clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' #NatsFest; Stephen Strasburg 5K; New Racing President?

The Washington Nationals held #NatsFest this weekend, welcoming 7,000 fans to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where they met with players, learned about Danny Espinosa's torn rotator cuff and were introduced to the newest Racing President. NatsFest and weekend in review... in link form....

The Washington Nationals held their #NatsFest in the nation's capital this weekend, welcoming 7,000 fans to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The Washington Nationals held their #NatsFest in the nation's capital this weekend, welcoming 7,000 fans to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Photo Courtesy of @NationalsPR On Twitter

The Washington Nationals held their winter "NatsFest" this weekend, with 7,000 Nats fans turning out at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to meet their favorite players, talk to Nationals' executives and witness the unveiling of the newest contestant in the Presidents Race, one William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States. Here's how the Nationals (who take this stuff VERY seriously) announced the newest addition to the 4th inning tradition in a press release this weekend:

"Chosen for his competitive streak and the indelible mark he left on the national pastime, Taft holds the distinction of throwing out the first Presidential Ceremonial First Pitch on April 14, 1910 at Griffith Stadium in D.C. Legend has it he also accidentally inspired the seventh-inning stretch.

"A law expert, historian and staunch follower of the Constitution, Taft was hand-selected by President Theodore Roosevelt to serve as his successor. After his presidency, Taft became the 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and is the only person to have served both as U.S. President and Chief Justice.

"Known as the 'Big Chief,' Bill will no doubt use his mighty stature to strike fear in his racing opponents."

The other big story to come out of NatsFest was the news on Danny Espinosa's torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Espinosa first talked about the injury, which wasn't diagnosed until the season was over, during an ESPN980 interview on Friday, but he "broke" the news to reporters the next afternoon when he and his beard appeared at NatsFest. Long Story Short: Espinosa learned he had a more severe injury than the mid-September MRI he had revealed, but he opted against having surgery and rehabbed his shoulder all winter so he'd be ready for Spring Training: Good decision? Bad decision? Internet doctors everywhere are sharing their opininons. (ed. note - "I'm told not everyone with a medical opinion on the internet claiming to be a doctor is really a doctor. There should be a disclaimer somewhere.") Here's the news from NatsFest in case you weren't there or weren't paying attention this weekend... Links and Lots of them, Starting RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "'Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,' Nationals COO Andy Feffer said late Friday." - "Nats will name William Howard Taft new racing president" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog/Washington Post


• "He has been on a rehab program since October, strengthening the muscles around a rotator cuff he said is 'almost completely torn,' and will have no restrictions has he heads into spring training." - "Danny Espinosa played with torn rotator cuff in 2012, will be ready for spring training" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Danny] Espinosa said if he had surgery, he would have missed two months of the regular season. He avoided surgery by rehabbing the shoulder all offseason." - "Washington Nationals' Danny Espinosa says he's dealing with torn rotator cuff" - Bill Ladson, News

• "'It's already torn,' [Danny] Espinosa said. 'So as long as I just keep up with my maintenance on my other muscles around the shoulder, I should be fine.'" - "Espinosa will play with torn rotator cuff" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "The rotator cuff is torn almost completely off the bone, but instead of having surgery to repair the muscle, which would have caused him to miss the first two months of the season, Espinosa opted to rehab the injury." - "Nationals Pastime: Espinosa played with torn rotator cuff last season" - Dan Kolko,

• "'I knew something was wrong,' [Danny] Espinosa said Saturday. 'The cortisone shot masked me for a little bit. Everyone kept asking me ‘Is your shoulder okay? Is your shoulder okay?'" - "Danny Espinosa says he played with torn rotator cuff" - Eric Detweiler, Washington Post

