Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cashing In On The Future

On the day Our Washington Nationals looked to the future by picking a TOP RATED Lefthanded Pitcher with the Number 6 pick in The 2007 Entry Draft--another of their young lefthanded throwers reminded EVERYONE--"Don't Forget About Me". Yes, Ross Detwiler fell into the laps of Washington with that 6th pick. A polished collegiate star ranked highly on most every draft board. Yet, Our Matt Chico showed both management and fans this afternoon at RFK Stadium he is ready right now. Number 47 pitched HIS FINEST GAME OF HIS EMERGING MAJOR LEAGUE CAREER.

Yeah, We lost on a TOWERING opposite field drive to right center by former Montreal Expos Jason Bay off Chad Cordero today. But really, it didn't matter--This 2007 Season is about finding talent and building, not only a New Stadium, but Our Team. Our Franchise moving forward to 2008 and beyond. This Gorgeous Thursday Afternoon Matt Chico was FABULOUS going seven very strong innings. Only being touched by a Freddie Sanchez two run homer to left in the top of the third. Our "ON THE JOB TRAINING" starter continues to improve, impress--and most importantly--show confidence. Matt threw 104 pitches today--gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, leaving with the game tied at two. Honestly, if you are looking for improvement, something to grab ahold of and cherish--take a look at Chico. During April and Early May--this fine young man couldn't find the Strike Zone at times. Many fans were asking for his head--"Send him down!!" they cried--demoralize him, before he had the real chance to learn.

Look at him now. Sure, he's still got a long way to go. But, you know what--Matt Chico has been OUR MOST DEPENDABLE STARTER all year long. Each and every 5th day he takes his customary turn. More and more each and every start--this 23 Year Old gets better and better. The African Queen and I enjoyed his confidence in Spring Training. Today, that courage and grit he's shown is helping to make Chico a Quality Major League Starter. Can you imagine how good that Livan Hernandez Deal will look if Garrett Mock gets over his right knee problems. Mock, with a power body-reminiscent of Roger Clemens--is a superior talent. Both youngsters, acquired for The Most Entertaining Number 61--could fill two spots in Our Nationals Rotation for years to come.

That's progress. That's CASHING IN ON YOUR FUTURE!!

A Winning Destiny improved even more this afternoon when Our General Manager Jim Bowden swooped in and nabbed Ross Detwiler with the sixth pick in the draft. Now, I am not going to sit here and write how much I know about this Missouri State Star. I will leave that to Brian Oliver over at Nationals Farm Authority. That man knows his stuff and follows all the drafts, players and minor leagues better and more thorough than I could ever approach. But, knowing Our Scouting Director Dana Brown--I trust his judgement implicitly. When you have spent 5 years dealing with Major League Baseball and all its cheapness--yet still have the wherewithal to draft Collin Balester, Chad Cordero, Bill Bray, Colton Willems, Chris Marrero and, of course, Ryan Zimmerman--you know your stuff. Dana Brown understands pitching. That's a fact I truly believe. Brown is one of the most talented scouts in the game. He works for Our Washington Nationals. And, once Brown helps select that talent, Assistant General Manger Bob Boone knows how to harness it. We are building a winning team, both on and off the field.

Despite what many have sniped and clawed at The Nationals Management Group--The Lerners--To me, all this effort appears to be building a solid foundation. This is an exciting time. And, as I mentioned to The African Queen on the way to RFK Stadium this morning--This Thursday, Draft Day--is the biggest day for Our Franchise in some time. Today--Alfonso Soriano, Jose Guillen pay off. Competent and thorough Scouting and Player Development are choosing our future.

Yeah--Our Washington Nationals are cashing in today. And, Our Future is far greater than today's frustrating 3-2 loss. A defeat served up in stunning fashion. "The Chief" Chad Cordero was called on by Our Manager Manny Acta to keep the game tied, and give Washington a chance to take this one in the bottom of the ninth. But, after 12 straight scoreless innings over his past appearances--"The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" made one mistake this afternoon--a HUGE ONE--serving up a pitch right in Jason Bay's wheelhouse. Bay, a fine young power hitter--wasn't going to miss that gift. Jason hammered the baseball to right centerfield and over the wall for the game deciding homer. A game winning hit not one minute after Our Washington Nationals showed Our General Manager Jim Bowden's Press Conference Remarks about Detwiler on the JumboTron in right. What a coincidence.

