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March 2005 Archives

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March 31

Matt Bruce ponders the popularity of Eagles - Their Greatest Hits.

As someone who was there, I can say that Eagles were always a safe choice. Never my favorite group and never a favorite of anyone I was close friends with.

My favorites Eagles songs were One of These Nights and Hotel California. In those more innocent days, lyrics were much less explicit, but there was plenty of gray area to leave to your imagination, The second half of the second verse was in the heart of male adolescent fantasies. In the full version, as opposed to the standard Top 40 airplay version, Henley went into a full lagniappe falsetto rant.

"Hotel California" was of a trio of what I called "California Reggae". The first was Steely Dan's Haitian Divorce which came first and is probably still my favorite Steely Dan song. Next was Give One Heart by Linda Ronstadt. I wrote a song parody about my high school to the tune of "Hotel California" that still comes to mind when I hear the original. I could write the lyrics out for you, but it would mean almost nothing to you since you had to be there.

Yeah, I know California Reggae is not real reggae. Back when I cared about music, I got a lot of heat for liking the polished Nashville country sound over the more "authentic" Bluegrass. But Elvis was black folks' blues for a white audience. No Doubt is ska sanitized for white kids. There are a lot of pop artists who made their fortunes by making ethnic music safe for suburbs.

Big 100 advertises its lineup of 60s and 70s tunes with Take It Easy, Doctor My Eyes and Long Cool Woman, all from 1972. These are the only songs on the commercial from the 70s as if 1972 alone can stylistically encapsulate the 70s.


Via the OOTP Board, it's BALCO Van Pelt!


Today's Nats Birthdays: Bill Denehy and Ed Johnson. In a typically brilliant deal by the expansion Senators, the Mets traded $100,000 and Denehy to Washington for Gil Hodges. He faced only 13 batters for the Senators. Johnson played four games at outfield for the Nats in the last week of 1920.

March 30

From Dave Sheinin:

Because MLB's 2005 composite schedule was completed well in advance of the Montreal Expos' relocation to Washington -- and because reconfiguring the schedule would have required an act of algorithmic computation that surely would have fried the world's most powerful computer -- the Orioles and Nationals will not play each other in 2005. Or perhaps it was because MLB has a woeful lack of marketing foresight.

I'd say the latter. Here are the games in question:

May 20-22 - Philadelphia at Baltimore. Washington at Toronto.
June 24-26 - Baltimore at Atlanta. Toronto at Washington.

Simply change them to:

May 20-22 - Washington at Baltimore. Philadelphia at Toronto.
June 24-26 - Toronto at Atlanta. Baltimore at Washington.

Q.E.D.


The Official Diamond Mind projection is 79-83 with a 5% playoff chance.


This line from Nationals Inquirer really needs an illustration:

I swear, the Seligulans running MLB is roughly equivalent to Paris Hilton running NASA.

Paris Hilton and the Sun

"The sun? That's hot."


And in the Endy, the walks you take, are equal to the walks you make.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Dave Baldwin and Bert Griffith. Baldwin saved 12 games for the Senators in 1967. He earned a Ph.D. in genetics and served as artist-in-residence at Manhattanville College. Griffith played six games pinch hitting and playing the outfield for the Nats in the first half of the 1924 season.


Barker can give you the lowdown on his Jeopardy appearance. I could nitpick his decisions, but I made the same Daily Double wagering mistake in the game I lost. Great to see you, Craig!


Watched the Water Rats episode "All at Sea". While Frank is on assignment with the FBI in Hawaii, Rachel gets a temporary partner named Tom Clancy. Previously in surveillance, "Chubb" is rusty with his detective skills, but he knows how to keep alert on a stakeout and how to sweet-talk an interrogation.

A prominent businessman is found floating in the harbor. He was knocked unconscious, then tossed in the water while still alive and drowned. The son of an employee the victim laid off admits to assault, but he left him there alive. The dumping was performed by the wife and her lover.

The wife was played by Claudia Black who looked much more conventional here, as opposed to the unlikely sci-fi babe she plays in Farscape. Although, they never appear together on screen, this is a pre-Farscape collaboration of Claudia with Raelee Hill.

March 29

Nationals' Armas Put on Disabled List. This is a tough break, but not a fatal one. If Hernandez, Loiaza or Ohka also get injured at the same time, then the Nats are in serious trouble. The injury to Castilla won't hurt nearly as much.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Bill Dietrich, Alex McColl, Denny McLain and Frank Oberlin. Dietrich wore glasses and pitched for the Nats between July 1 and July 20, 1936. In 1937, he threw a no-hitter for the White Sox against the Browns. After a long minor league career, "Red" McColl came up to the 1933 Nats at the age of 39 and pitched one game in the World Series against the Giants. He ended his career the following year after pitching 42 games, most of them in relief. The sad saga of Denny McLain is well-known - the 31-win season, the suspensions for gambling associations, no longer pitching at age 28 and the post-career drug convictions. Rumors say some of his injuries may have been inflicted by mobsters he owed gambling debts to. "Flossie" Oberlin pitched for the Nats from 1907-1910.

March 28

Watched the CSI: NY episode "Til Death Do We Part". At a fancy wedding, the release of doves just results in two dead doves. The bride appears to faint, but she's dead.

At first there appears to be a link between the poisons which killed the birds and the bride. However, the doves died from cleaning products and the bride from formaldehyde. The woman who thought up the dove idea confessed to killing the birds because her bosses stole the idea and the credit. The formaldehyde from the wedding gown came from embalming chemicals, which means it was taken off a dead body. A mortician confesses to stealing clothes from the coffin, cleaning them, and selling them in cash to upscale resale outlets. Since the formaldehyde never came off, he really didn't do a good cleaning job.

In a haunted Staten Island monastery, an ex-con is found dead, having just gnawed his hand off, trying to free himself from being shackled to the wall. At first the son of the of the man the ex-con killed in barroom brawl confesses to the murder. However, he stole an SUV and a gun with intent of killing the guy, but he lost his nerve and the ex-con walked off with the gun and the SUV. The guy was actually killed by the partner of a prisoner the ex-con had angered.


Went on to the CSI episode "King Baby". A major casino owner is founded dead from a fall. Investigation reveals he liked dressing up as a baby, right down to the diapers and actually soiling them. The wife saw him on the ground, but hesistated to call 911. It was unlikely he would have survived. He had a nursemaid, whose baby he secretly adopted out. The nursemaid gave him LSD and encouraged him to fly off the balcony.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Joe Krakauskas, Walt Masters and Garland Shifflett. Krakauskas was a Montreal native who held Lou Gehrig hitless in the Iron Horse's last game, April 30, 1939 against the Nats. Masters attended the University of Pennsylvania and pitched 3 games for the Nats in 1931. He went to pitch one game for the Phillies in 1937 and 4 games for the Athletics in 1939. "Duck" Shifflett pitched 6 games for the Senators in 1957. He resurfaced in the majors for Minnesota in 1964.

March 27

Today's Nats Birthdays: Johnny Gill and Steve Sundra. Gill played mostly rightfield in 1931 and 1934 for the Nats and later managed in the Kitty League. Sundra pitched for the 1939 Yankees, considered one of the greatest teams in history, but two years later, he was toiling for the Nats.


