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Ready for more interleague play?

Jun 8, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his first career start at Fenway Park tonight.

The Nationals probably won't face a more daunting stretch of games this season than what they're experiencing right now: 32 consecutive games against the NL East and AL East, with every team in each division cracking the .500 mark at some point during this period.

We've passed the midway point of that stretch now; yesterday's series finale against the Mets was Game No. 17 of 32 (Note: It would have been 33 consecutive games if not for a rainout against the Braves.)

So how have the Nationals fared against these tough opponents? With yesterday's loss, they're now 9-8. Not bad, though certainly as good as this first-place club would prefer.

The first three games of this gantlet came at home against the Orioles. Everything since has come against the NL East. Now, though,Read more »

131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ehay2k - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I guess I like interleague play only because it let's me see AL MLB parks while still watching my favorite team. Other than that, I could do without it. I do understand why MLB does it, because it seems to attract larger crowds to smaller-drawing ballparks. Look at how many people showed up to see the Red Sox play in Nats park (43k, IIRC) back we were having trouble getting 20k per game.

  2. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Don't agree. Love the Ballmer-Nats games. Don't mind interleague at all (though to me AL games are boring because of the DH). You get to see different players and managers' strategies.

  3. Les_in_NC - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Yes, I do like it. But, like you, I would much prefer the divisional teams playing the same interleague opponents. Maybe 2 series each (6 games). It would go something like this…. 18 (72) games against divisional opponents.6 (60) games against each league opponents.6 (30) games against each cross divisional opponent.= 162 games

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    I like the crosstown rivalries. Not a big fan of the DH.

  5. ehay2k - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    NatsLady and Steve M., once the AL gets rid of the DH, and starts playing real baseball, we won't have that problem!

  6. Bote Man - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Do you think Davey will let Strasburg bat for himself? I'm not sure he has a bench player with better offensive numbers.

  7. ehay2k - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Bote Man, I am thinking Morse will DH, Moore will play RF, with Lombo in LF.

  8. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    The only problem with interleague play is the disparity with the DH. If baseball wants to have one league playing under one set of rules and the other league playing under a different set of rules, fine. Do that. But then don't have interleague play until the World Series. In the World Series at least the disparity can be somewhat evened out by using the DH in the AL parks and not in the NL parks. Over the course of a seven game series that does at least level the playing field for both teams. But if during a regular season pennant race you force every NL team to randomly play some of its games with a DH and every AL team to randomly play some without a DH, it's like telling them to fight with one hand tied behind their back for a while. It severely unlevels the playing field for the division races.If the DH situation was made the same for both leagues (my personal preference would be for no DH) then it would not be hard to construct a schedule where every team plays its own division, the other two divisions in its own league, and a rotating division from the other league (i.e. NL East vs AL East one year, AL Central the next year and then AL West the year after that). This would provide a level playing field for every division race.That said, I do very much like the annual home-and-home series with the Orioles. It provides an opportunity for this Nationals STH to visit Camden Yards, which is a beautiful ballpark.

  9. ehay2k - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    On a side note, who thinks Ejax will get dealt before the deadline? I know, crazy talk, but I keep seeing quotes about the Nats rotation that omit Jackson's name, like this one from Kline about drafting Giolito: “You think about Giolito and Strasburg and Gio and Jordan Zimmermann as the starting rotation,” Kline said.It just seems to me that Ejax is not in their long-term plans, and that they have a ton of arms, so perhaps they think he can land them some prospects.Thoughts?

  10. Gonat - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    ehay2K, they omit EJax because he is on a one-year deal which also includes Wang.

  11. SCNatsFan - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I don't think EJAx is n the long term plans – like everywhere else he has been – but I don't see him being dealt. With SS being shut down and Wang's balky shoulder I don't think Rizzo wants to count on Lannen or Maya for quality starts at the end of the year.

  12. Gonat - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I thought the DH was an experiment? After watching NL baseball, I think the DH has to go away.

  13. bowdenball - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Interleague play is a treat for the fans who go to a lot of games every year. It's fun to have a chance to see every team in the league in your home park over the course of six years. I'm one of those fans, so I enjoy it. One of the first things I look at when the schedule is released is when the AL teams will be in town and which players I will get a chance to see in person. Considering that those types of fans are the lifeblood of baseball, their enjoyment should be the #1 priority of MLB. It's really as simple as that.

  14. Steady Eddie - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    ehay2k — I think you have it backwards. Moore has a handful of MLB games in LF and none at all in RF. His OF experiment is solely to get him a future chance with the Nats where he's blocked by ALR and Morse at 1B until at least 2014 and probably later. Morse isn't a great OF but he seems reasonably healthy and has years of experience in both LF and RF.Moore is here for inter league to DH. If Davey didn't want to start him in the OF when Morae was out, he won't now that Morse is back.

  15. Gonat - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    SCNatsFan, EJax won't be traded as he is the #4 pitcher the Nats need. Can't see a scenario of why they would trade him especially with Strasburg's possible September shutdown.I see the Nats bringing up lots of players like last year in September. Davey will have many options to fill the holes in pitching and will be Captain Hook when needed should a starter have trouble in September.The difference with last year and this year is there is no Milone or Peacock, only Rosenbaum who is still in AA.

  16. ejs1111 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    The team previously stated that Morse will DH the BoSox series.Personally, I am of the opinion that Davey will opt for better defense in the OF since he can have Morse at DH. Save Moore for a PH spot…Lombo in LF, Ankiel in CF, Harper in RF.

  17. MicheleS - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    I detest the DH. That said, I am okay with the interleague play, like seeing the other AL parks. But the made up rivalries are just lame.

  18. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Not sure what the new CBA does w/ "compensatory" picks. Under the old rules, Jackson would have brought a high-value compensatory pick but I think that may have changed. The way Jackson is pitching — which I would not have predicted — I don't see him being traded. But if there is a compensatory pick waiting if he moves on in FA, that would clinch a spot for him for the remainder of the season.At this moment I'm not sure whether I want the Nats to re-sign Jackson. There are not enough sure-fire replacements in the system for both Jackson and Wang. He fits really well with the other members of the rotation. My impression of him in the past was he would fold under pressure like a wet paper towel. But there is very little pressure on him as a No. 4 or 5 starter. The pressure he has experienced, twice, has been to go deep into the game after the bullpen was burned up the previous evening, and both times he has done that very well.Bottom line, he's going to want at least a three-year agreement — again — and I don't think that is in the Nats' plans.

