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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Nationals Newsbeat

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dodgers’ Game 5 win is a magical scene right out of 1988 - LA Times

Memorable ending to a great game. Congrats to Dodgers fans.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, dusty baker, kenley jansen, nationals

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dodgers vs. Nationals Preview | 10/13/16

FS1 tonight. It felt weird not to have a game to watch last night. I’ll have to used to it soon.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2016 at 06:20 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, playoffs

#NatsRide Helps Fans Help Themselves After DC, Metro Snub Them

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was asked whether she had a plan to get Nationals fans home from Thursday’s Game 5, which will likely end after Metro closes.

“Nats fans are amazingly persistent and creative, and we know that they’re going to plan ahead,” Bowser said.

Yes. Yes, they are. And they have. Before Bowser’s unhelpful response to an important question, Nationals fans were making and sharing alternative transportation plans using the hashtag #NatsRide on Twitter.

And as most Nats fans don’t want to die a fiery death on a Metro train, they win two ways by sharing rides to the park!

Bote Man Posted: October 13, 2016 at 01:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, playoffs, politics

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WTOP: Train waits for no fan: Metro won’t extend service for Nats game

Metro is beyond awful. No wonder thousands of commuters would rather get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic above ground than deal with the bullshit on the rails.

As part of the 24-hour track-work program that began this spring, Metro no longer extends its hours for games, concerts or special events, and Metro says the Nats’ game Thursday is no exception.

Game 5 of the National League Division Series starts at 8:08 p.m., and Metro closes at midnight, making it likely that fans will need to figure out other ways home.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told WTOP on Wednesday that he wasn’t going to budge. “We’ve impacted hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. “We’ve let them know the parameters we’re working under, and I think we ought to stick to that.”

Renegade JE (((Jason))), Fermenting Violence Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:05 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, nats, nlds

Nationals Max Scherzer to start Game 5 of NLDS |

MLB does not want fans to get caught up in all the playoff series. If they did, they wouldn’t schedule the games at overlapping times, with late starts, and on difficult, or impossible, to find networks.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:52 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dodgers defeat Nationals, force NLDS Game 5 |

Chase Utley saved the Dodgers’ season on Tuesday, his tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning sending Los Angeles to a 6-5 win over the Nationals. The National League Division Series heads back to Washington for a decisive Game 5 on Thursday (5 or 8 p.m. ET/2 or 5 p.m. PT on FS1).

The winning rally started when Andrew Toles was hit on the foot by a Blake Treinen slider. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier, who spent most of the season healing from a broken leg, singled. Utley bounced a single sharply into right field to score Toles with Ethier taking third.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, playoffs

Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers in Game 4 against the Nationals - LA Times

ICYMI, Kershaw on short rest for the Dodgers today.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 02:21 PM | 196 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, nationals, playoffs

Nationals beat Dodgers, take 2-1 lead in NLDS |

The Nationals are one victory from advancing to the National League Championship Series after pulling away from the Dodgers on Monday, 8-3. Anthony Rendon blasted a two-run homer and former Dodger Jayson Werth crushed a solo shot in a win that gave Washington a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five NL Division Series.

It’s the first time the Nats have led a postseason series since winning the opening game of the 2012 NLDS, and they did so by scoring eight runs, the most in a postseason game in club history.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 06:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, playoffs

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Could Dodgers’ depth strategy turn off the veterans it needs to succeed? - LA Times

Somehow the Dodgers will make due without the Chris Heisey’s of the baseball world.

Heisey batted a career-low .182 last season. He said the frequent shuttle between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City “absolutely” affected his performance.

“It messes with your head a little when you’re up and down like that,” said Heisey, who hit .216 this season. “I understood. They explained to me early on it was probably going to be like that, the way their roster shaped up. There just wasn’t a spot for me.

“I think this year has been a lot better in that regard — being comfortable, being with the same guys all year, competing at the highest level and not having to go back and forth and say goodbye to my family so many different times. That was one of the harder parts. Where are they going to be? Are they going to go home? Are they going to stay in Oklahoma City while I go to Los Angeles? That added stress.

“They’re doing it within the rules,” he added. “It just so happens that players have to deal with it. They’re just manipulating the roster like they’re allowed to.

“On the personal side, they may not realize the toll it may take on a player’s confidence when he’s going up and down, taken off the roster, put back on the roster, in my case released and signed back. It was a crazy year. I made some good friends there, so it wasn’t all bad. But it was tough.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nationals’ Wilson Ramos injures right knee |

This greatly hurts the Nationals and Wilson Ramos. The injury puts a big off-season payday in jeopardy.

