Monday, April 28, 2008

Wow, you guys are good


Update on the Ft Bragg video in the last post:

The Army has arranged a news conference at 2:30 p.m. today to respond to the video.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said Dole’s staff is contacting Fort Bragg and Pentagon officials today in response to a just-posted YouTube video that depicts soldiers living in deplorable conditions in a base barracks.

The spokeswoman, Amy Auth, said Dole’s office was unaware of the video until The Fayetteville Observer asked for a response this morning.

“We are certainly looking into it,” Auth said, noting that Dole has called for accelerated funding for new Fort Bragg housing.

So that's good. Turns out, the Army was simply blissfully unaware there was a problem. I knew it had to be something like that.


Make a little noise for the military boys


Chances are, your congressman and/or senator says (s)he's all for supporting the troops. It's an easy thing to say, because The Troops are not a political entity. There's no controversy in saying rah-rah-rah for the troops. They're mostly great people doing hard things for their government - which is all of us.

Please take a few minutes and watch this home movie, shot by the father of a veteran with two 15 month deployments to the nether regions of Afghanistan on his resumé. Then, if you're ok with having your tax dollars go to fund improvements to Ft. Bragg, take a few minutes to fire off a letter to one of those guys screaming about lapel pins. If nothing else, it'll give the bumper sticker on your car a little street cred.


Saturday, April 26, 2008


Annnnd this pie in the face fest is over, gents. Let's just put this
whole ugly episode behind us and never speak of it again.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Mount Natsmore


He walks Lee to get to Aramid Ramirez. Batting .289. Yeah, I get that.


Sent from my mobile phone.


Hanrahan walks Theriot with two outs to get to ... DERREK LEE??!? If
the game wasn't lost before it is now.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Red Porch Riders loves us some tshirt toss

Spotted Teddy R on the way to the can. Bet he only fits in the handicap stall

Chico GONE

Matt Chico made it 4 miserable innings. Enjoy your flight to Columbus
That crazy bastard Joel Hanrahan takes over.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Omg! The row is full of tomorrow' leaders ... TADAY!

No no no no no no no no no

5-2 Cubs in the 2nd.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Tonights's usher: Johnny Hardass

I love this guy (pic in last post). Old guy Yankee usher taking no
bunk off no drunk. Like last night he just radioed security for a
"disgruntled fan"

Sent from my mobile phone.

Just anger anger no particlar direction just sprays and sprays

Daaang ... Woopie we're all gonna die

Cubbies DRAW FIRST BLOOD with 3 runs in the first. The were blowing
south at the first out. They are now to the north as the sky gets angry.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Last night

I promised to write last night, but had my hands full with an angry
preteen who would have prefered the slumber party we vetoed to a night
at the Park. But what a beautiful chess match we watched. Tied with
Chicago most of the time. The game siezed in the bottom of the 9th by
Wil Nieves - a workaday guy up from 13 years in the minors. It was the
kind of win that propels people to go out of their way to return the
very next night for more. On this Saturday game our mutt Matt Chico is
battling against the phenom carlos zambrano. We love a lopsided
matchup. No downside with plenty of headroom to shock them all with a
win. Off the shuttle now an walking into the Park. The sky is angry
with lightning. Let's roll.

Sent from my mobile phone.

On the Nats shuttle to game 2 with the Cubbies


April 26, 2008

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chi Cubs
3 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
7 13 2
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 6 0

Friday, April 25, 2008

End of a long week


Pick some up today! No, seriously.

Ro and I are storming the ballpark to shout down those Cubbies and their disaster-craving fans. I'll send letters. Promise.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Russia Invades Turkey From The Rear! Greece Helps!


This pic looks like bad Photoshop. Incredibly, it's real.

News is so much less . . . I dunno . . . boring, when they got pictures to back it up. What if I told you that


You maybe didn't know that, so it's news-ish, but not terribly entertaining.

Is this a good news headline?:


Lord knows it's true, but it's kind of boring. How about this:


Ok, ok . . . little better. Kind of interesting, but still not really news. What? You say you've got VIDEO?!?

