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Friday, August 31, 2007

Trip to the Variety Store

Be sure to vote for the Racing Presidents!!

This weeks Nats Mailbag featured several comments that peaked our interest. The first issue is something that we have been discussing amongst ourselves and no doubt many Nats fans have taken notice as well. Tim Tolman, Nats third-base coach, has made some questionable decisions throughout the season. Perhaps the tipping point for me, was the decision to wave Bergmann home only to be thrown out at the plate and injure his hamstring.
In a recent Nats Xtra or Nats Access, Bergmann talked about the play and the fact that he was surprised to be waved home even though he knew he wasn't exactly what you would call "fast."

There have been numerous other decisions by the seemingly spontaneous Tolman. In a recent article, Tolman said that "you have to be aggressive" when making decisions to send runners home. I completely agree, however there is a difference between being aggressive and being unaware of your runner's capabilities. There are times in games when we see Dmitri Young waved home on plays that speedster Felipe Lopez would have to hustle to get home. Anyone who has seen Dmitri run for a double, or that RBI triple, knows that he should probably only be waved home in instances when he can pretty much walk there. We love D, but let's be honest about his speed. Isn't the job of the third-base coach to know which players are quick, and which ones aren't? As a former third-base coach, Manny Acta should perhaps consider having a long discussion with Tolman.

The other issue that grabbed our attention was a comment in the discussion of the Schneider/Flores debate. One person acknowledged that making Flores a starter may hinder his development, he also wrote, "Flores is a good player, but he is also a rookie who has never before played above Class A ball."

While it's true that Flores had never played above Class A on Opening Day, he has now appeared in 64 games, taken 136 at bats and already recorded 3 home runs - 2 of which were game changing in Philly and Arizona. At what point are fans supposed to stop stating that he has never played above Class-A? Yes, he is a rookie. Yes, he has a lot to learn, but, more importantly, YES! he has not only played but proven himself a big-league catcher and should now be considered one. Flores has made the jump from Class A to Major League look far more seamless than many who go from AAA to Major League. As long as Flores continues to stay healthy, learns as much as he can, and works hard, the improvements are going to come and he is certainly part of the bright future of the Nationals.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Reed Saxon


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