Tag Archives: Spring Training 2013

Nats: 4 weeks until Opening Day, eyes on the prize

Happy March! Washington Nationals Opening Day is four weeks from today — 28 long days to go — the dog days of spring training.

This spring has been pretty quiet (CSN Washington) since the roster is pretty much set.

There are a few interesting things though, like this article about extensive vision training: Washington Nationals go beyond the eye chart with vision training (The Post).

While few major league teams offer extensive vision training, the Nationals are hoping to further incorporate it. Players such as Bryce Harper, Steve Lombardozzi and Brown swear by it. This season, the players will have an extra training room at Nationals Park where they can have easy access to the equipment and integrate it into their daily workouts. By this time next season, the Nationals hope to have all minor league players in Class A and Class AA under vision-training programs.

“We think that it’s the next frontier of improvement,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “It’s part of our player development, it’s part of our strength and conditioning. We condition the eye as a muscle and Keith does a lot of innovative and cutting-edge stuff.”

Have the Nats found something that nobody else has? If they did, pretty soon everybody is going to do it, but they have a head start. In theory, this is an excellent development by the team. Still, as recently as last spring I was wondering aloud….

OTHER STUFF

In case you had forgotten, Stan Musial reached out to Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper (Post-Disptach).

Since I have never had a ticket plan, this new Nats plan holder card is a big meh for me. Good write-ups by Dan Steinberg though.

Oddly enough, I have bought less Nats merchandise this offseason than in previous ones, though that isn’t the case (DC Sports Bog, The Post) with others.

Two videos form last week from CSN Washington are worth watching:

First, Jayson Werth:

Second, Ryan Zimmerman:

There was a Thomas Boswell chat today too.

Opening Day is in 28 days…

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Nats: In case you haven’t read the Bryce Harper Sports Illustrated cover story yet…

I finally found the Sports Illustrated cover story on Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper by Tom Verducci. Here it is:

Washington’s Monument
“O.K., BRYCE HARPER, AS A ROOKIE YOU PUT UP THE BEST SEASON BY A TEENAGER IN HISTORY. GUESS WHAT? IT’S TIME FOR YOU—AND THE REST OF LAST YEAR’S SMASHING ROOKIE CLASS—TO DO IT AGAIN. NOW ABOUT THAT SOPHOMORE JINX …”

Sophomore jinx? More like SI cover jinx.

Speaking of the cover, D.C. Sports Bog interviewed the photographer who took the Harper cover photo at the Lincoln Memorial. In short — it was really cold and Harper didn’t complain.

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Nats: Boswell thinks Davey Johnson is – THE MOST INTERESTING MANAGER IN THE WORLD

THOMAS BOSWELL: Davey Johnson: At 70, Nats manager enters one final glory yearThe Post
It came over a week late, but the most-highly regarded Post columnist (according to Mr. Irrelevant) sent Davey Johnson a big Valentine in the form of the column above. It is, as expected, overflowing with praise and has the trademark paragraph or two of concern after the jump, but the overall narrative is that Johnson is incredible and perfect — the fanboy columnist’s impossible dream.

If Bos were hipper, he’d have said something along the lines of Davey can speak Spanish…in Japanese like the Dos Equis ads.

I’m looking around for scheduled chat, but can’t find one. If he shows up, I’ll post it here. UPDATE: Looks like he’s going to do one:

Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sportsThe Post
“Sports Columnist Tom Boswell will take your questions about the Redskins, the Nationals, the NFL and more. ”

35 days until Opening Day…

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Werth: Healthy 2012 Nats could have won 120 games

Responding to claims by Jimmy Rollins that the Washington Nationals would have finished second to a healthy Philadelphia Phillies team last year (The Inky), Jayson Werth suggested that a healthy Nats team could have won 120 games.

That’s just crazy, but Werth is correct that the Nats were not entirely healthy. He missed most of the season with a broken wrist. Others like Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond were ailing and missed time, as did the now-departed Michael Morse. That Nats got through it because of extraordinary starting rotation health. Counting on that for this season is a bit dubious.

Werth also points out not to sleep on the Phillies which is the appropriate approach. The Phillies showed their age last year and lost Ryan Howard and Chase Utley for much of the season. They still pulled it together late to surge to a 81-81 record.

I think the Nats are the team to beat in the NL East, but I would be surprised if they reach 98 wins again. They don’t really have to either, the only regular season “win” that matters is the division or the play-in game.

By the way, my recollection is that the only team to win 120 games was the 1998 New York Yankees, who won 114 games in the regular season and 11 post-season games on their way to another World Series title. Werth’s 120 claim is ridiculous, but he’s correct that the Phillies are still a threat.

39 days until Opening Day…

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ESPN says Gio Gonzalez is clean; Detwiler to World Baseball Classic

ESPN says Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez did not obtain banned performance enhancing drugs from the South Florida Biogensis Clinic Sources: Docs link 5 players to clinic:

According to two sources familiar with Bosch’s operation, however, the Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, previously identified as being named in Biogenesis documents, did not receive banned substances from Bosch or the clinic.

Both sources, speaking independently, identified Gonzalez as the only Bosch client named thus far who did not receive performance-enhancing drugs. A document obtained by “Outside the Lines” bolsters their case: On a computer printout of clients, Gonzalez, identified by the code name “Gladiator,” is said to have received $1,000 worth of substances, but under “notes” are several substances not banned by Major League Baseball: “gluthetyn” (which a source said was a misspelling of glutathione), “IM [intramuscular] shots” and amino acids.

