A Preview of the 2013 Washington Nationals featuring the cast of The West Wing.

Ryan. Or Jordan - Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE

(Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn sits outside the men's restroom between the Press Bullpen and the Oval Office. There are no other restrooms in sight. Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman walks towards him.)


Josh: 'Sup?

Sam (smiling): Oh, hey, Josh? I'm just waiting in line.

Josh: Could he be taking any longer in there?

Sam: I do not believe so.

Josh: Because it seems he's taking his time. . .

Sam: I don't think he could take any longer. Of course, I said that to myself ten minutes ago, not realizing there was unrecognized potential.

Josh: He does know we have the thing in a few minutes, right?

Sam: Yeah, are you ready for it?

Josh: I've got some work to do before it, but it's the same thing as last time. Anyways, I have to go stop here first. And, hey, I'm not getting anything cleared while he's in there.

Sam: Yeah.

Josh: You think we should knock?

Sam: That would be impolite.

Josh: Only if it's Leo.

Sam: Or C.J.

Josh: True. Wait, why would it be C.J.?

Sam: It's Leo.

Josh: 'Kay.

(Press Secretary C.J. Cregg walks by)

C.J.: Hey, boys.

Josh and Sam (in unison): Hey.

C.J.: Are you ready for the thing?

Sam: Absolutely. I am a spring chicken.

Josh: Sam, what did I tell you about poultry similies?

C.J.: Metaphors.

Josh: Huh?

C.J.: Saying you're a spring chicken is a metaphor. Similes are figures of speech that utilize comparisons such as "like" or "as." Metaphors portray the object described directly as the object one is comparing it to.

Josh: That's all well and good, and I'm glad I had my SAT lesson for the day, but . . .

C.J.: But what?

Sam: You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

Josh: Yeah.

C.J.: Well, it's a mistake less glaring than the one Sam here made about the Nationals during the Opening Day Proclamation.

Sam: C.J., are you ever going to, you know, let that go? How many times do I have to tell you that I'm more of an NBA fan than a baseball fan?

Josh: Evidently, you're gonna have to tell her that a little more.

C.J.: I don't know Sam, but while I'm pondering that, can you confuse starting pitchers and third basemen anymore?

Sam: I guess I'm going to have to explain myself again. Here I go. It was a mistake in the editing. I know full well that there are two players on the Nationals with the same last name of Zimmerman. And both of them are star players. We're not talking about Jose and Ozzie Canseco. Both Ryan and Jordan are terrific and contributors to the team.

Josh: Yeah, but they don't have the same last name. They spell them differently.

Sam: Homonyms or not, the point still remains that they are nearly cosmetically identical to each other on paper.

C.J.: Ryan is cosmetically identical to Jordan?

Sam: I meant the last names.

C.J.: Yeah, but which is which.

Sam: That's easy, the third baseman is . . . Ry . . .

(Josh raises an eyebrow while making eye contact with Sam)

Sam: . . . Jordan. Jordan Zimmermann is the third baseman.

Josh (to C.J.): That's two. You owe me ten bucks.

Sam: Ryan. Fine. It's Ryan. Really, it's not that important. Sure, I can tell you that Ryan had a bounce back year in 2012, finding his power stroke again with 25 home runs. I can tell you that he finished twenty-fourth in MVP voting in 2012. I can tell you that while his OBP dropped a tad in 2012, it was still a robust .346 and much of that drop was attributed to a unlucky drop in his BABIP. Meanwhile, I can tell you plenty about the other Zimmermann as well. Jordan finished last year with a career-low ERA of 2.94 which was good enough to put him in the conversation, briefly, for the NL Cy Young ultimately won by division rival R.A. Dickey. Sure, Zimmermann isn't a strikeout machine, but if you're a number three starter behind Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, you don't necessarily need to be. And frankly, the fact that they have a rotation of those three pitchers along with Ross Detwiler and a possibly-healthy Dan Haren gives them an up over just about any team in the National League.

C.J.: Glad to get that off your chest, sparky?

Sam: Surprisingly, yes.

