Oh my; spring training butterflies flutter in my stomach for the first time in 33 years. Spring training was a time of renewal, both for me and the Senators. They had a chance to win the pennant, just like the Yankees, and Red Sox, and A's and Twins. Minor league players would pitch two shutout innings and I would immediately anoint them as the next Walter Johnson. I remember Jeff Volweiller striking out the side in a game against the (how ironic is this?) Expos during their first year, a game that the Senators won 18-3. Voweiller would win 20 I thought, and the Nats would win 100. I would bring my (for the time) tiny transistor radio to school once each spring to listen to a game. I cut out part of my 3-ring binder so the radio would fit snugly into it. I bought an ear plug (antique headphones) and painted its white plastic the color of my skin. I looped it through my sleeve and out my collar and into my ear. I would pretend to read a book with my head cradled in my hand, which covered my ear. Neat. WTOP's reception was crackly and distant, but I was able to hear those names. Brinkman. Bosman. Howard and McMullen.
But alas, spring always ended and the reality of the regular season began. With the exception of 1971, the Senators lost every opening game that I was old enough to remember. By the end of the season, the Nats were in last place, about 100 games out of first. After the last out was made, I would envariably say, "Man they are going to be sooo good next year." And on it went.
What was it that Jim Bowden said when he lost Darrell Rasner to the Yankees through waivers last winter? Wasn't it something like, "C'mon, it wasn't like he was going to make an impact at the major league level?" Well Jimbo, it seems like some of your "minor" transactions are coming back to haunt you.
Rasner, a 6'3" righty from Carson City, Nevada, was waived February 11th by the Nationals, just a couple of weeks before the start of spring training. He was picked up and assigned to 'AAA' Columbus. He had some injuries this year, but it didn't effect his pitching. In 58 innings for the Clippers, Rasner went 4-0, 2.76. But wait. There's more.
Pitching on Sunday against the Twins, Rasner pitched 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits. In two starts, he's now 1-0, 1.17.
What do you always like to say, Jim, something about "You can never have enough pitching?" Let's see, you waived Rasner, and he's starting for the Yankees. You waived Claudio Vargas, and he's starting for the Diamondbacks. You waived Byung Young Kim, and he's starting for the Rockies. You traded Tomo Ohka for a guy no longer in the major leagues, and
he's starting for the Brewers.
Jim, if I were you, I'd stay away from the waiver wire. Seems like you haven't figured it that it's supposed to help the team, not hurt it.
NATIONALS MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS
Click on the player's photo to access his career stats and biography
I am a 49 year old father of six. Born in Beirut Lebanon, I have lived in dozens of countries world-wide and ten states here in America. Although I was born in the Middle East, I consider Washington, D.C. my home town. I have lived in Pocatello Idaho since 1991. Although D.C. is a great place to enjoy life, Idaho is a great place to raise your children. My kids have benefited from the safe surroundings and quality education we have here.
Two of my six children were born with serious physical and mental handicaps, which has made my life anything but normal [don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have had it any other way]. Kendi died two years ago at the age of 20 due to a nurse's error during a routine medical procedure. I miss her so very much.
After 30 years in the business world, I have gone back to school to get my teaching degree. I am currently a junior at Idaho State University in Pocatello.
My wife Tracey and I have been happily married for 26 years. She is more than special; she is that which makes my life worth living. Without her, I'd be nothing.
I am a religious conservative, but I don't believe that my views are absolute or absolutely right. I come from a land where diverse opinions were silenced, so America's diversity of thought makes it a very special place for me.
I am a lucky man. My wife loves and respects me, and all of my children treat their father better than I treated mine.
I couldn't ask for any more.
My home town: Pocatello Idaho
Pocatello is a city of 50,000 nestled in Southeastern Idaho. Home of Idaho State University, Pocatello was founded as a railroad town in the late 1800's. Today, it is an inexpensive, safe, family-friendly place to live.
My Wife Tracey
Tracey & I have been married for 26 years. Her father was in the Air Force, and she spent much of her childhood years in foreign lands around the world. Tracey is a talented artist. She has won several blue ribbons for her porcelain dolls
Kira And Aaron
Kira and Aaron were married in 2003. She recieved her second degree from Idaho State University and works with special needs children. Aaron attends ISU and works at UPS.
Kendi was born with severe physical and mental handicaps. Even at the age of 20, she wore a diaper, and had to be fed by her mother or I. She spent her life in a wheelchair, but that didn't stop her from enjoying every moment she was on the earth. She died in 2003 due to a nurse's mistake during a routine medical procedure. I miss her so much
Kristen And Mark
Kristen & Mark were Married in August, 2005. Kristen will receive her 2nd degree from BYU-Idaho in December in construction management. Mark has recently returned from an LDS church mission and will begin attending college full-time next spring
Kourtney will graduate from high school next spring. She has already taken several college classes. She has wanted to be a mortician since she was 12
Katie was born with the same genetic disorder as her sister Kendi, though not as severe. Katie is able to walk, even run. She cannot talk but has learned a 100 word sign vocabulary. She loves to go for long walks [I push her in a special stroller] around the neighborhood
Korth loves all sports, but excels in baseball. He has been on post-season all star teams each year he has played. He spends a great deal of time playing with his handicapped sister so that she always has something "fun" to do
Big happenings? Nah. Just happenings. Zach Day was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies and Capitol Punishment is reporting that the Nats have claimed him off the waiver wire. So we ended up getting Preston Wilson for nothing. That's nice. Billy Traber, he of the tight leash,
was sent down to New Orleans and replaced by Mike O'Connor.
That's all well and good, but don't look to any of these moves making a difference in the play of the team. But hey, it's something to talk about. Right?