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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take that, Mets

I'm easy, I admit. It really doesn't take much to make me happy, though I understand it often sounds just the opposite.

One of my great thrills? Any victory over the Mets. Funny thing is, I don't really dislike the Mets at all. Some of my best friends are Mets fans, however, and they couldn't be more obnoxious. Two years ago, when the Mets did that severe gag and lost five of six to the Nats late, I smiled all winter.

Both teams are in Nowhereville this year but I loved that ending today just the same.

While Maxwell was batting, I was explaining to My Son the Braves Fan how Max fits in the Nats Grand Order of Things. It wasn't a great answer because I don't really know. If Willingham/Morgan/Dukes is the outfield next year, is he the fourth? Is he trade bait? Do you trade one of them (please not Morgan) and create a slot?

My son immediately started up with our trade game again. He wasn't offering much until that ball left the park. Then he said, "Prado for Maxwell."

Done. Right now. I'd take that one.

We had fun watching the game today and I'll spend the rest of the night grinning and giggling like a schoolgirl. My wife will think I'm drunk when she gets home. Heck, by the time she does, I may be.

I will tip one in your honor Mr. Maxwell. As my son said, "For a l00-loss team, they sure do put together some moments."

A funny moment in the postgame interviews: Dukes saying the "younger guys" came through today, one of them being Maxwell. Dukes is eight months younger than Maxwell.

Two to go

and I'm getting nervous. Right now, I'd bet my ranch that Adam Dunn doesn't get to 40 home runs this season.
Has he had a hit since his last home run?
Five games left. I don't even care about wins and losses now and the Braves series might not end up meaning as much to the Braves before it starts. The Harper Cup is secure.
So there's two things I'd like to see: Lannan get his 10th victory and Dunn get his 39th and 40th home runs.
We'll know soon enough on Lannan. I'd like to be at the final home game but have some actual work to do (I hate when that gets in the way). So my final tally is 33 games witnessed, 10 victories and 23 losses.
I'll have to go back and look to see how many of Dunn's home runs I've seen. Off the top of my head, there was the monster he hit off Joel Piniero the day Shairon Martis threw a complete game (remember that guy, won a few games early and then disappeared?). I saw a ridiculous shot in Baltimore and then No. 300 off Tommy Hanson.
I'm sure there were more in there. Those jump out.
Two more.
TWO. Probably 20 at bats.
Can it be done?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is it hockey season yet?

I moved to Richmond in 1974 to go to college and have lived in that area all my professional life. I'm 53 now and that was 35 years ago so I've lived the vast majority of my life outside the Washington area.

Yet whenever anybody asks where I'm from, I always say, "D.C."

Might change that now. Why, I'm from Richmond. A lifelong Richmonder, in fact. Never lived anywhere else.


My eyes switch to the other TV just in time to see the Nats give up three in the top of the 10th. This after watching Willingham and Dukes look at strike three with runners on. Great pitches. Easy calls. Swing the damn bat.

Ah, yes, it is a great day to be from RICHMOND.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hey Honey!

My father-in-law had a simple answer for my son when asked how he kept all his women straight. He didn't try to remember their names. He just called all of them honey.

Perhaps ought to take the same approach with season-ticket holders.

Anyone else named Shawn out there?

For those not on those magical mailing lists, the Nats sent out an e-mail to us lucky fools who repeatedly give up their hard-earned cash to watch 100-loss teams. We can renew, we can get points, we can get upgrades. The usual "please come back" blather.

I read it without thinking too much about it. Still have no idea if I'll renew any of my tickets, let alone all four.

Then came the apology e-mail. Oops. It's's fault. We had the wrong name on there. You are not Shawn. You are Mike.

Yeah, I knew that much. I never even noticed the "Shawn" thing until they pointed it out. So I went back and looked. Sure enough, they called me Shawn. That's the thanks I get for the 1,000s of bucks I spent seeing nine victories in 30-some appearances? Shawn? I look like a Shawn to you?

I'm so offended I just can't stand it. Good thing one of my favorite people in the world is named Shawn, else I'd be really steamed.

OK, so I'm kidding a little. You can call me Bob, Fred, Bill, George or Diane if you'd just stop losing 100 games every year and stop closing the Slice Down the Lines on the upper concourse. You can call me Jackass, Bubblebutt, Tubby, Baldie or Stinky if you'd somehow manage to put a better product on the field.

