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Meet Brian Zuckerman

Aug 30, 2011, 4:27 AM EST

Photo by one proud father

You know, when I mentioned yesterday that Mrs. Z and I were awaiting the birth of our son sometime in the next two weeks, I honestly didn't think the wait would barely surpass six hours. But Mother Nature — or, I suppose in this case, a very cautious (and extremely talented) OBGYN — has a funny way of doing business.

Sure enough, "Baby Z" decided eight months in the womb was enough for him. Like I speculated, the kid just really wanted to be here in time for Stephen Strasburg's return. And he is.

I'm thrilled to announce that Brian Leonard Zuckerman was born at 12:13 p.m. Monday, five weeks early but still checking in at an impressive 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Both Brian and my wife, Rachel, are doing great. He appears to be fully developed and 100 percent healthy. And based on the first day of his life, he appears to be an incredibly well-behaved child. (Yes, I know that's not going to last long!) Rachel, meanwhile, is recovering well from her C-section, and we should all be able to go home together as one happy family in a couple of days.

Now, I know you're all trying to figure out where we came up with Brian Leonard. No, it's not some weird homage to legendary Nationals Brian Bruney and Lenny Harris. And it's not in honor of Brian LawrenceRead more ยป

157 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sean Hogan - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    Congrats to you and your family, Mark!

  2. Don Hammack - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:44 AM

    Switch-hitting catcher. Congrats to the happy family. Enjoy.

  3. Aussie Gus - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:50 AM

    Left arm power pitcher for sure. Please, go to sleep now. PLEASE. I haven't slept a whole night through for 11 months now. Sleep for me, if not yourself.

  4. Calm in Cali - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    Congrats Mark! He looks like an angel.

  5. Scooter - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    Catcher. Mazel tov. Get some rest.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:23 AM

    Mazel Tov! 6lbs, quite impressive! God bless. He's a cutie!Princess Jazzy

  7. Jay N - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    Mark, I've been reading your site avidly since Day 1 back in Feb 2010. First time commenting though.CONGRATULATIONS to you and your wife!

  8. NATSONE - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    Best picture on this blog so far. Congratulations, Mark….and, oh yeah, definitely go with left handed pitcher.

  9. MJR - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    Awwww…what a sweetie! Congrats, Mark and Rachel. So, now can you go to Atlanta? (just kidding…). Switch-hitting catcher, for sure!

  10. MJR - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    P.S. For you, I'd say that Brian is, hands down, the most significant development of 2011.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Congratulations to you and the fabulous Mrs. Z…. Like above, aside from you getting your new gig, this is the biggest event in Nats Insider Nation.Wait to see if Brian throws lefthanded and if not, then switch hitting catcher it is.

  12. Bill B - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Huge congratulations, Mark! And best wishes to Rachel on her recovery. Now, get some rest!

  13. Wally - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Glad to hear everyone is doing well. Time passes so quickly now.Left-hander all the way. Remember, no off speed stuff until he is 16!

  14. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM


  15. NatsNut - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    This is great. Congratulations! He's gorgeous!Also, (LOL) switch-hitting catcher.

  16. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    What great news – congratulations!! Grateful for a safe delivery. And I'm with the rest in thinking this is 2011 most significant development yet. He's precious!

  17. Gus in FFX - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Congrats. A big day for everyone and perfect timing (pre-Sept 1) for Brian to be the oldest in his class and many sport teams. Gladwell and others have written articles on how important birth dates can be to long term "success" in various activities, particularly sports.

  18. Uncle Atom - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Congratulations Mark! This fake news story seems fitting – "Local baby born ready"

  19. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Best. Photo. Ever.One question: is Brian going to be on a pitch count until he's 6?Congratulations to all.Now, all of us at Nats Insider can collectively exhale. The last time I was this nervous was when our daughters were born (23 and 21 years ago) and the last time Henry Rodriguez was pitching with a lead.

  20. joemktg - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Unless the gene pool includes a few 6 footers, have him bat left, throw right, play up the middle. Skip Little League, and go right to showcase!!!!Here's a better idea: crank up that 529…

  21. RickH - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Congrats Mark and Rachel! And welcome Brian!!!

  22. bigfitzva - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Congrats to your wife and yourself. Years of joy to follow.

