Saturday, March 22, 2008

Attack of the Nats Currently On Hold

Thank you for your cooperation. We will get back on the job ASAP.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Nats Sign Lefty Maekawa

The Nationals today signed Japanese lefthander Katsuhiko Maekawa to a minor league deal. He was banned from the Japanese leagues and didn't play a single game in '07 because he was accused of involvement in a hit-and-run accident. Another troubled guy. Joy. Oh, and by the way, he had a 5.26 ERA in JAPAN in '06. Remember how good Dice-K was in Japan? And how much worse he is here? Well, tack that inflation on to Maekawa. Wow. I'm thinking an ERA in the mid-nines.

The Padres claimed pitcher Enrique Gonzalez off waivers from the Nats. He never appeared in a game for them and was atrocious for the Diamondback a few years back. Good riddance. However, some commenters on Svrluga's blog were quite unhappy about this one (same link as above.)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Rauch Avoids Arb.

The Nats and Jon Rauch agreed to a two-year deal worth $3.2 million today. There is also a club option for 2010 in there. I think this is a very good deal. Rauch has proved for the last two years that he is a reliable pitcher in the late innings of a ballgame. He will receive $1 million this year and $2.2 mil in '09. The option is worth $2.9 million, and must be exercised within five days of the end of the 2008 World Series. So we'll know pretty soon just how long the deal will be. He led the Nats last year with eight victories. Wow. Nice job by the Nats and Rauch to avoid going to arbitration. This was Rauch's first year that he was eligible for arb, so assuming the option is exercised, the deal won't buy out any Free Agency.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lo Duca Has Surgery--Nats Sign Johnny Estrada

These bits of news probably have a connection. Paul Lo Duca underwent knee surgery yesterday because of a torn meniscus. He is said to only be missing 4-6 weeks of action, which would mean he would be ready for Opening Day anyway. We mall know what happened to Nick Johnson. Here comes Johnny Estrada. Estrada is a switch-hitter, and the Nats currently have a serious lefty deficit. He's had a couple of good seasons over the years with Atlanta and Arizona. Last year he played for Milwaukee, and only threw out 11 out of 84 base steelers. The Brewers basically threw him away at the end of the season, trading him to the Mets for infamous reliever Guillermo Mota. After acquiring Brian Schneider from the Nats in the Milledge deal, the Mets non-tendered Estrada, making him a free agent. The deal is reportedly worth $1.25 million, which pretty much seems like back-up money to me. Unless the Nationals don't think Blowduca will turn out or if the injury is worse than we think. This means that Jesus Flores will be a regular in the minors in '08. He definitely needs some quality time for developing into a #1 MLB catcher. I've always appreciated the work of Estrada, so who knows how he'll turn out. At least this can pretty much be a guarantee that we won't be seeing Chad Moeller as our backup catcher anytime soon. Whew! And, to tell you the truth, I really wish Drug Boy/ Blowduca/ Pusher/ Deciple-on-Roids/ Dealer stays injured for a long, long time. $5 million down the drain. Capitol Punishment has a hilarious Lo Duca piece here. Tim Dierkes of made a nice point about Jim Bowden stocking up the roster with veterans. Any thoughts?

You probably already know this, but Johan Santana was traded today to the Mets for four prospects--Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber (loser), Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey. That pretty much sums up the top of the NL East for at least 2008. They now have a 72-hour window to sign Johan to the appropriate contract extension in order to make this baby final. The Yankees and Red Sox certainly had better packages on the table back around the Winter Meetings. I think the Twins pretty much blew it. Phil Humber???

Random question: Whatever happened to Tomo Ohka? I was always a big fan before the Frank Robinson thing. The answer: He was released by the Blue Jays early last season after going 2-5 with a 5.79 ERA in 10 starts. He's since been in the minors for a few different organizations. He's now a Minor League Free Agent, and doesn't even crack's top free agent list. I mean, Micah Bowie was on that list. Jason Simontacchi still is. That's how highly they think of him. I'd bring him back on a minor league deal to compete for a rotation spot. I always find it fun to look at the stats of old (circa 2005) Nats players. You should give it a shot.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Redding and Bacsik Predict Final 2008 Record

Actual news: Tim Redding and Mike Bacsik were at Gifford's Ice Cream downtown today. I asked what each of their predicted final team records were for this year. Redding proclaimed, "That would involve math," and then proceeded to predict an 86-76 finish. Bacsik predicted 162-0. Pretty lofty guess. Maybe the reason Bacsik predicted all wins is because he thinks he won't even make the team. After all, if there was any doubt, it certainly couldn't happen with him on the team. Spring Training invitee, that's all I can say. Very nice guy, though. I came this close to asking Redding to grow back that horrendous goatee he had in Spring Training last year, but was able to hold myself back from asking so. Didn't get around to the Bonds topic for Bacsik either. Redding will appear at the Washington Auto Show this weekend to sign autographs and talk to fans.

