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Friday morning fodder

Feb 10, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Stephen Strasburg is having his number retired at San Diego State.

Some news and notes to chew on as the countdown to spring training reaches single digits at long last…

Stephen Strasburg, as surely you know by now, is no attention hog. If anything, he goes out of his way to avoid the spotlight. But the big right-hander reserves a special place in his heart for San Diego State University, and he's always happy to serve as a spokesman for his alma mater, especially when attempting to raise funds and awareness for its baseball program.

Next week, the Aztecs will return the favor to their most-famous alum not named Tony Gwynn: They're retiring his No. 37 jersey prior to next Friday's season opener against Washington.

It's a special honor for Strasburg, who grew up in San Diego and became a star pitching for his hometown college. Undrafted out of high school, he was initially an overweight middle reliever at SDSU beforeRead more »

135 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Does anyone have an email address for Sen. Bob Casey? I would love to send him an email about asking the the Philthy phans to be good guests when they come down here.

  2. joemktg - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    SINGLE DIGITS! YEAH BUDDY!!Casey up for re-election, so ulterior motives suspected. Regardless, this is starting to get a bit heated, which is not good.

  3. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    The Lerner's should issue this reply to Senator Casey:When the citizens of your commonwealth who are Phillies fans display the civil behavior expected of American citizens, let alone human beings, and promise to refrain from the drunkeness, lewedness, property destruction, intimidation, violence, and profanity the regularly display when the visit Nationals Park, we will be happy to open ticket sales to all games to them.However, let us make it crystal clear that will will strictly enforce an absolute no-tolerance policy for these behaviors and any fan displaying them will be immediately ejected from Nationals Park and barred from returning. In the past, citizens of your state have been the most frequent violators of this policy by far.

  4. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Agree with joemktg – Single Digits!!!!I wish I were going to Spring Training!!!!

  5. Gonat - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Congrats to Stephen and his family!

  6. Traveler8 - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Loved Gluvna's puns, and I wish him well.I don't have a problem with Phillies fans per se. I think the problem has been the busloads of twentysomethings who have been drinking for the whole ride down. I hope that someone points that out to Senator Casey.

  7. FUBAR - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Feffer strikes again, his antics abvout taking back the park only underscore the Mickey Mouse regime that has been handling marketing sales etc since 2005. They are all ridiculous and in another market would be unemployed. The Nats should not hold back tickets or only let you buy one Yankee game in a ticket package versus all three. NO OTHER TEAMS PULL THIS S#!T, we are not loveable losers and we are not a minor league club #WTFLERNERS

  8. JaneB - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    MicheleS, if you google Casey, his contact info in the Senate will turn up. As soon as I read what he had written, I thought the same thing: I'm going to write to tell him WHY we need to take back the park, and get him to do something about it.9! 9! 9! 9! 9!Glad for Strasburg, and all of Boras' Nationals clients.Mark Z… Are you going to ST this year? If so, when?

  9. Positively Half St. - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I am pretty happy about the Casey thing, because there is a real advantage to building a rivalry the Phillies actually case about. However, we have to be sure to go to the games (I'll get on that), and the Nats have to start being a winning team that the Phillies have to notice.On a different subject, Jason Stark listed John Lannan as one of 5 players who are very likely to be traded this spring. It is interesting that he quoted some MLB scout or the like who said that the Nats are 100% committed to trading him. I am not excited to see yet another analysis of Lannan as a lousy pitcher that the writer can't imagine anyone wanting.Finally, Jayson Werth was voted one of the top 5 most overrated players in a player survey for Sports Illustrated. I would question whether they meant "overrated" or "overpaid". I am not sure many players caught as much grief as Jayson last year – pretty much nobody short of Mike Rizzo sang his praises.Get mad, Jayson. Make them eat their words.+1/2St.

  10. N. Cognito - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    FUBAR is FUBARThis is a PRE-SALE for STH and others who live in VA, MD and DC and have purchased tickets in the past or who register for the PRE-SALE. There will be another PRE-SALE period for STH coming up, which will include the opportunity to purchase tickets to all 81 home games, with limits on the amount you can purchase for Yankees games.After the PRE-SALES, all games will be open for sale. This includes tickets not purchased during the PRE-SALE.ALL TEAMS have ticket packages that might only include one game against a certain opponent.FUBAR is the ULTIMATE FUBAR.

  11. Muddy Ruel - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    On "Hotstove" last night on MLB TV they noted the "Take Back" initiative and said Nats fans were selling their May 4-6 tickets on E-bay, so Phillies fans were getting their tickets in any case, and had a good laugh at Nats expense. hahahahaha. Not. Have no idea how they'd know. Probably more half-ass analysis from that group. … I bought tickets for May 6 and I want to see belligerent, hardcore, yell-yer-head-off Natmaniacs in their own house along side me!

  12. NatinBeantown - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    FUBAR,Leveraging a premier series to sell less desirable tickets is a practice used by EVERY SINGLE TEAM in MLB. Calm down. And please clean up the language.What I wouldn't give to be 25 and still living in the District and be cajoling all my friends to TBOP.

  13. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    As I was saying in an earlier thread, single digits, bay-bee! Good on SS for helping out his alma mater. Re. Gluvna, always appreciated his puns. Re. the Senator's bloviating, and as N.Cog. noted, it's an opportunity for Nats fans to have first dibs. Phillies Phans will have their shot after the pre-sale ends. We have tix for May 5 and will be representing, though I don't plan to be belligerent. No sense inflaming our already piqued guests. I'm gonna leave that to the (Philly) media and the politicians and just focus on root, root, rooting for the home team. ;-)

  14. Nattydread - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    This is publicity that will benefit the Nats, but only if we ROCK on the field. The series will now draw a media buzz and perhaps a much wider TV viewership. Hope Strasburg is pitching the first game, Zimmermann the 2nd and Gio the 3rd. And I hope Jayson rakes.The Lerners should send Senator Casey two Diamond Club tickets to the series.

  15. natscan reduxit - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    … you guys in the DC region must be doing something right. Whenever a politician [Sen. Bob Casey] feels the need to speak up on some irrelevant issue – irrelevant in terms of things like world peace, that is – it shows that someone somewhere touched a nerve that needed to be touched. … good on ya', and keep touching that nerve. One doesn't have to live in the vicinity or attend live games to know that Philadelphia fans deserve their bad rep. Even fans up here in the cold white north have experienced it. It's high time someone somewhere did something about it…. so good for you guys, and oh yeah …Go Nats!!

  16. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Dare I say, even the Nationals PR department knows that no publicity is bad publicity. Bob Casey certainly gets it. Bob understands PR.Dropping a letter to the Nats in support of his largest constituent base's most popular team's fans took him 3 minutes of effort and it got him some very nice pub and some love from Phillies Nation. Senators spend more than 25% of their time fundraising and trying to generate publicity to help with the fundraising. Bob Casey's little letter was a little bit of political genius.But who cares . . . NINE days! And soon after that . . .Best 25 go North!!dfh21

  17. Unkyd - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Gulp…BANG!!!

  18. Diz - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    I didn’t get a chance to post in the position thread a few days ago that Mark did and was bored over the last few days. Zuck got me thinking about our lineup and I wanted to just take a look at our offense from last year to see if I could see my way to an improvement in 2012 (even without PF). I’m no journalist, just a fan, so take my analysis as such.We’ll start in the outfield, since there will be the most shifting there.In 2011, LF was a platoon of (by games played, not started): Nix (73), Morse (54), Shark (33), Bixler (27), Hariston (21), and Gomes (19). Nix and Morse put up some pretty big numbers, with 24 HRs in 127 games. The outstanding 29 HRs for LF in 2011, which ranked 3rd in MLB, can hopefully be duplicated by a full year of Morse, who hit 31 in 146 games. What we should see is a climb in the other numbers. A team batting avg of .256 (13th in MLB) and OBP of .310 (18th) versus a full season of Morse at .303 avg., which would have put him 3rd in the league, and .360 OBP (4th amongst LFs) last year clamors for improvement in 2012. (2012 Outlook – Upside)In 2011, CF was pretty much a disaster at the plate. Led by “The Arm” (104), “The Shark” (56), Werth (19), Hariston (9), Bixler (4), Nix (3). While the Nats got a respectable 17 HRs from CF, which was 11th in MLB, it was also 24th in Avg. (.245) and 25th in OBP (.307). In my analysis, I am going to assume 2 months of “The Arm” and Cameron and 4 months of Werth. Rick was out most of May last year, but if you double his April production, it would be pretty abysmal: 2 HRs, .234 Avg, .308 OBP. Cameron was terrible in ’11, but career is a .249 hitter with a respectable .338 OBP. Werth was also mediocre the last 4 months of last year (12 HRs and a .219 Avg), you have to feel there is some upside there to at least match the production from CF last year. It just can’t be that bad again, can it? (2012 Outlook – Upside)In 2011, RF went pretty much as Werth-less did. Werth logged in 133 games in right, with the others including: Nix (12), Gomes (11), Rick and Shark (9 each) and Bixler (6). Werth only batted an abysmal .231 while playing in right last year and the team avg. of .239 ranks 27th out of all MLB. Werth did get on base at a decent clip with an OBP of .330 and the team .329 moves us up to a whopping 22nd in the league. RF contributed 21 HRs (13th) in 2011, with Werth hitting 15, and that helped the Nats get their OPS to .727 (23rd). It’s pretty clear that the Nats were awful in RF last year and we can only hope that 2 months of Werth and 4 months of Namath will make 2011 a distant memory. I just want to add as I close up the OF, that the importance of Laynce Nix in the early part of 2011 as our 4th OF cannot be over stated. He hit .307 the first 2 months last year (mostly in LF), with an OPS of .909. Hopefully, the Nats can find lightning in a bottle again this year. (2012 Outlook – Big Upside)

  19. Diz - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    I broke it up since it's pretty long.In 2011, 1st base was “A Tale of Two Cities”. LaRoche, the “not so” Beauty, and the “Beast”. Before Adam was shut down on May 22nd, he had a .172 Avg, .288 OBP and had 3 HRs in 147 ABs (43 games). Ugh! Then the Beast took over and all was right in the world. In 85 games, Morse hit .336, had a .401 OBP, had 19 HRs and an OPS of 1.002. Wow! That carried the day, since you also had light hitting Marrero (31 games), Nix (9), Cora (8), Stairs (4), Bixler (2) for a team avg of .271 (14th across MLB), OBP of .344 (14th), 22 HRs (19th), and an OPS of .785 (13th). I am going to assume that we get a full season of LaRoche at 1st. The big question is if he will come back to his norm. If he does, which is a .267 Avg, .337 OBP, .815 OPS and around 20 – 25 HRs, I think I’d be pretty happy and it would cover the production in 2011. (2012 Outlook –Hopefully a wash.)In 2011, 3rd base just wasn’t the same. We were spoiled with RZ’s ’09 and ’10 numbers and 2011 was definitely a letdown. With Zim only in for 97 games last year, we had some very poor fill-ins: Hariston Jr (44), Cora (30) Bixler (14) and Lombardozzi (3). To give you an example, when Zim was in there, he had an avg. of .288, an OBP of .353. and hit 12 HRs (well below his norm) in 389 ABs. His counterparts combined for an avg. of .232, an ~OBP of .286 and hit 2 HRs in 228 ABs. Overall, this gave the Nats a .267 Avg (9th), .330 OBP (12th), .724 OPS (13th) and 14 HRs (16th). Surprisingly, not terrible across MLB, but if you put Zim’s numbers in from ’10 and see what the Nats ranking is: .307 Avg (2nd), .388 OBP (1st), .898 OPS (1st), and 25 HRs (6th). Granted, Zim has only played 162 games in his career once, but you get the picture. When healthy, he’s one of the best 3rd basemen in the game. (2012 Outlook – Big Upside).

