Author Archive

Nyjer Morgan Needs To Go

That guy is just out of control. First the cheap shot on Bryan Anderson, then he throws a ball at a fan, then he takes out another catcher, tells another fan to “shut up fat b****,” then steals second and third down 11 runs, then charges the mound and jaws with the fans again on the way off the field.

Seriously, this guy is totally out of control. He shouldn’t be playing baseball, and honestly the guy probably needs to be in therapy. He definitely shouldn’t play the rest of the year for the Nationals.

By the way, remember the Nationals traded “bad apple” Lastings Milledge for Morgan. I don’t remember Milledge ever doing anything remotely similar to this. Or Elijah Dukes for that matter.

Also, this really reflects badly on Jim Riggleman. He’s the guy who let this situation get out of control, and it doesn’t help him that his third base coach Pat Listach jumped right in the middle of the bench-clearing brawl and had to be pulled out by a player. Looked like John McLaren was right in there too.

Oh, and in all this craziness, let’s not forget that Scott Olsen raised his ERA to 5.88. Can anyone explain why he’s still here?

Now Riggleman orders Doug Slaten to hit Gaby Sanchez with a pitch, warming up Drew Storen to replace Doug Slaten just in case it wasn’t totally clear what was going on. This is not the way to help the young guys transition to the bigs.

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You Chicken &%#@!: Rob Dibble Hides in the Face of Criticism

Remember the last time a loud-mouth, no-talent jackass from Cincinnati decided to make scarce from this franchise?

When Dibble “resigns” do you think he’ll blame the media? Either way, Zuckerman might have to update that list of the best days in franchise history.


Nats Announcer Dibble Requested Time Off


Washington Nationals announcer Rob Dibble will take some time off two days after making comments critical of rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

MASN spokesman Todd Webster said Dibble would not work Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs and is ”taking a few days off.” Webster said Dibble requested the time off, but did not say whether the absence was related to the comments about Strasburg.

Dibble on Monday lashed out at the young pitcher, who has been placed on the disabled list twice in the last month. Dibble said on Sirius XM Radio that ”You can’t have the cavalry come in and save your butt every time you feel a little stiff shoulder, sore elbow.”

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What Brings Washington Nationals Fans Together?

When you’re a fan of a team that never wins and has no real chance of winning, it’s hard to get really excited.

There’s no real point in hoping for a winner, so there are other things you have to get riled up about.

And it’s doubly hard as a fan base to find things other than wins to really be passionate about as a united group.

Everyone has their own opinions about what the team should do and what brand of beer they should sell at the park, but from time to time, we as Nationals fans have been able to come together passionately around certain causes: firing Jim Bowden, loving Ryan Zimmerman, spoiling the Mets, hating the Phillies, Clint.

Now, we have another: Rob Dibble. Dibble has been a polarizing figure for a long time. Some love him, some hate him.

Charitably, I’d say he’s a big personality and inspires strong opinions. That’s not a bad thing.

But now that Dibble has put himself squarely on the side of hating Stephen Strasburg—he started by bad-mouthing him last summer during his contract negotiation and amped it way up this week by criticizing his toughness—I predict that Dibble will be the next cause for celebration to bring Nationals fans together.

You didn’t hear it here first, and this won’t be the last, but for the love of god, Stan Kasten: fire Dibble.

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MLB: Washington Nationals Break Their Own Record for Draft Bonuses


We won’t have bonus information for all 50 rounds for a while, but we do know that the Nationals spent enough yesterday to break their own record for the most money ever spent on bonuses in a single draft.

Last year, in a draft headlined by Stephen Strasburg, the team spent $10,869,500 on bonuses. This year, we know they’ve already spent at least $11,178,200 (this doesn’t count the full value of the major league contracts given to Harper or Strasburg–just bonuses).

Here’s the run down of where the money went:

Rd Name Bonus
1 Bryce Harper $6,250,000
2 Sammy Solis $1,000,000
3 Rick Hague $430,200
4 A.J. Cole $2,000,000
5 Jason Martinson $174,000
6 Cole Leonida $125,000
7 Kevin Keyes $125,000
8 Matt Grace $125,000
9 Aaron Barrett $35,000
10 Blake Kelso $115,000
12 Robbie Ray $799,000
Total $11,178,200

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A.J. Cole: Nationals Sign High School Pitcher Against the Odds

The Nationals just signed fourth round pick A.J. Cole, who was not only the least likely top ten pick in their own draft to sign, but one of the least likely picks to sign in the whole 2010 draft.

Cole, a 6’5″ right-hander, is a high school pitcher with first-round ability. He slid in the draft after showing some inconsistency and making a commitment to the University of Miami. Guys like this have a lot of incentive to go to school and improve their stock, so the Nationals probably weren’t going to get him without paying him first-round money.

That they did, setting a fourth round record by signing Cole for $2 million. The MLB recommendation for that pick was $258,300.

The team also announced the above-slot signing of Sammy Solis. This is less of a surprise, but also good news. Solis is a left-handed college pitcher who signed for $1 million.

With Bryce Harper still to sign, these deals mean that the Nationals are very likely to be the highest-spending team in the draft for the second year in a row.

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Adam Dunn Placed On Waivers By Washington Nationals

Buster Olney tweets that Adam Dunn has been placed on revocable waivers. He also says that Dunn won’t clear waivers because numerous NL teams plan to put claims on him, and if any team does claim him, the Nationals can pull him back.

As folks probably know by now, the significance of this is that if he clears waivers, he can be traded. Saturday’s trade deadline was the “non-waiver” deadline, and any player can still be traded if he passes waivers first at any time this season. Also, any player not on a 40-man roster can be traded, so any minor league prospects the Nationals wanted back for Dunn could still come over.

So basically this means the Nationals are doing their due diligence to be able to trade Dunn, in the event that they get an offer they like. And it doesn’t really even imply that the Nationals want to trade him, since players get put out on waivers so often. Jim Bowden used to try to send Ken Griffey through waivers every year, even in his prime.

The one thing about this that’s somewhat notable, if it’s true (and it might not be, since teams don’t have to report waiver moves), is that it means Dunn wasn’t sent through waivers earlier in the season. If I understand the rules right (and I might not—if anyone knows for sure, I know you’ll tell me in the comments), a player can be traded if he’d passed through waivers at any time in the season. And since they would have presumably had an easier time getting him through waivers earlier in the season, they may have foreclosed some options to make themselves better.

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Bring Chad Cordero Back to the Washington Nationals!

One-time Nationals All-Star closer Chad Cordero has refused a minor league assignment with the Seattle Mariners and opted for free agency.

Cordero is working back from a torn labrum which can be almost entirely blamed on the Nationals training staff, who allowed him to pitch through shoulder tendinitis, then a torn lat, which finally led to the torn labrum—once considered a death sentence for pitchers.

Fans may also remember how former General Manager Jim Bowden unceremoniously announced live on sports talk radio that he would non-tender Cordero—before informing Cordero or his agent.

He is now 28 years old (that’s less than a year older than J.D. Martin). He appeared in nine games for the Mariners and allowed seven earned runs in 9.2 innings pitched.

That’s not great, but he struck out six, showing that he could still compete. Earlier this season at Triple-A Tacoma, he struck out 22 in 19.2 innings and had a 4.12 ERA.

His velocity is down, but he never had much to begin with. This season, his average fastball was right about 88 mph during his time in Seattle; compared to the absurdly slow 83 mph we saw back in 2008 when he last threw for the Nationals.

It seems clear that Cordero will pitch on any team that gives him a shot in the majors.

Why shouldn’t it be Washington?

As long as he doesn’t totally implode, he’ll be a fan favorite.

Pretty soon Tyler Clippard’s arm will fall off.  Would you really rather watch Joel Peralta?

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MLB Trade Deadline: What to Do with Adam Dunn

Give Adam Dunn credit—he’s done everything possible over the past year and a half to increase his marketability as a trade chip. He’s a truly marketable player who could help the Nationals and a lot of other teams too.

He’s established a reputation as a not-totally-unacceptable defensive first baseman. His batting average has actually gone up at an age you expect to see declines (though that’s probably a function of luck, given that his strikeout rate and BABIP are both up by significant margins). And, of course, he’s continued to slug with the best of them. After last night’s HR hat-trick, Dunn’s at 20 for the year. He’s at 2.2 wins above replacement, putting him on track for the second most valuable season of his career.

Still, with the Nationals looking like they’ll struggle to get to 70 wins again this year, and Dunn a free agent, the conventional wisdom is that he’s the most obvious trade chip in baseball not named Cliff Lee.

You’ll be shocked to learn that I disagree with Boz, who argues that the Nationals should not trade Dunn, period. Dunn is valuable property, and the best option might be to re-sign him. But the free agent market for first basemen this winter is going to include Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Carlos Pena, Troy Glaus, Derrek Lee, and Paul Konerko. Guys like Adam LaRoche and Lance Berkman could be out there too, depending on what happens with options.

