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Waiting For Svrluga

Yes, folks, my stint as the fill-in correspondent on NJ is coming to a close, because, as we speak, the Prince of Panera himself is making his way to Viera from Washington (via Orlando International Airport). Once Barry arrives, I'll begin my trek around the state of Florida, checking in with a half-dozen or so other camps before heading home myself for a breather.

This leads me to a question: Are you folks interested in hearing about other teams in this venue? Or would you rather not be distracted from the topic at hand, which is, of course, the Nationals? I won't be offended if you tell me you don't want to be reading about, say, the Detroit Tigers in Nationals Journal.

Quiet morning so far. Manny Acta confirmed what we wrote this morning, that Nick Johnson will play Wednesday night in Jupiter, Fla., against the Florida Marlins, and he further confirmed that Johnson will be in the starting lineup against Marlins lefty Scott Olsen. (Keep in mind, of course, that starters generally only pitch two innings this early in the spring, so Johnson would only be facing Olsen once.)

The Nationals' starter Wednesday night? According to Acta, that would be lefty Matt Chico, a bit of a forgotten man in this camp. He pitched admirably for the Nationals last season, leading the team in number of starts and innings pitched. But as we have written here a couple of times, the collective talent level among starting pitchers in camp this year, relative to last year, has grown exponentially, with the additions of folks like John Lannan, Tyler Clippard and yes, Odalis Perez (who is, at worst, a league-average lefty). Despite Chico's efforts last year, he is by no means guaranteed a spot in this rotation, and in fact, if I had to guess the Nationals' rotation at this point, he would not be in it. (I'd probably go Patterson-Hill-Perez-Bergmann-Redding.... or maybe Lannan in the fifth spot.... no, I'll stick with Redding.)

And speaking of Bergmann, he told me today he's a semi-faithful reader of NJ. (My response: "You must be bored.") Perhaps if we all ask nicely here, we can get him to chime in via the comments. How 'bout it, Jay?

Weather today: Fair skies and 67 degrees, rising to a high of 78.

Soundtrack: Whiskeytown, "Strangers Almanac" (deluxe re-issue).

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 25, 2008; 8:44 AM ET
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Next: HD news is here!


I would like to see the Nats Journal opened up for more than one writer the way that Carter and Lee split the Wizards Insider. Stories about other teams would be welcome, but even better would be two points of view about the Nats.

Posted by: PowerBoater | February 25, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I prefer a Nats-only Nats Journal. We get enough of the other teams in the paper, so we don't need them to infiltrate here.

Of course, I'd welcome many more posts about Whiskeytown, particularly on why Caitlin Cary has proven by far to be Ryan Adams' better half.

Posted by: Rob | February 25, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dave - good job.

Posted by: Svrlugamania | February 25, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'd love to see a view of other teams during S.T., with emphasis on other N.L. east teams. I'd also love to see Boz on line, but fear that he would be ripped apart.

BTW, with due respect to Barry Consonants and you, how goes the search for a new beat writer? It would really be nice to have one in place before S.T. is over.

Posted by: Catcher50 | February 25, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

How about a Baseball Journal in addition to the NJ? More baseball coverage is better for all fans. PS - The O's would be covered by a BJ.

Posted by: Smirkman | February 25, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Dave - it's been great reading your posts! I think it would be a very good thing to have both you and Barry chime in!

Also, I saw someone ask about MASN broadcasting ST games, but I didn't see a response - does anyone know the answer?!

Posted by: BigNatsFan | February 25, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I'd also welcome posts about other teams as well. Nats are my team, but I'd love the info on others too. Please stay in the loop Dave. BTW - Panera is overrated.

While I like Tim Redding and his amazing perseverance, personally I'll be disapointed if Chico isn't one of our starters.

Posted by: Bazz | February 25, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I agree. I'd love to hear from Mr.Bergmann or any other player,Svrluga, Shenin, Huckleberry Hound, the more the merrier, eh. I've always felt the players know better how other players are doing. Thier insight will be welcomed and more beat reporters or columnist. GO FOR IT!!!
More, more, more, more, more...

