I thought with the AFL beginning and Bryce Harper heading home that the instructional league was over, but Wang threw two shut-out innings for the Nationals in instructs. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
There was a tweet from Adam Kilgore last night in response to a question that the Nationals are certainly going to try and sign Cliff Lee. It is a good decision, and from the reports on Cliff Lee his only thought on where to play baseball is: $$$,$$$,$$$. Other Nationals beat reporters also think the Nationals should pursue Lee, but not Lilly. --Bill Ladson from mlb.com
Going back to yesterday and our fun little debate on managerial strategy the answer to this question is no, Jim Riggleman is not a good manager*. --William Yoder from the natsblog
*At the same time I think skills like bunting, sac flys, and general situational hitting are becoming the underated or underpaid skills of baseball. Just look at Daric Barton. I think about baseball a lot, I am a pretty obsessive person, and while watching the NFL the other week they mentioned a stat about league average yards per carry for a runningback. I think things like this are more obvious in the NFL, but not every team has a league average runningback so that stat becomes meaningless for them. If the league average runner averages 4.0 YPC and the team has a 3rd and 3 then running isn't always the best strategy. So, I started to wonder if every team has their own run expectency chart, because obviously the run expectency has to be different with a runner on second and no outs with Pujols, Holliday, and Rasmus batting vs. Willie Harris, Wil Nieves, and the Pitcher. In the first situation the manager should be fired if he even thinks about bunting the runner to third, but in the second it has to be done as long as it is a close game. This past season the average major leaguer had an OBP of .330 meaning that 67% of the time they made an out. Two thirds of the time something bad is going to happen with a hitter. At times it seems as if the more stat inclined are actually far more positive people than people like me that look at that 67% and are already counting the out as having happenned and are just wishing for a less bad type of out. I also purpose that less bad out become the new team for productive out, because there is no production involved in making an out except for the opposing pitcher.
I really expect some strong disagreement with some of what I just said, but disagreement and debate is what moves the world forward. If everyone agreed there would never be any reason to try and be better. Of course I would like to have a line-up of all above average hitters so that this debate would go away and the team wouldn't have to worry about advancing runners, and having to try and be creative to score runs.
I promise there are actual links after the jump.
It is a longshot at best for the Nationals to sign Lee, and with them expected to go hard after Lee I have my doubts if they will even try for Crawford at this point. Especially with his contract demands expected to be inthe hundreds of millions. I do have my doubts however on Crawford going to the Yankees or Red Sox. I think he ends up with either the Astros or Angels. --fannation.com
Around the NL East
As expected Fredi Gonzalez will be the Braves next skipper. --Tom Fornelli at fannation.com
Living in Redskins country we hear this debate a lot, but is it time for Chief Wahoo and the Tomahawk Chop to go the way of the Syracuse Orangemen (information on orangemen and why it isn't the best mascot)? --Emma Span from bronxbanter.com
There was a major league game last night and the Texas Rangers are moving on the face the Yankees in the ALCS. I would much prefer a Rangers vs. Phillies World Series than a rematch of the '09 WS. --Tim Cowlishaw from dallasnews.com
As Nationals fans we never really had this problem, but how are you watching the playoffs. As an observer or choosing teams to root for. --Craig Calcaterra from nbcsports.com
In my search for a new job I had to take an online test last night on business acumen. I was told I couldn't study for it, but that doesn't mean I didn't try. Come to find out the term pretty much means nothing, and while I was studying up on advanced business metrics I ended up having to take an essay test on customer service. What would really be nice is if I didn't have to aply for jobs at Innotech doing TPS reports, but someone would just offer me a job doing something I am passionate about. This new job sounds like a good opportunity, but I doubt I will ever get to make money using passion, but we can dream can't we?