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Manny: impActa Kids

So many moons ago I told you about Manny Acta's home town of Conseulo in the Dominican Republic. Acta was upset that the ball fields were going unused, that they were in disrepair -- the same fields on which he remembered spending 10 or 12 hours a day learning the game.

That was late in 2006. Last year, Acta formed a foundation to help the kids of Consuelo -- the impActa Kids Foundation. The missions are simple: to raise awareness in both the U.S. and the Dominican Republic of the need to provide opportunities for kids that might not otherwise have them, and to build a baseball complex in Consuelo.

Acta started the process last year by securing a lawn mower for the fields. But there's much more work to be done. And now, there's finally a place for people to send money if they want to help out:

impActa Kids Foundation
P.O. Box 459
Lyndhurst, N.J. 07071

Donations are tax-deductible. Hope that helps the folks who had asked me about it in the past.

Yesterday was one month from the day pitchers and catchers report. Today is one month from their physicals. Tomorrow is one month from -- gulp -- their first workout. My goodness.

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 16, 2008; 11:42 AM ET
 
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Next: Arbitration goodies

Comments

Thanks for the info, Barry.

Carrying over the Richmond discussion from the end of the last post:

Seems kind of odd that Richmond wouldn't be able to support a AAA team -- although it's understandable if drainage issues, etc., are a factor.

Of course, it'd be nice to be able to bring some attendance numbers up on my screen, but either they're scarcer than hens' teeth or I'm just a poor searcher. The numbers at MiLB.com all read zero... perhaps they've reset their data bases in anticipation of 2008?

Posted by: Hendo | January 16, 2008 11:17 AM

I can't find the attendance figures either, Hendo, but I don't think that's the reason Richmond is perceived as unlikely to get another AAA team. That team would have to come from the International League, and apparently no other IL teams are interested in moving. Geographically, the Eastern League (AA), Sally League (A) and possibly the Carolina League are better fits. All of this comes from the Richmond Times-Dispatch here:

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/sports/more.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-01-16-0154.html

Posted by: Bob L. Hen's Teeth | January 16, 2008 12:11 PM

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 16, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks very much, Barry! Glad that they're set up to receive contributions now, and I will send something. Viva Manny Acta!

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Barry-

Thanks. I will send a contribution.

Careful, though. Don't let the DC Council know that Manny's charity is based in NJ, and not DC!!

Posted by: One more month | January 16, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

That's the best thing I've seen come out of New Jersey in a long time.

My check will be in the mail this weekend.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 16, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

For those sending checks to impActa, we should all write something in the memo line of the check indicating that it comes from a member of NJ Nation. Thoughts?

Also I think Stan should announce that instead of paying $35 for parking everyone should just take metro and send the $35 to Manny.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 16, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, I know, but the RSS feed for your Nationals stories is broken - it is still showing a November story about Zimmerman's broken hand as the most recent story. Please fix your Nationals feed! I'd like to follow the Post's coverage of the Nationals on my Google home page.

Thanks.

Posted by: Chris | January 16, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Good idea, Bob L.

---

For those sending checks to impActa, we should all write something in the memo line of the check indicating that it comes from a member of NJ Nation. Thoughts?

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

How about:

"Via Planet NJ/B. Svrluga"

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 16, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely.

-----

How about:

"Via Planet NJ/B. Svrluga"

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 16, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that would give Barry an upperhand in the next round of the Barry/Stan showdown. Atta boy Barry, show 'em who's boss.

Posted by: Corey | January 16, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

sounds good

---

How about:

"Via Planet NJ/B. Svrluga"

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally in on that, even with my measely teacher salary.

Does anyone know what happened to the Planet NJ T-Shirt idea?

I was thinking about that recently.

Discussing the Nationals good, in the Nats Journal, even better!

Posted by: NattyDelite! | January 16, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

check this out regarding cleveland's prospects. sure hope he's right and whitney does stick.

Q: Darren from UK asks:
Where would Matt Whitney have ranked if not taken in rule 5? 7-10 range? How about Barton? I'm thinking more top 20 for Barton?

A: Chris Kline: Both guys would have been in the top 10. I'm pretty sure I had Whitney at No. 10 and Barton was higher. They both have tremendous opportunities with their new organizations and I think both will have a chance to stick. Saint Louis needs a RH OF bat and the Nationals are in a situation where they could easily just stash Whitney on the roster and use him sparingly over the course of the year. I think both guys are gone for good.

Posted by: longterm | January 16, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

as a side note, how could you not believe someone who actually writes out "Saint" Louis?!?

Posted by: longterm | January 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Any other STHs get that "parking and transportation information" packet in the mail today?

Looks like the free parking at and shuttles from/to RFK is still on, although how they're going to differentiate between Nats fans and DC United fans on days when both teams play at home totally escapes me.

Posted by: Juan-John | January 16, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris: new stories show up on my Google homepage just fine (and have been showing up just fine for the several weeks since the Zimm/hand thing). That's how I knew that this entry was posted!

Posted by: JennX | January 16, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

still haven't gotten my parking package in the mail.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | January 16, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"How about: 'Via Planet NJ/B. Svrluga'"

Works for me, Bob, and the check's on the way. And thanks to B. Svrluga for the heads-up.

Posted by: Hendo | January 16, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Longterm, assuming 11 pitchers and 8 starters (Young at 1b, Belliard at 2b and Guzman at SS), that leaves six spots for:

Flores or Moeller
N. Johnson
Lopez
Boone
Dukes
Mackowiak
Harris
Langerhans
Whitney
Guzman (the other Rule V pick)

I suppose they could stash Johnson on the DL to give him time to get back into playing shape, but that still leaves 9 guys for 6 slots.

