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Starting up another season on ESPN-980

Feb 17, 2012, 8:18 PM EDT

As the start of spring training arrives this weekend, we’ll begin to have more and more coverage here and elsewhere of the Nationals. That includes blog posts on Nats Insider and CSNwashington.com, video segments on both sites (such as the above one in which I join CSN’s Kelli Johnson to discuss some of the biggest storylines of the spring) and my return to the radio on a regular basis.

I’m happy to report I’ll once again be serving as ESPN-980’s “Nats Insider” for the upcoming season, a gig that includes seven weekly on-air appearances across the station’s catalog of shows.

First up this afternoon: The Sports Reporters with Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin. I’ll be chatting with them at 5:45 p.m., so be sure to tune in either at 980 AM, 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM or online at ESPN980.com.

If you want to keep tabs on my daily radio appearances, I’ve got the updated 2012 schedule posted on the left rail of this site. Times and appearances, as always, are subject to change.

  1. MicheleS - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    At least one station in the area that can give insightful commentary on the Nats!

  2. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Very true MicheleS. Glad htat the regular spots from Zuck will be bcak and on multiple shows too.Best 25 go North!(And I think that Lannan's going to be on some other club's 25 before Sunday, btw.)dfh21

  3. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Man, my typing (and proofing) is terrible! Sorry. I will work on it.dfh21

  4. BethesdaFan - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Joined Twitter in order to keep current on ST. No trouble with your account, but unable to get NatsJackinFl?

  5. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    MicheleS, ESPN980 will be fine when the Nats are the flavor of the day as in a big winning streak or something else great or something bad otherwise, when Mark Zuckerman is on, otherwise a big void.

  6. Unknown - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    2 days – 2 days – AHHHH!

  7. MicheleS - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Anon 3:44. Something is better than nothing! I will take what I can from local radio. My radio options at work are limited.

  8. natsfan1a - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    That's okay, dfh. You don't have to be in regular season form for another 6 weeks or so. ;-)Thanks to Mark for the new thread and info on radio broadcasts.—Man, my typing (and proofing) is terrible! Sorry. I will work on it.dfh21

  9. sjm308 - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Being retired, I would like to listen to a little baseball on the radio. Unfortunately, in this area that is impossible. Except for Mark's appearances all they really care about is the Redskins. Not sure which show is worse but Kevin Sheahan admited to not even playing catch with his boys while they were young! Isn't that grounds for some sort of penalty? Thank god for MBL network but it would be great to have a local channel that actually supports our team. I have to admit that I was with the masses about Harper spending the first 25 days or so in the minors but there was an anon post in the last article that actually made great sense. It would send a message to others on this club and around the league that we are serious about winning. Now for that to happen, Harper would have to play well enough to deserve the opportunity but if he does, I am willing to hope that in 5 years he will have grown to love our town and the winning teams and will extend with us and not the third place AL East Yankees.

  10. Sunderland - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    And so I'll try and sway sjm back to the masses.I would suggest there's a reasonable chance Harper gets traded at some point, rather than lose him to free agency. Both he and Boras seem like they will definitely want to test free agency.So keeping Harper down for 20+ days adds another whole year to how long he is under team control, making him ever so much more valuable as a trading chip.

  11. Just sayin' - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    sjm308 said… "…It would send a message to others on this club and around the league that we are serious about winning…"——————————-Guaranteeing that extra year in Washington would send a message to the NL East that the Nats are serious about contending for the next six-plus years.

  12. Tcostant - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    I look forward to those 980 reports, especially when your calling in from the ballpark.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    dfh21……be ready Monday morning when Lannen is still throwing bull pen sessions in Viera. You're gonna catch some flack.

