Posts Tagged ‘Adam Dunn’

Daily DC Item: I’m Actually Happy To Be Purchasing Nats Tickets

untitled-1So today I’ll be logging on to get my hands on Red Sox Nationals tickets. This week I got an e-mail saying I was one of the lucky few that will be allowed to buy tickets for the June series. It’s sad that the most sought after baseball ticket in DC are for the Boston Red Sox. However as Massachusetts native I’m not complaining.

However you’d think they would at least try and throw a Nationals player in the e-mail. Make it a composite image of Adam Dunn & Big Papi. It’s like the Nationals know that if you put in the lottery you weren’t going to root for the Nats.

Will the Red Sox series be the sole highlight of the National’s season? We’ll find out soon enough!

Sports Chatter: Are Nick Johnson’s Days Numbered?

From: p_pho@hotmail.com
Subject: Nationals Talk
Date: March 5, 2009 1:59 PM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

Alright,

Time to start the Nationals talk:

The Nats are 3-3 in Spring Training- could this be their best record all year?

The latest odds have them with the longest odds to win the World Series.

I’m looking at the current Nats depth chart and things look pretty much how I expected they will end up this April- but what’s Nick Johnson’s role going to be this season with Dunn now on 1st?

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: Nationals Talk
Date: March 5, 2009 2:49 PM EST
To: p_pho@hotmail.com

Spring Training: The Nationals are 3-3 right now, but that wouldn’t have been their best record last year. The Nationals started hot, winning their first 3 (including in dramatic fashion at National’s Park’s Inaugural game). They did lose their next 9 though-so their winning record (or .500) record didn’t last past the first week of baseball. They didn’t recover, and I don’t think this team will either. If they get above.500 it’ll be in April, and it will last about as long as the Cherry Blossoms.

Odds: Yeah, that article is great-and look what $10 can do for you! That said-D.C. needs economic stimulation too-so before you go lining Vegas’ pockets, think about plunking that $10 down on a ticket to a ball game or a beer and a half at the stadium. Not that the Lerners are actually hurting for money, but at least you’ll get something for your money other than a pipe dream.

Depth: Nick Johnson is the great question mark. He’s not a guy who is going to want to be in a back-up role, nor do the Nationals want to be paying him as much as they are at that position. I think Steve, our guest blogger earlier this week, hit it on the head-Johnson’s role will be trade bait. He’s not really athletic enough to play anywhere else and, barring injury, Dunn is going to be a better fit-that’s why they spent so much on him. I expect to see the two of them split time until Dunn secures the job. This will showcase Johnson a bit and then prep him for a trade.

The only real positive about the roster is a healthy Ryan Zimmerman and the fact that a lot of these guys are young. So hopefully as the next few years go by they’ll develop into nice players.

From: p_pho@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: RE: Nationals Talk
Date: March 5, 2009 4:21 PM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

Obviously records don’t mean shit when you are playing prospects against prospects, what I really hope to see is a contasnt pace of 10-15 games below 500, it’s really depressing to see a slide in the middle of July.

Talking about tickets- now that the new stadium has a year under it, is the is the year that attendence takes a dive? The Red Sox won’t be around every month. Are we going to be an away team park all season long?

Johnson prolly will be trade bait- I can’t wait to see that happen. You know who doesn’t have a real power hitting 1st Basemen? Los Angeles.

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: Nationals Talk
Date: March 5, 2009 10:32 PM EST
To: p_pho@hotmail.com

Actually I just read on Nationals.com that Dunn will “likely” start in Left Field since Johnson is healthy. Even still I stick to my guns that this arrangement will only last as long as a.) Johnson stays healthy or b.) someone wants to give something good for Johnson. Unless the Nationals somehow become an offensive juggernaut with Johnson, Zimmerman, Dunn and Guzman (who all could put decent numbers) I don’t see that arrangement lasting.

Between the recession, the Nationals being terrible and the stadium not being new you can count on a dip in attendance-but I think everyone will take a dip. I’ll tell you what though-the Nationals have made a great park for people to go to-including the non baseball fans. I’m not ashamed to admit that I spend most of the game up at the Red Porch drinking and watching the game from the deck, just chatting the game away. It really is built for a place to be social and my guess is that some aggressive promotion of the “fun” to going to park coupled with tourists, not raising the ticket prices, fans of other teams and the just plain old “I’d like to drink outside tonight” attitude of DC Happy Hour folk should send some people to the park.

