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Quiet winter is good winter for Strasburg

Jan 19, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg threw his first bullpen session of 2012 yesterday.

There have been all sorts of recurring storylines and oft-mentioned Nationals players this offseason. We've talked plenty about Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos. We've talked a fair share about Jayson Werth and Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond and John Lannan. And, yes, we've talked about Prince Fielder (probably more than your humble beat writer would have liked).

You know who we've barely talked about all winter? Stephen Strasburg.

Seriously, how often has his name come up since his dominant start in Miami on the season's final day? Not nearly as much as you'd guess for one of the sport's most-notable young stars.

But that's actually a good thing. Maybe even a great thing. Because the last player you or the Nationals want to hear about this offseason is Strasburg. In this case, a quiet winter is the best thing that couldRead more »

  1. Natslifer - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    What's not good is that I still can't get Strasburg Smurf out of my head…

  2. Positively Half St. - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    That is a pleasant situation. If the Nats sign Fielder (please do it, already), then Strasburg should be able to enjoy a slightly dimmer spotlight. It should glare even lass once Harper comes on board. Of course, we all hope that pure dominance will draw it back toward Stras somewhat.This desirable silence on Strasburg contrasts some with the uncomfortable silence on the status of Anthony Rendon. Like Strasburg and Harper before him, he has high expectations placed on his shoulders. I mean, what could be sillier than contemplating moving Zimmerman to first base before Rendon has even played a game in the minors?I suppose that the Nats won't be able to hide him any more in about a month, when everyone reports to Viera. Still, it woud be nice if we got some indication that he has a clean bill of health, and is taking batting practice somewhere.+1/2St.

  3. Sunderland - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    BTW, Cespedes is 3 – 23 in the DWL. He's been DH'ing. Wrapping up the semi-finals, his team (Aguilas) has a one game playoff tonight vs Licey. Winner plays in the championship round, loser is done. The game is at Aguilas, in Santiago. This would be an amazing game to go watch in person, unbelievably loud and spirited. Go Licey!

  4. sjm308 - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Mark: I have to ask. What school did you earn your degree from? This has been discussed before and will be again, but I still think Jordan Zimmermann should be treated like the ace this year. I realize that in years to come SS has the ability to do things very few can possibly achieve but the year Jordan had gives him a place right now at the top of our staff. I am not sure how the Indians handled this in 1954 when the had Early Wynn, Mike Garcia and Bob Lemon all winning 20+ games and I realize the O's had 4 20 game winners in the 70s and even just 10 years ago the Braves had to deal with their big 3. I am not looking for a history lesson, I just think that it helps SS even more if he is dropped into the #3 spot this year. I am guessing that after the first series or so its a crapshoot who you start against anyway.Really hoping Mark did not go to Duke so I have no reason to dislike him. Oh wait, he said journalism, not basketball. Nevermind. And before I get piled on I do respect what coach K has done, just don't like it.Go Nats, Go Terps!!

  5. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    NatsliferYeah, I know what you mean. It isn't helped by the fact that I keep remembering that Strasburg Smurf had a 6-pack as well…

  6. ehay2k - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Sunderland – clearly, Cespedes is a prospect. No way I fork over big MLB $$$ to anyone who has not shown they can perform at MLB levels. Look at Maya. Glad we seem to have passed on Cespedes (of course, Rizzo could still surprise us.) Cespedes seems more like a Bowden pick – "He's got all the tools. As soon as we teach him to hit MLB pitching he'll be an all-star!"+Half St., I also have concerns about the silence around Rendon, but I'm not sure what else to expect until ST starts. Daily updates regarding "his improved comfort with his new throwing motion" probably are a waste of pixels. I guess unless he re-injures something, we shouldn't expect any news. Best team the Nats have ever assembled is going to take the field this year!As for Yogi's remark about forks in the road there is a little-known Fielder corollary.Yogi: "If you see a fork in the road, take it." PF: "There might be a buffet ahead!"