  19. ehay2k - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    My thinking about Morse as the DH was based on comments from the Nats, as ejs just alluded to. It also spares his lat some strain.Maybe Moore gives ALR a rest? ,I would love to see Ankiel in LF. Imagine his arm taking a ball off the wall and throwing someone out at second? ( or FIRST!) But that is sheer fantasy, albeit a good one.

  20. SFNats - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Barring a complete collapse in June/July, I don't see any way they trade EJax this year with SS being shut down. As long as the Nats are in the race, they'll need him (and, hopefully, his playoff experience) late in the season. If he continues to pitch the way he has, I could even see them trying to sign him for 3-4 more years and lock up the No. 4 starter while some of the younger pitchers mature in the minors. They traded away their two pitchers that were closest to the majors, so keeping EJax around for a couple more years might make sense.As for the DH, I understand the sentiment, but it's not going away. I don't see any way the union will let them get rid of a rule that allows aging sluggers a few extra years on the payroll. If anything, they'll be pushing to adopt it in the NL.Overall, I like interleague play, but as others have said, they need to level the playing field and have teams in each division play the same interleague schedule. Hopefully with interleague play blended into the regular schedule next season, that will happen. The goofy geographic rivalry thing was a gimmick to sell the novelty of interleague play when it first started, but it really won't be necessary starting next season.

  21. ejs1111 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Oh and I am a big fan of interleague play.It is enjoyable to see NL teams play against AL teams. It will be easier to schedule once Houston is in the AL, with balanced divisions.I do really enjoy the crosstown rivalries.

  22. Doc - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    No!Mostly because of the DH. Jim Leyland said it for me and others. The NL team's version of a DH is frequently a utility infielder or worse.It can only get worse next year.In the final analysis interleague play is merely a ploy by used car dealer Bud Selig to pad his $18 million/yr. salary.

  23. Steady Eddie - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Agree with SCNatsFan re EJax. If the Nats get into the playoffs he's the 3rd member of the rotation once Stras shuts down. After this year, who knows, because some combination from Purke, Rosenbaum, Robbie Ray, maybe Meyer (though he seems more likely BP now), etc. will fill in after the big three.But I think Rizzo is open-minded as to what happens next year with EJax and Wang, depending on how they last over the full season, whether Det can finally show the endurance and consistency to be a clear starter (he needs more weight!) and how fast the bush leaguers mature. They're not going to deal this year to create a hole for this year or next's possibilities, that's for sure.

  24. ejs1111 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    @ ehay2k:I like the idea of giving Lala a rest and playing Morse at 1b. Adam has been struggling lately- maybe one day Adam could DH?I too would love to see Ankiel gun someone down with his arm off the green monster!I also am looking forward to seeing if OppoBoppo (Harper) can bang a couple off the monster!

  25. NCNatsie - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Les, I don’t get your math. To have everyone play the same schedule, each would have to play all 15 teams in the other league the same number of games. 6 games against the other league would give you 90 games, not 60.There is no way to have balanced schedules with an even number of games (e.g. 162) in the overall schedule. It has to be an odd number,But does it really matter that much? Given injuries, slumps and – most of all – pitching rotations, no set of schedules can possibly be truly balanced. Like Heraclitus said, you can’t step into the same river twice.

  26. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    ejs1111 –The Wall in left at Fenway requires a LF to make a lot of critical throws, to keep runners from stretching singles into doubles, hold runners at second, etc. Yaz thrived at it. Great arm at a position that anywhere else would not have required a great OF arm. That is not Lombardozzi's forte. Put Harper there, Ankiel in CF and Bernadina in RF if Morse isn't there. The Morse-as-DH plan was in response to his coming off the DL in Boston. He's played five games in the OF in DC, including RF, and hasn't shown any reason why he couldn't play RF in Boston. DH Nady against LH, Lombardozzi against RH. With that stoopid eight-man bullpen, their bench is screwed, anyway.

  27. JB - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    As a purist, I don't like it. As a current Bostonian, getting to see Stras pitch live for the first time tonight(!!), and getting to see Zimm'nn on Sunday, I see the appeal.It's a fine novelty that I wish was substantially reduced to keep it "special". With next year's changes, that's going away, but I hope they at least achieve some level of balanced strength of schedule.Nat[sare]inBeantown

  28. ejs1111 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I would like to see Ejax resigned. Perhaps he really does want to be here.If you remember… it was reported he turned down several 3yr offers to take a 1yr deal with the Nats.Perhaps a 2-3 yr deal in the offseason will be enough to lock him up as our no4 starter. He really is a decent no2/3 pitching in a no4 slot.I think that would be great- much better to have auditions for only 1 rotation spot (no5) instead of 2 for next season.

  29. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Boswell exposed — He calls Harper a "teen-aged demiurge." I had to look it up. Turns out, "demiurge" was the "Word of the Day" for May 24 at wordoftheday.com:demiurge \DEM-ee-urj\ , noun:1. Philosophy. A. Platonism. The artificer of the world. B. (In the Gnostic and certain other systems) a supernatural being imagined as creating or fashioning the world in subordination to the Supreme Being, and sometimes regarded as the originator of evil.2. (In many states of ancient Greece) a public official or magistrate.Larger than a character, the river is a manifest presence, a demiurge to support the man and the boy, a deity to betray them, feed them, all but drown them, fling them apart, float them back together.– Norman Mailer, The Spooky ArtThe gnostics think this world was created by a bad god—a demiurge—who wandered too far from the True God and somehow got perverted.– Derek Swannson, Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of KingsburgI have no idea what meaning Boswell intended. But obviously he's been sitting on "demiurge" for two weeks trying to find a way to get it in a column. Your challenge for the day: Use "demiurge" in a conversation around the water cooler/in the lunchroom.

  30. SFNats - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    That's what I'm thinking, ejs111, re: Ejax. They could sign him for 2-3-4 more years and have another steady spot in the rotation locked up. Then, depending on the deal, they could always trade him in the middle of the second or third season, you can always trade him if there are young guns ready to step up.It's a thought, and we'll see how things play out in the offseason, but either way, I don't see them trading him before the end of this year.

  31. ejs1111 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    @ Theophilus T. S.good points about the monster- thanks.I am hopeful that Davey finds a way to keep Lombo in the lineup- he has been a pleasant surprise this season at the top of the order.albeit he has struggled against LHP

  32. JB - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Thanks Theophilis, I had been wondering about that this morning. I think many sci-fi, role-playing game types define Demiurge as an evil, Godlike entity. Seems like the angle Bos was shooting for. I like to think he takes breaks from Baseball-Reference.com to watch AeonFlux cartoons in the mancave.NatinBeantown

  33. Doc - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Thanks Theophilus T.S. Bowell needs to leave Harps out of it. He's too good a kid to be an evil demiurge.Now the Philthies, there's a bunch of demiurges—and they can't play baseball either!

