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Busy day ahead

Aug 26, 2010, 2:13 PM EDT

We've talked plenty here lately about the best days and the worst days in Nationals history. I don't know if August 26, 2010 will ultimately be worthy of either list, but I do know it stands a good chance of landing on the busiest days in Nationals history list.

Here's what is scheduled to take place in the next nine hours…

Stephen Strasburg undergoes an arthrogram, the enhanced MRI in which a dye is injected in his right forearm to help doctors determine if there's any damage more significant than the previously diagnosed flexor tendon strain. By the end of the day, we could know whether Strasburg will pitch again this season, whether he'll be shut down or whether he'll need surgery.

Bryce Harper is introduced as a member of the Nationals organization for the first time. The recently signed No. 1 draft pick will be holding a press conference at Nationals Park at 5:45 p.m. (You can watch it live on Comcast SportsNet, MASN and masnsports.com, or on the scoreboard at the ballpark if you'll already be there.) He'll be introduced to the crowd later during the game.

Jordan Zimmermann makes his first big-league start in 13 months, having come all the way back from Tommy John surgery. This is a major development for the Nationals, who envision theRead more ยป

  1. JaneB - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    So glad we have YOU to keep us informed. And so glad we have a team here. I love my Nats, whatever the news.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    How long can we expect Zimmermann to go tonight, assuming he isn't removed for performance reasons? I know they had that 3-4-5 inning plan at each stage of the minors. Is it the same here or will they let him go more than 3?

  3. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Anon: Zimmermann will probably be limited to five innings each time he starts. But some of that will depend on what his pitch count is.

  4. Natsfan37 - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Don't forget that Pujols also sits on 399 career HR.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Today is definitely a top day candidate.

  6. HHover - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Mark, to follow up on the CSN piece you linked about Morgan–I hope you'll bring us up to date when/if there's more info. There were a lot of assumptions and speculation in the earlier thread here on the story, but I think you were right to put in scare quotes the accusation that Nyjer "intentionally" threw at a fan. He's clearly an "emotional" player (to put the best face on it), but I've never seen him violent or aggressive towards anything but his own glove.

  7. Dan - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Got you a little front page love today at TBD

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    HHover: I wasn't putting in "scare" quotes. The MLB press release announcing Nyjer's suspension specifically said it was for "inappropriate actions, which included intentionally throwing a baseball into the stands." The release later said "the thrown ball struck a fan in the crowd."Just wanted to convey as best as I could what MLB says Nyjer did to merit the suspension.

  9. Stew Magnuson - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    I hope "we" collectively are paying you enough, Mark. You certainly have plenty of news to cover lately beyond the usual game stories.

  10. HHover - Aug 26, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Mark – Sorry, that's what I meant–I understood you were quoting the MLB announcement, but "scare quotes" isn't a good way to say it.Is it typical for more specifics to come out as part of Morgan's challenge to the suspension? I don't know if those proceedings are confidential, tho of course either side could leak anyway.Another question, as long as I'm asking:Since Drew Storen is now the Nats' players' rep, would he have any role in a grievance proceeding? If so, going to bat for Nyjer might be his first official task.

  11. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 26, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    HHover: We hopefully will hear more details about what happened after Nyjer has his hearing with Bob Watson, which might not happen for several weeks. Both sides were mum about it yesterday, though. An MLB official I talked to said he couldn't reveal much. And Nyjer obviously said he couldn't reveal anything. Hopefully, we'll get his full side of the story once the appeal is ruled on.As far as the appeal goes, when I've dealt with these in the past, it's strictly the player involved who appears. No teammates, no player reps. So I don't believe Storen will have anything to do with it.

  12. HHover - Aug 26, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Thanks, Mark. To echo JaneB and others above–you're a gem of a resource for us fans and a great blog host.

  13. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Every outfielder throws the ball into the stands after a third out catch that ends the inning. Is it Nyjer's fault that the fruit couldn't catch the ball and consequently got hit in the head? If MLB doesn't want fans hurt from this ridiculous practice, then they should ban it. They were the one who encouraged it as a way to bring fans back to the ballpark after the labor strike several years ago.

