Washington Nationals Archives

The Nationals Sign Stephen Strasburg

$15 million is all it took for the Washington Nationals to sign the #1 pick of the 2009 draft, Stephen Strasburg. The “greatest pitching prospect ever” is now a National and, if the Nats keep going at the rate they are now, he might even be joined by high school phenom Bryce Harper next season.

The question is now, what do the Nationals do with Stephen Strasburg? The minor league baseball season will end in a couple weeks on Sept 1st so will the Nats stretch out Strasburg in Harrisburg, who hasn’t pitched in months, and try to get him to toss a few innings this season in the pros after the rosters expand, or do they just let him sit at home and wait until spring training?

Obviously, the latter is the choice the Nationals should make, this season for all intents and purposes is lost. The Nationals would risk injuring their young superstar trying to get a look of him in some meaningless game this season, after the long layoff, also risking giving up the #1 pick in the draft if they did anything more to improve their squad this season.

Now, i’m not saying they should tank the year, that would be disrespectful of the great game of baseball, but I am also not saying they should do anything more to improve this year’s version of the squad and should only be thinking about the future here. They really can’t make any more trades anyway unless Willingham somehow clears waivers, so why bother adding another arm to the craptastic pitching corps they have now. Give a minor leaguer a shot who has been there all season I say. Its been crappy enough for most the year, it’l probably be crappy enough to finish dead last….unless KC has something to say about it.

Nevertheless, today is all about Stephen Strasburg and the promise of a better future he brings Nationals fans all over…and when I say all over, i mean all over some parts of gentrified Washington DC, Montgomery County and pockets of Northern Virginia. Welcome to the Nationals kid, lets hope it gets better for this team, no one will want to see them any worse.

Wanna See A Kid Hit A Cycle of Home Runs?

With the first pick of the 2016 draft, the Washington Nationals select…this kid. This 10 year old kid hit 2 solo home runs, a 2 run homer, a 3 run homer and a grand slam to do the unthinkable and hit a cycle of home runs. Absolutely insane and an extremely rare event. Check it out.

Photo from the LA Times

They can do it over in England as well. This video is a week old, but we’ve been gone from blogging for a bit, so suck it. Check out cricketer Jacques Rudolph as he nails a bird throwing the ball back in during a match between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Poor little birdy…poor little dead birdy. At least he has the courtesy to take it off the field himself. Stand up guys those cricket players.

Its still not as impressive as RJ’s though. Congrats on getting #300 against my Nats, by the way Randy. We now have given up Bonds biggest homer and Randy Johnson’s biggest win. I wonder what else the Nationals can do for other teams? Here’s Randy’s bird shot just for posterity’s sake.

The Washington Nationals Get No Respect

“Why did I sign with the Nationals?” Tavárez said on Sunday. “When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J-Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.”

Balester’s Decent Outing Brings No Guarantees [Washington Post]

Break Up The Nationals Please!

So now that the trade deadline has passed, I figure I’m going to take a second to go off on a rant about my favorite team (20 game plan holder since season 1) the Washington Nationals. Here we go…


I hate my team. I really, really hate them. Now, don’t go calling me a fairweather Nats fan, I’m not going off the bandwagon, I understand that you have to go through the bad times to get to the good, I really do. I’m a Wizards/Bullets fan, I’m a Capitals fan, I know a thing about sucking before you see the promised land (in those 2 teams cases, I’ve never actually seen the promise land but that’s a different story). I’m a Redskins fan for crying out loud, it was great when we won, but since 1991 we have lost more games than we’ve won. Trust me when I say I know about sticking with your team through thick and thin. But when you see your team being run into the ground during the thin times, how can a true fan just sit by and say nothing?

Well, for me right now, this might be the thinnest of times I’ve ever seen and it is painful to watch and I am having a hard time understanding why I am paying Major League Baseball money for a team that doesn’t seem to be meeting many of the standards set by every other team in the league for professional play. This team was set up to fail miserably this season and we’re supposed to still just be happy we’ve got baseball in DC? Where is the progress of “THE PLAN” that is supposedly in place? What reason do we have for this blind faith the team is asking of the fans? For those of you who don’t know, this is what we’ve got going on here in DC.

