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What to make of quiet winter?

Jan 8, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Mike Rizzo has made few changes to his roster so far this winter.

If your complete attention over the last month was commandeered by the holidays, the Redskins and the fiscal cliff, let's recap all the Nationals news you missed:

[Cue sound of crickets chirping.]

Uh, guess you really didn't miss anything at all. Indeed, the Nationals haven't completed a transaction involving their major-league roster in — get this — 32 days. Yep, the last baseball-related announcement coming out of the offices at 1500 South Capitol Street was the Dec. 7 revelation that Dan Haren passed his physical and thus officially signed his $13 million contract.

Not that the building was abuzz with activity prior to that. With five weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report to Viera, Fla., the Nationals have added only two players to their big-league rosterRead more »

  1. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Thanks for updating the clock Mark. I'll be going over in about 3 weeks to see who shows up early.

  2. alexva - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I think ALR's status has held up the process for additional moves

  3. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

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  4. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Corrected for content, twice. Can you say "another cup of coffee, please"?I do like that clock adjustment. On topic, hope it won't be another 32 days until we see some baseball-related activity. That said, we do know that *something* baseball-related will happen in 35 days: can you say "pitchers and catchers"? Ahhh, I can almost hear the hiss of the fastball and the smack of ball on mitt. Almost…

  6. Positively Half St. - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Oh, good, the clock was adjusted. I was worried that 13 days had gone by without me noticing.+1/2St.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Last year, a full two weeks before pitchers and catchers reported. Ross Detwiler. Jordan Zimmerman and Edwin Jackson were at the complex and working out. A week later, Gio Gonzalez and Brad Lidge showed up along with Roger Bernadina who was the first position player I saw in camp.The only catchers I saw early were the kids, meaning Solano, Leon and Freitas.

  8. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Yawn.. waiting for the 35 days to tick off…

  9. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    LaRoche has indeed been an obstacle to other deals so there's still maybe a 30 percent chance of a Morse trade, and I still believe in a trade involving a player or players currently on the major league roster for better-than-average LH reliever.I always think Pitchers and Catchers doesn't last long enough — what is it, a week? And when the end of ST comes around most of the pitchers are not, really, in good enuf condition to start the season, i.e., they're gassed after five or six innings. This season's ST will be unusual, at least, because of time off for the WBC. Do we have a definitive list of the players who are going to be risking their careers against the Arubans and Taiwanese?

  10. Don - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    It concerns me that when the club is so close to being a World Series contender that they are not being more aggressive. They needed JP Howell. I think that they could go after a late innings guy who has closed before — if Rizzo does not want to surrender a pick for Soriano, he could go for Farnsworth or Valverde (or maybe Capps or Brian Wilson, depending on health issues). Another dominant guy at the back end (HRod is just not reliable) could make the pen very scary for opposing batters already weary from having to slog through some formidible SP.

  11. Tcostant - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    The lack of lefty RP is troubling, total market mistake. Don't be surprised if Rizzo bails out his old freind on Scott Boras and signs the best RP on the market in Rafael Soriano on the cheap (think one year – $8.5M). Even though he is a righty, he could strenthen the one roster spot that has been weaken this offseason and could be Storen insurance in case of injury or if he has issues coming back from last years game 5.The lost of a late first round draft pick, might be worth it to Rizzo to make this huge World Series push.I'm just throwing it out there…

  12. RaleighNat - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I don't know how anyone can argue with Rizzo's success and fail to appreciate such a quiet offseason. He took care of his two primary needs: starting pitcher and CF. I still think starting pitcher depth and bullpen require more work, but he's got time.

  13. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Pretty much everybody thinks they are already a WS contender now. That said, TNSTATMP.

  14. JamesFan - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    A splashy winter does not a successful summer make (Angels last year). Sure we fans want something to think and talk about, but a quiet winter means we have fewer moves to make. Notice the Cardinals are fairly quiet this winter as well. I'm happy with this.

  15. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    I dunno, Gorse… would you want to enter the season with a 25-man made up ONLY of pitchers…?

