Tag Archives: Dodgers

A flagship NL franchise that is being destroyed by terrible ownership. Bolted Brooklyn for Los Angeles after the 1957, spawning a nostaglia industry of memorabilia and books.

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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RIP Don Zimmer

Farewell to Don Zimmer, colorful baseball lifer. I first remember him from his days managing the Chicago Cubs (The Boys of Zimmer! (well, some of it) when I was a fan because they were on superstation WGN every afternoon. There was his long tenure as Joe Torre’s bench coach with the New York Yankees during their great run in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He even managed the team in 1999 when Torre was getting cancer treatments. He also managed the San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox, being on the losing end of Bucky “Q@#%&-ing” Dent. Thankfully.

Zimmer finished his playing career with the Washington Senators after his second stop with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nats Enquirer’s post describes how Zimmer found out he was leaving L.A. for D.C. Zimmer had most of his on-field success with the Dodgers, being part of their first two championship teams in Brooklyn and L.A., respectively. He also played for the Cubs and the ’62 New York Mets. He was employed by the Tampa Bay Rays at the time of his death.

The two best obituaries I have seen thus far are from the NY Daily News: Don Zimmer dead at 83: Longtime Yankees bench coach, original Met and former Brooklyn Dodger was baseball lifer and Sports Illustrated Remembering the incredible baseball life of Don Zimmer.

It’s too bad the Nationals never had any sort of Old-Timer’s Day with a bunch of Senators — how would have been to have Zimmer there in a Senators uniform?

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Will we still be happy that the All-Star Break is over during/after Nats game tonight?

A co-worker asked me this morning about the Washington Nationals. He’s a casual fan going to the Sunday game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom he expected to be a better opponent. I suggested that the Dodgers were better than their record now that Yasiel Puig was on the team. I also suggested that the Nats were less than the sum of their parts thus far this season. The lineup, incomplete for so long, is finally healthy so perhaps the players can start hitting around their statistical norms. Even Bryce Harper is slumping a little bit, but who knows, maybe finishing 2nd in the Home Run Derby will get him going. The lack of situational hitting is the biggest problem, a relapse to the 2005-2011 Nats that seemed to lead the NL in runners left on base annually. Well, maybe not in 2008 and 2009.

We are also really overdue for a Ryan Zimmerman walk-off.

On the pitching front, Stephen Strasburg is having an “off year” while sporting an ERA of 2.99. Gio Gonzalez has settled into a groove after a mediocre start while Jordan Zimmermann is an All-Star (and rural American!) who hasn’t been quite as good of late, but clearly the leader on the staff. The backend hasn’t been good with Ross Detwiler on the DL twice and having trouble getting through the order a third time. Dan Haren, on the other hand, has had trouble getting through the order once, though has shown signs of improvement.

The Nats are six games back of the Atlanta Braves and catching them over the next 67 games is certainly possible, some even say probable. But it probably won’t happen all at once if it does — read Nats Pennant Push for more as you watch games while breathing into a paper bab. and September scheduling favors the Braves.

They can win the NL East, but it will likely be a slog. I thought that some of the preseason predictions of greater than 98 wins was wishful thinking, but 48-47 at the break was not something I anticipated. On Opening Day, I predicted 94 wins and I think that’s optimistic at this point.

Of course, if the Nats just wear their red caps and the Braves don’t wear their alternate jerseys, it’ll all work out!

MSM PREVIEWS

Washington Nationals have their work cut out for themThe Post

Washington Nationals storylines to watch in second halfThe Wash. Times

2nd half storylinesCSN Washington

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS

They found a few!

It starts up again at 7:05 tonight — 11 game homestand. Time to get going.

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Vin Scully on Bryce Harper into the wall: The only good thing about it is it knocked his beard off

There has been a lot of discussion and pixels generated over Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper‘s collision into the right field wall the other night. All of this talk about toughness and such (I’m guilty of it too) has overshadowed the the actual story — a fairly inexperienced outfielder took a bad route on a fly ball and in trying to catch up to it, ran so hard he didn’t see the wall.

Prior to last night’s Nats 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Charlie Slowes of the Washington Nationals Radio Network interviewed legendary voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully and Harper’s wall collision came up. Scully reminded us all of the real story:

Charlie Slowes: Speaking of shoulders and knees and collisions, how about Bryce Harper into the wall last thing last night.

Vin Scully: The only good thing about is it knocked his beard off …and I was delighted to see…(Slowes heard laughing in the background)…I went down to the clubhouse because I admire his play and there he was clean-shaven, uh stiches under the chin…such a fine young man and an outstanding player…and it’s none of my business but I hope he stays clean shaven.

I’m sure somebody will get the audio into embeddable format, but until then MLB Gameday subscribers can here it by going to this page, clicking on the WJFK link and starting to listen around the 12:00 mark.

UPDATE: Legendary Dodgers Voice Vin Scully ‘Delighted’ Harper’s Clean-ShavenCBS DC
The audio is now available from the link above.

The interview also touches on the current Dodgers, the movie “42″ and his start on the radio at WTOP in Washington when he lived at 29th and O Street for $15 a week. Good stuff, but what else would it be? The interview, between to New Yorkers and Fordham graduates) could have been something like:

Vin: Charlie, nobody outside of New York knows how to fold a newspaper

Charlie: Can’t good hard rolls either, Vin

and it still would have been good.

OTHER NATS NEWS

Clayton Kershaw out-dueled Dan Haren (The Post), but with the lineup the Nats put out last night, how wouldn’t he?

More troubling – Harper is feeling nauseous which suggests he has a concussion.

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