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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Because he asked so nicely

This blog generates more e-mail than I thought it would but much of it qualifies as spam. Every now and then, one of those e-mails actually resonates, as this one did. I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm going to pimp everything sent to me. Not gonna happen. But my man Stephen here is writing about something near and dear to my heart - the 1969 Senators - and I will buy a copy of this book.
Be forewarned Stephen: I will review it, too, so it best not suck!

Dear Mr. Harris,
Despite the self-deprecating title of your blog, I like it's perspective and your comments on the Nats 320 blog as well.

I wanted to let you know that my first book, "A Whole New Ballgame: The 1969 Washington Senators", by Stephen J. Walker, published by Pocol Press, will be available for purchase from the publisher’s web site in mid-April. It is not available from bookstores, but will eventually be listed on

Here is a direct link to the publisher’s ordering web page:
Those interested may also order the book by mail. The publisher’s address is Pocol Press, Box 411, Clifton, VA, 20124-1333.
Pocol Press may be contacted by phone at 703-830-5852; e-mail is chrisandtom at
More information on the book and the 1969 Senators is at my blog site

I've attached a flier and press release with additional information.

I'd be grateful if you could mention the book on your site.

Yours in the love of the national pastime in the Nation' s Capital,


On another note, I read Chico the Writer's story today on Mike Rizzo and I like the fact that Rizzo sees himself as a GM and not one of the boys. The GM is not one of the boys. He/she is the GM. But of bigger note to me is that Joe Beimel's agent is Joe Sroba of good old Richmond, Va. Had many dealings with Joe S. over the years and those who think all agents are out of the Boras mold need to spend some time with Joe. A fine guy and Mr. Beimel is in good hands. I like him better already even if I still don't know much of anything about him.

Only a couple of days to vote on my first poll. Vote early and often. We'll discuss the results later this week.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bullpen Stew

One week and it is April 6. One week. Can't get here fast enough.
One week.
Does anybody, including Manny Acta, have a clue who is going to be in the bullpen in one week? OK, I guess he has a clue. I'm going to try and guess what he's thinking. Besides the backup catcher - and I'm going to be very disappointed if it is not Nieves - the bullpen is only area where decisions still must be made (insert the 'barring a trade' disclaimer here).

Let's pretend it is a cafeteria. Manny is pushing his tray through the line, trying to pick seven courses from a mix of offerings that features everything from steak to mush.

Hanrahan, Rivera and Beimel are already on his plate.
Four more.

If Colome isn't on the team, why do they have spring training? He's earned a spot based on what he's done in Florida, unless I'm missing something.

Three more.

Shell. Hinckley. Mock.

No offense to Jason Bergmann, who seems like an OK guy. But how much better is he going to get at this point He is what he is - wildly inconsistent. I don't see that ever changing. He's one of the few guys who have played at least one game in every season of the Nationals, maybe the only one besides Zimmerman who remains (I'm drawing a blank, there may be someone else).

Mock over Ledzema. He can spot start, he allegedly has an upside though I didn't see anything to wow me in all the times I watched him last year. I can be talked out of that one without much difficulty. Ledzema barely registers on the excitement meter but it wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen.

Was Young worth the Rule 5 money? My guess is he starts the season on the DL and is either sent down if a deal can be made or returned if it can't. You can't hide a guy in the bullpen.

Tavarez' weak apology won't save him. I didn't know the recorders were on? Please. You were talking to the media. As I told my students in the fall, follow a simple rule and you won't look like a dumbass: If you don't want it quoted, don't say it. He talks about wanting to "mentor" the young guys. If that's the best the Nats can offer as a mentor, heaven help us all.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Questions about this Dmitri Young thing

With Wily Mo gone (and I can't imagine anyone is surprised by that), it really isn't an issue since a spot opened up. But I am very curious about this 40-man spot JimBow allegedly promised Dmitri Young.

Isn't a guarantee only as good as its maker? Would the Nats have been wrong in telling Jack Be Nimble to take that up with JimBow, wherever the heck he is now?

Is there really a place, or a need for him on the final roster?

