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VIDEO: How much will Fister help?

May 9, 2014, 12:35 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Mark appeared on Geico SportsNet Central Thursday night to preview Doug Fister’s season debut with the Nationals. Tonight Fister will take the mound for the first time since coming to Washington in an offseason trade. He’ll face off with the Oakland Athletics at 10:05 p.m.

Before talking Fister, Mark recapped Stephen Strasburg’s win over the Dodgers on Wednesday. Strasburg came back out in the eighth inning after already topping the 100-pitch mark, a new step for the right-hander.

Check it out right here:

  1. Sonny G 10 - May 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Really looking forward to Fister’s contribution to our rotation. Hope he turns into another stopper.

  2. masterfishkeeper - May 9, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Off topic, but Erik Komatsu has been released. Remember when St. Louis drafted him as a rule 5 draftee?

    Trivia note: he once was traded for Scott Hairston’s brother.

  3. TimDz - May 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    The Nats are getting completely hosed by this MASN crap…..
    I truly hope the next Commissioner has a set of balls (not of the base variety) and gets the Nats the money they deserve….

    • cayucosbaseballconservancy - May 9, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      You should see the posts on the Orioles side. Some Patrick-like blogger for the O’s came out with a series of articles that attempt to show that the Nats were asking too much … bottoms one is they are getting 13% which seriously undercuts the Lerner’s ability to compete with the rest of the MLB.

      • Hiram Hover - May 9, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        This MASN deal won’t get resolved til MLB forces it on Angelos, and I don’t see much prospect of that.

        That said, Nats fans need to lay off the whining about how we “can’t compete” until this is resolved. Nats are 13th in team value, 12th in revenues, 9th in payroll, and have the richest owners in MLB.

        There are lots of teams that do as much or more with less, and if the Nats don’t succeed, it’s not Angelos’ fault.

    • chaz11963 - May 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      Totally agree. This needs to get fixed. Angelos held them hostage to allow a new team in DC. The Os lost my business because of it.

  4. Eric - May 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    In case any of you haven’t seen this, here’s why I’m curious if Phish is involved in Ramos using their song “Wilson”:

  5. cayucosbaseballconservancy - May 9, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    I just hope the 18.8% walk rate (a first for Fister in all of his appearances in the majors or minors) during his recent rehab starts is not a sign of control problems.

    • Eric - May 9, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      I put as much stock in it as I do the numbers Soriano and Storen put up in spring training, which is what his recent rehab starts effectively were.

      • cayucosbaseballconservancy - May 9, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        Sure, except for this fact: He has never done that before period. Ever. Rehab, regular season, whatever. He just doesn’t do that. That’s his main strength as a starting pitcher.

      • Eric - May 9, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        He’s also never been with the Nats for Spring Training…maybe it’s a ruse! 😉

        We’ll see. I’ll sweat it when it does it in a game that matters.

      • Hiram Hover - May 9, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        I’m with you, Eric. He gave up 3 walks in a rehab start. I really could care less.

  6. David Proctor - May 9, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    I think we need to temper expectations some for Fister’s first start. As long as he keeps us in the game, I’ll be happy. It’s very rare for a guy to come back and dominate like Kershaw did.

    • veejh - May 9, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      We just need to pound Malone and take some pressure off Fister.

    • TimDz - May 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Yes, Kershaw did look pretty dominant out there, but (and I know this reeks of homerism) he was also getting the benefit of generous calls…the umpire gave him both sides of the plate, where Zimmermann did not.

      Overall, I’ve seen a trend where Znn tends to get squeezed. The fact that he shakes it off and STILL gets results makes me want to see Ted Lerner PAY THE MAN…

      • tcostant - May 9, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Agree – PAY THE JZIMM!

      • cayucosbaseballconservancy - May 9, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        whether hiramhover likes it or not because of the MASN deal it boils down to a choice between Desmond and JZimmnn. Given that Desmond is going to be 30 and JZimmnn could be a #1 starter on a lot of teams? The hard answer seems pretty clear; pay JZimmnn and put Espinosa at short.

        The Nats aren’t configured like Tampa Bay. They haven’t had the consistent draft picks and their system was completely hallowed out first by Loria and his fire sales and then by major league baseball and Bowden. The Lerner’s took this hybrid approach to rebuilding fast … making some questionable decisions such as signing Werth, Soriano, and even Zim given his past four injury filled years. Tampa Bay never makes those kind of decisions but they’ve had the farm system to help them recover after losing top players to free agency. In spite of the improvements, the Nats do not. They lack significant depth across the board albeit they’ve done okay with the starting pitching slot.

    • Section 222 - May 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      I agree. I’ll be happy with kind of a mini-quality start — 5 innings and 3 runs. Taylor Jordan did that in only 1 of his 6 starts this year.

  7. veejh - May 9, 2014 at 3:09 PM


  8. natsguy - May 9, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    If you want to protest about MASN do it on their site. Get on all their blogs and make a lot of comments. They really hate it but they also hear it. If you don’t say something nothing will happen or get fixed. My nephew was an Orioles employee and said the Angelos family were awful to work for. He has become a Rays fan since.

    • Section 222 - May 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Seriously? You think that Nats fans complaining pn the MASN site will get Angelos to budge? That’s funny.

      • natsguy - May 9, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        I have gotten some serious responses from them apparently more serious than yours. Angelos doesn’t like bad press and if enough people complain publicly he will respond.

