I was told on Monday - off-the-record - that the Nationals were interested in signing Adam Dunn to a contract extension. Now that it's out there, I'll quote someone who's pretty close to Adam who told me that Dunn's preference is to play baseball, not play bat. "Adam really doesn't want to DH in the American League. He wants to play the field, and believes
The legendary - and reclusive - writer J.D. Salinger passed away today at the age of 91. Chances are you didn't think of baseball when you heard the news, but the connection between the author of "The Catcher in the Rye" and the Grand Old Game immediately came to mind. Did you see the movie "Field of Dreams?" In the film, James Earl Jones plays
Anybody got a spare 50K laying around? Lot 184 in the upcoming SCP Auction is an exceptionally rare Walter Johnson signature model Louisville Slugger bat. No, I don't already have one. The minimum bid was $25,000, and someone has opened the bidding already. Yes, the Big Train was a great pitcher, but he was also a heck of a hitter. He still holds the all-time
The Nationals didn't come up with anyone, but it was otherwise a busy day on the free agent front. Jon Garland signed with San Diego for less than $5 million, plus incentives. The Nationals were interested in the 10-year veteran righty, and money-wise were right there with the Padres. Garland, however, made it clear from the beginning that he wanted a West Coast address -
Newsflash: The Nationals will not contend for a playoff spot in 2010. But you likely already knew that. My point is, it's pretty clear they'll be a whole lot more competitive when the bell rings in April than they were a year ago. Holy smoke, the bullpen they broke camp with last year wasn't going to scare anyone. Bringing in Joe Beimel and Ron Villone
If ever a fan base had earned a reward, it's the New Orleans Saints' faithful. Whether or not they win the Super Bowl, the Saints record of expansion futility has few equals. Born in 1967, they didn't break even until 1979, and didn't have a winning record until 1987. Their win over Minnesota puts them in position to win their first-ever NFL championship. The Saints'
Hudson, I get. Cabrera, not so much. That the Nationals are looking at Orlando Cabrera as a potential free agent signee is interesting, I'll say that. It's no secret that Cabrera has been associated with a lot of winning teams. Cabrera has seen post-season action with the Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, and this past season, the Twins. He doesn't walk a lot, but he
Today's memorial service for George Michael at the National Cathedral in Washington was a celebration befitting the man. As the Reverend Campbell (Arch's wife) put it, George lived his life large, and the Cathedral at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues is certainly that. The remarks by Channel 4 anchor Jim Vance and Hall of Fame Coach Joe Gibbs were poignant, and revealed a lot about a
"It was like the lobby at the Winter Meetings." That was the scene in Monroe, LA yesterday as described by someone who was there. Roughly 50-60 people (some clubs had as many as four people there), including big league scouts, trainers, pitching coaches, and minor league pitching coordinators, watched Ben Sheets throw three separate 20-pitch sessions on the mound, with five minute breaks in between.
Ben Sheets is healthy again. I had a chance to speak ever-so-briefly with one of the scouts - not a Nats' scout - who was there today in Monroe, LA to watch him throw. "He looked good," I was told. "He had all of his pitches, and showed good command." Worth $8 million? "Not for me to say." Well, that the Nationals were represented today
I can exhale now. Brooks Robinson's surgery was apparently successful. I'd known that Brooks was going under the knife for quite some time, but was asked not to make it public. He just didn't want any attention called to it, and I can respect that. That I'm able to call Brooks Robinson a personal friend never ceases to amaze me. I didn't meet Brooks until
The Chicago White Sox have signed Daniel Cabrera to a minor league contract. A lot of you have already started snickering, I'm quite sure. Daniel did nothing with the Nationals last year to justify his signing by Jim Bowden: 0-5 in 8 starts, with a 5.85 ERA and 35 walks in 40 innings. His fastball was as inconsistent as his inability to field his position.
Someday, the Nationals will have a team-centric Hall of Fame or Ring of Honor or Wall of Distinction or Justice League of America. You know what I mean. A place at the stadium where notable Nationals (or Senators) of years past can be honored. Some kind of museum facility, perhaps, since Washington, after all, is a city of museums. When I first moved to Baltimore
RFK Stadium. Good Friday 1999. In yet another pre-season exhibition game, the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos are playing a game on Friday, and another one on Saturday this Easter Weekend. I'm hosting a show on WTEM from the first base side dugout during batting practice. While I'm chatting with listeners, the Cardinals are taking batting practice. Mark McGwire - who has just hit
The Nationals' reported interest in free agent pitcher Doug Davis adds another name to the wheel of potential starters for 2010. A caller to "Wall-to-Wall Baseball" on MASN this past Saturday asked us to handicap the opening day starting rotation. After Jason Marquis and John Lannan, it's slightly hazy. If healthy, Jordan Zimmermann would be a lock - but he's not due back until 2011.
HBO replayed their Ted Williams documentary this morning. It's worth your while, if you get the chance too see it. My wife and I had the unique pleasure of sharing a dinner table with Ted in November of 1998. He was far more impressed by Diane than with me, take my word for it. In the documentary there's footage of him hitting a home run
Andre Dawson has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writer's Association of America. Dawson received 77.9% of the vote. Seventy-five percent is required for election. It's pretty clear that Dawson will go in as a Montreal Expo. He spent 11 of his 21 seasons in Montreal, before moving on to the Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins. He batted .279
There's no Mariano Rivera in the group, but by adding 267 career saves to their bullpen, it's safe to say the Nationals recognized the main culprit in last year's miserable first half. I believe Matt Capps will come out of spring training with the closer's gig, but, unlike last year, Jim Riggleman has enough depth now for a credible plan B. Left-hander Eddie Guardado has
Happy New Year. The twenty-game turnaround. It's rare, but it's not like we haven't seen it here before. The idea that the 2010 Nats can get to .500 has been dancing in the heads of many Nats' fans since the end of the '09 campaign. The Nats went 33-37 in their final 70 games, so, wishful thinking or not, the idea that they could get