I think he needs to be added to the long list of bad JimBow contracts and sent out the door with Wily Mo.

I'm starting to think he'll get the two-week tryout until JZim makes his first start. I hate wasting even that spot on him.

What other roster decisions are left? Nieves or Bard? Is Julian Tavarez really going to be on the 25-man? That makes a Top 10 list for how you know your organization is weak as hell. You can do no better than Julian Tavarez.

I love Wily Mo and wish he was good. Oh well. My wife LOVED, absolutely LOVED, the way the P.A. guy said his name. One more of her favorites down the tubes. If Milledge goes, I'll have a 21-pack of tickets for sale.

Is it April 6 yet?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Diminished "AQ"

The morning reading provided by the folks at Nationals Journal is habit forming. Given that I've already accomplished the two things I wanted to get done today, I allowed myself some extra time to read all the links today. Some thoughts:

*So glad FLop is outta here, so glad. In my sports writing days, we used to talk about teams we covered and their AQs. That's Asshole Quotient. "They'd be a lot more fun to cover if the AQ wasn't so high" or "the AQ there is pretty low," that kind of inside stuff. I know when FLop was let go, the Nats' AQ improved very much for the better. I'm not a big fan of assholes, even being one myself.

*Paul Hagen of the Philly paper is generally pretty good. His piece listed there is boilerplate, a typical "visit the rest of the division and get some crap down on paper" type of story. But it chaps my fanny to read things like Zimmerman missing two months because of back problems. Unless my brain is shot, it was a shoulder deal, wasn't it? This is why God invented Google. Check that stuff out.

*I'm looking to trade in my old car sometime this summer. I wonder if Soriano would throw me a deal on his tricked-out ride? Seriously, would you be caught dead in something like that? TheBigLead is not everyone's cup of tea. I know the kid who runs the joint and he's a good and interesting dude. A little out there. He comes up with some weird stuff.

The Nats still haven't called me about doing a commercial and I'm getting a little bitter about that. I bought a new wide screen TV just so I'd fit on the thing.

Is it April 6 yet?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A pleasant surprise

Two and A Half Men ended so I reached for the clicker. Is there anything on TV besides reality shows these days?
I zoom through the sports channels and hit MASN and, lo and behold, the Nats and Braves are on. I had no clue (par for the course). I settled into watch just as my son the Braves fan came home from his fishing outing. Just in time to see the Nats take the lead in the sixth.

Sure, it's a meaningless preseason game but few things in life give me more pleasure than seeing the Nats whip up on the Braves with His Nibs in the house. It happens a lot, as the 12-6 record last year will attest. He's already refusing to go the the home opener with me because of the picture on the ticket (I never get tired of THAT moment).

We're going to see the Braves and Nats in Atlanta the first weekend of the season. It's his Christmas present. Two of three there would be sweet. At least once, I want his punk ass to sing. When I buy tickets and Zimmerman homers against the Braves, he has to stand up and sing the U.Va. fight song. Loud and proud.

I put in a new house rule tonight when Dunn came up with two on. No talking during Dunn at-bats. Of course he looks at strike three - an obvious strike three - so I may have to rethink that one.

Have I told you lately that I love watching baseball?

(the commercial with Screech's Best Friend just came on. Way cool. WAY WAY cool. Those spots are much better than anything MASN has done the past two years. Next year, I'm nabbing one of those spots. I'll do one with Needham)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Big change for me

One more personal post and then we'll stick to baseball. I'm sticking my neck out, doing something crazy. At least I'll have more time for baseball! Throw a brother some work, if you know anyone who can use these services.

I sent this to my co-workers this a.m.:


I always tell my kids to follow their dreams. My late, beloved mother always told me, “What are you waiting for, you’ll never be any younger.”

I’m finally going to listen to their advice. Almost 33 years into my professional career, I’m going to give running my own company a shot. Am I crazy? Sure. That’s one of my strengths and one of the reasons I think I can make this work.

My plan is to provide a full range of media-related services to both sides of the fence – those in the media and those who deal with the media. I will do some freelance writing. I have three books in various states of completion and I’d like to finally get those done. I will do consulting, interview preparation, media training, small publications and just about anything else people need along those lines. I’ve already contracted with another state university to evaluate their sports communications operation.

