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Ohfer five

Hi, Tom of the Dumb Questions here. Otherwise known as "The Boss." Before we get to a discussion of the One True Issue of this blog (Joel) let's deal with an extremely grave threat to Nationals security.

Weingarten must be stopped. He lives within walking distance of RFK, and he's been to 5 Nats games so far, especially recently, and I think you see where this is heading. He's 0 for 5! The man's a walking jinx. Every time he even gets within sniffing distance of the Stadium/Armory Metro stop the Nats relievers begin to twitch. I mean, what are the odds that someone will attend five games of a team that has racked up a 30-13 record at home and lose all five of them? Is there a statistician in the house? The man needs to be sent down, put on waivers, exorcised, whatever. Just keep him away from RFK.
Full disclosure: I personally am 2-3 (of course everyone must keep their personal won-loss record from games attended. It's the most widely followed, but least-commented-upon stat in baseball). But in my defense, in two of my three losses, Weingarten was there. That means I'm really a .660 fan, 2-1. Can't blame me for Weingarten's abysmal rooting. Wasn't my fault.

Now to Joel: Talked to him before I ever met him. I was moving down to Miami and needed low-rent housing. Joel had what I was looking for. His only concern was whether "an old guy" like me could handle liveing with a wild young buck like himself. I was 30, Joel was 24.

I assured him I could, but I was shocked at the wild late-night craziness I discovered when I got down there, like rousing games pf sock baseball, played with a yellow whiffleball bat in the hallway at midnight. I in turn shocked Joel by taking some comet to the biological warfare experiment going on in the bathtub. He made it clear that aggressive cleanliness was making him a little uncomfortable. Fine.

(That was 20 years ago. And for those keeping score at home, he hasn't changed one bit, with the exception of the slight neck wattle.)

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 7, 2005; 9:00 PM ET
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Well, I'm 6-1 with the Nats, and it sounds like Weingarten was probably at that one (vs. Mets on 4th of July) so if that doesn't count, it sounds like I should be at every game! Unfortunately I only have a mini-plan. Think the Nats would give me full-season seats to be their good-luck charm?

Posted by: Hmm | July 8, 2005 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Can't you just send Weingarten on some Extremely Important Assignment, preferably in a state like south dakota (which has no baseball team) to assure the safety of the nats? I mean, doesn't being "The Boss" give you some leverage here?

Posted by: LP | July 8, 2005 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I've been to 6 or 7, and I'm batting 1.000!

Posted by: jw | July 8, 2005 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I thought this was going to be about "national" security because I didn't read well. I laughed out loud when I realized what it was really about. Way to go, Tom!

Does South Dakota have ANYTHING sports-related? I'm really asking, I'm not sure...

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Weingarten must be chained to his computer, where he will BLOG all day long. gets a lot of eyeballs from Gene's chat.

Posted by: jarmuschguy | July 8, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Hmmm, Gene WAS at the July 4th game. You are absolved.

Posted by: "The Boss" | July 8, 2005 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Does cow-tipping count as a sport?

Posted by: LP | July 8, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

After the home team put such whippin' on that Custer bunch back in 1876, Montana and the Dakotas decided to permanently withdraw from lesser competitions.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 8, 2005 12:10 PM | Report abuse

While I'm no baseball fan (still suffering from the after effects of a bat to the head in a little league fight 25 years ago), I love the "numbers" aspect of MLB. It's just tough to watch a game when you have no attention span like me.

The odds of a team that normally wins 2 of 3 games at home to then lose a set of 5 specific games is around 1 in 250. So, I think what needs to be done in this case is to send Weingarten up to Camden yards for a little control. It would not be wise to send him back to a Nats game for further study.

Treat it like the Vioxx case. You stop the study when you have an inclination that lives are in danger.

Posted by: dazed n confused | July 8, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm only 2-0 with the Nats at RFK.

I'm also 1-0 at Bowie, 1-0 at Frederick, and 1-0 at Camden yards this year. FWIW, I was 2-0 at The Phonebooth for Wiz games in 05, too.

I'm a frigging home-team lead-pipe lock.
Please alert the media.
And Norman Chad.


Posted by: bc | July 8, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

3-0 in games. I helped us beat Milwaukee, Seattle and Toronto. hmmm. Why have I gone to two AL games? and Milwaukee is a former AL team as well.

indoor wiffle ball is xcellent. one of the joys of renting. I also recommend the game of chipping the plastic wiffle balls into trash cans.

Posted by: pete | July 8, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm 1-0 at Camden, but I was cheering for the Red, does that count?

Posted by: jw | July 8, 2005 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Go Soxs!!!

