Thursday, December 17, 2009

Matt Capps is a special closer. And the Nats are looking at him.

According to a couple Twitter sources and Chico Harlan over at the Post (He's still not gone? Jesus. Dude ditched the beat eons ago and announced his leaving like a month ago...), the Nats have more than a passing interest in Matt Capps, ex-closer for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Nats have serious interest in reliever Matt Capps, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates. And Capps has serious interest in the Nats. Capps, non-tendered over the weekend, has attracted interest from roughly a dozen teams, but his agent, Paul Kinzer, said that the Nats are in a group of six or seven finalists.

Now, I wrote about Mr. Capps' demise back in June of 2008. He came into that game on a great run, but the Nats devastated the guy, and destroyed his will to win.
In his first 27 games, Matt Capps hadn't blown a save. When the Pirates came to town, the Nationals broke that streak by not only having him blow a save, but by getting the win that night (6/10). He then went on to blow 2 more saves in his next 3 games (6/14 and 6/15)! He's done. Pitt needs to sit him, cause he'll never be the same. He sees Nationals in his sleep.

His 2009 was... less than stellar, as he ended up 10th in saves w/27, but had an ERA of 5.80 and a WHIP of 1.656(!!). The Pirates non-tendered him last week, allowing him to become a free agent.

Now, I can spout numbers till the cows come home, but nothing I can say would do Matt Capps any justice. You see... he brings much more to a team than just saves and strikeouts (and hits. And walks). He brings with him the hopes of millions and millions of special folks all around this great country. Yes, Matt is an inspiration to all special needs people around the world, as he's a Major Leaguer now. He fought through a lot in his life with his special set of life skills, but he has persevered to be among the best in the world at what he does.

Wait... what? Capps isn't "special" you say? Well then, allow me to retort!

What's that? You're speechless? Then my work here is done.

(As an aside - Matt, if you do join the Nats, and are in the bullpen... I love you, dude! Please don't hurt me.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Joel Hanrahan calls Collin Balester a big fat nerd!

Well, almost... I made up the "big" and "fat" part.

I wrote last week about Collin Balester joining Twitter, and after laying dormant for a few months, Joel Hanrahan finally started throwing out some tweets. He had this to say while watching the Bears game on Thanksgiving:

The 09 bears might as well be the 08 Lions! Uncle!!!

Bally saw the Tweet, and came back with:

@hanrahan4457 wow you fianlly tweet.

Joel, obviously getting tired of Collin's incessant Twittering came back with:

@ballystar40 yeah, i dont think everyone needs to know everything i do, and my scorecard on the golfcourse, cause it would dominate yours

Which, may or may not be true. Yes... Collin tends to ramble and post anything and everything, but some people like that. And some people might enjoy Joel doing the same thing. (I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but Joel was my favorite National when he was with the team. We would say hi to one another during games, and he was always very nice to me and my wife at team events. He would recognize us and say hey, with some small talk. Good guy. Solid guy. This didn't stop him from allowing me to wager $20 on Teddy winning a race during a game in which I'd clearly had too many, however. ('Cause anyone betting on Teddy had to be shit hammered.) The good news? The next time I saw him he said I could keep my $20. So nice of him, since he makes 754% more than I.) Anyway, Balester points out that Joel has, in fact, been reading Collin's tweets:

@hanrahan4457 well I see you follow me pretty close haha

Then Hammerhands LAYS DOWN THE HAMMER:

@ballystar40 yeah you take up the whole home page with all your tweets, nerd

BOO-YA! That's how fucking closers close, goddammit!! Told him! And his Mama! Joel basically said, "Get your dirty ass 'stache and your dirty ass pocket protector back to Geometry class, bitch!"

To which Collin could only respond with this:

Oh, and Johnny Lannan has made his presence known on Twitter as well, joining today. Follow the man, the myth, the legend... The Utley breaker himself... Eyebrows!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Collin Balester joins the Tweeple.

Well, we all remember Collin had his blog that ran for a little while, right? (Right??) Well, Bally has jumped feet first into the land of Twitter. You can follow him and his tweets here. So far it's been a nice Twitter feed. We've heard about him shattering windows off the tee box and how he dominates in kickball. The best thing so far, though?

Behold... the power of lip hair.

You're rocking the shit out that stash, Bally. Thanks for trying to fill Nick Johnson's shoes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jim Riggleman given the full-time manager job.

Yes, folks, Jimmie Riggs just had the interim tag pulled off his title. Your manager of the Washington Nationals for 2010 and... well... beyond is the local boy made good that took over last year for Tony Robbins Manny Acta part way through the season. I found out last night and gave GM Mike Rizzo a call to ask a few questions. The following is a transcript of the conversation*.

Me: Mike, thanks for taking a few minutes of your time, I appreciate it.

Rizzo: No problem. Happy to do it. I'm actually at dinner, though, so we need to make it brief.

Me: Will do. Actually, I guess I'll combine two questions into one to get this done twice as fast. First, what did you order, and second, why Jim Riggleman over the other candidates?

Rizzo: Well, I was wanting something top shelf, really tasty and good, but with the situation being what it is I settled for something from the rail. You know, house stuff.

Me: Can you expand on that?

Rizzo: Sure, sure. I really wanted a scrumptious 12 oz filet with a delicious Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon . Then, I figured that with me having a cold and no taste or smell, it wouldn't make any sense right now. So I went with the hamburger and a bottle of Ernest and Julio Gallo.

Me: I see, and what about the answer to second question, the hiring of Jim Riggleman?

Rizzo: Uh, I was talking about Jim.

Me: Of course you were. Right. Sorry. So what did you end up ordering to eat, then?

Rizzo: I just had a mixed greens salad with chicken.

Me: Sounds delicious. Any concern about Riggleman and him handling such a young pitching staff? Strasburg and Zimmermann in particular?

Rizzo: No, not at all, why would you ask?

