Tag Archives: Adam Dunn

Like A Record On Repeat

What I’m talking about is yesterday’s article on the Nats’ website that I read that covers Tuesday’s trade, and basically comments on the rest of the Nats’ roster.  Let’s dissect a few things that were said on there:

“The Nationals have been unhappy with their outfielders for quite some time. They have come to the conclusion that Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham belong in the American League as designated hitters, and Elijah Dukes makes too many fundamental mistakes.”

Wait, the Nationals have long acknowledged Dunn’s defensive shortcomings, and they signed him for his power and RBI potential, which they have raved about all season until now.  And he has played his entire career in the National league, and now the Nationals are going to be the ones saying he belongs as a DH in the AL?  Absurd.  They were also recently raving about Willingham’s bat and now they hate him?  And Dukes, who earlier this year was being referred to as the Nats’ best all-around player?

“The Nationals see Morgan as a center fielder/leadoff hitter. Washington also likes his hockey attitude. He once played with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League during the 1999-2000 season. “

They like his hockey attitude?  Not sure what to make of that.

“We have a great character guy in Morgan. We have our center fielder.”

I’m all for a good character guy, but haven’t they said that about Kearns for a long time, and we’ve seen how that has worked out.  In terms of “we have our center fielder”, see Milledge, Lastings, Maxwell, Justin, and Bernadina, Roger.  We’ve heard this all before.  How long until they give up on Morgan?

“Hanrahan and Milledge did not fit in the team’s long-term plans.“

Correct me if I’m wrong, but coming out of spring training, the team talked at length about how both of these guys has locks on their positions, and that they would be future building blocks of the team.  I have no problem with getting rid of guys that don’t produce.  But let’s stop making ridiculous pronouncements only to back off them and look silly.  (See a few days ago where Willie Harris was proclaimed to be the new sparkplug at the top of the lineup, then quickly benched again).

“[Rizzo] is looking for a starting shortstop. The Nationals feel that Cristian Guzman, who is on the trading block, has lost a few steps with his glove.”

The absurdity continues.  This guy was basically leading the league in hitting a few weeks ago and now they are giving up on him because of his glove?  Work with him on this, don’t use that as a cover story to trade away a solid veteran for even more unproven prospects.  This is starting to feel like the movie Major League.  The team is looking for a starting shortstop?  Are you kidding?

“Washington wants young starting pitching in return for Guzman, who has one year left on his contract. “

How many more young starters do you want?  I can’t believe I am reading this.  The team needs to sign a true #1 starter, have Lannan at #2, sign a solid #3, and let the best of the rest of their young pitching corps battle it out for final 2 spots.  More young starting pitching is what we don’t need, unless we are talking about someone like Tim Lincecum

“The team is also looking to trade Dukes, and that may be hard to do because he comes with a lot of off-the-field baggage. Whom the club wants for Dukes is not known.”

I’ll make this my last comment before I vomit.  The Nats knew full well about Dukes before they signed him, and other than his child-support troubles, he has been much better in his off-the-field behavior for the Nats than he was before.  Please don’t whine about how hard it would be to trade him because of this.

Right now it looks like the team admitting that the last 5 years of rebuilding the franchise hasn’t worked, and they’re going to basically start over again?  If you thought the dropoff in ticket sales this season was bad, wait until next year if they keep this up.  The people that do still go to most of the games, myself included, appreciate the players trying hard every game even if they are losing.  What we are tired of is the front office spinning its wheels, not making much progress, changing its story, giving up on players it recently called building blocks, and refusing to spend money on free agents.  Maybe they need more sleep or a vacation to clear their heads.  Because what’s happening right now isn’t working.

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Signing Strasburg

Well we know that Stephen Strasburg is going to take some time off from baseball for some R&R, and then get back to working out and getting ready to (hopefully) join the Nats later this summer. Each side has some interesting leverage. The Nationals simply have to sign Strasburg, not only so that he can get started on his path to helping the team, but also because not doing so would be a PR nightmare. They’ve got 2 months to do it, and it seems like Strasburg will be content to use up most of that window, but the Lerners will step up to the plate and sign him. It’s good to see that they already signed Storen and had him out at the stadium last night. It should be somewhat easier to sign the rest of the picks on down, at least until you get to the later rounds, when some of the high school guys may opt not to sign for small bonuses but instead play a year of college ball and try to improve their draft slot.

While I’m excited about the potential that lies within the recently-drafted talent pool, beyond the first few picks I’m turning my attention to next season’s free agent crop. We need to produce a winner on the field ong before these new guys are groomed to do it. I think it may be time to start putting together a wish list for the off-season.

I need to vent on a few quick items from Tuesday’s game, which I meant to do yesterday. The first of which is walking a pitcher, who eventually scored, on 4 pitches. Wow. Then throwing Brandon Phillips 4 straight fastballs with the bases loaded. On that 4th pitch that he hit for a double I was like no, please go off speed, he’s got your timing down. But nope, fastball. Double to right field. Sometimes when your physical skills aren’t quite where they need to be, you need to use your head to make up for that, and right now we’re certainly not doing that.