  20. Diz - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    SS, 2nd, and Catcher will be very similar to last year in terms of the starters, so they’ll need to focus on improvement year over year. The real change here will be in the backups at every position.In 2011, SS was dominated by Ian (152 games), with a smattering of Cora (16), Bixler (2), and Lombo/Hariston (1 each). For the year, SS was at a .249 Avg. (22nd), a .295 OBP (22nd), OPS of .640 (22nd) and 8 HRs (20th). That’s pretty consistently mediocre. Ian, to his credit, was a tick above all of those numbers and counted for all 8 of those HRs, meaning, his subs were worse in every way (getting us back to the bench discussion). But, Ian was also down from his career numbers (albeit, a very short career, Sept. ’09 – ’11, thus far). Will we get the 2010 – .269/.308/.700 10 HRs Ian or the 2011 – .253/.298/.656 8 HRs Ian? Regardless, as offensive short stops go, and you can take “offensive” either way there, there’s doesn’t seem to be a lot of upside. The good news, is that to be in the upper half, he would need to do only .265/.326/.694 with 10 HRs, which is doable. (2012 Outlook – Slight Upside)In 2011, 2nd base was all Danny. At 158 games, he was at one position more than any other Nat. At 2nd, the Nats as a whole were avg ..232 (26th), OBP .316 (13th), OPS .720 (12th) and Danny’s 21 HRs put him 6th amongst 2nd base over MLB. Danny’s first full year was nothing to cry about. Outside of his BA and Ks, his other numbers were quite respectable. You would expect to see some improvement through experience with him, Ian and Wilson in 2012. (2012 Outlook – Slight Upside)In 2011, Catcher was a platoon of Wilson (108 Games), Pudge (37) and Jesus (22). There was a big drop off when our backups came in behind the plate. Wilson hit for a .267 Avg, .333 OBP, and .773 OPS and 14 HRs. Overall, the Nats were at a .248 Avg (14th), an OBP of .308 (18th), OPS of .708 (14th) and 17 HRs (16th). You have to hope Wilson can go 120 games this year and just maintain or improve slightly upon 2011 and Flores can pick up his pace from his .200/.229/.541 from last year. Career, Flores is at .253/.305/.699. Combining that with Wilson last year, you would be looking at Top 10 at the Catcher Position across the board. (2012 Outlook – Upside)

  21. Diz - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Other NotablesBench (PH) – In 2011, the Nats were a terrible Pinch Hitting Team. They had an Avg. of .186 (23rd in MLB), OBP of .291 (16th), OPS of .531 (24th) and 2 HRs (14th) in 204 ABs. Hopefully, Davy’s offensive focus with our reserves will get us to the middle of the road (.218/.292/.616). Hariston and Nix were good bench pieces, but they ended up being forced into starter roles for too much of the season. Out of the 204 ABs, the majority went to: Stairs (39) – .154 avg., Cora (37) – .188 avg., Nix (36) – .138 avg., Bixler (23) – .200 avg. You get the picture. (2012 Outlook – Upside)Batting in the #1 HoleEveryone knows the lead off spot was a big problem in 2011, but how big was it? The Nats were dead last in avg. 226, dead last in OBP at .285, dead last in OPS at .632 and 25th in Runs Scored at 83. For the majority, Ian had 221 ABs out of a total of 689. Almost a third. He had the highest Avg. and OBP at .281/.318. Roger was 2nd at 215 ABs, but had a .209/.283. Danny (81 ABs), .173/236, Rick (77 ABs), .273/.313 and Werth (49 ABs) .163/.281). If we really are going to put Ian there for the whole year, we should actually see an improvement over last year. Ian was the bright spot at Lead Off….go figure. He actually hit above his norm, so it might be good to give him a full season there. (2012 Outlook – Upside)Batting in the #2 HoleWhat about the #2 Hole? Well, the Nats were dead last in avg. .222, 28th in OBP .283 and in OPS .614 and tied for last in Runs Scored with 62. Who do we put there this year? I have no idea. Almost everybody stunk it up. Out of the majority of the 666 ABs, Ian (170) – .241/.276, Ricky (148) – .209/.278, Danny (143) – .189/.264, Werth (90) – .222/.327, Shark (64) – .313/.333. Going with last year’s numbers, it looks like it would have to be Werth for his OBP or you give Roger a shot. As long as the Shark isn’t leading off, he’s fine. Outside of lead off, Shark batted .319/.347. Not too shabby. (2012 Outlook – Upside)So, as I said, this is just me having some free time and looking through rose colored glasses at the Nats. Even without landing PF, I still feel optimistic that this will be a better year for the Nats, not including the upgraded pitching staff. All’s good in Nats Town, other than the fact I have a big payment due for my season tix this month! Ha! Take it FWIW! GYFNG!

  22. NatsNut - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Awww, did we hurt the widdle phillie's fans feewings? Go and run to daddy now.

  23. whatsanattau - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Just think, if they spend enough money here this year, they can come back to watch Victorino and Hamels as Nats next year.

  24. TimDz - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    "Good Sportsmanship" and "Phillies fans" in the same sentence? Next thing you know, We'll be seeing the word "Charming" with the name Bill Belichick in the same sentence…

  25. Rabbit - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    We are in a capitalistic society, I say let the Philly fans purchase tickets. Eventually, this will run its course. The Philly fans are exuberant over the success of their team. They should be. Believe me, when the Phillies start losing you won't see these fans. When the Nationals begin to defeat the Phillies on a regular basis, do you think the Philadelphians will want to travel down 95 with a 75% chance of seeing their team lose? Right now they have a 75% chance of winning, that's why they look forward to coming down the road. You will see this change this year, on its own merrit, because this year the Nationals are winners.

  26. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Rabbit..We won the season series last year, so it's 50% chance of seeing them win right now

  27. Waddu eye no - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    AwwThere is no joy in philville Another casey has struck outST minus 9!

  28. Sunderland - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Holy moley Diz. Nice take on things.Even if we never sold a single ticket directly into Philly or on the secondary market into Philly, there are so many Phillies fans within 35 miles of NatsTown tht they will easily represent real well and be a significant presence in the park. And aside from the drunk bus crowd, I totally enjoy the Philly fans. I loved how they jammed the right field bleachers and jeered Werth every time he caught a lazy fly ball. It's what fans should do. Good for them.

  29. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Diz — A dizzying amount of info there. Kudos. But, I'm not sure that some of the stats breakdown the way you laid them out in terms of whether the Nats outlook is a winning one. The stats of our 2B versus the league average 2B are meaningless. Every position player could be above average in AVG/OPB/SLG and we could still be a losing club. Comparing the SS production to the league dismisses the fact that most of the league's SS's bat at the bottom of the order and the handful that don't have big numbers (e.g., Tulo, Asdrubal Cabrera) — so there is some deviation and Ian does not keep pace with top of the order players (at any position). The Ian Desmond cherry-picked stat lines — as much as people love them — are a problem. Ian hit .281/.318 as a lead-off man in a relatively small sample of PA's last year but his performance on the whole — the other 70% of his work — was worse, and his career numbers at all levels show a guy not likely to hit at that average and not likely to get on at even that low .318 level. He just does not make enough contact and pitch recognition is a problem for him. He has big talent, but if Desmond can’t get on, they need someone else at lead-off who can. Hoping to be a tick higher than .318 in OBP from leadoff is hoping to finish third.

