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A controversial Hall of Fame ballot

Nov 28, 2012, 7:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Barry Bonds will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The most noteworthy and controversial Hall of Fame ballot in history was released this afternoon, one that includes several of baseball's all-time bests, many of them linked to performance enhancing drugs.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are the three biggest first-time nominees on the 37-player ballot released by the Hall of Fame, with Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio also making their first appearances.

Members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America with at least 10 years of consecutive service — there are approximately 600 who qualify — must cast their ballots by Dec. 31. The results will be announced Jan. 9, with any player who receives at least 75 percent of the vote inducted into Cooperstown next July.

Astute baseball fans and media have long known the 2013 ballot would be a major spectacle, the combination of so many greatRead more ยป

  1. Feel Wood - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Just cast your vote for the one ex-Nat on the list and be done with it.

  2. natsfan1a - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Good one, but aren't there two ex-Nats (Clayton and Stanton)?

  3. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Yeah, Giancarlo needs to remember there was a notnatS on this team before…

  4. Joe Seamhead - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    This isn't a very popular position, and most don't agree, but Roger Clemens was never conclusively found to have taken any illegal substance as far as I know.I honestly think the government prosecutors should be ashamed of the money and time that was wasted on trying to hang Clemens up as a trophy on their wall.

  5. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Regardless of what the courts determined, Clemens is certainly a famous player. As much as I enjoyed the Hall the two times I've visited, I don't agree with all of the inductions. But part of the fun is saying "how did THAT guy get in?", rather than grousing about how there isn't a Tim Raines or Marvin Miller.

  6. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Seamy- agree on the shameful waste of time and my $$, but Clemens is as guilty as OJ, from this seat….

  7. JamesFan - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    These guys were paid very, very well for their steroid induce performance. That's enough. No to the steroid guys. Even the Rocket would not get my vote.

  8. Feel Wood - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    UnkyD said… Seamy- agree on the shameful waste of time and my $$, but Clemens is as guilty as OJ, from this seat…. O.J. may not be guilty after all.

  9. Pilchard - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Bonds and Clemens (who I despise) are slam dunks based upon on the field performance. Both before and after the wide-spread introduction of steroids into baseball, they were dominant players. Anyone that thinks that no current member of the HOF used performance enhancing drugs is fooling themselves. BTW, I've never heard a rational explanation for why players that have admittedly used amphetimines, such as Mike Schmidt, widely used in baseball in the 60s through 00s are given different treatment than those that used other performance enhancing substances. FWIW, neither amphetimines nor steroids were formally banned from baseball until recently.The fact is that players have widely used some form of performance substances for more than 50 years. As a result the criteria should be based upon a candidates on-the-field play rather than a voter's guess as to whether a player used PEDs or not.

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Pilchard, you think Griffey used it? Randy Johnson? Greg Maddux? Pedro? Jeter?

  11. Joe Seamhead - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    UnkyD, "guilty" based on what? maybe I missed something. Sure there was speculation, and accusation by a known liar trying to protect his own butt, but did RC ever come up positive? Did any one other then the trainer ever say that they saw him? I have a memory that changed my preconceived notion of him. I was at an O's – Yanks game at Camden Yards on a very hot day. I watched him sign autographs by the 3rd base dugout for almost an hour before the game. He was just great with the little kids.Like I said, I looked at him different after that day. Nothing to do with PED's of course. I also have a minority opinion that Tommy John deserves to be in based on his stats alone. Add in his remarkable return as the first recipient of the ligament replacement, and what he accomplished on the mound afterwards, and it would seal the deal if I was a voter.

  12. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I think there's a non-zero chance the Unit used. Guy that big pitching into his 40s? Sounds like Clemens. Certainly it's possible some of those guys popped an upper once in a while if they didn't feel good on game day. "Cheating" is a dodgy subject in baseball, since it's often just what you're willing to do to win before you get caught.You know, there's NO way that Carlton Fisk and Nolan Ryan should have been that good when they were old either, right? Gaylord Perry cheated most of his career or wanted you to believe that.

  13. Joe Seamhead - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Mantle was said to have used amphetamines. Maybe that had something to do with him not being a unanimous first ballot choice.

  14. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    it is not just about 'willing to do to win before you get caught'. these guys ushered in the era of bloated contracts, mainly thanks to their over-the-top numbers.

