D.C. Sports Bog Live: Strasburg, Wall, Haynesworth, Wizards, Nationals, Redskins, more

Jun 22, 2010

D.C. sports bogger Dan Steinberg takes your questions about Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals, potential future Wizards draft pick John Wall, Albert Haynesworth's hold out, the Redskins and all the area's breaking sports news.

Geez, it's been a whole week (almost)! What have you been up to?

You know. Just hanging out. Trying to figure out if Manute Bol coined the phrase "my bad." That sort of stuff.


Sorry for being late here, as usual. Was trying to finish up a post citing new evidence that Bol did not, in fact, coin the phrase. But that issue certainly got a lot of run this week, including on Monday's episode of Around the Horn.

Hey, I spoke with Coach last night. He's the usher whose life you ruined because his moment in the sun each night was dancing on the Nats dugout to the strains of Sweet Caroline. He said that he's working on a new routine and has proposed it to the Nats brass for their consideration. Should he also run it by you for an informal poll of your readers?

I've mentioned before that I've also talked to Coach since the Sweet Caroline party ended, and it made me feel like a complete loser. I hope you're serious, and I hope he does indeed have a new gimmick. I'll stay out of it.

So how many additional first round picks do you think the Wizards will be able to pick up this week? And who do you have the Caps drafting?

I'd put the over/under on additional Wizards picks at 0.5. If they package the two later picks to move up earlier in the first, that counts.

I do not follow the hockey draft. I'm sorry. I know I should, but I just don't know enough.

As a fellow recent city resident now in the 'burbs, I've got to ask. Do you miss it as much as I do?

I don't, no, not at all. My wife does, though.

Remember, I grew up in a village of 10,o00 people, an hour away from the big city of Buffalo. I don't know that I'm cut out for long-term city life. I'm digging the little things, like fireflies, and trees, and the lack of empty weed bags and empty beer bottles on my front lawn.

As a replacement for "Sweet Caroline," maybe they could play the Lil' Jon "Shots" song whenever they call Matt Capps out from the bullpen. It would go something like "Capps Capps Capps CappsCappsCapps! Everybody!" Might sound lame on an internet chat, but I think it would work.

I'm pretty sure that the replacement for Neil Diamond will not involve Lil' Jon. Just a guess.

Why do you and the WP use the term “bogger” in referring to yourself? Even your e-mail address is sportsbog@washpost.com. Is it a typo? If not a typo, are you aware that Wikipedia defines bogger as an Irish derisory term for someone not from a city. Under other circumstances, it can be extended to refer to those not from The Pale, or even more tightly, to those not from Dublin. People in Ireland (usually from Dublin) would also include people from Cork city as boggers. Variations are Bog Trotter and Bog Warrior. Bogman refers to a man of rough manners, from the country, and little concern for social niceties. If not a typo, need we inquire or be concerned about where you reside and your manners?

Uh, no, I guess I wasn't totally familiar with this usage.

As I've often explained, when I was leaving the U. of Maryland football beat in the fall of 2006, I told Ralph Friedgen what my new job would be. "Dan, I don't even know what a bog is," he replied.

My new blog was nameless at the time, and this seemed distinctive and brand-able. I think it's worked. And then I get questions like this.

I've been visiting the bog more frequently for Strasburg news, but I accidentally click on Redskins and basketball posts. I don't want you to think I'm actually interested in Haynesworth radio transcripts, so (here's the question) can you subtract a few clicks from those topics?

Yeah, just send me a daily count. Actually, if you could click on the comments section of every post you didn't mean to read and indicate that there, maybe it'd be best.

Hi Dan, I scored tix for the July 9th game against Giants. Do you know if Stras-mas will fall on this date?? Looking at the schedule it looks like he'll go on the 8th against the Padres? Do you have a calendar with the Stras-mas dates? Thanks.

Kilgore reported yesterday that it'll be July 9, that his final start before the all-star game will involve one extra day of rest. Some of you have already expressed doubts, and will continue to do so until he takes the mound, but I'm with Kilgore.

