A question about the manager situation (one that does not require an opinion on whether he's good or not). Riggleman's contract is up at the end of this year. Usually players negotiate renewals early, and if something has not been signed by this point in the season it's obvious that a player is likely to be gone the next season, or at least about to enter a bidding war in free agency. How common is it to have a manager in this situation - in the last year of his contract at this point and no clear decision made yet about next year? Should we be reading some meaning into this, or is it typically how managers of non-winning teams are handled?
The Nationals hold an option on Riggleman for 2012, so from their perspective he's under team control just like many players are. A player who's still under team control needs to maximize his performance to make sure that the team will still want to keep him for the next year and pay him as much as possible, because it's the team's choice, not his. He can't test free agency. Same is true for Riggleman. If he wants the team to step up and guarantee his contract for 2012, he needs to give them a reason to do so. Is he? Apparently the front office doesn't think so, because they haven't extended him. They can wait until the end of the year if need be to decide if he's their guy for 2012 or if someone else would be better, and there's nothing Riggleman can do about it - other than step up his game and show them that he should be their guy. But it doesn't look like he has it in him, does it? What reason has he given them to want to keep him around? If this is the best he can do when he's fighting for his job, how much worse would he be if they extended him and he could just start coasting into retirement?
Realizing that "what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse," are you aware of any sort of kangaroo court on the team, and, if so, of who might be the presiding judge? Bonus question: does the judge wear a mop as F-Robby did back in the day?
Werth opened the can of worms yesterday with his post-game “I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on around here.” quote. We're all painfully aware of the offensive woes, the injuries, etc.: we read, we see. But we don't "see" the player/manager relationships, the player/player relationships, and we don't hear the whispers in the tunnel. We're not in the belly of the beast as you are. So the question is simple: What are the DEEPER issues to which Jayson Werth is referring?
Ditto for joemktg's question. Any signs that the clubhouse is starting to turn, given the struggles?
i am betting there is growing frustration on not putting the best players on the field. dont know if it is directed at Mgr or FOi think the bullpen makeup could be better, it is obvious there are a couple of arms out there that dont have the Mgr's confidenceyou also have to wonder, as nice a guy and teammate that he may be, if Stairs presence is an issue over a younger more versatile player....
I would be interested in knowing more about Ross Detwiler. He had a great ST and started out hot in Syracuse. Since then, he has pitched poorly. Is it bad luck? Does he have the pitches/tools to succeed? What is his relationship with his coaches? It seems to me that he is quickly coming to a crossroads with the Nats. I was hoping he would help this year, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen at this point. It would be interesting to know more about him and what's going on.
maybe Detwiler is discouraged about being sent down because he has options. i know it is part of the game, but i wouldnt be surprised if he, Maya and Balester wouldnt do as good if not better job and have more of the Mgr's confidence than some of the players who are on the big club with no options.
Along with "still waiting..." I can't see any reason for Stairs occupying a spot on the active roster. He is such a liability in the field that he seldom needs his glove. At the plate he is batting .097 with no evidence of power. He can't field, can't hit, can't run. Why is he on the roster? Bring up a more athletic player with a good glove and enough speed to pinch run. As for hitting, he can't do any worse than Stairs.
Question #1: The line on Zimmerman was that he's expected back in mid-June. Any update or change to that?Question #2: The starting rotation has been a comparatively bright spot this year, but Lannan seems to be struggling over his last 3-4 outings. Any thoughts about him or his security in the rotation?To discuss a couple of the other issues raised by other commenters here:Detwiler: if you look at his stats at Syracuse this year, it's sort of a mixed bag. His walks are up, but what's really killing him is an inflated BABIP (.400). So his ERA is a scary 5.77, but his FIP is a pretty good 3.43.Stairs: I share everybody's displeasure over him, but subtracting him from the equation really won't add much. Bringing up a minor leaguer to mainly ride the bench for 2 weeks until Zim comes back won't do much for that minor leaguer or for the team.
So if Detwiler's BABIP is .400, whatever he is throwing is completely hittable. Is that right? It should be .300 or lower as I understand it. Why is his FIP good? I'm just trying to go to school on the math here. It's new to me. I really would like to understand what Detwiler is doing that is going to keep him in Syracuse.
