Thursday, February 24, 2011

3, 2, 1 ...

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Space Shuttle Discovery launches into orbit, as seen from Space Coast Stadium.
VIERA, Fla. -- ... and we have liftoff!

Space Shuttle Discovery just launched from nearby Cape Canaveral, making its final journey into orbit before NASA discontinues the shuttle program later this year.

Unfortunately, there was some cloud cover in the area, so we didn't get a clear view of the entire plume of smoke as it traveled up into the outer reaches of the atmosphere. Still, it's always a cool thing to be able to watch one of these in person, and plenty of people turned out today at Space Coast Stadium to watch.

The Nationals held a barbecue on the stadium concourse for members of the organization and their families. Several players were already here filming a commercial for MASN, and as the clock ticked down, they all raced up the third-base stands to watch over the railing in full uniform (as you can see in the below photo).

(Click on the photos to see larger versions)

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The wide-angle view from Space Coast Stadium.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Members of the Nationals watch from the stands at Space Coast Stadium.


JaneB said...

Cool that everyone took time out to enjoy this moment. Thanks for reporting on it. And for the photos. Was it fun to see? Could you hear anything from where you were?

Steve M. said...

Mark Z. writes...Members of the Nationals watch from the stands at Space Coast Stadium.

My guess is the crowd pressed against the fence were watching the Shuttle launch, but what are Riggles and Lee Kuntz watching? Was there a streaker on the field?

Feel Wood said...

Riggleman is pissed because one of the new clubhouse rules is No More Top Step Jim.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me they invited you to the bbq. I'd be sad to hear otherwise.

Anonymous8 said...

These are Spring Training appearances on MLB Network and while the Nats don't have the most, they have 6 appearances. All appearances are based on Eastern Time Zone.

TEAM Appearances Prime Time/Weekends

Arizona D-backs 4 1
Atlanta Braves 7 2
Baltimore Orioles 4 1
Boston Red Sox 8 5
Chicago Cubs 4 0
Chicago White Sox 6 1
Cincinnati Reds 4 1
Cleveland Indians 4 2
Colorado Rockies 5 2
Detroit Tigers 6 3
Florida Marlins 5 2
Houston Astros 5 1
Kansas City Royals 3 3
L.A. Angels of Anaheim 8 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 10 3
Milwaukee Brewers 3 3
Minnesota Twins 5 1
New York Mets 8 2
New York Yankees 10 6
Oakland Athletics 3 2
Philadelphia Phillies 8 7
Pittsburgh Pirates 3 0
San Diego Padres 4 3
San Francisco Giants 8 4
Seattle Mariners 5 1
St. Louis Cardinals 4 1
Tampa Bay Rays 4 2
Texas Rangers 7 5
Toronto Blue Jays 5 3
Washington Nationals 6 4

Anonymous said...

Is it 6 appearances or 10 appearances (6 prime time + 4 weekend)?

Doc said...

Riggles was watching the club house to make sure nobody stole his wallet!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

No, Riggs is thinking of how to double-switch for that booster rocket that is about to be jettisoned.

Anonymous8 said...

Anon @ 8:42, 6 total appearances and 3 are Prime Time and 1 is weekend for a total of 4 good spots.

Keep in mind many games are during the day when many can't see it so I think the Nats (probably because of Bryce Harper) are getting good air time.

Look at some of the teams with little to no exposure like the Orioles and Pirates. The Chicago Cubs must have pissed someone off. 4 total appearances and none in Prime Time.

The NY and LA teams with Boston and then Philly, San Fran and Texas based on being in the World Series will also get good exposure (not that they need it) but I figure most of this is due to ratings but still a shocker on the Cubs unless WGN will be covering them seperately.

Anonymous said...

Yep, there's ol gloom and doom Riggleman. Always recognize that sour puss on him

joemktg said...

For the more experience Spring Training readers, e.g., NatsJack:

1) What is the selection process for who attends camp right now? It's my understanding that minor leaguers report next week, but there are minor leaguers already in camp, e.g., Kimball. How is it that a Kimball is there but a Lombardozzi is not?

2) Going to pick a number of players in camp right now: 50. Next week, I'm assuming all players from Gulf Coast to AAA report, and I'm guessing that totals around 125 players (from draftees to AA players). How does the club manage the training (and evaluation) of over 200 players across X number of diamonds? I can't believe that there can be anything more than a cursory review of some of these players.

Bart said...

Nice pics Mark.

FOTB said...

Good photos, Mark, but I have to say that they aren't quite as good as Mrs. Z's. Perhaps with a bit more training from her, you'll get better.

NatsJack in Florida said...

joemkgt.... There are 61 players in the ML camp which is made up of the 40 man roster and 21 guys on minor league contracts that received invitations to the ML camp. Simply put, Cole Kimball is on the 40 man roster and Steve Lombardozzi isn't. Check the roster link on the Nats web site and you can get all the Spring Training roster info.

The minor league guys report next week and they have their own facility adjacent the practice fields. Once the ML games begin, they have full use of the 4 full size fields and on infield only for their use. They also have a covered batting cage facility.

Space Coast Stadium also has a covered batting cage and a half field for infield work behind right field.

There are over 20 instructors that service the minor league camp. Players consist of low "A" through "AAA" and totals about 125 guys. There are always several games going on once games begin. Occaisionally, a minor league guy like Lombardozzi, or Destin Hood will get to dress out with the big club for a ML game and players like Wang or Ryan Mattheus who need extra work will pitch in a minor league game.

I have been in Houstons camp and most recently in the Mets camp and can tell you that all three facilities are set up pretty much the same way.

Belive me. It's very structured and NOBODY thats under club control goes under the radar.

Anonymous said...


I'm in Orlando on business and may be able to get to Viera on Saturday (tomorrow) or Sunday. Can anyone tell me roughly what the Nats practice/intrasquad schedule looks like for those two days?


Mark Zuckerman said...

Players generally start taking the field to stretch between 9:00-9:30. Workouts should run until about 12:30 both days.

joemktg said...

NatsJack: sincerest thanks.

natsfan1a said...

Anonymous8, re. weekday, daytime ST games, that's what DVRs are for.

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