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Celebrating Nats Insider’s 2nd anniversary

Feb 1, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

Two years may not seem like much amid the grandiose scope of the universe, but on the internet it's the equivalent of an ice age.

Just look at the above screenshot from Feb. 1, 2010, the day Nats Insider launched. Who could have imagined then what would transpire over the next 730 days?

That morning, in my first post on the site, I speculated what the Nationals' Opening Day lineup might look like: Nyjer Morgan, Orlando Hudson, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, Elijah Dukes, Ivan Rodriguez, Cristian Guzman. My projected Opening Day rotation: John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen, Miguel Batista and either Ross Detwiler or Craig Stammen.

(Uh, will anyone grant me a mulligan for that?)

The Nationals have certainly come a long way since then, and so has Nats Insider. What began as an independent blog seeking to offer someRead more »

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Section220 - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Thanks for all your work, MZ. And, damn it, Turkmenistan, get with the program!

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Wow! Two years already. Seems like only yesterday when some of us were gladly signing up to be Nats Insiders here. Since inception, this has been my first and last stop for all things Washington Nationals.Looking forward to seeing you in Spring Training. Keep up the great work!

  3. joemktg - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    No…thank YOU, sir.

  4. alexva - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Thankfully the Nats' prospects have improved dramatically but your site has been a playoff contender from the start. Thanks for all your reporting and thanks to all the non-anon posters for their insights.

  5. MicheleS - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    I second that! joemktg said… No…thank YOU, sir.

  6. MicheleS - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    This is the first thing I log onto every morning and it has been a joy (came in sometime during the spring of year 1).Plus I have all these imaginary friends…some I have met, some I haven't. And I am learning all these new fangled stats from this site! I can actually talk about WAR (couldn't calculate it) but at least I understand it!

  7. Constant Reader - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    From the Constant Reader, thank you, Mark, for constantly writing. And thank you everyone else for constantly responding.

  8. m20832 - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Mark, your site is Awesome! It's refreshing to read everyday unlike wapo. Keep it going and…GYFNG!!!!!!

  9. Andrew L. - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Mark, Congratulations on the success from an original NI. Keep up the great articles!

  10. J. - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Thanks for your hard work, Mark.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Feb 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    It was fun to see your projected starting line up from two years ago. Now look at this year's and tell me that Rizzo hasn't done an overall pretty fine job!A heartfelt thanks to you for your efforts, Mark. This sight brings much needed diversion, and insight, to the life and times.

  12. NatsNut - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Wow, time flies. I was happy and proud to be here from the start. The page views, the countries, the length of time, they are all just stats that don't say anything about your great makeup. You are very much appreciated, Mark

  13. Wally - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Mark – you set out on an adventurous path two years ago, and I am glad to see that it has worked out well for you. It is amazing the changes from two years ago – you are no longer a Moonie, you have Baby Z, and most surprisingly of all, the Nats are ….. possibly good?Thanks for providing the site and forum. It is easily the best Nats site out there.On my next trip to Turkmenistan, I'll be sure to click on the site.

  14. ehay2k - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Mark, thanks for taking the time to put together thoughtful, concise posts. I am very thankful that you started Nats Insider – it's my first stop for Nats news. As for your first post, no mulligan needed, because that was a mini-golf roster anyway. As soon as they fired up the roster Windmill that used to be Nats Spring Training, all scorecards were wishful thinking.

  15. baseballswami - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I can't get through a day without it! Thanks to Mark and all of the people who stop by each day with insight, wit and information.

  16. TNealls - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    From a quiet but faithful everyday reader; thanks to you, and to the loyal commenter community.

  17. natscan reduxit - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    … I can't begin to tell you how much you and NatsInsider has been a lifeline for me, Mark. Feeling totally bereft of any connection to the 'ball' of my first love, the Expos, I was determined to stick around, not ready to hang up my scoresheet just yet. I looked to find a home amongst the fans of the Nats. After being welcomed with open arms by the widespread people in this group; after finding a sports writer of ability and courage, who was willing to allow an old Expo fan a seat on the Nats bus, I have taken on the Nationals as 'my' team in a way which many of my acquaintances find mysterious to say the least…. with all that said, Mark, I can only say, in a humble voice, thank you for being here, both you and the Nats fans.Go Nats!!

