Bryce Harper is too good to be true; Nats split with Rockies; people are watching/listening

Bryce Harper loves Washington, and says he wants to play his entire career in the cityThe Post
Bryce Harper has decided as a 19 year old that he wants to stay in the D.C. area forever as a member of the Washington Nationals. He’s living in Pentagon City and I never wanted to move out of Pentagon City either, so I see his point. Still, a really feel-good article that you should invest absolutely zero in because a 19 year old’s worldview is very different than a 25 year old on the cusp of a $200-300 million contract. He is saying all the right things rigth now though as evidenced by him suggesting the Colorado brewery selling Clown Question Bro beer donate some profits in honor of a fallen police officer.

He’s too good to be true.

Also, get that man some more Pop Tarts. Maybe an endorsement deal with them too. Is that balcony grill usage legal?

The Nats series in Denver was strange (Stephen Strasburg losing?!, three games of 10 or more runs, rally napkin and coming back from being down 7-0 to lose by one in extras). Given the history with the Colorado Rockies, a split is okay with me. Oh and Tyler Clippard feeding baby ducks in the bullpen.

Peter Angelos is probably really upset because Washingtonians are watching the Nats in record numbers and at a greater rate the Capitals or Wizards. Hopefully, this news has reached the committee that is going to give Bud Selig a recommendation on how much MASN has to pay the Nats for TV rights over the next five years. Angelos, who should not have had the Nats TV rights to begin with, has to be scared that the panel reviewing the Nats request for TV rights compensation will see this new information. It is a mortal lock that the dream of Angelos/Orioles no longer having the Nats TV rights will come true though.

The Nats radio ratings are also solid with 5% of area radios tuned in to hear Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler call the action. All the more impressive — high ratings without pancake banter. Also, more merchandise is being sold at Nationals Park. Note: The previous four links all go to DC Sports Bog which is mostly Nats these days.

1924 Senators throwbacks and more for the July 5 game against the San Francisco Giants.

Ryan Zimmerman is hitting again, thanks to a cortisone shot. Hopefully, he isn’t doing permanent damage though.

A big series with the second place Braves in Atlanta tonight. The Nats have a 3.5 game lead on them and the Mets, along with the best winning percentage in the NL.

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Nats lose Orioles series and move on to Colorado

The Washington Nationals losing a series is always disappointing, but double so when it is to the corrupt Baltimore Orioles for oft stated reasons like “evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.” The Baltimore fanboys in D.C. sports media are surely thrilled. Still, the Nats had a strong stretch through the seemingly most difficult part of the schedule (CSN Washington) and a solid 10-8 record in interleague play. They have a

Pitching continues to be a strong spot, perhaps historically strong (THOMAS BOSWELL, The Post), but a lot of that is coming from the #1 and #2 starters Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. Strasburg shuts down in September, so that’s a problem. Jordan Zimmermann continues to not get run support and I think that is taking its toll. Maybe we’re just spoiled as Nats fans which seems odd because we suffered through a lot of bad starting pitching for years. Hey, John Lannan may be back for some doubleheaders too (The Nats Blog)!

Ryan Zimmerman got a cortisone shot because he’s got bone on bone in his shoulder
(Federal Baseball). Ouch. I’d have sent him to the DL, the long-term risk of injury/aging of the shoulder should be the guide here. He hasn’t been hitting at all, so putting somebody else in there isn’t going to hurt and may help in the short term. I understand why he’s still out there though and don’t envy having to make that decision.

The Nats get the top of the rotation for the Colorado Rockies series in Denver. That will be interesting, seeing how they pitch in the thin air, but perhaps more importantly, how do they hit. Will they try too hard?

The next three games are unusual 8:40 p.m. starts followed by a 3:10 p.m. start on Thursday. Then, they go from the highest elevation in the majors to the second highest elevation for a weekend series with the Atlanta Braves.

Boswell chatted for 2 hours (25 responses) today.

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Nats take Rays series as Robin Ficker heckles Joe Maddon

I will admit that heading into the Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays series I couldn’t find any “extra excitement” like I do for Northeast Corridor rivals. It is safe to say that this
series was way more fun than we could have anticipated after Joel Peralta’s pine tar ejection. Still, heading into last night, the series was split and the Nats really needed a win. Gio Gonzalez did not have his best stuff, but gutted out a win until the Nats bats could overwhelm estuary pitching.
Danny Espinosa had a big night (CSN Washington) and made the Rays pay for walking Adam LaRoche(MLB video) to get to him, doubling off of Peralta. Well done.

Ian Desmond also had an excellent evening
, including a great play up the middle.

Wow. Robin Ficker heckled Joe Maddon (DC Sports Bog), who responded with a ball smeared with pine tar and “Stick up for those you care about” written on it. Everybody wins! I’ll say it, Maddon saved a little face there. He had taken the task of taking attention off of the player who got caught a bit far. See you in October!

