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Haren: Nats "just kind of fit for me"

Dec 7, 2012, 8:22 PM EDT

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Right-hander Dan Haren dealt with back and hip issues last season with the Angels.

Updated at 5:24 p.m.

Dan Haren had his choice of destinations this winter, with a number of franchises expressing interest in the veteran right-hander.

The Nationals had their choice of free agents, with a number of big-name starters on the open market who could round out their already deep and talented rotation.

In the end, it didn't take long for both the Nationals and Haren to realize they were the best match, resulting in a one-year, $13 million contract that became official today after the 32-year-old passed his physical.

"I did have quite a few other choices," Haren said. "But the Nationals just kind of fit for me."

"He was our primary target, and we … went after him quiteRead more »

232 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I don't know about the validity of the Red Sox but the Angels wanted him back at a more team friendly contract.

  2. baseballswami - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    This could be fun. All he needs to do is be somewhat better than EJax.Let the games begin. Oh- how I miss it.

  3. Timothy Folk - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    *rubs hands with evil smirk* Good… Good

  4. UnkyD - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Hehehe….. Yep.

  5. Doc - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Given past experiences hearing about Nats passing physicals, not sure that we can put much stock in current reports on Haren.I guess it means that Dan has 2 legs and 2 arms and can put them in motion.

  6. Will - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    I have little faith in the Nationals medical staff. There is a looong history of misdiagnosing injuries and approving signings when the player was still injured (see: Flores, LaRoche, Marquis, Purke, Wang, etc).With that said, I hope they got it right this time.

  7. Will - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Haha, Doc, you beat me to it.

  8. baseballswami - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Oh, come on, Doc – can't we be excited for about a minute? Now it's time to get both of the new guys in town for their NatsPark tour and the obligatory press conference. I need to actually see them in a Nats jersey and cap.

  9. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Saw that Boston didn't want to pay $$$ as well (Gordon Edes ESPN.com). And the Sox medical staff is just as suspect as ours (See Lackey, Beckett, and countless others).And I am with Timothy. Just hanging out in my corner, snickering at the Phillies and Braves. I want this staff to DOMINATE!!

  10. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Will/DOC.. ummm.. we are in the off season, you know the time of year where Hope Springs Eternal? COME ON! give in a little…

  11. Doc - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Swam, I'm excited for the Nats (like to see them start playing tomorrow)—just somewhat reserved on Mr. Haren!!

  12. Timothy Folk - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I know all five starters won't be healthy for the whole season like last year… but damn it feels good to be a national.

  13. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    so glad he passed his physical to round out one of the best if not the best rotation in the league. Hopefully his veteran presence will come in handy in the playoffs can't wait.

  15. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    I think Kilgore just live tweets his conversations with Rizzo:Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWPRizzo on Haren: "It says a lot about where we’ve come as a franchise. Dan had his choice of a lot of organizations to be with."

  16. DWS - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Best pitching staff in the majors..checkBest outfield in the majors…..checkBest bench in the majors…checkBullpen?Best infield….probably.Not to many question marks and Rizzo will surprise.

  17. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    OMG turn down the optimism a notch. I can't concentrate on my work.

  18. Feel Wood - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Section 222 said… But Lannan was not in his last year before becoming a free agent Actually, as it turned out, he was. But your point is valid. The situations are very different. And Morse likely has more trade value than Lannan did. Rizzo messed with Lannan's career and earnings potential big time, for good reason, and I don't doubt he'd do the same to Morse if he thought it would help the Nats.Recall that last year when Lannan was demoted there was talk of the MLBPA filing a grievance on account of delaying his free agency, until it was realized that even with another full season of MLB service time he'd still have been under 6.0 at the end of 2012. So actually Morse's situation is equivalent to what Lannan's would have been THIS year. Rizzo had the decency to release Lannan rather than make him fill a lesser role in his final arb year and last chance to impress future FA suitors. He's not going to turn around and do that to Morse in HIS final arb year. If LaRoche is signed, Rizzo will trade Morse for roughly the same as he got for Willingham. And there's no team that's going to trade for Morse as a backup/utility guy, either. He'll be a starter wherever he goes. We know that if for no other reason than Riggleman is no longer managing anywhere.

  19. Timothy Folk - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Fingers crossed boys n girls.. No wbc injuries please!!

  20. sjm308 - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    So seriously, the only thing left is whether LaRoche does or does not sign and then what happens to Morse. Those are, of course, huge moves in our march toward excellence. I guess the bullpen needs a tweak and I expect we will be signing a couple of AAAA pitchers in the near future as well. 72 days seems so long!!!Go Nats!! and keep the links coming MicheleS.

  21. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Faraz, I boycotted work just for that reason, just give in to the optimism, that's what the offseason is for (unless you are a Philly or Yankee fan)

  22. Tcostant - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Don't forget best overall defense…check

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Faraz, cautious optimism. What surprises me is optimism from those that don't like soft tossers. Haren doesn't reach 90mph much.What I like about Haren is he chose the Nats and the Nats chose him. That is nice to hear.

  24. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Sounds like there is a conference call right now. Interesting fact according to the beats twitter accounts.The best man at Dan Haren's wedding. Stephen Strasburg's college pitching coach as SDSU

  25. UnkyD - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Clip&Store said…i know it'd sound creepy, but im curious as to how old the commentors on here are just to get a feel…i can start (for anyone who wants) by saying im 20——————I'm 53, Clips. And I think you'll find the vast majority of us to be more than twice your age…a lot to learn from this crowd (and sometimes, some of us eve act our age!)

  26. NatsLady - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Haran is back in LA, Span is in Florida, Rizzo is here (I think), Davey is who-knows-where, press conference will have to be via Skype!

  27. NatsLady - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Haran a good hitter, too. Stras–watch out, we might have another Silver Slugger on the team!!!

  28. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Ghost, Haren has a killer splitter and a good cutter. He's not a power pitcher but he's not exactly a soft tosser either; strike out about 8 hitters per 9 innings but only walks 2 per 9. He does have a tendency to give up the long ball which is not a tragedy if you don't walk people.

  29. SonnyG10 - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    UnkyD said…Clip&Store said…i know it'd sound creepy, but im curious as to how old the commentors on here are just to get a feel…i can start (for anyone who wants) by saying im 20——————As of this past Dec 3rd, I'm 69 years old, just a tad younger than Davey Johnson. I feel young at heart though.

  30. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Faraz, Of course things may go south but we really do have a right to be optimistic. Even Keith Law who is generally quite reserved and skeptical has pegged us for 100 wins. We do need a bunch of low end AAAA pitchers so we are not forced to use Maya or Mandel in an emergency or in a double header fill in role.

  31. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Yay. Now go get ALR, and his cattle. :-)

  32. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Or even thrice. :-)UnkyD said…And I think you'll find the vast majority of us to be more than twice your age…a lot to learn from this crowd (and sometimes, some of us eve act our age!) December 07, 2012 4:00 PM

  33. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I'm not sure why the Nats need to sign a veteran presence or two (unless of course if they are left-handed like Zach Duke and Gorzo) for AAA. Davey would probably tell you he isn't worried. Why?Most here aren't really confident in Yunesky Maya ,but, he will most likely be joined by Tanner Roark, former Nats system pitcher of the year Bradley Meyers (who was selected in rule 5 last season), Jeff Mandel who had a break out season in AAA with a new pitch, and then there's Christan Garcia a favorite of Davey's apparently and the only true power pitcher in the bunch. Its possible Ryan Perry could join them but he might have to clear waivers for that to happen unless Rizzo and the FO have some trick (same I believe to be true for future utiltyman Carlos Rivero I think). Nate Karns should be in AA this season perhaps along with Sammy Solis. So, it isn't too bad unless you happen to be a manager who likes left-handed pitching to be in the bullpen in good numbers plus a phone call away. I think it would help to get Rosenbaum back before the season starts whereupon he would start out in AAA Syracuse. I look for the Nats to scour the woods for high level left-handed starting pitching both in terms of free agents and trade-wise (younger players with option[s] remaining).

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    JD, no qualms from me. I know him well and have seen him pitch many times. Didn't he beat JZim in 2011 in that 1-0 complete game shutout? I know JZim gave up no earned as the only run scores on an error as JZim pitched a complete game.

  35. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    The one comment i have seen repeated about Haren is that he knows how to pitch, not just throw. That's got to help with our young guys. Hopefully he can teach that to our guys (and maybe teach Gio another pitch)

  36. SCNatsFan - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    I'm surprised that Howell hasn't really been discussed; a reliable LOOGY that want to be here.As far as the medical staff, don't judge them too harshly; alot of back/elbow/muscle injuries are based more on what the patient tells you then what you see. If the player isn't telling the truth, afraid to let the Doctor know how hurt they are for fear they might be passed over, then no matter what tests you do you can still get burned.

  37. Joe Seamhead - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Crafty is the word that comes to mind.I didn't dislike last year's Jackson signing, but never felt as excited as I do about Haren coming here.

  38. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    SCNats:Howell discussed here

  39. NatsLady - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    peric, I agree. I think we are past needing "veteran presence." The team is young but hardened. Just go for talent and needs whatever their age.

  40. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    MichelleS, They are all very different pitchers and Gio is a lefty but it might be nice if Storen or Clippard added a splitter to their repertoire if only to show it once a night. To me; Stras, JZimm and Det should improve just by extra experience and the 1st 2 were in the top echelon already. Gio just needs to work on his temperament; great pitcher but he does seem to come apart at the seams when things go wrong – I think he'll mature out of that too.

  41. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    I'm surprised that Howell hasn't really been discussed; a reliable LOOGY that want to be here.Mid 80's fastball velocity. Remember, that's why the Nats wouldn't offer Peralta a 2 year + contract and he went to Tampa Bay. Bill Bray actually has a better shot if he is healthy methinks.

  42. Kenz aFan - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    With the Red Sox not liking what they saw, when they checked out Haren's medical record, which was provided by the Angels I assume, since he never would have had a physical if he wasn't offered a contract. Add to that the fact that the Angels wanted him back says a lot.To me it's an indication that, despite what we've been hearing regarding his health, that Haren is much healthier and in better shape than most (if not all) of us thought.Haren's numbers from last season, his worst ever ERA wise, still show that he pitched better than his career average over the second half of the season. That in itself is a fairly significant indicator as top his durability and that his back problems were behind him (no pun intended)While a player's health, no matter how stable that player's history shows him to be, is no guarantee that they will stay healthy their entire career. BTW, I've been wondering, just off the cuff thinking mostly, that if the Nats aren't able to sign lefty J.P. Howell, if they might consider signing another quality starting pitcher and move Detwiler back to the pen to work as a long man and lefty specialist/setup guy. Doing so would give them two very capable lefties to step in and start if the need arose.Anyway, since I tend to over think things, take my thought/possibility as just that, as me thinking out loud. Besides, I much prefer to have Ross in the rotation anyway, well, that is unless they sign Greinke or Sanchez. LOL (there I go over thinking again) Strasburg (RHP), Gonzales (LHP), Zimmermann (RHP), Detwiler (LHP) and Haren (RHP) makes for a really sweet rotation from where I'm sitting.

  43. SCNatsFan - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Michelle, what I meant was there hasn't been alot said except what Howell has said. Then again Rizzo isn't the looses lip person out there, is he?Peric I agree about Bray but he always seems to be hurt, no doubt he has the talent.And God knows I hate Kenz thoughts to move Det back; he seems to have finally figure out what he's doing on the mound, I'd hate to screw it up at this point.

  44. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    NatsLady, I disagree. I think counting on Roark, Mandel, Meyers to step up for a key start or even for a bunch of starts if someone goes down is no different than expecting big things from: Atilano, Martis and Martin. I know about Garcia but until we know for sure that he can succeed as a starter you can't count on him either. Pick ups like Zack Duke last year; pitchers who have worked in the big leagues and had some level of success is what I am talking about. If you plan on contending you have to have this kind of contingency; these kind of pitchers can be had and they don't cost all that much.

  45. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Haren's health doesn't bother me as long as there isn't a Jason Marquis bone chips in the elbow deal. They've got guys like Garcia, Ryan, Mattheus, Roark, and yes Maya. I think the concern (given Davey's too many to count comments on this topic starting with his analysis of the Dodgers when he managed there) is going to be left-handed pitching. And they lost a possibility in Danny Rosenbaum. Of course he apparently continues to have issues with the long ball recently so …

  46. NatsLady - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Rizzo said Greinke was the best FA pitcher, but Haren was his first choice "given our needs." That says to me he didn't want to add on yet another long-term, expensive (inflexible) contract. That bodes well for our guys like JZimm and Desi, and even for future draft picks and minor-league signings. When you see guys like Garcia and Duke (and Perry) given a second chance, you are more likely to be willing to sign on even if it means spending time in AAA.

  47. waddu eye no - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    HmmmmmmAge?58 til spring. Then 8 til october

  48. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    I wonder if they go after someone like Mike Pelfrey on a minor league contract? TJ survivor, needs a home, probably some TLC, the Nats seem to be good at that stuff

  49. NatsLady - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    JD, I don't think we are talking about the same thing. I'm fine with adding on veterans as insurance, especially when they can step right in to perform roles. But they might have to be willing to spend time in Syracuse until needed. What I meant is our young guys are past needing a "veteran presence" in the clubhouse or someone with "postseason experience" to settle down the young 'uns.

  50. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    JD I think your memory must have regressed to Kindergarten again.In the halcyon days of yore where Livo (NOT JOHN LANNAN people!) and his junk ball mickey mouse curve stuff made him the ace of the staff pitchers like Martin, Atilano, Chico, et al were expected to fill #2, #3, #4 and #5 slots in the rotation due to ineffectiveness or injuries suffered by the starters.Although he is a "soft-tosser" I wouldn't put Bradley Meyers in the same context. Remember, he was drafted in rule 5 by the Yankees. There is a reason dude.AND BTW, ONE OF THOSE pitchers you just dissed from your teeny tiny kindergarten desk happens to be the #2 starter for the Brewers! That's right Marco Estrada? I would expect Meyers to put everything on the line and pitch like a right-handed version of Tommy Milone. Oh, and how did he do last year smarty pants? Doh!Again, the weakness is left-handed pitching NOT right-handed.

