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Tuesday, May 05, 2020


Monday, April 20, 2020

Nationals won’t raise banner, present rings until fans are back in the ballpark

The Nationals were prepared to raise their World Series banner and distribute championship rings at their April 2 home opener two weeks ago, but they’re going to continue to wait to hold those ceremonies until their fans can be a part of them again.

On Saturday, Mike Rizzo, Washington’s President of Baseball Operations, joined MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on Sirius XM to talk about how the team is handling the suspension of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus outbreak and what he thinks things will look like once baseball returns.

When asked whether he thinks the Nationals are missing out on some of the celebrating they earned when they won the World Series last October, Rizzo explained that the club just plans on waiting the pandemic out until fans are allowed back in stadiums again.

“I think as far as raising the banner and the distribution of rings, we’re going to wait for our fanbase to be involved to do those types of things,” Rizzo said. “Those are once-in-a-lifetime things to do and our fanbase is such a big factor in helping us win that thing. They earned it, they deserve to be involved in it and we’re going to wait for them to do it.”

 

QLE Posted: April 20, 2020 at 12:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, mike rizzo, nationals, pennant, rings

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Nationals virtually assemble for World Series Game 7 rewatch ... and one of them brought a trash can

As you might remember, the Washington Nationals won the World Series, and it feels like it happened much more than six months ago.

With all MLB games shut down for the coronavirus pandemic, the Nationals’ television affiliate MASN has been re-airing the team’s championship run over the last few weeks. Tuesday marked the arrival of Game 7 of the World Series, in which the team topped the Houston Astros for the first title in franchise history.

To mark the occasion, several members of the team assembled for a Zoom meeting to commentate on the game and raise money for Nats veteran Ryan Zimmerman’s Pros For Heroes COVID-19 Relief Fund to benefit healthcare workers.

Between the reminiscing and drinking, one of them brought in a trash can, the now-infamous device used by the Astros during their 2017 championship season. The culprit: singing and shirt-removing enthusiast Brian Dozier, now a member of the San Diego Padres.

At a time like this, why not go back to the stand-by targets of yesteryear?

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, dirty rotten cheaters, nationals, trash can, world series

Sunday, April 05, 2020

On this date: The Nationals played their first game ever

It seems like eons ago that the Washington Nationals played in their first game after departing from Montreal.

Saturday marks the 15th anniversary of their inaugural game as they brought professional baseball back to the District of Columbia.

The Nationals opened up the 2005 season on the road at Citizens Bank Park with a matchup against their future rival in the Phillies.

 

QLE Posted: April 05, 2020 at 01:02 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: history, nationals

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Nationals release reliever Hunter Strickland

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals released relief pitcher Hunter Strickland on Saturday.

Unconditionally releasing Strickland and David Hernandez were among a handful of moves made by the Nationals. They also optioned Jake Noll, Ben Braymer, Aaron Barrett and Kyle McGowin to Triple A and assigned Jacob Wilson, Brandon Snyder, Taylor Gushue, JB Shuck, Dakota Bacus, Bryan Bonnell and Wil Crowe to minor league camp.

Strickland was a trade-deadline pickup for Washington last season. The 31-year-old appeared in 24 regular-season games but none in the playoffs as the Nationals won the World Series.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 15, 2020 at 01:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter strickland, nationals

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Juan Soto’s power made him a household name. His plate discipline could make him an all-timer.

No discussion of Soto is complete without mentioning how quickly he processes information, whether it be over the course of a season or in a single at-bat. When he arrived from his native Dominican Republic to play in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2016, he walked roughly once every 13 times he came to the plate. That wasn’t enough. Jorge Mejia, his hitting coach with the Gulf Coast Nationals, had a conversation with him.

“They saw my numbers, and they told me I don’t take too many walks,” Soto said. “They told me to look for one pitch in specific, and if it’s not that pitch, just don’t swing until you have two strikes. I try, and it works. It was easy for me. I just started taking pitches — taking, taking, taking — and then swinging when they’re missing [with their intended location].”

Hank Gillette Posted: February 29, 2020 at 08:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball savant, juan soto, nationals

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Against the Astros and their reputation, suspicious Nationals felt they had to assume the worst

“The way that it really erodes integrity of the game is tough,” said Nationals closer Sean Doolittle when discussing what he wanted to see from the Astros in response. “And I don’t know because part of me wonders if you’re the kind of person that’s willing to do that, are you able to step back and see how that affects the integrity of the game? Can you see how it erodes public trust and fan confidence in the product that we have on the field?”

When the Astros advanced to the World Series against Washington, the Nationals began getting tips from around the league. General Manager Mike Rizzo noted Friday that Washington “got a lot of volunteer phone calls on how to beat them and how to play them.”

Hank Gillette Posted: February 16, 2020 at 05:28 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals

This was the time for the Astros to own their cheating. Maybe they missed the sign.

On the other side of the park, Kurt Suzuki, a Washington Nationals catcher who gave complex signs in the World Series to foil the Astros’ thievery, wasn’t buying any of it.

“Do you think the Astros were still cheating in the ’19 World Series,” I asked.

“Oh, yeah, no question,” Suzuki said. “We could hear it from their dugout. We heard their whistling. What are you going to do?”

What the Nats did was change their signs on every batter of the Series and sometimes within an at-bat when they sensed that a swing at a tough pitch was “so good” that the Astros’ cheating might have, momentarily, caught up with the Nats’ coding system. The Nats were never sure how well they were succeeding.

Hank Gillette Posted: February 16, 2020 at 05:28 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Rizzo won’t be satisfied until Astros admit they “cheated” - Nationals Pastime

To that list, you can add Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, who today spoke as emphatically as anyone about his dissatisfaction, not only with what the Astros did but how they’ve addressed it since getting caught.

“Someone has got to say the word over there: ‘Cheated.’ That’s important to me,” Rizzo said. “And for the sport to move on, which is what I’m most concerned about, we have to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed on this investigation before we end it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2020 at 08:01 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals, sign stealing

Nationals send Valentine’s Day cards to personally roast every MLB team

No team in MLB utilized Valentine’s Day better than the Washington Nationals this year.

Throughout the day, the Nats posted a valentine on their Twitter account to all 30 teams. This includes their division rivals, their friendly neighbors just north of the beltway and some other common postseason foes.

Well, this is one way to celebrate the day…..

QLE Posted: February 15, 2020 at 01:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, valentine's day

Friday, February 14, 2020

Entering the final year of his contract, Davey Martinez would ‘love to stay’ in D.C.

Nationals manager Davey Martinez enters an interesting situation as the 2020 season begins.

In his second year as manager, Martinez orchestrated an epic turnaround. His squad was 19-31 with just days left in the month of May. The Nationals went on to have the best record in baseball for the next three-plus months, finishing with 93 wins and a Wild Card berth. A month later, they hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy for the first time in franchise history.

Now, Martinez enters the 2020 season ready to defend the title—and also without a new contract. The 55-year-old is in the final year of his contract, meaning there is no guarantee he manages the Nationals after this season.

Martinez was asked about his contract on Thursday during the first media availability of spring training, and he did not appear to be a tad bit worried about his future.

One hopes so, in one way: at the moment, he’s the only manager working in that position for a team he won a World Series for, whereas there were five in September.

 

QLE Posted: February 14, 2020 at 01:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: davey martinez, nationals

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Ten Questions for the Unofficial Start of Baseball Season

The most important moment of the Super Bowl had nothing to do with football. When the game clock hit zero, baseball season began.

Sure, there’s plenty of time to get mad in March while watching college basketball, but nothing gets us through the final weeks of winter quite like the anticipation of baseball. We’ve got 10 big questions leading up to the 2020 season.

1. Will the Yankees run away with the AL East?
The Yankees signed Gerrit Cole at the winter meetings and immediately became World Series favorites. Giving $324 million to the best pitcher on the planet is the most Yankees way to fix their rotation, and their lineup should be as good, if not better than it was last season.

Still, the AL East isn’t an easy division to win. The Rays have mastered winning on a small budget and should be good again this year. The Blue Jays should be better in their second season of Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. And the Red Sox will still be a threat as long as they don’t trade Mookie Betts (more on that later).

So, what questions do you have that aren’t asked here?


Monday, January 27, 2020

Ron Darling believes Nationals are vindicated for Strasburg shutdown

The Nationals rose to contention in 2012, emerging from the depths of the NL East standings to establish themselves as soon-to-be perennial contenders behind a young core highlighted by back-to-back No. 1 overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

But heading into that campaign, Washington announced that Strasburg would be placed on an innings limit in what was his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. It was a highly scrutinized move at the time, as the Nationals won 98 games but went into the playoffs without their young phenom.

MLB Network analyst and former major-league pitcher Ron Darling joined D.C. Sports on Thursday to talk about the Strasburg shutdown, which came in at No. 17 in NBC Sports Washington’s Big Twenty series that highlights the 20 biggest sports stories in D.C. over the first 20 years of the decade.

