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VIDEO: Espinosa sits down with Mark

Mar 3, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Mark sat down with Danny Espinosa recently in Viera to talk about his shoulder and his expectations for 2013. The second baseman is hoping the torn rotator cuff suffered late last season will not be an issue this year. Espinosa also talks about his relationship with manager Davey Johnson who of course was also a major league second baseman.

  1. Joe Seamhead - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Sure hope that he's right about the condition of his shoulder. I can't help but to wonder if it affect his willingness to dive out of subconscious fear.

  2. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Mark, Honestly, HOW CAN YOU NOT ASK HIM about the Strikeouts…leading the NL and just under 200ks and that is not a question. Mark Honestly, How CAN YOU NOT ASK HIM about his what 2 for 18 is 13 Ks in the playoffs and if he though he was hurting the team and if he ever even thought he should tell someone and sit himself down?Mark Honestly, HOW CAN YOU NOT ASK HIM about the changes to his LH swing? Where did they come from, who is working with him on it in the Off Season and what is the goal of such a drastic change in loading and leg kicks?That interview told us nothing of importance…except he is going to stay in denial about is injury no matter what. Great news!

  3. DWS - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I hope for the best. Nice to know there are capable back-ups.http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8998218/jonah-keri-how-blue-jays-went-world-series-champs-chumps-contendersAn interesting read. Mentions'94 Expos~weeping~

  4. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    JayB, Honestly, HOW CAN YOU NOT UNDERSTAND that my interview with him lasted 10 minutes and encompassed all sorts of topics?JayB, Honestly, HOW CAN YOU NOT UNDERSTAND that an interview that airs on a 30-minute TV news show has to be condensed down to 2 minutes by producers and editors?Your comment told us nothing of importance…except you are going to stay obsessed about things from the past no matter what. Great insight!:)

  5. Mac - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    No news this morning. JayB is still in denial about the rocks in his head.

  6. Doc - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    As they say in the movie biz, the final production is the result of the script, shooting, and editing. What gets shot, is always a long way from what gets edited.Apart from that JayB, Mark has to work with these guys on a daily basis through out the season. Not sure that Espi would be enchanted by a series of questions of the 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' variety as much as we vultures would like.

  7. DWS - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Refreshing. Thanks for all you do, Nark.

  8. DWS - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Sorry, Mark.

  9. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    My enthusiasm for Espinosa (defense, speed) notwithstanding, I am finding it difficult to imagine a future in which Rendon doesn't have a place in the day-to-day lineup, maybe as soon as next year. Mitch Williams (interesting but not one of baseball's greatest minds) foresees Rendon as trade material. If you've got a player as good as Rendon appears to be, how on earth do you trade him? And for what? It's nearly the same with Espinosa? What do they want badly enough that they would trade him?

  10. Gabor Mehes - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    You are a little arrogant here, Mark. JayB posed the most important questions concerning Espinoza and you dodged them all just to ave a good relationship with player.

  11. Gabor Mehes - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    You are a little arrogant here, Mark. JayB posed the most important questions concerning Espinoza and you dodged them all just to ave a good relationship with player.

  12. NCNatsie - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Because some of you have recently gotten to know my real name, I feel compelled to post here that although my first name is Jay and my last name begins with a B, I am not JayB.

  13. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    OK Mark fair enough :)What did he say…is it not news worthy?You asked them so I would say it was….but he did not answer is what I am left with here.

  14. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    And Mark,Come on now. Day before Natsfest Danny told Andy and Czeb all about his injury on the radio. Next day you said hey you did not know about it so you did not ask but agreed it was a major story that you would follow up on.Now a over a month later you finally post a one on one with Danny and it is nothing in it….What were you expecting me to say?Thank responding….can you share?

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I know its Sunday but BIG NEWS from Ladson. Rendon to play 3rd, short and 2nd base in AA Harrisburg!

  16. Steady Eddie - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Also a significant Tweet from Kilgore: @AdamKilgoreWP: Christian Garcia saw the team doc. He has a partial tendon tear. Won't throw for at least another week, which puts opening day in question.Unfortunately may simplify the 25-man decision a bit re the last bullpen slot.

  17. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Things in the past….ok….your view is that things in the past have no barring on the future?Really Mark….the fact that in several cases in the past 7 years Nats have failed to correctly diagnose injuries and failed to bench players who Nats doctors cleared to play but whose performance tanked is not a problem going forward. The fact that several cases exist where players selfishly new they were hurt but failed to share it and then got hurt more all while hurting the team, that is not important going forward.This team has a broken medical process and players who put their own stats ahead of team performance. That is exactly what Danny did and the take away from your interview is he will do it again….likely very soon.

  18. sjm308 - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Here are the answers JayB wants from Espinosa:1. On the strikeouts – I am just a horrible hitter and can't tell you how much I wish I listened to JayB about the loop in my swing2. On his slump – I am just a horrible hitter and wish Davey would have listened to JayB and taken me out of the games3.On the changes in his swing – I am just a horrible hitter and have reached out to JayB to have him help me.Isn't that what you want? You want a professional to acknowledge his negatives. These guys are professionals because they have egos that allow them to strive to be great. Most will look to the positives while you continue to obsess on negatives. You are a fan, and I think you want us to succeed but the negativity just gets to me at times.

