Did he have any issues with your chat? Did he accuse you of racism for liking hockey more than basketball?
I didn't read Wilbon's chat. That's your job. To read it and then pose questions about Wilbon's chat.
We've all heard of the "plan" regarding the limitations for Strasburg's starts this year. But say the Nats are in contention for a playoff spot at the end of the year, or a miracle happens and they qualify for postseason. Are we to believe that Strasburg would not pitch in the playoffs if he is their ace at that time?
That's what we are to believe, yes.
If you're the Nats and you honestly believe that limiting his innings -- regardless of any language in his contract -- is necessary for his long-term health, that's a no-brainer anyhow. The goal of Strasburg is six (or more) years of awesome, not one.
Hi, so should we be concerned about Stras getting yanked so early last night? Are they just holding him back to save him for the majors? Or is there something more to this (like an injury? GOD FORBID) I have my June 4th tickets. Got outfield reserve early yesterday morning!. I am going to be really disappointed if it's not that day!
Didn't look injured, did he?
If the Nats' plan was to get him 50 minor-league innings, he's almost there. 45 or so, if I remember right. That means one more similarly lengthed start and he'd be good. It's not really the Nats' fault that he went through the five innings with such a modest number of pitches.
I say it's party time on June 4. If it were last year, it would rain. Because it's this year, I expect a night that God intended for baseball.
What more could we possibly have to discuss with you?
Hell if I know. Flavored sunflower seeds vs. just salted? I don't like the flavored ones at all. Unnatural and borderline offensive.
I'm a little late on this, but seriously, who invited Lavar Arrington back to D.C. in the first place? Does this guy think he's the new Brian Mitchell? I mean, he had a few nice years here, but as far as I'm concerned his biggest accomplishment as a Redskin was ending Aikman's career.
When he left, I sure don't remember anyone saying "Boy, I sure hope that guy comes back and lights up this town with a failing sports bar, and a radio show where he does nothing but shout for 4 hours, pick feuds with current Redskins players, and relives his bitterness at Snyder."
Is there anyway we can petition to replace him with Smoot?
LaVar has always been very very nice to me.
I think it's ok to be a constant skeptic or critic. I think the fact that there's a personal issue clouding all this, and that LaVar acknowledges that issue, makes it all harder to judge. but he's been pretty positive about many of the Skins' offseason moves.
This is not meant as a reflection on LaVar at all, but Fred Smoot would be a terrific, tremendous sports radio personality.
Bog: Seriously, the Flyers? I live in Philadelphia (I know, I know, I picked the wrong city to live in sports-wise), and if the Flyers win the SC it will be intolerable for me, just like when every other Philly sports team does well.
The one comforting factor in all this is that no one in my office was even thinking about hockey before the Flyers made the playoffs, which can only confirm that there are a bunch of bandwagon fans here, right? Since you're the expert, what odds do you give the Flyers of beating the Blackhawks and actually winning?
Please tell me that I'll at least be able to do a little pointing and laughing as all the bandwagon fans get their souls crushed.
1) I think the Hawks will win.
2) I predicted a Sabres-Caps Eastern Conference Finals. Both lost in the first round.
3) I sent a friend to Vegas with a small bill in his pocket and instructions to put it all on the Bruins. They blew a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Game 7 lead.
So my advice is bunk. And if I recall, the Flyers didn't exactly have a full house for Game 4 against the Bruins.
Anyhow, it's been bad for you, for sure. Eagles to the Super Bowl, two Phillies WS appearances, Nova Final Four, Flyers to the Cup Finals....just keep rooting against the Union, I guess.
So you kinda blew my mind yesterday with the Max may be autistic thing. Although that show now makes a whole lot more sense with his single minded focus on things, the way everyone treats him, etc. It's like re-watching The Sixth Sense after knowing that he's dead.
Full credit to my wife's friend.
Here's another one: why does Caillou have no hair?
What is it about Buckhantz? He just seems to be one of those guys (much like yourself, many of us would agree) who any D.C-area sports fan would like to have a beer with for an hour. There's something intangibly quirky about him, and you'd have to admit, "NOOO, NOT POSSIBLE!!" is the stuff that makes life worth living.
Have you shared a micro-brew with Buck?
