June 2011

The Battle of the Beltways’ finale

Tom Gorzelanny makes his first start after coming off the disabled list today, as the Nats look to sweep the Orioles right back up the parkway to Baltimore and extend their win streak to nine games in a row. Rick Ankiel was placed on the disabled list with a left intercostal strain in the same roster move.

Here are today’s lineups for the Beltways finale:

Orioles:

JJ Hardy – SS

Nick Markakis – RF

Adam Jones – CF

Derrek Lee – 1B

Nolan Reimold – LF

Mark Reynolds – 3B

Craig Tatum – C

Robert Andino – 2B

Chris Jakubauskas – P

Nationals:

Jayson Werth – RF

Roger Bernadina – CF

Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

Laynce Nix – LF

Michael Morse – 1B

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Wilson Ramos – C

Tom Gorzelanny – P

Alex Cora – SS

*Washington is currently only one of three teams to have at least four players with double-digit home runs – Morse with 13, Espinosa with 12, and Nix and Werth both with 10.

*Ian Desmond’s personal hit streak ended at 11 games, as he went 0-for-4 yesterday afternoon. Today he gets the day off, with Cora getting the start at short.

Nats-O’s, Game 2

After adding another Curly “W” to the win column, the Nationals look to continue their hot streak and extend it to eight wins in a row.
Here are today’s lineups versus Baltimore:

Orioles:
JJ Hardy – SS
Nick Markakis – RF
Adam Jones – CF
Matt Wieters – C
Derrek Lee – 1B
Luke Scott – LF
Mark Reynolds – 3B
Robert Andino – 2B
Brian Matusz – P

Nationals:
Jayson Werth – RF
Ian Desmond – SS
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Jerry Hairston – LF
Ivan Rodriguez – C
Jordan Zimmermann – P
Roger Bernadina – CF

*In 13.1 innings pitched, Jordan Zimmermann has pitched to a 2.70 ERA with 12 strikeouts and only two walks against the Orioles.

*The current winning streak is the longest that the team has had since the end of the 2009 season, when they ended the year on a seven-game winning streak.

*Speaking of streaks, shortstop Ian Desmond currently has a 11-game hitting streak going.

The Battle of the Beltways begins

After knocking the St. Louis Cardinals out of first place, the Nationals look to continue their six-game winning streak as the Orioles come to town for the Battle of the Beltways. Zach Britton will oppose Jason Marquis, who has been dominant in his last several appearances and may be making a bid to be the Nationals All-Star this year.
Here are today’s lineups:

Orioles:
JJ Hardy – SS
Nick Markakis – RF
Adam Jones – CF
Matt Wieters – C
Luke Scott – LF
Derek Lee – 1B
Mark Reynolds – 3B
Robert Andino – 2B
Zach Britton – P

Nationals:
Jayson Werth – RF
Ian Desmond – SS
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Michael Morse – 1B
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Wilson Ramos – C
Jerry Hairston – LF
Jason Marquis – P
Roger Bernadina – CF

*Today’s Nationals lineup features two players who originally were drafted by Baltimore—Jayson Werth was drafted as a catcher in the first-round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft, and Jerry Hairston Jr. was drafted in the 11th-round that same year. Werth would eventually be traded to the Blue Jays, while Hairston made his MLB debut in 1998 in Baltimore and would play there for seven years.

* Ryan Zimmerman has batted .311 with four home runs, six doubles and 12 RBI in his career against the Orioles.

*A sweep of this series would not only get the Nats back to .500 for the year, but it would also even the all-time series against Baltimore.

Lannan takes the mound in series finale

 The Nationals enter tonight’s game coming off of a 10-0 victory over the Cardinals to extend their winning streak to five straight. Livan Hernandez’s performance last ight was described as “vintage” by Jim Riggleman – John Lannan hopes to follow up with a similarly efficient outing tonight.
Here are tonight’s lineups for the series finale:

Cardinals:

Tyler Greene – SS
Colby Rasmus – CF
Albert Pujols – 1B
Matt Holliday – LF
Lance Berkman – RF
Yadier Molina – C
Skip Schumaker – 2B
Daniel Descalso – 3B
Kyle Lohse – P

Nationals:

Jayson Werth – RF
Roger Bernadina – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Laynce Nix – LF
Michael Morse – 1B
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Wilson Ramos – C
John Lannan – P
Ian Desmond – SS

*John Lannan is 2-2 in six starts against the Cardinals with a solid 2.72 ERA.

