Saturday, October 06, 2007


Justice was served tonight in The Baseball Post Season.

Justice--that The Chicago Cubs tried to "BUY" a Championship and Lost. Never can you pay BIG BUCKS and Fully Expect to Win The World Series.

Justice--that Alfonso Soriano--The Cubbies Biggest Off Season Signing--made The Final Out for The Chicago Cubs this season. In fact, Our Former Number 12 was booed a couple times during tonight's game. How quickly the home fans can turn on you--when WINNING is the only thing on their minds. Alfonso is now just another Superstar on an overpriced team in Chicago. In Washington--he was THE MAN. I like to know if he realizes that, or cares about that--now. Probably not.

Justice--that The Arizona Diamondbacks won this Division Series by playing and acting like A TEAM. Close Knit--not full of overpaid superstars. The D-Backs are a real team. Players you can enjoy watching play. Really, Arizona is fun to watch.

And, Justice when "Mi Amigo", Livan Hernandez, pulled off one of his Greatest Houdini Acts in the 5th Inning. Never can I say anything bad about "Livo". The Most Entertaining Pitcher in The Game. Not one single player that has ever played for Our Washington Nationals during their first three seasons in The Nation's Capital--caught my attention more. Old Number 61 is an ENTERTAINER--like no other. Never does he looked worried. Never does he not battle the opposition. That key double play ground ball to end the bottom of the 5th inning this evening with the bases loaded was VINTAGE LIVAN HERNANDEZ. Why pitch to the Very Dangerous Aramis Ramirez--just walk him--if you feel Mark DeRosa can be beat. Number 61 understands the nuances of the game. Its why he is so special. Its why he holds a special place in my heart.

"Livo's" Series Clinching Win Tonight--brought a HUGE SMILE TO MY FACE. And, when he bolted onto the field in celebration at the conclusion--you had to fear for his catcher, Chris Snyder's, well being--when Livan actually attempted to jump on top of Snyder in joy. I thought Hernandez was going to snap Chris' legs right from under him. Honestly, can you image that weight coming down on you?

Yes, Justice was Served, on The North Side, when The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated The Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field 5-1 this evening. And, once again--Former Washington Nationals were Key Players. Even Daryle Ward Struck Out in the bottom of the 9th--before Alfonso Soriano popped out to right field to end The Chicago Cubs Season.

Baseball always surprises me and never stops pleasing. It why I continue to love The Great Game So Much!

And, Yeah. Still, I would love to see Livan Hernandez throw out The Very First Pitch at New Nationals Park, wearing the Red, White & Gold for Our 2008 Washington Nationals.

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Charles Rex Arbogast, M Spencer Green


Edward J. Cunningham said...

You hit the nail on the head, SBF! Sadly, some people (*cough!*Thom Loverro*cough!*) think the Lerners should just spend $70 million acquiring free agents as if a dollar amount necessarily means the money is best spent. You don't have to look as far as Chicago to see this is foolish. The Orioles increased their payroll this year and won fewer games.

I would not mind the Lerners spend money on free agents, but spend wisely. If you can get Andruw Jones at a price that will not jeopardize the money spent elsewhere, then do it. But if bidding is driving the price too high, let it go. I also think the Nats should stay away from Glaving. Not because of price, but I think this future Hall of Famer's career may be over.

If there are no good free agents the Nats can afford to get this off-season, there is one thing the Lerners can and should do. The rest of the NL still has not realized what a gem Ryan Zimmerman is. Sign him to a long-term contract NOW before they do. Nowadays it is rare for Hall of Famers to play their entire careers for one team---even the Yankees. I want to see Ryan Zimmerman be one of those exceptions!

Jim H said...

If the Washington Nationals were a VW Bug, this would be their bumper sticker:

"When I grow up, I want to be the Arizona Diamondbacks."


"When I grow up, I want to be the Colorado Rockies."

These teams are doing it right. As are more teams, nowadays - which is why it's been so difficult to get young talent in trade.

It's a very enjoyable post season so far...especially with the ouster of those "Phailin' Phils".

Anonymous said...

I also see some justice in Cleveland's progress. Among other things, it's given me a whole new appreciation for being called the (g)nats.

Chris Needham said...


Isn't that a bit much. Let's see how far you get telling a Cubs fan that his team losing is 'justice!

