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And on Day 2 ... [Updated]

The final here was Desert Dogs 4, Solar Sox 2. Chris Marrero had a double and a single, drove in a run, was left on base twice, and played flawlessly at first.

Drew Storen pitched the ninth. He gave up a double to leadoff hitter Ryan Mount, although the left fielder nearly caught it before it bounced off his glove. He struck out P.J. Phillips of the Angels swinging on a 3-2 count. He got Bryan Petersen of the Marlins on a high popup to left field and Starlin Castro of the Cubs to pop up to second base.

Thursday is the Strasburg news conference in Phoenix followed by a game in Scottsdale.

The game was four minutes short of three hours and attendance was 577.

Weird sighting: a car, parked in the concourse, inside the park, with a New York plate that says, "ASSMAN."



Hello from HoHoKam. Lovely night here.

Chris Marrero started at first tonight; Espinosa isn't in the lineup. Marrero struck out swinging in the first and hit a nice double off the wall in center field (410 feet) to lead off the fourth against Richie Lentz of the Bosox. In the top of the sixth, he hit it on a rope but the center fielder got to it. So far, none of the Nats have pitched. After 5 1/2 innings, the Desert Dogs are leading, 2-1. So far, none of the Nats' pitchers has gotten in the game. I'll try to come back with some updates to this.

Other news and notes:

* I was unable to reach Mike Rizzo today, but not for lack of trying. From the sounds of Chico's post, he might have been busy making a hire.

* is live streaming the games; the link is here.

* C Sean Rooney was a late replacement when Derek Norris broke his thumb. Rooney got the call while he was on his honeymoon in Cabo with bride Jana -- and his phone was off. Luckily, the club also emailed him and he jumped at the opportunity. You might remember that Rooney lost his father and brother in a plane crash in January. After the AFL, he'll return to SoCal to spend time with his family.

* Watched Strasburg do "towel throwing" today. Hadn't seen that before. Maybe you all are familiar with it. He held the end of a towel and "threw" the other end at Menhart, who gave him a target (an outstretched hand). He threw that towel for strikes, though.

Also watched him playing catch with Storen. This wasn't hard throwing but not soft, either, at times. When Strasburg bore down, the ball really moved. Of course this wasn't from the mound but I'm just saying ... I saw movement. Storen, well, Storen throws hard.

* Also, this exclusive: Strasburg just got engaged.

* Also this not-so-exclusive: Paul Menhart said Strasburg would probably pitch every five days, depending on how the off days fall. This info for those planning to come down.

* Horrible discovery: I can't see both the game and the scorebook any more; my eyes refuse to adjust back and forth. Also unable to blog and keep a book simultaneously without making huge gaffes. I guess we all need the instructional league.

* To answer cokedispatch's question, no, I won't be able to see Strasburg pitch Friday. This is completely my fault; I screwed up this trip from beginning to end. I couldn't find out when Strasburg would throw before booking the trip and it's come back to bite me in the keister.

Now that I've been down here and seen the lay of the land, I wish I hadn't come this week at all. The players haven't played for five weeks, so they're rusty. A lot of them don't know each other, so they can't speak about who's doing what. The coaches are just getting to know them. The scouts are in the same boat and don't want to comment based on so little evidence. And Strasburg is as skittish as a newly foaled colt. All in all, I should have waited a week. My fault.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 15, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
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Next: Front Office Moves ... And The Decision That Follows


Really appreciate the news Tracee...Would love a recap of Storens save if you get a chance...

Posted by: mwyche1 | October 15, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

:-) Thanks!

Posted by: mwyche1 | October 15, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Any news is appreciated.

Posted by: djorl | October 15, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the update, but you did not make a mistake coming this week. The mistake is leaving. The Post should be able to cover the AFL and a $100 flight change should not be an issue.

Thanks again for everything, including your other column about stalkers. Well done.

Posted by: NatsWin | October 15, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse


If losing your near vision is new you've hung in there a good long time, if my guess about your age range based on your columns is right. Cheap reading glasses from the drug store work fine and you can afford to have a pair on every horizontal surface and in every bag you own - that way when you're endlessly surprised that you can't see anymore, miraculously there's a pair of glasses handy.

Thanks for the mea culpa on AFL - I'll look at the bright side of the Coverage is Lacking rant - the Post is learning to cover baseball better and I'm happy about it.

Posted by: utec | October 15, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tracee. Great post. I second utec re. the cheap reading glasses.