  16. Exposremains - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Ya pretty boring off season. Off topic and also sick of hearing about it but I'm really disappointed with all these prominent writers suddenly changing their minds, making all sorts of excuses about the HOF and voting for cheaters. Since when cheaters get rewarded. The only reason I can think is that it's the writers way to feel better about failing to report it when it was happening.

  17. alexva - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Expo, ever hear of Gaylord Perry?

  18. Exposremains - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    So Gaylord Perry being in justifies voting in guys that injects themselves with steroids. I also don't see how it compares. In most sports and the olympics, if you're a cheater you lose your title and become a disgrace to the sport. What is Bonds or Clemens going to say in their acceptance speech? Voting them in is going backwards.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Give Rizzo enough time to show us what he has put together. The lefty specialist is over-rated in my opinion -if- you have a great bullpen. The LOOGY concept is you come in to face 1 LH batter and you are out of the game. What I liked about Sean Burnett is that he was a legit LH set-up man. Maybe Bray will be the guy or maybe it will be someone else.I liked what I saw in Christian Garcia and would take him to face lefties or righties.

  20. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Unless they report in the best shape of their lives… (Does using that phrase mean that I just bought everybody a drink?)Theophilus T. S. said… I always think Pitchers and Catchers doesn't last long enough — what is it, a week? And when the end of ST comes around most of the pitchers are not, really, in good enuf condition to start the season, i.e., they're gassed after five or six innings. This season's ST will be unusual, at least, because of time off for the WBC. January 08, 2013 8:32 AM

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Pitchers and catchers get about 5 full workouts in before the whole squad reports. Alot of position players report early and take BP and some fielding practice after the pitchers and catchers finish their work outs wihich is usually around noon.

  22. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I agree with Ghost on the bullpen makeup. I am wondering how many teams use the LOOGY concept, and how many do not? I am not sure Davey used it all that much last year. Certainly not with Burnett and maybe a little with Gonzalez. Why is there not a ROOGY as well? Also wondering why all of a sudden lots of commentors on here think our bullpen is a weakness. 5 guys back who were good to very good last year (Storen, Clip,Mattheus, Stammen, Garcia) Duke replaces Gorzo and the only question mark is how HRod does.On the Hall of Fame. I am definitely in the minority here but I would vote for the best players, no questions asked. I would then stipulate that their plaque contain a statement about what issues they might have had.Example 1 – Barry Bonds – most HR's in the history of the game etc etc. Known to have used steroids during the steroid era.Example 2 – Roger Clemmons – most dominant pitcher of his era. Acquised of using steroids etc etc.Example 3 – Pete Rose – had more hits than anyone in the history of baseball. Know to have bet on baseball.Just put it out there what they did but how can you not say these 3 are not 3 of the greatest to ever play the game? Will wait for the majority of you to blast my beliefs, and I will not take it personally.Go Nats!!

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/Amanda Comak's last post was 5 days ago. Did she make it through the layoffs or is she on vacation?

  24. SCNatsFan - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I think one difference between last year and this year is we are one year closer to having to really pay alot of our players whose current contracts run out.

  25. bowdenball - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Tcostant said…"Don't be surprised if Rizzo bails out his old freind on Scott Boras"This offseason the Nats have traded away a Boras client (Meyer) for a non-Boras CF (Span), and in doing so turned away another Boras client frequently linked to them (Bourn) and drove down his market price by doing so. They then signed a non-Boras FA starter (Haren) when two Boras clients were available (Lohse, Jackson), and in doing so helped drive down the market price for Lohse too.I think it's probably time for the Boras-Rizzo-Nats conspiracy theories to stop. The number of Boras clients on the roster is mostly a coincidence. Strasburg and Harper were no-brainer #1 picks, not hand-picked because they're Boras clients.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    sjm308 said… I agree with Ghost on the bullpen makeup. I am wondering how many teams use the LOOGY concept, and how many do not? I am not sure Davey used it all that much last year. Certainly not with Burnett and maybe a little with Gonzalez. Why is there not a ROOGY as well? Also wondering why all of a sudden lots of commentors on here think our bullpen is a weakness. 5 guys back who were good to very good last year (Storen, Clip,Mattheus, Stammen, Garcia) Duke replaces Gorzo and the only question mark is how HRod does.Thanks SteveJM. I think right now the bullpen is Duke, HRod, Stammen, Bray, Mattheus, Clip, Storen.I think Christian Garcia stays in Syracuse and they see if he can start but he also becomes the bullpen replacement if anyone of the above falter.If you check, the Cardinals finished the 2012 season with 1 lefty in the bullpen. Most teams seem to carry 2 lefties.

