MIKE STANTON TRADED; FRONT OFFICE IN LIMBO

Nationals trade Stanton to Red SoxThe Wash. Times
The Red Sox sent two minor leaguers to the Nationals for three days. Mike Stanton’s service; he is a free agent after the playoffs, which he is not eligible to participate in.

Since Stanton is a former Yankee, there is finally a reason to pay attention to the Yankees-Red Sox series.


Nats’ Leaders Stay the CourseThe Post & No certainty for manager, GMThe Wash. Times
The ownership situation has Tony Tavares, Jim Bowden, and Frank Robinson wondering about their future.

I expect Robinson to be retained, but Tavares to leave. I fear Bowden will stay though.


NATIONALS NOTEBOOKHernandez Has No Plans to End His Season EarlyThe Post
¡LIVAN! leads the league in pitches thrown and will probably be tied for starts. If he goes 7 or 8 innings, he will probably lead the league in innings too.

Also, Brad Wilkerson had an off year, but is still going to have less strikeouts than last season. Hopefully, he can recover in the offseason and come back healthy. I do not want to see him traded; I would hate for him to have to find a new bank.


Nats Ownership Might Be CorporateThe Post
Jeff Smulyan may invest some Emmis Broadcasting cash into the Nats if he buys them. Of course, he may be using the Nats as a front to buy the Reds (Capitol Punishment). Count me as someone who wants to believe that is true.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

W&OD TRAIL — CLINCHED!

On Sunday, my brother and I rode the length of the W&OD Bicycle Trail from west to east. It took us about 5 1/2 hours with stops. Needless to say, we are hurting after cycling 44.5 miles in one day.

I had wanted to ride the whole thing at once for quite some time, so I was really happy to have pulled this off. Thanks go out to Mom for driving us out to Purcellville and picking us up in Shirlington.

Some observations about the trip:

  • If you have ever been at the Shrlington end of the trail, you know that it ends with little fanfare adjacent to the industrial Four Mile Run Drive corridor. A small sign indicates that the trail ends.

    At the Purcellville end, there is not even a sign, which is pretty anticlimactic. There is a nice set up though with a park and the Trail’s End bicycle shop.



    Photo by Barbara Yurasko

  • Purcellville seems to be a nice town that is balancing history with suburbanization fairly well.
  • The western part of the trail is very narrow at times, making it a little too close for comfort if you are passing someone.
  • There was an enormous fire just west of the big rock quarry between Leesburg and Ashburn. It had to have started mere minutes after we passed.
  • Joe’s Dog House in Herndon (just past the halfway mark on the trail) makes a decent chili dog, which as we all know is an essential foodstuff for this kind of exercise.

    The town itself is quite nice too, having built a town square around the railroad, and kept it up.

  • Seen on and around the trail: 2 snakes, 5 deer (near Vienna), 3 dead voles, one rabbit.
  • The amount of bridges and underpasses built for the trail in the last 15 years is amazing. Reston is now much easier and safer to get through. An underpass is being built for the trail at Church Road in Sterling as well.
  • In the Vienna area, between Hunter Mill Road and Cedar Lane, we had to ride through a swarm of gnats.
  • We crossed VA 7 four times.
  • We crossed two interstate highways (I-495 and I-66) and two other superhighways (VA 7 and VA 267).
  • The steepest hills are at Buckhorn Drive between Reston and Vienna. The worst are the approaches to the Virginia Lane overpass at I-66.
  • There are three cabooses on the trail; Herndon, Vienna, Arlington (Bluemont Jct.)
  • Three old train stations (Purcellville, Herndon, and Vienna) are in good condition and still active. Another one (near Leesburg; I cannot remember which one) is still standing, but could use some restoration.
  • The last eight miles are the easiest.
  • All told, we rode through 3 counties (Loudon, Fairfax, Arlington) 1 city (Falls Church) and 4 towns (Purcellville, Leesburg, Herndon, and Vienna).



    Photo by Erica Yurasko

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
  • HAPPY GOOSE DAY!

    September 29 is known as St. Michael’s Day, patron of grocers and bakers. (Also called Goose Day in some locations) – “If you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will never want money all the year round.”

    One reason for this belief is that Michaelmas (Archangel Michael’s feast day) was traditionally one of the English “Quarter Days”, when people would settle their rents and accounts. The settling of accounts was often done with a brace of plump geese from the spring hatching.

    Therefore, if you could afford to eat goose on this day (probably after paying rent with some of your fowl), you would probably not want for money in the coming year.

    When I was growing up in Central Pennsylvania, my family celebrated Goose Day every year. On this day, most of the restaurants in Mifflin County served roast goose for dinner. Snyder County also participated; I’m not sure if Juniata County celebrated or not.

