- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD IN VIERA

The Million Dollar Lunch Club has been a running tradition for three seasons, in which Nationals players who make more than $1 million are obligated to buy lunch for everyone.

Left-handed reliever Ray King didn’t qualify but bought a spread anyway from Boston Market. Nice move.

With many of the club’s big money guys from the first two seasons playing elsewhere (Livan Hernandez, Jose Guillen and Jose Vidro), there’s just a handful of players on the roster who actually can pick up the tab.

Closer Chad Cordero, shortstop Cristian Guzman, second baseman Felipe Lopez, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, right fielder Austin Kearns, catcher Brian Schneider and first baseman Nick Johnson have bought lunch from local restaurants here.

A few days ago, Guzman bought everyone authentic Cuban food, which was a clubhouse hit. Reliever Luis Ayala is the only member of the $1 million dollar club who has yet to buy lunch.

“We’re waiting for him. It’s his turn,” a Nationals clubhouse attendant said.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

SIMONTACCHI’S OUTING (up)

Six up, six down

C’MON BLUE (down)

Umpire’s tight strike zone

GUZMAN ON FIRE (up)

Goes 3-for-5 in two intrasquad games

EXTRA INNINGS (down)

Unheard of 10-inning intrasquad game

BY THE NUMBERS

11 Games Jason Simontacchi won with St. Louis in 2002, a career high.

20 Career wins for Simontacchi in three major league seasons.

OVERHEARD

“Watch out guys. Nook Logan 40-40.”

— Hitting coach Mitchell Page after Logan cracked a three-run homer off Anastacio Martinez while hitting left-handed in yesterday’s intrasquad game

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

Tomorrow: vs. Dodgers in Vero Beach, 1:05 p.m.

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

Sunday: vs. Dodgers (ss) in Viera, 1:05 p.m.; vs. Astros (ss) in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.

Monday: vs. Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 1:05 p.m.

Tuesday: vs. Braves in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Wednesday: vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

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

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

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Afternoon showers, 52 degrees

Viera: Scattered thunderstorms, 80 degrees

Ken Wright


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