  15. Feel Wood - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    There are only two people I have ever booed at a Nats game – Barry Bonds and Dick Cheney. I didn't boo Bonds because he was a steroid user, I booed him because, like Cheney, he's a dick. Similarly, I bet there are lots of HoF voters who will vote against Clemens and Bonds with steroids being the stated reason while the actual reason is that they are both dicks. Today's voters like to set themselves up as the moral and ethical police for the HoF, and it's not PC for them to admit that they are not voting for a player mainly because he's not a nice guy. If Ty Cobb (by all accounts a dick even though he was a great player) was on the ballot today, they'd be figuring out some smokescreen of a reason to not vote for him too. Until the voters lose their holier-than-thou attitude the HoF will not include a whole generation of great players who should be in there. They're trying to turn it into a heaven or hell situation when really it's not. It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Sainthood after all.

  16. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Mantle was always going to be that guy writers thought should have been better.

  17. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    There's something to that Feel Wood, but it's a little late to make it a small Hall Of Fame when you vote in players like Rice who are clearly not nearly as good as Bonds or Clemens no matter how much the steroids helped and who was probably as big a jerk as Bonds.

  18. bowdenball - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    The thing about the Hall is that there's SO MUCH wiggle room in the voting criteria. All kinds of stuff about character and morality and other soft criteria. Totally different from a simple question of who was best or most valuable. So for something like steroids vs. amphetamines, the voters could easily say that steroids were illegal while at least some form of amphetamines were not. They could say that they think steroids aided performance more than amphetamines. They could say that using steroids made you a worse role model for children than using amphetamines. The point is, they can say whatever they want and not be wrong, because concepts like integrity, sportsmanship and character leave all kinds of room for interpretation.

  19. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    So the money is supposed to stay in the owners pockets and not for the players who actually are the game? Pitchers used them too.

  20. baseballswami - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Lance Armstrong had never been proven guilty of anything and look how much has been taken from him. Just sayin'

  21. Candide - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    If I were voting, I would hold my nose and vote for Bonds. Looking at his stats, it's easy to see he started using PEDs in 2000. His stats were in unmistakable decline from 1993 to 1999 (look at his OPS+) when he suddenly took off in 2000 and posted the greatest sustained stretch of hitting ever.My rationale for voting for him is this: Let's assume he dropped dead just before the 2000 season. He would have retired with a career OPS of .968, with 445 HR and 460 SB. Absolute lock for a first-ballot election. In other words, he had a great career even BEFORE he started using PEDs. You could throw out the entire PED portion of his career and he was still a HOFer.Of course, you have to take into account "integrity, sportsmanship, character," and that's the part where I hold my nose.

  22. blovy8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Yeah, there is some overtly moralistic stuff going on when some voters can come right out and say they are punishing Robbie Alomar for spitting on an umpire, even though he apologized, got a suspension, and would agree that the incident was "out of character" and he would otherwise be worthy.

  23. Candide - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    blovy8 said…So the money is supposed to stay in the owners pockets and not for the players who actually are the game?Funny, I think I've heard that before…

  24. Candide - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…Mantle was said to have used amphetamines.Yeah, but that was to make his head stop pounding from the hangover he got from spending the night carousing with Martin and Ford.

  25. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Feel and Seamhead: I'll confess to tossing that little cherry-bomb, just to see what would happen… Facinating, about the serial killer, but I'm unlikely to go back and re-research the OJ business, unless they bring charges against this guy, so my lasting impression will be the sense of disbelief when I saw the verdict. Doesn't matter what I think… I didn't have all the facts then, and my ignorance is now entrenched. As for Clemens, you're right again Feel Wood; He's a dick. And that'll be flavoring my impression of him, for a long time. And again, I don't vote, so it doesn't much matter what I think. I don't think there's a fair answer to what to do with the HOF… There'll never be a way to say who did or didn't do this or that, and a whole bunch if guys prolly popped a bunch of greenies, back in the day. I guess if I was a player, that kind of recognition would be very important to me, but I'm not, and there's plenty to agonize over, in our lives, without wasting a bunch of angst and outrage over how these guys live their lives… Oh. My. God!!! Gimme Some Ballgames!!! Please!

