Showing posts with label Washington Nationals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington Nationals. Show all posts

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Was Nyjer Morgan really wrong for stealing two bases after being hit?

In an act of retaliation for Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan separating the shoulder of Florida Marlins catcher Brett Hayes on Tuesday and then stealing two bases while down eleven runs last night, pitcher Chris Volstad threw behind Morgan which ignited a brawl that almost saw Morgan get his head taken off by Gaby Sanchez.

During the commentary, the announcers remarked that Morgan was wrong for stealing two bases while his team was down 11 runs in the 4th inning. I disagree with the commentators in this case. If Morgan can himself into scoring position after being purposely hit by the opposing pitcher, why not do it? There was plenty of baseball to be played in that game and if he could help creep the Nationals towards closing the gap by getting into scoring position, then he should do it. Morgan later scored on a sacrifice fly. The game ended with the Marlins winning 16-10, but how many of us have seen games that appeared to be a blowout and were decided by one run?

Leave a comment if you think Morgan was right or wrong for stealing those two bases after getting hit.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Branch Rickey On Signing Bonuses

With the news of Stephen Strasburg's recent record setting 15.1 million dollar guaranteed contract, I want to refer to a passage from "Branch Rickey's Little Blue Book" on signing bonuses from over 50 years prior. Similar sentiments are felt today by the fans and many players who had to work their way up through the minor leagues to secure a Major League contract. In this passage, Branch Rickey was discussing the merits of eliminating the, "High School Rule," which prohibited teams from even discussing a professional career with a player who had high school eligibility remaining.

"Now there is another good reason to be rid of the High School Rule as written or proposed: It promotes the "bonus," and that is the greatest menace to the continued solvency of a great many major-league teams. Some teams are spending as much as a half-million dollars yearly in signing new, young, untried players about whose ability nothing positive is known. The bonus inherently affects the player in a number of negative ways. The player's morale is upset. He is often ruined by the sudden possession of large amounts of money. His ambition is stultified. And his self-sufficiency is pronounced (even his habits in the direction of the "good life" are affected).
The club is likewise affected, because it is just too bad to have 25-year-old, tried and true players view with amazement the presence of one or even a half-dozen bonus players who get more money to sign a contract as an 18-year-old than most of them can ever hope to save in a lifetime of playing.
The financial structure of the game is jeopardized. Most clubs cannot possibly pay between $300,000 and $700,000 a year for new, unknown material of tender age and be assured of staying solvent." Branch Rickey's Little Blue Book, p.55

While the figures have grown significantly, Rickey poses multiple observations of the effects of a large signing bonus: complacency, loss of focus, animosity between veterans and rookies, and giant financial risks for the Major League teams. Let's hope that Strasburg becomes a front-line starter for many years to come, or else the Washington Nationals checks might be sporting a new logo, Spalding.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Washington Nationals GM Bowden Resigns

After firing special assistant Jose Rijo three days ago in his connection with the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal, reports that Jim Bowden has resigned as General Manager of the Washington Nationals. While claiming his innocence regarding the dealings with foreign prospects, Bowden felt that he has become a "distraction", and his "ability to properly represent the Washington Nationals has been compromised because of false allegations contained in the press."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nationals Prospect Lied About His Age

Washington Nationals officials acknowledged Wednesday that top prospect Esmailyn Gonzalez was actually Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo, a 23-year-old who was four years older than the team believed. The Nationals in 2006 gave Alvarez a team-record $1.4 million signing bonus, believing him to be 16 at the time.
This is not a recent problem, as prominent Major League players have admitted lying about their age, including Rafael Furcal, Miguel Tejada and Adrian Beltre. This goes back even farther during World War II when returning rookies and Negro Leaguers would take a year or two off of their age to look more palatable to doubting owners. As the opportunity for a large signing bonus looms heavily over the heads of young talent, shaving a few years off of one's "real" age can mean the difference between prospect and suspect. In poor countries such as the Dominican Republic, the spoils of a large signing bonus can allow an entire family to move out of a multi-generational cycle of impoverished living.
In the case of Alvarez, the Nationals did three prior investigations into his background before discovering the fraud. Nationals president Stan Kasten said Wednesday, "The protocols are the baseball protocols. I think 90 percent of the time they're very effective. We've turned kids in that baseball has kicked out for fraudulent IDs. That's usually how it works, and it didn't work in this case, and that's a shame."
As the investigation continues, we will find out what the Nationals will do with Alvarez in regards to his signing bonus and standing in the organization.