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Who got the best center fielder?

Dec 10, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

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Denard Span and Ben Revere each were traded from Minnesota to NL East clubs.

There were no shortage of teams seeking center fielders when this offseason began, and there were no shortage of players available to those teams, whether via free agency or trades.

All of this resulted in a mad rush to scoop up those center fielders, especially in the the NL East, with the division's top three clubs all making significant acquisitions over the last two weeks.

It began with the Braves signing B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75.25 million contract. It continued with the Nationals snagging Denard Span from the Twins in exchange for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. And it concluded Thursday with the Phillies prying another center fielder away from Minnesota, getting Ben Revere for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May.

In the meantime, Shane Victorino got a three-year, $39 million contract from the Red Sox. Angel Pagan got $40 million over four years to stay with the Giants. And through it all, Michael BournRead more »

203 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I think Span suits Nationals' needs atm more than anyone else on that list.In other news, Rays robbed Royals.

  2. baseballswami - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I like both of our moves for our franchise at this time. Quite rational. Now — when is Adam making his decision?

  3. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Now — when is Adam making his decision?He's made his decision. He's not coming back. He doesn't know yet where he will be playing next year, but it's not going to be DC. If he really wanted to sign with the Nats, he would have taken Rizzo's two year offer because he knows that's the best he's going to get here. But he didn't. That's all you need to know.

  4. Positively Half St. - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Feel Wood-Nah, I still need to know if anybody else is willing to offer ALR three years.+1/2St.

  5. Section 222 - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Like Feel, I think ALR is most likely gone. But it's not as simple as "if he was willing to take a 2 year deal he would have signed by now." More likely, he'll leave if the right 3 year deal materializes, and it probably hasn't. Only when he's sure there are not going to be better deals on the table will he decide whether he wants to take Rizzo's 2 year offer. He's still got a lot of time.'I'm happy with where we ended up in CF, particularly with the relatively short term obligation we have to Span.

  6. bowdenball - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Feel Wood said…"He's made his decision. He's not coming back. He doesn't know yet where he will be playing next year, but it's not going to be DC. If he really wanted to sign with the Nats, he would have taken Rizzo's two year offer because he knows that's the best he's going to get here. But he didn't. That's all you need to know."Really? You've never heard of "testing the market"? He may come back, he may not. But what you say makes no sense whatsoever. Even if LaRoche has decided he only wants a 3 year deal, that doesn't mean he'll get one from another team. And if he does, maybe the Nats will subsequently decide to match it. Or maybe they'll give him a third year club option with an expensive buyout as a compromise to see if he's willing to do that to stay here.Free agency negotiations are not done with one offer that is accepted or rejected. It's a long process that depends on the player, the team and perhaps most importantly the market. Unless you've got inside knowledge from Adam, the Nats, or some mystery team that's offered him a four year $60 million deal, you have no idea what you're talking about.

  7. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    There is no incentive for either side to rush into a deal on December 10th–or January 10th, for that matter. As fans we are impatient for resolution (and maybe, MAYBE Davey is, but you have to take that with a salt truck.) I don't think LaRoche has a satisfactory three-year deal in hand, but it only takes one desparate GM (see Royals, Kansas City) or winter ball injury (see Martinez, Victor) for the picture to change. Rizzo has put an offer on the table. He is not–repeat NOT–going to say he is flexible on the offer. That doesn't mean he isn't flexible, or that he might not put more into the pot if LaRoche can show him bona-fide competitive offer. But why on earth would he sweeten the pot beforehand? Even if LaRoche is his Plan A, he has a very reasonable Plan B. We don't know how much he values the difference between them. So you can conclude exactly NOTHING from the fact he hasn't signed yet.

  8. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Even if LaRoche has decided he only wants a 3 year deal, that doesn't mean he'll get one from another team. And if he does, maybe the Nats will subsequently decide to match it. Or maybe they'll give him a third year club option with an expensive buyout as a compromise to see if he's willing to do that to stay here.No, there's no guarantee that LaRoche will get a three year deal elsewhere. But he and his agent must think there's a pretty good chance of it since they continue to reject Rizzo's offer of two years. There will be no third year offered by Rizzo, nor any offer of an option/buyout. Rizzo has publicly rejected that possibility – this from a GM who never has made such definitive comments before about any ongoing negotiation. It is possible that Rizzo told ALR he'd keep the two year offer open for a while while he looked around for something better elsewhere, but there has to be some deadline for that, even though they would never announce it. Each day that passes without ALR signing here moves the chances of that happening closer to zero – and they're mighty close to zero already.

  9. hiramhover - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    To comment on the topic of Mark's actual post–Another reason to favor Span over Revere–he's been the better defender in CF over the past 2 years. Revere earned most of the UZR shown in Mark's table above while playing RF this year. His UZR in CF, in a relatively few innings (309), was actually slightly negative (-0.4).

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    HH, right. I forgot about Revere not playing in CF. I got a bit confused by that UZR. Thanks for reminder.Besides that revere has no power, not even doubles power. span at least can get some extra base hits. only reason to like this trade for phillies is that they got younger and cheaper in OF.

  11. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Yeah, there's a deadline. The deadline is about when pitchers and catchers report. The chances of LaRoche getting an offer better than Rizzo's are remote, but not impossible. LaRoche is two years older than when he didn't get the three year deal two years ago. If you survey the teams that could need a first baseman (and remember, that and DH is all he can play), it's a pretty small list. The problem LaRoche has is that more and more teams are in exactly the same position as the Nats: "saving" first base for either (a) a big-bat prospect who isn't a great fielder or (b) their own aging infielders–or catchers (see Posey, Buster). They are not going to pay a hefty price to a 33-year-old and lock up the position for three years. The only thing that would change that calculation is a contending team with financial resources (like the Rangers) not finding a better solution in-house or via trade, or an injury. That is what Adam is hoping for. Slim hope, IMO, but certainly, hope.

  12. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    FS and HH, on the UZR, remember you are looking at sample sizes. If I recall, you need three years of UZR data to make it meaningful, so you have that for Span, but he was injured part of the time. I don't think it's unfair to combine the UZR for CF and RF because in some parks RF is more difficult than CF, and range is range. Also, Revere is handicapped by that noodle arm, so he might be better in CF than RF. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with our deal, and I think the Fillies overpaid for Revere. But they got a good player who will be a pest on the basepaths.

  13. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Faraz, This is why Kansas City is always mediocre. All they had to do is play Myers instead of Francouer and acquire one free agent pitcher and they would have been in the same place next year without giving away a top 5 prospect.

  14. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Feel: there's NO necessity for any deadline, on either side… Morse has no sell-by date (other than opening day, if the team trading for him wants a draft pick, for losing him after next year), and Adam has little incentive to sign any two year deal, before pitchers and catchers report. You're making no sense, so have another cup of coffee… The cogs of your cogitation are all bound up.

  15. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    NatsLady, I think the deadline is meaningful because the ALR situation impacts the Nats ability to make a move with Morse. I genuinely think that the Nats would prefer to keep ALR and trade Morse but I don't think they want to risk losing both and having to go with Moore. I think ALR's problem is that his situation is also tied to other moves. Once Hamilton and Swisher are off the board and perhaps even Bourne ALR and his agent will have clarity of all his options. I do think he'l take a 3 year guaranteed offer even if it's from a non contending team.

  16. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I believe Rizzo when he says that the unofficial deadline is Christmas; I think if ALR is not signed by the Nats by then he won't be back.

  17. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    JD, I agree LaRoche would take a guaranteed three-year deal from (almost!) any team, because how much money can you expect him to leave on the table? I would say, no more than $5 or $6MM. You might leave an amount like that on the table to play for a contending team and also because you WORK one year less. I don't understand how you figure the Nats are losing Morse by waiting. His trade value doesn't go down until opening day, and like Adam's it could go up as teams fill out their rosters and see a big bat out there who won't block other players, and is at a VERY reasonable price. Rizzo loses nothing by waiting to see what Adam does. The market for Morse can only improve (as long as he keeps himself healthy). Whoever doesn't sign Hamilton is going to give Morse a nice long look.

  18. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Nats have the best rotation in the mlb now with the rays losing Sheilds/Davis

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Teddy Rochlis said… Nats have the best rotation in the mlb now with the rays losing Sheilds/Davis December 10, 2012 9:39 AM I'm thinking the Dodgers aren't too far behind.