  51. SCNatsFan - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Michele would love that signing in theory but my only worry would be if they had an innings limit and would mean when we need him at the end of the season he wouldn't be there. Remember how much JZim and SS fell off late in the season, JZim saying his conditioning just wasn't there. Would love to sign a guy for the minors like… John Lannan… but we know that ship has sailed.

  52. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Rizzo said Greinke was the best FA pitcher, but Haren was his first choice "given our needs." That says to me he didn't want to add on yet another long-term, expensive (inflexible) contract. That tells me that Nate Karns has impressed more than everyone expected. Its why he is on the 40-man now. Plus he knows Giolito has a huge ceiling yet to be tested. There's Solis and Purke. Lots of possibilities in the near and long term. Add in Garcia apparently. Plus I still believe the preference was to add another young left-handed arm like David Price (per Drew). Just couldn't get that deal done.

  53. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    NatsLady, I respectfully disagree on that, while I think the playoff experience they all had last year will know doubt teach some leasons, but the Game 2/3/5 pitching were not good. (now granted EJ is gone and he was responsible for game 3). I think they need someone who has been there done that as a sounding board. Despite having EJ last year, his post season success was limited.

  54. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I think they need someone who has been there done that as a sounding board. Despite having EJ last year, his post season success was limited.Michelle, if he manages to stay healthy and they make it that far? Stras should be plenty and enough. Haren might not even get to start in the playoffs if things work out the way the Nat's FO hope they do. Haren is veteran insurance in case something catastrophic happens to one of the young starters. It is a very important role.

  55. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    SCNatsThat's why I was thinking Minor League deal, Let him build up his strength in AAA and they can tweak the innings much easier at Cuse. Rizzo found Zach Duke last year, I am sure he will find someone like that this year.

  56. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    MichelleS, Points very well taken. Both JZim and Gio found the occasion too large for them during the playoffs. They didn't pitch as well in the playoffs as they did during the regular season and Stras also exhibited some minor melt downs symptomatic of a young pitcher with little experience. I think Haren will be a godsend from this perspective; that and the added 1 year of experience. Despite what some posters think; experience is an invaluable asset.

  57. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Would love to sign a guy for the minors like… John Lannan… but we know that ship has sailed.Lannan thought he was the ace of the staff … even when LIvo supplanted him. John Lannan is in for a rude awakening when he goes to a different team's camp and has to compete for a job. As I've said for the past 2 years now I would take Tommy Milone over Lannan in the #4/#5 slot as a left-handed starter. Besides Lannan will need to be humbled further to take that AAA job again, which he will. Doubtless not for the Nats. Perhaps in time he'll appreciate the gratitude he was shown when he was paid 5 million to be a #6/emergency left-handed starter by the Nat's FO. They sure as hell weren't going to do that for Duke or Gorzelanny. Haren is taking EJax's role as fireman this season. Hopefully, he'll do a better job with that. After Stras gets a full season under his belt doubtless such a role will no longer be needed.

  58. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    The FA pitchers logjam is something else. Everyone is waiting for the Greinke shoe to drop. Once that's done Sanchez will follow (I think he will be a great sign for someone) then Lohse. After the A group you have EJax followed by Mc.Carthy Dempster and Marcum and then you get to the group with: Saunders, Matuszaka and Lannan.

  59. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    JD. wholeheartedly agree on Stras. We all saw it last year that his mound presence/focus needed some work.

  60. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    This was out of Kilgore's right up (shows Rizzo learned a lesson from the Buerhle debacle last year):Once the winter began, Rizzo identified Haren as his No. 1 target in free agency. The Nationals rated Zack Greinke as the top pitcher, conforming to the clear consensus. But Rizzo believed Haren’s value as he came off a relative down season, and the ability to sign him to a one-year contract, made Haren the best choice. Once the Nationals arrived in Nashville, Rizzo said, they worked “quickly and aggressively” to acquire Haren.

  61. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    If Haren's velocity dip is permanent and not injury related he could end up like Rizzo's last similar attempt when he signed Brad Lidge and expected him to be the closer replacing the injured Drew Storen. But the Nat's do have alternatives in their system to Haren. Its only 1 year not 2 like the Marquis deal albeit he signed for 15 million over 2 years.

  62. baseballswami - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I don't think our pitching staff needs a "veteran presence" to show them how to behave professionally or how to go about their business and routines. I do think they need some help with knowing how to pitch hitters intelligently and not just rely on stuff. I hope he can help them learn how to hold runners on. Any info on how he does with that?

  63. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    FYI: I just updated the article with quotes from Haren and Rizzo off today's conference call. Enjoy!

  64. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    JD. wholeheartedly agree on Stras. We all saw it last year that his mound presence/focus needed some work.Pretty typical, par for the course for pitchers recovering from Tommy Johns. Same thing happened to JZim. It didn't affect JZim in 2012 did it? Sparkling, spectacular emergency relief appearance in the playoffs to boot.

  65. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    JD.. Reports have McCarthy with the DBacks.

  66. alexva - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    JD's right about AAA starting depth, you need 2-3 guys with MLB experience. Maya would be one, if they can slip Perry through that would be two. Maybe Duke on the MLB roster as Gorzo's replacement would be 3. Those are in reverse order for likely promotion for a spot start. Maybe even Stammen could fill in in a pinch. I would still expect at least one minor league signing like Duke was last year.

  67. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    The injuries did not concern other teams. It was and is the velocity dip. They were trying to determine if it was permanent or temporary. Haren has to know he has to get that average velocity up back over 90 or else learn Livo's Mickey Mouse curve.

  68. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    I would still expect at least one minor league signing like Duke was last year.Agree, and like Duke, Lannan, and Gorzo: left-handed will likely be the preference.

  69. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Wow, McCarthy got a 2 year deal. Good for him.

  70. peric - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Maybe Duke on the MLB roster as Gorzo's replacement would be 3.Last I looked Craig Stammen is also still there … one of those guys like Atilano, Martin, Chico, Estrada, et al as I recall?

  71. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Thanks for the update Mark. Can't wait for the press conference. Hope they get Haren and Span together.

  72. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Swam.. I am thinking just someone else to talk to about situational pitching. Our guys are all professionals and are fine on that stuff. I think more of as a sounding board. and from Mark' last line, Rizzo had similar ideas:"and he's a guy that you really want in your foxhole when times get tough during your season, which they always do"

  73. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I am shocked Mc.Carthy got 2 years with his injury history. He is a good pitcher though. What are the dollars?

  74. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    JD. total is 15.5M per the @MLB account

  75. JD - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    MichelleS, I am amazed. Talk about injury risk.

  76. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    "He's one of the most competitive guys in the major leagues."If we need to replace BSOHL, this could well fill it's spot in the rotation.

  77. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    its*Dam.I wonder how much that #24 will cost him?

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    MicheleS, I will go a step further, the only well pitched game was Game 4. The results of Game 1 was favorable thanks to great defense and Werth robbing a HR.

  79. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Gorse? BSOHL?

  80. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Pelfrey @ AAA would be nice. Doubt that he'll take it but maybe when all is said and done it will be the only option he has. The list of possibles in Kilgore's column the other night was chilling. Other than Jurgens, who for sure won't take a minor league assignment. Believe it or not, I'm with Peric — the available AAA options are sufficient. Maybe something useful will shake out of somebody else's training camp but that's going to be a real long shot.