Josh: Well, I think before anyone anoints the Nationals as the N.L. East Division champions, people need to take a look at the New York Mets.



(Toby walks, up, while eavesdropping on the conversation).

Toby: Shut up.

Sam: I'm sorry, Toby, but I'm waiting here in line and there's really nothing else to do.

Toby: Not you. I was talking to Josh.

Josh: I'm sorry, Toby, I don't see where you have the authority to tell me to shut up.

Toby: Because I've been watching baseball games before you even knew what the infield fly rule was.

Sam: In his defense, there are some umpires that have yet to master that rule.

Toby: Shut up. All of you. The mere fact that you can recite statistics that any schlemiel can find on Baseball Reference does not mean that you understand anything about baseball or the Washington Nationals. And Josh, I don't know what makes you think that the Mets are going to be competing for anything other than last place of teams not named the Marlins in the N.L. East; what with their outfield where Bobby Bonnilla is the highest paid player. And C.J., I have no clue why you're standing in line to use the men's washroom, but I'm concerned to say the least.

C.J.: Hey, I'm just here for the camaraderie before the thing.

Toby: Have any of you done any of your jobs today?

Josh: I fact-checked Sam about the Washington Nationals.

Toby: And good for you, Josh. Perhaps that would have been more timely two weeks ago when the President actually gave the address.

Josh (under his breath): Touché.

Toby: And I'm not in the habit of anointing teams that currently do not play 81 of their games on 161st Street, but the Nationals are the team to beat in the National League.

Sam: I literally agree with everything you just sad. And, if permitted to amend and extend my remarks.

Josh: Nobody is permitting you to do that. . . .

Sam: I will say that their lineup is more than formidable. With Bryce Harper a year older and the addition of Denard Span, they look to improve on a club that finished fourth in runs scored. Jason Werth is a wild card, who, if healthy, is well worth the contract they signed him to two years back. Wilson Ramos will be in a position battle with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate and both are more than serviceable offensive powers. So long as they find a way to manufacture the runs they lost with Mike Morse leaving, I don't see them declining at all when it comes to scoring. Granted, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa are thoroughly uninspiring middle infielders.

Josh (to C.J): Do you think he understood anything he just said?

C.J.: I don't. But that hasn't stopped him from anything the past four years.

Sam: And before you ask if their bullpen is going to be affected, let me remind you that they signed Rafael Soriano who . . .

Toby (to himself, audibly): whose departure from the Yankees makes me wonder whether or not Brian Cashman has been replaced with an office full of drunk baboons.


Sam (continuing): And Zach Duke ad Will Ohman have the potential to log plenty of innings. In terms of lefties, they should be solid with Bill Bray if he is healthy. Though, when you consider Jason Werth, Strasburg, and their third baseman, I guess anyone is an injury risk.

Toby (to himself): Particularly if Davy Johnson is as verbose as you.

(at this point, Leo, the Chief of Staff walks by and recognizes that his senior staff is congregating outside the men's room)

Sam: Wait, Leo, what are you doing there?

Leo: Wondering what the heck you're all doing here when we've got the thing in two minutes.

Sam: In all honesty, I thought you were in the men's room.

Leo: Why would I be in the men's room?

Josh: Because we heard there was an intense game of backgammon going on by the hand dryers.

Leo: Josh. Look at my face.

Josh: (to Leo) Sorry. (to Sam) Sam. When you first stood outside here, did you bother to knock?

Sam: No, I thought that would have been impolite.

Leo: Well, now we've got a President who hasn't been briefed for his thing. But that's probably not such a bad result since the last time he was briefed by you guys he made an utter fool of himself in front of forty-five thousand people.

Josh: See what happens when you don't take initiative, Sam?

Leo (to Josh): And what the hell are you doing standing here?

Josh: I'm . . . waiting in line.

Leo: I should fire all of you.



Toby (exasperated): Please do. Hopefully the Red Sox are dumb enough to hire Sam for a season. Or, maybe the Republicans.

Leo: We should be so lucky. Who has the schedule for this thing? Margaret!

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