Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No need to roll loaded dice

Nationals Inquisition » Nats Whiffing On FA Market Like An Adam Dunn At-Bat

You know what they call the football franchise in this area: Champs of the offseason.

And why are they called that? Because they spend every offseason blowing cash. Not spending it, but blowing it.

Can we even recall how many bad signings Dan Snyder has forced? And what has it got him? Nada.

Are we really lamenting the loss of Jorge DeLaRosa? Could 1 in 100 Nats fans pick Jorge DeLaRosa out of a police lineup? Would they know who he was if he walked into their livingroom with an "I'm Jorge DeLaRosa" t-shirt on?

No. They wouldn't. And he got three years and $33 million. For the Hispanic Jason Marquis no less.

Sorry to say this folks, but 2011 died the moment SS's elbow did. No amount of cash thrown around this winter is going to change that. So the objective for this offseason and next year is exactly the same as it was last year: develop assets for future use.

That means using playing time to either give young players a chance to establish major league value or use it to rebuild value in retreads and spin that into controllable young talent.

Overpaying mediocre at best veterans is just a stupid way to placate a fan base and a waste of the precious resources of major league playing time and a financial sinkhole in years when you are hopefully better.

Getting that #1 starter was always going to be tough. There aren't that many of them and they are constantly changing. On the open market, they command ludicrous amounts of money. On the trade market, they demand ridiculous amounts of prospect value. The farm system is better but it's not yet at the level to absorb a major three or four for one deal.

Now, I'm not totally going to let them off the hook for the lack of offseason spending. I am still wondering why I read about teams like the Minnesota Twins signing top Dominican prospects for couch change in the Lerner household.

And why could the Toronto Blue Jays buy a sandwich pick in a deep 2011 draft for $500,000 and the Nats couldn't?

I agree on Webb. It better not be money keeping him from signing here. That's all I'll say about that, unless he wants a guaranteed two or three years. Then, pound sand 9 innings in two years boy.

Aside from the big splashy moves, I would hope they are focusing on putting together a better bench for 2011 at the very least. It won't cost much and it would go a long way toward making the team more respectable. Give us at least one guy who can sit on his ass for eight innings and enjoy the game and then go up there and poke on out in the ninth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This is how its done

MLB: Detroit made a baffling decision in giving Joaquin Benoit a deal - ESPN Keith Law's ESPN blog --

The Blue Jays just bought a supplemental pick for $500,000 from Colorado by trading for Miguel Olivo and paying his buyout. The Rays paid $700,000 and got a draft pick plus 60 great innings of relief work. That's a relative bargain, and another pick to help them refill the pipeline of prospects they need to survive in a low-revenue market.

I just want one good reason the Nationals aren't leading the league in moves like these? $500,000 for a Top 50 draft pick? That's tip money to the Lerner's.

Credit where its due: Matt Capps was our Benoit last year. The finest example of what the organization should have been doing since 2005.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing around with the Nationals' payroll

The Goessling Game: Playing around with the Nationals' payroll

About the same as my own back of the envelope calculations. (No way Wil Nieves gets an arbitration offer none)

The great danger with these numbers is: spending for spending's sake. Please don't bid against yourself for Carlos Pena. Please. I beg you. He isn't going to draw much interest.

As for Cliff Lee? there is some serious albatross potential there.

I hope they don't just think free agents. There are opportunities to use this excess 2011 payroll in other ways. Taking a big contract or two for example. Maybe the Cubs just can't take Carlos Zambrano in the clubhouse anymore. Or at least they can't justify his massive salary and being a clubhouse cancer. They have a first time MLB manager, maybe they'd like to just be rid of him. I know he was awful in the first half of 2010 and he IS in fact a clubhouse cancer but in the 2nd half he was close to his old self and sort of well behaved.

And hey, there are still international guys being signed. Wouldn't mind a little scratch going in that direction.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Legendary Tigers manager Sparky Anderson dies at 76 | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

It's strange to have feelings of loss come over you when a person you don't know, never met wouldn't know you if you walked up to him with an I'm "my name here" T-shirt dies.

It was that way with Ernie and George Kell. And it's that way again today.

I do actually remember who managed the Tigers before Sparky. Ralph Houk had a run in the late 70s and Sparky replaced Les Moss halfway through a season.

For my younger years, the Tigers had been bad. I missed, in blissful toddler ignorance, the '68 WS champions and the Billy-ball early 70s teams.

The Tigers were mostly non-descript with a tinge of if you squint real hard and ignore their all too often failures, they look like actual baseball players. I'm thinking Steve Kemp and Jason Thompson as the great symbols of that era. It wasn't until the statistical revolution that I came to realize exactly how god awful Auerlio Rodriguez really was.

Sparky ended the era of non-descriptness immediately. Now, he had Trammell and Whitaker and Parrish and Morris and Petry and Gibson et al but Sparky was the brand. The FoF if you will.

He just gave you a sense that the Tigers meant something, they were no longer doormats, they would scrap and claw and be in games. Never had a sense in the decade of the 80s, that the team was ever going in the wrong direction. And our guy wasn't going to be outmanaged nor would he back down from a fight.

Maybe that was his greatest quality -- he looked and sounded like an avuncular great uncle who would tell stories and display his knowledge and love of baseball at will but you always knew under the exterior there was an iron will and a perfectly formed set of principles which were unbending.

He'd play around with you but you knew there were limits and they would not be crossed. Not that you really ever wanted to. It seemed like a world of wisdom had been won at a great price based on the lines on his face. He came upon his knowledge and principles the hard way under a thousand summer suns on dirt infields all over the country and you could say what you wanted but he knew best (and you knew it too.)

Mostly, as a fan, Sparky made baseball fun. He was having fun, he was enjoying it and wanted everyone else to share it. You can't ask much more out of a baseball manager but to say he made being a fan a much more rewarding and entertaining experience.

Godspeed #11

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dunn With Dunn - The Countdown

NationalsFanboyLooser: Dunn With Dunn - The Countdown

Cheer up. This is the season of optimism. There will be plenty of time to be negative once July comes around again.

It's easy to be on a winner when you have teammates like Longoria and Price but Dunn has never been part of a winner so he stinks?

Bottom line on Adam Dunn -- he's been an above league average player every year he's been a regular. He'd be a difference maker as a DH.

Pena? Underrated because the two things he does well walk and play defense are hard to quantify. Net I'll bet the swap would be close to even except in the Lerner's wallet and that's what is really important.

I'll be unhappy to see Dunn leave. I understand why and if he can get what he deserves from an American League team, God Bless him. He's earned it.

The real lesson from the Giants triumph should be: all it takes to win a World Championship is two dominant starters a couple of upside guys and a strong bullpen. Period. Hell the Nats had a much better offense than the Giants. Edgar Renteria? Cody Ross? Andres Torres as key pieces? How bad was Pablo Sandoval this year and they still won the division.

Think 2012:
J Zimm=Cain
Bumgarner=??????? (Don't have an answer here)

This is of course best case scenario. But it takes a little luck to win. Where would the Giants be if that violent delivery shredded Timmy L's elbow? Nowhere.

Oh and as a note to the Lerners? The Giants won the WS even with Barry Zito cluttering up the payroll. Please don't take this as an invitation to grossly overspend on pitching but look at it as spending what you need to in order to be competitive.