Thursday, August 19, 2010

Game 121: Nats at Braves

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nyjer Morgan and Wilson Ramos are in the Nats' lineup today at Turner Field.
Nyjer Morgan is back with the Nationals, activated off the 15-day disabled list this morning and hoping to pick up where he left off when he was sidelined. The center fielder was hitting .311 with a .366 on-base percentage and 10 stolen bases (two caught stealings) over his last 20 games.

This hasn't been announced yet, but I'm pretty sure Morgan will be taking Josh Willingham's roster spot, with Willingham going on the DL (presumably for the remainder of the season) with that nagging left knee injury that will likely require surgery in the coming days. It's an unfortunate and abrupt conclusion to what was shaping up as the best season of Willingham's career. (UPDATE AT 11:06 A.M. -- Willingham has officially been placed on the 15-day DL with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee.)

Several other noteworthy items in advance of this game...

-- Wilson Ramos makes his Nats debut, batting seventh and starting behind the plate.

-- Adam Dunn gets a rare day off, perhaps because he's got bad career numbers against Derek Lowe (6-for-31, two walks, eight strikeouts). Michael Morse gets a rare start at first base in his place.

-- With Dunn and Willingham out, Ryan Zimmerman (who last night was ejected for the first time in his career) bats cleanup. Needing a 3-hitter, Jim Riggleman is going with Roger Bernadina (first time Roger has hit there in his brief career). Bernadina also takes over in left field, which is where I suspect he'll play most of the time the rest of the way.

-- Congrats to Wil and Yormarie Nieves, the proud parents of a baby girl. Maria Isabel Nieves was born yesterday at 5:28 p.m., and everyone is doing well. Wil should be rejoining the team in the next couple days.

I'm not in Atlanta for this series, but I may post some thoughts along the way as this game plays out. I will be in Philadelphia, however, so full coverage returns all weekend...

Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 84 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF.
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
2B Adam Kennedy
C Wilson Ramos
RF Willie Harris
P John Lannan

BRAVES (71-49)
2B Omar Infante
RF Jason Heyward
3B Martin Prado
LF Matt Diaz
C Brian McCann
SS Alex Gonzalez
CF Melky Cabrera
1B Eric Hinske
P Derek Lowe

11:06 a.m. -- It's official: Josh Willingham has been placed on the 15-day DL with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee.

1:28 p.m. -- Jim Riggleman told reporters earlier today that Michael Morse will likely get the bulk of the at-bats in the 5-hole now that Willingham is done for the year. It's a golden opportunity for a guy who everyone has wanted to see play more, and Morse just delivered with a rocket of a solo homer off a hanging slider from Derek Lowe. Put the Nats up 1-0 in the second. Wilson Ramos just got his first at-bat, and though he struck out on a tough, 3-2 sinker on the outside corner, he showed some good plate discipline and an ability to foul off two-strike pitches. Tough to draw any real conclusions from one at-bat, but the first impression was a good one.

1:48 p.m. -- Nyjer Morgan has caused plenty of grief on this website this season, and plenty of it deserving. But let me just say this: When Nyjer is on his game, he makes a huge difference on this club. His two-out single followed by a stolen base just now set the stage for Ian Desmond to drive him in with a subsequent RBI single. The Nats just turned a nothing inning into something because Morgan was able to 1) get on base, and 2) get in scoring position. Nats now lead 2-0 in the third.

2:17 p.m. -- They've now completed 4 1/2 innings at Turner Field, the Nats still holding a 2-0 lead. So far, so good for John Lannan. He hasn't really gotten ahead of hitters (only five first-pitch strikes to 14 batters) but he's kept the ball down in the zone and produced plenty of groundballs. The Lannan we've seen since his return at the beginning of the month has looked a lot more like the Lannan we saw the last two years, not the Lannan we saw this April-June. Definitely an encouraging sign.

2:36 p.m. -- Gotta say, this unconventional lineup is getting the job done today. The Nats now lead 4-0 in the sixth after plating two more runs off Lowe. Nyjer got it going with his second hit of the afternoon, then took second on a wild pitch-out. Desmond bunted him over to third, then Bernadina drove him in with a double to right. A subsequent single to left by Zimmerman brought Bernadina home and, thus, Lannan now has a four-run at his disposal for the bottom of the sixth.

