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AFL season wraps up

Nov 19, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Anthony Rendon finished with a .338 average in 22 Arizona Fall League games.

While most of the country is busy preparing for Thanksgiving — or watching a whole lot of football, as the case may be — there were a select few professional baseball players still in action over the weekend.

The latest edition of the Arizona Fall League wrapped up Saturday when the Peoria Javelinas toppled the Salt River Rafters, 4-3, in the annual championship game, one that featured several Nationals prospects on the losing end.

Though their team came up short in the title game, a couple of Nats acquitted themselves quite well out in Arizona over the last six weeks.

Let's start with Anthony Rendon, who after a slow start to his AFL season finished strong, posting a .338 batting average, 10 doubles, 11 RBI, 15 walks and a .930 OPS in 22 regular season games. The 2011 first-round draft pick then went 1-for-4 with a triple inRead more »

150 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. alexva - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Jonathan Mayo's quote on Goodwin: "some scouts say he's the best hitter in the league others question whether he will hit at higher levels".I've only seen him two times on tv but he looks like a hitter to me.

  2. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Good to see the Baby Nats do well in the AFL. Saw some of those plays Skole made, here is hoping he has found his position at 1B

  3. Positively Half St. - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I wouldn't get too comfortable with these names until after the Winter Meetings in a few weeks. Who knows what mike Rizzo has up his sleeve? Even Rendon could be traded if the return is right. The time for the Nats to strike and win it all is now.+1/2St.

  4. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    +1/2Learned my lesson last year with Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock. Rizzo will use the Baby Nats if he has too.

  5. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Is ATL serious on BJ? Sounds like they could be.MLB Network Radio ‏@MLBNetworkRadioFredi on BJ Upton "The only guy that we’ve brought in obviously is BJ Upton cause we feel like he’s like our #1 guy.”

  6. Dave - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Sorry if I missed more mention of this. I've been distracted away from the NI for the past few days.Did anybody besides me go out to Tysons to the team store on Saturday? I was there, bought a cap, a jacket, and a pair of sweat pants for my wife. The store was well stocked, post-season products were in fact cheaply priced and in abundance in just about all sizes. If you're looking for it, it's right across from the Microsoft store on the second level.Lombardozzi Jr. and Sr. were both there, graciously posing for photos with fans young and old. I didn't get a photo, but went over to thank Lombo for a great season.When I went to shake his hand, his right hand was all wrapped and bandaged, as if he had just had a surgery or injury or something. Shook his left hand.Does anybody know anything about this? Did Lombo get some kind of hand surgery after the season?

  7. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Dave, I was there as well, saw the bandage, but didn't think it was appropriate to ask.

  8. JamesFan - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    After watching the game Saturday, I thought that Skole was the only young Nat that looked ready for the MLs. Both sides of his game looked good and he seems mature. Another option at first.

  9. bowdenball - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Worth noting that the AFL is notoriously hitter-friendly. This year there were 13 guys with OPSs over .900, and four over 1.000. Not sure if it's the location or the fact that all the pitchers are young guys at the end of their season or what, but you shouldn't read TOO much into the numbers either way. Nice to hear that Rendon stayed healthy and hit as you'd expect, though.

  10. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Ryan Perry was quoted as saying he was "fatigued" but glad for the opportunity to pitch in the finale. You have to wonder about the exhaustion factor in the AFL, especially for pitchers. Another 40 games (even with rest) piled on to the 150 game minor-league season is a heavy load. For guys like Rendon (injured), Skole (trying out at 1B) and Goodwin (needs all the experience he can get) I see the advantage. But I worry about the pitchers.

  11. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Feb. 14 — Voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players.Feb. 19 — Voluntary reporting date for other players.Feb. 26 — Mandatory reporting date.http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Baseball-Calendar-4049756.php#ixzz2Cg9IX200

  12. Tcostant - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Rendon last year in college lost his home run power because of an injury. Now three years later, it is still done. Time to start projecting Rendon as a 2B because you can't play a corner IF spot hiting less than 20 HR these days. He seems like a solid line drive type hitter and he will have a spot, but this guy is no savoir by any means…

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    NatsLady, Wren isn't too bright. You never put out there your #1 when there is no connection there. At least with Rizzo & LaRoche they have the connection and I think that means something.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… For those of us who prefer the truth, if Zim is closing in on 30, then Harper is closing in on 22.The truth is, Zim just turned 28 while Harper just turned 20. November 19, 2012 5:26 AM Why do people stretch the truth to try to make a point.

  15. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Ghost, agree. Not sure if Fredi was just "talking" about who he'd like to have, the same way Davey keeps repeating he wants ALR back. Actually, to hear Davey, he wants exactly the players he had in 2012…

  16. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    peric makes a lot of factual errors. It undercuts his points, which are sometimes valid.

  17. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Nats Lady has a point about the AFL pitchers. If there are reasons the AFL is a hitter-friendly league they would be (A) pitcher fatigue; (B) organizations don't want to stress young pitchers beyond innings counts appropriate for their age.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    NatsLady said… Ryan Perry was quoted as saying he was "fatigued" but glad for the opportunity to pitch in the finale. You have to wonder about the exhaustion factor in the AFL, especially for pitchers.He probably is telling the truth but all the pitchers each season are fatigued somewhat. They call the AFL a "hitters league" for a few reasons and that is one of them that the pitchers arms aren't always at 100%.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Theo, I owe you a drink!

  20. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I accept.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    NatsLady said… peric makes a lot of factual errors. It undercuts his points, which are sometimes valid. November 19, 2012 9:52 AM Peric has some strong opinions and his continual grind on the Nats -MUST- have 3 starting leftys is just not true. It could happen if that's the best pitcher available or the fallback to Lannan but odds will be 3 righties and 2 lefties.On Zim to 1st, it will probably happen one day. Will that be September 2013 if Rendon is ready or will it be 2016 if LaRoche is signed to a 3 year deal? Let's see what happens first with LaRoche.

  22. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Tick Tock:MLB Fan Cave‏@MLBFanCave Happy Birthday to @Phillies slugger @ryanhoward, who turns 33 today. #MLBFC

  23. fast eddie - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    So, if the Braves sign BJ, have they given up on re-signing Bourn? If Bourn does stay, BJ could play LF with Prado moving to 3B to replace Chipper.

  24. Laddie Blah Blah - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    "Rendon still needs to prove he can stay healthy over the long haul while facing more experienced pitchers, but his performance this fall certainly suggests he's not far from being big-league ready. If all goes well, there's every reason to believe we'll see him in D.C. no later than September."Rendon seemed almost arrogant when he stepped to the plate. He was not over-powered and did not even appear to be fooled. He is a much happier and much more confident guy than the young man who fell and broke his ankle last spring, and did not even think he would suit up, again, this year. Every time he came to the plate, he had a big grin on his face, like he was about to feast on whoever had the nerve to challenge his bat.He will be up next year. He had winner written all over his face. Oh, yeah, he can hit, too. Power? RZ would have been proud of that shot to deep right center for a triple – the longest blast of the day by any hitter in that game. And to the opposite field.But Rendon was not really a surprise. The only eye-opener was Skole's play at 1b. Some guys like a small regular fielder's glove, like RZ, and others seem more comfortable with a bigger first basemen's mitt. Maybe Skole is one of those mitt guys. You would never know his first game experience at 1b came in the AFL. If he keeps playing 1b like he did last Saturday, he will be a first baseman from now on out.Perry fooled no one. Skole was easily fooled by slow breakers. No wonder he had so many strike-outs last year. Goodwin looked better than his AFL stats, and I thought he got a bad call on that tag-up. Another year in the minors, at least, for both of 'em, and Perry has nowhere near the stuff that Christian Garcia does. Not sure where Perry fits in, except as organizational depth at Syracuse, unless he improves his game – a lot. Maybe he just had a bad game at the wrong time, but he did not look ready last Saturday.