Me: Well, according to Keith Law, when Riggleman was managing the Cubs in 1998, he had then 21 year old Kerry Wood exceed 120 pitches in eight out of his 26 starts. Also, in start number 25, Riggleman had Wood throw 133 pitches.

Rizzo: ....

Me: You there, Mike?

Rizzo: /Muffled yelling
"Outta my way, tubby, I need to undo a horrible wrong!"

"But, sir... you haven't paid your bill!"

"Fuck your bill, pal, he's gonna break my poor Strasburg in half!"

*Real/dream, who knows? I confuse reality with make-believe often.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ryan Zimmerman wins 2009 Gold Glove Award.

Yay, Zimmy! Let's hope it doesn't weigh you down too much and take away your range. Looks good on ya, kid.

So... about that AFL squad...

Well, I was all set to see two Nats prospects play in the AFL Rising Stars Game last Saturday. Then, word came out that Stephen Strasburg was pulled from the start because of a neck injury. Given that he's now a National, and injuries only prove horribly horrible, I decided to dig into the issue, and see what the real deal was. I traveled to Arizona (In my mind! Beat that, Uri Geller!) and back in time (Take that, Doc Brown!) to see the throwing session that caused Stras the injury. I must warn you... if you have small children reading this blog, you may want to have them turn away. And you may want to reconsider your parenting model. I'm not sure I would subject my kid to "shit goddamn" as often as it is uttered here. Anyway... onto the film...

SS has his goddamn head fall off

Gah! SHIT GODDAMN! But hey, I hear this Strasburg kid is tough, so maybe he can just rub some dirt on it and he'll be okay.

But, it wasn't all bad for the Nats in the Future Stars game. My bestest buddy, Drew Storen, made an appearance. It's justtoo bad the home plate umpire decided not to show up, though. Drew came into the game in the bottom of the 8th with his squad up one run. He battled the first hitter, throwing at least 7 pitches to the guy, if my shitty memory is correct. He had the dude 2-2, and absolutely froze him on a breaking ball. Perfect pitch. I swear. Check it below.


Am I right? It may appear to be a tad low, but the ball passes the plate before the catcher catches it. I'm convinced Blue screwed the pooch on this call. I froze the video at the point I feel the ball crossed the plate.

Those that have followed this blog since the beginning are insane know that I umpired everything from 7 year olds, to Varsity, to wood bat Travel Leagues. In the words of some of the parents that got me to eventually quit umpiring, "Fuck you, Blue! - It's all about you, Blue! - Way to rob my son, Blue! - If my kid commits suicide over this, Blue, I'm gonna fucking hunt you down and kill you!" (Seriousness alert! - All but the last one I actually heard directed towards me. Mostly in NOVA Varsity games. What's with these parents these days?)

Anyway, Even if the ball crossed the plate where the catcher caught it, I still feel the tip of the ball touched the bottom of the zone. What happened next? The batter hit a weak sauce infield single to the second baseman, who couldn't get a handle on it. Then up stepped the catcher, Matt McPoopy, who hit (sorry, Drew) a grooved fastball over the left field wall for a 2R HR. I can only assume McStupid was looking fastball, and Storen gave him one up in the zone. The good news? Drew acted like a goddamn closer should, shook it off, and got the next three batters out in a row with a ground out, and two Ks. Atta boy, Drew. Even if you did do it in long-ass soup-sandwich looking pants. I can look past a player crushing my hopes and dreams if it means betterment of the team. Hell, if I cared too much about every time something crushed me, I would've been dead when Shawshank was robbed at the 1994 Oscars. (Fuck you, Forrest Gump!)

Today is also GOLDEN WEDNESDAY! The NL Gold Glove awards are announced, and Zim should certainly be heading home with the 3rd base trophy. What's that? Derek Jeter won for AL SS yesterday?


Friday, October 30, 2009

Could this World Series get any worse?

You know what? It could. A-Rod could not be 0-8 with 6 Ks, so I shouldn't complain too much.

Fuck it, that's the only redeeming thing in this battle of suck.

On one side you got the Phillies. Ugh. Chase Fucking Utley with his greasy ass head. That Danny Zuko looking mother fucker... leave some oil for the rest of us, Chase. Our cars need gas to run.

Then you got Jayson Werth. Way to go, Jason. It only takes you ten years to develop. You were taken in the first round of the 97 draft, dude. It take you ten years to deliver on your potential? Way to go, you Edge looking idiot.

And no knock really on Matt Stairs... except to say that he looks frighteningly like David Crosby to me at this point in his life. Seriously...

Someone else suggested that he looks like a young Wilford Brimley. Too bad you can't find a single goddamn picture of a young Wilford on the entire internets. So, David Crosby it is. Enjoy the 45 second Photoshop below, folks.

Speaking of look-a-likes, Howie Mandel is playing a mean left field for the Phillies this year.

I could go on, but I won't. This is already twenty minutes of my life talking about the Phillies that I'll never get back. The shame...

And on the other side... The Yankees. Everyone knows the number one hater of the Yankees...

But there's a shit ton of other reasons to hate them. I, however, don't want to give them the stage any longer than I absolutely must. So, with that... the last reason to hate the Yankees...

A-Rod like to punch dudes in the junk. Not cool, Alex. Not. Cool.

So, best case scenario? Massive H1N1 breakout in both clubhouses cancels the 09 Series. Or maybe Malaria? Tuberculosis? Cholera? Now that's some selective culling of the herd I could get behind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So... about that leave of absence there...

Yeah, it's been a little while... sorry about that. But I have an excuse!

You ever been married? How about engaged? If you said yes, you probably remember well how a bunch of people came up to you to tell you the one secret to a successful marriage. "Never go to bed angry," they said. You know why? Cause it's true! You know why it's true? Because when you sleep, you're most vulnerable!

My last post was Friday, September 25th. You know why? Cause that night, the wife and I went to bed angry with each other. What happened next*? I woke up with a knife handle sticking out of my chest. Crazy broad had stabbed me with a 12" butcher knife and missed my heart by inches.

