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Wednesday news and discussion

Jan 12, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

I’m on vacation this week, but NatsTown never sleeps. So in my absence, please feel free to use this thread to pass along any news from today and to discuss any other Nats-related topics of your choice.

  1. joemktg - Jan 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    NatsJack: read your comment regarding the daily itinerary before the ST games start. If I read it correctly, the day is over a bit after noon. Nothing occurs on the field during the afternoon?

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    There is usually some individual stuff for a few guys needing extra work but as for team activities, no. Once the ST games start the practice fields are taken over by the minor league guys and any roster guys rehabbing or needing extra work.

  3. John Vairin - Jan 12, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Anyone into Spring Training autograph seeking?

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    John Vairin…. Funny you should ask…While I prefer having my picture taken with particular players and coaches, then having the 8" x 10" glossy's autographed later during spring training, there is always the same cast of characters loaded with their baseball card albums, hounding each and every player to sign their cards.Every year for the past 5 years you see the same 10 – 12 guys ranging in age from 25 to 50 years old comparing albums.

  5. Knoxville Nat - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Making plans to attend my first Nationals spring training in late March. How hard is it to get tickets to a ST game if not a ST season ticket holder? Any motel recommendations in the Viera or Melbourne areas? There will be two of us attending and we thought we might bring the golf clubs along as well. Any help and recommendations are greatly appreciated.

  6. Anonymous8 - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    I saw photos from last year with dozens lined up for Stephen Strasburg autographs. I would think there will be a vibrant Bryce Harper following this year too.

  7. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    I have gone to Viera several times for ST, though not since 2008. We always stayed at the Hampton Inn next to I-95 at the main Melbourne exit. It's very convenient to everything. My wife and I even watched a night launch of the Space Shuttle from the parking lot. The ballpark is about 15 minutes from the hotel, and all the chain restaurants are close by. I highly recommend the Island Fish Grill in downtown Melbourne. One of the best seafood places I've ever been to, and reasonably priced.

  8. JaneB - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Sooo… trying to follow the bouncing ball here: for us to see players on the field, apart from a game, we need to be there the two weeks before the spring games start? We just bought a three day flex pass (and will grab other games following the Nats on the road at Mets and Cards and Braves)…can we see much before the games, or will that be the baby players? I sort of don't care, because I will love them all, even if none are named Adam Dunn. But I would love to see, up close, Desi and Espy and Livo and Flores and and and…

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Bryce will be assigned to the minor league camp around March 15 if they follow the same plan as Strasburg.Google Space Coast Hotels and you'll get a boat load of options. I live about 55 minutes from the stadium so I've never stayed in the area.As for golf there are several options mithin 30 minutes of the stadium.

  10. Andrew - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    NatsJack, is the golf course in the neighborhood by the Viera stadium open to the public?

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Yes… It is classified as "Semi-private" meaning they have members but will let anybody play.

  12. Knoxville Nat - Jan 12, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Anon 9:27 and NatsJack….thanks for the information. As soon as my boss gets out of the way :) I'll do that google thing!

  13. NatinBeantown - Jan 12, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Thanks everyone (especially NatsJack) for the ST tutorial. I'm desperately hoping to get work to a place where I can go down for a portion of my first spring training ever in March. (Man that seems nice as I look out the window at the 14" of snow that has already fallen today here in Boston…)My question is on tickets. How likely are games to be sold out? How far in advance to you need to buy single game tickets to have reasonable seats? (Thinking a mid-march weekend).

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    The Yankees will be a sell out and the Cardinals and Mets always draw well but tickets should be available when they go on sale to the public.All other games are usually 60% full and walkups are always available.

  15. NatinBeantown - Jan 12, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Thanks! (Now I just have to make sure I get there…)

  16. SonnyG10 - Jan 12, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I thank all the posters for the questions and answers on spring training. I have never been to ST and I'm going to try to do that this year. This information is very valuable to me. This past summer I made the trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time ever and now I hope to get in ST. I am 67 years old, but better late than never.

  17. Jim Hoy - Jan 12, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Count me as another person who is going to try to make spring training for the first time ever this year. All the info is appreciated

  18. Section 215, Row A - Jan 12, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Knoxville:My wife and I just got a pair of tickets for all the spring training games and all but March 10-12 are available. Section 109, Row 6. Primo seats I believe. Happy to part with any games you want for 15% off face value(What StubHub will take)to a fellow INSIDER.Section 215, Row A

  19. markfd - Jan 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I plan to be in Viera at the end of February before the ST games start.

  20. Andrew - Jan 12, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    My Spring Training is very unconventional. I fly into Orlando and stay in the Orlando area so the wife and kids can do their thing around Disney and I get to do mine.Orlando is right in the middle of Tampa on the West coast and Viera on the East coast and all the good baseball in and around Orlando.This year I plan on doing it the beginning of March to get a few games in Viera and the Nats/Yankees game in Tampa.The drive is a little more than an hour from Orlando to Viera and the downside is what happened last year when one of the games was rained out.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 12, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    If you plan on renting a car and stay in the Orlando area you'll want to invest in an e-pass for the toll roads. You just need to set up an account online with a major credit card.Otherwise, plan on waiting in long lines to pay tolls.

