Tuesday, December 23, 2008

They Are Players Now

Would it have been a nice Christmas Gift if Mark Teixeira had chosen Our Washington Nationals as his next career baseball stop?

You better believe it!!

But there is no use whining over his decision today to join The New York Yankees. Because Our Washington Nationals may have lost THIS ONE BATTLE, but they may well have Won The War.

Throughout the four year history since baseball returned to Washington, DC, The Media has shown little respect for Washington's Team. As far as ESPN is concerned, you better be a Yankee, Red Sox, Angel, Dodger, Cubbie or Met to feel like you actually play Major League Baseball. Everybody else is just fodder; teams to play so you can pad your winning margins and rake in all the extra money and rewards that come with success. No other teams seem to matter to the mainstream national media. Sadly, at times, it also seems our local media shares that mentality.

There has been little respect for Our Washington Nationals. Yes, 2008 did not go anywhere near as planned, or hoped for, during The Inaugural Season of New Nationals Park. But it doesn't mean all is lost--FOREVER. Yet every single day, all that is written in the paper and online or talked about on TV is Washington is 'horrible' at this, or The Nats 'suck' at that. 'This Team Is Going Nowhere!!'

I don't buy that, and neither should you. Are things perfect? NO!! But, the world hasn't come to an end either--especially after today.

Not one single media outlet seriously considered Washington a stakeholder in The Mark Teixeira Derby. And as I wrote previously, it's unclear whether Teixeira seriously considered The Lerner's offer as well. But these past few weeks, unequivocally prove that Our Ownership Group, The Lerners, are willing to play ball!! HARDBALL, IN FACT, WITH BIG CONTRACTS. When the time is right and DC's Team needs to step up--They Are Going To Be There!!

You have to give The Lerners, Our Team President Stan Kasten and Our General Manager Jim Bowden huge credit for stepping into this fray, becoming a market player and changing the PERCEPTION of a franchise in disarray. The very moment Bill Ladson over at nationals.com mentioned how he was 'SHOCKED' by Washington's offer to Teixeira, a new era had begun on South Capitol Street. Not one single mainstream media outlet considered Washington a player. Probably, not many blogs either.

But They Were.

The Teixeira Offer by Washington certainly had EVERYONE talking Nats Baseball leading up to one of the biggest family times of the year, Christmas. The Holiday where EVERYBODY steps away from the games, at least for a while. How many of you weren't on the edge of your seat wondering of late? Could they sign him? Could Mark REALLY be interested in DC? This Soap Opera led the news, night after night over the past few weeks. For once, even during Washington Redskins Football Season, there was talk of Baseball In The Nation's Capital.

Washington Nationals Baseball.

I Loved That!

Unquestionably, Our Washington Nationals have a long way to go to became the perennial winning franchise all of us so badly what to see and enjoy. But you can no longer say WE ARE NOT PLAYERS IN THE GAME. I don't want to hear how AWFUL Our Washington Nationals are, FOREVER, from the media. The same folks who decried The Tampa Bay Rays last year, The Colorado Rockies the year before and countless others before them.

We may well have too many outfielders, not enough starting pitching or a solid enough bullpen right now, but Washington does have some really good talent. It's just that so many people really can't seem to see that forest before the trees. It's so true. Maybe, the best thing that has come out of The Mark Teixeira Sweepstakes is that A NEW LIGHT is now shining through the foliage on a long dismissed franchise in Major League Baseball--Our Washington Nationals.

Media--please take notice.

The Lerners, Mr. Kasten and JimBo lost JUST THIS ONE BATTLE. What they accomplished was setting themselves up to Win The War--in the near future.

The Are Players Now.

You need to report that also.

PS--An Early Merry Christmas to Nick Johnson!! Our Number 24 maybe The Biggest Individual Winning Stakeholder in getting back playing time for Washington over Teixeira choosing The New York Yankees today. Sohna and I love NJ and we are happy to see Nick possibly getting a deserved chance to return and play a healthy first base for Our Washington Nationals in 2009. If make-up means a lot, and Teixeira supposedly has it, well Nick's had make-up too, like for his entire Major League Career. He's proven that, countless times, both on and off the field of play. That man's a winner--and The African Queen and I will never give up on him. Hopefully, Our Washington Nationals will not as well.


JayB said...

