What's Going On...?
Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's Nationals Journal post entitled, "Nationals have not contacted Selig", seems to be a direct response to Baseball Prospectus' writer John Perrotto's blog entry, "Nats strongly considering change", in which Mr. Perrotto confirmed the fact (at least according to his sources) that the Washington Nationals are indeed interested in bringing in current Toronto Blue Jays' Assistant GM Tony LaCava should the "bonus skimming scandal" take down DC GM Jim Bowden. Mr Perrotto also claims that Major League Baseball's:
"Commissioner Bud Selig has given Nationals President Stan Kasten permission to hire LaCava without interviewing minority candidates because of a change of GMs being necessitated after spring training has started."
Mr. Harlan's post entitled, "Nats have not contacted Selig" went up on the Nationals Journal several hours after Mr. Perrotto published on Baseball Prospectus, and in it Mr. Harlan reports that, "The Washington Nationals, contrary to a published report, have neither requested nor been granted," an exemption from the rules regarding MLB's established hiring practices. (ed. note - "Is it me, or do they just deny having made the request for exemption from the rules, so they have talked about a change?")
A "league source" Mr. Harlan quotes tells him the Nationals "...would be expected to adhere to established guidelines" if they hired someone from outside the organization, but were they to promote from within instead, on an interim basis, the source says they could do so, "without following the guidelines," which would seem to favor perhaps promoting Assistant GM Mike Rizzo? MLB Trade Rumors.com's Tim Dierkes throws the name Daric Ladnier into the mix as well in a post entitled, "Nationals considering GM change". Ladnier, who started his career as a scout for the Braves, was brought to DC after being dismissed from his post as Kansas City's senior director of scouting, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, who writes, in his article, "Nats add Ladnier to front office mix", that DC GM Jim Bowden considered Ladnier, "one of the best scouting directors in the game." Bowden? The embattled DC GM hasn't been heard from much recently...
Game One Recap...
Nothing better than having baseball back on the radio this afternoon, except maybe if the Nationals had prevailed over the Astros, but things picked up pretty much where they left off with Washington failing to generate much offense while left-handed starter John Lannan impressed on the mound. Lannan threw 2.0 scoreless and hitless, retiring all 6 batters he faced, and Shairon Martis followed with 2.0 of his own scoreless frames, but Washington didn't put a run on the board until the 8th when Javier Valentin singled one in. The Nationals rallied for two runs late against 'Stros' reliever Danny Graves, but couldn't complete the comeback, dropping the Spring Opener to Houston by a 6-3 score.
Game Two Preview...
Collin Balester gets the start today at home in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote yesterday, in an article entitled, "Nats' opener is first test for Milledge", about DC Manager Manny Acta's plan to only use, "players such as outfielder/first baseman (1B?) Adam Dunn and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman," in home games for the near future, so this afternoon's game could be Adam Dunn's competitive debut as a Washington National...How long before Adam Dunn hits his first HR under a curly-W cap? How many AB's into his DC tenure? Predictions? Get on the record?
?'s For the DC Faithful?
Is Austin Kearns gonna make it?
Where's Elijah Dukes going to bat? Second? Sixth?
Who had the better offseason beard, Balester or Hinckley?
Who's your "longshot" to make the Nationals' roster? Luke Montz? Ian Desmond? Wily Mo Pena? (ed. note - "Sorry, I'll stop. WMP, Yeah!") Does Alberto Gonzalez have a shot? Roger Bernadina? Terrell Young...The Rule 5 pick?
Game Time 1:05 pm EST...WHO'S WATCHING THE NATIONALS?