Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Collin has sand in his shorts.

Our favorite left coast righty has a new post up. Here he is buried in the sand. Fun!

There's another picture on that post that disturbs me even more, though. Isn't his girlfriend getting a little...friendly with her brother?

Collin wants folks to ask him some questions, so head on over and ask the lumberjack anything that is on your mind. Just don't bring up his 8 Ks in 15 ABs, or his gum habit. He defends both fiercely.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ohhhhhh, want!

If anyone would like to join me, I am filling out question form after question form at this website. Why? Because I want a pair of these decked out in the Nationals theme.
How dope are these? They would put my other pair of bathing apes to shame.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Strasburg's mechanics questioned

I came across this link on Friday, but I didn't have a chance to write about it. I threw it to a friend of mine, and it's making the rounds now. For those that haven't seen it, here's the gist:


Yikes! The guy compares Stephen's arm action to Mark Prior (for the love of God, nooooooooo!!). There are some gifs comparing Strasburg to Prior, and for some odd reason, Pedro Martinez is thrown in. Does Pedro have good arm action? Bad arm action? A little help, please.

I dunno what to say, really. I swear, watching Strasburg throw in the Olympics was mind blowing. I was really, really impressed. The kid hits high 90's effortlessly, and had good presence. I say it's as simple as 1) sign him up, 2)plug him in, and 3)win the World Series. Don't make it all complicated with "[Stephen] attempt[s] to load his scapula in a forced manor." Seriously. Don't try and fool me with crazy words like "acromial", "deceleration phase", and "pendulum swing." This is baseball, you big geek, not grandfather clock ball.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My season ticket debate.

Yes, I know... I could write about more important things, like the Teixera rumors or the Manny rumors. (Manny? Seriously? I think Buster's been in Ladson's stash!) But I won't. I'm here to bitch and moan about my season ticket plan. Let the whining begin!

Last year's choice of seats was driven by two things, price, and location to the players. I'm dirt poor, but I wanted some interaction. I found a 20 game plan for the Mrs. and I in Section 138, second row. I was....how to put this nicely..... fucking pissed on my first visit to my section. That beautiful new scoreboard? Couldn't tell you what it looks like. Those fly balls that are hit to the outfield? Can't track a single one. Balls and strikes? I'll take Blue's word for it. I was really, really upset. Then, I realized something. The bullpen was right in front of me. If I can't see most of the game, I might as well enjoy the part of the game that others can't see. Thus began my initial relationship with Mi Hermano (Luis Ayala), and Saul Rivera (Nickname not revealed yet. I will take bids on it, however. Pony up, you cheap bastards.) Colome warmed up a little as the season went on, and Wil Nieves was friggin spectacular to talk with, on the off chance he was warming someone up there. New faces, new dudes. Steven Shell, Marco Estrada, and Jason Bergmann were all nice to me and the wife. Finally, after 3/4's of the season, I got Joel Hanrahan to break down. We ended up betting on things OTHER than baseball (as he's not allowed, he informed me.) I always lost those bets, for some reason, but he never took my money, even though I offered. He even remembered me on the season ticket holder picnic, and had a nice word for me.
It was a little different aspect to a baseball game, and I was looking forward to seeing them in 2009. Then, they dropped the prices in my section for the upcoming year. I was even more happy. But, why can't I move up one row? There were only four seats in the entire row sold to season ticket holders. Everyone else were walk-ups, or single games. Shit, I thought, how can they refuse to move me up one row? It's like..free money, right?
Nope. Any row that is considered the "first" row of a section is reserved for full season ticket holders only. They will not sell to any 41 or 20 game holders. I informed my rep of how no-one was buying tickets for that row. I know, cause I was there for 20 games. I'll buy two seats for 20 games today. No dice. They wouldn't budge.
I got an email form my rep saying all kinds of pleasant things and how he was looking forward to helping me out with any seat requests I had. But, here's the thing...no he wasn't. I just talked to him four days earlier and he wouldn't do it. Now, he's looking forward to it? I know, I know, it was a form letter, but..still...I'm miffed.
I wrote him back and told him I'll just wait for individual games to go on sale, then I'll buy two seats for 15 games, and the money will even out. I'll get to catch up with my boys, bet on the Presidents race, discuss war dances, see the new kids get slapped on the head, and get candy from the magical pink backpack. I doubt he'll write me back, and I know he really isn't concerned about two 20 game plans, but.. I dunno..I wanted a little give. Haven't got it yet. I'll let you know if I do. Okay, rant over. Thanks for bending your ear my ways. 'Preciate it.

P.S. Hey, Seattle.. stellar signing! Your percentage of runners gunned out at home will double all throughout your Minor Leagues. Enjoy that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bill Ladson puts Josh Smoker at Stanford. I'm SHOCKED!

Bill Ladson's latest article, in which he informs us of Josh Smoker's left shoulder surgery, also lets us know he's attending college. More specifically, Stanford University.
In two professional seasons, Smoker, who also attends Stanford University, made 13 starts, giving up 23 earned runs in 18 innings.

