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Nats vs. Marlins — 3/20/10

Mar 20, 2010, 4:34 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Garrett Mock allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.

VIERA, Fla. — Obviously, the big news of the day (the demotion of Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen to Class AA Harrisburg) has already happened. But there's still a game to be played, and there are compelling storylines to it as always.

Garrett Mock makes his fourth start of the spring, hoping to further solidify his standing within the rotation. As we've been saying for a while now, Mock is currently lined up to start the season's fourth game, and club officials continue to speak highly of him. It would be nice, though, to see a complete performance from the right-hander today in his first five-inning start of the month.

Meanwhile, we'll get another look at Cristian Guzman at shortstop and a look at Mike Morse in right field this afternoon. Both players are worth watching closely. Well, at least for those of us sportswriters who actually understand how to cover sports.

An explanation for that last line: The Washington Times, a newspaper that less than three months ago decided to eliminate its entire sports department (including yours truly), sent a "sports" reporter to Viera to "cover" last night's game. This reporter watched four innings of the game from the press box. He never appeared in the clubhouse or on the field. As best as I can tell, he never spoke to anyone in uniform (or to any other reporters, for that matter). Yet he wrote a full account of the game, with a Viera dateline and with quotes from Strasburg obviously lifted from other reporters' articles. Nice to seeRead more »

  1. peric - Mar 20, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Seem to be in a bit of pique this morning Mark? ~laughing~Could be worst … you could have been replaced by someone from India who barely knows English and who's computer skills are less than competent because their parent company can sell them cheap buy outsourcing some of the work and getting great deals on apartments etc. for those stationed here. And the great Bill Gates says don't keep intelligent people out? These guys aren't even as good as your local high school kids who won't get jobs when they graduate from college because of them.

  2. Anonymous - Mar 20, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Nice to know your human. Human and correct:)

  3. Anonymous - Mar 20, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Mark,This is hard for me to understand. Where the heck would a newspaper put a story on a baseball game, if that paper doesn't have a sports section?KM

  4. peric - Mar 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Its probably personal interest or something. Goes underneath the blatherings of Kryon the great and Rush Limbaugh.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 20, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Souldrummer says-You don't what to root for with Guzzy. You'd like Desmond to start, but you'd like Guzzy to be tradable. He has truly been a toxic asset.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Mark,You're completely correct. Hopefully it is of some consolation to you that we fans continue to find your work to be the highest quality and the best source for Nats news. Keep up the awesome work.

  7. KA - Mar 20, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    Three cheers for good journalism, and a big F.U. to the Washington Times.

  8. Mary in Springfield - Mar 20, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Mark — if you're near Sec. 209 and see a fellow named Jerry in a blue Zimmerman jersey, say hello to him (my husband) … he came down yesterday to see 2 or 3 games. From what he says it sounds like beautiful weather for a ballgame!

  9. Anonymous - Mar 20, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    classy as always times…

  10. natscan reduxit - Mar 20, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    … Mark, up here above the 49th belt, most provinces (state level jurisdictions) have a media ethics review panel, at which such an imposter might be brought to task. Any chance of that happening where you are?… oh … and, Go Nats!!p.s. I didn't applaud you because, I hope you realise, such gratitude for your continuing coverage goes without saying. If it didn't, I say it loud and clear: Thank You Very Much for all you do and will do.

  11. bobn - Mar 20, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    I used to pick up a Washtimes to read sports page while having lunch…I tossed the rest of it…now I don't even look at the sidewalk box to read the headlines.

  12. JayB - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Mark,I was at the game today. Guzman is really not able to play SS at this point. You were being kind on that throw and he looks very slow to react to the hit balls as well (nothing new really but he only got 1 step to his left before a 4 hopper went through the middle. Ian D is going to have to start as SS….if he does not then everything Rizzo has said is a lie about playing the best 8 on opening day. Of couse SS is the best pitcher we have by a ton and he is not going to start either.Ladson's box score does not show Zimm being thrown out……is he wake up there?

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    JayB: Working on a long Guzman item right now. He definitely didn't look good on that throw, and plenty of people noticed it. More on that coming up…

  14. Nats fan in NJ - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Guzman starts on the DL, gives Desmond time to either prove he belongs or an excuse to send him to Syracuse while Guz plays out his contract. I like Guz – can't blame him for his contract. But this team needs to play Desmond and find out what they've got in him. If he comes and and takes control of the starting job, and IF Guz becomes a clubhouse cancer (not saying he would, just a hypothetical only), then I hope the club would either trade him for a bag of peanuts or cut him and move forward. The Plan needs a shortstop and needs to identify if that shortstop's name is Ian Desmond.

  15. Nats fan in NJ - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Oh, and Mark, kudos on your coverage and a big tthhhbbbttt to the newspaper that shall not be named…

  16. Sunderland - Mar 20, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    Sounds like Guzman will go DL sometime right around when the season starts and we'll have ID at SS. Good.How can he be worse than a minus fielder with a .307 career OBP?This might also move Kennedy up to the #2 slot in tha batting order, and Desmond sitting at 6 between Willingham and C or RF.

  17. bdrube - Mar 20, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    The WashTimes is now doing to sports what it has been doing to "news" for years.Keep up the great coverage!

  18. Nattaboy58"s twin brother - Mar 21, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    regarding the Washington so called Times: 'TELL EM WHY YOU MAD' Mark!Fan-effing-tastic job with the Nats coverage Mark. What in your opinion would be the best long and short term resolution of the Guzman-Desmond debacle for the Nationals? I'm asking as a big fan of Guzman (I met him once and his accent/general demeanor was adorable, plus he HAS produced a ton for the ballclub) who wants to see Desmond start now.

  19. bumsfan4 - Mar 21, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Mark: Once ST is done, what are the possibilities of us "hiring" you for coverage during the regular season?





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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