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Boras refutes Mazzone on Strasburg, Avery

Aug 16, 2012, 4:50 PM EDT

Photo courtesy the Associated Press

On Wednesday morning, ESPN 980's Mike and Mike had on a special guest to weigh in on the Stephen Strasburg innings limit. Former Braves' pitching coach Leo Mazzone was asked about the decision to shut down the Nationals ace as he once mentored one of the best starting rotations in MLB history, a group that some have compared to the current one in Washington as far as youth and talent.

Mazzone ripped the Nationals and called their plan "pathetic," siding with the argument that the team should hold nothing back in trying to win a World Series this season.

“And the reason I say that, I’ve got the experience. Youngsters like Steve Avery when he was 21 taking us to a World Series with a group of kids, with Smoltz and Glavine and Avery and Pete Smith and one veteran guy, Leibrandt. Prior to Maddux in ’93 — in ’91 and ’92 — these guys all pitched 200-plus innings. Ok? And everybody had long careers."

To many, the immediate problem jumping out of this particular statement was the citing of Steve Avery. Avery was a tremendous young pitcher who had success early on in his career, but faded after the age of 23 and was out of the league by the age of 29. He never had Tommy John surgery as Strasburg has had, but he isn't exactly a prime example of a lengthy major league pitching career.

One thing Strasburg and Avery do have in common is their agent as Scott Boras once represented Avery some 20 years ago. Boras decided to call in to Mike and Mike the very next morning and spent much of his time on the Avery and Strasburg comparison. Coincidence? Probably not.
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271 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Its a good thing the Braves got a new pitching coach. Sounds like Leo subscribes to the Jim Riggleman/Kerry Wood : Jim Tracey/Tom Gorzelanny school of thought: burn the young pitcher's arm to get to the playoffs. Again, we can look at the results right in house in Tom Gorzelanny whose arm may not ever come back from what Tracey did to it while he was managing Pittsburgh. At least he has come back and is pitching again but for 2 -3 years afterward that seemed questionable.

  2. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    No one from the media has yet asked Steve Avery what his opinion of the Strasburg shutdown is? Slackers!

  3. Candide - Aug 16, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I read that Mazzone claims that Strasburg will jump ship the moment his Nats contract is up because they shut him down after 160 innings.I couldn't find anywhere in that story that says that that's what Strasburg actually said to Mazzone.Meanwhile Strasburg's agent suggests that what the Nats are doing is probably for the best for Strasburg's career.Hmmm… who do I trust – the guy who probably hasn't even talked to Strasburg, or the guy whose livelihood depends on looking out for Strasburg's best interests?

  4. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Hmmm… who do I trust – the guy who probably hasn't even talked to Strasburg, or the guy whose livelihood depends on looking out for Strasburg's best interests?Boras should be worrying about his former client EJax talking to Strasburg, not about Mazzone talking to him.

  5. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Gotta live with it, just like we lived through Espy's slump because that's what you do with your stars. Natslady, Bryce is 19. Espinosa was a college draftee out of a good program in Long Beach state and is now around 25 and will be 26 in the next ST. Big difference don't you think?

  6. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    How about an MLB Network Oxford style debate on the Strasburg Shutdown Question (Resolved: Stephen Strasburg should be shut down in September and not pitch in the postseason) including Tommy John, Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Steve Avery, Any other nominations? Bob Costas and Tom Verducci can moderate. Mark can liveblog it, and Kilgore can add his treademark snarky tweets. Ratings gold. Stephen A. Smith can be the timekeeper. Oh wait, he's on the four letter network.

  7. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    peric, actually, I think it's a beautiful day and I don't have to be at work until 5 p.m. so I'm outta here. Be cool.

  8. Oldguy - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Boras was on 106.7 again at 12;15 with Mike Wise. You would think his expertise and knowledge of the entire situation would end this thing, but it won't. He said he seriously questions anyone who goes against the best medical advice available, and he dismissed those without expertise who choose to weigh in. But no sooner was Boras off than calls started suggesting he is wrong, or that there are other opinions just as valid. Boras has made a boatload of money off his players and can easily afford the best medical and legal advice (he himself is a lawyer and has medical-related training) that money can buy. To suggest that there is better advice out there is ridiculous.

  9. UnkyD - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    "Boras should be worrying about his former client EJax talking to Strasburg, not about Mazzone talking to him."—————-pRAA….. I'm dim- explain this remark to me, please…?

  10. MicheleS - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    UnkyD..Ejax just changed agents. He left Boras.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I'm with you Unkyd. Have no idea what that means. I mean I know EJax dumped Boras but how that relates to Mazzone????

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    OK I am tired. have anyone of you bought a Nationals sweatshirt or hoodie?

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    But how's that relate to Mazzone, Michele?

  14. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    I suspect what he's saying is that EJax will be airing his complaints, his rationale behind replacing Boras to Strasburg. EJax's performance has been that of a #5 starter who is getting paid like a top 3 starter in the rotation. That might also be a reason.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Faraz…..had one bought for me.

  16. MicheleS - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    NatsJack? Not understanding the ?

  17. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    It has nothing to do with Mazzone. Boras apparently came on to refute Mazzone's take on things and to help Rizzo out. Its not going to be easy for Rizzo to take the ball away from Stephen Strasburg and people like Mazzone are going to only make it more difficult than it should be.

  18. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Mark — you wrote about Avery: "He threw 99.0 innings his first season and then jumped all the way to 210.1 innings the following season."That's fairly inaccurate. First of all, in his first season, he also threw 83 minor league innings, making a total of 182. More importantly, in the next season, he threw 210 regular season innings, but 30 post-season innings.As I wrote in the last thread (adding some notations)(age and IP)Avery, 19, 171 (minors)Avery, 20, 182 (minors and majors)Avery, 21, 240 (including postseason)Avery, 22, 253 (including postseason)Avery, 23, 239 (including postseason)Avery, 24, damaged goods

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    any idea which store or pricing, NatsJack?like Boswell said in his article, I doubt Rizzo actually cares what anyone else thinks.

  20. MicheleS - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Umm Wonk.. Chase posted this.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Michele….I know about the agent change and I heard the Boras interview today. Just don't see the connection.

  22. PFB Balls of Fire - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Good call Faraz, need to start planning ahead for those cool autumn evenings.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Faraz….they bought it online through the Nats website. Think it was around $40.

  24. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Just don't see the connection.There is none. Its just an excuse to poke at Boras I guess.

  25. MicheleS - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    I don't expect the Nationals or Rizzo to do this, but I wonder if Yocum will get dragged into this by the talking heads.

  26. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    MicheleS said… Umm Wonk.. Chase posted this.Whoops. Sorry, Mark.Chase, please read! ;-)

  27. BIGNAT33 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    It seems that the Avery comparison justifies shutting down SS even more. Does Mazzone even remember what happened with his former young star? But Rizzo is going to shut down SS no matter what people say – it's a done deal. Let's put it to rest and move on already!

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    PFB, I am planning for Cool Bay area winds but yes, works for cool autumn evenings on East coast also.thanks NatsJack. Will look into it again.Michele, I don't expect either. It does not look like Rizzo is too eager to prove why he is doing what he is doing, which works for me.

  29. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    connection (at least as I'm imagining it) is this:a. Stras might not be so happy at getting shut downb. Stras hears that Boras also wants Stras shut downc. Stras might not be happy with Borasd. EJax fired BorasSo "Boras should be worrying about his former client EJax talking to Strasburg" means: if EJax and Stras get together, talking about being unhappy with Boras . . . etc.Just a semi-humorous poke, I presume. Mildly amusing . . .

