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Housekeeping

A few things as left-overs:

1. Some of you have seen this, which is a chart of ticket prices that, until a few hours ago, had single-game ticket prices on them. They were more expensive than season tickets or partial plans, and there were "premium" games that cost $5 more than a regular game for most seats. The "premium" games were all Saturday home games, Opening Night and April 25 and 27 against the Cubs.

So I asked Stan Kasten today when they would go on sale and when those prices would be announced. He said, via e-mail, "Actually prices are not yet final. We'll be having a number of announcements on a number of things like that the first week of February." So there's that.

2. Spring training tickets, however, are about to go on sale. Here's the release:

"The Washington Nationals today announced individual game tickets for Spring Training will go on sale at 9:00am on Saturday, January 26 at the Space Coast Stadium box office in Viera, Fl. Fans that purchase a ticket to any of the Nationals fifteen home games will gain free admission to the Spring Training Fan Fest, Saturday, January 26 at 2:00pm

Fans will have the opportunity to meet Nationals Pitchers Jason Bergmann, Ross Detwiler and Shawn Hill, as well as Outfielder Alex Escobar. Additionally, attendees will be offered the chance to take batting practice on the big-league ballfield, participate in a pitching clinic with Nationals players and pose for pictures in the home team's dugout. Tickets may be purchased at the Space Coast Stadium box office, located at 5800 Stadium Parkway, by calling (888) 632-NATS (6287) or by visiting nationals.com.

Washington Nationals Spring Training Season Ticket Holders are invited to a one-hour VIP Brunch Saturday at 10:00am followed by early admission to the Fan Fest. Space Coast Stadium is reserved for Season Ticket Holders until 1:00pm. Starting at 2:00pm the venue will open to individual ticket buyers. Fans that purchase season tickets prior to Saturday may attend the VIP Event. Spring Training Season Ticket Packages may be purchased by calling (202) 675-NATS (6287)."

So on the off chance you aren't swinging by the Panera at The Avenue at Viera for lunch on Saturday (it's just right down the street from HSCS, doncha know), you might want to call or just use the handy new invention called the "World Wide Web." I'm just getting the hang of it myself.

3. The Winter Tour is continuing in all its glory at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Md., on Thursday morning. Let's lift the essentials right from the release.

WHO: Nationals Pitchers Mike Bacsik and Tim Redding
Nationals Mascot "Screech"
WHEN: Friday, January 25, 2008
10:15am - 11:15am Second Assembly
WHERE: William Wirt Middle School

Not a public event. Remember the auto show coming up this weekend. Redding again.

4. Richmond as a Class AAA affiliate. Tim Pearrell of the Richmond Times-Dispatch explains in this piece why the Nationals can't just swoop in and take over Richmond when their deal with Columbus expires after this season. The upshot: When the Braves moved to Gwinnett County, Ga. (a move planned for 2009), they took the franchise with them. They are one of the few teams to own a minor league franchise.

That leaves the Nationals with a couple of options concerning Richmond, if they're interested, which I believe they are. They could try to move their Class AA affiliation there because, as Pearrell points out, there are a couple of Eastern League squads whose owners might be looking for new digs. No, Harrisburg isn't that far away, and yes, the franchise has a long affiliation with that city. But it's wedged between Phillies and Pirates country, where Richmond could be a real Nationals fan base.

Even to do that, The Diamond (the Richmond park built in 1985) would likely need some upgrading. So there are several steps, but picture the following:

The Orioles' Class AAA agreement with Norfolk is up after this year, too. I was told by a member of another club who is on top of these things - long ago - that when the Orioles' two-year agreement with Norfolk expired, the Nats would be there to pounce. (This makes even more sense because conventional wisdom holds that Cleveland will move its Class AAA affiliation from Buffalo to Columbus for 2009, when the Clippers are ready to move into a new ballpark.)

So say the Nats end up in Norfolk for Class AAA, Richmond for Class AA, keep Potomac for high-Class A and Hagerstown for low-Class A. You have the potential to build a strong fan base in Virginia, taking over what had been Braves, Orioles and Mets territory.

