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Gio on WBC invite: "It’s an honor"

Feb 13, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Though Gio Gonzalez spent much of his camp-opening session with reporters yesterday answering questions about his possible connection to the Biogenesis clinic under investigation by MLB, the Nationals left-hander also spent a good amount of time on a much happier subject: His addition to Team USA's roster for next month's World Baseball Classic.

Gonzalez described the invitation as "an honor," one he couldn't pass up.

"You get to play for your country," he said. "It only happens every four years. To even be selected or mentioned, it has to be at the top of your [list of accomplishments]. To represent the United States, that says it by itself."

Gonzalez learned of his addition to the roster via a voicemail last week from manager Joe Torre (who also serves as MLB's viceRead more »

  1. Rabbit34 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I'm against the WBC. You are not training with your own coaches, team mates, and you risk injury. Get injured in spring training, it's too bad. Get injured playing WBC and the "what if's" begin. It is very probable a professional athlete, in top physical condition, is more prone to injury than most other people. I know. I just know. So, why push it.

  2. MicheleS - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    We may not like it, but it is going to happen. Let's enjoy having one of our Nats along with Roger represent in the WBC (and pray for no injuries)

  3. sjm308 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    From the later responses to the Jason Stark article I linked last night.SonnyG – that was exactly my take!! I actually commented at the end of that article letting him know how I felt and how different Gio's actual press conference sounded from what he wrote. It was like he had already found Gio guilty and I just thought a guy with his credentials would have done a more professional job.Natslady – you are correct about the snark and it was pretty obvious that someone is wrong. Stark is claiming no one from MLB has talked to any of the players and yet Gio said yesterday he had cooperated with MLB.Steady – you also are correct that Stark brings nothing new to the story but the way he presents it to his readers is certainly slanted toward Gio being guilty. I just wonder how many other articles are being written out there with the same negative slants?

  4. sjm308 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I am not a huge Mark Cuban fan but remember all the uproar when he wanted his stars to stay away from the Olympics! It is a tough call. You get to represent your country which is a huge honor, but there is no doubt that you will put more effort into this than a regular spring training game which could lead to injury. I would have a hard time turning it down but Verlander did and probably others we just haven't heard about. I think with the other stuff swirling around Gio it was the right move for lots of reasons.

  5. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Ditto. Go get 'em, Gio!MicheleS said… We may not like it, but it is going to happen. Let's enjoy having one of our Nats along with Roger represent in the WBC (and pray for no injuries) February 13, 2013 7:14 AM

  6. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    And on the Stark piece, which I've not read (nor do I intend to), that is why some of us opined earlier that Gio's addressing the media would not put an end to doubts/questioning/second-guessing. People are going to think what they're going to think, no matter what he says. Further, I suspect that even if the investigation results clear him, there will always be some doubters.

  7. MicheleS - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. MicheleS - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    geesh i need more coffee!The countdown to Opening Day has begun!ThanksMark

  9. Gonat - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Love the countdown to Opening Day!

  10. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Yay for the countdown change!

  11. MicheleS - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I actually did look at the Starks article and the comments. And what 1A stated is true. No matter what happens from now on with Gio, people will always question. (and I suspect that MLB will be testing Gio more) SJM, after you posted your comment (Along with Teddy R.) a few posters chimed in with the guilty comments.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I think it's a great thing for Gio that he will cherish for the rest of his life.I don't really see the likelyhood of him getting injured to be significantly higher then being in the regular ST camp. It will also be cool for him to play for, and spend time with Joe Torre.GYFNG!!!

  13. Tcostant - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I'm honored that Mark changed the count down clock as I posted.On another note – has anyone got there earlier bird STH link yet to buy tickets tomorrow?

  14. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I'm pretty sure he was going to do it anyway, as he did last year. :-)

  15. Tcostant - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    BTW – to counter Rabbit's post; I love the WBC. Last time, I saw all six games played in San Diego and I saw great, fundemental baseball; it was pure joy.I regret alreay not making it this year, but will watch plenty on TV.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I look forward to the WBC, too as it's nice to watch somewhat meaningful games (to the participants) as opposed to the Spring Training games. They are two entirely differently viewed events. (There's got to be a better way to say that, right?)

