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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sports Bog: Fans Switch From Skins to Nats

Dan Steinberg’s Sports Bog takes an off-beat look at sports and whatever else strikes his fancy at any given moment.

#FTTR Fail To The Redskins

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: funny, media, nationals, radio

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Nationals down Braves to stretch division lead to 9, largest in DC franchise history

WASHINGTON—Mathematicians will say the Washington Nationals can’t clinch the NL East until next week. Practicality says they essentially wrapped it up Tuesday night when they sent nine hitters to the plate against Ervin Santana in the first inning of another win over the Atlanta Braves.

The Nationals beat their division nemesis for the second time in two nights, winning 6-4 to push their lead to nine games with 19 to play. Atlanta had been a thorn in Washington’s plans for about a year and a half, but the Nationals have put the kibosh on that trend by winning five of the last seven meetings.

Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: September 09, 2014 at 11:59 PM | 132 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nationals

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Steinbog - Wacky Nats Dodgers Game In 19 Tweets

A fun recollection of fan reactions to the craziness that was the Nationals at Dodgers 14 inning topsy-turvy marathon yesterday.

If you watched Wednesday afternoon’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — which eventually became Wednesday evening’s Dodgers-Nats marathon, and then Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — you already know that it was one of this season’s wackiest games. The fact that it involved perhaps the National League’s two best teams — who might well be on a collision course for October — made it both wacky and compelling. The fact that it also included about 700 players, and multiple improbable comebacks, and one of the most memorable fans in recent Nats history, made it wacky, compelling, and unforgettable.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:29 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, funny, nationals, twitter

The Dodgers-Nats 14-inning marathon, in 19 wacky tweets

If you watched Wednesday afternoon’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — which eventually became Wednesday evening’s Dodgers-Nats marathon, and then Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — you already know that it was one of this season’s wackiest games. The fact that it involved perhaps the National League’s two best teams — who might well be on a collision course for October — made it both wacky and compelling. The fact that it also included about 700 players, and multiple improbable comebacks, and one of the most memorable fans in recent Nats history, made it wacky, compelling, and unforgettable.

If you’ve never seen a corpulent sunbather stashing away a hot dog for later, here’s your chance.

Chris Needham Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:27 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why did Bryce Harper use Yasiel Puig’s bat? Because he uses everyone’s bat.

On Thursday, cameras caught the unusual sight of Bryce Harper hitting with a bat that had Yasiel Puig’s name etched into the barrel. For Harper, it turned out, it was not unusual at all.
Puig had given Harper the bat, joining a long list of players Harper has borrowed lumber from. Harper said he has used bats given to him by, among others: Chase Utley, Michael Morse, Troy Tulowitzki, David Wright, Buster Posey, Todd Helton, Melky Cabrera and Miguel Cabrera.

“I mean, I swing everybody’s model,” Harper said.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Boswell, WaPo: For streaking Washington Nationals, runs like this don’t come around very often

Long winning streaks are part of the fabric and lore of baseball. They just aren’t part of the fabric and lore of D.C. As a kid, I became a Senators fan in third grade. I was a sophomore in high school, more than seven seasons and 1,100 games later, before I saw my first winning streak of more than five games.

We heard that other towns had streaks that stretched for weeks, not days. The 1916 New York Giants won 26 in a row, though with a tie game stuck there. The Cubs once won 21 in a row. But from 1956 through the team’s exodus in ’71, D.C. had only six winnings streaks of more than five games in 15 years. Newspapers hailed anything longer than back-to-back wins as a “streak.” Better use that “Nats Win Streak Hits Three” headline while you still can.

Now times have not only changed but inverted. Go on, get excited. The Nats’ series with San Francisco this weekend is history knocking.

TerpNats Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Posnanski: The need – the need for speed

When the Detroit Tigers traded Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals back in December for a a middling left-handed pitching prospect and some change, it was, well, baffling… There were explanations at the time… Now, with a a few months of clarity added to the picture, none of [them] makes sense.

1. [Making room for Drew] Smyly? No. The Tigers have already traded away Smyly to get David Price and make a desperate run for the playoffs with a wounded and uneven team.

