Absolute HOF Jomboy Video about Scherzer last night

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He is masterful at taking clips from MLB games and breaking the events down in a hilarious way. Plus he sounds a lot like Nick Miller from New Girl.

Last night was a prime example of MLB not knowing what the F*** they are doing when it comes to this new substance policy.

The umps are supposed to go through the charade of checking a starting pitcher a few times, after innings are over, and we go about our merry way. Last night Joe Girardi utilized the ability for a manager to call into question the opposing pitcher, and chaos ensued….

I get the general thinking behind the crackdown. This idea of “leveling the playing field” because pitchers spin rates are out of control and there are no-hitters every other week. But to apply this sort of thing mid-season? To give managers the ability to take a guy out of rhythm by checking them mid-inning? What are we doing here?

Max gave everybody a show with his reaction, and Joe eventually got tossed for going after Kevin Long, and the game still took a bazillion hours which I thought is what the MLB is trying to avoid. At least we’ll have the good GIF’s….

Episode 39 – (Trent Williams, Nationals, Snack Review)

Will Trent Williams be traded? Will the Nationals stay in the Wild Card hunt? Who knows at this point….One thing we do know, SNACKS! Check out this episode as we give our ratings on the two brand new snack items on the grocery shelves!

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Trent Williams Trade Possibilities – (10:00)
  • Nationals On The Road – (29:30)
  • Snack Review – (38:35)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 38 – (Redskins, Wizards, Nationals)

Getting back into the “swing” of things (Get it? Mike was on a Golf trip?) we dive into Bradley Beal trade talks, the Nats last couple weeks and more! Come out to Loudoun United’s unveiling of their new stadium in Leesburg, VA on August 9th! We will be there recording food reviews and much more!

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Trent Williams Absent – (16:45)
  • Beal being in a Deal? – (32:20)
  • Nationals Lately/Baby Shark – (42:15)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

To Net or Not to Net?

 

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In the 6th inning of an Indians vs. Royals game just a few days ago, a 3-year-old boy was hurridly carried up the stairs, out of the stands, and eventually to a local hospital after being nailed by a line drive off the bat of the studly Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Lindor’s comments after the game reflected some of the same thoughts that have been echoed by other players around the league after these incidents happen. “I know it’s all about the fans’ experience of interacting with players and I completely get that. You want to have that interaction with the fans, getting autographs and stuff, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody comes out of this game healthy, and we got to do something about it.”

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Baseballs are flying off bats at a historic rate, as well as a historic speed. Giancarlo Stanton, of the Yankees, hit a ball in March 120 mph off of Andrew Cashner. This is about as fast as a Tornado, or even a Skydiver falling towards the earth (I know, weird stats but I was curious to see other things that move at 120 mph). I, as a 26-year-old man, would find it hard to react to a 120 mph small object flying towards me, how is a child supposed to? How can you catch a Tornado?

As more children (and adults) have been struck by liners, teams have countered with new measures to implement netting extending from the dugouts now down to the foul-poles. The White Sox were the first to do it, our local Nationals have now done it, and the expectation is likely every major league team will install this at some point.

The players want it, the teams now want it (though they have dragged their feet a bit), but what do the fans think? Strangely, there has been a backlash.

I’m paying $___ to sit in this section, why should I have to watch through a net?

Just pay attention to the game, stay off your cell phones.

Parents should keep track of their kids better, or don’t let kids sit there at all

Not that many people are being hit, it’s not that big of a deal

I have yet to hear a compelling argument against netting that changes my mind about the subject at all.

If you have been fortunate enough to sit in the section behind home plate you have experienced the net view forever. Is it odd at first? Sure. Do your eyes adjust and eventually, the net makes 0 difference? Absolutely.

As for the phones, sure, people love those tiny Tinder-swiping Instagram-scrolling email-checking mind portals. What is your expectation? We ban phone usage from the parks instead? Restrict it to in-between innings only? How would that be enforced? Should you be paying attention if it is a right-batter and you have seats down the 1st baseline? Of course. But are you going to be locked in on every single pitch of every single at-bat for 3+ hours?

Let’s be real.

Baseball games are FILLED with distractions. Vendors popping up and down every row, conversations flowing on all sides of you, scoreboards with statistics filling every inch, the phones aren’t the only problem here.

Also, is it the 3-year-olds checking Twitter when the ball comes zinging their way?

Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros

Is there a magic number of kids being struck by balls for anti-netters to say, “Okay, we get it, time to put them up”?

The magic number should be ZERO.

Why wait until a fire before installing a fire escape? It HAS happened, and SHOULDN’T happen. This is preventable.

Plus, do we not want children to help the game of baseball grow? If we ban kids from sitting in those sections, the attendance rates will surely drop more than a handful of grumbling anti-netters not showing up.

Look, I get some of the other sides of this. You work hard, you save your money, you spend a s***-ton on expensive seats to see your favorite MLB team play and now you have to deal with this inconvenience. We are too soft as a country they say, what’s next, netting around the entire stadium? 

At some point, you have to just accept these changes. NFL bone-breaking hits are getting penalized, concussion protocols are getting stricter, nets are going up, it’s almost as if we want people to be…healthy? Be…okay? What a wild concept.

Call it soft. Call it wussy. Call it whatever you want, this will SAVE lives. Am I exaggerating? A few years ago a woman at Dodger Stadium died after being struck by a foul ball. It was the first foul-ball fatality in 50 years. 2 deaths in 50 years, not a bad ratio right? Do we think it will be another 50 years until the next one? With the juiced balls, and the stronger batters, and the more distractions? Should we really test that theory?

Let’s get a pitching machine cranked up to 120 and see what YOU can do.

My guess is, you won’t stand a chance.

Episode 37 – (Snack Review, Nationals)

This time of year there are not a ton of sports going on so instead of doing a short episode, we swan dive straight into snack reviews! We get into the Nationals after their series with the Phils, but first we review Snyder Pretzel Pieces (Hot Buffalo Wing) and Fudge covered Oreos! Take a listen….

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Snacks Review – (18:30)
  • Nationals/Phillies Series – (45:05)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 36 – (Wizards, Nationals, Grinds our Gears)

Back from a short hiatus, the boys dive into all the Tommy Shepard off-season moves for the Wiz and review the first half of the 2019 MLB season so far. Plus, Serone gets upset yet again over all the Ryan Zimmerman praise for ranking 289th in career RBI’s….

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Wizard Off-Season Moves – (17:15)
  • Nationals All-Star Break – (35:05)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears” – (53:00)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 35 – (Nationals)

A shortened episode focused on the Nationals as they just concluded the biggest week in their season with a (4-2) record with one game against the Phillies being postponed until September. Trevor Rosenthal has been released and the bullpen lost two of three against the Braves…

Go check out our interview with NBC Sports Washington’s Wizards Insider “Chase Hughes!” We discuss Wizards draft picks, salary cap numbers and even get into a bit of food discussion…

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Episode 34 – (Capitals, Wizards, Nationals)

The Capitals have made some moves and the Wizards are in a standstill whether or not Masai Ujiri will become the next President of Basketball Operations. Meanwhile, our Nationals have yet to make their run with the biggest home stand of their season this week! Plus, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) demolished Thailand last week as we get into the criticism of our ladies by the media. Take a listen!

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Capitals Off-Season Moves – (16:00)
  • Wizards Draft Talk – (31:15)
  • Nationals Huge Week Ahead – (53:20)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears” – (1:07:25)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 33 – (Redskins, Capitals, Nationals)

Behind the mics once more, we discuss McDonalds touch screens, Lunchables and the Trent Williams saga for the Redskins! Take a listen…

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Trent Williams – (15:00)
  • One-Year Anniversary from the 2018 Stanley Cup – (30:10)
  • Nationals Lately – (41:00)
  • “Pine-Pony Express” – (59:15)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

The Snarling, Muttering, Foaming Wonder of Max Scherzer

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That snarl is the first thing that catches your eye. It can appear at random, sometimes in the first few innings, other times when the tank is just begging to be empty. Every team has gotten familiar with it at this point. Cincinnati being the latest victim to experience the psychotic stare from 60 feet, 6 inches away.

It is truly remarkable the company Max Scherzer keeps now, in his 12th season, among the greats.

We’re talking Randy numbers, we’re talking Nolan numbers, Clemens, you name it Scherz is there.

Did Dodgers fans know what they were getting when Koufax took the mound? Do we Nats fans realize what we are witnessing right now? In the words of the great Andy Bernard, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.’ THESE are the days we’ll be telling our kids about.

In a season of futility, with the Nats straddling the line of “Blow it all up!” and “We can still win the division!” there stands a lanky 34-year-old who is the walking definition of leave it all out there on the field. He grimaces. He snarls. Sometimes he even foams at the mouth, a junkyard dog just waiting for the steak to be thrown through his doggie door.

Hell, even his own manager faces the wrath on a start-by-start basis:

Unfortunately for Max, every pitcher has a ticking clock that constantly is waiting for the end. He isn’t there yet, but the retirement devil is doing burpees, just waiting to claim its next victim. The scary part is will he get a chance to pitch another World Series game before that happens? His last was in 2012 for Detroit. Ask around and I don’t think any Nationals fans are confident that they’ll be purchasing their World Series tickets any time soon.

So alas, we must instead just soak it in. Soak in the spitting, raging, lunatic that pitches now not only with his lightning right arm, but with his full and entire heart. I’d take Max Scherzer over any of the Bellingers, Harpers, or Yelichs of the world.

THAT’S the face of the franchise.

And that face is scowling his way into the Hall of Fame.

Episode 32 – (Redskins, Nationals, “Two-Point Conversion”)

Back from the Memorial Day weekend, we jump back in to Redskins OTA’s, Kuznetsov in the news and what the Nationals have been up to the last two weeks. Plus, we get a tad bit distracted by the show “My 600 lb. Life”….Take a listen!

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins OTA’s – (18:15)
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov in the News – (36:10)
  • Nationals Lately – (45:00)
  • “Two-Point Conversion” – (1:14:20)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 31 – (Redskins, Wizards, Nationals, Pine Pony)

We had to reschedule our interview with Rashad Mobley, but it did not stop us from touching on all D.C. sports of the week! We discuss another 20 minutes of food and randomness (our specialty) to start and get into Dwayne Haskins audio, Wizards Lottery let down and more…

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Dwayne Haskins Audio – (23:35)
  • Wizards Lottery Let Down – (41:20)
  • Nationals Lately – (58:35)
  • “Pine-Pony Express” – (1:29:00)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 30 – (Wizards, Nationals, Food Game)

If you want “old school” Serone & Simpson, this is the episode for you. With the Nats and Wizards being the only ones with real importance at this time, we got into MAJOR discussions of many foods that we wish were part of our daily diets. Even though this is a sports podcast, we still enjoy the food conversations almost as much as we like eating the food itself…

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Wizards Draft Lottery – (25:00)
  • Ryan Zimmerman Comments/Nats Talk – (38:50)
  • “This or That” Food Game/Food Tangents – (1:04:00)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

The Art of “Small Ball”

If you are a Nationals fan, you have to notice something different about this years team. Yes, Bryce Harper is not here. But if you look at this club more in depth, you can see it is not “just a new cast in this 2019 play.”

SportingCharts.com defines “Small Ball” as: An offensive baseball strategy that favors situational hitting and base running tactics over pure hitting in an effort to make efficient use of scoring opportunities in any given situation.

Personally, this is my favorite strategy in all of sports. I am a more strategic type of coach rather than a “set the lineup and release the hounds” type. As a Nationals fan, this is the first glimpse since the start of the Bryce era that we have had to follow the “small ball” model over the model of “get some guys on and let Harp crush a 450 foot mammoth shot to the upper deck.” In 2019, our lineup is focused more on batting average hitting rather than home run hitters.  Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Howie Kendrick, Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Adam Eaton and company aren’t going to go out there and be the new Ken Griffey Jr. hitting over .300 with 30-40 homers every year. My gripe is more so with Davey Martinez than the players, but I do acknowledge that it isn’t all him and that the players have to execute as well.

With that in mind, “small ball” has to be executed with precision and accuracy. This is one reason, of the many, why I think Davey Martinez is getting criticized every day. To master this art, you have to set the tone in the clubhouse first and foremost. While Ben and I were coaching some rising High School players, everyday I emphasized two words: Responsibility and Accountability.

  • Be RESPONSIBLE for your job and what you need to do on the field.
  • Be ACCOUNTABLE for your mistakes.

Those two things are, what I think, most important in not only baseball, but any team game that deals with multiple pieces on the field at once (i.e. Football, Basketball, Soccer etc.). My biggest critique is the lack of energy and passion that has been set in the Nationals locker room thus far. There isn’t any fire on the bench to get guys amped up. We see errors, bad at-bats, and countless mistakes being made that you learn in Babe Ruth leagues. Not being able to lay a bunt down, striking out when you need to put the ball in play,  and bobbling routine grounders happens to professionals, but it seems like it happens more often than not with this ball club. We are 26th in Major League Baseball with 27 errors on the season. We have 12 in our last 10 games. There just isn’t any energy getting this team right or rejuvenating the passion on a nightly basis. We always have to understand that it’s a game and games are supposed to be fun, yet this team looks to be miserable at this point. The culture starts from the top and Martinez’ best friend type approach is starting to wear thin with each loss.

Strasburg speaking about the Nationals struggles

Next up, you have to manage each game with more strategy than just analytics. The “eye test” is so underrated in sports. You have a high baseball intelligence? Use it. For instance, you see Jeremy Hellickson out there with nine strikeouts in the 5th inning and a low pitch count, don’t take him out for a “lefty/lefty match up.” You have Brian Dozier get on base with Wilmer Difo batting (.232) up next, you bunt Dozier over getting him in scoring position allowing him to have a higher chance of scoring on a base hit. Most fans and on lookers would prefer you make a baseball decision rather than look at a booklet that says Difo has hit changeup’s well lately. We all want the same thing and that is to score runs. With a depleted lineup, you need to score a few runs and let your horses in the rotation bring it home. Putting excess pressure on Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin to always “great” and not just “solid,” is something you never want.

Davey Martinez

Lastly, you have to move runners “station to station” by singles and doubles, not home runs. You may get a long ball here and there, but when runners get on, you have to get base hits to move them around. Washington is in the bottom third of teams in the stats LOB (Left on Base) and Team RISP Average (Runners in Scoring Position). We are currently leaving over seven runners on base per game, while only hitting .246 with RISP. With that, you have to look at how you’re setting your lineup. Two guys that are performing horribly with runners in scoring position are Ryan Zimmerman (2 for 21 – .095) & Brian Dozier (2 for 17 – . 118). Notably, both of them are more known for power numbers instead of hitting for average and on-base percentage. Dozier has hit an average of 29.6 Home Runs per season dating back to 2014 with a career .323 OBP. Zimmerman has had five seasons with 25+ Home Runs and career .343 OBP. They are not made for small ball. Let’s look at their replacements stats.

