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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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SEEN AND HEARD AT TURNER FIELD

ATLANTA It didn't take long for Robert Fick to return to his old, self-deprecating ways.

The veteran bench player, back from bereavement leave following his mother's death, spent a couple of innings in the TV and radio booths during last night's game and was laughing it up with the Nationals announcers. Fick asked TV analyst (and Hall of Fame right-hander) Don Sutton to explain his strategy when he pitched to Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb back in the day.

On the radio, he chided Charlie Slowes for not letting him get a word in. Said partner Dave Jageler: "Welcome to my world."

BY THE NUMBERS

6 Different leadoff hitters used by the Nationals this season (Felipe Lopez, Cristian Guzman, Brandon Watson, Ryan Langerhans, Ronnie Belliard and Josh Wilson).

TONIGHT'S GAME

Nationals LHP Micah Bowie (4-2, 3.63) vs. Braves RHP John Smoltz (8-4, 3.14), 7:35 p.m., MASN2, AM-1500, FM-107.7.

Mark Zuckerman

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