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Jeff Green Night, Bowden's Faith in the Lerners, Dibble Rants

(Bogus call and MASN Pitch Track image via Bugs and Cranks)

An assortment of baseball items

* Tomorrow night is Green Night for the Bethesda Big Train of the Cal Ripken Sr. League, sponsored by the Greene Turtle and featuring an appearance by former Hoya Jeff Green. Wear green for a green-out! Green Big Train rally towels provided to first 250 fans in attendance! Big Train players wear their college hats, and all students with college ID get in for $3! Game is at Povich Field at 7:30.

* I was sitting in right field with a friend when Adam Dunn was called out on strikes in the bottom of the eighth of the first game last night. It was a 3-2 count and the bases were loaded; a walk would have tied the game and ended Randy Johnson's bid for 300 wins. I was hundreds of feet away, and yet using my laser eyesight immediately stood up and ranted that that had been a ball. Totally bogus call.

Turns out Rob Dibble agreed. Quoting from Bugs and Cranks:

Below the knees. Below our Pitch Track. And (Umpire) Tim Timmons now in line to save Randy Johnson's 300th victory....You can't just call strikes because a guy is going for his 300th victory....Do you want that? Do you want that 300th win if it's just given to you by the home plate umpire? There's a guy (Adam Dunn on screen) who leads the National League in walks -- one of the best batter's eye in the game. Below his knees and he's 6′6″.

Every day I love him a little bit more.

* Some more Bowden quotes from the WUSA interview. There are so many fine ones.

On this year's team: I take full responsibility. I feel bad about it. But I certainly believe in the Lerner family, and I believe in Stan, and I believe that they'll be able to continue to get the pitching that's necessary for the franchise to be a contender. I think Strasburg's gonna help when he's drafted by the Nationals next month, I think they'll get another pitcher with the 10th pick in the draft, and obviously next year they're gonna get another top player.

On The Plan: It's easy to pick this player and that player and become a .500 team and contend, but you really don't ever get anywhere. And the teams that go ahead and let you lose while you're developing the Jordan Zimmermanns, and the Ryan Zimmermans, and the John Lannans, that get the great draft picks, are the franchises that end up turning it around.

On the Lerners: I have faith in the Lerners because they're committed. Everything they've done in their life they've been successful at. Absolutely everything. This may be the first thing they've ever owned or operated where they haven't been successful. Yet. But they will be. They stepped up with Mark Teixeira. They stepped up. They were playing with the Yankees, they were playing with the Red Sox on .Mark Teixeira. Had we been a first-place team, Teixeira might be wearing a Washington jersey right now. That is symbolic of what's ahead....They are winners, and they will win here.

* Nice work by Josh Levin, discovering that Bowden got booted from his ESPN College World Series gig for the high crime of talking to former ESPN guy Haber about such controversial topics as the fact that he got fired from the Nationals. That's on Deadspin.

* Clearly this needs photographic documentation, but here's early word of Nats Time-keeping Fail. From Reader Dave:

During last nights broadcast, the MASN broadcast showed a shot of the stadium clock. Dibble and the play-by-play guy mentioned that the clock is not only ~10 minutes slow, but has been for some time. Thought you and your readers might find this as amusing as I did.

* Daily Manny Acta gallows humor. I laughed. (Acta-ccessories.)

* Finally, Reader Jamie sends in this first-date story from one of his friends concerning Wednesday night. Seems an appropriate way to end this week. The story follows.

I had forgotten about Randy's 300th. I even looked at the pitching matchups for the week and saw 'Johnson' going for the Giants and it didn't register at all that it was RJ. After your note, it took me about 30 seconds to go to StubHub and buy sweet tickets behind the Nats dugout. A 95% chance to see one of the greatest ever get his 300th win? In Nats Park? Stoked.

I left work around 6:15 and I'm supposed to meet [the first date, S] at 6:45 in front of the Park for what was essentially a first date. She likes baseball. All good. I had been checking the weather throughout the day and realized that it was going to be wet, but as I left work, it seemed ok outside. Red line, transfer to Green, Navy Yard and craaaaaaaaap.

Navy Yard Metro was a disaster site. The rain 'started' during my time on the Metro. And by 'started,' I mean God decided to empty his swimming pool into SW, D.C. The escalators were completely backed up. No one wanted to leave the dry Metro station. It was past 6:45 and I'm picturing her standing in front of the Park, on time, looking like a drowned rat...while I'm in the cozy Metro station, waiting out the storm.

I decide to go across to the other side of the station, exit through the Dept. of Transportation side and then valiantly charge to the stadium gate, like Matthew Broderick in Glory. Got to hand it to the Metro engineers and I'm not sure how it's possible, but, underground the two Navy Yard exits are 100 yards apart. Above ground, the distance is somewhere between 11 and 12 miles.

It's 6:45, raining buckets and now I'm outside. It's raining so hard I can't see street signs or my phone screen for Google maps. I start to run in my work clothes...away from the stadium. I had to hit two streets to figure out that I was headed in the wrong direction. I take off the other way. The lightning starts and it somehow rains harder, this time with hail. The khakis (think inverse wet t-shirt contest) are sticking to my legs like a wetsuit and my shoes could have supplied enough drinking water to satiate an African village. It takes five minutes to get to the front gate at full former college track-star speed. Seriously, 11 miles.

The rain stopped once I got to the gate and I start to look for her. It was a scene for scene remake of the end of Titanic, where it's the morning after the ship sank and the survivors are wandering around the deck of the Carpathia trying to figure out who made it.

She's not at the gate. I find a place to stand and glance down at my pants. I expect to see straight through to the awesome blue boxers underneath. No. My pants are splotchy and black..from my waist to my hip...on both sides. In my bag I had a Sharpie. When Sharpies get moist, they leak. While running at full speed, I had been kicking up Sharpie ink, all over my pants, hands and jacket. Yeah. Standing in the middle of a disaster scene, drenched, covered in Sharpie ink, waiting for the first date to start.

Make a long story shorter, she had been in the parking garage, soaked as well from deciding to walk from Eastern Market. She thought my ridiculous state was funny and we hung out for the whole rain delay in the only fully taxpayer-funded bar in D.C. Cold & wet, but everyone was; 10,000 people hanging out watching the storm and cheering for the grounds crew. They finally called it at 10:45, the rain immediately stopped and I walked her home to Eastern Market. The End.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 5, 2009; 2:46 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Next: Nationals Fireworks Fail


I must have gotten lost … I was looking for the Bog and wound up at Date Lab.

Posted by: natinals1 | June 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Dan, come on dude. That pitch is way to close to take. Sure Dunn has a great batter's eye, but any ball player knows you can't let the umpire take the bat out of your hands. And Dibble sucks with his hideous tinted glasses.

Posted by: hlywd11 | June 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

that's it? he just walked her home? nothing juicy. no make out session. she didn't offer to 'dry your clothes' so you could get it on? it just ends? I feel cheated.

Posted by: goskinsgo | June 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse


How do you think HE feels???

Posted by: BurgwithaU | June 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: makplan20002 | June 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Dibble speaketh the truth.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

And, okay, I'm old school and all but they do have actual, you know, maps inside the Metro stations. Might have been a good idea for the guy to check that before venturing into the deluge. Or, I don't know, ask directions, maybe? Nah. He writes well, though, and he did walk her home.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

That first item (about the Big Train) is without a doubt the most confusing thing I've read in my life. It's not you Dan, it's the content.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side, they didn't skimp on exclamation points!!!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the game yesterday.

With Johnson's family in tow, and the media hordes eating it up, was the mandate down to the umpires to make sure the game was a win for Johnson to keep the family from having to follow and to emphasize a positive benchmark to counter all the steroid scandal? If that's the case, do you really think the umpire would let Dunn walk in the tying run, thus putting the end in question? (Obviously, if Dunn connected with at least a base-hit, this would be moot, but still...)

Posted by: Grooven | June 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, Reader Jamie sends in this first-date story from one of his friends concerning Wednesday night. Seems an appropriate way to end this week. The story follows."

I missed that part at first. At first I was worried you shouldn't be posting this on the bog, but then I figured Mrs. SteinBog doesn't read this.

Posted by: sitruc | June 5, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I was at last night's game. The strike call on Dunn was a joke. It was so low and so outside. I told the folks around me that it was a 'Bud Selig' call - don't screw up Johnson's 300th win. I am continually amazed at how screwed up MLB and the Nats are. How can the Nats keep charging MLB prices for AA baseball. Another Bud Selig job on the DC fans.

Posted by: kinsman_bob | June 5, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

the ump called the exact same pitch against a Giants batter in the next inning.

If you'd like to discuss blown calls, league wide conspiracies, and one sided officiating, check out the NHL. Compared to Gary Bettman, Bud Selig and MLB look like the poster children for sporting integrity.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 5, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I despise Rob Dibble. He, even more than the team's horrendous play, makes watching Nats games on MASN a miserable experience. He criticizes constantly the umpires, players, coaches, and pretty much anybody who dares try to make a living near him. I'm not saying that he has to pretend that there aren't problems, but nothing seems to make this jerk happier than touting his own perceived superiority while urinating on everyone not named "Rob Dibble."

Posted by: azgreggie1 | June 6, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Reggie, Reggie: it sounds like you don't like the message. Fact is, there ARE problems at every level of the organization. I'd rather have someone tell it like it is than be a propaganda machine. Would you rather have a Larry Michael type? That would be a complete joke.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 7, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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