing you can cite instances of failure in each game for each player but since its a team game, those failures can be offset by someone else doing something positive. I don't think one person wins or loses a game. The walk-off homerun was set up by someone else either getting on base or keeping the game close. The no-hitter was aided by a great defensive play or key hit. Its silly to say Stairs or Cora cost us an exact number of games. Stairs played poorly and probably should have been released early but he did not lose one single game by himself.

  19. baseballswami - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I don't think Cameron was going to be a huge factor for us but I do appreciate him making this decision now instead of waiting. I am personally thinking about Pudge today – pitchers and catchers reported yesterday and he is without a job. I find this incredibly sad. Surely someone needs him and he has something left to give? If he retires now will he go into the HOF as a Nat? Isn't his son in the minors now also? I know he is not on our roster anymore, but he has been such a great guy for us. I hate to think of his phone not ringing…

  20. whatsanattau - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Not only do I skip over JayB comments, I skip over all the responses as well. No hate here. Just tired of it. Let him have his opinion, and move on. If you don't swat at the bee, it will leave you alone.

  21. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Swami..Pudge HOF will go in as a Ranger, not a Nat. HOF decides cap and it is based on where player made the most difference on their team.Sad Pudge isn't on a team. I would love to have him here. It's been mentioned before, but he would be good in SF to teach Posey. (not that I want Posey to get any better)

  22. Anonymous8 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    sjm, I think you are correct. There have been several posts as to JWerth's influence. I think Zim's personality is such that if you ask him a question he will answer you. I see him more as a quiet leader and a "lead by example" type of guy.

  23. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Swami:First, like you I hope Pudge's career is not over.I think the Hall of Fame thing is decided by the Hall of Fame and not the player. It would be a tough call since he has been with so many different teams. 12 years to start with the RangersThen a World Series in his one year with the Marlins4 great years with the Tigers and then he started to bounce around with the Yankees, Astros, Rangers and us.I would guess its in a Ranger uniform but those Tiger years were super as well.

  24. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Gonat.I don't think the Royals are in trade mode right now. I think they are trying to follow a Plan as well. They want to get their young core established. Not sure if Cain is part of that, but they might want to keep him because he is young and cheap (plus he probably has options and they can stash him in the minors).

  25. whatsanattau - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I too appreciate Cameron quitting now instead of mid season. It's been a while since I read/heard anyone suggesting Lombardozzi could play some outfield. I don't see him as a starter, but in the tradition of Hairston/Bixler, he could fill in there from time to time if he makes the team.

  26. Avar - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Mark. I'm sure we say this all the time, but sure wish we could reply to specific comments on a thread and "like" or "rec" certain comments.

  27. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    whatsanattau said… Not only do I skip over JayB comments, I skip over all the responses as well. No hate here. Just tired of it. Let him have his opinion, and move on. If you don't swat at the bee, it will leave you alone.Seconded.

  28. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    I also feel he is a lock for first ballot initiation but some of the voters are idiots to think that delaying membership is their right.I think he has 12 gold gloves and Bench is 2nd with 10. 15 straight years with 10 or more HR's which bests both Berra and Bench (believe it or not Lance Parrish also has 15 seasons). I could go on but you guys get the picture. to me his most special traight was how professional he was with our two young catchers needing innings. Never a negative word and he always seemed to be on the first step of the dugout as the game went on.

  29. JayBSpeak Translator - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Matt Stairs was so bad that he even lost games for the Nats while he sat on the bench.

  30. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Another thing about Matt Stairs' harm on the team — a big part of that harm was that he kept getting At-Bats. If he were, say, hurt or retired (as opposed to hitting .020 or whatever) it's not like Riggs would have put my mom in to pinch-hit. Instead, they sent his tired self up in high-leverage situations and he never delivered. Maybe Cameron realized he just couldn't do it anymore, and he'd have cost the team if he'd stayed on it. Who knows?Look, I don't like the CF situation either. And I really wish we'd been able to get Hairston back — he sure performed admirably in place of Zimm last year. But I don't think Cameron was going to be the answer. "Replacement level" guys are going to be available in quantity in a few weeks.