  26. Candide - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    UnkyD said…there's plenty to agonize over, in our lives, without wasting a bunch of angst and outrage over how these guys live their lives… In all fairness, UnkyD, it's more than how they live their lives. It's how they affect the game we pay to watch. I couldn't give a rap what they do with their lives as long as it doesn't hurt me or anyone else, or corrupt the game.Popular culture is degraded enough as it is (viz. Honey Boo-Boo); I'd like to think there's a certain integrity in baseball. Problem is, the bad seeds get all the press; we'll read more about Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens in one day than we did the entire year Cal Ripken got inducted.

  27. James Joyce - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Pitchers like Nolan Ryan, Goose Gossage and Dennis Eckersley were users, well, if you had to bet money one way or the other you'd bet they were users. As were Rickey, Robbie Alomar, Boggs, the Hawk (49 HRs that one year when his average the previous 5 yrs was 23) and maybe Ripken (guy went from 185 to 240 pounds pretty late in his career in an era where almost every star was using, not to mention chump teammates like Manny Alexander), etc. But who cares!! That was the game then. Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and Clemens should all be in. There were no shortage of guys using and they were the best of the era.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    This is like discussing religion and politics.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    The cheaters know who they are.

  30. natsfan1a - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Agreed, and, as with such topics, none are likely to have their minds changed by the opinions/arguments of others. Which kinda makes such back and forths a waste of time, in my mind. But that's just me. Discuss away, those of y'all who enjoy it. I'll go back to staring out the window and waiting for spring. :-)Ghost Of Steve M. said… This is like discussing religion and politics.

  31. NatsLady - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Are we interested in Rafael Perez? Lefty reliever–BUT. Was just released by Cleveland.

  32. MicheleS - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    One of my proudest and most obnoxious moments as a fan. Game 2, 2002 World Series in Anaheim. I was sitting along the left field line. It was dead quiet around me, I screamed at the top of my lungs "You Suck Barry". I got a standing O from my section.

  33. Don - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Upton to the Braves is the rumor. 5 yr deal, I am guessing maybe $90M or so?? What might this mean for a Bourn singingor a tarde for Fowler or for the Spanish debt crisis?? Anything but roid boy HOF candidates.

  34. DaveB - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Looks like the Barves signed BJ Upton for 5 years / $70-75M. So … that's a downgrade from Bourn (especially defensively) at approximately twice his price (last year). I'm OK with that one.

  35. Don - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Wow — sorry, *signing or trade* I can nottype.

  36. MicheleS - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    And just so you know, we have more important things to discuss, The Times is at it again Sadly, it looks like the sports section is part of this again. I hope Amanda is okay.

  37. Gonat - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    BJ Upton to the Braves

  38. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    MicheleS: you RAWK!!!

  39. Section 222 - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Uh-oh. Kilgore's piece on Zim's shoulder is going to seriously fuel peric's fire on a move to 1B.

  40. Don - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Zim has had trouble throwing since before 2012, which is why they broke down his mechanics and started over, I think it was before 2011. Not sure when it was. I am guessing that the surgery will have him ready by Spring, but this may be a chronic problem. Makes me wonder if they can risk inking a big money 1B beyond a couple of years without knowing Zim can play 3B for the bulk of his deal. We'll see.

  41. rogieshan - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Espinosa can breathe a sigh of relief. Upton will claim the dubious strikeout crown in 2013.

  42. feelanau - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    "Cheating" is sometimes subjective or, at least, in the eye of the beholder. I submit that "Donnie Baseball" cheated in that September game when he admitted he knew that Kemp did not cross the plate before the runner was tagged out at third for the third out. If you do something intentionally dishonest, is that cheating? Pretending to "catch" a ball you know you trapped? The "neighborhood" tag at second on a double play? Scuffing the ball? That said, I could never vote for Bonds or Clemens, because they're liars and because I couldn't stand their arrogance as players. The other Steriod Boys? Just tell the truth. It will set you free and probably get you into the BBHOF.

  43. Teddy Rochlis - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    im okay with bj signing with the braves, as stated previously gonna cost 15 million a year, and bj only hit a measly .246 and stuck out over 140 times if i remember correctly, down in average from bourn and up in ks up in money, worst defense, the only thing they get is a right handed power bat, thats looking more like an adam dunn everyday

  44. Don - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Upton looking more like an Adam Dunn?? Let's not get crazy. Upton has a lot of tools, he's a 30-30 kind of talent who can play LF or CF for the Braves, he's young and durable. It is a lot of money, but the Braves have no big $ commitments beyond Uggla, so this is not some wild move by Wren or anything.