Hint to my mom: Cleek on the peekture ^

Awesome. CNN didn't even bother to add voiceover, because who cares about details? If you want the nitty gritty, you got to watch WJLA TV in DC.

Since nobody has been hurt by such an event for more than 45 years (including today's events), the story was really about the fantastic footage of the planes being hit by lightning. The only trouble is that the money shots were filmed a couple of years ago in Osaka and Sydney.

Am I being petty here? Tell me, please. Because I can get pretty petty. Maybe I'm just pointing at this so that you won't look at that.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Fleeing thought


Las Vegas seems like something that Walt Disney thought up while he was beating the hell out of his wife.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Opening night déjà vu ... We hope

... or not ...

April 11, 2008

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
3 8 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 3 0


Let's Get Physicscal


The pitch and the hit. The ball and the bat. The smart dude and the hitting coach. Watch as mass, lift, and other intricacies of the game are explained. As Mr. Cosby said, if you're not careful you just might learn something. Hey hey hey.

Did you notice that when the 3 inch center of mass area was shown, Kara Tsuboi instantly estimated it as 2 inches. Bitch! Just shows to go you, not everything has a sweet spot. zoom ZOOM zoom!

Most entertaining statement in the piece: "If they pay attention in their physics class, they'd be better."


Thursday, April 10, 2008

At least the vendors are upping their game

April 9, 2008

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 0 7 1 2 0 0
10 12 2
0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0
4 5 0

Wonk out


1-2 in the 8th


23340 fans are holding their breath. Marlins are going to be masters
of smallball this season.

Sent from my mobile phone.



Its the fifth inning of a 1-0 ballgame. DC tradition holds that we
give away 5+ runs.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nice nite for a comeback

Testing testing 1 2 ... Sssssssibbilance ...

Just posting here to make sure my phone can talk to blogger. I won't
make the "can you hear me now" joke. Too obvious.

Sent from my mobile phone.

Liveblogging with Bonelessmonkey

Steve Perry moved-in down the street

We're heading to the park tonight to watch game two of the series against Florida. I'm sure it will be fine. I'm positive. It'll be, no really, it'll be good.



What's it take to forgive and forget? About 22 years and a World Series win. Red Sox veteran, first baseman, and high quality individual Bill Buckner got a sold-out Fenway group hug on opening day when he threw out the first pitch. You can actually see the weight of that error to end'em all lift off his shoulders.

In case you forgot, here's what everybody got so upset about in the first place:

We're defined by the mistakes we make and what we do after them, and most importantly, how we respond to the mistakes of others.

So, who's still on your shit list?


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Nats1derful on the Porch


Wonk out on the digits

April 7, 2008

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
1 1 5 0 0 1 0 0 2
10 11 0
1 2 0 3 0 0 0 1 0
7 11 2

Editor's note: Game 1 of the Marlins series was spent with our good friend Nats1derful, who took the time to write it up and post it over at NatsFanatics:

Hall of Famer
Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1086
Location: Vienna and Section 132WC, WW, 15 & 16
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:58 am Post subject: A Night At The Park - "Nationals Lottery"

So, I had sold my tickets to last night's game, thinking softball season would be going, and my coed team plays on Monday nights. Softball schedule came out, season wouldn't start until 4/21. So, after last weekend's excitement, I was scrambling to get a ticket to last night's game. Craigslist had a few - I sent e-mails, and while looking for replies the next morning, there was a great e-mail from my buddy and fellow Racing President also-ran, RFKeith, inviting me to join him in his shiny new Red Porch seats for last night's game - or, "Red Pooch" as Hugh calls them - the best kept secret in the new park - the working man's Diamond Club.