SBF says, "but Washington does have some really good talent"

Where? Dukes yes, Lannan is next best and Zim is headed in the wrong direction.....WHO else has real talent? Not Milledge, Not Flores, Not any pitchers so who are you talking about here.....Detwiler? Chris M? Rogor B? Maxwell? come on.....where is the talent.....You watched just as much baseball last year as I did......Our "talent" is the worst in baseball and the record of this franchise speaks for itself.

Screech's Best Friend said...

JayB: I am not a hater. Whether you would like to believe it or not--Lannan, Olsen, Hill and Hanrahan all have solid Major League Pitching Talent. Zimmerman is a FRANCHISE Player--no question about it. Flores, Dukes and Willingham are good solid players. Guzman proved everybody wrong last year and Nick Johnson is a quality player too--although it's very sad he can't stay healthy. McGeary and Jordan Zimmermann are quality young pitching talents too. They are nowhere near close to being a contender, but they are far better than everyone gives them credit for. It's not worth it finding every single thing wrong with this franchise like some always believe is necessary to dwell on, again, and again, and again. There are some positives and I refuse to believe that everything is always a disaster.

Anonymous said...


The happiest team in baseball was the Nats when the Yankees stepped up and signed Teixera. There was no way the Nats actually wanted to sign him and pay him what they "offered". I am sure the Nats ownership group had heart palpatations when the Angels dropped out of the bidding. The Nats bid on Teixera not because they wanted him or thought they could get him but only to be able to tell their fan base (such as it is) that they tried. The Nats have no freakin idea what they are doing - why do they keep signing outfielders? Don't they know only 3can play at one time? Signing Corey Patterson; you have got to be kidding me. The Nats and Skins have one thing in common - only a real ownership group takes charge, they will never be winners

VCUAlum Kyle said...

I have to agree with you, every day my roommate and I would come and look online to see what was happening in the Tex sweepstakes. When the Angels dropped out the other night, my roommate and I were like "We actually might get him!" I am shocked the Yankees came in at the last minute to gobble him up.

I hope they are players, I will say why did we sign Corey Patterson? We already have plenty of outfielders Patterson is just another one added to the huge list. I do think the Daniel Cabera singing was a smart move, why not give the guy a chance you know. We got nothing to loose on a one year deal. That being said I think we should go after Odalis Perez again, he actually did not do that bad for us in 2k8.

Now Nats ownership, go out and sign Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson, and three pitchers and I will be a very happy fan awaiting to see these new additions at the NatsFest in January!!!

Happy Holidays

Jim H said...

Unfortunately, I have to say I'm with the school that thinks the Nats were simply used and abused in this process. Nobody really though Tex was coming here. Not even when everyone said the Sox were out, the Angels were out, the Yankees weren't interested. Nobody seriously thought the Nats were really in play.

Sadly, I don't see much respect coming the Nats' way. Everyone thought they were being used. And they were.

Jim H said...

Yep...now it's back to the pretenders...Cory Patterson, Jorge Sosa.


Anonymous said...

When you're the Nats (or the Os), you cannot just meet the market, you must set the market. Only an overwhelming offer would take a premier FA like Teixeira. Once the others came up to the Nats level, they needed to go up $30 million. They didn't, and they lost the player.

Now, I don't think he's worth HALF what he's getting. But my point is, if you want the player, you must pay what it takes to get the player to play FOR YOU, and that's way more than it is to get him to play in NYC or LA or Boston.

As for us being players -- players get a phone call from the agent telling you you didn't get the player. Players do not learn via a text message from your bud. But it couldn't happen to a nicer ownership group.

And if you want to hate on Scott Boras -- this deal will just make him even more appealing to the best rookies and free agents. Bottom line, if you want the best, you're going to have to deal with him, and dealing with him means overpaying. It's like having Bubba for a cell mate -- the sooner you can learn to live with it, the better off you'll be.

Finally -- KKKorey makes your team worse. He couldn't play for last year's (last place) Reds. Under no circumstances does a team building for the future acquire KKKorey.

Anonymous said...

I'm not drinking the Kool Aid, and I agree with SBF.

Its a step in the right direction to the fan base.

Now, lets stop going after marginal players and get some players that are upgrades at each position.

Get Orlando Hudson at 2nd base and skip Adam Dunn. Save the money to sign Stephen Strasburg at the Draft. Sign and wrap up Zim long-term. Next year Matt Holliday will be a Free Agent!