Mike Wise and Holden K. are having a very good discussion on whether WaPo writer Eric Prisbell was right in revealing the past of John Wall's father to the world AND to John Wall.

What's your take? Ethical or non-ethical? Are some things better left out of the papers? I mean Wall isn't even a part of the Wiz yet. I'm sure you're privy to personal info about DC's elite athletes. Where's the line?

This has been debated all over the place: on Twitter, in comments, in Prisbell's email inbox, on the radio, in Prisbell's chat yesterday, on blogs.

Frankly, I'm shocked. It seems pretty obvious to me. And I think if you read my chats enough, you know I don't blindly side with my co workers. But on this one, I'm 100 percent with Prisbell, who wrote a just fabulous story.

1) Wall talks about his father all the time. So Prisbell needs to know more about his father.

2) Prisbell discovers these details about his dad, that haven't previously been published. If he's going to write a story about Wall and his relationship to his father, and these are a matter of public record, he wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't report them.

3) Now, is it more considerate and humane to tell John Wall these details face-to-face, or to let him read them in The Washington Post? That isn't even a question.

4) So Prisbell has to tell John. Now, they're having a 45-minute conversation. Eric isn't sure exactly how much Wall knows. He realizes that there's a lot John doesn't know. He's got a good vibe established, and things seem comfortable, and so he tells him. They continue to talk for another half hour, and Wall doesn't seem shaken in his views about his dad.

The only alternative I see, really, is for Eric to have told the mom "look, I'm sure you have your reasons not to have told John, but it'll be in my story, so how should we tell him?" But if the moment felt right, it's hard for any of us who weren't there to say it was wrong.

Maybe "some things are better left out of the papers." But when you're doing a story about the father of a mega-celebrity, and the public record has an explicit account of that father, I don't see how you could possibly leave that out.

What do you think will happen to that Malian referee who threw the U.S. match? I'm hoping, as the capital of his country, Bamako, is also the word for crocodile, they make a meal of him. He's a joke just like all the African teams this year.

If we're sympathetic to Jim Joyce, let's be sympathetic here, absent any proof that this was something other than an innocent, horrible mistake.

It wasn't the first serious error of this World Cup, and it won't be the last. These things happen in soccer.

Incidentally, I'm amazed at how many rude things people say on the Internet about other World Cup teams, players, refs. Feels nastier than NFL chatter, and that's saying something.

Who you got in the US game tomorrow? I have learned never to put too much faith in American soccer. You're just setting yourself up for disappointment.

Well, I understand your caution, but the U.S. has been a pretty reliable group stage performer recently, and the hard work is already done this time around. Setting aside jinx concerns, I'd say something like 2-0 U.S. wins. Certainly if they play like they did in the second half against Slovenia, I wouldn't imagine they'd have much trouble.

Trying to decide where to watch it. Black Finn, I've been told.

Where did you say that you bought your Albert Hayneswoth Pinata? I would love a wack.

I always struggle with whack and wack, too. The new meaning of wack hasn't done us any favors.

I went to my first birthday party with a pinata in about 20 years recently. They're amazing. Every room of every house should have one.

Coubilaly (sp?) and Joyce are somewhat separate cases. Joyce admitted his error afterwards, and he made a safe call instead of an out. The Mali ref just blew the whistle and never gave the US a reason for why he did it.

Watch Jim Joyce immediately after the call; he stood his ground and did so vociferously. It wasn't until he went and watched the replay that he crumbled. When the ref was refusing to tell the U.S. players what he called, he had yet to see a replay. No normal human would see that replay and not admit he got it wrong.

I'm not sure what FIFA protocol is on refs publicly admitting their errors after the fact, in subsequent days. If this is commonly done, then I'll feel differently, but I assume it isn't.

If the Nats get 30,000 attendance for Strasmas III (or is it IV?) it will be remarkable considering it's a Wednesday afternoon against K.C. If it were J.D. Martin pitching they'd be fortunate to get the 13,000 they got last night. Still shows the power of Strasburg, yes?

