- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2008

SEEN AND HEARD IN VIERA, FLA.

The Nationals run one of the most fan-friendly camps in all of spring training.

Players walk from field to field among the fans, who get a pretty close-up view of the players and their workouts. A number of players sign autographs after the morning workout ends (among those signing yesterday was Elijah Dukes).

But there was one small, innocent scene yesterday that says it all about spring training. Pitcher Shawn Hill was shagging balls in the outfield when two landed near the fence. On the other side, two kids about 10 years old watched and waited.

Sure enough, Hill tossed both balls over the fence to the kids, who excitedly ran to their parents to show off their spring training prizes.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

ODALIS PEREZ — UP

The newly acquired left-hander has been impressive in his sessions here and could wind up near the top of the rotation.

INTRASQUAD GAMES — DOWN

Manager Manny Acta called off plans for one because he said there isn’t enough time before exhibition games begin Wednesday.

SAMMY SOSA — DOWN

A fan was in camp wearing a Sosa jersey. Sammy remains out of a job.

OVERHEARD

“He is competing against himself first.”

— Acta on whether second baseman Bret Boone is competing for a job with Ronnie Belliard and Felipe Lopez

BY THE NUMBERS

2 Days until players actually play in a game, against the Marlins on Wednesday night in Jupiter.

TODAY”S WEATHER

Washington: Sunny, 51 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 76 degrees.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

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

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

Wednesday: Exhibition game against Marlins at Jupiter, 7 p.m.

Thursday: Exhibition game against Georgetown at Space Coast Stadium, 11:30 a.m.

Friday: Exhibition game against Marlins in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Saturday: Exhibition game against Orioles in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

Sunday: Split-squad exhibition games against Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, 1:05 p.m., and against Astros in Kissimmee, 1:05 p.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

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

From Melbourne/south: Take I-95 North to Wickham Road (Exit 191) and turn left. At the traffic circle, turn right on Lake Andrew Drive. Turn left on Judge Fran Jamieson Way. Turn right on Stadium Parkway and follow to the stadium on the left. Approximate time: 20 minutes.

Thom Loverro


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