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Nationals Journal: August 16, 2009 - August 22, 2009

Nats Delayed, Start Time Up in the Air

This in from Alan Goldenbach who is dodging the raindrops at Nationals Park: UPDATE, 8:09: P.A. just announced that first pitch will be at 8:25 pm. I think that might be a little optimistic, but it seems the worst is...

By CJ Holley  |  August 22, 2009; 7:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
 
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The Stephen Strasburg Whirlwind

At 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, with the temperature at 92 degrees, Stephen Strasburg had his introductory "news conference," which was open to the public and included fireworks, a jersey presentation (an extra layer for him to wear!) and a...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2009; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Lineups From Nats Park

Milwaukee Lopez -- 4 Counsell -- 6 Braun -- 7 Fielder -- 3 McGehee -- 5 Cameron -- 8 Catalanotto -- 9 Kendall -- 2 Looper -- 1 Washington Morgan -- 8 Guzman -- 6 Zimmerman -- 5 Dunn --...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Boy Pitching Wonder, Pt. I

If there's anything I love more than newspapers, it's newspapers printed in 1907. Somehow, the newshounds of those days knew phrases that serve only the purpose of high amusement. Now I'm not trying to compare Stephen Strasburg with Walter Johnson...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2009; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Tweets From Tracee (No Longer Live)

Columnist Tracee Hamilton's live tweets from Nationals Park: #twitter_div h2 { background-color: transparent; color: #C00; font: bold 12px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-transform: uppercase; margin: 0 0 1px 0; padding: 10px 0 0 0; border-bottom: 1px dotted #CCC; } #twitter_div ul...

By Alexa Steele  |  August 21, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Quiz: Who Is Nyjer Morgan?

I wanted to see how Nyjer Morgan compared to other base-stealing leadoff men who played centerfield, had little power, didn't walk much but slapped-hit their way on base. In part, I wanted to find this out because the stat-crabs like...

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 21, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
 
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Team President Stan Kasten Explains GM Search

Take it away, Stan.: --- As I told you guys, I thought it was important when we made the change [in March] -- even though I had a lot of confidence in Mike, which has been rewarded and justified --...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 21, 2009; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Rizzo, Two Perspectives

Boswell's column. The story on Rizzo's rise from scout to GM....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2009; 11:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Ladies and Gentlemen, GM Mike Rizzo

So, acting General Manager Mike Rizzo had his introductory press conference on Thursday afternoon. Rizzo and team president Stan Kasten sat at a table in front of the assorted TV cameras, big-event-descending media types (editorial comment: I want my little...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2009; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
 
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Today's Lineups

Colorado Gonzalez - 8 Spilborghs - 7 Helton - 3 Tulowitzki - 6 Hawpe - 9 Stewart - 5 Barmes - 4 Torrealba - 2 Hammel - 1 Washington Morgan - 8 Guzman - 6 Zimmerman - 5 Dunn -...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2009; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Nats Extend Strasburg Ticket Special

From the official news release: The Washington Nationals have expanded their successful $1 ticket promotion to include additional sections and seats for Friday evening's game, in celebration of signing First-Round Draft Pick Stephen Strasburg. The seats being offered are...

By Alexa Steele  |  August 20, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Official Rizzo Announcement

The Nationals just e-mailed a press release making the official announcement: The Washington Nationals today announced the promotion of Michael A. Rizzo to the position of Senior Vice President & General Manager. Rizzo, a 26-year veteran of professional baseball, joined...

By Alexa Steele  |  August 20, 2009; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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When Strasburg Was Slothburg

On his DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg looks back to the days when Strasburg = Slothburg....

By Alexa Steele  |  August 20, 2009; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Reading Material, Most of It Real

Just a few quick links for the morning. As you probably know by now, Mike Rizzo is getting the full-time GM job -- another high note in what has to be the most relentlessly positive week in Washington Nationals' history....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 20, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Rizzo Will Be Named Permanent GM on Thursday

After six months of acquisitions and signings, almost all of them well-received, Mike Rizzo has finally obtained the one thing he's been trying all along to get -- job security. The Washington Nationals, according to a source familiar with the...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2009; 10:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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More GM Talk, DL Updates and Lineups

The Yahoo Sports report suggesting Jerry Dipoto's imminent appointment as Nats' GM is becoming more and more puzzling. On Wednesday afternoon, both acting GM Mike Rizzo and team president Stan Kasten were on the field during batting practice, joking with...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2009; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
 
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Selig: Nats 'Did What They Had to Do' to Sign Strasburg

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig characterized the Nationals' signing of pitcher Stephen Strasburg as "fair," though he appeared to do so grudgingly and acknowledged management's intention to pursue a hard "slotting" system for draftees in the next round of collective bargaining...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 19, 2009; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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More on the GM Situation

The euphoria over the Nationals' signing of Stephen Strasburg hadn't really died down when speculation shifted squarely to the team's general manager search. On Tuesday night, a Yahoo! report indicated that the Nationals would soon announce Arizona Diamondbacks vice president...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2009; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
 
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Strasburg Special

The Nationals are offering fans an opportunity to attend Friday's Stephen Strasburg news conference. From the news release: The Washington Nationals will offer tickets for $1, based on availability, in the LF/RF Corner (Sections 108 through 110 and 135 through...

