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Rizzo on LaRoche and Morse

Jan 8, 2013, 10:42 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
With Adam LaRoche re-signed for two years, there's no room for Michael Morse.

Mike Rizzo wrapped up a conference call with reporters a short while ago, the Nationals general manager addressing a variety of topics including the re-signing of Adam LaRoche, the possible trade of Michael Morse and the club's need (or perhaps not) for another left-handed reliever.

Here's the full transcript of the conference call. And a programming note: Rizzo will be joining me and Julie Donaldson on Comcast SportsNet at 6 p.m., so if you'd like to hear more of what he has to say on these subjects, please tune in…

Q: How good is it to get LaRoche back?
"Adam was a huge part of our success last year. He does a lot of things for us. He balances our lineup, he's a middle-of-the-lineup bat, he's a run producer, he's a terrific defensive player and beyond that he's a great clubhouse presence. A quiet leader who is very,Read more »

  1. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Mark, Did Rizzo ask when I have to give him that bottle of JW Blue :-)

  2. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    "I'm going in to take a nap. When I wake, if the money's on the table, I'll know I have a partner. If it isn't, I'll know I don't."

  3. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    I wonder what Drake gets in this deal?

  4. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I think he asked for the uni number of a player to be named later and a case of sparkling cider.

  5. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I was thinking he should ask for a lifetime supply of sunflower seeds or bubble gum?

  6. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Rizzo isn't bluffing. A large part of the making a deal will be to accommodate MikeyMo in appreciation for all he's done. Rizzo is that kind of guy. I think the Rays have the best shot. They are going to be competitive. With Morse in-house that makes that possibility even stronger. A swap of prospects with more from the Rays might be what we'll see. I don't think there'll be a left-handed reliever. Its going to be about replenishing the minor league pitching if they can.

  7. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    That would work, too.

  8. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    OK, O'S if you want Morse, then re-do the TV deal. Otherwise we are trading him to the Yankees. Got that?

  9. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    (On Michele's comment.)

  10. efowl4 - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    I have faith in Rizzo, but is anyone else uneasy with our lefties being Bray and Duke? It will be quiet the change from Tom G, Sean B, and Gonzalez last year.

  11. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Just gel over this for a second, Rendon and Morse for Upton? fills both the Dbacks need and we get an amazing player that will want to be competitive with his brother on the braves who says no?

  12. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Mark is on TV in a Suit and Tie. Wow.. getting closer to actual games when you see him dressing up in the offseason.!!!!

  13. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Just gel over this for a second, Rendon and Morse for Upton? No where to put him for starters. Werth, Harper, Span? Remember? One of those has to go.Way too much, Rendon by himself is worth more at this point.You would make a terrible GM.

  14. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Personally, if we trade Rendon, I want David Price.

  15. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    OK, O'S if you want Morse, then re-do the TV deal. Otherwise we are trading him to the Yankees. Got that?I hope its the Rays. They have better value in their prospects than the Yankees and Orioles and they are closer to the Beast's home.

  16. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Personally, if we trade Rendon, I want David Price.Now, that is the correct answer.

  17. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    And it looks like its Bray, Duke, and Abed. More before ST starts perhaps. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  18. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Post of the New Year:NatsLady said… OK, O'S if you want Morse, then re-do the TV deal. Otherwise we are trading him to the Yankees. Got that? January 08, 2013 6:00 PM

  19. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    I think Mike goes back to Seattle. They desperately need offense, they have lots of young pitching prospects and he is more suited to an AL team at this point. They won't trade him to anyone that is going to affect us — never, ever, ever.

  20. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    JoeS.. Is Mrs Seamhead doing a happy dance today like I was? We have our GG 1B locked up for the next 2 years. And we get Drake.

  21. mick - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I am happy now, RgIII who??

  22. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Yes, and,no MicheleS. She loves the Beast and issad to think of him not being here.

  23. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    JoeS.. I am with her as well.. I would love to keep them both, but I actually want whats best for Morse. He is only going to get 1 shot at a good FA contract- 1 big payday to set up his grand kids for life. His best option at this point (once we traded for Span) was to be on another team.

