Davey Johnson's back. In what came as no surprise, the Nationals announced this morning that they were picking up the option on Johnson's contract to manage the club again in 2012. Johnson later spoke with the media via conference call and restated his enthusiasm for the job, explaining why he felt it was a good fit. "They (players) respected me," he said. "I guess they
Last night's Game 6 of the World Series was one for the ages. Great intrigue, unexpected heroes and a very late night on the East Coast. Watching David Freese go deep with a walk-off home run in the home half of the 11th inning brought back memories of Carlton Fisk's game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
Piggybacking on my don't-sign-Edwin Jackson entry from yesterday, I wonder if the Nationals had the same reaction I had when I heard the Phillies were rejecting the 2012 option on righthander Roy Oswalt's contract. Oswalt is head-and-shoulders above Jackson in pitchability, and at 34, would seem to have a lot left in the tank. He made only 23 starts in 2011 due to a bulging
Remember in July 2010 when the Nationals traded Adam Dunn to the White Sox for Edwin Jackson? Of course you don't, since that trade never happened. Some national baseball scribes reported that Nats general manager Mike Rizzo backed out of an agreement to make that swap, that he'd told White Sox GM Kenny Williams, "Get me Jackson from Arizona and you can have Dunn." Problem
There are 30 major league baseball franchises. Of those 30, 22 have won a world championship. Of the eight teams who've never won, only two - the Mariners and the Nationals - have never played in a World Series. Prior to 2010, the Rangers were also on the never-been-there list, and currently they have a shot at being the 24th franchise to actually win a
Remember the old ex-Cub factor? Several years ago, some wag figured out that teams in the World Series with an abundance of ex-Chicago Cubs on their active rosters were doomed to lose. It held water for a number of years until the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees, with a trio of former Cubbies on their roster. This year we might have an ex-Nats factor.
Not a day goes by that I don't spend a few minutes looking at baseball-reference.com. If you're into the history of the game, it's pretty addictive. One cool feature of the site are the similarity scores. It's a Bill James-created concept that assigns a numerical value to every player in history, so as to allow easy comparisons. The site has a pretty clear explanation of
If you accept the conventional wisdom that the Nationals will go into 2012 with an outfield of Michael Morse, Jayson Werth and a third flychaser to be named later, then who is your designated fourth outfielder? There are many candidates for the gig, but choosing one depends upon your criteria for the position. Shortly after taking over as skipper, Davey Johnson requested a right-handed bat
Ryan Howard's ruptured Achilles will have the Phillies looking for a short-term fix while he rehabs his injury, which could be most of the 2012 season. In response to that, I'm hearing from some Nationals' fans who think the answer may be right here in our nation's capital. I've heard from a handful of fans who are thinking that the Nats can send Adam LaRoche
Ah, Nyjer Morgan. Here we go again. That the Nationals' former center fielder should end up driving in the winning run in the Brewers' 3-2 10-inning National League Division Series-clinching win over Arizona tonight is no great shock. He hit over .300 for the season and was a key contributor to several Milwaukee victories this year. That Morgan should end up using the f-word on
A local baseball writer was musing the other day about the potential of a Terry Francona-Nationals marriage. After all, Davey Johnson is 68 and this Francona kid has won two - count 'em, two - world championships. This past September's collapse? A mere burp on his resume. While Francona is an obvious candidate for any big league managerial opening, I sincerely doubt he's on the
I read a story this week that makes me uncomfortable. Researchers at Southern Methodist University recently examined the QuesTec pitch-monitoring results for the five seasons between 2004-2008, a total of 3.5 million pitches. If you're not familiar with QuesTec, it's the in-stadium gear that's come under great criticism by the umpire's union. The QuesTec device essentially provides a cross-checking system within the strike zone; it