Posted by: NiceNat | February 25, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I second the idea of having information from other teams on the NJ for spring training, but would like to keep it a little more focused towards NL and even other NL East teams.

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | February 25, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"Are you folks interested in hearing about other teams in this venue? Or would you rather not be distracted from the topic at hand, which is, of course, the Nationals?"

Yeah, sure, let's hear all about those other non-Washington teams in the WASHINGTON Post. But let's hear about all those other teams equally. First step toward that end: pull that Carig guy off the Orioles beat and start spreading him around. Or better yet, add him to the Nationals beat and let Dave cover all the rest of MLB. That would be proper allocation of resources for a newspaper that covers its local team properly.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 25, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

137 1/3 IP
178 H
85 ER
50/64 BB/K

You call this mess "league average?" I slo-pitch softball maybe but not in the National League.

League average starters get $7-$10mil not $850,000 minor league deals.

Posted by: R U Kidding Me | February 25, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Dave - thanks again for keeping us connected while Barry was away. I would love to hear about some other teams, especially the ones that made big moves, Tigers would be great. Of course, NL East, not sure if they are all in FL or some in AZ.

Surprised, but happy to hear Bergman is a lurker. Having an active player post would probably be the highlight of the NJ's brief history.

Posted by: Avar | February 25, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Seems only rational to have a Nats Journal about Nats and then an MLB Insider -- ala Maske's NFL Insider.

Posted by: Ryan | February 25, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse


Will any Spring training games be on TV?

Doesn't anyone care? (Or shall we spend the month of March with group readings of Zim's contract?)

Posted by: Bethesda Fan | February 25, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I dont think Chico should worry, with Patterson and Hill penciled in they are bound to miss some starts hence giving Lannan and/or Chico some starts

Posted by: ButterSchultz | February 25, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dave, for pinch-hitting over the past 10 days.

I'd be interested to see comments from Bergmann or other Nats.

I'm not so much into the idea of online blog coverage of other teams (periodic chats, maybe). Coverage of other NL East teams might be interesting as others have noted. I'd prefer that it be in a separate blog, but that might be the indexer in me coming out. Speaking of coverage, I loved the Sunday baseball page and hope to see that up and running again at some point.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 25, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for updates from other camps, but would prefer NL-only if possible.

If anyone doesn't want to see any of these updates, then don't read them. Barry will be posting multiple times per day and if Dave posts once or twice from another team's camp, it's not going to detract from any Nats-only posts from Mr. Panera.

Good golly, I can't believe ST games are starting this week!!! I am beyond excited.

Posted by: e | February 25, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Bergman is a lurker"
Who do you think has been leading the Lerners are cheap charge.

Posted by: PB | February 25, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

... I think it's a very good move to start Matt C. on Wed. With all the media attention given this spring to Johnnie P. and Shawn, Matt could easily feel left out. This way, the attention at least, if not the team's focus, will lift him up a notch or two.

... as for what kind of coverage would be appropriate here, I would say this is All Nats, All the Time. But if something of specific Nats ineterst should pop up from some other sun-drenched grass 'n gravel playground, I'd read it. Not looking for it, but I'd read it.

... Dave, I had no idea what to expect from Barry's 2IC, after having only the Svrluga-meister last year to go by. But I gotta say, you did a marvellous job, and I for one would welcome you back with open arms, ... and ears.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | February 25, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dave, for everything. I'm a little concerned about your post title. Am I Vladamir or Estragon? Or perhaps Christopher Guest?

I'd love to hear how other teams seem to be sizing up at Spring Training, particularly in relations to the Nats. No reason to get so loyal that we put blinders on ourselves and miss out on some good intel.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 25, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Job well done, Dave. I'm pro-Nats only Nats Journal.

What is the broadcast possibilities of Wednesday's game? I figured since it was a night game and the first one of the spring then there was chance it was on t.v. - if not, what about radio? Where can I find the tv broadcast schedule for the spring?

Posted by: Corey | February 25, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking, Dave. I wouldn't mind hearing about other NL East teams, but I think teams outside the NL East would be a distraction (to me anyhow).

Posted by: Hendo | February 25, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

About coverage of other teams in this space...

This IS, after all, the Nationals Journal. That said, while you're doing 35 cent posts on other teams there are some things that would be welcomed here; 1) matchup comparisons with other NL East teams, 2) Rivalry notes re the other teams to the north, 3) Trade rumors re division rivals or between Nats and others, 4)Comments about former Nats now on other rosters, etc,

I would also commend your efforts in this space, and vote for you to keep a spare set of keys!

Posted by: Gusto | February 25, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

For locals who can pick up the signal, here's some info on ST game radio coverage (see the top of the page linked to):

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 25, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

MASN hasn't released their broadcast schedule yet. Presumably it will be posted on their site sometime this week, and it will also be included here, along with the Nationals radio schedule which is already posted:

If you buy MLB Audio, you can get live radio broadcasts for the opposing teams if they are broadcasting a Nats game (you have to look at other teams' schedules to figure that out). Wednesday's game vs. the Marlins will be available that way, but apparently only on a Spanish-language station.

Posted by: Cosmo | February 25, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

will the games be available on MLB Gameday at least?

Posted by: watching from Boston... | February 25, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Dave, would love to hear anything and everything about every team from you here in this space. The most the better.

And thanks for the great job you've done filling in here.

Posted by: .390 | February 25, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the coverage so far dave, bang up job!

I'm all for any news i can get, the consensus last week was that you could never have enough posts so getting some other news wouldn't hurt. In time maybe another baseball blog, but that's not up to you, so i say give us all you've got!

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | February 25, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for additional, non-Nats posts to the Journal. While the Nats are my #1 team, I'm a die hard baseball fan and will take any additional baseball coverage I can get that doesn't make it into the $.50 edition of the paper.

Posted by: 133L | February 25, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Bethesda Fan in hoping that MASN carries these games. Do we have any word on whether that will happen? I don't see any indication on either or MASN's underwhelming homepage...

Posted by: pondaz | February 25, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Put me down as favoring one Nationals-only Journal and one MLB Journal (and a third Orioles Journal would be fine too).

Much as I enjoy reading Barry's articles and posts, shouldn't the Post be naming a regular beat reporter for the Nationals to do the everyday stuff.

The Post wouldn't try cover the team with a bunch of fill-ins and occasional articles from senior writers, would it?

Then again, this is the Paper that still doesn't have a daily or even a weekly columnist that regularly covers the Nationals.

Posted by: Sec 314 | February 25, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Of course, while I looked that up, there were a half dozen posts answering my question. Nevermind.

Posted by: pondaz | February 25, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a separate MLB Insider blog as well, but if Barry and Dave have to share for awhile, that's OK too.

Posted by: Cosmo | February 25, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Bravo Zulu, Dave. Ya done good.

I'd prefer ex-Nats coverage above and beyond what we read already in NJ.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 25, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'd prefer you cover the Nats but if you're moving on to other teams then I'd be interested in an article on the Dodgers spending their last spring in FL. Is it true the O's are moving to Vero? Also, I hear that Tommy Lasorda is doing his last stint at managing there. Here's a great picture of Tommy in action.;f=41;t=015978#000000

Posted by: Nats Fan | February 25, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Any posts about baseball by Dave Sheinin are welcome, even if do not share his taste in music!

Posted by: Capitol Hill | February 25, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'd prefer Nationals Journal to be about the Nats. But let's be honest, if you open it up to other teams you might as well re-title it "Grapefruit League Journal" as it's unlikely we'll get any Cactus League stuff.

Nats-only is better - don't dilute it. If you will have enough material to post on a MLB-Journal, then start on of those as well.

Posted by: FearlessFreep | February 25, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Does Dave's comment about getting Bergman to commment and calling him Jay mean that JayB has been him all along?

