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Old 10-13-2017, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,551 posts, read 4,501,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7express View Post
Today's exhibition game was NOT at Nats Park (see previous message) it was at Max Bishop stadium on the campus of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Game ended 4-4 after the Nats botched what would have been the game-ending double play which allowed the tying run to score. They are off Sunday, and will open the season on Monday afternoon vs. the Miami Marlins, while the Red Sox head to Boston and open the season with a 3 game interleague series vs. the Pirates.


Edison Volquez (10-11, 5.37 last season) will take the ball for the Marlins after coming over from the Royals in the off season. Nats will hand the ball to Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 3.60) who started last season 13-0 before losing 4 of his last 7 games, and never appeared in a game after leaving his September 7 start with an injury.


New players for this season: Adam Lind, most recently with the Mariners was signed to a 1 year deal. He'll serve as the back up first basemen, and will likely be the first pinch hitter off the bench. He'll likely replace Clint Robinson who was optioned to AAA Syracuse, but he did clear waivers, so he'll likely be the first call up when Ryan Zimmerman ultimately gets hurt (and unfortunately, I know it is likely coming at this point ).
Trea Turner will be the every day short stop with Danny Espinosa getting traded to the Angels, and the Angels are starting to look like the Nationals West with all these ex-Nats playing at the Big A next year: Yunel Escobar, Danny Espinosa, Ben Revere is there now too.
The big free agent for the team this year was Matt Weiters who travels down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from Camden Yards in Baltimore to Nationals Park in DC, but likely can keep the same house! He'll be the every day catcher with Wilson Ramos signing with the Tampa Bay Rays, but unfortunately with the knee injury the Buffalo suffered in the last week of the regular season, he may not play for Tampa this season.
The major acquisition of the winter was the Nationals trading 2 highly-touted pitching prospects: Lucas Giolito & Reynaldo Lopez for CF & leadoff hitter Adam Eaton. You could make a case with the price they paid they should have had the White Sox include David Robertson in the trade, but that will be debatable for the rest of the season. Robertson certainly isn't great, but he's certainly not terrible either, and would easily be better than the "closer by committee" approach Baker is using. Having a closer by committee is basically like having 2 QB's....if you have 2 QB's you really have 0 QBs. With a franchise that has a penchant for blowing late leads in big games, not making a move for one of the closers on the market was extremely head-scratching.
Joe Blanton was also signed in the off season, and I know you are thinking "Joe Blanton, why the hell would this team need a starter, and Blanton was terrible" the Joe Blanton they got revived his career in LA last year as a set up pitcher, and had a great year out of the Dodgers bullpen. It's possible the Nats could go to him in the closers role later on this year.
Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez, and Max Scherzer, who was battling a finger injury towards the end of spring training will follow Strasburg in the rotation. Joe Ross will likely be the 5th starter, but with all the off days in April, they won't need a 5th starter until about April 22 or 23 which is the Mets series, so Dusty & GM Mike Rizzo can kick that can down the road for a couple weeks until it becomes a problem if they so desire.


My prediction for the 2017 Nationals:
99-63 overall record, first place in the NL East 5 games clear of the 2nd place Mets, and another 5 game series loss to the Dodgers in the NLDS . Let the games begin!
Missed the overall win/loss by a whole 2 games; they finished 97-65. Also lost in 5 games but not to the Dodgers. Obviously I didn't think the East would be as bad as it was. And Chris Russo makes a valid point. Maybe by not having a threat in the division, they get complacent, because they are coasting since May, so when you get backed up to the wall in a must win game or series, they don't know how to react because they haven't had one all year. The Dodgers last year had to come from behind the Giants to overtake them, and even though the Dodgers finished ahead by a bunch of games the September games were still meaningful. The division was so terrible that the Nats had the division locked up by Memorial Day, no joke while the Cubs had to fend off both the Brewers & Cubs, and really were playing playoff type baseball games up until the final series of the year. I think that plays a big part in the collapses as well.
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Old 10-14-2017, 12:01 AM
 