You had to laugh. Baseball is the great equalizer. While cashing in on the future--the present brought everyone back to reality. All this in A Real World Dimitri Young refuses to realize. How else can you explain his OTHER WORLDLY Performance over the past few weeks. Again today, Number 21 was not to be denied--CLUBBING a two strike fastball off Ian Snell in the bottom of the first, batting lefthanded, over the 380 Foot Sign in right center--giving Our Washington Nationals an early 2-0 lead. An advantage only short lived--until Sanchez popped his two run shot off Chico in the 3rd.

From there, this game was all about pitching, good pitching, in fact. There were only 7 hits all day. Washington's three hits all of the extra base variety. Young's Home Run, The Ryan's (Church & Zimmerman) socking opposite field blasts to the power alleys. Neither would score, unfortunately.

Despite the frustrating loss, I couldn't be unhappy. Today, was about the Our Future. Today, was about Building A Foundation. Today was about a new found left handed starter dropped into our lap. Today was about a young lefthander in Matt Chico that turned a huge corner in his development.

Today, was about Cashing In On Our Future. Today was about The Posterity of Our Washington Nationals.

Game Notes & Highlights:

In the top of the second, Pittsburgh's Catcher Ronny Paulino was on first with a two out walk--Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson sharply grounded down the 3rd baseline past the diving Zimmerman. My Main Man!! Ryan Church tracked it down in the left field corner, Paulino running all the way--attempting to score from first. No doubt, Ronny thought he was going to score. Unfortunately, for The Pirates, Number 19 reeled off A PERFECT THROW TO THE PLATE. Really, it could not have been better. On the fly, Our Catcher Brian Schneider caught the ball, rotated to his left and tagged out the standing up Paulino to end the inning. Home Plate Umpire Mike Winters with the Flamboyant Out Call at the plate to end the inning. Not a single Nats Fan among the 25,622 in attendance did not appreciate Ryan's Effort. My Main Man!!! received a well deserved Standing Ovation for The Defensive Play of This Game.

FLop, still wearing those terrific White Shoes and High Red Socks, struggled mightily today--weak ground outs and not enough energy in the field. Apparently, Manny Acta noticed this also. Ronnie Belliard replaced Felipe Lopez in the top of the 6th. Not sure if FLop was sick, injured or just didn't have it. But, Manny had seen enough. I am interested in hearing what is said about Lopez. Felipe just seemingly not into the game, mentally, the past two days.

Again, Our Washington Nationals can't seem to call the baseball on pop ups. Church, Ryan Langerhans and Cristian Guzman lumbered to a pop up today, no one seemingly in control-until Langerhans looking right at the ball took control and caught the baseball. Austin Kearns and FLop the same thing. Kearns finally catching the baseball. Church, Guzman and Zimmerman on another. Eventually, Number 19 ran hard to retrieve the ball. Dimitri Young and FLop on an infield pop to second. No one in control--Dimitri took the baseball. This is not difficult guys. No reason to be afraid. Just CALL THE BALL, CATCH IT!! Please don't make it more difficult than it really is.

As a side note--today Our Washington Nationals lost the very first game all season at RFK Stadium started by Matt Chico. Matt was not saddled with a loss (Chad Cordero was), but Washington was undefeated in the six previous games started by Chico before this afternoon.

Angela--One of The NatPack Crew sang The National Anthem Today. She was TERRIFIC. Great Voice. Nice Rendition. After the 7th inning stretch, I went over and thanked her for the performance. I am sure many today had NO IDEA Angela is a NatPacker.

Already, Our Washington Nationals have 4 Ryans--Zimmerman, Church, Langerhans & Wagner. Austin Kearns' middle name is Ryan. Today, Washington picked another Zimmerman, this one named Jordan--a pitcher from Wisconsin Stevens-Point. Jordan is the first name of Brian Schneider's wife. Now, how Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is this becoming. Is everyone on our Washington Nationals going to be related in some way??