Posted by: Gibby | February 25, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Am very anxious to SEE a game. Soon.

Posted by: Bethesda Fan | February 25, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse


Great job filling in for the Prince. Personally, I'd love to see more posts from your travels and travails around the Grapefruit League. I like the idea of an MLB Insider column, but I wouldn't think of it as treason to see a Tigers or Dodgers post here. Now the Orioles, that's another story...

But I have a favor to ask - before you head off to TigerTown, can you square up with MASN? Will they be broadcasting any ST games? Will we see our Nats in HD this season? It's a bad sign that they've made no announcements so far - I think that they are just trying to delay the bad press, if they had good news, they'd share it. Am I right?

Posted by: Section 114, Row E | February 25, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes please, more baseball information. Pour it on. I have no problem supplementing Nats info with other MLB news in the Nats Journal. It would not diminish the Nats news. And would add new fodder for comparisons to the Nats, etc....

It also would be a great way to get that Post Per Day (PPD) average way up there. Regardless of your decision on this question, thank you for your faithful efforts on behalf of the NJ readers. I have also appreciated your well written articles. And, Bring back the Baseball page(s) on Sunday!!!!

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 25, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I looked at MASN's schedule for the next couple of days and they are primarily showing college b'ball games around the same time the Nats are playing. I'm guessing they are contractually obligated to show these games since they signed contracts to show CAA and Big East games before the ST schedule came out.

However, I don't see why this would preclude them from showing Nats games on MASN2!!! I could not find a schedule for anything on MASN2!! Is it really that difficult for them to show Nats (heck even O's) games on MASN2? If both teams play at 1:05, they could easily b'cast one team's game live at 1:05 and the other's can be shown immediately after (say 4:05?).

Posted by: e | February 25, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey Jason,

Next time MASN asks you for an interview, ask them when they intend to broadcast spring training games and why they don't market the team. (Of course I don't blame Bob, Don, and Debbie for this, but someone has to take the message back to MASN).

Posted by: NatBisquit | February 25, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

2 blogs would be ideal - a Nats Journal and a Baseball insider. The latter could have Carig, you, and Boz post when you want about what is interesting in baseball generally, while Nats Journal could keep a Nats focus (with Barry posting along with you and Boz as you see fit).

Until that happens, I'd think you posting here on other camps would be great. No one not interested in the Tigers, O's, Indians, etc... need to click on the entry if they object. But since we spent a fair amount of time in the off season discussing ways to strengthen the Nats, knowing what is out there with other teams might add to our discussions. I follow baseball generally, probably more teams in the AL than the NL, so would like to see more space for baseball on WaPo and

Posted by: jon | February 25, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse


The question regarding hearing about other teams touches a nerve. You know it has long been a complaint that the Post coverage of the Nats is insufficient. I would not mind a baseball journal, but I would be strongly against posts on the Nats Journal about other teams.

Not to carry this too far, but I think the question itself evidences a tone deafness about the problem. Let me reiterate: the Post should cover the Nats, like other major league papers cover their teams. You have a long way to go so don't dilute the product.

Posted by: C'ville Nat | February 25, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

40 Nats game in HD - total of 80 on MASN

MASN Announces Maximum Access Nationals and Orioles Television Schedule for 2008
By MASN Staff on February 25, 2008 10:51

Adds 80 High Definition telecasts to 322-game Nationals and Orioles broadcast schedule

