Post Nats/MLB preview; Mock hurts his cause

2010 Baseball PreviewThe Post
Let’s see, an article on defense, meet the Nats, a Phillies article (Stan Kasten is excited) and more. No Baltimore crap either, so the Post is learning a little. I did expect more though.

The curious case of Garrett MockNats Insider
Garrett Mock, though to be headed for a spot in the rotation, is in trouble. He’s allowed 31 baserunners in 18 2/3 spring training innings. The only thing that may save his chance is the Nats don’t need fifth pitcher until April 11.

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DC to Boston: Delta Comair flights 6652 & 6653

Delta
WASHINGTON, D.C. to BOSTON — When searching for a flight to take me to Boston and back, I was kind of surprised that the best deal I could get for National to Logan Airports was on Delta Connection, but economy being a major factor in my decision, I went with it.

Both flights were aboard Bombardier Aerospace CRJ planes. Unfortunately, I do not recall the specific type of CRJ. I sat on the right side of the plane by the wing both times. The view up to Boston included the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, lower Delaware, South Jersey, Long Island and Rhode Island — oops. If I fly this route again, I’ll be a on the left side so that I can see the cities of the Northeast Corridor. On the ride back, I saw Hartford and that was about it, again sitting on the wrong side.

The CRJ is a small jet and the thought “Greyhound of the sky” came to mind. Headed to Boston we also had to deal with poor air conditioning and very limited drink service — nothing more than water and maybe Coke which meant I did not have my customary whiskey on the plane. I missed giving my usual toast — “to happy landings.” In retrospect, I should have complained to the airline in hopes of a drink voucher for the ride back. It would have turned out to be a moot point though, because the flight home was also dry, though it was air conditioned and had more soda options.

Though I am being critical of the flights, I would fly them again. Both flights took off on time and landed considerably early. I’ve had longer rides to work than these flights, so they exceeded my expectations and met the most important deliverable — getting me there on-time and safe.

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No changes expected for cyclists on Nats Opening Day

The Washington Nationals sent out a transportation alert for Opening Day (not online for some reason) since the president will throwing out the first pitch. I read the alert and saw no mention of bicyclists, so I asked Lisa Pagano, communications manager for the team, if there were any. She reported that there apparently were not. I’ll keep my eye out to see if that changes.

I’ve been riding my bike to Nats games since the team played at RFK Stadium. Nationals Park has bike racks that accommodate 250 bikes as well as a bike valet. I still wonder if I should tip the bike valet.

PREVIOUSLY

Biking to Nationals Park April 24, 2008

IN OTHER NEWS

The long journey pays off for new Washington Nationals shortstop Ian DesmondThe Post
Opening Day shortstop Ian Desmond is finally in the big leagues, five years after being the Nats “first prospect.”

Strasburg officially set to debut at BCBThe Altoona Mirror
Stephen Strasburg’s first start for the Harrisburg Senators is scheduled for April 11 in Altoona, Pa. Welcome to the minors Strasburg! I’m sure he’s very excited to be debuting in the birthplace of Sheetz. It appears to be a nice ballpark though, I like the roller coaster behind the outfield.

Strasburg won’t be pitching in the exhibition game against the Red Sox on Saturday either. He’ll be spared seeing scores of pink hats.

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Nats: President Obama to throw Opening Day first pitch

PRESS RELEASE – President Barack Obama to throw ceremonial first pitch when Washington Nationals host NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Daynationals.com
Obama to throw out first pitchNats Insider
After snubbing the Washington Nationals Opening Day last year, President Barrack Obama will throw out the first pitch this year before the Nationals take on the Philadelphia Phillies. I’m fully expecting a partisan crowd, just like in 2008 when George W. Bush did the honors. I wasn’t at the 2005 opener. Prepare to get to the game early. I’m glad the president is following the custom, this will be the 48th presidential home opener for Washington.

This is the 100th anniversary year of a president throwing out the first pitch. The practice began with William Howard Taft in 1910. Every sitting president has thrown our the first pitch during his term when Washington had a team; Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush (41) and Bill Clinton missed out. Harry S Truman threw with different hands in different years.

Oh and about Opening Day — looks like mighty nice weather (weather.com). I’ll be bicycling over to Nationals Park. Also, get there early, gates open at 10 a.m. The pregame festivities look pretty good to, featuring James Brown of NFL Today (a co-owner of the Nats, unless he sold his stake) and George Will which means I have to link to this video.

No Charlie Brotman though, I didn’t see his name any where.

Remember when they used to say “throwing the first ball?”

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Ian Desmond surprisingly wins Nats shortstop job

Ian Desmond will start at shortstop for Washington NationalsThe Post
Desmond will be starting shortstopNats Insider
Here we are a week before Opening Day (!) and we’re getting some good news. Ian Desmond has won the Washington Nationals shortstop job over incumbent Cristian Guzman. This is kind of surprising given Guzman’s final year of a bloated $8 million contract. Not holding back Desmond shows some hope for the Nats actually looking at the future. We know Guzman will hit about .300 and have an OBP that is barely better while having less range and suspect arm at short. Desmond has the potential to be a very good shortstop — at the plate and in the field. The time to find out what Desmond can do is now because he’s 24 and the Nats need to know if he is a part of the puzzle now before a playoff push comes. It isn’t hard to remember what a bad shortstop can do to a team’s playoff chances. Unfortunately, that shortstop was signed for another three years and then got a two years extension at twice his previous level of compensation. Thankfully, he’s finally lost his starting job and the general manager who signed him twice has been exiled to the media.

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Penn State vs. Indiana at FedEx Field public sale starts tomorrow

Tickets on Sale Monday for Penn State-Indiana Football Game at FedEx FieldIntercollegiate Athletics
At 10 a.m., tickets for Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Indiana Hooisers at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. go on sale through Ticketmaster. This is the first Penn State football game in the Washington, D.C. area since 1993.

I already got my tickets through a Redskins season ticketholder. :)

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