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En Route to ATL

Back in the technological dark ages, before in-flight wi-fi, I couldn't have penned this blog entry. So thank Delta. We're living in a great age now. In no earlier era could a baseball writer have researched Justin Maxwell's career bases-loaded slugging percentage (it's 4.000! He's 2-for-2 with two grand slams!) while 35,000 feet above the Atlantic coast.

I've got to be quick, because the ol' Dell Latitude D410 has about 30 minutes of battery power these days, but here's a sampling of reading material amusements.

Before Wednesday, the Nats had been 0-87 when trailing entering the ninth inning. That changed, courtesy of a walk-off grand slam.

Boz describes the urgency for the Nats -- and specifically, the Lerners -- to operate like a larger-market team. "If the Nats keep operating as they have," he writes, "they'll be seen as the only top-10 market with the gall to act like a bottom-five town."

The Nats start a four-game series with Atlanta beginning in, oh, about eight hours. Unfortunately, the Braves' wild card hopes are flickering. Wednesday's devastating lost hurt their chances. So did Colorado's win.

This USA Today piece examines a few of MLB's breakout players and their chances to follow up in 2010. Nyjer Morgan is one of the focuses.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 1, 2009; 10:48 AM ET
 
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Next: Lineups From Turner Field

Comments

Chico, perhaps you could specify when a "USA Today" piece is actually written by Ron Shandler.

Posted by: mherd1 | October 1, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

mherd1,
I don't follow USA Today or fantasy. What's the significance of Shandler?

Posted by: utec | October 1, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"If the Nats keep operating as they have," he writes, "they'll be seen as the only top-10 market with the gall to act like a bottom-five town."

But they're not acting like a bottom-five town, and never have. Bottom-five town teams trade off half or more of their starting lineup before the All Star break, like Pittsburgh did this year. Bottom-five town teams win the World Series and then sell off their entire roster, like Florida has done twice. The Nats do none of that stuff. All they've done is to not spend as much money as Boswell thinks they should - and he conveniently forgets that they did most of the things he recommended last offseason, like signing Beimel and Dunn and extending Zimmerman. And horror of horrors, Kasten finally got tired of listening to his endless yammering, told Boswell he is clueless (which he is) and then refused to elaborate on exactly how and why he is clueless (which would take an eternity - and Kasten does have a team to be running after all.)

Either that, or last night's homework assignment at the Post columnists desk was to smear a local owner and Boswell drew the short straw, giving Sally Jenkins the easy job of crucifying Dan Snyder.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 1, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Chico:

A BIG favor to ask. You wrote "Outfielder Angel Pagan jumped, extending his mitt (sic). For half a beat, nobody in the stadium knew if the ball was in Pagan's mitt (sic) or the front row."

I guess I knew it wasn't in his mitt since Pagan wasn't wearing one. I have never been to an MLB game where any player other than the catcher and first baseman wore a mitt. All other fielders wear gloves, just like Pagan was yesterday. A glove has fingers, a mitt like a mitten only has a separate section for the thumb. While it is acceptable to write something like 'Maxwell clubbed a walk-off homer', you would never write "Maxwell approached the plate with his club in hand" rather than "his bat".

Can you refer to gloves as gloves and mitts as mitts and stop using the two terms interchangably since the two are most certainly not the same thing? It would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by: Section314 | October 1, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if Pagan wasn't wearing a mitt he would have made that catch.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 1, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

You echoed my thoughts exactly Eclipse. Some of the moves that went badly can be attributed to Bowden's tenure as General Manager. That being said, I believe the payroll for next season should reflect an increase in wise spending on players ("wise" heavily emphasized). Hopefully, such an increase will deter another disaster of a season and even make the NATS competitive.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | October 1, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

And they're not "hats"--they're CAPS. They don't have a brim all the way around.
Young girls don't get "wooly"-- they get WEARY. And nobody is having stress--she's *wearing a dress.*

This is a game of fear and ignorance.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Fishy, consider yourself corrected.
*********************
I might add that Chico's absolutely right -- a lot of us in the park weren't sure it was a homer, as it looked like the ball headed into Pagan's mitt.
Posted by: fischy | September 30, 2009 11:31 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

