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Peripheral issues, part 72

OK, don't ever tell me I don't do things for your people. I have checked with Stan Kasten about the following items:

1. Pins that have been included with season-ticketing packages in the past: "That was a marketing decision. We're changing a lot of things. We will do lots of things differently," he said.

2. MP3 players that were promised for those people who paid their season-ticket accounts early: "They'll be delivered at a date early in the season. That was our original schedule, and that's what we'll do."

3. Food policy: Yes, I screwed up here (me speaking, not Kasten), because I put "soda" in the paper this morning, and in fact sodas aren't allowed. Mea culpa. And Stan can thank me for re-writing his food policy without checking with him. Food policy remains the same as in the past at RFK, which means water can be brought in, etc.

Baseball stuff: Tonight's game is on MASN. Graphics guy from MASN came by today and seemed perturbed that I put a mention of the "Brian Zimmerman" graphic in the Journal last week. Am I wrong? You guys told me that's what you saw (as did several emailers).

Tonight's a big day for MASN: The debut of the pre- and postgame shows. Don Sutton just rolled in. So did Charlie Slowes, so the game is on radio as well. A full-on media blitz.

Lineup: I don't have it. I'm told it includes most of the regulars, but they're going to take a look at Bernadina in center again today. As Acta said yesterday, "Don't read anything into it," so I'm not. But I can tell you they're not necessarily thrilled with the prospect of Church playing center, and even if Logan (who, remember, is hurt for now) is hitting .210 or so, they like his defense and believe it's essential for this team and, in particular, this pitching staff.

Logan, apparently, might recover in time for Opening Day. And then the team will have to make the decision on Kory Casto, up or down? They like him, no question. But he could still begin the year in Columbus.

Other thoughts: The Post's special baseball section comes out tomorrow. A must-have for all fans, with breakdowns of the Nationals (and Orioles) by position, etc. Lots of good information in there. I'm anxious to see it myself. And that, truly, is worth the $.35.

Mets in town tonight. Enjoy the game on TV/radio. And I'll be honest: I'm ready to blow this pop stand.

Oh, one small other update:

LHP Ray King and 1B Dmitri Young had their contracts purchased, which means they're on the 40-man roster. Other moves coming after the game, and I'm betting they involve Simontacchi to minor-league camp (procedural, because he can rehabilitate his groin injury) as well as a couple of other minor things. Won't be earth-shattering.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 27, 2007; 3:04 PM ET
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Next: This is it! (With new news on the bottom)


Thanks for checking on everything Barry. Very personalized and in touch.

Posted by: rgib | March 27, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I just e-mailed you a photo of the Brian graphic, straight from the MASN telecast.

Posted by: Brian Zimmerman | March 27, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the great coverage of the team already through spring training. I'm looking forward to reading your stuff online and in the dead trees version -- tomorrow I'll probably even splurge an extra 35 cents to grab a second copy of the special section.

Posted by: Awestruck Admirer of the Svrluga | March 27, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

All you do is very much appreciated. I know you weren't fishing for the compliment per se, but there ya go.

I hope Logan recovers soon cuz that guy is amazing out there. And I wish Church could live up to the potential I think we all see in him from time to time. And I hope the team finds something somewhere for Casto and Snelling because those kids (well, not really kids) have been fun to watch this spring.

6 days!

Posted by: Teddy Roos | March 27, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much Barry! You rock!

Posted by: Greg | March 27, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Great blog today!! Thanks for the MP3 update. You confirmed what I was told by the "Personal Season Ticket Holder Representative." Actually, they will either be mailed out (something they could have done months ago) or a "Special Season Tickets Holders Event" will be held at which time the items will be passed out.
Good for you being a season ticket holder!!

Posted by: Section 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | March 27, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for debunking the rumor about the change to the food/water policy.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 27, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Stan and the Nats remind me of a homeowners association or community pool in their use of the Website.

They get a basic website on the cheap(MLB) and put some basic canned imformation on it and then think they are done communicating.

It is like they are do not understand the power and are afread to update it.

WHY do they need SKB, Barry, Washington Times etc to get this level of basic information out to their fans......They have email addresses and a website yet they sit back like a bunch of confused grandparents about how all this stuff could be used to get the word out. AMAZING!

Posted by: JayB | March 27, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

80 degrees and Sunday....DC, it's better HERE, at least today. With our weather luck, it'll be 45 and windy come Opening Day.

Posted by: BoysOfSummer | March 27, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

80 degrees and **sunny**....DC, it's better HERE, at least today. With our weather luck, it'll be 45 and windy come Opening Day.

Obviously, I need to get out of the office, soon.

Posted by: BoysOfSummer | March 27, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Living in NY, so 35cent paper not an option. Appreciate the blog.