  30. Steady Eddie - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    MicheleS said I don't expect the Nationals or Rizzo to do this, but I wonder if Yocum will get dragged into this by the talking heads. Logic might suggest that, but (1) I suspect the talking heads have no desire to sully their loudmouthed opinions with anything approaching fact, (2) talking to Yocum would indicate they accept — or at least are willing to engage on — Rizzo's position that this is essentially a medical decision, rather than essentially a baseball personnel (or even largely developmental) management decision (including the fact that it's completely pointless and idiotic to argue about whether it would have been wise to shut Stras down absent the TJ surgery). So the talking heads would not want to accept that either. (3) I would assume Yokum would have no desire to get drawn into what's essentially a ratings- and attention-getting -driven food fight, and would say something like "I give my patients medical advice, what they do with it is their own business".

  31. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    PFB, I am planning for Cool Bay area winds but yes, works for cool autumn evenings on East coast also.With temps 103 degrees and higher to the east plus the right wind makes for some really beautiful fog banks when seen from above … but also colder than a witches mammary gland. You will need more than a sweatshirt or hoody.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Faeaz…..keep in mind. It was purchased in November for a Christmas gift.August may be a little early for the cool weather gear.

  33. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I have several of them, in navy, red, and white. My husband laughed at me back in the day when I said that they'd be perfect attire for when the Nats were playing in the postseason. I wear them all the time in the colder months (formerly known as the time of bitter recriminations). In fact, I was reminding him this a.m. of how he laughed when I talked about it. Who's laughing now? Bwahahaha!! Eh, I may have been hunkered over my index too long. Maybe I need to get a life. Nah. :-)Faraz Shaikh said…OK I am tired. have anyone of you bought a Nationals sweatshirt or hoodie?August 16, 2012 1:34 PM

  35. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    So "Boras should be worrying about his former client EJax talking to Strasburg" means: if EJax and Stras get together, talking about being unhappy with Boras . . . etc.Again, no connection to Mazzone.

  36. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Interesting post by Harper the blogger comparing the Nats top 3 starters in the playoffs (assuming no Strasburg) to the top 3 of other playoff bound teams. I commented that looking at the playoff calendar it seems highly unlikely the Nats will use only 3 starters and if you compare our 2-5 with most teams 1-4, we'll come out ahead. Worth checking out. Thoughts?

  37. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Just checked back in and saw this. I think the concern is that EJax, being dissatisfied with Boras, could badmouth Boras to Stras and that would have more effect than anything Mazzone could say.First of all, we don't know why EJax changed agents, it's all speculation. Do they all take the same percentage? Maybe his new agent has training facilities nearer to EJax, maybe it's Thursday.Second of all, if EJax wants a job here in future seasons, the last thing he's going to do is badmouth Boras to Stras in the middle of a pennant race. And how Ejax would convince Stras that Boras doesn't have his best interests at heart is beyond me. The worst EJax could say is, "this guy (Boras) is shafting you out of a possible WS ring so you can have a longer career–because look what he did to me, I couldn't get a better offer than 3 years with the f'ing Pirates and had to settle for one year with a contenduh." (Pirates' chances this year notwithstanding.) It's hard to imagine Stras (and his wife and his family) taking that seriously. Ironically, the interests of Strasburg, Boras and MLB coincide here, namely that pitchers have long productive careers.

  38. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    I read Harper's post … he takes a lot of flack for being fairly logical and impartial. I think he even said he isn't really a Nats fan. In the playoffs the bullpen is usually the most important factor. Why? Because its almost sudden death particularly in the early short series. If a starter even looks slightly like he is struggling you yank him. This is when the other starters can be called in as emergency relievers if needed as well.Who has the best bullpen right now? Probably the Reds featuring Aroldis Chapman who was supposed to be a starter this year. The Nats looked better on paper with Storen, HRod, Clipp, Mattheus, etc. Now, with Storen and HRod struggling they look to try out two time Tommy Johns veteran in former Yankee starter prospect Christian Garcia. They'll have plenty of right handers but what the Reds have is Strasburg's left-handed clone in Chapman but in their bullpen. Nats aren't as strong on the left-side in the bullpen. Burnett, Rodriguez, and starter now long reliever Gorzelanny. If you are looking for the under-the-radar acquisition the Nats will likely make in the offseason? The asset at the top of their shopping list? No, it won't be the CF as Ladson loves to trot out over-and-over … it will be a quality left-handed reliever with stuff. And they don't come cheap.

  39. mick - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    A teachable moment for the Mazzone's and Smith's and as much as I like him, the Mike Golic's of the world…. Where their thinking and view on this issue are flawed from the start begins with their lack of or in the case of Smith ZERO knowledge of the Nats philosophy and history. I really think the shutdown issue can be put to rest with the following facts:1) Mike Rizzo with the blessing of the Lerners decided to follow the Stan Kasten method of building a franchise, not a one year baseball team.2) To to do this, Rizzo and the Lerners were very clear to all us fans that there would be some really bad baseball fora few seasons until the foundation and structures were in place within the farm system… Syracuse, Potomac and Hagerstown. This structure is designed to develop and bring talent to the MLB level home grown and not via free agency as the end all and be all of a baseball team.3) The Rizzo way is PITCHING and DEFENSE must be first in this development before one can really focus on offensive production.4) By having a solid foundation; farm system, pitching and defense… this will attract potential free agents who will clearly see that an organization is on solid footing and is competitive and of course will pay good money.5) In this development of pitching, the organization has decided to be on the same page not just from a coaching stnadpoint but from a standpoint of physical training amnd medical care.A) John Philbin has been the Nats conditioning coach and personal trainer since Rizzo came aboard. John is 10 years ahead of his time in training and performance enhancement of athletes.b) Most important, the same physician operate on both Strass and Jordan Z. Both Philbin and the physicians are the same beliefs when it comes to training and recovery. They follow medical percentages and the testimonial to their success can be fiund in Jordan Zimmerman's performance.This facts and methods are the reason the Nats have gone from 109 losses to being an elite MLB team. The goal of any MLB team is to be in position (like the Braves since 1990) to have a better than 50% chance of playing in post season yearly. The Nats base their decisions on medicine and sound reasoning, not on a gut instinct that goes against sound medical practices.

  40. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Just checked back in and saw this.Couldn't stay away after all? Sunshine is good for you especially if its a nice day … I can never get enough … I think pRAA was just trying to jab at Boras, a popular target for bloggers. I don't think Stras and his family are going to make a change anytime soon. Particularly since Boras was a family decision whereas in the case of EJax he seems more likely to make decisions entirely by himself for his reasons … much like Zach Grienke.

  41. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    1) Mike Rizzo with the blessing of the Lerners decided to follow the Stan Kasten method of building a franchise, not a one year baseball team.Sorry, but wrong right out of the box Mick. Look at what Kasten is doing in LA? And if anything Kasten BLOCKED Rizzo from making what might have been critical moves. Rizzo had lefty prospect Matt Moore locked up from Tampa Bay locked up for Adam Dunn. Check out what he's been doing this year? No, this plan is not the Kasten plan that really was non existent while he was here. Just ask JayB. No, this is Rizzo, Clark, Minniti and now Johnson and not JimBo or Kasten.