  25. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Tcosant — Lay off Rendon. You're claiming a permanent power outage based on less than 75 professional games. And I don't buy the nonsense that 3Bs must be power hitters. Some power hitters must play 3B because there's no place else to put them (see, Cabrera, M.) That doesn't mean it has to work the other way. Put your best 3B at third base and find the power somewhere else in the lineup. Look what Polanco did for Philadelphia the last couple of years. Or Freese for the Cardinals.

  26. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Whoa. We had two Insiders see Lombo with a bandaged hand and neither asked him about it?

  27. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Theo, I have to agree. This automatic positioning of defensive players based on their offense is getting extreme. If Rendon is not a ML SS, and if he's not suited to play 2B because of weak ankles (and I could believe that), then you keep in the minors until you find the pitcher you want and trade him. Or, if you don't get LaRoche and you want to accelerate moving RZ to first base because of injury concerns, then Rendon plays his natural position. There are a lot of choices. As Davey's mentor (Earl Weaver) said, a run saved is the same as a run scored. Well, not exactly, because you are never winning a game with zero runs scored, but he has a point. You just have to look at the Giants decision to stick with Blanco instead of recalling Melky when he was eligible to see Weaver's point.

  28. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Watched only pieces of the AFL Championship game, none of which include Skole at the plate. Either he's lost 15 lbs since the Nats signed him, or he's turned a lot of bulk into sinew. If either is true it bodes well for his development as an all-around player. At 1B I didn't see him having to handle anything challenging but he at least looks like an athlete — which is an upgrade from previous reports. And his footwork is decent.

  29. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    222, whoa there yourself. Nat Insiders are fans, not reporters. Now that Mark and other reporters have seen the info, it is their job to inquire about it. The last thing you want to do with a guy who is out there doing charity work and being gracious for fan photos is to pester him with questions.

  30. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

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  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    alexva said… Jonathan Mayo's quote on Goodwin: "some scouts say he's the best hitter in the league others question whether he will hit at higher levels".If some scouts actually said he was the best hitter in the league, the stats don't back that up and players like Rendon and Zunino were much better and I'm sure there were some others, but when Goodwin stayed within himself, he looked good. He reminds me of Michael Bourn from this past season. Short compact swing with some surprising 1st row power, has speed, but can strikeout a lot as he looks bad in 2 strike counts. Goodwin has to know how to use his speed on the bases. He was picked off twice in the AFL and it shouldn't happen because your lead is too lengthy. He has to know his limits on the basepaths.

  32. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    222, they was a pretty big line of people that were there for pictures, so they were pushing us through pretty fast, not a lot of interaction that you can have with everyone trying to get through the lines.

  33. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Re: Skole, I was thinking about how he was typecast as a DH when the Nats signed him. And how much work, in the weight room and practice, he's done to find a spot on the field. No player, except the superannuated and infirm, wants to be a DH. Billy Butler wants to play every day; Prince Fielder wants to play first base every day even though he sometimes looks grotesque doing it. (And it's a reason LaRoche will think several times before signing w/ an AL team.) Don't know if Skole will every play for the Nats but he needs to be moved up to AAA before the end of 2014.

  34. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Sorry, correction, 3-6-1 double play.Theo, I watched as much of the AFL as I could, and Skole handled several difficult plays at 1B, including going to his right several times, a nice diving stop and a 3-6-1 double play. Can't speak to the weight loss, but I wouldn't be surprised. I've heard that the Nats' minor-league "strength and conditioning" program is serious.Some teams regard the minor-leaguers, except for top prospects, as fodder. Don't bother much with personal trainers or diet (a decent per-diem or a a player buffet might keep them away from McDonald's.) Yes, the vast majority of minor-leaguers are never coming close to the majors. But they are playing with your top prospects, influencing them on a daily basis, eating with them and training with them. So you want them to regard being a professional athlete as a job, not just as a fun thing they're doing for a few years until they start selling insurance.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Tcosant — Lay off Rendon. You're claiming a permanent power outage based on less than 75 professional games. And I don't buy the nonsense that 3Bs must be power hitters. Some power hitters must play 3B because there's no place else to put them (see, Cabrera, M.) That doesn't mean it has to work the other way. Put your best 3B at third base and find the power somewhere else in the lineup. Look what Polanco did for Philadelphia the last couple of years. Or Freese for the Cardinals. November 19, 2012 10:07 AM I saw plenty of power. It just wasn't HRs. Did you miss all of his doubles Tcostant? He isn't a slap hitter and his HRs should come off of line drives. In the Rising Stars game in his 1 AB he dipped his shoulder and got under one that was a pop up. I'm sure he wanted to hit one long. He needs to do just what he did in the other games—-hit hard line drives.

  36. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

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  37. Get Some Players - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    I guess a good barometer of the plans for Rendon is what position he plays next year. If it's 3rd base I would expect him to be traded. That is if he's still a Nat by spring.

  38. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Ghost, also remember that Goodwin was instructed to work on Bunting and he was having some difficulties doing it. That impacted the stats

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Don't know if Skole will every play for the Nats but he needs to be moved up to AAA before the end of 2014. November 19, 2012 10:24 AM I hope he is in AAA long before the end of 2014. I thought Skole looked like he has played 1st base his whole career. What we didn't see was any throws in the dirt to see his hands. His ability to dive to his right was impressive.I would say Rendon, Goodwin, and Skole all increased their stock after their performances in the AFL.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    MicheleS said… Ghost, also remember that Goodwin was instructed to work on Bunting and he was having some difficulties doing it. That impacted the stats November 19, 2012 10:30 AM Absolutely, I actually wrote that a few weeks ago. He didn't do well by the way. In fact in 1 game he had 2 outs from failed bunt attempts.The fact that he was told to work on bunting tells me that Rizzo sees that as the area of improvement to get him to the final steps and his 2013 Minor League season will tell us if we will see him as a September callup and a real deal prospect.

  41. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Michelle, no criticism intended. Obviously, I wasn't there and didn't know if you had a chance to chit chat, or just shake hands and move on. And maybe you and Dave figured he'd been asked six zillion times already by other fans and decided to give him a break from that. While it might not have seemed right on this occasion, I certainly don't think it's inappropriate to ask people, even MLB players, what happened if they have a big bandage on some limb. Just like you might ask a perfect stranger in an elevator about such a thing. The idea that only reporters can ask such questions is kind of silly. There's a way to do it, if you're interested, that isn't intrusive or obnoxious. "Ouch, that looks painful, what happened?" might do the trick. The player can answer or just say "cut myself shaving" if he doesn't feel like it.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    http://www.federalbaseball.com/2012/11/19/3662910/washington-nationals-second-baseman-danny-espinosa-contact-and-ksFederal Baseball with an extensive analysis on Espi. Baseball and golf have a lot of similarities. Shorter club, shorter swing, shorter distance, more control. I'm not suggesting Espi goes to a shorter/lighter bat, but the shorter swing will give him more control which will lead to more contact.When you see only Granderson and Adam Dunn were behind him in K's in 2012 and realize Dunn is a pure HR hitter and Danny isn't, you know the game plan has to be different.

