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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trade Talk

If I accomplished nothing else this weekend, it was a success for one reason. I managed to talk My Son the Braves Fan off the ledge.

He was distraught because the Braves acquired Dan Uggla. Really. They gave up a reliever and a utility guy (yes, a good one) to get a 30-HR machine. Very much a plus deal for the Braves.

But my son like Omar Infante a lot, didn't want to see him gone. I get that, I said, but you have to give to get. The key is to make sure you get more than you give. I think the Braves did here. I had crazy dreams of Uggla in Washington.

As fans, you're supposed to have favorite players. The lesson in today's free agent and wheeling-and-dealing times: Don't get too attached.

It got me to thinking. If the Nats do make trades, will any departures make me screams "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo?" Only a couple.

*Jee-SUS: Obvious, and there's no way it happens.

*Zimmerman: See above.

That may be it. There are a couple of others I'd be a bit distraught to see traded.

*Zimmermann. Jee-SUS he isn't but I remained convinced for now he's going to be pretty good so I'd like to see him stay.

*Ramos. I'm not sold on the guy yet. I don't think any of us saw enough last season to really tell either way. Jury's still out and all that. But if this cat is such a hot prospect that the Nats gave up a young and proven closer for him, well, he damn sure ought to be worth keeping.

*Danny Espinosa. See Zimmermann, above.

But if the price is right?

There many other players I don't want to see guy but I won't lose sleep if the return is right. Ian Desmond? I like him a lot and wouldn't mind seeing him stay for a long time. But suppose the return is along the lines of a Zach Greinke (yes, I know it would cost more than Desmond)?

I just hope if the Nats do trade proven they get more than one piece of potential for it. We'll see soon enough, I guess.

Finally, I have to give it up for Ben Goessling at MASN. He got me this morning. I saw the headline "Why You Should Want the Nationals to Sign Carl Pavano" and I'm thinking, "Wow, this better be good." Because I don't want the Nationals to sign Carl Pavano.

It's good. I still don't want him signed but it's good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Moves, Signings, Ramblings

A buddy is, for reasons I've been unable to ascertain, a huge Florida Marlins fan. Makes no sense given his background but it's a free world and he's otherwise OK.

He sent me a Facebook note yesterday: Heard you guys were interested in Uggla.

You guys? I told him if I was really one of those guys, Adam Dunn would be signed by now. I'm just a detached fan. But as a fan, yeah, I'd be interested in Uggla.

I'm curious what it would cost. If it could be done for Derek Norris and some other "prospects," I'd be all for it. Because then you could move Danny Espinosa to short and use Ian Desmond as the chip to maybe, maybe, just maybe land Zach Greinke.

I see all these stories out there saying how teams are going to ask for Jordan Zimmermann and/or Ian Desmond for any deal involving a real player. I would very much not like it if the Nats send Jordan Zimmermann somewhere else. And while I have no issue at all with Ian Desmond remaining a Nat, I also have no issue with him going somewhere else if the return is good.

Zach Greinke is good.

Yes, I realize this is all pointless meandering of the mind. None of it will happen. Still, it's nice to dream.

I'm also left wondering this: the Nats won't give four years to a player who is pretty much in his prime but the Redskins can give about a zillion years and a kajillion dollars to a player who is past his prime and maybe, just maybe, past the days of being reasonably effective?

No wonder I'm always confused and mumbling.

Monday, November 15, 2010

HEY!! What about Jee-SUS!??!?

I've been asked three or four times already: No votes for Stephen Strasburg for rookie of the year? Suppose he'd stayed healthy?

Second one first: He didn't.

IF he had and had posted 10 wins and lots of strikeouts with a low-2 ERA, then, yeah, you bring him into the conversation. Again, as we all know painfully well by now: He didn't. Not in the conversation. It's not rookie of the 10-week period in the middle of the season. It's rookie of the year. Or most of the year at least, in the winner's case.

