2023 spring training schedule brings sense of normalcy

sun and palm @ west palm

It’s been some time since the Nationals (or any Major League Baseball club) has experienced a normal, full spring training, not since 2019 to be precise, after the pandemic threw a wrench into plans for both the 2020 and 2021 camps and the league’s lockout of players delayed and shortened the annual event in 2022.

With Wednesday’s announcement of the 2023 Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules, MLB affirmed its intent to get back to normal next spring, something the Nats certainly will appreciate.

The Nationals’ exhibition opener is scheduled for Feb. 25 against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., with the finale slated for March 26 against the Marlins, also in Jupiter, just a short drive from their camp in West Palm Beach.

In between are 29 total games in Florida, including 15 designated home games at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, where the Nats will train for the sixth consecutive year. They’ll play three road games in their home park against the Astros, their cohabitants since the facility opened in 2017.

For each of the last two springs, Florida-based teams faced only those who trained on their same side of the state, reducing travel and potential coronavirus spread. They’ll go back to facing a broader group of opponents next spring, which in the Nationals’ case means home-and-home series with the Yankees (who train in Tampa) and Tigers (who train in Lakeland).

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Nationals release 2023 schedule

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As the Nationals look forward to watching Cade Cavalli, CJ Abrams and possibly MacKenzie Gore finish out the last month of the 2022 season, they announced the complete 2023 schedule earlier today.

The 2023 Major League Baseball season will be the first to feature a balanced schedule for all 30 teams since interleague play was introduced in 1997. Each of the 30 clubs will play against one another, while also hosting every other club in their home market at least once every other season.

Opening day will start the 19th season of Nationals baseball in our nation’s capital with the Braves visiting on Thursday, March 30. It will be the fifth time the Nats have faced the Braves on opening day. It will also start a six-game homestand against the Braves and Rays to start the regular season.

The Nats’ first road trip of 2023 takes them to Colorado and Anaheim for seven games to face the Rockies and Angels. It will be the second year in a row the Nats will travel to face old friend Anthony Rendon and the Halos, who do not make a trip to D.C. next year.

The annual Battle of the Beltways series against the Orioles are earlier and later than usual next year. The two rivals will play two games April 18-19 at Nationals Park and two games Sept. 26-27 at Camden Yards during the Nats’ final road trip of the season.

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Orioles release 2023 schedule

camden yards

While the Orioles chase their playoff dreams in 2022, they know where they’ll begin the 2023 season and which opponent will be their first at Camden Yards.

Opening day for the Orioles is set for Thursday, March 30 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. A trip to Texas follows before their first home game on April 6 against the Yankees.

The homestand includes three games versus the Athletics before trips to Chicago and D.C.

The last regular season series consists of four games against the Red Sox at Camden Yards, the last on Oct. 1, after the Orioles host the Nationals for two.

The All-Star break runs from July 10-13, after a four-game series in the Bronx and three games in Minnesota. The second half begins with visits from the Marlins and Dodgers.

A new format reduces the number of division opponents, with every team appearing on the schedule.

Other National League visitors include the Pirates on May 12-14, the Reds on June 26-28, the Mets on Aug. 4-6, the Rockies on Aug. 25-27 and the Cardinals on Sept. 11-13.

The Mets series features manager Buck Showalter’s return to Baltimore, his first since the conclusion of the 2018 season.

The Orioles travel to Atlanta on May 5-7, San Francisco on June 2-4, Milwaukee on June 6-8, Chicago’s Wrigley Field on June 16-18, Philadelphia on July 24-26, San Diego on Aug. 14-16, and Arizona on Sept. 1-3.

The longest road trips involve Detroit, Kansas City and Atlanta, an August swing through Seattle, San Diego and Oakland, and a September excursion to Arizona, Anaheim and Boston. Each series consisting of nine games in 10 days.

The Orioles go to Houston and Cleveland back-to-back in September, which repeats their upcoming trip.

All six games against the Tigers will be played in April.

The schedule shows games played on Easter Sunday (April 9 vs. the Yankees), Mother’s Day (May 14 vs. the Pirates), and Memorial Day (May 29 vs. the Guardians).

Times will be finalized at a later date.

 

 

 

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Nats to face Phillies in 2023 MLB Little League Classic

2022 LL Classic facade

SAN DIEGO – The Nationals have been selected to play in next year’s Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., against the Phillies, Major League Baseball announced tonight.

The Nats and Phillies will face off Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023 at historic Bowman Field, home of the collegiate summer baseball league Williamsport Crosscutters, a short drive from the annual site of the Little League World Series, which will be taking place throughout that week.

