Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sticky situation

US Presswire photo
Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected for having pine tar in his glove.
At the end of a frustrating -- and, as it turned out, controversial -- night at the ballpark, the Nationals find themselves in something of a sticky situation.

And that has nothing to do with the pine tar found on Rays reliever Joel Peralta's glove before the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday, though that violation of the baseball rule book became the primary topic of discussion inside both clubhouses.

No, of greater importance to the Nationals right now is what to do with the one weak link in their otherwise dominant rotation. After watching Chien-Ming Wang struggle yet again through 3 1/3 laborious innings -- the No. 1 culprit in his team's 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay -- manager Davey Johnson couldn't definitively say whether the veteran right-hander will remain as his fifth starter.

"I know how good he can be," Johnson said. "My job is to try to get everybody doing the things they're capable of doing. That's my job. If I thought he could get better out of the bullpen or starting, that would come into the decision. I'm not going to make a decision right after a rough outing."

If Johnson was giving any thought to removing Wang from the rotation and going back to Ross Detwiler, the latter certainly made as strong a case for himself as possible coming out of the bullpen and keeping this game close.

Summoned in the bottom of the fourth to bail out Wang, Detwiler wound up tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief. He retired 11 of 12 batters faced, the lone exception Carlos Pena (who was hit by a pitch in the seventh).

In six total appearances since he was sent to the bullpen to open a starting spot for Wang, Detwiler now boasts a 1.35 ERA and only seven hits allowed over 13 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old left insists, however, he's not thinking about a possible move back to the rotation.

"I am where I am right now," Detwiler said. "I've got to get comfortable with that, and that's the only way I'm going to throw well. I know farther down the road, there's a good chance I'll be back, whether it be next year or whenever it will be. But I think I'm starting to get comfortable down in the bullpen."

As comfortable as Detwiler has looked in the bullpen, Wang has looked anything but comfortable since joining the rotation three weeks ago. He's now made four starts and failed to complete six innings in any of them, compiling a 6.62 ERA while putting an astounding 40 men on base over 17 2/3 innings.

The problem, the Nationals believe, is mechanical. Wang has been "rushing" through his throwing motion, with his right arm lagging behind the rest of his body.

"His arm strength is back, but he's still trying to do too much and not getting in position to locate the ball well," Johnson said. "That was his problem."

"I think overall my arm still feels good, and actually today I could feel on top of the ball, on my finger," Wang said. "But I just couldn't locate the ball very well today."

When Wang departed the game in the fourth, the Nationals trailed 5-2. Thanks to Detwiler's dominance and then a two-run homer from Michael Morse (his first of the season) in the sixth, they reduced the deficit to one.

But the Nationals didn't put another man on base after Morse's blast, unable to get anything going late against Rays starter David Price or three relievers. Er, make that two relievers, because Peralta (though he officially appeared in the game) never actually threw a pitch.

The 36-year-old right-hander was a popular member of the Nationals' bullpen in 2010, and he pitched well, posting a 2.02 ERA in 39 games. Over the winter, though, the organization made the somewhat strange decision not to tender him a contract.

Before Tuesday's game, Johnson saw Peralta on the field in a Tampa Bay uniform and rhetorically asked why the Nationals let him get away.

"One thing led to another," the manager said, "and I got probably more information than I really needed."

Without offering up specifics, or revealing who specifically told him, Johnson said there had been "some chirping" about Peralta using pine tar in his glove. So when Rays manager Joe Maddon summoned for his setup man before the bottom of the eighth, Johnson emerged from his dugout and asked plate umpire Tim Tschida to check the pitcher's glove.

And what did Tschida find in the glove?

"It was a significant amount of pine tar," the veteran umpire told a pool reporter.

Thus, the glove was confiscated and Peralta was immediately ejected, per Rule 8.02(a), which states that a pitcher may not "apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball." Peralta also now is subject to a mandatory suspension.

Maddon was incensed by Johnson's request to check the glove.

"It's kind of a common practice that people have done this for years, and to point one guy out because he had pitched here a couple years ago there probably was some common knowledge based on that," the Rays manager said. "And so I thought it was a real cowardly ... it was kind of a [wuss] move to go out there and to that under those circumstances. I like the word [wuss] move right there."

When the top of the ninth arrived, Maddon had Tschida check Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus' glove and hat. The umpire found nothing. Mattheus couldn't help but smile.

"I'm not going to take it personal," the right-hander said. "It's gamesmanship. We did it to them. I'm sure they wanted to make sure that we weren't at an unfair advantage with something sticky in our gloves and stuff like that. I didn't take it as an insult at all."

Who was it that tipped Johnson off about Peralta's penchant for pine tar use? No one inside the Nationals' clubhouse was saying, and members of the bullpen uniformly had nothing but positive things to say about their former teammate.

"I played with Joel in 2009 with the Rockies and he's a great, great guy," Mattheusa said. "Standup guy. I don't think he's out there cheating, trying to get over on us or anything like that. But it's unfortunate."

Though such ejections for foreign substances are rare, this wasn't the first time it happened to a pitcher facing the Nationals.

On June 14, 2005 in Anaheim, outfielder Jose Guillen (who played for the Angels the previous year) told manager Frank Robinson that reliever Brendan Donnelly used pine tar on his glove. Robinson got Donnelly ejected from that game, setting off a bench-clearing incident between the two clubs that featured the 69-year-old Robinson and Angels manager Mike Scioscia going toe-to-toe.

Scioscia's bench coach that night: Joe Maddon. One of the umpires who confiscated Donnelly's glove: Tim Tschida.

