Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nats still exploring spring relocation

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The future of the Nationals' camp at Space Coast Stadium remains up in the air.
VIERA, Fla. -- As they opened their ninth spring training at Space Coast Stadium today, the Nationals acknowledged they're still looking to relocate to another site for future seasons.

The team issued a press release this afternoon stating their intentions, though they didn't divulge any new details about their potential plan.

"The Washington Nationals are continuing to explore options for spring training sites beyond the current lease," the team said in the release. "Our current focus, however, is on what we expect to be an exciting 2013 spring training season in Viera. While we certainly appreciate public interest in our future plans, we will be making no further comment until there is something new to report."

The Nationals have been seeking a new spring home for two years, citing the long driving distance between Viera and all other camps in the Grapefruit League -- only three other clubs train within 100 miles of Space Coast Stadium -- and have been in discussions with officials from Fort Myers about renovating the City of Palms Park vacated last spring by the Red Sox.

The Nationals, though, have had trouble convincing Lee County officials to spend the money necessary to refurbish City of Palms Park, and the two sides don't appear any closer to a deal now than they've been in the past.

The Nationals also have held discussions with officials in Kissimmee about constructing a new complex capable of housing two major-league franchises, according to a source familiar with the talks. It would take more time to build a new facility, but the ability to share one with another club while still being in close proximity to several other camps could be an intriguing option.

Brevard County officials, meanwhile, have tried to make a new push to upgrade Space Coast Stadium and the surrounding facility, perhaps expanding to entice another franchise to relocate and share with the Nationals and even exploring the possibility of chartering free flights for the team when it needs to travel across the state for exhibition games.

The Nationals' lease for Space Coast Stadium expires in 2017, but penalties for breaking that lease are significantly reduced beginning in April, making the cost of relocating for 2014 minimal to the club.

66 comments:

The Retired Journalist said...

I'm biased because I live about 20 minutes from Space Coast Stadium but I would like the Nationals to remain my neighbors. Nothing's wrong with the facilities but teams have been slowly drifting away and I understand the issues that causes the Nats to desire relocating. I wouldn't be shocked if every Grapefruit League game is being played on the Gulf Coast by 2020. The process began when the Dodgers left Vero Beach -- a spring training site which admittedly made much more sense for a team from Brooklyn than it did for a team from LA -- for Arizona.

Section 222 said...

Thanks to NCNatsie for taking up the challenge of alternate lyrics to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Here's my entry, a little more Nats centric. Feel free to add your own, or even a verse or two for others to collaborate on, on the NIDO Spreadsheet.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
First the pitchers and catchers,
Then all Nats who matter,
In Spring Training gear.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's the hap-happiest season of all,
Gio and Jordan, and Stras, Det, and Haren,
They all want the ball.
It's the hap-happiest season of all.

With Span on the bases,
And Bryce hitting lasers,
And Ramos now back in the show.
We'll have Rafi game saving,
And Drew now set-upping,
So Game 5 seems long, long ago.

It's the most wonderful time of the year
We hope Werth will have power,
And Espi's torn rotator's
Not too severe.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

With Zim's shoulder in socket,
And Desi stops rockets,
And ALR back at first base.
Our defense is steady so
This team is ready to
Triumph in the pennant race.

It's the most wonderful time of the year
In Rizzo's moves we trust,
Says Davey "World Series
or Bust!" and it's clear,
It's the most wonderful time,
It's the most wonderful time,
It's the most wonderful time,
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

SonnyG10 said...

I don't really care one way or the other, except I would like things to be easier for our lads travelwise.

sjm308 said...

So many posts - took me forever to read Mark and the comments.

To NavyNats fan - amazing as it seems I am in 308 (unlike 222 who I believe is actually in 314). We have a 20 game package and our agent is just super. We had our same seats for the playoffs and now have them for opening day. Obviously there are either 3 other groups who will not have our seats or just 2(a 20 game and 1/2 season). Last year when they were part of the package, we were shipped way out to Center/Right field in not so very nice seats but how can you complain about free seats??

Tony, I am guessing you have a full or 1/2 game package as the seats on sale today went to those with smaller packages.