  14. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    On September 5th last season his ERA was at 3.48 then he fell off his last 4 starts.I MEASURED HIM ACROSS THREE YEARS and the reason why Lannan was sent to the MINORS AA was PERFORMANCE NOT INJURY. The previous year, 2009, his closest to reaching 200 innings he had a -20.0 pRAA the worst year of all three. His adjusted ERA (forget ERA it just doesn't do the job anymore) or tRA was well OVER 5 consistently. While Livo managed to have both good and bad. Basically Lannan was all BAD. Period. Sorry to burst your balloon but Lannan is not even close to as good as Tommy Milone and I admit I was fervently hoping Milone would replace Lannan in the rotation because, well, Milone is the better pitcher by far. Unfortunately Rizzo couldn't convince Billy Beane to take Lannan instead. There are about 5 million reasons why but of the players traded I would have wished they had kept Milone.

  15. MicheleS - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Okay.. I don't normally post stuff that Ladson posts (mostly because we rip him), but he was in Viera and has a couple of good quotes from Storen/Clipp (NatsLady's crush)/and yes, Ian.Ladson Article

  16. MicheleS - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    And since it is 5 O'clock…BEST 25 NORTH! It's Happy Hour Folks!

  17. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    NatsJack — I am prepared to take some flack, but how much do I deserve by guessing a Lannan trade might go down? KC, NYY, Boston and Seattle and maybe Detroit should be interested. And it makes some sense to have this done before guys report. We'll see. Tell you what, if it does happen by some strange chance, I will not give you any flack for having missed your prediction. :-)dfh21

  18. Diz - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Have to say that if the Caps don't make the playoffs (which is looking more and more likely), and outside of the weeks surrounding the NFL draft, the Nats will be the center of attention until August, when the NFL Pre-season starts up again.That being said, it could even go on longer if the Nats are playing meaningful games in Sept.

  19. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Best 25 go North!! (and I am literally going to Happy Hour right now, so it is appropriate) Great weekend all.dfh21

  20. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    I personally like Bill Ladson. I think he's an okay guy … a bit of a dreamer. But I like him … one of the very few that kindly answer questions on twitter.And he is basically always positive an upbeat about the team … signed BoldAnon

  21. MicheleS - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    signed BoldAnon..And that's why I don't normally post his stuff – I am fine with upbeat attitudes (heck.. I love Boz and he gets crushed here too).

  22. Wally - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Not sure if this has been posted before, or are the pix that NatsJack referred to, but here are some ST pictures:http://www.federalbaseball.com/photos/wire-taps-washington-nationals-2012-spring-training-almost-here

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    dfh21……should some club be desperate enough to give up a prospect deemed good enough to crack our best top 5, or somebody has that cf/lead off guy people think Rizzo is desperate for, and Lannen does get moved by Sunday I'll certainly tip my red curly "W" cap to you.And a word for Steve M…..when you get caught up with a "Peric" like Anon, two words always sends him running to other sites. Those words are"Boomer Whiting".

  24. N. Cognito - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Who wouldn't want to be paired with Kelli Johnson?

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    And that Happy Hour thing sounds pretty inviting. I'm torn between walking over to Haper-Shepherd Field to watch the Rollins College baseball game or head to my favorite watering hole to watch the Magic game.Hmmmm… No beer at the Rollins game so basketball, here I come.

  26. Sunderland - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    BoldAnon, I speak for many that would say we're glad to see you accept a name of any sort, if indeed your recognition of the name BoldAnon continues. I'll disagree and argue with you as we have for years, and agree with you on many occasions as well, but it's so much nicer to put a name to a font.

  27. NatsLady - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Listened to the discussion on my ESPN radio app :). So they ask if there will be a surprise this spring. Well, if it's a surprise, um, would we know it now?Then, after Mark gets off, back to football, riffing on Take back the Park, we get— "Let's take the town back from Cowboys fans…" Sheesh.(No mention of CMW or Clipp).

  28. baseballswami - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Having my own personal happy hour and celebrating the start of the 2012 baseball season! Even though the counter says 2, you know in your heart that things are already heating up. It's on!!!MLB Network – csn, Mark – the activity level has jumped up a thousand percent. GYFNG!!!

