• Programming Note: Tonight's 7:05 pm EST game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, live in Port St. Lucie, Florida's Digital Domain Park is unavailable for viewing or listening to anyone outside of the Sunshine State. The game is, however, available in live box score form via MLB.com's Gameday and At Bat 11 app for anyone who wants to follow along with us here in the gamethread later today. Trust me, it makes following an updating box score a lot more interesting...
• LINKS AND LINKS AND...
• NATS BEAT:
• "Nationals are due some luck on their ‘question marks’" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
Recently, Nats General Manager Mike Rizzo looked at the sea of players in Viera, Fla., and said, "We’re due to get lucky. Since we came to town, we haven’t been lucky on even one important player."
Rizzo was a career scout. So is his dad. This is blasphemy. What about player evaluation and development or even statistical analysis? Nope. "Just lucky," he said. "Everybody has to have some of that, too."
• "The meat of Strasburg's rehab will come after the Nationals leave town; he'll be left in the Florida heat, eventually throwing bullpen sessions and pitching simulated games to minor leaguers." - "A Stephen Strasburg rehab update." - MASN's Ben Goessling
• "The Nationals are off and running." - Nationals Journal - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
• "'The changeup is my best pitch. It was getting swinging strikes. The slider was looking good, but I only threw it a couple of times. I threw it to a lefty and it was a swinging third strike.'" - Nats' 2010 pick Robbie Ray - "Prospect Ray 'opening up eyes' with solid start." - MASN's Byron Kerr
• "Offseason winners and losers: National League." - Ken Davidoff, New York Newsday:
4. Washington. I think the Jayson Werth contract was remarkably dumb, but he still is Jayson Werth, and perhaps he can provide a short-term boost. Then again, maybe he'll be absolutely miserable as the face of a last-place team. The starting rotation still looks quite bad.
• "As I wrote in this space recently, I still have this nagging thought that Pudge is going to end up in someone else's uniform when all is said and done." - "Ramos looks like a regular." - MASN's Phil Wood
• "'I think Bryce has been taught the strike zone from a very young age,' said Riggleman, 'because he knows the strike zone.'" - "Bryce Harper shows there's much to like in first Spring Training." - MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince
• "Inbox: Storen losing his grip on closer role?." - MLB.com's Bill Ladson
Q: Is it too early to say Drew Storen lost his chance of being the team's closer? -- Alex C., Montreal A: The question should be whether Storen is losing his chance to be on the 25-man roster.
• Today's Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others is the ultimate source of success in life."
• This Day in D.C. Baseball History - Wounded Veteran gets a Try Out." - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News
"Bert Shepard, a one legged veteran of World War II, tries out as a pitcher for the Washington Senators. The Senators owner Clark Griffith was so impressed with Shepard that he hired him as the team’s pitching coach."
• "Lane Frost: [about marriage] ... I guess it's like SHARK Ridin'. You gotta stay on and try not to get bucked off.'" Luke Perr, I mean Lane Frost in 8 Seconds - Sharkadina, Street Shark: Roger Bernadina's Unofficial Blog: "SHARK RIDING CONTEST!"
• "Move over Secretariat: Stephen Strasburg gave an update on his progress..." - The Nationals Enquirer: Stephen Strasburg dreams of becoming a horse
• Beer, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems. - "The Great Beer Investigation" - MissChatter : The Chatter Files
• "Nats Get Cat Scratched By The Kittens." - DangerNat, Nationals Inquisition
• "Offensive Keyhole : Ian Desmond." - Harper, Nationals Baseball
• NL EAST:
• Mets: "Spring Snapshot: Mets hone their skills, ignore ownership chaos." - Yahoo!Sports' David Brown - Big League Stew - MLB Blog - Yahoo! Sports
• Mets: "Mets utility player Willie Harris is hungry for a roster spot." - Zach Berman, NJ.com
• Phillies: "As far as dustups on the baseball diamond go, this one was relatively mild. They usually are in the Grapefruit League. That is, until Bill Hall opened his mouth when the game ended." - "Phillies Notes: Hamels, Hall play a little hardball." - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer