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Nats Fill Out Staff

The Nats on Thursday named John Philbin as strength and conditioning coach and Elizabeth Wheeler as physical therapist.

Philbin has 29 years of fitness experience, including eight (1992-2000) as a strength coach with the Washington Redskins. Since his days with the Redskins, Philbin has served as the Olympic head coach and director of sports science and conditioning for the U.S. bobsled team (1988-92), as director of strength and conditioning at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, and as conditioning coach for two-time world-champion boxer Fernando Vargas.

Philbin was a member of the 1984 U.S. bobsled team and an all-American decathlete and football player at Frostburg State.

Wheeler is an outpatient orthopedist rehabilitation specialist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington. Wheeler has worked closely with dozens of elite-level athletes from Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL, NBA, women's soccer and the University of Notre Dame football and baseball programs. Wheeler also worked as a personal physical therapist for the 2008 Olympic track team with middle distance runners.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  December 4, 2008; 2:35 PM ET
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Next: Nats Catcher Makes Topps Team



I don't think National Rehab Hospital is in Chevy Chase.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 4, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, leetee...

Posted by: traceeh | December 4, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

A former bobsled conditioning coach...

I guess it's all downhill from here.

Posted by: TimDz | December 4, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Where's Tatiana?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 4, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Great. Now all we need to do is to re-sign Tatiana and hire Hondo as a roving goodwill ambassador.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 4, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ha, JCA beat me to the punch (line).

TimDz, agreed, it looks like we're on thin ice here.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 4, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Tatiana can be what? The Nat's Roving 'Happy Ending' Coordinator? I bet Da Meat would like her back...

Lets see...

Cheesy Punchline...check
Borderline Sexist remark...check
Double Entendre...check

OK, I think that about covers it all...

Posted by: TimDz | December 4, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

National Rehab Hospital is in NE DC near Washington Hospital Center.

Posted by: Section303 | December 4, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Alternate Headline:

Nats Phil Strength Coach Position, Wheel Out New Physical Therapist

Posted by: BobLHead | December 4, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"The new owners cannot let this opportunity pass. I've had season tickets every year since the team returned to DC, but if this doesn't happen, 2009 will be my last."

Geez. Stan Kasten responds to a Post suggestion of "Here's something you really ought to do, just because we, the Post, think you should be doing it. So are you gonna do it or aren't you?" with a "No comment", which anyone who knows anything about him should know is his standard answer when outsiders - particularly the press - ask him questions like that, and people are already threatening to cancel their season tickets. Get a grip, guys. When (not if, because it WILL happen) the Nationals find a gig for Hondo, the last place you'll hear about it is the Post. The team will issue a press release that Ladson will print, Nats320 will have a photo feature, and then Emilio Garcia-Ruiz will finally decide that yeah, maybe, he ought to make room on page E6 for a line or two. That's how things work in this town, dontcha know.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 4, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I was curious if this chick is the same one who helped Hook feel "instant relief" back in the spring, but then I read the part where she works with elite athletes.

Posted by: Corey42 | December 4, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

From last thread

Bring back Hondo!!

Posted by: adhardwick | December 4, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

TimDz, I snarfed my water at your two-cent pun. Thanks a lot, jerk.

Continuing the Hondo post (which even drew a one-liner from Hendo!), I learned about him from my mom and Tom Boswell (pretty sure). There was a great story about Soriano that compared him to the old "Howard homers, Nats lose" headlines that dominated the Post in those days. As the next generation Washington baseball fan, I demand the return of one of those two great Washington traditions.

Posted by: Section506 | December 4, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

TimDZ, that was simultaneously the best and worst post of the day.

Seriously, where do we even go from there?

Next thread!

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 4, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Update on MLB Trade Rumors about our old new favorite obsession:

# [Ken] Davidoff says Yankees officials are confident they're the only serious suitor for C.C. Sabathia, as there's still a $40MM gap between their offer and Milwaukee's. Davidoff believes the Yanks will move on to Lowe and Andy Pettitte (not Manny Ramirez or Mark Teixeira) if they sign C.C.,0,5003853.story?track=rss

My own notes:
*So we're back to using periods for C.C.?
*Just because we knew it was Sabathia OR Teixeira a month and a half ago, doesn't mean we can't report it!

Posted by: Section506 | December 4, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

We already have down pat the "Nats Lose" part of the tradition.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 4, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand. How will he keep doing that television show with that Kathie Lee person? Oh. How will he keep doing that television show with that Kelly person? Oh. Never mind...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 4, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

After reading the comments, I second the nomination for TimDZ's as (best/worst) post of the day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 4, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

If he's cheap, should we take a flyer on Daniel Cabrera?

Posted by: Section506 | December 4, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks folks...I'll be here all week...
Try the veal...