  7. baseballswami - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    sjm308 – amen. – You take a guy who hates the spotlight, on an innings limit and throw him in the #1 spot? JZ has earned it. Full- disclosure – yes, Jordan is my favorite Nat, so I am fully biased. A friend asked me yesterday ( while I was "Nat"-tering on about baseball), how I "picked" my favorite player – I had no answer. It just happened. I also love watching Danny Espinosa as my favorite position player. Do we "pick" our favorites or is it just some gut-level thing? I would love to hear from some of the NI regulars as to who their favorite players are and if they have any idea how that happened. Lots of kids are wearing the strasburg, harper shirts – and they are obvious stars,and who doesn't love ryan zimmerman? Other than that – fan-dom is a crazy thing.

  8. NatsNut - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    LOL!__________________Natslifer said… What's not good is that I still can't get Strasburg Smurf out of my head…

  9. ehay2k - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I bet Mark Z went to Northwestern. His writing reminds me of Wilbon's, but more factual and less pedantic. :-) Of course, Mark would never sell out. "Respect the ESPYS!"

  10. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    ehay2k said… correct!http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mark-zuckerman/4/515/9a6

  11. LoveDaNats - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    @ baseballswamiTrue that! Several years ago, I thought Wil Nieves was the "man" after his walk-off homer. (Be kind!) I wanted to get his jersey, but no such thing existed. I took my Kearns jersey, covered the letters with Wil's name and prepared to go to the game. The fact that my family refused to be seen with me sent the shirt to the scrap heap.PS. I would NEVER publish this story if I had to use my real name. It's that lame.My favorite is Michael Morse. A very gracious young man.

  12. MicheleS - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Dear Mr Ted Lerner (or Mr. Mike Rizzo)PLEASE MAKE IT STOP! We can't take much more of this. Pull the trigger and put us out of our misery. We can't take this teasing any more! Either sign the big guy or JUST DO SOMEHING!Attached is the link to Kilgore's recent article. Mark if we land this PF Flyer, well, I expect a day of crow.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/the-nationals-look-like-prince-fielder-favorites/2012/01/19/gIQAyrHXAQ_blog.html

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    You guys are correct: I indeed went to Northwestern, home of the Medill School of Journalism, a football program that hasn't won a bowl game since 1949 and the only basketball program in a BCS conference that has never made the NCAA Tournament!Hey, it could always be worse. I could have stooped to Svrluga's level and gone to Duke. :)

  14. joemktg - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Where's SteveM? If you're there, pls take another crack at that lineup, pre and post Harper call-up. Assuming a Bernadina/Cameron* CF combo in CF.#countingchickensbeforetheyrehatched*sidebar: Cameron's HS soph son has the makings to be the real deal

  15. LoveDemNats - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Mark: I agree with you. Strasburg is best in the "No News is Good News" category.

  16. SonnyG10 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman became my favorite player from the time we drafted him because of our mutual connection to UVa and their baseball program. Not far behind Ryan, for me, come Strasburg, J. Zimmermann, Storen, Clippard, and Espinosa. I guess I favor pitchers because that was my favorite position when I played.As for our number 1 pitcher, I understand the reasoning some of you want to see Jordan in that position because of what he did last year. In my mind though, that's not what defines a number 1 ace. To me, the ace of the staff is the pitcher with the best stuff, all other things being equal. Its the answer to "Who would I want starting for me in a crucial must-win game?" That would be Strasburg for me. While I wouldn't object if Jordan got the opening day honors as a reward for last year, I still wouldn't call him our nubmer 1. Just my opinion.

  17. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Degrees of separation! My (late) husband got his Ph.D. from Northwestern.

  18. 320R2S15 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Jamey Caroll, hands down favorite. NPI

  19. pauloyd - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Yeah can't wait for a relatively full year of Stras. Knock on wood everyone!In the meantime, crazy thought: Nats and Rangers should work some magic so that Fielder plays 1B in Arlington and Hamilton is signed long term in DC in CF.

  20. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    @pauloyd–had that thought yesterday, and got pooh-poohed big time. Oh, well.

  21. SCNatsFan - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I think its great we have 2 pitchers who can be considered the ace and it will build healthy competition between them… throw in Gio and you have three guys thinking every start they need to win because they are supposed to carry the team. Not a bad problem to have.I'm telling you, Wang pitches like he did at the end of the season and we will be scary good with or without the PF flier.