NatsLady - I love your posts but I might be confused about what you wrote in Marks last article on Gio. I can't imagine that you would think that he is pitching in the WBC just because he had already been cleared. I think if things come out in the next week or two (and I am certainly hoping they don't) Gio will be suspended and that will be that. Maybe I misread your thoughts and that certainly could be true with all there was to read today.

Anyway, its just a great day!! Happy for baseball to be here and it will be in DC before we know it.

Scooter said...

Those wild cheers you heard were me, 222.

Tcostant said...

222 your song made my day.

I just hope Fort Myers keeps playing hard ball (punn intended), because I'm not a bog fan of that area. It almost as far there to other teams. Kissimmee would be ideal and we can't wait...

sjm308 said...

One last comment and this is just a little snarky but I would be surprised to see Ghost of Steve M comment soon. I figure he injured his rotator cuff patting himself on the back about so many correct speculations. I usually like most everything he writes but you don't have to tell us all how great you are. Maybe it's a self esteem issue.

sjm308 said...

222 - you have outdone yourself. Nice Job!!

Tcostant said...

Mark -

Time to change the count down to opening day!!!

Section 222 said...

Thanks for the kudos my friends. I added a Youtube of the Andy Williams version of the tune to NIDO for those who aren't familiar.

Apologies if someone already posted this, but here's a fun Fangraphs piece about the Micah Owings experiment.

Section 222 said...

Boy am I glad I went over to Fangraphs. Here's a piece about Brian Schneider's three biggest hits in his career, two were when he was with the Nats.

And here's one about the Soriano trade, with lots of "the Nats are great" references.

MicheleS said...

222 and NCNatsie.. excellent lyrics!!!

MicheleS said...

I wish the Nats FO would resolve this Spring Training Site issue. I need to resolve the vacation home spot.

Another_Sam said...

Spring training locations -- Journalist: long ago, south Florida was a hotbed, with teams in Miami [Orioles], Ft. Lauderdale [Yankees], and two -- the Braves and the Expos [yes, those Expos] in West Palm Beach. I think it's cyclical.

The Florida hotbed these days is the Tampa-St. Pete area. The teams are close but traffic is brutal making it hard to get to two games a day, and to morning workouts and so on. Still though, there's no team in Al Lang Stadium these days and I wonder why that hasn't come up. But then I've read that Al Lang might be torn down and replaced soon.

In my mind, the Ft. Myers location is a bit remote. Just my recollection from having driven to games there from the Tampa area.

MicheleS -- I too would like to get this nailed down.

sm13 said...

Well done 222!

Another_Sam said...

All in all, though, the Viera area has kinda grown on me after being quite bleak those first years. But it ain't about me. Or about fans. Or about the team. It's about $$$.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'll take anywhere in Florida except Ft. Meyers.

Another_Sam said...

That's my feeling as well, Jack.

Another_Sam said...

NatsJack - do you know why Al Lang doesn't come up in anyone's venue discussion anymore?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sam...I doubt MLB wants to do anything in St. Pete what wth the Mayor's hard line with the Rays and the Tropicana Field situation.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

sjm, it's innocence presumed. Gio and his advisors did a good job but the timing was good as the story had been.watered down.thanks to great work by the New York Times on discrediting Bosch.

By the way, I was traveling and now have internet. I will really celebrate years from now when Gio retires and has never had another issue.



Ghost Of Steve M. said...

sjm, I just read old posts. I didn't post as Ego Of Steve M. Someone poking some fun.

Sorry if I come across as conceded, cocky and a knowitall many times but I do a lot of research and thank goodness for one news outlet that told us of the other side of Tony Bosch and it just happened to fall in line with my theory on him - scum.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I was going to defend you, Ghost but was traveling as well.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Thanks NatsJack!

natsfan1a said...

Me, too.

Scooter said...

Those wild cheers you heard were me, 222.
February 12, 2013 4:15 PM

natsfan1a said...

And for Natsie as well.

SCNatsFan said...

Anywhere closer to an airport works for me

Gonat said...

A much different reaction from Kevin Millar and Chris Rose on their MLB Show tonight on the Gio situation.

