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About the story

Anything atypical about the coverage merits an explanation, so that's what I'll give you this morning. For the "gamer" in today's print edition, I more or less decided to avert my eyes from the game altogether. Instead, I spent most of the game sitting next to Dmitri (and Delmon) Young's father; I tried to write about the day through his eyes. Why?

Play-by-play has a very short shelf life, assuming it has a shelf life at all, and I wanted to stay away from a game story that gave the hoary details of another loss some 20 hours after it happened. The game itself was kind of the cookie-cutter Nats defeat this season, so I compressed the nuts and bolts of the game into the space usually reserved for a notebook.

Sometimes, predictability is a good thing. But it's generally an enemy of newspapers. Newspapers are a great medium (if you want that side of an argument in a debate) because of their ability to be tangential at times, because of their ability to explore, because of the space they allow for some depth and risk.

This doesn't mark some tidal change in coverage, by no means. Just wanted to be different on a day when the game itself felt painstakingly familiar.

Your comments are welcome, critical or otherwise.

I'm heading back to DC today. Steve Yanda will be covering the Nats today and tomorrow at the ballyard, and contributing to the blog.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 20, 2008; 7:47 AM ET
 
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Comments

I'm with girl at work. Hope. Despair. Anger. Pick one. Your choice.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Nice effort. But don't most big-league papers have full stories/columns on both?

Posted by: Chris | June 20, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

No biggie, really. I didn't notice much difference. You still got some game stuff in there.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 20, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

This is crap, Chico. First, the obvious question: If a profile of the Young family was so compelling (and I did think it was a good story) why not have 2 stories in today's paper, with one actually covering the game?

Second, does the Post have any desire--or believe it has any obligation--to be the paper of record with respect to Nats games? You say there's no "tidal change" in coverage, but what exactly does that mean? For those of us who work during the day and couldn't follow the game yesterday, it would be nice to be able to turn to the Post and read an article about the game. Today, I can't do that, so that is in fact a change. Now, an obvious retort is that I could do something like go on espn.com and read the AP story. But if that's the case today, why shouldn't it be the case every day? Why should the Post ever cover the games? Why not just let the 25 year-old beat writer write whatever he wants every day, and let us read the AP story about the game that was actually played? I'm sorry for you that you found the game boring, but you are in fact a baseball beat writer. If you can't make a compelling story out of a baseball game simply because it felt "painstakingly familiar" after less than 2 months on the beat, I'd have to say that things aren't looking good for the future.

Third, the fact that your editors would let you do this again demonstrates your paper's disdain for covering the Nats. Of course, that should be no secret by now.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 20, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Yay, Yanda! I like this kid.

Coverage is Lacking, your "this is crap" declaration is too broad. This is a great article, but [insert much of what you wrote] is crap.

We want articles of this caliber, but we want gamers too. Until we get both, I'll sacrifice a gamer or two, but you're right that we should have both.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

CiL,

You make valid points, but the number of years of age of the author isn't one of them.

Age, maturity, and capability are largely orthogonal.

So, check that mentality or accept the label of curmudgeon (which damages your credibility in the larger and more important push for more coverage).

Otherwise, keep on keepin' on.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 20, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Great article today. Much better reading than a gamer. The whole purpose of the Post is the added value of something like we got today.

Posted by: GreatArticle | June 20, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

As usual, I find myself with 506 (and bobl, but that's another topic).

This was a good article, and I'm happy for Pop Young. Sure, a gamer would be nice, too, but you have to have a game, first. This one was a first-round pick for Forgettable, and it's a long season full of competition for that slot.

Good call, Harlan.

Posted by: CE | June 20, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and CiL, WADR, this **was** the compelling story of that game.

Posted by: CE | June 20, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Fair point about my comment on Chico's age, it was not productive, my comments apply irrespective of age. 506, I agree with you, and I think I stated that I did think the story about the Young family was good.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 20, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I thought the same thing about yesterdays game, so I was very pleased with the different approach. Also, a great story.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | June 20, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

OTOH, maybe this is a good idea. It's what most of us do anyway, I suspect. Let the AP writer give the box score in prose, and let the local guy who follows the team and learning the personalities and stories write that. And the score. Gotta give the score.

**************
I could do something like go on espn.com and read the AP story. But if that's the case today, why shouldn't it be the case every day? Why should the Post ever cover the games? Why not just let the 25 year-old beat writer write whatever he wants every day, and let us read the AP story about the game that was actually played?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 20, 2008 8:48 AM

Posted by: ce | June 20, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I second everything 506 said.

Keep up the good work.

We'd prefer greater quantities of good work, but for the moment we'll take what we can get.

Posted by: 3434 | June 20, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

is

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I today's era of 24/7 media coverage of sports and declining readership of papers I applaud a young reporter who gets it and a newspaper editor is willing to get it too.
How many of you are going to cancel you subscription to the WaPo because you didn't get a blow by blow of another Nat's unimaginative defeat?
Just leave the real touchy feely stuff to Nats320.

Posted by: Tom | June 20, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

1. Loved the story.

2. There should be two stories, at least at times, because some form of gamer is required.

3. Even with two degrees, had to look up "orthogonal."

Posted by: WebberDC | June 20, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Yes, 506 said it well, we want both. And I will say that I agree w/ CIL that I'm sick of the Post not giving more space to the Nats and I'm sick of there being any space devoted to the O's, especially at the expense of the Nats.

But, I loved the story and didn't miss the proper gamer. This is our 4th year of a crap team loosing ugly game after ugly game and I am tired of watching and reading about them sucking. Not that I'll stop but I'm tired of it. Plus, I thought he had plenty of coverage of the actual game. He even gave more breakdown on Hill's outing in the Notebook.

Great story Chico, I think most of CIL's angst is directed at your boss' boss' not at you.

Posted by: Avar | June 20, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Why no photo of Dmitri and Delmon's dad, since he was the focus of your coverage? Instead, we get yet another installment of the many moods of Shawn Hill. (Funny, they all look the same...)

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 20, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"Just leave the real touchy feely stuff to Nats320."

THANK -- you for the COMPLIMENTS. SOME are -- happy TO HELP.

Posted by: Fake Nats320 | June 20, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm stealing all your thunder, CiL, apologize! You did say the same thing, I thought I would go ahead and emphasize how much I liked Chico's article. You were doing a fine job outlining the Post's failure. Double team 'em. I throw sand in the eyes and you hit 'em with the folding chair.

Raaaaarrrrr!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Just catching up ...
@PTBNL--it would be that *I* can't afford it, not that the team can't, but really, it's a pretty forced line, just to squeeze a rhyme in.

But the reference I had in mind was the opening.

Ev'rybody's restless, got no place to go.
Someone's always trying to tell them
Something they already know.
So their anger and resentment flow.