First, Matt Adams is Zim’s replacement. Though his OBP isn’t that impressive, Adams proves himself with RISP (5 for 18 – . 278 – 11 RBI’s). For Dozier, Howie Kendrick is first man up. He is the prototypical small ball player. Kendrick is hitting (12 for 33 – .364 – 13 RBI’s) with runners on any base and (6 for 16 – .375 – .419 OBP) with RISP. Not to mention he gets on base at a .382 overall OBP which is top two on our team. Those numbers are considerably better and should show Martinez and coaches that to execute this strategy every night, you need to play the guys that fit the system more than ones that are getting paid more or have name recognition.

Howie Kendrick 2

To recap, this is what I believe Washington needs to do in order to succeed with this new squad:

  1. Set the tone in the clubhouse.
  2. Have a good balance of “eye test” and analytics.
  3. Produce a lineup that is more built for the type of baseball you play.

I was all for the Davey hire before the 2018 season. But the failure in the win column and lack of strategy almost every night has put my panic meter at a steep incline.

Episode 29 – (Redskins Draft, Capitals, Nationals)

After being under the weather last week, it is good to be back behind the mics yet again to recap the Redskins Draft, the Capitals disappointing 1st Round Exit, and what is the Washington Nationals debacle. Plus we get into some movie theater talk and pizza….

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Washington Redskins Draft Rundown – (21:00)
  • Washington Capitals Exit Reactions – (45:30)
  • Washington Nationals Debacle  – (1:07:00)
  • Grinds My Gears – (1:33:40)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Ranking the Top 10 Most Important Nationals

In certain sports there are players more important than others for the success of the franchise. Take Quarterback for example. You have the ball each and every down on offense to which you are more important than say the second tight end or the slot receiver. In baseball, you have superstars but role players will sometimes make or break your team when those superstars aren’t on their game. When it comes to this specific “Harper-less” Nationals club, it is something we have yet to see in over seven years of having that star on our team. These are my Top 10 rankings of importance of this 2019 Washington Nationals Active Roster.

  1. Max Scherzer – (Starting Pitcher)

    Multiple Cy Young awards (at least one in each league), leadership, durability, endurance, and most of all the confidence we all have with him on the bump is why this guy is my number one. He is a beast on the mound and no matter if he has a few bad outings or not, he is still the best pitcher in baseball. We are witnessing greatness, be thankful. MaxScherzer1

  2. Anthony Rendon – (3rd Base)

    The next great one is in our midst. Yes, we know he does not have that flair or flash that someone like Harper has, but he may have the most all-around game in this organization. Batting .371 this season and having an on-base percentage of over .450, he is in the Top 10 for each category. Dating back to the start of the 2017 season, he has a combined .309 batting average and a .409 on-base percentage. Can you ask for anything more? Oh wait, he is also one of the best fielding 3rd basemen in ALL of baseball. Three words: PAY THE MAN!anthony-rendon-usat-nationals

  3. Juan Soto/Victor Robles – (LF/CF)

    Combined at the third spot are our young guns in the outfield. These two were the main reason we let Harper go eat cheese steaks with all of those boo birds in Philly. Juan Soto came on the scene last year with little warning. He was on fire from the start and did not let up one bit coming up one spot short of Rookie of the Year. Robles on the other hand got hurt in the minors so we saw a lot less of him last year. Yet, we have heard his name around the majors and the Nationals organization for multiple years. The sight of having these two in the outfield for the foreseeable future gave Mike Rizzo and the organization confidence in not paying for the service of one Bryce Harper. They have had some struggles this year but think about it this way. When we were their age, we were in some bar somewhere not thinking of the exam we had coming up the following Friday. They are in the Major Leagues being leaned on by thousands. Give ’em some time!

    Soto Robles

  4. Stephen Strasburg  –  (Starting Pitcher)

    This rank may differ for some people but to me it is a no brainer. I am a Strasburg homer. I was at his debut and get pumped for each and every one of his starts. He is a monster on the mound and watching him buckle professionals at the knees or paint the black on a consistent basis is astounding to watch. Now yes, he does have injury concerns but if he was replaceable or not a big deal, why would we concern so much on his injury history? He may not be the prodigy we all thought he was but I will take starts like we just saw on Easter Sunday over any regular journeyman starter. Strasburg

  5. Yan Gomes/Kurt Suzuki  – (Catcher Platoon)

    This may come as a shock but do you know how important a catcher is to a baseball team? Just like the center position in football, the catcher touches the ball in 95% of the ballgame. Catching foul tips, people stealing, calling pitches, framing borderline pitches etc. The things a catcher does on a daily basis is a running list. I ranked these two additions to the squad this high because of the level of difficulty in the position and the performance they give. Our struggles over the years with Wieters was known. The Buffalo you say? Try having him run down the first baseline without pulling a hamstring or laboring to even get to the bag. I will take this platoon over anything we have had in the last five years. Suzuki has been one of my favorites for years. He always has a smile on and frames pitches with the best of them. Plus, with his limited time playing, he is leading the team hitting with runners on base going (6 for 15) with a .400 batting average and .444 on-base percentage. With Gomes primarily in the American League this is my first good look at his game and I am liking the presence he brings behind the dish. Nationals Baseball

  6. Patrick Corbin/Sean Doolittle  – (Starting Pitcher/Closer)

    Combining these two is kind of a cop-out but they equal the same importance. Having a third starter is pretty much on point with having a quality closer. 90% of your season series’ are three games. The playoffs, if you get there, is made for 3-4 man rotations. If you have a Max Scherzer you can throw him on short rest so that means you can go with a three-man rotation come playoff time. At this time in the season with a handful of starts from our main guys, Patrick Corbin has been most impressive. With opposing batters hitting less than .200 on him and a below 2.36 ERA, you CANNOT ask of anything more of your newest pitching acquisition. Of qualified pitchers, Corbin ranks in the Top 11 in the MLB of WHIP (Walks + Hits / IP) and ERA. Doolittle on the other hand has been needed A LOT more than he should be at this point. Yet, even with his over usage, he has a 0.90 ERA. Imagine if the Nats could get to the 9th inning only using him for save situations. Wouldn’t that be a site! Patrick Corbin

  7. Adam Eaton  –  (RF)

    Adam Eaton was a great addition for this squad a few years ago. Even though injuries have somewhat plagued him since he has been here, he has produced when he has played. Since the start of the 2017 season, he has a combined .302 batting average and a .407 on-base percentage. He has helped the young core in the outfield with leading by example and showing how a class act should be in the Major Leagues. Eaton provides a good bat at the top of the lineup and a good clubhouse presence for one of the youngest rosters in the league. Adam Eaton

  8. Howie Kendrick  –  (Utility IF/OF)

    If you think Howie Kendrick is replaceable, you’re sadly mistaken. People overlook Howie because he does not play everyday. You need to understand the importance of Mr. Kendrick as some people probably call him. He doesn’t hit moon shots like Harper or hit as consistent as Rendon, but my god having a career .291 hitter coming off the bench that has experience playing both infield and outfield is a rare commodity. Grabbing him back in 2017 is a move I will always applaud Rizzo for completing. He has constantly come up clutch for us in big spots. Focus in on this year for instance. He is getting on base 46% of the time, hitting .387 overall, and has a .467 batting average in the teams 10 wins. Along with that .467 average, he has four extra-base hits including all of his homers this season. Tell me some reasons he isn’t valuable to our team, I’ll wait….Kendrick

  9. Trea Turner  –  (Starting Shortstop)

    He is a tad low on my list because we have yet to see enough of him to evaluate his true potential. He has had less than 100 games in two of his first three seasons, and last year was really his breakout year in what was a down year for the organization as a whole. We’ve heard the potential on the base paths, the cannon from shortstop, and the above average hitting potential he has, but we won’t get the full taste of his potential until a larger sample size is commenced. Once he comes back from the finger injury, we will get to see what Trea Turner has in store. Trea Turner

  10. Matt Adams  –  (1B/OF)

    Big City! I have been favoring Matt Adams to start over Ryan Zimmerman for two seasons now. He has a far bigger impact, in my opinion, than Zimmerman. Since the start of the 2018 season, Adams has a batting average of .275 with runners on base and .351 with runners in scoring position. Comparing his stats to Zimmerman, he is 41 points higher with runners on and 128 points higher with runners in scoring position. He won’t be a clean-up type hitter but can come through in some bigger spots that Zimmerman has failed to do in recent years. But I think the biggest thing is the bat off the bench. It is very difficult to find someone to come off the bench with Home Run potential. With Kendrick taking the cake with the “hit in a pinch” bat off the bench, Adams is your big bopper. He is not the best overall baseball player but comes through when you need him. Matt Adams

Episode 28 – (Capitals, Nationals)

What will Ben’s “Native American” name be? Is there a better way to eat Hot Dogs that isn’t all bread? We answer those and more with the Capitals up one game on the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Nationals failing to take control of the National League East….Take a listen!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • More “Dances with Wolves” Talk – (22:00)
  • Capitals Up 3-2 on Carolina – (24:10)
  • Nationals .500 on the Season – (40:15)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

“Mr. National” – Ryan Zimmerman

I know, I know. “Another rant from Mike about Ryan Zimmerman.” If no one will care to talk about the issue then I will speak my peace until someone besides Ben and I starts to take notice.

Zim is in the last year of his contract and it could not come any sooner. Television crews and some broadcasters out there put out some of these egregious stats such as; “When it is over 60 degrees with the Colorado Rockies in town, Ian Desmond strikes out over two times per game.” Now they have never said that specific thing, but this is very similar.

Around Opening Day, MASN put out this graphic that really “irked” me to say the least. It had the title “Mr. National” for the one guy people lean on every year to take us to the promise land….RYAN ZIMMERMAN? It had a very dumb stat that included his season averages for seasons he had over 500 at-bats (7 Total Seasons – Only 1 since 2013). Of course, they are all inflated. Problem is, if you discount this season and his rookie season, it totals 13 seasons. That leaves out six total seasons of baseball. This is a ploy to show everyone that he is so important to our organization rather than being a COMPLETE liability.

With that, I decided to do a little information seeking on my own. Below will be two stats on each line. First will be the last five seasons combined, and second will be four of the last five discounting his career year in 2017. Here are some stats of the last five seasons he has been a National (incl. 2015-2019).

Ryan Zimmerman Season Averages (2015 – 2019)

  • Batting Average:  .248   –   (.234)
  • On Base Percentage:  .319  –   (.309)
  • Home Runs:  16.2   –   (11.25)
  • Runs Batted In:  57.2   –   (44.5)
  • Extra Base Hits:   36.6   –   (28.5)
  • Runners in Scoring Position:  (122 for 471) = .234   –   (75 for 320 = .214)
  • Runners On Base:  (210 for 799) = .263   –   (126 for 544 = .227)

I always look at the positives for my team. But when there is a legit GLARING hole in our lineup or in our teams outlook, I am not going to stand around acting like it is “no big deal.”

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Mike Rizzo has assembled this team to be a World Series contender for the last 7+ years and we have nothing to show for it whatsoever. I know Ryan Zimmerman was a bright spot for us when he was drafted back in 2005 (our first season). But you have to look at the recency effect and how he has produced for this team in big spots. Everyone looks at his 11 walk-off homers, his two Silver-Slugger Awards (2009,2010), one Gold-Glove (2009), and his career 2017 season. But what they don’t see are the season’s he did most of those in, where we didn’t even crack 70 wins. You have to produce when your team needs you. Plain and Simple. With this team making the playoffs four of the last seven seasons, poised to make it this year, changes have to be made. Legacy only goes so far when your play is mediocre at best. I just wish people would start to look towards our future rather than our lackluster past.

 

GO NATS!

Episode 27 – (Capitals, Nationals, Tiger)

The Capitals are up by two on the Carolina Hurricanes, the Nationals bullpen continues to struggle, Ryan Zimmerman is more of a liability than a car with no steering wheel, Serone’s boy Tiger Woods wins “The Masters,” and we once again get carried away talking about food and the good things in life…

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Capitals Up 2-0 on Carolina – (19:00)
  • Nationals .500 on the Season – (43:15)
  • Tiger Woods Wins “The Masters” – (1:29:15)
  • Food is the Best – (1:35:45)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 26 – (Skins, Wiz, Caps, Nats)

As we forget to start the show and reminisce on our shows history, we eventually get into some thoughts on Josh Rosen possibly to the Redskins, the Wizards draft position, Capitals series vs. Carolina, and the “Pig Pen” Nationals Bullpen that has stunk up the joint for most of the eight games so far…

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

SUBSCRIBE – RATE – REVIEW!

TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Josh Rosen to Redskins? – (17:00)
  • Wizards Draft Positioning – (26:50)
  • Capitals Playoff Series vs. Carolina – (32:15)
  • Nationals Bullpen Woes – (51:30)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears” – (1:18:40)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

A List of Things I Trust More Than The Nats Bullpen

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The Nats Bullpen has been disastrous to start this season. A wonderful case in point was on Sunday when a 12-1 lead almost evaporated into thin air. Below I have listed things I trust more than the Nationals bullpen right now:

Oreo will keep cranking out hits

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I mean the box says it all. Not “a lotta stuf” or “a large amount of stuf” but the MOST stuf. Throw away the Oreo cracker part and just give me ALL THE STUF. I’ve tried desperately to shop for this but haven’t had any luck. Instead, the shopkeepers keep asking me to stop crying and let them leave.

I will continue to tell people “Yeah, I’ll watch Game of Thrones soon” and not watch it

I have nothing against the show. I’m sure it is very good. I hear there is a lot of graphic sexual scenes, and a lot of dragons breathing fire, and some seat that has knives on it. This all sounds lovely. I mean, literally every baseball team has a “Game of Thrones” night at the ballpark now. I understand I am very very late to the party. I’ll just be honest: I’ll tell you I’m going to watch it soon, but I’m not going to.

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Papa Johns will continue to be an overrated pizza chain

Facts are facts. Dominos has stepped up their game with the crust. Pizza Hut created an entire section of their restaurant dedicated towards Wings. They are showing the effort. I appreciate it. Papa Johns meanwhile has what to their name? A little cup of melted garlic sauce in the box and a few peppers that I always forget are in there before I stomp the box to put it in the recycling and get stuff everywhere? Plus the Papa of Papa Johns was kind of a psycho.

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People will not let you leave the metro car before they enter

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It is supposed to be a relatively simple situation. The metro stops, the people who need to get off do, the people who need to get on then enter, then we move on to the next station. Instead, I have seen the two groups basically smash into each other, limbs everywhere, each side attempting to push forward. I assume this resembles Game of Thrones, but without the dragons.

There is that panicked moment, even when you know for sure you have plenty of time to exit the train before the doors close, when you worry that you won’t make it. Give credit to the operators, they don’t wait around. If just an arm made it on, then that arm is headed to Foggy Bottom, regardless of if the body made it too.

The Metro stop Foggy Bottom will continue to make me chuckle

I mean, come on. Foggy BOTTOM. That is hilarious.