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    MicheleS, I just tried to post to you but it went to SPAM!

  82. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Ghost did you try to reply on the blog? you may need to do a separate post.

  83. MicheleS - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    MLB Network/DVR alert: Tonight is the best Defensive plays at 9 pm. From the sounds of it, Bryce is in there showing off his arm

  84. NatsLady - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Stras clarifying the pitching coach thing.Stephen Strasburg ‏@stras37Newest #Nats Dan Haren meeting the DC media. Says his best man was @stras37 pitching coach in college. #Smallworld (cont…Stephen Strasburg ‏@stras37…cont) he is the current pitching coach at SDSU but he wasn't mine when I played there

  85. baseballswami - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    You have to think that having a competitive veteran pitcher who knows how to win will be a plus. EJax had been to the world series but seemed very reserved personally. Not really any kind of a mentor. Speaking of pitchers – I heard that Greinke is married to a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader – seriously???? Mind-boggling. Michele- DVR is set for 9. I am so desperate to watch any form of baseball.

  86. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Gulp. Bang!A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said… "He's one of the most competitive guys in the major leagues." If we need to replace BSOHL, this could well fill it's spot in the rotation. December 07, 2012 6:07 PM

  87. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    I believe that would be the late, lamented "best shape of his life."BSOHL?

  88. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Also on an MLB Network note, if memory serves, a number of airings are scheduled for the 2012 Kevin's highlights compilation. I LOL'd. I cried. See it. (Okay, really, I just LOL'd.)

  89. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    MicheleS, I heard you said I was a man of mystery. Like Michael Morse I was with Miguel Cabrera this week and a Detroit newspaper interviewed me. The secret to finding me in the Google search is $4,500 and Los Angeles. Then see if you can find my photo. I'm taller than Miggy but his penmanship is better.

  90. baseballswami - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Just browsing around here, twitter, various sites. I usually end up watching Jayson's homerun. I don't have to tell you which one. You know. Never fails to choke me up. I know we have some painful memories — but that one? Awesome. I want more.

  91. MicheleS - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    1A.. Thanks. BSOHL. Now abbreviated.Ghost.. hmmm intriguing.Swami, FP just tweeted out that homerun/xmas card. Watch it every day. Still get goosebumps.

  92. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    I'm not Michele, but I found a related Freep article, Ghost. :-) I won't post a link, though.swami, glad to hear I'm not the only one who has that reaction to the video. Maybe my fave in-person Nats moment so far. I want more, too.

  93. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    So did anyone else get to go the business thing for the nats, i couldn't but my parents and grandparents did they thought it was very intriguing also got to talk to F.P for a couple of minutes sounded pretty cool talked about the business side of a baseball team.

  94. MicheleS - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Ghost, I too found it…. hmmmmm

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    NatsFan1a, winner! MicheleS, winner. I told you I travel a lot.

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    That was a trip for fun.

  97. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    A few post-Nashville thoughts:– The Nats have obviously positioned themselves quite well; the Denard Span signing continues to strike me as nearly perfect in terms of solving an equation that included immediate needs, player quality, cost per year, and length of commitment. None of the other realistic alternatives (FAs, viable trade targets) would have fit all of those variables quite so well.– Similarly, the Dan Haren signing meets a one-year need with a reasonably priced one-year commitment. And you top that off with the potential — obviously not guaranteed — for getting a number two or three pitcher performance under a number four or five pitcher contract.– The Nats are in a position of strength in the Adam LaRoche negotiations. They know that they already have their BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) signed and ready to go, and that he's a better-than-solid alternative. Mr. LaRoche can make his decision based on his own calculus (dollars, contract length, chance of winning a World Series), but the Nats can be confident that they've made a reasonable offer and don't have to get into a bidding war (particularly over length of commitment).– If Mr. LaRoche does sign, the Nats can sit back and wait for offers to come in for Michael Morse. No need to rush; let the buyers come to you. And if the deal doesn't happen before Spring Training, fine. Someone always comes up lame (literally or figuratively) in the Spring; be ready to move Mr. Morse to whomever needs him and is willing to (over?) pay.– Don't sweat the LH reliever vacancy — or any reliever below your 8th and 9th inning guys, for that matter. Sign a few and let them compete. Keep the one(s) with the liveliest stuff as of late March, stash one in AAA, and trade or release any that are left over.– Finally, let's all be thankful we're not fans of the Yankees or Phillies or Marlins. Not a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings there as the holidays approach.

  98. UnkyD - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Excellent post, Eugene!

  99. Tcostant - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Interesting part is a saw in NBC site that the Angels offer $6M and were blown away by the Nats offer. I wonder what $$$ his other offers were?

  100. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Hadn't heard tell of such an event, Teddy, but it sounds interesting.Ghost, I second the hmmm… :-)Teddy Rochlis said… So did anyone else get to go the business thing for the nats, i couldn't but my parents and grandparents did they thought it was very intriguing also got to talk to F.P for a couple of minutes sounded pretty cool talked about the business side of a baseball team. December 07, 2012 7:37 PM

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    NatsFan1a, things that make you want to go hmmmm. Yah, I'm over the top. Miggy was great.

  102. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Clip & Store – just turned 67 & had two guys at the gym today ask how old I was. Does wonders for the ego. Was benching 90 lb dumbbells with little effort so it was a good day. (I weigh 175).OK, thats enough ego for todayGo Nats!!

  103. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Time out …Did peric compare Stammen with Atilano and Chico? That proves his inability to assess pitching.

  104. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    NatsJack – I have skipped over the last 60 posts or so from our boy Peric since his last epic blow up. Let me know if I have missed anything important. I kind of doubt that I have.

  105. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    sjm308 said… Clip & Store – just turned 67 & had two guys at the gym today ask how old I was. Does wonders for the ego. Was benching 90 lb dumbbells with little effort so it was a good day. (I weigh 175).Way to go, sjm.I hit the weights too. Turn 63 next month. When I grow up, I want to be just like Davey.

  106. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    Sunshine – hopefully, we never grow up. Think there was a book about that with this kid that flew and had a pal who was a fairie. Candide can probably fill in the blanks. Peric will just rant.

  107. Oldguy - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Age 76. First baseball memory 1946 series–Red Sox & Cards. Ted Williams was hit by a Senators pitcher a few days before the WS started–"swelled up like a boiled egg." He was MVP that year, batted .342, hit 38 HRs, led league in walks & runs. He couldn't swing a bat until the day before the series started, hit .200 with no RBIs. Red Sox lost in 7. "Curse of the Bambino" executed by Mickey Haefner of Washington

  108. Dave - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    Great post by Eugene at 8:47. It's great to realize that the Nats are pretty much all set, personnel-wise, well before Christmas.

  109. Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I agree that Eugene's post was spot on, terrific.

  110. SonnyG10 - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Yeah, Dave. We can just sit back and relax knowing our team is set for the most part. At some point or two, Rizzo will provide us with a tweak or two, but the main pressure is off. LaRoche or Morse, we'll handle whichever we're dealt, no problem. Go Nats!!!