***********
But the connection to the Nats? "I work all day and still can't pay the price of gasoline . . . and meat?" OK, the price of gasoline is current, and the price of Meat? Are you saying the Nats should not have signed Dmitri?

Posted by: PTBNL | June 19, 2008 9:42 PM

Posted by: Mohammed's Radio | June 20, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, I represent third generation journalists in my family, my grandfather once having been an editorial writer for the WaPo when it was the town's #5 paper (or something like that) during the T. Roosevelt administration.

So, to the task at hand. Coverage is lacking et al are correct--but only if the print edition of the town's major newspaper is intended to be one that records events. More and more, though, as the Post's circulation has plummeted, the paper has turned to features as its lifeline. It's a questionable call, but that's what the grey eminences have decided, in the belief that fans will obtain their factual coverage elsewhere--mlb.com or whatever--so the Post need not provide it. Given the parlous state of the local ball club, the Post will not set aside enough space for both a game story and a color thumb sucker. It ain't going to happen.

As a result, a simple game story, i.e., a record of a major league baseball game involving the home team, is an endangered species. Surely Chico knows that his editors want color and that's what he is providing, even on days when the Youngs do not occupy front and center. In fact, the typical Post sports story about any contest is usually replete with personal color details and only grudgingly reveals what happened--I don't care if its the U.S. Open or Hopkins lacrosse.

Conclusion: I think the Post's editors have made the wrong call. I too would like to be able to read the gory details of what happened yesterday on the field. But, hell, I still use a fountain pen and my green eyeshade is still on a closet shelf somewhere nearby.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | June 20, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Chico,
Burnt out already???
This team is lousy!

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

A question for the blog: it's a friends birthday and he's a baseball enthusiast (and the coach of our softball team) and I was thinking of getting him Carpenter's scorebook.

1) What is it called?

2) What do you think of it?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If the Post is too cheap to give you enough space to write two stories about a major league baseball game then they are cheap. I have a feeling that there is a move on to give equal space to soccer, bike riding, bull riding, and major league baseball. Then when the Redskins come along give them seven pages per day. When the Nats were on the west coast I had to access Yahoo to find out what happened in the game.

Posted by: JT | June 20, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Chico, I loved this story, and it should definitely be in the paper. But it's a column, not a gamer. It's not your job to write two stories in a day, and this story needed to be written. The problem is with your editors: they only have one guy covering the national capital's national pastime team.

Please direct your editors to this thread. They have ignored and belittled the Nats for three years (after the 2005 first half). You and Svrluga have done great jobs. But having one guy do the gamer, the notebook, the blog, AND great columns about the stories behind the team doesn't equal great coverage. The Times has beat you guys on several stories this year. If the Post doesn't care enough about being the best paper covering the Nats, then it deserves to keep losing.

Posted by: hb | June 20, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Times appear to have better coverage. They are inserting updates on the Nats prospects while providing a detail review of each game in addition to updates on the players. The Young article, although nice, struck me as filler. It basically implied that the team in not worth covering and the Young family would be of more interest to the fans. Although it is hard covering this mess day after day I think we should now be asking management some hard questions instead of these "fluff" pieces. For instance:

(1) Why the resistance in calling up prospects as this season is lost. We do not have a slump, we have a lost season. It is not injuries. The guys who are injured had tanked before getting hurt.
(2) What is management's thoughts on the team. How do they expect to fix this disaster.
(3) Why treat Hill this way. This is embarrassing. It is not professional. If he is hurt, put him on the DL and get him right. As others have said, we are creating another Patterson.
(4) Why don't we question Acta on some of his comments. For instance he claims he is playing a young team and therefore the reason for poor hitting and play. Hey we have an old team on the field - Lopez, Guzman, Boone, LoDuca, Belliard, Young - Acta is BSing us. He should be called on it. If you don't question him then you are saying you do not care to report on the team.
(4)Kasten, the Lerners and Bowden should step forward and address the state of the team. It is to the point where the media, owners and management are ignoring this disaster. They are hoping it will go away. The Post should not let this happen. We have wreck, please do not ignore it.

Posted by: mjames | June 20, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Chico,

The explanation above for today's column is deep and provides some real insight into your ability as a writer. The sign of a good writer, IMO, is being able say exactly what he or she means. The NJ allows for you to do that, whether you are made to do it or do it for clarity/additional info (or both). Keep up the good work and do not let this pathetic excuse for a baseball team get you down too much, things will shape up eventually.

Posted by: nats703 | June 20, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

506,

Carpenter's scorebook is okay. A little overpriced, for what it is. But it is small enough and the score-sheet strikes a balance between detail and simplicity. I probably wouldn't buy it again (I'd get something with a layout providing a little more detail on pitches), but for a new or dabbling scorekeeper it is about right and the smallish size means it is more likely to get thrown into the game-bag.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 20, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Okay, whoa, let's slow down a little bit.

The 2005 Nats that garnered all that attention in the Post went 52-36 (.591) before the All Star break.

They went 29-45 (.392) after the All Star break.

As of today, the 2008 Nationals are 29-45. Now I'm not saying that we will go 52-36 from here on out, just that it wouldn't be unheard of even in this Washington team's brief history. It ain't over till it's over, indeed.

As for calling up the kids. Which ones would you recommend? I'd rather not start clocks running until we're serious. Let's not tease them.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It was a great feature, but not a story about what happened during the game. Unfortunately, the departed Barry did the same thing much of the time.

It is sad that we have such a crappy team that can't hit, pitch or field. But that's the way it is, and that's a beat writer's fate. We look to the Post to tell us what happened. The game summaries don't always do that, particularly when it comes to the inability of our guys to play the field on a major league level.

Don't pass up a good feature. But don't let it replace a game story, either.

Posted by: senators fan | June 20, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

JT,
wait, wait, wait. The Post's Coverage is Lacking and the Lerner's are Cheap. But now you're saying The Post is cheap??
;)

Posted by: NatsNut | June 20, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Newspapers have been covering losing baseball teams since newspapers started covering baseball. If you find it tedious perhaps a change in assignments is in order. In the meantime, I'm interested in how the games go whether or not the team loses. I suppose it comes down to whether the newspaper is here to entertain the readers or the writers.

Posted by: Arkymark | June 20, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Can't we all just get along!!!

Chico you're doing a great job!
My wife and I kid about it all the time. Why do I love sports so much? We've come up with the idea that sports are soap opera for men. We all love the human insight on these athletes. We love the super human or should I say the hyper manly aspect of these men. We feast at alter of their discipline and self control. We want to be like them or at least live our lifes in some small part through them. Please keep up the good work.

Obviously some blogger want to live their lifes through you, too. Eh !!!

Now I'll go and read about the Nats minor leaguers. Go Nats !!!

