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A rare 1-2 punch from the Big Apple

Feb 3, 2010, 7:10 PM EST

Any list of the most-passionate baseball towns in America surely includes New York, a city that lives and dies with the Yankees and Mets and still boasts die-hard fans of the Dodgers and Giants more than 50 years after both franchises bolted for the West Coast.

Yet the list of native New Yorkers currently in the major leagues is shorter than the Soup Nazi's temper; only 27 players born in the Empire State appeared in a big-league game in 2009. Only 11 of them were pitchers.

It's not hard to understand, then, why Long Island's John Lannan and Staten Island's Jason Marquis are so excited to be joined at the hip in Washington for at least the next two seasons. Not only are two of New York's finest now teammates. They'll open 2010 as the top two starters in the Nationals' rotation.

So what's it like to play alongside a fellow native from the big city?

"Well, I always bust his chops," Marquis said. "Long Islanders claim to be from New York City. Technically, they're not. But I've got a lot of family members out there. My wife has a lot of family members out there. It's a similar mindset. Same type of background growing Read more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Interesting read, Mark. I had no idea so few New Yorkers are in the majors.

  2. Jim - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Mark…it is so good to see you back reporting on the Nats. I look forward to a great season for your blog.

  3. NatsGirl - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    Oh good! New and interesting Nats stuff to read. Clearly I am not visiting this site nearly enough. An interesting contrast between the two New Yawkas. I'd like to hear more about this friendly rivalry as the season progresses. I trust you'll keep us posted, Zuck.

  4. sjm105 - Feb 4, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    Mark:great to read you again! good luck with the job thing and thanks for this. Looking forward to reading you no matter what.

  5. Softball Girl - Feb 4, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    A 1-2 punch that should really be a 3-4. Baby steps I suppose. Question for you Mark: Does the organization allow you the same access these days that you had with the Times?

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