He's a better dancer than you!

He helps old people! (I didn't even have to doctor this one)

He will beat you down!

Surf's up brah!

Hopscotch bitches!

You wish you were this cool!


That's right kids, it's GUZMANIA time again and he's startin' off hot (as if he ever wasn't!) So what if 2/3 of his hits came off Georgetown. Those kids wanted to win! Flop can suck one cause Guz is here to stay! (Until the wind blows a peanut shell onto the field and hits him in the eye lacerating his cornea, then its WOO GUZMANIA 2K9!!!)

And so do we. And we want you!

The Nats Report is starting an ESPN, head to head fantasy baseball league, and we'd like you to be a part of it. The rules are all the standard ESPN ones, and it's a non-keeper league (so no drafting Jack McGreary). If you'd like to be a part of this totally awesome rad experience, leave your email in the comments, or email us at natsreport@gmail.com and we'll send you an invite.

The Man with the "Hoo" face returns, and talks about his offseason, and the suck that was the RFK locker room.

I echo the thoughts of the commenter on Nats Journal; that of the guys spotlighted thus far, Bergmann seems the most down to earth, and seems like he would be fun to drink a beer with.


Nothing boosts a team's confidence by giving a merciless beat down to a college team. Seriously why do they play college teams anyways?

/Count it

Update: Nationals 15, Hoyas 0.

Josh Smoker pitched just fine, allowing two hits and a walk in two innings while striking out three. Not too shabby considering most of the Hoyas were older than him. You'll have the chance to read more about him in the paper tomorrow.

Other tidbits: Willie Harris goes 2 for 2, de Caster 2 for 4, Diaz 2 for 4, Whitney 2 for 3 with 3 RBI, and the Nats toss up 16 hits.

Collin Balester was quite disappointed that he walked two guys, but he did strike out five in his two innings of work. And Mike Hinckley -- who, back in 2005, was the Nationals' top pitching prospect -- mopped up with two innings of relief work, also walking two. Manny Acta said after the game that Hinckley will almost certainly be converted to a reliever this year, giving him a chance to reach the potential that has been held back by injuries and poor performance the past couple years.

Interesting about Hinckley being converted. He was once the golden boy, and hopefully he can recapture some of that by throwing out of the pen.

By now, I'm sure you've read about last night's 3-3 tie with the Marlins. (Trivia: Who had the first RBI for the Nationals in Spring Training 2008? Answer: My boy, Alex Escobar) Here's a link to Nats Journal if you haven't.

But this is the first time we've seen in print what we've all thought; that coming opening day, someone we all like will most likely be gone.

Which brings the return of Johnson to what might be a jarring conclusion. Bowden was going through the roster befofre the game, and considering the number of players who are out of options, he has come to a conclusion.

"I'm not sure you can actually field this team without making a trade," he said. "I'm not sure that's possible, if everything goes well."

That could mean a first baseman, an infielder, an outfielder -- whatever. But even as more than a dozen scouts sat behind the plate Wednesday night, Johnson's return to the field was more about the moment than what it might lead to.

To me, that reads that Nick Johnson, if healthy is gone, and so maybe is Austin Kearns if Elijah Dukes starts killing the ball. I'm not a giant fan of AK being shipped out, but we'll see how it goes.

Chad Cordero, taking hacks in the cage.

I saw this on BPG, and I like it a lot.

Credit to ndwas.

Evidently Elijah knows how to spoil a good walk. To be honest, his swing doesn't look too bad. He goes a little past parallel on the backswing but he looks flexible enough to pull it off, though it will lead to inconsistently. He also needs to bend the knees a little more as his stiff stance is causing his feet to wander. He is staying down through the ball well and finishes with a nice follow through. Its a little rough around the edges but nothing a little practice can't fix. I'm liking Mr. Dukes more every day. This is a side of him I didn't think I'd ever see.

Good article in the Post today about our favorite bald, soft tossing, history making pitcher, Mike Bascik.

He always come off as likable. I just like him to come off as intimidating, and as a good pitcher.

I think JPatt has found out the root of all his problems. The mullet. Judging from the photo below, he's obviously going for a more clean cut look, and surprise he's throwing pain-free. Coincidence? I submit that it is not!