We have to have a backup catcher, and I think Lopez and Boone are locks, which leaves 6 guys for 3 slots. You have to think Dukes is going to get one of them (unless he screws up again), because Dmitri can't mentor him if he's in the minors, and it seems clear that's part of the rehab plan. And let's delete Langerhans on general principles.

So, we get to keep two of Mackowiak, Harris, Whitney and Guzman. Looks a lot like the Rule V guys will have to beat out the vets in spring training in order to stick.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 16, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The t-shirt would have to be a red, white and blue Nationals Journal banner orbiting a "planet" (baseball). Thing is, we'd probably need permission from the Nats and the Post. But ... suppose we asked for permission to print a bunch of such shirts on the condition that they would be sold for, say, $25, with the proceeds above cost to be donated to impActa?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 16, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

joe sheehan from baseball perspectus has a list of nine breakout candidates, which includes zimmerman. .

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7053

===

# Ryan Zimmerman: Zimmerman may seem like an odd choice for the list, given how well he's played in his first two full seasons. However, Zimmerman's raw stat lines have been held down by his home park, RFK Stadium, which just killed power, especially right-handed power. Zimmerman's home/road splits do not reflect this gap--he's slugged .501 at RFK in his career, .435 on the road, but a guiding principle of performance analysis is that an individual's home/road splits, even over two years, do not mean that player isn't being affected by his home park. We know what RFK did to run scoring and power, and moving to a new park should enable Zimmerman to convert some of his doubles to home runs. Throw in development--he's 23 this season--and you have the recipe for a breakout. David Wright might well have been the most valuable player in the National League last season; Zimmerman will be a better player than Wright in 2008.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | January 16, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

crickets

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

WMP is listed as an honorable mention in the same list posted by 231. How great would that be? We still need a leadoff hitter.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 16, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Nice idea, Bob L.

---

The t-shirt would have to be a red, white and blue Nationals Journal banner orbiting a "planet" (baseball). Thing is, we'd probably need permission from the Nats and the Post. But ... suppose we asked for permission to print a bunch of such shirts on the condition that they would be sold for, say, $25, with the proceeds above cost to be donated to impActa?

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the lower bowl seats are going in out in left field (centerfield camera view).

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

You're only allowed three good ideas in one post, Bob. This one doesn't count. Repost it under the next thread.

-----

The t-shirt would have to be a red, white and blue Nationals Journal banner orbiting a "planet" (baseball). Thing is, we'd probably need permission from the Nats and the Post. But ... suppose we asked for permission to print a bunch of such shirts on the condition that they would be sold for, say, $25, with the proceeds above cost to be donated to impActa?

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 16, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

for the postally-challenged, is there any online way to contribute to manny's charitable actavity?

Posted by: natty bumppo | January 16, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to know that, too. I tried Googling, but turned up only Spanish-language articles and none with a URL for the foundation. Spanish is not one of my languages, but I got the gist of the articles by using Google's translation feature (kludgey but somewhat effective).

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Modell's team became the Ravens and started its history from scratch. To this day, the Ravens have no mention of their attachment to the Browns in any of their official literature, only a section on the history of pro football in Baltimore -- an homage to the Colts. Cleveland landed an expansion franchise that began play in 1999. Yet the new Browns inherited the history of their predecessors, claiming as their own greats such as Jim Brown and Ozzie Newsome, even though Newsome left when the Browns became the Ravens. He now serves as the general manager in Baltimore, working for the franchise for which he played, a franchise that doesn't acknowledge the records he set."
- Barry Svrluga

Posted by: Here's What Bugs Me | January 16, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you don't mess with a streak, John. :)

---

You're only allowed three good ideas in one post, Bob. This one doesn't count. Repost it under the next thread.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 16, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

There were A LOT of hilarious and great slogans for the T-shirt, if I recall. I thought for sure one of Barry's interns (if not himself) would have collected them all.

If not a t-shirt, I thought he'd at least choose the winning slogan. Then again, he was just a teeeeeny bit busy last season...

Posted by: NatsNut | January 16, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I'm on board with the "Via Planet NJ/B.Svrluga" on the memo line of my contribution check. Great idea.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 16, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Always good to see kind words about one's franchise player (note on Zimmerman from 231). The quoted comments--including the implication that Zimmerman should hit better at the new ballpark--raise an interesting question about our expectations for hitting in the new ballpark--about which I'm sure we can only speculate and hope (e.g., that our guys hit better there while the visiting teams can't find the exit!).

I raise this because I was recently reminded about the expected dimensions of the new field, and I can't say one would have the impression that the outfield is especially smaller than RFK. According to the relocation guide (p. 11), here's the differential in feet between RFK and Nationals Park (minus number reflects a "closer" wall at Nats Park): Left field, +1; Left center, -3; Center field, -7; Right center, -10; and Right field, 0. These differentials don't provide a way to judge the differing shape of the new outfield either, which is not symetrical like the parks of the RFK era.

Ballpark dimensions are not the only factor of course in determining whether one lives in a bandbox--the new park will likely be more open and affected by wind (less of a bowl), but of course we don't know which way the wind will blow down next to the Anacostia River.

But I wonder if we're being realistic about Nats Park being a better place for our hitters.

Posted by: Carl in 306 | January 16, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

for what it's worth, i don't know how accurate the numbers in RFK were. they did adjust them after 2005, but they were off significantly in 05. i don't necessarily trust that the numbers they gave us for 06/07 were necessarily right, tho. still, those CF/RC numbers may be more significant than you think. 10 ft in a power alley is the difference between not reaching the warning track and being out of the park. and that'll benefit left handed power hitters to have 10 less feet.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | January 16, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Carl,
regardless of the ACTUAL dimensions, no doubt the players' PERCEPTIONS of the dimensions played a pretty significant role in their performance.

Freedom from their perception alone of the size of RFK is bound to make an impact.

Also remember that the outfield distance signs were moved after Barry and Boswell were caught measuring. As far as we know, nobody ever re-measured or verified the distances again. Rather, no *disinterested parties* re-measured.