Yeah. I'm planning on being there. In fact, I'm planning on skipping the pre-draft NYC John Wall media availibilty so I can see an afternoon of Strasmas. Might be the only businessman's Strasmas of the year, right?

That sounds like something Elliot Spitzer was getting while governor.

No no, that was in Northwest D.C., this is in Southwest.

Do MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams typically run criminal background checks on a potential draft picks immediate family? Google them etc? Have a PI prepare a dossier? I would if I owned a team. Criminal records are a matter of public record.

I have no idea, actually. I surely agree with you, especially for No. 1 overall picks that will soon become massively wealthy.

I think there have been suggestions that the Wizards didn't know as much about Kwame Brown's situation as they should have, but none of that was criminal, that was more about his personality.

Why wouldn't you watch the game at Summers in Arlington? Apparently that's one of the best soccer bars in the Nation (they show soccer all the time...not just during the World Cup).

Well, mostly I just want to meet certain friends in the local soccer industry. And also be close enough to pop down for my businessman's Strasmas. Since the U.S. game and resulting festivities will stretch into the early afternoon, the Strasmas might have to be a quickie.

Totally agree with you on the Prisbell thing. But I have an issue on another earlier question. I think you should stop being Mr. Nice Guy when people ask you for Strasburg's pitching schedule. If they're too lame to figure out that he goes every fifth day, then they shouldn't bother going to a game that they don't know anything about. And here's why we don't like soccer- too many ties!!

The trick is his last pre-ASG start is supposed to be after an extra day of rest, but an All-Star appearance would (possibly?) change things, I guess.

I disagree about too many ties. I don't mind ties at all. Many many hockey fans yearn for the days of ties. I'd just be interested in 4-4 ties, not 0-0 or 1-1 ties.

Now, scoring has obviously picked up in the last week, so I'll give the "not enough goals!" thing a rest, too.



So I went to both home games, and while there was a bigger crowd for Strasmus I, I feel as though less people left Strasmus II once he was done pitching. Have you heard anything like that?

I wasn't there, but I think D.C. crowds typically depart early during extra innings game, no matter how illogical that seems. once you have kids (assuming you don't already), you might better understand. No lecture about sports protocol can trump an overly tired child as the 11th inning approaches.

Dan Steinberg writes: No no, that was in Northwest D.C., this is in Southwest. No, it's Near Southeast. Don't get JD mad at you.

Yeah, you're right. Apologies to all.

Though my extra-secret super-awesome free on-street Nats Park parking space is in Southwest, so I'm sort of ok.

Isn't it possible that this is just a third world guy who has it in for the US, and took advantage of an opportunity?

Yeah, that was my second guess. That this "third-world guy" rose to the very height of his profession while harboring a massive dislike for the U.S., and a massive love of former Yugoslav republics, and that he cleverly allowed the game to become tied so that no one would see his plot, which was to make sure that the U.S. tied Slovenia to set-up a must-win against the group's weakest member for a chance to move on and likely win Group C. That's probably it.

The conventional wisdom is that while attendance will spike for Strasmas games, it will also begin to raise attendance figures at all games. The rising tide theory, if you will. But what are the chances people now ONLY want to go to Strasmas games and the others see a decline (i.e, 13 K versus the Royals - okay, I realize it is the Royals). What's your take?

The White Sox series had bizonkers attendance. Some of that was surely because of Chicago fans, and sotme because there was some debate about Strasburg possibly going on Saturday, but I think yesterday was much more about a Monday night against the Royals than anything else.

I don't think conventional wisdom is that non-Strasburg games will be better attended (especially if the team continues to sink), just that the huge Strasburg numbers will inevitably cause the season average to go up.

I wasn't aware the ushers at Nats Park were hired on the basis of their ability to choreograph and execute dance routines. Don't the ushers have enough official duties to perform, like telling people going and coming back from the concessions to wait until the end of the at bat?

