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Porter transitions to Astros manager

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Porter transitions to Astros manager

New Houston Astros manager Bo Porter, the now former third base coach of the Nationals, stopped by CSN Houston on Wednesday night for an interview on SportsTalk Live. In his sitdown with CSN, Porter gave some insight into how he was hired by the Astros in the middle of a pennant race with the Nats.

Porter said he first heard of their interest in early September when the Nationals’ front office received a call from Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.

“Mike Rizzo, our general manager, he came down to me and said, ‘look, we got a phone call from Houston and they’re interested in interviewing you for their manager’s position.’”

“It was kind of bittersweet for him. He said, ‘I just want to talk to you first and let you know where we stand as far as our situation here with Davey.’”

Rizzo and the Nationals granted the Astros permission after having several conversations with Porter about his future. At 40, Porter is now the youngest manager in the majors and was considered by many as a potential replacement for Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson when he retires.

Porter said the opportunity to become a MLB manager right now was too good to pass up and sais the Astros’ interest was very strong.  

“Once I got on the phone with Jeff [Luhnow] and I talked to Jim [Crane] and I sensed the urgency in the conversation of wanting to get me in,” he said. 

“When you get into this situation you always say to yourself, if I ever get this opportunity I want to do it with smart people. And from speaking to them just in the early stages I realized how smart they were and serious they were about getting this organization going the direction that Jim Crane wants it to go which is to be a championship contender every year.”

Check out the video on CSNhouston.com.

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Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

When it comes to sports, we sometimes forget that the athletes we look up to are just normal people.  Normal people who have a lot to prove to millions of people on a weekly basis.  Former Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel has discussed one his human moments in an interview with 590 The Fan in St. Louis.

Ankiel admitted to drinking vodka during his plight as a pitcher. He referenced his first two starts of the 2001 season, in particular against the his opener Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed his anxiety to giving in to alcohol to soothe him. In the previous postseason, he became the first pitcher since 1980 to throw five wild pitches in a single inning. 

It may have worked for a couple of games but Ankiel eventually realized it was only making matters worse.

Ankiel began playing in the MLB at the age of 19 and has had a fluctuating career through six teams.  All the while, he has keep a “never give up” mentality.

Why the sudden need to vent? The St. Louis baseball pitcher is getting up close and personal with his upcoming book, “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed my Life” which is co-written with sports writer, Tim Brown will be released on April 18.  

His two seasons with the Nationals, resulted in 127 hits and 52 RBIs as an outfielder. 

MORE NATS: Can't miss Nationals promotional schedule

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras