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Well, there was a rumor going around the Nationals' clubhouse that this was going to happen. Take a gander at the Cardinals' lineup:

Eckstein -- 6
Edmonds -- 8
Rolen -- 5
Duncan -- 7
Spiezio -- 5
Encarnacion -- 9
Molina -- 2
Pineiro -- 1
Kennedy -- 4

Uh, let's repeat the eighth and ninth hitters:

Pineiro -- 1
Kennedy -- 4

There's Tony La Russa's effort at stirring things up for his struggling Cardinals. This, of course, warranted a trip to La Russa's office to ask why he was doing it. He did it 76 times in 1998, when Mark McGwire hit 70 homers.

"If somethings not working, why keep doing the same thing?" La Russa said. "It's all about getting a position player in the nine spot for a second leadoff hitter."

It has nothing to do with Joel Pineiro, making his first start for the Cardinals since a trade from Boston. It might have something to do with Adam Kennedy, who is not hitting well (.221). La Russa said he had been thinking about the move for two or three weeks.

You might also note that Albert Pujols isn't in the lineup. He has a sore elbow that flares up every once in a while, La Russa said, and he will likely play tomorrow.

Other news: Nats sixth-round draft pick Jack McGeary was here for the full tour. Neither side -- McGeary and his family and his advisor, Brodie Van Wagenen (who also happens to be Ryan Zimmerman's agent) nor Nationals GM Jim Bowden -- were commenting publicly, but McGeary met lots of Nationals and hung out in the clubhouse and at the cage during BP. It appears it's a long shot that McGeary spurns Stanford for a shot at pro ball, because he feel slike he'll have pro ball to come back to after three years in college. We'll see.

Smoker: Someone asked how far apart the two sides are. I don't know this for sure, but I would say a (very educated) guess is that the number being offered is around $950,000. That's about what that pick should go for, and I'm all but certain the Nationals won't pay more. Because Smoker, unlike McGeary, wants to go straight to the pros, I'd expect it to get done.

It's hot out. Don't have to tell you that. Lots of Cardinals fans here early for BP. Talked to former Nat Gary Bennett for quite some time. Good dude. Oh, and had a long chat with -- drumroll -- Tim Tolman about coaching third base. If that doesn't make you pick up tomorrow's notebook in the $.35 edition, I don't know what will.

Enjoy the game.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 4, 2007; 6:10 PM ET
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Next: Stan Kasten is in the press box, and he is ANGRY


Still unanswered: If you're not going to ante up, why waste a pick on McGeary?

Posted by: cevans | August 4, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

although I gotta say, the White House tour is a nice touch.

Posted by: cevansjr | August 4, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What has abetter chance of success, schmoozing McGreary into playing pro now or whoever they would have taken in the 6th round making it to the bigs.

I don't think money is the real issue, this is a life choice -college for 3 years or GCL/Hagerstown/Vermont for 3 years? If he's as good as advertised he gets the same money or more and gets to the bigs about the same time anyway.

I very much doubt that Bowden hasn't offfered him the same or close to the same money as Detwiler. That will or would piss off the commish's office pretty bad, but taking him was a smart move - whether it works out or not.

Posted by: estuartj | August 4, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else who's a Comcast subscriber getting STAR TREK on My20 instead of the Nats game?!?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else not able to watch the game on MASN2? Can't see it on RCN in Bethesda, the screen is black. Funny, don't ever see the O's game out.

Posted by: TV Outage | August 4, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I got the same problem--the game is blacked out on MASN2 but not on Channel 20 as it usually is(and according to the schedule wasn't even scheduled for Channel 20). Somebody messed up bad. I called MASN and got a voice mail.

Posted by: Eric | August 4, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

lame black out business.

Posted by: jon | August 4, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm checking it out. Will get back to you.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | August 4, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Just talked to a service rep who said they're aware of the problem and are working to correct it.

Guess I'll be listening to Charlie & Dave, not that there's anything wrong with that... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

No MASN 2 on Verizon.

Posted by: Natstivity1959 | August 4, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It's listed for channel 20, but for some reason they aren't showing it, and either they didn't communicate that to MASN, or MASN failed to communicate that to the cable operators.

Posted by: Cosmo | August 4, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing, just saw this, and totally love it!

