Monday, March 09, 2009

Dave Florida

When I first read Barry Svrluga's post tonight on Nationals Journal--I thought it was a mistake. An error written while hurrying to give fans an update, while still paying attention to the game at hand. Our Washington Nationals were playing The Houston Astros at Space Coast Stadium. Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler were broadcasting tonight's affair on WFED--1500AM, 820 AM & 1050AM. While listening to them, watching The Netherlands play Puerto Rico in a World Baseball Classic Game on The MLB Network (with the sound down--of course) and browsing the internet for the latest Nats News--Barry posts up the following on NJ: Anyone who's seriously interested in this game is likely listening to the dulcet tones of Charlie Slowes and Dave Florida on WFED-1500 AM, but in case NJ is your only outlet, here you go with an early update.

Dave Florida? In the over three years that Svrluga covered Our Washington Nationals, that name had never crossed my way. Honestly, I don't ever recall that nickname for Dave Jageler. So, I really thought Barry had just made an honest mistake. Until, in the very next inning after his blog goes up--Charlie Slowes is on WFED commenting about Barry writing online about Dave's "Alter Ego".

Dave Jageler immediately replies: "Dave Florida--of course."

Obviously, there is some history with that name. And I got to find out how Dave Jageler came to be known as Dave Florida by Barry Svrluga. You can bet, I will be chatting with them about that moniker. It's a good one, and a moment which made the night listening to Spring Training Baseball on the radio again--all the more enjoyable--with Charlie & Dave at the microphones.

Later, The Boys of Summer would go after Barry on his penchant for eating most all lunches at Panera Bread in Viera while on assignment. Which immediately got Svrluga to write in an update that Dave was wearing a "NIFTY STRIPED SHIRT, Slowes a blue golf shirt..."

This threesome was digging at each other--poking fun--and letting their fans in on all the laughter.

When those covering the team, get along, know each other and still have fun at the same time while working--it makes watching and listening to games for Our Washington Nationals "In Viera--Even Better". Having Barry Svrluga back (with Chico Harlan off for one week) recalls some fond memories of Barry always giving his reports--at all hours on Nationals Journal--on DC Baseball from 2005 through the Mid-2008 Season. He was a tireless worker--well appreciated and respected.

It's nice to have him back--if only for a short return engagement.

PS--Of course Charlie & Dave were in Mid-Season Form. With Dave lamenting how in each of the three seasons he has headed down to Viera for Washington Nationals Spring Training--every single Space Shuttle Launch scheduled during his time on the ground in Central Florida has been scrubbed. That has happened again this week, as the latest delay to March 12th--will not allow for Dave Jageler to see this week's evening launch. Charlie immediately goes into this story about how great those night time launches can be. Recalling a trip with his family on a cruise out of Port Canaveral a few years back. Knowing the shuttle would be launched, the Cruise Ship moved out to sea and anchored--allowing all on board to watch from a very special location on deck. While heading from his cabin with his family, some stranger, a lady with the gift of gab--held them up--chatting at the elevator. When they were finally set free, Charlie opens the door leading to the outer deck, only to see The Space Shuttle already in the sky and heading downstream.

Looking to apologize to his oldest son for missing the take off--his son beats Charlie to the punch with: "Yeah, I know Dad, if it wasn't for that old lady in the elevator we would have seen it all!!" Very funny. Charlie & Dave cracking up on the radio.

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


Softball Girl said...

Having Barry back is a treat. Alas, the Nats aren't playing the Marlins this week or we might have wheedled one last Jupiter (the town, not the planet) joke from him.

Hope you don't mind if I ask for some personal advice SBF, but I'm heading down to Florida to watch the Nats this weekend. Is there the traditional batting practice before ST games? And the only game I'll see in Viera is on Sunday. Any reason to head there earlier in the morning (to be able to catch any workouts the team might have, etc.) or am I better off just showing up in time for the 1:05 first pitch?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Softball Girl: Space Coast Stadium Gates open 90 minutes before first pitch. The visiting team is usually having batting practice at that time. The Nationals have completed their hitting.

Down the right field line is The Nationals Bullpen. Many players hang out there before and during the game. The Strength & Conditioning Coaches are working with players down there as well. Anyone can look right down from the stadium walkway above.

There is a field outside the stadium, next to the main entrance. Before most games, those pitchers that are not scheduled to pitch that day, are on that field doing various drills. Earlier in camp, some everyday players were taking batting practice around 8:30AM on this same field. There are also batting cages inside the stadium beyond the right field wall--but there is no access to that part.

Minor League Camp begins this week and those players will be on the four fields a bit farther north up the Stadium Parkway--about a 1/4 mile walk. Those are the fields used by The Nationals when Pitchers/Catchers and Full Squad First Report.

Hope that helps. Thanks

Softball Girl said...

Great help. Thanks SBF!

natsfan1a said...

I believe that the Dave Florida moniker got its start during ST last year. I missed part of the initial broadcast, but the name was referenced in subsequent radio broadcasts throughout the year.

Slangwhanger-in-Chief said...

For those of us unable to peer through the radio or the newspaper pages to visually identify broadcasters and writers, could you tell us who's who in the pictures you posted?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Slangwanger-In-Chief: In the first photo: Dave Jageler is on the left, Charlie Slowes in the middle and me on the right. Thanks.

Jay said...


Is Panera the hang out spot for Nats ST?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Jay: No, Panera Bread is not really a hang out--it just became Svrluga's place in 2005 and subsequent years because it was the first of just a handful of eateries near the ballpark in a shopping center--one minute away in a car--open at the time. Since then, Viera has grown a little more and is becoming suburbia with just about any named chain you can think of.

Cosmo said...

Charlie opened up the very first spring training radio broadcast last season by introducing his partner as "Dave Florida." I think Charlie was excited to be back on the air after the offseason and got ahead of himself in what he had prepared to say. Anyway, they joked about that during the other spring training games and I think during the regular season as well. In fact I was surprised they didn't reference it during the first radio broadcast this year (at least they didn't in the opening, I didn't listen to the whole game).

Screech's Best Friend said...

Cosmo: Yes, I found out today that Barry started calling Dave, Dave Florida, during last year's spring training. And Charlie ran with it from the start of their broadcasts from Viera, last year. It's is very funny. Another of the many reasons they are so enjoyable to listen to. Thanks.

6thandD said...

I like Dave Florida much better than Dave Shea. I wonder why he left after the '05 season.