August 22, 2017

Medlen’s Misfortune is Everyone’s Misfortune

March 18, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

As the 2012 season drew to a conclusion, Stephen Strasburg’s absence from the rotation of the Washington Nationals was one of the more hotly debated issues. Often those heaping abuse on the Nationals decision to bench their prized right-hander contrasted their decision with that of the Atlanta Braves where Kris Medlen was still taking the […]

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 […]

Triple Milestone Targets 2013

September 8, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

With four weeks to go, only two players are on target for triple milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs but six others are close.  Only one pitcher is on target for the milestones of 20 wins, 200 strikeouts and an ERA less than 3.00.  No other pitchers are close. […]

Hairy-chested Guys and Deadbeat Dads

July 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals ship of state was supposed to be sailing for glory. Instead, at the All-Star break it limped into Washington Harbor, their sails in tatters after a trip to Philadelphia and Miami that saw them lose three of four to the Phillies and two of three to the Marlins. The Nats scored 19 […]

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 […]

Seamheads Podcasting Crew Fantasy League

April 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Perhaps there should be age-appropriate fantasy baseball leagues, the real world equivalent of over-fifty baseball leagues. Some of the Seamheads writers play in those leagues I know–not to name names. Bill Gilbert and I ventured forth this season as the wise sages of the Seamheads Podcasting Crew fantasy league. We are likely a few years […]

An Opening Act With A Bullet

April 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Bryce Hapre and Stephen Strasburg made a compelling case on Opening Day to be considered the two best talents ever to play Major League Baseball in Washington, DC. Facing a depleted Miami Marlins roster, Stephen Strasburg seemed to hardly work up a sweat as he breezed through seven innings on eighty pitches without allowing a […]

Springtimes Past and the Changes They Have Wrought

March 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Watching Anthony Rendon play third base for the Nationals last week in Kissimmee, Florida reminded me of so many past Spring Training games. Osceola Stadium, where the Astros train in March each year, is one of my favorite places to watch major league baseball. It is the closest ballpark to Viera, FL where the Washington […]

Can You Over-hype the Nationals?

March 6, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Bryce Harper has put on 10 pounds to hike his playing weight for 2013 to 230.  I remember Jim Callis at Baseball America coming on our podcast a few years ago and quoting some scouts who believe Harper will one day have more of an Adam Dunn footprint than a Mickey Mantle one.  I don’t […]

Early Thoughts On the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year Race

June 22, 2012 by · 7 Comments 

Last week I outlined how the American League Rookie of the Year race is shaping up and now it’s the National League’s turn. While the NL has also introduced a strong crop of rookies this year, the level of production has not been quite as high as their AL counterparts. Bryce Harper has gotten the […]

A Rising Tide in Washington

June 13, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

The Potomac River is near flood stage as it boils through the rapids at Great Falls, a crescendo of roaring noise. Further downstream from that much photographed natural beauty, at Nationals Park, a wave of human noise has not even begun to crest as fans of the Washington Nationals cheer a team that has risen […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Strasburg, Part Deux

September 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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Childhood and Wally Bunker

June 17, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

The year 1964 when I was 7 years old, was a landmark for me.  In February of that year, I saw the Beatles for the first time on my grandmother’s 13″ black and white television; a set so full of vacuum tubes and other hardware that it weighed as much as our big screen TV […]

Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Top Five 2B Prospects For 2011

January 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

    In articles like this, many websites provide readers with the best overall prospects at any given position, but the intention here is to focus on those prospects that are most likely to provide a significant fantasy impact in the ’11 season; thus, a guy like A’s prospect Jemile Weeks – who is currently […]

The Day the World Met the Ryan Express

October 30, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Nolan Ryan was far from the perfect pitcher. He walked the most batters in baseball history (2,795), 52% more than the next highest total belonging to Steve Carlton (1,833). He lost the most games of any pitcher (292) except for Cy Young (316) and Pud Galvin (310), two players who peaked in the 1800s. He […]

Power Arms of the Future

September 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The original habitat for this post can be found here. Remember last year, when we wrote a piece on BAseball Reality Tour called Power Arms of the Future?  We wanted to celebrate how impressed we were with performances from young pitchers like Mat Latos, Tommy Hanson, and Neftali Feliz. As something we hope will be […]

Nyjer Needs Some Love

September 4, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

After two whopping suspensions, dumping on Nyjer Morgan at this point should be half the distance to the goal for egregious piling on.  The guy needs some love big time.  So pardon me while I swim against the tide of the conventional wisdom–a concept born and raised here in Washington, DC. I will start at […]

A ‘Strasburg Was Here’ Doubleheader

September 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Game One Friday, August 27, 2010 Syracuse, N.Y. “The greatest powers of the physical environment slam into the resilient forces of life, and nothing much happens.” E.O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life              It’s the first day of the New York State Fair, and I’ve dropped my sister off for a concert by her favorite […]

Fastball, Fastball, Fastball

August 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

On the web there are numerous video clips of Nolan Ryan throwing fastballs and they loop over and over, fastball after fastball ad infinitum, Ryan’s seemingly effortless delivery going on forever in some parallel universe where he will throw forever.  That was my mental picture of where Stephen Strasburg should be as he neared the […]

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 […]

The Yankees’ future is grid-locked

August 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Remember a couple of months ago when Stephen Strasburg was ready to advance to the majors? The anticipation was as high as ever before: Nationals Stadium was sold out within hours of the announced date of his debut. It seemed as though the world of the Washington Nationals was waiting for the future to thrust […]

Something Rotten in the State of Maryland

August 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Mike Rizzo traded Matt Capps and Cristian Guzman for prospects and kept Adam Dunn.  His team and his fans are both happy and the team is playing hungry again.  Andy MacPhail failed to move Luke Scott or Ty Wiggington but hired Buck Showalter to make sense of it all.  Still, something in Baltimore just doesn’t […]

From the Eastern League All-Star Game

July 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Strasburg Was Here First Installment From the Eastern League All-Star Game “. . . They develop Argument in order to speak, they become unreal, unreal, life loses solidity, loses extent, baseball’s their game because baseball is not a game but an argument. . . .” George Oppen It’s ten minutes after Nate Spears flew out […]

Don’t Believe the Hype

July 5, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

While making the media rounds to promote The 300 Club, my book on two-dozen pitchers won 300 games, I was asked about Stephen Strasburg several times — once after he had only one win in one appearance. I told my inquisitor that he needed only 299 more wins to make the next edition. We both […]

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 […]

A Humorous Look at Recent Baseball News

June 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Indians were expecting close to 35,000 fans to attend Sunday’s game against the Nationals, the team’s highest attendance since Opening Day. I think it’s great that so many Indians fans are excited about seeing highly touted prospect Carlos Santana play. Hear he plays a mean guitar.  Or maybe they are excited about the rejuvenated […]

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 […]

The Rapid Emergence of Stephen Strasburg in 2007

June 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year, after I looked up some stories about Dwight Gooden as a teenage phenom, I started wondering about Stephen Strasburg’s early pitching performance. Was he touted as a future star in high school before graduating in 2006? The answer’s no. The San Diego Union-Tribune hardly mentioned Strasburg when he was at West Hills High […]

Strasburg in Syracuse Start Six: The Windup

June 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s the fifth inning of Stephen Strasburg’s last minor league start. After Pedro Lopez flew out aimlessly to center, Strasburg himself reached out beyond the far side of the plate on an 0-2 count and slapped a ball back up the middle. Left fielder Boomer Whiting, a new call up for the Chiefs, then hit […]

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