Dairy Queen employees will never forget to turn the Blizzard over

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I mean look at that guy in the picture. Is he smug or what? “This is what you came to see right? This is the GREATEST SHOW” as he gives a quick flick of the wrist and turns that bad boy upside down.

I’ll be honest, I dream of the day the employee does that and the blizzard spills all over the counter. But it never. freaking. happens.

Disney Channel Original Movies were cinematic perfection and will always hold up

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Look at that tagline: Kid today. Leprechaun tomorrow. 

Incredible.

Some of the hits:

-Motocrossed

-Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

-Halloweentown

-Smart House

-The Thirteenth Year

I mean you could put basically stack any of those up against some piece of trash like Suicide Squad. 

My dentist will never say “your gums look good”

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I’ve tried really hard! Okay, maybe not really hard. But I have those little floss pick things, and I bought the water jet thing, I swear I’ve done everything they’ve asked. But it’s just not good enough. I feel like I’m trying to impress my dad every time I visit the Dentist.

“Didn’t I do good papa? Don’t my teeth look shiny!”

The hygienist will sigh as she continues to poke as hard as she can into my gums, blood gushing like I just slammed my face on a railing. I smile in pain, red streams pouring through the gaps in between each tooth.

Nope, you need to do better. Now stick this gigantic piece of plastic into your mouth without crying, we need to take X-Rays.

I will never know how to dress “cool”

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I’ve never liked wearing unbuttoned shirts over t-shirts. They always flap in the wind as I walk. A lot of the clothes I  wear were given to me for free over the years from various sports teams or organizations. One time in college, my roommate raided the lost and found bin at the gym where he worked, that provided me enough outfits for the rest of the year.

I once wore a zip-up that I thought was “cool” in high school. I walked in proudly, strutting around. My friend immediately came up and starting listing all the things that made that zip-up the most unfashionable thing he had ever seen.

This Baby could save me in a fire

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Look at that guy. The confidence, the swagger. The boy is a HERO.

 

Those are all the things I immediately can think of that I trust more than the Nats bullpen right now. I’m sure I could go on all day, but this is a solid start.

Mea Kulpa-What Ron Kulpa’s Power Trip Tells Us About the Current State of Officiating

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I can do anything I want!-Ron Kulpa to Astro’s Manager AJ Hinch.

Baseball twitter has been ablaze since the incident, so I’m sure you’ve read ten stories about it already, but here is a good companion breakdown of the Kulpa incident from Twitter:

Being an official at any level, in any sport, is not an enviable gig. When I was 13 I donned the powder blue polo, dark pants, and cautiously stood behind a nine-year-old catcher who appeared to be fairly surprised that he was going to be behind the plate that game.

“Have you ever caught before?” I gestured towards his worn catcher’s mitt. He quickly shook his head. Wonderful.

I umpired only for a few seasons, much more satisfied with being up in the press box running the music and scoreboard. But even in my short time umping I knew it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t the pressure of making calls, it was the constant swirl of annoyance being hurled at you at all times. From coaches, from players, from fans, at any given moment SOMEONE hated your guts.

It was an unpleasant feeling. And it didn’t seem to matter if you were doing a good or a bad job, they would be annoyed regardless. I remember one of the breaking points for me. Keep in mind I was again only like thirteen, but there was a play at the plate, bang-bang, and I called the runner out on the tag. Was he out? Who knows, but to me it sure seemed like he was.

Out trotted a grizzled 50-something-year-old coach, going ballistic.

No way was he out! How could you call that? He was clearly under the tag! That is a BAD call!

I decided immediately that the 15 bucks a game wasn’t worth being screamed at by this guy.

There are plenty of people that can get past the screaming and yelling, and make their way through the officiating circuit. You work your way up, go to clinics, attend camps, you get better, you gain more experience. Guys like Ron Kulpa have spent most of their lives doing a job that nobody wants to do. There is respect in that. And yet what Ron Kulpa did this week is part of the swing of officials in all sports to flex their reffing muscles, and show who is “boss”.

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If you are an avid sports fan you’ve noticed it. The ejections and technical fouls are coming hard and fast. Hell, Spurs coach Greg Popovich just set a record with his latest ejection.

We are in an age where officials everywhere are done being just rule-enforcers and are now the behavior-police. They seemingly are tired of being background characters, and now are itching for leading roles. Should we REALLY know the name Ron Kulpa? Do we REALLY buy tickets to see the Astros play, or do we buy them to see Kulpa ump?

My father umped for a while, and he reported back to me how militaristic the training sessions felt. How it didn’t feel like a cohesive plan to just enforce the rules and call a good game, it felt more like it is YOU vs. THEM. Them being the players and coaches.

Are there going to be times when an ejection is called for, when a player/coach takes it too far? Of course. Cursing up a storm, physically threatening, being an absolute nut, these are all things that I am completely okay with officials determining that particular person is not welcome on the field or the court at that time. We all lose our heads sometimes. But that should be a LAST resort, a final straw. Popovich was tossed before the Spurs even had a chance to score a basket.

I remember going to old RFK stadium to see the Nats take on the Cardinals. Albert Pujols was on the team then, and in his prime. We bought tickets to go see Albert, one of the greatest hitters of our generation. He was ejected in the bottom of the 2nd inning while discussing his previous at-bat with the field umpire. Just like that, our purpose of even buying tickets was headed off to the showers.

If the MLB truly cares about the players, about the fans, then Ron Kulpa should be suspended for a decent amount of time. Send him back to the minors, bring up someone else who isn’t here to look for fights. The goal of an umpire should be to call the best game he or she can, not to tussle with managers.

The MLB needs to send a message to Kulpa and to officials everywhere:

No, you CAN’T do anything you want.

 

 

Life of Luxury: A night spent with the upper class watching Bryce Harper’s return to DC

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When the Harper to Philly announcement was made, I had my phone out ready to go. I knew that the Phillies were going to come to DC on the 2nd of April, and tickets were a must. I purchased my usual 300 section, and was set. When the day finally arrived, I casually perused the StubHub listings to see what else was available. I spotted a pair of Delta Sky360 Club Seats, 7th row, behind home plate. These were typically $500+ per seat, but on a cold and rainy Tuesday someone was listing them for around $170 each. So I went for it. I sold my original tickets and snagged those bad boys. This was going to be a pretty big moment, why not live it up in style? Here is a quick diary recap of my experience.

I’m a big fan of getting to the ballpark early. Then again, I’m a fan of getting anywhere way too early. I think that comes from my mother. Growing up we would all pile into the car for Christmas Eve mass. I always thought it was strange that she would suggest we pack a book with us, but that was because the plan was to sit in the parking lot for two hours before anyone else decided to start getting their seats. I think even the priests were still sleeping.

The plan was to hop on the metro after work, get to the ballpark right when they allow you to start entering your seats at 5:30. Since we were going to be newbies to the home plate scene, I wanted to make sure to give us plenty of time to adjust to our surroundings and not look out of place.

My favorite part of riding the metro is the fact that the people who run the metro truly do not care about what the inside of the cars look like.

3000-seats

My favorite seats are the weird yellow ones in the back. Sometimes they have a wall dividing them so you can pretend you are on your own little personal train and not the DC metro where the guy two seats ahead is throwing up in his mouth.

I also enjoy the game that the conductors play. It’s called “How terribly can I talk in this microphone to ensure nobody understands what I am saying?”

The move my wife and I typically do with Nats games is to take the train all the way to Capital South station and walk. It’s two stops past where most people get off to switch trains to the game, so you get a lot of confused and panicked looks from other Nats fans as they glance back at you when getting off. It involves having to walk a while, but it’s a fairly pleasant hike as you pass by million-dollar townhomes. In fact, it helped me mentally prepare myself for the sort of people we would be mixing in with at the “Sky Clizzub” (that’s what I have renamed the Delta360 Sky Club)

I’ll skip past the minor details of going through security and take us right to entering the clizzub. We had to enter some doors initially into a hallway with elevators that were supposed to take us down to where we needed to go. They must have been those types of elevators where they don’t actually work, so we took the stairs instead. BUT the stairs were carpeted, so I already knew we had entered a different rich world.

At the entrance there was a big machine to scan your ticket, and then a lady puts a wristband on you. I’m not sure why they needed to spend the money on a giant machine, when they could have given the lady a scanner, but then I remembered I was in the world of wealth.

I had done a little scouting ahead of time, and knew that it was basically a giant room with a bar, tables, buffets all over the place. Upon entering, a nice hostess escorted us to a small table that had plates and silverware. They even put the silverware in the correct order on the table which is something I constantly struggle with. It was slightly confusing because while the food was buffet style, there was still a “waitress” who could also get you things. So in theory, while the food was only 20-30 steps away, you could have her get it for you. Man, what a dream.

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I tried to take a picture of the food on my first plate, but I ate it already. There’s a chicken bone in the picture so you can get the idea. They had a few buffet sections in the middle with your higher end items like a meat board and potstickers. Then on the outside, because they know peasants like us occasionally make it through the gates, they had staples like pizza, wings, and a basket filled to the brim with chicken tenders. I snagged my first bud light of the night (classy), stacked multiple pieces of pizza on my plate (because I’m not a buffet amateur), and headed back to my seat.

I finished that plate within maybe 30 seconds, but wanted to give it a little bit of time before I got up again. My bud light seemed to disappear rather quickly, and the “waitress” asked if I would like another one. I nodded, but then she asked to see my ID. I thought this was a little strange. One, because I’ve looked 26 since I was 10. Two, I already had a beer. I hate to display my ID because I’ve been too terrified to go to the DMV and get a new picture, so it is still my 15-year-old mug. I had so many great ideas and hopes and dreams in that photo, now it gets laughed at by bartenders across the country. I seemingly passed the test because she went to fetch me another brew. Meanwhile, I went to fetch me another plate.

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I decided to class it up a bit and added a few potstickers and one thimble-full of rice (healthy). These chicken tenders were 100% different than the normal ballpark tenders offered. These must have been a different breed of chicken. Or perhaps these were actual chicken tenders, not whatever they sell at the normal vendors.

After finishing up this plate and beer, my wife and I hopped over to view the batting cages. The club has a giant window where you can watch the players hit a few baseballs in preparation for hitting baseballs in a game. We got to see Victor Robles and Matt Adams hit, which was a delightful treat.

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I tried to get their attention to see if it was cool if I took a few hacks, but they mostly ignored me. I should have kept one chicken tender to wave in their direction. I also forgot to mention that if you watch a lot of Nats games you may notice the two guys that sit behind home plate at every game. Those are the Itkin brothers according to an article I read. We were sitting at the table nearby them so my wife snapped a quick stealth picture.

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I think they are multi-millionaires, which is why I thought it was strange that one year they were apparently voted “fan of the year”. I don’t think you should give millionaires a “fan of the year” title. Save that for someone who survived the DC metro, walked a bunch of blocks in the rain, and ate your not real chicken tenders.

The game was delayed so I used my time wisely. I scarfed down a small bag of popcorn, a soft pretzel, a few mini cupcakes, and then my stomach started hurting. But I couldn’t show any sort of pain in front of the other club members, so I just fought through it.

My favorite part about rain delays is how many times fans will go up to random employees and ask if they know when the game is supposed to start. This question is usually met with confusion, as if the front office radios down to every single Nats Park employee all the pertinent information. Let me go ask the janitor about Howie Kendrick’s injury recovery.

The delay ended up only being until 7:45, which gave me plenty of time to eat another hot dog. There was literally a small shelving unit whose purpose was purely to hold hot dog buns. It was nicer than any shelves I have at home, and it was for buns.

It was finally time to start taking our seats, so we awkwardly waited while a nice lady took a very wet rag to wipe off our wet seats. It wasn’t effective at all, and I accidentally slipped her five dollars instead of just a few bucks.

 

There were a TON of Phillies fans all over the place, including all around us. This was great because they are widely known as super rational and kind fans, so I was sure we would be fine. In fact, I expected us all to be arm-in-arm humming songs by the end of the game.

 

I snagged a vid of Harper’s first plate appearance

The great thing about these seats too was a person comes around and takes your order so you don’t have to miss a pitch! I requested another hot dog and beer, as my stomach pleaded with me to stop the madness.

The game itself was not noteworthy and I don’t care to write about any of it. But my friends and family texted us constantly to let us know we were on the TV shot. I considered various things I could do to go viral but instead just crossed my arms and looked displeased.

Once the Phillies scored their 100th run of the game, we left. I considered snagging a few more hot dogs for the road but thought better of it.

Overall the experience was truly incredible. I mingled with the 1%’ers, ate my weight in food, and also got to watch some bad Nationals baseball. Maybe I’ll get back to those seats again someday. But for now, I’ll be dreaming of those cupcakes…

 

Episode 25 – (Caps, Wiz, Redskins, Nats)

With no special episode for the first time in weeks, Serone & Simpson are back to the status quo going over the Capitals clinching their playoff spot, the Wizards hopefully losing more to get better draft stock, the Redskins front office woes, and the Nationals opening series loss to the rival Mets. Plus, the fun stuff which includes: Pine Pony Express, Ben’s love for American Idol, and Mike’s hatred of Ryan Zimmerman continues…

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Capitals Clinch Playoff Birth – (18:30)
  • Wizards Draft Position Update – (30:25)
  • “What If” Redskins Front Office – (45:15)
  • Nationals Series Opening Loss – (58:50)
  • Mike’s Zimmerman Rant – (1:15:45)
  • “Pine-Pony Express” – (1:38:40)
  • Ben’s Thoughts On Serone’s Groomed Dog – (1:52:52)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

 

Washington Nationals Season Preview – 2019

You have to love technology right? Due to the technical difficulties, our Season and Outfield Previews are one week old, yet still good listens. Check them out here!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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Well, that was ugly: Thoughts and Grades on the Nats Opening Series

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It took a heroic effort from Trea Turner on Sunday for the Nats to avoid an opening weekend sweep by the Mets. Let’s dive into some grades:

Starting Pitching

Grade: B-

Scherzer (0-1): 7.2 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 12 K’s, 3 BB’s.

Strasburg (no decision): 6 innings, 7 hits, 4 ER, 8 K’s, 2 BB’s.

Corbin (no decision): 6 innings, 7 hits, 2 ER, 4 K’s, 2 BB’s

Overall the starting pitching was okay. Scherzer and Corbin both gave the Nats a chance, and even Strasburg recovered after a really shaky first inning.

This isn’t a great sign from Strasburg in his first start, especially with the Mets hitting .292 against him. We have spoken highly on what we hope will be a “comeback” year for Stras, this did not make me super confident yet.

Corbin shined in his debut, a lot of fly balls, some hard contact, but overall was impressive on a very windy cold day in DC.

Scherz was Scherz. He struck out a ton, gave up signature opening inning bomb, and put his team in a position to win a ballgame and they spoiled a great outing.

Bullpen

Grade: D

Yikes. This was the area I was worried about from the start, and this was the area that let the Nats down this weekend.

