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Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I didn't watch the postgame last night for the first time in ages. I was fed up, so I just rolled on over and went to sleep. I resisted the temptation to go to Google and see if "Listach" meant "gutless" in some obscure language. I had nightmares of Justin Maxwell standing on third base and laughing. HA HA HA! I could have SCORED! TWICE!

But I'm feeling much better now after rising, sipping some coffee and checking out the news.

Daniel Cabrera is gone! My chest pains went away almost immediately.

I'm really not the type of low-level s.o.b. who takes joy in someone else's struggles. I wish DC no ill will. Heck, he has 2.8 million reasons to be consoled. He's still cashing his check. I guess they had to D.F.A. him instead of releasing him for contractual reasons - maybe they get out of paying him if he refuses the minors? Whatever, he's off the 25-man and that's a good thing.

More moves should be coming this week and it should be simple. So, too, should the lineup for the foreseeable future. What do I know? About nothing. But when you're 13-32, you're not in position to turn your nose up at anyone who has a suggestion. 13-32. Cripes. There's the chest pains again.

*Flores>Bard (Montz). A real no-brainer. And the next time one of them gets hurt, just go get Montz. I still don't get the attraction of Josh Bard.

*Dukes>Maxwell. Needs a steady stream of at bats and won't get it in Washington.

*Olsen>TBD (Wells/Tavarez/the possibilities are endless). To the pen, please, to be used as a starter on an emergency basis only. Unlike Cabrera, I think there is an upside to Olsen though I'm less sure of that than I was before the season.

That leaves a bullpen of Hanrahan (bring the heat), Beimel, Villone (I hear the Mirage is his favorite place in Vegas), Bergmann, Olsen, Tavarez (or Wells) and Colome. I'm willing to sacrifice Colome to give Clippard a look. Actually, I'm willing to sacrifice all but Hanrahan and Beimel to give others a look.

The rotation is set. Please do not mess with it, unless there's an injury or some doubleheader situation. Let 'em roll, let 'em learn. Mr. Lannan and the Rookies, like some obscure 50s rock band.

Daily lineup: Guzman, 6; Johnson, 3; Zimmerman, 5; Dunn, 9; Dukes, 8; Willingham, 7; Flores, 2; Hernandez, 4; Pitcher. DO NOT VARY except for the night-day catcher thing and a start once in a while for Harris or Belliard. Get it through your heads that for all his defensive skills and great arm, Austin Kearns is not going to hit on a consistent basis. He's a nice fourth outfielder. He'll probably go somewhere next year and blossom into the all-around stud Washington has been waiting for, but it is not going to happen here.

If Johnson is traded, I'll be happy to adjust the lineup for you. I'd probably move Dunn to first, bring up Maxwell and leave Kearns as the fourth outfielder.

Oh yeah, one other thing: SEND HIM. Unless it is Josh Bard, but he's not around anymore.


Ryan said...

So you think Maxwell should have been sent?

But with Kearns...I'm starting to come around a little on him. Willingham hasn't done much more than Kearns at the plate, and Kearns is a MUCH better defensive player. Kid's got a rocket arm.

That said, it would be a tough choice for me. Gotta give it another few weeks maybe. Not like it's going to make a huge difference either way.

MikeHarris said...

You must be new here. Some of us have been waiting for Kearns for years.
Willingham has twice as many home runs in 10 fewer at bats. His numbers seem to be rising with some semi-regular playing time.

Ryan said...

Come on, Mike. You're better than this. Willingham has twice as many HRs as Kearns, but it's SIX. It's not like Willingham has 24 and Kearns has 12. Not much difference between 6 and 3.

So if you're going to go there, I'll counter with this: Kearns has 6 more RBIs than Willingham and three more runs scored.

Both have similar batting averages and OBP.

The point is, both are putting up similar numbers at the plate RIGHT NOW. I don't care about what Kearns did or didn't do last year or the year before. I care about how he's playing NOW.

And NOW, he's MUCH better in the field.

MikeHarris said...

Last month or so - Willingham on the UPswing
Last month or so - Kearns on a slide.

You'll just have to take my word. We've seen it before. There are reasons to believe Willingham will hit better with regular playing time. There is tangible proof that Kearns won't.

Ryan said...

Oh, I'm not saying Willingham can't become a better hitter, but right now, I just ain't seeing it.

Like I said, I'd give it a few more weeks before I'd make a call either way.

FYI, last 20 (or 21) ABs...

Willingham 5-21, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Kearns 4-20, 0 HR, 0 RBI.

Too close to call right now.

Mike Bowers said...

Possible Nats steroid scandle:

Sec314 said...

Speaking of moves, I'm ready for the Ronnie Belliard era to end. He's not "The Future" and he's no longer a long ball or even a small ball threat. The AG may not be "The Future" either, but he's got to have more upside potential than Belliard. Bring Gonzalez back up and let him be the reserve 2B.

Groundskeeper Willie said...

Absolutely should've been sent. He was hauling.

And Willingham is better than Kearns. Better future. Better attitude. Better player.

Wil Nieves said...

What if Villone is named in the steroids scandal? Will your appreciation of him change?

Mike Bowers said...

@Wil Nieves... Probably not. For some reason pitchers using steroids strikes me as less of a benefit to them. Although I admit I am not very knowledgeable on the subject. It just seems to me that for pitchers, mechanics is far more important than strength. I would imagine a pitcher bulking way up with muscle could actually hurt his pitching. Again, just a thought in my head, I have no real basis to know.

MikeHarris said...

From most recent Nationals Journal about Nats (current and former) involved somehow with PEDs:

Ron Villone: current Nats reliever. Was named in the Mitchell Report, which said he bought kits of human growth hormone from Kirk Radomski.

He's been better than I thought but that 0.00 is fool's gold. The rain came just before Ryan Howard was going to hit a slam off him. He gave up that massive triple to Huff the other night, costing Tavarez a run. He's about as long-term an answer as I am.
And I'm not on drugs.

An Briosca Mor said...

"And I'm not on drugs."

My God, why not? You're self-employed, aren't you? Surely your employer doesn't make you pee in a cup like mine and everyone else's does?

BTW, my verification word right now is 'rebra'. Is that (a) what you do sometime after you de-bra, (b) what Ms. McIntyre's jersey would say if she bought it from Majestic, (c) what you get when you clone a zebra, or (d) all of the above?

DMan said...

Don't forget the original medicinal uses for steroid drugs. They are anti-inflamatories that can aid a pitcher by doing what they were intended to do - reduce swelling and promote healing.
The benefit, especially for relievers, is it can prolong the number of consecutive days they can pitch before having to rest, and accellerate the rejuvenation of thier arms so they can get back out there faster. Muscle growth was a side effect which, once observed, led to the development of illicit steriods specifically targeted to promote strength.

PS - Kearns has struggled to bat within 50 points of his career average in Cincy before coming here. Can't deny he is a fine fielder, but he was a band box wonder. Same pretty much for every ex-Red who's run through here except for Dunn.

PSS - My verification word right now is "cusse". Were getting a lot of practice watching the Nats this year!

Mike Bowers said...

@Wil... Just saw you throw that guy out at second. Nice play. Hope it wasn't the steroids. Just joking, in all seriousness I am a fan.

Wil Nieves said...

Thanks, I do what I can (but I don't do steroids). If only they had let my Sheffield tag stand...

Deacon Drake said...

@Wil... Somebody has to sit down with J. Zimm and get him right before games. He's lights out once he gets going, but tends to struggle in the first inning every time out.

Thought you were going yard to tie the game Monday night... so close.