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We're No. 6! We're No. 6!

No game to discuss yesterday (and, from that hourly forecast on, may not be a game tonight, either). So we leave you with this.

The Washington Post sports department (hereafter referred to as "The Department") produces nine blogs for (hereafter referred to as "The People Across The River We Rarely See Who Have Really Nice Offices"). Assistant Managing Editor for Sports Emilio Garcia-Ruiz (hereafter referred to as "The Boss") said in an email late last week that "Nationals Journal grew a nice audience in less than two months." (I saw back side of The Boss's hand swipe by my face as I read the email.)

So because this is obviously a competition among/between the blogs and the members of The Department who produce them, and because our self-worth is attached to how many page views we get in relation to other members of The Department, I announce to you that "Nationals Journal" is currently sixth of the nine blogs produced by The Department for TPATRWRSWHRNO. (No idea where the podcasts fit in. Separate animal, I think.)

Can you guess the order? Think about it for a second.

Okay, second's up. Total layup to guess that Jason La Canfora's "Redskins Insider" draws the most page views, not to mention fervent responses. JLC fills that baby up, and it's simply more proof of something we all realize anyway: The Redskins rule this town with an iron fist. Isn't going to change. Ever.

Dan Steinberg's incomparable "DC Sports Bog" is next, though we here at the Journal -- as well as others in The Department -- are convinced that Steinberg is not proud of this, because these figures are from March, when Steinberg was blowing off work (something about having a child) and the college reporters (Prisbell, Carig, Kilgore and Powell, mostly, I think) took over the Bog. (Steinberg's back at it now. He's going to be doing quite a bit of Nats this summer, I think, and I highly, highly recommend checking out his blog. He, after all, does this fulltime, though he recently revealed to me that "having a child is more rewarding than writing a sports blog." Go figure.)

Now here's the shocker: Steve Goff's "Soccer Insider" is third.

Let's repeat that: Steve Goff's "Soccer Insider" is third.

What does this say? "Clearly," said The Boss's e-mail, "he's found a hungry audience." I think it says that the world's most popular sport, when covered by one of the leading experts on said sport in this country, could produce a very worthwhile blog. (Hidden subtext: Come on, Journal readers (hereafter referred to as "My People"), you can't even out-page view a soccer blog? Please.)

"Wizards Insider," which has twice the staff as we do here at the Journal, is next in fourth, which makes sense given that Ivan Carter and Michael Lee are tremendous and they have the No. 1 star in D.C. sports right now to cover (Gilbert Arenas, at least pre-injury (am I allowed to say that in the Journal?)).

Mark Maske's "NFL Insider" is next. Maske is becoming like John Clayton, without the whole "wow is he a dork" thing working against him. If I loved the NFL and NFL news, I'd head to this thing every single day.

And that brings us to the Journal. A heartfelt thanks to My People for getting us where we are today, which is slightly above where the Nationals would be if the National League had only nine teams. The Journal staff and I are going out for drinks (which basically means I'll be solo at the Tune Inn on Capitol Hill with Matt the bartender) sometime this week to celebrate (and don't tell The Boss, but we're charging said drinks to him).

Who/what's behind us? "Capitals Insider," by Tarik El-Bashir, which rhymes with Donald Brashear. Josh Barr's "Recruiting Insider" and a high-school sports blog called "Varsity Letter" round out the top nine.

So what have we learned? Well, I'm sure The Boss and TPATRWRSWHRNO would expect that, over the course of the summer, My People would help The Journal take off, considering there's not much else going on. (Not sure if Angus Phillips is starting an America's Cup blog (tentatitve title: "Taking On Water").) You figure we can pass Wizards Insider in June, right, because they'll be out of the playoffs? But this soccer thing might be too much to overcome. I need you folks. I really do.

Lastly, something about, of all things, baseball: Did anyone watch the game on Saturday, the one the Nationals won 6-2 over the Mets. Something I wasn't able to work into the paper was a really heady play by Chris Snelling. With two outs in the fourth inning, Brian Schneider was on third and Snelling on second when Felipe Lopez hit a grounder to Mets third baseman David Wright. Snelling began running from second, and Wright kind of double-pumped the ball as he got it out of his glove. Lopez, hitting left-handed, was scooting down the line.

