Meet The Nats

On the eve of the Yankees’ opening game of the series against the Washington Nationals, here’s an exclusive She-Fan scouting report on the Nats, which are not to be confused with the Gnats.


I have no clue which of the following players will actually be in the lineup, but I am not treating this series cavalierly. So what if the Nats are in the NL cellar? Any team can beat any other team on any given day. Yes, that’s a lot of “any’s,” but you know what I mean.
* Willie Harris (3B/LF)

A versatile player who had tours of duty with the White Sox, Red Sox, O’s and Braves, he is known to do back flips on the field, in the manner of Ozzie Smith. Tip to Yankees: Do not try to imitate him or you’ll end up on the DL.

* Nick Johnson (1B)

I always liked Nick when he was with the Yankees, but he couldn’t stay healthy. In ’06 alone, he fractured his right femur and injured his right tendon sheath (whatever that is). He’s batting .315 this season and has grown some jowls. Tip to Yankees: Do not say anything snarky about Larry Bowa, who happens to be his uncle.
* Ryan Zimmerman (3B/DH)

Who could forget his 30-game hitting streak earlier this season? It was the only thing Nats fans had to cheer about. Tip to Yankees: Do not throw one down the middle to this guy.

* Adam Dunn (1B/LF)

He sort of looks like Mike Schmidt in this picture, doesn’t he? A former Red and Diamondback, he has 67 strikeouts this year. Tip to Yankees: Go ahead and throw one down the middle to this guy.

* Elijah Dukes (CF)

He went to the same Tampa high school as Gary Sheffield and Dwight Gooden, and was a Devil Ray before joining the Nats. According to his bio, he is “double jointed.” Does that explain his three trips to the DL last year? Tip to Yankees: Try to tie him up at the plate and maybe he’ll contort into a pretzel.

* Corey Patterson (CF/RF)

He was with the Cubs, O’s and Reds, but more importantly his father, Don, was a defensive back with the Detroit Lions and NY Giants. Tip to Yankees: If he comes in hard at second to break up a double play, let him.

* Alberto Gonzalez (SS)

Remember Gonzo? He was our Ramiro Pena of a few years ago – a good defensive utility infielder who only had one error while with the Yanks. Now he’s learned how to hit too, apparently, with a .319 average. Tip to Yankees: Don’t be so quick to get rid of players like him.

* Josh Bard (C)

He was an Indian,
a Red Sock and a Padre, but his biggest claim to fame was leading Cherry Creek (CO) High School to back-to-back state titles. Tip to Yankees: Don’t sweat it.

* Cristian Guzman (SS)

Uh-oh. He’s good. A Dominican switch-hitter, he was the first National to hit for the cycle and he’s batting .322. He used to be with the Twins and I think he hurt us back then. Tip to Yankees: Pretend he’s, like, Orlando Cabrera, or somebody else who always kills us.

* Anderson Hernandez (2B)

He doesn’t have any homers yet this season. Not one. That could change at the Jetstream Palace, of course, but I don’t see it. Among the accomplishments listed in his bio is the fact that he has five sisters. I have four sisters. Does that make me a good ballplayer? Tip to Yankees: Don’t walk him, hit him or balk him; it’s not necessary.

GO YANKS! And don’t forget to meet me at Stan’s Bar on Wednesday!


  1. levelboss

    the Nats have a solid (seemingly scary) lineup.. i think it’s the pitching that’s losing the games for them
    the big fear in this series is that they’ll compensate for the lack-o-pitching with bombs to right field in the Jetstream Palace
    (a coworker told me that if the Yankees lose even one game to the Nationals it would be embarrassing)

  2. heryankeefandiary

    Jane…What a great job scouting! I wouldn’t expect any less.

    I can’t decide if I’m gonna watch tomorrows game or not.

    I think I will…Maybe I won’t. You’d have to read the blog I just posted for that to make any sense.

    But it’s THE NATIONALS!

    I have nothing to worry about. Right? Urgh.


  3. diamonddiva

    Jane, LOL at the comments about Josh Bard and Anderson Hernandez…both of whom wallow in suckitude. But hey, trust me on this one…the Yankees have nothing to fear where the Nationals are concerned. Nothing. I know that last place teams can sometimes be dangerous and can surprise people. But fear not…the Yankees could be down 3 or 4 runs in each game, and I guarantee that the Nats will find some way to lose! My predictions — game 1: Yankees 12, Nationals 1…game 2: Yankees 7, Nationals 4…game 3: Yankees 8, Nationals 5. Yep, a sweep! Let’s face it, the Yankees need these three games, to possibly re-take the lead in the AL East. (Did ya think that just because I’m also a Nats fan that I’d come in here and predict a sweep for the Nationals?!? I’m crazy, not stupid!)