  45. Manassas Nats' Fan - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    I don' t get involved with the nonsense. Here would be my 10 votes.left oversMcGwiresRainesMorrisBagwellWalkerFirst timerBondsClemendSosaBiggioPiazza

  46. Feel Wood - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… This is like discussing religion and politics. November 28, 2012 4:08 PM Ghost Of Steve M. said… The cheaters know who they are.Exactly. Which is why the BBWAA should not be the ones voting for HoF. They are guessing at who used and who didn't, and tainting everyone in the process. If the player might have used and is a dick, they vote against him. If the player might have used but is a nice guy, they still vote against him because they will feel betrayed if it comes out that he used after they voted him in. They have made themselves into the high moral guardians of the HoF, when the reality is that Joe Blow who had a cup of coffee in the majors knows better who is HoF worthy than any 10-year member of the BBWAA.The HoF should be voted like the Oscars are. The Oscars are voted by members of the Academy, not by film critics and writers. The HoF voters should be anyone who ever played or worked in MLB, not people who just write or talk about baseball as observers.

  47. Drew - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Mark:Biggio and Timmy Raines.The guy I think got a raw deal during the steroid madness is Fred McGriff. Nobody noticed during the Popeye years, but the man hit 493 home runs!

  48. Manassas Nats' Fan - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Fred mcGriff I would think should be discussed.

  49. JaneB - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Piazza is an ex-Nat too.I vote for Julio Franco.

  50. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Three words: integrity, sportsmanship, character.I don't think anybody gets in this year. Certainly none of the cheats.

  51. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    As far as I am concerned, if anything affected the game of baseball negatively, players responsible for it should be held out from HOF. While racism done by certain ballplayers was wrong, it was a problem with their upbringing or surrounding, not their game.One other thing is that I would like ex-players from 90s and 2000s who did not juice and put comparable numbers to be more vocal against juicers. I have not seen such an example.

  52. UnkyD - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    FW@6:45……. Exactly.

  53. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Congrats to Braves on getting Upton. Can we count them out from Span or any other OF sweepstakes?

  54. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    I hope Amanda has her resume updated.Sounds like the Wash. Times is getting ready to kill sports. Again.I hope Mike Harris survives.What a crazy place. What a crazy industry.Glad you got out with your sanity and integrity intact, Mark.

  55. sometimesitrains - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    i'd vote yes on Clemens for sure. Bonds is a closer call: he has to get in eventually, i suppose, but i wouldn't vote for him to get in on the first ballot. and i don't see Sosa or Piazza getting in at all.

  56. Constant Reader - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Put me down as one of the folks who will make the case for the Crime Dog. He's totally a victim of his era. Billy Williams, Eddie Matthews, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell. Look at all their numbers next to McGriff. Is there really that big a difference?

  57. MicheleS - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    My Votes:Bagwell, Biggio, Piazza, and my personal favorite – Edgar Martinez. I hate the DH and think it should be outlawed. Sadly, it's a position in the AL and there was none better than Edgar. I could probably make a case for Raines and probably Jack Morris. Larry Walker and the Crime Dog will be interesting case studies for the Sabermetrics folks to disect.It still ticks me off that Ryne Sandberg wasn't a first ballot hall of famer.

  58. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    It would help if FG or BBref can make a leaderboard with HOF and the players each season eligible for HOF so we can compare better. It is very hard to do it player by player basis.

  59. Dennis and Valerie - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    If the league came out and retroactively banned certain guys then this would be an easy choice. The writers could know who to vote for and who not to vote for. By putting the "cheaters" on the ballot, MLB is saying its okay for them to get in the HOF despite the allegations. Otherwise, how can anyone vote based on media's portrayal of someone of half the data. Its like me sitting in my living room, declaring OJ guilty because I heard a lot of the media say he was even though I didn't watch the coverage.

  60. baseballswami - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Wait just a minute – didn't the Washington Times kill their sports not too long ago? Wasn't Mark a casualty of that? I would never actually read anything there other than Amanda, but I would hate to see her lose her job. Not a great place for job security, is it?

  61. MicheleS - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Swami, that is exactly right. A few years ago, the Times layed off the entire sports department. And now they are doing cuts again.