  20. sjm308 - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    At first, as I read FeelWoods original post I thought he was spot on, but as I read further posts I realize this is not a done deal. At least I don't think so. None of us know what is going on behind the scenes with agents/player/GM/owner discussions. Could Rizzo match a 3 year deal if offered to LaRoche by another team? Sure he could.Could LaRoche come back to our 2 year deal after waiting to see what happens? Sure he could. Its in LaRoche's best interest to wait, its in Rizzo's best interest to hold firm. That is how this works. It's just hard for us as fans to not have everything spelled out before Christmas. Look how late we signed Jackson, and I think very few of us saw that one coming. Pretty sure Rizzo is still out there plotting and planning our future. My guess is LaRoche will not be back and Morse will have a killer year playing first base, as he wants that next/last huge deal. My preference is LaRoche back at first for the defense but we are going to be ok no matter which scenario happens. My "makes completely no sense" scenario is that BOTH Morse & LaRoche are in the dugout on opening day but this is what is great about the off-season. It lets an old man dream.

  21. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I don't think there is any need to impose unnecessary deadlines on ourselves when clearly 1B is the only 'unsolved' matter. Getting a LH relief specialist will in no way affect what Rizzo does with 1B so why bother with deadlines. If ALR decides to come here in Feb, I am fine with that. Does not give us much time to move Morse but is that possible the reason for this deadline?

  22. sjm308 - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    As to this post. I liked this deal for lots of reasons. Span plays excellent defense, has good speed, gets on base, hits leadoff and while this should not play into liking or not liking a deal, if you look at what we gave up and what we will be paying him, and how long his contract is, he is probably the best deal of all the others.I realize our resident "expert" does not agree with this analysis but I like what Rizzo did.Go Nats!!

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    JD said… I believe Rizzo when he says that the unofficial deadline is Christmas; I think if ALR is not signed by the Nats by then he won't be back. December 10, 2012 9:31 AM Take that to the bank. He could also rescind the deal earlier.I saw Bill James projections. If you believe in Bill's ability to project stats, Morse is the better move for the Nats.

  24. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    NatsLady, My point is that if someone has a good offer on the table for Mike Morse Rizzo has to wait for the ALR situation to resolve itself. What if the team interested in MM then goes out and sign say Youkilis? The Indians signed Mark Reynolds. They may or may not have had some interest in MM but holding a spot for ALR does have potential consequences.

  25. sjm308 - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Faraz: dream along with me that Morse will not be moved!! He can play both corner outfield positions, first base, pinch hit, and tell me you wouldn't rather have Morse play 3rd base instead of Chad Tracey? I know he won't be happy with this but what a great situation if he buys into it. Davey gets to rest 5 players throughout the season. He can move Werth or Harper into CF when giving Span a day or two off and Morse steps in for all the others.

  26. bowdenball - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Feel Wood said …"No, there's no guarantee that LaRoche will get a three year deal elsewhere. But he and his agent must think there's a pretty good chance of it since they continue to reject Rizzo's offer of two years. There will be no third year offered by Rizzo, nor any offer of an option/buyout. Rizzo has publicly rejected that possibility – this from a GM who never has made such definitive comments before about any ongoing negotiation. It is possible that Rizzo told ALR he'd keep the two year offer open for a while while he looked around for something better elsewhere, but there has to be some deadline for that, even though they would never announce it. Each day that passes without ALR signing here moves the chances of that happening closer to zero – and they're mighty close to zero already."I see you're already walking back your 10)% definitive statements in the third post.There's always room to negotiate. Rizzo might say they won't option a third year, but what if LaRoche comes crawling back and asks for one that's really really cheap?And I don't see how you can assume that LaRoche and his agent think they have three year deal just because they haven't accepted a two year one. The market is still taking shape. Maybe they're hoping a team will get desperate, or a trade will happen that will open up a 1B spot somewhere, or someone will sustain an offseason injury. The Nats have given them no reason to close themselves off to that possibility. Do you know for a fact that LaRoche and his agent aren't simply stalling? Your posts are filled with assumptions. They may turn out to be correct, but why speak with such certainty about them when you can't possibly be as certain as you say? Why would you try to mislead Nationals fans like that?

  27. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I think you all under estimate how poor a defender MM is; both in the outfield and at 1st base. never mind 3rd base a position which requires quick reaction and reflexes which MM has never exhibited. It's possible for MM to have a great offensive year which will create some value for him but he will never be a complete player.

  28. Doc - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Good analysis Mark.Rizzo, Werth's signing notwithstanding, does well to get out ahead of the market, and Span seems to fit the best for the organization's plans.Time will tell, but I think that he out-foxed himself with Burnett's signing with LA. Haren's signing seems to fit the organization's plans too. Even if he is in and out with injuries this coming season, Christian Garcia looks ready to jump in.

  29. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Could Rizzo match a 3 year deal if offered to LaRoche by another team? Sure he could.But he won't. If he wanted to leave the door open for that, he wouldn't be making definitive statements about wanting to retain roster flexibility by going only two years for ALR and categorically dismissing the possibility of two years plus option.Could LaRoche come back to our 2 year deal after waiting to see what happens? Sure he could.But there's a time limit on that option. It's the reason for the mixed messages from Davey and Rizzo to ALR at the golf outing and winter meetings. They're playing good cop/bad cop with him. So far, neither the pleas of Davey for LaRoche to sign nor the reminders from Rizzo of the approaching deadline have gotten him to do a deal. What are the chances that it will happen before the deadline? Getting slimmer every day.

  30. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    sjm, dream on. Morse isn't going to buy into it. This is his "contract" year, and he will want to show that he is an everyday, healthy, productive player in order to get a big paycheck as a free agent.Tracy was adequate at 3B, a position he played for years. You will see Rendon there before you see Morse.JD, I hear what you are saying, but I'm not buying into it. As spring training approaches, teams on the "bubble" get optimistic, and start calculating how they can get over that 85-win hump to the 2nd wild-card. With a guy like Morse, there are a lot of options. You might see Morse up the road, I mean, why not?

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Now to Mark's question using WAR for the CFs. Since WAR is cumulative, you must look at the standard for games played by your CF which is the 155 that Bourn played and Pagan and Victorino both played 154 and Upton played 146. Span played 128 and Revere 124.If I base every one of the CFs on a 155 game season:Bourn 6.4Pagan 4.8Span 4.7Revere 4.3Upton 3.5Victo 3.3Given age and dollars and the history of stats, Bourn and Span are the 2 best of the group. Span doesn't rely on speed as much as Bourn.Revere has 1 good year in his career and that was in 2012.BJ Upton is a K machine with power and less speed and isn't a leadoff. Losing Bourn and taking on Upton is a net loss to the Braves.

  32. Timothy Folk - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    That's why we play the games! We'll find out soon! (Reverse Game of Thrones) "The summer is coming!"

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    NatsLady, I agree with you on Morse from the standpoint he won't want to do it but he has no say in it if the Nats sign ALR and retain Morse.Morse is under contract. Now then, the likelihood that Rizzo would maintain him is small. The only way Riz keeps both is if the trades proposed are lousy.I see Tampa with all their new-found prospects as the obvious target for the trade of Morse. I would not want to see Morse in Baltimore.

  34. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Doc, like a lot of people, I would have enjoyed seeing Burnett return. BUT–he had chips in his elbow, he has back issues (manageable, but still troubling) and seems to have a pattern of bad-year-good-year. I don't think Rizzo got out-foxed. I think he decided he wasn't re-signing Burnett, and didn't really care what the price was (unless it dropped to one year).

  35. SCNatsFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    ALR might just be waiting until he sees where the 3 year (or larger 2 year) offers are from before deciding. As for deadlines, they are arbitrary; as much as Rizzo lays the tight line don't tell me with the Xmas deadline he wouldn't sign ALR on the 26th if the numbers were right.Morse, he's in a bad spot. Interesting to see how he handles it.

  36. bowdenball - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    This is what I don't get, Feel Wood. If you think the chances are slim and getting slimmer, fine. But why declare so firmly that those chances are zero when even you now admit that they're not? A lot of Nats fans come here for information and opinion from fellow die-hards, so why tell those people something that isn't true? When you said he's "made his decision" and that he's "not coming back," that's simply not true.

  37. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Faraz, You are absolutely right. One scenario that's not happening is both ALR and MM on the opening day roster. I think that the next big domino to fall is Josh Hamilton because in the game of musical chairs others like Swisher and Bourne will grab the next available chair. I think that this may all happen this week so an ALR resolution before Christmas is still very much on the table. Similarly we should start seeing the pitching dominos to start falling this week as well.

  38. SCNatsFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Doc, what applies to Haren also applies to Burnett; when a FA pitcher leaves after stinits on the DL and a team chooses not to resign the player the numbers are markedly worse then if a FA resigns with the same team. Maybe the Nats know something about his arm that we all don't just like the Halos might know more about Haren's hip.

