Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Ballparks and beat writers

New beat writer Dan LeDuc (kidding) comes strong again this morning with a good story about the origins of the architecture of the new ballpark. The Web version of the story has a slideshow, and the $.50/$.35 edition has cool early drawings that can be seen here (or, of course, at your local newspaper purveyor).

Other matters: The coverage of the Nationals themselves. You know, those dudes who wear the gloves and the tight pants and the red caps at home? (You'll get to read about one of them in tomorrow's $.50/$.35 edition.) This is not an attempt to make a beat reporter the story, but merely an attempt to make sure everyone knows where we're headed with Nationals coverage at the Post.

First, thanks for all the response - both kind words and criticism. Second, indeed, as I'd indicated long ago, I'll be leaving the Nationals beat full-time at some point in the near future. The move was announced in-house here last week, and I'll in fact be moving over the Redskins to work with two outstanding reporters, Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid.

This is not an easy decision. I love covering baseball in general and the Nationals specifically. Being the Post's first beat writer when baseball returns to Washington - and a framed version of Livan Hernandez throwing that first pitch April 14, 2005 at RFK hangs above the desk in my home where I'm typing now - was an honor and a privilege I never would have imagined when I came to the Post in 2003.

But as much as I love the game and covering the team, I never considered myself a baseball lifer, and the difference between 140-150 nights on the road (75-81 road games, seven weeks of spring training, a month of playoffs and World Series in October) and, say, 30-40 nights on the road (10 pre- and regular season road games, some travel for features and playoffs, etc.) is pretty dang significant.

Which brings us to the Nationals. Until further notice, I am your full-time Nationals beat writer. That will change only when we hire a replacement, a process that is promising and I'm sure will lead to a tremendous new talent being given the chance to chronicle all the Nationals' moves - on and off the field - as they transition into Natioanals Park. Even when the new person arrives, I'll help with the transition. We have a big spring ahead, with both baseball preview AND ballpark guide/preview special sections to come out the week before the season opener. My hope, too, is that I'll be around a bunch during the summer, backing up the new beat writer when he or she needs a break, weighing in with some other stories, etc., before heading to the Olympics in August and, eventually, to the Skins in September.

The Post's baseball coverage: Believe me, this is a priority. For a few of you - and you know your names - it's a point of contention, and I understand that. I've said it before, but I believe it's still true: We're developing as a baseball paper. Things aren't perfect, and we know it. (As I've said before, I grew up reading (and even delivering) The Boston Globe, so I'm familiar with the intensity of the coverage in certain long-time baseball cities.) But when there's news, we're committed to getting it to you. And when there are good stories - as you'll see in coming weeks, as spring training approaches - we're committed to get them to you.

Dave Sheinin, one of the best pure writers in the country, will continue to be our point man on coverage of all of MLB, and his MLB Sunday page in the summer has a deserved following. Boz is Boz, and if you think he's not absolutely giddy over the prospect of the new park opening, well, then, you haven't been paying attention. And yes, we'll continue to cover the Orioles, though not at the expense of providing Nationals coverage.

The new beat writer will have his or her own voice and style, but the commitment will be the same. When the time comes - and this probably pains me the most - I'll hand over the keys to the Journal offices. I'll make sure the Journal staff gets to know - and even like - its new boss. Again, voice and style and tone (and even, yes, snark) could be different, but I trust this will be the same type of gathering place it has been for diehard Nats fans since, for a short time, in spring training 2005, and then again through all of last season.

For Stan Kasten and others at the Nationals, I'm sure this is news that brings some celebration, which is fine. He's got plenty of work on his plate as it is.

So again, for those of you who sent kind words, I appreciate it. For those who have harped on me to do better, I appreciate that, too. When the time has come for the true transition to take place, we'll let you know. Until then, it's business as usual here - news, notes, analysis and features, both in the $.50/$.35 edition as well as from the Journal.

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 23, 2008; 9:09 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tolman out with Licey in the D.R.
Next: Zimmerman: Long-term or not?

Comments

Barry, thanks for the straight story, and for all your work - your shoes will be hard to fill. See you on the subway, headed to the games!

Posted by: Traveler | January 23, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Barry for President

I mean, wow, that rivaled Washington's Farewell. God Speed, Mr. Svrluga - Give 'em hell out there in Ashburn.

Posted by: Corey | January 23, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

That's all fine and good, but will the new writer go to the same place for lunch throughout spring training and then have to spend three years living it down?

To the sports section editor, how about replacing the Balmer beat with a full-time baseball columnist?

Posted by: WFY | January 23, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Barry, I've looked forward every morning to turning on my computer and clicking to your Nats Journal. I've rarely posted any comments (other than to inject a heated defense of Brian Schneider when doubters assailed his hitting last season), but I consider myself a big supporter of what you've started. I'll really miss your dedication, humor, and insight. Since I can't imagine raising a spirited defense of Paul LoDuca, I'm returning to being a silent fan of the Journal.

Posted by: Nats Gal | January 23, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It has been a pleasure reading your work everyday, and you will definitely be missed.

Maybe we can get Panera to name a sandwich after you....

Posted by: Section 203 | January 23, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Barry what I pleasure it's been reading your coverage these past years. I'm sure the next person will do fine and as a Redskin's fan we'll win with your Skins coverage. God bless!!!

Posted by: NiceNat | January 23, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything Barry, the nats beat and the journal will miss you and the Skins beat is lucky to have you. Until then, keep up the good snark.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | January 23, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

Very disappointing news! You will be sorely missed!

I've spent the last few years working nights, so actually getting to go to games or even watch them on t.v. was rare. Throughout that time I've counted on two men to keep me up to date on all things National: Charlie Slowes and you. I couldn't have asked for a better team!

Thanks for all the work that you have done, and for all the work you will still do. Here's to hoping that you find happiness and success over on the other side of the page!

Posted by: DelRayNatsFan | January 23, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Barry - Best of luck to you. I hope they don't replace you too quickly. You have contributed so much to my fanhood of the Nationals.

How about Chris Needham from Capitol Punishment?

Posted by: 1938FratStreet | January 23, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey Barry, I'm just another long-time reader/rare poster piping up to say thanks and good luck. It's really been a pleasure, and I'm so grateful for all of your work and dedication!

Posted by: one more fan | January 23, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations on the new beat, but we are going to miss you. Panera sandwiches will never taste the same. And I really enjoyed reading your book. You're the one reporter for the Post that I will read every day because you are such a talented storyteller. Best of luck.

