Thursday, January 10, 2008

Charlie's Back/Winter Caravan

In this morning's press release from Our Washington Nationals giving details of their Winter Caravan--with little fanfare--Charlie Slowes is named as Host of Ceremonies on the "First Leg" of the scheduled events from January 12th through 17th.

More than anything else listed on the release--the fact that Charlie Slowes is back in the fold, along with Dave Jageler--on the radio--brought a warm smile to my face this January Morning.

Now--lets work on a Real FanFest, with as many players as possible (including the High Profile Ones) for next Winter--2009--with access to all fans wishing to participate.

Here's the Press Release Details:



Nationals Manager, Players, Front Office Executives and Broadcast Personalities Travel the Beltway for 10 Days

The Washington Nationals today announced the schedule for their 2008 Winter Tour. The teams’ third winter event since their return to Washington in 2005 will be conducted in two phases, with the first running from Saturday, January 12 through Thursday, January 17. Manager Manny Acta, infielder Aaron Boone and pitchers Jason Bergmann and John Lannan will participate in the first leg, with events moderated by Nationals’ Radio Broadcaster Charlie Slowes. The team will begin the second portion on Thursday, January 24, concluding the appearances on Monday, January 28. Nationals Mascot “Screech” and the Racing Presidents will also participate in the slate of activities.

“The 2008 Winter Tour is an opportunity for the Nationals family to reach out to the Greater Washington community prior to the kick off of the 2008 season,” said Team President Stan Kasten. The team will attend a variety of events, including, but not limited to, school appearances and book donations, autograph sessions and hospital visits. Following the conclusion of the tour, Nationals players will report to Viera, Fl for the start of Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers will report to camp on Friday, February 15 and position players will follow on Wednesday, February 20.

Media Alerts with details on each event and its participants will be distributed daily throughout the tour. A schedule for the Washington Nationals 2008 Winter Tour is attached. Additional players will be named for the second series of events.




Participating Players, Manager and Front Office Staff

Manager Manny Acta January 14-17

Pitcher Mike Bacsik January 24-26

Pitcher Jason Bergmann January 12-16

Infielder Aaron Boone January 12

Pitcher John Lannan January 14-16

President Stan Kasten January 12

Nationals Mascot “Screech” and the Racing Presidents


Washington Nationals Radio Broadcaster Charlie Slowes January 12-16

Saturday, January 12

9:00am – 5:00pm*

NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, Washington, DC

*Noon – 3:00pm

Players Skills Demonstration, Q&A and Autograph Session

Sunday, January 13

9:00am – 5:00pm*

NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, Washington, DC

*1:00pm – 3:00pm

Players Skills Demonstration, Q&A and Autograph Session

Monday, January 14

9:00am – 11:00am

Food & Friends, Washington, DC

Players will assist in food preparation for delivery later that day.

Tuesday, January 15

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC

The team will donate toys to the hospital and visit with patients

6:00pm – 7:00pm*

Autograph Session at Washington Capitals Game, Washington, DC

Thursday, January 17

6:00pm – 10:00pm

Smart CEO Future 50, Washington, DC

Manny Acta will serve as keynote speaker

Thursday, January 24

11:00am – 1:30pm

National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

5:00pm – 7:00pm

Gifford’s Ice Cream and Candy Co. Washington, DC

Players will serve ice cream to customers

Friday, January 25

10:00am – 11:30am

William Wirt School Assembly, Riverdale, MD

School assembly and book donation to school library

Saturday, January 26

11:30am – 2:00pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Prince William County, VA

Youth Clinic

Sunday, January 27

12:00pm – 3:00pm

Autograph Session at Washington Auto Show, Washington DC

Monday, January 28

10:00am – 11:30am

Arlington County Public School Visit

School assembly and book donation to school library


Anonymous said...

Great news about Charlie - THANK YOU NATIONALS!

Interesting about January 28 - Arlington doesn't have school that day. It's a teacher work-day. Wonder how that's going to work.

Anonymous said...

Great News is it is true about Charlie. You would have expected something official from Nats if it was done.

The trend I see is a continuation of the embarrassingly inept marketing and operational side of the Nats FO at work here. Does this look like a world class organizations work to you Stan? I am guessing he is hot that the Charlie bit is out there without being intended or perhaps even accurate (give past history with Nats Marketing people)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Charlie!

BOO, to the Winter Caravan!

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Trendline, I suspect that Stan Kasten probably didn't think that re-signing Charlie Slowes wasn't that big a deal. If he and the Lerners did, I'm sure there would be a separate news conference devoted to the radio team.