2:52 p.m. -- So much for a comfortable afternoon. Lannan just gave both runs back and put the tying men on base before getting pulled by Riggleman. The one thing Lannan has struggled with since his return has been getting through this portion of the game. In past years, he'd reach the sixth inning with a pitch count in the 60s or 70s and cruise along strong into the seventh (and often the eighth). Today, he surpassed the 100-pitch mark with one out in the sixth. Better efficiency earlier in the game should allow Lannan to get through the sixth and into the seventh in the future.

2:55 p.m. -- Holy cow! Joel Peralta just got out of the jam with one pitch, leading to a foul pop double play. Say what? Yep. Alex Gonzalez swung at the first pitch and popped up just foul of first base. Morse made the routine catch. And with Matt Diaz running on the pitch, he had no chance to get back to second base in time. It's your routine F3-6 double play, preserving the Nats' 4-2 lead as they go to the seventh.

3:12 p.m. -- Really nice job by Tyler Clippard in the seventh. It's been a wildly up-and-down season for Clippard, but he remains a key piece of this bullpen. With Matt Capps gone and Drew Storen essentially taking over closer duties, Clippard is desperately needed as a reliable setup man.

3:43 p.m. -- Well, that got interesting in the eighth, didn't it? Clippard put the Braves' first two batters on via walk, but Wilson Ramos helped save the day by making a fantastic throw to third on a sac bunt attempt. Clippard then got Matt Diaz to fly out to right. And Sean Burnett, summoned with two outs and runners on second and third, gave up a scorching line drive off Brian McCann's bat ... right at Michael Morse at first base. Inning over. 4-2 lead still intact heading to the ninth.

3:53 p.m. -- And Willie Harris gets those two precious runs right back for the Nats. Crushed a two-run homer off Kyle Farnsworth. I mean, crushed it. Puts the Nats up 6-2 with three outs to go. It's no longer a save situation. We'll see if Drew Storen finishes it out anyway.

4:05 p.m. -- Ballgame. Nats win 6-2. Lannan improves to 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in four starts since his return from the minors. No save, but Storen retired the side in the ninth. Home runs from Morse and Harris highlight the offense. Good game all around.


Steveospeak said...

I'm excited for Ramos, hopefully he does well enough the rest of the way to win a job for next year.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Man, that's a scary lineup to go with against Lowe. Good thing Lowe does not have dominating numbers like Hudson did against us. We might have a shot if our offense can not ground into double plays all the time.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Are there two worse veteran bench players in the game than Kennedy and Harris?

And whats the over/under on Marquis runs given up before getting yanked by the third inning in Philly tomorrow?

HHover said...

Congrats to the Nieves family, and I'm looking forward to seeing Ramos in a Nats uniform.

I'd like to see the Nats avoid a sweep here, but the match ups don't look that promising.

CapPeterson said...

So the day after Bernie throws out Prado at 2B, demonstrating the best arm among today's OF starters, Gentleman Jim starts him in LF. And Mark tells us Bernie'll probably be starting in LF the rest of the way. Nyjer started more games in LF than in CF in Pittsburgh, but I guess our brain trust is still invested in him as the CF. Inconvenient evidence to the contrary must be ignored.

JayB said...

Ouch, that is just about the worst lineup I have seen since 2007 and Robert Fick......And just how is this team showing progress again?

bdrube said...

JayB - Perhaps you are forgetting the legendary 2008 lineups with Kory Casto at 3B, Aaron Boone at 1B batting cleanup and Paul Lo Duca in the OF. THOSE were some horrific lineups.

JayB said...

@bdrube.....oh please stop...I had blocked those names out for are correct...2008 and Acta.....oh the pain!

Stew Magnuson said...

Man, suddenly this is starting to look like a run for next year's #1 draft pick.
Please, please, please God, let the Nats win at least one game in Philly this weekend and shut those fans up, if only for a day.

NatsJack in Florida said...

There is absolutely no reason to start Morgan in CF and Benandina in Left short of Tony Plush's over extended ego. He wouldn't play at Harrisburg after being embarrassed at the plate in both Hagerstown and Woodbridge. I can't wait till he's jettisoned in the off season.

Anonymous said...


Progress = Strasburg, Storen, Ramos, Espinosa (almost ready), Marrero (1 year away) + best draft class in the major (opinion of independent analysts not mine). This team won't get built the Yankees way because they don't yet have the minor league assets to convert to major league talent and they are not about to spend $200 mil on payroll. Your quick fix ideas failed miserably in Baltimore; they signed: Palmiero, Millwood, Tejada( twice)et al and where are they now?

