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Nationals Journal: February 17, 2008 - February 23, 2008

Bowden Addresses Zimmerman's Contract

Under Stan Kasten's presidency, the National have maintained a fairly consistent policy of silence about contract negotiations, but GM Jim Bowden just spoke at length about the recent talks with agent Brodie Van Wagenen about a long-term extension for third...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 23, 2008; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Two New Faces in the Clubhouse

I expected to see newly signed lefty Odalis Perez in the Nationals' clubhouse this morning -- and there he was, looking dapper in the team's white home uniform (today being Picture Day) and talking about reclaiming all the "land" he...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 23, 2008; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Multimedia Extravaganza

While Dave is (probably) sleeping, I thought I'd sneak in here and make sure the NJ faithful saw the latest multimedia efforts from our team in Viera. First, spotlight on Nick Johnson: And second, a photo gallery from Friday's first...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  February 22, 2008; 11:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A Long Fly Ball

We're a little late with the afternoon post today because I needed to stay out on the back fields and watch some BP. And I'm glad I did. Wily Mo Pena put on a jaw-dropping display of raw power, crushing...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 22, 2008; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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When We Get Behind Closed Doors

The doors are closed, and Manny Acta is screaming and yelling and calling his players awful names. No, seriously, this is Acta's big full-squad address, and this morning in his daily media briefing he let us in on a little...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 22, 2008; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Luis Ayala is a Funny Guy

So reliever Luis Ayala, who, as you all know, was shot in a hunting accident over the winter, reached into his locker this afternoon and pulled out an orange neon cap with a picture of a deer and the words...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 21, 2008; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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And Now, a Word From The President

Nationals President Stan Kasten rounded up the media during the workout today, which could only mean one thing: He wanted to sell some tickets. Well, perhaps that was a little too cynical of me. He did have some other things...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 21, 2008; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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L Millz Arrives

That, of course, is Lastings MIlledge's rap moniker, which came to light last year when he made an appearance on a rap video for a song called "Bend Ya Knees" on the record label, Soul-ja Boi Records, for which he...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 21, 2008; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
 
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Welcome to Viera, Elijah Dukes

Your new Washington Nationals outfielder just finished an approximately 20-minute press conference here at Space Coast Stadium, and I have to say it was an impressive performance, relative to the expectations. He was composed, confident, introspective at times, and seemed...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 20, 2008; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A Fluid Situation

You can probably guess where this is going. According to the Nationals' PR staff, that is the state of the Elijah Dukes news conference -- or, I should say, the news conference regarding an unspecified matter, since no one will...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 20, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Boom!

Well, I'm just now picking myself up from underneath my desk here at Space Coast Stadium, having been sent scrambling for cover--while in mid-blog, I might add--by a sudden, ear-splitting, press-box-shaking, what-in-the-bejeezus-was-that noise. Once the locals stopped laughing at me,...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 20, 2008; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Odalis Perez Chooses the Nats

Yes, boys and girls, Mr. Perez is officially in the fold. The Nationals signed him, I'm told, to a one-year, non-guaranteed minor league deal that will pay him $850,000 if he makes the team. The offers from Washington and Boston...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 19, 2008; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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Waiting On Odalis

As we wrote in this morning's Nationals notebook (sorry, but I haven't figured out how to link to it), the Nationals are waiting to hear whether their offer to free agent pitcher Odalis Perez is accepted. I am told it...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 19, 2008; 9:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Da Meat Is in Da House

I hate to interrupt y'all's brainstorming session of all famous Boones and Boone-related puns -- I loved "boone-doggle," by the way, but am surprised nobody made a reference to Boone's Farm -- but there are other nuggets of news worth...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 18, 2008; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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NEWS FLASH: Nats Sign Bret Boone to Minor League Deal

Yes, you read that right. Bret Boone, who has been out of baseball since 2006, was signed to a minor-league deal, which was announced today. He'll be in the Nationals' accelerated spring training camp (the same route Dmitri Young took...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 18, 2008; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Johnson Swings, Lopez Smiles, Zimmerman Arrives

Oh, and on top of all that, pitchers and catchers had their first official workout of the spring. Busy day in Viera. Nick Johnson delighted onlookers, including the manager and GM, with a solid batting-practice session (Jim Bowden's assessment: "Phenomenal"),...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 17, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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And away we go...

The Nationals' pitchers and catchers will be on the practice fields momentarily for the first official workout of the spring. John Patterson just approached a couple of reporters and said, "Are you excited?" Before anyone could answer, he blurted: "Not...

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 17, 2008; 8:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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