  43. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    222, NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!! Don't ask personal questions of people!!! I can't tell you how much I HATED that when I was in a wheelchair and on crutches and had a brace on my knee (which I still need sometimes). I just LOVE reliving the pain of the accident for the sake of some NOSY STRANGER. Get some manners.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    I still see red flags with Goodwin on the maturity front.I've seen Skole the last two Fall Instructs and while strictly at third last year he was pretty scary. This year he worked at third and first before going to Arizona where he was strictly at first. His improvement was noticeable and Saturday was stellar. I like the kid.

  45. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    I went to the DMV a while back and the girl had terrible burn scars on her face and neck. How do you think she would have felt if I had asked about them? No, good manners say that unless you have previous acquaintance with a person you do NOT inquire about that sort of thing.

  46. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    NatsLady, if lot of strangers asked me same questions, I would make up one story per stranger.

  47. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

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  48. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Oh lighten up NL. Come on. We've met and you know I'm not a boorish or inappropriate person. I don't go around asking people in wheelchairs if they can ever walk again, and I don't go prying into gory details from someone who's obviously in a bad way. There's a huge difference between asking someone who's been clearly been badly injured to describe what happened and showing sympathy to someone on temporary crutches in an elevator, or a player in a reception line who's shaking hands with his left hand. If he's out at the team store shaking hands with fans he's obviously doing ok and didn't suffer some career threatening catastrophic injury. I don't think it would have been inappropriate to ask about it, but that doesn't mean that under the circumstances it made sense.

  49. Don - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    If a professional athlete has a bandage on his hand at some event (it's not like he's on his front porch or in line for a movie or soemthing), it is completely acceptable for a reporter to ask "why the banage on the hand?"

  50. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Don, I agree. And the key words in your post are "acceptable for a reporter.." Fans are not reporters, as I said in my original post. 222, you stepped on a hot button of mine. You don't know how serious an injury is, and you don't know if the crutches are "temporary" unless you have previous acquaintance with the person.

  51. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    and I would try to make it sound like I was Superman. Jumping in front of a car to save a little child or climbing rooftops to dissuade someone from suicide.

  52. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    FS, I like your ideas. Might try them!

  53. Don - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    On another note, the Fish did something right in inking Juan Pierre for fairly small coins. The guy is valuable and he fills a need for them (not like they still don't have plenty remaining), but he would have looked good in red/white and blue.

  54. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    The Mets have jacked up their prices for Opening Day ($63 for a seat that normally sells for $15). Anyone know if the Nats are doing something similar? Last year Opening Day was on my season ticket plan, but I think this year it's not.Mets Opening Dayhttp://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/19/cheapest-tickets-to-mets-opening-day-63/

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Haha you should, NL. Fortunately, I haven't had the luck to try this myself.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Lets just say the Braves sign BJ Upton and Bourn signs somewhere else. BJ has not been a leadoff man, who leads off for the Braves? Simmons? Prado?The Braves go forward with Prado, Uggla, Heyward, Freeman, and McCann. I guess Andrelton Simmons at SS and they need to plug in the CF and the 3B if Prado continues at LF.

  57. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    No need to be asking Lombo what happened to his hand. It's pretty clear that Espi has been reading all the pro-Lombo talk here and decided to pull a Tonya Harding. The only question is whether or not Rendon was an accomplice.

  58. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Don…. you are right. Juan Pierre is a perfect fit for a non playoff bound team like the Marlins. Just ask the 2011 White Sox or the 2012 Phillies.

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Feel Wood said… No need to be asking Lombo what happened to his hand. It's pretty clear that Espi has been reading all the pro-Lombo talk here and decided to pull a Tonya Harding. The only question is whether or not Rendon was an accomplice. November 19, 2012 11:58 AM If we listened to Peric last off-season, Espi would have been the full-time SS, Lombo would have been the 2nd baseman and I think he suggested throwing Desi into a trade or sitting him on the bench.

  60. sjm308 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    NatsLady: that is just one of the changes now that our lads have reached "the big time". 20 game package is exactly that, 20 games and we now will have the "privilege" of buying opening day tickets before they go on sale to the public. We also will not have that exhibition game on the day before the season included and the Red Carpet points will not bring you more free games. I am not complaining, its what happens when the team starts drawing.On the questions to athletes, I side with NatsLady, MichelleS etc. They just don't need the constant bombardment. I also have a red flag about letting a celebrity eat or walk in public in peace. My son walked by Jason Werth in a cab line and just said "hey" and I think that is appropriate. No need to make his life more difficult. 222, you & I will disagree on this one.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    NatsJack, Juan Pierre has a worse arm than Nyjer Morgan and like Nyjer can't hit LH pitching. To me he is a platoon outfielder and that's how the Phillies used him and it didn't work out well.

  62. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    " . . . the Fish did something right in inking Juan Pierre for fairly small coins . . .."Damn straight they did something good. Now people on this blog won't be able to blather about how good he'd look at the top of the Nats' lineup.

  63. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Fair enough sjm. I respect your opinion. I'm definitely not into bugging celebrities when I spot them in public, nor do I try to talk to or get pictures with or autographs from players. I also don't send them fan mail or tweet them hoping for a response. All that is fine for kids seeking interaction with their heroes, but it's not something I'm interested in as an adult. So had I been there, I probably wouldn't have stood in line at Tyson's to shake Lombo's hand. That said, as Don noted, I do think there's a difference between an event where the player has agreed to interact with fans and a chance encounter on the street or in a movie theater when they are just trying to live their lives. Nothing anyone has said here has convinced me that asking in a friendly and sympathetic way about Lombo's injury at such an event would have been intrusive or wrong.

  64. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    sjm308 said… NatsLady: that is just one of the changes now that our lads have reached "the big time". 20 game package is exactly that, 20 games and we now will have the "privilege" of buying opening day tickets before they go on sale to the public. We also will not have that exhibition game on the day before the season included and the Red Carpet points will not bring you more free games. I am not complaining, its what happens when the team starts drawing.Opening Day has not always been included in 20 game plans. It wasn't included at RFK and also not in the first year (or maybe two) in the new ballpark. I think the reason they have removed it from 20 game plans now is due to the difficulty of deciding which of four possible claimants on that seat gets it for Opening Day while the others have to be given a "comparable" seat somewhere else. Last year that resulted in myself and a whole row of other 20 gamers from the Infield Gallery being seated in the outfield under the scoreboard on Opening Day. None of us was very happy about that decision, because although it was the same price point those were not "comparable" seats. Rather than deal with that again, it looks like they decided to revert to the old way of doing Opening Day, i.e. give 20 game plans an exclusive presale to find their own "comparable" seats.I think half season plans still include Opening Day. I guess I'll find out, since I upgraded from 20 game to half season for next year.