  22. Mark'd - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Jamey Carroll is what baseball is all about plus those that triumph from adversity like Jim Abbott. This us why I want to see John Lannan succeed, the underdog.

  23. Water23 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    pauloyd,I would oppose signing Hamilton. He is a very good player but he is brittle and is already moving away from CF to the corners. The Nats have enough corner OF already. And his brittleness makes him better suited for the DH as his career progresses and that does not work for the Nats.Now, maybe, if they want to work a deal where they sign the PF Flyer and we end up with Yu (sans signing bonus) then there is room to talk. Unlikely, but a fun thought.

  24. David - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    My favorite pitcher is Clippard the Mad Scientist. But Zimmerman is my favorite position player.

  25. Theophilus - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Zimmermann and Strasburg could easily be the Lee/Halladay of the next five years. But all Zimmermann proved last summer was that he couldn't close out games, or the late innings of games. (Part of that is Johnson not wanting pitchers to lose games where they — for the most part — pitched well. But that's a self-defining problem; if Zimmerman didn't start unraveling in the seventh inning, we wouldn't have this discussion.) So in that respect, vis a vis Strasburg, Zimmermann hasn't "earned" squat. Right now, the question is which pitcher is most likely to shut down the other side on two hits, a walk and 13 Ks, and the answer is Strasburg. So, you hope that Strasburg opens every big series and throws the other team's bats into an ice bath.

  26. sjm308 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Sonny G: agreed that if we had a one game playin for the wildcard I would also go with SS and I am thinking he will be our #1 for years to come. I just think that JZ has earned the right to start on opening day this year. What a treat to have potentially 2 or even 3 Aces this season and if CMW does get back to where he was 5 years ago this could honestly be one of the toughest staffs in the NL. Can't wait for April!!! Thanks Mark and I am guessing that you Wilbon, Greenberg and others will be anxiously awaiting this years NIT.

  27. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    joemktg said… Where's SteveM? If you're there, pls take another crack at that lineup, pre and post Harper call-up. Assuming a Bernadina/Cameron* CF combo in CF.#countingchickensbeforetheyrehatchedJanuary 19, 2012 9:17 AMI will get to work on it!

  28. NatsNut - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    My favorite pitcher is Lannan. His debut in 2007 stays with me to this day. He was something like a 17th round pick but he flew from A ball to AAA in one summer. On his major league debut he broke Chase Butley's hand and got ejected for hitting Ryan Howard in the next at bat. He shrugged and walked off the mound, cool as a cucumber, while Manny Acta was working on HIS first managerial ejection. Then, just a week or something later, Lannan's in San Francisco facing freaking Barry Bonds, who's sitting on #755, flash bulbs going off with every pitch. I just knew he was going to be the sacrificial lamb, but no. The kid not only strikes him out, but gets throught he whole night without giving up that HR. It wasn't until the next night that Bascik gave it up. I will always love him for that. Also, I loved Clippard before loving Clippard was cool. I will always have a soft spot for catchers and Flores is still my favorite position player.

  29. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Best case scenario is the Nats get Prince Fielder and trade LaRoche for BJ Upton and Bryce Harper is raking in the Minors to where Rizzo goes with a 4 outfield rotation. Ready for this, a RF platoon of Bryce/Werth1. Desmond SS2. Upton/Werth CF3. Zim 3B4. Fielder 1B5. Morse LF6. Werth/Harper RF7. Espi 2B8. Ramos C1. Stras RH2. Gio LH3. JZim RH4. Lannan LH5. Wang RHGorzo LHHRod RHDetwiler LHBurnett LHVacant RHClip RHStoren RHFlores CWerth/Harper OFBernadina OFDeRosa OF/IFLombo IF

  30. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Here is as we sit today without Bryce:1. Desmond SS2. Bernadina/Cameron CF3. Zim 3B4. LaRoche 1B5. Morse LF6. Werth RF7. Espi 2B8. Ramos C1. Stras RH2. Gio LH3. JZim RH4. Lannan LH5. Wang RHGorzo LHHRod RHDetwiler LHBurnett LHVacant RHClip RHStoren RHFlores CCameron/Bernadina OFDeRosa OF/IFLombo IFVacant

