WASHINGTON - JUNE 23: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches to Brian Bannister #19 of the Kansas City Royals at Nationals Park on June 23, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Last night at the ballpark was the zIMS foundation gathering. I am not going to provide a link to a write up on it as the best one I found was on this very site. To read about that just scroll on down and see what Patrick had to say.
I have to say that I enjoyed my off day yesterday. Let's face it as fans this can be pretty tiring. I am on pace for 60 games attended this year. This would be my career high in games, but the difference from my previous career high was that included a lot of minor league games. This season I have seen the Nationals in Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Baltimore and I still have trips to Philly and Pittsburgh upcoming, and when I don't travel to watch the Nats play I head up the road to watch the Orioles play whoever. The links are coming I promise and I have a lot of good stuff today despite yesterday being an off day for the Nationals. I just want to say that for whatever reason this season has felt different and has just been a lot of fun.
A quick note on how I feel about shoulder inflamation. They never really said what was inflamed in Strasburg's shoulder. If it was the muscle then it isn't as much of a worry than if it were a tendon or something else. My shoulder muscle is a bit inflamed right now and to cure it I just need to get some heat in the muscle to get the blood flowing and to carry the dead tissue away, and get some clean blood in there. Muscle inflamation is natural and is a cause of the stress put on a muscle from using it. That soreness you feel after a workout is basically inflamation.
As well as a return tonight we are getting an unveilling as the Nationals pay homage to three lines of history with their brand new Ring of Honor. --Ian Koski at natsdailynews.com
If the Nationals can't get Adrian Gonzalez or Albert Pujols then they should keep Adam Dunn. --Bill Ladson from nationals.com
More thoughts and links after the jump
I just don't know that many first basemen that can hit and play defense. Certainly Dunn is in the same class as Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard, or do we want an aging Derrek Lee or Lance Berkman because of some precieved notion of great defensiveness. If decline is a worry with Dunn then why get players already into decline over a guy in hand that might be entering decline in the third year of a contract. I don't even want to think of what this offense would look like with Kasey Kotchman at first.
Some more Potomac Nationals are named Batters of the Week. --Ben Goessling at masnsports.com
Nationals Farm Authority has always been one of my favorite blogs in the natosphere and yesterday they took an in depth look at how High Schoolers have faired in the Nationals farm system and it isn't pretty. How have the Nats done with High School picks? --Brian Oliver from natsfarm.com
Strasburg's return one of the top five things to watch. Actually it is number one so it should be known as The Return. --Stan McNeal from The Sporting News (They can remove the the all they want but it doesn't mean I have to.)
Wilson Ramos among best prospects to be recently traded. This is at least some good news for the Nationals farm system. With Espinosa and Ramos both now at AAA this is the first time I think we have had legitimate position players this close to the majors. Much better than Larry Broadway and Kory Casto. --Tim Dierkes over at mlbtraderumors.com
And lastly in the Nats section of this post we get to be thankful for no Johnson. Josh Johnson has quietly had one of the better seasons for a pitcher this year. He hasn't had the win total of Ubaldo Jimenez and he doesn't pitch on a contending team like Adam Wainwright, but his season has been equal to if not better than those two. Looking at the Marlins pitching and their hitting it is kind of a mystery to me why they aren't playing better. Maybe firing a good manager is a bad thing to do. --Mike Henderson at nationalsdailynews.com
Around the NL East
Speaking of the recently released Marlins manager he is the answer to the question of who will replace Bobby Cox? --Jim Bowden at foxsports.com
Raul Ibanez is getting older so every dip in performance is scrutinized just a little bit closer, but I don't think it would be news to anyone that Players Slump!? This is a pretty good read and does look at some of the odd timing for peaks and valleys in Ibanez's time with the Phillies. All players have slumps and hot streaks and you can bet if Adam Dunn gets a big time contract his slumps will be met with far more scrutiney than they are right now. -- Joe Pawlikowski from fangraphs.com
General Baseball News
I am sure everyone heard the biggest news from yesterday. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was fired. This year has been a bit of a blood letting for managers. I remember before the season began the Mariners were the media darling and a lot of people's darkhorse pick for the AL West, but sometimes people believe what they do because the want it to be true. --Joe Posnanski at si.com
And people think Rob Dibble shows too much excitement. I know there are people out there that don't like the Dibble's and Santo's of the world, but just listen to this bit of excitement and crazy over the top play calling. -- Barry Petchesky from deadspin.com
Enjoy your baseball links, and hopefully everyone can make it tonight and enjoy The Return as well as the debut of the Ring of Honor. It should be a fun night out at the ballpark.