I started at VCU 14 months ago today and it has been a quick and fun ride. I’ve met and worked with many great people. I’ve added some skills to my repertoire that will help me in this new venture. Working with our tremendous group of coaches and student-athletes has made me a better person.

After packing up today and tomorrow and finishing a few small things, I will turn in the keys and my computer and start this new chapter in my life.

Please stay in touch and please consider Harris Media Services to meet some of your needs (must work on better slogan!). I can be reached at or

I’ll give this a year and I consider myself fortunate to be in position to try it. If it doesn’t work, you could see me bagging your groceries at Trader Joe’s or selling books at Barnes and Noble. Actually, either of those would be OK.

Thanks to all for making this an enjoyable 14 months.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chico (the writer)

I hate to post before my legion of fans has a chance to comment on the previous post, but it seems my main man Chico the Writer has stepped in it with some comments he made to Washingtonian magazine. I said in the post below that I was going to get caught up on some reading today and it has been an eye-opener. Kept seeing this discussion on NJ about Chico's comments and I was directed to a post by my friends at We'veGotHeart (see cool links to the right) that I hadn't yet read.

Anyway, Chico was pretty honest in his comments. He's that way. Here is what I posted on NJ and on We'veGotHeart:

As I've posted on my own blog (cheap plug there, sorry), I have more than the usual reader relationship with Chico. I was his "mentor" when he interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 2002. This kid is insanely talented (as is Saslow) and he works very hard. This is not a dream job for him but that won't keep him from doing it well because he won't be able to take the next step without doing a quality job.
Chico is destined for big things. David Remnick is a Pulitzer Prize winner, editor of the New Yorker (I think). I'm pretty sure he used to cover the Wizards.
Was it a poor choice of words by my main man? Yeah, I have to concede that and I'll tell him that if he asks. Will it keep him from working hard and doing his job? Nope.
Also, I love the folks at WeveGotHeart and their site. But covering big-time sports is more often closer to a nightmare than a dream, especially in the "modern" area that requires constant blogging as well as writing for the daily. The hours are terrible, the travel is difficult and the people you write about generally hold you in the same regard as they do dog doo on their shoes. In my beat days, I invited a number of people to join me for a week on the beat. None of them took me up on it. Football game ends, they go start the party. I'm four hours away from being done.

Back to the present. Just because a guy doesn't "love" his job doesn't mean he won't do it well. How many people truly love their jobs anyway? That's not the point. I'm not in the Washington area anymore but I keep up with the media up there and I can't see a reason to complain about the Nats coverage.

The Post runs stories regularly and Chico and others update that blog about a million times a day.
I know a bunch of folks at the Times and I've been reading Zuckerman's stuff and their Nats coverage, too. I never mentored him (his loss) but Zuckerman is very good.
Plus, there's blogs out the wazoo for all tastes and interest levels. Some of them provide actual information and some, like this one, just blather away. I try to read all of them every time they're updated. I'm sure most of you do, too.

There's PLENTY to read about the Nats, every single day. Given the quality of the team, I'm not terribly sure that's really a good thing.

Trust me on this, too. Nothing will make you less of a sports fan than covering sports. Hard to explain. People who have been there will understand. That's been one of the fun things about being out of that game. I can be a fan again.

Home again

with an 0-2 NCAA record. The VCU women lost at Rutgers by six yesterday, another sad end to a great season. It seems like only yesterday we were preparing for our early November exhibitions against Virginia Union and now the seasons are over.

So let's talk some baseball. I plan to spend part of today doing a lot of reading and trying to get caught up because I've been a bit busy and am a lot behind.

Is Frank Robinson still the manager?

But seriously folks, did anyone read about the Bard signing and say, "Wow. THAT was the missing piece. I feel better now."

Is he really going to bring more than Wil Nieves?

