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Live from Viera

Feb 15, 2011, 2:45 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Coast Stadium is abuzz with activity today.

VIERA, Fla. — Ah, is there anything better than typing out that dateline for the first time this year? OK, maybe there is, but you know what I mean.

Pitchers and catchers reporting day has arrived, as has your trusty beat writer. Flew in last night, drove over to Viera this morning and just finished my first sweep through the Nationals clubhouse.

The first thing I noticed: the new practice jerseys, which are a very deep hue of red with blue piping. They kind of look like the Capitals' uniforms. Sharp. I'll have some photos later today.

The second thing I noticed: There appear to be fewer lockers than in years past. Usually, the Nats have had to set up some temporary lockers in the middle of the clubhouse for the first several weeks of camp to accommodate all of the non-roster invitees. "Survivor Island," as clubhouse manager Mike Wallace termed it.

Well, with only 61 players in camp this spring, Wally was able to squeeze everyone into the two permanent rows of lockers that run down each side of the clubhouse. It opens the place up. It also provides aRead more »

  1. Jenn Jenson - Feb 15, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Have a great day, Mark. I think a lot of us in DC are a little jealous.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 15, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Grant - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Classy move by Storen. One of the many reasons I like him. It doesn't matter if the number is 3, 30, or 300.Also, I assume you took that photo this morning, Mark. So the new logo hasn't made its way down to Viera yet, huh?

  4. zib23 - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    @Sec.3, I had the same thought, but this is also laudable. How many athletes would even give a thought to the fans who may have purchased an obsolete jersey? That he is considering some kind of outreach to fans is remarkable. +1 to Storen.

  5. DCPowerGator - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    i am REALLY disappointed that balester gave up the rick vaughn california penal league memorial #99!

  6. Steve M. - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Mark, thanks, I love early Spring Training and a lite side article to give me a vision of the clubhouse is great.That's what I would have done first is walk the clubhouse to see jersey numbers and the Storen switch is great trivia.The 3 "Js" with the numbers in the 70's will be easy to spot and Marrero is smart to get a lower number as was Balester. Maybe Balester doesn't want to be a sideshow attraction since he sure will have to fight for a 25 man spot.Mark, can you find out from Morse what he plans on getting from Werth for giving up the #28 as is traditional in those cases. I would hope at least a nice watch.Mark, how do the new BPs look? Some have said they are Star Trek looking from behind. Hope you can post up some players photos wearing them.

  7. natsfan1a - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Oh, to be in Viera, now that Nats are there. Or something to that effect. Sigh.I don't own such a jersey, but nice offer by Storen, imo.

  8. N. Cognito - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    So the Nats put you to work cleaning? How often do you have to sweep the clubhouse just to get access to the players?You're lucky. Dan Hellie does a lot more than sweep to get access to Redskin's players.

  9. JaneB - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I'm going to hang on to my old 25 Storen jersey and collect mega bucks for it as an oddity when he becomes the All-Star, Cooperstown bound closer of our dreams. I'm insanely happy that you are there and reporting on things, even if it's just the locker situation. Spring is here! Baseball news of some kind every day for a while! Actual games soon! It feels today like I won a prize or something. What the heck is wrong with me?PS… Looking for an update on Livo's physique along with few others.

  10. Feel Wood - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    "Chris Marrero, who in previous camps has owned a very high number, is all the way down to 14 now."But won't he have to give that up when they hold the ceremonies to retire Manny Acta's number this year?

  11. Doc - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Hope Ballystar's #23 brings him the good fortune that he deserves; successfully making the final cut means following up on his great performances of the last part of 2010!Goooooooooooo Nats!

  12. Anonymous - Feb 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    What time do the players actually begin to arrive and start practicing? In the old days, the players spent alot of the time in Florida playing golf….is that still true.I am real interested in the daily workout schedule for the players…. do pitchers start early and bp take place later?

  13. SCNatsFan - Feb 15, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Yeah, I'm jealous, even though is was 72 here yesterday and managed to squeeze in 18. Have to be excited with all the arms in camp knowing if 1 or 2 surprise then hey, we might be pretty good. Love this time of year when we are atop the standings with everyone else.Look forward to the reports Mark.

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Depending on the weather, players start wandering out to the practice fields between 9 and 9:15 AM. If it's an exceptionally cold moring , they may delay that by a half hour or so, but 9 – 9:15 is the norm. Stretching and calisthenics at 9:30 or so followed by PFP and bullpen work. Bunting practice usually takes place on 2 of the fields with PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice) on another. Things change when the whole team shows up but the start time stays the same.As for the golf… most certainly as there are 2 courses within 2 miles of the site.

  15. Slidell - Feb 15, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Bought a #58 Storen jersey for my sister for Christmas. Don't think she'll mind too much re the newest number. She admires his mindset in looking to the long-term and getting his degree.

  16. Dave - Feb 15, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    My brother-in-law gave me a Storen 58 replica jersey for my birthday in October. I'll probably keep it and wear it. It's the old design, and it's Storen's rookie-year number.But I think I may be done buying jerseys with players' numbers on them.

  17. MicheleS - Feb 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Okay. I admit it, I am completely jealous! Even though it is starting to warm up here, Winter is not over yet! I am trying to get to Florida in March and I HOPE I can catch a Game!I really hope Storen can seize the closers role. It would be great to see a future Trevor Hoffman!Mark, any word on Josh Wilkies chances of making the club?

  18. Anonymous - Feb 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Dave- Don't feel badly, at least you didn't go the route I did (Castilla #9 in 2005, Soriano #12 in 2006 and Dunn #44 last year). I have standing orders with several family members to hit me over the head with a hard object if I even think about buying a Zim #11, Strasburg #37 or Harper #34 jersey.

  19. MicheleS - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Just heard Mark on 980.. love that he was rubbing it in that he was in Florida and Loverro was not!

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Now I buy jerseys where I can have "NatsJack" on the back and my age. I have two and went to buy another one but suddenly the Nats are no longer listed as a team selling those jerseys! Check out the list. This maybe my first irksome moment with the Lerners! I may have to buy Mets jersey with my name on the back!

  21. Anonymous - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    NatsJack:That's funny, because the Nats still have them on the website. is that not the jersey you were looking for?

  22. Anonymous - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    NatsJack, buy your personalized name/number Nats jersey here:

  23. HALjr - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    NatsJack, look here for 3 jersey styles available with your own name and number:

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 15, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Sorry for the confusion. I should have said "T-shirt". I have 2 of the personalized Nats T-shirts ($35.00) and they stopped offering those. Must not be enough mark up for the Lerners on those. I'm not real keen on spending $200+ for a jersey.

  25. natsfan1a - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    NatsJack, I just tried Googling "Washington Nationals custom t-shirt," and got a lot of hits (for Modell's, Sport Authority, ESPN and others).

  26. natsfan1a - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Crud, "Sports" Authority. Anyhoo, presumably with such sites it would be MLB authentic merchandise, but you could double-check on that.

  27. Another_Sam - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    I'm happy with my natsinsider shirt. LOL

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    I've got one of those, too. I just went to the MLB Shop section and the "Personalized T-Shirt" add is displayed. Click on that and 29 friggin teams are displayed. There used to be 30 but one team is mysteriously missing from the list!I've bought 6 of these things in the past (2 for me and 4 for friends) and now we are the ONLY team that doesn't offer this reasonably priced item.JayB may be gaining a comrade in arms here!

  29. natscan reduxit - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    … a question from a novice, if I may. I notice in Mark's post the attention given to the choice of uniform number, and I have to ask: how important is a player's number to him, and why does it have such importance?Go nats!!

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    natsfan1a….. Thanks… that looks like the same one the Nats site was selling for $35.00. I'll try them. Sure is strange that the Nats are the only team not on the MLB sites, though.

  31. MGG - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    NatsJack, maybe they're redesigning them because of the uniform change? It would be really strange if all season they were the only team without.

  32. Feel Wood - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    "… a question from a novice, if I may. I notice in Mark's post the attention given to the choice of uniform number, and I have to ask: how important is a player's number to him, and why does it have such importance?"You'd have to ask the individual players. Some care, others don't. And their reasons for caring or not caring are entirely their own.

  33. Anonymous - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Those T shirts are last year's design. As you know, the Nats changed their uniform design from what it was last year. T shirt design changes will obviously follow that. Right now, the shop at the Nats team site is offering only Werth 28 in the new design and Strasburg 37 in the old design. That probably means that the official site is out of the old shirts (except for 37) and obviously will not be getting more, and that in the new design all they have right now is 28. They no doubt will eventually get the new design in other players' numbers and the blanks for personalizing them, once the Chinese child labor sweatshop where they're made catches up on its orders. Remember, they have to feed the voracious Bosox, Yanks, Phillies, etc T shirt demand too, in addition to the Nats demand. So either you can wait until the official site and the team store have the new design in stock, or you can buy the old design now on the secondary market sites like, while their supplies last.It's as simple as that. Not a conspiracy worthy of the simpleton JayB.





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)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

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