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Saturday, May 23, 2015

WaPo: Aaron Barrett wins epic post-anthem standoff

Aaron Barrett proudly displays his Star-Spangledtude.

The game hardly mattered by the time it began. A mere baseball game, especially one played in May between the charging Nationals and the sputtering Phillies, could not possibly carry the emotional weight of the test of human spirit, of will and of hope, that preceded it. The Nationals won Friday night’s game, 2-1, and that was good, of course. But first, Aaron Barrett won one of the longest post-anthem standoffs in recent memory — one the baseball world will little note, but one those who witnessed it will long remember.

As with many of baseball’s inexplicable but time-honored traditions, the origins of the post-anthem standoff are obscured by the blur of numbers on jerseys, of bored players, of long pregame ceremonies and long baseball seasons. It sums to this: “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays to a reverent crowd, and both teams line up, hats off, held over their hearts. The song ends, the crowd cheers, and the players disperse. Most of them, anyway.

One hearty soul on one side stays. Someone on the other side notices, considers consequences of surrendering without standing up for himself, then engages. The standoff ensues. Barrett said later he did not want a fight Friday night. The challenge came, and he did not back down.

Barrett has a decorated history with such things. Umpires nearly threw him and Rockies’ outfielder Brandon Barnes out of a game in Colorado last season when they refused to leave the field before the first pitch. Like that July staredown, Friday’s showdown was the stuff of which legends are written, the stuff about which novels are scratched out by candlelight. Had he been following on Twitter, exhausted at Marathon, Pheidippides himself would likely have thrown an olive wreath Barrett’s way to honor of his endurance.

JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2015 at 11:20 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: contests, nationals, nats, silly, star spangled banner


Friday, May 22, 2015

NYTimes Columnist: Bryce Harper coming to Yankees, A-Rod is worse than Satan.

Come for the arrogance:

When Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16, he told the magazine that two of his goals in baseball were to play in Yankee Stadium and to do it in pinstripes.

When I reminded Lerner, one of the Nationals’ owners, of those comments this week, he laughed.

“Every 16-year-old kid says that,” he said.

But not every 16-year-old kid is Bryce Harper. And what Bryce Harper wants, Bryce Harper seems to get.

Stay for the random shots at A-rod, who had literally nothing to do with the topic of the article:

Today’s Yankees are aging and aching, with their biggest star, Alex Rodriguez, a serial liar pushing 40 (years, not homers). The rest? C. C. Sabathia and Carlos Beltran are on the downside of their career. Jacoby Ellsbury, the former Red Sox star, cannot seem to stay healthy and is now on the disabled list, where Mark Teixeira has also spent substantial time in recent years.

Like it or not, Rodriguez is the face of the Yankees, whether he is bashing homers and striking out in the ninth or repeating, over and over again, that “I just want to play baseball.”

If Harper does join the Yankees Mancur will no doubt suddenly find that she loathes him because of the same qualities she’s lauding him for in this article.


wtop.com | Marvin Hudson is a stooge

Marvin Hudson is, by most accounts, not a bad umpire. He’s been in the league since 1998, and has been largely forgettable, which is one of the qualities an umpire should strive for.

He has been these things to most every team. Most every team except, that is, for the Washington Nationals.

Hudson was born in Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. This is interesting only because since 2012, when the Nats flipped the switch from perennial doormats to contenders and forged their rivalry with the Braves, Hudson has been a bizarre thorn in their side.

Consider this: Hudson has ejected just eight players or managers since September of 2012, a number that is quite reasonable and fewer than a good number of his peers. But of those eight, six have been Washington Nationals.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

After Harper’s ejection, Span lifts Nats past Yankees 3-2

“I don’t think 40,000 people came to watch him ump tonight. Plain and simple. Plain and simple. I mean, I really don’t think they did. Especially when we’re playing the Yankees.

“The Yankees are a good team, we’re a good team and we’re rolling. And, I mean, the way I’m hitting, I don’t want to get tossed,” Harper said. “I don’t think I really did anything bad to get tossed. But maybe he just had a bad morning. Maybe he didn’t get his coffee.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 06:24 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Alex Rodriguez relates to Bryce Harper on and off the field - NY Daily News

I just hope A-Rod didn’t give him any advice on supplements Harper can take to become a record breaker.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2015 at 09:46 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, bryce harper, nationals, yankees

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Doug Fister placed on DL with forearm tightness; A.J. Cole recalled (UPDATED) - The Washington Post

The Washington Nationals fearsome starting rotation suffered a blow Friday when Doug Fister was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right forearm tightness. The Nationals wouldn’t speculate on the severity of the injury, although elbow injuries sometimes present themselves with symptoms in the forearm.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2015 at 07:09 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: doug fister, nationals

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Alarming stretch has Strasburg searching for answers | Nats Insider