Barraclough: 1.2 innings, 2 hits

Sipp: 1.1 innings, 2 hits, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB

Miller: 1 inning, 1 hit, 2 K’s

Suero: 1 inning, 2 hits, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB

Grace: 0.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 ER, 1 K

Rosenthal: (didn’t register an out) 4 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB

Doolittle: 1.2 innings, 3 hits, 2 K’s

As a bullpen, they combined for a 12.27 ERA.

Rosenthal, Suero, Grace, and Sipp all had the most trouble this series. I’m genuinely scared about this bullpen situation. There are no go-to arms. Barraclough and Miller handled things well, and Doolittle got thrust into a scary Sunday finale, but overall this is a bad look for yet another Nats team that is lacking reliable bullpen arms.

We’ve heard this song and dance before.

Offense

Grade: C+

Obviously, the opening day game was dreadful offensively, but the Nats were able to turn it around and put up 14 runs total in their 2nd and 3rd games in the series.

Turner: 13 AB’s, 5 hits, 4 Runs, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K’s, 4 SB, .385 avg, .429 OBP, .923 SLG

Eaton: 12 AB’s, 4 hits, 2 Runs, 4 K’s, .333 avg, 429 OBP, .333 SLG

Soto: 12 AB’s, 3 hits, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K’s, 1 SB, .250 avg, .308 OBP, .333 SLG

Zimmerman: 12 AB’s, 2 hits, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K’s, .167 avg, 231 OBP, .250 SLG

Rendon: 11 AB’s, 4 hits, 2 Runs, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K’s, .364 avg, .462 OBP, .455 SLG

Robles: 11 AB’s, 5 hits, 3 Runs, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K’s, .455 avg, .455 OBP, 1.000 SLG

Dozier: 10 AB’s, 0 hits, 3 K’s

Gomes: 7 AB’s, 2 hits, 1 Run, 3 K’s, .286 avg, .286 OBP, .429 SLG

Suzuki: 4 AB’s, 0 hits, 1 RBI

Adams: 3 AB’s, 0 hits, 2 K’s

Robles and Turner both with fantastic starts to the year. The speed with those two, plus Eaton’s ability to reach base sets the Nats big boppers up with plenty of RBI opportunity. Unfortunately Zim, Soto, and Rendon were not great out of the gate.

Too many K’s for young Soto, Zim is useless at the plate, and Rendon with a slow start. Again I declare I want more opportunities for Matt Adams. I’m tired of Davey using him in late-inning situations, give the man a full start and let’s see what he does.

Honestly, Trea Turner salvaged this series. If it wasn’t for him destroying the baseball, stealing bases, and saving the day this would have easily been a 0-3 team.

Overall

Grade: C

This was supposed to be a great tune-up opportunity for the Nats before they have to welcome back their former star Bryce Harper, and instead it exposed some immediate flaws with the way this team is built. Offense does not matter if your bullpen can’t contain the other team, and the Nats failed. Saturday and Sunday were both very winnable games (the Nats obviously did take Sunday in walk-off fashion) and now they take on the red-hot Phillies.

It is not time to panic, but this was not exactly the way this team needed to start in order to relax their nervous fanbase.

Next Series:

Nats vs. Phillies

Tuesday, 7:05 PM

Scherzer vs. Eflin

Wednesday, 1:05 PM

Sanchez vs. Nola

2019 MLB Pre-Season Award Predictions

As of a few days ago, professional sites started putting out their 2019 MLB Pre-Season Awards in loo of Opening Day. This gripe will have to be saved for another day but honestly, I understand the Phillies made some good moves this off-season. But the Nationals have arguably the best starting rotation, the favorite for 2019 Rookie of the Year (spoiler), two candidates in the Top 10 of MVP considerations and made improvements themselves with depth and their bullpen. I don’t understand how the NL East is so split. I could see it being close and favoring the Nationals more often than not, but some that I have seen have been way too heavily on the Phillies. They have a great starter in Nola, backed by a great lineup but I still don’t believe the Phillies did enough to surpass Washington’s complete team.

Below are predictions from three major sites in the sporting world. Though all three sites have similar data, ESPN has the best interactive article so let’s pinpoint on that. They have a panel of 31 experts, that will vote, that range from former players to baseball insiders. Because we focus in on the Washington Nationals, let’s stick to the National League.

ESPN.com Predictions

MLB.com Predictions

NBCSports.com Predictions

RendonSoto

NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP

Listed for the National League MVP are nine players who are viable candidates. Two of those nine are Nationals (Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon). Soto was second in Rookie of the Year voting last year but as a 20 year old, he will have to prove he won’t hit a “sophomore slump.” Rendon is one of the best all around ball players in the Majors. He’s quite but handles himself with class and shows his work ethic out on the diamond. Though, I do not think either will win the award outright, they both should be proud to be recognized in this magnitude. Out of the 31 experts, two have selected Rendon or Soto to be the NL MVP. Might not seem like a lot, but in comparison, Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant only received two each. After 34,000 fan votes, the two Nationals players combined for 4% of the votes.

Serone’s Prediction: Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis Cardinals)

Scherzer2

NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG

National League Cy Young voting has six viable candidates for the award, led by Jacob deGrom of the Mets & Max Scherzer of the Nationals. Scherzer has been in the Top 5 of voting dating back to 2013. He won it with the Detroit Tigers back in 2013 and since being traded to the Nationals he was 5th, 1st, 1st, and 2nd in voting. deGrom, though winning it last year, has yet to be in the top six in voting. I understand Scherzer’s age is increasing, yet he has not shown any signs of slowing down. Out of the 31 experts of ESPN, Scherzer had 18 of the votes while deGrom was tied with Aaron Nola of the Phillies with five each. After 30,000 fan votes, the 3-Time Cy Young winner only received 28% of the votes. Even with his pedigree he only manages that small number?

Serone’s Prediction: “Mad Max” Scherzer (Nationals)

Robles

NATIONAL LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

National League Rookie of the Year voting was almost as similar to the Cy Young as they come. I think all Nationals fans have heard of Victor Robles. He has been our prized possession for years now, developing from a teenager in the minors to now our everyday center fielder. This may be Mike Rizzo’s favorite player on the Nats because of the sole fact that he was coveted by so many teams being a Top 4 prospect in all of the Majors. Out of the 31 ESPN experts, almost half (15), voted for the youngster to take home the award. Coming in second, tied with five each were Pete Alonso (#51 MLB Prospect) of the Mets and Nick Senzel (#6 MLB Prospect) of the Reds. And with that, after 23,000 fan votes, Robles received 23% while Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres got almost 30%. I wasn’t even aware that the Padres had that many fans.

Serone’s Prediction: Victor Robles (Nationals)

 

 

Game 1 Recap: Nats get blanked on Opening Day

Game 1

Well, this is not great…

Only Game 1, yada yada yada, super long season, yada yada yada.

Bottom line is, the Nats seemingly carried issues they had last season with scoring runs into the very first game of this season. Not a HUGE deal, but a noticeable one.

The Good

-Scherzer was brilliant: 7.2 IP, 2 Hits, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, and 12 K’s. He also gave up his obligatory solo homer.

-I sometimes forget just how solid Trea Turner was for a turbulent Nats team last year. He started off this season in a great way. The shortstop went 2 for 4, with 3 stolen bases.

Besides that…there wasn’t much to be super excited about…

The Bad

-Anthony Rendon continues to be stymied by deGrom. 0 for 4 on the day including 5 runners Left on Base

-Speaking of that, the Nats 3-4-5 combo of Rendon, Soto, and Zimmerman went a combined 0 for 11 on the day, stranding 9 total runners.

-The Nats ran themselves into a bad 5-4-2-5 double play in the 3rd inning that should have been an easy scoring opportunity.

Overall

Look, it’s a long season. Opening Day is no indication of how the season may go (I mean look at my Detroit Tigers, they got an almost no-no from the skeleton of Jordan Zimmermann and a 10th inning homer from a rookie, THAT won’t hold up over 162 games).

What I didn’t like is the familiarity in this game to last year’s team. Lack of production on offense, wasted strong starting pitching, and really no production from the new guys yet.

Don’t freak out, but I think its perfectly fine to be disappointed in that Opening Day showing.

Next Game

Saturday

Nats (0-1) vs. Mets (1-0)

1:05 PM Start

Noah Syndergaard vs. Stephen Strasburg

Nats Opening Day Lineup Analyzed

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Here is what Davey is going with for Opening Day tomorrow:

  1. RF Adam Eaton
  2. SS Trea Turner
  3. LF Juan Soto
  4. 3B Anthony Rendon
  5. 1B Ryan Zimmerman
  6. 2B Brian Dozier
  7. C Yan Gomes
  8. P Max Scherzer
  9. CF Victor Robles

Martinez specifically wants this lineup to put runs on the board, and having the speed combo of Robles, Eaton, and Turner in a sequence is perfect for that.

Before you get too excited and jacked up for the first game let’s remember who this lineup is facing: Jacob deGrom.

Let’s take a quick look at how that lineup has done vs. deGrom in their careers:

Eaton: 3 for 10, 2 RBI, 4 K’s

Turner: 7 for 25, 3 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB, 10 K’s

Soto: 1 for 3

Rendon: 2 for 23, 1 RBI, 6 BB’s, 7 K’s

Zimmerman: 5 for 24, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 8 K’s

No data for Dozier it looks like, or Gomes

Robles: 1 for 5, 3 K’s

Not terrible surprisingly enough, except for Rendon. The only worry spot for me continues to be the production from the first base position. Zim gets the nod for opening day, but will we see Matt Adams get more and more opportunities to replace the veteran? Can the Nats finally get production from the catcher position as well? Something they have been missing since the departure of Wilson Ramos?

Overall, I like this lineup. A lot of speed, some great contact hitters, and hopefully a bomb every now and then. Let’s see who gets off to a nice start in the opening day series.

We Must Evolve the Game

improve the game

We’ve heard it all by now.

Baseball is boring

The games take too long

Nothing ever happens

Jayson Stark, a prominent writer for The Athletic and analyst from MLB Network, recently participated in a roundtable discussion on the most under the radar topic regarding baseball.

Stark: I think it’s the never-ending challenge of creating a sport, in the 21st century, with more action. Every time I bring this up, baseball fans overreact to it, in ways that illustrate how difficult this is. You almost never hear football fans complaining that the NFL has ruined the game that Red Grange used to play. But any time you suggest that baseball ought to at least be able to experiment with ideas that could make the game more entertaining, millions of baseball fans react as if you’re doodling on the Mona Lisa.

I love baseball as much as anyone I know. But I’m totally open to trying all sorts of these ideas — not to make games “shorter” because it isn’t about “time of game,” but to move toward a sport where you don’t have to wait 4 ½ minutes in between the average ball in play. Why do I think this story is under-covered? Because it feels as though the focus is either on time of game or on individual rule changes, not on the big picture. It’s about action, not games that take 3 ½ hours. And we can’t seem to get our audience to understand that’s the biggest issue in the sport. Why is the Home Run Derby the highest-rated baseball event on cable between Opening Day and Game 162? Because something happens! And it happens every few seconds.

It’s about the action. THAT is the biggest issue in the sport. But there are more issues beyond just the action, this goes much deeper than that.

I’m too tired to watch the end

I fall in the line of your average baseball fan. I support my teams, I watch as many of their games as possible, but life and work get in the way sometimes. What also gets in the way is the fact that most of us work your standard 9-5 shifts, sometimes even earlier. I get up at 6:30AM, many friends of mine start their day even earlier.

Your average MLB start time is 7:05 Eastern, the average length of the game in 2018 was 3 hours, 5 minutes, and 11 seconds. That would put your end time roughly around 10:15PM. That’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. You stay up to watch the end, or you don’t, I don’t know about you but I don’t have 3 hours every day to give to a sport that plays on an almost daily basis. 162 games, that’s 486 hours of baseball.

That’s 20 DAYS of your LIFE.

Why give that to a sport that doesn’t seem to care about you? They bring you to the ballpark only to charge you $10 for a beer and $5 for a hotdog that likely costs them less than 10 cents to make. Stations like MASN spit in your face when you protest that the other sports give us streaming options here in 2019 where we can view our teams on our phones, our iPads, our Playstations. You want a “choice” on how to watch this game?

Guess what, They don’t care about you.

Kids don’t watch baseball

A 2016 article in Fox Sports cited the median age of baseball fans at 56 years old. Can you blame kids? Look at their options. Basketball presents offense on almost every trip down the court, big dunks, exciting threes, nonstop action. Football ironically enough is close to baseball in average length of time of a game, and yet it just seems like it moves much quicker. You know that as soon as the team breaks the huddle something is going to happen. Hockey is similar to basketball, fast-movements, flying across the ice, big hits, action. Soccer, the mortal enemy of most baseball players growing up, goes long periods of no scoring but all the while the ball is moving, tackles are being made, shots are being attempted.

In baseball we are waiting for the batter to ready himself for battle, the pitcher to receive the sign, the batter to change his mind that no, in fact, he is not ready to do the thing he is paid millions of dollars to do, he needs more time. The pitcher wants to discuss with his catcher the strategy they have gone over at length beforehand. Oh look, another ball thrown outside the zone, we are now at six minutes and nothing has happened.

This is a problem.

extras

The baseball purists stomp their feet, pound their chests, this is how baseball is meant to be played. How dare you question that? How dare you want to change anything about this beautiful game? The game ends when it ends, they scream, kids and potential fans be damned.

I love baseball. I played baseball. I hope my kids play baseball. I get why others don’t love to watch or play baseball. I find the strategy exciting, the individual talent levels off the charts, its a difficult game, one of the hardest, but I get it. I get the disdain.

Even as a player there was plenty of times my mind wandered as I stood in the outfield, begging for a ball to be hit my way, give me something to do. I’ve fallen asleep watching baseball on television, I’m sure I’m not the only one.

How do we fix this? We must swallow our pride, accept that this game is beautiful to some and boring to others. At times in my life I stress about how the world doesn’t adjust to us, we need to adjust to the world, but with baseball this is adjustable. This is sports, this is a game, we have options. Put a guy on second base to start extra innings. Give me a pitch clock. Speed it up. Just TRY something. If it doesn’t work, fine, scrap it and try something else. But soon enough the age of immediacy will collide with the slowest moving game out there.

Baseball MUST change, baseball MUST evolve.

Before it is too late.

 

Bryce Harper/Philadelphia: Special Edition (Guest: Jessica Towne)

Take a look into the Philadelphia Phillies acquisition of Bryce Harper, and inside their locker room as Jessica Towne (@RunThisTowne13) joins the show to break down everything about our arch rival in the National League East!