Miranda and I went out on the front porch with our various bubble-making implements. She used the traditional wand, I waved a large Disney circle ripoff of Monster Bubbles. We also had mechanical supplementation from a very nice Gazillion Bubbles device. It worked much better than Big Bubba, whose only redeeming feature was a mascot that looked like the Sta-Puf marshmallow man in overalls. Miranda engaged in "Bubble Fu" which is some martial arts style method of bursting and popping bubbles.

Went to one grandparent in the afternoon for Easter. Went to the other set of grandparents for dinner.

March 26

Miranda had two friends over last night. They watched the SpongeBob Squarepants Movie.


Meanwhile, Whitlock and I watched the MI-5 episode "Persephone". Zoe is on trial for involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of two men, one of which was an undercover London police officer, and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of a Turkish crime boss. Under trial as Officer X, the gangland lieutenant who actually committed the murders says he incited her to kill his boss to prove his manhood. On the stand, Zoe says she did no such thing and the killing was a paranoid, cocaine-induced act of rage.

Only Zoe, Adam and Harry know that they were after the Turkish don, not just for drugs and gun-running, but for possible connections to Al-Queda. When Zoe accompanies the boss to Frankfurt, she learns of his reckless disregard for human life. On her own, but with later approval from Harry, she decides the gang leader should die.

Harry had expected only a slap on the wrist, i.e., probation, but the jury returns ten years. MI-5 prepares an escape for her to Chile, which Zoe eventually takes.


Moved on to the Water Rats episode "Dead or Alive". Frank and Rachel are still in Melbourne on the trail of who killed a woman in Sydney. The last episode closed with the woman's sister dead, presumably from Gary, the muscle for a local crime boss.

Gary admits to being the father of the dead Sydney woman's boy. As the media spotlight heats up, they can finally arrest him when a witness in Sydney can identify Gary and his son. Frank and Gary have a confrontation in a basement and a gun found there is linked to the sister's death.

In the B-plot, a reporter hangs around Tayler and doesn't get much of a story except for a trespassing couple who have sex on a yacht that's not theirs. What's published eventually turns into a gossip column that gets the loose-tongued Gavin into trouble with Jeff.


Finished off with the CSI: Miami episode "Identity". A woman is found dead, covered with a slimy substance. That substance was gastric juice from a constrictor that killed, then tried to eat her. The snake regurgitated her because it had suffered an overdose from muling drugs and the snake is soon found dead.

The drug smuggling operation was run by Clavio Cruz, who earlier got away with the hit-and-run death of a model due to diplomatic immunity. His general father continues to protect him until a DNA test reveals that Clavio is not his son.

In the B-plot, there's a case of identity theft where we don't know who the real woman is. When we find out, she has to be let go because non-violent crime is not a priority. The real woman unsuccessfully frames the identity thief for her ex-husband's murder.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Frank Brower, Gene DeMontreville, Charles Moran and Bill Zuber. Brower hit into the unassisted triple play executed by George Burns in 1923. He was an outfielder-first baseman for the 1920-1923 Nats. Not the greatest fielder, DeMontreville finished his career with 439 errors and 497 RBIs playing mostly second and short. He also played for the 19th century National League Senators. An infielder for the Nats in 1903 and 1904, he later became an umpire. "Goober" Zuber was a 4-F who pitched mostly in relief for the Nats in 1941 and 1942.

March 25

Matt Bruce asks a question about Miss Manners. I saw Miss Manners in the lobby of the Kennedy Center as she was going to see the opera. Too bad facilities like the Kennedy Center don't have a Retrosheet to figure out exactly when you saw a performance. As best as I can remember, Whitlock and I were going to see the stage version of A Few Good Men. Tom Hulce was Kaffee, the Tom Cruise role and Megan Gallagher played Gallaway, whom Demi Moore portrayed in the movie. Aaron Sorkin was also in attendance, but only because we heard somebody say,"Hey, Aaron." Sorkin looked uncomfortable in his suit as he talked to two men and a woman pushing 30 but dressed more casually.


Haven't seen this mentioned much in discussion of the DUI arrest of Baltimore pitcher Eric DuBose:

When instructed to recite the alphabet, DuBose allegedly said, "I'm from Alabama, and they have a different alphabet."


Via Distinguished Senators, Baseball Crank has the NL East finishing 1-Fish, 2-Phils, 3-Nats, 4-Mets, 5- U2. I'm willing to allow this is the year the Braves don't win the division, but behind the Nats? I don't think so.


In the lead-up to Opening Day, MLB is showing "I Live for This" commercials featuring fans. So far I've seen the Red Sox, Cardinals, Astros and the Los Angeles/Anaheim MetroAngels of the Mind of God. Where are the Nats fans?

I was ten years old when the Senators left for Texas.
File footage of fans pouring on the field in the last game.
I cried for a week.
Stock footage of crying boy.
I've been 33 years without a home team.
Montage of stars in the interim from the Big Red Machine to the Red Sox celebration last year.
Now I can take my kids to a game to root for our team.
Nats in Florida and at the ESPNZone.
What's the National Pastime without the Nation's Capital?
FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Dubya, throwing out the first pitch.
I live for this.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Woodie Held, Alan Koch, Dutch Leonard and Clyde Milan. Possibly the greatest major leaguer to come out of Wyoming, Woodie held down the utility spot for the Senators in 1965 as the Mark McLemore-Lenny Harris of his day. Koch was a former Auburn Tiger who went 3-10 for the Senators in 1964 as a swing man. The Dutch Leonard was the second Dutch Leonard who was among the knucleball rotation of the 1944 Nats. Pronounced like Matt, the Detroit Lions GM, rather the Northern Italian city, "Deerfoot" Milan patrolled centerfield at Griffith Stadium for 16 seasons. He led the American League in stolen bases in 1912 and 1913 and managed the Nats in 1922.

March 24

Wanted to expand on Basil's straw smackdown of Dejan Kovacevic. To many mainstream sports journalists, the axis of evil consists of rotogeeks, sportstalk radio and blogs. All three arise in alienation from the sports and media establishment.

If the GM of your favorite team is moron, why not take pleasure in your superiority with a fantasy team? If you don't have a home team at all, that's even more reason to assemble a rotisserie league team of your very own.

If your favorite team's management is incompetent, you still have to vent which is where sportstalk radio comes in and more recently, blogs. We can't all get press credentials and talk to players, coaches and front office people, but we can churn out stats on our computer.

Not that mainstream journalists don't provide a useful service or get some real important reporting done like Barry Svrluga's recent conversation with Jose Rijo on Jose Guillen. Today's catchphrase is "a passion for the subject matter" and that certainly informs my favorite writers like Tom Boswell and Bill Conlin. Conlin is the poster child for anti-stathead neanderthalism, but sometimes he turns a phrase, usually involving weight, that you can't help but love.

Peter Gammons certainly has a passion for baseball, but his schtick is knowing all the baseball insiders. Conversely the insiders know this as well and purposely leak to him preposterous rumors and scenarios. Tony Kornheiser has a passion for Tony Kornheiser. Especially seeing the success of TK, who purports to no special inside knowledge or contacts, it's no wonder bloggers believe they can do that, too.

