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Vacation time

Jan 6, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

Baby Brian is so excited to see his grandparents, he can’t hold his food down.

Today marks a milestone event in the Zuckerman household: We’re taking baby Brian (now four months old) on his first airplane trip. Five-hour, non-stop flight to Phoenix to visit his grandparents, great-grandmother and other assorted aunts, uncles and cousins. Wish us luck. We have no idea what we’re getting ourselves into.

We’ll be out west all next week, flying home on Monday, Jan. 16. So you won’t be hearing from me for the next 10 days … sort of. I’ve set up the blog to auto-post a new thread each morning so everyone can continue the conversation and discuss whatever happens to be taking place on that day.

If anything big breaks, Chase Hughes and the CSN gang will have you covered and will attempt to post news here. Also be sure to check the CSNwashington.com Nationals Talk blog for various items and updates throughout the day. And you will find one posting from me here on Monday: Revealing my Hall of Fame ballot shortly after the results are announced at 3 p.m. EST. Set your alarm clocks now.

I don’t say this enough, but a heartfelt thank you to everyone who regularly reads this site, posts comments and sends me emails. You guys are the best, and this place wouldn’t amount to anything without your participation. Talk to you in 10 days!

  1. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Zuck — I, father of three young boys and with family at 29 Palms, so know what you're getting yourself into woth that plane trip! You'll be fine. Babies on planes can have a hard time, but it goes a lot quicker than you tink (after you've landed) and he'll do great anyway. If some jackass gives you the stinkeye, because your beautiful little baby is a little cranky on the plane, tell him where to go! (I hate that. As if an infant can control the cabin repssure.) :-) Safe trip and have fun.dfh21

  2. MicheleS - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Look our future CF already knows how to spit!!!

  3. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Oh, with you gone, there is little doubt that we sign Fielder, …and Cepedas, and BJ Upton… and Lou Gehrig. There is little doubt. That's the way it always works in my business, if I go away, all hell breaks loose.

  4. Wally - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Mark – thanks for everything and enjoy that experience. I remember taking my daughter (now 10) on her first flight around the same age – IAD to Seattle. We thought that we were so smart, leaving on that late afternoon flight right in line with her nap time. Except we forgot that she needed to be walked before she fell asleep. Not so easy doing that while they are serving food & beverages. She finally settled for playing peek-a-boo at the guy in the seat behind me, who thought it was very cute for the first 10 minutes, and then wasn't so happy for the rest of the flight when she kept going.I am sure that you will do better!

  5. MicheleS - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Anon 3:02..Well we usually score a ton of runs everytime Mark leaves the press box! So the odds of Fielder being inked are pretty good now!

  6. Water23 - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Breaking news!!! Scott Bora$ is flying to Arizona to confront Mark about why he keep poo pooing the Fielder to Nats deal and costing his client. In reality, Scott is actually there to meet with Mrs. Z. and lock up the young BZ to a contract for appearances on NatsInsider. I hear it is a 5yr deal with opt out clauses!Have a good vacation!

  7. NatsNut - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    a la Modern Family: make instant friends by handing out ear plugs to the people in the rows surrounding you.

  8. natsfan1a - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Awww, it's always nice to see a Brian pic, and MicheleS gets my vote for Post of the Day. I simply LOL'd, dahling.Safe travels to the Zuckerman family and have a great time in Arizona. Thanks much for taking the time to set up daily posts for us. That way, we (probably) won't trash the place while you're away. But just in case there should be some mishaph, allow me to say in advance (a) I didn't do it or (b) It was that way when I got here (choose the one that best applies).

  9. natsfan1a - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    mishaph (that wasn't a mishap, just a typo)

  10. ChicagoNatsGirl - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I have one word for you–Robitussin. My daughter flew over 10 times in her first two years of life, always with the assistance of a little Vitamin R. I don't think it counts as a "drug of abuse" . . . .Have a great vacation.

  11. Natslifer - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Biggest thing to worry about is clearing his ears when the cabin pressure changes (one of mine screamed for 15 minutes on the way down – very painful!). If he's not a pacifier kid, then make sure he's got something to drink. Bon Voyage and have a great trip.