Follow Jessica:

Twitter: @RunThisTowne13

Contributing Writer:  “ProSportsNotes.com” and “Wild Fire Sports”

Co-Host of “The Madness Podcast”

 

Nationals Infield Preview – 2019

Second special edition episode of our Washington Nationals Spring Training Preview! Check out how the infield spots check out in our minds. Plus, will Anthony Rendon become the new “Face of the Franchise?” Take a listen…

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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Nationals Season Preview: Five Random Thoughts on Pitchers/Catchers

As we continue our season preview (check out the podcast episode we did here: (https://dccrossover.com/2019/03/04/dc-pitchers-catchers-preview-2019/) I wanted to add some other key thoughts as a companion to our preview podcasts. For this installment, I’ll go over five random thoughts regarding the Nats Pitchers/Catchers. 

1. I’m terrified about the Nationals Bullpen

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Overall the Nats are getting glowing reviews regarding their off-season acquisitions, and deservedly so. But an area that still absolutely terrifies me is the bullpen.

Per RotoChamp (and various other projections) here is the current setup for the bullpen:

Closer: Sean Doolittle

Relievers: 

Kyle Barraclough

Matt Grace

Justin Miller

Trevor Rosenthal

Sammy Solis

Jimmy Cordero

Koda Glover

(other candidates include Kyle McGowin, Tanner Rainey, and Austin Adams)

Last year’s Nats were just “okay” in the pen. They gave up the 6th most Home Runs (81), were near the bottom of the league in strikeouts, and as a team were middle of the pack in ERA (4.05).

For a team that is trying to contend for a World Series, they didn’t do a lot to improve in this area. Barraclough is an innings-eater and brings some value, and Rosenthal is more of a low-risk gamble but is coming off a major injury and hasn’t been good for 4-5 years.

Koda Glover has already been bitten by the injury bug early in his career and left a spring training game with forearm tightness, Sammy Solis is only around because he is left-handed, and a lot is riding on guys like Matt Grace and Justin Miller to repeat their strong 2018 campaigns.

I’m nervous, the bullpen has constantly been an issue for the Nats and Mike Rizzo as they shipped out Madsen and Kintzler last year after a failed season. A lot is riding on Doolittle who is also coming off a shortened season due to injury.

Rizzo either needs to make a few more moves, or cross his fingers and pray this group can get the job done.

2. I think Strasburg will beat the projections

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves

Everyone is very hesitant to give Strasburg the benefit of the doubt that he will come back strong in 2019. I get this somewhat, last year wasn’t disastrous but it also wasn’t great (10-7, 3.74 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 156 K’s, with opponents hitting .309 on balls in play). He got hit around a bit, and only pitched 130 innings.

In both 2016 and 2017 Strasburg tallied 15 wins each season, with his 2017 campaign being in contention of a Cy Young with a 2.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He was dominant, and most projections say he won’t get back to that level this season. I’m seeing a lot of 12-8 records with an ERA in the 3.50 range but I think a fully health Stras can get back to his 2017 form.

That is the key though: fully healthy. Strasburg made his spring debut early this week and looked good (2 scoreless innings with a couple strikeouts). The big thing last season was the disappearing velocity, but his fastball topped out at 94 in his Spring debut so hopefully he can push that up a tick before the season starts.

I think a healthy, confident, Strasburg can rebound from a roller coaster 2018 season and snag 14+ wins with a sub 3.30 ERA.

3. I like Justin Miller and you should too

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In case you wanted a quick background on Miller:

This was a guy that signed with the Nats in a minor league deal last year, and worked his way up to the big club. Prior to last year he had pitched sparingly, 42 innings in 2016, 33 innings in 2015, and 8 innings in 2014.

Last year for the Nats here’s what Miller was able to accomplish:

52 Innings, 3.61 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 60 K’s, 17 BB’s, 12.8% Swinging Strike percentage, 83% of runners Left on Base, and opponents only his .254 on balls in play against him.

Miller has a 94-95 MPH Fastball, decent slider, and solid changeup and really held together the broken bullpen last year with his performance. He is known to be a good clubhouse guy as well.

Unfortunately, right now he’s got an injury that could possibly keep him from being ready for Opening Day, but when he gets back I’m sure he’ll go back to having a key role in this questionable bullpen.

4. The Nats don’t seem to think Pedro Severino is ready

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Pedro Severino had a pretty bad 2018 (to be fair, so did the Nats as a whole). With an injury-prone Matt Wieters also playing the same position, Severino had a great opportunity to solidify himself as the catcher for the immediate future. Instead he hit .168 in 70 games, with only 2 HR’s, 15 RBI, with a .254 OBP and .247 Slugging.

You can see in the highlight reel there is still potential obviously, and he is still very young:

The twenty-five-year-old now has to wait a bit, as the Nats bring in Yan Gomes and bring BACK Kurt Suzuki to split time at catcher.

Neither is expected to blow away the league offensively but both are improvements over last year and Suzuki brings Veteran leadership and already was a beloved National before.

Severino still will have time to grow, but the position has now gotten a little more crowded. My gut is the Nats simply don’t think Severino is ready whatsoever to take the reigns, the trust just isn’t there yet.

5. Please for the love of god can we just pick a 5th starter

On the 1st, Hellickson was quoted discussing his desire to solidify the 5th spot in the Nationals rotation: https://www.federalbaseball.com/2019/3/1/18243361/jeremy-hellickson-wants-fifth-spot-washington-nationals-rotation-wants-to-go-deeper-in-starts

And to be fair, he probably has earned that after a strong run in 2018 (5-3 Record, 3.45 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) but it appears Davey Martinez has not fully decided on that 5th spot. Joe Ross is clearly the guy with the highest upside, but he is only some months removed from his full recovery from surgery, and Fedde didn’t have a great 2018 but then again he only threw 50 innings and is still young.

I would love for this spot to be solidified out of camp. Here is how the guys are doing so far (though Spring Training stats themselves don’t mean THAT much)

Joe Ross: 5.2 Innings, 5 K’s, 1.59 ERA, 1.59 WHIP

Erick Fedde: 5.1 Innings, 5 K’s, 11.81 ERA, 3.19 WHIP

Jeremy Hellickson: 5 Innings, 7 K’s, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP

Based purely on that it is clearly a two-dog race between Ross and Hellickson for that 5th spot. Do you lean on the younger, higher upside Ross? Or do you go with the 31 year old Hellickson who performed last year when the Nats needed a band-aid?

Please just make a choice and stick with it, we know this rotation tends to get banged up anyways so I’m sure whoever doesn’t make the initial rotation will work their way in. What I don’t like is any idea of working in different guys constantly. Pick a man, let them perform, and adjust from there.

DC: Pitchers & Catchers Preview – 2019

The first special edition episode of our Washington Nationals Spring Training previews. Up to bat first are the Pitchers and Catchers. We discuss the additions of Corbin, Sanchez, Gomes, and Suzuki to the club. Take a listen and come back next week as we breakdown the infield for our Washington Nationals.

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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BREAKING: Bryce Harper signs with Philadelphia Phillies

And there it is. Bryce Harper signs with the Phillies. Now let me start by saying this whole article may be an overreaction to what has just transcribed a few hours ago, so I apologize if some of my thoughts are irrational.

I have loved baseball my entire life. The sound of the lawn mower cutting those last few blades of grass in the outfield. The smell of the freshly manicured ball field dousing your senses. The subtle noise of the crowd chatter in the background. Honestly, there is nothing like going to a baseball game. You can like whatever sport you want. But baseball is in a class of its own.

Fast forward to 2009. In comes Stephen Strasburg throwing lightning and hearing the thunder of the crowd. I was there against the Pirates when he threw for 14 K’s and electrified this city. Then it happened. The following year, we drafted BRYCE HARPER. The golden boy had landed in D.C.

BryceHarperYoung.jpg

The anticipation of Harper grew and grew. Strasburg was one thing, but the hype for him was not compared to the intrigue an everyday player who was labeled “the chosen one” brought to the table. After a couple of years, the Nationals surprised us all and headed to the post-season. Then this happened:

Every year since 2012, we have been one of the favorites to win the World Series. Yet, we have been one of the most disappointing teams year in and year out since that year. Missing the playoffs multiple years, and not making it passed the National League Division Series in four tries, even though having one of the best “on paper” rosters in the league was heart wrenching. Yet, one thing remained, Bryce Harper.

With Bryce Harper, anything was possible. Eyes were always on Washington D.C., because we had the rights to arguably one of the Top 5 players in all of baseball. Other cities didn’t get that type of recognition because Harper was an icon at his young age. The hair, the Sports Illustrated Body Issue (see below), the sound bites, and above all else, the monster bombs he hit over countless fences. You never knew what could happen because ANYTHING was possible with this guy.

HarperBodyIssue

So here we stand as a franchise, poised to make a deep run this year and for multiple years to come. The average age of the core group for this team is only 22.25 years old (Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Carter Kieboom). That takes into account over half your outfield and infield with only those five guys. Mike Rizzo has built this team for the future and it has started to come to light. The only question, where was the face of our franchise going to end up?

The Nationals offered a “fair” offer at first. (Nationals Initial Offer For Bryce) The Lerners, Rizzo, and the city wanted Bryce back, at first. Then, rumors swelled and the debates began as time passed. “Where will he go?” – “Does he want to stay in D.C.?” – “Is he only in it for the money?” – “Doesn’t he want to win?” These were just some questions that arose in the beginning portion of this Free-Agency period.

But, the vitriol start to arise with the fan base after Bryce turned down Washington’s initial offer. People’s rationale started to decline. Everyone did not understand that if they were in his situation, with his talent, upside and prowess, we would want to get fair market value as well. Now I am not going to say I was happy Bryce was shopping with other teams, because I honestly wasn’t thrilled about the idea. Yet, I saw the bigger picture about how our team was constructed and decided to let the whole Harper thing fizzle out.

After over four months of discussions, four months of back and forth’s, four months of almost pure torture, Bryce Harper has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Did we expect him moving on? Yes. Did we expect other teams in this sweepstakes? (i.e. Yankees, Cubs, etc.) Yes. Would we have rather him go to any other team besides one within our division? YES.

SERONE’S TAKE:

Okay, here is my view on what this whole process has boiled down too. I wavered so much during these last four months debating in my head the pros and cons to having or losing the face of our franchise. But then it happened. It actually happened. The Phillies were the last team in the running to swoon over “our guy.” Now I could honestly care less about how much money yada yada yada. I am more so hurt by the fact he decided to take the job in Philadelphia, the city in which dreams are shattered because of their fan base. Take a look at some examples of what I am talking about.

NHL PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

(Fans throw TRIBUTE BRACELET OF LONG TIME OWNER on ice and at players)

NFL PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

(Fans pelt opposing fans with countless snowballs for many minutes)

MLB PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

(Fans throw Duracell Batteries and Trash at JD Drew)

Who would ever want to play in front of these fans? I literally hate when Philly fans try to say things like: “Oh we are just passionate people!” or “We love our teams!” No, no you don’t. I am a diehard Redskins, Nationals, Capitals and Wizards fan and you don’t see me throwing beer on a Houston Astros fan or a Miami Dolphins fan. You don’t see other fan bases doing these things year in and year out. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some good fans out there but the majority ruins it for everyone. Would you ever wear a rival jersey in one of their stadiums? Would you ever jump in a pool with piranhas? They are classless and literally will scold you until you break down. I am not sure if Bryce was only in it for the money or not but wanting to play for these fans and that city over ANYONE OR ANYWHERE else is a gut-wrenching blow.

It is free-agency, I get it. But you have to think of your legacy at some point, right? I loved watching Bryce. Every at-bat was something to get excited for. But now, it is over. He has pulled an Anakin Skywalker and turned over to the Dark Side. We are Obi-Wan Kenobi and he is Darth Vader.

The D.C. hero has now become possibly one of the most hated sports figures for all of our nations capital. He went from Washington D.C’s sports “Mount Rushmore,” to our evil Thanos. The rivalry has been ignited once more, now with even more despise and more hatred. I loved Bryce as a baseball icon, but now he is gone and we have to deal with it. Enjoy your next 13 years Bryce. My last thought comes from one of the best movies of all time. There is only one thing left to do now. (Clip Rated: R for Strong Language)

 

Let’s Go Nats!

Episode 21 – (Capitals, Wizards, Nationals)

The duo is back on the mics from the brief hiatus of the holiday weekend. Spring Training has begun and the boys are ginned up. Join in on the action as Ben talks about the “Lovers Kit” from his hotel during Valentines Day. Also, we discuss a Frenchmen getting 4-Months in prison for a brilliant theft attempt, and answer a few Spring Training questions for the Nationals!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Capitals Trade Deadline Acquisitions – (19:10)
  • Wizards Terrible Defense – (38:45)
  • Spring Training for Nationals – (1:00:00)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears” – (1:33:00)
  • Long-Time Guest “Ian Hollerin” – (1:43:30)
  • “Pine-Pony Express” – (1:45:50)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

 

Is it weird that I literally don’t want Bryce Harper?

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks

Am I an idiot? Bryce is one of the best hitters of our generation right? The Millenial Mickey Mantle? The Vegas Golden Boy? I should be kicking myself for even CONSIDERING the idea of not wanting him on the Nats right? RIGHT?!

And yet…I am.

bryce bryce

Look, the credentials speak for themselves. Six all-stars, Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, with an absolute TEAR of a 2015 season.

But as a Nationals fan I have the ability to see more than the numbers. Some of the characterizations are unfair. Coming out of high school, and in his early years in the MLB, the guy had a really bad rep.

Umpires baited him, media-types pounced, and overall Bryce was the “crybaby” in a lot of eyes.

Going beyond some of the unfair criticisms lies a small grain of pitching mound sand of truth. The guy cares ALOT. He is emotional, he is combative, that much is a fact. You watch a season of Nats games and you can see it both on the field and with occasional camera shots to the dugout.

Is it a problem? Max Scherzer is intense too, right? Here’s the difference. When I see Max Scherzer giving his all and being a psycho on the mound, I see it as “I am doing everything in my power to help my team win”. When I see Bryce lose his mind I see “I am doing everything in my power to help ME win.”

I’m not in the dugout, I’m not in the clubhouse, I can’t REALLY speak to his abilities as a leader. But I think a fan perspective is worth something, and I have not ever looked at Bryce as the “Leader” of the Nats. We look to Zim, or to Max as leaders.

Bryce cares about Bryce. Is that a bad thing? No. Is it bad for a team that is trying to contend for a championship? In my opinion, yes.

As much as I envy the World Series champs from previous seasons, look at the guys on those squads.

world series

Those were TEAMS. Those guys worked as a UNIT. Did they each have their own stars? Of course. But it was not one guy leading the charge. And the stars that were at the front, would you put them in the same realm as Bryce as far as competitive and combative attitude? I don’t think so.

The point is, I look at this year’s roster without Bryce Harper and I’m excited. I don’t see one guy leading the charge. I see a cohesive unit. I see young studs mixed with guys in their prime mixed with crafty vets. Without Bryce, I don’t see this weight hanging over this team.

