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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shortening My Life, Game by Game

Dear David and Courtney,

I love you two very much. Out of whatever I have done in my life thus far, being able to say I'm your father makes me more proud than anything else. You've become outstanding young adults and that makes me happier than you can imagine.

Your offer of a Nats game and dinner afterward for Father's Day is generous and kind.

However, is there any way we can maybe go to a movie and dinner instead? Or you just beat me with golf clubs and then we go eat? Or find a way to paper cut most of my arms and legs and pour salt on them?

If I watch this team too much more, your dear old dad is gonna up and die.



At least I got a bobblehead out of today's game. Which leads to a question - what would you rather have had at bat today, Ryan Zimmerman or the Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead? I'll pick the bobblehead. Why? Well, if Zimmerman is going to refuse to swing the bat, the bobblehead has the same chance of getting a hit. And at least it will look cute there in the batter's box, its little head bob bob-a-bobbin up and down as it watches another Jake Peavy offering sail right over the plate.

Swing. The. Bat.

The White Sox are going to score five runs in this series and sweep all three games. These two teams are so offensively inept they couldn't break wind after a week in a bean factory. Nats get two on to open the game! Yee Haw! Gonna be an explosion of offense, lots of runs.

How'd that work out? J.D. Martin pitches like G. Zus Strasburg and gets zippy run support and an L to show for it.

I can see the quotes now. "Well, Peavy just had our number today. He's a good pitcher. He shut us down," said some Nats manager or player. Dudes, everyone is shutting you down now. You face Bruce Chen of the Royals on Monday, maybe the worst pitcher in the history of the sport. How he's still in the major leagues is beyond me. Yet he presents a pretty huge challenge right now.

The company was good, too, today. Hung out with my bud and blog contributor Ryan and his wife and photographer Summer. Also my pal Matt (the White Sox fan) and his girlfriend Ashly. Matt and I had several deep conversations today. I thanked the White Sox for sending out their Senior Day offensive team. Omar Vizquel is FORTY THREE. FORTY THREE.

Me: Is everybody on the White Sox 35 or older and hitting about .200?
Matt: Pretty much.

Me: Congrats on the run. That'll hold up. This is a 1-0 final.
Matt: No way, you think?
Me: Trust me.

I'd offer up a good solution if I had one. People getting paid lots more money are charged with finding solutions and I hope they do. I can throw out a couple - try something different up top. Yeah, Nyjer got on a couple of times today. Yeah, Guzman laid down a beauty of a bunt in the ninth to set up another Zimmerman backwards K. Still, try something anything, PLEASE. Bernadina-Desmond, just once?

Also, when you are hitting, swing at the strikes. I've seen some stuff in my day but I can't recall someone getting a hit without swinging the bat.

Of course, leaving the place was its usual nightmare. The c*********k is much more bearable when you're leaving after watching Strasburg. When you're hot, bothered and flusterated, it is pure agony.

And here's a serious complaint to close: I was in the landing between escalators coming down from the 300 level when the thing stopped, with a lurch. Two older men did an amazing job keeping their balance and not sending countless others sprawling.

Did someone turn it off? If so, why? Either leave it on or leave it off - not a real good idea to stop it while it is so full of people.

If it is stopping on its own, FIX IT. You're asking for a major problem if not. If those two men hadn't recovered nicely, things could have been real ugly. I'm not so sure I could have recovered as well.

This team is beating me up enough as it is, I don't need it throwing me off an escalator.


bdrube said...

I feel your pain. I was there for all 20 grueling innings the past two days. Those were probably the two best pitched back-to-back games the Nats have ever had (seriously, 3 ER, 21 K, only 1 BB for 20 IP) coupled with what has to be the two worst offensive back-to-back efforts in Nats history (8 H, 1 lousy XBH in 20 innings).

Who would have thought that Strasburg's arrival would mark the beginning of the downward spiral DESPITE him being even better than advertised?

It's probably my fault. I grew up a White Sox fan. All those years of them losing when I rooted for them to win turned into them winning the first two times I ever rooted against them. :(

Nate said...

Ian Desmond has a worse on-base percentage than either Morgan or Guzman (hard to believe, but true.) Probably ought not root for him to hit ahead of the Big 3.

An Briosca Mor said...

This team is beating me up enough as it is, I don't need it throwing me off an escalator.

You obviously don't spend much time on Metro if you think that's the worst an escalator can treat you.

MikeHarris said...

I don't spend ANY time on the Metro.

Sun's shining bright this a.m., maybe today will be different.

Anonymous said...

JuHEEEEzus...where to begin?

Riggleman is not a manager, he's a tinkerer. Having played team sports at the highest level (yeah, in the DC area), no coach ever changed the lineup the way Riggo has/does. Adam Kennedy is now relegated to the dog house because, frankly, Riggo's incessant use of the largely ineffective Guzman (obviously trying to get their money's worth out of a slightly above-average player) may account for Kennedy's fall from grace; he's rusty, would you be?

Next...the way Zimmerman approaches each pitcher...stands in the exact same place in the box, no matter what the count, no matter how many are on base...he's either stubborn or has had poor coaching (I doubt the latter).

More than anything, quit messing with the lineup...leftie-rightie, rightie against leftie pitcher. Listen, if a guy's a good hitter he can hit any pitcher. Enough with this obsessive-compulsive formulaic approach to managing a ball club!

Anonymous said...

Fire Riggleman.

I almost soiled myself when I heard Bob Carpenter say "[that] it may be time for Riggleman to put aside the goal of getting everyone 400 at-bats and focus on winning games instead." Whoa. Bob CARPENTER said that??? Things MUST be bad when the paid-for asskisser in the broadcasting booth bites the hand that feedsw it

Rizzo really needs to consider replacing Riggleman, who's a LaRussa and Acta schools of baseball team management kinda manager. Next, sit the guys whose mantra seems to be, "I swing at first pitch, no matter what the game situation." I wonder which team Willie Harris, Guzman and Nieves think they play for. Swinging at the first pitch only helps the opposing team.

I think the other poster said it well, too. Play a consistent lineup. It's a ball club, not a kumbaya meeting of the local Little League team, in which all must play a certain amount of innings.

Lerner needs to get himself a REAL manager--Bobby Valentine is available and would be a REAL solid MANager. Sometimes you gotta lay down the law, in spite of how much less you earn than your most expensive yet least productive players.

Modern managers (with a few exceptions) may cause more losses through their current methods than the players themselves.