"This one was a lot calmer," Tschida said. "The managers both kept their cool. The one in Anaheim, I had to separate Scioscia and Frank Robinson."

There was no extracurricular activity Tuesday night, but surely both sides and the umpiring crew will be watching for any residual issues the rest of this series. Wednesday night's scheduled starters: Stephen Strasburg and Chris Archer, making his big-league debut.

Perhaps the best indication of what might still come was uttered by Maddon at the end of his postgame media session, clearly upset with his counterpart in the other dugout.

Said Maddon: "Before you start throwing rocks, understand where you live."

135 comments:

Section 222 said...

I'll be interested to hear what others think, but if any of the Nats pitchers are using pine tar or other foreign substances I hope they get caught too. What is it with cheating and baseball anyway? Learn to win without cheating and this tit for tat stuff won't get you.

Listening to the MLB Network guys talk about this was embarrassing. Suggesting that pine tar is ok because the rosin bag plus sweat creates a similar foreign substance. Actually, I still don't know if Mitch Williams thinks it's ok to use pine tar. That guy is incomprehensible sometimes.

Scooter said...

So, while that glove thing was going on, we were trying to interpret the charades the Rays were performing for the bullpen. "two words ... first word ... sounds like ..." (Reminded me a bit of the Yanks on that double-switch thing.) After the new reliever came in, my friend and I theorized that the signal they were giving was "The big guy! Yeah, the big one!" Did this come up on the broadcast?

Scooter said...

Switching topics, I wanted to share a cute thing that happened.


I noticed four things during BP today: 1) the ball was carrying; 2) Will Rhymes seemed to have trouble throwing all the way to first from third base; 3) Someone who might have been Nady was creaming the ball (though who knows, maybe it was #11, not 21); 4) the Rays had a very slick fielder taking grounders at second. I'm guessing it was that E Johnson guy.

Anyway, the first two showed up during the game. For extra points, I mentioned Rhymes's arm to my friend just before Morse grinded into that error.

I'm no scout; it's just fun when you see things.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Maddon is talking like he's still a kid in a middle-school playground. His guy cheated and got caught. Big deal.

I like the way Davey stayed cool, and he even had a bit of a smirk. Maybe there is a history there, or maybe he just thought he might get a bit of an edge to help his team win, or maybe he thought getting Peralta out was the right move late in the game. It did not work out, but the guy is always trying.

NatsJack in Florida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsJack in Florida said...

Corky....that's why I go to games early. Well, that and the $5.00 beers.

As that wise old sage Yogi Berra once said, "you can observe alot just by watching".

Bote Man said...

Time for Wang to go. Yes, they dumped a lot of money and time into his rehabilitation, but it just aint workin'. Surprisingly, the Nats find themselves in what is turning out to be something of a pennant race and they can't afford another project, another experiment, another look-see.

The problem then becomes: who replaces Wang in the rotation? I don't think Detwiler can fill that role, he's better as a middle reliever.

Do the Nats talk turkey with the Cubs for Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster when he comes off the DL? Both have a modicum of post-season experience. Dempster would be a rental; I don't know what the Cubs would want for Garza as he is eligible for arbitration next year.

The Nats still have Lannan rotting away in Syracuse, but his and Perry's numbers look worse than Wang's. Maya's numbers look tempting, though; he might be a button Rizzo could push to hold them over until they work out something better.

All I know is enough is enough with Wang, they got a pennant to win!

rabbit34 said...

Hey, MicheleS......what did Morse do, close his eyes and swing tonight??? I guarantee Wang will not be starting. Johnson will make the switch. He will act on this. GO NATS!! We'll get over this losing streak. Guys batting first, third, and fourth are hitting .230, .229, and .230. It must be part of a plan. Yes, we're in first place, but I guess if everyone was hitting .230 we'd be 30 games over .500! Once again, GO NATS!

rabbit34 said...

NATSJACK.........Where are the $5.00 beers??? Was it a promotion, early price, special day thing??? That woke me up!!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Early price on 16 oz. cans of Miller Lite at the scoreboard pavillion from gate opening till first pitch.

MicheleS said...

Rabbit.. whatever Morse was doing, let's hope he keeps it up!

Not sure what to do with CMW, last night was just painful to watch him. I hate that he would get 0-2 and then end up walking the guy or giving up a hit. Seemed like that was happening with every batter.

$5 beers are usually up on the scoreboard bar for Miller Lite Party Night

MicheleS said...

I thought Maya was hurt? Didn't he have to leave a game recently (and NO I am not calling for him to be promoted - we have seen that story line one time too many)

Dave said...

I don't think they're doing the $5.00 before-game beers this year, are they? Haven't seen them this season.

Maddon's reaction to the pine-tar think is funny. Your guy got caught cheating, Joe. Take it like a man, not like a [wuss].

Dave said...

I stand corrected on the $5.00 beers: Miller Light on party night, eh? Last year it was any 16-oz. can, two hours before first pitch, every game.

I think Maddon is trying to manage in that "old, prestigious way of baseball." LOL

320R2S15 said...

I'm a big Davey guy, but from what I've seen, he showed his a$$ on this one. Everyone is calling it "cheating" and I guess it is literaly, but man, I don't know. We did it in little league through high school, and I'm not sure if it helped or not but it did give a mental advantage. You could call it cheating, but really to a small degree, it's really gamesmsnship and I like that part of the game, stealing signs etc. Davey was within his rights to call them on it, but I'm not sure how smart a move it was. Can't wait for tonight and I hope the drama continues. It's baseball man and I love it.

320R2S15 said...

