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Nationals Journal: July 12, 2009 - July 18, 2009

Rizzo on Storen and Olsen

The following is a transcript of an interview with Mike Rizzo, the acting general manager, before the Washington Nationals' game tonight against the Chicago Cubs. How is Drew Storen, the 10th pick in the draft, progressing? He's pitching kind of...

By Mark Viera  |  July 18, 2009; 8:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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Olsen to Visit James Andrews

Instead of appearance on the mound Monday at Nationals Park, Scott Olsen will be in Birmingham, Ala., to visit Dr. James Andrews. Olsen was scratched from his starts last Friday and on Monday after complaining of tightness in the left...

By Mark Viera  |  July 18, 2009; 7:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Bard Has Day Off

UPDATE | 5:49 p.m. Catcher Josh Bard's right groin injury has not limited his time in the starting lineup. Bard is out of tonight's game, but not as a result of the injury. Wil Nieves is listed as the starter...

By Mark Viera  |  July 18, 2009; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Nats (Again) Helpless at the Plate

Jim Riggleman spoke in his measured cadence and tried to find a word to sum up his feelings about the Washington Nationals' latest display of offensive futility. Disappointed, perhaps, or maybe frustrated. "I can remember thinking I don't even want...

By Mark Viera  |  July 17, 2009; 11:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
 
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After Error, Zimmerman Practices Fielding

Ryan Zimmerman was the Washington Nationals' lone all-star, and he has shown why this season with a host of highlight-reel plays in the field. But he has also been prone to throwing errors, which is why he has recently focused...

By Mark Viera  |  July 17, 2009; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Olsen Scheduled to Start on Monday (Updated)

Scott Olsen, who was scratched as the starter for tonight's game, is scheduled to make his next start Monday against the New York Mets and pitcher Livan Hernandez. As of yesterday, the team had not announced what would come next...

By Mark Viera  |  July 17, 2009; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (155)
 
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Cubs 6, Nats 2

Washington's fresh start, that blessed byproduct of the all-star break managerial change, lasted all the way up until the moment baseball resumed on Thursday night. The Nats' 6-2 loss to the Cubs might as well have been a two-hour, 39-minute...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 11:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
 
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Olsen Scratched From Tomorrow's Start

Scott Olsen is Washington's most experienced starter. And lately, the lefty has pitched to the standards Washington was expecting. But today, the team's expectations for Olsen -- and the plan for its rotation coming out of the all-star break --...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 8:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Returning (As A Starter, As A Bench Coach)

Six times now Garrett Mock has been up and down, swinging between the minors and the big leagues like a pendulum. Twice he joined the Nationals last year for spot starts, returning to Class AAA after both games. He became...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

The first Jim Riggleman-produced lineup looks a lot like the final Manny Acta-produced lineups. Which was probably to be expected, given that Riggleman often recommended lineup combos to Acta. So, here's how the Nats will stack 'em up tonight. Washington...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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The Riggleman 'Did You Know?' Game

Today, Jim Riggleman will manage the 1,175th regular-season game of his major-league career. Much history is bundled into that span, some of it memorable, some of it terrific, some of it entirely forgettable. In 1993, his first full season in...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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The Jim Riggleman Era

The Jim Riggleman Era -- Stan Kasten's words -- began today. At 5 p.m., he sat down for his first press conference, where he was introduced as the "third manager of the Washington Nationals." Riggleman, of course, was hired by...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 15, 2009; 8:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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NatsPark Fan Tweets, Phase 2

With the Nationals starting an 11-game homestand on Thursday night,we're planning to reactivate the Nationals Park Fan Twitter project with eyes on a) getting even more participation and b) displaying and archiving the Tweets on washingtonpost.com. If this project works,...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 15, 2009; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
 
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Bests, Worsts, Highs, Lows

The Major League All-Star Break is designed, more or less, for three purposes. Either you rest up (*), you compete in the game, or you reflect. Just speaking personally here, my hamstrings (despite some excessive hotel treadmill running in 100-degree...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 15, 2009; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Nats Deny Report of Talks With Mazzone

[UPDATED at 10 p.m.] Nationals President Stan Kasten strongly denied a Washington Post report tonight that the team has had had conversations with former Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone about serving in the same role in...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 14, 2009; 8:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Boswell: Strasburg Waiting to Hear from Nats

UPDATED 7:12 p.m. Stephen Strasburg received the Golden Spikes Award during pre-All-Star Game festivities as the best player in college baseball this season. In the past Golden Spikes winners have performed far better as professionals than, for example, Heismann Trophy...

