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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