December 20, 2014

Halfway Home and Competitive Balance is Winning With Pitching

July 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The first half of the 2013 season is in the record books and surprises abound. Chris Davis is quietly on a pace to hit 62 home runs when most were predicting an end to the offensive surge of prior years. The Boston Red Sox team that unraveled under Bobby Valentine has vaulted to the lead in […]

Will There Ever Be Another All-Star Game In Washington, DC?

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals did an about face in their 2013 Rule 4 draft last week. For several years GM Mike Rizzo has pursued an aggressive draft strategy in which the team spent well beyond MLB recommended signing bonuses. If you were looking for a continuation of the Nationals spendthrift ways, look again. Jake Johansen was […]

Giving Away Outs to the Braves

April 14, 2013 by · 4 Comments 

It wasn’t the newly arrived Upton brothers that crushed the spirits of 120,000 fans that flocked to Nationals Park this weekend. No, it was a team effort. The Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals in every aspect of the game. They outscored Washington 18-5 for the three game series. After Friday night it never really seemed […]

She’s Not Pretty, But Has a Great Personality

April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I know pretty when I see it. There was lots of it last night at Nationals Park. But when my attention was drawn to the field where the Nationals beat the White Sox 8-7, well, let’s just say that when Davey Johnson described the Nationals’ win as “not pretty,” he was just being kind. It’s […]

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 […]

Feel It! The Heart of a Good Baseball Town is Beating Once Again

February 16, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Baseball is part of the historic and cultural mosaic. You cannot unwind it from the larger picture and in Washington, DC, the rebirth of baseball’s winning tradition here is intertwined with a larger transformation taking place all across the length and breadth of this city, our nation’s capital. There have always been tourists tramping around […]

Heart and Soul

January 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Nick Johnson finally hung up the spikes today, according to MLB Rumors. Only 34 years old, Johnson will be remembered as the backbone of the first Washington Nationals team in 2005, and to those of us who wore his name proudly on the back of our first Nationals jerseys, he was the heart and soul […]

Bo Knows

January 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Football lost its luster for me long ago, but on Sunday I tuned in to watch the Redskins because frankly, Robert Griffin, III is just that special. Fast on his feet, and just as quick-wited, RG III has it all and he had Washington buzzing about a rebirth not just of football in this town, […]

Dick Bosman Talks Strasburg Innings Limit and More

October 22, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

As the roving minor league pitching instructor for the Tampa Bay Rays, former Senators pitcher Dick Bosman has helped groom some of the best pitching talent in the majors. I asked Dick to comment on the Washington Nationals handling of Stephen Strasburg this season on our podcast show Friday night. The response was one of the most […]

A Closing Argument Falls Flat

October 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Washington Nationals season ended in agony on October 13 at 12:30 pm. What had been the best pitching staff in baseball was no where to be found over the final six innings of baseball last night. When Washington scored six runs in the first three innings off Adam Wainwright, the momentum of the previous […]

A Transformative Baseball Moment in Washington

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In every life there are those moments when your life takes a sudden turn, when you are standing still in one place and then events sweep you away to a very different place. Your life is changed, moved from one platform onto another from which you take off in a totally different direction. Call them […]

Potential Clues to Post Season Success

October 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In discussing how little the regular season matters in the playoffs, Ron Gardenhire said that the post-season is determined by which team gets hot.  It is a simplistic but quite accurate formula if you look at recent playoff runs by various teams. How hot were they going into the post-season? Certainly there are other consistent […]

Freakin Awesome

October 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

After winning the NL East Champions for 2012 last night, Ian Desmond was asked to describe the feeling. “Freakin Awesome,”  he said.  Desmond exemplifies the spirit of the Nationals better than anyone. He worked his way through the Montreal Expos organization to become the Washington Nationals everyday shortstop in in 2010. But this has been […]

MLB Gets the Elevator, Washington Baseball Fans Get the Shaft–Again

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The playoff season looms in a scant two weeks and ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the rest of the sports media are abuzz with September pennant race fever. That very special form of madness has lain dormant all these many years in Washington, DC. but it is spreading quickly. Yet in this city where October surprises […]

John Lannan, Soul of the Washington Nationals

September 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The conventional wisdom early in 2004 was that Washington, DC might not be ready for baseball quite yet. In upstate New York, much the same was said of John Lannan as a college pitcher who was not really ready for the big leagues. And yet here they both are together at this critical juncture in […]

