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Tuesday odds and ends

Feb 23, 2010, 10:07 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ian Desmond turns a double play from the second base side.

VIERA, Fla. — Today was one of those days where there were all kinds of little tidbits popping up. So rather than put together a long-form analysis of one player or issue, it seems appropriate to run through a bunch of these items in bullet form…

– Mike Rizzo may say Ian Desmond is going to focus on playing shortstop and will man that position no matter where he opens the season — and the guess here still is Syracuse — but that doesn't preclude him from working out elsewhere this spring. During today's workout, Desmond joined other infielders in some fielding drills after the pitchers and catchers were done with their workout. And though
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  1. Dave Nichols - Feb 23, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Willingham's wife is very pregant, so I'm sure the team is well aware of where he is and he has their blessing to be with her.

  2. Anonymous - Feb 23, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    Heard the Riggleman audio over on the MASN site. Money well unspent.

  3. peric - Feb 23, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Your ex-compatriate Ben Goessling is undercutting you Mark. Deeper insight might serve your cause best at this point?

  4. Avar - Feb 23, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    Don't sweat it Mark. I haven't even listened to my files yet and I'm still very satisfied w/ my $20.

  5. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 23, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    (I just posted this on one of the previous comments thread, but I'll post it again here for those who didn't see it)…Folks, knock it off. You know what I'm talking about. Ben Goessling, Bill Ladson and Chico Harlan are all fine reporters who do great work. More importantly, they're all good friends. We spend more time with each other than we do our own families. I didn't launch this site in any way to undermine those guys. I launched this site to provide fans another venue with another voice covering the Nats.When I initiated the fundraising campaign, I decided to offer those who contributed at certain levels extra content, things that at the time weren't being offered anywhere else. But there's certainly nothing preventing anyone else from offering the same material, for a fee or for free, and I have no problem with any of them doing just that.If you contributed and feel like you've been shortchanged, please let me know and I'll refund your money. In the meantime, do not treat this space as an open forum to anonymously rip on other reporters. That's not cool.

  6. sjm105 - Feb 23, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    I agree Marc. No matter what site I pick there is something negative from Periculum/Peric etc. Just keep doing what you are doing and we are very happy.

  7. JayB - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    Mark,It is all the same guy….He is famous for what he is doing here under different signons…I love the information I get here and the formats I get it in….thanks…

  8. natsfan1a - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    I'm not feeling shortchanged in the least. Thanks for all that you're doing!

  9. JayB - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    Hey Mark,Any feeling of disappointment from coach or FO types the Dukes is not in camp early working on his hitting. He is such a key part of this team as Rizzo has put it together. If he fails to focus and stop chasing curve balls outside there really is no plan B it seems. Rizzo is not a big risk taker so he must feel a bit exposed putting all his eggs in the Dukes basket and then to have him be the last one in camp…….what do you hear?

  10. An Briosca Mor - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    I didn't launch this site in any way to undermine those guys. I launched this site to provide fans another venue with another voice covering the Nats.Understood, Mark. And no problem with that. But didn't this site get launched to be an "independent voice"? It sure does seem like all you reporters are operating in lockstep. I read the exact same stuff everywhere, from you, from Ben, from Chico, from Ladson. I don't care who gets there first with the report, in the end it's all the same. Why can't one of you reporters branch off and cover things from a different angle, focus on different players, stuff like that? And since you're the only one not tied to an organization that would have expectations of you, it seems like it would be easiest for you to be the one doing that.

  11. NatsNut - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    Sheesh. People throw in a couple bucks and suddenly they're all entitled. I hope this adventure isn't becoming more hassle than it was worth, Mark. As for me, you can take my little donation and buy Season 1 of Lost for all I care. I'll still read whatever you got, and with gratitude.Thanks

  12. peric - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    NatsNut is right.

  13. NatsNut - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    I'm not sure I'd put Olsen in the Patterson/Hill camp. Those guys had lots and lots of chances, lots of pain, lots of mystery as to where the pain was coming from, over, what, 2 years? I really rooted for them and was broken-hearted when they were cut, but in hindsight it was way too long.I think they know there's a legitimate recovery period for Olsen as opposed to hoping some mystery pain will magically go away, like with Patterson and Hill. They can afford to hold on to him until he is fully recovered.

  14. JayB - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:55 AM

    I understand Nats are not going to the post season this year…I really think Rizzo is making a mistake by not putting a strong rotation in place on opening day. Sure it may cost more money but if they come out and loss like we all know they can in April….No SS or Olsen or Wang innings in July will help energize a beaten down fan base. Again Rizzo is exposed and Season Ticket base is down to about 5000….they have to come out hot or it is going to be very ugly with under 7K in the park in April.

  15. alm1000 - Feb 24, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    Thanks Mark. Ignor the nonsense – we all try to.

