Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Friday, July 27, 2007


In an unbelievable turn of events, one that should but almost certainly won't serve as a wakeup call to the shiftless proprietor of this site, those wishing to read my thoughts on the Nationals must direct themselves to a Mets blog. Mets Today was rad enough to solicit my thoughts on the team, and what follows is certain to be the most insightful ten questions and answers you'll read about the Nats on a Mets site this month. Guaranteed. So get over there, don't embarrass me in front of the Mets fans, and make it seem like you're accidentally bringing up Jesus Flores every chance you get.

As for this place, well, I figure as long I have an outlet to whine about my favorite team once or twice a year, and I can go ahead and turn Distinguished Senators into a full time Chris Hansen fan page.

Above: Our generation's Eliot Ness. He has your chat logs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dmitripalooza: Final

Dmitripalooza has to be dying down soon, right? Once the Nationals start playing again, alternative storylines will develop, like the one where Dmitri Young gets traded and the one where all remaining Nats fans shake their tiny fists at the cold, merciless Plan and the soulless men who serve it. So one last Meathook post, then I'm done for a while.

The Examiner's Phil Wood has added his voice to the off-key chorus calling for Meathook retention. There's no point in engaging his case. He says nothing Boswell didn't already try to say in his chat, and his arguments are nothing more than window dressing to his actual motivation, which is pure puppy love.

I understand the temptation among Nats fans to love the one you're with. The team is not very good and pretty colorless, and fans need to attach themselves to something. But this Dmitri Young thing is so obviously borne of desparation -- it wouldn't be happening if Zimmerman had done anything of note -- that it's just undignified. I'm not saying you have to wait until marriage, Nats fans, but it's only been a few months. Don't give up your hearts that easy.

Meanwhile, and I really don't like harping on this, two more profiles of Young appeared before the All Star Game. The Times and the official organ both chimed in with efforts that would have looked like puff pieces even without the existence of Barry Svrluga's piece. Coming as they did after it made a certain shared omission all the more pronounced.

These are not rhetorical questions; I can be convinced on this issue, and I am looking for feedback: Am I expecting too much? Should I look at these pieces like they're glad handing celebrity rag material rather than real journalism? Is it unreasonable to expect a mention of Dmitri Young's beating the hell out of his girlfriend in the retelling of his story of redemption? The answer seemed pretty clear to me a week ago, but it seems that the journalistic consensus is trying to change my mind.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

The List Is Incomplete

Problems with the home run derby:
  • Chris Berman
  • Too many people talking
  • Too many of those people are idiots
  • Chris Berman had obviously never heard of Alex Rios until today
  • Chris Berman trying to get himself over with his dumbass nicknames during player introductions
  • Whichever moron decided to let Berman do player introductions
  • Counting Crows
  • Too many commercials
  • Where's Rickey?
  • Harper's NEGATIVE ATTITUDE, which makes it IMPOSSIBLE for me to ENJOY THIS THING
I may have more later.
  • Berman's still talking
  • Those kids in the outfield can't catch a damn thing
  • Is Jon Miller on the PA? He's there and were stuck with these doofs? Here's a little math for you, ESPN: Jon Miller > 10 babbling idiots. Nice job on getting rid of Dan Patrick, though.
  • Almost an hour and 45 minutes for the first round.
And the biggest problem of all:
  • I have to go to work tomorrow and can't stay up to watch this thing

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Out of Their Minds

Of course the Nationals should trade Dmitri Young. I can't believe there's even an argument about this. He's as much a part of the Nats' future as flying cars. Early indications are that Jim Bowden wants too much for him, which indicates that he thinks about the other 29 GMs the same way they think about him. Or maybe he just loves Da Meathook the way Tom Boswell loves Da Meathook.
The Nats are out of their minds if they trade Dmitri.
No, and that's a stupid thing to say. Even if you could do enough heavy lifting to mount a reasonable argument for hanging on to Dmitri (and don't think for a minute that Boswell is going to), an honest arguer would have to admit that there's some merit to the idea of trading him. This is Boswell at his worst: not just wrong, but unwilling to allow dissent. BLAH BLAH BLAH, as the man himself is wont to say.

1) He's good,

He's playing over his head, and everyone not wearing homer goggles knows it.

his teammates love him

And how exactly does that fit into the Plan?

and he wants to stay.

So did Soriano. The difference is that Soriano had options.