Could be RFK WAS bigger than the reported numbers.

BTW, I want to give a little shout-out to the FO for the parking package. I facetiously griped about a spelling error, but it really is a classy package and well thought out.

It had a ballpark-specific Metro map with lots of suggestions for routes and metro parking. They even give the url to buy a washington nationals smartrip
card. Diagrams of parking areas and price structures were clear and colorful. Instructions for completing the form and the process were clearly worded and concise.

I'm sure many will hold on to their anger with the team with a death grip. But there's only so much the FO can control and I commend them for really making an effort to confront the problem head on.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 16, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

While discussing Zimm's potential "break-out" year, let's not forget C/W.

Historically it takes a position player about 1,500 P/A to get to major league level. After 2+ years, Zimm is just at about that number. Assuming that the Hamate heals properly and quickly, C/W says that he should be at about his max for the next 10 or 12 years, beginning in '08.

Posted by: Catcher50 | January 16, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone heard any information about a possible Nats uniform change? See the Uni Watch Blog for Jan 16.
http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2008/01/16/the-worst-form-of-government-except-for-all-the-others-probably/

Posted by: Chad | January 16, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if this is old news, but have you guys heard about this? A new movie called "Sugar" and Jose Rijos plays a roll!
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article_entertainment.jsp?ymd=20080116&content_id=2347333&vkey=entertainment&fext=.jsp

Posted by: AJ | January 17, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that's pretty cool, AJ. A promotional film for the Nats' Dominican scouts is big at Sundance! I really hope to see some of the players from the Nats' championship DSL team (or even from their lesser DSL team) come to the US to play in our minor league system. Once we start seeing some those kids mentioned among our top prospects, we'll know the Plan is on its way for sure.

Posted by: One more month | January 17, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, AJ. Sounds like an interesting film.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

So Steve Czaban of Sportstalk 980 devoted a segment during drivetime last night to bashing the Post's sports section. I agreed with some of his criticisms (no real replacements for Kornheiser and Wilbon on the radar; a general lack of in-depth reporting) and disagreed with others (he doesn't think Angus Phillips or high school sports belong in the sports section). But the great thing was that when they started grading the regular beat reporters, our own Barry Svrluga was the only one to receive an "A," and the vote was unanimous.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 17, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rangers have reached an agreement with Jennings for one year and $4MM. I like the price, and I wonder if this was one of those hometown discount situations. [from mlbtraderumors.com]

one less reclamation pitcher out there...

Posted by: 231 | January 17, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the press box camera? No shots since January 11. Maybe they're hiding something from us ... Teddy's top secret preseason workouts, perhaps?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 17, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

ballpark's effect on on power and pitching - I really wish WaPo.com would take the next step up and have old threads indexed and accessible. Doesn't have to be Barry doing it. If I recall, back in November or so someone posted an analysis of the new v old ballpark, maybe by BP or Hardball Times, that suggested the ballpark will play slightly below average for power, in contrast to RFK, which was one of the worst for power. As 231 notes, they were saying the biggest help would be for right field power (which of course is why we have so few lefty pull hitters on the roster). Also, I think I posted this link to "HitTracker," which has good statistics and analyses of home run distances. http://www.hittrackeronline.com/
Among other things, two key factors in distance are temperature and elevation. We don't get much of a boost from elevation, but we do get a boost from the weather (about the nicest thing anyone will ever say about summer humidity and heat here). Eyeballing the home run data on by how much homeruns cleared the fences lead me to think that RFK had an unusual % of homers just barely clear the wall, which may be a combination of the bowl as well the phony dimensions. So, its fair to expect a boost in power numbers vs. RFK for both the Nats and the opponents, but not to expect it to play like Citizens Bank Park or even Turner Field. How that should affect who is traded and who we can expect to improve has been kicked around here quite a bit. As for Zimmerman's potential for a break out, I'll be really curious about his hamate's effect on his power, especially early.

Posted by: jon | January 17, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I stopped listening to Sports 980 once I got XM, because they rarely talk about the Nats, and I can't take the commercials. That was a few years ago, though, and that segment you describe sounds like it was great. Do they bring up the Nats much? I know they never do on the John Thompson show.

Posted by: One more month | January 17, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

One of my favorites - and I can't remember who suggested it - was something like this: S V R L U G A spelled out in Scrabble tiles, with a caption reading something like "What in the world can I spell with these?"

-----

There were A LOT of hilarious and great slogans for the T-shirt, if I recall. I thought for sure one of Barry's interns (if not himself) would have collected them all.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Re. slogans, submitted for your perusal (thanks to some quick Googling):

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2007/07/sunday_lineups_and_a_question.html

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, would support a uniform change, not because I dislike the uniforms, but rather because I feel like the curly W and the block lettering on the shirts are incongruous. A uniform should look, well, uniform.

I was under the impression that this is a non-issue, since the new park was supposed to feature the big block Nationals logo on the scoreboard. However, that was in the mock-up, and, as Bob L. Head pointed out, there hasn't been a press box camera since last week. Maybe something's up?

New uniforms, new players, new stadium. Maybe it's not a bad idea.

It does seem like it's a little late in the game for such a change, however. Also, I want to keep my SMR low, so I'm not going to speculate on any potential news that Barry hasn't confirmed.

-----

Anyone heard any information about a possible Nats uniform change? See the Uni Watch Blog for Jan 16.
http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2008/01/16/the-worst-form-of-government-except-for-all-the-others-probably/

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 17, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

hey boblhead. i would definitely keep whitney over mackowiak.

i thought before when we talked about uniforms, MLB had to be notified ridiculously early last year of any upcoming changes regarding that. so i believe it's too late to change uniforms this year but i don't know the details. i don't think anyone is overly excited about the current look though.

