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Window with LaRoche closes Saturday

Oct 29, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche can begin negotiating with other clubs on Saturday.

When Miguel Cabrera took a Sergio Romo fastball down the heart of the strike zone late last night, the 2012 Major League Baseball season came to an end. And the Hot Stove League immediately commenced.

While the Giants are busy celebrating and the Tigers are busy moping, everyone else around the sport is preparing for the official start of the offseason, with some important decisions that will need to be made right off the bat.

All eligible players become free agents this morning, a group that will include Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, right-hander Edwin Jackson, left-handers Sean Burnett, Michael Gonzalez and Zach Duke and utilityman Mark DeRosa.

Though they'll technically be free agents right away, those players won't have the right to negotiate with other clubs until five full days have passed. Thus, the Nationals have until Saturday morning toRead more »

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. sjm308 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Mark: can you or one of our knowledgeable posters review what happens if we make an offer and the player rejects it? I believe with Dunn there were draft picks involved but I think the CBA might have changed. I would like LaRoche back for two maybe three years tops but would also like to know if we get any kind of compensation if that does not work. I am not crazy about Jackson but again, would we get anything if we make the offer and he refuses?Thanks as always.Go Nats!! Go Rizzo!!

  2. natsfan1a - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Will be interesting to see what happens with the hot stove.For now, here's hoping that everybody stays warm, dry, and safe today.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    The City of Wilmington, De. is officially closed today and tomorrow. I have changed my flights till next Tuesday.Oh well…..this will be a good test of the new E.O.C. facility they just completed.

  4. MicheleS - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    My vote: Keep Adam. Figure out how to get a Stud pitcher for the last spot on the roster. And get a LOOOGY. Don't fritter around with the ARB eligible players, settle or sign early, NO ARB HEARINGS. I want the focus going into spring training on the field, not off the field.

  5. Another_Sam - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    In the words of the Couch Slouch, "Pay the man, Shirley."NatsJack — Glad you're safe, if immobilized. Here the rain and wind is not all that debilitating yet, in spite of dire forcasts, closed everything, and so on. I'm sure you saw on the tube that Delaware roads are all closed, throughout the state. Go figure that one.

  6. Positively Half St. - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Amen to that natsfan1a, but we will all be stuck inside the next few days, and the start of the Hot Stove could be one of the better distractions until we lose power.+1/2St.

  7. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Pablo Sandoval may have won the MVP but the X Factor in Marco Scutaro was the difference.The Giants were not afraid to change and shake things up. Stars weren't guaranteed starring roles like Tim Lincecum neither was their Opening Day starting 2nd baseman Ryan Theriot or their starting LF Aubrey Huff.

  8. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    sjm, if the Nats make a "qualifying" offer to a Free Agent (e.g., Jackson), it would be for $13.3 MM and one year. If the FA declines, the Nats are entitled to one compensation pick. The pick is "sandwiched" in between the first round and second round of the draft.If the FA then signs with another team, that team loses its first-round draft pick, unless it has draft pick 1 through 10, in which case it loses its second-round pick. So the worst ten teams can sign a FA without losing their first-round pick.

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Sam…..I deal with the State of De. Emergency Management Director and he e-mailed me yesterday that they were shutting down the roads at 5AM this morning to all but essential personnel.It looks like you guys are on the south side of the storm so you should be spared the highest winds which probably won't occur till around midnite tonite.Aside from flooding, the downed tree damage creates the most havoc.What happens is the first half of the storm has winds out of one direction and then from the opposite direction durkng the second half. Trees that don't fail during the first half are weakened and fail during the wind from the opposite direction.As always, the danger that occurs during the storm is one thing. Escape all the danger during the storm only to be miserable for that period after with no utilities.You guys have experienced this too much recently. I wish you well.

  10. Positively Half St. - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    NatsJack-The information on the trees is very helpful. I will try to see which way they blow today, and use that to consider the danger tomorrow.+1/2St.

  11. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I agree, Giants are a great example going for it and winning it all. Something I wish Rizzo had done. Giants added proven vets who played key roles in Aug/Sept and playoffs. Hunter P and Marco S. Giants were not afraid to bench players who were starters but were not performing. Giants. Giants were not locked into a mind set like Nats that said Danny is my 2nd and nothing…not even crippling, mind numbing poor ABs and K's at the key part of the season will change that. Bruce B proved he is a better manager than Davey IF winning is the goal. Nats just made it clear that winning was not the priority…..smart move….we shall see…Look at all the great on paper teams like Rays, Boston, Brewers, who were in the playoffs recently but did not make it at all.

  12. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    So nice to see someone like Ryan Theriot be the DH in an AL park , get on base and score the winning run.

  13. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Angles, Philly, AZ…more examples of playoff teams recently and now what? Take away for me is once you get to the point that you know you are in then do whatever is needed to win it all. Danny E instead of Lombo was stupid. AJax instead of Ryan M. was stupid. Sitting on your hands while Drew Storen melts down over and over….inexcusable really. Unless you are not trying to win. That is my beef with Nats.