  29. natsfan1a - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Something to do other than staring out the window and waiting for spring (ooh, look – the daffodils are up and ready to pop), vote in the MLBTR poll on whether the Marlins or the Nats had a better offseason.

  30. Warrant Officer Ripley - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Wally – Thanks for the link to the photos, but two of them scared me. The pitching coach working with Jackson looks so much like John Hurt (the actor) that I expected to see the baby Alien bursting out of his chest (maybe wearing a little Curly W hat?).

  31. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Andy Polin and the rest of the regulars at 980 don't even make an attempt to sound interested about the Nats save Thom Loverro. But. . . want to talk about the NFL draft several months from now. Andy and Steve could go all day. This town and team deserve much better.

  32. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Why would it take a prospect of a recent 1st round caliber (to crack the top 5 for the Nats) to get Lannan? I am guessing it is 2 prospects of middle value, or Lannan is moved in a package for a package. There is no reason for the world to trade big chips for Lannan but there is reason for the Nats to move Lannan for whatever they can get, Five Million reasons. I am thinking dfh21 might be right.

  33. NatsJacck in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    The prospect comment was my way of saying Lannen is not going anywhere.

  34. Feel Wood - Feb 18, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    NatsJack — I am prepared to take some flack, but how much do I deserve by guessing a Lannan trade might go down? KC, NYY, Boston and Seattle and maybe Detroit should be interested. And it makes some sense to have this done before guys report.The point is not to unload Lannan at any price. The point is to make the Nationals a better team by obtaining assets that Rizzo wants from another team, and if the price includes Lannan, all well and good. What assets that Rizzo wants do KC, NYY, BOS, SEA or maybe DET have, and are they willing to take Lannan in exchange for them? If any of these teams really wants Lannan, then surely they would have inquired about him the moment the Nats signed Jackson. Maybe they did, but if so they must not have offered a package of players that Rizzo wants, or a deal would have been made. And why does Rizzo want those assets and not want to accept others? Because the assets Rizzo wants will make the Nats a better team, and the others won't. That's the goal – to make the Nats better. Not to make another team better.dfh21, your understanding of why trades are or are not made is truly naive. To put it politely, anyway.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Well said, Feel Wood.

  36. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    http://www.natsenquirer.com/2012/02/how-danny-espinosa-has-been-preparing-for-the-2012-season.html?Sounds like Espinosa isn't attending the Boras Sports Training Institute any more. I like how Danny emphasized the core training and flexibility. I guess we will see how he does in 2012!

  37. gonatsgo - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Heard on mlb that the pirates really wanted edwin jackson and he turned them down for us. Another sign that times have changed. They settled for Yankee reject aj Burnet. Good luck with that. Everyone except oswalt has signed so the next pitcher that goes down – Rizzo will be calling.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    There's more to the Edwin Jackson story. Rizzo, Randy Tomlin, and McCatty swear that they know how to fix a mechanical flaw in his delivery. Boras believes them and if they are right look for an extension mid season.

  39. baseballswami - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    I just watched the video of Danny's workout. It seems like a lot of pro ballplayers are starting to do more creative workouts. Core strength, flexibility and stamina just seem to be very important for baseball. Maybe they can avoid the epidemic of oblique injuries. Danny looks ripped. I hope his hard work pays off! When I was young,( yes, back in the old days),players didn't even start doing any workouts until they got to spring training. Today's players are very well-conditioned athletes and seem to work out most of the year. I would be interested in knowing what some of the others do as well.

  40. gonatsgo - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Natsjack – I think I may have heard something about jackson tipping batters off as to what pitch he is going to throw? Hope the pitching gurus can straighten him out. He has been on the multiple -team plan for sure.