  4. cheshirecat9

    While I am very confident in the Yankees, I don’t take anything for granted in baseball. I hope we do sweep them , it would be nice to gain some ground on the Red Sox. The Nationals can hit though and that is making me nervous for Wang tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow I am looking forward to meeting you Jane! I expect to make it up there by 5:15pm with my copy of your book in hand.

  5. Jane Heller

    Tell your co-worker to buzz off, Levelboss. We should beat the Nationals, for sure, but it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t. (Of course, if we get swept by them, that’s another story.)

    If you can’t watch the games, Vanessa, I’m sure you’ll find everything you need to know here on the blogosphere!

    Shelley, I’ll take your predictions seriously since you’re a knowledgeable Nats fan. I really, really, REALLY hope you’re right!

    So true, Lori. The sucky teams can be tough.

    Looking forward to seeing you, Cheshirecat!

  6. latinyankeerebel

    Hey Jane! How’s NY and the East coast treating you? Wecome to the East Coast by the way.. I’m sooo sorry I haven’t been able to post a comment as often as i would like, but this past couple of weeks have been hectic, but I still read your post everyday.
    That said I live in DC and I’m not a big fan of Zimmerman… the word jerk doesn’t begin to describe him… but he plays good, from time to time…LOL

  7. peggy3

    Hi Lady Jane …

    I’ll be at the games tonight and tomorrow. I am hoping to get there for the book signing but if not I’ll check out your seating area although you might just be wandering around for a good part of the night since it’s your first trip to the new place. Hopefully we meet up. Tomorrow is suppose to be a great night for a game …weatherwise. How nice of you bring the sunshine from the West Coast..hopefully Wanger will bring a little sunshine with a win in honor of new little Wanger. I’m really pulling for CM …he’s a great guy that I believe can be every bit as good as he was with just one nice win to start him off and return his confidence to him.

    I’m also hoping we take at least 9 of the 12 against the NL East (of course being the greedy lass that I am ..I would prefer a total sweep …lol). I’m off to Florida on Friday for the series against the Marlins and I’m looking forward to THREE wins since I’m making the long trek to see them play.

    Here’s to the beginning of getting home to where we belong …FIRST PLACE !!!!

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!

  8. diamonddiva

    FYI: the Nationals offense was cranking out runs earlier in the season; lately, not so much. In their last 10 games, the Nats have scored 2.6 runs per game. Against Tampa, they left 19, 13, and 14 runners on base. The bullpen has improved slightly — from horrendous to very bad. (They went through a brief period recently where they were actually almost decent…but they’re once against stinking things up.) Their starting rotation is a bunch of kids, none of whom are older than 25, who will probably be very good someday, but they’re not there yet. Mind you, when the Yankees have faced unknown pitchers in recent years, they’ve had an annoying tendency to make some of those pitchers look like Cy Young…so facing Martis, Lannan, and Stammen might be a bit of a problem. But once the starters are out of the game, the Yankees shouldn’t have much of a problem with the Nats’ bullpen, particularly if they’re facing Jesus Colome.or Joel Hanrahan. There are no guarantees, and anything can happen, but I’m pretty confident that my home team will continue to suck, and therefore the Yankees should take the series with relative ease.

  9. Elizabeth D

    Nice scouting report! I enjoyed your tips to the Yankees. Didn’t know that Harris was prone to pulling Ozzie Smiths. That’s pretty cool. Dunn does look like Schmidt in that picture… I guess he’s not paying off as much as the Nats thought he would. I’m sure you’ll have fun with their bullpen. I actually talked about that with the security guards at the airport.

  10. peggy3

    The little Wanger has entered the world…Justin Jesse Wang was born this morning (how American is that name…lol).
    Congrats to the Wang Family.

    Here’s hoping little JJ’s birth sets daddy back on the right track as the terrific pitcher he has been for the Yankees …

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!