  111. Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I went to a few games at Griffith Stadium when I was but a wee lad, can't remember much from them. I went to a ton of games at the new DC Stadium. I was in the Senator's Knot Hole Club. We went to a lot of twi-night double headers. One very clear memory was from a double header against the Yankees in 1964. Whitey Ford pitched the first game and lost to the Senators who were led by two home runs against Ford by Chuck Cottier, who wasn't known for his power.This jonny-come-lately,band wagon moron was the kid that always had the transistor radio and earplugs stashed somewhere in class during the World Series. Once in the fall of 1964, Sister Francis Regis stopped her class to ask what was going on with the Yanks and Cards.

  112. BigCat - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    My over all opinion of the Haren? Too much money for a once outstanding pitcher. His numbers are in decline, as his fastball(only 88-89). He is 32 years old and is coming off hip and back problems. I hope I am wrong. I am glad we only got him for one year.

  113. BigCat - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    As for the velocity coming back? He has thrown over 1800 innings in the major leagues. As mentioned, he is 32 years old. He better learn to "nibble" cause the heat is not coming back.

  114. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I sincerely hope BigCat, by midseason you start complaining why Haren was not signed to a longer deal.

  115. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I hope he's able to teach JZimm to throw that killer split that he has. The bottom drops out of it.

  116. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I'm thinking Harper might still bat 2nd. Here is my reasoning. With Span leading off, he gets on base and is a threat to steal, meaning the first baseman has to hold him on, opening a hole between 1st and 2nd for ground balls.

  117. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Great stories, Old Guy and Joe. Thanks for sharing your memories.I hit the weight machines, but I'm not posting my age here. Let's just say I'm I'm old enough to know better, but young enough not to care:-)

  118. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I think it's either Bryce or Jason, unless Danny can show in spring training he won't be a strikeout machine. Look at the speed we would have at the top of the lineup if you went Span Espinosa. HarperAnd then had Zimmerman, Morse/LaRoche, Werth, Desmond, Suzuki/RamosAs Adam Sandler sings "not too shabby"

  119. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I think I wrote about this awhile ago but my favorite memory is my mom taking me to Griffith Stadium in 1950. They had "Ladies Days" back then and you could get an upper reserved seat for 75 cents. I remember watching the Yankees in absolute awe. Yogi Berra hit a foul ball up into the right field grandstand and there were not many people up with us. This nice man gave the ball to me and I promptly went home and started throwing it up against our wall. I still love day games and try not to miss them here at Nationals Park. I actually miss the street car and will probably go ride the new one on H street just for kicks (if it ever gets done).As I got a little older, I could take the street car from Takoma Park for I think, a nickel (ten cents tops). Get into Griffith Stadium for 25 cents and still have enough left to have a coke and hot dog. Times have changed!

  120. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    What is sad is that at 88, my mom is a devoted Oriole fan!! Try as I will, she will not waiver. This is what going 30+ years without a team did. She followed the birds on TV, fell in love with Brooks, Earl, Cal and Palmeiro (she still believes he never did steroids and how do you argue with an 88 year old??)and while she showers me with Nats gear at Christmas, will not wear any herself. She loves the Redskins and hates the Ravens but I can't get her to switch baseball teams. Guess I will just have to enjoy her no matter what.

  121. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Thanks for the stories, sjm. I like day games, too.

  122. Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    That's just too cool, sjm! My grandmother and I often took the streetcar to the stadium,too.When the Nats actually clinched the NL East last fallthe first thing I thought about was my Grandma! If there's a heaven, she was looking down and laughing her sweet laugh! I never took the O's to heart though I went to many, many games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, as I had to get my ML baseball fix from somewhere. I also liked many Orioles players over the years, and Weaver and Davey were always two of my favorite skippers to watch.

  123. Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Big Cat, who knows? I know that I feel a lot better about Dan Haren then I did about Edwin Jackson. I'm still not 100% sold on Denard Span. Is there no question that the quality level of our overall defense improves? I honestly was just getting quite comfortable with Bryce, and his canon of an arm, in CF. I haven't seen enough of Span with my own eyes to be a believer. Scouting reports and media types say I should be. I hope they're right. In Rizzo we trust. I really think that Harper in LF is a waste of his speed and arm. If that's where he ends up we will definitely have the best arm in LF in the majors!

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Joe, defense will be improved. Can the offense score runs like they did in 2012?I also believe the starting pitching ERAs will improve mostly on maturation. I'm truly hoping that Gio comes into Spring with a new pitch developed and JZim works through the Spring on that changeup. Haren can hopefully be the veteran presence they need.One more year of experience for a young team should pay dividends!

  125. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Jayson and Bryce can swap every inning or even every batter–who knows. It's great and Gregor Blanco proved it's not wasted to have a quality fielder in left. BTW, anyone feeling we might have a player-manager when Davey retires?

  126. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    NatsLady, I think the player/manager scenario is not in the cards. It is Knorr's job to lose.

  127. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    NatsLady – I know Davey said he would check with Werth but I really would like to see Bryce in Right field sooner than later.I was kind of kidding about Jason spending the last couple of years on his contract as a player/manager a few weeks ago, but it has been done before. I agree with Ghost though that we have plenty of good candidates who have actually managed on our staff.

  128. SlowPitch63 - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    OK, in the interest of full disclosure:I'mm 67As Winsotn Chrchill said on a different subject:This is not the end.It is not even the beginning of the end; butIt is the end of the beginning.Go Nats.Let's Play Two!

  129. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I also think Bryce will be in RF a lot, maybe just not in the most tricky parks, like SF. I read an interesting article about how the Nats didn't teach Alfonso Soriano how to play the outfield when they moved him there. Might post some quotes later. Main point: There is more to playing out there than just shagging flies which is all Soriano got. It's hard for an outsider to get a feel for Knorr. Can't imagine him having a knock-down drag-out with Rizzo, though. Could easily imagine that with Werth.

  130. SonnyG10 - Dec 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    I have a fond memory of going to Griffith stadium. My dad would take me when I was somewhere between the ages of 5 to 7. We only went to double headers and I only got to go something less than 10 times in all. DC was quite a distance from Winchester, VA where I grew up. I remember at one game during the seventh inning stretch, an African American gentleman fan stood up and turned around toward us and said, "Some of these people don't know the rules, they stood up both haves of the (7th) inning." I'll never forget him saying that.

  131. SonnyG10 - Dec 8, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    By the way, my last name is Griffith, but I am in no way related to that bigot Clark Griffith or his son Calvin.

  132. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I don't understand what the Fillies are thinking.Mark Simon ‏@msimonespnNew Phillies 3B Michael Young had the 2nd-lowest bWAR in MLB last season. He was valued at 2.4 Wins BELOW Replacement

  133. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Young agreed to the deal after receiving $1.2 million in benefits and getting a full no-trade clause from the Phils, which he already had as part of his original contract. He also reportedly told the Phillies he does not want an extension beyond 2013, meaning that he views this as a one-year rental so he can continue to be a starter. The $1.2 million is reportedly to offset tax differences. The Rangers will pay about $10 million of his salary. They will receive Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla from the Phillies.

  134. SonnyG10 - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    The Phillies are acting strange indeed. Do they know something we don't know. Do we have a spy running their FO?