Part of the backlash from mainstream sports media is also that the writers themselves were probably bad at math. Although there are exceptions, Boswell among them, that's why they went into journalism. It becomes junior high all over again. From the protective aura of the jocks, the sports writers can insult the geeks at will.

Last night Harold Reynolds and John Kruk were asked to name their sleeper teams in the National League this year. They offered Arizona and Pittsburgh. Puh-leese. Barring injury, the Diamondbacks and Pirates won't even come near the Nats record this year, much less contend for the wild card.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Gus Dugas, Kip Selbach and George Sisler. Dugas was a member of the 1940 Nashville Vols that went 101-47. Like the current Nats, he originated in Quebec before coming to Washington. Gus ended his Nats career by being dealt to Montreal. Selbach played with the National League Nats from 1894-1898 and with the American League Senators in 1903 and 1904. Sisler was brought back to light last year when Ichiro broke his single season hits record. At age 34, the Nats bought him from the Browns, but sold him to the Braves after less than two months of play.


Watched the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic". Jay Acavone plays Ray Galardi, someone who wants to build a strip mall over the objections of environmental activist Steve Marriott. During negotiations at the construction site, Galardi kills Marriott with a pipe, then stuffs him in his Volkswagen, which is driven into the back of a dump truck.

Monk is accompanying Natalie and her daughter Julie home from a field hockey tournament. Galardi, in his truck, passes the trio and further down the road, dumps Marriott's Volkswagen onto the road. No one sees the dump, but the vehicle causes a chain reaction.

Monk happens onto the accident scene and soon figures out it wasn't a simple single vehicle fatality. Galardi kills a paramedic in order to steal the uniform and get his cellphone back which he accidentally left in Marriott's car. Over the course of the episode, Korn makes an appearance and Natalie hangs on for dear life from the bed of the dump truck.

March 23

Michael Cassutt has added himself to the three other people (Diane Warren, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga) who actually like the Enterprise theme song.

Surgery leaves frustrated Bonds at 'square one'. I'm glad the Nats got Arizona in April and San Francisco in September rather than the other way around. This way, there's a good chance of seeing Mr. Bonds come to Washington. In hindsight, making the Diamondbacks the home opener opponent was a no-brainer since the fans would flock regardless.

There's a bit of disappointment, if this is the close of Bonds' career, that it ends with a whimper, not with a blaze of vile-spewing glory. There's nothing new about the womanizer hiding behind the children at the press conference. In the valedictories and condemnations, will anyone remember that his insane OBP was pumped up by pathologically frightened managers despite logic to the contrary? One could argue whether Barry Bonds is a worse human being than Babe Ruth. I'd say he's better than Ty Cobb and A.J. Pierzynski.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Sam Bowens, Gavvy Cravath, Bruce Howard, Jim Lemon and Danny Moeller. Bowens was among the last of the Negro Leaguers, playing for the Nashville Giants before five seasons with the Orioles and two for the Senators in the 1960s. Born Clifford Carlton, Cravath supposedly got his nickname from "Gabbiano," Italian for seagull. Gavvy has the reputation as the greatest home run hitter before Babe Ruth. Howard played for both the Orioles and the Senators in 1969. For the last spot on the 1963 Chisox, the story is that Bruce bested Denny McLain in an intersquad game, causing Chicago to deal McLain to the Tigers. Lemon was an All-Star in 1960 and led the AL in triples in 1956. He managed the 1968 Senators to a 65-96 finish. On July 19, 1915 Moeller stole second, third, and home in the first inning against Cleveland, as the Nats stole a major league record eight bases that inning.

March 22

From Wonkette:

Abstinence pledges may still be the second-best way to stop teen sex. (D&D remains the undisputed champ.)

Librarian Accuses Harvard of Discrimination. Her claim is that she was discriminated against because she was black and wore attire that was too "sexy". I don't why she didn't just get a job a job elsewhere. There are plenty of places that hire women who wear inappropriately provocative clothing regardless of their ability.

Michael Chabon likes Jose Canseco because he pictures him as the lovable rogue like Rhett Butler or Rick Blaine. I think Gaius Baltar would be more appropriate, but that would be giving Canseco too much credit. Baltar's self-centered behavior comes from many sources, not the least of which he's always known he's a freaking genius. Caseco's just Bo Belinsky with a bat. Previously Scott Edelman has taken Chabon to task about either being mind-bogglingly ignorant of current short fiction in science fiction or fantasy or feigning elistist ignorance for the benefit of a literary audience that sneers at F & SF. If you want a potential Greek tragedy of epic proportions, look to Barry Bonds, who challenges the gods of Ruth and Aaron, perhaps striking a Faustian bargain in the process. If you want a colorful rogue, look to Rickey Henderson, a blindingly, yet naively self-centered. Rickey is an on-base machine with sometimes the simplicity of Jack from You Know Me, Al. I wonder if this is like Chabon's writing about science fiction - just enough to sound cool to the literary people, not enough to impress those who really know.

More projections at the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog. These sims went for a thousand seasons. The Nats come off 80-82 and 78-84 with a playoff chance under 9%. It all looks pretty good as long as there aren't too many injuries.

Today's Nats Birthday: Jimmy Sebring. Sebring hit the home run in World Series history for the Pirates. He ended his career making a center field appearance for the Nats on August 6, 1909. Jimmy died on December 22, 1909 at the age of 27 of Bright's Disease.


Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "Litmus". While Tyrol and Boomer have a secret rendezvous with the help of the hangar crew, a new Cylon Doral blows himself up along with three others. Adama sets up a tribunal under the command of Sgt. Hadrian and Specialist Socinus takes the fall. We suspect Boomer probably left a hatch open that enabled Doral to kill a guard and steal the explosives. When the heat gets to close to Adama, he ends the tribunal with Socinus as the scapegoat.

March 21

DCRTV.com reports that Jim Williams has the final names of the television voices for the Nats: Kenny Albert, Bill Sample, Mel Proctor, Dave Sims, Brian McRae, Rob Dibble, and Greg Gumbel. Proctor and Gumbel would be great. Albert and Dibble would be a disaster. Can't speak for the other guys.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Cristian Guzman, Shanty Hogan, Bucky Jacobs and Ed Klieman. Scheduled to be the 2005 starting shortstop, Guzman was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Yankees and traded to Minnesota in the Knobluach deal. At 6-1, 240, Hogan got his nickname because of his resemblance to said ill-built house. A catcher for the Boston Braves and New York Giants he finished his career with 40 games for the Nats in 1936-1937. Jacobs pitched 22 games for Nats over the course of three seasons from 1937-1940. Klieman led the AL in appearances in 1947 and pitched for the World Champion Indians the next year. He pitched only two games for Nats in early 1949.

March 20

I'm for the Birds. Arthur Hill, not the star of The Andromeda Strain and A Little Romance, reiterates the assertion that Peter Angelos has some kind of claim to the Washington area. I may be repeating someone else's argument, so if I am tell me. Peter Angelos is like a guy who bought a mansion next to a vacant lot. He puts an outhouse on that vacant lot. Now when somebody wants to build a mansion on the vacant lot, Angelos wants to paid as if he not only owned that vacant lot, but built a mansion on it.