    It is certainly a fun tradition.

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    THANK YOU, TONY!



    More from The Post: Williams Will Not Run for Third Term
    It goes without saying that the Nats are not his greatest legacy, but a major piece nonetheless. He restored dignity to a city where “the politics of failure had failed” by making government more accountable and the District more livable for everyone as well as a better place to work and visit. Yes, he could have done more and he was ineffective as a politician, but in the end, a technocrat/administrator/accountant mayor was just what D.C. needed.

    My (Nats) hat is off to you Mr. Mayor!

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    ONE YEAR LATER: 81 WINS AND COUNTING

    Nats score 11 runs again, sweep Marlins

    Nationals Get One to Grow OnThe Post
    It was on this day one year ago that we found out the Expos were coming here and the team they became, the Nationals, are about to conclude their first season with a .500 record or better. What a ride it has been!

    Oh yeah, the Nats beat the Marlins 11 – 7 last night to pick up a three game sweep, heading into the final series aganist Philadelphia. The Nats could have the pleasure of officially eliminating the Phillies too.

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats clinch at least .500 record

    BoxscoreESPN.com

    Photo gallery of the press conference announcing that Major League Baseball would be returning to the Nation’s Capital


    Selig Would Announce Sale of Nats In PlayoffsThe Post & Playoffs won’t delay announcementThe Wash. Times
    My hunch — other reasons will be cited when the announcement is made following the World Series.

    NATIONALS NOTEBOOKByrd Made Most of Time Spent in The MinorsThe Post
    Marlon Byrd was mad at himself when he got demoted. Since coming back, he has taken out his anger on opposing pitchers.

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    WWN PENN STATE PREGAME #5

    Minnesota at PENN STATE

    Penn State survived their first road trip at Northwestern and now comes home for two consecutive games at Beaver Stadium.

    Official Intercollegiate Athletics release PDF

    TAILGATE

    I will be hosting the tailgate again (Erica has another baby shower to attend). We will be in Lot 11 or 12. Look for the Yurasko flag.

    LAST WEEK

    The Lions, especially Michael Robinson, played sloppy throughout the first half. Turnovers continued to be a problem, but thanks to the freshman wideouts, Paul Posluzny, and a more careful Mike Robinson, the Lions pulled out a thrilling 34 – 29 win. WWN recap.

    THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS

    First off, a friendly reminder…

    WATCH OUT FOR THE ON-SIDE KICK!

    Oh boy, it’s a trophy game! The two squads are playing for the Governor’s Victory Bell.

    Our recent history with Minnesota is well-known. Back in ’99, undefeated Penn State failed to put the stupid Golden Skunks away and they caught an improbable 4 and 16 desperation pass off a tip. They then kicked a field goal to win it as time expired, ending the Lions’ national title hopes, ruining Homecoming, and beginning the tailspin that they have yet to emerge from. Brad and I were so distraught that we collaborated on a Whose Fault is it that Penn State Lost? poll. You can read the press release too.

    Even before the ’99 debacle, Minnesota was problematic for Penn State. At the ’97 game, also Homecoming, a fiesty Minnesota nearly upset a listless Penn State. The Lions pulled it out in the end due to some luck and bad officiating (really) and won 16 – 15. However, they took out Aaron Harris in the first half with an ACL injury from which he never recovered. Like it or not, coach Glen Mason has our number.

    Ever since then, Minnesota has beaten Penn State by outcoaching them. It is very depressing.

    The last two years, the Skunks have led off the game with an on-side kick. After last week’s performance by the Lions, I would expect similar trickery.

    Also of note, their mascot is satanic.

    PRESS CONFERENCE RECAP

    Here is the transcript from Intercollegiate Athletics.

    BEANO WATCH

    This week, Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt), had a lot to say about Penn State:

    Ned: (Las Vegas, NV): Okay, does Penn State win this weekend and finally get ‘back on track’?

    Beano Cook: Absolutely. If Penn State wins, it is a contender in the Big Ten. The odds were 9-1 against them to start the season and this is the moment of truth for the Nittany Lions. The Big Ten is wide open right now and there are about five teams in there.

    Okay, fair enough, I have no quarrel with what he has to say. Moving on…

    Dave (NH): Beano, I went to Penn State, and even I realize that the Lions have no shot to beat OSU this year.

    Beano Cook: The game is in Happy Valley, Dave. A lot depends on what happens this week against Minnesota. A win means confidence and a night game, and the town would be jumping. Incidentally, for everyone who goes to a PSU game, head to the Nittany Lion Inn and get the lobster bisque. It’s the best.