Once. Clyde's. Wilbon, Buckhantz, Chenier, Feldman. I did a lot of listening, and not much talking. Those guys are all cooler than me, and way cooler than you.
I don't know if there are any D.C. sports personalities that would be better to share a few beers with than Buckhantz. Cooley would be good. Roger Mason, if he still counts. Ben Olsen. Chris Wilson. Bruce Boudreau. Those are all good ideas.
As for me, you're welcome to buy. And my co-workers evidently don't share your wish. Look, Reid, Tenorio and Svrluga are all in to christen our new office space, and they're all currently leaving for lunch without me. Jerks.
Still laughing after reading the Bog post on Phillips this morning. Is the man simply craving media attention after being driven into the wilderness from the Promised Land of ESPN? Is it simply a matter of being a sports version of Rush Limbaugh - say something completely outrageous and let all the attention wash over you?
Or does he actually believe this stuff. Doesn't matter. Either way, makes for hilarious reading. On a related note, does Strasburg's seventh finger help him throw the changeup?
I don't buy what people are saying, that he did it to attract attention. I mean, it was halfway through the segment, and he kind of backed into saying that. It almost seemed like he had surprised himself.
By the way, I can't believe how long WFAN devoted to Roy Oswalt trade possibilities. Different market than D.C., huh?
I might be wrong, this side of the weekend, but I'm pretty sure at last Wednesdays game vs. the Mets, Nationals Park did NOT play Sweet Caroline during the late inning pitching change. Is this perhaps a sign that you and Bognation caused change? I, for one, hope so.
Someone else emailed me about this. I need to make a call. Now I feel guilty, because the person who e-mailed me was a big Sweet Caroline fan and was angry with me.
Any possibility that Nationals Park will start selling Strasburgers?
Done. Do it now. I don't care if you're the 700th person who suggested it, it needs to happen.
Now we just need something to make it unique. 100 toppings, in honor of his fastball? 37 ounces, in honor of his uniform number? Special K breading, in honor of his strikeouts?
Hey Dan, I asked this question of Sheinin yesterday -- but with regards to the Strasburg debut, do you think this is the 2nd or 3rd biggest game in franchise history?
No. 1 is Opening Day, 2005. Does this beat the Opening Day of Nats Park?
Relatedly, I have to think this is the first game in Nats Park history where attendance is over 30,000 and the majority of the fans are rooting for the home team. I'm pumped to see what it's like to have a sold out crowd rooting for the Nats -- could be a nice omen of things to come.
How did Sheinin answer? Or did he pass?
It'll be awesome. It's fun to poke fun, but this will be an awesome moment.
I guess I might be the victim of recent-is-better thinking here, but I'd probably vote for this over the Nats Park opening, though it'd be close, and if it goes badly I'd reverse field. The Nats Park opening had a perfect, scripted ending, but I'm not sure how much value there is in telling people "I went to the first game in Nats Park history" 15 years from now. I'd be much more impressed by someone who went to the first game at RFK, and also by someone who saw the first Strasburg big league pitch, assuming he turns out right.
So what are your plans for the weekend? Do you have directions yet to the farm in Berryville? Have you checked out a portable GPS from the WP so you don't get lost? Do we have to send one of the collies or GSDs to act as a guide dog. Most of the dogs are friendly. Bring your daughter. Weather will be great.
How far is it? If ever there were a weekend, this one might be it? When do they herd again after this? Problem is, my wife is in Paris and won't be home til Saturday, so a week of childcare might leave me curled up in my closet.
Not a single DC sports team was playing or doing anything yesterday. We need a new sport in this city to follow. I was thinking, is there any way we can make a bunch of Larpers do their Nerf combat at RFK?
Why didn't you watch Strasburg? The day of so-bored-I'll-cry is coming, but for this one day at least, the Chiefs filled in for everyone else. Plus there was NHL and NBA playoff action. It was a pretty good sports day, I thought.
Larpers make the hairs on my arms quiver.
Who are your deskmates? Are you glad to be out of the cave? And let's see a photo of the new digs.
I posted a photo on Twitter. See here.
I sit next to Steve Yanda and "Hot Desk," and across from the docking stations for Jason Reid, Rick Maese and Tarik. None of those gents are ever in this joint, so basically, I set in an office-furniture wasteland all by myself. But we're much, much closer to the vending machines, refrigerator, and coffee making device, so I count it as a huge upgrade.