Expands on-location Nats Xtra and O's Xtra pregame and postgame shows from Nationals Park and Camden Yards
For the second year in a row, MASN will televise every available Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles game on one network, and will begin broadcasting key match-ups in High-Definition during the 2008 season.
The 80 games in HD will be evenly split between the Nationals and Orioles and will include the first available home game for both teams. The Orioles host Tampa Bay on March 31 and the Nationals' are at home April 7 against the Florida Marlins.
MASN's HD schedule includes key match-ups with the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Braves, as well as the Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Marlins, and Rays. The network will provide HD telecasts for all six inter-league games between the Nationals and Orioles.
Returning for 2008 will be MASN's exclusive pregame and postgame shows, Nats Xtra and O's Xtra, which will anchor every game telecast. MASN will produce 644 pregame and postgame shows in 2008.
To bring fans closer to the action, the network will produce 160 on-location broadcasts of Nats Xtra and O's Xtra live from Nationals Park and Camden Yards, for every weekend home game this season. MASN produced 64 shows from the stadiums in 2007.
Nats Xtra hosts Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight and O's Xtra hosts Jim Hunter and Rick Dempsey are all returning for Major League Baseball's "Championship Season" in 2008.
In its first full year of operation, MASN televised every available game of both the Nationals and Orioles, becoming the first Regional Sports Network to carry 320 live baseball games in a season.
The network introduced game enhancements like "Wireless Wednesday," "Throwback Thursdays," and in-game manager interviews. It added sideline reporters and assembled an all-star broadcast team.
"The Nationals and Orioles are back, and MASN will be there for every inning of every game. The network is proud of what we accomplished in our first full year and we are excited to give fans maximum access to Nationals and Orioles games in high definition this season," said MASN spokesman Todd Webster.

MASN's world class on-air broadcast team includes two Hall of Famers and two World Series MVPs and a roster full of national-caliber talent.
In the booth, in the studio and on the field for MASN in 2008 will be Don Sutton, Jim Palmer, Ray Knight, and Rick Dempsey, as well as Gary Thorne, Johnny Holliday, Buck Martinez, Bob Carpenter, Jim Hunter, Tom Davis, Dave Johnson, Debbi Taylor, Amber Theoharis and Mark Viviano.
MASN's cable and satellite partners will carry MASN's HD telecasts in their HD programming tier. Complete channel listings for all of MASN's affiliates will be available on MASN's website before opening day.
With 320 Major League Baseball games and more than 200 college football, basketball and lacrosse games every year, MASN is the local leader in live sports entertainment.
The network is currently carried by 21 cable and satellite providers throughout a seven-state region to 5.2 million households.

Posted by: HD Nats Fan | February 25, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Chico's got a stranglehold over my heart. I just love that left coast lefty.
Also, Chico MUST remain on the big league squad, if only for one more year of The Matt Chico-Sphere!

Posted by: Section 138 | February 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I would like to see a little hat-swapping scene when Barry arrives.


I'm a little concerned about your post title. Am I Vladamir or Estragon?

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I take that back, apparently we DO want to blind ourselves to other teams because of a manic loyalty to our own. To even size up the competition appears to be heresy. You're either with us, or against us, Dave.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | February 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Count me as a dissenter who would like to see some non-Nats updates here periodically during Spring Training.

Make it a weekly roundup. That way, those who don't want to read it can scroll right past it.

Dave is a fantastic writer, and I think this addition would be a net plus for NJ readers.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 25, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

which two games are they skipping? 162+162=324. maybe they won't carry the nats opener since it's on espn. is there another planned espn game for either the Os or the nats?

Posted by: 231 | February 25, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I first thought they were accounting for the times the O's and Nats play each other, but that does not quite seem to work out either.


which two games are they skipping? 162+162=324. maybe they won't carry the nats opener since it's on espn. is there another planned espn game for either the Os or the nats?

Posted by: 231 | February 25, 2008 10:57 AM

Posted by: new math | February 25, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what blind loyalty has to do with anything (and I don't think that it does in my case). If I want to read more about other MLB teams, there are many places for me to find it. OTOH, there aren't a lot of other places with Nats news (that will change, I hope, as their national profile is raised), and that's specifically what I come here for.

Posted by: natsfan1a | February 25, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If Bergmann is a lurker, it's likely because he doesn't want to have to face questions about the Post's terrible coverage, the Lerners' obvious cheapness, MASN's abject indifference, and Colome's balky butt.