  14. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    JayB–who did the Giants bench? They kept almost exactly the same lineup throughout the playoffs. Hunter Pence was pretty bad, Scutaro was great but that was hard to predict given that he was TERRIBLE in Colorado.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Don't waste your typing fingers NatsLady. He's just developing his broken record mantra for this off season.

  16. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    As the season progressed they benched Huff, Ryan T. and plugged in Marco and Pence. Without those trades Giants would not have won any series let along the whole thing.Nats stuck with Danny E and Ajax and it cost them. They did not make the trades needed to win. All of us and National Media were saying they need IF help and another starting pitcher to fill holes. They did get a catcher…they signed an IF who I forget but played what 5 games before being cut. Water under the bridge now…but lesson to learn for Rizzo and Davey. Stop over valuing your own players and make the most out of each season. That is how you win WS…ask the Giants.

  17. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Njack…still waiting to hear your view of Davey's Management of that last game. Did I miss it…no let me guess….stuff happens and Davey could have had all those moves work out so no foul…just harm.

  18. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    AND….. the back-biting started, even before Game 4 and the sweep. Dotel has another year with the Tigers ($3.5MM team option w/ $500K buyout). You know, after reading this, $500K to get rid of this guy might be money well-spent. Prior to Game 4, Tigers' reliever Octavio Dotel took the occasion of an MLB Network Radio appearance to throw some high heat in the way of his teammates. [Dotel] said that, among other things, he didn't see the same kind of fight in this team as he did in last year's World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. "I'll be honest," Dotel told Casey Stern, Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden. "I haven't seen that here." … The veteran right-hander said that he would do it, that he wasn't afraid to do it but also that it wasn't his job. "I will do it," Dotel said. "I'm not afraid to do it, but it's not about me. It's gotta be like Prince (Fielder), (Alex) Avila, Miggy (Cabrera), Jhonny (Peralta), (Omar) Infante, someone. Just make something happen."

  19. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Cesar Izturis. If you can't remember who was on the team when you are criticizing Rizzo, why should I read your posts?

  20. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Oh Yea….that was the nobody else wanted him move that was a response to Hole that is Danny E. Point is that Davey should have played the best players in the Playoffs….he did not do that he played the same players. Lombo was the clear choice over Danny.Don't read posts that are critical of Nats….just assume everything is good and happens for a reason. That seems to be the mantra of so many here. Problem is…..that is not real life. Benching Huff and Plugging in Marco S and Hunter P. won the world series. Signing C. Izturis off waiver wire did nothing.

  22. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    1-2 count right….why should I read your posts :)

  23. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. natsfan1a - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I'm finding that actual, you know, work, provides a distraction. As a freelancer, if the project doesn't get done, I don't get paid. That fact tends to focus the mind rather nicely when I'm lucky enough to have a project in-house. Y'all have fun hot-stoving, though. :-)Positively Half St. said… Amen to that natsfan1a, but we will all be stuck inside the next few days, and the start of the Hot Stove could be one of the better distractions until we lose power. +1/2St. October 29, 2012 8:13 AM

  25. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    corrected.Bochy did EXACTLY what Davey did. Davey went with the percentages. Kozma is a lousy hitter and had a 1-2 count against him. In the second inning of Game 7 against the Cardinals, Matt Cain was pitching with runners on first and third, one out and No. 8 hitter Pete Kozma at the plate. Daniel Descalso went on to steal second. Had Mike Matheny been managing the Giants, there’s a good chance the steal would have led to an intentional walk of Kozma, setting up the double play with the pitcher up. Bochy, though, let Cain face Kozma, got a strikeout and then retired Lohse on a looping liner to short. As a result, it was inning over, instead of Jon Jay potentially being up with the bases loaded and two outs.

  26. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Mindless….Really? focused, repetitive, OK…mindless….sorry…don't see that.

  27. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    NatsLady, come on, you are smart enough to know the situation wasnt EXACT. One out in the 2nd inning is vastly different from 2 outs in the 9th when in Bochys situation you walk Kozma and the pitcher bunts you get the leadoff with 2 in scoring position.

  28. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Izturis was an insurance policy because of injuries. When Desi came back, he was let go. I don't understand why that was a stupid move. It cost next to nothing, and Izturis, though he can't hit much, is a slick fielder. If I recall, he made an error in his first game, and after that he was fine.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I've said it before and I'll say it again…. get me to the 9th inning and hand over a 2 run lead to my closer and I'll take it EVERY TIME. I don't care how I get there.

  30. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Gonat, not exact. But the same thinking–don't give away bases.

  31. Section 222 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    NL — the situations were NOT analogous. Two words: Jason Motte. Plus, it was the top of the 9th in Game 5, not the top of the 2nd. Plus, there were two outs, not one. Come on.