By Alexa Steele  |  August 19, 2009; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Report: Dipoto Could Be Next Nats GM

For the last six months, Mike Rizzo has led the Washington Nationals through a significant roster transformation, and in the last few weeks, he successfully handled negotiations with Stephen Strasburg, signing the No. 1 pick in perhaps the biggest victory...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2009; 12:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (132)
 
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The Plan for Strasburg

Sorry to lose focus on the blog a bit today; some of the writerly duties for the Wednesday paper have been commanding the attention. Anyway, I'm back at Nationals Park right now. The plan for Strasburg is a bit clearer...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
 
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Tonight's Lineups

Rockies: Gonzalez - LF Fowler - CF Helton - 1B Tulowitzki - SS Hawpe - RF Atkins - 3B Barmes - 2B Iannetta - C Jimenez - P Nationals: Morgan - CF Guzman - SS Zimmerman - 3B Dunn -...

By Alexa Steele  |  August 18, 2009; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Boswell on Strasburg

Make sure to check out Boswell's column. Just a fantastic read. Some Boras guys, such as Teixeira, go for the last dollar in every negotiation of their careers. But some don't, such as Matt Wieters of the Orioles and Strasburg....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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The Strasburg Era Begins

Who knows if Stephen Strasburg will be a franchise savior. He is certainly being paid like one. And yes, the Nationals' fate for the next six years -- and maybe beyond -- will largely follow Strasburg. If he's like Cy...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 8:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Strasburg, Nats Agree to Deal (Online Only)

The night carried on long past deadlines for the paper and there was more to write on the record-setting deal between the Nationals and No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg. Here's the Web site version....

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  August 18, 2009; 2:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Rizzo on Strasburg Deal

Some highlights from acting GM Mike Rizzo, who spoke about the Strasburg deal: On plan for Strasburg: Well as you can imagine we've had a pretty whirlwind busy day. We've had a plan in place for Stephen since we met...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 1:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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It's Done: Strasburg Agrees

Finally, after too much losing, years of scouting, and weeks of negotiating, the Washington Nationals secured the one good thing to come from all of it: They reached a deal with No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg. No team has...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 12:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
 
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Report: $15.7 Million Over Four Years

Baseball America is reporting that the deal is done for $15.7 million over four years. We're still waiting here for confirmation. Stay tuned....

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 12:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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As the Decision Nears

We're heading into the final hour now. I have just written two stories -- skeletal for-print stories, one for each scenario. Talk about strange. Writing each story -- one for a Strasburg signing, one for a non-signing -- forced me...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 11:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (299)
 
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Into The Night We Go

[UPDATE, 10:00 p.m.] -- It looks like Donovan Tate has signed. --- I'm at Nationals Park now. T-minus three hours. The Nats, right now, seem convinced that this will go past 11 p.m. A few media members are up here...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 9:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
 
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The Pressure of the Countdown

We have just hours remaining until the midnight deadline. I'm trying to picture the scene on the third-floor team office at Nationals Park. I expect it's thoroughly nerve-rattling, as if anticipating some high noon (or midnight) gunfight. PR people probably...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
 
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Kensing Designated for Assignment

UPDATE, 4:50 p.m. -- The Nats just made it official. Mike Morse has been selected from Syracuse (and added to the 40-man roster). Morse, acquired in June from Seattle in the deal involving Ryan Langerhans, had been hitting .339 (56-for-165)...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Poll: Will Strasburg, Nats Make a Deal?

It's the simplest question I could think of -- and the one on most Nationals' fans minds:...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  August 17, 2009; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
 
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D.C. Sports Bog Looks Into the Future

Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog has a post up predicting the signs that will be brought to Nationals Park tomorrow should Stephen Strasburg not sign with the team. Anyone else have any funny ones? Leave them in the...

By Matt Bonesteel  |  August 17, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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Final Day, Final Hours

Aug.17. Welcome. This is one of those dates that we've all awaited for quite some time now. Stephen Strasburg Deadline Day is the baseball human equivalent of the iPhone launch and the "Star Wars" premiere and, heck, we might as...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (136)
 
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Nats 5, Reds 4

The scenario that decided Sunday's game: It was the top of the eighth. The Nats were trailing the Reds by a run. Nobody in Washington's lineup but Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham and Wil Nieves had looked even vaguely dangerous all...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 16, 2009; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Source: Nats Must Increase Offer to Strasburg

The record-setting deal that the Washington Nationals have offered to No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg will have to grow if Strasburg is to sign, said a source who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations. The specific amount...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 16, 2009; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (149)
 
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Strasburg, From Several Perspectives

Check out Boz's Stephen Strasburg column this morning. He touches on just about every point that will make these upcoming 1-1/2 days so compelling. Boz is convinced that neither side knows what the other will do. "Both [sides] are worried,...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 16, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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