The stove is colder than the weather in DC so let us have some fun.
If you had your own flux capacitor and could go back in time and whisper just one thing into the ear of a Nat’s player, manager, coach, front office or owner, what would it be? Continue reading
Players are throwing in their 2¢ on the Bryce Harper/Manny Machado stalemate. Yesterday it was Evan Longoria and Kris Bryant. Players are protecting their turf, but maybe the irrational exuberance of the past has been replaced by teams tanking leaving many veteran players without a seat in the baseball equivalent of musical chairs. But let’s agree to disagree that Harper and Machado could both sign today and take a chair for great wealth if they were not trying to get something that is not there quite possibly. Continue reading
The Expos – The 90’s as we get closer to the existence of the Washington Nationals. When the 1990’s end we are just 5 years from the Nationals.
As the 90’s approached, the Expos were certainly a team in flux. The team of the 80’s was pretty much gone. Rogers, Dawson, Cromartie, Carter etc were all retired or on other teams. Tim Raines and Tim Wallach were the new core with the new crop of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, and Delino deShields on the cusp. The starting pitching rotation was led by Dennis Martinez with some journeymen filling it out. The owner was almost out the door and the management team was now led by Dave Dombrowski with Buck Rodgers nearing the end of his tenure as manager. The Expos finished 1990 at a respectable 85 – 77 but still finished a distant 3rd and what’s worse was that attendance dropped from 1.7 mil to 1.3. Continue reading
Connie Mack (2nd from left) and his colleagues would not recognize the modern process of Free Agency Shopping
It’s a safe bet that Curt Flood never envisioned this. When the pathfinder of Free Agency launched his business-changing quest to abolish the onerous “Reserve Clause” the owners held all the cards. Print media used to publish the sports transactions in a tiny box of print on the inside of the last page just below the horse racing results. The Bryce Harper and Manny Machado spectacle we are witnessing for all the world might as well be the product of another solar system. It is at once fascinating, comical, and grotesque. Love may make the world go ‘round. But, intrigue is the modern world’s life blood coursing through the arteries of the internet at the speed of light. This free agency shopping freak show is made to order.
When great players are in deep slumps, there are usually some clues to what went wrong. With Bryce Harper, his hot start to the season began with a slash of .315/.487/.778/1.265 for two weeks — but then his bat disappeared after “tax day” in mid-April. From April 17th to the Home Run Derby, Harper only batted .194 with a .407 sluggo, and the only reason his stats remained decent during that period were his high level of walks and home runs. The Washington Nationals braintrust figured out why the batting average was so low and the strikeout rate so high. It was too much launch angle. Yes, you heard that right — too much launch angle. Continue reading
They say the internet is the information super highway, but like any good propaganda expert can tell you, the misinformation highway can be very effective also. The rumors surrounding both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado who are sought after by some of the same teams (reportedly) have become part of the daily headlines for weeks as they remain the highest ranked free agents ever in terms of dollar potential. USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale has been putting out accurate and inaccurate information for years, and every once in a while the facts come out to either prove him right or wrong or in this case last night, a very upset agent went public to refute reports on Nightengale’s and Buster Olney’s Twitter. Continue reading
Photo by Laura Peebles for TalkNats
For the Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, the $199 million he spent in salaries this off-season to acquire Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal, Kurt Suzuki, Yan Gomes, Patrick Corbin, Matt Adams, Anibal Sanchez and Brian Dozier has pushed his payroll to $195 million before incentives and bonuses. For all intents and purposes, the payroll is tapped out except for a few million dollars which puts the team near the $206 million CBT cap. If there is any good news, the Nationals could start the season with what they have and piece together the fifth starters spot in the rotation. Last year, Rizzo acquired Jeremy Hellickson on a minor league deal just like he has done for this season with Henderson Alvarez and could do with other starters. Continue reading
Photo by Lee Heiman for TalkNats
Max Scherzer should be the first player to enter the Hall of Fame with a Curly W on his cap on his plaque in Cooperstown. Let that sink in for a moment. When he signed with the Nationals on this day in 2015, he joined a loaded rotation that featured the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. He was the ace, coming off back-to-back years with an ERA under 3.20 and had won the AL Cy Young in 2013. He was supposed to be good. He was not supposed to be the best pitcher in baseball over the next four years. Continue reading
Where is Bryce Harper going? (Photo by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats)
Famed Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a thought experiment to explain quantum mechanics back in 1935. Schrödinger posited a scenario, which (slightly simplified) goes like this: A cat is inside a box, and if a particular event happens inside the box, the cat will die. Otherwise, the cat lives. But there is no way for an outside observer to see inside the box during the experiment. (We assume, in this thought experiment, that the cat has access to an unlimited supply of food, water, oxygen, tummy rubs, and whatever else it needs to stay alive.)
Schrödinger’s goal was to demonstrate the absurdity of a competing theory of quantum mechanics. The cat can either be alive or dead. But while it is inside the box, engaged in this experiment, the observer must treat it as if it is both alive and dead.
Ultimately, Schrödinger fled the Nazi occupation of Austria and spent the rest of his career in Ireland. He died in 1961. But if Schrödinger had lived well into his 80s, and if he had come to North America instead of Ireland, he might have found work in a baseball front office in the era of free agency.
There is certainly a lot going on with the Washington Nationals with the arbitration filing deadline yesterday at 1 p.m., and all of the machinations with the arbitration eligible players and the free agent situation.
The Nationals payroll after the Brian Dozier acquisition and all of the arbitration moves will be approximately $10 million from the CBT cap of $206 million, but with bonuses and incentives the Nationals have about $3 million of buffer to either spend now or wait for the July 31 trade deadline -or- they can make a couple of moves like a creative extension of Ryan Zimmerman‘s contract and possibly a trade which makes things more complicated — but not outside the realm of possibilities. Continue reading