  39. pdowdy83 - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Revere's WAR is skewed on this list simply because he played a lot of his innings in RF. Of the 1061 innings he played in the field 752 were in a corner spot. Anybody with his speed should be able to really kill it with UZR in a corner spot. Rever's 300+ innings in CF were actually a slight negative. I know that is a small sample size but the Phillies paid a premium for a guy who acheived a lot of his WAR value on defense to play a position where he didn't even play much. You have to adjust his value positionaly and that rates him down from a 3.4 WAR guy to about a 2.4 WAR guy last year. That is still a nice player but he has ZERO power and there was about a 30 point spike in his BABIP which will more than likely fall somewhere south of his total from last season. He is probably about a .275 hitter with limited walk skills.This also says to me that the Twins viewed Span as the better defensive CFer. He also has a much better batter eye. I understand that the team control is part of why Revere cost what he cost but I think the Phillies went beyond what they should have to get him. Vance Worley vs Revere is probably a wash and to give up their 2nd best pitching prospect in the same deal screams desperation to me.Victorino and Pagan are both being overpaid in their contracts but the teams that signed them wanted to avoid the absurdity that is going to be Michael Bourn's contract after the large contract Upton signed.Span may not be the best but as others have said he is the best fit for the Nationals. Doesn't block up the position for too long and costs about half of what Victorino got for the same time period. I would count this as a smart move for the Nationals.

  40. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Ghost, absolutely Morse will do as he's told, just as–in the end–Lannan did. I didn't mean to suggest he would slack off if he were a "bench" player out of spring training, that would not be in his best interests. But if there is already friction between him and Davey (not clear that there is, but possible) this wouldn't help. If Henry is good in spring training, I could see a scenario where Rizzo keeps one less reliever and one more bench player until the July deadline. At that point, you might want to add a reliever and subtract a bench player to save wear on the starters.

  41. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Bowdenball, You are right; nothing is absolute. I think that ALR and his agents decided to test out the market from the get go and I'm not sure that this will prove to be a wise choice.

  42. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Mark Z.: You hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head when you concluded: "…it's sure going to be interesting to check back in a few seasons at all these signings and trades and determine who in the end made the wisest choice." Because as much as we all love to jump to immediate conclusions ('The Rays fleeced the Royals!') or after a single season, most such deals really do take at least two or three years to properly evaluate. I'm as guilty of that as anyone, but I also recognize that many teams (like the Nats) aren't just trying to win next season, they're trying to build a year-after-year contender. And in today's world that means that any trade (or FA signing) can't be measured simply by comparing a player's splits or potential, but must include several other variables — contract size, contract length, remaining years of team control, other players in the pipeline, etc. Finally, the best deals — for all concerned, players and teams — ultimately are those where both sides 'win' in the long-term. And I hope the Meyer-for-Span trade may prove to be one of those win-win deals.

  43. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    sjm308 said… Faraz: dream along with me that Morse will not be moved!! He can play both corner outfield positions, first base, pinch hit, and tell me you wouldn't rather have Morse play 3rd base instead of Chad Tracey? I know he won't be happy with this but what a great situation if he buys into it. Davey gets to rest 5 players throughout the season. He can move Werth or Harper into CF when giving Span a day or two off and Morse steps in for all the others.Michael Morse and Tyler Moore are basically the same player, the only difference being that Moore is younger and cheaper. In the remote possibility that Rizzo signs ALR to the two year deal, there is no way he is going to keep both Morse and Moore on the roster to do what you describe. He either would trade Morse or stash Moore in the minors. But stashing Moore in the minors does not help Rizzo evaluate whether Moore can handle the first base job once it becomes open when the incumbent leaves. Also, it makes Morse a $6.5M utility guy when that guy could be a much cheaper Moore providing the same value while at the same time preparing to take over the job full-time in a year or two. In other words, having both ALR and Morse on the roster makes no sense.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    NatsLady, Davey said he likes his 7 relievers and 5 bench players. If ALR was signed and the small chance Morse was retained, TyMo would probably be the odd man out and back to 'Cuse.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I owe Feel Wood a drink.

  46. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Ghost, "Davey said" is my least most reliable clue, and "Rizzo said" is right next to it. I pay almost no attention to what these guys say, I try to look at teams' needs and finances.

  48. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    With a guy like Morse, there are a lot of options. You might see Morse up the road, I mean, why not?You mean Baltimore? The chances are very slim that the Nats and O's would do a trade. Have they ever done one? Not that I can recall.But players do move between the two teams by free agency. There's an ex-Nat FA who could provide everything to the Orioles that Morse can, and more. His name is Adam LaRoche. If the O's do like Morse, they have to like LaRoche more. And all they have to do is sign him.

  49. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Edited for content: No offense to any commenters, but I come here for information and opinion from our humble beat writer. Yes, I'm interested in hearing points of view from and sharing Nats experiences with other fans. However, I tend to regard all commenter opinions (mine included) as…well…commenter opinions. Therefore, I'm not likely to be misled by any of them. ;-)bowdenball said…A lot of Nats fans come here for information and opinion from fellow die-hards, so why tell those people something that isn't true? When you said he's "made his decision" and that he's "not coming back," that's simply not true.

  50. sjm308 - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Again, I want it to be clear I don't expect this to happen. I certainly understand all the problems with having too many of the same kind of player and I also understand that Morse is not + defender at any position. That said, its my dream and I am sticking with it.Also want to clarify that I was not misled by FeelWood either. He has strong opinions and brings them often and I like that. Don't have to agree with them but he is rarely rude (that one comment on Amanda might be an exception).The more I read knowledgable posters (aka pdowdy), the more I like the Span trade.Go Nats!!

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    NatsLady, you got me there. True, Davey has said things that he didn't do, however, with all the extra inning games and pitchers pulled for pinch-hitters, NL teams need 7 relievers.I just can't see a bench with Morse and Moore on it.

  52. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Yeah, because the O's would rather go for the expensive, inflexible 3-year FA rather than the cheap, flexible 1-year guy in a trade? A trade of relievers/prospects for Morse sounds reasonable, and last time I checked there was no law against it.

  53. 3on2out - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Thank you pdowdy83! I was puzzled how the Twins moved two centerfielders in the same month. My AL knowledge was too limited to realize that Revere spent most of his time in right.

  54. JamesFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I see ALR going to Texas but not until the Hamilton situation is settled.

  55. NatsLady - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Texas fans are very bitter about Hamilton. I don't know how much that factors into a front-office's considerations. My feeling all along (which I've posted several times, sorry for the repetition) is that Texas is the competitor for LaRoche. They have the money and the contending status. The only question is whether they will have the need. Getting rid of Young was the first step for them. On another topic, Hardball Talk calculates that Weaver left $40-50MM on the table by signing his extension with the Angels. I don't think that calculation bodes well for the chances of Strasburg signing one, if there ever was a chance.

  56. JD - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    NatsLady, From what I read Hamilton has two 3 year offers from Boston and Seattle but is holding out for at least 5 years. Texas was also very strongly in on Greinke and the Tampa pitchers so I imagine they will turn their attention to Anibal Sanchez and Lohse. They also have one eye on Justin Upton as a trade possibility. I think Texas is the key to the entire FA and trade market and Jon Daniels is pretty sharp. I think ALR is a fall back for them and he may not even be the 2nd choice. Settle, Milwaukee, Boston and Baltimore are also looking for bats and Bourne, Swisher and ALR are sill out there. I think most of this gets shaken out this week.

  57. JaneB - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Thanks for this analysis on Span. It helps me be more glad we have him. My typical, irrational response to a New Guy is to close my heart to him and complain about what this does to the "real" team, until I see him play. Then by June I'll own the shersey and screaming for him. I'm already following him on Twitter, which is months ahead of schedule.

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    3on2out said… Thank you pdowdy83! I was puzzled how the Twins moved two centerfielders in the same month. My AL knowledge was too limited to realize that Revere spent most of his time in right. December 10, 2012 11:12 AM Span was long considered expendable since they had Ben Revere as the #2 on the depth chart.For the Twins to trade 2 of their starting CFs, it will be interesting what they do with their outfield especially considering Willingham played a lot of LF and he's not a great defender and also a year older. Darin Mastroianni probably gets a chance to be a starter but he looks to be the RF. Who plays CF for the Twins now?Sure, the Twins went 66-96 with all these players and its not a surprise to see a team like that blow everything up but its the old saying you make a trade and plug one hole while you create another.

  59. JT - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Of course Span was the right choice for the Nats…who are we to question the moves of Rizzo the Nats Messiah.