This might never happen. Even if the pieces start moving, it might not happen for a while. But it's the kind of thing the club is no doubt thinking as it tries to build a fan base.

OK, several hours ago (when we were starting to talk about a Zimmerman long-term extension) I said I might get you more info on Nick Johnson's workouts. I'll let that rest till Friday. Have an enjoyable evening.

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 24, 2008; 7:02 PM ET
 
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Next: Lo Duca injures left knee

Comments

With regards to the Nationals and Norfolk ... Ken Young is the president of the Norfolk, Bowie, Frederick and Delmarva clubs, all of them are presently Orioles affiliates. Not sure if that will play in the Nats chances in Norfolk

Posted by: Brian | January 24, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Just out of curiousity... what does a AAA (or AA) franchise cost? Seems to me that if you're committed to player development (like the Braves) you might want to own your AAA affiliate (like the Braves).

Not that I am complaining about the progress in the farm system... Last to respectable is something in one year... but as Barry points out, there is a certain logic to making those pieces fall into place... and of course, owning your own team(s) only makes the whole organizational culture stronger.

Posted by: Wigi | January 24, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

That would be great if the Nats could pull that trifecta off. Having AAA - AA - A affiliates all within relatively short driving distance of DC. I hope it happens. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 24, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

>> Remember the auto show coming up this weekend. Tim Redding. Perhaps a camp-out is in order. <<

Ah, the snark is back. Long live The Snark.

Posted by: Ashburn | January 24, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

When the Las Vegas Triple-A franchise was put on the market back in 2005, reports had the price tag around $20 million

Posted by: Brian | January 24, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, if Tim Redding (or any other Nat for that matter) is going to be at the Auto Show, they don't rate any mention in the show's TV/radio/print ads that are running this week. Redskins are mentioned by name, Wizards are mentioned by name, but no Nats are mentioned, even generically. I'd advise calling first before camping out, to avoid any possible disappointment. Unless of course you like camping out in front of the Convention Center in sub-freezing temperatures, that is. Don't be looking for me there...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | January 24, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Four posts in one day? Somebody's been a busy bee.

Posted by: Ready to go home | January 24, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. The Washington-area fans of the Washington Nationals will have to go to VIERA, FLORIDA if they want to attend THEIR team's FanFest? STOP THE MADNESS!

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 24, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I never did understand the logic behind having one's farm teams located hither and yon and not close to the major league city. Cleveland-Buffalo and Montreal-New Orleans come to mind. Why the heck isn't Buffalo the Mets' or Yankees' affiliate?

------
"That would be great if the Nats could pull that trifecta off. Having AAA - AA - A affiliates all within relatively short driving distance of DC. I hope it happens. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 24, 2008 07:37 PM"

Posted by: Juan-John | January 24, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Or the Blue Jays', for that matter?

--------

Why the heck isn't Buffalo the Mets' or Yankees' affiliate?

Posted by: Juan-John | January 24, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Sigh...I remember back in Ought-7 when Barry didn't even know how to link. Our boy is growing up....

Posted by: NatsNut | January 25, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Our friend Ryan Church is turning up in Johan Santana rumors. Reports are that the Mets are now the most serious about working a deal, that they will not do the deal if it means Gomez and F. Martinez, but that Martinez and Church may be the position players, along with Pelfrey and other consideration. Minnesota would be a great place for Church to play every day (or in a serious platoon). Santana in the NL East is a frightening thought.
Here is a link:
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/thebuzz/

John in Mpls - what do you hear about Santana and the Mets?

Posted by: jon | January 25, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Buffalo is a lot closer to Cleveland than it is to Flushing.
----

I never did understand the logic behind having one's farm teams located hither and yon and not close to the major league city. Cleveland-Buffalo and Montreal-New Orleans come to mind. Why the heck isn't Buffalo the Mets' or Yankees' affiliate?

------
"That would be great if the Nats could pull that trifecta off. Having AAA - AA - A affiliates all within relatively short driving distance of DC. I hope it happens. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 24, 2008 07:37 PM"

Posted by: Juan-John | January 24, 2008 10:56 PM

Posted by: 307/418 | January 25, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I thought perhaps this referred to the contest where everyone has to maintain contact with a prize auto for X hours and the winner receives the auto?

