Category Archives: Blogging/WWW

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I remembered to submit my DC-IBWA 2014 Nats predictions

Every year, the DC Internet Baseball Writers Association sends out questionaires for the Natmosphere about the state of the Washington Nationals. Some years I get to them, some years I don’t. This year, I got to it. Fire away:

1) Who will lead the Nats in home runs in 2014? – Bryce Harper
2) Who will lead the Nats in RBI? – Bryce Harper
3) Who will lead the Nats in stolen bases? – Denard Span
4) Who will lead the staff in wins? – Stephen Strasburg
5) How many games will Ryan Zimmerman play first base? – 11
6) Who starts more games: Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark, Ross Ohlendorf? – Taylor Roark
7) Who will get more at bats for the Nats this season: Danny Espinosa or Jamey Carroll? – Danny Espinosa
8) Which minor leaguer are you most interested in keeping tabs on this season? – Lucas Giolito
9) Who will reach majors first: Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole, Lucas Giolito or Matt Purke? – Matt Purke
10) How many all-stars will the Nats have? Who? – 3 – Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Wilson Ramos
11) Total wins and what place in the division? 92, 1st

Essay: What should be the single most important development for the Nats this season?

The Nationals single biggest development should be playing smarter. The talent is there, as we saw in 2012, but last season they had a tendency towards defensive lapses that extended innings and wore down pitchers. Another part of playing smarter is not playing with serious injuries. Harper played hurt for the bulk of the season and Espinosa played his way out of the majors. In the outfield at least, an improved bench should make it easier for manager Matt Williams to give Jayson Werth, Span and Harper some days off with Nate McLouth as the fourth outfielder, so nagging injuries may bee mitigated somewhat. In the infield, Espinosa is a big question mark as the utility man coming off of injuries to both arms.

Strasburg also faces a big year at the top of the rotation after an “off” year in 2013. A recent Post article suggests he had an epiphany about his approach. Strasburg has always come off as intelligent, but very sensitive at the same time. If he has overcome his perfectionist tendencies and self-flagellation, he could dominate with more regularity. Simply put, a focused Strasburg, more comfortable with being an ace and all that entails could be devastating to NL hitters.

Lastly, I believe that Williams approach to defense and hiring of a “defensive coordinator” could help address defensive lapses. Not necessarily because shifts in and of themselves can anticipate where batted balls are going, but also keeping the fielders a little more focused. The question will be whether this will help overcome the learning curve that Williams will face as a rookie manager. Thus far, the tone he is setting for the team is refreshing after Davey Johnson’s casual approach in 2013.

I’ll be surprised if the Nats win 98 games like they did in 2012 — I think that was the peak year in the regular season at least, but I don’t see the Braves winning 96 again either. I believe the Braves will challenge to for the NL East title and probably make the play-in game. After that, it’s all about matchups in the playoffs, so, who knows?

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This blog is 10 years old

Ten years ago today, this blog was officially launched, but I’m not going to get maudlin about it. It’s been an interesting and fun ride which started in my final days in my first apartment through the present in a increasingly claustrophobic condo and #dadlife.

It all started out because I like writing and figured it was an easier way to spread the news my friends and I would email about during the day. Not long after launching, it became a DC Baseball and Penn State football blog.

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I used blogger for six years but spent at least half of them wondering if something else would be better, only to have Blogger add some helpful new feature like labels. At times, it was kind of fun figure little hacks around Blogger’s limitations. I even started using Blogger in my professional life.

I finally moved over to WordPress in 2010 and have been generally been happy with it, even though the latest migration was a bit annoying. I even used that platform professionally.

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Now, I’m using WordPress’s twentyfourteen responsive design. I like some aspects of it, but I think I’ll look for something else. We’ll see, time for such things is limited and the weather is about to get good again. Maybe next winter!

Okay, enough talk about designs and how I manage this content.

I’ve changed my focus content-wise over the years. For a long time, it was “executive news summary” style headlines for the Washington Nationals or Penn State Nittany Lions. Occasionally, I had some Q&As with an local author, cult filmmaker, the Blue Sapphire (twice), a future Pulitzer Prize winner, a hockey team owner and more. For a while, youtube videos were great for quick posts, but that’s more for tumblr or facebook now.

Speaking of facebook, it kind of killed personal blogging, didn’t it? I was never too personal (and have actually made some personal posts private) as this was mostly about stuff I was interested in, rather than myself. Nonetheless, all those games, travel and other adventures (like bicycling and skiing) are something of a diary that might be fun for my offspring to read several years from now. I hadn’t thought about that at the time, but it was a good point a friend of mine made.

By the way, Twitter hasn’t been as disruptive as facebook for my blog traffic which peaked in the spring of 2008. Twitter was new enough to be really helpful and Google Reader was still going strong and the Capitals were surging back to the playoffs and Nationals Park was new. Then my son was born and I slowly started blogging less of the years. No regrets. well, maybe the name — a proto-blog was called Weekly William News after the much lamented investigative newspaper, the Weekly World News and I wanted to keep that theme going.

Every now and then I still get a big spike, usually because Uni-Watch linked to me, but also DC Sports Bog. That’s always fun. So are the Q&As with opposing fans in my guest prognosticator series. I’ve really enjoyed doing more D.C. sports history posts as well as resurrecting The Beltway @ Yurasko.net; a name I used for all those highway pages I built in college. I like blogging about Metro too, though I’m not happy about the Silver Line right now.

At times this felt like a burden, but overall, it’s been a really fun ride. Thanks for reading and mostly thanks to my wife Erica for putting up with it.

Okay, now off to start adding some links (which you probably won’t go to anyway :p)

More highlights – Best of WWN

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Capitals Brand Thunder browser theme no longer has former players

Earlier this month I noted that the Washington Capitals Brand Thunder browser theme had two former players, Tomas Vokoun and Alexander Semin on it:

capitals-browser-theme

Brand Thunder even got back to me on it:

As of this morning, Brand Thunder has updated the browser theme which no longer has the former players or any players in the new tab window:

caps-new-browser-theme2

There is still an issue though:

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The tiles of Alex Ovechkin make the tabs and bookmarks toolbar hard to read. Previously, that area had a “Weagle” to the left of the menus and a red background. It was sharp and legible. I’ll let Brand Thunder know, they were pretty responsive last time.

MORE FEEDBACK

They fixed it!

caps-new-browser-theme3

That was a pretty quick turnaround time by Brand Thunder. Looking good…

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MLB’s Home Run Derby countdown clock doesn’t know what day it is

While writing my post Bryce Harper in 2013 Home Run Derby; Harmon Killebrew vs. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in the 1960 TV version (videos of Killer vs. Mickey & Willie!) I noticed that the Home Run Derby countdown clock has a little issue:

Home-Run-Derby-2013

I took a screenshot with my system clock beside it. The Derby is tonight, but the countdown thinks it is on Tuesday. Somebody most have copied over the All-Star Game script and forgotten to change the date. Oops!

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