  12. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    That actually would be funny … Fielder signing, Upton trade all in 10 days? Perhaps it gives Amanda Comack as chance to shine a bit. She has been doing some good work of late so …

  13. Water23 - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    To help with Mark's time off, there is a decent article by Kilgore on the Fielder/Zim and the way the Lerner's do/may want to do business in the future.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/for-the-nationals-prince-fielder-or-ryan-zimmerman-is-only-a-choice-if-they-make-it-one/2012/01/04/gIQAo0KlcP_blog.htmlNice back and forth thinking piece.

  14. Water23 - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Also, there is some rumblings that Kendry Morales might get moved. If healthy he is a good young switch hitting power 1B.Interesting option

  15. Doc - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Have a good visit Mark, and get a few rays!

  16. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Nice back and forth thinking piece.Exactly, there a great many more variables that go into this. It becomes fairly complicated indeed! Factor in the possibility of moving Zim to first base? Seems remote to me. Zim has become an animal about staying in shape. Still?We probably need a spreadsheet to encapsulate them all. But my feeling is that the heavier weights are on the side of signing Fielder. I believe he could lead directly to Upton trade. And that would immediately give the Nats a world series capable lineup. I would say they would then be 1 pitcher away.

  17. pauloyd - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Wait a minute…your 4 month old is eating baby food? I have a 3 month old and didn't realize that was approaching so quickly. Now I must google this. Oh, go Nats!

  18. RPrecupjr - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Doc said… Have a good visit Mark, and get a few rays! I thought we were only interested in Upton ;)

  19. Unkyd - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    The pic doesn't actually show him "eating" anything! lol…

  20. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Also, there is some rumblings that Kendry Morales might get moved. If healthy he is a good young switch hitting power 1B.Having Rendon, Zimmerman together, plus Chris Marerro, Tyler Moore and likely first base instead of catcher David Freitas? Still if Freitas could learn to catch … in any case it precludes a lot these sorts of options. The Nats will likely go to the draft for another first baseman first at this point. Then there will be time for things to become clear.

  21. John C. - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Bon voyage, Mark! Just remember to not check in with this cantankerous crew while you're gone. It's a vacation, after all. Safe journeys, we'll look for your posts on the flip side :-)

  22. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Bring a pacifier or sippy cup to help Baby B's ears with the fluctuating cabin pressure. My wife and I always took turns playing with our little ones on the plane, so one of us would also be enjoying a little down time. Made the flight a lot easier.Oh, and I totally agree with another poster….don't worry a lick about what other people think of your crying/screaming/kicking kid. They can get off the plane and sleep through the night….you, on the other hand, probably aren't there yet.

  23. natscan reduxit - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    … as a grandfather myself, I have to applaud you, Mark, for taking Brian to see his grandparents. I am so fortunate that of my five grandchildren, only two are a long drive away. The others are right here in the same city. But I know of too many people my age and ilk whose own grandchildren live so far away they never get to see them…. next to life itself, grandkids are the absolute very best thing ever!!… and oh yeah, have a great time in Phoenix, but don't forget about winter.Hurry up, spring training, and Go Nats!!

  24. Constant Reader - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Safe travels to you and your family Mark. I did that flight from BWI to SkyHarbor with mine when he was 10 months old. At least you get to board the plane first. Have fun!

  25. NatsLady - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Have a great time!

  26. LoveDaNats - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Enjoy your break, Mark and don't think about baseball at all for 10 days. (as if that's possible…..doesn't quite work for me).

  27. natsfan1a - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Yeah, some people like the idea of Upton. Oh wait, different kind of Rays there.Doc said… Have a good visit Mark, and get a few rays! January 6, 2012 3:41 PM

  28. natsfan1a - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Dang, you beat me to it. Great minds think alike and all that.RPrecupjr said…I thought we were only interested in Upton ;) January 6, 2012 3:55 PM

  29. Waddu eye no - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    ChicagoNatsGirl -U beat me to it, though our drug of choice was baby benadryl. That and some pimk floyd. OmmmmmZ fam- Have a great trip and gyfzg (go you flying zuckermans go)

  30. JaneB - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Wishing you all a great visit and an easy trip.

  31. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Wait, I thought that was Mark's frat party pic … Striking resemblance.

