It Couldn’t Have Happened a Better Way

It didn’t happen for the Washington Nationals until game 158, but it happened, and it can’t have happened in a better game. The way the Nationals game against the Cardinals on September 29 started set it up to be a night of the bizarre. With one out and the bases full Michael Morse hit a deep drive that at first was ruled a single with Morse getting thrown out trying to retreat to first. Nationals fans had seen this before when the ground rules of Citizens Bank Park cost Adam LaRoche a homer. Busch Stadium is not Citizens Bank Park and the wall beyond the fence is a homerun in that stadium, and so once the umpires reviewed the call they awarded Morse a grand slam.

The umpires also made the Nationals players all return to the base they originally occupied and round the bases after Morse took a fake swing. It was a night destined to be weird. It would continue later in the game after the Nats allowed the Cardinals to hang around and chip away at their four run lead. The Cardinals would catch the Nats in the ninth inning when Storen allowed a sac fly to score the tying run, and this is where the greatness of this game is culminated.

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The Difference in Cultures

There is a perception among some that Baltimore and Washington exist in the same area. Sure they are close in distance, but the two places couldn’t be more different. DC is a city with no true cultural identity and that is no fault of the city itself. DC draws its cultural identity from the fact that it has none. It is a city of transplants and people that grew up somewhere else. They come to DC and mix with the current residents and new trends are born. DC is also the capital of the country and as such it has the feeling of everywhere and nowhere. There is a place here, a city, but there is no thread that ties everyone together except that the residents of DC are all different and celebrate those differences together. Baltimore is different. It is a city full of people that grew up in and around Baltimore and have experienced Baltimore their entire lives. It is a city of people of shared experience.

There is nothing wrong with how either city is and it is great that they are different. There are things I like about both. In all honesty I prefer the surrounding countryside of Baltimore to the vast suburban sprawl of DC. In order to get to a small town from Baltimore all one has to do is drive 15 minutes outside the city limits. To get to a small town from DC takes at the very least 45 minutes depending on which direction one is driving.

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There is no Debate

Mike Trout is a centerfielder. Mike Trout has a .957 OPS. Mike Trout also has made a ton of amazing defensive plays. Miguel Cabrera is a “third baseman.” Miguel Cabrera has a .993 OPS. Miguel Cabrera let’s you breath if he makes a play on defense. A centerfielder putting up similar offensive numbers to a corner position and playing some of the best defense ever seen should run away with the MVP award. Baseball fans have to remove the idea from their heads that valuable means something other than best. Mike Trout is the best player in the AL. Mike Trout might be the best player baseball has seen in a decade. Mike Trout is your AL MVP and it isn’t even close.

Failure

Today is not a day for logic and reason. It isn’t a day to point out the distinct fact that despite being swept in Atlanta the Nats still have to be very very bad to not win the NL East. Today is not the day for that. It is a day for anger and rage and the raw outpouring of emotion. The plain and simple fact is the Nats failed. Just like they did in April when they were battling the Dodgers for the best record in the NL, and just like they did against the Yankees in June when trying to prove they could play with the big boys. Face facts today. The Nats failed. The reason that it happened doesn’t matter as much as it did happen.

The Braves would have to play out of their minds while the Nats completely fell apart in order for the Braves to win the East. As of right now there is about a 3% chance that it happens, but it isn’t impossible. The possibility might exist on the outer realms of reality, but this is Washington DC where only heartbreak is none among sports fans.

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BSW Stats for August 2012

Well, it’s better late than never, so here we go with the summary post for the month of August.

Because the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California’s bullpen were so collectively bad, they are the reason why Boston’s Alfredo Aceves isn’t given the marquee this month.  Aceves’ three blown saves in August makes him the worst individual reliever in the month, but the Angels had four different relievers blow saves in August, with three of them blowing more than one.  For this reason alone, the Angels collective bullpen gets the nod over Aceves.

More stats and analysis after the jump: Read more »

The Displeasure of the Present

Baseball is happening right now. It isn’t predetermined or written down. It has to play out. It is a live sporting event and each new result that happens every night will ultimately lead to the final result. The problem is I want to know what is going to happen. More than once during a good season of a TV series I have ventured onto the internet and looked up the spoilers so that the mystery was gone. I want the mystery to be gone from this baseball season. If I knew how it was going to end it would be easier to just relax and enjoy it. That is impossible so all I can do is try and relax and enjoy it.

This has by far been the best season the Washington Nationals have played, and it has been extremely enjoyable, but seeing exactly how far they are going to go is the thing. It is tough to watch and wait it out. Every game has an extra stress level and while all the numbers, logic, and reason tell me not to worry the DC fan in me has to worry. I remember when the Redskins started the season 7-1 and then missed the playoffs, I remember when the Capitals went up 3-1 in a playoff series to Montreal and lost, and I remember LeBron James walking up to Gilbert Arenas and whispering in his ear causing him to choke in a game six and miss two free throws.

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Sexy Songs for Harper

A couple weeks back Harper gave some advice about baseball to a camp of kids. That advice was for them to be as sexy as they can. Last night at the ballpark I noticed something. Harper’s at bat music isn’t sexy enough. So I decided to put together a list of sexy songs that Harper could walk-up to. Before doing this there were two ways I could go. I could go all in and be 100% serious or I could through in a couple joke tracks like Right Said Fred or Color Me Badd. I decided to play this straight up, and here are a few sexy songs Harper should walk-up to so he can be as sexy as he can be.

Marvin Gaye- Let’s Get it On

No list of sexy songs would be complete without this sexy song. It might be a bit overplayed but it is hard for it to get old, and everyone would know it.

The Righteous Brothers- Unchained Melody

Bryce Harper’s bat hungers for the touch of the ball being crushed deep to right.

Lionel Ritchie- Easy

Bryce Harper is 19 and he makes baseball look easy. Easy like Sunday morning.

Buddy Holly- True Love Ways

“Sometimes we’ll sigh. Sometimes we’ll cry, and we’ll know why just you and I…” It could be a song about baseball.

Dolly Parton- I Will Always Love You

Leaving someone for their own good and then thinking about them afterwards. That is sexy and Bryce’s anger is not what baseball needs.

The Platters- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

I am sure Harper can think back to the first moment he realized he loved baseball and would remember holding back tears.

The Temptations- Papa Was a Rolling Stone

Running out on your family isn’t sexy, but what is sexy is that bass line.

Elvis Presley- Are You Lonesome Tonight

This song may very well describe what Harper’s off-season is like.

Michael Jackson- Rock with You

Bryce Harper rocks with baseball.

Paul Anka- Put Your Head on my Shoulder

Love is a game you cannot win and baseball is a game of failure. They are a lot alike.

Madonna- Take a Bow

In another life Bryce Harper would be a sexy bullfighter.

Andy Williams- Moon River

Dream maker. Heart breaker. I am starting to think that love and baseball have a lot in common.

There it is. My list of twelve sexy songs that Bryce Harper can walk out to. Twelve is also a good amount to put on a CD and drive your love around town listening to. Try it out with these songs and see if you have a good night. I bet you will because these are some sexy songs.