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More on Drew Storen

Hello, folks. Chico's traveling this a.m. so I thought I'd take the opportunity to post a few Drew Storen leftovers.

I got to sit down with Drew away from the ballpark and we had a good long chat. He's a smart, personable young man and I think he's destined to be a Nats fan favorite if (I believe when) he makes it to the bigs. He took a sports media class at Stanford and it shows.

Let's see, he's a Colts fan -- not surprising since he's from Indianapolis -- he's not big on the NBA now that Reggie Miller has retired, and he just saw his first hockey game last year but liked it and is interested in seeing the Caps play. He'd also like to see the Nats play; he said because of his schedule he hasn't been to a game since he threw out the first pitch, and can't often catch them on television. He should have time to get to the park between the end of Harrisburg's season and the start of the Arizona League.

(An aside: Who wouldn't like to go to Phoenix in October to see Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen and Norris? I may have to lock Boz, Chico and Sheinin in a cupboard and try to steal that trip!)


He loves to draw and he once did an abstract painting of White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski getting punched by Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after a home plate collision in 1996.

Anyway, Storen and I talked a lot about the adjustments from college ball to the minors. Here are some excerpts.

What was the biggest surprise when you got to the minors?
"I was surprised at how good these guys are. I expected the level I'm at now [high A at the time] to be comparable to college but it's really not. These guys are obviously professionals and they're a lot better than I expected. It's a lot of fun.

"They are good, they have good stuff, but just watching them throw, they're professionals, just the way they go about their business has been cool to see."

Any other big differences?

"The adjustment to the actual baseball. The seams in college are so much bigger. The balls here are different."

So the seams are more raised on a college ball?

"It's just like a feel thing. I remember when I did my workout for the Giants. I was playing long toss and the first time I was using the pro ball, I threw the ball about 100 feet in the stands. I had no feel for the ball. It's a little different but I got used to it. Some people said your curveball might not be as good but I don't think it's affected it."

(We were talking about hockey, which led to hockey fights, which led to this.) Have you ever had a fight on the field?

"Fortunately not. I challenged a guy in high school to do it but he didn't. He was a lot bigger than me. He kind of stared me down. ... [I did it] completely knowing the first baseman would get to him before I did.

"That's one thing about playing pro ball, that's an option. In college that's not an option. You get in so much trouble. So now it's a legitimate concern. If you throw inside you better be ready to go. And me being ready to go is standing right on top of the mound and waiting for somebody to intercept him before he gets to me. (He's laughing as he says this.) It's a whole new aspect of the game."

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 28, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Nats Call Up Pete Orr

Comments

This kid is hilarious! Thanks Tracee, this is great stuff.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 28, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Why on earth isn't the Storen article linked from the Nats' front page?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/sports/nationals/

If it wasn't for the Journal, I'd have never seen the article....

[Good work, Tracee!}

Posted by: Barney001 | August 28, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

So I woke up this morning and Nyjer's hand is still broken? Hope we can stay informed as to what the specialists in Baltimore think.

Thanks for the Storen interview, something to look forward to, although kudos to MacD for doing the job, you have to love second-chance guys who make it.

Re: sliding hands first. Guys get injured all sorts of ways, that's the price of pro (and am) sports. Nyjer is a smart runner--on the base paths and in the outfield--and he made his choice probably long ago to use the faster but more dangerous style.

We as fans love the excitement and spark that he brings. So do his teammates, and so do all those who labor in the heat and rain at the park, according to the beer, water and peanuts vendor (Thanks!)

So I hope he heals fast and well, and comes back stealing however and whenever he thinks is best.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 28, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

i like drew more and more.

i don't think barret punch aj in the face in 1996 though. it must be more recent than that.

Posted by: longterm | August 28, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Does the men's room door have a lock? hmmm...