  23. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Awwww, what a cutie. I'm so relieved to hear that he's fully developed and healthy, and that mom's doing well. I've had you all in my prayers since he decided to debut early. Looked at the pic before reading the post and told my hubby: look, he's in a regular bassinet and he looks plump rather than all wizened. I predict that the nurses are all going to fall in love him before he heads home. Heck, probably half of the Insiders already have. You had us at hello, kid.Oh, and I'd go with switch-hitting catcher, but then I've always had a thing for catchers.

  24. TimH - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Welcome Baby Z! And, congratulations Mark and Rachel!

  25. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    Oh, and when you or mom or maybe grandma gets a chance, I'm thinking you may need to have a longer Amazon wish list before we're done… :-)

  26. baseballswami - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    I vote for leadoff/centerfielder — and hurry it up. By the time he is ready the Nats will probably STILL need one! Congratulations! For an early birth he is a very good size and cute as a button.

  27. carolync - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Congratulations Mark and Rachel from a big fan since the Washington Times days!I vote for switch-hitting middle infielder. Catcher is such a painful position. He looks like he'll be ready for T-ball in the spring!

  28. Natslifer - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Congratulations!! Four weeks early and 6 lbs, 9 ozs?? I think you've got that catcher :). I grew up watching Johnny Bench – there wasn't anyone better but if he were a switch hitter that would have been an all-time player!

  29. m20832 - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Congratulations Mark and Rachel! Awesome little Guy!Power hitting shortstop!

  30. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Great picture to see first thing in the morning!!! Congrats and all the best.

  31. ExposedinDC - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Mozel tov……….and I thought NI was your greatest accomplishment…how wrong I was.

  32. sjm308 - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Mark:Congratulations! You do understand with your interest and job in baseball that Brian will do everything in his power to become a soccer player or something similar(especially in his teen-age years). No matter though because the beauty of the game will win him back. Keep him on the mound if possible, that catching thing is rough on the hands.

  33. ehay2k - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Congratulations to the Zuckermans! Brian (not named after Bixler) is a good looking kid. No need to wait for Little League, teach him to switch hit during Blast Ball. Sleep when you can Mark, because this will be a new kind of tired for you. Every day from here on out will be just like the final signing day with a Scott Boras client. :-)

  34. LoveDaNats - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    He is beautiful!!! Enjoy every second! I am looking forward to watching him grow through the pages of Nats Insider.Definately left-handed pitcher. As for catcher, I can't get Buster Posey out of my head.Congratulations to you and Rachel!

  35. K.D. - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    He is absolutely beautiful! Best blog entry I've read in a while. Hmmmm, catchers are my favorite but don't know if I'd want to have my boy do it and take the beating, let's say switch-hitting infielder.

  36. SCNatsFan - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Congratulations… your biggest curly W of the year!

  37. Andrew - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Always great hearing such wonderful news out of NatsTown! Mazel Tov to all the Zuckerman/Friend family!

  38. Stew Magnuson - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Congrats. I just became a first time Dad (at age 47) seven weeks ago. I can't get to the ballpark as often as I once did but there is nothing like it!

  39. Gonat - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    "Photo by one proud father" is a great photo credit, also his timing of being born on one of the few off-days is impecible timing!

  40. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Loved the credit.Also, looks like Ladson was closest to the date, even if he was off by a month or so. Give that man a bubblegum ceegar! :-)Special bonus question: When will the Zuckerman baby be born? (Due date: Oct. 4)Bill Ladson — Sept. 28Pete Kerzel — Sept. 30Amanda Comak — Sept. 30Craig Heist — Oct. 1Mark Zuckerman — Oct. 2Adam Kilgore — Oct. 7Ben Goessling — Oct. 9Dave Sheinin — Oct. 14

  41. Mark L - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Great News Mark!I hope you're not planning on sleeping anytime in the next 6 months. :)

  42. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM


  43. Joe Seamhead - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Wow! Too cool! Boy do your lives start changing right now.BTW, I saw Scott Boras hanging around your door with what appeared to be a contract.

