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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 (though, between you and me, I know it feels like the only one). We have blogs on all the pro teams in town, etc. There's even a weather blog.

Well, that blog -- Capital Weather Gang -- is going to have weather reports for every Nationals game. Here's the forecast for over the weekend. Season ticket holders should probably bookmark the page.

Small amounts of news.

Elijah Dukes is not here. He's back in Tampa attending to a personal matter. Will fly to DC tonight.

Tim Redding is set to go in Friday's minor league game. "I can't feel anything now," he said about his back spasms.

Shawn Hill's next start comes Saturday in a minor league game here, and he'll fly up that night. Wily Mo Pena will also be on hand for the opener. They will then head back to Florida for rehab.

Roberson -- 9
Redman --- 7
Jones -- 8
Salazar -- 4
Moore -- 3
Heintz -- DH
Quiroz -- 2
Fahey -- 5
Hernandez -- 6

Lopez -- 6
Milledge -- 8
Zimmerman -- DH
Young -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Belliard -- 4
Boone -- 5
Mackowiak -- 7
Flores -- 2

Just inhaled the final Panera meal of the spring. I would tell you that I was kind of misty-eyed over it all, but that would be a boldface lie.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 27, 2008; 12:50 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The last day of spring
Next: Did John Lannan really not make this team?


Are we a cursed franchise re: the weather?

Posted by: Ed | March 27, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Fat Dmitri
3. The first baseman should be: NJ
4. The second baseman should be: Belly
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Hard to say... no one, really. The only people who underperformed had guaranteed contracts, so they don't really count.
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Again, hard to say... you could make the case for Schroeder or Lannan or Orr, but then who gets bumped off?
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: My heart says early-mid April. Head says July.
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: Let's call it April 12th.
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: I'll go out on a limb with Panera.

Posted by: Matt | March 27, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

should we be concerned about elijah dukes' personal issue in tampa?

Posted by: hoagie | March 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Reposting for good measure:

On Metro:
Alternate stations may be a good idea, but I don't think that Waterfront/SEU would likely be the best option (discounting the problems inherent in the walk to any of the stations) because it is the NEXT station that the trains hit after filling up at Navy Yard for -=*anyone*=- heading toward anyplace other than the Branch Ave end of the Green Line.

The best option probably is (just like RFK) to hang in your seat until the post-game announcements are done (I always seemed to miss the attendance for my score sheet when it was posted on the scoreboard so I got it over the PA at the end) and then head for the "second" (it's an extra block and a half! Ahhh!) entrance at Navy Yard and angle for the end of the train there. "Move down! Move down! Move down!" -- not that most anyone really ever did that and so I _always_ got to sit down on a 3/4 full (sometimes a bit more) car.

The other option (again discounting any issues with the walk), particularly if I was headed for VA, is to walk to Capitol South and have a seat to sit in all the way home while the giant influx at L'Enfant crowds onto the train. I might even be tempted to do that for a change onto either direction of the Red line.

BTW the Nationals commemorative SmarTrip cards are on sale now (see

Posted by: OldGuy | March 27, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Any idea who is pitching saturday?

Posted by: Paul in 105 | March 27, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Urgh. Repost cut off the end...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Now I don't want any crying from Nats fans today after the O's completely spank the Nationals.

Oh yeah, what's it like to have players on your team who beat women?

Posted by: O's Exec | March 27, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann pitches Saturday.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 27, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I stole this from Hendo over at, but Claudio Vargas, anyone?

I'm inclined to say no, but at the right price, as Shawn Hill insurance, I thought it was worth discussing.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 27, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so if we don't put up some offense real soon against Trachsel I will be officially doubtful of our ability to score runs. I don't care if its the last day of spring. I know Manny doesn't think that way.

Posted by: GoNats | March 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Just ask me - I know all about it.

Oh yeah, what's it like to have players on your team who beat women?

Posted by: O's Exec | March 27, 2008 01:32 PM

Posted by: Albert Belle | March 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Also concerning Metro, has anyone considered taking Metro to RFK and hopping on one of the Shuttles to the new park?

Might be worth a shot?

Posted by: Another Option? | March 27, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Lannan has struck out 4 after 3. Nice.

Posted by: Diz | March 27, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Going to repeat an earlier question. Anyone have an idea for pitching/lineups on Saturday?

Posted by: svxcountry | March 27, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...Looks like Felipe homered. I really like the guy, but until he gets his old numbers back, I just don't see a place for him on this team other than the bench. He's been hitting a little better lately it seems, so maybe that will boost his trade value...

Posted by: BSG | March 27, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

O's Exec,

Scoff if you will. This year at OPCY, the Battered Birds will be partying like it's 1988 (54-107).