  18. onesandfours - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    BRB, buying tickets to Turkmenistan

  19. Positively Half St. - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Mark-We are grateful for your service, and for the place to continue reading the intelligent and/or passionate entries from our fellow Nats fanatics. Let's hope that the season provides the most interesting and satisfying blog fodder any of us has yet enjoyed.+1/2St.

  20. 320R2S15 - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    This is my go to site for Nats information. I want to thank you Mark as well as all of the posters here who make the site what it is. Seriously, thanks to all.

  21. Doc - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Thanks MarkMeister…..it's all in the receipe!Fugedabout Turkemenistan…there's no women there and they have a national order against having fun!

  22. Mark'd - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    As they say "time flies when you're having fun"Congrats Mark on Anniversary #2!

  23. Natsochist - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Mark, the strength of the site is a testament to your writing abilities, your game threads, and your willingness to interact with us regularly. I still remember the first time I emailed you from a game and got an almost immediate response; that remains one of my favorite baseball moments.

  24. Anonymous - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Thanks very much Mark, and congrats on 2 years of providing a great forum for Nats fans.dfh21

  25. sm13 - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Thanks and congrats Mark. Your site is a must read for me every day. You've not only built a website., but a community as well.

  26. Knoxville Nat - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Thanks Mark for all you have contributed and reported on this site for the past two years. It was well worth my $$$ in year one and the site continues to improve as to content and insight from you and the posters. Unfortunately I can't get that nagging sound out of the back of my head, the one from JayB that keeps going on and on about you giving a pass to Rizzo and the "slow" Lerners, etc. Hopefully in year three I'll find a cure for the annoying headache that it is.

  27. HHover - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Happy birthday to you–and best wishes for many more!

  28. LoveDaNats - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Congratulations, Mark! It doesn't seem like 2 years ago I was reading posts from a beat writer trying to get to spring training on the cheap. Look what has evolved! Love the site. Love your writing. Love the people. Love da Nats!

  29. The Fox - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    My first and usually my last place to get my Nat's news. Congradulation and thank you for all your hard work especially during the offseason when it is hard to get my baseball fix.

  30. Dr. Freud - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    As JB's psychoanalyst, I want to thank you for allowing him to vent over the past two years; it makes those 50 minutes a week much less intense. On the other hand, I also counsel several Anonymouses — who, due to patient confidentiality, must remain Anonymous — and, as to them, you can see they still have a lot of work to do. As you all know, successful group therapy requires complete candor between the participants.

  31. The_Dash - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I feel like Nats fans are incredibly fortunate to have the beat writers we do and you, sir, are at the top of the list. Congrats on two years and here's to many many more.

  32. Sean Kelly - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Lurker from day one and sporadic poster since, but the thanks goes to you Mark for your dedication and interaction with us.

  33. lls45 - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Congratulations and thank you, Mark!

  34. Drew - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Mark:This blog isn't just informative, reliable and fun — you're an inspiration.As we've all weathered the economic tumult, you've been a model of inspired reinvention.Congratulations, thanks and continued happiness to you and Family Z.

  35. Traveler8 - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Mark, thanks very much, this is always a go-to site for me. Here's to year 3, and more!Captcha is aconityp – I think it refers to one of your typical acolytes!

  36. Caryn - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Congratulations Mark! Nats Insider is my first and last stop for the inside scoop. Hank and I (and now Maddy) will continue to stalk you in the press box from our seats!

  37. Steve M. - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Mark, a lot has happened in your life in 2 years to be proud of! Nats Insider appears to be the most active site in NatsTown which is quite the accomplishment.Hopefully you have some ideas for the future to make NI even better. The off-season sometimes lacks a lot of substance. Maybe a few player interviews, some predictions, and a search function. I try to go back to search for items I wrote previously and can't find them. Also some comments from you in the Blog posts sometimes would help. While most of us are over 18 years old, sometimes it feels like the teacher left for the day. Thanks again!