Calling Miller light beer is kinda like saying that Adam Dunn is "tearing up American League pitching" A real streach.

MicheleS said...

Perspective from Tampa

Tampa Times

phil dunton said...

Staying with Wang as the 5th starter is nothing more than Johnson helping Rizzo to save face. Rizzo's time and money investment .in a broken down pitcher is shameful.

MicheleS said...

320R.. I wish we could get some of the local brews in the Park (Not Sure what is in the Red Porch). Not sure what it would take to do that, but it would be kind of nice since there are a ton of good local brews.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, investing in an, old, broken down pitcher is shameful-- unless that pitcher is R.A. Dickey.

Steady Eddie said...

I think the beer Party Nights are Wednesdays and Thursdays. Look on the promotional schedule.

Steady Eddie said...

Michele- until last year you could get Dominion Ale and Wild Goose at the ballpark but I guess the big distributors weighed in against that. Too bad, I really like Dominion Ale (and Blue Ridge even more but that's long defunct).

They still have Sierra Nevada which ain't bad but it's not local and doesn't quite have the character of the locals.

sjm308 said...

MichelleS - I might not always use great sense in talking baseball but you are in my wheelhouse when discussing beer - They have ONE local beer. Old Dominion Home Run Ale. It is actually at the MillerLite Scoreboard but its on draft and lots of times they are out. It also is downstairs in the Red Porch and sometimes, they even have a 2nd Old Dominion product but not often. I would rather spend my "beer money" at Justins, even though its crowded ($3 craft beers on draft) and a $6 Boddington at the Fairgrounds just crushes a $5 miller lite which I just can't call beer. Thats it for the beer report folks, can't wait to see what plays out tonight as Maddon spends the day plotting. Hard to believe he actually made that little threat at the end. I doubt if Strasburg can get rattled over something like this but you never know.

Go Nats!!

sjm308 said...

Steady Eddy, you beat me by 3 min.! Not that anyone cares but my go-to beer at the park is Newcastle and our little stand up by 308 is rarely crowded

Bzl. said...

So, I've got a bit of a news tip on the pine tar thing. This wasn't all spur-of-the-moment by Davey. I was at my usual seats last night, 3 rows in front of Rizzo's suite, in Section 214. Friends visited in the top of the 8th, and I turned and pointed out Rizzo to them, but you couldn't see his face because his high-powered binoculars were pointed to the Rays' bullpen, for at least a couple minutes, while Peralta warmed up. He clearly wasn't just checking out the flower beds back there.

SCNatsFan said...

I think it comes down to this... if you aren't cheating then you don't have to worry about being caught. Have no idea what Maddon can use as a defense against cheating.

All I know is if pine tar helps maybe Wang should try it. Alot of it.

Steady Eddie said...

Sjm308--

Home Run Ale is made by Dominion? Did not know that. Home Run ain't bad but to me Dominion Ale has a cleaner taste.

Re Pine Tar 2, I've gotta think there's some backstory re Davey and maybe with Maddon specifically too, that goes beyond knowing what Peralta would do.

pRAA said...

"And so I thought it was a real cowardly ... it was kind of a [wuss] move to go out there and to that under those circumstances. I like the word [wuss] move right there."

You know, when a journalist cleans up a source's quote for publication, it's kind of a [wuss] move for the journalist to substitute a less offensive word of his own choosing for whatever word the source used that was deemed too offensive for publication. The proper form is to replace that word with [expletive deleted], [redacted] or some such, or to use strategically-placed asterisks or other punctuation to spell out the offensive word the source uttered without actually printing it. Why? Because by interjecting a word of his own choosing into the source's quote, the journalist is guiding the reader into forming an opinion of the source and/or his quote that may not be accurate. Let the reader guess for him/herself what word the source actually used. That lets the reader decide how much of a [teabag] he thinks the source is, without being led along by the journalist's own bias.

And since when did [wuss] become one of the seven words you can't say on television? George Carlin is probably rolling around in his grave right now. [Wuss] is such a nice word. Kind of soft and furry. Almost makes you want to reach out and gently pet it, doesn't it? Maybe Joe Maddon isn't so much of a [teabag] after all...

MicheleS said...

And back to the top point.

Thanks Mark for pointing out the fact that the problem in the game was CMW (and not just the pine tar). We are going to have to watch this develop over the next couple of days. Our speculating can turn to Who should start in Baltimore on Sunday, Det or CMW? Or Someone else?

And JayB.. saw the previous thread. I try to take something positive from each game (that's my nature - certified Koolaid drinker here). And the fact that the game was interesting at least tempered the blow of the loss.

Nick Rodriguez said...

Isnt it a stretch to call Dominion a local craft beer now that it is made by a Budweiser sub in Delaware?

Nick Rodriguez said...

Isnt it a stretch to call Dominion a local craft beer now that it is made by a Budweiser sub in Delaware?

Dave said...

Dogfish IPA is local-ish, right? Available at Baseline Brews behind sec. 311 or so.

mick said...

Nick, take it from e, its all good, lol

mick said...

me

MicheleS said...

pRAA.. Did you post that same comment on all the other Beats gamers - including Tampa's? Because I saw all of them substituted the word with something else and didn't used your suggested substitutions or completely left out that portion of the quote.

Doc said...

If CMW hasn't learned to slot his arm, and get in synch with his body by now, then there is another problem. He's had three starts and lots of inbetweens to get it right, and it isn't working.

Wang was part of a past Rizzo effort to try and build a pitching staff in any way he could. He didn't have a lot of pitcher options then. And furthermore, he doesn't have to do that anymore.

