Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2011

Shipping container “fairgrounds” to replace Half Street’s Bullpen

Half Street ‘Fairgrounds’: Shipping Container Market, Events SpaceJD Land
The Bullpen, which for the last few seasons was the closest pre-/post-game watering hole to Nationals Park, is no more. The replacement is “‘Fairgrounds,’ a combination food, market and events space that will be open seven days a week from the beginning of baseball season through October 1.” Shipping containers are prominently involved.

The Market will be positioned on the Das Bullpen site at Half and M, across from the Navy Yard Metro station entrance. It will include “permanent” food truck versions of two of Blair’s restaurants: Bayou and its New Orleans/Southern-themed food and drinks, and Surfside with its beach-type offerings. There are also plans still being worked out to have a rotating roster of additional food trucks every non-game day.

This space will open at 11:30 am every day; on game days, the market and food trucks will remain open until two hours after the game ends; otherwise, it will stay open at least through Happy Hour, or later if patrons are still around. There will be a “spectator” deck built on top of the shipping containers as well as a music stage, with plans to continue to have local and regional bands play on game days. And of course there will be 20 HD televisions and plenty of cornhole sets. (Which I totally don’t get, but you kids have fun with it.)

There is still a long way to go before the neighborhood around Nationals Park lives up to its promise, but this is probably a step up from the Bullpen.

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Nats and MASN to review TV deal

Jim Williams: Nationals may be in line for bigger TV dealThe Wash. Examiner
Every five years, the Washington Nationals get to review the deal (*cough* corrupt bargain) they have with MASN, the cable channel that is owned by the Baltimore Orioles/Peter Angelos. My objections to the arrangement both historically and currently are well established, so I wont’ rehash them today. I wish the Nats media consultant Chris Bevilacqua luck in getting a better deal for Nats, but in the end, I think the negotiations will look like this:

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Ben Goessling leaving Nats beat, MASN; other changes coming?

We don’t know how much change we’ll see in media covering the Washington Nationals in 2012, but there is now an official departure. Ben Goessling will be leaving MASN to go back to his hometown paper, the Pioneer-Press in St. Paul to cover the Minnesota Twins. I haven’t read him regularly since he moved to MASN, but I do recall him mouthing off about the Nats in 2010 which certainly fit with the MASN view. Don’t let the door hit you in the…

Also, there is speculation about the role of “the sideline reporter” on MASN telecasts. @LetTeddyWin noted several weeks ago that Debbi Taylor’s blog is gone from MASN’s Web site. Addition by subtraction?

Still no word on if Bob Carpenter will return as the play-by-play man for telecasts. His contract was up and there has been plenty of speculation he won’t be back. I would not be shocked if Dave Jageler took over, though that’s just a hunch.

In other news, Thomas Boswell is excited about the winter meetings, but doesn’t really say anything (The Post).

By the way, I don’t want the Nats to sign Prince Fielder. He may only be 27, but he is probably going to to be using “Old Player Skills” for most of whatever contract he signs. Also, his last name is kind of ironic when you look at his UZR.

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11-11-11 The great #11′s of DC sports

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, let us remember the greats who have worn #11 as part of Washington D.C. teams. The argument can be made that #11 is the most prolific number in D.C. annals — worn by two Hall of Famers, retired by two teams and currently worn by a face of the franchise.


Elvin Hayes – Washington Bullets 1973-1981 (Hall of Fame)


Mike Gartner – Washington Capitals 1979-1989 (Hall of Fame)


Mark Rypein – Washington Redskins 1986-1993 (Super Bowl XXVI MVP)

Today, there is a great #11 who is still active


Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals

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Chien Ming Wang, Nats agree to 1 year deal

Chien Ming Wang will return to the Washington Nationals with a 1 year deal (press release), his third contract with the Nats. He originally signed in 2010, but missed the whole season rehabbing from surgery for a torn shoulder capsule. He finally pitched last summer and performed well enough for both parties to want him back.

The Nats 2012 rotation looks like this:

Stephen Strasburg
Jordan Zimmermann
Wang
John Lannan

?

If there are not any trades (Lannan may be on the block) I would expect Ross Detwiler to get that 5th spot since he’s out of options next season.

Oh course, they may be after someone else too…Nats Insider

Oh and the Nats may have overpaid!Fangraphs h/t @needham_chris


Here is how the payroll looks overall
– Nationals Journal, The Post

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My take on “Rooting Interests: Who are D.C. fans?”

Rooting Interests: Who are D.C. fans?The Post
The Post did a survey on Washington D.C. sports fans attitudes, favorite teams/owners, etc. recently. It mostly confirms what we already know about D.C. area fans:

“Washington fans are really a wonderful blend of the best parts of Northern tier fans and Sun Belt fans,” former Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten said. “They’re really in the middle.”

Kasten is right on the money here which makes things like his marketing to Phillies fans all the stranger.