  38. Nats fan in NJ - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Mark – Congratulations! In line with others' comments, this is my primary source for all things Nationals. As a transplanted DC native (to New Jersey, not quite Turkmenistan), this site is a reprieve from the NY area lunacy about the Yanks and Mets. Thanks for all you've done to increase my depth & breadth of Nationals' knowledge!!

  39. Don - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Long live NI!Those clicks from Ukraine were me. I spent the last five days of the regular season getting my Nats fix through NatsInsider.You'll be getting a few more clicks from Ukraine in about two weeks.

  40. Steve M. - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Don, Удача на вашоi наступноi поiздки в Украiну. I apologize for not using all the correct cyrillic characters.

  41. JaneB - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Like so many others, this is the first place I visit every day. In season, I'm here on the hour, practically. Your writing and insights are stellar. And I'm grateful for my imaginary friends, as well. This site, and the people here, and you, Mark, make my life more fun. The Nats owe you a debt of gratitude, because you have made better, smarter, more connected fans of everyone who reads the Insider. Obviously, what goes on on that field matters most to growing a fan base, But they can't underestimate the value of The Insider, with your rich insights, some pretty darn smart readers, and a place for fans to connect to each other and say, "Did that ump REALLY over-rule that other ump's call and throw our guy out?" and "How did Bernie make that catch?!?" GYFNG! THANK YOU MARK!PS You forgot a HUGE development in the Nats Insider history: we all have a vested interest in watching Bryan grow up and join you at the park, too.

  42. BinM - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Mark: Congrats on the site anniversary! NI has always been one of my 'go to' sites, not only for your solid reporting (and occaisional personal opinion), but also for the opinions of the commenters. Those can ofter serve as a snapshot of what the fans are thinking. Thanks for giving us a common place for sharing what's on our minds.

  43. Anonymous - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I hate to say this, but though the pitching is a completely different story, is this years lineup really that much better than the one from 2 years ago?

  44. John C. - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Congratulations Mark! Here's to you for having the courage to step out on your own and make something new and good for yourself when things seemed to be going bad. Truly making lemonade when life handed you lemons. I also salute Mrs. Z and the rest of your family and friends for sticking with you and supporting you as you jumped off into the unknown. This is one of three sites (with Federal Baseball and Nationals Prospects that I stop by daily for my Nats fix. I appreciate the culture that you've helped establish to keep the usual internonymous chat problems (trolling, profanity, abuse) to a minimum. I'm definitely looking forward to another season of reading NI!

  45. Unkyd - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    It's SO much fun!!! There is a definite sense of family, here (right down to having Crazy Uncle JayB, locked in the basement…. No foul, JayB, Unkyd's right there with ya…pass me a brew, willya?)… And once you learn to just poke some of the Anons, instead of getting your panties in a bunch, it's just fun, top to bottom, every day!Tanx, Mark!!!

  46. Dawn - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Congratulations Mark! Been here from day one and still read faithfully, though I don't comment as often. Being an out-of-state fan, reading your blog gave me great insight into the world of the Washington Nationals.Became a Nats fan because Pudge joined the club, will stay a Nats fan because I am now hooked on the book. How will end? Stras wins the Cy Young? Espinosa a Gold Glove? Ryan Z. changes his arm slot again? Can't put it down now.Give my best to Mrs. Z (and now Brian) too, as they had to be a source of great support to put up with the travel schedule and deadlines.

  47. Theophilus - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Congratulations; good health and long life, etc.The best and most independent voice of Nats' baseball. The regular posters on this blog (w/ a couple of exceptions) need to pat themselves on the back as well. Every performer needs a good audience. This isn't the "interactive" age for no reason.

  48. mr donkey - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    i came for the strasmuss speculation early last summer and stayed for the reporting. the best coverage of the nats around.

