Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2010

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

20110104al2 

(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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    Ryan Zimmerman and I are unhappy Adam Dunn is leaving the Nats for the White Sox

    Adam Dunn agrees to deal with White SoxThe Post
    Zuckerman: Dunn Will Sign With White SoxCSN Washington
    The Adam Dunn Era in D.C. is apparently over. The free agent who hit 38 home runs for the Washington Nationals is headed to the South Side of Chicago to sign a reported 4 year, $56 million contract with the White Sox. It is a good contract for him and probably not a great one for the ChiSox. That being said, I would have been okay with the Nats offering it to him since they have the money — teams with no history of winning have to overpay and they might as well do it with players the fanbase are behind. The Nats probably could have gotten Dunn for cheaper than this earlier in the season, but it seemed that GM Mike Rizzo had no plan of retaining him.

    The Nats get the White Sox first round pick (#23) and another draft pick between the first and second round. Accumilating draft picks is nice, but what are the odds that the players picked here a impact players by the 2013 season when Ryan Zimmerman‘s contract runs out.

    Ryan Zimmerman wants to stay in Washington, but he wants to win, tooThe Post
    Zimmerman, was pretty vocal about the decision not to sign Dunn, emphasizing that his friend wanted to sign here, questioning the defensive liability cross that Dunn has had to bear and more importantly, openly questioning front office i.e. The Plan. I can’t blame Zimmerman for being angry, because he’s entering his prime and the front office has not built the team around the “face of the franchise” like he and everyone else expected. Zimmerman reiterated that he wants to spend his entire career in Washington, but he wants to win too. Zimmerman won two Silver Sluggers in the two years Dunn was on the team.

    The Nats play at the White Sox in June 2011.

    At least one Nats fan is vowing not to attend any home games next year. I am not willing to go that far (yet), but the Lerner family and Rizzo only reinforced the perception that they are cheap. Not signing Dunn when they had so many opportunities too doesn’t show good faith to the fanbase. They played hardball and lost, badly. No wonder Stan Kasten wanted out.

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    Adam Dunn declines arbitration and new uniforms “in action”

    Dunn declines arbitration offerNats Insider
    Adam Dunn declines arbitration – Nationals Journal, The Post
    As expected, 1B Adam Dunn has declined arbitration from the Washington Nationals. Had he accepted, he would have returned to the Nats with a 1-year contract determined by an arbitrator. If Dunn signs elsewhere, the Nats will receive two draft picks, a pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds as well as a pick in either the 1st or 2nd round, depending on what team picks him up. GM Mike Rizzo says there has been a 3 year offer on the table to Dunn for months, but Dunn wants 4 years. Potential attractive options outside of D.C. for Dunn like Chicago (either team) may not be available and Detroit, thought to be a contender for the slugger’s services signed someone else to play first base. I’m hoping Dunn returns here.

    A video of a uniform shoot starring Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan came out yesterday. It is silly, but it shows the players wearing the new home whites. By the way, I hope 2011 is the year MLB finally offers embedded video.

    Speaking of Zimmerman and embedded video, go to the 2:11 mark:

    I think I know what the first question Zimmerman is going to have to answer at spring training is going to be about and it isn’t going to be regarding Dunn.

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    Nats offer arbitration to Adam Dunn and other notes

    The Washington Nationals offered arbitration to Adam Dunn. Nationals Journal takes a look at possible outcomes. I expect Dunn to decline arbitration and sign elsewhere, netting the Nats some draft picks.

    In other recent Nats news:


    Stephen Strasburg told Mike Rizzo
    (Nationals Enquirer) he is doing well. Strasburg also did not receive a single vote in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

    OF Josh Willingham won’t be signed to a contract extension (Nationals Journal, The Post) and what it means (Nats Insider)


    Ball Wonk
    has returned…but for how long? An interview with the Nats solid blue cap is an early highlight.

    Frank Robinson is campaigning open to being honored by the Nats – Nationals Journal, The Post.

    Nationals Enquirer
    is still the best Nats blog out there.

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    Old Nats gear, obsolete? Nah, more like throwbacks!