Just salted. And eat the shell too.
Nah, I spit the shells. 7-11 tried to charge me $1.29 or something for an empty coffee cup for shells. When I protested, they gave me a "compliments of 7-11" mini-cup from behind the counter.
I'm a hockey fan, but I'm finding it hard to support this year's Stanley Cup. I'm a Caps fan, I have this deep hate of all things Pennsylvania (except Hershey: minor league hockey dominance + chocolate! Who wouldn't' support that?).
My husband is a Red Wings fan, he finds Chicago to be detestable and obnoxious. And quite honest, I find few redeeming qualities about Chicago, its team, or its people. So, quite the conundrum.
Do I watch Cup finals in an attempt to support my favorite sport despite the fact that I'm hoping for "fiery asteroid in 4" or go back to sulking and counting down the days until training camp starts in September?
Wow, I dont have any particular reason to root for the 'Hawks, but I certianly don't find Chicago, its team and its people to be without redeeming qualities. I think it's a fine place to live, with fine redeeming qualities and very little obnoxiousness, at least compared to the other major U.S. metropoli...big cities. Plus, Philly hatred clerly has to trump the lack of redeeming qualities.
But if it really causes you pain, I'd say watch the AHL's Calder Cup Finals. I think they're available online, right, and Alzner and Carlson and friends will be there.
How do you think Ovie feels right now after yet another team loss when more was expected, and how will he deal with it? I am at least enjoying seeing the pics of him on the Russian websites wearing his red Caps hat all over Europe.
Well, I can't imagine he feels good.
Here's what I'd say though: if the Russians won that weird, sorta phony tournament (that just shouldn't be contested in Olympic years), no one would give Ovechkin credit for a world title. It would be sniffed at as an irrelevant NIT-caliber prize. So if it means nothing to win it, it means nothing to lose it, either.
I'm curious to see what he's like when he gets back here in the fall. They've already used all their rhetoric about "this is our year, all we care about is the Cup," etc. There's nothing left to say.
He has no hair because his Mom had an affair with Charlie Brown. At least that is the theory my wife and I have. But I do think is Mom is kind of hot.
You don't care if I hand your IP address over to the decency police, right?
What's the point in having someone who hits below the Mendoza line at the leadoff spot? Do managers still use the same strategies we did when we were kids.
Fastest guy goes first, power guy fourth is pointless if the lead off guy never gets on and your big bats have to wait for the second inning for their turn at bat.
Jim Riggleman doesn't strike me as much of a Moneyball type. So yeah, I think to some extent he probably does do the fastest guy first, .300 hitter third, beefy guy fourth, semi-beefy guy fifth theory.
Was this question even about the Nats?
So when people play baseball video games now, do they stack the lineup with the high OPS folks all at the top? I think I'd still go with the fast/beefy model, just for tradition.
If you Google this topic, you'll find some acclaim that there's lots of it. But where? Sure, there's pizza, and when the Kosher stand is open you can buy falafel. But where else? Hard Times Cafe's restaurants have great veggie chili, but it's not at the ballpark. At least at one time Ben's Chili Bowl at the ballpark had veggie burgers, but I don't know whether that's still true.
There used to be a health food cart with hummus and stuff right by the center field gate. I think that's gone. I've gotten veggie hot dogs at a couple different stands on the 400 level, but that was last year. I heard the Ben's veggie chili is gone, but I haven't verified.
Here's one of the veggie food secrets of the D.C. sports area: potato knishes at FedEx Field. They're actually delicious, especially with a bit of mustard on top. I think they're better than the potato knishes at MSG, which is a massive, unfathomable upset. Those MSG ones are too greasy.
I highly recommend the HBO documentary about the Broad Street Bullies. If you were not alive or have no memory of them, it's very cool to see the NHL back then (no 3rd man in rule) and puts today's game in perspective. Also, mostly no helmets, and the equipment seemed minimal.
The 30 for 30 things are pretty much all great. I mentioned this yesterday, but the Barry Levinson Baltimore Colts one is cool, and not just if you have Baltimore memories. The old Johnny U. footage is great.
