- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2006

VIERA, Fla.

Rain, rain, go away … you’re ruining spring training.

For the second time in three days, the Nationals were forced to hold an abbreviated workout after another downpour rolled through town yesterday morning.

Unable to use the soggy practice fields, the team instead did what it could under cover. Guys stretched, pitchers still threw and hitters took batting practice in the cage. But there were no baserunning drills, no fielding practice and none of the lively banter that usually is found.

Of course, there weren’t too many guys complaining about the light day for a change, especially the pitchers and catchers who have been here for more than a week. Frank Robinson and his coaches, on the other hand, probably would have preferred a full workout. Not that they had any control over it.

“It always makes a difference,” Robinson said. “But if there’s going to be setbacks in the weather, it’s better to have it now than have it a little later on.” …

Brian Schneider and Chad Cordero were modeling their Team USA jerseys yesterday. The two stars leave for the World Baseball Classic on Thursday, and both are starting to sound excited about the opportunity.

Cordero will wear his usual No. 32, but Schneider will wear No. 24 (because first baseman Mark Teixeira got dibs on his No. 23).

THE BUZZ

OPEN COMPETITION

If you want to be in the starting rotation, step right up!

WASHOUT

Another downpour cancels workout.

CHAD’S INHALER

Looks like he will get to use it in the WBC. That’s a sigh of relief … literally.

VIERA’S MOTTO

“It’s all here.” Really? Based on all the empty land, it doesn’t look that way.

BY THE NUMBERS

1952/3

Innings thrown by Brian Lawrence in 2005.

2602/3

Combined innings thrown by Tony Armas Jr., Jon Rauch and Ryan Drese in 2005.

OVERHEARD

“You can’t teach this flavor, dude.”

— Robert Fick, after getting teased about his outfit, which included a bright green sweater, baggy jeans and a sideways ballcap

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Tomorrow: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Wednesday: vs. KIA Tigers in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Thursday: vs. Pirates in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Friday: vs. Pirates in Bradenton, 1:05 p.m.

Saturday: (ss) vs. Panama in Viera, 1:05 p.m.; (ss) vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie, 1:10 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Orioles in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

From Orlando/North: Take Rte. 528 East (Bee Line Expressway) 25 miles to I-95 South. Exit I-95 South at Fiske Blvd. (Exit 195). Proceed south on Fiske Blvd./Stadium Parkway to the stadium. Approx. time: 45 minutes.

From Melbourne/South: Take I-95 North to Wickham Rd. (Exit 191) and turn left. Turn right on Lake Andrew Dr. and follow to the stadium. Approx. time: 20 minutes.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: partly cloudy, 42 degrees.

Viera: mostly sunny, 65 degrees.

— Mark Zuckerman and Ken Wright

Got a question about the Nats?

Mark Zuckerman has the answers. The Times’ beat reporter for the

Nationals will respond to your questions on-line and in print each

Monday, beginning Feb. 27. Send questions to Mark at natsmailbag [AT]

washingtontimes.com


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