November 24, 2009
I have a new addiction, and it is trivia. Actually, I’ve always loved trivia, but now I have a new website that I am addicted to called Sporcle. I don’t even know if it’s new, but it’s new to me so back off! They have all kind of categories, but of course, I really enjoy the baseball ones. Here are a few of the quizzes for baseball – and how I did. Some I am puffing my chest out about, others I am quite ashamed of my lack of knowledge. See if you can beat my score:
Multiple MVP Winners (21/26)
1990s Home Run Leaders (20/24) – apparently no matter how many ways you try to spell Caminiti, he’s still not on the list
Most All Star Game Appearances (21/28)
1990s Wins Leaders (15/24)
MLB Teams Kenny Lofton Has Played For (8/11)
Home Run Leaders A-Z (15/25)
Home Run Leaders by Team (27/30) – I was surprised at how well I did – but most of these guys are household names
MLB Stadiums (24/30) – Wait, Jimmy Buffett got to name a stadium?
As an aside, the only quiz I’ve taken on the entire site where I’ve got 100% is this one. Yeah, I know.
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.
November 13, 2009
Now that the offseason has begun, let the speculation begin. This is the 3rd annual “Nationals in 5 years” lineup, and it’s something I really enjoy thinking about. Of course, I’m judging prospects and predicting that there are no free agent acquisitions, both ridiculous for me to do. Unfortunately my goal of getting this out before BA does their’s didn’t work out this year, so feel free to accuse me of stealing from them. Just make sure you accuse them of stealing from me last year. Not that our lists are the same. Regardless, here’s my team based on the current farm system, and alot of guessing:
The Position Players
C –Derek Norris – Last year, I had Flores in this place. And I think Flores still has a future for this team. But Norris is really impressing everyone, and 5 years will give him time to establish himself and work his way up. So don’t think of this as a knock on Flores, more of a nod to Norris. Norris had a great year, hitting .283/.413/.513 at single-A Hagerstown with 30 doubles and 23 home runs, leading the league in OBP and finishing 2nd in HRs. He was named the minor league player of the year by the organization. The 20 year old prospect also garnered other recognition, as Baseball America named him the #2 prospect on the Nats, the #4 prospect in the Sally league and the player of the year for the organization.
1B – Chris Marrero – His presence here was more doubtful last year, after the injuries of 2008. But he has recovered nicely and put together a strong 2009 season. Baseball America’s statement that his “best tool is his plus-plus raw power to all fields” is pretty enticing, and he’ll have to hit with power, because he will swing and miss, and he’s not a great fielder. But he’s got ability, and if they can develop him in to the true power hitter that they think he can be, he’ll be an asset for sure. For what it’s worth, he’s also crushing the ball in the AFL this year.
2B Read the rest of this entry »
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:
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 »
November 10, 2009
A 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.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 4, 2009
Baseball Reference is a truly wonderful site, and it is the standard among anyone who wants to see tons of basic stats. Of course, if you are a reader of this site, you know the first time I mention any current major league player on the Nats, I link to his Baseball Reference page. These pages can be very helpful, but they can also be eye-opening, mind-blowing or just plain weird. Here are a few I’ve found that I find interesting in no particular order:
- Herb Washington: 105 games, 33 runs, 31 SBs… 0 plate appearances.
- John Coleman: In 1883, he was the single season leader in Earned Runs, Hits, and Losses, and nobody has ever beat him in any of these marks.
- Michael Jordan: A 31-year old AA player who batted .202/.289/.266, what’s so interesting about that?
- Will White: He pitched 680 innings in 1883, a record that will broken some time after there’s a professional team on Saturn. More remarkable? He pitched 7 more seasons AFTER that, and did so rather effectively, with an ERA+ of 121 and a record of 154-133. This is all after that 1883 season, so maybe we ARE baby-ing pitchers. Let’s think about a 3 man rotation next year, is all I’m saying.
- Babe Ruth: Look how many times he lead the league in R, HR, BB, OBP, SLG, OPS… there were 5 seasons where he got on base more than HALF the time he got up! Then, when you’re duly amazed, scroll down and look at his pitching career, which included a 94-46 record (10th all time winning percentage) and an ERA title. Geez.
- Pud Galvin: Just cause he’s the original juicer. Read the rest of this entry »