By Thomas Boswell  |  July 14, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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Selig on Lerners: "They're on the Right Track"

Commissioner Bud Selig fielded questions for about an hour today from members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and no fewer than three questions pertained to the Washington Nationals' tumultuous situation. Selig, though, largely deflected the most pointed questions...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 14, 2009; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Acta News Coverage, The Rundown

On Feb. 15, 2007, it all started. Manny Acta spent his first day on a ballfield as manager of the Washington Nationals. Here, in glimpses, you see a bit of the charismatic side that Acta rarely showed on television --...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 14, 2009; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
 
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Kasten's Remarks from the Presser

Hey, folks. For those of you who couldn't see the news conference live on MASN, here are Stan Kasten's remarks (because Chico would want us to share): Q. Can you talk about the decision to release a letter to the...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  July 13, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (156)
 
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Mike Rizzo Quotes On Acta and Riggleman

The following is a transcript of the comments from Mike Rizzo, the acting general manager of the Washington Nationals, about the firing of Manny Acta as manager. I'd like to take today to make an announcement that the Washington Nationals...

By Mark Viera  |  July 13, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Zimmerman: Players Needed More From Acta

Media availability for the NL all-stars started about half an hour ago, and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made some pointed comments about ex-manager Manny Acta, the ongoing transformation of the clubhouse chemistry and the "sense of urgency" he says...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 13, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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Acta Statement

E-mailed at 11:30 am: Statement From Manny Acta First, I would like to thank GOD for putting me in this position. I want to thank the Washington Nationals for giving me the opportunity to be a Major League manager. It...

By Alexa Steele  |  July 13, 2009; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Nats' Letter to Fans

E-mailed at 11:30 am: TO: Fans of the Washington Nationals No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are. Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would...

By Alexa Steele  |  July 13, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Hamilton at Nats Presser (Formerly Live)

Columnist live-Tweeted the Nats' news conference "to discuss the team's managerial situation" at Nats Park. Her posts are on the jump....

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 13, 2009; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Reacting to Acta: An Opinion Roundup

Not surprisingly, the Natosphere has plenty to say today. Here's a selection of local and national comment on Acta's firing -- we'll be updating this all day. More Acta Firing Reaction Links...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 13, 2009; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Acta's Gone; Was This the Right Time?

Manny Acta has been fired by the Nationals, a move some media outlets had predicted would happen weeks ago. Some Nats fans, meantime, probably still hate to see him go. What do you think about the timing?...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 13, 2009; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (114)
 
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Acta Fired As Washington Nationals Manager

[UPDATE] -- Read the updated news story here. --- In the middle of his third season as manager, Manny Acta has been fired by the Washington Nationals, a source with knowledge of the situation said tonight. Asked in an e-mail...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 13, 2009; 1:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Detwiler Demoted, Mock To Join Rotation

When the Washington Nationals promoted Ross Detwiler to the big leagues on May 18, pulling him up from Class AA Harrisburg, they expected him to make one or two starts, nothing more. Eventually, the team's front office figured, the 2007...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 12, 2009; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Gonzalez Will Be Getting More Playing Time

For all the poor talent-evaluating decisions and unnecessary contracts that sully the final chapter of roster moves made by Jim Bowden, the former Nats' GM deserves credit for at least two trades that now look promising. The first brought Scott...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 12, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Lineups From Minute Maid

Washington Morgan - 8 Johnson - 3 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn - 7 Willingham - 9 Gonzalez - 6 Hernandez - 4 Nieves - 2 Zimmermann - 1 Houston Bourn - 8 Tejada - 6 Berkman - 3 Lee -...

By Chico Harlan  |  July 12, 2009; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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