Wednesday, January 30, 2008
A few things...
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Fast cars and baseball
News Updates -
The Orioles traded their young left-hander Erik Bedard to the Mariners. A little disappointing as we would have loved to see this starter as a Nat!
According to Lo Duca's* agent, he is having surgery tomorrow to repair a "minor meniscus tear." He's expected to be out for 3-6 weeks. Pitchers and catchers report for spring training on the 15th of February. Wonder if Paul will be there...
Friday, January 25, 2008
Happy Birthday to one of baseball's finest
End of the Week Wrap Up
The Nats also announced their new Baseball America ranking for prospects. The Nats moved from dead last to #9 by adding the talented Detwiler, Burgess, McGeary and Smoker.
The team also announced their kick-off of the Spring Training season with single game ticket sales and a fan fest for those in the Melbourne/Viera area. Saturday's fest will include Jason Bergmann, Ross Detwiler, Shawn Hill and Alex Escobar and feature batting practice, a pitching clinic, and dugout pictures. There are only 20 days to go until pitchers and catchers report.
We have not said much about Barry Svrluga yet -- we were waiting for his official word. But it does turn out that beloved Post beat writer will be moving to Redskins coverage in the future. Can you think of just one person who might be okay with this change?
Sideline reporter Debbi Taylor has a fun blog post about her recent trip to the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation In the Spirit of the Game Dinner and Auction.
Also the Hampton Roads MLB boys are coming together again. This time they are building a indoor sports facility -- the Seven Cities Sports Complex. The idea belongs to Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer who has dreamed about sponsoring such a place for years. The complex should be ready by early 2009. In general, there will be a fee to attend and train, however they also plan to offer scholarships to help send kids to college. The clinics and programs will shape the area's youth and provide assistance to those that might not be able to afford to use the facility. The group is headed by Cuddyer with support from BJ and Justin Upton, Tim Hummel and Ryan Zimmerman.
Injury update: Nats catcher Paul Lo Duca* seems to have suffered a knee injury recently. It is unknown if it will affect his participation in spring training, but he will have an MRI today. He also has not yet publicly addressed accusations made against him in the Mitchell Report.
The Nats also agreed to terms with 12 players. The only remaining players without contracts are Felipe Lopez (arbitration), Jon Rauch (arbitration) and Ryan Zimmerman (long term contract??).
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Back in business?
Thankfully that's not the case. According to Barry, Nick has been dedicated this offseason, losing weight, and getting back into shape. Better yet, he's done it all with no limp or pain in his leg. Nick is poised to compete with Dmitri Young during spring training for the starting role. Manny Acta sounded confident in Johnson's return also. He noted that the Nationals would really benefit from Nick's offense and OBP. So the Nats have two solid first basemen heading into spring training. There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. It will be exciting to see how it all plays out and who wins the spot.
We'll be there to see the fight for first base, the depth of the new outfield, and who wins a spot on the starting 5 in less than a month. We purchased our spring training game tickets this morning. Baseball is just around the corner!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
These are a few of my favorite things...
Mark Newman of MLB recently interviewed baseball fans about their favorite collectibles and pieces of memorabilia -- those things that help us remember how we first fell in love with the national pastime or that remind us of games and moments that seemed to change everything.
Our friends at Phillies Nation treasure a Phanatic growth chart, while MetsGrrl loves her Shea Stadium Apple Clock. We shared a few of our own favorite things too.
In just 68 days, we'll pack up the baseball memories we've already made and look forward to making decades of new ones in our new home along the Anacostia River.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Redding remains in DC
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A hockey stop
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Spring Training Countdown
Congressional Hearings Begin
Monday, January 14, 2008
Manny on Fox5
While not addressing the Lo Duca* situation directly, Acta said that the players accused "have to be man enough to admit it."
You can see Manny tomorrow night at the Washington Capitals game. He will join Jason Bergmann and John Lannan to sign autographs before the game as part of the continuing winter tour.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
"Harvard Boys" -- A Review
As father and son, John and Rick Wolff both experienced the highs and lows of minor league baseball. Harvard Boys chronicles John's baseball career from Harvard to Arizona to Bristol to Massachusetts to Kalamazoo through one summer of baseball. John recalls his experiences in diary form while his father, Rick, adds insight from his own baseball experiences along the way.
The story is a fascinating look into the life of minor leaguers and prospects. It begins with spring training in the dry Arizona heat. John invites us into his day-to-day life on and off the field. A Harvard grad who instead wanted to live out his baseball dream, John struggled to prove himself throughout the summer to the White Sox organization. More than just providing game re-caps, the book also describes the competition, emotional obstacles, personal challenges and financial problems that toughen ballplayers in the minor league system.
The book is enjoyable because it is genuine. John watches superstar prospects accelerate much faster than he can. He struggles to prove to his coaches, and to himself that he belongs. At each turning point, John picks up the pieces and moves on to find a new pro ball opportunity.
His determination is refreshing and serves as a wonderful reminder at how great the differences can be between minor and major league ball. While our Washington Nationals are treated to spreads of healthy food and stays in the nicest hotels, John's always looking for a free meal and trying to find cheap sources of air conditioning and transportation.
Along the way, John's father Rick, who played minor league ball in the Tigers organization and worked for the Indians, offers encouragement, insight and memories as he responds to John's experiences. For as much as the game may change from year to year, readers begin to understand that many elements will always stay the same.
