Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies

Jonny Gomes wants to re-sign with Nationals because “this team is going to be friggin’ good”

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Jonny Gomes was traded to the Nationals in late July and probably hasn’t hit enough to make them want to re-sign him, but for his part the 30-year-old outfielder would love to be back in Washington next season.

And not just because of the money or the city, but because as Gomes told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post he thinks the Nationals are ready to make leap to contending:

I think this team is going to be friggin’ good. I don’t really think it’s going to be a sleeper, either. I think everyone knows, from guys I’ve talked to on the other teams that we’ve played, from what I’ve seen. I’ve seen a little taste of the farm system coming up. I definitely want to be a part of it, absolutely.

It’d be easy to make a joke about a 30-year-old mediocre outfielder talking about staying with a sub-.500 team because they’re ready to contend, but I actually agree with Gomes … sort of. I’m not sure that the Nationals will be quite ready to contend next season, but I’d bet on them finishing above .500 for the first time since they were the Expos in 2003 and by 2013 it wouldn’t surprise me if they made a legitimate playoff run.

Of course, how Gomes might fit into that mix remains unclear. He’s batted just .209 with 14 homers and a .714 OPS this season, which isn’t acceptable production from a poor defensive corner outfielder. As a Type B free agent Gomes would fetch a supplemental first-round draft pick for the Nationals if they offer him arbitration and he declines to sign elsewhere, except Gomes indicated to Kilgore that he’d likely accept the offer and essentially lock the team into a one-year deal for around $2 million.

Someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey after a vigil

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.

That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”

The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.

 

What Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher would you ask to pitch today?

Mike Mussina
Associated Press
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In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?

The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.

My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.

If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.

Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.

So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?