Posted by: NiceNat | June 20, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

i hate walks, my concern is that he only knows the very basics of keeping score. Is there help for new scorekeepers? Would there be a better one for learning on?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Chico,
You're an excellent writer, but I enjoy your work much more when you are focused on the game, not the special interest stuff, like the Youngs. That may well be a minority opinion. Today I just pitched the Post and read the Times. Because the parent team is so abysmal I also find myself spending more time at Nationals Farm Authority tracking the Draft, the signings and the play of our hopes for the future and can thus evaluate the success/failure of "The Plan. Because of habit, each morning I pick up the Post first, then read the Times and go to NFA then NJ. The Post is risking being marjinalized despite the talents you bring to the job. The Times supplies the "gamer" and NFA a look at the future. What you do, you do well, but you are only one man and what you do is incomplete. Nevertheless, thank you for the effort.

let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | June 20, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everything SlowPitch63 wrote, except for the spelling of marginalized. Take your spelling reform to the European Union you durn commie!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I thought the story was compelling, but I want the gamer. I didn't watch the game last night and I would like to be able to read what happened. I don't know if this decision was on Chico or on the WaPo, but it seems pretty standard stuff for the paper industry these days.

With all the cuts going around something is going to be missed, and frankly this is why the newspaper industry is struggling. Newspaper readers don't want less coverage (sports, news or otherwise) they want more. If you aren't going to give me the gamer, then I am taking my business elsewhere. That being said, I thought it was an interesting angle and deserved to be written. Why can't the post have a gamer every day AND be able to have feater coverage? It seems like the Skins get more then one article after their games/day of the week.

Posted by: IBC | June 20, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"i hate walks, my concern is that he only knows the very basics of keeping score. Is there help for new scorekeepers? Would there be a better one for learning on?"

Sometime last year on this or some other blog, someone mentioned a book called "The Joy of Keeping Score" by Paul Dickson. Over the winter, I actually bought the book. (I got it at Borders, but it's available on amazon.com right now with 22 new and used copies from $0.67.) It's a good book, and one of the things you'll learn from it is that there is no one right or wrong method for keeping score. Different people have different methods for doing it. My understanding of Carpenter's scorebook is that it is set up for his own particular scorekeeping method, although it's probably adaptable to other methods. (The snark wanting to spill out of me here is to say that his method probably involves scoring the plays before they actually occur. But it would be rude of me to say that, wouldn't it? Oh wait, I already said it - just like one of Carpenter's calls.) Last year they were selling Carpenter's scorebook in the RFK team store, but I haven't seen it this year in the new and expanded team stores at Nationals Park. He has a website, though: www.bcscorebook.com.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 20, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

506,
The two greatest inventions in the last 20 years have been the composite softball bat and spellchecker. The digits at the end of my moniker are not random and I do not know how to spell check my post. So I just fire away and know I can rest assured that any spelling or gramatical errors will be quickly brought to my attention. More importantly, however, I know that the majority of posters will read my posts with the intention that I have of contributing to the group whose individuals I have come to respect and for whom I have a distant affection. I enjoy your thoughts, you are one of the pillars of the blog.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | June 20, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Put Mike Wise on the Nats. Maybe he can make a stupid parody video, but I guess he'll only do it when they are doing good.
Here's my impression of Wise:

"What's baseball? I didn't know baseball existed in DC!"

"Chico, weren't you writing the obituaries this time last year?"

"What are all these fans doing here for a sport that I didn't know about? Let me write an article about it because the Post thinks people want to read it, and I don't know anything about the sport!"

"Hold on, let me find an excuse to talk to Lindsay Czarniak, I'm going to make a parody video of all the sport's fans!"

It'll be good.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm showing my age here (I'm 50) but I was frankly ticked off when I read the paper this morning. Fine, the Young story was decent but at that point in the series, irrelevant. I'm probably in the minority but I didn't see the game and only read a game summary online, not an actual wire service story. I wanted to know what the hell happened to Hill in this one, even if it's not much different than what's happened before. I agree with those that have said there's no reason the Post couldn't have done a game story and a sidebar story on the Youngs. Show some commitment, people. Finally, I'll try to be kind and open-minded, but Chico, you're coming off as if you're bored, or above the drudgery of writing game stories every day, or that you can change the rules of a job you've had for about two weeks now. God knows I wouldn't want to have to do game stories on this team every day, but I do expect to read one, and you're the guy being paid to write them. I think your readers will be happier if you work in the sidebar stuff within an actual, honest to God game story.

Posted by: baltova | June 20, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I want LESS coverage of this LOUSY team. Or maybe I want lousy coverage of a lesser team...though that seems impossible.

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure glad Emilio had Barry righting lots of articles on gymnastics - that's why I run out to the driveway in my underwear to get the paper in the morning!

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

SlowPitch63, just playing around! I love your posts, I was just being goofy. If not for Firefox's spell check feature, I'd be dead.

I once had a girlfriend before my red-headed Cubs-fan girlfriend (shattering the belief that all of you had that maybe one woman could make a catastrophic mistake, but never two) who lived in Vienna, but the one not accessible by the orange line, and while I was visiting her, the government did away with the β for a simple "ss" and people were almost rioting. It was a really big deal and I was laughing at how silly it was, until she started suggesting some English spelling reforms...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure D.C. has spent $611M for a gymnastics stadium, haven't they? That's why the Nats beat writer is pouring his soul into the sport that we all crave, while over at The Washington Times, Zuckerman's editor has no trouble telling him to cover baseball.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't even consider cancelling my subscription to the Post. I am dead serious about this. If you are affluent enough to go to NatsPark, you should be a paying subscriber to the Post. In the last year or so, the Post has uncovered substandard medical care for our wounded veterans at Walter Reed, an INS agency that is picking the immigrant spouses of citizens off the streets and sending them to the desert in the Southwest to die without medical care, all the while bragging about the cost-savings in memos written here in Washington, in addition to being a voice for the poor, the forgotten, the unloved in New Orleans, Chad the Congo, Burma and elsewhere. My employer requires most of my time, and I don't have a problem with that. But we owe the least of these brothers and sisters something, and the Post at least keeps them from being absolutely forgotten. Occasionally, they humiliate the powerful enough to clean up the mess.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Chico,
Nice job today. It's OK to write a feature instead of a traditional gamer once in a while if you can't get more column inches. A gamer daily and a column 2-3 times a week would be a good mix. Would love to see you do both.

But please remember that you're a "reporter" before you're a "writer." The job of a newspaper is to "report" what happened and why, which requires "reporting" - not that you don't, but the lit'rary touches should augment the main job, not replace it.

Don't become a Syle section meanderer, where we don't know what a story's about until after the jump, and please for the love of God, don't let the Sports headline writers overuse puns like in Style.