  14. Pete - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    For all the people complaining about the number of season ticket holders: what is the point of buying season tickets? I can always get tickets on craigslist, or even from scalpers, below face value. The only game I had a problem getting tickets to was the Strasburg start, and I managed that buying the mini flex plan. There's absolutely no reason to buy season tickets.

  15. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Pete,You're absolutely right. There may come a day when the street value of a ticket is greater than one on a package, and of course there's the benefit of sitting with the same people every game, but that hasn't been an issue since 2005.

  16. Cheapobedeepo - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Pete – Good point. I did the same thing as you. I bought a Flex Plan and a buddy of mine bought a Flex plan.Until they beef up the Season Ticket package to really add value, the Flex Plan and StubHub are great options and I will attend 20 to 24 games this year. Going tonight to see Bryce!

  17. DJ - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Mark-Great work as always. Two quick questions … 1) Do you think this will be the offseason where the Lerners will finally spend money on the major league roster? Extending Zimmerman, signing Marquis and bringing Pudge were solid moves, but this club needs to do more.2) What positions of need do the Nats need to address the most? Extending Dunn, signing Crawford, a 2B and maybe another marquee SP will be nice.Thanks.

  18. Jeeves - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    just wondering. if the Nats were willing to go for broke on Teixiera, why couldn't they do the same for Gonzalez who is just as good?

  19. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Any chance Bryce throws out the 1st pitch tonight?

  20. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Mark, or whomever can help: Nats have to go 9-and-26 to ensure their third straight 100-loss season. I say they're on a stark raving run to complete this hat trick.Has any team posted three straight century marks? I cannot find the listing of these clubs? Does anybody know?Onward and upward, guys. Straight into oblivion.With the schedule filled with meaningful games against the Phils and Braves, and against the Marlins (who of course beat us like a drum), our only chance is to split six games with the Mets. But I say 9-and-26 is doable, especially considering it's basically Open Tryouts for 2011 from here on out.Poor Riggs.

  21. Water23 - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Over the last few years, the talk is that the Nats should try and emulate the Rays as a way to get to the top. It sounds good but remember that the Rays were one of the worst teams in baseball for a decade. Heck, they averaged 95 or so losses a season each of those years. One would hope with that many high picks they would have a team stocked with low-cost high value players. I would love to have the same success as the recent Rays teams but not sure I want to be the laughingstock of the league for another 7 years to get there. So what to do? Sign Dunn? Add high-priced FA? not sure but I think one of the reasons that Texiera passed on the Nats offer was the dearth of talent on the roster. This dearth cools the interest of top FA talent from wanting to join the Nats (Hudson etc.) The Phillies went through this problem back in the Rolen days. The just were not appealing. Things began to turn with an influx of young talent from the farm system and timely FA signing. So in the end, re-signing Dunn, a decent 1B, makes sense and shows the others that they are not the Bucs or other moribund franchise.

  22. court - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    I'd like to go on record in support of any action, either intended or not, that leads to a Phillie fan getting pegged in the head. Urinating on people is one thing, but getting hit by a baseball at a baseball game is part of show. They had it coming, as far as I'm concerned. 7 games seems extreme, so hopefully it gets knocked down by a couple.