But yeah-don’t expect Nats fans to out number Mets, Phillies, Cubs or Red Sox fans this year.

Especially Red Sox fans.

Interesting thought on the LAD-what would you want from them. I mean, you know, aside from anything.

From: p_pho@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Nationals Talk
Date: March 11, 2009 10:48 PM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

Check out this article on the Nationals crowded outfield.

I totally forgot we had Josh Willingham- I can’t believe our outfield is so crowded that we have no space for him, he’s a serviceable bat- in fact I think he’d be better than an Austin Kearns or something, I don’t know…

Regarding LAD- I have no idea, I’m not caught up yet on the teams to start shouting trades- however I totally see some random team getting Johnson for cheap- we’re going to get ripped off.

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: Nationals Talk
Date: March 12, 2009 9:32 AM EST
To: p_pho@hotmail.com

The really disappointing thing is we gave up Bonifacio to get him-who I thought was a great prospect. I’d never seen a guy that fast.

I agree-we are going to get hosed because we have a surplus and no one really needs one of these five guys. Good thing is he’s a bit like Dunn-he can play catcher and 1B, so if Johnson goes then that helps out the outfield as well.

Just like the Nationals to have a plethora of mediocre talent and be unable to decide among them.

Nationals Acquire Willingham and Olsen – Manny More To Come?

Courtesy of zjbell51

Courtesy of zjbell51

The Nationals made the first big splash of the offseason yesterday by trading second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers to the Florida Marlins for outfielder Josh Willingham and pitcher Scott Olsen.

My first thought was that Willingham had been acquired as a catcher (he came up to the majors in that position and I had earlier mentioned that Jose Flores could be upgraded during the offseason). Jim Bowden was quick to point out that the Nats had “acquired him as an outfielder.” This means two things in my view. Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena need to either be demoted to the minor leagues or traded before spring training. Both guys want and need a full time job, and it will do a lot to help team chamistry if they are out of the way. By the way, why do the Nats have six outfielders?

Tim Dierkes ventured a guess that “maybe the Nats consider Josh Willingham their cleanup hitter acquisition and will back out of the Teixeira derby.” Newsflash: Josh Willingham is not a cleanup hitter, Jim Bowden. A good year will probably yield 30 homeruns and 100 RBI’s, but that is not showstopper material. As for Mark Teixeira, I have a really hard time imagining that the Nationals will be able to compete for his services, especially with the Yankees and Angels (among others) preparing to make offers that will likely make Teixeira a franchise player somewhere. While I would agree that with the bounty of outfielders in Washington this probably puts a damper on Adam Dunn rumors (darn), I would say that the Nationals need a headliner if they want to fill the seats and make a serious run in the NL East.

All in all this is a great trade for the Nationals. Olsen will fill the rotation hole that I had previously reserved for Mets free agent Oliver Perez and I am confident that both players have the similar upside. Willingham is a major upgrade to Kearns, Pena, and Willie Harris as well. At this point, I still want to see the Nationals sign an ace: looking at guys like Freddy Garcia, who are comebackers that can actually be wooed to DC, would be a great idea. Consensus says that the second base hole will be filled by Anderson Hernandez, who finished strong last season.

Where does the power bat fit then? First base is always a possibility, but aside from Teixeira, the only cleanup hitter in the market is Jason Giambi, who would bring nothing new or exciting to the table and is 38 years old. Not a great option for the Nats if you ask me, but if they can sign him for a very cheap two year contract he may be happy and the Nats would get 30 homeruns in return. Assuming that first base is out, that leaves the outfield. I want to see a guy like Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez in DC. Badly. The Nats need to put themselves on the map with a big name, because let’s face it, the Nats are not the Rays yet and need the kind of boost only a superstar can offer.

More to come on the Nats.

UPDATE [9:04am]: Tim Brown over at Yahoo comments on the Nationals and Manny Ramirez- “After witnessing Manny Ramirez’s impact on the Dodgers and their fans, the Washington Nationals and GM Jim Bowden are promising everyone they’re going to be players in the Manny bidding. So either they will be or they want everyone to think they are.”

The Great Washington Nationals Overhaul: 08-09

“Congratulations to the Washington Nationals for not being the first to lose 100 games this year.” Those are the paraphrased words that can be found in in my colleague Patrick’s recent season wrapup for the Nats. Now the team is faced with an important off-season during which they will have to rebuild. There are some important things I’d like to note about the coming off-season. Please feel free to weigh in.