Anonymous said...

I like Adam Kennedy and think he should stick around next year. Willie Harris, Nieves, Maxwell need to go.

Our bullpen is missing Capps big time. We need another stud reliever for next year.


A DC Wonk said...

Progress = Strasburg, Storen, Ramos, Espinosa (almost ready), Marrero (1 year away) + best draft class in the major (opinion of independent analysts not mine).


But add: Zimmermann (less than 2 weeks away)

Off topic: who is that guy who got 13K's and no walks last night for Harrisburg?!?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1159am

Ummm..the Yankees built there core from within during their past and current playoff and championship run:

Jorge Posada
Andy Petitte
Derek Jeter
Mariano Rivera
Robinson Cano
Joba Chamberlain
Phil Hughes

Sure they have added key cogs through free agency but so did Cox and Kasten in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

Haha the Yankees traded for Kearns. Can't way to see him K it up in a big spot in the playoffs. At least he's a good clubhouse guy.

Anonymous said...

AK has been getting some key hits for the Yankees, a change of location to Cleveland and NY have made him shine anew!

Anonymous said...

dc wonk,

Article about Tom Milone, described as a crafty lefty (87 mph fastball).

Bowdenball said...

That lineup is an embarrassment to the organization. All nine guys put together barely have more home runs than Jose Bautista. is this really the team we have going forward? Are we really looking at 95 losses this season after a 25-20 start? God, is that depressing or what?

That said, I'm looking forward to seeing Wilson Ramos in action. Good luck to him. It's a pleasure to have him on board.

Grandstander said...

Can someone explain to me what the merit is in placing Willingham on the 15-day DL instead of the 60-day DL?

If he's not playing again this season, why not free up a 40-man roster spot?

Bowdenball said...

Anonymous 12:30 PM:

The Yankees' #2 hitter, #3 hitter, #4 hitter, #6 hitter, #7 hitter, #1 starter, #2 starter, and #3 starter were all free agent acquisitions or salary-based trades with teams that couldn't afford their stars.

You think that constitutes building their core from within? Come on.

Anonymous said...


Somewhat; because in order to acquire stars in trades you need more than money; you need MLB ready prospects. They offered Monterro for Cliff Lee. Say we were willing to take on Cliff Lee's salary on a rental basis; who could we have offered them in a trade?

Anonymous said...

If they put Willingham on the 60 day DL now to free up a 40 man roster spot, they'd just have to cut somebody from the 40-man at the end of the season anyway because the 60 day DL goes away then and those guys need to be put back on the 40-man roster. (I'm not sure when the exact deadline for this is, but it's before the Rule 5 draft in December.) So with no pressing need right now to make room on the roster for someone, there's no need to move Willingham to the 60 day DL.

Bowdenball said...

Anonymous 1:23:

Pretty much all the guys I mentioned were FA acquisitions, not trades. Cliff Lee's not a Yankee because someone else could offer better prospects. A-Rod, Teix, Sabathia, Burnett, Vasquez and Swisher are Yankees mostly because nobody else could offer more money. Without those guys, Cano is Ryan Zimmerman: an awesome homegrown talent on a terrible team.

Speaking of that team ... is it just me, or does it seems like every time we throw out what looks like our absolute worst team on paper this year, the guys surprise us with a strong effort? So far so good in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...


Not just Cano; also Jeter, Posada, Gardner, Hughes, Petite and Rivera. I don't remember all the names but they do seem to have a regular stream of talent coming up through their system. They traded Austin Jackson to get Granderson and Melky Cabrera to get Vazquez; not necessarily great trades but my point is that they have the talent to pull off trades when they need to.

Faraz Shaikh said...

@ Anon 2:03, you can not deny the fact that Yankees bought the last world series with mainly free agent acquisitions of Tex, CC, AJ, etc.

@ game, we are doing pretty well right now. I hope Lannan and co can keep that up.

Bowdenball said...

Anon 2:03:

Of course they have players who came up through the system or were acquired in trades. Just not many good ones- Cano, Rivera, Hughes Gardner are the only good non-FA players on the 2010 Yankees.

My point is that if their team was comprised of players who came up through their minor league system supplemented with an average or even an above-average MLB free agent budget, they'd be absolutely terrible. They are not a club comprised solely of free agents, but their "core" is clearly comprised of free agents. They'd suck without that core. They're really good because they have money to burn, bot because they're skilled at scouting and developing talent.

