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Fun fun fun (and charity) over the weekend

So a little community service weekend post as you guys chew over the end of Friday's game (2-2 in the eighth right now).

First off, the Nationals are having a Back to School Drive on Sunday, sponsored by the "First Ladies", which is basically the wives and girlfriends of the players. They'll be on hand to collect school supplies (and I'll quote from the official release) "including but not limited to, backpacks, rulers, packs of pencils, pencil boxes, calculators, spiral and composition notebooks, loose leaf binders and paper, pocket folders, glue sticks, crayons, and new lunch boxes."

The supplies will be donated to a school in the D.C. metro area.

The basics:

When: Sunday, Aug. 5. Collection begins when gates open at noon and lasts through the bottom of the second inning.

Where: Bins will be located outside the Main Gate, Gate A and Gate F

Now, onto the second event that day. I come not to ridicule or pass judgment on "Washington Nationals and Third Coast Sports Host Faith Day," nor to mock the concert by "Grammy Award winning artists MercyMe." I will, however, offer a look at the official MercyMe Web site, and I will also point out that there will be an appearance by the Veggie Tales.

Again, I will quote from the official release, which touts an "appearance by the Veggie Tales, life-sized vegetable characters that promote values and morals to children."

(No longer quoting from official release. Broccoli: "Listen, kids, don't covet." Celery: "No, that's bad. I love Broccoli's florets, but I understand they only belong to Broccoli.")

I will also provide a link to the official Veggie Tales Web site, where you can meet Bob and Larry, who I believe, but I don't know for sure, are a tomato and a cucumber. (I also believe, but don't know for sure, that a tomato is a fruit.)

This I gotta see.

There will also be a post-concert autograph session with MercyMe. Line forms now.

I would also point out that Saturday night is "Tom Jefferson Bobblehead Night" at RFK. Come early, come often.

I'll get you some actual baseball later in the day, but figured those who are coming out should know what's on tap.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 3, 2007; 9:56 PM ET
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Next: The Lineup for Saturday


wow... who would even dream of missing MercyMe and the Veggie(Fruit?)Tales... anyone for broccoli florets?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | August 3, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"So a little community service weekend post as you guys chew over last night's result."

Is this post from the future?

Posted by: Jon | August 3, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

... I know about Veggie Tales from experience and will say it is a very broad and tolerant expression of the Christian faith. Having said that, I do not like very much, the current and prevalent practice of uniting one specific religious community with the general social community, in this case represented by the sporting community. I for one do not appreciate this kind of public evangelisation as proper even in terms of the Christian faith ... but that's me.

... my displeasure will be placated when the Nationals agree to a specific game at which the Jewish faith is represented, followed by one for the Muslim religion, and then for any other faith group which makes application.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 3, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

... back to the game. It seems rather strange to me that Manny would replace Schneider with Langerhans as a runner. Is Ryan that much quicker? Is Schneider injured?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 3, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Uh, sorry. Tried to use the tricky "post-ahead" feature and set that thing for tomorrow morning. Oh, well. Take it from here.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | August 3, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize "Faith" meant only one religious movement...

NOT a fan at all of this Faith game (although now with the score tied going into the bottom of the 8th, I'm feeling some faith to whom/what ever for the Nats to pull this out.

How about that Zimmerman throw? Do you think he was reading today's earlier chat? That was a bummer big time.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 3, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

... on the expectation that as per usual, our conversations will continue into the most current Barry posting, I am reposting my question from the previous thread, so that those who wish to, may comment.

[from prior]

However, it seems the recently on-fire Washington bats have been quenched tonight. And that brings up a question - a question of stats perhaps, and maybe something Sect506am or you other armchair statisticians might work on.

Which Nats starter has benefitted the most this year from good run support? That is, in the games the Nats score runs, which starting pitcher is most often on the mound?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 3, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

While we haven't had non-Christian days at the ballpark, we do get "Jews for Jesus" soliciting at the subway while arriving at the games.

Posted by: Traveler | August 3, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope someone will remind me when they have Atheist/Agnostic Day at the ballpark.

Posted by: midxpress | August 3, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

So, I'm bringing three neighborhood kids to the game on Sunday...

Wouldn't mind leaving with a post saying "Jesus Saves" again! Preferably over the left field wall!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 3, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Zimm!
Nats win! Nats win!