  27. Avar - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Agree w/ Mark that it's weird (as in unusual) to be so quiet. But when you win 98 games while having several injuries and basically everyone is either coming back or can be replaced adequately, that's what happens.I'm slightly concerned about losing all the LH's in the pen. And I don't mean LOOGY's, I just mean guys that pitch w/ their left arms. It's nice to have a few, no matter how good your RHPs are against lefties. I didn't understand why they let Gonzalez, Burnett and Gorzy all walk for modest money and 1-2 years.But that is SOOOO minor and I can't believe it's all we have to second guess. What a change!

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    bowdenball said… Tcostant said…"Don't be surprised if Rizzo bails out his old freind on Scott Boras"This offseason the Nats have traded away a Boras client (Meyer) for a non-Boras CF (Span), and in doing so turned away another Boras client frequently linked to them (Bourn) and drove down his market price by doing so. They then signed a non-Boras FA starter (Haren) when two Boras clients were available (Lohse, Jackson), and in doing so helped drive down the market price for Lohse too.I think it's probably time for the Boras-Rizzo-Nats conspiracy theories to stop. The number of Boras clients on the roster is mostly a coincidence. Strasburg and Harper were no-brainer #1 picks, not hand-picked because they're Boras clients.EJax was no longer a Boras client and the conspiracy theory was fostered greatly by Boras when he said and I will paraphrase "Mike and I put this team together".I theorized that possibly there is a cooling in the relationship after that statement as it couldn't have gone over well in Rizzo's mind for an agent to say that.Conspiracy theory, there you go!

  29. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Why is there not a ROOGY as well?Because it's not typical to see right handed batters in the order all by their lonesome. The reason a LOOGY is a LOOGY is because he comes in to replace a RHP when there's a left handed batter up. But typically there won't be two left handed batters in a row, so after the LOOGY gets that one guy out, the best matchup for the next hitter is a RHP. OTOH, if a RHP is brought in to get out a right handed batter, there's a pretty good chance the next batter will be right handed too, so no need to bring in another pitcher.

  30. Avar - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    While I certainly have not said our bullpen is weak, SJM makes a good point that we have six high quality guys bullpen guys under contract. That further eases my concern over letting those lefties go.I just would have liked for Burnett, Gonzalez or Gorzy to be the 7th guy.

  31. Tcostant - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Amanda Comak's last post was 5 days ago. Did she make it through the layoffs or is she on vacation?I doubt the Washington Times pays all that much. So how would she know the difference?

  33. Tcostant - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    to bowdenball a couple quick points. -Jackson is no longer a Boras client. But he was last year when he was helped by Rizzo with a 1 year deal. -You forgot to note that Werth was a Boras client too.Again – I'm only talking about a bargin basement one year deal with Scott Boras client Soriano(think one year – $8.5M). I think if Tigers didn't step forward with Prince last year, he very well migh have ended up with the Nationals on a 3 to 5 year deal (but that is old history).Ghost – I though Amanda tweeted goodbye to the people let go and she miss them, which I though to mean she was safe now.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Avar, the Nats acquired Span which neutralized any great need to bring LaRoche back. Haren filled the EJax role and Ramos fills the 1A role at catcher. Morse moves to 1st base to replace LaRoche.Bray is the 2nd lefty in the bullpen after re-signing Duke.Other than filling in Syracuse with some AAAA arms as a just-in-case, I'm not sure of any other pressing needs unless their was an upgrade in the bullpen but then you are faced with keeping Bray in AAA or getting rid of HRod.