  135. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    This is from CBSSports."According to defensive runs saved, Young posted a negative-six figure last season at third base. In only 25 starts there. Think about that. In just 25 games, Young cost his team six runs more than an average third baseman would cost them."He would have to hit like Miguel Cabrera to make up for that, yes?

  136. Anna Peregrina - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    I'm 63, and my mother, a diehard Cubs fan from Illinois, taught me about baseball (and how to root for losers!). Can't remember too much about those early days, but Mama too switched to the Orioles and was too old and set in her ways to switch back at the end of her life. So I was in heaven just murmuring the words "Washington Nationals" to myself, but she didn't really care. We did both love Brooksie and Cal. (She was a Latin teacher like me.)

  137. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    My nephew is a Latin teacher, too. He just got his first permanent job for small private school in Vermont. Latin LIVES!!!

  138. Section 222 - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I like Harper in RF at some point in his career, but not until Werth's skills deteriorate significantly. There's a lot more to playing that position than having a good arm. You have to have quick and sure breaks off the bat and learn the caroms of different parks. Think of it this way, almost every shot down the line into RF corner or over the first base bag or deep in the right center gap is a potential triple. That is definitely not the case with the equivalents hits to left field (except when a baserunner like Harper hits them). Werth is experienced and more than competent at the position, so it doesn't trouble me that his arm is not the cannon that is attached to Harper's shoulder. I'm almost giddy over the defensive prowess of our starting 8 if ALR re-signs. As if our best in baseball rotation needed any more help. It's going to be an amazing season.

  139. UnkyD - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    As I said, 53, here… No Griffth stories, but some DC Stadium games. I'm sure Dad waited for the Yankee games, and I remember being confused that so many cheered, when one of the OTHER guys hit a HR!! I figger it had to be #7…. Also, as I related (once or twice…. Or a dozen times…lol!) before, my PE teacher, in 4th (or 5th?) grade, at Lamont Elementary, on PG Co., was Casey Cox!! E seemed like a giant, when I was 4' tall, lol… And he was not retired… These guys had off season jobs, back then (and those Senators could pretty freely make plans, for October, in those days…). Enjoyed the O's, from time to time, but never loved them, and the rest of the fam followed the Yanks, but no love there, either. I was driving sedans to and from the NYC airports, when Torre got the latest iteration of Yankee Glory up and running… That was a fun year, actually, with Mike and The Mad Dog, on the radio, and my (late) brother and his son totally bought into it.But…. Now, finally, I have MY team back. And, what a bunch of young, talented, love able clowns they are!!! GYFNGOGOGO!!!!!!!

  140. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    This comment from HardballTalk brightened my day:spudchukar – Dec 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM I am offended! As the consummate Phillie hater on this site I protest. In the past I have been a Michael Young apologist. However, 2012 was pretty awful. Should he put up better numbers in 2013, but he is moving to a less productive offense so that could hold down an uptick. The real issue here is defense. Did anyone watch him play D vs STL in 2011? As a full-time third baseman he should be worse than awful. Add the rapidly diminishing skills of Howard, the persistent knee problems of Utley and another year to Rollins, the Phillies had better acquire fly-ball hurlers exclusively. Add in the fact that the cheat Ruiz, will be sidelined for the first month, the trio of Ruf, Nix and Brown lumbering across the outfield, question marks regarding Halladay and Lee, and the departure of Blanton and Worley, the Phillie Phans should applaud the disastrous franchises in New York and Miami as they are the only thing between the Pheelies and a return to the often occupied cellar.

  141. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    And this: hardballtalk, again:cstaz33 – Dec 8, 2012 at 10:56 AM Could this be the precursor to a Hamilton signing? A comfortable setting with Lee and Young, a players manager in Charlie and already having veteran leadership. He wouldnt have to step in and be the man (vocally), just a piece of the machine. kingvorp – Dec 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM the only thing i think this is a precursor to is another lackluster season here in philly. Chip Caray's Eyebrows – Dec 8, 2012 at 11:28 AM Hopefully.

  142. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    and this, from hardballtalk:coloradogolfcoupons – Dec 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM Philly fans: A warning (From a Ranger fan who has watched every game Young played): Get used to this from your announcers: “Past a diving Young” Young will take a half-step and dive at everything, and miss 95% of the time.. He has no range and tries to make it look like supreme effort for the fans. He will bounce into 25-30 Double Plays He will hit 300 or more weak ground balls to short and third as he pulls off the ball trying to hit for power he does not have. In all honesty, I partially blame Ron Washington for this, for batting Young 5th and 6th in the lineup. When he hit 2nd for many years, he hit to right field constantly and was good doing it. When he abandoned his right field stroke after being put in the middle of the lineup, he stunk up the park. He was statistically the WORST player in MLB last year, and if he does not return to his pure right-field approach, you guys are in for a LONG, BOO-FILLED YEAR. He will swing at almost anything. Look at his OBP. He does not like to walk. His OPS was in the .630 for most of the year, until he reverted to his right-field swing in September. If he quits trying to pull the ball like he did for 5 months last year, you might have a bargain. But if he continues to decline, you will boo him out of town by June. Good luck!

  143. MicheleS - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    This photograph was taken at a game that I was at when I was a kid. If you can identify the people in it, you can figure out how old I am.SI Vault

  144. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Happy Days = There's Fonzie. OK. 1974-1984. MicheleS was a kid. To be at the game, she had to be 12-13 or so. Therefore, in 2012, I'll say a Jack Benny-ish 39.

  145. Unknown - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    I think I was senior at JEB Stuart when Happy Days first went on the air. It was one of those shows that the kids actually talked about at school the next day."Did you see Fonzie last night?" Aaahaayyyyyy!How old am I? Back in my day JEB Stuart had–along with Annandale–one of the strongest football programs in Northern Virginia. We had as near as I can recall four Congressman's kids in our school, two Senators (Charles Mack Mathias of Maryland had a beautiful daughter), and many kids whose parents worked at the embassies. It was a big deal to go to Stuart. Now, from what I hear, things have changed. I think our demographics were 88% white, 4% Latino, 7% black and the rest of the races in less than 1%. Went back home for the first time in 30 years last May when I covered a few Nationals' games for my paper. Wasn't what I expected. And you know you've gotten old when the football stadium you played in has been named for the football coach you played for. Sigh ….. life didn't seem all that bad during the Nixon Administration.Farid @ Idaho

  146. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate.

  147. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    (Sunday, Monday, Happy Days)Oops, sorry. Got a little off-track with a musical interlude there. Loving all the stories. Let's see…I believe I've shared this previously but…when I was a lass my dad and brothers used to listen to SFO games on the radio. At one point, the squad featured the Alou brothers. There was no baseball team in Oakland. That gives you some idea of the time frame we're talking about here. :-)

  148. MicheleS - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Aww Flynnie, that's sweet, Definitely a Jack Bennyish 39And if you couldn't tell from the Photograph, that game was played at Wrigley.