---

(An aside: Who wouldn't like to go to Phoenix in October to see Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen and Norris? I may have to lock Boz, Chico and Sheinin in a cupboard and try to steal that trip!)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, after reading further, I'd love to see his depiction of the South Side smack-down!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

As someone who slid head first in my playing days, there are lots of advantages, including being able to better avoid a tag. Granted, I learned early on to hold my gloves in my hands to avoid jamming my fingers, or getting my fingers slammed with a slap tag (less of a worry).

The thing about TPlush and his sliding style is that he slides so late, he's really landing ON the bag, full force. (not to mention sliding past the bag)

I'm more surprised he didn't hurt his wrist first, because that's like slamming your open palm on the ground falling from your rooftop.

Get well soon, TPlush! Hopefully hear you on the tube during some broadcasts (from the dugout or the booth) and can't wait to see what impact your energy has on Nats spring training. We love having you in NatsTown!

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I love Drew Storen!!!! :) <3

Posted by: rachel216 | August 28, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

After reading still further: yes, longterm, it was in 2006. After it happened, there t-shirts popped up that said "Who says the Cubs can't hit?"

Great piece and follow-up, Tracee. I'm liking this kid already!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and thanks for the post about Storen. I'm a huge fan, and think those who criticized the Nats for selecting him for signability purposes will eat their words when he's with the big team. He'll be a better MLBer than half of the guys selected ahead of him, and more than half of the guys projected for slots 10-20 (many mock drafts had him around #20).

Besides, I have tons of respect for former Cardinal players. Class acts all. My ex is a Stanford alumna, so through her I met Jody Gerut while he was still in the minors, and Carlos Quentin and Sam Fuld (who seemed 150 lbs soaking wet). That 2002-03 Stanford team also had Ryan Garko (catcher) and lost in the CWS finals to Rice. Carlos Quentin was PHENOMENAL, despite playing through a torn rotator cuff (I believe).

Hm, after a quick check to Wikipedia, also notable players in that CWS: Chad Cordero (Fullerton), and Huston Street (Texas).

Posted by: mo_dc | August 28, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"He took a sports media class at Stanford and it shows."

Also, his dad is Mark Patrick, who until this winter was the co-host of Baseball This Morning on the XM 175 Home Plate channel.

Posted by: darags | August 28, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

About Storen: I got to know him a bit at Potomac. He's a good kid, really good. He is quite confident and can't wait to pitch for the Nationals.

I wouldn't worry about his curveball. It is a sharp 1 to 7 breaking pitch. When he spots that off his 97 MPH fastball, he is nearly unhittable. His walks show that he can get both pitches over consistently. He's going to fun to have closing ball games.

About Nyjer: I've never been a fan of sliding hands first. I disagree on the control argument. Feet first has better control because large muscle groups (legs) are controlling the direction of the slide. Hands first, you are trying to change a quickly moving, substantial mass with the small muscle groups of the hands and arms.

Also, while feet first slides aren't risk free, the likelyhood of injury is much less than hands first. The small bones and complexity of the hand and wrist structure make injury much more likely that the feet first sliding.

As someone who spent years catching, I loved it when someone slid into home hands first. Bury a shin guard on someone's hand, and they may have trouble holding a baseball bat the next AB or game. Hands first is not a good method of sliding into a base.

Whoever commented on the timing of Morgan's slide is absolutely right. One of his problems in Pittsburgh was sliding past the bag. There were several occasions last year where Morgan successfully acheived the next base, only to be tagged out oversliding.

Its too bad Morgan is out. He is fun to watch and has been a huge positive in the clubhouse. Someone needs to teach him how and when to slide.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 28, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Whoever commented on the timing of Morgan's slide is absolutely right. One of his problems in Pittsburgh was sliding past the bag. There were several occasions last year where Morgan successfully acheived the next base, only to be tagged out oversliding."

He's done that several times since coming to DC as well, and been tagged out at least once after oversliding second. When pressed on it afterwards, he basically said that's his style and he's not gonna change. So I guess we'd better get used to it.

Unlike his predecessor, I bet Morgan makes his doctor appointment on time. He'll probably be early, even...

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 28, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely, Nats Lady.