Posted by: Geezer | June 20, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The Post gives us Tom Boswell and Les Carpenter, who urge us to demand excellence of the Lerners, and, in Boswell's case, saw this craptastic season coming. He wrote that Kasten was playing high stakes poker with our hopes as his collateral, and that there was a very real danger of the team being unwatchable in the opening year of the new stadium. He said they should not let Livan go two years ago, and that they needed more pitching to protect the arms that were performing above expectations. Kasten and Mark Lerner ignored him, and this is what we get. Worn-out starters and a worn-out pen, unable to hold a lead by mid-season. Hooray for the Post for telling us to demand a competitive team in 2008!

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"If you are affluent enough to go to NatsPark, you should be a paying subscriber to the Post."
----------------
Guilt doesn't work.
Dead-tree editions are wasteful.
Use the Internets instead.
Newspapers should adjust.
I like my information in bits and pieces.

-Signed
Generation Y

Posted by: Save a tree, Save a planet | June 20, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Chico could do tonight's story from the perspective of a disgruntled season ticket holder. Now, THAT would be a public service and well worth replacing the gamer article.

Posted by: ohplease | June 20, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the Post let an intern write up a gamer on the days that Chico writes up a feature story? They've got to have an intern or ten floating around there aching to get published ...

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Marrero is officially on the DL now. No timetable for his return though.

Posted by: News | June 20, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

506,
No sweat, taken as it was meant.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | June 20, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Marrero is officially on the DL now. No timetable for his return though.

Posted by: News | June 20, 2008 12:22 PM
--------

Oh no! At least Bowden can stop buffing his Cooperstown plaque.

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse


Marrero is officially on the DL now. No timetable for his return though.

--------------------

as one of the few who bites the bullet and reads that other paper's Nats coverage (because I'm not scared of some crazy Oriental Guy), I was just coming over here to post this news for the NJers who didn't know.

Bill Rhinehart was called up to Potomac to replace him.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 20, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Please put on a bathrobe next time.
-----------------------------------------------------
I'm sure glad Emilio had Barry righting lots of articles on gymnastics - that's why I run out to the driveway in my underwear to get the paper in the morning!

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 11:46 AM

Posted by: Flynnies Neighbors | June 20, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If I had to cover baseball at every game, I'd be bored too. That's why I get drunk every time I go to a game to make it more entertaining. Which is like once every two years.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey MRMADISON
Oriental guy? They're Asians, not Orientals. I'll start referring to every white guy on here as a honkey. How's that.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree with what seems to be the majority of comments: Chico's article was good, I want a gamer also, and the Post's coverage of the Nats remains slightly above abysmal.

Nationals Farm Authority is implying that there is going to be news this afternoon. Don't know if it is the Marrero/Rhinehart news or not. I'm curious to see how Bill does in high A. A hot streak here will make it interesting when Marrero comes back.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | June 20, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey MRMADISON
Oriental guy? They're Asians, not Orientals. I'll start referring to every white guy on here as a honkey. How's that.

-----

fine, whatever.

I'm not scared of some crazy "Asian Guy."

better?

I didn't know the word "Oriental" was so offensive. I always used it as a fallback, when I wasn't sure if someone was Chinese, Japanese or Korean, because I DO know that calling a Japanese guy Chinese and vice-versa is a huge insult.

my bad, no need to get your panties in a bunch over it.

by the way, I'm black. and I don't care what you call me on this blog. go on, have fun.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 20, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Nationals Farm Authority is implying that there is going to be news this afternoon."

Someone needs to go down either today or tomorrow to make room for them to activate Mock to pitch tomorrow night. Let's hope it's Wily Less Pena. Maybe he can hit minor league pitching.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 20, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

No worries.

The word Oriental describes things, not people. It's not offensive, it's just not correct. Oriental rug, Oriental bootleg dvds.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Lighten up, Francis...
-------------------------------------------------------------
Hey MRMADISON
Oriental guy? They're Asians, not Orientals. I'll start referring to every white guy on here as a honkey. How's that.


Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 12:46 PM

Posted by: TimDz | June 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Baseball Prospectus has some unflattering things to say about our top prospects in their current "Future Shock" Top 100 Update:

28. Chris Marrero, OF/1B, Nationals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .250/.325/.453 at High-A (70 G)
Stock Report: Down some. The bat is coming around, but he started the year out of shape, and has been prone to flailing at some bad pitches.

35. Ross Detwiler, LHP, Nationals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 5.73 ERA at High-A (55-63-32-56)
Stock Report: Way down. Scouts who didn't see him in college are wondering what the big deal was in the first place--on a stuff and command level, Detwiler has been way off.

81. Michael Burgess, OF, Nationals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .262/.338/.512 at Low-A (65 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's showing tons of power and good patience, but with 83strikeouts in 244 at-bats, will the power and patience be enough?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

RKGF: At this point, I think Willy Mo could fall down and be unable to hit the floor.

I really wish they would just DFA the guy and get it over with.

Posted by: TimDz | June 20, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

TimDz
Francis? is that supposed to be some sort of insult? that just sounds stupid.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Also, if there is one thing we've learned so far this season, it's this:

Coverage is Cheap.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok Derel.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Watch the Bill Murray movie, "Stripes."
-------------------------------------------------------------
TimDz
Francis? is that supposed to be some sort of insult? that just sounds stupid.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 1:02 PM

Posted by: TimDz | June 20, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ok Derel.

Posted by: MNMNT | June 20, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Also, if there is one thing we've learned so far this season, it's this:

Coverage is Cheap.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 1:03 PM

--------------------

Lerners are Lacking?

Alliteration at its finest.

Posted by: 7th grade English | June 20, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@Mohammed's Radio - Let's hope the anger and resentment don't flow quite so much. With due respect to +ly1/2St and 295 revisited, I have a feeling that there may be more Zevon songs fitting for this team than Dylan's.

Browser hasn't updated since 9:29 AM, so I don't know if we're done on the CiL issue. I'm actually an AL fan and don't have too much against the O's (probably my #3 team, although I like watching the Rays, too). Nevertheless, Carig should be double teaming the Nats with Chico. They don't even have to send both on the road, if WaPo is cheap. Between Front office and farm, there are stories when the NAts are out of town. If the Post is willing to give the O's AP wire story coverage 2d half of the year every year since 2005, then they really don't have an investment in excellence in covering the Os. Better to double down on the Nats and see if we can get a good side bar several times a week, like yesterday's "gamer" turned out to be (notice I said Chico's story was good, but, as Chico admits, it was more of a side bar and less of a piece about the team).

Posted by: PTBNL | June 20, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me if this has already been posted, but it appears Steinburg wants to meet some of you.

"That being the case, I'm trying to think of the blog commenters I'm most anxiously looking forward to meeting in unfiltered form. A brief list follows, although some would fit in multiple categories. Tell me who I'm forgetting. And if you're interested, please e-mail Lindsay.