I had to fall out of bed and army crawl down the stairs, aided by nature's natural lubricant - blood. I got to the phone and called the po-po. Went to the hospital, got all patched up, and now I'm back and ready to get back to blogging life. (Oh, I also have a titanium plate in my chest that I can use to fuck up dudes. I can just grab their heads and ::BAM:: slam it into my chest. I'm still deciding on my superhero name.) I'm telling you, folks, it was a harrowing tale that will soon be told on the scariest show on TV, BIO's "I Survived." (Seriously, have you seen that shit? Un-fucking-real! Whenever I watch it I end up locking all the doors, and double fisting lethal objects. I also get my dogs all worked up so that if someone breaks in, they're ready to tear some meat from some bones.)

[*Small, wee, tiny confession - None of the above is true. Well, I Survived is still the scariest show on TV, and I do whip my dogs into flesh ripping frenzies while watching, but the whole wife stabbing me thing? Yeah, made that up. Look... I just lost track of time. I didn't have anything to blog about one day. Then.. one day turned into two, then five, then... I'm really sorry about that, and I cry myself to sleep every night, I'm just so damn torn up about it. I was embarrassed so I made up that story above to cover for me. But I'm back. And things will be better than ever, you'll see! And, sweetie... if you're reading this? Love you, sugar bear! Happy three days since our first anniversary! Sorry about calling you a crazy broad!]

So, what did I miss while I was away?

Oh. Yeah. Drew Storen has turned to the dark side. Witness him on the left below, next to some other Nats pitcher who's supposed to be pretty good himself. (And shows socks!)

Yep. Despite us socks folks out-voting the pants folks 53-3, I have it on good authority that Drew has turned to a pair of Manny pants. Drew, Drew, Drew. You know who else wears Manny pants?

The Spice Girls


And Brett Myers, Drew. BRETT MYERS!!!

I'll still read your new blog posts over at NatsTown, and I'll still root for you when you're throwing, but I will not.. nay, I could not... root for your pants, sir. Unless you put Chase Utley on his ass the first three times you face him. Then? We'd be cool. We'd. Be. Cool. /Winks realllly exaggerated and slow like.

(Photo of Drew in the Hobo pants courtesy the Twitter feed of the always great Pam Storen.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Zimmerman and Dukes are jive turkeys.

So, I'm watching Ryan Zimmerman hit his 31st HR (and break up a no hitter) the other night, and I happen to notice him celebrating after he reaches the plate. (I do this a lot now, for some reason. Maybe the celebrations are the best part of the game? I mean... I've seen 100 losses. Maybe my brain just focuses on the good shit?)

He high fives (somebody) and then does a weird finger slappy dappy thingamajiggy with Elijah Dukes. I wish I could show you gus what I'm talking about. Shoot. Oh, wait! I made a video. So, without further ado, I present... "Lijah and Ry'n: Brothers from other mothers."

When you think about it, though, it's not that hard to believe that Ryan Zimmerman and Elijah Dukes have their own hand pound. Sure, Ryan seems like plain vanilla on radio, film, and photo, as well as in real life, but he wasn't always that way, and he may just be busting his soul out again. See, way back in the late 70s, early 80s, Ryan was very tight with Richard Prior. They were Ebony and Ivory before McCartney and Wonder. Heck, they were Salt and Pepper before Salt-n-Pepa. Pryor and Zimmerman did a couple films together, and were pretty damn famous. Ryan eventually got tired of the limelight, however, and moved to the Tidewater,VA area as a 32 year old back in 1987. One night, after being humiliated attempting to impress a younger lady at a carnival, Ryan went to a wish/fortune-telling machine, called Zoltar Speaks and wished he was young again. He woke up the next day as a three year old, and began his life as we know it today.

Most people don't have the faintest idea that this is, in fact, true, though. Even those that have watched the Pryor and Zimmerman movies swear it's Pryor and Gene Wilder, not Ryan Zimmerman. While it is true that Wilder replaced Zimmerman in the later Pryor films such as "See no Evil, Hear no Evil", Ryan was the man in the first few films. And sure enough, every time I point this out to someone, and they watch one of Zim's films with Pryor, it clicks. In fact, here's a clip from their 1980 smash hit "Stir Crazy."


I rest my case, your honor. If it pleases the court, I would like you to rule for the plaintiff, me, in the amount of $150 MM.

(Here's the "Stir Crazy" clip from youtube, by the way.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

About Rob Dibble's reaction to Adam Dunn's 38th HR

Yeah... did anyone else get a little worried for Robbie Dibbs during the call of Adam Dunn's 38th HR last night? I swear to Christ, I thought that man might have been dying. Well, that or pooping.

The latest installment of "crappy ass videos", ladies and germs.

Yes, sir. I do believe that man had himself a... a... a accident.

Moving on... can you believe the balls on Joe Torre? I mean... the Nats are getting blown out 14-2 last night in the 8th inning, and Torre brings out Clayton fucking Kershaw! What happened, Joe? Was Sandy Koufax busy? I swear to God, if Riggleman doesn't have someone throw at Torre's head during the exchange of lineup cards tonight, I'm gonna explode*. (Well, not really. That sounds... painful. But I'll be pissed as all get out!)

Well, let's hope Detwiler can right the ship tonight against Chad Billingsly. Rossy D is coming off a damn fine outing (5 IP, 1 ER, 6 K, 1BB) and Chad has been... well... not too good since a disastrous July. The offense can hopefully put up some runs tonight. (Unless Torre starts Fernando Valenzuela, that is. And I bet he does. Ass hat.)

*Yes, I realize Kershaw hadn't pitched in a game since Spt. 5th. And, yes, I realize I just recycled that line from Twitter last night. Who the hell are you, the original content police?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Justin Maxwell: International Man of Mystery

So, Justin Maxwell (Montgomery County, represent!) was the subject of MASN's "Covering the Bases" last night. We got to find out all kinds of goodies like... um... shit, what were they? I think he played basketball as well as baseball. I think he got a scholarship to Maryland. And I seem to remember an interview with his dad, who in it said that Justin didn't have a choice but to go to college, thanks to his mom. We also learned that his dad is/was in the military, is a dentist (as well as his mom), and actually did two or three president's teeth. We also learned that Justin is involved in some sort of a cover up. A big one, too! Like... Obama sized.