Anonymous said...


No doubt, all I,m saying is that you can't buy a championship team without also having internal assets; JayB et al want us to go spend big bucks before we are ready to and I,m saying that this is a waste of resources. Build a foundation; make excellent below the radar trades (Capps for Ramos); sign medium great value FA's to stay competitive; flip expensive assets for valuable prospects. (for a blue print check out the Tampa Bay Rays).

When you get to a point where you have multiple exceptional talent at the major league level you augment that with top of the line expensive free agents to get over the top.

As for Lannan today; doing well but may want to consider pitching ahead in the count once in a while.

Ramos has had 2 good at bats even if he's 0 for 2.

Faraz Shaikh said...

i have noticed that our 'young' players like morse, bernie, etc are not much patient at the plate, with runners on base especially. They try to go deep on the very first pitch of at bats. We don't advance runners on such plays but lose an out too.

Anyways, we have a good lead of 4 now after Bernie and Zimm delivered. Let's keep at it.

JaneB said...

Thanks for calling out Nyjer's contributions, especially today. And so glad that Lannan is on his game.

Anonymous said...



Jeter is not good?

You wouldn't take Chamberlain for the Nats?

Robertson not real good?

2 Major league ready catchers in the minors; the Detroit starting center fielder (Jackson) whom they flipped for Granderson.

I wish we were so bad at player development,

Anonymous said...

This does not feel good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Matt Diaz

N. Cognito said...

Anonymous said...
"@ Anonymous 1159am

Ummm..the Yankees built there core from within during their past and current playoff and championship run:

Jorge Posada
Andy Petitte
Derek Jeter
Mariano Rivera
Robinson Cano
Joba Chamberlain
Phil Hughes

Sure they have added key cogs through free agency but so did Cox and Kasten in Atlanta"

And the first 4 in your list were re-signed by the Yankees as free agents (or about to become free agents) and make a combined $62 million. Just saying "built from within" regarding these 4 is misleading.

Anonymous said...

@N. Cognito

Misleading or not, those were home grown Yankee players. Look at the Red Sox teams that won the two World Championships. How many of those players came through the Red Sox system? Very few. Fewer than the Yankees I would care to bet. People always critize the Yankees for buying a championship, but they are doing nothing that any other team has done.

Bowdenball said...

Anonymous 2:45:

That's correct. 2010 Jeter is not anywhere close to good. Nor is Chamberlain. If you don't believe me, check their numbers.

Obviously they have some homegrown talent, just like any MLB team. Obviously they have talent they traded for with homegrown talent, just like any MLB team. The point is, that talent, plus a standard FA budget (say maybe one of Teix and Rodriguez, and then swap out the FA pitchers for one mediocre starter), would make for a truly terrible 2010 team. They're better than the Nats because of what they can spend, not because of how they draft and trade and develop.

OK, I'm done talking Yankees. I was willing to go along while it was helping our boys, but now the tables have turned. Go Nats! Let's hope the bullpen can hold off the Braves.

waddu eye no said...

clemens indicted.

Tegwar said...

Riggleman missed a chance there he should have put Dunn on deck and pulled Morse does Cox walk Zimmerman to get to Dunn? Maybe but I doubt it. Kennedy could have gone to first and Gozo to second.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Clippard is so unreliable. Two on and no outs. I can't believe it. Better not blow this one, Clip.

Anonymous said...


I checked the numbers; Jeter has an 840 career OPS at short stop; 1st ballot hall of famer. Chamberlain is screwed up in the head but still has an electric arm which every team in the major would love to have.

When you start talking nonsense maybe it is time to end the conversation.

Knoxville Nat said...

"Willie, Willie, Willie"

Sure glad the game is played on the field and not in this blog.

N. Cognito said...

Because of the Yankees vast revenue, for them, "home grown" is really a separate argument from "bought championship."

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean for this to become a debate on the Yankees; as far as I,m concerned they can go to h**l. What I,m saying is that if the Nats were to increase their payroll by say 20 million by signing 1 or 2 big name free agents it wouldn't make them instant contenders and I argue that it would be a negative process because you are taking money away from other avenues which can make you better, sooner and make your success more sustainable for the long haul.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Good win guys!! Nice pitching performance by Lannan, Peralta, etc and I can't believe it but we beat Lowe with this lineup. Congrats to Willie on raising his average to .180 and earning one OF spot in the lineup for the rest of the season. :P

Anonymous said...