---

I'd advise calling first before camping out, to avoid any possible disappointment.

>> Remember the auto show coming up this weekend. Tim Redding. Perhaps a camp-out is in order. <<

Ah, the snark is back. Long live The Snark.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 25, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

eh, not so much...

---

Santana in the NL East is a frightening thought.

Posted by: Levale | January 25, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm a little confused myself. If the minor league teams have separate ownership, where does the 'affiliation' come from?

And how,and by whom, exactly is location decided? I kept trying to glean the answers from Barry's posts and other commenters, but I'm getting more confused.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 25, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Sigh...and soon he'll be heading off into the big, wide world....

---

Sigh...I remember back in Ought-7 when Barry didn't even know how to link. Our boy is growing up....

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 25, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

the affiliation comes from a contract signed between the minor league team and the major league team, hence the "affiliation." the minor league owners own the team and everything that goes with it, except the players/managers. those are provided by the major league team.

the physical location is chosen by the owners of the minor league teams. if the nats want to put a team in richmond, they'll have to convince the owner of a minor league team to move to richmond and sign an affiliation deal.

Posted by: 231 | January 25, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Jeff Smulyan should convince Selig to expand the majors to add Indy and Charlotte, which would free up a couple of AAA franchises. The cascading effect should allow the Nationals to pick up one of the International League franchises for Richmond--assuming that is how that would work.

Posted by: Julia's Dad | January 25, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

231, thanks for monitoring the Baseball Prospectus chat for us -- good info (in the prior post). I don't think Meat goes anywhere this year, he has to provide Nick insurance even if he's not starting, and he has to keep our problem child from Tampa in check. But next year, if Nick is healthy and/or our Rule V guy from Cleveland sticks, he's great trade bait because the team taking him would have the option to drop him after the season or exercise the club option for one more year. On the other hand, the chatter was absolutely right about our middle IF. We need two solid fielders with high OBPs to set the table in the 1-2 slots. Can Guzman, Lopez and/or Belly do that? Hard to say, dude, hard to say.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 25, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Buffalo is pretty close to Cleveland. About a three hours drive. It's closer than Norfolk is to DC...

But the Montreal/New Orleans relationship is a bit strange. Maybe it is because of the whole Acadian thing.

Posted by: DE | January 25, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, it's mostly Wild and Gophers hockey coverage up here right now.

Yankees said they're out of the running, but the Star Tribune is reporting they've contacted the Twins at least three times this week.

Twins said they'd go to Spring Training with Santana, but it's really a last resort. Look for something to get done soon.

And, as funny as the comment by Levale was, Santana in the NL East scares the crap out of me. I keep seeing visions of that 17-strikeout performance against Texas last year.

-----

John in Mpls - what do you hear about Santana and the Mets?

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Thanks very much 231.

So what else is there for a minor league owner to own besides the players and managers? Do they necessarily own the ballpark too?

Posted by: NatsNut | January 25, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

This is like the game of Risk. C'mon Stan and Ted - get your armies ready. I'm pumped about the possibility of these minor league affiliations, even though Harbor Park is a little overrated (in my humble opinion).

Posted by: Corey | January 25, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

If Meat does move, look to the Twins as a possibilty. Barry talked about how he might benefit the team last season, and the team recently traded for his brother, Delmon. Just a thought.

-----

he's great trade bait because the team taking him would have the option to drop him after the season or exercise the club option for one more year.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. Nationals pointed out to me that I forgot to include Tim Redding in today's appearance. He was at the ice cream thing on Thursday as well.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | January 25, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't completely agree with Barry's minor league concept. Don't be so quick to abandon Harrisburg. From Northern VA via US 15, you can be in your seat in 2 hours 15 minutes including the walk from the parking lot(about an hour longer than evening commute rides to the DC stadium without the walk).

I like having a Senators National League wedge that reinforces the Philly/Pitt friction staking out that historical Southern PA fan base and US 15 serves well as a western boundary for Balt loyalties. I'm not opposed to a more Southern exposure for an expanded fan base I just like having it anchored with the historical Harrisburg Senators.

Harrisburg to the North, Richmond to the South, Potomac and Hagerstown along the way the geography starts to read like a history lesson. FO should be working now to add the Nationals baseball tour to all the Civil War trail signs. In future years I will want to retrace the routes of all these prospect future stars as I'm celebrating our run of World Series victories.

Posted by: Section 311 | January 25, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"So what else is there for a minor league owner to own besides the players and managers? Do they necessarily own the ballpark too?"

There's a lot of infrastructure to running a team. I don't know that the owners necessarily have a ton of capital investment (i don't think many own their own stadiums). but there are a lot of employees to run a team and a stadium, handle travel, etc.

i would think one of the most valuable things they own, tho, would be the franchise rights in the leagues themselves.

Posted by: 231 | January 25, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

he he. You got busted for the snark again didn't you Barry?

Posted by: NatsNut | January 25, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

speaking Speigner - what is his current status? anyone?


----------


eh, not so much...
---

Santana in the NL East is a frightening thought.

Posted by: Levale | January 25, 2008 08:59 AM

Posted by: theraph | January 25, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"So what else is there for a minor league owner to own besides the players and managers? Do they necessarily own the ballpark too?"

No. Art Silber (or whatever his name is), the owner of the Potomac Nationals, doesn't own the ballpark they play in. It's owned by Prince William County. He's been trying to get the county to build a new stadium for the team, but in these tough economic times that hasn't gone over well at all. His latest scheme is to sell the naming rights for a new stadium to some corporation. Which when translated means that he's trying to find a corporation to build him a new stadium in exchange for having its name on it.

One other thing that a minor league owner can do is coach first base, which the PNats' owner does. He bills himself as "the oldest first base coach in organized baseball" or some such nonsense. I don't think such schtick on the part of owners is allowed in the majors, though. Too bad. Having Peter Angelos as first base coach for the Orioles might actually increase their attendance. Of course all the additional people would be throwing stuff at him. But a buck's a buck no matter how you make it, right?

And BTW, your initial statement there was wrong. The minor league owner does NOT own the players, manager and coaching staff. Those are owned by the affiliated major league team - which also means the major league team is paying them, I presume. The minor league owner just stages the games and gets to keep the revenue from them. Theoretically I guess it might also be possible for minor league owners to hire a few of their own players if they wanted to, but I don't know if they do that or not. I would think that if some modern-day Bill Veeck who owned a minor league team wanted to hire a midget or a clown to play for his team to jack up attendance, he'd have to pay for it himself rather than sending the bill to his major league affiliate.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | January 25, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Pearrell's article lays out some interesting possibilities. One that it didn't explore in depth is the whether the Connecticut EL franchise -- currently a Giants affiliate whose owner is rumored to be contemplating relocation -- could be moved to Richmond. From the Nats' POV, of course, that or any other deal is irrelevant unless a player development agreement can be signed.

Now, I'm sympathetic to 311's arguments in favor of Harrisburg. On the whole, though, developing the Virginia market would seem to be a more efficient strategy for the Nationals than competing with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia -- not to mention Baltimore -- in central PA. It would take some work, to be sure.

Oh, BTW, lest anyone get any funny ideas, recall that the Harrisburg franchise was just sold this past May to a group that agreed to keep a team in town for the next 29 years. So, although there are a lot of ways that can play out, it's hard to imagine there not being an Eastern League franchise in Harrisburg for the next three decades. (My insane dream would involve swapping that franchise with Bowie; but besides being a non-starter on its face, that kind of deal would probably be hoeing a hard row with the lawyers.)

Posted by: Hendo | January 25, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Having a triple A team in Norfolk and a Double A team in Richmond would be a coup for the Nationals. This would do several things:

1. Block the Orioles out of Virginia.
2. Cultivate a very large corridor of people who have no historical major league baseball team bias. This area tends to gravitate to the Washington teams on a historical basis (Redskins).
3. With two farm teams within 2 hours the locals can develop links with individual players and follow their progress from Potomac, Richmond and Norfolk and perhaps into the majors. This can cross pollinate the whole Tidewater Virginia fanbase build interest in the parent club.

