There will be baseball tonight in West Palm Beach, FL. Washington and Houston will go at it again, just months after they competed in the 2019 World Series. The Nationals and Astros’ lineups will look significantly different in the Grapefruit League opener, but it’s baseball and it’s going to be on your TV or laptop at 6:05 PM EST. While you’re patiently waiting for some Nationals baseball, go read your links...
Dusty Baker still close with Nats: "I left my heart over there when I left" - (MASN)
"So as Baker tries to focus on the team he now manages, he can’t help but at least think about the team he used to manage, the one that trains only 1,000 feet away on the other side of this sprawling complex."
3 storylines to follow as Nats open spring slate - (MLB.com)
"With just 11 MLB games to his credit, the 22-year-old [Carter] Kieboom is easily the least experienced among Washington's third-base options, which include veterans Asdrúbal Cabrera, Starlin Castro and Howie Kendrick."
Nats’ mindset in 2020: ‘Compete, not repeat’ - (MLB.com)
"The Nats have the mindset of 'compete, not repeat.' There’s no resting on the victories of last season; it’s a new year."
GrapeFruit League Opener Today:
Nationals, Astros wade into first spring training game after polar opposite weeks - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The week has not been kind to the Astros. Meanwhile, the Nationals have mixed goofing around with standard practices."
Astros won’t play any regulars against Nationals in spring training opener - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals may be sending Max Scherzer to the mound for their Grapefruit League opener against the Astros on Saturday, but Houston manager Dusty Baker won’t be countering with any of his star hitters."
Handful of Nats regulars will play in exhibition opener - (MASN)
"As for Saturday evening’s Grapefruit League opener (6 p.m. on MASN), expect to see only a handful of regulars take the field against the Astros."
Washington Nationals Spring Training report: Ryan Zimmerman's thoughts on farewell tours - (WJLA)
"Abraham asked Zimmerman if the 2020 season will be his farewell tour. Short answer: No. Longer answer: Even if it was, he wouldn't tell us."
Photos: PHOTOS: Washington Nationals hold World Series parade in West Palm Beach - (The Palm Beach Post)
"The Nationals, who hold spring training at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches, held a parade in downtown West Palm Beach on Thursday to celebrate their 2019 World Series championship."
While nothing’s done or even discussed yet, Nats will try to extend baseball president/GM Mike Rizzo, who’s a lame duck, this spring. Should be no brainer; beyond World Series win Rizzo has won more games than any GM last 8 years. Last time the extension was signed Opening Day.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 21, 2020
Spring Training Report: Clubhouse chemistry of the 2019 Nationals tough to replicate - (WJLA)
"From 'Baby Shark' to dugout dances to 'Los Viejos,' the Nationals' clubhouse last year was a special collection of personalities, hi-jinks and loyalty that the franchise had never seen before."
With the Nationals at Spring Training: Catch 162 - (WTOP)
"Last year’s catching combination of Yan Gomes (90 starts) and Kurt Suzuki (70 starts) ranked third in the majors in runs scored and RBI (minor leaguer Tres Berrea started the other two games)."
SAY CHEESE: Behind the scenes as the Washington Nationals take 2020 season photos - (WJLA)
"Every year at Spring Training, the Nationals do a grown-up version of school picture day."
Union chief addresses players' vitriol toward Astros - (MASN)
"Suffice it to say, this was no ordinary spring training meeting, and the topic that dominated the conversation was the scandal that has engulfed the baseball world like few others have in the history of the sport."