See, this is why I love NJ. Here I am, in my 38th year of watching baseball, and I just now learned that gloves and mitts are actually different things. Thank goodness we have such knowledgeable posters who are willing to take the time to politely and thoughtfully educate the rest of us on the finer points of equipment terminology. I mean, Section314 could have chosen to be a total jerk and acted like anyone who doesn't know this bit of handwear esoterica is a substandard human being, but he or she is clearly better than that.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

And you're right, no sports writer would ever call a bat a "club." Just as they would never call it a shillelagh or a cudgel or a stick. And it is always swung, never wielded. Pitches? Most definitely thrown, and decidedly not tossed or hurled or twirled, flung, or heaved.

As the hometown nine strive for the gonfalon through the next campaign's 162 tilts, we can all revel in the complete lack of synonyms in coverage of said squad. And thank goodness.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 1, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Ring Lardner.

Now, if Mike Hammer were covering the game ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The Cliche X-pert Testifies on Baseball.

(You can tell it's a modern updating, because of the X in X-pert. See what I did there? That's very trendy stuff.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Guys, stop, I'm LOLing here at the office and my boss just walked by and looked at me wierd.

Posted by: swang30 | October 1, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell swung, short and hard, like the rainstorm that blew through town earlier in the day, a violent swing from a tough man. Francisco's jaw swung around hard with the blow, and his eyes saw Failure running in from the left field bullpen to get him out of there. But it was too late. The dingus eluded the Pagan mitt waiting for it, and into the petunias, like pretty maids all in a row. Go figure.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

that'll clean up good in rewrite.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, I gotta get back to work. Somebody work on the Noel Coward version. I'll be back.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"the Pagan mitt."

That was an especially deft touch. I doff my fedora (which is NOT a CAP!!!) to you, my good sir.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 1, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

And where the [Utley] were you yesterday, Sec3? We waited and waited and waited but then finally we gave up and decided to watch the baseball for a little while.

Of course, at that point the Nats were up by 3, and it looked like we'd missed something.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 1, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

No fair. You can't just tease it, sec3. Where's the write-up? ;-)

---

Now, if Mike Hammer were covering the game ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 12:55 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, I didn't scroll down far enough. Excellent, Smithers...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Also on the classification front, one report referred to them as "rose bushes." I know - a rose by any other name, yada yada yada.

---

The dingus eluded the Pagan mitt waiting for it, and into the petunias, like pretty maids all in a row. Go figure.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I was going to use "pansies" but thought better of it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Eclipse - Good points. Boz also forgets that for the baby boomers that can afford seasons tickets that grew up in the DC area only had 1 local team when they were teenagers and that was the Orioles of Baltimore and many of those fans have kept their allegiance to the Orioles.

Washington DC may be a big market team but it really is like a small market it team when it comes down to allegiances to the 5 year old Expos/Nationals franchise.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | October 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

LOL, sec3. "Petunias" just sounds funny, IMO.


Also, get your Dunn-key pics, right here (thanks, Google):

http://dc.metblogs.com/2009/10/01/nationals-are-they-loveable-losers-now/

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"with silver bells and cockle shells and one measly P'TEW-nia!"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

(doin' the Curly Shuffle here)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. In watching the replay of the 9th this a.m., I noticed that the guy who had been brandishing the broom behind the home dugout handed it to someone inside after the game ended. Wonder whether they signed it for him?

After watching the walkoff again, I believe that Dibble summed up the situation nicely, and I quote: "Wooooo!! YEAH!!!"

My sentiments exactly. In fact, I'm a little hoarse today. (wait for it)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Nyuck nyuck nyuck...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"They're not hitting when they have people on base..."

Can we dispense with the politically correct language that requires us to be gender-neutral, until women start playing pro ball also? Every major league game (and minor-league, for that matter) I've ever seen was played entirely by men.

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 1, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

It eluded Pagan's GLOVE, people! He wasn't wearing a mitt. Santos and Tatis were the only players on the field at that time wearing mitts and they were nowhere near the ball. I know, I was there observing and you can observe a lot about baseball just by watching!

If you don't start getting it right I might have to act like a jerk and disappoint Scooter.

