Rich Scarcella’s annual Joe Paterno Q&A part 2

Q&A with JoePa: Lions coach discusses Rob Bolden, Matt McGloin, but gives no hints about who will startReading Eagle
Rich Scarcella’s annual interview with Joe Paterno continues with discussion of the quarterback situation. Does Paterno name Rob Bolden or Matt McGloin as the starter? Of course not! He does mention that he wasn’t on board team McGloin last year in September, but the coaching staff convinced him to start the then true freshman.

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: Slugging John Lannan

Charlie Slowes had a prescient opening to John Lannan‘s second inning at-bat last night, “and now, here comes slugging John Lannan.” The Washington Nationals lefthander and American Hero came to the plate in the second inning leading 1-0 with Ian Desmond on first after a 2-out single. Lannan, who has never been feared for his hitting, had only gotten his first hit of the year in his previous start, hit a 1-2 fastball about 361 feet to right for his career home run. He was promptly greeted by the silent treatment in the dugout, but after 5 seconds of so, his teammates celebrated with him.

Sadly, embeddable video is not yet available, but here is a link off of nationals.com of Lannan’s blast.

If you are wondering how the radio guys how radio handled his at bats, go to the MLB.com Media Center for July 22, 2011 and select the WJFK and KABC feeds for Nationals @ Dodgers (penultimate game listed) under Gameday Audio.

The Nats radio team (WJFK) with Slowes and Dave Jageler begins at 1:03:50. The Los Angeles Dodgers call on KABC, featuring Vin Scully, begins at 50:17.

Lannan’s two-run shot was the difference, as the Dodgers picked up two runs (1 earned) off of him over 6 2/3. The bullpen kept L.A. scoreless the rest of the way. Jerry Hairston, Jr. hit a grand slam to pile on in the 9th.

Strong gamer from Adam Kilgore in The Post today: Nationals vs. Dodgers: John Lannan and Jerry Hairston homer to lead Washington to win

Oh and Dodgers fan Blimpboy is so disappointed:

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)

Why Penn State’s Creamery doesn’t sell ice cream anywhere but campus

A story in the Post-Gazette, Penn State Creamery is as good as it gets answers why Penn State’s Creamery ice cream is not sold off campus:

Opening ice cream stores elsewhere would force the Creamery — the largest university creamery in the nation — to compete with graduates of its own course.

And that would clash with Penn State’s identity as a public university, Mr. Palchak said. As he sees it, Penn State ice cream is public property. Short Course participants are not sworn to secrecy; in fact, Penn State readily hands out the Creamery formula and has even adapted it for home use.

That’s good reasoning. I sure could go for some creamery ice cream today though. I thought I’d be getting some in a few weeks, but plans changed.

H/T The Penn Stater

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 visit the bankrupt L.A. Dodgers, which is bizarre to type

Washington Nationals baseball returns tonight, but possibly after your bedtime. First pitch from Los Angeles is 10:05 p.m. EDT. You have special dispensation to listen to the Dodgers feed for the first three innings when Vin Scully is calling the game. I know I will at some point this weekend and then, hopefully, back to Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler with the television on.

The Dodgers are 43-55, but that is secondary this season as the team ownership goes through a bitter divorce that has left the team, literally bankrupt. How bad is it? A college football blog, EDSBS, linked to this blog post by Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness’s The Collected Sins of the Frank & Jamie McCourt Era. Human filth indeed.

So, in using the Dodgers as complicated ATM, the McCourts helped lead to stories like this: How a city reached its limit with the DodgersLA Times

The McCourts owe Scully over $150,000 of backpay!

Granted, I’m here on the east coast and have never been to L.A. but it is still hard to conceive the Dodgers losing L.A. Then again, over 50 years ago, people were wondering how they ever left Brooklyn. Since leaving that borough for the Pacific coast, the Dodgers led the National League in attendance roughly half the time, but ownership, starting with FOX and now the McCourts have stepped on the neck of that golden goose. Just unbelievable, I think right now Dodgers fans have it worse than just about any other, because this is going to take years to dig out of.

Oh and good for Bud Selig for standing up to Frank McCourt (LA Times), but where was that fortitude when dealing with Peter Angelos? Or when vetting McCourt in the first place?

Lastly, I guess Brooklyn and Roger Kahn are finally over 1957 because I haven’t seen anything come from that way. I figured at least the Daily News would have a lot of fun with it.

Okay, enough about the Dodgers…

The Nats are on their third road trip to California 50 days and will play in every ballpark in that state except Oakland. Their record out west this year: 4-6. The beat the San Diego Padres 3 out of 4, the San Francisco Giants 1 out of 3 and were swept by the Anaheim Angels.