MASN popped up a graphic after he completed his at bat in the 4th.

About 10 seconds later, they popped up another graphic.

Ohhhhhhhhh! Controversy! Scandal! Embroilment! (Thanks, thesaurus.com.) Just where was Justin born, hmmm? Was it Olney, as listed in the first graphic? Or, was it Bethesda, as listed in the second graphic?

Why the variation!? Is Justin he really a Muslim from Afghanistan who was born to Osama Bin Laden!? Hmmmmmmm?

Well, no. MASN just has shitty graphic editors, and sloppy fact checkers. Look, I have absolutely no contact with the team or players. I have never had a chance to meet the Maxwells, nor anyone related to him. However... even I know where he was born. With his parents in the military, there's a 99.999999999% chance he was born at the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Don't get me wrong... there's not a whole lot wrong with Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, but unless there's a severe life threatening situation to Justin's mom at the time, there's zippy chance they'd go to Montgomery General.

Hey... MASN... need some help over there? No, no, not at screwing shit up (you're doing fine on your own), but doing things like... I dunno... actually previewing the damn graphics before you air them?

Sorry about that. Listen... feel free to pop in here anytime, MASN, and rant about my errors. They are many, and they are large. This dude don't live in no glass house. (Mostly cause that would be hot as shit. Seriously. Sun all beating down on you and shit. No, sir. Not for me.)

One more quick thing before I go, though. (Stop groaning, It'll be quick, folks.) I just wanted to update the status of my annual Pirates bet with my good friend Puttzy. Just to recap...

If the Pirates win the season long series, I will drive down to Charlotte, and pay for your ticket to the Oktoberfest thing they got down there. If the Nats win, you buy tickets for me and my wife, and welcome us and the pets down for an extended weekend. And pay for all the beer that is consumed the entire time. (You kinda win either way, dude! Time with me? Fucking awesome!)

Puttzy accepted, and upped the ante in the comments...

I also propose a new bet. A supplemental bet if you will. Overall record at the end of the season. <...> Supplemental bet: loser buys food at Oktoberfest.

Now, as you probably know, the Nats lost the head to head series 5-3. Congrats, Puttzy, I will pay for your Oktoberfest ticket. (BTW, I will be paying with gold doubloons. I hope there's a pirate bank in Charlotte.)
But, what's up with the season long win loss record for the food? Thanks to Brian Oliver over at NFA, it's easy to follow. You see, the Nats and the Pie Rats happen to be the worst two teams (record wise) in MLB. It looks like this as of today.

W L PCT GA Tragic Left
50 96 0.342 - - 16
55 89 0.382 6.0 11 18

As you can see, if the Nats go 10-6 to end the season, they will finish at 60-102. The Rats would need to go 4-14 to end the season, thus finishing 59-103.

Yeah, I think I'm screwed, too. Hope you like bread, Puttzy, cause that's all I'm buying your bitch ass to eat. I'll bring some ketchup packets from home, though, to liven it up a little bit. You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jesus. Is. Dead.

I'm not making that shit up. See... it says so right here:

[Jesus] Flores has a torn labrum, tests revealed this week, and will undergo surgery tomorrow in Birmingham, Ala., to repair it. <....> [The Injury] threatens the Nationals catcher's availability for the start of the 2010 season.

Oh. Okay, so it doesn't say he died, per se... (I'm not sure I used that Latin phrase correctly. I confuse it with "persona non grata" all the time. People use it around me a lot, so it really muddles my Latin.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah... Jesus is dead and buried, and not waking up, nor moving the boulder out the way this time. And so, it is with a heavy heart that I put Jesus out of my thoughts forever. The only way to do so properly, however, is to give the man a decent burial. Farewell, my friend. While you were productive when healthy, you were never healthy. May your bones and muscles rest now, and be no longer tearing or breaking. Though it will be hard, we turn our gaze towards a new shining figure. One clad in battle armor, same as you, yet more... non-breaky. So, as we say goodbye, we also say hello. Welcome, DeNo. Now hurry your ass up. We need you by 2011, dammit.

Ashes to ashes... dust to.... ahh screw it. Just get in the ground, Flores.


Bonus for the folks still reading (you lucky sum bitches!). If you aren't following my Tweets, you missed out on ones like these from last night:

Rumors of a Flores labrum tear floating around...

Zuckerman confirms it. Jesus Flores labrum tear. 2010 opening day in jeopardy. Rizzo says it's not related to orig inj. http://bit.ly/QTgPp from TweetDeck

I can't believe I didn't break Flores' hand when I shook it the few times I did. That guy goes down more than a hooker on pay day. #barbaro2 from TweetDeck

Oh, and this one from this morning. (Pony up, cheap skates!)

Ian's baseball-reference sponsorship price keeps dropping. Down from $95 to $45. Who has $45 for me? No one? C'mon, dammit!! ::pouting:: from TweetDeck
See? I even try and break some news once in a while. I suck at it, but I try!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I finally figured out who Rob Dibble reminds me of.

Rob Dibble has already been written about on many a Nationals blog, mine included. The initial hatred towards him has sort of died down, mostly because we're in a place of begrudged acceptance. After all, he's not going anywhere with another year left on his contract.
I'm not saying I like the guy, I'm just saying that there's no use in me throwing shit at the TV the entire game anymore. I know what I get from Dibble, which is extreme homerism when things are going well, and extreme ridiculing of the pitching staff when things aren't going well. (He continues to preach how the starting pitchers should throw to the other team's lineup the third and fourth times through the order, yet he only faced the other team's lineup more than once in .05% of his games played. Only 21 times (out of 385 career games) did Dibble face someone in the opposing lineup twice. In fact, his career high for batters faced in a game is 18, or twice through the order. Yet he continues to berate the staff for how they're pitching to the lineup the third and fourth times they face them. In the words of Walter Sobchak, "[Dibble], you're out of your element!")

