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D.C. Sports Bog: May 30, 2010 - June 5, 2010

Shaq at the Spelling Bee

(By Jacquelyn Martin - AP) So at the end of Friday afternoon's Scripps National Spelling Bee session -- with controversy swirling -- Shaquille O'Neal entered the Independence Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt to much applause. He took the stage, and, after some pitter-patter, announced that he was challenging last...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2010; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Controversy at the Spelling Bee

(By Jacquelyn Martin - AP) Not a good week for sports judges. I'm going to try to lay this out as clearly as possible. Round Six of the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee began with 19 contestants, one of whom had been reinstated after a previous judging controversy. Between...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2010; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Could Strasburg, Va. become "Stephen Strasburg?"

Wags have been linking the Shenandoah Valley town of Strasburg, Va. with the Nats' prospect of the same name for about a year now. Seems the link might get a bit more concrete, as the town is now floating the possibility of (temporarily) changing its name to "Stephen Strasburg."...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Nats  
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Spelling Bee semifinals, live

Semi-finalist Esther Park, of Arkansas. (By Ricky Carioti - TWP) Live updates of the Friday morning Spelling Bee semifinals. The championship round arrives Friday night on ABC. For a primer on what you need to know, see here. 14:37: Ok, some of my outrage was misplaced. The sixth rounders...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2010; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Weirdness  
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A 2010 Spelling Bee Primer

Scene from Thursday's action. (By Ricky Carioti - TWP) Thursday at the Grand Hyatt, the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee completed the preliminary rounds, advancing 48 of the 273 participants into Friday's semifinals. Those semifinalists will be whittled down further during elimination rounds Friday morning on ESPN, yielding somewhere...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2010; 8:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Philly fans plan another Nats Park invasion

* Phillies fans are planning another invasion, scheduled for July 31. From Phillies Nation: We did it already on Opening Day - turned Nationals Park into Citizens Bank South - and we're doing it again on Saturday, July 31. Join us as the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2010; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Nats , Redskins  
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Flip Saunders praises Rod Strickland

(2000 photo by Rich Lipski - TWP) Hearing the name "Rod Strickland" has been known to cause uncontrollable twitching and bright pink itchy spots for a certain segment of Wizards fans. Hearing Flip Saunders praise Strickland for assisting in John Wall's development? Well, I guess it's better than learning...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 10:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Media , Wizards  
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Cool kids at the Spelling Bee

Rozlyn Ocab, Jared Urbina, Zachary Ocab, Bianca James and Julianna Canabal-Rodriguez. As with many stereotypes, the stereotype of the typical Spelling Bee champ has a certain element of truth. Many of the male competitors, it's true, wear khaki pants pulled up to armpit level. Many wear oversized spectacles. A...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 7:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Bruce Allen's childhood nicknames

Former U.S. Senator George Allen is in the midst of a media tour to promote his book, "What Washington Can Learn From the World of Sports." The answer, as you'll read below, is that poor people are like the Detroit Lions, while rich people are like the Pittsburgh Steelers....

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Redskins  
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Riggleman calls modern pitch limits "kind of a joke"

If there's ever been a time when the Nationals have been a larger presence in the national media, I can't remember it. This week has to trump anything but Opening Day from 2005, and probably even that. The Nats have moved up to the seventh-most popular MLB team in...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Drew Storen, Reggie Miller and Gordon Hayward

Next week, Nats reliever Drew Storen will auction off a date with himself to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Monday night live auction -- which supports Nats communications manager Lisa Pagano's Woman of the Year campaign also includes lunch with John Lannan and Craig Stammen...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Nats  
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Ken Burns will throw out first pitch on Strasmas

Ken Burns had long planned on a June trip to D.C. to help promote his new baseball documentary, The Tenth Inning, a four-hour update to his 1994 Baseball epic. As part of his D.C. tour, it was arranged that Burns would throw out the first pitch at Nats Park on...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Stan Kasten on the Strasburg "frenzy"

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP) With Stephen Strasburg poised to join a team that's been hovering around .500, one of the most popular questions has gone like this: Say the Nats remain in the mix for the National League wild card. Say Strasburg is dominating, but is nearing his...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 8:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Kornheiser vs. Adu, again

When Freddy Adu signed with MLS as a 14-year old kid, no one took more delight in needling him in print than Tony Kornheiser. The joy evidently continues to this day for Kornheiser, who on Wednesday wished Adu a happy 21st birthday on PTI like so: "Happy 21st birthday...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 3, 2010; 6:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  D.C. United , Media  
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Mike Rizzo on Bryce Harper the top pick

Mike Rizzo has said that the Nats already know whom they're taking in first in next week's draft, and he said so again Wednesday morning on Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio. He also said that he won't make it public, but that "by June 7 we'll be prepared to...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Trent Williams is Madden's ninth-rated rookie