Some have suggested the negotiations are a test case for when MLB puts a team in New Jersey. I think it's more for when they put a team in Portland. At least the Yankees and Mets have defined territorial rights in New Jersey. The Mariners' rights in Portland are the same as the Orioles in DC - only as long as nobody's there.

Star on Walk of Fame with Jar-Jar Binks' name on it.Today's Nats Birthdays: Joe Boehling, Vern Kennedy and Stan Spence. Boehling won 52 games for Nats from 1912-1916. Kennedy pitched a no-hitter in his rookie year for the White Sox. He pitched 17 games for the Nats in 1941. Spence had an excellent outfield reputation, led the AL in triples in 1942 and was named to All-Star team 4 times.

March 19

The standard for getting a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame has seriously declined. Make your own star.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Elmer Bowman and Gee Walker. Bowman made two pinch-hitting plate appearances on August 3 and 9, 1920. He still has a higher lifetime OBP than Inning-Ending Chavez. Walker had a history of making baserunning blunders.

March 18

Bush Picks Portman as Trade Rep. I am so for this. She was a great queen for Naboo and a great senator, except for appointing Jar-Jar Binks to act in her place. And she is also so hot.*
*-Relax, Ryan, it's a joke. I have not turned into Dayn Perry.

Matt Bruce says things a lot better than me here, here, here and here. I would simply add a quote from Dubya's favorite philosopher, Jesus Christ:

...first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Matthew 7:5 or Luke 6:42

But I'll let Batgirl have the last word.

From Mr. Snitch:

The Red Sox players finally reached the pinnacle of baseball-Zen enlightenment when they let go of their 'cowboy up' posturing (which failed in 2003) to embrace the higher wisdom of accepting their fates as 'idiots'. A cowboy is a model of self-determination, a John Wayne who can hoist himself up by his red sox-straps and summon the slugger within when it really matters. An idiot merely surfs the curls of destiny. Either an idiot or a cowboy might come back from a 3 games to none deficit (the cowboy by summoning greatness, the idiot by not realizing that he was doomed), but only an idiot can get hit in the head with a routine fly ball and still get named series MVP. The idiot can survive anything, the cowboy can survive anything but ridicule.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Chad Cordero, Dick Mulligan, Tomokazu Ohka, Squire Potter and Terrmel Sledge. Looks like there's going to be an Abe Pollin-sized cake in Viera today. I don't need to tell Nats fans who Cordero, Ohka and Sledge are. Unless someone better turns up, I hope by the end of the season they are still our closer, #3 starter and left fielder, respectively. Mulligan did not play Bert on Soap, but pitched a complete game 5-4 loss to the Red Sox on September 24, 1941 in his only appearance for the Nats. Potter was not the villain in It's a Wonderful Life, but made his only major league appearance on August 7, 1923, pitching the last three innings and allowing 9 runs in a 22-2 shellacking at the hands of the Indians.


We hosted this month's Knossos meeting. The book was The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt. I didn't finish the book so I can't really offer an informed opinion. What I did get to was kind of boring.

March 17

John T. Gartner wrote a book, The Hypomanic Edge : The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America, that says some stuff I said earlier.

Ice Hockey: NHL plans new talks as fledgling rival emerges. Those hockey replacement owners do exist. If deep pockets are willing to pony up for hockey, why not for basketball, football and baseball?

Lawmakers say baseball misstated drug policy. The Congressmen are most concerned that players can substitute a $10,000 fine for a suspension and that testing would be suspended immediately upon a government investigation into steroids.

Turning Backs on the Grapefruit League. Florida communities would rather build homes and malls than spring training facilities. Arizona is more than happy to step in. Is there any chance the Texas coast near Padre Island would get in on this?

Inside Radio has the story on how Bonneville and WFED-Z104 nabbed the Nats radio contract.

No Nats birthdays today so we use the Oracle to get from Goose Goslin to Brad Wilkerson. I came up with several chains. Here's a typical one:

Goose Goslin played with Schoolboy Rowe for the 1934-1937 Detroit Tigers.
Schoolboy Rowe played with Granny Hamner for the 1946-1949 Philadelphia Phillies.
Granny Hamner played with Fred Norman for the 1962 Kansas City Athletics.
Fred Norman played with Tim Raines for the 1980 Montreal Expos.
Tim Raines played with Brad Wilkerson for the 2001 Montreal Expos

All the paths have to go through Tim Raines. Other chains going through Granny Hamner are Jimmy Wasdell and Dick Coffman.

Goose Goslin played with Jimmy Wasdell for the 1938 Washington Senators.
Jimmy Wasdell played with Granny Hamner for the 1944 Philadelphia Blue Jays and the 1945-1946 Philadelphia Phillies.

Goose Goslin played with Dick Coffman for the 1927 Washington Senators and the 1930-1932 St. Louis Browns.
Dick Coffman played with Granny Hamner for the 1945 Philadelphia Phillies.

Here are three paths that get to Raines without Hamner:

Goose Goslin played with Birdie Tebbetts for the 1936-1937 Detroit Tigers.
Birdie Tebbetts played with Jim Piersall for the 1950 Boston Red Sox.
Jim Piersall played with Rudy May for the 1965 California Angels.
Rudy May played with Tim Raines for the 1979 Montreal Expos.

Goose Goslin played with Jo-Jo White for the 1934-1937 Detroit Tigers.
Jo-Jo White played with Joe Nuxhall for the 1944 Cincinnati Reds.
Joe Nuxhall played with Pete Rose for the 1963-1966 Cincinnati Reds.
Pete Rose played with Tim Raines for the 1984 Montreal Expos.

Goose Goslin played with Rudy York for the 1934 and 1937 Detroit Tigers.
Rudy York played with Nellie Fox for the 1948 Philadelphia Athletics.
Nellie Fox played with Rusty Staub for the 1964 Houston Colt .45's and the 1965 Houston Astros.
Rusty Staub played with Tim Raines for the 1979 Montreal Expos.
Tim Raines played with Brad Wilkerson for the 2001 Montreal Expos.

March 16

From Overheard in New York:

Salesgirl: How'd you get that bruise?
Customer: I was jumproping and I fell.
Salesgirl: Aren't you a little old to be jumproping?
Customer: Aren't you a little fat to be working at The Gap?

Poppy Z. Brite provides an answer to the question,"How do you name your characters?" in the March 12 entry. It also includes this interesting bit:

The only other semi-interesting name origins I can think of are those of three characters who have absolutely nothing else in common: Cooper Stark from The Value of X and Prime, Peyton Masters from Plastic Jesus, and Eli Stiles from "The Ocean": they were named for the three sons of former Saints quarterback Archie Manning.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Don Blasingame, Clint Courtney, Patsy Donovan, Ed Edelen, Hobie Landrith, Buddy Myer and Rick Reichardt. Blasingame played for the Nats from 1963-1966. He was the first non-Japanese manager in the Nippon Professional Baseball. There's a great picture in You Gotta Have Wa of all the Central League managers in samurai costumes, Blasingame included. Courtney was nicknamed "Scrap Iron" and got into a famous brawl with Phil Rizzuto while with the Browns. Donovan has the distinction of playing for the 1891 Washington Statesmen of the American Association, the 1892 Senators of the National League and the 1904 Senators of the American League. Landrith dropped a third strike while with the Cubs, enabling Jim Davis to strike out four Cardinals in an inning. That fourth KO? Fellow birthday boy Don Blasingame. Myer held down 2nd base for the Nats throughout the 1930s. Reichardt was the highest paid bonus baby to that date when he was paid $200,000 to sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Los Angeles.

