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I'm going to turn off anonymous commenting.

My apologies in advance to the legion of Anonymous Heroes out there. As legions go, you are rather small, but the amount of spamtastic anonymous comments I've received hasn't been. I hope you understand. You are free, of course, to register an account with Federal Baseball.

My apologies are also issued to all of those who like to search for dirty-movie actresses or inarticulable symbols. Henceforth, you shall have to search for such things at other sites. I'd feel bad about this development, except I didn't ask for the dirty-movie actresses or inarticulable symbols in the first place.

Now, if only the spam were as easy to dispose as the Washington Nationals, who got swept right out off the face of the earth this weekend, allowing double-figures in each game but one---in which they allowed nine.

But it isn't. I recently linked to an old post of mine (in which I advocated for a new and updated Frank Robinson biography) and for the life of me couldn't recall nineteen comments in the accompanying thread. You'll never guess what ten of those comments were. Go ahead---guess.

On second thought, don't.

* * * *

Robothalian Dispatches

From the indefatiguable Ken Rosenthal:

  • Alfonso Soriano "would be wise to expand his horizons as a free agent" from an apparently reported preference to return to second base and to remain a leadoff hitter. Rosenthal predicts most teams would want a middle-of-the-order run producer for Soriano's "desired $15 million per season," rather than a leadoff man. Additionally, Rosenthal recognizes that the free agent market at the keystone is rather thin---"Ray Durham, Mark Loretta, Ron Belliard, etc."---and notes that "[s]everal high-revenue clubs . . . have openings at second," yet nevertheless believes that Soriano is most marketable as a leftfielder and cleanup hitter. We'll see.

    Rosenthal, a former Baltimore columnist, also reports that the Orioles will pump up their 2007 payroll (in part by taking dead weight off the books) and, well . . .

    The Orioles' needs include a quality starting pitcher, a slugger to play left field or first base and enough relievers to reconstruct the bullpen in front of closer Chris Ray.

    Soriano would be a wrecking ball at Camden Yards, but the Orioles likely would need to overpay to get him. Their better course might be to pursue trades for expensive players under contract.

    I'd consider it a serious, serious longshot for Soriano to go to Baltimore, but it sure would be interesting to see how that would be received among Nats' fans.

  • Doing what national columnists do best, Rosenthal tosses out the old They Should Do This!!!111!!! nugget, strenously advocating that the Pittsburgh Pirates should trade for Nick Johnson. Why the Pirates? No clue. (Rosenthal says it's because Pittsburgh's been decent since the all-star break and needs a lefty-hitting first baseman to protect Jason Bay.) Why would the Nats trade Johnson? No clue. (As Rosenthal himself acknowledges, Johnson is locked up for three more seasons at a bargain price.)

    But Rosenthal proposes a trade anyway---or at least throws some names (pitchers' names) out there:

    The Pirates, however, can tempt the pitching-thin Nats with their impressive stable of left-handed pitchers - starters Zach Duke, Paul Maholm and Tom Gorzelanny and relievers John Grabow, Damaso Marte and closer Mike Gonzalez.

    I really have no idea why the Pirates would want to trade Duke, Maholm, and Gorzelanny---guys touted as significant parts of the team's future just months ago. And if the Nats trade Johnson for a package of relievers, I'll just about puke.

    Admittedly, Johnson's having a tough year defensively; this is surprising and disappointing to all involved. But that's no reason to trade him for anything less than he's worth, and that includes consideration of his contract. (The team certainly needs starting pitching, and maybe someone like Duke would be worthwhile, but I don't have an opinion on the subject, primarily because Rosenthal's suggested rumor is so random.) And here's a preemptive "no" on Larry Broadway being a "first baseman on the future" or somesuch.