I had a chance to cover the Washington Nationals during the NLDS playoffs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. Here are the articles:
Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category
The Washington Nationals are in the MLB playoffs for the first time in 79 years; the Baltimore Orioles are in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Read why I think D.C. fans should not root for the O’s, despite the great times they’ve given us in the past when we didn’t have a team. http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/10/08/washington-nationals-fans-should-never-root-for-baltimore-orioles-period/.
ESPN The Magazine’s Howard Bryant just trashed Washington, D.C. as a sports town. It’s too much to go into, but the article is pretty weak. If you want to read an article about D.C. as a sports town by a Washingtonian, see http://bleacherreport.com/articles/914880-washington-dc-not-just-a-redskins-town-but-a-great-sports-city.
Also see an article about D.C.’s top stars: Robert Griffin III, Alex Ovechkin, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and John Wall:
This makes me sick. Jim Riggleman is right that he deserves an extension, but it would have been better if he had just stayed. It’s too bad.
Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned Thursday after the Nats beat Seattle 1-0 at Nationals Park. The shocking move came as Washington won for the 11th time in 12 games, and surpassed the .500 mark for the first time this late in a season since their inaugural season of 2005.
In a post-game press conference, general manager Mike Rizzo said that Riggleman, who has worked on one-year contracts since taking over the team in 2009, told him before the game that if he did not get a contract extension he would resign after the game.
“Jim told me pregame today that if we wouldn’t pick up his option he wouldn’t get on the team bus today, ” Rizzo said.
Jayson Werth, who was called out at home in the first inning trying to tag up on a Zimmerman fly ball in a controversial call, was unfazed by Riggleman’s resignation. Werth was quoted by the Associated Press after the game as saying, “It’s not going to change anything in here. We’re the ones that have been making the pitches and hitting the balls and winning the ballgames, so we’re going to keep going.” Werth, who called for changes on the Nats in May, is hitting .235 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI.
Werth makes approximately $18 million per year, which is about 30 times more than Riggleman’s $600,000 salary. Werth, Strasburg, and 18-year old phenom Bryce Harper are all clients of agent Scott Boras.
I’m not saying that’s the whole reason but it’s part of it. To read the rest of my article on examiner.com, click here.
Is Michael Wilbon going the way of Keith Olbermann? With his fame he has become progressively more arrogant on the air. Today on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, he told Tony Kornheiser, “How pathetic. A New Yorker slurping a five-year old Washington D.C. franchise? Pathetic.” Wait, what? Both Wilbon and Kornheiser have spent more than 30 years in D.C. and are constantly disassociating themselves from the city and talking about how they love their hometowns, Chicago and New York. But at what point do you become a Washingtonian? Kornheiser has spent more than half his sports fan life in D.C., because you don’t really become a fan until you’re at least around 7. Wilbon has spent about 30 of his 45 years as a sports fan in D.C. Wilbon, you have it wrong. Anyone can like the Yankees (i.e. fair weather fans). You get more respect when you root for a perennial loser rather than jumping on bandwagons. And all Kornheiser did was mention that it was the anniversary of Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut. It’s weird seeing Wilbon up there on NBA panels with experts like Jon Barry and Magic Johnson. Why isn’t Jalen Rose up there instead of Wilbon? He thinks the more you yell, the more accurate your opinions are. It’s a shame, because Wilbon and Kornheiser both used to be good writers. June 9, 2011 – Wilbon jumps the shark.
Should a Washington, D.C. sportsradio station broadcast Baltimore Orioles games? WTEM ESPN 980 does – they have the contract for two seasons. I find it strange because the Orioles tried to prevent Washington from getting a team for so many years. ESPN 980 doesn’t talk much about the Nats except when they have their beat reporter on. They talk even less about the O’s, which is appropriate, but then it seems strange to air the games and never talk about the O’s. I guess my problem is with all the Washingtonians who are O’s fans. Why not be loyal to your hometown team? I interviewed the station’s Program Director, Chuck Sapienza about ESPN 980’s decision to air O’s games. Here’s the interview on Examiner.com.