  32. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I DO think there were some things that should have been done differently. Very much so. But that is water under the bridge now. I watched almost every post season game and it's very eye-opening. My take-away is that the Nats needed to get their feet wet and see that those games are not just another game, another series – you do have to adjust to the format. What is ticking me off about Detroit is that everyone is making excuses for them because of the layoff. How about the giants pitched their butts off just when they needed to? How about their defense? I admire their team-first , unselfish style also. I think the Nats have all of those things in their arsenal. The one thing I would like to have seen the Nats do better is the situational hitting late in games when runs are stingy. If our pitchers had been an iota better, who knows what would have happened? I will be interested to see how the off season plays out roster-wise. Giants found a little playoff magic. National League baseball showed that it is more complex, more detail oriented, and far more sophisticated. Three straight years of dominance in the allstar game and world series. Will mixing the AL and NL all throughout the season, plus these losses, change al baseball at all? Now we begin the waiting game.

  33. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    NJ, right. And get me 98 wins and win your Division, and I'll take it every time. Other than EJax and Gonzalez, none of the pitchers had ever been in the playoffs before. As I said previously, everything is different, the rest, the travel, the off-field publicity, the cold weather, the pressure of one mistake and season over, with a lot of $$ hanging on it. I don't think it's too much to say that our young team, especially the pitchers, were not adequately prepared, and for that I fault Davey (and McCatty). Not for individual on-field moves, but for not communicating to the players "what it takes" to switch over from the regular season where you play bad teams to the playoffs where you don't.

  34. Section 222 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Owe you a coke Gonat.NJ — the cult of the closer must end. There is just no way Drew should have been left in there to lose the game. Romo showed how you save big games. Throw strikes. If you can't do that on any given night, you should be replaced. I don't care if you're a great established closer or a third year guy who is obviously melting down. Everyone has a bad day, and there were guys sitting in the bullpen who might have been able to get the last out against a number eight hitter, or if Davey made the right move — the last PH on the bench.

  35. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    swami, same thought. The adjustment was not made. Next year, no excuses. They've been there, and hopefully are battle-hardened.

  36. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    OK, so don't call Storen your "closer." Call him your best reliever–which he is. Get to the 9th with a 2-run lead and your best reliever available…The game would have been over if Storen had picked off Molina. To me, that says it all. No play or move in the ninth inning bothered me more than that piece of negligence, and a piece of negligence that EVERYONE had known about–even to the point of one of the posters here calling Rizzo on it in Rizzo's call-in show.

  37. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Njack….that's right I forgot you did say that. For me game if not over until the last out. Managing responsibilities are not over with a two run lead. He stopped managing. He lost it. He did not keep his head in the game in that 9th inning. Walking Pete to get Mott out of the game…..had to do it…his mind had gone blank…maybe just like you thinking…I got what I wanted a lead and my closer…done.

  38. Section 222 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    TOTALLy agree on that NL. Storen's inattention to the baserunner was inexcusable.I don't disagree that getting to your closer or best reliever or whatever you want to call him with a 2 run lead is a great goal. But you need to win those games. The cult of the closer or best reliever is what causes managers to leave a clearly ineffective closer or best reliever in too long. That's what I'm saying. Storen's failure to notice that Molina was running before he started his delivery to the plate was one sign that he was overwhelmed by the challenge. Walking Freese and Molina because he insisted in repeating sliders off the plate was another. Ryan "two pitch/three outs" Mattheus should have been given a shot to save the game at that point, or at least keep it tied so the Nats could win it in the bottom of the inning.I know I'm being repetitive. Intentionally so. I love Davey and I like Storen a lot. But I refuse to let people rewrite history and portray that loss as just one of those things that happens in baseball that no one could have done anything about. This is not to say that there weren't plenty of other goats — Gio, E-Jax, Clipp, sleeping bats from the 3rd inning on. But we had a two run lead in the 9th with our closer or best reliever or whatever you want to call him on the mound. We should have won that game.

  39. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    On player personnel, someone said towards the end of the season that Davey was going to do it 'his' way and live by the sword and die by the sword. You could just feel it, Daveys way or the highway. Forget the 9th inning of Game 5. Hows about the 1st inning of Game 1 or the 1st inning of Game 2 or the 1st inning of Game 3 or the 1st inning of Game 4 or the 1st inning of Game 5 to make at least ONE change?????? Davey had his Marco Scutaro in the body of Steve Lombardozzi who had as many hits as Danny Espinosa in his first at-bat and he chose to go all 5 games with the same lineup.

  40. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Yea…mindless to question Davey and Rizzo…Mindless to point out problems in Davey's way or bust….Mindless to point out Danny E AB's were clearly automatic K's. Mindless to keep managing until the last out.Mindful?…..That's baseball and I support Davey and Rizzo this year no matter what they do. Next year I will expect more…….Interesting….

