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Dateline: Viera

Greetings from the land of planned communities, occasional brushfires and, of course, tasty sandwiches a couple miles down the road at Barry Svrluga's favorite place, Panera. (I, on the other hand, prefer the Asian noodle joint in the same shopping complex. But then again, I've been accused of being a food snob.)

Anyway, thanks to Mr. Svrluga for entrusting me with the keys to this finely tuned machine, and thanks to all of you for welcoming me into the tight-knit community of Nationals Journal.

Now then... let me begin with a news tidbit: The Nationals expect new catcher Paul Lo Duca to show up here tomorrow. (Even though today is technically reporting day for pitchers and catchers, a simple phone call saying "Hey, I'm here" typically suffices.) They also expect him to address, for the first time, the allegations in the Mitchell Report that he purchased illegal performance-enhancing drugs from convicted dealer Kirk Radomski. What they don't know is what form Lo Duca's address will take -- he may merely issue a statement, or he may meet with the media but say he will not talk about the Mitchell Report under the advice of his legal counsel.

Let me also toss out this nugget from GM Jim Bowden about how he believes the Nationals' new stadium in D.C. will play -- which is something everyone has been wondering about. In this quote, taken from a pre-camp media briefing in his office this morning, Bowden starts out by saying there's no way to tell how the park is going to play, then proceeds to give a detailed opinion as to how HE thinks it's going to play::

"You can have theories all you want," Bowden said. "I went through [a similar] situation in Cincinnati, where eveyrbody had a theory and there wasn't a single person that said a little fly ball in shallow right-center was gone, and every fly ball in left and right down the line were gone. You couldn't calculate that. They did wind studies, and they were all wrong. Every single one was wrong. We're not going to know til we get there.

"I think it's changing. Every time a new building is built around that ballpark, I think it affects it. There are a few times I've been there when the wind comes in from left field, swirls around a little and goes out to right-center. Is that going to happen when the season starts? I don't know. But I know it's going be more hitter-friendly than RFK. I also know it's going to be pitcher's park. It's certainly not a Philadelphia, Cincinnati or Wrigley Field bandbox. We're not going into that, and we're not going into [another] RFK. So it's going to be balanced, and I think it's probably going to lean towards pitching."

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 15, 2008; 12:52 PM ET
 
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Next: Lo Duca update

Comments

woohoo

Posted by: yay | February 15, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

lets hope its a pitchers park. i prefer the "national league" style of game anyways. a few homers here or there doesnt hurt, but the AL is so boring to watch. if the team becomes Philly South or Cincy East, I will be extremely disappointed.

Posted by: theraph | February 15, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, Dave.

I will also be hoping for a pitcher-friendly park.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 15, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Dave!

Thanks for the new park info. Can you answer whether or not we're going to have video features this spring? And what storyline are you most eager to cover?

Nats fans, what one do you want to see the most covered? I like the middle infield. Perhaps I'm biased from my playing days, but that's what I find the most intriguing.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | February 15, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Yippeee! Smart aleck comments about Viera and food! I can finally exhale. Thanks Dave.

Oh. And I guess the other info was okay too.

;)

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with CiL. The spotlight videos last year were MONEY.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I am freezing my arse off in Boston today. At least it seems a little warmer now with this report from Viera.

Posted by: mjwies11, Section 320 | February 15, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

A bit of snark, followed by two bits of smart reporting, I'd say Sheinin just tripled in his first AB of the new season. Great to have you on board, Dave!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 15, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Cincy-East?

JimBo begs to differ

Posted by: Corey | February 15, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals expect new catcher Paul Lo Duca to show up here tomorrow. (Even though today is technically reporting day for pitchers and catchers, a simple phone call saying "Hey, I'm here" typically suffices.)"

I predict that LoDuca's contractually-mandated "Hey, I'm here" today will arrive on a piece of Shea Stadium stationery ripped from the pad he swiped the day he cleaned out his Mets locker last fall.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 15, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of our beloved (or is it occasionally beleaguered) front office, did anyone else hear Stan the PlanMan's appearance on DC101's Elliott in the Morning show this morning?

It was actually quite interesting, and provided some front-office type perspective on both the hearings on Wednesday as well as a position-by-position breakdown of the team, including question marks Lo Duca and Dukes. It was reassuring to hear again, directly from the front office, that Dukes will be getting a short leash. Kasten also said that the talent evaluators on the team thought that he had the best athletic potential of anyone on the team.

As to the NJ/DY question, he indicated that they're open to solutions, whether that be in the form of split at-bats, or moving either one of them... so there's no fixed mindset either.

Just thought I'd share a few observations.. they haven't posted the audio online yet, but I'll peek back in and let you know when they do, if people are interested.

Posted by: faNATic | February 15, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It's going to increase offense by 20%, leatherpantsboy. (I think he doesn't want to scare the rotation).

Posted by: Ed | February 15, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Similarly, I also predict that LoDuca's eventual statement on the Mitchell Report will be brief and delivered on another piece of Shea Stadium stationery. Once you get into the habit of supplementing your income by stealing office supplies, it's hard to quit. Especially if you have lawyers to pay.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 15, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

But will the foul balls reach the row E of section 320 in the infield gallery?

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 15, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Be kind to our new catcher. Let him hang himself if he talks, but don't hand him the rope.

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 15, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Discovery Channel did an analysis of the winds, etc. at the new park and found that it will slightly favor pitchers.

Posted by: swanni | February 15, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dave, just what we needed.

Nice post by faNATic on big Stan's comments.

I think it will be more pitcher friendly than RFK obviously and think Jim Bo is right that it will be middle of the pack in the NL which would be fine w/ me.

Agree w/ others, please no Cinti East!

Posted by: Avar | February 15, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Swanni,
That had to be without the micro-eddies generated by 40k screaming Nationals fans.

Posted by: HALLELUJAH | February 15, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Chiming in from afar here, but as for video coverage during spring training, Jonathan Forsythe -- the washingtonpost.com video guy who was responsible for all that great stuff last year -- will be down there from Feb. 20-27, he tells me. He said folks can expect video coverage beginning Feb. 21.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 15, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

CAN WE BRING FOOD INTO NATIONALS PARK????????????????? Does anybody know?? I called the Nationals and the lady who answered the phone didn't even know.

Posted by: UPPER LEFT | February 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are right Jimbo. I hope you are right.

Posted by: Chad Cordero | February 15, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Can't stay away, eh Barry?

Seriously, thanks for the update on the video!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 15, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Barry Whom from Afar?

Posted by: Change is the Only Constant | February 15, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Discovery Channel may have done a study but as JimBo said, they did studies of GABP before it opened and they were ALL WRONG.

Posted by: some guy | February 15, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's pretty obvious that I am most interested in news about the pitching rotation - good article about Patterson in this morning's paper. I too am hoping for the videos and that the park is more pitcher-friendly than hitter-friendly. I like well pitched games much more than home runs.

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | February 15, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

MORE pitcher-friendly than RFK? How's that?

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dave and welcome to the party! I'm also hoping for a pitchers park. Ive watched an offensive slugfest and ive watched a pitcher's duel and whoever says that homeruns are more exciting has never seen a no hitter taken into the 7th 8th or 9th.

As for the Eliot in the morning thing... it would be awesome if you gave us the link whenever they put it up on the web, i havent listened to eliot for like 5 years now and it'd be fun to get their take.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

i'm hoping for as close to a balanced park as we can get. no more hitter than pitcher friendly. that allows fans to enjoy all aspects of the game.

i don't see how discovery could think that a wind study done before the park was completed and before the surrounding buildings are even built could be accurate beyond the month they did it. it will probably take 4-5 years to truly know the effects of the surrounding buildings on the wind patterns.

Posted by: 231 | February 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah... pitching staff and young kids are what i wanna hear the most about. That being said, anything on baseball and not reports, hearings, suspicions, drugs, etc, would be music to my... eyes?

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 15, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the stadium webcam, more progress is being made :) The lettering is starting to appear on the panel above the scoreboard (I assume it's going to read "Nationals Park") and the red seats are starting to go in in the centerfield club area.

I too will be interested to see who the park favors, but we really won't know the answer until at least one season is complete.

Only 43 more days!

Posted by: BSG | February 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I am freezing my arse off in Boston today. At least it seems a little warmer now with this report from Viera.

Posted by: It's probably the pants | February 15, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse


With Coke now being the softdrink of the Nationals, I wonder if we'll one day see a great big Coke bottle somewhere like in other parts...like Fenway, AT& T, Turner field, etc. The one at AT&T in San Fran as a giant slide in the middle that kids have fun on. Just wondering.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Good one, 419. He can't use his cell phone to call because it's toast.