  23. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    "For all the people complaining about the number of season ticket holders: what is the point of buying season tickets? I can always get tickets on craigslist, or even from scalpers, below face value. The only game I had a problem getting tickets to was the Strasburg start, and I managed that buying the mini flex plan. There's absolutely no reason to buy season tickets."If you plan to go to 20+ games in a season, it totally makes sense to buy a partial season plan. Why? (1) You pay less per ticket than the face value charged for single game tickets – in effect, this is your scalper discount right there. (2) You get Opening Day as part of every season plan. (3) If you miss one of the games in your plan, you can trade that unused ticket in for another game (from a specific list of available games) and if you know in advance that you'll miss a game you can trade that ticket in beforehand for ANY game. (4) If there's a particular place you like to sit, you can guarantee you have that seat for every game you go to. And even then, if you like to move around on occasion you can upgrade your seats for any game to a different section merely by paying the difference – at the reduced season ticket price, not at single game face value. This year they also gave Red Carpet Rewards that allowed for free extra tickets and upgrades, and NatsBucks that covered concession purchases. Don't know if they'll continue those next year, but they very well might since it looks like they'll still be fighting to maintain the STH base.There are other STH benefits as well, but these are the main ones that make it economic sense to have season tix if you go to a lot of games. If you're only picking and choosing a couple games a year, then yeah, season tix aren't for you. But of course if the Nats ever make the playoffs you'll be the first one complaining when all the tickets go to season ticket holders before you even get a shot, won't you?Also, don't forget that those cheap scalper tickets you count on may not always be there, if the number of season ticket holders really declines or if the team gets better and season ticket holders start using their tickets themselves. Unless the Nats are emulating Daniel Snyder and dumping tickets directly to scalpers (and there's no indication at all that they're doing that) pretty much all of the tickets on StubHub or legitimate scalper outlets come from season ticket holders. (And if you're buying from those scalpers outside the Navy Yard Metro, I'd say it's buyer beware on that.)

  24. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    @court: Let's look at the bright side:If they dock Nyjer seven games, that's more at-bats for Justin .105 Maxwell and Willie .185 Harris. As we pursue our third straight 100-loss season, we have an outside shot at catching the Orioles to get our third straight No. 1 draft pick. Remember, the Orioles are only eight games worse than us right now. Bucky has been kicking ass and taking names in Charm City. I say go for the gusto…

  25. Feel Wood - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    "just wondering. if the Nats were willing to go for broke on Teixiera, why couldn't they do the same for Gonzalez who is just as good? "The Padres have a 2011 club option on Gonzales. When they sucked, the assumption was that they wouldn't exercise it. But now that they're going to the playoffs, they almost certainly will.

  26. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    "Has any team posted three straight century marks?"KC Royals 2004/5/6. There may be others, but I didn't bother looking back any further.

  27. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    "Any chance Bryce throws out the 1st pitch tonight? "The hell with that. Any chance he heads up to the red tent for ladies night to give the cougars a shot at him?

  28. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Evidently, anon @ 1:11 is sexist and misandrist. ;-)

  29. waddu eye no - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    anon @ 1:08 – dibble? is that you?

  30. A DC Wonk - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Has any team posted three straight century marks? I cannot find the listing of these clubs? Does anybody know?I grew up as a Mets fan in the 1960's. In their first four years they lost: 120, 111, 109, and 112 games. (their fifth year they lost 95, but their sixth year fell back again and lost 101).

  31. raymitten - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    I'm a full season ticket holder, and have been since they were first put on sale in 2004. Many of the reasons I am a season ticket holder have been articulated. But mainly I am a season ticket holder because I waited half my life for a team to come to DC, and I want it to be successful, so I financially support it. Buying $5 seats and moving down, or buying discounted seats on Craigslist may save you some money, but its also a contributor to the lack of success of the franchise. If you don't like the park filling up with Phillies fans, or you want the team to go after big name free agents that could contribute greatly to its success on the field, then buy season tickets and financially support the team.

  32. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    thanks, anonymous 1:08 and DC Wonk. So, we're in good company with the Mets, at least. They won the WS five years after that reign of error.But, of course, we don't have Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, Gentry, et al on this pitching staff. Yet.

  33. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    If you meant 1:11, you might want to look up "misandrist" (which was irony on my part, btw).—waddu eye no said…anon @ 1:08 -dibble? is that you?

  34. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    raymitten, I would submit that (1) not everyone can afford season tickets, and (2) there's more than one way to support the team financially (merchandise and cable tv revenues come to mind).

  35. greg - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    sunshine bobby carpenter, i submit that the honeymoon enjoyed by buck is over.the Os are 4-8 in their last 12. including losing 2 of 3 to seattle. feel wood, where did you see that san diego would decline an option on gonzales? that's just idiocy. he's not expensive (its a $5.6m option) and he's, obviously, very good. he would be an unbelievable bargain at $5.6m. and it would probably cost them nearly that much to replace him with a mediocre veteran.