If you resign Bryce to a monster contract you will forever have the “Is he worth it” debate for the next decade. It won’t be about the Nationals, it will be about the scrutiny of every action Harper takes, every at-bat he swings and misses. Everyone will constantly be doing calculations “Oh look, is that ground out worth ___ million dollars?”

Without him I’m looking at a unit that can play free, maybe fly under the radar and surprise some people.

None of this is taking into consideration any of the financial impact or handcuffing of the team. The shuffling of the outfield, and any other logistical impacts along the way. This is one fan’s opinion, purely on emotion and gut feeling.

I think Bryce Harper is an incredible talent. I think Bryce Harper could be a hall-of-famer. I think Bryce Harper could win multiple MVPs in the future.

I just don’t want him.

A few Nats get completely disrespected by MLB Network’s Top 100 List

MLB Network concluded their Top 100 list last night, naming the Top 10 Players to finish off the list.

How is the Top 100 list compiled? MLB Network’s research team, in conjunction with the show’s producers, use statistical analysis to rank the Top 100 players in MLB for the 2019 season. (It’s different from the Shredder, which is used to determine the network’s annual ranking lists for the Top 10 players at each position.)

Let’s take a quick look at which Nats made the cut, and who got absolutely disrespected by the analysts:

#89-Sean Doolittle (Last Year: Unranked)

Sean Doolittle

No doubt Doolittle is finally being considered one of the more elite closers in the game right now. A few pitchers that were ranked higher than him: Kenley Jansen, Ohtani, and Mike Clevinger. Ohtani supposedly won’t even touch the pitchers mound this year, and will bat occasionally as a DH later on in the season. Is that enough to bump him higher than a healthy closer? I guess so.

#84-Trea Turner (Last Year: #47)

turner-trea-usnews-getty-ftr_15kfkm9hhbbxq11v5a0m0z27w4

Jean Segura barely edges out Turner and nabs #83 somehow, and I don’t understand the huge drop in ranking for Trea. Turner has had some really nice moments, and he’s had some bad spots as well. Still young, still a ton of potential, but he hasn’t established himself as a consistent stud yet. But a 40 spot drop seems drastic. He still hit .270 with close to 20 bombs on a team that underperformed. This seems like too big of a drop.

#80-Stephen Strasburg (Last Year: #28)

stephen-strasburg-shoulder-injury.jpg

Strasburg has had a roller-coaster career. One season he’ll be on fire, the next he’ll be struck by the injury bug and find it hard to stay on the field. Strasburg’s 2017 season was freaking SOLID. 15-4, 2.52 ERA, and his own version of MJ’s “Flu Game” in the playoffs

Last season was not great for Stras, and I think the league continues to overlook him after his initial entry was filled with so much hype. But to go from 28th to 80th?????!! Especially being completely healthy heading into a season with a loaded pitching rotation and re-tooled team. Another head-scratcher.

#78-Patrick Corbin (Last Year: Unranked)

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Nats fans are going to like what they see out of Corbin. He’s a guy coming off a really strong 2018, and earning himself that big contract. I love having his lefty arm in the rotation. I’m fine with this ranking. We’ll have more to say about this as the season progresses.

#36-Juan Soto (Last Year:Unranked)

Soto-780x520

Again the logic here is not adding up to me. Soto put together an INCREDIBLE 2018 campaign, of that there is no doubt. But is his freshman year enough to vault him into the top 40 players of the LEAGUE?? I love Soto, I think he is going to be fantastic for a long time, but can we make that declaration already? They have Soto higher than guys like George Springer, Charlie Blackmon, Cody Bellinger, etc. I love the enthusiasm but this seems a little much.

#21-Anthony Rendon (Last Year: #35)

rendon_bats_ddeb0b7c_15mtv4jy

I’m perfectly okay with this ranking. Rendon had stealthily moved up the ranks season after season and he’s one of those sleeper talents. I like a 14 spot rise for him after putting together yet another strong season.

#5-Max Scherzer (Last Year: #11)

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Mad Max is the heartbeat of the Washington Nationals. A grunting, swearing, sweaty, workhorse of a heartbeat. He IS a top 5 player in this league. On his pitching days he is the best player on the field, he controls the game entirely.

All hail Max.

Where does Ryan Zimmerman rank among MLB 1st Basemen?

zimmerman.png

In November of 2018 Will Leitch of MLB.com wrote an article about the Top 20 First Basemen and ranked Ryan Zimmerman #15. This put Zim in front of guys like Josh Bell, Justin Bour, and Brandon Belt. This astounded me. I remember the pretty incredible 2017 campaign for Zim wherein he batted .303 in 144 games. But here we are in 2019, and the 34-year-old is coming off an 85-game .264 average season with one year left on his Nats contract.

It has been chronicled heavily on the podcast( Click here to download) of Mike and I’s disdain for the rope that the Nats give to Zim. So it begs the question: Is Zim the worst first baseman starting in the MLB this upcoming season? Or am I just a know-nothing jilted fan talking out of my ass? Let’s take a look.

The first thing to do is start with the nerds. Let’s take a look at the projections:

2019 projections

As you can see the bottom is what Ryan did in 2018, and the five lines above that are possible projections by various sources. The consensus appears to be that he will have a pretty similar season to 2018 numbers-wise, obviously a bigger sample size with him in theory playing more than 85 games in 2019.

Personally, I like Composite’s projections, so let’s use them as an example:

.266 avg, 21 HR, 57 R, 68 RBI in 406 at-bats.

I want to start in the NL East, and look around the other first basemen inside the division. This is based on MLB.com’s projected depth-chart as of today:

Braves-Freddie Freeman

Phillies-Rhys Hoskins

Marlins-Pete O’Brien

Mets-Todd Frazier (but really Pete Alonso)

Immediately place Freddie Freeman and Rhys Hoskins WAY above Zim in pretty much any sort of category. Now we are left with Pete O’Brien (who sounds like the guy that helps me with my taxes) and the shell of Todd Frazier with one of the top Mets prospects Pete Alonso waiting on the wings.

Here’s the Pete Alonso mixtape in case you were wondering:

Don’t bother looking up Peter O’Brien, just know that he may one of the few Zim has beat. So far the only first baseman I would rank lower than Zim is O’Brien.

Current Ranking of Zim: 4th (of 5 Teams)

Now let’s dive into more of the National League starting with the NL Central:

Cubs-Anthony Rizzo

Reds-Joey Votto

Brewers-Jesus Aguilar

Pirates-Josh Bell

Cardinals-Paul Goldschmidt

The Central is LOADED with First Base talent. Immediately place Rizzo and Goldy above Zim. Votto is up there too, especially for Fantasy Baseball owners. That leaves a non-household name in Aguilar, and Bell.

Aguilar has CRAZY pop, 35 dingers last year, and in 2018 really broke out. His potential immediately vaults him above Zim.

Bell is an interesting case because I would put him in a similar boat to Zim, and the projections do as well. Bell underachieved last year coming off a pretty solid 2017. I think the power numbers will be better than Zim, as well as the average.

Current Ranking of Zim: 9th (of 10 Teams)

I’ll zip through the NL West

D-Backs-Jake Lamb

Rockies-Daniel Murphy

Dodgers-Max Muncy

Padres-Eric Hosmer

Giants-Brandon Belt

Murph and Muncy are easily placed above Zim. Hosmer is probably looking at a 20+ bombs .270+ avg season as well, so put him up there too.

Jake Lamb had solid power numbers in 2016 and 2017, and last year wasn’t able to do much only playing in only 56 games due to injury. His power should be back, so he should double (maybe triple) Zim’s homer numbers. Belt is very very close to Zim. I will actually give Zim the SLIGHT edge for Zim because I think he can beat Belt out this year.

Current Ranking of Zim: 13th (of 15 Teams)

The American League! Let’s go to the AL East, where things may surprise you a bit.

Orioles-Chris Davis (You could make a case for Mancini)

Red Sox-Mitch Moreland 

Yankees-Luke Voit

Rays-Yandy Diaz

Blue Jays-Justin Smoak

For all the hype the AL East gets, the position of First Base isn’t loaded here. I would put Zim above Chris Davis, but lower than Mancini. Moreland and Yandy Diaz aren’t great options either.

Let’s go ahead and say Mancini represents the O’s in this scenario. Zim ranks higher than Diaz and Moreland to me.

Current Ranking of Zim: 16th (of 20 Teams)

On to the AL Central:

White Sox-Jose Abreu

Indians-Jake Bauers/Carlos Santana

Tigers-Miguel Cabrera

Royals-Ryan O’Hearn

Twins-CJ Cron

The ghost of Miguel Cabrera is still better than the ghost of Ryan Zimmerman, so I’ll give him the edge.

The Cleveland situation is a tad unfair because the Indians plan to platoon between Bauers and Santana, but Santana is still better numbers-wise than Zim.

As for Ryan O’Hearn and CJ Cron, O’Hearn is young and projecting for a .250-type season. Cron is coming off a 30 bomb year that earned him a spot with the Twins after being released on waivers by Tampa Bay. So put Zim over O’Hearn, but slightly behind Cron.

Current Ranking of Zim: 20th (of 25 teams)

Our last division is the AL West:

Astros-Yuli Gurriel

Angels-Albert Pujols/Justin Bour

Athletics-Matt Olson

Mariners-Ryon Healy

Rangers-Joey Gallo

Here’s a fun shift the Astros did on Gallo

Gallo, Olson, and Gurriel are easily picked higher than Zim on any sort of fantasy or real life rankings. Pujols and Bour will probably share some time at first, but gotta think Bour will get more actual starts there and Pujols nears the end of his career.

Honestly, the only guy you could put lower than Zim here is Healy. A strong 2017 lead into a mediocre 2018 for Healy.

So after all of that here is where we stand:

Final Ranking of Zim: 24th (of 30 teams)

Looking through the Nats pipeline, there isn’t a lot of excitement at the first base position either once you get past Zim and Matt Adams. I was wrong, Zim is not the WORST first baseman in the MLB, but it still doesn’t look great.

Let’s take a look at a player on the list of Nats Non-Roster Invitees: Tres Barrera

C-Tres Barrera

tres

Per FederalBaseball.com, the 24-year-old Catcher (drafted in the 6th round in 2016 by the Nats) is “solid defensively”, handles pitchers well, and leads the defense.

In 2018, Barrera hit .263, with 6 bombs, 24 RBI, and 68 hits in 259 AB’s. Barrera currently sits 14th in the Nats prospect list per MLB.com (list was from 2018, new prospect list comes out this month). The consensus seems to be his bat has pop, but sometimes pulls the ball way too much and doesn’t have much self-control at the plate.

As you can tell in this video, he’s a strong dude with a lot of raw power, the question will be if he can be consistent and work his way up through the Nats ranks.

Overall this seems to just be a good experience builder for Barrera, don’t expect him to be on the big squad for a few years, if ever.

Let’s take a look at a player on the list of Nats Non-Roster Invitees: Henderson Alvarez

RHP-Henderson Alvarez

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If you recall, and likely you don’t, the Nats signed Alvarez to a minor league deal back in November of last year. Alvarez, 28, pitched in 2018 with the Phillies.

He had a 4.30 ERA in 14 2/3 innings for Philly. His last GOOD season was in 2014 where he went 12-7, 2.65 ERA in 187 innings pitched (per Federalbaseball.com).

A lot of old glory years for this guy, including a no-hitter:

This is purely one of those low-risk invites that could lead to some depth pitching-wise if needed. The guy throws a Fastball, Sinker, Curve, Slider, and Changeup, mainly relying on his Fastball and Sinker.

Basically, this is a guy who’s promising career was derailed by injuries, and now has a chance to showcase himself with a Nats spring training squad. My guess is the Nats could stash him somewhere in AAA and wait for the inevitable injury bug to strike the rotation at some point and have Alvarez give the team a few starts.

Overall, nothing to be too excited about, but keep an eye on Alvarez’s numbers here in Spring as he hopes to climb his way back to the big time.

Bryce unfollows multiple Caps players

Let’s take a look at Bryce’s twitter:

bryce

Of the 24 follows for Bryce, only Mike Trout and Braden Holtby make the list. This is clearly a sign that he’s signing with Philly right? RIGHT?!

Episode 18 – (NFL, Nationals, Capitals, Wizards)

Back together again with football, beer and a whole new food review for the masses, check out the duo as they converse about food, old PC games, and wedding gaffes from friends hired as DJ’s. With more plans to come for the near future, that include but are not limited too, video elements, more guests etc., check back each and every week for all the new things we have in store!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Food Review (“The Habit Burger Grill”) – (19:30)
  • Redskins Update/NFL Championships – (37:12)
  • Nationals/Kris Bryant Discussion  – (53:32)
  • Capitals Struggles – (1:09:00)
  • Wizards Current Outlook – (1:23:13)
  • “What Grinds Our Gears/Pine-Pony Express” – (1:36:10)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Episode 17 – (Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, Nationals)

The snow has put a damper on traveling to do our in-person show but the show must go on. Through the technology of cellular phones, we brought you a show that includes Kentucky natives throwing ham at one another, what we do on “snow-days” and much more to do with the actual product, D.C. Sports. Check it out!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Coaching/NFL Divisional – (13:50)
  • “New Look” Wizards – (31:30)
  • Capitals Resiliency  – (1:00:05)
  • Nationals Depth Moves – (1:26:06)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (1:40:45)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:45:45)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

 

Episode 16 – (Skins, Nats, Caps, Wiz)

It is 2019 and the boys are back! Check out this fun filled episode to ring in the New Year as Serone & Simpson talk Pixar movies, fast food condiments, and what 2% of our audience come to hear, DC Sports. Check out the timestamps below to fast forward to your favorite parts and/or just listen to the entire episode because you should. Case & Point.

Podcast Available: Apple PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Overview – (23:15)
  • Nationals Off-Season Update – (55:31)
  • Capitals Near All-Star Break – (1:17:10)
  • Wizards Turmoil – (1:29:54)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (1:39:55)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:49:49)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

 

Episode 15 – (Redskins, Nats, Wiz, Caps)

Join the famous duo as they discuss the Redskins getting back in the win column, Mike Rizzo (Nationals GM) making yet another move to bolster the roster, the Caps winning 5 Straight and the Wizards not shocking us at all with their lack of intelligence. The “2-Point Conversion” & “Pine-Pony Express” are included as always and you can skip ahead to your favorite parts of the show in the timestamps below.

Podcast Available: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Win – (13:39)
  • Nationals Moves – (36:36)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (56:23)
  • Wizards Shame – (1:10:55)
  • Capitals Hot Streak – (1:20:50)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:26:50)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Episode 14 – (Redskins, Nationals, Pine Pony)

The Boys are Back and talking about the terrible Redskins loss, the new Nationals news of Bryce Harper doubtful to return, and of course the fan favorite “Pine-Pony Express & 2-Point Conversion.”

Follow Us:

  • Twitter: @dccrossover @Serone16
  • Facebook: “DC Crossover Podcast”

Podcast Available: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Google Play Music

Subscribe, Download Episodes, Rate and Review!