---

I predict that LoDuca's contractually-mandated "Hey, I'm here" today will arrive on a piece of Shea Stadium stationery ripped from the pad he swiped the day he cleaned out his Mets locker last fall.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, thanks!

---

Can't stay away, eh Barry?

Seriously, thanks for the update on the video!

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 15, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I wonder when the Posts Fan Guide link will start to show Nationals Park seating instead of RFK seating? WT has a couple of new videos to look at, as does Floridatoday.com.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 15, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Opening day problem solved, I'm in! Just bought one $10 seat in a 20 game plan and I'm set for getting a pair of opening day tickets Wednesday morning.

Posted by: PowerBoater | February 15, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!!!
______________
It's going to increase offense by 20%, leatherpantsboy. (I think he doesn't want to scare the rotation).

Posted by: Ed | February 15, 2008 02:11 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's the web-site for anyone who's interested:

http://nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/presale.jsp?loc=20game

Posted by: PB | February 15, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have had a different design spring training/batting practice jersey every year. have the nationals made any uniform changes this year?

Posted by: ernie kyger | February 15, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Videos! Thanks for the update.

Barry, since you won't be down in Viera yet, I hope you're going to be able to see Isbell with his new band next Friday night.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 15, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I was walking by Guy Mason park on Wisconsin Ave today and saw Teddy working out. LOL he was jogging and doing some running. He is getting ready for this year. In actuality, they were filiming some promos.

Posted by: BRothbart | February 15, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Ted-dy! TED-dy!! TED-DY!!!

(Is it really dorky to have looked up the proper word break for that before posting? Don't answer that.)

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 15, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Discovery Channel analysis -- done as part of a documentary on the new stadium during its series "Build It Bigger" -- didn't say it would be more pitcher-friendly than RFK; just that it would be more pitcher-friendly than hitter-friendly. The analysis examines the cross winds around the stadium, etc. and said a breeze should be blowing towards the stadium in left-center.

That could be bad for right handed hitters -- and good for lefties, of which the Nats have very few. ;(

Posted by: swanni | February 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The park configuration that I hope for is one that is short down the lines with deep but fair power alleys. This would allow the Nats to bunch their OFs in the gaps to take away doubles and triples but still provide a chance for some HRs. The Orioles of the 60's and 70's made a living off of this. It makes for a pitcher's park where a good OF defense is rewarded. Think Buford, Blair, F Robinson. Soft throwers who keep the ball away and force long fly balls to CF thrive as well. McNally, McGregor, Cuellar.

I see the Nats collecting a number of guys who would fit that mold. Kearns, Milledge, and Dukes in the OF, Lannan, Chico, and Detwiler on the mound.

Posted by: #4 | February 15, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

i watched that show and vaguely remember the comment now, swanni.

but i'll stand by my earlier comment, those winds won't be the same 45 days from now as they were when discovery had the analysis done, nor will they be the same 12, 24, or 36 months as they are now. there are too many buildings still to be built, some of which will likely change the wind patterns.

Posted by: 231 | February 15, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

All-

MLBtraderumors has started a 2-part analysis of Jim Bowden's trade record. The first part, at the link below, discusses his trades with the Reds. The next we discuss his work as Washington GM:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/02/jim-bowden-trad.html

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

From an article on SI.com's Jon Heyman rating/grading every team's offseason:

"23. Nationals. As Jim Bowden likes to do, he gathers a lot of outfielders with tools (i.e. Dukes, Lastings Milledge), without regard to makeup. I do generally like what they're doing with the draft, though trading young pitcher Glenn Gibson (a Tom Glavine clone) for Dukes will prove to be a mistake. C-"

Posted by: Matt | February 15, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Waitinh for another update Sheinin!!!

Posted by: Omar Minaya | February 15, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

he gathered toolsy outfielders with "makeup" problems in the past? is that a swipe at kearns/dunn/wmp/et al?

Posted by: 231 | February 15, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The design is the same, although you can now buy one with Zimmerman's name and number on it, which will be my first purchase at the new team store. :-)

------
"The Nats have had a different design spring training/batting practice jersey every year. have the nationals made any uniform changes this year?

Posted by: ernie kyger | February 15, 2008 03:25 PM"

Posted by: Juan-John | February 15, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

If Jon Heyman thinks that Glenn Gibson is a "John Glavine clone," he's entitled to that opinion -- but he shares it with very few people (maybe Glenn's dad.)