I kind of think there is a tendency towards emasculation on Nick Jr. There's Ruby always diminishing Max, though he always overcomes it. The only WonderPet with confidence issues is the only boy, though Linney is pretty butch.
BTW, Sports blogs, chats > sports talk radio. Less shouting here, topics other than Albert Haynesworth get covered too.
Is this always the same person asking about kids tv shows, or is there more than one of you?
It's interesting that you say that, because a lot of people seem to complain when WTEM's Sports Reporters do goofy non-sports topics like favorite infomercial and the like.
Do you ever watch SuperWhy? Such a strange assortment of stars. The boy hero, the two girls, and then the pig? Where'd the pig figure in. Is the pig a boy? I don't really watch closely.
I was at the Nats game last Thursday. No Sweet Caroline. Thanks Bog!
Amazing. I wouldn't figure a 1,000-person poll would make such a difference. That's my first call after this chat ends. Seriously, I feel guilt in my soul, especially for Coach, the guy who dances on the dugouts. This is progress, but progress always has victims.
Lots of buzz about all the star power in DC sports now. But McNabb may be finished. Strasburg may blow his arm out. Wall may be another Kwame Brown. Ovechkin is a true superstar, but his team underachieves. Let's see these guys actually perform and the teams win before we annoint the city as Superstarville.
Skepticism is awesome. But this is stupid. Sure, Strasburg might blow out his arm, but Joe Mauer might get run over by a dumptruck. I can see a bit of skepticism about Wall, but a true Kwame-level bust is kind of a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. McNabb is the only one I'd really worry about, performance-wise, but he's already a star no matter what he does here. Be happy. You can do it.
Please don't even joke about that, his $10 million contract was probably the worst in franchise history. Yes, 2007 was nice, but that contract was simply irresponsible. Jim Bowden just looking after a friend on that one.
Yeah, he sure took the money when he had the chance, and then his body seemed to change. But I don't know that I blame him for that as much as the man who gave him the money. Maybe I was overboard with the day, but D.C. fans never really got a chance to say goodbye to one of the few feel-good stories of those dark years, right?
The shells are the BEST PART!!!!!!!
You eat peanut shells? didn't you see how that lion cub died? Be careful out there, everyone.
What do you think about a Super Bowl in the Meadowlands? I say this is football not baseball. Bad weather games were some of the most iconic in the sport's history.
Completely and totally agree. If you can play an NFC championship game in Lambeau, why should anything be off-limits? You say that the big-money folks and the fragile corporate sponsors will be wary? You think they'd rather spend a few days in Detroit than in New York, just because Detroit has a dome.
Bring it to D.C. Fix up FedEx, solve the traffic issue, and bring the dang Super Bowl here. Aside from those MLS Cups and U.S. Opens, we haven't had a real title here since '98, and that Stanley Cup Finals was a total dud. We have nightlife, restaurants, hotels, media sites...it would be great.
The early morning chat doesn't seem nearly as grueling when Tracee does it. Perhaps you need to develop some go-to subjects along the lines of cats, Kansas, and disgusting things people do on Metro.
I have no cats, have only been to Kansas for a few college basketball games and don't ride Metro. So that's not going to work very well.
Grueling for her or for the readers? Both, I'd imagine. I'm pretty sure this is all just a plot to give me uncurable carpal tunnel and then replace me with some 17-year old kid who can type like crazy and hit with power and who paints weird black designs under his eyes.
What's with this person begging you to see dogs every week? I'm not following.
I have no idea either. It's been going on for like a year. It's one of the unsolved mysteries of our time. If I ever go to Berryville, assuming that's a real place, there's a 70 percent change I wind up bound and gagged in the basement of some Victorian mansion out there.
Spitting sunflower shells out into a cup might be one of the most disgusting things to do in a office situation. No one wants to hear the "pfftt"-ing, or the "phfffftttt-pllbbt-ffftttthhhh" when the shell gets stuck on your tongue/lip. Do you clip your fingernails and microwave popcorn too?
Well, they weren't here well before I bought the sunflower seeds, but point taken.
Svrluga pointed out that it's much better to do it in a MLB dugout, because you can just spit 'em on the floor. Maybe I'll try that next week.
Hey! As I typed this answer, Steve Yanda, my office mate, just walked in. Literally, just right now! In your face!
