Guzmania; Dukes sweep Dodgers

SS Cristian Guzman made Jim Bowden look less stupid last night by hitting for the cycle. The last Nat to do that — Brad Wilkerson in game 2 of the 2005 season. Those were the days, no?

Also, Elijah Dukes, fresh off his third trip to the DL, hit two home runs last night. I really hope he behaves himself on the field, in the clubhouse and when he is away from the team because he is the most electrifying player we’ve had since Alfonso Soriano. Oh Dukes needs to stay healthy too.

The Nats swept the Dodgers (by the way, the script Los Angeles looks pretty good on their road grays) and have won 5 of 7.

Guzmán’s Cycle Caps Nats’ SweepThe Post
Nats tee off to finish sweepThe Wash. Times

Elbow Pain Ends Hill’s SeasonThe Post
In case you don’t remember who Shawn Hill is don’t bother, he’s not coming back this season/ever.

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Penn State Football Eve Eve

We are less than 48 ours from the Nittany Lions kicking off against hated rival Coastal Carolina. Hopefully, my Town & Gown Football Annual will get here by then.

Anyway, here is the official Intercollegiate Athletics Joe Paterno press conference transcript. They edit it, but probably just to remove all his “Remember the Maine” references and threats to Dave Jones — “I’ll punch you so hard that I’ll rip your guts out and hang you by your small intestine!”

I’m not able to blog as much as I have in the past right now, so no preview other than a prediction for Coastal Carolina — pain. If Penn State gives up more than two scores, I will be concerned. Former prediction and season predictions are coming tomorrow.

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Tick-tock, tick- tock: Lenny Harris

The AAA hitting coach, Rick Eckstein will be called up from Columbus (Nationals Journal) on Sept. 1 to work with the Nationals. Sounds like current Lenny Harris is a dead man walking — good. I don’t know if Eckstein is the answer, but I have to assume that he is at least auditioning for the job. This can only be seen as a promising development. Can the AAA GM be called up to help out too?

Also, hey two wins in a row and four of six!

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2008 Penn State football predictions

It is Penn State Football Eve, so that means it is time to present annual predictions from the people that cover the team as well as mine. This year, I only have the Town & Gown Football Annual as a source as I could not scrounge up a copy of Blue White Illustrated with the list of predictions. If anyone has that, please email them to me and I will add them to this post.

11-2

Frank Bodani – YDR
Andy Elder – Blue White Illustrated

10-3

Mark Brennan – Fight On State
Matt Herb – Football Annual
Beth Hudson – The Morning Call
Derek Levarse – Football Annual
David Pencek – Football Annual
Chris Morell – Blue White Illustrated
Neil Rudel – Altoona Mirror
Rich Scarcella – Reading Eagle

9-4

Jeff Byers – Fight On State
Neil Geoghegan – Journal Register News Service
Cory Giger – Altoona Mirror
Rob Riva – Fight On State
Mark Wogenrich – The Morning Call

My prediction:

10-3

Losing Anthony Morelli (and all the baggage associated with him; i.e. four straight passes at the end of the MSU game) adds two wins, but losing Sean Lee costs one. They will play on or after New Year’s Day.

What is your prediction?

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Blue White Roundtable: Going Coastal

Wow, football season is days away. I can’t believe it is already here.

This week’s questions are from me.

1. What are you optimistic about this season (Anthony Morelli running out of eligibility does not count)?

I am very optimistic about the offensive line. I have every expectation that this will be the best offensive line since I was a wee underclassman in the mid-90s. Good lines make average quarterbacks look pretty good most of the time and with Evan Royster and Stephfon Green providing some thunder-and-lightning at running back this offense could be very powerful.

2. What are you pessimistic about this season?

I don’t think I am pessimistic about any particular unit, though I have concerns about the secondary. Linebacking will not be the strength we are used to — at least initially without Sean Lee, but Ron Vanderlinden has been churning out good linebackers lately, so I’m hoping that continues. I understand there will probably be a little learning curve, but the early season schedule should be good for getting through that phase.

My pessimism is reversed for the coaching staff. The defense gives too much of a cushion on wideouts and the offense has Jay Paterno calling a lot of the play. My biggest concern is that Joe Paterno has lost the will to win, best evidenced by last year’s Michigan game when he went conservative and predictable wheb the way to beat Micigan was pretty obvious.

3. Who is the most important player on either side of the ball?

Daryll Clark will be the focus of the offense, because when isn’t the quarterback? I am also looking at Derrick Williams to live up to the hype. On defense, I think is a toss-up between MLB Josh Hull and CB Lydell Sargent. Hull is a walk-on playing the “quarterback” for the defense, while Sargent has to prove his is not a liability in the secondary.

Lightning Round

How many games are you going to this season?

Probably one, maybe two. The cost and nine-hour roundtrip is just too much with an infant. I missed only half-a-dozen home games in the last ten years knowing that this would happen, so I’m cool with it.

Do you have Big11Ten Network?

Yes, I just signed up for the $5 a month sports tier to get it.

Where is Coastal Carolina located?

Conway, S.C. near Myrtle Beach — I stopped there in February and scouted the place out. [flickr : my photos tagged with ccu/slideshow]

What record will Penn State have on January 9?

10-3. I will provide more insight to that prediction on Friday, so be sure to check back. I will also have a compilation of media predictions from the Town & Gown Football Annual and hopefully Blue White Illustrated. If anybody has the BWI predictions, please send them to me at the E-mail link below. I’m sure Phil Grosz will say 12-1.

The roundtable

Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
There Is No Name On My Jersey
Tangled Up In White and Blue
The Nittany Notebook
Run Up The Score

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Nats chats 08.27.2008

Nationals chat 08-27-08The Wash. Times
“This chat will begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 27, 2008.

Times beat writer Mark Zuckerman takes your questions on the Nats.”

Washington NationalsThe Post
“Washington Post Nationals beat writer Chico Harlan will be online Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. ET to take your questions and comments about the Washington Nationals.”

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Saturday’s PSU game: Overflow to the rescue!

First off, forgive me if for being such a cable luddite, but I barely watch TV, especially now with Will around. I am not familiar with how everything is set up and will probably not get an HD TV for a long time. Anyway, the news about this weeks’ Penn State game appears to be good:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30TH FOOTBALL GAMES

Catch your Big Ten games on COMCAST! See below for details in your area.

12:00 PM (ET) / 11:00 AM (CT)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE VS. OHIO STATE: channel 257 (SD)
AKRON VS. WISCONSIN *: channel 801 (SD)
MAINE VS. IOWA: channel 802 (SD)
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. INDIANA *: channel 803 (SD)
COASTAL CAROLINA VS. PENN STATE: channel 804 (SD)

That comes via search on the Big Ten Network gamefinder for my zip code in Alexandria, Va. I have had my skepticisms of BTN, but they do have a pretty useful Web site.

Is it just me or is it silly for Virginia to get Ohio State when the states on the northern and southern border are getting Penn State?

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