Posted by: JHM | March 27, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Many Thanks,

News Request Item: I am interested in learning more about the current crop of pitchers and their evolving relation to St. Clair(e?). If these pitchers exceed expectations, St. Clair and Acta will likely deserve much credit. If the castoffs like Armas, Ortiz, etc... do better without him what will that mean? I think their is a potential story line here worth following all year. Can St. Clair earn Mazzone like praise for a job well done? (just a thought)

Posted by: D. Frenzy | March 27, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you have done a great job on the blog from Viera and we know what a terrific job you do all season long.

Posted by: Kathy | March 27, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks as usual Barry. I get you re: doubts about Church in centre (dig the Cdn. spelling), and centre field is of course more crucial defensively than 1st base, but Dimitri Young at first does suggest that sacrificing some defence to get more pop in the offence is also an option to make up for a pitching staff that gonna have some bad nights.

Posted by: Bruce | March 27, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you have done a great job on the blog from Viera and we know what a terrific job you do all season long.

Make love to me!

Posted by: Preview Submit | March 27, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Will the "special baseball section" be available on the web for those of us in foreign lands? I have .35 but nowhere to spend it.

Posted by: cmc in Iowa | March 27, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Another word of thanks to you Barry for providing us Nats fans with your great insights into Spring Training 2007.

Posted by: Keith | March 27, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Barry, we've got a picture of the Brian Zimmerman graphic on our site -, under Ian's blog "the business of baseball".

Posted by: NationalsPride Mike | March 27, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Thanks for your thoughts. (Note to self: When down/depressed/sick of Viera, grovel for compliments on the Journal.)

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 27, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I subscribe to the .35 version and look forward to the special section with glee. I also enjoy the *priceless* blog. Thanks!

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 27, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I would have stayed in Viera for you until opening day but I can't write as well and, alas, I get paid to show up for work here in the (The) metro area. *sigh*

Thanks for clearing up the food policy. They don't have my fave habanero pistachios at RFK, even with the expanded food selection. yet.

Finally, I'll be happy to fork over my $.35 to get my fingers dirty with all that baseball info tomorrow. I've already put a dime and a quarter next to my keys.

Thanks for the blog, really.

Posted by: i hate walks | March 27, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Barry - if you can find some way to get tomorrow's special edition to Toronto, I'll buy two copies. That, by the way, is $1.1568 Canadian!

Posted by: Kilgore | March 27, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

See, now that's how it's done. Barry is a mensch. No "mistakes were made" bushwah. He screwed up, and so he said "I screwed up." No "Blame Canada (maybe)" or "I'm not happy about it either." That's a journalist. He needs a better editor, but that's a journalist.

Posted by: cevans | March 27, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Barry - your story in the paper ($0.35) today noted the reduced payroll of $25 million from this year to last. Obviously a lot of that from Livan, Soriano and Vidro. Was wondering where this $25 million went? I know back into the system if we believe Stan, which I do, but would be interested to see what an extra $25 million buys a system these days. Thanks for the great work this spring.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

If Logan is in CF, the Nats have better than average defensive players (assuming a comeback to pre-2005 form by Guzman) at six of the eight defensive positions (I'm not putting Lopez at 2b in the above average category until we see him at that spot and Young as a first baseman is average at best). The Nats are going to need to make all the routine plays and a few spectacular ones in the field to support the less than overpowering staff. Hopefully Logan will be patroling CF when the season starts on Monday.

Posted by: Hondo Lives | March 28, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

It's the last year at RFK and season tickets sales are WAY down. Opening day is not sold out. Experts are projecting 90+ losses. Lerner/Kasten should at least provide a very decent food option at RFK. How about a full blown Deli where a guy can get a hot corned beef on rye with brown mustard? BTW I thought Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight were a little shakey last night, but show a lot of potential. This type of follow-up show was missing from seasons 1 and 2.

Posted by: Big Head Lincloln | March 28, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good lord... a full-blown deli? Have you seen how long it takes the RFK staff to put a hot dog in a bun?

BTW, loving the baseball section. Always starts my day off well when I read about baseball for the whole train ride to work and still don't get through it all. :D

Posted by: Teddy Roos | March 28, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Re: "This type of follow-up show was missing from seasons 1 and 2."

Yes it was- but only on TV. I absolutely LOVE Charlie and Dave's postgame show on the radio. One of the best, if not THE best, in the game.

Posted by: Greg | March 28, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, there are at least 2 things that need to change over at the Navy Yard next year. The first is the food service company - their employees stink. They are unfriendly and slow. Secondly, the new stadium must sell Coke products. If they get these 2 things right, you can forget about my request for a full service deli. I will sneak in my own corned beef sandwich.

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