Thursday, February 26, 2009


To put out the wildfire, you have to stop the guy with the gas can!

Sometimes when people play with matches--they can actually torch far more than expected. At the rate these allegations are spreading rampant--that house called Our Washington Nationals might just catch fire as well. Please--let the investigation play out--before this Spreading Wildfire burns Our Washington Nationals to the ground.

The National aren't going to be burned to the ground.  Let's not get overly dramatic with the crisis stuff (enough people here are doing that already).

Fair or not, when an organization that you are in charge of screws up, you have to take responsibility.  And, I don't mean one slip up and you're gone.  But we're talking about a pattern . . . the What's His real name problem connected to the skimming bonus scandal. 

And we aren't even talking about the 102 losses and the  29th rating of our farm system. 

I don't know about anyone else, but its hard to be an optimist or even just present yourself as a fan of the Nationals right now.  Lovable losers OK, Incompetent losers . . . no one wants to be on that train.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


An astute reader indeed . . .

Here's the Nick J. conundrum in a nutshell . . .

He has the chance to make a healthy (ha ha) profit for you if he avoids any extended DL stints.  That's why he only makes $5m.  At what risk level do you take this bet?  Does he have a 30% chance of staying healthy and "earning" over $15m?  20%?  40%?  The payoff would be huge. 

OTOH, What percent chance does he turn into a huge loss?  50% 60%.  There probably isn't much middle ground there.  If healthy, he's almost guaranteed to give you a huge profit.  BUT THERE IS NO GUARANTEE.

It's not my money, but I think I'd make this call every time. 

And, not to give the current FO any credit, they have astutely hedged their Johnson bet with the troika of Dunn, Willingham and Kearns.  (even Da Meat Hook is hanging on the fringes of this plan).  Instead of rolling Fidel's grandson (Casto) or Belliard the larger at 1B, they are assured of having at least league average (balancing above average offense of Willingham and Dunn against their awful defense).

IOW, rejoice Nats fans.  There won't be a day this year when you head to the ballpark and see an offensive black hole at a premium power position. 

Why he's not gone yet

For all the "twisting in the wind" that JimBo is doing right now and the wondering why the Lerners and Stan the Plan are waiting for the results of the investigation, it's really simple . . .

. . . if there are more damaging allegations awaiting, then allow that S()&()& to hit the fan when JimBo is still there to take the s(*( sandwich in the face. (mixing metapors is a favorite of mine)

This way the new Front Office, who ever they may be, will truly start from scratch.  They won't have to deal with the residual leftovers of this scandal.

Unfortunately, I am not sure that the Lerners' have enough time to wait out the investigation.  This June's draft is critical to the long term success of the franchise.  Strasburg has to be signed in a reasonable amount of time and so does the #10 pick and the first pick in round 2.  We're talking about adding 3 of the top 55 amatur baseball players eligible for the draft.  That's where the FO needs to be focusing all its attention on right now.

I guess we now know why they haven't been active internationally for the last two years.  They must have had an inkling of how corrupt their Dominician operation was.  If so, then the Lerners made a bad decision in not cutting ties early and starting their own program.  Two wasted years is not acceptable. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

How do we know?

How do we know that the Nats FO didn't make such an offer for the FoF?

I'm sure it's occurred to Stan that maybe offering a long-term deal now might be a good business decision.  Although no numbers have been aired (other than a comparison to Nick Markakis's new deal) we really have no idea what parameters the two sides were discussing.

Maybe the FO MADE the low-ball offer.  And maybe Zim decided to roll the dice and up his price by having a great season.  What if that was Zim's decision?  It would impossible, short of paying a premium price, to sign him long term right now.

What if we've seen Zim's ceiling?  Then his gamble will have busted costing him millions.  If he has a breakout season, he will have made tens of millions. 

However, does Zim really think he's earned a David Wright deal? Wright's equal defensively to Zim and a far superior hitter. FoF or no FoF, 6yr/$55m is over market. 

Other stuff:

Here's where the glut of 1b/of types hurts The Plan.

Cleveland gives up on Andy Marte.

He might be the next Carlos Pena err how about Brandon Phillips another 24 year old Cleveland gave up on (after the WGMIBB ohhh I can't even write it)

 . . .275/372/506 at 21?? in AAA. 64/83 BB/K then 267/309/457 21/64 bb/k at 23 in AAA. Someone told him you can't walk off the island. As they say, once you display the skill you own it.  Given the right direction, would the prospect bloom? It's possible and for a club with AB's to spare, it would be worth a shot.