  60. Will - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    This article would be much better if you looked at more than one season.Since 2010:Bourn: 15.2 WARVictorino: 13.0Upton: 11.5Pagan: 11.1Span: 8.6Revere: 5.1But if you adjust by number of games played, then convert it to a full season's worth of games (about 150), it works out to:Avg season WAR:Bourn: 5.0Victorino: 4.5Upton: 3.8Pagan: 3.9Span: 3.7Revere: 3.0Then also consider that Victorino is 32, Pagan 31, Bourn 30, Upton and Span 28 and Revere 24. The former 3 should be expected to begin declining soon (Victorino already has). While Upton and Span are about at their peak, and Revere will get better.All in all, they're all pretty comparable.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    If you believe the market on trading Morse has changed, that may have an effect on re-signing LaRoche. It does little good trading Morse for some low level prospect. Nobody needs to fill in a spot for another Cutter Dykstra type or do a Willingham type trade where you take on a player without MiLB options. To steal from Adam Kilgore stealing from New York Daily News baseball writer Andy Martino "Prospects are great until they aren’t".LaRoche could end up in Seattle for all we know. There's so many things going on behind the scenes. Maybe today is the day ALR agrees to the deal with Rizzo. I'm one who is fine with either ALR or Morse but I do believe Morse will have a great offensive season in his contract year.

  62. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Just asking, but doesn't saying Morse will have a great year because it's a contract year sort of imply he's been dogging it up to now? I mean, if he can turn it on and off at will, why not keep it on? Or is that what Bryce is doing, so noteworthily?*noteworthily??

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Gorse, you make a good point but many players play better in that contract year and I expect Morse to perform well.

  64. SonnyG10 - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    natsfan1a said…Edited for content: No offense to any commenters, but I come here for information and opinion from our humble beat writer. Yes, I'm interested in hearing points of view from and sharing Nats experiences with other fans. However, I tend to regard all commenter opinions (mine included) as…well…commenter opinions. Therefore, I'm not likely to be misled by any of them. ;-)sjm308 said…Again, I want it to be clear I don't expect this to happen. I certainly understand all the problems with having too many of the same kind of player and I also understand that Morse is not + defender at any position. That said, its my dream and I am sticking with it.Also want to clarify that I was not misled by FeelWood either. He has strong opinions and brings them often and I like that. Don't have to agree with them but he is rarely rude (that one comment on Amanda might be an exception).I was going to say the same thing but you two beat me to it. As far as I am concerned, everything posted is an opinion, either by the poster, the cited source, or the insider information. Although I would give stronger credence to insider information. I'll believe things for certain only if it actually happens.

  65. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Ghost, I know that's the accepted wisdom, and maybe even supported empirically–I know Bill Veeck based his whole rent-a-player strategy on that. I do wonder, though, if "playing for your next contract" doesn't also include some increased risk of injury, especially for a big guy like Morse. I mean, he's no Nick Johnson, but he has been hurt a few times.

  66. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Speaking of Nicky, he's a free agent again. Did he end the season on the DL, and is he still looking for baseball work? Just wondering. It's not like he's going to take ALR's spot anywhere.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Gorse, that's the biggest issue with Morse is his health. Still, his final 2012 slash was decent. I think the only obstacle between Morse and a big breakout year is hos health.Also, if you follow Bill James and his 2013 projections, he has a 13% or more regression for LaRoche. RBIs drop to 87, HRs to 26 and a subpar BA of .256

  68. SCNatsFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    I've never believed players play great in a contract year then let up once they sign. Of course I have no information to support this view… or virtually any of my opinions on this site.

  69. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    I wouldn't be surprised, and I doubt if Rizzo would be, if LaRoche doesn't quite hit last season's numbers. I think Bill James's own margin for error is something like 4%, IIRC, so if LaRoche comes in at, say, 92 RBI, 27 HR, and .266, that's just about his career averages. "That's why they play the games."Gulp, bang.

  70. whatsanattau - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    No analysis necessary, we have the best centerfielder. And if I understand correctly, Haren is a flyball pitcher. So with Harper-Span-Werth he should fair pretty well – especially As for LaRoche, he's coming back if he wants to. Davey wants him. This isn't like the Dunn thing, where they said things like "We really like Adam Dunn" and left it at that. The tone and tenor and amount of discussion reported have all seemed to indicate that he is wanted. The two year thing likely has a lot to do with the projected time frame for Rendon. Side note, this year there may be more up/down roster turnover due to interleague being spread out over more months. There is not an interleague month. So 1 bench and 1 relief pitcher might be exchanging places semi-regularly. Of course injurries usually solve that sort of thing anyway, but you could imagine some additional churn.

  71. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Pace yourself, Gorse. After all, it's a marathon, not a sprint.A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said…"That's why they play the games."Gulp, bang.

  72. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    1a, you're saying I'll fare better if I do?

  73. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    The two year thing likely has a lot to do with the projected time frame for Rendon. It may well do, but I think it mostly is driven by all the big contracts Rizzo expects/hopes to be signing starting in 2015, for guys he plans to keep beyond that. By then, the future won't include LaRoche–not even Adam thinks it will–so there's not much reason to invest in him then.

  74. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    SCNatsFan wrote: "I've never believed players play great in a contract year then let up once they sign."————————–Nate Silver, when he was with Baseball Prospectus, did some work on this and found there was some sort of contract year phenomenon. I don't have the details in front of me right now, but they're in one of the B-P books.

  75. hiramhover - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Dayn Perry had a good piece on walk year effects in Baseball Between the Numbers, 6-7 years ago. His conclusion: yes, players do perform better in their walk years, in part because they tend to play in more games, on average, than before or after. This doesn't mean they're dogging it in other years, but perhaps that they're playing more prudently at other times, and more "go for broke" in their walk years.

  76. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Hiram, that was sort of what I was speculating when I wondered about increased risk from just that "go for broke" effect. I wonder if injuries also correlate?

  77. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Side note, this year there may be more up/down roster turnover due to interleague being spread out over more months. There is not an interleague month. So 1 bench and 1 relief pitcher might be exchanging places semi-regularly. Of course injurries usually solve that sort of thing anyway, but you could imagine some additional churn.That's not likely. The longest stretch of interleague games at a time is four. If a player is optioned to the minors he has to stay there for at least 10 days (IIRC) before being able to return, barring an injury scenario. So if they decide to switch a bench player and relief pitcher for an upcoming interleague series they would have to live with that same roster for six or seven NL games as well.

  78. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    So instead of characterizing it (unfairly) as "dogging it" in off years, maybe it would be more accurate to compare contract/walk years to the playoffs, when you're expected to "raise your game."

  79. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    FeelWood said:That's not likely. The longest stretch of interleague games at a time is four. If a player is optioned to the minors he has to stay there for at least 10 days (IIRC) before being able to return, barring an injury scenario. So if they decide to switch a bench player and relief pitcher for an upcoming interleague series they would have to live with that same roster for six or seven NL games as well.————–Fair enough… But they could bring a different position player/pitcher up, to bridge the gap, no?

  80. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Dear Mark,I think you're missing ONE OTHER PLAYUH! Sorry but Bourn definitely IS NOT the best overall center fielder even by your somewhat biased criteria: AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB UZR WARBryce Harper .270 .340 .477 22 59 18 9.9 4.9Sorry, but wrong once again. The best CF is Bryce Harper

  81. hiramhover - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    PericI could point out that you have it just as wrong—that Mike Trout (he of the 10 WAR) was a better CF than Bryce this year. And if I wanted to match your obnoxiousness, I’d put his stats in bold too.Instead, I’ll just point that we all understand that Mark is talking about CFs who are either FAs or have been traded this off-season, and leave it at that.

  82. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    hiramhover: That's actually the B-P article I was thinking of; my mistake. I guess I had assumed it was Silver himself because he refers to the walk-year concept in his new book 'The Signal and the Noise' (which I recommend to all).

  83. SCNatsFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Thanks guys for the info.I would expect ALRs numbers to drop becasue he had an above average year for him; I'd expect Morse's to rise because he'll be healthy for the whole year. I'm a regression towards the mean kind of guy.

  84. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Fair enough… But they could bring a different position player/pitcher up, to bridge the gap, no?You're talking about trying to fine tune the roster for an upcoming 3 or 4 game series with roster moves that require a 10-day minimum commitment. Again, not likely.

  85. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Peric is never content to just be wrong. He has to be boldly wrong. But the more he goes bold, the more it gets old.

  86. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Feel… Does the 10 day rule work both ways? I understood you to say that's player optioned to the minors has to stay for ten days. Does a player promoted have to stay 10 , as well? That was my point… Stop Moore, to add a pitcher, then bring Brown up, after the series. I seem to remember Buck making several thousand (jk) such moves, last year?

