Tag Archives: Washington Nationals Radio Network

Radio coverage of the Washington Nationals, featuring Charlie Slowes (2005-present) and Dave Jageler (2006-present). Currently, WJFK 106.7 FM/WFED 1500 AM are the flagship stations.

The Washington Senators had an accordionist, Merv Conn

During yesterday’s Washington Nationals broadcast, Dave Jageler was lamenting that the strike zone was going back and forth like an accordion. A discussion about accordions with Charlie Slowes ensued. I don’t think they know that in the 1960s, the Senators hired Merv Conn to play the accordion during games (I mentioned it a couple of years ago). A brief demonstration and explanation from Conn himself:

That was from local filmmaker Jeff Krulik‘s The Legend of Merv Conn which is available here:

Conn was more than just a musician at RFK Stadium, he was a beloved music instructor and performer, even though “The Beatles killed the accordion.” Here’s a 2007 profile from John Kelly before the documentary came out – A Legend With Oomph — and Oompah

Conn died in 2011, his obituary is here.

As for Krulik, he has made many films but is best remembered for Heavy Metal Parking Lot. We talked about that several years ago during the 25th anniversary of HMPL. While all his work is enjoyable, I suspect that Charlie and Dave would enjoy this award-winning documentary.

MEANWHILE IN THIRD PLACE

So, don’t look at the standings until Memorial Day?

NL-standings-20140527

Maybe it’s supposed to be the actual Memorial Day, rather than Memorial Day Observed.

Between injuries and Matt Williams over-managing and love of bunts and sacrifices, the Nats are struggling. Thankfully, Chicken Man on the case:


After Memorial Day loss, fans plan chicken sacrifice Tuesday at Nationals Park
Let Teddy Win

What took so long?

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Inside the booth with Charlie & Dave – The Summoner explained

I woke up this morning to two great videos of Washington Nationals radio broadcasters Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler. The first, featuring Slowes, is inside the booth while he calls Ian Desmond’s Thursday evening home run.

The second video is a longer feature in which Jageler explains how he developed his interest in broadcasting and talks about The Summoner.

As I have said countless times, Nats fans are blessed to have such a great team of radio broadcasters in Slowes and Jageler. The know the game, they know the medium and they have such enthusiasm for it. As I have said years ago, the Nats need to give these guys tenure. Drive dump trucks full of money up to their houses if necessary, I want them around forever.

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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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Nats: Jayson Werth hits walk-off homer to beat Cardinals in 2-1 thriller, push NLDS to Game 5

Last night goes down as one of the great nights in the Washington Nationals history. Following 9 innings of 1 run (unearned) pitching by Ross Detwiler, Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, Jayson Werth led off the bottom of the 9th inning. The outfielder, oft-maligned for his enormous contract, faced 12 Lance Lynn pitches – 10 after taking the first 2 for called strikes and worked a full
count. A fascinating stat:

Prior to the 13th pitch, Charlie Slowes hinted to his partner Dave Jageler that Werth had been in this sort of situation before.

Werth’s home run was the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The
Slowes call on the Washington Nationals Radio Network summoned the home run (DC Sports Bog, The Post. ) is required listening – Slowes saw it coming.

Werth’s homer created pandemonium at WWN headquarters. The four year old resident — the same one who wanted to “play baseball” before the game and wound up pitching a hollow plastic ball to his father (holding his son’s hollow plastic bat) for a little bit was bouncing around yelling “THEY WON!”

Throughout the day, few Nats fans made the effort to conceal their anxiety following yesterday’s 12-4 beat-down. Elation prevailed as the series would be extended to the full five games.

It would not have gotten that far without the performance of Detwiler’s career, to date. The Missouri native pitched 6 innings with no earned runs and more pitches than he had ever thrown as a major leaguer. Zimmermann made his first relief appearance since his days at A-Carolina League Potomac and struck out three, hitting 97 m.p.h. Clippard struck out three and walked one. Storen pitched in danger a little bit, but Ian Desmond, atoning for the earlier error that contributed to the Cardinals one run, made a running, back-handed overhead catch in left field to end the ninth inning.

The Nats prevailed on two solo home runs — a runner never reached scoring position. While unorthodox, that proved an effective way to deal with awful hitting with runners in scoring position during this series. Kyle Loshe pitched well for St. Louis and has nothing to show for it but some attaboys in the dugout.

The series concludes tomorrow with Gio Gonzalez facing Adam Wainwright for a trip to the NLCS to face the San Francisco Giants who came back from 2-0 to win 3 straight on the road to eliminate the Cincinnati Reds.

DOES THE CREDIT GO TO “THE MAN IN THE DUGOUT, NOT ON THE 25-MAN ROSTER?

Mark DeRosa, who is not on the 25 man roster, but still with the team, read aloud the famous “Man in the Arena” speech. He closed it by saying, “do you know how said that? Teddy expletive deleted Roosevelt.

