Nats finally win again, Bryce Harper hat trick born

The Washington Nationals finally ended their week-long, 5-game losing streak last night, splitting a 2 game series with the Miami Marlins in the process. It came after Davey Johnson‘s team meeting. Brilliant strategy skipper, why did you wait so long?

The story of the night was Bryce Harper. He hit two home runs, the first giving the Nats their first lead in about 58 innings and the second reaching the upper deck.

In the 8th, Harper make a nice grab in center and threw home to hold the runner out third, helping Drew Storen get out of the inning alive.

Then, in the 9th, Harper grounded into a double play. Called out by half a step, he threw his helmet off and was ejected immediately.

I wasn’t alone when I figured out the Harper version of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick:

Harper said “I just need to grow up in that mentality a little bit” (Nationals Journal, The Post)

The Nats are back in D.C. tonight (I might have an extra ticket) with the St. Louis Cardinals in town.

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Nats: Ryan Zimmerman featured on My MLB Life this Saturday

MLB Productions has a new series called “My MLB Life.” This Saturday, Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman is featured on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on MLB Network. Here is the preview:

“My MLB Life” gives you an exclusive and unique look at the personal and professional lives of the top MLB players in the game. We take you to their hometown to see how they grew up, when they fell in love with the game, and how they made it to the big leagues. You will meet their family and hear their perspective on what makes a super athlete. We even give you a VIP tour of their personal homes, so you can see how athletes lives. You’ll see what these athletes are passionate about off the field, relive some of their best on field moments, and learn what it takes to become a Major League star.

The show will be rebroadcast several times – 9/9, 12:30 p.m. & 4 a.m. Mon., 9/10, 1 p.m. Sat., 9/15, 2:30 p.m.

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Redskins: Joe Theismann, Billy Cundiff and the number 7

Yesterday, just for laughs, I asked former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann on Twitter if he’d be okay with new kicker Billy Cundiff wearing #7. Nobody has worn #7 for the Redskins since Theismann in 1985, but Cundiff wore it with the Baltimore Ravens last year. Hours late, I got an answer:

Okay, not a surprising one and certainly a fair one. While the Redskins have only officially retired Sammy Baugh’s #33, several numbers are not in circulation. We haven’t seen #21 (the late Sean Taylor), #28 Darrell Green, #42 Charley Taylor, #44 John Riggins, #49 Bobby Mitchell and #81 Art Monk and of course, Theismann’s #7. All but Taylor and Theismann are Hall of Famers.

A few minutes later, Theismann clarified:

Had I been in front of my PC at home, I probably would have blogged the first tweet and then gotten stuck changing the post after the second tweet.

Also, if you want to get retweeted a lot, get a question answered by a former NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion. I don’t think I could get the same result out of a current or former player from any of D.C.’s red, white and blue teams.

By the way, the Redskins roster shows Cundiff as wearing #5. Jeff Hayes and Curt Knight could not be reached for comment.

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The Nats should tweak their uniforms again

Generally speaking, I’m pretty happy with the Washington Nationals uniforms. I’m in the tank for the curly W and don’t miss the beveled-block typography of the original set. However, if I had a say, I’d make a few changes.

HOME UNIFORM

There are just two changes I’d make

1.) remove the number from the front of the jersey

2.) replace the circular team logo on the left sleeve with the interlocking DC (seen on previous versions). I’m not enough of a PhotoShop jock to get the un-beveled version of the interlocking DC, but you get the idea.

nats-front-no-number-home

If the number were to remain on the jerseys, I’d move it up higher to be even with the curly W.

ROAD UNIFORM

I think the switch to the script “Washington” on that began in 2009 made for the best looking road jersey in D.C. baseabll history. It was changed a little in 2011, but not much. The big problem with the road set is the cap. A two-tone “Atlanta Braves” cap doesn’t set well with me. The solid blue cap the Nats wore from 2005-2010 is my favorite Washington baseball cap ever and I’d like to see it return. The Senators wore blue for much of their history, so it was an appropriate nod to the past too, though having another cap to sell was probably the main motivation. The changes I’d make to the roadies:

1.) go back to the solid blue road cap

2.) Change the sleeve and pant leg striping to match the home uniform, plus the interlocking DC.

nats-front-blue-cap

There is something to be said for ditching a road cap in general, but after looking at the combination, I still prefer the solid blue. Either choose is superior to the two-tone “Braves cap” they wear now.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but after the Nats poor performance in the 2012 UniWatch Power Rankings I became a little more motivated to put it together.

Lastly, if I’m going to be redesigning baseball uniforms, I’m making all the players were their pants the right way with stirrups.

Logos are the property of MLB. Graphics modified from Chris Creamer’s excellent sportslogos.net.

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No more Sweet Caroline at Penn State games

Tweaking the traditionAltoona Mirror

And while the Boston Red Sox, Pitt football and others have elevated “Sweet Caroline” to a staple for their games, that popular PSU tradition may be interrupted or discontinued.

Long overdue, particularly considering the awful origins of the song:


Neil Diamond Storytellers by JimGoodwine

Okay, in the real world, I’m glad they are getting rid of it because it is a cliche that has nothing to do with the Penn State. Not that it has anything to do with the Red Sox, but they’ve made it their own long before Guido D’Elia brought it to Beaver Stadium. I’m sure it still gets played at the Shandygaff.

I still have a post to write about everything. Not real eager to do it.

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Nats losing streak hits 4 as they are swept by Phillies

Tough times in Natstown. The Washington Nationals are riding a four-game losing streak, not having won since they honored Chipper Jones. Hey! That’s the problem, the curse of Chipper! Also, win-less since the news broke that they are fighting with Metro over $29,500 deposit for extended service.

Or perhaps the in-fighting amongst Nats fan on Twitter is contributing a bad aura. #teamshutmudgeon

The losing streak includes getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies which everybody gets particularly agitated about — I appreciate your concern for me in the Cheesesteak/Half-Smoke Challenge, but I can handle it however it ends up. The way its going now, I’m two games behind in my quest to win a second consecutive cheesesteak.

The Nats may go a full week between wins – that’s the best case scenario as they head to Miami with a day off today before facing the Marlins on Tuesday night.

Lastly, the Ombudsman was seen sporting a Nats shirt last week, one of the ones you get for filling out a form for Chevy. He’s a Phillies fan, so, that must be it.

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