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Derailment Makes for Longer Trip

By Steven Goff and Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Washington Nationals catcher Brian Schneider was playing cards on the team's chartered train home following Monday's game against the Mets in New York when everything started shaking.

"The lights went out and we just stopped," he said yesterday. "It was like, 'What was that?' "

What it was was a derailment of the locomotive's rear wheels around 1:30 a.m. just outside Wilmington, Del., forcing the team and the traveling delegation to await a replacement train.

"There was no leaning," Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said. "Everything remained upright."

Manager Frank Robinson called the incident "hair-raising" and said, because of the delay, he did not get to bed until 6 a.m. As a result of the late arrival at Union Station, Robinson called off batting practice before last night's game against the Phillies and allowed players to arrive at RFK Stadium a little later than usual.

No one was injured, and those riding in the back two cars of the four-car train did not notice any problems.

"It was like being delayed at an airport -- no big deal," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said.

Added Schneider, "It just made for a longer card game."

Robinson Remains in the Dark

Asked if his future has been addressed -- something he says he wants to have happen -- Robinson replied simply, "No."

General Manager Jim Bowden said he had no comment. The Nationals have said they will make evaluations after the season.

Still, there is growing sense that Robinson won't be asked back. A report in yesterday's New York Post mentioned New York Yankees coach Tony Peña -- a former manager of the Kansas City Royals -- as a potential candidate should Robinson be removed. Bowden would not comment on Peña, but he did try to hire him as a coach last offseason before the Yankees signed him.

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