  35. Avar - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    PS – I hate the LOOGY concept. It's based on the old school generality that LHPs are better against LH hitters but bad against righties. With all the new stats, we know which RHPs are good against lefties and which LHPs are good against righties. All LOOGYs do is slow down the game. Glad Davey has not gotten into that much. He and Rizzo prefer guys who can get righties and lefties out.Personally, I wouldn't mind a rule for minimum number of hitters (2 would do it) faced in a relief appearance, it would speed up the game a lot.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Tcostant said… bowdenball said… -A couple quick points. Jackson is no longer a Boras clientBeat you to that by 5 minutes!Thanks for the update on Amanda and hope that means she kept her job.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Tcosant, Rafael Soriano means giving up the Draft Pick since he's a Qualifying Player. Hot Stove last night claimed that Boras offered Soriano back to the Yankees for 1 year at last years salary and they still said NO as they want the Comp pick.

  38. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    As I noted some days ago, her Tweeter has been active (also still gives a Times affiliation), so I'm thinking that she did.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    natsfan1a said… As I noted some days ago, her Tweeter has been active (also still gives a Times affiliation), so I'm thinking that she did. January 08, 2013 10:36 AM Good to hear. I just checked Kristina Akra's Twitter and hers still says MASN but she still hasn't been re-signed yet. Maybe Boras is her agent too.

  40. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    On the HOF, I'm guessing that Mark will have a related post after the voting results are announced, seeing as how he voted. Thus, I would say premature as opposed to off topic. :-)Exposremains said… Ya pretty boring off season. Off topic and also sick of hearing about it but I'm really disappointed with all these prominent writers suddenly changing their minds, making all sorts of excuses about the HOF and voting for cheaters. Since when cheaters get rewarded. The only reason I can think is that it's the writers way to feel better about failing to report it when it was happening. January 08, 2013 9:34 AM

  41. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Hope that Kristina will be back.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Avar said… PS – I hate the LOOGY concept. It's based on the old school generality that LHPs are better against LH hitters but bad against righties. With all the new stats, we know which RHPs are good against lefties and which LHPs are good against righties. All LOOGYs do is slow down the game. Glad Davey has not gotten into that much. He and Rizzo prefer guys who can get righties and lefties out.Personally, I wouldn't mind a rule for minimum number of hitters (2 would do it) faced in a relief appearance, it would speed up the game a lot. January 08, 2013 10:32 AM Read what I wrote at 9:56AM on the LOOGY and then read my comments on how the 7 man bullpen may work out.

  43. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    I would then stipulate that their plaque contain a statement about what issues they might have had.Example 1 – Barry Bonds – most HR's in the history of the game etc etc. Known to have used steroids during the steroid era.Example 2 – Roger Clemmons – most dominant pitcher of his era. Acquised of using steroids etc etc.Example 3 – Pete Rose – had more hits than anyone in the history of baseball. Know to have bet on baseball.But then wouldn't you also have to go back and retrofit the plaques of existing HOFers to list the issues they had?Babe Ruth – 714 home runs, but known to have cheated on his wife, drank too much, and eaten way too many hot dogsTed Williams – hit .406, but pissed off the press and never tipped his cap to anyoneJoe DiMaggio – 56 game hitting streak, but wasted his retirement pining after a bimbo actress and doing Mr. Coffee commercialsGeez, Ty Cobb's plaque would take up an entire wall all by itself!

  44. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Storen was used briefly as a ROOGY when he was coming back from his injury. Did pretty well at it, too, got some pretty high-powered righties, several times as the 3rd out with men on base if I recall. But that was a special case.

  45. Don - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    sjm — on the 3 you put up, I reluctantly vote for both Bonds and Clemens to get in (Clemens being maybe the biggest jackass in baseball over the last 30 years makes it hard for me to give him the nod, but he deserves in, and Bonds is no prince either, but what can you do), the steroid era is what it is and I am guessing that many current HOF guys were also users (Eckersley, Ricky Henderson, Nolan Ryan — I remember thinking he must be some kind of freak of nature as he was hitting 98 on the radar gun at age 44 with Jaun Gonzalez, Julio Franco, Jose Canseco, Kevin Brown, Pudge, Rafi and his other fellow Rangers — wow, was I naive). But I exclude Rose. It was beyond doubt forbidden to gamble on the game and Pete knew it and he broke that big rule and in a big way (the rule is written in large letters on the back of every club house door in MLB). Precedent for forever exclusion had been set, so he got a punishment that was not surprising. And when faced with the accusations Pete was not an honorable person about the whole thing, he did not admit to making bad decisions or to having some kind of gambling adiction (which he seemingly had) so it is not even that he deserves credit for having attoned. He lied and lied for years before owning up.