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Ross Detweiler and Jordan Zimmerman are throwing at ST camp right now. Ross looks bigger but says he doesn't think he's put on any weight.

  31. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    NatsJack..Sigh.. very jealous of you.. It's finally going to snow here this weekend, would rather be down there in Viera

  32. Steve M. - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ross Detweiler and Jordan Zimmerman are throwing at ST camp right now. Ross looks bigger but says he doesn't think he's put on any weight. February 10, 2012 9:54 AM Ross doesn't think? Yah, that's part of his problem. I hear that and think to myself "NEXT"!I expect Ross to shine in his 3 innings of work this Spring Training just like he did last Spring Training. Endurance issue again won't be answered.

  33. TimDz - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Nats Jack…Bigger as in more muscular or Bigger as in "Dude, step away from the buffet table?"

  34. TimDz - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Capcha for that last post was "pancyc," like "pancake?"NOT a good omen there…

  35. Drew - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Diz said: "Ian was the bright spot at Lead Off."And Custer was the best general at Little Big Horn.P.S. Ian's idea for New Coke was a disaster.(Diz — thanks for crunching the numbers.)

  36. JaneB - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Here is the address for Bob Casey: http://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/I don't know how to make it a live link. I just finished letting him know his team is awesome, but his fans are the worst. Not that it will do anything other than make me feel better. Which it did. As a good Nats fan, I was pretty darn polite about it, too.Ncog and Beantown, thanks for the great explanation for why you can't buy all three Yanks games in a three-game package (here, or anywhere else).

  37. NatsJack on Florida - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    TimDZ….bigger like working out.

  38. SayNoToClint - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    I don't want to get political on here. But my first reaction was: doesn't Senator Casey have other things he should be focusing his attention on?Anyhow, I'm sure it's been decades since he sat anywhere other than a suite or private box at a Philadelphia sporting event so he can probably be forgiven for not knowing how the "real" Phans act.

  39. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    KLaw picked his sleeper propsects for all the teams and for the Nats picked Michael Taylor.

  40. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Here's a live link.

  41. lesatcsc - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I, for one,hope this thing backfires on Senator Casey. He may have warmed the cockles of a few Phillies fans hearts, but he did so by demonstrating a serious lack of judgement. Does he really have nothing more important to do? Given all of the huge issues facing the United States, he really felt it was necessary to down tools to defend unruly 20-somethings ability to travel to Washington to scream obsenities and vommit? Hopefully the folks he's pandering to are not the ones that actually vote (I like the odds on that) and that thinking concerned citizens will see this for what it is, a singular lack of ability to remain focused on important issues. I'm not a Republican, but perhaps Philadelphia would be better served by someone other than Senator Casey.

  42. Pennsylvania Native/Nats Fan - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I think one would be hard pressed to find a more disappointing senator than Bob Casey. Sure, there are dumber senators, meaner senators, and more counter-productive senators, but I cannot think of anyone else with his base of political support at home who has rolled into Washington only to disappear. This is a man who obliterated prior statewide vote total records in Pennsylvania and is bordering on untouchable in elections because of family legacy (daddy was our governor), being a pretty decent, likable person, and other reasons that honestly are beyond me. But the poor guy never wanted to be a senator.Little Bob Casey rode his family name to a couple of statewide row offices and clearly wanted to be governor, but that plan got derailed a bit when Ed Rendell shellacked him in a primary. He got cajoled into running against Rick Santorum, who is not exactly Mr. Likeable and whose mouth wore out its welcome, and beat him handily. He's done nothing of any significant since (except for endorsing Obama over Hillary Clinton) and seems to only pop up in the news when he's me-tooing sports angst (piling on Paterno, whining about Nats tickets, etc.).As Mark implied, perhaps there might be some matters of governance that might better use some of the senator's attention.

  43. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Diz,Thanks for putting that together. I would caution you on a couple of points:– It's okay to use a player's career stats as a predictor (provided he has more than a couple of years of such stats), but if you're doing that you need to project a probable range of outcomes, not a single number. Using Mr. LaRoche as an example, even if you assume he's going to return to his career norms (whether BA, OBP, OPS or whatever), all that means is that the single number (e.g., .267 BA) is in the middle of a range of likely outcomes. I fiddled around with his OPS+ numbers the other day and came up with a likely range of performance between 100 (exactly league average) and 125 (a pretty nice year, but not elite level). But you can't say that his likely OPS+ performance will be 112 (his career number).– On the young folks with only a single year (or even two years) of data, it's all pretty subjective. You really can't make any projections based on their single-year numbers (or, in Mr. Desmond's case, two years' worth). Yes, you can extrapolate some from their minor league performances, but even that's pretty speculative. In many ways, with the second- and third-year players, you simply have to rely on the manager's judgment as to whether they're learning to be major league players. And, as we all know, even managers aren't infallible.

  44. TimDz - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    NatsJack on Florida said… TimDZ….bigger like working out. ————————–Lets hope the workout regemin included exercises to build up stamina…

  45. Rat Man - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Dear Senator Casey,What sort of deadbeat can take off work in the middle of the day in the middle of the work week and go to a baseball game? An overpaid, underworked Philadelphia government worker.

  46. Pennsylvania Native/Nats Fan - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Rat Man,I'm not going to get into a political fight on a sports blog, but what's with the slam on government employees, be they in Philly or elsewhere? The drunken hordes who tend to roll into town with the Phillies seem like the unemployed, living in their folks' basement type.

  47. Tcostant - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    You can e-mail Casey at the link below MicheleS http://casey.senate.gov/contact/

  48. Steve M. - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Pennsylvania Native/Nats Fan, thanks for the insiders view on this clown.I can't stand when politicians try to score points by stepping into the world of entertainment/sports.

  49. NatsNut - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    regarding Casey needing more important issues to work on.It's a good argument, but honestly, all it probably took was one of his free or underpaid interns to draft the letter for his signature and then send a quick leak to the media.

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Just posted a pic of Jordan and Ross on twitter.NatsJackinFl.

  51. Tcostant - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I don't mind the senator speaking up for constituents, it's an issue that made A1 of their local paper. I wish our leaders, sent the Nationals a letter, when our ticket office was selling opening day group sales to Philly, before they went on sale to the public. All this is gonna make that May series fun!