Thomas Boswell says that Michael Morse may be the best bargain in baseball right now and coincidentally modeled his career after Jayson Werth, who certainly is no bargain right now.

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)

Sure Werth, the Nats can make the playoffs!

Nationals vs. Astros: Jayson Werth breaks slump, but Houston prevails in extra inningsThe Post
Yesterday, apropos of nothing, Jayson Werth said the Washington Nationals could make the playoffs in 2011. This was after they lost two and a row and a series to the Houston Astros, the worst team in the majors. Three one-run games, two loses. The Nats are now 48-50, 1½ games out of third place, one game out of last place.

Werth though, to his credit, has had a decent few days with the bat. Yesterday, he had a two-run homer (the only D.C. runs of the game) and two doubles. Keep that up and I’ll start to buy into the Nats as contenders. Oh and Werth is raising the cost of beer with all those hits!

By the way, have you noticed that if the Nats Facebook feed has a video of a home run, the Nats usually lost that game?

Two bad outings in a row for Toddy Coffey. He took the loss in the 11th.

The Nats have an off-day in L.A. today. The start a series with the Dodgers tomorrow night at 10:10.

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 and Astros at 2:05 today; I think Minute Maid Park would be fine in the AL

I love day baseball. We get the rubber game between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at 2:05 p.m. today. I’ll be listening on MLB Audio.

Today’s D.C. starter has been more ¡Navil! than ¡LIVAN! lately, so a day game and travel day, I am hoping for a rebound, but am wary about the unfriendly dimensions.

I am not in favor of any realignment, but I suppose putting the Astros in the AL makes sense because Minute Maid Park is a joke of a ball field that would be at home in the junior circuit.

Jordan Zimmermann got yelled Davey Johnson at for having a bad outing (MissChatter), what’s the big deal? The Nats fell 7-6. Ryan Zimmerman almost fixed that, but it a ball just a few inches too far right (Nats Enquirer).

Michael Morse should really be playing in the NL Central because he just crushes the ball indoors. Either the Astros or Milwaukee Brewers would be a good fit. I suppose either the Tampa Bay Rays or Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East would make sense too.

Duffy’s Irish Pub has an interesting promotion based on underachieving free agent acquisition Jayson Werth (NBC Washington):

During the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, you can order PBR tallboys, Buds and High Lifes for whatever Werth’s batting average is at the time. For example, if the promotion started right now, at the time of publication, Werth’s .211 batting average would mean $2.11 brewskies.

If he gets a hit, folks in Nats gear get a few shot of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey. This is cynical, but face it, better this than apathy of the not so distant past.

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)

The Astros nearly moved here; Nats win; Strasburg hits 95

THOM LOVERRO: Thom Loverro: In Houston, house that District builtThe Wash. Examiner
With the Washington Nationals visiting the Houston Astros, Loverro reminds us that the D.C. area was used as leverage by several teams to get new ballparks built. The Astros came the closest to moving here around 1995. I was in college so I could not follow that as closely, but I recall seeing that Astros owner John McMullen had a handshake agreement with Bill Collins to move the team to the area. The plan was to have it play in RFK Stadium until a stadium could get built in Northern Virginia. Collins had previously tried to win a team in the 1991 expansion for D.C., a team that would be called the Washington Nationals. I remember the graphic in The Post for it — an eagle holding a bat with one of its talons. Collins later determined, incorrectly it would turn out, that D.C. couldn’t get a team, so he re-focused his efforts on Northern Virginia. If I recall correctly, Collins was the chairman of Cellular One and had been a Senators batboy at one point. I’d love to hear what Collins has to say about the drive to bring baseball back and reached out to Loverro about the topic.

Loverro also notes that the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates used D.C. as leverage to get new ballparks. As I recall, the Mariners used Tampa Bay more though, while I don’t think the Pirates ever seriously threatened a D.C. move, though I think it was Thomas Boswell told a story Jack Kent Cooke apparently calling up John Galbreath and asking “how much would you like for you ball team?” The Squire may have just been playing with Boswell though.

Prior to 2004, the closest D.C. came to getting baseball back was when San Diego Padres nearly moved in 1973.

Meanwhile, back in the present, the Nats are back at .500 after beating the Astros late, here is the MLB video recap. Ryan Zimmerman went the other way for a homer and the game-winning RBI which is no longer an official statistic.

Stephen Strasburg is holding back and throwing 95 MPH fastballs. I still don’t expect to see him reach D.C. this year, they are going to be VERY cautious with him.

Oh yeah, Boswell’s chat from yesterday, in case you missed it.

