Results tagged ‘ Washington Nationals ’
Greetings from the Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, where I am on the ground at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings.
I understand everyone back home is dealing with the aftermath of yesterday ice/frozen rain/hail storm and that more snow accumulation could be on the way.
The rumor here is that Central Florida is drenched in bright sunshine with temperatures in the low 80s, but I’d never know it, if not for passing a hotel window every so often. Our work here keeps us inside and the hotel’s layout on the Disney Campus does not present many opportunities to enjoy the warm weather.
Congratulations to Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre on their election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Could there be any more baseball symmetry than these three gentlemen being inducted together this July in Cooperstown?
Together, Cox, La Russa and Torre combined on 7,558 regular-season victories, eight World Championships and infinite respect from both inside and outside the game.
The trio set the standard for baseball’s modern manager in the dugout and cultivated lasting relationships with the likes of Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera in the clubhouse.
Sure, they had great players, but they established programs and team cultures that have lived on well past their departures from the Braves, Cardinals and Yankees. This is truly a fantastic moment for the game of baseball.
- Speaking of managers, I flew down to Florida with Matt Williams over the weekend. We had another in a long line of fantastic chats. Some dealt with baseball. Some did not. If it is possible, I am even more convinced that Matt was the right hire for our club at the right time.
- For those who followed his career, preparedness was a big part of Matt’s game. No detail is too small. Well, he seems to have carried this over to his managerial career. For instance, Matt and his staff are in the late stages of scheduling Spring Training workouts. But before Matt signs off on the final schedules, he is driving an hour over to Viera, Fla., so he can lay his own eyes on Space Coast Stadium and the layout at the Washington Nationals Training Complex. In Matt’s 25 or so years in baseball (he was drafted in ’87), he has experienced only one spring in the Grapefruit League. In 1997, Matt spent Spring Training with the Indians in Winter Haven, FL. To the best of Matt’s recollection, he did not travel east that spring to Viera. So, rather than leave workout schedules to chance, Matt will visit Viera for himself on Thursday.
- Mike Rizzo held his first staff meeting this morning in the team suite. He went over the roster, handed out staff assignments and talked about some of the team’s needs. Matt Williams had his turn at bat and spoke too. This was our scouting staff’s prime opportunity to pick Mike’s mind, compare notes on various players and offer names (internal and external) to keep an eye on. Mike seems pleased with the offseason’s progress to date, but he verbalized that there was more work to be done.
- I have to think the primary reason for Mike’s upbeat meeting was last week’s acquisition of Doug Fister. From what I’ve gathered, Doug is a Grade-A individual who just so happens to be 6-foot-8 and throw a heavy 89-90 mph sinker, from an arm angle that gives opposing batters fits. And Fister, unlike recent offseason rotation additions such as Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson, will be here for a while. We control his rights for two seasons. Doug’s repertoire should benefit when contrasted with the 95+ mph fastballs of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann.
Well, that’s it for today. For those battling the elements back in DC, please stay safe, warm and dry.
#GivingTuesday is a national movement that recognizes the Tuesday following Thanksgiving as the opening day of the giving season. Nonprofits across the country participate in a competitive, 24-hour online fundraiser for their causes.
The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation — the Nationals’ charitable arm — is proud to be a major supporter of the new Youth Baseball Academy and other important community projects that focus on children’s education, health and recreation.
Click the link below between 12:01 a.m. and midnight on Tuesday to learn about our work and make a donation to help improve the lives of families across the D.C. region.
Additional prize money will be awarded to nonprofits with the most donors during the hours of 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., so please donate during those hours if you can!
You’ve given blood. You’ve donated food. You’ve stood up and honored our military at 81 home games.
We are so incredibly thankful to have fans that have supported not only the team on the field, but the community as well. With your help, we’ve been able to use this great game that we all love to give back. To give more.
That wraps up our #NatsWeekOfThanks. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. For more on #NatsWeekOfThanks, and to get your final entries in for a chance to have your family’s holiday photo taken on the field at Nationals Park, click here.
Enjoy your holiday season. Spring training will be here before you know it.
In 2010, the Hahne Family received news that changed their lives forever. Only six years old, Kyle Hahne was diagnosed with leukemia. What started as a website to update friends and family about Kyle’s hospital trips, Kyle’s Kamp soon became a way to raise money to support Children’s National Medical Center for pediatric cancer research.
As Kyle was an avid baseball fan, one fundraising effort is a series of baseball tournaments. Through a partnership with the Washington Nationals, some of these games are played on the field at Nationals Park.
It was at those games that we were first introduced to a remarkable young man named Gavin Rupp and his family.
Having gone through countless radiation treatments and two surgeries to remove a tumor from his brain, Gavin wanted to continue to play baseball. One month later, another tumor was detected, this time in the center of Gavin’s brain. Surgery was too risky, and the 13 year old became a hospice patient. He and his family tried to make the most of the time he had left.
While we wish it were under different circumstances, the Washington Nationals are thankful to Kyle’s father Rob for introducing us to Gavin. We invited Gavin to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game last July and to meet his favorite player, Bryce Harper.
Upon their meeting, Gavin and Bryce quickly became friends, forming a lasting bond that provided a special moment for the Rupp family. Our thoughts continue to go out to the Rupp family, as we were all saddened by Gavin’s passing.
We are thanking Kyle’s Kamp as part of our Week of Thanks. For more on #NatsWeekOfThanks, click here.
Military outreach is one of the top priorities for the Washington Nationals, and as such we have had a longstanding relationship with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). The Washington Nationals are thankful for the wonderful people who make TAPS such an indispensable resource for the military community.
TAPS is the 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one. The organization provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs, including peer-based emotional support, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, and grief and trauma resources.
As our community dealt with the aftermath of the shooting at the Navy Yard in September, many looked for ways to help. As they did for the contract workers at the Pentagon who were affected by 9/11, TAPS looked to help affected families by raising money for the Navy Yard Tragedy Family Support Fund.
Working in coordination with TAPS, we set up a weeklong online auction for the patriotic jerseys worn by the team during the first game of the Sept. 17 doubleheader against Atlanta. The auction raised more than $60,000 to assist those who lost a loved one at the Navy Yard through support programs and casework assistance.
We are thanking the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors as part of our Week of Thanks. For more on #NatsWeekOfThanks, click here.
In what has become an annual tradition, earlier today a group of Washington Nationals employees volunteered at Food and Friends to prepare Thanksgiving meals for families in need this holiday season.
The Washington Nationals are thankful for the work that Food and Friends does — not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. The organization serves more than 1 million meals to clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses.
During Thanksgiving week, Food and Friends adds another 3,500 meals onto their usual workload.
Each prepared meal will serve four people and includes a 10-12 lb turkey, sides and pie for dessert. Throughout the morning, front office staff performed tasks like thawing, preparing and cooking turkeys, assembling side portions, and packaging full meals to be delivered.
We are thanking Food and Friends as part of our Week of Thanks. For more on #NatsWeekOfThanks, click here.