But, again, I digress. I was trying to put together a video of Chase Utley attempting to injure another National when something kept popping into my head. I thought to myself that Dibble (on the call of the play) reminded me of someone, as he has all year, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. After about five minutes, it finally hit me. Enjoy yet another craptacular video, folks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How'd Ian Desmond do? I missed the game...

The fuck I did! I had my butt firmly planted on the couch at 7:02, right after I fed the cats and the dogs. (Hey, has anyone taught dogs and cats to feed humans? I've seen a dog open a fridge and get a dude a beer once on TV. Any of your dogs do that? That's so super duper cool. I'll pay someone like... $5 if you come and teach my dogs to do that.)

I was excited about Ian's call up here, and was begging Riggleman to start Ian here (although, to be honest, so was every other blogger). So what happens when Ian D finally does get the start?

Bang Zoom, Philly bitches!!

You can see the video highlights here, but allow me to list what he did in numbers and letters below.

Ian was 2 for 4 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, and scored 1 run. He's hitting .500/.500/1.500. (Insert O.o face here.) Can he maintain that pace? Uhh... no, but I do like his chances of sticking around a little longer, and succeeding (thanks to, in particular, his short and speedy swing).

In related news Billy Ladson points out that Rizzo and Riggles had a conversation with Cristian "Bunions" Guzman yesterday morning.
It was learned that general manager Mike Rizzo and interim manager Jim Riggleman had a private meeting with shortstop Cristian Guzman on Thursday afternoon and asked him to switch to second base for the 2010 season.

Apparently the front office is concerned with the way he moves to his left, and his bunioned feet just add to the problem.

Can Ian grab the SS position for 2010? I don't know, but I do know how to find out. Play Ian more, dammit. Now, if you excuse me, I have to announce to the world my feelings for Ian D...

Oh, one final thing... that double play with Ian as the pivot man? Wasn't a piece of cake, as Chase Utley was gunning for Ian's legs. (I'm gonna try and throw a video of that together later, but... well... don't hold your breath.)

Fuck it, a second final thing... How bout one of you rich people go and sponsor Ian's baseball-reference.com page for me? C'mon!! It's only $95! Okay, okay. Fine. Huruumph. I guess I can settle for one of you sponsoring Zack Segovia's page. It's going for $5. (The poor bastard.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jesus has returned to walk the earth.

It's not exactly the beginning of the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy (I hope, at least. Cause I'm fucked if that does happen.), but it is a big development for the Nats.

Yes, Jesus "Barbaro" Flores made a pinch hit appearance in lasts night's game, but isn't expected to make any starts at catcher the rest of the year. He's welcomed back with open arms by me, to say the least. I just hope he's been drinking his milk while he's been gone, cause he's... well ... how can I put this... fragile as Kurt Cobain's emotions were in April of 1994. He only played in 26 games this year, before being sidelined by a foul ball to the shoulder. Last year, he played in just 90 games, due to Chase Utley smashing his ankle in early September.

It was great to see Jesus get an at-bat yesterday. I only wish he could've drawn a walk or hit a single. That way, he could try to steal second, and break both of Utley's legs, arms, lungs, eyes, ears, and kidneys (humans do have two of those, right? I hope so, cause if not, I'm screwed from that time I woke up in Mexico all groggy in a bathtub full of ice). God damn do I hate me some Chase Utley. That cheap shot taking mother fucker.

Oh, I saw Jesus before the game, and he showed me his new catching gear. I think it's nice, but I'm not sure how he's gonna be mobile enough to get to all of Mikey MacDougal's wild throws.

Welcome back, Jesus. Try not to break anything high-fiving in the dugout.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jim Riggleman is going to destroy my September.

And why will Riggles be destroying my September? Well, here's why.
Riggleman, on the plan for Desmond: "I'll get him some games, but as long as Guzman is healthy he'll be playing. If his foot flares up on him that will be an opportunity to get Desmond in there, but we also have Gonzalez and Orr who will be playing up the middle. I love to see young players play, but I don't ever want to take away the opportunity from the veterans who have been here all year... and disregard their efforts all year by planting them on the bench. Like I said, the at bats might be inconsistent."


"but I don't ever want to take away the opportunity from the veterans"

Opportunity for what, Jim? Yeah, these games down the stretch are real fucking critical, aren't they? What with this pennant race DC is in and all. Nope. No need to see what the kids have during real games in September, especially against the Division leading Phillies. Na... you can tell how good they are against piece of shit spring training pitchers struggling to make squads, right?


You know exactly what you have with Cristian, Jim. An average fielding SS (although he does have a little bit better range than some) who boots the easy play every now and then a whole helluva lot. He's also someone who never walks, and is a singles hitter with an occasional line drive home run.

What do you have with Ian Desmond, though, Jim? Well, Frank Robinson said he was Major League ready [defensively speaking] in 2005. Jim Bowden dropped the names Derek and Jeter when talking about him. (Of course, Frank Robinson loved Matt LeCroy so much he openly wept for the guy, and Jim Bowden was... well... Jim Bowden. Oh, and I stole those two quotes from Zuckerman over at the Washington Times Chatter blog. It really should be an everyday read, by the way.)

So, since Riggles is a moronic idiot not going to give the kid a shot to play everyday, we might as well try and compare the two with the stats we do have. I sure as hell ain't gonna hold it against Ian if he has a shitty ass September because he only gets one or two pinch hit at bats per week. No one should.

Just so you know what you get with Desmond, besides playing super duper defense, he also had a break out 2009 with the bat. He started the year in AA Harrisburg and hit .306/.372/.494 with 6 HR and 13 SB is 42 games. He then got the call to go to AAA Syracuse, and kept on raking. He hit .354/.428/.461 in 55 games there with 8 SB and 1 HR. He's not a huge power guy, but he does average a HR every 12.75 games. And, let's face it, that's way better than Goozie who averages one HR every 21.4 games. In fact, in a 162 game average season, Goozie hits 8 HR, while Desmond hits 13. (Yes, yes, and yes... I do realize I'm comparing Desmond's Minor League stats against Goozie's Major League stats. But that's my whole point. Since Riggleman won't be playing Ian, we can't even see what the fuck he can do against Major league pitching!)