It will shock you to learn I really don't know much about the guy. All I know is I get a bunch of Google alerts every time he's mentioned in print. I have a Google alert for Cla Meredith, the former VCU pitcher (who recently became a father for the first time) and current Padres reliever. Well, everyone knows that story. Meredith was part of a trade that included Bard. So every time Bard shows up the trade is mentioned and I get alerted. If I'd actually taken the time to read one of those stories, maybe I'd know something.

Cla, by the way, thought he might get moved in the offseason. He was hoping if it happened it would be to an east coast team. He's very close to his family and he has his own home in Richmond. I keep hoping the Nationals snag him. Great kid.

All that blather aside, here are some questions that pop into my head:

*Should Jordan Zimmermann's outing yesterday be a concern? I say no. I like his overall body of work and hope he gets a shot in the rotation. Great thing about being lousy is there's little risk in such chances.

*Anyone else think Flores starts the year on the DL? This "elbow strain" thing has gone on a LONG time. Maybe that's why they signed Bard - to back up Nieves.

*I still can't pick seven guys for the bullpen. Hanrahan, Rivera, Beimel/Biemel/Whatever and who else?

*Lannan, Olsen, Rivera, Martis, Zimmermann? Does that sound about right? Bergmann in the pen and spot starter?

My ticket package arrived while I was gone. I haven't opened it yet but I'm hoping the tickets in there have those cool pictures. I'm going to wait to open it because I'm just going to be steamed when I see my location for the opener.

I'm basketball-ed out. During my newspaper days, the NCAA Tournament was my reason for living. I loved it. I filled out brackets, I watched as much of it as I could when I wasn't covering it. Odd how that changed. I can't do pools anymore and I didn't look at a single grouping other than the one's that our teams were in. Now that they're done? Let's play baseball.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The lowest of the lows

Pardon the non-baseball post, skip if you want. I'm feeling rather numb right now.

I've told lots of people that one of the best things about this job as opposed to my previous job is that I can care again. As a reporter, I was distant and objective. Had a job to do. A story to write. Win or lose.

You get to know coaches and players from a different angle on the communications side. You see exactly what they put into it, exactly what it means to them. When it works out, you feel their joy.

When it doesn't? As I wrote on my Facebook page, I didn't know it was possible to feel this bad for someone. My heart aches for a terrific group of players, coaches and support staff. Their pain last night after VCU almost beat UCLA was very real and I'm not ashamed to admit it's overwhelmed me.

Eric Maynor is as fine a player as I've ever been around. Forget that for a moment. He's also a terrific kid. Anything our office asked of him, he did. Last night, after that final shot, he had to talk to the media just as he did two years ago when his shot beat Duke. To no one's surprise, he handled it with aplomb. Every question. Wasn't fouled. UCLA did a great job. No excuses.

A champion acts like one, even when he or she doesn't win. Eric is a tremendous champion. I was as proud of the way he handled his postgame obligations as I was when he broke the scoring and assist records.

My former paper ran a tremendous picture that I appreciate as a former journalist. It's what a great picture should do, capture the emotion. Did it ever.

Yeah, I know. No one died. Sun came up today. Lots and lots and lots of people have real life situations that are much worse. I understand all that. I'll be home soon, getting my face licked by my happy dogs and life will go on. I still hurt for those guys something fierce.

I have to pack up and head to New Jersey, where the VCU women's team plays Rutgers tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Another great group of kids, coaches and staff. The women's team is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Here's hoping the Rams pull off a victory there.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What do they know that we don't?

Something's up with Shawn Hill, beyond what we've been hearing. As much as this is John Patterson-like, I don't believe the cases are THAT similar.
Do the Nats think they're so close to being a contender that they seriously can't take a chance and wait and see if someone with Hill's upside is OK?
Or do they know something the rest of us don't - yet? That's where you'll find my money.

Does Hill's release give my main man Gustavo a better shot? (EDIT: Guess not, since he got cut today)

Jorge, by the way, still doesn't have his visa. We elected a President quicker than he'll get that thing.

I also got further proof of my limited world outside the Nats yesterday. A pal asked what I thought about Joe Biemel or Beimel or whatever. Who? The Nats' new pitcher! Never heard of the dude. Looked up his stats and I wasn't blown away. I'm open to someone telling me I'm way wrong about that.