  31. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    awwww, do I have to pick a fave one? As noted on a prior thread, when it comes to my Nats, I like all the boys. That said, there have been Nats of whom I was particularly fond, for different reasons. For the original Nats, Jamey Carroll was one. Also Brian Schneider. And, of course, the big guy, Livo. What can I say? He had me at first pitch. Well, okay, maybe it was a little later than that, but not too much later. For somewhat later arrivals (and guys who are actually, you know, with the team now), there's Ryan Zimmerman.

  32. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Here is the current players and Bryce makes the team:1. Desmond SS2. Werth CF3. Zim 3B4. LaRoche 1B5. Morse LF6. Espi 2B7. BHarper RF8. Ramos C1. Stras RH2. Gio LH3. JZim RH4. Lannan LH5. Wang RHGorzo LHHRod RHDetwiler LHBurnett LHVacant RHClip RHStoren RHFlores CBernadina OFDeRosa OF/IFLombo IFCameron or Vacant OF

  33. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Egads, I forgot the Chief!

  34. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Clippard–smart, funny and different. And not a bad pitcher…

  35. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    From the beginning it was John Patterson, Brian Schneider and Jamey Carroll. Alfonso Soriano for a brief time put the Nats on the map.Adam Dunn was my Frank Howard replacement.Current team is Jordan Zimmermann (the silent assassin), Tyler Clippard and Wilson Ramos.

  36. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    natsfan1a said… Egads, I forgot the Chief! January 19, 2012 10:25 AM OMG, I inadvertently left him off my list. A Nat for life, Chad Cordero!My mind must be on Prince Fielder because a buddy emailed me that Chad Cordero will be spending a lot of time in DC this summer working with kids! How nice would it be to see him in the Ring of Honor! Doubtful the Nats marketing brains would think of that!

  37. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Would love to see Chief at the ballpark this summer. Throwing out a first pitch, maybe?Usually I look at roster lists by year if I want to refresh my memory, but I just noticed the resource below on the team site. Kinda handy, although one does have to wade through Expos names as well (no offense to our heritage fans), and would it kill them to pick up a player whose surname begins with X?http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/history/players.jsp?sortby=name&filter=AAfter looking at that, I have to add a few names: Willie Harris (we can do bench guys, right?), Nick the Stick Johnson, Josh Willingham, and Dmitri Young. (I *told* you I liked all the boys. :-))

  38. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    hehe, this research warms my little indexer heart.

  39. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Tweet of the Day just came across:NatsHR2Win: Big news, Prince Fielder lost 180 pounds. Yah, he's so pissed he told Boras to get lost!

  40. JaneB - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    For me, Livan will always be number one in my heart. Past Nats, just like 1a: Jamey Carroll, Schnieder and Cordero…but also Alfonso. And Preston Wilson, but only because of The halo effect of Mookie. When I go through the list of current Nats, I cind i am nuts about all of ghem, but my spirit most pings on Clippard (and, like someone else above, I loved him before he became CLIPPARD), Morse, Wilson (since that Mariners game and the 13 minutes he took to round the bases) and Ian. I love Ian. And Frank Robinson, from the former Nats and Bo from the current Nats. I didn't intend to get attached to any of them, just to root for the teams each year. Then some one does something great on the field, or quirky, or great and quirky, or you observe something about them it takes others a while to see, and that's it. A year from now, when they have been in the first post-season, these guys will all have lots of fans who love them most. That will be fine. But I like shar g them with you all, before others really start to notice them.

