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Are they done for the offseason?

Jan 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EST

Associated Press
Mike Rizzo introduced closer Rafael Soriano Thursday at Nationals Park.

There are, incredibly, only three weeks to go until pitchers and catchers officially report for spring training, the Hot Stove League having reached the home stretch at last.

Across baseball, teams are looking at their projected rosters, figuring out what holes still remain and making a final push to address those needs before departing for Florida or Arizona. In Washington, though, there doesn't appear to be any shopping or fine-tuning left to accomplish.

Two major transactions last week — the signing of closer Rafael Soriano and the trade of Michael Morse — essentially wrapped up the offseason for the Nationals. General manager Mike Rizzo said as much on Thursday when asked if he's done for the winter.

"Yeah, we like the team we have," he said.

Rizzo clarified that by insisting "we're always open for business if something pops up that makes us better." But make no mistake: The Nationals aren't actively looking to add anything else ofRead more »

  1. The Retired Journalist - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Certainly take any opportunities which present themselves, but I like the look this roster against the other teams of the NL East.

  2. MicheleS - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    The last time we thought Rizzo was done, he got Soriano, then he traded Morse. I wouldn't put anything past him.That said, Best 25 Go North!

  3. Another_Sam - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I'm finished with the off season. Booked to spring training yesterday. Third week in March, week of the 17th. Whos' in? Hope to see you there. Play ball.

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    The Jordan Zimmermann deal needs to get done. I'd put that at the top of any list.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    You and your Brother coming down, Sam? If so, let me know and Gator John and I will see what we can do for you on tickets.

  6. NatsLady - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Saw this on the Tweeter. Seems remote, but maybe the Nats could join this network. Might get a fair deal.John Ourand ‏@Ourand_SBJSBJ: @TedLeonsis will launch a full-fledged digital network this week in what is the first step toward setting up his own local TV channel.

  7. Another_Sam - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    NatsJack — yes, both of us again. Looking forward to seeing you and Gator.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    The roster does appear to be set, but almost every spring training someone unexpectedly shines to a point that you can't ignore them, someone else unexpectedly regresses, someone gets hurt, and as MicheleS said,don't put anything past Rizzo.Speaking of trying to convert relievers into starters. [Garcia],does anyone know what happens to Ryan Perry? I thought he was out of options, and he is listed on the 40 man roster.Anyone know his status?

  9. fast eddie - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Off topic, but a couple of good quotes from Jim Palmer about Earl in today's WaPo:–"The only thing Earl knew about pitching was that he couldn't hit it"–(a week after Earl's retirement) "Wow, we could have been friends!"

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Hey Joe. Good morning.Let me just say, I have met Joe and the lovely Mrs. Seamhead and can attest that he is NOT worthless and is certainly no jerk. I have not met the individual who claims Joe is both and can only surmise that that individual has issues beyond his own control.

  11. Gonat - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    We talk about how the MASN deal is just strangling new revenue for the Nats. Here's Leonsis future plans for his new media empire for all things Caps & Wizards and Washington DC. He also plans in order to control costs to use free labor in unpaid interns and fans. As we know, plenty of fans will Blog for free.

  12. natscan reduxit - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    … here's a question. This time last year the team was preparing for a season which ostensibly had as its goal the improvement of record so it would be seen as a pretender for the WS. Not an actual contender (as it wonderfully turned out) but a team which would be in the running in a year or two.… but things went better than hoped. So now I wonder if this fall and winter the team tweaking Mike R made were part of the original plan, or if the improvements and decisions were taken solely in light of last year's success. Would we have Soriano now or would Denard Span be here now if we'd done what was expected and finished the season in second place.Go Nats!!

  13. Gonat - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… The Jordan Zimmermann deal needs to get done. I'd put that at the top of any list. January 21, 2013 7:38 AM _______________________________Agreed. Don't keep putting it off.

