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Nationals Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

WaPo: Svrluga - No Relief from Matt Williams Bullpen Handling

Barry Svrluga was the first beat writer covering the Nationals for the Washington Post wayyyyy back in 2005.

But what we learned over the weekend is that the Nats fan base hasn’t flushed October, and if another October rolls around, the manager will be watched — and closely. Maybe it’s part of Washington becoming a baseball town again, because it clearly isn’t enough to be in first place and just turn your attention to Redskins training camp when the baseball team goes awry. And maybe it’s an issue that, with Storen set for the eighth and Papelbon for the ninth, will take care of itself once this team carries leads into the late innings.

Right now, though, that’s not happening. What we remember is what we have seen most recently. And what we have seen most recently brings more questions than answers.

boteman asks Where's My Ring? Posted: August 04, 2015 at 07:27 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen usage, nationals, tailspin

Monday, August 03, 2015


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WHAT NATS’ TRADE FOR PAPELBON SAYS ABOUT THEIR FAITH IN STOREN

Of course, they know him best.

If the Nats truly were confident in Storen, they would show it.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 29, 2015 at 08:57 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: drew storen, nationals

Nationals trade for closer Jonathan Papelbon | MLB.com

Storen reacts like expected. Storen and Papelbon have one thing other thing in common, neither of them are team first players.

Storen didn’t sound like a guy who was happy about the change.

“All I’m going to say is, I’m aware of the move and I’ve talked to Mike about it. I’ve talked to my agent about it,” Storen said. “We’ve had some ongoing discussions. Until those have progressed, I’m just going to leave it at that. No comment for now. But as the situation goes, I’ll keep you guys posted.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 29, 2015 at 07:04 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: drew storen, jonathan papelbon, nationals

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Thursday, July 23, 2015

WaPo on NYDN on Mets WORST! LOSS! EVER!

A measured response from the New York Daily News.

boteman asks Where's My Ring? Posted: July 23, 2015 at 02:19 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mets, nationals, newspapers

Monday, July 13, 2015

The nerd who throws 98: Meet the top prospect who stays true to his gamer roots - Yahoo Sports

Giolito has an interesting background.

From the time he turned 11, Giolito’s life was baseball. Even though he was surrounded by Hollywood – Rick is a golfing buddy with Samuel L. Jackson, and Giolito has a signed Mace Windu purple light saber in his room at home – Giolito gravitated toward pitching. Granted, he had no clue where the ball was going, his freshman and sophomore years in high school peppered with 90-plus-mph radar gun readings and balls bouncing in the dirt. After working with his high school pitching coach, Ethan Katz – now a coach in the Angels organization – Giolito learned how to throw strikes and quickly became the most highly regarded high school pitching prospect in years.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2015 at 11:31 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, prospects

Monday, July 06, 2015

Nationals, Astros WPB Spring Training Site Approved

Monday morning, Scott made the change officially official with a bill-signing ceremony held with Nationals and Astros representatives on hand, an acknowledgement of the return of Spring Training baseball to West Palm Beach for the first time since the Braves and Expos left decades ago. That the Astros and Nationals will move to Palm Beach County — if all stays on schedule — means there will be five teams within a 30-minute drive of one another on the east coast of Florida, a good sign for the health of the Grapefruit League, which requires more travel than the Cactus League in Arizona


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Nats to introduce Calvin Coolidge as latest Racing President - The Washington Post

I hope the fans don’t get out of control.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2015 at 09:50 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Max effort: Scherzer dominates in 100th win | MLB.com

Six days after pitching a no-hitter against the Pirates, Scherzer retired the first 16 batters he faced. He had a chance to join Johnny Vander Meer as the only pitchers to throw consecutive no-hitters.

“It’s so hard. It takes luck. You have to be on point. You make mistakes, they have to mishit it,” Scherzer said. “I made a few mistakes early. They hit some balls hard. Fortunately, they were right at people.”

With one out in the sixth inning, however, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis then broke up the no-hit bid with a double down the right-field line.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tampa Bay Rays’ Steven Souza hits ‘Little League home run’

Baseball is a kid’s game, as they say. And sometimes the adults look like kids when they are playing.

Case in point: This bunt hit by Tampa Bay’s Steven Souza during Wednesday’s game against the Nationals. Thanks to some horrific fielding, Souza rounded the bases and got a “Little League home run.”