  41. Constant Reader - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Bear with me … I'm going to try to have a cathartic moment. I still believe that if we get that one strike, we go on to win it all. I think we were a better team than the Giants. The Cards falling apart certainly helped my recovery process. Boz's column on team's ability to handle pressure was really spot-on. I'll continue believe that the experience of surviving Game 5 against StL would have catapulted us forward. We couldn't hold it together. Therefore I have to accept that we weren't ready and that we will be better in '13 through '16 for the searing experience. That final out celebration is occurring for us next year.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    The 2nd guessing has been done. I gave my thoughts as the game was progressing. NatsJack is correct, the closer didn't do his job and it happens quite often in the Majors. Congrats to the Cardinals.Yes, by Game 3 I'm benching Danny and I would have gone with Lannan over EJax as I said before as Big Game John earned it in my eyes and I know besides John and his family I am probably the only one who thinks that.

  43. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Well, I don't think Davey's "way" goes unquestioned. Remember the Rizzo fight? But as I said before, if Davey had brought in Mattheus and he'd given up a 2-run dinger–as he is entirely capable of doing–then the second-guessing would go the other way.

  44. rabbit34 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I have no problem with anyone on the list leaving; and that's important. This year the Giants won. Who cares? And O'bama is still president. Next year the Nationals will win. Who cares? And, O'bama will not be president. Ah, the cycle of life just keeps on going. You can take that to the bank. Absolutely.

  45. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Constant Reader, I hear you. But the experience of holding on against the Nats didn't stop the Cards from "folding" after they were up 3-1 to the Giants. We can't know what would have happened, as the Giants got hot at exactly the right time and they have a capable manager. I do think we would have beaten the Tigers.

  46. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Angles, Philly, Brewers, Rays, Boston (+1y I know), AZ….no return to Playoffs…..CReader….Not a sure thing at all. We were very very lucky not to have any pitching injuries…that is not going to happen again lost likely.

  47. Tcostant - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    sjm308 said… can you or one of our knowledgeable posters review what happens if we make an offer and the player rejects it? I believe with Dunn there were draft picks involved but I think the CBA might have changed. I would like LaRoche back for two maybe three years tops but would also like to know if we get any kind of compensation if that does not work. I am not crazy about Jackson but again, would we get anything if we make the offer and he refuses?Thanks as always.Go Nats!! Go Rizzo!! —————-Me:In ALR case, we get no draft picks as he isn't a free agent due to options. If he leave, we get no picks.The new rules work like this. If you player is a free agent and you offer a one year deal at the average of the top 125 players in baseball (about $13.5M this year). Then this what happens assume he doesn't sign with orginial teams.The team signing the player losses it first round pick unless it's in the Top 10, in that case would loss second round pick. This pick just disappears and no longer goes to the team lossing the player.The team lossing the player gets just a sandwich pick between the first and second round.

  48. JD - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I think it's all BS. I said before the playoffs that when once you get in the tournament it's a crap shoot. It's not Bochy's brilliance and it's certainly not the overall quality of the team (The Giants were the 4th best team in the NL); it's momentum and luck. The Giants should have been closed out by Cincinnati and St.Louis but they weren't so that's that. I think the idea of taking Storen out is ludicrous.1st of all he wasn't missing by much and 2nd of all you can't lose with your 4th best reliever; let's not sit here and pretend that Matheus was a sure bet to get the last out.

  49. Greg - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Let Adam go. Let Tyler Moore play first and use the money that would have gone to Adam on Pitching.

  50. UnkyD - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Sigh…. Only a few months til pitchers and catchers… Not so long to endure the relentless negativism of JayB. Yes, it's valid criticism, yes he's entitled to his opinion, but when a young team and organization wins 98 games, claims the division, outright, and comes within a strike of advancing….. And JayB doesn't find more than a half-dozen positive comments, all year… Sorry, no props for validity, here. I'm a happy person (in part) because I ignore the Eeyores… Enjoy your irrelevance…..

  51. JD - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    JayB, The idea is to keep getting back into the tournament; the notion that you win by getting Marco Scutaro is 2nd guessing at it's worst. Marco Scutaro is a journeyman infielder who has been on 7 teams who just happened to get hot at the right time. This happens every year and you can't plan for it. Next thing you will exalt the brilliance of signing Grigor Blanco.

  52. JD - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Unkyd, It's not valid criticism because 98 wins is exactly what everyone should be judged on vs. what happened in 1 inning of 1 game.

  53. JD - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    JayB, Your criticism of Danny E. should include the point that Desmond came off a miserable year in 2010 using your logic he would have been let go and replaced before putting together the best year of any shortstop in the majors.

  54. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    JD, exactly. It's not as if Storen was pitching like Valverde. He had just saved Game 1 with a 1 run lead (3-2) and given up nada in the ninth of Game 4 (tie game). If you say that we "should" have won the game because we were up 2 in the 9th inning and the win-expectancy was sky-high, then you can't argue Storen "should" have been replaced with Mattheus or that Kozma should have been intentionally walked. Both of those moves lower the chances of winning. Davey wasn't asleep at the switch. He went with his best pitcher and with the percentage of not taking away a 1-2 count. I think the idea of taking Storen out is ludicrous.1st of all he wasn't missing by much and 2nd of all you can't lose with your 4th best reliever; let's not sit here and pretend that Matheus was a sure bet to get the last out.