*Jayson Werth has batted .455 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI against Kyle Lohse. Ryan Zimmerman has also belted out a double, knocked in two runs and walked twice with Lohse on the mound

 

Nationals-Cardinals, Game 2

Yesterday was somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for the Nationals—after a rough start from Yunesky Maya, Washington struck back in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring six runs to take an 8-6 lead that they held for the rest of the game. Shortly after that, it was announced that first baseman Adam LaRoche will be undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum he has been struggling to rehabilitate.

Also, earlier today, the Nationals optioned Maya back to Syracuse and recalled right-hander Colin Balester to bulk up the bullpen.

Here are the lineups for game two against St. Louis:

Cardinals:

Ryan Theriot – SS
Colby Rasmus – CF
Albert Pujols – 3B
Lance Berkman – 1B
Andrew Brown – RF
Jon Jay – LF
Yadier Molina – C
Skip Schumaker – 2B
Kyle McClellan – P

Nationals:

Jayson Werth – RF
Roger Bernadina – CF
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B
Laynce Nix – LF
Michael Morse – 1B
Danny Espinosa – 2B
Ivan Rodriguez – C
Livan Hernandez – P
Ian Desmond – SS

*Despite some offensive struggles during the 2011 season, the Nationals have scored eight or more runs in a game five times since May 15, including last night’s win.

*Tonight will be the first time the Nationals have faced Kyle McClellan.

*Against the Cardinals, Livan Hernandez has pitched to a 4.71 ERA with two complete games and 86 strikeouts.

Zimmerman returns as Nats face Cards to start homestand

After missing 58 games with an abdominal injury, Ryan Zimmerman is finally making his return to the Nationals lineup. To make room for him on the roster, Craig Stammen has been optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse. In his rehab starts, Zim batted .381 with three doubles, a triple and three RBI.

Here are the lineups to kick off the series against the Cardinals:

Cardinals:

Ryan Theriot – SS

Colby Rasmus – CF

Albert Pujols – 1B

Lance Berkman – LF

Yadier Molina – C

Andrew Brown – RF

Skip Schumaker – 2B

Daniel Descalso – 3B

Jaime Garcia – P

Nationals:

Jayson Werth – RF

Ian Desmond – SS

Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

Michael Morse – 1B

Danny Espinosa – 2B

Wilson Ramos – C

Rick Ankiel – CF

Yunesky Maya – P

Jerry Hairston – LF

*The Nationals continue their recent trend, batting today’s starter Yunesky Maya eighth in the lineup with Jerry Hairston Jr. behind him.

*Washington hopes to continue their current hot streak this evening, having gone 6-5 on the road trip and currently riding a three-game win streak.

*Michael Morse has batted for a .250 average with a .400 on-base percentage against Jaime Garcia in their careers.

Mark Lerner on the Enhanced Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk

As always, greetings Nats fans!  Last night’s VIP party for the grand opening of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) here at Nationals Park was a tremendous success. I must admit, I’m excited for all of you to experience the completely transformed space on the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk and the four brand new eateries that highlight the area – Blue Smoke, Shake Shack, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites. There were samples aplenty going around last night and the food is truly spectacular. You will be impressed.

As you know, one of the many topics my staff and I frequently revisit is the fan experience.  How do we enhance it? How do we offer fans something new and unique?  Well, after receiving so many positive responses last night, I think we’ve taken a huge step in the right direction. I was both touched and encouraged by the sheer number of those who came out and supported our efforts to create a greater experience for our fans. In addition to the new eateries, some of the new highlights in the renovated park-like space include:

     • 14 shade sails suspended by turnbuckles hanging overhead. These sails will help to greatly reduce temperatures and protect fans from UV rays.

     • A large green area featuring a variety of sustainable and indigenous plants and trees, which require less water and maintenance while also improving air quality.
    
     • And we’re not done yet…

After experiencing this refreshed area for myself, I am convinced even more that our enhanced Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk will be a complete success. As our COO Andrew Feffer said in his remarks last night, we’ve created “a park within the park,” and it is truly something unique across all of sports. But don’t take my word for it – starting tonight, you can come feel the energy that radiates from this new space. You won’t be disappointed.
 
