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Saturday, August 30, 2008


or are they?

That's just the way my little mind works. Always has. You could hand me $10 million with no strings attached and I'd look for the string.
Given the week I've had, I have tried to stay relentlessly upbeat and positive. The Nats' hot streak has helped a lot but questions keep popping into my mind. I'm sure it is just me being me.

*Winning is great but *** is it going to cost the Nats a chance at Stephen Strasburg? The only good thing about being terrible is the chance to add someone like that. So far, the Nats remain at the top of the heap. We need San Diego and Seattle to win more than the Nationals win. If the Nats can somehow not lose 100 (need 13 more wins) AND secure the top pick, I'd be about as happy as I can ever be short of a championship.

*Willie Harris and Ronnie Belliard have been quality but are they regulars next season when all is allegedly well (or better)? After such a long stretch as starters, will they accept their previous roles? Of course, it could be moot with Harris since he isn't signed. While sitting in the emergency vet's office last week, I chatted with a young guy who was also waiting. He'd recently moved to the area and was just getting familiar with the Nats. "Is that Ronnie Belliard at first?" he asked. Affirmative. "He's not a first baseman!" Welcome to our world my friend.

*I'm not finding much of a string with Joel Hanrahan. The Moneyball book talked about closers being the most overvalued and that any semi-decent big league reliever could rack up some saves if given enough chances. I'm sure that's true. Luis Ayala has three this week (though he tried to blow one last night). But with a 97 mph fastball and a solid slider, Hanrahan could indeed be a strong closer in time. I'm willing to give him the time. Who is the B closer for those nights when Hanrahan has thrown four innings in the previous two games? I like it that Manny is willing to go to Hanrahan in the eighth.

*Dukes' two home runs the other night were of the shake-your-head variety. As Chico the Writer said about one, all arms. Mind boggling. But we all know my worries with Dukes. Trying to get over that. Not having much success.

*Anyone know how much the Fort Worth team paid Crow to throw three times in the final week of the now-concluded season? He made three scoreless appearances. Couldn't he have returned to Missouri? Yeah, that has nothing to do with the rest of this but that's also the way my little mind works.

Eager to see who gets called up on Monday. Two spaces cleared on the 40-man, who gets them? I'm also putting my reporter hat back on briefly. Heard some interesting stuff this week but I'm trying to be a responsible blogger - though I may give up on that. Hell, it's just a blog. Stay tuned.


Hendo said...

How about Shell for a B closer?

That's a trick question, of course. For one thing, he's been getting these unaccountable inning-or-less outings here and there, which together with the frequent calls on Hanrahan could find both of them unavailable on some nights (like, say, this weekend).

For another, if Shell is the real deal -- not a foregone conclusion, but I'm hoping -- I'd rather get an inning or so out of him anytime things are sticky after the fifth inning, than save him for the eighth or ninth.

If the Nats can suppress the LaRussian urge to march out the Parade Of Relievers every night, they might actually find out they have a decent bullpen -- and might even be able to shed a bullpen spot for a position player.

BTW, remember when starters used to work an inning now and then on their throw days? It wasn't that long ago -- Pettitte did it a couple times as recently as last season IIRC.

Sam said...

Comn Jesus -- big chance to bust the slump here . . .

Sam said...


George Templeton said...

Five wins in a row and another comeback and another walk-off win! Lets worry about Strasburg later, besides are we sure we want to see the Lerners/Kasten/New GM deal with the Prince of Darkness after the Crow mess last year.