So what should go IN a STRASSBURGER??? I just googled "strass" and it's a high lead content crystal or glass. YUCK! Plus sounds dangerous!!
Ok ok ok, I've got it. It's not a real food, it's a hamburger-shaped squeezee toy with Stephen's head on the top, like the Hamburglar. Strassburger kinda sounds like Stressburger. If I had more than five seconds per question, I'd come up with something even better.
...come to think of it, they didn't play 'Sweet Caroline' during the Stretch there, either. They lined up 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame'. And I so had my Aging Jewish Elvis impression ready to go....
Who said the people can't force change when they pool together to waste time during a Wednesday afternoon. Or thursday, maybe.
If this really happened, I'm taking the rest of the week off in celebration.
I have become the primary dealer for sunflower seeds on my softball team. You can always tell what dugout we used because it is littered with seeds, as is shortstop where I play.
Does your desk look like this? If so, could you find a way to transfer the waste to any space still used by Kornheiser or Wilbon?
Kornheiser is no longer a WaPo employee.
Prodded by your question, I just asked who gets an actual office. The top two sports editors do. So do Wise and Hamilton. Then Boswell, Jenkins and Wilbon will apparently be in a 3-for-2 situation, which is fine, because they combine for maybe 15 appearances in the office a year.
Me, I have no office. I have a cube. So that means I'm definitely going to vandalize someone's fancy office with shells before this week is done.
Two quick questions:
1. Favorite beers you've been drinking lately.
2. Favorite place to grab a beer in DC.
I'm not the expert I used to be, sadly, though I'm sure a lot of people here are.
I've been drinking North Coast's Red Seal this week. I've always had a soft spot for that, though it might not be remarkable. A friend also brought over a Unibroue sampler pack, but some of it is a little too weird. The Green Apple one, for example, was tasty, but I couldnt' shake the feeling that it was too much like a Green Apple wine cooler.
I also had some Old Speckled Hen at Two Amy's recently, and found it delicious.
But the places to grab a beer question, I'm out. The options have expanded immensely since I became a dad, and I just haven't taken advantage. Anyone? I do my shopping mostly at Chevy Chase Wine and Magruder's on Conn. Ave.
Bog, With Sweet Caroline on the outs, is it time to reinstitute "Bustin' Loose"? I think it deserves more than the 20 seconds of play it gets after a Nats home run.
Of all the suggestions last week, the Chuck Brown ones seemed the best. Proper combination of old enough not to outrage the oldsters, great enough not to outrage the youngsters, and sing-alongable-enough to engage the crowd. I thought Sir Duke was also a fine suggestion. Really fine.
Did you know Chuck Brown's son plays for the Redskins? I swear.
I think I'll start a Facebook page called, "Bring back Sweet Caroline to Natstown"...miss it already....SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!
Beer is a vegetable, but the beer variety this year seems way down. I am a dark beer guy and they no longer have Guinness, that "Home Run Ale" is the best they can get you, and it tastes like someone crushed up peanuts in a miller lite. And Morgan is hitting above the Mendoza line.
What is Home Run Ale? Is that like Leinenkugel or something.
While blog and chat readers may love exciting microbrews, I'm guessing demographics indicate that Miller Lite is a better option for Beer Man.
Kwame, Kandi-man, Darko, Oden up this point
Well, Darko wasn't a top overall pick, and none of these guys were guards, but fine.
Also, I'm not sure if Oden's bustness can be separated from his injuriness, which, like I said, isn't a function of being a star or not. I mean, any athlete in the world might theoretically blow out his knee tomorrow while lounging on a tire swing. Oden wasn't going to be Durant, clearly, but you don't have to be Durant to be a star.
Dan, what's so special about the 4th floor? It's only one floor closer to the ground floor, after all.
Well, for us, it's about being out of our temporary fifth floor space, in which we all had to share computers and we couldn't control the heat or AC and we were surrounded by moving boxes and non-working elevators. It wasn't cheerful, too much. Though we were all very crunched together and collegial. Now it's like we're typing in a warehouse.
The 4th floor was renovated a few years back, so everything is less dirty.
I'm not the one who keeps asking, but this herding thing is becoming like Teddy always losing. I think you should stop stalling and actually go up and watch. With pictures!
Ok ok ok ok ok. Maybe.
