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Jenn Jenson: Ready or not, here comes Wang

If you squint, Chien-Ming Wang's story looks unremarkable. As a pitching prospect, Wang worked his way through the New York Yankees' minor league system from 2000-2005, playing low Single-A ball in 2000 and 2002, Double-A in 2003 and 2004, and Triple-A in 2004 and 2005. In 2001, he did not play because he was recovering from shoulder surgery. Wang made his big league debut with

Ted Youngling: Frustration grows with Nationals' lackluster play

If a win/loss record is the true indication of a team's success, then the Nationals front office should take serious consideration in bringing back Jim Riggleman to manage this team next season. Don't worry, I'm only being facetious, but let's not overlook the fact that ever since Riggleman bailed on his team they simply haven't been the same. In fact, it's been getting so bad

Come support the red, white and green?

This Friday, fans looking to do their part for Mother Earth can sign up as volunteers as part of the third annual Green-Up Day. The event, hosted by the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Earth Conservation Corps and Rebuilding Together DC, will ask volunteers to remove trash and debris from the wetland area along the Anacostia River at sites directly across the street from

Lottery winner to be announced

Would you like to win the lottery? Well, Nationals fans, I can't promise you a lifetime of riches, but I can offer the next best thing. Fans who attend the game on Friday, July 29 will be in for a special treat. In addition to seeing the Nationals take on the New York Mets, the Nationals will announce the identity of the recipient of a

Rachel Levitin: What's in a name? For Metro, a challenge

While most people in D.C. find themselves in a verbal squabbling match with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on a daily basis - even if the conversation is more of a soliloquy-type scenario rather than a dialogue - I, too, have an issue with the system. It has nothing to do with its inability to run an efficient system but rather its inability

Plenty of offers on upcoming homestand

If it seems like it's been forever since the Nationals have played a home game, well, it has. The Nationals haven't been home since July 10, a span that will reach 25 days when the Marlins come to town Tuesday. In between the homestands, however, there's been plenty of action. Tyler Clippard picked up the win at the All-Star Game before a nine-game road trip

Dave Nichols: Nats both buyers and sellers at trade deadline

The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31, a mere six days away. As with every year since their inaugural season in D.C., the Washington Nationals - despite the protestations of Jayson Werth - are destined to be on the outside looking in once the playoff seeds are settled, especially considering the recently concluded 3-6 road trip. But contrary to years past, the organization - and

Jenn Jenson: Jordan Zimmermann is one of my very favorites

Jordan Zimmermann is awesome! I realize this isn't breaking news, but he's so awesome that he's earned the distinction of being a very favorite player of mine. So you'll understand where I'm coming from, I should explain that most Nationals players are my favorite players. I cheer with enthusiasm for pretty much everyone on the roster, somewhat regardless of talent level, as long as they

Ted Youngling: Nationals still searching for an identity

I grew up in a mid-sized town in southwest Connecticut where it was only natural to pledge your allegiance to the New York Yankees, New York Mets or Boston Red Sox. My earliest memories of the game were the dominant Yankees teams of the late 1990s and attending their ticker tape parade in 1998, but it was my first game at Shea Stadium earlier that

Rachel Levitin: A perfect fit for community-minded Nationals

One of the Washington Nationals' greatest strengths is their community outreach. While chasing the Wild Card would be a nice feat for 2011, it's essential that players remember that who you are off the field is just as important as who you are on the field. Why? Because the second a player signs with a club and puts on the uniform, they become a face

Mike Henderson: Natmosphere awakens writing instincts in new breed of fan

When I was growing up as a Pittsburgh Pirates fan in Wheeling, W.Va., in the 1970s, it pains me to say that I had no idea who the Washington Senators were. Or rather, I should say, had been - since after 1971 there was, of course, no baseball in Washington. That state of affairs continued into the mid-1980s when I moved to the Washington area

Dave Nichols: Setting realistic goals for the second half

The Washington Nationals start play today one game below .500 at 47-48. That's a pretty dramatic increase from seasons past and has many folks in the area, including within the organization and media members as well as fans, thinking the Nats can compete for the Wild Card this season. If Sunday's mistake-filled loss to the Atlanta Braves wasn't enough to sway your opinion from that,

Food drive a major success

Congratulations, Nationals fans. After tallying the donations made during the 2011 Harris Teeter Food Drive held at Nationals Park last weekend, the results are in, and they're impressive. The event, which helps the Capital Area Food Bank nourish thousands of children and families, resulted in an astounding 6,942 pounds of food. It was the most successful food drive at Nationals Park to date. Your donations

Jenn Jenson: On loving and blogging about baseball

If five years ago today, you predicted my future would include blogging about baseball for MASNsports.com, I would have given you an odd look. Before 2006, I had never been to a professional baseball game, and I still thought baseball was about as interesting as watching paint dry. Goes to show you never know what will happen. I think a lot of baseball fans, especially