      • Section 222 - May 9, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        Fair enough. Still, he may respond, but that doesn’t mean your, or 9,000 comments will make a bit of difference to his demands. This is about money for him, not being loved by Nats fans.

  9. Eugene in Oregon - May 9, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    HH @ 3:18 p.m.:

    While I agree with your basic argument (i.e., Nats are better than MLB average in terms of current revenue and current payroll), I would add a couple of points:

    — The concern about the TV money isn’t so much about right now as it is about the mid-term future. As other teams renew and/or extend their contracts (the Braves are coming off a terrible deal that lasted a long time), the Nats need to be able to keep up. with the market rate. This is important because…

    — While the Lerner family may be the richest (or, at least, among the richest) owners, haven’t they said that they expect the Nats to pretty much pay for themselves? As I have read their statements over the years, they obviously used their family/business money to buy the team, but they don’t intend to subsidize it from their other businesses or their personal fortunes. I could be wrong on that, but that’s how I’ve always read (sometimes between the lines, I acknowledge) their public statements. And that means getting the most — or at least the market rate — for the TV contract is critically important in the mid- to long-term.

    Final point: As I understand the current arrangement (setting aside the ownership stake question), the notion of resetting the contract every five years could well work to the Nats’ advantage in the mid- to long-term (for as long as prices keeping going up, up, up). But — and it’s a huge but — that’s only true if the MASN/O’s/Angelos side honors the contract. And obviously they’re not doing that.

    • Brookstoor - May 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Eugene – good points. One thing we should think about, though: the Lerners know business and they aren’t going to want to leave money on the table. We have to trust that they are throwing their own weight around about the issue, albeit quietly and out of the public eye. They have been mum on the subject but rich people don’t get rich by letting tens to hundreds of millions of the table. The secret MLB payments are evidence of that I think. And yeah since the contract has to be renegotiated or what have you (not a lawyer at all but it’s discussed between the parties every 5 years right?) every now and then, those are all opportunities to get more of our fair share. If the Orioles can’t honor the deal they forced us into and the Lerners can demonstrate that even the MLB acknowledges the terrible situation vis a vis the secret payments, maybe they can actually force the issue and break those chains.

      • Sonny G 10 - May 9, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Man, that would be great!

    • cayucosbaseballconservancy - May 9, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Ted Lerner himself interview before he was added to the ring of honor ( I think that’s what it was?) said that he and his family decided not to take a dime in profit from the franchise for 10 years. The emphasis was on rebuilding starting with the farm system which was why Mike Rizzo was one of the very first initial hires after taking over ownership. He was placed in charge of the draft, scouting and was involved in revamping the farm system. Thus his trip to the Dominican after the big scandal. Given hindsight that looked like the perfect excuse for Ted and the board to move him on up into Bowden’s slot.

      But 10 years is nigh on about to arrive. Making only 13% of MASN and lacking any real control makes little sense. It doesn’t allow the Nats to attempt to expand the fan base. That’s a serious issue for them. This area might be ripe for baseball but the product still has to be marketed and sold. And when its mostly done as ancillary to the Orioles and expanding their fan base? That’s an issue that must be addressed.

    • Hiram Hover - May 9, 2014 at 5:50 PM


      Good points too. It is a crappy deal and I absolutely agree that the money is important down the road.

      But in the near term, the Nats are doing fine, and I’m tired of hearing the whining about Angelos, which sounds like excuse-making in advance for when Desi et al hit FA.

      Even if the deal were fixed tomorrow, it would not allow the Nats to re-sign all their young stars as they hit FA. And the Nats shouldn’t. Even the Yankees took a pass on Cano. There can be a virtue in the GM feeling like he doesn’t have a mountain of $$$ to burn.

      This will get fixed, tho who knows how and when. Probably not by Bud (and please, please let this be his last year). Maybe by the next commissioner. Maybe when Angelos dies (not to be morbid, but he is 84) that will provide MLB leverage and/or an occasion for his heirs to cash out.

      • cayucosbaseballconservancy - May 9, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        This is a bit like waiting for Snyder to die (and he is pretty young for an owner).

        You are right. The Nats shouldn’t re-up all of their young stars. But they’ve got a near-term problem over until the 2018/2019 time frame with contracts for Werth and Zim that will at the very least constrain them from signing the better part of their young talent (Harper, Rendon, JZimnn, Gio, etc) and potential free agent who might help them.

        I submit that because of the MASN contract that severely limits both revenue and control of MASN the Nats may almost have to go into fire sale mode and attempt to rebuild through the draft and through acquiring young prospects through trades with the next 3 – 4 years. Its at this point ownership is supposed to begin taking some of the revenue as profit for those who invested an ownership stake in the team.

      • Hiram Hover - May 9, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        the Nats may almost have to go into fire sale mode and attempt to rebuild through the draft

        Surely there is a middle path–just because the Nats aren’t the Yankees or Dodgers doesn’t mean they have to follow the Marlins. And even when the deal gets re-jiggered, they won’t have NY/LA kind of $$$ to throw around.

  10. NatsLady - May 9, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    I’m not sure if the Nats are getting hosed right now. Isn’t MLB making up the difference between what the Lerners should (reasonably) be getting and what they are actually getting? Who knows if that arrangement will continue after Selig’s departure, but nothing will happen until he does leave. The Lerners have given Rizzo a budget, and it’s up to him to work within it.

    • paigemwhipple - May 9, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      That was the rumor and nothing confirmed and no clue to the amount of money. Based on these other teams deals the shortfall could be $85 million





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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