Posted by: William | January 23, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Barry -

I wanted to add my good wishes to those of other posters. I click on Journal several times a day because I really enjoy your insight, knowledge of the team, writing style.

As someone approaching the age of 59 (and it pains me to write that) I am amazed at the amount of work the modern beat writer has to do. If Woodward and Bernstein had to write for the paper, the Web, do podcasts, write the Journal, conduct live online chats and appear on WaPo Live Nixon might still be President! (except that he's dead). They had to write the story ONCE and that was it. Woodward wouldn't have been able to meet Deep Throat in the parking garage because he was updating the Journal. Scary.

So, hats off to you, Barry and all the other Post scribes who make the modern era of journalism so interesting. Look forward to reading your Skins coverage.

Posted by: Vandy | January 23, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

... as always, there's a burger and brew with your name on it just waiting for you if you ever find your way up to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canuck-land.

... carpe diem, my good man, and all the best.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | January 23, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Enjoyed this site most of all and its candor has been refreshing. But all of your writing has been superb and enlightening. Your commitment to be fair but firmly independent of the Nationals front office was impressive and something the Post needs very much to continue with your replacement. Teach him the ropes on that score please.

One last thing, and no disrespect meant at all, but you should write something about the origins of your name--maybe you have and I missed it--but not having to worry about misspelling it or mangling it phonetically will be the only upside of your leaving. Best of luck with your new gig.

Posted by: Ted Leavengood | January 23, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The quality of Skins coverage at the Post, impressive as it is at present, should be going up a notch -- notwithstanding the fact that Barry will be coming back from China right at the beginning of the season with a honkin' case of jet lag.

You'll be missed by us Nats fans, Barry, but it sounds like we can anticipate a reasonably smooth transition. Can't ask much more than that.

Best of luck and thanks for everything.

Posted by: Hendo | January 23, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

The Journal has been the top link in my blogs directory for some time now because of your writing as well as your access to Nats news. I look forward to more great stories in the coming weeks, and in other venues down the line. See ya around!

Posted by: Gusto | January 23, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Barry, it's all been said by now, so all I can do is heap my congratulations and thanks on the pile.

I would add, however, that the Post has had the pleasure of having two "of the best pure writers in the country." It would have been selfish for us to keep you for ourselves.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Barry, you have been the best and I thank you very much for all of your outstanding coverage of the nats.

But the real question is will you be contributing to the Redskins Insider? For my money, the nats journal is the best blog at the WaPo and I'd be very upset if you weren't going to be contributing to the skins blog once you take up that beat. Please, please please tell me you'll still be blogging?!?!

Posted by: .390 | January 23, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Brilliant.

-----

Woodward wouldn't have been able to meet Deep Throat in the parking garage because he was updating the Journal.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse


An early welcome
To the RI Blog circus
(Hint: buy some armor)

Posted by: HaikuMan | January 23, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"I am amazed at the amount of work the modern beat writer has to do. If Woodward and Bernstein had to write for the paper, the Web, do podcasts, write the Journal, conduct live online chats and appear on WaPo Live Nixon might still be President!"

But, then again, Shirley Povich produced a column six days a week for what, four or five decades? And for much of that time, he was the Sports Editor as well, IIRC. None of the Post's current crop of columnists - Wilbon, Wise, Boswell, Jenkins - is anywhere close to meeting that standard of productivity. And that's counting any online presence they have. Kornheiser sometimes has his combover headshot in the paper six days a week, but even though they say a picture is worth a thousand words that still doesn't count for squat in my book.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | January 23, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Dammit, Barry. Am I going to have to become a Redskins fan now? Cuz I never imagined I'd be such a hardcore baseball fan and you are largely responsible for that.

In all seriously, we will miss you tremendously. The Post may find another beat writer who can deliver the game, and maybe even do it with a little flair, but your wit, snark, accessibility to us fans, and ability to make it all come alive are truly irreplaceable.

Thanks for everything, Barry. And hope to see you in the stands at the new stadium!

Posted by: JennX | January 23, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

Thanks for your great work over the last few years, I very much enjoyed it. Good Luck to you with covering the Redskins. When it comes to dealing with Snyder your going to need it...Godspeed.

Posted by: Section 505 now 203 | January 23, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Keep us up to date, Barry. I have enjoyed your electronic and paper stories from the beginning, and may even read about the hated Redskins if you are writing.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 23, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

What can I say that hasn't already been said? It's time to celebrate your new position, and to allow the mourning process to slowly begin for us Nats fans. We will cherish every word you scribe for us until the last of your superbly written pieces on the Nats is written. I certainly do not envy whomever follows in your footsteps. It will be a tough task to tackle...no pun intended. Good luck Barry.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 23, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

My goodness, you folks are kind. Thanks very much, though soliciting these kinds of responses wasn't the intent of this post. (And where are all you naysayers? The Journal is a balanced place, you know.)

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | January 23, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Barry

Thank You for your extraordinary work!!

Posted by: Natstivity1959 | January 23, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The ballpark Press Box webcam is back up after being down for almost 2 weeks...

Posted by: Gibby | January 23, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

...and best of luck on the Redskins beat Barry! As a die hard of both teams I'm torn in the transition but recognize the value for you. Congrats! You will be missed though over here. Any chance JLaC let's you co-blog the Redskins Insider?

Posted by: Gibby | January 23, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Surpise to some my mom did teach me to pick my spots.....Thanks Barry and Good Luck!

Posted by: JayB | January 23, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'll certainly miss your style when it came to the gamers - I always read them even if I had attended the game (usually don't do that with other sports).

On a related question - will the Post be releasing another poster to commemorate the opening of the new ballpark similar to the poster you mention above (Livan throwing the first pitch at RFK)? For those of us that have the first poster, it would be nice to have a matching pair.

Posted by: Shawn | January 23, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"where are all you naysayers?"

Hopefully they're choking on their double-latte-skim-cappa-mochas as they realize that it's very improbable that we'll get a another beat writer who'll put as much time and effort as you have to make NJ such a great place to come and talk about everything Nats.

Barry, thanks for all your excellent work in getting us Nat's coverage (and sorry about the demotion to the 'Skin's beat).

Posted by: joebleux | January 23, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Nuts to that! We want snark!!

-----

Your commitment to be fair but firmly independent of the Nationals front office was impressive and something the Post needs very much to continue with your replacement. Teach him the ropes on that score please

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Barry, Thanks. You helped me become a better Nationals fan since day one, three years ago. I think the Post IS becoming better baseball paper and you've been a big part of that. Good luck on the football side of world.

