- Rob Ford gets D.C. sports radio gig: Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor will make NFL picks
- Israel mulls gift of West Bank land to Palestinians
- Stocks gain as investors weigh economic news
- Doctors say ‘profound’ new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Mexican truck with radioactive load stolen
- NYPD head Ray Kelly wins big retirement perk — a $1.5M tax-paid team of bodyguards
- Pentagon weighing ‘second start’ for overexposed youth in social media
- Libraries to feds: Stop spying on us
- Britain eyes new powers to thwart Islamic extremists
- Angry NTSB ousts railroad union from N.Y. train crash site
Zack Greinke impressed by Nationals’ rise, but doesn’t dwell on decision
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES — Two days before he would make a triumphant return from the disabled list with 5 1/3 innings of one-run baseball in a victory over the Washington Nationals, Zack Greinke stood on the field at Dodger Stadium laughing and smiling in conversation with Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner.
It was something of a unique sight: a player from one team having a friendly conversation with the owner of another. Especially when that player has never played for that owner.
But in the Nationals‘ brief history, Greinke represents one of their greatest “What if?” questions. What if the right-hander hadn’t nixed the rumored trade that would have brought him to Washington instead of Milwaukee before the 2011 season — and possibly cost the Nationals multiple members of their core?
“I talked to [Lerner and the Nationals‘ front office staff] for a couple hours, probably,” the right-hander said Tuesday afternoon, before he’d help the Dodgers take the three-game series from the Nationals.
“[In total] I probably talked to him more than any owner I’ve played for. … It was a pretty long meeting [we had in 2010], so I have some relationship with him.”
That mutual affection led him to the Nationals‘ side of the field at Dodgers Stadium on Monday. Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million deal with Los Angeles this offseason, wanted to tell Lerner that everything the Nationals had sold him on was right.
“I’m just so impressed with how good they’ve become,” Greinke said. “I was in a different league [back then] and never saw them play, so I didn’t really have a good feel for what they had. They were telling me how good their young guys were and I didn’t really want to take 100 percent of their word for it and just complete trust what people are saying. But, I mean, they were right about what they were saying.
“That’s kind of what I say to him every time [I see him]: ‘Hey, you guys were right. I didn’t realize.’”
At the beginning of this past offseason, the Nationals made it clear that they were going to cast a wide net in their search for their fifth starting pitcher. They didn’t rule out Greinke, who was traded midseason to the Los Angeles Angels, as one of their possible targets, but it was always somewhat unlikely they would drop close to $150 million on any free agent regardless of who it was.
Instead they targeted Greinke’s Angels teammate, Dan Haren, who briefly joined in on the conversation between his former teammate and his current owner Monday. Haren signed a one-year, $13 million deal — a completely different kind of transaction than Greinke’s — and has pitched well after a rocky start to the season.
Greinke politely declined to comment when asked if he went into the free agency process hoping the Nationals might be one of the top contenders for his services, saying succinctly: “I signed with the Dodgers.”
But so far, the nontrade appears to have worked out for both sides on certain levels.
Greinke got a chance to pitch in the postseason in 2011 with the Milwaukee Brewers, and cashed in on the richest deal in major league history for a right-hander when he signed with the Dodgers, who are also expected to contend. The Nationals, with several of the players they may have shipped to Milwaukee becoming key components for them, won 98 games and the NL East title in 2012. And they are expected to be among the league’s elite for years to come.
Through it all, the articulate right-hander has paid keen attention to the progress, and, it appears, enjoyed seeing the plans they laid out for him come to fruition.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Issa: FBI impeding inquiry into IRS targeting of conservative groups
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Westboro Baptists slam actor Paul Walker: He's 'in Hell'
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Harry Reid gives some staffers a pass on Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.