I'm not sure how Bill got this information, though. Can he be confusing the Nationals sandwich pick from 07 (Smoker), with the 6th round pick of that year, Jack McGeary?Na, he couldn't be.. could he? McGeary was intent on going to Stanford on a scholarship instead of signing with an MLB club in 2007. The Nationals, however, got creative, and McGeary signed, allowing him to play professionally for the Nats and attend Stanford (on the Nats dime) in the offseason. I think Bill confused the two, which is an indication that not only is he still into the heavy drug use, but also drinking moonshine. By the barrel. Daily.

How did I come to the conclusion Smoker is NOT attending classes at Stanford? Well, for one, he grew up in Calhoun, GA. and had a scholarship offer from Clemson, which he actually accepted before signing at the last minute with the Nats. If he were to go to school, I would put him there. Two, the Nats planned to send him to pitch in the Fall instructional league
Smoker will report on Saturday to the team's rookie-level Gulf Coast league affiliate in Viera, Fla., and then will pitch in the club's fall instructional league
Unfortunately for Josh, he would have to miss some classes while playing in the fall league, since school would have started by then. Three, this article by Barry states he spent the off season in Calhoun, GA:

The decision to sign started Smoker on his path here, through two starts in the New York-Penn League (lasting four innings with a 4.50 ERA), then three weeks in instructional league, then an offseason back in Calhoun.

"I'm used to the small-town life in the offseason," he said.

How does one attend college in California while living in Georgia? I'm thoroughly confused here. And finally, a search of the Stanford student directory does not come up with anyone named Smoker as registered. It does come up with a McGeary, however. Weird how that happens, isn't it?

Bill, if you need help with any fact checking on future columns, just hit me up. I come cheap, and I would do my best to hide your hooch while you're writing. Let me know!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on the Bonifacio, Dean, Smolinski for Olsen, Willingham trade.

Okay. I had overnight to think about it, and I crunched a couple numbers. First, the players coming to Washington:
  • Joshua David Willingham. Born 2/17/79 (That makes him 29.) Goes by Josh, and has somewhere along the line been given the nickname "The Hammer." (Allrighty, then.) He was drafted in the 17th round of the 2000 draft out of the renowned baseball institution of...... the University of North Alabama. He is one of four former UNA Lions to play in the bigs, and the first since 2001. No, you haven't heard of any of the other three. His first taste of the Big Leagues came in 2004 and 2005 when he played in a combined 28 games. He grabbed the starting left field gig in 2006 and had a decent season, going .277/.356/.496 with 26 HR and 74 RBI in 132 games. He received one third place vote for the RoY, finishing tied for 9th. He seems to have been plagued by nagging injuries, based on the different bios out there on him. It might have something to do with the fact that he stands right on top of the fricking plate, though, since he's ranked 3rd in hit by pitches in the last two years. Anyway, he seems to be an okay fielder at fielding balls (0 errors in 08, 3 in 07), but might not be the fastest cat out there getting to balls, as he ranked 12th out of the 16 starting NL left fielders in range factor, with a 1.82. The league avg was 1.90. (OH! Who was number one in range factor? Wee-Willie Harris.) He's projected at 20-25 HR per year, and is arbitration eligible. He will certainly see an increase from his $405K 08 salary. Avg 162 game stats: .266/.361/.472 68BB, 127K, 32 2B, 25 HR, and 85 RBI. That strikeout to walk ratio kinda sucks (1.86 K's per BB), but it sure as hell beats Wily Mo's (4.83 K's per BB.)
  • Scott Matthew Olsen. Born 1/12/84, which puts him at 24. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2002 draft out of Crystal Lake South High School in Michigan. He goes by a few names, such as "Don't tase me bro", "butt-head", and "stoopid butt-head". There's not enough room on blogger for me to list all of his...."problems", but here are some: Punched in the eye by a teammate in 2006; Neck grabbed by his manager in 2006; Accused a teammate of not giving his full effort on a fielding play, threw a tantrum in the dugout over it, and almost got his ass whooped; Made an obscene gesture to the fans in 2007 (Hmm..Dooksie might like this guy, actually.); Received a 2 game suspension in 2007 for insubordination (He threw another tantrum, ripped of his jersey, and threw it at someone on the ball club. He was pinned against the wall by a teammate for this.); And finally, he has no problem giving the Police the finger. See, in July of 2007, he was clocked for speeding, and an officer tried to pull him over. "Not so fast!", said Scottie. He led the police on a little journey as he continued to drive to his house a little ways away. He pulled up into his driveway, got out of his car, and sat in a plastic lawn chair on his lawn, taunting the police. They finally tased him, as he tried to kick them on their attempts to grab him. He was arrested for DUI, resiting arrest with violence, fleeing and eluding a police officer, and childish buffoonery. He does have one good conduct report on his record, however. In 2006 he said he hated the Phillies. In 2007 he and Chase "I love to say fuck" Utley got in a shouting match, and Scott encouraged him to engage in fisticuffs. Chase declined because, well, he only likes to hit players that are not able to defend themselves. Chalk one up for Scottie, and I think he might help out the other Utley haters on the club. I didn't leave much room for stats, did I? Whoopsie! Here's the brief rundown of his avg season: 33 starts, 194 IP (5.8 IP/start), 85 BB 166 K's, 10 W 12 L, 4.04 ERA, and a 1.30 whip. The kid can be an innings eater, has strikeout potential, is a lefty, and projects to a number 3 starter. If he can harness his control, and mature a bit, he might be a solid number two. Like Willingham, he is also arbitration eligible, and finished with 1 RoY vote in 06 to finish tied for 9th.
Overall, I'm feeling a little better about the deal than I did last night. Anderson Hernandez looks to have the lock on 2nd base going into spring training, and I'm okay with that. Willingham either joins the stockpile of left fielders, or first baseman. If we can move Kearns, I would feel more positive, but let's see what else happens. I'm gonna miss Emilio and his speed and run production, and I was real high on him. I wish him the best, and hope for his sake the Marlins move Dan Uggla this off season. For details on P.J. Dean, and Jake Smolinski, I'm going to refer you over to Brian at NFA. Also, maybe one regular reader, the Doctor, could chime in. I know he was real high on Dean.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bonifacio, Smolinski, and PJ Dean traded?