  88. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Drop. Drop Moore…(sheesh!)

  89. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Does a player promoted have to stay 10 , as well? That was my point… Stop Moore, to add a pitcher, then bring Brown up, after the series.No, a player promoted can be sent back down any time, I think. But still, what you propose is roster churn for the sake of roster churn. If Moore is on the active roster instead of Brown, it's presumably because Davey wanted it that way. So in order to get a pitching advantage for 3 days, he screws up the roster he wanted for 10 days? I don't think so.

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

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Davey likes stability. It may be moot as they may end up trading Moore or Morse and Bernadina. Brown can play CF at a very high level Bernadina is said to be less adept at the other outfield positions beyond left field. Brown features more power. Its a lot of speculation but the Nats do need to replenish the farm system and Morse will bring back a lot less than Moore. Bernadina might also bring back more … unless Morse starts having a 2011 type year in 2013. But, even then, since he is on the last year of his contract he would only be more valuable to a contender making a run. I can't see the Nats helping their competition … so … But anything is possible.

  92. hiramhover - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Who’s talking exclusively about the NL East, peric? Mark listed 6 players, 3 of whom landed in the NL East, 2 of whom didn’t, and another who is unlikely to. The common thread is CFs who are FAs or who were traded this off-season—a list on which neither Harper nor Trout belongs.As usual, peric, you seem to be having a one-man conversation. Is that why you have to shout so much—it’s the only to get yourself to pay attention?

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Have a great people. See you on a new Post.

  94. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  95. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    And yes it tend to make Rizzo look bad. Replacing Harper with Span is undoubtedly high risk. And I bet Davey calls him on it at some point early in the season.

  96. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    See Ankiel, Rick superlative fielder also known as "the arm". Replaced by Bryce Harper top Nats prospect.

  97. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Not necessarily. I was trying to tee up another gulp, bang opportunity. :-)natsfan1a said… Pace yourself, Gorse. After all, it's a marathon, not a sprint. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said… "That's why they play the games." Gulp, bang. December 10, 2012 1:24 PM A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said… 1a, you're saying I'll fare better if I do? December 10, 2012 1:27 PM

  98. DaveB - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Peric … your name calling really does get old. I think HH's assertion that the list of CFs is those who are either FA or traded this winter is just as valid as yours (especially with Angel Pagan) on the list. Certainly no reason for you to start off by calling him a dolt. Please take that level of nastiness somewhere else.

  99. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Pagan formerly the Mets CF is a bit iffy in that regard, nevertheless he still came from the NL East and the Mets originally until 2012. Still on the contract he signed with them until he signed the new one with the Giants. If we are going to compare CF's from the NL East and coming to the NL East Harper had a good enough year to definitely be considered in that mix. The Nats did not have a big hole at CF. Not even close. Neither did the Braves and Phillies … the Braves replaced a slap hitter speed guy with a power hitting CF. The Nats replaced a power hitting CF just coming into his own with a slap hitter who wasn't even the best speed guy on his team since Revere was. It doesn't look good no matter how you slice it.

  100. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    JaneB 11:46..standing next to you nodding my head in agreement.

  101. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  102. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Agree, Wood, on the churning…but it's nice to know the option exists… Here's another possible permutation…. Is there any chance, at all, of Morse being moved, enemy if Adam goes elsewhere…? Davey says he'd be alright with Moore at 1B….. Izzat just so much smoke? Or is it possible, if a couple of coveted prospects were offered?

  103. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I think we might need a commenting policy for this place. just saying!

  104. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    even!!! ……. Not enemy!……(sheeeeesh!!!)

  105. Squiffy - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Since when were the SF Giants in the NL East? However, I do agree that Bryce should have been included, because until the Span trade, he was our CF. And that should have been taken into consideration when comparing all of the other options the Nats had to fill CF in the offseason.

  106. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Davey says he'd be alright with Moore at 1B….. Izzat just so much smoke?He has to run it by Rizzo and the FO. But heck yes he is being truthful. But, then Davey likes big hairy chested hitters on his bench as back ups. He's got one in Tracy I guess … again Davey (unlike Rizzo and his FO) is not partial to slap hitters the way Riggleman was. You can definitely see a wide gap or dichotomy between what Rizzo sees and what Davey sees. And it sure looks like Dave is right.In any case as far as the bench? It sure looks like Marerro would end up as that bench player if both Morse and LaRoche left. Is that a bench that will make Davey comfortable? I'm not sure that it is.

  107. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Faraz, on a side note, apparanlty WaPo has created a new procedure for their sitehttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ask-the-post/wp/2012/12/05/changes-to-washington-post-comments/

  108. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Since when were the SF Giants in the NL East? Yes, its reaching a bit as I stated above since Pagan started the season in the NL West but was a member of the Mets in 2011 and for some time before.Again, it sure looked to me like a comparison between the Braves, Phillies, and Nats was the main focus of this post.I believe that Harper and his stats should have been listed just as you said.

  109. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    F.S….. The commenting policy is as follows (and if adhered to, would vastly decrease the opportunity for boldity(?): DON'T FEED THE TROLLS

  110. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Faraz, on a side note, apparanlty WaPo has created a new procedure for their siteThe McPoop button.

  111. DaveB - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Just noticed the MLBTR commenting policy (that they regularly post) starts off with:Comments of this nature are not allowed: Attacks or insults towards other commenters, the post author, journalists, teams, players, or agents …

  112. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  113. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Michele, that ignoring users feature could be helpful here. I will block everyone who disagree with me on anything.Unkyd, we know that policy but something official from Mark would be better I think.DaveB, actually that's what I read before coming here. This place will only invite more fans as Nats continue to succeed.

  114. Squiffy - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    I for one am very interested to see how much (or less) dynamic our lineup will be with a true leadoff hitter, thus allowing Werth and Harper to move down the order. Peric, it seemed on a previous thread that you were insisting Brown would be the CF after ST, not Span. So if Harper should have been the CF all along, then why wouldn't he stay in CF if Span will be so bad? Are you advocating Brown over Moore in LF, as well?I'd love to see Corey Brown do well, especially after I met his mother and aunt at the Red Porch the night of Corey's MLB debut, however I'm not sure the numbers have been there to justify your certainty that he is the answer. Is there something you've seen at Syracuse that we are missing? I believe you have the most exposure to what is going on up there, so I honestly would like to know.

  115. hiramhover - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:36 PM

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  116. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    The headline reads "Who got [as in, acquired] the best center fielder?" which I took to be referring to the recent batch of center field acquisitions. Not "Who's got…" So I don't think Bryce works, there. You're welcome. Glad I could help.

  117. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Peric, it seemed on a previous thread that you were insisting Brown would be the CF after ST, not Span. So if Harper should have been the CF all along, then why wouldn't he stay in CF if Span will be so bad? Are you advocating Brown over Moore in LF, as well?Hmmm I guess … the way I look at it if Harper needs to be replaced it should be by Brown. However, I can see Brown playing an outfield position other than CF as well. But, based on all the stats and the synergy that Harper developed with Werth in the outfield. Harper should not be replaced in CF by Span or Brown at least not at this point in time. Stay within the system as Davey keeps admonishing the FO to do. It may end up with the Span move hurting not helping. Haren might end up as another Lidge if like Lidge, his velocity doesn't return. Then, all hell will break lose on this blog and all of the others.

  118. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  119. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Who got [as in, acquired] the best center fielder?" which I took to be referring to the recent batch of center field acquisitions. Not "Who's got…" So I don't think Bryce works, there. Cody Ross can play CF as can Josh Hamilton? And Bourn hasn't signed yet last I looked? Just like Hamilton? The focus appears to be on the NL East. So, sorry to say but you are wrong.

  120. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    The focus appears to be on the NL East.No, it doesn't: In the meantime, Shane Victorino got a three-year, $39 million contract from the Red Sox. Angel Pagan got $40 million over four years to stay with the Giants. And through it all, Michael Bourn remains available to whichever club still needs a new center fielder.

  121. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    The issue with bold/rude/whatever commentary, among adults, isn't so much who shoots first, but making a concerted effort to ignore that first salvo. And I'm not addressing Peric any more than anyone else; If he (and everyone else) were just to let that first shot pass harmlessly across the bow, the discourse becomes instantly more civil. Dr. Sheldon Cooper is loved, not merely tolerated by his friends, though his communication skills seem (differently abled).

  122. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    It does say "especially in the NL East," so there is a strong focus on the Nats' most direct competition, but it covers others, and anyhow, the headline has that word "got"–as in, acquired, and so the point, which was that it does not include Harper, stands.

  123. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Ok, ok, Unky D. I'll go sit with Steve M. now.