18,924 posts, read 7,363,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7express View Post
Missed the overall win/loss by a whole 2 games; they finished 97-65. Also lost in 5 games but not to the Dodgers. Obviously I didn't think the East would be as bad as it was. And Chris Russo makes a valid point. Maybe by not having a threat in the division, they get complacent, because they are coasting since May, so when you get backed up to the wall in a must win game or series, they don't know how to react because they haven't had one all year. The Dodgers last year had to come from behind the Giants to overtake them, and even though the Dodgers finished ahead by a bunch of games the September games were still meaningful. The division was so terrible that the Nats had the division locked up by Memorial Day, no joke while the Cubs had to fend off both the Brewers & Cubs, and really were playing playoff type baseball games up until the final series of the year. I think that plays a big part in the collapses as well.
Its quite possible.

You battled well. Cubs are no slouch.

Congrats on what was still a good year for the Nationals.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 691,786 times
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Firing Dusty Baker will likely mean a much less successful season in 2018. Suggests that Werth will not be brought back and that no serious effort to resign Harper will be made. Ownership has a lot to answer for here.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,849 posts, read 3,975,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Firing Dusty Baker will likely mean a much less successful season in 2018. Suggests that Werth will not be brought back and that no serious effort to resign Harper will be made. Ownership has a lot to answer for here.
I think it would be ridiculous to fire Dusty Baker. He's had the team playing a nice balance of relaxed, galvanized and high concentration baseball for 2 years now. The prior 2 Nat's managers (Matt Williams, Davey Johnson) cannot say that. Dusty had some bad luck and came up one run short to the Cubs.

Speaking of the Cubs, they had a fairly weak regular season barely winning the division. Then squeeked the Nat's in 5 before getting pummeled by the Dodgers 28 to 8 overall. Does anyone think there will be calls to fire Joe Maddon?
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 691,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
I think it would be ridiculous to fire Dusty Baker.
Baker is officially out, so apparently the Lerners thought differently. I would see steep costs ahead here in terms of fan and player loyalty.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,849 posts, read 3,975,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Baker is officially out, so apparently the Lerners thought differently. I would see steep costs ahead here in terms of fan and player loyalty.
Dang, so I see (from Washington Post.com). Good luck with that Nats, uprooting, gambling for post season success. It reminds me of the Redskins from about 15-20 years ago when they kept making aggressive moves thinking they could win a super bowl, and each time they got further from it.

If there was such a thing, I'd sell my stock in the Nationals.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,551 posts, read 4,501,201 times
Reputation: 2488
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Firing Dusty Baker will likely mean a much less successful season in 2018. Suggests that Werth will not be brought back and that no serious effort to resign Harper will be made. Ownership has a lot to answer for here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Baker is officially out, so apparently the Lerners thought differently. I would see steep costs ahead here in terms of fan and player loyalty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
If there was such a thing, I'd sell my stock in the Nationals.
Werth wasn't going to be back anyways, all this move guarantees is that Harper is leaving after next season, so they may as well just trade everyone that has any semblance of value (Rendon, Harper, Eaton even off the injury, Zimmerman, Taylor, Scherzer, Murphy) and head down the path of the White Sox.

