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Suzuki arrives, Flores adjusts

Aug 4, 2012, 10:34 PM EDT

Kurt Suzuki learned of his trade from the Athletics to the Nationals around 11 a.m. PDT Friday. His first reaction upon hearing the news?

“Get me on the first flight out,” the 28-year-old catcher said. “I want to be there as soon as I can to help the team. I was really looking forward to this opportunity. This is a good situation for me.”

Suzuki arrived in Washington late Friday night and this afternoon was strolling through the clubhouse at Nationals Park in a red curly W cap, shaking hands and meeting new teammates, coaches, clubhouse attendants and media members. All this before actually taking his position behind the plate for his Nationals debut at 7:05 p.m.

“It’s been a whirlwind, for sure,” he said.

Suzuki, who was dealt from Oakland in exchange for minor-league catcher David Freitas, immediately takes over as the Nationals’ No. 1 catcher. The man he replaces, Jesus Flores, wasn’t nearly as excited to learn of the trade and his subsequent relegation to a reserve role but cleared the air with manager Davey Johnson during a closed-door
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  1. IloveCheerleadingX - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    feel bad for flores, i know hes not done the best job, but the fact the media informed him of the trade is absolutely ridiculous.lets have a good run suzuki!

  2. Donald - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Serious question here. How early would I have to arrive at tomorrow's 1:35 game to be one of the first 15,000? I really want one of those Michael Morse bobbleheads with him in the cobra pose, but I don't want to be standing out in the sun for 4 hours either.

  3. IloveCheerleadingX - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    id arrive at 11-11.30 ish

  4. RickH - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Welcome to Nats Town, Kurt!!!

  5. peric - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Its hard to swallow for Flores but he has to understand they got someone who many feel was the face-of-the-franchise for the A's. In other words their Zimmerman but for different reasons. And those reasons are very likely the main reason the Nats parted with one of the top 20 prospects to get him. His ability working with the pitchers and calling pitches is what I am going to be watching to see as well as his superior defense. And unlike Pudge he is still young at 28 and may be capable of some decent offense with sufficient at bats. Flores didn't get Ramos opportunity to work with Pudge … JFlo has an opportunity to learn the game from a pretty good defensive catcher who did help keep Oakland competitive through cost cutting trades that trimmed that roster to the bone.

  6. pRAA - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Donald said… Serious question here. How early would I have to arrive at tomorrow's 1:35 game to be one of the first 15,000? I really want one of those Michael Morse bobbleheads with him in the cobra pose, but I don't want to be standing out in the sun for 4 hours either.I'm planning to get there by the time all gates open at 12:05. That's been plenty early enough for other giveaways, except for the Strasburg T shirt Tuesday when they only gave out 10K. That was madness. I don't think either Morse or the Marlins will inspire madness.

  7. Nattering Nat - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    I, too, feel bad for Flores. I understand why you wouldn't tell him two hours before he was catching the first of a doubleheader. But by the same token, it's a blow to him, and Davey should have gotten to him before the media did to give him a heads-up. I think the management team for the Nats is excellent, but the one area in which Rizzo (but not Davey) seems to be subpar is the human element. Flores had to know he was underperforming, though beat up, and the Nats need to appreciate him while easing him back into a reserve role for now. Throwing out one runner all season doesn't cut it, even if a large part of that is on the pitchers.

  8. pRAA - Aug 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Davey meets with the media himself immediately after each game. Them the media goes straight to the players. They're on deadline, ya know. When was Davey supposed to talk to Flo and tell him about the trade?

  9. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    I'll bet when Flores heard the news of the new acquisition, his words (or thoughts) were the very same as Suzuki: "Get Me On the first flight out!!"""I feel for Flores — to have been told of this trade by the Media and not Johnson or Rizzo is C-L-A-S-S-L-E-S-S!! Which, of course, Rizzo is and always was.

  10. rogieshan - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Although I am delighted with the trade, I have to question why for months we the fans were led to believe by club personnel and the media what a great job Flores was doing at game-calling and handling the pitching staff. Now, sources within the organization are saying otherwise. What is the truth here and why the face switch? When exactly did Flores start going rogue and became a me-first player?

  11. SFNats - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    rogieshan, what did you want/expect management to say? "Gee, folks, this Flores guy really sucks, but we don't have anything better, so we're going to run him out there every night."

  12. SFNats - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    The truth is, we have no idea for how long or with whom Rizzo has been trying to trade for a catcher. It could have been months until he got the right deal. He's not going to tell us, and certainly not going to tell the guy who's getting replaced until the deal is done.

  13. rogieshan - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    SFNats,I understand the spin game and the need to keep certain things internal, but I'm just disappointed that Flores is now getting thrown under the bus by a select few within the organization (allegedly). The optics do not look well on Davey & the management.

  14. karlkolchak - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    @rogieshan – well, for one thing, if the team publicly expressed unhappiness with Flores, that would reveal their desperation and drive the asking price up for any trade. Considering they got a pretty god deal for Suzuki, I'd say they played it smart.

  15. Bill Hicks - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    It's just like how the team supposedly has treated John Lannan shabbily this year–Rizzo is in it to win, not to make friends. What would you rather have, that, or making sentimental decisions like giving utterly stupid contract extensions to Cristian Guzman and Dmitri Young instead of trading them for prospects right after their All Star appearances like Bowden used to do?These guys are getting paid a lot of money to play a kid's game, so they can suck it up.

  16. Adamnational - Aug 6, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    Interesting did-bit from Nationals.com:"Offense is not the reason Suzuki was acquired. According to two team sources, the Nationals were unhappy with Flores' game-calling. They said that Flores would often go against the game plan against opposing hitters. There were even some in the organization who felt that Flores cared more about his offense than his game-calling."

  17. Adamnational - Aug 6, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    …That would be tidbit, not did-bit. :-P

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