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Mark. I'm sure we say this all the time, but sure wish we could reply to specific comments on a thread and "like" or "rec" certain comments.Actually, that's precisely what he spent two days of his vacation fixing, so we couldn't do that, after a significant plurality, if not majority, of regulars asked for less functionality. Go figure.

  32. JayBSpeak Translator - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth spoil the clubhouse atmosphere by farting too much. Even Jim Bowden couldn't stand it.

  33. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Sec. 3 and whatsanattau:I will attempt to join the club but the contrarian (sure that is spelled wrong)in me just pounces on certain things. I will enter a program soon and try and skip the anon & JayB posts but it will be hard. Wish me luck and Go Nats!!

  34. JayBSpeak Translator - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    John Fogarty has been out there for years but Rizzo stubbornly refuses to put him in.

  35. Tom in AR - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I remember watching Pudge with he Rangers. He was the rare player who changed the game just by being on the field. Definitely the best defensive catcher I have ever seen and a worthy first ballot hall of famer. So glad that he ended up a Nat. But I also hope, as other have said, that he isn't done yet.

  36. Anonymous - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    stop swatting at the bee…

  37. sm13 - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I too am feeling bad for Pudge. It's hard to imagine the emotions he's feeling about not having a team on the day pitchers and catchers report. He is a lock for the HOF and I hope it's on the first ballot.

  38. JayBSpeak Translator - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I was with Stupid until he walked into some building I never heard of called a liberry. Then he lost me.

  39. Gonat - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    MicheleS said… Gonat.I don't think the Royals are in trade mode right now. I think they are trying to follow a Plan as well. They want to get their young core established. Not sure if Cain is part of that, but they might want to keep him because he is young and cheap (plus he probably has options and they can stash him in the minors). February 20, 2012 9:48 AM _______________________________I don't disagree but I think the Nats still have players to put in a package ie Lombardozzi, Flores, Detwiler, Lannan, Brown, Bernadina, Ankiel.Cain has very little MLB stats whereby he is not a lock and they know that. The Royals still have Jeff Francoeur, Alex Gordon, Mitch Maier, Derrick Robinson, Jarrod Dyson, David Lough, and Wil Myers all in camp and only Wil Myers isn't on their 40 man.

  40. Waddu eye no - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    sjm 308: "I will enter a program soon and try and skip the anon & JayB posts but it will be hard. "One day at a time.

  41. kirbs - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    It would be wonderful to se lamba get his ABs as part of the outfield.

  42. Gonat - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    …and as quickly as I type that Amanda Comak just tweeted this:With regard to Mike Cameron's retirement & how it'll affect #nats plans, GM Mike Rizzo said any move for another RH OF will come from within

  43. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Gonat..Thanks for the Amanda tweet update. Hope this give C Brown a shot, but also maybe we can have a look at Michael Taylor (??? I think that's who it is) that some see as an option. Also, can we kick the tires on Soler? He might not be Major league ready, but It would be nice to take a look

  44. Frequent Reader - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    The JayB Translator has become more annoying than JayB. Civility please. Or else the chicks will take over.

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    GM Mike Rizzo said any move for another RH OF will come from within Unless it doesn't. So Rizzo is not planning on demoralizing the guys who might have a shot, and also *not planning on* spending for another free agent OF at this point. OK. *not the same as "ruling out". Time and circumstance happeneth to all.

  46. Anonymous - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I am not sure that the club is going to hand Ankiel the Opening Day start in CF as Zuck predicts. I am guessing that he's going to have to compete with Bernadina for the nod and Roger's speed and better On Base skills may win out, allowing them to put Espi low in the order batting lefty). We'll see. dfh21

  47. whatsanattau - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Corey Brown is a lefty. Carroll, Michaels, and Moore are the right handed batters at MLB camp that are not already front runners to make the team.

  48. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Or else the chicks will take over. I for one welcome the arrival of our new computer overlords … err, overladies. Ueber-chicks.

  49. whatsanattau - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I agree that Ankiel is not ordained to start, but I still think the most likely opening day starting CF on the team is Werth. I also think there is an opportunity for Tyler Moore to make the team – but that would likely push Morse back to RF where he played in 2010. Moore is not a player that they will be as cautious about rushing. If he makes it he is already exceeding expectations. If he fails, there will not be a sense of – oh my what have we done.