They're a big market, generating tens of tens of millions of revenue. Spending money is what they SHOULD be doing.

Was it justice that the $90 million Phillies lost? Is it justice that the $110 million Angels are on the verge of losing? Or the $190 million Yankees?

Rather than crapping all over them, there's a lesson in how the Cubs were assembled, too. Their record was worse than ours last year and an infusion of Free Agent talent and the emergence of a few home grown players enabled them to improve by 20 wins to make the playoffs.

No, that's not the way I think our Nats should do it entirely, especially because there was no way RFK could generate enough revenue, but the new park is going to be a cash cow, and is capable of supporting a much larger payroll than we're likely to have next season.

But we shouldn't rip the Cubs or their fans for using their advantage.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Yes, they do, Chris.
If the only way to build a champion is to spend as much as you can on free agents, hell come may, then baseball might as well contract down to 16 or fewer teams again. Let only the large markets with nationwide fan bases have teams, because only they would have the ability to compete for a championship. And TV would never have to worry about ratings dropping because of fans being uninterested in truly great teams because they are not wearing the right uniforms (See Twins, Angels, Blue Jays, White Sox) because those teams would be gone. And both the Nats AND the Orioles would be gone.

There is one possible free agent I'd like the Nats to pursue if possible. Livan Hernandez will be eligible for free agency this off-season. If Arizona is uninterested in resigning him, I'd like him to end his career as a National.

Chris Needham said...

If the only way to build a champion is to spend as much as you can on free agents,

Where did I say that?

I just said that there's more than one way. And Kasten would agree with that. I assume that one year, the Nats are going to splurge, committing to a larger payroll like the Cubs did last offseason. Are you going to renounce those wins because they didn't come the 'right' way?

Let only the large markets with nationwide fan bases have teams, because only they would have the ability to compete for a championship.
Yes, because that's exactly the way it is now. The point is that there are many ways to build a franchise. Compare and contrast what the Yankees and DBacks are doing. They got to where they are in different ways; neither is the 'right' approach. But both approaches make sense given the advantages and disadvantages of their markets.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Chris: The Cubs barely made the playoffs in a weak division--in a weaker league. They spent a ton of money in a attempt to overturn their nearly 100 year losing streak at winning a World Series. An Attempt by The Tribune to WIN IT ALL--before they will sell off the team to someone else very soon--while leaving that new owner with a handful of long terms deals that may not be beneficial. It was JUSTICE that they lost. The Cubs are on overpriced mediocre team. And, its always good for baseball when a lesson is learned--the hard way. You can't always buy the pennant. Sure, you can add a key player here and there. But, you just don't automatically claim The Trophy.

I am sure The Nationals will buy a few agent or two when the times comes.. I have no problem with that--in the meantime they are showing patience--A mindset The Cubs lost many years ago. Its why that can't win right now.

Chicago has no direction. Sorry, that you can't see that.

As a side note: Its OK to disagree with me. Commenting back and forth is what makes the Blogs and Threads so interesting. But, I find it saddening, actually, that you never seem to respect others varying opinions.

Anonymous said...

As a side note: Its OK to disagree with me. Commenting back and forth is what makes the Blogs and Threads so interesting. But, I find it saddening, actually, that you never seem to respect others varying opinions.

You know I love ya, SBF, but this is laying it on a little thick.

The tenor of your post is (and I mean this with respect) strutting, preening, and a little bit spiteful. Sort of like Soriano took a lot of money, so let's cherish his misery in being booed. Or something.

That's not justice. That's schadenfreude.

As to the larger point, the Cubs did what they needed to do to win the division. They got their ticket in, and they got sweeped. Play another three game series with the D-Backs, and that might not happen the second time. The postseason is a pretty wild time. I'm very happy that the Snakes are having such a good run of it. Colorado, too. It's fun, no matter what the TV ratings will say.

Anyway, I think your post was a little bit pejorative. Doesn't make your post bad or wrong or anything, but I also don't think it's insulated from an opposing point of view.

Anonymous said...

/Chicago has no direction./

Well, they did make the playoffs, so they must be going somewhere. Sorry SBF, i just think sometimes you need to leave the analyzing to people who actually know what they're talking about.