So... me, personally? I like Ian's bat a little better than Cristian's, but we'll call it a wash since Cristian is hitting against Major League pitchers and all. You know... such as Manny Parra, Tim Dillard, Mat Latos, Arthur Lee Rhodes, Brian Bass, and Geoff fucking Geary, after all. (And no, those pitchers were not pulled at random. Those are the six pitchers Cristian has hit his home runs off of this year. I shit you not. All-Stars they ain't.)

Let's then use defense as a measuring stick, since Minor Leaguers and Major Leaguers both play on the exact same size infield, with runners the exact same 90 feet apart.

Desmond's 2009 defensive ratings: .943 FLD %, and an eye popping 4.81 RF/9.
Goozie's 2009 ratings? A .962 FLD % (dead last in the NL) and a very nice RF/9 of 4.52 (tops among NL SS with a minimum 100 games played).
Desmond's career avg FLD % is only .936, but keep in mind this includes his first few years in which he was learning to play the position at an elite level. Ian's avg RF/G, though, is a stellar 4.40 (again, while he was learning the position). Goozie's MLB career FLD % is .971 and his career RF/G is 4.19. Cristian's career Minor League FLD % was only .952 while his Minor League RF/G was 4.55.

(For those of you that just want to know what a great SS RF/9 and FLD % is, Ozzie Smith averaged a .978 (with three piss poor - for him- sub .970 seasons pulling him down at the beginning and end of his career). During his prime, he averaged a .981 FLD % with a single season high of .987 in both 1991 and 1987. His career RF/9 was 5.2 with a single season high of 5.87 in 1981 and 1982.)

Okay, okay... so it's obvious Ian has better range, while Cristian's fielding percentage is a little higher. But everyone knows fielding percentage is old and inadequate, right? You don't? Just do yourself a favor. Google "why fielding percentage is outdated". Sure... there are plenty of sites that pop up, but the most interesting revelation of all? This magical, wonderful, incredibly awesome blurb thrown our way by the great people of Google:

(And with that, we come back full circle to Jim Bowden. Sometimes I really do miss your Segway riding, leather pants wearing face around here.)

So, since the numbers above could be judged differently by different folks, and with Riggles apparently needing someone to draw him a picture in order to get a clue, allow me to present my argument another way.

There. That about sums it up. Now how about you play him, Jimmy Riggles? Don't make him have to twist your arm. (And by him, I mean me. And by twist your arm, I mean this.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September call ups are... well... unexciting, save for one.

Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourself for the IAN ERA! (Or is that the ERA of IAN?)

Ian Desmond highlights the list of September call ups for the Nationals. It's a pretty uneventful list, when you think about it. I knew Desmond would be on it, but was hoping for some more first time Major Leaguers. The only other first timer (sort of) is Zack Segovia, a right handed starting pitcher (Who had one start with the Phillies in 2007). The Nats also brought back retreads Marco Estrada and Logan Kensing, as well as bringing back 2007 first round draft pick Ross Dewiler.

Marco was in the bullpen for all of 11 games last year, before the Nats sent him, his 7.82 ERA, and his 1.737 WHIP packing. He was always a starting pitcher in the minors, and he did have a pretty good 2009 campaign with Syracuse (9-5 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.218 WHIP. He also averaged 6.5 K/9 IP). I'm assuming they are bringing him up to start. (Which is a shame, because I had such a good time yelling, "Maaaaarcooo" to him in the bullpen. He, on the other hand, didn't seem to enjoy it. Come to think of it... he's probably had to endure the whole Marco Polo thingie his whole life. And here I thought I was being clever. Shit.)

Logan was in the bullpen (after Washington picked him up when Florida released him) this year for all of 17 games before the Nats sent him, his 10.71 ERA, and his 2.017 WHIP packing. He has been the closer for AAA Syracuse for a while now, and has put up decent numbers (2-1 with a 2.97 ERA, 17 saves, a 1.020 WHIP, and a great K/9IP ratio of 9.4). He'll be in the bullpen, I would assume, where he will get teased mercilessly for his middle name, which I just found out was "French." (French Kensing, you see. Get it? French... K..sing. FRENCH KISSING!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.)

Ross was called up from AA earlier this year by the Nats, and did a hell of a lot better than I thought he would. He hadn't lived up to the hype of his draft status in the minors, sporting an ERA of 4.54 in high A for 2007 and 2008, along with a WHIP of 1.545. He started this year in AA Hagerstown and threw well. His record was 0-3, but it appears run support was an issue for him. He had an ERA of 2.96, while dropping his WHIP to 1.390, while having a very impressive 9.2 K/9IP ratio. He got the call to Washington, and went 0-5 with an ERA of 6.40, and a WHIP of 1.750. His k/9IP rate dropped to 5.7, as well. They sent him to AAA Syracuse after that, and he's been pretty damn good since then. He's gone 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA, and got his K/9IP back up to 7.7. He still has a long way to go to live up tp being the 6th overall pick in that 2007 draft, especially being a kid drafted from College, but I'm rooting for him, dammit... so should you!