  16. natbiscuit - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    Mark, Thank you very much for your efforts. You are delivering a very good product and I would be no less happy with it if there were 10 other sites covering the exact same material. We have a saying in this virtual neighborhood – "Ignore the Trolls". I'm enjoying the photos too.

  17. Andrew - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    Mark Zuckerman said… Only guys who hadn't arrived by this afternoon were Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes. And there's no reason to believe they won't report tomorrow. Physicals will take place Thursday, then the first full-squad workout is Friday.I texted Elijah and you will see him there tomorrow! Like Dave said, Josh's wife Ginger is due to give birth any moment.

  18. JayB - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Oh I missed that….you took the picture too Mark…..looks like a pro pic.

  19. Anonymous - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    I enjoy reading all you write Mark, it's quality stuff every time. Keep on keepin on. But, as in life itself, some people are just sour notes, they can't help it though, so, it is what it is. JT in SC

  20. peric - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:38 AM

    I hope you all aren't attributing the anonymous note above my note to me sjm105? As it is every time I used the gadget/widget to donate it generates an error and paypal tells me to wait for 1/2 hour. Perhaps its because I am on a Mac? So, at this point I am not out a dime.My post was an attempt at humor, perhaps feeble to some here, and a suggestion. I did know that the use of the word "undercut" would be considered offensive? Well, at least I do not post anonymously. As for "negativity". Gee, I'm not sure but I don't think I am the only one here who doesn't think the Nats have done enough to get out of the cellar. Why not ask these reporters if they think this team is where it needs to be to leave the NL East bottom.

  21. peric - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    Meant to say "did not know"; instead of "did know".

  22. natbiscuit - Feb 24, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Mark, a request: Could you ask Riggleman whether he will bat Kennedy a) second against right handers, b) second against right and left handers, or c) mix him in somewhere at the bottom of the order. Guzman has the advantage of being a switch hitter, but Kennedy is likely to have the better OBP. Stole 20 last year too. Kennedy seems like a better choice up top to me, but I can't even get the Nats to interview me for Manager.

  23. markfd - Feb 24, 2010 at 3:21 AM

    Mark,Thanks for the odds and ends today, good stuff. I would hope with so many pitchers in camp they would give a shot to those already in camp before sign a lower level starter.

  24. greg - Feb 24, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    an interesting link to share w/the more hardcore fans who want something "unique" that's related to the nats (at least indirectly).http://www.theclinkroom.com/blogs/frontpage/1304782-_syracuse_chiefs_phase_ii_editionFound this site today. They sell hats with early designs of logos they designed for minor league teams. the link above takes you to a concept they showed the syracuse chiefs that ended up not being selected. ok, so it's a little random, but maybe someone will find it intriguing.

  25. Section 222 - Feb 24, 2010 at 5:59 AM

    Mark, I think you're doing a great job and I'm happy with my investment. You even provided the unexpurgated Guardado interview. What could be better than that? On the other hand, I do think a little more skepticism of the FO is in order. Instead, this post seems to adopt Rizzo's outlook as your own. For example, do you agree that it would be foolish to spend money on another starter, and that such a starter would "likely" only have a temporary position? Rizzo started the offseason saying he was looking for two starters — he got one (Marquis) and a hope for another (Wang). Strasburg and Wang *may* be in the rotation in May/June — but they may not. We clearly don't know yet if Wang is going to be the ace we hope he'll be. We don't even know for sure that he'll be healthy enough to pitch regularly starting in May, regardless of how good he is. Strasburg has thrown all of two bullpen sessions. There already seems to be a good chance that Olson won't be ready to go by Opening Day. Detwiler has already gone down. So I don't think a decision not to spend more money on a starter is at all justified at this point. Remember last year at this time, when Daniel Cabrera was finallg going to be a half-decent pitcher, Olson was going to throw 200 innings and Zimmermann was the first coming before Strasburg? How'd that work out? I'm interested in what you think about what Rizzo tells you based on what you're seeing down there, not just what he says. Or is that beyond the scope of the new venture?

  26. peric - Feb 24, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    I should think Rizzo would want to have a left-hander in the rotation other than Lannan? No one knows for sure if Olsen and Wang would last through the all-star break even if they pitch .. It looks like its now down to Thompson and Chico?

  27. upperdeck4 - Feb 24, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Mark: I am enjoying the site very much. Ignore the naysayers and keep ob blogging. I am curious if you know what happened with Dukes in the offseason after he left Licey because of his dad's death.

  28. SpashCity - Feb 24, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Since Mark won't plug himself I'll help him out. He's got a story on Strasburg on the front page of the USAToday sports section. He's not out of the print business yet.Also the link.http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/nationals/2010-02-23-strasburg-spring-training_N.htm

  29. natsfan1a - Feb 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Thanks for the heads up, Spash, and congrats on your continued fish-wrap presence, Mark. ;-)

  30. Anonymous - Feb 24, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Josh's wife gave birth to their 2nd child last night. The Nats have told Josh he can report Friday and at the latest Saturday.

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