- The Washington Times - Friday, February 16, 2007

SEEN & HEARD IN VIERA

Before Manny Acta hit the field for the first time as manager of the Washington Nationals, he said the workouts at spring training camps pretty much are universal throughout baseball.

Indeed. Yesterday’s first workout looked the same as the ones from the previous two spring camps under Frank Robinson. Select pitchers threw off the mounds in the bullpen. Skill stations were set up at different fields, where groups of pitchers worked on bunting, covering first base and fielding balls off the mound.

The skill work was followed by conditioning runs, while catchers and a few early reporting position players hit in the batting cage. …

Allow Robert Fick to lighten the mood. The club’s first baseman/catcher welcomed all the newcomers with classic one-liners and other assorted observations. Though the details can’t be shared here, it was funny, and he had at least half the clubhouse rolling with laughter.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

FIRST WORKOUT

Camp officially opens.

SPACE COAST STADIUM RENOVATIONS

Minor league season ended in August, so why isn’t the work already done? But at least they’re cleaning up the place.

FAN TURNOUT

So far, members of the media outnumber the autograph seekers.

BY THE NUMBERS

12Prospective starting pitchers vying for just four spots in the rotation.

8Minutes select pitchers threw in yesterday’s bullpen sessions.

OVERHEARD

“Who wouldn’t want to be in the capital of the United States with a brand new stadium and a team that’s going to be in the top 10 in revenues and also that has a good young core group of position players? … If you don’t want to be in this type of situation, then there’s something wrong with you.”

— First-year manager Manny Acta

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: Pitchers and catchers workout, 9 a.m.

Tomorrow: Pitchers and catchers workout, 9 a.m.

Sunday: Pitchers and catchers workout, 9 a.m.

Monday: Pitchers and catchers workout, 9 a.m., position players report to camp.

Tuesday: Pitchers and catchers workout, 9 a.m., position players take physicals.

Wednesday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Thursday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

From Orlando/North: Take Route 528 East (Bee Line Expressway) 25 miles to I-95 South. Exit I-95 South at Fiske Boulevard (Exit 195). Proceed south on Fiske Boulevard/Stadium Parkway to the stadium. Approximate time: 45 minutes.

From Melbourne/South: Take I-95 North to Wickham Road (Exit 191) and turn left. Turn right on Lake Andrew Drive and follow to the stadium. Approximate time: 20 minutes.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Sunny, 32 degrees.

Viera: Mostly sunny, 62 degrees.

Ken Wright

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