I'm really starting to tire of Lastings Milledge being dumped into the "bad make-up/character" pile with Elijah Dukes (who DEFINITELY belongs in that pile. Or jail.) I mean, really -- he used some bad judgment in recording a song with the N-word and B-word. He showed up late to some games. He high-fived some fans after a HR. He apologized in each instance, and he hasn't repeated those actions.

I don't think it would take anyone much time to assemble a list of good/great MLB players with much more serious character issues than Milledge.

Posted by: Natty Fan | February 15, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Natty Fan, I'm willing to bet that Jon Heyman thinks Glenn Gibson is more like "Tom Glavine" than "John Glavine."

Although, honestly, it works out great for us if Glenn Gibson is precisely like John Glavine, and is someone we never hear from again.

Posted by: faNATic | February 15, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Coverage is Lacking: Great call on Isbell. I'll actually be out of town -- and catching the Truckers themselves promoting the new album. Can't wait.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 15, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Barry, aren't you supposed to be off-duty now? We're being nice, really we are. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 15, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice, Barry! Have a great trip. BTW, are you into Panic or NMAS also?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 15, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

No, silly. Barry's not working. I bet he's just being a fan like us, hitting refresh every 20 seconds.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

every 20 seconds, and I thought I was alone in that.....who knew?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | February 15, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The Heynman grade of C- was certainly worst case. I suppose it is possible if Milledge is a bad egg, as he implies, but I just don't get that impression from anyone but the NYC media. Remember, they are vicious (and viscous, the oily bums). I really think that this will be a great thing for Lastings. All you have to do is think about players who were great elsewhere, but withered under the glare.

Kenny Rogers comes to mind immediately, walking in the season-ending run for the Mets against the Braves, then resuscitating his career thereafter.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Journal, the pause that refreshes. ahhhh....

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 15, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I would love to know. Is it a done deal with RFK parking and a shuttle to the new ballpark? Is the RFK lot going to be free? Is the shuttle going to be free? AND, who's the staff ace?

Posted by: 6th and D | February 15, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

all i can say is thank god for the "reload every" addon in firefox. i don't have to hit refresh, just occasionally check the page to see if there's anything new.

Posted by: 231 | February 15, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Regarding parking at RFK, even though I have heard nothing about an official deal being finalized, here's the info from nationals.com (click on Nationals Park, then on Directions):

"Park FREE at RFK Stadium and board a FREE Nats Express luxury motorcoach to and from Nationals Park. ADA motorcoaches will be made available. The Nats Express will operate continuously from at least an hour and a half before game time through an hour and a half after the last inning."

Posted by: BSG | February 15, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, man-

I read a blog discussion on Ryan Church and the Mets:

http://www.metsblog.com/2008/02/15/burkhardt-ryan-church-is-excited/#comment-100081

The Mets fans, who were totally against the trade when it happened, are now finding ways to put all sorts of love on Church and Schneider. It is a good read. I asked them for examples of players who were hurt by the glare of the NY media. I really think the change will help Milledge.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

My exasperation after reading was that the blog itself seems to be updated about 10 times a day. NYC can't get by without constant input on the Mets and Yanks.

That is NOT a crack on NJ or CP or whoever. I am glad that I am not tempted to be sucked into 24/7 new entries.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Here is the first response I got to my question. Clearly, more than the NY press is acidic:

Milledge is a good player and most wanted to see him do well, but like you said the media does place a magnifying glass on players here. He would have been a distraction rather than an asset, also having him develop in NYC would be a lot to ask of him. Imagine playoffs and Milledge making a crucial error, he would never get over it. Neither would the fans. That's a lot to ask of a young player. Let him learn his craft in the empty stadium in DC where no one cares if he does well or not he will learn and if he develops into a great player then we'll sign him as a free agent.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

After that arrogant response, it brings another question to mind- Is Ryan Church the kind of player who might wither under the lights of the NY media and fans?

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Coverage is Lacking: Nah, not really a Widespread guy, and am learning about the All-Stars. I like what I hear there.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | February 15, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

". . . Is Ryan Church the kind of player who might wither under the lights of the NY media and fans?"

Maybe. Then again, maybe not. If you'd asked me to estimate the chances that guys like Ron Darling or John Olerud would have thrived in the NY media fishbowl, I'd have been most pessimistic, and most wrong.

