Archive for the ‘ Nationals Magazine ’ Category

Jordan Zimmermann: Red Granite

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The photo gallery below is a supplemental bonus feature for the cover article Jordan Zimmermann: Red Granite, from Issue 3 of the 2013 Nationals Magazine. Beginning this season, we will provide links, text shortcodes and QR codes to digital features like this one throughout Nationals Magazine and Inside Pitch.

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Inside The Numbers: Going The Distance

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The following is a digital bonus feature from the Inside The Numbers infographic in Nationals Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 3, in which we tracked the 10 longest home runs hit by the Nationals at home prior to the All-Star break. Watch each one below as we count down to Number One.

10. Adam LaRoche – 410 feet, 4.9 vs. CHW

9. Adam LaRoche – 414 feet, 4.9 vs. CHW

T-7. Jayson Werth – 418 feet, 4.9 vs. CHW

T-7. Wilson Ramos – 418 feet, 7.4 vs. MIL

6. Ian Desmond – 419 feet, 6.20 vs. COL

5. Bryce Harper – 420 feet, 4.10 vs. CHW

4. Ian Desmond – 421 feet, 5.11 vs. CHC

3. Bryce Harper – 427 feet, 5.8 vs. DET

T-1. Jayson Werth – 434 feet, 4.4 vs. MIA

T-1. Bryce Harper – 434 feet, 4.25 vs. CIN

Living the Dream

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The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, set to open in the fall of 2013, will focus on creating an enduring environment for high-quality, after-school and summer programs that integrate baseball, academics and the value of teamwork in a safe environment for youth living in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.

Ian Desmond has been supportive of this project every step of the way, becoming a YBA board member and helping the dream of the Academy become a reality.

“We have an opportunity as the Washington Nationals organization to influence young peoples’ lives,” Desmond said. “That’s what we’re called to do. We’re called to make the next generation better than the generation we’re living in now.”

The article Living the Dream from Issue 3 of Nationals Magazine – on sale August 5 – details Desmond’s involvement and gives fans an inside perspective into the life and background of the Nationals shortstop.

For more information on the Youth Baseball Academy or to pledge your support, visit nationals.com/dream.

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All-Star Performances All Around

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With the combination of his star power and raw power, Bryce Harper is the most nationally known of Washington’s performers during All-Star Week at Citi Field. However, the Nationals have had a presence in nearly every facet of the festivities, and those stories should not be overlooked. Before the Midsummer Classic takes place Tuesday night, we take a look back through the events of the past three days.

Sunday: A.J. Cole Saves the Future for the USA

A.J. Cole earned the save in the Futures Game.

A.J. Cole earned the save in the Futures Game.

On Sunday afternoon, while the Nationals were taking care of business against the Miami Marlins in the final game before the All-Star break, some of the brightest prospects in the game assembled at Citi Field for the Futures Game. Pitting the best American Minor Leaguers against those from around the world, the game has become a showcase event that marks the beginning of the week of exhibitions.

This year’s Futures Game was a low-scoring, well-fought contest, in which the teams exchanged leads, with the U.S. team adding a run in the eighth to lead 4-2 heading to the ninth. Giants Minor League hurler Kyle Crick walked two of the first three batters he faced to put the tying run on base and bring the potential go-ahead run to the plate with just one out. The U.S. Futures team turned to the bullpen and brought in Nationals prospect A.J. Cole – reacquired in the offseason deal that also netted Ian Krol and Blake Treinen – to finish the job. Cole punched out Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi looking, then induced a grounder to second base from another Giants farmhand, Jesus Galindo, to end the game and earn the save.

Sunday: Defending the MVP

Wege celebrates his home run with his teammates (Jeff Zelevansky)

Wege (center) celebrates his home run with his teammates.

As you may recall, last year’s MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game featured a pair of Washington Nationals Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team members, Saul Bosquez and Matt Kinsey. Both players shined brightly in their time in the spotlight, as each went 3-for-3, with Kinsey also blasting a home run to lead his team to victory and earn the game’s MVP award. Needless to say, the bar had been set pretty high for Josh Wege, this year’s Wounded Warrior participant.

Not to be outdone, Wege, representing the Nationals, cranked a home run of his own off future Hall-of-Famer Frank Thomas and nearly made a spectacular diving grab in the first inning, earning him co-MVP honors for the night.

“It’s just amazing to be on the field with this guys,” Wege said of his fellow athletes and celebrities. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The fans were amazing today.”

Monday: Bam Bam Reaches the Finals

Competing in his first-ever Home Run Derby, Bryce Harper was the youngest participant in the field of eight by nearly six years. But that didn’t stop him from putting up the most consistent display of anyone in the tournament, homering eight times in each of his three rounds and spraying the ball to all fields, advancing to the finals. But his final effort was not enough to best Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes, who blasted 17 long balls during his opening round, the most of any player in a single round.

