Sometimes it has to Hurt

There is no such thing as an untouchable player, but there are players that if a GM touches they should be arrested faster than that creepy old guy that hangs out at the playground. I am not so sure if Drew Storen is one of those players. He is a very good young closer, and should be good for years to come, but so were a lot of guys. Very few closers last anymore than a year or two and once they have a bad season or even a bad couple months they become ostracized. Soon after the fans turn on them they are publicly demoted and then possibly shipped out of town to take their lack of success elsewhere. There are always GM’s waiting to trade for proven closers so it isn’t hard to trade a guy that has had a decent career with a few bumps.

Relievers are volatile. It is the nature of their job. If they have a bad inning they don’t get five or six additional innings to recover in the way a starter does. Drew Storen has had very few bad innings this year, but every year isn’t this year. If the Nationals trade him and whoever is brought back in return flops and Storen shines then they look like idiots, but if both players or good they look smart, and if Storen falters they look even smarter. I would much prefer the middle option if they do trade Storen. The deal that has been leaked is Drew Storen for Denard Span, and if the players can be reduced to just raw numbers it is a deal that makes all the sense in the world for the Nationals.

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Not Every Trip can be a Winner

I can’t even say I am surprised anymore. The saying you get what you pay for exists for a reason and that reason exists for companies like Spirit airlines. I have no problem with a company billing themselves as budget or the cheap alternate, but it is one thing to say it and another thing entirely to mean it. Spirit airlines had the lowest rates by maybe $50 for each ticket. For two tickets that is a savings of $100, but it really isn’t a savings at all. The problem is Spirit airlines charges for carryon luggage. They charge $40 for anything they deem too big to be a personal item. If you figure two people each having a carry on then that is an additional $160 which makes that $100 savings disappear rather quickly. So, in the end it is quite possible to end up paying more to fly on a lesser airline. In a way I can chalk this one up to experience and vow to never fly Spirit airlines again and to warn as many people as I can about them, but really they are a fairly small company to begin with and as long as they have the lowest fair people will keep flying with them.

I of course didn’t know about the policy of charging for carryon luggage until I got to the airport and was standing at the counter. Aside from leaving and eating the cost of my trip there was really nothing I could do at that point. So, I paid the $40 for my wife’s carryon and angrily made my way through security. This might have been the worst start to a trip ever. I had just spent $40 on nothing and as I would come to find out that is enough to have paid for a meal for my wife and I at many of the fine Cuban restaurants located in and around the city of Miami. It of course wasn’t enough to pay for Marlins’ tickets.

When we got to the gate Saturday night and asked for the cheapest tickets they had to their shitty half full stadium they told us that would be $26. I actually can’t believe it. Just writing down that the cheapest tickets they had were $26 to a game more people were at to watch the after game concert than the game is ridiculous. The fact that more than half the concession stands were closed and we had to walk five or six sections over to find food made it even worse. This isn’t a new ballpark with all the amenities that come with it. This was an aging football stadium that should have never housed baseball in the first place. Charging $26 for this is out of line. If Jeffery Loria owned a franchise like the Dodgers he would be run out of baseball. Is Frank McCourt’s money grubbing that much worse than Loria’s?

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Look at the timestamp

I just witnessed the biggest vulture win ever. An umpire might lose his job over this, but given the time, and 19 innings, I’d want to go home too.

Unnamed Nats Podcast

I think this might possibly work. The other night @DCyetti and I did a podcast. Any suggestions for names would be appreciated. In part 1 we discuss Minute Maid Park and the trade deadline and in part 2 more on the trade deadline and the upcoming Dodgers series. Hopefully this works. Each half is about half an hour long and a great way to spend a lunch break or commute home.

Field Issues in Potomac should have Nationals Searching for Solutions

There are serious issues with the field of the Carolina League Potomac Nationals. I didn’t need this Washington Times article to tell me as I have been there and seen the field up close for myself. The outfield is full of divots and sandpits. The ground is uneven and the drainage is poor. If this was a lawn it would decrease property value. It is a bit delusional of the owner of the Potomac Nationals to deny that the field is an issue. It is a huge issue, and the fact that Mike Rizzo had to step in when player safety became a concern is galling. The issues with the field should have never gotten to this point, and this little war of words between the Potomac Nationals and Washington Nationals is just silly, but something still has to be done.

Mike Rizzo is not a guy to get into a pissing contest with. Alberto Gonzalez wanted to be a starter and now he is with the Padres, Joel Peralta wanted a 2 year deal, and he was non-tendered and now pitching for the Rays, Jim Riggleman wanted his option for 2012 picked up, and Rizzo called his bluff and found out Riggleman wasn’t bluffing. And J.C. Romero wanted to be in the majors or he was going to opt out, and he was released. If Mike Rizzo has the backing of the Lerners in this the Potomac Nationals might not have just ended their relationship with the Nationals, but they might have dug themselves a grave.

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The Journey Continues

Before every baseball trip it is always the same. A level of excitement mixed with mild apprehension. Travel is nothing new to me, but there is always a bit of fear going to a place I have never been. Modern technology has made things somewhat easier. There is no longer a need for maps or directions to be printed out in advance, and knowing where we are going is not a big deal. It is now impossible to get lost unless it gets cloudy, or the cell phone gets lost or stolen. Things can go wrong, and focusing on what can go wrong is not the way to do things. It is no way to live and enjoy life, and that is what life is really about. We all get only one to enjoy, and while there might or might not be a great beyond waiting for us when we pass no one is certain. All we can really do is control our time here and enjoy it the best we can.

The point of this trip like all others is not so much about watching baseball as it is about seeing America. Now Miami is a place I might travel to if baseball did exist. It is warm and sunny with lots of beaches and good Cuban food. It is also where the TV show Dexter is set. Finding Dexter’s apartment is high on our priority list, but the main attraction will be the baseball game. It is always the main event even if it isn’t the sole reason for our travels. Around the baseball game we will be eating Cuban food, visiting Dexter sights, seeing gators, and eating gators. Time for lying on the beach will be worked in there as well. On recent trips I have become surprised at how many hours exist in a day when the attempt is made to fill them all with activity.

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Tempting Fate: Assuming a Win

Bob Carpenter has always gotten on my nerves. It isn’t because I don’t think he is a good play by play man. When he does decide to do play by play he is perfectly fine. My problem is when he decides to try and call the future. It happened a couple times last night. In about the second inning with the game tied at 0-0 Bob Carpenter not only started talking about winning last night’s game, but today’s game as well. There is no reason for that. Even if a person doesn’t believe in jinxes or the baseball gods then it is still bad form to be putting down the opponent by assuming not just a win but a sweep.

The bosses at MASN are the Orioles, but Bob Carpenter is an employee of the Nationals and it is frustrating that people have to listen to a guy trying to tell them which way the game is going to go and then watching it go exactly in the opposite direction. Every time a ground ball is hit and he screams with excitement, “Double play ball,” only to have the runner beat it out, the short stop or second baseman boot it, or any number of other things that can go wrong on a groundball. Most announcers would just call it a ground ball and once the first out is recorded then inform the audience that this could be two. They don’t call the double play as soon as the ball leaves the bat.

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