October 18, 2019

Medlen’s Misfortune is Everyone’s Misfortune

March 18, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

As the 2012 season drew to a conclusion, Stephen Strasburg’s absence from the rotation of the Washington Nationals was one of the more hotly debated issues. Often those heaping abuse on the Nationals decision to bench their prized right-hander contrasted their decision with that of the Atlanta Braves where Kris Medlen was still taking the […]

Strasburg Redux

September 25, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Washington has many fine sportswriters. Atop the list are Tom Boswell, Tim Kurkjian, and until recently John Feinstein. Last season Feinstein was one of the louder voices calling for the Nationals to keep sending Strasburg out every five days in September. And now he is using the failure of the Nationals to make the playoffs […]

The Bull-Moose Juju

April 25, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

As the first month of the baseball season drew to a close in 2012, the Gio Gonzalez trade looked like an inspiration. Stephen Strasburg was back and the Nationals had the best pitching in the National League. Davey Johnson was looking for offense and summoned Bryce Harper. Everything Mike Rizzo touched in 2012 turned to […]

Poetic Justice

December 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Following the winter meetings is like watching grass grow. Washington baseball fans are waiting anxiously to see whether Santa wraps Mark Buerhle up and places him in the Nationals stocking and if so, what else might there be under the tree. There is the issue of center field with so many options there that even […]

The Lighting of the Hot Stove

October 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Perhaps the Hot Stove season does not commence until after the World Series. Or maybe it adds fuel to the fire. Either way there are instructive failures from last year to consider. There were Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth–just two of the biggest disappointments among the 2011 free agent class. Then at the summit is […]

Catch a Falling Star

December 3, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Lastings Milledge was non-tendered by Pittsburgh yesterday. It is just another benchmark in the descent of a once promising talent that was briefly with the Washington Nationals. Jim Bowden traded Ryan Church and Brian Schneider to the Mets for Lastings Milledge during the off-season before the start of 2008.  The rumblings of his unpopularity in […]

Any Fish’ll Bite If You Got Good Bait

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nationals continue to make notable progress in building their minor league organization.  Rated consistently in the bottom tier since the move from Montreal in 2005, the system is on the rise, but an acid test awaits. GM Mike Rizzo wants to trade for a starting pitcher. The rumor mill has the Nationals looking at […]

Taking the Challenge, Both Harper and the Nationals

August 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bryce Harper’s new teammates challenged the young man to fish or cut bait in the days before the August 16 signing deadline.  Stephen Strasburg said, “If he doesn’t want to play here, we don’t want him here.”   Ryan Zimmerman was almost as skeptical, saying in effect that he saw more maturity and character in […]

Deadline Day for Draftees is Quickly Approaching

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With a mere 11 days to go until the deadline for 2010 draftees to reach agreement with their respective teams there are a number of interesting stories worth monitoring. As of this morning, 25 of the first 50 picks have yet to sign a contract – including 7 of the first 10. The surprising part […]

Something Rotten in the State of Maryland

August 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Mike Rizzo traded Matt Capps and Cristian Guzman for prospects and kept Adam Dunn.  His team and his fans are both happy and the team is playing hungry again.  Andy MacPhail failed to move Luke Scott or Ty Wiggington but hired Buck Showalter to make sense of it all.  Still, something in Baltimore just doesn’t […]

Opportunity Costs Will Dictate Modest Harper Bonus

June 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Nationals fans, management and players are all seeing just what a great and phenomenal talent can do to transform a team.  Strasburg left everyone breathless for more, but although some see Bryce Harper as Strasburg, Part Deux, few believe Harper will get as big a bonus for signing in Washington.  Opportunity cost analysis says the […]

A Capps-i-tal Idea

April 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals have a negative run differential of minus fourteen, yet a winning record at 12-10.  When they have been bad they have been horrid, but give their bullpen a lead into the late innings and they have been extra-ordinary. Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps have done it by allowing a scant three runs–two […]

Goldstein Sounds Alarm in Harper’s House of Charm

April 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin Goldstein took aim at Bryce Harper’s imposing rep this week in an article at Baseball Prospectus.com about his “makeup.”   The amateur draft is counting down and Harper is more and more the only viable first choice. Will the alarm bells spook the Nationals?  Is character as defining a factor for the rebuilding Washington […]

Been Down So Long

April 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A scant year ago, Jim Bowden departed Washington, DC with the Nationals baseball team as ruined as his reputation.  Just as we tend to forget the desert at the first oasis, so the barren geography of hopeless losing was washed away this weekend as Matt Capps converted his first five save opportunities and up and […]

Weighing Bryce Harper

March 8, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Bryce Harper had no where to go but down after being hyped as Lebron James last June.  Questions arose after uneven moments in his play last summer, then again at the start of the college season.  Nationals GM, Mike Rizzo, who will pick first in the amateur draft in three months, must decide whether the […]

Washington Snowmen Add Wang

February 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The almost three feet of snow in front of the house is melting, but during the white out conditions last week the Nationals fought through it all to sign Chien-Ming Wang.  Were the Nationals snow-blinded to the big risks of signing Wang?  There is little chance they are getting the pitcher who won nineteen games […]