Jeez, all this vitriol.

Look, I shoudln't have even mentioned the Coach thing. He didn't seek me out, he wasn't angry, he wasn't mean, he wasn't inappropriate. I went up to him to chat, and he told me a few things. That's all.

His Sweet Caroline thing was never planned or orchestrated or manipulated. It just happened, and he enjoyed it, and so did some of his customers. My objection was never to Coach, it was to the choice of song.

But I also don't hate the wave, the way all the cool kids apparently do. I think having fun at the ballpark should be permitted. I know this makes me a heretic.

I want to thank you for talking to Stan about the K's. They hang. It was beautiful. We owe it all to you.

Er, I doubt that. And I thought some Ks were taken down on Friday. Anyone planning on K'ing up the joint on Wednesday? email me.

Empty weed bags and beer bottles on your front lawn? Good God man...where in DC did you live? Certainly not the part I live in and I live in Southeast. Granted Near Southeast.

I lived on a corner lot with yard on three sides. There were plenty of dropping spots.

I didn't mean to demean Washington. I love Washington. I loved living in the city for 11 years. I lived in Southeast, and in Foxhall, and in Mt. Pleasant, and in Logan Circle, and in Petworth. I love the 51st state and voting rights stuff. I love the license plate, and the flag. I just was ready for a change.

My understanding is that one of Shakespeare's sonnets contains the phrase "my bad" and that the term was common on playgrounds in the 1970s.

No no no, I think you meant the term was common in Elizabethan playgrounds.

Lighten up Francis. I know he goes every fifth day but I heard something about an extra day rest as Dan mentioned. I've been to plenty of games and was season ticket holder (81 game) for the first three years (until child #2). Also, quit whinning about ties in soccer.

Yeah. And quit whining too.


Is "K Street" catching on at all?

Tracee Hamilton mentioned it in a column!

Seeing as how "Coach" had a "routine" of basically running down the dugout and pointing and people, can't that be adapted to any song? It's not like he is trying out for Flashdance. It's hard to feel bad for some old man who devised a terribly non-entertaining routine set to a song made famous by another team. Get over it already. Maybe they should have him usher in the 400 level. I know I need a question here -- can I boo coach tonight?


All I'm saying -- and I promise, this is the last answer about this, at least for five minutes -- is that some people found it enjoyable. Maybe not people who populate this chat, or blog comments, or the Internet at large -- but some people did. And they don't understand the vitriol.

Anyhow, like they say, you can't make an omelette without chopping up some yellow pepper while listening to go-go.

So if Haynesworth ends up broke and destitute like Manute Bol after squandering all the money he stole from Dan Snyder, will he get a tribute as nice as Manute did after he passed?

Has any D.C. athlete been so pilloried in the Internet era? Gilbert, I guess, but he had his fair share of defenders. Kwame Brown's lowest moments predated blog madness.

I do object to the "money he stole" characterization. I think Haynesworth is the clear bad guy here, because he's behaving dishonorably, but it's not like the owner is faultless. Even if Haynesworth had shown up to the one mandatory session, he still would have been seen as a distraction, and he'd still be malcontented.

It'd be like hiring the most expensive plumber in town after seeing that he had bad reviews everywhere, and then being outraged when he fixed your toilet but in the process sprayed feces all over your ceiling and swore at your children and had to lie down on your couch to take breaks, and then cashed your check.  You'd have plenty of reasons to be unhappy with his performance, but I still don't think you could say he stole your money.

People are upset, frustrated. This is a good sign.

Yeah, but people were also upset and frustrated last year. Many of the people who are upset now, anyhow. Not to draw the perpetual comparison, but it just doesn't compare to the upset and frustration over 4-12.

Better the losses happen now than in April, I say. Everyone was saying this team was destined for 88-94 losses, something like that, which would still be a moderate improvement over '09. They were well ahead of that pace for a while, but now they're getting close to it. At least there were two months of joy.