Posted by: longterm | January 17, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually really fond of the Red-Home, Blue-Away split. I'm indifferent to the script. I think the "DC" alternate is good, because I like the hometown pride that they seem to inspire.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 17, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Longterm, I remember the same thing, so either we're simultaneously delusional, or it's something Barry pointed out earlier. So either that questionaire is just marketing/merchandising research, or they're investigating the possibility of a change later on.

I agree with 506(BM) about the red/blue split. The hats are perfect. Don't change them.

I seem to recall Barry saying the intertwined DC logo is going to be less prominent in the new stadium. It is a shame, because it's a great logo. It is, however, the least worn of my three hats, and I see far fewer people wearing it than the curly W versions.

And yes, I do see people wearing the curly W all the way up here. It gives me the warm and fuzzies to see it.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 17, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Off topic-But WOW, very cool! A blog with a feel good story and comments that are not full of profanity! What's up everyone! YES im a METS fan! LETS GO METS! Why am I here? Milledge and LoDuca!! Those are my boyzz!! Ok...over in METS blog land it appears several of us feel the whole idea that Omar was banking on was that the Nats would be the leading team to need a catcher after he signed Brian Schneider and he could make moves back over there with Estrada...(whom we attained in a dump move to get rid of a thorn in our side called MOTA!) BUT low and behold the Nats had signed not only our young star Milledge via trade (who honestly wasnt getting his shine on the METS roster anyway) but one of my other favorite gamers LoDuca....so guess what, the Nats no longer needed a damn catcher! So we lost out on a great trade piece in Estrada! One had to stop and ponder whether the Nats were becoming a baby Mets team! All we were doing is trading players back and forth for a few weeks!! To make matters even crazier LoDuca's backup would be Jesus Flores, who guess what folks....the Nats selected from the Mets in the 2006 Rule 5 draft!!! Would'nt it be easier and cheaper to just let the Nats trade uniforms with us during the season!?! So I have decided to root for the NATS also and watch them take it to the PHILLIES then the BRAVES then the MARLINS! But when you play the METS...well we know where ill be on that one!!! LETS GO METS!!!

Posted by: MetsPussycat | January 17, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Longterm, I hope Whitney sticks, he's 23 and Marrero is 19, so he could be a nice bridge at first. Mackowiak is a useful bench player though, a lefthanded bat that can play all over the field. He hits better than Harris (who also bats left), although Harris is a better outfielder. And we all know Manny's gonna want a defensive replacement for Wily Mo when the Nats have a 1-3 run lead in the late innings. Guzman (still another southpaw) projects as a 4th or 5th outfielder according to BA and Bowden himself. It's a tough call, will be interesting to watch in Viera.

Also, Baseball America says two Carolina League teams have already contacted Richmond about relocating there for 2009 and that they likely won't be the last.

And, off topic, snow! Yay.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 17, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

No comment about the Parking packages that were received by STHs this week in the mail?

They are asking for another $15 - $35 for parking that could be up to a mile away and have made the locations very vague for the corresponding price levels.

We have 4 seats in the Club level and will probably end up geting one pass, but we are concerned about the distance to the stadium, the traffic in and around the stadium and the general lack of information surrounding the parking plan.

Posted by: Trains, Planes, or Automobiles | January 17, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

One more month -- ST 980 does discuss the Nats in season but is not really a source for the kind of news we seek on this blog. Czaban and Doc Walker are football guys and the Coach is a basketball guy, so there you have it. Czabe and Andy Pollin do bring on guests like Mike Wise and Thom Loverro fairly often and they'll cover high-level Nats news (just not stuff like how much weight Nick J. has lost or what time Patterson's surgery is scheduled for).

Uniforms -- agree that we earlier concluded the deadline was long past. Also the block letters do appear at the new park and they are huge. Personally I also prefer the curly W, and I would also like to see more blue incorporated.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

231,

Thanks for the heads up on Jennings.....if we had any reporting on the Nats in this town we might know if the Nats even offered anything. My gut says nope, Nats are done with all spending and we are going to war with a group of starting pitchers where none have 200 innings or 10 wins ever if I recall.....great plan Stan.....

Posted by: JayB | January 17, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Assuming the Nats have not applied for a uniform change they would have to do so by the end of March to have in place for next year (that's 2009). It is too late for this year. If the Nats are considering a change they better figure out what they want pretty quickly. I would expect small changes such as changing the road script to match the curly W and maybe adding a alt shirt with the curly W ala the BP jersey.

I, for one, would support a uniform change, not because I dislike the uniforms, but rather because I feel like the curly W and the block lettering on the shirts are incongruous. A uniform should look, well, uniform.

I was under the impression that this is a non-issue, since the new park was supposed to feature the big block Nationals logo on the scoreboard. However, that was in the mock-up, and, as Bob L. Head pointed out, there hasn't been a press box camera since last week. Maybe something's up?

New uniforms, new players, new stadium. Maybe it's not a bad idea.

It does seem like it's a little late in the game for such a change, however. Also, I want to keep my SMR low, so I'm not going to speculate on any potential news that Barry hasn't confirmed.

-----

Anyone heard any information about a possible Nats uniform change? See the Uni Watch Blog for Jan 16.
http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2008/01/16/the-worst-form-of-government-except-for-all-the-others-probably/

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 17, 2008 10:08 AM

Posted by: Smirkman | January 17, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

While we're talking about great programs that serve kids and introduce them to baseball (e.g., ImpActa Kids) let's not forget our own Most Valuable Kids. I've donated most of my un-used season tickets to them over the last three seasons, and they've gone to great use -- not just to underprivileged kids, but also to veterans home from Iraq. And it's so easy to donate using the on-line ticket system (My Nationals Tickets), and they're very good about sending receipts for tax reporting. Let's make 2008 a big year for MVK!

Posted by: NatsNut | January 17, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee, I just noticed this one at the top of the thread.

