It started again just the other day. First was MLB.com's Mark Bowman's article, "Francoeur sees Braves in title hunt", in which the Atlanta Braves' right fielder completely dismisses the Washington Nationals (and Florida Marlins) by responding to Carlos Beltran and Jimmy Rollins' bold predictions about each players teams' chances in the NL East this season by saying:
"'I'm not going to sit here and make predictions, but I feel like our team is just as good as the other two teams in our division,' Francoeur said."
The Braves' blog here at the SBN, "Talking Chop" starts a recent post entitled, "Nationals Announce Newest Non-Roster Invitee", by writing:
"I realize it may be classless for me to pick on a perennial loser, but I say kick 'em while they're down."
That's right, he's talking about the Washington Nationals, "perennial loser(s)" according to the "talkingchop.com", who are so desperate for starting pitching that the infant Ross Detwiler is holding in his arms (in the picture included in the post) is actually a non-roster invitee pitching at the '08 Nationals' camp.
Alright. That's actually pretty funny. But will it be funny when Ross Detwiler is blowing fastballs by Andruw Jones this sea...Oh that's right. Sorry. But, Seriously...Start Glavine in an important game in September. Go ahead...
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Sports writer Mike Berardino writes in the Sporting News Baseball 2008 magazine feature, "One for the road?", which predicts how the standings will look in the NL East next September, and also takes a quick look back and then forward at what lies ahead for each NL East team, that:
"The Nationals probably surprised even themselves by winning 73 games, finishing fourth in the division and outplaying four N.L. teams overall (as well as tying the Astros.)
"Moving into a gleaming new stadium on the banks of the Anacostia River should only increase this era of good feelings, but the days when Manny Acta's club contends for a playoff spot are still a few years away."
Baseball writers around the country were surprised by the Nationals' success last season, especially after most were predicting a 100-loss season in DC in '07...then the Nationals add Paul Lo Duca, Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Tyler Clippard, Aaron Boone, Wily Mo Pena, Matt Whitney, Garrett Guzman, Willie Harris and Odalis Perez to their roster this winter, and have what Baseball America called the Best Draft of '07, and they still get no respect from the other teams in the NL East...
Elijah Dukes reminded everyone why he was such a highly-regarded prospect at batting practice today, according to Bill Ladson's MLB.com article entitled, "Dukes draws raves, support", in which Mr. Ladson writes:
"Some of the balls that Dukes hit went a long way. Some of them landed near batting cages which were about 340 feet away from home plate.
"Dukes, 23, said he was feeding off Wily Mo Pena and Lastings Milledge, who were also in his hitting group. They, too, were putting on power displays.
"Having guys like Lastings and Pena helped, too," Dukes said. "They are hitting that ball hard. It was like, 'All right, I can't be looking like the wimp of the group,' you know what I mean? So you have to come with your 'A' game. That's a good thing, too. We feed off each other. That's how it's going to be all year."
...In Keith Olbermann's "Oddball" video section of his nightly news broadcast on MSNBC, he did a quick piece on the Washington Nationals' "Presidents Race" about the tryous for the mascots "or second base," Olbermann joked, which were held recently at RFK Stadium. If you don't know about the Presidents Race(s) at Nationals' home games, check out... letteddywin.com
*ALSO* In a MAJOR development in the continuing P.E.D. scandal...They may have just found the "Zapruder Film" of the Clemens'/Steroid story, according to MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom's article, "Report: Photo shows Clemens at party."