March 15

When your team doesn't make the NCAA Tournament, you actually follow the NIT. I noticed that bubble bursters Buffalo and St. Joe's didn't get a first round bye.

Pictures of the turf installation at RFK.

With no Nats Birthday today, I turn to the Oracle of Baseball for Six Degrees of Nats. Let's connect Walter Johnson to Livan Hernandez.

Walter Johnson played with Ossie Bluege for the 1922-1927 Washington Nationals.
Ossie Bluege played with Early Wynn for the 1939 Washington Nationals.
Early Wynn played with Tommy John for the 1963 Cleveland Indians.
Tommy John played with Al Leiter for the 1987-1989 New York Yankees
Al Leiter played with Livan Hernandez for the 1996-1997 Florida Marlins

You can also substitute Devon White for Al Leiter. White played with John on the 1985 California Angels of Anaheim and with Livan on the 1996-1997 Marlins.


It's been a while since I've seen that daughter of the devil from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Until then, I'll have to just watch the episode entitled "Last Dance"of this show. Just as Sarah is thanking the congregation for the fundraising efforts to install a new stained-glass window, it breaks and Boyd volunteers to head up the effort to build the new window.

His event is a dance marathon and the flashback reveals he was a participant at a Point Pleasant dance marathon in the 1930s. He and his girl Holly were going to win and use to money to make her a star in Hollywood. During one of the breaks, he finds her in a stairwell, being banged by one of the rich spectators. Holly later gives Boyd money, obviously having prostituted herself. After another round on the dance floor, Boyd strangles Holly in a secluded location and dumps her body in the sea. The creepy dance hall master offers the beginning of a Faustian bargain to Boyd.

In the present day, we meet Mark, Judy's old boyfriend. Her sister died when they were dating. Christina turns her anger on Paula, first by turning the shower water to blood, then by having the disco ball fall on her. Judy saves Paula, but knows that Christina saw it fall. Terry's father is dying and Boyd offers him the Faustian bargain.


Went on to the Numb3rs episode "Structural Corruption". A student Charlie brushed off is found dead of an apparent suicide. Charlie checks the calculations of the student Finn Montgomery and discovers that Cole Building may be unsafe.

Going through the financial records, Charlie thinks that non-union, illegal alien welders constructed the foundation with sub-standard methods. The foreman in charge of the illegals is saved by the FBI from a staged carbon monoxide suicide. He gives up a goon in the construction company, who gives up the assistant to Cole. She used sub-standard practices and skimmed the difference in building the foundation. A new concrete block will be put on the roof as a counterweight and named after the student. It will now be known as the Finn Montgomery concrete block. Turns out the student did kill himself.

In the B-plot, the Dad Alan has a date where everything goes badly. He tops it off by serving duck to a woman who keeps two as pets. We find out Don and Terry dated at the academy.

March 14

The Orioles took out a full page ad in the Washington Post. It includes the line:

* For over 30 years the Orioles have had the exclusive rights to a geographically defined television territory that stretches from Pennsylvania through all of Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, portions of West Virginia, and as fars south as Charlotte, North Carolina.

That would imply they continue to hold those rights. MLB would claim it holds them by default and can take at least part of those rights back. I don't know why broadcasting agreements can't be made now with the money under dispute put in escrow until negotiations are complete. The thought that Angelos would get more than half of the revenue if his team is the weaker money maker in the partnership makes me sick. It should just be split right down the middle as a model of revenue sharing to the rest of the teams.

At times, Mark Gauvreau Judge sounds like an annoying shill for his granddad, but he's totally right this time. Poor Judge-ment at RFK. The Ring of Honor, unfortunately, won't be back up at RFK.

Capitol Dugout has an early copy of the Jim Williams column this week from the Examiner.

So a frequent reader of this blog asked,"What's with your obsession with birthdays?" Nothing other than it's unique Nats-related content for my blog. It's also a way to learn and share Washington baseball history. Thanks again to my #1 fan at Nats Inquirer. Without further ado, here's today's Nats Birthday: Red Marion. Brother of Marty, he played 4 games for the Nats in 1935. Red came back in 1943 to play 14 games as a pinch-hitter and outfielder.

March 13

Put a combination overhead rain shower and hand shower on the master bath shower.


Watched the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Aenar". Very early on, when we discover an Andorian pilot controlling the Romulan drone, Whitlock suggested that since the Romulans are a nontelepathic sub-species of the Vulcan, maybe the pilot is of a telepathic sub-species of Andorian.

She nailed this one. They are the Aenar, pronounced "E-nar", not "A-nar" or "I-nar". Long only a myth, they are blind and live in deep ice caves. Shram and Archer look for an Aenar to pilot a telepresence module built aboad Enterprise which can disrupt the Romulan signal. They find the sister of the one abducted by the Romulans.

She and Shram develop a friendship and the siblings are able to communicate during the battle. The brother sees the error of his ways, destroys one drone with the other, and allows the remaining ship to be destroyed by Enterprise. Back on Romulus, the head of project explains that it is dangerous to question the doctrine of unlimited expansion in Romulan governmental circles. Whitlock noticed the Romulans' fatal flaw of not realizing that the easiest way to unite people is to provide a common enemy. The mission at the head of this episode to send two drones to destroy Enterprise makes little sense in the context of galactic politics.

In the B-plot, Trip has had enough of his unrequited love for T-Pol and requests a transfer. I was just annoyed that a blind race has lights, windows and eyes.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Bruno Block, Eric Erickson, Patsy Gharrity, Carlos Pascual and Wally Smith. Erickson was not a psychoanalyst, but pitched for the Nats from 1919-1922. Gharrity was Walter Johnson's favorite catcher, playing for the Nats from 1916-1923, then again in 1929 and 1930. Pascual was Camilo's older brother. On May 8, 1912, while at short for the Cardinals, Smith knocked umpire Brick Owen out cold with his throw to first.

March 12

Miranda went on a sleepover for my niece Victoria's birthday so Whitlock and I watched a bunch of shows.

Start with the Water Rats episode "Blood Trail". A woman found dead in the water came to Sydney from Melbourne four weeks ago and has been dead for three weeks. Her landlady said she brought her son and the only visitor was an electrical worker who looked like Mel Gibson. CSIs determine exactly where in her apartment she was killed and cut up.

