Talking Points #2: Starting to Come Together

Let’s face it. You don’t really like baseball (yet). Or maybe you do like baseball, but you don’t feel like you know very much about it (yet). The point is you find yourself out of your depth when the conversation turns to the Nats and you wish you could just throw out a few bon mots to sound like you know what you’re doing. 

Nats101 presents Talking Points, a weekly series designed to take advantage of the BSing nature of Washington D.C., and make you sound like a seamhead on your very first try. Whether you’re a casual fan or just having a casual encounter with the sport, give the following sound bites a try. 

“Nice to see Zimmerman working over at first finally. Lots of people think playing first is easy, but it does take some getting used to. The sooner he can fit in over there, the better.”

  • Nothing too crazy here, this is just nice little bit of banter to show you were paying attention this week. (To be honest, a lot of baseball regulars tune out a bit here as it’s caught between the excitement of Spring Training starting and the excitement of Opening Day. When a team like the Nats has most of the roster already figured out…well…things can dragggg even for some very passionate fans). 
  • Ryan Zimmerman, third baseman for the Washington Nationals, had his throwing problems last year (a key piece to playing third base) because of some injury issues. One of the way to deal with that is moving him to first base, where a lot less throwing goes on. His first game attempt at this was Saturday.
  • The transition however does ask a young healthy guy to go play a less active part of the field-which is a bit of a pride issue, so Zim is only learning the base this year. If all goes well he’ll only play at first a handful of times to give Adam LaRoche a rest, or if late in the game some lefty/right batting things might be facilitated by it.
  • For bonus points, parlay this into asking the others if they think this “move” will happen sooner rather than later. It really does depend on how well Adam LaRoche plays, and be sure to point out that moving to first isn’t as easy as some people try and make it sound. The best solution will be if ALR plays well. Forcing Zim over now probably hurts the team in the short term.

“Man did you see Steven Souza? 3 for 3 with a Two Home Runs and Triple? Opening Day seems like a long shot, but I’d bet he’ll be called up at some point this year…”

  • Every fan has a minor leaguer they like, and this week is as good a week as any to talk up Steven Souza Jr.
  • He was drafted out of high school by the Nationals and began playing with them at 18. (If you don’t know, that’s not all that uncommon in baseball).  He didn’t really flourish the way they wanted him to, but the last few years he’s really come on.
  • He’s a bit old (25) to be finally making this push, and the chances of him become a starter for the Nats is pretty much nil. That said, he’s got enough stuff to come up and contribute as a bench player. (For the record he plays outfield now and is a righty).
  • In other words, the causal fan wouldn’t have to know much about him….so the fact you’re name dropping him gives you insta-cred with some of the creds. This is basically like knowing an actual band at SXSW or something.

“I mean, I don’t want to overreact about Doug Fister. It’s just Spring Training and all… but I felt like I was saying that about Dan Haren last year, and he took forever to get right.”

  • Last week we talked about the inflamed elbow of Doug Fister, and rather confidently told you to poo-poo any worry about it. He’s progressed a bit since then, but slowly… so it’s okay to voice a bit of skepticism or concern.
  • Comparing him to Dan Haren may be seen by some as the kiss of death. Haren, who had a one year deal last year, pitched horribly the first half of the year before being sat down for a week or two. He bounced back some, but still is the standard bearer for “Brand New Nats Pitchers Who Had Terrible Spring Trainings Carry Over Into The Regular Season.”
  • Still no timetable on his return, but he has been throwing more so that’s a good sign…if not a perfect sign.
  • Feel free to be less pessimistic than Court:

“Having Twitter has completely changed how I watch baseball. Plus, I mean, the Jayson Werth’s Beard account is uh-maaayyyy–zing.”

  • First of all, this is a true thing. If you have a twitter account, start following a bunch of Nats and baseball tweeters-We’ll profile a few in the upcoming weeks.
  • Watch a few games from the couch with the computer open- beat writers, pundits, us… It’s the second best thing to going to the game with really knowledgable friends.
  • The @JWerthsBeard account is an account for Jayson Werth’s beard. It’s not Jayson Werth’s account, it doesn’t pretend to be Jayson Werth. It is his beard. It never breaks character (even in emails to other people), does lots of fun photoshops, has an amazingly positive attitude, and watches lots of baseball. It is, perhaps, the single best account for a Nats fan to start following that isn’t an official type twitter account.
This entry was posted in 2014 Spring Preview, Talking Points by nationals101. Bookmark the permalink.

About nationals101

Frank and Susan bring you an introductory level podcast to baseball and the Washington Nationals. DC is new to baseball, and baseball is new to DC. Whether you're a life long resident who just never got into it, or a transplant that came from a football and hockey town, we want to answer the questions baseball novices were a little too afraid to ask, and help everyone appreciate the National Passtime just a little bit more.

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