Sometimes it feels as if certain sayings in baseball have existed for all time. One of those is about pitching, defense, and timely hitting. The Nationals are trying to build towards the first two and the hitting will just seem more timely when it comes in a low scoring game. --Mark Zuckerman (didn't invent Facebook) from natsinsider.com
Bryce Harper heads home, others to the AFL which begins today, and Cole, Solis and others impress in instructs. --Adam Kilgore at washingtonpost.com
At this point it is not likely that Harper will play in the AFL, and it might be a good thing as he didn't look ready for the next jump in Viera. --William Yoder from thenatsblog.com
I think when discussing trades this off-season people are undervaluing some of our minor leaguers. The biggest name in the Cliff Lee trade to the Mariners was Philip Amount who was a disapointment at that point. The best player traded to the Blue Jays for Halladay was Kyle Drabek who looks to be the real deal, and maybe the diference is that they are pitchers, but I don't think the Nationals would have to give up Espinosa, Ramos, or Desmond to get something back in a trade. Remember we are talking about Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee here. Matt Kemp is very far from them, and while Grienke is an Ace he is coming off a down year and reports indicate that the Royals are looking to sell low. The deal to look at for the precedent for a Grienke trade might be the Santana trade. And of course the column that made me think all this. A first impression of what some of the Nationals off-season moves might look like. --Harper from natsbaseball.com
We keep hearing about Adam Dunn's defense. Like I said before when judging a first baseman defense is about as important as healthy when assessing your morning donut options. --Mike Henderson from natsdailynews.com
Of course if the Nationals let Adam Dunn walk then they are going to have to replace him. By now we should be able to name the free agents off the top of our heads, but who could the Nationals get via trade. --William Yoder at thenatsblog.com
More on the Nationals and baseball after the jump.
Metro Bank Park named best renovation of the year. It was really nice when I was up there, and that picture in the article just makes me want to go back*. --ballparkdigest.com
*I am already suffering withdrawl from baseball, and at the Caps game last night I realized I am a Capitals fan not really a hockey fan. The implications of this is that when people critize players on the Caps I don't know if it is real or like the criticism of Dunn's defense.
Dunn might end up being only a Type B free agent, but in 2011 Willingham could be a Type A. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
Around the NL East
Frank Robinson thinks that umpires are getting unfairly critized. I wonder if Frank thought that when Jim Wolf made a couple bad calls and then had an eight hour stare down with Frank. --Ken Rosenthal at foxsports.com
Pro-athletes and successful people in general might lie to themselves more than other people. I think this is true because I had a depressing thought the other day, I am just smart enough to know I am not smart enough to ever do something I truly love. What I meant by that is the chance of failure at living your dream is always greater than success and in order to take that risk you have to be a little stupid. Pro-athletes get to be pro-athletes by ignoring probability their entire lives. --William Yoder at thenatsblog.com
Speaking of probability and playing the odds. The Simpsons had an interesting take on the modern state of baseball. --Joe Posnanski at si.com
Good stories are when the Rebels Alliance with their backs against the wall are able to take a one and a million shot and defeat the Galactic Empire. To me the numbers in baseball exist for players to spit at. Rick Ankiel's homer was a statisical anomaly, but it still happenned, and if the Braves had won the series it would have been a good story. Instead the Giants won and will now play the Phillies who have statistically already won the 2010-12 World Series. I have said many times in many of my super nerd moments that my perfect manager would be Han Solo or Capt. Kirk, guys that simply don't care about the odds.
Again lots of rambling thoughts before even getting to the column. --Will Carroll from presscoverage.us
Stats being proven true don't make for interesting stories, and the stat community is still looking for its voice. This might be the most arrogant thing I have ever said, but someone like me might be able to be that voice. I can see and understand both sides of the argument, but my personal views lie somewhere in the middle, actually scratch that, I am the worst person. I would simply anger everyone and ultimately be ignored.
I am really hoping the Rays win tonight. I did say that when everyone said they were finished after game one that they had suddenly become the most likely team to win the World Series, just ignore the fact that I took it all back the very next day, but now they are on the verge of advancing and just need a dominating performance from David Price, and to beat Cliff Lee. Not that hard if you really think about it. Whatever team wins tonight I want them to beat the Yankees and then the Phillies, but let's face facts if the Phillies lose a single game at this point it has to be considered an upset.