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

Posted by: Speaking of Poetry | August 4, 2007 11:06 AM

Posted by: Traveler | August 4, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I think Chruch needs to get his hearing checked. How many times is he going to run-over the centerfielder (or at least come close)?

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 4, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

... so LaRussa mixes up his line-up, with Kennedy batting ninth. (He seems to have responded in a very real way ... damn it.)

... but while I was surprised at Tony's decision, I wasn't shocked. To be honest, I can't fathom why it isn't done more often. The only answer I can come up with, is that MLB managers are all anal retentive, or obsessive compulsive.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 4, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I called Comcast here in Rockville and they said it wasn't their fault (of course) and that it was something MASN did. Comcast then said that I should call the following number (202) 737-3220. When I call it, it is the number for C-SPAN and you get an answering machine saying they aren't open now and to call back during normal business hours.

Barry, this smells like a story.

Posted by: Dsmac | August 4, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

If you've posted or are just irritated, here is the "contact us" section for our good friends at corporate MASN.

Posted by: Nats444 | August 4, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I called Comcast and was told the blackout is intentional, that they are aware of the situation, and that it is because not enought tickets were sold and their contract with MLB requires it. Obviously, I have no idea if the Comcast rep who said this is right. I called 1-800-COMCAST.

Posted by: Nats 08 | August 4, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

It appears -- appears -- that the snafu might be on WDCA-20's hands. The game is on MASN2 in some areas and WDCA in others. We have some people who are getting the game on MASN2.

Nats officials are looking into it, and I'm trying to get in touch with those at MASN. You might try calling WDCA.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | August 4, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

IT'S ON!!!!! St. Barry has helped us all. Thanks!

Posted by: Nats444 | August 4, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

you have a number for us to call? on the site, email is only betting they're gone for the day.

Posted by: jon | August 4, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

It's back on MASN2 now. Guess they wanted to make sure we watched Walliam Shi-- I mean, William Shatner on My20 before we realized it was back.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

holy moley. gotta having the ear of someone who can do something. thanks barry, if it was you.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad y'all got the game on finally. Simply outrageous.

How about Nook? He's having a great week as well.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 4, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan hits a 2-run double!!

Guess he's a keeper... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

... in my exuberance (or perhaps that's ignorance), I demoted Church one spot more than even Manny did. Of course, he's batting sixth tonight.

... so the topic of conversation tonight - at least for me - appears to be line-ups. In the quite likely event that the Nats next new CF in 2008 might also hit lead-off, I wonder where Flip Lopez will be placed. Based on his performance this year, I'd say seven or eight.

... now back to the game. The heart and soul of the team shows up in the fourth inning. That's my man Zimm, and my other man Dmitri! And who could put the knock on Nook - two for two, an SB and an RBI for the Nookie. Great! Followed by a double from Han-the-Man. These kid pitchers can hit. Manny, bat them eighth in the line-up.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 4, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

That sure was fun...

But... of all games that I like, I think I like that kind the least... because it is hard to make too many meaningful evaluations of how the Nats did, because the Cards helped them out so much... I will say the Nats sure took advantage of the opportunities presented to them... which is more than you could say in a lot of games this year... And it was nice to see Hanrahan get the win.

Watching the Marlins-Astros game now... not nearly as much fun as watching the Nats, though I kinda like the Miami play by play guys...

Posted by: Wigi | August 4, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The Cardinals pitcher batting 8th was weird enough, but Aaron Miles pitching in relief?!?! AND worse than that, getting a 1-2-3 inning with nothing faster than 74 mph?! Wow.

Hope Gary Bennett gets a shot to play tomorrow being a day game! Although, now I'm not sure I'm going to make the game because there's some sausage that needs making.

Posted by: misschatter | August 5, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

The $0.35 edition is more on Sundays, but if you're going to put a Tolman story in there I'll check the seatcushions for change. That'll be good to have around while I'm waiting for the charcoal to be ready in the parking lot. :)

Fun games so far this weekend, Go Nats!

On a night so hot you can't stand
Zimmerman took a pitch and he slammed.
That tied the score
then came eleven more
to say "welcome home, Hanrahan"

Posted by: i hate walks | August 5, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

You missed putting someone in the 3 box.

Posted by: periculum | August 5, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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