Category Archives: Washington Nationals

Why the Washington Nationals Will Make the Playoffs in 2012

We’ve been following the Nats faithfully, especially since the return of Strasburg and with the addition of Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa. I like the enthusiasm Bernie Olshansky has for the Nats and he just might be right!

 

MLB Reports

 

Thursday June 21st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: The last time the city of Washington D.C. saw a World Series trophy was in 1924. That was the work of the Washington Senators with the help of Walter “Big Train” Johnson. Although this year’s version of the team doesn’t have a veteran baseball legend, they do have a couple budding superstars. First is Stephen Strasburg. The first-overall pick of the 2009 draft, Strasburg made an enormous impact in his first career start and most of the 2010 season, but ended up on Dr. Lewis Yocum’s table towards the end, and missed most of the 2011 season. Thankfully for the Nationals, Strasburg is back and better than ever, posting an 8-1 record and a 2.45 ERA (before Wednesday’s win versus Tampa Bay: 7IP 5H 2ER 10K and got the win). Unfortunately for the Nationals, Strasburg is on an innings limit this…

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Porking out at the Ballpark on Mother’s Day!

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 Some of the above pictures courtesy of  Fox Sports MLB’s Best Food List.

I just found out I’m going to the Oakland A’s – Detroit Tigers game on Mother’s Day so I went online to find out what’s for dinner!  My search found this great website  with such tantalizing food pictures I think I’ll conjure up some ballpark food for dinner tonight!

One of my favorite ballpark foods is the Primanti Brothers Sandwich at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.  When I was there the fans were lined up around the block for this one.  The special sandwich (pictured above) includes not only the roast beef, but also the salad and french fries  stacked high and part of the sandwich.

And someday I’m going to try those Rocky Mountain Oysters at Coors Stadium.  Or maybe I’ll watch someone else try them but it’ll still be an experience.

And for dessert it’s a toss-up between those yummy looking cupcakes at Safeco Field in Seattle and the  funnel cakes at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

If you don’t have plans for your mom, your kid’s mom or someone else that’s really special on Mother’s Day why not consider taking her to dinner at the Ballpark!  You’ll get to enjoy the camaraderie of some the greatest fans in all of sports, hopefully a great game and some really terrific food.

“What’s up with those Washington Nationals?”

Who would have thought the team leading the National League this year would be those lowly Nationals?   This team started out as the Montreal Expo’s in 1969 and moved to Washington in 2005, much to the delight of  syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer.  I had no idea he was into baseball until I read a column he wrote back in September, 2011, about his beloved Nats.  Titled “The Best Game in Town“, here’s an excerpt:

“Now, when mortals throw a ball, they give it arc to gain distance. That’s how artillery works. Ankiel is better than artillery. He releases the ball at the top of his throwing motion, the ball rocketing out as if tracing a clothesline. It bounces five feet from third base, perfectly on-line, arriving a millisecond before the batter and maybe 20 inches above the bag. Quick tag. Batter out. Game saved. (Blown five innings later. But remember, it’s the Nats.)”

This is great stuff.  And then in December, 2010, we wrote this post “The Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, Miracle or Mistake?”  and, as predicted, Steven Strasburg has returned in great form after his Tommy John surgery.  In addition, the Nationals organization brought a few weapons on-board to help things along;  Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa.  Shortly after I heard about the Jayson Werth acquisition it was rumored the Nats were in serious talks with Cliff Lee.  It was a heart-stopper and now I’m starting to pay really close attention to the 2012 Washington Nationals .  Cliff Lee didn’t end up a Nat, but with Jayson Werth and Stephen Strasburg on the roster, it seemed inevitable that good things were going to happen.  And they did.

Today the Nats are leading the National League in the Win-Loss record.  Okay, I know it’s still early in the season, but now that they’ve added the 8# Strasburger to the menu at Nationals Park anything can happen!

I can hardly wait to see what Krauthammer’s going to write next about all this.  Stay tuned  . . . . .

Best Food at the Ballpark in 2012? ~ You Decide!

"Strasburg: Last year's version with butterflied hotdog on top"

I found a great little ditty this morning at the Washington Post.  The Nationals are going to highlight special food from the visiting team’s home town each time they play in Washington.   I recommend you take advantage of  San Francisco’s special food “Garlic Fries” this year, especially since the Giants will be playing at Nationals Park on the 4th of July, and not just because they’re our namesake, but because they’re really, really good!

But for sure you gotta love the special food presented by the Washington Nationals this year, honoring their special pitcher, Stephen Strasburg.  I hear it includes 12 pickles, representing the twelve strike-outs the Stras got in his first outing.   Great article written by Dan Steinberg, from the Washington Post.