  41. Section 222 - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    dfh21 – KC, NYY, Boston and Seattle and maybe Detroit should be interested. And it makes some sense to have this done before guys report.FeelWood — If any of these teams really wants Lannan, then surely they would have inquired about him the moment the Nats signed Jackson. Maybe they did, but if so they must not have offered a package of players that Rizzo wants, or a deal would have been made.The key word that FeelWood's analysis is missing is "yet". Those teams haven't offered a package that Rizzo wants, yet. If they do, a deal will be made, if not it won't. dfh21 is not crazy to suggest that such a deal might come together in the next few days because a team that is interested in Lannan might like to have him in camp from the start. But maybe it will take longer. Or maybe it won't happen at all because the package isn't rich enough, or because Rizzo wants to hold on to Lannan as insurance against an injury to one of the other starters, or at least see whether CMW looks like he's ready to start every 5th day. I think that's the most likely outcome, but I won't be shocked if one of our three lefty starters who don't seemed destined for the final 5 is traded –whether by Sunday or later in the spring.

  42. Section 222 - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    sjm308 — If you're looking for baseball games on the radio (as opposed to uninformed sports talk radio) once the season starts may I recommend the MLB app on the iPhone. You can listen to the radio feeds of any game that's being played for $15 a year. For those of us who remember holding that transistor radio to our ear under the covers as kids, it's quite amazing to behold.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Section 222…Love your take but that's not how it works, especialy with starting pitching.

  44. Feel Wood - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Section 222 is right. (Fancy that.) They do not have to trade Lannan right now, or indeed any time this season, unless they get back a package that they want. This is because, thanks to his option, they have a place to stash him – namely, Syracuse. His value will not go down while he's there, because other GMs will know he's only there because there was no place for him in the rotation, not because of any performance issues.Contrast this to last year when they had to trade Nyjer Morgan, because he was destroying the clubhouse and he had no options left and couldn't be parked in AAA until a suitable return could be found. They were stuck trading him for Cutter Dykstra.They can and will get better than a Cutter Dykstra in return for Lannan, because they can wait until the right package is available.

  45. Will B. - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Waiting for the Jason Reid excuse for a sports column condemning this Bryce Harper tweet: "@BHarper3407 Just signed the papers for my mamas new home! Glad I could take care of her! Dream come true! :)"

  46. Anonymous - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Those words are"Boomer Whiting".And when you want to send NatsJack back to his Stuckey's in Florida those words would be "Michael Morse AAAA player". Right NatsJack?And I was never a Whtiing fan per se' but I did think he might be better as a leadoff hitter than many of the choices Riggleman preferred. And I still do.But I'll take Lombo Mr. Wilson. Now, just toddle back into Martha and head for the Stuckey's.

  47. Anonymous - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    The prospect comment was my way of saying Lannen is not going anywhere.Well, he just may go to AAA as I predicted at least 3 months ago NatsJack right?

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Steve M……. Told you.

  49. Anonymous - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    I'll disagree and argue with you as we have for years, and agree with you on many occasions as well, but it's so much nicer to put a name to a font.Yes, Sunderland and I do look forward to reading your posts. However, when you can explain what the difference is between a "Sunderland", a petulant "NatsJack" and a "BoldAnon" I'll be happy too? Because they are equivalent to the same thing: Anonymous right?BoldAnon

  50. Anonymous - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Steve M……. Told you.Michael Morse AAAA. Told you. What was it you said? Oh yeah something about how he ran the 40 wasn't it?

  51. Anonymous - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Yep, its me Dennis Mr. NatsJack Wilson. Can I play in your yard? Martha said it was okay? Now, don't get angry otherwise you'll have to take that medication for your palpitations.

  52. MicheleS - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Stuckeys.. a fond memories from childhood (since that is what this is heading back to).. Do they still have the salt water taffy? MMM Taffy.And Boys.. go back to your corners and play nicely with your toys …Or I Swear, I will convert the next Blog Post into a Chick Fest. I will recruit all the women, Named and Anons' to comment our favorite boys in uniform.

  53. Section 222 - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    FeelWood says I'm right, and NatsJack loves my take. I think I might retire!Along with Boomer Whiting, don't forget to remind Peric about that Hall of Fame lefty –Aaron Thompson.

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    If "Another Sam" is out there, care about telling Peric about my take on Morse?

