Tag Archives: Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson and Brian Schneider retire, were starters on 2005 Nats

Two “original” Washington Nationals announced retirements this week — Nick Johnson, the first baseman, and Brian Schneider, the catcher, were starters

I first saw Johnson play in 2002 when he was with the New York Yankees. It seemed like he went about 5 for 6 against the Baltimore Orioles* in the third game of that season. Looking up the box score, it turns out he only went 2 for 3, but he homered. I came away impressed. I had no expectation that 3 years later, I’d be watching him play for D.C. baseball team.

As the Nats first basemen, Johnson was quite good in 2005-2006 and even stayed healthy relative to the rest of his career. His on-base percentage was really high and his fielding was strong. I remember him hitting a 3-0 pitch off the mezzanine once, though I’m not sure what season it was anymore. It all went bad late in the 2006 season when he collided with Austin Kearns at Shea Stadium. The site of a trainer crossing his arms appears pretty early in a Google Images search for “nick johnson nats.” That was the beginning of the end for Johnson. MissChatter sent him flowers with a bunch bloggers names on it. Then the team wore high socks in Johnson’s honor (they should honor him all the time if you get my drift). Johnson finally returned in 2008, had a goofy haircut, no power left. He was traded late in 2009 after a decent season.

Johnson’s retirement got a bit of coverage because he was a sabermetrician’s dream while still being “old school.” Barry Svrluga, the original Nats beat writer for The Post has a great write-up on Johnson that you need to read.

Oh and then there is Flip Flop Fly Ball’s infographic on Johnson’s health.

Also remembering Johnson and Schneider too is Martin Niland over at D.C. Baseball History. Niland mentioned some stuff that I had forgotten about, so go read that too.

Schneider came to D.C. with a reputation for being a good catcher who could throw out runners. A Phillies baserunner took off for second on Opening Day 2005 and Schneider threw it away, I was rolling my eyes a little. Schneider would right the ship and be among the league leaders in throwing out runners. It seems like he overthrow second at the beginning of 2006 as well.

Schneider will always be a part of D.C. baseball lore because he got to catch the ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush at the 2005 Home Opener.

Schneider retired after playing for those Phillies after a few years with the Mets. Lastings Milledge was the “prize” the Nats got back from the Mets in a trade that also sent Ryan Church to New York in 2007.

Schneider was from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, so playing there was “going home” in a sense. Schneider’s autographed photo was hanging in an Italian restaurant that The Ombudsman waited tables in for a while. A friend of a friend mentioned this past Thanksgiving that she had baby-sat Schneider and he was very hyper.

Don Sutton used to call him “Snyder” during telecasts which was funny and annoying.

It is hard to believe, but we’re only 2 years away from a full decade of the Nats. Schneider and Johnson were the last original Nats playing the field; now only Livan Hernandez remains, provided somebody signs him for 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing them in 2 years when the Nats celebrate the 2005 team.

*Last time I gave the Orioles and Peter Angelos any money, decided to stop rewarding bad behavior after that.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats all-time stats will blow your mind (not in a good way for the most part)

The Nats’ (updated) all-time stat leadersNats Insider
Going all the way back to 2005, Mark Zuckerman compiled the Washington Nationals all-time statistical leaders. He provided this warning:

WARNING: Reading these lists will elicit a wide range of emotions, from smiles to frowns to laughter to tears to sheer dumbfoundedness (and yes, I know that’s not a real word, but trust me, it will apply to a few of these names)…

To qualify, a player needed at least a full season with the team.

  • Perennially injured Nick Johnson has the third most games
  • Michael Morse is already 3rd on the home run list
  • Ryan Zimmerman has 283 more RBI than the next closest Nat — Johnson
  • Zimmerman has 366 more hits than the next closest — Cristian Guzmán
  • Dmitri Young is the only player with a batting average over .300. Morse is in second place with .295.
  • Reliever Tyler Clippard has the 3rd most wins with 19
  • Livan Hernandez and John Lannan are the only pitchers with more than 100 starts with 129 and 128, respectively
  • Nyjer Morgan is the leader in stolen bases.
  • Errors committed was not included
  • Neither were managerial wins/winning percentage

The Nats really have been as awful as people said. Thanks to Zuckerman for compiling this it had to have been depressing.

I’d love to see the all-time D.C. stats with both incarnations of the Senators included as well.

UPDATE: Here they are from the blog D.C. Baseball History – D.C. Baseball Yesterday and Today Hitting | Pitching. Not a lot of modern Nats on those lists yet. Chad Cordero is the all-time saves leader though. It is safe to say most of the pitching records will never be broken.