Dunn sat on the free agent market untill Feb. 11 in 2009. He could easily sit out there that long again, and if the Nationals want to bring him back they’d likely have a chance to do it whether they trade him now or not. In addition, they’ll likely get him for cheaper if they let him test the market than if they re-sign him now.

On the other hand, aging rentals just haven’t brought back the kinds of blue-chip prospects that they used to in recent years. Good young players are highly prized because they’re cheap, so it’s harder than ever to flip current value for equal future value.

As a fan, the thing to root for in 2011 isn’t Dunn. It’s Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder. They’re clearly the best players available. If they don’t get either of those guys, then re-signing Dunn isn’t the worst outcome imaginable, but to openly campaign to re-sign Dunn when younger, better players are available seems like a strange thing to do.

In the near term, clearly you don’t want them to give Dunn away for a package of C-level prospects, which might be the best offer they get. Again, the market for Dunn never really materialized after 2008, and he’s only two years older now.

So what they need is a team that thinks Dunn is the key to a championship and will make the Nationals an offer they can’t refuse. That’s why the best news of all might be the rumors that Kenny Williams might be interested. No GM in baseball is more aggressive about going for it every year.  This is the guy who grabbed Alex Rios and a contract no one wanted, and traded for Jake Peavy while he was on the DL in hopes that he’d come to Chicago, heal up, and make them a champion.

Ken Rosenthal says the Nationals are asking for Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin. Those would be great deals for Washington, but don’t expect Chicago to go for either of those offers. Then again, the Sox have an impressive farm system of big league-ready prospects like Tyler Flowers, Dan Hudson, and Jordan Danks. If Williams is as hot on Dunn as the rumors say, a very favorable deal for the Nationals might happen.

So, in the meantime, here’s what fans should do: 1. ignore Boz, 2. root for the White Sox to win, and 3. keep your powder dry and wait for things to play out before deciding whether or not they booted this chance.

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How Dmitri Is Spending the Lerners’ $10 million

I guess now we know why he couldn’t stop eating. Rim-shot! From the Bloomington Pantagraph :


Ex-Cardinal Dmitri Young jailed in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON — Former major league baseball player Dmitri Young was arrested by McLean County Sheriff’s Department police early Monday on preliminary charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

Young posted $100 bond and was released from McLean County Jail later Monday. Officials at the jail said he had no court date scheduled.

Young, 36, who listed a Fort Lauderale, Fla., address, played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals.

Young, whose last major league action was with the Nationals in 2008, is currently a bench coach with the Oakland County Cruisers of the Frontier League.

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All-Star Idiocy

The selection of mediocre ninth-inning reliever Matt Capps to the All-Star Game neatly sums up all the major reasons I get annoyed with the whole thing.

First, I really try not to care that much. After all, it’s such an obviously flawed process that it seems kinda pointless to fret over each individual misjudgment. Besides, it’s just an exhibition. Oh, wait, it’s not just an exhibition anymore, is it? Since the All-Star Game determines home field in the World Series, now I’m compelled to care.

My top pet peeve with ASG selections is the bizarre standards, by which the second halves of seasons never, ever seem to matter. If a player has a hot first half, he’s an all star, even if everyone knows that he’s performing way over his head and will crater any day.

Then again, a player can be one of the very best players at his position, but if he happens to have a couple bad Aprils, he might never go to the All Star Game at all.

Matt Capps is a classic example of this silliness. Sure, you could argue I suppose that his saves total justifies an All-Star Game appearance (I wouldn’t, but we’ll get to that in a minute). But does his mostly terrible track record prior to the last three months really count for nothing?

Shouldn’t the All-Star Game feature the best players in the game? And don’t you have to look at more of a player’s body of work to identify who those best players are?

I also get annoyed with the way the All-Star Game overvalues closers. Each year it seems like the ASG rosters are filled with about eight good starters, maybe 1-2 really dominant ace relievers, and then 3-4 really pretty lousy pitchers who happen to be used in the ninth inning by their managers.

The last thing that really annoys me about the All-Star Game is the requirement that every team gets one player selected to the team. If a team is so bad that no player is deserving, then none should go, period. It would be an embarrassment to the team, pushing them to do more to get better.

In the Nationals’ case, they had legitimate All-Stars. Ryan Zimmerman would have been my choice. But since Capps chosen–and it’s really hard to imagine that Capps would be counted among the top closers in the game–it’s fair to assume that if not for this rule, the Nationals might have no All-Stars at all.

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