Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, June 15, 2009


Manny Acta's still the manager, and I think I've figured out why. Obviously, management doesn't think he contributes to winning games. Why else would they let it be known, in their typically loathsome, passive-aggressive manner, that they're going to fire him?

But now losing doesn't look so bad. 16-year-old catcher Bryce Harper, subject of a self-parodically overblown Sports Illustrated cover story, is well on his way to figuring out how to get himself into next year's draft.
Harper, the Las Vegas high school catcher who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, will forgo his final two years of high school, get his GED and play community college baseball next year at the College of Southern Nevada. His father, Ron, made the announcement Saturday at a tournament in Oklahoma City...

Harper will turn 17 on Oct. 16, and by finishing high school he will be eligible for the 2010 draft, where he is expected to be the No. 1 pick and command a multimillion-dollar signing bonus.

We've already seen the rewards a team reaps for tanking it for a year. Tank for two years, it turns out, and it just gets better. We can't let Jim Riggleman get in the way of this kind of haul.

Last week, I made fun of Dave Sheinin for defending the Nationals against the charge that they drafted cheap. I don't know if this is an actual controversy - is anyone who doesn't work for the Nats or isn't Dave Sheinin disinclined to believe this? Well, just in case, here's my point made for me:

On Tuesday, the Nationals used their third-round pick -- No. 81 overall -- in the amateur draft to select Trevor Holder, a University of Georgia senior who had a 7-5 record and a 4.48 ERA this year. Holder hadn't been ranked by Baseball America among the top 200 prospects, and even Holder himself didn't think he'd be drafted so high.
Well the Nats must know something everyone else doesn't, right?
But the Nationals, who'd tracked Holder since high school, had five years of information on him and liked what they saw.
Yeah, that's some Scouting! We're getting a leg up on everyone with only the sharpness of our eyes!
The team also liked the idea of signing Holder quickly, and at a discount rate. On Friday, just before moving out of his apartment in Athens, Ga., Holder agreed to his first professional contract, which included a $200,000 bonus; the previous year, pick Nos. 80-82 all signed for between $490,000 and $525,000.
Oh. Never mind.

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