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Washington Nationals In The News...

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Always The Bad With The Good...

I know I have all kinds of fun with the New York Yankees and Mets, so it makes me a hypocrite to say this, but in the words of the great American poet Walt Whitman, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself", because I just can't understand why writers nationwide get so much joy out of bashing the Washington Nationals? Even when they're praising the DC franchise, it's usually backhanded praise...

For example... writer Keith Law, who, (in the final installment of a recent series of articles which started with his 2009 Organizational Reports, then his Top 100 Prospects, his Top Prospects by Organization rankings, and now a final list which focuses on one player from each organization who might make their way onto Mr. Law's top prospect list next year, in a post entitled, "Potential top 100 candidates for 2010"), recognizes, in Washington's case, Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez.

But, the Nationals' 19-year-old shortstop, as Mr. Law describes it:

"...has had a tumultuous pro career, from a $1.4 million signing bonus considered exorbitant at the time to visa problems that kept him out of the U.S. until the second week of March last year. He's a switch-hitting shortstop with good bat control and plus defense, but his great numbers in 2008 were partly the product of repeating the league."

And then there's writer Ken Rosenthal, who calls the Washington Nationals, "A low-rent version of the Yankees," in a new post entitled, "Market for Perez remains hard to figure", where Mr. Rosenthal writes that the former Pirates' and Mets' left-handed veteran starter Oliver Perez, "...could make sense," for the Nationals, who already have lefties John Lannan and Scott Olsen and, "...believe they are on the verge of developing a wave of young pitchers." 

The Positive News...

Nationals' Assistant GM Mike Rizzo has the most interesting quote in Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's post entitled, "The Season Ticket Holder Luncheon (And A Dukes Update)", (in my opinion), where Mr. Rizzo tells Mr. Harlan that Jordan Zimmermann, "...could be, 'major league-ready as soon as this spring training", which others in the organization have mentioned, but, Mr. Harlan continues, the DC Asst. GM Mr. Rizzo, "...also hinted that Ross Detwiler, the '07 first-round pick, could get a look later in the season."

Dominican Winter League Championship Series...

After the Gigantes del Cibao forfeited yesterday's Game Three of the Dominican Winter League's Championship Series to the Tigres del Licey when they refused to take the field in protest of one of their players' suspensions, the Gigantes were robbed of a comeback opportunity tonight in Game Four of the Series, when the game was called because of rain with the Tigres leading 2-1 in the seventh inning. 

The early ending to the game leaves Washington and Licey infielder Anderson Hernandez with the winning run, which he knocks in in the third to give the Tigres the 2-1 lead. Hernandez finishes the game 2 for 3 with 1 RBI, his 11th of the postseason, in which he's hit .349 thus far. Jesus Flores knocked in the Tigres' first run, ending the game 1 for 3. Ronnie Belliard started at third and was 1 for 3. 

Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday.