Showing posts with label All-Star Game. Show all posts
Showing posts with label All-Star Game. Show all posts

July 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us!

Turns out we're not dead, just extremely lethargic. Plus, a competently run winning organization just doesn't pique our morbid fascination the way the old Trader Jim/Sideshow Stan carnival used to do. Still, never let it be said that we won't bestir ourselves for a little self-congratulatory back-patting.

Nats Triple Play premiered this very day in 2005, and honestly it sorta marked the tail-end of that inaugural team's magical run. So... yeah... let's not talk about that. Here's to hoping this year's second half is considerably less anti-climactic. No promises that we're going to be particularly more active, but be assured that we are watching, and waiting with bated breath to see who gets to be the 2012 version of Preston Wilson and Junior Spivey. (My money was on Marlon Byrd and Orlando Hudson, so I'm out of the betting pool.)

So, once again, happy birthday to us, and happy all star break to the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.

July 7, 2011

Michael Morse, Suicide King

For goodness sake, VOTE FOR MORSE!

June 18, 2010

Hey Now, You're An All Star... Voter

Nationals fans can be forgiven for thinking that MLB All-Stars are token players chosen to round out the roster and ensure that every team has representation. That's the kind of mindset that comes from having luminaries like Dmitri Young (2007) and Cristian Guzman (2008) represent Washington, DC in the mid-summer classic. Last year, Ryan Zimmerman (winner of the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, perhaps you've heard of him?) only made it on as a reserve. So yeah, voting for the MLB All-Star Game is not especially merit-based.

In any other town this might be a problem, but this is Washington, DC. No city in the world boasts more collective knowledge about voter manipulation, log-rolling and bloc voting. The 2010 Nationals have at least two guys who are legitimately worthy of starting for the National League All-Star team, but there's just no way Zimmerman and Josh Willingham both make the cut. It's time to unite behind Ryan and start cutting some deals. If you need some number to back that up, they're all here.

Here's the current breakdown of NL All-Star candidates, by position. The first thing you'll notice is that the RZA isn't even in the Top 5 at third base. This is frankly embarrassing and an indictment of Nationals fans. So before you finishing reading this post, before you do anything else:

GO VOTE. Vote 25 times. Don't worry, it's kosher. The All-Star Game is a Chicago-style election campaign. Vote early, vote often vote Nats.

Once that's done it should put Ryan in the Top 5. If we can't find 23,000 people in DC who think that Zimmerman is the best third baseman in the National League, it's time to pack up the tent and go home. After that it's time to start horse-trading.

First, the low-hanging fruit; fans of American League teams. They get 25 votes for the NL All-Stars just like you get 25 votes for the AL team. Promise them anything. The Yankees fan on your softball team wants to see an all-New Yawk lineup? In exchange for 25 votes for Zimm you'll hold your nose and pull the lever for Posada over Mauer. The Angels fan who's trying to mount a Kendry Morales sympathy vote? Hey, nobody backs lost causes like a Nats fan. Don't be greedy. It's tempting to try to score some votes for Willingham, Adam Dunn, maybe even Pudge Rodriguez, but stay focused. Also, trust but verify. You're going to want to see those votes.

The next step is trickier. We're talking vote-swapping with our National League rivals. The key here is swapping votes wisely. For example, I love Ian Desmond, but he's no All-Star. So here's an open offer to all the Marlins fans out there. You vote Zimmerman, I vote Hanley Ramirez and keep Jimmy Rollins out of the top spot. It's a win-win. Likewise, Dodgers fans, I can totally get behind Andre Ethier, especially if it keeps Jayson Werth out of the top three.

I think you see how the game is played. Now go forth and barter. Zimmerman 2010!

Remember to do your part: VOTE NOW.

May 27, 2009

Revenge of Teh 'Roids

Frankly, my honest reaction to this tidbit is: "I hope he sold to Jaromir Jagr."

Beyond that, we already knew that certain Nats had been implicated in PED use by the Mitchell Report and other sources. Since they weren't all buying from Radomski, it stands to reason there had to be somebody else. Probably multiple somebodies. If this stellar human being turns out to be one of those people, ok then. Wake me up if someone who is A) still a Nat, and B) not terrible, is implicated.

On the other hand, if Nook Logan, in addition to being the poster child for all-glove, no-bat comically bad baserunners, turns out to be the PED-purchasing Nat in question, well then I'm just done with him.

Speaking of enhanced performances, (Like the smooth transition?) click thru here to vote Zimm onto the All-Star team. You can safely ignore last night. Everyone knows that ¡Livan! is Ryan's kryptonite.

