Tag Archives: Bryce Harper

2015 National League MVP, overhated, not overrated.

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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2016_nats-prediction

2016 Nats prediction

Happy Opening Day, every one! We survived another long offseason.

The Washington Nationals threw away 2015 and Bruce Harper’s magnificent season in late 2013 when they hired Matt Williams to succeed Davey Johnson as manager. Now, they hope hiring one of Williams’s mentors will reverse the trend. Dusty Baker has a reputation of poor pitching management, but also being a strong clubhouse manager. After last season, the former seems more important.

Stephen Strasburg
is in his walk year and seems to have put it together in the second half of 2015 – if he’s healthy he probably wins more than Opening Day starter Max Scherzer who seems likely to regress a bit in his second NL season. It’s an enviable top two, but looming in the East is a powerful, young New York Mets rotation with a pennant on the resumes.

The biggest issue for that Nats and every one of course is health. Last year the optimum lineup played TWICE in 162 games. Leadoff man Denard Span is gone with Ben Revere. If Anthony Rendon can stay healthy and play like he did in 2014, that should be a solid top of the lineup for Harper and Ryan Zimmerman I’d he can avoid chronic injury.

I like the Nats to improve over next year overall just by the addition by subtraction of Matty. I’m saying 90-72. I don’t know if that’ll be enough to win the division, but they will be a factor.

Play ball!

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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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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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