About a week or so ago, someone interviewed Nyjer (not Debbie, but one of the studio guys, I think), and they asked him about head first sliding, and specifically, would he change?

He reacted as if he had touched a hot stove or as if the questioner were nuts.

He responded: "No, no way. End of story. Asked, answered. No, never." It's much faster, he said. The subject had come up as a suggestion from the coaching staff, and his answer to them was no.

I think it was a question about oversliding the bag rather than hurting his hand.

Maybe when sliding home on a close play, with the catcher in the way, all set up and ready to block the plate, he said.

NOT when stealing home, which I fully expect hime to do next year, when noone holds him at third AT ALL, and he can go halfway down the line halfway or more. Jacoby Ellsbury or someone else did it this year?

Basically he has to be left alone, and not corralled. He doesn't want to be coddled, so let's not ruin him with overprotective nonsense?

*****************************
Re: sliding hands first. Guys get injured all sorts of ways, that's the price of pro (and am) sports. Nyjer is a smart runner--on the base paths and in the outfield--and he made his choice probably long ago to use the faster but more dangerous style.

We as fans love the excitement and spark that he brings. So do his teammates, and so do all those who labor in the heat and rain at the park, according to the beer, water and peanuts vendor (Thanks!)

So I hope he heals fast and well, and comes back stealing however and whenever he thinks is best.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 28, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 28, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I'd like this guy to start for us.

After his 2008 year at Columbus, they gave up on him as a starter. Prematurely.

He is confident and has been on the big stage. He compares favorably to our mediocre collage of righthanded failures.

Give the guy a chance to go six.

*************************************
No one is mentioning Clippard. Management is talking about their eight starters, a laughable number. Clip could be stretched out to start - he's better than most of the current starter crop - or used to close games. MacDougal's magic mirror will break eventually. In one stretch Clippard struck out 15 batters in 9 innings over 5 days. No one else on the Nats can match that talent.
Posted by: mockingbyrd7 | August 27, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 28, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@nova_g_man: I like Clippard in long relief.

I know long reliever is not a "glamor" job like starter or closer, but he's shown that he's good for 2-4 innings every other day or every third day.

Three innings is not enough for a starter, but it's a great showing when the starter gets blown out or tired on a hot day or when there is a rain-delay.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 28, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree. I want to see Clip get a start.

Posted by: rachel216 | August 28, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@Nats_Lady:

long relief is fine for clippard, but if he puts together a string of mowdown appearances with his typical Ks, WHIP, and command, i hope they see that it's fair to him to give him a start near the end, maybe one of those phillies or dodgers home games in mid/late september.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 28, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

You know, I don't think TP hurt his hand on the slide. I think it happened when he high-fived Belliard after scoring.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"He'd also like to see the Nats play; he said because of his schedule he hasn't been to a game since he threw out the first pitch, and can't often catch them on television."

Dude -- splurge and buy MLB.tv premium for $35. I mean, it's kind of your JOB.

Posted by: tailwagger | August 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm willing to put $5 down for you to head out there.

(That and a promise not to move the team to Ontario might buy you the Coyotes.)

-----

(An aside: Who wouldn't like to go to Phoenix in October to see Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen and Norris? I may have to lock Boz, Chico and Sheinin in a cupboard and try to steal that trip!)

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 28, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It's early in the day, of course, but the early favorite for post of the day is:

You know, I don't think TP hurt his hand on the slide. I think it happened when he high-fived Belliard after scoring.

Posted by: twinbrook

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 28, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Blogmother for keeping us off the streets while Chico is enroute.

But I have a question.

If it's an *abstract* painting, how can it be "of" anyone? That would make it representational, nicht?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"An aside: Who wouldn't like to go to Phoenix in October to see Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen, and Norris?"

OK, let's ALL go. Where do the Dogs play (when they let them out)?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Will the Post pay? If so, I'm in.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 28, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Phoenix Municipal Stadium, methinks:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/about/?league=afl&id=stadium

The Post pays? Yee-haw! When I say "it's," you say "on."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Your Blogmom just called. She says "it's on."

