Tag Archives: Brian Schneider

Original Washington Nationals starting catcher who may have gotten more credit for his defense because his bat was lacking. Still, a well-liked player during the RFK Stadium era of the Nats.

Nick Johnson and Brian Schneider retire, were starters on 2005 Nats

Two “original” Washington Nationals announced retirements this week — Nick Johnson, the first baseman, and Brian Schneider, the catcher, were starters

I first saw Johnson play in 2002 when he was with the New York Yankees. It seemed like he went about 5 for 6 against the Baltimore Orioles* in the third game of that season. Looking up the box score, it turns out he only went 2 for 3, but he homered. I came away impressed. I had no expectation that 3 years later, I’d be watching him play for D.C. baseball team.

As the Nats first basemen, Johnson was quite good in 2005-2006 and even stayed healthy relative to the rest of his career. His on-base percentage was really high and his fielding was strong. I remember him hitting a 3-0 pitch off the mezzanine once, though I’m not sure what season it was anymore. It all went bad late in the 2006 season when he collided with Austin Kearns at Shea Stadium. The site of a trainer crossing his arms appears pretty early in a Google Images search for “nick johnson nats.” That was the beginning of the end for Johnson. MissChatter sent him flowers with a bunch bloggers names on it. Then the team wore high socks in Johnson’s honor (they should honor him all the time if you get my drift). Johnson finally returned in 2008, had a goofy haircut, no power left. He was traded late in 2009 after a decent season.

Johnson’s retirement got a bit of coverage because he was a sabermetrician’s dream while still being “old school.” Barry Svrluga, the original Nats beat writer for The Post has a great write-up on Johnson that you need to read.

Oh and then there is Flip Flop Fly Ball’s infographic on Johnson’s health.

Also remembering Johnson and Schneider too is Martin Niland over at D.C. Baseball History. Niland mentioned some stuff that I had forgotten about, so go read that too.

Schneider came to D.C. with a reputation for being a good catcher who could throw out runners. A Phillies baserunner took off for second on Opening Day 2005 and Schneider threw it away, I was rolling my eyes a little. Schneider would right the ship and be among the league leaders in throwing out runners. It seems like he overthrow second at the beginning of 2006 as well.

Schneider will always be a part of D.C. baseball lore because he got to catch the ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush at the 2005 Home Opener.

Schneider retired after playing for those Phillies after a few years with the Mets. Lastings Milledge was the “prize” the Nats got back from the Mets in a trade that also sent Ryan Church to New York in 2007.

Schneider was from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, so playing there was “going home” in a sense. Schneider’s autographed photo was hanging in an Italian restaurant that The Ombudsman waited tables in for a while. A friend of a friend mentioned this past Thanksgiving that she had baby-sat Schneider and he was very hyper.

Don Sutton used to call him “Snyder” during telecasts which was funny and annoying.

It is hard to believe, but we’re only 2 years away from a full decade of the Nats. Schneider and Johnson were the last original Nats playing the field; now only Livan Hernandez remains, provided somebody signs him for 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing them in 2 years when the Nats celebrate the 2005 team.

*Last time I gave the Orioles and Peter Angelos any money, decided to stop rewarding bad behavior after that.

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Nats resume tonight in Queens

Back in New York, back in spotlightThe Wash. Times
Back in Big Apple, Lo Duca May Feel Bite of Mets FansThe Post
A happy return? Fat chanceThe Free Lance-Star
Ryan Church, Brian Schneider fitting in fine struggling with MetsThe Daily News
Is it just me or is too big a deal being made about Paul Lo Duca returning to Shea Stadium? Maybe it is just because he is my least favorite National right now, but I don’t care that he is wondering how he will be greeted.

Also, Lastings Milledge returns to New York kind of triumphant (as triumphant as you can be two weeks into the season I suppose) with a .308 batting average. He seems much less concerned than Lo Duca about how he will be received. The two players the Mets got for Milledge, Brian Schneider and Ryan Church are doing fine in the Big Apple too.

