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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 I wanted to make clear how blown away they are by it. I went around asking guys yesterday, "We're not making too much of this, are we?" Every single one of them said, "No way" or some such version of that.

"I have to pinch myself," said Matt Chico, about 18 hours after he first saw the place.

"The best in baseball," said Paul Lo Duca, who has been around enough to make such a comment.

"Off the chain," said Nick Johnson, who still has a lightning bolt shaved into one side of his head, though he got rid of the rat tail.

"I was Wowed," said Austin Kearns.

"And the incredible thing is, it's not completely finished yet," said Ryan Zimmerman, noting how they have to clean up stuff behind the scenes, etc.

(Not everything is perfect, of course. "There will be some hiccups," Stan Kasten admitted. For instance: The eight flat-screen TVs in the home clubhouse did not work yesterday evening. Kasten said they had worked the previous night. Perhaps they're on an every-other-day cycle.)

I have been around this franchise since it plopped itself down in Washington in October 2004, when Tony Tavares and Kevin Uhlich holed up in the Hinckley Hilton over on Connecticut Ave. NW and first arranged for double-wide trailers to be delivered to the RFK parking lot so they could have some place for not-yet-hired executives to work. And I have to say that in those three-and-a-half years, never have I felt as positive a vibe as I did yesterday. This could all be tempered if parking/transportation issues limit the crowds, and it certainly could be tempered if the team doesn't develop into a winner in the next couple years. But I have a feeling this weekend is just going to be a festival of good feelings around baseball in D.C. -- something you couldn't always say existed.

With that, I bring you first to a story about how the name "Nationals Park" is not long for this world. The notebook has a few things -- feeling out the park, Zim and Acta with the first pitch, Cordero's velocity, etc.

I would also point out that Kasten encouraged everyone to be in their parking spot -- or maybe even in their seat -- by 6:30 p.m. Because of the President's participation Sunday night, streets will be closed off -- but we don't know which streets. (My question: Did the President pay $3,500 for a parking space? And why doesn't he just take Metro?) (Of course, Stan could also just want people to get in the park and -- ahem -- purchase things, but whatever.)

So with all that good feeling, I would like everyone to pick their won-loss record for 2008 -- keeping in mind who is actually on the roster. I will get you my pick before Sunday's game. I'm still formulating it a little bit. Keep in mind that the club went 73-89 last year, and that somehow was hailed as a monumental success, in part because even the team's top executives figured they'd lose at least 100 games.

If you can't add, just pick a win total. I'll average them out and also pick the most popular number of wins. And I'll also get you news on Manny Acta's expected announcements about the starting first and second basemen.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 29, 2008; 10:39 AM ET
 
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Next: Johnson at first, Belliard at second

Comments

83-79.. yes u heard it here first, A WINNING RECORD for our nats

Posted by: feelin brave | March 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

75-87

I would love to be wrong though (as long as there are more wins)

Enjoy the weekend everyone, there are some partaking in Blacksburg who wish they could be home!

Posted by: VT Mikey | March 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

80-82 -- I might have gone for 84 or 85 wins yesterday when it really felt like baseball weather out there but the cold has snapped me back to reality a bit...

Posted by: OldGuy | March 29, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

83-79

Posted by: DJ 26 | March 29, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Re the naming rights, why doesn't the DC Council just quit its constant sniping, pony up the dough and buy the rights to call the stadium Taxation Without Representation Field? If they think they'd have trouble coming up with the $10M or so a year that would cost, they could just call it a "cost overrun" or "budget discrepancy" or somesuch. Or they could get one of their employees to embezzle the money and do it for them.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 29, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm posting 83-79.

Posted by: Janitor | March 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

81-81

Posted by: PBS | March 29, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

88 - 74.

Hill, Bergman, Lannon each 12-15 wins.

Magazine cover mid-season: "Best Outfield in Baseball"

Posted by: DC Diehard | March 29, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Why not - 83-79 - a little chilly but all in all a beautiful day for baseball! Lets Go Nationals!

Posted by: mjwies11, Section 320 | March 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

77-85 - record
30,000 - average attendance
5-1 - MASN Cup v. the Os

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 29, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

It's really impossible to hazard a guess because the Nationals have had more than their share of injuries the past three years.

So, with that in mind:

If the Nationals continue to have injuries and have to bring kids to the bigs who arent' ready, I predict 76-86

If the Nationals stay relatively healthy, if either Dukes or Pena produce in left like their talent suggests, I'll go with 84-78.

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | March 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

82-80.


Posted by: Ashburn | March 29, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

81-81!!!

Posted by: lemon lime | March 29, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I pick 88-74...

But I am also taking a lot of over-the-counter cold medication.

Another reason to take Metro.

Posted by: Wigi | March 29, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

74-88.

After overachieving last year, they are bound to play a little more to form. The place where people will be the most disappointed is with the outfielders' offensive production. Too much inexperience out there for everyone to do well. Two of the four will be below average. Two will be good, but not great.

Posted by: #4 | March 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

132-30

Posted by: The BigC from the DC | March 29, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

83-79. Even if guys get injured you havew a lot of depth in the minors and potentially one of the best enches in baseball.