  55. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    NatsJack, I don't think SteveM posts on the weekends, not even on his Twitter. I see he set it up 2 years ago and has never posted.

  56. greg - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    natsjack, you live next to rollins, like walking distance? i used to live on antonette avenue and spent a good part of the mid-70s as a kid hanging out on rollins college campus (including sneaking into the pool late at night).

  57. baseballswami - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    I still think it's unfortunate that Lannan looks to be the odd man out. He is the most consistent of the three and has the best track record by far. CMW has no track record at this point – his prior success is far too distant to count.He may be a good pitcher again but will never be the pitcher he once was. Lannan has paid his dues with the Nats – I will always love him for his first start when he broke Chase Utley's hand and got kicked out of the game.

  58. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    baseballswami, I agree and no offense to NatsLady but not sure why she thinks CMW can go a full season and be any better than Lannan was in 2011.Most here get it but the casual fan under values their own players and over values other teams players.A player stats on his same team is a more reliable statistical indicator then guesstimating where he will be in a change of teams.CMW has very little track record is my point.

  59. N. Cognito - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Maybe it was posted on this blog, but I totally missed the news that single game tickets go on sale March 8th at 10:00AM. Here's a link: http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120213&content_id=26674696&vkey=pr_was&c_id=was

  60. N. Cognito - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Left out this tidbit: Nationals Insiders will have a pre-sale beginning March 1st at 10:00AM.

  61. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Folks….I watched Chien for two solid years, never thinking he could get back. I saw his last Instructional League start last June before he went on his 30 day rehab assignment. I saw no hope of him succeeding.I was wrong. He gained 6 mph on his fastball going ftom topping out at 87 to hitting 93 with solid sink. He will be fine.

  62. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    NatsJack, Wang has been fine short-term. We don't know how he will do long-term with 30+ starts with consistency. You know what Lannan will give you and he is projected at a 3.65 ERA in 2012. This isn't the Acta years any more. I'm nervous. I would rather take the guy I know.

  63. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Ooh, we're having a Chick Fest? Dang, I went to bed too early. I'm with you, MicheleS. I might have to comment on managers or coaches instead, though. Maybe we can talk about our fave sappy baseball movies, too? Yeah, that might just work. :-)MicheleS said… Stuckeys.. a fond memories from childhood (since that is what this is heading back to).. Do they still have the salt water taffy? MMM Taffy. And Boys.. go back to your corners and play nicely with your toys …Or I Swear, I will convert the next Blog Post into a Chick Fest. I will recruit all the women, Named and Anons' to comment our favorite boys in uniform. February 17, 2012 9:13 PM

  64. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I didn't have the NI sale, but I did have this, NCog (the games in question are during the May Phillies series):natsfan1a said… I'll be there, too, for the Saturday game. If y'all don't yet have tix, get on over to the team site and buy them before single-game tix go on sale (March 8). Looks like the "Take Back the Park" sale is still active. Heck, you could even get a mini-plan that contains one of those games. :-) Sec 3, My Sofa said… Maybe they time his arrival to coincide with the weekend "take back the park" series against the Phillies. Not sure I'd recommend that, if I were marketing them. The place is still going to be overrun with Phillies fans. Yeah, I'll be there anyway, but still. Not to mention, I can't see Davey making out his lineup card based on what the non-baseball people think. February 17, 2012 10:32 AM February 17, 2012 10:43 AM

  65. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I also commented that the two flex plans that once contained games from the May Phillies series no longer offer them. (I'd printed off the plan game lists when I ordered my plan in late January.) hmmm….hope that tix to the games in question were snapped up by Nats fans.

  66. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Oh, yeah. One other item for my Morning Posting Fest. One more day. It all starts up again tomorrow. Yeah, that's right, tomorrow. Ahhh….