  55. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Hunter Pence is not Blanco. C. Izturus is not Marco. Tim L. to the BP is not Ajax starting. Watching Storen melt down ins not managing. He clearly had no idea what was going on around him. Runners on base, counts…he was lost.

  56. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    NatsLady, Davey made well thought out decisions and some of those decisions didn't work out. It happens all the time. Hard to over-analyze who he brought in or didn't bring into the game, and if those players didn't perform well its on those players however sometimes the Manager has to know when a player can't do the job.That is case in point with Danny who had his BA and OBP drop from July to August and further erode in September. He put up a month high in strikeouts in September. Lombo got a season low in plate appearances in September and it appeared Davey was going full in no matter what with Espinosa. I just feel Davey owed it to the other 24 players that Danny needed to be benched in September in favor of Lombo or at least as SteveM said above that you bench Danny by Game 3.By the way, Danny isn't the reason the Nats lost the series but you never know if Lombo could have done a better job.

  57. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    2010 we lost a ton of games and was out of Playoff race by July right…who cares at that point if Ian plays here or in the Minor Leagues.Danny E was killing a team that had more talent than anyone and should have been in World Series if not the winner…..big difference between 2010 and 2012…not the time to put player development above winning.

  58. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Storen was the guy on the mound, yes, but lots of things happened leading up to that point that were not good baseball. The bleeding started almost immediately and then gushed at the end. I don't think Storen had pitched three days in a row since coming back off the dl and he had pitched in high-leverage situations. I know – we have gone over this a thousand times. There are some things you can control — you have to get to the playoffs first, you have to have good pitching and you MUST have a good defense. One thing I noticed is that the team that wins has made the fewest mistakes. Not errors- mistakes. That kind of every-second concentration is critical. The Giants executed all aspects of baseball skills extremely well. It's a tightrope and they kept their balance. If you noticed, though, their newer, younger guys – Crawford and Belt – had some difficulties with the game going too fast. They recovered and had the rest of the team's experience to back them up.

  59. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    JD, judging 98 (actually 100) wins vs. 1 inning. True–BUT– here I need to argue against you for a moment. Sometimes that one inning is very high leverage. There was a sense after the 6-0 lead, and certainly after Suzuki's RBI single that "we got this." I know I was mentally sending emails! Next year everyone, including fans, ESPECIALLY fans, will know better. Davey and the boys have shown they can get to the postseason, and despite Game 5, they held their own in the postseason. On to the Hot Stove.

  60. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    JD, I think JayB is using Marco Scutaro symbolically as it could have been any position and any player but keep in mind Rizzo did upgrade with Suzuki over Flores.Unfortunately, Danny went from a .300 hitter in July back to his bad habits in September and even worse in the post-season. Also I disagree with comparisons of Desi to Espi. Desi in mid August last year showed big improvement. Danny regressed from mid-season to the end of the season.

  61. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Agreed on the Hot Stove,Need to sign Adam L. 2-3 years is fine. $ not an issue. Get er done.Need to clean up LF BP. Not a fan of what we had. Go out and sign two proven arms.Need to trade losers….Danny E and HROD…both are head cases..package with Morse and get what you can for them.Sign Top of the rotation starter and Lannan. Cut ties with WangSign M. Bourne CF Braves and move Harper to LF. Sign Middle Infielder that could start to push Ian and Danny. Not DeRosa type please…..someone in their prime.

  62. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Push Lombo but we all know Danny is not going anywhere as long as Davey is here.

  63. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I have made no secret of the fact that I value Lombo as a Nat. He makes contact and is a smart hitter. His drop off from Danny at 2b is not huge. How does it balance? I do agree that Danny is Davey's new project. Maybe he will make the turn like Desi did, maybe not.

  64. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    JayB, I disagree with you on Danny not going anywhere. I think they will give him another chance and that may be called Spring Training. Not sure how long they will give him. He still has options and may have to learn in the Minors. Some people have made good points on not signing Michael Bourn and I think it shifts the dynamic away from what is working which is the team 'as is'. Now then, if you don't re-sign LaRoche then yes, Morse to 1st and Bourn to CF and Werth to LF and Bryce to RF.Then the Nats must find a RH bench CF/RF who can give Bourn and Bryce a rest.Yes also that if they don't re-sign Burnett they will need another LH reliever and maybe another to replace MGonzo.

  65. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    baseballswami said… I have made no secret of the fact that I value Lombo as a Nat. He makes contact and is a smart hitter. His drop off from Danny at 2b is not huge. How does it balance? I do agree that Danny is Davey's new project. Maybe he will make the turn like Desi did, maybe not. October 29, 2012 10:47 AM ___________________________________That's where you are wrong. Danny was Davey's project the entire season. Shorten the swing and stay off the high heat out of the zone. It started to work in July and then sloooowly he was back to old Danny.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    September is the time for young players to make impressions. Did you see what Bryce did? He mashed in September. Espi on the other hand got smashed in September.Lombo had a horrible September but in a small sample size as he didn't get many atbats.

