Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback



All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher


Nationals Newsbeat

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

Monday, January 06, 2020

Thames to Nationals on 1-year deal (source)

I’m getting the sense the Nationals aren’t getting Donaldson.

The Nationals are still hopeful they can bring Josh Donaldson to D.C., but they continued their offseason of Plan B early Monday evening by agreeing with free-agent first baseman Eric Thames on a one-year deal worth $4 million with a mutual option for 2021, a source told’s Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.

Thames will earn $3 million in 2020, and his second year will be worth $4 million with a $1 million buyout, according to Feinsand.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2020 at 09:16 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: eric thames, nationals

Nats, reliever Hudson reach 2-year deal (source)

The Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal to bring back veteran reliever Daniel Hudson, a source told’s Mark Feinsand on Monday. The club hasn’t confirmed the deal, which is worth $11 million and could net Hudson another $1 million in bonuses for games finished, according to Feinsand.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:38 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel hudson, nationals

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Kris Bryant trade talks between Cubs and Nationals ‘have gone nowhere’

The Nationals reportedly love Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, but trade talks between the clubs “have gone nowhere,” according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Bryant’s name has frequented rumors this winter, with the Braves, Nationals, Phillies and Rangers being linked to him at one point or another. A trade has never been a foregone conclusion, as the Cubs aren’t going to move the star third baseman for anything less than what they deem to be fair value.

The Cubs have requested Nationals center fielder Victor Robles in Bryant trade talks, per multiple reports, but Washington has been reluctant to include him. Robles is less established in the big leagues, but he’s under team control through 2024.

Meanwhile, Bryant’s unresolved service time grievance is an elephant in the metaphorical negotiating room. If Bryant loses, he’ll remain under team control through 2021; if he wins, he’ll hit free agency after next season. The Cubs would net more for him in a trade if he has two years of control remaining rather than one.



QLE Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, nationals

Asdrubal Cabrera returns to Nationals on a one-year, $2.5 million deal

The Nationals have agreed to terms with infielder Asdrubal Cabrera on a one-year, $2.5 million deal, per multiple reports (Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic among them).

Cabrera, 34, won a ring with the Nationals last season. He was signed by the Rangers in January but then released on August 3. Three days later, the Nationals signed him as a free agent. In 38 games down the stretch, Cabrera slashed .323/.404/.565 with six homers and 40 RBI while walking more times than he struck out. He wasn’t quite as productive in the postseason, hitting .233/.250/.267.

Cabrera can handle second or third base adequately, in theory, but he’s lacking range at this point in his career.

The Nationals likely aren’t done adding this offseason—and Josh Donaldson to replace Anthony Rendon at third base would be the big fish—but they have given themselves depth around the infield. The only sure thing right now is Trea Turner at shortstop.


QLE Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:15 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, nationals

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Report: Starlin Castro, Nationals Agree to Contract amid Josh Donaldson Rumors

Free-agent infielder Starlin Castro has agreed to a contract with the Washington Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The deal is pending a physical and reportedly does not take the Nationals out of the running to sign third baseman Josh Donaldson. According to Rosenthal, Castro will play second base in Washington as the team begins its World Series defense in 2020. Joel Sherman added the deal is expected to be for two years.

A four-time All-Star, Castro now joins his fourth team after previous stints with the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and New York Yankees.

Castro will earn $12 million on the deal, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.


QLE Posted: January 04, 2020 at 01:11 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, starlin castro

Friday, January 03, 2020

Will Harris gets 3-year, $24 million deal with Nationals -

Free-agent reliever Will Harris is in agreement with the Washington Nationals on a three-year deal, removing one of the most valuable, consistent relievers from the back end of the Astros’ bullpen.

The signing ends a five-year Houston tenure that took Harris from a relatively unknown waiver claim to one of baseball’s most sought-after relievers. Multiple reports late Thursday put Harris’ deal with the Nationals at $24 million across three years — a remarkable contract for a soon-to-be 36-year-old reliever.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2020 at 06:46 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals, will harris

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The Nats closed out this decade with a title. What’s coming in the next one?

Now what?

That’s the question facing the Washington Nationals following a decade of growth and emergence which ended with a World Series title. Title attained, the next segment in the organization’s existence is pending.

From league-owned wobbling team to a new home park to annual contender to a breakthrough, the Nationals have evolved in stages. The next decade will be just their second full one since baseball returned to the District in 2005. It will be defined by how they defend their new title, whether paying Stephen Strasburg was the right decision and the evolution of two young stars, Juan Soto and Victor Robles.

The first step comes in 2020. No longer the pursuer, Washington steps into Opening Day as the defending champion, if not necessarily the team to beat.

Some considerations on what the World Champions will do in the years to come, in comparison with what they have done in the preceding decade.


