July 25, 2017

Harper Means Hustle and the Giant Combo Size

May 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bryce Harper is only a few days into his major league career. It is like a movie and the credits are still playing over the first few frames as we are introduced to the action. And maybe it is too early for the critics to assess what they are seeing, but there can be little […]

History in the Making, Or Just Another Ballgame?

April 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg were taken in the amateur draft twelve months apart. Each was a Boras client deemed difficult to sign and likely to command a record signing bonus. Each was acclaimed as a unique talent well worth whatever it took. The fact that they came in succeeding years was deemed extremely rare. […]

A Flood of Riches

April 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The rain is falling in Washington and it will mean that there is no chance to sweep the Marlins today. There is nothing cloudy or damp, however, about the superlatives being used to describe the Washington Nationals pitching staff. It is dedicated Nationals fans who are most aware of what it all means as they behold […]

Cardiac Kids Take Chicago

April 9, 2012 by · 10 Comments 

Three tense and tightly contested games yielded two road wins for the 2012 Washington Nationals in Chicago thanks to surprising late inning magic. Call them the “Comeback Kids,” the “Cardiac Kids,” whatever you will, but the Nationals scored nine times in the last two innings during the three-game set in the Windy City.  The late […]

Batting Practice with the Z-Man

March 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

There are so few players who can lift the average fan from his seat during batting practice. It most commonly takes one of those leviathan sluggers like a Frank Howard or Mark McGwire to send ball after ball rocketing into the stands. So I was taken aback when in Kissimmee, Florida for a game between […]

Changed Forever

March 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

In 1968 baseball’s golden era did not go gently into that good night of historical lore and remembrance. It went out with the bang of Bob Gibson and Mickey Lolich fighting it out in one of the great pitching duels ever, one that played out in the final game game of the ’68 World Series. […]

All That Twitters is Not Gold

March 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Spring Training is a time of hope, it is said. But of course there is hope and then there is the stuff they sell on the sidewalks in Chelsea packaged as hope.  Maybe Bryce Harper really will hit ten home runs during the Spring and make the Opening Day roster. And that dude actually is selling a […]

An Evening with Joe Torre

February 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1,500 fans crammed into George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium Wednesday night came to hear one of the most well-respected names in the game today, Joe Torre.  It was Phil Hochberg’s honor to emcee the evening sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum.  As the former Senator’s PA announcer Hochberg looked out over the crowd noting it […]

A Vote for the Expanded Playoff Format

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Commissioner Selig is still determined to create a second Wild Card slot for the 2012 season.  No team may be impacted by a possible second Wild Card chance more than the Washington Nationals. The window for this innovation in 2012 may be closing, but as the spring reporting date looms just days away, how many […]

Can’t Buy Me Love

February 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Most of the big name free agents this off season migrated toward the American League Danny Knobler pointed out a few days ago. The signing of Albert Pujols by the Angels and Prince Fielder by the Tigers, coupled with Yu Darvish landing in Texas signals a shift of power to the AL. But is it a […]

Touring the Bases With Hall of Famer, Monte Irvin

January 30, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Monte Irvin has had an extraordinary life and I had the privilege to talk to him about his long career in the game recently. He is 92—he will turn 93 on February 25th—and can look back over a remarkable period in our history, as he recalled,  ”It was a time when baseball was really king.” […]

The Impact of Prince Fielder in Washington

January 20, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

Prince Fielder was always one of the impact players in this year’s free agent class, but he is still out there and according to the “industry analysts” the table continues to tilt increasingly toward Washington as his landing spot. This morning Adam Kilgore in the Washington Post summarized the case, saying he is “Washington’s to […]

Mr. President, Baseball Lasts Til Almost November

January 13, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

The St. Louis Cardinals are in the Rose Garden soon for the customary victory lap stop-over at the White House. It will be a rare baseball event for President Obama, and that is a sad commentary for both the game and for a president whose political advisors are so clearly asleep at the switch. Presidents […]

100 Years Ago Today

December 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

In early December 1911, Washington Nationals president Tom Noyes welcomed his new manager Clark Griffith to town for the first time.  Griffith was given a posh new office in the Southern building and no sooner had he looked over his new digs, than he was off to the winter meetings to hunt for talent during […]

Poetic Justice

December 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Following the winter meetings is like watching grass grow. Washington baseball fans are waiting anxiously to see whether Santa wraps Mark Buerhle up and places him in the Nationals stocking and if so, what else might there be under the tree. There is the issue of center field with so many options there that even […]

His Game to Win

November 3, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Tony LaRussa retires and Davey Johnson returns. It might seem that the trade off leaves the managerial ranks about the same, but there is a changing of the guard occurring in the leadership of Major League Baseball. LaRussa’s 33 years as manager is unequalled except by Connie Mack–whose 53 years in the dugout is one […]

Baseball in a Starring Role

October 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There is more than a small amount of pride in being an ardent baseball fan these days. The World Series was not only a success, but it garnered wide enthusiasm for the Cardinals from fans across the country who were rooting for the team over the long seven-game contest. It is that very ability of […]

