Pistachio

Nats Acquire Pitcher AstacioThe Post
The Nats will sign former Padres pitcher Pedro Astacio so long as he passes a physical that includes an MRI of his shoulder. This is noteworthy because they did not do that for the last Padres pitcher they acquired, Brian Lawrence (The Wash. Times), thus necessitating Astacio. Astacio has a guaranteed contract with lots of incentives too.

More from The Wash. Times: Astacio signs guaranteed deal


Nationals’ new player won’t bug anyoneThe Wash. Times
Matt “Country” LeCroy is such a fine guy that he will eat a roach for a $100 (may need to be adjusted for inflation) if a teammate puts him up to it. He wants to catch more, too.

Clayton eager for fresh startFlorida Today
More on the dreadlock-less Royce Clayton. More importantly, Florida Today has finally created a Nationals section, which includes Scott Brown’s blog. I really need to update my navigation.

A Questionable Force PlayThe Post
Is Alfonso Soriano the T.O. of baseball? We will find out. I would have given this story more play, but I am still mad at GM Jim Bowden for not keeping his pants on when this trade became a possibility. Team president Tony Tavares needs to implement a dress code to keep Bowden from wearing those polyester athletic pants that come off so easily.

Nationals running up number of questionsFlorida Today
Nine questions about the Nats answered.

Nationals ReportThe Wash. Times
John Patterson brought a compound bow to camp and let Joey Eischen fool around with it. No good can come of this, I am having flashbacks to PSU lineman E.Z. Smith.
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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

When the Saints Go Over There.
Oh, I want to be in that rumba,
When the saints go over there.
Oh over there!
Oh over there! …

Happy Fat Tuesday! One more chance to (over)indulge in things that you are giving up for forty days and nights.

While I was in college I had the idea of extending the fun and gluttony of Mardi Gras with Fatter Thursday. Given what happened to New Orleans last year, I think that now more than ever, Fatter Thursday needs to become part of the culture. Think about it, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and Friday has a share of dietary restrictions too — you need to catch up and power-up in between. Think of all the extra cash that could fill N’awlins coffers if people stayed for one more day of gluttony. Lastly, after Friday, you may still be a little hungry and to solve that, I created one more — Faturday.

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Lawrence’s shoulder worse than expected

Pitcher Also Has a Torn Rotator CuffThe Post
Projected fifth starter Brian Lawrence is done, having torn his rotator cuff as well as his labrum. Ouch. Tom Boswell reminds he never missed a start before this injury and then predicts this will kill the franchise or something.

More from The Wash. Times: Lawrence injury ‘more severe’


Nationals Mull Pitching OptionsThe Post
The Lawrence injury further complicates the Nats pitching woes; but hey, it’s not like they have an overpriced malcontent locking up valuable money that could be used on pitching, is it? Oh wait, I almost forgot, Jim Bowden is the general manager.

Guzman May Work At 2B, 3BThe Post
There is finally an admission that Cristian Guzman may not be the everyday shortstop, so there is talk that he may practice at 3B and 2B (ha!) so that he would be ready to come off the bench, a la Jamie Carroll; except that instead of a hard-working, scrappy player going wherever he was needed, we will have an overpiad underachiever.

Praise for Schneider catching onThe Wash. Times
Signing Brian Schneider to a four contract may have been the best move Bowden has ever made.
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Cagers pretty close to NIT

Penn State claims victory, possible postseason berthCDT
The WWN Maryland Bureau Chief is on the record of being a skeptic when it comes to the Penn State men’s basketball team. There are rumors out of Happy Valley this gave the cagers extra motiviation to ascend to mediocrity. They beat Northwestern on Saturday, 68-55 to clinch at least a .500 record for the season. Since that is all that is needed to enter the NIT, it seems likely the Nittany Lions will get a nod and possibly a home game. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. In my dream scenario, George Mason or Maryland winds up in the NIT and hosts the Lions down here.

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Nationals’ Awkward PositionThe Post
Two men want to play 2B and neither wants to budge. Why? Because Jim Bowden demands of himself not just incompetence, but spectacular incompetence. I fully expect Distinguished Senators to get these two guys in some sort of breakdancing contest to decide who gets to play second.

More from The Wash. Times: The ‘real Jose Vidro’


THOMAS BOSWELLNats’ Players Find Different Kind of SaveThe Post
More homer-eroticism from Boz, but it is better than a lot of the pennant-waving he writes. It’s a look at each man on the roster and how they don’t have anything to do with the assorted conspiracies against the local ballclub. It is cheesy, but the point is well taken.

NOTEBOOKArmas Joins Growing WBC RosterThe Post
Tony Armas Jr. is pitching for his native Venezuela in the WBC; Chad Cordero’s inhaler; RFK fences staying put. For more see Seen and heard at Spring Training from The Wash. Times.

Watson takes center stageThe Wash. Times
It’s like deja vu all over again — centerfield and the leadoff spot are Brandon Watson’s to lose.

