(Photo of Ryan Zimmerman on TV by Nationals Enquirer staff. In the 4th quarter of last night's Wizards loss to the Celtics on TNT, the celebrity crowd cam focused on three D.C. celebrities in attendance. Drumroll, please. In no particular order: Wolf Blitzer. John ...uhh...Something - we're drawing a blank on his name now; he's like, an author or a lobbyist or something. And: Ryan Zimmerman. Marv Albert even introduced Zim as the "Gold Glove winner of the Washington Nationals." Unfortunately, Zim couldn't save the Wiz last night.)
How many days until pitchers and catchers report?
*The Nats search for two starting pitchers continues. Let's face it: one of them is going to be Livo.
"We're engaged with a lot of agents on a lot of pitchers. We're trying to find the best fit for us, with the best pitchers at the ability level we're looking at. I think it's going to take a little bit of time. I don't think it's going to be a real fast-moving market. But as always happens, when pitchers start [signing], there usually is a domino effect." (Mike Rizzo, via Washington Post, 12/11/2009)
*Pudge Rodriguez to be introduced in DC today at 1PM. Look out for Wil Nieves pulling a Tonya Harding on Pudge's knee at the press conference.
*In this morning's Washington Times, Thom Loverro makes the best point we've read yet about the Pudge signing:
There is one reason for hope in this move, the only one of substance the club made at the winter meetings in Indianapolis: If the Nationals are willing to shell out $6 million for Pudge, they also are ready to spend money on more substantial needs.
*The Blue Jays were interested, but Craig Stammen is untouchable?
*Speaking of Toronto, here's ex-Nats exec Dana Brown on Zech Zincola, taken from the Nats by the Blue Jays in yesterday's Rule 5 draft: "I'm very familiar with the player," said Brown, who noted that Zincola's fastball has been clocked at 96 m.p.h. "He had trouble with his command at Syracuse. When he gets the ball down, he's fine." (via Toronto Sun, 12/11/2009)
*Elijah Dukes' Dominican Winter League status with Tigres Del Licey seems to be up in the air -- as chronicled by "Ed Chigliak" over at Federal Baseball. As Ed points out, Spanish-to-English translations of this article on Licey.com indicate that the team doesn't want Dukes back for the remainder of the season (DWL regular season ends Dec. 21); but WaPo's Dave Sheinin had Dukes returning to the DR following his father's funeral. It's not clear what happened down there, but it sounds like Dukes might not be receiving a Christmas card from Tigres manager, Francisco Busto. Then again, those online translators can be misleading. We put this Licey.com headline through google's translator: "Ramón Ortiz detenido otra vez !!!". It translates to: "Ramon Ortiz arrested again !!!", but all they meant (we think) is that Ortiz got lit up in his most recent start.
*Ben Goessling will be hosting a live chat about the Nats over at Washington Times/Chatter today at 2:30.