Washington Nationals Newsbeat
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The Phillies have levied some complaints about the division rival Nationals, but they don’t have to do with anything done during a game. Rather, they feel that they are afforded less time for on-field batting practice at Nationals Park compared to other road parks, and they’re unhappy with the music selection as well, which has included Linda Rondstadt, Patrick Swayze, and Starland Vocal Band.
Some Roberta Flack might be in order the next time the Phillies visit.
Some notice being taken:
Some perspective is in order here: Harper is nine months younger than Kris Bryantand six months younger than Joc Pederson, the early frontrunners for National League Rookie of the Year. He will still be 22 years old when the Nationals play their regular-season finale against the Mets in early October. Of the 29 MLB Rookies of the Year since 2000 (not including Harper, who captured the honor in 2012), 20 were older than Harper will be at the end of this season, after four years of service time.
. . .
The early numbers are staggering. Barely past the season’s quarter mark, Harper leads the major leagues in runs (39), extra base hits (26), walks (40), OPS (1.198), isolated power (.393) and Wins Above Replacement (4.1). He’s even wielding some serious leather. According to Baseball Info Solutions, Harper leads big league right fielders with 10 Defensive Runs Saved. St. Louis’ Jason Heyward, the confirmed gold standard at the position, has four DRS.
On pace for 14+ WAR this season. Is that good?
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
I wonder what the win expectancy was when the Nationals were down 9-1?
Yet the comeback the Washington Nationals staged Tuesday night, capped by a three-run home run by Dan Uggla in the top of the ninth, is the kind around which seasons pivot. Down eight runs in the second inning, the Nationals fought off injuries, errors, and a month’s worth of frustration to beat the Braves, 13-12, on a deep drive to left by a former Braves second baseman whose career was left for dead. The win snapped a six-game losing streak and marked the Nationals’ largest comeback since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.
Midway through last season, the Braves gave up on Uggla. He could barely hit and had become a shadow of what he once was — one of the best power-hitting second basemen of all time. The Nationals invited him to spring training. Injuries created a roster spot. Braves fans booed him every time he stepped to the plate this series, though Atlanta is paying him more than any other player on its roster.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Was blind but now can see?
Donatelli trains willing athletes to improve their vestibular system — colloquially known as the inner ear, the system that controls balance. That system aids the eyes in focusing on a target even while the body and head are moving. Dysfunction in the vestibular system can affect an athlete’s ability to see things in motion, such as a baseball hurtling his way while his head and body are rotating to hit it.
Head trauma can cause dysfunction in the vestibular system. Uggla was hit in the head by a pitch in July 2012 and again in the back of the head by a pitch during spring training in 2013. Uggla himself did not definitively classify his reaction as a concussion, and Donatelli said Uggla did not have the symptoms — dizziness, nausea, etc. — that would have alerted the Braves that any kind of severe head trauma had taken place.
. . .
When Uggla got there, Donatelli ran him through 12 tests that helped assess his vestibulo-ocular reflex. Uggla failed them all. Donatelli moved Uggla’s head to the left and right and asked him to read an eye chart. Uggla, who had Lasik surgery when he initially had trouble seeing the ball in 2012, had 20-15 static vision. With his head moving, that vision dropped to 20-100.
“I can’t tell when I’m sitting here talking to you. Before [going to Donatelli], I would think I can see you just fine,” said Uggla, who will turn 35 in March. “But I guess when I get on the baseball field and my head starts moving around . . . it was kind of bad.”
Donatelli pushed Uggla through exercises such as jumping on a trampoline blindfolded or reading while moving his head. Those movements isolated Uggla’s vestibular system and forced his eyes and inner ear to recalibrate.
If this can save the career of a wretch like Uggla . . .
for his generous support.
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