Nationals head to Jupiter

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Good morning. I’m writing from my hotel room, where I’ll be packing up shortly and heading south to Jupiter for the Nationals’ 1:05 p.m. start against the St. Louis Cardinals. That headline is as punny as I’ll get today.

But whatever happens there today probably won’t get me as much face time on national TV as my wife Marissa got yesterday. She’s an event manager at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va. As it turns out, the NFL owners were meeting there yesterday between mediated negotiating sessions with the NFL Players Association in Washington. She’s not a huge sports fan, so she didn’t stop to think much about the billionaires she was leading into conference rooms. But yesterday afternoon, her boss informed her she was popping up all over NFL Network. That’s her in this video, escorting Jets owner Woody Johnson down a hall about 45 seconds into the segment. She’s always got to one-up me, just a little bit.

Anyway, here is the Nationals’ lineup for today’s game. They’re actually taking many of their projected starters on the road to face the Cardinals:

Morgan - CF
Desmond - SS
Werth - RF
Morse - 1B
Ankiel - LF
Rodriguez - C
Ramos - DH
Espinosa - 2B
Gonzalez - 3B
Zimmermann - P

For Jordan Zimmermann, who makes his spring debut today, the Cardinals have actually been the source of some trouble in his short major league career. They roughed him up two springs ago, dealing him his first loss after he’d been lights-out to start the exhibition season, and handed him his first loss in the majors in 2009. And when Zimmermann came back from Tommy John surgery last year, it was the Cardinals, again, who hit him around in his first game. He should get a good test today against Albert Pujols and the like.

Time to pack up and get on the road. Talk to you from Jupiter.