Amen, Knoxville Nat. (P.S. Heading to Knoxville next week for a high school reunion. Maryville HS.)

Knoxville Nat said...

Anon, 4:13

Enjoy your reunion. I myself am a transplant from Montgomery County, HS to be kept anonymous so as not to tarnish it's reputation!

dj in Fl. said...

Great game today!

This organization is way behind due to Loria and mlb. Many more good drafts will be needed to restock bottom to top.

FA efforts have increased under Rizzo, the Lerners stepped up in going after Tex and I imagine it will continue as the supporting cast improves.

JaneB said...

Anon at 3:46: thanks. It's so easy to sound like an "expert" by trashing players' abilities. I'm glad you responded with the facts.

And we got a curlie W! Thank you to Willie for a great game, and Lannan for some solid innings, and Nyjer for hustle, and Ramos for that smart play at third, and the umps for not throwing out any of our guys today.

Anonymous said...

Old conversation. Check back a few posts ago. Close to the entire 2004 BoSox roster was either Free Agents or trades. You CAN win championships with hired help.

Bowdenball said...

Anon 4:02-

Another $20 million might not do it. But $120 million would certainly do it- that would solve any team's problems. So maybe the Yankees weren't the best choice of an analogy?

The answer for the Nats is probably somewhere in between. I think the team is close to being a competitive one, but there's obviously a huge problem with offense outside of the middle of the order. That's problem can be fixed by spending a little money, which would give us a quality team and maybe even a contending team while we wait for the minor league system to come around. We're still a little ways away on that one.

Anon 3:46-

I've been talking about the 2010 Yankees from the start. Of course there's no doubt Jeter was a great baseball player. There's no doubt that past Yankee teams were built around a core of homegrown talent. There's also no doubt that neither of these things is still true in 2010.

NAtsJack in Florida said...

OK. I'll back off Willie Harris for a day or so. But I still have problems with Kennedy.

As for tomorrow, has there been a bigger mismatch than Roy Halladay vs. Jason Marquis?

Here's hoping for a miracle.

Will said...

Adding more payroll doesn't solve anything if it's not spent smartly. Look at the Cubs (146 million), Mets (136 million) and Detroit (122 million). the Red Sox are probably going to miss the playoffs (160 million).

Anonymous said...


The Mets are at $120 mil; doesn't look too good for them this year or really for the foreseeable future. Their problem is that they sign players for 6 year contracts and as they decline they no longer have the flexibility to change course. No one wants their expensive under achievers so they are stuck playing them regardless of production (Oliver Perez anyone?).

I've heard that Adrian Gonzalez will be looking for an 8 year contract when he becomes a FA at the end of next year; I love Adrian Gonzalez but at the end of his contract he will be 37 years old. Any bets on how years 5,6,7,8 turn out?

At the end of this year I would be interested if you can point out to me which free agents we should pursue. Why don't we table the discussion until then. There is a lot of general 'The Lerners are cheap' comments posted but why don't we focus on specifics when these come into focus?

Bowdenball said...


Of course simply spending money doesn't guarantee success. But there is a HUGE correlation between payroll and wins. To deny that is insanity.

Here's the 2006-2008 data:

Faraz Shaikh said...

I just watched some of the highlights of the game and must admit that we were very lucky to win this one. McCann's line drive in the bottom of the 8th was at least a double if it wasn't right to Morse.

And did one of the commentators call Willie 'Georgia Peach' after that home run? LOL, Cobb must be turning in his grave.

A DC Wonk said...

This organization is way behind due to Loria and mlb. Many more good drafts will be needed to restock bottom to top.

You can say that again. In fact, it'd be more accurate to say that the entire organization was royally scr3wed for years thanks to them. It's takes years to recover from something like that. Having drafts like last year and this helps, but it takes time for those diamonds in the rough to make it to the bigs.

As for spending money, folks up above are right: you need to spend money, but you need to spend it at the right time. Spending $50 now to get two stars that will bump us up from last place to 4th place is just a waste of money in the long run, and a lousy strategy in the short run -- particularly if that money can be used for many more wise investments, that might pay off in trades later (e.g., Capps), etc.

Anonymous said...

Right on the money DC Wonk.

Richard said...

The Nats are 52-69. Last year the Nats won their 52nd game one week before the end of the season. They were 52-103. They won their last 7, as we all know. They've got something like a rotation at the moment. They're hitting a little. Billy Ripken said today on MLB TV that contending teams won't want to be playing the Nats down the stretch. Hey, that's progress (I keep telling myself)!