Well, maybe no.

There was an envelope placed in Manny Acta's hand, and inside the envelope was a letter. The letter was from the Lerner family, which owns the Washington Nationals, and inside the letter was a check. And the check? Well, it doesn't even matter what the number was, or how many zeroes it had. What mattered was the check itself, a bonus for a job well done in 2007. The letter -- it mattered, too, applauding Acta for a fine job on and off the field as the Nationals' manager. But above all, what mattered to Acta was the gesture.

"I told them, 'You don't need to do this -- this is my job,' " said Acta, who confirmed receiving the bonus after a reporter, who already had been told of it by another source, asked him about it. "I don't have any incentive bonus in my contract. I've never had one in any contract -- because it's just my job. My job is to win. My job is to get it done. And I thought it was an outstanding gesture. I wasn't expecting it."

That's nice to see. One, an owner that appreciates his employees enough to give him an unsolicited, unexpected, and well earned bonus. And two, a manager that says, "You don't need to give me more than my contract. My job is to win". I'm feeling pretty good about this team, this morning.

And I could not be happier.

A Freakin' Wily Mo Pena webpage. UNOFFICIAL, no less.

Wily Mo, you've arrived.

According to Mr. Campbell there will be plenty of single-game seats for those of us that live too far away (me) or are too poor (both) to purchase a season-ticket plan. You're not a true fan until you sit in the upper deck when its 30 degrees and the wind is whippin'. (I know you all remember last April, but you probably weren't sitting where I was. UPPER DECK SAY WHAT!)

Me after a game last April!

Consider these numbers: 123 homers, 646 RBIs, 69 steals.

Cumulatively speaking, these numbers paint the picture of a fairly unsuccessful baseball team, and the 2007 Washington Nationals were indeed unsuccessful (73-89). But that doesn't matter.

More playing with numbers: 673 runs, 931 strikeouts, 46 saves.

Yes, the Nationals were a particularly terrible offensive team, finishing 30th in runs scored, 26th in hits, 28th in homers, 29th in RBIs, 26th in batting average and 28th in slugging percentage. The pitchers struck out the fewest batters of any staff in the league.

Hate, hate, hate.

Granted this article is from a fantasy perspective, and we don't have Johan Santana or Carl Crawford (noted fantasy beast) on this team, but it's sad to think that "experts" think a 15hr 15 steal season for Lastings Milledge would be good.

News and notes from this week in baseball:

Tomo Ohka signed with the White Sox yesterday. Oh how I don't miss those days. To be honest his record wasn't horrible (4-3, 3.33 ERA) but he was an ass and that's what did him in. It'll be interesting to see how well he fits in under Ozzie #$%@ Guillen.

Ryan Howard won his arbitration case and will make $10 million this season. People around baseball are throwing up their arms saying this is an absolutely ridiculous amount of money. Seriously, what are those guys talking about, ARod makes nearly triple what Ryan Howard is going to make this year. The stink is that he's only been in the league for two years and that no one has ever made this much money that soon. I say why not. You get paid based on how valuable you are, not how long you've been working for the company. Ryan Howard is the Phillies most valuable player, and some would say he's the most valuable offensive player in the National League. So you go and get yours Ryan, you're worth it! (Just don't play well against the Nats, Capiche?)

The Nats have no fantasy prospects.

The Marlins might be getting a new stadium. Seriously, why is there being money put into this team. I'll let you in to a little secret, the reason you see attendance of 3,000 to a Marlins game is not the weather. If that were the case the beach would be empty too. The reason people don't go to Marlins games is that they know that if their team is good this year, its surely to be awful next year as all the players are sold. They're the Clippers of baseball. They really need to be put out of their misery and shipped to a city that wants them. (Portland, Las Vegas, etc) By the way, why doesn't Las Vegas have a single professional sports team. If I were one of the nearly 2 million people that lived there, I'd be jacked.

Scott Boras is a dick, as if you didn't already know.

Doug Mirabelli is the most hilarious man in baseball. Never before has such an average/below average player become so valuable. I'm starting to think of finding a decent knuckle-baller in the minors (are there any?) and trying to become his own personal catcher. I'd sleep over at his house, we'd play x-box, take walks on the beach, making millions. It'd be a dream come true. And Doug is living that dream.