  65. Dave - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I wasn't about to ask Lombo about his hand. But I do hope a reporter-type (Mark Z?) can shed some light on the incapacitated right hand.I know some guys were getting various surgeries as soon as the playing season was over (such as Burnett's foreign elbow-bodies and Zimmy's shoulder). I can't remember whether Lombo was on that list as well.Very curious about the Opening Day thing. I am the main owner of one full season ticket and one half-season. This past year I used the half-season's Opening Day ticket for my own OD. I hope I can do it again, but if I can't I can't.Two things I haven't yet brought myself to do: check box score totals against my scorebook for game 5; figure out how much the Nats have refunded me for unplayed post-season games and then credit plan partners.Has everybody gotten all their post-season refunds? Am I several weeks behind the curve?

  66. SonnyG10 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Interesting discussion on whether to ask Lombo about his hand. I appreciate hearing both sides being presented and will mull over the points in a thoughtful way. I'm leaning towards having a sports reporter inform us as I would be sympathetic to burdening the player with having to answer so many people.

  67. Oldguy - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    NatsLady: that is just one of the changes now that our lads have reached "the big time". 20 game package is exactly that, 20 games and we now will have the "privilege" of buying opening day tickets before they go on sale to the public. We also will not have that exhibition game on the day before the season included and the Red Carpet points will not bring you more free games.I just inquired with the Nats STH line about post season refunds and Red Carpet deals for next year. He said the refunds have all been processed there and show should up sometime this week. Concerning changes in Red Carpet rewards, he got a bit cheezed off and wanted to know where the info was coming from as it did not emanate from his office.

  68. Oldguy - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    should show up …

  69. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I keep reading over and over again that the ALR negotiations are "going slowly." Apparently, it's one post by Ladson which every blogger re-blogs and re-tweets endlessly. Going slowing, to me, does not imply "going badly." If Mark or anyone knows anything, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I assume we continue waiting and guessing…

  70. pdowdy83 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Rendon (combined minor league/AFL stats) posted a triple slash line of .271/.383/.490 which is good for an OPS of .873. He had 29 extra base hits in 248 plate appearances. I don't see where there is a "lack of power" at all. That slash line plays at any position on the diamond. The most encouraging thing to me about his AFL run is he stole 6 bases in 7 tries. That is a good sign that the ankle is healed.

  71. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Are they having an exhibition game here before the season starts? After the March 28 game? I enjoyed the Red Sox game, it was like an appetizer. Nothing is listed on nationals.com.

  72. Steamer - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Good afternoon everyone, I'm with you Natslady I getting tired of the waiting game to on Adam and Burnett.

  73. pdowdy83 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I hope the Bravos go ahead and sign Upton and then get Cody Ross to fill in their other outfield spot. Ross is going to get overpayed and isn't going to be as good outside of Boston and Upton is what he is. There is no more "upside" there. The guy has 20 homer power, 30 SB speed, slightly above average defense and strikes out a ton. That is not something we need here and I don't think will be very good in ATL either. That lineup would have an to stretch to find a leadoff hitter and would K a lot with Uggla, Ross, Freeman, Heyward and Upton in it They had 747 combined Ks last year which is an average of 149/K per player. I'm all for those 2 moves for a team that already weakened themselves by not retaining David Ross in favor of Gerald Laird with McCann's injury history.

  74. blovy8 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I don't think Lombo's injury was serious, because I wasn't thinking, held out my right hand, and he still shook it.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    pdowdy83, I liked both of your posts above. We agree on Rendon's power(which someone else questioned) and that BJUpton isn't the perfect replacement for Bourn.NatsLady, great point on the Ladson "ALR Status" getting regurgitated ad nauseum and it means nothing. Davey's words were clear, ALR is his #1 off-season priority. If it doesn't happen, its over years. Will someone do a Dunn 4 year $14 mill type of deal for ALR? They may but ALR is 2 years older than Adam Dunn comparably speaking when AD did his deal.This year is a slow moving Free Agent season as there isn't a team like the Marlins making an early splash.

  76. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Slow FA season because, with a couple of notable exceptions, most of the avails have significant flaws. It has been observed that the FA market is thinning as more and more teams extend their younger players. This year includes a couple of guys like Upton, Bourne who want to be overpaid and players like Dempster, LaRoche, for whom a two-year deal is a reasonable ceiling.

  77. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    A few housekeeping items on tickets. All of my post season refunds have been processed — my own seats, the extra strips, and the single game tickets. Note that if you bought strips, you're due a refund not only for the four NLCS games, but for a Tiebreaker game, and a Wild Card game. The per ticket cost varied for each of those games, and the extra strips cost more than your regular seats. They never charged us for the World Series, so no refund due there. After lots of work with a calculator, my online STH account, and my credit card statements, I'm confident that all the refunds were processed correctly. The only fees they kept were the relatively small per order (not per ticket) charges. One odd thing was that for some reason they processed a refund to my credit card, rather than my STH account, for Game 1 of the NLCS. Once my ticket rep told me that, the numbers all fell into place. I didn't ask my rep if Red Carpet Rewards still applies to 20 game plans, but the program is definitely continuing so I'd be somewhat surprised if the smaller plans were cut out of it. The RCR program will be less generous than in previous years, but the exact terms haven't been finally determined. They will likely give us the same number of points, but are considering the following changes: (1) making the RCR tickets more "expensive", i.e., you have to use more points to get a ticket; (2) having more "price points" than the three they've had in past years — for example in past years you used the same number of points to get tickets anywhere in the lower bowl (other than the clubs). This may change with seats behind the dugouts being more "expensive" than seats in the corners. (3) allowing RCR points to be used to purchase merchandise or food credits. He was pretty sure that RCR tickets would still be available this year, but in that mythical world of a nearly completely sold out Nats Park via season tickets, that merchandise/food option would likely take over the program.I've also heard, but not confirmed recently, that they will not be printing actual season tickets this year. Instead, you will be able to use your RCR card to get into the park, and also print tickets at home from your online account. This will be a huge change and I'm looking forward (not) to seeing how they pull it off.

  78. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    One postscript in response to NL's question. The full season plans included 82 games — so there will definitely be a pre-season game this year. I don't think the date or opponent has been finalized yet.

  80. Dave - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    222, thank you very much for that rundown. The process you described–checking credit card statements, My Nationals Tickets, and so on–is exactly the thing I'm dreading having to do. That's my Thanksgiving project.Most of my plan partners paid me for the entire post-season strip. Therefore, either I've got a good chunk of their money (if they were in on WS games), or else my Nats account has it. I get a headache sitting here just thinking about untangling all this.I'm also looking forward (not) to the new card-based season ticket. I have a total of 13 plan partners in two ticket plans. Will they give me 13 RCR cards? Who knows. If so, and if I can make game assignments myself, then it'll be good. I won't have to redeem everybody's RCR points myself, and so on. But I don't expect it to go very smoothly.

  81. Dave - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I meant to say that my partners paid me for this or that individual game in the post-season strip. Just typing that out makes it a less daunting task. I might only owe somebody for one or two games.Still, however, it'll be a pain to deal with.