---

Bob L. Hen's Teeth

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

jayb, my gut doesn't tell me that they made no offers to jennings. the facts that they were on the list of people talking to him and that his contract is being coined as a "hometown discount" lead me to believe that any non-rangers team would have had to overpay to get him for a year. maybe the nats FO wasn't willing to overpay that much for a year.

Posted by: 231 | January 17, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I liked Hendo's phrase, "scarcer than hen's teeth ..."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 17, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls

Where is up here? What does Mpls stand for?

Posted by: 6th and D | January 17, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

He's in Minneapolis.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo, Selig just got re-upped

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 17, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

'Selig, who pushed for interleague play and wild cards in the postseason, predicted more change over the next five years.

'"By the time I leave, you won't recognize the sport," he said. '

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 17, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I found the Selig quote to be rather ominous.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Dark times, indeed. Revolution might be appropriate . . .

--------------------------------------
'Selig, who pushed for interleague play and wild cards in the postseason, predicted more change over the next five years.

'"By the time I leave, you won't recognize the sport," he said. '

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 17, 2008 04:46 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | January 17, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Yup.

-----

He's in Minneapolis.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 17, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I will admit that I like the wild card and I support interleague play.

These will be overshadowed by steroids. Maybe that's fair, maybe it's not.

(Maybe it's Fehr, and maybe it's not?)

-----

'Selig, who pushed for interleague play and wild cards in the postseason, predicted more change over the next five years.

'"By the time I leave, you won't recognize the sport," he said. '

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 17, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I grudgingly admit that I like the wild card but interleague play wreaks havoc with the equity of the schedule (and really isn't all that interesting to me). Maybe if it was just a weekend series of interleague play . . .

Posted by: lowcountry | January 17, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey there "NatsNut". This moniker is taken. (The below comment was not me).

______________

While we're talking about great programs that serve kids and introduce them to baseball (e.g., ImpActa Kids) let's not forget our own Most Valuable Kids. I've donated most of my un-used season tickets to them over the last three seasons, and they've gone to great use -- not just to underprivileged kids, but also to veterans home from Iraq. And it's so easy to donate using the on-line ticket system (My Nationals Tickets), and they're very good about sending receipts for tax reporting. Let's make 2008 a big year for MVK!

Posted by: NatsNut | January 17, 2008 12:24 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | January 17, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Not that your comment was a bad one. It's highly commendable, in fact.
;)

Posted by: NatsNut | January 17, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice to make your acquaintance, MetsPussycat. This is indeed a very nice blog.

Posted by: Section 109 (old Section 406) | January 17, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking, what if JimBo selected those two Rule 5 guys to spin off in a trade. We know Oakland is rebuilding. Could Whitney, Guzman and maybe some other person get us Blanton, a legit starter and workhorse?

I haven't heard of the teams who are gunning for him. But he seems like an excellent acquisition if all we wind up paying is 50,000 plus whoever else is in the package...

Posted by: NattyDelite! | January 17, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

NattyDelite-

I am pretty sure we could not trade the Rule 5 guys without offering them back first, and if they have trade value, the clubs we would offer them back to would not be interested in letting us keep them.

Posted by: One more month | January 17, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure, NattyDelite, about the specifics of the trade you're speaking of, but I agree that the principle is pretty much spot on.

For some reason, and the cynicals among us may tell me that I am as wrong on this as I tend to think jayB is (sorry, man, you're just the most recent "great plan Stan" comment on the NJ, nothing personal, promise), but I have to believe that JimBo is secretly working behind the scenes pretty diligently right now to spin this glut of extra pieces (see the 9 players for 5 spots analysis that was done a post or two ago) that we can't possibly fit onto our major league roster this season into either a much better major league player or a set of very promising high-AAA pieces primed to make a legitimate attempt at taking over major league roster spots in '09 (here's looking at you, middle infield).

Again, maybe that's just the part of me willing to give slightly to much credit to the front office. But because the lineup doesn't nearly add up by my math, I'm willing to bet that it doesn't add up by theirs, and a move or two is yet to be made.

Posted by: faNATic | January 17, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I think that the Cubs last year drafted Josh Hamilton, but then traded him to the Reds right away. Does anyone know for sure? Not that I'm doubting you One More Month (I can't wait either...), but we know that they have trade value per (I can't remember who's...)an excellent post about their ranking within the Top 10 of the Indians system.

I was under the impression that you could trade them so long as they stay on the Major League roster.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | January 17, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about the Cubs drafting Hamilton, but trading Rule 5 guys before offering back to the original team is done all the time. That's how Santana ended up in Minnesota. Minnesota did not draft him from Houston. The team acquiring the rule 5 guy must waive the guy through both leagues and then offer him back to the organization from whom he had been drafted before sending him down.

Having said that, don't forget that a team that wants to keep a rule 5 guy but send him down will sometimes work a trade with the original team. That was done with Minnesota last year (Speigner?). I don't think the Nats have a ton of excess for their 25 man. If it breaks down to two of four among Harris, Mackowiak, and the 2 rule 5 guys, then that isn't real abundance. If there is a trade, I could see D. Young moved to the AL as a DH if nick is healthy.

As for Blanton, forget about stealing him for anything less than one of our better advanced pitching prospects and a another arm as he is a big trading chip for Beane. Mets are supposed to be interested in him if they don't swing a Santana / Bedard deal.

Posted by: jon | January 17, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

what we really don't know about in the new park is the effect of the river/land temperature differential on the wind patterns. and that's gonna take the hitters a couple years or more to figure out. one of the joys of playing outdoors like the deities intended. as for selig, boswell had him pegged more than a decade ago when he used to refer to him as bud 'invertebrate' selig...

Posted by: natty bumppo | January 17, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of monikers (as NatsNut the First was) - nice, natty bumppo!

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I just thought of a good one for a woman - NATural woman (too bad I already have an established moniker).

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 17, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

According to C. Cordero in an interview by mlb.com on "under the lights show", he has had reports that the wind blows in from centerfield at the new park. Though when the construction is completed that could change. Seems to me that most of what might effect wind change as far as construction goes is already done. I'm sure as a pitcher he hopes that is true.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 17, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

You are right about Hamilton- I forgot about that. I guess the point about passing through major league waivers is what makes the difference; it is not a matter of sending the kid down.

With that cleared up, I have to admit that I can't evaluate the trade you suggested, NattyDelite. Whitney is in the Indians Top 10, someone wrote, but he wasn't protected. I don't know about Guzman's rank. If they are too young or not good enough to be protected, my first question would be about their trade value, but Oakland sure seems in a patient mood this off-season about how soon they contend.

It is definitely a creative idea, and exactly the kind of thing it is fun to bat around in the off-season. It also gets me thinking harder about who I would want to be pushed aside to keep these two guys on the roster if they do well in Spring Training.

Posted by: One more month | January 18, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Selig doesn't even have any backbone about retiring. He's promised he was done multiple times now.

I like the wild card and don't mind interleague play (primarily because of the money that it brings in), but I strongly dislike the way MLB has been run as a cut-throat business. You know it's bad when the NFL appears to have more respect for the "honorable history" of football.

You object, however, and insist that MLB is a business and therefore should be run by one. Ask the Supreme Court to answer that one for you, clearly and logically.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 18, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Nats re-signed Tim Redding to a one-year, $1 million deal. And Ray King has lost 25 lbs! See here:

http://proxy.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?name=20080128/MLB/RayKing

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 18, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

i hope the byline "trying to make the nationals this spring" is just a courtesy. he is definitely on the team in my book and shouldnt really have to prove anything - unless the mph is attributed to the bmi, then there might be some discrepancy.


Posted by: theraph | January 18, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I found most interesting the side comment, almost a throwaway, by Ray King ... "Sometimes you have to change the cover."

Really throws into perspective how much the media spotlight on players' personal lives and physiques has changed the name of the game. In modern sports like baseball and football, where metrics and measurables of every conceivable type are all the rage, from the time you're 14 (or younger now), you're judged by your BMI and your time in the 40 as much as you are on how well you play in a game situation.

In the neverending fan and front office quest for players with athletic "potential," it's fascinating to see how the mindset of the game as a business has transformed the players themselves. Regardless of how potent Ray King is or will be against left-handers, there are weight- and lifestyle-based perceptions that he has to fight because of his girth. Those perceptions are ones never really faced by the players of yore, at least as judged by the hard-living, eat-everything mentality of the Babe and many more. I'm not sure that at any point, any players of that ilk ever felt that they were compelled to "change the cover."

Posted by: faNATic | January 18, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Ask the Supreme Court to answer that one for you, clearly and logically.

Posted by: harrumph | January 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Bud: I didn't get a "harrumph" out of that guy.

Fehr: Give the commissioner a "harrumph."

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

FaNATic, welcome to our world.

Posted by: Women | January 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Good one, "women"!

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 18, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The one-weekend series might be enough, but I was thinking more on the lines of money, like 506(BM).

As far as schedule disparity, I think it's somewhat alleviated if interleague play is scheduled by division. That way, for example, the Nationals would face the same teams as the Braves, Marlins, and Mets (alphabetically).

Of course, that wouldn't take into account any discrepancy in home field advantage, which could be somewhat significant, I suppose.

Also, it doesn't take into account the "local rivalry" series. That is to say, if interleague division matchups rotated, yet the local rivalry was kept, in addition to the interleague division matchups, the Mets would still play the Yankees, while the Nationals would face the Orioles. And no, that's not fair at all.

I still think it's a good idea, even if it could benefit from some tweaking.

-----

I grudgingly admit that I like the wild card but interleague play wreaks havoc with the equity of the schedule (and really isn't all that interesting to me). Maybe if it was just a weekend series of interleague play . . .

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 18, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This is only true to an extent, I imagine. There could be a difference as the seasons change. In addition, further development in the area over the next few years may also impact the wind patterns in the stadium, so we could be looking at an evolving situation there.

-----

Seems to me that most of what might effect wind change as far as construction goes is already done. I'm sure as a pitcher he hopes that is true.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

That was pretty clever.

-----

unless the mph is attributed to the bmi, then there might be some discrepancy

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 18, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It was -- it went right over my head upon first reading.

---

That was pretty clever.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 18, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I've been away from NJ for a while, so sorry for going backwards a bit.

I like Barry and Manny Acta a lot, so it troubles me to write something critical of them, but ....

For those of you who would like to donate to a proven program that has a 7 year track record of building fields, teaching baseball, and promoting literacy in Consuelo, check out Beisbol y Libros on line. It is a program started by a DC hometown guy, John McCarthy. It not only provides children with teams to play on, fields, uniforms, and reading tutoring, it also provides jobs for the locals in Consuelo.

When I read Barry's article back in March it was beyond me how Manny did not know about it, and Barry did not discover it while visiting. It showed a lack of connection on Manny's part and a lack of thoroughness on Barry's.

I believe there is a link to the program on homerunbaseballcamp.org. Some of you may remember that I mentioned that I travel to the DR periodically. This charity is the reason. It's a great program. To be clear though, I am not its founder.

Posted by: #4 | January 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

On a Baseball Prospectus chat yesterday, I asked one of the authors of BP if she thought the Nats' pitching would be better or worse this year, given that they only obtained Tyler Clippard, but all the kids have one more year of experience. Her response was that she expected Tim Redding to be hit hard with a reality stick, but that the pitching would be better if they could just get 40 starts between John Patterson and Shawn Hill.

I would love for Patterson to have a healthy year, but I think it is more likely that Redding will have a good year than it is for Patterson to stay healthy. BTW, congratulations Tim Redding on your $1M contract.