So what do you think of Shenin even bringing the fact that Strasburg dips into his article a few weeks back? Was it even relevant? The way he wrote he made it seem macho....sort of like how Hollywood has tough guys smoke....

Uh, I think a whole lot of baseball players do so. I think it was relelant because anything Strasburg does is relevant, and I also think it'd be good if we got to a day when tons of role models did not choose to consume unhealthy products at their workplace. I suppose that includes me eating five slices of Flippin Pizza at Nats Park.

Dan, I plan on going to the game tomorrow and would love to pop my bog cherry. Any ideas on how to get a pic?

1) Streak and get tased.

2) Make a jersey sewn together, half-Strasburg and half-Harper.

3) K signs. Especially if they get confiscated and you get arrested, but either way, really.

4) Carry a sign that reads "Businessman's Strasmas"

5) Cash

So I was watching that clip, and when he threw the behind the back pass through the ring, I figured it was on his 50th try. I still can't believe he did it on his FIRST!

Yeah, that was a bit hard to believe. Supposed to talk to the host of the show in a minute here.

Their schedule was just released. You making the trek to Heinz Field on the 1st?

I can't imagine why I wouldn't, but I never promise anything any more, because I usually just wind up sitting in my living room.

K-Street is pretty lame. Why not K-burg? Lame also. his curveball could be known as the curly W, though. That's not lame at all.

Well, K Street happens to be one of D.C.'s most famous thoroughfares, one that you wouldn't find in New York or Boston. I think. Whereas "K-burg" is an abomination. I mean, why not call him "Strikeoutburg." Or "Fastballburg." Or "Phenomburg." Or "Dominationbabyburg."

"Curly W' would work well for his curve ball if it moved in four different directions. I find it an unrealistic descriptor of a knee-bending baseball pitch.


Jeeeeee [zus] was still the best, but I'm tired of offending people, religiousity wise.

Obligatory question about Wilbon included by reference.

He delivered a graduation speech at Northwestern last week. I wanted to write about it, but he didn't say anything controversial, and he didn't mention any D.C. sports figures besides George Solomon and Mike Tyson.

Since Tyler Clippard thanked former TWT sports editor Steve Repsher for coining "Clip & Save", who gets the credit for Strasmas?

I've asked this, and can't remember the answer. One of the lunatic Nats bloggers, I'm pretty sure. Anyone?

Would you recommend putting a copyright down on "Strastober" so when it does happen there will be some royalty checks to cash?

I don't know, but I just realized someone should probably buy a dreadlocks wig and a jersey that reads Strastafarian

3-1 in soccer is 21-7 in Football.. minus the time out for the extra point, followed by a time out for the kickoff, followed by a time out for a 2 yard run by CP..

Please let Haynesworth play the role of Kaka.

Shouldn't 'Strasmas' just have been usedfor his first professional outing, or 'birth' if you will, and not every time he pitches? It'll get old fast...

Well, it was so much fun that I thought we could go with the 12 Days of Strasmas thing. Nyjer Morgan's definitely one of the lords a-leaping.

What if someone got a Mayor McCheese head and had a jersey that sais Strasburger?

Yeah, that works.

Also, a long-bearded Strasputin.

It's keeping me hostage. You need to stop.

Ok, done. Later.

(There were at least eight other questions in the queue about Sweet Caroline. Not exaggerating one bit. Amazing response. We definitely need to have a huge battle royal between the pros and cons. Or at least a cornhole game.)

I could play this game all day. Dress up in country gear for Strascal Flatts

Yes please.

I'm a little surprised you'd name-check Tracee after the way she's been trash-talking you since her return...

Oh, she has, has she? Guess I wouldn't know, since I never really find the time to read her chats.


(Note: Tracee, if you actually  haven't trash talked me, apologies. Of course I read every one of your chats. Wait, this is getting confusing.)

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Dan Steinberg
Washington Post staff writer and D.C. Sports Bogger.

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