  19. sjm308 - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Steady: bad news about Garcia and I would bet he will need more then the week suggested. HRod has still not thrown from a mound either and Bray certainly has not impressed yet. I wonder who will get that last spot in the bullpen?

  20. MicheleS - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    JayB.. this is serious (no snark intended) If Mark doesn't ask the questions you wish to ask, may I suggest you get a press credential so that you can ask them? This might be the best way for you to resolve all your concerns and issues with Rizzo, Danny, Davey, and the rest of the team.

  21. MicheleS - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Steady.. UGH, poor Garcia. wish the best for the kid.Abad might be the one who takes his place if HRod can't go (and Hrod better be really good before he is put into games)

  22. sjm308 - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    MicheleS: I was thinking about Abad as well since he has had a couple of good outings. Do you think Davey might take an extra position player north instead of the 7th reliever. I think there are more off days early in the year and the weather is also iffy which gives the bullpen more rest.

  23. sjm308 - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    On JayB getting a press pass. Not sure how the athletes would react to his negativity. I remember the quarterback coming across the table to pummel Jim Rome. Actually, that might be entertaining.

  24. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    SO Mark, can you please weigh in on this bigger issue of reporters being afraid to ask tough questions becuase of fear of being freezed out.Do you choose not to ask what you think is a good and releivant question to a player because they would not like it?If so….what good is a reporter covering a team. If that really what reporting is come to….just a mouth piece for players to get what they want out and in as positive light as they can get?Thanks sad Mark….I supported your work in many ways across many platforms these past 8 years. Is this what you have become…..most people here thing so and are fine with it?

  25. Gonat - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    It has been said before that in smaller markets the media can't ask the real negative questions as they can lose their media access or at the very least denied certain access. It happened in Baltimore to the CBS affiliate there.New York is a different type of market. Freedom of the Press only extends so far as having access. Ask Chico Harlan, he seemed to rub many players the wrong way.

  26. Gonat - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… I know its Sunday but BIG NEWS from Ladson. Rendon to play 3rd, short and 2nd base in AA Harrisburg! March 03, 2013 11:20 AM _______________________________Can we trust Ladson that its for real about starting in AA? I would think that to be the case like Harper last year that you need to get past the whole Super 2 to get that extra year of service. Could we see Rendon on April 28th?

  27. Gonat - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Steady Eddie said… Also a significant Tweet from Kilgore: @AdamKilgoreWP: Christian Garcia saw the team doc. He has a partial tendon tear. Won't throw for at least another week, which puts opening day in question.___________________________________That is significant, and the disclosure of the partial tendon tear comes out now?I just can't figure this medical team out.

  28. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    sjm…here is what I think he should be thinking and thus saying…..1. I have done a lot of reflecting on last season. I think I got carried away with the success I had my rookie year with HR's. I think I kind of when up looking to swing for the fences in every AB and every pitch. That is something I need to change. That is not the kind of hitter I am or the kind of player my team needs. I think that HR, swing as hard as I can approach really led to too many K's last year.2. On the last month of the season and the Playoffs. That was a mistake on my part. I thought if I just keep playing things would work out. The combination of over swinging and pain was a perfect storm. I did a lot of thinking over the winter and if I had to do it again I think I would have told Davey I am hurting the team at the worst time. I need to sit.3. Yea I do have a much different swing now. After all that reflecting above I know am ready to change some things. I worked hard over the winter reviewing video and talking with Eck about what he is seeing. The biggest thing was the my approach was wrong. The big leg kick was just a manification of the wrong mind set. I am now keeping it to just a little toe tape and that helps me look for hits going the other way. It helps me take outside pitches and not be committed to rolling over them and pulling them for easy two hop outs to second. I am very excited about the changes I have made this winter. I think it gets me back to the type of hitter I was in college and they type of hitter this team needs from me in the 7 or 8 hole.

  29. MicheleS - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    For those of you that would like to see some ST pictures,they have a ton and are having a great time getting autographs with their kids.https://twitter.com/NatsFamily

  30. natsfan1a - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    You must be new around here, if that's your takeaway from the exchange.Gabor Mehes said… You are a little arrogant here, Mark. JayB posed the most important questions concerning Espinoza and you dodged them all just to ave a good relationship with player. March 03, 2013 10:45 AM

  31. sjm308 - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    JayB – have to admit, those are good answers. Not sure Danny has or will go that deep into his issues. Again, like I said, your credentials as a fan are solid, just a little too negative for me. Gonat is right that the New York press can probably get away with more than a team from KC or Baltimore. I also think that since our team is almost brand new (2005) it will take some time to get tougher with our lads. And you are correct, I am perfectly happy with the coverage of our team. I was thrilled to get a team back after 30+ years of having no team and that thrill is still there for me. I do want us to succeed and am not sticking my head in the sand. Danny played poorly the last month of the season and because baseball is a great arena for hindsight I guess Davey could have made a switch. He did not and I support that move as well. We will just approach our team with different philosophies but I think we both want the end result to be success.