  149. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    On another note, Michael Young to the Phillies. He seems like a good guy but tick… tock. :-)

  150. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Happy Hannukah back at you, NatsLady! Here's some Maccabeats to get everyone in the mood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSJCSR4MuhU

  151. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    1A – The Michael Young signing inspired a creative outburst on hardballtalk, some of which I've posted here. U guess Mike Lowell was unavailable.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSJCSR4MuhU

  152. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Oops – meant to post Mike Lowell, not a second Maccabeats. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lowelmi01.shtml

  153. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Oops, sorry to double-post on Young, Flynnie. I hadn't read through all of the text. :-)

  154. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Re Michael Young to the Phillies: I don't remember where I read it (it was a few days back), but the team apparently considered moving Chase Utley to 3B and concluded that he just didn't have the arm for it. Given Mr. Utley's knees and Mr. Howard's ankles, I can envision games against the Phillies helping everyone's BABIP.

  155. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I liked Adam Sandler's song, too. (Wow, does he look like a young pup there.)

  156. DWS - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    55 on 12/12/12. New post please?

  157. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Classic, 1a, classic! Eugene, I thought the Phillies came on strong at the end. Hamels, Holliday, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick came on strong at the end. They're hoping for Mike Young to do for them what Mike Lowell did for the Red Sox. I hope they don't end up with Josh Hamilton. The NL East is still a brutal division. The Nats can't beat the Marlins,who still have Nolasco and Stanton. The Mets have Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and David Wright. The Braves got an ace in Kris Medlen and a scarey good bullpen. Replicating 98 wins is going to be tough.

  158. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    DWS,I think Mark Z. gets the weekend off (with his family, of course) after his trip to Nashville. And given that the Nats have essentially finished their shopping for the offseason, we all probably need to get used to some slow days (and weeks) between now and mid-February.

  159. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    An article on Rizzo on MASN is like an article on Putin in Pravda. I was thinking about Rizzo, our, to quote Baseballswami, ham-fisted, tough s.o.b. of a G.M. who is "not so good on the touchy-feely stuff." I was wondering why he would announce two years only for LaRoche from the very beginning, or the innings limit on Strasburg. What possible advantage could there be in the public announcement that,golden-glove, silver slugger be damned, two years and not a day more? Why put your rookie ace under that kind of scrutiny all season? LaRoche is now in a corner where he says he has to think of his family and doesn't want to "look stupid." Strasburg was embarrassed and finally said they'd have to rip the ball from his hands, which they did. Is Rizzo so insecure that he's Al Haig in the White House, announcing, "I'm in charge here!"? But then I thought about how our past authors us. Rizzo was a career minor leaguer who had to be told three years in by his Dad that he did not have the talent to pursue playing and should become a scout. That had to hurt, but he loves and respects his Dad, and did what Dad said. For most of his professional life he was a scout, dealing the minor leaguers. When you look at him from the perspective of a player toiling in the minor leagues, fueled by hope that he might make the show, Rizzo becomes an entirely different being. He is like a shop steward for the young back-ups and minor leaguers. Lannan hated him for sending him to Syracuse, but had to love that he committed to the innings limit in public, as did the other minor league pitchers. The two years to LaRoche must be encouraging to Tyler Moore, Anthony Rendon, and the others who are at the beginning of their careers.

  160. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Exactly, Eugene.

  161. Feel Wood - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Young agreed to the deal after receiving $1.2 million in benefits and getting a full no-trade clause from the Phils, which he already had as part of his original contract.He didn't have a no-trade clause in his contract. He couldn't be traded by the Rangers without his approval because he was a 10 and 5 guy. Once he's traded to PHI, he's no longer a 10 and 5 guy and therefore needed a no-trade clause in his contract to get that protection.

  162. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    flynnie,Believe me, I don't take the Phillies (esp. their pitching) for granted — and, more importantly, the Nats shouldn't (and won't) either. And a few of those fellows (e.g., Mr. Howard, Mr. Utley, perhaps Mr. Young) can still hit. My point is that their IF defense is suspect, even with Jimmy Rollins continuing to play a pretty decent SS. As for the Mets and Fish, I have my doubts. The Marlins you mention are both unhappy and I can't see them getting any happier given the supporting cast the team is (not) assembling. And while the Mets extended Mr. Wright and may extend Mr. Dickey (still not certain at this point), that's a franchise that isn't going to move forward consistently until the ownership situation stabilizes (did you see that one of their 'own a piece of the Mets' investors is now in legal troubles of his own?). The Braves, on the other hand, remain an excellent team, and no one should assume anything other than the same kind of last-weeks-of-the-season competition that the NL East went through last year.

  163. Feel Wood - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    An article on Rizzo on MASN is like an article on Putin in Pravda. I was thinking about Rizzo, our, to quote Baseballswami, ham-fisted, tough s.o.b. of a G.M. who is "not so good on the touchy-feely stuff." I was wondering why he would announce two years only for LaRoche from the very beginning, or the innings limit on Strasburg. What possible advantage could there be in the public announcement that,golden-glove, silver slugger be damned, two years and not a day more? Why put your rookie ace under that kind of scrutiny all season?Rizzo is not "making announcements." He's answering reporters' questions. His only other alternatives to telling the truth are to constantly say "no comment" or to lie and disseminate. Which do you prefer?

  164. UnkyD - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    DWS… Feel free to hijack the thread, if there's something else you wann talk about…. Going off-topic is no crime, after 24 hours and 150+ comments. In the dog days of December…. Just saying…

  165. peric - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    My nephew is a Latin teacher, too. He just got his first permanent job for small private school in Vermont. Latin LIVES!!!Ah, but many people on this blog HATE latin because they associate it with me ~roundly chuckles~ education seems to be a fading trend in American society. Sad and unfortunately true based on many statistics … too many wealthy folks feel intimidated by those better educated than they … :)

  166. peric - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate.I thought it was Channukkah??

  167. peric - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    I'm thinking Harper might still bat 2nd. Here is my reasoning. With Span leading off, he gets on base and is a threat to steal,I don't think so … Davey does not seem all that excited about Span. Got a reprieve from dishing Span accolades with Haren. Took immediate advantage as if Span didn't exist.1. Werth2. Harper3. Zimmerman4. LaRoche or Morse5. Desmond (and really he may end up #3)6. Espinosa7. Span8. Ramos.You heard it here first.

  168. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Did somebody say peric was still around? Funny.

  169. UnkyD - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I'm thinking we heard it here….only…

  170. flynnie - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    @ Feelwood I'd prefer, "Adam was our MVP. We want to show our appreciation. I'm not going to negotiate in public – he deserves better than that." Is Rizzo trying to get a deal done or mark his testosto-tory?

  171. flynnie - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Speaking of Putin, take a gander at the front page of the Post. I never saw the shirtless on horseback Old Spice Putin before.

  172. NatsLady - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    חנוכה

  173. Feel Wood - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Is Rizzo trying to get a deal done or mark his testosto-tory?He's given LaRoche his best and final offer. The press reported it as two years, and Rizzo verified that. What does Rizzo have to gain by denying it? Saying "we prefer not to negotiate in public" is a non-denial denial. The only thing that does is let the press keep saying there is a negotiation going on, when there's not, and keep asking Rizzo questions about it. They can't ask LaRoche, he's up in a tree somewhere looking for deer to shoot. He probably hasn't heard a one of Rizzo's comments.But in answer to your question, no. Rizzo's not trying to get a deal done. He'd be just as happy with Morse at first base next year. He's already doing LaRoche a favor by not saying that.