Posted by: One more month | January 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

That actually brings up what I've been thinking about.

Last year, Nationals starters out of Spring Training were:

1. Patterson
2. Hill
3. Williams
4. Chico
5. Bergmann

Granted, Bergmann was a late insert to the rotation due to injury.

But, if you think about it, we're looking at nearly the same starters, excepting Williams, who is theoretically replaced by Redding.

Can we expect the Nationals to compete with 80% of the same rotation? I'm not convinced we can.

Of course, things could change. Chico could go to AAA, Patterson and/or Hill could be hurt, Clippard/Detwiler/Lannan/etc. may have a great spring. It's probably way to early in the calendar year to be bringing this up. Still, those five guys look to be the favorites at this point, right?

Is a possible increase in run production going to be enough when the rotation is largely unchanged?

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Now that Redding has signed for $1M, I wonder if that is a near guarantee that he makes the club. He had to prove himself in Spring Training last year, and completely tanked. I can see Lannan and Clippard perhaps starting at AAA, and I think Garrett Mock probably moves up to AAA, too. In the end, I see the rotation the same way you do (replace Williams with Redding), except that I am not at all convinced Patterson can pitch.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 18, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls,
Seriously? Those were our starters out of ST last year? The rotation went through so many overhauls, I had completely forgotten who came out of the gate.

You're right. It will be practically identical this year.

Very interesting observation.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 18, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, #4.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 18, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

BTW, that URL worked for me with a .com rather than a .org.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls...good points on the wind patterns and how they could change with further outside development and changing seasons. It's going to be interesting to watch how the pitchers adjust to all of this.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 18, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Section 109!

Posted by: MetsPussycat | January 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time to play "guess the opening day starting rotation." Winner receives a free commemorative Nationals metro card.

The candidates:

Patterson
Hill
Chico
Bergmann
Redding
Lannan
Hanrahan
Clippard
Detwiler
E. Gonzalez
Mock
Anybody I forgot

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 18, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Oops, natsfan1a. Thanks for the correction. I hope my earlier post didn't sound too sour grapesish. It's just that after seeing the abject poverty in Consuelo, I carry around some frustration. That town has produced a lot of big leaguers, Sammy Sosa, for instance, who have done very little for it in return. While many players supposedly hail from San Pedro de Marcoris, they actually grew up in this dusty little sugar cane factory town just outside San Pedro. Very few, if any, have ever given anything back. In fact before Manny's effort, the only real contribution made in Consuelo by anyone connected with MLB was done by former Mariner, Dave Valle, a gringo. He built a field and got another league started about three years ago. He fell in love with the DR when he played down there in the summer. BTW, this another effort that Manny and Barry missed.

To be fair MLB has supported BYL a little bit - $5 or $10K here and there - but it never ceases to amaze me when I'm down there how the dynamics of a 3rd world economic system coupled with a greedy cut throat industry like baseball leaves a lot of human carnage in its wake. I would love to see MLB take a more active role in investing in the social service infrastructure down there - schools, hospitals, etc - given how much they get out of the country. It would be good marketing, good PR, good business, and the right thing to do. Therefore, it will never happen.

Posted by: #4 | January 18, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I should add that one former big leaguer, Pepe Frias was instrumental in getting BYL started. However he was a utility infielder in the 70's without the deep pockets of some of these other players. He is a Consuelo native and starred for years on Las Estrellas, the San Pedro team in the DR winter league.

Posted by: #4 | January 18, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Here's my entry:

Hill
Chico
Bergmann
Lannan
Redding

Why? I can see Patterson pitching well early in Spring Training and then suffering some sort of twinge that requires further rest, extended Spring Training, possibly a few starts and then surgery. I'm hoping this isn't the case but I'm not banking on him. That, plus his middle name is "Hollis." Maybe if he started calling himself "Hollis Patterson" he'd be more durable. "Hollis Patterson" sounds like a guy who pitched 350 innings for the 1880 Worcester Ruby Legs. John needs a dose of Hollis.

I gave Lannan and Redding the nod over Hanrahan, Clippard and Detwiler; I'm not sold on Hanrahan and Lannan and Redding gives you the ability to go R-L-R-L-R in the rotation. So there you have it.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 18, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, no kidding. I remember the opening day rotation because I printed out Barry's preseason insert (the one where Bernie Castro's picture appeared instead of Kory Casto) and put it up in my cube. It was a great source of daily irony.

I kind of lost track of how many different starters we used after we hit 13, though. What a year.

-----

Seriously? Those were our starters out of ST last year? The rotation went through so many overhauls, I had completely forgotten who came out of the gate.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 18, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the RLRLR rationale, and I've wondered myself if this might help Lannan earn a spot.

There's a chance Chico will go to AAA, though. As durable as he was last season, I know there were many who thought he could use some seasoning. With a healthy Patterson and Hill, there's a shot we don't have any lefties in the rotation.

Which would make Ray King that much more valuable. Ditto, I think, for someone like Mike Bacsik, who could earn a job in the pen in such a condition.

Honestly, guess the pen is just as interesting a game at this point.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 18, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Late entry for post of the day...

-----

That, plus his middle name is "Hollis." Maybe if he started calling himself "Hollis Patterson" he'd be more durable. "Hollis Patterson" sounds like a guy who pitched 350 innings for the 1880 Worcester Ruby Legs. John needs a dose of Hollis.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Starting the Patterson's mom countdown...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate your concern and support for the cause, #4. It does sound as though it would make sense for the ImpActa Foundation to coordinate/cooperate with BYL. Perhaps Manny's effort and relatively high profile will help to shed more light on the continuing needs there. Speaking for myself, I've now got the information for both organizations in hand for charitable donation purposes.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 18, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Bob L - I'd add Balester to the mix if you are adding Detwiler, but I see them both stashed at Columbus until mid-May. hopefully, one of them busts the door in by then. Bowden mentioned Lannan as having a real shot. I'll take JP, Hill, Bergmann, Lannan, and Redding, with Chico and Shell as the long / middle guys in the pen.