Posted by: John in Mpls | February 25, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see coverage of other teams on the NJ but I would challege you to relate it to the Nats. Obviously, NL East teams, followed by NL teams, then east coast teams would be the close to the pecking order. Don't tell us the obvious "Tigers are improved and are ready for a title run", instead tell us how their methods, prospects, starters, GM, Scouting, and manager compares? Which prospects should we look for in Potomac, Harrisburgh, Bowie, Richmond, etc.? How does their minor league system compare?

I think there should be less coverage of Baltimore teams in the Washington Post. That why the Baltimore Sun has a paper. Instead focus more attention on what Nats fans find important.
Such as
- MASN Spring Training coverage
- Rotation, Rotation, Rotation?
- Top down depth chart and how it will affect Columbus, Harrisburg, Potomac
- More Field 5 & accelerated camp coverage
- In end of April and beginning of May bread down the Potomac vs. Frederick series
-In June 13-15th break down the Bowie vs Harrisburgh series
- MLB Draft in June
- Trade rumors
- Trade reviews (ie Langerhans? Willy Mo Pena? Church and Schneider? Livo? FLop and Kearns? How's Bill Bray doing? )
- former releases or non-signings or waiver losses (Tomo Ohka, Josh Wilson, Soriano)
- 5 worst moves made by Nats (signing Guzman to that high contract? not trading Soriano? letting Jamey Carrol go? Tomo Ohka? Nook Logan.
- 5 best moves (drafting Zim, signing Dmitri, the Kearns - FLop trade (how did Bill Bray ever turn out?), signing Belliard,
- Next year's Free Agency
- Prospect Review( Casto, Whitesell, Marrero, Detwiler, Maxwell, Davis,

Posted by: NatsFan | February 25, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Dave, don't listen to these nats-only people...

give us everything you can get your hands on, NL, AL, company softball games... everything.

Posted by: boomer | February 25, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I vote for the WaPo to set up two blogs - NJ, with the Prince of Panera on the throne, providing the latest on key issues like the decals on the GM's SegWay and an MLB Journal, written by Dave the "Wandering Troubadour," with posts of interesting tales from the 29 other teams. Might talk about catching up with ex-Nats, might talk about interesting dilemmas, but might just be interesting baseball writing. If it catches on, I wouldn't mind if you kept doing it through the season - wouldn't necessarily expect you to keep up the 3+ posts a day pace, but I for one appreciate reading good baseball writing on teams other than my own, so I hope you keep going.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (Sheinin Down the Highway) | February 25, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Any and all additional baseball coverage would be welcome in my opinion, though, I would prefer time spent researching the possibility of Bonds to the Rays and the like was instead spent on additional Nats news & analysis.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | February 25, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that last line should be "reading good baseball writing about teams other than my own (TEAM), so I hope you keep going."

Didn't mean to say that I only read my own writing - eek.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (edited) | February 25, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

J. Bergmann- Welcome! Please note the enthusiasm for the team. We are rooting hard for you.

Dave- I would love to read more of what you write on NJ during Spring Training. Even better if you slip a DC question to some of them at times. We have ex-Nats out there, folks who would have hated RFK, their impressions of NY media and what they might do to a Lastings Milledge, etc.

But even without the DC questions, you are a great writer, and more baseball is good.

Posted by: Positively Half St | February 25, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What interested me in this posting is his guess on the Rotation.

Prior to Spring Training I was guessing:
Hill, Bergmann, Chico (L), Redding, Lannan (L) with Patterson still hurt.

That would have put the AAA rotation at
Detwiler, Hanrahan, Mock, Clippard and possibly Bascik (L).

Is Perez really gonna be that much better than Chico or Lannan? Redding better be pitching lights out to beat out a second lefty in the rotation. Pushing chico to long relief/spot start/situational lefty also gives us some flexibility but means probable end of Bascik and King. It also means that (assuming Wagner is healthy) that one of Wagner, Schroeder, Colome, Ayala or Rivera doesn't make the 25-man.

Interesting news.

Posted by: Sec131 | February 25, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Now wait a minute!