Those computer programs that personalize everything are cool, aren't they? Until they don't work. But let's draw attention to our flies being down by sending out another e-mail that says, "Hey, our fly is down."

Call us all Shawn. I can't imagine too many people really care. Just stop losing all the time. That'll go a longer way toward getting me to renew than remembering I'm actually Mike.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bard and Dukes

Since they combined for the play of the game highlight reel moment, non-Zimmerman home run variety, I figure it is an appropriate time to write about them.

I've been critical about Bard on the defensive side, not without reason. But he made two very nice plays last night. The tag after that throw from Dukes was well executed. Yeah, it's nothing special. A catcher ought to be able to do that. We've seen it not done before. The real gem, though, came in the ninth as the Nats tried to blow it in their rush to get to 100. He stretched hisself as far as he could to catch that horrible throw from Guzman. And unless MASN is somehow doctoring the replays, dude was out. X-mo is pretty interesting. Dude was out.

The umps also missed one on the sliding catch by Dukes earlier in the game. Umps need X-mo!

Here's my thing about Dukes - it appears the decision to send him out earlier this year actually worked. I have nothing really to back this up but a feeling. I sense he's a little bit of a different guy, on and off the field. He's playing better. He seems to be carrying himself better. Maybe the decision to get rid of his baby-sitter helped, too. Treat him like more of an adult and maybe, just maybe, he'll act like one?

I have no real idea if any of the above is correct. I could be talking about my can as usual. I do know at the time he was sent out, I was somewhat convinced we'd never see him again and I wasn't too worried about that. Now I'm back to kind of liking the idea of him being in right for a while. Unless, of course, future Hall of Famer Ian Desmond beats him out.

One more thing before I go. Thanks to "Wil Nieves" for pointing this out in the comments on my previous entry. Orlando Hudson said reports of him failing a physical for the Nats are wrong. He never took one. Didn't take one for the Dodgers either. I'd take him in D.C. next season.

OK, one more thing: Jordan Zimmermann is going to finish as this team's strikeout leader. He hasn't pitched in ages.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two to go

Last night was another BlackBerry game. I was in airports and on airplanes. I saw quick glances of 2-1 Nats, 4-2 Dodgers and then 14-2 Dodgers. I wanted to ask for a refund on the BlackBerry.

Ah, but the one detail I got was good news - No. 38 for Dunn. I have not checked for other details and it is probably better if I don't.

I have become obsessed with this streak and I'm really going to be disappointed if he doesn't get to 40. That's pretty much all I care about now and, watching the team in recent days when I've been able, I suspect that means I care about more than some who are wearing the uniform.

I look back at my earlier post where I predicted a 77-win season and wonder what I was drinking. I suspect if the Nats did a Disappointed as Hell Night and gave away tickets to those who qualified, they'd fill the joint easily. Mr. Rizzo has some serious work to do in the offseason. I'm sure I'm not the only fan sitting here wondering, "Do I want to keep making the kind of investment I'm making in this team, financially and otherwise?" Not sure yet I want to put $1,800 or so into my partial ticket plan and who knows what on gas, food and other costs. I've been loyal and faithful, though a bit grumbly here and there, for five years now.

I'm well within my rights to expect better at this stage.

Strasburg gives me hope. That's done. The Nats will end up winning the Harper Cup easily so the team can break is own signing record next season.

What 40 HRs for Adam Dunn will do is make me happy about something on field this season - two more, let's get it done. Oh, I'd be happy with an extension for him, too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Starting in CF today - Josh Bard?

I mean, why not? Let's see who can do what? Maybe what's his name the new guy can catch one and, since Bard has been hot lately, his bat has to be in the lineup, right? So let's put him in CF and see if that's a place he can help in the future.

Or not. Maybe it is a better idea to let catcher's catch, pitcher's pitch, infielder's play infield and all that.

I'm on the record here as being a big fan of young Mr. Desmond. I'll be able to tell my grandchildren I was there when he hit his first one out (and sailed his first throw in true Nats fashion).

But right field? Because you want Pete Orr in the lineup? C'mon. So put Pete Orr in the lineup and play the right fielder in right field. Or put Desmond at short - it is his position after all - and Orr at second and the right fielder in right field.

Here's a thought if you want to experiment: Guzman at 2B. If you're seriously thinking about trying that next season, why not try it for a game or two? I can't think there's any serious thought of moving Desmond to the outfield. Playing him out there makes less than zero sense.

