Category Archives: Capitals/NHL

For posterity, Katie Ledecky and the Nats

Swimmer Katie Ledecky visited Nationals Park last night for the Washington Nationals home game since she returned from her 5 medal (4 gold) performance at the Rio Olympics. The Bethesda-native threw out the ceremonial first pitch with Bryce Harper standing by her side, holding her medals.

Ledecky joined the TV booth in the third inning to talk about it as well.

This wasn’t her visit to Nationals Park. In 2014, she threw out the first pitch before NLDS Game 1.

Okay, so the results of those games haven’t been great, but that’s not on her. Last night, she do throw a strike (The Post) or at least close enough for Dave Jageler to have a strong opinion.

In 2012 though, she threw out the first pitch and the Nats went on to clinch the first winning season for D.C. baseball since 1969 with a win over the Chicago Cubs.

Ledecky also played in a celebrity vs. Wounded Warriors softball game in 2013 (DC Sports Bog, The Post)

Noted DC Sports sentimentalist @bogcommenter made another observation:

Someone pointed this out: she was 8 when team came here. A first generation Natskid. https://t.co/lYIrrCRxPt

— InternetContrarian(@bogcommenter) August 24, 2016

Ah, the passage of time. This is the 12th season since baseball returned to the District and we’re to the point where people old enough to vote don’t remember life before them.

Ledecky’s also known for her Capitals and Wizards fandom (NHL.com) , but she’s apparently got split allegiances now with her uncle owning the New York Islanders (NHL.com).

If you’d rather watch her swim than throw out ceremonial first pitches, go right ahead.

Further reading
Katie Ledecky’s First Pitch RuledThe Nats Blog

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Bryce Harper wins redundant award

Bryce Harper was voted most valuable player of the National League for 2015. It was self-evident. How self-evident? Even baseball writers voted him unanimously.

Harper joins Roger Peckinpaugh as the only baseball player awarded MVP in D.C. and as Frederic Frommer noted in his Washingtonian piece, teammate Goose Goslin probably should have won in 1925. We’ll just have to guess that Goslin lost because he name, while pretty good, isn’t as cool as PECKINPAUGH. Then again, Peckinpaugh had 8 errors in the 1925 World Series which the Washington Senators (or Nationals) lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Has anybody asked Harper what it’s like to be in the same company as Mark Moseley? There’s a good Bog post in that question.

Joe Theismann also won that award for the 1983 season, and had a Peckingpaugh-esqe championship appearance, but even with that the Super Bowl XVII win, he’s still best remembered for his leg getting broken.

Back to the modern day the question is — does Harper stick around past 2018? Thomas Boswell invokes the comparison to Alex Ovechkin, another D.C. wunderkind thought to be a goner after he left club control.

Ovechkin, by the way, just became the NHL’s all-time leading Russian-born goal scorer.

Would have been nice if the Capitals had won…

Maybe we ought to just enjoy having the two-best players in two different sports in the same era for now.

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Cut the cord? Not until the 2030s, Capitals, Wizards fans; MASN scores a victory against Nats, fans

Ted Leonsis, majority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment (the Washington Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and Verizon Center) will apparently sign a deal with Comcast that keeps his teams on CSN-Mid Atlantic through 2032, according to Sports Business Journal.

As part of the deal, Leonsis gets a third of the network. He had created “Monumental Network” that broadcast video content related to his teams and seemingly to get CSN concerned he’d start his own RSN. It looks like it worked.

I speculated that Leonsis could be the big winner in the Nationals-MASN/Angelos/Orioles dispute since having winter sports programming would seemingly be desirable for either MASN or CSN. John Ourand, the SBJ article’s author and avowed Baltimore Orioles fanboy, says that MASN was never that interested.

As for MASN and Angelos, they won in court last week (The Post) as their battle against the Nats and Washingtonians continues. MASN/Angelos still haven’t increased their payment to the Nats over broadcast rights that were due in 2012. The Orioles would get the same. We can only hope when new values are set, they come in even higher because all that this does is make MLB have to restart the process which could push the values higher. It’s an odd tactic for them and probably based only in spite rather than sensible business practices because why wouldn’t you want to have two more major teams with roughly 170 available games, most of which are not during baseball season? I guess that’s the Oriole Way at work – bad people making bad decisions.

I’m pleased that Leonsis, who may to try to use Baltimore as leverage against DC for upgrades/new arena in the 2020s, didn’t get in bed with Angelos, but disappointed that this likely means I’ll need to stick with cable if I want to watch the Caps and Wiz.

More on the Nats tomorrow…

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Bruce Boudreau’s revenge? Hockey News says Capitals will lose to Ducks in Stanley Cup Finals

In what looks to be another example of irrational exuberance regarding Washington, The Hockey News is picking the Capitals to face the The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Ducks for the Stanley Cup final.

Being the prohibitive favorite has been just great for the Nationals (who are a lock for second place) this year and in 2013; lousy, stupid Sports Illustrated. Now another national, err international pub is playing this game.

The Bruce Boudreau Bowl would make an interesting storyline in at least a couple of cities like ours and Anaheim, I guess. I just don’t see the Caps being a conference champion and expect the traditional second-round exit, sight unseen. At least they Caps weren’t picked to win the Cup.

But maybe this cover jinx will be on D.C.’s opponents, so ha ha Mighty Ducks!

Also, it’s too early for this but like Oktoberfest and Pumpkin beers, seasonal creep is real.

That being said, I’d much rather think about the Caps than the burgundy and gold… Woof, that’s going to be a rough season.

Oh and since the diaspora is likely to chime in, I’ll link to the “Dave Steckel, destroyer of worlds” article about the Pittsburgh Penguins that ran in the Tribune-Review (Greensburg).

Also, Washingtonians, let’s talk about some Saturday afternoon broomball sometime.

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