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.
One pitcher warming up in the Washington Nationals' bullpen Thursday afternoon has spent a lot of time there this season, and it wouldn't have been surprising to see Craig Stammen enter Game 4 despite plenty of work already in this National League Division Series.
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.)
The St. Louis Cardinals are what the Washington Nationals want to be. If we've learned anything from the first three games of this playoff series, we've learned that. Forget regular-season records. The Cardinals win when they need to win.
Game 1 of the National League Division Series represented meatloaf for Washington. There would be no gravy Monday in Game 2.