I really enjoyed Harvard Boys. I found myself quickly engaged and curious about how his summer would unfold -- even tossing the book aside in anger for a few days after a frustrating turn of events. Well written and insightful, I often found his stories to be humorous. The book is loaded with the superstar prospects that have quickly and quietly made their mark on baseball. Their cameo experiences are entertaining but not the focus. The story's biggest accomplishment is bringing fans into the dugout and onto the team bus for a summer. Overall, a nice father-son story full of the ups and downs of minor league baseball in America.
You can purchase the book at your local bookstore.
A Healthy Dose of the Nationals
The players demonstrated batting, pitching and fielding for youngsters and took their questions before answering questions from the adult fans in attendance. The kids were eager to learn about the game from Jason and Aaron. Ever the teacher, Jason showed the children different grips for different pitches. Aaron helped them practice a ready stance, fielding and throwing.
After the demonstration, the children asked questions of the players. One child asked what the hardest pitch is to hit. Bergmann explained that while he's a pitcher and doesn't hit often, he hates good sliders. Boone's most concerned about perfect placement. He explained that Freddy Garcia has a lot of deceptive movement.
There were a few questions about how the guys stay healthy. Both players warned the kids to limit junk food and eat lots of small meals throughout the day. Boone explained that he loved to cook which encouraged a youngster to suggest that the team publish a cookbook. Bergmann reminded fans of Patterson and Schneider's decision last season to remove the junkfood from the clubhouse.
Fans and adults also asked a few questions. Stan Kasten explained that Opening Day tickets and single game tickets in general would go on sale at the beginning of March. Season-ticket holders will have an opportunity to purchase before that time. With 75 days left, Stan talked about how busy the club is getting ready to open the new park. "It's the busiest off season of my career," he explained.
Charlie also asked Aaron and Jason about the impact of steroids on the game. "I think they're bad," said Boone. He expressed confidence in MLB's steps toward cleaning up the game. Bergmann agreed with Boone and said there's plenty of ways to improve your game without performance enhancing substances - citing lifting and proper nutritrion as two examples.
After the questions, Kasten, Boone and Bergmann signed autographs for fans. The presidents entertained fans throughout the Expo - even joining an exercise class for a few minutes.
Here's our photos from the event. Miss Chatter has some great ones too.
Turns out bloggers and crazy fans think alike. After the event, we figured we'd make the most of our green line ride by stopping at the new stadium for a quick look. Nats320 was there and also has some great pictures.
It looks like the stadium and the Metro have lots of work ahead, but here's to counting down the days.
The Nats also have this cool new video up of the park construction.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
D on dLifeTV
Dmitri was baseball's feel good story last summer. Young managed to rebound from a near death experience in the ICU to win the Players' Association and MLB's Comeback Player of the Year Award. He hit .320 in 2007 and became an important leader in the Nationals clubhouse.
Young has Type 2 diabetes.
dLifeTV airs every Sunday evening on CNBC at 7:00pm ET.
2008 Winter Tour
There is some good news however, Charlie Slowes seems to be on board for next season as he is moderating some of the events. We couldn't be happier about this and can't wait to hear Charlie and Dave on the radio in 2008!
2008 Winter Tour Events -
Saturday, January 12 and Sunday, January 13
9:00am – 5:00pm
NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, Washington, DC
Noon – 3:00pm
Players Skills Demonstration, Q&A and Autograph Session (Jason Bergmann, Aaron Boone, and Stan Kasten)
Monday, January 14
9:00am – 11:00am
Food & Friends, Washington, DC
Manny, Jason Bergmann, and John Lannan will help prepare the food for that days delivery.
Tuesday, January 15
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC
The team (Acta, Bergmann and Lannan) will donate toys to the hospital and visit with patients.
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Autograph Session at Washington Capitals Game, Washington, DC.
Thursday, January 17
6:00pm – 10:00pm
Smart CEO Future 50, Washington, DC
Manny Acta will serve as keynote speaker.
Thursday, January 24
11:00am – 1:30pm
National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Gifford’s Ice Cream and Candy Co. Washington, DC
Players (Mike Bacsik) will serve ice cream to customers.
Friday, January 25
10:00am – 11:30am
William Wirt School Assembly, Riverdale, MD
School assembly and book donation to school library.
Saturday, January 26
11:30am – 2:00pm
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Prince William County, VA
Sunday, January 27
12:00pm – 3:00pm
Autograph Session at Washington Auto Show, Washington DC
Monday, January 28
10:00am – 11:30am
Arlington County Public School Visit
School assembly and book donation to school library.
*There may be no students there!
Friday, January 04, 2008
Bad, Worse and Awful
Bad: Luis Ayala was recently shot in the left arm on a hunting/fishing trip. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training. *Here's the AP story.
Worse: The winter caravan begins next weekend, but the Nats aren't expected to make an announcement till Wednesday. That's two days to plan for a few events that feature Aaron Boone and Manny Acta (so far). Let's hope they schedule some more stuff and find a few more players. As it stands, it's pretty pathetic.
Awful: No FanFest. A few months ago, it was reportedly going to be held in Bethesda.
Don't feel that robbed? You should!
Here's what the Braves are doing.
Even the miserable Pirates have this fan appreciation thing down pat.
New park, lots of new faces on the team, lots of excitment building around the team -- and no FanFest.
*note* My apology for far too many typos in the initial post. It has since been fixed and marks the last time I rush to get something up before heading out the door.