Adam Dunn in The WBC, Bowden Trade History, and Monday's Washington Nationals' Game Thread...

Is Having Adam Dunn In The WBC A Good Thing?

Sure. Having Adam Dunn in the WBC is a good thing. Every time he's mentioned as the "Washington Nationals outfielder" Adam Dunn as New York Times' writer Tyler Kepner refers to him in his article on Saturday's U.S. win over Canada entitled, "Mets' New Set-Up Man Preserves Win For U.S." where Mr. Kepner writes about,"Adam Dunn, the Washington Nationals outfielder who homered in the sixth inning," (ed. note - "Though Mr. Kepner eschews the use of the possessive apostrophe when he says 'Washington Nationals outfielder', and uses it in the title with 'Mets' Set-Up Man', which I've still not had explained to me...?")...it's name recognition for the Nationals, who enjoy the privilege of playing in the nation's capital, and therefore being one of many tourist destinations in DC for fans from around the country and world, which accounts, in my opinion, for the fact that every time I've gone to a game there's been noticeable presence from opposing team's fans, so any and all attention drawn to the team by Dunn's playing for the US Team has got to be positive...

But if Adam Dunn takes out his fellow Nationals like he did yesterday in the game against Canada in a play at second involving DC utility man Pinch Hittin' Pete Orr, then is that still a positive result of his participation? New York Times' writer George Vescey captured the moment in his "Sports of the Times" column entitled, "Day Off Ends In Road Win For Home Team", where Mr. Vescey cites the play as an example of how seriously the players are taking the WBC competition, writing:

"The game did have its moment of country hardball. In the second inning, Adam Dunn of the United States dumped the Canadian second baseman, Pete Orr, on a force play at second."

Well, I'll give Dunn a break this time...maybe he wasn't in camp with the Nationals long enough to realize that Orr is his teammate, but for next time, Dunn-K, that's Pinch Hittin' Pete Orr, DC's utility infielder, simply holding your arms up as you slide should be enough...

The Former DC GM's Trade History Doesn't Look So Bad...

Mlbtraderumors.com contributor Brendan Bianowicz compiled a list of every trade the former Nationals' GM Jim Bowden made in his time with Cincinnati and Washington which mlbtraderumors.com's Tim Dierkes mentioned in an article entitled, "Jim Bowden - GM Trade History", recently. Anyone remember Mr. Bowden's first trade as GM of the Nationals?

...Maicer Izturis and Juan Rivera for Jose Guillen. Izturis had been acquired by Montreal, along with Ryan Church, in an '04 trade with Cleveland for reliever Scott Stewart. Rivera arrived in Montreal along with Nick Johnson and Randy Choate in a trade with the Yankees, who got Javier Vazquez in return. Jose Guillen hit .283 with 32 doubles, 24 HR's and 76 RBI's that first season, and struggled with injuries before being granted free agency after the '06 season, but who wouldn't make that trade again?

Brad Wilkerson, Armando Galarraga and Termel Sledge for Alfonso Soriano? Even with Galarraga as good as he is now, what was Texas thinking? Was that seriously the best offer the Rangers got for Soriano? Advantage: Bowden...(ed. note - "Sorry, Wilkie?")

Mike Stanton for Shairon Martis? And that was the second time Bowden traded Stanton, the other trade resulted in little help at the Major League level, but Martis could very well start for DC this season. For Stanton? C'mon...Ryan Wagner could still come through, or Austin Kearns could finally meet expectations to make that trade with Cincy a steal. I'd trade Livan Hernandez straight up for Garrett Mock any day, and Bowden got Matt Chico out of Arizona too...

...Church and Brian Schneider for Lastings Milledge. Glenn Gibson for Elijah Dukes? Gibson was (4-8) at Class-A ball last season. Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham for Emilio Bonifacio, J.P. Dean and Jake Smolinski? (ed. note - "I'm sure the Marlins will somehow come out ahead in this one too, like they always do, but for now I'm alright with the Hammer and Olsen.") So why, I ask you, were so many, so happy to see Jim Bowden go?

Eckstein Strikes Again...

First it was Nick Johnson's swing, now it's Austin Kearns' that DC Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein is tinkering with, as MLB.com's Bill Ladson describes in an article entitled, "Kearns' new stance pays dividends", where Mr. Ladson reports that Mr. Eckstein "...suggested he(Kearns) open his stance so he would no longer be vulnerable to inside pitches." (ed. note - "Mr. Eckstein can't be the first one to have suggested this...can he?") Kearns returned to the lineup Sunday, and got the start in right, with Lastings Milledge starting in center and Elijah Dukes in left. Then again, Adam Dunn's starting in right with the US entry in the WBC, so don't read anything into those positions...there are still a lot of things for DC Manager Manny Acta to sort out...What about Willingham?

MONDAY GAME THREAD...

On February 26th in a 2-1 win over Detroit it was Collin Balester starting the day after DC Ace John Lannan got the first start of Spring Training, with potential fifth starter Jordan Zimmermann following Balester's 2.0 scoreless and hitless with 2.0 scoreless and hitless of his own in which he struck out 3 to Balester's 1 and walked no one while Balester issued 1 free pass. On the next day they were scheduled to pitch,(a 6-4 win over NY) Balester and Zimmermann swapped places with Zimmermann throwing 3.0 more perfect innings and adding 3 K's to his Spring total in the start, while Balester came on second and struggled, allowing 5 hits and 4 runs on 2 HR's. 

No one's gone into print with the order they'll appear in for tonight's game against Houston or said whether Shawn Hill's injury troubles will give each pitcher his own individual start...MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, on the Astros' beat, reports in an article entitled, "Astros' spring troubles continue", that, "Fifth-starter hopeful Felipe Paulino will make his first start of the Spring," for Houston...so whichever pitcher throws for DC, all three starters will be pitching for Major League jobs. Paulino's a 25-year-old right-hander, who's got just 3 starts and 2 relief appearances with the Astros under his belt while Collin Balester's 15 starts into his MLB career and Zimmermann's yet to pitch above Double-AA...

7:05 pm EST, it's a night game in Spring. Someone update the starters when you see them in the Comments...Please? Who's Watching The Watchm...uh, the Nationals.

Let's Go Nats Go!!

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