;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Re. abstract art, hasn't the term has been used generically at times to refer to the collective works of artists who created portraits as well as other works? But methinks we're veering off-topic a bit unless we can work in a discussion of "painting the corners." Remember how one of our broadcasters (Mel Proctor, maybe) would refer to Loiza as an artist in that regard, and suggest that he needed only a beret atop his head?

I'm just glad that Tracee gave us something other than Morgan's injury to reflect upon while we wait for Chico to get settled in.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnvOlI7sgdo&feature=related

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"An aside: Who wouldn't like to go to Phoenix in October to see Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen, and Norris?"
Alternatively, we could go to Bowie Sept. 4-6 when Harrisburg (or Hagersburg, to use Debbi Taylor's term) finishes its season. Maybe see Marrero too if he's not called up.

Posted by: JamesWebster | August 28, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

So, when a pitcher paints the corner, but it's an abstract painting, I think that means the pitch was about six inches outside and he got the call anyway.

How's that?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

As it happens, Blogmom,a previously planned trip will have me in Phoenix in November. With two free days to watch the Desert Dogs and hope Strasburg starts and Storen closes one of those games. Delay your trip a month, look for the bearded guy in a Nats cap, and I'll buy the first 'lemonade'. Or is it not fair to leave your trio of colleagues languishing in the cupboard for a whole month?

-----------

(An aside: Who wouldn't like to go to Phoenix in October to see Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen and Norris? I may have to lock Boz, Chico and Sheinin in a cupboard and try to steal that trip!)

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 28, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

fine. MAKE me go to Wikipedia:

[[abstract art]]

Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be only slight, or it can be partial, or it can be complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum. Even art that aims for verisimilitude of the highest degree can be said to be abstract, at least theoretically, since perfect representation is likely to be exceedingly elusive. Artwork which takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially abstract. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable. In geometric abstraction, for instance, one is unlikely to find references to naturalistic entities. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost mutually exclusive. But figurative and representational (or realistic) art often contains partial abstraction.

Both Geometric abstraction and Lyrical Abstraction are often totally abstract. Among the very numerous art movements that embody partial abstraction would be for instance fauvism in which color is conspicuously and deliberately altered vis-a-vis reality, and cubism, which blatantly alters the forms of the real life entities depicted

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

You Storen lovers should hop on by and vote in the poll about him keeping his high socks once he's called up.

Why, even Drew himself voted.

http://bit.ly/pRqmx

Posted by: Section138 | August 28, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

some NSFW language there, btw. Just sayin.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe see Marrero too if he's not called up.

Posted by: JamesWebster

Of all the issues we have to worry about -- global warming, health care reform, H1NI, Tony Plush's recovery -- I don't think I have to waste too many brain cells worrying about this.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I liked your pitching example, sec3, but the Wiki induced the MEGO (my eyes glaze over) effect. Maybe it's just that I need an afternoon cup of coffee.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, those socks are nice and all but you get an old school-type ballplayer in some stirrups...now we're talking. Sigh...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

So, now going into St. Louis my thinking is ... if

So, I'm Riggleman/Rizzo I may start off with Dukes in center alternating with Harris in center right field with Padilla in right when Harris is out. Give a roster spot to Norris Hopper, and call-up Maxwell I guess. Promote Leonard Davis and/or Kory Casto (left-handed hitters). Promote Montz as insurance for Bard.

That would give you a choice of Padilla, Hopper, or Harris to bat lead off and/or 2nd. Maxwell would be ineffective leading off until he learns to strike out less, walk more and raise his batting average. He did not lead off in Syracuse.

Rizzo has released Pete Orr and promoted Mike Daniel to AAA CF from Harrisburg. That may mean one or both of Maxwell and Hopper will be on their way to the majors today.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Scratch that ... I guess they decided to promote Orr to replace Nyjer Morgan. He wasn't released according to Brian Oliver.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

That means the Nats effectively do not have an effective lead off hitter for this series unless they start Padilla in right and Dukes in center.