But I'm being negative and I'm going to get with the program. Here's my suggestion on today's lineup:

Bard, 8 - hey, the CF always leads off. Morgan, Harris, Bard
Guzman, 4 - Yes, second base
Zimmerman, 9 - let's give HIM a shot out there and see what he can do
Dunn, 5 - well, you need his bat in the lineup and it's time to see if Desmond can play first
Willingham, 2 - wasn't there some talk of him doing this like in high school?
Desmond, 3 - He did it once in Little League
Dukes, 6 - he has a great arm
Orr, 7 - need that bat in the lineup
Burke, 1 - and you think they got him to be a catcher. Ha!

You know, it's not like they've been gold gloving it out there all year. Neither team is in the playoff hunt. So give it a whirl. It just may work.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Modern commerce and gold gloves

My son found a pair of shoes he liked at one day so he went through the checkout process, put in his info, found out shipping was free. He sat back and waited - but not long. The shoes were on the porch the next day!

I pay a little extra to Amazon to get my books in two days but they always deliver in one.

You don't have to wait for anything these days. Even catchers.

I'd love to find the Web site Mike Rizzo went to last night as he watched Wil Nieves hobble past first base. Were there pictures? A drop-down menu? Check boxes? You put "catcher" in the search window and see what comes up?

Catcher/cheap/old/desperate = CLICK - and up comes Jamie Burke. Wonder if shipping was free? They're getting him to New York tonight.

Perhaps they can just get Schneider from the Mets now and begin his reunion tour early?

What happened to Luke Montz that he fell from grace so quickly? Anyone know?

As for Gold Gloves, only 35 people voted in the current poll. So much for hitting 100 - shockingly, 32 think Ryan Zimmerman should win. I'm curious to hear from the three who voted no. I can understand arguments either way. I voted yes for a simple reason. I'm a FanboyLooser.

New poll coming later today when I think of a good question.

(and if this Web site can deliver catchers so fast, why can't it find some relievers? Maybe it only deals in retreads. Off to check and see what's out there. Probably have to have some kind of GM code to get in).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

At least Livan stays in the game

This baserunning stuff is
the wall.

What are they doing out there? This is not high level stuff here. It is baserunning at its most basic.

What the ???

This Flores news was simply a wonderful thing to wake up to this morning. Cripes a-moly. I listened last night on XM so I had the Phillies broadcast and it wasn't mentioned.

When did he tear the thing? He hasn't been throwing lately, has he? Can you tear it swinging the bat? Was it there all along and just missed?

Is it just me or does it seem like every medical situation with this team turn into the Keystone Cops?

Time to go scan the free agent catchers list. Your 2010 Opening Day catcher for the Nats - Brian Schneider! Can they take Harper early? Luke Montz, come on do *** oh, wait, he had such a fine season they took him off the 40-man. Doesn't mean he can't go back on but I don't see Montz as the guy.

This day had such promise, too. In a season of many lows, the whole Flores situation ranks right up there at the top.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do we have our answer yet?

No XM on the way home last night, so I couldn't listen. Sounds like a good thing. I did go take a look at the box score and I wonder in general what the Nationals are doing with the following three pitchers. Garate may have been a good pickup but he's clearly not ready for the big leagues. Segovia actually lowered that ERA by getting some people out.

The Kensing thing is what continues to blow my mind. The number in bold is home runs. Two more. He must have the biggest gopher in baseball. That thing would win Best in Show at the annual Westminster Gopher Club competition every year.

I'm OK with trying new things in September so the Garate and Segovia issues don't drive me too crazy. But this deal with Kensing is not new. We've seen it before, in each of his two previous chances.

Kensing 1.0 3 3 3 0 0 2 11.06
Garate 1.0 1 2 2 1 0 0 18.00
Segovia 1.0 1 1 1 1 1 0 27.00

On the other side of the coin, I've cleared space on my display cabinet for the Ian Desmond bobblehead that must already be in production. I'll find room on the wall later for my lifesize Ian Desmond poster.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Taking my bows

Just to let everyone know, I plan to take FULL credit if Adam Dunn gets to 40 home runs and extends that streak to six seasons in a row. The discussion here has prompted a mini-surge and I believe we can all feel better now. We're down to needing three in 21 games.

I'll feel a lot better if he gets one more in Florida. He'll surely get one in three games in Philadelphia. When I made my original post, I was leaning heavily on the no side. I'm tilting toward yes now. The streak continues.