  42. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Tracee Hamilton weighs in.Heh. In the words of Homer Simpson, I get jokes.

  43. TheManBearPig - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    peric, I think mick was referring to the Kasten way as the way the 1990s Braves were built.

  44. Santangelo for President 2012 - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    I would really like to hear from Dr James Andrews on this. I would love to hear his opinion. He is probably the foremost authority on Tommy John that there is in the country.

  45. MicheleS - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Standing O for Mick!

  46. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    1a, sources please. I mean where you got it from. same as NatsJack?

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Kasten sold tickets for those Braves teams. John Schuerholz was the baseball brain.

  48. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I want a white one or red one or navy one. I have my eye on a grey one at nats site, but not exactly my preferred color.

  49. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    peric, I think mick was referring to the Kasten way as the way the 1990s Braves were built.Kasten wasn't the GM he was the president. And Clark was there … Kasten goes back to when Turner first acquired the team and signed the original free agent Andy Messersmith.

  50. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Santangelo for President 2012 said… I would really like to hear from Dr James Andrews on this. I would love to hear his opinion. He is probably the foremost authority on Tommy John that there is in the country.Well, he'd have to come out of surgery to talk to you, and his hourly rate is quite high. How much are you willing to pay? (PS I don't think Obamacare would cover this.)

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    With Detwiler listed for tomorrow night, sets up Jordan, Stras and Det against the Braves next week.

  52. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    One of the things I just dom't understand is the level of inflammatory speech that I have been hearing .i know this is DC, but this has reached the level of a political campaign. The emotion and hyperbole from outside our circle just astounds me.

  53. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I would really like to hear from Dr James Andrews on this. I would love to hear his opinion. He is probably the foremost authority on Tommy John that there is in the country. Again — let's not confuse issues. It's not just TJ surgery. It's being so young and ramping up innings so fast. See: Avery, Steve.

  54. MicheleS - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    NatsJack.. That's a good rotation against the Braves. I hope the Dodgers put a hurt on their bullpen over the weekend.Swammi. Most of the emotion/hyperbole is coming from people whose job it is too generate ratings, not facts.

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    would have been nice if Braves had to go to LA, come back to DC to play us, and travel to SF the next day. :P

  56. BigCat - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Here is what you do with Stra. He threw yesterday right? So now you tell him Lannan is gonna take his next start. Normally a starting pitcher would throw on the side the 3rd day after his start and then have a day off before his next start. Well you tell Stra to not pick up a ball again until 3 days after Lannans start. That would be his normal time to throw on the side again. So he misses a start and a session on the side. He gets 7 days of no activity, then a side session to stretch his arm out and gain his rhythm back and out he goes to start again. You go two starts and one off until the end of the season. The rest would probably make him stronger in the long run anyway. This would work

  57. DL in VA - Aug 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Lannan can only start if someone goes down to Syracuse to give him space on the 25-man roster.

  58. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Both Amanda and Kilgore mentioned that Davey had planned to split up his lefties again at some point. You'd think they want to have two lefties against the Braves given their record against them. Maybe he'll bring Lannan up for one start and move the starts out further. Might get Stras and extra start or two.

  59. Tcostant - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    I remember Avery; he was pretty darn good in those early years. SI’s Tom Verducci (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/01/18/year.after.effect/index.html) has convinced me that it is just not prudent to ramp pitchers up more than 20% more innings pitched from the prior year. I think Baseball knows better now, but was done to the Avery and Priors of the world is almost criminal.

  60. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Lannan can only start if someone goes down to Syracuse to give him space on the 25-man roster.They can send someone down for one game. Albeit you are right it seems unlikely … still given the Stras situation we should expect the unexpected from Davey.

  61. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    NJ, do we know he won't also switch JZnn and Gio, in order to start Gio against the Braves? The off day would allow JZnn to start Sunday against the Mets on regular rest.

  62. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    me that it is just not prudent to ramp pitchers up more than 20% more innings pitched from the prior year.You realize that applies to JZimmn as well. Given that percentage, he really shouldn't pitch more than 195 this year. Davey has already said he has some work to do in advance of the Septermber 1st call-ups. We'll have to see what he comes up with.

  63. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    pRAA with the ISO said…A DC Wonk said… Tracee Hamilton weighs in.Heh. In the words of Homer Simpson, I get jokes.And so now my meme is going after sec3's and NJ's former blog mom. Hmmmm ….

  64. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    NJ = Nationals Journal.

  65. Tcostant - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Peric it doesn't apply. Jordon Zimmermann is over 25.

  66. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Peric it doesn't apply. Jordon Zimmermann is over 25.The only reason they keep mentioning age is because all of the studies were done on arms of teenaged boys. The only way to get a larger sample size. 25 may be within 3 standard deviations of the mean. Just as with Strasburg, better safe than sorry.

  67. Ron In Reston - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Section 222 said… NJ, do we know he won't also switch JZnn and Gio, in order to start Gio against the Braves? The off day would allow JZnn to start Sunday against the Mets on regular rest.———————————————-Actually, I remember hearing exactly that during (I think) Monday night's game, that the rotation would be shuffled a bit so that both Gio AND Det would face the Braves lefty-heavy lineup.

  68. bowdenball - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    BigCat said…"Here is what you do with Stra. He threw yesterday right? So now you tell him Lannan is gonna take his next start"His next start is scheduled to be Tuesday night against the Braves. You want to significantly increase the chances that the Braves make up a full game on us in the standings next Tuesday? What's the use of saving Strasburg if you end up relegating us to the wild card game in the process? Great, now he can pitch the game that we might have been able to avoid entirely if we'd used his full allotment of innings in the regular season.

  69. Tcostant - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Peric -Tom Verducci does this article year and cuts off at 25. If 26 or 27 were also problem years, no doubt that would have been the cutoff to prove his case. Tom Verducci was ahead of his time on this, I'll go with that.

  70. BigCat - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Well ok Bowdie…..you let him pitch against the Braves and then you proceed with the plan.

  71. bowdenball - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    The games that aren't against the Braves count in the standings too.I see what you're saying. I just think that given the new playoff format they should be 99% sure they've got the division locked up before they start worrying about who might be able to pitch in the playoffs.

  72. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    When I made the suggestion several days ago to switch Gio and JZnn, I didn't realize that the off day would also allow E-Jax and Det to be switched. So if Davey does both, I will both take a victory lap and bow down to Davey who is ten steps ahead of everyone. I can't wait to see how he handles the rotation and the bullpen in September. It's going to be a clinic. The Weird Wuss, Bochey, Fredi, and Ozzie are going to watch in awe.

  73. Andrew L. - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    I just got back from the Bryce Harper Camp. Very good time. I took my son and 2 neighbors and they had the time of their lives. Bryce couldn't have been nicer.

  74. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    has starters from same team have gone back to back innings in ASG? I mean how often?I can imagine next season SS, GG, and JZ throwing back to back shutout innings.

  75. BigCat - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    See your point Bowdie, but if you want to stretch him out for the year you gotta sacrifice some things

  76. TheManBearPig - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    peric, I don't recall saying that Kasten was GM of the Braves, but Kasten's particular position with that organization – whether president or GM – wasn't really my point.