  52. NatsLady - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Got mine. They are SOLD OUT of the $10 tickets for Saturday, so had to go up to $15 tickets. Also got some tix for Sunday. Will be putting together a party of friends for both days.By the way, they mail you the tickets. You can't pick them up at will-call as you do with normal tickets, or leave them at will-call for someone else. So if people are buying/selling them on E-Bay, be careful, you have to have the physical ticket.

  53. TimDz - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Thanks for the pic Jack…You are now the THIRD person I am following on Twitter (the first two being my 17 y/o daughter and 12 y/o son…and THAT being strictly for monitoring purposes)

  54. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Pennsylvania Native/Nats Fan said… I think RatMan was referring to Senator Casey as the overpaid, underworked Philadelphia government worker. Rat Man said… Dear Senator Casey,What sort of deadbeat can take off work in the middle of the day in the middle of the work week and go to a baseball game? An overpaid, underworked Philadelphia government worker.

  55. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Not surprised re. the $10 seats, NatsLady, as on the first day of the sale I couldn't find two of them together on the LF side (had to go to RF).

  56. Mike Hall - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I'm going to Viera with my daughter from March 1-4. Going to game in Kissimmee vs. Astros. May go to game vs. Gtown and I may go to a practice. I'm staying at the same hotel I did last year where Morse stayed, and I got to meet him. Looking forward to another great trip–any suggestions?

  57. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Have fun, Mike; I'm envious. As for suggestions, look through the comments section of the two Spring Training Fan Guides about four posts back. You'll find plenty of tips in Mark's original posts and the comments sections.

  58. NatsLady - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    1A, I will be on the RF side Saturday, but was able to get LF on Friday. Also my STH plan ("George") has me on the LF side for Sunday, so I'm set.Since it will rain, I prefer the LF side, but what can you do?

  59. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Wow, Bob Casey asks for the Nats to open ticket sales to his voters and some poeple find reason to hate the guy for that? Who cares. Trying to paint this guy, of all Seantors frnakly, as some do-nothing who has nothing better to do with his time than annoy the Nats ticket office is pretty funny. Google Bob Casey and News. He's about as active a guy as there is in the Senate. I am not cheering for him or anything, but he was savvy in sending the letter from a PR standpoint and where is the harm in it in any event? It's just not a big deal. Can we talk some baseball??Man, this politics jazz has me craving a drink . . . Best 25 go North!!dfh21

  60. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    I prefer the LF side as well, and that's where our flex plan seats are. If it rains, I'll have my poncho. As someone once said: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. :-)

  61. Friend of all the World - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    That reminds me, it is now time for my annual baseball movie marathon to get through the next few days.

  62. NatsLady - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Don't know if this link will work, but here is a pic of JZimm's (baseball) equipment that was posted on twitter.http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/420557_10150650140975189_48589510188_11527073_1146005579_n.jpg

  63. Steve M. - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    dfh21, Kilgore just named his 25 going North and its interesting to ponder as I wonder if that phantom shoulder pain will land Wang on the DL so Lannan can take his place on the Opening Day roster.AK also lists Ankiel as his starting CF. Hard to come to grips with that one with his offense that is even below Bernadina. Best 25 isn't going North, sorry to tell you.

  64. Steve M. - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    NatsLady said… Don't know if this link will work, but here is a pic of JZimm's (baseball) equipment that was posted on twitter.http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/420557_10150650140975189_48589510188_11527073_1146005579_n.jpg February 10, 2012 11:43 AM 3 sets of home and road uni's. That must be for the regular season. I notice 2 pairs of pants are open bottom and 1 pair is the high sock style that Alfonso Soriano made popular in DC.Cool pic, thanks for sharing!

  65. Diz - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    My only real disagreement with Kilgore is Lombardozzi. I think he starts in AAA and gets his full ABs. I think Blanco or Hoffpauir come up with the team as the utility infielder.

  66. Feel Wood - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Can't recall Zimmermann ever wearing anything but the high sock pants when he pitches. Like Strasburg in that regard. If he has two pairs of long legs and only one pair of short legs, he must wear the long legs when he's on the bench between starts. Five days is plenty of time to launder a pair of short leg pants.Also recall one game last year when both Jordan and Ryan wore the high socks and everyone else had on the long pants. Almost like they were twins and momma dressed them alike.

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Here ya go, NatsLady.

  68. NatsLady - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Did you see Nationals Truck Day on the Nationals MLB site????? IT'S HAPPENING, people, it's happening!

  69. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Steve M and Diz — I agree with both of oyu. I think Blanco likey makes the team, barring some MI injury Lombo goes to Cuse. And I think that Beradina brings more of what the club needs in terms of potential 2 hole platoon guy than Ankiel does (makes more contact, K's less, better speed). We'll see.9 more days. :-)dfh21

  70. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I go over to Viera every Friday and will be there next Sunday, as well. I will post pics on twitter during each trip plus all the ST games that I attend (scheduled to see 20 so far).

  71. Steve M. - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Feel Wood said… Can't recall Zimmermann ever wearing anything but the high sock pants when he pitches. Like Strasburg in that regard. If he has two pairs of long legs and only one pair of short legs, he must wear the long legs when he's on the bench between starts. Five days is plenty of time to launder a pair of short leg pants.Also recall one game last year when both Jordan and Ryan wore the high socks and everyone else had on the long pants. Almost like they were twins and momma dressed them alike. February 10, 2012 12:14 PM JZim wears the long style for pre-game warmups sometimes and for BP and like you said on the bench for his off days.For the position players that feet first slide, they tear up the seats in the pants often. The clubbie does a patch repair on them typically. I think Zim is an exception because last year I think I saw about 1/2 dozen pairs of white pants in his locker.

  72. NatsLady - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I would not be surprised to see Ankiel "re-inventing" himself again as a "slugger." He is motivated.OTOH, I would not be surprised to see him on the DL, either.

  73. Steve M. - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Anonymous said… Steve M and Diz — I agree with both of oyu. I think Blanco likey makes the team, barring some MI injury Lombo goes to Cuse. And I think that Beradina brings more of what the club needs in terms of potential 2 hole platoon guy than Ankiel does (makes more contact, K's less, better speed). We'll see.9 more days. :-)dfh21 February 10, 2012 12:28 PM Yep agreed. Clearly Bernadina can't lead-off with his stats in lead-off but he has decent career stats in the 2 hole and 6 hole and has the speed to make things happen. In an offensive deprived team like this, a +.20 OBP will help. I just think Rizzo is thinking Ankiel.