  34. SFNats - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Maybe Bos was just (seemingly) misusing Demiurge because Demigod seemed too strong.

  35. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I felt a lot of demiurges as a teenager. Particularly whenever I'd see a movie with Demi Moore in it.

  36. erocks33 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I wouldn't mind seeing this kind of lineup @AL parks:vs. RHP – 2B – LomboRF – Harper3B – Zim1B – LaRocheDH – MorseSS – DesmondCF – AnkielC – FloresLF – BernadinaI like having Bernie and Ankiel in there on defense. Espi needs to sit until he can figure out how to hit for contact and not swing for the fences from the left side. Bat Bernie ninth to give the Nats some speed on the basepaths for Lombo/Harper. Morse DH's so that he can rest/recuperate from his long DL stint.vs. LHP – LF – LomboCF – Harper3B – Zim1B – MorseSS – Desmond2B – EspinosaRF – NadyC – FloresDH – MooreGive LaRoche a day off vs LHP. He deserves one day off. Morse is the better fielder at first, so Moore can DH to make up for his lack of true position. Lombo in LF is a little scary, but unless DeRosa comes off the DL, the Nats don't have too many other right-handed hitting OF's to choose from.

  37. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    So happy to have a good team. They get to go to different cities (Boston and Toronto) that are not on the usual circuit. Those fans will get to see our stars. Could be we meet one of those teams in the W.S. if not this year, then next. Good experiences all around.

  38. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    The hell with demiurges. How about this?“We just don’t have any problems now,” said Zimmerman, who’s seen cliquish Nat teams, disrespected managers and flammable-to-felonious teammates, including one nicknamed “tri-polar.”Gotta be Nyjer. Right?

  39. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I don't like the DH, but I like interleague play? Mark, do you really want to see the Nats play more games against the Astros and Padres? Meh. I like seeing us up against different teams, and I like the blossoming Nats-Orioles rivalry. Big, and generally good natured crowds are fun at the park. So I'm sorry that's on the chopping block. If you're going to have divisions to determine playoff participants, then teams in divisions should play each other more often. If not, then have a 15 team league and put the top 5 in the playoffs. Why should the Nats have to fight for a playoff spot against the top teams in the league, when everyone's playing the same schedule? I don't get the lineup that it sounds like Davey is going to use tonight — Nady in RF, Morse as DH. Haven't we seen enough of Nady to know he's not going to give us much? Seems like giving Moore a shot at the Green Monster (at bat as a DH, not in the field as LF) would make a lot of sense. Maybe tomorrow?

  40. mick - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    I think Toronto could actually be the toughest series. My logic is that, they are an under rated team ready to get back on track. These next 15 games we need to play at least 500. I disagree with Mark about inter league play, I think it is exciting and who would not want to play the Yankees and Bosox? Also, it challenges the AL team managers to use more strategy without the DH in the NL park, although the O's got the better of us at home.

  41. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    One other thought — I'd like to see them play the DH in NL parks during interleague play, and NL rules in AL parks. That would allow each side's fans to see the rules up close and personal (and allow the AL fans to enjoy the entertainment of seeing their pitchers bat). Fan reaction to this would give another data point to consider in the ongoing debate.But one thing is clear — NL teams are disadvantaged in interleague play. Just look at tonight's game — They have David Ortiz as their 9th batter, we get … Xavier Nady.

  42. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Re: bad teams. The Astros will be in the AL next year, so not a real issue. The Pods are pretty bad, as predicted, as are the Cubbies, but from year to year, you don't always know which teams are going to drop.-Detroit? Maybe they can recover, maybe not. They were expected to "run away" with the AL Central.-Philly? Yes, we knew they were old, but "everyone" predicted they had one more divisional title in them. Not so far.-Mets? Doomed to be doormats–except, they're not. Nor are the Orioles.So you plan out a "balanced" schedule, it just never goes according to plan…

  43. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    SteadyEddie – Agree with your comments on EJax/Wang 100%. No need to deal any of our pitchers with Stras headed for shutdown. Unless we get offered something truly amazing (or just a tad more than a bag of balls for Lannan), I'd sit tight for now. This coming off season will be very interesting though because with Stras untethered, the question of who, if anyone, to re-sign will be very tricky. It's hard to imagine that Rizzo will want to go into next year with a rotation that is less imposing than the one we have now.

  44. JaneB - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I was wondering who the tri-polar player was, and my money was on Nyjer, too. Also was wondering if Davey lets Stras hit for himself tonight. He won't but he should because he can HIT. Maybe they put Nady in left to deal with the green monster, and DH Lombo.I hate the DH, though. It just feels like cheating. The game is about hitting the pasta ball and running the bases. Nine guys, not ten. I don't like the AL as a result. But speaking of the AL, man am I glad Adam is doing as well as he is for the White Sox.

  45. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    But one thing is clear — NL teams are disadvantaged in interleague play. Just look at tonight's game — They have David Ortiz as their 9th batter, we get … Xavier Nady.Wait, I thought we were DH'ing Morse?They had Darnell McDonald last night in CF/RF who is at .197. Isn't that (roughly) comparable to Nady? I grant you we are using a "bench" player as a starter and they are not, but if you have a good bench that shouldn't be so much of a disadvantage.It would be fun to see Stras pinch-hit, but not so much fun to see him get injured running the bases, so I don't think they'll do it.

  46. Knoxville Nat - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Cobra, could "tri-polar" have been given to Dukes????

  47. MicheleS - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Tri-polar.. We have had so many knuckleheads in the clubhouse that any number of them could have been Tri-Polar.

  48. bowdenball - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I love erocks33's proposed AL ballpark lineups. I'd be thrilled to see Davey post those. Great post.

  49. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Agree on Ejax, he is doing quite well for No. 4 and if he keeps it up, they will offer him something this winter. No reason to trade him now, we won't get anything we need more than an above-average workhorse for this year, and there is no point in trading for prospects as we are not rebuilding. As for Wang, just inconsistency with flashes of his previous self. Carp and FP were insisting that as a sinker-ball pitcher he needs to be just a little "less strong" and that seven days' rest was too much. But couldn't that have been cured by a more rigorous bullpen session? The rainout was not the day before his start, it was several days before. To me, Detwiler may have "stuff" but he just does not have a high baseball IQ.

