July 2009

First-Ever Grill-Off at Nationals Park


Food Network Event 002b.JPGThe Washington Nationals welcomed the The Food Network today as The Next Food Network Star finalist Teddy Folkman took on Levy chef Phil Bucco in battle flank steak/swordfish. The two contestants were both told of the mystery protein just as the 45-minute challenge began.

 

 


Food Network Event 026b.JPGChef Folkman, a District area chef who owns Granville Moore’s Gastropub in DC, chose flank steak…

 


Food Network Event 012b.JPGWhile Chef Bucco, who oversees menu concepts and the food served in each area of the ballpark, went with the swordfish.

 


 
Food Network Event 003b.JPGThe event was hosted by Eddie Gilbert, who was also a finalist on this season of The Next Food Network Star.

 


Food Network Event 017b.JPGFans from all over swarmed the event to get a glimpse of the chefs and (hopefully!) a taste of their creations.

 


Food Network Event 056b.JPGDuring the event, Teddy stopped by to see what the excitement was all about. His choice to win the battle? The other Teddy, of course!

 

After 45 minutes, the chefs finished their dishes and prepared for the judging.

 


 
Food Network Event 058b.JPGChef Teddy Folkman prepared his grilled flank steak with a grilled potato salad and a pineapple-tomato sauce.

 


Food Network Event 059b.JPGChef Phil Bucco served up an all-grilled dish of swordfish, zucchini and potatos topped with a tropical mango salsa.

 


Food Network Event 064b.JPGThe two judges, The Washington Post Food Editor Joe Yonan and WTTG Sports Anchor Dave Ross, were brought in for the event. They were sequestered during the cooking process and were unaware of which chef cooked each dish.

 


Food Network Event 065b.JPGThe other two judges, Kim Dickson of Alexandria and Becky Goehler of Richmond, were chosen by host Gilbert to sample the food. Both women had a blast at the event and really enjoyed trying the food the chefs made.

 

“I don’t usually like fish dishes, but I couldn’t stop eating this one,” said Dickson.

 

The judges scores are in, and the winner is…

 


Food Network Event 071b.JPGTeddy Folkman!

 


Food Network Event 067b.JPGAnd the chefs generously gave out samples of their dishes to the fans in attendance.

 


Food Network Event 069b.JPG“We do events like this all the time,” said Folkman. “But this is definitely the best one yet.”

Lineups for 7/19

Cubs:

 

Fukudome – CF

Theriot – SS

Lee – 1B

Hoffpauir – RF

Fox – 3B

Soriano – LF

Fontenot – 2B

Hill – C

Hart – P

 

Nationals:

 

Morgan – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Bard – C

Belliard – 2B

Gonzalez – SS

Mock – P

 

Capture the Caption:


_MLP6864.jpg
_MLP7204.jpg 

Lineups for 7/18

Cubs:

Fukudome – CF

Theriot – SS

Lee – 1B

Ramirez – 3B

Bradley – RF

Soriano – LF

Fontenot – 2B

Hill – C

Wells – P

 

Nationals:

Morgan – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Harris – 2B

Gonzalez – SS

Nieves – C

Zimmermann – P

 

Capture the Caption:

 


Willie harris 2.JPG

Under the Mistletoe

The Center Field gate at Nationals Park was transformed into a winter wonderland before today’s game. In conjunction with the Christmas in July Toy Drive, going on this weekend at the Park, Nationals’ fans arrived to the game and were given a real treat. Screech, dressed as Santa, carried around mistletoe hanging from a baseball bat and tried to get fans to kiss. Also, Nationals pitchers Tyler Clippard, Garrett Mock, and Jason Bergmann met with the fans, signing autographs and handing out Nationals tattoos.

 


IMG_0944.jpg
IMG_0953.jpg
 
IMG_0972.jpgDavid Gough, 12, came to the game with his mom, Jennifer. His little league team, the Cubs, recently beat the Nationals for the championship. He’s hoping for a different result tonight.

 

“I just met Tyler Clippard,” David said. “He was really nice and signed my program for me.”

 

Olivia Wortman, 6, received a Nationals tattoo from Clippard when she arrived at the park too. This season ticket holder plays for the Nationals in her “coaches-pitch” league and was excited to meet the players who share her same uniform.

 

“It was really cool to meet the players,” Olivia said. “Now I have to go get my favorite game food: pizza and Gifford’s Cookies and Cream ice cream!”

 

Jason Bergmann handed out temporary Curly “W” tattoos to fans as they walked through the Center Field gate.

 

“I love interacting with the fans,” Bergmann said. “I try to do this as often as I can.”

 


IMG_0964.jpgCatch some of your favorite players, and the mischievous Screech, at the Center Field gate all weekend long. Don’t forget to bring your new, unwrapped gifts to the game to donate to Toys for Tots during the fourth annual Christmas in July Toy Drive with the Washington Nationals.

 

 

Name the CAPS: The future stars of the Capitals took time off from the Capital Development Camp to watch the Nats.


 
IMG_0984.jpg
IMG_0988.jpg 

Got their RED on:

IMG_0979.jpg

Lineups for 7/17

Cubs:

Fukudome – CF

Theriot – SS

Lee – 1B

Ramirez – 3B

Bradley – RF

Hoffpauir – LF

Fontenot – 2B

Hill – C

Zambrano – P

 

Nationals:

Morgan – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Harris – 2B

Bard – C

Gonzalez – SS

Stammen – P

 

In 38 games as Nationals pitching coach, Steve McCatty has guided Washington’s young starting staff to remarkable returns. Despite watching a rookie toe the rubber in a starting role 27 times in those 38 contests, Steve’s starting staff is 8-13 with a 4.10 ERA (106 ER/232.2 IP) and has tallied 20 quality starts (53%).

 

Nyjer Morgan is doing the little things to generate runs. He laid a perfect bunt down last night for a single. Then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Morgan scored on a Nick Johnson ground out. Morgan has seven stolen bases in July. That is good for first in the league tied with BOS Jacoby Ellsbury and HOU Michael Bourn since July, 1st.

NatsTown = Red Out


NatsTown Blog 003.jpgThe Nationals decided to start the second half of their season off with a bang and will be wearing their
RED alternate jerseys all weekend. We decided to check out the crowd and see who else rocked the RED at the series opener against the Cubs.

 


NatsTown Blog 014.jpg

These guys take “Get your RED on” to the extreme. I wonder if even their skivvies are red?

 

NatsTown Blog 011.jpg

Multitasking: Rocking the RED and rocking at PlayStation.

 

NatsTown Blog 001.jpgWait guys, we said RED, not orange! This isn’t Camden Yards.

 

NatsTown Blog 024.jpgNats Xtra hosts Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight get in on the RED party.

 

NatsTown Blog 015.jpgNo wonder the grass at Nationals Park always looks so nice, look at how stylish the grounds crew is.

 

NatsTown Blog 026.jpg
These lovely fashionistas prove that RED is always in style.

 

NatsTown Blog 033.jpgThese friends may not be rocking the RED, but they are definitely showing off their Nationals pride!

 

NatsTown Blog 031.jpgPink is definitely a shade of RED, right?

 

Don’t forget to come to the park and get your RED on all weekend long as the Nationals take on the Cubs in the first series after the All-Star break!

 

 

 

Christmas in July

The Night at NatsTown

‘Twas the day of the game, when all through NatsTown,
The whole park was stirring, soaking in all the sights and sounds.
The bats were in place by the dugout with care,
In hopes that Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman soon would hit it here.
The fans were nestled all snug in their seats,
While visions of walk-off home runs and people dancing down half street.
A Dad in his Zim jersey, and I in my cap,

Had just gave a kid a brand new Nats hat.
When out in NatsTown there arose such a clatter,
It was Christmas in July and giving toys was all that mattered.

 


071208-037 nationals.JPGThe Washington Nationals will host the fourth annual Christmas in July Toy Drive, benefitting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, tomorrow through Sunday. Volunteers from the U.S. Marines and the Nationals will be present at the Nationals Park Center Field Gates to accept donations of new, unwrapped toys from gates opening through the end of the fourth inning. The toys collected will be distributed to needy families in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region. Nationals fans donated more than 2,000 toys and $19,000 in 2008.

