The unofficial home of "Neil and the Rushmore Four"!

Image Hosted by

Current Weather & Forecast (plan your gameday!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Random Thoughts for Wednesday

1) I'd like to apologize to starter Jordan Zimmermann for continually misspelling his name the other night. (As this blog is, obviously, the linchpin in the Nat-mosphere, he will notice this immediately and sleep much more soundly, I'm sure). I'll have to come up with a mnemonic device to remember how to spell his last name and Ryan Zimmerman's last name. Let's see...

"Ryan" has one "n", and "Jordan" "n". Rats. That won't work.

Ah, I've got it! Ryan was our first "Z-man", and Jordan is our second "Z-mann". Get it? How's THAT for clever?

2) Oh, and while I'm on the subject of spelling and words, I think that the debate has been settled by no less authority than the Nationals themselves. The term shall, henceforth, be known as the "Nat-mosphere", not the "Nat-o-sphere" because, as we all saw last week, the Nats have no "o". I like how some have interpreted that uniform "o"-mission (pun seriously intended) to be a veiled swipe at Peter Angelos and the Baltimore Orioles, especially those Orioles fans who insist upon shouting "O!" during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, which disrespects the song, in my opinion. Hey, do the Atlanta fans shout "braves!" at the end of the song? Not that I've heard of.

3) [Jerry Seinfeld voice] "What's the deal with Comcast and MASN 2? Every....single...time...I try to set my DVR to record a Nats game on MASN 2, Comcast has the listings for that time slot(s) as "Book World", or "Tonight from Washington", or some such listing, rather than "MLB Baseball". [/END Jerry Seinfeld voice] So I wind up having to record HOURS of "U.S. Senate" feed from C-SPAN (Congratulations to Christopher Hill, confirmed by the Senate as our new Ambassador to Iraq on a 73-23 vote, by the way.) I don't know if MASN 2 is at fault or Comcast, but for crying out loud, someone needs to get their act together on this.

4) Personal gripe: Why on earth didn't the Nationals postpone Monday night's game? The weather forecast had been for rain and thunderstorms for several days before Monday, and it just seems ludicrous to have put everyone through the wet misery of that rain game. Oh, sure, it turned out well, the Nats won after all, but in front of how many fans? A bus-load, perhaps? This made no sense on several grounds:

A) The opponent was Atlanta. We play them several more times this season, it should be very easy to make that game up, unlike a visiting west coast team, for example, which only visits us once.

B) It was a Monday night, for goodness sake, the day of the week which usually has the lowest-attendance anyway. This was like a gift from the rain Gods! Make up the game on a Saturday or Sunday as a double-header when the crowds are better.

C) April games here have lower-attendance, because the kids are still in school. Make that game up in June, July, or August and you are guaranteed a larger crowd. Even if it rains then, you already have more people in the ballpark spending money on food and trying to keep their kids amused.

I can understand if it was after Labor Day, and you really have no opportunities to make up the game, or getting an umpiring crew in is difficult, but it's April!

I say that this was a bad call. Did the team stores and the vendors really make money that night? I think not. I think that they lost money that could have been recouped 10-fold during the summer.

5) The Nationals REALLY have to work on Metro and the last-train departures. I really do feel sorry for those poor fans who went to Monday night's rain game who took Metro and were forced to leave before the end of the game, lest they miss their trains. They deserved to see the end, to see that win. My gosh, that's like taking a girl out on a date for four and a half hours, and then another guy gets to drive her home.

Take heed, Nats-fans-who-Metro: Watch the weather reports. If there's even a possibility of a 2-hour rain delay during a night game, you run the risk of missing the end of the game.

6) Much has been made of the gesture of the Little Leaguers who want to pay Elijah Duke's $500 fine, and I have mixed feelings about that. While it is a generous and laudable gesture on their part to want to send a message to the club (and to Dukes) that they were grateful for his time spent with them, people have to remember that he was PAID for his appearance (from what I've read). And Dukes probably makes more on his contract than all of the Little Leaguers parents, collectively, per annum. At least the Nats will give the money to charity or towards their charitable works, but I dunno, something about that still irks me a little bit. My respect for Dukes as a person went up after I read about all of this, though.

7) There have been some calls in certain quarters for the Nationals to fire Manager Manny Acta due to this poor start, and because these critics don't feel as though he can get the club to a consistent winning level. I am not one of those people. Granted, I'm no expert, but of all of the problems with the club at this time, I don't believe that the Manager is one of them. It is still a very young club. All along, I've felt that 2009 was the watershed year, the year that the club loses all benefit of the doubts of the past several years (i.e. no owner, playing in the canyon of old R.F.K. stadium, etc..) 2008 was a real setback, with all of the injuries, but I don't think that firing Manny is going to solve any problems, either real or imagined. I like Manny's character, his self-discipline and the integrity that he projects and the respect that he has from other baseball people. He's like a young Joe Gibbs in a baseball uniform with a Spanish accent, in that regard (Manny's a LOT taller, though). We do not need to bring in some loud-mouthed egoist who wants to see his name in the sports pages every day, some strutting martinet on a power-trip.

For the critics, especially in this political town, maybe it would be easier to think of Manny Acta like Barack Obama: a good, highly-competant guy who has inherited a lot of big problems. No, he's not going to please everybody, but I have to believe that there are much worse alternatives.


An Briosca Mor said...

Hey, do the Atlanta fans shout "braves!" at the end of the song? Not that I've heard of.I have a friend from Atlanta who says they do.

Joe Riley said...

Frankly, I'm not surprised. It kind of seemed obvious to me, but I've never seen it translate to Braves fans at Nats home games.

I suppose I just figured that Braves fans were more respectful of our national anthem than Orioles fans.

Hey, if we lived in Georgia and rooted for the Braves, we might hear this all of the time. Who knows?

Song of the moment - Celebrating the longest homestand of the season

Survey of the Moment