Rachael and Frank go to Melbourne where both Whitlock and I realize the police captain looks sort of like Mel Gibson. Frank think the murder was ordered by Charlie Hayes, a nightclub owner that the local narcs have been watching for years to make a huge bust. The victim's very wealthy sister claims to be estranged, but she received a call when the victim moved. Frank is attacked in his hotel room by a junkie who gets pushed off the roof by an unseen hand in the chase, but everyone believes she jumped. The sister then admits to being threatened by someone named "Gary" to whom she gave the victim's address. Gary is believed to be one of Hayes' henchmen and the sister is soon found dead...to be continued.

In the B-plot a man is found in the water claiming his wife is still missing from when their yacht was hit by a container ship. When the yacht is found relatively unharmed, we grow suspicious. I quickly figured it out before the solution was revealed. Three years earlier, the man's wife had died in a collision with a container ship back in Perth. His family thought the move to Sydney would help, but apparently he's still re-living the incident.


Moved on to the CSI: Miami episode "One Night Stand". A bellhop is killed when he finds out what's in a suitcase. The hotel is a favorite overnight destination for cruisers before they board ship.

Wolfe finds a hair in a suitcase that was not taken away by the killer and Horatio surmises there is a kidnapping as well. The suitcase contains rag to be used for conterfeiting fifties. A bellman suggests a pirate cab took the other suitcases away and Wolfe finds the van driver who directs him to a warehouse.

At the warehouse, Horatio and Wolfe find expensive photocopying equipment, but escape just before a bomb blows up the place. When they return to the warehouse, they find the printer in the debris, and surmise his daughter had been kidnapped. Horatio and Wolfe go to the printer's house and Caine foolishly manages to kill the kidnapper while he's got a gun to the girl's head.

A signature element in the bomb leads to the bomber who fingers the pirate van driver as the guy who hired him. Wolfe summons his supposedly photographic memory to remember a parking permit the van driver has. At that marina, he's caught. His partner is nabbed for robbing the original truck carrying the rag and killing the bellman.

In the B-plot, a woman is found dead in the service elevator. She and her husband were at a friction party where they met a couple. The victim had sex with the man in the pair. Turns out the second couple was married, but not to each other. They have an annual fling like Same Time, Next Year. However, both women were in the same PTA and the latter wife was afraid of being outed to her husband, so she poisoned the oyster shooters with aspirin. The victim was allergic to aspirin. The guy in the swinging pair was really quite a pig. Not only he did he cheat on his wife on a regular basis, he cheated on his vacation wife as well.


Next up was the CSI: NY episode "Blood, Sweat and Tears". A box is found on Coney Island with a teenage boy's body contorted inside. I think it's a Harry Houdini trick gone wrong and I'm not far off. The circus theme was Romeo and Juliet. The performers behind those characters were in a real Montague and Capulet story of their own. The contortionist was from a European family of several generations. The girl was from an American trapeze family. The lovers concoted a suicide pact-only that the girl backed out. The boy suffocated himself in the box.

In the B-plot, blood drips from upstairs into an apartment. Looking upstairs, a body is found in the garbage chute, but it's not the tenant, it's her friend hiding from her husband. Turns out the killer was an obsessed delivery boy who accidentally cut her. Then he let her bleed to death while her husband banged on the door.


Finished up with the original CSI episode "Unbearable". A woman's car is found abandoned on the highway. Her husband was able to call a missing persons, even though she'd only been missing that evening, because he was a friend of the sheriff.

When we see the husband, it looks really suspicious. A beautiful friend of the wife is holding the his baby son. The victim's mother is a bimbo bombshell played Lolita Davidovich. The husband had an affair with the wife, but it was the mother who killed the victim. She was in fact, not her mother, but her stepmother, who stood to gain a huge inheritance.

In the B-plot, a hunter has been apparently mauled by a Kodiak bear, but Nevada is thousands of miles away from Alaska. Barbiturates in the bear indicate he was killed for a canned hunt. A microchip in the body shows he was purchased from a local zoo.

The hunter had grazed and stunned the bear, but when he got closer, the animal woke up and mauled him. One of the providers actually killed the bear with a handgun. The saddest part of the story was that one of the zoo employees forged papers to provide the animal.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Joe Engel, Rene Monteagudo and Horacio Pina. Returning from Japan, Arias is trying to make the Nationals as a reserve infielder. Engel did not make three X-15 and two shuttle flights into space, but played for the Nats from 1912-1917 and again in 1920. He made a bigger mark as the colorful owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts. Cuban Montegudo pitched for the Nats in 1938, 1940 and 1944. Pina pitched for the last Senators team going 1-1 with a 3.59 ERA in 57 2/3 innings.

March 11

Via Anthony de Jesus, Enterprise may reappear on Spike TV.

From Basil concerning a Sports Illustrated article on the Nats:

The article also includes a strangely phrased sentence beginning "If the Nationals make money this year . . ." Yo, unless the Nats are televised on local access in Aurora, Ill. (admittedly, a distinct possibility at this point), they'll turn a profit. Look at the payroll; then consider "20,000+ season tickets." (Well, I guess they might not be credited with making a profit by MLB, who is to accounting as that guy with the moustache from "Sleeping With The Enemy" was to husbanding.)

From the Baltimore Sun, the Schmuck writes this:

Major League Baseball is willing to guarantee the Orioles will not be sold for less than $360 million and their local non-broadcast revenues won't dip below $130 million, but six months into indemnification talks with Orioles owner Peter Angelos over the relocation of the Montreal Expos, the deal still has not been finalized.

So, what's the holdup, and why is there still a chance that this dispute will end up in court? The word on the street is that the last big point of contention is how long those guarantees will remain in place. Angelos wants that economic umbrella to protect him for as long as possible, but is believed to be willing to settle for 25 years. I've heard baseball is offering 20 years, and that five-year gap apparently is what's keeping everyone from shaking hands and talking up the new Orioles/Nationals regional rivalry.

Leaving aside the issue about whether Angelos deserves any money at all, any guarantees should stop with his sons. If I was negotiating with MLB, I'd offer 25 years or transfer of ownership beyond the currently living children of Peter Angelos, whichever comes first. I hope there are no inflation clauses in this, because they're arguing over payments that will probably never be made. Given the robustness of the Baltimore fan base and inflation, both the revenue and the sale price minimums will be met with no help from MLB.

Today's Nats Birthday: Jack Spring. Spring played in eight different seasons with seven different clubs. With the Senators he pitched 3 games in 1958. Jack's longest stint was from 1961-1964 with the Los Angeles Angels of Los Angeles.

March 10

A review for the new Doctor Who is up. He says it's too damned English for an American audience. This is sort of like saying Swan Lake has too much ballet. That's the point for American Who fans. If the Sci-Fi Channel won't pick it up, there's always A&E or BBC America.

The Mens ACC Basketball Tournament is at the MCI Center this year. All the advertising at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail station have been bought by official University of Maryland sponsors in support of the Terps. I guess this is supposed to intimidate the Tobacco Road fans.

Last night Dennis Kucinich said that part of the reason for the Congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball was to send a message to children and teens that hard work and not taking a drug is the key to success. That horse left the barn years ago. If he's really serious, he might want to try restricting advertising by drug companies.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Russ Ennis, Frank Loftus and Jake Propst. Ennis got into a game at catcher on September 19, 1926, but never batted. Loftus arrived a week later to pitch an inning. Propst took time off from hosting Survivor to have one at-bat on August 7, 1923.

