Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From the Archives: Bring back Don Sutton!

...or heck, bring back anyone who can make an intelligent, non-homerific rant like this epic one from Don Sutton during John Lannan's major league debut in July 2007.



Dibble would have had to be restrained with a tranquilizer gun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Photobombing the Draft

Somewhat lost in the hype for that guy who apparently can pitch pretty good, the Nats drafted 50 players this week. For actual real coverage, you know where to go.

But since a majority of these guys are unknown to the average fan, there are pictures of all 50 draftees after the jump.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Time-shifting Strasmas...

Because I'm an hour behind DC in the Central Time Zone and I have kids to get to bed, I won't be able to get to watch The Debut on DVR until about 2 hours after it starts.

This is me from about 6 to 8 pm CDT tonight:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yakety Nats and Second Guessing

I had to do it.

Obviously the Nats certainly earned their loss today with seven men left on base, grounding into three double plays, and Guzman's three errors. Those are the actual reasons for the loss. And hindsight is 20-20, but I am scratching my head a bit about the lineup juggling in the late innings that led to moving Guzman to right field.

The thing I hate most isn't really all that related to how the game ended up playing out, except for the fact that it indirectly created the need to move Guzman to right field. I despise that Riggleman double switched Willingham - one of his best hitters - out of the game trailing by one run in the eighth inning.

This is what I understand happened with the lineup:

Trailing 3-2 at the start of the bottom of the 8th, Tyler Clippard came in to pitch. The pitchers spot was in the number six spot in the lineup, which was due to lead off the top of the 9th. Clippard was inserted into Josh Willingham's number five spot in the lineup, Willie Harris (EDIT: who was double switched in with Storen in the 6th) moved to LF and Guzman was moved to right field. Desmond replaced Guzman at SS in the number six spot, so that he would lead off the top of the 9th.

I understand the desire not to have Clippard's spot lead off the 9th, but did the Nats really need to hedge their ability to have Clippard to pitch both the 8th and the 9th innings? The Nats were trailing by one run, and Clippard would only pitch the bottom of the 9th if the Nats tied it in the top of the inning. If the Nats took the lead in the top of the 9th, Capps would pitch the bottom of the inning, and if Clippard allowed more runs in the 8th, you probably wouldn't want him to pitch the theoretical bottom of the 9th anyway.

Riggleman did safeguard his (likely unnecessary) ability to have Clippard pitch the ninth inning, but he also gave up his ability to decide who would lead off the 9th after the 8th inning ended. You could always pinch hit for Clippard instead, and maybe Alberto Gonzalez would have been a better choice if Clippard allowed a run or two and the Nats were trailing by more than one run to the start the ninth.

Anyway, this is all very theoretical, and I'm not sure what my point is. It's just what I was thinking about after my Guzman induced rage subsided a bit.

Walk-off wins come in lots of flavors. [June 3, 2005]

Shamelessly piggybacking off today's edition of Barry Svrluga's look back at the 10-game winning streak five years ago, here's poorly pirated video of Ryan Church's walk-off sacrifice fly on June 3, 2005.

video

Ron Darling just oozes excitement.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Apocalypse Eventually

So, contrary to the pleadings of a San Diego baseball fan, Stephen Strasburg will not make his major league debut in San Diego this weekend.

I don't give a darn about San Diego and their hopes to see Strasburg debut in his hometown. And it's probably a good thing the Nats would avoid the PR backlash of debuting him on the road when tickets to the June 4th game are selling briskly.

BUT...

We're trying to win ballgames here. It's an inexact science to try to game the Super Two system in advance, but the Nats would likely clear that hurdle the this week with Strasburg. And if you are trying to ease his entry to The Show, it is undeniable that San Diego would be a friendly debut environment.

I understand wanting to see him first at home. But if J.D. Martin gets his head bashed in at Petco and that game ends up mattering somehow - I suspect we'll all agree that we would have all gotten over not seeing Strasburg debut in D.C.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm too tired...

I'm too tired and lazy to "yakety sax" that debacle of a game. But click on these three "greatest hits" from last year, and just imagine you're watching tonight's game. Same idea.

Ball four

Fielding a bunt

Stealing second

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Memo to Rizzo:

USAirways Flight 4493 departs Syracuse at 6:11 am tomorrow.



(Click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rest in Peace, Ernie Harwell (1918-2010)

I've tried my best to wax poetic about Ernie Harwell before, but this time I'll let a Detroit newspaper, Joe Posnanski and my favorite piece of memorabilia do the talking.



We'll miss you, Ernie.

And thank you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Relevant Mediocrity...

With the Braves in town tonight for the start of a stretch where the Nats have a chance to seize the DC spotlight, and in light of Chris' post about high-water marks, it seems as good a time as any to revisit the most memorable moment of the last two-plus seasons...

video

Watching that clip over two years later after a 13-12 start from the Nats, the interview with Zimmerman which begins around the 2:50 mark is what caught my attention - in particular a snippet from the answer around the 3:35 mark:
To be honest with you, I think there's just too many people on this team that are tired of being mediocre.... We're ready to win, and we're ready to win now.
With the benefit of hindsight of 2008 and 2009, there's a lot of sad irony in the context of that quote.

But when applied in the context of April 2010, it pretty well sums up what I think many of us have enjoyed so far about this season. After two nearly entire seasons of games with absolutely no relevance or meaning, it's been interesting to be a Nats fan again.

And I know I'm not the first to point out how nice it is to care again, but as an out of market fan using up his Christmas gift on MLB Extra Innings, I'm glad to be putting my satellite to good use, at least for now. I even enjoyed being pissed off about the sloppy, sloppy 7-1 loss to the Marlins on Saturday.

Obviously it's easy to place too much importance on the first 25 games of any season, and it could easily go all downhill from here. And there's a brutal 27 games in 28 days left in May before the schedule gets a little easier in June - right around when reinforcements might arrive. But we can be a semi normal fans again. That much is a victory.

Though I could do without the reminder that Paul Lo Duca ever wore a Nats uniform.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Good Times, Bad Times...

Walked in the winning run in the 10th inning? Since parallels with 2005 seem to be in vogue in Natstown right now -- well, there's another one. Somewhere Luis Ayala is grimacing.

Not that I really watched the game. MASN lost the video feed for a good chunk of the game, and I was nowhere drunk enough to voluntarily submit myself to the radio stylings of Tweedledum and Tweedledumbass.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Let's do the time warp...

The Nationals have a winning record and Livan Hernandez is the ace. Paul Schrieber has already pissed me off this season, and I have a blog.

What year is it again?

Friday, April 16, 2010

I had a blog...

...and then I had two kids and moved to Nashville.

Life's settled down, and I'm putting myself through the sadism of watching the Nats on DirecTV's Extra Innings package. So I might as well have a place to post or write something longer than 140 characters if the mood strikes me. That's all this place is going to be.

So read - or don't read. And I wouldn't want press credentials either if I still lived in DC. Right now I can turn my TV off or fast-forward the DVR when the Nats are crappy, and that's the way I like it.