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MASN's Schedule

MASN will televise 95 Nationals games this season, with the remaining 67 on MASN2.

In addition, Washington-area viewers will be able to watch 20 selected Sunday afternoon games on new MASN partner WDCW-50. Those games will be simulcast on MASN.

MASN has expanded its high definition coverage and will televise at least one game in HD every day during the season. Its new dedicated HD channel, MASN HD, will launch April 1.

The schedule for Nationals telecasts on MASN can be found at

By Tracee Hamilton  |  February 13, 2009; 10:27 AM ET
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new posted - dammit!

I'm sticking with Mongo.

I was fairly optimistic prior to this signing (remeber I predicted 82 wins if NJ and SH are healthy), but now I'm almost giddy.

Our least productive positions last year compared to league average was 1B and LF, those are now are two strongest positions (at least on paper). Even if (ok when) Nick goes down we are still dramatically improved at those positions with the addition of Willingham.

The biggest thing to me is that we aren't dependent on NJ being healthy or Kearns finally "resurging" to be competitive.

Add in probable (ok possible) breakout seasons from Dukes, Milledge, Zimmerman and Flores and I think .500 ball is not just pie in the sky optimism, but a real attainable goal.

The key now is (and always has been really) pitching. IF Hill is healthy, IF Cabrera can stabalize, IF Lannan and Balester have breakout seasons, IF Hanarhan can close, IF Jordan Zimmermann is ready for the many IFs...

However, having more offense means starters can stay in longer instead of always gettin pulled in 1-2 run games. It let's guys learn faster and save the bullpen for when they can be most effective.

Still hoping, and still believing in 82 wins, LETS GO NATS!!!!

Posted by: estuartj | February 13, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Hondosaurus" . . . I love that name. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | February 13, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

It's not perfect, but at least it's better than last year (this seems to be my mantra for all things Nats related this season. HD telecasts, Adam Dunn, pitching, etc).

Posted by: erocks33 | February 13, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Now that broadcasting is the subject, can anyone tell me what radio station(s) will be home to Charlie & Dave? I have somehow missed that info.

Posted by: HALjr | February 13, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

As far as pitching goes, the more I think about it, the more I like a rotation of Olsen, Hill, Perez, Lannan, and Cabrera.

Having Zimmermann and Balester start the year in AAA isn't such a bad idea. They'll get the first chance in the case of injury or poor performance. If Hill is healthy, I still think you shut him down early, perhaps replacing him with Strasburg.

What this lineup does give you is an ERA of about 4.60 (although notably lower if Cabrera's ERA drops with his shift to the NL) and a staff with no less than 37 MLB starts per pitcher. Our farm strength will go up (for those who care about rankings) and we might even be able to avoid some clocks from starting.

I think the Nats will have some tough decisions to make regarding guys like O'Connor. There just aren't enough rotation spots for everyone. I think there might be some trade value for a guy like Chico as a league-average lefty (if he has a good Spring), but it may come down to letting someone like O'Connor go.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone see this from Ladson?

"Harris, the most versatile player on the Nationals, is one of the best candidates to become the team's leadoff hitter."

Seriously? Ladson is willing to pencil in Super Willie as the starting 2B?

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 13, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

So I was listening to MLB on Sirius/XM the other day and a caller (John from Alexandria, maybe?) asked Dibble about Strasburg. Dibble said he had no idea how good he was but would be sure to let us know after he saw him in Spring Training.

Uh oh. Fair warning, benefit of the doubt will not extend forever...

Even more than that, just reading around and Nats have been plainly ignored for so long. So much of what is written or spoken about them is just ignorant.

It's hard to expect anyone to know or care as much as we do about our team. But seriously, there is just too much misinformation and flippant responses thrown out there. I thought these people loved what they do, but most don't seem to care if they get even simple stuff right, and I'm talking stats and positions, even players and their names.

And how can anyone getting paid to work in baseball not have heard of Strasburg by now. It wasn't some random question, it was in perfect context.

Keith Law is different animal altogether. His agenda has infected (not affected) his judgement. If the smartest person in the world is a social retard, what good are they? Not as much as they easily could have been.

Posted by: longterm | February 13, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I still don't understand why they jerk the schedule around like that. Dedicate one channel to the Nationals and one to the Orioles. If you're worried about hurting feelings, don't call them MASN 1 & 2, call them MASN Nats and MASN O's. Nobody will care. It is incredibly hair-brained how they do this.

Posted by: pondaz | February 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Anyone heard about MASN/MASN2/50 carrying spring training games?

Posted by: dand187 | February 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"we might even be able to avoid some clocks from starting."