2010 was another typical year for D.C. area sports teams. That is to say, there wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about, other than a great regular season by the Capitals and some above-average seasons by local college teams.
It was a disappointing debut for coach Mike Shanahan, whose Redskins finished 6-10, losing seven of their last nine games. Shanahan traded a second and a fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb, who had his worst season since his rookie year.
The Caps won the President’s Trophy for the most points in the NHL during the regular season, but then crashed and burned in the playoffs, losing to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens in seven games.
The Nats finished with a losing record (69-93) for the fifth time in their six-season existence. Rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg did not disappoint, striking out 14 in his major league debut en route to a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 2.91 with 92 strikeouts in 68 innings.
To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.
The Washington Nationals signed free agent outfielder Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million deal Sunday, a contract that is the 13th-largest in major league history and will end when Werth is 38.
Werth hit 27 home runs and drove in 85 runs last year for the Philadelphia Phillies. He also hit .296, stole 54 bases, and had a National League-leading 46 doubles for the NL East division champs. The Nationals had to overpay Werth to attract him to Washington, which has averaged 99 losses the past three seasons.
The move comes after the Nationals refused to resign slugger Adam Dunn to a four-year contract and allowed him to sign with the Chicago White Sox for four years and $56 million. Washington offered Dunn a three-year deal and $35 million at the end of the 2010 season.
Dunn was a consistent power hitter during his two seasons with the Nationals, hitting 38 home runs each season with 105 and 103 runs batted in. Dunn has more home runs over the past decade (354) than all but three major league players and hit 38 homers or more in each of the last eight seasons.
Werth is a good player, but the Nats should have kept Dunn.
For a franchise that has never had a winning season, struggled with mediocre attendance, plays games on a TV station that has no programming at all during certain times of the day, and features a vacant lot full of broken concrete instead of restaurants and bars across from its stadium, the Nats haven’t catered much to the wishes of the fans, who clearly wanted Dunn to stay. Dunn wanted to remain a Nat as well.
Dunn will continue to chew gum, blow bubbles and use his relaxed swing to slam colossal home runs over the fence, but it will be in Chicago, not Washington. Meanwhile, Werth will try to prove he is worth the Nats’ investment.
To see the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.
The Washington Nationals announced Friday that rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg has a significantly torn ligament in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery. The surgery would most likely sideline Strasburg for 2011 season although it is possible he could return late in the year.
Strasburg, called one of the best pitching prospects in history, finished his rookie season with a record of 5-3, an ERA of 2.91, and 92 strikeouts in 12 starts. His strikeout to walk ratio was an incredible 5.4 to 1. Strasburg’s fastball was clocked over 100 miles per hour and his curve baffled experienced hitters. Strasburg pitched 123 innings this season and the Nationals had planned to shut him down for the year after 160 innings.
The 22-year old rookie right-hander created a buzz around the Nationals that hadn’t been experienced in their six years of existence, with attendance up significantly during Strasburg’s starts. When Strasburg started at home, the Nationals averaged 34,270 fans, nearly double the 17,190 the Nats averaged for other games.
Strasburg was spectacular in his major league debut June 8, striking out 14 and walking none in seven innings in a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh at Nationals Park.
For the rest of my article on Examiner.com, please click here.
Washington’s ninth inning rally came up short as the Nationals lost their third straight game, 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs on a rare cool August evening Tuesday at Nationals Park.
With temperatures in the 60s, starter John Lannan (5-6) gave up two home runs to the bottom half of the Cubs’ lineup.
Meanwhile, Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano (5-6) pitched seven innings, striking out eight, and giving up just one run.
In the second inning, former Nat Alfonso Soriano hit a high three-run homer to left field, his 20th, off a Lannan breaking ball.
To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, please click here.