I was all over that, so we planned to meet at the center field gate at 6. Keith got there early, so I called him when I showed up. (Fortunately, he had warned me that a gang of Clydesdales were hanging around outside the gate - I might have done something I'd later regret if I hadn't been prepared...bad memories of a lost weekend in St. Louis still lingered in my mind, and the last thing I needed was a bunch of friggin' Clydesdales to remind me. However, I do believe I saw a wild pack of dalmations tearing around the corner after a beer truck, though that may have just been my furtive imagination after seeing one too many beer commercials). Keith came out, we got settled into our Red Porch seats (great view, $20.00 food credit - SWEET!) I decided to use my food credit up at Five Guys, so I stuffed myself with a humongous burger and an order of Fries that didn't quit. We caught up on off-season activities (Keith sailed half-way around the world on a little sailboat - and got paid to do it! I'm putting in my application today). Around the third inning, we went around to the Majorca Coffee stand to warm up a bit. I checked in on the folks sitting in my regular seats (they loved them). We decided to stop down to see Hugh, Lisette, and Elliott behind the dugout, when things got wierd - good wierd - "out of an episode of Seinfeld" wierd. Only at a Nats game.

As we're heading down the steps towards the dugout, there was a huge crowd gathered, and we realized they were doing the trivia question there. So we waited, then everyone started heading up the steps towards us. We ducked into two empty seats to get out of the way of the stampede of Natpackers and other assorted creatures. 4 guys from Richmond were sitting around us, and passing an empty cup around, sticking money in it occasionally, and when someone hit a homerun, the guy holding the cup pocketed all the bills in it. Curiosity got the better of Keith and I, and next thing we knew, we were playing the "Nationals Lottery" with our newfound Richmond friends. We spent the rest of the game right there, in Section 128, sticking a buck into the cup if the batter made an out while we were holding it (two bucks if he struck out or hit into a double play). If the batter got a hit or walk, or got on by error, you passed the cup on without adding to it. Poor Keith must have had it for 3 or 4 strikeouts - I had it when Nick hit a long drive to left that came down just short of the warning track. The cup was getting pretty full by the 9th inning, and whoever was holding it for the last out would get what was in it. I was very hopeful, when one of the friggin' Marlins got a homer, and someone else got the proceeds. I did wind up being the last one holding, and won all of 11 bucks, at that point. But, I must say, we had a blast. I kept waiting for Kramer or Elaine to come walking up. The Nationals Lottery. Try it. You'll like it.


How'd they get here so fast?


After watching the Bud Clydesdales cavalcade around the park in St. Louis to open up three straight losses for the Nats, this was the last thing I wanted to see parked outside of the Centerfield Gate last night at Nationals Park. I don't know where the horsemen were last night, but it looks like the apocalypse is saddling up.

More on the seesaw ride from last night later. For now, here are the digits.

April 7, 2008

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
1 1 5 0 0 1 0 0 2
10 11 0
1 2 0 3 0 0 0 1 0
7 11 2


Monday, April 07, 2008

Left ≠ Shortstop


Cincinnati to Washington to ... Columbus?

Felipe Lopez took 100 steps backward. He did this - moving from short to left - so that he could get some at-bats. After watching him choke all weekend long, and in several clutch situations, it's apparent that the team went backwards with him.

Since he started patrolling left last Thursday, he's been more than just underwhelming. He's been a game swinger - in the wrong direction. He's batting 8th, just in front of the pitcher's spot. Take a look at his performance:

Thursday (vs Philly 7-8 loss in 10 innings)

1st - flies out to right

3rd - pops out to second

5th - singles to center, then picked off at second in a double play

8th - Flies out to center

9th - Flies out to left


Friday (4-5 loss)

2nd - walked to get to pitcher Perez

4th - Strikes out swinging (2nd out)

6th - Single to left

7th - Strikes out swinging (2nd out)

9th - strikes out swinging leaving 2 on to end game

Saturday (4-5 loss)

2nd - closes a 123 with a line out to center

4th - pitched around (!?!?) to get out Flores

7th single to right

9th - Lines out left for 2nd out

Sunday (0-3 loss)

2nd - grounds out leaving Kearns at 3rd

5th - strikes out swinging

8th - opens inning with ground out to 3rd

We could take a moment and look at his fielding, but why bother. He's not an outfielder. He's doing better than Soriano did when he started out there. Lastly, that's not the problem.

