Tagged: Viera Florida

Snow, Baseball, Spring Training, and No School

Snow. The simple word which instills joy in the hearts of kids everywhere. A word often associated with no school, meaning unexpected days for pure joy in the great outdoors. Snow days are an unrivaled present which allow for relaxing days with friends and family, marveling at the calmness of the white blanket.

We all remember the Snowpocalypse of 2010; when the Washington D.C. metro area was hit with over two feet of snow on two different occasions. Last night, Snowmageddon -2014 Edition took place as we all were fast asleep waiting to see what we woke up to. Much of the area was hit over 10 inches, and schools everywhere were closed. It is the first real significant accumulation of snow since those two massive storms just about four years ago.

The weather in Springfield, Virginia vs. Viera, Florida

The weather in Springfield, Virginia vs. Viera, Florida

While we are all digging out from this overnight onslaught, the Nationals’ Pitchers and Catchers, at long last, reported to Spring Training in Viera, Florida today! I would say the winter is over, but as I look out my window, that is obviously not the case. As you can tell from the picture, the weather today in Viera is much nicer than here in Virginia.

However, a little snow thought it could stop us from playing baseball? Good one.

The snow thought it could stop us? Good one

The snow thought it could stop us? Good one

Preparing for some adventures in the snow

Preparing for some adventures in the snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many ways to show your baseball pride on snow days. Snow men are probably the best example and the grand prize has to go to the folks at Nationals 101. As you can see from the picture below, it seems the whole team has made an appearance.

A baseball team of snowmen created by the members of Nationals 101

A baseball team of snowmen created by the members of Nationals 101

Today has been so full of excitement. Up north, it stemmed from the day off of work and school, and down south in Viera from the Nationals reporting to camp. For us Nats fans, the combination of the two is almost too much to handle.

A photo taken by Dan Kolko of Jordan Zimmermann throwing a bullpen session today

A photo taken by Dan Kolko of Jordan Zimmermann throwing a bullpen session today

A photo by Mark Zuckerman this morning outside Space Coast Stadium

A photo by Mark Zuckerman this morning outside Space Coast Stadium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snow has started to fall again and school for tomorrow, Friday, has been cancelled. So what will tomorrow entail? I’d love to know! Comment below on your favorite snow activities or tweet me pictures of your creations! Especially if they have a Nats theme to it.

Tonight, we can revel in the fact that Nationals baseball has started and we are snowed in for one more day. #Natitude has begun!

Stay safe and have fun everyone!

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#2 – Veteran Leadership

There are just two days standing between pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in Viera. This means we have come to number two on my countdown.

#2 – Veteran Leadership

Clubhouse leaders are an essential component to any successful team. They are players who take it upon themselves to guide inexperienced teammates. They know the value of having a mentor show them the ropes in order to become a better player. The value veteran baseball players have  for the team is an intangible aspect of the game which often times goes un-recognized. However, even though there is no award for Best Leader, any knowledgeable player knows the importance of having an experienced core of talent in a locker room.

The Nationals are not low on numbers in this area. Seasoned veterans such as Ian Desmond, Jayson Werth, Denard Span, Adam LaRoche, and especially Ryan Zimmerman are part of an essential make up of a contending team. They take the younger players such as Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg under their wing when times get rough. In return, it is necessary that the younger players absorb what they are told. When the team works together and helps those who are struggling, they roll along like a well-oiled machine.

While it is important that the veterans convey verbal leadership, leading by example is also beneficial.When the rest of the team sees the vets stepping up and producing, it often rubs off on the other players. When the Nats hit a rough patch, it is important the veterans step up and take command in re-directing the team back onto the right track.

Worst Case Scenario:

The worst case scenario for veterans is a tough one. It is easy, yes, to simply say that they won’t perform well. However, that doesn’t provide much insight besides something we all could have thought of on our own. I think what would be the worst case scenario in this situation is that the veterans don’t  come up big in clutch situations. This will be a key in this upcoming season; to be able to win games in late inning contests when either side could steal a victory. It will be these defining moments which characterize the season for the Nats.

Best Case Scenario:

This scenario is not as difficult to contemplate. The vets take the rookies under their wing and the team becomes a unit. Everyone feeds off each other and wins come from the positive attitude as well as on-field performances. Rookies learn from how the more experienced members of the team act in stressful times, and this enables the rookies to become reliable contributors by the end of the season. I may not be stellar in math, but it’s a pretty simple equation here: if the veterans play well and lead by example, the rest of the team will follow suit and it will be one amazing season.

It will be interesting to see where the Nationals get the majority of their contributions from this season. Will it be the veterans who take charge? Or will it be the younger players who step up when their team needs them? Only time will tell.

What will be number one?! Be sure to find out tomorrow!

Only two more days…

Countdown to #Natitude: 2 days

New Manager Matt Williams hitting some ground balls in early work (Photo by: William Ladson)

New Manager Matt Williams hitting some ground balls in early work (Photo by: William Ladson)