  11. Erin Kathleen

    You know Christian Guzman used to be a Yankee. He (and Eric Milton) came over to the Twins as part of the Chuck Knoblauch trade. So, you know, he might want to get revenge on the team that traded him like, twelve years ago.-Erin


    “Meet the Nats — Bleep! The Nats? Step right up and sweep…” Now hold on there, boys ‘n’ girls. Yes they are awful, and their manager is dangling on a string, BUT — they do have power. Dunn will strike out 3-4 times and then bash one of the upper deck, like old Frank Howard. Zimmerman is streaky, so hope he don’t get on one of Those Streaks…Nick Johnson can still hit too…and Elijah Dukes is very talented, so don’t challenge him. The Nats’ best-proven pitcher is Lannan, altho’ Marte can have great stuff at times — but no Nats’ lead is ever safe, so we gotta hope that Jetstream Palace works its magic in the 8th-9th. You have good reason to fear a bad team, which has nothing left to fear — hope you’n’Peggy (and da rest of Bronx Zoo) bring out the best!

  13. Jane Heller

    Latinyankeerebel, the trip has been fun. I wish the weather could be better – it’s cloudy and cold – but I love being back in NYC. So much energy here.

    Peggy, I don’t know what street you’re on, but I’m not seeing much sunshine! I do hope to meet you at Stan’s or the game tomorrow. And I hope Wang is so happy about his new baby JJ that he’ll pitch a gem and make his new son proud.

    Yes, Bardo is coming to town, Kaybee. I think you’re more excited about it than I am. 🙂

    Shelley, you nailed it when you said there are no guarantees. And the Yankees do have trouble with pitchers they’ve never faced. So I’m not penciling in a “W” just yet.

    Jeff, I didn’t know that about Dunn. Maybe he and CC could share some Krispy Kremes before the game.

    The Yankees have some bullpen issues of their own, Elizabeth, so this series could get interesting.

    Thanks for that scouting report, Russ!

    Yikes, Erin. The Yankees sent him to the Twins in the Knoblauch trade? My memory sure failed me on that one. I hope he’s over it by now.

    Your scouting report worries me, Dave. They don’t sound like a bad team to me!

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    Nice scouting report on the Washington Nationals … Regarding, Alberto Gonzalez, at the time I felt it was a mistake to trade him, and I consider it one of Brian Cashman’s worse moves [along with not re-signing Bobby Abreu] in recent years !!! … This is a series the Yankees “should” and “have to” win all three games !!! … I’m watching the game now, and the Yankees just won 5-3 with Mariano on the mound !!! … Derek Jeter was taken of the game because of some injury; so, I hope it is not somehing serious … His replacemaent, Ramiro Pena got a RBI single in his at bat to give the Yanks the 5-3 lead, and also made a nice play on the final out of the game !!!
    I hope to be at Stan’s Bar tomorrow for your book signing; and, maybe, even, attend the game — my first vist to the new Yankee Stadium !!! … We will see what tomorrow brings !!! … It will be nice to meet you, Jane !!!
    Have a great night, Jane !!! … I hope you are enjoying your trip back to the East Coast, so far … I look forward to meeting you at your book signing !!!
    “Go Yankees” !!!
    — Jimmy 27NYY Curran, “BY&L”

  15. Jane Heller

    Jimmy, it would be great if you could make it to Stan’s tomorrow, and I know it would be exciting for both of us to have our first taste of the new Stadium! Fingers crossed!

  16. diamonddiva

    OK, I was wrong about the score of tonight’s game, but I was right about the outcome. I said on my blog that Martis would pitch well, and the bullpen would blow the game for him — I was right. I didn’t expect Martis to leave the game with the lead. I certainly didn’t expect that home run from Hernandez…maybe your preview was a bit of a reverse jinx? 😉

  17. peggy3

    Hey Jane ..

    I just arrived home from the game …it’s always much more fun taking the train home after a win.. :o).

    I was talking about tomorrow regarding the sunshine The day you go to the game’s suppose to be a nice day on Wednesday (which is almost here since it’s 11:43 pm).
    It wasn’t too bad at the game tonight but I am happy I bought my Yankee jacket with me because it was a little chilly.

    Unfortunately the Sox won so we stay 2 behind …See you tomorrow…

    Go Yankees 2009

  18. Jane Heller

    You were right about the outcome, Shelley, but you must have been surprised how close the game was. I was! And yes, I probably did jinx Hernandez! Hilarious.

    I always love taking the subway back to the city after a win, so I hope that’s what happens tonight, Peggy. Looking forward to seeing you!

  19. Jane Heller

    My scouting report on the Nats proved faulty, Jen. Hernandez, the one I predicted wouldn’t hit anything, hit a three-run homer. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a scout!

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