Saturday, February 21, 2009

You Guys Are Late!!

"You guys are LATE!!" stated Jason Bergmann while walking onto the practice fields in Viera, Florida this morning. "We've been wondering where you guys were."

"Real life got in the way, a certain President has kept us busy" answered SBF.

Jason Bergmann laughed.

Yes, Sohna and I are back again for Spring Training for Our Washington Nationals. On Friday morning February 20, after two delays due to work commitments, we loaded up the home office and headed south to sunny Florida by car again. The only drive on record where we can get on I-95 near own home in Alexandria, Virginia, turn south, and not make a single turn until Space Coast Stadium rises on the horizon--865 Miles and 14 Hours Later.

Yes, we drove all the way again.

Then, this Saturday morning we headed out to Space Coast Stadium and the practice fields for our first look at Version 5.0 of Our Washington Nationals. In fact, this was also a very trim looking Ryan Zimmerman's first day of practice with Version 2009 of Our Washington Nationals. Much more coming later as we just returned from that three hour practice session. As it turned out, today was Picture Day for DC's Team. Everyone wore Home Whites with Red Trim.

Our Manager Manny Acta giving The African Queen a very warm welcome back to Viera upon seeing her. Waving to us from the field as practice began, then stopping to talk to us later. Sohna also happy to see The Most Charismatic Of Men. One of The African Queen's favorite Nationals was in top form--as always.

And of course Radio Broadcaster Charlie Slowes was in Mid-Season Form as well, rattling off one funny quote after another. Not many better than when Charlie ran into new Washington Bullpen Coach Randy Knorr--just promoted from managing Single A Potomac to The Carolina League Championship in 2008:

Charlie: "Randy, I was just dusting off your bobblehead (given away by The P-Nats at a previous game) yesterday at my house."

Randy: (Obviously not liking the look of his bobble) " That was the Worst Day Of My Life!!"

Charlie busting out laughing. It was a totally unexpected and very funny response. When Sohna and I chatted with Randy Knorr later, he mentioned how nice it is to be back in The Majors, but was proud he went out in style at Single A Potomac--leading The Potomac Nationals to The Mills Championship Cup.

Much, much more coming. Our usual interviews with players, coaches, and the points of interest that struck The African Queen and I throughout today and those many practice days to come over the next week or so. 69 Players are in Major League Camp being handled by 20 Major League, Minor League and Special Spring Instructors. There should be plenty to write about.

Yes, as Jason Bergmann said: "You guys are late." But you can be sure The African Queen and I will more than make up for it in the coming days ahead.

All Photos--All Rights Reserved--Nats320

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