BABIP is regarded in part as a consequence of luck and the quality of the defense behind you--what balls fall for hits as opposed to getting fielded for outs. Stat-heads will debate how much is luck, and what a typical BABIP ought to be for different kinds of pitchers (you're right that around .300 is a basic rule of thumb). But .400 is out of the normal realm for pretty much any kind of pitcher. So that will come down, and when it does, so will his ERA.FIP is fielding independent pitching and is meant to factor out luck and the quality of defense, which can drive BABIP abnormally up or down. So it means Detwiler's doing pretty well on the things he can most control--walks, strikeouts, and home runs.
fpcsteve said... I would be interested in knowing more about Ross Detwiler. He had a great ST and started out hot in Syracuse. Since then, he has pitched poorly. Is it bad luck? Does he have the pitches/tools to succeed? What is his relationship with his coaches? It seems to me that he is quickly coming to a crossroads with the Nats. I was hoping he would help this year, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen at this point. It would be interesting to know more about him and what's going on. May 26, 2011 9:05 AM fpcsteve, this was going to be my question. It is bizarre that Detwiler in the same Syracuse lineup has turned from good to bad.I have brought up so many times since Spring Training that I really didn't consider Detwiler to be a legitimate starter but could be a power lefty reliever. That wasn't a popular point of view on this forum by the comments people made so I tempered my view to say if he could make it to the 7th inning in Syracuse consistently then maybe he could be a starter. Detwiler never seemed to make it unscathed through the lineup in the middle innings.My observation in Spring Training was that he was dominant in 3 innings which is great for a reliever.Now, Rizzo has a problem on his hands. He isn't even making it through the to the 4th inning unscathed. Last start was 6 Earned Runs in 3.2 innings.My question is, is Detwiler hurt again? What is Plan B for him. I sit here ticked off because he could have been an instrumental part of the bullpen where the team could have sent Slaten packing. Now he is bruised and battered in Syracuse and if he isn't hurt, where do you go with him?
Steve M. said... I have thought from the start that Detwiler has to be in the mix even as part of the bullpen and will point out again to all the Detwiler supporters that he has done great in his appearances which have been no more than 3 innings of work at a time, but Detwiler stumbles in the 4th and 5th innings of work and 2nd time through the order so while I am encouraged I still need to be convinced that he is now a starting rotation pitcher and can get through a regular season game of seeing each batter 3 times effectively. March 11, 2011 11:17 AM NatsJack in Florida said... I'm in the Detwiler camp, as well, but a month or two of quality starts in Sryacuse for him wouldn't hurt.Please let the first round of cuts today include Mock, Detwiler and Severino. March 11, 2011 11:19 AM I wanted to post up my posting that was done on March 11th. Unfortunately, Detwiler may have come into Spring Training with a new delivery but the results are the same with him. Everyone wanted to see him succeed and in the end, Rizzo has a real problem.So what is the Plan B?
1) Any speculation on what Werth was getting at with his "I won't talk about it" quotes?2) Any sense from the front office that there's a problem with the training staff, given their track record with letting theoretically "small" injuries turn into monster problems?3) Any estimate when we'll see Tom Milone?
While there are so many questions so little time I would like some opinion or inforamtion on what the Nationals FO think of the fan experience of this team. In both TV Radio and in person. Do they think that it is the best in baseball or ok enough so deal with it or not great but they are addressing the issues.Do they even care ?I am talking about beyond the winning and losing you do not have to win to have a good fan experience, it does help but a winning team with a bad experience is no fun either. What do I think? Glad you asked. I took it as a work in progress but has it shown no real improvement. In fact it seems to be getting worse.
What can we get from SF for Pudge?
What is Werth referring to that is "obvious what's going on around here"? It's obvious they aren't hitting but he would have just said that. It's obvious the Manager is an empty suit; that Werth could not come out and say. Is that it?
Couldn't get it to load for me but may check later.On another note, my brother would have turned 60 this week. He rooted for his SF Giants to the end of his days here - actually, beyond that, seeing as how he was buried in a Posey jersey. He never quit on his Giants and I'm not going to quit on my Nats. Your (collective) mileage may vary, of course, but that's how we roll. I'm grateful for his time on this earth, for the gift of baseball, and for this blog, among a myriad of other things. Again, your collective mileage may vary. Just wanted to share that. Oh, and feel better, Buster Posey. That is all.
Apparently the fan who fell out of the stands in Colorado yesterday has died.Very sad.I do often wonder about some design elements in ballparks and am surprised it doesn't happen more often.I'm deathly afraid of heights so usually choose seats in the middle of an upper deck.
Upon further reading it seems the fan was attempting to slide down one of the railings and fell 20 feet onto concrete (on his head).Still though, perhaps stadium officials should make it impossible to actually attempt such an act.
natsfan1a. My condolences on the loss of your brother. I turn 63 in July and hope to spend many more [and happier?] years rooting for my lovable losers at Nationals Park. Just having baseball in DC is a blessing. Going to the game on Saturday and will be "dressed to the nines" in my Nats paraphernalia, as always! Again, my condolences to you and yours on your loss.
Thanks, Anon @ 3:23. He did (finally) get to see his Giants win it all last fall, and I got to share in that joy with him, which was another blessing.