There have been a lot of pitchers come and go from the Nats since CMW was signed. He will probably be another one that will soon go.

pRAA said...

You know how Miller Light is like making love in a canoe? They're both [firetruck]ing close to water!

mick said...

Michele... I would o with Det on Sunday, but i would call Lannan up and move Wang down

MicheleS said...

Mick.. I don't think you can move Wang down. He has no options, so they would have to either put him back on the DL with some injury or DFA. Not calling for either, and just glad I don't have to make that decision.

Nick Rodriguez said...

Its 107 miles from the Dogfish Head production facility to Nats Park. Do you consider that local? Its only 137 to Philly ya know.

mick said...

We need to win tonight, focus on hitting let Stass do his thing and if Maddon wants to act an ass let him make a fool of himself. If we keep cool, this idiot will get tossed

mick said...

Michele... good question on Wang, or does Davey give him one more start Sunday?

MicheleS said...

Mick, I would think that start question depends on what we do over the next 4 games.

NatsLady said...

Ecktein Q&A on fangraphs.com

Avar said...

Wow, Maddon is a chump. You don't defend cheating. It can't be defended, because...it's cheating. Take your lumps and move on. But, you don't call out Davey w/ the p-word. That is weak. He basically stomped his feet and said, "but everyone does it!" Total bush-league stuff. Hope Stras mows them down tonight.

Oh yeah, and they have no choice but to let Wang pitch a few more starts. They're in a corner due to him being out of options and unable to do pen. Just give him a shorter leash and have Detwiler ready at first sign of trouble. Namely, sooner than they did last night.

Go Nats!

baseballswami said...

Going to the game tonight - will it be the usual Nats not too high or too low, or will there be more drama? Does anybody at all think Davey did this trying to fire up the team? They are all pretty low key guys except for Bryce. Usually that's good, but sometimes I would like to see some fire. Well- Mike showed a lot of emotion last night - nice to see that homer and that big smile.Remains to be seen if there will be more antics.

NatsLady said...

Interesting comments by Eckstein. Not much about a particular plan at the plate or game situation, more about individual hitting approaches and physical "fixes." Maybe the particular plan for an at-bat or game situation is the bench coach's job???

JD said...

MichelleS

I don't. I think we Davie will move Det back into the rotation. He is the much better option right now. The bigger question is: what do you do when you shut SS down in August and you need both of them?

I think Garza will be too pricey prospect wise but I think you can rent Dempster for the rest of the year. I think the Cubs will be happy to dump his salary especially if we throw in someone like Oduber and or Kobernus.

JD said...

I don't know if anyone has noticed but Daniel Rosenbaum was crushed last night and it's the latest in a string of so so performances. SO no he's not quite major league ready as some have suggested.

Cole Kimball pitched an inning yesterday in the FSL. I really like his arm if he's fully recovered and gives us tons of depth in the pen which we should convert into something useful.

NatsLady said...

Swami-- same thought occurred to me. Light a fire under their butts. Stras vs. this minor-leaguer should be a good chance. I take back every nice thing I ever said about Maddon. He is really hearing it from the Rays' fans on their sites. Mostly along the lines of "our guy got caught, suck it up."

Tcostant said...

I think it was interesting that not waiting on calling Peralta out as a cheater. Why not let Peralta start the inning, it he gives up hits/walks, say nothing and save this chip for Wednesday or Thursday. But if the first batter makes out, go straight to the ump and call out the pitch and get that “out” back and get him thrown out then. Seems to me that it's the smarter way to play it. You call out Brett after a homerun for pine tar (ironic isn’t it?), not when he come to the batter’s box.

baseballswami said...

So CMW "can't" pitch out of the bullpen but half his wins ( well, one of two) came out of the bullpen. The other one he barely qualified, pitched horribly and it was a gift. We can't trade him or send him down. We have invested time and money in him. The Nats have done absolutely everything for him to support him in the faint hope that he would return to his former yankee form ( which includes massive run support). Sounds to me like he has the Nats backed into a corner and he holds all the cards. He must have a really good agent. One of the things I don't like about this situation is that it is un-balanced. The Nats have done all the giving , he has done all the taking.

Section 222 said...

I'm guessing that Wang gets another start or two. Rizzo isn't giving up on him quite yet. But as Dave J. said, when you're saying, "a sinker, high", that's not gonna work.

I hope Peralta gets to pitch tonight, sans the doctored glove, and we light him up.

Thanks to pRAA I finally understand what a [wuss] is.

natscan reduxit said...

Memo to Joe Maddon:

… just to define it for you Joe, a (wuss) move would be to attempt to deflect attention away from the guilty Peralta and onto Davey Johnson, a big league manager as respectable as any in the game.

... what's cowardly is to renege on your personal responsibility, to avoid your own complicity and taking your punishment like an adult.

Go Davey! Go Nats!!

mick said...

Maddon is a capital "P"

Gonat said...

NatsLady said...
Interesting comments by Eckstein. Not much about a particular plan at the plate or game situation, more about individual hitting approaches and physical "fixes." Maybe the particular plan for an at-bat or game situation is the bench coach's job???

June 20, 2012 8:49 AM
____________________________

Interesting observations. This is a young team.

I remember a funny quote from a frustrated coach saying he has to think for his players. Sure, that's why you give signals and control the game.

More of it may be team philosophy like we saw with the Yankees and Boz's stats on balls seen by the 1-4 batters. The disparity was enormous. See lot's of pitches and drive "your" pitch. Get to the bullpen early. Remember, as you tire out a pitcher his pitches will flatten out.