Which leaves the two newbies, Mr. Zack Segovia and Mr. Ian Desmond. I'll be honest here... I don't have the slightest idea what Zack's ceiling is. He was a pretty highly touted prospect coming out of HS in Texas in 2002, as he was drafted by the Phillies in the second round. He ended up blowing his elbow out, a-la ZNN, and missed the entire 2004 season after Tommy John surgery. The Phillies released him in June of last year, and the Nationals signed him then. He's played for every Nats minor league squad since then but one, with the exception being Vermont. The Nats promoted him from the GCL squad straight to Harrisburg last year, thus denying Zack a chance to be a Lake Monster (something I'm sure he still regrets. I mean, seriously, who the hell wouldn't want to be a God damn LAKE MONSTER, for Christ's sake?). Here's what else I know about him - he's 6' 2", and 245 lbs, so the kid likes him some pancakes. If he starts for the Nats, he'll be the fourth oldest starting pitcher for them this year at age 26, behind only Daniel Cabrera (28), JD Martin (26 and older by three months) and Livan Hernandez (with his age being somewhere between 36 and 45. If you believe he is his listed age (34), well then have I got some ocean front property to sell you. Seriously. I own approximately 2 square inches of beach in Ocean City, NJ. I don't want to go all into details, so I'll just leave it at this - It involved large Italian men, gambling, four bottles of Grey Goose, more gambling, and me sobbing in a hotel room.). I also have no idea if he's related to the famous Spanish classical guitarist Andres Segovia, but I wouldn't rule it out.

Which brings us to one Mr. Ian Desmond. And my job. With it being dead this past Friday, and just having a three day weekend, I have work spilling out of my ears today. Alas, I will not be able to write about Ian Desmond today, but I'll certainly get to him in my next post. Until then, I'll leave you with what people call a taser. Shit, no, that's a teaser, not a taser. My bad. First one hurts you, second one doesn't.

We’ve been hearing hype on Desmond for a while now but the slick fielder is just beginning to justify that talk with his performance at the plate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Heard enough about Drew Storen from me yet?

Sure, sure... I could talk about yet another elbow injury to a starting pitcher, this time to Craig Stammen, but I won't. And, sure... I could talk about the race to see who gets to draft Bryce Harper, but I won't.

Nope. It's time for that good old fallback, Mr. Drew Storen.

(Drew... at this point, if I were you, I'd be looking at this page for advice on filing a restraining order. I'd suggest keeping me 25 yards away at all times.)

Drew posted this on his Twitter feed the other day, and I'd forgotten all about it.
I wish I could pitch with maximus's helmet (were watching gladiator on the bus). I feel like it would add at least 4 mph.

And, since it's a three day weekend, work is beyond dead today. The parking lot is 1/2 full, and there ain't shit to do, as I've gotten all of seven emails today (five of those from our server monitoring bot). So, I decided to screw around (badly) and make more Drew Storen Paint pictures. Lucky you! Weeeee!

I now present to you, Drew Maximus Decimus Meridius Storen. (I had to look that up, by the way. Not that there's anything wrong with knowing the dude from Gladiator's full name. Okay, that might be a little creepy. Like that friend of mine that got all pissed at me for saying the Ewoks lived on Endor. He got all freaked out and started screaming.
Him: "They lived on Endor's MOON, not Endor itself!"
Me: "Jesus, it's not like I just stabbed your baby with pencils and shit, it's just Star Wars."
Him: "It was Return of the Jedi, and don't you belittle my people!")


Here's Hagerstown Drew Maximus (Which, I admit, looks a little shitty. Click it for a bigger pic, though, and it looks better still looks like shit.)

Here's what the batter would see, with his knees all shaking, and pee dribbling down his leg. (I'm talking about you, Chase Utley!)

And finally, once the Nats see just how kick ass awesome this shit is, they get one custom made for Drew. It comes complete with a curly W and a voice changing device that makes him talk like Russell Crowe's character from Gladiator crossed with that dude from 300. "This... Is... Nats Town!"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nats knocked out of the playoffs, the AFL, and more Dibble hate.

Well, folks... with yesterday's Nats loss and last night's SF Giants win, the Nats were officially knocked out of the playoff race. Crushing, I know. But hey... at least you can spend the money you were saving to use on the 2009 playoff tickets now! Maybe buy one of these?

Yes indeed. That marvelous picture, signed by that Soup Nazi guy himself, can be yours for only $199.95 (plus shipping and handling). Congrats on that investment!

(Is that signature the actors name, or is it the Soup Nazi character's name in the show??)

I have no excuses for not posting this week. I was just lazy. Pure and simple. L-A-Z-Y. Maybe it's the three day weekend that's coming up? Who knows? All I know is that I'm forgetting this week when I have to fill out by self performance review later this month. (Actually, I'm just gonna cut and paste last year's self review into this one. But... shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!)

Two things that I really did want to write about where the September call ups (the active roster's get expanded from the regular 25 up to as many as 40), and the Arizona Fall League. But you know what? Yup... you got it. I'm a lazy bastard, so you'll get a half-assed effort on one of them, and like it.

I'm gonna pick the Arizona Fall League (known as the AFL from here on out, cause... again.. I'm lazy), so you're on your own with the call ups. But.. I will throw out Brian Oliver's post on the subject, which is a must read, as most of his stuff is. All I know is, since they called up Detwiler in 2007, they better call up Drew Storen. Drew signed early, has motored up the ladder, AND he's gonna throw in the AFL, so he deserves it. (He's also rooming with the 6'8" Jesse Estrada. And anyone rooming with a giant is certainly taking one for the team. I mean... aren't giants cannibals, and shit? What happens if Jesse gets hungry in the middle of the night? Is he gonna walk to the kitchen, or is he just gonna chew some fingers off the hand of the dude next to him? They're like Vienna Sausages to him.)

I got married last October (10/18, actually. Please feel free to send Anniversary gifts. My email's on the top right of the page. The wife appreciates it.) in the wonderful city of Phoenix, AZ. My wife's family is from there, and my parents have moved to Tucson, about 2 hours away. It was a wonderful time (even though it topped 90 degrees on the wedding day. I barley noticed, though, as I was so god damn petrified excited.), but I do have one regret. You see, watching an AFL Nats game was on my to do list. I really wanted to check out Ian Desmond and Ross Detwiler, specifically, but really root for all the kids in the Nats organization. Bill Rhinehart is a U of Arizona guy, too, so that would have been cool. (My wife and my dad graduated from there.)

