D-Span: Nats get Denard Span from Twins for prospect Alex Meyer

Since time immemorial, Washington Nationals general managers have craved a centerfielder who could lead off. Why GMs Jim Bowden and Mike Rizzo were so insistent for those two skillsets combined is a mystery that may never be fully understood. That led to experiments with the likes of Nook Logan, Lastings Milledge and Nyjer Morgan. Now, Rizzo believes he has acquired the player once thought to be an impossible dream. Denard Span (Baseball Reference) is coming to D.C.

Span, previously with the Minnesota Twins, was actually born in the nation’s capital(Nationals Journal, The Post) when his mother went labor earlier than expected. Speaking his mother, he hit her with a foul ball in spring training once (Nats Enquirer). She was fine (twinsbaseball.com).

Naturally, the newest Nat will be known as D-SPAN. It is probably only a matter of time before Brian Lamb is asked to comment.

Denard Span - D-SPAN

Back to the field, the ramifications of Span’s arrival are many and let’s just say, if you were looking forward to Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche playing together again, you will probably be disappointed. Morse won’t be a starting outfielder with Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper manning the corners and Span in center. That means he has to supplant LaRoche at first or be sent elsewhere. LaRaoche is unsigned at this point, but the Nats still want him. This, and what losing another pitching prospect in Alex Meyer, means is explained well here: Ripple effects from the Alex Meyer-Denard Span trade (Nationals Journal, The Post). It seems like a solid trade that screams the Nats are in “WIN NOW” mode which is a pretty good sign.


Rizzo: Span will “come into his own” in WashingtonCSN Washington

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HOW TWITTER WAS WON TONIGHT

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The 2012-2013 Mid-Atlantic ski season begins today

Over the weekend, a number of resorts within driving distance of Washington, D.C. have fired up the snow guns (DC Ski).

EARLY OUTLOOK

The real stuff has been falling as well with about four inches in the Poconos yesterday after flurries throughout Pennsylvania last weekend. It is still early though and warm weather is expected in BeltwayLand in early December, according to Capital Weather Gang. I don’t know how much impact that will have for the resorts north of here, though CWG thinks we could be in for a colder, snowier winter. The Pocono ski areas are expected to open about two weeks earlier than last year with Jack Frost/Big Boulder are planning on opening this afternoon, according to yesterday’s Pocono Record. Camelback is planning on a Saturday opening, while Shawnee and Blue Mountain are aiming for that as well. Hunter Mountain is New York State is aiming for December 8.

UPDATE: Seven Springs and other ski resorts in Western Pennsylvania are forecast to get more snow than normal according to Pittsburgh’s WPXI-TV.

LAST YEAR

Last year was the winter of discontent for skiers, snowboarders and snow-lovers. My plan of going skiing three times became once and I was lucky to get that one in. If not for a couple of inches of snow falling at Blue Knob during the day, the conditions would have left a lot to be desired.

NEAR-ISH SKI AREAS

Over the last several years I have been to several ski areas, all in Pennsylvania and I have blogged about those trips: Big Boulder | Blue Knob | Camelback | Jack Frost | Whitetail. I’m hoping to get up to Hunter this year to ski in New York State for the first time. West Virginia will also be under consideration.

GETTING READY

As always, I’m getting ready with daily exercises, specifically wall-sits. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful just a few minutes every day improves both the experience and my ability. This year, I started off by watching the Franz Klammer Gold Medal run at Innsbruck for inspiration.

Another thing, if you don’t own your own equipment, rent locally. There are two big advantages of renting your skis near where you live:

1.) Renting in advance allows more time on the day you go skiing. Doing the paperwork on a weeknight in an empty, warm ski shop is better than doing it packed, chilly ski area. It is probably cheaper too.

2.) Your boots are warm when you put them on, as opposed to putting on the ski area rentals that have been sitting in a room that is 45°.

Also, wear a helmet. it keeps your head safer and is nice and warm.

THE ONLY COACHING YOU NEED

FURTHER READING

DCSki is a great resource for Mid-Atlantic skiers. I did a Q&A with it last winter.

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Verizon Center switching to Pepsi

Throwbacks
Verizon Center to switch from Coke to Pepsi products – DC Sports Bog, The Post
The best news out of Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment since Game 7 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs is that Pepsi products will soon be the official soft drinks of Verizon Center. Coke drinkers are not taking the news well which isn’t surprising.

Of course, it is going to be a while before I get my first Verizon Center Pepsi. I’m boycotting the teams there because Leonsis is presiding over his third lockout – second in hockey and second in consecutive years (Capitals now, Wizards last year). Hard to cheer for a team and sport when ownership doesn’t want to play.

Pepsi was sold at Washington Nationals games when they were at RFK Stadium. I think that is still true for DC United. Nationals Park and FedEx Field both sell Coca-Cola products.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2012

My favorite holiday is a day away — Thanksgiving! Family, food, football fire in the fireplace — what’s not to love? Thanksgiving is why America wins, on points.

NOTHING CELEBRATES GIVING THANKS LIKE LITTERING

If the listening of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (I insist on the full name<) isn't one of you traditions, it should be. DC101 plays it annually and I typically hear on my way into work. Yup, I work on Thanksgiving -- time and half plus the holiday. Not bad and I don't miss dinner which is much more reasonable than the retailers who insist on opening on Thanksgiving night.

FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

First fire of the season

Thanksgiving is pretty much a mandatory day to build a fire in the fireplace if you have one. Gas fireplaces don’t count.

HAVE SOME TURKEY BEFORE YOUR TURKEY

I always have my turkey before my turkey
A shot of Wild Turkey in a snifter with just a drop of water is a great reward for building the fire. That’s real Wild Turkey too, not the harsh 81 proof stuff.

TRIUMPH OF THE UNCLUTTERED MIND

Football is a big part of the holiday too. The NFL is sending the Washington Redskins head to Texas to play the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday which is November 22, because 49 years ago a DC delegation going to Dallas worked out so well.

DC is 0 and 6 in Big D (or more accurately, Irving) on Turkey Day. The most memorable of course was 1974, so we might as well get Clint Longley out of the way:

Longley hasn’t been heard from in decades – sucker punching Roger Staubach will do that to you. DC Sports Bog provides a strong take on that memorable game that took place before we were born.

The Cowboys are probably wearing their stupid fauxback blue uniforms. This annoys me, Thanksgiving is a traditional game — wear the traditional uniform! The Redskins will probably wear white over gold which probably hasn’t been done down there since the Cotton Bowl days.

In the early game, the Detroit Lions will host the Houston Texans and almost certainly lose to them. The Lions also need to fix their uniforms. The New England Patriots visit the New York Jets in the night cap. Shouldn’t NEW ENGLAND be hosting on Thanksgiving? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Also, what took the NFL so long to add a third game on Thanksgiving?

By the way, I’m predicting the Redskins pull this on out, the Lions play valiantly and lose to the Texans and the Patriots roll over the Jets.

THE BIRD

“We’d always have walking-bird on Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings: cranberries, injun eyes, yams stuffed with gunpowder. Then we’d all watch football, which in those days was called baseball…”

Abraham Simpson

Mom's turkey

Turkey is to be cooked on Thanksgiving, not the day before and NOT CHICKEN, like I once had to endure.

Here is how you carve it:

OVERFILLED TURKEY FRYER = CHINA SYNDROME

LATE IN THE COWBOYS GAME

Back when we had a social contract, the commercial that Ed McMahon wished “you and yours the very best this holiday season” with the Clydesdales in the snow was the official beginning of the Christmas season. Then Ed’s narration was replaced in the mid-1990s and now that beer has been made even blander by the multinational conglomerate that owns it. Boo.

I don’t seem to be able to have a turkey leg on the couch during the 4th quarter anymore, but if you can, go for it.

BLACK FRIDAY

Sleep in. Go to work. Clean up. Just don’t go to the damn mall or sprawling big box development.

I THOUGHT TURKEYS COULD FLY

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