Crowded class of quality rookies this year in the NL and while some of the ballots were odd, they got it right.

Buster Posey deserved to win. Jason Heyward had a great year and would have been a quality choice, too. But like our man Zim (my twin), he was runner-up to an excellent player who had an excellent year. No shame there.

Voters only had three spots. With those two and Garcia in St. Louis (not to mention Sanchez in Florida and some others I'm sure I'm forgetting now), could you really give one of those slots to a guy who threw for 10 weeks, no matter how well he threw?


Jee-SUS did not get screwed. He'll win his share of awards. I already have bets down on 2012 Cy Young, 2012 All-Star starter (yes, I know it isn't an award), 2012 Comeback Player of the Year, 2012 Gold Glove, 2012 MVP.

I may even go back to the stadium to see some of those 2012 games.

Unrelated, the Braves have to be really loving that deal they made to get Mark Teixeira a few years back. All Texas got out of the deal was the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year and an all-star shortstop.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ryan Zimmerman - My Twin

Think about it. We could be the same guy.

We're from Virginia. We're dashingly handsome. We have four letters in our first names. OK, that's a reach. His is the real name, mine is a nickname. I'm still counting it.

Sure, there are some differences. He's younger, richer, stronger and a much, much better baseball player (he should be, he's less than half my age). His opinion also matters, or at least should.

As reported by Mark Zuckerman and others from last night's uniform show, Zimmerman reiterated his point about wanting Adam Dunn to remain a teammate. He makes very good points, particularly about the consistency. This is partly stumping for one of his buddies, sure. But it doesn't detract from his main point - you lose more out of the middle of your lineup than you're sure you'll be able to replace. So sign the man.

Back to the differences: Zimmerman can't stay away from Nats Park if the Nats don't sign Dunn. I can. Zimmerman is under contract. That's where he gets his money, so he has to show up.

Through 2013 anyway. Afterward, he can go wherever he'd like.

If I never show up at Nats Park again, it will matter not a twit to anyone other than me. The show will go on and no one will notice my absence. It won't have any bearing on the Nationals in any way.

If Zim doesn't show up anymore after 2013, it will matter.

My opinion on Dunn is just that, worth about as much as the hot air I expend repeating it so often. Nothing.

Zim's opinion ought to matter. I won't be missed. He will.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Those Uniforms

I'm not going to lie - I like them. A lot in fact.

If it works out that I do attend a few games at Nats Park next season, I think you can "expect" I will buy one of each.

Who am I kidding? If it doesn't work out that I attend a few games next year, I think you can "expect" I will buy one of each (or beg for them for birthday/Father's Day, etc.). I never said I was going to stop being a fan, I just said I was going to stop going to games. I can wear them here while I watch on TV (who will broadcast?) and cry in my beer and wait for Jee-SUS to come back.

As I noted earlier, I have no problems with any of the Nats' previous uniforms. I own a replica of all of them. I liked the original road jersey better the current road jersey. I always really liked the home whites. Still do. That would be my only quibble with the new set - is the name "Nationals" nowhere to be found on any of them? I think it should be prominent on at least one set. After all, "Nationals" is the name of the team.

A wiseguy might say there's no chance of an "o" being left out when there's only a Curly W on the jersey. I'm not going to take that easy cheap shot. I'm sure that's not the reason the jersies don't say "Nationals."

Are they trying to distance themselves from the name? I hope that's not the case either. It's a nice name.

I saw a picture of a new hat somewhere earlier, a red had with a blue brim? I like that, too.

Now if they'd just sign Dunn *** I'd be one really happy guy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Expect What Exactly?

I guess since I'm no longer a season-ticket holder and not one of the elite, I won't getting this thing Dan Steinberg describes in his bog (the best newspaper online column going, by the way).

I am curious to know what I'm supposed to expect.

More bad baseball? More overmanaging? More closed concession stands upstairs? No more Adam Dunn?