  62. Candide - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    McGriff's Similarity Scores:Asterisks are HOFers. Willie McCovey (887) * Willie Stargell (875) * Jeff Bagwell (865) Frank Thomas (861) Carlos Delgado (857) Billy Williams (851) * Gary Sheffield (850) Andres Galarraga (850) Jason Giambi (832) Eddie Mathews (827) *Of the top 5, Bagwell is the only eligible not in the HOF – Thomas and Delgado aren't eligible yet.

  63. baseballswami - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Isn't there yet another Nats wedding this weekend? These guys are spending lots of quality time together this off season. It's a good thing they have good chemistry. Even though it wasn't on this site, the article on Zim's shoulder was interesting. There was one particular game when I really thought his shoulder was going to totally lock up- it just would not do what he needed it to do. He really is a great Nat and a good guy.

  64. sjm308 - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    My votes for the Hall – Morris – Bonds – Clemens – Piazza – McGuire – Palmeiro – Biggio & BagwellIf they want to put something on the plaque saying they were "suspected" or tested positive that would please me but its a Hall of Fame. It has no working relationship with MLB. It's a Hall of Fame.Of course with that plaque situation, I would then induct Pete Rose (again, he is banned by MLB, not the Hall of Fame) with that same sort of information. "Greatest hitter in the game, Bet on Baseball" is all your plaque needs to say.On the Zimm article, it really is a fine line how far they can go with the cortisone shots. Interesting that he seems to do more damage when sliding into a base (or home) than when diving for balls as Peric maintains. I remember the initial damage was done when he jammed it at 2nd base with a headfirst dive and the Kilgore article mentions a dive into home. If you think about it, both 3rd and 1st requires the ability to leave your feet and make diving stops. The only relief he would get at first is that long throw over to 1st would obviously be eliminated.Kieran is home in DC, getting settled in and hoping that LaRoche will be signed soon. Surprised there was not a welcoming parade on Capitol Hill but I guess they are busy getting ready for Lunch with Mitt and Barack or something.

  65. Unknown - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    On Upton-to-the-Braves:I'm not upset in the least that the Nationals didn't get him — they didn't need another low average, high strikeout power guy in the lineup. I'd just rather that Upton didn't go to the Braves. That said, they are losing Chipper and Bourn and adding Upton. Not so much an improvement rather than replacing lost parts. Farid @ Idaho

  66. Unknown - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    And I Hope Amanda keeps her job too.I write for a newspaper out here in Pocatello Idaho and many of the writers that have left have been replaced by freelancers who do the job a lot cheaper. I don't blame these newspapers, though. The way people get their news has changed.As a young adult I would read the Washington Post in the morning and the Evening Star and Washington Daily News in the afternoon.For those of you not old enough to remember, the Daily News was a tabloid designed newspaper with lots and lots of photos (as I recall, there was an image of and old Graflex camera in the logo)in an easy to read format. I loved that paper. I think it went under in the late 60's or so and merged with the Evening Star. Farid @ Idaho

  67. sjm308 - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Farid:we also got all 3 papers and the Daily News was shaped differently than the other two, more like the NY Post. I loved reading Shirly Povich in the Post but liked Morrie Seigel almost as much with the Star. How great it was to have 3 papers!!It probably won't make a huge difference but if McCann has another injury plagued year, the loss of Ross will hurt the Braves as well. I am not a big Upton fan and am glad we are out of that sweepstakes. I am puzzled why the Braves think that he is an upgrade over Bourn. Can anyone here help me out?? I think the age difference is just two years and their defensive skill sets are both very good. Bourn steals bases better and gets on base better. Upton hits for more power. I just don't see a big difference.

  68. NatsLady - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Nats players arb eligible according to MLB trade rumorsPlayer Service TimeRoger Bernadina 3.146 Tyler Clippard 3.148 Ian Desmond 3.027 Ross Detwiler 3.002 Jesus Flores 5.079 Tom Gorzelanny 5.160 John Lannan 4.046 Craig Stammen 2.160 super-2 Drew Storen 2.140 super-2 Jordan Zimmermann 3.154