  24. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Neither the Rays nor the O's are trade partners for Morse. The Rays only make trades that are lopsided in their favor; the O's rarely do much of anything other than talk about deals, and aren't going to do anything to benefit the Nationals. That, and I'm not sure what they have that the Nationals would want. They're not going to trade their top two prospects (Bundy and Gausman) for Morse, and after that their farm system is pretty barren. Matusz? As if.I think that the Yankees are a more likely trade partner than either. They have a LHRP (either Clay Rapada or Boone Logan) that they could pair up with a #5 starter type (Nova, Phelps, Chamberlain) that the Nationals could stash in Syracuse as rotational depth. The Yankees also have a need, since they don't have a DH unless/until A-Rod is healthy (and he hasn't even started rehab yet) and even if they get Yankee Stadium Ichiro instead of Seattle Ichiro going forward, they have an all-LH hitting outfield. Morse being under contract for one year also fits their need for a player that won't keep them from getting under the luxury tax in 2014.

  25. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    And if you don't think that the Nationals aren't willing to pay Morse $6.7 million to be a hairy-chested RH bench bat and backup 1b/OF, then you should ask John Lannan about that. They paid him $5 million to play somewhere other than DC! Rizzo isn't kidding when he says he's not giving Morse away. Tyler Moore has minor league options and can play every day in Syracuse to stay shart and ready. Tough on Chris Marrero, but he might be better served in another organization anyway.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    MicheleS, you and I have been kindred spirits on the ALR since the situation started. I, like many on here, am a huge Mike Morse fan. I'll never forgive Riggleman for the way he "managed" him. I have also never seen a player seem more appreciative of being in the Major Leagues. Just the greatest smile, though it seemed a little less radiant last year.

  27. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    John C.. that's why "Lannaned" is now a word like "Pattersoned"

  28. natsfan1a - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Never cared for the term myself but somebody add it to the glossary. ;-)

  29. SCNatsFan - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    peric, I disagree with accomodating Morse because of Rizzo's loyalty. If that were true Lannan would have never been optioned and he was more loyal to the organization then Morse. If Morse makes this team better by sitting on the bench with respect to what we are offered for him then Morse will sit on the bench. And if history is an indicator he will tell Morse you may not like it but I do what is best for the team.Personally I think he gets traded because no way Morse doesn't gripe on his contract year after being sent to the bench and the team doesn't need the distraction.

  30. Joe Seamhead - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Meanwhile, we have arguably the best defensive OF in the NL, but Philly fans aren't too happy with their prospective 2013 outfield.From their blog:The likelihood of a hodgepodge Phillies outfield consisting of Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Darin Ruf, and Laynce Nix increases daily. The man tasked with forming the 2013 roster was willing to admit as much Monday."We're likely going with what we've got," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

  31. Unknown - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    JohnC is right on – Rizzo tried to deal Lannan last season and got no decent offers. He had an option, so he stayed in AAA until needed. Then, with still no takers, Rizzo did right by him and let him go.Same with Morse. A deal is not inevitable. Remember all those injuries last season? Morse is depth for injuries and Moore can be stashed at AAA unless/until needed. In fact, Morse might fetch more in a desperation deadline deal – his contract is peanuts in today's crazy world. This will not play out quickly unless someone overpays or makes a fair deal Rizzo wants to take now.

  32. peric - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. peric - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Looks like Rizzo picked up another left hander and this one is only 26:Sean West

  34. peric - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    JohnC is right on – Rizzo tried to deal Lannan last season and got no decent offers. He had an option, so he stayed in AAA until needed. Then, with still no takers, Rizzo did right by him and let him go.This is different. Morse is a legit power threat and high average hitter. He needs to get back to the high OBP he had in 2011 and avoid injuries. Amazingly he still may have some ceiling.Lannan had and has no ceiling. He is what he is: a soon-to-be AAA/AAAA left-hander who can't or won't convert to the bullpen.

  35. peric - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    If that were true Lannan would have never been optioned and he was more loyal to the organization then Morse. Lannan was optioned because he was the #6 starter. Time-and-time again ,(and I was thrashed for it and Mark the mighty moderator allowed it?), I showed you statistically how Lannan ended up as the absolute worst starter in the Nat's rotation. Worse than any starter in the MLB. Why Livan Hernandez in his forties beat the guy out and became the staff ace!!!HELL YES THEY WERE LOYAL TO LANNAN he was paid FIVE MILLION to act as veteran depth in AAA which he eventually accepted and handled admirably if grudgingly. How much is he getting paid by the Phils?I'll make you a wager for drinks. Before this season Lannan will rue the day he didn't decided to come back and fill that role for this club.

