Winter Tour 2008: Food & Friends
So we're out here at Food & Friends on Riggs Rd. in Northeast with Screech (who is wearing an apron and whistling incessently), Manny Acta (wearing an apron but not whistling), Jason Bergmann (apron, non-whistler), John Lannan (same) and Charlie Slowes. This is today's installment of the winter charity/appearance tour.
Food & Friends delivers meals -- over 10.6 million of them since they were formed in 1988 -- to disadvantaged clients, many of whom are stricken with AIDS or other diseases. Over 75 percent of the organization's clients have a monthly income of less than $1,000.
(Jason Bergmann, just now: "What's a child entree?!")
The Nats on hand are mugging for the cameras and packing meals that can be delivered later in teh day. Lannan, Bergmann and Acta are wearing their jerseys with their aprons. Screech's feathers are still filthy, but he's helping out.
I'll get to baseball in not too long, but it's worth pointing out that the Lerner family has long supported Food & Friends, according to Executive Director Craig Shniderman. Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, one of Ted's daughters, was on the board here for a couple of years, and Shniderman says she's stiill an ardent supporter. That apparently made this stop a no-brainer.
I already talked to Bergmann by phone the other day, but I'll check in with Lannan before we leave here. He's working out in his native New York and trying to figure out when to head down to Viera (working out is good; in Viera, even better) for what will be his first major league camp.
Slowes: Still mum on his contract situation. As many of you who touched base with him over the weekend at the Health and Fitness Expo know, he hopes something gets finalized this week. Hopefully, that happens, and we can move on from this awkwardness.
Also later: I talked to player development guru Bob Boone about Chris Marrero's move from the outfield to first base, and while he was a bit vague -- "I don't really know why we did it," he said at one point -- the intention is for him to play there all year.
I'll file something more when I get back to the office.
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