  124. baseballswami - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Just checking in today. Looks like it's one of " those" days. Catch you later! Post if Adam signs just as soon as you hear!

  125. Squiffy - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I don't want to add to the acrimony here amongst certain posters, because I know that in my sinful nature I would want to respond to a perceived injustice with indignation, as well.However, I am sure that many involved here are men (or women) of faith, so I suggest that we step back, take a deep breath, and read Proverbs 9:7-8 and James 1:19.To quote Lon Solomon, "Not a sermon, just a thought."Sorry if I violated the no politics or religion rule, but this is something I felt important to share.

  126. Section 222 - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM

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  127. TheManBearPig - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    JD, your comment about Morse not being capable of being a complete player is a bit over the top. Morse's defense isn't as good as ALR's, but he won't hurt the Nats at 1b – his glove is very good (no one ever accused him of not being able to catch the baseball) and he'll get better as he plays the position more. When ALR played 1b in 2011, the Nats got slightly more PO/game from the 1b position than they did when Morse played 1b (8.8 to 8.6) – compare to Adam Dunn's 7.8 PO/game in 2010, when the Nats' 1b defense cost them about a baserunner per game.

  128. Preemptively Calling Myself "Moron" - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  129. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  130. UnkyD - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Ok, ok, Unky D. I'll go sit with Steve M. now.———–I'll be right over! I hope there's a nice Brown Ale, on draft….. {=^D

  131. TheManBearPig - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    "I for one am very interested to see how much (or less) dynamic our lineup will be with a true leadoff hitter, thus allowing Werth and Harper to move down the order."Squiffy, if being a "true leadoff hitter" means getting on base a lot, then Werth does that better than almost anyone else, including Span. I think the Span trade was a move for the near future and a hedge against not re-signing ALR, but I don't think it improved the Nats' lineup over what it was at the end of 2012. If the Nats re-sign ALR and trade Morse, the move replaces Morse's bat with Span's and moves a .387 OBP hitter out of the leadoff spot and a .342 OBP hitter into it. Hopefully Span improves his OBP, especially against the RHP he'll see about 75% of the time.

  132. SCNatsFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Back to baseball…I think in the end Rizzo got what we wanted for CF for the price he wanted. Obviously all the young talent we have won't stay but without the burden contract in CF there will be money for some of those guys. It seems our current options – Brown and Bernadina of Harper remaining there – didn't thrill the powers that be. I cannot believe we got Span to be anything less then he is – an everyday CF.

  133. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    I had to Google this guy. Dr. Charles Winchester, I would have gotten right away. Save me a place, you guys. I'll be right over. :-)Dr. Sheldon Cooper is loved, not merely tolerated by his friends, though his communication skills seem (differently abled)

  134. 3on2out - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Section 222…it's me (dogdust) from our Game 5 ticket transaction. Ditto.

  135. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    I'll join the group, as well.

  136. hiramhover - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Excellent, back to baseball….Werth at lead off: I expect his OBP to regress–in 2012, his OBP and BABIP were 25 and 30 pts higher, respectively, than his career averages.Harper in CF: tho some have questioned moving him out of CF, note that the Angels seem pretty adamant that they're going to do the same thing with Trout. Finally, Mr. Eugene – thanks for the mention of Nate Silver's new book. It's on my holiday list.

  137. Joe Seamhead - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM

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  138. SCNatsFan - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Shelly Cooper rules. I swear when Werth hit it out he yelled 'bazinga'.

  139. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Faraz from Mark back in the season:A request from MarkI will go join Steve M. UnkyD, NJ, and 1A. Save me a space folks: Mark Zuckerman said… Hey everyone, I was traveling all day and so I'm just now getting caught up on everything. I've received emails from a number of you, and I'll be getting back to each of you personally once I get a chance. Appreciate all the feedback and insight.In the meantime, might I offer a simple suggestion: Play nice. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.This is a website that is intended to bring people together, not tear them apart. Obviously, anytime you're talking about sports, passions are going to come out and sometimes they go too far. But ultimately, this isn't life or death stuff. It's baseball.Please, by all means, continue to discuss, debate and disagree. That's what is supposed to take place here. But keep the personal attacks out of here. Some of you know each other personally, some of you have never met and only know each other by your online pseudonyms and personas. But behind every pseudonym is a real person, and every person has real feelings. Nobody likes to be insulted, mocked or ridiculed, in real life or online. My general rule of thumb: If you wouldn't say something to someone's face, don't say it online either.And if someone happens to post something that upsets you, here's my best advice of all: ignore it. In my experience, those people who post those kind of things are simply trying to provoke others. They just want to incite a reaction. If you offer no reaction, they cease to have reason to keep provoking.For those wondering, I have no ability to ban individual users from posting on this site. The software simply doesn't offer that option. Not that I've ever wanted to ban someone, because I do honestly believe every single one of you brings something to the table.In case anyone hasn't noticed, the Nationals are approaching the stretch run of the most remarkable baseball season Washington, D.C., has experienced in three generations. From my interactions with so many of you, I know how much this all means to you, how long you've all waited for what we're currently experiencing.Try to keep that in mind when dealing with each other. You all root for the same team, and you all want the same end result. You may disagree at times on the best manner to reach that end result, but you don't disagree on what you want that result to be.I've often said the most rewarding thing about Nats Insider is the community that has been established among readers/fans. Even better is how knowledgeable, passionate and respectful this readership is. And that's not just me saying that. I've heard those very words from people within the Nationals organization who read this site (and the comments) daily and are often impressed with the insight displayed here.I hope you'll do your part to help keep that positive reputation going by refraining from personal insults directed at other readers

  140. John C. - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    On the "Werth for leadoff" concept (I know, actually talking baseball, what a concept!), the thing to remember is that there are two table setters before the 3-4-5-6 power slots. Ergo (that there is latin) you need two high-OBP guys to maximize the run opportunities for the thumpers. Hey, the Nats already have two of those guys! One (Span) played a little under his career OBP last year but is still young, the other (Werth) played WAY over his career OBP and is aging. But both guys see a lot of pitches per at bat, and get on base a lot. Great! Just what you want to show the pitcher's stuff that day and grind him down so you can get into the bullpen quicker. Now, who to bat first and who to bat second?If you bat Span first and Werth second, you are hitting the guy with more speed (Span) ahead of the guy with more power (Werth). In the long term this will create more runs than the other way around. Which leadoff guy is going to score from first more often on the #2 hitter's doubles? Span is younger and faster than Werth, but Werth has more power (his .440 SLG last year was well off his career norms, but higher than Span has ever reached). Voila! This is not complicated. How you line up the 3-6 hitters will depend on who the 1b is and how you want to line up the L-R batters. If the 1b is Morse then you're looking at Span/Werth/Zimmerman/Harper/Morse/Desmond (LRRLRR). If the 1b is LaRoche you're looking at Span/Werth/Harper/Zimmerman/LaRoche/Desmond (LRLRLR). There! Done. Time for my Diet Coke …

  141. IKN8wxU2 - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    In all the debate about whether it would be better to have LaRoche or Morse at first, I'm surprised that more people here and elsewhere have not commented on the desirability of having a left-handed bat. Without LaRoche, the only lefties playing regularly are Span (who doesn't hit right handers particularly well) and Harper (who does). The Nats also have a switch hitter at second, but he has hit better from the right in the majors. Personally, I preferSpanWerth HarperZimmermanLaRocheDesmondEspinosaSuzuki/RamostoSpanWerth ZimmermanHarperMorseDesmondEspinosaSuzuki/RamosIf Morse could bat from the left, I'd be indifferent between him and LaRoche. Morse figures to hit better; LaRoche is better defensively.

  142. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Wow, rough neighborhood today. Is it safe to come out and play yet?

  143. flynnie - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Speaking of Bryce Harper (who had the best UZR rating of any CF in MLB for a while there – I don't know how it ended up) and Mike Trout, pitchers would not dare throw off-speed junk to Trout. He eats it up. He lives for a change-up or a curve ball. Ever since Andy Pettite, Bryce gets nothing but junk. Pitchers take the opposite approach from Trout. In his chat today, Boz said the stats show that Bryce is being pitched like Babe Ruth. My question: with his bat speed, why can't Bryce hit the junk balls? What makes Trout able to feast on them? Trout would punish Pettite, who put Bryce into a two month slump. How come?

  144. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Flynnie, wait til next year.