  • Our major league team is really just a collection of AAAA players with a smattering of young talent that is long on potential but short on realizing it anytime soon and even if they reach the potential they have we have maybe 3 people that could be difference makers on a championship team (Elijah Dukes, Ryan Zimmerman and Jesus Flores).
  • A pitching staff that used to be washed up veterans but now is a collection of mostly young starters that wouldn’t be any higher than the #4 starter on any other team at best.
  • A minor league system that was in ruins and is now slowly getting stocked with players, yet no other team in the league seems to agree with the Nationals’ assessment of how good those players are and none of them are projecting out to be a major impact bat or arm at this point.
  • An owner with a reputation of being a cheapskate and with his recent legal actions against the city that gave him a stadium for free and not paying a single day’s cent of rent for the stadium yet, one cannot automatically discount it. Also, where is that #1 draft pick signing?
  • A team president in that asks his followers to believe in the Plan. He asks for patience and faith and time but in return he gives the fans…um…I’m not sure. A pretty crappy ballpark that gauges its fanbase for a product that is by all accounts substandard. I do know we are severely lacking in bobblehead giveaway nights as well…I want my bobbleheads!
  • A GM with an unfathomable love for “toolsy” outfielders and ex-Cincinatti Reds players who never perform up to the potential he seems to think they all still have. Nice job giving up Juan Rivera chief.
  • The front office assistants and scouts are mostly from Arizona and have been slowly accumulating as many Diamondback minor leaguers as they can, which is eerily reminiscent of the aforementioned GM and not entirely horrible on the face since the Diamondbacks have a pretty good farm system. Sadly the last 2 acquisitions will not do anything to help the Nationals severe lack of offense but should provide some spectacular middle infield defense.
  • A manager that should part time as a motivational speaker with the amount of positive thinking cliches he spouts…but he’s not the problem, if he weren’t there keeping this collection of misfits together we’d have anarchy in the clubhouse. Viva le Manny!
  • A hitting coach that seems to be doing WAY more harm than he ever has good and appears to have no idea how to tell someone to take the 1st pitch. TAKE THE DAMN FIRST PITCH! DON’T SWING IN A 3-0 COUNT! STOP “TRYING” TO HIT HOME RUNS! Is it that hard?
  • The Nationals might just have the worst third base coach in the history of third base coaches.
  • An amazing pitching coach…sign him FOREVER.
  • A stadium that is new and nice but bland as hell and like most new ballparks quite pricey to attend. This would not be a problem except we are being asked to pay this money to watch garbage. Pure garbage.
  • A television contract the team cannot control that has them with just 40 HD games on a network that no one can find and only 9,000 viewers for each game on tv in one of the best television markets in baseball. On the bright side, the owners get 25 million dollars for doing absolutely nothing about the situation. Way to help out the fans guys.

So…as you can see, I am not happy. Now, I knew going into this season that it wasn’t going to be pretty, but I expected to see the same plucky group of characters that had defied expectations every single year they’ve been in town. Those teams finished up with a bad but not ugly record but watching them play was actually fun. It was fun because they had major league ball players playing like a pro team should. They had strong at bats, they got on base, they scored runs, they pitched…well they didn’t pitch great, but if they had a lead they’d do their damnest to keep it, they ran the bases smart, they played solid defense. Basically, they played the game the way it should be played. This team does all these things at some points, but never all at once. They might get 1 or 2 things right in one game and that makes it miserable product to watch.

I have a 20 game plan for this season, like I have had for every season the team has been in town, but this year I may have attended 3 games so far. Why is that? Well for starters, I hate my seats. My group got screwed in our seat change for the new stadium. I hate our seats. I have sat in my seats once and it wasn’t even for a full game. I hate our seats. I stand in the Beer Pen in the outfield because it is less cramped than our seats (yes RFK had better seats) and I get a better view of the pitcher and batter. I HATE our seats. Ok…there is that but the real problem is I cannot get excited for this team.

I am a knowledgeable enough baseball fan and I know the Nationals have no chance of winning a game unless the stars align just right, which doesn’t happen often. About 2 out of 3 times it doesn’t happen. This is a major league product? Who wants to go to the stadium, sit in cramped seats, move to a standing room only section and stand for most the game, pay out the nose for food and beer, sit around a bunch of fans of the opposing team who are happy and cheering their team because their team is winning and my team is losing and more than likely getting shut out while playing an abortion of major league ball. The team thinks so little of its fans it says “oh they’re just young” to brush aside the ugly play on the field but lately our starting lineups have average 28 years in age. They are not young, they are just bad and there is no excuse for any of it other than these players should not be playing professional baseball together.

Again, you can call me fairweather, but that would be wrong. I’m not rooting for any other team, I will stick by the Nationals but I just really hate them right now and it pains me to watch them be this bad. They are already looking towards next year and so am I. I am waiting for next season when the players are healthy, when the players start working the pitch count, when we run out ground balls, when we throw out would be base-stealers, when we have a team batting average that is over .241, when we slug over .360 and when we have an OBP over .314, when we play baseball like a major league team instead of a minor league team. Will any of that happen? Probably not with the talent we have ready to come up from the minors and certainly not with the team we have this year.

Why are the fans asked to pay major league prices for this product? I was planning on going to the stadium on Friday to watch a game and if I could ask the team president, Stan Kasten, that question I would, but except for the fact that I have already purchased a ticket, what is the point? The team has given up on the year, why can’t I?


Manny Acta And Elijah Dukes Dont See Eye To Eye

Here’s the footage of Manny Acta and Elijah Dukes going at it in the dugout after Lastings Milledge hit a homer to give the Nationals the league. Needless to say, they are not happy with each other for some reason.