  14. baseballswami - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I am all about Spring Training at this point. I will also probably follow the WBC. Will this be good for Espi's hitting , paving the way for a great offensive season? Or, with him out of sight, will Lombo''s play be beastly in his absence, setting up a duel at second? Really- I actually spend time wondering about these things while other people are still asleep on a holiday morning. Maybe I will check out the games that you can watch on the computer today. I really need some baseball.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Thanks, Jack, and good morning to you, too.Whatever.It isn't worth spending any time responding. natscan reduxit, I think the moves made are consistent with the way Rizzo has operated, and with his vision to build not just a winning season, but a winning organization for years to come. He sees this as a chance to win it all this year, but unlike other teams he hasn't made any long term commitments to any free agents outside of the organization.

  16. Another_Sam - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Swami – right on. NatsJack – ditto on the Seamheads.

  17. natscan reduxit - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    … good point, Seam, about the long-term committments. I like what Mike is doing, no matter the results per season. But I am thrilled that these same moves will put us in the cat-bird seat this year. Can't wait for October. But can't wait for July … or April either. Safe to say I just can't wait.C'mon Nats!!

  18. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Things for Rizzo to do1. Sign JZ to a 4 year contract2. Convince Vazquez to sign here with an out clause3. Go sweater shoppingYou can argue #3 is the most important… unless that was a gift from Boras

  19. alexva - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    I think it's time we consider the possibility that Jordan does not want to be extended.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    alexva… I'd be suprised if Jordan signed an extension. As I pointed out, the Nats have offered to double a salary which was considered generous after coming off TJ surgery. I think more like a negotiated 1 year around $5 Mil as I'm feel fairly certain Jordan would lose in arbitration.But obviously, a 4 or 5 year extension is something I'd like to see but just don't hold much hope that it will happen.

  21. baseballswami - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Alexva- I have wondered about that. We all consider this to be baseball heaven. Maybe JZ would like to go into free agency, or play for another team- the Brewers back home? He has said, on one of the rare occasions when he spoke, that he is not much of a city person. Hard for us to fathom that a player might not want a long term deal to stay here. Just speculation of course. We don't really know. He is kind of an enigma.

  22. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    NatsJack I think it dpeends on if JZ wants be be here and be part of what seems to be a nice little run we will have. You couldn't blame him if he wanted to escpae from the shadow of SS and be a true #1 on another team. I'm sure he'll get a fair offer its just a matter if this is where he wants to be.

  23. NatsLady - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    alexva, have been thinking exactly the same for a while. It's not that Rizzo is "putting off" a deal–it's that it takes two to tango. My prediction is that JZ will sign a one-year deal, or that the Nats–for the first time–could lose in arbitration.JZ is a No. 3 here. He could be a No. 1 or 2 on many staffs, let's say, for example. the Brewers. Why should he lock up his future if he thinks he will be healthy and productive?

  24. sjm308 - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    For the first time that I can remember (and that goes back to around 1950) we will enter the season as one of the favorites. Big difference for players and fans. I think the players will relish their roles but I worry that the fans will panic at the first signs of difficulty. Please remember that from the start of spring training until the end of Oct. that lots of good and lots of difficult things will happen. Can't wait to see Davey managing in what he has already said is his last year. Should be a fun ride.Agree with extending JZ and also the sweater thing. If he lands Vazquez I will be very surprised but he has worked other wonders since taking over.Syracuse starting pitchers?? Maya – Garcia – Ohlendorf – Perry(will he clear waivers when sent down?) – will they jump Karns up?? – I am sure someone with more knowledge than I will come up with a better listOne last thing – what is the status of Cole Kimball and where will he fit this season?Go Nat!! World Series or Bust!! Seamhead for President!! (oh, that ones taken)

  25. MicheleS - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    That sweater is just awful. He needs to burn it.

  26. TimDz - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    I think the best the Nats can do is sign Jordan to an extension that buys out the rest of his arbitration years…Beyond that, I think he and his agent will want to keep their options open…

  27. JamesFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Extend Rizzo forever. JZ, after TJ surgery, would be foolish not to accept a fair four year deal from a contender.