 


071208-041 nationals.JPG

Lineups for 7/16

Cubs:

Johnson – CF

Theriot – SS

Bradley – RF

Lee – 1B

Ramirez – 3B

Soriano – LF

Baker – 2B

Hill – C

Harden – P

 

Nationals:

Morgan – CF

Johnson – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – LF

Willingham – RF

Guzman – SS

Bard – C

Gonzalez – 2B

Lannan – P

 

·         In the last 10 seasons, the Nationals or Expos have lost only one season series to the Cubs (1-6 in 2007). In the same 10-year span, the Nationals/Expos and Cubs have, however, tied their season series five times (2001-04, ’08). The Expos (22-18) and Nationals (13-12) are a combined 35-30 (.538) against the Northsiders in 10 seasons beginning with the 1999 campaign.

 

·         Morgan is batting .302 (13-for-43) with three doubles, two RBIs and six stolen bases in as many attempts in the first 10 games with the Nats. His six swipes already rank second among Nationals behind only Willie Harris’ nine.

 

·         Guzman is hitting sixth for the seventh time this season. He is batting .167 (4-for-24) with three RBIs in the sixth spot.

Manager… Jim Riggleman

Jim Riggleman returned to his roots this winter when he was hired as the bench coach and now he has his dream job, managing his hometown team. Riggleman grew up in nearby Rockville, MD and watched Frank Howard and the Senators as a kid. He graduated from Richard Montgomery (MD) High School and was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1974 First-Year Player Draft out of Frostburg State (MD) University. He has always said that if baseball ever returned to the Nation’s Capitol, he wanted to be the manager.

 

He is in a familiar position as he begins the second half of the season as the Nats interim manager. He was named the interim manager last year by the Seattle Mariners on June 19th. The Mariners were 25-47 (.347) when John McLaren was fired. Riggleman led them to a slightly better 36-54 (.400) mark the rest of the season. Before Riggleman: the Mariners batted .252 with a .308 on-base percentage and scored 3.9 runs per game. With Riggleman: the Mariners batted .276 with a .326 on-base percentage and scored 4.4 runs per game.

 


Riggleman.jpgJim Riggleman took about a half hour yesterday to meet with the media. Here are some excerpts…

 

On being back in Washington:

“Growing up here, we just had the Senators and we loved the Senators. But we didn’t win enough and support them enough and we lost them. For years, as I was in baseball, I felt you gotta have baseball in Washington. It’s the Nation’s Capital, it’s America, it’s baseball, you gotta have it in the Nation’s Capital. So I was thrilled when the ballclub was brought here and felt that it would be nice someday to work for the Washington ballclub because it’s home and that’s who I grew up watching, Frank Howard and Fred Valentine, Danny O’Connell, those guys. They were in last place but everyone stuck around to see Frank Howard hit in the eighth inning because he might hit a homerun. It was just a great thing to have and when we lost it, it was terrible. We have to now take advantage of this opportunity to have it back here in Washington.”

 

On Manny:

 “He is an outstanding manager.  I know really good days are ahead for Manny managing in the Major Leagues and anybody would be fortunate to have him. It’s one of those situations where when you lose ballgames, I’ve been there with a couple ballclubs, you lose enough ballgames where you feel like you’re doing the right thing, saying the right things but you lose enough that the manager is the one that usually takes the hit and that’s what’s happened. He and Randy St. Claire are both these outstanding baseball people that are not with us anymore and I know that myself and the coaches feel that we let Manny down and this is the result: Manny is not here now… I just thank Manny for the opportunity, bringing me here, but also thank him for the work he put in.”

 

On what changes we can expect to see on the field:

“We’re not going to reinvent the game. I don’t think any two people, if you take two great managers, if I could take a couple names out of a hat, [Tony] LaRussa and [Bobby] Cox, are not going do everything the same way in any given situation but they both are great managers and so if one was taking over for the other he wouldn’t reinvent, he wouldn’t change a whole lot that the other was doing, we’re not going to change a whole lot of what Manny was doing, but we got to find a way to get some different results.”