I'm already letting fans of other teams convince me to become a fan of their team. I can't take the circus-like atmosphere anymore. Say what you will about the White Sox, A's, Marlins, Padres at least those teams actually have somewhat of a plan and actually keep managers around.
The Yankees have had 3 managers in 25+ years. 3 in 25 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take out the fact they are a successful franchise, and can spend money (which the Lerner's and Nats can to but they choose to penny-pinch instead) you want to know an underrated reason why the Yankees haven't had a losing season in over 20 years?? Because they have continuity in the managers role!!!!!! As I said, take out the fact it's New York and the most successful franchise in the sport, people will sign there because they know who the manager will be on their first opening day...and it'll likely be the same manager that's there when their contract ends. Same with the Steelers in the NFL who have only had 3 coaches in about 50 years (Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin). FA's sign there, not only because its a successful team, but because there's continuity....athletes like continuity. Nowadays money usually wins out, but if its close (money wise) athletes would likely take the continuity, the organization will protect the coach/manager even in a bad season. The Steelers could have fired Tomlin about 6 times in the last 8 years but they haven't. You want to know why?? Because the owners (the Rooney family) believe in continuity. Hal Steinbrenner could have fired Joe Girardi about 3 or 4 times in the last 6 years but he hasn't, want to know why?? Because unlike his father, he believes continuity is better for a younger team he was trying to build.
Why would ANYONE want to sign long term in DC when they go through managers in less than 10 minutes like there's a manager tree growing on Capital Avenue outside the stadium.
As for who the new manager might be: There's only 1 candidate who would make the Dusty "firing" (technically he wasn't fired his contract wasn't renewed) justified and that person is Joe Girardi. He's a great manager (despite what Yankee fans may say) who could lead the Nats back to the playoffs and possibly out of the NLDS. Of course Girardi would demand top dollar, and since it's been proven time and time again that the Lerner's are unwilling to pay even medium dollar for a manager (that's how they ended up with Dusty in the first place when Bud Black was their first choice, they [the Lerner's] wouldn't guarantee the extra year Black wanted, so he dropped out, so that left the Nats with their pants down at their ankles so he went scurrying to their sloppy seconds with their tail between their legs when they had no other alternative). I could see them making a run at a Jim Leyland or Tony LaRussa or Bobby Cox if either of them want to get back to managing, which I guess wouldn't be a terrible choice for this year only as all 3 are World Series winners, but since all of them are in their 70's we'll be stuck in the "new manager in 2018 or 2020" cycle. Plus I could see LaRussa, Cox and Leyland wanting good money too which as I said above with Girardi is NOT happening with the Lerner's running the team.
What will probably happen with the new manager: They'll (GM Mike Rizzo and the Lerner's) will go after a retread (see Collins; Terry, Ausmus; Brad, Farrell; John) or a rookie (see Maddux; Mike [current Nats pitching coach] or Calloway; Mickey [current Indians pitching coach] that will settle for a 2 year $500K contract. In Collins case he says he still wants to manager a couple more seasons so I could see him taking that offer. Farrell will be in the same boat as Dusty was (back-to-back division titles, back-to-back DS exits) so I can't see him going there, of course DC is obviously less pressure than Boston pressure-cooker is, and in DC Farrell would actually have pitching, something he didn't have in Boston for their 2 prior DS exits. Ausmus had a horrible last year and a half-2 years in Detroit so I could also see him taking a $500K 2 year contract to rebound and get on his feet for better offers after the 2019 or 2020 seasons, if he can take the Nats to the playoffs and even beyond the NLDS. The 2 rookies I had mentioned above would be in the same boat as Ausmus: it would be their first major league managerial job so I'd have to think they'd take whatever offer was on the table, especially if that was their only offer on the table, have a good 2 or 3 years, and get up the coaching latter for better jobs moving forward. With how awful the first rookie hire for Rizzo was (Matt Williams after the 2013 season) I don't see him going down that route again. Alls I know if they hire a retread I'm going to a new fandom. Looking through this board I don't think the Padres or Reds have official team threads and I actually like the Padres a lot. Perfect weather, nice ballpark, now the only pro sport in their city. Sure the GM is a little crazy, but at least they actually look to have somewhat of a plan in place with the young prospects they got through trades the last 2 seasons getting significant playing time last year. Marlins have a new ownership group, and growing up in the New York area, you could