Nats: The Curse of Mr. Walk-Off?

Watching Ryan Zimmerman hit walk off home runs has been an important part of being a Washington Nationals fan. I gave him his Mr. Walk-Off nickname (DC Sports Bog, The Post) back in 2008 after he beat the Atlanta Braves on Opening Night at Nationals Park.

Zimmerman was about the only joy we had as Nats fans for several seasons it seems and I think the a high percentage of DC fans have dreamed of him hitting a game-winning homer to win the pennant/World Series, etc. He’s OUR guy – he grew up with the franchise. I want him to succeed more than anybody else in Washington uniform, any sport. Is it too much to ask for a little divine providence?

There’s one problem though – check out the years Zimmerman has hit walkoffs:

2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2013
2015

There are two years missing there, two pretty notable years:

2012
2014

To date, those are the only two years that the Nats have made the playoffs, winning the division both times.

correlation
From xkcd 552: Correlation

Oh and Bryce Harper thinks he has a bone-bruise and the Nats are 2.5 back of the New York Mets with a finale in L.A. against Clayton Kershaw followed by road trips to San Francisco and Colorado.

Gulp.

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Bicycling: Long Beach Island — CLINCHED!

LONG BEACH ISLAND, N.J. — Keeping with bicycling theme of earlier this week, here’s a post about how I clinched Long Beach Island.

LBI-bike-ride

38.1946 miles
5054.99 calories burned

I suppose if I could have been specific and only ridden on the Boulevard, but with dedicated bike lanes in Beach Haven proper and easy riding along Beach and Atlantic avenues in Long Beach Township, it would have been unnecessarily pedantic.

This is the second longest ride I’ve done and frankly, because it was done on a barrier island several miles out to see, it was pretty easy. I barely felt it in my legs; I’m skeptical of the calories burned really being over 5000. That’s okay though and it’s just a reminder of why I’ve largely given up on documenting bike rides — I used to do it over on the tumblr. The satisfaction of doing it is enough. In this case though, I felt like noting it and also mentioning a helpful bike store on Long Beach Island.

I recommend A.J.’s in Beach Haven for your bike repair or rental needs. I had great service there and will use them again if I’m on LBI.

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Summertime BeltwayLand and beyond beer update: DC Beer Week, Va. Beer Month

It’s summer and after a month or two so of sitting in drafts waiting to get revisited, I’ve finished this post off.

You’ll want to read the CityPaper this week:

It’s DC Beer Week, do we need it?

As the Washington market becomes larger and more sophisticated, new beers are arriving weekly from across the country and around the world. Tap takeovers, beer dinners and brewery-centric events have become more common. We’ve reached a point where almost every week could be DC Beer Week, so why do we need DC Beer Week itself?…

It’s also hard to build excitement when, less than two weeks before DC Beer week begins, several major beer bars either hadn’t announced their schedules or had lineups full of “TBDs.”

To be fair, the organizers of DC Beer Week don’t plan events at individual bars, but that seems to be the crux of the problem: The schedule needs to be curated.

When the scene is so lively all year, why do we need DC Beer Week?

Gee, Fritz Hahn, WHO should curate this beer week?

It’s also Virginia Beer Month. Virginia is for Lovers has a good Virginia beer portal and @vabeertrail posts daily events.

Ballpark beer

Pretty self-explanatory, the annual Nationals Park beer guide by The Nationals Review makes finding your favorite regional beer easy to find.

Though not regional, Samuel Adams has produced a Washington Nationals 10th anniversary IPA. It’s undoubtedly a reaction to the perception that Sam Adams is your dad’s craft beer. I can only wonder what I late philosopher I knew growing up would have to say about Sam Adams being at odds with a movement it helped create; he was an early proponent of “old dad” beers like Schlitz and Stroh’s (I think).

Cycling and beer, what could go wrong?

I posted this last fall and I’ll probably post it twice a year — the github map of BikeableBrews along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Given that you can know get regional craft beer on tap, I’ll argue the Vienna Inn should be on it. It might be less than 200 feet from the W&OD.

Oh and a new brewery, working name of Metropole, launch name of New District (ARLnow.com), opens near the eastern W&OD terminus around Shirlington soon.

Wear your helmet and be responsible. Also, some local breweries may have cycling jerseys; I picked up a Port City Brewing Co. one last year and for what it’s worth, it is faster to bicycle to their brewery than drive which is a solid way to celebrate part of Father’s Day.

Twitter List

I’ve compiled a twitter list of all the D.C., and Northern Virginia regional breweries I could think of and maybe a few more. It’s hard keeping up with the scene as it expands.

Visting Atlas Brew Works

Untitled

In March, I visited Atlas Brew Works. It was fun.

Moving forward, want to contribute?