Nationals Find Their New Home Still Feels a Little Empty at TimesThe Post
Another attendance article — yawn.

PHIL WOOD: Is it the Park?The Wash. Examiner
Wood looks at how Nationals Park plays and compares it with RFK Stadium. Of course, the sample size is too small and it has been kind of cold, so it is too early to see what kind, if any, home field advantage the Nats will enjoy.

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More on the Milledge for Schneider & Church trade

Schneider, Church Dealt for MilledgeThe Post

Nationals acquire Milledge from MetsThe Wash. Times

The Nationals acquired promising outfielder Lastings Milledge from the Mets for C Brian Schneider and OF Ryan Church, two holdovers from the Montreal days. Milledge comes to Washington a year removed from being seen by the Mets as an untouchable prospect; that view clearly changed last season, but the upside is seemingly higher and his salary is certainly lower. Manager Manny Acta knows Milledge from when both were part of the Mets organization in 2006 and does not share the concerns that may have led to this trade. The outfield looks to be Wily Mo Pena in left, Milledge in center and Austin Kearns.

Schneider will be missed behind the plate, but not at it. $9.8 million (over the next two seasons) is a lot to pay someone who bats .237. Church always seemed to be in the doghouse for some reason or another (mopery, not tough enough, “anti-semitism”) and could not have met his potential in Washington. I’m not sure he can in New York either since it is a much tougher place to play.

Jesus Flores, picked up from the Mets last year in the rule 5 draft appears to be the #1 catcher now. I’d like to see them pick up an experienced catcher though to teach and back up Flores.

Mets fans reportedly lit up WFAN in disgust for this trade and I can see why. I think Trader Jim pulled off a pretty good one. He added (perhaps cautions is a better word) “we’re not done.”

Those GM meetings in Nashville this week could get pretty interesting.

Oh yeah, Ray King is the new Mike Stanton (nationals.com) — he is expected to sign with the Nats again.

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Nats finish 73-89

PHILADELPHIA 6 Washington 1(CBS Sportsline Boxscore)

Phillies Soak Up the SceneThe Post

Nats learn how success feelsThe Wash. Times

At the start of the season, I joked that I was an optimist when I said the Nats would go 62-99 (with a rainout) because I was an “optimist.” It turns out I was considerably off, with the Nats having won 73 games. Not bad, though we didn’t learn too much other than some of the “core” players — Felipe Lopez, Austin Kearns and Brian Schneider really aren’t very good. We also learned that every pitcher other than Matt Chico is fragile. Ryan Zimmerman may be a Gold Glove third baseman though (The Post). Also, the article notes that Bob Carpenter may be back, something I mentioned yesterday.

That was fun watching the Nats decide the NL East wasn’t it? The next time they make a difference, I want it to be because they are the ones in pursuit of a title, not merely destroying the Mets. The spin is the Nats have no gained playoff-like experience, but I’m not sure I buy into that theory.

Jason Bergmann didn’t pitch well yesterday (The Wash. Times). Oh well, it kept the Mets out of it, so that makes it tolerable.

By virtue of this year’s fourth place finish, one can argue that this was the Nationals most successful season.

How long until hockey season? Football season seems like a lost cause.

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Nats come back to win in 10

WASHINGTON 5 Colorado 4 (CBS Sportsline Boxscore)

D’Angelo Jimenez had one mere hit in 25 at-bats with the Nationals prior to last night when he was called to pinch hit in the 10th inning. The Nats had come back from an early 4-1 deficit to tie it up in the eighth and ultimately send the game to extra innings. RF Austin Kerns singled in the bottom of the 10th and was moved to second by C Brian Schneider. A wild pitch followed, putting Kerns ninety feet away from the plate. Jimenez came through for on the second time as a National and the ball game was over.