NJ: Coverage is lacking, Steven on Capitol Hill, Bob L. Head, SC Nats Fan, Section 506 (Before moving), NatsNut, O's Exec, Flynnie.

You know, no disrespect to anyone, but I think I might like the NJ commenters best. Although "Which blog has the best commenting community" might make for a nice poll some day."

Have to say I agree with him, with maybe one exception.

Here's the tiny:

http://tinyurl.com/6d26yg


http://tinyurl.com/6d26yg

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 20, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

WILLLLLMAAAAAA!!!!!!

Posted by: Fred Flintstone | June 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think having a story covering the game itself is critical, particularly since this was a weekday day game that many of us couldn't see live because we were at work. Feature stories are nice, but should not be used in place of a game day story. I think 'cookie cutter' is in the eyes of the beholder. Maybe you don't care about another 'cookie cutter' loss but I want to know about it. If WMP is screwing up in the OF again, I want to know about it. If Hill imploded, that's important to me, I actually care about the team more than Dmitri Young's family, a ballpark experience or racing presidents. I actually TiVo'd Nats Xtra to see the highlights and analysis of the game. Seems like that following a baseball team day-to-day may appear to be a waste of time to Chico.

It seems like the Times is getting ahead of the Post in its Nats coverage, both in quality and quality.

I also have heard just about enough about what a great guy Dmitri Young is. He is making $5 mil per year, can't field, let himself get out of shape last winter and gets hits that don't help the team (witness an 8th inning solo homer in a 9-2 ballgame). Lets focus on decent ballplayers on the team, please.

Posted by: Ray | June 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

No offense taken, Mr. Madison. Oriental only stopped being offensive in, like, 1850, which is 14 years after you died.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Have to say I agree with him, with maybe one exception.

-----

What do you have against me, John in Mpls?!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

it sounds like you just didn't want to write more bad things about these guys again since you do have to see them every day. you have to man up and write the story. this was a great feature story, but we still need the gamer. that is priority 1. and in regards to what the first person said, the post has always done a great job of covering the nats (hell it's all boswell writes about!). rookie mistake. learn from it. you clearly can tell a story with the best of them. show it off.

Posted by: beat writer | June 20, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

LurkerNowPoster is turning [redacted] today! Please join me in wishing her a very Happy Birthday!

Posted by: Nats Junkie | June 20, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"NJ: Coverage is lacking, Steven on Capitol Hill, Bob L. Head, SC Nats Fan, Section 506 (Before moving), NatsNut, O's Exec, Flynnie."

He must either be afraid that I'll sit on him or scarf up all the food before he has a shot at it. But he's wrong. It's Steven on Capitol Hill I'd sit on.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | June 20, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

i'd also like to see more coverage of our prospects from you Chico. After all, this is where the real success of the team will come from. Roch Kubatko at the Baltimore Sun has minors updates every day. Frankly, it puts the Post's minors coverage to shame.

Posted by: minors fan | June 20, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

So now we have a blog commenting on comments on a blog?

That said, maybe we should invite him to the next gathering. We might even make the dead trees edition if we did that. Although Flynnie would steal the show.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

It seems like the Times is getting ahead of the Post in its Nats coverage, both in quality and quality.

------

The Times has been ahead in Nats Coverage for a while now. their website, while revamped, still needs some work though(and it won't load in Opera grrrrr.).

Honestly, the Posting Community of Nats Journal is the only thing the Post has going for it over the Times, imo. The Times Blog doesn't yet have such a community, and it probably never will, because so many people are afraid of "supporting" whats-his-face Moon by looking at the website.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 20, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

HOW did I miss THIS:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/17/AR2008061702719.html?hpid=sec-artsliving


...in addition to the topic at hand, this should add something to the debate on the Post's coverage.

Posted by: i hate walks | June 20, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Firm vote here for reporting on the game first. Features second. From reading the Post, I have no idea what's happening on the field.

Posted by: Game First | June 20, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

boom shaka lacka boom shaka lacka boom. army training sir!

Posted by: longterm | June 20, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

...singing doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty doo...

Posted by: N@sfan | June 20, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"From reading the Post, I have no idea what's happening on the field."

Count yourself lucky

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

what's worse, the economy or the nationals? discuss!

Posted by: longterm | June 20, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it's usually something unusual.

If Harlan wants a break from writing game stories every day, he should randomly drop in quotes from a famous movie and hold a contest for the first chatter to identify it.

Posted by: baltova | June 20, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

longterm, I think the Feds are eventually going to arrest some of the suits responsible for this on-field debacle.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'll play (with some minor revisions):

"We're all very different people. We're not Braves, we're not Red Sox, we're Nationals. With a capital "N", huh? And you know what that means? Do you? That means that we were kicked out of every decent clubhouse in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts."

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wowza, being so many games under .500 has you all really bickering on the blog today. Why are some complaining about the lack of a game story? Do you all really want to read about another loss? Do you all really want to read about Willy Mo and his adventures out in leftfield? Guess you all are masochists.

Meanwhile, right up the road in B'more, the O's just swept Miggy and the 'Stros right out of town moving the team to 3 games over .500. How sweet it is.

Tonight I'll celebrate by grilling up some zucchini, corn, crab cakes (of course), burgers, turkey dogs, steak, chicken, and some veggie kabobs. I'll wash it all down with some deliciouis caucasians.

Yes that's right, this dude abides.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 20, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Chico should write tonight's story from the perspective of a DC city councilman who voted to spend $611 million on this disaster.

Or, better yet, a taxpayer who ponied up to fill the pockets of billionaires.

In all seriousness, it's seems sad that the Post has decided to forgo game coverage all ready. It's only June 20.

Can you imagine the Boston Globe deciding to abandon game coverage to feature an article on the father of Jacoby Ellsbury or Coco Coco Crisp?

Posted by: ohplease | June 20, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob L.-
Thanks for the BP report. I really hope that they pan out...

Does anyone know which 08 picks we're signed so far?

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Can you imagine the Boston Globe deciding to abandon game coverage to feature an article on the father of Jacoby Ellsbury or Coco Coco Crisp?"

Yeah, that's a good point. Sigh.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Coco Coco Crisp"

Y'know, part of our problem may be that we don't have any outfielders who can double as breakfast cereals. Or any outfielders who can double, for that matter.

Posted by: jimbo's brain fart | June 20, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Can you imagine the Boston Globe deciding to abandon game coverage to feature an article on the father of Jacoby Ellsbury or Coco Coco Crisp?"

Yeah, that's a good point. Sigh.


Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 2:04 PM
*****************************************

I'm sure that if the 'Sox were 16 games under .500 the Globe would do anything to make "the nation" forget about a very forgetable season.