  77. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    If 26 or 27 were also problem years, no doubt that would have been the cutoff to prove his case. Tom Verducci was ahead of his time on this, I'll go with that.Again, the reason this is done because even at ages 21-23 its well beyond the standard deviation of any of the recent studies. Teen aged boys who pitch many innings come in bunches. Not so after the age of 19. And that's one of the arguments for the "less passionate Giggleman respect the game, respect the veterans" side. There have been no conclusive studies on players beyond a certain age. They don't exist. You're only guessing. But the physicians who perform these surgeries probably have a better gauge and feel to make "educated guesses" using studies where the median age is quite a bit lower.

  78. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    See your point Bowdie, but if you want to stretch him out for the year you gotta sacrifice some thingsI think Natsjack made the point: Schuerholtz was the brains not Kasten who is basically a carnival barker. Schuerholtz had a guy named Roy Clark working for him … and that same guy is now the Nats assistant GM under Rizzo.

  79. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    BigCat said…"Here is what you do with Stra. He threw yesterday right? So now you tell him Lannan is gonna take his next start"What part of Rizzo saying way back in spring training that he wasn't going to tinker with Strasburg's schedule, pennant race or no, did you not understand?

  80. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    It's been some time since I got them and my memory is rather hazy. My husband got one for me, I think at Sports Authority. I've had good luck finding things there over the years, fwiw. If memory serves, I also bought a couple through the team site's shop. I've bought tops from the brick-and-mortar team store, too, but mostly t-shirts or polo shirts.Faraz Shaikh said… 1a, sources please. I mean where you got it from. same as NatsJack? August 16, 2012 2:33 PM

  81. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    No, no , and no on skipping starts and otherwise finagling things. Side sessions and games are not the same thing. Ramping down and back up are not good things. Messing with other players routines is not a good thing. And you can only bring a pitcher up for the day for an unscheduled double header. Don't you think if these were good ideas Rizzo and Davey would do it? Let it go. We have 24-25 other great guys being ignored. Let the talking heads blather on.

  82. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    If Kasten is a carnival barker, does that make peric the clown or the guy who cleans up the elephant droppings?

  83. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said…1a, sources please. I mean where you got it from. same as NatsJack?Based on what I saw this past series it sure looks like the SF Giants major league store there has quite a selection of Nats stuff … you might want to check there?

  84. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    And they ARE being very careful with JZim's innings. That's why he only ever goes six.

  85. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    pRAA with the ISO said…If Kasten is a carnival barker, does that make peric the clown or the guy who cleans up the elephant droppings?That's three emails piling up at Mark's place.

  86. BigCat - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    I think if Rizzo was honest, he would tell you that he was figuring on a third place, maybe 2nd place finish for us this year. Never in his wildest dreams did he figure on a year like this. So we would be 10-15 games back in late August and he would just shut Stra down, much like he did Zim last year, and no one would say a word. I think us being so good so fast has complicated things. He has the whole national media howling for his head

  87. Tcostant - Aug 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    NOT skipping a start but pushing Stras out an extra day once seems reasonably risk free. He handled a one-off variation to his routine after the All Star break. I don't see this as a problem.

  89. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    A few years ago when we were at AT&T Park I was soooo jealous of the selection of Giants gear in their team store. Way better than we had at Nats Park back then, although I think it's getting better.Another note for Faraz, I shop the clearance sections at the brick-and-mortar stores and the online team store. Of course, that doesn't help if you're looking to buy something sooner rather than later. Sometimes you can find things at Ross or Marshalls, too, but it's not guaranteed that they'll have Nats gear.

  90. TheManBearPig - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    "I think Natsjack made the point: Schuerholtz was the brains not Kasten who is basically a carnival barker. Schuerholtz had a guy named Roy Clark working for him … and that same guy is now the Nats assistant GM under Rizzo."Fair enough peric. I just took mick's reference to Kasten's method to be a reference to the 1990s Braves' method of building a team, not necessarily to anything Kasten had been involved with since and certainly not to what he did during his time working for the Lerners.

  91. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Don't look now, but beginning with the blowout win against the D-backs on Aug. 9, the Nats have been flirting with or over a .617 winning percentage. That's a 100-win pace my friends.

  92. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    I think if Rizzo was honest, he would tell you that he was figuring on a third place, maybe 2nd place finish for us this year.Even last winter when everyone was touting the Nats as a potential playoff team missing one or two pieces what did Rizzo say? A continuous non-ending litany? He said that "we" have a plan. We are going to stick to the plan no matter what happens, what the record shows. We are building for long-term success not short-term gains. What that tells me is that he is going to follow the plan that he and the FO brain trust put together come hell or high water. The Nat's actions said that in spades when he decided to sit out the trade flurry that occurred before the deadline.

  93. BigCat - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    All I'm saying is that if the Nats get to game 7 of the World Series or the NLCS and we got Lannan on the hill while a "strong as a bull" Strasburg sits in the stands or in the dugout watching, the do-do is gonna hit the fan.

  94. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    The games that aren't against the Braves count in the standings too.Of course.But:A victory against the Braves reduces the "magic number" by two. A victory against a non-contending team reduces it by one.

  95. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    BigCat said… All I'm saying is that if the Nats get to game 7 of the World Series or the NLCS and we got Lannan on the hill while a "strong as a bull" Strasburg sits in the stands or in the dugout watching, the do-do is gonna hit the fan.Not by knowlegable Nats fans.And Rizzo's tough enough to take it.How much do-do will hit the fan if Strasburg pitches through the WS and then is a washed-up has-been at age 25?(See: Avery, Steve).How much more do-do will hit if Strasburg pitches that game seven, and loses, and is a washed-up has-been at age 25?

  96. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    peric said… pRAA with the ISO said… If Kasten is a carnival barker, does that make peric the clown or the guy who cleans up the elephant droppings? That's three emails piling up at Mark's place.Make that four, peric. I'm writing Mark to complain about pRAA, too.

  97. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    A victory against the Braves reduces the "magic number" by two. A victory against a non-contending team reduces it by one.It also puts a lot more pressure and the onus on the Braves. If the Nats were to blow them out they might start to collapse.But since the Mets are in the same division those games are also pretty important.

  98. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    BigCat said… All I'm saying is that if the Nats get to game 7 of the World Series or the NLCS and we got Lannan on the hill while a "strong as a bull" Strasburg sits in the stands or in the dugout watching, the do-do is gonna hit the fan.Lannan will be the #5 guy in the rotation when Strasburg gets shut down. Your homework assignment for this off day is to tell me the last time a #5 starter ever started a postseason game.

  99. TheManBearPig - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    BigCat, do you think Lannan would even be in a post-season rotation? EJax or Detwiler on the mound in game 7 rather than Stras wouldn't be such a big deal.

  100. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Make that four, peric. I'm writing Mark to complain about pRAA, too. peric is the master at commenting about the personality of another poster. He spews paragraphs of abuse and threats at other posters, but because he spews so much verbiage in general the vile stuff gets lost in the shuffle. Go back and re-read the comments on yesterday's threads. He abuses Sofa, NatsLady, Seamhead and myself – all totally unprovoked – and then tries to smooth it over as if he's the poor victim. Hard as it may be to believe, people buy that argument from him – just like you just did.

  101. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    pRAA beat me to it. Unless we have an injury to Gio, JZnn, E-Jax or Det, Lannan won't start a single playoff game, much less Game 7 of the World Series. The off days in the playoffs allow for a team to use just four starters and keep everyone on regular rest. And if we're lucky enough to win the NLDS or in 3 or 4 games, or the NLCS in 4 or 5 games, our No. 1 starter can pitch game 1 of the subsequent series (assuming we won the division and didn't have to play the Wild Card game).Is this fun to contemplate, or what?