Natsfan1a- I, as well, would like to give my condolences.I'm an "old" 35, but have yet to experience such a loss. Your 2:44 post expresses exactly the way I view life.All my best.
natsfan1a said... Condolences...
natsfan1a,I'll add my condolences to you and your family as well.If I may get off topic for one moment, I'm making my first trip to Nationals Park this weekend to see a couple of games. Seats are in the 310-317 section area and I was hoping someone here could tell me where the best concession stands are located in this part of the stadium? I'd be particularly interested to know if I could get a Yuengling anywhere close by to these sections.Thanks for your help.
Thanks for your kind thoughts, fellow fans.Thanks to Mark and Chase for the segment. Love the organ music, btw.Knoxville, hope that one of our other commenters can help on the beer, as that's not my specialty. As for concession stands in that area, I like the Flippin' Pizza, Boardwalk Fries, and Nats Dogs (What can I say? I have simple tastes.) Haven't tried the new ice cream vendor yet. I also didn't notice whether they still sell the gelato. It's a bit pricey (after all, it's ballpark food) but good.
Natsfan1a, sorry for your loss,puts the rest of this nonsense in perspective; doesn't it?
Thanks, JD, and definitely.
Knoxville, my regular seats are in 313. There is a Baseline Brews stand right behind there. They have many brewskis there, and I think ( but cannot be sure) that includes Yuengling.
Mark Zuckerman said in this video "Not fielding their best 25 guys" in one theory of what Werth cryptically was saying.BINGO, BINGO, we have a winner!
Doc said: (My Google Posting is not working, so I'm taking the Anonymous route). When you're a hacker, you're a hacker!!! Lots of us have been saying that for some time. A good example was not using Morse at 1B when he was available, LaRoche was not doing it with the bat.Riggleman has a strange take on substitutions and the 'best 25'. He lost us a few games by not having Morse in there when LaRoche was struggling.I think that Werth was pointing to the way Riggleman has been using the BP; but I don't think you can fault him there. I have been wanting to have him use HRod more often. It's not going to work all the time.
Interim Jim Riggleman may soon be a very tasty, but sadly skinny and meager meal for this shark.
Natsfan1a, let me add my condolences. Just from reading your brother was buried in a favorite Giants jersey, I know he was a cool guy. A death in the immediate family is tough as I know all too well.
Sorry for your loss, NF1A. I hope Posey returns to form and continues to do your brother proud.Meantime, does anyone know why Robbie Ray was lifted after two scoreless innings that dropped his ERA to 0.47?Please tell me it's a just a blister. I'm going to have nightmares about the Patients of Jobe.... (And Andrews... and Kernan....)
Thanks, rmoore and drew. Hope so re. Posey. He's a special kid (but I'm kinda biased).
Drew...Re: Ray...the opposing pitcher only went one inning, so maybe there was a rain delay?
fwiw, there's a get well Buster card at the addy below, but it may be "broke-ded," having had over 3300 posts since yesterday.getwellbuster.mlblogs.com/2011/05/26/9/Okay, back to the Nats. Get you some home cookin' and come to the ballpark ready to take it to the Friars, boys!
TimDZ:Good call on Ray. That makes sense.(Phew.)
Drew8: Just looked at the Suns website and it noted a 1 hour 51 minute delay (didn't say rain, but one can assume that).
1A... SO sorry, for your loss... Both of my brothers have passed, in the last 3 years. Both much older than my 51 years, but losing a sib of any age can leave you mighty empty. Both Yankee fans (came by it honestly, though, Army brats, Dad was stationed at Mitchell Field, (on Long Island in the '50s, when they were kids, so they saw some good baseball, there. Dad went to West Point, in the mid '30s, when Murders Row would come up there, for exhibition games. Funny story: Dad said that, the first thing you learned, as a plebe, was to never boo... Conduct unbecoming an officer...serious bidness! So Gehrig must have known this, as anytime he completed a putout, he would turn to the stands, and with a big grin, show them the ball, upon which he was lustily, if good naturedly BOOOED! Lou would bend over laughing...Cue James Earl Jones...."Baseball....."
Thanks, Unkyd. Yes, I believe that your brothers would get a pass under the Growing Up/Born Into Yankee Fandom rule. Thanks for sharing that great story!(Wait. The captcha is gnaterb? hmmm...)
Thanks for sharing about your brother's birthday this week, nf1a. My sister, who loved the yankees beyond anything I've ever seen, died the week of opening day two years ago. It's funny (and lovely) how baseball joins us, even when they are gone.Thanks for the link to the Buster Posey card -- what a tough thing to happen to such a great kid. It was clear that the runner knew immediately that something awful happened. I hope, for Buster's sake, and baseball's sake, it's a complete recovery for him.
PS...great job, Mark! I'm glad for your insights.