QLE Posted: January 01, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, that was the decade that was

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Strasburg returns, hopes to play whole career with Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Naturally, Stephen Strasburg thought of himself pitching for a team other than the Nationals.

After winning and being MVP of the World Series, Strasburg opted out of his contract and hit the open market. The possibility was real that he’d played his last game in a Washington uniform.

Instead, Strasburg followed the lead of boyhood idol Tony Gwynn by signing a $245 million, seven-year deal that could allow him to play his entire career with the Nationals. This contract has no opt-outs, no options and a full no-trade clause, Strasburg will be 38 when it expires and could become just the eighth pitcher in major league history to spend 17-plus seasons with the same franchise.

“It’s really hard to come by in this game,” Strasburg said Tuesday. “When you’re given an opportunity to be in one spot and grow as a person and a player, to be a part of an organization like this, you can’t really let those opportunities go by.”

A few words on the one that didn’t get away.


QLE Posted: December 18, 2019 at 05:31 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Nationals ‘love’ Kris Bryant but potential holdup could stymie trade talks

With Anthony Rendon officially joining the Angels, the Nationals have a vacancy at third base.

Washington has options to replace Rendon; Josh Donaldson is still available in free agency, and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant could potentially be had via trade.

The Nationals have reportedly inquired with the Cubs about Bryant, and while they “love” the 27-year-old, their focus is on Donaldson, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Cubs would likely seek center fielder Victor Robles in a deal, a holdup on Washington’s end, Heyman said.


QLE Posted: December 15, 2019 at 12:33 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: kris bryant, nationals, trade talk, victor robles

Monday, December 09, 2019

Nats are front and center as Winter Meetings open - Nationals Pastime

Someone made the point on either MLB Network or Radio that the Nationals also might have to fit Juan Suto in sooner than later.

Given managing principal owner Mark Lerner’s recent claim in a taped television interview with former tennis player, lawyer and agent Donald Dell that the Nationals can’t afford to re-sign both stars, there’s increased pressure to lock up one of the two. They have to be careful not to get caught napping in this game of musical chairs and end up with neither still in uniform.

Complicating matters, of course, is the fact Scott Boras represents both players. Yes, the Nats and Boras have worked together many times over the years and worked out long-term deals for Max Scherzer, Jayson Werth and Strasburg (the deal he just opted out of with four years and $100 million remaining). But Boras isn’t known for moving swiftly when it comes to these negotiations, and given how many teams could be in the running - and how many prominent free agents he represents - he is once again in a position of strength this winter.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Nationals re-sign Stephen Strasburg to seven-year, $245 million deal

Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals have re-signed free agent starter Stephen Strasburg. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal is for seven years and $245 million. It’s a record for both annual average value and total value for a free agent pitcher.

Strasburg, 31, opted out of his previous contract with the Nationals last month. He had four years and $100 million remaining on what was a seven-year, $175 million extension. By opting out, Strasburg fetched an extra three years and close to $145 million.

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive




All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogJudge nixes fantasy players' lawsuit over sign-stealing scandal
(11 - 10:05pm, Apr 05)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogPirates pitcher Steven Brault releases showtunes album ‘A Pitch at Broadway’
(45 - 9:50pm, Apr 05)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(2034 - 9:33pm, Apr 05)
Last: Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB)

NewsblogUS-based pro sports leagues monitoring coronavirus outbreak
(4320 - 9:05pm, Apr 05)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: Which historical game would you want to see?
(56 - 8:02pm, Apr 05)
Last: Cleveland (need new name) fan

NewsblogWho Would You Build an MLB Team Around in the 2020s?
(21 - 7:54pm, Apr 05)
Last: Jose Is Absurdly Chatty

NewsblogCoronavirus: MLB debating playing games at spring training ballparks without fans, per report
(5 - 7:44pm, Apr 05)
Last: Walt Davis

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1926 Discussion
(5 - 6:21pm, Apr 05)
Last: John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(1205 - 5:41pm, Apr 05)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogOn this date: The Nationals played their first game ever
(4 - 4:58pm, Apr 05)
Last: Weekly Journalist_

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite baseball movie?
(66 - 4:01pm, Apr 05)
Last: Crispix Attacksel Rios

NewsblogFields of green: Mild winter, no games aid ballpark grass
(2 - 1:47pm, Apr 05)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogRinger:The Strangest, Funniest, and Most Fascinating Baseball-Reference Pages
(38 - 1:16pm, Apr 05)
Last: Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques

NewsblogAn Activist and a Bookworm, Sean Doolittle Is the Conscience of Baseball
(24 - 7:43am, Apr 05)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame)

Hall of Merit2021 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(205 - 7:38pm, Apr 04)
Last: Jaack

Page rendered in 2.8607 seconds
164 querie(s) executed