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Denard Span is in the house!

  18. John C. - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    There may be some slight increased risk, particularly to pitchers, from participation in the WBC. It's far from conclusive, though – players get hurt in Spring Training, too, so causation is tough to establish. But even assuming that it is true, so be it. The WBC is good for the great game of baseball, which is the bottom line for me. I'd love to see the game grow in Europe and Africa as well as extending further into Asia and South America. In the last WBC people in the Netherlands actually noticed baseball after their team stunned the Dominican Republic twice. That's good for the game.The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, as they say. I'll cheer for Gio in the tournament, cheer for an exciting, well-played tournament, and hope

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Sounds like most of the starters are in Viera. Any LaRoche or BHarper sightings?

  20. Tcostant - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    I agree with John that the WBC is hard on pitcher, especially starters.I saw a bunch of post on the Starks article, so I went and read it. I though it was fair. It seems reasonable to be jaded these days when PED's are concerned.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Life is full of risks. Last year Ramos went home for the winter and got kidnapped. Sammy Sota wretched his back with a sneeze. Long ago Washington Bullet Kevin Grevey seriously damaged a disc in his neck when towel drying his hair. The vast majority of payers, pitchers included, do not get injured playing in the WBC. I see the risks as minimal and the rewards as being tough to measure, both for the baseball player, and for the man.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/8935151/jonathan-papelbon-says-took-toradol-shots-boston-red-soxThe last 2 sentences just blew me away:Papelbon said he is happy in Philadelphia and doesn't miss Toradol."They use safer anti-inflammatories here, have other ways to keep you strong," he said.This is part of the irony of the disconnect that everyone has to understand that there is plenty of injections and ingestions of un-banned substances and supplements in the backrooms of clubhouses that are perfectly legal.The irony is in the moral issues and what we don't see. The fine line crossed is a very fine line sometimes.Mike Piazza admitted to using Androstenedione aka Andro when he played. It was legal and sold at GNC Stores in shopping malls. Players will push the envelope as far as they can and its better sometimes that we don't know what's happening in the back of the clubhouse.

  23. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Speaking of risk and strange injuries.

  24. JD - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Stark has taken a position that given Palmiero,Bonds,Clemens,Braun one should never believe anything a player says at face value. Lance Armstrong fooled the entire nation for a long time with his 'sincerity' and 'indignation'. I think Stark is over the top basically assuming everyone is guilty but his overall thinking is not crazy. Let's be frank; everyone here really wants to believe Gio (including me) and most of the posters have been on his side from the get go and this is clouding most of our logic and everyone latched on to the NY times attack on Bosch as if it was the holy grail. I am still having trouble with Gio's dads relationship to this particular clinic and Gio's relationship with the Miami strength coach. There may be some reasonable explanation there but I haven't heard it yet.

  25. JD - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Ghost, Your point is well taken. Teams not just players will do everything in their power to gain an edge and the line between what is illegal vs. what is accepted is very fine indeed.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    That was fun going through, natsfan1a! This one might have taken the cake.Steve SparksSP, BrewersMilwaukee's knucklehead, er, knuckleballer dislocated his left shoulder while trying to rip a phonebook in half at a motivational seminar hosted by the team in 1994.

  27. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    JD/Ghost, I'm not sure the line is fine. Sure, it changes over time, and sometimes the distinctions might not make a lot of sense. But at any given moment, the players know, or should know, or can easily find out if they ask, what is legal and what is not. If they don't want to cheat, they don't have to. There are no accidental transgressions (Barry Bonds' claims notwithstanding.)I don't have a problem with doing everything you can to gain an edge (or stay healthy and perform at your best). I have a problem with cheating.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    JD said… I am still having trouble with Gio's dads relationship to this particular clinic and Gio's relationship with the Miami strength coach. There may be some reasonable explanation there but I haven't heard it yet.February 13, 2013 10:22 AM You are right about Lance Armstrong and the skepticism that will now follow every denial but Gio has never failed a drug test and he has never been accused of anything execpt in the court of public opinion.His name is in a journal with over a dozen of the sports biggest names and know that not all names were disclosed and most shouldn't have been. It has turned into a sensentaionalized smear campaign on some of these players.Gio deserved better and so does Nelson Cruz, ARod, Braun, Peralta, Valencia, and others in this case. None of them tested positive for anything last year.Like it or not, the spotlight will forever be on these guys. On the bright side, I understand that Gio's father really did lose weight. If someone took the time to maybe check into that, it could go a long way to the credibility of what Stark calls "the alibi".All I can say is thank goodness for the work of the New York Times article that NatsLady linked to. Conveniently I haven't heard any of the media outlets discuss how this impacts the credibility.

  29. UnkyD - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Well…. Now that Desi has silenced the naysayers, there is a spot available, under my wing, for another underdog. Somebody who has the ability to dominate, at his position, and yet has about run out of chances. A man who has reached the put-up-or-shut-up phase of his nascent career. Yes…. I am filing the paperwork to adopt Henry Rodriguez! It's now or never, for H-Rod, and I just have a good feeling about his chances. If he performs up to his ability, he'll undoubtably be one of The Best 25, and if he (finally!) "gets it", he'll be a vital cog in one if the best bullpens in Baseball!UnkyD is right behind you, young fella!!!

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Section 222 said… JD/Ghost, I'm not sure the line is fine. Sure, it changes over time, and sometimes the distinctions might not make a lot of sense. But at any given moment, the players know, or should know, or can easily find out if they ask, what is legal and what is not. If they don't want to cheat, they don't have to. There are no accidental transgressions (Barry Bonds' claims notwithstanding.)I don't have a problem with doing everything you can to gain an edge (or stay healthy and perform at your best). I have a problem with cheating. February 13, 2013 10:40 AM The fine line moves and the players better know what they are taking. Creatine and Andro were sold over the counter and legal in the 90's. HGH and Winstrol is distributed legally through a Medical Doctor and all of these are now banned substances whether you obtained them legally or not.I would say (my opinion) whatever Tony Bosch may have sold to Melky, Grandal and Colon didn't go undetected as they all were caught.These so-called undectables could now be becoming a myth but this is the year to watch as this is the first year that banning for HGH will be allowed.

  31. JD - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Ghost, I am not sure that discrediting Bosch exonerates the accused by default. I don't think anyone mistook Bosch for Mother Theresa in the 1st place but his being a scum bag does not mean the players involved didn't cheat. Again; I choose to believe Gio until proven otherwise but I'm not completely comfortable with his story. As I said before; how many weight loss clinics are there in Miami? Gio's father just happened to go to the one frequented by known PED users? I am sure there is an explanation which makes sense; we just haven't heard it yet.

  32. bowdenball - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    JD said…I am still having trouble with Gio's dads relationship to this particular clinic and Gio's relationship with the Miami strength coach. There may be some reasonable explanation there but I haven't heard it yet.What's wrong with these explanations?1. Gio's dad went to this clinic for legal treatments. Clinics alleged to have ties to steroids provide legal services all the time. BALCO provided legal services like nutritional analysis for athletes for years. Gio's dad fits the model of some one who would seek legal testosterone and related anti-aging treatments to a tee. 2. Gio lives in Miami in the offseason. He is a professional athlete who requires the services of a strength and conditioning coach. What else requires explanation? Because Goins might have ordered steroids- although I think the Washington Times had a story about his treatments being for a medical condition- that is evidence of Gio's guilt? Just because they worked out together? If working out with someone who used PEDs was evidence of guilt, there is evidence of guilt of every player in major league baseball.Those seem like perfectly reasonable explanations to me.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    JD, we don't even know if Melky, Grandal and Colon got their PEDs from Bosch and unfortunately too many are ready to pounce with the first mention of PEDs without letting the facts play out and additional background.There's too many dotted lines and inconsistencies that doesn't make sense and I agree that the "coincidence" that led Max Gonzalez to Biogenesis is beyond bizarre but maybe its 3 blocks from his home or some logical answer that nobody has asked or bothered to look into.A few months ago I was looking foward to Dan Haren schooling young Gio on the many different fastballs Haren has made into an art-form over his career.The best part of Spring Training for me so far was how quickly Strasburg said he was going to sponge off of Dan Haren. Music to my ears. I just want to get back to baseball!