Pitchers and catchers report one month from today.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

What I remember of previous Nats spring training seasons

Until I read the annual “this is a different kind of club than last year” Thomas Boswell column in The Post, I had forgotten that the Washington Nationals started 0-11 in the Grapefruit League last year. That got me to thinking, what do I even remember from previous years spring training, off the top of my head at least:

2005: WE HAVE A TEAM, the Ian Desmond kid looks like he might be something in a couple of years
2006: Alfonso Soriano doesn’t want to play left field
2007: I like the positive attitude Manny Acta has and I wonder when Nick Johnson will play this year
2008: I’m eager to see what Lastings Milledge can do, that looks like a good trade
2009: Smileygate – Carlos Alvarez is the player to be named later, Jim Bowden resigns!
2010: STEPHEN STRASBURG, STEPHEN STRASBURG, STEPHEN STRASBURG

Jim Bowden also rode around on a tricked out Segway and one year prayed for Jesus Colome and is buttocks. I don’t remember which season that was though. I tried to forget about Bowden as much as I could. The same could be said for Colome as well.

The point though, is that spring training while fun, is just blip on the memory of the upcoming season and doesn’t mean much at all in the bigger picture. I even enjoy all the “best shape of his life” articles, because at the very least these articles means that spring is near. It isn’t just that, I like the optimism of spring training, because the slate is clean and who knows, maybe the team will make a big jump and play over its head like it did in 2005 and 2007.

So, what year did Boswell write this?

Washington finally has its first truly serious baseball franchise since the 1930s.

You have to be as old as Ted Lerner, the…boss of the Nationals, to remember the last time Washington had a big league team that was a serious annual contender, a legitimate front-line franchise, a club that fought toe-to-toe with the very best. But that time is probably arriving again and perhaps fairly soon.

Like I said, spring training doesn’t mean or tell us much , but sometimes its just fun to go along for the ride.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats grades, DC-IBWA Post-Season Player Awards

Nationals GradesThe Wash. Times
Every significant player on the Nationals roster and the front office gets graded.

DC-Internet Baseball Writers Association Names 2009 Player Achievement Awards

INTERNET BASEBALL WRITERS ASSOCIATION: Washington, D.C. ChapterThe Washington, DC chapter of the Internet Baseball Writers Association is an organization comprised of internet writers, on-line media outlets, and bloggers.

In accordance with its stated goal of promoting the members of the association and increasing awareness and respect as active members of the media that cover the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball club, the DC-IBWA is pleased to announce its member-voted winners of Post-Season Player Achievement Awards.

Each individual award is named after a member of the district’s storied baseball heritage, to promote awareness of the significance of the history of Washington, DC baseball. Biographies of the honored historical players can be found attached to this press release.

THE AWARDS

Goose Goslin Most Valuable Player
Player most valuable to the success of the Washington Nationals:

1st: Ryan Zimmerman (92 points, 16 first place votes)

2nd: Adam Dunn (41 points, one first place vote)

3rd: Nyjer Morgan (25 points, three first place votes)

Others: John Lannan (19), Josh Willingham (3)

Walter Johnson Starting Pitcher of the Year
Excellent performance as a starting pitcher

1st: John Lannan (96 points, 18 first place votes)

2nd: Jordan Zimmermann (42 points, two first place votes)

3rd: Craig Stammen (22 points)

Others: J.D. Martin (6), Garrett Mock (4), Livan Hernandez (3), Ross Detwiler (2)

Frederick “Firpo” Marberry Relief Pitcher of the Year
Excellent performance as a relief pitcher

1st: Tyler Clippard (80 points, 13 first place votes)

2nd: Mike MacDougal (55 points, six first place votes)

3rd: Sean Burnett (29 points, one first place vote)

Others: Jason Bergmann (6), Joe Beimel (5), Ron Villone (3),Saul Rivera (1)

Sam Rice Hitter of the Year
Excellence in all-around hitting, situational hitting and baserunning

1st: Ryan Zimmerman (81 points, 14 first place votes)

2nd: Adam Dunn (39 points, two first place votes)

3rd: Nyjer Morgan (26 points, three first place votes)

Others: Josh Willingham (14), Nick Johnson (9, one first place vote), Cristian Guzman (6)

Frank Howard Slugger of the Year
Excellence in power hitting

1st: Adam Dunn (100 points, 20 first place votes)

2nd: Ryan Zimmerman (46 points)

3rd: Josh Willingham (27 points)


Joe Judge Defensive Player of the Year

Excellence in fielding

1st: Ryan Zimmerman (88 points, 14 first place votes)

2nd: Nyjer Morgan (69 points, six first place votes)

3rd: Willie Harris (12 points)

