Game time for Nationals
Spring training means different things to different players. Some use it as a tuneup. Some use it as an argument for why they should be on the roster. Some, like Jordan Zimmermann, use it as a means to recover.
For most everyone, today is one of the nicer days of spring. The monotony of workouts starts transforming into agitation. The freshness of coming down to Florida and seeing teammates again has worn off and started turning into an edge. So when games begin, it's nice. The manager and team officials can evaluate with more purpose, the players can actually compete, fans have something concrete to talk about.
"It's kind of stages, you know?" Manager Jim Riggleman said. "It's very exciting to report to camp. It's very exciting when the position players report after that. It's a nice day when the games start. Later, as you get closer to the 25-man roster, the excitement starts to build a little bit toward Opening Day. It's kind of a bunch of stages you go through as far as the adrenaline beginning."
Over the next month, there's going to be plenty to watch, from the bench players to the back end of the rotation to the final spots of the bullpen. Mike Rizzo answered some questions about where the Nationals are. The Nationals got the Big League Stew treatment. Daniel Cabrera plays for the White Sox now, but he's still terrible. (28 pitches and 12 strikes!) In happier ex-Nat news, Chad Cordero pitched in a game for the first time after surgery.
Also, a couple important programming notes: Boz is going to be chatting today at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., right here on NJ, I'll be doing a chat that will be a mix of taking questions and providing updates from Kissimmee, where one of the Nationals split squad will take on the Astros. The team in Jupiter facing the Marlins will just have to get over it.
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