Posted by: Tim | January 23, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Barry, just a simple thanks for your commitment to keeping us informed. I'm a transplanted Phillies fan in DC, and even still I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your insights on the Nats and on baseball in general. Your replacement will have some large shoes to fill!

Posted by: mattw | January 23, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your great coverage, and for signing my copy of "National Pastime" at the Planet NJ tailgate last September.

Oh, for the day when the Post can assign more than one writer to cover the Nats full-time...

Posted by: Juan-John | January 23, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The Nats fan in me will miss you, although I'll doubtless enjoy reading you on the Redskins as well. Your work on the Nationals beat has been stellar - one of the reasons I am happy to subscribe to the Post. Good luck to you in whatever you do.

Posted by: Lindemann | January 23, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Nice post, Barry. As others have said, thanks for all of your hard work, the excellent writing (largely typo- and infelicity-free even in the online chats, which warms this editorial type's heart), and yes, the humor and snark. I can understand about the rigors of the baseball beat (it's a grind and all that), but definitely you will be missed. Perhaps we can arrange for some sort of tailgate repeat next year...

(and the Watergate reference *was* inspired...)

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I would like to add my own bittersweet congratulations to Barry. I had been away from major league baseball since 1994 (cancelling the World Series really irritated me). After reading Barry's book, I got my wife a 20 game plan last year (she adores baseball). It has been a pleasure reading your posts. You always shared information you had as soon as you could. My goodness, the reporting on the most recent winter meetings was amazing.
Thanks again, and best wishes on your new gig.

Posted by: Section 223 | January 23, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

NJ is always the first site I hit in the morning, and the last one at night. I'll miss (whenever it happens) your insight, talent, and exceptional story telling.
And, on a side note, this is one of the most knowledgeable set of commenters on any blog. They wouldn't be writing such good comments unless the topic was worthy. i think that says a lot for your writing, Barry. Good luck!

Posted by: Section 138 | January 23, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Argh, that tears it! I'm flying out in late April for the Mets and Cubs series.

The wife will be away for a week in the Minnestoa wilderness, the cherry blossoms will be in bloom in Nationals park, and the bile will be in my throat as I watch the Nats play two of my least favorite teams.

I hope Mr. DeLuc receives a check from Mr. Kasten, because that article did its job.

See you at the park!

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I waited 33 years to have a baseball team back in DC and having Barry to write about that return made it all that much better. I would have been happier to hear that the Post was making Barry the senior baseball writer and hiring another writer to assist with the baseball coverage rather than add another person to cover the Redskins.

Posted by: Section 307 | January 23, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Barry,
I joined the NJ brethren in that early spring training on that first year. I immediately found everything that I wanted at this site.

From the Panera recommendations (which were essential for my trip down to watch the Nats), to the insights about my favorite Nat at the time (Vinny!), and then the wonderful gamer from that first night when Castilla almost rocked the cycle, Livan almost shutout the Diamondbacks...

I could go on forever, but I check this site as religiously as people with OCD wash their hands. Thank you for all the hard work, excellent writing, snarky comments, hours puzzling out how to pronounce your name, and everything else.

I'll start following the Redskins if only to assuage my addiction to your writing. Good luck St. Barry, let us hope they'll put a statue of you next to Frank Howard.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | January 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

This is sad, sad news for Nats fans. Adding on to what others have said, I'll miss Barry's writing and coverage of the Nationals, in the paper and here, when he switches over. Shame to lose him to football. As a sports fan (and on/off Redskins fan), I'll still read his eloquent writing elsewhere in Sports, but it won't be the same. Can definitely understand about the time commitment, though. Thanks for all your great work, Barry, and look forward to future Nationals/Redskins articles under your byline.

Posted by: samantha7 | January 23, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Keep us posted re. your plans, John -- we could try to coordinate some sort of Planet NJ gathering.

---

Argh, that tears it! I'm flying out in late April for the Mets and Cubs series.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you will be missed. As a Nats fan stuck in Mets/Yankee ville, I've thoroughly enjoyed your work to keep me sane. Your replacement has huge shoes to fill.

As a Redskins fan, I am thrilled to get your insight on the 'Skins side of the house. Can't wait for you to tick off Cerrato as much as you did Kasten!!

Best wishes...

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | January 23, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Barry, many thanks for your years of service to all of us here on Planet NJ! As Czaban noted during drivetime last night, adding you as a beatwriter is a "coup" for the Skins. And clearly a lifestyle improvement for you, so congrats!

While the Post certainly has its naysayers on this blog, I don't think you have any personal enemies here. One minor thing you might want to note, though, is that if you wait until September to get to the Skins training camp, you might miss a thing or two!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 23, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Blog Father,

I don't give a flying Nook where you go.

Where the Nook is our Journal T-shirts you promise us last summer? Gone? Like the Cordero outing against the Tribe last season?

Well, Belliard! I guess I'll say this. May not roll off the tongue so quickly, but..Viva la Svrluga! Viva la Svrluga! Viva la Svrluga!

Now go Felipe yourself.

Posted by: Viva la Livan | January 23, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying your plans with us and your (solid) reasons for the change. You didn't have to do that and it's greatly appreciated.

I said it before, but you deserve all the credit for the "nut" part of my moniker. Your gamers and notebooks, but especially the Journal brought the team, and the game, alive for me. I think Kasten owes you for a lot of new loyalty to the team.

Like the commenter said above, your stories and Nationals Journal are the first place I visit in the morning and the last before I sleep.

You'll be sorely missed, but I'm grateful you'll help with the smooth transition.

Thanks very much for all of it.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 23, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Viva La Svrluga?

That's a classic right there.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 23, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I trust that this will appear in the "best reader posts" section of the print edition this week.:)

---

Blog Father,

I don't give a flying Nook where you go.

Where the Nook is our Journal T-shirts you promise us last summer? Gone? Like the Cordero outing against the Tribe last season?

Well, Belliard! I guess I'll say this. May not roll off the tongue so quickly, but..Viva la Svrluga! Viva la Svrluga! Viva la Svrluga!

Now go Felipe yourself.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you suck! You're the worst writer ever, you can't spell, you're lazy...

OK, I can't do it. You asked for balance but you'll have to get that from someone else, I'm a fan.

NJ was a godsend for me in Spring of '05 as I was trying to track the roster. I've been waiting my whole life for a tem in DC and have thoroughly enjoyed obsessing over it since we got one. You helped greatly w/ that.

I was glad to hear you say the new beat writer will be committed to the NJ. That's very important to me and to a lot of us. We care deeply about who was non-tendered, who was dropped from the 40 man to make room for the latest injury call-up, etc.