  82. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Dave, two ticket plans and 13 partners? That's impressive. I think you get one RCR card per seat in your plans, but maybe you can request more. It would be great if you could allocate tickets to those cards so all of your partners don't have to print out tickets. But just imagine the lines when people show up with just their cards and the reader at the gate doesn't process it properly. Yikes. (I also feel bad for people who save ticket stubs, not an uncommon thing at all.)

  83. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    i asked my rep about the 'red card' being your ticket in 2013 and he confirmed that is the case. He said you can get 'souvenir' tickets for Opening Day if you request them. I hate the idea of not having tickets as I wrote little notes on mine and collected them for the memories but I do see how it's more convenient and less susceptible to counterfeit tickets.

  84. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Not to mention saving the expense of 15-20,000 sets of tickets and those nice boxes they put them in, plus UPS delivery costs. I assume that's the bigger reason for the change. There's not much of a problem with counterfeit tickets is there?Without handy pocket-sized paper tickets, the scalpers on Half Street are going to need three ring binders for their printed out tix!

  85. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    NO SWISHER! BLECH.

  86. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    They were saying on emails all of last season that in 2013 our RCR cards would be our tickets to the park. Since they have already been using the ticket scanners instead of having the usher check our tickets going in, I have no reason to think that scanning the RCR cards will cause problems, provided they don't have the Metro SmarTrip programmers do the job. If there are issues, I bet the ushers at the gate will be told to just wave in someone if they're holding an RCR card and the scanner can't read it. Either that or they could all be given a printout of the RCR numbers to be allowed in every night and just check that the card number is on the list. That shouldn't hold up any lines, since other people can proceed through the scanner while the human usher is dealing with the problem.What will be interesting is how they enforce people sitting in their proper seats. As an RCR cardholder in the upper deck, can I just scope out an otherwise empty seat in some nice lower bowl section and upgrade myself by flashing my card at the usher as I walk in? There's nothing on the card that shows what seat I'm entitled to.As for the guy who has all those STH partners, I bet you're going to have to print out all those tickets yourself and distribute them. Unless you want to keep passing your card back and forth between people all season.

  87. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Section 222 said… Not to mention saving the expense of 15-20,000 sets of tickets and those nice boxes they put them in, plus UPS delivery costs.A side benefit to us customers will be not having to deal with the annual hassle of the UPS delivery of the tickets not happening until the absolute last minute before Opening Day.

  88. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Ghost, It's not a crazy idea but Swisher is only a year younger than ALR and if we won't give ALR 3 years why would we give it to Swisher? I think ALR would take the deal being suggested to Swisher and while I think their overall skill sets are comparable I would go with the incumbent in this case based on intangibles.

  89. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Good point on the delivery Feel. That's always a headache. Thanks to someone on here (maybe it was you), I now know about the UPS service for $5 that let's you have a package held at a nearby UPS Store for pickup. That worked well for the postseason strips.Like you, I wonder about how they tell whether you're sitting in the right seat. Will all the ushers have card readers of some kind? Should be very interesting.I'm guessing that it will be possible to allocate tickets to the cards through some online process, like it was possible to allocate all the RCR points to one card. And to print a ticket, which would take it off the card. It's definitely a brave new world out there. Now that I think of it, if 20 game plan owners are given RCR cards rather than printed tickets, that might be a good sign that the RCR program will still be in effect for them.

  90. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    MichelleS, Why Blech?

  91. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    The only deal the Nats could conceivably justify for Swisher would be about five years and $115MM less than the one he is supposedly seeking. Plus, Swisher for LaRoche would be a net loss and I don't see Rizzo settling for that.

  92. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    What's wrong w/ Swisher? Think about putting Espinosa in your OF w/out the defense or the arm.

  93. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    JD.Swisher thinks he is worth $100M, he faded drastically down the stretch, and as stated, he is only 1 year younger than Adam. Sorry, I want my Gold Glove 1b back (and yes, it's my blind spot, I admit it), not Swisher (is he really a better defender in the OF than Mikey Mo) and can he replace the bat that we would lose?

  94. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Like you, I wonder about how they tell whether you're sitting in the right seat. Will all the ushers have card readers of some kind? Should be very interesting.Since many of the ushers couldn't figure out how to use those cardboard stop signs on popsicle sticks that were supposed to keep people out of the aisles during play, watching them try to use card readers could be very entertaining.

  95. Don - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Wow, Ghost and NatsJack have some Juan-Pierre-hate-filled eyes. Guys, all the guy did last year was start 98 games (played in 130), play above average LF D (according to FanGraphs), hit .307/.351/.371, 37 SBs, led the league in sac bunts and K only 27 times and hit into 4 DPs, all on a minor league contract. Not to mention him being on fire down the stretch to help get the Phils into the WC discussion. It is objectively false to claim that Pierre did not work for the Phils. For 2013 the Fish got a skill set they needed badly for a hadnful of coins. Michael Bourn might out-play Pierre offensively next year, but likely not by very much, especially given the 95% discount the Fish get for a year's worth of that production over what Bourn's going to command. It is very hard to call this a bad move by the Fish.And is Jayson Werth or Bryce Harper and their big power bats going to be dropping many sac bunts in 2013? No. Because those guys will be hitting in the middle of the order where they belong, knocking in some get on base, high contact, run like Hell top of the order guy like Pierre. No?

  96. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Now that I think of it, if 20 game plan owners are given RCR cards rather than printed tickets, that might be a good sign that the RCR program will still be in effect for them.I always had the impression that we would be keeping our RCR cards from past years, since they wanted us to keep the one from 2011 to use this past season. (Recall that several people threw theirs out and had to go through the hassle of getting new cards because either that message wasn't communicated well by the team or the STH didn't get it. Probably the former.) But if they're going to issue new cards for everyone, they could print the seat location as well as the account number on them. However, if they do that, they'll probably mail them by UPS, reintroducing the delivery hassle.

  97. Dave - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    As the guy with "all those STH partners," I am under the impression that there will be some kind of electronic scheme involving multiple cards.I spoke with two different ticket reps in mid-August about this, and they told me they thought we'd be able to get additional cards.I believe my situation as a main ticket holder with a number of partners is not at all unusual. From other people I know who manage such groups, game assignments seem to commonly be made through some kind of draft or lottery system, or else the main ticket owner just assigns games based on preferences. (I use both of these methods.)Print everybody's tickets out? Really? I certainly hope not! That's a lot of my paper and ink that I'll be donating to the Nationals.True, up through this year (i.e., the past two years), there was one red card per seat. But that was before they proposed to eliminate cardboard tickets for STHs completely.I also wonder how an usher's going to do his/her job in the stadium. Belt-worn card readers? Who knows?Maybe this'll only be a mess through the middle of May, but I'm not hopeful.

  98. baseballswami - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I have been mostly out of the loop for a couple of days getting ready for an insane week with work and company. All I can think about is Lombo's hand — do you supposed mark can find out? Don't supposed there will be any hot stove action for the nats until the meetings in a couple of weeks. Anxious to know who is going to be on our roster and the rosters of the other nl teams.

  99. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    It is very hard to call this a bad move by the Fish.I don't think anyone is saying Pierre is a bad move for the Fish. They're saying he would have been a bad move for the Nats, and they're right. The Nats already have a good hitting, good defense fourth outfielder with speed. His name is Roger Bernadina.

