Thursday, July 31, 2008

Must Be Summer Break, 'Cause These Guys Got No Class


Back in December, 2007, Nationals Park was still a construction site. Almost no season ticket holder had stood anywhere near the new complex. When season tickets went on-sale, we were told by the Nats where we would be sitting, and we had to accept or reject that seating assignment - sight unseen. Nonetheless, throngs of fans were buying their season ticket packages for 2008.

On December 10, the team sent out an email proclaiming that a free, collectible, porcelain replica of the new stadium would be given to those who paid in-full for their tickets by December 15. Many people did just that. By the middle of July, lots of us were wondering if we'd ever see the promised trinket.

Finally, yesterday, the team sent out an email:

"The Washington Nationals would like to thank all of our season ticket holders who have made the 2008 season a very memorable one. To recognize your payment in full and early commitment to the inaugural season in Nationals Park, the Nationals are proud to present you with a limited-edition replica of Nationals Park.

The account holder of record may pick up the Nationals Park replica at the season ticket holder table located on the main concourse outside of the Washington Suites. Season ticket holders will receive one (1) replica per account. As the account holder of record, please bring a picture ID to this table to receive your replica."

They sent out a separate email to all season ticket holders, with similar instructions for picking up a previously promised "Nationals Yearbook".

A Nats forum buddy of mine was complaining about having to be at the park to claim the promised stadium replica, as well as the yearbook. My initial reaction was that he was just whining and looking for something on which to focus his frustrations. Then I went to the game, and attempted to claim mine.

By the third inning, the line for the yearbooks was about 50 people long. One hapless staff member was checking ID's, looking up names, and awarding yearbooks. Then there was a second line for the stadium replica. Had I stood in both lines, I might have been mercifully denied the chance to witness Tim Redding's five run fifth inning.

My friend's complaint was that the replica was promised to those who ponied-up a hella lotta cash, all at once, just before Christmas. He, like many others, splits his tickets amongst family members and friends, so the requirement that the Account Holder of the tickets be present at the ballpark is a bit of a tall order.

Those fans took a giant leap of faith back in December. The least the Nats could have done, he maintains, is drop the thing in the mail. After watching fans give up bought and paid-for innings of time to stand in a slow line, I now agree with him.

Nats320 has some pix of the stadium replica (along with his usual fine wrap-up and commentary on the game) here. It's just a stupid dust collector and catalog. It shouldn't be a big deal. But to those of us afflicted with fanhood, it kind of is a big deal.

People who stood in those lines to pick up an item that was promised to them, missed a large chunk of an event that they paid well in advance to see. Meanwhile, the event itself was disintegrating into a game lost that should have been won. The whole methodology - from the dugout, where Acta stood stoically and watched Tim Redding fall apart, to the card table stacked with cheap crap being parceled-out at an agonizingly slow pace, throws off a perception that nobody within the Nationals organization is trying very hard.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Go Figure


July 30, 2008

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

UPDATE: Tim Redding IMPLODED on the mound in the 5th inning. Phillies get 5 runs in. Warp factor Ugly.

We just watched the Amazing Willie Harris ding a home run tater on the
first pitch of the first inning. Then Kearns doubles. Then Flores
THEN, Belliard doubles and LoDuca flies out weak to center.
That's more runs than their last ten games, combined.

Sent from 218


Felipe Lopez ... Still a National

Who Uses a Word Like "Trollop"?


Yes, yes ... The team from DC has lost and lost and is lost. Yes, yes ... That Ballister guy looks like a promising pitcher. We can talk about it after the staff and management return from tonight's DC/Philly game 2. Meanwhile, watch political satire.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain and Obama in Berlin Today


We get it; Obama is in Germany to give the not-so-subtle hint that he is the next JFK. Can't fault him for that. The guy's trying to win an election and, ever since Kennedy vs Nixon, campaigns have been about the images. But oh my, who told John McCain to assume the Nixon role to Obama's Kennedy?

Barack Obama today in Berlin, Germany. That ain't the liberal media
fawning over him. That appears to be most of Germany.

John McCain today in (fer chrissake) Little Berlin, Columbus, Ohio,
at Schmidt's Restaurant and Banquet Haus in Columbus, Ohio.
That's right ... McCain's campaign deliberately put him in The Schmidt Haus.

Ja können wir ... von kleinen würsten


Felipe Lopez is STILL a National

The Dark Night. EPIC.


As alluded to previously, the staff and management of TNP attended a showing of the new Batman thing at the Imax theatre inside the new Smithsonian Air and Space Museum building in Chantilly, VA. If you've never been to an Imax theatre, it's astounding. Everything is bigger, from the screen, to the sound, to the ticket price. The movie was a blast.

Christian Bale brings juuuust enought American Psycho to the part to make Batman (and Bruce Wayne) interesting again.

Why so serious, sad-faced cartoon turtle?

Maggie Gyllenhaal is the gal everybody wants. For some reason.

And Heath Ledger ... well my goodness. He burned the whole world to the ground.