Plus, you mentioned Son Volt a couple of times so I found a new group. Along with old Uncle Tupelo records and Wilco - yes I like Jeff Tweedy as much as Jay Farar.

So, thank you for all the extra work you put in for this site and all us fans. We noticed. We were often amazed at how much information you sent our way and will probably tough on the new guy/gal if they don't deliver to the same high level.

Thanks again and we'll look forward to reading your Skins coverage.

Posted by: Avar | January 23, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

My only quibble with the posting would be where the [RF] is the [RF]? ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I meant the Viva posting. Context is everything...

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

We'll miss you in Central Europe.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | January 23, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on some unanswered baseball topics from earlier posts, I'm not convinced that Khalil Greene is the answer -- he's a low OBP guy like the ones we already have, and we really need guys that can bat 1-2 in the order. Think Reyes, Rollins, Hanley Ramirez, Tulowitzki, or Michael Young. We could have solved this problem by signing Eckstein or Renteria this offseason, although I don't really fault the front office for taking a pass given the ages of those players and the hope that Guzman might put up numbers like he did at the beginning of last year and/or that Lopez might improve. We need a top-of-the-order SS by 2010, though.

John in Mpls, yes, the game was to guess the opening day rotation (whether or not the fifth starter starts the fifth game of the season). My sense is that Hill is not a bigger question mark than Patterson on the grounds that his surgery was minor, whereas Patterson's problem seems chronic and somewhat indecipherable. I can't say I would be shocked if he never pitched another inning in the majors. Again, I'm certainly not hoping for that result, I just think it's possible he's done. I tend to agree that Balester, Detwiler and Lannan will start the year in the minors. I think Chico's in the rotation.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 23, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

man... that gets me bitter. Barry, thanks for everything you will be missed.

Posted by: Jason | January 23, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

This is a truly Svrlugian post, if you think about it. He covers the main issue (his departure), but he also manages to direct you to more Nationals news (this time coming from Mr. LeDuc), teases us with more information to come ("You'll get to read about one of them in tomorrow's $.50/$.35 edition."), praises other Post reporters (Sheinin, Reid, and Jasno), then gives is a brief glimpse into how sausage is made. Wonderful.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Certainly!

-----

Keep us posted re. your plans, John -- we could try to coordinate some sort of Planet NJ gathering.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

So wait, the Post will have three reporters assigned to the Skins w/ 16 games and one to the Nats w/ 162 games. What's that all about? Why just one beat reporter, how about two as a step in the right direction. I have never complained about Nats coverage in the Post but that ratio is not right.

Posted by: Avar | January 23, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the internal Post memo about Barry's move, which praises Barry extensively and has some encouraging things to say about what is expected of his replacement:

http://tinyurl.com/38jofe

Methinks the new Nats beat writer may come from outside the organization given that they just promoted the internal guy to cover the O's ...

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 23, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Bob L. Head, I completely get where you're coming from regarding Patterson and Hill, and I would tend to agree. However, my sense is that, if Hill is feeling any twinge at all, he won't be there on Opening Day.

Patterson feels more pressure at this point. He's already shown that he's less than willing to disclose his discomfort when he's injured, and I think that he'd do the same in Spring Training if he's not feeling 100%. He knows his career is on the line here, and I think he's really going to push it.

I also think Chico makes the rotation. It could be argued that he was the MVP of the rotation last year, if only because he was so durable. He represents protection from having to call up Detwiler, Balester, or Lannon too early. For a team that's looking to 2009 and beyond, that's priceless.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Bar,

I hear you talking about the Post's baseball coverage? When was the last article about a Nat in the Post's Sports section that wasn't an accumulation of notes off the Wire?

Posted by: MarkW_AlexVA | January 23, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

You'll want to acquaint yourself with the Dominion Brew Pub, about half a mile (or less) from Redskins Park. A combination of micro-brewery and sports bar. Who could ask for more?

Also, thanks for all your coverage of the Nats. Very much enjoyed reading your writing.


Posted by: Ashburn | January 23, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I still say you are the best part of the return of baseball to DC.

And I still say: you are a baseball guy. BUT -- okay, I see your point about so much time on the road.

Thanks for your excellent coverage, for your humor -- and your comments last spring when I met you hanging on the chain-link fence in Vierra.

PS Why not just take a little time to cover the Olympics -- then come back to the Nats beat?

Posted by: DC Diehard | January 23, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Barry- You are the best. Thanks for all you did to keep us up to speed on all things related to the Nats over the past years and I'm looking forward to the baseball work you'll do this year, even if it is not on a day to day basis as in years past.

Posted by: Hondo Lives | January 23, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I guess I am a "naysayer" so let me weigh in at your invitation.

First, congratulations on the move. A grueling travel schedule can certainly be rough on a family, and I am pleased for you. I have always thoroughly enjoyed your writing, insight and professionalism. As I think you know, my criticisms generally have been leveled more broadly at the Post rather than towards you, though I do believe that you could have done even better with more support. I am glad that you will finally receive the editorial support you deserve since you will be writing about the Skins.

Second, your departure leaves me even more concerned about the state of the Post's baseball coverage--which, as you recognize, is not where it should be. In my view, your solid writing has stood out so much in part because everything around it has been so consistently poor or non-existent. Sheinin, for whatever reason, has consistently shown a bias against and a dislike for the Nats. Boswell is hardly a baseball columnist any more--and when he does write a column about the Nats, just wait a month and he will write something else that completely contradicts it. And your editors have shown a consistent disdain for having to cover the Nats at all. How else to explain how Saslow's Philly Inquirer piece of garbage gets published?

Barry, you admit in your entry that the paper's baseball coverage has a ways to go for it be up to par. The thing is, other than you, I don't believe that anyone at the paper cares about taking it there, and now you are going over to "the dark side."

How's this for a suggestion: before you leave the Nats beat, Mr. Garcia-Ruiz joins you on a live chat, where he can discuss with the Post's most loyal baseball readers the paper's commitment to take the paper's baseball and Nats coverage to the next level. Maybe Sheinin could join too. What do you think? I would love to see it, but I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | January 23, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Barry was hanging from the chain-link fence? I'd love to hear the back story on that one (I'll bet that Stan was involved)...

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

All true, John. I also liked the part about keeping the readers informed on the transition while not making the reporter the story (though I think that the horse is already out of the barn on that one). And, as always, the classy solicitation and handling of feedback. OMG, I am so Barry's mom...

