But Before The GAME THREAD...
Who Wants Nick Johnson?!!
ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian tells the Washington Nationals what they should do to make room in their overcrowded outfield in his column "K Korner" in the most recent newsstand edition of ESPN the Magazine, where Mr. Kurkjian writes:
"Their best move would be to trade the oft-injured Nick Johnson, who is still coveted by a bunch of ball clubs. That would allow the Nats to shift the 6'6'', 275-pound Dunn to first."
There's no word or hint as to which teams are part of the "bunch" Mr. Kurkjian mentions, unfortunately, since the Oakland A's, who are the one team that has openly expressed an interest in at least reviewing Johnson's medical records, already have Jason Giambi, Daric Barton and utility man Nomar Garciappara on the depth chart at first...and they signed Orlando Cabrera as well, traded for Matt Holliday...are they really gonna give up major league ready bullpen help in return for Nick Johnson now?
Which other teams have an opening at first? Should we just assume that somehow Nick Johnson ends up in Seattle, like so many old Expos and Nationals before him who've gone as far west as possible once they left the franchise...? The Mariners have Russell Branyan pencilled in at first base, however, and Ken Griffey as the DH/OF, and the Mariners were a pretty bad, expensive team least season, whose experience with the injured pitcher Erik Bedard might make them shy away from the oft-injured Johnson...
Who wants Nick Johnson? And what do I have to do to convince the Nationals that they should NOT TRADE NICK JOHNSON!!! There were rumors of the Red Sox' interest in acquiring Johnson earlier this month...Do Not Trade Nick Johnson. Who wants Nick Johnson?
(ed. note - "The most recent newsstand edition of ESPN the Magazine also has a lengthy article by Jorge Arangure Jr. and Luke Cyphers entitled, "It's Not All Sun & Games", which is about the system in place in the Dominican Republic to produce prospects for Major League Baseball, and they make a brief mention of the Former Nationals' GM in the article, noting that, 'On March 1, Washington GM Jim Bowden resigned days after the team fired Jose Rijo, who helped run the club's Dominican operation.'")
The Nationals vs The Hated Mets...GAME THREAD...
1:05 pm EST from Port St. Lucie, Florida's Tradition Field where Washington and New York meet for the fifth time this Spring. DC starter John "Cool Hand" Lannan pitched against the Mets last Sunday, so, according to Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga, in an Nationals Journal post entitled, "A Lineup Suited For A Night, Road, Grapefruit League game,":
"John Lannan will throw in a minor league in Viera rather than facing the Mets. That duty will go to Shairon Martis. This will prevent the Mets from getting another look at Lannan before the season starts."
Shairon Martis has pitched 4.0 scoreless innings this Spring, allowing just 1.0 hit while striking out 4, this will, however, be his first start. And it's going to be Martis vs Mike Pelfrey, who starts for first time since he suffered a muscle strain in his left leg about a week back, but according to MLB.com Marty Noble's article entitled, "Pelfrey set to return Saturday", the hard throwing right-hander is fine, as Mr. Noble notes simply, "Pelfrey's injury -- characterized as unusual by the trainers -- is no longer an issue."
Nationals vs Mike Pelfrey...
Elijah Dukes - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Jesus Flores - 2 for 4, .500 AVG, 1 2B, 1 RBI.
Austin Kearns - 5 for 16, .313 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Josh Willingham - 3 for 10, .300 AVG, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Ryan Zimmerman - 5 for 24, .208 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.
Who's Watching The Nationals?
An eyewitness report by Charlie Wilmoth from Bucs Dugout, the SBN's Pittsburgh Pirates blog, entitled, "Stephen Strasburg: A Report."