Monday, February 27, 2012


Hello Loyal Shark Fans! Tyler here with my first post of the year. Sorry I haven't posted sooner, I've been sick...with a case of SHARKSANITY! And the only cure is a fully loaded syringe of the Sharkadina blog plunged directly into my heart. Brace yourself people.

For those of you following the Spring Training story lines, you are already familiar with the big four:
  1. "Living legend" Stephen Strasburg is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and is expected to pitch a full season. He is already looking good in Spring Training and threw a live batting practice session yesterday. This kid is so good, he even struck out The Shark!
  2. Bryce Harper is in camp and is fighting for a starting job in the outfield. Rumor has it he has been seen with eye black in the shape of a Shark.
  3. Ryan Zimmerman's contract extension! We're all happy that "The Face of the Franchise" will be a National until 2012. Apparently, one of his demands was to have the locker next to Bernadina because "he is, like, the coolest guy I know, and that nickname is SWEET!"
And the biggest Spring Training story line...


Will he get traded? Will be waived and picked up by another team? Will he make the 25 man roster as a 4th or even 5th outfielder? Will he dominate Spring Training and finally solidify a starting spot, sending  everyone's least favorite player, ricK anKiel to the bench? Baseball fans everywhere are on the edge of their seat waiting to hear the fate of their favorite aquatic-predator-nicknamed player. 

Today we got some inside info from our old pal Bill "NOT SPEED RACER!" Ladson (please continue to tweet, write, call, mail letters, etc. to Bill imploring him to stop using the Speed Racer nickname and embrace "The Shark" like the rest of America, nay, the WORLD.) Here's the article reprinted for your connivence and without permission (when you call him The Shark, we promise to be more polite, Bill!).

Nats looking for Bernadina to be consistent 
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina is out of Minor League options, so it will be interesting to see what role he'll play this season. 
There is a possibility that Bernadina could be traded, although one baseball source said recently that the Nationals are not actively trying to deal him. 
If Bryce Harper doesn't make the team out of Spring Training, there is a possibility that Bernadina could find himself in a right-field platoon with Mark DeRosa. 
Bernadina is coming off a disappointing season in 2011, hitting .243 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs. There was even a point in the season where he was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse due to a lack of production. 
Hitting coach Rick Eckstein is on a mission to see that Bernadina stays consistent at the plate. Eckstein wants Bernadina to use the entire field to get base hits instead of going for the long ball. Bernadina seems to go into prolonged slumps whenever he tries to hit home runs. 
"He can slot in the top of the order and be an on-base percentage guy," Eckstein said. "He can bunt, he can run, he can use the entire field. But then he has that power component, and sometimes that power component takes over. He has the bigger swings, he swings at pitches he shouldn't be swinging at. Definitely, our goal is to have him reach his potential. 
"Bernadina is a special athlete. We've all seen what he is capable of doing, but he needs to package it every day. We love him. His athleticism is tremendous. There is no doubt in my mind that he can be a complete-package player. But showing up every day, bringing that package to the park and utilizing it for the team every day is the challenge. I think he is up to it."

Yes, of course he is "up to it," Rick! Have you read everything Bernadina can do?

More to come.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shark Vs The Competition

For some players, spring training is a time to dust off the rust, break in the glove, and readjust to the grind of daily baseball.  These players have their positions secured.  Players like Albert Pujols, Ryan Zimmerman, and Tim Wakefield know where they will be on opening day.   For other players, spring training is their chance to secure their position on a major league team.

Sadly, and somewhat ridiculously, the Shark is one of the players who will be fighting for his spot this spring.  You will recall that last year (and the year before, for that matter), he was in this same position.  Last year, he was battling Nyjer Mogan, then RicK AnKiel for the position.  While he did not win the competition last season (which cause several Nationals players to become psychologically and physically nauseous), he was called up in April, our long Nationals nightmare was over, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The battle kicks off again this spring, with the Shark battling several players for a position, including AnKiel, Jason Michaels, Brett Carroll, Xavier Paul?, and Mark DeRosa.  To the outside eye, this may seem worrisome, but the eye of a Shark, worry is not an option.  In fact, concern is not an option.  Pete Kerzel's article, Caught in a numbers crunch, Bernadina doesn't seem concerned talks about the different opportunities that the Shark has this spring, and how he's not worried about his chances.  After all, why should he be?

RicK AnKiel is an injury risk who strikes out more often than he gets hits.
Jason Michaels batted .199 last season.
Brett Carroll has a total of 5 home runs in his 5 seasons.
Xavier Paul.  I'm not sure if he actually exists.
Mark DeRosa has 1 home run in the last 2 seasons and is 10 years older than Bernadina.
Mike Cameron did challenge Bernadina, until he came face to face with the Shark this spring and retired

The Shark continues to have tremendous upside and a solid spring could keep him a National a while longer (which would be ideal for Tyler and I).  I expect a lot more people to toss in the towel this spring and plan for an early retirement.  The Shark has a tendency to scare off the weak of heart...

The Nats didn't bother to supply DeRosa with a spring training uniform
More to come.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Shark 2012


All across the MLB, pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Monday, and sharkingly, the Washington Nationals were no different.  Their pitchers, newbies Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson (who have yet to be nicknamed), join Jordan Zimmermanntastic and Stephen Strasburg, to create one of the more promising looking rotations in the National League.  Wilson "the Rhino" Ramos is ready to stampede the completion and be the National League' All Star Game starting catcher.

Most importantly, of course, THE SHARK IS BACK IN CAMP!

While it has been mostly pitchers and catchers that have reported to camp, the Shark, hungry for a starting position was one of the first position players in the Nationals camp.  Throughout the offseason, he spent his time conditioning, from the icy waters of the Arctic to the depths of the Mariana Trench.  Remember last season, when he was so bulked up, a flex of his bicep would tear to shreds the dopiest XXXL novelty hoodie?  Well imagine that again, only this time with more (if that's possible) fire in his eye.

I understand this post doesn't include much relevant information, but we have officially dusted off the keyboard on our computers and more posts will be written soon.  That's correct, we don't touch our computers at all in the off season, not even to respond to time sensitive materials.  That's over now.  We are back.

Before I go, I will leave you with this photo from Nationals Spring Training.  You can see the Rhino and Tyler Clippard running to keep up with Bernadina...who's running with a bat?

More to come.