Harris is not a lead off hitter.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

>I liked your pitching example, sec3, but the Wiki induced the MEGO (my eyes glaze over) effect. Maybe it's just that I need an afternoon cup of coffee.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Sec3, next time maybe a stream-of-consciousness description of abstract illusionism would liven things up a bit.

Posted by: BobLHead | August 28, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I thought that Orr was brought up to the Nats?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@BinM,

I don't know, but I suspect everyone would be happier with Norris Hopper than AAAA player Pete Orr. Another pitch hitter?

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

After refreshing, never mind re. Orr. I see that's been clarified.

Re. the steam-of-consciousness description of abstract illusionism: well, I *have* had my afternoon coffee now...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"I thought that Orr was brought up to the Nats?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009"

They must have promised Orr this because he has been mostly terrible in Syracuse. He rarely started over guys like Morse and Bynum. His hitting was really pretty terrible especially with men on.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Put me down as saying purchasing Orr's contract is a complete waste, and if anything is way to put a damper on any chance to do something in the upcoming series. After the rosters expand mayhap things will change.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Pete Orr:

412 at bats: 13 doubles, 5 triples, 9 HR, 77 strike outs, 27 walks OPS .671, SLG .367, AVG .345.

Looks another Dmitri Young promise to me.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Pete Orr avg: .245

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Orr was already on the 40-man roster, right?

So is Maxwell, so they could've gone that route, I guess.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 28, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I don't think Pete Orr was on the 40-man. That's why they had to "purchase his contract" as they did with Padilla and JD Martin. It's wasting a roster spot.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I like Morgan a lot, and I'm sorry he's hurt, but I wonder if the supportive response would be the same if Milledge had the same issues and had responded "I slide in a way that causes me constantly to be in danger of being tagged out for oversliding, and that risks injury to my hands, and that's just how I am, so leave me alone."

Posted by: markfromark | August 28, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Orr?? Ugh, I already miss Nyjer.

Posted by: rachel216 | August 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Casto is hitting better than Orr and he is left-handed, younger probably a better fielder.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Giving Pete Orr Nyjer Morgan's roster spot is insulting to fans.

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

i say leadoff with the guz and hit dukes second.

Posted by: longterm | August 28, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Casto has been exposed as a hitter every time he's been called up. I like the guy, and I appreciate the fact that he usually sees a lot of pitches. But the difference is negligible, in my book.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 28, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Marrero, Espinosa, Strasburg, Storen and Norris?"

and Espinosa who seems to be doing a lot better with the bat of late?

Posted by: periculum | August 28, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Twins get Wookie from Arizona.

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 28, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

We all know that periculum gets excited, posts dozens of his thoughts rather quickly and almost always accurately, but I did chuckle at his 'effective' 'effective' construction regarding our St. Louis series dilemma (appears below).

Take it easy, peri, just kidding.

"That means the Nats effectively do not have an effective lead off hitter ... "

I wonder if the fact that we effectively do not have an effective leadoff hitter will affect our chances at all?

When Periculum speculates, which is often, in my mind I call him Speculum. Groan.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 28, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

here's why I think Orr was picked up.

Whoever comes up won't play much. If Maxwell (or Desmond, for that matter) is going to be a major league player, he needs to show he can hit more than he's doing in AAA. He's better off playing another 10 games (more if the Chiefs make the playoffs--a possibility)in Syracuse than he would be sitting (or striking out) in DC. Bring him up after that. I'd rather have Pete Orr pinchhitting/running and Maxwell playing in Syracuse than vice versa. Look at it as which way would the Nats be better off in the long-run, and not as who would help them with games between now and Sept. 8. Maxwell would be an upgrade in CF over anyone else on the roster for 11 days, but the question is how does this fit in with the long-term.

Posted by: chiefwj | August 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

More Orr Next Dorr, err, Door, in da newpost, that is...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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