  28. natscan reduxit - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    … Davey J will begin his final ST in about a month, and his last season after that. I'm sure it means a lot to him. But as for me, I'm wondering who will replace him. Will they raise up someone like Jewett or Knorr (or others) from within, or will they look elsewhere? What would YOU do?

  29. Steady Eddie - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    While re JZIMM I believe NJ, NL, and SCNats have made some astute observations re JZ's motivations, it's possible as well that he may simply want to play it one year at a time at this point — both in terms of better defining his own value and, equally important, seeing how well the team coalesces, or doesn't, to go deep into October. The #1 vs #3 thing is not trivial, but ultimately for a fierce competitor like JZ, other things being close enough, the most important thing is to play for a winner. If the Nats become like the 90's Braves were — always in the deep playoff and WS equations — JZ will want to stay for money that's reasonably close to market level. But on both of those counts, it's just too early to say right now. If the 2013 Nats get to the WS or at least the NLCS, and JZ has a 15+ win, sub-3.00 ERA, 180+ K, 200+ IP season, he may be open to signing but will be up in the 5-6 year, ~$100M+ range. That's my foolhardy prediction, anyway.Sjm, I'd say Perry has got to be MiLB trade bait as he'd get picked up on waivers by someone.Kimball was rehabbing from his shoulder issues most of last season — pitched a few ineffectual innings in July, I think it was, and then a few 7+ ERA innings in the AFL. Got an AFL sportsmanship award. Not looking hopeful for him getting back to his earlier developmental trajectory (good stuff but control issues), but it just may take this year too to see if he can come back. Shame if he can't because he seems like a good, promising, hardworking, focused guy

  30. Steady Eddie - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Tried to add re Kimball –… But as they say, time will tell.

  31. Doc - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Although his WHIP is 3rd best in modern baseball history, our guy Soriano didn't get much respect in the Reliever Ratings on MLB Network.Even The Shredder left him out! And this is a guy that is being paid the highest reliever salary in history, or there abouts.Still think that this is a good signing.GooooooooooooooNaaaaaaaaaats!!!!!!!!

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I believe Rizzo will trade Henry to an AL team for a low level prospect.I think the last piece of the puzzle is signing Javier Vázquez.

  33. NCNatsie - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    I absolutely agree that the holdup in signing JZ to a long-term contract is that it makes no sense from his standpoint to do that this year. He surely expects his value to be greater next year, and whether he wants to stay in Washington, go home to Cheesestate or simply throw his cap in the FA ring and take the best money offered, isn't really the point.BTW, just got the tix: Mrs. Natsie and I will be in Viera Mar 8-9 for the Cards and Fish games and would love to see any Insiders who happen to be around.

  34. sjm308 - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Ghost – if your thoughts come true, would you put Vazquez in the bullpen to start the year? Also wondering how you got that cool accent thing over his a?I loved watching HRod when he was on but have to agree that when he imploded it was very very ugly to watch. I will not be crushed to lose him but I still feel he will end up successful at some point.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    SJM, absolutely I start Vázquez in the bullpen. He's throwing 96 top speed and pitched for the Yankees out of their bullpen a few years ago.If he is needed as a starter the challenge will be to stretch him out.He's expensive insurance, but that's the cost of winning and preparedness.

  36. Snivius - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Today's post is a testament to how far this franchise has come since it was an unwanted stepchild that MLB considered contracting, and made to play "home" games in Puerto Rico, like something out of the movie Major League.As a counterpoint, one of Mark's most compelling posts ever was his listing of all the players who never set foot on a major league field (as actual players in an official game) after they took off a Nats uniform– an amazing and depressing array of has-beens or never-weres. Anyone remember "The Surge" of 50-some pitchers coming to Spring Training one year? I watched 'em anyway. Now we get a team that will be fun to watch.

  37. Gonat - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    What I don't think Rizzo can offer Vazquez is a starters job on the Opening Day roster.Would he take a guarantee in the bullpen with the op to jump into the starting rotation if needed?I guess we will see but as well as he has pitched I think his stock has gone way up and he won't be settling for a MiLB deal.

