Nationals All Over MLB TV

February 27, 2009

Nats fans, the MLB Network can take care of you. For a few hours at least. At the risk of sounding like I’m working for the network, the second most popular team in baseball over the last 2 weeks – hey, only the Yankees have had more news stories than the Nats (this bold claim isn’t based on any facts) – are going to be all over the MLB network.

As I mentioned before, the MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days program will be sizing up the Nats. That’s scheduled to air this Saturday, Feb 28, at 8 pm. It will probably re-air a few times, so if you don’t have DVR, know that you are lame, and you can catch up with it later.

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The beginning of the end for Bowden?

February 25, 2009

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve never made a comment on Jim Bowden’s ability at his job here. I am likely to keep it that way for now, and I’m not one to toss rumors around lightly either. But given the source (Baseball Prospectus) and the latest investigations, I thought this was worth passing on to you.

Here is the article, titled “Nats strongly considering change”

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=1189


World Baseball Classic Final USA Roster for Real

February 25, 2009

Rosters are finally set for the WBC, although I’ve covered it before, I figured everyone might want a final update. Turns out I was a little off on my last update – it was more of a list of those who said they wanted to play. Here is the actual list of guys on the roster, whittled down from the last list:

C – Brian McCann / Chris Iannetta
1B – Kevin Youkilis
2B – Dustin Pedroia
3B – David Wright / Chipper Jones
SS – Derek Jeter / Jimmy Rollins
LF – Ryan Braun
CF – Grady Sizemore / Curtis Granderson
RF -  Brad Hawpe g3_jeter_wbc
UTIL – Mark DeRosa
SP – Jake Peavy
SP – Roy Oswalt
SP – Ted Lilly
SP – Jeremy Guthrie
RP – J.P. Howell
RP – Brad Ziegler
RP – Matt Lindstrom
RP – Scot Shields
RP - Brian Fuentes
RP – Matt Thornton
RP – Jonathan Broxton
RP - BJ Ryan
RP – JJ Putz
RP – Joe Nathan

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You know the question

February 24, 2009

Yesterday, I took a look at the potential offensive contributions of Nick Johnson and Josh Willingham. While they looked similar, with Nick having a chance at a higher peak, an astute reader pointed out that defensively it isn’t close.  Of course it’s never that simple. Because if you plan on starting Nick, you have to take into account the fact that your starter may not play. Moving a player in and out of the starting lineup can really mess up the whole, you know, mojo or what not. It’s those intangibles that a stat geek like me can’t quite put a finger on. And hey, maybe at first base, Willingham would be a better defender. One little interesting caveat about defense is that first base is the least important position, unless you screw it up. And I am mistrustful of most stats that use defense because I’m not sure people know how best to quantify it. But maybe that’s neither here nor there. The point is definitely true that all things being equal offensively, Nick is a very good defender at first, while Willingham is at best average, but perhaps worse out in left field.

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Nick Johnson vs Josh Willingham

February 23, 2009

As I often do, I decided to pester ESPN’s Keith Law with Nats questions during his chat on Thursday 2/19. The gist of my question was who should play among the OF/1B logjam, and what should Manny Acta to with Austin “Danger” Kearns to keep him useful during baseball games.

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:34 PM ET ) Jumping back to Charlie: Dukes, Milledge, Dunn in the OF, Willingham at first, Johnson on the bench or DL, Kearns told that home games are at RFK

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Big Donkey Talks to the Junkies

February 20, 2009

If you’re interested in hearing the newest addition to the Nats lineup speak, Adam Dunn appeared on the Junkies yesterday. I really enjoyed this interview. Dunn has a great sense of humor, he clearly doesn’t take himself, or baseball, too seriously. Not that he isn’t going to go out there and try his best. But he has the attitude of “I do what I do” and this may be why he’s had people out there saying he doesn’t seem to care. I get the impression that he is just a laid back sounding guy. Being laid back is not equivalent to not caring or trying. He understands that he does three things well: walk, strikeout, and hit dingers. He’s probably tried in the past to get a higher batting average, but as he said when he was asked if he tries to hit it hard or tries to hit homers “I just try to hit it, it’ll go.” So I won’t hold his relaxed personality against him, I think he’s out there trying his hardest every day. Listen to the interview, this guy is genuinely funny, and I think he’s gonna be a great personality for this clubhouse and for the fans to hear.

Some of the best quotes from the interview:

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When Lying Really Does Hurt the Team

February 18, 2009

ARod’s lying or steroid use doesn’t infuriate me the way this does:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2009/02/gonzalez_updated.html

Thanks to the Nats Journal for always breaking news, to me, at least. Here is the original SI article:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/02/17/nats.gonzalez/index.html

I honestly think this could have happened to alot of organizations. Record keeping may not be the same as it is here, so even if they did their diligence, this might have happened. Heck, the Rangers were ready to sign him, too. And I don’t care about the $1.4 million. Let Odalis hold out the whole year, and you make more than half of that back.

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Stories Not Involving Dunn, Except for One

February 17, 2009

The big news last week was the signing of Adam Dunn, and there will be more to discuss on that front at some point. For now, there are a few other big stories, as pitchers and catchers reported this weekend, and the Washington Post printed the Nats 40-man roster on Saturday.

Oh, Dalis

Conspicuously absent from the 40 man roster was Odalis Perez. He is holding out, on his initially agreed upon $800K minor league deal. He’s basically said he’d rather sit on his couch than play for the Nats at that price. I’d rather sit on my couch than come to work, too, especially with the XBox 360 right there, so I sympathize. I’d frankly rather sit on his couch, too. It’s in the caribbean, and I’m sure it’s nice considering he pulled in about $30 million between ’02 and ’07. He might have an XBox as well. This doesn’t seem like the best season to hold out, he’s not exactly the top pitcher on the market, and you may have heard that contracts are a little difficult to come by this offseason. And he initially agreed with the contract THIS OFFSEASON, only to back out as players are reporting. Maybe he, like me, is in the middle of playing Fallout 3 and feels that it takes precedence. Read the rest of this entry »


Nats TV Schedule ’09

February 13, 2009

For a weekly blog, there sure are alot of posts this week. But MASN just released the Nats TV schedule, and there’s not much more important to me than baseball and tv. Here is a link to the actual schedule

http://www.masnsports.com/pdfs/2009_nationals_schedule.pdf

The highlights are thus:

  • All games will be on, between MASN and MASN2, the difference is irrelevant I think
  • Much more important: By my count, there will be 115 games broadcast in High Definition
  • MASN HD is scheduled to launch April 1
  • The June series against the Yankees and the one against Boston are both in HD. The one against AL champion Tampa Bay is not
  • Lots of HD games against the NL East
    • 16 of 18 games vs Philly
    • 13 of 18 games vs Atlanta
    • 15 of 18 games vs the Metropolitans
    • but only 7 out of 18 games vs Florida
  • The opening day game against Florida is NOT in HD, which, as Charles Micheal Michaels says, bottles the mind

Dunn Joins Nats, Brings Sack Full of HRs

February 12, 2009

Before we get started, let’s remind ourselves:

  1. OBP is much more important than AVG. OBP tells you how often a player doesn’t make an out, probably the most important thing to know about a hitter
  2. Striking out isn’t awful. Especially if you have the speed of a crippled ox. Better to strike out than to hit a double play
  3. No matter what crazy commentators say, a HR is the best way to score. Sure, they may be flukey at times and the pitcher can recover from 1 HR, but every time you do it, it’s an automatic run, or 4

Ok, now, here we go… Read the rest of this entry »


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