    Obsolete Washington Nationals uniforms by William F. Yurasko
    The Washington Nationals biggest uniform overhaul yet means fans now have team merchandise that is outdated, but look the bright side though those are throwbacks now! So, whether you bought your jersey out of a trailer in the RFK Parking lot in late 2004 or it has #37 STRASBURG on the back of it, you need not worry. If there is one thing our culture is all about it is premature nostalgia for the not-so-distant past.1 Then again, I’ve heard nostalgia is a form of depression.2 Perhaps given the Nats first six seasons, that is a little lot more apt analysis than we’d like.

    I think my Nats jersey probably gets “retired” so to speak with the changes. I don’t think I’ll get a new one either, I’ll probably wear a team t-shirt, maybe a sweatshirt going forward. I’m not opposed to a new one (especially the road uniform which is the best DC has ever worn), but I don’t see myself plunking down the dough. If I got jerseys at this point, I’d be leaning towards the red Washington Capitals sweater.

    I’ll probably pull out my old beveled-block Nats jersey for Opening Day 2015 when the original team gets together and Brad Wilkerson and Jose Gullien hug at home plate before ¡LIVAN! pitches 7 innings.

    Oh and Ryan Zimmerman won the Silver Slugger award for third basemen and as usual, Nationals Enquirer nails it. SIGN ADAM DUNN!

    1I think that’s a Joe Queenan line
    2Abbie Hoffmann — I did not know that

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    New Nats uniforms reactions

    ><br />
<font size=Left to right: Ian Desmond, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan, Ryan Zimmerman. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Nichols, Nationals News Network
    This evening before an invitation only crowd at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals unveiled their uniforms for the 2011 season. Completely new for next season is the home white uniform which has been changed for the first time in the club’s history. The familiar beveled-block NATIONALS lettering is gone; in fact any reference to
    “Nationals” has been removed, save for a new circular patch that has a blue outline with WASHINGTON NATIONALS in white letters and a smaller white circle with a red curly W. Moving forward, the home jersey will feature a red curly W with a thin blue outline on the left breast with and the number (no longer beveled) on the right breast, but conspicuously lower. Two-tone piping, (red on the inside, blue on the outside) runs down the center of the jersey. Essentially, it is a reverse of the alternate red jersey that the Nats wore last season, just with more piping. Also, gold has been completely removed from the uniforms.

    The red alternate jersey is similar to last season’s model with two-tone piping (white on the inside, blue on the outside running down the center of the jersey.

    Nats alternate jersey

    The special occasion, patriotic jersey remains blue, but the interlocking DC on the left is replaced by a curly W. Like the previous version, stars and stripes are included within insignia. The two-tone piping is white on the inside and red on the outside. It is the same pattern as the home and alternate jerseys.

    Nats holiday jersey

    The road jersey, gray with “Washington” written in script (with a curly W to start) and the number beneath it on the left, retruns largely unchanged. The cap is changing though, with a red bill and red button (squatchee) instead of solid blue.

    Nats road jersey

    MY TAKE

    I am on board with these jersey changes for the most part. The home jersey is “cleaner” then the previous version. I had predicted “Nationals” being spelled out in script on the new home tops, which would have looked fine, but been generic. By essentially having the cap insignia on the left breast, the Nats make their uniform stand out a little since only a few teams, the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers come to mind, have jerseys in that style. This style is also somewhat reminiscent of the Washington Senators, who had a block W on the sleeve and later the front of their shirts. It was only after Charlie Brotman decided that the team would officially be known as the Senators that the name was actually spelled out.

    The Nats are pushing the curly W as the main logo for the franchise. As a fan of the curly W, I’m on board with that, though they probably should have kept the interlocking DC logo on something. The DC insignia has always had some cachet amongst Washingtonians and I think the team erred by mothballing it, even though the curly W looks better.

    The red jerseys are fine, though I would prefer they not be worn on Sundays or for Opening Day. I think home whites should be worn during the day and wonder why teams like wearing darker jerseys on hot, sunny summer afternoons. The blue jerseys are unfortunately tacky with the stars and stripes forced into the insignia. That reminds me of some of the Washington souvenirs that are sold to tourists. The road uniform changes are barely noticeable, though I will miss the solid navy blue Nats cap. I have been wearing one of those since they came out and am sorry to see them taken out of service. I understand that switching to the red billed cap will appease some who think the solid blue was out of place with the red trim of the road uniform though. One possible bright side, maybe I can find a new all blue cap for cheap(er) now.

