Thursday, February 24, 2011

Counting down to countdown

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Adam LaRoche takes some grounders from his knees.
VIERA, Fla. -- Baseball is taking a bit of a backseat today around here, for a handful of reasons:

1) The Players' Association delegation was in town this morning to hold its annual meeting, which ran nearly two hours and delayed the start of the workout.

2) A production team from MASN is here filming what looks like a pretty elaborate commercial. They've overtaken the main field inside Space Coast Stadium.

3) The real highlight of the day takes place at precisely 4:50 p.m., when Space Shuttle Discovery launches from nearby Cape Canaveral on her final voyage into orbit. A bunch of members of the organization are holding a barbecue and launch viewing party here at the ballpark. (Photos to come later, hopefully.)

As for what took place on the field today during an abbreviated workout, it was mostly geared toward defensive drills and batting practice. Pitchers had the day off from throwing, so no live BP tales to share like we had yesterday.

The entire infield spent some considerable time working on rundown drills, with members of the coaching staff serving as the baserunners who kept getting caught in pickles. Most of the coaches just kind of went through the motions. Rick Eckstein, on the other hand, was going full-speed and really made the infielders chase him down. At one point, Eckstein even slid into third base, drawing some laughter from the assembled masses and leaving some nice dirt stains on his white uniform.

Rule 5 draftee Elvin Ramirez made it in at last from Venezuela and was on the field working out for the first time with his new team. No sign of Henry Rodriguez yet, but he is on his way and should be here tomorrow.

Some more photos from today's proceedings...

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Roger Bernadina jogs around the bases.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jayson Werth works on his bunting technique.


Anonymous said...

"A production team from MASN [has] overtaken the main field inside Space Coast Stadium."

No doubt they'll overtake Teddy at last turn.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

Fingers go in the back, Big Guy.

And I've got the shovel-finger to prove it.

Doc said...

Yeah, I've got a pinky that never looked right again after being in the wrong place on batting a bunt.

Is Nyj going up with the shuttle--jus wonderin'??

Les in NC said...

I really like those white uniforms. Roger looks cool in his (what appears to be) his homerun trot! I hope he has several opportunities to show that off this year.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark - how about going into video mode with your phone for the shuttle launch and showing that??

Also, what's the word on the JFK radio deal?

Thanks as always,

Mark'd said...

What was the occassion today for the "home" whites? Picture day?

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Bernadina has officially launched himself into consideration as a sleeper for my upcoming super deep dynasty league draft... those shiny new guns speak for themselves.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Natslifer: Sorry, no video capabilities on my phone, so you're stuck with still photos only from the launch. As for the radio deal with WJFK, it was agreed upon several weeks ago. Last I heard, they were still hashing out a couple of minor details before they physically sign the contract. But it's basically a done deal.

Mark'd: They wore the full home whites today because there were some promotional photos and videos being shot at the workout. They'll probably wear them for a couple of exhibition games, too.

Anonymous said...

Regarding new uni's, there's a man on the Nats message board who is obsessed with the large curly "W" on the chest...

Been saying since November it's incorrectly positioned. Says the big "W" is rotated too far clockwise (and the little piece at the lefthand part of the "W" ends up too horizontal).

He is right! They don't quite match the "W" on the ballcap! LOOK!

Mark'd said...

Thanks Mark!

True story, Sammy Sosa had elastic sewn into his sleeves so they would accentuate his massive biceps. Maybe Bernie can do that too, ;)

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing we are not paying Werth to bunt - popped it straight up!

J Werth said...

Get up off your kneels, La Roche. You're a Phillie, not a Pirate.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

"Roger looks cool in his (what appears to be) his homerun trot!"

He'd look even cooler in dark-framed shades and a long black coat, holding a samurai sword ...

joemktg said...

Mark: there's a computer problem that may hold off launch. They're taking it down to t minus 5 to see if it can be resolved.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

On a completely unrelated note:
Adam Wainwright is getting TJ surgery, he's out for the year. Which makes me wonder, why do they call it an "inverted W" pitching motion? Isn't an inverted W an M?

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