Baseball is back! Well, if you count bunt drills, baseball is back.
Only a month or so until the real thing begins – in the meantime, here’s what’s fresh at the FITTEAM.
Dave Martinez is moving on without Bryce Harper - at least for now (NBCSW)
“It’s definitely different,” Martinez explained when discussing Spring Training without Harper. “He’s an unbelievable player, and I built this really good relationship with Bryce, and I wish him all the best. I really do. Regardless of what happens, I’ll always wish him the best.”
Max Scherzer says baseball’s free agency lull ‘poisons the game.’ He’s right. (WaPo)
Scherzer made a strong case on the first day of Spring Training: MLB owners have essentially colluded to keep players from their paydays, as tanking dominates a sport now ripe with rich owners and depleted fanbases. It certainly *feels* like there's a labor dispute coming.
Patrick Corbin settling in with Nationals (MLB.com)
Corbin got to Florida over a week ago, learning names and maintaining his routine. Also, Ryan Zimmerman will play a few more Grapefruit League games this year, and the Nats may still have animals, if not camels, at Spring Training.
Max Scherzer throws first official bullpen (MLB.com)
Scherzer doesn't really stop throwing, but his first *official* bullpen took place yesterday, and it was exactly what you would expect: rather intense.
Carter Kieboom, Nationals’ top prospect, carries a family legacy (WaPo)
Alswinn Kieboom fell in love with baseball in the Netherlands at age eight. His three sons have all involved themselves in the sport, but none presents more promise than Carter—who essentially slept on the baseball field, tagging along to every one of his brothers' practices—an observant guy at heart with an incredible knack for the game.
Carter Kieboom’s craziest baseball skill? Throwing with both hands. (WaPo)
If the Nats ever need a position player pitcher in the coming years, Carter Kieboom can provide help from both sides of the mound, believe it or not.
Nationals' Max Scherzer says win-loss cycle creates bandwagon fans (ESPN)
"One thing I think that is going in, that's pervasive, is the amount of commentary from club officials and everybody that make their knowledge public of what they're trying to do in the offseason. It just feels like teams are negotiating through the media. To me, that's one of the key driving forces in why we're seeing a slower market than usual. We know every intention of every single team. It's something that other leagues consider tampering, and they don't tolerate that."
Spring Training Minute — Feb. 14 (Curly W Live)
“I have a good feeling coming in here just getting to meet the guys and everybody…I’m just trying to learn the players, the staff, the trainers. Arizona was all I’ve known. I was there for seven years. I’m just trying to meet as many people as I can," Patrick Corbin said. (Also in here: details on exactly what drills the pitchers did.)
Sean Doolittle, the Nats' bullpen cart champion, wants to help pick its driver (WaPo)
“I would like to be,” Doolittle replied, with a heavy dose of sarcasm, when asked if he were involved in the interview process. “If they’re going to be driving me and my friends around, I would like to at least have some input. At least when you call for a Lyft or an Uber you get the rating and stuff like that. Maybe we could do some test drives or something.”
Nationals hold moment of silence for Parkland shooting anniversary (NBCSW)
In West Palm Beach, the Nats are amongst the closest teams to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a gunman killed seventeen students one year ago yesterday. Martinez and the Nats paid their respects as much as one can while on a ballfield, holding a moment of silence.
Doolittle celebrates Valentine's Day at Taco Bell every year (NBCSW)
Nothing quite like Living Más on the most romantic day of the year. (Should Taco Bell sponsor the bullpen cart?)
The perfect Valentine's Day card for the Nationals fan in your life (NBCSW)
Is it a day late? Yes. Is it Juan Soto themed? Also yes?