Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, January 03, 2005


It's Awards Night here at Distinguished Senators. I'm wearing my tux, Joan Rivers is standing outside, and the blogosphere's brightest stars have come out to shine. Our first award:

The Capitol Steps Award for Lamest "Funny" D.C. Team Name. First, the runners-up.
  • "Meanwhile, pundits are all atwitter over what the name of the new D.C. team should be. How about the Washington Porkers?" Michelle Malkin, Sept. 30.
  • "MLB has assured that the Washington Lobbyists . . ." Peter Gammons, Oct. 4.
  • " . . . to discuss becoming the interim GM of the Washington Kerrys." Gammons again, Oct. 26.
  • And the winner is: "I've been trying to come up with a good name for the new team, and I think I finally have it. It respects the history of the franchise and also fits with the new city: The Washington Exposés!" David Pinto, Baseball Musings, Sept. 29.
There were a lot more floating around than just these, but sifting through them was having a deadening effect on my soul.

The Ron Santo Award for Unthinking Homerism. The runners-up are . . .
  • "If and when the Montreal Expos are moved, somebody somewhere is going to be getting a pretty good franchise -- one that is chock full of solid, young players under club control for several more years (Jose Vidro, Nick Johnson, et al.), a farm system full of highly touted prospects and a refreshing lack of debt obligations in the form of long-term contracts." Dave Sheinin, Washington Post, Aug. 29.
  • "Tell me Bowden isn't cleaning the Orioles' clocks so far?" George Solomon, Post, Nov. 21.
  • "Will General Manager Jim Bowden make another flashy offseason free agent acquisition? He's already added Vinny Castilla, who led the National League in RBI last season with 131, and Jose Guillen, who had 104 RBI for Anaheim. That's a heart of the order right there. He got a fine young shortstop in Cristian Guzman, too." Thomas Boswell, Post, Nov. 30.
  • And the winner, from the same column: "If this is what Bowden does on a shoestring, who will this crazy guy grab if he ever actually knows what his budget is?" Boswell again. It was slim pickins this year, as the Post didn't switch to drooling fanboy mode until they were pretty sure we were getting the team. Expect it to get worse soon.
The Baseball Prospectus Award for Smug, Poorly Reasoned Anti-Nats Hackery. Amazingly, all of our finalists for his award write for Baseball Prospectus. Should I cancel my subscription? Should you? Anyway, here they are:
  • "New D.C. name? How about the D.C. Vultures, in honor of those nice folks who descended on the team every season like ugly birds hovering over carrion." Jonah Keri, Oct. 12. Keri doesn't win because I cut Expos fans a lot of slack for stuff like this. If I were them, I'd be doing the exact same thing.
  • Talking about the contract mess the Yankees have gotten themselves into: "Sounds like the Washington Expos are going to be taking on a lot of bad contracts." Steven Goldman, Oct. 25.
  • "The Expos might be one of the worst teams ever next year, because it's hard to see how they get anything done this offseason." Joe Sheehan, Oct. 26.
  • And the winner, a late entry and a wish for the new year "That things in D.C., generally speaking, go horribly wrong for the Nationals." Dayn Perry, Dec. 31.
The Nostradumbass Award for Egregiously Bad Prediction (with apologies to Andrew Sullivan). This is perhaps our most prestigious award, and if you've been paying attention to this humble blog, I think you know who's going to win. And have the award renamed after him. Lots of runners-up!
  • "We're very optimistic, and expect this to be settled in the next three, four weeks." D.C. Sports 'n' Entertainment Commission Chair Mark Tuohey, July 9.
  • "Barry Bonds is going to get screwed out the MVP this year, no diggity. Scott Rolen is about to find himself in the right place at the right time, Miggy T style." Ryan Moore, July 25.
  • "This makes it very, very hard indeed for me to imagine the judge permitting an Expos move to Washington in time for preparations to begin this off-season . . . If the suit is somehow settled in the next couple of months, the move can, of course, happen at once. It could also happen if the arbitrator delivered a quick ruling strongly in favour of MLB that left no further avenue of appeal, or if the judge peremptorily closed off the 'injunctive relief' part of the suit. But, all in all, Selig & Co. seem to have left their hardest problem for last here." Colby Cosh, Sept. 29. Of course, RICO turned out to be the easiest problem.
  • ". . . yes, its the Grays." Will Carroll, commenting on Ball Wonk, Oct. 30. He expunged this prediction from his own blog, or else I would have used that instead.
  • "Call me crazy, but I'm making plans for Opening Day 2005 in Montreal." Neil deMause, Field of Schemes, Aug. 11.
  • ". . . after the World Series (Astros in six, and good for them) . . ." Ryan Moore, Oct. 20.
  • "[D.C. would] be no fun anyway, surely naming their team the Senators . . ." Will Carroll, June 28.
  • And the suprise winner of the instantaneously renamed Will Carroll Memorial Nostradumbass Award for Egregiously Bad Prediction *drumroll* "DC’s bid is dead." Will Carroll, June 28.
Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to the runners-up for reaching for the stars only to come up just short. Maybe next year. Anything I missed? Any stupid prediction, unfunny team name, any foolish statement made with the unconditional love of the homer? That's what the comments are for.


Ryan said...

Yeah, I guess you could read this whole blog as one man's descent into insanity. Oh well, I wasn't using my sanity anywa.

Anonymous said...

What, no honorary mention for Gabe Paul's description of the 450 "stunning acres" of Diamond Lake, complete with playful, choreographed fountains a la Bellagio [Gabe Paul, Brian Hannigan, producer]?

Ryan said...

You're right - I completely left out the late, unlamented Loudoun Cabal. Hal Bodley, too. What was the Cabal's finest moment? So many to choose from . . .

Anonymous said...

I'll dig some up.

Micheal Frey saying that the DC proposal isn't worth the paper its printed on comes immediately to mind.

Anonymous said...

What was the Cabal's finest moment? So many to choose from...I think I'd have to go with their comments about how baseball in the metro area could be profitable almost completely on attendance from northern Virginia. And had the Loudoun park been built, attendance would indeed have been almost completely from northern Virginia...well, except for a few brave souls from Martinsburg. Although I have it on good word that had Collins bought the Expos, he also planned to take controlling interest in White's Ferry near Poolesville, since it would've been the most accessible way for Marylanders to get to the ballpark.

Anonymous said...

From Micheal Laris in the Washington Post, August 18, 2004:


"You want to create something that gets political leaders and the county excited," Collins said, adding that the largely undeveloped -- and unsightly -- slice of Loudoun needed a unique vision. "It's hard to get people excited about a bunch of trees and rocks."

The stadium authority sent major league officials an illustrated plan crafted by the group of developers Collins had recruited. The group, made up of some of the nation's largest home builders, became Diamond Lake Associates.

Virginia's baseball backers proposed a new ballpark-themed city-in-miniature, complete with thousands of residences in neighborhoods with names such as Left Field, hotels, a boardwalk along a planned lake, and a new downtown with tree-lined boulevards and 18-story office buildings around a stadium.

"The streets are of similar size, dimension and character to streets in large American cities, like New York and Washington, D.C.," according to the proposal.

Towering jets of water, modeled on the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas, would pulsate in carefully choreographed bursts, adding "an interesting and playful conversation piece to the lake."