You can't stress enough having a team philosophy and a plan. The other part is having the players who can execute it. Outside of Werth and LaRoche, not sure the Nats have many players that can do that consistently.

Rizzo went with this more athletic team that could run 1st to 3rd. This team is certainly much better than it was 2 years ago but its mostly in the pitching and defense.

mick said...

As the late Al Davis would say about now.... Just Win BABY!!!

mick said...

and the infamous Cowboy Coward would add "Don't say anything, just do it" lol hee hee

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Mark. Reading between the lines on Davey's comments, it sounds as though Peralta may have PO'ed someone in the organization. During the broadcast, FP predicted that there will be a lot of new gloves for today's game. :-) Scooter, the broadcasters were trying to figure out the bullpen charades as well. And, sorry, but I still kinda like Maddon. Not during this series, though. grrr...
And carrying forward:

natsfan1a said...

Reading the in-game updates and instant analysis after the fact, I see that Mark referenced the Guillen pine tar game right away. I was puzzled that Carpenter didn't mention it on the broadcast, as they were discussing other such incidents. Then I realized that it was in Ought Five, when he was not yet with the team. Ah, yes. Those were the days, kids (starts chair to rocking). Some day I'll tell you all about the Chief. And my stomach ulcer. :-)
June 20, 2012 9:03 AM

Gonat said...

Tcostant, I know you were confident in Wang. Its tough when you have faith in a player who can't execute.

mick said...

question of the day.... is there a quality vet pitcher available for trade by trade deadline, if so... who?

mick said...

for example, a Marquis?

natsfan1a said...

On another note, we're going to take in our first P-Nats game of the season on Saturday. Gotta get there early for the first pitch by Rollie Fingers. I guess if they checked his glove beforehand they'd just find some spit. :-)

Tcostant said...

Gonat your right there, that was hard to watch...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD @8:50, this trade deadline is creeping up. It will be very relevant soon. Last week I would've said a starting pitcher would be a good add but then I didn't want to argue with the Wang lovers here.

Wang won't work consistently and Detwiler the same, been there seen it done it. Det is a temp band-aid.

Do you think you could get Dempster? Wandy?

Tcostant said...

natsfan1a -

FYI Plum District has a deal for the PNats, just follow this link and change location to DC-Northern VA:

ttps://www.plumdistrict.com/?ref=uc7887239eee

$20 for a Family 4-Pack of Grandstand Tickets to Potomac Nationals Baseball Game, including 4 Kids' Zone Tickets - a $40 Value

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

So, to summarize:
Miller Lite is cheaper, but it isn't really beer; cheating isn't really cheating, but "gamesmanship"; recycled Monty Python jokes don't work when you insert [euphemisms]; and I still don't know what Maddon actually said in place of "[wuss]".

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. The Astros would want a few big prospects for Wandy and we would have to eat his entire contract. Dempster is on the DL right now, and I think the Cubs are also asking for a lot in prospects for him. Theo is in rebuild mode with the cubs farm system and he is going to hold out until he gets the right price.

Mick.. Marquis had issues with the previous manager, not sure what his relationship is with Davey, but that could be a factor.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Aren't Dempster and Wandy Rodriguez both on the DL?

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Marquis had issues with the previous manager, not sure what his relationship is with Davey, but that could be a factor.

Well, that, and the fact that the last-place Twins fired him, in no small part because he was no small part of the reason they were in last place.

Gonat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Although, to be fair, Marquis is doing OK so far in San Diego.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Do you think you could get Dempster? Wandy?

June 20, 2012 9:29 AM
_______________________________

Wandy pitched last night. 3.29 ERA and got thru 7 innings with 0 run support. Perfect for this staff + he is a leftie.

Dempster may cost many prospects.

The problem as I see it is I don't think Rizzo is ready to rid himself of Wang. Again, the playoff type of teams make the tough decisions. DFA'ing Wang is like admitting you made a very expensive 3 year mistake. All in all, he did nothing for this team. Can Rizzo's ego take this big of an ego and PR hit?

hiramhover said...

I didn't want to argue with the Wang lovers here.

Congrats, Ghost! In a discussion of Wangs, [wusses], and "sticky situations," yours is my favorite line so far.

In this a baseball blog or a middle school locker room I've wandered into?

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

We already have our tix but thanks for the thought, tconstant.

On cheating, can't recall which one at the moment, but one of the books in my baseball library had a lengthy and quite interesting discussion of cheating in baseball, and what distinguishes "unfair" cheating from "gamesmanship" in The Book.

(And maybe I was thinking of Gaylord Perry re. the glove-checking. :-))

Gonat said...

On this pine tar incident. I got to thinking about a foul ball I got. The ball had pine tar thinly coated on it about 4 inches by 2 inches. At first glance I figured it was hit off of the bat's trademark but how could you explain the pinetar continuing around the round edges of the ball. I thought with major impact the ball flattens at impact.

Now I am thinking the pitcher may have added the pine tar.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Rodriguez will cost a share of $10MM this year, and $13MM each both next year, and 2014. Compared to that, the money "wasted" on Wang is no problem.
Not every shot worth taking hits the target, but that doesn't mean it wasn't worth taking the shot. Wang probably is done, but they'll give him another shot if they think it's something mechanical they can fix, until they need the roster spot, which they don't right this minute. He was just good enough last fall, and this spring, to keep the question open for a fifth starter on a team that wasn't planning on contending this year. OK, both of those things worked out otherwise--he hasn't been good, and they are contending now. [Stuff] happens, plans change. You can't fault the team for being in first place.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

My favorite bit of "gamesmanship" was Jose Cardenal, who was on second base for the Cubs when a benches-clearing brawl interrupted the game. Pushing and shoving ensued, dinner plans for after the game were made, whatever they do in a baseball fight, and eventually the umpires got the game back on the field, and Cardenal went back to third base. Just before putting the ball back in play, somebody noticed and said "HEY!" and Cardenal, chuckling guiltily, went back to second base. Would have been the Best Stolen Base, Ever.