It’s the first time the Nationals have been selected for any of Major League Baseball’s various neutral-site games, which over the years have included trips to London, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan and Australia, plus the Field of Dreams in Iowa, the College World Series in Nebraska and Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Created in 2017, the Little League Classic is a "Sunday Night Baseball" game televised by ESPN. It will count as the finale of a weekend series hosted by the Nats, with the two teams playing in D.C. the previous two nights before heading to Williamsport only for the day, visiting the actual Little League World Series in the afternoon. Players from the participating Little League World Series will then attend the Nats-Phillies game in person that evening.

The annual event has previously included the Pirates (twice), Cardinals, Phillies, Mets, Cubs, Angels, Guardians and tonight’s competitors: the Orioles and Red Sox.

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More than 17 years later, Nats finally return to Texas

Rangers Globe Life

On June 19, 2005, the first-place Nationals defeated the Rangers 8-2 thanks to a five-run rally in the top of the eighth highlighted by a bases-loaded double by Brad Wilkerson that scored Junior Spivey, Brian Schneider and Cristian Guzman. Sun-Woo Kim was the starting pitcher that afternoon, with Travis Hughes, Luis Ayala and Gary Majewski following him out of the bullpen. Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-4 in a losing effort as Texas’ starting second baseman.

Tonight, the Nationals return to Arlington (Texas, not Virginia) for the first time since then.

That’s right, would you believe it’s been 17 years since the Nats last played at the Rangers, the only time in club history they have done so?

How long ago was that? Ryan Zimmerman had only been drafted two weeks earlier and wouldn’t make his major league debut until that September, wearing No. 25 because Spivey still had claim to No. 11. It’s the only big league city Zimmerman never played in during his career.

It’s one of the strangest scheduling quirks in club history. The Nationals have made multiple visits to every other city over the last 17 years, and they’ve played at least once in every other city since 2014.

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Nats announce scheduled game times for 2022 season

Nats announce scheduled game times for 2022 season
The Nationals on Thursday morning announced the scheduled game times for the upcoming regular season. First pitch for opening day against the Mets at Citi Field is scheduled for a 1:10 p.m. start on Thursday, March 31. Both subsequent games of the opening series on Saturday and Sunday are also starting at 1:10 p.m., possibly including the first time Max Scherzer faces the Nats as a member of the Mets. The home opener at Nationals Park is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch against the...
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MASN to broadcast Nationals' final two spring games

MASN to broadcast Nationals' final two spring games
MASN will be broadcasting the Nationals' final two games of the spring later this month, the network announced today. The Nats' March 28 game against the Cardinals and March 29 Grapefruit League finale against the Astros will be televised from The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Both broadcasts begin at 1 p.m. EDT. MASN or MASN2 will again broadcast every Nationals regular-season game not picked up for national broadcast, beginning with the April 3 home game against the Mets. The April 1...
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Spring training tweaked to eliminate long trips

Spring training tweaked to eliminate long trips
The Nationals unveiled a revised spring training schedule today, and though it doesn't feature many changes, it is missing something notable from every previous spring: long road trips. In an attempt to reduce travel and the number of opponents faced to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Nationals will only face the four clubs that train within a 45-minute drive of West Palm Beach, Fla. They'll continue to face the Astros at their shared complex, plus the Marlins and Cardinals in...
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Nats won't play this weekend after Marlins series is postponed

Nats won't play this weekend after Marlins series is postponed
The Nationals are playing the Blue Jays tonight at Nationals Park in the finale of a two-game series in which they are the home team. Then the two clubs will play again Wednesday and Thursday at Nationals Park, with the Blue Jays becoming the designated home team because they're not allowed to play in Toronto and their replacement home in Buffalo isn't ready yet. Then the Nationals will have the entire weekend off because they can neither play the Marlins as scheduled in Miami nor at home in...
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Entire series with Blue Jays will be played at Nationals Park

Entire series with Blue Jays will be played at Nationals Park
The Nationals won't have to leave South Capitol Street for their first road series of the season. Though the Blue Jays finally found a replacement home in Buffalo, the Triple-A ballpark in Western New York won't be ready for play until next weekend at the earliest. So their first scheduled home series, July 29-30 versus the Nats, will be played at Nationals Park, a source familiar with the decision said. The Nats and Jays already are playing a two-game series in D.C. from July 27-28. They...
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2021 schedule announced, Nats to host Mets in opener