Trades are still a possibility. Nick Swisher is now available since the Yankees got Teixeira or go back and revisit Adrian Gonzalez with a trade for players and cash (the Padres need cash).

If you go with Nick Johnson, just play him 5 games a week so he doesn't break down. You can platoon him with Dmitri. Nick Johnson isn't a power hitter but he has a good eye and works pitchers and has a strong OBP.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

So much for Texiera. I stongly suspect that Boras and the Yankees already had a deal where they would top whatever offer the other teams would make. In other words, if the Lerners had offered a $200 million contract (as one Nats fan suggested), the Yanks would have offered to pay $201.

As the Joker said in The Dark Knight, "It's not about the money, it's about sending a message."

If the Nats want to show that this was not a gigantic bluff they were happy to lose, they need to sign a first baseman. Preferably Adam Dunn, but at the very least somebody. I like Nick Johnson as much as anybody, but I think it's as foolish to think he can stay healthy for an entire year as it is that the Nats (or any MLB club) can outbid the Yankees for a player they really want and who wants to play there.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

One suggestion to the Lerners. PLEASE do not go after Manny Ramirez. For the right club in pennant contention, he can be a godsend. But he quit on the Red Sox just to force them to trade him and he could sign a new deal with Scott Boras.

Ramirez is NOT the player the Nats need to not only improve the team, but somebody the young players can model themselves around. I think he'd be a C-A-N-C-E-R for the Nats. In other words, Felip Lopez with better stats.

Unknown said...

I think I've been as critical of the Lerner group as anybody, and I still think this fanchise has a long way to go before they are respected on the free agency market (read: stop signing outfielders who are marginal at best, and spend some money on a couple established starting pitchers), but one of my biggest gripes with the Lerners was that I never thought they'd be willing to step up and spend money when money needed to be spent. The fact the Nats even made an offer to Tex shocked me at first, and when it appeared the offer was actually on par with what other clubs were offering I was even more shocked. This was a small step, but at least it was a step in the right direction. How great would it be to face the Yankees in the WS in the next year or two?

Now, if the Lerners would give Zimmerman the contract he deserves, and stop telling us players like Emilio Bonifacio are the "future" only to abrupty trade them, we'll continue to move in the right direction.

All that being said, baseball didn't exist in DC for the first 20 years of my life, so I'm grateful to have a team, even if winning may come at a snail's pace.

Anonymous said...

Tom Boswell is on the mark when he says "The Nats, by building their major league product too cheaply, did more than shortchange their fans in the inaugural season at Nationals Park. By obsessing excusively over the long term and totally neglecting near term fundamental improvement to the big club, they made Washington a home that Teixeira could not take seriously".

This is why the free agent hating Stan Kasten is looking for a new job and why Jim Bowden is now in the drivers seat. Kasten totally misread the Washington market. A city that was screwed out of baseball for 33 years is not going to have a lot of patience while Kasten takes five to ten years to rebuild the franchise. I said it three years ago and so did Boswell---there needs to be some balance between the short term and the long term and Kasten totally ignored this, to his own peril.

Anonymous said...

SBF, I appreciate your optimism, but the bottom line is WE DID NOT GET TEIXEIRA. WE DID NOT HAVE THE BEST OFFER ON THE TABLE.

The Lerners should not get a free pass on this one. They better go out and spend some of that money. If not we'll have another season of 102 losses and continue to be THE JOKE of MLB.

Anonymous said...

I love the Nats but I am a realist. We stink. Yes we can get better but not tomorrow. This mess will take years before we become the next Tampa Rays.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to be negative here, but I was on the journals on the NY Post and the Boston Globe after the deal was done. No comments even mention the Washington Nationals Baseball Club. This was a battle between the Sox and the Yanks all the way. We need a home-run-bashing-bruiser to play first base. We need a leadoff hitter that actually gets on first base. We need a cleanup guy that has protection in the 3 and 5 hole. DC has a long baseball history. It is the same town with surrounding suburbs as it was in 1971 - with a couple of million more people. And we are a smart population to boot. People will not spend money to go watch garbage on the field. And, the "happening" bar atmosphere in the red loft won't last for the 20-somethings if the price for a cocktail is double that of the hottest nightclub in town. Mismanagement all around is what I see. (How many tv commercials have you seen for NatsFest on the 25th?) Put a .500 club on the field and attendance will climb to '05 levels. Put a contender for the pennant on the field and watch what happens.