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Thoughts from Day 1 in AZ

Random thoughts after one day at the Arizona Fall League:

* I found out there is no clubhouse access. That hurt. Never occurred to me access would be different than it is at the ML level. I figured it would easier to get guys aside down here than anywhere, but that was wrong. I was able to talk to three people on the field during warmups but it was sort of hit and miss. Not able to go into the clubhouse before or after the games. I got Josh Wilkie after the game, however, had a nice, long talk and will talk more with him for a piece for the future. Also able to talk to Storen briefly, thanks to text messaging, and will talk to him today as well. In other words, access is not what I'd hoped it would be but am working on it.

* Strasburg is being overly protected from the media, in my opinion, but I'm working on that as well. If all else fails they're thinking of having a news conference for him tomorrow. (Very little seems definitive down here, either.)

* Very little media down here yesterday. Maybe 5-6 reporters. That will change, of course, when Strasburg talks or throws. The crowd was light; they announced 459. MLB's website for the AFL is found here. I don't think they post probables. I can't imagine they won't start Strasburg every five days but I will ask Menhart when I see him today.

* Also re Strasburg: The people I have talked to, on the team and around the DESERT Dogs, RAVE about what a great guy he is. So I am sensing ZERO bonus baby jealously. A guy like Wilkie -- non-drafted free agent, clawed his way through the minors, so a totally different career path than Strasburg -- can't say enough good things. That seems a good sign. Wilkie is out of GW, by the way, if you didn't know.

* For what it's worth, my intent on coming here was not to columnize off meaningless AFL games but to have a chance to talk to all seven Nats prospects and come away with a sense of a group that could be part of the Opening Day lineup in 2011. That may be tough, to get all of them in a short time, but I'm trying. Agree with NatsNuts; it's not all about Strasburg.

Finally, thanks to all who said kind words about the column on stalkling, which was NOT written from the AFL but was actually filed a week ago. (Ahem...)

One more thing: I'll be talking to Mike Rizzo this afternoon -- he's tied up in meetings till then -- and I'll try to post anything newsy that comes out of that.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 14, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
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Hooray! Thanks Tracee. Sometimes the little tidbits are the best part.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 14, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, thanks to all who said kind words about the column on stalkling, which was NOT written from the AFL but was actually filed a week ago. (Ahem...)"

There's the problem. The Post is a NEWSpaper, and news gets old fast. Even faster now in the Internet age. So why is the Post sitting on things for a week before printing them? The Post of all media outlets seems to be behind the eight-ball on everything - the Roy Clark hiring, the MacDougal surgery, the Guzman surgery, Dana Brown leaving, the firing of the Harrisburg manager and other minor league staff, yada yada yada. Yet they have a columnist all the way in Arizona gathering data on players who MIGHT be in the lineup in 2011. If you ask me, the Post ought to be more worried about whether or not it will still be around in 2011 to print that lineup, either on newsprint or electronically.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 14, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse


They are like vultures circling waiting for the kill. And that carcass is the Washington Redskins. You're not going to be able to pull them off of that ... Nats news is far too mundane ... which is a good thing as far I'm concerned. Rizzo seems to work best behind the scenes and away from the public eye?

Posted by: periculum | October 14, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Random thought for Tracee. I just realized that if I was - say a MLB GM - I would enjoy talking to you because you are very intelligent, clearly LOVE sports passionately, are extremely knowledgable and obviously care most about getting the story right for the public vs say, making buddies with players/management or scoring free tickets, etc.

Then I realized that talking to you would also make me a little nervous for all the same reasons.

Luckily, I'm just a fan so I can skip the nervousness and just love hearing anything you have to say about sports, or life in general.

Thanks for making the trip, loving the updates.

Posted by: Avar | October 14, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"They are like vultures circling waiting for the kill. And that carcass is the Washington Redskins. You're not going to be able to pull them off of that ... Nats news is far too mundane"

WJFK 106.7 The Fan is the same, if not worse. Yet they found time this morning to report MacDougal's surgery, while the Post still has yet to. Explain that one away.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 14, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Agree with NatsNuts"

There has been a lot of that over the years on the NJ.

Posted by: Section505203 | October 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tracee. That all sounds good. Don't worry about the belly-aching. It's par for the course no matter who is posting updates.

And, yes, there's been a lot of agreeing with NatsNut over the years (we've learned that it's much smoother that way. Just kidding, NatsNut. Love ya!). ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Tracee, thanks for the posts from AZ and it sounds to me like your reporting priorities are in order.

And thanks for the column on stalking. You've made a geat contribution, and I hope it helps Ms Andrews and others. I am amazed at your ability to sort through the jumble of fear and emotions in such a way as to write such a beautiful and coherent piece. I hope writing it helped exorcise the fear a little more for you.

Posted by: utec | October 14, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse


Got to echo everybody's sentiment on your stalking column. Shining a flashlight may help expose these rats, and get them to seek help. I'm 6-5 and 240, and your column gave me the willies. What creeps.

And get them to open the Devil/Desert Dogs' locker room, fer cryin' out loud. There's things called towels. They can use them around their waist.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | October 14, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

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