Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still Real

Hoo boy, did we ever get Livaned. I kind of enjoyed it, I have to admit, and I would have enjoyed it even more if the big guy had hit a triple or something. Did you see that crap he was throwing, those slide whistle curveballs? I miss it. It's still real to me, dammit.

I'm not going to enjoy so much losing to Santana, but what can you do? Sometimes the unstoppable force meets the unthreatening, barely noticed object.

Meanwhile, here's something about how glad I am Daniel Cabrera's gone. There's some other nonsense in there too, including ancient Chinese wisdom. I buy it in bulk and pass the savings on to you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And the Feeling's Right

I just realized that it's ¡Livan! Night! It's a night of divided loyalties and gelatinous, 80 mph fastballs, and it should be a natinal holiday. I love ¡Livan! so damn much, and it hurts me that he's a Met now. And this time he's going up against my man Craig Stammen, so my loyalties aren't as divided as they usually are on ¡Livan! Night.

Please indulge me - I'm going to get all nostalgic for minute. Here is the entirety of my favorite post about Livan and maybe my favorite post ever.
I got nothing today. But I tell you who did have something was my main man Livan, who went 3 for 4 with a homer and two doubles. I'm sure you're aware of this, but he's a pitcher. And sure, maybe his pitching wasn't so hot, but some of that was Joey Eischen's fault, and the rest of it you can cram up your ass because Livan rules.
And here's my heartfelt tribute after the ugly SOB got traded, sacrificed to the stern principles of the Youth Movement.
Whatever age ¡Livan! is -- let's say 38 -- he was such a youthful 38 that we all agreed to call him 31, but I guess that's not youthful enough for the movement.
Good times. But now I hope he's awful enough that Stammen gets the win and stays in the rotation forever.

It turns out that the best resource on the internets for information about El Cubano Gordo y Feo is (of all things) Who's Dated Who, a website I'd never heard of until doing a Google search to see if ol' Distinguished Senators figures anywhere in the results for a search for "Livan" (it does not). They get his age wrong - they have 34, when the correct figure is "34" - but there is a downright disturbing wealth of information there. Height, weight, profession, religion ("Christian" - if you want more detail than that, you have to go to another site). You can vote how good a date he is; there is currenly one vote, a 10. I will not deny that it is mine.

Who's ¡Livan! been dating? I hadn't been wondering, but now I know, and there are pictures too. I have not yet voted in the contest to determine "Livan's Best Romance." Other features: commentary on the great man's love life by such internet experts as "MiamiPapi" and "no1diamondback fan"; a list of his eye-opening quotations presented free of encumbering context ("It's hard to beat that team"); and a fairly puzzling "Related Profiles" section. This is totally going in the links if I ever get around to updating them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Once Preferred A Human Being's Company

I spent most of my weekend in Natstown, just like they're always telling me to - I was there Saturday and Sunday. I'd recommend it, as long as you don't have to get on the Metro afterward. Some observations:
  • I'm estimating 40% Orioles fans.
  • Ryan Zimmerman is good at baseball.
  • The ovation for the troops each day was the only thing the crowd could agree on and the longest anyone seemed interested in anything. It would have gone on for ten minutes on Saturday if the announcer hadn't started yakking about someone coming up to bat.
  • The presidents race actually is pretty entertaining. I know I'm supposed to be all jaded and from the internet, but what can I say? On Saturday, Teddy had the thing wrapped up until that damn Oriole bird came out of the crowd and tackled him. I wasn't not entertained.
  • Those statues out in front of the park? They're starting to come to life, and I think they're going to kill everyone.
I noticed a report over at Nationals Pride that the Walter Johnson statue has a crack. I checked, and it's true. I can only assume that all three statues are gradually breaking away from their bases, and that they will eventually come to life with malice in their stony hearts. Wielding their poop-covered bats and extra arms as weapons, they will wreak havoc on all around them. Watch out, Ray Knight and Johnny Holliday.

Please enjoy the awesome reflection effect, which was totally intentional. Note how the crack cuts right through those Nationals fans, reflecting the heartbreak that we've all experienced since we've started following this team.
Who is the mysterious woman reflected in the base of the statue? I don't know, but she looks as though she's pissed that the Orioles lost and she wants to get the hell out of there.
Typical Nats incompetence! I went around to the back of the statue and found another crack.