  38. Gonat - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    If the Nats are successful in stretching Christian Garcia out into a dominating starter, I think that could be one of the biggest positives of this team.

  39. waddu eye no - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    inauguration – they're playing cordero's song!

  40. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I have not met the individual who claims Joe is both and can only surmise that that individual has issues beyond his own control.More brainless ad hominem attacks from some smell old flounder that's been lying on the beach rotting too long. We need beach clean up before some dog comes along and starts rolling in it.

  41. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    The Jordan Zimmermann deal needs to get done. I'd put that at the top of any list. If Rizzo manages to get the extension I'm sure you'll hear, (just as with the other Zimmerman) that this extension was actually their #1 priority during this offseason. That I am sure is what he has been diligently working on.

  42. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I believe Rizzo will trade Henry to an AL team for a low level prospect.I think the last piece of the puzzle is signing Javier Vázquez.But Vasquez specs out better than Haren. And you ready what Davey said. He's going to pick the best five. I'll be very interested to see what happens if that occurs.

  43. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    If the Nats are successful in stretching Christian Garcia out into a dominating starter, I think that could be one of the biggest positives of this team.He'll be there along with Ryan Perry. Perhaps Nate Karns at some point later. I suspect Maya goes to the bullpen this season in Syracuse. He lost his number to Soriano so …

  44. NatsLady - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    MicheleS, true on the sweater. But, y'know what–the sweaters and the wardrobe come with the territory. Watching the inauguration. Ya gotta go with it. God Bless America.

  45. Gonat - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Peric, does Perry have MiLB options remaining? I thought he would have to pass through waivers.

  46. The Retired Journalist - Jan 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    I'm looking forward to seeing you guys at the left field tiki bar in Space Coast Stadium. I'll be the guy wearing a curly W on his hat. (Oh, wait….)

  47. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Perry has no options left

  48. Gonat - Jan 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    SCNatsFan said… Perry has no options left January 21, 2013 12:12 PM _____________________________I doubt he passes through waivers.

  49. Oldguy - Jan 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Getting off Autotrain on March 7, catching Nats at Kissimmee and then heading for Viera. Be there a week.

  50. DaveB - Jan 21, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I saw some analysis that said that Perry has one option left …

  51. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I think Perry had to show something significant last year; we essentially got him for nothing as we would have lost Balestar last year when he got optioned after the spring. I don't see a scenario he stays with the organization.

  52. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 21, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Two (somewhat off-topic) comments:– Mark wrote: "…only three weeks to go until pitchers and catchers officially report for spring training…"What wonderful, wonderful words. Baseball = Spring = Renewal and Rebirth (even to a pagan like me). And as I was walking back from class the other day, I had the good fortune to come upon several members of the university's baseball team beginning (continuing?) their 'winter training' (or whatever you want to call it) on the periphery of famed Hayward Field (think Steve Prefontaine). Their season begins in less than a month — February 15 — in Hawaii. Then they start playing games here on February 22 (wet and cold games, as you might expect). Nevertheless, it's real NCAA-level baseball. Maybe not as good as Spring Training, but the best I can get to this Spring. — Retired Journalist wrote: "I'll be the guy wearing a curly W on his hat. (Oh, wait….)"In a similar vein, when I moved to Oregon in 2010 I would often tell people I hadn't met exactly that, i.e., "look for the guy in a red baseball hat with a white 'curly' W." And I was, of course, the only one wearing such a hat (I was sometimes asked if I worked at Walgreens). Now, even in the Pacific Northwest I can't get away with that anymore. I see Nats hats regularly in Eugene and Portland, and even saw several up in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., over the New Year's holidays. Not everyone who wears them is a real fan (I ask), but they at least think they're cool looking and make some sort of fashion statement. I'm no sociologist, but I think that's a positive long-term development for the franchise.

  53. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I don't see a scenario he stays with the organization.Ryan Perry still has another option remaining according to Luke Erickson. He just converted **For the very first time in his professional career*** to starting in the middle of last season. He clearly seemed to tire out toward the end particularly in the AFL.The jury is still out SCNat and as it is he would still be superior to Ohlendorf and the host of other vets they might acquire to pitch in AAA. He's a power pitcher to boot.He will of course have to win his job in the rotation during ST 2013.