This time very positive on Gio's behalf.

NatsLady said...

I was not the first to suggest that Gio playing in the WBC means he was exonerated. Someone on Twitter proposed that and it does put a positive spin on things because it is kind of hard to imagine MLB would invite Gio to a showcase event and then suspend him.

sjm308 said...

Thanks ghost
I have always respected what you write and feel you have resources some of us are not privileged to. Was surprised you crowed so much but it's great you were basically justmhappymformgio

sjm308 said...

"Just happy for Gio"

NatsJack in Florida said...

Continuing to discuss Gio and anything concerning Biogenysis is useless until MLB completes their investigation.

Gio has made his statement. It's done until MLB says otherwise.

Gonat said...

From Amanda--- Right-hander Henry Rodriguez, who had a bone spur and a chip removed from his throwing elbow last August, arrived in camp on Tuesday. Rodriguez has been rehabbing all winter and he said that while he feels good to this point, his rehab is not finished. It will be interesting to see just how much he's able to do during spring training.
____________________________________

I was a little surprised by this on Henry.

SonnyG10 said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
...Sorry if I come across as conceded, cocky and a knowitall many times but I do a lot of research and thank goodness for one news outlet that told us of the other side of Tony Bosch and it just happened to fall in line with my theory on him - scum.
February 12, 2013 6:21 PM


Ghost, the info you bring to the table is fantastic. Thanks for sharing all your research. And I don't care if you want to crow a little about it.

SonnyG10 said...

Gonat, looks like we can hide Henry on the DA a little while longer. If he doesn't show something soon, though, Rizzo may not want to wait around for him.

Gonat said...

Sonny, I'm blown away. I would agree from that statement that there is a likelihood Henry starts on the DL. The problem is if Bray or Ohman make the Opening Day roster neither has options and they would have to clear waivers if they were DFA'd later to make room for Henry.

Gonat said...

SonnyG10 said...

Ghost, the info you bring to the table is fantastic. Thanks for sharing all your research. And I don't care if you want to crow a little about it.
_______________________________

I agree. SteveM took a different angle in questioning the credibility and motivations of Bosch in the innocence of Gio. It was an interesting perspective.


peric said...

If Espinosa's rotator cuff is completely torn, then he should have no more trouble playing through that than R.A. Dickey had pitching without even having a UCL. Just as muscles that aren't there can't hurt, neither can muscles that are already completely torn. The issue will be performance, not pain. Whereas last September while the rotator cuff was still in the process of becoming torn, pain was definitely an issue.

A Knuckle ball pitcher who probably pitches better without the UCL? And this was a natural and normal fact about Dickey ...
He didn't injure it ... he's a guy who isn't expected to hit or make
web gems in the field ...

Espinosa tore it playing the field. He wasn't born that way.

Sheesh this Tony guy seems like a moron troll.

MicheleS said...

Henry can be buried on the DL for at least a monht. Good, my stomach can't take bad Henry... Now Good Henry, that's another story. I hope he gets it together and can contribute to this team

peric said...

Ohman isn't going to make the roster. Bray probably will. The real worry is Clippard's overuse the past three or four seasons and whether Storen really is completely recovered from last season's surgery and meltdown.

Thus Henry. Yes, they do need him in camp and ready to go. There's not much at all behind him.

Gonat said...

peric, the one point I like that you just made is less innings for Clippard.

The Ego of Steve M. said...

People here are just too dumb to realize the sheer brilliance I bring to the table, unless I remind them again and again and again of all the trenchant observations I make. But pat myself on the back? Oh, no need to do that. That's why I have sycophants like Gonat.

sjm308 said...

I am worried about Espinosa like many of you. The one thing I wish was clarified is the degree to which his rotator is torn. I read here from other posters that it is completely torn, but I can't find that anywhere else. I read here about the injured musculature but my degrees in Physiology of Exercise and Kinesiology tell me that the main concerns with the rotator cuff are tendons(there are 4 of them). He is strengthening the musculature surrounding the rotator cuff to protect the tendon (or tendons) that is torn. The tendon will eventually heal. Can he possibly re-injure this? Of course and I talked about that earlier. I just wish the injury was clarified by the medical staff, not the athlete or posters on a blog. OK, rant over.