  145. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    HI Sunshine!!!!I just saw all the hubub on the Royals/Rays trade. And Oh My Word! Andrew Friedman is a crafty devil. I am sure that Rizzo checked on Shields and Friedman said "Rendon" and Rizzo either hung up or started to laugh.I have a very good friend who is a Royals fan and he is in so much pain (let's face it, the Royals are a less successful version of the Pirates). He named his only child Brett. HE HATES the GM Dayton Moore. Moore has been the GM for 7 years and produced a big giant Squadoosh in that time period. Sure they have a good farm system, but they can't develop Pitchers (or at least a good rotation) they may have 1 or two in house, but not enough to start a competitive 5. Moore is desparate because the Rays, A's, Pirates (although they didn't get over the hump this year) and the Nats are showing that you can build a competitive team and not spend the $$$$ like the big boys do (although I expect Uncle Ted to open the check book when necessary).Seriously Friedman is brilliant and I am sure the Astros are kicking themselves for not getting him to be their GM (although they may have a good one in the making)

  146. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Harper came out of it in 2 months; Trout didn't come out until the following season. Don't forget, even though last year was both players' rookie season, Trout was up in 2011 (when *he* was 19) and couldn't stick, whereas our boy not only held his job, he was ROY. Great season for Trout last year, for sure. Wait til you see Bryce's 2013.

  147. Joe Seamhead - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    I wanted to comment on one of the guys that the Nats did protect by putting him on the 40 man roster right before the Rule V draft, that being RH reliever Erik Davis. Despite hearing for about a year from some self-proclaimed expert that Danny Rosenbaum was for sure going to be on the 25 man roster, I was only slightly surprised when Daniel wasn't protected after his sub-par second half of last season. Instead, Erik Davis, who we acquired for Alberto Gonzalez, was protected. I remember the awful eye injury that he suffered on a comebacker. Anyway, Davis is flat out tearing it up in Winter Ball in Dominica, according to the WAPO link above. He is actually being compared to Tyler Clippard by a couple of scouts.Sunshine, believe me, it ain't as tough as some would have us believe. Nanny, nanny, boo-boo is more like it.

  148. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    But to answer your question, hitting off-speed pitches doesn't require bat speed, it requires the ability to recognize the pitch out of the pitcher's hand, or very soon after, and that takes eyesight and experience. Biggest difference between good MLB pitching and good minor league pitching is not fastballs, it's breaking balls, and when they might throw them. It takes practical experience.

  149. flynnie - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Thanks, Gorse – and I hope your're right that it's just a matter of time. This may explain things generally, from Wikipedia: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim called him up on July 8, 2011, to replace the injured Peter Bourjos in center field. He made his major league debut that night, going 0 for 3 with 2 flyouts and a groundout.[15] He hit his first major league home run against Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mark Worrell on July 24.[16] Trout was sent back to Double-A Arkansas on August 1, 2011 after hitting .163 with one home run and six runs batted in 12 starts for the Angels.[17]After spending time back in Double-A Arkansas, Trout was recalled by the Angels on August 19, 2011. He went one for four that night, hitting a home run, the first for him at Angel Stadium.[18] In his 40-game rookie big league stint in 2011, his batting average was .220, on-base percentage .281 and slugging percentage .390.Trout began the 2012 season with the Salt Lake Bees of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. On April 28, he was again brought up from the minors to replace Bobby Abreu (who was batting .208 in 24 at-bats). At that time, Trout's batting average was .403, on-base percentage .477, and slugging percentage .623 in 20 games with Salt Lake.[citation needed]Trout recorded his first career four-hit game on June 4, and 15 days later, Trout had his second career four-hit game. In the process, he scored all four times and two of his four hits went for doubles. Trout, along with Angels right fielder Torii Hunter, was named American League co-players of the week from June 4–10. During that stretch, Trout went 13-for-25 for a .520 batting average to go along with 10 runs scored and four stolen bases.[24] Against the Baltimore Orioles on June 27 Trout had his third career 4-hit game in the same month.[25]Trout broke both an Angels' franchise and American League rookie record when he crossed home plate in 14 consecutive games when he scored a run in a game on July 2."So he had his slump in 2011. But I still wonder, what clicked in Trout so that he can hit the junk balls that has not clicked in Harper?

  150. flynnie - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said… But to answer your question, hitting off-speed pitches doesn't require bat speed, it requires the ability to recognize the pitch out of the pitcher's hand, or very soon after, and that takes eyesight and experience. Biggest difference between good MLB pitching and good minor league pitching is not fastballs, it's breaking balls, and when they might throw them. It takes practical experience. December 10, 2012 6:42 PM Excellent answer, Gorse! Thanks!

  151. flynnie - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Another thing I've wondered. One of the Redskins – Cedric Griffin was just suspended for taking Adderall. Bryce once said that he and Rick Ankiel both had "ADD real bad" making sitting out a game a particular torment. A lot of athletes have ADD. Does MLB allow prescription Adderall? It's like taking 4 shots of espresso – would not create patience at the plate.

  152. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Flynnie.. Thanks for reminding me about Boz's chat today (had to work today – payback for boycotting on Friday). Lots of Good Nats/Baseball questions on the chat in spite of the football game yesterday.

  153. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Thanks. One of my favorite subjects. I could go on at length if allowed.

  154. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Flynnie. On the ADD/Adderall, I am sure that the SMART players that actually NEED it, have worked with MLB to ensure that they don't get Dinged in a drug test. There are loop holes in some ever drug testing policy.

  155. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Also for Faraz, as Michele pointed out, Mark does have a few " commenter deportment" guidelines, and he does step in on occasion to remind us or to delete posts that are not in accordance with his guidelines. I appreciate that he does so, and also that we as commenters generally try to keep things civil, if lively, here. (On a WaPo note–and only because it was mentioned earlier–although I do read baseball stuff, I no longer comment there, as their interface does not play well with my computer. Also, I like it just fine over here. That said, it's high time they featured an ignore button, after so many years of a toothless commenting policy that was most often neither observed nor enforced – at least in my experience.)

  156. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    I believe I've read in the past that LaRoche takes something (don't know what) for ADD.

  157. natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    hmmm, evidently Gorzelanny has had ADD/ADHD issues as well.

  158. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    There was a story about MLB players and Adderall (amphetamine) some weeks back, I think in the Post. MLB allows it with a Rx and league approval. Apparently about 10% of players do that. FWIW, I would qualify. Being jittery is a downside, but so is LOOK A SQUIRREL!! And it's a loooooong season with maybe 2 days off a month if you're starting.

  159. hiramhover - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    And remember, ALR is also ADD and on meds.

  160. natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    btw, I'm partial to diet Dr. Pepper, Gorse.

  161. natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    HH gets a pass on the beverage because Gorse was first. :-)

  162. TheManBearPig - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    IKN8, is there really a debate about whether the Nats would be better with Morse or ALR at 1b? I'm assuming that ALR is the preferred option if the Nats can get him because he's a big LH bat in the middle of the lineup who brings his gold glove with him, but they only want him for 2 years because of his age and because the Nats might be in a position to improve by using one of their current prospects (Rendon and Skole come to mind) in the infield by 2015, either at 1st or at 3rd with Zim moving to 1st. If ALR isn't a Nat in 2013, it would be important to have Morse's bat stay in the lineup, and Morse's defense at 1b is at least good enough (in my opinion, with due respect to JD).

  163. MicheleS - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    1A.. Diet Dr Pepper.. I wish they sold that at Nats Park. I would hook up an IV and just sit there all season.

  164. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    1a, sorry, but I don't think "I read somewhere" gets Mr. Pibb, nevermind Dr. Pepper. I'm appealing that one.

  165. flynnie - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Gorse – LOOK A SQUIRREL!! NO – IT'S A FASTBALL – I JUST WANNA SWING MY BAT ALL DAY!!! Great stuff – thanks! And you have permission to go into greater depth on hitting, and why Trout can see a curve/slider/splitter and Bryce can't. Thanks for your insight, MicheleS. Did you see the article in the Times questioning the effectiveness of ADD drugs? "Versions of these drugs had been given to World War II radar operators to help them stay awake and focus on boring, repetitive tasks. And when we reviewed the literature on attention-deficit drugs again in 1990 we found that all children, whether they had attention problems or not, responded to stimulant drugs the same way. Moreover, while the drugs helped children settle down in class, they actually increased activity in the playground. Stimulants generally have the same effects for all children and adults. They enhance the ability to concentrate, especially on tasks that are not inherently interesting or when one is fatigued or bored, but they don’t improve broader learning abilities." The writer was one of the original proponents of drug therapy for ADD: "Back in the 1960s I, like most psychologists, believed that children with difficulty concentrating were suffering from a brain problem of genetic or otherwise inborn origin. Just as Type I diabetics need insulin to correct problems with their inborn biochemistry, these children were believed to require attention-deficit drugs to correct theirs. It turns out, however, that there is little to no evidence to support this theory. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/opinion/sunday/childrens-add-drugs-dont-work-long-term.html?pagewanted=all

  166. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Michele, thanks for the reminder. That should help some of us.