(By John McDonnell - TWP) That headline is actually inaccurate. According to these ratings (PDF) of the top three rounds of rookies, EA Sports has Trent Williams in a six-way tie for ninth among rookie ratings. That's behind Russell Okung, the lineman with whom Williams was often linked, and...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Caps , Nats , Redskins  
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Strasburg first start is essentially sold out

There are still a few tickets left for the June 8 scheduled Stephen Strasburg debut as part of season-ticket and flex packages, but the game is essentially a sellout at this point, according to Stan Kasten. Season-ticket holders were told on Tuesday they'd have first-come first-served crack at four...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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FiOS subscribers and MASN2 HD

Regardless of which date Stephen Strasburg debuted at Nats Park next homestand, it was going to be on MASN2, which has the entire six-game stint. This was unwelcome news to a bunch of my readers, who wanted to know why their Verizon FiOS service has MASN HD, but not MASN2...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Keith Law hasn't seen anything like Strasburg

"I haven't seen anything like this," is one of the more popular quotes about Stephen Strasburg. ESPN's Keith Law added his name to the "haven't seen anything like this" crew on Wednesday morning. "I haven't seen anything else like this," he said on Mike and Mike and Mike and Mike,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Chris Webber says Wall will "fall in love" with D.C.

(1995 photo by Rich Lipski - TWP) Once the Wizards make their pick at this month's draft, whomever they select -- presumably John Wall -- will become the fourth No. 1 overall pick to play for the franchise over the past two decades. None of the previous tours were...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Media , Wizards  
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How many wins will the No. 1 pick bring the Wiz?

During several of my recent 9:30 a.m. First Things First chats, readers have asked how much the Wizards figure to improve with John Wall in the fold, and how long it will be until the team returns to the playoffs. These turnarounds don't always take generations in the NBA,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Wizards  
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Berkman's check swing

There was at least one moment during Tuesday night's Nats loss when I strongly wished Rob Dibble had been in the booth. This image, via Mister Irrelevant, was it. Third-base ump Bill Hohn did not find this to be a swinging strike, which would have ended the game. Then...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Nats  
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Need June 8 tickets? Stay tuned

Having made the mistake once -- publicly, and embarrassingly -- I'll try not to make it again. The Nats' Web site may not be listing single-game tickets for June 8, but that obviously does not make June 8 a sellout. It just means the Nats aren't currently offering single-game tickets...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Nats  
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Ron Weber gets the call from the Hall

Weber and a young Joe B. in 1997. (By Rich Lipski - TWP) On the morning of April 29, Ron Weber got a call from Chuck Kaiton, president of the NHL Broadcasters' Association, who brought welcome news: Weber had won the 2010 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, awarded annually to...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 7:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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June 8 Nats ticket prices zooming on secondary market

With tickets for June 8 still unavailable on the Nats' Web site, the secondary market is where all the action is. And the action is beginning to percolate, though we're still a week away from Stephen Strasburg's debut. As I type this, StubHub is listing 3,207 tickets for the June...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Nats  
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Jon Jansen writes about being released

(2008 photo by Preston Keres - TWP)) A day and a year after being released by the Redskins, Jon Jansen wrote about the experience for the Detroit Free Press last week. Sounds like he still isn't quite over the shock. The veteran tackle, who will be writing stories and...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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The Hogs on the Skins' offensive line

(1983 AP photo) A year ago at this time, the headline questions about the Washington Redskins concerned the viability of the team's patchwork offensive line. A year, one Artis Hicks and one Trent Williams later, those questions have largely been replaced by headlines about Albert Haynesworth, Donovan McNabb, Albert...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Arenas chats with Leonsis at Vasquez workout

Gilbert Arenas attended the Wizards' Memorial Day college kid workout, which included Greivis Vasquez. Judging from the Comcast SportsNet video, Gilbert chatted with both Ted Leonsis and his son, Zach. Chris Miller said this was Gilbert's first public appearance since he got out of the halfway house. Read more...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Terps , Wizards  
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Jim Bowden on John Wall

Made it through the entire Memorial Day weekend without hearing one expert, teammate, ex-teammate, pastry chef or former neighbor say anything about Albert Haynesworth. Did not make it through without hearing Jim Bowden ask John Wall about the John Wall shot, a concoction named in honor of the future Wizards...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Media , Wizards  
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Eric Fehr the actor

Personally, I'd just as soon have the outstanding young film community of Winkler, Manitoba have to do without the services of budding thespian Eric Fehr until late June or thereabouts, but if he's got to be in the plains early, he might as well star in The Plains. Hey,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 1, 2010; 5:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Caps  
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Strasburg ticket mania begins

Now that we finally have a date, the frantic Strasburg ticket mania can begin. I was obviously way, way off base last time I supposed the Nats were nearing a sellout -- while it appeared that tickets for June 4 were moving briskly, it turned out there were thousands...

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 31, 2010; 11:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Nats  
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