  34. bowdenball - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    "I agree that the "coincidence" that led Max Gonzalez to Biogenesis is beyond bizarre but maybe its 3 blocks from his home or some logical answer that nobody has asked or bothered to look into.""how many weight loss clinics are there in Miami? Gio's father just happened to go to the one frequented by known PED users?"I did a Google search for clinics in Miami that do testosterone and other anti-aging stuff. I got four results. I don't know why you all characterize Gio's dad going to this one as some sort of bizarre coincidence. It doesn't seem that strange to me. We're not talking about Starbucks here; there's not that many medical clinics that do this sort of thing.

  35. IKN8wxU2 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Agree about the anti-aging clinics. We flew to Jacksonville, Florida two weeks ago and I was struck by the advertisements in the airport for anti-aging clinics.Maybe it has to do with the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. :-)

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    bowdenball, you hit on what I am saying. Nobody has done the research on the geography or how many shops there are. Stark went after "the alibi". Why couldn't he use his resources to give the other side to maybe give plausible reasons instead he took the side to make it look like Gio may not be telling the truth.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Here was the Strasburg quote on Haren:“I think I can learn a lot from him, especially the way he pitches and his repertoire,” Strasburg said. “He definitely has nasty stuff. I know he throws that splitter, but I think I can really learn from how he uses his splitter because my change-up is more that type of pitch than a conventional change-up.”

  38. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Not to be argumentative, but choice of terms and of search engine, among other factors, can affect results. I just searched on "Miami hormone therapy" using ask.com and came up with more than four hits. I did a Google search for clinics in Miami that do testosterone and other anti-aging stuff. I got four results.

  39. sjm308 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Ghost: reading Stark convinces me more and more that Gio needs to say nothing more. Like I mentioned earlier, these guys already have their story written and no matter what you say and how you say it, they will twist it to their advantage. Like you, I just want to hear about baseball. On another issue. Just got another email from our Nationals announcing single game tickets to STH going on sale soon. I did not read it closely but it looks like they are also offering a 2nd shot at opening day tickets. I already have mine but its great to see our team being promoted so well. Can't imagine opening day not selling out. I am wondering what the FO is hoping for on a regular basis. We will have those cold weather games in April with sparse crowds but I am guessing attendance will jump quite a bit this year.

  40. Tcostant - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    I got mt link too, interesting that it's a four ticket limit now.I think the team is hopeing to average about 35K overall with 30K on most week nights and bigger crowds on weekends.

  41. bowdenball - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    natsfan1a said…Not to be argumentative, but choice of terms and of search engine, among other factors, can affect results. I just searched on "Miami hormone therapy" using ask.com and came up with more than four hits.Sure. I did the best I could to sum up what I assumed we were dealing with here, something like "anti-aging testosterone clinic" or something like that, and did a google map search for Miami so it would count actual facilities instead of of just web hits. That's how I came up with 4.

  42. JD - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    bowdenball, How did we get to 'anti aging testosterone' from 'weight loss'? Aren't you taking a leap of faith here?

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    I once talked about how Chris Carpenter would work over the winter in St. Louis with the young Cardinal pitchers. When Rizzo got EJax here last year, a part of it was for veteran leadership, mentoring, and his post-season experience.Dan Haren is the greatest mentor I can think of for a staff that is all about the fastball. His splitter and his cutter mentoring is so valuable that I hope more than anyone that Gio spends time with Haren.I have long theorized that Gio runs into problems when his intensity level goes up to high and he loses the touch/feel of his curve and then has to rely solely on his fastball.If Gio can add a cutter, fork, or splitter to his repertoire it will be invaluable as another look for him and Haren is the best mentor I can think of.

  44. bowdenball - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Perhaps, JD. I thought I had read that he was going for the anti-aging and testosterone treatments, but maybe he hasn't said that.But more importantly, what difference does it make? You asked for a reasonable explanation. To me it seems completely reasonable that a man of that age (and that sort of personality, from the picture Gio paints) would go for that sort of treatment. How is that not a reasonable explanation? Just because he said that he was going there "in an attempt to lose weight?" You think he'd the first man of advancing age to gloss over details of testosterone treatments?I guess I don't see how all of this seems like that great of a coincidence. We also know that Gio knows the U of M strength coach- maybe the facility was recommended or Gio or his dad simply heard about it through Miami pro athlete social circles. Who knows and who cares? What does it have to do with whether his son took banned substances?