Yeah, I need to get out more.

Still in Philly, seems like I've been here a month and we're still nine hours from tip off. We found a sports bar not far from our hotel last night and watched some NIT and NBA games. Outsize the Wizards, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron and Dwyane Wade, I don't think I could name three NBA players.

Let's go Rams.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jorge? Jorge?

Why this occured to me just now I will never know. Odd the way the human brain works. I'm on a bus with the VCU men's basketball team, weaving our way through traffic toward Philadelphia and Thursday night's (late) matchup against UCLA.

It's been a productive trip. My headset is in and I'm listening to Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers. Great tune. The South Carolina-Davidson NIT game is on the TVs (the bus has DirecTV and wireless). I read about 50 pages of a Sue Grafton book. I got the VCU golf stats updated after the team completed a tournament today.

I answered some e-mail, discussed a couple simple logistical things with my communications colleague (we have a 10 a.m. meeting tomorrow).

And in the midst of all this? I ask myself, "Did Jorge Sosa get his visa problems worked out yet?"

I'm guessing not and I'm guessing I may be the only one who has noticed and I'm not even sure I care. I've written before that I thought for a while in 2005 that he was the next big thing. Wrong. Again.

Good for John Lannan getting the Opening Day start but did anyone expect anyone else? I haven't gone through it yet. Who gets the home opener - Olsen, right? It's the seventh game, or second of the second trip through the rotation. I'll be at the three Braves games before the home opener and then at the home opener. Is it possible I'll be totally disgusted seven games into the season?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Waiting in MY mailbox

This has officially been a lousy day. The VCU women's basketball team lost in the semifinals of the CAA tournament today. To James Madison at James Madison. Fair is fair. JMU played better than we did but that doesn't make it any easier to take. Our women are 26-6 and squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Keep your fingers crossed. It would be way cool to have both the men and women in the NCAA fields.

So the loss has me home a day earlier than expected and I'm eager to check the mail after reading my blogging bud Nats320's post the other day about HIS cool ticket package. Sure enough, I have something waiting from the Nationals. But it ain't my tickets. It is this letter, typed in as is so blame them for the grammar stuff:

Dear MIKE (yes it was capitalized),

We want to thank you for your commitment to the 2009 Washington Nationals. We have many reasons to be excited for the 2009 season. Those reasons include the recent acquisition of outfielder Adam Dunn, the introduction of our new concessionaire Levy Restaurants, renovations to the Red Porch Restaurant and the beginning of a new season which will feature a three game series versus the Boston Red Sox.

We look forward to seeing you on April 13th 2009 for Opening Day at Nationals Park. We want to inform you that due to all Season Ticket Holders' having tickets to Opening Day, we needed to relocate your seat location for this game. Your seat location for Opening Day will be in a price category that is less expensive than your partial plan location is for the 2009 season. As a result of this change, a credit of $20 will be applied to your season ticket account which can be used to purchase additional tickets during the 2009 season.

If you have additional questions or would like to know the balance on your account, please call our Season Ticket Services Department at 202.675.6287, Option (1) then Option (1) again.


Washington Nationals Ticket Services Department

Me again.

OK, it makes sense. Four of us "time share" these seats, so no way all of us can sit there. It probably should have been mentioned when we bought the tickets along with an explanation of how it was decided which of the four of us holders would get the seats for the Opener. They flip a coin for us? Draw straws? Rock, Paper, Scissors? Did I draw to an inside straight and miss? Why does HE get those seats? Why not ME? Huh?

Maybe they could rotate the four of us into the seats? Two innings each with the plan D person (that would be me) getting the extra inning?

But what really chaps my ass is the assumption that I will want to use my "refund" to purchase additional tickets. I live 120 miles away. I can't just up and go whenever I want. So how about a refund to the credit card I used to buy my $1,800 worth of tickets? That way I can put the 20 bucks toward something else, like gas to get to Nationals Park. Or half a t-shirt at the overpriced goods stores. Or a pizza and two coke zeros (one for my man Zuckerman) at the overpriced concession stands (now run by Levy Restaurants).

