Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2007

Phillies fandom finally pays off for Cliff

WASHINGTON D.C. — Everybody knows that it isn’t easy being a Phillies fan, especially my friend Cliff who is loyal to that team. The Phillies have more losses than any other franchise, over 10,000 in fact. They only won it all once, back in 1980. The feat was so rare that someone I knew said it was the happiest day of her life. She was 10 at the time, so draw your own conclusions about what has happened to her since.

Cliff probably doesn’t remember that ’80 victory too well, given how young he was at the time. What I’m trying to say is being a Phillies fan rarely pays off; just ask Joe Queenan. This year it finally did off for Cliff. Not only did his team win the division, he won our annual Half-smoke/Cheesesteak Challenge which is determined by head-to-head records between the two clubs. Last year, I won a cheesesteak.

Cliff was in town last week, so I finally got to make good on our bet. This was his first trip to Ben’s, so I wondered how he would enjoy a chili half smoke.
Cliff tastes victory

It turns out I didn’t need to wonder much, he even bought himself another. We had cheese fries too.

Next year, a cheesesteak will be won again, I assure you.

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Ben’s to ballpark not a done deal

H/T Mr. IrrevelantAccording to DCist, Ben’s Chili Bowl at the new ballpark is not fait accompli.

…co-owner Kamal Ali tells DCist that the Ben’s stand at the stadium is far from a done deal.

“We are in a good faith conversation with them, but it would be premature to say it’s definitely happening. There is no signed contract yet,” Ali said.

Ben’s Chili Bowl has never had a second location before, despite having operated in the District continuously since 1958. Ali said their inexperience with this sort of venture was something of an obstacle to the details being worked out.

“This is an entirely different animal than what we’re used to. They asked us to come, but (the question is) would we come under what circumstances?” Ali said. “We hope it works out, but we haven’t gotten down to the nitty gritty.”

So, is this like Charlie Slowes’ contract renewal?

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Ballpark job creation; Ben’s coming to ballpark

MARC FISHERIn Stadium Contract, a Prototype for Job CreationThe Post
A couple of days ago, WTOP had a story about Gelberg Sign Company, the District business that is making signs for Nationals Park. In a column today, Fisher takes a look at who is working for Gelberg sees a success story:

But “we’d interview 60 people from an ex-offenders program and it was a struggle to find two who might work out,” says Guy Brami, who owns the business with brothers Luc and Neil. “We’d ask, ‘Is there a problem getting here at 6:30 in the morning every day?’ And they’d say, ‘Yes!’ “

Luckily, when Brami put out word that he needed to staff up, he heard from the Artisans training program at Covenant House, a Catholic charity in Northeast that focuses on homeless young people.

Working from a small woodshop just off Kenilworth Avenue NE, Artisans takes kids with no marketable skills and puts them through a six-month course that is ostensibly about carpentry but is really a boot camp that injects troubled young people with dependability, courtesy and a strong work ethic.

Make sure you read the whole column, it is a real pick me up.

Also, buried in the column comes some news that will certainly be welcomed by many:

Another bit of welcome news: They’re making a sign to go above a Ben’s Chili Bowl stand. The legendary U Street eatery will have an outpost at the ballpark.

Excellent, I’m pleased to see a District institution being represented in the ballpark. I’ll be sure to get some chili half-smokes from them in 2008.

In other news:

New season ticket purchasers soon can select seatsThe Wash. Times
Thinking about buying season tickets? You can pick your seat now when you buy them.


Nationals Make Coaching Moves In Minor LeaguesThe Post
If you haven’t been following along on Nationals Farm Authority, here are the minor league coaching staffs for 2008.

Lo Duca skips his own youth campThe Arizona Republic
Paul Lo Duca skipped his own youth camp, leaving his old high school coach to defend him.
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Dukes off the hook

Charge Against Dukes Is DismissedThe Post
Elijah Dukes accuser didn’t show up in court yesterday, so charges against the troubled outfielder were dropped. His attorney painted Dukes as the victim in this matter:

In a petition filed Dec. 10, Reese, who said she dated Dukes from August to October, claimed Dukes sent her threatening text messages, once in October and again in November. Irvin, though, said Dukes had entrusted Reese to watch his home and car while he traveled to the Dominican Republic, where he played winter baseball.

“When he became suspicious of this person and the company that she kept, she asked him to leave his property,” Irvin said.

Ah, the old “she said, he texted” scenario.

The 2008 schedule was announced yesterday:

Nationals Host ESPN Opener; Rangers to VisitThe Post

ESPN will showcase opener at new ballparkThe Wash. Times

We’ve Got Heart noted that there is no July 4 home game which can only mean MLB hates freedom.

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Nats 2008 schedule is out — sell me your extra March 30 ticket to me!

At last, the schedule for the Nationals debut season in Nationals Park is available. Since the press release included a PDF link (WTF?) to the schedule, you will want to visit Nationals Journal or Chatter to see it as a Web page.

Opening Night is Sunday, March 30. Here is what Stan Kasten said:

“I cannot think of anything more fitting than the first domestic contest of 2008 being played in the nation’s capital,” said Kasten. “The Washington Nationals are honored to host ESPN’s prestigious Sunday Night game and introduce Nationals Park to baseball fans worldwide.”

The president has been invited too.

I am interested in going, but I imagine demand will be high, so if you have an extra ticket, I’m interested.

Also, the first day game at the new park won’t be until Saturday, April 12, the fourth home game of the year — very disappointing.

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While I was away: Nats

So, it was a quiet week for baseball, no? Forgive me if I can’t get real excited about the Mitchell Report. I had long ago accepted there was doping going on and gotten over it. Both ownership and the players ignored the elephant in the room for years, so I can’t work up much righteous indignation against Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. I don’t approve of what they did, but no one working for the league saw much point in the “integrity of the game.” I can’t even get worked up about the fact that Peter Angelo$ had a lot of players listed in the report.

Oh and when it comes to George Mitchell, a director for the Boston Red Sox, I’ll add that in my business there is a saying “the appearance of a conflict of interest means you have a conflict of interest.”

New Nats catcher Paul Lo Duca apparently used something while with the Mets. I’m much more interested in the fact that Mike Stanton, Nook Logan, Jose Guillen (no way) and Gary Bennett showed up in the report as well. Seeing them as users of performance enhancers says “Just Say No!” rather well doesn’t it?

Nats Were Unaware About Lo DucaThe Post

Kasten discusses reportThe Wash. Times

Kasten on report: Nats weren’t ‘told anything’The Free Lance-Star

Newly acquired OF Elijah Dukes is in trouble again (nationals.com). Somehow, I don’t think he will be let go just yet.

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