The other beef I have is with the umpire making 2 terrible strike calls at the end of the game, one on Adam Dunn in the 8th and the other on Austin Kearns to end the game. At least the Nats argued the calls, as they should have. But anyone who was there or who saw it on TV could see that this guy just wanted to get out of there and go home since it just about midnight. Any umpire who acts like that needs to receive some discipline from the league, even if it’s just a stern reprimand. There is no place for behavior like that and thankfully we rarely see it. Ok, I’m done.

A Week Later And Still No Win

cimg3496Well I’m sorry to say we haven’t notched a W since I last wrote an entry here, but I still had a great time at Opening Day yesterday. At least our guys are putting up a fight, and putting runs on the board. No doubt, it will be long season for our young starting pitchers. Any hope of trading for a starter in exchange for one of our extra outfielders went down the tubes with Milledge’s demotion today. It does solve the fact that based on results, Dunn, Dukes and Kearns should have been starting anyway. Maybe Lastings can turn it around down there. I’m not as harsh on him as a lot of people. I do think he belongs in a corner spot and not CF. If he picks it up, he could come back as a nice reserve outfielder. Will Bernadina get the call-up as his replacement?

Around the Nats and the League

I knew Adam Dunn did a great job at the plate for Team USA in the World baseball Classic, but I did not realize that Joel Hanrahan was topping out around 90 mph on his fastball. Someone get him in the weight room, and stock his locker with lots of protein snacks. We need him to have a good year if we are going to win some games. It will be rare when we have more than a 1 or 2 run lead to protect in the ninth inning.

Schilling finally announced his retirement. I always respected him as a player. He could be very outspoken at times, but often he was just sounding the truths that others were afraid to say.

It was good to see Shawn Hill get picked up by the Padres. I guess we’ll know soon enough whether Washington made the right move by releasing him. Even if he regains an effective form, I still can’t fault the organization for cutting ties with him.

Sidney Ponson may yet claim a rotation spot with the Royals. That guy is like Lazarus. Every time he makes a boneheaded move or you think the game has passed him by, he goes away for a while and then reappears with another club in a starting role.

A Busy Weekend in Viera

It’s been a busy few days for the Nationals. With Bowden stepping down, it is widely assumed that Mike Rizzo will take over his spot as GM. If that occurs, who will step into Rizzo’s role? The assistant GM does a lot of heavy lifting that rarely receives notice in the press. Only now are we hearing about all of the great things that Rizzo has been doing as assistant GM. His replacement will be a critically important job as well. I actually would like to see them grab someone from a perennially successful team and plug them into the Nats’ front office. Even if it would be in a more junior role, it’s always good to cross-pollinate a staff with some successful ideas, rather than only promoting from within.

On the injury front, let’s hope Flores’ injury is nothing more than a strain that will take a couple days to subside. Good to see that Nick Johnson stroked a long ball the other day. I’m not sure having Dunn go off and play in the WBC is the best idea, as he needs some time to mesh and bond with his new teammates. But perhaps he is correct in saying the atmosphere and seriousness of the games will be more helpful in getting prepared for the regular season.

Lannan Opens Spring Season Strong

John Lannan’s solid start today in the grapefruit league opener is a good omen for the Nats. If he stays healthy, he should be exciting to watch this year. I would love to see Shawn Hill have a similar outing when his turn comes in a couple days. I really hope he doesn’t fall prey to Patterson syndrome. Tomorrow should be a good one, with a home game and many of our regulars getting their first action of the spring.

Meant to comment on this last week when Dunn was signed, but one of the writers for the Wash Post wrote: “His arrival also closes speculation, debated for years now, about the club’s willingness to pay for higher-end free agents.” Ha! One signing and he thinks this closes speculation about that? Let’s be real, no one really believed we were going to get Texeira. We also could have matched the Yankees offer to C.C. and looked the part, but he still would have signed with the Yankees. The Dunn signing was the first sign that the Lerners are willing to open their pockets to sign some free agents. Let’s hope it does not close any speculation about that. We need that pressure to remain so that we can beef up the roster, if not this year, then next year.

What To Do With Your Johnson

Ha.  No seriously, now that Dunn is slated to start every day at first base, Nick Johnson has said he will not accept a bench role.  Well, of course the Nationals will try to trade him, but if they can’t, is he going to refuse to play?  I could see a scenario where the injury bug bites us, Dunn moves to the outfield, and Johnson goes back to first base.  He’s good insurance to have.  There would probably be a pinch hitting situation for him every game at some point, but that’s not a lot of at bats.  Hopefully we can get something decent for him in a trade.  But it may take some time because he needs to prove to everyone, including those outside the Nationals’ organization, that he is healthy and can perform at a high level again.  If that happens, he should bring back something decent in a trade.