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VIDEO: Haren on joining the Nats

Feb 14, 2013, 3:00 AM EDT

Dan Haren sat down with me earlier today for an interview that aired on Comcast SportsNet. The veteran right-hander, who signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Nationals in December, shared his thoughts on joining one of the best rotations in baseball, serving as a mentor for Stephen Strasburg and others and embracing Davey Johnson’s “World Series or Bust” motto for 2013.

  1. slidell2 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Well-spoken. I have a good feeling about him.

  2. Gonat - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Haren: "When you're struggling you find out who your friends are". Amen to that!

  3. peric - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Danny will be the most watched player in camp.YUP.

  4. peric - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    He doesn't matter given the talent that will be in Syracuse and Harrisburg.If he's good great! If not we have other possibilities starting with Duke and Stammen. Why worry?

  5. peric - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    I would have forced the operation and then sent him to AAA to prove he can be coached and play a team game. He has options….they could have done it that way.Can't see Rizzo ever doing that with any player … especially one of Danny's caliber. Boras or not.Again, JayB, if you are going to sit there and claim that Lombardozzi is a potential All Star 2nd baseman with the best range of any fielder in baseball at second, with speed, range, and agility to be one of the BEST shortstop's in baseball? Someone who has hit 20 home runs and just shy of 40 doubles? And 20 stolen bases? Even with a TORN ROTATOR cuff?You'd be laughed off of any baseball blog … anywhere and you damned well know it. Espinosa IS A special player. Its why Rizzo got Bowden to allow him to draft him and given how much Bowden hated to deal with Boras that was quite a feat in and of itself! Sure, he can be as stubborn as any elite athlete. But HE IS an elite athlete who has worked extremely hard to get to that pinnacle.

  6. sjm308 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Mark, Mark, Mark:First post at 6 this morning. Last post at 10pm!!You need to slow down, pace yourself. We have a long season ahead and 5 posts a day will kill us all. I am trusting that you did the prerequisite shoulder exercises so that your rotator will be ok as we head north. Remember, best 25 blogs come North.Seriously, thanks for so much information about our lads.

  7. sjm308 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Peric: you amaze me in how you defend those you have chosen to admire and blow off those you don't think worthy. Haren really doesn't matter given the talent in Syracuse & Harrisburg? Duke & Stammen? Please, if you are going to criticize others for their comments how can you honestly say that? First, I think Haren is a great addition and you can talk all you want about how much he has lost off his fastball but the man has been in the Cy Young conversation, won 16 games just two seasons ago and you are going to replace him with who?? Certainly no one from Syracuse and why move Stammen out of a spot he excelled at to go back to something he struggled with. Duke could work but ask all GMs in baseball who they would want between Duke and Haren and see how many chose Duke. I am not talking about money or years on a contract, I am talking starting pitcher in 2013 for a run for the pennant and pure talent. You have Span on the bench, Haren not mattering and yet you jump all over those who think Espinosa is a minus. For what it is worth, I actually agree with you about Espinosa being a special talent and I don't think many could have moved over to SS like he did last year and not miss a beat. I am upset that he injured himself and worried he made a poor decision to avoid surgery but you are correct, he is a special talent. Continue to root for your guys (C. Brown, Espinosa, Duke etc) but let the others here have their say.

  8. peric - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Still want to see Vázquez signing if he will accept a bullpen role. Could fit in Henry spot.Sigh Vasquez gets the Stammen spot Ghost! You need to stop letting your bias against Henry cloud your vision dude! Stammen has options. Henry doesn't. Henry throws 100mph and follows with a killer slider. Stammen doesn't. Stammen would make tremendous young, major league experience depth as a starter in AAA Syracuse. Henry has not options.And then? Its a contest between Haren and Vasquez and Vasquez might just win that pushing Haren into the long role. Believe it. Rizzo has no problem at all with 15 million dollar insurance policies … given the inexperienced talent that currently represents the depth in AAA and AA. There's definitely some talent there … its just not necessarily what you want to rely on if you are vying for a playoff spot.

  9. sjm308 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    From the Post – pretty well establishes that everyone was involved in the decision"The decision to avoid surgery, which would have had Espinosa miss two months of the season, was made collectively by the second baseman, his agency, Rizzo and the Nationals’ medical staff. Espinosa worked closely with Dr. Lewis Yocum, whose second opinion revealed the torn rotator cuff after the season ended, to strengthen the protective muscles around it."At least no one can put blame on one specific person if he does get reinjured.

  10. peric - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    Please, if you are going to criticize others for their comments how can you honestly say that? First, I think Haren is a great addition and you can talk all you want about how much he has lost off his fastball but the man has been in the Cy Young conversation, won 16 games just two seasons ago and you are going to replace him with who?All I am saying is that in the end Haren is the fifth starter and like EJax the insurance policy in case something goes awry. That I believe would continue to be the case should Rizzo sign Vasquez as Ghost would like. He's not like Jason Marquis when he was signed. Marquis was expected to become the ace of that staff. It never happened. He is the fifth starter after Detwiler. As for whether he's good or bad, just as with EJax let's wait and see what he has left before making judgement. But, at this point in spring training. He's the fifth starter behind the other 4.