So Snelling thought to himself, "Oh, we can get a run here." He had taken off toward Wright, and Wright decided against throwing the ball across the infield, instead opting to tag out Snelling. "I was trying to get in a run-down," Snelling said, a hugely heads-up play. If Wright throws out Lopez at first, the run Schneider would score from third wouldn't count -- even if he crossed the plate before the out was recorded -- because it's a force play at first. But if Snelling gets tagged out -- not a force because runners were on second and third only -- the run would count if Schneider crossed the plate before Wright put the tag on Snelling.

So Snelling retreated toward second. Wright ran him down. "I didn't think I was in a run-down long enough," Snelling said. But he was. Schneider crossed the plate just before Wright put the tag on, and the Nationals went up 3-1.

I love those little things. So much fun.

Okay, like I said, it's my day off, so you'll probably have to rely on other venues to find out whether the game is postponed tonight.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 16, 2007; 11:49 AM ET
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Next: Hokie Hats, and a Move


Don't hate on soccer but I am here for you Barry! If I were a betting man, I would say that there is no chance tonights game is going to be played.

Posted by: mjwies11, D.C. | April 16, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

as of 13:00, the radar looks ugly, but Accuweather is saying rain around the 5PM hour only. A definite maybe.

Posted by: cevans | April 16, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Probably would get more readers if Nats Journal was easier to find.

Since the front page of the Post site was revamped, before I bookmarked it, I had to find the Nats journal by going to an article on the Nats and looking down the righthand column.

BTW in the 60's TV show "The Prisoner" wasn't the Prisoner referred to as "Number 6"?

Posted by: Congrats - You are #6 | April 16, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The only blogs I check in "The Department" are yours and Steinberg's (notice the order).

Keep up the awesome work and enjoy a day off.

Posted by: Greg | April 16, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with "Congrats..." I have you bookmarked at work and home but was on my brother's computer in GA this weekend. I had a really hard time finding the Journal. Betcha hits would skyrocket if they had a consistent link.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 16, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I did see the Snelling play on and I agree. Small, subtle plays like that are what make baseball so awesome.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 16, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I had been wondering if the Snelling run-down was an intentional act on his part or just a happy accident. Sounds like it was a head's up play on his part. I shouldn't have expected anything less from a man who is a fan of Yoda.

Posted by: Kevin | April 16, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Who wants to read about the Redskins? Keep up the good work!

PS Pretty sure they'll play tonight.

Posted by: JHM | April 16, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Never fear,
Barry Dear,
Once basketweaving season is over,
That Blog About Them Wiz will be last.
... Although you and Goff may have a fight on your hands all summer ...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 16, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree, was trying to check the journal while up in Boston over the weekend and really had to search the WAPOST's National's page to find it. Make some noise: Nobody put Barry in a corner!

Posted by: HJMcK | April 16, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

United (theoretically, though KC would disagree) is a far more solid team than the Nats. And with their cup wins, they're one of the premier teams in the league, no? You've nowhere to go but up. Imagine the page hits you'd get if we were the Yankees.

Bob Carpenter immediately recognized that Snelling play on second. I'm pretty impressed with him and Sutton's game calling. Anyone else notice that they're less homer-y lately? (They were horrible in ST.) Learning a lot about pitching from Sutton too.

Posted by: Mick | April 16, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

>>Now here's the shocker: Steve Goff's "Soccer Insider" is third.

Let's repeat that: Steve Goff's "Soccer Insider" is third.<<

My Gawd ... is this America? The thought of those slim-hipped Europeans mincing around in satin shorts just makes my skin crawl.


Posted by: amb141 | April 16, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I tend to check out this blog a few times per day and the Bog only rarely. Don't really visit other Post blogs. It *is* challenging to navigate from the Post site. I tend to use the history and autocomplete in my browser.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 16, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Nats Journal is not currently listed on the Post home page with the other blogs listed under "News columns and blogs."

# Six is really good for something so hidden

Posted by: Nats Journal not under blogs | April 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Congrats.
"Be seeing you."

Posted by: The New No. 2 | April 16, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

You can knock their hips all you want, Alan. Just don't mention their sisters.

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | April 16, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

or knocking their sisters' hips, for that matter ...

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | April 16, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

/demands a recount

Posted by: Don Imus | April 16, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

As a portland, oregon resident and die hard Mariner fan, let me say Bowden swindled Snelling away from Bavasi--no surprise here really. Snelling will put up better numbers--OPS-- than Vidro this year, and for near the league minimum. I don't know if he'll be on the next good Nationals team, but enjoy all that high OPB goodness and quirky character at a bargain basement price while you can.