Well that's all for now. If it wasn't obvious we're just killing time until Spring Training games start. Only 9 more days! (Georgetown doesn't count)

Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik, meanwhile, knows all about the "O," but he doesn't want to hear it. He said in Dallas, where he grew up, Cowboys, Rangers and Mavericks fans don't yell "STARS!" during the anthem — even though they represent the same city as the hockey team.

"If you go to a Nationals game, you probably shouldn't say it," he said. "It's a Baltimore Orioles tradition. It's a cool tradition, but if you're there to watch the Nationals, save it for the Orioles."

Damn right, Mike Bacsik.


Thank you Bob Cohn (via Needham) for covering an issue I feel very passionately about. Seriously, why are people doing this. They don't even know how it started, they just think its cool to shit on America. Well it needs to stop!

I like this guy's demeanor, at least the one he's putting forward now.


I need to go on Ray King's diet plan.



Young Guns

Nice short article from Sheinin this morning about the state of our pitching staff. He addresses the fact that gone are the Jerome Williams and Jason Simontacchi's from this year's Spring Training. They've been replaced with players of varying degrees of promise.

And interesting tidbit in here from Bowden:

"I'm not opposed at all to developing [Detwiler] out of the bullpen like the White Sox did with [Mark] Buehrle, and I'm not opposed to starting him in [Class A] Potomac and starting 20 games there," Bowden said. "A left-hander with that kind of stuff, as hard as it is to get lefties in the bullpen, I'm not opposed to a guy developing [in the bullpen] when he's that's close [to being ready] and has that kind of stuff. I believe in that."

I'm largely in favor of this because it gives young players, who are close to being ready, the chance to face real hitters in challenging situations. This gives them the advantage when its time for them to become an every 5th day guy that the team depends on. Also, with out shortage of lefty's out of the pen (not counting King), we might need his arm for reasons other than his own development.

What do you think about putting Detwiler (or other College level prospects) in the bullpen to get their feet wet?

In the last week, the Nationals have made major waves (/sarcasm) with some free agent acquisitions. First, the Bo(o)ne Collector signed the last remaining baseball Boone in existence to a minor league deal to play second base, and second base only, according to Bret.

Boone on whether he would spend time in the minors, or learn another position in order to help his chances: "I haven't played another position. I plan on going out and playing second base and getting as many at-bats as I can over in accelerated [spring training camp]... I don't think we have a script or anything like that. It's going to play out, and we'll know either way. But I'm planning on playing second base and helping somebody. Obviously that's my goal. There's a lot of unknown out there, but it's kind of an exciting unknown."

Way to be flexible there, Bret. It's a good thing we don't have any experience veterans who have actually thrown a baseball in the last two years already on the team.

Today, the Nats signed Odalis Perez to a 1 year, Minor League deal for $850,000. While this signing gets me as excited as when we picked up Pedro Astacio, you've gotta be impressed with Bowden's waiting for the bottom to fall out of the pitching market. This guy made $7 mil last year, and now...all I can say is I hope Odalis didn't go all MC Hammer.

The Mets agreed to a 1 year deal, worth $2 million with our former breaking-ball missing, Jewish-eternal-fate-questioning, Soul-Patch sporting Outfielder.

Is it really that easy to make more than a million dollars today?

This article made me chuckle, and I'll quote for you what I'm talking about...

Chris Schroder, Jesus Colome and a healthy Ryan Wagner are expected fill out the rest of the bullpen, while Ray King, Mike Bacsik and Joel Hanrahan will compete to be on the 25-man roster.

here too.

"Obviously, with our bullpen, we feel it's one of the better ones in the National League," general manager Jim Bowden. "Chad Cordero has more saves at his age than any other pitcher except for Francisco Rodriguez, and that's an amazing accomplishment. With Jon Rauch, Luis Ayala, Saul Rivera, Jesus Colome, Chris Schroder and a healthy Ryan Wagner, our bullpen will be one that will keep us competitive."

You may remember, though you probably don't, about the Nats Report's view of Ryan Wagner (here and here). I personally don't care if it's "A HEALTHY RYAN WAGNER" or "JUGGS PITCHING MACHINE WITH HAIR", he still sucks.

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