Tagged: Nationals

Hey, D.C., Phillies Called, They Want Their Fans Back

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

That was the sound of the Washington Nationals faithful… before the NLDS Game 3 even started.

That’s right, while the Cardinals personnel was being announced prior to the game, Nationals fans invoked their inner “Philly-ness” and slaughtered the birds on the bat with their vocal angst (the birds on the bat slaughtered the Nats on the field).

The booing only increased towards raucous levels through the first and second innings as the Cardinals piled up runs.  By the 7th inning, most of the fans were already gone, giving up on their team before the game was over.

Classy, D.C.  Very classy.

I’m still scratching my head on this one.  When did D.C. fans become so entitled?  They haven’t won anything yet!

Nationals Park is one of my favorite baseball havens of all time.  I have been there several times now, most of those games against the Cardinals, and I have never seen nor heard the fans act like such a-holes.

I guess the transient Beltway fans have taken over for the real deal — if the real deal actually exists.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals (and their fans) remain awesome.  I’m proof.  Seriously.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

Are the Giants better off without Melky?

Mark 
Oak Park, IL

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On August 15 the Giants were 64-54 after losing to Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.  That same day they found out that they would be losing Cabrera for the rest of the regular season due to a 50-game ban.  Since then, the Giants won 27 games and only lost 11 on their way to clinching the division with a couple weeks left to go.  Now, there’s no doubt that Cabrera, juicing or not, can hit.  In reality, the drugs just made him better.  And it’s also pretty evident that he was on track for the NL batting title.  But when you look at the record compared to what the expectations were following news of Cabrera’s ban and one thing becomes obvious.

The Giants are a good team.

And they might be even better without Melky.

Look at the numbers.  With Melky the Giants were 10 games over .500 and doing well in the West but still not a sure thing.  Without Melky this same team is 26 games over .500 as of Friday and simply blew away the rest of the division.

What that tells me is that something changed in the collective psyche of the Giants when Melky got the boot.  The knew they could no longer depend on one guy to come up with the clutch hit and, as a result, it has been a whole bunch of guys who have had to come up with the hits and catches.  This makes them a team as opposed to a collection of players brought in as a supporting cast for the one star.

I don’t know if the Giants have the magic to make a run this year like they did in 2010.  If I had to guess, I’d probably say no since baseball is so wildly unpredictable.  But they seem to be coming together as a team more now than they did with Melky leading the charge so anything is possible.  Throw in the fact they don’t have to worry about facing Strasburg in the postseason like they did back on August 15 and it means that their chances are just a little bit better.

-A

The Filibuster

Who should throw out the first pitch if the Nats make the Series?

Natalie
Washington, DC
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In a city known for its hot-winded bureaucracy, I can definitely see this scenario as something DC suits would fight for.  I mean, who wouldn’t welcome the public relations boost that would come with leading the charge in Washington’s first World Series since 1933?

The problem is, I wouldn’t want any currently serving politicians out there on the mound.  Obama, a clumsily outspoken White Sox fan with an awkward delivery, would not be a good choice considering the pending presidential election and his penchant for wildness.  And asking a former president such as George W. Bush, a man who can certainly hold his own on the baseball diamond, would also be a bad choice considering the awful PR that would go with it.

The first pitch in the World Series should be by someone who is just as much a part of the spirit of Nationals baseball as the players and coaches and front office.  It should be someone with great leadership skills.  Someone who is adored regardless of political affiliation.  Someone who is dead.

It should be Teddy Roosevelt.

Since the Expos became the Nationals, fans of this ill-fated franchise have had little to cheer for… except for Teddy Roosevelt.  And yet despite leading the charge during the Spanish-American War, despite conquering an elusive elephant whilst on African safari, and despite surviving a bullet shot from John Schrank’s gun, the stuffed man still cannot find a way to sit atop the Presidents Race podium.

The very least DC could do is give him the first pitch.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

Who is the man with the masterplan?

Jake 
Macomb, IL

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Good question, Jake!  And the answer isn’t as easy as one Dr. Dre would lead you to believe.

Honestly, it’s hard to just pick one person and say he’s the man with the masterplan.  And since we here at RSBS like to avoid being too categorical, I’m going to give you a list of possibilities and let you decide.

First we turn to the world of baseball.  Here, you could say it’s the Washington Nationals, the former laughingstock of the league who now find themselves with the second best record in baseball, who are the man.  Or, how about the Cincinnati Reds with the best record in baseball?  Even that would be ignoring the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, although several games behind the Reds, are still in wildcard contention.  The Pirates?!