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me what the merit is in placing Willingham on the 15-day DL instead of the 60-day DL?

This is just Mike Rizzo doing his due diligence as he should. He will wait until the last possible moment to DL Willingham. He wants to wait and see who should be added to the 40-man ... there are a lot of possible moves that can happen between now and September 1st and beyond that could affect the makeup of the club post-extended rosters. That will be a critical time for the last place Nats. Then is when they need to decide who they need to look at for next year in the majors as opposed to the Arizona fall league, or winter ball.

This winter will be an interesting one for the Nats. It seems doubtful they will stand pat. This roster appears to be headed for a decent amount of turnover?

Anonymous said...


Another $20 million might not do it.

This is Jim Bowden we have now "Bowdenball"? Adding 20 million to the payroll would almost certainly guarantee a winner given Mike Rizzo and the excellent staff he hired? That would push the payroll from 65 million to 95 millon. Plenty. Much more than the Rays, Marlins, and Rangers and they are winning. The only caveat might be Riggleman.

Anonymous said...

N. Cognito said... And the first 4 in your list were re-signed by the Yankees as free agents (or about to become free agents) and make a combined $62 million. Just saying "built from within" regarding these 4 is misleading.

You MUST be kidding...your definition of homegrown in under a cheap contract, are you saying when we resigned Zim he was not longer home grown!? Your argument makes no sense! ALL of those players were brought up in the Yankees system, not some gun for point is that the Yankees started their return to glory with the return of their minor league system AND some free agents the SportsBog and see what Bowden says...he is 100% correct, spend now to guarantee success in the Carl Crawford 10% more than he is asking for we need another OF, open the checkbook and re-up Dunn for 3 or 4 years...a team on the cheap = the Pirates and the Royals!

Gal Revels in Pee said...

"As for tomorrow, has there been a bigger mismatch than Roy Halladay vs. Jason Marquis?"

Levale Speigner vs Johan Santana in the Metrodome in June 2007. How'd that one turn out anywy?

Dryw Loves the Nats said...

Bigger mismatch than Halladay vs. Marquis? Maybe Hallday vs. me, but beyond that I'd say it's a stretch....

Anonymous8 said...

Watching the rerun on MASN. So nice to see this game again. Lannan looked good and resting Dunn worked out.

Morse is swinging so much better the last 2 days. How did he get his swing so out of sorts the 10 games before this series?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Opponents weren't hitting .410 against Speigner.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:24

Are you kidding me? you are quoting Jim Bowden?
He of Castilla,Guzman,Guillen,Milledge,Duges?
The same one who gave extensions to Dimitry Young, Belliard, Guzman?
The same one who drafted Crow in the 1st round and then failed to sign him?

Well, there's a great source for you. Notice how all 32 major league teams are lining up to hire him to run their teams.

The Rays payroll for 2010 is 80 million, the Twins are @ 85 million so don't tell me that you can't compete at these levels. The mets and the Cubs are well over 100 and they are winning bopkes.

Anonymous said...

correction to the above:

Tampa Bay - 72 mil.
Minnesota - 93 mil.

San Diego - 38 mil.

Cubs - 146 mil
Mets - 133 mil.
Satttle - 98 mil.
Houston - 92 mil.

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK everyone. This isn't an over night process. let's give credit where credit is due.

The first increase in budget for the current management was in scouting and player assessment which was badly needed. The next expenditure was in the Dominican set up which has been greatly upgraded. The return on these investments will not be apparent for a couple of seasons, however this years draft should be an indication of the potential for creating pipeline of young talent in the near future.

Next will be the gradual increase of the major league payroll by investing in near term improvement such as Dunn or Pena or Gonzalez and possibly a second baseman as a stop gap until Espinosa or someone else steps up.

This is by far and away the best approach to becoming a viable contender on an annual basis and I am both patient and excited.

Tcostant said...

Some point is that the Yankees started their return to glory with the return of their minor league system.

This is the BIGGEST misinformation about the Yankees ever. You hear how Posada, Riveria and Jeter were "home grown". Guess how many of those guys where drafted, one - Jeter. The other were international free agent signings where money wins. The difference between the Yankees and other team, is the Yankees sign a ton of these guys and if they fail, they fail. Yet a team like the Royals would have a major set back if one of these bonus guys didn't pan out.

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