Posted by: ivan jones | April 16, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Dude, you're obsessing. Take the rest of the day off. Tips for getting page views up: Create links to journal at top of sports news page, links in sidebar of sports news page, etc....; also (and this is key) provide a few more notes on the competition each night. You'll not only make watching each night more interesting, but you might pick up a few out of towners as well. I check out blogs of the competition whenever I get a chance. Also, you should be promoting the blog from WTWP, WPL, etc....

Posted by: D.Frenzy | April 16, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

First of all, people, one places curson over "Sports" on Home Page, than click on "Colums and Blogs" on drop down menue to go the Blogs Page where the Journal is. Even though the late great Dexter Gordon said "The only thing cooler than bebob is baseball". Football is indeed the "beautiful game". Howevr, the Barra Brava, El Norte and Screaming Eagles are NATS fans and will surely read the Journal this summer (Chelsea beats Man U for FA Cup!!) Again 71 games!!

Posted by: Section 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | April 16, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Soccer? You must be joking.

Posted by: 6th and D | April 16, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

d. frenzy -- don't think barry's the only one obsessing. :)

from "guess which panera sandwich i had for lunch?" to the no. 6 post blog. who knew we could make it so far?

Posted by: gretchen | April 16, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if Scorchy Tawes is still alive (is he?) he could start a 'Chesapeake Fisherman' blog for the Post. No doubt it would leave all other blogs in the dust.

Agreed with others about needing a more obvious link to it in order to increase hits, but I suspect that such decisions are out of Barry's hands. More's the pity.

Posted by: Bote Man | April 16, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Will it help your ranking if we each click on anew multiple times during the day, rather than just leaving it on all the while in the background and hitting "refresh" from time to time?

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | April 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

With the elitist attitude around here towards a HOME TOWN soccer team (a winning one might I add, something you wont be able to say about the Nationals for a long time), its no wonder you can only reach number 6.

Maybe if you tried to branch out to an audience of fans who aren't built in and are ambivalent about baseball or at least the Nationals, you'd be able to build a decent readership.

Prolly easier to make fun of soccer for a few cheap laughs though.

Posted by: Anon | April 16, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse


I was at the Nationals offices today taking care of a season ticket issue and while I was waiting I saw your supersub trying to get his press credentials. Looked like a rookie. Nice guy though. Someone from the Times seemed to help him out. You sportswriters kind of like a fraterinity or something?

Posted by: Paul | April 16, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Sheinin should be doing an "MLB Insider" like Maske's NFL thing. There ought to be enough info from a sport that's played EVERY DAY to support it.

Posted by: Cosmo | April 16, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

>>Prolly easier to make fun of soccer for a few cheap laughs though.<<

No prolly about it.

Seriously, WTH kind of team sport won't let the players use their hands? Opposable thumbs (and eye-hand coordination) are what separate us from the beasts.

Nossir, let me see a wide-bodied third baseman (not Zimmerman -- but check back with me in 15 years) who can't leg out a triple without getting a seizure, but who can snag a rocket over the bag and peg the runner out by an eyelash EVERY TIME.


Posted by: amb141 | April 16, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Really? Only 6? Man, I feel like I check the Journal at least enough for a 5 by myself. Or does it not count if it's from the same IP address?

Les Boulez really have enough of a following to swamp us Nat-Heads out? It is a sad, sad day.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | April 16, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, there may be 5 ahead of us, but their content and comments aren't full of insightful analysis and on-topic discussions of ... oh. Nevermind.

Posted by: Willie G | April 16, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I can believe that we're behind the United blog, they're a good team and there's not a lot of good info on them (from what I can tell).

I can believe that we're behind the Wizards' blog, they're a decent team and they have a super-duper-star (from what I can tell).

But what I can't believe is that a lousy team without a plan that plays a neanderthal sport for a season that includes 1/10th as many games as baseball can be so popular. With 1/10th as much opportunity to make real news I would expect that it would all fit in the regular articles and they wouldn't need a blog for all subtleties that can't fit in the paper, like the excellent dissection of Snelling's play above.

I don't like the American League because the pitcher doesn't play both defense and offense. I find it ridiculous that football has completely separate teams for offense and defense (not to mention special teams). And don't get me started on instant replay...