2. An underappreciation of [Robbie] Ray? Too early to tell but early signs say: No. Ray has struggled in his early starts which doesn’t mean much, but I still haven’t talked to a scout who loves him.

3. Money? No. When [Tigers GM Dave] Dombrowski realized that his team was short pitching, he went out and got David Price who is making twice as much as Fister and will make more next year.

So … why?

Nobody is saying why, but I have a guess. It’s a guess that directly relates to something I see all around baseball, even at some of the more enlightened places. I have invented a word for it: Fistrust.

FISTRUST (pronounced FIS-truh-st, noun): A deep suspicion and profound lack of confidence in pitchers who cannot throw 90 mph.

Wasn’t that also Chip Caray’s catchphrase?

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 10:27 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: doug fister, drew smyly, nationals, robbie ray, tigers, trades

Monday, August 18, 2014

WaPo, Boswell: Nationals’ success during stars’ down years shows team will contend for years to come

All fans want a team that might, somehow, win a World Series. But there is another baseball gift to a city, one that keeps giving cumulative pleasure, that competes with titles in its satisfaction. It’s the kind of sustainability that provides winning or contending teams for a decade, or in a few lucky cases, 20 years or more. Such marvels don’t just appear in New York or Los Angeles. Fans in St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, Baltimore and others can tell about it, even if some have to think back a bit.

Could that be happening in D.C.? In a sense, it’s a more controllable dream than talking about crowns which, in baseball, sometimes fall on your head in October as much as you place them there yourself. Data point: Entering Sunday, over the last three years the Nationals have the second-best winning percentage in baseball, behind Oakland and slightly ahead of the Braves, Cards and Dodgers. That D.C., the sport’s unwanted relative for so long, is in such a position may qualify as “delicious irony.”

What’s coming into focus is that the Nats’ organization, from smart drafting and player development through judicious trades and free agent signings, looks better than the Nats’ star power.

TerpNats Posted: August 18, 2014 at 01:48 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Nationals Sign Nate Schierholtz

Schier curation.

The Nationals have inked outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league deal, the club announced on Twitter. The left-handed-swinging 30-year-old was recently released by the Cubs, who will owe him the remainder of his $5MM salary — less whatever he earns in Washington (presumably, at the league-minimum rate).

Schierholtz has had a tough year thus far, posting a meager .192/.240/.300 line with six home runs over 341 plate appearances. But he entered the offseason coming off a string of solid production: his cumulative line over 2011-13 (1,134 plate appearances) stands at a fairly robust .261/.314/.442. He has posted large splits historically, with a lifetime .722 OPS against righties but a .650 mark against same-handed pitchers.

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 01:01 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: nate schierholtz, nationals, transactions

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nats Enquirer: Jayson Werth apparently has speeding problems

Why else does someone get a Porsche?

According to a search of Fairfax County General District Court in the Virginia General District Court Online Case Information System, Werth was pulled over in Fairfax County, VA on July 6 and charged with reckless driving for doing 105 in a 55, and had a court date this past Friday (August 8) that has been continued until November 12. We don’t know our Virginia traffic laws very well; but can’t reckless driving offenses can lead to jail time in VA?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:11 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: driving very fast, jayson werth, nationals

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Posnanski: It’s been a trying year for Bryce Harper

I deduce that Poz started off writing about Strasburg and couldn’t find a new angle, but I dunno, you tell me.

the Washington Nationals are in first place. It is easy to miss that when you’re inside the beltway. More than that, at this moment the Nationals are in first place by 4 ½ games, which is the biggest lead in the National League. More than that, the Nationals have the best run differential in the National League… The Nationals have the best record in baseball when scoring four or more runs – 53-6. But they have one of the worst records in baseball when failing to score four runs (9-45). This schizophrenic tendency drives Washington’s most extreme impulses…

[Stephen] Strasburg… leads the National League in starts and strikeouts and his 177-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio is fantastic. But he also is posting the highest ERA of his career so far (3.39) and the Nationals are just 12-12 in games he starts. He has honed his change-up into one of the most devastating pitches in the game, but his velocity slowly comes down and hitters have teed off on his fastball for much of the season. Even teammates have commented on how aggressively hitters attack his fastball. He could get to 200 innings for the first time this year, but he does not have a complete game and has only twice even started the eighth inning…

If he was any 26-year-old pitcher leading the league in strikeouts … but he’s not. He’s Stephen Strasburg. This is Washington. The pontificating never ends.

There’s only one player who feels it even more.

So, here’s what seems to have happened in Harpergate. Nationals manager Matt Williams went on a radio show Tuesday morning and the hot topic was Bryce Harper because Bryce Harper is always the hot topic…

You can’t go on the radio as the manager of the Washington Nationals, tell someone that sending Bryce Harper to the minors is NOT a stupid idea, and then expect Washington to sit still. It’s WASHINGTON for crying out loud…

Thursday afternoon, in the 13th inning against the Mets, Bryce Harper mashed a long walk-off home run to extend the Nationals lead.

“I haven’t felt like that in a long time,” he said afterward, and for a few hours all was all right in our nation’s capital.


Friday, August 08, 2014

Orioles-Nationals MASN Dispute: The case that Major League Baseball has cheated the Orioles

It’s not just conjecture by MASN that the RSDC ignored the Bortz methodology. The Managing Director of Bortz stated in an affidavit that the RSDC “improperly ignored facts and intentionally ignored other applicable reports that applied the established methodology” - all in order to find in favor of the Nationals, which, as far as MASN/the Orioles are concerned, it had planned to do for years, going back to when MLB was selling the Nationals franchise.

One way that the RSDC juked numbers to rule in the Nationals’ favor, MASN lays out in its petition, is that the RSDC considered as a baseline numbers from the 2007 season, which, as the first year of MASN’s existence, are not representative of how it has performed in any year since and particularly not in the present.

...

By shifting money from MASN profits to the rights fees, the Orioles suffer in two ways. One, they lose the 85% of money that they would have collected from what would be shifted to the Nationals rights fees. Two, they would lose 34% of money shifted to their own rights fees as part of the revenue sharing tax. If the result of the arbitration is that both the Orioles and Nationals make $60 million more in rights fees, that’s potentially $71 million annually that now goes to the Orioles that would be lost if this arbitration award is forced upon them.

birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: August 08, 2014 at 12:36 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, masn, nationals, orioles

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Calcaterra - First Salvo Launched In MASN Rights Battle

The upshot of the arguments, for those who do not wish to read: MASN is asking that the arbitration be set aside for conflict of interest for the most part.

Read the temporary restraining order at Craig’s link.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: August 07, 2014 at 04:31 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: masn, nationals, orioles, peter angelos, rights

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Yankees Lefty Specialist Matt Thornton Claimed by Nationals

“Matt did a great job for us,” Cashman said. “There’s a reason the Nats put a claim on him; they’re in a pennant race and they know he can help them. But this is about flexibility in 2014 and 2015 for us.”
...
So Thornton, who had a 2.55 ERA in 24.2 innings and had not surrendered a home run since last June, is gone, replaced in the short term by journeyman Rich Hill.

Hill, of course, sucks.  He hit the only batter he faced in his Yankees debut.  Seems like a weird time to create a hole in your bullpen, but I guess when you are in a small market you’ve got to make every dollar count.

Cue Yankee Redneck.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 06, 2014 at 04:46 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: matt thornton, nationals, yankees, yr bait

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Dark Side of Booming Local TV Deals

But who wants to watch Astros games anyway?

It turns out that big local TV contracts aren’t always good news for teams either. That has turned Selig’s mood quite sour.

When a regional sports network agrees to pay millions of dollars to an MLB team, that RSN has two principal ways to recoup that investment: (1) sell ads during the game broadcasts; (2) charge a carriage fee to the cable and satellite operators in the region who want to carry the RSN. But what happens when the cable and satellite companies balk at the carriage fees?...

Comcast SportsNet Houston launched in October 2012 and, since then, has been seen only by Comcast cable customers. The new RSN – a joint venture among the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets and Comcast Sports Group — couldn’t come to agreement on carriage fees with any other cable or satellite company in the region. With the RSN bleeding cash, Comcast forced the venture into bankruptcy court last September, where the parties have been fighting ever since. Astros owner Jim Crane also sued Comcast and former team owner Drayton McLane for fraud in the sale of the team. That did not make Bud Selig happy at all.

