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Thread: Young gets Nationals 1B job

  1. #1
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    Young gets Nationals 1B job

    I bet he out hits the old men that the Reds are going to run out there at 1st.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_yl...v=ap&type=lgns

    'I've had my whirlwinds before'; Young gets Nationals 1B job

    By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer
    March 25, 2007

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Two months ago, Dmitri Young was out of a job, pondering retirement.

    A week ago, he was stuck in Washington's minor league camp, trying to prove his personal demons are in the past and that he can still swing a mean bat.

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    On Sunday, Young found out he'll be the Nationals' starting first baseman come opening day, because his chief remaining competition, Travis Lee, asked to be released.

    So already, 2007 is looking much better than 2006 for Young, a former All-Star who was as low as low can be not all that long ago.

    In the span of one calendar year, he faced an assault charge, treatment for alcoholism and depression, a divorce and hospitalization for diabetes. And then there was the matter of getting cut by the Detroit Tigers with less than a month left in the regular season.

    "I was at the bottom of the mountain, the bottom of Mount Everest, and I climbed my way up, one day at a time, knowing that I had to work," Young said in the visitors' clubhouse before Washington's 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

    "It wasn't going to be given to me by any stretch and I had to work. I worked every day in the minor league side: do my cardio every day out there, take extra groundballs, take extra swings. I did everything it would take to earn it."

    It helped that he knew Nationals general manager Jim Bowden from their days with the Cincinnati Reds. So Young signed a non-guaranteed, minor league deal in February -- and there truly were no guarantees as he began the process of trying to earn another shot at the majors at age 33.

    He was, after all, no better than third in line to replace Nick Johnson, the incumbent first baseman who's expected to miss at least the first two months of the season while recovering from a broken leg.

    And Young wasn't even in the Nationals' main camp. Instead, he was surrounded by kids a dozen or so years younger, kids who might never make the majors, much less produce the .289 career average with 154 homers and 599 RBIs that Young compiled with the Cardinals, Reds and Tigers.

    The doubts did creep in.

    "I was like, 'What am I doing out here?' I was like, 'I don't even know if I have it,"' Young said.

    Over at the big league camp, Larry Broadway, a perennial prospect, and Lee, a veteran trying to re-establish himself, were given first crack at filling in for Johnson. But Broadway produced only one extra-base hit in 21 at-bats before being optioned to Triple-A on March 18 -- the day Young's exile with the minor leaguers ended.

    And now, just like that, Young gets to take advantage of Lee's decision.

    Does it all feel like a bit of a whirlwind?

    "I've had my whirlwinds before," Young said with a hearty laugh. "This is not a whirlwind. This is just, take it one step at a time -- getting back to playing professional baseball at the big league level."

    Bowden is hoping for big things. Asked if Young exceeded his expectations, Bowden said: "My expectations for Dmitri was that he would, No. 1, clean up his life, and No. 2, he would hit .300 with 20 homers, 80 RBIs, 40 doubles and win Comeback Player of the Year. As of now, he's not exceeded that, but I think he's on a path to possibly do that."

    There will bumps along the way, to be sure, such as the error Young was charged with when he dropped a throw in the second inning Sunday, leading to an unearned run.

    He also went 0-for-3, dropping his spring average to .286.

    When he signed with Washington, Young was told that he'd be operating under a "zero tolerance" policy. And, even now, with a job that's his, it's clear that not all is forgotten when it comes to his troubles.

    "We haven't had any significant baseball games played yet. This is still spring training. When the season starts, and guys get under contract, sometimes things might get out of whack a little bit," manager Manny Acta said.

    "He knows he's made mistakes, and he's willing to move forward, and he's willing to put that behind him. He's not only representing himself. He's representing his family ... and the Nationals organization, including Jim, who was willing to give him a second chance."

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  3. #2
    Pagan/Asatru Ravenlord's Avatar
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Dmitri will probably out power Conine/Hattie, but because of the kind of hitter he is, and playing where he is, that the Reds' duo out produce him overall.
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    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    I was intrigued by Dmitri, I always liked him but I agree with Ravenlord that Hattie/Conine will like out produce him in everything but power. Also, Dmitri hasn't exactly stayed healthy the last few years even being primarily a DH with the Tigers.