---

This is a truly Svrlugian post, if you think about it. He covers the main issue (his departure), but he also manages to direct you to more Nationals news (this time coming from Mr. LeDuc), teases us with more information to come ("You'll get to read about one of them in tomorrow's $.50/$.35 edition."), praises other Post reporters (Sheinin, Reid, and Jasno), then gives is a brief glimpse into how sausage is made. Wonderful.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse


Hey Barry,

For those of us in the outlying areas of the Post's reach (meaning up to Northern MD and down to VABeach), the post is $.75 on the newsstands.

Posted by: the hinterlands | January 23, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Talking of the Olympics, I'd be curious to know some more details about how the Olympic baseball competition operates.

From what I've been able to glean, the Cuban and U.S. entries are as a result of the Americas Qualifying Tournament which was held in August 2006! Will these same players be competing in August 2008? Seems quite a gap.

Not that I expect anyone to remember to check up on this six months from now; I just wanted to mention it while it was in my mind.

Posted by: Hendo | January 23, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea, Hendo, but it's no use sorting it out now. No more Olympic baseball after Beijing!

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Great job Barry. Going to miss your insight and honesty. Maybe when you visit natscan in New Brunswick, you can drop over to Prince Edward Island for a glass of wine and a baseball discussion. Some of the best golfing in North America too, if you're into such a pasttime.
May I presume you know where PEI is located?

Posted by: Jeeves | January 23, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

From Wiki:

The host nation is always guaranteed a place in the Olympic baseball tournament. The other seven places are generally determined by continental qualifying tournaments. For the 2008 Games, the Americas receive two places, Europe receives one place, and Asia receives one place.

The final three places are given to the top three nations at an eight-team tournament held after the continental tournaments. Qualification for this tournament is determined by those continental tournaments. The third and fourth place American teams, second and third place European teams, second and third place Asian teams, first place African team, and first place Oceania team compete in that tournament. [1]

This qualification tournament is new for 2008. It was created after heavy criticism of the previous qualification standard. In previous Olympics, only two teams from the Americas were able to qualify for the Olympics, despite the fact that the vast majority of the top baseball-playing nations in the world come from this region. Europe, whose baseball nations are substantially weaker, also entered two teams

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 23, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

No, no,no.

"Hanging on the fence" not "from the fence"

You know, fingers in the chain link, watching the team.

I started chatting with the unknown guy next to me -- "gee, that Acta is really enthusiastic" I said (I had never seen him before.) "Yeah, the guys really like it." He said. Then I realized it was Barry. I gave him a compliment, to which he replied: "these guys make it easy." Whereupon, he spied someone he wanted to point his notebook at, and ran through the opening in the fence, onto the practice field, and started asking questions.

You gotta admit, he is a good baseball writer (I wonder if John Jr. Feinstein had any influence on that?)

Posted by: DC Diehard | January 23, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Along with that of so many others, add my thanks for a job very well done indeed. Tremendously enjoyed the .35/50 articles from day 1 of The Return, and got addicted to the blog last year, mostly as a lurker. You put a lot of yourself into this beat, and we appreciate it.

Will watch for you on the spheroid pages, as I follow the sport with the funny shaped ball also. Thanks again and good luck with The Danny!

Posted by: NatsFly | January 23, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

My hope, too, is that I'll be around a bunch during the summer, backing up the new beat writer when he or she needs a break, weighing in with some other stories, etc., before heading to the Olympics in August and, eventually, to Skins training camp in September.

Uh, Barry? Training camp has always been in JULY. You're not off to a good start in your new job assignment

Posted by: TimDz | January 23, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Bad news indeed. We don't need more Redskins coverage. This town and paper is already awash in burgundy and gold, and we certainly don't need more.

I've always felt Post editors never quite knew how to get its handle on the fact that the Nationals, Wizards, and Caps actually exist. Now I know my hunch was right.

We'll miss you Barry.

Posted by: Rob | January 23, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

From a devoted reader in Texas, I must add my thanks to Barry for such excellent coverage these past couple of years. Your stories were models of elegance and insight, and exhibited an obvious devotion to the craft of writing, even amid the pressure of deadlines. Well done, and best of luck.

Posted by: Mike in Austin | January 23, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Also want to give my thanks to Barry for his great coverage over the last three years, but my big question is: What is a THIRD beat reporter for the Redskins going to do? Is there anyone who picks up the Post most days and says, "Wow, there just aren't enough articles about the Redskins in today's paper?" What is not being covered that a third beat writer is going to reveal?

Posted by: Eric | January 23, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Actually Sportstalk 980 had a segment yesterday where Czaban was arguing that there were not enough Post stories on the coaching search. Don't misunderestimate the level of interest in the Skins in this town.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Eric, this was my question too. I certainly get how the baseball beat could get to be a grind, especially if you are doing it in Barry's inimitable, 24-7, no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-metal, all-out totally committed style. And, if the Post decided they need a third 'Skins reporter and Barry wanted the job, they would have been absolutely crazy NOT to hire him.

But, what DOES the third 'Skins reporter do? There's only 16-19 games, for goodness sake. The roster is a bit bigger, but not by that much. There's no farm system.

Ah, wait, I think I've got it. Which of you is assigned to cover the cheerleaders?

Posted by: NJ Nut | January 23, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

So can someone explain why the Skins get three and the Nats get 1 reporter?

Of course, Svrluga did the job of three reporters but he is actually just one man (multiple personalities?).

When they do replace Svrluga will they do it with just one man? One person. Just one to provide gamers, features, blogs, podcasts, WPL commentary, etc.... Just one person to travel 180 days per year? Just one?

I'm a frequent defender of the Post coverage, but how can you ask just one person to consistently provide the quality and quantity of material that the Svrluga has offered us. And why can't we have two? A Svrluga at home and someone with more vowels in their name on the road?

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 23, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Is there anyone who picks up the Post most days and says, 'Wow, there just aren't enough articles about the Redskins in today's paper?' "

Apparently there is at least one such person: Emilio Garcia-Ruiz.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying, DC Diehard (I was waxing a bit too whimsical for cyberspace, methinks). That's a great story!

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I am more upset about this than the Fassel debacle.

I enjoyed your work immensely Barry, you will be missed as the full time beat reporter.

I hope this your choice and not the choice of the paper!

Posted by: cabraman | January 23, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything, Barry. You will be missed. I suspect that Mrs. NJ is pleased however (pity, I always thought so well of her). I hope you'll be in Viera at least for a proper send off - perhaps we could all meet at Panera!

Posted by: lowcountry | January 23, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

We can't deny the fact that you like us, right now, you like us!"