  100. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    baseballswami said… I have been mostly out of the loop for a couple of days getting ready for an insane week with work and company. All I can think about is Lombo's hand — do you supposed mark can find out?Perhaps he was just wearing something on his hand because it's cold and flu season and he knew he'd be shaking a lot of hands. It's not like people are describing a bloody stump here.

  101. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Theo and MichelleS, I am no big Swisher fan but the number don't support your criticisms. 1) Swisher is a lifetime .361 OBP player LaRoche is a lifetime .338 OBP player 2) Swisher averages 25 HR's a year LaRoche acerages 25 HR's a year 3) Swisher is miles better than Mikey Mo. in the outfield; LaRoche is a golden glove 1st baseman 4) Swisher averages app. 3.7 WAR a year LaRoche averages app. 2.5 WAR a year 5) Swisher struck out 141 times last year LaRoche struck out 138 times last year I share you preference to bring back ALR but don't try to make Swisher out to be a bad or mediocre player; he's clearly not.

  102. pdowdy83 - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    I'm not sure I get the hate on Swisher completely. He plays average to above average defense in RF according to fangraphs. His arm is mediocre but by putting him in LF you negate some of that. He hits for the same power as ALR. He averages about the same number of RBIs as ALR and he gets on base at a higher rate. No, Swisher isn't a star but he isn't a bad player by any means and he is a switch hitter with a bit of positional flexibility and a year younger than ALR.

  103. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    JD.. that may be true, it's the Price Tag that bothers me more than anything else. At one point he wanted a Werth Contract. Sorry, if we need an OF bat, I would rather have Mikey Mo and put Tyler at first.

  104. peric - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Rendon last year in college lost his home run power because of an injury. Now three years later, it is still done. Time to start projecting Rendon as a 2B because you can't play a corner IF spot hiting less than 20 HR these days..Gee when I say that about Werth who is 33+ years old people are all over me? He's 22 YEARS OLD Tcostant. He's not on the edge of creaking old age like Werth for god's sake! C'mon! He will develop his power. Every scout who has evaluated him outside the organization at the AFL is in violent agreement about that. So, sorry but you'll be proven wrong.He's doing it the right way he's working on the line drives getting acclimated to the league first just like Davey et al convinced Harper to do. And then after the adjustment what happened? Except Rendon is the superior hitter to BHarp. There's the rub. He may be the most valuable overall prospect in baseball right now and the Nats have him.

  105. peric - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    I share you preference to bring back ALR but don't try to make Swisher out to be a bad or mediocre player; he's clearly not.That is certainly true. He beat out a former Nat nee' SF Giant named Xavier Nady as I recall. The Nats could do a lot worse than Swisher, he fits in the outfield and comes with a left-handed bat.

  106. peric - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    And is Jayson Werth or Bryce Harper and their big power bats going to be dropping many sac bunts in 2013? No. Because those guys will be hitting in the middle of the order where they belong, knocking in some get on base, high contact, run like Hell top of the order guy like Pierre. No?UH NO! Unlike Rendon (according to Tcostant) Werth does appear to be losing his power as he ages. But he still has enough to make a dangerous lead-off hitter. You know he can hit it out of the infield and drive it. Davey pretty much told the Junkies he liked the tandem of Werth #1 and Harper #2 just as I figured he would. Sorry no room for over-the-hill Juan Pierre except maybe as a bench bat and Davey likes guys with pop on his bench. Maybe Riggleman will pick him up. Or the Giants and Bochy who is a Riggleman fan.

  107. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Swisher would cost a draft pick.

  108. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    MLB Network is showing the WBC final with Brazil and Panama tonight at 8PM.

  109. peric - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    I guess a good barometer of the plans for Rendon is what position he plays next year. If it's 3rd base I would expect him to be traded. That is if he's still a Nat by spring.UH WRONG AGAIN. Unless they get a pitcher like David Price for him. At exactly that level Price period. It would make no sense from a purely financial perspective to trade Rendon. Not when he can play third base at gold glove level allowing Ryan Zimmerman to move to first base. Which is where he will be soon enough … and I'll be chortling when it happens. From a player development perspective it makes no sense. The guy's their best prospect right now. He is likely a better hitter than Harper. And hey its not like the Nats didn't have problems scoring runs last season now is it?

  110. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    And Juan Pierre is already in Miami.

  111. peric - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… For those of us who prefer the truth, if Zim is closing in on 30, then Harper is closing in on 22.After three reasonably serious injuries Natsjack? Three season with a lot of time on the DL? Hell yeah he's closing in on 30.

  112. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Among other things, La Roche hits real home runs. Swisher has been playing for the last four years in the new Yankee Stadium, which for some reason turned out to be Citizens Bank Park North. It replicated the old Yankee Stadium, which was already a cheap shot down both foul lines (318 feet — tho not as bad as the original [Maris] 296' in RF) but then somehow gave up more HR.Plus, anything less than LaRoche at 1B is a serious loss defensively and Swisher doesn't do anything in LF that Morse can't do w/ a little late-inning help from Bernadina.

  113. sjm308 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Count me as skeptical about next years ticket issues as well. I echo FeelWood on the usher situation. Our guy would come down during the BREAK with his little sign, which is exactly when they want people to move around. When the inning started he would run back up and hide so as not to be confrontational. Once, three of our five guys were late and people were in their seats. I tried to be polite and let them know they would have to move soon. Our usher "brian" came down and asked if there was a problem. I let him know people did not have tickets for our seats and he literally ran away. He was just a waste of time.I also am wondering if everyone is getting a new RCR card since my son conveniently lost his. I think 222 did a great job in summarizing what our agent told us about the rewards. Seats will cost more points then last year, and they really want the points used for merchandise, parking or food. Makes sense but what does not make sense is how they will read my RCR card to allow entry on game day and not on the other 60 games. Then again, I still can't set up links on a computer.

  114. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    MichelleS, Micke Mo in left and Tylet at 1st? Ah no. That's 2 right handed hitters and both waay below average on D. I don't have a crystal ball and I certainly admit to being wrong once in a while but it is my distinct impression that Rizzo is not interested in Morse's or Tyler's glove in the outfield. I think if ALR signs Morse will be on his way out via trade and if he doesn't he will be on his way to 1st base at which tome Bourne will become a very popular option.

  115. Senators Fan - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Long time Lurker (first time poster), had to get my grandson to set me up a google account. My kids thinks its funny that I want to talk about baseball, I didn't raise them right apparantly.Mr Peric, you have continuted to say that you think Ryan Zimmerman will be moved to 1B. Can you tell me when you expect this to happen? In 2013? Or 2014 or later? I can see it happening at some point, possibly closer to the time that Ryan turns 32 or 33, but as someone who has watched baseball for over 70 years, you just don't move that glove over to 1B for an unproven prospect. Mr Rendon may turn out to be the next best thing, but the young man has to stay healthy first.

  116. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    JD, totally get the need for the Left Handed Bat. And yes, Tyler at first may not be ideal. But That's why I want Adam back.