  102. bowdenball - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    ManBearPig is right about this, and about global warming. You only need four starters in the postseason. No chance Lannan gets a start unless there's an injury.

  103. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    All I'm saying is that if the Nats get to game 7 of the World Series or the NLCS and we got Lannan on the hill while a "strong as a bull" Strasburg sits in the stands or in the dugout watching, the do-do is gonna hit the fan.This isn't going to happen. For one thing John Lannan has proven he is mince meat in relief. He gets shelled. You need starters than can be effective, if called upon, in relief. This is winner take all loser goes home and Lannan is a straw man in any post season rotation as a result.Lannan might be used to the get them through September. They might also decide to take a good look at Ryan Perry who has been pitching well at AA Harrisburg. They re-upped CM Wang for that slot but it sure looks like he isn't going to make it. They also have Yunesky Maya who does pitch and has pitch in relief having a solid year in Syracuse. Actually, a far better year than John Lannan. They've got former lefty Pirates ace (as was Tom Gorzelanny) Zach Duke who has had a tremendous year in Syracuse. If you are going against the Braves in the playoffs left-handers are an advantage. The problem with him he isn't on the 40-man roster. That might be easily resolved by September 1st. And of course you've got JZimmn, Gio, EJax and Det. Honestly, looking at the playoffs, where the Nats are weak is in the bullpen. The inconsistency of HRod and Storen definitely put a crimp in things. We'll have to see how Christian Garcia does.

  104. BigCat - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Yes, agree Pig. I can feel the masses forming for battle. I am not in favor of overthrowing Stra….just stretching him out. I think these so called "experts" are wrong about not being able to stretch out the innings. How bout when a guy goes on the 15 day DL for a sore arm etc.

  105. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Totally unprovoked? Not on your life as Riggleman used to say. Make that five emails. And redundant meme of mine … I am doing the way everyone on the blog keeps asking for. If it persists they will know that it really isn't me, and this blog is open to trolls who denigrate and demean other people (why I suppose he would even do it to Mark?) using their handles. Going against the rules Mark stipulated not too long ago.pRAA with the ISO said…Make that four, peric. I'm writing Mark to complain about pRAA, too.peric is the master at commenting about the personality of another poster. He spews paragraphs of abuse and threats at other posters, but because he spews so much verbiage in general the vile stuff gets lost in the shuffle. Go back and re-read the comments on yesterday's threads. He abuses Sofa, NatsLady, Seamhead and myself – all totally unprovoked – and then tries to smooth it over as if he's the poor victim. Hard as it may be to believe, people buy that argument from him – just like you just did.

  106. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    What games are you watching that tell you SS is strong as a bull? He has been pulled from games due to Icy Hot,a nail clipper cut, heat exhaustion, rain. The other night the ump gets hit and he immediately gets rattled and gives up a run.In the dome where it was 73 degress, he was red-faced and soaked with sweat. He is brilliantly talented but has very few major league starts on the books, falls in love with his breaking stuff, overthrows , and generally is still learning what to do out there. I think he walked at least three yesterday and has been going many full counts. Pitch efficiency will be for next year. I don't think shutting him down will be hard – I think he is already showing signs of being gassed.He pitches under stress a lot. Again – the talent is brilliant – it covers up the stuff he is still trying to learn and cope with. He deserves ( even if he doesn't know it) the full recovery time that JZim had to be ready for spring training fresh as a daisy. And the injuries that cop up later are not usually elbow – they are shoulder- related. Has to do with mechanics and over compensating. Now can we talk about our awesome team that has won so many road games? That means whoever pitches the ninth knows that his team does not get to bat again. It also means unfamiliar territory and hostile fans. Talk about pitching? – The ninth inning on the road is where the stress is.And the glory.

  107. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    1a, thank you very much. I think I am better off waiting for the right deal.how nice would be to have JJ next to SS and GG!

  108. A DC Wonk - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    people buy that argument from him – just like you just did. I'm not buying any argument from anybody, I can think for myself, thanks. The post of yours that set me off, and why I just wrote to Mark, wasn't just some post that contained an insult, but it was all insult and no other comment.

  109. TheManBearPig - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    BigCat, a pitcher going on the DL would mean rehab after the recovery, which would add to the overall workload, no? Anyway, because of the short rotation in the post-season and the depth the Nats have in starting pitching, you could make a pretty good argument that it would be a mistake to try to defer Strasburg's innings until the post-season, even if you could do it successfully.

  110. Tcostant - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Hey BigCat -Rizzo did say in the spring the goal was "playing meaningful games in September", a.k.a. fighting for a playoff spot. So I think your take is dead on.

  111. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Pretty funny shutdown drinking game on twitter. Ah – some much- needed humor. Again- the level of emotion and hostility being expressed by people who have nothing to do with this situation is truly astonishing. I guess it was good for Melky as it seemed no one even noticed his suspension outside of San Fransisco. At least King Felix got some attention. That's what it apparently takes at this point.

  112. Candide - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Baseballswami: "I guess it was good for Melky…" Tell that to him when he starts missing his paycheck for eight weeks…

  113. Jaxpo Nat - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    This story has simply become the whipping boy for all those MLB fans that have grown to hate innings limits for pitchers over the past ten years. Their responses should not be viewed as rational arguments, especially the talking heads with no access to insider medical information.

  114. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Any idea what he makes a year and how much he will forfeit? I am sure that I could make do if they need a place to send it! Anyone know where it goes?

  115. mick - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    I think Ray Knight said it well about Melky… very frustrating and sad

  116. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    I'm rejecting that. Not feeling abused by peric. Yes, he tweaks me about Werth and CMW, but also makes me think. I admire smart people, and if he's frustrated with some of the stuff that happens on this board, well, so am I; I'm just older and apply the 10-minute rule (most of the time). The only thing I object to is racist, sexist, or vulgar comments, and I've never seen that out of peric. (If you think I think I'm stupid because someone calls me stupid then then you haven't met my IQ.)So, if you are the same pRAA who posts the racist stuff, no thanks for the defense, take it elsewhere. If you're not, fine, I apologize–it might be better if you used another handle to save confusion.

  117. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Honestly, unless there's a way to have Stras available for the postseason, and there isn't, there's no benefit to "stretching him out" into late September. A win is a win is a win for purposes of getting to the playoffs and our playoff seeding, except, as Wonk notes, for wins against the Braves. Those count double because not only do we win, but they lose, something that we otherwise have no control over.We have two series against the Braves left — this coming week and Sept. 13-15 in Atlanta. If Davey adopts pRAA's suggestion which I fleshed out a few days ago to go with a six man rotation as soon Lannan arrives in September, Strasburg could pitch his last game in that series in Atlanta and finish with 169.33 innings (assuming 6 innings per start). If he sticks with a five man rotation, Stras would have to pitch 175.33. That's still under Rizzo's 180 upper limit, if that report has any merit, but somehow seems less likely.Seems to me that Stras's ultimate innings limit may depend on how close we are in the standings to ATL as that crucial mid-Sept. series approaches.

  118. Drew - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Every day of this glorious season it feels like I'm driving along the Pacific Coast highway, marveling at the cliffs, the sun and the vast, endless sea.The reverie ends with shouting from the back seat."He hit me first!"

