Another quiet baseball weekend

Hot Stove

With most of Washington, D.C. frozen over, the business of baseball has thawed some, but not enough to lift the owner’s lock-out. Without a new CBA, there is little to talk about in baseball outside of trivia, the lock-out, and the Hall of Fame debate. Sure, David Ortiz is getting enshrined in Cooperstown. That was the big announcement this week along with the MLB and MLBPA finding some middle ground in their ongoing labor dispute.

The little bits of Washington Nationals baseball news seems to be birthday greetings for players like John Patterson, cellphone camera sightings of Stephen Strasburg teaching kids and Nats’ manager Dave Martinez at a college baseball event, and some minor league deals — oh, and the what-ifs on what could have been if Tom Brady chose baseball over football since he was a draftee of the Montreal Expos in the 18th round back in 1995 out of high school. Of course Brady opted to pursue football at the University of Michigan, and the rest was history.

The big minor league deal this week was the Nats signing of 5’7″ outfielder, Rudy Martin. He was drafted by the Royals in the 25th round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft from Lewisburg HS (Olive Branch, MS) and up until this point has spent his entire career in the Royals’ system. He will be 26 years old tomorrow and his clock is ticking. Martin had a really good season in Double-A although he struggled to get his hits in Triple-A. Martin did rack up the walks and used his small frame to his advantage. Right now he projects as organizational filler.

The Nats are finally set to open their BetMGM sportsbook that is housed in corner of the GEICO garage in leftfield with access from only outside the stadium. After years in planning, permitting, and constructing, it will be open tomorrow in time for the Super Bowl. This is actually the first sportsbook that is open at an MLB stadium. The space measures to 4,000 sq. ft. with wall to wall screens, 6 betting windows, 17 kiosks and a 40 ft bar, Starting on Monday, the BetMGM sportsbook will be open from 11am to  midnight.

For the week or is that for the weak, it has been a slow weekend of news. We can only hope the lock-out blockade is lifted by MLB and we can get back to the business of baseball. In two days, we turn the calendar to February and Spring Training camps opening within weeks. The opening of major league camps is in jeopardy, but there will be minor league baseball in February as planned. Sources tell us that the Nats will officially open minor league camp at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 20. That is exactly three weeks from today.

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