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Zimmerman interviews Fauci, plus more Nats notes

Ryan Zimmerman insists he’s got a lot of baseball left in him, but he sure seems to be laying the groundwork for a post-retirement career in broadcasting. It began two weeks ago with the Nationals team Zoom chat, during which Zimmerman turned into something of a co-moderator with MASN’s Dan Kolko and showed an impressive ability to ask teammates pertinent questions while maintaining some control

Reading the tea leaves about various MLB season proposals

It’s still impossible to say with any semblance of certainty when, where or how the 2020 Major League Baseball season will begin. But it doesn’t take a lot of reading between the lines in recent days to recognize the powers that be in this sport strongly believe there will be a 2020 baseball season. The length, format and other particulars of a potential season remain

An all-time Nationals roster - with a twist

Everyone’s putting together “All-Time Best” lists right now. I half expect someone to compile the “All-Time Best All-Time Best List” before the pandemic ends. So, we might as well get into the game here. But we’re going to add a twist to this one. This won’t just be the All-Time Best Nationals Roster. That would be too easy. (Just take a bunch of guys from

State of the Nats roster: Infield

We begin today a periodic look at the state of the Nationals roster at the point spring training was suspended and project how things may look whenever baseball is played again. Up first is the infield ... No aspect of the Nationals roster underwent as much change last winter as the infield. There was only one major departure (Anthony Rendon) but Matt Adams and Brian

Tales from the clubhouse: Stanton’s balk-off

This extended break is offering us a chance to write some stories we wouldn’t normally write and to take a few trips down memory lane. So here’s a trip back in time for you that includes an epic behind-the-scenes story from the postgame clubhouse. Maybe this will be the first of several such stories that can be shared with you until we have real baseball

Rizzo on employee payments, season prep and Nats charities

In addition to paying all full-time employees’ salaries through at least the end of May, the Nationals have not yet discussed asking for the organization’s highest-paid employees to reduce their salaries while baseball is shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. General manager Mike Rizzo, during his regular conference call with reporters today, confirmed the Lerner family’s recent commitment to pay all full-time employees full salary

Nats commit to pay full-time employees through at least May 31

The Nationals informed full-time employees they will continue to receive full pay and benefits through at least the end of May, a source familiar with the decision confirmed. Following the lead of nearly every other major league organization in recent days, Nationals ownership sent an email out to all full-time employees Thursday with news they will continue to be paid through May 31. The club

After “magical” fall, Rizzos adapt to spring of confinement

Mike Rizzo spends his life in motion. If he’s not in his office at Nationals Park, he’s in the clubhouse meeting with the coaching staff. Or he’s on the field watching batting practice from right behind the cage. Or he’s on the team charter flying to nearly every road game during a season. Or on the rare occasions he’s not with the big league club,

Nationals trivia quiz: Highs and lows

How well do you know your Nationals history? If you tried our two previous trivia quizzes (the first highlighting opening days, the second all about the postseason), you may already have an idea just how proficient you are at these things. But whether you aced those quizzes or failed them spectacularly, it’s time to get back on the horse and give it another try. Today

Zimmerman willing to play in empty parks, but has other concerns

As various proposals to play an abridged and altered Major League Baseball season get leaked, and the sporting public debates the practicalities and merits of them all, we must remind ourselves of the following key point: Eventually, MLB is going to have to make an official proposal for the 2020 season. And then the players are going to have to agree to it. And the

Zimmermans grateful for new charity support, double goal

Ryan and Heather Zimmerman were a couple of weeks into their unexpected spring together at home with nowhere to go when they started wondering what they could do to help their community through the coronavirus pandemic. They immediately thought of the doctors, nurses and other health care workers who were being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, didn’t have enough personal protective equipment and didn’t have enough

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

Which pre-2019 Nats team should have won the World Series?

What’s the best team in Nationals history? The one that actually won the World Series. Duh. But it’s worth remembering the 2019 Nats only went 93-69 during the regular season. Four previous clubs won more games than that: the 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 clubs. Those four teams, of course, lost in the National League Division Series, often in agonizing fashion. And so they’re forever

Why the Nats’ team Zoom chat captivated us so much

What would you have thought if someone told you a month ago you’d be spending four hours on the night of April 14 watching two dozen players, coaches and others from the 2019 Nationals hold a video conference call with each other while (sort of) re-watching Game 7 of the World Series? Or that it would be the most enjoyable thing you’ve watched in the

