Saturday, February 21, 2009
A Formidable Front Line
"They all look so big!!," exclaimed The African Queen as Our Washington Nationals warmed up on field Number One at their Training Complex in Viera, Florida this morning.
"And athletic too--something not seen since we've been coming here," replied SBF.
Thom Loverro of The Washington Times chiming in: "If they had John Patterson and Jon Rauch still on the team, their Front Line would be formidable!! (Laughing).
And it's true. There is size to the 2009 Version Of Our Washington Nationals. Everywhere you look around The Space Coast Stadium Practice Fields there are athletic players waiting to don a Major League Uniform in 2009. Non-Roster Invitee Destin Hood is a Man-Child. Even Pitcher Shawn Hill agrees with the stark difference.
"When we played The Mets in the past, it was clearly noticeable. New York had these big athletes that seem to make our guys look puny. And I am not saying that in any disrespectful way. It's was just the way it was. Look at us now. Wily Mo Pena is a big guy--huge. Yet, Adam Dunn TOWERS OVER HIM!!" And that's very true too--just look at the picture above.
Radio Broadcaster Charlie Slowes stating: "When you see other players standing next to Dunn and Pena, you have to take a double take to make sure they are actual Major League Players in uniform standing next to them." Charlie going on to state: "Also sort of reminds me of those winter basketball pick-up teams they use to put together in their past off-seasons. Washington could post up on anybody now--Willie Harris could even play point guard."
Look at Dmitri Young--now having lost nearly 35 pounds. "Dmitri is getting back in shape," WTOP's Craig Heist telling Sohna and I, "He just needs to get back into baseball shape now."
Now look in our pitching department--Daniel Cabrera is 6'9"; Scott Olsen and Ross Detwiler at 6'5"; Jason Bergmann, John Lannan, Steven Shell and Joel Hanrahan all at 6'4".
In the field--Adam Dunn at 6'6" and a very healthy looking 275 lbs. Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Johnson at 6'3". Justin Maxwell may well have grown a few more inches too--now listed at 6'5". Sohna can't get over how mature Justin and many other of our younger players look. In total, 24 players on the 40-Man Roster are listed at 6'2" or taller.
What a difference in stature from Washington Teams from our past four seasons. Josh Willingham saying this is the most athletic team he has EVER played on. Whether the size, strength and athletic proficiency of Our Washington Nationals will transfer over to more wins on the field--has yet to be determined. But no one can deny Washington does not have a very large group of athletically talented players ready for ball games this coming season.
"We do have some good athletic talent," stated Our Manager Manny Acta when Sohna and I were chatting with him after practice today. "We are looking pretty good with guys that can put some fear in other teams." Manny also pretty taken with Adam Dunn--just like every Washington player we spoke to today. Dunn's presence, both on the field, and in the clubhouse--has energized his new teammates--after just three days of spring practice.
Maybe soon--coming to ball game near you, Our Washington Nationals will have a Fearsome Foursome of their very own--sluggers and pitchers that make every team in The Major Leagues--shutter at their very presence.
A Formidable Front Line for Our Washington Nationals--Thom Loverro may well have seen the truth.
"I think we are ready to crush The Philadelphia Phillies," said Sohna to Shawn Hill.
Our Number 41 responding: "It's not like we haven't competed against The Mets and The Phillies in the past--but now we have the players with the size--and the talent--to take over games."
That sounds pretty formidable to me.
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