I encourage fans to visit this summer and experience all of what Nationals Park has to offer.  From the spirited pregame parties to the new dining options fans are sure to have a good time.  I hope to see you tonight and throughout the summer months ahead. Go Nats!

Mark Lerner Previews the Hottest New Destination at Nats Park

Greetings Nats fans! It’s been a long road trip for your Nationals, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are thrilled to welcome the team back to town. Over the next 10 days, they’ll play nine games, including next weekend’s Battle of the Beltway vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

Without looking too far ahead, it’s my pleasure to share some exciting news with you before the first game this week is even played. As you may know, over the past year we have made a number of enhancements to the fan experience in and around Nationals Park. In particular, the revamped Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk features our popular Miller Lite Party Nights, drink specials, live music and entertainment – not to mention great views of the action on the field.
 
As they say, we’ve only just begun. On Tuesday night, we are excited to unveil four new culinary offerings at Nationals Park before the team faces the St. Louis Cardinals. From Danny Meyer’s renowned Union Square Hospitality Group, we welcome Blue Smoke, Shake Shack, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites to the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk. The exterior of each eatery features its own distinct design that characterizes their unique cuisines. In addition to the great food, I’m also confident that you’re going to love the new layout of this refreshed area. Large sweeping sails provide shade and there’s a stage for various musical acts (schedule of performers). An assortment of large trees and shrubbery are interspersed amongst comfortable chairs and sofas in a lounge-like setting. Put simply, these new dining options will make the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk one of the hottest destinations in all of professional sports, and we couldn’t be happier to have it right here at Nationals Park.
 
I don’t know about you, but this has all of a sudden made me very hungry, and I don’t even know where to begin. Whether it’s Blue Smoke’s Chipotle Chicken Wings, a large box from Box Frites or El Verano’s “Elote” corn on the cob, there are so many great new choices. And of course you’ll need to wash it all down with a hand-spun milkshake from Shake Shack. The options are just about limitless, and I anticipate you’ll have the same dilemma of deciding which new eatery is your favorite. Luckily, starting Tuesday night, you’ve got all summer to come out and enjoy the latest enhancements to the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk and all that it has to offer. I can’t wait to see you there. Go Nats!

Rendon and Meyer highlight 2011 MLB Draft

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice University

Audio from the conference call with Rendon: Anthony Rendon

In a first round dominated by pitchers, Anthony Rendon stands out. The Rice University third baseman was taken with the sixth overall pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft by the Nationals.

Rendon hit .371 with 52 homers and 194 RBI in 187 games during his time at Rice. He posted an on-base percentage of .505 during his career. Given those stats, it should come as no surprise that he’s a semifinalist for both this year’s Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award. Rendon won the Howser Trophy last year after hitting .394 with 26 home runs and 85 RBI as a sophomore. He was rated the top position player in this year’s draft by Baseball America.

Rendon was previously drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves in the 27th round, but turned that down in order to attend Rice.

What’s curious about Rendon is his position—third base. With Gold Glove and Silver Slugger-recipient Ryan Zimmerman at the hot corner for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking over that position. As soon as he was drafted, there was immediate speculation that Rendon would be shifted to second base—but with Danny Espinosa providing solid defense so far and some pop in his bat, do Nationals fans really want to lose him?

Regardless of his position, it’s obvious that Rendon will succeed both offensively and defensively. During his sophomore year at Rice he made only four errors for an astounding .978 fielding percentage and scouts have made it clear in their reports that he’ll be able to hit Major League pitching. Rendon will hopefully develop into the kind of impact player that Washington needs as they strive to become a contender.

 

Alex Meyer, RHP, University of Kentucky

 Audio from the conference call with Meyer: Alex Meyer

Adding to a farm system already rich with strong arms, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer 23rd overall. The University of Kentucky pitcher was Washington’s second draft pick after power-hitting third baseman Anthony Rendon was taken sixth overall. Many had speculated that the Nationals would take Meyer with that No. 6 pick. Seventeen picks later, they got their man.

With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s, Meyer garnered interest from scouts this past college season when he struck out 110 batters in 101 innings while posting a 2.94 ERA. In 10 starts against his conference competition this season, he won five decisions and pitched three complete games. Meyer is an intimidating figure on the mound, standing at 6-foot-9—but if he makes the Majors with the Nationals, he’d still only be the third-tallest pitcher in Nats/Expos franchise history (behind Jon Rauch and Randy Johnson, who both stood at 6-10). Aside from his scorching fastball, he also has a plus slider and changeup.

