Buy We Are Penn State from Maple Street Press

Penn State Nittany Lions 2010 football preview magazine

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We Are Penn State by Maple Street Press is the only Penn State Nittany Lions football preview magazine featuring…me!

That’s right, I wrote a freelance article for the 2nd year publication. My look at the Penn State vs. Indiana game in Landover, Md. is one of the many great articles in this magazine.

“We Are Penn State 2010, edited by Mike Hubbell of BlackShoeDiaries.com, answers all these questions and more, with 128 pages of the most in-depth and entertaining Nittany Lions analysis available anywhere. From this year’s team and its prospects, to recruits and strategy, and even looks back at Penn State’s long and storied history, We Are Penn State covers the team from every angle.”

The magazine is available throughout Pennsylvania wherever college football magazines are sold, plus online

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Paul Farhi gets it wrong in DMV article

Paul Farhi has a story in The Post today about DMV becoming a preferred term for the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Actually, long before then, Washington’s Channel 9 was known as WDMV-TV, which stood for “the District, Maryland and Virginia.” But WDMV died long before the current vogue for “the DMV” (the call letters live on at a small AM radio station in Walkersville, Md.).

Actually, Channel 9 was known as WDVM. The even used the legacy when they launched dvmmoms.com (now DC Moms Like Me)

That is just an awful error that should have been caught by editors or by Farhi himself. Seriously, there are things called search engines. Unbelievable.

By the way, I don’t like the term DMV, I much prefer BeltwayLand. I’ve been using it for 15 years. It works much better.

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An open letter to Miss Iowa, Katherine Collins

Dear Miss Iowa,

Well, this sure has been an interesting week hasn’t it? None of us thought you’d be invited to throw out the first pitch tonight and yet here you are. Capt. Morgan was supposed to make the pitch, so watch out, those pirates can be trouble.

I wanted to welcome you to our nation’s capital. We hope you like our ballpark and enjoy meeting Miguel Batista. We’re glad you’ve been a good sport about the whole “Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos. But it’s okay” thing. Hopefully, Batista will be out there in a bathing suit and tiara to catch your first pitch tonight. I am sure either way, the fans of the Washington Nationals will cheer you on with great enthusiasm.

So anyway, the Nats are hosting the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans travel down here in droves. It is a long story, but in short:

YOU ARE GOING TO BE BOOED

Its them, not us. They booed Santa Claus you know. Mike Schmidt too. We think its great you are going to be here, enjoy your stay.

Sincerely,

Nats Fans

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Nats take series from the 1st place Braves; Strasburg on DL

Scott Olsen gets his groove back, leads the Washington Nationals to a 5-3 win over the Atlanta BravesThe Post
Resurrected Olsen revives NatsNats Insider
For the first time in a while, the Washington Nationals won a series, taking the first and third games of their series with the Atlanta Braves. Yesterday’s series clincher marked the return of Scott Olsen after a few months dealing with shoulder problems. The lefty pitched 6 innings, giving up 3 runs — a quality start. Olsen, coming off the DL, turned out to be the only effective member of the rotation in this series with Stephen Strasburg shut down and ¡LIVAN! ineffective.

Ian Desmond
and Adam Dunn both homered — was it Dunn’s final dinger as a Nat? Dunn was knocked in by Michael Morse right before the Desmond homer in the 2nd. Desmond later scored when Wil Nieves knocked him and Morse in during the 4th inning. If GWRBI was still a stat, Nieves would have it. Dunn added an insurance run with his 24th homer in the 8th to add an insurance run.

Derek Lowe took the loss for Atlanta. Matt Capps earned his final save in a curly W cap.

Washington Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on 15-day disabled listThe Post
Zuckerman: Strasburg Placed On 15-Day DLCSN Washington
Stephen Strasburg doesn’t seem too happy to be headed to the DL. It is the right thing to do though, it added the roster flexibility to bring up Olsen. It is retroactive to July 22, so he will probably be back on the mound around the start of the next homestand. I’d guess August 10 against the Marlins, though he could start at the Los Angeles Dodgers as early as the 7th if my math is correct. That might appeal to Strasburg, a San Diego native who missed the trip there. We shall see. I’d love to hear what Vin Scully has to say about watching Strasburg pitch.