NatsJack in Florida said...

sycophants......haven't heard that used in quite a while. Hmmm....wonder who that could be?

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Y'know, when they talk about "men playing a boys' game," they mean baseball.

Tony said...

Espinosa told Zuckerman that the tendon or whatever is almost completely torn, basically gone. That's the extent of the medical knowledge that's been provided to us peons. But you have to assume that there was some medical guidance behind his decision to play through it instead of having surgery, don't you? Like "If you don't have surgery, you have an X% chance of being able to play with a Y% chance of getting hurt worse." Every player knows that their chance of making it through a season healthy is less than 100% anyway, so hearing the doctor's opinion probably weighs heavy on what they choose to do. Danny's agent, a guy named Boras, probably put his 2 cents in too.

SCNatsFan said...

I think if Henry starts the year on the dl - and it sure seems that way - then Bray's back will determine who is the last arm in the pen, most likely whoever lights it up this spring. Someone like Ohman, if he has a good spring, might just make the roster and be released (or optioned and claimed) when the spot is needed.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
sycophants......haven't heard that used in quite a while. Hmmm....wonder who that could be?

February 12, 2013 8:25 PM
___________________________________

Also posters that refer to Mark as Zuck or Zuckerman.

sjm308 said...

Tony: that is exactly what I want to hear from either Dr. Yocum or our guy (who obviously mis-diagnosed this to begin with). How bad is the tear, what were the options Espinosa was presented with and what was your recommendation. I guess its obvious that there are only two options so that question is stupid but I would like to know more and hear that from an expert. When an athlete tells a reporter that it is "almost" completely torn I have no faith in that diagnosis. I want to hear from a Dr. what % of the tendon is still attached and to what degree the tear is. If this was more than a 50% tear and I am guessing it was, I can't believe they didn't force him to get an operation. I guess you can't force one of your athletes to do anything but I am thinking this is either a really bad decision on Espinosa's part or the tear isn't as bad as he is saying.

sjm308 said...

I hate to keep ranting about this injury but the original diagnosis of a bone bruise while wrong, leads me to believe this was not a significant tear. Now, maybe it got worse after that first diagnosis, but if it was "almost completely torn" I just don't see how a doctor would miss that.

sjm308 said...

NatsJack, they are calling for snow up here tomorrow. I hope you get decent weather on your first journey over on Thursday.

I might not be a sycophant but I am just so pleased with all the various reports and reporters we have covering our lads. I also think the conversation here enhances what goes on with our team.

I read Jason Starks report on Gio and it didn't sound anything at all like what our beat writers reported. In my opinion, Stark still sees him guilty and basically scoffed at the idea that Gio was in the notebook because of his father's pride. He also feels that MLB is far from done with Gio and he is far from being off the hook.

Gonat said...

Everyone on MLB Network as done a 360 on Gio. Dan Plesac says he believes Gio. Millar came to Gio's defense.

Stark is a Philadelphia guy but his Tweeters seemed fair: https://twitter.com/jaysonst

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. you mean 180... ;-) you crazy sycophant.

Sjm..you really thing we are going to hear from an actual Doctor? Teams (regardless of the sport) treat injury reports like top secret documents. I hate the mis-diagnosis, but they will Never share that info (HIPPA laws will not allow)

sjm308 said...

Gonat: its like two different writers. Read this and tell me what you think?

http://espn.go.com/blog/spring-training/post/_/id/296/gio-gonzalez-unable-to-turn-the-page

sjm308 said...

Thanks MicheleS, that explains some of it but I am still frustrated. I guess doctors only talk after an operation and even then they always express optimism. Like Lindsey Vonn. She totally messed up her knee and they are already talking about competing in next years Olympics.

Gonat said...

Michele, yerp, 180 turn!

Gonat said...

sjm308 said...
Gonat: its like two different writers. Read this and tell me what you think?

http://espn.go.com/blog/spring-training/post/_/id/296/gio-gonzalez-unable-to-turn-the-page
_______________________________

You are right. He has a very different perspective on the Q&A and was almost poking at Gio.