Svrluga Set to Drop Nats Job

Long-time Nats Washington Post beat writer and Nationals Journal author Barry Svrluga announced yesterday on his blog that he will move over to the Redskins sometime this summer. Very sad news indeed. You should check out some of the comments on his blog posting--very emotional and a good read. We have always been huge Svrluga supporters here at Attack of the Nats--his book, National Pastime, about the team and the '05 season, is definitely worth while. From all of his jokes on the blog, great writing style, and commitment, he will surely be missed. A new Nats beat writer is expected to be hired at the Post sometime soon, and Svrluga will teach whoever it is the ropes when they get there, so he'll still be writing Nats for a while. Don't worry, the Journal will be handed over to the next writer.
On the baseball front, there are some tidbits I found regarding Ryan Zimmerman. This Rob Neyer piece on rates him as the fourth best third basemen of the next five years, right behind A-Rod. Pretty high honor. Here, Baseball Prospectus predicts a breakout year in '08 for Zim. Thanks to Capitol Punishment for the link.
Also, check out this Post feature on Nick Johnson. Any thoughts about how to resolve the Johnson/Young first base problem?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lieber and Jennings Off the Table

Jon Lieber signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs yesterday, and the Rangers inked fellow righty Jason Jennings to a one-year contract worth $4 million. This means that they are off the table for the Nats to sign as their loser-injured-bad-leader-of-pitching-staff-starter-guy.
You know what I think of Jennings-no big loss. As for Lieber, he's 37 and has been bad and injured recently (just like the others), but he has a couple good seasons under his belt, and he's always been a likable player. Basically, we're down to Bartolo Colon and Kris Benson. Bartolo had pretty much the same story as Lieber, except for the fact that Colon has been more injured and worse the past couple years. Benson is more like Jennings--quite bad even when healthy, and not healthy at the moment. However, as I noted back on December 18, the Nationals, along with a bunch of other teams went to watch him throw and were quite impressed. There have been a few different reports recently about Colon--some saying he was close with the Royals, some saying with the White Sox, some saying with the Mets. There was one report that said he wasn't even hitting 90 mph on the radar gun in Winter League games in his native Dominican Republic. Bill Ladson,'s "beat writer," said on December 4 that Colon was looking for at least a two-year deal. Seems a bit ridiculous to me. I'd give him a shot for, say, one year and $2 mil. After all, he did win the AL Cy Young Award in 2005 after going 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA with the Angels.
After these two gems, there's basically not much out there. There's Livan Hernandez, but he's probably going to be too expensive, and anyway isn't even that good. At least his arm isn't in danger of falling off any time soon. Then there's Freddy Garcia, whom I've always been a fan of--but won't be back from an injury until midseason. I'm pretty sure that's aftermath of the Phillie Phanatic go-cart incident. Rodrigo Lopez is just abysmal, and I'd really prefer life without a Tony Armas Jr. return. Thankfully, I'm pretty sure Nats front office officials feel the same way.
By the way, what do you all think the Nats' final record will be like this year? With the predictions from last year so far off, who knows? Opening Day rotation predictions? I'll be listening.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nats Sign Chief to $6.2 Mil Deal

The Nats re-upped Chad Cordero to a one-year, $6.2 million deal in order to avoid arbitration. Although I like him a lot, it seems a bit pricey for a closer whose ERA has gone up in each of the past two years and who has more blown saves than any other closer since the Nats came to town. However, his ERA was certainly inflated this year because of his dying grandma in April and early May. Plus he also has the second-most saves over his time with the Nats in all of baseball (next to the one and only Trevor Hoffman of the Padres.) We'll see how this one works out.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Only 34 More Days!

Only 34 more days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Viera, Florida, on Feb. 15. The Nats currently have 72 players slated to be there--surprisingly not many less than last year. It feels quite different, though, because last year anyone had a chance to make the team, and this year we have a little bit better of an idea heading into camp. There's almost no chance some guy like Dennis Tankersley will make the team this year, whereas if he were there a year ago you never know. If you get a chance, check out's "Around the Horn" series, inspecting each team by position. There's about one a week up until ST begins. Here's the lastest one--corner infielders--for the Nats.

Everyone, please tell your friends to comment on this site if you can. We're trying to build up some healthy discussions. This should get easier after the season gets under way.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Luis Ayala--Friends with VP Cheney?

