Washington Nationals Newsbeat
Friday, June 13, 2014
Michael Morse wasn’t the sharpest pencil in the box in the Washington Nationals clubhouse when he was here. Nice guy, good for some laughs, but if the clubhouse ever had to show up for a collective IQ test, let’s just say it would be a good time for Morse to take one of his many trips to the disabled lis
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Original Nats blogger (and BBTF’s own) Chris Needham guests at the Washington Post with a requiem for Ryan Zimmerman’s defensive glory days:
Once, Ryan Zimmerman was among the very best to ever play third. Tuesday night, he’s a left fielder, a position so unimportant defensively, the Nats buried oafs such as Adam Dunn, Wily Mo Pena and Michael Morse out there. [...]
From about 2006 through 2009, there was not a better defensive third baseman in the league. (Not even you, Scott Rolen.) And there were flashes of utter insanity with the glove — weeks where he made play after play as perfectly as any third baseman humanly could. That’s the player we should remember. Not the sore-armed, oft-injured guy that made us all pucker up a bit when a speedy runner hit a soft grounder in his direction.
Maybe it’s lost a bit because so few people actually watched the games. The team was pretty bad then, and MASN, if available at all, was pretty hard to find. I think a lot of people understand how good he was by reputation, not by having actually seeing him. I’m a little bit cynical (read: a lot cynical) and not all that prone to nostalgia, but I saw him. I know the magic he was capable of. One quick example: In 2007, he turned (as in turned, not started) seven double plays. Stop and think about that for a second.
At his best, Zimmerman did it all. He had amazing range, routinely stabbing balls down the line or digging deep into the hole at short. He had quick-as-a-flash reflexes, always starting his glove down low, then bring it up high to snare a ball that would have nailed him in the shins or taken a funny bounce up high. Remember his quick release on those swinging bunts? There was a time you looked forward to his throws! When he was feeling confident, you could see it.
He, more than any other player, loved throwing to second to get the lead runner. Other third basemen would make a routine throw to first for a force play. Not Zimmerman. He chucked it hard, and fast, often pirouetting nearly ninety degrees to get into position for the throw to second. And more than a few times, that quick thinking and supreme confidence in his abilities created a double play out of thin air. He was utterly magical.
But you probably noticed that last paragraph was all in the past tense. That Ryan Zimmerman is gone now.
Posted: June 04, 2014 at 08:35 PM | 5 comment(s)
Monday, April 28, 2014
What good is having one baseball’s most natural talents if he can’t stay on the field for more than two weeks at a time?
NEW YORK—It looks like the injury to Bryce Harper’s left thumb is much more serious than anyone thought. According to ESPN.com, Harper will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and will be out at least two months. The Nationals have not confirmed the report.
Harper was scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday to get a second opinion. The original diagnosis was that Harper had a sprained thumb and that he could pinch-hit against the Padres, while Harper said he would use nothing but ice to bring the swelling down. However, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Oh for crying out loud…
WASHINGTON—The Nationals on Sunday placed outfielder Bryce Harper on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 26, with a sprained left thumb and recalled outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from Triple-A Syracuse.
Harper becomes the fourth player—Wilson Ramos, Ryan Zimmerman and Scott Hairston are the others—to be placed on the DL this month by the Nationals.
Harper hurt the thumb in the bottom of the third inning Friday against the Padres. With the bases loaded, Harper hit a three-run triple to right-center off left-hander Robbie Erlin. As Harper was sliding head-first, he jammed the thumb into the base. Harper later scored on a single by Jose Lobaton.
Harper went 2-for-2 with four RBIs in the game before being replaced by Nate McLouth in the fifth inning.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Washington Nationals were told last month by the Federal Aviation Administration to stop using a small, four-rotor drone to take publicity photos at the team’s spring training facility without the agency’s permission.
“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,’’ a team official told The Associated Press. The drone flights ceased the next day.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Well that’s a relief. Here I was thinking that Dombrowski had just been on a bender the entire offseason:
Because it helps explain a trade by the Tigers that left many of us baffled—right-hander Doug Fister to the Nationals for a modest pitching prospect, left-hander Robbie Ray, and two complementary parts, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and utility man Steve Lombardozzi.
My initial reaction—and the initial reaction of many in the industry—was that Tigers general manager David Dombrowski did not get enough. But Dombrowski, one of the game’s sharpest and most thorough GMs, had his reasons for making the deal—reasons he explained to me Thursday, knowing full well that this trade, like all trades, may or may not work out.
The criticism of Dombrowski was rooted in the success of Fister, who ranks ninth among starting pitchers in Wins Above Replacement the past three seasons, according to Fangraphs.com. Righty James Shields, who ranks two places below Fister, brought back two top-100 prospects, outfielder Wil Myers and right-hander Jake Odorizzi, the previous year.
Yet, as Dombrowski pointed out, that kind of return simply was not available this offseason. [...]
“You can see that young pitching right now is very difficult to acquire,” Dombrowski said. “We had a list of about 15 pitchers that we would consider in various deals. He was one of the 15. The other 14 people said no. And (the Nationals) said no at first.”
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo confirmed Dombrowski’s account, saying, “Robbie Ray is a guy we were reluctant to move at the beginning. It’s why the trade took 2-1/2 weeks to consummate.”
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