  32. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    According to Bowden (via Patrick Reddington) its the Nats board of directors sitting on the decision to sign Fielder. Rizzo is ready to get the thing done. IMO that deal could directly lead to an Upton signing which would theoretically give the Nats a playoff and potential world series roster for the next 5 years with just one more pitcher. Probably one of Solis or Purke depending on who gets their the quickest. Also a deal could be made to bring one from the outside: Tampa Bay Rays are the best source right now.That would be an incredible turn around.

  33. Farid - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Here's another grandpa who salutes you, Mark. I was born in Beirut Lebanon and in small nations like that, you can usually throw a rock and hit a grandparent. But in this great (and huge) nation, the love of grandparents is just too far away. And as a father of seven, I understand first-hand the hassles of travel cross country. Way to go.

  34. SonnyG10 - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Mark, good luck and enjoy your vacation.

  35. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    An Upton signing could theoretically do a lot of things, most of them are bad. The dude's just not that good. One huge month in Spetember and we're all supposed to think he's got it all figured out now? Maybe, odds are long. Bourn baby Bourn.

  36. N. Cognito - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    The #1 way for your post to lose all credibility: begin it with, "According to Bowden…"Good luck Mark. Enjoy the time off.

  37. Tim - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Anonymous said…That actually would be funny … Fielder signing, Upton trade all in 10 days? ——–Mark leaving town: it's a sure sign that deals will get done.Have a great time Mark!

  38. SCNatsFan - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Mark – safe trip and enjoy yourself. I'm always amazed how much joy I get within this 'community' and it is free. You and this blog bring alot og joy to posers like myself, the least you can do is enjoy yourself and hope we don't blow the blog up while you are away.

  39. Gardner - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    We've just identified you as being biased towards a Nats spring training move to the Grapefruit League…objectivity out the window! Enjoy the trip – see ya in Viera!

  40. Gardner - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Or the Cactus league – stupid beers

  41. Grandstander - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    @MicheleSI thought the same thing. Some Mark leaving the press box luck is just what we need at this stage of the Hot Stove! Safe trip, Mark! Enjoy the vacation, we'll behave on here, promise…

  42. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Here's a case where the Nats perhaps dodged a bullet. But then took one with the signing of Werth?http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1393799&srvc=sports&position=recent

  43. ehay2k - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Mark Z., you may already know this (and I have not read the posts in case anyone else said this already) but make sure you have a bottle ready for Brian for takeoff and landing. Baby ears popping is painful for everyone on the plane!Enjoy the time off.

  44. ehay2k - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Hey I skimmed the other posts and I can say as a father of 3 frequent flyers a pacifier will NOT always work. The kids need to swallow to make the ears pop. Make sure you have a bottle. :-)

  45. Aaron Somers - Jan 7, 2012 at 4:50 AM

    Enjoy your vacation Mark. You've earned it.

  46. Drew - Jan 7, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    Safe travels to Family Z.Isn't it interesting how the PF-F is up for free agency in a year when all of the biggest markets are taking a pass? Now that the Cubs are out, Boras might try to wait and see if the Rangers whif on Darvish. If they're out too, this just might happen. Does he really want to play in Seattle or Baltimore?If the market completely collapses, I wouldn't be surprised to see Prince go back to the Brewers. I know the Cards have said they're not in on Fielder, but it would be neat to see the nice folks in that great baseball town welcome a new Prince of the city.

  47. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Confidential to Beantown in re. the nadir, please see prior thread. Told ya. :-)

  48. Jim Webster - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    So Mark, are you lobbying the Lerners to move spring training to AZ? Enjoy the warmth as we head into a cold spell.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 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: 1:30 p.m., 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 ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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