From the Desk of Mark Lerner: Welcome to The Show

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Hello again Nationals fans,

As everyone undoubtedly knows by now, tonight is a special night. Bryce Harper will be making his MLB debut as we continue our series at Chavez Ravine.

As I talked about in my last blog, Dodger Stadium is one of the iconic venues in all of sports, and it is fitting that a 19 year-old kid from Las Vegas will be making his much-anticipated big league entrance on this stage.

All eyes - and cameras - will be on number 34 in red at Dodger Stadium tonight.

As “Hollywood” as this script seems, this was not how it was supposed to happen. Sure, the scenic backdrop, the 50,000-plus fans and the A-list celebs will be fantastic for the history books, but Bryce is here tonight on someone else’s terms.

Unfortunately, Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder soreness has prompted a DL stint. Thankfully, this won’t be a prolonged absence for Ryan, but it does leave an immediate void in Davey’s lineup.

So, Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson talked. And they talked again. Ultimately, it was determined that they needed another left-handed bat in the lineup, and an outfielder if possible.

So, Mike went to chilly, Rochester, NY and watched Bryce play three games. He saw enough to know that this is what he had to do. He diverted from his plan. But how many of us see our best laid plans executed exactly as we scripted? Not nearly enough. That’s just reality.

So, when Mike called me yesterday with the news that he planned to recall Bryce on Saturday, I was taken aback. Like most, I did not see this happening so quickly.

Mike told me that Bryce was the best fit for what Davey needed, especially with Zimmerman and Michael Morse on the shelf.

He also told me that Bryce’s development plan is still not finished. There is a good chance that he’ll need more time, more reps and more at-bats at Triple-A. But that is a discussion for another day.

Bryce should not be seen as a panacea. He’s not our run-production savior. That would be unfair.

But Mike does think – and I agree – that Bryce can provide our roster a healthy jolt.

So, let’s see what he can do. Let’s dig deeper than his batting average, his power output and instead keep our eyes open for his total game – the base running, the defense, the throwing arm. Let’s resist the urge to make grand conclusions based on ridiculously small sample sizes.

But, at the same time, let’s have fun. On a personal level, I am thrilled that I am in Los Angeles and will be at Dodger Stadium tonight.

Tonight’s tilt is going to be memorable. But, so is Tuesday’s DC debut at Nationals Park against the Diamondbacks. And his first matchup next weekend against the Phillies.

It all starts for Bryce tonight, fittingly in Tinseltown.

The first page of what we believe will be a special Hollywood script.

Up goes the curtain: it’s time to enjoy the show.

3 Comments

Maybe it’s just me, but if the Nats, who are saying they would have liked and would have preferred to keep Harper at Syracuse to develop a while longer, that they didn’t go with a simple option of signing Bobby Abreu, who’s left-handed bat and who would fair better in the National League than he had in the American League.

If it becomes a coin toss as to whether they send him back down for more seasoning when Zimmerman returns, and if Abreu is still available, why not sign him. He would be a decent temp for left field and heck, they Nats could release him the sec they feel Morse is back to full speed.

Yea, it’s probably just me, since I don’t see anyone else making the suggestion.

Mark. Keep October free for the Playoffs!

what does tyler moore have to do to get a shot?

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