  50. Tcostant - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Ever time I read Boswell I want the game to start right now. Or buy more tickets. Or get full season tickets. I love the way he writes…

  51. D'Gourds - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I have mixed feelings about interleague play. There was just something so SPECIAL about the World Series before interleague that is now lost. It was like playing a team from another country–very cool. Now, it seems, with exposure to every team, sharing umps between leagues, the information age where we seem to know every little thing about every player because of fantasy baseball, a lot of the mystique of the other league is gone. But it does make MLB more financially healthy, so I suppose that is a good thing.

  52. MicheleS - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    What I wish for this weekend in Interleague.O's beat the snot out of the Phils, Yanks let the Mets know that they still own NY, Rays CRUSH the Fish, Jays chop the Braves, and Nats SWEEP the the sox.

  53. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    vs. RHP – 2B – LomboRF – Harper3B – Zim1B – LaRocheDH – MorseSS – DesmondCF – AnkielC – FloresLF – BernadinaAnkiel and Bernadina in the same starting lineup means the terrorists have won.

  54. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Interesting takes (all from Bleacherreport.com) on Giolito's pick.mlb-draft-results-biggest-winners-and-losersmlb-draft-2012-power-ranking-best-value-picks-in-draftmlb-draft-2012-report-cards-and-notable-selections-for-every-mlb-teamNote: this writer gave the Nats A+ after the first round.AND, someone who didn't like the pick.mlb-draft-2012-predicting-boom-bust-or-blah-for-first-50-players-selected

  55. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Wait, I thought we were DH'ing Morse?Right, that's why I said "9th batter." In our park, Morse would play RF and Nady would be on the bench. It's not a question of who DHs, it's what additional player gets 4 ABs. NL teams are not constructed for the DH. Our reserves get to play, while their regular lineup plays. Clear?

  56. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    if you have a good bench that shouldn't be so much of a disadvantage1. It's still a bench player, not a starter who is the 9th batter.2. We don't have a good bench. We have Nady. The fact that one of their outfielders happens to be a terrible hitter is irrelevant to this point. Would you make the same argument if we were playing the Rangers or Angels? Of course not.

  57. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I'm figuring the reason little Gio hasn't heard from the Nats except for a congratulatory call is Rizzo is signing all the rest to see how much money he can put on the table. But it's not all money.OK, you are a HS star. You are 3+ years away from the majors. What are the risks/benefits of going to college?To me, the injury risk is about the same, and so is the recovery/rehab time, since it's apparently the same doctors.The team who drafts you has GOT to be better now than later, because if all goes well, you will get more money but go to a worse team in three years.The training has GOT to be better in the minors than in college (that's why they call it "professional" baseball.) You will see better hitters (prospects and ML players rehabbing). You will have better coaches, not just pitching, but fielding your position, game awareness, etc. So you develop your baseball IQ. You get invited to spring training, you get September call-ups, you get opportunities to associate on a semi-regular basis with your "heroes."So, I say they send Drew Storen out there along with Rizzo to make the pitch.

  58. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Sec 222, no I wouldn't make the same argument because we aren't playing the Angels or Rangers. I don't like the DH, but I don't think we are at a disadvantage in this case.

  59. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    And, if it's an advantage to be structured for a DH, then, conversely, we will get the advantage back in our park when their DH/bench players actually have to play. So it works out in the end, hopefully. I do like the idea of reversing it so AL rules are used in NL parks (as was suggested above). If there is going to be a DH, the fans should see what it means to have it or not have it.

  60. bobfromalexandria - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Keep interleague.Dump the DHNEVER let it pollute the NL.

  61. jeffwx - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    agree with pose…we need to have our best lineup esp. against AL east offense:Lombo LFHarper CFZimmerman 3BALR 1BMorse RFDesmond SS Flores CMoore DHEspinosa 2BBench- Nady, Ankiel, Solano, bring up BrownBP : Clippard, Burnett, Lidge, Stammen, Gorzo, Gonzo, Det,

  62. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    It's not a question of who DHs, it's what additional player gets 4 ABs. NL teams are not constructed for the DH. Our reserves get to play, while their regular lineup plays.These days, most AL teams are not constructed for the DH either – meaning that they don't have a single guy who is their regular DH. Boston with Ortiz is one of the exceptions, not the rule. So in essence most AL teams are doing for the entire season what the NL teams are doing in the AL ballparks during interleague play, namely taking advantage on a day-to-day basis of the opportunity to play someone in the field who might not warrant being in the lineup that day because of injury or weak bat or whatever while simultaneously getting someone else who can hit into the batting order while giving him a blow in the field. On most teams – AL and NL both – there's not really much distinction once you get down to the 7th, 8th, 9th best hitters on the roster, which means that you're not putting NL teams at a real disadvantage by giving them the chance to play a guy who'd otherwise be on the bench. Likewise, it doesn't disadvantage an AL team greatly to tell them that they can't play that 9th-best hitter in an NL park. The disadvantage comes by making them replace that hitter with a pitcher who otherwise never would bat when the NL team has pitchers who get to bat all season long.

  63. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    NL, We'll agree to disagree then. Sure, the Nats might still have a better lineup with the DH than the Bosox, or the Twins or Mariners, or some other lousy AL team. But that doesn't change the structural advantage that AL teams have in interleague play because their rosters are constructed with the DH in mind. I think the results in interleague play in AL parks over the years bear that out. Maybe you can find the stats.

  64. jeffwx - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    And I have no idea, who goes where when the following pitchers are back:Matheus HRODStorenA trade seems prudent (Lannan and Lidge for whoever)I don't like an 8 man bullpen esp. for a team that could use a bit more offense esp. off the bench.Will be good to have Tracey and Werth back.

  65. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    NatsLady — interesting collection of links. I think the Nats and fans should be extremely pleased with this draft. Very pleased to know that Giolito has been a Wolverine. Much depends on getting him to sign for the slotted money. From what I have seen so far, the Nats' signing strategy has been to "pitch from behind," roping in the latter part of their top-10 first and hopefully saving some pennies for Giolito. Giolito needs to be smart enough to recognize (1) he is advancing his major league debut, and thereby extending his career earnings potential, by signing this year; (2) he might have an opportunity to make more money being drafted earlier in a couple of years but in all probability would be on a crappy team; (3) the Nats — this is a corollary of the previous point — appear to have an excellent protocol for integrating young players with veterans; (4) he is minimizing the possibility that injury will diminish his career prospects. Immediate gratification w/ maximum dollars isn't everything.I am hopeful his agents see the situation the same way. Unlike Detwiler, he doesn't have any growing to do and — barring injury — could be pulling a regular turn in the rotation in late 2014.

