Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Washington Post Sports Watch: Stuff I liked, and a couple updates

If I'm going to spend so much time criticizing, it's only fair that I go through some of the stuff I liked over the past week or so in the Washington Post sports section. So let me run down some links:

Really enjoyed this profile of Jordan Zimmermann, going back to his hometown in Auburndale, Wisconsin--gave me a sense of what kind of guy he is and how different life in Washington, D.C. must be from his hometown.

Mike Wise's column on two Ryans was very good.

This piece on when Washington might get an All-Star Game was interesting, most of all for the Mark Lerner quote in which he complains about the pace of development around the park: It’s not a pretty sight when you walk out the door and see holes in the ground and the thing they have next door — the Bullpen, or whatever they call it." Hey Mark, you and your dad made hundreds of millions of dollars building buildings for a living--if you don't like the pace of development, you can probably buy some land and change that. (To be fair, they do apparently have one building under construction down in the area.)

Dan Steinberg's post on Mark Lerner's sales pitch to Osceola County on a new spring training site was very interesting, not just because of Lerner's grandiose predictions of "greatness" for the team but because of his stretching of the truth in a few places--from saying the Nats were last in the league when his family purchased the team (they weren't good, but they weren't last in the league)  to calling the team's current farm system "one of the deepest" in the game (unless you consider 13th in the Baseball America rankings "one of the deepest.")

Was very happy to see this post Tuesday morning on Nationals Journal answering the question every Nats fans was asking: Will firing the hitting coach really matter? The answer: Probably not.

And nice to see Tom Boswell continuing to get tough on the Nationals, this time starting to criticize the team's front office--comparing the Nats' firing of the hitting coach to the Redskins' annual cutting of the field goal kicker was a nice analogy (although for the first time in a decade, the Redskins cutting their field goal kicker in the middle of the season last year actually worked, so who knows...) I'm not sure I totally buy Boz's contention that the team's reputation in baseball went down because of the firing of Rick Eckstein (it's not like team don't fire hitting and pitching coaches to jumpstart their teams all the time), but I also didn't buy that the Nats became more attractive to other players because they shut down Strasburg, as Boz also claims, so that's a wash. Still, it was an interesting column.

Finally, a couple updates. My first "Washington Post Sports Watch" made fun of Tom Boswell for dreaming that the Nationals would score 32 runs in their next four games and rocket up the runs per game chart in Major League Baseball. Somewhat amazingly, the Nats have played 12 games since then and still haven't gotten to 32 runs--after last night's game they're at 30.

And I'm still waiting, Washington Post Sports section, for that article about what the refinancing of Ted Leonsis' loan on the Caps means for the team. I hope that wait isn't indefinite....


Blogger Steve Davies said...

Wish I had known about your blog last fall, when I tried to interest the Post, and Steinberg in particular, about the presence of the great Frank Howard at Nats Park before the playoffs. WaPo did a profile of Frank Robinson but had nothing -- not even a video on its site -- of Hondo. Here's what I wrote to the Bogman, who as I remember (when I actually called his cel phone) seemed to think it was a good idea. I even sent him a scanned copy of a Dallas Morning News column on Hondo's incredible 10-homer-in-six-games feat in 1968, but nothing. Also tried this year to interest someone over there in a story I had heard that the Nats' massage therapist had been canned but some players had continued to see her on the sly. Only response was from Tracee Hamilton, who said she'd pass it on to an editor. Nothin.

Here's what I wrote to Steinberg last October:

"I'm surprised there was no story on Frank today. Love to see video, too. That guy's a Washington icon -- more than F Robbie, which is not to belittle him at all. I love Frank and think he deserved better from the Nats. But he played in Balmer and our Frank in Washington. Naturally, with so many of us Nats fans having rooted for the O's for years, we came to appreciate the great Orioles even more (hard not to like players like Brooks, Jim Palmer, Rick Dempsey, Cal, Lowenstein, Flanny, McGregor, et al.). I just think it's incredibly exciting that they both won in dramatic fashion last night. The baseball insanity level in this area is approaching -- well, perhaps the insanity of the election. Thank God baseball's still on so we don't have to watch VP debates!"

7/24/13, 11:24 AM  
Blogger Steve Davies said...

Oh, and here's that column from the Dallas Morning News

Sherrington column

7/24/13, 11:28 AM  

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