I'm a Nats fan, but bashing a team when your team didn't make the playoffs is a bit much in my opinion. And saying the Cubs-THE FREAKIN' CUBS!! losing is "justice" is preposterous. If the Nats started spending willly nilly would you start rooting for them to lose, using your "justice served" based argument? Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Sorry SBF, i just think sometimes you need to leave the analyzing to people who actually know what they're talking about.

Well, I'll have to say that's not fair, either. SBF knows plenty about baseball; from what I gather, he played it professionally for awhile. His on-field and fundamentals observations are very astute.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

"Well, they did make the playoffs"

No, they aren't---and neither are the Yankees, either. When they won all those World Series in the 90's, most of the talent on that team was home grown. But eventually, that team got old. If they were to take the time to genuinely rebuild, they would in a few short years have another team that is unbeatable.

But the Yankees believe that they should NEVER rebuild---that to TRY to rebuild is to admit failure. They may also believe (wrongly in my opinion) that Yankee fans will never support any team that they do not believe will (not can) win the World Series.

So they keep buying high-priced free agent after free agent as a band-aid. Johnny Damon. Gary Sheffield. They even tried bringing back old Yankee pitchers who have worked in the past---Petitte and Clemens. The Indians are showing them the Yankees need to develop YOUNG pitchers. As long as the Yankees keep trying to win this way, they (and the Cubs) will fail just like they did twenty years ago in the 80's.

Unfortunately, some Nats fans buy into this. They think that unless the Nationals don't try to spend as much money on free agents as the Yankees, they aren't "trying" enough. Some fans---God help them!---still think the Nats should have outspent the Cubs to keep Alfonso Soriano. Spending money on the most expensive free agents will not work if you don't have all the other pieces yet. Getting A-Rod may sell a lot of tickets and make Thom Loverro happy, but to pay his salary would cripple the Nats ability to build up a winning team.

Anybody remember what happened to the Diamondbacks AFTER they won the 2001 World Series? They could not sustain their success so they had to get rid of their star players not long after they acquired them, and Arizona STILL does not have as large a fan base as they would like. The Indians---although they did not win the World Series---had a more SUSTAINED period of excellence. The Atlanta Braves also sustained their excellence for a long period of time without buying every free agent in sight. I feel the Nats would be better served following the Braves' model than the Yankees.

Another reason why I am troubled by Chris' defence of the Cubs is that only a few teams are able to do what the Cubs did. The teams that can't---but try---quickly lose their players no matter how well they do in the postseason. Baseball has made steps towards parity, but it still isn't enough. We don't need teams like the Pirates or Royals to win the World Series each year, but for baseball to work fans have to believe that they CAN.

Baseball also needs to do a better job of marketing the OTHER teams. The networks may be slightly disappointed if St. Louis and Tennessee go to the Super Bowl, but the NFL does a good job of building up interest in even the smaller teams so that they aren't as hurt as you would think. But if the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs aren't in the Series, Fox is ready to slit their wrists. RFK should have been PACKED to see a great team like the Tigers this past summer. People didn't go because they wore the wrong uniforms. If you build up interest in other teams and in the sport itself, it should not matter if teams other than the Red Sox or Yankees win the Series, and that will be good news for teams in SMALLER markets like the Nationals.

Anonymous said...

"Nats should have outspent the Cubs to keep Alfonso Soriano. Spending money on the most expensive free agents will not work if you don't have all the other pieces yet."
Right…….. Spending $10 million for two players who play the same position - 1st base - is a much better idea then keeping Alfonso for $10 Million.......

This site has turned into a joke! The Nats moves are always the best and anyone who has a different view than SBF gets shouted down a bunch of sycophants.

Chris is just stating the facts here. Cubs went from near 100 loses to division champs in one season (beating what SBF would call the perfect development model of the Brewers)

$10 million for Alfonso is seems smarter than what the Nats did with Young and Johnson who both play the same position. Why is that smart?

Edward J. Cunningham said...

"Right…….. Spending $10 million for two players who play the same position - 1st base - is a much better idea then keeping Alfonso for $10 Million......."

Keeping Soriano for $10 million would have been a bargain. However, that would not have worked. Despite what he SAID about wanting to stay in Washington, Soriano's actions made very clear that he was waiting to see who the highest bidder was. To keep Soriano would have required offering Soriano a bigger contract than the Cubs, who paid him much more than $10 million a year.