Posted by: Dale | January 25, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

So what else is there for a minor league owner to own besides the players and managers? Do they necessarily own the ballpark too?

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

The owners might not necessarily own the stadium, but they are responsible for it. Take for example, the deal that the owner of the P-Nats is trying to work out -- if the county provides the land he'll pay for the stadium.

Minor league owners have to take care of all of the operations type stuff. They are responsible for their own advertising, food services, grounds crew, etc.

that help?

Posted by: Steve | January 25, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Thanks 231 and 419.

231 had just explained that minor league owners don't own the players and managers and I was wondering what else there was TO own.

Ya'll both clarified a lot. Keep it coming.
:)

Posted by: NatsNut | January 25, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Steve, yes, that helped too.

Posted by: NN | January 25, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

When I first moved down here to South Carolina the Nats low A club was in Savannah, about an hour from me. Then, BOOM, they ended that relationship. Thats where Ian Desmond played his first year with the organization. That stadium was built in the 40's. But, it was updated and is a nice place to watch a game.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 25, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Dale makes a good arguement for the Peninsula campaign, but I still prefer our prospects tracing the route of the Army of the Potomac. Start in Northern Virginia, cross into Maryland and Penn, visit in Richmond with the final celebration in DC.

Thanks to years of Redskin training camp at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and a strong streak of central/southern PA independence from the bookends of Philly/Pitt (not to mention the daily commuters) there is a strong history between the area and Washington teams.

Posted by: Section 311 | January 25, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Another obstacle to Norfolk embracing the Nats is that the town competed with DC for the Major League franchise in 2004. I don't believe it was realistic for them to expect a major league club, but I can imagine there could be some resentment left over.

I would love for the Nats to shut the Orioles out of Virginia, but that will never happen completely, thanks to MASN. I don't see the Nationals becoming that big in NC either, but I certainly see that making a whole lot more sense than the Orioles being big in NC.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 25, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Then again, forget about the Orioles being big in NC. It doesn't make sense for the O's to be big in DC, either.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 25, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Four More Weeks,
By my calendar your signature should read Three More Weeks.

Posted by: 311 | January 25, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

He's on the Columbus roster as of right now. I'm pretty sure he's Nats property for the immediate future after the Nats brokered a trade for him from the Twins for Darnell McDonald, per Rule V regulations.

I'm assuming he'll be in Viera to compete for a spot in the pen.

Speigner Beats Santana is still one of my favorite headlines from '07.

-----

speaking Speigner - what is his current status? anyone?

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

311-

I thought so, too, but then I saw that the Nats open their camp later than most, on Feb 17! I figured I would wait until Sunday, when it really will only be 3 more weeks.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 25, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

FMW,
It's all about Pitchers and Catchers. 21 Days. If Barry is still our man in three weeks I expect his first official spring training food critique on the 15th.

Posted by: Section 311 | January 25, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else go to the Gifford's event last night? Thought you all might enjoy some pics. The event was quite sparsely attended (did they even promote this anywhere?), but that just meant more chatting time with Mike and Tim... what nice guys!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14272989@N05/sets/72157603791582110

Posted by: JennX | January 25, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Lad Billson says LoDuca tweaked his knee working out in NY and will have an MRI.

Speaking of injuries, he also says the Nats signed Escobar to a non-guaranteed contract and invited him to ST.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 25, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Quite frankly, those are both pieces of good news to me, Bob L.! Not that I necessarily believe it, given the source...

Posted by: JennX | January 25, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

loduca's tweaked knee is good news? you a big flores fan?

Posted by: 231 | January 25, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I do like Flores, but I'm mostly anti-LoDuca. Still can't imagine cheering for anything he does next year.

Posted by: JennX | January 25, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

BARRY,

I'm sending up the NJ Distress Signal.

Get your eyes on Hill's sinker ball and look up.

