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Welcome back, Manny

No Clemens today. Shocking, huh? But I forgot to mention earlier that the Nationals will face Roy Oswalt today. Keep in mind: Shawn Hill could be one of the Nationals' best pitchers this season, but you could see a lot of Hill-Oswalt matchups, or the like. The deck is indeed stacked.

Craig Biggio -- 2B
Mark Loretta -- SS
Lance Berkman -- 1B
Carlos Lee -- DH
Morgan Ensberg -- 3B
Luke Scott -- RF
Richard Hidalgo -- LF
Chris Burke -- CF
Brad Ausmus -- C

RHP Roy Oswalt

So Manny Acta lives like five or 10 minutes from the Astros' complex here in Kissimmee, in a town called St. Cloud. Why? He spent 16 years in the Astros' organization. They signed him from the Dominican. They made him a coach. They gave him a shot as a minor league manager. And then when he had a chance to become a big league coach with the Expos in 2002, they let him go and wished him well. "I owe to them everything," he said.

So when he walked into Osceola County Stadium (or, as the PA guy just sayd, "Beautiful Osceola County Stadium" (BOCS)) he was immediately greeted by people he knew. And he has spent most of batting practice and pregame hugging each and every grounds crew member, etc. This guy knows everyone here, and it's not just the GMs and managers he's interacting with. I think he might've even spent some time back with the concessionaires. (Kidding, but not by much.)

News: Cristian Guzman played in the field for the first time over in the "B" game in Viera this morning. Three innings at shortstop. Apparently no problems. He'll be re-evaluated, and if he's ready to go he could see action in the field during a major league game sometime later this week.

Also: John Patterson will work in the "B" game tomorrow so that the club can get more looks at Jason Simontacchi and Jason Bergmann in the major league game. Bergmann's pitched well so far. We'll see how he does tomorrow. Acta is determined to have the list of potential starters whittled to eight or so contenders by March 15 -- which, pray tell, is only a week away.

And yes, I'll get to Guess The Rotation in a bit. Hang in there. I'll be back.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 7, 2007; 11:56 AM ET
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Next: We're under way


Hey Barry, I know this is a bit off-topic, but is anyone at the Post paying attention to the almost daily flip-flops that make up most Tom Boswell's columns related to the Nats?

Case in point, here's what Boz said in today's column:

"[T]heir starting rotation will probably ensure them a summer of biblical drubbings."

And here's what he said in his February 22 column (barely 2 weeks ago):

"In fact, the case for a better rotation in '07 is so obvious after a real analysis that it's actually closer to a promise than a prediction."

Doesn't he have an editor or someone there that's not afraid to press the "B.S." button on him? The blogs have been all over this for some time already...

Posted by: JammingEcono | March 7, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

any idea how the pitchers did in the B game this morning? I understand Hanrahan pitched there

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hi Barry,
So Acta says Church and Logan have positions even if they're 0for March. Wow! Nook Logan, another Peter Bergeron or Endy Chavez. And I wonder how Escobar must feel. If, and I realize that's a big if healthy, he would be one of the top players around, certainly much better than Church or Logan.
I also agree with the last posting re Boswell. He may be an entertaining writer but his baseball analysis is pure BS. He's right as much as he's wrong, however.As is his custom, he constantly says the opposite things about the same topic.

Posted by: jackson Campbell | March 9, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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