Joe Theismann was there too, talking to Bryce Harper.

Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight and radio? Good to see the increasing support amongst the D.C. pros though. Of course, Sonny Jurgensen had Natitude before most of us were born.

Harper applied for a trademark to “That’s a clown question, bro.” Probably a week late, but might as well.

Tweeter was down yesterday. If Davey Johnson was on it, I’d tweet at him the following Peter Angelos and MASN tags because this was a disappointing revelation (CSN Balmer), but it probably endeared him to half of the D.C. sports media who have the same feelings.

Would it have killed the Rays to wear a traditional gray jersey at least once?

Big series tonight up on the wrong end of the B/W Parkway — you know how I feel.

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The story of FIVE GUYS

FIVE GUYS cheeseburger and fries in my cube at work
How I Did It: Jerry Murrell, Five Guys Burgers and FriesInc.
The founder of FIVE GUYS, Jerry Murrell explains how and why he and his sons built the Northern Virginia-based hamburger chain. It is an interesting story that began because he advised his teenage sons to either “go to college or start a business.”

I pass the second FIVE GUYS location daily (it was the only one in the late 1990s); sometimes on my bicycle which is like getting taunted as I pedal…

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Capitals: 2012-2013 schedule, choose the next coach tool, Verizon Center signs

The Washington Capitals 2012-2013 schedule has been released: SCHEDULE | DOWNLOADABLE SCHEDULES | PRESS RELEASE

I’m not going to get into how it lays out for the Caps because I’m skeptical of the full season being played due to the expiring collective bargaining agreement. I’ll probably write about the schedule when we know it will be played.

The Caps still don’t have a head coach and probably won’t anytime soon. Japers Rink came up with an excellent “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style poll that identifies who the best coach is based on your feedback. I came up with Larry Robinson. Okay.

Ted Leonsis really, really, really, really wants approval for new video boards on the side of Verizon Center. I say, let him put them up, Chinatown Gallery Place has become the shiny lights district of the District, some TVs aren’t going to change the character much.

Also see: The D.C. Council hearing on Verizon Center signage – DC Sports Bog, The Post

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Strasburg, Nats beat Rays despite silent bats and “weird wuss” in the other dugout

The Washington Nationals are weird. Last night, after a 3-run inning against a Tampa Bay Rays starter making his MLB debut, they were hitless. A mere baserunner for 7 innings after the first. They won 3-2, behind Stephen Strasburg‘s 10 strikeouts (video). The rubber game is tonight. Game recap video

The war of words between managers Davey Johnson and Joe Maddon continues. Nats Enquirer has it chronicled well. Johnson called Maddon a “weird wuss” (Nationals Journal, The Post) too, so I guess we can look forward to guessing which Sunday morning politics show will use that one first. I hope it’s Bob Schieffer. Then there’s this video from CSN Washington:

This is a lot fun, more so when the Nats win though. Gio Gonzalez is on the hill for D.C. tonight.

THIS JUST IN — MASN IS STILL INCOMPETENT

MORE PRESCIENT ANALYSIS

HE LINKED TO ME, I LINK TO HIM

More to come on this one…

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Summertime

The Summer Solstice just happened.

I’ve done this before and probably will again because Ella and Louis are always a good thing.

Capital Weather Gang had another great write-up about the solstice today.

Oh and it is about 100° today and tomorrow and there is no more refreshing way to beat the heat than a good gin and tonic.

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Sonny Jurgensen in a curly W cap in old training camp video

Since DC Sports Bog and @SI_Vault have been posting DC sports photos from that past (mostly Washington Redskins) I thought I’d throw in a screengrab of Sonny Jurgensen wearing a Washington Senators cap, probably in 1970 or 1971 training camp. I have heard that he and Frank Howard used to hang out back in the day.

Sonny Jurgensen wearing a curly W Washington Senators baseball cap screen capture

I grabbed it from this video about Vince Lombardi’s time as Redskins head coach:

Once again, I’m really glad the Washington Nationals went with the curly W. If its good enough for Sonny…

UPDATE: WUSA notes that Sonny had Natitude before we were even born.

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Has Mike Rizzo called Joe Maddon “fake tough” yet? Gamesmanship overshadows Nats loss to the Rays

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of time to recap last night’s events (video) — Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson asks the umpires to check Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta‘s glove for a foreign substance and sure enough there was. Peralta was tossed and Rays manager Joe Maddon started barking off the field about how he felt about the actions of the Nats. I didn’t nearly come to blows like the epic 2005 showdown between Frank Robinson and Mike Scioscia though. As for Maddon, someone from Hazleton, Pa. being passive-aggressive? Well, I never…

Won’t you be disappointed if Nats GM Mike Rizzo doesn’t call out Maddon fake tough?

The glove challenge overshadowed the fact that Chein Ming Wang was terrible and the Nats lost their fourth game in a row.

I wonder if Johnson would have challenged the Rays if he didn’t have Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez next in the rotation.

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