  119. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    222, hit it right with that one. If no postseason, use Stras judiciously to maximize our divisional chances and that's it.

  120. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Crime and Punishment!What do you all think?

  121. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    The PCH is nice just watch out for that cold wind and the winter weather brought on by the fog!

  122. NatsNut - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    pretty much everything swami said in this post = +1

  123. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    NatsLady, not sure how much you read late night peric, but he makes plenty of vulgar comments. (See last night's diatribe against JoeS, for example.). I also recall plenty of sexist attacks against MichelleS, and age-ist ones against NJ. Your skin may be thicker than some. I have chosen to ignore him whenever possible, even when he says things that are just plain silly and cry out for a response. It's just not necessary to rebut each of his points and if you get in a back and forth with him it tends to make this blog about him, which makes it boring for everyone other than the person sparring with him. Sometimes I backslide, and for that I apologize. I urge you and others to consider a moratorium. You'll feel better and this blog will be a more congenial and interesting place.

  124. NatsNut - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    I'm so sick of the shutdown conversation I almost want to just shut him down now. Almost.

  125. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    I agree with KLaw about testosterone … it doesn't really provide much in the way of performance enhancements. But what KLaw doesn't say is that it does provide a significant advantage to older players! That is it mitigates injuries and helps the body heal faster. For younger players it can mean lifting weights, massive workouts without the requisite rest in between. In other words you can get very strong very fast … but everyone who has ever done both will tell you its far better to take the longer road and build up naturally for a wide variety of reasons.

  126. NatsNut - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Faraz and 1a, glad you brought up the topic of cold weather gear. I've been thinking about shopping for a nice thick Nats jacket soon too. For those arctic games in April and September, I've just been geting by with a red hat and just my non-team-specific coats and gloves, etc. But this year I'm pretty sure I'll want something very Nats specific and very October specific. (I still CANNOT believe this team is doing this)

  127. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    NatsNut – amen! Seriously – is there anything at all that hasn't been said a hundred times? So many other things going on. Pick any player – I could go on about something I like about them. Road record? Check. Resilience and perseverance? Check. Excitement and Natitude around here? Check. Every game, every series something new and fun is happening. What's everyone's thoughts about Suzuki at this point? I am still in the camp that he's an average catcher, interchangeable with the others we have had. Except with Gio, who obviously loves working with him. He got some hits, but in games where pretty much everyone was teeing off. I don't think he has shown any exceptional defense or thrown out a runner yet. I am giving him a solid "ok". Still reserving judgement. Anyone else ready to talk about something else?

  128. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    FS, the punishment is one thing, but how do these guys keep getting away with it? I get that they have a union, but how about everyone just comes in and leaves a urine sample before and after every game and then they have random testing? With hundreds of millions at stake surely they can afford it. Testing is more stringent in the minors but the stakes are so much higher in the majors–seems backwards.

  129. NCNatsie - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    I think Stras schedule should be tinkered with just enough to allow him to pitch either Game 1 of the playoffs, or (shudder) the Wild Card game.That way he gets a share of playoff glory and the rotation gets a huge boost by having one game taken care of before they even have to start rotating.

  130. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    NatsNut said… I'm so sick of the shutdown conversation I almost want to just shut him down now. Almost.Maybe the shutdown happens like the Miss Iowa game. We don't know what criteria Rizzo is using; maybe he sees something in warmups and says "Okay, it's time." Then the bullpen can come on and shut down the stunned opposition with a staged reading of Fifty Shades of Gray.

  131. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  132. pRAA with the ISO - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    peric, in most cultures people consider scatalogical and fecal references to be vulgar. YMMV, obviously.

  133. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    NatsLady, not sure how much you read late night peric, but he makes plenty of vulgar comments. (See last night's diatribe against JoeS, for example.). I also recall plenty of sexist attacks against MichelleS, and age-ist ones against NJ. Your skin may be thicker than some. Clearly, 222, your knowledge of the language is limited. But I suppose the definition of vulgar can be qualitative. As for MichelleS she and Natsjack were having a wonderful time making denigrating sideways third person comments at my expense. Almost continuously. You are complaining about my defending myself from the cliques that you seem to be a part of … you should see some of the late night comments and rants that Joe Seamhead made about me … you didn't see them but I haven't forgotten. And honestly I am happy you choose to ignore me. I am much happier without your responding to my comments. From my perspective there is no value added to them.

  134. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Don't make me pull this car over. :-)Drew said… Every day of this glorious season it feels like I'm driving along the Pacific Coast highway, marveling at the cliffs, the sun and the vast, endless sea. The reverie ends with shouting from the back seat. "He hit me first!" August 16, 2012 5:25 PM

  135. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    So, three times the Dodgers walk McCutch. Twice, Garret Jones homers behind him. Somehow Kemp and Donnie Baseball got themselves ejected in the 2nd inning. Maybe not the best strategy? (I only have Gameday right now(.

  136. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    I was watching Intentional Talk earlier and evidently there was something of a dust-up involving Blanton (who was being restrained by teammates) and the home plate ump.

  137. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    NatsLady – I read something on twitter about blanton getting ejected. Also something about Hanley and AJ Burnett having some kind of a dust up. Is it cranky day in mlb? I am interesting in hearing more detail about these things. Must keep my mind occupied on the off day. Will begin to investigate further.

  138. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    natsfan1a – we have been spending too much time "together" – we are using the same terminology!

  139. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    We've got to stop meeting like this, swami. :-)

  140. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Well, if Blanton got ejected in the 2nd his ghost was pitching because according to Gameday he was in there until the 5th. Maybe two incidents??

  141. natsfan1a - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Y'all might be able to figure out the sequence from the Pirates site game thread (link below) if you're inclined to delve. From comments there, it sounds like Kemp was barking at the HP ump from the dugout. Not sure about the rest of the stuff, but gotta go eat something.ttp://www.forums.mlb.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=21&nav=messages&webtag=ml-pirates&tid=64114

  142. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    OK, I know there's only 140 characters, but this is funny.FOX Sports: MLB ‏@MLBONFOXJoe Blanton gives up 3 homers, gets relieved then gets ejected. He's now the 3rd player to get ejected from #Dodgers / #Pirates game.

  143. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    So Juan Rivera gets HBP and a run scores? Ya gotta believe it was unintentional, right? I might have to watch this game when I get home.

  144. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Baseball shenanigans. You have got to love it!

  145. Candide - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    FWIW, I don't find peric's posts nasty. But I grew up in NY, where people don't get offended until you back your car over them three or four times…

  146. Marty - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I'll only post this one thing about the shutdown, I swear.It seems to me that Strasburg has the power to make this a lot easier for Rizzo with a simple quote like:"I won't like it, but before the season started Rizzo and I talked vague numbers and I can appreciate his reasons and the concern for my future behind them."Maybe I haven't seen it, but it seems like alot of the reason that this "debate" has been allowed to persist is the slight fostering of an idea that Strasburg is in the dark about the whole thing.On a side note this blog needs a moderator or the ability to mute posters.

  147. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Only two, Marty. Only two.

  148. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Yeah, pretty thick skinned. Grew up on the South Side of Chicago where mother was half a word and then lived twenty years in NY where mother+ modified every noun and a lot of adjectives. It was only in my older years that I migrated to this, er, gentle town…

  149. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Rivero hit his 10th home run for the Chiefs … but I guess its probably an impossible dream to think of trading him for something before he expires.

