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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 run to Panera. Self-kudos for that.

Stan Kasten's two-day swing here wrapped up a little while ago, and he's headed to Atlanta for the weekend before going back to D.C. Mark Lerner, son of patriarch Ted Lerner, will be making a brief appearance here in the next few days. Mike Shapiro, who runs the business side of the Nationals, was down earlier in the week and will return next week. So lots of heavyweights around. Boz addressed the feeling of normalcy that having ownership in place in spring training provides in a column earlier this week. Seems like legitimate stuff.

More live BP today, and guys are starting to draw conclusions about pitchers that they're seeing. GM Jim Bowden's assessment: "Talk to me on March 15." The point is this: Pitchers can look like they have good breaking stuff or an outstanding changeup in batting practice or a bullpen session, but they have to show it in games. None of this stuff going on now can truly matter for evaluation.

Which brings us to the next point: Games need to begin. Like, yesterday. These guys had their first full-squad workout on Tuesday, just a few days ago, but so many of them were here early that they feel ready to go. And when do the games begin? A week from today. Feels like an eternity.

One other development: Shortstop Cristian Guzman threw today during infield practice, the first throwing he's done since he arrived. He didn't zip the ball or go all-out, instead lobbing it. He said he wanted to take it slow and ease back into it, but he does believe he'll be ready when games start. Manny Acta: "The important thing is for Cristian Guzman to be ready in April, not in March." So the team is playing this cautiously.

I'll check in later on.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 23, 2007; 1:24 PM ET
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Maybe you should catch up with the blogger from Nats320. He's doing a far better job of covering spring training this week than the Post is. He gets what fans want...a personal look at who the players are.

Posted by: Nats fan in MD | February 23, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

But that's not what I read the Post for ... that's why I read the blogs.

I love coffee. I love bagels. They go well together. Making one just like the other would too much of what used to be a good thing.

Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: CoNATStant Lurker | February 23, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, when are your Nats chats gonna start again?

Posted by: .390 | February 23, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Barry, can you ask the Lerners when they will add suburban ticket outlets? In December the employees at the White Flint Mall Nats store said they'd be getting ticket machines by the time single game tix go on sale. Called them today and they said it is still "a few more weeks" away. Would have thought the Lerners would be all over this. Makes me wonder what their priority is if it is not selling tickets.

Posted by: David from Bethesda | February 23, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I can certainly check with the Lerners/Kasten about when those suburban ticket locales will go in. It's a good question.

And to Nats fan in MD: I've seen Jeff from Nats320 (also known as Screech's Best Friend) doing lots of work around here. He had credentialed access yesterday and was really working hard to talk to lots of guys. It's great that the blogs can offer different perspectives from the traditional media. But I think if you read our coverage throughout the spring, you'll get a pretty good idea of who these players are and what makes the team tick.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 23, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Nats fan in MD: Nats320 is a FAN, Svrluga is a JOURNALIST. The Nationals are playing right into Nats320, stroking him and coddling him because he's a FAN and will write glowing, beautiful things about his FAN experience. Not that I don't like Nats320 very much, but Barry's got the sports journalist's point of view. Big difference.

Posted by: Rachel | February 24, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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