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Nats-Braves on March 30?

OK, one thing that people have been interested in - that doesn't have to do with Dukes or Milledge, Schneider or Church, Bowden or Kasten - is the potential for having a Sunday night opener in the District at Nationals Park, one televised by ESPN.

Dave Sheinin found out yesterday from a source, and I later confirmed, that it is appearing more and more likely that Washington will host a game on Sunday, March 30, against the Atlanta Braves.

We had originally reported that the New York Mets would be the opponent in such a scenario. That's what ESPN wanted. But the Mets announced yesterday that they would appear in the annual Civil Rights Game in Memphis on March 29. They didn't want to go there, then come to D.C., then get on with their season, which begins in New York.

The Braves' schedule is more manageable. They would play a one-game set against the Nationals that Sunday night and then fly back to Atlanta for their home opener against Pittsburgh the following day.

This has not been finalized, but should be done by the middle of the month. That would give the Nationals a national stage on which to show off the new park.

Back to the lobby. I've got some other stuff for you later. They'll announce the Clippard trade, I would think, at our 5 p.m. eastern meeting with Bowden.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 4, 2007; 12:44 PM ET
 
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Next: Day Two: Lobby buzz

Comments

Cool!

Posted by: Section 223 | December 4, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

YES - VERY COOL!! Now what would be even better would be to hear it broadcasted by Charlie Slowes. Any news on that? As much as I'm interested in trades, players will come and go, but Slowes is one of the best...

Posted by: Charlie!? | December 4, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Barry, That's great news!!!

Any word on when the Spring Training schedule will be announced?

Posted by: Nats Fan | December 4, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Barry, thanks for the update. Please be flattered that we have a huge list of requests for information. It means that we know we can count on you for info.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 4, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

A partial Spring training schedule can be found at http://www.springtrainingonline.com/teams/washington_4.htm

Posted by: Annapolis | December 4, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Barry, That is great news. Half of our new outfield does not have to report to their probation officer until Monday morning. We may have all 25 players for game one. That is unless we sign Gooden, Strewberry, Cobb, Rose, Vick, Simpson, ect...

Posted by: ChrisC | December 4, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

If you figure on 13 position players making the roster out of ST then (baring more trades) we have 2 spots to fill.

I figure we'll carry;

4 OFers (WMP, Dukes, Milledge & Kearns)
2 CAers (Flores and TBD)
7 IFers (Young, Johnson, Flores, Guzman, Belliard, Zimmerman & TBD)

I think they'll try to fill the backup IF spot with a rule 5 draftee (and probably go for a pitcher too if they can get one).

If they then trade any of the above for another IF or SP they'll fill in with FA or MiLB signees...

Posted by: estuartj | December 4, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

estuartj ; Did you mean to leave Lopez off the list?

Posted by: lowcountry | December 4, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Tigers were the team I used to root for before 2005. This was on mlbtraderumors.com and would be quite something if it happened:

Marlins/Tigers Cabrera/Willis Blockbuster


Ken Rosenthal has an update with a whopper of a trade rumor.

* The Marlins and Tigers are talking about a monster deal that would send Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis over to the Tigers for Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, and others. Dave Dombrowski has always worked well with the Marlins, his former team.

Posted by: #4 | December 4, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Woops, I wrote Flores twice instead of Lopez under IFers.

Sorry for the typo...

Posted by: estuartj | December 4, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry: I think estuartj listed Flores again by mistake when it should have been Lopez.

Posted by: DE | December 4, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I assume he meant Lopez when he wrote Flores in there the second time, lowcountry, but I was thinking the same thing.

I'm still debating whether or not Flores is an every day catcher, but I'm fairly certain he won't make any infield appearances.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 4, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Marlins/Tigers Cabrera/Willis Blockbuster
____________________

It would make Brandon Inge (Lynchburg native; VCU grad) potentially available to fill-out our infielders as well as serve as a third catcher.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 4, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I think we can get something for Nook. What? Seriously, don't be jerks.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Woops, I wrote Flores twice instead of Lopez under IFers.

