The Battle of the Beltways, or The Battle of The Bulge?
According to sources with no direct or indirect knowledge of the situation, the starting-pitching-thin NAAAts and Orioles are locked in a fierce bidding war for the services of the recently released Sidney Ponson.
NAAAts 6, Braves 4: Levale Speigner survives an Edgar Renteria liner and an early jam in the first; NAAAts survive start by reliever Speigner, rally for four in the 5th; Traber, King, Abreu, Rivera, Cordero, Rauch seal the deal.
With an off day yesterday, your NAAAts are in Chicago for three day games (2:20 on a Friday?) and a visit with an old friend; the Mann gets the start this afternoon. But you know that already. Since we're already bored with trying to guess if the Langerhans deal is a precursor to Ryan Church leaving town, let's open up this week's Nationals dot com Mailbag! As always, keep those e-mails coming to Nationals.com, and we'll keep copying and pasting them over here and giving our half-assed answers. Thanks a bunch.
It seems that the Nationals can't seem to get everything to work together in one game. When the pitching is there, the hitting isn't, and vice versa. What gives? -- P. B., Fairfax, Va.
Blame it on Pat Corrales. Worst bench coach in baseball, hands down.
When first baseman Nick Johnson is activated, what will the Nationals do with Dmitri Young? -- D. P., Shiloh, Ohio
Nobody knows for sure, but I'll be sad to see Da Meat Hook go.
If Ronnie Belliard continues to play well, do you see him as trade bait later on in the year? -- T. H., Washington D.C.
With Belliard hitting the ball well and playing exceptional defense, do you think he will remain starting second baseman? Belliard and Felipe Lopez seem to have good chemistry, especially when turning the double play. -- J. C., Arlington, Va.
Doesn't matter, apparently. Right or wrong, Guzman gets his job back, Belliard takes a seat.
What are the chances of Billy Traber being in the big leagues this year? -- G. B., El Segundo, Calif.
Look for Traber to take Patterson's spot in the rotation by mid-June.
Is there any likelihood that the Nationals will start giving Jesus Flores some significant playing time? Brian Schneider seems as good as he will ever get. Good defensive catchers who hit below .250 are not that difficult to find. If Flores is the catcher of the future, why not play him now? Manny Acta or Randy St. Claire could call the pitches from the bench. -- D. T., Cleveland
Better yet, Jim Bowden and Joy Browning could call the pitches from the stands!
When will left-handed starter Mike O'Connor be activated from the disabled list? -- M. H., Washington D.C.
Was the team able to find O'Connor? Last I heard he got left behind on one of the Winter Caravan stops, lost in a crowd of elementary school kids.
Is there any chance of Church hitting in the cleanup spot? -- D. C., Wolfville, Nova Scotia
A comment from a Nationals fan: "Josh Wilson could help down the road, but needs more seasoning. D'Angelo Jimenez is not playing well. Both of them could be replaced by Bernie Catro, who is speedy and playing well for Triple-A Columbus." -- Ed, Washington, D.C.
Bernie Catro? Are you sure you don't mean Corkie Kasto?