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Ted Leavengood: Dick Bosman talks innings limits and young pitchers

As the roving minor league pitching instructor for the Rays, former Senators pitcher Dick Bosman has helped groom some of the best pitching talent in the majors. I asked Bosman, a recent guest on the “Outta the Parkway” podcast show, to comment on the Nationals’ handling of Stephen Strasburg this season on our podcast show Friday night. His response provided one of the most well-informed

Brevard County designates $325,000 for Space Coast Stadium repairs

Brevard County is pumping some serious money into Space Coast Stadium in what might be a last-ditch effort to keep the Nationals from moving their spring training home from the facility in Viera, Fla. According to News 13 in Orlando, the Brevard County Commissioners have designated $325,000 for repairs and improvements to Space Coast Stadium, the Nats’ spring training home since 2003, when they were

Examining birthday boy Bryce Harper’s impressive teen numbers

Happy 20th birthday, Bryce Harper! Now that the purveyor of the darkened faux-hawk is no longer a teenager, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on just what he accomplished during his rookie season with the Nationals. Harper’s 2012 statistical line is indisputably impressive: His 139 games produced a .270 average, 98 runs scored, 26 doubles, nine triples, 22 home runs, 59 RBIs, 56 walks,

Marty Niland: A magical season, a boy and a lesson in life

I got to be 11, all over again this summer, thanks to the greatest season in Washington Nationals history, and my boy, Mark. Growing up in the suburbs of Washington, baseball was not a huge part of my life. When I was 11, in 1975, I could still remember the Senators and their move to Texas. I followed the game, watched what was offered on

What they’re saying about NLDS Game 5

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma delivered back-to-back RBI singles and ending the Nationals’ magical season. One day after earning the Game 4 win, Drew Storen served up four runs in the ninth to allow the Cardinals beat the Nationals in the most heartbreaking way possible, to win the National Legaue Division Series. St. Louis will now

First the collapse, then the disbelief and disappointment

As the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated the most improbable of comebacks in the Nationals Park infield, outfielder Jayson Werth knelt on the top step of the home dugout, his head bent in a cross between disappointment and disbelief. Behind him, stunned fans watched a celebration they never expected to see unfold, their plans to whoop it up after reaching the National League Division Series short-circuited.

Marty Niland: It’s all Werthwhile now

After Chad Tracy grounded out to end the eighth inning and leave the score tied at 1-1 in Thursday’s National League Division Series Game 4, a friend turned to me and asked, “Deep down, in your heart of hearts, you really wanted a walkoff, didn’t you?” Who would want anything else? Didn’t every one of the 44,392 screaming, red-clad Nationals fans packed into Nationals Park

With Game 4 walk-off, Nats finally gave hungry crowd a moment to savor

The Nationals, who didn’t give the home fans much to cheer about in a Game 3 loss in the best-of-five National League Division Series on Wednesday, more than made up for that Thursday night. The crowd was smaller - only 44,392, just the third-largest in Nationals Park history - but it finally got a chance to erupt when Jayson Werth hit a walk-off homer into

What they’re saying about NLDS Game 4

After a heartbreaking 8-0 loss in Game 3 of the National League Division Series to the Cardinals, the Nationals bounced back nicely for a 2-1 win in Game 4. Pitching has been the Achilles heel for the Nats all postseason, but starting pitcher Ross Detwiler provided some stability to the pitching staff. Though the Nats never had a hit with a runner in scoring position,

With game on the line, Desmond’s practice drill makes perfect grab

Before each game, Ian Desmond goes through a pregame drill that’s part intense practice, part comfortable ritual. He grabs batting practice pitcher Julian Martinez, renowned as the best fungo hitter among the Nationals’ field staff, and gets him to slap short pop flies to shallow left field. Just past third base. Along the left field line. To the no-man’s land beyond shortstop and not quite

David Huzzard: The Nats have been here before

On the afternoon of July 21, Nats fans gathered and sulked in mass. The night before, the Nationals had blown a nine-run lead with their best pitcher on the mound. Nats fans watched helplessly as pitcher after pitcher was terrorized by Braves hitters and what felt like a safe and comfy cushion disappeared. It all went away when Michael Bourn tripled to bring in the