Sorry for the typo...

_________

I noticed that as soon as I posted

Posted by: lowcountry | December 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we can get more than a bag of balls for Logan or Langerhans. Why trade for them when you can count on them being available through waivers since they (especially Nook) have zero chance of making the team out of ST?

Posted by: estuartj | December 4, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think we can get something for Nook.
_____________________________

Good point, 506. Having Milledge and Dukes now positions us to be able to trade major leaguers (Nook, Langerhans, Lopez(?)) for prospects.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 4, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

506:

I'd like to think we could get something for Nook, but I'm not sure. His stats in 2005 in Det and 2007 in DC are almost identical. The Tigers sent him down in 2006 and then basically cut him loose for next to nothing. It looks like the Nats are about to do the same. Ironically if he were still a LH hitter he might have more value for the Nats considering the RH heavy OF currently. He could be a decent small ball guy off the bench - steal a base, lay down a bunt, etc.

I just think that teams will wait for the Nats to release him. Why give up someone when Nook probably can be gotten for free in a few months? Maybe he's a throw in on another trade? Maybe?

Posted by: #4 | December 4, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Check out the lastest from MLB.com:

"The Nationals are shopping outfielder Austin Kearns and infielder Felipe Lopez for starting pitching. The Nationals have an interest in Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey and Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey.

-- Washington also has an interest in right-hander Livan Hernandez and is willing to give him a two-year deal, according to a source."

I saw Slowey a lot this year, and while he would be an upgrade, I really just want to see a Nats rotation that features Josh Smoker and Kevin Slowey.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 4, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What if we trade Nook for this guy Lawrence Davis? He'd be a great fourth outfielder. Batting .265, on-base .304, slugging .345, but fielding percentage .992, and phenomenal speed. What's even better is that his post All Star stats are .284 AVG, .320 OBP, .367 OPS, so he won't even really be a liability at the plate.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 4, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The Mets season actually begins in Florida, not NY, on March 31.

Posted by: Cosmo | December 4, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Inge probably stays at 3d and M-Cabrera would go to LF.

Wow. An OF of Cabrera/Granderson/Ordonez with Sheffield as DH, an infield of C Guillen, Polanco, Rentaria, and Inge. Pudge is their weak spot.

Posted by: jon | December 4, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

No, pick me instead. I know all about keeping women in their place.

---

Now what would be even better would be to hear it broadcasted by Charlie Slowes. Any news on that? As much as I'm interested in trades, players will come and go, but Slowes is one of the best...

Posted by: Keith Hernandez | December 4, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I sure would like to see Cabrerra leave the NL East!

Posted by: Randy St. Clair | December 4, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

That's a good one, 506. A rose by any other name ...

Extending off of esj's post about the roster, it seems the Nats will need to add a bench player who is a utility guy defensively and is either a LH or switch batter. A quick scan of the FA list yields these names:

Mark Bellhorn: No, he's done.

Todd Walker: I'm not sure he's got anything in the tank, and he also doesn't quite have the versatility defensively.

Abraham Nunez: He's a switch hitter who plays all three infield positions. I'm betting he could play the OF as well. His hitting stats aren't great, but we're talking about a bench player. He seems the best of this uninspiring threesome. He also might be D'Angelo Jimenez.

Maybe I'm missing somebody?

Posted by: #4 | December 4, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

'nother new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 4, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm probably too retro, but it would be wonderful to have the Major League season begin with a Presidential opener on March 30 at GEICO/FBR/Mars, but it can't possibly happen.

The Major league season will already have begun by that Sunday. I am assuming that the Prime Minister of Japan will throw out the first pitch. Sorry, I just feel that tradition needs to be honored.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 4, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Your Atlanta rumor makes no sense. Atl has a March 29th home exhibition game against Cleveland and then open at home on March 31st against Pittsburgh most likely a day game. They are going to travel to Washington D.C. for a night game and double back for opening day, I don't think so, more likely how about playing the Phils on the 30th makes more sense.

Posted by: MPH | December 5, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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