So.. Bo Porter? McLaren? Knorr?

June 23, 2011

With the surprise resignation of Jim Riggleman this afternoon, the team is left manager-less on a day when we should be celebrating. The news of the day should be that they’ve gone over .500 after May 28th for the first time since 2005. Take a look at the front page of ESPN/MLB on the left here. A lead story by Tim Kurkjian talks about how the Nats are on the fast track to being a very good team. Jay Jaffe of ESPN Baseball Prospectus insists in an Insider article that the team isn’t a fluke. And there’s an ESPN Stats article on the keys to their recent success, next to an article simply title “Nats win again.” If I can, I’ll get into some of these superlatives tomorrow.

Instead of doing that today, though, we are stuck contemplating who will be the next manager, or at the very least, interim manager. One candidate that you will probably hear quite a bit about is third base coach Bo Porter. So let’s get into it…

Who is Bo Porter?

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Blogger Day June 2010, Tons of Photos

June 7, 2010

Saturday was the first Blogger Day of the year so I get to go once again to the stadium and act like I belonged in the back rooms and media areas. Brian, who has gone in the past, once again went with me and this time he brought a really nice camera. He took a bunch of high quality pics that can be seen here. I also took some lower quality pics, that aren’t as good. I’ll put some of them here. We had great access, as evidence by the group talking with the Director of Baseball Media Relations, Mike Gazda, down on the field behind home plate during Nationals’ batting practice:

But let’s save that part of the story for later. First of all, the new person in the new position, Chad Kurz, Senior Manager of New Media, was either kind enough to or forced into babysitting the blogging crew all day. He was fully accessible to us the entire time, and escorted us all over the park, including the press room, where we started out. We got a chance to talk to Josh Willingham, Jim Riggleman, Director of Community Relations Israel Negrom, and a group known as the People All Stars Among Us. But first, we started off with a press conference with rookie bullpen ace Drew Storen.
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Nats on the Radio

March 2, 2010

Baseball starts in a few days – in the meantime, we get used to having these personalities back in front of us. Not just the GM and the manager, but the younger guys who actually get to play the game. Some of them are boring, say the “right” thing all the time, and some are a little more interesting.

Adam Dunn

My favorite guy to listen to on the team right now is Adam Dunn. He’s got an attitude that belies the amount of work he actually puts in, but his humor is pretty infectious. Don’t be mislead – everything I’ve read says that this guy puts in the time and works his butt off. He’s just got a very laid back attitude. The Junkies interviewed him this morning, so go ahead and take a listen. Here are some of my favorite parts:

“I’m not Canseco, man, I’m all nat-u-ral.”

Asked what his best game as a high school QB was:
“You could just pick any Friday night in the fall”

Describing his offseason workouts:
“I did alot of motivational speaking to ‘em… just a bunch of crazy stuff that won’t help you any way shape or form in baseball but will get you in shape.”

To me, the most interesting he said:

“My wrist was jacked up, man, towards the end of the year and I didn’t do anything for about a month, month and a half.” Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome Davey Johnson

November 19, 2009

Last week, I mentioned that Davey Johnson was hired by the team. I guess it was a little premature, as he wasn’t officially hired until yesterday. He is now a senior adviser to the GM, Mike Rizzo. Everyone knows Johnson was a great manager. He won the World Series with the Mets in 1986, and won 2 division titles. He also won 2 division titles with the Red and took them eds to the NLCS in 1995. He took the Orioles to a division title and to the ALCS in 1997. In 14 seasons, he finished in first place in the division 5 times, in second place 7 times, and finished 3rd or below… you guessed it, just twice.

I think he is a great manager that can win with any type of team (crazies on the ’86 Mets, rough and tumble types on the 91 Reds, stars on the late 90s Orioles), so there is of course speculation that he’ll come back and manage after the team is ready to compete. But I’m not convinced he wants to do that anymore. Rather, I expect him to be a positive force around the team and the clubhouse. I don’t think his influence should be oversold. He will not be managing day to day, and probably won’t be speaking to the media nearly as much as Riggleman or Rizzo. But a guy like that being intimately involved in the team probably isn’t a bad idea.

Additionally, even at 66, he may be the best second baseman on the roster.