  36. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    "Same with Morse. A deal is not inevitable."Davey will not want any problems in the clubhouse. Rizzo will not give him away, but Mikey Mo will be gone the minute Rizzo gets an offer he likes. This team just does not need him. Moore was actually a more consistent power hitter last year than Morse, and he did that as a part-time player off the bench.The Nats are loaded, the best team in baseball, with or without Morse. Unlike last year, they will be everyone's pick to win the NL East and be one of the favorites for a World Series title.Tell me who's better? Mr. Rizzo has done his job.Why would they want to mess that up with a problem in the clubhouse?

  37. peric - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Moore was actually a more consistent power hitter last year than Morse, and he did that as a part-time player off the bench.Sorry Morse was still better Blah Blah don't make me pull out the stats to prove it; remember: I am still the computist have computer will travel. At least for now.Tyler Moore isn't going to hit .300. Morse can and will. Tyler Moore is a more than adequate replacement for LaRoche should he go down. But at some point a guy named Anthony Rendon is going to make that problematic and THAT is why much of this is happening.

  38. peric - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Why would they want to mess that up with a problem in the clubhouse?Michael Morse NEVER HAS BEEN, never will be a problem in the clubhouse. That's a fact. Your statement makes him sound like Nyjer Morgan and no is further from.

  39. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Peric i think you overrate Rendon a little, 1) he is a player with only 43 games of Minor league baseball experience, 2) there is no guarantee he will be the perennial all star you make him to be, in fact it is more likely he will fall on his face and amount to nothing. As for the log jam in the outfield that would be the problem but remember this there is a reason why we are fans he Rizzo is well Rizzo i was just throwing it out there for some reactions, if i had thrown it out there in a Dbacks blog i would have gotten the same hate as i did from you except in reverse instantly rejecting the deal. Don't overate our players especially prospects just a little advice for the future.

  40. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Peric where are you seeing the signing of Sean West?

  41. MicheleS - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    So now Rendon is taking Morse/Moore's place on the roster as backup 1b/OF.. Good to know. Mark, I really think Rizzo saw your post this morning about crickets and deliberately dropped this bombshell on you…he must have thought we needed something to talk about :-)

  42. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Okay im going to *gasp* back up Peric here, Tyler might have seemed better but when having a closer examination of his stats one month jumps out at you his June slash he hit over .400 with i think 10+ Hr and 20+RBI but every other month he was a below average hitter and did not produce at the rate the nats were looking for.

  43. MicheleS - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Laddie, I believe your statement implies that the problem would be a player that wants a full time job – and who wouldn't want to play baseball everyday, not someone who would be a cancer in the clubhouse. If I inferred wrongly, please let me know.

  44. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    West doesn't look like much of a prize. Maybe someone you'd option to the Jenny Craig league.

  45. JaneB - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    I want the best for Morse. I wish we were the best. I'm so sad.

  46. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Much of Moore's problems last year stemmed from not getting consistent ABs. That isn't going to change this year. Morse or no Morse, it wouldn't hurt his development if he spent at least the first half of the year in Syracuse.

  47. baseballswami - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Both Moore and Lombo played very well when they played every day. I would imagine that any major league player would have an offensive drop off when not playing regularly. Rookie or veteran. I would have no problem with either of them should we need them in case of an injury, which we did. We also have Bernie who is good when he plays. We needed every player last year. You never know.

  48. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Moore had two HR and seven RBIs out of four HRs and 22 RBIs that Nats pinch hitters had. I think he will be fine as a PH and primary fourth, offensive OF.

  49. UnkyD - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Teddy Rochlis said…Just gel over this for a second, Rendon and Morse for Upton? fills both the Dbacks need and we get an amazing player that will want to be competitive with his brother on the braves who says no?———/——–///Not just no…. Hell No! I can't imagine Rizzo moving the unlimited potential that is Anthony Rendon, unless there was a desperate, immediate need for a starter, on the Big team…. Why, Teddy, why…..? They've power, OBP, and one of the best defensive outfields in the game, Bernadina, brown, and Moore on the bench, Goodwin coming along….. Why would you trade a potentially generational player, for someone you don't even need?