  50. Gonat - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    MicheleS, I'm hoping Corey Brown proves he belongs. I never saw Cameron as his competition, more like Bernadina and now Ankiel who isn't on the 40 man.

  51. Anonymous - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    I still say the Nationals have a CF under their nose. It is Desmond and not Lombardozzi. Desmond has the arm and range to play CF. Why not experiment with Desi and move Esponisa to SS and have Lombo play 2B. Lombo can be your lead-off hitter, also. Problems solved!

  52. Wally - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…GM Mike Rizzo said any move for another RH OF will come from within. Unless it doesn't….Yeah, this is pretty much how I view all GM comments. I don't think we should put much stock in what they say before something happens.Anyway, risking the wrath of virtually all posters here, I'll defend JayB a bit by saying that he is right in his bench comments. As it currently stands, I see the bench having a much higher likelihood of being bad than good.And the Cameron thing, while I agree with the vast majority of you that it is no big deal because he was likely washed up, it did seem like the prevailing wisdom (admittedly not unanimous) was that he would be the RH part of a CF platoon, at least for some period of time. It seems a little disingenuous now to say 'oh, we really didn't need him anyway'.There isn't much left out there to a casual observer to fill the RH OF slot, but I still think Byrd makes sense here. Should be cheap to acquire, is adequate in the field, can easily go to the bench when Harper is up, and saves the toll on Werth's body by playing CF for 100 games. Maybe takes Burnett and Bernadina?

  53. Sam - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Not a single mention of Gary Carter's passing anywhere on here? He was one of the best players to ever step on the field for this organization, and one of the few Hall of Famers to be inducted as a member of the Montreal Expos. Not to mention all of the things he did off the field.No matter how much time passes, the Nationals will ALWAYS be the former Montreal Expos, and that history should be recognized. For as happy as all of the people from the DC area were to get a team, we were just as sad when the Expos left Montreal.Mark, you have done a great job with this blog, and I don't mean to criticize you. However, I think it's a bit of a shame that one of the best players and people in this organization's history doesn't even get a mention after his passing.

  54. greg - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    i think people see soler as a corner OF. not that we shouldn't look at him, but he's not going to be the CF answer.and i agree that from what i've read, KC is committed to cain as CF (which is why they traded melky to SF). i don't think they're going to be interested in trading him unless you pay a premium for him (which i wouldn't advocate). i also think we'll see a raft of guys who could easily replace at least cameron's on-field skills in the next 4-5 weeks. i don't necessarily believe rizzo when he says replacement will come from within. i think he means that for *now*, but i'm sure he means that in context with what's available right now. when other options become available, he'll make a deal/signing if it makes sense.

  55. Anonymous - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Sam@10:47…Take a look at the previous posts and you will see plenty of comments on the sad passing of the Kid.

  56. Gonat - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Anonymous said… I still say the Nationals have a CF under their nose. It is Desmond and not Lombardozzi. Desmond has the arm and range to play CF. Why not experiment with Desi and move Esponisa to SS and have Lombo play 2B. Lombo can be your lead-off hitter, also. Problems solved! February 20, 2012 10:41 AM _______________________________….and here we go again.Davey Johnson announced that Rendon will play 3B, SS, and 2B during Spring Training.

  57. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Jayson Stark just tweeted that Hudson (braves) is out until May for his back. Was this known that he would miss the start of the season?

  58. Sam - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    @Anon 10:51: If I have to search through comments to find something like that, it's not enough to me. Of course, Mark is free to post or not post whatever he wants. And, of course, I am free to visit or not visit the site as I please. So, I'm not criticizing him. I just think it would have been a good gesture to make a post about Carter.

  59. Positively Half St. - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    I think we need a JayB to challenge us. I really doubt he wants the team to lose, as well- he puts a lot of time into these posts.I am pretty sure that somebody did an analysis of the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) for last year's bench over the off-season, but I certainly can't remember where to find it. I would be amazed, though, if the cumulative positive and negative WAR scores came out to more than a couple of games either way.However, a couple of games either way really matters now. I don't presume to know what Mike Rizzo attempted to pull off for CF, nor what he might have in mind for the rest of the spring. I am quite pleased that the team still has depth to deal from, even after dealing 4 top prospects for Gio.I think it is still fair to keep in mind that Rizzo has impressed us, but the team still hasn't had a winning season. I am sure Rizzo is confident, but not satisfied yet, either. JayB has at least stuck with the team through thick and thin (mostly thin). Wait until success brings out the boneheads who think winning every year is a birthright; then you will really have posts you will need to skip.+1/2St.