On 10 January you reported P&C's report on 15 Feb with 1st workout on 17 Feb. Four More Weeks did not become Three More Weeks because he is dutifully using a 17 Feb date; thereby, confusing me.

Official Site count down clock using the phrase "P&C's Report" corresponds to a 17 Feb report date.

Tell Me It Ain't So! Have I just been robbed of 2 days?

In your precise language please reassure me the team has it wrong and get them to fix the site. This is an emergency, I only have enough Hot Stove warmth to last until the 14th. Frost Bite is fast approaching and I may already be scarred beyond repair.

Posted by: Section 311 | January 25, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Enjoyed the pictures JennX, thanks for that.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 25, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the idea of Alex Escobar shaking hands at the Fan Fest. It's likely to land him on the DL.

Then again, what isn't?

And seriously, $5 more per ticket to see the Cubs series? I bet Kasten read that I was planning on flying back in for the series and realized he could squeeze an extra $15 out of me.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice pix, Jenn. Thanks for sharing!

Sect. 311, I feel your pain...

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 25, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing, John, but hesitated to snark, er, share it. :)

---

I don't like the idea of Alex Escobar shaking hands at the Fan Fest. It's likely to land him on the DL.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The Cubs have always seemed to draw well.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

311's dialing NJ 911. Somebody get 311 a hot chocolate. Or some schnapps. Hang in there!

JennX, did you sample the dinger? (Gifford's new ice cream sandwich, vanilla between two "real" chocolate cookies (Gifford's is all-natural). 320, naturally, has an interview with the guy who created it. Evidently Gifford's is going to have a shop inside the park selling dingers and Curly W helmet sundaes, among other things.

And I haven't become comfortable rooting for LoDuca yet either, although I'm not ruling it out either. It would help if he would come clean. And then hit a lot of doubles.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 25, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm somewhat ahsamed to admit how excited I became upon reading about Curly W helmet sundaes.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

They certainly do. I myself like to go to the series because, like in many other areas of my life, I'm motivated by hatred.

And I'm not saying it's unfair that they will charge more. The Twins do the same thing (fortunately, the Nats didn't count as a "premium" game last season), especially if it's only $5.

-----

The Cubs have always seemed to draw well.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I am very disappointed the Fan Fest is in Florida. I was really looking forward to taking my son to this this year when I first read about the possibility of one here in on the Post's website. Makes zero since to have this in Florida. Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and wonder what they are thinking.

Posted by: Bruce S | January 25, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

LoDuca's injury is front page news on MLB.com.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 25, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10599397

apparently Nats still working on longterm deal with Zimmerman.

Posted by: longterm | January 25, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

As many of you know there is a website www.mlbtraderumors.com that specializes in publishing trade rumors. The site names journalists from around the country as 'Rumor Royalty' when they report on trade rumors. It seem to me we need to get Barry named as royalty before he departs. But, he's going to have to come up with a good trade rumor to report on. Maybe LoDucca for a bag of bats or Patterson and Escobar for a box of ace bandages.

Posted by: NatBisquit | January 25, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The article on Zimmerman doesn't specify whether they are discussing a long-term contract or a one-year deal, the quote from Jimbo that references the long-term contract is a year old. Should we start complaining about how poor CBS coverage of the Nats is? (Kidding.)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | January 25, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"Cultivate a very large corridor of people who have no historical major league baseball team bias"

Untrue. Richmond has 40+ years with the Braves. It's Braves country. That might change in the future, but lots of Richmonders are pissed at their government officials for letting the Braves get away.

Posted by: Richmonder | January 25, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

to be fair, the only reason for the history with the brave is because of the minor league affiliate. it's not like it was a reasonable day trip to go watch the braves play. i think that is more what was meant by "major league bias." it's not quite the same as trying to capture the hearts of people who live in between maryland and DC from the Os.

not to belittle the associate that richmond has with the braves, just trying to give smoe perspective.

Posted by: 231 | January 25, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

In an effort to keep the flow of Nats discussion going, I asked a SABR-matrician on a Baseball Prospectus chat who he thought would have a better season (not career) offensively and defensively, Ryan Church or Lastings Milledge. He said he would go with the upside of Milledge.

