Friday, July 31, 2009


Sohna and I have been traveling all day and just arrived at our final destination. Upon hearing the news of the trade deadline maneuvers--our first reaction to hearing Nick Johnson being traded was sadness. The fact that Chico Harlan reports NJ held back tears upon being told of the news--even harder to take. The African Queen's biggest enjoyment that she gets from rooting for Our Washington Nationals is when those she cheers for are good people--both on--and off the field.

"Nicky", as Sohna always calls him, was one of her favorite players. And unquestionably a really nice man as well. NJ always stopped to chat with The African Queen. She will miss that--the hardest part of being a fan--when YOUR players are traded.

We have no idea who Aaron Thompson is--the player whom Washington received in return from The Florida Marlins. Hopefully, this southpaw 22 Year-Old will pan out in The Nation's Capital as a solid contributor. If "Pitching, Pitching and More Pitching" really is the end all to building a contender--we are all for it.

But The African Queen and I hope that Our Washington Nationals are sincere when Interim GM Mike Rizzo stated after the today's swap went down that DC's Team was interested in extending Nick Johnson on a contract before this trade was made. Something, "Nicky" was equally interested in. Time certainly ran out, but only for this season--2009. 2010 is a different story. Our Now Former Number 24 is a free agent come October. If a deal can be made and NJ truly wants to return to the organization where he had the most impact--and the most respect--we really hope that deal will happen.

Nick Johnson--best of luck to you in South Florida. And when you return to Nationals Park next Tuesday, August 4th--rest assured--many will be giving you your due accolades. Most unquestionably--The African Queen. She is already missing you, badly.

PS: We also fear many throws to first base will get away now for errors--picks that Nick Johnson would nab on a regular basis.

PPS: As for Joe Beimel, we really have no reaction other than the fact that-- one of the two pitchers acquired from The Colorado Rockies just recently went under arm surgery. But Beimel was certainly not a part of Our Washington Nationals future, and if either Ryan Mattheus or Robinson Fabian become contributors in DC--it's a win. Beimel would have NEVER returned to DC for 2010--no question about that. Take what you can get--when you can.


Laurie said...

we will miss Nick Johnson too! Hope he's on the way back "home" to us soon!
Not sure he's worth one minor league pitcher??...
Nick, hurry back!

NatsGuy said...

I'm having a real hard time with the ""Nicky"" trade. He is a class act and a player with real value in many ways. He worked like a dog from injuries to get back to this level. All we have gotten back is a pitcher with only fair prospects to make the majors. The Nats got taken badly. Should have left it alone. Sometimes the deals you don't make are the best deals.

I couldn't watch the game tonight and the Nats looked like they didn't want to play it. The life was sucked out of them. Too bad baseball is a business and not a game. People's character should be rewarded not their value on a balance sheet. Tonight I really hate major league baseball. Hopefully I will get over it.

Dave said...

Bad day in NatsTown. I can't help but think that some of these GM's, including ours today, outthink themselves. Thompson seems more like a suspect than prospect to me - first round pick four years ago and he's still struggling in AA? How about just trying to win some games now so that we're not a laughingstock franchise and you give the fans something to get excited about. Is that too much to ask? Instead we have to have another kid pitcher who sounds like will be lucky to ever be a Matt Chico. Bad day for me - a frustrated 5 year full STH who wants to see some good baseball.

p.s. - I think the pressure to sign Strasburg just got higher.

CaptKirk42 said...

I was really annoyed when I heard the trade news. Nick is one of my fave Nats, well now Ex-Nat. I was saddened even more when it was mentioned he was the last of the old Expos team members. I hadn't thought about that until I heard it mentioned. Since the Nats had picked up Adam Dunn, of course the "Trade Nick" talk and rumors started flying. I would always think "Why get rid of your best on-base percentage player?" Fortunately until now, they were just rumors. I haven't been this annoyed by a trade since the Church & Schneider for Milledge trade. I'm even madder because it is for a player that is in the Minors and will be for at least a year or two. Sigh! It just goes to show that now-a-days nobody is "safe" from being traded.

paul said...

The Johnson trade also befuddles me. Rizzo seems to have missed the forest for the trees. Just as the team was starting to feel good about itself, was it really worth getting a marginal prospect?

The last "original" Nat is now gone.

John R. said...

I have always been against the idea of trading Nick Johnson. That being said, at least Josh Willingham has stepped up and is truly making a contribution to this team. And although Nick has been injury-free this year, his defense has not been as good as before. But I found it amazing how easily the armchair experts on SportsRadio quickly dismiss Nick as injury-prone. He suffered a terrible broken leg while hustling to catch a ball in 2006 and it look a long time to recover, as it would for anyone. Christian Guzman has also missed most of two of his five seasons here due to injuries.

I really like the fact that Nick wanted to stay here and had some emotion about the trade. I hope the Nats will make a serious effort to get Nick back in the offseason and that this minor league pitcher will turn out to be a great addition.

Anonymous said...

I can see a few good reasons why you trade Nick now.

1) He is Free Agent in 2 months with no Type A Type B compensation like the Nats got with Soriano

2) The season for the Nats is over in 2 months and it is a chance to re-configure the team without Nick

3) You always fear a Nick Johnson injury as he is approaching a career high in games played

4) You believe Rizzo got a hidden gem in this trade. Hmmmm

5) The Nats get to see if Adam Dunn and/or Willingham are a solution at 1st Base. If not, they will have to find another 1st Baseman in the off-season

rg019571 said...

Yep, sad to see Nick go. Hopefully we get him back in the offseason.

My son's first autograph on Opening Day weekend '05?


Carolyn said...

I have the same sentiments as NatsGuy - I've had a hard time watching the Nats all weekend - missing Nicky greatly. He is without a doubt my favorite player - been to Spring Training last 3 years and he was always willing to pose for pics, sign autographs just an all around stand-up guy. My heart is in Miami right now. I'm happy Nicky is on a contending team and wish him the best.

I am so tired of him being tagged "injury prone" it's not like he sat out with pulled muscles and how many players come back the way he did from such a horrendous injury? Reading about how emotional he was broke my heart, reading what Rick Eckstein sad about him and his intesity was heart breaking too. After hearing Rizzo's comments yesterday about the Nats not going after a 1st baseman for next year, but using players we already have tells me that his comments made at the Nicky trade were just lip service to appease those of us who would hate this trade. He has no intention of re-signing Nick when he becomes a free agent. Sad, sad day in Nats Town.