Pistachio

Nats Acquire Pitcher AstacioThe Post
The Nats will sign former Padres pitcher Pedro Astacio so long as he passes a physical that includes an MRI of his shoulder. This is noteworthy because they did not do that for the last Padres pitcher they acquired, Brian Lawrence (The Wash. Times), thus necessitating Astacio. Astacio has a guaranteed contract with lots of incentives too.

More from The Wash. Times: Astacio signs guaranteed deal


Nationals’ new player won’t bug anyoneThe Wash. Times
Matt “Country” LeCroy is such a fine guy that he will eat a roach for a $100 (may need to be adjusted for inflation) if a teammate puts him up to it. He wants to catch more, too.

Clayton eager for fresh startFlorida Today
More on the dreadlock-less Royce Clayton. More importantly, Florida Today has finally created a Nationals section, which includes Scott Brown’s blog. I really need to update my navigation.

A Questionable Force PlayThe Post
Is Alfonso Soriano the T.O. of baseball? We will find out. I would have given this story more play, but I am still mad at GM Jim Bowden for not keeping his pants on when this trade became a possibility. Team president Tony Tavares needs to implement a dress code to keep Bowden from wearing those polyester athletic pants that come off so easily.

Nationals running up number of questionsFlorida Today
Nine questions about the Nats answered.

Nationals ReportThe Wash. Times
John Patterson brought a compound bow to camp and let Joey Eischen fool around with it. No good can come of this, I am having flashbacks to PSU lineman E.Z. Smith.
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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

When the Saints Go Over There.
Oh, I want to be in that rumba,
When the saints go over there.
Oh over there!
Oh over there! …

Happy Fat Tuesday! One more chance to (over)indulge in things that you are giving up for forty days and nights.

While I was in college I had the idea of extending the fun and gluttony of Mardi Gras with Fatter Thursday. Given what happened to New Orleans last year, I think that now more than ever, Fatter Thursday needs to become part of the culture. Think about it, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and Friday has a share of dietary restrictions too — you need to catch up and power-up in between. Think of all the extra cash that could fill N’awlins coffers if people stayed for one more day of gluttony. Lastly, after Friday, you may still be a little hungry and to solve that, I created one more — Faturday.

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Lawrence’s shoulder worse than expected

Pitcher Also Has a Torn Rotator CuffThe Post
Projected fifth starter Brian Lawrence is done, having torn his rotator cuff as well as his labrum. Ouch. Tom Boswell reminds he never missed a start before this injury and then predicts this will kill the franchise or something.

More from The Wash. Times: Lawrence injury ‘more severe’


Nationals Mull Pitching OptionsThe Post
The Lawrence injury further complicates the Nats pitching woes; but hey, it’s not like they have an overpriced malcontent locking up valuable money that could be used on pitching, is it? Oh wait, I almost forgot, Jim Bowden is the general manager.

Guzman May Work At 2B, 3BThe Post
There is finally an admission that Cristian Guzman may not be the everyday shortstop, so there is talk that he may practice at 3B and 2B (ha!) so that he would be ready to come off the bench, a la Jamie Carroll; except that instead of a hard-working, scrappy player going wherever he was needed, we will have an overpiad underachiever.

Praise for Schneider catching onThe Wash. Times
Signing Brian Schneider to a four contract may have been the best move Bowden has ever made.
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Cagers pretty close to NIT

Penn State claims victory, possible postseason berthCDT
The WWN Maryland Bureau Chief is on the record of being a skeptic when it comes to the Penn State men’s basketball team. There are rumors out of Happy Valley this gave the cagers extra motiviation to ascend to mediocrity. They beat Northwestern on Saturday, 68-55 to clinch at least a .500 record for the season. Since that is all that is needed to enter the NIT, it seems likely the Nittany Lions will get a nod and possibly a home game. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. In my dream scenario, George Mason or Maryland winds up in the NIT and hosts the Lions down here.

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