Posted by: natsscribe | March 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Things that Kasten and the Lerners have to do before opening day to improve the "fan experience":

1. Get D.C. Washington to sing the National Anthem;
2. Play Chuck Brown during the 7th inning stretch. This would be a real tradition!
3. Have a giant bobblehead Bush throw out the first pitch (at least he wouldn't be booed then) and/or get Mayors Williams and Fenty to throw out the 1st pitches.
4. Tear down the parking decks in left field and relocate them underground or in right field.

Posted by: Missing the Boat | March 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

svx, Barry answered your question in the comments above. Bergmann's starting pitcher Saturday.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 27, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not to be a downer or anything, but can you or someone at the city desk look into where the funds for the metro expansion went? $20 million for a 6' wide staircase and a new elevator seems pretty pricey...
I don't know of any other forum to raise this concern.


Posted by: Oversight? | March 27, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Re: Dukes

Yes, should we be concerned? Anything out of the ordinary with him raises my eyebrow a little just in case...

Posted by: Mark | March 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse


There were more improvements than just the new staircase and elevator. There are actually two new elevators, one between the platform and the mezzanine, and another between the mezzanine and the street-level exit. Additionally, the faregates and farecards machines were moved from the mezzanine level up to the new street-level entrance, which will feature a larger number of farecard machines and faregates. Like you, I have not seen all these improvements in person yet, but that's a summary of what should be the result of the work.

Posted by: BSG | March 27, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

any reason why Dmitri is out of the lineup already? 2 AB's and he's replaced in the lineup by Kory Casto. Hoep he didn't hurt himself ...

Posted by: e | March 27, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

...Fan experience...
1 - If D. C. Washington doesn't sing the anthem sometime this year I'll eat my hat, but Denyce Graves for the opener will be great.

2. I kind of have a soft spot for "When I Go To the Beach" by the Slickee Boys, but I almost lived at the Psychedelly in my youth so I'm biased. Hopefully Chuck won the home run song vote at least.

3. Cute. Willams yes, Fenty no.

4. And then you'd get hotels or office buildings in that same space (but I'm a cynic).

Posted by: OldGuy | March 27, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Which of these improvements will keep metro riders from getting bumped off the platform? It's going to be VERY tight down there. If I were the city, I'd be concerned about rider safety. That's all.

Posted by: Wasted $$$ | March 27, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Please stop feeding the Troll.

People, relax on Dukes. Good grief.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 27, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Ole Fenty has certainly changed his tune about publicly funded stadiums, hasn't he?

Posted by: Glover Park | March 27, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I have considered this. I've also thought about the shuttle drivers requiring you to show some sort of parking ticket that would be given out to folks parking at RFK. I'll be interested to see if they just let anyone (like us Metro riders) on the shuttles.
has anyone considered taking Metro to RFK and hopping on one of the Shuttles to the new park?

Might be worth a shot?

Posted by: Another Option? | March 27, 2008 01:49 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | March 27, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

dukes' actions over the last few years give me reason to not give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves me wrong. a few months of good behavior doesn't do it quite yet. a full season will.

Posted by: hoagie | March 27, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh god... Look at the top of this journal page. The Orioles are advertising Birdland.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

some more progress on the field work on the construction cam.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

except I can't figure out what it says. Doesn't look like Opening Night. It looks like Opening Wick.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"But I was disappointed to learn that $5 ticket buyers are locked into 9 hours at the stadium, which I think precludes families from taking advantage. There's just no way to entertain a kid that long."

This is only on Opening Day. For any other game, you'll be able to go to the box office when it opens on the day of the game (10:00 am, I believe) and buy tickets in the $5 section. I doubt there will be any limit as to how many you'll be able to buy, and you won't have to enter the stadium immediately after you make your purchase. Indeed, at 10:00 am they probably wouldn't let you go in even if you wanted to. Also, for most games I bet you'll be able to walk up there right up to or even after the first pitch and buy tickets in that section.

The special restrictions are to prevent scalping, which will only happen for those seats on Opening Day. That's a good thing. So it's not kid-friendly - take your kids to one of the other 80 home games. None of them are even close to being sold out, and probably won't be even on the day of.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 27, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

is it just me, or can no one else read the time on the curly w clock?

Posted by: davidson | March 27, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Nationals beat the O's, 2-1.

Posted by: BSG | March 27, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Nationals beat the O's, 2-1. Looks like Lannan had another quality start.

Posted by: BSG | March 27, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It says "Opening Week". And the clock looks a little slow.

Posted by: NavyYard | March 27, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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