  60. Unkyd - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Avar said…Mark. I'm sure we say this all the time, but sure wish we could reply to specific comments on a thread and "like" or "rec" certain comments.February 20, 2012 9:51 AM———————Sofa has it right, Avar… Most of us felt that, as this community thrives, commenting 200+ times, on many occasions, it's easier to follow the thread if not required to chase off after specific branches of the comment tree. Different strokes, I suppose, but few who expressed an opinion liked the other way.GYFNG!!!!!!

  61. Positively Half St. - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    I went to Baseball Reference.com just now to find the WAR scores for last year. Stairs came in at -0.5, Gomes at 0.4 and Cora at -0.1. Considering them together, the theoretical point is that they were worth 0.2 games less than some random "average" player one might plug in.Other players that started some but mostly filled the bench fared better. Jerry Hairston was worth 0.5 games for us, and Nix and Bernadina were worth 0.8 each.None were terribly exciting, and we will certainly need a better bench this year.+1/2St.

  62. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    One thing that is good to see is the everyday players showing up early. Sounds like they are all ready to start the season.And Ramos is in the house..

  63. HHover - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    +1/2 StIt's not a bad thing to have a contrary voice, but JayB's challenges are repetitive and often nonsensical, and in the end even other commenters' replies don't tell us anything we didn't already know.For example–while it's great that you did the research about last year's bench players that JayB couldn't be bothered to do, what does it tell us? That JayB's claims were ridiculous–which we knew from the get-go.

  64. Positively Half St. - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    MicheleS- I like Flores's attitude, knowing that he is behind Ramos. I can't imagine the backup catcher in past years saying that he is really a full-time catcher, and essentially wants to win the job. Wil Nieves couldn't have said that. Pudge had the starting job, but everybody knew that was temporary. I find it hard to even remember all the backup catchers we had.+1/2St.

  65. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    On that "bonehead" take, a good friend of mine who happens to be a Philliies fan (and one who shares our feelings towards his obnoxious bretheren) has told me that perhaps as much as 50 per cent of the band wagon jumpers will be unknowledgeable louts who will trash up any blog they find.He said enjoy your community now because while winning is alot more fun than losing, it does come woth a price.He also said that it always better to have a consistent handle as anons will dominate and it's best to know who your discussion is with. He also thinks the Nats are the Phillies biggest challenger now.

  66. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    keep in mind Gomes was MUCH better with Reds….his Nats WAR would have been negative…..in a big way. Nis Reds ABs were what made that WAR positive.

  67. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Thirded. Also, nobody's likely to change anybody else's opinion no matter how hard they try or how many pixels they use. Which kinda makes trying to do a waste of time, imho. But whatever floats your (individual and nonspecific) boat.Sec 3, My Sofa said… whatsanattau said… Not only do I skip over JayB comments, I skip over all the responses as well. No hate here. Just tired of it. Let him have his opinion, and move on. If you don't swat at the bee, it will leave you alone. Seconded. February 20, 2012 9:52 AM

  68. Anonymous - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    For example–while it's great that you did the research about last year's bench players that JayB couldn't be bothered to do, what does it tell us? That JayB's claims were ridiculous–which we knew from the get-go.He only did half (or less) of the work. He also needed to research all bench players across the league and find any that had a higher WAR than these three guys. My guess is there were few or none.Of course I can forgive him for doing a half assed job when he's trying to defend a guy like JayB who has less than half a brain.