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Capps and trade: Nats send closer to Twins for minor league catcher

Washington Nationals trade all-star Matt Capps to Minnesota TwinsThe Post
Capps to Twins for Ramos, TestaNats Insider
Buzzword to this trade: ValueNats Insider
Closer Matt Capps, picked up off the scrap heap after by the Washington Nationals being non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason has been traded to the Minnesota Twins. GM Mike Rizzo was able to get AAA catcher Wilson Ramos and single-A relief pitcher Joe Testa. The initial reaction is that this is a good to great deal for the Nats. For the Twins, it means they have an ALL-STAR closer for their playoff run and no longer have to rely on former Nat Jon Rauch in the 9th. Capps gets to go to a contender. Ramos gets a chance to play more since Joe Mauer was blocking his path in the Twin Cities.

In an addition to the end of “Let’s Go Capps” cheers, this means the D.C. career of Wil Nieves is probably headed to its conclusion. I will miss hearing Lou Vega’s “No Soy Yo” but like the idea of a catcher who can hit more than his weight. Also, the club has little or no faith in Jesus Flores ever being healthy enough to be an everyday starter again.

Capps was a good guy who will be missed on the field and in the community.

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CNBC columnist thinks Nats should baby their fans

Washington Nationals Strike Out On Strasburg ScratchCNBC
Darren Rovell argues that the Washington Nationals should have try to appease fans excited to see Stephen Strasburg pitch, but couldn’t after the rookie was a late scratch.

NUTS!

Apparently, Rovell is not familiar with the concept of “you buy your ticket, you take your chances.” He concedes that the Nats did not have to legally do anything and that there were sufficient disclaimers, but goes on to quote sports marketing executives who would have given food vouchers, t-shirts at future games, etc. to help people be less disappointed.

Give me a break!

There are several reasons that setting such a precedent is incorrect.

  • It makes Strasburg bigger than the team which nobody within the organization, including Strasburg, wants. How do you think the other 24 guys in the dugout would feel?

  • That’s babying the fans now isn’t it? If fans think they are entitled to some coupons or tchotkes everytime somebody doesn’t play or things go wrong, they are going to be furious the next time they don’t get something; maybe they won’t come back.
  • Where would you draw the line? I sat through my share of Ramon Ortiz, Tony Armas, Jr., Matt Chico and John Halama starts over the years and I think that deserves a t-shirt more than emergency starter Miguel Batista and 3 relievers shutting out the first place Atlanta Braves!
  • Do you think the Nats want a fanbase that only cares about one player? Just ask the Baltimore Orioles about the sustainability of that business model — they kind of miss Cal Ripken a little bit, don’t they?

The Nats don’t have a great record with their fans, but going through with the ideas in the article is more likely to blow up in the face long-term.

I am sympathetic to people who made a special trip, won’t get another chance to get to another Strasburg start, etc. That happened to me at a Washington Capitals game with my brother and father when Alex Ovechkin got hurt, but we did not expect any form of compensation — we understood the risk and still had a good time, even though the Caps lost. Life doesn’t always go according to plan and if Strasburg getting scratched 10 minutes before a start is as bad as it gets, you are doing better than me.

Rovell, a sports business columnist for CNBC, should know better.

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Free Hard Times chili dog today, 07.29.2010

Toay is National Chili Dog Day and Hard Times Café is celebrating by offering a free Coney Chili Dog with a purchase (like a soda, I recommend the draft root beer). I just went there last Friday, so I don’t know if I will go again. July is National Hot Dog Month, but you knew that right?

Hard Times Café has locations throughout Virginia, Maryland and even one in Raleigh, N.C. Tell them I sent you.