  44. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM


  45. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Congrats Mark and Rachel.It's just gonna get harder now, but the joys will be immeasurable.

  46. NeedANatsFix - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Congratulations Mark! My little girl is 10 months old and everyday just gets better and better. My only hope is that little Brian doesn't prevent you from following the Nats as closely as my little one has done to me…lucky for the rest of us that is your job and not just a side gig!

  47. Traveler8 - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Mark, Brian looks great. Both you and Rachel now need to figure out how to slow down your lives, enjoy the moment – T ball can wait a couple of weeks.

  48. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Proud papa's gotta take him up to the Press Box to show him around.

  49. gonatsgo - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    This is by far the best news on any Nationals-related site in at least the last week or more – maybe all season!!

  50. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    (After reading) that was a funny link from Uncle Atom earlier in the thread. Now that I look at the picture again, I do believe that little Brian is doing a virtual high five. :-)

  51. jd - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Mark, Mazel Tov to Rachel and you. And remember that sleep is over rated.

  52. FS - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    First of all, many many congratulations. The joy of having a baby around is amazing. Yes, they might keep you up at nights and cry a lot sometimes. But their one smile can be cure to pretty much everything.Now I want Brian to have long and HoF career. That's why I am hesitant to see him as a catcher. I like left-handed pitcher better who can hit cleanup. Whatever position he decides to take up, remember to hire Ichiro's dad as his personal trainer.

  53. Anonymous8 - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I went to the March predictions page to see if I guessed the due date (I didn't) and found my Strasburg and other predictions. I may have nailed it! said… If Strasburg makes a Sept 6th comeback which seems like the optimum date, that should give the Nats on 5 days rotation probably 3 home starts and they could stretch it into 4 home games with a couple extra days rest.That is 3 x 40,000 fans and if Bryce Harper is a September callup, Nats Park will be packed.Throw in 3 sold out Phillie/Nats games and a sold out Opening Day and you get almost 275,000 in 7 games. Take 74 games at a light average of 15,000 and Nats Park should easily eclipse 1,385,000. Got to like Mark Z. going with 1,562,538 and not 1,560,000. So there is 5 thinking BHarper will be in Washington in 2011 and 3 thinking he finishes in Harrisburg.Heading to the Park. See you all there!!!! March 31, 2011 9:54 AM

  54. Original Nats Fan - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Congratulations Mark and Rachel. Brian has already stolen my heart. My best advise, sleep when he sleeps.

  55. Falls Church Nats Nut - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Congratulations Mark and Rachel! Sleep is great, but babies are even better. I'm sure you will have no issues with Brian coming early – we have twin girls who were born at 30 weeks and weighed three and a half pounds each, and they have had no lasting effects – so you guys should be in the clear. We also have the Nats Peanut who is almost three months old now – so maybe one day he will be pitching to Brian at Nats Park, or vice versa. All the best.

  56. Section 222 - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Congrats Mark, and all best wishes. Regardless of how the Nats finish, the season has been a success. Nats Insider Nation is very proud of you.

  57. Nats Fam Dad - Aug 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Congrats, Mark!

  58. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Thought I'd go ahead and repost Jane's item from yesterday in case any Insiders might be so inclined.JaneB said… Off topic but whatevah… Notice of a virtual shower for Mark and Mrs. Z! Several folks have been interested in this, and we wanted to share the info with more of our imaginary friends. We've been tipped off about a gift registry here: Other gifts, including some already required in Nats Stadium, will get sent to a destination TBD. More on that soon. August 29, 2011 2:22 PM

  59. Knoxville Nat - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Congratulations Mark and Rachel on your good looking "bonus baby"! Now as for that left handed pitcher vs. switch hitting catcher….neither one! I say make him a switch hitting lead off CF type with great OBP and UZR stats….and get him in a Nats uniform soon!

  60. John C. - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Huzzah! I add my voice to the Mazel Tov chorus ๐Ÿ˜€

  61. Souldrummer - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Congrats Mark! My take: a dedicated Danny Espinosa switch-hitting infielder who writes a post-baseball memoir even better than Ball Four.