---

When the time comes - and this probably pains me the most - I'll hand over the keys to the Journal offices.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Barry for your three years of beat writing service covering the Nats. You will leave behind a written history of baseball's return to the Nation's Capital which is something to be very, very proud of when you look back upon your career.

I wish you the best in covering the Redskins. Lord knows you're gonna need it as the Redskins are beaten to death as it is by The Post's coverage. What a waste of talent to have you covering a mediocre football team with a moron for an owner. I hope you know a million ways to say 8-8. All the best to you and yours.

Posted by: Thank you! | January 23, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

another reason to hate Football!

You are a great writer with excellent touch, a keen sense of humor, solid appreciation of the game and a facility with the language which we enjoy.

Posted by: old section 314 | January 23, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"I hope you know a million ways to say 8-8."

...ouch.

Posted by: the skins | January 23, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Please add my thanks to Barry and my bewilderment to the discrepancy between Skins and Nats coverage. Attenpting to tie this thread back to the LeDuc article, my question to the group is "What is the Wi-Fi coverage in Nationals Park?" In this information age I want share the live experience and the NJ experience (of course adding to Charlie and Dave streaming live in my headphone). For the diehard stat geeks I would like to see more stadium access to BP-like sites and enjoy them on the largest scoreboard in the league.

Posted by: Section 311 | January 23, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

We may not have Barry at the new ballpark but atleast there will be ice cream... mmmm

http://www.jdland.com/dc/stadium.cfm?tab=news

Posted by: Gibby | January 23, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Barry - The baseball beat sounds like a bear, and I'm a huge Sheinin fan, but I hope you and your editor decide to have you chip in with features that a beat writer can't get to, at least part of the year. I hope a part of the Post's plan is that you keep that role in the 1st half of the year, and then have Carig pick it up in the 2d half when (without fail since 2005) the O's beat writer stops traveling to do game stories. I'm always willing to suggest a potential target for a deal.

Posted by: jon | January 23, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"I hope you know a million ways to say 8-8."

Barry covered a team that had no chance of breaking .500 for the past three years, so I'm sure he'll do fine with a team that made the playoffs twice in that time.

Posted by: HTTR | January 23, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

We'll miss you in Central Europe.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | January 23, 2008 12:31 PM
---------------------------

Seconded.

Barry, your work with the Nationals had been outstanding. As I won't be around this spring, where might I be able to beg an autograph for my copy of "National Pastime"? It's practically a collector's item, if you've moved away from baseball permanently.

Posted by: Atlanta/Budapest, Hungary | January 23, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

barry,

as a faithful reader (of the newspaper features, the notebooks, the online chats, and, of course, nats journal), i just wanted to chime in and thank for all that you've brought forth in your time on the nats beat.

it's been a pleasure to read your work. and all the hours of hard work and copy volume aside, it's the quality of your writing that i've always appreciated; it's really quite solid. your ability to develop a story, people it with real characters, and inject into that narrative some humor and nuance, raises your work above the rote reportage found in the pages of most sports sections. you have style, which isn't all that common in a beat writer anymore.

as a baseball fan who doesn't give spit about football, i'll really miss your writing. and while i understand your perfectly reasoned arguments for switching gigs, i won't go over to the dark side with you. no amount of good writing could make me a football fan.

on the other hand, if i run into you in the neigborhood -- at the market, tune inn, hawk & dove, tunnicliffs, stoney's, sonoma, belga, etc. -- i'd be happy to buy you a beer. i feel like i at least owe you that much for the past three seasons.

Posted by: blueson | January 23, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Man, Barry, talk about great timing. With a new trio of coaches, they'll be no shortage of things to cover over on the Redskins beat, and no shortage of angry, rabid fans to lap it up.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 23, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

From the internal WaPo memo linked above:

"We have long wanted to increase the staffing on our most critical coverage area and better serve the large audiences we have established on our new platforms."

---------

I know dat dead horse already be beaten, but how many World Series would the Nats have to win to become the WaPo's "most critical coverage area?"

Posted by: Juan-John | January 23, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Barry, no! You will be sorely missed.

Posted by: crazedcow | January 23, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to share that Matt, Darrin,(the bf and friend who came with me to the tailgate) and I just plopped down some plastic and are the proud owners of four 20-game-plan seats in section 418! Woohoo!

Posted by: JennX | January 23, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Gibby, for the ice cream link. Too bad Schneider is gone - his dogs Dinger and Ribbie could have helped promote the dinger...

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Again, sorry to hear that you're going!

Posted by: Nats Fan | January 23, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm... i dunno... is the idea of a "dinger" being promoted by dogs a good idea? i'm not sure if i like the connotation... ;)

Posted by: 231 | January 23, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

hmm, perhaps not... :)

---

hmmmm... i dunno... is the idea of a "dinger" being promoted by dogs a good idea? i'm not sure if i like the connotation... ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 23, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

". . . just plopped down some plastic and are the proud owners of four 20-game-plan seats in section 418! Woohoo!"

Excellent news, JennX! C'mon over and visit my rowmates and me at 310 any ol' time. (Well, OK, you can wait till the season starts.)

Posted by: Hendo | January 23, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping the Nationals play to get into the World Series long before the Redskins taste the Super Bowl (Giants are in, nanny nanny boo boo). This will be wonderful for us Nats fans, and it will provide the challenge that lets Redskins fans know what a great writer he is while they whine and cry, as usual.

OK, I got that out of my system, and I won't repeat the like. I meant it about Barry's skills, though.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 23, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry,

FYI from the Times story on the park (not the Post ofcourse)

"A video board the Nationals requested be installed in center field may not be ready"

Seems like something news worthy don't you think?

Posted by: JayB | January 23, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry. Appreciate your legwork, excellent gamers, and extras. Have been hooked on NJ since Viera. Congrats to you and Mrs. NJ for the improved future lifestyle. You've been very graceful navigating between our (mostly justified) criticism of the Post's Nats coverage and representing your employer. You have overachieved in providing us the Nats nourishment we crave. Hope the new guy or gal receives the institutional support he/she deserves. We'll be there.

Posted by: Geezer | January 23, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

In the interest of full (and newsworthy)disclosure, JayB picked his nose as a child and his life has not gone entirely according to plan.

Sorry, son, but one video screen (not the main screen) is not newsworthy, assuming it gets there eventually. There are inevitable minor delays in every construction project. As long as it's not a problem with the main videoboard (and it's not), then no one needs to hear about every light bulb that blows during the project.

Posted by: JayB's Mom | January 23, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Barry, thanks for going so consistently above and beyond the call for three years.