Now please tell me Desmond is playing tonight and I'll be a happy camper for once.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A wet, happy drive home

Great night at the Park and it had nothing to do with the game, though that certainly didn't hurt. We have some friends in the San Diego area who got married Sunday in a simple ceremony on a beach there. Instead of having family and friends fly out there, they're going around the country and doing five "events" - first one was last night at Nats Park. They'll do more baseball on Thursday in Atlanta (Jacob is from that area). It was great to see them and some other old friends who joined us and great to be a part of their neat idea. I would not have been able to make San Diego.

It was also fun to show off Nationals Park, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out how disappointed I was that almost all the upper concourse concession stands were closed. What the hey? Good thing we found something we wanted at Ben's Chili Bowl. My hankering for a slice of that cardboard pizza went unfulfilled.

Turned in my season ticket vouchers, too, and was surprised they still had some decent selection. No more bobbleheads but I added to the growing stack of t-shirts.

But how 'bout that game, huh? Hands up if you were convinced Ryan Howard was going to park one over by Five Guys. Mine's in the air. I just knew it. I couldn't breathe for about an hour after it finished.

Seems the team CAN win if Desmond plays. That air-mailed throw aside, I saw enough that I hope they let him play it out. It isn't just that he managed a home run and a double. He looked comfortable at the plate, not scared. One game does not allow for an accurate impression but it is certainly a positive first step. Let's see more, please. Lots more.

Four more for Dunn. Seeing him get No 36 might have been the highlight of my night. I really want that streak of 40 to continue. Sure, as I noted in yesterday's comments section, I'd take the year he's had every single year. Great average, lots of power. Edge of your seat when he comes up because you never know when it is going to fly out of there. But that streak is significant and he's capable of extending it to 10 years. Four more. Please. Am I wrong to want him extended?

Some caller on the postgame show brought up Sevgoia or whatever his name is and said "I never want to see him again." Wasn't me, I swear. The Desmond error doesn't help. Maybe he gets out of it. He sure didn't look good but I'd give him a shot in another 8-2 game.

All in all, a great night, even without pizza. I dropped some of the others off at The Ugly Mug after the game and I wish I could have stayed for a while. Alas, my old self had 125 miles of driving ahead and an early start today and another road trip tomorrow. Had to get on home.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The streak

Watching the game with my brother last night, a thought occurred to us almost simultaneously.

The streak! Is it in jeopardy? I think so.

Adam Dunn needs five home runs in 23 games to extend to six his streak of seasons with at least 40 home runs. Can he do it? Of course. Will he? I'm not so sure.

I'd hate to see it end. Dunn is still pretty young and that's the kind of streak that can grow to epic proportions. He should have a number of good years left. The pressure is only going to increase as the games wind down. I'd love to see him jack a couple tonight (especially since I'll be there) and make 40 a more realistic proposition.

My brother and I agree: We like Dunn, particularly at first base. Is he a magician over there? No. But to these untrained eyes, he plays an acceptable first base. I hope he's here a lot longer than one more year.

Moving on, only 39 people voted in my most recent poll. So much for hitting 100 in one of those things.

Of those, 29 want to see Desmond at short and Guzman at second since that seems to be a realistic possibility for next season. But, no, doesn't look like it will happen. We're playing to win, don't you know? Hey, how's that been working out for you? You're pretty much a lock to lose 100 for the second straight year and draft No. 1 for the second straight year. Winning isn't something that's been happening very much. SO TRY SOMETHING NEW IN THE FINAL MONTH. You know, see if it will help you win next year since this year is ANOTHER lost cause.

Five voters want to see some new starters. Not sure Marco Estrada qualifies. We've seen that before. Three want to see Maxwell get a good look. Maybe it will help him learn how to run the bases. Two want Orr to get an everyday chance.

Me? I just want a clear night so I can enjoy the game tonight. That is, enjoy it as much as it is possible to enjoy a game against the Phillies. It really ought to be against the law for the Nats to have to play them right now. They need to come up with a schedule like the NFL has, where bad teams get allegedly more favorable schedules. To think I feared them bringing Logan Kensing. Instead, Tyler Clippard gives up the back-to-backs. Those Phils will hit long ones off anyone.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rainy day musings

Normally, I love a quiet rainy day. I get my best work done on quiet rainy days. The dogs are all sacked out around me, I'm not tempted to go outside for anything.

