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