Glutathione is an anti-oxidant, and one source said the “IM shots” Gonzalez received were “MICs,” a medically dubious but legal combination of methionine, inositol and choline, often used for weight loss.

So, that’s good. I still wish he wasn’t pitching in the World Baseball Classic. I am not pleased that Ross Detwiler has joined him – 40% of the rotation is potentially pitching in it now. I’d rather they work up their intensity the traditional way. Throw in Danny Espinosa and his torn rotator cuff in his non-throwing shoulder and welp…

World Baseball Classic now a prime concern for Nationals The Wash. Times

Between the WBC and Bryce Harper on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the spring is nothing but doom for the Nats. Harper has bulked up in the offseason (The Post)

40 days until Opening Day…

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Nats, Bryce Harper now jinxed by Sports Illustrated cover

Oh Q@#$%&!

This we didn’t need.

Bryce Harper
has become the second Washington Nationals Sports Illustrated cover boy; Stephen Strasburg was the first. When that happened, DC Sports Bog noted that DC sports coverboys haven’t always been bad omens.

UPDATE:
Ghosts of DC notes that Harper is only the third D.C. baseball player on the cover, joining Strasburgh and Roy Sievers, a 1958 coverboy. Ted Williams was also on the cover as manager in 1969..

Also, Harper shouldn’t he be wearing the home whites. Why couldn’t he have gone with stirrups too? Need to wear solid black shoes too.

Of course, I’ll probably get a copy

41 days until opening day…

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Nats: Boswell chat at 11?

Thomas Boswell, the long-time Post columnist and Washington Nationals fanboy (though he denies it) has been columnizing daily or close to it since he arrived in Viera, Fla. for Spring Training. Here is his preview video:

Boswell wrote one column that essentially said “The excellent baseball players on the Nats are mostly introverts and SO AM I” in addition to his usual stuff. Since he has a good team to write about, he doesn’t have to spend as much time finding ways to make player stats to rationalize his homerism. All fine and good, but those are edited columns and I want BOSWELL UNCHAINED to tell us what he really thinks of the current Nats. Apparently, he’s got a chat at 11 a.m. today. Sometimes those things get posted and nothing happens — that was going on throughout January, so don’t get your hopes up.

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Nats Presidents Race bigger than ever with William Howard Taft added

If you were hoping that the Washington Nationals would tone done the Racing Presidents following last season’s long-awaited victory by the Theodore Roosevelt character you are probably disappointed. After the Nats finally “Let Teddy Win“in the final regular season game of 2012 they decided to expand the roster in the offseason. William Howard Taft (“Bill”) is now part of the Presidents Race as a foil to Teddy which is historically accurate — Taft had been Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor, but Roosevelt found himself outraged at the Taft presidency.

Oddly enough, the Taft character isn’t fat (The Nats Enquirer).

Since every idea worth doing is worth overdoing, the Nats are going big with the Presidents Race, traveling over the past week to Mount Rushmore, stopping at several spots along the way to South Dakota. Let Teddy Win has been covering “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” which includes them riding snowmobiles (the baseball equivalent of “I see Abraham Lincoln on a personal watercraft” I suppose) and Teddy in Deadwood playing poker. There was twitter taunting between @Teddy26Nats and @NatsBigChief27 They reached Mt. Rushmore yesterday:



MORE FROM DC SPORTS BOG:
Taft descendants rally around new racing president

I’m resigned to this being a big part of the Nats identity, but for all that is holy in the church of baseball, please stop calling this “THE MAIN EVENT.”

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CHEMISTRY! Nats: Ryan Zimmerman drops that “c word”

Every year, we hear about how a team should do better because of chemistry. This year, Ryan Zimmerman appears to be the first Washington Nationals player to be specifically quoted pointing to “chemistry”

Immediately, that set off an alarm and this video came up:

Ah yes, the World of Chemistry and its beloved theme song. Roald Hoffman is still the guy who carries models of molecules in his knapsack, the unnamed female narrator is still monotone and Don Showalter is blowing stuff up in the lab. DON > BUCK

It would have been much funnier if it had been Gio Gonzalez talking about chemistry.

As for Zimmerman’s shoulder:

Still 45 days until Opening Day…

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Nats: James Andrews/Lewis Yoccum appointments and cortisone futures trading well at mid-day; first Boswell column of spring

Day 3 of Washington Nationals spring training…

PLAYING HURT, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

Playing through a torn rotator cuff (The Post)? Color me skeptical Danny Espinosa. How many cortisone shots will he take this season? Good news if you are Steve Lombardozzi I guess.

Henry Rodriguez thinks his elbow pain is normal, he did have a bone spur removed last summer. I’m just wondering if he does tear his UCL, who does the Tommy John surgery? If it is either Lewis Yoccum or James Andrews, the team considers him really important. If it is the team doctor, well…

THEN THERE IS THOMAS BOSWELL…

Boswell’s column is restrained, by his standards. He writes better when he has a real reason to get excited.

Nats Enquirer on Harper’s view of the state of D.C. sports.

NEWLY ACQUIRED SORIANO LATE FOR SPRING TRAINING, WELL I NEVER…

New closer Rafael Soriano is expected this weekend after dealing with visa issues Hardball Talk, NBC Sports. My theory is visa issues are modern version of holding out to just avoid spring training (Frank Howard did that annually) – American players are jealous.

D-SPAN LEAPS FROM THE FISHES

Denard Span isn’t a fan of osprey’s bombing fish into centerfieldDC Sports Bog, The Post.

FLORIDA TODAY VIDEO COVERAGE

Don’t forget, Florida Today has Nats Spring Training coverage, including this cluster of videos.

45 days until Opening Day…

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