Timestamps:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Vacation Starting Early – (11:48)
  • Nationals Lerner Interview News – (33:30)
  • Wizards Update – (47:55)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (53:20)
  • “Pine-Pony Express” – (1:01:52)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Episode 13 – (Skins, Nats, Caps, Wiz)

Join the boys as they discuss the Redskins collapse, Nationals movement, Caps hot streak and more! Plus you get two very intriguing Pine Pony Express news stories and Ben’s “Fan Fest” experience with the infamous Kevin Long!

Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Podcast Available: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Google Play Music

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

http://www.DCCrossover.com

Timestamps:

  • Pre-Show Banter: (0:00)
  • Redskins Collapse: (16:00)
  • Nationals Movement: (54:13)
  • “2-Point Conversion”: (1:06:30)
  • Capitals Hot Streak: (1:15:00)
  • Wizards Discussion: (1:26:18)
  • “Pine Pony Express”: (1:33:45)

Episode 7 – (Va Tech, Redskins, Caps, Wiz)

The Redskins beat the Cowboys 20-17 at FedEx Field this past Sunday which propelled them to sole possession of 1st Place in the NFC East! We’ll have our thoughts on that along with our “Notes with Nokes” segment previewing the Hokies game this Thursday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Capitals & Wizards have gotten underway as we also discuss their starts.

Timestamps:

  • “Notes with Nokes” Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech – (1:40)
  • Redskins vs. Cowboys Reaction – (26:35)
  • Washington Capitals Talk – (42:40)
  • Washington Wizards Talk – (55:00)
  • “2 Point Conversion” – (1:07:40)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:20:00)

Podcast Available on: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast & Google Play Music (Subscribe, Download Episodes, Rate & Review)

LIVE Episode at Parrandos Tex-Mex Grill

The first live broadcast was set at the beautiful Parrandos Tex-Mex Grill in Ashburn, VA and was a huge success! They were great to us and have a fantastic venue with an amazing atmosphere. Visit http://www.ParrandosTexMex.com for menu’s, reservations and more!

Serone & Simpson discuss the Redskins win, Capitals season so far, a brief recap of the Nationals season, order food live on air, figure out Ben’s running capabilities and many more topics! Visit the “DC Crossover Podcast” on Facebook for the live video of our experience.

Timestamps:

  • Redskins Rapid Reactions – (1:00)
  • Nationals Season Recap – (34:45)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (43:40)
  • Food Order – (1:01:30)
  • Capitals Season – (1:03:20)
  • Food Delivered – (1:13:26)
  • “Notes with Nokes (VT Football)” @DannyNokes – (1:30:35)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:45:10)

Podcast Available On: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Google Play Music

http://www.DCCrossover.com

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.djkenneththomas.com)

Nats AAA to Fresno….what?

fresno

Article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2018/09/18/the-nationals-class-aaa-affiliate-will-be-moving-to-less-than-convenient-fresno/?utm_term=.3b2b16303cc4

Syracuse to DC, not ideal but not too bad. Fresno to DC??? WTF?

The Nationals knew they would have to leave Syracuse when the New York Mets bought the Chiefs before this season, virtually guaranteeing they would sign a player development contract there when the Chiefs’ player development contract with the Nationals expired. Several other Class AAA affiliates were playing under expiring player development contracts, so the Nationals figured to have a chance at somewhere fairly close. Nashville, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Fresno, and Round Rock (Tex.) were available.

“[Fresno] was our second choice. Obviously, we made it clear Nashville was our primary choice and they chose someone else,” Rizzo said. “We ended up going to a place that wanted us and we’re happy with.”

Yep, this makes total sense.

 

What in the world did Bryce do to Laz Diaz? UPDATED

Update:

Yikes…

Game 140-In case you missed it…Nats lose 7-6

Roberto Clemente day at the park.

Oh look, there’s our old friend Matt Adams…

I don’t know why the first tweet phrased this as “revenge”…The guy didn’t even play here a complete season, was going to get a new contract somewhere else likely anyways even if the Nats hadn’t blown it up.

Another bad night for Roark: 5 innings, 10 hits, 6 ER, 0 BB’s, 4 K’s. I feel like the Nats fans sometimes try and make this guy something he is not…

Nats now 7.5 Games back in the NL EAST and 9 Games Back in the WC.

Oh hey, Football is back tonight!

Next Game:

Tonight at 7:05 ET vs. the Cubs

Hendricks (11-10, 3.77 ERA) vs. Strasburg (7-7, 4.09 ERA)

Game 139-In case you missed it…Nats lose 11-8

Fedde gets the start after the call-up and starts things off with a K

Then in the 2nd…things get tricky…

Ozuna hits a bomb, and another one in the 6th

Paul DeJong and Patrick Wisdom also homer

Fedde’s final line: 5 innings, 4 Hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K’s

Austen Williams also gives up 3 ER.

One would think 8 runs scored by the Nats would be enough, but unfortunately not the case.

Next Game:

Today at 7:05PM ET vs. Cardinals

Mikolas (13-4, 2.96 ERA) vs. Roark (8-14, 4.03 ERA)

Robles+Soto=Nats Future

Can’t wait to see these guys together.

See Scouting Report on Robles from 2017 Here

Another guy who tracks the ball well in the box, plenty of speed, decent bat.

Meanwhile big league clubs are ALREADY staying away from Soto

Nats September Callups

It will be good to see Joe Ross again, as he will likely be in the starting rotation next season. Robles as well, had that early season injury and was out for a bit, a lot of excitement around his abilities.

 

Game 138-In case you missed it…Nats win 4-3 (in extras)

Crazy Labor Day game. Sure going to miss you when you leave Bryce…

Another stellar Max game

7 innings, 4 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, 11 K’s

Trea got a bomb in the 1st

Bryce with the big bomb to force extras

Game winning sac fly in the 10th

Gonna miss ya Bryce.

Next game:

Tomorrow vs. Cardinals 7:05 PM ET

Mikolas (13-4, 2.96 ERA) vs. Fedde (1-3, 5.79 ERA)

Game 137-In case you missed it…Nats lose 9-4

A huge 5th inning collapse was all it took today

Austen Williams made his debut and collectes his first K

Jefry just doesn’t seem to have the right stuff…gives up 7 ER

Next Game:

Tomorrow vs Cardinals at 1:05PM ET

Flaherty (8-6, 2.87 ERA) vs. Scherzer (16-6, 2.22 ERA)

Game 136-In case you missed it…Nats win 5-4

Pre-game Gio honoring.

Strasburg pitched decent

Final line: 6 innings, 5 hits, 2ER, 2 walks, 7 K’s

A LENGTHY weather delay

Juan Soto comes up clutch

Next game:

Today vs. Brewers at 1:35PM ET

Guerra (6-9, 4.09ERA) vs. Rodriguez (2-1, 4.54 ERA)

Game 135-In case you missed it…Nats lose 4-1

Chad Dukes had some fun/

Gio is gone

Box score is sad

Next game:

Tomorrow at 7:05 ET

Anderson (9-7, 4.04 ERA) vs. Strasburg (7-7, 4.15 ERA)

Game 134-In case you missed it…Nats lose 8-6

Nats love to lose these types of games.

Turner and Soto initially gave the fans hope with a big 3rd inning.

Gio continues to disappoint

Nats were able to tie things back up but then some questionable Davey decisions…

Phillies grab runs in the 7th and 8th and snap the Nats winning streak.

Next Game:

Friday 7:05PM ET vs. Brewers

TBD vs. Roark (8-13, 3.95 ERA)

106.7’s Chad Dukes to ride Bullpen Cart on Friday

After Dukes was burned by the Nats for scheduling his first pitch to coincide with Kate Ledecky’s (we wrote about that here, the olive branch was extended).

This Friday Dukes will ride the Cart after the 2nd inning as the Nats take on Milwaukee at 7:05PM.

 

Game 133-In case you missed it…Nats win 5-4

Scherzer vs. Nola again.

Milestone Max

Phils strike first with Odubel

Alfaro with a bomb as well

Wild play in the 7th

Mark Reynolds thrown out…twice?

Rendon with the go-ahead in the 9th!

Final line for:

Nola: 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1ER, 2BB’s, 8 K’s

Scherzer: 5 innings, 3 ER, 5 K’s

Wild way to lose for Phillies

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET

Gio (7-11, 4.35 ERA) vs. Arrieta (9-9, 3.37 ERA)

Game 132-In case you missed it…Nats win 5-3

Strasburg’s second start after coming back from injury.

Wieters with a bomb

Eaton adds more in the 6th

Overall Strasburg pitched well

Miller with the save in the 9th and that’s all she wrote for Game 1.

Next Game:

Today at 7:05 PM ET

Scherzer (16-6, 2.13 ERA) vs. Nola (15-3, 2.13 ERA)

MLB.com has Tanner Roark as the Nats “Most Overlooked Player”

Really? Tanner Roark? He of the terrible June and July? Don’t get me wrong, Roark has had a SICK August, but most overlooked? How about most forgettable/boring?

Roark is…fine. He’s a solid 4/5 guy in the rotation who will give you between 4.50-5.00 ERA and 10-12 wins a season.

I still think a guy like Rendon gets overlooked on a yearly basis for the production/glove he brings.

THIS is Tanner at his very best:

 

Barry Svrluga Writes Piece on Re-signing Bryce

Here is a link to the piece

As we try and do, if you have run out of free views on Washington Post articles here are some of the highlights:

On Scott Boras (Bryce’s agent): 

Only one team can talk to Harper about his 2019 destination, and that’s Washington. Yes, we know Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, typically prefers to take his clients all the way to free agency so he can engage 30 potential bidders, not just one. But two quick reminders: Boras works for Harper, not the other way around. And the Nationals already did a prior-to-free agency extension with one Boras client, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, so they have navigated territory that’s uncharted by most front offices and ownership groups.

On the possibility of forgoing the re-signing:

To be clear, this isn’t a no-brainer from the team’s perspective. There are front office executives and scouts for other clubs who believe the Nationals could roll out a 2019 outfield of Juan Soto in left, Victor Robles in center and Adam Eaton in right — with Michael A. Taylor around should uber-prospect Robles stumble — and compete for a division title. It’s a viable — and incredibly cheap — outfield, and that would allow the Nationals flexibility to pursue their other obvious 2019 needs: a catcher, a second baseman, starting pitching and bullpen help.

On Harper’s Body of Work:

Look, too, not just at this season, but at the body of work. Since 2012, when Harper came up as a 19-year-old, he has a .900 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, a figure that encompasses an MVP season and some swoons. But as a whole, here are the active players in that time with at least 2,000 plate appearances who outpace him: Mike Trout (.998), Joey Votto (.961), Miguel Cabrera (.940), Paul Goldschmidt (.938), Giancarlo Stanton (.923) and Kris Bryant (.906). Every single one of those players is older than Harper.

The fan’s pitch to Bryce:

There’s a way to appeal to Harper right now, and it’s this: We need you and we want you, Bryce. We’re going to win a World Series right here. Here’s a 10-year deal worth $280 million. That trails only Stanton in total sum, but it trumps him in average annual value. We’ll include a no-trade clause so you know you can raise your family here, but we’ll also throw in opt-outs — after, say, years four and five — so you could reenter free agency if money continues to flow into the sport and you perform as we believe you will. And that’s MVP-caliber, Bryce. We think you’re a Hall of Famer, and you’ll go in wearing that Curly W.

This will definitely be discussed pretty much every day until we find out what Bryce is going to do.

Monday Morning DC Sports Roundup 8/27/18

Time to go back to work, hopefully we can help distract you for a bit before you start on those emails.

Redskins

Adrian Peterson’s debut went well.

Twitter Reactions to AP

As for the Skins as a whole, preseason is preseason. Some good, some bad.

Broncos Beat Redskins in Preseason Week 3-recap

Nationals

Highs and lows last week, this weekend started off terrible with back-to-back shutout losses

Game 129

Game 130

But FINALLY, after 32 consecutive innings, the Nats pulled off not only scoring a run but also demolished the Mets.

Game 131

Still not looking great playoff-wise.

Wizards

Nothing super eventful. We dropped a few Wall blogs.

John Wall Summer of Separation Vid

John Wall-Supernova

Capitals

Just waiting to kick off the hunt for back-to-back Cups.

Other Notes

Shout-out to the Mystics!!

Be sure to check out the debut of our podcast (should already be on iTunes, or will be soon)

Episode 1

Happy Monday Party People.

Game 131-In case you missed it…Nats win 15-0

What in the world just happened….

Jefry gave the Nats a great start.

The Nats scoreless streak ended at 32 innings.

Herrera pitched in the 9th and left early due to injury running to first after fielding a ground ball.

Didn’t need all 15, but a win is a win. It would be nice to string a few more of these together…

Next Game:

Tomorrow 7:05PM ET

Strasburg (6-7, 4.23 ERA) vs. Eflin (9-4, 3.93 ERA)

Game 130-In case you missed it…Nats lose 3-0 (yes…it happened again)

This team just doesn’t score anymore, period.

7 hits, no runs.

THIS is the only good Nationals thing to happen today

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 1:10 PM ET

Rodriguez (1-1, 5.16 ERA) vs. Matz (5-10, 4.55 ERA)

Game 129-In case you missed it…Nats lose 3-0

Nats get SHUT OUT by Vargas and the Mets. Unbelievable.

Gio pitched alright, and gutted it out after getting nailed by a comebacker.

Literally nothing exciting to talk about, Nats only got 4 hits, what a bad loss to take here in pretty much a must-win series (every series is basically must win from here on out).

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 4:05ET

Roark (8-12, 4.05 ERA) vs. Wheeler (8-6, 3.63 ERA)

Andruw Monasterio debuted last night for Potomac

Monasterio, the piece the Nats got back for Murphy, started for Potomac last night.

His line: 1 for 3, 2 BB’s, 1 RBI

We’ll see how he turns out, seems like a solid bat with above-average speed and fielding ability.

Here is his player evaluation:

https://2080baseball.com/reports/andruw-monasterio/ 

Game 128-In case you missed it…Nats lose 2-0

Pitchers DUEL!

Max’s final line: 7 innings, 2 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K’s

Nola’s final line: 8 innings, 5 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K’s

I think those guys are pretty good at pitching.

Top 7th Herrera broke the seal

Nats squandered plenty of opportunities, one key one came late. Bottom of the 8th, two on with two out for Bryce Harper…and the strikeout to end the inning

Not a lot to say about this one. You knew going in that one or two key plays would define this game, and a 2-Run bomb will count for that. Time to go sweep the Mets.

Next Game:

Tomorrow 7:10 ET @ New York Mets, Gio (7-10, 4.51 ERA) vs. Vargas (3-8, 7.67 ERA)

Is Krystal Koons MLB Draftable?

Every now and then we like to check in on the MLB prospects list for future Nationals acquisitions.

Today’s prospect: #1 Krystal Koons, RHP/Catcher, Koons.Com

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Haven’t heard a lot about Koons so I went and checked out her film. Let’s go ahead and break it down.