  50. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    I don't think there is any incentive to Moore starting in minors next season. He has very good power numbers against minor league pitching. Nats need a righty masher (guessing that Chad Tracy is our lefty masher) off the bench and he fits the bill.

  51. UnkyD - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    What's with the Sean West reference, Peric… I just saw that his "final" game is listed as being in August '10…. ?

  52. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Unkyd, he became a FA this season so he was under control FLA until now. Played professional in minors until 2011. Guessing he missed 2012 due to TJS which makes him Rizzo's primary target.

  53. UnkyD - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Aaahhhhh…. I have to admit… I love reclamation jobs, as long as they don't cost anything…..

  54. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    generational? Rendon is not a generational player sorry to burst your bubble, he has sound hitting mechanics and above average defense yes, but as with most prospects you can't be sure, who knows the injury could be a recurring thing throughout his career. I don't understand why you love him so much (not there is not a lot to love) he is not Bryce Harper who actually is a once in a generation player. The problem the nationals have, and a good problem at that, is that they have to many MLB ready or near ready players in the infield and outfield. Its time to dole out some of our position prospects. Im all for seeing the baby nats develop into stars, but we all know not everyone will. We traded 4 "MLB caliber" prospects all with decent ceilings for Gio. Two of them have floped and will most likely not see the MLB 1 was a success and the other is still in the minors, so essentially as a comparison we traded Jhonaton Stolano and Ross Detwiler for Gio Gonzalez a good trade don't you think? You never know wiht prospects you never know.

  55. Los Doce Ocho - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    If you trade for Upton, which Nats OF do you bench? Why would the DBacks want Morse? They already have a crowded OF and Goldschmidt?Detwiler and S(t)olano for Gio? How do you figure? I guess you're comparing Milone and Norris to Detwiler and Solano, which, in my opinion, lacks merit and is debatable in a separate discussion. What about Cole & Peacock, who are still considered the 3rd & 4th best prospects in a relatively deep farm system. Cole is still a top 100 prospect with frontline starter potential.

  56. UnkyD - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    We'll see…. You seem in a small club, who yawn at Rendon's potential…. Upside, not a finished product, but if AZ would trade Upton for him and a year of Morse, that's reason enough to keep him for a couple of years…. If AR pans out, and came play in '14, it'll be just in time to not have to extend somebody (Espi?), and enjoy several years of control at a good price… I'm not saying he's untouchable… Just that his upside is too high not to wait a couple, unless you NEED to make a deal…. Not for a fourth outfielder. We just traded our top pitching prospect for a CF… It seems that you're suggesting a deal just for the sake of making a deal….

  57. SCNatsFan - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Rendon's value is he has the potential to be an excellent hitter in a farm system devoid of good hitters; still, there have been a number of players who didn't transition from AAA to MLB. No doubt he will have time next year at AA/AAA to prove he can hit and, more importantly, stay in the lineup. While he might get a call up when rosters expand I don't see him getting time with this club next year or play any significant role on what I hope are the World Series Chamos next year.

  58. sjm308 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Laddie: everyone wants to start and yes, Morse is a starter in everyone's eyes but Riggleman. However, if he is here I just don't see him being the problem you suggest. As I have seen him the past two years, He loves this team, he loves baseball and if it is handled properly, he can be a HUGE asset to our march to the World Series. Rizzo certainly does not have to move quickly on this. Things happen in spring training that determine lots of issues. Morse is the true bird in the hand and I am staying with that no matter how much it looks like he is gone.As to the trade for Upton – that has less chance then Morse being here on April 1st. He doesn't fill one need on this team and while Werth will be the 4th outfielder in a couple years, its not time yet for that. Go Nats!! Keep Morse!! World Series or Bust!!

  59. baseballswami - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    I think the point Rizzo is making is that IF the Nats are offered someone with true value to the team he will make the deal. He won't make a bogus trade just because.

