Thursday babble

I thought I could muster more than this but I can’t. I’ll do better tomorrow. Or Saturday. Or March

Meet the Nationals, Greet the Nationals

The Washington Nationals are going into the community to meet the fans. If they are no fans, they’ll settle for just regular people

Thursday, the team announced intended stops on the 2007 Caravan Tour. Starting January 22 through January 29, Manager Manny Acta, outfielder Nook Logan, left-hander Mike O’Connor and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (or some combination or all of them) will travel to various stops in Maryland, DC and Virginia to shake hands, sign autographs and kiss babies.

The 2007 Caravan tour stops can be found here.

Reason No. 16 to pay attention during Nationals spring training-the utility infielder position

Yesterday, the Nationals signed 12 players to minor league contracts including veteran infielder Tony Womack, who will be one of several players competing for the utility infielder spot.  D’Angelo Jimenez, Josh Wilson, Jose Macias and Melvin Dorta are expected to compete for that position and signed minor league contracts as well Thursday Womack, who has played with seven teams in his 13-year career, will get $600,000 if he makes the 25-man roster. I’ve heard of Jimenez and Macias. I won’t even venture a guess which one makes it; however, Womack fills that veteran player that’s been to a World Series and can teach the youngsters about professionalism and things of the nature role. Or something like that.

Poor Bernie Castro. I was getting used to his reckless abandon on the bases and trying to drag bunt his way on in half of his at-bats

Another signing Thursday was first baseman Travis Lee, who would make $500,000 if he makes the opening day roster.  Lee is widely known as a strong defensive first baseman (translation: not much pop at the plate). Last year, Lee batted .224 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 114 games for the Devil Rays. I perceive Lee’s signing to be a message to Larry Broadway, who struggled in winter ball. If Broadway struggles in the spring, Lee could be an option if Nick Johnson does not return on Opening Day.  Broadway has done his time in the minors and at least deserves a fair shot in spring training. I don’t fault the Nats for the insurance policy just in case Broadway tanks it in spring training. With Johnson hurt, there’s Broadway and Robert Fick-that’s it!  The Nationals have been about quantity this offseason signing a lot of low-risk free agents. So what’s a little more depth to the first base spot? Broadway is a favorite of Manny Acta and I think will be given every chance to win a spot on the big club. What happens in Spring Training is up to Broadway.

Correction: I had stated earlier the Nationals pitchers and catchers were slated to report on Feb. 15. Mlb.com reports they will report Feb. 13 with their first workout schedule for Feb. 15. Position players are scheduled to arrive Feb. 18 and the first full squad workout on Feb. 20

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