Posted by: mac | March 29, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

77-85

Posted by: 231 | March 29, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

79-83

Posted by: NavyYard | March 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm realistic or optimistic? Lets have some fun: I'll say 88-73 with one rainout that can't get rescheduled due to conflicts.

Posted by: Bazz | March 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I really want to pick above .500, but I really believe:

78-84

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

83-79

Just to spite my husband.

Posted by: Hillgal | March 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

barry, are the cherry trees in the OF blooming? that's the part of the OF that the stadium cam doesn't show.

Posted by: 231 | March 29, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

162-0

Posted by: love | March 29, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

162-0.

I believe in hope. And change.

Posted by: Barack Obama | March 29, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

This is wayyy off topic but in looking at the Stadium Cam, I am becoming worried by the HD Scoreboard. With all the colors, the teams switching sides every half inning, the inability to see who is due up for the other team, etc. I am worried it will be hard to just glance up for a quick stat. THoughts?

Posted by: Runnerbay | March 29, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

My head says 74-75 wins but my heart declares a winning season of 81 - 80. (A late season rainout not be made up.)

Posted by: 312 from 422 | March 29, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

82-80

Posted by: NatsNut | March 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It's a tough division, Mets, Phils, Braves all figure to be good and Marlins manage to be competitive no matter who they field.

However, they have good rotation depth and injuries can't be as bad as last year, bullpen is great, several guys were below career averages last year which is likely to revert, plus one or two new guys will progress.

I'll take 83-79.

Posted by: Avar | March 29, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Cherry trees: They are not blooming yet. These are somewhat late-blooming versions, and they should be ready when the team returns for the first true homestand April 7.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 29, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

82-80

Last year I picked 73-89, so I'm 1-0 on the prognosticating. To be fair i made a bet with a friend that the nationals would lose fewer than 90 games, but i think its fair to say 73-89 was my prediction as i didn't expect them to lose a lot fewer than 90 games.

Posted by: Dave-O | March 29, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't tend to go in for predictions, but I'd be happy to see the Nats finish over .500.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

83-79

The next step up is .500 ball -- and a slight over achievement seems reasonable.

Wily Mo, Lastings, and Millege establish themselves as Nats All Stars for the next 5 years. It will take 2 more years of pitching improvements for the playoffs though.

Posted by: Go Nats | March 29, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Just took a look at the stadium cam - the grounds crew is out mowing and watering and generally making love to the pitch. Much cred to those guys for making the field look so fabulous. Zim was quoted saying something like "not too hard, not too soft." Does that translate to "just right?" Here's hoping all the bounces go the Nats way!

Posted by: natsagain | March 29, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

78-84

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | March 29, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo, Lastings, and Millege establish themselves as Nats All Stars for the next 5 years.

Milledge will be so damn good that he'll play 2 positions.

Posted by: Nothing Slips By | March 29, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

80-82

Posted by: SF Fan | March 29, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

84-78

Posted by: Sec 204 | March 29, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I really believe that the roster is a fluid situation and like 2006, the team at the end of the year is vastly different (and better) than the one at the beginning.

I was optimistic last year after spring training and felt as though the team would be better than in 2006.

Not quite as optimistic this year though. None of the starting pitching is consistent. I haven't seen a good left fielder emerge either. But the new park should be good for a few wins.

77-85.

Posted by: Ray | March 29, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Barry, Hope you're feeling better! We need you to be in top form this weekend.

84 wins!

Posted by: Nats Fan | March 29, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

75-87
The offense will be better, but the starting pitching will not.

Posted by: Salty | March 29, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

82-80!

Posted by: irishnat | March 29, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

.506 season!!

Posted by: HALjr | March 29, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Got to be 85-77. It actually could be better if Cordero doesn't have to hold a lead less than three runs! GO NATIONALS!!

Posted by: Gaithersburg Pete | March 29, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I was going to post a realistic/negative explanation of what the record was going to be but i kept getting an error, maybe that means i should be a little more hopeful...

... ill bump it up to 77-85

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | March 29, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

With the talent on this squad, I'm hoping for an 85-77 finish. Above the 4th place finish we've become accustomed to. But, wouldn't it be nice to be in first for half the year like 2005?

Posted by: NatsFaninVA | March 29, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

With Hill, 86-76. Without Hill, 84-78.
Hey #4, maybe the record was an overachievement last year, but gollee, practically every on field position underachieved-big time.

Posted by: Jeeves | March 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

88-74 Enough to win the wildcard. SI does a big spread about the effects of the new stadium.
Go NATS!

Posted by: Doug B | March 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

anybody check out the espn.com preview of the game yet?

"8:05 PM ET, March 30, 2008
Nationals Park, St. Louis, Missouri"

i was unaware the stadium had moved, here i am with tickets to the game and living in the metro dc area. how foolish

Posted by: love | March 29, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

83-79, so everybody stops talking about "not ever having a winning season...'' It's like 81-81 in '05 didn't mean a thing.

Posted by: senators24 | March 29, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

72-90

Posted by: Coverage is Lacking | March 29, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

84-78 (although I may be a game off either way!)