  66. Water23 - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Hey Mark,Did the Nats even put in a bid on Soler? Bids were due yesterday.

  67. JB - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Sec 222, I think the AL record in interleague bears out a talent differential between the leagues, and nothing more. I've tried to make an argument on the advantages to the AL in interleague, but for every advantage for the AL (specific player to DH, different approach to #8 hitter), there's a counter-advantage for the NL (managerial experience with lineup changes/pinch hitters, pitchers who regularly bat).NatinBeantown

  68. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    While I'm thinking of it, I like Section 222's idea of making pitchers hit in AL parks and using the DH in NL parks. Next year's scheduling, requiring, essentially, one interleague game every day, will permit more flexible scheduling of interleague games. E.g., the Nats could play the Angels on a road trip to Phoenix and San Diego. So I would favor something like the NFL model — 18 games against division opponents, 4-5 games against AL East, two short series (total 4-5 games) against teams in one of the other AL divisions, based on where the teams ranked in the standings the previous season. And whatever is left against the other NL divisions. As currently configured, I really have no interest in watching the Mariners, As, Indians, Royals, White Sox — but I'm also getting tired of watching the Pirates, Brewers and Rockies. So, I'm OK w/ leavening things up w/ some interleague play.

  69. JamesFan - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Traing EJax? Are you kidding? I would sign him to a three year deal. Everyone expected the top three to be great. It is EJax that makes this the best overall rotation in baseball. When in the grove, he's unhittable. If he had run support he would have a top record. My guess he will be critical in getting the Nats through July and August.

  70. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    For the record, I'm also tired of watching the Cubs. Knew there was someone I left out.

  71. bowdenball - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Pose of the Cobra said…"Ankiel and Bernadina in the same starting lineup means the terrorists have won."Joke all you want, but lefty Bernadina has a .343 OBP against righties this year and a .400 slugging percentage. That's acceptable.The lineup proposed by jeffwx would replace him with Moore, a righty, from an offensive standpoint and would result in Lombo, Harper, and Morse manning the quirkiest/most difficult outfield in baseball. I know a prospect with power can captivate the imagination, but jeffwx's lineup is a downgrade from erock33's lineup on both sides of the ball.

  72. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    From Wikipedia:Wins by leagueYear Best Record AL NL1997 National 97 1171998 American 114 1101999 National 116 1352000 American 136 1152001 American 132 1202002 National 123 1292003 National 115 1372004 American 127 1252005 American 136 1162006 American 154 982007 American 137 1152008 American 149 1032009 American 138 1142010 American 134 1182011 American 131 1212012 American 24 18Overall American 1,963 1,791————————————————-Pretty clear "advantage" for the AL (NL playing .455 ball). Hard to say, without breaking it down, whether that is because of the match ups. For example, this year, the NL and AL East are pretty well matched and it could be a .500 year.

  73. JD - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    I think it's crazy to play against a league which uses different rules but still allow the games to count in the standings. Additionally; you may be competing for a playoff spot against a team which has a much easier schedule in a given year based on the schedule. Sure it's nice to see the Yankees and the Rangers but you are also scheduled to play Oakland and Minnesota in a given year which I find completely tedious. If you are integrating interleague games into the every day schedule next year I don't even see the point of Leagues and divisions. Call it a 30 team league and send the top 10 teams to the playoffs and call it a day.

  74. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    JamesFan, I'm in your camp on EJax. He was already good (Rizzo has coveted him for years), he's gotten better, and he's still young, healthy and STRONG. Plus, in this town, it doesn't hurt at all to have his face prominently displayed…

  75. JD - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    JamesFan, The problem is that you can't pay everyone top dollar. We could sign EJax this year because the top 3 are all still relatively cheap. When they start making top dollars you need a couple of young arms on their way up to fill the rotation. Having said that; no you don't trade EJax this year but you also don't sign him to a multi year contract.

  76. jeffwx - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Bowdenball you make good points, but would not start Ankiel. That wall would be too tempting for an already prone strike out batter. I would concede Bernadina since he can hit and play OF. Moore can hit. It would not be hard to outhit Ankiel in any case.

  77. JD - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    NatsLady, I would sign EJax for 2 more years but when SS, JZ and Gio combine for $50 mil a year you will need to find spots for young up and coming cheap players.

  78. The Fox - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Nats lady the Nationals don't want to set the market. They will let a few other players sign firstYou are also generally correct that it hard to tell who will be good but pairing up big market teams with small ones will generally favor the the big market teams over the long run. There also are not enough natural rivals that it really makes sense to the pairing. Inter-league play is basically a gimmick to make the owners more money. Not only does it favor the AL because of the DH for the reasons Section 222 stated but it also changes the roles of the player in the NL bullpen. Sure it's nice to see some of the other ballparks and to get to see other star players but the negatives out weigh the positives. Maybe they could have inter-league play every other year.I bet if you asked the Astos what they though about going to the AL I bet their not too happy. Almost all the road games for the Houston faithful will start at 9 pm. The owners don't care if kid can watch baseball or not.

  79. jeffwx - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    This is the only sport where teams must play by a different set of rules during the regular season. Strange but true.

  80. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Oh, I don't have to ask. I read a few blogs earlier in the year. The Astros fans are definitely NOT happy about going to the AL, nope, not at all.One good thing this year is that interleague is before the trade deadline, so you can see what AL players might be for sale in action against actual NL teams.

  81. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Boras and E-Jax agreed to a one year deal with the Nats this year because he wasn't having much success getting a good long term offer. I'd sign him right now for another two years, but they aren't going to be interested in a two or three year deal from the Nats. He's young enough to seek 5 years from someone, and if he keeps pitching like he is now for the rest of the year, he may get them. And I'm sure he's hoping that he's the third starter in our playoff run, with Stras shut down. Not a bad position to be in.

  82. bowdenball - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    jeffwx- I can live with that. I'd like to see Bernadina in there against right-handers when we've got the flexibility to DH Morse. Ankiel, even though he's also left-handed, not as much.

  83. Avar - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    DH is obviously an abomination, one of mankinds great evils. But, even w/ that, I don't mind IL play. Agree w/ Les in NC that they need a consistent system for it. One of many areas where you can just copy the NFL, they get this right. Divisions should matter and your schedule should be equal to your division rivals. So, no to extra Bmore games.