2) Throughout his career, he hasn't gotten injured much despite being the captain of the Bad Body Team. He throws himself __well, sort of__ at ground balls. He runs out a triple and bounces back up. You might even see him in leftfield sometime. Then, perhaps, he could be the most comical leftfielder I have ever seen as well as the funniest first baseman. (He may NOT be the worst. But he's close. There are high school first basemen __probably 1000+ of them__ who scoop low throws better.

I got eyestrain looking for a point here. I think he's making two observations: 1) it's funny to watch fat guys run! and B) Dmitri Young is bad at everything but hitting. Can't argue with either one of those.

So maybe Boswell isn't making very good arguments, but at least he's been staying on point. Right?

3) Will Nick Johnson come back at all this year? Will he come back next year? If he does, how good will he be? Once Bo Jackson started having "hip problems," how did that work out? When has any Johnson injury NOT turned out to be significantly worse than THE WORST available medical analysis. Nick and John Patterson don't look the same and they don't have the same reputation. Nick (maybe because he looks the part) is seen as a tough guy. But both have one thing in common. They only play when they feel 100%. And they don't feel 100% too often, do they? Patterson is a more extreme case. He's only had one 9-win season. Johnson has had productive seasons. But I see no reason the Nats should be wedded to Johnson as their "1st baseman of the future" for the 2010 time frame when they want to contend. Maybe he can be part of that Plan. Or maybe you should use him as a tradeable piece when he's healthy so you can develop or sign a 35-homer bat to put at 1st base. Wait, what were we talking about? Caller? Hello?

Wow. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting Boz to go into his tarditional "tough guys play hurt" routine -- he didn't even mention Ryan Church. When I mentioned earlier that this chat was Boswell at his worst, I hadn't even read this part. The only thing worse than snotty BLAH BLAH BLAH Boz is Dr. Boswell, MD, an experienced practitioner who diagnoses all baseball injuries as vaginitis.

The only part of this I'm going to bother to argue with is the Johnson/Young dilemma that Boswell's invented. There isn't one. Neither one of these dudes is going to be around 2010, and keeping Dmitri Young for the last few months of the season because Nick Johnson gets hurt all the time is the kind of logic parody you only find in Boswell chats.

In other Post/Meathook news, Barry Svrluga has a very much worth reading profile of Young. There's a lot of interesting stuff there, including quite a bit I didn't know. I didn't know he went into the stands after a fan, for instance. I also don't particularly blame him.

Once again, though, Young's assault on a female acquaintance is glossed over. Svrluga goes deeper into it than most -- we hear about his guilty plea and community service -- but it's treated essentially as a victimless crime, one more obstacle for this great but troubled man to overcome.

Enjoy the All Star Game, everybody!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Soriano Reaction

Too many boos. I'm disappointed. What, you wanted him to turn down $8 million (or whatever) annually for you people? Yeesh.

UPDATE: All the cheering for Ramirez' double indicates that there are plenty of Cubs fans there tonight. I know they weren't booing Soriano, so I can only assume that almost all the Nats fans were. I reiterate and amplify my earlier Yeesh.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I sort of re-learned two things today from watching the Braves game. One is that TBS, once home to little more than the Braves and Andy Griffith reruns, is about to show the All-Star Game, some of the playoffs, and eventually a whole pile of regular season games. I'm in favor of this. I've always found Turner's sports programming, both baseball on TBS and the NBA on TNT, to be about as good as it gets. More Joe Simpson and Ernie Johnson? Less Joe Buck and Tim McCarver? Imagine my eyes lighting up like Jim Bowden watching a really fast centerfielder ground out to second base three times a game.

The other thing I re-learned was that the All Star Game is imminent, and that's bringing me down. The Nationals' only All Star is Dmitri Young, and it's hard to argue with the selection. And that's the problem: our token, only-there-because-everyone-gets-one player is a scrap pile gamble no one else wanted who's not even going to be around next year. I mean, yeah, good for Dmitri and keep it up, but it's disappointing that he's the best we could come up with to represent the curly W. Looking at the rest of the NL roster makes it sting even worse. There's 24 year old Russell Martin. There's 23 year old Prince Fielder and teammates David Wright (24) and Jose Reyes (24).

We don't have one of those. Who's our Jose Reyes? We're leaning pretty heavily on Ryan Zimmerman to give us something to brag about to fans of other teams, but he has yet to prove that he's not the fourth-best third baseman in a five-team division. The All Star Game is an exhibition for the world's very best baseball players. All I can think of is that we don't have any of them.