“I think he’s thinking too much,” catcher Wilson Ramos said. “In this game, when you’re thinking too much, it’s hard to do everything right. It’s like, for example, a hitter. When a hitter’s going to the plate and thinking too much, you’re not going to hit the ball well. It happens, too, with a pitcher. He has to go out there and fight and try to do the best he can. You can’t go out and think too much. I think that’s what’s happening with him right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 13, 2015 at 08:13 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Thursday, May 07, 2015

WaPo: Yunel Escobar’s long and winding road to the big leagues

The two started dating. She told him she could him get out of Cuba, and he trusted her. When she returned to the States, she contacted smugglers and agents in the United States, including Joe Kehoskie, then an agent who represented several Cuban players, and introduced herself as Escobar’s girlfriend.

boteman asks Where's My Ring? Posted: May 07, 2015 at 04:31 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: carribea, cuban, nationals, yunel escobar

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Bryce Harper Hits 3 HRs in 3 ABs Before Grounding Out - NYTimes.com

I can’t believe he grounded out!!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 07:52 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg of Washington Nationals leaves start after three innings

Best laid plans…

“He’s got a little issue under his shoulder blade. Had it last start,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said after the game. “Could be an alignment issue, but as he finishes pitches, it grabs him every once in a while. Tonight it got a little bit worse. So we’ll have to have the chiropractor look at him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:11 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Nationals Baseball: Anthony Rendon - what it costs the Nats

Why don’t you tell us?

Anthony Rendon, is now down with an oblique strain. What does that mean? What does THAT mean? What does that MEAN?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 11:21 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, danny espinosa, nationals, yunel escobar

Friday, May 01, 2015

Bryce Harper voted MLBs “most overrated player” by his peers for second consecutive year

For the last three years the baseball world’s been waiting for Bryce Harper to break out. Yes, his forearm muscles have certainly popped onto the scene, which isn’t quite the impact everyone around the sport expected when the Nationals took him with the first overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft.

All told, in parts of three seasons Harper’s put up a slash line of .272/.351/.465 with 55 home runs. Solid, respectable numbers. The key number when talking about Harper is games played. Across those three seasons he’s played in only 357 games. His rookie year in 2012 was limited since he began the year in the minors, but after that he only played in 118 and 100 the next two years respectively.

Watching from afar, it feels like we’ve only seen glimpses of what Harper is capable of doing on a baseball diamond. The NLDS vs. the Giants last October was a brief glimpse of this still untapped potential. Harper hit four home runs in 17 at bats, doing his best impression of beast mode — baseball style.

Joey B. Posted: May 01, 2015 at 09:34 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nats playing miserably; perhaps just as bad, some seem depressed - CBSSports.com

Name names.

The Washington Nationals, everybody’s favorites before the season started, are playing miserably.

So miserably in fact that the detractors are starting to surface with pointed criticisms. According to two scouts who have seen them this year, the Nats appear “lifeless” and/or “flat.” (One voted flat, the other lifeless.)

And, if they are flat or lifeless on the field, you should see them in the clubhouse, where some of them appear moribund. The room is close to dead, too dead for late April.

Some of the players look like an 8-year-old who lost his puppy, not professionals whose team is on a losing streak and has been there before. If they told us that it’s only 19 games and that they are still a great team, that would work fine. And a few of them did suggest just that Sunday (notably Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper). Good for them.

But some others appear to be taking their terrible start hard, harder than is necessary even. That’s not necessarily a good sign, either. Taking losses hard is part of the unwritten code in baseball. But this team, in some quarters, appears more depressed than the Nats teams that suffered some tough postseason defeats in recent years..

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:45 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kozma takes disdain from Nats’ fans as a compliment

He feeds upon your rage.

Gamingboy Posted: April 23, 2015 at 06:29 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: @# pete kozma, cardinals, kozma, nationals

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Friday, April 17, 2015

How new baseball stadium will use grassy berms, underground… | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

How much is the taxpayer on the hook for in this deal?

Don’t expect the new $135 million spring training complex for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros to be a carbon copy of Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, ballparks, nationals, spring training

Craig Stammen has flexor tended tear, headed for surgery

Rafael Soriano is available.

Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Friday, April 10, 2015

Roll Call: Nursing Lounge Coming to Nationals Park?

Stella Baines: “Oh, that’s Joey. He cries when we take him out so we just leave him in there.” :)

Responding to a change.org petition started by an Arlington woman, a spokesperson for the Washington Nationals said there are plans to open a “state-of-the-art space to accommodate nursing mothers” at Nationals Park this July, in time for the All-Star break. Women currently have the option to use a designated conference room, but there is no view of the game from it, and the petition complained it lacked privacy and was uncomfortably warm.

“It’s about time. I think that it’s just terrific,” said Kathleen McCue, founder of Bethesda Breastfeeding and president of the Lactation Consultants Association of Greater Washington. “Everybody needs a place to go to nurse their baby that isn’t a bathroom or a bathroom stall. This is going to set a standard for other public arenas and give women greater freedom to do the things in life that they need to do. They shouldn’t be stuck at home just because they are nursing a baby.”

JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2015 at 12:48 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: lounge, nationals

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Local Cubs Broadcast Intro Is Just A Disaster

The GIF above cycles through some of the graphics that were used in the intro package that led into ABC 7’s broadcast of yesterday’s Cubs game. Did you catch all those errors? Here, let us slow things down for you.

To be fair, the season is still very young. Everyone’s still working out the kinks!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2015 at 01:03 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, giants, mariners, nationals, reds, spelling is hard, television

Monday, April 06, 2015

Nationals Park to host 2018 All-Star game

After a nearly 50-year absence, the MLB All-Star game is set to return to the nation’s capital.

Big news. There hasn’t been an MLB All-Star Game in Washington since the Senators hosted it at RFK Stadium in 1969.

This is also a promise made good by Commissioner Rob Manfred. In the coming years, Manfred is hoping to move toward a Super Bowl-type bidding process to determine which city and franchise hosts the All-Star game, but promised the event would come to Washington and Miami first. The Marlins are officially set to host the 2017 All-Star game.

The other change Manfred is bringing to the All-Star game is removing the tradition of alternating between NL and AL parks every year. As a result, this will make it four straight NL hosts, with the Cincinnati Reds set for 2015 and the San Diego Padres hosting in 2016. But there is a quirk, as the leagues will continue altering being the “home” team. That means the AL will get last at-bats in San Diego and now Washington.

As for potential future hosts, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and New York’s new Yankee Stadium seem like locks to host the event in the next decade. In fact, those stadiums along with Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field are the only active stadiums to never host an All-Star game. The Rays, of course, will never receive serious consideration while playing at The Trop. On the other hand, a renovated Wrigley Field should be ready for its close up by 2019.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:38 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star, nationals

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The New Yorker: Ways to Stay Sane in Baseball

This offseason, a few ball clubs announced new initiatives to support their players’ mental health. The Red Sox created a new department of behavioral health, headed by Richard Ginsburg, the co-director of the PACES Institute of Sports Psychology, at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Washington Nationals began spring training with a new position known as “life skills” coördinator. The former player Rick Ankiel was hired for the job, and will work specifically with the club’s minor-league teams—where such a position is arguably needed the most. Most minor-league players earn less than two thousand dollars a month and have to cover their own housing and living expenses. Insufficient funds and relatively few days off during a five-month season—which extends well beyond that if you consider spring training and winter ball—separates players from their families and loved ones for long stretches of time. And, after you’ve dedicated your life to the game, there’s the pressure that comes from the belief that you’ve only achieved success if you make it to the majors—a dream that, even for a player in the minor leagues, will likely never be realized.

Remember how curious it seemed when McGwire admitted to seeing a sports psychologist for years?

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: April 05, 2015 at 11:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mental health, minor leagues, nationals, red sox

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Man They Love To Hate: Why is it so easy to dislike Bryce Harper?

Here he comes again, full bore, the only gear he knows, like the baseball version of a top fuel car. When Bryce Harper answers a question, just as when he chases a fly ball to a wall or zooms helmetless around the base paths—with the most vigorously windblown hair since Pete Rose’s—he fairly leaves in his wake the aromas of spent nitromethane, burned rubber and exhaust smoke, which is to say, he wears the scent of danger like cologne.

“You’ve got to have the confidence to win the World Series,” the Nationals’ rightfielder says, seated on a folding chair on the warning track near first base after a spring training workout at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla. “I truly believe if we’re hitting on all cylinders and guys do what they need to do, we’ll win, plain and simple.

“Am I saying that it’s going to be easy for us? No. But do we have the confidence? One hundred percent. You have to. I don’t care if you pick us to win the World Series or not. [Editor’s note: We’re not.] Every day when you get out of your car and walk into the park you better have that chip on your shoulder, that confidence to believe, We’re the best team in baseball.” [Editor’s note: They are.]

Joey B. Posted: April 03, 2015 at 09:54 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Who is the best player in baseball? The most overrated? We poll 117 major leaguers to find out.

These results are not binding. Unless Proposition 29 passes. And we all pray that it does.

Yes or No: I’m happy to see Alex Rodriguez back from his yearlong suspension.
Yes 41 percent
No 29 percent
I don’t care 30 percent
“He burned the union. That didn’t sit well with players, so we’ll see how that plays out on the field this year.”—American League pitcher

You’re commissioner for the day. What is the first thing you would do?
Top answer: Shorten the season 19 percent
“We get two days off a month. People with regular jobs get more days off than that!”—American League outfielder

Which player would make the most entertaining reality-show star?
“C.J. Wilson. He’s into racing cars, he travels everywhere. and he’s [married to] a supermodel.”—American League outfielder

“It’s Yasiel Puig. He’s completely insane. He’s got to be up to some wacky stuff. That would be the show to watch.”—American League pitcher

“Didn’t Madison Bumgarner bus down his cattle for spring training? And he bought his wife a baby bull as a wedding gift. You’re telling me you wouldn’t want to watch that?”—American League pitcher

“Wade Miley. It’d be like Duck Dynasty.”—American League pitcher

 


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