I think most likely the April rotation will not look like the August rotation (again). If Redding pans out, then he's trade bait midseason. Also, if Chico shows he can get by as a lefty junk baller, that type always is useful to a rotation that is too right-handed. By August, I think two of Detwiler, Balester, and Mock will be up.

Posted by: jon | January 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll consider the Guess the Rotation to be long weekend homework, because I'm not going to be able to sort it out in my head right now.

But here's something else to ponder in the mean time:

What's your take on the over/under on starting pitchers used this year? Last year's number was 13. It'd be hard to have more than that, but, given the Nationals history - as well as the health issues surround the top two projected starters - it's entirely a possibility.

I say we're under, but still in double digits, so I'll arbitrarily set the 2008 over/under at 10. Place your bets?

In case you're curious, here's a chronological list of our starters last year:

Patterson
Hill
Chico
Bergmann
Williams
Simontacchi
Speigner
Bacsik
Bowie
Redding
Traber
Lannan
Hanrahan

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 18, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

#4, I'm not sure what the word is that I'm looking for that describes your opinion that you know more about Manny's home town than he does, but I am sure that it is not complimentary.

Did it occur to you at any point that perhaps Manny is aware of Beisbol y Libros and wanted to do something for his hometown outside of ByL's regimented "play by our rules and we'll let you play on our fields" schtick?

Posted by: joebleux | January 18, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Jon-

If Redding pans out, I think the Nats had better keep him. He is still arbitration eligible, and under our control. A starting pitcher that works out may not be someone to trade.

It must have been a long off-season, because for the life of me I don't know who "Shell" is. As for Chico, I really don't get the sense that they want him in the bullpen. It would be an amazing luxury to be at the point that we start shoving decent starters into the bullpen because we have too many.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 18, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Steve Shell - one time angels prospect (angels top 15 in 2005 & 06) - right handed starter signed as a minor league free agent by the nats end of november

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | January 18, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

FM Weeks,

When did Chico become a "decent starter"?

As a season ticket holder and a faithful MASN watcher did I miss something you saw or was he sent down to AAA on a staff that was starting Billy Traber last August?

Posted by: JayB | January 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

JayB-

Was it really necessary to make a good point?

Chico hasn't proven anything, but in the scheme of things, he is a year further in his development than the other young pitchers. It would be silly of me to talk about how his stats compared to others in the rotation last year. His main useful attribute was durability, and that really was the one thing we lacked from the pitchers that are supposed to be better than he is.

In response, though, I guess it would be worth thinking about how Lannan had a meteoric rise through the minors, and then a limited stay with the big club. While I hope he has a great year, I am not sure that his run last year proves he is major-league ready.

Yet another reason why I count down the days to Spring Training, when these things start to be hashed out. I don't believe in wishing away a single day of my life, so I am grateful that NJ Planet interjects baseball into the days before February.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 18, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I think your doubts about Lannan are unfounded. They only pulled him at the end of the season because, with his meteoric rise, had maxed out his innings pitched.

The kid struck out Barry Bonds in *that* series.

___________________
In response, though, I guess it would be worth thinking about how Lannan had a meteoric rise through the minors, and then a limited stay with the big club. While I hope he has a great year, I am not sure that his run last year proves he is major-league ready.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 18, 2008 06:45 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | January 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut-

I would be immensely pleased if you are right about Lannan, and if Chico wins JayB over. My expertise on these matters is built on watching, hoping, and reading what others say. That is to say, I am a devoted fan.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 18, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Aw, c'mon Joebleux you could probably think of some good word to describe it. Keep trying.

Seriously though, I suppose you make a good point. My criticism should have probably centered on Barry and not Manny. I guess it was the tone of the article that nothing's being done for kids in Consuelo that got to me. It's just not quite true.

I would close only by asking you as you asked me not to make judgements about things with which you don't have much knowledge. Your characterization of the BYL program is laughably wrong.

Posted by: #4 | January 18, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 18, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

even with the new post up, I've got to defend Chico a bit. He's not that far off league average for a starter. His 4.48 road ERA gives me some hope he can do the job (for some reason, worse at RFK). 160+ innings total, in 30+ starts. If you can take your turn and pitch league average, you have value, especially if you can turn things over to a quality bullpen. I'd love to have a starter who averages a quality start each time out and makes 30 starts. having said that, I think the JP, Hill, Bergmann and Lannan have higher potential, and I'd give Redding a shot perhaps before Chico. I'm just not as down on the starting options as JayB is, even if there is not a 2007 10 game winner among them.

Posted by: jon | January 18, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

#4, I'm not going drag this into the current blog entry, but I'll just point out that my laughably wrong characterization of ByL is pretty much taken directly from their website:

"The kids understand that in order to keep playing baseball with excellent coaching, on beautiful fields, they must do well in school."

Posted by: joebleux | January 18, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Morning Nats fans.... Do not believe everything printed in the Richmond papers. The reason the R-Braves are moving is that Gwinnett GA made the Braves a deal they couldn't refuse. The drainage problem was repaired last season when the entire playing surface was replaced. The work was done by people contracted by Atlanta.

As far as Richmond supporting AAA. Richmond is not unlike any other town. Having a winning team once every 10 years is not really helpful in boosting the attendance figures.

Richmond averaged just under 5000 per game last season. Not that far off from the Marlins. I still expect the Marlins to bolt to Las Vegas. They cannot do any worse than Miami.

In the mean time I am leaning towards the Curly W guys. The Braves have pretty much broken my heart here in Richmond.

Posted by: MrGil | January 19, 2008 5:57 AM | Report abuse

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