I sure hope so, in spite of all the time I spent wondering how good Ryan Church would be if he was finally given a chance to play full time. The funny thing is, though, that I am still not convinced Ryan will play full time for the Mets (or Twins, if rumors sort out).

Speaking of trade rumors, the current tone of Mets blogs and newspapers is one of real dissatisfaction over omar Minaya's offseason after the team's horrible September collapse. I think that this puts extra pressure on Schneider and Church to make that trade a success for the Mets.

Posted by: Four more weeks | January 25, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

i like church, but i think he's shown he's a better part-time player than a full-time player. and he can't hit lefties. when he was playing every day, he slumped badly. when they started giving him time off (read: not playing against lefties and a few extra days off), he started hitting again. i think there's a corrolation there.

he's a great platoon guy, tho. and can play all 3 OF positions. good guy to have on your roster, but maybe not the best guy to count on for 150 games.

Posted by: 231 | January 25, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"to be fair, the only reason for the history with the brave is because of the minor league affiliate"

Four decades. Lots of great players came through. Lots of kids growing to root for those players in Atlanta. With highlights of those players shown on the local sports news first among baseball highlights even with the Nats now up the road. Lots and lots of people pissed when TBS games were blacked out, not because they were missing the Nats but because they were missing the Braves.

That's some more perspective. I can't speak for Norfolk, though.

Posted by: Richmonder | January 25, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Richmonder, you'd think this crowd would be a little more sympathetic to ya'll losing a team, huh?

Posted by: NatsNut | January 25, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

knee post up

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

maybe i missed something, but i didn't necessarily see people being "unsympathetic," (altho you're right, there wasn't really any sympathy itself given). i know it sucks to lose your team. i had always heard that the richmond braves were a pretty decent draw.

still, it's pretty much the way things work with stadiums aging. franchises are going to work the community hard to rebuild them (a la our stadium here). i don't know enough about the politics down there to realize if the braves were reasonable or unfair in their dealings.

Posted by: 231 | January 25, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

If no one succeeds the AAA Braves, Richmond would be the largest non-combined metropolitan area not to have a professional baseball team. (At present, Riverside, California, part of the Los Angeles megalopolis, is the largest combined area.)

Not that Organized Baseball necessarily gives a rip (ask us how we know), but that ain't right. Here's wishing good fortune to Richmond's civic and business leaders in attracting a successor to the Braves -- and I'll be mighty happy if it's a Nats affiliate that fills the void.

Posted by: Hendo | January 25, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Me, too. There's just something about eating ice cream out of a little batting helmet that makes me smile...

---


I'm somewhat ahsamed to admit how excited I became upon reading about Curly W helmet sundaes.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 25, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not being unsympathetic (maybe a little patronizing), but it's hard to say it's a matter of the way things work when the Braves owning the team has been outside the way things work. That's why we've never worried about affiliate shopping and things like that. Go to The Diamond sometime (no, I don't recommend it really), and the outside of the ballpark is rimmed with big photos of R-Braves favorites who became A-Braves stars. A lot of pride built up. It's hard to switch allegiances quickly, and it's hard for the Nationals to claim a territory as their own just because they think it makes geographic sense. Nats games were on Richmond radio this season, but I doubt many listened. The caravan stop last winter wasn't all that well attended.

Eventually, maybe. For now, this is a part of Braves country. Not as much as it's part of Skins country, but football's more popular here anyway.

The Braves were both reasonable and unfair in their dealings.

Posted by: Richmonder (Nats fan) | January 25, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

If no one succeeds the AAA Braves, Richmond would be the largest non-combined metropolitan area not to have a professional baseball team. (At present, Riverside, California, part of the Los Angeles megalopolis, is the largest combined area.)

Actually the High Desert Mavericks, Inland Empire 66ers, Lake Elsinore Storm and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League are all in the Riverside-San Bernardino Metropolitan Area.

Posted by: Go Terps Go Nats | January 28, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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