The bullpen was stellar, retiring the last 13 Colorado batters. Jon Rauch got the win.

Jimenez Has At-Bat That’s Above His AverageThe Post

Jimenez comes through in pinchThe Wash. Times

If you are worried about Chad Cordero being traded to a conternder, you may not need to be; the Nationals are asking too much for his services (The Post).

Da Meathook got the hook — Dimitri Young was ejected for arguing a called third strike. Both sides seemed to have itchy trigger fingers in the altercation with the ejection occurring before anybody knew what was going on.

Jason Simontacchi
has elbow tendinitis, so Billy Traber will take the mound in his place tonight. It will be the first start of the year for Traber who has worked out of the bullpen this year.

1st round draft pick Ross Detwiller struck out two, walked none, and gave up two hits and no runs in his pro debut with the GCL Nationals.

A Ronnie Belliard Q&A with nationals.com was published yesterday.

I couldn’t find Ryan Zimmerman’s weekly column.

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Things settling down in Viera

The newshole for the Nats in the papers of record is already shrinking. While the papers all concentrated on Manny Acta’s nightmares the night before his first day as manager (The Post, The Wash. Times, The Free Lance-Star and Florida Today respectively), there were only a few other stories reported. Chad Cordero’s contract negotiations have resumed with the hope of avoiding arbitration next Tuesday. OF Chris Snelling, acquired in the Jose Vidro trade, has accepted he’ll probably never be healthy. He might be Australia’s Lenny Dykstra (The Free Lance-Star). C Jesus Flores is better behind the plate than at it, but is working with hitting coach Mitchell Page to catch up. He has a positive attitude as well. Robert Fick will also be in the mix to wear the tools of ignorance when Brian Schneider needs a break. By the way, May 20 won’t be Frank Robinson Day (The Post) after all. The former skipper declined the invitation because he thinks the team was misleading last year about offering him a meaningful job. My prediction is that Robinson will reconsider within in a year, if not sooner. Acta praised Robinson for giving him his first MLB job.

NEW FEATURE! Natmosphere Post of the Day

Every day I’ll pick the post from the Natmosphere that I found most enjoyable. Yesterday’s entry is Curly W taking a look a racing president Thomas Jefferson.

Today’s winner for most articles is The Wash. Times, which in addition to the above articles had SPRING REPORT: THURSDAY and a Q&A with OF Ryan Church.

Lastly, there is the season preview from thebrushback.com. Hat tip to Capitol Punishment.

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SELLOUT IN PHILLY — ARE D.C. AND PHILLY BECOMING RIVALS OR WAS IT DOLLAR DOG NIGHT?

NATS 8 FLEAS 7

Nats Pound Out Win on the RoadThe Post
If you are wondering just how much of a launch pad Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park is, wonder no more — Carlos Baerga (barely) hit a three run homer in the sixth. It turned out it would be the winning run too.

Ryan Drese walked a lot of Phillies and finally paid for it in the fifth, giving up three runs. In five innings of work he threw 101 pitches. In relief, Joey Eichen gave up two more runs and Luis Alaya gave up one too. Gary Majewski and Chad Cordero pitched three scoreless innings to seal the victory. Cordero naturally made it interesting, nearly giving up a homer to Ryan Howard. Thankfully, it was just a long out and Cordero actually retired the side in order.

The most interesting aspect of both the game and Barry Srvluga’s write-up was C Brian Schneider’s conversation with Phillies C Todd Pratt and how he applied what he learned:

Yet it was Schneider’s exchange with one of those catchers, Todd Pratt, that might have saved the game for the Nationals. When Baerga — who had two hits, scored three runs and drove in the three on the homer — scored the Nationals’ first run in the second, the Phillies looked to have him nailed at the plate. But a relay throw skipped away from Pratt, and Baerga slid home safely.

So when Pratt came to the plate for his next at-bat, he asked Schneider whether, had he fielded the throw cleanly, Baerga would have been out. “Probably,” Schneider said.

Pratt, though, responded that the ball had skipped in front of the plate. “Oh, really,” Schneider thought, and filed it away.

The information was essential when the Nationals took that 8-3 lead into the sixth, and the Phillies kept coming. They got one run on a triple from pinch hitter Endy Chavez — the former National who was hitting just .208 for the Phillies. But Chavez’s hit got the Phillies going again, and by the time Howard — the Phillies’ top prospect who is playing for the injured Jim Thome — came to the plate with two outs, it was 8-6 with runners on first and third.

Howard launched a Luis Ayala pitch to center field, where it glanced off the wall, easily scoring Kenny Lofton from third. Pat Burrell, though, was the man that counted, the tying run. Burrell flew around from first, but Wilkerson fielded the ball cleanly.

“He played it great off the wall,” shortstop Jamey Carroll said, “and got it to me quickly.”

Carroll, in turn, fired home to Schneider. Suddenly, that bit of inside information from Pratt — hey, the ball might skip — entered Schneider’s mind. When the throw bounced low, Schneider stayed down to receive it, and he tagged out Burrell to end the inning, the momentum change the Nationals desperately needed.

This is stuff I just love to read about — good job Schneider and Srvluga.

Also, can you believe that Inning-Endy Chavez actually got a hit for the Phils?

More from The Wash. Times: No romp in Phillies’ ballpark

BoxscoreESPN.com


Nats Seek to Acquire Rockies’ WilsonThe Post
The big news yesterday afternoon was an apparent trade with the Rockies — P Zach Day (currently rehabbing in AA Harrisburg) and AAA OF J.J. Davis for CF Preston Wilson. It got held up by Wilson’s no trade cause and issues over how much of his contract the Nats would have to pay. The Wash. Times reports that this trade is unlikely, but I fear Bowden will find a way. The Free-Lance Star in Fredericksburg supports my assessment: Nationals close to getting Wilson.

While I understand that Day will never pitch for the Nats again (not a development I am thrilled about, I would like to see him get another shot, but methinks no one else wants to see that), I don’t understand GM Jim Bowden’s insistence on getting another outfielder. Jose Guillen is the rightfielder, period and Brad Wilkerson is not going anywhere either. That leaves the Ryan Church/Marlon Byrd in left, which is pretty solid. Church was rookie of the month in May and should be coming off the DL shortly. The Nats weakness is not the outfield depth, it is the infield depth. They do not need to get another player with Coors Field-inflated numbers.


Phillies’ rally just 1 run shyThe Inky
That headline makes me feel like the copy editor was trying to say, “hey, we almost won, let’s keep trying everybody!” which comes across as way too positive for Philly. Also, the lede includes references to the Expos. You know, the fact they played in Montréal is old news, particularly for a division rival’s paper. Move on folks.

NATIONALS NOTEBOOKGuillen’s Outburst Is Not an IssueThe Post
Some damage control by Frank Robinson on the latest Guillen issue. Speaking of Robinson…

Strong views on steroidsThe Inky
Mike Schmidt said he would have taken steroids if he played during the late 1990s. Frank Robinson said players proven to have used steroids should have their records “wiped out… like they didn’t play.”

Of course, the Phily fans would have still booed Schmidt.


Byrd enjoys view from 1st placeThe Inky
Former Phillie Marlon Byrd gets ink in both Philly papers. He wants everyone to know that he has no hard feelings about the Phillies (Philly Daily News).

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I DON’T GET TIRED OF SINGING “BEAT THE METS, BEAT THE METS…”

NOTA BENE: Blogger was down this morning, which is why I updated so late.

¡LIVAN! goes yard, pitches eight innings; D.C. 5 – Queens 1

Hernandez Pitches, Slugs Nats to VictoryThe Post
After a rough first inning, ¡LIVAN! pitched the next seven. He gave up one run in the opening inning, but he got it back by hitting a 2-out solo shot in the 5th. Two other Nats, Jose Guillen and Brian Schneider, hit solo shots.

