Dec 10, 2015, 11:48 AM EST
NASHVILLE — The Nationals arrived for the Winter Meetings four days ago with plenty of uncertainty surrounding their bullpen, interest in adding a left-handed bat and questions about the potential for them to do something really dramatic. They departed the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning with slightly less uncertainty surrounding their bullpen, the same level…
Dec 9, 2015, 9:46 AM EST
NASHVILLE — The Nationals’ pursuit of Ben Zobrist wasn’t lip service. They made a serious run at the veteran free agent, so much so that one source familiar with the process said they actually offered more money than the $56 million he wound up taking from the Cubs last night. That said, the Nationals didn’t…
Dec 8, 2015, 7:14 PM EST
NASHVILLE — Though he acknowledges this is the best roster he’s been handed in four separate stints as a major-league manager, Dusty Baker does see aspects of the Nationals he’d like to improve. Baker rattled off several needs Tuesday afternoon during his media session at the Winter Meetings: Left-handed pitching. Left-handed hitting. And speed, something…
Dec 7, 2015, 7:22 PM EST
NASHVILLE — The Nationals say they were aware of Jonathan Papelbon’s grievance against the club the day after they suspended him in late September and insist it doesn’t change their plans for the controversial closer. “That’s business. It’s not personal,” general manager Mike Rizzo said Monday at the Winter Meetings, adding: “It was something we’ve…
Dec 6, 2015, 11:31 PM EST
NASHVILLE — The Nationals’ already unenviable dilemma with Jonathan Papelbon appears to have become even more complicated after a report Sunday night that the controversial closer has filed a grievance against the organization over his unpaid suspension at season’s end. Citing multiple major league sources, Boston radio station website WEEI.com reported the former Red Sox…
Dec 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
Executives, managers, coaches, scouts, trainers, traveling secretaries, PR reps, agents, equipment reps, broadcasters, writers and pretty much anybody else associated with the sport of baseball all are making their way to Nashville today for this year’s Winter Meetings, which officially commence Monday morning. This is the third time the gargantuan Gaylord Opryland Resort has hosted…
Dec 4, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
Scroll through the Nationals’ 2015 pitching register and then answer this question: Which relievers on that list are locks to make the 2016 Opening Day roster? Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen might return, but both right-handers are going to be the subject of plenty of trade speculation over the next several weeks after seeing their…
Nov 24, 2015, 2:40 PM EST
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN With Thanksgiving approaching and the winter meetings still over a week away, baseball has been put on the backburner for many in this town. But not for Tim Murray and I, who are going to be doing our podcast ‘Baseball in the District’ on a weekly basis now. We got back…
Nov 12, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
There may be no more complex question facing the Nationals this winter than this: What do they do with Jonathan Papelbon? Mike Rizzo acquired the veteran closer at the trade deadline not only because the general manager thought he could help his team down the stretch but because he was signed for another season. The…
Nov 11, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
They’ve hired a new manager, begun putting together a new coaching staff and made decisions regarding several new free agents. So now the Nationals, like all MLB clubs, are transitioning into full-blown Hot Stove League mode, the focus now on 2016 roster alterations. Some clubs will undergo massive roster renovations. Others will make only a…
Nov 10, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals’ disappointing 2015 season was followed by a long list of casualties. In addition to Matt Williams getting fired, they dismissed their training staff and did not renew the contracts of all of their assistant coaches. Pitching coach Steve McCatty’s departure was the most surprising among that group. It is hard to blame the Nationals…
Nov 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
The mere mention of Dusty Baker’s name when candidates began surfacing in the Nationals’ managerial search brought strong reactions from all around. Many were thrilled at the news, pointing to his impressive record as a three-time NL manager of the year. Others, however, were not quite as enthused. Criticism emerged of Baker being too old school:…
Nov 5, 2015, 8:43 PM EST
Mark didn’t only sit down with Dusty Baker on Thursday, he also got Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo 1-on-1. Rizzo explained what went down between the Nats and Bud Black and also spoke glowingly about what Baker will bring to Washington. Rizzo also talked about the front office’s objectives this offseason and confirmed they plan…
Nov 5, 2015, 3:57 PM EST
Acknowledging the unique nature of the situation, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Thursday the club was simultaneously negotiating contracts with both Bud Black and Dusty Baker to be their next manager, had not selected Black for the job and ultimately didn’t make the decision to go with Baker instead because of a financial disagreement.…
Nov 5, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
Dusty Baker will formally be introduced as the sixth manager in Nationals history at 11 a.m., donning a curly W cap and home jersey for the first time during a news conference at Nationals Park. It should be a time of celebration and optimism for the organization, but of course that won’t entirely be the…
Nov 3, 2015, 11:58 AM EST
Had the Nationals simply hired Dusty Baker all along, had they picked him over Bud Black last week and agreed to contract terms, few eyebrows would have been raised. It would have been viewed both here in town and throughout the baseball world as a solid choice, a proven and successful manager taking the reins…
Nov 2, 2015, 11:11 PM EST
The Nationals’ hiring of Bud Black as their next manager is not yet a done deal, the two sides having been unable to work out final contract details, leaving the door open for the club potentially to offer the job to Dusty Baker instead, according to sources familiar with the situation. The Nationals’ front office…
Oct 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
The Nationals’ planned hiring of Harry Ralston Black as their next manager isn’t going to cause people to leap out of their seats in jubilation. The 58-year-old everyone has always known simply as “Bud” isn’t the kind of guy who brings a commanding presence to every room he enters. He’s not going to march into…
Oct 28, 2015, 9:43 PM EST
The Nationals plan to name Bud Black their next manager, a source familiar with the decision confirmed Wednesday night, but an official announcement isn’t likely until after the conclusion of the World Series sometime next week. Black, who managed the Padres from 2007-15, was selected by the Nationals from a pool of at least eight…
Oct 22, 2015, 12:13 PM EST
Just as the Nationals’ managerial search appeared to be poised to enter a more advanced phase, a development on the other side of the country could throw some wrenches into the plan. Don Mattingly’s departure from Los Angeles early Thursday morning will have ripple effects across the majors, with the former All-Star first baseman now…
Oct 11, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
This offseason should be a big one for the Nationals, who first have to find their new manager. They also have four key impending free agents to make decisions on. After that, they will have a bullpen to reconstruct and some tough calls to make when retooling their lineup. Here is a look at some…
Oct 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
Few managers are successful and popular enough to remain with one franchise for a truly long-term stay. For every Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Bruce Bochy authoring Hall-of-Fame careers over multiple decades, there are far more John Russells, Trey Hillmans and Mike Quades coming and going with little fanfare and fewer victories on their ledgers.…
Oct 5, 2015, 2:40 PM EST
Early Monday afternoon, after he had made official one of the most difficult decisions of his entire tenure in Washington, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo addressed reporters over the phone to explain exactly why he had fired Matt Williams – the man he handpicked just two years prior – as manager. Rizzo, who met with…
Oct 5, 2015, 2:38 PM EST
In searching for Matt Williams’ replacement, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo intends to place a significant emphasis on candidates with prior experience, particularly in the big leagues. “Experience is always helpful,” Rizzo said during a conference call Monday afternoon to announce Williams’ firing. “It always adds a layer of expertise to anybody’s resume. We feel…
Oct 5, 2015, 11:21 AM EST
UPDATED: 11:57 a.m. Matt Williams, whose steady, never-wavering demeanor helped the injury-plagued Nationals stick together through difficult times to win a division title in his first season as a big-league manager, was fired Monday because he wasn’t able to do the same in his second season in Washington. The Nationals’ front office, headlined by general…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
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 ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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