Plus, any guy who's worked for F. Robby has to have some innate toughness -- not that the relationship went all that wonderfully. Still, do you suppose Minaya might have been mindful of that when crafting the trade?

Posted by: Hendo | February 15, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Darling and Olerud sure were good. I do wish well for Church, too. It was just the response from the Mets fan that rubbed me wrong.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 15, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Somebody asked earlier about the most important questions that need to be answered in spring training.I would list them in this order of importance:

1. Are JP and Hill healthy? By some miracle, if they can both give the Nats 30-33 starts, that would quickly make their pitching staff among the better in the NL.

2. Is Nick Johnson healthy? The Nats had the
Worst offense in the NL. A high OBP guy would be a huge plus. I wouldn't trade DY even if Nick's healthy. Their offense is so bad that they should keep any hitter they have. Use DY as a pinch hitter who gets 2 starts a week. That'll get him about 250 ABs.

3. How does Estrada look? He's one of the keys to the season. With all of distractions I doubt LoDuca will be worth a darn. They need Estrada to at least not be a liability.

4. Who's the lead off hitter going to be? I don't care for Felipe but he ought to get first crack. Long term that's not Milledge's spot, I don't see any other viable candidates. I suppose a corollary to this question is the middle infield situation. However, I don't think there's really that much of a difference among the three in terms of production.

I hope Dave and then Barry give us a daily sense of what is going on with these four things.


Posted by: #4 | February 15, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, free parking at RFK with a free shuttle? That's awesome. I was just doing the math and four our family of four riding and parking at Metro is more expensive than upper deck seats. There was nothing more convenient than parking at RFK. 295 to BW Parkway to the Beltway and bang zoom home in 40 minutes. I wonder how long it will take the shuttle to get to and from the lots at RFK? My guess would be about 10 minutes.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 15, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Cool Barry, I think you'll like the Allstars. I'm looking forward to checking out a new band (for me) myself at 9:30 Club tomorrow night, should be a good show.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 15, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats had the Worst offense in the NL. A high OBP guy would be a huge plus. . . . Their offense is so bad that they should keep any hitter they have."

The variables here are enigmatic. There seems little question, on the face of it, that both OBP and hitting will have to pick up if the Nats are to improve on the NL-worst 4.15 runs per game of the 2007 campaign.

That said, remember that they were at 4.60 runs per game in 2006 (winning two fewer games than in 2007), but only 3.94 in 2005 -- when they went .500 with amazing pitching, including great years from Patterson and Cordero, and even a pretty good season from Joey Eischen, the weakest regular in the bullpen (3.22 ERA in 36 1/3 innings).

Given the pitching we can expect in 2008 -- which I would guess will again feature a workmanlike rotation and a superior relief staff -- I would have to agree that the season will hinge on hitting. That's where I'm putting my hope, anyway, with best wishes to NJ, DY, Milledge, Dukes, et al.

Posted by: Hendo | February 15, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see that Barry acknowledges Coverage is Lacking, and is even willing to engage in a dialogue, eh? :->

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 15, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Right on, 419+1. We're really one big happy (or at least managably dysfunctional) family after all.

Posted by: Hendo | February 15, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, just none of you come after me at the 9:30 Club to try to shut me up, ok? (Good thing I didn't go to that barbeque last September and can remain anonymous ;-))

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 15, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Not so fast, CIL. We're working up a tailgate in April for the Cubs series, and expect to see you there!

Posted by: Hendo | February 15, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Teddy was working out at Guy Mason...When I used to umpire games there, the restaurants were doing so much cooking that I would do a game, take in all of the calories floating in the air, gain 5 lb. and still be hungrier than when I started the game.

I, for one will be somewhat disappointed if the park becomes truly hitter friendly. I grew up in Griffith Stadium, which for almost 1/2 century was the toughest HR park in the Majors. By the time that they had buried almost all of the other multipurpose parks, RFK was one of the toughest. I've sort of gotten used to it. But then again, I'd much rather watch a triple than a HR. 9 times out of 10 with a HR I can tell by the time the ball clears the infield whether it's gone. No biggie. With a triple there is excitement all around. Just more fun.

Posted by: Catcher50 | February 15, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"With a triple there is excitement all around. Just more fun."

Especially when it's Dmitri Young who triples.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 15, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Maybe Barry has been CiL all along??

(Or maybe I just had one too many drinks tonight...)

