Nats Looking Good in the AFL

October 29, 2009

Arizona Fall League numbers are not something to be trusted. However, good performances are still something to be noted, and so far the Nats have seen some pretty good performances from the impressive list of prospects that they sent.


Pitching is of course always the first thing to talk about now, especially since a certain San Diegan was drafted. Obviously, Stephen Strasburg is getting more attention in the AFL than most players do. So far, his numbers look unimpressive – 6.97 ERA, 10 1/3 IP with 10 H and 3 HR. But, in three appearances, the damage comes from only one. In the other two he compiled 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. The numbers aren’t the whole story in this league. According to Mark Zuckerman, “he certainly lived up to the hype.” His approach, his stuff, his delivery, everything looks good. These guys are working on things right now, so perfection isn’t expected or even thought about. Strasburg is still getting rave reviews, it’ll be really exciting to finally see him play.

As for the other guys, Read the rest of this entry »


This is NEWS

October 28, 2009

Say what you want about the two big local DC newspapers, they both have great sports sections. They have strong coverage of the Nats, and well-known and well-respected writers like Boswell and Loverro spend alot of time writing about baseball. Despite what their mother-papers might do, both of their sports sections seem to be reasonable and informative.

Then there’s the  New York Post, which ran a cover yesterday that was thoroughly hilarious, mostly because I can’t believe they actually ran it. This is a REAL newspaper, with a large circulation (6th largest in the US according to wikipedia). It is a tabloid, it runs some crazy stuff, but it is well-regarded for its sports coverage. It is also well known for its covers. And yesterday’s cover was just.. insane. There’s really no other way to describe it!


Read the rest of this entry »

Worst Defense Ever Wins Best Defense

October 27, 2009

Everyone knows that the Nationals defense this year was the worst ever. Ok, it probably wasn’t. I’m sure there were teams with no gloves and handlebar mustaches that were worse. Maybe even a team or two in the 20th or 21st centuries were actually worse. Without getting in to the metrics, they were bad. They had the highest number of Errors, although they didn’t even rate worst in 2009 in UZR, let alone for all eternity. So even though it really wasn’t the worst ever, nobody is gonna argue that it wasn’t still really bad.

That’s why it was interesting to see ESPN giving out defensive awards to the team. Of course, that’s just what happened, thanks mostly to the flashy play of Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman was named the Web Gem Champion, in the first time this award was given out. Basically, they tallied the number of web gems, he had the most, and there you go. His great defensive play also allowed the Nats to take the award for best overall team. Obviously, this is the award for most flashy moments, as opposed to consistently good defense. Still, it’s nice for this team to win something besides the number 1 draft pick.

Nats Tweets

October 26, 2009

Twitter. Everyone keeps telling me I have to do it. But I have been skeptical. Isn’t it a bit narcissistic to think that people care what we’re thinking at any given moment? The same could be said about blogging, I suppose. But, I will be using it to talk about baseball and the Nats, so, what could be bad about that?

I will mostly be using it to give you links to interesting stories and articles, or something like that. Also, I’ll probably mention on the Twit machine whenever I post on this site.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nats Want to Talk to Donnie Baseball

October 21, 2009

It has been reported that the Nationals have asked for permission to speak with Don Mattingly, hitting coach of the Dodgers, former manager-in-waiting of the Yankees, former Yankee’s captain, and former best player in baseball for a few years. And if not for a bad back, he was on his way to being a surefire HOFer. What would he bring to the team?

I was living in New York City during the Torre->Girardi transition, and at the time Mattingly was considered the frontrunner for the job. He is extremely popular among Yankees fans, rivaling Jeter in how much affirmation they pour out for him. Many fans remember what he did from 1984-1989, when he was a dominating hitter. That, coupled with his tutelage under the Joe Torre management regime, made him the perceived #1 candidate to be the next manager of the Yankees to most of the fanbase, especially after Willie Randolph left to manage the Mets. It all changed, however, on that fateful night in Cleveland, when Joba was covered in bugs and blew a 1-0 lead.

Ok, maybe not, the Indians only tied the game in that inning, and with a win, NY would have only tied the LDS 1-1. Saying that changed the course of history is like saying Jeffrey Maier killed the O’s despite the fact that the HR only tied the game, it was only the 8th inning, and it was only GAME 1! Shouldn’t putting Armando Benitez on the field in a high leverage moment be enough to disqualify them? Regardless, many people in New York, who were already clamoring for a new manager after 6 years of playoff ousters, pointed to the moment as a reason to get rid of Torre. Torre himself said not pulling his team off the field during the attack of the killer midges was a big mistake. The result – the Yankees dragged their feet, offered him only a one year deal (still making him the highest paid manager in the majors), and he turned them down

Why is this all important?

It’s very important, because Don Mattingly then came in to the picture as the replacements. But he was subsequently passed up for the job, and left town with Torre. Read the rest of this entry »

Highlights of Strasburg Highlights

October 19, 2009

It seems that, despite the playoffs currently going full steam ahead, people are still interested in young Nats starter Stephen Strasburg. He started his first game in the Arizona Fall League, and here are a few articles talking about his awesomeness, with highlights of these highlights.

From ESPN:

Stephen Strasburg did not disappoint in his Arizona Fall League debut Friday night. The No. 1 overall selection in the June amateur entry draft faced 11 batters, striking out two. He recorded 10 outs during his 50-pitch outing, throwing 32 strikes, and no runner reached second base.

[He] threw his fastball 32 times, averaging 95 miles per hour. He topped out at 98 mph and reached 97 six other times. Read the rest of this entry »