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Nationals Newsbeat

Monday, March 25, 2019

Phillies fans are planning a takeover of Nationals Park for Bryce Harper’s return

Washington, this is your warning. On April 2, the fans of the Philadelphia Phillies are planning a takeover.

While Citizens Bank Park is going to be packed with Phillies fans all season, busloads of Phillies fans are taking the trip down I-95 to Nationals Park for the first road game of the season. That is, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Joe DiBiaggio, founder of Phans of Philly, which organizes trips and tailgates for Philadelphia sports fans, took a chance even before Bryce Harper signed and purchased a block of 500 tickets for the April 2 game in Washington, Harper’s return to the city he spent his first seven seasons. The tickets will likely be sold out.

Site members who live in and around the District- I would recommend being as far away as possible on that day, ideally in a location in the Central Time Zone or further west.

 

QLE Posted: March 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, nationals, phillies

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Nationals’ Martinez wants Trea Turner to run more

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Trea Turner led the National League in stolen bases last season, and Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez wants him to run even more.

Turner was successful on 43 of 52 attempts last year. He had a career-high 46 steals in 2017. Martinez wants the speedy shortstop to attempt close to 100 this year.

Turner got his third steal of the spring during Saturday’s 4-4 tie against St. Louis.

Come to think of it, players who run every chance they get could very well be worth exploring- at any rate, it’s the perfect response to how twitchy modern pitching has become…..

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dave martinez, nationals, stolen bases, trea turner

Saturday, March 23, 2019

‘Trader Jack’ McKeon back in baseball, his ‘love,’ with Nats

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — “Trader Jack” is back at spring training and couldn’t be happier. Back in baseball, where he belongs, after a season away.

Now a special adviser to the Washington Nationals’ general manager, Jack McKeon feels refreshed after a bit of a break from the place that’s been his world for most of his 88 years. He managed more than 1,000 wins in the majors, another 1,000-plus in the minors and was a GM, too.

“This is in your blood. It’s your love. When I used to manage the Marlins, I’d get up at 7, go to church at 8:30, then turn around and go right to the ballpark. People said: How come you went to the ballpark alone at 9 o’clock, 9:30? I’d say that it was like my living room. My home,” McKeon said during an interview at the Nationals’ spring training facility. “I’d go out and jog. Read the papers. Smoke a few cigars and wait ’til the game started.”

Wishing that Jack McKeon keeps going strong- he started managing when my father was three, and is still in the game three years after my father retired.

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jack mckeon, nationals

Monday, March 11, 2019

ESPN - Keown - Bryce Harper is One Very Big Deal

When Harper told his agent, Scott Boras, that he wanted a lifetime deal—with a no-trade clause and none of the agent’s signature opt-outs—Boras said, “Well, teams don’t want to employ you at 35, much less 39, so we’re going to have to give something up to get that.” The casualty, to use the term loosely, was the average annual salary—$25.3 million. Manny Machado’s, to pick one, is higher. Harper didn’t care.


Trea Turner may never think he is good enough, and that means he will only get better - The Washington Post

“I was frustrated by myself last year. I could have done so many more things,” Turner says. “I’d think, ‘Why did I do that?’ or ‘That was dumb.’ I slid past the bag by an inch one time, got tagged out. ‘Come on.’

“I expect more from myself. And there’s more there. Am I going to hit [.342] like my rookie year? Obviously, no. But how much better is ‘better?’ Is it hit .290,” he says, pausing to think before each number. “Is it 20 home runs . . . 50 steals?”

Turner shakes his head — no, that’s not enough. He ups the ante: “With my speed and my hard-hit-ball percentage, there’s no reason I shouldn’t hit .300.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2019 at 11:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Thursday, March 07, 2019

New-look NL East suddenly baseball’s deepest division

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For years, the NL East has been soft as a bunt single.

Not anymore.

Even before Bryce Harper decided to stay inside the division, four of the five teams spent this offseason swinging for the fences. In addition to defending champion Atlanta, the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all have enough firepower to potentially contend for the playoffs.