  49. Les in NC - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I don't think it was the first day of the blog, but I first visited this site on the first fateful day of your journey south to Florida. Without a "real job" and without knowing how long your blog would last, you have never failed to give loving reports of all things Nationals. And for that, I thank you, we all thank you. I can't imagine being a fan of another team, because without you I wouldn't be as informed as I like to be about my favorite baseball team. In fact, you are a HUGE part of my being a fan of the Nats, because living in NC, I don't have a "hometown" team and you have kept us all interested even through the down times. I appreciate what you do, and I appreciate what Mrs. Z has put up with so you could bring me closer to my favorite team!

  50. Ondeck13 (formerly cadeck12) - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Thank you!! This is my "go to" site for all things Nats! Don't know what I would have done without you! Congrats for a great job.

  51. Let Teddy Win - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Mark,Hard to believe 2 years has flown by, but those lineup predictions sure put a fine point on it!Nats Insider has become a HUGE asset to the community and to us 3rd-tier bloggers as well. Congratulations on the success. It's great to know that it's been as much fun for you as it has been for your readers.

  52. Anonymous - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Thanks for this blog Mark. I hope and pray you and your family will prosper and be happy.

  53. Section 215 Row A - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    As an early cash contributor to Mark's endeavors (when he was between postions?) I have always been a supporter. But, I must admit, that back in the day, I was going to the Nationals Journal first and NI second. That is no longer the case. Not only is Mark's reporting superior in timeliness and accuracy but the posters here are knowledgable, passionate, entertaining AND (perhaps even more importantly) largely polite and courteous. This is a unique group and I value the civil discussion…particularly the lack of name-calling and rudeness that permeates so many places where the posters are anonymous and unaccountable.

  54. sjm308 - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    As I write this thank you, there are 51 comments. All but one is a thanks to Mark and this wonderful site. Like others, this has been a huge part of my baseball life and much appreciated.The amazing thing about that one negative comment is, it comes from an anon. What a surprise. At least dfh21 ends his anon musings with his signature. At least there were no bold printings as of my comment. Thanks again Mark and you neganons, keep negative with your lives as well our baseball team. We wouldn't want it any other way.

  55. natsfan1a - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Happy anniversary, Mark! I second John's salute to Mrs. Z and others for their support when you started out, and I'm proud to have been a subscriber from the beginning. Thanks for all of your hard work and for keeping this community going after CSN had the good sense to hire you. :-)Re. stats, I did a little digging (I like the CommenterGraphs site best) and there do appear to be a few that are relevant.First, there's OBP, On Blog Percentage. MZ is a league leader, posting early and often even in the offseason.Then, there's WAR, Writing Above Replacement Author. MZ tops the charts as well, with consistently strong contributions in the prose department. We don't begrudge him time off, but we definitely miss him when he's not in the lineup. Last but not least, there's WRC, Wrangling Reader Comments. Comments on this site can be, well, all over the place, but MZ fields them with grace and humor. (Oh, and I LOL'd and LOL'd, Dr. Freud. Thanks for the humor therapy. You can just put that on my tab.)

  56. sjm308 - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Whoops, got a positive comment from an anon so I stand corrected.

  57. David - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Congrats Mark! Youve helped build a community of diehard Nats fan. Given us a place to think and breath baseball. Good luck in the future. I really think you have started something big. GO NATS!

  58. Dave - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Mark, thanks for all you have done for us. I agree with others: this is my default go-to site for Nationals info. Very interesting that almost all the comments are from people with handles. (Anon 8:28 is really dfh1, and 10:25 seems to understand what this thread is about.) So all those Anon naysayers have nothing to say about this important milestone. That's as it should be.

  59. TimDz - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Add my congrats to the list…This is my only stop for Nats info…

  60. waddu eye no - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    announcing an anniversary to elicit thanks, eh? oh, wait. you get thanks everyday. and you deserve them. i think i've read all your posts, and most of the comments. having abandoned baseball in 1967 or so (after being a NJ bobby richardson fan who moved to MD, saw the O's start winning, and then said hell with sports – artsy fartsy hippie type) i decided when the nats arrived to get into the game again. you and the other bloggers have made it a joy to re-obsess with you all about the world's best game. and to have a place to make goofy comments.btw – a note from turkmenistan presidential candidate Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who is not amused:GYSOBMFNG!http://www.cafepress.com/+turkmenistan_cap,508060801

  61. Unkyd - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Non-apropos of baseball, butRIP Don Cornelius……

  62. Grant - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Happy Anniversary, Mark. Like so many of your readers, you're my first stop for information on my beloved team. Here's to hoping that Year Three includes some Nats postseason coverage!

  63. JimHoy - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    How happy I am that I share a birthday with Nationals Insider.Thanks for your incredible work. Like all the others, this is THE place I go for Nats news.Looking forward to your book about the Nats rise to World Series champions…

  64. Avar - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Thanks to you Mark. So glad to have this site, a staple of my baseball addiction.

  65. Nats Rising - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Mark,I am an occasional poster but an addicted reader of NI. When the Nats came to DC, I was a mild baseball fan. Although the team has been hard to follow at times, my transformation from a fan who goes to a few games a year to one who follows the team 365 (366 in 2012) days a year directly correlates to my discovery of NI. It was so cool to support your entrepreneurial approach to covering the Nats when you were between jobs. I truly felt like an Insider with a direct link to the Nats. So, many thanks to you and all of the mostly wise posters. This year, we start with something new to the Nats – Expectations. A whole new ball game.

  66. flynnie - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    No Livo, No Prince, No playoffs – Here's how Marcel projects your "no fat guy" team to finish this year. Oh, and the Tigers are projected to win the Central. (That Ryan Langerhans was a fine looking athlete, wasn't he?) Rob Neyer said that Marcel projections “do a surprisingly good job.”Div Team W L RS RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL% NL East PHI 90 72 689 615 44.8% 16.5% 10.7% 72.0% NL East ATL 89 73 668 608 38.2% 19.2% 9.9% 67.3% NL East WAS 83 79 645 634 10.8% 10.3% 8.1% 29.2% NL East FLA 80 82 682 690 5.7% 5.2% 5.4% 16.3% NL East NYM 74 88 630 680 0.6% 1.5% 1.2% 3.2%RS=Runs Scored RA=Runs Allowed WC=Wild Card PL%=Playoff % The playoffs are projected as follows:NLE: PhilliesNLC: RedsNLW: Rockies / D'backs / GiantsWC1: BravesWC2: Rockies / D'backs / GiantsALE: YankeesALC: TigersALW: Angels / Rangers (tie)WC1: Red SoxWC2: Rays

  67. joemktg - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Two additional notes:1) Compare the two headshots of MZ: looks like someone's forehead is growing.2) Did anyone purchase NI gear? Still available?

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    What they said.Congratulations, Mark.

  69. upperdeck4 - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Congratulations, Mark. I remember thinking when you were subsisting on donations that you would never make it. Money well spent and look where you are now! Love reading your columns and appreciate your insights.

  70. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    I know I've checked NatsInsider from a dozen or so countries (albeit not any of the 'stans. sorry) and at least as many states — always worthwhile, always enjoyable. Congratulations on your second anniversary!

  71. citizen16 - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Mark,Congrats on what you've created with NI. Like others, this is usually the first site I read each morning, and it is easily the best source for Nats news and information.

  72. Rich H - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Congratulations on the milestone. I have lurked here for over two years, you have done a fine service to the team, the city and the fans. Thank you.

  73. Souldrummer - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Thanks so much Mark for your courage in starting and building this site. I'm inspired by your early business model and your dedication to the team. This site is where I go to first for the best reporting in the business. I'll always remember your meet and greet at the end of year 1 in the stands, such a nice touch and a wonderful opportunity to meet your beautiful family. Mrs. Z, Baby Brian, and you remain in my thoughts and keep up the good work. You've earned a mighty response to the site when the team is far from playoff ready; imagine what it will be like when we march down Pennsylvania Ave!–SD

  74. Slidell - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Mark:Speaking as a long-suffering but ever-hopeful fan (I grew up with the Senators, Version I), there is now reason for real hope. Nats Insider is now the #1 Nats blog due to your quality writing and reporting and the many loyal,knowledgeable contributors. The quality and quantity of the responses at NI blow everyone else out of the water.Though my contributions here have been minuscule, I feel good to have been a part of it.