Meyer was first drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in the 20th round in 2008, but he opted to go to college instead.

NATIONALS’ SELECTIONS IN 2011 MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT

RD  PICK     PLAYER                          POS      B/T       HT       WT        DOB         SCHOOL

  1        6     Anthony Rendon              3B       R/R       6-0      190       6/6/90           Rice Univ. (TX)

  1      23     Alex Meyer                      RHP     R/R       6-9      220       1/3/90           Univ. of Kentucky

  S      34     Brian Goodwin                 OF       L/L        6-1      195      11/2/90        Miami Dade College (FL)

  3      96     Matt Purke                       LHP      L/L        6-3      175      7/17/90          Texas Christian Univ.

  4     127     Kylin Turnbull                 LHP      L/L        6-5      200      9/12/89          Santa Barbara CC (CA)

  5     157     Matt Skole                        3B       L/R       6-3      230      7/30/89          Georgia Tech Univ.

  6     187     Taylor Hill                      RHP     R/R       6-3      225      3/12/89          Vanderbilt Univ. (TN)

  7     217     Brian Dupra                    RHP     R/R       6-3      205     12/15/88         Notre Dame Univ. (IN)

  8     247     Greg Holt                        RHP     R/R       6-2      200      6/19/89          Univ. of North Carolina

  9     277     Dixon Anderson              RHP     R/R       6-6      225       7/2/89        Univ. of California-Berkley

10     307     Manny Rodriguez            RHP     R/R       6-2      225      1/12/89          Barry Univ. (FL)

11     337     Caleb Ramsey                  OF       L/R       6-3      210      10/7/88          Univ. of Houston (TX)

12     367     Blake Monar                    LHP      L/L        6-2      205      6/16/89          Indiana Univ.

13     397     Blake Kalenkosky             1B       R/R       6-0      204     10/28/89         Texas State Univ.

14     427     Cody Stubbs                    OF       L/R       6-3      215      1/14/91          Walters State CC (TN)

15     457     Zach Houchins                 SS       R/R       6-3      185      9/16/92          Louisburg JC (NC)

16     487     Deion Williams                 SS       R/R       6-3      185     11/11/92         Redan HS (GA)

17     517     Esteban Guzman             RHP     R/R       6-4      220      2/15/90       San Jose State Univ. (CA)

18     547     Nicholas Lee                   LHP      L/L        6-1      190      1/31/91       Weatherford College (TX)

19     577     Hawtin Buchannan          RHP      L/R       6-8      245      4/29/93          Biloxi HS (MS)

20     607     Josh Laxer                      RHP     R/R       6-1      190       6/7/93        Madison Central HS (MS)

21     637     Todd Simko                    LHP      L/L        6-4      225      12/5/88       Texas A&M Univ.-C.C.

22     667     Travis Henke                  RHP     R/R       6-6      250       7/9/88    Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock

23     697     Khayyan Norfork              2B       R/R      5-10      190      1/19/89          Univ. of Tennessee

24     727     Kyle Ottoson                   LHP      L/L        6-2      165      7/11/90          Arizona State Univ.

25     757     Erick Fernandez                C       R/R      5-11      190     11/30/88         Georgetown Univ. (DC)

26     787     Shawn Pleffner                 OF       L/R       6-5      225      8/17/89          Univ. of Tampa (FL)

27     817     Bobby Lucas                    LHP      L/L        6-4      220      8/12/87      George Washington (DC)

28     847     Kenneth Ferrer                RHP     R/R       6-1      220     12/13/89         Elon Univ. (NC)

29     877     Sean Cotton                      C       R/R       6-2      210     11/15/88         Tusculum College (TN)

30     907     Bryan Harper                   LHP      L/L        6-6      210     12/29/89         Univ. of South Carolina

31     937     Josh Tobias                     SS       S/R       5-9      200     11/23/92     Southeast Guilford HS (NC)

32     967     Billy Burns                       OF      R/R       5-9      170      8/30/89          Mercer Univ. (GA)

33     997     Trey Karlen                      2B       R/R      5-11      195      4/23/88     Univ. of Tennessee-Martin

34   1027     Calvin Drummond           RHP     R/R       6-3      200      9/22/89          Univ. of San Diego (CA)

35   1057     Alex Kreis                       RHP     R/R       6-1      210       1/1/89         Jamestown College (ND)

