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Thursday Morning Reading Lite

Just a quick hit for now.

Boz is chatting this morning at 11 a.m.

In case you missed it, check out Chico's late gamer, his notebook, and Jeff Nelson's feature on Danny Espinosa of the P-Nats.

The Nats' next opponent, Arizona, has problems of its own.

Alfonso Soriano says Cubs fans are booing because of the economy, which might be true if, say, they were watching AIG vs. Bank of America in slo-pitch.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  May 7, 2009; 10:44 AM ET
 
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Next: Looking For Help for Nats' Bullpen

Comments

Nice one, Tracee. But I bet that a Geithner/Bernanke steel cage match would be a crowd pleaser.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 7, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Re-posting for Tracee's eyeballs ...

Chico: Not to upset the coverage apple cart, but have you considered lingering in SoCal on Friday to cover the SDSU-Air Force game? (Presuming the Chosen One is making his usual Friday night start). I for one would be willing to tolerate the AP gamer of the Nats-DBacks game to get your impressions of Strasburg.

Posted by: Bethesdangit | May 7, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I'll second Bethesdangit's idea.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 7, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Way ahead of you, Bethesdangit! Already arranged ...

Posted by: traceeh | May 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Watching the Caps coverage last night, coupled with some comments on this blog about the Nats, compels me to speak up about one of the scourges of modern sports coverage.

And that is the centrality of motivation (or heart, or mental toughness, etc.)

Before I get any guff, I will acknowledge that mental-fitness is key to baseball and any other sport. Getting your mind right is the difference between pitching and throwing, for example.

But the assessment of mental state has gotten perverse in its ridiculous exaggeration. If you watch Baseball Tonight, the difference between a .400 clip and a .200 clip is mental toughness, not batting stance or mechanics. If you watched the hockey reviews, Ovechkin got a hat trick because "he's a competitor," not because of an absurd amount of practice and a huge helping of natural talent.

The biggest problem with this analysis style -- even more of a problem than the fact that it dumbs down sports and encourages any good-looking idiot to be an "analyst" (or analrapist, for any Tobias Funke fans out there) -- is that there is no measure for this, therefore there is no objective consideration of events.

Instead, we are given an assumption: mentally fit teams or players win and perform well.

Viola, so-and-so is lazy, that coach is indulging his squad, this pitcher just doesn't have mental toughness, and so on, and also in the positive sense. Boy, there's just no one as confident as Ovechkin. He believed he could win.

But this is, fundamentally, stupid. The Caps lost last night because a puck deflected off a defender and its change in course was too quick for the goalie to adjust to. Not because they weren't tough.

Posted by: Section506 | May 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what the mascot was for the old Senators?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 7, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Great report on Espinosa. I'm guessing he gets to AA this year. Maybe, he's ready to take over at short for 2011, after Guzzie's contract is up? I think he'll pass Gonzalez and Desmond, though the others may be good trade bait.

The notebook piece on the coming movie feature is very promising. After all, look at what "Major League", "Angels in the Outfield", "For Love of the Game", and "Fever Pitch" did to turn around the fortunes of the Indians, Angels, Red Sox and Tigers.

What, you ask? 1989, "Major League" comes out -- Indians acquire Baerga and Alomar, Jr. Next year, they get public financing for stadium. In '94, with new park, they contend. In 1995, they have the best record. 1994 - Angels in the Outfield. 1995 - Angels end 8 years of misery, tying for 1st place. 10 winning seasons and only 4 losing seasons since.

"For Love of the Game" is the real outlier here -- but the next year (2000) did bring the Tigers a new, albeit much criticized stadium. Once the team finally got the stadium configuration straightened out in '05, the turnaround began.

And, of course, "Fever Pitch" -- the filming of that movie propelled the Red Sox to their first championship in 86 years.

"Rookie of the Year" doesn't figure in this history because it's about a kid in the majors, violating child labor laws. No realism, no boost for the team.

Posted by: fischy | May 7, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to include "The Scout" -- 1994 release, the year the Yankees returned to the top of the division, albeit in a strike-ended season. The next year, they return to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. The year after that, their first World Series' title in almost 20 years.

Hollywood has some powerful mojo going for MLB teams.

Posted by: fischy | May 7, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone know what the mascot was for the old Senators?"

If you're talking mascot a la Screech, I don't recall them having one. But to compensate for that, they did have interesting promotions like Pantyhose Night. (I kid you not.)

Posted by: GalRevelsInPee | May 7, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin got a hat trick because he takes infield for 20 minutes before every game. Only an idiot would fail to realize that.

Posted by: GalRevelsInPee | May 7, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Manny Ramirez just got a 50 game suspsension. LOL.

Posted by: 1stpick | May 7, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Tracee: Thanks! (You now join millions and millions of others who are 'way ahead' of me!)

Natsluck that MLB couldnt' have suspended Manny yesterday ...

Posted by: Bethesdangit | May 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

HUGE props to 506 for the Arrested Development reference ...
"Bob Loblaw -- No Habla Espanol"

Posted by: mjhoya12 | May 7, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

GRiP is correct. We didn't need no stinking mascot. Didn't need it then, don't need it now (but that's "progress" for you).

And, because this kind of thing makes me curious I did some digging. Mr. Met seems to be the first MLB costumed mascot in 1964. While there were mascots here and there for a while the thing took off (or started steamrollering downhill, your choice) in '77 with the San Diego Chicken and then the Phanatic in '78.

Posted by: OldDude | May 7, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Tracee,

Great line re Soriano's comment!

Posted by: slewis1 | May 7, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Viola, so-and-so is lazy,

***

I know it's a typo, but it reminds me of the time 10 year old stood up and triumphantly announced "viola!" cause his reading vocabulary exceeded his talking vocabulary.

Posted by: markfromark | May 7, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@506 -- I think "analrapist" is still the best line on any show ever. Nice call.

Posted by: fischy | May 7, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, that, and the one with a Pen on him like the logo on his sweater, and another one given right back to the shooter.
They were out-played, not out-toughed.

But enough talk about a successful team. Let's go back to baseball.
****************
The Caps lost last night because a puck deflected off a defender and its change in course was too quick for the goalie to adjust to. Not because they weren't tough.
Posted by: Section506 | May 7, 2009 11:20 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 7, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't their mascot Senator Claghorn?

It's a joke, son.
*******
Does anyone know what the mascot was for the old Senators?
Posted by: NatsNut | May 7, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 7, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Frank Viola called. He wants to why you're calling him a lazy so-and-so.

*************
Viola, so-and-so is lazy ...
Posted by: Section506 | May 7, 2009 11:20 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 7, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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