Mind you, the Marlins can by themselves make any division weaker just by being in it.

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Nationals make controversial backpack ban worse by charging fans for storage lockers

The Washington Nationals’ controversial plan to ban backpacks for the 2019 season was already met with anger from fans. The team somehow managed to make the issue worse Wednesday, announcing fans could pay a fee to store their backpacks in lockers at the park, according to the Washington Post.

A company called Binbox will install 500 medium to large lockers at the right field and home plate gates where Nationals fans can store their backpacks for either $2 or $3 per hour depending on which locker size the fan needs. Those prices will cap at $10 and $15 during games.

Fans will also be encouraged to download an app and pay for lockers using Stripe, according to the Washington Post.

For those of you who wish for a reminder as for why baseball ownership has such a negative reputation….

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: backpack, dollah dollah bills, y'all, nationals

Friday, March 01, 2019

The Nationals use a mannequin to keep their uniforms straight

I try to avoid “back in my day-ism” as much as possible because it’s simply not a good look on a person. Or a logical approach. Stuff changes, Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and a default assumption that it’s always for the worse blinds you to the better. Be open to the possibility that new things can be good before reflexively, and inaccurately, assuming that everything was perfect for a two week period when you were 12 or 22 or whatever.

One has to work at this, however, and we all have areas in which we need to work harder. A particularly tough topic for me is uniforms.

I’m a classicist when it comes to baseball livery. Yes, there are new styles and patterns that I can appreciate once I work through my predispositions, but I have to work and since no one likes to work I tend to default to the basics: clean white home uniforms, basic gray road uniforms and a minimum of solid-colored alternate tops which, frankly, only the Oakland A’s tend to do particularly well. My list of best uniforms skew sharply traditional: I think the Dodgers, Tigers and Yankees — the teams whose uniforms have changed the least over the ages — tend to look better than most teams and always have.

All right, let’s see how many jokes we can make concerning the mannequin and Bryce Harper in the comments!

 

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mannequin, nationals, uniforms

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Meet the Man(nequin) Keeping the Nats Uniforms Straight

That’d be the mannequin stationed inside the Washington Nationals’ clubhouse since spring training kicked off. Situated in front of the double doors that lead out to the practice fields, Manny—as he’s known around Nats camp—has one job and one job only: to save ballplayers from making a fashion faux pas.

And he might be making history in the process.

In the past, the Nationals’ dress code du jour was pinned to a bulletin board, posted on a wall across from a fridge full of water bottles. But that was before things got complicated.

This year, Washington’s spring training wardrobe, already more varied than most teams’, expanded even further to feature three caps, three jerseys and two pairs of pants. In other words, on any given day, there are 18 distinct uniform combinations that could be in play. Clearly, the Nats needed a new sartorial security system.

Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:43 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, uniforms

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens.

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner.

To be fair, abruptly running like crazy might be a perfect way to end the pitcher-and-batter shenanigans we’ve been so irritated by.

QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stolen bases, trea turner

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How can the Nats be better without Bryce Harper? It’s fundamental, really. - The Washington Post

The article says the Nationals are putting more of a focus on the clubhouse this off-season. It’s hard to believe this unnamed vet is one of the team’s leaders.

Though few mention it, subtracting Harper, while it will cost 34 homers, a .899 career OPS and some amazing hair flips, would help any team improve its attention to fundamentals. When the most famous player on the team can’t go 10 days without failing to run out a groundball or overthrowing a cutoff man by 15 feet or throwing to the wrong base or being caught unprepared in the outfield or on the bases, it’s hard to demand total alertness from the other 24.

“Write it,” one prominent Nats vet said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Opportunity convinces Davey Martinez to throw aside an old baseball trope

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Remember that time a manager had to use his “emergency” catcher? No? Well, that’s because it rarely happens.

Maybe once in a lifetime. Maybe never. It long operated as the unverifiable excuse for not putting the backup catcher into a game, always enabling that pervasive detriment to change, “What if?”