Others: Alberto Gonzalez, Elijah Dukes, Nick Johnson (3), Wil Nieves (1)


Mickey Vernon Comeback Player of the Year

Player who overcame biggest obstacle in the preceding season to contribute on the field

1st: Nick Johnson (50 points, 10 first place votes)

2nd: Mike MacDougal (20 points, one first place vote)

3rd: Ryan Zimmerman (18 points, three first place votes)

Others: Jason Bergmann (16), Josh Bard (9), Ron Villone (8), Josh Willingham (7), Mike Morse (7), Justin Maxwell (5), J.D. Martin (4), Nyjer Morgan, Livan Hernandez, Ross Detwiler, Elijah Dukes (3),
Adam Dunn, Ian Desmond, Jorge Padilla, Sean Burnett, Garrett Mock (1)

Josh Gibson Humanitarian Player of the Year
Player who meritoriously gave of himself to the community

1st: John Lannan (72 points, 12 first place votes)

2nd: Ryan Zimmerman (44 points, four first place votes)

3rd: Wil Nieves (21 points, three first place votes)

Others: Josh Willingham (9), Nyjer Morgan, Willie Harris, Elijah Dukes (3), Tyler Clippard (1)

Minor League Player of the Year

Minor league player most destined for big league success

1st: Derek Norris (54 points, nine first place votes)

2nd: Ian Desmond (53 points, nine first place votes)

3rd: Drew Storen (41 points, two first place votes)

Others: Bradley Meyers (16), Chris Marrero (7), Mike Morse (4), Daniel Espinosa (2), Ross Detwiler, Jorge Padilla (1).

,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats lose to Phillies one last time in ’09

Hamels Rules Nats As Phillies SweepThe Post
Hamels outshines Nats’ DetwilerThe Wash. Times
OH THANK GOD THIS SERIES IS OVER!

The Cheesesteak/Half-Smoke Challenge ends with Washington “earning” a brutal 3-15 record against Philadelphia. The Nationals were typically helpless last night, not getting on base until the 7th innning against Phillies starter Cole Hamels. The only mustered a mere run off of him in the 8 innings he pitched.

Ross Detwiler, seeking his first MLB win, is still seeking. He had a five inning start, giving up one run. Not bad.

Dunn’s year with the Nats hardly averageThe Wash. Times
Adam Dunn‘s first season in Washington has been absolutely fantastic. His batting average is much higher than usual, his OBP is better than Ichiro and he has grown as a first baseman after moving there from left field following Nick Johnson’s trade.

Dunn had the night off, Mike Morse played in his place.

Burke Added to Catching MixThe Post
Wil Nieves hurt his hamstring last night, so the Nationals went out and bought Jamie Burke from the Seattle Mariners to be the backup catcher. Burke has rarely left the minors in a decade long career.

, ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats make it four in a row, beat Marlins 5-4

Now, Nats Finding New Ways To WinThe Post
Improved Nationals build on hot streakThe Wash. Times
John Lannan did not have his best stuff, but it didn’t matter. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn homered on back to back pitchers. Nyjer Morgan turned a HBP into a stolen base and run, not too mention may have worn out his welcome on Wired Wednesday. Even Ronnie Belliard hit a home run. The Nats beat Florida for the second time in a row, final score 5-4.

One wag thinks it was Nick Johnson dragging the Nats down. (Not really)

Is This Iowa? No, It’s ‘Heaven.’The Post
After 12 years in the minors, Jorge Padilla finally made it to the big leagues. I admire his dedication.

Thumb injury sends Kearns to disabled listThe Wash. Times
Let’s be frank — this trip to the 15 day DL might be extending Austin Kearns’ Nationals career. It is too bad he can’t hit, he’s a good guy I hear.

Also, Jordan Zimmermann feels tightness in his elbow after he pitches. Uh oh.

, ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats comeback from four runs down to finally beat the Marlins

Nats Capture Moment With 8th-Inning RallyThe Post
Nats find a way to solve MarlinsThe Wash. Times
The Nationals finally beat the damn Florida Marlins, an unloved team that plays in an empty football stadium and has no payroll, but somehow has two World Series championships in the last 12 years. That team, with a legacy of teal uniforms, is annoying and one you can’t actually think of being a rival with yet they simply own the Nats. If ther was justice in the world, it would have been the Marlins who became the Nationals and not the Expos, who played in a real city. Anyway, I’m rambling, so let me get back on task.

Florida sent Josh Johnson, he of the 10-2 record, to the mound last night. Washington countered with J.D. Martin who made it clear why he was in the minor leagues for so long. Johnson had retired 20 straight batters heading into the eighth inning. He gave up three straight singles to load the bases. Ronnie Belliard of all people, pinch hit a double to score two runs. Two more runs scored to tie it at 4 when Adam Dunn, who struck out three times against Johnson, homered off of bullpen left Dan Meyer. That two run shot proved to be the winning margin as the Nationals won their third in a row, 6-4. They have won 7 of 11.