Felipe Lopez had a crap year with the bat in '07. Mysterious "personal problems" which have "since been resolved" were cited. Well sir, now he's got "professional problems".

If we have a hole out in left because of the DL list, then at least move him in the lineup. The guy is a buzz kill.

Lost weekend of wonkiness


Friday, April 04, 2008

Mommy make it stop


Well let me tell you something that isn't a lie now, sporto. That game 3 up in Philly, why, that one hurt, if you follow. Palpable, chief. To be up by five runs and having those boys on the run with no way clear through the infield except maybe one direct flight to the left field seats, why that'll take you to a mighty fine place there, sparky. You'll be drifting ever higher on the wings of a blimp. But once you get there, you better grab hold something in a locked and fixed position and put some couch cushions in your drawers, let me just say, because boy oh boy the drop down to where we landed in the sixth inning, why, that's longer than a bad movie when your left foot is stuck in someone else's soda spillings, my tribble. To watch eight sets of red pinstripes stroll to first base, one after another with no reprieve, well I'd rather get my arm run over, if I had my druthers. Move on, I think. Mightswell just better not to dwell and do the boot straps thing and brush the dust and what have you, cochise. Don't lets let it go to the dogs. Dang my head hurts though, but you can't dwell when the boys are already moved on to the town of Saint Louie. That last chicken may still be running around the backyard shooting blood out its neckhole, which is disquieting especially to the ladyfolk, but the fact is there's a whole new set of red roosters running around tonight. At 8:15 EST, we'll get the hatchet back out and commence to swinging, Jackson.

5 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 7 14 0
0 0 1 0 0 6 0 0 0 1 8 16 4

Roll the Ugliness


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

DC Boys Show-Defense


Game 2 of the Philly series. Cole Hamel pitching. He's hard to hit, but DC scuffed him up with six. Nonetheless, only Zimmerman made it home. Meanwhile, Philly marked up Tim Redding fairly well, despite a very respectable outing. Redding got all the way into the first pitcher of the eighth inning. The stats say he allowed only one hit, but that stat belongs to great hands and speed around the horn and a special shout-out to Kearns who let nothing go past him.

In game 1, Philly could not prevent the big inning in the 5th. Nor could they hold back the other big inning in the 9th. Tonight, they held 5 out of 6 hits in check. They might have held the 6th hit too, except the guy in the stands took too long to throw Z's ball back in and the ump noticed.

What we got here, kiddies, is a team with bona fides and depth. This is going to be a fun ride.


0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 (1 6 0)
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (0 1 1)



DC boys show-offense


There's something different about the Nats' lineup this shiny new season.
What the heck is it? Oh yeah ... they have one.

Lo Duca

Ain't that purty? Looky looky - Guzman is a real live leadoff hitter. Milledge is paying off like JimBo always said he would.

Now feast your peepers on the power plant, Zim, Johnson, and Kearns.
Whatever Zimmerman did in the off-season to transform his pop-fly swing into a homer run smack, I hope it's legal.

Follow the wiz kid with a cleanup guy with the strength of an ox and the patience of a crocodile. If Nick Johnson doesn't run them in, he'll at least get himself on.

Then there's The Quiet One. Austin Kearns doesn't do a lot of interviews. His picture doesn't make the papers. They don't show the drive train in car commercials, either. It's not as sexy as the shiny paint. All it does is make the car move.

The middle of the order will be much celebrated this year, and rightly so. As long as they stay healthy, they're going to steal a lot of sleep from NL pitchers.

The real secret to this lineup is at the bottom. This year's bottom of the lineup looks a lot like last year's middle. If you're pitching against this Nats lineup, you don't get to relax much after the meat. In 2007, late in games, Manny would turn to his bench and deploy Ryan Langerhans, D'Angelo Jimenez, and Tony Batista. That now seems like a bad dream when you consider that last night Lo Duca, Belliard, and Young tacked on 3 of tonight's 11 runs.