The Washington Nationals Are Shooting for the Moon

September 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The St. Louis Cardinals are not only the reigning World Champions, but they are in a tight race with the Braves and Dodgers for the NL Wild Card. They probably still hold out hope that they can catch the Reds, which is why Washington taking three of four from a team like St. Louis in […]

Going Negative in Washington

August 29, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

The Washington Nationals followed a bad weekend of baseball in Philadelphia with an even worse evening in Miami. Stephen Strasburg was supposed to right the ship for Washington against Chris Volstad. Comparing the numbers for the two pitchers any betting parlor would have given steep odds on Volstad’s chance of winning, but he out-pitched Strasburg […]

Winning Ugly? Winning Often Will Do That

August 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Anyone who watched the entirety of the Nationals 13-inning 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night is susceptible to one part of the Stephen Strasburg argument. It goes like this: Washington’s pennant run in 2012 is a “perfect storm” convergence of talent and luck. Strasburg does not want to sit this out because […]

The “Shark” in a Feeding Frenzy Near Frisco Bay.

August 14, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Several years ago Terry Byrom, broadcaster for the Harrisburg Senators, was kind enough to let me interview John Stearns, the manager of the team at that time. I was trying to get a read on Justin Maxwell, a local suburban Maryland player who had great promise as he worked his way through the Washington Nationals […]

You Know It Don’t Come Easy

August 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Roger “the Shark” Bernadina has been “Side B” for his entire baseball career. For those of you too young to have ever seen a “45” they were what boomers played on their record players, a two-sided vinyl disc that contained two songs, the hit single on Side A, and a throwaway song on side B. […]

Adam LaRoche, Washington National’s 2012 MVP?

August 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For the four games against the Marlins, Adam LaRoche was 7-for-15 with three home runs and 7 RBI, an amazing offensive display. It has always been said of LaRoche that he is a strong second half player, but no one could have understood just what others were talking about until this past month. He is […]

Handicapping the Stretch Run in the NL East

August 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Who will wilt under the pressure and strain of the long season, age and experience or youth and energy? That is the question facing the two contenders in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. Atlanta has the edge in experiece, but will veterans like Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson wear down in […]

Walter Johnson’s 1924 Innings Limit

July 25, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

The 2012 Washington Nationals have moved beyond any centennial comparisons to Clark Griffith’s inaugural year at the helm in DC. Yes, having Davey Johnson come aboard in Washington is a nice parallel, but that 1912 Nationals team trailed the Boston Red Sox–led by Smoky Joe Wood and Tris Speaker–the entire season. They remained in second […]

From My Cold Dead Hands

July 14, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

There was so much written last week in DC about Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit that he might warrant consideration as Mitt Romney’s running mate, or Obama’s for that matter. Will he or won’t he? All-Star Week was the slowest sports week of the year—no hockey, basketball, football training camp, nada. So maybe what sports junkies […]

Turn Back the Clock, Please

July 12, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Paul Dickson, whose book on Bill Veeck makes him an authority, said that the old master would be appalled at what passes for marketing gimmicks at today’s baseball games. But the Washington Nationals did such a wonderful job on “Turn Back the Clock Night” last week. I kept thinking that it would have all made […]

Gimme That Ole Time Religion

July 8, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

When we were kids too long ago, we often came to the game of baseball through the morning paper, scanning the box scores to see whether our team had won and which of our heroes had done the deed. Doris Kearns Goodwin book, Wait Until Next Year, captures that ethos remarkably well as she tells […]

Two Roads Diverged

June 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Seven years ago the Washington Nationals, during their inaugural season in 2005, stood atop the NL east to the surprise of everyone. They had a four-game lead and were playing in Toronto against the Blue Jays. It was the team’s first trip back to Canada and in the Montreal sports pages they celebrated their team’s […]

The Clemens Verdict

June 20, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

The Clemens trial played out over the long weeks here in DC. Eight weeks is a lot of billable hours for a top tier criminal attorney. Roger Clemens may have been acquitted by a jury of his “peers,” but there are few in DC who show up for jury selection that could sustain an attorney […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Kid from the Old School

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Whether or not the Philadelphia Phillies rebound from their slow start to the 2012 season, remains to be seen. But if we are watching the changing of the guard in the NL East, then the May 6 evening that Cole Hamels plunked Bryce Harper, claiming it was “Old School,” will certainly be seen as a […]

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 […]

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