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Nationals Journal: February 18, 2007 - February 24, 2007

A week from now ...

... and we'll have some games to talk about. The Grapefruit League season starts next Friday in beautiful Vero Beach, Fla., where the Nationals will face the Dodgers in Dodgertown. There may never have been a spring training like this...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 23, 2007; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Groundhog Day

That's what spring training is at this point -- lots of repitition. I have my alarm set at the same time every morning, and I wake up just like Bill Murray. But think of what it's like for injured first...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 23, 2007; 2:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Spotlight: Brian Schneider

Nationals veteran catcher Brian Schneider talks about his role in the evaluation process of the pitching staff, the upcoming birth of his first child and dogs teammate Ryan Zimmerman in a ranking of local sports stars. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022207-3v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022207-3v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 23, 2007; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Yes, I'm late

One of Manny Acta's rules here at spring training is to be on time, and by on time, that means being here early. My apologies for checking in at 1:30 p.m. I am, however, doing this prior to a quick...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 23, 2007; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Friday Morning Presser

Nationals manager Manny Acta describes the impressive performances from a few of his pitchers, talks about the core group of leaders on the team and explains how he plans on using speedy centerfielder Nook Logan in the batting order. var...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 23, 2007; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Spotlight: Matt Chico

Nationals pitching prospect Matt Chico, acquired in the trade that sent Livan Hernandez to Arizona, discusses his marriage proposal and pending nuptials as well as his experience with the yo-yo. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022107-9v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022107-9v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 22, 2007; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Yes, it's true -- and the $$$$$$$ club

So apparently Jim Clarke is, indeed, out as the public address announcer at RFK. According to people who would know, there was a tryout, in which Clarke was included, and there was one candidate who stood out above the rest,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 22, 2007; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Kasten Arrives and Addresses Team

Nationals President Stan Kasten addresses the media at spring training in Viera, Fla. Before Thursday workouts began, Kasten addressed the team for the first time at Space Coast Stadium. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022207-4v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022207-4v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 22, 2007; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Thursday Morning Presser

Nationals manager Manny Acta discusses defensive fundamentals, closer Chad Cordero's arbitration hearing and what 'Chief' means to the team. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022107-8v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022107-8v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var movieWidth="427";//FLASH MOVIE AND BACK-UP GRAPHIC WIDTH var movieHeight="300";//FLASH MOVIE AND...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 22, 2007; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Attention, Nationals fans

Is this huge news? Not really, I guess. But I know there are some folks out there that will think this is the case. The Nationals are considering -- and I stress CONSIDERING -- changing public address announcers at RFK...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 22, 2007; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Uniform day

Nationals President Stan Kasten is in the clubhouse right now here at Space Coast Stadium addressing the team for the first time. Which is the second-most important thing that will happen today. Yes, it's that magical time of the year...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 22, 2007; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Spotlight: Felipe Lopez

Nationals second baseman Felipe Lopez discusses team defense, his switch from shortstop to second, and his budding chemistry with double-play partner Cristian Guzman. Oh, and his affinity for crossword puzzles and American Idol. Editor's Note: This interview was conducted before...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 21, 2007; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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MASN news

Good news for Maryland fans. Johnny Holliday, the "Voice of the Terps", is joining the broadcast crew on Nationals' games. Holliday, who long ago was a DJ in Cleveland, will be part of the pre- and postgame shows on the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 21, 2007; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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J. Lo

Man, almost forgot about a little news item. It came to my attention -- and the attention of almost all the Nationals -- that Felipe Lopez's wife, Jenn (and yes, they hear about the Jennifer Lopez stuff all the time,...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 21, 2007; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Live at-bats, and a Cordero verdict

First live batting practice today. "I wasn't even paying attention to who was throwing," Ryan Church said. "Just get up there and hit it." Which Church did, drilling balls back up the middle. Not sure what evaluations us laymen can...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 21, 2007; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Wednesday Morning Presser

Nationals manager Manny Acta describes his managing style and discusses his philosophies on base stealing, bunting, and using the bullpen. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022007-19v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022007-19v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var movieWidth="427";//FLASH MOVIE AND BACK-UP GRAPHIC WIDTH var movieHeight="300";//FLASH MOVIE...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 21, 2007; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Technical difficulties

Well, the power -- and therefore the Internet -- is down here at Space Coast Stadium, and it is only through sheer force of will (not to mention telepathci mind tricks) that I am able to file this entry. But...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 21, 2007; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Have a seat

Hard to say what was more important, the Nationals' first full-squad workout down at the team's minor league complex (named after the incomparable Carl Barger) or the work here at Space Coast Stadium, where much drilling and hammering and other...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 20, 2007; 7:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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And we're under way

Woah. Sorry to be away for so long. Much going on. A quick synopsis: * Cristian Guzman had an MRI on his right shoulder, and while it showed that the tear of the labrum that kept him out all of...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 20, 2007; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Spotlight: Larry Broadway

Nationals prospect Larry Broadway, 26, is one of the top contenders for the starting first baseman job, a position left open due to Nick Johnson's broken leg. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022007-5v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022007-5v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var movieWidth="427";//FLASH MOVIE...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 20, 2007; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Tuesday Morning Presser

Nationals manager Manny Acta addresses the media Tuesday before the first full-squad workout in Viera, Fla. Acta discusses the intriguing battle at first base, identifies the team leaders, and describes the clubhouse rules regarding music. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=022007-4v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=022007-4v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 20, 2007; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Arizona East

Might get up to the mid-70s today, which would be a pleasant change. It might be before 8 a.m., but that doesn't mean the workers at Space Coast Stadium aren't out. This overhaul involved taking out the old teal seats...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 20, 2007; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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TVs and Slogans

Once again, we get to my favorite part of the day here along the Space Coast, when the sun sets low over the sod farms and cul de sacs, when the wind that has only the occasional strip mall to...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 19, 2007; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Spotlight: John Patterson

Nationals pitcher John Patterson discusses the new faces in training camp, his love for hunting and weighs in on who he thinks is the biggest sports star in Washington. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=021607-17v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=021607-17v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 19, 2007; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Dreamcoats

So Jerome Williams is one of the folks on the endless list of characters that could end up in the Nationals' rotation. (Slogan: You, too, could pitch for a big league club.) Some things to know about Jerome: 1. Pitched...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 19, 2007; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Monday Morning Presser

Nationals manager Manny Acta discusses his first challenging year as a manager in the minors and describes how this team is using last-place predictions as motivation. var movieSrc = "http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/player2.swf?whichMode=normal&justify=center&playad=yes&mediatype=stream&postdir=sports&postvideo=021607-16v&cuesfile=none&autoplay=no&starttime=0&endtime=0&largerver=none&image=021607-16v_427&playlistxml=none";//URL OF WHERE .SWF MOVIE IS PUBLISHED var movieWidth="427";//FLASH MOVIE AND...

By Jonathan Forsythe  |  February 19, 2007; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Presidents Day

(Can't decide. Presidents' Day? Presidents Day? Or, as Wikipedia provides as an option (thus proving once again that Wikipedia is not a source for actual information) President's Day?) An update from the weekend (and it's my understanding that because of...

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 19, 2007; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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