Posted by: i hate walks | April 16, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sixth place in just two months is something to cheer about! Way to go Barry! Remember what the old Senators used to say - "if your not last - your first." Look out Redskins blog - here we come! (Maybe we should organize a boycott of the other five sites or something)

Posted by: cmc in Iowa | April 16, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Woah! Where did we get a pitching staff? And a hitting game, too.

Posted by: SF fan | April 16, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"If our not last" what?

Posted by: cevans | April 16, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Nice game Nats!

I got a lady friend in Atlanta and any time the Nats steal one from them I get to rub it in. Nice.

As far as the blog wars go... I must confess my allegiance to Jason La Canfora. He made a lousy Skins season somewhat tolerable. I helped make him #1, but I shall do my best to make the Nats Journal better. You gotta remember, Jason has been BHGO (Blogging His Guts Out) since the summer on the Skins. Give the Journal some time... its a long season and I'm sure the Nats can stir up some fun for us.

Keep it up Barry. At least you beat the high school blog. Bully.

Posted by: Dorf | April 16, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"The Redskins rule this town with an iron fist. Isn't going to change. Ever." -- Not so, Barry. They only rule because we had no baseball for 33 years (Orioles don't count! Not DC's team, ever!).

Let the Nats make the playoffs, win a pennant, win the World Series one day and things will change. As your buddy Larry Lucchino said in October 2004, ALL empires eventually fall!!

Posted by: natswriter | April 16, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I heard Goff is visiting his own web page every ten minutes to drive up his stats.

Posted by: Dog Frenzy | April 16, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the Journal is climbing up the rankings. Hate to see us behind Lez Boulez and Soccer. But, like everyone said, it's not real easy to find and the Nats are still new and they aren't playing well. If it could get better placement, that would help.

Great game at Shea, they seem to have turned a corner. It was great to see Dmitri get a few hits while wearing 42, that's a feel good story. He's won me over, I'm a fan, I hope his problems are behind him and he has a few more good years.

Thanks again Barry for all your work on the blog but I'm afraid posting on your day off makes you a geek.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | April 16, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Who is Number One?

You are Number Six.

Go Nationals Journal!

I am on a Mac, using Safari - I bookmarked the Journal and have no problem finding it.

What the hell is a page view? It sounds like a Republican scandal

Posted by: SacredCod | April 16, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The difficulty in finding the blog only supports the theory that it has the brightest bloggers. Quality, not quantity is the important issue. 2 in a row, wtg Nats.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 16, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Redskins Insider was hard to find back in August... eventually it got put on the main WaPo Redskins page and all sorts of riff raff had quick, easy, mindless one click access to our beloved blog. It took awhile for the idiot cowboy fans to get bored of it... what I'm saying is, enjoy the small community while its small. This train will get rolling and we'll be blogging our guts out well into the dog days of summer.

Posted by: Dorf | April 17, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

It occurs to me that none of those other bloggers have written an exceptional baseball book (National Pasttime), have a Podcast, file stories everyday for a 162 game season, appear on WPL/WTWP, work on their day off, and write exceptionally well with humor, integrity, and insight. (Sure they do some of that stuff, but not all of it). Viva Svrluga, Inc.!!! (P.S, I still don't have my copy of the book signed)

Posted by: Dog F. | April 17, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

If there was ever a lesson that the 2007 Washington Nationals offer to the world (and to you, Barry Svrluga) it is this:

Don't get be so concerned with the standings, just be concerned with doing your best and producing a high quality product every day.

Posted by: i hate walks | April 17, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I must agree that TPATRWRSWHRNO are complicit in your low showing by making the Nationals Journal difficult to find.

Posted by: Fee | April 17, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"With the elitist attitude around here towards a HOME TOWN soccer team (a winning one might I add, something you wont be able to say about the Nationals for a long time), its no wonder you can only reach number 6."

Elitist Attitude? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Soccer fans invented the elitist attitude. "You guys don't know how to roll around and hold your knee to get the other guy ejected. CRETINS!!" "The rest of the world loves soccer, you Americans are stupid for not loving soccer!"

Look, soccer may be a lovely game, but non-soccer fans don't deserved to be pilloried for not loving soccer. We don't make fun of you for not knowing the infield fly rule, so lay off the indignant soccer fan thing.