Nationals Park introduces 8-pound ‘StrasBurger’

By , Washington Post  Posted at 02:06 PM ET, 03/12/2012

 

The new 8 lb. Strasburger includes fries and a coke! Courtesy "Yardbarker"

(Marvin Joseph – TWP.) As the baseball season approaches, you know what that means on this here blog: lots of updates on the concessions available at Nationals Park.

Our first update concerns the Red Porch, and a brand-new menu item that will get lots of attention from media and fans: The StrasBurger. Via my favorite friends in Nats PR:

Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.

In case you missed the key phrase, this burger WEIGHS EIGHT POUNDS TOTAL, which is a lot of pounds. Even if some of them are onion pounds. Every TV station in this market will have hosts merrily attempting to grapple with the StrasBurger next month. At least, I hope so.The Red Porch will also feature special food and beer pairings that will spotlight area brews, including those from Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Any time I get to type “Dogfish Head,” I consider that a win.

Also, the Taste of the Majors stand — which has spotlighted a few items from other MLB cities — will now feature a special dish from the city of each visiting opponent while they’re actually in D.C. Those items will all be limited time only offers, obviously.  The list:

Atlanta:   Smothered Fried Chicken Platter
Baltimore:  Pit Beef Sandwich Platter
Arizona:  Dog Platter
Chicago:  Dog Platter
Cincinnati:   5-Way Cincinnati Chili
Colorado:  Mile High Burger
Houston:  Houston Nacho
Los Angeles:  Dog Platter
Miami:   Cuban Dog
Milwaukee:   Beer Brat Platter
New York (Mets and Yankees):   Coney Dog Platter
Philadelphia:   Philly Chicken Cheese Steak Platter
Pittsburgh:   Pitts Burger Platter
St. Louis:   BBQ Rib Platter
San Diego:   Fish Taco Platter
San Francisco:   Garlic Fries and Shrimp Platter
Tampa Bay:  Salty Dog Platter

Geez, this is all making me hungry!  Only 23 Days to Opening Day ~  See you at the ballpark!

“TOP BASEBALL PLAYERS OF PAST 60 YEARS!” A Mathematical Study.

This is the third year we’ve published this study by Dr. Don Davis.  It’s one of our most popular blogs and we’re happy to be able to share it again with you.  Be sure to link to his website  for additional information, changes and criteria he used in compiling his study.

“2011 Baseball Players Mathematical Study, written by Don Davis, Department of Mathematics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA., and printed here with his permission.”

Pos’n First team Second team Third team Fourth team Fifth team
P,1 Roger Clemens, 266.0 Tom Seaver, 181.1 Bob Gibson, 140.4 Juan Marichal, 107.9 Curt Schilling, 85.1
P,2 Randy Johnson, 202.1 Warren Spahn, 167.5 Sandy Koufax, 137.8 Gaylord Perry, 102.8 Phil Niekro, 84.9
P,3 Greg Maddux, 197.5 Bob Feller, 157.6 Robin Roberts, 136.5 Roy Halladay, 102.1 Johan Santana, 84.6
P,4 Pedro Martinez, 187.5 Steve Carlton, 143.5 Jim Palmer, 133.2 Fergie Jenkins, 87.2 Nolan Ryan, 83.7
C Johnny Bench, 111.2 Yogi Berra, 92.9 Gary Carter, 75.6 Mike Piazza, 74.8 Ivan Rodriguez, 71.0 Continue reading

Veterans Day and Every Day ….. Thank You!

Note:  This is a repost of my 2010 Veteran’s Day Blog.

Arlington National Cemetery

“But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

This and the following list of Hall of Fame Members Courtesy of  Baseball Almanac.

Baseball Hall of Fame Members  who Served in the Armed Forces.
The Civil War  
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander  United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army Continue reading

“Best Game in Town?” ….. Absolutely!

Whoa!   I don’t care what your political leanings are, this stuff is awesome.  I found it in, of all places, this morning’s editorial section and its pure poetry.  Whenever a writer can take an entire paragraph to describe a throw to first base and keep me hanging on to every word I’m hooked.

Such is the case in this article.  You might remember I wrote on the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg last December and have been anxiously waiting for his return,which is  scheduled for this coming Thursday.

So here it is ~ from Thursday’s Washington Post.  See what you think!    

“BEST GAME IN TOWN” By Charles Krauthammer, Published: September 1

In that fleeting interval between natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane) and the president’s 57th (or so) major national address next Thursday, I can finally devote a summer column to the finest efflorescence of that season this city has to offer: the Washington Nationals.They are a baseball team. Not yet very good, mind you, but it matters not.


When you live in a town with a great team, you go to see them win. When you live in a town with a team that is passing rapidly through mediocrity on its way to contention — the Nats have an amazing crop of upcoming young players — you go for the moments. Continue reading

Update: 2011 MLB Payrolls & Individual Salaries.

Courtesy TTF Baseball

Here’s the 2011 update to our 2010 Major League Baseball listing published November 22, 2010.  This comes to us compliments of USA Today.  If you’ll click the individual teams, you can access the individual players salaries.  It will be interesting to note the annual salaries of the teams that make the playoffs;  in other words, did they get what they paid for?

 TEAM                          TOTAL P/R             AVG SALARY       MEDIAN

New York Yankees

$ 202,689,028

$ 6,756,300

$ 2,100,000

Philadelphia Phillies

$ 172,976,379

$ 5,765,879

$ 2,625,000

Boston Red Sox

$ 161,762,475

$ 5,991,202

$ 5,500,000

Los Angeles Angels

$ 138,543,166

$ 4,469,134

$ 2,000,000

Chicago White Sox

$ 127,789,000

$ 4,732,925

$ 2,750,000

Chicago Cubs

$ 125,047,329

$ 5,001,893

$ 1,600,000

New York Mets

$ 118,847,309

$ 4,401,752

$ 900,000

San Francisco Giants

$ 118,198,333

$ 4,377,716

$ 2,200,000

Minnesota Twins

$ 112,737,000

$ 4,509,480

$ 3,000,000

Detroit Tigers

$ 105,700,231

$ 3,914,823

$ 1,300,000

St. Louis Cardinals

$ 105,433,572

$ 3,904,947

$ 1,000,000

Los Angeles Dodgers

$ 104,188,999

$ 3,472,966

$ 2,142,838

Texas Rangers

$ 92,299,264

$ 3,182,733

$ 1,251,000

Colorado Rockies

$ 88,148,071

$ 3,390,310

$ 2,318,750

Atlanta Braves

$ 87,002,692

$ 3,346,257

$ 1,275,000

Seattle Mariners

$ 86,524,600

$ 2,884,153

$ 825,000

Milwaukee Brewers

$ 85,497,333

$ 2,849,911

$ 1,050,000

Baltimore Orioles

$ 85,304,038

$ 3,280,924

$ 1,425,000

Cincinnati Reds

$ 75,947,134

$ 2,531,571

$ 825,000

Houston Astros

$ 70,694,000

$ 2,437,724

$ 467,000

Oakland Athletics

$ 66,536,500

$ 2,376,303

$ 1,400,000

Washington Nationals

$ 63,856,928

$ 2,201,963

$ 1,050,000

Toronto Blue Jays

$ 62,567,800

$ 2,018,316

$ 1,200,000

Florida Marlins

$ 56,944,000

$ 2,190,153

$ 545,000

Arizona Diamondbacks

$ 53,639,833

$ 1,986,660

$ 1,000,000

Cleveland Indians

$ 49,190,566

$ 1,639,685

$ 484,200

San Diego Padres

$ 45,869,140

$ 1,479,649

$ 468,800

Pittsburgh Pirates

$ 45,047,000

$ 1,553,344

$ 450,000

Tampa Bay Rays

$ 41,053,571

$ 1,578,983

$ 907,750

Kansas City Royals

$ 36,126,000

$ 1,338,000

$ 850,000

Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book

Update:  Now available at Amazon as Book and Kindle.

Finally it’s here!  My book’s been in the works since February and  it’s being published today.  It’s available for sale here first, and will be available on Amazon.com early next week and in Kindle form  soon thereafter.

The book’s a compilation of some of my favorite blogs, some in expanded form, with a few little ditties added in and formatted in such a way you’ll hardly recognize it!  I have to admit ~ writing a book is a great experience, but it’s much easier writing a blog!

Let me know what you think but please be kind.   This is my debut you know ♥   Ronni

MLB Standings vs MLB Payrolls …. How do they measure?

Okay, so we’re maybe 25% through the 2011 Major League Baseball Season.  How is your team doing?  How is your team doing in relation to their total payroll?  In other words, are they getting what they paid for?

Here’s an interesting article published by Hayes & Taylor recently.  I’m always amazed at the amount of work some of these guys put into their daily blogs;  I mean who has time for this stuff?   In any event, this is a great chart and one of the better blogs and I wanted to share it with you.

“The Cleveland Indians are in first place in the AL Central. They have the fifth lowest payroll in all of baseball. Which got me thinking, how do the other teams in the MLB rank in the standings relative to their payroll. It turns out that the Indians aren’t even the best example right now.

The Tampa Bay Rays have the second lowest payroll in the majors. The are currently in first place in the power packed AL East. Ahead of the number one payroll in baseball the Yankees, the number three payroll in Boston and numbers 19 and 24 in Baltimore and Toronto. The Royals, Marlins and A’s are all over .500, and are all in the bottom ten payrolls in the league. Not to mention all are very alive in the playoff races.