July 16, 2008

All-Star Thoughts

I spent most of my Tuesday night and some of my Wednesday morning watching the All-Star game. The plan was I would tivo the first hour of the game and them watch from the beginning so I could skip all the commercials. By about 1:00am I had burned through all my buffer and I was watching real time. Here are some of my thoughts:

  • First off, I had quite a few personal rooting interests in this game. I play fantasy baseball with Dave and Nate and this year I have a whopping NINE all-stars on my team. It would have been ten if I had held on to Joe Crede. Despite all that talent, I'm in 9th place in a 10 team league at the break. This leads me to Uggla, my starting second baseman.

  • Uggla just looked lost out there. He's the only all-star to ever record three errors in the midsummer classic, two of them to start the tenth inning. To be fair that third error really wasn't his fault. The ball took a very wicked hop and he kept it in front of him. I've heard of golfers getting a case of the yips but I've never seen it happen to a ball-player before. I really hope this doesn't put him in the tank for the second half of the season.

  • Despite Uggla's troubles, there was some spectacular defense in this game. When the AL loaded the bases in the tenth with nobody out the NL, specifically Rockies' pitcher Aaron Cook, managed to get not one but two infield grounders to get the force out at home. Major props to our own Cristian Guzman for one of those outs. Gooz was playing out of position at 3rd base for the first time in his major league career. Also some love for Miguel Tejada who made a great scoop and throw to first to get the final out to end the tenth. Nate McLouth's outfield assist in the 11th was another defensive gem.

  • I love that both coaches had to empty their benches. I always get a little extra thrill when the guys from my team get in the game and seeing as this is supposed to be for the fans I think everyone should play. The fact that they used every pitcher was even better. Part of me wanted to go to sleep but another part of me wanted to see Evan Longoria come out to pitch the 16th.

  • Finally, I think the winning league/home field advantage in the World Series result has to be scrapped. It was a nice idea to try and get some impact behind the All-Star Game but it failed miserably. Home field advantage should go to the team with the best record, period. What is arguably the biggest advantage in sports should not be decided by the running ability of the third string catcher in the bottom of the 15th inning.

  • July 7, 2008

    Dennis Franz: Calvin Klein model

    VINDICATION! I couldn't be any happier for me Cristian! It's been a long, loooong 4 years, but my steadfast faith in the undeniable power of GUZMANIA! has been richly rewarded. Yes, SS Cristian Guzman is the 2008 All-Star representative of the worst team in major league baseball. I may plotz.

    Tip o' the cap to Basil's comment for the title and the graphic.

    July 2, 2008

    Tonight's the Night!

    No, not like that. (Not like that, either.) But tonight IS the last night you can vote to get Cristian Guzman on to the 2008 NL All-Star Team!

    Sure, he's not having a powerhouse offensive season like Hanley Ramirez. And he hasn't rebounded from scandal like Miguel Tejada. And he's not a "good defensive shortstop" as that phrase is commonly understood. But darn it all, somebody's got to represent the Nationals at the All-Star Game.

    So it's either Guzie or Jon Rauch. Folks, I've been to Yankee Stadium and I'm here to tell you: Big Jon simply will not fit in Yankee Stadium. That ballpark is a relic of a simpler time, when Americans were smaller and folks of Rauch's stature were mocked as circus freaks until they snapped, rampaged through whatever hick town the carnival happened to be passing through, and were ultimately put down by the local authorities. Come on, you've seen King Kong (the good one, not the Jack Black version.) You know Jon Rauch on the loose in New York City can only end badly. Do you want Jesus Colome closing out games in the second half of the season? Do you?

    Guzman in '08: If You Were on the All-Star Ballot, He'd Vote For You!

    Image from Getty Images

    July 10, 2007

    The Grim Reaper has Bleacher Seats

    So I watched the Home Run Derby last night and it looked like a beautiful day out in San Francisco. The sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. That's great if you're a tourist walking the streets but I swear it was going to mean the death of some of the kids in the outfield.

    Every year at the Derby the outfield is crowded with young kids who catch the fly balls that don't make it out of the park. I figure they're the kids of team executives, players, coaches, or whichever big wigs have that kind of access. It's always funny to see forty kids all try to pick up the same ground ball. That wasn't the case yesterday.

    The sun was beaming down so brightly that the kids couldn't follow the ball. And because AT&T park has that deep right center field there were a lot of moon shots that didn't make it over the fence. These kids are staring blindly up into space while hundred mile-per-hour meteorites are dropping out of the sky. At one point a ball missed someone's little girl by about two feet. MLB and the national disgrace are damn lucky nobody got hurt yesterday. Even the announcers mentioned it.

    I can hear Chris Berman now ". . . and the ball goes back, back, back, back and oh no that ball just flattened little Timmy!"