Amid lockout, prospects learning "Nationals Way" in camp

Amid lockout, prospects learning "Nationals Way" in camp
They've been assembled in West Palm Beach, Fla., for the last week, wearing Nationals uniforms, taking the fields outside The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, throwing bullpen sessions, taking batting practice, having fielding and defensive fundamentals pounded into their heads. They're just not big leaguers. Or, more specifically, part of big league camp. As the lockout drags on and owners and players careen towards a do-or-die moment Monday that could result in the postponement of opening...
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Did the 1994-95 strike ultimately help bring MLB to D.C.?

Did the 1994-95 strike ultimately help bring MLB to D.C.?
Baseball is perhaps only a few days away from an event that hasn't been experienced in 27 years, one the commissioner himself recently said would be "disastrous" for the sport. Major League Baseball has said if it and the MLB Players Association can't agree to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement by Monday, some regular season games will be canceled. Whether that actually proves to be true remains to be seen, because the MLBPA insists the Feb. 28 deadline set forth by commissioner...
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Thursday morning Nats Q and A

Thursday morning Nats Q and A
Well, we've just about reached the point of no return. For nearly three months, we've speculated the lockout likely wouldn't end until the two sides faced a significant deadline: the potential loss of regular season games. And now, alas, we are on the verge of reaching that point. Major League Baseball reiterated Wednesday that if a deal is not in place by Monday, opening day will not proceed as scheduled March 31, adding that any games lost would not be made up and players would not be paid...
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Which Nationals will be worthy of number retirement?

Which Nationals will be worthy of number retirement?
There are, as you know, 30 major league clubs. But did you know only one of those clubs has never retired the jersey number of a player or manager who wore its uniform? Yep, it's the Nationals. The Nats, of course, have retired No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, same as every MLB franchise. But they have not retired the number of anyone who actually played for them. Which is understandable, given the fact they've only existed for 17 seasons and every other MLB franchise has existed for at...
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What's likely to be the final sticking point in negotiations?

What's likely to be the final sticking point in negotiations?
If you're the optimistic sort, you probably looked at Monday's face-to-face meetings between Major League Baseball owners and player representatives, which took up most of the afternoon in Jupiter, Fla., as encouraging news. At last they two sides were talking in person, with actual participants involved, extending and reacting to competing offers, caucusing in separate corners for a while, then returning to present counteroffers before breaking for the day. If you're the pessimistic type,...
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DH position has not been kind to Nats through the years

DH position has not been kind to Nats through the years
Whether the lockout ends later this week, later this month or just some time way later down the road, we do already know one significant change that appears to be coming to all of Major League Baseball. For all the rancor between the league and the players over a host of issues, the one hot-button topic they seem to agree on is the designated hitter. Despite more than 120 years of established history with pitchers batting for themselves, the National League is poised to make the DH a permanent...
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What would a condensed spring training look like?

What would a condensed spring training look like?
We've tried to stay optimistic around here for the last 2 1/2 months, so until someone gives us legitimate reason not to be, we'll stay optimistic and hope Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association work out a deal within the next week and ensure opening day will proceed March 31 as planned. Even if that happens, though, it's going to be a wild scramble for everyone to get ready for spring training, open camps and get the proper work in to prepare players for the regular...
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Spring training games delayed until at least March 5

Spring training games delayed until at least March 5
What had already been widely understood was made official by Major League Baseball this afternoon: Spring training is delayed due to the ongoing labor battle that has yet to produce a new collective bargaining agreement. With camps across Florida and Arizona supposed to open earlier this week, and with the Grapefruit and Cactus league schedules set to commence Feb. 26, a postponement had become inevitable. In its formal announcement today, MLB - which enacted a lockout of the players when the...
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Missing the simple pleasures of spring training

Missing the simple pleasures of spring training
An old tweet of mine popped up Thursday. Exactly two years old, to be precise. It featured a slow-motion video of the Nationals holding their now-infamous "Cabbage Race" outside their spring training clubhouse. Sean Doolittle, designated closer for the team captained by Max Scherzer, was last to receive a head of cabbage that made its way all the way down a line of teammates and slammed it to the ground just before Daniel Hudson, closing for Stephen Strasburg's team, slammed his. It set off...
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Nats' offer was reasonable, but so was Soto's response

Nats' offer was reasonable, but so was Soto's response
The 13-year, $350 million offer the Nationals made to Juan Soto shortly before the lockout began was a reasonable move by the organization. And Soto's decision to turn down that gargantuan offer was just as reasonable a move. What does all that mean in the big picture? It means it's going to take a historic contract to keep Soto in D.C., and it's probably not going to happen until he has the opportunity to field offers from 29 other clubs as a free agent following the 2024 season. And a...
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Face of franchise stayed true to himself through the end