I've been "expecting it" every year for six years now and "it" really only happened in the first half of the first year.

As noted in a previous post or two, the Nats aren't the only team with good young talent. You can make strong cases that numerous teams have more good young talent and better young talent.

So someone read that thing and tell me what I'm supposed to expect. Or are non-season-ticket holders not supposted to expect anything at all?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Day of Life in Nats A.D.

I woke up at 7:30 like I do most Sundays and I could tell it was just a stunningly beautiful day in the making. Then it hit me. It was 6:30 and I could go back to bed and I did. For TWO hours! I'm such a slacker.

It was even more beautiful when I got up for good. Perhaps a sign from above that on this the first day of Nats A.D. (after Dunn), the sun does indeed rise and shine again.

I still don't like it. I still won't go back to the park and give them any more of my money. I could save enough to buy Cliff Lee for 26 seconds or so.

Today's game: Let's try to guess a few things.

1. Where will Adam Dunn sign - and for how much and how long? I say Cubs, four years, 60 million

2. Who will play first base next season for the Nats? My brother says Aubrey Huff. I'm convinced my nightmare scenario comes true. Carlos Pena comes to D.C. and convinces everybody he's just a wonderful guy. And hits about .177 - like I noted in an earlier post, just keep Willie and put him at first.

3. What other players might sign? I'd excrete enough bricks to build a new stadium if Cliff Lee actually comes to D.C. (to play, not wearing someone else's uniform). Same with Jayson Werth, as much as I'd like to see that. I boldly predict Brandon Webb becomes a Nat and spends next year pitching in whatever league Wang and Flores played in during 2010. They'll sign some Adam Kennedy type. They'll sign some ho-hum outfielder.

What say you?

I have to find a way to enjoy this brilliant day. The Caps play at 5 and it'll be dark by then so I won't feel guilty about parking myself in front of the TV then.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I didn't see this anywhere in the Natsmosphere except for our friends at Nationals Enquirer and I wanted to make sure my handful of exclusive readers didn't miss this sad, sad story.

Yes, I'm fully aware that Elijah Dukes' situation is almost totally of his own making. Some will argue the circumstances of his upbringing are to blame, but I've covered way too many athletes who have come from bad backgrounds and become top-notch and productive citizens.

Yes, I'm fully aware that I was never completely comfortable with Dukes in a Nationals uniform. Like many, I kept waiting for the proverbial shoes to drop. He had some definite "wow you" skills as well as so many holes in his game that those skills could be worked around by the opposition.

I still wish it had worked out. I heard enough interviews with the guy to come away with the conviction that he's far from stupid.

And I still find the Elijah Dukes story very, very sad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dunn With Dunn - The Countdown

OK, I'm not real clear on the rules.

The World Series ended last night, before midnight. There's that five-day window thing.

Is it today (1), tomorrow (2), Thursday (3), Friday (4) and Saturday (5)? Or is it a business-day thing where the weekend doesn't count and Monday becomes the fifth day - even though phones work on the weekends?

Just curious. I don't think it matters. I'm convinced the Nats will offer the arbitration (be a hoot if he accepts), take their two picks and sign someone else to be part of next year's 65-win team. I'm not certain the braintrust was ever really serious about signing Dunn to any kind of extension.

A friend, aware of my severe opposition to Carlos Pena as the replacement, noted that Pena has at least played on a winner and Dunn has never done that. He doesn't think Dunn ever will play on a winner. I had to remind my pal that if the Nats sign Pena, that's all they get. He's not bringing Evan Longoria and David Price with him. Little easier to play for a winner when you're surrounded by better players.

The World Series was just depressing, though that's nothing against the Giants. Hard to not like the Giants. But you look at the Lincecum-Cain-Bumgardner trifecta. All 26 or younger.

Next season, will the Nats have even one pitcher in that class? In 2012, will they have another one along with Jee-SUS?

I just don't see it.