What if the replacement is hurt? Then the manager is stuck with the so-called emergency catcher. That could be hairy.

Mind you, this would be less of a problem if teams didn’t waste eight roster spots on relievers….

 

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, davey martinez, nationals

Friday, February 15, 2019

Mad Max: On what the Nationals ace believes is ‘poisoning’ the game – The Athletic

How many teams really aren’t trying to win? Serious question. Are the Padres trying to win? How about the Marlins?

I get the frustration by players. I’m not sure harping on this point is a productive path for players, however. Do the players really want fewer fans for the game?

“When there’s teams, when there’s too many teams that are not trying to win that poisons the game, poisons the fan experience and it creates bandwagon fans,” said Scherzer, who heaped praise on the Nationals and general manager Mike Rizzo for investing in the club this winter. “If you’re constantly just trying to go in this win-loss cycle that MLB is pushing you are creating bandwagon fans and that’s not the type of fans you want to create. You want to create the fans that are following the team, year-in, year-out. It’s put on the fans honestly, to demand that from the league.”

“There’s going to be some teams that aren’t in a position to necessarily win the World Series (this year), I understand that. When you have over a third of the league trying to do that, that’s a problem.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2019 at 07:49 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals, pay site

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Drivers Wanted: how you can apply to drive the Nationals’ bullpen cart

The driver’s seat for the Nationals bullpen car is open.

According to the job listing, which was posted Monday, duties include charging the cart’s battery, monitoring a live feed for potential pitching changes, and of course, driving the cart to and from the bullpen, dugout, and center field gate.

The lucky driver gets a team radio to communicate with other employees as well as a “pitcher preference document” that lists which players do and do not want to use the cart to get to the mound.

RAMMING SPEED!

QLE Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen carts, nationals

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Where do the Nats fit in first win total projections?

Maybe it’s just me, but the under feels more likely to me than the over.

QLE Posted: January 31, 2019 at 04:22 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, projections, wins

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Nats just hired 88-year-old Jack McKeon as senior advisor

One interesting non-Bryce Harper note came out of Tuesday: The Nationals have a new senior advisor to general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo.

Washington has hired former Miami Marlins manager Jack McKeon, NBC Sports Washington confirmed, to be Rizzo’s senior advisor. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the hire.

McKeon’s son, Kasey, was already part of the organization. He works as the Nationals director of player procurement, a job he has held since 2009.

Sometimes, the headline is punchline enough.

 

QLE Posted: January 30, 2019 at 04:10 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: advisor, jack mckeon, nationals

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Brian Dozier agrees to deal with Washington Nationals according to sources

On a related note, can Jeff Passan help ESPN regain some page views?

Free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier has reached an agreement with the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $9 million deal, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Deadspin: It’s Time For Some Bryce Harper Game Theory

Is the news of a meeting with the Nationals evidence that the Nationals are still interested in Harper? Or is it evidence that they are trying to make his price higher for the Phillies?


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Rumors swirl but Bryce Harper’s market remains far blurrier than Manny Machado’s - The Washington Post

Five hours?

According to a person with direct knowledge of Harper’s process, the 26-year-old and his agent, Scott Boras, met with Nationals owner Ted Lerner for five hours on the Saturday before Christmas. Asked to confirm that this meeting happened, multiple people with the club refused to do so, a departure from their relative openness about their status with Harper this winter. On the record and off it, club officials have been willing to discuss the Harper situation because it seemed relatively uncomplicated until now: They made their offer. They put forth a legitimate effort to sign him. And he didn’t take it.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2019 at 03:27 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Monday, December 31, 2018

As of today, Phillies have 4th-best roster in NL East

Prior to the arrival of new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets largely operated like a mid-market team these last few years. It didn’t help the Phillies much in their head-to-head matchup, with the Phillies going 50-82 against the Mets the last seven seasons.

It did, however, make the Mets less of a threat in the division race. The same can’t be said now after the Mets added Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos, brought back Jeurys Familia and watched Zack Wheeler transform in the second half of 2018 into a legit top-of-the-rotation starter.