But, it didn't come to be. I was either too busy with the rehearsal, or making sure all my friends made it okay, or getting everything situated. There was one person who I invited to the wedding that did make it to a game or two, though. (You know that one person that always brings up the thing you missed out on whenever he can? Sure enough, every time Ross Detwiler started for the Nats this year, I seemed to find myself at the same bar as my friend. Sure enough, as soon as Ross was introduced on the TV, my friend would always say, "You know, I saw him throw in the AFL last year. Hey, weren't you supposed top be there?") To this day, it's the only thing I wish I could do over again from my entire wedding experience. (Well, that and getting a lil' teary eyed when I saw my wife in her dress walking up the aisle. Thank the Lord I had my best man (and best brother) with me, who promptly put his knee in my leg and said, "man the fuck up.")

Jesus I just rambled on there, didn't I? My bad! Moral of the story... if you have the opportunity to make it out to the AFL, do it. Especially this year with Drew, Strasburg, Danny Espinosa, Chris Marrero, and Derek Norris on the roster. That's a fucking stacked team right there. If I didn't already have plans in Charlotte, NC, I'd be there in a heart beat.

And real quick, I wanted to link again to a great Kevin Reiss post. All of the post is great, but he's 108% spot on about Rob Dibble. I think he finally put his finger on just what it is about Dibble that irritates people to the point of shoving objects into their ears. And so... I dedicate this next video to Kevin, and all you Dibble sufferers out there. May peace be with you poor, poor bastards.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shocking pictures of Drew Storen with long pants revealed! Flood watch from tears expected.

You know what? I'm just gonna rename the blog "Storen Nation (as viewed from Twitter and beyond)."

Why? Well, maybe it has something to do with the fact that six of the last 21 posts of mine have been devoted to Drew. Or, more-so, devoted to Drew's socks.

And... I continue that trend with a new Drew Storen SOCKS of DOOM! post. It is with a heavy heart, and millions of tears flowing down my cheeks, that I post this picture*. It's like when Brad and Jennifer broke up all over again. (sob.)

Who is that guy with the wicked leg kick, but awful pants? Wait for it...

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!! My God, Drew! Think of your fans. Like this little guy here...

At last check, the vote was 45 people for the SOCKS of DOOM!, and only two against. You know why? Because cool mother fuckers rock the socks, that's why. Like... well, The Non-Human.

That stud Lou Gehrig

And some dude named Cy fricking Young.

You know why only two people have voted to lose the socks? Because they're EVIL, that's why. Look at all these evil people that wear pants. Like... The DEVIL!!!

Saddam Hussein (when he can find them).

And the worst of all.... Chase ASS HAT! Utley (Ugh. I get a chill down my spine anytime someone even mentions his name. Seriously. Just look at that smug shit below. You know he drowns kittens and puppies when he's not busy breaking catcher's legs. Nice fake dirt stains, Chase.)

Seriously, Drew. Don't make me actually have to drive to Harrisburg to... well, to beg and plead while on my knees crying. My wife thinks I'm all grown up, and that would set me back a few years in her eyes.

(*Pants pictures complements of the always awesomely awesome Pam Storen. You can read the article yourself here (starts on page 23). It's actually a good story. Except for, you know, the whole no socks thing.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Drew Storen to go sockless? GASP!

Now, we all know how much I love me some Drew Storen around these parts. (And if you don't, you can read about him here, here, here, here, aaaaand here. Wow. Maybe this is a borderline obsession... I haven't gotten the windowless white panel van yet, so I think I'm okay...)

Anyway, it has been brought to my attention by my sources (which I will not reveal, as they expressed anonymity since they were not authorized to talk to the media) that when Drew is called up to DC, he might (brace yourselves) give up the SOCKS of DOOM!! Seriously, Drew... you're a smart kid (you went to Stanford). What could possibly motivate you to go sockless?? So here it is. My argument as to why the SOCKS of DOOM! must remain.

And a never before published (on my blog, anyway) pic:

(All pictures are from pstoren's Twitter feed. Many, many thanks for putting these pics out there, btw.)

As you can see, that shit is just bad ass. We're talking ass-kicking proportions of bad assitude here. Not only do they visually kick ass though, they physically kick ass, as well. Check out Drew's stats for this year in pro ball while wearing the socks that are the killerness.

His record is 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 25 Games. In 33.2 IP he's given up only 20 hits, 8 runs, and 8 BB (.843 WHIP), while striking out 44. He is 9 for 9 in save opportunities and opposing batters are hitting .168 against him.

Now... when I was lucky enough to get put into my little league games (and the rules were that the coach had to play me, no matter how badly I sucked), and I had something go right (like... no balls hit my way), I never did anything to alter what I was wearing/did/didn't do/etc., while I was out there. If I had some kick ass socks, I would continue to wear said kick ass socks. Now, I'm not sure, but I think it's some kind of global baseball rule all around the universe to a) Never fuck with a positive flow, b) root for the home team (unless you're in Pittsburgh. Then you can root for anyone you choose :cough: Nats :Cough:), and c) Continue the Goddamn SOCKS of Goddamn DOOM!.

Allow me to show just how bad Drew would look without socks.

Remember this?

Would you prefer that look, or this?

It's not even close. Socked Drew destroys sockless Drew. And I'm talking by a landslide here. Just murdered. This is the most one-sided victory since the hare beat the rabbit. (Wait... I fucked that up... didn't I?) I mean, he's looking like a soup sandwich there.

And finally (I swear) Drew posted on his Twitter feed a picture of his new glove.

Yeah, like that wouldn't look just fucking devastatingly good with a Nats home uniform! I can just imagine it now...

With that, I leave it all up to you, my 6 readers. It's time for my 2nd ever poll. Please vote on the top right of the page whether you prefer socked Drew, or sockless Drew. I have it on good authority that this vote's outcome will actually dictate what Drew decides to do.*

*It absolutely does not have anything to do with what Drew will do. Unless I perfect The Force. Which I've never even taken an introductory lesson in, so I doubt I'll be able to master it.

/These are the socks you're going to wear.