  67. Another_Sam - Feb 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Lol NatsJack. On Morse, my own view [I'm a skeptic] is well advertised. On Lannan, my view is also well promulgated — I'm not in his camp for him being a front liner, but I'm more open to him at the bottom of a rotation.Has this been discussed here — regarding Harper: I've not yet seen him, but I he'll surely have to convince me that he's become a big league outfielder in only 18 months. Wasn't he a lifelong catcher until very recently?Regarding spring training — still a bit of uncertainty for me but it will be either the week of the 11th or the week of the 18th. Schedule-wise, the 11th looks like a very good week but that's the week that I have a conflict.NatsJack — I'm with you on the beer consideration. LOL

  68. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    If you go to yesterdays Federal Baseball blog, you can see the pics that were taken ny Julio the AP photographer I spoke of.All the shots were taken long distance from behind the left field fence.

  69. Anonymous8 - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Another_Sam, I don't think anyone thinks Lannan is a front line starter as he hasn't shown the ability to go deep into games.Remember when Lannan was the #1 here by default?

  70. Another_Sam - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Anon8 – on Lannan, some here often opine that he has some kind of trade value, which I don't see. I was totally down on him, until the discussion here that perhaps he doesn't evoke such a negative reaction if he's at the bottom of the rotation. I'd never considered that — I'm and fan and not a GM wannabe. But I found I was kind of open to that idea.As Ken Beatrice might say: "I'm sure he's a nice young man."

  71. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I think you must be talking about bullpen coach Jim Lett. (And on blogs nobody can hear you scream, so good luck with that.)Warrant Officer Ripley said… Wally – Thanks for the link to the photos, but two of them scared me. The pitching coach working with Jackson looks so much like John Hurt (the actor) that I expected to see the baby Alien bursting out of his chest (maybe wearing a little Curly W hat?). February 17, 2012 6:46 PM

  72. Anonymous - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    This is no joke, Lannan would be the #1 on the Orioles right now.

  73. MicheleS - Feb 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    1 day Left!!! Woo Hoo!1A.. We will use the chick fest card (movies/ogling, etc.) when we really need it! Like the other day when we had the NegAnon war.

  74. Sunderland - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Whenever you gals choose to chick fest, there better be enough spaghetti and cookies for everyone.

  75. natscan reduxit - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    … assuming the team were to begin regular season play tomorrow with the line-up they have – i.e. Werth in right, platoon in centre until June when it becomes Werth in centre, Harper in right – and knowing the current status of the Phils, the Braves, the Marlins and the Mets, take a moment, if you will, and predict the win-loss record of the Nats by the end of the season. … my prediction is: 91 wins and 71 losses.Go Nats, and hurry up about it!

  76. natscan reduxit - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    … about John Lannan, he has much cred among fans of other teams, IMNSHO…. three years ago, my Yankee fan friend told me he would have taken Lannan in any kind of deal, and it figures he's only gotten better since then…. I'm not one to figure the economics of trades, nor to suggest one outright since I don't always know the background of the players involved. But I know the Blue Jays need pitching, and I know the Blue Jays have Colby Rasmus, a CF they got last year from the Cards when LaRussa couldn't stand him. Rasmus had been touted highly, but he didn't do much in Toronto. … so (if all the other cards were aligned correctly) I'd wonder about an exchange of Lannan for Rasmus. Now, those of you who know better can tell me why that is pure foolishness.Go Nats!

  77. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Sounds good, MicheleS. We'll keep that in our back pocket.I can do cookies, Sunderland (probably chocolate chip), but shouldn't any guy be able to whip up a batch of spaghetti? ;-)Speaking of guys, are you there yet, Mark?

  78. sunderland - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    In case that was overly obscure:LoveDaNats said… Dryw and metooI agree about Zim and Pence. However, they are young enough to be my sons so I just want to hug them and cook them spaghetti. :) September 12, 2011 9:05 PM LoveDaNats said… I could watch Clipp pitch all day! He gets spaghetti (and cookies) too. September 12, 2011 9:18 PM

  79. JaneB - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I am down for a ChickFest, if it's needed. If that is what it takes, count me in. Meanwhile: ONE! ONE! ONE!PS>>>>One thing that's always impressed me about certain named commenters here is that, when they see new evidence against a position they have held, they name it and say they were wrong. That earns my respect for them as credible commenters. Unlike, say, those who always say everyone ELSE is wrong.And did I mention? ONE! ONE ! ONE!Next we need the count down clock for Opening Day!