Luis Ayala was shot in the left arm during a hunting trip in Mexico last week. It's not very serious, and, being a righty, he should be ready for Spring Training anyway. Barry Svrluga had the same idea that I did: How long have Ayala and Vice President Dick Cheney been friends? Nothing much else going on at this point.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Clement Out of the Mix

According to, Matt Clement was signed by the Cardinals and is now out of the mix for the Nats' loser pitching spot. Barry Svrluga groups the rest of the FA starters nicely. My vote is for Bartolo Colon, but I heard a rumor that he's about to sign with the Royals. I still think a Livo return really wouldn't be that bad. No matter what happens, he'll pitch around 240 innings every year. That would help rest the bullpen so that Acta won't have to tire out all of his young starters.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Just wishing you a happy new year. Not that much baseball going on at the moment, as you might have guessed. Here's a link to's Bill Ladson's new year's article on the changes to the team.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Contract Clarification Not "Prior" to Last Post

Just saw this article up on ESPN with Prior's salary. MLB didn't have the info up yet. They're always slow, naturally, because they're only the guy's employer. Makes sense. Anyway, it looks like it's a $1 million base salary with a ton of incentives. He didn't want two years or an option, which were both offered to him by various teams, because he wants to prove himself this year and cash in as a 2008 free agent. Maybe if he's bad this year, and not worth much, we can sign him next year! Or maybe, if we're contenders, we could sign him even if he ends up being good for SD. That's called futuristic thinking.

Prior to Padres

We've lost out on one of our targeted starters-who-have-serious-injury-problems. Mark Prior, the former Chicago Cubs phenom, was signed by San Diego today. I'm wondering how much the Pads paid for him. After all, at the very best he'll be ready to pitch in mid-May. As far as I know, he hasn't even thrown off a mound since 2006. Eek! This pretty much narrows the field to Kris Benson, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, Freddy Garcia, and if we're really lucky, Bartolo Colon.

Side note/mini-rant: On, they have a section on their Hot Stove Report screen listing the four "Top Free Agents." I find their choices of the top guys to be extremely disappointing. Mike Piazza? He's about 88 years old and will probably retire this year due to injuries. Why isn't Shannon Stewart, who hit .290 last year for the A's, on that list?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jimenez and Fick are Picked Up---Glad to Get Rid of 'Em

As the headline suggests- Robert Fick and D'Angelo "E6" Jimenez were picked up by the Padres and Cardinals, respectively, within the last two days. If you read Barry Svrluga's blog on, you will know the origin of Jimenez's nickname. If not, here we go. Svrluga started calling him this in Spring Training this past year, because he was getting so used to writing "E6" into scorebooks when Jimenez was playing. When you're scoring, E stands for an error and 6 is the symbol for a shortstop. You can figure out the rest. Anyway, the name stuck. I don't really see why the Cardinals would want E6. He's really bad and they already have a bad starting shortstop, Cesar Izturis. Jimenez's not a backup really because he can't field (hence the name.) Fick played for the Padres in 2005 before he went to the Nats. He bad, but he is a backup catcher/first baseman after all. He's usable, and had a torrid September with more playing time because of Dmitri Young's injury. Also, Mark Prior seems to be a hot commodity. Generally, the Nats can't afford hot commodities, and especially shouldn't overpay for them when they have one win in the last two seasons combined.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sorry About the Link Error

Our apologies for the link error on the post from 4:17 this afternoon. It didn't actually go to the right page on Here's the correct link for the schedule.

There's Interest in Kris Benson

The Nats are interested in Kris Benson. In my opinion, he's terrible even when he's as healthy as can be. if you want someone injured, at least go with someone who has a little bit of past. Anyway, I don't much like this injured starter shopping thing. I'd much rather put Tyler Clippard out on the mound than an injured Jason Jennings (he of the 6.45 ERA.) Any thoughts? By the way, last week charges were filed by a girlfriend of the Prophet against him for sending her a "chilling" message. Sounds familiar, eh? Anyway, she failed to even show up in court today. Some reliable couple.

Nats to Open Season on ESPN

It's official: The Nationals are to open the Major League Baseball season this year at the new ballpark on Sunday, March 30. The game will be played against the Braves and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Nice job Stan Kasten for convincing MLB and ESPN to get this thing done.
The schedule was released. I think it's interesting how we're playing the Angels again in interleague, while we've NEVER gotten to play the Royals or White Sox. I always thought they tried to spread it out as much as possible.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Welcome to Attack of the Nats, keeping you updated and opinionated on all matters Nationals. We're Julia and Aaron, longtime Nats supporters. Since before the Expos came to D.C. in 2005, we've cheered on the team. In fact, we went to an Expos game in 1999 and, ever hopefully, cheered for the Washington Senators. The few Expos fans at the game thought we were nuts. Although the first season was turbulent, we were thrilled to have a team. Hopefully, this blog can help get them over .500. So please read, comment, and share, and go Nats!

Why the Nats are the Best

On our team:

-2 saviors (Jesus Flores and Jesus Colome)
-1 prophet (Elijah Dukes)
-1 apostle (Paul Lo Duca, even though most apostles don't take steroids)
-1 religious leader (Cristian Guzman)
-The Chief
-The tallest guy ever
-3 Ryans (even after trading one away)