With the Nationals already nursing Bryce Harper (thumb), Daniel Murphy (buttocks) and Stephen Strasburg (forearm) back to full strength as the postseason draws closer, they will have to be prepared to play without catcher Wilson Ramos for the remainder of the season, including the postseason, with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Manager Dusty Baker told reporters of the diagnosis, which followed an MRI taken on Tuesday.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2016 at 03:53 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, wilson ramos

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bryce Harper told the Nationals he is not hurt, and they seem to believe him - The Washington Post

“Bryce said it didn’t come from him. Nobody really knows where it comes from because it’s not on the injury report,” Baker said. “The trainer said no.”

According to multiple people familiar with the situation, Rizzo commandeered Baker’s office for an informal deposition after the report came out Tuesday. He brought in Harper and trainer Paul Lessard, hoping to learn whether there was some issue Harper had not told them about. If not, they hoped to identify the source of the information.

Rizzo asked Harper if the reports were true, and Harper said they were not, according to a person familiar with the situation,who also said Lessard told Rizzo and Baker he had treated no shoulder issue since the stiff neck cost Harper five games in August. All of that reinforces, with more detail, what Baker and Rizzo told reporters Tuesday.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 22, 2016 at 11:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Friday, September 09, 2016

Worried about your ace’s $100 million arm? There is insurance for that. - The Washington Post

Remember when the Nationals held Strasburg out to protect him long-term?

“Theoretically, on a contract that size, you would definitely get insurance,” said an executive from another major league club, speaking of Strasburg’s deal. “The challenge is that the insurance always asks for exemptions on previous injuries. Anyone will insure anything at a certain cost. But in this case, either they have an exemption for the elbow, which would make the insurance borderline useless, or it’s so expensive — $3-4 million or something — that a team might be reluctant.”

Burns said previous injuries are a factor, but if a player has returned to the major league level and performed, reservations about health can be overcome.

[For Washington sports fans, Strasburg injury is a feeling too familiar]

Still, policies aren’t for every club. The Nationals have issued four contracts worth at least $100 million, those to Ryan Zimmerman (six years, $100 million), Jayson Werth (seven years, $126 million), Strasburg and Scherzer (seven years, $210 million). But people with knowledge of their thought process say they have found insuring such deals vexing and expensive. They haven’t done it.

Keep in mind, too, that the risk of long-term deals lies solely with the clubs. Strasburg’s deal contains player opt-out clauses after both 2019 and 2020, so if he’s healthy and performing and the market continues to go up (which it will), he could leave the Nationals for a shot at the open market. Should he be hurt or pitching poorly after 2019 or 2020, Washington has no such option.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2016 at 09:16 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, nationals

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Strasburg out indefinitely with forearm strain

Surprised no one punched this one up yet!

“Normally [strained flexor masses] come around very well with treatment and strengthening programs,” Nationals head athletic trainer Paul Lessard said. “It’s not a season-ending injury…”

This is the basically the same initial diagnosis as prior to Strasburg’s 2010 UCL tear was discovered.  Lessard did not go on to explain precisely which tune he was whistling as he passed the ligament graveyard.

Scott Fischthal Posted: September 08, 2016 at 06:21 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg, ucl

Nationals rally three times two sweep Braves |

Strasburg reacted the way most guys react when they’ve blown out their elbows. It was not promising.

Strasburg had missed 16 games with right elbow soreness before taking the mound Wednesday, and Baker insisted the right-hander was ready to pitch.

“He did everything that was asked of him. He was cleared,” Baker said. “He wasn’t trying to be a hero. He said that he felt fine.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 08, 2016 at 05:48 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oakland A’s trade Marc Rzepczynski to Washington Nationals

The A’s announced this morning that LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-0, 3.00) was traded to the Nationals, along with cash, for minor league 2B Max Schrock. Max Schrock, age 21 and taken out of South Carolina in the 13th round last year, seems like a weirdly excellent pickup. He’s the Nationals’ #17 prospect according to, which sounds about right for a reliever trade in late August, but he’s having an incredible debut season.

Across A and High-A this year, he’s hit a combined .333/.378/.456 with 9 homers and 22 stolen bases over 543 PAs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2016 at 12:28 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marc rzepcyznski, nationals, trade

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stephen Strasburg on DL, right elbow soreness |

Let’s not even imagine what his arm will be like near the end of his contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 03:08 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Red Sox will add more than arms in waiver deals

“For each trade you make there are 20 that didn’t work,” said Rizzo. “It’s a process that takes time and requires great research by our staff. We’re not afraid to make a deal. For me, when the deal succeeds for both teams it’s a success.