I will refrain from playing editor and going over the problems with the letter. They're not THAT bad and I probably wouldn't even notice if I wasn't steamed.

Going to the Opener is a production for the whole family. It IS a work day. Everyone has to take off. It costs us to get up there, to park, to eat. And now we find out we're getting shuttled to some as-yet-unnamed seat we don't want to sit in. I paid for section 309. I want section 309.

And I want my cool tickets with pictures on them like 320 got.

This is relief?

When the Braves signed Julian Tavarez last season, I immediately called my son the Braves fan and gave him massive crap. "How low has your team sunk? This guy has played for every team! Are they that desperate?"

It goes without saying (so why am I saying it?) that I've turned my phones off this morning. I'm sure I'll have a chuckling message waiting for me to delete.

Are the Nats THAT desperate?

Julian Tavarez? Kip Wells? Sure, I know it is cheap and non-guaranteed and what's it hurt to look at them and all that. The question is why waste any money and time? Does anyone really think either one of these castoff types are an answer to anything? Daniel Cabrera they're not - still young with a ton of upside. These guys are what they are and what they are isn't all that good. Why waste time looking at them when you could be looking at somebody who can actually help in the future?

Gustavo Chacin they ain't.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Go Rams!

Baseball was far from my mind last night. A great show against a program I really respect. I covered Mason many years ago and think the world of Jim Larranaga. But one thing that's been terrific about my current job is getting to know coaches and players from a different side. Seeing the work this crew put in pay off is as rewarding as anything I've ever experienced.

If winning a World Series excites me as much, well, let's get it done soon.

VCU (12) vs. Clemson (5) in Portland, Oregon. You read it here first. Book it. And pick the Rams in your pools. As a good friend told me last night, pack two suits.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Did I miss anything?

The CAA men's tournament is this weekend, the CAA women's tournament is next weekend and there's some prep work in between. Going to be a busy stretch and I'm doing my best to keep up with what's going on baseball wise. I feel out of touch but also feel like I haven't missed anything.

Maybe the JimBow "distraction" was a good thing because it gave us something to talk about while nothing happened.

I'm not certain, barring injury or trade, anything will happen. Does anyone have any doubt the final roster will look something like this?

C - Flores, Nieves
IF - Johnson, Hernandez, Guzman, Zimmerman, Belliard, Harris
OF - Dunn, Milledge, Dukes, Willingham, Kearns
P - Lannan, Olsen, Cabrera, Zimmermann, Hill, Hanrahan, Colome, Rivera, Shell, Bergmann, Hinckley, Young

Maybe Leonard Davis or Bernadina in that last outfield spot if they can find a taker for Kearns? Martis in Hill's spot if health continues to be an issue? Anything else?

D. Young? No way. Can't get in shape.
Langerhans? Hate to see him go but where does he fit?
Wily Mo? As I've said before, I really wish he was good. Seems like a fine guy. Can he go to AAA? Does he have options left?

Is Colome a serious contender to close? I can't believe I just typed that.

I guess the bombshell of the spring will be a Johnson trade if one happens. At this point, I'm sort of switching gears on my thoughts about him. I'd like to see them keep him and hope this is the magic year where he actually stays healthy. Seeing Zimmerman, Dunn, Johnson and Dukes come to the plate in succession (but maybe not in that order) could be a lot of fun.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dr. Andrews - never a good sign

So my mood, so fine the past few days, has soured some with the news that Shawn Hill is scheduled to see (or has seen, I'm losing track of time) Dr. James Andrews.

Manny sez he hopes Hill gets some good news. Hey, don't we all? But let me ask this. How often does anyone go see Dr. Andrews and come back with good news? You don't go see Dr. Jim just for the hell of it.

It pains me to say it but I really believe we'll never see a healthy Shawn Hill. It's another John Patterson situation, sadly. What a damn shame. Talent out the wazoo and for reasons I can't explain, I've always been left with the impression that Hill has a better head than Patterson.

Like many things in my life, I hope I'm wrong.