  75. SCNatsFan - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I stumbled on this site after becoming frustrated with another troll laden blog and couldn't be happier. Mark, a heartfelt Thnk You from me and all the Nats fans who love this site. Behind the baby your second greatest accomplishment!

  76. Hondo - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Wow,2 years already? I remember your pilgrimage to spring training that year-I've still got the audio files you sent to the supporters.Good stuff- good blog.Thanks.

  77. Steve M. - Feb 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    NL East WAS 83 79 645 634 10.8% 10.3% 8.1% 29.2% Flynnie, interesting projection as I am focusing in on last years 80 81 624 643 The numbers are somewhat skewed given the Nats played 161 games last year so it is about a 12 run improvement on runs allowed and a 17 run improvement on runs scored based on 162 games.I think 90 wins for the Phillies is lower than the 94 I think they will have and I just don't see Atlanta as good as they have it. I still believe the Nats will be in a dogfight for 2nd place and a Wild Card berth.I think the Nats pitching will improve by at least 20 runs and the runs scored will improve by at least 40.People are talking about 2013 and all I can say is every year you see a team put it all together like the Arizona D'Backs so this could certainly be the year the Nats put it all together.I think Mark DeRosa could be one of the single biggest contributors to this 2012 team in terms of positive impact.

  78. court - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Congrats Mark! Can't begin my day without stopping by here first.

  79. Anonymous - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    You mean I've been reading this blog for 2 years. WOW!! Congrats Mark, I've enjoyed every minute.Thanks for a great 2 years.RDExposfan

  80. Adam - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    This is the best source for sound Nats-related info, bar none.

  81. Ray - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    What everyone says Mark. You add quality analysis to the Nats that is lacking in others' coverage of the team and remain a primary source of news and perspective. (That Elijah Dukes piece you wrote two years ago was one of many brilliant articles!) Hope at some point you can get more involved in the electronic coverage of the team. Everytime I see Phil Wood's "Nats Talk" on MASN, I think how much better the show would be if you were a permanent fixture on it. (At the very least you would get Wood and Mike Wallace talking about things that happened less than 40 years ago!) Realize that your participation in that show is unrealistic given that MASN's competitor is your employer, but what I would love to see is "Beltway Baseball" become a regular weekly program on CSN TV throughout the season. Congrats again, and all your success is extremely deserved. Looking forward to seeing you in Viera!

  82. whatsanattau - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Nats Insider is an important part of my day, everyday. Thanks Mark (and friends).

  83. SonnyG10 - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Congrats on our second anniversary, Mark, from one of the original paying subscribers. This has been my go-to site from the beginning and usually my only go-to site. I really love your writing and the comments from the really smart baseball bloggers who post here.

  84. RPrecupjr - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Congratulations, Mark!! As most everyone else has said, this is my first stop after I check my email in the morning. It is a welcome breath of fresh air not having to deal with certain trolls that seem to inhabit Nats Journal on WaPo, which has now become my secondary site, only because I get updates emailed to me. Here's to many more years, all following a winning team!

  85. David L - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Mark — I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed Nats Insider over the past 2 years. It's no surprise to me that you have been able to grow the blog and am very happy for your success. Looking forward to many, many years and your reporting on the Nats in the World Series soon!

  86. Anonymous - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Flynnie — thanks for hte porjection info and Steve M. I think that the Nats will be in the hunt too, BUT only if they get Desmond out of the top of the order. He has no bankable chance to succeed there, and neither does the club if they go with him. The Division is likely going to be very tight and a 12-15 extra runs from a quality lead off man might be the difference between a WC spot and going home. Rizzo HAS to find someone better.

  87. Natslifer - Feb 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Congrats Mark – I 2cnd the line about not starting my day without checking in. Since I have my first cup of coffee right after 7, I especially appreciate the postings right at that time.Everyone – I've been on vacation since Friday and apologize if this was already covered. But I heard the greatest thing yesterday – I have some family coming in from Texas in late April and they tried to get a group of tickets to the Nats game. The ticket office told them they couldn't buy more than 2 because they weren't from this area – now that's a "Phillies Rule" I love.