2021 schedule announced, Nats to host Mets in opener
They aren't 100 percent sure they'll be able to start and complete the 2020 season yet, but Major League Baseball is already moving forward with plans for the 2021 season, releasing next year's schedule two weeks before this unprecedented campaign is set to begin. The Nationals are scheduled to host the Mets on opening day, which falls on April 1. Their opening homestand features three games apiece with division rivals New York and Atlanta. The Nats then hit the road and will serve as the...
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60-game schedule won't produce fair pennant race

60-game schedule won't produce fair pennant race
A 162-game season separates the great teams from the good teams, the good teams from the average teams, the average teams from the bad teams, the bad teams from the truly wretched teams. A 60-game season in which everybody's playing different schedules? Probably not. As foolish as it may be right now to look ahead three months and try to deduce how a season as tenuous as this one is might play out, it's worth at least a little bit of examination. Because even though Major League Baseball will...
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Nats to host Yankees in nationally televised MLB opener

Nats to host Yankees in nationally televised MLB opener
Major League Baseball's attempt to play the 2020 season will begin at Nationals Park with a nationally televised matchup between the reigning World Series champions and the sport's most storied franchise. The Nationals will host the Yankees on July 23 at 7:08 p.m., the first half of an opening night doubleheader on ESPN that - if successfully pulled off - will serve as the highly anticipated return of major professional team sports in America. MLB's shortened, 60-game planned schedule, which...
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How many games are needed for a legitimate season?

How many games are needed for a legitimate season?
We still don't know when - or if - the 2020 Major League Baseball season will begin. We do know it won't be a full, 162-game season, though. Even in a best-case scenario, there's just not enough time to play all 162, not without extending the regular season deep into December and the World Series beyond New Year's Day. That's not happening. So if they play in 2020, it's going to be a shortened season. Which is not unprecedented in MLB history, given past labor disputes. But how many games...
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Schedule design could have big effect on eventual season

Schedule design could have big effect on eventual season
We don't talk about the schedule much in baseball, because it really doesn't matter all that much under normal circumstances. During the course of a 162-game season, every team in the majors is going to play every other team in its division 19 times, every team in its league's two other divisions six or seven times and then 20 interleague games. Sure, teams in tougher divisions - and those that play the toughest division in interleague play - have a little bit of a disadvantage. But rarely...
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Nats to open 2020 at Mets, will face entire AL West

Nats to open 2020 at Mets, will face entire AL West
The Nationals just completed a high-intensity series at Citi Field, and now they already have to start looking ahead to their next trip to Queens - in March. Major League Baseball unveiled its 2020 schedule this afternoon, never mind the fact there are still seven weeks remaining in the highly compelling 2019 season, and it features the earliest opening day in history: March 26. All 30 clubs will be in action on that Thursday, with the Nationals opening up on the road against the Mets for a...
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Nationals' 2019 spring training schedule released

Nationals' 2019 spring training schedule released
There are 4 1/2 weeks to go in the 2018 regular season, not to mention a month's worth of postseason games for those franchises fortunate enough to advance, but Major League Baseball has already unveiled the entire 2019 schedule, including spring training now. MLB released the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules this afternoon, far earlier than has been typical in previous years. It's perhaps appropriate, then, that the spring schedule will start and conclude early as well. With...
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Nats selected for three early-season Sunday night games

Nats selected for three early-season Sunday night games
Catching up on more news during my vacation last week, I see that ESPN unveiled roughly one-half of its "Sunday Night Baseball" slate for the 2018 season. And lo and behold, the Nationals are actually prominently featured in a manner we haven't seen before by the Worldwide Leader in Sports. The Nats were selected to play in three of the first seven "Sunday Night Baseball" games of the season, including the April 8 finale of their opening home series against the Mets. They'll also appear...
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Orioles set home game times with earlier Sunday starts

Orioles set home game times with earlier Sunday starts
The Orioles have announced start times for their 2018 home schedule, and folks attending Sunday games at Camden Yards are going to have to adjust their schedules. Sunday games will now begin at 1:05 p.m., a change from the previous 1:35 p.m. start time. Though games will start a half-hour earlier, Sundays will still be family days at the ballpark, which means fans ages 4-14 will be able to participate in a postgame Kids Run The Bases event, sponsored by Weis Markets. The Orioles will begin the...
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Start times announced for NLDS Games 1 and 2

Start times announced for NLDS Games 1 and 2
The Cubs are the biggest national television draw in baseball right now, so it stood to reason the Nationals would find themselves playing in primetime throughout their first-round postseason showdown with the defending World Series champs. That will be true for Game 1 of the National League Division Series, but the presence of the West Coast's biggest draw in the other half of the bracket is going to lead to an early-evening start on South Capitol Street for Game 2. Major League Baseball...
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