How's our old Friend Jose Guillen doing . . .

The funny thing is: he better off than he would have been with the old Nats medical staff.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The only man who hates JimBo more than FJB

Jon Heyman

Here's one of his "winners"
14. Reds: They lost out on Jermaine Dye, but Willy Taveras is the leadoff hitter they need. That young nucleus may be ready to win.

If you added Albert Pujols and Manny Ramirez but also added Willy Tavares and hope he gets 600 ABs at the top of your lineup you are a loser my friend.

2. Mets: A run at Manny Ramirez would have made them the kings of the winter. But while they'll hope Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy can form a viable platoon in left field and apparently also that Luis Castillo can spring to life (Jerry Manuel wisely is already making him feel better by saying he might get some leadoff at-bats), they did plenty to overhaul a pitching staff in need. Importing two stud closers -- the record-setting Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz -- within 48 hours saved their winter. Plus, they not only brought back talented (but inconsistent) lefty Oliver Perez but gave themselves plenty of options at the back end of the rotation by adding Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia and Livan Hernandez.

Yes. You read this correctly.  Heyman believes that Omar the super genius made smart moves adding of back end rotation help in the persons of Tim Redding and Livan!  If by back end, you are referring to a real back end OK.  But 2 pitchers who WERE DUMPED BY THE NATS? That's a positive move.  If they get Esteban Loaiza they might go 162-0.

How does this man have a job?  He blows his budget on two relief pitchers, is counting on Fernando Tatis and could move the horrible contract he gave to Luis Castillo if he offered all the jailbait in Paul LoDuca's black book. And he has to start Castillo!  Ha HA HA.

By all accounts Raul Ibanez will be great for the clubhouse and lineup -- though a right-handed hitter might have made a little more sense.

Yes, paying $10m a year for a 36 year old with a stone glove was a coup. 

28. Nationals: They spent a lot of time trying to land the biggest fish, Teixeira, but ultimately it was wasted effort. Eventually, the big move involved another ex-Red, Adam Dunn. They have too many ex-Reds, far too many outfielders and first basemen, too few pitchers and one too many Jim Bowdens.

OK the payoff.  He's right of course.  But I still wonder what JimBo did to deserve the bitch slap at every opportunity? 

Lineup suggestions

From Chico chat:
the Nats do seem to be married to the idea of Zimmerman 3rd, Dunn 4th.

So one idea

3 -- Zimmerman
4 -- Dunn
5 -- Dukes
6 -- Johnson

One far more improbable possibility

3 -- Johnson
4 -- Dukes
5 -- Dunn
6 -- Zimmerman

Or the one that makes the most sense:

2 -Johnson
3- Zim

Why would we not put our best OBP guys near the top of the order?  Of course it would take brass stones for Manny to bat Nick J. leadoff but at 2nd he'll take less heat and still make sure that Zim and Dunn have runners to drive in.  How fast will NJ have to be to score when Dunn launches one of his 40 bombs?

And it keeps the precious L-R-L-R lineup alignment. 

Leadoff would be either Guzman or the 2B de jure (unless its Belliard). Not ideal at all but what are you going to do, this team has flaws and one is no leadoff candidate.

Let Milledge hit 6th.  Someone should go look up his numbers in different places in the order. Yikes.  Small sample size but 214/233/310!!  OK let's go 7th.  Again small sample size but a much better 276/333/466.  305/365/404 in 160 PA's as a cleanup hitter.  Most often hit 8th where a 262/328/416 in 238 PA's line awaits. 

I guess we now know why

Nats Journal has the story.  The SI piece linked there has the details.

The shape of the story as we know it today is a conspiracy by at least the buscone and Jose Rijo to bilk the Nats out of cash.

The buscone surely knew Lugo's age and Rijo should have known.

The real question is (as it usually is with conspiracies) What did Jim know and when did he know it?

There is some room for excuse if the attempt to swindle was exceptionally well planned and executed.  As it must have been since they managed to hide Lugo/Gonzalez's true age from immigration officials for two years.  A lot of other Latin players had their real ages identified years ago with the stricter visa rules following 9/11. So, to beat the new rules for that long means they had to do more than just white out a birthdate on a certificate.

