The 2019 Nationals are known as much for their dugout home run celebrations and some shirtless clubhouse dancing as they are for their comeback from a 19-31 hole.
But what’s it like trying to celebrate and get some chemistry going in while you’re social-distancing and wearing a mask amidst a pandemic?
Do the protocols under which Major League Baseball is conducting this season allow for the sort of team-bonding that we’ve all seen in the past in Washington, D.C.?
“They’re figuring it out,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez explained this week.
“The social distancing dancing. Play the music loud, they’re jumping up and down by their lockers. They’re trying to have fun. They’re trying to make it fun for them. But we still have all these protocols. We’ve got to stay six feet apart.
“We’ve got all these MLB people here making sure that we do the right thing, so I want to make sure that we do the right thing. So, but they’re having fun. As you can see in the dugout, whenever we hit a home run, we score some runs, they’re excited, they’re jacked up, they’re pulling for their teammates. So, it’s been fun. They’re making it what they can.”
We made what we could of the stories that were available after an off-day. Go read your links...
2020 MLB trade deadline: with Stephen Strasburg's injury, should the Nats target starting pitchers? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Strasburg is dealing with a nerve issue in his right wrist and is now awaiting test results from a specialist. The 2019 World Series MVP, Strasburg is about as indispensible as anyone on the Nationals' roster."
Nationals Fan Poll #11 — Favorite Nats Rivalry - (Curly W Live)
"Every organization has a team that forces them to bring an extra level of intensity to the field and inspires fans to up their game too."
Nationals rookie Luis García wants to be the next Juan Soto - (NBC Sports Washington)
"García’s .617 OPS and four home runs in 553 plate appearances last season showed a step back from the prior season, not a step forward."
Bowden: One trade deadline move for every East team – (The Athletic)
"Acquire switch-hitting first baseman Josh Bell from the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for infielder Carter Kieboom and right-handed pitcher James Bourque."
How is Anthony Rendon doing? You don’t want to know - (NBC Sports Washington)
"A nine-game hitting streak has flipped his season the same way the first 12 games put Rendon in a hole."
Heller not surprised by bulldog Bacus' success - (qctimes.com)
"It doesn’t surprise Dakota Bacus’ college baseball coach that nine years after working his last college game, the right-hander from Moline finally earned a major-league opportunity."
Fantasy baseball daily notes - Pitcher and hitter rankings for Friday's games - (ESPN)
"Looking ahead, the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins play a pair on Saturday and both teams closers are available in over 50% of ESPN league."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies’ bullpen only part of the problem during Toronto’s doubleheader sweep in Buffalo | Bob Brookover
This despicable display of baseball was a team effort that sapped all the momentum the Phillies had mustered in a four-game winning streak.
New York Yankees vs. NY Mets: Subway Series opener postponed - (NorthJersey.com)
"MLB postponed the opener of a three-game set between the Mets and Yankees following positive COVID-19 tests among two members of the Mets' organization."
#Marlins are still planning to leave for DC tonight.— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) August 20, 2020
Miami Marlins’ series finale against Mets postponed due to Mets’ positive COVID-19 tests - (The Palm Beach Post)
"The Miami Marlins are again sidelined due to multiple positive coronavirus test results. This time, though, members of the Marlins did not test positive."
Inbox: Braves outfield with Cristian Pache - (MLB.com)
"If Pache has success this weekend and early next week, he may force his way into the lineup on a daily basis."