Today? This needs to stop.

We're running out of season here and I think I have just three games left (I may be forgetting one later in the season). Tonight is one. I'm going up with some friends to collect yet another free t-shirt. Thursday is another. I'm meeting some friends at the Park to celebrate a wedding. Neat story that I'll share later. The forecast? Rain both times. I've seen enough rain this season. I want to see a little more baseball before the days get cold and short again.

As for those callups - was this a Big Raised Middle Finger at Martis? Is he hurt? Is there a message here? Has he fallen off the prospect radar? Ol' Shairon didn't exactly tear it up in Syracuse. He went 4-4 with a 4.96 ERA and opponents hit better than .300 against him. Not exactly call-up worthy. I haven't read all the accounts of the call-ups yet but what I have read didn't address his situation. Given that he had five wins in Washington in early May, I thought it merited some discussion. We saw him beat the Cardinals with a complete game in May. He looked outstanding. Did we catch his "blind squirrel finds an acorn" day? Or did he just fall apart?

Detwiler ended up winning four of his final five starts and allowed six runs in those games. He's made 26 starts this year but only has about 128 innings so I guess he's not a candidate for shutdown.

I'm also curious about this: What more does Logan Kensing need to do to prove he's not a major league pitcher? Sure, his AAA numbers of 2.97 ERA and 17 saves are impressive but it doesn't hide that 10.46 ERA in the majors. With a .371 batting average against. And it isn't like his stats were sterling before this year. He was DFA'ed by the Marlins - who later used Luis Ayala and Brian Sanches in their bullpen.

I do want to see Desmond play. I remember reading a Washington Times article about him in spring training of 2005, where Frank Robinson gushed about him. I can't remember if there was serious talk about him making the team as a 19-year-old. Whatever, that was a long time ago. Let's see if he's ready now.

Twenty-five games to go, five games up in the Harper Cup standings. Can the Nats hold on?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BlackBerry walk off

Came home from Atlanta today and kept up with the Nats' game via BlackBerry. First time I've done that because I haven't had one all that long. No, I was not driving.

"Seeing" the game winning home run that way was pretty cool, though nothing like being there. Sporting events last a long time (some too long) but there's always been something amazing about the game that ends with the winner being determined on the final play. The buzzer beater in basketball, the long touchdown pass (or run) as time expires in football. What's become known as the "walk off" in baseball. Nothing like it.

I was fortunate enough to see three last season - the Opening Day shot by Zimmerman, Wil Nieves (who?) against the Cubs and Ronnie Belliard against the Orioles.

I haven't seen one live this year. The best I have is my BlackBerry. I knew that phone would prove worthwhile.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Welcome back Flo. One of my favorites returns to active duty. Good for him for working hard to get back to that point.

That said, I sure hope I don't see him doing much the rest of the season. The plan to use him as a pinch-hitter now and then seems fine. The plan, as outlined in the Nationals Journal, to maybe use him defensively later in the month does not.

Why? Why take that risk? This guy is supposed to be a key part of the future puzzle. Please don't take a chance with him.

Getting ready to head to Atlanta for a season-opening football game so I'll be in and out of touch with the Nats over the weekend. I hope to see two of the home games next week. Only 3-4 left for me this season. Can't believe how fast this season has gone. You can make a case that's a good thing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Here and there

*Interesting listen yesterday on the Padres broadcast. Was cruising home from Blacksburg and I tuned in the first few innings. They were having some fun with the Nationals' game notes, trying to poke holes in the arguments being made for Ryan Zimmerman and a gold glove. They weren't too harsh but one of their guys said "this does get confusing in places." They were, of course, stumping for their own guy Kevin Kouzmanoff. Zimmerman's 15 errors were mocked compared to Kouz's three. Keep in mind, though, that fewer errors do not necessarily make for a better fielder. Range is a large part of it. A guy with more range is going to get to more balls and probably make more errors. But he'll create more outs, too. Zimmerman ought to get credit for having an easier last name to spell, too. Kouz is getting better. He had 22 errors two years ago, 11 last year and the three thus far this year.

*There's a stat in there called "range factor," too. What the heck? Where do they come up with some of this stuff? Baseball used to be such a simple game. Zim's RF is a whopping 3.06. At least I think that's whopping. Kouz is at 2.41. Hey, ballgame over! Unless this is a golf-style stat and lower is better. Range factor? The invention of the calculator took the fun out of baseball. Now you have to know about VORP or ORP and BAPIP and junk like that.