• "'At the end of the season last year, that was one of things that I was dealing with: strength. I didn't have the strength,' said Werth..." - "Jayson Werth still gaining strength in wrist, ready to move out of leadoff spot" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• "But with the addition of Denard Span, [Jayson] Werth will move down to the middle of the order – most likely sixth – and that's fine with him." - "Werth's wrist still not at full strength" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Jayson Werth on Danny Espinosa's super beard: 'I think he looks fantastic! I wish more guys would do it.'" - "Nationals Pastime: Werth: 'I think we've got the best team in baseball" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann, who is represented by the SFX Baseball Group, lets his agents handle the contract talks but stays up-to-date on any negotiations." - "Zimmermann, Rizzo on contract talks" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Arbitration hearings are set to begin Feb. 4, and parties can continue to negotiate until then, though Zimmermann said talks are 'kind of hung up right now.'" - "Jordan Zimmermann in no rush for deal to avoid arbitration" - Eric Detweiler, Washington Post

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann also said that he would be interested in a multi-year deal, but wants to get the one-year deal done first." - "Zimmermann, Nats not close to contract agreement" - Bill Ladson, News

• "'We're kind of hung up right now,' [Jordan] Zimmermann said Saturday, with both he and general manager Mike Rizzo reiterating their desire to reach an agreement without going to a hearing.'" - "Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond on the possibility of multi-year deals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "But through talking it out, both [Drew] Storen and [Tyler] Clippard found a way it can be good for the team and eventually positive for them individually as well." - "Storen, Clippard try to move on" - Chase Hughes,

• "[Mike] Rizzo personally spoke to Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard and said that he had discussions with the two relievers about their roles and how the team views them after the signing of closer Rafael Soriano." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo on All-Star Game, Vasquez, Zimmermann, more" - Dan Kolko,

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• "General Manager Mike Rizzo drafted [Justin] Upton with the first overall pick in 2005 as the Diamondbacks’ scouting director, and he believes Upton is a great addition for the Braves..." - "Mike Rizzo on the Justin Upton trade, Javier Vazquez, long-term deals" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The last time he was in front of a crowd of Nationals fans, [Drew] Storen suffered arguably his darkest moment on a mound." - "Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard accept new Nats bullpen reality" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Drew] Storen found out about [Rafael] Soriano while looking at Twitter. He then called [Tyler] Clippard to tell him the news." - "Storen excited about Nationals' bullpen depth" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Despite being an established major league starter after winning the National League Rookie of the Year last season, [Bryce] Harper doesn't seem himself needing to do anything differently this spring." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from Harper on declining to play in WBC, lineup positioning" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Denard] Span is still getting used to being on a new team after being in the Minnesota Twins’ organization since being drafted in 2002." - "Span ready to connect with D.C." - Chase Hughes,

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• "Looking noticeably more muscular, [Bryce] Harper met the local media on Saturday for the first time in months..." - "Bryce Harper excited by Nationals’ offseason moves" - Eric Detweiler, Washington Post

• "'I think it was just too serious of at-bats for right now,' [Bryce] Harper said of declining the WBC invite." - "Bryce Harper declined invite to WBC to keep focus on preparing for Nationals' season" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Looking noticeably more muscular, [Bryce] Harper met the local media on Saturday for the first time in months..." - "Bryce Harper excited by Nationals’ offseason moves" - Eric Detweiler, Washington Post

• "Jayson Werth says that his left wrist, which he broke early last May, is not completely healed, but feels good enough that he can play and still be effective." - "Nationals Pastime: Extending the conversation about extensions" - Dan Kolko,

• "10. Chris Marrero, Nationals: Marrero worked hard, moving up the Nats' ladder slowly after being a first-round pick out of high school back in 2006." - "Prospect Watch: Top 10 first basemen" - Jonathan Mayo, News

• "[Drew] Storen emerged from his offseason on Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where nearly 5,000 fans gathered for the the team’s Nats Fest." - "Drew Storen emerges from long offseason at Washington Nationals’ fan festival" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:

