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Bits and pieces: Philly

First meal of the playoffs wasn't at some local Philly dive (ate at Rick's cheesesteaks last week, related somehow to Pat's), but rather at corporate giant McCormick and Schmick's, made popular by Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler on (the late) Washington Post Radio. I was sitting at a table in the bar with Ben Shpigel of The New York Times, and who walked out after a nice dinner with his mom and dad? That would be Ryan Howard. Apparently, the cure for an 0-for-4, three-strikeout playoff debut is a nice piece of arctic char.

McCormick and Schmick's: I'm a bit of a seafood snob because I lived in Maine for a few years and because I go back there every summer, but if you want a nice, grilled piece of fish -- I had halibut -- it's very reliable. Also had an oyster sampler, which was great. But I don't expect this to be the most interesting meal of the playoffs.

Baseball: Talked to Jamey Carroll after yesterday's game for a while. You know why this guy's one of the most decent people I've ever covered in sports? Because it took him all of 45 seconds -- and let me remind you, this is less than 48 hours after the biggest moment of his career -- to ask, "So how did everything finish up in Washington? They played really well down the stretch." And he turned the discussion away from himself and to the Nationals.

Also saw old friend Vinny Castilla, who's living the dream as an assistant to Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd. He is revered in Denver, and is very, very happy. He wants to manage in the Mexican winter league, but he's enjoying the ride right now.

One last thing before I head to the park: Anyone who's watching the Rockies ought to look at how they're built. Seems to me this is kind of what the Nats want to do. As I said before here and in the paper, Atkins, Holliday, Tulowitzki, Helton, Francis and Corpas were all homegrown. So is today's starter, Franklin Morales, rushed from Class AA to the majors because of injuries to the staff. Morales and Corpas are direct results of a Latin American program the Rockies instituted seven years ago. So is right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. That's the kind of core the Nationals would like to build internally. There's a way to go. As Jim Bowden said the other day, "We need more Zimmermans."

Today: Sheinin, who did Sox-Angels last night, is off to Cleveland for Tribe-Yanks. I'm still in Philly for Game 2. We'll keep you posted.

By Barry Svrluga  |  October 4, 2007; 10:20 AM ET
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Next: Game 2 lineups: Phils and Rockies


"We need more Zimmermans"

They have two now (if you include an extra 'n' at the end). Bowden looking to bring Bob Dylan on board?

Posted by: More Zimmermans | October 4, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry, for the updates on Carroll and Castilla. Is Ramon Ortiz around, as well, even though he isn't on the playoff roster?

It's great, IMO, to see smaller payroll teams contending, and I like the Rockies' model for building a team (but, then, I'm a Kool-Aid drinker so I would). Gooooooooo Rocks!! Goooooooooo Jamey!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 4, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I hated it when they let Carroll go. What would our bench be like in '08 w/ Carroll and Belliard behind Guzman and a new FA 2B? Or could skip the FA and let them platoon w/ Jimenez backing up.

Marerro might be another Zimmerman, so could Maxwell. Might see both of them on the roster during '08.

Sheinen started off strong w/ the pants gag. Needs to up his game on obscure facts and stats to keep up w/ Barry though. We're all about nerdly data here an NJ.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | October 4, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Outfield walls
Fall down for him
You ain't seen nothing
Like the mighty Zimm...

Posted by: Hendo | October 4, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

He was definitely not slacking off on the humor front... :)

Adding the position numbers to his lineups would be great.


Sheinen started off strong w/ the pants gag. Needs to up his game on obscure facts and stats to keep up w/ Barry though. We're all about nerdly data here an NJ.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 4, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

And the muse makes an appearance. Nice, Hendo!

mlwetc. I was totally bummed when they let Carroll go. He was one of my fave Nats and given that his mother had died not long before I felt for him in having even more life changes coming his way.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 4, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Glad Jamey Carroll's doing well. He still sounds like a prince among men, as I considered him in 2005. I couldn't understand why Bowden let him go without at least looking for a prospect somewhere in the Rockies system...

Posted by: Sect 422 | October 4, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Jamey Carroll's is still a favorite Nat in my book. Did you have a chance to talk to Castilla? Did he have any fond memories of his year with Washington?

Posted by: 6th and D | October 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

MKevin, converted AL fan, makes a great point about "a second DH" in the prior post (for those that missed it, he argues that having a DH for the pitcher makes no more sense than having a second DH for weak-hitting middle infielders or CFs). I'm going to use that argument in the future (with attribution of course).

Also, how about Chase Utley's line from yesterday: 0-4, 4 Ks, 13 pitches!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 4, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I miss Jamey Carroll. He embodied the "Nat Spirit" of '05: hustling, humble, fundamentals.

Posted by: ElmoL | October 4, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

New post

Posted by: cevans | October 4, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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