  80. Theophilus - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Someone mentioned KC, NYY, Boston and Seattle as teams not ready to go all in for Lannan "yet." Yankees have all the SP they need. Boston would never go for Lannan because they wouldn't be able to buy insurance on The Wall in left. KC and Seattle will never be "desperate" enuf to over-extend on an offer for Lannan because they are perpetually in a "wait until next year" mode.Honestly, as much as I would have liked to see them get rid of Lannan two months ago, I don't think he can be traded for less than really high value stuff unless and until someone emerges at AAA who could be plugged in in a 2-3 start emergency. Pitchers at Syracuse, Harrisburg will be unproven, proven to be deficient (e.g., Maya) and/or (other than Maya, Stammen) would cause upheaval on the 40-man roster.Early part of last year, I thought Rasmus might be the CF answer but he went to Toronto and was more of a disappointment than he was in St. Louis, if that is possible.If the Nats are desperate (post-Cameron) for a RH CF, my wild hare idea is to snatch Justin Maxwell when the Yankees inevitably DFA him (out of options). His OBP and slugging numbers in AAA last year are really tantalizing. He could be worth another 30-AB look-see.

  81. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Ohhhh… Thanks, Sunderland. I didn't recall that.sunderland said… In case that was overly obscure: LoveDaNats said… Dryw and metoo I agree about Zim and Pence. However, they are young enough to be my sons so I just want to hug them and cook them spaghetti. :) September 12, 2011 9:05 PM LoveDaNats said… I could watch Clipp pitch all day! He gets spaghetti (and cookies) too. September 12, 2011 9:18 PM February 18, 2012 10:03 AM

  82. sjm308 - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    One Day!Jane B – agree that we have lots of varied opinions and it is very adult-like to admit when proved wrong. Some just keep bolding and screaming but on the whole, this is a civilized place to have discussions on a sport that is dear to all of us.I have not loved or hated LannEn but do appreciate what he has brought to our club. Lots of stats that "prove" he is not a topnotch starter but to me, the only stat I need is wins!Last time I checked, its still a team game and while LannEn won't be in the mix for a Cy Young, he is too valuable to trade for prospects until we are sure 1. Wang is healthy 2. Detwiler is where he was at the end of last year and that the rest of our potent staff gets through the spring healthy. He is more valuable to us here, even if its in Syracuse in my opinion.

  83. Section 222 - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Jayson Stark has an entertaining Spring Preview piece on ESPN.com. The Nats are his No. 4 intriguing story in the NL and his No. 1 improved team in the NL (tied with Miami). The Gio trade is his No. 2 best trade (though good trades aren't necessarily good for just one team).Thanks to 1a and MichelleS for inspiring me to figure out how to embed the link! Here's a good Primer for anyone who didn't copy 1a's instructions.

  84. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    sjm, I like that. I also think its not a problem having too many quality arms. Yes, 2 guys are going to have hurt feelings and not make the 5 man Opening Day starting rotation.

  85. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Thanks for the link, sec222 (and congrata). Interesting piece, although after a few paras I just started scanning for Nats-related stuff. :-)

  86. natsfan1a - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Meant to type "congrats" rather than "congrata." I must have spring (training) fever.

  87. SCNatsFan - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    JMax back for CF… perish the thought. I couldn't watch another AB by the strikeout machine. If he wasn't hitting a GS then he was making an out, usually an ugly out.

  88. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    SCNatsFan, they also set up JMax in primo at-bats vs. LH pitching and he still couldn't hit his weight.

  89. Gonat - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    JMax career Batting Average vs. right-handed pitching is .188 with a .276 OBP. He does have the highest OPS in baseball history with bases loaded with a minimum of 5 ABs. If a team ever needs a pinch-hitter for bases loaded situations, JMax is your guy!

