November 12, 2016
Two members of the Washington Nationals -- Daniel Murphy (second baseman) and Wilson Ramos (catcher) -- won the 2016 National League "Silver Slugger" awards for their respective positions. Murphy's batting average was a spectacular .347, while Ramos batted a superb .307. As noted at MLB.com, it's the fifth consecutive season the Nationals have had at least one Silver Slugger, the longest such streak in the National League. Murphy remains in contention for the National League MVP award...
Bryce Harper won the Silver Slugger last year, when he also was named NL MVP. In 2014, Shortstop Ian Desmond won the award (his a third time), and third baseman Anthony Rendon won his first Silver Slugger. In 2012, three Nationals received that award: Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, and Stephen Strasburg, and I was lucky to see the shining hardware on display at NatsFest in January 2013.
The Washington Nationals decided not to make a "qualifying" offer to their catcher Wilson Ramos, meaning that he will become a free agent. Under the MLB rules negotiated with the MLB Players' Association, there is a formula to determine the standard salary for a player whose contract is expiring, and in this case it would have been $17.2 million. Given that Wilson's injured knee is not likely to heal until the middle of the 2012 season, it just wouldn't have been worth it for the Nationals. There is a small chance that Ramos won't get a satisfactory offer from another team, in which case he might sign with the Nationals again. See Washington Post.
This is distressing to me, as Wilson was not only among the Nats' most popular players, but also one of the most productive ones at the plate this year. He lost a lot of playing time due to injuries, missing a major part of the season in three straight years: 2012-2014. The September 26 freak injury was a tragic way for his career with the Nationals to end, and I just hope he gets back to normal in due time, and finds championship-caliber success once again -- maybe even with the Nats.
In San Diego on Tuesday, voters failed to pass a bond referendum that would have funded a new stadium for the NFL Chargers. A two-thirds majority was required, but only 43 percent voters said yes. The upshot is that the Chargers are more than likely to seek relocation to Los Angeles, where a new stadium is being built. It's probably just a matter of time. See Washington Post. Ironically, the Chargers' original home was in Los Angeles.
And in other ballpark news, I learned from Mike Zurawski that the "Ballpark Village" on the north side of the Cardinals' Busch Stadium (III) will be expanded; see ballparkdigest.com.