Posted by: Section314 | October 1, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

For NJ denizens outside of the Nats or Braves territory (and who have access to the MLB Network):

The games with postseason implications continue Thursday night with MLB Network featuring the Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves at 7:00 p.m. (The game will be seen locally on MASN-HD) as the Braves try to overtake the Colorado Rockies for the National League Wild Card. The game, which will be blacked out in the Nationals’ and Braves’ home television territories, will be a simulcast of SportsSouth, including local announcers. MLB Network viewers in the Nationals’ and Braves’ home television territories will see the Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox at 7:00 p.m. ET

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"I don't have 'ballplayers'--I have GIRLS!!"
--Jimmy Dugan

gil, maybe you just need to get out more. Plenty of women play ball.

"people" does include men, most of the time. it's not "being pc", it's just speaking English.
Unless you're talking about who's more macho, Hanley Ramirez or Albert Pujols. Then it's "men."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

And then there are those guys who play like softball girls. But we won't go there... :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

and keep your mitts off Scooter.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

CHEER like softball girls.

or maybe you *did* mean "play" ?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Makes you wonder though -- what kind of arm Venus Williams has.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"If you don't start getting it right I might have to act like a jerk and disappoint Scooter."

Seems to me that mitt is also a commonly accepted synonym for hand. One could say "I'd love to get my hands on some of that" or "I'd love to get my mitts on some of that" with no confusion at all, right? So Pagan leapt, extending his mitt - which happened to have an unmentioned glove on it. Where's the problem?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 1, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"The games with postseason implications continue Thursday night with MLB Network featuring the Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves at 7:00 p.m. (The game will be seen locally on MASN-HD) as the Braves try to overtake the Colorado Rockies for the National League Wild Card. The game, which will be blacked out in the Nationals’ and Braves’ home television territories, will be a simulcast of SportsSouth, including local announcers. MLB Network viewers in the Nationals’ and Braves’ home television territories will see the Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox at 7:00 p.m. ET"

Yes, but what happens on Saturday - by which time the Braves will surely have been eliminated? The Nats-Braves game has been moved to 4:00 because Fox was going to broadcast it. But Carpenter said on air the other day that if the Braves are out of it by then Fox will broadcast some other game, and MASN will not be able to broadcast it due to Fox's exclusive right to air MLB during the 4:00-7:00 window on Saturdays. Looks like Saturday will be Charlie and Dave or nothin'.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 1, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I meant play.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Two more than Venus de Milo.

---

Makes you wonder though -- what kind of arm Venus Williams has.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 1, 2009 2:45 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I suspect it may be Charlie and Dave only on Saturday.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 1, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"Seems to me that mitt is also a commonly accepted synonym for hand. One could say "I'd love to get my hands on some of that" or "I'd love to get my mitts on some of that" with no confusion at all, right? So Pagan leapt, extending his mitt - which happened to have an unmentioned glove on it. Where's the problem?"

It caused him to lose his baseball hat?

Posted by: poncedeleroy | October 1, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, great stuff today from the posters. You people are on a roll, the Journal is en FUEGO. Walkoffs are good for the soul.

I confess to crushing disappointment at missing yesterday's game, work interrupted life, sad to say. But I've enjoyed the replay enormously!

Posted by: Section220 | October 1, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever had two grand slams in their first two bases loaded at-bats before Maxwell? It seems unlikely, but then again, just about everything that you think has probably never happened before in baseball has actually been done several times . . .

Posted by: bucky_katt | October 1, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The two most relevant things that bottom 5 teams do, I would say, is have bottom 5 payrolls and lose lots of games.

Posted by: markfromark | October 1, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll agree that mitt is an accepted synonym for hand. Accepting that, the only outfielder I ever saw catch a ball with his mitt was Kevin Mitchell.

Again, I was at the game yesterday and saw Pagan raise his glove. His hand, or mitt if you will, was in front of him feeling for the wall.

Posted by: Section314 | October 1, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Wait, 314, are you saying Pagan was wearing a GLOVE and not a MITT? Well, that's a horse of a different feather! My g-d, man or woman, why don't you SAY these things?

(More importantly, I very much appreciate your reluctance to disappoint me. You're back in the will.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 1, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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