Skip to content

Podcast: ‘Baseball in the District’ – Giants’ voice Dave Flemming

Jun 11, 2014, 10:52 AM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

With the Nationals playing their best baseball of 2014, there were plenty of positives to talk about this week on ‘Baseball in the District.’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I discussed the Nats’ recent resurgence and specifically what they will need to do to sustain it moving forward.

With the team in the middle of a four-game series against San Francisco, we welcomed in the radio voice of the Giants, Dave Flemming. Flemming is a D.C.-native and has been calling Giants games for over 10 years. He had great stuff on Matt Williams’ return to San Francisco, Michael Morse’s impact on the Giants, how the Nationals look from an outside perspective and his thoughts on the rise of the Nationals over the past few years.

After Dave hung up we talked about Manny Machado’s suspension and Bryce Harper wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat, as well as early impressions of Ryan Zimmerman in left field.

Also, I had some issues uploading it yesterday, so some of the references are to Monday night’s game. Most of it, however, is focusing on the big picture.

Check it out right here:

You can also listen to the show on ESPN 980’s website or download it on iTunes.

  1. tcostant - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Is it wrong to enjoy another teams sorrow?

    • ArVAFan - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Funny you should mention that. I had coffee with a colleague from Philly yesterday. Right after “Hello” his next statement was “thank the Nats for sweeping the Phillies. The sooner they fail, the sooner we can get new everything, starting with the GM.”

      He then went on to say that the worst thing that could happen was that they scrape their way to just under .500, and then are buyers at the trade dealine, thus wasting what’s left of their farm system on the delusional hope that they might make the playoffs this year. He also said that he thought some of the players were, well, phoning it in.

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        My son in law is a die hard Phille fan and he says pretty much the same thing….need to get rid of the GM and start the whole rebuilding process. Doesn’t see Sandberg lasting more than one more season after this year either.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Not wrong, but at some point the Phils won’t even be a worthy target for our schadenfreude.

    • tcostant - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      It kind of makes me sad. I went up to Philly in 2005 to that first series played up there, BEFORE the first game at RFK. The fans were nice and welcoming. After the World Series win and the Nationals own struggles and Stan “inviting them” on Opening Day my tune has changed. I saw lots of Philly fans over the years come here, but I truly wasn’t really upset until they booed Ryan Zimmerman as he rec’d his Silver Slugger Award on Opening Day.

      I love the year, they did the “Take Back The Ballpark”.

      I just hope we don’t become as bad, as they became, if he have some more success in the coming years.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        Seconded to the first part. I was there, too, at the Wilkerson cycle, and the fans were no problem (altho I think my boss, who was there with me, was pretending he wasn’t, as I was vociferously expressing my enthusiasm for the play on the field).

        They were a really good team for a while, and the “Tarp Game” in Colorado impressed me tremendously — Mensch League Baseball stuff, that.

        But the fan culture there is notorious for finding fault with their own teams at every opportunity, and it’s a shame IMO there’s so much of that here, too.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      “What goes up must come down”

  2. Doc - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Anybody checked out Steven Souza’s stats at Syracuse lately?

    After 44 games an OPB approaching .500, BA of .368, 27 Ribbies, and 7 big ones. Oh, and he’s stolen a bunch of bases.

    How ya gonna keep him down on the farm????

    • Doc - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      That should be OBP! My bad.

    • Doc - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      That should be OBP! My bad.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      He’s doing great. I thought he should have gotten more at bats when he was up but I guess MW disareed.

    • RPrecupjr - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      The problem, Doc, is where are you going to put him if you call him up?

      We’re already wondering where we’re going to put Harper when he returns. Souza needs to be getting regular ABs, just like TyMo, and that won’t happen here. I agree his numbers are great, but so are TyMo’s at AAA. Then we they get here and don’t play regularly, not so good. They’re not used to coming off the bench to hit in a situation, like Hairston, McLouth, and Dobbs are. Maybe someday they will be, or someday they’ll be full-time players, but not now, and not here. I’m sure we’ll see him in September, and depending on how things are going at that point, we may see a lot of him. Or he could be somewhere else after July 31, though at the moment, I don’t know what we need that he would be traded for. And that’s a good thing.

      • tcostant - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        Moore and Souza will both be up in Sept, assuming Souza looks okay in limited AB’s that may lead Moore being traded in the offseason.

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        ” I don’t know what we need that he would be traded for. ”

        I wouldn’t mind adding another middle infielder who could hit and field, back up Desi at SS and play a quality second base. I’m still not sold on Espinosa and if you leave Rendon at third, as I think they should, where does that leave us at second?

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        The good thing, knoxville, is that this decision is still 5-6 weeks down the road. Plenty of time to be sold on Espi or sell Espi. Then you have the option to put Rendon at second and Frandsen at third (because we’ve already seen how he plays at second) and bring up Walters as the backup middle infielder if for nothing more than his bat.

    • Section 222 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      Can someone please figure out how we can play three guys in LF at once? And make sure to tell Rizzo.

      • chaz11963 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Not only that, but someone on the current 25 man roster will be saying goodbye.

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:21 PM


    btw Ausmus has the most awesome job as a first year manager. managing tigers is probably like driving them to and from the stadium. 😛

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      managing tigers is probably like driving them to and from the stadium

      Good one.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    way too long a podcast.