Gonat said...

Soul, that's why Wandy wasn't moved due to the salary. Better to pay cash than give up lots of prospects.

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

Great story, sec3. My fave all-time glove checking incident (see @ 2:29):

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, I wouldn't give much in terms of prospects for a salary dump. I would also start inquiring now and get ahead of the bidding game.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Some of the planning for Wang will depend on what happens next--if Strasburg, Gio, Znn, and Jackson can run off four Ws, then it's less critical. Lose this series, or get swept again, and the next one, and they have to move on it, which would mean Detwiler starts next Monday in Colo. I don't think they'll trade serious prospect(s), or pay $35MM, for a fifth starter, but that's just me.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Make that Sunday, in B'more.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Speaking of R.A> Dickey, maybe Wabg can develope a knucjkeball.

JamesFan said...

I would go a lot farther with Wang. We can't dump every player in a slump or the lineup would be pretty thin. We wanted to dump LaRoche for Morse until we didn't; Espinoza for Lombo; now Wang and Zim are taking hits. Thankfully, the adults in management stick with them longer.

Theophilus T. S. said...

"Speaking of R.A> Dickey, maybe Wabg can develope a knucjkeball."

Somebody bought a Dutch iPad?

pRAA said...

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...
Although, to be fair, Marquis is doing OK so far in San Diego.


Great. Then trade for Petco Park. Give them RFK and a couple of rats to be named later.

baseballswami said...

He is not in a slump - if you are in a slump you have highs and lows. All lows means you can't do it anymore.Ask Brad Lidge. I think if you check his past success you will see that he never had a low era, he had the yankee offense. So even if he miraculously wakes up and is his old self again, that won't work on a team that has to scratch and claw for every run. It's not just the command, he can't run, he can't field, he can't bunt and he can't manage 5 innings. Do you see that this team can continue to afford this? But, then again, as I noted previously - the Nats have no options with him, he has them boxed into a corner. He is basically in control of the situation. Fun, right? Rizzo must be thrilled with this turn of events threatening every thing else he has done.

pRAA said...

Manassas Nats' Fan said...
Speaking of R.A> Dickey, maybe Wabg can develope a knucjkeball.


You type that one with your knuckles?

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Give them RFK and a couple of rats to be named later.

Davey isn't going to say who told him about Peralta, so this may be the only way we find out.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Holy Cow! The Rockies just signed Jason Bergmann!He of the 5.09 career ERA. Talk about desperate.

JD said...

Steve,

1) I am not quite ready to declare Det a failure; he was very good for a solid month and has only really had a couple of bad starts.

2) I am not positive CMW is done; I would hate to have him flourish elsewhere after what we have invested in him.

3) I would love to add Dempster especially since he shouldn't cost more than a couple of C level prospects; if he does let the Cubs find someone else to take that salary of their hands.

4) With all due respect to the Rosenbaum fan club we only have 3 sure fire starters for next year so acquiring someone like Garza also makes sense (I would trade Rosenbaum, Perez and Oduber to get Garza).

MicheleS said...

NatsJack.. and that just tells you that the $$$ has got to be what the hold up is with Lannan.

hiramhover said...

It seems to be this debate boils down to 3 questions:

1. Fifth starters are never great, but how bad is too bad? Cumulatively, Wang's performance over the 4 starts this season qualifies.

2. Can they "fix" Wang to make him, if not great, at least not too bad? In explaining his poor performance, Davey etc. have been talking about his mechanics, release point, rushed delivery, etc. since his first start. At what point do you decide it can't be fixed?

3. If not Wang, who? There's obviously Det; there's Lannan; they have 2 former starters in their BP, Gorzo and Stammen. You can make an argument against any one of them as Wang's replacement (esp. the last 2), but the Nats have enough potential #5 starters that that shouldn't be an impediment to removing him.

Myself, I'd bet that that Wang gets another start to prove himself at Balto this weekend. And given how awful this outing was, the next one almost has to be better. And because it will look like improvement, a 5 inn, 3-4 run start probably buys him another start after that--esp. if the offense and BP pick him up and the Nats win.

MicheleS said...

Manassas, you must be posting from a smart phone, (i won't snark at you). I have seen some doozers that my smart phone has auto corrected or I have fat fingered. That is why I hate auto correct.

JD said...

Swami,

CMW had a mid 3's era for years with the Yankees; that's very good in the AL. I don't buy that it was just the Yankee offense; CMW was in the Cy Young discussion in 2006 and 2007.

I don't claim that he is anywhere near that pitcher now but let's not rewrite history to make our point.

Doc said...

In other news, MPHRod had a good inning down in 'Scuse. 1 inning, 13 pitches, 1k, and nooooooooooooooooooooo BBs!

GooooooNats!

MicheleS said...

Doc twitter had a wild pitch in there. I think is eas from the Chiefs twitter account.

MicheleS said...

WAS not eas

pRAA said...

Myself, I'd bet that that Wang gets another start to prove himself at Balto this weekend. And given how awful this outing was, the next one almost has to be better.