Posted by: TimDz | December 4, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

As posted to the natsfanatics forum:

Next Thursday December 11th at 7 PM the flagship station of the Washington Nationals will feature a one hour special, live from the MLB Winter Meetings.

Hosted by George Wallace with Craig Heist live from the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, we'll also feature guests from the Nats and a few player surprises as well. We'll want to hear from you on the toll-free line (877-936-9333) so mark the date & thanks in advance for spreading the word.

7PM - 8PM on 1500 & 820 AM WFED or online at next Thursday 12/11

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 4, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

1a posts:

"Next Thursday December 11th at 7 PM the flagship station of the Washington Nationals will feature a one hour special, live from the MLB Winter Meetings."

I'll have to call in again... I got on there last year...

Posted by: wigi | December 4, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Live Nationals' news - on the radio? WHOO-HOO! But you say the "flagship" is AM only; that doesn't help me in Manassas, unless atmospheric conditions are perfect. God, I hope the Nats' can work better radio deals for the upcoming year.

Posted by: BinM | December 4, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If you were a true fan, BinM, you would build a receiver in your backyard.

Posted by: Section506 | December 4, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

This one is really good. It is an attempt to predict BABIP using a several variable regression. The article suggests that, in most cases, a year in which a hitter vastly underperforms his predicted BABIP is not an indication of stinkitude the next year. Often these guys are great buy low types. Among the hitters who most underperformed his predicted BABIP are SuperWillie (he may be better than he looks) and AK. Maybe the reason we all could not understand how he hit so badly was because it was bad luck, and, with normal luck, he will hit his .265 with a good walk rate and maybe some power.

Here is a small quote:
"Some team is going to get a steal in Jason Giambi. Willy Aybar is deserving of full-time action. Nick Swisher and Austin Kearns are a lot better than they showed in 08. Would you believe that Brandon Boggs had the highest xBABIP in 2008 of any player in our database? Jim Edmonds may not be done quite yet. Adrian Beltre is very underrated."

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 4, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I've not tried to listen to the station online, BinM, but that might be a possibility for you. I know what you mean about the signal, though (and if you try building a receiver, I've found that it's helpful to remove the tinfoil hat before listening :-)).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 4, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Elizabeth Wheeler's place of employment, she very well could have been in Chevy Chase. The Natl Rehabilitation Hosp has outpatient PT offices in about 10 locations in the Washington area, one of which is Friendship Hts. (I happen to know because I had PT at their K St branch sev yrs ago.) I wd think that a baseball PT wd either like travel or be very dedicated, because she will be travelling as much as Chico does & Barry did. I guess so, anyway.

Posted by: Section109 | December 4, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Interesting the Nats included Fernando Vargas in the press release on Philbin. I don't know a great deal about boxing, but if Vargas is the former middleweight champ that lost to De La Hoya, then he was suspended in 2002 or 2003 for steroids.

No clue if or when Philbin worked with the suspended Vargas, just interesting that Vargas would be mentioned at all post Mitchell report. Sort of like bringing in a well regarded hitting coach with a solid resume and then stating he worked specifically with Paul LoDuca.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 4, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Is Chico still with you guys?

Posted by: phillip2 | December 4, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

A day full of mixed emotions.

As one former Washington great receives incredible support to rejoin the organization in some sort of capacity, another falls by with wayside with little fanfare.

Tomo Ohka, may your days with the Cleveland Indian's minor league affiliates be filled with rainbows and teddy bears. And managers that allow you to show them up.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 4, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I've decided to start an email petition to encourage the Nats to hire Frank Howard. All replies will be forwarded on to the Nats.

Please fill out the online petition:

Posted by: wigi | December 5, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I think Chico loves writing but doesn't love baseball.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Done, Wigi - hope it goes through.

Posted by: Traveler8 | December 5, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

An online petition, huh? Yeah, that'll work. Just ask

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 5, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

So here's an interesting idea - not necessarily a realisitic one, but creative: Trade Austin Kearns to the Dodgers for Andruw Jones. Why should either team do this???? For the Dodgers, they can cut payroll to make room for Manny or Tex. Kemp or Pierre could play center and Kearns would make a good backup for their young outfielders Kemp and Ethier. For the Nats, Jones has only one year left on his two year deal. Although expensive, he would represent a big upgrade defensively in center, he just had a historically bad year and is unlikely to remain that bad, and if he bounces back to even half of his former offensive productivity he could bat cleanup for the Nats. If he is having a good year, the Nats could trade him for prospects in July and only have to pay hald his salary while helping to stock the minors for the future.

Now I realize this is far fetched and does not come without significant risk, but if the Dodgers could be induced to making the trade, the Nats would really only be risking one year's salary.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 5, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Andruw Jones???? With a .158 batting average and a $14 mill+ salary, the Nats would be laughed out of town for making a move like that!

The Nats need to spend the cash on signing Zim long-term and getting a power bat and some more bullpen help.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 7, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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