Check out a compilation of all of Harper’s home runs below, and don’t forget to watch him tonight as he starts in center field for the National League.

Capture the Caption: Magazine 2

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With Bryce Harper taking part in tonight’s Home Run Derby, come up with a caption for the photos below from Nationals Magazine, Issue 2 featuring Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. Leave your response in the comments and we’ll feature our favorites in print in Issue 3, available at Nationals Park beginning in August!

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K Street

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The video below is a supplemental bonus feature for the cover article K Street, from Issue 2 of the 2013 Nationals Magazine. Beginning this season, we will provide links, text shortcodes and QR codes to digital features like this one throughout Nationals Magazine and Inside Pitch.

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Capture the Caption: Magazine 1

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Flex your creative muscles and come up with a caption for the series of photos below from Nationals Magazine, Issue 1 featuring Tyler Moore and Jordan Zimmermann. Leave your response in the comments and we’ll feature our favorites in print in Issue 2, available at Nationals Park beginning in June!

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Bryce Harper: What’s Next?

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The video below is a supplemental bonus feature for the cover article Bryce Harper: What’s Next?, from Issue 1 of the 2013 Nationals Magazine. Beginning this season, we will provide links, text shortcodes and QR codes to digital features like this one throughout Nationals Magazine and Inside Pitch.

Detwiler, Stammen: Tour of Duty

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Earlier this offseason, General Martin Dempsey – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – invited Nationals pitchers Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen on the annual USO holiday tour. While abroad, Detwiler and Stammen sent us daily journal entries detailing the events of their trip.

The video below is bonus content for the full story, which can be found in Issue 1 of the Nationals Magazine. Beginning this season, we will provide links, text shortcodes and QR codes to digital features like this throughout Nationals Magazine and Inside Pitch.

A WAR Accord

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The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.­ – Robert Burns

Back in late January, as we planned out the feature articles that would appear in Issue 1 of Nationals Magazine (pick up a copy at the ballpark today!) this season, we decided to tackle a baseball statistic that had become one of the game’s biggest contentions: Wins Above Replacement, or WAR. No sooner did we pen the article than outlets across the sport posted similar pieces, outlining many of the same arguments as us. Still, we included a unique angle in our analysis, comparing the net change in WAR of the Nationals and Braves entering 2013, taking into account the three most high-profile replacements on each team during the offseason.

But then two more developments hit us over the past week.

First, our computations for the third and final section of the article, the one that compared the NL East rivals’ offseason moves, included only offensive totals for each team. As a result, our team totals were off. The second revelation, however, rendered that first one obsolete. FanGraphs and Baseball Reference, the two sites who kept different versions of the WAR statistic, joined together to come to terms on a redefined level of “replacement player,” thereby ripping up all of our hard-worked math and throwing it out the window anyway.

But hey, that’s just another reason why we’ve gone digital with our publications this year. Now we have a chance to update you with the new, correct numbers, which are an improved way of measuring the players anyway, now that there is a consistent baseline from which to project. And in spite of the change, the numbers still illustrate the underlying point of our article – according to WAR, the Nationals got better through their offseason acquisitions. The Braves? Well, not so much.

So here are the new numbers, as simple as we can give them to you. The Nationals combined for a total WAR of 44.2 in 2012, while the Braves notched a slightly lower 42.4, numbers which played out closely on the field as Washington won the division by four games. Heading into 2013, both teams essentially swapped three major players out and three players in. The newly tabulated 2012 WAR values of those players is ascribed as follows:

Nationals                                Braves

Outgoing                                    Outgoing

Michael Morse (0.0)               Michael Bourn (6.1)

Edwin Jackson (2.2)               Martin Prado (5.6)

Sean Burnett (0.9)                   Chipper Jones (2.6)

Total = 3.1 WAR                       Total = 14.3 WAR

Incoming                                    Incoming

Denard Span (3.6)                     B.J. Upton (3.1)

Dan Haren (1.8)                        Justin Upton (2.0)

Rafael Soriano (1.2)                 Chris Johnson (1.3)

Total = 6.6 WAR                        Total = 6.4 WAR

Net = +3.5 WAR                     Net = -7.9 WAR

Essentially, while the Nationals added an expected 3.5 wins (not to mention the fact that Dan Haren averaged 5.5 WAR per season in his previous four years, a good sign that he can improve on his 1.8 total of last season) the Braves actually LOST 7.9 expected wins. That’s a swing of 11.4 WAR between the two clubs, even higher than our original article’s combined total of 10.6.

So for all our troubles, the news turned out to be even better than we’d originally reported after all.

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