The Washington Nationals, on Wednesday morning, announced that new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch before the home and season opener against the New York Mets on April 6th.
Later in the day, yesterday, the defending NL East Champions officially kicked off a campaign to bring a future All-Star Game to the nation's capital.
There's a requisite hashtag and everything, #DCisReady, which is suspiciously close to the #RendonisReady thing we started here at FBB a few years back. -- Ok, there really isn't anything suspicious about that. -- Anthony Rendon was like, totally ready though, and Nationals Park is too.
At least that's what the organization said in today's Curly-W blog post/press release announcing the official bid:
"The city submitted a strong bid to Major League Baseball, and we need your help to share with MLB that Washington, D.C. is ready to host. Washington hasn’t hosted the All-Star Game since 1969 – but as we launch our 10th anniversary season, we believe D.C. is ready!"
Nats say they've formally submitted a bid to host all-star game. We've reported '18 game is theirs. Miami was announced as '17 host in Feb.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) March 18, 2015
Manfred told ESPN earlier this year that he had new ideas for how the host city for the Mid-summer Classic will be chosen going forward after the 2015 (Cincinnati) and 2016 (San Diego) All-Star Games:
"One of the things that I am going to try to do with All-Star Games is -- and we'll make some announcements in the relatively short-term -- I am looking to be in more of a competitive-bidding, Super Bowl-awarding-type mode, as opposed to [saying], `You know, I think Chicago is a good idea...'"
ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote at the time of the comments by the Commissioner, that his sources told him, "... that rather than choosing cities based on which league they're in, All-Star Game hosts will be chosen in the future based on the merits of the city and ballpark, and which team and city can produce the best 'All-Star experience.'"
Manfred talked about how impressive Miami's bid was in announcing Marlins Park as the site of the 2017 ASG.
Can the Nats and Nationals fans sell D.C. to MLB? Is D.C. ready? "D.C. is ready for Fan Fest," the Nationals post today declared. "D.C. is ready for the Home Run Derby. DC. IS. READY." They sure are confident... and insistent. We're more concerned with NLDS and maybe CS games, but sure the ASG would be fun and stuff...
While you think on that, why not read some links. There are lots of them below...
Doug Fister not satisfied, which is sort of his thing:
• "Manager Matt Williams didn't seem to have a problem with Fister's outing. The skipper took notice Fister was working fast and changing speeds." - "Fister not satisfied with latest outing" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "The Solano brothers combined to give the Marlins an eighth-inning lead and Reed Johnson tacked on an RBI single for an insurance run..." - "Fister stretches out versus Marlins, Uggla in mix" - Joe Frisaro, nationals.com
• "Doug Fister allowed two runs on six hits with a strikeout in four innings. He threw 57 pitches, 39 for strikes." - "Nationals Pastime: Shaky start for Fister, quiet bats for Nats (Nats lose 5-4)" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
Nats Roster Moves: A.J. Cole to Triple-A Syracuse stories
• "'He's working on his secondary pitches and that's the key for him,' Williams said." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams encouraged with Cole despite cut, plus Escobar and Rendon updates" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Cole was a casualty of the innings crunch, and returned to minor league camp in time for games that begin there this week." - "Cole crowded out of the rotation" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "With the Nationals' rotation already set, Williams felt it was time for Cole to get ready for the season with Syracuse." - "Cole optioned to Triple-A Syracuse" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
RotoGraphs: Ring, Ring! Answer That Souza Phone! http://t.co/DE5HdWQr9O— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) March 18, 2015
• "The Syracuse Chiefs picked up a pitcher who could be the anchor of their rotation on Wednesday." - "Syracuse Chiefs gain an ace as Washington Nationals send down A.J. Cole" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com
NATS BEAT: Clint makes case; Manfred in D.C.
• "'When I told my coach in the offseason in college that I was actually gonna play some outfield, he said ‘Did they watch you in college…?’ Robinson said." - "Clint Robinson continues to impress with power, consistency" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "Manfred, who worked in Washington as a lawyer before working for MLB, took over as commissioner in January..." - "MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to throw out first pitch at Nationals’ opening day" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "Commissioner Rob Manfred will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Nationals Park on April 6" - "Manfred to throw out first pitch at Nationals Park" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Dig in, Nats fans. Could be 13 more years of dealing with Stanton after the 25-year-old signed a colossal $325 million contract with the Marlins this past offseason." - "Nationals Pastime: Doug Fister singing the 'spring training blues,' Yunel Escobar making progress" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "The regular season is less than weeks away and Nationals manager Matt Williams said he is concerned about the health of his players." - "Nats hoping full complement of stars return soon" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
NL EAST UPDATES: Marlins' Yelich gets paid; Lee done?; Harvey's rehab; Braves' bid?
• Phillies: "It's not officially over for Cliff Lee. All he needs is a miracle, and he could be back throwing on a mound near you before the end of the summer." - "Lee's injury another reminder Phils must move on" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer
• Mets: "All that is riding on this day is the Mets’ immediate future, as the 25-year-old Harvey throws off a mound and tests his surgically repaired elbow in earnest for the first time." - "Mets' Harvey gives News exclusive look at Tommy John rehab" - Anthony McCarron, Bill Price, NY Daily News
• Marlins: "The Marlins on Wednesday reached an agreement with left fielder Christian Yelich on a seven-year contract extension worth $49.570 million." - "Source: Marlins, Yelich agree on 7-year deal" - Jeff Frisaro, marlins.com
braves bid 4 yrs, others 5 yrs, & cuban star olivera aims for 6. it's getting to be decision time. http://t.co/H2l1IOPuDo— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 19, 2015
• Braves: "The Braves' offer was said to be for $40 million over four years, but they are 'behind the pack,' according to someone familiar with the negotiations." - "Braves bid four years, others five for Olivera, who's said to aim for six" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com