  62. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Mark. Your friends will bring you kids clothes and books and toys. You'll end up with too many. Your best friends will bring you diapers.

  63. secondwind1 - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Congratulations Mark and Rachel…..remember the first baby gift should be a ball and bat (chewable of course). Now as for being a switch-hitting catcher or a LHP, I suggest you read the book "The Man with Two Arms" by Billy Lombardo. Again, congratulations YOU'VE had a VERY successful season!!!

  64. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Mazel tov again! I agree with the sentiment: try to switch hit, try to avoid being a catcher (their careers are too short).And, from one father to another: there are no words to describe the highs each day will bring — you just have to live it to get it.And, sigh, the time goes by way too darn fast. This morning I just dropped off my eldest, now 18, at the airport as he spends a year of study abroad before college. First one to fly to coup.Cherish each day.

  65. ChicagoNatsGirl - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Congrats Zuckerman family! He's gorgeous. My "baby" turns 11 today. It's a cliche but those years just fly. Enjoy them!!

  66. Steve M. - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Now that Mark tells us how is son got his name I thought of the Red Sox pitcher Brian Leonard Rose who retired a few years before the Nats came to Washington. Not sure if he was ever in the Expos system….Coincidence?

  67. Stuart - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Congrats Mark & Rachel,After Brian finishes his HOF career I hope he moves into the booth so we can listen to a Zuckerman, and then read a Zuckerman.

  68. JaneB - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Well, the catcher part is a given, because he will be observant and smart. Switch hitting will make him more valuable to more teams, and then he has a better chance of staying in this market when he hits the bigs.VIRTUAL SHOWER potential participants: you can write Mark directly via email at for Brian Leonard's address, if you want to send a present. You can find a gift registry at Amazon in the name of Brian's mom Rachel (I can't figure out how to make the cut and paste that would make the link live). Even if you don't want to send a gift, look at the registry for a glimpse into Mrs. Z's way cool sense of humor.

  69. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    He's a beaut (my son is Brian also) Mazel Tov.

  70. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Mazel Tov Rachel and Mark !! Enjoy ever moment…God bless !Berndaddy

  71. Grandstander - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Mazel Tov! Congrats to entire Zuckerman clan!Perhaps Brian Zuckerman will one day be part of the speedy double-play combo with Grayson Desmond on the 2035 World Series Champion Washington Nationals. You heard it here first!

  72. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Many congratulations to you and your wife. I've followed the Insider since you began it, but never have never commented. This is a good time to break the silence!dshankdc

  73. Janner33 - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Congratulations to you and Mrs. Z, Mark! May the little one be blessed with a long and fulfilling life!

  74. TimDz - Aug 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Congratulations to your family. 6 lbs 9 oz is a lot of baby for just 8 months. Mabye someone miscalculated…By the way, I had Brian Leonard in the virtual baby pool….I'll be standing by waiting for my prize.

  75. Doc - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Congratulations Mark & Rachel. 6 pounds, 9 oz. is a great weight for a little one. Think that the projected date was off the mark a bit.Mark,after looking at his picture, you took the words out of my mouth about tying his right hand behind his back–baseball loves the lefties!The homage of naming kids after their forebears is a great tradition.

  76. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I read Nats Insider every day–but have never posted—but CONGRATULATIONS, Mark!! Brian = the biggest news of the year! I appreciate your work.

  77. Nattydread - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Congrats, Bwana. Enjoy life as a daddy. It gets better and better.

  78. Section 223 - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Fabulous news. Best wishes to your family from Section 223.

  79. Unkyd - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Y'know… This is the only sports blog I've commented on… Do they all have this wonderful Family atmosphere? Seriously, we joke about our "imaginary friends", but it's really more of a virtual family. I'm going through dome stuff, and I'm very grateful to have this forum, to feel a part of (on addition to my REAL wonderful fam and friends!). Congrats, to Mark, Rachel, and Brian, and thanks to all y'all!!!Uncle Dave

  80. court - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Congrats and good luck!

  81. citizen16 - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    That's great news Mark! Congrats to you and your wife.

  82. Unkyd - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Oh, and Brian missed it by one day…. I turned 52, on Sunday! That would have been cool!!!