Posted by: Svrlugamania | January 23, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Barry-

I'm only a kid so I haven't really known any other baseball writing than yours, but since I have been interested enough in baseball to actually read the paper, not watch tv, you've been the best I've come across. Thanks for all you've done with covering the Nats. You've defenitely made it easier for me to follow my team, and I sincerely thank you for that. It has been great being able to get all the new info about the nats from you. As an aspiring young journalist, I hope I can one day be as good of a baseball reporter as you've been. I wish you the best covering the skins.

Posted by: natsfan93 | January 23, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to compliment everyone who posted today about B.S. What a pleasure it was to read so many nice things about the man who makes the Nats come alive in print. Perhaps another three years down the road, when he tires of the pigskin beat, he shall return to us, the faithful Srvlugians of NJ. Once he is away, after some time, he might yearn to return, for thats what baseball does to us. It teases us, pulls at our heartstrings. It will never let us go away for long. It's just not possible. Do you hear me Barry...do you? Just wait and see...you know it will happen, and we'll be here as always, your faithful undying readers and admirers. Yes, we will be here, always.

Posted by: SC Nats fan | January 23, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

you da man Barry

Posted by: CaptainCliche | January 23, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Woman...you are wrong...Again! The missing video board should be front page news! No get back to the kitchen and cook me my supper!

It ain't nose picking unless it starts bleedin'!

Posted by: JayB's Dad | January 23, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

That could describe most of us, I daresay. Now play nice or I'll send you all to separate rooms without your suppers and suspend your 'net privileges.

---

In the interest of full (and newsworthy)disclosure, JayB picked his nose as a child and his life has not gone entirely according to plan.

Posted by: Everybody's mom | January 23, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The hard work and consistent quality is much appreciated. I'll continue to enjoy the work for as long as possible. I know it must be a challenging lifestyle, but you have brought alot of pleasure to many people. Good luck.

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 23, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Barry!

And returning to one of his recent postings that elicited much charged commentary--team payrolls--AP filed a late afternoon report today about the final 2007 team net payrolls (reports can be found on CBS Sports and ESPN, among others). The Yankees and Red Sox are one-two; the Nationals are third from the bottom at $43 million-plus.

The complete list of teams follows:

N.Y. Yankees $218,311,394
Boston 155,402,595
Los Angeles Dodgers 125,581,316
New York Mets 120,927,727
Chicago Cubs 115,943,318
Seattle 114,367,309
Los Angeles Angels 111,038,577
Philadelphia 101,823,122
San Francisco 101,539,796
Chicago White Sox 100,189,832
St. Louis 99,329,875
Detroit 98,519,780
Houston 97,213,020
Baltimore 95,269,977
Toronto 95,069,351
Atlanta 92,634,468
Texas 78,923,435
Oakland 78,482,125
Cincinnati 73,072,635
Milwaukee 72,751,641
Minnesota 71,938,505
Cleveland 71,887,236
Arizona 70,448,367
San Diego 67,490,967
Kansas City 62,264,855
Colorado 61,348,681
Pittsburgh 51,360,907
Washington 43,254,278
Florida 33,072,472
Tampa Bay 31,817,020

Total $2,711,274,581

Posted by: Carl in 306 | January 23, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Gotta chime in and agree that we don't need a detailed run-down of every hiccup in the construction. Major ones alone should suffice. Given that: a) there are supposed to be tons of video boards in the stadium, and b) there is still a ton of time until the stadium opens, I'm not too appalled that the arrangements for one may be on the blink right now.

However, careful there, JayB's Dad... While I didn't miss that this was quite likely tongue-in-cheek, there's no need to venture into misogyny (or noses bloodied by picking, gross) here.

------------------------------------------

Woman...you are wrong...Again! The missing video board should be front page news! No get back to the kitchen and cook me my supper!

It ain't nose picking unless it starts bleedin'!

Posted by: JayB's Dad | January 23, 2008 10:27 PM

Posted by: faNATic | January 23, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I enjoyed your coverage of the Nats - from 2005 on. I'm happy baseball is here again (hopefully to stay) and you did a great job with the beat. Thank you.

I'm a 'skins fan, too, so hopefully you've already done some reading - Brig Owens' The Future is Now is good for history. Enjoy learning about Larry Brown, Charlie Taylor, Diron Talbert, Curt Knight, Jerry Smith, Sonny, Billy, etc. (OK, so that's ANCIENT history!!).

Here's a first suggested assignment - find out why the heck Art Monk isn't in the Hall of Fame yet!!!

Posted by: natswriter | January 23, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you went way beyond the call with your terrific work on NJ on top of a full plate of first-rate reporting. I used to buy the Post maybe three times a week until the Nats came to town, at which point I bought it every day so as not to miss a bit of your news on the team. Geez, Brian Schneider and Barry Svrluga,both gone in one season. This is a tough game. But am ready to support the new person.

Posted by: Section 109 (old section 406) | January 23, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's the advantage of living four time zones west of DC... you get to read today's paper yesterday... So yesterday, I read Barry's article about Nick Johnson in today's paper... Awesome piece, Barry... it's nice to have some reporting about something that we've all been wondering about.

Still some uncertainty... but things are looking up for Nick...

(only three slides, but cool slide show, too...)

Posted by: Wigi | January 24, 2008 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Go Nick Johnson!!!

Great story Barry.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 24, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

You are a class act.

Posted by: nativedc | January 24, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Barry. You were always thorough and responsive. I'm not much a football fan, but good luck in your new position.

Posted by: upperdeck4 | January 24, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Great article on NJ. Its pieces like that that make me sad that you are leaving us for the dark side. But I don't blame you one bit. Thanks!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | January 24, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Sad to see you go Barry. An example of why we all will miss you is today's great story on Nick. Hope he makes it back in good form.

Posted by: A Hardwick (Formerly Sec 417 etc) | January 24, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I also really enjoyed the NJ article, though I had the same wistful reaction as natsinthevalley. I'm assuming that Barry did some legwork on the In-N-Out angle (the culinary downfall of many a Nat, it would seem). Which leads me to the thought that, rather than the Redskins beat, perhaps Barry could cover the culinary and music beats. But for now, we're happy to have him on the Nats beat -- keep grindin', Barry.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 24, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

i vote for more barry on washington post live!

Posted by: wplfan1977 | January 24, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Nice story, Barry. Anyone who works as hard as Nick to get back into playing condition deserves our admiration.

The problem of what to do with two healthy, slugging first basemen will be a delightful one to have.