Posted by: Section 406 | April 17, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I confess, I'm a J LaC junkie, and read RI just about everyday. The same with Maske and Tarik's blogs, as well. I keep forgetting about Nats Insider because it's buried, and with no picture of Barry (ala Tarik, J LaC, and Maske) it doesn't stand out on the page. I think is easier for me to find the Nats on TV than the blog, which is saying something because my Comcast (in Frederick County, VA) doesn't carry MASN.

Posted by: lordthrog | April 17, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

3 out of 4!! A Nats starter gets his first win!! Question: Will the Chief ever have a three up three down appearance? Another question: Anyone that's "here" there last night. Everyone shown on TV appeared to be under 25. I am giddy so I shall revise my estimated wins upward to 75!!

As someone who knows about the infield fly rule and what an "Offside Trap" is, I say lets all get along. LETS GO NATS (Three in a row?) and VAMOS UNITED!!

Posted by: Section 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | April 17, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

To section 417 row8 seat 9. I was there last night---(i'm over 50) w my son and my father in we had most of the main generation groups covered.

If i didn't have this blog bookmarked --not sure i could still find it....just tried for 5 minutes and couldn't figure it out.

Posted by: pk | April 17, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Now that I have bookmarked this blog, it's part of my daily blog-viewing ritual. But earlier I couldn't find it. You should pimp the NatsJournal in your chats like a user-car salesman. Pimp it so hard that, by the end of the chat, it's asking to be slapped.

Posted by: Lindemann | April 17, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

What's so hard about finding this blog? Go to the left hand side navigation, click on blogs and columns (2nd from the bottom.) Then look on the right hand side of the two column thing (the Blogs column,) and the second one down is the Nationals Insider. Notice how everyone except Mister Sverluga (otherwise known as He Of The Ugly Mugshot HOTUM) has their pictures there, including the balding visage of Kornheiser, which is a sight to behold...

Posted by: SF fan | April 17, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Lindemann, I demand an apology for depicting used car salesmen as pimps. The reckless use of urban jargon is frowned upon in this blog.

Posted by: Al Sharpton | April 17, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

To PK-- You are a better fan than me! Fortunetly my next game (20 game plan) is May 12. Better weather then (hope hope).

Posted by: Sec 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | April 17, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll be at tonight's game, so to to those that were there last night ... were they selling hot chocolate at the ocncessions stands?

And dang if tonight wouldn't have been the perfect night for some Hard Times chili on the Food Terrace. Alas, they are no longer there. Dang the luck!

Posted by: e | April 17, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

See you at RKF in a few!

Posted by: HJMcK | April 17, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

yep -- saw the Snelling heads-up base running play. exactly why baseball is so much fun to watch.

hey--How 'BOUT them Gnats? 3 out of 4!!!

Posted by: Dwight in Riverdale Park | April 17, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'll be there tonight, but I'm also bringing my Braves Fan Dad. And since he and my brother let me bring a GO NATS sign to the game in Atlanta last week, I'll probably have to shut up if he does the Chop. Sorry.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 17, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

yes, e
i saw a hot chocolate stand there last night, plus at the same spot at a game last is a temporary set up on the 200 concourse,,,first base side....i think it was only 2 bucks!

Posted by: pk | April 17, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Gotta get the word out about your WONDERFUL journal, Barry - invariably, people I talk to about your WONDERFUL journal knows nothing about it. Also, make it easier to access / more intuitive to access from the sports section. Now that I know there's competeition in the air, I'll tell everyone at the Nats Fan Club at next week's meeting and tell them to tell everyone they know as well.

Posted by: Barb | April 17, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Two other ways to find the blog (outside of just bookmarking this page):

1. On the main WaPo Sports page, there's a link at the top that fades in and out, constantly switching between the myriad WaPo blogs.

2. On the main Nationals Page, it should fade in and out just above the top right of the main photo.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 17, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Much of what I have read on the soccer blogs consists of discussions about tailgating; for which the United fans are second only to the Redskins fans. The United games are one big party, which makes sense considering how drunk you need to be to sit through two hours of a game where they can't even keep the correct time on the scoreboard.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 17, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Please don't hurt me, Al Sharpton!

Posted by: Lindemann | April 18, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Barry, post something, quick. the talk radio people have found us.

Posted by: Be careful what you wish for | April 18, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I like a lot of people only read this when the sports page has the icon for it. I did not know where to find it. I'll be bookmarking it. Loved 'National Pastime'.

Posted by: sec 411 | April 18, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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