36   1087     Ben Hawkins                   LHP      L/L        6-0      180      11/4/89          Univ. of West Florida

37   1117     Derrick Bleeker               RHP     R/R       6-5      220      3/11/91          Howard College (TX)

38   1147     Brett Mooneyham            LHP      L/L        6-5      245      1/24/90          Stanford Univ. (CA)

39   1177     Peter Verdin                     OF      R/R       6-0      205      3/19/90          Univ. of Georgia

40   1207     Stephen Collum               OF      R/R       6-3      185       3/7/92           Cartersville HS (GA)

41   1237     Bryce Ortega                    3B       R/R      5-10      165      9/22/88          Univ. of Arizona

42   1267     David Kerian                    SS       S/R       6-2      185       2/9/93           Bishop Heelan HS (IA)

43   1297     Mitchell Morales               SS       L/R      5-10      150       3/3/93    Wellington Community HS

44   1327     Matt Snyder                      1B       L/R       6-6      210      6/17/90          Univ. of Mississippi

45   1357     Ritchie Mirowski             RHP     R/R       6-2      190      4/30/89          Oklahoma Baptist Univ.

46   1387     Tyler Thompson              OF       L/R       6-1      185       8/4/89           Univ. of Florida

47   1417     Timothy Montgomery       LHP      R/L       6-5      195      3/13/93          Rockmart HS (GA)

48   1447     Michael Bisenius              OF       L/R       6-3      215     10/29/88      Wayne State College (NE)

49   1477     Hunter Cole                     OF      R/R       6-1      185      10/3/92          Dorman HS (SC)

50   1507     Anthony Nix                     OF      R/R      5-10      185     2/3/1989    Univ. of California-Riverside

News and Notes from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft

Greetings from the Nationals 2011 Draft War Room. I am John Dever, the Nationals Sr. Director of Baseball Media Relations and I am collaborating with Principal Owner Mark Lerner and Mike Gazda (Dir. Baseball PR) on various observations gathered in/around the Nationals’ Draft efforts. Tonight promises to be an exciting event.

 In talking with friends and colleagues in this room and around the game, one underlying theme is that the 2011 Draft class is extremely deep. One cohort outside our organization told me that individually, each of the top 6 or 7 picks in this year’s Draft would have gone second—behind our own Bryce Harper—if they were somehow eligible for the 2010 Draft. So, while no one in this room wants to annually pick in the top 10, we also feel that there is an opportunity here to grab impact players at #6, #23 and #34.

 By the way, the Nationals second (23rdoverall) and third (34th) selections in the 2011 Draft were granted as a result of Adam Dunn signing as a free agent with the White Sox. Also, understand that Washington forfeited its standard second-round selection with the signing of Jayson Werth. That is why and how your Nationals have three picks among the Draft’s top 34 selections.     

 We are in the same room, the Media Interview Room, we have used since 2009. We are located adjacent to the Lexus Presidents Club, just down the concourse from the Nationals Clubhouse.

 I am going to attempt to draw a visual for those of you who are not glued to the telecast on MLB Network (seriously, how did Seamheads survive before this fantastic network was born three years ago?).

 First and foremost there is the Draft Triumvirate of Mike Rizzo (GM), Roy Clark (Asst. GM, VP of Player Personnel) and Kris Kline (Director of Scouting). This is THE biggest day of the year for these gentlemen. This is what they live for. This is when they thrive. These three are located in the middle of the room, essentially at a 10-foot long table that serves as the War Room’s Epicenter. They are our Sun and everything else revolves around them.

 Think of Mike Rizzo as an orchestrator. Mike’s been a scout for 30+ years. He’s run Draft rooms before, but now he is a GM. Yes, Mike  engages in trade talk on an almost daily basis. Sure, he adds and subtracts players from the 40-man roster on a weekly basis. Indeed it is true, he’s signed players to eight-figure contracts. But if you cut Mike open, he’s a scout. Always has been, always will be. This is what gets Mike’s blood pumping. But, he is also smart enough to know he cannot be everywhere at once. So, he hired…

   Clark and Kline. Both of whom I’d put on a short list of the nicest folks I have met in this game. But to see these gentlemen in DC is rare. To see them together… that’s as rare as a solar eclipse (wow, do I get paid by the solar reference or what?). Why are they “never” around. Because they are out beating the bushes. Watching high school talent in rural Georgia (Clark’s nook) or taking in a junior college game in Florida (Kline). Meeting with coaches, a parent, school administrators, fellow scouts, perhaps a pastor. Their eyes just DON’T deceive them like they may for you and I. But just in case, they do their homework on hundreds (thousands?) of players. Their breadth of knowledge is downright scary.  