“I remember just thinking to myself, ‘What a shame that Washington’s not going to have him in the postseason,’” Darling said. “But more importantly, I just tried to concentrate on—there is no team in baseball that is gonna make a decision that is gonna hurt the player and hurt their ball club.

Would you agree with this sentiment?

 

QLE Posted: January 27, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, ron darling, stephen strasburg

Saturday, January 25, 2020

He’s ‘Nat’ done yet: Virginia Beach’s Ryan Zimmerman reportedly signs one-year deal with Washington

WASHINGTON – Mr. National is not giving up his title – at least not in 2020.

In a story first reported by the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga, Virginia Beach’s Ryan Zimmerman has agreed to a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals. Howard Fendrich of the The Associated Press reports Zimmerman, the UVA Baseball Hall of Famer, will receive a $2 million base salary. Incentives, based upon the number of games played and plate appearances, could bring the figure to as high as $5 million. The AP reports the deal includes a full no-trade clause.

Zimmerman, who will turn 36 years-old this season, became an unrestricted free agent after the Nationals’ 2019 World Series championship season.

Zimmerman holds Washington’s franchise records for hits, doubles, home runs and runs batted in. The Kellam High School product has spent his entire 15-year career with the Nationals. He’d stated, on multiple occasions, he wanted to continue playing past last season – a season that saw him win his first World Series

Sentimental of me, I suspect, but I’m inclined to think that for symbolic purposes it’s best to let Zimmerman stay with the team until he’s ready to retire.

 

QLE Posted: January 25, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, nationals, ryan zimmerman

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ryan Zimmerman trading his baseball glove for a much bigger glove today

“That was the most nervous I have ever been coming into something. I was terrified”

JL72 Posted: January 16, 2020 at 11:34 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hockey, nationals, ryan zimmerman

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Carter Kieboom believes he’s prepared to compete for Nationals’ third base job

And now, for a palate cleanser after the news of the day….

When Carter Kieboom made it to the majors, he announced his presence with authority.

The Nationals’ top prospect batted ninth against the San Diego Padres on April 26 for his MLB debut. Washington trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Kieboom, just 21 years old, took a hanging slider and hit it to straightaway center field for a game-tying home run.

It was an incredible moment, one Kieboom and his family will look back on and remember for the rest of their lives. However, the game caught up to him quickly. Washington was forced to send him back down to the minors after he posted a .491 OPS with four errors in 11 games.

Despite the demotion, Kieboom wasn’t deterred.

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 02:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: carter kieboom, nationals, prospects

Monday, January 13, 2020

Celebrations firmly behind them, Nationals’ prep for 2020 is under way

WASHINGTON—Stephen Strasburg trudged through the lower hall of Nationals Park with a stream of fans in his wake. He was wading through the second day of Nationals WinterFest, filled with interviews, autograph sessions and an escort to guide him from station to station.

Trea Turner pivoted to head up an external ramp on the concourse. A security guard pulled a temporary gate closed to allow him separation between fans and his path. The concourse, in general, was less populated than Saturday as the event wound down. Two stellar days of weather and a World Series title put the event in a space it lacked last year when it was cold and raining after a flop of a season.

It’s mid-January. Max Scherzer and Adam Eaton are already at the team’s spring training facility in West Palm Beach. Other players and coaches will be arriving progressively, most well before the mandatory reporting date of Feb. 17. Howie Kendrick and hitting coach Kevin Long began working together in Arizona, where both live in the offseason, about two weeks ago. The season starts in 10 weeks.

It’s next year, in the literal and metaphorical sense, for the defending champions. WinterFest brought several of the players back in front of each other for the first time since a booze-soaked close to the season in Houston. The roster is situated outside of Josh Donaldson what-ifs and wonder about Ryan Zimmerman’s future.

 

QLE Posted: January 13, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, that championship season

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beasley: Bryce Harper “can handle” starting season with Nationals

Beasley: Bryceslist: Killer job.

New Triple-A Syracuse manager Tony Beasley believes Harper could use some more seasoning but has also demonstrated hints of the complete package
.
“I would hate to see him come all the way through the system quickly, skip levels and then get the major league level and really skid,” Beasley said. “The thing he has that is special, and I have talked to him about it, is his mindset - the way he believes and the level of confidence he has and his ability to play the game of baseball. I don’t think you want to shake that, especially at this age. I don’t think you want to take the chance of shaking that.”

...But all you can go on is what you have seen and Beasley believes in what Harper has produced in one season. He believes it is a very positive sign for what lies ahead for the Nationals and their top prospect.

“I think so far he has done outstanding. That is the tough call for general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson (to make). All we can do as a minor league field staff is to prepare him as best we can for on and off field situations. I think so far he is way, way ahead of his years and he gets it. I think (Harper) really understands it,” Beasley said.

