Friday, April 17, 2015

This Is Rickey Calling on Behalf of Giant Foam Rickey

Instead of presidents or pierogis or whatever, the A's have racing A's.
Left to right: Who Cares, Who Cares, RICKEY!
That's all well and good, but one of them is Rickey Henderson. How in the hell is Rickey ever going to lose a footrace to Dennis Eckersley? I guess I can suspend my disbelief to the point that it's plausible for William Howard Taft to beat Abe Lincoln, but let's be real here: This shouldn't be a contest. Ever.

Giant foam Rickey beats giant foam Eckersley every time. Real Rickey beats real Eckersley every time. Giant foam Rickey beats real Eckersley every time. The only way Rickey loses that race is if they pay him like Mike Gallego, in which case he'll run like Gallego. Pay Rickey!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I Wake Up Every Morning and I Craig Craig Craig

It looks my Nats comeback fever dream is going to need a new grizzled veteran, since Craig Stammen is on the disabled list with "forearm tightness."

"Forearm tightness" is the baseball equivalent of Clemenza telling you, "Oh, Paulie . . . won't see him no more." It's bad. Like, leave the ligament take the cannoli bad.

This might be my last chance for this to make any kind of sense, so I'm going to share the song that goes through my head every single time I hear "Craig Stammen." It's hell being me.
Craig can give you stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina stamina

This is a bad development, obviously, even though the work that would have been done by Stammen(a) has been handed over to a Heart-Warming Story. I've been a big fan of Stammen ever since 2009, when while he wasn't actually very good, he was the only dude on the whole damn roster who would throw two strikes in a row. I guess that was the Daniel Cabrera year.

This situation brought up a tangential issue: Where am I supposed to get my news? The official website is 50% ads and 100% useless. Bill Ladson's blog is somehow less up do date than mine. I used to rely on the Washington Post's Nationals Journal, but all of a sudden they want me to pay actual, real life money to read their internet blog about a baseball team.

And I'm all, "Sorry, man, but I'm from the internet, and I don't pay two dollars and fifty cents (American!) for baseball news. You jockjaws still got Chico Harlan over there? Oh for real? Yeah, I'm not paying you."

For now I'm relying on Mark Zuckerman at Nats Insider combined with however much of Bob Carpenter I can stand to listen to before I hit mute.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brightside

It's not all bad. Here's a list of all the things we can happy about. Yes, there are only four things we can be happy about.
  • We have the same record as the Marlins, and according the staff of the Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins are going to be pretty good this year.
  • Matt Williams shook up the lineup AND brought in Blake Treinen in the seventh inning. I mean, the Treinen thing certainly (spectacularly!) didn't work, but it proves that Williams was paying attention. I had been wondering about that.
  • Denard Span is on his way back to solve a problem that we don't really have.
  • It's an early game today, so we can just get it over with and then get on with our day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rock Bottom

This is rock bottom, right? I have to think that after a humiliating butt-whipping like that, highlighted by no one catching any baseballs, things were tense in the locker room. Maybe some personal issues that had been simmering for years boiled over, like Tyler Moore took a swing at Jose Lobaton because of the time they were at the mall together and Lobaton ran into some of his friends from Tampa and ditched Tyler.

Artist's conception of the Nationals hitting rock bottom at the hands of the Red Sox as John Farrell looks on
And then after they pull Moore off of the backup catcher, a grizzled veteran stands up. Slowly, since he's all covered in ice packs because he's so grizzled. I'm thinking Craig Stammen.

So Stammen says something about how it hasn't always been easy playing for the Nationals. He's had to deal with leather pants, fireworks going off course and exploding the fire chief, and even the FBI poking around. But none of that was as humiliating as Mookie Betts stealing second and then just helping himself to third because there wasn't anyone there. Does this team even have any coaches, Stammen wonders aloud.