  45. Steady Eddie - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Kilgore tweets @AdamKilgoreWP: The Nats agreed to terms with RHP Michael Crotta on a minor league deal. He hit 96 in a recent tryout. Missed the past 2 years elbow issues. In Rizzo we trust to maximize Nats' bullpen options.How great that this mini cattle call is for ONE SPOT (and AAA depth) in the bullpen.

  46. John C. - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    JD said… bowdenball,How did we get to 'anti aging testosterone' from 'weight loss'?Aren't you taking a leap of faith here?I would call it an educated guess. Anti-aging treatments are a growing business, you see ads for them all the time on TV explicitly offering testosterone treatments, etc. I suppose that it was inevitable with the Baby Boomers entering retirement years. The target market: men the age of Max Gonzalez. But very few men will cop to testosterone, just like few will admit to taking Cialis, Viagra or similar treatments. So, they go for "weight loss." So, it is speculating – but everyone with an axe to gring in this story is speculating, very much including those who assume that Gio took PEDs. The question is, are you comfortable torpedoing a player's career (and potentially costing him millions of dollars) based on speculation? That is why the threshold burden of proof is on those pushing for a suspension. While proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not necessary, there needs to be substantial solid evidence. That's why I keep. on. saying. that we need to just shut up and let the process play out.

  47. Tony - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Also, no men of Max Gonzalez's age ever have the need to drop a few pounds. Even though their metabolisms are slowed down by age, the weight just falls off them with no need for outside intervention.

  48. Natman - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Crotta… another big boy. 6'6" / 235, 28 year-old drafted in 17th round by Pitt in 2006. Primarily a starter with a 4.63 ERA in the minors over 6 seasons; 414K/136BB in 659 innings. Career 35W/39L.

  49. Natman - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    "Also, no men of Max Gonzalez's age ever have the need to drop a few pounds. Even though their metabolisms are slowed down by age, the weight just falls off them with no need for outside intervention."One word: C R A P

  50. bowdenball - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Another thing to consider re Max: What about the strangeness of the flip side argument? You'd have to believe that Gio was getting PED treatments from Biogenesis that he knew could endanger his career and hang over him for the rest of his life if it became public … and he just decides to send his dad to the same clinic for treatment he could get anywhere else for no particular reason? Why would they willingly increase the risk of revealing Gio's "big secret" like that? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

  51. Joe Seamhead - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    "Also, no men of Max Gonzalez's age ever have the need to drop a few pounds. Even though their metabolisms are slowed down by age, the weight just falls off them with no need for outside intervention."That's bull-patooie, Tony.

  52. Tony - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Joe Seamhead's appreciation for sarcasm is bull-patooie too.

  53. SCNatsFan - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Tony you are so wrong about that. The only time the pounds start falling off is when you are seriously ill.

  54. Ron In Reston - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I'm going to guess (hope) that Tony's tongue was planted firmly in his cheek on that one. If not…..On another note, going back to 1a's link to the strang injuries, one of my favorites was one I saw happen. In July of 1982, I was watching a Braves game (don't judge me, it was the only way to see baseball almost every day back then thanks to TBS) and Terry Harper was in the on-deck circle. The batter gets a hit with a runner on, and Harper makes like the third base coach, windmilling the runner home. Unfortunately, by the time the runner crosses the plate, you see Harper bent over clutching his now dislocated left shoulder. Genius.Of course the biggest genius not on that lst was Milton Bradley, who while screaming at an ump who has already tossed him, had to be restrained by one of his coaches, caught his spikes and tore up his knee. I guess that's more moron, not genius. I'm not sure I can wait 46 more days….when is the first ST game? I wanna start looking at boxscores again

  55. Tony - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    SCNatsFan is also apparently unversed in the ways of sarcasm.

  56. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Tony/Feel was being facetious, as is his wont. Lighten up everyone.

