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  1. Harper, Strasburg square off in live BP (with video)

    Mar 4, 2015, 4:24 PM EST

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — For five years, they have been spring training teammates, taking the field together for full-squad workouts in preparation of the upcoming season. In that time, Stephen Strasburg had thrown live batting practice to hitters countless times, while Bryce Harper took live BP off pitchers countless times. But until Wednesday, the Nationals’ two…

  2. Werth takes swings off tee for first time since surgery

    Mar 4, 2015, 3:23 PM EST

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Jayson Werth took light swings off a tee Wednesday for the first time since his January shoulder surgery, a small but important step in the veteran outfielder’s attempt to return in time for the Nationals’ season opener. Werth’s workout was exceptionally light — he swung the bat in the air about 20…

  3. VIDEO: Desmond on 2015, his future with Nats

    Mar 4, 2015, 12:07 PM EST

    Screen shot 2015-03-04 at 11.05.25 AM

    Mark sat down with Ian Desmond on Tuesday in Viera to get his thoughts on rejoining the Nationals after an offseason rife with trade rumors. The three-time Silver Slugger is entering the final year of his contract with the Nats and his future beyond 2015 is unclear. Desmond, though, is ready to go all in…

  4. Ankiel ready for new chapter as “life skills coordinator”

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images file photo

    VIERA, Fla. — Rick Ankiel always figured he would stay in baseball once his playing career was done. Not necessarily as an on-field coach, though, but rather as something of an off-field coach, someone who could help the next generation of players deal with all the mental challenges the game presents. So when the idea…

  5. News and notes from Tuesday’s workout

    Mar 3, 2015, 4:27 PM EST

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals’ final two workouts of the spring before the Grapefruit League gets underway Thursday are fairly light affairs. Pitchers aren’t throwing off mounds. There are some defensive fundamental drills early on, then casual rounds of batting practice that keep everybody loose. And nobody was looser Tuesday during BP than Bryce Harper…

  6. Scherzer will start spring opener, Roark in relief

    Mar 3, 2015, 2:45 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals’ exhibition season will kick off with the debut of the biggest acquisition of their offseason. Max Scherzer will start Thursday evening’s Grapefruit League opener against the Mets getting the nod from Matt Williams. Just don’t read much of anything into this decision, Williams cautions. “He’s ready,” the manager said of…

  7. VIDEO: Zim putting in extra time at 1B

    Mar 3, 2015, 1:07 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Last week we caught up with Ryan Zimmerman in a video from Viera, but in this clip Mark takes a bit of a deeper dive into Zim’s transition to first base. He has reaction from Zimmerman himself, along with infield teammates Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond, who have been working with the Face of the…

  8. On the cusp, Taylor patiently waits for his time

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:06 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — It happens every spring. The scenario is always the same, only the names involved change. A promising young player looks ready to make the Opening Day roster. Except the only job available is on the bench, which would deny him from the regular playing time he’d get at Class AAA. This spring,…

  9. Nats sign Tony Gwynn Jr. to minor-league deal

    Mar 2, 2015, 9:11 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league contract Monday night, offering the veteran outfielder and son of the Hall of Famer an invitation to big-league camp for the rest of the spring. Gwynn, 32, has 685 games of major-league experience with the Brewers, Padres, Dodgers and Phillies, owner of a…

  10. Zim getting used to working with fellow infielders

    Mar 2, 2015, 5:55 PM EST

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — It has become a daily routine, Ryan Zimmerman getting extra, personalized work at first base. And with each passing day, the career third baseman looks more and more comfortable at his new position while the Nationals look more and more impressed with his natural ability to pick things up. “His athleticism is…

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COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY

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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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