  174. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Since it is off-season saturday, I am catching up on classic movies from before. Just finished watching Sleuth (not sure if it is considered classic but Olivier was pretty good in it). any recommendation?

  175. SonnyG10 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    DWS said…55 on 12/12/12. New post please?December 08, 2012 5:40 PMEarly happy birthday, DWS.

  176. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    If the Twitterverse is correct, the Dodgers are about to sign Mr. Greinke for $145m/six years (i.e., average of $24m and change/year). Dodgers' payroll could thus top $200m for the year (depending on how the contract is structured). Here's hoping it happens on two levels: (1) the Dodgers could well become the favorite to win the World Series (and it's generally better NOT to be in that position; I'm hoping the Nats fall behind both the Dodgers and the Rangers when they re-sign Mr. Hamilton and a couple of FA pitchers); and (2) the Dodgers become the Yankees/Phillies ('tick tock, tick tock') by about the third year of Mr. Greinke's contract.

  177. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    P.S. – one tweet notes that Dodgers will have four (4) players with annual salaries above $20m, including aging ex-Red Sox Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez (along with Matt Kemp).

  178. UnkyD - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    F. S….. "Tarantula" is coming on @ 10:00, on MeTV!!! (Oooh, ScaryKids!!Oooh…)

  179. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Unkyd, is this one of those movie that you know sucks but can't stop watching because how much it sucks?

  180. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Faraz, I have plenty of classic movies recommendations, but don't know what's scheduled to air on tv this weekend (unless you're going another route).Not classic perhaps but on a baseball movie note, I recently taped (and later watched) an interesting behind-the-scenes short feature on the making of Bull Durham. As well as the actors, they had interviewed some present-day Durham Bulls who commented on how realistic (or not) some scenes were. It was on MGM tv, if memory serves.

  181. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    I'm down with most of the baseball movies on this list.

  182. UnkyD - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Unkyd, is this one of those movie that you know sucks but can't stop watching because how much it sucks?————It is with no shame, nor embarrassment, that I admit you have accurately described my favorite genre…..

  183. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    shoot the recommendations, 1a. I can find them online. If not, youtube usually rents those.

  184. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Hey, Unk, do I have a movie guide for you. (My younger brother once gifted me with an earlier edition. My guilty pleasure.)

  185. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    What genre, Faraz? If no particular genre comes to mind, looking at lists of "best picture" winners is one way to go. There are also AFI lists. I don't always agree with the selections, but there are plenty of great films to be found either way.

  186. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Anyhoo, gotta go back downstairs. Later.

  187. UnkyD - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    HA!!! 1A, "In Corman and Ed Wood We Trust"

  188. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    You got it, Unk. :-)

  189. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    LOL Unkyd, I also watch those from time to time. SyFy channel has some of those made for TV movies that I have watched over the years and enjoyed it.1a, I haven't actually seen Bull Durham. I have seen Kevin's other baseball movie, Field of Dreams. That was a bit unique.Thanks for both lists. Bookmarked!Watching my fair lady now.I have also been meaning to watch Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, among others for some time. The only problem is time since some of those are a bit long.

  190. baseballswami - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    How can it be possible that a baseball fan has not seen Bull Durham?? I can quote most of the movie. Pathetic, I know.

  191. flynnie - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Faraz- Two heartwarming films – (I like my heart warmed-hence a Nats fan) The Shower, which shows every day life in small town China, is a lovely film. The Color of Paradise shows the same in Iran, and the beauty of the countryside. Snatch has Brad Pitt as a Traveller bare-knuckle boxer in a performance that convinces you, "This guy is a great actor. I couldn't do that." Then there's the fun Roddy Doyle trilogy: The Commitments; The Van and The Snapper.

  192. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    You're welcome, Faraz. I recommend Bull Durham. Watched (again) and enjoyed My Fair Lady over the Thanksgiving holiday. Midway through, my sister-in-law pipes up with "Does anybody even like musicals?" I'm like, "Um, yeah, I do." Grew up on 'em. Speaking of musicals, D*mn Yankees is a fun one, too, with a baseball theme. :-)The two David Lean films you mentioned are both good.

  193. John C. - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Greinke's contract makes it more likely that LaRoche returns to the Nats. By the accounts the Rangers have had Hamilton on hold while chasing Greinke. Had they signed Greinke they may well have let Hamilton go and signed LaRoche instead. I think it makes it less likely that the Rangers offer Adam three years.So Greinke to LA may mean less Beast Mode in SW DC.

  194. peric - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Did somebody say peric was still around? Funny.What? Natsjack the world's foremost expert on all things baseball prognosticating about me … how droll.

  195. peric - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    He's given LaRoche his best and final offer. The press reported it as two years, and Rizzo verified that. What does Rizzo have to gain by denying it? Looks the same as his approach to re-signing Dunn to a contract. He stood his ground then and watched Dunn sign with the ChiSox without any designated replacement in house … the other potential, Josh Willingham, he traded shortly thereafter. In this case he has two solid possibilities in Morse and Tyler Moore. BUT they do not have left-handed bats. Something that Rizzo's manager deems vitally important.

  196. flynnie - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    My sister arranged for my folks to meet Julie Andrews back stage when she was doing My Fair Lady on Broadway. She was lovely – the opposite of a prima donna. I've loved her ever since.

  197. flynnie - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    From hardballtalk:According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Dodgers have $210.1 million in salary commitments for 2013 and will pay another $22 million in luxury tax (for a total sum of $233+ million). But their new 25-year local television contract with FOX Sports West is going to bring in over $240 million per season and so they’re still — as amazing as it might sound — operating with great comfort financially.Kasten must be in heaven.

  198. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    WOW so many to watch.Swami, no one actually recommended that one to me before. But plan to watch it in due time.flynnie, haven't heard of those two before. I enjoy foreign movies also from time to time. You have probably seen Seven Samurai? That movie actually inspired an Indian classic, Sholay. If you like foreign historical pieces, I recommend Mughal-e-Azam(Indian) and Red Cliff(Chinese).1A, so far impressed with Audrey. She looks awesome. I have heard of Damn Yankees.Back to baseball, Greinke going to Texas would have been better I think. Texas could have simply traded for Upton as their OF. Now there is a chance they might go after a Price or a Shields through trade and then sign a FA offensive upgrade. ALR is a legitimate candidate I still think. According to recent rumors, Rangers are still in on J Upton.

  199. peric - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    Rizzo has been pretty honest and above board with his players. Rizzo doesn't make many changes to his 40-man roster once its in place. He generally prefers place youth as starters with canny veterans as bench players and mentors. Davey might have said that Lannan was his fifth starter but Rizzo never did that I heard. When asked if he was trading Morse he basically ticked off Morse's advantages and stated rather clearly that he was still a valued part of his roster. This is where spring training comes in. There is still competition for jobs even if on the surface it appears that there isn't. They aren't going to play slap hitter Span over a productive power hitting Morse when he is hot. Its not going to happen. If Morse is cold then yes. The same will likely be true for Tyler Moore. One of the reasons they traded for Span instead of signing a free agent was because of his contract. He won't be blocking anybody not in 2012 spring training nor in the future.

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