  83. nicefellow31 - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Cograts to Mark and Mrs Z.

  84. Sean Kelly - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Congrats Mark and to your wife as well!

  85. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Glad you're here, Unk, and happy belated b'day! I've not commented on all that many baseball blogs but this is certainly my fave of all those I've frequented, due to both the host and the commenting community.

  86. Sec314 - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Congratulations! –Sports Agent, that's where the money is.Tom Brooke

  87. SonnyG10 - Aug 30, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Congrats, Mark and Rachel. Brian is quite a handsome lad. Get some rest while you can.Definitely do the switch-hitting, but let him pick any position he likes. Go Brian! Go Nats!

  88. Drew8 - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    And Brian Leonard has a much nicer ring than Jeffrey Leonard.

  89. David - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    congratulations! your own little slugger….

  90. masnstinks - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    I kind of hope that Brian Bixler is in the line up tonight – maybe the baby will bring him luck! He should feel quite honored to share the new Blog-Baby's name. It's also been a long time since I have seen the name of almost everyone who has ever posted in one day.

  91. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Congrats to the new nuclear family: Mark, Rachel and Brian!Nats Fan in Annandale

  92. Nats fan in NJ - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Mark – congratulations to you and Rachel!! I echo the above comments about getting the sleep now while you can. My son just turned 13 and I'm still catching up on sleep.I recommend left handed relief pitcher. If you start him as a catcher, they'll likely just move him to the OF to speed his track to the big leagues.Mazel Tov!!

  93. Depot Master - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Switch hitting, high OBP center fielder. Rizzo may still be in search of one in 18 years.

  94. DCGuy7 - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Mazel tov Mark, big ups to you all. all of us appreciate what you do here, but this is a great story and i for one am glad you shared it with us. Bang Zoom goes the Klaxon.

  95. gonatsgo - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    So – I heard that there is a game tonight in Atlanta . Livo vs. Jurrjens. Atlanta hasn't played since Friday – think that will affect them? Who are the hot Nats?( no – you can't say "no one") Zim heating up again after his pinch hit? Maybe even Desi? I would say Morse and Werth are tepid. Danny maybe getting ready to go on a tear? Drew really, really, needs to get in the game – he hasn't pitched much lately. Will we see Nuke La Hrod? Mark is busy – we need to do our own series preview! We have played the Braves pretty well this year and we really need to get back on the winning track, badly.

  96. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    If Brian = Baruch, he's a blessing on all of us–you two are so thoughtful! (Well, he is, even if my names are a little off.) Live long and prosper, little guy.I don't think that's a high-five, tho–more of a celebrity-wave finger-wiggle.And Uncle Atom, link of the day on any other day–great story.And the big money in the 2030s will be in professional lacrosse. Keep him out of the net. It's not a bad place, I'm just trying to reduce the competition for my nephew.

  97. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Bang Zoom goes the Klaxon.Klaxon!! Of Course! How did we miss that for the name??

  98. Wally - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Hey, 1A, moving our other conversation here since we spilled over the dreaded 200 responses line.You got Shell right. And the only one that I could come up with for yours (and even then, only after your clue) was Micah Bowie?

  99. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Micah Bowie? They guy who got married in Durham? Yes, Wally, that's him.

  100. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    And Brian Leonard has a much nicer ring than Jeffrey Leonard.Jeff doesn't have a ring, but there's a nice NLCS trophy for ol' One Flap Down. [Darned] Cardinals.

  101. Wally - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… Micah Bowie? They guy who got married in Durham? Yes, Wally, that's him.Yeah, that is the one that I was trying to get. 1A gave me the hint of 'same initials as a former Nat, current Cub OF', otherwise it was no go.

  102. josh f - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    ืžื–ืœ ื˜ื•ื‘!

  103. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Random "old timer" Nationals factoids:I was at the Nats first home game at RFK. No, not the April 14th home opener, but the game that was the day before the season opened. The Nats' last exhibition game was April 3 at RFK (miserable weather — windy, damp, temp in the 40s). The Nats lost 4-3 — all the Nat's runs were scored on a home run by which player?