Posted by: lowcountry | March 29, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

81-81.

Posted by: Sandhills Native | March 29, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

To bring the average down a bit, I predict 1-161.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 29, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see the blog on the Fox Sports website. Some knucklehead from Birdland thinks the Orioles are going to have a better year than the Nats! He even thinks they have a better bullpen! I know the Spring is full of hope for every team, but COME ON! It's going to be a long season for the Birds!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 29, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks John, I was starting to worry that we were set up for a big disappointment. I predict - with our roster now - that we'll see 78 wins. I had something like 85 the other day, but Hendo talked me down. Still an optimist, though, five better than last year!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 29, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Could O's Exec be Buster Olney?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 29, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

In honor of Poster Emeritus 506, I will go for an 82-80 record, a winning percentage of .506.

Posted by: leetee1955 | March 29, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I could realy think about this, weigh all the factors, calculate the unknowns and say 77-85. But what the hell, lets go with 90-72.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 29, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't retire from posting, 506. We enjoy your input.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 29, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@506

Actualy, I think it's Bos.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 29, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

While seeing these guys play in Florida this past week might lead one to figure getting to .500 would be a stretch, I'm optimistic: 84-78.

Posted by: Carl in 306 | March 29, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

87-75, Manny Acta COY

Posted by: Jason | March 29, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Wild shot here. Anyone know how I could get a ticket to the game tonight? Are they on sale at the stadium?

Posted by: Avar | March 29, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

XM just announced that Nick is the starting first baseman, and Ronnie is the starting second baseman.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 29, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

i really think o's exec is peter angelos. he is that megalomeniacal.

Posted by: love | March 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

sine i want to tape tonight's game for posterity, i checked the masn (mean angelos screws nats) website to learn whether there will be any pregame show about the new park. instead, they're showing FOUR HOURS of the O's fanfest as the leadup. i guess masn doesn't want to help sell any seats at the new park. LOL!

Posted by: leetee1955 | March 29, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Construction Cam, 3:16pm, team meeting or giant game of pepper, you make the call...

Posted by: OldGuy | March 29, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

OK now that most rosters are kinda set I took a brief look at the NLE teams. Yes the 'big 3' have some current superstars that we currently lack but we do stack up pretty well in a couple of areas. We know about the bullpen.

How about reserves? We might have an extra bat at the moment (til Hill returns) but even so we stack up really well. The Phillies have a couple guys with some real pop on their bench - Dobbs & Werth and the others are ML vets like Taguchi & Brunlett. We're right there with them though. I consider Meathook & AFBoone to be great bats with good power - wait until we've got either WMP or Dukes available too. Felipe adds a lot if he's still here (mentally & physically) and eventually Estrada will add a good bat too. I look at the Mets & Braves bench and they're very underwhelming. At least the Marlins will have Luis Gonzalez to give them some power in a pinchhit situation.

I know its only one facet of the game but I think the combination of our excellent bullpen and the many available quality bats on the bench will give Manny an advantage late in games.

Posted by: Bazz | March 29, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

75-89. An improvement, but injuries and starting pitching hamper the progress.

Posted by: CH Nats Fan | March 29, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Going w a y out on a limb.
90 wins this year!! Yes, it can happen.

Posted by: WTalley | March 29, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Da da da. Another new post is up...

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 29, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

About the stadium name: Since the expected $8-12 million will pay one superstar's salary, I think the corporate sponsor should share the stadium name with the athlete whose salary they are paying. Perhaps this name: Capital One's Ryan Zimmerman National Ballpark?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 29, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

75 - 89. Nice slow progress. Rotation will be the glaring problem going into next year.

Posted by: Section Zero | March 29, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This was a .500 team after May 10, and it's still after May 10 now. They are better, or no worse, at every spot, and the rest of the division isn't any tougher this year. A new park is supposedly good for a 3-5 game bump, so I'll go with 85-77.

Posted by: CevansJr | March 29, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

i said on here some weeks ago it would be 83-79, a 15% improvement on the previous year. completion of ST has not changed my notions. more things have to go right than wrong to make it work out that way: but they can more easily do that for us than for, say, the futile collection of fragile near-competence located a few miles down the gladys noone spellman parkway from nationals park...

Posted by: natty bumppo | March 29, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

86-76 if the pitching holds up.

Posted by: JSJ | March 29, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's show some confidence,drink some kool-aid,put on our rose colored glsses and go for a 90-72 season.LETS GO NATS!!!

Posted by: JSIII | March 29, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

what the hell, it's spring, a beautiful day, a new ballyard, so 81-81 again, and TIED for third in the division with the pholdin phillies!

Posted by: Gusto | March 29, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

82-80

I think that's optimistic, but hey, there you go.

Posted by: DelRayNatsFanq | March 30, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

82-80

I think that's optimistic, but hey, there you go.

Posted by: DelRayNatsFanq | March 30, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

78-84

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse

77-85

Posted by: C'ville Nat | March 30, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

74 wins

Posted by: johnbear | March 30, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm late, but 81-81, for the record, so to speak.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 30, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

79-83

Posted by: natsfan93 | March 30, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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