How so? Wang has put 40(!) men on base in 17-2/3 innings as a starter this season. The Rays are one of the weakest hitting teams in the AL, yet last night they put 10 men on in 3-1/3 innings against him. (In other words, they put one runner on base for every out Wang got.) The Orioles are one of the best hitting teams in the AL. They have to be licking their lips already at the prospect of teeing off on him on Sunday.

alexva said...

If CMW doesn't get it together, not having options is not an issue, no one would claim him.

If any fan of any team has as their biggest complaint the performance of the team's 5th starter, then let me be that fan.

JD said...

alexva,

It's more complicated than that. When SS is shut down we will need bot Det and CMW to start regularly and this may be in the heat of a pennant race. Normally I'd agree with you but in this case a bad no.5 may be a killer.

Section 222 said...

Is this a baseball blog or a middle school locker room I've wandered into?

How old are you guys? 12?

Great Cardenal story Sofa. Made me LOL.

I'm not sure how the Peralta incident would fire the Nats up, and I doubt very much that was DJ's motivation. Just as I doubt Davey was responding to the home run appeal or the batter's eye complaint. If anything, it might fire the Rays up. Still worth doing, in my opinion.

I'm still interested in what folks think of Madden's "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" threat. Do any of the Nats pitchers rely on "foreign substances" to get an edge? Wouldn't Davey have made sure they didn't before calling for Peralta to be inspected? Do you think this kind of cheating in baseball is ok?

My answers: 1) No. 2) Yes. 3) No.

JD said...

and as much as I like Stammen and Gorzo and Lannan and Maya and Duke I don't want any one of these guys starting for me in August unless we are up by 5 or more games by then.

hiramhover said...

pRAA

I agree about his lousy numbers--before his start last night, I pointed out that he'd been lucky to give up so few ER with such a high WHIP.

But as to how the next start could be better--I already explained that in my comment. Even 3-4 runs in 5IP would be an improvement over last night. Remember, I didn't say good, only better.

Also, you should check your numbers on the Os and Rays. The Os will benefit from the DH on Sunday, but offensively, they're at best a marginally better team than the Rays. They've played 1 more game than the Rays and scored only 8 more runs over the season (299 vs 291).

Section 222 said...

I think hiramhover has it right, as he usually does, on Wang. Rizzo isn't ready cut the cord on Wang (ouch) yet, and it won't be hard for Wang to show that last night was an outlier. DJ will probably make sure that Det is rested and ready to pitch several innings just in case. They've been a tag team for several games now, and as long as DJ hooks him before disaster strikes, that's not a bad way to proceed.

I also doubt that we'll be buyers of pitching at the trading deadline. We need better hitting, not better pitching to keep contending this year. And with Detwiler hopefully ready to take a permanent spot next year, Giolito, Purke, Rosenbaum, and Alex Meyer in the pipeline, and the possibility of re-signing E-Jax, I don't see Rizzo going after another high-priced starter.

JD said...

Sec 222,

That pipeline is several years away from reaching DC at best. If you want to win this year I think you need one more quality pitcher. If you paid attention you saw that you can have a very good record even with a challenged lineup and ours will get a boost when Morse and Zim return to their normal levels.

It's all about pitching baby.

baseballswami said...

JD - point taken - "slight" exaggeration to make a point. It's been a long time since he was good - those cy young discussions were five and six years ago and mid three eras were fine for that team at that time. I understand that Rizzo and Davey both have a lot of personal investment in him as a pet project and would love to see what the Yankees had back then, but with each year that passes that becomes less and less probable. If it happens then he will be the comeback player of the decade and hooray for us. As I see it, Detweiler, Stammen and Gorzellanny all have a good part of a game in them - former starters. We have Lannan, Perry is being stretched out. Maybe it's time for a couple of quasi -starters to each get 2 to 3 starts and use the 5th spot to further audition pitchers. Either that or we rent a player for the rest of the year to be the fifth now and move up when Strassie is done. Maybe by then someone else will be capable - Det, Lannan or Perry. Davey often says he sees improvement. I am not a pitching coach but I have watched a lot of baseball. I am not seeing it.

Section 222 said...

if you paid attention...

A very peric like addition to an otherwise very reasonable response. I pay close attention, thank you very much. You think we need one more quality pitcher and want Rizzo to go out and get one. I think Rizzo isn't likely to rent one or pick up an expensive long term contract for one. Reasonable minds can differ. Don't be a jerk.

NatsJack in Florida said...

On the Maddon "glass houses" comment. Maybe Joes going to bust Davey for constantly disobeying the tobacco free dugout rule.

pRAA said...

Section 222 said...
if you paid attention...

A very peric like addition to an otherwise very reasonable response. I pay close attention, thank you very much.


Really? Then how did you miss seeing that broomstick you've got stuck up your [peric]?

JD said...

Sec 222,

No offense intended. Please accept my apologies if you took it that way. I too agree that they won't take on a large long term contract but I am not sure what is wrong with a rental provided it doesn't cost you significant talent.

pRAA said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
On the Maddon "glass houses" comment. Maybe Joes going to bust Davey for constantly disobeying the tobacco free dugout rule.


Wouldn't he need to guarantee a tobacco-free umpire crew first? You know at least some of blue gotta be dippin' themselves.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

OMG it's true, you DO become that which you hate. Assuming you weren't that all along.

Section 222 said...

Classy as always pRAA. Talk about glass houses.

Steady Eddie said...

Soul Assuming you weren't that all along.

Bingbingbingbingbing! And we have a winner! Come on down!

MicheleS said...

NJ.. did you see the MASN shot of Davey taking a big wad of chew and sticking it in his mouth? They cut away just as he was about to do it. That would be a crack up if Maddon did that.