  117. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Theo, Sorry; Swisher also averaged 25 HR's a year with Oakland and the White Sox neither of whose parks is considered a 'band box'. Your defensive analysis is also not based on anything other than misguided opinion. Defensive metrics (imperfect as they may be) show that Swisher is many times the fielder Morse is. It is normal for fans to over value their players and undervalue other team's players but it's a good idea to recognize that this is what you're doing. A switch from ALR at 1st and MM in left to MM at 1st and Swisher in left would not IMO reduce the overall value to the team.

  118. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    MichelleS,I think we all want Adam back but Rizzo needs to do what's best for the team and 4 years may not be.

  119. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    JD.. still hung up on the $$$, what do you think Swisher price tag will be. I would rather use that money to lock up some of our younger guys, Like Jordan and Ian.

  120. baseballswami - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Feel Wood — bloody stump , very funny. I will stop over- reacting now that you have made me laugh hilariously. Seriously – the off season is just so dull that there's not enough to talk about. We need some news that doesn't involved the Blue Jays and the Marlins.

  121. Don - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Peric — Davey can say whatever he wants to the Junkies in November in order to not offend his GM's skills on building a team (and you always love the guys you have, especially if they won the Division!), but I think that it is not too much of a stretch to think that Davey does not really want a 30+ HR power guy like Harper hoping to move a runner over instead of swinging for an extra base hit. Neither Werth nor Harper is truly a top of the order guy. Werth has very nice OBP skills and he filled the role well last year when called upon to do so, but if his power is not gone, then don't we want him knocking some runners in with his 30 HRs? If Werth's power is gone, then the club had better not ink Bourn at $90M or whatever it is going to take, as they owe Werth $99M already. I am not in love with Juan Pierre so much as I am lusting after some guy(s) to be on base for sluggers Harper and Werth (presuming he is still a slugger) and if it is a guy who won't have a chance at crippling the club with some huge contract down the road then that is OK with me too.

  122. baseballswami - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Ok, about Swisher. My gut instincts don't react well to having a Yankee in the clubhouse. Not a yankee from their minors like clippard, but a real honest-to -goodness obnoxious yankee. I always struggle with new guys anyway. I guess if I accepted Jayson and he was a philly, I can get used to anyone. But a Yankee? Have we ever have one before?

  123. Don - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    JD — Chicago AL is a very bandy box.

  124. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    JD.. as you can see.. we have an attachment anxiety disorder with our players. Once we fall in love we fall hard.

  125. Section 222 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    As fans, we develop a fondness for our team and its players. And now that we had a great season in 2012, we're even more comfortable standing pat with the players we have. So we'll be ok with Morse in LF and TyMo at 1B if ALR leaves. But Rizzo doesn't think like that. He's clear-eyed about the positives and negatives of our current roster. That's why we have Gio in the rotation instead of Tommy Milone and/or Brad Peacock. It's why we had Zuk instead of Flores to take over as our starting catcher down the stretch and share catching duty with Ramos next year. It's why Harper came up early and stayed up and Bernadina became a bench player and DeRosa played so little (he was our starting LF on opening day, remember?!!) It's why Lannan wasn't our No. 5 last year, and probably won't be this year.I expect a free agent signing or trade for another starter — someone better than Lannan. And I expect that if ALR doesn't sign a move will be made. I don't know if that means Morse to 1B and signing someone like Swisher, Bourn, or Upton for the outfield. But something will happen because Rizzo recognizes that this year we are in the right spot to take a shot at going all the way. And standing pat isn't the best way to do that.Oh, and Ryan Zimmerman isn't moving to 1B anytime soon. :-)

  126. Gonat - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    MicheleS said… JD.. still hung up on the $$$, what do you think Swisher price tag will be. I would rather use that money to lock up some of our younger guys, Like Jordan and Ian. November 19, 2012 5:14 PM __________________________________Swisher was a better player because of his being a Yankee but I would expect him to decline some in the NL.ALR for 3 years is the right way to go.

  127. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Sec 222, You pretty much nailed it. I agree with everything you said. MichelleS, I completely understand; most of us watched something north of 150 games last year and a magical year it was so it's hard no to fall in love with the players but as Sec 222 said Rizzo can't afford to think that way. Gonat, I am not quite sure why you think Swisher will decline some in the NL. I also think 3 years for ALR may be how it plays out but 2 years is much better.

  128. Feel Wood - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Makes sense but what does not make sense is how they will read my RCR card to allow entry on game day and not on the other 60 games.That's easy. There is something encoded on your card that identifies who you are. Probably your account number. The scanner reads that and then communicates with the database like this: "Account #12345 is here. Does he get in tonight?" The database responds yes/no, and the gate opens or it doesn't. If you have more than one seat, it lets this process repeat for however many seats you have that night. If you or someone else prints out one of your tickets and shows up before you, then the system counts that as one entry against your card.What's in question is whether the RCR cards we already have are encoded with our account number. They could be. They're only a few microns thinner than the encoded plastic card that gets me into my workplace. But if they're not, we'll need new cards.

  129. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    JD. I think swisher benefits from the DH (kind of like Josh W did) and the days of rest. Now Swish can play 1b, but still don't think he would be worth the $$$$ that he wants plus he wants years.

  130. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Watching MLB Tonight on the Jays trade and they just mentioned how they lost 4 pitchers over the course of 1 week. That was the week that the Nats played them. So really, the Nats can take credit for bringing down the Marlins since the trade was done to fix a problem that we made! :-)

  131. JD - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    MichelleS, I don't recall Swisher Dhing at all but I could be wrong. The $$$$ will be high because a 3.7 WAR player won't come cheap but I would not go more than 2 years with him which may make the whole thing moot in any event.

  132. MicheleS - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    JD. your right, doesn't look like Nick was a DH this past year. I think he wants more than 2 years.

  133. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Don ……there is a certain type player that continues to appear productive but has fallen below the level necessary to be a playoff caliber player. These guys circulate among the lower tier teams continuing to earn a decent pay check but only acting as place holder till the team is able to promote a system developed younger, cheaper and hopefully, better player.Juan Pierre is that kind of player. Why else would he jump at the opportunity to play for the juggernaut and first class organization that is the Fish?

  134. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    from Twitter: @Ken_Rosenthal: Juan Pierre's contract with the #Marlins is for $1.6M total. No performance bonuses. No club option/buyout.I think this fits with NJack's comment. A useful but low-tier, placeholder type player. We are past guys like that since we have trouble figuring out where all the GOOD guys in our system are going to find room.

  135. NatsLady - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Swisher does not have a good rep among players, apparently, though the article says he is good in the clubhouse. Have to take this stuff with a salt truck.Who is the most hated player?A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox), 34%Alex Rodriguez (Yankees), 10%Nick Swisher (Yankees), 9%http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2012/06/aj-pierzynski-most-hated-player/1#.UKrGteTg2So

  136. Joe Seamhead - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Wow. I just read all of this thread and I'm bummed. I can't find my RCR card from last year, I didn't know that I was supposed to save it. Don, Juan Pierre is a classic example of stats not always telling the truth. He flat out makes Lombo look like a gold glove in the OF. Sorry, but his arm is horrible. I don't see any use for him here and I'm glad he signed with the Fish.Nick Swisher?In the words of Mayner G Crebbs: Oh, come now. And where are you going to play him? He and Werth in the same dugout and locker room? I actually like Nick… as a Yankee.