*Overall, I'll take Charlie and Dave. That's my bias showing, obviously, but I haven't found many combinations I enjoy listening to more. Too many teams seem to employ a solid play-by-play person and Homer Homerism as the color person. I must say, though, that I have yet to hear any clapping out of a radio booth. Or hear a color guy on a major league broadcast yell BOOT as a ground ball was headed toward an opposing fielder.

*We're an optimistic bunch. In my latest poll, 28 think the future is so bright we almost need shades and 21 think the recent run of good news is just window dressing. I was trying to be optimistic here but I voted before the Nats reverted to being the Nats. Remember when this team was 11-4 in August and the first winning month was all but assured? It finished 14-15 and simple math (no calculator necessary) says that's a 3-11 finish. That's not a good range factor.

*For some reason, the most memorable crop of September call ups to me was two years ago when Jonathan Abracadabra (that's what I called him) was in the group. Had never heard of him. Liked him. Then he was gone. That is how the Nats got Tyler Clippard, right? OK, I'll take that trade.

*Watching with interest this Strasburg and the media situation that appears to be brewing. If he thinks the attention is heavy now, just wait. You sign the biggest deal in draft history, you throw that spotlight squarely over your head. Wait until he makes his first major league appearance. I hope the Nats are able to provide him with some good guidance in this area. Intense scrutiny is part of the deal now, like it or not. It's not just a couple of newspaper types anymore - cable TV, the Internet, us pesky bloggers, thousands in the stadium "tweeting" every move. This guy won't be able to go to the can without someone knowing.

*An update after today's joke of a game: I've always kind of liked Pete Orr - but fifth? I hope Washington doesn't plan on trotting out that lineup in D.C. and charging big-league money to see it. I understand working guys in now and then. All in the same game?

*Further update: Depressing news in the latest Nationals Journal. Elbow soreness for Stammen. We saw how that worked out the last time there was a discussion of elbow soreness. I don't have a good feeling about this. I suspect we'll hear of a visit to Dr. Andrews within a week. Ugh.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is it March yet?

I had to make a quick grocery store run yesterday so I threw on my cleanest t-shirt and a hat. Here's a shock. Both of them were Nationals gear. While there, I ran into the young man who manages my bank branch. Big sports fan, always talks baseball with me when I stop in - usually on my way to a game because I need big chunks of money to survive a night at the stadium.

We were talking about events of recent days, going all the way back to the signing of Sir Strasburg and then Livan and now the Belliard trade. He said, "You know what? I just wish it was next season. Right now. This one has been such a downer but for some reason I'm still hopeful."

I'll agree on the downer. I won't go so far as to be hopeful yet, but I always get that way around February. Hell, I thought this team would win 77 games. How hopeful was that?

I am real eager to see the September call-ups and figure out if any are auditioning for jobs outside the pitching staff. Is next year's second baseman on the team? In the system? Is next year's shortstop?

Is next year's manager? When does Bobby V. get back from Japan?

Here's what I have thus far:

1B - Dunn
2B - to be determined. Orlando Hudson?
SS - Guzman? Khalil Greene (OK, that's just me but still). Ray Knight raised some good points about him the other night on the TV broadcast that should have swayed me. They didn't. You telling me he hit 27 HRs just two years ago strictly on fastballs? He's been around a while, word should be out. But he did look real weak Sunday on breaking balls. REAL weak.
3B - Zimmerman.
C - Flores
LF - Willingham
CF - Morgan
RF - Dukes.

Give me a good 2B and I'm OK with that lineup.

SP - Lannan
SP - Strasburg. Why not?
SP - Hernandez. Yeah, I'll take him another year. Don't think it is going to happen.
SP - TBA/trade or the free agent they talk about adding.
SP - TBA/Olsen

RP - MacDougal. Sure, in some role
RP - Burnett.
RP - Clippard
RP - Bergmann but I'm OK with not, too
RP - Storen. Why not?

Willie, a backup catcher and who else on the bench? Knight also made a good case for Orr, seemed to think he was an upgrade over Belliard but I may be reading too much into what he said.

What trades will be made? A year ago, who would have guessed Willingham would be part of this collective?

I'll still tune in to the rest of the games, will still hit 5-6 more before the year is over. I'm less than optimistic now about avoiding 100 losses. But my mind has already started to wander. The GM is in place. The stud is signed. Let's get to it.