  32. Mac - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Even if that's what Danny really thinks, there's no reason he has to say that to any reporter or fan if they ask. He's a ballplayer, not some public official up for election. What he says doesn't matter. It's what he does. We'll see what happens this season.

  33. Gabor Mehes - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I enjoy reading M because he is a good cheerleader and I understand the constraint he has between an honest reporter and having a good relationship with thin skinned players but I find JayB's comments helpful. He does not have the constrains and because of this does not need a press pass

  34. SonnyG10 - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    @Mark Zuckerman 9:19 am. Beautiful answer, Mark. Brought a big smile to my face.

  35. BigCat - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Wow, things are heating up on the Insider

  36. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    OK, JayB, here's my honest and non-sarcastic answer to your more thought-provoking question about media dealing with players…I don't shy away from asking tough questions, and I think if you've read me my whole career or ever had a chance to hear something I've asked a player during various press conferences or interviews that aired on TV or radio, you'd know that.But there's also a difference between asking a tough question and flat-out antagonizing someone for their poor play or poor decision. I'm not going to ask Espinosa: "You led the league in strikeouts last season. When are you going to do something to correct that?" I might broach the subject in a more roundabout way, asking him about adjustments to his swing or hitting approach. In fact, I asked him something this spring about altering his approach from the left side of the plate, to which he answered that he's been trying in BP to purposely swing down on the ball and hit it on the ground, which ultimately trains himself to have better mechanics and hit hard line drives instead of a big upper-cut swing. Doesn't necessarily make a great soundbite on TV, but it's good info to have.Which raises another point, something I've learned more since I've begun doing more regular TV work: The type of quotes that work well on TV are very different from the type of quotes that work well in print. As a print reporter, I'm most interested in getting information from an interview subject. As a TV reporter, I'm most interested in getting an interesting sound byte. So that leads to different questioning styles from me depending on which medium I'm conducting a particular interview.Finally, to address one specific question of yours in which you wanted me to ask Espinosa why he didn't take himself out of the lineup in October when he was struggling, I'll refer to you the following quote he gave at NatsFest, which I ran in my article about his revelation of the torn rotator cuff:"I didn't want to pull myself out not knowing what was wrong. If I'd had known what was wrong, different story. If I knew it was torn, I probably would've taken myself out. At that point, I would've felt I was useless."http://www.csnwashington.com/baseball-washington-nationals/talk/espinosa-will-play-torn-rotator-cuff

  37. JayB - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Thank you Mark….I guess I am a fan of print then. Sound bits do not tell me anything. I have hurt you ask some tough questions in post games. I worry that you are moving away from that type of reporting. Nobody seems to be doing it any more. That just leaves us here to talk it through as best we can. I see bad baseball and I comment on it. I see good baseball – Harper – Hall of Fame player…better Mantel if he says healthy. He is amazing……I do not like selfish players and Harper is not selfish. Storen and Danny closed the line in October in my view.

  38. NCNatsie - Mar 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    If someone is a fan of print, they would do well to acquire at least a general understanding of things like spelling and grammar.

  39. Steve Hayes - Mar 3, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    JayB was right in Mark's rather puff interview. Then again, this is a friendly place, and not the halls of congress. Jayb was wrong in stating Espi led the National league in k's: he led the entire major leagues!!That's bad. Look at the O's. They didnt care how many homers Reynolds hit, his Espinosa type K's just killed too many rallies. No comparing Rendon to Espi offensively. Rendon wins hands down. Time to jetison the polically correct moves which saw Espi playing over Lombo and saw the acquisition of a very weak hitting Span, and the trading of SI's #1 rated Underated player, Morse. Still shaking my head at the Morse deal — how can you trade away a 30 homer, .300 hitting, 40 doubles a year guy? How can you? Political correctness – Davey and Rizzo have too much of it coursing through their veins. Keep Rendon, play Rendon — move Espi. Do the right thing.

  40. EmDash - Mar 3, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Not sure what you mean by political correctness in this case?They're not playing Rendon at second because he has no professional experience playing second, and a team trying for pre-season success doesn't seem like a great place for a guy trying to learn an important defensive position on the fly. Espinosa didn't lead the majors in strikeouts, that was Adam Dunn.As for Morse v. Span – I think it will affect the team's power less than people think. The Nats had the second-most homers in the NL, and only 18 of them came from Morse. And last year's outfield included a lot of guys like Ankiel because Morse and Werth were injured. I think it'll come close to evening out. The focus this off-season, aside from depth, was defense – and there's no comparing Morse with Span in this area.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 54 --
ATLANTA 68 61 6.0
MIAMI 64 63 9.0
NEW YORK 60 69 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 57 71 17.5
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UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
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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

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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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