By Barry Svrluga and Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 9, 2007
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network yesterday announced a beefed-up schedule of spring training telecasts for both the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles, broadcasts that will begin the network's third season -- and first in which it will carry both teams simultaneously.
MASN will broadcast eight Nationals games and seven Orioles games, including four between the two teams, for a total of 11 games. The first will be March 3, when the Orioles travel to the Nationals' spring home in Viera, Fla. The schedule concludes March 31, when the teams face each other at RFK Stadium in their final exhibitions before opening the season two days later.
The spring will also feature the debut of the Nationals' pre- and postgame shows, "Nats Xtra," on March 27, when the New York Mets play in Viera. "O's Xtra" debuts March 28, when Baltimore plays host to St. Louis in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The "Xtra" shows will be on before and after each regular season game.
On the roughly 100 regularseason dates when Baltimore and Washington play at the same time, the network will offer MASN2, which will be available on every cable system that carries MASN. The Nationals and Orioles will likely alternate between MASN and MASN2 so that neither is labeled as second-tier.
Also yesterday, the Nationals announced promotions for each of their 14 Grapefruit League games in Viera, including a "Meet Your Nationals" day March 3.O's, Patterson Agree
The Baltimore Orioles came to terms with center fielder Corey Patterson on a one-year deal worth $4.3 million, leaving starter Erik Bedard the team's only unsigned arbitration-eligible player. Last season, Patterson, who was acquired in a trade from the Chicago Cubs, hit .276 with 16 home runs and stole a career-high 45 bases.
Patterson had asked for $4.6 million in arbitration while the Orioles had offered $4 million. He is expected to be the team's primary center fielder, but could face competition from Jay Payton, who was signed this offseason.
"He had a breakout season for us last year after having a tough season in 2005," Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette said. "Hopefully he'll use that as a springboard."