Washington Nationals: Spring Training 2009: Ryan Zimmerman vs The Washington Nationals...Bottom Of the 9th For Negotiations Before Arbitration.

A Final Word On "Smiley"...

I don't want to hear, "I'm sorry," out of the prospect formerly known as Esmailyn Gonzalez. I'm sure there are reasons for what he did, there has to be a reason for someone to take so desperate a step as to reinvent one's identity. Even if it's pure greed or alternately desperation for the financial compensation of getting oneself signed, can anyone say any reason or excuse, at this point in time, would actually surprise you?

No, what I want to hear out of Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo, (...and we really should just call him "Smiley" for the rest of his career if he stays, cause it was a nickname that really seemed to fit, and the fact that is was a play on "Esmailyn"...These people were good!) ...What I want to hear out of "Smiley" is, "Now that you know I'm 23, how about I challenge Anderson Hernandez for the second base job?" After all, a twenty-three-year-old will fit right in on what will undoubtedly be the youngest roster in baseball...(ed. note - "I have no stats to back up that assertion, but what the heck, anything goes these days...it might be true...or maybe the Marlins are the youngest?") That's all I want to hear out of, or about, "Smiley" until he contributes at the Major League level...Let's see if he can hit over .300 in the Majors?

(But, in all fairness, Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo said pretty much what I wanted him to through his agent today, expressing the desire, as MLB.com's Bill Ladson describes in an article today entitled, "Prospect sorry for withholding identity", "...to show that Washington made the right decision in signing him."...Should the Nationals keep him?

JUST WANTED TO BE SURE TO PUT OUT THE SINGLE GAME TICKET ALERT:

Single game tickets go on sale at 9:00 am EST on Tuesday, March 3rd. (Including Opening Night and all but the Interleague Series with Bahsten or Boston...)

THE HOLDOUT...

Odalis Perez has still not reported to camp...the date for any player under contract who was hoping to play in the World Baseball Classic was February 17th...the date for any player period is February 22nd. What are you doing, Odalis? 

Are The Stars Aligning For The Flat-Brimmed Closer's Return? or Great Another Useless Player Name and # T-Shirt, Thanks, Lastings!

MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Milledge hands over no. 44 to Dunn", when combined with Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin's Nationals Journal post entitled, "Chief Throws, Nationals Watch", has me believing that there is a chance that Chad Cordero could come back to DC to pitch for the Nationals, who released their former 1st Round pick after he'd undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum and bicep in his right, (pitching), arm last season. 

Mr. Ladson's story on Lastings Milledge's decision to turn his #44 over to Dunn, who has worn the number, "...for most of his career," according to Mr. Ladson, is really of no significance, (unless, like me, you own a Milledge shirt/jersey), other than in the fact that along with Collin Balester's decision to turn his #40 over Daniel Cabrera, it shows that the Nationals' young stars have respect for their veteran teammates, and that would be it, if it weren't for the fact that Milledge didn't swap numbers with Dunn, who was originally issued the #32, Milledge decided instead to start wearing the #85, (85? Really?), which is the year of his birth...so that leaves #32 open again...and...

...Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin's article "Chief Throws, Nationals Watch", quotes Cordero's agent Larry Reynolds, who says that Washington, Detroit, Milwaukee and Texas are interested in Cordero's services, and Mr. Reynolds presents the optimistic opinion that, "We feel like there's going to be a pretty good closer coming on the [free agent] market here shortly," though Cordero's currently only throwing at "70-75" percent according to Mr.'s Sheinin and Reynolds. 

Should the Washington Nationals bring back the Flat-Brimmed Closer? Chad Cordero's #32 is right here waiting for him...

Ryan Zimmerman vs the Washington Nationals...Bottom of the 9th for Negotiations...

Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, all the way back on 2/17 in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Zimmerman, Updated", has what is the latest report on the upcoming arbitration hearing with Ryan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals unable to reach an agreement and turning to an independent arbitrator who'll choose either Zimmerman's request for $3.9 M or the DC's offer of $2.56. The 24-year-old third baseman and "Face of the Franchise" had decided earlier this week not to report to Spring Training without a contract, and according to Mr. Harlan, Zimmerman was set to fly to the site of the hearings in Arizona on Thursday if no agreement was reached beforehand. As of 10:23 pm EST Thursday night...no deal has been announced.

Mr. Harlan also quotes DC Manager Manny Acta, who says that he expects a lot from Ryan Zimmerman, "Twenty-five [home runs] or higher every year, and 100 RBI. That's what I can see. And a few gold gloves in the future. That's what we see... year in and year out." Mr. Acta apparently sees Elijah Dukes as the same type of offensive threat, as he tells an uncredited Washington Times' writer, in an article entitled, "A multifaceted battle":

"There's no doubt that if he stays out there every day, he has the ability to be an over 25-[home run], 100-RBI guy with a high on-base percentage, too," manager Manny Acta said. "It's a matter of him staying out there and being able to hold on to that job and have enough at-bats to help us out."

...And the earliest review of Dukes so far this Spring? From the same Washington Times' article, "...after two days of workouts he has already flashed glimpses of his natural talent, enough that it seems like he could be Washington's starting right fielder on Opening Day."

?'s For the DC Faithful...

Milledge signed tonight, Bergmann signed, Willingham agreed on a deal...Will Ryan Zimmerman get inked before they sit at the table?

Does "Smiley" have a future in the Nationals' organization?

Should Washington bring back Chad Cordero?

Can Elijah Dukes win himself a starting spot in the '09 outfield? 

Are the Racing Presidents Two-Timing the Nationals With Ovie and the Caps?  

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