Posted by: Hendo | January 24, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Nick is looking trim but it always pains me to see pics or footage of that day...

---

(only three slides, but cool slide show, too...)

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 24, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I am really jealous of those Redskins fans who now have the benefit of reading Barry's stuff. I will truly miss saying "Well, Barry says this..." and "Barry says that...." when my friends ask me for a Nats update (because I'm the expert, thanks to Barry!). Also, I hope this move doesn't rule out a follow-up book to "National Pastime". I've been dreaming of having the rest of the Nats' story presented as well as the first season was in "National Pastime". Viva Svrluga!

Posted by: frog7694 | January 24, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Ditto on all comments on the NJ story. My only beef is with the in and out burger. I tried it in August when in San Fran, it's ok, but it isn't five guys.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 24, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

First of all, great pun. Beef.

Secondly, I tend to agree. It's alright, but there are a lot better places out West to get excited about.

Maybe you have to grow up with it. When I speak wistfully of Chick Fil-A to Midwesterners, those who have tried it don't understand my fixation.

-----

My only beef is with the in and out burger. I tried it in August when in San Fran, it's ok, but it isn't five guys.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 24, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Once you've been to Texas for a Whataburger, you'll never want to come back.

(Memo to FO: When in Houston, keep an eye on Nick's whereabouts.)

Posted by: Hendo | January 24, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way, JayB's mom and others, ease up. Full disclosure won't kill anyone, even if the video board issue (or any other) turns out to be overblown.

Posted by: Hendo | January 24, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Barry-

I will miss your NJ blog as well as your beat reporting. I understand that the Beat writer job must take a toll on your personal life. However, I will miss your daily comments tremendously. I am also sad that this will likely mean that there will not be a "sequel" to National Pastime.

Finally, I am sill amazed that the entire Post Sports section is dedicated to the Redskins. They now have 3 reporters and at least 4 clumnists who regularly write about the Redskins while the Nats have only a single beat reporter with some, in Barry's words, "snark" from Boz and Wise when they see fit.

Best of luck with the Skins and thanks for taking care of us for the last 3 years!

Posted by: roman1735 | January 24, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Barry,

Al Gore announced today that the climate change is 'significantly worse' than previous thought and that the North Pole will melt in the next five years. The next time you speak with Stan, please ask him if this will have any effect on the Nats long term Plan. What's the point of building for the future if the new ballpark is going to be under water by the time our draft picks reach the majors?

www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080124092029.zmwgovcr&show_article=1

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 24, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey! A front-page feature story on the Nats, in January no less! Now that's progress. As for Nick, he's lost weight, he's running the bases without a limp, and he's a hard working down-to-earth guy. All good. But a couple of lines in the article made me wonder how close he really is to returning, viz:

"... it almost seems he could, once again, hit a single." That's pretty faint praise.

And this of course:

"Yet for all the hard work -- by the end of this session ... Johnson will be bent at the waist, spitting to the side and cursing into the crisp January air -- there are other obstacles ahead."

And the closing paragraph, which says that family and hometown come first for Nick, and baseball second. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it's a healthy attitude for most of us, just not one that's generally found (or openly acknowledged at least) in intensely competitive professional athletes.

Overall, I couldn't help being left with the overall impression that (i) neither Barry nor Nick knows for sure right now, 16 months after the injury, whether he can come back at all, much less by Spring Training; and (ii) if Nick has another setback, he might not be all that reluctant to go home and be a regular guy, and resume eating his burgers and cheese dogs.

Am I reading too much into this?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 24, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Barry! I don't know what I can add at this point. I, too, am sad to see you go, but happy that the 'Skins will get such a great writer. Be warned - RI is no PlanetNJ, not for the timid. I'm sure they'll be delighted to get a writer as top-notch as you and Jasno could sure use your assistance - at least with his grammar and spelling.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | January 24, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

new post--with a heart-stopping heading

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Barry, did you think we wouldn't learn the truth? From the AP:


Washington, DC - Washington Post reporter Barry Svrluga, who covers the Major League Washington Nationals, appeared in district court yesterday to challenge alleged violations of a restraining order filed by the sinker pitch of Nationals right-handed pitcher Shawn Hill.

The judge upheld the restraining order, prohibiting Svrluga from making any direct contact with the pitch and forcing the writer to maintain at least a 1,000-foot distance at all times.

While Hill himself did not arrive for the proceedings, his sinker was present and very lively.

"At first, his attention was a welcome change. It was like he saw something in me that no one else did," the formidable breaking ball stated.

But when a curious interest developed into what the sinker called "an all-out obsession," the pitch felt it necessary to take action. It filed a restraining order last year after Svrluga "crossed the line" following a May 11th appearance in the District.

"It was distracting. It was frightening. I couldn't do my job. I just felt flat," the sinker testified, in tears.

According to police reports, the restraining order was first violated on August 14. Numerous subsequent violations were also introduced by the sinker's attorney.

Hill could not be reached for comment.

Svrluga, who spent much of the early portion of the court session establishing the correct pronunciation of his name, pointed out that the restraining order impeded his ability to earn a living.

"I write about the Nationals," he pleaded.

"Well, maybe you should write about the Redskins," the judge responded.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 24, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Barry,
You rekindled my old passion of following baseball in Washington. It took a while for me to find NJ but it became a daily read for me. Make sure you put your 2 cents worth into finding a dedicated baseball writer for us. Good luck.

Posted by: D Brown | January 24, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

John in Mpls - the truth hurts. At least my side is hurting from laughing. Now that is a real send-off.

Posted by: jon | January 24, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

John in Mpls, the Onion should pick that up. Well done.

Posted by: Hendo | January 24, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls-

Fantastic!

If fear for Jason Campbell's pass over the middle...

Posted by: roman1735 | January 24, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Execellent, John in Mpls!

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 24, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I mean "Excellent." The post should be carried forward, IMO.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 24, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Barry. I will miss you and love you. You are sent from God. You write in the most beautiful words. Not this smut they try to sell you in the Capitol Hill bars which I will never pay this price for! God bless you. God bless your wife and God bless your beautiful home. You are my brother (and she my sister). That you are married together is of no problem.

Posted by: Singh | January 25, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Strong.

Posted by: Michael | January 25, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone this was not Barry's obituary. He's being promoted to the Redskin beat. You canstill read himn there!
Congratualtions, Barry!

Posted by: Tom | March 16, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone this was not Barry's obituary. He's being promoted to the Redskin beat. You canstill read himn there!
Congratualtions, Barry!

Posted by: Tom | March 16, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company