  67. NatsLady - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Agreed on the Hot Stove,Agree – Need to sign Adam L. 2-3 years is fine. $ not an issue. Get er done.Agree – Need to clean up LF. Until Morse got healthy it was a black hole. Bullpen was fine for the season, but Burnett won't be back, nor will Zach Duke (FA) and maybe not MGonzo (who, if he returns will be a year older). Best probably to wait on this and see what is available after the first rush of teams.Won't happen – Need to trade losers….Danny E and HROD…both are head cases..package with Morse and get what you can for them.Agree – Sign Top of the rotation starter Don't agree – Lannan. Agree – and it will happen unless he signs a minor-league deal, but he will more likely go to Japan. Cut ties with WangNot necessary – Sign M. Bourne CF Braves and move Harper to LF. So, you are saying trade Lombo? – Sign Middle Infielder that could start to push Ian and Danny. Not DeRosa type please…..someone in their prime.

  68. Mickey Vernon - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I thought it was a great season and Davey was right much more than he was wrong. What I saw was five straight very close calls (not necessarily wrong, but very close) go the Cards way. I thought Freese went around and the first base ump thought himself into a palms-down call. The pitch track showed the first pitch to Molina was a strike, so the next two should have been enough. Still, the Nats young rotation faltered in the last month while the Giants veterans got stronger. Somebody toss a log in that hot stove!

  69. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    http://www.natsinsider.com/2012/02/learning-when-to-get-away-from-it-all.html#comment-formGo back to Feb 28th of this year for Mark's piece on Espi & Davey. Good reading there and some good quotes.

  70. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Mickey – agreed – time to move on. Not the same kind of drama as September/October, but it's all we have. Well – that and this weather.

  71. Doc - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    For NatsJack, and whoever wants to post.I guess the Hot Stove League means we can re-hash that which may have been re-hashed. Sorry if I may have missed some previous comments on the issue. I was little disappointed that Davey didn't use Christian Garcia out of the BP in Game 5. I think that Storen wasn't ready for 3 games in a row, and I'll take a fresh arm over experience most days, and nights.

  72. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Doc, Drew was not only over used due to Davey bad decision in blow out he was also clearly unaware of his surroundings….base runners….counts…he was just overwhelmed and it showed. He may have wanted it to bad but he did not look like a closer…he liked like a rookie with his heart racing.

  73. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Prince Fielder is a choke artist. Never hit over .278 in any series in his post-season career. A lifetime .183 hitter in the postseason.I'm thinking for all the minor bad moves Rizzo has made like Wang and HenRod, there's no long-term issues Rizzo has at this point.

  74. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Sign LaRoche to a 3 year deal.Also get a personal coach (whatever you want to call him) to convince Danny he is not a power hitting, he is a second baseman with some pop, and that 195 Ks is not acceptable. I think only Adam Dunn struck out more.

  75. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Not sure what I am more disgusted with, posts about game five after more than two weeks or Tigers as AL representative in World Series.I think it is Tigers because second-guessing coaches is just fans being fans, but Tigers winning AL pennant was as dubious as anything.

  76. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Also sign Burnett. Jackson would get only another 1 year deal if we can get someone better.

  77. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan said… Sign LaRoche to a 3 year deal.___________________________________Don't you just wish it was that easy. If this was last year, LaRoche would jump at 2 years. Today he is the top of the 1st baseman Free Agent pool.

  78. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Faraz – it always frosts me that some teams can sneak into the post season with a low win total because they play in a weaker division. Case in point — Nats – 98, Cin – 97, SF – 94, Yanks – 95, Oak – 94 – Detroit– 88. That's the same number as St Louis, the second wild card in the NL. There are third place teams with that win total. Everyone is all agog because they swept the Yankees – the Yankees weren't that great, had to fight the entire way, and they were at an absolute low point when the regular season ended. The Tigers were not a great team to begin with.And since we are talking about next season — how will the Astros moving out of the NL affect teams like St. Louis and Cincinnati? They usually pad their win totals by beating up on Houston. Mark – would love to see an analysis of the new scheduling and how you think it might change things.

  79. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    No one said it would be easy do it if reasonable. If not then Moore becomes the 1B, Still need a personal coach for Danny and the K's, Neither Eck nor Davey seem to help him. He thinks he has the power of Adam Dunn so he swings too hard and too often.

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    The Tigers hit their stride at the right time but their poor defense and range and clutch hitting caught up with them. I also think they overused Verlander in the regular season. How big was that play in Game 3 to send Prince home with no outs?

  81. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Just win games you are up 6-0 in….Nats chocked….Davey fell asleep….it is not the systems fault that Cards had worse record. It is Drew, Danny and Davey…they have about 80% of the blame between them.

  82. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Just got some cool news that I'm not sure they were supposed to disclose but from Kristen Hudak at ESPN tweeted me that in tomorrow's announcement of the Gold Glove, Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche are both finalists!