I always thought he had the Big C - which totally doesn't excsue him being a whiny, obnoxious d-nozzle. Never thought I could dislike a little boy that much. Thankfully, my kids didn't like to watch that show.
I don't think you'd make a kid's show about such a potentially depressing topic without dealing with it in some way. Are you serious? I feel sick now. And what's wrong with Caillou?
You know what's awesome? Those Frances books. I don't care how old they are, they're awesome. Plus theyr'e like a window back to post-war booming America. I love them.
Hi Dan, I've got 4 first row seats to tonight's Nats game, but it's raining here in San Francisco. What do I do???
Buy an umbrella?
What happened to the Eastern Motors commercials? I don't see them as much anymore. It's time for them to get Strasburg, Ovie, and Wall together in a ultimate odd couple commercial. Please investigate.
Which would be a bigger deal: A perfect game in a World Series, or a perfect game in a major league debut?
Wow, interesting question. I guess I'll go with the easy answer of the World Series game for almost any pitcher alive, but for a guy like Strasburg, with possibly the most hype of any pitcher in MLB history, to come in and be perfect would be quite a detonation. That would probably cross over more to non-sports media than even a World Series perfect game. To the world of sports, the World Series one is still bigger, but to the larger world I think a Strasburg debut perfecto would just blow up the perfect scale.
Church Key I hear is good, a mere few blocks from your place of work as well on 14th st.
yeah, that would have been my default answer, but I've never actually been there.
The cart with the hummus and veggie wraps is still there, but they moved it down closer to Gifford's. On the 200 level there's a stand with a really good chopped salad, and although I haven't tried them this year, veggie burgers are still listed on menu boards. Also, last year you could get veggie chili at Hard Times.
Overall, Nats Park is the most vegetarian-friendly sports venu in the area, I've found.
There ya go.
Another little known fact: there's a strange little cart at Verizon Center that has a hummus wrap and a cheese and veggie tray, plus wine and stuff I think. It's near the Dunkin Donuts, I believe, which is why I've never gotten anything there.
Bun, burger, pepperjack cheese, jalapenos, frank's red hot. A burger named for a flamethrower has to be hot.
But it also needs a curveball on top. Jelly beans.
I am not sure you could do a food on the knee buckling curve, but they could sell Diapers or Baby Wipes to the opposing teams so they can change the underpants after they see it!!!!
I am sure you can recommend some brands! Got to love that we are actually talking about a real honest to god baseball team in DC
Belt buckles would probably be preferable to baby wipes.
Okay, so Pittsburgh started rebuilding right around the time the Caps did. Maybe slightly before. They have now been to two Cup finals and won a Cup. Chicago started rebuilding AFTER the Caps. They have now been to a conference final and now a Cup final which they will likely win. And the Caps have yet to get out of round two and took a huge step back next season.
When is the media going to break out of the cult of Ted mode and start questioning the management and coaching? This concept that the Caps are somehow destined to win a Cup is laughable. Other teams are not standing still and young rebuilding teams like the Kings and Tampa, maybe even the Islanders, will emerge as forces soon.
Well, I think it might be fine to step away from the rebuilding praise. The rebuilding has been finished for a few years, and it's not unique, as you note.
And yet the Caps were a dominant, historically great team this year. Certainly the best regular-season team in franchise history. The win streak was a joy to watch. No, they haven't unlocked some secret code, and no, they're not finding success in the postseason, but at some point it's ok to ask why you watch sports.
I was thinking about this at great length this week. If all that matters is the championship -- and I understand that for a lot of fans and athletes, that's the case -- really, why do we put up with six-month regular seasons? We're essentially saying they're meaningless, especially for a team like the Caps, that is just about guaranteed a playoff spot. Nothing they do in those six months will make you happy. So why do we watch, why do we pay for tickets, why do we care?
I know this makes me a loser, and I know I don't entirely share the DC fan's mind, but I can't wrap my head around it being completely meaningless. I just can't. I know coaches get fired for being the top seed and losing in the first round, but I don't see that making the Caps into failures.
The only problem with this is that it can't have a pickle or pepper.
Don't understand this, but I'll end here. Really, I should change my business card to "Chatter." 'Tis all I do.
Going to call the Nats now about Sweet Caroline. The results might change my life.