  84. The Fox - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Section 222,It was pretty widely reported that EJax's turn down a 3 year 30 million dollar contract with the Pirates so I think being with a competitive team is important to him at this stage in his career.E-Jax has exceeded my expectation of him and I would not have a problem signing unless I was certain I could get someone better. The general rule of thumb is that competitive teams do not trade their starting players at the deadline. If the Nats are still competitive, which I think they will be, I don't see anyone being traded that is an asset to the team this year unless the trade is so one-sided you would be crazy not to make it

  85. Section 222 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Fox, exactly. He got a three year offer and turned it down. He wants a longer term deal. I doubt he would agree to a 2 or 3 year deal with us now. If he would, absolutely go for it. And you're absolutely right, we're not going to trade him, not until we're out of contention this year, which I'm pretty hopeful will not be until after the trading deadline.Also, I forget the details (NL may know), but I'm pretty sure that a team that trades for a guy in his contact year at the deadline doesn't get compensation if he walks at the end of the year. So his value to us in a trade is much diminished.

  86. Oldguy - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Over the years I have been both ways on the DH. On one hand, when I was a kid, there were quite a few good hitting pitchers, some of whom occasionally played RF or were used to pinch hit. Pitchers were expected to carry their (limited) share of offense. (Bob Lemon had 37 career HR's and lifetime BA of 232.) During the early years of the Nats I used to hate to see our pitchers come up–several of them couldn't hit a lick. Now it's very different–and we should give Eck a lot of credit for that. And by the way, did anybody enjoy seeing Adam Dunn in RF or !B? Nobody wants to see a quarterback play defense, and a number of pitchers have gotten hurt running bases, etc., especially ALers. (That's why almost all games in ST use DHs.) But I do think it should be all one way or the other.

  87. baseballswami - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I am ok with interleague play but I will be glad when it's not all in one chunk. I like it that our whole division has to play the same teams, too. The Dh hasn't even been around that long – in baseball years – and even a lot of the AL teams aren't using a true dh anymore – the old guy who can only hit. Seems like a lot of them are using it to give a guy a rest from defense and they use several guys in that role. Kind of like we will probably do. It's just "baseball lite". Depending on what happens with Strassie, Det, Wang – I can see them keeping EJax around. Looking forward to seeing our guys play in historic Fenway but hope they don't get all starry eyed. I am sure that SS will have his game face on.

  88. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Lots to chime in on here:1. hate the DH, like the interleague play. Wish everyone was on the same page but its not going to happen.2. Love the idea of switching the rules and having the dh in the NL parks in interleague and the pitchers hit in the AL3. No way they trade EJ! and why can't we spend more money on a long term deal? We are still not among the big spenders and with attendance surging I think we have the resources. We are also saving a ton of money on this years draft thanks to the new CBA. I say sign him for 5 years if that is what he wants. He has been better than most people realize.4. Remember that Davey saying one thing and doing another (Morse as dh) is pretty common. Lannan was his boy, HRod would continue to close etc. etc.

  89. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    No draft compensation pick unless the player plays a year for the team (new rules). So trading EJax at the deadline makes even less sense.

  90. JamesFan - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Remember when we all wanted to sign Buehrle (sic) to an extended deal. Anyone want to exchange EJax for him? A three year deal would not be too pricy for the Lerners. I don't think anyone in the minors will be ready to be an effective starter next year or possibly the year after.

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    MicheleS June 08, 2012 10:57 AMWhat I wish for this weekend in Interleague.O's beat the snot out of the Phils, Yanks let the Mets know that they still own NY, Rays CRUSH the Fish, Jays chop the Braves, and Nats SWEEP the the sox.I like your wish list!

  92. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    "(sic)" ?

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    JamesFan, Buerhle was on the wish list as the lefty #4 before they got Gio. Besides, Miami was willing to overpay.If you compare him to EJax, not a lot of difference.

  94. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    looks like I am wrong about Morse. If the Post is correct he will indeed dh this series. Have to think that is a lot of pressure on Lombo with the Green Monster. I actually like Bernadina there against RH pitching but I realize that will not happen except for a defensive switch when we are up by 4 runs going into the 8th inning.I am also rooting for Michelle S's predictions for the week-end.Go Nats!!

  95. The Fox - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Section 222,We agree, they won't trade him Rizzo likes him too and so does Davey. When I've seen EJaxs interviewed it comes across that he really likes playing for the Nationals, I think most of the players do. Davey is building a team and in the past when he has created a team they almost always out perform their run differential, pythagorean equation, especially in the building stages. People (not you), many times overlook how important it is for players to understanding that they have a role on the team. If you have been watching the interviews lately watch how many times the interviewed player brings up his role and the role of his teammates. ALR brought it up, he said he felt bad when he was in the slump because he was letting his teammates down. EJax said he knew he had to battle and pitch as many of the inning he could because of the work of the bullpen the night before. The team does have holes and there are concerns but after watching more baseball than I probably should over the years I like what I see. If the starting pitching stays as good as it has been this team will be competitive the whole year.As for next year I think Rizzo will make EJax an offer, whether it is his best offer is to hard to tell. Since the Nats have their big 3 signed for the next 4 years Rizzo may want some flexibility and not be tired to a contract as long as Boras may want but I bet it will be close.

  96. SonnyG10 - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I do not like interleague play and I do not like the DH. I am not fond of generating a rivalry with the Orioles and I absolutely hate the mixing of announcers on MASN when we play the birds.I guess I am just too old and set in my ways re interleague play. To me it just cheapens the world series, which to me is not much more than another ho-hum interleague game.

  97. Pose of the Cobra - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Love the idea of switching the rules and having the dh in the NL parks in interleague and the pitchers hit in the ALThat will never happen. Even though there are a lot of AL teams that don't have a "traditional" DH, on those teams that do the DH is typically one of the best hitters on the team and therefore a player that fans expect to see when they come out to a game. Any rule change that would result in the home team being forced to leave that player out of the lineup is guaranteed to be a non-starter. It's the same reasoning by which managers will always give their biggest stars their days off on the road, not at home. Fans do come out to see the team, but they also come out to see certain players. Chicks dig the long ball after all, and their money is just as green as anyone else's.

  98. sjm308 - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Pose, I think you are right but I would still love to see MLB think outside the box.SonnyG – being an old curmudgeon as well, I do remember how excited I was to watch the all-star game on our 12" black & white philco tv and get a chance to see Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Eddie Mathews etc for the first time. It also made the World Series something very special. Those times are gone however and its just not ever going to go back to the 154 game schedule or one league.Go Nats!!