Also, members of the oddly named Awesome Me Club have a free chili mac coming to them as well. You have until August 26 to take advantage of that promotion if you are in that club.

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Hudson, Braves top Nats; Strasburg hurting; Miss Iowa; rubber game at 12:35 today

Tim Hudson owns the Washington Nationals. The Atlanta Braves starter is 9-1 against them lifetime after last night’s 3-1 win (The Post). Liván Hernández only went 4 1/3 innings, not very ¡LIVAN!-like for the Nats, but they are probably saving him for a short-rest start on Sunday. With Stephen Strasburg shut down (Nats Insider) for at least a few days (The Post), the rotation is in flux. J.D. Martin getting hurt did not help matters. Scott Olsen makes his return (Nats Insider) from months on the DL in today’s 12:35 p.m. game. I’ll be listening.

Much more interesting than the pitching rotation woes or the last night’s loss, is the saga of Miguel Batista and Miss Iowa(Miss USA version) , Katherine Connors. She didn’t like it when Batista said:

Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos. But it’s okay. They have to understand that as an organization we have to make sure that the kid is fine. You don’t want to expose him out there and screw up his future.

Nationals Enquirer has the round-up. If only Batista wasn’t going to be busy pitching in the playoffs for the Nats, maybe he could accept the invitation to judge the Miss Iowa pageant in October.

No word from Miss America’s Miss Iowa, Pauli Mayfield.

Lastly, does anybody care what Sen. Jim Bunning thinks of Strasburg? (DC Sports Bog, The Post) Maybe Strasburg can publicly evaluate Bunning’s recent legislative performance.

Today is a great example of why it is so much fun having a baseball team around, this is all much more interesting than Redskins training camp. This wasn’t happening here between 1971 and 2005, despite those who trying tell us that the Expos era of the franchise is “our” history.

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Free Hard Times chili dog tomorrow, 07.29.2010

I got tipped off by an email from the Nationals that tomorrow is National Chili Dog Day and Hard Times Café is celebrating by offering a free Coney Chili Dog with a purchase. I just went there last Friday, so I don’t know if I will go again. July is National Hot Dog Month, but you knew that right?

Hard Times Café has locations throughout Virginia, Maryland and even one in Raleigh, N.C. Tell them I sent you.

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Winter Classic press conference goes on without Capitals Ovechkin or Leonsis

In the biggest D.C sports press conference scandal since Ted Lerner and family skipped Jim Riggleman’s introductory press conference last year, Ted Leonsis and Alex Ovechkin did not attend the Winter Classic presser in Pittsburgh (The Post) yesterday.

OMG1!!!!1

It has been suggested to me that Ovechkin’s decision to not leave Moscow for a quick trip to Pittsburgh is why “the NHL pushes Sid, and not Ovechkin, as its most marketable player. One would think that if Ovechkin really cared about the league, he could fly back from Russia for a quick trip to promote the biggest game in the regular season.”

Perhaps Ovechkin was just following the example that Sidney Crosby set after the Olympics (NY Post), except for the fact that Ovechkin was half way around the world, not a 2 hour flight away. I think Ovi knows that the NHL doesn’t think he’s nearly as important as Crosby, so he’s not inclined to interrupt his offseason for a mere press conference.

Anyway, isn’t Pittsburgh a real hockey town? They should appreciate that the Caps sent Mike Knuble, who gets his goals by getting dirty by the net, and Dave Steckel who was the second best faceoff man in the league. Surely, those great hockey fans appreciate that kind of play, right? I mean they are love hockey there, its not like the Penguins were last in attendance the years before Crosby got there, went bankrupt twice or were in danger of moving to noted hockey hotbed Kansas City? Also, if Pens fans hate Ovechkin so much, why are they disappointed he wasn’t there?

Oh and Max Talbot doesn’t like Ovechkin (DC Sports Bog, The Post). That’s okay too.


Thanks to Ted for linking to that video.

In other news, the Caps are going to wear something that looks like their original sweater.

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