Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2013

Nats: Bob Carpenter is going to be saying “Fister” a lot in 2014

The Washington Nationals completed a seemingly lopsided trade for Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister. From the press release:

In 33 games/32 starts in 2013, the 29-year-old went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA and ranked among American League leaders in GDPs induced (tied first, 26), home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (2nd, 0.60), ground ball-to-fly ball ratio (3rd, 2.17/1), walks per 9.0 innings (4th, 1.90), fielding independent pitching (6th, 3.32), wins (tied 8th), strikeout-to-walk ratio (9th, 3.61/1) and quality starts (tied 9th, 22) in his last of three seasons with Detroit.

Fister joins the Nationals after going 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA in two-plus seasons (Aug. 2011-2013) with the Tigers. Fister is 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in eight postseason games/seven starts, all with the Tigers, who won six of Fister’s seven playoff starting assignments (2-0 in 2013, 2-1 in ’12, 2-0 in ’11).

Utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi, LHP Ian Krol and minor leaguer LHP Robbie Ray. It looks like highway robbery by DC GM Mike Rizzo.

NATMOSPHERE REACTIONS

WHAT ARE THE TIGERS THINKING?

My friend J.J. from Michigan says: Sure does seem like a steal for your Nats! Doug Fister is a great pitcher and I have no idea why the tigers would make such a trade! Congrats I guess ..

Reformed newspaperman Vince Guerrieri is a Cleveland fan, but he lives closer to Detroit and follows the teams up there a bit:

Fister came in a mid season deal with Seattle in 2011. He was 3-12 for the Mariners, but went 8-1 down the stretch as the Tigers pulled away from the Indians to take the Central.

His contributions to the rotation were overshadowed by a pair of Cy Young winners, Justin Verlander in 2011 and Max Scherzer this year, but he was always a dependable starter.

The bigger picture is the remaking of the Tigers roster. Scherzer and Prince Fielder have been dealt and Jhonny Peralta left via free agency. Also, Jim Leyland retired. The Indians are facing question marks with their rotation, but my Tribe fan friends are positively giddy. It could be a wide-open division next year.

SB Nation Tigers blog Bless You Boys: Doug Fister trade is a terrible deal for the Tigers

BEAT WRITER REACTION

Nationals acquire Doug Fister for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol, Robbie RayThe Post

Nats acquire Fister in 4-player trade with Tigers
CSN Washington

A THEORY

If there are fans who want Nationals Park to have a roof, the Venn diagram of them and fans upset that Lombo is gone, are concentric circles.

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1950s prototype Washington Nationals jersey discovered

gilmourNationals 016.jpg
Wednesday’s Uni Watch, showed several photos of a prototype 1950 Washington Nationals road jersey from the collection of Tony Cocchi. Apparently, after many years of wearing a block W, there was talk of putting the official team name on the jersey. Back then, Senators and Nationals were used interchangeably, but the former name had more currency than the latter. The original American League team became the Nationals in 1905 because Senators was a “hoodoo nickname.” You may recall the silly “ESTABLISHED 1905″ patch on the 2005 Nats. The 1905 and 1906 Nats jerseys also became the first to have the team name on them before adopting a W or “WASHINGTON” on their jerseys.

In 2004, Charlie Brotman explained to me that he found there was not a consensus on the name and he decided on Senators once and for all when he took over team PR in the mid-1950s. A few years later, in 1959, the jerseys were the first to have a team name in over 50 years — they said “Senators.” That continued the next year too, but then Calvin Griffith moved the team because he was a racist. The expansion Senators continued to use the Senators name on their home (and later road) jerseys until Bob Short moved them to, as Shirley Povich put it, “some jerk town with the single boast it is equidistant from Dallas and Fort Worth.”

I do not know why the “Nationals” jersey did not get used in 1950 — they stuck with a W on both the home and road jerseys, a fairly common look over the years of DC baseball. I wonder if there was a home prototype that looked similar.

When baseball returned to D.C., so did the Nationals nickname — these days, “Senators” might be too offensive. The current Nats pay homage to that on their home and alternate jerseys, but with a curly W over the left breast instead of a block one. For a few years, the current Nats also used a very similar script as the 1950 prototype in their “NatsTown” branding, but the “script curly N” has been replaced with a not-at-all curly N.

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Nats: The Matt Williams Era has begun

MattsTown - Washington Nationals - Matt WilliamsLast Friday, the Washington Nationals officially hired Matt Williams to be the fifth manager since baseball returned to The District. The move was expected. He has never managed before, other than in the Arizona Fall League. GM Mike Rizzo seems to have had his heart set on him based on their days in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

What I think I like most about Williams so far is that he wants to focus more on defensive alignments and has brought on Mark Weidemaier (The Post), a former D-Backs scout, to be “defensive coordinator.” In theory this raises the opportunities to get outs, but could also keep the fielders a more focused which seems to be have been an issue in 2013.

I’m skeptical about RISP being his favorite stat though (DC Sports Bog, The Post).

Jim Lett is the only departure from the coaching staff. Matt LeCroy, best known for Frank Robinson’s tearful press conference after pulling the then-catcher, replaces Lett as bullpen coach. I guess Lett had trouble picking up the phone.

The big news is that Williams asked/was told to keep bench coach Randy Knorr. Is it just me or does Knorr, bench coach and candidate for the manager’s job, look extremely uncomfortable at about 2:40?

He doesn’t look quite as mortified as I thought he did during Friday’s presser, but still that’s not what I’d call enthusiasm. That’s an awkward spot for him having interviewed for the job. I think it’ll be good that he’s sticking around to help Williams, but I kind of wonder about him sticking around after being denied the job.

So, while we wonder if 2014 will be #MATTITUDE or #MattsTown, we can all rest assured that Rizzo got his man, the person we thought he’d get and not some ex-Baltimore player a dozen years a removed from day-to-day MLB. Speaking of, The Post has run all of two columns on the Williams hiring and they were both by Thomas Boswell: & Nationals Manager Matt Williams is a hire who values defense and finding advantages which is exactly as many as were written abouta non-candidate from Baltimore in a single day.

MORE COVERAGE
LOVERRO: Nats’ hiring of Matt Williams sends message that Rizzo, not players, makes the call

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MATTITUDE! Matt Williams expected to be named Nats manager

The buzz has been building for a while that Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams will be named the fifth permanent manager of the Washington Nationals. That looks to be the case:

After Rosenthal broke that, the Post put this together: Nationals to hire Matt Williams as manager (updated)

The official announcement should be after the World Series.

Seemingly the in-house favorite, Randy Knorr, may be retained as bench coach which is potentially weird. I can’t decide whether it’s great he wants to stick around or if it’s sad he will stick around if he’s not the choice.

Williams has managed in the Arizona Fall League and been a third base coach. He was a slugger who apparently used HGH late in his career. He’s a firery personality, but he’s mellowed as he’s aged and players love him. I most remember him from when he was with the San Francisco Giants and was hitting a lot of homers in 1994. After the strike, Sports Illustrated wrote a story about the improbable last two months of the season – the Chicago Cubs beat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series and Williams continued his chase on Roger Maris single season home run record. I remember a fake cover of Williams in that story. His grandfather, Bert Griffith, briefly played for the 1924 Washington Senators too, but was traded in July of that season.

D.C. media is probably heartbroken their preferred candidate wasn’t even interviewed. One radio host was going to discuss with fans whether they were disappointed that Baltimore player wasn’t the choice. Really. Sports radio is a sad salvation.

Oh and if you care about what the former manager thinks:

I wonder if the Post will have two columns on this hiring either tomorrow or the official announcement.

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