  41. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Missed this, earlier Tweet:"NatsHR2Win: Where does Boras turn today? I'm thinking he's calling Nippon Ham Fighters. They have $51.7 million to spend on a 1 year deal!"–http://twitter.com/NatsHR2Win/status/159979544567226369

  42. Section 215 Row A - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Re: baseballswami and favorite player selection. Interesting. For me it's always been some one performing with enthusiasm and with usually less talent than one of those 5-tool guys. Livan has always been fun. Pudge. Scneider. Absolutely Jamey Carroll! Nyger that first couple months. My wife liked Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes. There are some intangibles at work here. Maybe it is something about rooting for the players that aren't as well known. Back in my previous life as an Oriole fan in the 80s and 90s I was partial to John Lowenstein, and Terry Crowley and Rick Dempsey. Anybody can say their favorite player is Ripken or Murrary or Zimmerman or Strasburg. But that is kinda like backing Exxon Mobil. Maybe Espinosa and Flores fill the bill for me most recently.

  43. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    natsfan1a said… Would love to see Chief at the ballpark this summer. Throwing out a first pitch, maybe?January 19, 2012 10:48 AM I don't think they are savvy enough to "carpe diem" seize the day or even the moment. They probably wouldn't even have to pay to fly him in since he will be here. Give him a ticket to the game and honor the man. Long overdue. You have to wonder who thinks of stuff to do. Uh, let's honor Gary Carter and Andre Dawson, nice, but how's about the newly retired "CHIEF"!Frank unfortunately over-used the kid which is why I am afraid of long-term deals to relievers.

  44. Feel Wood - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Chad Cordero will be spending a lot of time in DC this summer working with kids! How nice would it be to see him in the Ring of Honor! Doubtful the Nats marketing brains would think of that!Unfortunately the rules they set up for the Ring of Honor limit new additions to former Expos who get elected to the Hall of Fame. So Chad Cordero, even though he's a former Expo, will never qualify. But he is eligible to have a statue with multiple flat brim caps out in the Centerfield Plaza. Why don't you lobby for that instead?

  45. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Feel Wood, thanks for the info on what you need for the honor.NatsFan1a idea of throwing out the 1st pitch would be cool and hand out a Chief Bobblehead for that game. It would bring in a huge crowd. THAT IS CALLED MARKETING!

  46. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Speaking of favorite Nats players, is anyone else counting down the days until Pitchers and Catchers report by players (or am I the only one that dorky)? Lannan (today and a favorite), Maxwell, Maya, Werth, Zimmermann, Flores, LaRoche, Ankiel, Schneider/Nieves/Bally, Storen, Marquis/Young, Robinson, Nix/Olsen/Church, Espy, Burnett, Willingham, Guzman, Marrero, Cora/Fick, Stairs/Gonzalez/Soriano, Zimmerman, Belliard, Castilla, Boone, Pudge/DeRosa, Desmond, Riggelman, Orr, Ramos, Bernadina, Lombardozzi.

  47. Mark'd - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Just laughing that you have to wonder if the Nats have ever reached out to Chief. I still think nights to honor Frank Robinson, Chad Cordero who was the teams 1st All Star is a must. In 5 more years they will have enough guys for an old-timers game!It goes beyond marketing, you need people who are in touch with reality and creative and have a brain.

  48. Wally - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    SteveM – I think @NatsHR2Win = Gonat, or at least that is what I read from yesterday's discussion.JZimm is my favorite player too. I disagree quite a bit with the "all" in Theopolis' "But all Zimmermann proved last summer was that he couldn't close out games, or the late innings of games. If he exchanged it for 'the only thing left to prove', that I could agree with.I am also in the camp of giving JZimm the Opening Day nod, but only as a reward for last year and because Stras has it for the rest of his career as a Nat. So after giving him all this love, I do think JZ is a slight regression candidate this year. The HR% seems unsustainably low.

  49. greg - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    the "ace" will be determined by performance. you can put whoever you want in whatever "slot" you want, it only matters twice in the whole season: opening day and game one of the first playoff series (and maybe the next series if you win quickly and can reset). beyond that, they all play every five days and the guy who is the best pitcher will be the "ace." love jordan, but that's not going to be him. it'll be strasburg.edit: and my captya was "undrool." i'm not sure what that means.

  50. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Willeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!But my heart belongs to Clip, as you all know.