    Again, hard to find fault with what he is saying, though not having had the lobster bisque, I cannot say whether he is right or wrong. If history is a guide, it is probably pretty bad if he likes it.

    Joey (Greenville, SC): Thanks for the Maryland pick last week. What is the pick of the week this time?

    Beano Cook: A one-game winning streak has me full of confidence. I’ll take Penn State over Minnesota by a score of 31-24. Thanks for taking the time to participate and we’ll see you all again next week at the same time!

    Ohas been said that a favorable prediction from Beano is a kiss-of-death. So, there you have it, that is a hickey if I have every seen one. If Penn State loses, you know who to blame. I can only remember one occasion in the last nine seasons when Beano was wrong predicting Penn State to win and that was the 2002 Nebraska game.

    TELEVISION

    ABC is carrying the game regionally, so it should be available throughout Pennsylvania and Minnesota, but in Washington, on WJLA-TV 7, Florida State and Syracuse gets the nod proving once again that 7 is not on our side. I realize that this is ACC country, but I bet there are more PSU alums in BeltwayLand than FSU and Syracuse combined. Also, this game has much more at stake nationally, both PSU and Minn. are undefeated. Thankfully, I will be at the game and not dependent on the whims of a program director.

    If you don’t feel like ordering it through ESPN Game Plan, you can catch it at Metro Washington Chapter of Penn State Alumni Association viewing sites. Last week, we went to Uncle Jed’s and had a great time.

    PREDICTIONS

    Just about everything I have read about Minnesota, particularly their punishing ground attack and huge offensive line point to this being a loss. However, I feel that I have to stand up to Beano and predict a 33-28 victory for the Nittany Lions, because, well they’re due against these guys. The keys to the game are 1.) better turnover ratio 2.) non-offensive touchdown. I just ask that you not bet the mortgage based on this prediction…

    FIELD GOAL CHALLENGE RETURNS

    Another week means another Field Goal challenge. The last one was won by Sam, who is in second place for the season. Wiley is in first, I am in third and Fritz is in fourth.

    IN CLOSING

    WATCH OUT FOR THE ON-SIDE KICK

    Go State, beat Gophers!

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    WHATCHOO TALKIN’ ABOUT WILLIS?

    Nats pound Willis, Marlins

    Nats’ Offense Comes To LifeThe Post
    An offensive explosion (11 runs) aganist Cy Young candidate Dontrelle Willis has the Nats two games over .500. Operation 82 is in sight!

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats rout Marlins, Willis

    BoxscoreESPN.com


    Former Redskins Join Smulyan Group in Bid to Purchase NatsThe Post
    Art Monk, Charles “Hungry” Mann, and Calvin Hill are on board with the Jeff Smulyan bid, though they had previously been linked to the Bill Collins’ group. Only two Redskins? As Ronald Reagan would say, “where’s Ricky Sanders?

    Smulyan even had coffee with Thom Loverro of The Wash. Times.


    Guzman focuses on hot SeptemberThe Wash. Times
    Has the real Cristian Guzman stood up? The shortstop has raised his average 21 points since Sept. 6, pushing him above the Mendoza line to .217.

    PRESS RELEASEZipcar named The Official Car Sharing Company of The Washington NationalsPR Newswire
    The Nationals have become he first professional team to have an official car sharing company. They must be going crazy over at DCist. Good move Nats.
    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    CARRASCO GETS FIRST WIN AS STARTER

    Out of Bullpen and Into SpotlightThe Post
    The Nats shutout Florida last night to pull a game over .500. Hector Carrasco went six innings to get his first win as a starter.

    The Marlins are imploding right now (more below), which seemingly bodes well for the Nats hopes of ending the year above .500.

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats back over .500

    BoxscoreESPN.com


    NATIONALS NOTEBOOKBurnett Will ‘Absolutely’ Consider NatsThe Post
    A.J. Burnett, who is now persona non grata on the Marlins would consider pitching in Washington. The begs the question, do the Nats want a guy that went 0-6 with a 5.87 ERA down the stretch?
    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    NATS ARE ELIMINATED

    Nats Cap a Freefall From GraceThe Post
    After getting swept by the Mets, the Nationals are officially eliminated from the wild card race. They are now .500 and in last place.

    I am exhausted from biking the entire W&OD Trail yesterday, I am just going to post headlines for the rest of the articles.

    More from The Wash. Times: Mets complete collapse by Nats

  • BoxscoreESPN.com
  • Questions litter infieldThe Wash. Times
  • NATIONALS NOTEBOOKInjuries Leave Vidro Waiting For the EndThe Post
    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)