Scamming Segway boy would have been a lot easier.

Now it makes sense why the Nats have been so quiet in international signings. But if  the silence is related to the Gonzalez/Lugo signing, then that says the FO knew it was fishy. Funny, I don't remember hearing them say anything about that.  Never qualified anything about Gonzalez/Lugo when he was rising up the prospect ratings.

If the outlines of the story are true, even with plausible deniability, how can someone not take a fall?  A minister in a government agency in charge when an underling, with our without his/her knowledge, scams the government should (rightly) offer his/her resignation on the spot.  They would understand that they could not creditibly lead any longer and the best interests of the government require a break from the past and new leadership.

I can't see why this isn't the case here. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where's Arli$$ when you need him?

159.7 IP and a 101 ERA+

182 IP and a 89 ERA+

One is worth guaranteed $2.25m and the other is worth an NRI and 850k.

Can you guess which is which?

Odalis shouldn't be instructing his agent in anything, he should be firing the loser. His performance is worth far more then 850k. He's dead right about that.

Scott Olsen got $2.8m and was about as valuable than Odalis last year. (More IP at the exact same ERA+)

In fact, here's some advice. Call Tim Redding and ask him who represents him. Cause that guy could sell ice to Eskimos. Of course, I'm not sure you can call taking Omar Minaya to the cleaners a real chore.

And JimBo, if you are lying about the contract status of Odalis, that is you assumed a verbal agreement was tantamount to an actual enforceable contract, then you should be terminated immediately. Seriously, until the ink is dry on the paper, you haven't got diddly poo. And to not know that and then go spouting off publicly, please.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hill as closer

Since the point has been brought up, I thought I'd take a quick peek
at how the oft-injured Shawn Hill might fare as a one inning only guy.

.236 .297 .279 .575

How's that grab ya? Those are Hill's numbers in the 1st inning.
That's over 155 PA's and 140ABs.

Here are the same figures for inning number 2 168pa/149ab:

.315 .377 .483 .860
Yeech. Horganesque to be charitable. I'd go on but the numbers
really don't improve.

No real platoon split although as you might expect LHB's
pound him a little harder than RHBs.

In 37 games (all as a starter BTW) here's his numbers against the
first batter he's faced.

.176  .243  .206  .449

Impressed yet?

Now, I'm sure that most pitchers have much better numbers
at the start of games, in their first inning of work and
even against the 1st batter. So take these with a grain of salt.
But at the very least, there is no barrier in the numbers to Shawn Hill
making a successful transition to the bullpen.

So how about these 155 PA's and 130Ab's in "high leverage situations"?

.254 .329 .362 .690

Doesn't blow me away but it isn't like he's a choke artist.

So what have we learned?  Hill has never been used in relief.
He does pretty well against both the first batter he faces and in
his first inning of work. Assuming he could translate those skills
to the bullpen, it appears he would be effective. As long as his
arm holds out anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dunn Hating?

A "person" named Michael Walsh rips the newest National as a bad signing. Let's take a look:

For his career Dunn has an OBP of .381 but when you subtract his home run total he has only scored 421 runs in 1,552 times on base. Of those 421 runs, 185 of them came after he walked. Dunn has drawn 797 walks in his career, meaning he has scored after a walk only 23% of the time. Of those 185 runs scored after a walk, Dunn has advanced (or been advanced by a teammate) into scoring position on 130 of them (70%). The point is that, unless he gets into scoring position, Adam Dunn’s walks are good for a run scored less than 25% of the time.

So what you're telling me is: Adam Dunn's teammates over his career SUCK. Because not even Rickey Henderson can steal second third and home and score a run by himself after a walk. As everyone now knows, RBI's are a context derived stat. Just as one needs runners on to get RBI's a runner on NEEDS SOMEONE TO DRIVE THEM IN.

It is painfully obvious when looking at Dunn’s stolen base and doubles totals that he does a poor job of getting into scoring position when not belting the long ball.

In 2003 and 2004 the National League leader in runs scored had exactly FIVE stolen bases. So you're telling me stolen bases correlate directly to runs scored. I await your crowning of Juan Pierre as an unappreciated All-Star

Dunn has driven in only 328 runners in 969 at bats with runners in scoring position (34%) for his career when not hitting a homer.

An undeniable truth. It's right there at Baseball I guess hitting with RISP IS a skill.