If in fact we are growing slowly by allowing our youngsters to learn on the job, and since their continued growth is essential for both player and team, why on Earth would it be acceptable to bench Chico (who will only get better in 2008) for Odalis Perez, a lefty who - were he a tire - would be a nylon, 2-ply tire with its tread gone compared to Chico, a steel belted, z-rated radial with 50,000 miles left on it?

Perez was 8-11, 5.57 last year compared to Chico's 7-9, 4.63. Chico is 24 years old, Perez is 30. Perez has a career 4.47 ERA over parts of 10 years. He's all of a sudden going to find his lost stuff that allowed him to go 15-10, 3.00 six years ago?

No, no. Perez is good insurance, a known commidity, as in we know he'll have an ERA over 5.00. Chico, on the other hand might go 14-12, 4.20 if he continues to progress. No way Perez will give the Nats those kinds of numbers.

Okay. I'm better.

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | February 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

NL East news is always good. Don't mess with the AL BS though.

Posted by: NLNLNL | February 25, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

MASN is lying when it says it will broadcast 80 games in HD this season. (No surprise there, considering who owns the network.) There are only 74 HD games on the combined MASN schedule this season, because six of the games to be broadcast in HD are Nats-Orioles games.

My question is this, though: Why, if they are making the investment in procuring or renting enough equipment to brodcast one game a day in HD, are they not using that equipment every day for one team or the other? Hell, they could shuttle the truck back and forth between Nationals Park and OPCY and get close to 162 games in HD that way. And offering HD programming every day during the season instead of less than half the days might make it easier for them to get the various cable companies to devote one of their HD channels to MASN.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | February 25, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Preference is for Nats related content only. But I'm open to other interesting nuggets (kinda like what they do with the Wizard's blog)

Posted by: Rage | February 25, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Best - 2 blogs, NJ and MLB Insider.
2nd choice - MLB posts on NJ.
No choice - turning away baseball coverage because we don't want to share our sandbox.

MASN game totals - I think Fox has rights to Saturday day games.

Thanks Dave, great work. You're welcome anytime. You kept up the volume even compared to the hardest working man in the beat reporter business.

Posted by: Geezer | February 25, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer Nats only in NJ, the other teams in a MLB blog.

Posted by: saltydad | February 25, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the super coverage, Dave!

would like NJ to be strictly Nats during the season, but wouldn't mind the split during ST. however, I think you deserve your own blog!

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | February 25, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey little tidbits, especially about divisional teams and the National League does seem to be relevant to the NJ.....skip those DH loving teams. :-)

Posted by: sazzwho | February 25, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

On the blog: I'd rather have extra MLB coverage now on the NJ blog temporarily until an MLB Blog can bet set up.


Comment from above: Yeah, sure, let's hear all about those other non-Washington teams in the WASHINGTON Post. But let's hear about all those other teams equally. First step toward that end: pull that Carig guy off the Orioles beat and start spreading him around.


I strongly disagree. The Post has substantial readership in PG, Anne Arundel, and eastern Montgomery Counties where is is just as easy to get to Camden Yards as it is to Your Name Here Park.

Also, as much as we didn't like it, the O's were the local club for many years and there are a lot of Oriole fans in the Washington area.

To think the coverage of the Baltimore Orioles, 45 miles away, a team that still sells many tickets in the Washington Post circulation area, a team whose games are available on TV all through the Post circulation area, should be the same as the San Diego Padres, about 3,000 miles away, does not make much sense.

I know we are bitter over the way Angelos screwed DC baseball fans for years, but WE WON! Let's declare victory and move on. (BTW, I am not an Orioles fan--I am a Detroit fan who roots for the Nats in the NL.)