Guest bloggers rotation set for season's second half

It's hard to believe the first half of the 2011 season has come to a close. And for the Nationals, it has to be one filled with great optimism. With impressive starting pitching, the surprise power from first baseman Michael Morse and a bullpen that's been solid throughout the first few months, the Nationals, a team that was poised to do great things in 2012

Nationals play host to 50th Congressional Baseball Game

Looking for some baseball to fill the void during the All-Star break? Nationals fans, you're in for a treat. On Thursday, July 14, Democrats and Republicans will meet on the diamond, as Nationals Park serves as host for the 50th anniversary of the Congressional Baseball Game for charity. It's a chance for fans to watch our nation's two primary political parties become even more divided,

Capture a piece of Washington's baseball history

It's the history of the game of baseball that has always attracted me to the sport. Growing up, I would listen to the stories from my parents about the Orioles of the 1960's and 70's and the childhood icons they watched on the diamond nearly 50 years ago. It's the history of baseball which is unlike any other in professional sports. Baseball has been around

Rachel Levitin: Winning three of four vs. Cubs shows progress

The Nationals couldn't sweep the Cubs this series though they tried. On the upside, they're still above .500 with a 44-43 record. Whether or not last night's dropped contest should define a half-season's worth of progress is irrelevant. Fact of the matter is that the Nationals have shown improvement from the 2010 season and that should be noted. There are few lessons to be learned

Morse falls short in Final Vote contest

Sad news to report, Nationals fans. After a tremendous effort and certain bruises to thumbs around the DC area, all in an attempt to send Nationals right fielder Michael Morse to next week's All-Star game, Major League Baseball announced that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino has won the National League Final Vote contest. The 9.2 million votes for Victorino helped the "Flying Hawaiian" edge out

Rachel Levitin: Unprompted responses create hopeful stadium buzz

The recent slew of one-run victories in Washington is enough to get the adrenaline of the players and fans to gush. After last night's 5-4 win versus the Chicago Cubs, Nationals organist Matt Van Hoose and I got to talking about the electricity that erupts in the park's seating bowl and creates an aura of energy from within in the confines of Nationals Park. When

Rachel Levitin: Johnson holds Nats accountable with levity, pride

When Davey Johnson was named manager of the Washington Nationals at the end of June, I was out of the country. Wednesday night's game was my first encounter with Johnson in a postgame press conference. Some managers play small ball with each play and others motivate their guys. The best of those guys do both. I'm still not 100 percent positive how to categorize Johnson,

Ladies: Sign up now for interactive Nats U clinic Saturday

Ladies, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Guys love girls who like baseball. We love the idea of taking you to a game and knowing you're sitting there enjoying the sport as much as we are. We like to know that if you come home and we're in the midst of a no-hitter on TV, you don't mind slumping right belong

Michael Morse needs your help, Nats fans

Nationals fans, you've had the privilege of watching Michael Morse emerge as one of the top young hitters in the game. Now, it's up to you to make sure the rest of the country gets a glimpse of him. On Sunday, Morse was tabbed as one of five nominees for the National League's remaining All-Star game slot in the Final Vote. He was joined by

Rachel Levitin: Could patriotic Nats become America's Team?

In theory, the Washington Nationals should be proclaimed "America's Baseball Team" due to proximity and fact. But thanks to the Patriotic Series and a little bit of time, that fact could turn into one of the Nats' longest-standing ballclub legacies. Take an annual contender in playoffs, for example. They're used to baseball during mid-October in front of a prime-time crowd. A D.C. fan hasn't had

Could Clippard have a teammate with him in Arizona? You decide!

We're still dissecting this year's All-Star voting results, wondering how certain players were chosen, how other players weren't and which league will prevail July 12. Last season, the National League ended a 13-year winless drought, upending the junior circuit, 3-1. It was a victory that, most San Francisco Giants fans will contend, was extremely important, so fans are sure to be in for a treat

Rachel Levitin: Creating a sense of baseball community

When baseball returned to the District in 2005, the $5 grandstand tickets were the only reason my new-found friends at college would go to a baseball game with me. Now, in 2011, those same $5 grandstand tickets are the reason I'm not burned out when it comes to baseball. I'm going to be honest here: I love baseball, but the past two seasons have been

Dave Nichols: Zimmerman speaks from the heart at "Night in the Park"

In his sixth full season with the Washington Nationals, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has become the face of the franchise. He has garnered many accolades, including being selected as an All-Star and winning a Gold Glove. A mild-mannered guy, ZImmerman usually leads not with words but with his actions and work ethic on the field. Last night, for the second consecutive year, Zimmerman spoke from

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