But wait. With runners on overall, Dunn's slash line is: 242/407/506. Unless my math is wrong, that's a .913 OPS. If that's what I can expect with runners on, that's OK by me. No, it's not Pujolian or Texierian but it's half the price.

A side note: Dunn led the league in pitches per plate appearance last season. Lastings Milledge at 3.96 and Flop are the only other Nats to make the top 25. If nothing else, starting pitchers will be working harder against the Nats this year than last. (I couldn't find team wide p/per PA stats but I'll wager the Nats ranked pretty low.)

I am fascinated by how many commentators deride Dunn for what he isn't rather than what he is. He is unquestionably an asset to any team he is on in total Metrics put it at about 2 wins a year. No, he isn't going to lead the league in steals, no he isn't going to win a gold glove and no he isn't going to go all DiMaggio on the Ks.

+2 to +3 win player for $10 million a year at only a two year commitment isn’t a bad deal, especially for a team that’s trying to draw some fans to a new park

Thank you for putting like I tried to.

A final aside: I purchased the Washington Nationals Once-a-day calendar this week. For $1. Today's fun Nationals Fact: In 2007 the Washington Nationals were one of just three major league teams to go the entire season without having {sic} to starter pitch a complete game, along with the Rangers and Marlins.

So, not only do we have a completely lame and negative fact, but there is a glaring grammatical error. Way to go marketing dept!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two comments that I can't stay silent about

Acta on Dunn's position: "It's been talked about. At the end of spring training we'll decide what's best for the Nationals. He'll play first base and left field in spring training." (Acta also said he loves the thought of having both Dunn and Nick Johnson, with their high OBPs, in the lineup together--implying that is his preference.)

Manny -- you bought yourself a heap 'o slack from me. And Zimm's agent should send him a fruit basket if he bats Zimm after those two. I'd have to set Zimm's RBI total over/under at 110 for starters. And I'll bet the line would move up!

I swear to god, I am one millimeter away from signing the petition:

Jim Bowden on Dunn's lack of speed: "People have this perception of him because he's big and lumbering. But put a stopwatch on him.... He can move."

Too Many Choices? Really????

That seems to be the majority opinion so far.

Milledge, Dukes, Willingham, Dunn, Kearns, Pena, Bernadina, Maxwell, Davis, (and isn't the least of the Ryans (Langerhans) still kicking about in the lower depths of the system?

Klaw of course derides the signing as "20 million for two wins a year". Perhaps. I note that the main argument he has is with the FO's inability to spin vets for prospect at the deadline.

Will he still think that if Jordan Zimmerman (compensatory pick for Soriano) makes the starting rotation?

Dunn was movable when he made $13m a year. He would be again in '10. Or at least, he's very likely to retain his FA compensation value.

And what's with the Belliard hate? Ronnie's making what $1.9 this year? I am not going to do the math but I would bet that Ronnie's 08 season was worth a lot more than the $1.6 he made.

If memory serves Dukes and Milledge both missed substantial streches last season. Willingham missed time with a balky back and there is no need to go back over Nick Johnson one-man HMO wreaking machine.

Instead of dipping down to overmatched youngsters like Bernadina or use a useful but flawed vet like the worst Ryan, lo and behold, there may be some options available!! And let's not forget, in the National League, its a handy thing to have a PH who can at least threaten a big hit at a critical time.

Of course, this situation gets worse if the organization does not make it very clear to Manny that Milledge and Dukes ARE IN THE LINEUP EVERY DAY! I don't care which of Dunn, Willingham, Kearns, Harris et. al. man the LF/1B slots but the young players have to play. That's not even up for debate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wow. They went and Dunn it

2 years 20 million. Not bad. Not bad at all.

(how many interleague games in AL parks do we play over the next two years?)

No compensation (as was pointed out to me) -- still have that top of the 2nd round pick.

And in 2010, he'll cost a contender just $3.3 mil to rent for August and September.

Really, when you boil it all down, this means at least we'll have some exciting at-bats on MASN for the good guys. I'll admit it right now, I am looking forward to seeing Dunn hit for the Nats. I want to see how far he can drive a ball at Nats Park. I may stay tuned an extra inning or two to see if he can cut our 8-4 deficit in half with one swing.

I am not looking forward to all the extra bases and bloop singles that are in our future. Perhaps 1B is his final resting place. If so, I wouldn't start clearing space in your trophy room for a Gold Glove just yet Mr. Zimmerman.