March 9

Basil has a nice post on team chemistry

Via Matt Bruce an article about whether it's the Dome or the team that depresses attendance for the Devil Rays. The St. Petersburg Tropsters are my favorite American League team. First of all, they're so bad you can't be accused of front-running or jumping on the bandwagon. I like rays as an animal. As much as the Orioles think the Yankees and the Red Sox are their rivals, Baltimore has been no closer than 11 and has been as much as 26 wins behind Boston. On the other hand, 16 wins was the Birds' largest margin over the Rays and in 2001, only a few unplayed games kept Baltimore 1.5 games ahead. Finally, it's very easy to get tickets to a Devil Rays game in Camden Yards.

The offer by Bain Capital and Game Plan to buy the NHL for $3.5b is intriguing. I think this suggests replacement owners could exist. Forbes estimates the NHL is probably worth more than $4.9b. Despite the apathy, the NHL is healthier that we think. I can't believe Major League Soccer could be worth $1b and the number is probably closer to $600m.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Jackie Jensen and Ron Kline. Jensen was an All-American running back at USC and won the 1958 MVP with the Red Sox. He played for the Nats in 1952 and 1953. Kline used to touch his cap, belt and shirt before each pitch. He played for the Senators in the period 1963-1966.

March 8

Before the fitness center opened, the regulars found 5 Appalachian State students camped at the doorway. The male of the group read a feminist poem to us. They were on an alternative spring break, slumming it for 48 hours as homeless people, with a real homeless person as their guide for part of the night.

Angelos continues to hold up the Nats TV deal. Some wonder why this is taking so long if Angelos has no legal standing to challenge MLB. Despite that, he can still make depositions out the wazoo and subpoena MLB records. Those documents would reveal the BS about small-market teams losing money to be the fraud that it is. That's what MLB is afraid of - being revealed for the leeches that they are. Alternatively, MLB may be attempting to prove Angelos wrong-that a team in Washington would hurt the Orioles. If attendance and television ratings are still good, Angelos may get little or nothing in indemnification.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Jack Bentley, Marv Breeding and Ray Francis. Bentley played for the Senators from 1913-1916, then found himself with International League Orioles who probably paid better. Bought by the Giants, he was on the mound in the 7th game of the 1924 World Series when the Nats won in the 12th inning. Breeding was a Baby Bird who never reaped the fruits of the 1966 championship. He was traded to the Senators in December 1962. Francis's best year was his rookie year, hurling 225 innings for the Nats in 1922.


Watched the MI-5 episode "Love and Death". An amoral scientist who did biochemical work for the white South African government is believed to be selling his wares to the North Koreans next. Zoe and Danny are supposed to meet him aboard a deserted liner sailing from London to Norway and scare him into backing off. While onboard they learn the deal's already been done and the scientist is planning to sell the stuff. Danny has to kill the scientist because Zoe's too busy throwing up. The rest of the episode is Danny's personal crisis of conscience as he gives the diabetic scientist a lethal injection as he sleeps.

In the B-plot, Ruth falls in love with someone she's keeping under surveilance. With the help of Sam and Malcolm, she meets him at a scratch chorus, but unfortunately, he doesn't seem interested. Zoe breaks her wedding off with Will, because she believes he outed her to his brother. As we saw last time, the brother stole the photographs.

March 7

Chuck Thompson passed away on Saturday. Although a Baltimore icon, he also broadcast the Senators from 1957-1961. I don't think he was Vin Scully or Ernie Harwell, but he was better than 90% of the radio voices you hear today.

Chuck Conconi speaks either in hyperbole or is a total moron.

"You're going to see a lot of congressmen and really top Washington journalists and types like that showing up at the ballgames at first," predicts Chuck Conconi, editor of the "Capital Comment" gossip column for Washingtonian magazine. "But if the team is bad, like the old days in Griffith Stadium, you'll be lucky if you see 300 people in the stands."

For the record, the Capitals, the Wizards, DC United, the Washington Freedom and even the Montreal Expos regulary cleared 3,000.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Jeff Burroughs and Howie McFarland. Burroughs was the Senators' first pick in the June 1969 draft and won the AL MVP in 1974. He is also the father of Sean. McFarland played a month in the outfield for the Nats during the summer of 1945.

For those of you not on the quizbowl blogroll, James Dinan has inquired about purchasing an ABA team.

March 6

I could talk about the bizarre dream where Mel Gibson made a concerted effort to destroy my life, but what about grocery shopping? I buy about eight two-liter bottles of sodas and Amran the cashier says I can put the sodas back in the cart and he can repeat-scan one Coke and one Diet Coke. I tell him, I'd like the sodas bagged. He said he was just trying to save time and proceeds to bag each soda individually, instead of 2-3 a bag. I don't know if the woman behind got me upset, but she was probably reading a magazine like I was.


Today's Nats Birthdays: Ted Abernathy and Roy Hansen. Abernathy pitched for Nats from 1955-1957 and again in 1960s. He was famous for his submarine delivery. Hansen pitched 5 games for the Nats in 1918.

March 5

Watched the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever". Natalie leaves Monk in the car while she picks up her daughter. Monk goes to fix a bent antenna and witnesses a murderer by a notorious Asian gang leader.

Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and an FBI agent are sent to a cabin for protective custody until Monk can testify against the gang leader. Monk can't sleep and hears a scream fron an adjacent cabin which he suspects is a murder. We know it is because we saw the wife throw a radio in the bathtub with her husband in it.

Meanwhile, Disher has fallen for an Asian woman. He gets mysterious messages in his fortune cookies that come true. The most recent one urged him to go out and protect Monk. The gangster has sent hit men to follow Disher.

Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer turn up at the cabin next door with the local sheriff. The wife claims her husband was struck by lightning. The hitmen arrive and start shooting. While hiding, Monk and Disher figure out what's been happening. Stottlemeyer and Disher disarms the hitmen.


I began the NAQT Maryland State High School Championship by visiting the Jim Henson Memorial. It has particular appropriateness for me since it is in close proximity to the only place where I saw Jim and Kermit together in person. That was when Henson was the special guest at homecoming and he rode in a float down Campus Drive.


Four views of Kermit and Jim.

The tournament went well given disasters concerning room assignments. This included whoever was doing the assigning giving them a Men's Room as a location. The MAQT folks were kind of freaking out that today's high school freshmen were born in the 1990s. At my age I find this very funny.


During the drive home I listened to Charlie Slowes and Dave Shaw call the Nats-Birds game. There was a terrible exchange when Rich Short went in because Short can play second. And Short can play third, as well as play short. Did this ever happen to George Wright? The game was still going on when I got home, but I just stayed in bed and listened to the television. The Nats seemed to be playing well as long as I wasn't watching.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Ramon Garcia, Rabbit Robinson and Elmer Valo. While with the Yankees and Senators in 1960, Valo he set the record for most pinch-hit walks in a season-18. He is believed to be one of only two major leaguers born in the state of Czechoslovakia. The others were born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


Ate dinner at the Elkridge Furnace Inn. Whitlock liked the architecture and history. I kept Miranda busy with the pocket version of Why Did the Chicken.