Posted by: Dave-22101 | February 25, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Catching the end of the Orioles Classic game last night (by mistake!) the first 2008 ad for baseball appeared. It mentioned that coverage for baseball will begin March 4th. I'm guessing thats when they'll first show the first spring training game. Both teams play at 1:05 and i bet only one game will be shown the O's play at home so...... What's stupid about that is the teams play each other twice that first weekend. MASN, what joke. I wish that the NATs could somehow get out of the B.S. tv deal that MLB and Darth Sideous have imposed upon us.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 25, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I recognize this is late on the grounds that there have been subsequent posts, but I thought this comment belonged in this thread.

I'm with Geezer, who said "No choice - turning away baseball coverage because we don't want to share our sandbox."

What we have here is a talented MLB reporter who has been assigned to go cover other camps and wants to know if we would be interested in reading about what he finds there. Why say no to that?

Sure, two separate blogs would be great, but that's not going to happen overnight, if ever. So the question before the house is, do we want to hear from Dave on his upcoming tour? The correct answer is yes.

Now, do we want to hear about Detroit's fourth outfielder and backup catcher? Perhaps not. It might make sense to have some, or even many, of the stories relate back to the Nats in some way. For example, I would be interested in reading about Arizona or Colorado or Cleveland, on the grounds that those are young playoff teams from a year ago that followed something akin to The Plan. I would also be interested in hearing about talented prospects that are blocked by established MLB players, i.e., potential future pieces of The Plan. Info on other NL East teams would also fit the bill, it seems to me.

Above all, though, inside info from Dave, with a dose of snark and/or humor, and a soundtrack? Count me in.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | February 25, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Keep this blog focused on the Nats! Please!

I am forced to see enough in the Post about other baseball teams as it is, this is the only location in the paper for consistent Nats info.

Posted by: Cabraman | February 25, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

What's the deal with the Rule 5ers? Is it a foregone conclusion that they'll be sent back to their respective teams? It seems like the 25 man roster is going to be pretty full.

Posted by: John | February 25, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It might make sense to post elsewhere on other teams, if there *were* an elsewhere, but in the alternative, and since it is only spring training (it *is* only ST, right?), I'd say go for it, Dave.

And how do we know Bergman *isn't* posting already?

And hi to him and any and all other Nats reading. I think I'm not the only one who just somehow assumed you guys didn't check in here, which seems foolish in hindsight.
Glad to hear you sometimes do. (And Felipe, if you're reading, ignore 'em, man. They know not whereof.)

Posted by: CE | February 25, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Jason.

Posted by: CE | February 25, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Nice job Dave!

Maybe I could have these guys all send you questions for me to answer and then you could post the Q&A.

We appreciate all the Fan Support!

Posted by: Jason Bergmann | February 25, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Also, apologies for all the wolf whistles in an earlier thread...


(And Felipe, if you're reading, ignore 'em, man. They know not whereof.)

Posted by: the girls | February 25, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, 85% of the girls and 5% of the guys...

Posted by: more or less | February 25, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Another vote for Nats only on Nats Journal, please. Thanks, Dave; welcome back, Barry.

Posted by: GoNats2 | February 25, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Nats only, Dave. Thanks!

Posted by: rg019571 | February 25, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

You could always just sort it by threads in the posts. It's not like we can't access the previous ones.

Hey Jayson, how can I score a used batting helmet (lefty)?

Posted by: MIB | February 25, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

As a baseball fan in general and Nationals season ticket holder, I'd like to see Nationals Journal focus on the Nationals ... but I wouldn't mind an occasional brief note (a sentence or two) about other teams we'll face during the year, and/or brief comments about former Nationals players.

Posted by: M. Carroll | February 25, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I would prefer only reading about the Nats in Nats Journal. We can read about any other team in baseball on or the Nats home page by scrolling to another team.

Come back soon Dave. Great articles!

Posted by: Pete, Gaithersburg | February 26, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

You are FANTASTIC Dave, but keep it all Nats in the Nats Journal. Wish that u had your own blog!

Posted by: Marc | February 26, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Can't hear too much baseball news at this time of the year. And don't forget there are fantasy geeks out there struggling with their addiction. Please enable us!

Posted by: Section 215 Row A | February 26, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

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