If Dunn does nothing else, at least he has taken a small step toward breaking the "no one will play in Washington" mystique. No one thought Pudge's signing in Detroit was the start of something . . .

Finally, will there be a fist fight over who gets to hit behind Dunn? Zimm might not know what to do if he came up with men on all the time.

And, just for FJB, The Worst GM in baseball.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being Right and a modest proposal

Bang Zoom is ahead of the curve . . . teams are factoring defense into their value calculations . . .

And speaking of that it seems retirement is preferable to Ray Durham rather than suffer the indignities of working for half the year for $850,000. I suppose 16x the median family income (rounded to 50k) is almost too much pain to bear.

I have not looked up Durham's defensive metrics but off the top of my head the word that comes to mind is statue. I look forward to be proven wrong, I hope not but I've already stuck my foot in it once or twice.

Durham's offensive contribution would be exactly what the Nats need. A .380 OBP guy at the top of the lineup.

Of course, if he gives all that back with the lack of leather then his estimation of his value is way off.

So, here's a free idea for the Players Association (who I'm sure have much more important things to do today like leaking the other 103 PED criminals and preparing for the mother of all lawsuits from A-Roid.)

Offensive and defensive substitutions. Wouldn't a Ray Durham/Anderson Hernandez hitting/fielding platoon be great? How about an Adam Dunn/Ryan Langerhans platoon?

I know its not traditional but this way, we would get the best possible baseball. The best hitters against the best fielders. More hot shots in the hole and more diving stops. More line drives to the gaps and more diving catches.

I wonder which side would win? Would games become 10-9 slugfests or would the increased offense be offset by the better defense? All we'd be left with is more exciting baseball. And we can't have that can we?

Eat Crow

So, Mr. Crow's back working for fry cook wages in Fort Worth?

I wonder if he ever thinks that

1) There is no way, no how he's getting a $3.7 bonus in this environment (And I know the highest offer was $3.5 but time value of money)

2) He's a year farther (and a year of potential injury) away from when some team will vastly overpay for his services. How much bigger will that contract have to be to make up for the extra year of risk and the extra year of being underpaid (assuming he ever reaches replacement level)

For my amusement

That's what baseball players are. Or rather what they do. They amuse me.

Frankly, I don't care what they do when they aren't playing unless it directly affects me. And that's highly unlikely.

Which is why I am so uninterested in who took what when and how did it impact their performance.

You mean these guys are doing something to make them BETTER performers? And I'm supposed to be outraged? I suppose if you fervently need to believe that the human endeavor you are witnessing is solely the result of natural athletic ability honed to a fine skill through unwavering practice then you would be shocked and dismayed.

I hold no such illusions.

I really don't care one iota about PED's. From baseball's perspective however, they are trying to cater to the largest possible audience. If a significant percentage of the audience decided that they simply must believe in the myth, then baseball will provide them with cover and install all the random testing they can get away with.

Perhaps some one can tell me why it was OK for Gaylord Perry to cheat his way into the Hall of Fame but Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Raffy Palmerio and Roger Clemens will be shunned? Is it PED's or is it personality? These four are the biggest names enmeshed in the "scandal" and they (at least 3 of them anyway) share the same trait, they are not engaging personalities who have a good and easy rapport with the media.

And while I'm at it, I'd really like someone to tell me the exact difference between Tommy John surgery and PED's? If I tore my ulnar collateral ligament, I seriously doubt my doctor would rip a ligament from another part of me to fix my elbow. I mean, I'll still be able to USE the arm. It's not medically necessary for me to live thrive and survive unless I want to throw a baseball very hard again. Isn't that basically a performance enhancing medical procedure?

I know you can make the illegal argument . . . but come on. What's the over/under on percentage of baseball players that have used illegal drugs? 70-80%? Pot makes you lazy, at least the cream and the clear mean you'll be out there earning your oversized salaries.

They guy on PED's is trying to win. That's what I want from my players if I'm a fan. I want my guys to win. It gives me faux satisfaction. So, I consider it a far smaller "crime" than what Pete Rose or the Black Sox did. This ain't professional wrestling, I want to know that everyone on the field is trying to win. As long as that is intact, I'll be watching. And I won't be alone.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Smartest move yet

Heard on the Sports Reporters tonight: Thom Lovarro reported that 2 front office types (unnamed) told him that the Nats flirtation with Mark Texeira was nothing more than an attempt by Scott Boras to drive up his price to the Yankees. The Nats would get preferential treatment for Boras "client" Steve Strasburg in June in return for spooking Hal Steinbrenner to pry open the checkbook a little wider.