  51. sjm308 - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Can't believe no one has listed Eddie Yost!!Oh, its Nationals not Senators, sorry.OK – Originals Patterson/Schneiderloved what Pudge brought to this team and also how gracious I think he must have been as Ramos & Flores needed innings.Have always liked R. Zimmerman's style and grace at 3rd base and of course his walkoffs didn't hurt either. While I hated Bowden giving him the huge contract, I did enjoy da Meat Hook and how he had that one wonderful year.This group now has so many likeable players I will have difficulties but I still collect baseball cards and right now Eddie Y. and Ryan Z.have a special shelf. Have to admit, it was easier to get all of Eddies since there was basically just Topps and Bowman back in the 50s & 60s and hardly any insert cards. It will be impossible to get every Ryan card but its a nice hobby.

  52. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    I'd also be on board with a night honoring Frank Robinson, maybe with an "I Am the Intimidator" bobblehead giveaway. :-)

  53. Unkyd - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I have a Cheif bobblehead, a friend grabbed in a thrift shop, maybe 5-6 years ago… Love that flat brim!!! I famously pull for Desi, because he seems a decent guy, and takes SO much stuff, here and elsewhere…blobs me some underdog!!! He has another 1/2 year of my unconditional support, but I'll need to see consistent + all around performance, by the all star break…it's time…Mickey Morse, however, is Irresistable!!! I just texted the smileing photo from last weeks column to my (YankeeFan) nephew, a few days ago, id'ing him as my fave, so yeah, I'm in the tank, for BeastModeTheGorseHacker!!!!GYFNGOOOOOO!!!!!

  54. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    How's about something as simple as a Winter NatsFest in January and bring back Senators, Nats Alumni like Livo, John Patterson, The Chief, and current players and top Minor Leaguers.Matt Antonelli (remember him) is part of the O's FanFest this weekend. Adam Jones didn't come close to terms before filing for arbitration but is flying to for their FanFest from California.

  55. sjm308 - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Thanks to Steve M for the proposed rosters. I love just looking at what we have for this year and there are just two spots open.My votes for those spots are Matheus in the bullpen and I honestly don't have a clue on that 5th bench player. Would Davey go with 3 catchers on the 25 man roster? I don't think so. If we sign Fielder would we keep LaRoche? These are questions to play with as we get closer to spring training. I still would love to see us sign Ankiel and I realize he is waiting for that starting spot and two years. I guess we have bullpen depth but has Coffey signed with anyone else?I am also interested in seeing how Perry throws this spring but since he has options I am guessing he will be closing with R. Martin in AAA

  56. Sec3 YDIW mysofa - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    First team: Vinny Castilla. Always went full-out on foul balls down the line, on a knee that was one false move away from retirement. The man is a warrior. The Chief, in no small part for the "Hail To …" on the radio when he came in. Current team: Drew Storen. Deserved and will justify every bit of his draft spot. Michael Morse–does anyone anywhere have more fun at their job than he does?We'll gloss over the lack of punctuation and sentence structure — tough as that is for this owner of a journalism degree from a prestigious universityThat's good, otherwise we'd have to talk about hyphens in compound modifiers.

  57. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Wally said… SteveM – I think @NatsHR2Win = Gonat, or at least that is what I read from yesterday's discussion.JZimm is my favorite player too. I disagree quite a bit with the "all" in Theopolis' "But all Zimmermann proved last summer was that he couldn't close out games, or the late innings of games. If he exchanged it for 'the only thing left to prove', that I could agree with.I am also in the camp of giving JZimm the Opening Day nod, but only as a reward for last year and because Stras has it for the rest of his career as a Nat. So after giving him all this love, I do think JZ is a slight regression candidate this year. The HR% seems unsustainably low. January 19, 2012 11:19 AM Wally, yes, he is a Gonat ;-). Also agree on JZim'nn. Certainly earned it and as we know for the rest of Strasburg's tenure he will be the Opening Day pitcher.

  58. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Plus, there was that mullet.First team: Vinny Castilla. Always went full-out on foul balls down the line, on a knee that was one false move away from retirement. The man is a warrior.

  59. Feel Wood - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    We'll gloss over the lack of punctuation and sentence structure — tough as that is for this owner of a journalism degree from a prestigious universityThey teach punctuation and sentence structure for tweets at prestigious universities these days? Is that what qualifies a university as "prestigious"?