Word from Peter Gammons is that The Nats and the Fish just made a deal.

The Nats get:

The Marlins get:

I don't have time to give all my feelings on this, but my gut response is I'm not happy. I would've rather held onto the kids, and signed Dunn for Left Field. Did you realize Dunn is only 28? Maybe the Nats didn't think they had a chance at him. I dunno. I'm gonna miss Boney's speed. It's no secret I was a huge fan of his. His ratio of runs scored vs. times on base was nice.

I'll chime in more later. Later, Boney!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New uniforms.

Well, the unveiling of the new 2009 Washington Nationals uniforms was today. New Era leaked the new alternate hat yesterday. You can buy it here. I think it's a wee bit...cluttered, but I'll hold final judgment until we see the alternate jersey.

One of the two new alternate jerseys can be found here. This one matches the hat from above.
Here is the second new alternate jersey. I suppose it will be worn with the home red curly W hat?
And finally, the new road jersey, which is going to take some getting used to. With no blue in the jersey, I wonder how well it will go with the road blue cap?

You like? You don't like? Discuss. Me, I'm just happy they didn't ditch the interlocking DC. Also, I'm so glad they seem to be phasing out the gold trim. I think the gold is tacky as hell. Almost downright gaudy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Meat is bad, and Balester blogs!

Meat got removed form the 40 man roster, and was outrighted to the new AAA location - Syracuse, NY. He could have said no, and opted for free agency, but he's smarter than he looks. See, the Nats are still on the hook for his $5MM salary next year. So, Meat decided "Hell. Pay me my money while I go to Coney Island on my off days and eats me some Nathans hot dogs!" Little does he know, Coney Island is 4 1/2 hours from Syracuse.
In all seriousness, I'm a huge Meat fan, and love his stick when he's healthy. (Don't get me started on his defense, however. I was flabbergasted that any NL team would give that much money to a guy who will NEVER be playing the 9th inning of a tied or close game. Sometimes he wouldn't play the 8th, even. Mind boggling!) Here's hoping he can get his diabetes under check, and be back to playing shape. Me thinks this might have to do more with needing roster space than throwing Dmitri to the curb.
In other news, Collin Balester has a blog. He only has four posts up, but already we've found out quite a few things:
  1. His nickname is Bally.
  2. He likes to talk in the third person.
  3. He's engaged to an extremely attractive female. (Oh, and she looks smart, too.)
  4. He dressed up as a lumberjack for Halloween.
Interesting. Oh, he also saw his first snow of his life last year, and posted a picture for posterity's sake. Enjoy the mis-matching shoes, and the child like look on his face.

I think I'm gonna like this blog...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Matt Holliday as a National?

So, I really didn't think there was anything substantial to the rumors of the Nationals being interested in Matt Holliday. After all, it came from Bill Ladson (Love ya, Bill!). But MLBtraderumors.com just won't let it die. Ladson says the Rockies need starting pitching and a 2nd baseman. MLBTR says it's pitching that will get him. How do I put this.........

For the love of all that's good, don't do it. WTF is JimBo thinking (DON"T ANSWER THAT!)? He would be here for a year, then gone. He's got Borass as an agent, so you know he'll get the best deal possible. Giving up a lot of prospects for a rental? Nooooooooo! (On the other hand, would they take Redding and Anderson Hernandez? Only if they're dumber than Jim.)
Besides, the guy is just mediocre away from Coors Field. Splits from his career:

Home: .357/.423/.645
Away: .280/.348/.455

Oh, and since I'm in an LOLCat mood, I'll post an oldie that is relevant to this off season:

You don't have to worry about him anymore, lil' kittie. (What? Look, I know it's old news, but I was gone for two weeks. Give a guy a break, you ball busters!)

Let the transactions begin!

HUGE news from the Nats front office. The first of many trades has gone down.

Nationals trade Ryan Buchter to the Cubs for Matt Avery.

HOT DAMN! That's one exciting trade. My penis might jump out my pants!