The Nats scored five despite the top two spots in the order not getting hits. Nick Johnson’s returned from his bruised left thigh (The Wash. Times), but his hitting streak ended at 16 games. Brad Wilkerson did not get a hit either.

More from The Wash. Times: Livan tees off


MASN makes debut on DirecTVThe Wash. Times
Direct TV picked up MASN and put it on channel 626. Dish owners can now see every Nats game this season. The Post has more too.

Chris Needham at Capitol Punishment had a lot to say about the TV situation the other day.


Thom LoverroWhy would anyone buy Peter Angelos’ Nationals?The Wash. Times
Loverro wonders out loud why anyone would want to buy the Nats because Peter Angelo$ will be their “daddy.”

It turns out that another group is interested (The Post), raising the total to nine. I thought they stopped taking applications months ago.


Bowden locks up Guillen for 2006The Wash. Times
To celebrate, Guillen hit a homer last night.

Dick HellerRFK banner flunks name gameThe Wash. Times
Oops — Eddie LeBaron’s name is spelled incorrectly on the Hall of Stars banner. The former Redskins QB took it well though.

STUFF FROM THE LAST FEW DAYS

It looks like it will be a rainy Saturday, so since you are going to be indoors, catch up on a few things from earlier in the week.

Wilkerson diary: Off to best startnationals.com
Brad Wilkerson on the first month of the season, as told to Bill Ladson.


Post chats, err Live Discussions:

  • Thomas Boswell – “I’m off to poison Screech’s eagle baby food.”
  • Barry Svrluga – Newlywed Ryan Moore (congratulations) unhappily takes issue with a question in the chat.
  • “Screech” on “Screech” – I thought this was hysterical, but to be fair, Dustin Diamond’s chat was not without it’s detractors.
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  • COMEBACK NATS

    Next: Finding a place to liveThe Post
    I had given up on the game at the top of the 8th, choosing sleep over the rest of the game. It is nice to learn that I missed a lot, though a rain delay would have been tough. C Brian Schneider hit a 2 run double in the top of the 9th to win the game. Good work gentlemen!

    More from The Wash. Times: Schneider’s hit overhauls Braves


    Guard Discusses Altered RFK DealThe Post
    It won’t be National Guard Field after all. It also sounds like no one else is interested in the sponsorship.

    Also, in the next article, the last line indicates that MLB and D.C. are going to finalize the stadium lease today. This seems a little late, methinks.

    More from The Wash. Times: Deal for sponsor may be back on


    Next: Finding a place to liveThe Wash. Times
    The Nats need places to live and it looks like NW and Old Town will where most of them wind up. Brad Wilkerson can help them find a bank.

    Barely a Quorum Opening NightThe Post
    First off, what a great headline. Councilmembers on both sides of the ballpark vote will be there though I am sure you will all be crying crocodile tears that Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), Adrian Fenty (D-Ward 4), David A. Catania (I-At Large), and Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) won’t be there. For the ones who are, I say don’t boo, let’s give them some positive reinforcement for a change.

    District Steering Nats Fans To RailsThe Post
    The trains will be packed and the streets will be clogged. Budget a lot of time, because somebody who probably loves our caps more than me is going to be throwing out the first pitch. Here are three articles about that, check them out for political bias:

    More from The Post: Catching a Presidential Pitch

    More from The Wash. Times: Bush will renew a tradition

    More from nationals.com: Bush to throw D.C.’s first pitch | Graphic


    Q & A with Tony Tavaresnationals.com
    Some tough talk about RFK from the Nats president.

    Castilla may return for home openerThe Wash. Times
    3B Vinny Castilla sat out last night and probably will tonight so that he gets a chance to play on Thursday.

    Robinson begins his Washington chapterThe Wash. Examiner
    Another profile of skipper Frank Robinson.

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