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"Dmitri Young going for 3!!! Are you kidding me?"

http://tinyurl.com/2b8cfb


I love baseball.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 15, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

from rob neyer:

• Ray King reported to camp having dropped 23 pounds, and "hardly has a gut." Apparently he saw video of himself from 2003 and realized he might have been a better pitcher when he wasn't a cartoon character. Really?

Posted by: 231 | February 16, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Things I'm most interested to hear from spring training:

-Who is or isn't looking good/healthy/like they're gonna be the starter or in the rotation.

-What team chemistry is looking like

I bet the house on Ryan Church cracking under NY media pressure. Or any pressure. Then again I've always thought he was a bum, and his doubles proved me wrong at least a little bit.

Another thing I would like to hear from spring training is wild optimism.

Nats 08 baby!

Posted by: nattaboy | February 16, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Unless it's Pseudoluga rather than Svrluga...

---

Nice to see that Barry acknowledges Coverage is Lacking, and is even willing to engage in a dialogue, eh? :->

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

CIL, I sure hope the Post prints a prominent review of your 9:30 Club show so you can start the next day happy.

Posted by: Geezer | February 16, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Stats heads won't bother with optimism, but will instead take a bloodless look at the season using numbers. The Baseball Prospectus "PECOTA" predictions for 2008 standings are one of those depressing exercises.

I felt sure that the Nats' improvements and the Marlins' seppuku would at least result in a predicted 4th place finish for the Nats. No such luck. The Nats are predicted to win 72 games, and the Marlins 76. Time to prove them wrong again, boys.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 16, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

That's the spirit, Geezer! Nice choice of pseudonym, it seems to fit.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | February 16, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

From Nats official website:

"Optimism abound on first day of Nats camp"


Optimism aboundS, my dear boy Ladson.

Posted by: Editing Gremlins are up | February 16, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Nate Silver's PECOTA-based standings predictions for 2008 seem a bit strange at first glance. Yes, of course I want my team not to finish in the cellar, but it isn't just that, I think.

As we recounted above, the Nats have been, ah, challenged in the run-scoring department. They won't be quite as bad in '08 as in '07, according to PECOTA, which ranks them 11th out of 16, at 759 RS. (Why shouldn't it be at least 800, with our new sluggers, and especially if NJ is healthy?)

What's really curious is that PECOTA is predicting really ghastly pitching. The Nats' predicted 855 runs allowed are assumed to be second-worst; only the Rockies, at altitude, are booked to let in more. (The Nats' '07 number was 783, tenth in the league.)

Did Silver miss the Discovery Channel show on Nats Park? Perhaps, but one can't help wondering whether he's built in a bit of the CW, viz.: you'll never go broke betting against the Nats. That may get you a lot of company for happy hour in the sports bars in Chicago and Bristol, but the science would seem to be lacking a little bit -- not that PECOTA is that terrific a predictor to start with.

To his credit, Silver usually comes onto BP a week or two after posting the PECOTA standings predictions, either to justify his formula or to diddle it some. Doesn't it seem as if it needs major diddleage this time around?

Posted by: Hendo | February 16, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for being on the ground down there. Do you have a camera or a photographer with you? The one picture of Chad is credited to AP. Point is that from what information that picture give us, Chad looks thinner but still leading with his gut quite a bit. I would love to see more than one picture of these guys who were hurt last year by their weight. Nick, Ray, Chad, DYoung all have said that being over weight hurt them....lets take a look. Also could you get some hard facts on what they are saying about feeling great? Radar gun, independent confirmation from catchers, (does JP and Chad have 94 MPH or not) stop watch times (Can Nick run like before or just without limping) down to first. Is Lopez moping around camp yet or just going to report on the last day possible?

Sorry to have to ask but we are not there and you are, want to trade?

Posted by: JayB | February 16, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Three stories and one column in another, unnamed local paper. The column and story on parking at Poplar Point worth the read.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | February 16, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the post that questioned the degree of "badness" that's been ascribed to Milledge. He's a kid, got carried away a couple of times. Personally, I believe this will be one of Bowden's best trades, ever. Check out the transgressions of, shall I say more prominent players. You know the ones-they perjure themselves, they cheat, they lie(guess that's redundant and they're household names. What's a couple of high-fives or rather questionable lyrics?

Posted by: Jeeves | February 16, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 16, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Milledge is harmless. I hope he thrives. And as for addressing the press, I'd rather have a statement from Dukes than Lo Duca.

Posted by: 6th and D | February 16, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

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