Finally, when The Racing Presidents showed up in the Tunnel to the left of Section 320 today, they were each wearing their Home White Nationals Jersey. The Uniform Number corresponding to their Presidency. It was funny to notice for the first time that those Jerseys are sponsored by GEICO. The Geico patch sewn on the lower left side of each uniform. But, the funniest part was the patch itself. Our Washington Nationals wear a "DC" with Stars Patch on their left sleeve. The Presidents wear a Starred Patch with The Geico Gekko!! I would LOVE TO HAVE THAT PATCH!!!

Kathy--sitting next to me in Section 320, pondered the following question. Why is it in the GEICO television commercials, The Gekko has a British Accent? Is not Geico the Government Employees Insurance Company? That's pretty American to all of us. It was good question. An answer which we do not have. By the way, I must acknowledge Dave, Kathy's Husband who showed up for this afternoon's game moments after arriving from an overseas flight from Europe. Dave had been on foreign travel for some time and was kind enough to tell me he read The Nats320 Blog each and everyday for information. Pleased was I to hear SBF's International Following is expanding.

Ross Detwiler Photo--(AP)--Phelan M. Ebanhack
Today's InGame Photos--(AP)--Pablo Martinez Monsivais


Anonymous said...

Things that make you go hmmmm...

1. A GEICO arm patch for the racing presidents?
2. A GEICO mascot judging their race (stealing Screech's spotlight!)?
3. The prominent GEICO poster on the outfield wall at RFK?
4. GEICO is a local company?


Brandon said...

"Despite what many have sniped and clawed at The Nationals Management Group--The Lerners" If the Lerners were trying to make a splash, the Nationals would have taken Porcello(Who is higher rated than Ross) and John Harvey, would sliped all the 118. John was an Aflac All-American and showed excellent promise on the feild.
While this was a great draft, the Lerners could have taken some bigger steps in getting better players, but they have said look for some cash to be spent this offseason.
I just rather see the talent to be homegrown than signing a Barry Zito and having him be useless
Sorry for the rant

Brandon said...

I'm sorry it should be who not would

JayB said...

Nice to have you home SBF!

The Pop up thing must be addressed. As you know I feel it is a Acta thing.....I understand you are a big fan of his but that does not make him blameless in all areas....if he really is the right guy we should see improvement at some point right?

Lerner comments are fair to me when they do not draft the top talent available with these picks. Clearly from reading the "experts" the Nats passed on better talent because of money.

Given what happened with Alfonso, and the payroll, they had to sign the best.....when the Tigers out spend you in the draft under this years conditions, then you know the Lerner comments are fair.

JayB said...

Finally, Acta took some kind of action to address a growing problem with several players......lack of hustle....but the worst case was Lopez over the past me Lopez's poor play and effort is a direct result of Stan's Plan....he is not the first and will not be the last player who goes down hill as a result of the 2007 lose now Nats. Even for those who love the Plan they are going to increasingly see the cost of such an extreme approach has on player moral.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the nats front office will not worry as much about $ with these guys as they did with Sean Black last year.

SenatorNat said...

No particular order commentary: GEICO's gecko is a nocturnal small harmless lizard indigenous to Australia and those parts - he has a New Zealand accent, actually. And, yes, GEICO's Nationals Park is certainly a reasonable prediction.

Scott Boros isn't someone the Lerners and Kasten are going to deal with - explaining why they went to the second best choice, according to the line...

SBF is really doing a terrific job of these daily accounts, with excellent perspective.

Zimmermann from Stevens Point has two n's on last name, thus distinguisable if he makes it to the Show.

IF the Nationals Tommy John pitching corps were to become healthy, then a starting rotation after the All-Star Break of S.Hill; J.Bergmann; J.Patterson; M.Chico; and J.Simontacchi is a potentially devastatingly good one!

I do not think N.Johnson is going to be healthy enough to play this season - so, like Guz, he will be missed for an entire season.

This raises a dilemma - D.Young is a great guy and terrific hitter, and terrible fielder. Fick is not a major leaguer. What do you do, since they obviously want to peddle D.Young to a contending AL team later this season?

And, we have no ML center-fielder, besides Church if we had another left-fielder. This is a real problem for 2007. Unfortunate that our man A. Escobar cannot shower by himself without going into intensive care: he would enable Nats to have a decent season, even while they are stocking the pond. Alas...

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

Anonymous said...


