By Victor Davis Hanson
They really are coming after us
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The Nats have changed their policy to basically say unless your tickets are part of a season-ticket plan, you use them or you lose them. It's a move that pretty much violates every fundamental of Customer Service 101. Take care of those who pay for your services.
The good news for the Washington Nationals as they trickled into the clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, was that Jayson Werth was able to test his right hamstring on Monday and felt strong.
In the slog that is a 162-game baseball season, the importance of the way a team starts the season often teeters on a high wire. Currently walking that thin line are the Washington Nationals, who lost 2-0 to the New York Mets on Sunday to finish a 3-3 road trip through what is expected to be the two basement teams in their division.
In beating the Marlins 6-1 Thursday evening, the Nationals completed their first sweep in a season they hope will be filled with them.
On a team with a lineup that requires few pinch hitters and even fewer defensive replacements, the Nationals' bench players, Chad Tracy, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina, are faced with a difficult transition.
A day after manager Davey Johnson scratched him from the lineup with swelling in his left hand, Bryce Harper went 3 for 3 with two singles and a double to raise his spring batting average to .431.
How good was Zimmermann? He needed just 67 pitches to get through the six frames. And after a leadoff single by Andy Dirks on the second pitch of the game, Zimmermann set down the next 18 batters he faced — 13 of them on ground-ball outs.
Strasburg is the unquestioned ace of a Nationals staff filled with talent, but Davey Johnson was reluctant to make it official with still more than two weeks to go before Opening Day because of how well-known it already seemed to be.
Spring training statistics don't matter. Really, they don't. That's why Jordan Zimmermann stood in the Washington Nationals' cramped clubhouse Friday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium without a hint of concern on his face.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, in Florida for the weekend to attend the Washington Nationals' Grapefruit League opener, discussed the area around Nationals Park on Sunday morning and said he's pleased with what it has become.
Haren, 32, says he isn't coming in with the intent of being anyone's mentor. But that figures to happen anyway, even if he never says a word. With as much experience as the others combined, he can likely help the Nats as much off the mound as he can on it.
Closing in on a deal that will help solidify their top-tier starting rotation, the Washington Nationals began Day 2 at the Winter Meetings by winnowing their already brief to-do list.
On a spring training afternoon in March, Davey Johnson proclaimed that if his team didn't make the playoffs, the Washington Nationals could fire him. And he meant it. But in a season filled with organizational bests — 98 wins, the National League East crown and the arrival of a fan base — there never was any worry they'd have to.
The ball took flight like a missile, zipping into the crisp fall air that settled over the nation's capital on this October Thursday night. It sailed into the visitors' bullpen in left field. It clanked with a thud off the back wall. It carried with it the hopes of a team, of a fan base, of an entire city hoping the team's season would live at least one more day.
The beauty of these games we obsess about is that anything can happen. Raul Ibanez can pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth inning and hit a game-tying home run for the New York Yankees. (And follow that with a game-winning one in the 12th.)