  150. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    @CitizenMeyers: Zach Duke tied for team lead in Quality Starts w/ 11 (Lannan, Maya also w/ 11). Chiefs w/ 100 R (4.34 R per G) for Duke coming into this (Maya 76 next).

  151. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Zach Duke leads the International League in wins at this juncture.

  152. mick - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    I like Peric and love to debate him when we disagree… he has great insight and passion as do all of us for the Nats. I decided a month ago to calm down and I feel better for it. I think peric adds a lot of food for thought and growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, it makes me laugh that some get so upset with him… don't personalize it. We all love this team, just like we all love our nation, we may have different views on both, but we all share the same common denominator: WE ARE NATS NATION!!!

  153. Candide - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Post reporting that CMW is back on rehab assignment again, so Nats don't have to put him back on the 25-man for now.

  154. peric - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    ThomasBoswellWP: Since May 15 (3 mos), Strasburg has worst ERA in Nats rotation (3.96). Z'mann 2.42, Detwiler 3.40, Jackson 3.76, Gonzalez 3.82.

  155. baseballswami - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    I see that Bryce had his camp for kids today. I saw a video of him pitching to kids and laughing. Sounds like this might be just the ticket for him to get a little fun back into his baseball life and relax a little. I hope the guys had some nice r and r today, but don't lose focus. As for the other blah-di-blah – I just don't think there is ever a situation where fans posting on a blog need to personally insult others. Debate and disagreement are fine. Just as long as you don't disagree with me that Jordan is the best pitcher in major league baseball. Just sayin' :)

  156. Candide - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    …and anyone who disagrees with you is worse than Hitler.

  157. mick - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    swami… lololol on the Jordan post

  158. NatsLady - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Interesting on the ERA… speaking of which, did they give LaRoche an error last night or did Clip get charged with an earned?

  159. mick - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    This Morse streak is fascinating…. combine it with the excitement of the pennant race (I get chills actually saying that), the you know what controversy and DC becomes the most high profiled MLB team going into September, not the Yankees. This has George Steinbrenner rolling over in his grave, lol

  160. mick - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    W need Nats park to sound like the Bronx Zoo in September

  161. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Mixed feelings about Morse's streak – well, not the actual streak, of course. I love that – 22 games, right? Very little attention being paid, Reyes got more, of course. You would think that the Cole, whiny- baby situation would have caused even a little bit of controversy. Not saying Mikey wants it or anything. Most of the Nats prefer a low profile, I think. You can tell a team is loose when Adam made that Ooopsy-daisy and they were all chuckling about it after the game. I think they almost liked the chance to return the favor and pick him up for a change! This team doesn't panic. So- I am stressed out when the Nats play and restless when they don't. Anyone else at loose ends right now?

  162. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Big moment! Godwin's Law has once again been invoked.

  163. Joe Seamhead - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  164. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    swami…. you bet

  165. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    After Zimmerman, Morse is the best hitter the Nats have. Its a shame he doesn't even realize it. He is definitely their most potent power bat. And as August progresses the frequency of his extra base hits goes up. Just what the Nats need to propel them the rest of the way to the division title. This will be the third year (one almost complete) that Morse has proven he can lead an offense with his bat. It does tend to make him an attractive trade chip in the offseason, however, if he continues to break out who could they find to replace him? There really isn't anyone and according to Ladson (if you listen to a guy who says he won't call Roger Bernadina the Shark because he doesn't hit like Pujols) they are going after a singles hitting leadoff guy? I strongly suspect, that if Morse were a left-handed bat, or an effective switch hitter, the Nats would have locked him up in a longer-term contract.With left-handed LaRoche having one of his best years, Zimmerman having another injury shortened one, and Rendon (hopefully) due in the majors perhaps next year … Davey is going to have his hands full working with the FO on the 2013 lineup. Its going to be interesting … but not as controversial as the Nats getting into the playoffs without Stras.Well, I guess its Washington … maybe that's why? Maybe the imminent Israeli strike on Iran will get Strasgate out of their minds? Well, at least one positive would at least come of it?

  166. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    On the Stras debate. May I recommend this wonderfully written article from Amanda:The Team

  167. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Peric..Werth is batting over 400 since his return, he also gave the team an emotional lift when he came back. In fact, there are 2 moments this season that wwe need to cement for all time in our memries, if the Nats win the Pennant:1) Lannan's first game back, may have saved this young teams season. i say that, because the Nats were coming off the 9-0 comeback by Braves from Friday night and the close loos in the first game of the double header. The team was fragile at that point in my view. Lannan got off to a shaky first inning. The Nats dramitically battled back along with Lannan. That win was HUGE2) After the emotional win being down 7-3 to Brewers and then down 9-7 and winning, the team was emotionally and physically exhausted returning to DC verse Phillies. When Werth returned, it seemed like the energy came back at once and the young players seemed to be relaxed ina good way.Those two moments mark down. My initial point is that Werth's value to this team was put on display at that moment and as I said, he is batting over 400

  168. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Joe S. Will you be at any of the games this weekend? SJM308, I should (crossing fingers) be at Justin's on Saturday. Sunshine, where are you sitting on Sunday?NatsJack, see you Saturday Night. Any others that are coming, hope to see you there as well

  169. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    This is totally unscientific of course, but I see something more in Jayson's demeanor now. It' almost like he has found that hunger again. So much talk about the pitching- our line up cannot be a fun journey. Even with Bryce struggling, he can hurt you real badly at any moment. Even our pitchers offer no respite. Keep it coming!

  170. A DC Wonk - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    peric said… ThomasBoswellWP: Since May 15 (3 mos), Strasburg has worst ERA in Nats rotation (3.96). Z'mann 2.42, Detwiler 3.40, Jackson 3.76, Gonzalez 3.82.I wish those stupid talking heads would take note of something like this!

  171. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Chipper just got another HR. Jason (Marquis) you are failing us!

  172. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    In reference to Amanda's article,One thing I do appreciate is our local writers have a better read on the pulse of NatsTown. As you have seen on this board, most of us are okay with the "Shutdown" – we have tried to figure out ways around it, to manipulate it, whatever, but in the end, we all know that it is what is best not only for the future of the franchise, but that of the Player (how refreshing is that the FO actually cares about a player?). And the local writers have taken that into account, when the talking heads, so call experts, etc, have SCREAMED at the Nats fans on how they feel, they have provided rebuttals to all that nonsense.And for that I thank them. Amanda, Mark, Boz, Adam, James, Dan Daly, Byron, Dan Kolko, Chase (for digging up all the stuff) and others have at least provided a counter point to all the nonsense and I can't tell you how refreshing that is. And how much it is appreciatedSo THANKS again Mark for all that you do!

  173. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Those two moments mark down. My initial point is that Werth's value to this team was put on display at that moment and as I said, he is batting over 400They needed a middle order of the lineup bat Mick. He isn't that. May never be again. And as I pointed out Bernadina is actually hitting better than Werth and that's through July and August. And he got benched when Werth came back. Losing a hot left-handed bat against right-handed pitching (and they are now all going to be gunning for the Nats) may not be the best thing for this team. But that's not the point. Werth is at the end of his prime. He needed to produce now to be worth the contract he signed. Its not happening. As not much time goes by and those nagging injuries like his ankle build-up he will eventually have to be given the role of a bench player or else he will block someone who can do the job for 162 games and should be in the lineup. The Nats could end up trading that player if Werth continues to start and perhaps watch that player blossom into to full fledged offensive and defensive star? Or they might have to pass up a chance at such a player from the outside. I think I said this earlier. I am into Rizzo/Clark/Minniti's plus Johnson's concept of building for the long-haul, avoiding the one-and-done mentality. Its the first point they make when listing the rationale behind Stras's shutdown. Jayson Werth the starter does not fit that model. He is already significantly underachieving when you compare his last years in Philly. Jayson Werth the bench player, late inning fielding replacement and mentor might.