  5. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    stadiums to see: fenway and PNC are top of the lists. of course I want to see all the stadiums but that will take me longer than I expected.
    I have heard that new NYY is good too but not too eager about going in Yankee territory.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      Road trip musings: I’ve not been to Fenway. Loved PNC Park and AT&T Park. Also enjoyed Wrigley Field. Citi Field, Coors Field, and Progressive Field were, eh, just okay for me. I liked Coors best of those three. My Cardinals fan neighbor is moving to Cincinnati, and we talked about taking in a game at the Great American Small Park at some point, maybe next season depending on timing.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        I been to AT&T, Wrigley, A’s, White Sox. AT&T is probably the best one. I did tour at only one of them, that was Wrigley. Didn’t get to see a game at White Sox but seen one at the rest. I want to do PNC next since it is closer than most and keep hearing good things. I was gonna go to Fenway in May but it didn’t work out.

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        If you folks are looking to take in some stadiums you’ve never seen while doing no driving/buying tickets and for a decent price, check out: (Sorry, don’t know how to make it an active link)

        My wife and I went on one of their tours in 2001. We did eight stadiums in 10 days, plus induction day at Cooperstown (Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Bill Mazeroski). It was phenomenal. You ride the bus during the day (no night driving) with baseball movies playing, see the game for the day and then head for the hotel for the evening. Some days there is time built in for sightseeing (e.g. Niagara Falls after the Toronto game) and other things.

        Here are the staiums we went to, in order (IIRC):

        Miller Park, Milwaukee (pre game tailgating) – nice park, stayed to watch them close the roof (it was the first year the park was open, so it was a regular thing)

        Comerica Park, Detroit – also nice, rode ferris wheel on the concourse

        Rogers Centre (SkyDome), Toronto (couple hours of sightseeing in Toronto, followed by Niagara Falls) – best hot dogs on the trip, very surprised. The stadium……meh

        Two days in Cooperstown – the coolest. Walking down the main street and seeing HOFers everywhere. Got Goose Gossage’s autograph while he was still working for support to get in. (Also Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks (for my dad), Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra (for mom)

        Yankee Stadium, New York – you could just feel the history

        Fenway Park, Boston – small and cramped. The Sox were playing the Rangers, and in the 6th inning or so, the crowd starts chanting “Yankees suck!”, just because, I guess. After the game, dozens of t-shirt sellers hawking “Yankees Suck” shirts….amazing. Best street food outside the stadium.

        PNC Park, Pittsburgh – downright gorgeous. Took a boat to the game, very cool.

        Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati – didn’t think it was possible, but it got hotter and more humid AFTER the sun went down. Watched batting practice, and when Gary Sheffied came up, the sound was just completely different from anyone else.

        Wrigley Field, Chicago – the way it should be, and we got to see a typical Cubs game. Sosa hit three out of the park and the Cubs lost.

        Anyway, I have no vested interest in Jay Buckley Tours or anything, just saying it was a wonderful experience, and it’s family friendly as well. A fair number of parents with kids on the tour. Seats for the games were all great, no nosebleed sections. Hotels were all nice, not five-star, but not one or two, either. They have trips as short as three or four days, all the way up to two weeks or so. The average price is about $200 a day, per person, which if you consider game ticket, hotel, gas, breakfast….and the fact the _you_ don’t have to drive…is a pretty good deal. Just looked and saw a really cool weekend trip in September – Reds/Brewers in Milwaukee on Saturday, Jets/Packers at Lambeau on Sunday, Reds/Cubs at Wrigley on Monday.

        Dang, maybe I _should_ get paid for this 😉

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        Huh, ok. I guess it makes the link active after you post the comment. Good to know

    • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      Thanks for the ballpark tour info, RP. I’d heard good things about that outfit from others and it’s always good to have more input. Good work on the active link, too. :-)

  6. jd - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM


    The NYY is ok but it’s not special.I like Citi field but more because it’s convenient, has wide concourses and food selection. I think Nats park is as nice as these 2.

    I have never been to Fenway, I’d like to. I’ve been to Wrigley (fantastic), Philly (bandbox) and of course Olimpic Stadium in Montreal (the worst).

    I’d love to go to the California parks (NL) and Pitsburgh.

  7. ehay2k - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Re: the Phillies, they are a lesson in how not to manage your star players and contracts. Howard was as expendable as Dunn, but they signed him to a contract that looks even worse now than it did at the time. (Exact opposite of Werth’s deal.) Never sign long-term contracts to players that will be past their prime in the middle of the deal. You can actually argue that the Nats already did that with Zimmerman, although this level of injury, this early, perhaps would have been a stretch to predict. Besides, he can play 1b.

    If the Nats spend what looks like a little extra now to lock up players early, for terms that end while they are still in their primes, then when those contracts end they can make some decisions. Will Desi sign twice? Jordan Z.? Who knows?

    The other thing I wonder about is what the impact of postseason success would mean? When teams win a WS, do guys jump ship for the cash, having reached one key career goal?

    Anyway, GYFNG!!! Need to win one more this series, so GOOOooo Fanner Roark!

  8. Doc - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Beware of long term contracts!!

    Be like the Cards, not the Phillies. Teams with lots of long-term contracts get old quickly.

    JDub has, what 2 more years? Meantime the farm system is stogging up with OFs like Souza.





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.

Follow us on Twitter