  167. BigCat - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    This team had great chemistry last year. It was one blown save away from winning it all. Give LaRoche what he wants. Michael Morse is not a 30-100 option. He is a career minor leaguer who has had one solid year and was injured much of last year. LaRoche is a leader and Davey knows it. We need to sign him. With 40,000 people a night, we have the money. And please….someone was comparing him to fatty Dunn….please.

  168. Feel Wood - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    TheManBearPig said… IKN8, is there really a debate about whether the Nats would be better with Morse or ALR at 1b?No, there's no debate. Since ALR is not available in the single season serving size, Morse is the better choice. A year of Morse in hand is better than flushing two years of ALR out of the bush.

  169. BigCat - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Who says LaRoche would not have 3 solid seasons here if we gave him a 3 year contract?

  170. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    nyt link

  171. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Bigcat, he might well do, but that's not the point. They will need the money and the roster spot in three years.

  172. Feel Wood - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    LaRoche could have three solid seasons here if he got a 3 year contract, sure. But Rizzo has already said he's not giving him more than two years. So I guess Rizzo's the one saying that, and his is the only vote that counts.

  173. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Hi Michele!Totally off-topic. Just went to YouTube and watched videos of Mickey Morse's Take on Me walk-up music.All of a sudden, I don't give a flip about LaRoche any longer. I want Morse and that song for one more season.Jeez, I hope Rizz uses better logic for making decisions than me. Story of my life.Also, listened to Charlie and Dave's summoning of Werth's homer in Game 4. As usual, brought tears to my eyes.I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL OPENING DAY!!GYFNG!!!

  174. BigCat - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Yes Wood, that is the point. What Riz says goes. And from the quotes I get in the paper, a little bully is coming out. He has been on a run with his moves, but remember, he had two big aces dealt to him by Bowden…..Stra and Harper. Those were no brainers. The craphouse is real close to the penthouse and this Haren signing is the beginning for him. You mark my words, if we don't sign Laroche, we are going down the tubes. Mark it here : Big Cat : 12/10/12 8:27pm

  175. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Flynnie, thx for that nyt story, interesting read.

  176. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Todd Van Poppel was a no-brainer, too. Just saying.

  177. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Or, as someone else pointed out, sure, drafting them was obvious. Signing them…maybe not.

  178. Gonat - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Gorse Hackage, are you formerly Sofa?

  179. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Werth was Rizzo's. Keeping Desmond was Rizzo's. Ramos was Rizzo's. Gio, LaRoche, Suzuki, and Davey Johnson…all Rizzo's. Sorry, bigcat, but I don't agree.

  180. Gonat - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Feel Wood said… LaRoche could have three solid seasons here if he got a 3 year contract, sure. But Rizzo has already said he's not giving him more than two years. So I guess Rizzo's the one saying that, and his is the only vote that counts. December 10, 2012 8:08 PM _______________________________It also doesn't preclude him from offering him another extension 2 years from now.

  181. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Dang. Gonat, you've rumbled me. It was the consecutive posts that gave me away, wasn't it?

  182. Feel Wood - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    It will be hard for Rizzo to offer LaRoche an extension when he's playing somewhere else.

  183. Gonat - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Big Cat, the Nats outfield defense will be the best in the NL for the UZR stat heads. The infield defense would be better with LaRoche but the offense will be better with Morse and of course that's all guesswork using Bill Jame's projections.

  184. Gonat - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Gorse Hackage, its all good. Glad to see you posting again!

  185. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Thx, G. I will likely be back in my regular seat for ST.

  186. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  187. natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Okay, okay. I guess "There was a story about MLB players and Adderall (amphetamine) some weeks back, I think in the Post" trumps "I read somewhere." That said, I did provide a relevant link in my follow-up comment. Eh, nevermind. I'll get my own danged beverage. ;-)A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said… 1a, sorry, but I don't think "I read somewhere" gets Mr. Pibb, nevermind Dr. Pepper. I'm appealing that one. December 10, 2012 7:21 PM

  188. flynnie - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    For MichelleS, Sunny, and Royals Lovers Everywhere:"In 1985, the Royals actually won a World Series. Then, of course, we went through collusion, and the canceled 1994 Series, and eventually the Royals slipped to the bottom of the standings, whence they spent an awful lot of time griping about the unfairness of it all despite the fact that they were owned by David Glass, a Walmart gombeen who looked out his window and saw a universe of people who should be working for minimum wage.(To the surprise of absolutely nobody, during baseball's extended labor conflict of 1994 Glass was one of the people pushing hardest for the use of scab ballplayers.)Anyway, he was a cheapskate who put more energy into poor-mouthing than he did into building the franchise. Perhaps having been visited by three spirits one Christmas Eve, Glass seems in recent years to have become less content with presiding over MLB's designated landfill. The Royals have begun to produce some players, and they are worth going out to see if they come to your town and the boss wants to dump a couple grandstand seats on you because you landed that big widget account in Poughkeepsie last month." Charles P. Pierce, "Bless the All-Star Game" http://m.espn.go.com/general/grantland/story?storyId=8142912&wjb=

  189. flynnie - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    "There was Bud Selig, still the unlikeliest power broker since the ascension of Charles the Simple to the throne of France" From Charles P. Pierce, id.

  190. SonnyG10 - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Maybe Rizzo figured out that ALR's medication becomes ineffective three years from now. :)

  191. SonnyG10 - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Gorse, I like your "Sec 3" handle better.

  192. John C. - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    BigCat said… Who says LaRoche would not have 3 solid seasons here if we gave him a 3 year contract? December 10, 2012 8:02 PM "Solid" seasons? Well, it's possible. It's also possible that he has two mediocre-to-bad seasons and is out of baseball before the third. His #1 comp on B-R is Tony Clark. At age 33, Clark had his best season (30 HR, OPS+ 154); he hadn't had a good year for three years before that. After his age 33 season, Clark played four more seasons. His OPS+ was over 100 (102) for exactly one of those seasons. Unsurprisingly, Rizzo is unenthused about making a major investment in that kind of record.

  193. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Hi folks, I was busy most of the day and am only now catching up with all of these comments.I'll simply reiterate a few points I've made before:1. The platform on which Nats Insider operates does not offer the option to ban individual posters. I have no control over who posts here, other than the ability to delete comments I deem inappropriate.2. Comments that insult fellow posters, myself or other writers will NOT be tolerated here. (I'll be deleting the offending posts from earlier today shortly.)3. If you are annoyed/offended/bothered by another poster, the best thing you can do is ignore them. It takes two to start a fight. If someone tries to lob a haymaker in your direction, simply duck out of the way and let them fall to the mat untouched.As always, thanks for your understanding and thanks to those who routinely maintain cooler heads.

  194. Gonat - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    Mark, its a shame you have to come on here to make those points.

  195. flynnie - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Ambien and Skoal used by players, from Laura Blumenfeld in the Post, Sept. 18, 2005: Once derided as a sign of weakness by managers and trainers, Christian prayers are now accepted and even encouraged before baseball games. In lockers, you'll find Bibles next to the Ambien and Skoal. Participants say the stress to perform, the uncertainty of injuries, and the lack of control over being traded or cut are lightened by their bond with God. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/17/AR2005091701522.html

  196. sjm308 - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    Just can't see Rizzo going for that 3rd year. Too many variables which have all been discussed here before. I am not seeing what BigCat sees in this business deal and that is what it is, business. Both sides have made their proposals. Rizzo will give LaRoche an opportunity to explore what is out there andif he gets that 3rd year from another team I am pretty sure he will take it. How can you leave 6- 10 million dollars on the table? I guess Rizzo could up the dollar amount on his two year deal and we honestly don't know what has been offered. Again, I hope to see LaRoche at first but I will not blame Rizzo for poor management if it doesn't work. He has Morse and Moore in his pocket and needs flexibility down the road, both financially and position wise (pretty sure that is poor grammer but you know what I mean).Mark, thanks for dropping by.Go Nats!!

  197. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    I just knew we weren't getting through this thread without Mark pulling the car over.

  198. flynnie - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    Thanks for an entertaining evening, Gorse. Don't burn that sofa! Or did you already incinerate in when Davey left Storen in to blow the save in Game 5? 6-0! We were up 6-0! I'm leaving to burn my sofa!

  199. natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  200. natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I love the smell of burning sofas in the morning. Smells like, victory, er, defeat, er, is there any coffee?Gorse, yeah, it was only a matter of time. Now we won't get any ice cream. :-(

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
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