I'm sure most of you are already wondering when Redskins training camp starts.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 20, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

756terisk, the best Nats draft info can be found here:

http://farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/category/draft/

Short answer: They have signed 18 picks so far, but none of the big fish.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Or any outfielders who can double, for that matter."

You've been sitting on this one all season, admit it!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, I had seen that press release but was hoping for an updated list (if progress had been made this week).

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to be bad, here's the reason why we should be really really bad and end up with the worst record in baseball this year: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State. The NY Times has a great profile of him today: http://tinyurl.com/6m6ftu

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Maybe next year, the O's won't be picking in front of the Nats in the draft again!

Posted by: Jeffrey Hammonds | June 20, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg would be nice, especially since Detwiler is on the fast track to Bustville and Crow's arm is going to fall off in a couple years.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | June 20, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Bob L., is that "Revenge of the Nationals?"

Posted by: Nats Junkie | June 20, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What about Austin "Corn Pops" Kearns?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Who wants to get together with Steinbog? I'll do it if he promises that Chico's buddy Saslow will show up and explain the famous Philly gamer.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more (with everything except your 1st item RE: calling up prospects).

If you need more material, Chico, this is a great place to go. Ownership and management are responsible for the product on the field; the product on the field is currently lousy (although I still have some faith in The Plan). So let's start getting some accountability from ownership and management.

-------------------------------------------

(2) What is management's thoughts on the team. How do they expect to fix this disaster.
(3) Why treat Hill this way. This is embarrassing. It is not professional. If he is hurt, put him on the DL and get him right. As others have said, we are creating another Patterson.
(4) Why don't we question Acta on some of his comments. For instance he claims he is playing a young team and therefore the reason for poor hitting and play. Hey we have an old team on the field - Lopez, Guzman, Boone, LoDuca, Belliard, Young - Acta is BSing us. He should be called on it. If you don't question him then you are saying you do not care to report on the team.
(4)Kasten, the Lerners and Bowden should step forward and address the state of the team. It is to the point where the media, owners and management are ignoring this disaster. They are hoping it will go away. The Post should not let this happen. We have wreck, please do not ignore it.
-mjames

Posted by: AJ | June 20, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Nope, junkie. Think 1981.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

GenY -

How does your generation that gets the Post free on the internet pay for all the Post employees who protect the poor, the lonely, the oppressed, and shame the powerful into caring for the least of these? Not your problem, as long as you get the paper for free?

As far as saving trees, you're also putting lots of poor folk in the renewable timber industry out of work. The post is not made of clear-cut redwoods and rain forests, you know. Check out the Nature Conservancy. They've got no problem with renewable forests.

"If you are affluent enough to go to NatsPark, you should be a paying subscriber to the Post."
----------------
Guilt doesn't work.
Dead-tree editions are wasteful.
Use the Internets instead.
Newspapers should adjust.
I like my information in bits and pieces.

-Signed
Generation Y

Posted by: Save a tree, Save a planet | June 20, 2008 12:07 PM

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Tell Steinberg it'll have to be quick and early and in my driveway because I'll be in my underwear getting the paper and the neighbors have already written here to complain. And warn him that I'm ugly as a bagful of behinds.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm most anxiously looking forward to meeting in unfiltered form. A brief list follows, although some would fit in multiple categories. Tell me who I'm forgetting. And if you're interested, please e-mail Lindsay.

NJ: Coverage is lacking, Steven on Capitol Hill, Bob L. Head, SC Nats Fan, Section 506 (Before moving), NatsNut, O's Exec, Flynnie.


Posted by: John in Mpls | June 20, 2008 1:11 PM

===========================================

You spring for my airfare from So-Cal to DC and I'll be there.

Posted by: O's Exec | June 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I vote with the crowd that says, hey, Chico, you're a good features writer, why'd you take a job as a beat reporter?

Admittedly, we are spoiled. Barry was flat out excellent at blending feature elements in to the game stories. His coverage had a trajectory. Over the course of a series, or just as time passed, issues were revisited and developed.

Barry also walked a nice line between homer and theater critic. He didn't make excuses for the team. He was not in Kasten's pocket, by any stretch. Yet, he loved baseball and recognized even a bad game had pleasures to offer.

You Chico write like a theater critic. Your stories are well constructed. The language is excellent. Often the topic are interesting.

But you signed on to be a beat writer. Means you have to write about the games. If I want a feature on controlling dads and their big league sons, I'll turn to Baseball America.

You asked. So far you are not doing well.

Posted by: Is this a poll? | June 20, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Zim is supposed to be on with Riggo at 5. AM 730.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 20, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

GenY -

How does your generation that gets the Post free on the internet pay for all the Post employees who protect the poor, the lonely, the oppressed, and shame the powerful into caring for the least of these? Not your problem, as long as you get the paper for free?

As far as saving trees, you're also putting lots of poor folk in the renewable timber industry out of work. The post is not made of clear-cut redwoods and rain forests, you know. Check out the Nature Conservancy. They've got no problem with renewable forests.
------------

Newspapers like the Post need to start thinking outside of the box and figure out how to make some cash off the internet. Just a thought.

If you want to help them, start clicking on the google ads or keep refreshing this page to check for new posts. They love these comment boards b/c idiots like us refresh the page all day long (while they keep generating ad revenue).

Your timber industry comment is completely absurd. Keep the trees. They can get a job that's not destructive. Start a bird-watching association or something.

Posted by: Gen Y are you hassling me, man? | June 20, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"You asked. So far you are not doing well."

If you're reading these and taking advice from them Chico, I am firmly on the other side of this statement. I like your writing and think it's great. It's not easy to be both a beat writer, features writer, and a columnist. You're doing well, considering the challenge.

I look forward to your continued growth, especially your promise to learn Spanish. I think being able to interview the whole team -- including doing a feature on the team's future All Star -- will add so much.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Bob L., don't know what I was thinking (What, I was thinking?) -- maybe the Nats could use some of that Army Training from Bill Murray.

Posted by: Nats Junkie | June 20, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about you guys, but I'm less likely to read the gamer when they lose. Especially when they are losing game after game. Writing the story around some other topic than what happened on the field (or what didn't happen) works for me. The object of the newspaper (or website) is to get you to READ it. To make the play by play people happy, maybe the Post can get an intern to write the gamer each day (at least for the home games, they may not have the budget for road trips - or heck, have them watch it on TV and write it up!).

I do have a small beef about the coverage though. Can't we get a permanent link to the Journal on the Nats front page?? It's kind of annoying waiting for it to scroll through at the top there. If there is some other way, I'm missing it. And I'm apparently too lazy to bookmark it.

Posted by: Patty | June 20, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think they could use the Aunt Jemima treatment.