  104. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    it was against the Mets… I don't think it was Wilkerson or Guillen…

  105. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    either Schneider or Church.

  106. The Dude Abides - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    I say Termel Sledge.

  107. MikeD - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Wow, came on for a little Braves-Nats preview and it's a boy! I'm just going to congratulate Rachel because obviously she did nearly all of the work!Happy and healthy, the best delivery in the world!Although Matt Stairs Zuckerman would have been my first choice.

  108. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Yes, Wally, that's the one. Well done to you and to sec3. Got me on the exhibition game, Wonk.

  109. baseballswami - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    I think next year when we are winning like crazy and all the new people are around we should call a Nats charter-fan day. Everyone should wear their oldest nats shirt with a name on it. The aforementioned Ryan Church will probably be represented quite well. You can also expect to see Schneider, Patterson, Wilkerson.Perhaps even Bacsik – who is famous for what __________??? this will be super easy for "real" Nats fans!

  110. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    On the game, hope one of our stats gurus can step up with a breakdown for gonatsgo but I did see some interesting stats on MLB Network earlier. If memory serves, during the current losing streak the Nats are averaging 2.2 runs per game. On the other paw, and again if memory serves, Jurrjens has averaged 4 runs scored against him and gone no more than 5 innings each time in – I don't recall the stretch; maybe his last 4 starts? Anyway, that's the best I got. Oh, and if memory serves the Nats have hit him quite well of late.

  111. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    That would be grooving, er, giving up Bonds record-setting dinger. That one might be too easy for newbies Nats fans, though, if they've been paying any attention to baseball at all.And, let's see, I think I have a Nick the Stick t-shirt around here somewhere…

  112. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Yes, it was against the Mets. Termel Sledge incorrect, but a great guess — as he hit the first regular season home run for the Nats the following day.

  113. Constant Reader - Aug 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Congratulations Z Family. Absolutely wonderful.

  114. Wally - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    1A – not going to answer, other than to say he COULD have been the answer to your Durham marriage guy, given your clue, right?OK, probably last post before heading out to see Lyle Lovett, but just wanted to say this:it is pretty cool to me that, in the midst of a losing streak with some pretty awful play, a losing streak that probably removed any chance of .500 this year, that many of us have a deep belief that things are getting better, and soon.Whether we are right or not (and I assume that this post will bring out some people who will show me how I am not right), I think it is pretty cool. And the first time, really, in the entire Nats history that I felt this way.

  115. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    And while I'm at it . . . Most non-dramatic Nats memory: Aug 4, 2005: John Patterson struck out 13 Dodgers (in a complete 4-hit shutout); Wilkerson hit the first ever Nationals grand slam (and the first ever grand slam I saw live), Guzman got two hits and two RBI's as he continued his ultimately successful quest to finish above the Mendoza line (his BA got up to .193 by game's end) . . . but that wasn't what sticks out as much as:My wife and I had taken some kids to the game, and one of the kids had to go to the bathroom. The kid was probably old enough to go himself, (he was 12) but, as it wasn't my kid, I figured I'd better accompany him just in case.In my absence, a foul ball *hit my empty seat*! I'm not kidding. My wife and kids both say I was very lucky, as it came in hard and would have killed me. (They mean that figuratively). But, we were in the old 300's section of RFK — I figured no way it could come in that hard. I keep telling them I would have caught it. Granted, I have no way to judge, but, heck, I played sports!We've had this funny-family-joke going for six years now (in fact, last last week we were jokingly/arguing about it!)It just amazes me: a foul ball hit my empty seat!

  116. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    From a frequent reader and seldom poster, Congrats Rachel and Mark!

  117. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Vinny Castilla, Jose Vidro or Gary Bennett…. has to be one of those 3.

  118. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    "Vinny Castilla, Jose Vidro or Gary Bennett…. has to be one of those 3."Maybe it was Carlos "Cheese" Baerga.

