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Nats vs. Tigers — 3/23/10

Mar 23, 2010, 7:21 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Joker Marchant Stadium, longtime spring home of the Detroit Tigers.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Hello from Tiger Town, which has housed Detroit's American League ballclub since the days Hank Greenberg was slugging home runs. Joker Marchant Stadium (named not for a clown but for Lakeland's parks and recreation director) was built in 1966 and then renovated in 2003 into what is now once of the nicest complexes in the Grapefruit League.

Tonight, this venerable venue hosts the Nationals, who send Scott Olsen to the mound in a critical outing for the left-hander. As we've been talking about all spring, Olsen still doesn't appear all the way back from his shoulder surgery. I think it's safe to say we'll all have one eye on the radar gun here tonight, curious if his fastball comes closer to approaching 90 mph for the first time this spring.

Be sure to check back for updates throughout the late afternoon/evening and check the homepage for any non-game news…

Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Fla.
Gametime: 6:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: No TV/Tigers radio via XM and MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF

CF Willy Taveras
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn

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  1. peric - Mar 23, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    The projections keep dropping Alberto Gonzlez off but the guy is starting again … makes a better 2nd base than Harris and may be a better shortstop defensively than Guzman and Desmond. Have to think they might have to keep him?

  2. Tigerlily7 - Mar 23, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Welcome Home Pudge! Well at least for today.

  3. Tigerlily7 - Mar 23, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    Welcome Home Pudge! Well at least for today:)

  4. Doc - Mar 23, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    A Gonzalez. I think they are trying to shop him–but there's a limited market obviously!

  5. Anonymous - Mar 23, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Am I the only one that scrolls to the next comment whenever I see "peric said"?

  6. peric said you are beginning to sound like Joan Rivers - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Okay, "peric said", Now, please do scroll on. Your whining is getting monotonous.

  7. Bill C-H - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Let's talk baseball…

  8. Traveler8 - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Re Austin Kearns, I was on the Indians website checking on ticket prices for a planned road trip this summer, and the headlines indicated that Kearns is doing quite well there, hitting homers, etc. Interesting how it works out re who performs when – in retrospect we got Alfonso Soriano's best year, and Nyger seems to have hit his stride with us.

  9. Anonymous - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    On tonight's episode of "As the Nats Turn": – Will Willy Taveras suck the life out of a roster spot? – Can Roger Bernadina offer 'average' defense in RF? – Is Alberto Gonzalez really still a MLB-calibre middle infielder? – Is Scott Olsen capable of providing a reliable left-handed arm in the starting rotation? All these questions, and more on this episode of "As the Nats Turn". -BinM-

  10. greg - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    was alberto gonzalez *ever* a mlb-caliber middle infielder?

  11. Section 222 - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:50 PM

    Austin Kearns played well last year in spring training too, remember? He was our starting right fielder on Opening Day, and proceeded to have the worst year of his career, even worse than the previous year with us. Neither hitting well in Spring Training nor being a "great clubhouse guy" can make you a good major league player if you can't hit.

  12. Anonymous - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    We can not find a hyper-link in Gameday Audio for tonight's Tiger game (we paid the $20). Any advice from anyone?

  13. BinM - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Traveler8:Thinking back, wasn't it Kearns who collided w/Nick Johnson when he broke his leg? If so, that cost the team another 1-1/2 years of Johnson's salary, on top of Kearns' salary & general on-field non-performance. Boy, as good as that Bowden trade looked up front, it sure didn't do the Nationals any favors. -BinM-

  14. B.R. - Mar 23, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Well, Jim Riggleman's comment makes it sound like they hope Olsen does well, but do not have very high expectations.

  15. BinM - Mar 23, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Anon @5:50PMMLB Gameday audio is reportedly carrying the Tigers' radio feed via WXYT. Take a look under the 'Media Center" link from

  16. peric - Mar 23, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Wonder what Mench's chances are at this point? Desmond batting second tonight with Taveras leading off and playing center field? They seem to be taking their time with Morgan?

  17. Anonymous - Mar 23, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    Thanks BinM. Just checked MLB and they have now hyperlinked the station on Gameday Audio. Apparently they set it up very close to game time.

  18. B.R. - Mar 23, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Again without Guzman. One gets the sense that the Nationals realize this competition has been won.

  19. Positively Half St. - Mar 23, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Interesting- the Tigers' broadcast makes it sound like Olsen is a junkballer now. It is a great relief to read that he has hit 91. He is giving up an awful lot of hits, and has given up a run through 3, but the velocity on his pitches is a welcome relief.

  20. sjm105 - Mar 23, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Mark:do you think this seals a spot for Olsen? I am guessing they will wait and go through another round before settling things.

  21. natscan reduxit - Mar 23, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    "Bill C-H said… Let's talk baseball…"… now there's a novel concept. Not that mark's blog has shown any indication whatsoever to becoming a flaming bunch of flaming —. But should it descend to same, there's always other things to do to follow the fortunes of the …Go Nats!!

  22. natscan reduxit - Mar 23, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    … sorry. That should have been "…Mark's blog …"

  23. Wally - Mar 23, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    Olsen's performance sounds encouraging, but a short stay in the minors wouldn't be a bad thing to build up arm strength without the pressure of trying to winning at the major league level.He appears to be showing enough that I hope that they don't cut him to save the $1m salary.

  24. Traveler8 - Mar 23, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    @BinM, well, stuff happens!

  25. natsfan1a - Mar 24, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    Yes, it does. Boy, that's one of my worst Nats memories. Probably the worst.

  26. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    How is it encouraging when he allowed 12 hits in 4.1 IP? Patterson him and move on. Don't waste time because you are destroying the careers of Stammen, Martin like you did to Dukes.

  27. PDowdy83 - Mar 24, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Anonymous, they made the encouraging remark prior to the blow up.





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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