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Nationals Journal: March 23, 2008 - March 29, 2008

Kasten: "A great night"

Of course, that's what Stan Kasten's going to say, but I believe he meant it. He described having a "huge punch list" of things to take care of, and the Nationals' staff is meeting tonight -- right now -- to...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 29, 2008; 9:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Johnson at first, Belliard at second

Late Friday, Manny Acta met with Felipe Lopez and Dmitri Young -- separately -- and told them that each of them would begin the season on the bench. That means Nick Johnson is the Nationals' starting first baseman, Ronnie Belliard...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 29, 2008; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Pick your won-loss record

Sorry about no late post yesterday. Fell a bit ill late in the afternoon and am trying to recover in time for the weekend's festivities. I know a lot has been made of the players' reactions to the ballpark, but...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 29, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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Nationals Park: The view from the press box

I'm sitting in the Shirley Povich Media Center (also known as the pressbox) right now. Wireless works, which is a good thing, and allows me to communicate with you all. ALERT: Boz is chatting at 3 p.m. Again, want to...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 28, 2008; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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Stadium Stadium Stadium

Hey all -- Jon DeNunzio (washingtonpost.com sports editor) here, filling in ever-so-briefly for Barry. I am here simply to point you to the spectacular work our reporting, multimedia and graphics staffs have done on the new stadium. It all debuted...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  March 28, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Did John Lannan really not make this team?

Lefty John Lannan gave up a run in the first inning of today's game against the Orioles. The reason: Dmitri Young inexplicably fielded a grounder and, instead of taking the out at first, tried to gun out Chris Roberson advancing...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 27, 2008; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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Final Grapefruit League lineups -- and weather

Lots of consensus on the spring poll questions. Good stuff. As you know, Nationals Journal is far from the only blog at washingtonpost.com (though, between you and me, I know it feels like the only one). We have blogs on...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 27, 2008; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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The last day of spring

We're finally here. The last week of spring always has the same flow. When it starts, the guys are totally dragging, just dying to get out of Viera. But by this point, there's anticipation. They want to get on that...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 27, 2008; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
 
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Lannan, Langerhans out; Estrada on DL; roster at 25

The Nationals made the following moves to set their regular-season roster: C Johnny Estrada goes on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow tendinitis. The move is retroactive to March 21. OF Ryan Langerhans was outrighted to Class AAA Columbus....

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 26, 2008; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
 
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Roster to be set today

Keep in mind the 1 p.m. chat, right when this tilt against the Braves gets going. Jim Bowden, Manny Acta and pitching coach Randy St. Claire stayed behind in Viera until late this morning going over the final ideas about...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 26, 2008; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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2008 Post Baseball Preview

Before we get started, a reminder that I have the final chat of the spring today at 1 p.m. Please join me from Disney. We have much to discuss. Moving on. Even if you're used to reading the online version...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 26, 2008; 6:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
 
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Opening Night ticket lottery, etc.

Some of you asked about notifications of winners/losers in the lottery for Opening Night tickets -- the on-line lottery that ended last Friday. The Nationals told me that yes, indeed, emails have been sent out to the winners, so chances...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 25, 2008; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Nick Johnson's hair: Lightning bolt

My goodness, you cannot imagine my: A. surprise B. delight ... at the sight I found when I walked into the visitors' clubhouse here at Roger Dean Stadium. Nick Johnson had a lightning bolt shaved into the right side of...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 25, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Fill out your lineup card

Just arrived in Jupiter (you fill in the blanks there), and I will provide the requisite links from the $.35/$.50 edition before heading to the clubhouse. Here's Paul Lo Duca and horse racing, and a notebook that talks about the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 25, 2008; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
 
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Bowden Family Wiffle Ball (and other news)

The Bowden family -- GM Jim, Tyler, Chad, and twins Chase and Trey -- are playing a mean game of Wiffle Ball in left-center field right now. Jim waves a mean left-handed bat, and has for years. Would give you...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 24, 2008; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
 
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Bergmann: Pecked to death

Let's say this right away: Jason Bergmann appeared to throw the ball pretty well against the Tigers today. But he just departed after 5-2/3 innings, and the Tigers have seven hits. (Here comes Joel Hanrahan. I forgot to mention that...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 24, 2008; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Estrada throws, hits; Redding feeling OK

Johnny Estrada feels like he has made strides in recent days, and he was excited to take batting practice with the rest of the guys this morning. "I was sick of hitting in the cage," he said. He's not sure...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 24, 2008; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Early-morning bits n' pieces

(If you don't read to the bottom of this post, at least look at this graphic, which is excellent.) Manny Acta really likes the movie "Slapshot", and was very happy to find out that Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau was an...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 24, 2008; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Redding: "I'm going to be ready"

Tim Redding is really hoping this is just a temporary problem. "Hopefully this doesn't shelve me too long," he said. He wants to throw his bullpen session Tuesday and then pitch in a minor league game Friday (his scheduled throw...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 23, 2008; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Redding: Back spasms

The diagnosis from the Nats' athletic trainers: Right thoracic spasms. It took a phone call or two, but the crux is that it's spasms in the middle portion of Redding's back. He must have been straightening his arm because he...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 23, 2008; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Redding leaves game with injury

Uh-oh. Tim Redding cruised through the first three innings, retiring everyone he faced. He then allowed a single, a run-scoring double to Dan Uggla, a walk and then a two-run double to Josh Willingham. After a groundout, Willingham was on...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 23, 2008; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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"Happy Easter!" -- and more middle infield talk

That's what Jim Bowden said as he bounded into the clubhouse this morning. Let me get you some lineups (we're about to start) and then I'll update with news. Washington: Guzman -- 6 Lo Duca -- 2 Milledge -- 8...

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 23, 2008; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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