Teddy Roosevelt speech spurs Nationals to Game 4 victoryLet Teddy Win
Mark DeRosa read Theodore Roosevelt speech to Nationals before Game 4The Post

ADAM KILGORE WITH A GREAT DEADLINE RECAP

NLDS Game 4: Jayson Werth homer wins it for the Nationals in the bottom of the ninthThe Post

MARK ZUCKERMAN WITH THE HISTORICAL ANGLE
Nats live to see another dayCSN Washington

And play again the Nationals will. They’ll be right back on South Capitol Street at 8:37 p.m. Friday for a winner-take-all Game 5 of what has become a remarkable series between one young ballclub that posted the sport’s best regular-season record and a veteran-laden squad trying to retain its World Series crown.

And they’ll do it in front of another sellout crowd that experienced more dizzying highs and terrifying lows over 2 hours and 55 minutes Thursday — not to mention over the last five days — than three generations of Washington baseball fans ever hoped to realize.

JOE POSNANSKI WRITES ABOUT FEARLESS LEADER

Davey – Joe Blogs

THE FIRST DRAFT

My wife asked to wear my Nats jersey to work today. She wants to go to tonight’s game, so if you have a pair of tickets, let me know.

I’m still nervous…

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Nats broadcaster Charlie Slowes finally has a team worthy of his abilities

Longtime Nationals broadcaster looks forward to playoffsWTOP
WTOP talks with the voice of the Washington Nationals, Charlie Slowes. Present at the creation, Slowes’ “Bang Zoom go the Fireworks!” “and a curly W is in the books” quickly became a part of the D.C. area vocabulary. He and his partner since 2006 Dave Jageler kept us entertained through years of bad baseball and are now finally getting to call a playoff team.

Prior to his working for the Nationals, Slowes spent seven years with the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998 to 2004. Add it all up and Slowes has been calling big league baseball for 15 years. This year marks his first winning season.

“It’s a lot of bad luck involved there,” he said. “But when the games are great and the team is winning, the storylines take care of themselves. These games are easy to broadcast. Maybe it’s the reward for having gone through everything we did when the games were nightmares, and you didn’t have good pitching and you didn’t play good defense and you had to find other ways to captivate the audience.”

I’m glad the Nats are finally as good as Charlie and Dave. Hopefully, we’ll get a full month of classic calls from them.

One thought — maybe it was those pancakes ads holding the Nats back. Who knew?

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Nats: After years of losing, Charlie Slowes and John Lannan get to experience some winning

On Sunday when the Washington Nationals clinched D.C.’s first winning baseball season since the 1969 Senators, I tweeted that I was happy for Charlie Slowes, play-by-play man for the team since 2005:

I think only tweeting to Joe Theismann got me more retweets. Slowes is just that popular amongst Nats fans.

Slowes participated in a Q&A with MLB.com about how much fun he is having with a winning team. It comes through in the broadcasts, though even when the Nats were losing 100 games annually, Slowes and his partner Dave Jageler did a great job and kept it fun.

Returning to the Nats this last week is another franchise stalwart, John Lannan. The left-handed starter spent most of this season at Syracuse after the Nats rotation became too crowded this spring. While he initially fumed, Lannan seems to have made peace with what happened and really improved as the season went on. His two spot starts for the Nats resulted in two big wins, especially game 2 of a day-night doubleheader against Atlanta Braves after the Nats blew a huge lead the night before. He will get a few starts this month after Stephen Strasburg is shutdown, but probably miss out on any significant playoff time. This past weekend, The Post had a long profile of Lannan that is well worth reading. The sentimentalist in me is happy to see him back and wishes him well. It is a tough break being left out after all of those years of having to face other teams starters for bad teams; Lannan did and held his own. Of course, the $5 million or so he is making this year surely offsets it a bit. He won’t get that when he signs elsewhere next year, but at least he’ll get to pitch in the majors every fifth day. I think Lannan is the second-winningest Nats pitcher since 2005 and I hope he gets to leave on high note.

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Nats radio: Post Magazine profiles Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler

Washington Post Magazine cover featuring Nationals radio team Charlie Slowes and Dave JagelerFor Washington Nationals radio team Dave Jageler and Charlie Slowes, baseball’s in the air | GalleryPost Magazine

“There are 30 teams and two radio guys per team, that’s 60 jobs,” Jageler says. “You’re more likely to be U.S. senator than a play-by-play announcer.”

The voices of the Washington Nationals, Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler are profiled in the Sunday magazine. It is a great read about two great broadcasters.
They Get It.

I hope this feature leads to big, long contracts for them, Charlie & Dave need to be here for a generation (or two!).

I bet the pancake chain feels doubly foolish that they didn’t re-up this season now.

Sadly, none of their interns could be reached for comment.