  88. sjm308 - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Steve M:while not always agreeing, I have always been impressed with your opinions. So glad to think that you feel we will be in the hunt this year. I have a hard time thinking we can improve 10+ games 3 years in a row and would actually be happy with the 83 wins (although I am betting on 85+). I do agree that our pitching should be a huge key in allowing fewer runs than last year. Just don't know where the extra offense will come from unless LaRoche has a super year.no matter what, its less then 3 weeks until things get really interesting.go nats!!!

  89. masnstinks - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I don't post very often but I read this site faithfully. I continue to be astounded by the baseball sense of the people that post here. Last season I heard someone at my workplace say that the Nats don't have any serious fans. I directed him to this site – I was quite impressed when a few days later he told me that he had checked it out and was obviously wrong! I love the obvious passion for the game, positive and negative, and the way the people who post will do tedious research to back up their theories. Mark – I think it's great that you will listen to your readers and interact. I hope to be still reading this post for many years as the team continues to grow and change. I promise to try not to be rude to the bandwagons folks who come along after we start contending!

  90. flynnie - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Steve M -Give Rob Neyer's most recent a look, and then follow the link to Replacement Level Yankees Weblog. http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/1/30/2758759/projecting-2012-part-1

  91. Nattydread - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    MarkI check this site before reading my email every morning and during afternoon tea. Did it in Arusha Tanzania 4 days ago, Nairobi 3 days ago and Nanyuki on the slopes of Mt Kenya twice today.Thanks for letting an Africa-based DC Fanboy keep up with his middle-age boyhood heros, win or lose.

  92. blovy8 - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Thanks, Mark.

  93. NatinBeantown - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Same here: constant reader, irregular poster, big fan since day one. It's a pleasure to read researched, well-written coverage, and then to watch the discussion continue among informed fans. The courtesy (and cleverness) of most NI commenters — and the atmosphere Mark creates in his coverage are unequalled in Nats Town, and I think in most of baseball.Congrats!

  94. SayNoToClint - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Count me among the daily readers but infrequent posters (aka lurker). Congrats on two great years Mark. I've been here since the beginning and you've been my first stop for Nats news for about 23 1/2 months now.

  95. Frediemac - Feb 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Happy Anniversary Mark and hope the family is doing well

  96. NatsJack on Florida - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Chad Durban on a minor league conttact.

  97. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Dadgum fat thumbs. Contract.

  98. gonatsgo - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    I am looking forward to Mark's in-game posts during the season and his hilarious snarky comments!

  99. NatsLady - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Congrats and thanks, Mark. Keep up the great work.

  100. DFL - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    At the risk of being considered a sycophant, I would say that this site is superior to the Nats or Orioles Journal and the posters are almost uniformly intelligent, albeit some are a little too concerned with esoteric and obscure statistics. Nats Insider is an outstanding site for all Washington fans who love baseball.

  101. natsfan1a - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Me, too. Also to his exits from the press box to take photos, and the ensuing Nats rallies/gorse-hacking.As with others, this remains my #1 go-to site for Nats news and commentary. Speaking of comments, it's so nice to "see" all of the frequent posters, infrequent posters, and lurkers on this thread.gonatsgo said… I am looking forward to Mark's in-game posts during the season and his hilarious snarky comments! February 01, 2012 2:16 PM

  102. MicheleS - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    NatsJack..Is Durbin a Syracuse filler? Cause i don't see him making the pen with that ERA

  103. Theophilus - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Durbin will be wearing the mascot's suit at Potomac by May 1. Rizzo can't seem to drive by the landfill without picking something up. Hope he had air freshener in his car.

  104. Glover Park fan - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I'm another dedicated reader who seldom comments. The first year donation was among the best money I ever spent. This is my go-to Nats place, both for Mark's posts and the thoughtful, civil commentary. Thanks Mark and thanks all.

  105. Anonymous - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Mark,Even though I don't comment, I visit the site every day. I was among those who donated to your Spring Training fund; I still remember how cool it was to receive your postcard from Viera. Thank you for what you have done and continue to do for this community. (captcha was "reesly," which I believe is a portmanteau, combining "really" and "seriously." As in, "Thank you, Mark. Reesly.")John in MPLS

  106. Drew - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Speaking of snarky comments:Given his 5.53 ERA last year, I don't have high hopes for Durbin renewal.