  69. Unknown - Nov 29, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    I just don't know how I feel about all the possible movements this off season.Though I really want him to come back, there is no way I would give LaRoche a 3-year contract. Just too much age at a time when Jayson Werth starts to slow down too. Though I'd miss the defense, I'd put Morse at first (I thought he handled the position well in 2011). He has one more year and the team could then either resign him or trade him/release him and open a position for Anthony Rendon. If Morse goes to first, the team would then either bring in a center-fielder and move Harper to left or leave Bryce in place for one more year and give Tyler Moore left field with Stephen Lombardozzi as his backup. That team–based on what I've observed over the past few years–would produce roughly this way:RF-Jayson Werth: .281-22-60, 20 SBCF-Bryce Harper: .288-28-85, 20 SB3B-R. Zimmermann:.285-28-1051B-Michael Morse:.292-34-110SS-Ian Desmond: .275-27-90, 30 SBLF-Tyler Moore: .270-25-702B-Dan Espinosa: .255-22-60, 24 SBC-Suzuki/Ramos: .266-18-55None of that is a stretch and are within parameters for the players. I think the Nationals could put John Lannan in the rotation as their number-five starter and come away with 12 wins with an ERA below 4.00.

  70. baseballswami - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    One thing we forget to take into account is that any player does a better job at a position when they play there every day. Morse won't end up being ALR, but he was a middle infielder. TylerMoore we just don't know because he is too young for us to know. Adam didn't start out being the way he is now. He is probably at his prime right now. I would live to have him back but we have options.

  71. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    @Farid:My first job was covering high school sports for the Washington Daily News in 1969. I walked in off the streets and they gave me a job while I was still a student at American University. It closed June 24, 1972. I loved that place. Goofy, but lots of fun. Nobody took themselves too seriously.No, I don't blame papers for adjusting their business model to fit today's realities. I just wish they would quit toying with peoples' lives as they do it. This on-again, off-again, on-again business that the Wash. Times does every six months with its sports staff if just ludicrous. If you don't want a sports section in six months, don't start one up six months ago. Plus, these layoffs coming right at Christmas. Give me a break. Couldn't wait until Jan. 30?

  72. MicheleS - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    And this is the reason I am glad Rizzo is in chargeYou need someone to see the big picture

  73. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Agree with what has been said about papers. this was in India but we used to get two morning papers and one evening paper at one point. on sundays, 3 morning papers. me and my brother would compete against each other as to who can collect most cricket related pictures and articles. now I only read express and examiner, which are free. it is not that papers are expensive or we get news online way faster now. it is just that who has time to go through a 50 page long paper on a daily basis (I probably do but I would rather spend it here or baseball related sites). Is paper industry, that includes post, making any profit lately? Just wondering.agree with sunshine that this is the poorest time for layoffs.

  74. Gonat - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    MicheleS said… And this is the reason I am glad Rizzo is in chargeYou need someone to see the big picture November 29, 2012 7:17 AM ___________________________________Nice to see an out-of-towner hit the mark so well. We have people that have commented here for 2 years that still don't get it. The writer hit the "big picture".Werth showed us also how he saves it for the most critical games. I thought one of his weaknesses was playing balls at the fences and what does he do in Game 1 of the playoffs? Steals a HR from DeScalso. I just hope he holds up for the long-term because those $20 million years count too.

  75. Gonat - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    blovy8 said… Yeah, Giancarlo needs to remember there was a notnatS on this team before… November 28, 2012 2:24 PM _______________________________I told him that on Twitter after he responded to Bryce. His name also anagrams to: Ant Snot

  76. MicheleS - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Gonat, Ant Snot! LMAO!On Jayson, no player no matter their age ever lives up to the contract at the end. Look at Pedro Martinez as one example. I am okay with that as long as the years before that are productive and we win.

  77. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM

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  78. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM

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  79. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

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  80. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:22 PM

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  81. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

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  82. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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  84. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    natsfan1a said… Might you be thinking of his ex-Met status there? JaneB said… Piazza is an ex-Nat too. November 28, 2012 7:05 PM November 29, 2012 9:18 AM

  85. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I'm enough of a dinosaur to have an appreciation for dead-tree editions. That said, as Farid notes, the way people get their news has changed. No newspaper (or magazine) is immune from layoffs, early retirements, or even, er – 30 -. That said, hope that Amanda retains her job and, failing that, lands on her feet somewhere.Speaking of writing, more thanks to Michele for the link on Rizzo and Werth.

  86. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Good gracious, 1a, what happened there?

  87. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    lol! Some were HOF-related posts that upon reflection I decided not to leave up. The remaining three I edited for content. Then I decided to combine two of them. :-)

  88. Scott - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    I think I'd include Alan Trammel as a guy who merits inclusion in addition to your 10. I blogged about the controversy a bit myself here Baseball Hall of Fame, PEDs and controversy

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

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

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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