Suddenly, the Mets can talk themselves into a wild-card spot or perhaps even an NL East title if things break right. There is just a major advantage to having Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Wheeler, two very good late-inning relievers and a deeper lineup.

There are times when there are advantages to sharing a division with the Marlins….

QLE Posted: December 31, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, phillies

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Words that shaped a middling season for the Nationals

Rolling to the end of the year always prompts reflection.

Things are said along the way. Proclamations, reactions, takes on the pivotal moments that can age well or later prompt head shakes. With that in mind, let’s look back at some season-defining quotes from a middling 82-80 year for the Washington Nationals.

Who knew quotes had such power?

QLE Posted: December 26, 2018 at 09:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, quotes

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bryce Harper Does Not Renew Lease at Arlington Condo

Of course, if he signs back with the Nationals, he will be able to afford to buy a much nicer place.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2018 at 11:18 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agents, nationals

Monday, December 10, 2018

Scott Boras didn’t like what he heard from Mark Lerner about Bryce Harper

But Boras has raised concerns with the Nationals about Lerner’s comments violating a more specific rule, one etched in the latest collective bargaining agreement. Attachment 49 states that clubs, players or player representatives may not “disclose to the media the substance of contract discussions between a player and a Club, (including but not limited to the facts of offers, the substance of offers, or decisions not to make offers or to withdraw offers) until after terms on the contract have been confirmed by the Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association.” As Boras sees it, Lerner violated that provision when he said in a radio interview on 106.7 the Fan that the Nationals did “the best we could do” by offering Harper $300 million over 10 years in September.

But the agreement provides some leeway. A team, representative or player may “respond to a media inquiry” about an offer — i.e., verify its existence if asked directly, verify its terms if asked directly, confirm or deny discussions between a team and player, and so on. It also states that the interviewee may not follow up on those answers with additional information.

The Nationals do not believe Lerner’s comments violate any of those rules. Indeed, Lerner did not volunteer the terms of an offer but explained the context in which the Nationals made theirs — and why he thinks they cannot do better.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2018 at 07:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals, scott boras

Thursday, December 06, 2018

The Nationals Don’t Need Bryce Harper

The best thing to happen to the Washington Nationals this offseason might be Bryce Harper turning down the $300 million contract offered by the club at the end of the season. Rather than allocating vast resources to one free agent superstar, the Nationals made smaller moves to shore up their weak spots, signing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin on Tuesday to bolster their rotation and adding two catchers earlier in the offseason.

It wasn’t clear if the Nationals would be able to compete without Harper. But according to some forecasts, they are already better without him. They have improved themselves in a National League East where every team — save for the Miami Marlins — seems intent on trying to dramatically improve this offseason.

After the Nationals finished 82-80 last season, FanGraphs projects them as the sixth-best team in the majors at the moment — the best team in the division — with a 91-71 forecasted record. While it’s unclear whether the Nationals still want to compete for Harper, they don’t need him to improve over last season.

I must admit that this analysis has me torn- on the one hand, I’m inclined to regard Harper as highly overrated, but, on the other, I can’t say that I buy these claims. What say the rest of you?

QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, contrarians on parade, nationals, patrick corbin

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Patrick Corbin agrees to terms with Nationals

The Washington Nationals are adding another high-caliber pitcher to their rotation, reportedly agreeing to terms with free agent Patrick Corbin on Tuesday.

The Washington Post first reported that Corbin and the Nats had agreed to terms.

The 29-year-old Corbin, an All-Star selection in 2018, is coming off his best season, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA while logging 200 innings for the second time in his career. Relying largely on his filthy slider, Corbin set a career high in strikeouts (246) after making his first Opening Day start for the Diamondbacks.

The Washington Post first reported that Corbin and the Nats had agreed to terms.

Looks like it’s 6 years and I’ve seen $125 million or $126 million.

Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: December 04, 2018 at 04:06 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agents, nationals

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