That brings us to the Los Angeles Dodgers. As I explained before the season started:

SportsNet LA launched in February with around-the-clock Dodgers programming, but only customers with TWC or Bright House can view the network in their homes.Every other cable and satellite operator in the Los Angeles market has balked at the network’s carriage fee demand. And TWC hardly counts as an arms-length agreement, as it is the Dodgers’ broadcast partner in SportsNet LA. Indeed, TWC will essentially pay itself the carriage fee for SportsNet LA, and then pay the Dodgers their monthly rights fee as part of the 25-year, $8.3 billion megadeal.

No deal’s been reached. A vast majority of Dodgers fans in LA missed Josh Beckett’s no-hitter, Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter and every Yasiel Puig bat flip — unless they watched with a friend or at a bar with TWC. Even Vin Scully is without Dodgers’ broadcasts when he’s at home during the team’s long road trips.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:50 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, nationals, orioles, padres, television, tv contracts

Nationals acquire infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from Indians

Wasn’t this guy supposed to be able to field? That was weird.

The Nationals solved their second-base problem by acquiring infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians for infielder Zach Walters on Thursday about an hour before the non-waiver Trade Deadline…

The Nationals made this move after learning that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman would be out for at least the regular season because of a Grade 3 hamstring injury. Anthony Rendon will continue to serve as the everyday third baseman.

Walters, meanwhile, was a utility player for the Nationals and made two Major League stints this year, going 8-for-39 (.205) with three home runs and five RBIs.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In debate over MASN rights, MLB rules for Washington Nationals, but fight continues

Move the Orioles to Montreal!

Major League Baseball’s arbitration panel ruled in favor of the Washington Nationals in their longstanding, contentious dispute with the Baltimore Orioles over television rights fees from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

The person would not reveal the terms of the June 30 ruling that might only begin a new, litigious chapter in the acrimonious, years-long squabble over profits from MASN. Last week in New York’s Supreme Court, the Nationals filed a motion against MASN, which is majority-owned by the Orioles; that case has been sealed. MLB, the Orioles and MASN acknowledged the dispute remains unsettled in official statements issued Tuesday….

The Orioles believe MLB stands to gain financially by the ruling in the Nationals’ favor. Rights fees and profits from television networks are viewed separately by MLB. Money earned from rights fees is subject to MLB’s revenue sharing agreement. Profit earned by a team-owned television network is not. If the Nationals received a larger rights fee, then, some of it would trickle back to MLB.

“The way things are now, MLB is the judge of a deal it created and has a vested interest in,” a person familiar with the Orioles’ thinking said. “As far as we’re concerned, this should be an independent, objective review of the facts.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: masn, media, nationals, orioles, television market

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles

IT IS ON!

I want there to be no doubt that, if any party initiates any lawsuit, or fails to act in strict compliance with the procedures set forth in the Agreement concerning the [Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee of Major League Baseball]‘s decision, I will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions available to me under the Major League Constitution.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:16 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: legal, nationals, orioles, seligula, tv rights

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss

through aides.

“I’m down to 205 pounds, and I did it the right way,” Young told Charlie Slowes on 106.7 The Fan, before Friday’s game. “I went to a doctor, a preventative doctor, and he told me ‘You want to get off the medicine, lose three inches.’ I’m like, forget that, let’s lose six. And then I started doing a lot of cardio, the weight started peeling off, and at that point I started working out. And I’m to this size right now, and very very healthy….

“I still have to take a shot of NovoLog before each meal, but other than that I’m golden,” said Young, who has battled Type 2 diabetes for years. “I feel better, look better. I didn’t look like this when I played.”

It’s true. He didn’t. In the spring of 2008, in fact, Young weighed-in at around 291 pounds. That’s 85 pounds of difference, although it sure appears to be even more dramatic. This is what he looked like in 2011, when he was already down 70 pounds.

 

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He did it through aides.