Good job Ronnie - keeping it rolling!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 3, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

... yessir, yessir, YESSIR!!! That's my man Zimm, the soul of this team.

... great 'backs against the wall' win. These Nats can compete against anyone!!

... BTW: Cool Papa Logan! Pretty good praise.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 3, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Great job by Redding tonight. Really handled Pujols well - what a key against this team. Keep it rolling Nats, and see y'all tomorrow!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 3, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse


How great is it to see Zimm all smiley and goofy when he gets those walk offs??

4 in a row and only 1/2 game back from the fish!

Posted by: JennX | August 3, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

midxpress: Amen.

Posted by: JennX | August 3, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Players of the day, Zim for the walkoff and the D-train for pitching the Marlins to within a half game of last place.

Posted by: estuartj | August 3, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Minor gripe with Manny for making too big a defensive swtch in the top of the 8th. Having Langerhans run for Schneider was fine, Flores is fine as an offensive replacement for schneider and Langerhans for Church I'm not a BIG fan of, but inside the margin of error (langerhans defense makes up for ineptness with the bat compared to Church - though Ryan did NOT help his cause today with the looking strike 3 with the bases juiced and then the rally killing GIDP). I do have a problem with taking out Young for Robert Fick, especially with him batting 5th. If Zim hadn't gotten the game winning RBI whem he did I had no confidence in the offense from the rest of the line-up.

Posted by: estuartj | August 3, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Correction - of course Young/Fick were batting 4th. Which is even worse. Sorry for the typo.

Posted by: estuartj | August 3, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

So on this dogday friday night, in throwback unis..what a signt. Tonys boys came wheelin and dealin, by Mannys troops had that winnin feelin. It was Zimm again with a walk off winner...maybe Barry will buy him dinner...GO NATS...STAY HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 3, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

signt..what is that...should be sight. by Mannys troops...well, that should be but Mannys troops. I have to talk to my keyboard, for it is committing just to many errors.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 3, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse


I love the Greys unis, but the players should be real men. Do it in flannel!!!

Posted by: catcher50 | August 3, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

All of the faith night events are VOLUNTARY and AFTER the game.

If you don't care for it, leave after the game like normal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I dont understand this whole "Faith Night" thing. Didn't Atlanta get burned for doing this a few years ago? I dont know if the positives (a few more seats filled???) outweight the possible negatives.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 3, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Guess I'm with Natscan on the whole faith thing.

It may have to do with the makeup of my row, part of which on a random night might be Catholic, Catholic, agnostic, Jewish, Catholic (me), Jewish, Jewish, etc.

The contract-bridge association to which I belong is probably plurality-Jewish. Perhaps half my fellow Rotarians are Seventh-Day Adventists. Not to mention that, as befits Washingtonians, we seem to hail from and to every corner of the globe.

Balance and tolerance are good things. It's not tough to practice the latter; one hopes for a bit of the former in Nats promotional programming.

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Seems disingenuous at best. If they want to have "Evangelical Christian" day, they should be honest and just call it that. If it was really a "Faith Day", there'd be a bit more diversity in the programming.

Posted by: joebleux | August 4, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Okay, just to take the subject away from faith night. I have a serious confession to make tonight that has the potential to get me snubbed, if not completely banned from this blog. 506 will probably draw and quarter me.
I completely and utterly sold out tonight at the game. Let's just say I have most emphatically NOT been Clint's mom on this blog, but if you were at the game tonight, that was me playing that cursed PNC PIN game on the jumbo-tron. Til now, I've been the leader of the torch-burning, pitchfork crowd against Clint, but if you'd seen me tonight on that screen you'd have thought I WAS his mom.
Sheesh. Next thing you know I'll be hugging Screech (or so my friend Amy says).
Sorry guys. I guess the prospect of my 15 minutes of fame just took over my senses.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 4, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Like you Hendo, I have just about every type of faith and non-faith represented in my life so I am respectful of people's sensitivity here. However, how is hosting a faith night "intolerant"? It seems intolerant to be critical of it. From what I've read, the Lerners are observant Jews. My guess is that if someone came to them with an idea to have a Jewish themed after game activities or even a Muslim themed night, they'd go for it if they thought it would put people in the seats. The reality though is that the vast majority of people in this country are not Jewish or Muslim. My sense of this frankly is that everyone needs to be tolerant of them hosting this faith-themed evening.