Welcome to our newest pissing contest with another team! I wonder if it turns into Dusty/Derek Lowe feud!

oldguyjim said...

Since the Cubs are trying to re-tool and dump some salary.... we should take Dempster as our #5 guy for the rest of this year and try to sign him for next couple/three years. Give Cubs Lannan, Wang, Lidge, and Maya. We would pay all of their '12 salaries. Maybe Cubs would be willing since Dempster will walk after this season for sure.

Section 222 said...

JD -- Apology accepted. I actually wouldn't mind Rizzo picking up a rental starter at all. In fact, I'd welcome it (it't not my money after all). I just don't think he'll do it, for reasons previously stated.

oldguyjim, I only wish we could get something of value for the players you mention. Seems highly unlikely, unfortunately.

And can we get a cheer for the emergence of Tyler Moore as the platoon RH outfield guy, displacing Nady? That's bound to help the bottom of the order.

Section 222 said...

Wouldn't he need to guarantee a tobacco-free umpire crew first?

Nope. The umpires are beyond reproach.

JD said...

oldguyjim,

What the Cubs will want is young cheap guys not old expensive guys. My point though is that since they are mostly interested in dumping the salary you don't have to give them what they want. Young guys maybe but not A or B type prospects; more like Kobernus, Pahuta etc.

oldguyjim said...

Forget the tobacco free rule for the team. Go back to the days like when Earl would smoke up the tunnel. Tell Davy and others to pull out the Redman out of sight and certainly not on camera like yesterday. The dugout is not a restaurant and these guys are adults and know the consequences of tobacco use. However, second hand smoke is still a no-no.

oldguyjim said...

JD - It would be excellent if we could get Dempster for guys as you mentioned. I would still throw in the others for free!

realdealnats said...

Wang will probably get another 1or2 starts depending on how high the sinker (read damage) is. Then he'll be DFAd and somebody like the Rockies will pick him up. Maybe he'll figure it out somewhere sometime, but for how long. More than loss on investment, Rizzo sees long term--so just enough starts to satisfy him to move Wang out and get back to Det as #5. But Det has his own confidence issues though different than HRod's. Det is most focused when closing in on a starting job or recently solidifying one He drifts when he has wide open sailing in front of him and he panics when he feels he is about to be replaced. I like him and hope the transplant takes. Henry needs to get tricked--reprogrammed--with a lot of 5th and 6th inning success. More than Wang I consider Henry worth the investment.

realdealnats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
realdealnats said...

222--
It's middle school locker room of course! Did anyone mention back when Dickie and Wang went head to head that Johnson was hovering in the dugout?

Kind of a [wuss] Scooter said...

realdealnats, I'm a little uncomfortable with you revealing the things Ross Detwiler told you during his therapy sessions. But if you're okay with it, I guess you're in the best position to make that call.

realdealnats said...

So Scooter what's making you uncomfortable? This is one way people here analyze the team. Some are stat freaks, some comment on technique, some bash the second the team is down, and some remark on the perceived conditions some players either thrive on or seem to run into trouble with. We have discussed HRod a great deal on this very subject. I actually like Det and HRod, so I speak with no disrespect. But the subject matter seems fair enough. NatsLady thinks or used to think Des issues could be found in his lack of lower body strength--thisi might well be, but it alsoight be partly psychological. That's what I'm talking about.

Kind of a [wuss] Scooter said...

Looks like you would prefer that I be direct rather than gentle, so I shall pay you that courtesy. I've seen no reason to think you need coddling.

What bugged me was, you told us the kid's precise mental state for pretty much every professional situation he could ever find himself in -- and in at least one case, you're basing it on like 3 days of work. It was just a bit much to swallow.

164abb6e-9075-11e1-aba1-000bcdcb471e said...

Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems to be that the source of the outrage was that the Nationals came by their knowledge not by catching him in the act, but because of the confidences shared among teammates back when he was a National.

This seems to invoke a sort of Code, in that ballplayers always know they may be traded, yet while they are on a team they are privy to each others' secrets and, at least to some vague extent, are expected to keep them. That is what so seemed to annoy Maddon and Peralta. So it's not that they necessarily think that cheating is OK, it's that they think you don't rat out former teammates based solely on the knowledge you obtained when he was on your team.

realdealnats said...

Scooter--
First off, I usually like your posts like the one earlier today where you were picking up stuff at pre-game, and not that you're a scout but it's nice to get it sometimes--so I'm doubly sorry you interpreted my comments as some sort of cheap smug psychoanalysis.

I'm not pidgeonholing the Det for eternity, I hope he gets it this time b/c I like the guy. We go round and round on such issues re: Shark all the time. Players who show great promise and then when they get a wide open opportunity seem to lose some gas. Det picked up this season where he left off last September--which was a great place--but throughout his career one of the knocks on him has been that he's hot and cold. As for the Det/Wang issue, again, no intention to indict, but didn't it seem to you like Det was hearing footsteps. I truly hope he gets it b/c he has a helluva arm, and I see he is starting Sunday so I'm happy as a clam he's replaced Wang. And I'm glad the FO replaced him sooner than later. Hey, we can agree to disagree, but no sense taking it so personally, it wasn't meant to Det that way, much less to you.

Scooter said...

rdn, if you come back here, rest assured I like your stuff too.

I agree that a) he's always shown flashes but no consistency and b) he looked real bad his last few starts. I guessed he was gassed, not that he heard footsteps, but your wild guess is as good as mine.

realdealnats said...

Scooter--

I'm here. Actually I'm up on Cape Cod where I can still pick up the games on 1500 after it gets dark!

Appreciate the reply. It's all good.

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