  69. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I'm another who feels sad for Pudge. Gotta be hard when they no longer come knocking but you're not ready to hang it up. Not sure which hat he'd wear in the HOF but I also wouldn't think that WAS would be a candidate.As for Posey, I'd love for him to get better. He was my late bro's fave and I like the kid a lot. :-)MicheleS said… Swami.. Pudge HOF will go in as a Ranger, not a Nat. HOF decides cap and it is based on where player made the most difference on their team. Sad Pudge isn't on a team. I would love to have him here. It's been mentioned before, but he would be good in SF to teach Posey. (not that I want Posey to get any better) February 20, 2012 9:46 AM

  70. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    All your keyboards are belong to us. hahahahahaSec 3, My Sofa said… Or else the chicks will take over. I for one welcome the arrival of our new computer overlords … err, overladies. Ueber-chicks. February 20, 2012 10:27 AM

  71. ehay2k - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Sorry, I cannot resist here because JayB has gone off the deep end with that post. JayB, we are talking one month until Werth moves to CF and Harper comes up, not two. I am not as knowledgeable about baseball as you clearly deem yourself to be, however I have it on very good authority that ST games do not count towards playoff contention.How, if a platooning Cameron was only likely to start HALF of the games played in the one month between opening day and when Harper comes up, could he POSSIBLY make a 5 game difference? Assuming BH comes up May 1st, a home game against the D-backs, then Cameron would play at MOST 13 of the 23 games played in April. If he is worth 5 wins over 13 games, then extrapolating over 162 games, Cameron is like a 62 WAR guy!! Put any CF there and even if he plays all 23 games in April and wins us 5 games, then he's something like a 35 WAR guy? Give me a break!!Bottom line, no one offensive player is going to make a huge difference in our playoff chances over the first 123 games. BH may not work out, but we shall see. Until then, try to post solutions. Have you mulled over the 2013 FA market to see who the Nats should be looking at in CF? In 2013, Morse will move to 1B, BH/Werth will be in the corners, so we will need a CF then.

  72. Positively Half St. - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    HHover-Understood. I certainly prefer contrary analysis over rabble rousing.I hope everybody who looked enjoyed yesterday's Post sports section. There were a number of articles on the Nats, and to top it off, none on the Orioles. I know that Jason Reid hasn't given us all the warm and fuzzies, but since he actually writes about the team consistently, he may grow into it. I guess the Post needed to see a team that might actually win to pay attention. They would claim that their readers wouldn't pay attention until that was true, but I honestly think that the Sports Section still does shape that to some extent.+1/2St.

  73. Drew - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Couple of points:– I think Cameron's retirement matters because he's a quality defensive centerfielder. When Shark and Desmond are in the game at the same time you will have two weak defenders up the middle. (Roger's UZR is much better in LF.)– The Yankees reportedly signed Ibanez for $1.1 million, comparatively chicken feed. I'd feel better about the club with his bat in the mix — or if they'd spent $2.5 million on Nori Aoki.– I'm a Rizzo fan but I suspect this club is four bats away from its championship form — Harper and Rendon, CFTBNL and the stud first baseman whowill succeed Morse at first base. Big guys don't age well. See Hrbek, Kent.– I'm glad the pitching is vastly improved, but I think the defense will be very important as the offense matures. I thought Cameron could help.

  74. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    e…try to understand….Mike C is not my solution at CF or RH bench but he was Rizzo's at least at some level. My point was not that Mike C is worth 5 wins but a strong CF option and Bench…which we do not have at this point is worth 5 wins over the time until your solution is ready….BH….not mine…he is not going to provide much help this hear and almost certainly he will not help above WAR for months into the season……

  75. Sunderland - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    No one knows when Harper is coming up. Suppose he goes to Syracuse and struggles. Think he is still coming up one month into the season. I don't.And counting on a strong FA class in 2013 is a very weak Plan A. There's plenty of time for that market to dry up.I think it is clear to almost all that CF, Leadoff, bench, they are weak. But all teams have weaknesses. All teams look at their bench and realize it ain't what maybe it could be. All teams look at their lineup and see a hole that needs plugging. We been fortunate and smart the last couple years, made huge strides. But it's a process that never ends. If we get Rickie Henderson to patrol CF and hit lead off, there will be new holes, new weaknesses. It never ends. Ever.

  76. Positively Half St. - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    JayB-No, believe it or not, that was actually Gomes's WAR for the Nats. He actually produced only 0.3 WAR for the Reds. I was surprised as well.Anon -Yes, I did very little work to find that, and you are probably right about other benches not adding a ton to the score. I would predict that ours was pretty bad by comparison within a small range of values.+1/2St.

