Back in the saddle; still confused by Young signing

I’m still sorting out the vacation induced cobwebs, so I probably won’t be full speed until tomorrow morning. I’m still baffled by the Dimitri Young-at-$5 million-a-year signing (The Post). Sure, he is hitting this year, but it is downright naive to think he can continue at this pace over the life of his contract. I want to know how spending $5 million annually on a fat DH playing in the NL fits in with The Plan? It isn’t obvious to me right now. I also wonder if Ronnie Belliard is kicking himself for signing a contract extension that was so low. Fire Bowden!

In current news, it is deadline day and there is no indication that the Nats will make any trades according to The Post. Jon Rauch is the most likely to go elsewhere, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen (The Wash. Times).

Have you wondered what life in the Gulf Coast League is like? The answer is in today’s Wash. Times.

Shawn Hill pitched for the P-Nats (nationals.com) last night. Manny Acta was there and liked what he saw — 3 H 0 R 0 BB 1 K. If his arm isn’t hurting this morning, it’ll be a victory.

I kept up with the Nats through The Times this weekend, but didn’t watch them. The next time I am down the Shore, they’ll play Philly for three games, so I can follow them in The Inky.

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So much for Friday’s headline

This could have been a big weekend for the Nats, what with a double header Saturday—but sadly, it didn’t come to fruition. We only took one against the Mets that day, and then lost Sunday’s game after a long rain delay.

(CBS Sportsline Boxscore: Saturday Game 1, Saturday Game 2, Sunday)

UPDATE 8:10 p.m.

In the meantime, Cal Ripken was inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. Even Tom Boswell took time to comment on the occasion! I’m back and I don’t care about old Baltimore baseball players. I care about guys with WASHINGTON on their uniforms. Sometimes interlocking NY’s too.


Today’s posting brought to you by Pentagon City Bureau Chief Fritz Hamme and updated by a well-rested WFY.
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Beat the Mets, beat the Mets . . .

Washington 6 NEW YORK 2 (CBS Sportsline Boxscore)

Bacsik Delivers For NatsThe Post
I missed the game last night, what with me being out to see The Simpsons Movie, but it was still wonderful to come home and discover that the Nats enjoyed a glorious victory.

More from the The Wash. Times.


This morning’s (brief) posting done by newly-christened Pentagon City Bureau Chief, Fritz Hamme.
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Weekends at the Jersey Shore

LBI flag

Erica and I are taking a long weekend down the Shore, but don’t worry WWN Pentagon City bureau chief Fritz will keep the Nats coverage going in my absence.

If I were in town, I might go to the Arena Stage garage sale (Baseball on the barn too) and see if they were selling any of the costumes/uniforms from their production of Damn Yankees. (H/T CityDesk)

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Maryland’s "Mixing Bowl gap"

Traffic to go up and awayThe Sun
Now that the Springfield Interchange is completed in Virginia, Maryland is playing catch-up when it comes to complicated interchanges between I-95 and a beltway. North of the city, the I-95 (John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway)/I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) interchange is being rebuilt with “skyramps” to carry High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Total cost: $450 million to $500 million.

The existing interchange is essentially a directional T (Kurumi) that has been doubled up. Fun fact — all the thru lanes at this interchange cross over the opposite lanes, so the oncoming traffic is briefly on the right side.

I’m skeptical of HOT lanes in general and since these are only 10 miles long, I have to wonder if they will just complicate matters even more. Those two HOT lanes will be have to merge with four lanes of through traffic (around milepost 72) which then go down to three lanes around milepost 77.

I’ll be passing through there this weekend so I’ll note if there is anything interesting at that interchange.

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Follow-up to Nats victory

I posted most of my thoughts on yesterday’s triumph already, so today is mostly links.

(CBS Sportsline Boxscore)

Nationals Have the Final SayThe Post

Nationals avoid sweep despite ejectionsThe Wash. Times

Utley breaks right handThe Inky
Chase Utley suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a John Lannan pitch. The Phillies All Star second baseman expects to be back within a month.

Nats’ Young to Get 2-Year, $10 Million ExtensionThe Post
Dimitri Young is not worth $5 million a year, period. The Nats are really overpaying. This will make it harder in the future to sign players for anything but way-too-much. I wouldn’t expect anybody to give a hometown discount anytime soon either. I guess The Plan is dead.

Young close to new contractThe Wash. Times

Rookie Flores Seems to Be Catching OnThe Post
C Jesus Flores is hitting .387 this month. He needs to play more. Not bad for a Rule 5 draftee who never played above A ball.

Ryan Zimmerman says Washington will be like New York without all the hassle (The Wash. Examiner) once the new park opens and the team starts spending some money.

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Nats defeat Fleas, Wendelstedt

Washington 7 PHILADELPHIA 6 (CBS Sportsline Boxscore)

Another day, another Nats comeback, another 9th inning loss…wait, they held on? Chad Cordero only gave up one run in the ninth with a two run lead?! Sweet.

It appears a crazy game. I only got to hear the 1st and 9th innings because I’m in that demographic Lee D’Elia really likes. Anyway, the Natmosphere has a new enemy — Hunter Wendelstedt. The umpire threw starting pitcher John Lannan for hitting two Philly batters. On the radio highlights, Dave Shea Jageler got pretty animated in his disgust. Don Sutton wasn’t too happy on the TV side either, according to the 3 girls with ♥. Capitol Punishment had a theory as well.

Based on what I have seen today, I have concluded that Wendelstedt hates:

  • freedom

  • puppies and kittens
  • Washington
  • babies
  • ice cream on a hot day
  • bunny rabbits
  • rookies
  • strike zones
  • you

I don’t think we can ever let him live this down.

Good thing the Nats won, because being down 6-2 would be pretty hard to come back from; I think 5-3 is much better. Congratulations on winning this series Cliff, just remember, the Nats came back last year.

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Da Meathook staying?

Dimitri Young may be close to signing a two-year extension (nationals.com) with the Nats. Nationals Journal says it would be in the neighborhood of $2 million a year. At that price, I think it is a decent decision. Still, I am skeptical of a few things:

  • I’m not a SABR guy, but until this year his stats were trending down. Prior to this season, he last hit near .300 in 2003. This year is an abberation. If he can hit near .300 though, he’ll prove valuable.

  • He is a DH stuck playing first in the NL.

There are some positives though:

  • Clubhouse popularity

  • Isn’t Larry Broadway or Kory Casto
  • Has outgoing, fun-loving personality that could make him the first really marketable African-American player the Nats have had. If I’m Stan Kasten, I’d have Young giving a lot of face time to diabetes related foundations and D.C. neighborhood groups and schools.

It will be interesting to see what happens, perhaps there will be a news conference this afternoon around 4 p.m.