“I’m down to 205 pounds, and I did it the right way,” Young told Charlie Slowes on 106.7 The Fan, before Friday’s game. “I went to a doctor, a preventative doctor, and he told me ‘You want to get off the medicine, lose three inches.’ I’m like, forget that, let’s lose six. And then I started doing a lot of cardio, the weight started peeling off, and at that point I started working out. And I’m to this size right now, and very very healthy….

“I still have to take a shot of NovoLog before each meal, but other than that I’m golden,” said Young, who has battled Type 2 diabetes for years. “I feel better, look better. I didn’t look like this when I played.”

It’s true. He didn’t. In the spring of 2008, in fact, Young weighed-in at around 291 pounds. That’s 85 pounds of difference, although it sure appears to be even more dramatic. This is what he looked like in 2011, when he was already down 70 pounds.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:53 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dmitri young, nationals, weight loss

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nats Fan in Colorado Shows Support with Curly W BEARD

You can’t make up stuff like this. Google “curly w beard”, be entertained.

I just saw him on TV, it’s for realz.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:23 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: beards, fans, nationals

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Svrluga: Baseball’s Relentless Grind - Doug Fister

Starting pitchers such as the Nationals’ Doug Fister must mix patience with intensity, down time with diligence

The original beat writer for the Nationals when they surfaced in D.C., Barry Svrluga, submits his 4th installment in a series examining “how the everydayness of baseball affects an entire organization.” A long piece that makes for good weekend reading, or next week at the office :-)

I hope WaPo’s paywall doesn’t prevent you from reading this series, those money-grubbing bastids!

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 19, 2014 at 12:58 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, pitchers

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dave Cameron: 2014 Trade Value: The Top 10

7. Salvador Perez

If there’s one piece of feedback I got more clearly than any other last year, it was that I was too low on Salvador Perez. I had one friend in the game tell me should have been in the top five, and I had him at 36. My bad, Kansas City. Consider this a mea culpa.

Perez might not yet be the best catcher in baseball, but there are a lot of people convinced that he’s going to be in the near future. He’s basically a power spike away from being Jonathan Lucroy, only he’s four years younger than Milwaukee’s backstop, and at a point where many catchers are still honing their craft in the minors. And while framing metrics don’t love him the same way they do Lucroy, his defensive reputation is still stellar, as he shuts down the running game as well as anyone.

And then there’s the contract. Because the Royals locked up Perez after just 39 big league games, he’s set to make $2 million each of the next two years, and then they have team options for three additional years at $4 million, $5 million, and $6 million respectively. It’s $19 million over five seasons, or an average of $4 million per year. The best catcher in the American league is signed to the kind of deal you give a decent middle reliever.

Perez doesn’t even have to get any better to be one of the biggest steals in baseball. If he does improve, though, he might eventually challenge for the top spot on this list.

BUT WHO IS #6????


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Robothal - Ian Desmond: Should He Stay or Should He Go

The Nats are actively seeking to add a young shortstop, one who could inherit the position if Ian Desmond departs as a free agent after 2015, major league sources say.

Desmond, 28, rejected the Nationals’ offer of a lengthy extension last offseason, settling instead for a two-year, $17.5 million contract that will expire after next season.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:31 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trade value

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Harper, Williams give thoughts on Nats’ lineup | Comcast SportsNet Washington

Managers love this kind of stuff.

Harper, in fact, reiterated that point on Monday. He said he found out Williams’ lineup on Twitter and respects his skipper’s decision to put him back in left. That said, he thinks the Nats’ best lineup is a little different than the one constructed on Monday.

“I’m in the lineup, that’s all that matters. If I had the lineup it would maybe not be the same. But he’s got the lineup card, he’s got the pen and he knows what he’s doing. There’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.

Harper explained that point further.

“I think [Zimmerman] is great and he should be playing left. Rendon’s a great third baseman and he should be playing third. And we got one of the best second basemen in the league in Danny Espinosa. Of course you want the best hitting lineup in there, and I think Rendon playing third and Zim playing left is something that is good for this team and I think that should be what’s happening.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2014 at 06:40 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, matt williams, nationals

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