Posted by: N@sfan | June 20, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way, flynnie, I loved your phrase "ugly as a bagful of behinds." I will be incorporating it into my vocabulary.

Posted by: Patty | June 20, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

And I just saw ihw's link to the shirtless guys getting kicked out. Oh what is the world coming to?!

Posted by: Patty | June 20, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

That "cookie cutter" comment is scary indeed. Makes me wonder how much you really like baseball.

If only a few games into the beat, you already see the games blurring into one another, you shouldn't be the beat writer.
(Maybe that's the point of your post, to tell us that the Post thinks what we want is Style section coverage of the Nats.)

Every game has a story to tell well beyond the AP wrapup. For those of us who follow the team closely, the struggles of Hill (if his pitches were going back over the heart of the plate, does that mean he was staying away from his sinker?), the continued hot hitting of Guzman, the compounded misery of having gotten slammed the night before and then to be down by five runs halfway through the game and how that impacts the team's morale (and Acta's patience), the outfield misadventures (to include the desperation Pena must be feeling), those things and so much more could provide fodder for an insightful review of the game. The fact that the Post can't provide something that Povich and Boswell were among the best ever at is a sad commentary.

And I second the request for some hard questions being asked of the guys at the top. All I've seen all year has been glib answers with no pressure to get beyond that.

Posted by: justafan | June 20, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg is my mom.

firejimbowden.blogspot.com

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 20, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

506, I looked at Carpenter's scorebook when it came out but felt that the layout wasn't a good fit for me (and it is rather pricey). I use a scorecard that I found on site below. I have lofty ambitions of customizing my own card at some point but haven't yet done that. Also, if you can find a copy of Paul Dickson's The Joy of Keeping Score, it's a great book for novices and even old hands might pick up some new ideas (I also like Dickson's Baseball Dictionary).

http://www.baseballscorecard.com/

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"We're all very different people. We're not Braves, we're not Red Sox, we're Nationals. With a capital "N", huh? And you know what that means? Do you? That means that we were kicked out of every decent clubhouse in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts."


Bob L., that was outstanding. How about this addition? "Where is your bullpen ace, men? Blown up, sir!"

Posted by: baltova | June 20, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Huh - that's what I get for not reading the whole thread before posting. Thanks, RK's gut. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, LurkerNowPoster!

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The Reds announced Friday that Daryl Thompson will be called up from Triple-A to make his MLB debut Saturday against the Yankees.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 20, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It's from me old grand-da from Tipperary. Whenever he saw the Queen he would say, "Look at that look on her face! 'Twould sour milk! "Tis ugly as a bagful of behinds!" Yet one of his proudest moments was marching for the Royal Review with the South Irish Horse Guard upon miraculously returning from WWI. When they arrived before the King George V, who had been seated for the other units, the King stood and saluted them.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Re. the stories, I'm with 506 and others. I loved the story, but it would be great to have the gamers supplemented by such stories. That's more of an editorial decision about space than something that Chico can control, methinks, and Barry ran up against it as well as others have noted.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Also, reading through this thread cracked me up. Some of you are in rare form today, especially you, flynnie. I can understand why you made Steinblog's list. :D

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Patty, by all means use the phrase and when you do think of Denny Costello from Tipperary. I tend not to read the gamers after losses as well.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey natsfan1a, I appreciate the link to the Baseball Scorecard site. I did my own scoresheet that my dad and I use, but I'm growing disenchanted therewith. Maybe one of those will spark some new ideas.

(Looks like everyone uses those diamond things these days. I never trucked with that, myself.)

Posted by: Scooter | June 20, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Just looked at the blog and he wants to meet caphcky - eeewwww!! ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, Scooter (not like the animal baseball graphic on Fox TV?). Hope that you'll find one that works for you there. I find that the diamond layouts work better with my own scoring system than other layouts.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

That was supposed to be "animated" not "animal." Either I had a brain [Jim Bowden] or the Firefox spell checker jumped in and changed it for me. Good thing it's Friday afternoon and I'm done working for the day...

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Blue Jays have fired Manager John Gibbons and replaced him with Cito Gaston.

Randolph, McLaren and now Gibbons. They always come in threes ...

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The Nats can't be blamed for Gibbons. The Blue Jays tore the Nats up when they played and made the Nats glad to return to the soccer-soil of RFK.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Indians just traded a player to be named later to the Braves for Catcher Sal Fasano, who was hitting .193 in 26 games for the Braces' AAA team.

Why couldn't we have gotten that deal for LoDuca? Was Bowden asking for the moon again? Would anyone balk at trading LoDuca for a player to be named later? Anyone? Bueller? Frye?

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

When Fox introduced that wacky Scooter character, I heard from all sorts of friends and relatives that they thought I did a great job. Sigh -- the travails of having a silly nickname.

(I've never figured out what I'm supposed to do with those diamonds. I just write what happened in the little boxes. Maybe it's time to join a more recent century?)

Posted by: Scooter | June 20, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Mets, for anyone who missed it, they've finally found a manager they deserve.

"I told him next time he does that I'm going to get my blade out and cut him. I'm a gangster. You go gangster on me, I'm going to have to get you. You do that again, I'm going to cut you right on the field," quipped Manuel

This when Reyes threw his helmet when he was pulled after yanking his hammy.

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/the_sporting_blog/entry/view/8608/jerry_manuel_is_not_to_be_trifled_with


Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Back atcha 1A! How do you keep track of the pitch count? Where in any scorecard is there room to put down that Mauer got a BB on his 18th pitch? I know Bob Carpenter sells tv and radio scorbooks that are big, and the broadcasters have this information at their fingertips. They must be taking it down.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Do we get community service credits if we go w/Steinberg to visit Steven on Capitol Hill in the institution where he is kept safe from Mr. Bowden or anyone who looks like Mr. Bowden?

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The Reds announced Friday that Daryl Thompson will be called up from Triple-A to make his MLB debut Saturday against the Yankees.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 20, 2008 4:04 PM


I think this is the first (and only) time that I've wished the Yankees were on tv. Looks like we'll have the Red Sox, Dodgers and Cubs for the rest of the season.

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I keep pitch count on the edges of the box. I use a dot for a ball, an x for a strike, and a / for a non-strike foul (and a - for a hit ball). I can fit six down the left side, and start there (since it's the one used less often, especially for the Nats, alas).

Then, if they take six pitches, I start down the right side and smile, because I consider that a good at bat from that point out, regardless of outcome.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

e-Sal Fasano, when we've got Luke Motz, LoDuca and Nieves? All I can think is that all of these three are worth a lot more than PTBNL, and the Tribe's about to write off this season and trade CC to the Cubs.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyone? Bueller? Frye?

