Washington Nationals: Cristian Guzman Going...Nowhere? Pt. 2.

All winter Nationals fans read about someone MLB.com's Bill Ladson once described, in an article entitled, "Desmond ready to take over at shortstop", as a, "...front-office person (who) believes [Ian] Desmond needs a half season in the Minors before making another appearance at Nationals Park." This past Monday, Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell might have shed some light on the identity of at least one (if not "thee" one) member of the Nats' front office who believes, as Mr. Boswell writes, that if, "...Riggleman picks [Cristian]Guzmán," as the Nationals' everyday SS, "then...Desmond should play every day in the minors." The DC GM Mike Rizzo.

• Rest of the story and afternoon LINKS after the JUMP...

Mr. Boswell writes that the DC GM, "...has told Manager Jim Riggleman to pick his starting shortstop," because, "That's a skipper's call," BUT, "...Rizzo's strong preference is that Desmond play every day somewhere." (ed. note - "If that last line only read, 'Rizzo strong preferences is that Desmond play shortstop ever day somewhere,' I'd be much more comfortable considering Mr. Riggleman's "utility role" talk for the 24-year-old Desmond, especially after the Nationals just released the player who was supposed to start the season in right field.")

As for the rumors, which 1050 ESPN Radio's Rich Coutino tweeted Tuesday, about the New York Mets looking at Guzman as a possibility should shortstop Jose Reyes not be ready for the start of the season, MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote yesterday, in an article entitled, "Mets not interested in Nats' Guzman", that, "While the Nats may be looking to trade shortstop Cristian Guzman...don't look for the Mets to acquire his services." So the Mets aren...wait? The Nats may be looking to trade Guzman? (ed. note - "No one will take the $8M.")

• Afternoon LINKS and LINKS and...

Dukes Talk: 

• Who's the new right fielder? - NATS INSIDER - Mark Zuckerman

"So the Nationals are entering treacherous waters here, hoping to make do with a revolving door of Willie Harris, Justin Maxwell and Mike Morse (and perhaps Roger Bernadina, though his name didn't come up much yesterday among team officials)."

• Capitol Punishment: It Is Enough--A Washington Nationals Blog - Chris Needham

"Elijah Dukes, no matter his potential, is not a great player.  Last year, he wasn't even a good one.  He was, frankly, terrible.  His non-existent WAR didn't even reflect the horrific nature of his craptastic base-running."

• FJB: Focus on the Process

"In times like this, when the Nationals do something that I disagree with (and I disagree with releasing Elijah Dukes--at minimum I would have sent him down to the minors if you must, but don't just cut him), I try to focus on the process rather than the outcome."e with releasing Elijah Dukes--at minimum I would have sent him down to the minors if you must, but don't just cut him), I try to focus on the process rather than the outcome."

• Ask Boswell: Nats Spring Training, Stephen Strasburg, Caps and more - washingtonpost.com

"None of the other Nats ever say that they don't like Dukes. But several have said that others find him a distracting personality. At times, he does seem to "tick." That's the curse of having earned a bad reputation. Even as you try to change, people still see you through the prism of your past. Maybe it's not fair, but it's certainly how things work."

• NATIONALS NEWS NETWORK: Dave Nichols, "Nats Lose to Astros 11-2, Fall to 2-12 in Games That Don't Matter"

(ed. note - Apparently there was a Nationals game yesterday, while I seethed over Dukes, Dave stayed focused.")

• Odd Marketing Practices: (ed. note - "All I'll say about these next two links, is that a personal friend had a similarly odd encounter with a Nats' ticket salesperson yesterday...so...who knows what they're thinking.")

• Twitter / 'Duk (Yahoo!Sports.com Big League Stew) : Nationals googling potential ticket buyers.

Nationals googling potential ticket buyers to craft personalized sales pitches?  

• Econ Tricks: The Washington Nationals Are Spying on Me - Greg Finley

"I just got a targeted phone pitch from the Washington Nationals season ticket office. So targeted, in fact, that it reminded me of the recent Onion headline "Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology."

STRASBURG FILES: 

• Nationals Journal - Why the timing of Strasburg's MLB debut is so important - Dave Sheinin.

"The only question that really matters with the Nationals right now (and the one I've heard everywhere I've been this spring) is this: When will Stephen Strasburg be in the majors? I'm not going to be able to answer that..."

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