By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The moment Gio Gonzalez walked off the mound in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon, he figured his day was probably done. So it was that Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson pulled his left-hander in the hope of adding some offense, and watched the game devolve into a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs over the final two innings.
If the season ended Thursday, the Nationals even with all their "problems" would qualify for the playoffs. Which sounds just as stupid to say now as it does to say the season is already off the rails.
At least Washington came out of Friday's disappointment in good physical health. Not so Saturday, as catcher Wilson Ramos injured his left hamstring trying to beat out a ground ball in the eighth.
Faced with a choice between two No. 1-capable catchers, Nats manager Davey Johnson made an unusual call: Let's use both.
When it comes to early series, during that period in the baseball season when it's far too soon to read much into results though still fun to try, the Washington Nationals' clash with the Cincinnati Reds was billed as one of the best. What came out in the Nationals' 6-3 loss, though, was one of the worst starts of Stephen Strasburg's career.
If ever there's a person who could use some good fortune, it is Ramos. Saying he had a difficult stretch doesn't do justice to what the young Venezuelan went through.
Talented but inconsistent Henry Rodriguez will be in the bullpen to open the season for the Washington Nationals. He can be maddening but it is still too early to give up on him.
The grease boards, as he calls them, are stored in Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo's office. The markers he uses on them have been worn out, replaced, and worn out again.
From the first day he checked in at spring training, the return to form of catcher Wilson Ramos has been one of the Washington Nationals' most uplifting stories.
A lot of this spring for Dan Haren is about acclimating himself and adjusting to new things. A new team, new facilities, a new league and new catchers. Then there are the new things he's trying to add to a repertoire that has made him one of the most reliable starting pitchers in the major leagues over the course of his career.
Soriano's first outing progressed with the same efficiency that prompted the Nationals to hand him a two-year, $28 million contract to bolster the back end of an already-strong bullpen.
"I don't think he ever has a bad day," reliever Christian Garcia said on a recent spring morning. "He's just so nice."
Ramos has already begun to conquer what was admittedly his biggest fear: blocking. He participated in a blocking drill on Sunday with bullpen coach Jim Lett throwing balls at the catchers, bouncing them in the dirt and on either side of them, and Ramos had no trouble.
How he's found himself as one of the most intriguing players in a Nationals camp largely devoid of competition for the 25-man roster is a tribute to Garcia's willingness to continually pick himself up and carry on when his body betrays him.
The Mariners added some much-needed power to their lineup Wednesday, acquiring Michael Morse from Washington in a three-team deal that moved catcher John Jaso from Seattle to Oakland.
Washington Nationals' Kurt Suzuki, right, continues to argue with home plate umpire John Tumpane, left, after being ejected for arguing after being called out on strikes during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Sunday, May 12, 2013, in Washington.
Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, argues with home plate umpire Greg Gibson that he tagged Miami Marlins' Chris Valaika, not shown, at home during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Miami, Wednesday, April 17, 2013.