  57. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    That's why I keep. on. saying. that we need to just shut up and let the process play out.Why? Nothing we do or say here has the slightest impact on this process, so why shouldn't we speculate? If we're right, we can pat ourselves on the back later.

  58. JD - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Bowdenball,I am not saying that Gio bought/used PEDS. What I am saying is that the story with the dad and the coach and the notes etc doesn't add up.I don't know how it all came together and I'm not ready to construct scenarios based on my imagination.I'm just saying that it all very strange and there is more to the story than we know; that's all.

  59. DL in VA - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    JD, that's because you're starting with the notes, and trying to figure out how Gio's and Max's name got on it. It's a lot easier to find many reasonable explanations, both nefarious and not so nefarious, if you start from Gio (and ARod and Braun for that matter) and go to the notes. The NOTES may be what is made up, not the facts that would support the notes. Coincidence is all around you, in everything you do on every day of your existence.

  60. Scooter - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    YOU'RE TEARING ME APART

  61. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Why? Nothing we do or say here has the slightest impact on this process, so why shouldn't we speculate? With respect, I disagree with the premise. No, Joe Torre won't consult this blog's comment section, but malicious gossip, or even just cynical gossip, takes a toll generally,

  62. Scooter - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Sorry. What I meant to say was, I look forward to discussing other matters when those matters present themselves for discussion.I hope everyone finds him- or herself happy and well on this fine day.

  63. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Mike Wise's piece about the high expectations for the Nats in which he turns them into a bunch of big headed braggards contains the following:" Don’t forget Harper’s crotch-grab after striking out in Game 5 against St. Louis, a gesture the Cardinals could not stop talking about afterward."Did that really happen?

  64. peric - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I don't care about PEDs. They don't replace lifting weights and hard work outs. They just allow you to do more on a daily and even multiples a day. You still have to put in the work … there's no avoiding the work.If it enhances and activates the Neanderthal DNA that appears to be a part human genome well it was still their naturally. The thing I have against it is the serious health repercussions that can occur if and when it is abused. See Alzado, Lyle. And in Lance's case he did it in spite of the tremendous risk involved .. yes peeps it could have brought about a major recurrence of his coriocarcinoma and teratocarcinoma. I can understand, if not condone his blatant lies that RUINED the lives of others. He beat the worst possible flavor of testicular cancer. It was in his brain which is usually the death knell. He beat it. To do that he had to decide that nothing was ever gong to stop him. Nothing. He became the "Incredible Hulk" in a sense. Nothing and no one beats the Hulk. The use of PEDS can cause mental illness and even disability. It can destroy your liver and kidneys … as well as brain function. And then there's that cancer risk that I keep mentioning …Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Heck no, its always, always better to do it naturally. So, above all else Lance was a total idiot and a fool! His greatest challenge and his greatest victory was indeed against Coriocarcinoma. And he was ready to throw it away.But that isn't why major league baseball banned it. It should be the reason but it isn't. Some athletes likely have more Neanderthal DNA than others and so the use of PEDS can give them a distinct advantage over other athletes using PEDS. They are still genetic predisposed to being stronger, faster, etc. and they still have to work hard to get the full effect. Espinosa's rotator cuff issue is the serious problem … So, please stop with all of the

  65. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Sofa, I'm not wild about gossip either. Like announcing that two players are married. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld might say.But we're not gossiping here. We're discussing, trying to make sense of a situation that might have — in fact is already having– a huge impact on the team we follow. And yes, we're speculating. Some might be a little cynical, (sometimes with good reason, see Armstrong, Lance), but no one I've seen is malicious. And I just don't see any harm in it. Calls for people to stop talking about it just rub me the wrong way. It's like when someone tries to end a debate on the merits of a player or a strategy by saying: "I prefer to let the games be played and see what happens." There's an arrogance to that attitude that is unbecoming. No one's way of being a fan is better than anyone else's.

  66. Ron In Reston - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Interesting read, TCos. I especially liked the Braves fan who said the Nats were vastly improved and the Braves basically broke even if all goes well. Who knew that there were intelligent Braves fans? ;)

  67. Scooter - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Okay, since Tcostant brings it up, I can ask a question that's been bugging me: can someone explain to me just what a "power ranking" … well, is? I don't get it.