  60. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    Im sorry if i was misunderstood orginally, but i realize the log jam in the outfield which i pointed out was a strength, i was throwing out the trade offer to see peoples reaction i know we will never get upton just an idea i had. I think rendon will be good .280-.320 hitter career in mlb with 15-25 HR a season all star numbers no doubt realize though he won't be hitting 30+ HR a season nor will he hit above .330 which i strongly believe that Harper will pass and possibly this season. To me there is really no comparison between the two except they are both on the nats. How lucky we are to have such great young talent and a problem most teams would dream of having.

  61. Feel Wood - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    sjm308, there is certainly a chance Rizzo would keep Morse around if he doesn't get a good trade offer for him right away. But there is absolutely no way he gives him an extension, and if he offered one there is no way Morse would take it. Morse can be good insurance against a few things, like injury or LaRoche getting off to one of his typical slow starts. So Morse might fill the utility role Moore had last year, but only for a while. The longer it goes on, unless he ends up getting a full-time role because someone gets hurt, the more pressure there would be for a trade. I don't think Rizzo would disrespect Morse by forcing him into a part-time role for his entire walk year.

  62. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    "Sorry Morse was still better Blah Blah don't make me pull out the stats to prove it; remember: I am still the computist have computer will travel. At least for now."Here are the stats from 2012:Moore hit 10 HRs in 156 ABs, or about i for every 15+ ABsMorse hit 18 HRs in 406 ABs, or about 1 for every 22+ ABsMoore hit 9 2bers, or about i for every 16+ ABsMorse hit 17 2bers, or about 1 for every 23+ ABsMoore was, by far, the more consistent power hitter, and it was not even close, according to the stats.Moore had a .513 SLG for the year, Morse a .470 SLGMoore had an .840 OPS, and Morse a .791Them's the stats, and them's the facts.

  63. Feel Wood - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Them's the stats, and them's the facts.Them's the small sample size.

  64. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    "Michael Morse NEVER HAS BEEN, never will be a problem in the clubhouse. That's a fact. Your statement makes him sound like Nyjer Morgan and no is further from."He doesn't have to be Nyger Morgan. It would be awkward for him and his teammates if a guy who used to hit cleanup spends most of his time on the bench, especially in a walk year. You have the possibility of the clubhouse breaking into rival camps, and simple misunderstandings evolving into feuds. That's only human.In any group of individuals competing for the same job, rivalries can become toxic. Part of management's job is to keep that from happening, and moving Morse to another team will eliminate the possibility in his case.At no time have either Davey or Rizzo specified a place for Morse on the 2013 Nats. There is a reason for that. They do not want problems in the clubhouse, and they are going to move Morse to make sure they do not have any. There is no reason to take that chance on a guy they do not need and do not plan on using. It's not that complicated.

  65. sjm308 - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    Feel – you are probably right about no extension for Morse and I think you realize I am on a very small island with this prediction. I honestly thought if he had two or more years on a contract it might make him more attractive to other teams but I think Ghost of SM shot that down pretty well. At least I did get a couple of people whose opinion I respect to admit its not a bad idea to keep him around if the trade is not advantageous. I remember people writing about a left handed relief pitcher and a prospect and I just think we can do better with Morse on our team.

  66. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    "Laddie, I believe your statement implies that the problem would be a player that wants a full time job – and who wouldn't want to play baseball everyday, not someone who would be a cancer in the clubhouse. If I inferred wrongly, please let me know."That's right. Smart lady. I amplified on that in my response to Peric.

  67. sjm308 - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    Laddie – the day a team doesn't "need" a .300 hitter with the capability of hitting 30 homeruns who plays the game with verve and joy, please let me know. This would be what we pay Davey the big bucks for. He sits down with Morse and draws up the plan for our march to the WS and off we go.

  68. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    Nyjer, with a J. It's right there in the part you quoted.

  69. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    "Laddie – the day a team doesn't "need" a .300 hitter with the capability of hitting 30 homeruns who plays the game with verve and joy, please let me know. This would be what we pay Davey the big bucks for. He sits down with Morse and draws up the plan for our march to the WS and off we go."The day they signed ALR to a 2-year contract. Davey was asked about Morse's role for 2013 back in December, and he did not have one. That was when it became clear, even to Morse, that he would be gone if ALR re-signed with the Nats. Morse knows he's going.

  70. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    "Them's the stats, and them's the facts.Them's the small sample size."That's what there is for the entire 2012 season for both men, and there are no other ML stats for Moore. If you are going to argue the stats, then live with them.

  71. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    "Nyjer, with a J. It's right there in the part you quoted."Just correcting another one of Peric's mistakes. Someone's got to do it.

  72. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    As for Sean West, still haven't found any reference to the Nats, but he doesn't seem like Rizzo's type, at least not according to this 2009 story. Even considering the source of the story, still, makes you go "Hmmmmmmmm…" And not in a good way.

  73. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    No, he had it right; you had it with a g.

  74. Unknown - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    And so the dye is cast. Here is our 2013 lineup with my expert predictions (but remember, I'm the guy who thought Davey Nelson would hit .280 for the '70 Senators):CF-Denard Span: .285-4-55 (25 steals)RF-Jayson Werth: .275-20-66 (20 steals)3B-Ryan Zimmerman: .292-28-1041B-Adam LaRoche: .264-26-95LF-Bryce Harper: .311-29-100SS-Ian Desmond: .278-23-70 (20 steals)2B-Danny Espinosa: .245-20-60 (25 steals)C–Ramos/Suzuki: .265-17-50My guess is that they will tinker with the middle of the lineup so they have a righty-lefty-righty-lefty combo.I think I guessed low for most of the hitters. I think Desmond and Harper have the chance to really blossom (maybe .290-28-90 for Desmond and .320-35-120 for Harper)but the others should be pretty close. Ramos is another question mark. He has played in 160 major league games–the equivalent of a full season–and has hit .269-19-67. He could be something special.If the bullpen works out (I'm a little worried but Rizzo is a lot smarter than I am) and the rotation is what we expect, 2013 will be amazing. Rotation:1-Strasburg: 20-5, 2.502-Gonzalez: 16-10, 3.453-Zimmermann: 14-8, 3.104-Dan Harren: 13-9, 3.355-Ross Detwiler: 12-10, 3.30No way Gonzalez will be as good as he was this year, but Strasburg I'm guessing will make up for those lost wins. Zimmermann is my wildcard. He could go 20-8, 2.85 or 13-11, 3.55. My jury is still a little out on him.

  75. Anna Peregrina - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    In nitpicker Latin teacher mode, Unknown said "The dye is cast." Should be "the die [singular of dice] is cast," or as dear old Julius C. said, "alea iacta est."

  76. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    "No, he had it right; you had it with a g."It is with a "g." You both have it wrong.

  77. Anna Peregrina - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    P.S. Welcome back, ALR!! Oh frabjous day, callooh, callay!

  78. NatsLady - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    According to "sources," Morse "objects" to being a DH. So how much more would he "object" to sitting on the bench waiting to PH, DH, or for an injury? He's already been there, done that. Much as I like the idea of Morse for insurance/big-bashing righty off the bench, Rizzo probably won't do it, and certainly, as was stated above not for long.One of the remarks ALR said that interested me was he noted that there were "no cliques" in the clubhouse, and the season went "very smoothly." (He attributed it to Davey's leadership.) This is a guy who's been on several clubs, and had spoken his mind–for example, about how it "wasn't fun" being in Pittsburgh.I'm not saying Morse won't end up as a DH–that's not his choice. But he's the odd man out here, and I wouldn't mind seeing him with the Yanks and saying "Good-bye" at that exhibition game.

  79. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Laddie… look it up… his name is Nyjer (with a "j") Jamid Morgan.

  80. baseballswami - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    I really don't want to see the big galoot be Lannaned this season. It's not as bad as being Patteresoned, but certainly not good. We need a new term for what happened waaay back in Nats history. Do you remember when Tomo Ohka sassed Frank Robinson and was out the door the very next day??? I don't expect this to go quickly as Rizzo will want to wring as much out of this as possible . Zim's wedding could be awkward this weekend. I think by now they are all wearing tuxes once a week. Isn't it just time for spring training now?

  81. NatsNut - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Rizzo: "…but if we can make the right deal that works for Mike and works for us as a franchise, we're certainly going to do that deal."All things being equal, meaning teams with similar trade considerations in exchange for Morse, Rizzo picks the one best for Morse, i.e., best chance at winning, lowest chance he DHs, etc. Makes me think Orioles and Seattle won't happen.

  82. ehay2k - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Toma-ohked?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

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