Posted by: nmo | July 8, 2005 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Sox (one s)

Posted by: nmo | July 8, 2005 1:06 PM | Report abuse

major league baseball... who cares!?
I'm reminded of the Jerry Seinfeld remark about how we don't really root for particular players, we root for their uniform.

Unless they win big (maybe even if they do! - see Miami), half of the players will be different next year, playing for opposing teams; the uniforms will be the same, fortunately.

I think cities should own the teams, and make the players city workers, like the trashmen and cops. Pay 'em 50 bucks an hour, hey, throw in some bennies...

Posted by: jarmuschguy | July 8, 2005 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else want to touch this one? It's just too easy for me.

Posted by: jw | July 8, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, jarmschguy does have a point in the Seinfeld reference. As I recall, when the NFL players struck about 15 years ago the league brought in "replacement players". The RSkins scab team did quite well before the strike ended. When the regulars came back they were booed at the first game back even though they won the game.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 8, 2005 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry about that jarmuschguy. Feel free to refer to me as kusorawaguy!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 8, 2005 3:00 PM | Report abuse

kusorawaguy is probably the hardest thing I've ever attempted to read or say.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Man, I went to a lot of ball games as a kid, lived just down the street from the old Memorial Stadium (have you gone by there recently? Your eyes _know_ there's no stadium, but your body doesn't accept it... it must be how New Yorkers feel about the Trade Center, but I digress...),
and worshipped the O's in their glory days beating the Dodger in 4 straight, the Booger, Cal Ripken, Earl the Dirt Kicker, etc.

Sigh. Somehow now it's just not the same. Maybe I'm just a geezer. Maybe viagra would help.

kurosawaguy: jarmusch _is_ hard to spell, so no problem.

Posted by: jarmuschguy | July 8, 2005 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Does South Dakota have ANYTHING sports-related?"

Let's see, they have the mighty Sioux Falls Canaries (NLB), the fearsome Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL), and the awe-inspiring South Dakota Gold (IBA). So, yes.

Posted by: The Internet Knows All | July 8, 2005 3:13 PM | Report abuse

i'd bet sara is more of a "fistful of dollars" girl than a "yojimbo" girl, anyway. so go ahead and spell it arika kusorawa...

i'm 1-2 so far at nats games, excluding the pre-season game. more importantly, the two times i've given away tickets the nats have lost both games, so i'm better luck when i go than when i have to miss.

i'm also so happy i don't live in south dakota. i hear they don't even have WMATA up there!

Posted by: edward | July 8, 2005 3:36 PM | Report abuse

One in every 748 people who went to five home games picked at random would have seen five losses.

Posted by: Stat guy in the House | July 8, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Play for the name on the front of the jerseys, not the back."

~Larry Brown

Posted by: Dawaldg | July 8, 2005 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Hummph. "Fistful of Dollars"- derivative drivel. I am not willing to believe ill of Sara without hard evidence. She drives stick!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 8, 2005 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm a Yojimbo girl and I can say Kurosawa fine--after all, that is Akira's last name--but Kusorawaguy was hard to wrap my tongue around at first because it's backwards from what I was used to. So, edward my darling, back off.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

sara, my dear, don't be so quick to make assumptions. i only suggested "fistful" because of your personal penchant for firearms. i happen to think it's a great film, even if it was a retread of yojimbo. no offense intended.

Posted by: edward | July 8, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

What are you doing attending games at Camden Yards AND RFK? Such behaviour is sacrilege. Please stop, you will tear TSA-15 apart.

I'm 10-1, not counting the July 4 game that Weingarten ruined for the rest of us. Would he have been at any games early in the season to absolve me of that early loss?

Posted by: TA | July 8, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry edward. Read your tone wrong and got a little hasty. I apologize.

Fistful makes me thirsty, as do all movies set in the Old West. And as does the Grapes of Wrath. Do dusty or depressing stories make anyone else thirsty? I can't stand them.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

TA, would it help if I told you that I was a guest of a family member from those parts, and that I did not spend a dime of my own money the entire evening?

Besides, I got to see Ichiro.


Posted by: bc | July 8, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The next blog has the "e-mail a comment" syndrome.

I'd say that Joel's blogging is cost-justified, and I'm not just saying that because I enjoy this blog and wouldn't want it to go away . . .

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 4:25 PM | Report abuse

... I agree that Joel's blogging is cost-justified. But in my case it's completely because I enjoy this blog and wouldn't want it to go away!

Since when did girls driving stick become hot? I wish my dad had told me that when he made me learn. He just told me it was useful (and I went along with it because my mom told me it was intimidating, which I far preferred at that point).

Posted by: toady | July 8, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Sara and I are not a match made in heaven, because I love my Sergio! (but I love Kurosawa too, is that allowed?)

Posted by: jw | July 8, 2005 4:43 PM | Report abuse

yes, please, we definitely need a list of the games gene attended so we can cross reference.

bridge on the river kwai always made me thirsty...all those guys forced to work in the hot sun and then whistling on top of it! i'm getting thirsty just thinking about it.

girls who drive stick are always better.

how do some people get the cool e-mail link on their name? just wondering...

Posted by: edward | July 8, 2005 4:44 PM | Report abuse

But WHY are girls who drive stick always better? Is it because it's more difficult than automatic? Or is it for reasons best left unsaid on the Achenblog? Or is it for reasons I can't think of?

Sorry was good while it lasted. I just don't like Fistful. It makes me thirsty.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Girls who drive stick are better because... OK, first a fact. Only 15% of new cars sold in this country have manual transmissions. This makes driving stick a vanishing skill. People who shun the majority position are frequently more interesting. Women who drive stick show themselves to be unintimidated by the intricacies of the machine. This shows confidence and maturity. Women who drive stick usually like to drive as an end in itself, as do many men. Guys respect that. Driving stick can also be a good anti theft device and/or keep people from borrowing your car. Then there's the unspoken bits...

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 8, 2005 5:01 PM | Report abuse

This is what it seems to me happened on this blog today: Someone called "Achenabler" made a comment, and then Sydney accused Achenabler of being Gene Weingarten. Achenabler had an email link, if you clicked on it, it was an ordinary-sounding name, nothing like Weingarten and nothing clever, just a standard name&number hotmail address. I wondered, along with edward, about the link, so I clicked on Achenabler's link and emailed the question. Soon after that, all trace of Achenabler's comment and Sydney's comment were expunged from the blog. Am I losing it, or did someone else see that happen?

Also, I second edward's question to the blog: What's up with the links to email?

Posted by: kbertocci | July 8, 2005 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I figured it was something like that, but I wanted to ask anyway. I like to drive stick because it makes me feel more in control and more powerful. And I like to drive, so I believe your assumptions are basically all correct.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

" like to drive stick because it makes me feel more in control and more powerful."

That is the hottest thing I've read all day.

Posted by: jw | July 8, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The Achenabler comments are under "The New Sucker." (Perhaps you were looking under "Kids Who Shop Too Much"?)
Boy, you really had me going there for a minute!

Posted by: Dreamer | July 8, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I think the email link thing is some vast W.Post conspiracy that we cannot hope to understand.

Posted by: jw | July 8, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

You just can't stay away, even if I don't like Sergio.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if that worked...if it did, the e-mail link isn't a vast W.Post conspiracy, it's just people who know how to use html.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Nope. I'm dumb. That's okay, though.

Posted by: Sara | July 8, 2005 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dreamer, I can now hold on to my illusions of sanity for a little while longer.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 8, 2005 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm with u sara - i drive a stick b/c I love to drive and driving an automatic is just NOT driving - it's pointing your car in a direction and pushing a pedal. I like the control aspect of driving a stick (does that make me a control freak?) and i have a sports car - it's a sin to drive an automatic sports car!! i believe it may be a cardinal sin! oh, and yes it's a red sports car and no, no tickets yet and it's been over a year!
haven't caught the nats yet but i'm a yankees fan...

Posted by: maureen (mo) | July 8, 2005 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, I can't let the stick vs. automatic comments pass.

I've only had manual transmission cars for personal transportation since I learned to drive. I race cars as a hobby (some call it a sickenss), and do racetrack performace and competition driving instruction when I have time.

To the "hot" point, upon learning this about me, some of the young ladies at the office have asked me to teach them to drive manual transmission cars over lunch hour. It's enjoyable to teach people to master a vanishing art, regardless of it's heat level...


Posted by: bc | July 9, 2005 9:38 AM | Report abuse

My dad taught me to drive a stick in an old MG in San Francisco. You HAD to downshift from 2nd to 1st, and if you were stopped on a hill you had to use the emergency brake to hold you in place, doing the simultaneous release brake/let out clutch/press gas move. Tricky, and on one occassion burned in my memory, I had to get out and switch places with dad on a particularly steep hill because the cars were piling up behind us and my nerves gave out. After that, I would get a headache before a scheduled driving lesson. I am proud to say that I have driven a stick for year now, headache-free.

Posted by: bostonreader | July 9, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

They still are Les Expos de Montreal and have
left behind many memories and man fine additions
to the French language.
Wait until ice hockey comes back and the Habs
skate rings around your lazy Nationals on the

Posted by: montrealais | July 10, 2005 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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