  60. erocks33 - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    One of my favorite Nats still has been Rick Short. Career minor-leaguer, always hit over .300 with OBP's hovering around .400 but still never got a shot in the bigs until he got his chance late in 2005.In just 17 PA's, he hit .400/.471/.933! — he smashed 2 homers, 2 doubles and 2 singles with 2 walks in 17 PA's!!Then as he was diving for the ball at second, he hurt himself (shoulder, I believe) and he was done. Bowden then sold him to a Japanese team where he continued to hit well (I think he might have even won a batting title one season over there).He could have been the ultimate utility player/pinch hitter. He could play multiple positions (none very well, but for a game or two he could be just fine) and all he ever did was get on base. I still rue the day Bowden sold him to Japan.

  61. N. Cognito - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Steve M. said… "…Chad Cordero will be spending a lot of time in DC this summer working with kids! How nice would it be to see him in the Ring of Honor!"Now THAT is funny.

  62. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    The Short call-up was a great story, erocks. Still recall the look on his face. Speaking of which, look what I found.

  63. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    N. Cognito, share with us. What part did you find funniest?

  64. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    natsfan1a, thanks for that link. I wish Mark did more one on ones like that. Great piece!

  65. Mark'd - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Thanks for the memories. That's why baseball is so special!

  66. MicheleS - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Sec 215..As an ex Employee of ExxonMobil, comparing Zimm and Stras, Murray and Rip to that Evil Empire is an insult to those players. Those players at least have class, something I can safely say is lacking in that company (from personal experience)

  67. MicheleS - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    my favorite players.I always liked Brad Wilkerson and the Chief. I have the Chief bobblehead too!!!Now, it's all of them. I have much love for Danny because I love 2nd base (played it as a kid and grew up with a HUGE crush on Ryne Sandberg). I love watching the Shark make diving catches and I love the GORSE HACKING BEAST MODE Morse.I love the quirky guys in the bullpen. Changing the numbers on the Lottery sign was CLASSIC. Plus the Episodes of Storen/Clipp sharing an apartment are hilarious!I root for LannEn.. he may be a big goof ball lug that is a 4/5 starter, but he is OUR big goof ball lug.I even root for Werth (I have to, I bought his Jersey). But I always felt bad for him last year because you could just see him struggling and trying to do everything possible to work his way out of it. It was tough to watch, but you have to feel for the guy (even if he is making $$$$$).And don't get me started on Ian. Ever since he got Jim Leyland's stamp of approval, I am all in. Plus Davey likes him… and the only time in my few decades on this planet that I ever got to watch WINNING baseball was when Davey was managing the O's. So that carry's some weight with me.

  68. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Top rotations — Nats are on the list!http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/20057/ranking-the-five-best-starting-rotations

  69. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    OK, I read too fast, Nats are the "sleepers." But we gonna wake up.

  70. Steve M. - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    NatsLady, good article to ponder. Nats were Top 7 last year w/ the bullpen. Interesting comments on Atlanta.

  71. N. Cognito - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Anonymous said… "N. Cognito, share with us. What part did you find funniest?"That he belongs in the Ring of Honor is the only part I found funny.

  72. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    First, glad to see another Liceista amongst the regular posters (Sunderland @ 7:39). Ahi vienen los tanques!Second, reading the WashPost piece on the MASN 'reset' I noted that the consultant the Nats have hired was involved in last year's PAC-12 media rights deal. Although I'm a newcomer to the Pacific northwest, I recognize a major achievement when I see one and the PAC-12's deal is more than noteworthy (even if the schools don't know how to play defense in football or basketball). The PAC-12 seems to have one-upped both the SEC and the Big 10 on the television dollars side of things and apparently Mr. Bevilacqua deserves a lot of the credit. He also has an impressive resume in terms of both his experience and performance, not least with Nike. And while I don't trust Mr. Selig or Mr. Angelos at all, I infer that the Lerner family has made a very wise decision in hiring Mr. Bevilacqua to pursue their — and the Nats' — interests in the upcoming negotiations. If the original agreements are honored, it really does appear that the Nats should end up doubling (at a minimum) their TV money. But if those agreements aren't honored by MASN and Mr. Angelos, then I would hope that the Lerners would be willing to challenge the entire MASN arrangement.

  73. NatStat - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    A bit of Nats' winter news (small by comparison to Gio trade & PF rumors)but JFlo continues to rake through the post-season VWL and now has 11 HRs and 47 RBIs in 60+ games. Ramo not so much production.Goooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!

  74. baseballswami - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Just got a lunch break – so great to hear all of you weigh in about your favorite players!!! I loved Wil Nieves when he was here!(who?) And of course, Chief Chad – Storen's hero!

  75. Another_Sam - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    JaneB – as usual, right on regarding LivanI drove by the Viera complex yesterday and poked around a bit. Lots of activity but I didn't see any athletes. I stopped by Charlie and Jake's for a quick brewski – very tasty like always.Enough hot stove – I say sign Prince and play ball.

  76. Another_Sam - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Forgot – for me that first crop of Nats is it. I'll never forget the reaction of Livan and Frank (and the rest) when we fans cheered them and the rest of the club walking to the dugout early in that first spring training.

  77. N. Cognito - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Another_Sam said… "I'll never forget the reaction of Livan and Frank (and the rest) when we fans cheered them and the rest of the club walking to the dugout early in that first spring training."I remember the reaction on Opening Day when the players all came out of the dugout to see the stands bouncing up and down!

  78. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    With all the Chief Chad Cordero talk I decided to call Chad. He sounds great and will be in DC for a month with his family starting in Mid-July and will be doing youth baseball camps and training and hopes the following summer to be here the entire summer. He is an amazing person and those who have kids that play baseball can hopefully get them into Chad's camp. On the days the Nats are in town there will be other Nats participating. Sounds like fun!

  79. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Some good news this winter, but I'm bummed the winter will pass with no Fanfest, Nats Caravan, or Hot Stove Lunch.

  80. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Ditto – Hot Stove Luncheon was one of the most fun things I've ever done. Nats fans deserve better!

  81. MicheleS - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    And a nice article on Stras…http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/34434229

  82. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Nats Marketing: Nats Smurf's (Plastic bathtub Smurfs with the faces of Nats players)for kids 10 and under. 1st Nat's Smurf – Strasburg Smurf.DMcC

  83. DH - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Anonymous of 2:04 PM,do you know what camp it is? i do have kids play bbl. tks!

  84. Section 222 - Jan 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Did I miss the definitive word on NatsFest, Hot Stove Luncheon etc.?

  85. Water23 - Jan 19, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    From MLBTradeRumors:Police in the Dominican Republic say Fausto Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez HerediaIt turns out Fausto/Roberto is actually 31 not 28.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/dominican-police-carmona-using-assumed-name.htmlHopefully, the Nats will not have this problem in the future.

  86. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    You missed this year's Hot Stove Luncheon? Bummer for you, because it was incredible. Frank Howard handed every one of us a bat, and autographed it on the spot. And the Jim Bowden dunk tank was an inspired idea. Surprised he was willing to do it, but kudos to him for being a good sport about it. You should have seen the velocity Strasburg put on the ball when he dunked him.The NatsFest was great, too. Now that Teddy has finally won a race, can the pennant be far behind? And man, what a joke they played on that Nats320 guy, sending him an invite with the wrong date on it and then filming him crying outside the locked centerfield gate so they could play it up on the big screen at the real NatsFest.If you didn't get your invite, I strongly suggest you contact the Nats and verify that they have your correct address, so you don't miss out on next year's fun.

  87. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    No joke, Howard is slated for the Harrisburg Senators hot stove event.

  88. NatsLady - Jan 19, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Me! Me! Where do you get them? Do you have to prove you are under 11?Nats Marketing: Nats Smurf's (Plastic bathtub Smurfs with the faces of Nats players)for kids 10 and under. 1st Nat's Smurf – Strasburg Smurf.DMcC

  89. natsfan1a - Jan 19, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Closer to home, the P-Nats will have their new skipper, as well as Danny Rosenbaum and TBD (that latter dude sure gets around).The Washington Nats have…um….crickets…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: 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

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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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