If the season ended today, four of the eight playoff teams would come from the bottom eleven in payroll (Rays, Indians, Marlins, Reds). On the other side, only three would be coming from the top eight in payroll (Angels, Phillies and Giants).

What does this all mean? Talent wins in baseball and not always how much you pay for that talent. If money was how you win, the Yankees would win every year, but they don’t. That makes me very happy. I love to see underdogs win. I love the fact that some of the lower payroll teams won’t be trading away all of their talent this season to teams who will pay whatever it takes. Baseball is stronger than ever right now.

Click here to link to a chart that shows  where all 30 teams in major league baseball rank in payroll and where they are currently in the standings. Is your team over or under achieving?”

Stephen Strasburg, Randy Johnson and Loek van Mil….?

Loek van Mil

You’re probably wondering what these guys have in common.   I read an interesting article the other day about a 26 year old pitcher who’s been working out in spring training with the Anaheim Angels (oops, sorry,  NKA Los Angeles Angels)   His name’s Loek van Mil and he was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2005  to a 7 year contract.  There was a minor setback in spring training, as it took the Twins some time to find pants for the  taller than tall,  7 ‘1″ ballplayer.   Reminds me when my middle son, Dave, had to wear his tennis shoes in U. S. Army Basic Training while he waited for his special-order Size 16 boots to come in.  I mean, wouldn’t you think that’s something they would have thought about when they signed him up?   Anyhow, Loek pitched for the Dutch National Team in 2007  at the Baseball World Cup.  He then became a member of the Dutch Team for the 2008 Olympics, but was injured before the games began and started the 2009 season in rehab.  He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Brian Fuentes in 2010 and has struggled with several health issues, mainly shoulder tendinitis.   So here’s a pitcher who has potential, but for some reason has never really been able to capitalize on his physical abilities.  His incredible height, which should be considered a real advantage for a pitcher (I mean, the ball’s half way to the plate before he ever lets go of it!) has not appeared to to be an advantage at all.   Contrast this with Stephen Strasburg, the rookie pitching phenom for the Washington Nationals, who, at age 22, capitalized on his tremendous potential beginning in June, 2010, by being the starting  pitcher in 12 games, for 68 innings, 92 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.91.  Amazing statistics.  But it doesn’t end well.   Young Strasburg ended up with an inflamed shoulder in July,  and then a torn ligament in August requiring surgery  and 12-18 months rehab.   Strasburg is rumored to be returning to play in September, 2011.     And then there’s Randy Johnson who retired from baseball in 2009 at the age of 46.   He was a five-time Cy Young Award winner and a 10-time

Randy Johnson

All-Star and won a World Series ring.   But like van Mil and Strasburg, Johnson’s  road to success wasn’t easy.  ESPN reported that Johnson ” looked so awkward on the mound, early in his career, that …..he fired a blazing fastball in every direction but the strike zone”.   And, like van Mil and Strasburg, he was plagued with injuries throughout his career.   That’s what they have in common.  When I first read about Loek van Mil and the troubles he’s already having, before even being considered an actual Major Leaguer, and the problems that Stephen Strasburg encountered from the very beginning in his young Major League career, I tried to parallel it with what I knew about Randy Johnson’s career.   I really like the idea of a 7′ 1″ pitcher having a successful pitching career.  It would be great for baseball!   And I really like the idea of young Strasburg coming back and legitimately challenging every batter he encounters to the point of it being ridiculous.   It would be great for baseball!   (Not to mention how great it would be for the Washington Nationals) !   Okay, I admit it.  I guess what I’m really hoping for is another Randy Johnson.  Now that would be really great for baseball!

2010 Sports Illustrated “Year in Sports”

I thought this article was interesting probably because I’d already blogged on several of  the top 10 items as they happened( See my previous blogs on the Giants, Jim JoyceStephen Strasburg, the Managers and the players salaries).   This article from Sports Illustrated was well written and I wanted to share it with you.   GFBB
Written by:  Al Tielemans, Sports Illustrated December 22, 2010

1. A title for San Francisco. The Giants won their first World Series since 1954, but their first since moving from New York to San Francisco for the 1958 season. After torturous World Series defeats in 1962 (losing Game 7 to the Yankees with the winning run on base), 1989 (when an earthquake struck before Game 3) and 2002 (losing a potential Game 6 clincher after holding a five-run lead with nine outs to go), San Francisco rolled through the postseason on the strength of dominant homegrown pitching and a sprinkling of long-awaited good fortune. The Giants secured six of their 11 postseason wins without scoring more than three runs. Six games out of first place as late as Aug. 22, the Giants’ 32-15 run to the title Continue reading