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)

Rich Scarcella’s annual Joe Paterno Q&A part 1

Q&A with JoePa: Penn State coach discusses his improved health, Big Ten expansion and moreReading Eagle
Every year, Rich Scarcella gets a sit-down interview with Joe Paterno during the summer. I should change that to “almost every year” because last year Paterno was not healthy enough to do it in person in 2010, so it was done via teleconference. This year though, Paterno is feeling much better and was able to conduct the Q&A in person. He’s walking 90 minutes a day around campus. By the way, between Paterno and my grandmother, I have concluded walking is the best way to live a long, healthy life.

I came away from this Q&A with some optimism.

I think this is probably the same Q&A that shows up in the Town & Gown Football Annual, which I need to order.

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)

Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries is going to run up the score


Over the weekend, the biggest Penn State blog went through a frameshift. Black Shoe Diaries founder Mike Hubbell announced he was moving on after many years helming the blog. I wish Mike well — he brought me into Blue White Roundtable back in its heyday and offered me a chance to write for the Maple Street Press Penn State preseason football preview magazine. You may recall that I did in 2010. I understand where he’s coming from and wish him good luck moving forward.

Succeeding Mike at the helm of Black Shoe Diaries is Chris Grovich who has written for half a dozen different sites over the years. I first became aware of him over 15 years ago when he sent me an “angry” email about a Web site some friends and I made about his hometown. Since he had another “tribute” site for Hazleton, Pa. at the time and appreciated our efforts. Since then, he written for PSU Playbook, Run Up the Score!, Scrappled, BSD and Slow States. I don’t know what this means for Slow States, but I hope he and Kevin Powers keep that going. Speaking of Kevin, he’s right there with Chris on the new BSD.

In addition to the Slow Staters, the Linebacker U. bloggers, led by my new colleague, Mike Pettigano will make the move into BSD. The details about them and what they will be doing. In short, lots of stuff, not just football, but basketball, wrestling (meh), volleyball and hockey. This is a supergroup of bloggers, which Mike P. calls Blog Voltron (space version, I assume) on account of about eight different Penn State blogs being in the writers past.

I, for one, welcome Chris as new BSD overlord. I enjoyed his victory speech following the (mostly) bloodless coup d’état (or was it a putcsh)? and look forward to the junta he has put together.

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)

The fun part of the Nats 2011 season has probably already happened

This morning as I reviewed articles about yesterday’s Washington Nationals 9-8 loss to the Atlanta Braves (after winning on Saturday and getting blown out on Friday), I came to the conclusion that we have probably passed the emotional high point of the 2011 season. Actually, I probably came to that conclusion a while go, but I’m just articulating it a little better. I am not saying that there will not be moments of exhilaration and joy, but unless they can go on a run to get several games above .500, the drive to get there was probably as good as it is going to get. And it was good, 11 of 12 and 13 of 15 to reach 40-38 on June 27. For me at least, the abrupt resignation of the Jim Riggleman was bewildering, but I can’t get around the idea that his departure changed the fortunes of the team moving forward.

Under new manager Davey Johnnson, the Nats are 7-10. He inherited a team that was winning by playing small-ball, a style that doesn’t suit him and is statistically unsustainable. The bullpen is tired and the starting pitching is starting to falter as well. The best starting pitcher, Jordan Zimmerman, has an innings limit that will hit in August or September if he continues to pitch on schedule. The two marquee hitters, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth are not hitting, though Zimmerman is coming off an abdominal injury that has hurt his power. Werth, I cannot explain. The Nats are also on the road for another road, where are 11 under, for another two series, including a second trip to Los Angeles.

Now, at the risk of being too down on a team that is meeting and raising expectations, I’ll point out the good news. These next two road series are against sub .500 teams, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nats 19-30 road record may improve and probably should. We also get to hear Vin Scully doing 3 Nats gams, or at least the first few innings if you have MLB Audio. I love listening to Charlie and Dave, but I admit to cheating a little when Scully is doing the game.

If the Nats can keep their heads above water and go at least 3-3 this week, they’ll be in good shape headed back to D.C. Now I’m starting to rationalize again and contradict the point of this post a bit. The Nats did well outside of the division against weaker competition which is partly how they got to respectability. Now, if the Nats can keep pace with their 28-18 pace in the homestand next week against the Florida Marlins, New York Mets and Braves, we can get excited. I don’t see that happening though, the pitching might be hurting too much.

In the end, I expect most weeks to go between 4-6 and 6-4 the rest of the way. With 2 and half months to go, even something like a 83-79 record would mean hovering around mediocrity and adding an extra win every 12 games or so. Seems easy enough right? We’ll see, but right now, the Nats and fans are at a plateau and realistically, that’s about all we can hope for the rest of the season. We’ll get some memorable and fun moments like we always do, but the best of 2011 is probably behind us.

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)