Face of franchise stayed true to himself through the end
The Nationals drafted Ryan Zimmerman on June 7, 2005, making the lanky third baseman from the University of Virginia the No. 4 pick in the country. The Nationals also signed Zimmerman on June 7, 2005, immediately agreeing with the 20-year-old on a $2.975 million signing bonus that would allow him to begin his professional career right away and ultimately allow him to reach the big leagues for good only three months later. "I didn't want to be one of those guys that sits out the whole...
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Zimmerman announces retirement after standout career

Zimmerman announces retirement after standout career
Ryan Zimmerman could've kept playing. But after 17 years with the Nationals, countless franchise records, a World Series title and a fitting farewell on the final day of the 2021 season, there really was nothing left to prove. So the face of the Nationals since the franchise made him its first draft pick in 2005 made it official today: He's retiring after a remarkable career with one organization that has become increasingly exceptional in the modern sports world. "Although my baseball...
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Was Adon's impressive debut a sign of things to come?

Was Adon's impressive debut a sign of things to come?
As the lockout drags on, we're taking this opportunity to break down some players in the Nationals organization who haven't garnered as many headlines. Today we look at right-hander Joan Adon, who spent most of 2021 in the low minor leagues but made a big impression in his major league debut on the season's final day. ... RHP JOAN ADON Bats/Throws: R/R Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 242 lbs. Age on opening day 2022: 23 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, July 2016 Service time: 1...
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Despite issues, MLB still has more parity than other leagues

Despite issues, MLB still has more parity than other leagues
The National Football League crowned a new champion Sunday night, the Rams winning their first Super Bowl in 22 years (when they still played in St. Louis), making this their first Lombardi Trophy while representing Los Angeles. And they did so by beating a Bengals franchise making its first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, a franchise still seeking its first title after this heartbreaking loss. The NFL, with its salary cap and even distribution of television money (something it can do...
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Will latest offer spark talks or leave them stagnant?

Will latest offer spark talks or leave them stagnant?
Nobody really expected Major League Baseball's latest offer to players to bring an immediate end to the lockout, but there was hope it would at least spark more aggressive negotiations between the two warring parties as the clock ticks down to the point of no return. Based on the immediate reaction widely reported Saturday, it didn't achieve that goal. And that's only going to leave more people around the sport worried the season might not actually start on time. We don't have to delve into...
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State of Nationals bullpen at this point

State of Nationals bullpen at this point
We haven't talked much about the Nationals roster in the last two months, because the roster hasn't changed at all in the last two months. So it might be time for a refresher on the current state of things, because it's easy to forget what this team currently has in place for 2022 and what it still needs to address once everyone's allowed to address needs again. Obviously, there will be an opportunity to add players as soon as the lockout ends, though it could be quite a mad rush by all 30...
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Who's in Nats rotation at this point?

Who's in Nats rotation at this point?
We haven't talked much about the Nationals roster in the last two months, because the roster hasn't changed at all in the last two months. So it might be time for a refresher on the current state of things, because it's easy to forget what this team currently has in place for 2022 and what it still needs to address once everyone's allowed to address needs again. Obviously, there will be an opportunity to add players as soon as the lockout ends, though it could be quite a mad rush by all 30...
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What would Nats lineup look like at this point?

What would Nats lineup look like at this point?
We haven't talked much about the Nationals roster in the last two months, because the roster hasn't changed at all in the last two months. So it might be time for a refresher on the current state of things, because it's easy to forget what this team currently has in place for 2022 and what it still needs to address once everyone's allowed to address needs again. Obviously, there will be an opportunity to add players as soon as the lockout ends, though it could be quite a mad rush by all 30...
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Can Clay show improvement after erratic rookie year?

Can Clay show improvement after erratic rookie year?
As the lockout drags on, we're taking this opportunity to break down some players in the Nationals organization who haven't garnered as many headlines. Today we look at left-hander Sam Clay, who spent most of 2021 in the big league bullpen but finished the season in the minors. ... LHP SAM CLAY Bats/Throws: L/L Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 227 lbs. Age on opening day 2022: 28 How acquired: Signed as free agent, November 2020 Service time: 169 days 2021 salary: $575,000 Contract status: Under team...
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What needs to happen this week to keep spring training on tap

What needs to happen this week to keep spring training on tap
Friday's news of the Major League Baseball Players Association declining the league's request to bring a government mediator into the stalled negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement made for a dour start to the weekend. As a new week arrives, we're all left wondering a seemingly simple, yet perhaps not-actually-simple question: What happens now? We don't have an official answer yet, but the actions of both parties in the next 48 hours or so should give us a good clue about...
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