  83. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    By the way, the Yankees picked up Granderson's and Cano's options which may mean they won't be a player on Michael Bourn but never count them out as they probably won't try to keep Swisher and they may trade Gardner but the Yankees bigger need is a corner outfielder and maybe 2 of them!

  85. SCNatsFan - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    JayB please don't tell me you can keep up the hate after this season. If so then you are truly a lost soul.Maybe Storen did choke on his first appearance on the big stage… but this team was a team of losers and this was all new to them. Won't be next year. We'll be back and we'll be better. Plenty of room still left on the bandwagon for the naysayers. Hurry though because seats are filling fast.

  86. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    JayB said… Just win games you are up 6-0 in….Nats chocked….Davey fell asleep….it is not the systems fault that Cards had worse record. It is Drew, Danny and Davey…they have about 80% of the blame between them. October 29, 2012 12:31 PM _________________________________Yes, the Nats did choke and so did 8 other teams in the post-season. The Nats won as a team and lost as a team and while everyone can point at that fateful 9th inning, its not fair to pin it all on Drew.

  87. baseballswami - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Ian has to be a lock for Silver Slugger.

  88. John C. - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I think Davey did all right, given that he is one of the 30 dumbest people in the world. As you all know, at any particular moment in time the 30 dumbest people in the world are the managers of MLB teams. Because everyone in the stands and on the internet knows more than the managers do, not just about baseball in general, but about the talent levels, focus and inner psychological profiles of every player on the field and in the dugout. Once a manager signs that contract, their IQ immediately ebbs below internet commentator level. Which is a scary thought (said one internet commentator :-)

  89. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    No problem with seats…I have 9 years now of Season Tickets to show I am a fan of Nats.I do expect much better next year but that does not excuse the give up approach the leadership (Davey and Rizzo) put on display this year. Baseball gods are cruel. They my not even get close next year. Couple of key pitching injuries and they are a .500 team at best. Gotta keep improving and go all out when you get there. That would have been trades at July deadline to plug holes and Manage to win games not protect egos (Danny and Drew).

  90. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Not sure if this is posted here before, http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2012/10/14/walter-johnsons-greatest-game/

  91. JayB - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    psychics is a better word than egos….Davey managed to protect player development for some hopefull next run not win games no.

  92. Gonat - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    New Post

  93. phil dunton - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    NatsLady. On what basis do you claim Scutaro was TERRIBLE in CO? He was batting around .280 when traded th SF and finished the season with a .300 plus average. He finished second in the NL in hits. He had a season far superior to strikeout machine Danny, who has a huge hole in his bat and is tutored by a clueless hitting coach.

  94. phil dunton - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    JayB, Davey fell asleep because he is so old. He's only 69 but he acts like he's at least 85 and that's a very old 85.

  95. natsfan1a - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Well played, sir. John C. said… I think Davey did all right, given that he is one of the 30 dumbest people in the world. As you all know, at any particular moment in time the 30 dumbest people in the world are the managers of MLB teams. Because everyone in the stands and on the internet knows more than the managers do, not just about baseball in general, but about the talent levels, focus and inner psychological profiles of every player on the field and in the dugout. Once a manager signs that contract, their IQ immediately ebbs below internet commentator level. Which is a scary thought (said one internet commentator :-) October 29, 2012 12:54 PM

  96. Laddie Blah Blah - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Now we can get excited again about the Nats, only its Rizzo who is on the ptichers' mound from now until spring training. He already knows what he will throw at each of the Nats free agents, but not how they will react to any of his offers.By Saturday, we will know a lot more. I can wait. I have to, because I have no clue what will happen between now and then.

  97. peric - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    If the FA declines, the Nats are entitled to one compensation pick. The pick is "sandwiched" in between the first round and second round of the draft.This also depends on how said free agent is ranked I guess by Elias. One can assume that LaRoche will be highly ranked …

  98. peric - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Yes, by Game 3 I'm benching Danny and I would have gone with Lannan over EJax as I said before as Big Game John earned it in my eyes and I know besides John and his family I am probably the only one who thinks that.Well, I for one still think you're wrong about that … and especially your choice of pitcher. I would have picked Zach Duke who had a huge year over all … not just in certain spots. Look at his stats as a starter and reliever and compare them to Lannan Ghost. And unlike Lannan (Lannan WILL NEVER EVER) he was a major league all star. Which is why Duke will be tendered a contract and Lannan will be non-tendered.

  99. peric - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    He had a season far superior to strikeout machine Danny, who has a huge hole in his bat and is tutored by a clueless hitting coach.The same hitting coach that turned Desmond into a terror from pathetic? The same guy who made Morse a defacto All Star in his first full season in the pros? Right … like you've been watching the Yankees again. How did they do?Espinosa a strike out machine that hit 37 doubles? THIRTY SEVEN DOUBLES! Add in TWO triples and 17 home runs. He ended up hitting .347 which as 10 point improvement over the previous season. Espinosa is improving … he is getting better … and he is working hard and he is the superior athlete JayB. He is in a different galaxy from Lombardozzi when it comes down to that basic premise. Something JayB should understand as a former player.The moronic posts have begun its the offseason.