Very good question, I think Brian at NFA might be able to give us an answer on what would be best as far as delaying arbitration and FA for Balester, Zimmermann and Martis.

I like your thoughts on the rotation, no sense sending guys to the wolves if it doesn't help the club (and them) in the long run.

I'm also curious to see how Manny will handle the bullpen, I'd like to see him ride guys like Bergmann and Young for extra innings if we're down and consentrate guys like Hanrahan and Mock on save and set-up roles. I see this team winning a lot of games 7-6 or 8-7 and losing a bunch 9-5, 8-4. Let the top bullpen guys focus on wining the close situations and give some of the other guys a chance to pick up some innings, and maybe earn their stripes pitching the lost causes.

Posted by: estuartj | February 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Seriously? Ladson is willing to pencil in Super Willie as the starting 2B?" JohninMpls

Ladson is a moron. This is the same guy who said Dunn was playing 1B and got quotes from Johnson saying he wouldn't accept it and wanted a trade. All without having spoken to the club first.

You can never tell when he's got a real inside scoop and when he's just giving his opinion. Bad journalism for one, and the guy seems to know nothing about baseball either.

Posted by: estuartj | February 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

We'll have the spring training schedule in tomorrow's paper, but in the meantime ...
MASN is carrying four Nats spring training games:
March 6 at Baltimore, 1 pm
March 18 vs. Florida, 7 pm
March 25 vs. Atlanta, 7 pm
April 4 vs. Baltimore, 6 pm

Posted by: traceeh | February 13, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

... thanx to y'all for your kind welcome words. Of course you realize MASN is a thread I can barely comment on.

... however, to return to a previous discussion, and the following posted by TimDz:

"Based on the big IF (that of NJ remaining healthy), what happens to NJ near the trading deadline if the Nats are considered out of the running for a playoff spot?

If he remains healthy, are we to assume he is gone after this year? If that is the case, I would assume that he would be traded.

Then again, does the FO take a chance and try to re-sign him?

Posted by: TimDz | February 13, 2009 10:42 AM"

... let me ask this: A few days ago, I read somewhere that the A's were taking a look-see at NJ's med records, with an eye to perhaps making a deal. Now I wouldn't want to interfere with JimBo's efforts at eliminating a glass jaw from the team (and heaven knows if Nick can actually put together a injury-free season of AB's, I'd keep him in a split second), but does anyone know a/ if such trade talk with Oakland has been around for a while, and b/ who could we hope to get from them in return?

Posted by: natscanreduxit | February 13, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, natscan. I thought we lost you forever. Welcome back!

Posted by: NatsNut | February 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

104 games in HD. A lot better than last year but not great. Why aren't all the games in HD?

Posted by: alm1000 | February 13, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

All I need to know is this.....Will FIOS TV carry new MASN HD channel? Can anyone tell me?

Posted by: JayBeee | February 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Pondaz has it right. One channel for the Nats, the other for the O's, both in HD.

I wonder if the problem standing in the way of such an easy solution is that cable stations are not willing to carry two HD channels from MASN without compensation.

Good topic for the Post to explore.

Posted by: AshburnVA | February 13, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over, too:

We know that you're a pure fan, natscan, but never simple.

In other news, I missed natbisquit's PoD in the dead-tree edition. Will have to go back and check it out.

mvk and driley, in a segment on WTOP this a.m., they said that Frank Howard had also been known as the Big Donkey (Google sez that it was courtesy of Leo Durocher).

estuartj, is that as in Candygram for Mongo?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 13, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

HalJr, there are affiliate details here:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 13, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"All I need to know is this.....Will FIOS TV carry new MASN HD channel? Can anyone tell me?"

Hell, FIOS won't even tell me when they're coming to my neighborhood. You expect them to tell you what programming they'll carry?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 13, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, wow, welcome back, natscan!

From what I recall, the A's talks were reported twice. I don't know if that means the same story was covered during two different periods or if there were two separate rounds of talks.

That being said, I think the rumors of Johnson not being 100% would put the kibosh on a trade for now. If he's moved, it would probably makes sense for that to occur during Spring Training, right?

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 13, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Spring Training, check out Boom-Boom's post (now with link for Scooter):

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

estaurtj, the bullpen does concern me, especially considering how Manny tends to lean on them a bit by pulling pitchers after five innings.

I've been messing with the idea of using Bergmann as the setup guy. He'd get used frequently, but not for multiple innings. It might be a confidence boost, but also one that wouldn't allow him enough rope to hang himself during a game.