• "Like the rest of us, [Drew] Storen initially was taken aback by the [Rafael] Soriano signing. In Storen and [Tyler] Clippard, the Nats already had two guys who had combined to save 79 games over the last two seasons." - "Nationals Pastime: Storen, Clippard react to Soriano signing, crowded bullpen" - Dan Kolko,

• Storen and Clippard At NatsFest via CSN Washington's Chase Hughes:

• NatsFest Twitter - via @NationalsPR:


• "The competition just got tougher for Abe, Tom, George and Teddy." - "Washington Nationals' new racing mascot: Taft" - Nick Gass -

• "Nationals introduce William Howard Taft (Photos, Video)" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

Taft Introduction via WTOP Sports:

• "The Racing Presidents are 12-foot over-sized mascots who race during the fourth inning of each home game." - "Introduction of Taft headlines busy NatsFest" - Jeff Seidel, News

• "The Nationals’ presidents race just got a whole lot bigger." - "William Howard Taft will be Nats' 5th 'Racing President'"-

• "While Taft's size may leave fans scratching their heads, wondering how his rather large figure will hold up running, there are many reasons as to why Taft is a great choice..." - "Washington Nationals welcome Taft as new racer" -

• "The Washington Nationals announced Friday night that they'd 'agreed to terms' with William Howard Taft, 'pending physical,' to become the fifth president in the team's gameday Presidents' Race." - "Taft joins Nationals' Presidents' Race" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "On the stage in the main ballroom of the event, the first mascot addition since 2006 was shown to the public for the first time." - "William Howard Taft unveiled as the new racing president" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The real Roosevelt chose Taft to replace him in the Oval Office but the two had a falling out when Taft alienated more liberal members of the Republican Party." - "Nationals add Teddy rival to dash" - AP/

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):


"NatsFest" - Sharkadina


• "Is William Taft a more random choice for the 5th racing president? Who here, prior to today, would have even named Taft as a short-list candidate?" - "William Taft??" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "January 27, 1933 The Senators release 1st baseman Joe Judge (See May 25th birthdays.) who will then sign on with the Brooklyn Dodgers." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Senators release Joe Judge" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Video: Drew Storen gets a standing ovation at NatsFest" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nats Fest 2013: Reigniting Your Natitude" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• "Former Washington National and fan favorite, Michael Morse returned to Seattle for Mariners Fan Fest this weekend." - "FORMER NATS: Michael Morse Returns to Seattle" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "What's the path of least resistance to the Nats doing the unthinkable and missing the playoffs entirely?" - "The Nightmare Scenario : Missing the Playoffs" - Harper, Nationals Baseball


Braves: "With [Martin] Prado, the Diamondbacks finally get the third baseman they’ve been looking for, and a pretty good one at that." - "Braves Acquire Justin Upton" - Dave Cameron, FanGraphs Baseball

Mets: "'We continue to look, but I think, realistically at this point, there’s not a lot left on the shelf,' general manager Sandy Alderson said on Sirius XM’s MLB Network Radio yesterday." - "New York Mets still trying to make moves to improve team for 2013 season" - Dan Martin,

Braves: "A day after the trade for Justin Upton was completed, the buzz meter barely back to over-the-top, the Braves returned to work Friday. For pitcher Brandon Beachy, that meant another morning of rehabilitation and long toss." - "Beachy nears next rehab step: throwing off mound" - Carroll Rogers,

Marlins: "Former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent made a good point when he told me recently that Jeffrey Loria 'is an odd owner in that he runs the club without regard to people who are paying the bills.'" - "More Loria behavior criticized; Dolphins, Heat, Canes chatter" - Barry Jackson, Miami Herald

Phillies: "Although some free agents remain unsigned, most rosters are set, including the Phillies'. After signing Delmon Young, the Phils have little else they can do to enhance their roster." - "Don't believe everything you heard, or thought, about the Phillies" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News

Stephen Strasburg 5K w/ Tony Gwynn: