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Monday, July 19, 2010

Extended Break is Over

When you get to be my age, four days just isn't long enough for an All-Star break. These kids today, you know? They can recharge their batteries and come back a lot quicker. I needed another weekend, so I took it.

Actually, I was back to work at a three-day meeting with my college sports crew at FanHouse. We all got together to meet (a virtual newsroom is cool but face-to-face contact is rare), plot and plan. And eat and maybe drink some, too. Fantastic time and allow me to plug the site: If you are a college sports fan, you'll want to be there a lot. We have some great stuff in store for the upcoming academic year.

But enough of that. Let's get back to blogging with a question: Are the Nats' bats old like me and in need of extra time off? One inning with runs scored in 27 in Florida? Two pitchers not named Jee-SUS give a Jee-SUS like effort and get no runs in return? The Marlins are held to three runs in three games and the Nats lose two out of three?

Maybe I need a permanent break.

A friend asked me a couple of weeks ago just how it came to be that I bleed curly Ws. This friend didn't know I grew up in Washington and suffered through the Senators, too.

"Oh," he said. "I couldn't think of a reason that made sense."

Not sure I can, either.

We faithful fans are left with another second half without any playoff hope, without a sure idea of what the team will look like in two weeks. Year Six has turned into another version of Years Two-Five. Just once before I die, I'd like to go into August thinking about the rest of the current season rather than wondering about future seasons.

A couple of other things before I crawl back into my hole:

*We raised the total to 56 votes in the last poll. As I expected, most want Adam Dunn to be signed to some sort of extension. Thirty-nine voted for that, 17 voted again.

*I think I'm going to recapture an hour back of my days and stop watching the pre- and post-game shows. I'm getting a little tired of all the smug jabs at the media (that's MY job, dad gummit). Seriously, the two examples from weekend games about sent me off the deep end because they were flat-out wrong and uttered by people who don't have the "joy" of going into a losing clubhouse day-after-day-after-day and asking questions so their readers/viewers can have some answers.

The Strasburg eye-roll got lots of attention. I'll admit it right here - I love Strasburg as a pitcher and a player and I'm damn sure glad he's a Nat. If I had to cover him every day, I'm not so sure I'd like him all that much. The TV crew got a good chuckle, as if the eye-roll was deserved because the question was so dumb.

Well, it wasn't. Someone asked about the lack of changeups, a question we sat here and asked as we watched. It was a good and legitimate question, given that so much has been made about what a weapon the pitch is for Jee-SUS. Sorry, Stephen, if our pitching intellect doesn't match yours. You get paid a boatload of money because fans like us are saps and are willing to pay silly prices to see you pitch and buy shirts with your name on it. Suck it up and answer questions that seem beneath you and do it without the snark.

And then ol' Phil Wood thought Adam Kennedy's "obviously" answer was just the funniest damn thing and appropriate for a bad question. This after Kennedy was thrown out by 80 feet at home (but before he got thrown out at second yesterday to complete a wonderful weekend of "obviously" stupid baserunning).

Wrong again. It wasn't obvious and it had to be asked. It deserved a better answer because we fans sure didn't see Pat Listach send him and then try to stop him. And it isn't like players haven't run through signs before. Good on you (I think it was Adam Kilgore) for asking the question.

I have a question for Adam Kennedy that would indeed call for that answer out of him: Are you a waste of the Nats' money and roster space?

Here's some news: We get no news from the pre- and post-game shows. Probably 95 percent of the news we get comes from some combination of Adam at the Post, Mark at, Ben at (not to be confused with the on-air talent) and Bill at Of the other five percent, probably 4.99 percent of it comes from national media (and sometimes that's wrong, or Jerry Dipoto would be GM now) and the other smidge from when one of us Mom's Basement dwellers gets lucky.

Zero comes from pre- and post-game shows. Zero. The four main beat guys are in there every single day, a job that seems like a dream until you have to do it. Sure, I rag on them now and then - but rarely and only out of love. I can't recall drilling them on a question they've asked because I know sometimes you have to ask questions that are awkward. Part of the job and someone who doesn't have to do it and has never asked a tough question in his life really has no business mocking those who do.

Yeah, OK, I'm a little worked up over that one. I need another break. And I really need to get my XM fixed.


Hendo said...

If my calculator's right (as you know, the lighting is poor in Mom's basement), that's 10,000:1 odds against any of the rest of us uncovering a crumb of useful news.

Which feels about right. So I guess I'll keep plugging away (and waiting for my turn in the Strasglare); it's more fun -- if also more work -- than buying scratch-offs.

MikeHarris said...

OK, so maybe we deserve a higher percentage down here in the cellar.

My point remains.

At least they let you out of Mom's Basement every now and then.

bdrube said...

I don't think a lot of the carpingt hat's been going on would be happening if the team's win-loss record was reversed. As for SS's eye roll, if that is the worst thing he ever does I can certainly live with it. How many illegitimate children and criminal charges filed did Dukes have by his age?

MikeHarris said...

Good point there, Mr. Rube - I'm just railing against the attitude about the media in general. I don't much like it (could you tell?) and someone needs to tell SS it is more than just a necessary evil.