Wednesday morning Nats Q&A

Well, we’ve completed the re-watch of the entire 2019 postseason. And it was capped off last night not only with the reairing of Game 7 of the World Series on MASN, but a once-in-a-lifetime Zoom chat with about two dozen Nationals players, coaches and broadcasters. If you missed any or all of it, the full four-hour video is still up. Major props to Ryan Zimmerman

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 7

(Note: You can watch Game 7 of the World Series tonight on MASN at 7 p.m.) There’s a strange anticipation to Game 7 of the World Series that doesn’t exist any other day of the year. It’s the ultimate game, and so there’s excitement for the prospect of that. But it’s also guaranteed to be the final game of the year, so there’s a tinge

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 6

(Note: You can watch Game 6 of the World Series tonight on MASN at 7 p.m. Eastern time.) Man, oh, man, did a lot of stuff happen in this game. I mean, this one game alone included Alex Bregman carrying his bat to first base after homering, then Juan Soto responding by doing the exact same thing. It had Stephen Strasburg tipping his pitches in

Sunday morning tidbits

A random assortment of tidbits for you on this Sunday morning with no baseball ... * We put the World Series re-watch on hold for a couple of days so we could line up the final two games with MASN’s rebroadcast schedule. So look for my re-watch article about Game 6 on Monday morning, with MASN showing the game at 7 p.m. Then I’ll have

Nationals employee tested positive, completed quarantine

A Nationals employee who was with the club during spring training in West Palm Beach tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home, has completed quarantine and is now symptom-free, general manager Mike Rizzo revealed today during his regular, weekly conference call with reporters. The male employee, whose name was not revealed, tested positive “well after we shut down the facilities in West Palm Beach and

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 5

As fans began entering Nationals Park for Game 5 of the World Series, a few thoughts probably were foremost on everyone’s minds ... * The home team had to win one of these games eventually, right? * The fact that Max Scherzer was starting for the Nationals should help make that happen, right? No. And no. Not even close. The home team would not win

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 4

If Game 3 of the World Series was the most frustrating four hours of the Nationals’ entire postseason run, what was Game 4? Awfully frustrating in its own right, that’s what it was. There weren’t as many squandered opportunities at the plate as there were the previous night, but there were more than a few. And though the final score (an 8-1 Astros victory) was

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 3

Has there ever been more excitement and anticipation for a Nationals game than there was on the evening of Oct. 25, 2019, when the World Series came to D.C. for the first time since 1933? This was an event some weren’t entirely sure would ever take place. Then throw in the not-insignificant fact the Nats went into Game 3 up two games to none on

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 2

Honest opinion: What was your reasonable, best-case scenario for the Nationals in the first two games of the World Series? Maybe you had a pie-in-the-sky dream of snatching both games from the Astros and returning to D.C. flying high, but realistically you just wanted to see them win one of two on the road. Especially when those two games were started by Gerrit Cole and

Home confinement re-watch: 2019 World Series Game 1

The Nationals and their fans waited a long time to reach the World Series for the first time. So, really, who was going to complain about the extra six days they had to wait after sweeping the National League Championship Series before finally taking the field in Houston for their first appearance in the Fall Classic? The long layoff may have been a dominant storyline

What matters to you: More games or fewer changes?

I feel like I’ve already said this countless times over the last three weeks, but let’s state it again for the record: As much as we all want to project when the baseball season (or any other sport’s season) will begin, it’s pointless right now. There’s simply no way to know with any certainty when the world will be safe enough for sporting events and

Union creates fund for non-roster players in big league camps

The agreement struck last week between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association ensured all players on 40-man rosters would be paid a partial salary even if there’s no 2020 season. But what about longtime big league players who aren’t currently on 40-man rosters? That group was taken care of Friday when the union voted to establish an assistance fund for players with major

Friday morning Nats Q&A

First things first: Yes, we will start up the World Series re-watch soon. Just taking a little break after the National League Championship Series (but not as long as the six-day break the Nationals actually took). In the meantime, this feels like a good opportunity to chat with all of you. Obviously, these are not normal circumstances for baseball - but more importantly, for the

Lamenting what should have been a glorious home opener

When opening day came and went last week with no baseball, we all shed a tear and wondered when we’ll finally get a chance to celebrate the most glorious unofficial holiday on the North American calendar. In the week since, we’ve mostly turned our attention back to the far more important matter affecting the entire globe right now, the ramifications of which are just now

Nationals trivia quiz: Postseason

After clinching their first National League pennant in October, the Nationals had to wait six days before taking the field again for Game 1 of the World Series. Our break between re-watches of the NL Championship Series and World Series won’t be that long, but we are going to take a couple of days off before diving back into the epic, seven-game showdown with the

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