Don't forget, this is all happening without Willy Mo Peña and Elijah Dukes. Oh, and no closer. Those guys will likely breeze back in just as the weak spots start showing.

Last year, runs were hard to come by for the Nationals. The Lerner group would be wise to set aside some extra cash for the 2008 fireworks budget.


0 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 5 (11 12 0)
1 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 0 (6 8 2)

More numerical wonkiness


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Washinton baseball defined


bang zoom

HD scoreboard bigger than the Beatles

As of last Sunday night, Washington DC baseball has a personality all its own. As with New York or LA, there is now such a thing as typical DC fan behavior and DC traditions. These are bestowed as the direct result of the new home for baseball. The definitions will of course become richer with time. The only thing more seismic than the opening of the new park is the media hype surrounding it.

In spite of the immense hoopla poured onto THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS HOME OPENER AT THE BRAND NEW NATIONALS STADIUM (!), I remained relatively low-key in the run-up. Nevertheless, finely-tuned Ellen anticipated the coming Sunday night game with the reflexes of a fly when the swatter is raised. Sunday morning, as well as Saturday night, she announced that she would be attending church services before we went anywhere. Even though the first pitch was set for 8:15 pm, she knew I would be winding-up to shoot off to DC as early as I could. She actually seemed relieved to hear that I only wanted to leave about six hours early.

After "dumping our child" (our child's words) with her big brother and Kelly, we set out to help make history. It was to be a night of firsts and I was mentally preparing. First stop light. First dead thing in the road. Happily for Ellen, I was able to keep these firsts unspoken. We arrived at RFK Stadium to board the NATS EXPRESS shuttle to the new stadium. RFK still had the banner on the front with the DC license plate that said GO NATS!. The place looked like an old dog when a puppy is brought into the house. So long, it's been good to know ya.

The shuttle bus was surprisingly efficient, promising a ten minute trip and getting us there is twelve. In spite of the tipsy, aging sorority girls behind us, the shuttle system was quite tolerable. This came as a pleasant surprise, since it was the first time the system was being used. We were expecting Much Worse.

When we walked to the first base entrance of the new park, we found our Much Worse. Since El Presidenté was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, the Secret (Shhhh!) Service had implemented vise-grip style security. The 10,000 or so fans waiting to get in our entrance (one of four to the park) were sent through metal detectors, frisked (wooWOO!), and bag searched in much the same way TSA does at the airport. The hobbling difference was that Secret (SHHHH!) Service only had three (3) metal detectors and 5 (five) Special Agents in Charge tasked with this job. We stood in line for nearly two (2) hours, watching a few fans trickle up the steps and into the park after clearing the Secret (Shhhh!) Service security tent. Had the President's approval ratings been any lower, they probably would have just sent us all home.

. . . and they came out Star-Bellied Sneeches!

Once inside, we took no time to look at anything, except for one special sign, which made Ellen happier than a trombone player at an Omp-pah party:

The stadium is new. NEW new. Sure, it's really cool, but we both knew that there would be problems. But almost all shortcomings must be forgiven. Sure, the Italian sausage was terrible - I watched a thoroughly overwhelmed Grill Gal unwrap a dozen frozen sausages and plunk them onto the grill in one big sausage ice cube. Yes, the lines were long. Absolutely the elevators and escalators we had so anticipated were shut down by the Secret (Shhhh!) Service. This happens. We were the beta testers. This place was stiff like a new pair of Levi's. But the potential was equally apparent.

The new ballpark, Nationals Park, or whatever corporate name they eventually pin to it, feels like a place ready to contain history. In the coming decades, hundreds and even thousands of historical events will happen here. And this place, The Ballpark, is well suited for them.

When we arrived at our seats, it pains me to say, we were underwhelmed. The majesty and excitement was all around, but the seats themselves - the actual chairs - were crap. Made of blue plastic and surrounded by aluminum railing, they feel a little like sitting in a cage built by Fisher-Price. Their width was not terribly in sync with the American ass either. In fact, if one were blindfolded with their ears blocked, one could be convinced that they were sitting onboard an AirTran flight. The never-ending nasal droning of the Long Island couple behind us completed the illusion. "Ouuuuuuwwww, the new bawlpawk is soooo classy-eh!". Had we the chance to actually sit in the seats before the season, we would have been in the outfield. We may yet . . .