As far as the "winter caravan" goes, I--like you--wish there was a larger FanFest, but I will take what I can get. Monday is my fortieth birthday and although a part of me would like to go to one of the planned Nats activities that day, I'll probably go to Hooters of Harborplace instead.

Anonymous said...

We need a real Fan Fest. Including having our young rising superstars.

An Briosca Mor said...

I wonder how many people complaining about there not being a FanFest this year are aware of the true nature of such events? Here's what was posted on about the FanFest being held this winter by Stan Kasten's former team. From the Braves (quote):

Braves FanFest
January 12-13, 2008
Georgia World Congress Center

The Braves have over 40 current, former, and future Braves players confirmed to attend and participate in various interactive activities including skills clinics, autograph sessions, photo stations and more.

Braves FanFest Auction
Fans looking to meet as many players as possible will want to bid on FanFest's Elite Pass, which allows holders of the pass a separate and quicker entrance to all FanFest player sessions and activities. The Braves are accepting bids for the Elite Pass now!

They list at least 35 players as attending including all the big stars. Tickets are $12 for one day and $18 for both days.

Note that last bit: Tickets are $12 for one day and $18 for both days. Obviously, these FanFest events are not intended to recruit new fans, rather they are a way for the team to wring more money out of existing fans. No doubt the players who are appearing are being compensated for being there. They are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or to "give back" to the fans.

Are you complainers really so upset about missing out on yet another opportunity to hand Stan Kasten some of your money? At least the Winter Caravan events, or those that are open to the public anyway, are either free or cost no more than the events they are piggybacked on (e.g. the auto show). So, if you complain about them giving the fans that little bit, at least be glad they're giving you somthing rather than wanting to take more of your money just for the privilege of standing in line to get an autograph or say hello to a player.

Anonymous said...

Ummm...I would love for the opportunity to pay $18 to meet 35 or so Nationals. I think that's what most people are hoping for....

Anonymous said...

Barry is reporting (for once) that Charlie does not have a contract.....Nats front office has no idea what is going on again.....Nice work Stan.....

Screech's Best Friend said...

The ongoing Charlie situation is just odd to me. This now sort of reminds me of a football player showing up for spring workouts without a contract--hoping to impress--although worried he might injure himself.

Charlie doesn't have anything to prove to me. Hopefully, the latest snag is just lawyers working the paperwork.

But, it is odd.

An Briosca Mor said...

Re Charlie Slowes, it's pretty clear to me that he's asking for more than the Nats are willing or able to give him. Probably a long-term deal, and it may well be that the team or the radio network does not want to give him a deal that's longer in term than the current deal between the team and the radio network. I don't think it's a case of the team not wanting him back, or of him not wanting to come back. But the only leverage he has to get what he wants is to hold out, as he is doing. I'm sure his agent is out beating the bushes for offers from other teams so he can use them to hold the Nats' feet to the fire, but obviously no other offers have landed on his doorstep yet. He may be working the caravan without a contract, as Svrluga reports, but I'm sure he's getting paid for the gig. And if the stalemate goes clear up to the time that he needs to be in the radio booth, he'll surely sign a one-year deal (or a longer deal, if the Nats have offered him one) only to repeat the process of trying to get a better deal the next time his contract opens up.

If the Nats truly didn't want him back, they wouldn't be hiring him to work the caravan, they'd use Carpenter or Sutton or Jageler instead while looking behind the scenes for his replacement. And if Charlie really didn't want to come back, he wouldn't be doing the caravan gig - unless he's near broke and desperate for cash, but if that was the case he'd have taken whatever offer the Nats have put on the table for him. Rest assured, Charlie will be back this year. The only thing that could possibly muck that up is if some other team swoops in with a tremendous offer for him that he just can't refuse. But with each passing day, that prospect gets less and less likely. Pitchers and catchers report next month, games that require broadcasters start soon after, so if other teams were intending to make a change in their booths, they'd be doing it now if they haven't already done it.

And the Nats FO is not clueless on this situation as some have said. They are simply following their longstanding policy of not commenting on the status of ongoing negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you and your family.

A new year means a new season coming very soon! I am writting because I am very happy the Nats are doing the winter caravan but VERY DISAPOINTED because they will not becoming to Richmond this year.

Last year two of my good friends and my (at the time 5) year old cousin went to the caravan and got our picture with Zim and the crew. I know that there are a bunch of people I know here in the Richmond area that our sad the Nats will not becoming coming down I-95 to say hello to us. I was wondering if you could send me an email address of somebody myself and othere Richmond Nats fans could write to tell the nationals how sad we are that we wont be getting a visit and may be hopefully NEXT SEASON we can get back on the caravan list!

Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

vcukyle: Hope this helps you.