  54. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Rivero is the one who seems to be out of options. Given his winter ball performance he now makes a very viable utility option for the Nats. Keeping in mind that Lombo and Espinosa are both starters. Lombardozzi may still end up traded for a top prospect or two as teams suffer injuries and their need becomes desperate. Hopefully, the Nats eschew the injury bug this season during ST.

  55. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Rivero versus Lombo should be interesting to watch in ST 2013.

  56. Doc - Jan 21, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    RE: Peric's comment on Rivero vs. Lombo at 2:45It could be interesting Peric, if they give Rivero a chance in ST. I hope they do. He's probably the more dominent player in the field.Apart from VWL, he seemed to make some advances in the box last year at 'Cuse.

  57. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I thought when we aquired Perry he had one option remaining while Balestar had none and that option got burned last year. My thoughts about him not being in the organization had nothing to do with performance as a starter and that being a new position, it had to do with the fact he wouldn't clear waivers.

  58. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Perry was awarded a 4th option year as a player with less than five years MLB service according to Luke Erickson. I would expect he researched it or asked someone like Doug Harris.Perry and Garcia make up what could a very strong 1-2 for the Syracuse starting rotation. If Ghost is right and they sign Vasquez (probably low probability) you'd have to assume that Stammen might join them. But with Roarke and Jeff Mandel they should have a pretty decent starting 4. Doesn't seem like the fifth guy with be Maya this season. It would have been Danny Rosenbaum if he had not been selected in rule 5. If he gets returned at the end of ST 2013 one could see him joining what could prove to be a pretty top notch AAA starting rotation. Bullpen still looks weak though … Hassan Pena returns from PED suspension to close in all likelihood. Unless they send Henry down to rehab an injury. Pretty much expect to see lefty McCoy (a favorite of Nats Arms Race) in that bullpen ready to be called if needed given his winter performance. But, we'll have to see.

  60. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Looks like the blog got spammed by a real troll.

  61. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Erickson know more then me, that hack? Just kidding, of course. Thanks for setting me straight would love to see how Perry develpos for another year.And yeah, that is some true spam. We can all get on board with hating that.

  62. Doc - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    As suggested by a previous commenter, Perry's performance in AFL was marred by fatigue. His truer performance was at Harrisburg last year.Somebody (Cubs, Houston?) will want this guy at some point, if he keeps showing what he did in AA last season.

  63. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    My bad. I forgot former top prospect starter Bradley Meyers will also be int he mix for a rotation spot in Syracuse in 2013.

  64. SCNatsFan - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I'm still not sure Bernadina doesn't get moved for the right offer; I could easily see Brown with his roster spot.

  65. SonnyG10 - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    sjm308 said…Ghost – if your thoughts come true, would you put Vazquez in the bullpen to start the year? Also wondering how you got that cool accent thing over his a?sjm, to get the á, hold down your alt key and type 0225. You can get this and other cool letters from the Character Map under System Tools in Windows.

  66. Doc - Jan 21, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Thanks SonnyG10!I was wondrin' how that worked.

  67. SteveRep44 - Jan 21, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    You know … a J-Zimm extension sounds like the perfect thing to announce at NatsFest!

  68. SonnyG10 - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    You're welcome, Doc.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Sonny, on my computer I can switch my computer between inglés y español.It makes it easier.

  70. peric - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    You know … a J-Zimm extension sounds like the perfect thing to announce at NatsFest!Yup. Only thing better would be a Stras extension … but Boras would never do that.

  71. SonnyG10 - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Thanks, Ghost. I thought you probably had an easier way. Don't know if I can switch my keyboard between the two or not. It vaguely rings a bell. I sometimes have to use the German ä, ë, or ü and I use the character map for those. I think there is a way to switch to the German keyboard as well, but I'm not sure.

  72. SonnyG10 - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Of course, if you memorize the numbers, then using Alt+#### is pretty easy also.