  74. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Anon @ 9:53 said: "Every position player could be above average in AVG/OPB/SLG and we could still be a losing club."#################################If we're talking about the 2012 Nats and we're making the near-universal assumption that the Nats' pitching remains above league average in runs allowed (a key point for everything that follows), then you can't really make that statement (well, obviously you can make it, but I'd like to see an argument that's based on some sort of data or mathematical analysis and that doesn't center exclusively on Mr. Desmond's lead-off skills).I've look at NL data for the 2005-2011 seasons. During those seven seasons, I could find NO (zero) teams that have finished at or above league average in AVG, OBP, and OPS and failed to also finish above league average in runs scored. So, unless you can find more than a token exception in pre-2005 data, grant me the argument that 'above league average' AVG/OBP/OPS equals above league average in scoring.Now, recalling that we all assume the Nats will finish better than league average in pitching, please note that 28 teams have finished 'better than league average' in both runs scored and runs allowed in that time frame. Of those 28 teams, NONE (zero) of them finished with a losing record. (I fully acknowledge that one team, the 2005 Brewers, ended up with a .500 record, but — for what it's worth — their Pythagorean record was 84-78, suggesting they were thus "unlucky" in their actual play and final record.)I have real doubts — expressed here before — that the 2012 Nats will truly be able to finish 'above league average' in runs scored (unless they add at least one more solid OBP/OPS player). But I am extremely confident that "if every position player could be above average" in his basic offensive stats (and the pitching holds up, as we expect), the Nats will finish above .500 and are more than likely to make the playoffs.

  75. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Got home just now (taking the afternoon off) and I turned on MLB.. There is baseball on! Granted it's the Australian League. But it's still Baseball! Announcers with the Aussie accent is cool!

  76. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Eugene — I think that the poster above might be right. She/he did not look to whether a team as a whole was above average, as I think that you may have done, but performance from particular positions on those teams versus the mean for those postions in the league, no? The post was in resposne to Diz's breakdown of Desmond versus other SS's and Espi versus other 2B's and such. The game is not played that way. Clubs score more or less runs on a given day than the one they play.dfh21

  77. Stew Magnuson - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    It doesn't seem all that long ago to me when I went to a game in the waning years of Veterans Stadium where Mets fans had completely taken over their park. The Mets were winning, and the Phillies fans were nowhere to be found. They let a Mets fan, Mr. Cow Bell Man, roam freely in the aisles banging on his cowbell. You could get an upper deck ticket for $8, or get a free ticket voucher by buying a package of hotdogs.There may come a day when Nats fans are the ones taking over Philadelphia. A day when WE are spoiling their opening day by coming up by the busloads. They were notorious fair weather fans before this current winning streak. "You may say that I'm a dreamer" as the song goes. No, just a typical baseball fan.

  78. Whatsanattau - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Hey, they're getting the band back together: Ayala to join Nick Johnson and Armando Galarqga as non roster invites. 2005 Nats now coming soon to a park near you.

  79. MicheleS - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    NatsJack. Just started to follow you on Twitter. @AsbhurnNatsFan is me. That pic is great!

  80. Drew - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Vladdy Guerreromaking a call to an agentwho no one will meet.He's on the street.Look at him creaking.Can't get a sniff from the Sox or the Rocks or the Braves.Nobody caves.All the old outfielderswhere do they all come from?All the old outfielderswhere do they all belong?Manny Ramirezdied when he twice failed an open-book test.God, what a mess.Idiot savantHow do I say this with tact, or in fact, espanol?He's on the dole.All the old outfielders……

  81. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Diz, You can't really compare last year's Nats to this year's Nats. There are two reasons why this team will be much better than the one which won 80 games last year.1. Better starting pitching2. Last year's corner infielders were replaced in the lineup card for half the season by Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Laynce Nix (Morse would have been in the lineup regardless). This year's corner infielders have career 162 game averages of 25 HR and 95 RBI and 26 HR and 97 RBI respectively…that's a tremendous upgrade over having Jerry and Laynce out there. May the Baseball God's keep us healthy.

  82. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    dfh21 @ 12:52: I think I agree with you (and the earlier Anon) if you're saying that position-by-position comparisons are not the way to go, given the many different ways clubs put their entire team together. But what I was responding to was the Anon's blanket statement to the effect that 'even if every position player performed above average…' If that were the case, as I argued, you'd generate above average per-game scoring, which (when combined with the Nats' projected 'better than league average' runs allowed) would lead to a winning season (in 27 of the 28 examples since 2005).Anon @ 1:29: I hope you're right; I really, really do. And I agree that both Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. LaRoche have those 162-game averages (which, combined with their other stats turn into OPS+ career averages of 120 and 112, respectively). And Mr. Werth has a career OPS+ of 117.But, and I'm sorry to keep harping on this, even if all three perform perfectly normally, all those career mean is they have about a 75% chance of producing the following range of results (based on rough calculations of the standard deviations):Zimmerman: OPS+ between 105 and 135LaRoche: OPS+ between 100 and 125Werth: OPS+ between 100 and 135And that's about all you can reasonably project.

  83. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Drew -Your Eleanor Rigby rendition is stupendous

  84. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    All this projection stuff seems like the sort of things economists do. And we all know how great their projections are.Nope. I'll wait till they actually play the games and let the results speak for themselves.

  85. TimDz - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Just heard on MLB.com that San Diego's local TV contract will pay 75 million a year.Keep sharp objects.away from Angelos …

  86. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Thanks for the heads up, MicheleS. I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off. Aussie b'ball for me. G'day, mates.

  87. Just sayin' - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    TimDz,Someone posted that last night (about the $75m the Padres will be getting each year). From the media-market list I found, the DC area ranked 8th in terms of the size of the media market, while San Diego ranked 17th. I assume that's good when it comes to our expert consultant/negotiator making the case for a doubling or tripling of the amount MASN pays the Nats.

  88. Scooter - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Drew, you remain the awesome.I'm taping the Australian baseball, so I hope it's at least the mildly entertaining.

  89. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Thanks for the programming tip, 1a! I can catch the last inning or two myself.