  174. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Here's another.Thomas Boswell ‏@ThomasBoswellWPSince 5/15 Nats .571 w Stras, .623 w other SP. Full yr 17-7 w Stras but still .597 w/out = 2nd best% in MLB. Better w SS, ~.600 team w/out.

  175. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Wonk.. the stupid talking heads are exaclty what you said – Stupid. They only care about instant gratification and not about careers or people. Sometimes, I am so suprised by how the football tough guy mentality has taken over every sport (and look where that has put some NFL players – not even including the concussion stuff, most can't walk because of knee/hip issues). That is what I love about our fan base. We get it, we may not like the plan at times, but we understand it. And we want a long term future, not a 1 hit wonder (see the Marlins for that)

  176. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Peric… your points are well taken, I am speaking about Werth in terms of this season. You may be right about 2013 and beyond, we will see. Believe me the Shark has been spectacular and both Werth and him compliment the team well.However, I think the signing of Werth was vital at the time because the Nats needed to make a statement to future free agents. In other words, I know it seems contradictory to sign a Werth when you have a great farm system, but, in the future… Nats may need that one player to make them dominant and a free agent could fill that hole. By signing Werth, it removed the reputation that the Nats will not sign a high price free agent. We of course can argue was Werth the free agent they should have gone after, but from what I see, he is valuable and plays better when he is surrounded by other good players as he was in Philly. We now have good players and I am seeing the Werth I saw in Philly

  177. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    I don't think the Nats are worried about having enough starting pitching at this point …@ChiefsRadio: Zach Duke also just completed 7 scoreless innings tonight…he's now thrown 19 straight scoreless frames.

  178. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    MicheleS said…Wonk.. the stupid talking heads are exaclty what you said – Stupid. They only care about instant gratification and not about careers or people. EXCELLENT!!! very well said and let me add that these same people would be the first to crucify Rizzo if Strass did play and was hurt

  179. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Werth is a terrific 5 hole hitter and will be for 2 more seasons. Just ask Charlie Manuel.Packed and ready to fly out in the morning. Anybody want to say hello stop by section 235, row b on the isle. I'll be there as early as possible.

  180. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Every franchise seems to have it's own style and identity. I love the ways ours is shaping up.

  181. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    peric… that is great news on Duke!

  182. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    However, I think the signing of Werth was vital at the time because the Nats needed to make a statement to future free agents.That was actually the only argument that made sense to me and believe me I got severely bashed by thinking it …

  183. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Last I looked Jayson Werth was either leading off or in the 6 hole. And with Ian Desmond coming back? Perhaps the 7 hole. With Rendon on his way? Desmond probably gets the six-hole spot after Zimmerman Morse and LaRoche. I expect it'll be the same next season.

  184. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Bill "the Rocket" Ladson:This is me talking: Everybody is talking about Bryce Harper. My Rookie of the Year vote goes to Steve Lombardozzi.

  185. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    This is why it would be something if Ramos can come back 100% next year, what a lineup!

  186. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    peric… wow?

  187. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Starting to feel that Lombo and Rodney Dangerfield are related, lol

  188. peric - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Bill Ladson @wahingnats: Can't wait to go at with @cheistwtop once Ian Desmond is activated from the DL. #Nats #MLBI definitely recommend watching this if they make a podcast! Hilarious!

  189. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Swami.. Love that comment @8:48Style and identity. I think this benefits the Nats not just this year, but in many years to come. What player would not want to come play for a team that actually cares about the health of a player and doesn't treat them like garbage to be thrown at at the first sign of trouble.Morgan Ensberg (former MLB player) tweetedMorgan Ensberg‏@MorganEnsbergI love #nationals Rizzo. So much respect for caring for his player. Long term strategy will gain respect of players.I am sure many other players (both former and current oens) are thinking this as well.

  190. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    swami comment is spot on at 8:48

  191. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    agreed peric

  192. Candide - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Holy crap, mick is actually putting up some rational posts (looking at 8:47). Amazing what laying off the Coronas on an off night can do for a guy… ;-)

  193. Joe Seamhead - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    MicheleS said… Joe S. Will you be at any of the games this weekend? Michele, I will be there tomorrow, and on Sunday I will be taking an 8 year old to his first MLB game for his 8th birthday present.

  194. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Aww Mick.. even when you have a Corona (or two or a few) you have been posting good stuff ;-)Are the wife and kids monitoring your internet activity?

  195. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Joe S..That is awesome. I will have the degenerate 17 year old nephew with me on Sunday!

  196. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    MicheleS, they monitor my Coronas, lol

  197. mick - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Joe… that is very special.. he , like all of us will NEVER forget their first MLB game.

  198. MicheleS - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    On the Bright side, we won't see Matt Harvey either this weekend. He is really dealing it against the Reds tonight (and thanfully no RA Dickey either – can't believe the ump made him take off those bracelets his kids made for him)

  199. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Hey everyone, I was traveling all day and so I'm just now getting caught up on everything. I've received emails from a number of you, and I'll be getting back to each of you personally once I get a chance. Appreciate all the feedback and insight.In the meantime, might I offer a simple suggestion: Play nice. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.This is a website that is intended to bring people together, not tear them apart. Obviously, anytime you're talking about sports, passions are going to come out and sometimes they go too far. But ultimately, this isn't life or death stuff. It's baseball.Please, by all means, continue to discuss, debate and disagree. That's what is supposed to take place here. But keep the personal attacks out of here. Some of you know each other personally, some of you have never met and only know each other by your online pseudonyms and personas. But behind every pseudonym is a real person, and every person has real feelings. Nobody likes to be insulted, mocked or ridiculed, in real life or online. My general rule of thumb: If you wouldn't say something to someone's face, don't say it online either.And if someone happens to post something that upsets you, here's my best advice of all: ignore it. In my experience, those people who post those kind of things are simply trying to provoke others. They just want to incite a reaction. If you offer no reaction, they cease to have reason to keep provoking.For those wondering, I have no ability to ban individual users from posting on this site. The software simply doesn't offer that option. Not that I've ever wanted to ban someone, because I do honestly believe every single one of you brings something to the table.In case anyone hasn't noticed, the Nationals are approaching the stretch run of the most remarkable baseball season Washington, D.C., has experienced in three generations. From my interactions with so many of you, I know how much this all means to you, how long you've all waited for what we're currently experiencing.Try to keep that in mind when dealing with each other. You all root for the same team, and you all want the same end result. You may disagree at times on the best manner to reach that end result, but you don't disagree on what you want that result to be.I've often said the most rewarding thing about Nats Insider is the community that has been established among readers/fans. Even better is how knowledgeable, passionate and respectful this readership is. And that's not just me saying that. I've heard those very words from people within the Nationals organization who read this site (and the comments) daily and are often impressed with the insight displayed here.I hope you'll do your part to help keep that positive reputation going by refraining from personal insults directed at other readers.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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