A video is attached as well:

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Bryce Harper is too good to be true; Nats split with Rockies; people are watching/listening

Bryce Harper loves Washington, and says he wants to play his entire career in the cityThe Post
Bryce Harper has decided as a 19 year old that he wants to stay in the D.C. area forever as a member of the Washington Nationals. He’s living in Pentagon City and I never wanted to move out of Pentagon City either, so I see his point. Still, a really feel-good article that you should invest absolutely zero in because a 19 year old’s worldview is very different than a 25 year old on the cusp of a $200-300 million contract. He is saying all the right things rigth now though as evidenced by him suggesting the Colorado brewery selling Clown Question Bro beer donate some profits in honor of a fallen police officer.

He’s too good to be true.

Also, get that man some more Pop Tarts. Maybe an endorsement deal with them too. Is that balcony grill usage legal?

The Nats series in Denver was strange (Stephen Strasburg losing?!, three games of 10 or more runs, rally napkin and coming back from being down 7-0 to lose by one in extras). Given the history with the Colorado Rockies, a split is okay with me. Oh and Tyler Clippard feeding baby ducks in the bullpen.

Peter Angelos is probably really upset because Washingtonians are watching the Nats in record numbers and at a greater rate the Capitals or Wizards. Hopefully, this news has reached the committee that is going to give Bud Selig a recommendation on how much MASN has to pay the Nats for TV rights over the next five years. Angelos, who should not have had the Nats TV rights to begin with, has to be scared that the panel reviewing the Nats request for TV rights compensation will see this new information. It is a mortal lock that the dream of Angelos/Orioles no longer having the Nats TV rights will come true though.

The Nats radio ratings are also solid with 5% of area radios tuned in to hear Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler call the action. All the more impressive — high ratings without pancake banter. Also, more merchandise is being sold at Nationals Park. Note: The previous four links all go to DC Sports Bog which is mostly Nats these days.

1924 Senators throwbacks and more for the July 5 game against the San Francisco Giants.

Ryan Zimmerman is hitting again, thanks to a cortisone shot. Hopefully, he isn’t doing permanent damage though.

A big series with the second place Braves in Atlanta tonight. The Nats have a 3.5 game lead on them and the Mets, along with the best winning percentage in the NL.

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Nats radio: Wondering out loud about the future of Charlie & Dave

UPDATED MAY 21, 2012: Nats: Charlie Slowes says he’s not in the final year of his contract

Remember when Dave Jageler astutely noted that Bryce Harper might be looking to steal home about 10 days ago. Harper did and Jageler’s partner, Charlie Slowes breathlessly called it, even taking a few seconds to let the crowd noise tell the story. It was just another reminder of how great Washington Nationals fans have it when it comes to the radio team. I have called for Charlie & Dave to be granted tenure before and I’m doing it again. The Nats may want to act fast because competition for their services may be pretty strong after the 2012 season. I speculated during spring training that their deals were up and a source indicated that’s the case.

Changes to the New York Yankees Radio Network may be on the way (River City Blues). The rights are in play and play-by-play voice John Sterling and sidekick Suzyn Waldman are not signed past this season. Whether there will be a changing of the guard is nothing but speculation, but if the Yankees decided to go with a new voice, it is not unreasonable to think that there may be interest on the part of Slowes and/or the Yankees. Slowes, after all grew up in the Bronx and Yonkers and graduated from Fordham. I believe Slowes also makes his offseason home in the Tampa Bay area which is where the Yankees have spring training.

Sterling has been with the Yankees for about 20 years. I remember listening to him when he and Michael Kay were partners and liking him, maybe because I was younger and less discerning. These days Sterling is pretty bad. He talks to much about himself and seems engaged only when he gets to use one of his catch phrases (An “A-bomb for A-Rod, A Tex message, The Grandy Man can, etc.) I don’t dislike Waldman as much as others, but she mostly serves as Sterling’s enabler. A change is needed in the Yankee Stadium radio booth (Though the “Here Come the Yankees” instrumental should remain. For all time. Best part of the current broadcasts.). Since I’m a selfish Washingtonian, I don’t want it to be Slowes, though I’d be very happy for him and enjoy listening to him do Yankees games.

I don’t have much insight on Jageler’s situation other than his contract is up. I believe he is still a resident of Rhode Island — his previous job was calling Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) games. It isn’t unreasonable to assume that any opening with the Boston Red Sox would be of interest to a native New Englander. I don’t know the radio situation up there though, so that may not be an issue.

Slowes and Jageler (and the Jack of All Things, Jack Hicks) have been left hanging in the past one contracts, part of the “not doing things well on the business side” that has plagued the Nats. Getting them locked in for a number of years would be a good show of faith to them, plus the fans. Slowes’ “and a curly W is in the books” has contributed greatly to the team’s identity and branding. It is time for the Andy Feffer, the Nats COO and the Lerners to show some commitment to a few important people who kept fans engaged when the team’s play could not.

(Bring back the pancakes ads too)

UPDATE:
FanGraphs says they are the 6th best radio team in the majors

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