  73. NatsLady - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    very detailed article about Gio.

  74. peric - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Yeah, I should probably install some of the other languages …

  75. peric - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Anyway I believe Rizzo will continue to look for deals to obtain high ceiling but raw prospects to pitch in the A levels and not for anymore starters for AAA unless he comes across a lefty. Rizzo still might get Rosenbaum back as mentioned and he's pretty good insurance if he isn't injured. As far as major league starting depth Garcia, Perry, and perhaps Karns should be more than sufficient. Three power pitchers. And of course injuries can change everything.

  76. peric - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I do believe Rizzo will continue to try to collect relievers for the high levels AAA and AA.

  77. SonnyG10 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    NatsLady, thanks for the article on Gio. Very interesting.

  78. Joe Seamhead - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Good article on Gio, NL. It will be interesting to see how he'll do his second time through facing the National League batters.

  79. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Got my tickets to nats fest (a little late I know) but i can't wait to get there and mingle with other nats fans. 5 days.

  80. NatsLady - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Has anyone gotten info on purchasing tickets for the Yankee game? A friend wants me to get some, she figures it will be sold out.

  81. sjm308 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    SonnyG – thanks for the explanation – I am totally afraid of most computer operations and own a macbook. Not that I am putting accents on any letters because I would not know if they were needed but it was cool that Ghost knew to do that.I remember spending a month in Columbia one year and another month in Brazil through the USIS on coaching clinics for the United States, and I have never felt so inadequate. If I did not have an interpreter I would never have survived. I did figure out how to order beer in both Spanish and Portuguese by the time it was ready to leave.

  82. sjm308 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    I am not sure I am going to NatsFest. I called my agent and he said there would be no problems. I am just not a big autograph fan nor do I take pictures of my lads. Not sure what would be the draw for me unless there was free beer or something. Help me out here Insiders.

  83. SonnyG10 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    sjm308, no free beer, but opportunities to ask questions of Rizzo and maybe Davey. Also I think they're going to explain how the ticket system works re using our cards.

  84. sjm308 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Sonny, if it is as difficult as my working a computer, I am in for a long season. I really do not understand how they will be able to tell that I have certain seats for 20 games and other people have those same seats on different dates, just by waving a plastic card under some scanner. But thanks anyway.

  85. sjm308 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    I wrote a response to Gonat about GM's a day or two ago (they all run together when you are retired). I think I mentioned at that time that I was amazed that Marvin Miller was not in the Hall of Fame. This article was on the ESPN site today. I am not sure if you need to be an insider to read it and I am hardly confident that I am able to paste it here but I will try. I think what Marvin Miller did for the players is maybe the most influential piece of legislation in the history of the game.

  86. peric - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    cerverza? birra? alcool? That part can't be that hard … the rest sure … I can read it and understand a lot of it when Spanish is spoken but don't ask me to speak it … ~laughing~ I was able to pick upSoriano's interpreter … Not without a lot of practice. I suspect I might learn to write it quicker.I'll stick with Italian and going there for now … too much free wheeling gun play south of the border right now.

  87. Doc - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Yeah, thanks NatsLady for the link on Gio.Dang, what a thorough analysis of pitching motion and delivery; it was like reading an engineering report on the latest jet plane!I kept twisting and putting my arm in motion while I was reading it.So between 2009 and 2012 who was the pitching guru that tweaked Gio's new found technique? Or did he do most of it himself?

  88. NatsLady - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    Dunno, Doc, but it would be interesting to know. Anyway, I'm ordering the book on starting pitchers from the guy who wrote that article.

  89. Another_Sam - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    NL, Doc – I get it. In elevators alone with the mirror, I occasionally check my windup and loosen my arm. LOL

  90. Another_Sam - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    NL – I'm sure you know: StubHub. Sold out never means no tickets available; it just means expensive.

  91. Rabbit34 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    It is comforting to see Garcia as a starter. Right now I have more confidence in him than Detwiler or Haren. No problem when he is called up.

  92. UnkyD - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Rabbit…. Really?





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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 Click here for past audio clips.

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