 Beyond the Triumvirate, picture two rows of tables orbiting the Sun. The inner orbit consists of the three cross checkers (Jeff Zona, Jimmy Gonzalez, Mark Baca) and a few choice area scouts (Mitch Sokol, Reed Dunn, Eric Robinson). The coordinated efforts of these guys set the table for the likes of Clark and Kline. Their knowledge and roles are respected because they do their jobs, gladly, with little coming their way in terms of frills. We are talking seemingly never-ending 8-, 10- or 12-hour drives from the lower reaches of Michigan to the interior of Arkansas. Do they sleep? Do they have families? The answer to both of those questions is most often “yes,” but understand these are the truest form of emissaries in our game. Just think about it, they do all this, and they may not have a player drafted by the Nationals from their territory.

 Tis almost time to get started as we approach 7 p.m. ET. But before we get there, let me inform you of the days culinary treats. For lunch, the staff feasted on steak, shrimp and crab cakes from Jerry’s Seafood (did I say no frills?). Delicious. Dinner consisted of 10-12 pizzas, while snacks consist of Red liquorish, granold bars, oreo cookies, gum, mints and M&Ms (plain, peanut, almond). You can gain eight here if not extremely careful.  

 Alright the draft is underway … hello Commissioner …

 *The Pirates take UCLA RHP Garrett Cole. No shock there.

*Ok, Draft shock waves just hit DC as the Mariners draft local product, UVA LHP Danny Hultzen, second overall. He attended St. Albans in DC before becoming a Cavalier. Back story is that Danny’s brother, Joe, is interning for Mike Rizzo in baseball operations. Joe has a smile on his face as wide as the day is long. Lots of good cheer for Danny, Joe and the entire Hultzen clan. What a proud day this must be. Back to work…

*The D-Backs take RHP Trevor Bauer. Some draft experts had us selecting Bauer. Won’t be the case.

*Royals take prep OF Bubba Starling, who makes sense as he is from Kansas.

 With the Starling-to-KC announcement, Mike Rizzo decries “Rendon.” There was a lot of talk before the Draft about being “true to the board,” to use the 6th selection on the top name left remaining. And Rendon is that name. Everyone in this room is excited. But there are also equal parts surprise. No one, not even the Triumvirate, expected the consensus top hitter in the draft to fall to number 6.

 I just caught Mike’s eye and he laughed at me. Why? Because over the weekend, he gave me four names and asked me to put together some press releases so we are ready and prepared at No. 6. I will not be disclosing those names, and they did not reflect the order of our board, but that foursome were all selected during the Draft’s first 5 picks. I am scurrying, BIG TIME!

 Ok, I am back, briefly. Mike Gazda just conducted a press gathering with Rizzo to talk about Rendon. Mike freely admitted that he was “surprised” we were able to secure Rendon at No. 6.

 No time to gloat, I just put out the Rendon release, about 25 minutes after the actual selection. And that leaves me only 9 or 10 picks until we get to #23. And #34 will not be far behind.

 Now, after some internal info gathering, I was given the names of RHP Alex Meyer (Univ. of Kentucky) and OF Brian Goodwin (Miami Dade College). Somehow, (make that THANKFULLY) we were able to select both players. Roy Clark has a country grin on his face. Like he stole something, has it and knows he got away with it.

 The funny back story here is that I finished the Meyer-Goodwin press release, which contained both Meyer and Goodwin, around the 27th selection. I was on the verge of sending this release to both Mark Lerner and Mike Rizzo for approval when my computer froze. I had to re-write the entire Meyer portion from memory, while Gazda had actually written the two paragraphs on Goodwin, so I was able to retrieve those from my email once I rebooted. Boy, I was hot for about 10 minutes there. Still simmering to be honest.

 As we wait for the sandwich round and MLB Network Coverage to finish, everyone in the room is in a mood that reminds me of how I felt every year in college when I finished my last final exam. Time to slap some backs one more time as we depart, head home and get some sleep. There is more work to be done here in this room once the sun comes up.

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