December 15, 2017

Strasburg Redux

September 25, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Washington has many fine sportswriters. Atop the list are Tom Boswell, Tim Kurkjian, and until recently John Feinstein. Last season Feinstein was one of the louder voices calling for the Nationals to keep sending Strasburg out every five days in September. And now he is using the failure of the Nationals to make the playoffs […]

Keeping Navy Yard Neighbors in Our Thoughts and Prayers

September 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Events like those that transpired in DC yesterday, just down M Street, SE from Nationals Park, seem to plague our country with disturbing frequency. It is unfortunate that they happen at all, or that they happen in any neighborhood, or any work place. But they came home yesterday to the Navy Yard that is an […]

Which Way Does Davey Johnson’s Second Act Go?

July 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Davey Johnson was Manager of the Year in 2012 because he brought out the best in a team few picked to win much of anything. Patience and quiet confidence in his players worked those wonders. But this year that same enduring belief in his players has become equal parts tragedy and comedy. Not comedy as […]

The Bull-Moose Juju

April 25, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

As the first month of the baseball season drew to a close in 2012, the Gio Gonzalez trade looked like an inspiration. Stephen Strasburg was back and the Nationals had the best pitching in the National League. Davey Johnson was looking for offense and summoned Bryce Harper. Everything Mike Rizzo touched in 2012 turned to […]

Build It and We Will Come

June 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For years now the fans of D.C. have been whispering, “Build it and we will come,” in response to questions about attendance. In 2005, when the Nationals were the newest thing on the block, they drew 2.7 million. When Nationals Park opened in 2008 and there was another new toy, attendance went back up to 2.3 million […]

Another Kind of Parkway Series Imagined

May 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Watching the Orioles-Nationals series play out over such a gorgeous weekend, with so much fine young talent on both sides of the diamond, it was hard not to project into it something more than just another interleague squabble. With Baltimore sitting comfortably atop the American League East and Washington still within hailing distance of the […]

Why Davey Johnson Is So Unhappy

May 10, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

One thing about Bryce Harper’s steal of home a few days ago, it brought a smile to the face of his manager Davey Johnson. Johnson has otherwise found too little to smile about during the first month of the 2012 season, despite the overall good performance of his team. Davey was a hitter. That is […]

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 […]

Get Used to It Mr. Strasburg

April 27, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

On the same afternoon when I watched Mike Pelfrey pitch eight innings of one-run ball only to see the bullpen (aided by a muffed fly ball) blow a 4-1 lead and cost him the victory, I saw that the same thing happened to Stephen Strasburg. That is, he left the game as the potential winning […]

When Is The Fan Going To Think About These Things?

April 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“They are governed by private associations or corporations by a minimum number of promoters or sports clubs or both classes, to promote, sponsor and organize a sport and will boost programs of public and social interest”. The above is the concept of “League”, so it cannot include the Negro Leagues as this kind of association—simply […]

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 […]

2011 Voyage over for Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog

September 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I managed to watch part of tonight’s game while I was packing for my flight to Italy in the morning and was not even fazed by the 7-0 trouncing at the hands of The Oakland A’s as I was focusing on my thoughts for my farewell Mariners Blog for 2011. I guess to sum it […]

Strasburg, Part Deux

September 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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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 […]

If I Ran Baseball-Interleague Edition

June 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Recently a few managers have come out against interleague play, stating the uniqueness has worn off, and that interleague play is tired.  I disagree.  I think it’s great that some interleague “traditions” have stuck around, like Cubs/White Sox, A’s/Giants, and Marlins/Rays.  Ok, so maybe Marlins/Rays isn’t the most exciting matchup, but it’s still the battle […]

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 […]

Centerfield in Washington Is Ankiel’s Now

April 3, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

When Rick Ankiel laid down the perfect squeeze bunt in the seventh inning yesterday all the thoughts of the Nationals nagging center field question disappeared like Brad Wilkerson going back into the dugout after waving to the crowd upon hitting for the cycle early in the 2005 season.  Nyjer who?  And what was that other […]

DC Opening Day Always a Historic Moment

April 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Opening Day in Washington today was notable for the absence of two persons, the first being President Obama.  Starting with President Taft more than a hundred years ago in 1910, they have been there. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon–so many have been there throwing out the first pitch in Washington, DC and the renewal of that […]

Trying to Focus on the Positives

March 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

At his best Nyjer Morgan is a scrappy, prototypical lead off guy.  Diminutive in size, he plays with grit and determination. He hurt himself sliding head-first into second base one too many times a season ago. But in 2010 he committed a multitude of sins, not the greatest of which was running into the Cardinal […]