 

On what he learned from a similar experience last year:

“Well I think that the thing that I take from last year is that, again I was working for a great baseball man there in John McClaren and we just tried to continue to implement the message. There wasn’t a lot we did differently.  But we just worked. We did improve defensively last year from last in the league to somewhere in the middle of the pack, we just kept working.  That’s what we’ve been doing all along. We just eventually started seeing some results from that hard work. I think that what I draw from that is to keep working, keep pushing. Don’t let up, just stay on them, stay on the players. To take the losses, agonize over the losses. That was a message we were trying to give them. Losing should hurt. Winning is hard, it’s hard to win.  It’s easy to lose, you can lose and just accept it, but that’s unacceptable and that’s the message we tried last year and we’ll try to do it again this year. “

 


Riggleman 2.jpgOn how his voice will be different than Manny Acta’s:

“I don’t know that it’ll be much different but there’s something to that. That was kind of a statement I made in Chicago. I was there five years and I was let go there and I felt like if I was in the general manager’s position I would have done the same thing. I would have let Jim Riggleman out of there because I know he’s saying the right things but I have to get someone else to give this message because the players are not getting it done. That’s basically what it amounts to. I don’t think you can change a lot. I know Manny wouldn’t change anything that he did and I wouldn’t question anything that he did. I’m just going to try to continue to pound the message in. Maybe coming from somebody else, maybe they’ll respond and maybe they won’t but we’ve got to try that.”

 

On how he would describe his style:

“You know, I’ve kind of heard that I am fiery in the last day or two but I feel like I’m a bit of a softie, I feel like I’m pretty easy.  But the thing that I think I’m easy in the sense that, if players are not playing well I understand that, it’s a tough game. But if they’re not playing hard, that irks me.  If they’re not respectful of the game, respectful of the uniform, respectful of the fans, of the organization, and if they do that, then there’s a problem. Sometimes that has happened.  I’ve had a few incidences with players where I’ve had to address that and that comes out because the camera doesn’t miss much. So somebody thinks I’m fiery or whatever but if players just play hard, like I said, I have no problem if you miss a ball, but if you don’t chase it after you miss it… I’ve got a problem.  So just give your good effort and there won’t be any problems. That might be perceived as Jim’s not tough enough, that I’m not getting on enough, but I know they didn’t try to miss the ball.”

 

On what kind of personnel/on-field changes we might see:

“I may tinker with the lineup a little bit but that’s what we did anyway. If you noticed a couple times [Adam] Dunn hit fifth instead of fourth or [Nick] Johnson hit third instead of second, maybe [Cristian] Guzman sixth instead of second. So those types of things because we get a lot of hits, we hit pretty good, but we haven’t scored a lot. So something in that lineup hasn’t produced runs as it should for as good of hitters as they are. As I scratched out lineups, again as the bench coach, some of what Manny and I talked about, some of what we did, continued to produce hits but not runs, so that’s not going to work.”

 

On the rest of the season:
“Let’s get refocused. We got a lot of season left. There’s a lot of opportunity to make a move in the standings. We’re not looking to leapfrog three or four clubs but we can set our sights on, at least chase a club, whoever’s ahead of us, let’s get after that club.”

 

Major League Managerial Experience:

 


Riggleman with Seattle.jpg2008 season:
He was hired as the interim manager by the Seattle Mariner on June 19th when John McLaren was fired. He led an injury marred Seattle Mariners team to a 36-54 (.400) record. He took over when they were 25-47 (.347).

 


Riggleman with Cubs.jpg1995-1999 seasons:
He managed the Cubs to a 374-419 (.472) record over the five year period. He posted a pair of winning seasons during his five year stint with the Cubs, including a 90-73 (.552) record and a NL Wild Card in 1998. They were swept in three games by the Atlanta Braves.

 


Riggleman with Padres.jpg1992-1994 seasons:
He took over at the end of the 1992 season for Greg Riddoch and went 4-8 in the final 12 games of the season. He managed the Padres to a 112-179 (.385) record over the two-plus years and coached the likes of Fred McGriff, Tony Gwynn and Gary Sheffield.

 

Get Your RED On


 
062409-263 jim riggleman.JPGThe Nationals will introduce Jim Riggleman as manager in about 15 minutes and then the team will partake in a mandatory workout. The Nationals kick off a four game set against the Cubs tomorrow and will sport their red alternate jerseys for the entire series. The Nats typically wear their white unis at home but occasionally wear the red alternate (12 times) and blue stars and stripes jerseys (4 times). They are 9-17 wearing white, 4-8 wearing Red and 3-1 with the stars and stripes. The Nats are encouraging all fans to get your RED on to kickoff the second half of the season!

060609-202 adam dunn.JPG


062409-386 ryan zimmerman.JPG

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 562 other followers