  22. Knoxville Nat - Jan 12, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    I'm thinking of heading down to Viera for the last weekend in March where I would meet up with an old high school friend. Both of us are would be golfers (also known as hackers) and we talked about playing golf while catching a couple of games. Decision to be made where to stay, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach? I'm inclined to stay close to Viera as I hate driving all about an area I'm not familiar with. Suggestions anyone?

  23. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    I'm "planning" (ha!) to be in Nebraska during ST. I hope that all of you who will be in FLA will be making lots of posts for the rest of us. The variety of insights, writing styles, and opinions would be good stuff.fpcsteve

  24. NatinBeantown - Jan 12, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Is it just me, or did Mark lose the http://www.natsinsider.com domain? The blogspot address still works, but the .com address redirects to GoDaddy.com

  25. Anonymous - Jan 12, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Is it just me or is it hot in here? Valid question with two options.Is it just me or did Mark lose his domain name?Really?Is it just me or does that kind of sentnce structure work in Beantown?

  26. Water23 - Jan 12, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    NatinBeantown,natsinsider.com routed me here. It must be all the snow in Beantown.On a different note, sign Soriano and have a dominant bullpen for two years. It goes under spend money now so when you go a calling for top FAs they see you are competitive.

  27. Pilchard - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Any word who the Nats dropped from the 40 man roster to make room for LaRoche?

  28. Another_Sam - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Regarding spring tickets: very few games are sold out. And, always remember, sold out doesn't mean no tickets available; sold out just means more expensive if you're buying in advance. Sold out may not mean all that much more expensive if you're buying in the parking lot a few at game time.

  29. Another_Sam - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Knox — there's a public course on New Haven Avenue in Melbourne. Near Airiport Road. But who'd play golf when there's baseball to be had? LOL

  30. Another_Sam - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    Andrew — my spring drill is similar. Fly into Orlando — usually cheaper but I have flown into Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, or elsewhere — get a rental car and go for it. As I've posted before, the schedule determines for me what town to stay in on what night. As for hotel, pretty much all of it I see are the coffee shop and the bar. And for those going to the Yankees park in Tampa: good plan. Saw that last year and it was quite memorable, made more so by Livan. For Phillies fans [?] there's a rare three day home stand of day games in Clearwater over March 24-26, with night games nearby. Phillies fans can see six games in three days, with just a bit of driving and lot of traffic.

  31. LoveDaNats - Jan 12, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    NatsJack,You have all the inside scoop on everything going on down there. Do you ever get up here to Nats Park during the season and how often?

  32. Knoxville Nat - Jan 13, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Another_Sam,At my age golf is about the last sport that I actively participate in on a regular basis. With much of my area experiencing weather (snow and ice) more suited to our nation's capital at this time of year, and watching golf last week on television from Hawaii, I have an urge to get to FL for some baseball and golf. LOL back at you.

  33. Jaxpo Nat - Jan 13, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Word is its down to us and the Mets for Chris Young's services. Who knows, maybe he has something left. Only looking for 1-1.5 mil or so.

  34. nationals - Jan 13, 2011 at 4:44 AM

    As a resident who lives within a few miles of the stadium I'd like to add a few more pieces of info for the fans wanting to come to ST. First off don't forget to pack warm clothes, yes it's Florida but February can have cold and hot days. Also toss in some sunscreen for the 1:00 games if you burn as well as blankets are a nice thing to have for the night games. The weather really can switch that fast. We have had no problem getting tickets in the past however last year they did a buy 2 games to be able to get tickets to the Yankee game. The Yankee games tickets were NOT able to be purchased as a stand alone game. Everything was great till the Yankee game got rained out with no reschedule date availalbe. Let's just say alot of local fans feeling quite duped at that point. That was a bummer and marketing gone bad. There is a Holiday Inn right across the street from the Hampton Inn as well. At the stadium there is a grassy area (the berm)you can sit and watch the game they have a bar right next to it which is nice not having to walk back to stadium for drinks. As well if you aren't into bleacher seating or have children that don't want to sit in their seats the entire game often kids go play toss in the grass behind the berm. ST has always been a fun experience for me & the kids, it is puzzling for them to think of the same people who were so accessible being the same people they see on TV the rest of the year. It is definately worth every game you can catch!

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    LoveDaNats…… yes, I'll be up for opening day week end and will attend Thursdays ans Saturdays games.I return with 3 of my friends for a "road trip" the last week in April for the Mets series and te Friday game with te Giants.I'm flying up for the Orioles serie in June and back again for the Cubs series the frst week in July.That's all my plans for now.

  36. natsfan1a - Jan 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Thanks to all who have been sharing their ST tips. Great stuff!

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