March 4

Ryan Moore has discovered Mike Greenberg doesn't know what he's talking about. Greenie is a more polished radio and television personality than I could ever hope to be, but he doesn't know any more than they guy sitting next to you at the sports bar. Ryan also investigates whether the anger management classes were Jose Guillen's idea.

Cartoonist Delivers Big Hit With Baseball Series. A profile of the guy who draws that goofy Korean baseball comic strip.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Jose Acosta, Jesse Baker, Tom Grieve, Lefty Herring, Piano Legs Hickman, Bob Johnson and Cass Michaels. Cuban Acosta gave up Babe Ruth's 50th homer in 1920. Tom Grieve was a GM for the Rangers and is the father of Ben. You think Herring might have been nicknamed "Red" today, regardless of his hair color? Hickman led the American League in hits and total bases, splitting his season with Boston and Cleveland. In 1964 with the Orioles, Johnson hit an American League record six consecutive pinch hits. Born Casimir Eugene Kwietniewski, Michaels' career was effectively ended by a beanball from Marian Fricano.


Watched the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "United". The only way they can catch the Romulan ship under cloak is with a network of 128 vessels. This requires a concerted effort of Earth, Vulcan, Tellarite and Andorian ships.

But before the net can be established, Shran's girlfriend dies and he vows revenge against the Tellarites. Archer fights instead under the right of substitution and cuts off Shran's antenna. Meanwhile, the Romulans make a small threat to Trip inside the drone by locking him in a room and venting radioactive gas at him. Eventually he and Malcolm escape when the 128 ship fleet arrives. The drone escapes and we find the remote pilot on Romulus is an Andorian.

March 3

I don't know if I should take credit, but Outsports has made it okay to buy "Gay" jerseys at nfl.com. Here's another article about the troubles one of Gay's former professor's at LSU had in buying a jersey. There are 1,121 Naughty Words you can't put on an NFL jersey. Wonkette has also picked up this story.

On to Nats stuff. Rich Tandler at Capitol Dugout has some suggestions about making Inning-Ending Chavez more selective.

Chris Needham at Capitol Punishment has seen my light and thinks Nick Johnson should bat leadoff. Chris also sees less in the story that the Nats are second in hat sales:

It simply makes sense. If you're a Royals fan, you've probably already got the hat. Same if you're an LA fan. But, if you're a Nationals fan, you were starting from scratch. Of course, they should be up there. We're making up for lost years. Now, if we're still in second place in a few years, then we'll really have a story!

There's a new heavy metal team song with the chorus WE ARE THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS! Perhaps I should shelve all those thoughts of Heart.

Nationals Cheese has the outfield recommendation:

What should the Nationals do? Take Wilkerson, Guillen, Escobar, Church, Davis and Godwin. Trade Chavez and Sledge. Release Cordero and Hammonds. Draft young CF talent.

What will the Nationals do? Take Wilkerson, Guillen, Chavez, Cordero, Hammonds and Escobar.

Nationals Review posted the Baseball Primer discussion with people running a hundred seasons of Diamond Mind projections. One guy has the Nats 83-79, 16% chance in the playoffs. Another guy has 82-80, 11% in the playoffs. They're all working from the same data, so it's not a fluke of the sims. We have to question the data now. At this rate, keeping the pitching staff and the guys with on-base above .350 healthy is the key to .500 ball.

William Yurasko knows when it's real:

I think I will know it is all official when I see Jose Guillen or Cristan Guzman saying "where your job is your credit" in an Easterns Automotive TV spot.

Yurasko also has a link to the Post's Gallery of the game. Omar Minaya was wearing a hat that looked like it belonged to the Brewers, but it I understand it was a Montreal Royals cap from the era when Jackie Robinson wore it.

Boswell getting emotional. If that's what he's like now, he'll be a bucket of tears on April 14.

Over at the Ballpark Guys Board, Nationals Pasttime has posted the players who have played for all three Washington franchises:

Today's Nats Birthday: Forrest Thompson. He was 4th in the American League in appearances and Games Finished in 1948.

March 2

Watched the Battlestar Galactica episode "You Can't Go Home Again". While Starbuck is trapped on a hostile moon, Apollo and Adama use all the resources of the fleet to try to find her. Eventually President Roslin forces Adama to call of the search once all hope is lost. However, Starbuck has managed to commandeer the downed Cylon raider herself. I question by what means she painted her name on the underside of the wings.


From The Philadelphia Daily News:

Former Phillie Del Unser and Marcus Hook native and Villanova product Mickey Vernon both will throw out the first pitch when the Phillies host the Washington Nationals (nee Montreal Expos) in the season opener on April 4 at Citizens Bank Park. Both were Washington Senators in previous incarnations of the franchise.

From Peter Gammons:

There's a DC cap, and the licensed stuff is so hot that the Washington Nationals right now are second only to the Red Sox in sales.

What does that mean? MLB estimates that the best Yankee years produced post-World Series cap sales of 200,000. After the Red Sox beat the Cardinals, their cap sales were 1.3 million and still running -- with the Nationals on their tail.

As William Yurasko recalls, Peter Angelos said,"There are no real baseball fans in D.C."

One milestone down with the first spring training game. "WSH" is in the corner box as if it was the 'Skins, Wizards or Caps playing. "Nationals" and the "W" are right there with "Mets" and "NY" on the linescore bump. These are just little things that keep reassuring me this team is really going to happen.

Today's Nats Birthdays: Orville Armbrust, Moe Berg, Pete Broberg and Dick Starr. Moe Berg is now known as an international spy who went on the 1934 Major League tour of Japan to shoot film in Tokyo that would later guide bombers in World War II. Broberg was drafted right out of Dartmouth and made his major league debut on June 20, 1971 without playing a game in the minors. But he was only the third player that week to debut in the bigs while bypassing the bushes, following Burt Hooton and Rob Ellis. And if Barry Bond thinks he's seeing re-runs of Sanford and Son, Dick Starr was traded twice for Fred Sanford.

March 1

Shoveled the snow this morning before I went to work. Covering some Nats news from over the weekend.

Chris Needham, the originator of the nickname Inning-Ender Chavez, highlights the two opposing dichotomies of fandom as outlined in the Post on Saturday. Somewhere in this mess, Ryan Moore of Distinguished Senators gets unfairly labeled as a bad guy.

Jeff at District of Baseball can't find Nats merchandise. The Modell's near me still has more Orioles gear, but they do have the pretzel W in both red and blue and the DC cap also in both red and blue. I was there buying a DC United 2004 MLS Champion shirt marked down to $10.

John at Nationals Pastime has portraits of players in Nats, rather than Expos uniforms.

John Sickels projects Nats prospects.

The sole Leap Year Nats Baby is Ralph Miller. Miller did utility infield work for the World Series Champion 1924 team.

Now on to the March 1 Nats Birthdays: Bob Usher and Hank Wyse. Usher was a native of San Diego who played for the 1957 Senators. Wyse fnished his career with the Nats in 1951. He pitched for the Cubs in the 1945 World Series.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors' alone and do not necessarily represent the views of the persons or the institutions with which they are associated.

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