  36. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 26, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Yeah, Greg, I agree. Bucky Boy wears kinda thin…like after 10 minutes. I was shocked they responded to him as well as they did. I think the O's do have the lock on the No. 1 pick … unless we go on a 13-15-game negative run, which we might currently be on. Carpenter (the pitcher, not the 'caster) is not going to be a piece of cake tonight, that's for sure.

  37. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    If we are talking managers I would be more interested in Fredi Gonzalez; I always liked his demeanor; I liked how he handled his superstar when he didn't hustle and besides anyone who Jeff Loria dislikes is OK with me.

  38. Souldrummer - Aug 26, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    @Raymitten and anonymousI'm a grandstander at the moment. I'll go to between 35-45 grandstand games this year minus maybe 3-5 games I'll go to either through community discounted tickets from a connection in PG and a couple of games I've shelled out for (like the false alarm Strasburg start).For me, season tickets is a decision that I can't make yet because of my own personal situation and my desire to go to as many games in person as possible. I will say that the availability of $5 and $10 tickets is a large reason why the Nats have passed the Caps on my Nats>Caps>Skins>Hoyas>Wizards DC fandom totem pole. I also view season tickets and concessions as accountability tools for spending dollars necessary to a winning team. Spend beyond signing Dunn on the MLB team and I'll start spending more dollars on the MLB team. Right now, they are spending money on the minor league teams, so it's a high priority to find ways to support our minor league teams, although Pfitzer is a dump that must be fixed.

  39. Feel Wood - Aug 26, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    "feel wood, where did you see that san diego would decline an option on gonzales? that's just idiocy."I didn't say that SD would decline their 2011 club option on Gonzales. I said they would pick it up, making Gonzales unavailable as a FA option this winter. I said that in response to the guy who was wondering if there was any reason the Nats wouldn't go after Gonzales.

  40. Stew Magnuson - Aug 26, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Another advantage to having a partial season ticket plan is smoothing things over with the wife."Sorry, honey, love to go to your friend's birthday party. But I have tickets for The Nats that night. What can I do. We bought them in January. How was I to know?"

  41. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    "there's more than one way to support the team financially (merchandise and cable tv revenues come to mind)."I'm not sure what % of merchandise revenue goes to the team vs the % that goes to MLB. Obviously if you buy your gear at the ballpark the team gets more of your money, and if you buy it at TJ Maxx for cheap the team is going to get a much smaller cut (if anything at that point).As for cable revenue, the Nats get a fixed payment each year from MASN. Doesn't matter if no one watches or a million people watch, it's the same. The payments from cable companies to carry MASN go to MASN. So whether you subscribe to the tier that includes MASN as part of your cable package or you don't, the team doesn't get any more or less money.If you want to support the team financially, go to games and buy food/drink/merchandise.

  42. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Yes, I do that, and I tend to bring one or more people with me when I do. Can I get my Super Fan Merit Badge now? ;-)—If you want to support the team financially, go to games and buy food/drink/merchandise.

  43. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Craig Heist of 'TOP just reported at 3:15 that Bryce Harper is taking BP and has poked one into the upper deck in right field.Any chance he can patrol right field for us tonight?

  44. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    @Anonymous 1:11 PM With Harper being a Mormon and 17, I do not think you will see him anywhere near liquor or any event that is sponsored by liquor etc.

  45. Anonymous - Aug 27, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Ray,That's nice of you to make the Nats your "charity" of choice. How do you feel about the Nats having one of the lowest payrolls despite having the richest owner in the game? I just don't understand how you can take pride in helping fund multi-million dollar athletes, who are in large measure spoiled brats. Obviously you have unconditional loyalty to continue to finance them to the extent you have after triple digit losses in two consecutive years.I echo many others on this site on the cost issue. It is simply not affordable for me and many others to even be partial season ticket fans. If the Nats want to prevent more Philly fans, put a better product on the field and actually spend some you and other full season ticket holders hard earned dollars. I think the ushers could be a bit stricter, but I like moving up do I'm happy there not.

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