It was fun while it lasted. The defending World Series champion Washington Nationals did play two innings of baseball last night, before the rain came and washed out the matchup with the Houston Astros.
Max Scherzer got some work in. Fans got to boo. Signs were still being stolen, though in the stands this time. It was an interesting night in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Go read your links...
Max after sharp spring debut: 'This is what's fun' - (MLB.com)
"Scherzer threw 22 pitches, including two strikeouts, over two scoreless innings. The Nationals had outlined about a 30-pitch outing for him."
Unable to replicate October vibe, Scherzer content with '20 debut - (MASN)
"If Max Scherzer has proven nothing else, it’s that he’ll never take the mound with anything less than 100 percent commitment to compete."
Grapefruit League Game 1:
Astros booed, fans' signs taken in spring training opener against Nationals - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Astros took the field at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and were welcomed by the fans with an eruption of boos. The two teams share the facility, but it was Houston's home game."
With the Nationals at Spring Training: Gimme five - (WTOP)
"The fact that Fedde has another potential year of minor league flexibility while Voth and Ross do not could color the competition in March."
Astros wade through first boo-filled night of many to come - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The only agreed upon factor of Saturday night’s spring training opener was affinity for Dusty Baker."
Gotta stay loose ♂️ pic.twitter.com/q57vWVynP2— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) February 22, 2020
Nationals spring training opener: Fans heckling Astros get signs stolen - (Washington Times)
"Fans hoping to heckle the sign-stealing Houston Astros at their spring opener were met with quite the coincidence. They got their signs stolen."
Nats cheered, Astros booed during rained-out spring opener - (MASN)
"This is how it’s going to be for a while. The Nationals are the toast of Washington. The Astros are the scourge of baseball."
Houston Astros booed at team's first spring training game - (WaPost)
"It was only a scrimmage and it only lasted two innings because of weather, but it gave a glimpse of what the Astros will experience this year."
Castillo has sore shoulder, plus other notes (game canceled) - (MASN)
"Welington Castillo, a catcher with 10 years of big league experience, was due to DH in tonight’s Grapefruit League opener but was scratched with a sore right shoulder."
World Series favorites, ranked from 1 to 30 - (MLB.com)
"Anthony Rendon is gone, and the 'look at all us old guys winning the title' thing seems a lot less charming now that those old guys are a year older."
Facing Nats, Baker happy to see club's success - (MLB.com)
“'Somebody sent me some video of the parade they had on Clematis Street, and [GM Mike] Rizzo looked extremely happy,' [Dusty] Baker said. 'I was glad for him. He had his Red Auerbach victory cigar riding down the street and had his [championship] belt on.'"
PROGRAMMING UPDATE: @Nationals fans, if you wanna listen to the first "home" game of Spring Training on Sunday, it will be exclusively on 94.7 FM! (with a special pregame ceremony at 12:30pm) pic.twitter.com/oLi84ajJdz— 94.7 the Drive (@947theDrive) February 21, 2020
NL EAST UPDATES:
Why the Phillies decided to shake up their athletic training staff after last season - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Why, though, after all these years, were the Phillies compelled to sweep out two mainstays in the trainers' room?"
Mets' Seth Lugo returns to mound after fracturing his toe - (NY Post)
“'All the pitches were there, executing and locating,' said the Mets right-hander, who had been limited to playing catch in recent days after fracturing his left pinky toe."
Young Marlins make the most of 1st spring game - (MLB.com)
“'Obviously, this is the part of camp you get a chance to see a lot of your [young] guys,' manager Don Mattingly said. 'Getting them on the field, in this environment, it’s really good for them.'"
Hamels (shoulder) arrives, preaches patience - (MLB.com)
"Coming off a 97-win season during which they did not utilize any of their three postseason starters through the first half of April, the Braves are not going to rush Cole Hamels."