  46. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    One reason that there are no ROOGYs is that platoon splits tend to be much less for RH batters than LH batters. This is likely because most pitchers are RH, especially at lower levels of the sport, so RH batters have been facing RH pitchers most of the time from little league through travel teams, HS, and college. LH hitters rarely face LHP at lower levels of baseball, and even more rarely any good ones. Some teams have trouble finding a LHP to throw batting practice. So a lack of familiarity (as well as the physiological reasons for the split, aka, the angle the ball comes at you etc) hurts the LH hitter in a way that doesn't apply to RH hitters.

  47. bowdenball - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    My mistake on Jackson. But I didn't forget about Werth; I wasn't trying to list all the Boras/Nats clients. I was just making the point that most of the ties between the team and the agent are coincidence. Yes the Nats have a Boras free agent on the roster. So do lots of teams. I suspect it's mostly coincidence rather than a collaborative effort though, and the Nats' actions this offseason back that up. They had chances to sign Boras clients at both CF and SP, where they clearly needed someone and Boras clients were available. Not only did they reject them at both spots, but they also traded away a Boras client in filling the CF vacancy.Remember all the noise leading up to the Strasburg shutdown about how Boras was really running the team? Funny that we haven't heard anyone with that opinion comment on the Nats' offseason moves.

  48. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    The one that puzzles me most is Tim Raines. The guy was such a coke-head that he was using DURING games. I'm all for rehabilitation, but if he was that addicted, then he probably would have gone into severe withdrawal, and, hence, his in-game snorting was a form of PED, and definitely an illegal form.

  49. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I just checked Kristina Akra's Twitter and hers still says MASN but she still hasn't been re-signed yet. Maybe Boras is her agent too.Recall that last year Kristina Akra was not added to the MASN team until right before the season, and it came as a surprise. MASN had said when they let Debbi Taylor go that they were eliminating the sideline reporter position, and indeed that's what they did on their Orioles broadcasts. Amber Theoharis was not replaced, and Gary Thorne typically did the postgame interviews from the clubhouse that she would have done. Perhaps MASN will take the same approach with the Nats this year.

  50. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    For a slow winter, interesting note from the USA Today Sports Weekly. Every year USA TSW puts together a "team of the year," putting together the best roster they can out of players who played in those roles (starters at each position, pitchers at each slot in the rotation, relievers, bench, etc). With the catch that the team player payroll has to be less than the median MLB payroll – halfway between the 15th & 16th highest payrolls ($85,753,488). Thanks to Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton, their "Team 2012" actually came in under budget ($74,846,550). and three Nationals made the squad:SS: Ian DesmondStarter #1: Jordan ZimmermannStarter #5: Ross DetwilerThe Braves has four players on the team (Kimbrel, O’Flaherty in the bullpen, Medlen as the reliever/spot starter & Reed Johnson as a bench player). But the Nats tied them thanks to *drum roll* Rick Eckstein, named as the Hitting Coach for Team 2012. In choosing Eckstein (salary was irrelevant for coaches, in case you were wondering), the writers noted:He has been best-known as David Eckstein’s brother, except among a portion of Nationals fans who made him a whipping boy for an offense that was perceived to be lagging behind a strong pitching staff. But the Nationals jumped to third in the NL in slugging, fifth in runs and fourth in OPS. Especially important were the strong finishes of Bryce Harper, who hit over .341 over his final 34 games to grab rookie of the year, and an OPS from Kurt Suzuki that was 189 points higher in Washington than before his trade from Oakland. Plus, shortstop Ian Desmond emerged as an all-star, notorious slow starter Adam LaRoche had the best April of his career and young bench players Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore remained sharp enough to be strong contributors.I had to laugh at the "whipping boy" comment :)

  51. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Sorry, JZim was Starter #3, not #1. More caffeine is needed …

  52. Kirbs - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    With or without further moves (i include ALR) this team is fine to get to the trade deadline with a. 650 or so win %. Then Rizzo will get the lefty in the bullpen for dirt cheap (prospect wise cheap anyway). And Mark, are we going to get a look at your Hall of Fame voting again? The article last year was amazing.

  53. Kirbs - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    We need more Kristina!

  54. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Yes, I'll be posting my Hall of Fame ballot (and explanation) tomorrow afternoon after the announcement.And for those who asked, Amanda Comak was NOT part of the Washington Times' layoff last week. As far as I know, the sports department layoffs were Dan Daly (columnist), Patrick Stevens (Terps/NCAA), Carla Peay (Wizards) and Steve Repsher (copy editor).

  55. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    The copy editor needs to get a job cleaning up Kilgore's columns.

  56. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    We need more Kristina!There's not all that much of her to begin with.

  57. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    LaRoche is signed. Two years!

  58. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Beat you to that by 5 minutes!Ding, ding, ding! That's a drink for sure. Tcostant, you may record your debt on the NIDO Spreadsheet if you wish. :-)I'm not wild about the slow down caused LOOGYs either, but some LH batters have real trouble against lefties. (Is this more often a LH issue because growing up LH batters just don't get to see as many LH pitchers?) And if two LH hitters are due up in an inning, that's a good inning to bring out your LH reliever. Having just one LH reliever in the bullpen hurt the Cardinals against the Nats. (Yes, I know they still won the series, but still.) Now it's true that some RH pitchers do well against left handed batters. Clipp's changeup , for instance, is very effective against them. But maybe there's a particular lefty who hits Clipp well. Then what do you do? And you don't want to bring Clipp in in the 7th to face a few lefties when you have him lined up in the 8th. All in all, I'd like to see us with Duke and two other lefties in the pen if possible. My expectation is that HRod is not going to be with us on O.D. We'll see.

  59. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Nats Lady, Where did you hear?

  60. SCNatsFan - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    My bleacher report alert has us signing ALR for 2 years

  61. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Well, now, I honestly think the Washington Nationals will repeat as NL East Champions! Great news! GYFNG!!!

  62. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Whatever Rizzo wants…. Rizzo gets!

  63. Positively Half St. - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Good bye Beast. We loved you while we had you. Welcome back, ALR.+1/2St.

  64. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Seamhead, it's all over Twitter. Apparently the source is Kilgore, but other writers have jumped on it.

  65. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Oh the irony of this article now lol

  66. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Bit sad that Morse has to leave. WB ALR!

  67. Grandstander - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Haha, best-timed article ever?

  68. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    NatsLady said… Whatever Rizzo wants…. Rizzo gets!In this case, it's more like whatever no one else wants.

  69. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    OK Feel Wood. What say you now?

  70. SCNatsFan - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    You have to think for ALR, Bourne, Lohse and Soriano the draft pick is really hurting their value.

  71. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I'll probably have to take this post down (or Mark will), but I knew I would feel good also because the most smug, arrogant commenter on this site (the one with the vaguely pornographic handle)was WRONG WRONG WRONG, has been wrong all along (and I was right). Sorry for indulging…

  72. SCNatsFan - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    FeelWood doesn't like ALR returning. On a related note, FeelWood wouldn't like it if ALR left.

  73. Drew - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I wish the Red Sox would finish their deal, so we can all live Napoli ever after.

  74. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… OK Feel Wood. What say you now?Bad move. Morse is going to have a monster year for someone.

  75. PFB Balls of Fire - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Dang our defense is going to be good.

  76. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Clearly Mark "summoned" the signing by his article. Great job!

  77. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    this site (the one with the vaguely pornographic handle)You know, I never noticed it before but "Nats Insider" is a vaguely pornographic handle!

  78. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    NEW POST! ADAM IS BACK!!!!

  79. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Saweet!

  80. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    (Pops bottle of sparkling cider.)

  81. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    D'oh! The freezer!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 72 53 --
ATLANTA 66 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 9.5
NEW YORK 60 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.0
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 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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