August 28, 2015

All That Money and Talent and They Are Still the “Natinals”

August 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In a bar in Hanover, New Hamspire I was watching a Red Sox-Yankees game in July 2004 with those fans of the former who quickly despaired as their team fell behind for the thousandth time to the Derek Jeter-Bernie Williams Yankees who had been to the World Series five of the preceding six seasons. And […]

Matt Williams: Thumbs Up or Down?

August 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

As of this writing Bryan Price is still managing the 49-62 Cincinnati Reds after making a fool of himself earlier this season, so the bar for manager retention is set rather low these days. But the Washington, DC hounds demand more and they are nipping at the heels of Nationals manager Matt Williams, wondering what […]

The Trade Deadline Eruption Will Breed a Flowering Free Agent Circus

August 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The trade deadline that passed last Friday afternoon precipitated more activity than has been seen in Major League baseball in quite a few years. And yet the eruption of talented players changing teams last week is merely a foreshadowing of the more remarkable Vesuvius of activity that will begin as soon as the last pitch […]

A Bargain Closeout in DC

July 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nationals waited until almost midnight, but bargain shopping was still in effect when Washington finally pulled the trigger on their bullpen, adding Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon in exchange for Nick Pivetta, ranked just at the back at end of the Nationals Top Ten Prospects. There had been some disagreement about how bad the Nationals […]

2015 and ’69 Mets–Deja Vu All Over Again?

July 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

How well do Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard stack up against Seaver, Koosman and Gentry and can the New York Mets find enough offense to make the miracle work again like it did in 1969? As the Mets and the Nationals square off against one another in a three-game set in Washington, DC, […]

Is It Fitting the Pieces or the Personalities That Make Great Trades Possible?

July 13, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

The New York Yankees have brought up Rob Refsnyder from Scranton, PA to play second base and it was about time. The Bombers have put a little space between themselves and the rest of the AL East and making a few final adjustments should position them as serious playoff contenders. As glad as the Yankee […]

Hype, Hyperbole, and Harper

July 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The fireworks were nestled all snug in whatever fireworks are nestled in before heading skyward several hours later from barges on the Potomac River. The Nationals were playing an 11:05 am start time for the Fourth of July game in the Nation’s Capital. The San Francisco Giants had been invited to share in the festivities […]

How Much Will They Pay to See the Max and Mondo Show?

June 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Washington, DC baseball fans have not seen anything like it in many a year. How long has it been since there a pitcher of Max Scherzer’s ability in the Nation’s Capital? How long since there was a hitter like Bryce Harper? Could having them both to watch be like…Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford? According to […]

Hoping to Find Bottom in DC

June 14, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

The Washington Nationals have been wracked by injuries, poor performance and the total failure of their bullpen to span the seventh and eighth innings. Like in one of those old submarine movies, the Nationals are looking for the bottom and a chance to regroup. The rumor mill has it that Mike Rizzo has finally been […]

Matt Williams? Merlin the Magnificent or the Stinky Cheese Man?

June 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

I got a text message the other evening from a friend that asserted: “I Hate Matt Williams.” It is part of the conventional wisdom in DC that the failures of the Nationals bullpen are the manager’s fault. The message came to me on Saturday night after the first of two bullpen implosions in Cincinnati. Casey […]

Is That Nuke LaLoosh Pitching in the Carolina League?

May 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Sure, Carlos Correa looks like the monster everyone predicted he would become. He leads the Texas League in batting and his 1.105 OPS jumps right off the page. If you play in a keeper league and have not tucked him away somewhere, you should. The Houston Astros have an embarrassment of riches that Bill Gilbert […]

The Orchid

May 14, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

It was over a year ago that Tony Kornheiser aptly named Stephen Strasburg “The Orchid” in a piece he penned.  Since then the phenom who was tagged as the “best pitching prospect ever” when he entered the amateur draft in 2009, has struggled to fulfill all of that remarkable potential. Those very unique abilities are […]

Bryce and Frank

May 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Frank Howard was Washington, DC’s most prodigious home run hitter, leading the American League in long balls in both 1968 and 1970, but his best year was 1969 when he hit 48, though he finished second to Harmon Killibrew that season who hit 49 to lead the Majors. Bryce Harper has hit seven home runs […]

You Gotta Have Heart

April 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

FanGraphs Jeff Sullivan asked the question the other day, “Have the Nationals Lost Their Edge?” The edge in this instance is the statistical advantage that the Nationals enjoyed going into the season over the other teams in the NL East. Having lost six in a row since righting the ship briefly at the end of the […]

Small Triumphs Writ Large

April 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

What may have been most remarkable about Calvin Griffith was his candor. When the former owner of the Minneapolis Twins said of his new Minnesota home–where he had relocated the old American League Washington Nationals franchise that dated to 1901–that there he had found thousands of hard working white folks, he was giving vent to […]

All the Games Count

April 13, 2015 by · 5 Comments 

Every game matters, whether it is played in the first week or in the last. It is easy to dismiss the significance of the first weeks of the season, but trends emerge even as early as Spring Training that will haunt the sixth months to follow. The Washington Nationals trip north to Fenway Park was […]

Spring Statistics and How Far Can the Washington Bullpen Travel

April 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Theo Epstein recently said he has never broken camp with a rookie in the starting lineup and to prove his point sent Kris Bryant packing. Spring is is not a good time to be a young major league hopeful. The time with the major league club more often than not ends in a quick trip […]

The Hour That the Ship Comes In

March 8, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

“And they will know that it’s for real, the hour that their ship comes in…”  Washington Nationals fans may be pinching themselves to find out whether they are dreaming–as in the old Bob Dylan song–but after wandering in the dessert for many years, a championship caliber organization is arriving on the rising tide of the […]

Playing Out the String

February 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The micro-economy of Major League Baseball is ever-changing. The first model was the neighborhood bully on the playground, in which the richest teams threw their weight around, purchased the best free agents and dominated the sport in the process. Bud Selig’s tenure as Commissioner has seen the arrival of more tools for competitive balance than […]

Is the Strategy of the Scherzer Move Too Obvious?