So, is Harper ready?

“If he gets the call out of spring training this year,” Beasley said, “I have a feeling that he can handle it.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kilgore: The Nationals look like Prince Fielder favorites

Prince busters…going one step beyond?

And if the Rangers aren’t going to sign Fielder, the Nationals have to be considered the frontrunner now. Who else is there? Any team planning to make a stealth run at him probably would not have risked waiting until late January to make its move. The Brewers and Mariners have been on the periphery, but not as involved as the Nationals. You never know, but it looks like the Fielder sweepstakes is the Nationals’ to lose.

The process has been fascinating, and it looks for now as if the Nationals have played it perfectly. They held firm at their price for Fielder, and with the apparent (and stunning) relative lack of interest in one of baseball’s great sluggers, the market has come to them. They let agent Scott Boras dictate the terms of the Jayson Werth negotiations last winter. The Lerners struck back this time. Or at least that’s the appearance right now.

In the background of their discussions with Fielder lies the Nationals’ under-construction television deal with MASN. Like the Rangers, the Nationals could soon be expecting more cash from their rights fees. The details are few, but the stakes are explained in the story from today’s paper, with help from Chuck Greenberg, an architect of the Rangers’ massive TV deal.

The Nationals, experts say, can expect enough new revenue from their renegotiated rights fees to pay for Fielder’s potential contract – and then some. Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor and sports business expert, said signing Fielder could enhance the Nationals’ argument for higher rights fees from MASN.

“I think it would,” Zimbalist said. “Somebody like Fielder offers the possibility of not only the team being more competitive, but generating excitement in his own right.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:50 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, nationals

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Bob Carpenter to return to MASN as voice of Nats

and Face Palm Santangelo to return as the facepalm of Nats.

Late last year, it appeared Carpenter would not return to the booth after the Nats didn’t pick up his option last August, but both sides managed to come to terms recently. Calls to Carpenter were not returned.

It will mark Carpenter’s seventh season in the broadcast booth for MASN. He is known for the catch phrase, “See you later,” whenever a Nationals player hits a home run.

F.P. Santangelo will continue to be Carpenter’s broadcast partner. Santangelo is the fifth TV partner for Carpenter, who has worked with Tom Paciorek, Don Sutton, Rob Dibble and Ray Knight.

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, nationals

Former Major Leaguer Howie Koplitz passes away at 73

What is there to say…

Howie Koplitz

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:43 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, obituaries, tigers

Thursday, December 29, 2011

WTOP.com | Nationals signs Mark DeRosa to a 1-year contract

The Washington Nationals have signed free-agent utility player Mark DeRosa to a one-year contact.

Mark DeRosa

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: December 29, 2011 at 06:51 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Report: Gio Gonzalez traded to the Nats for four top prospects

here were multiple reports in the past hour or so that the Athletics were moving close to trading Gio Gonzalez, with most suggesting the Nationals as the most likely destination and some random Red Sox speculation.  Now Keith Law reports that a deal has been struck:  Gonzalez to the Nationals for four prospects: A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, and Tom Milone.

This is a huge haul for Gonzalez, it seems to me. According to John Sickels, these guys rank as the Nationals’ third, fourth, sixth and ninth best prospects.  And given how good the Nationals’ number one and number two prospects are — Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon — you could easily move all of those numbers up if they had come from other organizations.

Thanks to Chet.

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 09:22 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, nationals

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Grantland (Rany J): The MLB Prospect Bubble

In 21st-century baseball, when teams do overpay in prospects, it’s usually for stars. Most famously, in 2007 the Braves gave up Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who started to find himself this season after a trade to Boston) — but at least they traded for Mark Teixeira, an acknowledged superstar.

The blowback from the Teixeira trade seems to have made teams even more conservative about trading prospects, even for elite major league talent. As a result, for perhaps the first time in baseball history, minor league prospects seem to be overvalued by MLB front offices. ...

To put this in terms that Billy Beane can understand: We’ve reached a point where trading away prospects is the new market inefficiency. ...

For that reason, an ambitious team with a deep farm system — the Royals, for instance, or the Nationals — should take advantage of MLB general managers’ prospect fetish to cash in some of their lottery tickets for established players who might help them win in 2012.

Rany makes some excellent points here. Prospects can serve two purposes for an organization - building blocks on the parent club or trade chits for the pieces that will get you over the hump - and teams seem to be more inclined these days to use them for the first purpose without giving enough thought to using them for the second purpose.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 20, 2011 at 08:30 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, royals

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