Get it?
And here is a small cat that is asleep.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Relief

I'm kind of relieved that Manny let a starter blow a lead for once. Really.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Favorite Nat

Apparently Jordan Zimmermann addresses John Lannan as "Eyebrows." If I were ever talking to Lannan, I wouldn't have the stones to say that, but I'd sure as hell be thinking it. Dude looks like a Batman villain's henchman.

Why yes, they are real. Why do you ask?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Dream

I made the mistake of watching the Nats game on Monday night, and I kept thinking of the Dusty Finish.

The Dusty Finish is a professional wrestling booking technique popularized by jive-talking fat man Dusty Rhodes. Basically, you make the crowd think that the good guy has won and maybe even taken the title from the bad guy (usually Ric Flair). Then, some pro-wrestling nonsense happens (double disqualification, whimsical act by an authority figure, etc.) and the decision is reversed. The crowd, having seen its dearest hopes fulfilled and then dashed, went home pissed. It is said that excessive use of the Dusty Finish killed off entire towns for Rhodes' employers. Even people who are willing to pay money to watch dudes pretend to fight will put up with only so much.

Above: Dusty Rhodes says some things about Elvis that probably aren't true, threatens Jerry Lawler with 17 dancing go-go bears

Did you watch that game last night? It was awful. Ross Detwiler, a recent first round draft pick, made his first major league start, and he really looked out of place. By which I mean he threw strikes and didn't suck. I was excited - finally something was going right. How did the team respond to this breath of fresh air? Well, they committed three errors and blew the hell out of a lead that would have given Detwiler the win. Manny Acta did his part as well, foolishly pulling his starter after five innings, six strikeouts, and no walks. His reasoning made me despair.
...if I have to keep a Class AA guy out there because I don't want to go to my big league bullpen, that's really scary.
Yeah, it is scary, and a good manager would adapt that this situation. You know, maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. As soon as Garret Mock walked the first post-Detwiler batter on four pitchers, we all knew what was coming. It was like I thought Kerry Von Erich was finally going to win the belt from that strutting bastard Ric Flair until the ref got knocked out and reality set in.

The Nationals are booking a Dusty Finish every night, and it's killing baseball in this town. Attendance is in the crapper and TV ratings (I assume) are still terrible - people will find other ways to divert themselves. Take, for instance, me. I like baseball a lot more than most people. I'll watch just about anything. But last night when the Pirates scored their thirtieth or fortieth run (I stopped keeping track pretty early into the implosion), I said to myself, "I don't have to watch this shit. I've got better things to do." And I said that last part even though I totally didn't have better things to do - how long would someone who actually did stick around?

Here's a thing about how much I hate Daniel Cabrera. Well, hate isn't the right word. I mean, it's not like I think he's a bad person because . . . no, wait. Never mind. Hate is the right word, and I do think he's a bad person. It's from last week, but not a damn thing has changed in the interim. There something timeless about Daniel Cabrera sucks articles.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Rhymes

So Tom Boswell has for a while been making arguments that the Nats shouldn't draft Stephen Strasburg. Whatever. Neither I nor anyone else listens to anything Boz has to say - you've got to wonder how a polished, embarrassed journalist like "Chico" Harlan feels about some crusty old sportswriter straight out of central casting intruding on his blog. But anyway, he did it again today by pointing out that it's hard to tell who's going to be a hall of famer. Which is inarguable, really. Whether or not it has anything to do with the situation at hand can be determined by looking at who wrote the damn thing.

The important thing to remember here is that Boswell isn't trying to talk us out of unreasonable, slavering enthusiasm about Strasburg; he's trying to talk himself out of unreasonable, slavering enthusiasm. You know how Boz gets - he's not exactly balanced when it comes to what's been one of his two favorite baseball teams for more than several years.

Anyway, here's something I wrote about the pert, supple back end of the Nationals' pitching rotation. I gotta admit, I like this one. It's short, it's light on "facts" and "analysis" and all that other crap that internet baseball writing has made me so tired of, and it employs a hell of sophisticated literary device where I'm talking about one thing but I make it sound like I'm talking about something else. What is that thing? Here's a hint: it rhymes with ass.