Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2010

New Nats 1st baseman Adam LaRoche looks like Bryce Harper, but only during deer season

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(I grabbed this photo from Nationals Enquirer (with love!) who grabbed it frin BuckCommander.com.)

The Washington Nationals signed free agent 1B Adam LaRoche to a 2 year contract that will pay him at $16 million. They probably overpaid, which Thomas Boswell says is the cost of being cheap in the past. Whatever. As Nationals Enquirer notes, he has ADD and likes shootin’ speed beef. Just remember that all that eye black isn’t the Nats way, Adam.

LaRoche is apparently (he’s got more range they say) a better first baseman than the other Adam he replaces, Adam Dunn, but he doesn’t have the bat.

LaRoche signs 2-year dealNats Insider

Adam LaRoche finalizes contract with Washington NationalsThe Post

Okay Pirates fans, you saw LaRoche for years, did the Nats make a good signing?

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Nationals Park on ice?

Last week, after some Twitter discussion, @tbridge wrote a We Love DC post suggesting that a temporary ice rink be installed on the field at Nationals Park during the winter. The idea was prompted by a Times article about the Cleveland Indians trying that out this winter at Progressive Field nee Jacobs Field. For a few weeks Snow Days offers a 1/4 mile skating track and snow tubing hill. It looks like a great idea that would be a lot of fun but could it work in DC? There are several issues to consider:

  • The Indians are expecting to take a loss on Snow Days, something I don’t think the Washington Nationals would be inclined to do.
  • Is $25, what the Indians are charging, too expensive, even in DC? To me, that isn’t a trivial amount of money for what would likely be 2 hours of entertainment. NOTE: @tbridge notes that unlimited skating is $10 which is a much better deal. The snowtubing is extra.
  • According to JDLand, the Near Southeast Redevelopment site, the District has 18 days that it can it use Nationals Park for non-baseball events. I do not know how many days the Nats could use it for non-baseball events. I think in order to make this happen, the lease would have to be amended and that is something that they may not want to do. There are still hard feelings about the lease negotiations in 2004 and 2006 between the District and MLB. The Lerners, owners of the Nats, and the council have had their problems as well. There may be reluctance by those two parties to work together, especially if the revenue potential is uncertain.
  • How much damage would having a ice rink/track and snowtubing slide do to the field?
  • It will be very interesting to see how this goes in Cleveland.

    There is another potential icy offseason event that Nationals Park may host too — the NHL Winter Classic. When it was announced that the Washington Capitals would be traveling to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins on New Year’s Day 2011, it was also announced that the Caps would get to host a Winter Classic. The year has not yet been determined, nor has the site. Potential venues include Nationals Park, but also RFK Stadium, FedEx Field and even Baltimore. I have already stated my preference for the Caps Winter Classic being at Nationals Park and I have to think that Mark Lerner, who is also a minority owner of the Caps in addition to the Nats, should have some clout in making it happen. Playing the game in the shadow of the Capitol dome in the most modern facility makes the most sense. However, because we are talking about the NHL, I can’t trust them to do the right thing. Putting the Caps hosted Winter Classic in Baltimore would be a big middle finger/kick to the groin to DC and WASHINGTON Capitals fans.

    As for the upcoming Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, rain, the worst possible situation is expected (The Early Lead, The Post) and may cause the game to be delayed or postponed. I’d actually find a delay to Saturday night to be preferable, since I would no longer be competing with the Outback Bowl which features my Penn State Nittany Lions against the Florida Gators at 1 p.m.

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    Two Nats-centric chats on washingtonpost.com today

    I have a backlog of Washington Nationals commentary right now, but until I sort that all out (perhaps next week) there are two Post chats today that should be of interest:

    First Things First
    Adam Kilgore, Nats beat writer, is filling in for Tracee Hamilton today.

    Ask Boswell
    “Washington Post Sports Columnist Tom Boswell was online Thursday, Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. ET to take all your questions about baseball, the Redskins, the Wizards and more. “

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    Nats sign Jayson Werth; Phillies fans give insight on him

    The Washington Nationals signed free agent Jayson Werth to a 7 year, $126 million contract today, several days after letting Adam Dunn leave.* Does it surprise you that 31 year old former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder is a Scott Boras client? It strikes me as an irresponsible contract, but since Ted Lerner is worth $3 billion, I don’t care much. Anything beyond 4 good years out of Werth would exceed my expectations, if he gives D.C. 5 good years, it works out to be a pretty good contract. Oh and apparently, the terms of his deal are very similar to P Barry Zito’s contract with the San Francisco Giants; if the Nats win the World Series with Werth left off of the playoff roster, I promise not to complain.

    Its funny, while this was going down I was visiting with my folks. My mom and I were discussing the Derek Jeter situation and she mentioned she thought players make way too much money. I told her, you know who else agrees with that statement — the Nats front office! I guess I have to retract that one.

    I don’t know that much about Werth other than he has been killing the Nats for several years, so I asked some Phillies fans I know what they thought of Werth and the trade. Now, I know we’re all sensitive to Phillies fans encroaching in our town, but look at it this way — I’m making them work!

    Leading off, is Dan Victor of TBD (@bydanielvictor):

    He has an interesting story behind him. Drafted as a catcher (congratulations, you also just signed an emergency catcher), injuries derailed his career early on. The Dodgers basically gave up on him, and the Phillies got him very cheaply as a reclamation project. Everyone always thought he’d be very good if he stayed healthy.

    Now he’s pretty durable and he had a career high OPS in 2010, even though his HR were down. I wouldn’t be too concerned about that. A few more detailed things:

    1) Don’t buy into the whole “he played in a bandbox” thing. Truth is, CBP and Nats Park are pretty similar in Park Factors:

    CBP is better for HR, but Nats Park is better for gap power. Which is good news for Werth, since he led the NL in doubles last year and has the wheels for triples. Go back a few years and the patterns remain the same.

    2) Really good arm in RF, and above average range. Can definitely play CF, though he is better at RF.

    3) Off the field, he is…surly. Reporters are going to have problems with him (not that it matters, but get ready for the stories/blog posts about it). He’ll probably get himself in trouble with Nats fans more than a few times by saying something dumb.

    4) Also prepare yourself for a great divide amongst the women of DC. Some women absolutely love him, and some women aren’t attracted to people who look like they’re homeless.

    Ladies, what say you on the new rightfielder?

    Kevin McGuire of Second String Blog (@krmcguire), a Philly area sports blog, offered this:

    Jayson Werth has been a nice surprise for the Phillies after battling injuries with Los Angeles. It was a great move by Pat Gillick** to bring Werth to the team and we will see if it is a bad move to let him leave to an up and coming division rival. Defensively he is one of the best in right field. Underrated arm, good speed, can cover a lot of ground. Offensively he can be a bit streaky but when he is at the top of his game he can be dangerous. He finished last season with his second best batting average for a season and finished the season strong to help the Phillies get back to the postseason, but then he really struggled in the playoffs on offense (then again, the entire team did).

    A seven year deal may be a little long but then again Werth has made a career out of proving the naysayers wrong.

    Chris from Slow States (@scrappled)

    You should know that I haven’t stopped laughing since finding out about the contract. He’s good, but man…that’s a lot of years and a lot of money.

    The Ombudsman chimes in from the Boston area:

    The first thing you should know is that he IS worth a 7 year $126 million deal. Also, he can fly. He was raised by wolves. On Mars.

    Okay, thank you gentleman for your input. I may get more later in the day, we’ll see.

    Here is the initial reaction from the Nats beat:

    Nationals sign Jayson Werth to seven-year, $126 million contractThe Post

    Zuckerman: Nats make statement with Werth deal

    Zuckerman thinks the Nats aren’t done yet (Nats Insider) either with Adam LaRoche or Carlos Pena a very real possibility at first base. Of the two, I want LaRoche. Maybe NatsFanboyLooser has some insight on who the next out there signing (Zuckerman hinted at it) will be since he was the first to get the Werth rumor out.

    Unfortunately (on several fronts) there was a Redskins game yesterday, so Thomas Boswell was otherwise occupied. I’ll be very curious to see his reaction, especially after last week’s critical column on the Nats offseason.

    The Hot Stove is pretty interesting for a change.

    *I think Dunn’s biggest problem isn’t reputation, but representation
    **Remember, Gillick campaigned for the Nats job

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