January 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The official signing of Max Scherzer went down yesterday in Washington and reading the tea leaves of Mike Rizzo’s intentions remains one of the top off-season topics. Does he trade Zimmermann, Fister, or Strasberg? It is only a matter of time before MLB Trade Rumors posts a reader survey asking which one will leave the […]

The Hot Stove in Washington Is Red Hot

January 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Fans in DC woke today to an embarrassment of riches when it was announced that Max Scherzer has agreed to terms and will be the mainstay of the Nationals rotation going forward for the next 7 years. The Washington Nationals inserted themselves again into the 2015 hot stove discussions just when everything seemed the quietest. […]

Fidel Pitches Into Extra Innings in Dramatic Win

January 15, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Fidel Castro is throwing one last pitch and it is proving to be his best. Regardless what political prism one sees the island of Cuba through, there is no denying that it has been the home of some great baseball over the years, so the new diplomatic initiative by the Obama administration promises new access […]

Will DC Ever Learn What It Takes to Win?

October 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Kansas City bullpen has been flawless and their performance could spell the difference for the Royals in the 2014 World Series. Everyone who loves the underdog is pulling for them, but for Washington fans there is an object lesson in watching Kansas City that is almost certainly being lost. The Washington Nationals are on […]

The Post Mortem in DC

October 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals looked like amateurs playing the San Francisco Giants. It is sad, but it is true. The front office of the Nationals will spend the next few months trying to understand what happened and just why the team that had done so well in the regular season sputtered and faltered in the playoffs. […]

Adam LaRoche, Going Out With a Bang

September 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2014 MLB Post-Season will profile many of the game’s most brightly shining stars, most of whom have come to regard the October stage as their own. Albert Pujols, now of the Angels, and Miguel Cabrera are cornerstone players who seem always to be playing in October. They are destined for the Hall of Fame […]

Is the Nationals Pitching Really the Best in the NL and Can It Carry Them to the World Series?

September 24, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

With the playoffs just one week off, it is time to trot out those post season axioms that truthfully only work in retrospect. A month from now in all sagacity we will be able to say how clear it was that the experience of the Tigers and Cardinals would play up. Or maybe it will […]

All the Ghosts of Baseball Past Deserve Their Moment This October in Washington, DC

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a compelling celebration of the moment for the Washington Nationals after after their 3-0 win over the Braves in Atlanta clinched a second NL East title in three years. But reflection is the default mental state for those of my generation and it was not long before I was thinking back on all […]

Closer By Committee in DC?

September 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

“Closer by committee” is used only to describe a dysfunctional reality. It has no upside, no silver lining and when spoken in early September, it can mean nothing good. So when Matt Williams announced that the Washington Nationals were relieving Raphael Soriano of his ninth inning duties, and seeking a new answer so late in […]

Something Smells Rotten in the TV Rights Dispute in DC

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Maximizing profits and income is what businessmen do. But somehow, when they are caught doing it as baseball owners it takes on an uglier dimension because they operate in a protected environment. MLB, Inc. is an enterprise that operates outside the scrutiny to which normal business owners are subject. The largely un-examined, private country club […]

In the Moment in Washington

August 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ten wins in a row in the tenth season in a row? Are the numbers and stars aligning? Has anyone called the fortune teller yet, or maybe we should just “pinch ourselves and squeal and know that it’s for real, the hour that our ship comes in?”* Baseball returned to Washington, DC in 2005 and […]

Where Washington Is Always in First Place

August 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

CBS reporter Sheryl Attkisson opined that in today’s world our best journalists could not bring the corrupt and crazed Richard Nixon to heel for the vast sins of Watergate. Perhaps, but for my money there is one department at The Washington Post that never lost its Woodward and Bernstein edge, where the ghost of Shirley […]

Does the Long Winding Road to October End in California?

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Over at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, they analyze anything that moves, but they keep a nice presence in the world of sports and their piece on the recent Jon Lester trade looks at the notion that this season is shaping up as a significant outlier. The Lester trade is unusual because it is rare for a small market […]

Could a Washington Baseball Hall of Fame Museum Unite the City’s Baseball Legacies?

July 14, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

There is still a hole in the middle of the Washington, DC baseball tradition that is thirty-four years wide and many of the great moments in the city’s bountiful Major League Baseball history remain lost inside it. Much of that memorable history occurred at old Griffith Stadium and when it was torn down after the […]

When Will Baltimore Be Forced to Quit Stealing TV Revenues in the Mid-Atlantic?

July 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It is easiest to steal money when no one is watching. And so Peter Angelos has had easy pickings for almost a decade as he took TV revenues away from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) that broadcasts games for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals on local cable outlets. Television revenues are the name of the game […]

The Kid Returneth?

June 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Referencing Bryce Harper as “The Kid” is more than a play on his youth, but one that also brings to mind the great hitter Ted Williams who likewise was a star from the first moment he stepped onto an emerald diamond at age 20. Williams, known as the “Kid” for many years in Boston, generated […]

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