  107. Just sayin' - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    First, congratulations to Mark Z. on the site's two-year anniversary. Well done.Second, on the Durbin signing, if you've been reading the daily MLB transactions in your local newspaper or the MLB Trade Rumors website, you'll note that every single team in MLB is currently in a AAA/Spring Training roster-filling mode. No need to disparage either the players (who are a heck of lot better than any of us ever were) or the teams; this is how the system works. A very few of these signings will pan out — one or two every year — but most will end up on their organization's AAA team or released.

  108. MicheleS - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    NSA.. if you are out there.. Do you have the Arbitration Room between the Nats and Lannan tapped? I was kind of hoping for a transcript of the conversation.

  109. realdealnats - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    1st Time Commenter. Reader since Day 1. The way you got started and your daily takes with everyone's great comments–NI feels like our very own Lambeau Field. Everyone a stakeholder. Congratulations on a job well done.

  110. skidge - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Ditto for me on "always reads, rarely posts." Many thanks to Mark and all the posters!

  111. N. Cognito - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Theophilus said… "Durbin will be wearing the mascot's suit at Potomac by May 1. Rizzo can't seem to drive by the landfill without picking something up. Hope he had air freshener in his car."Every year there are 30 GMs circling that landfill looking for AAA fillers such as Durbin.

  112. bobfromalexandria - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Holy Toledo! Two years? Congratulations. I paid my $$$ the first year because I wanted news about the Nats and the Post wasn't providing. NatsInsider is must reading everyday, and the digital community it created is technical and enthusiastic and the tone from all the readers is (by and large) positive and courteous. It's also, IMHO, the best of the Nats blogs around. Congratulations and thanks very much!

  113. dj in Fl. - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Thanks MarkIt is great for those of us who have left the DC area to be able remain informed as well as entertained numerous times daily.@NatsJack- Terps are on at 8pm. I get it onMY-tv out of Jacksonville. See you on day 2 of camp.

  114. Section 222 - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Mark, you should be very proud of what you've accomplished in two short years. That first trip south funded by fans was a truly gutsy move, and I know I speak for everyone who contributed when I say that our meager investments have paid an enormous dividend. I've also greatly enjoyed the several times we've chatted at Nats Park. The most important thing you created here is a community of smart, funny, and passionate fans from whom I learn something every time I tune in. Thanks especially for that.

  115. Water23 - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Mark, Thanks again and the $$$ was well worth the fun. Is there a chance you might bring back the podcast interviews done during spring training? They were quite informative and really gave us a sense of what a player/manager/coach was like.

  116. baseballswami - Feb 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    There is a new post and it's about – (cough, cough) — John Lannan. Let the insults commence!

  117. rmoore446 - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Congratulations Mark! I was one of those joining in that spring two years ago. I think all of us from back then are so proud of your success.You keep rewarding all of your readers–new and old–with great reporting and insights into our favorite team.

  118. Uncle Atom - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Congratulations Mark, I've been here from the beginning and I'm grateful for your work and the many posters here. GYFNG!

  119. Cwj - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Congrats on two years Mark!

  120. Neal - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Thanks Mark for all your great work and helping to keep the passion for baseball alive in this area. I have been here since day one and occasionally have posted as well. I love the site and the "spirited" conversation, but at the end of the day, we're all here because of you Mark and for the love of baseball.Congratulations and thanks again for making it all possible.NationalsFanatic

  121. SBrent - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    Congrats on the milestone, Mark, and thanks so much for a terrific site! I found you early on from a shout-out from Wash Post beat writer (oddly, I can't any longer remember if that was Barry Svrluga or the guy who followed him that was running Nationals Journal there). I checked out your new site that very day, and have hardly missed a day since. And NatsInsider has long been my first and main source of Nats news. We're all proud of you and grateful for the fine work and for the great community of fans you've built. Best wishes to you and the family!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets 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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