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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Quote Originally Posted by 4256 Hits View Post
    I bet he out hits the old men that the Reds are going to run out there at 1st.
    I'll take the "old men."

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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Don't be so sure that Young will out power the Reds duo.

    He's usually good for about 20, and Hatteberg had 13 himself last year.

    With Young not as good as he once was, and hitting in Washington's park, he might find it hard to reach 15. Hatteberg and Conine should be good for 15-20.

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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Quote Originally Posted by 4256 Hits View Post
    Bowden is hoping for big things. Asked if Young exceeded his expectations, Bowden said: "My expectations for Dmitri was that he would, No. 1, clean up his life, and No. 2, he would hit .300 with 20 homers, 80 RBIs, 40 doubles and win Comeback Player of the Year. As of now, he's not exceeded that, but I think he's on a path to possibly do that."

    I hope it's never sunny in Philly again.

  8. #7
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Don't be so sure that Young will out power the Reds duo.

    He's usually good for about 20, and Hatteberg had 13 himself last year.

    With Young not as good as he once was, and hitting in Washington's park, he might find it hard to reach 15. Hatteberg and Conine should be good for 15-20.
    Not to mention that if Joey Votto tears it up in Louisville, Hatte and Conine may finish the season as our power off the bench.

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19984289/

    By HOWARD FENDRICH
    Associated Press Sports
    Updated: 5:01 p.m. ET July 26, 2007

    WASHINGTON (AP) -Dmitri Young and the Washington Nationals were on the verge of a $10 million, two-year contract extension Thursday.

    Young would earn $5 million each in 2008 and 2009, and the contract also would contain a $6 million option for 2010 that would become guaranteed if he has 500 plate appearances in 2009 or 900 combined in 2008 and 2009.

    Details of the deal were provided by a person familiar with the talks who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcements were authorized.

    The deal would cap a remarkable turnaround for Young, who was out of baseball at the end of 2006 after being released by the Detroit Tigers with less than a month left in the regular season.

    That was only one part of Young's troublesome year, which included an assault charge, treatment for alcoholism and depression, and being hospitalized for diabetes.

    But given another chance by Nationals general manager Jim Bowden - they go back to their days together with the Cincinnati Reds - Young signed a non-guaranteed, minor league deal with Washington in February.

    He made the team as the starting first baseman in place of the injured Nick Johnson and turned out to be the last-place Nationals' top hitter and lone All-Star representative.

    After going 2-for-4 with a run-scoring single in a 7-6 victory at the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, Young leads Washington with a .333 batting average and 53 RBIs.

    MLB.com and ESPN.com first reported Thursday that the team and Young were close to a deal.

    Bowden did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

    Young, who turns 34 in October, is with his fourth club in a major league career that began in 1996. He also was an All-Star in 2003 with Detroit.

    He would represent the second veteran player recently given a two-year extension by the rebuilding Nationals. Infielder Ronnie Belliard - like Young, in his 30s and someone who joined the team in February with a minor league contract - agreed to a $3.5 million deal through 2009.

    Belliard, now the starting second baseman, is second on the club with a .301 batting average.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    I guess this puts Nick Johnson on the trading block once he's healthy.

  11. #10
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    I guess this puts Nick Johnson on the trading block once he's healthy.
    Nah, they'll try the old "Put Dmitri In Left" experiment yet again.

    I've gotta say, I'm happy for D'Meat.
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  12. #11
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Nah, they'll try the old "Put Dmitri In Left" experiment yet again.

    I've gotta say, I'm happy for D'Meat.
    Then there will be one more leftfielder worse than Adam Dunn.

    I'm happy for him too.

  13. #12
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Belliard and now Young.

    Both on the wrong side of the mountain.

    Looks like the Sherpas let Bowden scale that peak alone.

  14. #13
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Belliard and now Young.

    Both on the wrong side of the mountain.

    Looks like the Sherpas let Bowden scale that peak alone.
    It's pretty hard to see Bowden's long range plan for franchise improvement.
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  15. #14
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Bowden and a long term plan?

    Hysterical
    Go Gators!

  16. #15
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    Re: Young gets Nationals 1B job

    Bowden is eating the Powersauce bars while climbing that mountain, and he will sled back down, on the corpse of Felipe Lopez's career.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.


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