Boneless Monkey told us it was the first movie he's seen in a long time that he'd like to see again. Agreed. Let's go now.

Just sayin' is all ....


Nas is a Hero


Nas has the #1 album in America, was on The Colbert Report, and AT Fox News. All in one week. Here he is, calling out Bill O'Reilly:

For the record, tough guy O'Reilly didn't answer the call.

Nas doing what he do when he do what he do:

Hero ... from the album, "Untitled"


Felipe Lopez Is Still a National

So Long, Jon Rauch


Straight traded for an untested 2nd base prospect?
Not even a "... and a player to be named later"?

This may be an academic question, but what do we do if DC somehow arrives at the 9th inning with a bigger number in the runs column than the other team? At the risk of seeming talmudic, it could happen. Maybe Bowden figures we will never need a closer again. Maybe Paul LoDuca can be a closer in addition to his duties as catcher, first baseman, and left fielder.

We're more than happy to see Emilio Bonifacio (Spanish for "Emulsive Pretty Face") on the scene. That puts Felipe Lopez's (Spanish for "chokes in the clutch") job in play, which is the only thing he's put into play for quite some time. Is he gone yet? No? What's the holdup? I hear the Winchester Royals could use a 2nd baseman who can't hit. If he joined the Valley League, Felipe's wife could live in the same area code as her mom.

This guy Bonafacio is a RFF runner. Why send him to Columbus? The guy's 23 years old and DC sucks. It's pretty simple; dump Lopez, put in Bonifacio, and back him up with Belliard from the bench. Is Lopez gone yet? Southwest has a direct Phoenix-to-SFO flight. Emilio could get there before today's 3:45 start. Jet Blue flies direct to Dulles - a 45 minute car ride to Bridgeforth Stadium. Sure, that plane leaves from Oakland, but Felipe could jump the shuttle from The City and head for the hood. His mass o' tats should buy enough skreet cred to get him past the Crips near McAfee Stadium. One note: Avoid wearing the red W hat.

Meanwhile, Chad Cordero, still in an anesthesia haze from shoulder surgery, was none-to-pleased to hear through the grapevine that he's looking at either a massive pay cut or a job somewhere else next year. If he read TNP, at least he'd have been braced for it. GM Bowden emailed, saying, "We hope that Chad Cordero re-signs with us, but based on his surgery, our interest would be a low base salary with incentives." What an asshole move. Hey Bowden, that Blackberry has a phone on it. Maybe you could have given your player a call first, dickhead. Maybe Jim Bowden will throw him a bone when he takes the assistant (to the) manager job in the Mexican League after the Lerners fire him in November.

save you the trouble.

Felipe Lopez Is Still a National

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008



The All Star break drags on through today and most of tomorrow for those of us who demand to be entertained. It's an astounding misnomer anyway, "All Star Break". It should be "Loser Break While the Talented Ones Plod On". Not to worry, though. We play Atlanta this weekend, and it's always a pleasure to have our ragtag band of Triple A guys beat the once mighty Braves. Meantime, we got a new site featuring old friends to keep us distracted from the fact that we're all going to fall off this mortal coil.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When Steve Vai Comes Before Les Paul, How You Gonna Get Chuck Berry?


Stop motion video is a blast to produce. John has been fiddling with it here for a while. But then along comes PES and they go and drop something like this:

Stop Motion Spaghetti Cooking - Watch more free videos

It's too good, and the rest of us ought to just stick to drawing flip cartoons on Post-It pads.


Do We Care About The All Star Game?


We do not care about the All Star game tonight.

We do, however, applaud the sense of humor in Toronto. Blue Jays fans on Sunday did their part to make sure that the only thing A-Rod was hitting was an aging pop star with arms that look like a topo map of the Amazon river basin.

Alex went 1 for 4 with no runs in a 4-1 loss to Toronto.

Meanwhile, in the big Home Run Derby, recovering heroin addict Josh Hamilton DID NOT WIN. Some guy with the Minnesota team did. ESPN and most of the sports writing herd all led with the Hamilton angle, because he dinged 28 in a row outta the park, and he used to inject performance-detracting poisons into his glove arm.

Who cares, right? Why so bitter? It's a swell story - and we all know the plot so it's easy to read and easier to write. Spectacle is cool. Home runs are pure spectacle. As an added bonus, there's always a possibility that this guy might fall off the wagon, giving ESPN something to exploit in the off season. There's just that one hanging strand of a loose end: Josh Hamilton did not win the contest. That boring as Wednesday night church service guy Justin Morneau did. All he did was win - a bad habit of his. Here's why nobody cares about Morneau:

1) He plays for the Twins
2) His last name is rife with pronunciation hazards
3) He failed to be a heroin addict before becoming a great ball player
4) He's not throwing the stones to Madonna
5) He plays for the Twins

The whole All Star thing is slightly more engaging than the a pre-flight safety briefing, and the Home Run Derby is not quite as interesting as a director's commentary track on a porn flick. So it's understandable why writers are flocking to the Hamilton storyline. He was a disaster of a human being who managed to turn his life around, and that's great. Isn't it? Sports writers love a party, especially when fatted calf is on the buffet. It's an easy paycheck because the story writes itself. Clapping in time to an Outkast tune is more challenging than following this tired plot line.