Still, I can see Mock filling that role, too, especially for the reasons you note.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 13, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

That's "hare-brained"--as in, dumb as a bunny.

It is incredibly hair-brained how they do this.
Posted by: pondaz | February 13, 2009 11:39 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals' flagship radio station is WFED, "Federal News Radio" at 1500 & 820 AM, which is owned by Bonneville International."

Now that broadcasting is the subject, can anyone tell me what radio station(s) will be home to Charlie & Dave? I have somehow missed that info.

Posted by: HALjr | February 13, 2009 11:10 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 13, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@ natscanreduxit:

The A's requested NJ's medical records back in December or so...I think the Nats were asking for the young 1B (don't remember his name) in return and the A's took a pass.

Not sure if anything else is in the works though.

I would like to see NJ stick around if healthy, but you gotta think that, if the Nats aren't in contention by the trading deadline, NJ will be dealt. If that does happen, I would hope (at the very least) a good ML ready bat is given in return

Posted by: TimDz | February 13, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"... what would be best as far as delaying arbitration and FA for Balester, Zimmermann and Martis."

From strictly an arbitration angle, the conventional wisdom says

* Balester was added to the active roster on June 30, assuming he's up to stay, he'd be arbitration eligible after the 2011 season. Back of the envelope tells me he would have to be optioned down for roughly 60 days on the active roster in 2009 (and beyond) to bump that under three years service time at the end of the 2011 season and likely an additional 20-30 days minimum to keep him from Super Two. No point counting calendar days there, just assume 2011 as his first arbitration year.
* Wait until June 1 to bring Zimmermann up. That way the earliest he would be arbitration eligible would be after the 2012 season (assuming he is up to stay full-time from that point on).
* Martis was called up on September 1, 2008 so like Balester, the post 2011 season is his arbitration time (assuming up to stay). But unlike Balester, the Nationals could push that off a year if he was optioned down for roughly 70 days between now and then.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 13, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hi JohninMpls,

... good to be here. You said: "I think the rumors of Johnson not being 100%..."

... are you saying that there are now current and firm reports that he's NOT 100% today, or that this is NJ we're talking about, and his reputation precedes him?

Posted by: natscanreduxit | February 13, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

(correction on the Balester bullet after thinking about it)

I believe it's near impossible to keep him from arbitration in 2011 without optioning him down for nearly an entire season between 2009-2011. Doesn't make any sense to mess around with counting days there.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 13, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks natsfan1a1 and Cevans, I thought I had searched the Nats site thoroughly. No changes then this year, great. I can get one of those stations.

Posted by: HALjr | February 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I can tell you that Verizon FIOS is incapable of telling the truth about when they will carry a specific channel in HD. But it would be a major upset if they carried MASN HD in 2009. I went back to DirectTV and am glad I did. FIOS repeatedly lied to me about HD channel lineups from the time they started marketing to me through the time I cancceled them in December.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 13, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tracee!

Posted by: dand187 | February 13, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Dunn and Dunn.

Posted by: fischy | February 13, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Brian, you are, as always, a wealth of information - thanks!

Does the active roster count start on opening day?

As for Balester, how much difference is their between being a super 2 and regular arbitration? Team control still entends to 2014 either way, but with super 2 he gets an extra arbitration year, coming after year 2 (after 2010)?

Posted by: estuartj | February 13, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I could not agree more with sentiment above that the national sports media does not know anything about the Nationals. Holden Kushner (XM) spent a few seconds discussing the Nationals earlier this week and maintained that he probably knew more about the Nationals than any other broadcaster on the XM network, but proceeded to make several incorrect statements. It calls into question the 'facts' they give about the other 29 teams as well.

Dibble is tolerable sometimes, but never compelling on his XM radio show. Last night he was "interviewing" USA Today writer, Mel Antonin except that Dibble would ramble on without taking a breath about his own opinion before asking Mel to agree. It was driving me crazy. I turned off the radio for 30 seconds at a time then turned it back on to see if he was through his question, then back on, then back off, and repeat .... just waiting for his guest to be allowed to speak.

I'm a Bob Carpenter fan. I just hope Dibble allows him to speak this year.

I will say this though - I was just waiting for the Hot Stove crew on MLB Network to get something wrong and they represented themselves pretty well.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 13, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I've been enjoying the MLB Network Hot Stove crew, natbisquit. Also enjoyed their Caribbean World Series broadcasters, especially Rojas and Mota. They had Rojas in the studio as a lead in to the Roberto Clemente special as well.

Re. Dunn and Dunn, if this were Philly, it could be Dunn and Broad Street.

p.s. New post up. ^

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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