  100. peric - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    I'm thinking for all the minor bad moves Rizzo has made like Wang and HenRod, there's no long-term issues Rizzo has at this point.I think you pin Wang on Davey this season. That was mostly if not all his call Gonat. As for H-Rod, he'll be back. Hopefully, they'll be able to work with him as they could have definitely used him in the playoffs sans the walks, wild pitches and the meltdowns.

  101. peric - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    I was little disappointed that Davey didn't use Christian Garcia out of the BP in Game 5. I think that Storen wasn't ready for 3 games in a row, and I'll take a fresh arm over experience most days, and nights.What makes Davey a good to great manager is his management of the bullpen. Given his disposition and competitiveness I am certain he would love to entertain these sort of questions during the offseaon, so he can belittle the baseball knowledge of those asking … ~smiles~ well he has improved in that regard.Perhaps Mark can arrange a video/pod cast and ask these questions of Davey …

  102. DJB - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I would sign ALR. He wants to be here, and I don't see another quality offensive first base in the FA class. If you could sign Wright, I would move Zimm to first, but that's not going to happen. In any case, they need to replace Jackson, and that should be with a co-ace if possible. We have to take into account that Gio may be a head case, and we may need to sit him for a short series. If that means we can't sign ALR, then so be it.

  103. blovy8 - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    It's easy to second-guess, but you also have to admit that your option might not have worked either. Lombo could have hit a bunch of popups and weak grounders instead of striking out. Mattheus could have given up ground ball hits everywhere, he didn't pitch as well earlier in the series. If you get a veteran player down the stretch maybe you don't get that hit from Tyler Moore that keyed a win, and they don't even get to the fifth game. Maybe that guy hits like Nady. There are no sure things.The Nats are lucky to have a good core of players and some depth everywhere but at starting pitcher again. That will have to be the emphasis, and I don't think they have enough to make another Gio trade, so it'll take $$$ and more years than they probably want. I could see them getting buehrled again, but getting a bargain late like Jackson – maybe a gamble on a guy like Scott Baker who's really good – when he can pitch. It only matters having him healthy in the fall. Besides Meyer, the cupboard for ace-level prospects looks like 2014 and beyond, so a three/four year deal isn't so crazy. Any guy coming up is going to be on an innings limit too.I doubt they make a one-year deal, such as the rumors about the Angels' trading Haren or Santana option years and eating some of the money. I still think Rizzo is trying to build that rotation a bit more. As good a year as ALR had, he also gave the Nats less than nothing in 2011. It's tough to keep enough lefty power around, but his agent also knows that.

  104. JSLSais - Nov 1, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    plain and simple. the difference between davey and bochy in the postseason was that bochy managed and davey…not sure what he did. still scratching my head over some of his decisions. and really, if you are sitting in the stands and you see edwin warming up, wouldn't you have said something like "oh no!" i did. i don't think that is second guessing. second guessing is after the fact when the you know what has hit the fan. What JayB is saying is that Bochy was willing to make the tough decisions and at least try and and give his team a chance to win. Ask yourselves, did davey do this by pitching edwin and leaving Drew in even after it was clear that he was melting. i don't get this love affair with davey. Oh, no here it comes. before you start bashing me, please read the history of davey and his managerial stints. the mets won a world series not b/c of him but inspite of him much like barry switzer and the cowboys. he has butted heads with every owner he has ever worked for and many of the stuff we saw — keeping pitchers in too long, playing players that clearly struggled, mismanagement of the pitching staff, etc — he has done with other teams. davey's problem is that he thinks he is way smarter than everyone else which is a euphemism for arrogance. to me, the manager of the year is bochy. if you believe all of the hype about our pitching staff and players, then bochy won a WS with a lot less. not once but twice and that to me is the mark of a good manager. but please go ahead and continue your love affair with davey. mark my words. we will not win a WS with davey. he is a good manager and would be great if he would only check is ego and arrogance at the door.

  105. JSLSais - Nov 1, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    and sometimes i think davey can be a tad petty and he does have his favorites. unfortunately, playing your favorites in pro sports usually ends up badly. i like managers who are willing to shake the pot and not be wedded to some arcane idea. did any of you notice that bochy did not wait for his pitchers to have meltdowns. a hint of struggle and he brought someone else in. even if it had not worked out, you could not have fault the guy for it b/c at least he tried. bochy managed each game as if it was an elimination game and davey managed the elimination game as if we had the whole season ahead of us. in other words, he did not adjust to the circumstances b/c i am guessing he lacks this critical skill. davey alowed his players to manage. how many times did we hear, "well mikey says he is ok, so i will play him." my god, mikey's power was gone and every time he took a swing he would shake his hand and wince. how much more evidence do you need to see that they guys is hurting despite what is coming from his lips?

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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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