  68. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Deuces, maybe you're right, and what I'm seeing is more just a matter of taste. Maybe that's why I had to learn to cut my own hair.

  69. UnkyD - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Sometimes I wish that there were two NIs: One for folks who want to hash and rehash stuff until other folks eyes bleed, and another, for the rest of us…. But the scroller prevents the loss of too much blood, anyway, so HASH AWAY PEOPLES!!!

  70. Tcostant - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Scooter a power ranking, is just how one writer see who are the best (and worst) teams at this point in time. They can change weekly based on injuries, overall play or minor leaguer's coming up. It just fun to see that this writter thinks the Nationals are best team in baseball, right now. Key words are "right now".

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Mel Antonen of MASN interviewed McCatty. Supposedly McCatty said Strasburg will pitch 230+ innings.Sounds like 200 regular season plus postseason. I think he has to be capped at 180 regular season.

  72. Tony - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    "Don’t forget Harper’s crotch-grab after striking out in Game 5 against St. Louis, a gesture the Cardinals could not stop talking about afterward."If Mike Wise ever actually watched a baseball game, he'd realize that the two things ballplayers grab the most are (a) their bats and (b) their balls.

  73. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Did that really happen? (Bryce Harper's crotch grab)Apparently so.

  74. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    It just fun to see that this writer thinks the Nationals are best team in baseball, right now. Key words are "right now".And to think we're the best team in baseball without a single player who The Shredder thinks is the best at his position "right now." Sweet! If I recall correctly, it has Zim, Harper, Werth, Desi, and Strasburg in their respective top 10s, but that's it. (Anyone see the 1B show? Did ALR make the top 10?)

  75. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Thanks for the link Sofa. The fact that it occurred in the bottom of the ninth explains why I missed it entirely. Oh, the humanity!

  76. NatsLady - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I brought up the situation of players married or in a committed relationship not as gossip but because (if true) it brings up several issues, and is somewhat similar to whether it will be better for Atlanta to have the Upton brothers on the same team. You also wonder what sort of discrimination they might face (given recent comments by athletes in various sports including baseball). We have yet to see a player in a major sport (besides tennis) "come out" while they are still active in that sport. Since the players themselves have not said anything, it is as yet merely observation and speculation, so perhaps it was impolitic of me to mention names. Nevertheless, it could happen, and it could happen on OUR team. Personally, I was somewhat gratified that the subject was met with more indifference than shock or outrage.

  77. NatsLady - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    222, ALR was on some of the top 10 lists, it depended on the analyst.

  78. Scooter - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Thanks, Tcostant. That makes sense.So, those shows on the MLB Network, they call it "Best 10 [whatevers] Right Now!" That's a power ranking?

  79. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  80. Section 222 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    NL, Desi was No. 1 in Larry Bowa's ranking of the shortstops. I was asking about The Shredder, which is the main focus of the show. Do you know if ALR make the top 10?

  81. Tony - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Adam LaRoche put in a full season in 2012, won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, and was shredded on account of it. On the other hand, the shredder loved Mikey Morse in his last complete season, 2011.

  82. Tony - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    But if NatsLady is to be believed, at least LaRoche can turn to Soriano to apply balm to his shredding wounds. Hopefully he will choose one that is on the approved list.

  83. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Uh, I'll take a hack at this one. Because we risk being on a future list of "strange Internet commenter injuries" due to rotator cuff issues stemming from frequent self-back-patting? (That's a joke, son.)Section 222 said… Why? Nothing we do or say here has the slightest impact on this process, so why shouldn't we speculate? If we're right, we can pat ourselves on the back later. February 13, 2013 1:08 PM

  84. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    lolzScooter said… Sorry. What I meant to say was, I look forward to discussing other matters when those matters present themselves for discussion. I hope everyone finds him- or herself happy and well on this fine day. February 13, 2013 1:17 PM

  85. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    such a boring day at work. can't wait for baseball to start.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 57 --
ATLANTA 71 65 7.0
MIAMI 68 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 73 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 73 15.5
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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