October 22, 2016

Can the Same 2016 Nationals Realistically Beat the Cubs in 2017?

October 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes, there are going to be big changes coming to Washington that spring from a fulcrum point in early November. But not THOSE kind of changes. There is a whole other kind of transition team that–beginning in November, after the last pitch of the 2016 World Series–will look to build a better future for the […]

A Tale of Two Cities

October 9, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

In the 1930’s two adolescent boys worked the score board at old Griffith Stadium: Bowie Kuhn and Ted Lerner.  Both grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs and both came up watching the slow demise of the old Washington Nationals as they went from perennial contender to the goats of baseball for thirty years.  Kuhn […]

Planting the Flag

September 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals have all but clinched their third National League East title.  Their 1-0 win at Nationals Park last night over the Mets planted a flag square among the throng of New Yorkers there for the game. With a scant 16 games left to play in the 2016 season, the Nats have a 10 […]

Mike Rizzo Gives Nationals Chance to Win it All on Back Nine

July 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals got their man today when they traded for Mark Melancon of the Pirates. The trade is not yet official, but apparently Washington has dealt Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn to Pittsburgh for Melancon. The trade constitutes is a Coup d’etat right here in Washington, DC.  The ruling elite who predicted that Washington […]

What the First Half is Saying About the Second

July 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The first half is in the books. Can it be trusted? It has great legs and whispers sweet words to us, but is it telling us the truth about what will happen in the second half? The Washington Nationals have been down this road before as have we all. Best first half in team history […]

Bullpen Barbie Dolls

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals pitching staff reminds me eerily of my daughters’ doll collections when they were very young.  They were lucky enough to have a collection of American Girl dolls.  Each one had a special place of reverence in their bedroom. Those were the starters. American Girl dolls came with distinctive names and back stories. […]

What Happens with the DC Strangler in Rehab

June 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

On Sunday the Washington Nationals were behind to the Phillies 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning. The bases were loaded for Jayson Werth with two out and two strikes when he singled to center field to plate two runs for the walk-off win. Talking to MASN commentator Dan Kolko about what it had […]

Rule 4 Draft and Baseball on Television

June 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

One of my favorite MLB, Inc. events is the Rule 4 Amateur Draft and it is getting better all the time. There are no ratings for the 2016 event that I could find, but personally, I watched much more of the proceedings than any year previously–in case anyone is listening. The first round talent seemed […]

Old Dogs and New Tricks in DC

June 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The season flies past like a train gathering speed as it leaves the station. The cold spring days are a memory and the ball is starting to carry in the early summer heat. Mookie Betts and Cory Seager are etching their names into the list of young sluggers to be taken seriously, but in Washington […]

Strasburg’s Emergence Worth the Wait?

May 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

There were a half dozen TV trucks outside the Altoona Curve’s stadium, all aiming their signal at the stars. The stands were packed and all the attention was focused on the first of the “Once in a Lifetime” talents the Washington Nationals signed after wandering in the desert for three seasons. Stephen Strasburg was hyped […]

The Strasburg Signing is a Twofer

May 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent road trip for the Washington Nationals is a microcosm of their season so far. They played ten games in three cities against teams that want to be in the playoff picture come late September. They won five and lost five, sweeping the Cardinals in St. Louis, beating the World Champion Royals in Kansas […]

What’s New About the 2016 Nationals

April 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of the players are the same but there appears to be something very different about the 2016 Nationals. Bryce Harper is at the center of the lineup and like everyone on the team, he looks as if he may have an even better season in 2016 than his MVP season last year. What is […]

Knowing When You Have Reached the Promised Land

April 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

For forty years Washington Baseball wandered in the wilderness, maybe longer. Yet deliverance is upon us–the Washington Nationals have the best record in the early going of the 2016 season and the team as a whole is playing well. Are those who have suffered for so long ready for their own redemption? Rumors popped up in […]

When Past is Prologue and When it Ain’t

April 4, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

Watching the ESPN opening night game between the Royals and Mets, the conversation was understandably about whether the two teams would make the post-season again in 2016. The Mets have a great rotation, a lousy bullpen, and a lineup that is better than the one they began 2015 with. But was the second half of […]

Out of Options Heading North To DC

March 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It is nearing the end of Spring Training, rosters are being finalized, and final cuts made. Players around the leagues who have impressed during the spring but do not have a path to the Majors are being sent to minor league camp unless of course they are “out of options.” The Washington Nationals have plenty […]

From the “Tired” Seats Arose a Mysterious Stranger

March 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The vast electronic sports pub was abuzz with Bryce Harper’s heartfelt soliloquy about our “tired” national pastime. Youth has been fettered, Harper complained, by the rusty traditions of yore. Harper sang the opening bars of his song thusly: “Oh to cavort and cavil, like Lebron flying through the air;  free us to go from first to […]

Saying Goodbye to Ian Desmond

February 29, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

When the news that Ian Desmond signed with Texas was announced in the Washington front office, there must have been cheering all round. He nets the Nationals a first round pick in the June Rule 4 draft, the nineteenth pick overall. There had been worry that Desmond might not sign until such date as it […]

Trea Turner Comparables

February 21, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

Jimmy Rollins stands only 5′ – 7″ but to date he has fashioned a 16-season career that saw him bat lead-off for the Philadelphia Phillies over a span in which they went to the playoffs five consecutive seasons and carried home a World Series Championship in 2008. Speed and sure hands were his best skills […]

Critiquing the 2016 Projections for the Washington Nationals

February 12, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

We are more than six weeks from the first official games of the 2016 season. Then, the day to day performance of players in the long grind of the season will determine what of these hot stove fantasies has any meaning whatsoever. No disrespect intended, but FanGraph’s “ZiPS” and “Steamer” projections are very handy to […]

Bob Davids SABR Chapter’s Annual Meeting

January 31, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

The SABR members of the Mid-Atlantic gathered together yesterday to test the proposition that one Washington area chapter, so conceived, could long endure without its Baltimore contingent. No shots were fired and more than 125 persons attended the very excellent and entertaining session, including many first timers. It was altogether fitting that new officers having […]

Three Times at Bat For the Nationals and Nothing to Show

January 23, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

The Washington Nationals made offers to all three of the elite free agent outfielders on the market: Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Yeonis Cespedes. In at least two instances it is clear from the press reports that Washington offered more money than other clubs in on the bidding. But all three players went elsewhere. The […]

When Is Too Much Scott Boras, Too Much?

January 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Washington Nationals sign Stephen Drew officially as their utility infielder, it will mean they currently have seven Scott Boras clients on their likely 25-man roster. That is 28 percent of all players or slightly more than one-in-four. Is it too much? For purposes of comparison, of the two World Series teams in 2015, […]

Dear Santa

December 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Christmas tree in Washington is a little bare this year and it has nothing to do with the 70+ degree temperatures. This year it looks like the holidays are going to be all about deferred compensation–you know, that stuff they told you in college. Study hard, eschew the wild times and you will get […]

Boswell or Baker?

December 11, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

In his Friday column Tom Boswell lamented that Dusty Baker had evoked racial stereotypes when Baker said at a news conference, “The number one thing that’s missing in the game is speed… you’ve got a better chance of getting speed with Latin and African Americans.” I will admit upfront that I do not have the hubris […]

Does the Royals’ Success Signal a Paradigm Shift in Baseball Strategy?

November 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Joaquin Benoit’s trade today is just the first in what has been described as a cascade of relief additions that MLB teams will commence once Darren O’Day lands somewhere. The success of the Kansas City Royals has translated to a new paradigm wherein late inning arms are valued equally to those of starters. It was […]

A Big Hanging Curve Ball from DC

November 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Lerner family threw the baseball world a curve this morning when the Nationals announced Dusty Baker as their new manager after dangling Bud Black’s name for a week. If the new sources are to be believed more than the old sources, the Lerner family low-balled Bud Black who opted out. Dusty Baker has been […]

Mr. Black Goes to Washington

October 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals have settled on a manager to replace Matt Williams.  After the World Series they officially will name Bud Black as their manager for the 2016 season. It is a positive move and one that will hopefully signal more concrete steps to address the many moving parts that are the 2016 Nationals. Five […]

DC Post Mortem

October 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Managers come and managers go; it is in the nature of the game. Still, the summary execution of the entire Washington Nationals coaching staff could not be viewed as a triumph of any kind. It was a sad business. There were many fine men involved in the dismissals, the most egregious of which is Randy […]

Rob Manfred, Studied Contrast to Selig and “Smartest Man in Baseball”

September 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The sitting Baseball Commissioner, Rob Manfred, was the guest of Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club last night for the live airing of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program, “The Kalb Report.” It was a fascinating fifty-five minutes of back-and-forth between the two men, and a lively Q&A followed. It was difficult not to […]

Reflections on Bud Selig, Competitive Balance, and How to Build the Best 21st Century Baseball Team

September 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Listening to Bud Selig is difficult and my heart goes out to the University of Wisconsin students who take his Baseball History class at Madison. Selig spoke last night on a program sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum Associates and organized by former Washington Senators and Redskins Announcer, Phil Hochberg. Listening to Selig was like watching […]

The 2016 Washington Nationals Makeover Should Start Immediately

September 9, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

The Washington Nationals 2015 season ended last night and they missed the playoffs by what ole Diz would call a “country mile.” Many if not all DC sports pundits will continue to harp on the mistakes made by Matt Williams, but whether Williams returns or not, there is a dysfunction in DC that runs far […]

All That Money and Talent and They Are Still the “Natinals”

August 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In a bar in Hanover, New Hamspire I was watching a Red Sox-Yankees game in July 2004 with those fans of the former who quickly despaired as their team fell behind for the thousandth time to the Derek Jeter-Bernie Williams Yankees who had been to the World Series five of the preceding six seasons. And […]

Matt Williams: Thumbs Up or Down?

August 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

As of this writing Bryan Price is still managing the 49-62 Cincinnati Reds after making a fool of himself earlier this season, so the bar for manager retention is set rather low these days. But the Washington, DC hounds demand more and they are nipping at the heels of Nationals manager Matt Williams, wondering what […]

The Trade Deadline Eruption Will Breed a Flowering Free Agent Circus

August 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The trade deadline that passed last Friday afternoon precipitated more activity than has been seen in Major League baseball in quite a few years. And yet the eruption of talented players changing teams last week is merely a foreshadowing of the more remarkable Vesuvius of activity that will begin as soon as the last pitch […]

A Bargain Closeout in DC

July 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nationals waited until almost midnight, but bargain shopping was still in effect when Washington finally pulled the trigger on their bullpen, adding Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon in exchange for Nick Pivetta, ranked just at the back at end of the Nationals Top Ten Prospects. There had been some disagreement about how bad the Nationals […]

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