Posts Tagged ‘Anderson Hernandez’

Daily DC Item: Metblogs Meetup At Nats Opening Day

Yesterday the DC Metblogs crew was out in force to enjoy Opening Day at Nationals Park. The 0-6 Nats finally returned from their season starting road trip to face the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

dsc01973

The view walking down half street, I was excited to see so many people come out for the game! Frank and I joked earlier that we could of seen Marlins like numbers.

dsc01975

I enjoyed seeing this wrapping since I could probably answer that it wasn’t Half Street. I’m really dissapointed that the area still isn’t developed into the bustling new neighborhood that we expected.

dsc01978

I thought I’ve seen these new statues late last season but I still don’t know what to think about the weird artwork that now welcomes patrons into the park.

dsc01979

Some of the improvements made to Nationals Park this year includes an expansion to the center field restaurant, definitely a plus for those looking to take a break from the game.

dsc01985

The stadium was pretty packed however the team still has a problem with selling those behind the plate seats.

dsc01980

Before the game there was a moment of silence before the game for Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died in the broadcast booth hours before the game. That team actually considered cancelling the game but decided to go on with the show. Metblogs sends it’s thoughts and prayers to Kalas’ family.

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

President Obama wasn’t around for the first pitch so Military representatives tossed the pitch instead.

dsc01984

This is the view from the Suite I watched the game in- unfortunately DC Council members couldn’t enjoy the experience like I did.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

It wasn’t a great Opening Day for the Nats. Despite an early offensive showing, I was already yelling at Anderson Hernandez by the 2nd inning. The Nats lose to the Phillies in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.

dsc01986

However the Metblogs crew enjoyed a drink in the Lincoln Suites and we had a fun time all around. Frank and I have access to season tickets so it will only be the first of many losses that we’ll be watching all summer long!

Nationals Acquire Willingham and Olsen – Manny More To Come?

Courtesy of zjbell51

Courtesy of zjbell51

The Nationals made the first big splash of the offseason yesterday by trading second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers to the Florida Marlins for outfielder Josh Willingham and pitcher Scott Olsen.

My first thought was that Willingham had been acquired as a catcher (he came up to the majors in that position and I had earlier mentioned that Jose Flores could be upgraded during the offseason). Jim Bowden was quick to point out that the Nats had “acquired him as an outfielder.” This means two things in my view. Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena need to either be demoted to the minor leagues or traded before spring training. Both guys want and need a full time job, and it will do a lot to help team chamistry if they are out of the way. By the way, why do the Nats have six outfielders?

Tim Dierkes ventured a guess that “maybe the Nats consider Josh Willingham their cleanup hitter acquisition and will back out of the Teixeira derby.” Newsflash: Josh Willingham is not a cleanup hitter, Jim Bowden. A good year will probably yield 30 homeruns and 100 RBI’s, but that is not showstopper material. As for Mark Teixeira, I have a really hard time imagining that the Nationals will be able to compete for his services, especially with the Yankees and Angels (among others) preparing to make offers that will likely make Teixeira a franchise player somewhere. While I would agree that with the bounty of outfielders in Washington this probably puts a damper on Adam Dunn rumors (darn), I would say that the Nationals need a headliner if they want to fill the seats and make a serious run in the NL East.

All in all this is a great trade for the Nationals. Olsen will fill the rotation hole that I had previously reserved for Mets free agent Oliver Perez and I am confident that both players have the similar upside. Willingham is a major upgrade to Kearns, Pena, and Willie Harris as well. At this point, I still want to see the Nationals sign an ace: looking at guys like Freddy Garcia, who are comebackers that can actually be wooed to DC, would be a great idea. Consensus says that the second base hole will be filled by Anderson Hernandez, who finished strong last season.

Where does the power bat fit then? First base is always a possibility, but aside from Teixeira, the only cleanup hitter in the market is Jason Giambi, who would bring nothing new or exciting to the table and is 38 years old. Not a great option for the Nats if you ask me, but if they can sign him for a very cheap two year contract he may be happy and the Nats would get 30 homeruns in return. Assuming that first base is out, that leaves the outfield. I want to see a guy like Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez in DC. Badly. The Nats need to put themselves on the map with a big name, because let’s face it, the Nats are not the Rays yet and need the kind of boost only a superstar can offer.

More to come on the Nats.

UPDATE [9:04am]: Tim Brown over at Yahoo comments on the Nationals and Manny Ramirez- “After witnessing Manny Ramirez’s impact on the Dodgers and their fans, the Washington Nationals and GM Jim Bowden are promising everyone they’re going to be players in the Manny bidding. So either they will be or they want everyone to think they are.”

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.