    Nats road cap

    One rumor I had heard, that the red jersey would be going away, turned out to be unfounded. That’s fine by me.

    The primary logo (seen on a t-shirt below) which is the sleeve patch is unusual in that it makes no reference to baseball. Typically, the seems of the ball are squeezed in there somewhere. I’m fine with it though.

    Nats logo t-shirt

    Lastly, you may have seen a jersey that had Nationals in script (but not a looping N like the “Nats Town” script) on the Web. It must have been a prototype, because that Nationals script is part of the secondary team’s imaging.

    UNIWATCH

    Paul Lukas of Uni Watch covers the new uniforms in today’s edition. He thinks the script prototype was a winner and is disappointed by the unaligned insignia and number (which I agree with) as well as the two-tone piping. He approves of the jersey not being overdesigned though, but on the whole things they blew it with the home uniforms. I disagree. He likes the road jersey, not so much the road cap, likes the red jersey and don’t even mention the stars and stripes jersey.

    VIDEO

    OTHER REACTIONS

    About the Nats new uniforms and the Curly W| Zimmerman on Cliff Lee, Gold Glove, Adam Dunn – DC Sports Bog, The Post

    New uniforms unveiled [updated]Nats Insider

    So this is what the New Nationals 2011 Home Jerseys Look Like | So this is what the New Nationals 2011 Road Jerseys Look Like | So this is what the New Nationals 2011 Alternate Jerseys Look LikeNationals Enquirer

    2011 Nationals New UniformsNats News Network: Off the Field

    The Washington Nationals unveil their new uniforms for 2011TBD

    Nationals unveil new jerseys in fashion shownationals.com

    The Nationals’ New Uniforms: In PicturesWe Love DC

    Nationals players take the runway | First look at the 2011 uniforms–HERE!Notes From NatsTown

    Those Uniforms NationalsFanboyLooser

    Clean, Crisp & Pretty Nice Nats320

    A curly W: New-look Nats’ duds are letter-perfectThat channel I don’t like (But Kristen’s good people)

    New Nationals Uniforms (and no more “Natinals” jokes)Let Teddy Win

    Washington Nationals Unveil New Jerseys In Nationals Park. Federal Baseball

    Curly W fashion showNats Fan Girls

    The Nationals’ logo, before and afterNationals Daily News

    PREVIOUSLY

    New Nats uniforms debut tonight
    New Nats Uniforms scheduled to debut November 10

    Sadly, Adam Dunn did not appear in a new uniform with a new contract.

    Jersey images above are used without the express written consent of Major League Baseball. They are being used with implied oral consent. I grabbed them from the Nationals Shop. This does not constitute an endorsement of that vendor, just acknowledgment of where I (or Nationals Enquirer) got the images from before I resized them.

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    New Nats uniforms unveiled tonight

    UPDATE: New Nats uniforms reactions

    Tonight is the exclusive unveiling of the Washington Nationals new uniforms. Already, two apparent leaks have come out:

    New cap — DC Sports Bog reports that a blue cap with a red brim and squatchee and the white curly W outlined in red was briefly available for sale on the Nats official online store yesterday and today apparently. Basically, it looks like the curly W on a Atlanta Braves or Minnesota Twins alternate cap.

    Road jersey — Nationals Enquirer found a road jersey that looks almost identical to last year’s script Washington model. The only difference is different sleeve piping nad no interlocking DC insignia. I liked the DC insignia on the sleeve.

    Alternate jersey — Nationals Enquirer found an alternate jersey too.

    TBD has a “design your own Nats uniform” contest up. Extra bonus points for them including stirrups in the template.

    My prediction — the Nats home jersey has Nationals spelled out in script with a looping N, just like the NatsTown script. EXPECT IT!

    So, what do you think the chances that Adam Dunn comes out in one of the new uniforms and announces he has signed here? REMOTE

    FWIW, my most recent post about Nats uniforms is the most popular thing I have ever blogged.

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