It’s August which means the return of Oktoberfest is imminent, too imminent because of the dreaded seasonal creep of everything. Oktoberfest is my favorite seasonal, but I’m… just not ready. I love summer, if only for the long days. Oktoberfest helps me get over less daylight more reliably than say, sadly the Washington Nationals. Football can help too, though not the burgundy and gold variety of late. I’ve already gotten a promoted tweet about an Oktoberfest, while I was drafting this post which probably means that the twitter data-mining is just getting creepy.

The regional beer scene is getting so big, it’s hard to keep up. If you have gotten out and about a little and want to contribute, let me know! I may have a Richmond-area recap from one twitter follower in the works and would enjoy others. wfyurasko at gmail dot com.

Prost!

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Q&A: Biking for Baseball – Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 MLB ballparks; Nationals Park on August 3

Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 ballparks this season for the charity Biking for Baseball. He’ll be at the Monday, August 3 Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game. Recently, he answered several questions about his journey.

WFY: What compels a man to embark on an 11,000 bicycle ride to see every ballpark?

B4B: I love baseball, I love biking, and love youth mentoring. Combining all the efforts really turns it into something special and provides an opportunity to really make a difference. I’ve always wanted to visit all 30 MLB ballparks and doing so by bicycle represented a challenge that I couldn’t pass up. On top of that, raising awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters and youth mentoring really presents the opportunity to help bring attention to a noteworthy cause.

WFY: How long did you spend mapping your transcontinental route? Have you been able to stick to it?

B4B: It took a good while to figure out the logistics of the trip. Obviously, the team has to be home when you pull into town in order to attend a game. Thus far, I’ve been able to keep to the schedule and haven’t had any delays [knock on wood]. The route has had some difficulties with weather while riding in the form of snow, flooding, lightning, and the like, however, I’ve been fortunate not to have had
any postponed games.

WFY: Tell us about the charity you are supporting through your ride, Biking for Baseball.

B4B: Biking for Baseball works alongside the motto that every kid needs a coach. Whether that be a teacher, parent, coach, whomever, we realize the importance of youth mentoring in the lives of youth. We encourage people to sign up to become mentors, to make a difference in a life of a youth, and really help change a life! We also encourage people to donate directly to Biking for Baseball as well work to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, and assist us in supporting youth mentoring programs!

WFY: How much training did you do before beginning the trip?

B4B: I did a lot of training before the trip on a stationary bike through the Wisconsin winter. However, nothing really prepares you for the real thing. You just gotta get out and start riding. After you do that, everything else will fall into place.

WFY: Which has been the most challenging part of the ride thus far?

B4B: The Month from Hell as I dubbed it was undoubtedly the most challenging. I had to ride 3,050 miles in 29 days to make it to each ballpark in time. That’s crazy! I was exhausted, tired, and drained, but I made it in time to every ballpark!

WFY: For the gear heads, what do you ride?

B4B: I ride a Novara Randonee, it’s held up pretty well considering all the miles that have been ridden on it! Can’t complain!

WFY: Why doesn’t MLB more aggressively market bicycle jerseys? I know they briefly sold them, but I didn’t get one in time.

B4B: I’m not sure. It sure would be cool, and if this trip proves anything it demonstrates that there are a lot of baseball and biking fans out there! You hear that MLB? Make those jerseys!

WFY: Which ballpark has been the most bicycle friendly thus far?

B4B: Most bicycle friendly? I would have to say San Francisco. But that’s a really tough one.

WFY: How many of the ballparks had you been to prior to this trip?

B4B: I had only been to five. AT&T Park, Marlins Park, US Cellular, Wrigley, and Miller Park.

WFY: From time to time, I’ve done Q&As with fans of the teams the Washington Nationals were playing. What happened to the Milwaukee Brewers over the last few years? They seemed like the were on the edge of contention, but have generally been middle of the pack. What’s the best part about being a Breweres fan? What’s your favorite Racing Sausage?

B4B: As a small market team we aren’t able to keep our big name free agents, nor are we able to sign big name free agents. What you’ve seen recently is the results of signings of players who are just past their prime (Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Aramis Ramirez) and once they age all at once, you have a drastic fall off in production. Thus this year, and as you’ve seen recently we’ve made a number of trades to try to replenish the farm system and stay competitive for future years.

Best part of being a Brewers fan is the tailgating. Every game, rain, cold, snow, sleet, sunshine, whatever it maybe. You’ll find some fans tailgating. I’m always down for a bratwurst and some cheese curds.

Hot dog. Always the hot dog. Most aerodynamic suit, thus the greatest chance of winning the race.

WFY: When do you get to DC? Are there any events scheduled?

Yeah, I’ll get to DC tomorrow, and there are some big pregrame events scheduled at local bars to help raise money and awareness for Biking for Baseball. Check out Half Street Irregulars on Twitter for the details!

WFY: I’m looking forward to biking over there Monday night!

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William F. Yurasko's blog v.15 – Nats, Redskins, Capitals, D.C. life, transportation, not so much Penn State anymore,