An observation: I like blue. Really, I like it a lot, probably more than is healthy. I may have even decided to go to Penn State because of the blue and white colors. However, as much I like blue, I just cannot fully embrace the new batting jerseys because of that stupid pit stain that MLB thinks is stylish. This design error is just more apparent with red on blue.

That being said, I may have gone out and bought one of them anyway, along with a red Nats hat, a road jersey, the Baseball Returns DVD, and maybe a few other chotchkis if the national disgrace had named an owner by now. That’s at least $150 that could have been in your pocket, Selig.

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Metro anagram map — reason #202 you sould be reading Metroblogging DC everyday

If you don’t read Metroblogging DC, you missed a great find, Gene Cowan’s Metro anagram map. For example, the stop I live next to is known as Giant Potentcy, while the my hometown’s stop is the brilliant Ragamuffin Vixen. If Metro put these on t-shirts, they sell a whole let better than the official Metro t-shirts.

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Am I clear about being unclear?

Today’s headlines focus on the arrival of Alfonso Soriano and subsequent lack of progress in resolving the second base situation, as well as the dearth of Nats games available to the majority of the region. Incumbent 2B Jose Vidro wants out of the World Baseball Classic too.

  • Nats Unveil Soriano, Not His PositionThe Post
  • THOMAS BOSWELLNats Are Searching for a Punch LineThe Post
  • Soriano, Nats fail to reach solutionThe Wash. Times
  • Soriano’s role is clearly unclearFlorida Today
  • Bowden prefers to keep both 2BsFlorida Today
  • Seen and Heard at Spring TrainingThe Wash. Times
  • Vidro Opts To Withdraw From WBCThe Post
  • Exactly who’s on second?The Wash. Times
  • Ayala will rest his elbowThe Wash. Times
  • Nats to Have Fewer Games Over the AirThe Post
  • Nationals fans to see fewer TV games in ’06The Wash. Times

    So, what did we learn today? Nothing — we already knew that Jim Bowden is incompetent, Peter Angelo$ is the Stalin of baseball broadcasting, and Bud Selig is a national disgrace too. I have a bad feeling that by March 7 he will remind us just how disgraceful he can be…
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  • Pop Quiz

    So, do you think killing people and looting embassies over a cartoon is awful? Do you believe that free speech can include satire and maybe even the right to be stupid or insensitive? Do you think that discourse should be filtered to accomodate the feelings of bloodthirsty, theocratic fascists?

    The correct answers are yes, yes, yes, and NO!

    If you have the time and passed the quiz, you could show some solidarity for our democratic allies, the Danes, by attending Christopher Hitchens Support for Denmark event today. More details in his recent Slate column:

    Please be outside the Embassy of Denmark, 3200 Whitehaven Street (off Massachusetts Avenue) between noon and 1 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 24. Quietness and calm are the necessities, plus cheerful conversation. Danish flags are good, or posters reading “Stand By Denmark” and any variation on this theme (such as “Buy Carlsberg/ Havarti/ Lego”) The response has been astonishing and I know that the Danes are appreciative. But they are an embassy, and thus do not, of course, endorse or comment on any demonstration. Let us hope, however, to set a precedent for other cities and countries. Please pass on this message to friends and colleagues.

    I wish I could be there.

    Don’t get me wrong; Denmark, and much of Europe, has a long way to go towards being accepting of immigrants, but they are ultimately free societies. Hitchens is correct in his opinion, that letting the hypocritical religious tyrants frame the debate is absolutely wrong.

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    Family rivalry

    For those of you keeping score at home, my brother Christopher has pulled ahead in appearances in The Washington Post. His first mention was back in 1996 while mine was a year later. I was quoted about ADC Street Maps and he had a haiku printed in an artcle about a Gong Show revival. His latest mention was in today’s edition in a story about Theology on Tap. Interestingly enough, the most recent Washington area media appearance for a Yurasko also had theological underpinnings when our mom was quoted in The Washington Examiner about the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

    Christopher may be ahead in The Post, but I totally dominate when it comes to appearances in The Daily Collegian.

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    Soriano arrives

    Though Barry Svrluga is still snowbound, The Post’s Spring Traning blog, Nationals Journal is back. Today, they have video (after a brief message from their sponsor) of the Alfonso Soriano presser. Some not-quite-verbatim quotes:

    “I’d make that trade again.” – Jim Bowden

    Well of course you are going to say that Jimbo, everyone says that sort of thing, especially with the guy right there. It’s not even “I had to choose whether to install cable or a mechanical bull. I made my choice, I’m content with it.” situation, I really believe that Bowden is singing, “I am so smart! S-M-R-T!”

    “I hope we are being clear, about being unclear.”

    Crystal.

    From here on out, any sense of decorum, such as not making personal attacks, is hereby suspended for Jim Bowden, just like with Peter Angelo$.

    Ficking Idiot.

    Oh, bad news on the TV front too.

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