Rockville’s Riggleman Named Nats Manager Again

November 12, 2009

Jim Riggleman, the once and future manager of the Nats, has  been named manager of the team. Again. Or, will be today be switching from part time to full time. Or… I don’t know. He never left, they made it permanent. Allegedly. There’s gonna be a news conference today at 2:30 to give the details. You can catch it on 980 am in DC, and probably on some other local outfits. The rumor is the he was named full timey manager for the 2010 season. Whether it goes beyond that, I guess we’ll find out later. It’s not a surprising choice, but here was something that surprised me, on rotoworld yesterday:

Riggleman-Bowden

What? Why do I have to hear anything from Bowden? Can’t he go GM the Chiba Latte Marines for 6 years and get out of our hair? It’s not been long enough since I’ve heard from Bowden. Why must he continue to torture us? And why does he have a job in this economy?  Sorry, getting a little punchy here. As for Riggleman, Read the rest of this entry »


Waiting For Bobby

November 10, 2009

Riggleman2A week after the World Series, the Nationals still don’t have a manager for next season. That is, unless they intend to leave their interim manager as an interim manager indefinitely. By default, doesn’t that just make him a regular manager? Originally, I was going to title this posting “What Are They Waiting For?” as all the talk pointed to Jim Riggleman getting the job. That is, until I read the latest rumor from Ken Rosenthal.

Before that, I thought that if Riggleman was getting the job, why wait? Call a press conference and say that he’s got it. However, now Rosenthal says that while Riggleman is a finalist, so is Bobby Valentine. According to Rosenthal, “Interim manager Jim Riggleman is one of the finalists, Rizzo said. Bobby Valentine is the other, according to major-league sources.” So one of those is confirmed by Rizzo, Bobby V is more on the unconfirmed but highly suspected side.

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Choose Your Manager

October 22, 2009

The Nationals are looking for a manager, perhaps a new manager, perhaps one they are using now, maybe someone else’s old manager. Right now, there are 4 people being mentioned as potential candidate, although the list is likely longer. So, a quick rundown of the guys named so far. Here are your choices, in alphabetical order:

Don Mattingly – Current hitting coach of the LA Dodgers

donniebaseballPros: Tutelage under Joe Torre. Yankees hitting coach 2003-2006, Yankees bench coach in 2007. Arguably the best player in baseball from 1983-1985. Mustaches.

Cons: No managerial experience other than when Torre was tossed out of games in 2007. May manage bullpens just like Torre.

Bob Melvin – Currently unemployed

bob melvinPros: 2007 NL Manager of the Year. 7 years experience, including an NLCS appearance. Won 90 or more games twice. Likes to use many different lineups.

Cons: Losing record in his 7 years. Fired this year after his ace pitcher got hurt and his very young team didn’t hit. Likes to use many different lineups.


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Disappointment with the Callups

September 9, 2009

The excitement of seeing youngsters get called up has quickly been abated. Why? Well, because the guys I want to see play aren’t really going to play. Let’s start with Detwiler. He’s near his innings limit, so they aren’t going to use him as a starter. Instead, he’ll be coming out of the bullpen. This is fine, I guess. I understand the innings limit thing, so I won’t complain about management doing the wrong thing, I just was hoping to see him start. So be it.

Ian Desmond, on the other hand, is slated to come off the bench. This is the real disappointment. It’s all in the WaPo NaJo. But basically if Guzman can play, he’ll start. I assume that means at SS, which sucks for those of us that actually want to see Desmond play. And, in the words of Onyx, “bu-bu-bu-bu-wait it get’s worse.” Riggleman goes on to say:

If his [Guzman's] foot flares up on him that will be an opportunity to get Desmond in there, but we also have Gonzalez and Orr who will be playing up the middle. I love to see young players play, but I don’t ever want to take away the opportunity from the veterans who have been here all year… and disregard their efforts all year by planting them on the bench. Like I said, the at bats might be inconsistent.

Huh? First of all, to call Gonzalez a veteran is stretching the definition of the word. The guy has a total of 144 games for his entire career. I wouldn’t call that a vet who deserves anything. Gonzalez is batting .250/.285/.350, so putting him on the bench should probably be considered regarding his efforts all year, not disregarding them. As for Pete Orr, well, he’s definitely more of a veteran. He’s played in 330 games in the majors dating back to 2005. So I see where Riggleman is going, except, wait for it… ORR HAS ONLY PLAYED IN 10 GAMES THIS YEAR WITH THE NATS!!!one!!one1!!

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Is Acta Gone?

June 13, 2009

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Manny Acta will be fired in the next couple of days. Manny hasn’t had much to work with, he mentioned in spring training that the bullpen was gonna be an issue, so it’s hard to blame him for the Nats being bad. But they are truly awful, and there is some thought that someone else could light a little bit of a fire so that this team would be a bit better. Not just me, but others like Tom Boswell, have noticed that with mediocre pitching this team could be close to .500. It hasn’t worked out that way, and maybe Acta is at least partly to blame. I am not so sure. I’m not afraid to stick my neck out with an opinion, the problem for me is, I’m really not sure. Could Joe McCarthy, John McGraw, Cornelius McGillicudy (Connie Mack), or Ronald McDonald have managed this team any better? Yeah it’s possible I guess. I’m just not sure that Acta has had a chance to prove anything other than he isn’t going to win if he’s not given any pieces.

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