  119. Grandstander - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    @ natsfan1aYou are spot on. On this current losing streak, avg runs are 2.2. If you take the previous 7 games that comprise the homestand, Nats averaged 3.9 runs/game over that stretch.The Nats actually slashed a respectable .252/.320/.383 over the losing streak, outpacing their season average slash line of .242/.310/.380.Jurrjens has been a bit better than you give him credit for, however. He didn't give up a run his last time out, going 6.1 innings. He hasn't been as consistent as he was earlier in the year however. Since the second-to-last time we faced him on July 17, he's posted a 5.35 ERA and a .297/.377/.529.The Nats have faced him twice this season and each time roughed him up, putting up 6 and 5 runs respectively in 5.0 innings.To me, this game is more about Livo. He's had 2 bad outings in a row now. Since the ASB, he's posted a 5.40 ERA and .308/.351/.471 slash line. Should be interesting to see whether Davey sticks with his "all offense" lineup or tries to put some gloves behind Livo.

  120. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    It was Ryan Church.

  121. baseballswami - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    natsfan1a – thanks for the stats – We have gotten to Jurrjens before, I think ,and we need to do it again!!!!! I get so tired of baseball people blathering about the American League East being the best division in baseball. Try playing the phillies and the braves about a million times a season!!! And the Mets and Fish have their moments and cannot be taken lightly. So many of the top pitchers in mlb are in our division – including the philly starters and the braves relievers. We have really been running a gauntlet with the phils, dbacks, cincy (surprisingly good , even the phils had a tough time last night), and now the braves, then mets and etc, etc, etc. Argghghgh.

  122. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    …and Ian Desmond went 1 for 2 and made an error in the game.

  123. Grandstander - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Oh, and while we're on the topic of the amazing community of posters here, an idea that's been kicking around in my head the last month or so was a bunch of us getting together and chipping in on one of those Dream Foundation supporter baseballs that you can get inscribed and placed on the wall by the Home Plate Team Store.It's $250 for one, 10 people, $25. Money goes to charity and Hacking the Gorse, GYFNG! gets immortalized at the stadium. Just something I've had floating in my head and wanted to gauge any possible interest.

  124. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Wally, true, those initials would have fit as well.DC Wonk, great story. That night's one of my fave in-person Nats games. Also, my hubby and I once had a chance on a dinger in the upper deck at RFK, but our reaction times were too slow. Well, more like his reaction time, as my reaction was to duck and cover (hey, it was drilled into me during my childhood).Grandstander, maybe the two bad outings mean that we're due for a good Livo. (Hey, a gal can dream.)Ah, Church on Sunday. I remember it well…

  125. N. Cognito - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    The only other current Nat that played in the game…Jesus Flores.

  126. RPrecupjr - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Mazel Tov indeed, Mark!!!Here's hoping that Brian keeps that number 6-9 as he grows and has it end up being his height….outstanding for the lefty power pitcher…not so good for the catching prospects.I ended up with a lefty (daughter), determined at quite asn early age, they say you usually can't really tell until they're three, but by a little more than a year if you put something in her right hand, she would immediately put it down and pick it back up with the left. She's nine now (thinks she's 18 of course) and has a pretty decent arm and swing…and jump shot (she's 4' 11") so we'll see where we end up.Now I'm off to check out the Amaazon list.–Ron in Reston

  127. J. - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Congratulations Mark and family. Thank you for all the work you do for the Nats community.

  128. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    You're welcome, gonatsgo. Agree that this division is no cake walk.GS, back in the day a bunch of Journal commenters chipped in one a Dream Foundation ball dedicated to Svrluga (when he left the beat). Maybe it's time for a Zuckerman ball. Although there's also something to be said for hacking the gorse or GYFNG. hmmm…Also, does anyone remember what the trigger was for Castilla spitting out and then hitting his bubble gum when he was at bat? I was thinking it was for a strikeout but can't recall. (Yeah, I know. If only I could channel these mental gymnastics for good.)

  129. RPrecupjr - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Also, a Google search for "Brian Zuckerman" brings up this blog as response #6. So he's starting life in the Top 10, no pressure ๐Ÿ˜‰

  130. Grandstander - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    @ swamiIf you look at total run differential, which I think is the best way to compare the division, the AL East is WAY ahead of everyone else with +299. But the NL East is the clear #2. Only one other division has a positive differential, the AL West, with +3. NL East is +95

  131. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Which is not to say that he should leave the beat. Eh, you know what I meant…Maybe it's time for a Zuckerman ball.