Any Fish’ll Bite If You Got Good Bait

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nationals continue to make notable progress in building their minor league organization.  Rated consistently in the bottom tier since the move from Montreal in 2005, the system is on the rise, but an acid test awaits. GM Mike Rizzo wants to trade for a starting pitcher. The rumor mill has the Nationals looking at […]

Dear Yankee Fans: Be Proud, Be Grateful

October 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Just a day removed from the Yankees elimination, it isn’t hard to find a disappointed New Yorker. The beloved Yankees are done for the year, and their dreams of a second consecutive world championship are diminished. As many love to do, we can sit here and talk about what could have happened and what should […]

Bottoming Out in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

September 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

They should bottle Showalter’s elixir and sell it outside Camden Yarks.  The Baltimore Orioles are showing signs of life in response to their new manager’s tonic after flat-lining for more than half of the 2010 season. The Orioles’ record since Showalter stepped into the dugout is 17 – 10.  That is a .630 winning percentage […]

Stephen Strasburg: It Was Bound To Happen

August 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost three months ago, Nationals Stadium was filled for the first time in it’s existence. Not because the Nationals were playing well, but because the most sought after prospect in baseball, Stephen Strasburg, was set to make his debut. The day was June 8, 2010. The opposing team was the Pittsburg Pirates. If the uniforms […]

Taking the Challenge, Both Harper and the Nationals

August 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bryce Harper’s new teammates challenged the young man to fish or cut bait in the days before the August 16 signing deadline.  Stephen Strasburg said, “If he doesn’t want to play here, we don’t want him here.”   Ryan Zimmerman was almost as skeptical, saying in effect that he saw more maturity and character in […]

Dunn can be a big difference maker

July 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What would you say if I told you that your team has just acquired Adam Dunn? You would probably sigh and say something like, “we better prepare ourselves for a lot of strikeouts,” or “another classic hit or miss player.” While those two things may be very true, Adam Dunn can be a very valuable […]

Are Innings Limits Here to Stay?

June 22, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

If Hamlet had been a modern general manager in Major League Baseball instead of the tragic heir to the Danish throne, the doomed Dane would have morosely uncovered the reports on his young talented pitchers and mournfully deliberated: “To cap or not to cap, that is the question.” Innings limits have become ubiquitous as front […]

Opportunity Costs Will Dictate Modest Harper Bonus

June 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Nationals fans, management and players are all seeing just what a great and phenomenal talent can do to transform a team.  Strasburg left everyone breathless for more, but although some see Bryce Harper as Strasburg, Part Deux, few believe Harper will get as big a bonus for signing in Washington.  Opportunity cost analysis says the […]

Chris Coste Is 37, Has Had Elbow Surgery and Been Released But Retirement Seems Very Unlikely

June 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This is not a retirement story as I have seen implied elsewhere, but then why would anyone think a little thing like elbow surgery would put an end to Chris Coste’s playing career.  It will take more than the year off that normally is required after the so-called Tommy John operation to bring an end […]

Washington Is a Baseball Town (Again)

June 8, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

At the top of the seventh inning the crowd began the chant, “Let’s Go Stras-burg” to the same cadence that fans in DC have grown tired of listening to from Philly, Dodger, Red Sox and just about anywhere fans.  But this chant was all DC and it grew and built.  “Let’s Go Stras-burg” the entire […]

Another Brick in the Wall

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Is Strasburg’s looming debut next Tuesday more important for the future of the Nationals, or Roy Oswalt’s admission on Tuesday of this week, that he would accept a trade to Washington? The two are inextricably linked.  Oswalt’s view that there are good things going on in Washington redounds to the excitement Strasburg is generating, but […]

Cuban Relaxation

May 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cuba and Puerto Rico are never as close as when Pudge and Livan Hernandez are Nationals battery mates.  Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy said watching the two seasoned pros, “It’s like they are playing catch in the park.”  They are two of the most senior players in the game and still two of the most fun […]

Goldstein Sounds Alarm in Harper’s House of Charm

April 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin Goldstein took aim at Bryce Harper’s imposing rep this week in an article at Baseball Prospectus.com about his “makeup.”   The amateur draft is counting down and Harper is more and more the only viable first choice. Will the alarm bells spook the Nationals?  Is character as defining a factor for the rebuilding Washington […]

Closing Arguments in Washington

March 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nationals have played their last 2010 spring game in Viera, FL and are headed north.  The jury is still out.  They have won a few more spring games, but benching Cristian Guzman for Ian Desmond will make speed and athleticism a big factor for the 2010 Nationals.  The move is exhibit A in a […]

NL East Preview

March 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Who can beat the Phillies?  The Braves have some of the best young talent in the game, but no one will catch them.  The arrival in 2010 of young phenoms Stephen Strasburg and Jason Heyward will be highlights in the NL East.  The ultimate story will be Roy Halladay as he carries the Phillies back […]

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