The Washington Times - March 12, 2009, 04:54PM

The big story of the day here was Daniel Cabrera—and not because of his pitching. The 6-foot-9 right-hander, he of the 14-for-14 track record in Baltimore (that’s 14 strikeouts, not 14 hits), actually dropped a single into right field in the third inning against the Braves today. After the game, that was the source of much humor from Manny Acta.


“We really had almost everybody in camp working with him,” Acta said.

Displaying a veteran comic’s understanding of the fact that the best humor is at least partially rooted in truth, Acta was exaggerating only slightly. He ran through the list of people who helped Cabrera with his offense—Randy St. Claire, Class AAA Syracuse manager Tim Foli, Marquis Grissom and Devon White.

Then he tossed out another good-natured zinger when asked about Cabrera’s trip around the bases, during which he was almost run down by Lastings Milledge before scoring.

“It’s something he needs to get better at, because this is the National League,” Acta said. “He’s going to be on the bases a couple of times, I’m assuming, this year.”

Hope you enjoyed your day at Wide World of Sports. Tip your dancing ushers, folks.

In other news:

—The Nationals’ bullpen struggled again, with Josh Towers and Steven Shell giving up four runs (two earned) in the 6-2 loss. “(Towers) could have got out of the (sixth) inning,” Acta said. “We made a costly error there, but he did leave some balls up, and that cost him.”

—Austin Kearns displayed one of the big reasons why, despite his offensive struggles last year, the Nationals still see him as a possible starter in right field. He fielded a would-be single from Martin Prado in the second inning and threw a strike to Nick Johnson at first, gunning down Prado and ending the inning.

That’s all from The Happiest Place on Earth. Talk to you tomorrow from Kissimmee (which sounds nearly as cheery as Walt Disney World but can’t be, simply because Disney trademarked the above phrase).