This sounds like sour grapes to me, but God help me I HOPE it is true.

I want an FO that is looking for every competitive edge it can find. As I go on about, this crew has failed so far to use its huge financial resources to improve the on field product.

Here they made a smart move at virtually no cost. If it helps them sign Strasburg sooner then it will have been well worth it.

Not that I still have confidence they will be able to accomplish that. I have generally sided with the Plan and the virtue of patience. However, the Hill arbitration has given me pause to reconsider that position.

Now, its not like Hill is going to be a major contributor, but 50K??? I could find that in the Lerner's couch cushions. It's not necessary to over pay or everyone (are you listening Danny Boy) but over the small stuff, be an organization that at least appears to want to make its player happy and successful. Go that extra mile (or 50K) and generate some goodwill.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Teams getting smarter?

Nats Journal has a discussion of the Sheinin piece on the 90 or so FA's left on the market at this late date.

Explanations range from collusion to the economy to steroids??

Perhaps another factor is the rise of more nuanced measures of player value.

For example, the two big sluggers left, Dunn and Ramirez, have the gaudiest set of power numbers you could imagine. I doubt many in baseball think that either of them will significantly decline from their prior performance next year.

But they also share something else in common. They are both atrocious defenders. In fact, they are so bad, they give up almost all their positive hitting value. Or at least they give up enough to make their demands (based on their offensive contributions) far higher that teams (basing value on offense AND defense) are willing to go.

Mark Texeria had no trouble finding plenty of suitors willing to pay top dollar. He provides offense and defense.

Sheets is haunted by the ghosts of Jason Schmidt. No one wants to give a guaranteed contract to a guy who's arm may fall off at any time (although that didn't stop the Yankees giving A.J. Burnett 85 million.)

And can someone please do a study about players and their decline phase? Did Nolan Ryan use HGH to throw 96mph at 46? Did Pete Rose load up on andro when he broke the hit record in his mid 40s. There have always been players who perform well at advanced ages. There have always been players who's performance has fallen off a cliff in their mid 30? Remember Dale Murphy? 2 time NL MVP . . . became replacement level for the last 5 or 6 years of his career. And I've never heard anyone explain that by saying he suddenly stopped juicing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Would you do these deals?

For all the bloggers who are demanding some "action" by the Nats FO, please ask yourself this question:

What would your reaction be to news that Jim Bo had just dealt Destin Hood for Ben Sheets? Or Orlando Hudson?

Would you say that this was a wise use of a prospect to acquire a proven veteran to help the 2009 club? Or would you kill him for trading away potentially a lot of value for production in a season that is lost from the get go? What about just getting this proven veteran for just one year? Is that worth giving up one of the top 50 draft eligible players?

Because signing Hudson, Manny or Sheets would essentially be this trade. All those Type A FA's mean the first pick in round 2 would go to someone else. And I know that a 2nd round pick has about a 10% chance of becoming a major league contributor but don't we need MORE of these chances rather than less? You can't win the lottery if you don't play.

It wasn't Greg Vaughn Fred McGriff or Wade Boggs that put the Tampa Rays into the world series. It was Evan Longoria (4th overall pick), B.J. Upton (2nd overall pick) and to a lesser extent David Price (1st overall pick). That represents three pretty crappy seasons (the Nats have yet to select higher than 6th I believe until now.)

From a fan's POV, it would be great to watch Manny 40 dingers next season. Or watch Ben Sheets stay healthy and be a true ace. But does that get the Nats closer to permanent contention? Cause it doesn't look like we have an ownership group that will go the Yankee route and spend till it hurt to be competitive every season.

note: I am a dumbass. And so is Josh Byrnes. Because he's the guy who didn't offer Adam Dunn arbitration. Why? Don't know. Was he afraid Dunn would take a one year deal when he had been talking about a 9 figure deal all season? Did he enjoy paying prospects and over $4M (1.3rd of Dunn's salary last year) for those two months? On the plus side, he did give his club a chance to go to the post season in a very weak division and absent Manny's run, perhaps the D Backs could have snuck in. But that seems like a steep price to pay and get nothing out of it.