  90. NatsLady - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    I don't think the Nats would be wise to tie themselves to a TV deal for twenty years. Who knows what the technology will be at that time? Some other teams are finding the back end of their TV deals to be quite a drag. Go for five years, AT MOST.

  91. natsfan1a - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Note to self: brush up on kilometers per hour to miles per hour conversions.

  92. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Wow, the pitching is pretty impressive until you realize the radar is showing KPH. Still not bad, but I thought they'd found Sidd Finch.

  93. Just sayin' - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    NatsLady,That's what seems — and could prove to be — a positive unintended consequence of the MASN deal. I don't have the details the contract, but if I'm been reading the stories right, the 'reset' that's going on now will occur every five years or so. Somewhere I read that it was five, but I can't find that reference. In any event, whether it's five or seven or ten, it's better than 20. I still think the Nats got shafted in having to sign away their media rights to MASN, but if the deal lets them benefit from other teams signing these long-term contracts by reseting the 'generic market value' every relatively-few years, then maybe the 'shaft' is in the other direction (boy did I abuse that metaphor).

  94. Sunderland - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Sports Business Daily refers to a rest every 5 years in the Nats contract with MASNhttp://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/10/10/Media/Nationals.aspx

  95. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    rest / reset, whatever

  96. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Eugene — you typed . . ."But what I was responding to was the Anon's blanket statement to the effect that 'even if every position player performed above average…' If that were the case, as I argued, you'd generate above average per-game scoring, which (when combined with the Nats' projected 'better than league average' runs allowed) would lead to a winning season (in 27 of the 28 examples since 2005)."The Anon above had posted: "The stats of our 2B versus the league average 2B are meaningless. Every position player could be above average in AVG/OPB/SLG and we could still be a losing club."The standard was performing above average for the postion they play, not above a league average for players and even if it were league average (for starting players only even) standard deviation matters, no? Being slightly above average or being a real producing outlier like Miguel Cabrera? And the stats of avg/obp/slg for a club are not exactly indicative of per-game run scoring — there are many other factors. No? Thanks. You're big-brained and you put way more effort into your posts than most people (me!), so I am respectfully questioning here not standing on any chairs.Best 25 go North!dfh21

  97. Scooter - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    gulp-BANGGNYB25GN!

  98. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Nice. Scooter, Unkynd, MicheleS throttling down drinks with me. Woohoo!dfh21

  99. Feel Wood - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I don't think the Nats would be wise to tie themselves to a TV deal for twenty years.They are already contractually bound to MASN for longer than that. They have no choice in the matter, unless perhaps MASN decides to cut them loose by having the Orioles buy out the Nats' ownership stake in the network.

  100. JaneB - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Sidd Finch! Sofa, I believed! I believed! I believed so much that there are still days when I have a flash of wonder about what happened to him, how I could have been that excited over someone and then lost track of him? Injury? Trade? Oh RIGHT. George Plimpton. Thanks for the memory of the day I "found out" about him and floated on air for hours — even through at least 45 minutes of someone telling me "Look at the date on the magazine. HE ISN'T REAL." These days, the interwebz would have debunked it before it even hit the mailbox. I love all baseball. Even the imaginary kind. Now, to get to know Aussie baseball.PS…I'm with NatsJack. Who cares who says who will be the 25 to go North? Let's let 'em play and find out the old-fashioned way.

  101. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    dfh21,Happy to engage; that's what I come here for (i.e., not to shout).You're absolutely right on two levels:– I'm spending way too much time on this (but I enjoy it; go figure); and– I'm using the team's overall average BA/OBP/OPS vs. going into each team's line-up and trying to sort out what each individual regular starter had as his average in each and every year vs. the league average for that position.In essence I'm making two assumptions:– First, if you factor out the spot starters (and even those who played a number of games filling for an injured starter), the team's overall average BA/OBP/OPS is going to be a pretty darn good proxy for what the regular starters would have posted if you add them all together and divide by eight. Not perfect, mind you, but even I'm not going to put the extra effort into factoring out, for example, the starts at third that Mr. Prado made for regular 3B Mr. Jones last year as opposed to the numbers Mr. Prado posted in LF. I'm just going to use Atlanta's final team averages and let those average represent the amalgamation of each team's position players.– Second, I'm still not sure that the earlier Anon's assertion doesn't produce the same results as what I've done/used. In a NL line-up there are eight position players. Team averages are produced by combining those eight numbers (with, of course, some Ps and PHs and such thrown in). If every one of those eight produces better than league average for his position, that's going to produce a better than league average overall team number. I may be missing something or misunderstanding, but I just can't see how you could get anything other than a team average that was above league average in that situation (all the position players on a team produce better than the average of their league peers at each position). And once you've got a better than league average BA/OBP/OPS, then my real argument comes into play (i.e., about needing balance).A couple of final points: I'm a big fan of considering standard deviation in talking about probability (who knew?), but here aren't we talking about the final results of a given season?And on the question of individual games, you are 100% correct. I'm talking about averaged performance over a 162-game season. Performance in any individual game can be way off that average. And in most games it will be, sometimes above, sometime below. Big innings, bad pitching, injuries, missed calls by the umpire, wind blowing out, wind blowing in, bugs getting in a pitcher's face, bad managing, good managing, too much beer in the clubhouse — all of those things can affect any individual game. But for the better teams (those that have balance — good hitting and good pitching), those things will (mostly) even out over 162 games and the good teams should have winning records. And for the lesser teams (those that lack balance), things will also even out and they'll have losing records. But any individual game? Switching sports, all you have to do is remember Chaminade vs. Virginia in 1982 (oy vey!), proving that anything can happen.

  102. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Sports Business Daily refers to a rest every 5 years in the Nats contract with MASNYou mean we can give it a rest every five years? I think we're a few years behind on that…

  103. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Sorry, that should have read:"First, even if you don't…" (emphasis on the 'don't').

  104. CN - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Mark,Maybe you can write about what the guys have been doing in the offseason, for example, Danny Espinosa did some work in the film industry ;-*)http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/safe_house_2012/

  105. Just sayin' - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Sunderland: That seems to be really good news. If the Nats can reset the amount every five years, then they get 'today's rate' (which goes up every few years) without having to commit to a 20-year price (which the TV folks offer because they know that $75million today isn't going to be worth $75million 10, 15, or 20 years down the road). Resets every five years makes the MASN deal a lot more palatable — so long as the resets are done reasonably fairly and honestly, of course. And I guess we'll find out about that sometime in the not-too-distant future.