Again, Stark is a Philadelphia guy.

Steady Eddie said...

sjm,
I read over that Starks piece -- absolutely nothing new in it. All a snide and thoroughly cynical recitation of Gio's answers next to a restatement of the facts in the original Miami story, and ending with the basic conclusion that "all his denials don't make these facts go away" (I'm paraphrasing not quoting).

Let me repeat that -- Starks brings absolutely nothing new to this story.

It's not just a matter of one reporter's opinion versus another. The New York Times piece NL identified earlier and Steve M. appropriately cited above does bring new facts, strongly indicating that Bosch is a blowhard. The ultimate resolution is of course not yet clear, but the conjunction of MLB's initial investigation with the NYT story and the WBC invitation is (as NL might say) hard to see as purely coincidental.

SonnyG10 said...

sjm308, I read the Stark article you linked to and wanted to give you my take on what he says. I believe Stark either thinks Gio is guilty of taking PEDs or wants us readers to think Gio is guilty, for whatever reason. He wants to do this so much so that he distorts Gio’s answer to the question “Why was your name in the notebook?” Stark implies that Gio’s answer is an alibi. The word alibi has a negative connotation with regards to Gio. This is a distortion of the truth of what Gio answered. Gio’s answer was…”the only thing I can think of is that…” and he goes into talking about how his dad brags on him. Then Gio follows that with …”otherwise I don’t know why my name was in the book.” Gio is clearly trying to answer the reporter’s question and offering what he thinks could have happened, but he doesn’t really know. I personally will disregard Stark as someone having an ax to grind.

Section 222 said...

Good points Steady. And it's an opportunity to clarify my disagreement with NL's comments early today.

It's not that I think Gio's invitation to the WBC is a coincidence or gives no clue to where things are headed. Far from it. I said this morning that the fact that Gio was invited seems like a good sign. It seems unlikely that Torre would do that if he was hearing that Gio was likely to be suspended. But that's a far cry from the WBC invitation being a kind of plea bargain -- something that Gio would agree to, at Rizzo's direction, in order to "get well" with MLB. There's no evidence that's what happened, and I very much doubt it did for the reasons I stated earlier. The fact that the invitation came at this time is not evidence that it was part of some sort of deal to avoid consequences for PED use.

I also seriously doubt that MLB would tell Gio (and Rizzo) "you're in the clear, but you can't tell anyone," which someone also suggested earlier today. Why would they do that, and why would Rizzo and Gio agree? That makes no sense. The cloud will remain above the Nats in Viera until the decision is made and made public.

I just don't think there's a conspiratorial back story here. Gio has fully cooperated, and he and the Nats are now waiting to hear the outcome of the investigation. Just as he said, it's a good sign that he was invited to the WBC. But the investigation has not concluded and until it does, all we can do is continue to hope for the best -- and enjoy Spring Training, at long last.

NatsLady said...

Well, I read Starks' article on Gio, and there are lots of contradictions in it, things that make no sense to me. Starks claimed MLB hadn't spoken to any of the players involved--how would he know that????

It sounded to me like Gio said he HAD cooperated with MLB investigators, which sound like he HAD spoken to them. Did Gio say he had only heard about it in the press? Well, that could mean the call from the Miami New Times. If a reporter called me to ask about or confirm a story, I would certainly think I'd heard about it in "the press." It was a pretty useless article.

Also, I read Starks article just prior, which is also filled with snark about Davey's "World Series or bust." Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed or something.

natsfan1a said...

Carrying, er, backwards:

natsfan1a said...

And on the Stark piece, which I've not read (nor do I intend to), that is why some of us opined earlier that Gio's addressing the media would not put an end to doubts/questioning/second-guessing. People are going to think what they're going to think, no matter what he says. Further, I suspect that even if the investigation results clear him, there will always be some doubters.
February 13, 2013 7:43 AM

Scooter said...

They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear "P E D"

natsfan1a said...

Oom-pah-pah?

Scooter said...

Gesundheit.

natsfan1a said...

Danke.

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