Lastly if we are to be tolerant of people's beliefs, we probably should not be making light of the Veggie Tales and Mercy Me. I'm sure to some out there (although not me), they represent an important expression and represenation of their faith.

Posted by: #4 | August 4, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

It was fun to look up at Kip Wells and say, "Wow, there's a good-hitting pitcher!"

Well, no, not altogether. I, too, miss Livo. Anyway, props to Wells, I guess, for escaping situations, particularly the seventh inning in which TLR unaccountably left him in, that could've knocked his ERA into next week. (Ryan plug and pan: Church, I'm lookin' at you, pal. You coulda done the knockin', or at least looked at the first pitch.)

No tears for Big Jon on the blown hold; remember Walter Johnson who must hold the record for most one-run losses in low-scoring games. Little recking its import at the time, Cordero rings up a sweet win in the upside-down ninth, powered by the latest in the fine series of Zimm walkoff hits *after*, not before, Chad does the needful:

Closer Cordero -- who
Calmly, collectedly
Handles the worst --

Ponders the final frame
"Life is too short out here.
Eat dessert first."

Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I forgive you Natsnut. I was there. I thought you looked suitably reserved. I'm just glad you guessed "lower" when it was on 9.

Posted by: #4 | August 4, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

All hail NatsNut! By the way, extra credit for nailing the last digit. I might well have incorrectly guessed "lower" since the year we were honoring was 1943.

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 12:47 AM | Report abuse

SC Nats Fan, you're pickin' up steam.

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 12:52 AM | Report abuse

LOL!! #4 and Hendo: you have a good memory! I almost DID guess lower after 4.
AWESOME game, huh?

Posted by: NatsNut | August 4, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

"How about that Zimmerman throw? Do you think he was reading today's earlier chat? That was a bummer big time."

As long as he gets the game-winning hit in the end, he can make as many wild throws as he wants, as far as I'm concerned. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on that one Juan-John.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 4, 2007 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Just for that, NatsNut, I'll forgive you for doing the PNC PIN game. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 4, 2007 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Who knows when I will next post, for today the 4th I fly to the Left Coast. I'll be looking for Zimmermannnn, while I'm in the city of San Frannnn. I hope for the Nats it doesn't get scarry, as the pitchers try to foil left coast Barry. I'll be there with my blue Curly W on, hoping Barrys blasts down leave the lawn. That way when its time for me to flee, I'll head back east full of glee....hopefully. GO NATS...STAY HOT

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 4, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John GHFs Zimmerman's performance tonight: "As long as he gets the game-winning hit in the end, he can make as many wild throws as he wants, as far as I'm concerned. :-)"

Right on, especially since we are hopeful that he won't make *too* many wild throws, and that he is entirely liable to make fewer as the months and years roll on.

418 made a good comment on my Zimm-lovin' post in the earlier thread: "The problem is that Zim hasn't made his errors on his 17 toughest chances--in fact, he made [i.e., need? Hendo] not have made errors on any of his 17 toughest chances. That's what he needs to fix. The great ones make the hard plays AND the easy ones."

I'd have to agree with that on at least 13 of the chances (eleven throwing errors and two catching errors, and thanks to e for the breakdown that I overlooked earlier).

When all those hard and easy plays get made in the fullness of time, maturity, experience and learning, the following 418 follow-up will have a happy answer: "Am I overly optimistic to think that in a while you'll be able to mention Zim & Brooks in the same sentence & not be embarrassed?"

I'm not embarrassed now. Brooks was young once. So were Mike Schmidt (the best 3B I ever saw), George Brett, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, etc. A seasoned Zimm could -- and, I dare to hope, will -- blow 'em all out of the water.

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Have you ever seen an inning where a pitcher was snake-bite more than Rauch tonite? Dribblers and bleeders. If he pitched like that every night, 98 times out of hundred, he holds the lead.

Posted by: Andy S from Jersey | August 4, 2007 1:56 AM | Report abuse

"And when Yadier Molina dropped a flare in front of center fielder Nook Logan -- who was playing deep to prevent doubles -- the Cardinals had tied it up.' Did it drop in or did Nuke miss play it?

I'm bringig my juicer to "Washington Nationals and Third Coast Sports Host Faith Day,"....yum, yet another great promotion

Posted by: Darklrd | August 4, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

As for Zims errant throw, how about Young going up high to keep it out of the seats and keep the runner on first.

In the end it didn't matter, but great effort, and amazing "ups" for a man of Young's age and size.