I've heard of throwing in the towel, but evidently that's not the same thing as towel throwing.

Maybe we should take up a collection for Tracee to stay another day. Come on, NatsTown. I Devil Dog dare you...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, TH, for the Strasburg-probably-every-fifth-day followup.
I'm not so sure about the glasses, though. Maybe it's me taking too long to focus--I use them when I have the contacts in, and I thought the D-Dogs beat the "Solar Cows" when I first read the post.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

And Starlin Castro just got promoted to AAA on my All-Name Team.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't wear contacts or glasses otherwise, so maybe that's the difference. I like Solar Cows (maybe they jumped over the moon).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Nice job Tracee, and thanks for the link to stream the games. Perhaps when I can hear the games my shakes will slow down. This bb withdrawal symptoms stuff are just awful.

Posted by: cokedispatch | October 15, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Would Storen and Strasburg make book-end tackles for the Redski ... oh sorry ...

It all sounds great. For more info find the watering hole / bistro where the grizzled MLB Scout types hang out. Sometimes you can learn a lot. Heard all I ever wanted to know about Matt Chico and what a great prospect he wa ... ooops is from the local types here. Thought they went a bit over board.

Posted by: periculum | October 15, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Very nice job Tracee, and also thanks for the live streaming link. It sounds like I made the right decision to visit the AFL in November instead of October.

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 15, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

License plate that says "ASSMAN"... wasn't that in an episode of Seinfeld (or some show... I can't quite place it).

Posted by: kfisher32 | October 15, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Something about a proctologist?...

Posted by: kfisher32 | October 15, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Seinfeld. Here is the episode:

Posted by: kfisher32 | October 15, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I *knew* it was familiar, kfisher. Thanks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

While I would have liked a bat, you have to admit Storen is proving to be a great pick. Having a little edge on Strasburg is only going to push them both.

I hope Storen gets the save for a Strasburg win this Friday... the first of many!

Posted by: sec307 | October 15, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

307, i'm excited about the two of them together too.

I've already imagined all the future stories about our two dominating pitchers, Storen and Strasburg. There will be some kind of catchy phrase or reference about Strikes and Storen and Strasburg all beginning sith ST, and how the rest of the bullpen gets a break when Strasburg starts because he and Storen is all we need, how scared other teams get when Strasburg starts and Storen finishes, that they were the first two to be drafted in the top 10 for the same team will always be in the story, etc. etc.

I have a very hopeful imagination.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

In other news, Manny Acta is a managerial candidate for the Indians as well as for the Astros. Good luck, skip!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Don't buy reading glasses at the drug store. They're like $20 a pop there. Go to the dollar store and pick up half a dozen for a buck apiece.

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 15, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances that ASSMAN plate from NY would show up at that game?

One in a million, doc. One in a million.

Posted by: Meridian1 | October 15, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Get your reading glasses at Costco -- 3 pair for $18 plus nifty hard case for each. Just don't go for the neck chain.

Posted by: SackMan | October 15, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse


Do not get the cheap reading glasses. Check with an ophthalmologist. You seem to be describing a problem other than age related farsightedness. If that is all it is, then you can just get the cheapies.

Also, what scoring system are you using? Standard that we all learned as kids (using Bob Carpenter's book, of course), a more elaborate, commercial book, or the product of the Scoresheet Project?

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 15, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

There's a "standard" system for scoring? Last year I was at a game with 3 other friends and none of us could make heads or tails (well, not quite that bad, but still) of each others scoring system. My wife scores remarkably differently than I do too.

It's not that we track different things (though there can be some of that) but I'm constantly amazed by the number of variations on how you record those items.

Posted by: OldDude | October 15, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Nats Journal has now told me more than I ever cared to ask about knishes and reading glasses.

I do love these updates, Tracee.

Posted by: JohninMpls | October 15, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse


I have seen the towel-throwing before, at a minor league game. Even now, after getting an understanding of its value, it looks tremendously weird in person.


He threw that towel for strikes, though.

Posted by: JohninMpls | October 15, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I read a book a year or two ago about keeping score, thinking I'd learn the right way, and discovered that there is no "standard" or "right" way of doing it. Everyone does it differently, although there are of course common elements that run through. It's kind of like the way there weren't standard spellings of words in English back in the old days, but everyone could still figure out what written material meant. Maybe in another couple hundred years a baseball scorekeeping standard will evolve like spelling standards have evolved in the English language.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 15, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Well its raining in Washington, so I'm thinking that making the trip this week was not a bad move. Go early, stay late.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 15, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@John. I've got a cousin, who lives in Minneapolis. If you want, I'll ask where to get good Knishes, there (if such a thing exists.)

@OldDude. Local writer, Paul Dickson, has a book out called "The Joy of Keeping Score", that goes into a number of systems. I've tried the Scoresheet Project method, and had to revert to what I grew up with.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 15, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I think that Dickson book was the one I read.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 15, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the Dickson book, too (as well as his other books). If I recall correctly, a Boswell quote is referenced in that book: "Any person claiming to be a baseball fan who does not also claim to have invented the quickest, simplest and most complete method of keeping score probably is a fraud."

I enjoy comparing notes with scorekeeping buddies. Interesting to see the number of systems and forms out there (I got my present form from, but I want to refine it at some point).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I recently found, in a bin in my basement, the first scorecard I ever filled out. The first few innings I wrote "out" or such in the boxes, and my dad must have seen it and decided to teach me the right way. There's a little diamond drawn on the scoreboard with the position numbers. It's pretty cool because you can see the learning curve in one game. It was a Cards-Dodgers game, Don Sutton pitched, and someday I'll have to research it and find the exact date but it had to have been late 60s. The geekiest touch was that when I got home, I took my labelmaker (anal, even as a kid) and made tabs that said "Dodgers 4" and Cardinals 3" or whatever the socre was, and stuck them on the card.

Posted by: traceeh | October 15, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

hehe, I loved my labelmaker.

You might be able to track the Sutton game down here after you've narrowed down the time frame.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, natsfan1a1!

Posted by: traceeh | October 15, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

You're quite welcome, Tracee.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

That was easy. By process of elimination, I'm 99 percent sure it was Aug. 2, 1969. This is the game:

Thanks again, natsfan.

Posted by: traceeh | October 15, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

They lost, so maybe they went away mad.

I like Solar Cows (maybe they jumped over the moon).
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 8:50 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Towel drill video and explanations here:
(skip ahead to about the 1:10 mark, and you can turn off the sound--it's just ambient b/g noise)

Not everyone favors them:

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Very cool, Tracee. Looks like quite a cast of characters in there.

Groan, sec3 (re. the cows).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

My favorite scoring system includes Phil Rizzuto's "WW" -- "wasn't watching".

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Charlie and Dave use that one a lot.

Thanks for the towel drill video, sec3.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse


I am not dealing with this off-season well, who would have thought I would miss even our 2009 Natinals so much?

Anyone posted the Rogers Hornsby quotation yet? I have an Uncle Rogers, named after him, though everyone calls him Roger now.

Posted by: Section506 | October 15, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This one, 506?

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."

I miss our Nats, too. At least back in the day we had the stadium cam to keep us occupied.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

If I recall, I think it was Nov 1 when the grass started going in and we all got giddy.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Go to Nov 1, 2007. Those were the days.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Or even better, go to March 30 at 8:10 pm

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse


Just maybe...just maybe, if you h0pe hard enough, Rizzo will use this off season to make the team better and you can have a slightly less painful 2010 season.

He does seem to believe in change.

Posted by: soundbloke | October 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Aww, thanks, NatsNut. I didn't realize the archive was there. That's comforting somehow. Eh, excuse me for a minute: hey you guys, get off my lawn!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, that didn't work out too well. See, it was supposed to link to a frame where these guys were in the outfield, and they were working on the curly w, and they were spread out across the turf, and... Eh, never mind. You had to be there, I think.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess my version would go something like:

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I stare at NJ all day, looking for anything new on the Nats."

With that, I add my thanks to you, Tracee, for the recent reports.

Posted by: KenNat | October 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Brian is one-upping Chico?

"The Washington Nationals today named Roy Clark Vice President of Player Personnel, Johnny DiPuglia Director of Latin American Operations and Doug Harris Director of Player Development. The Nationals also promoted Kris Kline to Director of Scouting. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements."

Note the name Harris that suddenly appeared? And the fact that they gave Clark the same title as Vinny Cerrato. Bad Karma there Mike?

Posted by: periculum | October 15, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Chico was waiting until the Nats made it official, and until he could speak to the parties involved and obtain quotes from them as opposed to pulling something from the team site and reprinting it here. Just a thought, inspired in part by the new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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