What is going on here? Was it the celebration after the home run that has the normally mild mannered Acta on tilt? Dukes, never one to back down from a challenge, didn’t take his dugout dressing down by the manager well, yelling back at the skipper and refusing to high five him after the game.

Does anyone else smell a suspension coming? What happened here? Is this the alarm ringing on the ticking time bomb that is Elijah Dukes or just a young man not willing to back down when his coach goes after him. I wonder what set Acta off that bad?

Adventures in Cheap-Asstackery

So, Washington DC has built the Lerner family-owned Nationals one hell of a shiny new stadium to the tune of $650,000,000. It even opened on time. I seem to recall Ryan Zimmerman hitting a game winning home run on opening night!

Apparently, though 45,000 fans packed into the stadium handing the Lerners $8 for a beer doesn’t mean the stadium is “complete”. See, the team offices in the stadium still need some spit and polish, so the city is letting them use the old RFK offices for free until all the “Hang in There Baby” posters can be leveled. Do the Lerners say “thanks for the new home, looking forward to the new offices”? Of course not, that wouldn’t be up to the high standards of DC-area sports owner douche-bagocracy. Nope, instead, they try to get another $100k/day out of the city and its taxpayers. Hmmm, wonder what they would do with that extra money. Players who can hit the ball? Pitchers who can actually get it over the plate? Or maybe they’ll just squeeze in a few more seats behind home plate that noone wants to pay for.

Here is a screen grab of the Washington Nationals tickets page, click on it if you want it full size. Did you see May 22nd there and notice that the Nationals are playing Indiana Jones that day? What the hell is that? Its not just the Nationals either, if you look at all the MLB games that day on MLB’s team ticket sales sites, they all have an Indiana Jones background on May 22nd, which happens to be the opening day of the fourth installment of the franchise. Want a closer shot of him? Here you go:

I’m not sure why, could be because I’m a sensitive blogger who gets touchy about a lot of things, but I’m kind of upset about this. I mean, i’m sure MLB got paid a pretty penny to stick Harrison Ford on every team’s schedule, and that’s good for them, but really, this has NOTHING to do with baseball. Its just a pure and blatant cash grab. Sure, MLB schedules are not some sacred thing that never have advertising along with them, as a matter of fact they always do, but this just seems a little too much to me because its pretty obtrusive. Most online ads you can do away with with an AdBlocker or just by not looking at the sides of the computer screen, but for this, you just cannot avoid Ford’s mugshot there which kinda sucks.

So, kudos, I guess to MLB for finally figuring out a way to guarantee it’s fans pay attention to their ads. I sure did and I even gave it a freaking blog post…wait…maybe this is what they wanted all along?!?! Curses!

Storybook Ending!!

Wow. There wasn’t a whole lot of offense but there was a whole lot of drama as the Washington Nationals opened their new park by beating the Atlanta Braves 3-2. Ryan Zimmerman, he of the many game winning hits in his 2 seasons in baseball hit one for the ages. A walk-off, frozen rope, home run to left center field that started the season in style and opened the new Nationals stadium with a memory that none of the fans or players will ever forget.

After George Bush got more boos than cheers during the ceremonial first pitch and the Atlanta side was retired in order by opening day starter Odalis Perez, the game started off with a bang for the Nationals, getting two runs in the first inning against Braves starter Tim Hudson. Sadly, that was all the offense they could muster against the veteran as he retired 19 straight batters before being sent to the showers.

Cristian Guzman got the first hit in the park off a broken bat single and scored the first run off a Nick Johnson double. Johnson would later score off a Kearns single to right field. Larry “Chipper” Jones hit the first home run in Nationals Park getting the Braves to within 1 run in the fourth inning. A mishandled Jon Rauch pitch by Paul Loduca allowed the Braves to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the 9th, but a 2 out home run by Ryan Zimmerman against Peter Moylan allowed the Nats to take home their first win ever in Nationals Park.

Overall, the Nationals pitched well, had more good defensive plays than bad and were a little overmatched at the plate against a crafty veteran pitcher. In the end, they won in very dramatic fashion but the real story of the game was that ballpark looked and played great. Hopefully Trapper John, who was at the game, will write up his game day experience in the blog, but watching it on TV, I have to say I cannot wait to see this place in person. I’m sure there will be plenty of stories today that will talk about the food lines, the high prices, the horrible traffic, the congestion at the metro stations, etc. but for now, lets just savor the Nats win and the opening of the new digs. Baseball season has started folks, and I, for one, cannot be happier.

Oh yea, Zimmerman is a God. Long live Zimmerman!

Oh No You Don’t

I won’t stand for this. No way Elijah Dukes goes straight now. I am a Nats partial season ticket holder and I demand that the crazy continue. The Nats have Elijah, Da Meat Hook, Lastings Milledge and Paul Lo Duca on the same team and now they want to make everyone walk straight? Sheeeeeeit. I’ve paid too much money and invested too much hope in this potential train wreck. Just think of the potential Eastern Motors commericals that will never see the light of day. By Thor’s Hammer, please don’t take this away from us.