Posted by: estuartj | August 4, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

... one of the very best things about sports, and certainly baseball, is the honest and childlike celebration after a hard-fought win. The Nationals mobbed Zimm after his game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth, and for a few minutes following, there were no longer Nationals on the field, or even Homestead Greys, but a clutch of delirious kids. It was and looked great.

... don't look now, but these Nats are only two point five games behind the reigning WS champs in the wild card race. Go Nats!

Posted by: natscan reduxit (in the morning) | August 4, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

that WAS a nice catch of the high/bad throw, but it was not Dmitri. It was Fick, who had gone in as a defensive replacement....
otherwise,,,,good observation.

Posted by: pk | August 4, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Pk- you mean I said something complementary of Robert Fick? Even unintentionally that jsut makes me feel dirty, I'm going to take shower.

Posted by: estuartj | August 4, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Another great win - keep it rolling Nats. Zimm should get strong consideration for player of the week - despite his errant throw.
I had to miss listening to the game last night because of the start of H.S. fotball season here - and evidently missed another good one.
I'm pleased to see the Veggie Tales are on-board with the Nats. I've always been particularly fond of the "Grapes of Wrath." They may even make Teddy run a little faster around the field.
Whatever our sundry theological perspectives, I think we can all agree that Nats fans are nothing if not "faith-based!"

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | August 4, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I've enjoyed the double dactyls all along, thanks Hendo, and SC NAts Fan, what I would describe your stream of consciousness poetry is also most enjoyable - please keep it up.

Posted by: Traveler | August 4, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

Posted by: Speaking of Poetry | August 4, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Poetry: No soap, radio.

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Breathe easy, NatsNut, I was broadcasting the right answers on the PNC PIN last night (I'm like 10 for 10 on that thing, but no one ever picks me!).

Two thoughts from the game:

1. Zim's wild throw was because he was mad to try to make a play on that ball. My Cubs-fan girlfriend turned to me and asked if the Cards third baseman (I told her about the comparisons) could have made that throw and my observation was that he couldn't have even made that scoop, much less that throw. I'm glad Fick was there instead of Meat, because there's no way Meat could have snagged that.

2. We owe last night's game to some great base running on the part of Schneider and Batista. Along with Robert Fick, they broke up double plays that would have ended innings. Schneider and Batista both saved innings that resulted in a point for the Nats, meaning without their great base running, we may not have been able to get two of our three points.

Fick's slide was ultimately wasted, but it was pretty hilarious to watch. I'm not sure he started sliding until he was on top of the bag and even then it looked more like a slide-tackle than a legit attempt to tag.

Finally, as the older brother of some very young children (split family), I must say that I adore VeggieTales. It teaches good values with a fantastically sly sense of humor. You punsters in this blog would be crying with mirth.

That being said, I'm a huge fan of the idea of Agnostic Night! Clint: "Hey guys, we're here to celebrate - or not - our devotion, or mild wondering, or maybe nothing for something or other! Woohoo! [while doing a golf clap]"

I really don't care about Faith Night, as long as it brings in money and no one gets proselytized at the baseball game. I WOULD like to see even more Negro League night, that was awesome. How about playing Kansas City in inter-league play so we can have a Grays-Monarchs matchup again?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 4, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Barry -- good gamer in this morning's $.35 edition. I liked that all the pics with the article showcased the big GRAYS on the Nats' uniforms. Especially liked the pic of Da Meat Hook crunching a laughing Zimm, which nicely went with your gamer theme.

Did you say that someone was going to be there from Josh Gibson's family?

Posted by: Nats Fan in Annandale | August 4, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sect506am,

"We owe last night's game to some great base running on the part of Schneider and Batista."

... I defer to you, my friend, since you were at the game, or at least watched it on TV. So can you tell me why you think Manny replaced Schneider with Langerhans in a base running situation?

... I think you have the whole 'Faith Night' and Veggie Tale thing pretty clear and straight in your head. Nothing wrong with displaying your faith. But when it comes to evangelization, I'm with St. Francis who said to his little band of brown-habitted followers: "Preach the gospel at all times; if all else fails, use words."

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 4, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

How about Ideology Night?
Seriously, it's Patriotism Night 82 times a year, so Evangelical Christian Night should be no big surprise.

Posted by: Pa Grape | August 4, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

My agnostic self
Will watch this "Faith Night" closely
And see how it goes.

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 4, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

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