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A Wilson gal, old-school. Pitches out of the stretch (Strasburg-style).

 

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Tends to lead with her two-seam fastball, slightly non-standard grip.

 

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Not afraid to play in front of big crowds. Also goes with the Under Armor 3/4 sleeves, a solid look.

 

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One of the biggest knocks against Koons is many scouts feel her form/motion is not MLB-ready. Glove elbow rises up, knee is not full 90 degrees. This could cause a lot of issues down the road.

 

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Many think that catching is Koons’ ticket to the bigs. The question, of course, is her bat, her line in the Koons.Com league last season was .276 AVG, 3 HR, 55 RBI with 11 steals.

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For now, Koons needs a few more seasons under her belt before we are talking Potomac Single-A.

Fangraph’s has this to say about Koons:

Arm: B, Bat: B+, Pitching: C+, Catching: A-

Krystal Koons does it all. She can give you three or four innings on the mound and follow it up with a few behind the dish. We think in the long run most MLB teams will look at her as a Catcher. Our best player comparisons: Buster Posey and Wilson Contreras.

We’ll keep an eye out as she enters Winter Ball for Koons.Com, gotta think someone will take a chance on her maybe in next year’s draft.

 

Tired of the NL East? Let’s Check in on the NL Wild Card Race

underpressure

The Phillies may be faltering lately, but the Braves seemingly can’t stop winning. So the likelihood of the Nats finding a route to the postseason within the division is slim. BUT baseball allows two teams the opportunity to sneak into the playoffs via the Wild Card.

Still a long shot, but let’s look at the teams ahead of the Nats.

Wild Card Spot #1 

St. Louis Cardinals-71-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games

This team is RED-hot. They have taken eight straight series, they’ve got guys like Kolton Wong making plays like this:

Matt Carpenter is still hitting dingers (34 for the season). They’ve had solid pitching of late, and now they have our old boy (technically THEIR old boy) Matt Adams.

St. Louis will be tough to dethrone, they are also still in the mix in the NL Central (as is Milwaukee). Likely at LEAST St. Louis will make the postseason besides the Cubs in the Central.

Next games for Cardinals: Rockies, Pirates, Reds, Nats, Tigers, Pirates, Dodgers, Braves, Giants, Brewers, Cubs (That could be a very significant series)

Wild Card Spot #2

Milwaukee Brewers-71-58, 5-5 in their last 10 games

These guys are just having a blast. Adding Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain turned out to be great moves, Moustakas fits in as well, Brewers are cruising this season.

Christian Yelich is currently batting .314 with 21 HR and 64 RBI. Guy is straight up killing it.

Milwaukee can pitch, steal bases (2nd in the league), and is one of those teams that will sneak up on you. NL Central is balling this year, but the Nats do have some games coming up against them. A great chance to climb. Also, the hope is, there is a lot of NL Central clashes coming up, somebody will rise to the top.

Next Games for the Brewers: Pirates, Reds, Nats, Cubs, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Tigers

0.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Colorado Rockies-69-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games

Another team that doesn’t draw a ton of attention, but is sneaky good.

Arenado is making a case for MVP

Arenado’s line for the year: .309, 30 HR, 87 RBI and impeccable defense.

Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, even our old pal Ian Desmond are all having strong years.

NL West is a battle as well, Arizona leads Colorado by 1.5 games and has won 3 in a row.

Again what is working in the Nats favor is some of these other teams having pretty tough schedules coming up.

Next Games for the Rockies: Cardinals, Angels, Padres, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Phillies, Nats

1.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Philadelphia Phillies-68-58, 3-7 in their last 10 Games

We don’t need to talk about the Phillies. You know them, you hate them, we beat them last night. Huzzah

3.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Los Angeles Dodgers-67-61, 3-7 in their last 10 Games

I never know what to make of the Dodgers.

They clearly have the talent, and yet they never get it done. Jansen is struggling, they have had trouble lately with the Cardinals and the Giants, and yet you look at that lineup (with Machado in their now too) and you scratch your head.

Another team that is victim to a really tough division this year.

Next Games for the Dodgers: Padres, Rangers, D-Backs, Mets, Rockies, Reds, Cardinals, Rockies, Padres, D-Backs, Giants

 

The biggest takeaway with all this is: The NL East has basically become a one-team race, the other two divisions not so much. IF the Nats can continue handling their business, and let everyone else beat up each other, then there is a chance.

There’s…A…Pulse…

I posted yesterday about how the Nats may screw it all up and earn a postseason berth, and sure, some of it was reaching BUT last night was a game the Nats were destined to lose.

-Fall behind 3-0 early

-battle back and tie 4-4 and then give up runs late

-two quick outs in the 9th

For the Nats, they DON’T win games like this. Not this season.

We won’t let two games get to our heads but…Max is pitching today…Mets are next… there’s…a…pulse…

Game 127-In case you missed it…Nats walk it off 8-7

Strasburg’s glorious return, not so much.

Back to back strikeouts to start the game until former Marlin Justin Bour smacks an RBI double and then Franco follows with a two run #dinger

Rendon gave the Nats their first run, driving in Bryce (reached on a bunt against the shift).

Bryce later added a double to drive in Trea in the 3rd and Soto drove him in.

All tied up after Wieters knocks in the Nats 4th run.

Phillies move ahead and don’t look back until…

Some notes:

-A ton of fuss on Twitter regarding Strasburg’s velocity being way down. Definitely was relying heavily on the slower stuff

(Final line for Stras: 4 innings, 7 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s)

-Harp continues to be red hot 🔥 🔥 🔥 average is up to around .252

-Soto has slowed down a ton, 3 K’s tonight BUT a huge at bat late

-Difo gets a double and a triple #difo>Murphy

-Nats cannot stop making key errors

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 1:05 ET, Nola (14-3 2.24 ERA) vs. Max (16-5 2.11 ERA)

Stephen Strasburg is back on the mound tonight

Many people are saying that the Nationals have already thrown in the towel on the 2018 season. IF* true, then it should be fun to watch this guy on the mound again with little to no pressure.

 

*Ben wrote a blog about this earlier today. The Nats aren’t out of it mathematically yet – no matter how grim things might seem.

Nats Hilariously Double Book First Pitch on 106.7 The Fan Night, Screw Over Radio Stud Chad Dukes

It’s August. The Nats are openly tanking. It’s a Wednesday. A team has to do what it can to drive fans to the ballpark.

The Nats opted for a double promotion (not super unusual) and had both “Swim Night” and “106.7 The Fan Night” scheduled.

106.7 is the Flagship radio station for Nats baseball, and one of the local afternoon hosts Chad Dukes has been entertainingly discussing his first pitch for the past few days.

Funny tweet, good bit, and great Rich Garces reference.

The only problem was there happens to be a different athlete in the house tonight…

Chad took the initial news in stride, great tweet, all is well.

THEN things took a turn for the worse…

Dukes opened his show today at 2 PM with an epic rant regarding the pitch (pun) for him to throw out the ball alongside Katie Ledecky. A 5-Time Olympic Gold Medalist AND a midday radio host with sub named after him at Jerry’s Subs & Pizza.

Dukes was understandably upset and against the idea of being juxtaposed alongside Ledecky.

Audio Here: https://omny.fm/shows/bits-stuff/chad-dukes-wont-be-throwing-out-the-first-pitch

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

2019 Nats Schedule Released

It is August of 2018 right now so no need to dissect this too much yet.

But some initial notes:

-Nats play in Detroit for the first time in since 2013

-Final series of the season is vs. Indians

-As Kolko said above, final seven games of the season will be at Nats Park

Again, let’s let this season finish first. But with the way things are going, it is hard to not already dream of next year…

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Crushes the Nats

bryce-harper-tri

Read the Article Here

I’m not here to argue with Passan, in fact, I’m going to highlight some of his best points in the piece:

On the Lerner Letter:

Between talking about how “the actions we are taking now will strengthen the franchise and keep us in the position of being a perennial contender” and shouting out general manager Mike Rizzo while not bothering to mention manager Dave Martinez by name, Lerner saw the abnormality of the Nationals’ 2018 season and happily raised it. Every day, it seems, brings a new twist to a team that entered the season with championship aspirations and finally brandished the white flag Tuesday, with 125 games of sub-.500 baseball under their belts.

On Rizzo and Kintzler:

There may not be another general manager who would trade a player because he falsely believed him to be a source in a critical story, but then Rizzo is one of a kind and Brandon Kintzler is headed to the playoffs with the Cubs, so there’s that.

On Possibly a Bright Future:

The ills that plague the Nationals are more bacterial than viral, solvable so long as the proper prescription is handed out. There can be, as Lerner alluded to in his letter, a bright future in Washington. Max Scherzer is under contract long-term. Juan Soto is a star. Anthony Rendon is around for another year. Trea Turner is the shortstop of the present and future. Stephen Strasburg, when healthy, is a solid No. 2 starter. Adam Eaton is a nice part of any core. Victor Robles is on the come. There are pieces.

On Davey:

The easiest target is Martinez, a first-year manager whose fortunes pale next to his neophyte contemporaries: the Red Sox’s Alex Cora, the Yankees’ Aaron Boone and the Phillies’ Gabe Kapler. Even worse for Martinez is that the man he replaced, Dusty Baker, had won a pair of division titles, gone 192-132 and engendered great faith among players in his two seasons with the Nationals. As one person who values managerial dynamics put it: “Managers are generally overrated until they aren’t. On teams with big stars, the manager needs to be better than most, bigger than most, more skilled than most or those stars only shine for themselves.”

Again, no argument. The pieces are there, the execution was not. Blame Davey, Blame Rizzo, Blame Lerner, you can make a case for each and for all (let’s not forget the players too).

I do still go back to the Kintzler situation and question the rationale being a little extreme. Rumors fly from the clubhouse, Rizzo assumes/decides that Kintzler was involved, Kintzler pleads “on his children” that it wasn’t him, Rizzo ships him out anyway.

This was/is a weird, weird, season…

Watch the Nats Screw This Up and Make the Damn Playoffs

We’ve seen the standings, we know the odds, but wouldn’t it be very “DC” of the Nats to go ahead and sneak into the playoffs anyway?

Here’s how the rest of the schedule shapes up:

@Mets, @Philly, Vs. Milwaukee, Vs. St. Louis (Matt Adams Return), Vs. Chicago (Daniel Murphy’s Return), @ Philly, @ Atlanta, @ Miami, Vs. Mets, Vs. Miami, @ Colorado

Current Teams in Front of them for the 2nd WC spot: Milwaukee, Colorado, Philly, Dodgers

These are the current odds via Fangraphs

Win Div      Win WC    Make Playoffs   Win World Series

Nats Playoffs

I’m not SAYING it is going to happen…but again it would be very DC of them to make the playoffs after obviously giving up on the season…

Strasburg is back, which we will see tonight, some nice home series opportunities with the Mets and Marlins…

Don’t get me wrong, this team has shown all season that they can’t handle their business whatsoever and win games we think they will easily win.

But I’m a dreamer, and until the math no longer can add up…

There’s always a chance…

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Andrew Stevenson had an Interesting Night

What a whirlwind.

First, you find out that your team is shipping off key assets left and right including their star 2nd baseman.

Then you find out they are bringing you back up.

Then you have to drive down to DC on a Tuesday, in the rain, to show up for a game that conveniently has a long rain delay.

THEN you hit your first major league tater.

Baseball man…baseball…

Game 126-In case you missed it…Nats win 10-4

First game since Operation self-destruction.

Before the game the Nats activated Adrian Sanchez and Andrew Stevenson, and pulled Kelvin Herrera off the disabled list.

Roark helped himself early and brought in the first run of the game before the skies opened up.

Grace entered after the break and got his FIRST MLB HIT in the bottom of the 5th.

Roman Quinn hits his first career home run in the top of the 6th.

The damage continued as Grace gave up back to back hits following a Trea error, 2-1 Phillies.

Cordero entered the game and immediately gave up another hit/run.

Franco added another on a groundout. This team loves wasting opportunities on offense and turning them into immediate scoring for their opponents.

BUT because the Nats enjoy teasing the fanbase, recently called up Stevenson hits a two-run bomb, followed by a Wilmer Difo tater.

Some more RBI’s, including a Zim dinger, and the Nats had enough cushion to come away with the W.

Davey did use a lot of arms, we’ll see how that plays out.

Next Game:

Tonight 7:05ET Eflin (9-4 3.70 ERA) vs. Strasburg (6-7 3.90 ERA)

So…what now?

Murphy off to Chi-Town, Adams back to St. Louis, Harper is staying…

So…what now?

Well, besides the fact that the rest of the season was pretty much already in the toilet, let’s look at these moves a little closer.

Daniel Murphy to Chicago Cubs

What the Cubs Get:

-A guy who missed a lot of the season due to injury, but is batting .340 since the All-Star Break with six bombs and 29 RBI.

-A chance to move a struggling Addison Russell out of the lineup

-A guy who hits .413 at Wrigley

What the Nats Get:

-21-year-old Andruw Monasterio.

-He is hitting .263/.359/.336 with three bombs and ten steals for High-A Myrtle Beach

-Cash, and a PTBNL

-Shedding some of that Murph salary

-A chance for Wilmer Difo to have the starting 2nd baseman job for the rest of this season, and battle with Howie Kendrick for the spot next year.

Look, the fans are always going to want more, especially for a guy like Murph. Rizzo’s intentions seem to be to start shedding as much salary as possible (probably in preparation for a monster Bryce deal)

Matt Adams to the Cardinals

What the Cardinals Get:

-A chance to bring back an old friend

-a lefty power bat off the bench they were searching for (St. Louis currently is 17th in baseball against right-handers by wRC+

What the Nationals Get:

I loved the Matt Adams pickup when the Nats originally signed him. The guy did pretty well this season, and having a power bat like that in the lineup is lethal when Zim was struggling.

Not sure what Rizzo’s plans will be the first base position moving forward. Do they stick with Zim? Do they move Bryce over there to free up the outfield a bit?

Still a TON of questions remain, but for now we can thank Murphy and Matt for some fun moments, let the weirdest Washington Nationals season yet continue…

#MurphWatch?

Talks continue heating up regarding the Nats and Murph, with an “unknown team” claiming him on waivers on Sunday.

In layman: That team has 48 hours to negotiate a trade with the Nats. IF no trade happens, the Nats can send Murph out and not have to carry that salary weight, OR keep him until the end of the season.

Some teams that have been thrown around as possibles:

-Cubs (not likely)

-D-Backs (possible)

-Rockies (possible)

-Astros (not likely)

-A’s (possible)

With Murph’s shabby defense, especially of late, you gotta think this would be an intriguing option for any team wanting a solid DH bat, or even putting him at 1st.

For the Nats, I am always in favor of getting value back for a guy rather than let him go for nothing. Get some arms, get SOMETHING.

We’ll keep an eye on this today, for the latest updates follow our twitter @thedccrossover