“We have great discussions with our staff. We have great debates. I want people to tell me I’m wrong and back it up with how they feel about a player. We love analytics, but what this is all about is the scout who drives that extra 100 miles to see a player and make an evaluation and a scout who is strong in his convictions about what he sees and how that player can help our ball club. That’s what we have that’s so great.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mike rizzo, nationals, notes, red sox

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Harper’s inconsistency highlights Trout’s greatness. | Sports on Earth

Barring a significant slide over the last quarter of the schedule, Trout is going to join an exclusive club with this metronomic stat line. Since the dawn of the 20th century, only nine others have strung together at least five consecutive qualifying seasons with an OPS+ of 160 or better. Here is the impressive list in reverse chronological order.

Barry Bonds 1990-98, 2000-04
Frank Thomas 1991-97
Stan Musial 1948-54
Johnny Mize 1936-40
Lou Gehrig 1927-37
Babe Ruth 1918-24, ‘26-‘34
Rogers Hornsby 1920-25
Ty Cobb 1907-19
Honus Wagner 1902-09

(Ted Williams likely would be on this list if not for his military service. He topped the 160 mark while qualifying for the batting title in each of his first eight seasons, which were interrupted by three seasons lost to World War II. It’s also possible that others are in the same boat, including Charlie Keller, who hit the mark from 1941-43 and again in ‘45 after a year away).

Not only would Trout be just the third player in the past 70 years to accomplish this feat, but he also is doing it while playing a premium defensive position—and in his age 20-24 seasons (he turned 25 on Aug. 7). Only Cobb, more than a century ago, has had five qualifying 160 OPS+ seasons at such a young age. Only Cobb and Williams can top Trout’s career OPS+ of 169 up to this point (minimum 2,000 plate appearances). And of course, Trout is more than just a good hitter, as he is closing in on Cobb’s record of 46.7 wins above replacement by the end of the age-24 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, bryce harper, mike trout, nationals

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jonathan Papelbon Subjected His Teammates To Terrible Pro-Trump Music

Whether you’re voting for Trump or not, we can all agree that Rodney Carrington songs are terrible.

The Nationals released Papelbon over the weekend, and that meant it was time for writers and reporters to dish some gossip. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg provided us with this gem:

Now maybe players don’t, or shouldn’t, care whether the home fans like them. If a Nationals player did care, though, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to wear a T-shirt reading “Obama can’t ban these guns” to his let’s-make-amends spring training news conference. Nor would he have, on multiple occasions, played a political anthem while reporters were inside the Nats clubhouse.

The ditty was called “Vote For Trump,” and it included promises that “the wall will get built by Mexico” and that Trump would “bring back country [and] get rid of rap,” also noting that “if you don’t like it you can all just kiss our ass.”

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jonathan Papelbon released by Washington Nationals - Washington Times

Don’t they preplan these things now?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2016 at 05:11 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan papelton, nationals

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Turner continues to dazzle at plate and in center field - Byron Kerr

As written in the article, the kid can play.

“Much better, even than the beginning of this year, and right before the All-Star break I felt a little weird,” Turner said. “Last year, I never really felt right the whole time. I’m starting to feel more normal these last three or four days. I feel like I’ve made the adjustments I’ve wanted to and I’ve kind of gotten back to where I feel comfortable.

“But every day is a battle, and that last at-bat I didn’t do what I was supposed to do and I had a crappy at-bat. But that’s baseball. The more times you can feel better, the better off you will be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2016 at 07:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nationals trade for Mark Melancon from Pirates |

The trade deadline deals are finally happening.

The Nationals made acquiring bullpen help their top priority prior to Monday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. They addressed that need Saturday afternoon, completing a trade for right-hander Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for left-handers Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2016 at 07:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mark melancon, nationals, pirates

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nationals’ Trea Turner pulls off steal of home |

This kid looks pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 06:50 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What next for Lopez and Giolito? - Nationals Pastime

Reynaldo Lopez revealed both weaknesses (a very hittable fastball) and strengths (a very unhittable curveball and changeup) in his major league debut last night, enough to leave the Nationals plenty intrigued to see more of the 22-year-old.

“He’s young, this is the big leagues, and you’re facing big-league hitters,” manager Dusty Baker said after Lopez gave up six runs and 10 hits but struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings. “But he’s very bright. Just gotta tighten up a few things. I think he’ll be here for a long time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 20, 2016 at 10:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, reynaldo lopez

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