not help but love Jeter's play. Who knows how he does an owner, but if I grew up watching him play in New York, I should follow him in his new career as an owner. Plus, they don't make the playoffs often, but when they do, they win World Series! The White Sox and Reds both have young players. Probably not playoff teams, but at leas they have a road map they are following unlike the Nats who have no plan what to do past 2018 and just fire managers that win almost 200 games in 2 years, and went to a deciding game 5 despite losing his starting catcher and #2 pitcher last September, and who this year had to manage the worst bullpen in the history of baseball, had an injury to his #1 pitcher this year that he could only start once, lost his starting CF in April for the season, lost his starting SS for half the season, his starting RF for a quarter of the season, and his #4 pitcher for the entire season.
Sure, Baker made some questionable decisions, some of which I've mentioned on this thread, but he was far from the reason the team lost this season or last season.
And speaking of Rizzo, can we ship him down the Potomac as well?? This will be his 4th managerial hire in his tenure as Nats GM. A GM is lucky if they can hire 2 managers in their tenure and this will be Rizzo's 4th. That's ridiculous. If you're going to fire someone, why not fire the GM?? He put together the worst bullpen in the history of baseball, and hasn't put together a roster that has advanced past the NLDS. Where's the call for the GM's head?? How come the GM gets 3 mulligans, shouldn't the GM only get 1 mulligan?? And he made single handily one of the worst trades in the history of DC sports: at the trading deadline in 2015 when he traded for known clubhouse cancer Jonathan Papelbum, all because our current closer at the time blew a save in a game 5 three years before hand when the manager put him in a terrible spot because the starting pitcher couldn't hold a 6-0 3rd inning lead which made things haywire the final 6 innings, and because of that the current closer "isn't playoff ready" so they have to trade someone that is. As figured and correctly predicted by me Papelbum stunk, the closer (who had the same stats if not better stats) once demoted stunk, and the team stunk the rest of the season (they went from 2 games up on the day the trade was announced to losing the division by about 7 or 8 games. That season culminated with Papelbum choking the player that would wind up winning the MVP in the dugout after Harper failed to run out a fly out fast enough for Papelbum's liking apparently. I would have fired Rizzo after that season since that was the end of the disastrous Matt Williams tenure, and if it wasn't bad enough after the choking episode, that same week (which was the last week of the season) Barry Svurluga of the Washington Post ran a 3 part story about how the team had totally turned out Matt Williams, and thought of him as a joke. The whole organization is a circus, lets send them back to Montreal! I actually liked them better in Montreal! It's not their fault Omar Minaya and MLB ran the team into the ground which alienated what little fan base they had left after the strike. The Lerner family and Rizzo are currently running the team into the ground in DC, and are at risk of alienating that fan base. As the Blue Jays have shown in Toronto, Canadians WILL attend baseball games as long as you have known players to build around and the team isn't a dysfunctional disaster. The fact the Canadians (the Montreal NHL team for those that don't know) stink so far this season, and I believe a baseball team in Montreal would get very good attendance numbers. Bring back Yuppee & the Expos!!
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:50 PM
 
18,924 posts, read 7,363,495 times
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Nats owner is likely dumber than the Wilpons. Not a great achievement.

This is insane.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 691,786 times
Reputation: 2736
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7express View Post
Werth wasn't going to be back anyways, all this move guarantees is that Harper is leaving after next season, so they may as well just trade everyone that has any semblance of value (Rendon, Harper, Eaton even off the injury, Zimmerman, Taylor, Scherzer, Murphy) and head down the path of the White Sox.
It's speculation either way at this or any other point in time, but if he were interested in the role, Werth would still be a perfectly reasonable OF-4 or OF-5 guy, bench bat, and pseudo coach and mentor to the kids. Some of these other guys you note have no-trade clauses, but the bigger picture now suggests that people who can leave will, and that people who had been thinking of coming here now won't. We'll see if Rizzo can somehow resurrect something by Christmas, but presumptions of the team as a favorite in the NL East in 2018 can now be bundled up and sold for scrap.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:13 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 3,091,058 times
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Did they fire Dusty or just not bring him back after his contract expired?
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