  106. LoveDaNats - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    NatsJack, I started following you on twitter so I can vicariously live through you at spring training. That is until I get there on March 11. I'll look for you.

  107. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Section 111, Row 5, Seat 11 behind homeplate.I'll be sending pics the next two Fridays and Saturdays plus all games I attend.

  108. SonnyG10 - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    I am a partial STH on the Abe plan, so I had a ticket for the Friday, May 4th game with the Philllies. I just ordered two tickets each for the games on the 5th and 6th of May, so that's 5 tickets the Philthy Phillie Phans can't have. Woopieeeeee!!!!!!! GYFNG!!!!!!!

  109. skidge - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    NatsJack, I also just started following you on Twitter (which I use only for Nats matters!). Looking forward to the pictures, and I'll be there on March 10 and 12.

  110. Anonymous - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Nope. I'll wait till they actually play the games and let the results speak for themselves.And this is where stats come in. They can help predict likely outcomes. But you have factor age into things. In the case of Morse and Zimmerman one can almost be assured they will hit well. Werth is old enough to have reached a point where he may have started to decline. The same is true for LaRoche, and adding the injury? LaRoche actually far more likely than Werth if you look at the stats.Ramos has showed some real promise. Espinosa … one can be guardedly optimistic. Desmond, very little offensively and perhaps even defensively. Harper is still an unknown … The rest were/are basically subpar offensively to varying degrees. Without signing Fielder, one can infer that offensively, at least, they will still remain well below the baseball average which isn't good. And NO as in NOT. Signing everyone's idea of a CF likely would not help one whit. They needed Fielder to put together a reasonable, above average run scoring machine. It didn't happen.

  111. SonnyG10 - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Natsjack, I also just started following you on Twitter. I'm Sonny Griffith @sonnyg100

  112. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    And to the Anon that posted my post in quotes….you use "may" as part of your reasoning and I counter with " may not".

  113. Another_Sam - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    NatsJack -thanks for the report. I signed up for twitter to follow you. My daughter is teaching me the nuances, when she's not laughing. LOL

  114. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Great! Keep me posted as to when you're coming down to Viera.It's dropping into the low 30's tonite. Won't be going over till next Friday.

  115. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Truck day video, as reference by NatsLady.

  116. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Oh, and 8…

  117. Gonat - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I shot this video for the Bryce Harper Under Armour SWAG contest:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-s6JOyJClg

  118. SCNatsFan - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    8… oh my.The more I think about it the more I need to head down there for a weekend and see some games. Never done it and I have to think this will be a great year to do it as it will be swamped after win start winning our championships :)

  119. Anonymous8 - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Turned on 106.7 to see what they are talking about and its still Redskins. Today's discussion is whether Peyton Manning should be the QB of the Redskins.

  120. Wally - Feb 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Hey Gonat – nice video, I hope your little guy wins (and nice backyard, btw). But you need to turn him around to the other side and teach him twist his spine up into a pretzel before he swings to give him the best shot!(Note: capcha was haker. Gotta mean something, right?)

  121. Anonymous - Feb 11, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Nats should preempt the Redskins by signing Manning themselves.

  122. Drew - Feb 11, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Poor Johnny DamonSitting perhaps only 300 hits from the Hall.Nobody calls.Maybe he's Samson.He had more fun, scoring runs as the man from the cave.Now Jesus shaves.All the old outfielderswhere do they all come from?All the old outfielderswhere do they all belong?

  123. CBinDC - Feb 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    One Sport Talk Radio can not cover The Nats or the Caps it requires intelligence and both stations are short on that and long snark and bile BTW HI, how you all doing to everybody, it's just weeks away now :)

  124. Sunderland - Feb 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Drew – making the best of a dreary day.Thanks…Captch wingonsfWing On San Fran – Wing On

  125. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Cheerio, mates. Tuned in the late (Australia) innings and ended up getting extra innings. Yay!

  126. Gonat - Feb 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Wally, thanks. I used my friends son who is a big Bryce Harper fan and a big ball player.

  127. hondo69 - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    While we wait for another post, here is the link for subscribing to MLB.TV Premium for the 2012 season: I don't subscribe to it myself, but I do purchase the "MLB AT BAT 12" app for my ipad each spring for $14.99. Anyone who has an ipad, I strongly recommend that you get it. You have so many features to choose from that it's well worth the money.

  128. hondo69 - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I'm sorry! I tried to make the link but I did something wrong.Here it is:http://view.ed4.net/v/XN5PM2/7ZYK2I/6ZA1UFT/XFK4ID/MAILACTION=1&FORMAT=H?partnerId=ed-5611729-248149792

  129. NatsLady - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Not baseball, but very sad news of Whitney Houston's passing. A beautiful voice and woman, destroyed by drugs…

  130. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    It:s not that difficult. Just go to MLB.com and sign up. I've had it for 4 years and can't imagine life without it.

  131. natsfan1a - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Just saw that, NatsLady. Very sad.

  132. Just sayin' - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    From MLBTR:"The Padres will have about a 20% ownership stake in the new FOX regional TV network that will air their games, reports Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres. The ownership stake is part of the pending 20-year broadcasting contract between the club and the new cable outlet. The Padres would get $30MM in the first year and that total would gradually increase to $75-80MM by the final year of the contract…Based on these ownership shares, Krasovic reports the Padres could receive around $1.5 billion from the contract, close to the $75MM annual payout that USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on Thursday."===============================So — thinking purely in terms of comps for the Nats — the numbers aren't quite as good as they seemed a few days ago.

  133. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    And to the Anon that posted my post in quotes….you use "may" as part of your reasoning and I counter with " may not".Either way you look at it the Nats offensively will not be good in 2012. Not until Rendon and Harper are both in the lineup as seasoned major league hitters (along with Zim and Morse) will they attain and surpass the major league average offensively. I wouldn't expect a great deal from Werth. I do expect that Espinosa will eventually achieve offensive star levels. And the same may be true for Ramos. The point is acquiring a CF, a lead off hitter isn't going to solve the Nats offensive woes. Like anything else they would be assets developed to fit into a whole that would be young, and high performance. Not the only thing left to fix to make things work.

  134. natsfan1a - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    We'll start to get an inkling of what they'll be in (just) 7 days. Ahhh….

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
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.
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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