How much talent would you accept the Nats trading away while still watching the team?

There is not much choice about what to do with D. Young: you have to trade him, hoping for a Sharion Martis or Jhonny Nunez in return.

If the Nats can get fair value (fair is left to interpretation), they should trade as many players as possible: Cordero, Rauch, Colome, Belliard, and even Church.

Anonymous said...

Add Lopez to that list.....tired of his bad attitude act and lack of hustle especially on pop ups!

Must be tough to make that kind of money.

SenatorNat said...

I think Bow-Bow would always like to deal Church: packaging him with Cordero to someone like Boston, as he probably dickered with at beginning of season. Mets could now use Church certainly. Irony is that the scenario has flipped somewhat in that Church is more reliable than the Chief AT THE MOMENT.

I would be happy to deal Belliard and Young, a la last year's transactions, and field minor league team essentially for balance of 2007: do not share low opinion of Lopez, as he is valuable overall. He is a terrible lead-off hitter, and his history of OBP would indicate it. Guz might even be better - try flipping them.

Finally, bring up B.Watson and try him again, as Logan (aka Willie Mays Hayes) is pathetic...

Trade anyone and everyone, save Z-Man, actually. But, is it possible to trade for a pitcher who has NOT had Tommy John surgery?

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

JayB said...

I agree that Lopez has talent. I think the point was that that value is falling fast because of how he is responding to the plan and how Acta has used him in 2007. He seems very moody and has shown at least 10 separate occurrences of not hustling. He has shown several occurrences of mental errors as well. I agree he is a bad choice for lead off hitter.

All these negatives are likely caused by the Plan. My question is if we keep him what his mental state going to be after this misuse this year. The Plan has high risks and Lopez is not the only one we are going to see an adverse affect one.

An Briosca Mor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayB said...

Lopez has been harmed by the plan as follows:

By not getting a Major League leadoff hitter because the Plan called for not spending money Lopez is over matched as our lead off hitter, thus set up to fail.

By not spending money on any proven leadership players, Lopez has clearly lost focus. His head is not in the game and he has lost his fire....not because the Reds were better but because the Reds did not admit they are not going to try to win this year. Lopez has given up on the year because his employer has leading by example and he is following.

Lopez is harmed by the low expectations Acta has accepted. No matter the score or the effort Acta has found a silver lining. That is not major league baseball. He has come to learn from Acta that just showing up is good enough....until Acta puts the hammer down once a month on someone. Not enough.

I am not against the Plan but people need to realize that it comes with costs to young players. The Nats choose not to bring in solid vet leadership and they are paying the price with Lopez....he is not the only one to be negatively effected. Come late August it will be interesting to see what moral this team has.....

Really the point is for just normal money we could have had a centerfielder, first baseman and some vet leadership of the bench. Fick, Batista, Logan.....come on.....they are a joke!

Anonymous said...

Acta has infused this team with a newfound passion. Young is playing well. Who is giving cred to? Acta. Flop is just that. Lopez needs to relize that his athlectic abilibity is going to let him coast out the Major League level. Acta sat him today. Hopefully he get his head out of his buut and puts some effort into his game

An Briosca Mor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayB said...

Don't even have to have my cup of coffee 'name one". Nats are paying Vidro anyway. I would have rather had him off the bench and playing First base. Here is his line in 2007

55 225 27 65 6 0 3 20 80 19 16 0 0 .343 .356 .289

Let's agree that Lopez attitude and play is unacceptable. We can agree to disagree on what is causing it.

An Briosca Mor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayB said...

I'll take the latter thanks...unless you really want me to believe that Casto, Wilson, Jimmerez, Resto, Snelling, Langerhans, Batista, Fick....(need I go on) are better off the bench and playing at first when Young is traded and Johnson is not ready to play everyday. Vidro is a switch that off the bench too. I like Ronnie at second for now thanks for asking. Next time I’ll have that cup of coffee and find you a centerfielder better than Logan…that might time a few seconds……

Oh and here are the numbers

Career 1241 4482 641 1345 310 12 118 570 2033 416 479 21 15 .362 .454 .300

Ronnie B
Career 1099 3974 542 1082 254 21 82 454 1624 387 600 33 24 .338 .409 .272

An Briosca Mor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.