On the subject of pitchers, I had high hopes today for Gustavo Chacin - so much for that. In 2005, a group of us Loosers from went to see a Nats-Toronto series as part of our annual outing (Nats-Baltimore this year, Nats-Seattle last year. Guess who picks the sites?). Anyway, the Nats won the first two and Chacin pitched the third for the Jays. I left there really impressed. Talked to an bud from Toronto who was not on the trip and he said the Jays were really high on him. Seems that 2005 was his high-water mark.

Too bad. I'd really like it to work out. Courtesy of Wikipedia (always so reliable), here are some fun facts on Gustavo:

*Chacín cannot grow hair because of alopecia areata.
*A joke on Toronto sports radio station Fan 590 that the name Chacín sounds like it should be the name of a cologne led the Blue Jays to do a Chacín Cologne night on June 27, 2006.
*Wears sunglasses while pitching regardless of whether he is in an indoor or outdoor stadium and weather conditions. Many have said he looks somewhat like a supervillain when wearing the glasses.

I can't grow hair either but I can't blame it on alopecia areata. And, c'mon. Gustavo Chacin is a great, great name.

I really want him to be a star. I also want Shawn Hill to be a star. I'm pretty sure neither will happen.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Today is the first day of the rest of our lives and I woke up to - snow up to my fat arse. I hate snow, if I haven't mentioned that before on here. Hate it with a passion. Hate it more than all other things combined. I don't ski so it serves no useful purpose. I do get to work from the ranch today but I'd rather be in the office and have NO show nearby. None.

Ah, but after yesterday? Seems like a brilliant, sunny day. No clouds on the horizon.

My concern today is the WBC. Like snow, I see no useful purpose served. Yes, I'm still clouded by the elbow injury suffered by Luis Ayala when we all still loved him as a pitcher. Even without that, I don't see the point.

I want Adam Dunn with the Nats. He doesn't need competition. He's had that. I want him to get to know his new teammates, on and off the field. I want the brass to see if he's equipped to handle himself at first or in left. I want Joel Hanrahan with the Nats. He's going to be called on to save many of the 130 or so games they'll win this season. I want him with the Nats, gearing up for that role on that team.

I'll hang up now and listen.

Also, many thanks to my man FireJimBowden and the SportsBog (see cool links to the right) for the shoutout in the interview Dan Steinberg did with my blogging colleague. I don't know if I've ever said this here. I've said it on some other sites I pollute with my drivel. Dan Steinberg is the best blogger out there, all due respect to my Natsmosphere friends (and myself). Guy is terrific and the "bog" is not only a great name, it is what a newspaper's primary blog should be. It is what I wanted, but never quite got, out of the blogs we did when I was still at the paper here. Only downside is his stuff doesn't get in the paper. His coverage of George Mason's run to the Final Four in 2006 was exceptional. The best anywhere.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


My original thought was to post something a little classy because I truly wish the guy no ill will. I just wanted him out as GM.
But after reading his statement?
AMF, Jim.

Blaming the media? Yeah, I'm not media anymore but I was for a long time and I know horsecrap when I see or hear horsecrap. Jim's statement is horsecrap.

The media did nothing wrong. He IS being investigated. No one has said he's been charged with anything. If he truly did nothing wrong, he'd ride it out. Saying well, I'm innocent but the media has done gone and chased me out of here *** words can't describe the level of horsecrap involved there.

While we're on the subject of horsecrap, who gave him the word he was "resigning?" Uncle Stan or El Jefe? I will never, ever be convinced he made the decision himself. Someone said to him, "JimBow, good news! We are not firing you *** you are resigning. Piss on the media if you want, just GTFO."

Someone check the airlines. Is LaCava on the way in yet?

The real news - The Times wins my pool so I owe Zuckerman a beer. Except my snoops tell me he doesn't drink (guy must be very young and very new to newspapers). So I'm going to buy everyone who entered a beer at my first Nats game this season. Right now, that's scheduled to be the opener. I'll have a Coke Zero with Zuckerman's name on it. I wish I could start celebrating today but, alas, I have to work. I'll work with a smile on my face.