  • The Nationals MUST re-sign Odalis Perez (SP). Though he did not win as many games as was expected (7-12), he is cheap, and most importantly he wants to be here. Not many clubs in the situation of the Nationals can boast a veteran pitcher who wants to stay despite the lack of contention. His influence on young pitchers has been phenomenal. Re-sign him now!
  • The Nats must let go of Aaron Boone. As a recent transplant from the New York area, I can sympathize with Boone. He gave me, along with millions of others, one of baseball’s greatest moments. But it is difficult to ignore the fact that he gets hurt an awful lot, and does not regularly make it through the season. His veteran influence will be missed, but there are others who can fill his shoes.
  • First draft pick this year goes to the Washington Nationals. Think about how similar the Nats of today are to the Devil Rays of the not-so-distant past. The youth movement is alive and well in DC.
  • A look at the Nationals depth chart reveals a strong set of position players, especially when you consider what guys like Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Emilio Bonifacio, Ryan Zimmerman, and even Nick Johnson will contribute in the near future- they are headed into their prime. There are several faces that need to go, though I’m not sure it will happen in this off-season. Outfielders Willie Harris and Ryan Langerhans are heading into their thirties, and neither have made the transition to the major leagues. The Red Sox ruined Wily Mo Pena by benching him for two years, and he doesn’t fit in DC anyway. Dmitri Young is (unfortunately) locked in through next season, but Nick Johnson is the present and the future. Young’s career is in a nose-dive.
  • Pitching is a much more difficult scenario. Though Perez should stay, he is not an ace. Tim Redding is washed up, and he must go. The rest of the staff is very young, and very under-prepared. It is likely that many of them would only be getting spot starts on just about any other major league team. But keep them, and keep them in the majors. They will mature as players, and some may become exceptional. In the meantime, sign two front end pitchers- not necessarily CC Sabathia type aces, but winners.
  • I have faith in the Nationals bullpen. They have been shaky, but not horrible as a whole, and the combo of Chad Cordero and Joel Hanrahan promises to be impressive in years to come.
  • So here’s my free-agent shopping list for the Washington Nationals this year:
  1. Odalis Perez (SP): Resign him.
  2. Ivan Rodriguez (C): He is not needed by the Yankees anymore since Jorge Posada will be back. Though Pudge is experiencing a downturn in career numbers, he has a tremendous talent for working with the young pitchers who make up the vast majority of the Nationals staff. He will contribute by getting on base, and he has always performed best on teams outside of the spotlight. He will also come at a bargain price after his mediocre performance in Pinstripes.
  3. Adam Dunn (LF): I rarely disagree with Tim Dierkes, but I simply do not believe the Nationals are at the beginning of a “long rebuilding process.” I think that they are nearing the end of one. Nats GM Jim Bowden likes Dunn (they were both Reds at one point) and wants to inject the team with power. That is exactly what the Nationals need. Dunn will drive in a ton of runs, create the kind of adrenaline and fan involvement that only a home-run hitter can, and he will help the Nationals grow into its big market. I don’t really know what there is not to like about Dunn in DC.
  4. Freddy Garcia (SP): Now is the perfect time for a club like the Nats to make a move on Garcia. He recently recovered from an injury and pitched fairly well for the Tigers in three games. He will be a major bargain given his time on the DL, but there will be teams after him, especially Detroit. If the Nationals make a bold move and outbid the bargain-hunters, promising Garcia the ace slot, he can be won. Remember, this is a guy with a world series ring who has won between 14 and 18 games five times. Go get him!
  5. Oliver Perez (SP): He has not yet mastered consistency, but he is still young- young enough to live up to the tremendous potential that this 180 strikeout season represents, but also old enough to help guide the younger pitchers. Perez will thrive where he can be a leader, as well as a student. He will also have a lot to learn if the Nationals can manage to pair him up with Pudge Rodriguez.

There are very few people who are willing to watch an atrocious baseball team. The Rays, Nats, and Royals can all attest to that. But Washington DC has the potential to be a massive market, particularly with the ease of travel that the Metro system offers. All that is required is some wise money spent along with continuous nurturing of the phenomenal youth movement taking place in the Nationals organization.

And in case anyone is interested, my prediction is Red Sox vs. Dodgers, Dodgers in 6.

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