  132. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    N. Cognito.. If you're talking about the 2005 Mets/Nats exhibition game at RFK, Jesus Flores was a 2007 rule 5 guy. But I just realized… He could have played for the Mets but I find that hard to believe.

  133. natsfan1a - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    fyi, Dad has a new post up.

  134. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    I stand corrected. I do see where a "Flores" pinch hit for the Mets.

  135. A DC Wonk - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    First Nats homer in RFK stadium — the last pre-season game before the regular season opener, April 3, 2005:N. Cognito said… It was Ryan Church.Correct.Sec 3 gets honorable mention — a ways back he said: "either Schneider or Church."

  136. Another_Sam - Aug 30, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    So nice to get this news. Congratulations to all. I'm with NatsJack — this is among the biggest events ever discussed in this forum. If this were ESPN, we'd have a top ten event for sure.

  137. bobn - Aug 30, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    I hope his nick name is Branko…

  138. Mayhemnsuz - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    Congratulations to all the Zs!!! Definitely the most important moment of the 2011. Mazel tov!

  139. MicheleS - Aug 30, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Mazel Tov! Glad to hear that Mommy and Brian are doing well! And agree with everyone that this is the best posting on this site ever! Get some sleep Mark.. you will need it!

  140. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Coming late to this thread…Congratulations to all, but especially Mrs. Z for carrying young Brian for eight-plus months.

  141. Anonymous - Aug 30, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Congrats! Tho, I am a little disappointed that the big fella's name isn't Zimmerman(n) Zuckerman.

  142. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Aren't you too old go be producing babies? From your picture on the web site, I thought you were in your 50's. If you are in your 50's, shame on you, dude.

  143. dryw - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Welcome Brian!

  144. rmoore446 - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Great news!!! Both my kids were born via C-section and that is a much longer recovery for mom. You will definitely need to be close at hand to help her as it is major surgery.But nothing adds joy like a new baby!!!

  145. Au contraire - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Shame on you, Anon.

  146. Steve - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    Congratulations and cheers for your baby sonMay he bring you endless joyThere is no better feeling in the world than Holding your baby child!

  147. SBrent - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    Huge congrats to you and Rachel!

  148. Scott from Burke - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    Congratulations…I would vote for golf, by the way. No 100 mph line drives coming up the middle…it will be a while before he can hit the driver but start him on his short 8 inch ping putter with a few Pro V1's can be had on…head down, smooth stroke…

  149. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    What kind of life experience makes one lash out at someone upon the birth of their first child? My sympathies to the anonymous person above who cannot find joy in the birth of an innocent. You must be a very unhappy person.

  150. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Thank you, natsfan1a. I know I can always count on you to put things into perspective.And by the way, I just turned 35 three weeks ago. I'll happily take premature gray hair over thinning hair!

  151. natsfan1a - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    You're welcome. We have your and Brian's backs here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  152. Suicide Squeeze - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    A belated (but still heartfelt) congrats to you and Rachel, and a Let's Play Ball! welcome to the world for little Brian! I've always been fascinated with names, their origins, and the backstory on the name decisionmaking process, so I want to thank you for taking the time to explain how your son became Brian Leonard.I think you should start training him to pitch with either hand. He can be his own call to the bullpen and bridge to the closer.Or, barring that, mimic Strasburg's life to the T, fat period and all! :)Warmest regards and congrats,Jeff

  153. Jim Kurtzke - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Kate and I are so glad to hear that everyone is good and healthy. C-Sections take a little while to recover from. So Papa Z should be prepared to do more early on.

  154. Scooter - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Suicide Squeeze (Jeff), that's a great idea! The kid will be able to relieve himself on the mound!(no, that's not mine; I just really like it.)

  155. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:03 PM


  156. Mr. Doggett - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Congrats Mark! Baby boys are the best. Our second one is due in jan. Enjoy everything and don't listen to the people saying you wont get to sleep. Its not that bad.

  157. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    I'm a cranky Anonymous, Mark, but God bless you and your beautiful family always.



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