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On games and gamers

I must be quick and somewhat brief this morning. I'm heading up to Class AA Harrisburg today for a little Sens action. (We've got Jordan Zimmermann on the hill, one of the organization's more promising pitching prospects.)

So here's the plan for the All-Star break, as it relates to the Journal.

I promise tomorrow to compile all the stuff from last week's polling. Some two-bit analysis will hold everything together, and everybody who wants to read it can waste a good 10 minutes at work! Then, until Friday morning -- barring news -- the Journal will have a quick break of its own. I'll be working on some feature stories to spread throughout the week.

A few quick notes, though, before I grab my coffee and hit the road.

The meet-up last night at the Cap Lounge was an absolute pleasure. Thanks to all who attended. The ideas folks shared about coverage, about the interests, about their hopes for the blog, will absolutely shape what you see in this space in the second half of the season. (One major shift I'll hope for: More NJ content that doesn't feel "newspaperish." A lot of the info that ends up here is either unabridged news that will be condensed into an article or article-style coverage that won't make the paper. But people want to know the other stuff: That there are buckets sometimes placed in the Nats clubhouse because of leaks in the ceiling, for instance. Also, we'll try here to provide a greater sense of the players' personalities. Maybe even one or two can offer their own contributions.)

I'd be keen to repeat the meeting, maybe with a larger Wash Post contingent, later this season. Baseball talk + beers = worthwhile combo. By the way, I especially relished the chance to hear the various opinions on game coverage. Do people want the nuts-and-bolts play-by-play? Do they want something more featurized? A few from last night said they never even read the game story -- they figure they already know what happened. That assumption has shaped my own theory that, most days, the game story should dare to stray away from the obvious, heavy on behind-the-scenes reaction that wouldn't be evident by inspecting a box score or watching on TV. If anybody has thoughts on what a game story SHOULD be, share below. My own theories are open to adaptation.

Speaking of which... Here's the coverage from yesterday's game. Game story, notes, Boswell column. Enjoy.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 14, 2008; 7:18 AM ET
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Next: The team takes a break, the injuries do not

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