If you think Soriano would have accepted that deal without looking at other offers, you're wrong. If you think the Nats should have outbid the Cubs, you're insane.

Anonymous said...

Just pointing out the fact that Alfonso was paid $10 Million this season....Cubs went from last to first....Nats will pay two players for one position $10 Million next year.....

Points? There is more than one way to build a winner and the Cubs made about as big a turn around as it gets in one year.

Personally, I agree with Chris that Nats were limited by RFK....Now it is time to put a team that will win on the field. Nats need Starting pitching, CF, and Bench help Do not hide behind development smoke screen and give us Jimmerz, Lopez, Fick, Batista, Logan, Langerhanz again next year.

Give us DeRosa like the Cubs got.
AVG .293 | HR 10 | RBI 72 | OBP .371 | SLG .420

DeRosa was available last year for $2.7 Million a season. Nats got Tony B. and Jimmerez, Cubs got DeRosa…… Point? Not all Cubs moves are bad moves and they did win the division did they not?

Spending money smartly does win games so the Nats do need to spend some money. It is now time to win. Enough Paterson and Hill as the Aces…..that is just a joke…..we know they will not pitch more than 20 starts between them.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Is Soriano's $10 million the maximum amount he earns in any given year? I was under the impression his rate per year went up, but I may be wrong.

But even if the maximum that Fonzie makes for any one year is $10 million. I don't think it would have been wise to give Soriano AS LONG a contract that he got. I also suspect that if the Cubs do not make or win the World Series in a few years, the Cubs will eventually deal him to another club even if it means eating a part of his salary.

Anonymous said...

$10 Million is this past year’s salary...yes it goes up but so will every players salary and the signing bonus must be paid as well.

It was an 8 year deal as I recall. I still think he will be a super star at age 39 when the deal is over and I think he will still playing for the Cubs hitting .285 with 100 RBI's and 35 - 40 Hrs. He reminds me a lot of Ricky Henderson.

I would think the Nats could use that over the next several years, much more so than $5 Million for Young and $5 Million for Johnson.

Also Alfonso would be a better spend then Lopez and Kearns together which is another $10 million almost.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I don't get it. What's all this bruhaha about Soriano? Were you surprised at his lack of clutch hitting in the division series? Were you guys paying attention last year?
In clutch situations in 2006, the man was miserable. He would hit the lead-off homer, and he would drive in runs when the Nats were ahead by 4 or down by 8, but put him in a situation where the Nats were a run or two down with runners in scoring position and what happened? A ground ball to third, a pop fly to second, a strikeout. According to the Nats' Media Guide, Soriano hit .197 with runners in scoring position and two outs. His overall RISP average was .231.
Unfortunately, the situations (whether the Nats up by 2 or down by 2 or more) is not listed. It seemed that most of the time Soriano came up in a clutch situation, he failed to deliver. Against Livan, he did exactly what he did last year.
Sure, he hit 46 homers, stole 42 bases, had 41 doubles and 22 outfield assists. Those were nice numbers, and in a losing season, it gave us something to feel good about. But for my money, Soriano is not a player who is worth $10 M/year. JimBo and Stan are right to tread lightly in the free agent market. More often than not, clubs get burned. Can you say J.D. Drew? A.J. Burnett?

Edward J. Cunningham said...

"I would think the Nats could use that over the next several years, much more so than $5 Million for Young and $5 Million for Johnson."

If the Nats were one player away from a run at the Series, then MAYBE offering the moon and the stars would have been worth. In my opinion, the type of offer that would have swayed Soriano from signing with the Cubs would have hampered our ability to get the players we need to get to the playoffs. And we are assuming that if the Nats were foolish enough to offer more money than the Cubs Fonzie still would have stayed. He may have left anyway because Chicagoland is much bigger than the D.C. area, and the Cubs have a huge nationwide fan base.

I think Bowden was wise to re-sign Nick Johnson and then get Dmitri Young. Worst case scenario---Nick's career in baseball is finished. I think Dmitri can become Nick's successor and with a little bit of work improve on his 2007 numbers. But if Nick comes back, one of the two (probably Dmitri) can move to the outfield and our line-up has more punch and Ryan Zimmerman has more protection.

If you think signing Soriano is still such a good idea, ask the Texas Rangers if it was worth it signing A-Rod from the Mariners.