What they’re saying about NLDS game 3

The National League Division Series shifted back to Washington D.C. for the first playoff baseball game in the District since 1933. Unfortunately for the Nationals, the Cardinals pummeled Edwin Jackson and the rest of the Washington staff for an 8-0 victory. While Nats Park was abuzz for the game, many of the writers chose to focus on someone who wasn’t on the roster. That’s right,

Carpenter, Cards’ barrage quickly turned record crowd into a non-factor

Nationals Park was packed, fans were five deep in some standing room sections and frenzied towel-waving rooters were announcing their presence with authority. Then, in the span of a couple of innings, the fervent enthusiasm was sucked right out of South Capitol Street, leaving a Nationals Park-record crowd of 45,017 mostly disappointed, dazed and silent in what became an 8-0 defeat in the pivotal third

What they’re saying about NLDS Game 2

The Nationals and Cardinals will leave St. Louis with the best-of-five National League Division Series tied at one game apiece. By now you’ve read the wall-to-wall coverage of the NLDS on MASNsports.com from Dan Kolko and Byron Kerr. Here’s a round-up of what other media outlets are saying about Game 2 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and Cardinals. * In case

Ted Leavengood: Nats’ first playoff win a Tilt-a-Whirl ride

In the postseason, the highs are higher, the lows are lower. Like Tom Boswell said in his Sunday morning column, the playoffs are the “myocardial infarction games,” a Tilt-a-Whirl ride that seesaws the emotions up, down and all around. True to form, when Jayson Werth came to bat in the first inning of the first playoff game ever in Nationals history, the hearts of the

Nationals playoff viewing party at Fairgrounds moved to Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Maybe you can’t watch the first playoff game in Nationals history from your favorite spot in Nationals Park. But you can still watch the historic game Sunday afternoon, and not be far away from the home team’s home park. Join MASN on Sunday for its official viewing party, which will be held at Fairgrounds, right across from Nationals Park’s center field gates. The fun begins

Marty Niland: The folly of baseball’s new playoff system

First the good news: By virtue of the best record in baseball, the Nationals have the home field advantage in a best-of-five series against Friday’s wild card winner. Now the bad news: By virtue of the best record in baseball, the Nationals have the home field advantage in a best-of-five series against Friday’s wild card winner. How’s that? The half-baked playoff system that Major League

David Huzzard: Welcome to the land of small sample sizes

October baseball is different, but not in the way most think. This isn’t about the added pressure, how much brighter the spotlight is, or how some players can dig deep and find a special clutch ability they lacked all regular season. This isn’t about the age old clichés. As The Boss will tell you on the commercials, October is the land of hope and dreams,

How to get your Nats postseason fix on MASN (updated)

So you can’t watch the Nationals’ postseason run unfold on MASN. That doesn’t mean we’ll be going off the map until next season. MASN will still be here for as long as the Nationals stay alive in the postseason to provide you with plenty of coverage, even though the games will be aired nationally. For starters, tune into MASN HD the night before the Nats

Rachel Levitin: Savor Nats’ success because it’s been a long wait

Here it is, Nats fans - today is last the day of the 2012 regular season. Your Nationals secured their first-ever National League East division title and hold the best record in baseball. Can anyone honestly say this is what they thought would happen this season? After Monday night’s clinch of the NL East title, outfielder Jayson Werth mentioned that his decision to play baseball

Stephen Walker: A lifetime of waiting ends in rejoicing

To those born after 1971, this is how it was supposed to be in Washington all along. Enjoy it to the fullest. To those who remember the Senators, the sadness of September 30, 1971 is now gone. Forever. Let it go. Let peace wash over you. Rest in peace, Robert E. Short and all those who allowed the National Pastime to depart the nation’s capital.

Ted Leavengood: A tale of two seasons

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The Washington Nationals have ascended the heights. They have one of the best records in the game. But the pitching staff that was masterful in the first five months of the season, had the wheels come off as the Cardinals scored 26 runs over the past three days. Ross Detwiler and Edwin Jackson

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