Nothing boxy about the press box

Just as I was working up to a full-on sulk it happened. Baseball. From out of the amazing new press suites strode Hall of Famer Don Sutton. He walked up to a microphone near home plate, wearing a designer tux.

"Now here's Little Miss Akron, singing, "You're Havin' My Baby" ...

He introduced the Atlanta Braves. Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones earned a smattering of boooooo's, but it was pro-wrestling-style booing. He introduced YOUR WASHINGTON NATIONALSSSSSSSSS and the crowd dropped into place as a part of the new park. The applause never faded. It was strongest for the two great guys who battled for the job of first basemen. Nick Johnson got the gig, but Dmitri Young has since shown no hard feelings by contributing to the big win in Philly on Monday night.

Please don't trade the Meathook. Ever.

Don Sutton then introduced the reason we were all forced to wait outside for hours, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America.

Now friends, DC's local media immediately reported a "mixed reception" for the President. The national press then parroted that, mostly. We knew they would. They reported Dick Cheney's ceremonial pitch in 2006 the same way, even though he was roundly booed. Cheney got booed, half for politics and 75% for his weak-ass pitch. Bush's pitch was very good. We watched 40,000 people pour real booing down on that guy. It was so intense and focused that it was startling. We've spent 8 years getting used to protests of any kind being pushed out of earshot and away from the cameras. To see such a consensus was a jolt. I went back later and watched the ESPN shot of the ceremonial pitch on YouTube, and I'm convinced the network dubbed in applause. The dissent was deafening.

While it was liberating to see all these normal folks showering an opinion similar to mine on him, it was also hard to watch. I thought of the 2001 World Series, when Bush marched out to the mound of Yankee Stadium. It was one month after the attacks, and he stood defiantly and threw that pitch so well. This time, he barely stopped running out to the mound before he was running back to the dugout. It was reminiscent of the end of the movie Ghost, when Carl Bruner gets killed by the giant shards of window glass and demons drag him below while Sam Wheat looks on broken heartedly but not at all surprised. Oh Carl. Oh George.

Here's my own Zapruderesque film of the President coming back to the dugout. Forget for a moment who this guy is and whatever that means to you and watch his hands.

The most important thing to him was not Manny Acta, or Zimm, or the Lerners, or anything else. It was that first-pitch baseball. I bet he values it more than anything any head of state every gave him. Kanye West had it half right; George W. Bush doesn't care about black people because George Bush doesn't care about most people. Only a sociopath could smile and wave while being so hated on. The thing is; George W. Bush cares about baseball. I might have booed as loudly as any other 10 people there, had we been anywhere else, but we were at a ballgame, and so was he. No politics allowed.

The game started, and you probably know the rest. Odalis Perez threw he first pitch for a strike - along with his second - and struck out the First Batter Ever at Nat's Park.
Cristian Guzman put his bat on the Very First Pitch from Tim Hudson, leading off with a single and later scoring the First Run Ever.

Props to Chipper Jones, who dropped a tater onto the Porch, producing the First Homerun Ever, and meanwhile drawing full attention to The Red Porch. It will surely become Washington's very own trademark, just as the Green monster belongs to Boston and that giant Coke bottle belongs to Atlanta. Original plans for the park had a giant spinning baseball atop the porch, but it was canceled due to time and money constraints. Also, someone probably remembered that this ain't Minute Maid® Park.

Sure, Chipper's hit was nice, but The Red Porch galloped into legendary status in the bottom of the ninth with two out and a 2-2 tie. That's when Ryan Zimmerman beaned one of his own up there, winning the game and the hearts and minds of DC fans of every stripe.


The Big Giant Head


0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 (2 5 1)
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 (3 4 1)

More Wonky Numbers