  99. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    OK, so since someone asked, here is how the oddsmakers are rating NL vs. ALATL heavily favored over TOR (NL)ChiSox heavily favored over Astros (AL)Twins over Cubs (AL)Cards over Cleveland (NL)Angels over Rox (AL)Arizona heavy over the A's (NL)Reds over Detroit (NL)Miami slightly favored over TB (NL)Nats/Boston varies (approx even)Texas over SanFran (AL)and, amazingly,Seattle slightly over the Dodgers (AL)A lot depends on the pitching matchups, of course.

  100. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    OK, andMil over SD (both NL) so I guess it doesn't count.Pirates over KC (NL)Balmer over Philly (AL)Yanks over Mets (AL)

  101. JD - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    sjm,'why can't we spend more money on a long term deal? We are still not among the big spenders' Believe me we will. Wait until SS,JZim,Gio,Harper and even Ramos, Desmond, Espinosa and Morse get close to free agency. We will get to $150 mil faster than you can imagine. This is why we need to develop some home grown talent to augment this bunch.

  102. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Have to agree–can't offer Ejax more than 3/$15 or something like that. After 2015, we will be needing the $$ if we want to keep up the "dynasty" even if we get good rights on MASN and postseason money. He might take it, if he's tired of bouncing around and he still would be only 32 at the end of 2015 (born 9/9/1983). But if he could get 5/$15, of course he would take that, I just don't see that being on the table for him even with a good season.At that point the Nats would (hopefully) have signed JZ to an extension and have some idea whether it will be possible to keep Stras. (I honestly doubt we are keeping Harper). I'm not worried about Morse's free agency as he will be suited for DH when he gets there, but the others will require $$.

  103. baseballswami - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    I like Michele's wish list, too. My wish a few days ago included the Braves sweeping the fish,and the Phils getting swept by the dodgers. I got most of my wish except for us sweeping the mets – missed it by THAT MUCH. You have to admit that the timing was quite beneficial to us. Let's see how all 5 teams do against the al east. If we all perform about the same, no matter what it is, then we all stay pretty even. I say the Nats go on an absolute tear up and down the east coast and leave nothing but wreckage in their wake!

  104. Tcostant - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Section 222 the best offer Jackson got was 3 years around $35M from Pittsburg. The thought was early he was looking for 5 years / $75M and that scared a lot of teams off. I bet this offseason they be looking for 4 years / $50M but would settle for less earlier, to not get left standing again when the music stops.

  105. A DC Wonk - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    I'd like to see a DH again in the NL from time to time.Wait . . . DH stands for "double header", right?Oh, you mean desig–whatever? That's not major league baseball is it? Might as well have a guest desig-fielder, too, right? Why not? And we can go real old school, where a batter can call for a pitch to be high or low? or . . . yechhh

  106. bowdenball - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    JD said… "Wait until SS,JZim,Gio,Harper and even Ramos, Desmond, Espinosa and Morse get close to free agency. We will get to $150 mil faster than you can imagine"Free agency is a LONG way off for all of those players- the Nats can keep all but Morse through at least 2015 simply by paying their arb salaries. Also, I really don't think the Nats will re-sign Morse after 2013. He'll turn 32 before the start of the 2014 season. It will be time for him to go to the AL to DH, and for Nats fans to wish him well and give him a long standing ovation when interleague play brings him back to DC (another great reason to support interleague play, by the way).We'll get to $150 million before Gio's deal runs out for sure, but we have plenty of financial flexibility, far more than most teams. If the front office wants they can certainly extend Jackson AND sign Michael Bourn AND still stay in the middle tier of MLB payrolls for the next several years. The Nats are about as well-positioned as you can possibly be from a financial perspective.

  107. A DC Wonk - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    OK, so since someone asked, here is how the oddsmakers are rating NL vs. ALOn my ESPN app right now, it says for odds:BOS -115Red Sox are favored even though Stras is pitching?I hope someone posts that on the bulletin board for Stras to see!

  108. John C. - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Calling up Moore is a function of the Nats With the Nats getting two LHP this weekend, with the Nats having struggled against lefties. My guess is that LaRoche will get one day off this weekend, probably Sunday against Lester, with Moore playing first base that day. Moore may play LF tonight with Morse in RF. If so that's dangerous, because there's a lot of room in right center that Harper would have to cover.

  109. A DC Wonk - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Very important comment, for understanding Davey, from The Fox:Davey is building a team and in the past when he has created a team they almost always out perform their run differential, pythagorean equation, especially in the building stages.People (not you), many times overlook how important it is for players to understanding that they have a role on the team. If you have been watching the interviews lately watch how many times the interviewed player brings up his role and the role of his teammates. ALR brought it up, he said he felt bad when he was in the slump because he was letting his teammates down. EJax said he knew he had to battle and pitch as many of the inning he could because of the work of the bullpen the night before….Yep. When you have a team where all the guys will "leave it all out on the field" or "take a bullet" or [insert metaphor here] for each of their teammates and for their manager . . . that's a team that over achieves. (or, at least achieves their maximum potential)I think this is a good lesson, and a good response, to all the times people moan and groan about Davey's loyalty to Espi, HRod, and others. Sometimes the guys pan out (Ian worked out well, perhaps ALR and RZ are out of their slumps, etc.). Sometimes in the short run it doesn't work out (see, Espi, silver metal in strike outs tied with Ankiel).*But*, and here's the key I think, even for the minority of times where it doesn't work out, the team still gets a benefit, because the players know that Davey has their back, that he respects them, and that he will give them a lot of leeway. That comes back in the form of players willing to give-it-all for the team.I can't help but think that this is one of the ingredients to Davey's success — part of why he's been a winner everywhere he's managed.

  110. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I am using the vegas insider website, which has both teams at -105 to -115 at various casinos, so apparently no one wins this game (I think you might have to give runs),http://www.vegasinsider.com/mlb/odds/las-vegas/http://www.vegasinsider.com/mlb/odds/las-vegas/

  111. bowdenball - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    DC Wonk, I don't see that anywhere. According to USA Today the line opened with the Red Sox at +103 and they're currently between -105 and -110.Translated to English, that means the Nats were favored by a slim but distinct margin when the first came out with the lines but now the two teams are virtually even.It makes sense. Doubront is a passable starter with a K/BB ratio over 2.5/1, the Sox and Nats are virtually even in run differential, and the Sox have a greater than normal home advantage given the nature of their park and the fact that most of the Nats outfielders have never played there, and certainly none of them play there regularly like the AL outfielders do.