  11. sjm308 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    Peric: agree with your last post.

  12. SonnyG10 - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    I liked what Haren had to say. He seemed like a nice fellow and I believe he will help mentor our other pitchers. I'm really looking forward to seeing our starting rotation in action. It'll be nice to have that feeling that every one of our starters can give us a win. Not a dud in the bunch.

  13. baseballswami - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Does Rizzo give these guys IQ tests before he signs them? Seems like most of them are very articulate. As for the Danny / Lombo ongoing side- taking–Danny has amazing physical tools but seems to struggle with the mental side. Lombo has good skills, works hard, not flashy, his upside is the mental side. Hare versus tortoise. There are both types that have washed out and been successful in MLB over the years. Different paths , some lucky opportunities- it's not predictable.

  14. JayB - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Danny does have a higher upside than Lombo…not the point….the point is what the team needs this year. They need Lombo's consistent unselfish approach. It is also about what Danny needs….he needs a kick in the ass and a reality check before it is too late. He needs to learn team is more important than his stats to the people paying his salary.

  15. JayB - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    That said, for some reason they did not follow my advice…..I am more than willing to participate with Njack's help in keeping an eye on Danny's approach. Njack….let us know if you see him moving runners over with no outs and a man on second. Let us know if you see him with that huge loopy left handed swing where he is falling out of shoes. Let us know if he is willing to shorten up and put the ball in play to the opposite field with 2 strikes. I will not be there but it will be easy to see if he has chanced his approach or he is headed to 300Ks this year.

  16. sjm308 - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    JayB: Of those 3 faults which I agree were obvious all last season, if he can fix just 2 of them, I can live with the strikeouts. If he would just make a conscious effort to move runners over and shorten his swing with 2 strikes. Of course if he did that I am betting his strikeouts would also go down.

  17. Rabbit34 - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Espinosa will resolve his own issue before the end of spring training.

  18. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    wow that could be legendary, 300Ks.

  19. natsfan1a - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Speaking of Davey, I like this tidbit, from a Comak story.==="Johnson spent the 20-minute session reminding everyone that neither age nor job status has any effect on the way he goes about his business. He brought his usual bravado — explaining that 'if you don’t think you’re going to win, you’ve got no chance' — and his usual jokes about the Internet age.'In this day and time, you can’t hardly do anything without somebody tweeting you or Facebooking you or something,' Johnson said. 'It’s just too complicated. Fact is, I’m going to change my email this year because I’m getting too many unwanted emails. Spam. I’ve got my thing set on the highest spam filter and it still gets through.'I’m not even going to tell you, but you can guess at my age what I might be getting.'"Full story here===Uh, Davey. I get those spams, too. I'm not quite your age, and I'm a female. Talk about missing the target market segment. :-)

  20. natsfan1a - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    I'd be more worried about carpal tunnel syndrome. Other than that, good point. :-)sjm308 said… Mark, Mark, Mark: First post at 6 this morning. Last post at 10pm!! You need to slow down, pace yourself. We have a long season ahead and 5 posts a day will kill us all. I am trusting that you did the prerequisite shoulder exercises so that your rotator will be ok as we head north. Remember, best 25 blogs come North. Seriously, thanks for so much information about our lads. February 13, 2013 10:44 PM

  21. natsfan1a - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Truly. Even this former Nat struggled to achieve it, but fell short.Faraz Shaikh said… wow that could be legendary, 300Ks. February 14, 2013 7:34 AM

  22. Nats fan in NJ - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Mark – Thanks for all the posts.This has been stated here & previously, but the Espinosa situatino will resolve itself during spring training. If he performs, no issue. If he doesn't, then he has the surgery, misses '13 (or most of it), Lombo is 2nd baseman and Rivera is "next man up." And frankly, as much as I like Espinosa, this scenario doesn't scare me.It was 30 degrees during my run this morning, and all I could think of was "spring is in the air" as today is the first official bullpen sessions. Go Nats!!

  23. MicheleS - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I like the Haren pick up. Love even more that Stras wants to pick his brain. Hopefully the rest of the staff will do that as well.Dannyw will be given an opportunity, if he succeeds then no issues,if the shoulder acts up, lombo will be a suitable replacement until Rizzo gets the backup he wants.

  24. JamesFan - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Danny has a higher UNPROVEN upside than Lombo. On a day by day basis so far, Lombo is a better option than Danny hands down. Danny's hurt and his upside may never be proven, especially if he whiffs 200 times a year and hits .220. Whoever has the best spring should start on opening day, then see where it goes.

  25. Eugene Galvin - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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