Zach Posted: June 18, 2015 at 12:56 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, little league, nationals, rays

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh, so close: Scherzer inches away from historic performance | MLB.com

He’s even better when not covered in chocolate sauce.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2015 at 09:16 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bryce Harper a future Yankee? Dodgers may have something to say about that - LA Times

He won’t be a free agent for another 3.5 plus seasons. This speculation is more than a little premature.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2015 at 07:56 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, nationals, yankees

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Yankees fans are clearly ready for the Bryce Harper Era in New York - The Washington Post

This is amusing.

“Are the Yankees in Bryce Harper’s future?” asked the New York Post. “Fut-ure Yank-ee” and “20-19″ chanted fans in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium during New York’s 6-1 win. (Harper is under the Nationals’ control through the 2018 season.)

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals, yankees

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Simon: Q&A with Max Scherzer

But does having eyes of different colors remain a market inefficiency?

Simon: “Two things have become much more popular lately: pitch framing and defensive shifts. What are your approaches with regard to each of those?”

Scherzer: “Framing is there. Certain catchers get more calls than others, but the pitcher has to put the ball in the right spot to let the catcher do that. It’s more parts catcher, but there is a pitcher part to that, especially if you want to work the outside edges and down and give the catcher a pitch he can [frame]. [The more you’re] able to execute the pitch in the vicinity of where his glove is, the easier it is for him to frame.

“With defensive shifts: You see how they’re implemented, and it’s not just a mad scientist doing this. It’s a real fact that if you shift, you can prevent more hits. Sometimes, it’s a matter of moving your whole infield around to get to the point of it being a positive.

“I put all that on the coaches. The coaches do a phenomenal job of doing their research to try to figure out if they want to shift and who they want to shift against so that they feel comfortable.

“I don’t worry about infield shifts at all—you play where you’re gonna play. I’m just gonna pitch my game.”

JE (Jason) Posted: June 09, 2015 at 11:39 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts, max scherzer, nationals, pitch framing, sabermetrics

Friday, June 05, 2015

WaPo: Nationals Victims of 2 Bad Umpire Calls, Replay No Help

Because the Nationals lost the challenge, they couldn’t ask for any more reviews until the seventh inning, when the rules allow them to as the umpiring crew chief to look at a play and determine if a review is needed. But their next close call came in the sixth.

After the play, Harper lingered at first base thinking Williams would emerge from the dugout to challenge the play. But he couldn’t.

“I think [umpire reviews] should be from the fifth on probably,” Harper said. “There are so many plays from the fifth inning on that are big-time plays. I don’t know if it should be like the NFL where we get one challenge a game until after the seventh. It should be a little bit different. That’s the way it goes right now. Gotta live with it.”

boteman asks Where's My Ring? Posted: June 05, 2015 at 02:03 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, replay sucks, umpiring

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Nationals’ Strasburg Diagnosed With Strained Left Trapezius - NYTimes.com

Washington manager Matt Williams said Tuesday the trapezius was the cause of the neck and upper back discomfort. Strasburg is 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts and failed to last four innings in four of five outings in May.

“As soon as he feels good, he’ll get back to throwing,” Williams said before Tuesday’s doubleheader against Toronto. “We don’t know when that will be, though. ... But it could be within days that it feels better and he’s able to get back out there and do all the things he needs to do.”

Williams said he and his staff have not observed any mechanical issues with Strasburg during his recent struggles.

“We’ve looked at it extensively,” the manager said. “There’s minor adjustments that guys make over the course of a season, but nothing that glares at us that he’s changed that is drastically different, no.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 03, 2015 at 09:49 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Nationals’ Bryce Harper doesn’t care about his so-called ‘breakout’ | Toronto Star

“Truly, I don’t care,” Bryce Harper said.

He wasn’t even being cocky. Well, not any more cocky than is inherent for someone who was splashed on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a 16-year-old and touted as “Baseball’s Chosen One.”

“I’m not saying that just to say that,” he added, genuinely. “I know what I can do and I just don’t really care what people think or say or anything like that, because at the end of the day it’s what I think, it’s what my teammates think and what my family thinks.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2015 at 06:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dan Uggla is a good hugger, Washington Nationals say

Uggla is known for his hugs. Freddie Freeman, with the Braves, is perhaps more well-known for his many on-field hugs, but Uggla said he taught that to Freeman. Fans have held up signs at games such as “I Want a Huggla from Uggla” at games. His nickname is, sometimes, Huggla.

“That’s one of our pregame things: hugging before the game,” Harper said. “I don’t konw. Hugs for Uggs, right? That’s what everybody says. I’m a big hugger, too. I hug [Drew] Storen out there every time he closes a game.”