Washington is a Redskins town (less and less as the losses pile up and the owner is an embarrassment) and then a winners town. The Capitals are hot because they are winning, but I think that fanbase has reached critical mass in the sense that in the down years that will someday come, they will not be the afterthought they were during the dark years. I (and seemingly everyone else) expect the Nats fanbase to grow as the young, elite talent matures and the team continues to improve. The Wizards could become a really big deal if they can become a contender like the Caps. I think Ted Leonsis is correct that a strong Wizards team could awaken a sleeping giant of a basketball fanbase. Or at least a insomniac with a pituitary problem. As for D.C. United, the future does not look good as they have one foot out the door on the way to Baltimore for a new stadium they have not been able to get built around here. That saddens me, because I like having the option of a pro soccer team nearby. Who knows, my son may love soccer and want to go. I’m not planning on paying any attention to them if they leave BeltwayLand.

As for my own preferences, here is how I rank the D.C. teams in terms of attention paid-to, merchandise owned and a hope for a championship parade (although any would do at this point)

1.) Nats – on board since day 1, I attend Opening Day every year, go to more of their games than anybody else. I have caps, a jersey, t-shirts, mugs, other stuff.
2.) Caps – went to a game a year in the 1990s, got back into them early 2000s and went to a lot of games during the dark years, now one annually since tickets are hard to get. I have caps, jerseys, a giveaway t-shirt
3.) Skins – went from liking a different team to NFL apathy (Penn State does that to a man) to “if I am going to be a Washingtonian, I need to root for them despite Dan Snyder.” I bought a circa 1991 jersey off of ebay.
4.) Wiz/United – I enjoy going to each of their games and may turn them on TV from time to time. I owned a Bullets cap once but want a “clc” logo shirt now. If DCU stays, I’ll get a t-shirt.

There was some controversy over this article that dared to suggest that a demographic group who have are more likely to have lived in the area longer are most likely to support the most established local team. People were looking for stuff that wasn’t there.

Oh and about D.C.’s Greatest Fan, someone is missing. It’s just not right!

In the end though, I almost find the timing of this coverage — in the middle of the NFL season instead of say, the dead of winter or August, the most curious part of the whole endeavor.

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Davey Johnson back and says Nats are 2012 pennant contender

I predicted Davey Johnson would be the Washington Nationals manager as far back as 2006. I figured it would be for 2007 though. So, I was off by 4 years…

Johnson coming back was a foregone conclusion the moment he signed on after Jim Riggleman resigned. He’s talking big already — the 2012 pennant? Creating expectations is good, but it creating unreasonable expectations good? Of course, he’s done pretty well everybody he’s been but one place, but as I said in that link above, I think he underachieved with the New York Mets? Just 2 division titles with that pitching staff and only one pennant. Now, that’s not all on him, I doubt he said “hey, Daryl, Doc, check out this awesome cocaine!”

Over at The Nats Blog, Will Yoder makes the case that a 2012 pennant isn’t totally absurd.

Thomas Boswell is happy t and thinks Johnson competitiveness will remain despite mellowing.

Face of the franchise Ryan Zimmerman is happy to have a manager (Nationals Journal, The Post) who won’t be looking over his shoulder all the time.

Whether the Nats become contenders has yet to be seen, but if it all goes wrong, Johnson vs. Rizzo could be EPIC.

Other than the bench coach, Pat Corrales, the coaching staff returns (Nationals Journal, The Post). Randy Knorr, who has managed throughout the Nats system, seems like a candidate for that spot as well as Johnson’s successor. That means Rick Eckstein is back as hitting coach which is not terribly exciting. Still better than Lenny Harris though.

MORE COVERAGE
Washington Nationals name Davey Johnson manager for 2012 seasonThe Post
Johnson to stay on with Nationals

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Dick Heller still has the right idea about the Texas Rangers

HELLER: Rooting against the Rangers just feels rightThe Wash. Times
While I disagree with Dick Heller forgiving Calvin Griffith moving the original Washington Senators, I continue to be on board with Heller rooting against the Texas Rangers. It is just the right thing for a Washingtonian to do. The Rangers exist not because Washington failed, but because Bob Short was over-leveraged and incompetent. I have all the details over at Why we fight: Texas Rangers.

Go Cardinals, I guess.

Thomas Boswell wants the Washington Nationals to emulate the Texas Rangers (The Post) style of doing business…

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Nats: Red Sox coming for exhibition, so let’s make fun of them

Pink hat
Today the Washington Nationals announced that they will be hosting the Boston Red Sox in an Nationals Park exhibition game on Tuesday, April 2, 2012. The two teams also play a 3 game series in Fenway Park June 8-10.

An unprecedented era of success and competence and championships and gave birth to the REDSAWXNATION and legions of bandwagoners wearing pink hats and singing Sweet Caroline came to a crashing THUD last month as the Red Sox collapsed to fall one game out of the playoffs. As a Yankees fan too, this has been thoroughly entertaining. Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, the best manager and general manager, respectively that Boston has ever had are both gone.

Here are two must reads:

Inside the collapseBoston Globe

The Collapse of the Red SoxGrantland

Hopefully, this will spread down to Foxborough too.

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