The Lighting of the Hot Stove

October 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Perhaps the Hot Stove season does not commence until after the World Series. Or maybe it adds fuel to the fire. Either way there are instructive failures from last year to consider. There were Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth–just two of the biggest disappointments among the 2011 free agent class. Then at the summit is […]

First Division Finish

September 29, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

No, the Nationals are not headed for the playoffs, and yes, the smug fans up the coast will shake their heads in bemusement at the joy we share at finishing in the top half of the 30 Major League baseball teams. But remember and cheerish that grin, because the Nationals don’t just “hear that train […]

The Plot Thickens

September 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Major League Baseball has often been charged with a lack of competitive balance serious enough to make pennant races predictable. It was as if the plot lines driving each season were as formulaic as a bad Hollywood script.  After reading the first few pages, you could tell the winners and losers without breaking a sweat. […]

Strasburg, Part Deux

September 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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Labor Day in Baseball

September 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

It was Labor Day in DC and the Nationals bats were booming. It was a great day at the park. There was only one thing missing from the action and the celebrations, the Labor Movement or any mention of working Americans. There were two big ladder trucks from the DC Fire Department parked outside the […]

Something Stirring Beneath the Surface

September 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The younger set cannot remember one of the iconic pictures of my youth: Nikita Kruschev, Russian Premier and head of the original Axis of Evil in Moscow, angrily banging his shoe on the desk at the United Nations, screaming to the US envoy to the UN, “We Will Bury You!” It was the headline in […]

A Nationals Hot Sheet in the Offing

August 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A young man called in to the “Outta the Parkway Show” on Friday night and wanted to know whether the Nationals are headed in the right direction and how long it will take before the Nationals are a competitive presence in baseball. How long before the Nationals run at the front of the pack? As […]

Know When to Hold Them, When to Fold Them

August 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year at this time the Washington Nationals were patting themselves on the back about reeling in Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps. It was a good trade because everyone was a winner. Fishing for Denard Span off the same pier in July 2011 has proved not as productive. The Twinkies wanted the keys to the […]

Philip Hochberg and A Nationals’ Report Card

July 12, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Friday night on the Outta the Parkway Show, Philip Hochberg–long time public announcer for Washington sports teams–looked back over more than sixty years of baseball history and his report card on Washington baseball was a disappointing one. On Friday night one game stood out in his memory, one  from the first year of the expansion […]

The Clark Griffith Monument

June 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

In 1956 a monument was dedicated to Clark Griffith outside old Griffith Stadium just months after the former owner of the team and stadium died.  His passing was marked by every major newspaper, his funeral attended by every official of the game.  He was recognized as a giant of the game whose place in Cooperstown […]

Are We There Yet, Davey?

June 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As if in answer to Jim Riggleman, the Nationals gave Davey Johnson a contract that keeps him with the organization through 2013. He manages out 2011 and is in charge of finding a permanent manager. Yet that resolution to the immediate crisis leaves so many things still un-resolved. Who will manage in 2012? Will Davey […]

How to Spell Quitter in One Easy Lesson

June 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today Nationals fans are caught up with the news of Jim Riggleman’s departure and the backwash therefrom.  Tom Boswell’s column in the morning paper provides some insights, but the headline, “Riggleman Proves He Wasn’t the Man,” says it all. Riggleman was not a particularly good manager.  He had his good qualities: his straight-shooter, old school […]

Wilderness Days Yield to Surge

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Six years ago to the day, the Washington Nationals sat atop the National League East with a three game lead over the Braves. They would remain in first place in the summer of 2005 until July 26th. Since the end of July 2005, the Nationals have been lost in the wilderness, searching for team defense, […]

Anthony Rendon in Washington? Who Knew?

June 7, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Early in the day there had to have been excitement about the prospect that Bubba Starling would fall to the Nationals with the sixth pick in the amateur draft. Finding a center fielder has been a vexing problem for the team and Starling playing alongside Bryce Harper was a vision of joy for the DC […]

The “Mental” Game

May 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball, more than most other sport, is impacted by the player’s internal mental landscape. Players make it to the majors because their confidence in their own abilities is unshakable and flourishes even in the most high pressure environments. But there are some teams where bad karma chews nails for breakfast, where the most confident players […]

Washington Posting

May 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Brad Peacock continued his rise from obscure origins on Saturday afternoon–he was a 41st round draft choice in 2006–as he struck out ten over six innings, winning his sixth game. Peacock posted 14 Ks in his prior start and those eye-popping numbers have brought the Nationals 23-year old right hander a little extra attention. He […]

The Catch of the Young Season

May 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Several years ago I went up to Harrisburg to interview Justin Maxwell, the promising young outfielder of the Harrisburg Senators at the time. He was a warm and sincere young man and I spoke to John Stearns about the Maryland native and came away impressed. Yet truthfully it was another player who caught my eye […]

Brad Peacock, Selig Man with Upside Heart

May 11, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Brad Peacock was taken in the 41st round of the 2006 draft as a “draft and follow” pick by the Washington Nationals. For Washington the 2006 draft was a disaster. Conducted when the team was still under management by Bud Selig and MLB, Inc., it might serve as a tutorial on all of the things […]

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