Feb 22, 2010, 9:03 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — In one oversized locker among all the Nationals' starting position players, the future Hall-of-Famer and greatest catcher of his generation sits and gabs with his new teammates. A few lockers down, the young guy who once was and still is considered the organization's long-term answer behind the plate listens in to the conversation and shares his own thoughts.
Meanwhile, down at the far end of the room, the quiet 21-year-old soaks in the feeling of his first big-league camp, knowing he is considered one of the best catching prospects in the minors. And somewhere in Southern Nevada right now, a 17-year-old phenom who has already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated wonders if he'll become the Nats' next No. 1 draft pick and, by extension, their new catcher of the future.
For a franchise that in past years has at times struggled to put a legitimate big-league backstop on the field, the Nationals all of a sudden find themselves with a potential logjam behind the plate.
Jesus Flores was supposed to be both the immediate and long-term answer, but he's still recovering from a major shoulder injury last season and likely won't be ready to return by Opening Day. So the Nats signed Ivan Rodriguez this winter to a two-year, $6 million contract,Read more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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