If that’s too vague for you, we could always try to drill down a little and offer up some individuals.  You can’t spit these days without hitting some news about Mike Trout.  However, at only 20 years old, it’s a little hard to say that he’s the man with the masterplan.  The same could be said of Stephen Strasburg, although the Nationals’ plan to limit his innings this season could be seen as a masterplan…..or a master cock-up if it costs them a playoff spot or a deep playoff run.

When you say masterplan, though, that seems to be a bit more global than just Major League Baseball.  This sounds more like it requires worldwide dominance in which case we should turn our eyes toward London and the Olympic games.  The obvious choices here are the US Men’s basketball team who unfortunately seemed almost human against the Lithuanians and Michael Phelps, the Midas of swimming who has a knack for turning almost everything gold.

However, it also doesn’t hurt to look a bit further afield.  For instance, how about a man who dabbles in and dominates a field of pseudo-gymnastics.  That’s right.  Olympic men’s trampoline champion, Dong Dong.  With a name like that and  the current title-holder as World and Olympic champion, it’s hard to say he’s not the man with the masterplan.

-A

“I thought he was a weird wuss anyway…”

That’s right.  Davey Johnson speaks for me.

In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause.  Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.

Indeed, Verlander is a beast.  But the following inequality is true:

Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander

Unfortunately, the following is also true:

Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte

Ugh.

I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Harper’s Bazaar

Photo via Yahoo

The Washington Nationals are without a doubt one of the best stories of the year.  And, of course, you can’t talk about the Nationals without inevitably turning to the direct youth infusion that is Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.  Probably the most amazing thing about these two guys is how well they seem to be handling the pressure at their relatively young ages.

Ever since we first celebrated Stras-mas in 2010, we knew we were in for something special.  Bryce-giving has been almost as good.  Through half a season his numbers have him in a rarified group of baseball players and already have stat-heads drooling over his promise.  However, that initial part of the sentence, “through half a season,” should remind us that he’s not yet Micky Mantle.

If there’s one thing that really makes me believe that Bryce-giving could become the same annual holiday that Stras-mas appears possible to become, it’s this:

[youtube http://youtu.be/JzbhjzsyvGk]

That question had foot-in-mouth disease written all over it.  But instead of pulling a Humberto Quintero:

…Harper gave just about the perfect answer.  Well played, young man.

-A

The Filibuster

Taking into account the fantastic starts for Baltimore, Washington and the Dodgers, which one surprises you the most?

John
Fredericksburg, MD

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The only thing that suprises me about the Los Angeles Dodgers this year is that they sold for over two billion dollars.  TWO.  BILLION.  DOLLARS.  Holy Koufax, Batman!  That’s Albert Pujols money!!!

With legitimate superstars like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw anchoring the team, it was only a matter of whether or not off-the-field issues would cause a disturbance.  Now that there aren’t any, they’re free to do their thang, and as long as that includes Andre Ethier knocking in everyone in front of him and stellar performances from castaways like Chris Capuano and the longtime hookin’ lefty, Ted Lilly, then it really is their division to lose.  Kemp is currently on the 15 day DL and they’re still mowing through the opposition.

To me, the Nats aren’t a suprise either.  I think the consensus among learned baseball folk was that they were going to be good soon, it was just a matter of how soon.  With Michael Morse sidelined due to injury and an anemic offense through the first several weeks of the season, it seemed like they had some time before they’d be that team to beat; but pitching wins championships and their pitching has been as impressive as the St. Louis Cardinals’ travel day attire.

The real surprise — the real head-shaker du jour — is the cartoon bird in Baltimore bringing a moribund and aloof baseball club back to serious life.  Last year saw them get off to a good start, and I thought they might really be making a move back to the Oriole Way, but their youthful inexperience eventually backfired, ending in a bucket of Showalterian scowls.

But consider the performances of Jim Johnson, Matt Lindstrom, Pedro Strop, Luis Ayala, Darren O’Day and even Kevin Gregg — yes, KEVIN GREGG — and you’ll see that it’s easier to win ballgames when your bullpen doesn’t come in and yack up the place.  For those of you who follow the Birds, you know that a yackin’ bullpen has been as much a staple of the beltway as corrupt politicians screwing their constituents.  Yeah, well, not everything can change.

Just as excited as I am about the Orioles’ resurgence, I’m equally as revved about the Toronto Blue Jays, yet another AL East team that just won’t back down.  They’re hitting everything.  They are pitching with authority.  And their Canadian poster-boy is keen on taking on the silliness that is MLB umpiring, one batting helmet at a time.

Also, there’s this:

Ah… to be 8 years old and Canadian… no suprise there.

Hate me if you want, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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