Here's a word of advice for Morneau. Next time you get cheated by the press, don't be so damn graceful about it. Don't point out in the press conference that "the real story of the night is Hamilton". You're never going to make Yankees money that way. No. Next time, walk up to Jayson Stark, forearm punch him across the bridge of the nose, then bang his old lady on the dugout roof. That's how you get ink. Make a little noise! Fall so far, then become the "uplifting story". If you don't do it, you're just going to end up as a rock solid ball player with a stable home life, money in the bank, and a quiet peaceful death 75 years from now.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Thanks Flapscrap! Where Did the Time Go?


Thanks for your engaging, instructional, and thought-provoking posts.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Political News


"Cindy ... I am your father."



Thursday, July 03, 2008

Left It All To The Dog


We're Audi.

Hello my bitches. The staff and management of TNP have to ... go away ... for a little while. Without going into too awful much detail, let's just say that 3rd base coach Tim Tolman has a big old Moonpie in the sense of humor department. His lawyer's a bit of a hump, too ... IN OUR OPINION, WHICH IS OUR RIGHT TO HAVE.

Rest yon weary heads and worry thee not. For we have procured one of the finest blog afficianado ... uhh ..officianado ... hmmm ... aficianato ... afishyanato ... SCREW YOU, SPELLCHECK ... one of the best blog guys the world has ever known to be TNP Guest Editor in our absence.

Lady and Gentleman, please give a warm welcome to the angry and talented Flapscrap. YEA!

It'll be fine!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cordero Is Done


"Yeah! 18 months of daytime TV!"

The Washington Nationals front office has announced that Chad Cordero will be on the disabled list for the remainder of the season. What they don't say, but know to be true, is that Cordero will also be out throughout most or all of the 2009 season.

Cordero has a torn labrum, and a doc in California will decide today whether or not surgery is required. Either way, this is a career-ender for a guy who throws a ball overhand at high velocity for a single inning.

... it's not just a popular teen hangout.

You see, kids, the human shoulder is a ball-in-socket joint, much like the hip joint. Picture a joint on the head of a tripod. Can't picture that? OK ... I'll do it for you.

The primary difference is that the shoulder socket is much more shallow than the hip. This shallowness allows the shoulder joint to be the most flexible joint in the body. The labrum is a cuff of cartilage that goes around the socket to help hold the ball part of the joint in place. If the labrum is "torn", the ball rattles around in the socket, and it hurts worse than, say, congress's betrayal of the American people with the passage of the new FISA bill.

The labrum can be repaired surgically, but it can only be made "like new", not "good as new". The scar tissue left from the repair will slow down the fluid motion of the ball in the joint. For us regular folk, that's a perfectly acceptable trade off. You'll be able to reach for that can of soup on the top shelf, but you won't be able to throw a 98 mph fastball. Heck, let's all get labrum surgery. We want our soup.

Pitching coach Randy St. Clair tipped his hand, saying recently, "It's very difficult getting through all that rehab. It's a lot of work, a lot of time and usually not a lot to look forward to." He then casually estimated a 12- to 18-month recovery period.

If Chad misses all of next season, which his own coach says is probable, he'll come back a slower pitching, 28 year old who hasn't been on the mound for two years. Maybe he'll pitch in middle relief for the rest of his career. That shoulder won't ever get a ball moving faster than 90 mph again.

You can relax,
for I am here.

Thankfully, we got a couple things going for us. We got Lil' Jon Rauch. Last night's blown save aside, Rauch is a reliable closer. Secondly, with most of the team's heavy hitters on the DL, we ain't need no closer much anyways.

The truly bad news is one of timing. Chad Cordero has, for years now, been Jim Bowman's favorite bait when he's fishing for trade. Unfortunately, Bowden has never been able to set the hook and drag in any kind of catch. Now his bait has gone spoiled, and there is zero chance anything will be biting. As the July trade deadline looms, the Nats have precious little to offer from the majors:

Paul LoDuca

Wily Mo Peña

Felipe Lopez
"That's OK, son. Don't worry about that. You're fired."

If Lopez were to go, there are a few things we'd all miss, but not so much all the choking with RISP.

Felipe's inky life. Felipe's kinky wife.

You could throw Ronnie Beliard on that sorry list, but that would mean that the pitcher alone would have to defend everything up the middle. That leaves prospects as the other possibility for trading. Everybody else trade-able is wounded (I'm looking square at you, Kearns). The front office say they don't intend to trade prospects. Watch closely to see how they lie. The organization, having cut everybody with a fat paycheck over the past couple of years, is swimming in cash. They don't want to buy players, though. They're saving that money for - well, themselves. There is some ugly, dirty work to be done in the near future, and not a whole lot of able bodies around to shoulder the burden.