- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 3, 2006

Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson reiterated yesterday his desire to manage the team again next season.

Robinson, whose contract expires at the end of the season, said the Nationals are the only team he would consider managing.

If the 71-year-old is not invited back, he said he would like to remain in baseball in some capacity.

“I’m not ready to go and just hang my shingle out on the golf course,” Robinson said. “I’m not ready for that, but I wouldn’t want to manage any place else.”

In his fifth season as the Expos/Nationals manager, Robinson has a 370-411 record — not including yesterday’s day/night doubleheader. Overall, Robinson has a 1,050-1,162 in 17 seasons as a manager.

Robinson won his 1,000th career game on April 20, when the Nationals beat the Phillies 10-4. Robinson became the 53rd manager in baseball history to reach the milestone.

My name is …

Although born Exavier Prente Logan, the Nationals’ new center fielder can’t remember answering to any other than “Nook.”

“I had it since birth when my mom started calling me that,” Logan said.

Logan made his Nationals’ debut in the first game of yesterday’s day/night doubleheader as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Logan flied out to center field in his only at-bat. He started the second game in center field and went 2-for-4.

But the Nationals didn’t acquire him from the Detroit Tigers on Friday for his bat. General manager Jim Bowden was looking for a center fielder who offers strong defense.

Logan’s weakness is his hitting. In 39 combined games in Class AAA Toldeo and Class AA Erie, he hit .218 with six RBI this season..

“A lot of people don’t know I started switch-hitting in 2001, so in the last three years I’m just learning the [left] side, and even right now I’m still learning what I can and can’t do and what pitches I can and can’t hit,” Logan said. “Right-handed? Look at my numbers right-handed. I don’t think I hit under .300 except this year.”

Bullpen help

The Nationals recalled right-handers Chris Booker, Brett Campbell and Beltran Perez to help the team’s overworked bullpen, although Perez made 16 starts at Class AA Harrisburg this year.

Booker and Perez pitched in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader. With the Arizona Diamondbacks leading 4-1, Booker entered and pitched a scoreless fifth inning. Perez followed with scoreless sixth and seventh innings.

“This was especially nice with the kids that went out there and did the job on the mound and kept us in the ballgame,” Robinson said of his team’s 7-6 comeback win in Game 1.

Booker, 29, has pitched for five teams in three organizations this season, going a combined 2-2 with a 4.29 ERA in 42 innings. Booker signed with the Nationals as a minor league free agent on Nov. 21 but was selected by the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft.

The Tigers then traded Booker to the Phillies, who waived him after a month in their minor league system. He was then claimed by the Royals, but he returned to the Nationals per Rule 5 guidelines, when the Royals offered him back.

“This year’s been crazy,” Booker said. “I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been all over the U.S., from the East to the West, South, Midwest, everywhere.”

Booker throws a forkball, which isn’t seen much these days.

“A lot of guys throw splitters [split-finger fastball], but I throw a forkball,” Booker said. “That’s my out pitch when I go 0-2, 1-2, I throw it.”

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