  112. baseballswami - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    During this last week every single game with us and the Mets, the Fish and the Braves made a huge difference in the standings. Now – all five could win , all five could lose – just a different dynamic than when we are playing in our division. Should be an interesting measuring stick.

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    John C. Not near my stats but LaRoche was hitting Lefties very well. Davey may not sit him at all this weekend.

  114. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    It's OK by me to post the odds on the bulletin board for Stras to see, though, because if he strikes out 21 in 7 innings we won't have to worry about the outfielders (I'm guessing Burnett and Clip) can do the same.

  115. mick - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    DC wonk I agree with about 99% of your post which is excellent. As far as Espi goes, I am fine with it until Werth comes back. If Espi is still dismal as a left handed batter in August, he needs to be a back up plain and simple, if Lombo is still hitting as he has. Ankiel, Nady and LaRosa I realize are here until others come up and then I think one says good bye to himAs far as HRod goes… I only see him as early relief, and I am being nice. In fact, HRod is the most controversial question on the team. If Storen comes back 100% and the fact that the Nats have some young arms in the minors, why not deal off HRod in a package deal?

  116. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Moore will start in LF against the leftie. Nady in RF.

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Espi leading off

  118. mick - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I have a theory on Wang… i think he may get better and better by each outing. We all have forgotten that back in March, Davey said before Wang's injury that he was pitching as well as a number 2 pitcher on the staff!. If Wang progresses as he did in spring training, the Nats would have the best staff in all of baseball heading into the Fall. This is of course with an assumption that everyone else stays healthy. Then, the Strassburg shutdown issue may not be as controversial, or would it? lol

  119. NatsLady - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Of the comments that were made in Boz's article, my favorite was Gio, that he wants to be good so Stras doesn't feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.You know who misses Jayson? Rick Ankiel.Up to (and including) May 6 = BA = .288 (61 PA).Post May 6 BA = .169 (80 PA).I'm not kidding, I think it's a factor.

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Mick, if Henry could be traded for a decent return, he'd be gone. The problem is Henry has no Minor League options which is why Oakland traded him. Any team that takes him will need to put him in their bullpen. Maybe after the All Star break a struggling team will take a chance on him.

  121. runyetirun - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    This is off topic, but does anyone else get incredibly irritated by Ladsen tweeting before every single Strasburg start "This is the one, I feel it. No hitter"It's douchey beyond belief, and I stopped following him because of it.Sorry, I know this was a random drop in, but it was bugging me and I didn't know where else I could gripe.Carry on.

  122. baseballswami - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Just saw Desi interviewed on mlb the rundown. He was wonderful. Do the Nats have someone in charge of "players saying all the right things"? I am excited that my team is winning. But I am also proud to be a fan of this team because of the players that are part of it. Top to bottom they just seem like good people. I think Rizzo values character and it shows. No embarrassing "tri-polar" guys right now or guys with recurring legal issues. Some of them might seem down right boring at times, but I'll take it. They seem humble, hard working and team-oriented – so nice.

  123. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    runyetirun, Ladson is like Peric, keep making crazy predictions and maybe you will be right by sheer luck.I would be happy with a Stras 3 hitter thru 7 innings.

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    baseballswami, well said. There are a lot of guys who are down to the core nice people.There are a few introverts on the team that get a bad rap as being unfriendly. They just aren't real socialable types. Luckily Michael Morse and Gio and Desi make up for the shy guys.

  125. JD - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    bowdenball, And you don't see the arbitrators giving the big 3 salaries like $17 – $20 mil? Flexibility is one thing but you have to balance the high priced young vets with some cheaper talent. Unless you are the Yankees you can't sustain a payroll over $150 mil and if you manage the team smartly you don't have to.

  126. runyetirun - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Ghost, I hear you. I wonder if any of the other guys in the press box stare daggers at him each time after Stras gives up his first hit. Like Boz gives him a rabbit punch in the kidney on the way past him to the bathroom or something.

  127. MicheleS - Jun 8, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Ghost.. Who are the introverts? I mean RZ admits he is boring (but I see that as a Cal Ripken trait) Stras is trying to come out of his shell, Werth may not talk to the press alot, but from all reports when out in public is quite friendly. I guess maybe Jordan?And yes, it is really nice to have guys on the team that are quality people.

  128. #4 - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I vehemently dislike interleague play. It cheapens both the all-star game and the World Series. I also dislike the DH.Having said that, it's inevitable with the new interleague schedule next year that before long the leagues will come into alignment on the DH, and I'm betting that the DH will be introduced into the NL. My reasoning is that the first time a team has to play a crucial late season series using the rules its roster is not built to play with, the team will cry foul and that will force Selig to change (not right away of course, but for the following year). Additionally I believe that the NL is the only league in the world – professional or amateur – that does not employ the DH.I hear those that say that AL teams are rarely using a full-time DH these days. I believe they think that having a slow-footed player who can only hit restricts their roster too much. Nonetheless, there are still 10 "starters" every night in an AL game. This means 10 starter salaries. There is no way the players' union will allow the DH to be eliminated.Lastly for the poster who said that he does not like to see pitchers hit or quarterbacks play defense… football was a better game when there was one platoon.

  129. pRAA - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Nonetheless, there are still 10 "starters" every night in an AL game. This means 10 starter salaries. There is no way the players' union will allow the DH to be eliminated.Sure there is. Expand the roster size to 26 or even 27. That trades off one or two new jobs for the loss of the one DH job. That would actually be a net plus for the union, at not much (if any) extra cost to the owners. It also gives managers added roster complexity to offset the loss of the DH in the lineup.

  130. Unknown - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    I do not like interleague play. It feels gimmicky and like some non-baseball fan marketeer's creation. That said, it's here to stay.I would not match division vs. division – I'd like to see it done like the NFL does inter-conference play — A 3-year rotation where, for example, NL East plays AL East, next year AL Central, next year, AL West. With 15 teams in each league, you get 5 times per division, so it matches up. 15 games, get rid of the "rivalry" games, play 147 others in league as balanced as you can – since 14/147 doesn't work — or play 10 vs. other in league (140) + 15 IL games — 155-game schedule, season ends at a sane time.I also agree with everyone who says to get rid of the DH, but I actually think the Union will push it the other way and owners will use as a bargaining chip. What I'd like to see instead is a 26-man roster, so the DH guys now keep their jobs as key PH's and can play the field part-time.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 1.0
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's early games

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