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The Organ Is Quiet, The Crowd Doesn't Roar

It's strange, sitting here to watch an intrasquad game. It's kind of got that Sunday-softball-at-the-park feel to it, where every crack of the bat echoes, and every burst of chatter rings clear. ("You got 'em now, baby. C'mon, Danny.")

The crowd is, at the moment, seven. And several in the stands are team employees. One is Shawn Hill. Another is Jason Bergmann. Hopefully this game moves quickly, because several players, I've heard, have tee times scheduled for 2:30. The weather surely will cooperate. We'll see if Daniel Cabrera cooperates, too.

In the top of the first, he allowed a lead-off walk to Roger Bernadina. With two outs, the Great Brad Eldred swatted a double down the left field line. 1-0, Team One. (By the way, "Team One Sucks" is scrawled in the dirt in front of the home dugout.)

Kip Wells is pitching for Team Two. He just walked the lead-off man, Corey Patterson.

Do we want updates on this? I may have one or two more in me later this afternoon. (I've got a big chunk of newspaper writin' to do, too.)

By Chico Harlan  |  March 17, 2009; 11:11 AM ET
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Next: Cabrera, Wells, J. Tav.


"Do we want updates on this?"

Hahahahahaha! You funny.

'Course we do!


Posted by: OldDude | March 17, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Shuh! Of COURSE we want updates.

Does anyone else get Bonifacio and Bernadina mixed up like I do? Chico said Bernadina and I thought, "wait, isn't he with the Marlins?" Duh.

Same with Hernandez and Gonzalez. I can't keep those two straight to save my life.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 17, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Chico, we'll take whatever updates you'll be so kind as to throw our way. We're just as hungry as normal, and there are no other options to help fill in the gaps like there might be for a regular spring training game (GameDay, etc.).

For what it's worth, I like the ring of "the Great Brad Eldred."

Posted by: faNATic | March 17, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Chico please keep the updated coming.

Posted by: brothbart | March 17, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I do the Hernandez/Gonzalez mix-up all the time, NN2. Well, I actually keep forgetting whose first name is whose.

Posted by: Section138 | March 17, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Updates on Cabrera for sure. Maybe you can identify the golfers by if they swing on him early?

Posted by: hoo93 | March 17, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

So if Cabrera's getting his work in today, that means Olsen goes on Wed, Lannan on Thurs. & Hill/Martis on Friday?

Posted by: BinM | March 17, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

OK, so which player from Team 2 is responsible for scrawling "Team 1 Sucks" in front of the dugout? Pete Orr maybe?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 17, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh lighten up, it was a funny analogy.

Posted by: skippy1999 | March 17, 2009 11:31 AM

(Brought forward re: Tavarez comparing the Nats to drunkenly picking up an unattracive woman in bar).

No; it was an idiotic and disrespectful slap at a team that's tossed Tavarez a lifeline when no one else would touch him with a ten foot pole. He should try be grateful first and then attempt "funny" once he's mastered that.

Posted by: joebleux | March 17, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm going to spend all of today chuckling over "Team One Sucks."

Posted by: Scooter_ | March 17, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Dnitri, I really enjoyed your time here, but it's time to look into alternative career opportunities"

Hey, I'd be happy if he shows up at Nationals Park 81 times and stands between Clint and the camera for four or five hours. Either that, or he could sit on Clint's mic. That would be well worth the $5M he'll collect this year.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 17, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"He should try be grateful first and then attempt "funny" once he's mastered that."

Yeah, here's what he said when he got to camp:
"I got the call from the Nationals, and they are looking for somebody like me to be in Spring Training as a non-roster player trying to make the team," Tavarez said. "I was more than happy to be here. I woke up sometimes thinking that I was going to be in the Major League level this year. I was thinking, 'Someone is going to give me a shot.'"

Sounds pretty grateful to me. There is no filter when Julian Tavarez speaks, but there is no meanness in him either. You should have seen some of the stuff he said when he was on the Sox, he makes for great copy :)

Posted by: skippy1999 | March 17, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

No meanness in Tavarez? So he had a song in his heart when he drilled Piazza in the skull? I'm strangely unimpressed.

Posted by: joebleux | March 17, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"No meanness in Tavarez? So he had a song in his heart when he drilled Piazza in the skull? I'm strangely unimpressed"

Not saying he's never done anything wrong, just that in his time with the Sox he was nothing but a great guy, well aside from teh Joey Gathright incident in spring training, but other than that he seems to have really mellowed. I'm not trying to impress you, just telling you to try and keep an open mind.

Posted by: skippy1999 | March 17, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey..JayBeee...I may not be around much (no internet at home) but don't think I forgot.

We Signed a Major Free Agent. You said we wouldn't. You owe me beer.

I'm not a big beer drinker, so you pick the beer, just don't buy no nasty crap for me to drink.


Posted by: MrMadison | March 17, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

So, speaking of The Great Brad Eldred, this brings something to mind that I've always thought was weird about baseball. Remember Rick Short a few years ago? Now, you can look at his career numbers and conclude that him hitting .400 at age 30 in AAA was a "career year". However, he was hitting over .300 in the majors, and while you wouldn't want to make a long-term deal, for pete's sake, he's hitting now! And you can always send him back down when he's not, but jeez. Anyway, if Eldred keeps hitting, why not keep him on the team until he cools off? If that's in mid-April, fine. If it's in August, even better.

Posted by: Section406 | March 17, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Madison....You were right! Dunn is a great signing....even if he is only two years for the same cost as Austin Kearns.......Nats did do it......I was wrong....I am very happy with Dunn being a Nat....I can not wait to get rid of D Young, Kearns, Pena types and move into a new era of Nats living.......

Posted by: JayBeee | March 17, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I've had the same problem with the (no so) Killer B's.

BobL, I was wondering who wrote it, too. I even scrolled through the lineup looking for likely candidates (that's just sad).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 17, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"not" so

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 17, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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