Uggla also shares a daily hug with Tyler Moore. Why?

“It’s a hard place to be in, man,” Moore said, referring to the major leagues. “Getting a little bit of love every day won’t kill anybody.

Bourbon Samurai in America Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:29 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hold me gently, nationals

Saturday, May 23, 2015

WaPo: Aaron Barrett wins epic post-anthem standoff

Aaron Barrett proudly displays his Star-Spangledtude.

The game hardly mattered by the time it began. A mere baseball game, especially one played in May between the charging Nationals and the sputtering Phillies, could not possibly carry the emotional weight of the test of human spirit, of will and of hope, that preceded it. The Nationals won Friday night’s game, 2-1, and that was good, of course. But first, Aaron Barrett won one of the longest post-anthem standoffs in recent memory — one the baseball world will little note, but one those who witnessed it will long remember.

As with many of baseball’s inexplicable but time-honored traditions, the origins of the post-anthem standoff are obscured by the blur of numbers on jerseys, of bored players, of long pregame ceremonies and long baseball seasons. It sums to this: “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays to a reverent crowd, and both teams line up, hats off, held over their hearts. The song ends, the crowd cheers, and the players disperse. Most of them, anyway.

One hearty soul on one side stays. Someone on the other side notices, considers consequences of surrendering without standing up for himself, then engages. The standoff ensues. Barrett said later he did not want a fight Friday night. The challenge came, and he did not back down.

Barrett has a decorated history with such things. Umpires nearly threw him and Rockies’ outfielder Brandon Barnes out of a game in Colorado last season when they refused to leave the field before the first pitch. Like that July staredown, Friday’s showdown was the stuff of which legends are written, the stuff about which novels are scratched out by candlelight. Had he been following on Twitter, exhausted at Marathon, Pheidippides himself would likely have thrown an olive wreath Barrett’s way to honor of his endurance.

JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2015 at 11:20 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: contests, nationals, nats, silly, star spangled banner


Friday, May 22, 2015

NYTimes Columnist: Bryce Harper coming to Yankees, A-Rod is worse than Satan.

Come for the arrogance:

When Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16, he told the magazine that two of his goals in baseball were to play in Yankee Stadium and to do it in pinstripes.

When I reminded Lerner, one of the Nationals’ owners, of those comments this week, he laughed.

“Every 16-year-old kid says that,” he said.

But not every 16-year-old kid is Bryce Harper. And what Bryce Harper wants, Bryce Harper seems to get.

Stay for the random shots at A-rod, who had literally nothing to do with the topic of the article:

Today’s Yankees are aging and aching, with their biggest star, Alex Rodriguez, a serial liar pushing 40 (years, not homers). The rest? C. C. Sabathia and Carlos Beltran are on the downside of their career. Jacoby Ellsbury, the former Red Sox star, cannot seem to stay healthy and is now on the disabled list, where Mark Teixeira has also spent substantial time in recent years.

Like it or not, Rodriguez is the face of the Yankees, whether he is bashing homers and striking out in the ninth or repeating, over and over again, that “I just want to play baseball.”

If Harper does join the Yankees Mancur will no doubt suddenly find that she loathes him because of the same qualities she’s lauding him for in this article.


wtop.com | Marvin Hudson is a stooge

Marvin Hudson is, by most accounts, not a bad umpire. He’s been in the league since 1998, and has been largely forgettable, which is one of the qualities an umpire should strive for.

He has been these things to most every team. Most every team except, that is, for the Washington Nationals.

Hudson was born in Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. This is interesting only because since 2012, when the Nats flipped the switch from perennial doormats to contenders and forged their rivalry with the Braves, Hudson has been a bizarre thorn in their side.

Consider this: Hudson has ejected just eight players or managers since September of 2012, a number that is quite reasonable and fewer than a good number of his peers. But of those eight, six have been Washington Nationals.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

After Harper’s ejection, Span lifts Nats past Yankees 3-2

“I don’t think 40,000 people came to watch him ump tonight. Plain and simple. Plain and simple. I mean, I really don’t think they did. Especially when we’re playing the Yankees.

“The Yankees are a good team, we’re a good team and we’re rolling. And, I mean, the way I’m hitting, I don’t want to get tossed,” Harper said. “I don’t think I really did anything bad to get tossed. But maybe he just had a bad morning. Maybe he didn’t get his coffee.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 06:24 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


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