  137. Feel Wood - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Joe, it's not clear that we will use the same RCR cards as last year. But if we do and you have lost yours you can get a replacement. No worries.

  138. Don - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    NatsJack — Pierre went to the Marlins because he'll play every day (he went to the Phils last year because he'd have a chance for the playoffs — or so he thought last winter) and it is likely that he'll be successful in Miami (as he has at pretty much every stop he has had — look at his career stats — his worst year is a .275 AVG). Joe Seam– Again, I am not Pierre's agent here or anything, but a LF arm is pretty useless compared to pretty much any other position but for 1B (not to mention that trade-bait Mike Morse cannot run or catch, so if he has an arm in LF no one quite knows for sure) and I will take FanGraphs saying Pierre played above average D in LF in 2012, won't you? And please, the stats do tell the story pretty well, Pierre has got 2,100 Hs, 1,000+ Rs, a .297 AVG, a .346 OBP, almost 600 SBs and he is far and away the best bunter in the game. Does the guy's game have flaws? Sure, but the guy can play. It's not arguable. The Nats need to keep building a winning club, they need guys who can get on and who won't K much at all and the cost for him is beyond ideal — $1.6 M. Like I said above, he'll be in the same park in terms of stats as Bourn and Bourn's gonna have a Brinks truck in his driveway.

  139. baseballswami - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I completely understand that Rizzo can't view the team with emotional eyes. As a fan I just get attached to our team. It takes me a while to warm up to new guys. There are just so many factors that need to be taken into account. Gio was easy to love, others take more time or it never happens. There are guys that just pass through every year also. Then there are the Baby Nats – it was hard to give up some of them last year. That's why we are fans and we get paid zero dollars and Rizzo and his staff are baseball execs and they get paid the big bucks.

  140. pdowdy83 - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    The Swisher/Willingham/DH connection is a bit off. Swisher DHed 31 games in the last 4 years…total. Willingham DHed 61 in the last 2 seasons alone. Swisher is by no means a perfect player but I think he is an acceptable Plan B to LaRoche if they do not bring him back. Even if he regresses some from leaving New York I would say it wouldn't be a long shot that he is a guy who puts up his usual .360+ OBP with 20+ homers. Who knows, he also could benefit from getting away from the pressures of playing in NY. If I had to choose between Bourn and Swisher, I take Swisher. Bourn's legs are going to leave him at some point during his next contract and he is going to be overpaid. Even if Swisher breaks down some he has the ability to still run into a homer. Bourn won't. Bourn is also tied to CF and is of little to no value at another position. Swisher adds some flexibility after next season. The team could let Morse walk at the end of 2013 and slide Swisher to 1B and call up Goodwin for the 2014 season. They could pursue another outfielder or a 1B if needed and won't be in a spot where an agent can use the leverage of only having one open position on the field against the team.

  141. pdowdy83 - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    I don't think Pierre would be a great fit here but he isn't as bad as people are making him out to be. He gets on base at an above average rate and he can swipe a bag. He might not walk a lot but he also doesn't strike out and for a guy with his skill set putting a ball in play is important. He hustles and can catch a baseball in LF at or around an average rate. He can't throw worth a darn and he has no power but he isn't awful, especially for what he has been getting contract wise.

  142. peric - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    The Nats need to keep building a winning club, they need guys who can get on and who won't K much at all and the cost for him is beyond ideal — $1.6 M. Like I said above, he'll be in the same park in terms of stats as Bourn and Bourn's gonna have a Brinks truck in his driveway.Note Bourn predictors. Have you not been watching? The Nats have already been in contact with BJ Upton? Why he comes with power and speed. Rizzo and Davey aren't going with 1-dimensional players. Get off of Giggleman's Island will ya?

  143. c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Per the ESPN Website: "NOTES: Pierre would earn a $25,000 bonus if he's an All-Star, $25,000 each for winning a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger, $50,000 if he's an LCS MVP, $100,000 if he's the World Series MVP and $100,000 if he's the league MVP." Wouldn't those qualify as "incentives?" ArVAFan

  144. sjm308 - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Feel:its really not that huge a deal but I do appreciate your help with the RCR card.I remember pdowdy trying to start a baseball blog and I liked him then and like what he writes now. He takes the time to actually look stuff up and it makes sense. No to Bourn, maybe to Swisher if we don't sign Adam. I really wish Rizzo would do something but I am guessing he will wait.On a totally non-baseball issue. As a former athlete and coach at Maryland (and yes, I was a head coach), my sport was eliminated this year. It was one of the most hurtful things I have experienced even though I am retired. The "stuff" being spewed by the president and AD about restoring sports will never take away the pain of what they did and I seriously doubt if it happens. Can't wait to see the Lacrosse teams looking for games since the Big Ten does not have enough teams to field a conference championship.Didn't have another avenue to vent in so excuse my use of this site but I am hoping my imaginary friends will understand. College sports are really all about money, just like the pros.

  145. Feel Wood - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    The Nats need to keep building a winning club, they need guys who can get on and who won't K much at all and the cost for him is beyond ideal — $1.6 M. Like I said above, he'll be in the same park in terms of stats as Bourn and Bourn's gonna have a Brinks truck in his driveway.Why do you continue to make arguments that the Nats should be signing Pierre after he's already signed with the Marlins? That alone makes him not a fit here. There's as much chance of him signing with the Nats as there is of Trout getting the MVP or Romney being President.

  146. Section 222 - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:06 AM

    I don't know what it is about Juan Pierre but far too many threads have been taken up by discussions about him. He's not going to play in DC, just like Zim isn't going to move to 1B or hit anywhere in the order except 3rd. Can we suspend discussions of these topics until next winter at least? :-)

  147. baseballswami - Nov 20, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Baseball boredom causes wild and crazy discussions. At least Riggleman didn't get the Toronto job or we would be rehashing him today.

  148. peric - Nov 22, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    I think this may be the song to post Mick?Hello darkness, my old friendI've come to talk with you againBecause a vision softly creepingLeft its seeds while I was sleepingAnd the vision that was planted in my brainStill remainsWithin the sound of silenceIn restless dreams I walked aloneNarrow streets of cobblestone'Neath the halo of a street lampI turned my collar to the cold and dampWhen my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon lightThat split the nightAnd touched the sound of silenceAnd in the naked light I sawTen thousand people, maybe morePeople talking without speakingPeople hearing without listeningPeople writing songs that voices never shareAnd no one daredDisturb the sound of silence"Fools", said I, "You do not knowSilence like a cancer growsHear my words that I might teach youTake my arms that I might reach you"But my words, like silent raindrops fellAnd echoedIn the wells of silenceAnd the people bowed and prayedTo the neon god they madeAnd the sign flashed out its warningIn the words that it was formingAnd the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway wallsAnd tenement halls"And whispered in the sounds of silence

  149. peric - Nov 22, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    just like Zim isn't going to move to 1B Wanna bet? See the post above by Gonat where Rendon was ranked the #1 prospect in the AFL … playing third base. You've never been good at this section222 doubtless you never will. Just to rigid in your thinking me thinks. Reminds me of Riggleman speaking of which Swami.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
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PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
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MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
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THU: OFF
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