  90. Section 222 - Feb 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    1a — I hope I live to see the day when a preview or wrapup article doesn't even mention the Yanks or Bosox, much less feature them. But it's great to see the Nats in the discussion.While I'm having fun with links, here's a summary of key dates, including voluntary and mandatory reporting dates, the first day when signed free agents can be traded, the last day when a player can be "Pattersoned," etc.

  91. baseballswami - Feb 18, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Since the mini-chick-fest was mentioned above, including spaghetti and cookies – has anyone seen RossD yet, even a picture? Anxious to hear if he went to body training sessions with Danny and beefed it up a little bit. Any time the mommies want to start feeding a player it's a sure sign he is too skinny. He has got to be the lightest-weight player on the roster. Hope he bulked up over the winter so that he has more stamina – even for the bullpen. It's a long season ( yippee, yippee for that, too).

  92. sjm308 - Feb 18, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Oh man, have to go back and hit that primer!!Thanks to all of you for trying to enhance my abilities on this machine but I am not feeling very confident..Enjoyed the Stark piece very much and its great to see such positive . I also saw that the O's did not fare very well and honestly can't understand how a franchise with so much going for it fell to where it is. I went to games now and then when we did not have a team and was there for Cal's last game. Very exciting. Would never have guessed they would be 14 seasons and counting of under .500 ball.

  93. Theophilus - Feb 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Take a deep breath, guys. I didn't say Maxwell had ever done anything in the ML to justify high hopes, just thinking that, eventually, he might learn to hit his weight (which I doubt Cameron will do, this year). Darnell McDonald was a total washout until he was 30 but has held a ML job for the last three years — and looks like he will this year also. Essentially, I'm just looking for a band-aid to get the Nats from May-June, possibly later.

  94. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 18, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Just in case anyone is interested, I stumbled across a Bloomberg TV special on Scott Boras (seems to be part of series on 'risk takers') while at the gym this morning — it was better than watching ESPN talk incessantly about Jeremy Lin and Peyton Manning. I missed the first 15-20 minutes, but saw the last 40-45. Probably nothing you don't know already, but still somewhat educational about how the Boras Corporation operates. In what I saw, there was no mention of Mr. Strasburg, Mr. Harper, or the 'special relationship' Mr. Boras has developed with the Nats, but there were short interviews with Pudge Rodriguez and Jayson Werth. The show seems to have first aired last August, but if anyone's interested it can be found at: http://www.bloomberg.com/tv/shows/risk-takers/

  95. Section 222 - Feb 18, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Thanks Eugene, that show will definitely be worth a look. After all, we might as well learn as much as we can about the shadow owner of our team, right?I agree that Cameron is unlikely to be of much help at the plate for the pre-Bryce era, however long that may be. Unfortunately, the chances of Maxwell ever contributing even that much are slim to none. How nice is it that in the near future, the only truly subpar hitter in our starting lineup will be Desmond? Well, maybe Werth too, but hope springs eternal.

  96. MicheleS - Feb 18, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    New Post.. mark is on his way down!

  97. JayB - Feb 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    The thing is…..yes they are much better…tons better….but to become winners they have to change how they do business. They have to stop hoping to fill key roles and go out and FILL KEY ROLES…Yes have the league needs a lead off hitter and the other half needs a CF……THE NATS NEED BOTH…..and a bench (worst in all of baseball last year…by a lot)….SO have things changed…not really…that is how this team has always done business….we will wait until it is too late and pick up whatever is left or try to trade for something in spring training….that is how we got last years bench problem….that is how we got the worst BP in all of baseball in 2009-2010. My point is that the same approach that killed the team for years is still here and will kill the team yet again….THE DIFFERENCE THIS YEAR…..Killed is defined as underachieving by 7 – 10 wins…and that will keep this team out of any meaningful games in Sept.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 56 --
ATLANTA 68 64 7.5
MIAMI 65 66 10.0
NEW YORK 62 70 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 60 72 15.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
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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