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 4:28 PM

*****

Oh! I know this one! It involves skipping school for a day game at Wrigley and everything :)

Posted by: abcde | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

506- Your scorecard for the last 3 games must look like morse code! I feel better about the games against the Twins seeing that they are the best in MLB w/RISP. That was a baseball team, not a Sears baseball team, that beat the Nats.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

e-Sal Fasano, when we've got Luke Motz, LoDuca and Nieves? All I can think is that all of these three are worth a lot more than PTBNL, and the Tribe's about to write off this season and trade CC to the Cubs.

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 4:45 PM


How much can you get for a 300 pound catcher without a throwing arm?

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Flynnie -- I was trying to say that we should have been the ones to receive the PTBNL for LoDuca.

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Scooter, that's funny about the case of mistaken identity with the animated baseball.

Re. the card layout, I like to fill in a solid line on the appropriate part of the diamond for each base reached. Outside of the line, I also put a notation indicating how the batter reached (unless he made an out from the get-go, in which case I just make one notation in the center of the diamond).

Flynnie, I don't keep track of pitches for a given batter, other than to indicate when the count reaches 0-2 (a check) or 2-0 (an X) on a given batter. Some of the scorecards at the site that I'd linked to earlier have the little boxes for keeping track of balls and strikes.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. SIR."

Posted by: NatsNut | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Fasano might give Nick a run for his money in the 'stache department, methinks...

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 20, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That got me thinking...what on earth was Bowden thinking when he signed LoDuca AND Estrada? LoDuca was polarizing in the Mets clubhouse last year. Estrada was being shipped around the country like a load of rotten tomatoes. You think that if he has some redeeming qualities, he'd stick somewhere. The Mets (obv) didn't even want him, just wanted to rid themselves of Mota.

Posted by: 756* | June 20, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yo Yanda, how bout some lineups, bro?

They actually are a topic of conversation unto themselves around here.

Posted by: WebberDC | June 20, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I am usually not one to resort to shameless self-promotion, but I just posted a blog entry having to do with the series with the Rangers. Some of you (especially long-time Washingtonians) might be interested:

http://planetnj.net/nats

Posted by: Wigi | June 20, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Yanda, to quote Positively Half Street, it's past time for a feeding!

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

e-Surely LoDuca is worth more than Sal! Do you really think that he's fallen that low?

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Even Boswell thought that the LoDuca signing was a great move to add some pop to the lineup. Who knew that he would suffer a broken hand in Houston, and that the only position where we wouldn't need pop is catcher?

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I'd rather have a kid get some AB's in the OF or at first than LoDuca. He's not going to help this team win this year, he definitely won't be back next year, and chances are the Nats won't get much in return if they were to trade him. So, why not get the PTBNL now, let Mike Daniel or Rog Bernadina get some PT in LF, or bring Luke Montz up and let him get some swings in while playing 1B (assuming he can handle that position).

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh ... and don't call me Shirley.

Posted by: e | June 20, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

where have all the bloggers gone?

http://bottomfeederbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/06/where-did-everyone-go.html

Posted by: Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball | June 20, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, look at that! Boy Chico with another couple days off. The grind looks like it is too much, after less than two months. They just don't make beat writers like they used to.

Posted by: Hector Camacho | June 20, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Turkey-Croatia finish...

WOW.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I have question. Why does this team get a free pass from the Washington press as well as the MLB.com team? The Expos, and I have followed them since the early 70's, were never this bad, except maybe their first year. We have Acta blaming the club's performance on youth and injuries. Hey this is an old team. Secondly the guys who are injured had tanked already. Where is the passion from the Washington fans. Maybe there are no fans? Maybe it is just too brutal to watch. Why do you accept this garbage?

Posted by: mjames | June 20, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Great post, Wigi. I was at the last Senators game on 30 Sept 1971 and it ws pandemonium. All throughout the game it was as if some great force was being restrained until it no longer could be. I didn't dash onto the field or vandalized anything. I just walked through the stadium in a melancholy mood before leaving and walking home. I always though MLB would never put another team here in my lifetime, but was pleasantly surprised when the Nats came to town to coincide with n\my 50th birthday. In the 34 years that Washington didn't have a team. I turned to the National League ater having two AL teams leave the city in my lifetime and became an SF Giants fan. II'm going tonight and I'm booing the stRangers, who've returned to DC after a 37-year road trip.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 20, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Dave--It's boring as hell to blog about at crap-ass team. Chris finally said as much in the Mr. Irrelevant interview.

Save the bloggers. Fire Bowden.

firebowden.blogspot.com

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 20, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday!

-----

LurkerNowPoster is turning [redacted] today! Please join me in wishing her a very Happy Birthday!

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 20, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

SoCH, if it's so boring, why do you spend so much time reading and posting to NJ?

Posted by: Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball | June 20, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Shirley e- last time i got this many solicitations was walking down 3rd and e! Business must be slow on other blogs. Does no one in contention need a catcher w/a lifetime obp.337 slg.412 avg.286. The guy is well, he seems to have lost the arrogance, he's trying very hard to be a good teammate, and he is due! I even remember him throwing someone out at 2d. It's not like your ol' granny is behind the plate. Come on, MLB! Do we have to send a DVD of Lo Duca singing "Where is Love" from Oliver Twist?

Posted by: flynnie | June 20, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

firebowden.blogspot.com

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | June 20, 2008 5:34 PM

------

Free FSU!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 20, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"e-Sal Fasano, when we've got Luke Motz, LoDuca and Nieves? All I can think is that all of these three are worth a lot more than PTBNL, and the Tribe's about to write off this season and trade CC to the Cubs."

Why is Sal Fasano worth a PTBNL and LoDuca isn't? Maybe its the fact that LoDuca is owed the pro-rated portion of 5 MILLION this year and Sal Fasano works for mustache wax.

Posted by: Green Eyeshade | June 20, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

It's not much, but it's new. No lineups.

Posted by: new post | June 20, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Man, I love the atmosphere here this afternoon. Much more like the old NJ.

Yesterday, during Hanrahan's bounce-passes to Nieves, one of the two portly Midwesterners between whom I was sitting turned to me and asked, "Who's the catcher?"

(It was weird, because, rather than taking the Cubs fan approach, all Twins fans had essentially ignored my existence the whole three games because I was wearing Nationals gear.)

I told him, and he said, "He's real good."

Nieves got a lot of respect in my section yesterday. A guy behind me uttered, "He's going to be all cuts and bruises tomorrow," while another told his friend, "Man, he's really throwing himself in front of those." I think someone even suggested Hanrahan owed Nieves dinner. No other National - not even the still-beloved Guzman - garnered as much as a derisive jeer.

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 20, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I can't catch or grow a mustache like Sal Fasano.

I think the recent Quiznos commercials make the point that eating money isn't so tasty. Probably why Fasano at major league minimum was more attractive than Lo Duca and his contract.

Posted by: PTBNL | June 20, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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