Zimmerman Sits Out After Being Hit by PitchThe Post
Zimmerman sits out after injuring his left shoulder
Ryan Zimmerman sat out last night’s game after his shoulder swelled up over night following being hit by a pitch on Monday.

Jordan Zimmermann had a solid three inning rehab appearance for the P-Nats, Washington’s Carolina League (A) team in Prince William County, Va.

Loverro: Uncomplicated player makes a modest returnThe Wash. Times
The crowd’s reaction to Nick Johnson‘s return to Washington, less than a week after being traded away, was underwhelming.

, , ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats trade Nick Johnson to Marlins, Joe Beimel to Rockies

Nick Johnson, the original Washington Nationals and final Montreal Expos first baseman, has been dealt to the Florida Marlins for Aaron Thompson, a AA pitcher. Here is all I could find about him (firstinning.com)

Joe Beimel was traded for two minor league righties, Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian. Mattheus averaged over a strikeout an inning before having Tommy John surgery in July. Fabian has an ERA over 6 but strikes out twice as many as he walks in Class A.

The Nats also sent cash along both times.

This upshot of all of this is Cristian Guzman is your last remaining Opening Day 2005 Washington National. That just about sums up the last five seasons, doesn’t it?

, , ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Bad 6th inning dooms Nats as they fall to Brewers

Nats’ Loss to Brewers Is a Total Frame JobThe Post
Nats’ little mistakes add up to a defeatThe Wash. Times
The Nationals built up an 4-0 lead after two innings, but the Brewers pulled to within one by the fourth inning. In the sixth, starter Garrett Mock could not get any Milwaukee batters out before yielding to Tyler Clippard, who gave up two earned runs and earned the loss, ending Washington’s four game win streak. The Nats only had two extra base hits all night.

Riggleman Would Like To Keep Players in PlaceThe Post
Riggleman: Nats unlikely to make tradeThe Wash. Times
Interim manager Jim Riggleman appears to be getting his wish — the market for the Nats most tradeable (is that a word?) commodities like Nick Johnson seems to have dried up. Interim GM Mike Rizzo is not getting it done at the deadline thus far and has less than 36 hours to pull something off.

The series finale is at 2:05 p.m. today.

, ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Boswell: Blow up the Nats

Thomas Boswell opened his chat with this interesting take on the Nats:

…And I think just figured it out last night at midnight. Don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner. Sitting here with Barry at Congressional, and he saiud something like, “Yeah, that’s it.” So here’s the midnight musing.

Blow up the Nats.

They’re no good together. So why not take them apart?

All season everybody has said that they’ve seldom seen a team that is so much less than the sum of its parts. Why? Jim Bowden and Stand Kasten built an incoherent team. It had no ‘theme’ __except ‘develop young starting pitching’ and make any opportunistic trade that seemed to ‘add value.’ Beyond that, it was a mess. This week’s trade and demotion of Dukes is a first step. More, much more to come, I suspect. The Nats have no bullpen. They have no defense at any position now that Zimmerman seems to be catching a dreaded throwing disease that will, for now, remain nameless here. They had no offensive speed (now they’ve added Morgan). They have no situational hitters. They have no leaders. One of the reason that Acta appears completely unable to manage __even though he seemed to handle a game perfectly well in ’07__ is that he has no Team. He has a monstrosity, a random collection of pieces that don’t interconnect and can’t, in any normal sense of the word, be ‘managed.’ The Nats are live driving a car with two steering wheels, three engines, four sets of breaks and NO WHEELS. “Why doesn’t it go anywhere?” B-e-c-a-u-s-e i-t i-s n-o-t a c-a-r.

So, keep the starting pitchers, including those in AAA like Balester, Mock and Martis and, for heraven sake, sign Strasburg. Keep Zimmerman, Flores and Dunn, unless you get a huge offer from an A.L. team who wants a DH. And look for ways to trade Nick Johnson, Cristian Guzman, Joe Beimel, Willie Harris and anybody else with value to close out. There will need to be some releases, too, at a later date after you see what you get back in trade.

I’m starting to think the Nats may be ahead of me on this and that the ‘breakup’ is already on the way. You may see a column on this.

It just sounds too simple and easy — pitching and defense that helps the young pitchers, right? He is not the first to suggest that they may be doing this either, but who has time to find all the blog posts suggesting this very thing?

Given how bad the Nats are right now, this plan seems sound.

, , ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)