  77. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    IF even this year….I do not think he has the Defensive Skills to be in a MLB OF yet and I do not think he has proven he can hit MLB pitchers….He looked silly for much of AA last year and AZ league has good arms but not pitchers yet….MLB pitchers are going to make him look silly on breaking stuff and change ups for some time to come.

  78. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Really….that is a surprise to me….sorry…I just recall how many bad AB's he had with Nats and what 1 HR all year as a Nat?

  79. Wally - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    RAM-MOOSE is in the house! He is probably my favorite position player.Just thinking, as the roster currently stands, Laroche might be the most important guy to the team's success this year. Not the best, but the guy whose performance may have the most impact. If he is healthy enough to play a full load, and can hit to his career averages, that let's Morse stay in the OF and the team gets by with a variety of part timers for the 3d OF spot. If they can play good D, then we can probably make do even if their bats don't materialize.If Laroche can't go or isn't back to his old self, then Morse goes to 1B and we have to get by with 2 suboptimal OF spots. That could get dicey.

  80. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    I think we needed Cameron because both Clipp and Storen have a tendency to give up fly balls (home runs). So for me he was a late-inning replacement when they are in to get to as many of them as possible, and to spell Jayson.His bat was basically gone, so "platooning" him was not why he was brought on board, IMO.That said, I'm glad we know now rather than later, and I wish him all the best.

  81. JayB - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Gomes stats with Nats.204 .299 .366 with 3 HRs and 13 RBIs in 94 games……if that get you a Positive WAR that is all I need to know about that stat.

  82. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    New Post from Mark… I love the plethera of posts in Spring training!

  84. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Keep in mind, "replacement level/0.0 WAR" is considerably below "MLB average" by definition. Yes, the bench was the worst part of last year's Nationals, in hindsight. That's what they need to upgrade, and can upgrade more easily than they can get a new Rickey. I'm sure Rizzo knows that very well.Think of the bench as the bullpen for the position players. If your bullpen is nearly the worst going, your starting pitchers are going to get over-worked, and worked over.For my part, I'm sorry to see Cameron go (well, never see him at all, technically), for the same reason I thought Ankiel was an interesting signing last offseason–I thought he might be able to contribute to a good team. Apparently he disagrees. Oh well. Now, when Travis Lee retired, that wasn't much of a loss. So yeah, we've come a long way.

  85. jeeves - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Drew, that you think Desmond is weak defensively is your opinion, even though you make it sound like fact. My 'opinion' is that he is good, potentially superb. Obviously, management considers him good as well or maybe it's his offence they like. That was sarcasm, just in case it was taken the wrong way. Although I also believe Desi will become a good consistent offensive player as well.

  86. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Soooo, that would be Anon Anon? I believe that the first step is admitting that one is powerless over Anon postings and that one's blog reading life has become unmanageable.Waddu eye no said… sjm 308: "I will enter a program soon and try and skip the anon & JayB posts but it will be hard. " One day at a time.

  87. Drew - Feb 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Jeeves:Fangraphs compared the defensive stats of 22 qualifying shortstops for 2011. The bottom line is that Desmond has range but he's terribly erratic. Like Castro of the Cubs, he gets to balls with his speed, but muffs way too many.Put in his best possible light, Desmond ranked fourth with 437 assists and sixth with 226 outputs. But look at his overall numbers:His 23 errors ranked 20th of 22.His .967 fielding percentage ranked 18th.His UZR of -5.4 ranked 18th.I wouldn't want that guy as my shortstop, even if he did get on base. The combination of hs offensive and defensive numbers is a horror flick.(And don't get me started on how he missed the clues before Pearl Harbor.)

  88. John C. - Feb 20, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    If the Yankees cut him, don't be surprised if the Nats pick up Justin Maxwell for the #25 roster spot. Maxwell OPS’d .945 with 16 HRs in just 48 AAA games before tearing the labrum in his shoulder while going over a wall to rob a player of a HR. As a guy who can be a defensive replacement, pinch run, and perhaps give you decent at bats against lefties (as bad as he’s been, he OPS’s .753 against LHP at the big league level and pretty consistently mashed them at the minor league level), he could fill a niche for the Nationals if he doesn’t make the Yankees.

  89. Waddu eye no - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    GreatOr for compulsive posters: on and on anonKeep coming back

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