Wooden's World of Baseball

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The New Ballpark

It's been a week now since I saw the plans for the new ballpark at the Potomac Nationals Hot Stove Dinner. What was more interesting though was the show that owner Art Silber put on for the press, responding indignantly to a Washington Post story that depicted him as a "flamboyant, millionaire owner." Silber gave a laundry list of what the folks in Prince William County have never seen from the P-Nats; to paraphrase, no debauchery, no drugs, nothing short of upstanding young men. It was like listening to Nick Lopardo, except with more charisma and less whining.

As expected the dinner was very much like a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a little schmoozing, a little kibitzing, with a 50-50 raffle for the charity (class move: The winner refused the money and asked that it all go to the ZiMS foundation). It was great to hear the Washington Nationals Director of Player Development describe the new philosophy of patience and power arms (he boasted that the Nats have gone from 7 prospects that consistently throw in the 90s to 35). In fact, just a couple of days ago, it looks like he put his money where his mouth was and bought the North Shore Spirit's J.D. Reininger, most likely so that he can hold the fort at Potomac so that an infielder at Hagerstown isn't playing over his head, as were many of the kids at the AA and AAA levels last year.

A nice affair, all in all, but it's now got me baseball hungry. Luckily, there's just 67 days until the start of the Carolina League season and less than three weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.


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