But look, Stammen says, visibly restraining his emotions, this could be our last chance, and I'm not going to sit here and watch you guys blow it by being completely terrible all the time. It's time for us to band together and learn about teamwork! It doesn't matter if you're about to be a free agent and can't wait to get out of here, or if you look like a little kid, or even if you're Dan Uggla. Together, we can do this!

And then everyone says "Yeah!" and Lobaton and Moore hug and then the song kicks in and we get a montage where the Nats win twenty in a row, interspersed with hilarious lighthearted pranks and capped off by a scene where it's the World Series and we're playing Boston and we redeem ourselves by not letting Mookie Betts pants us and we win!

So that's something to look forward to, and it all starts tonight.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Real Victim

If only these guys could hear how sad they're making F.P., I bet they'd play better. It's just heart-breaking.

The Art of Storytelling

So here's the thing when you're dealing with a screenplay. Suppose you've written one, an inspiring true story of a young man who escapes from an oppressive regime, wins the World Series, gains 200 pounds, and becomes hero to millions.

Naturally, a bidding war ensues. The winner, rather than just filming the thing and preserving your vision, sends it around to be "punched up." Like, they send it to David Mamet for more swears or whatever. It hurts, seeing your vision adulterated like that, but it's the kind of compromise you have to make if you want to get things.

The Nationals are currently relying on the following script:
Act 1: A National hits a solo home run
Act 2: The Nats white knuckle it until the ninth and hope the other team doesn't manage to score, like, two runs
Act 3: The other team scores, like, two runs
~Fin~

I don't like it, and I bet you don't either. Clearly it's time for Jayson Werth to take on the David Mamet role and punch up this script with some swears, by which I mean dingers. Or least hits. Something, for God's sake.

The Nats get their chance to punch up the script this afternoon against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello. The important thing here - and I don't think I can overemphasize this - that Rick Porcello's name is Italian for Rick Piglet. Rick Piglet!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Further Voting

I did the Mets too.

And here are the Marlins.
Up next: Diamondbacks, Greatest Living Players, Rockies, MLB Pioneers.

Write In ¡Livan!

It's time to vote for the Franchise Four, the fun, official activity that reminds us that this franchise doesn't have any history to speak of! Each team has eight candidates, and you get to choose four.

Except for Nats fans, who get to pick Ryan Zimmerman and three Expos.

At least it's an opportunity for education. I didn't even know who Steve Rogers was until yesterday, even though he might be the most 80s-looking ballplayer in major league history.

So I give credit to MLB for raising awareness of dudes who played in Canada 30 years ago and for having the intellectual discipline to go with the actual best players in franchise history rather than trying to appeal to their current paying customers.

I will point out, however, that the candidates list has a glaring, gelatinous omission. There's a pear-shaped hole in the ballot, but together we can fill it. #WriteIn¡Livan!
Click to enlarge the official Distinguished Senators ballot

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Delay

The game was delayed, so I resorted to watching Austin Powers for a little bit. Remember the part where Powers and Elizabeth Hurley are talking about all the stuff he missed while he was frozen? One of the things she mentions is "the first female British prime minister."

(This isn't my main point, but this is a British person talking to an ostensibly British person, so saying "British prime minister" is kind of clunky. Who's your favorite American president?)

Later, when Powers is being tempted by the fembots and trying not to let his spyboner distract him from his mission, there's a "think about baseball" gag - Austin shouts "Maggie Thatcher naked on a cold day!" twice.

But he had never even heard of Margaret Thatcher until half an hour before that happened. I suppose it's possible that Elizabeth Hurley showed him a picture, and he found her so revolting that she instantly became his go-to debonerfication aid, but I don't find that convincing.

So then I did watch the game and holy crap did you see Ryan Zimmerman catch that bunt? That was awesome! He dove for that thing like a Secret Service agent leaping in front of a bullet.

Like the first game, it went according to plan. The pitching was good, the real players were good, and the ragtag bunch of misfits standing in for the other real players didn't do a whole lot. And we won! Not only did we win, in fact, but we beat a pitcher who looks like the next Tim Lincecum.

By which I mean that he literally looks like Tim Lincecum.