Fear and Nats On The Lost Highway

They're Sheety (Mini)

I’ve got good news and bad news, Nats fans. We’ll start with the bad news:

They’re shitty. Indeed. The Living Legends themselves. The now 7-12 Washington Nationals bungled their way into getting swept in a three game series by Jeffrey Harold Loria’s most recent Ponzi Team and thereby landed themselves in the cellar of the NL East. It has been awhile since we’ve been down here, hasn’t it? It is a little more wet and drafty down here than I remember. It’s nice no one has changed the drapes since the last time we were this low in the standings– and in spirit.

The first 19 games of the 2015 season for DC have been a clinic on how NOT to play the game of baseball. It has been nothing short of a hyped up clown show. Usually you don’t get into too much of a panic over 20 games. Twenty games won’t crash and burn your season, but it does a provide a sort of early checkpoint for your team and sort of dictates where your team is headed. It’s a point where you can briefly step back, look at yourselves and say, “Are we okay? Are we alright? Am I wearing my spanx today?”

The Nats are clearly not alright. The errors are racking up, fundamentals are going down the toilet, the bullpen is neglected, the offense is terminally inconsistent, there is still no proof that the Nationals have any sort of legitimate strength and conditioning program judging by continued injuries and their manager is as green as a patch of Colorado Shamrocks.

Same Number Two, different season.

Not that I can honestly blame manager Matt Williams. It really isn’t his fault. One fan on Twitter put it that Matty W. was given the keys to a very fast car last season and this season he has to learn to drive one that goes a bit slower. The thing is, Williams never earned the keys to begin with. A high powered, young-studded team on the cusp of going to next level needs a seasoned skipper at the helm, a judge, jury and executioner with experience. Williams had none. He was given the keys to the team anyway and in 2014 he wrapped that neat, shiney, Scott Boras-loaded car right around a tree during the playoffs. You’d think the Nats might have learned a valuable lesson, but of course not. Spoil the child, spare the rod. Williams was handed the NL Manager of the Year award and the keys to a much more powerful car for a good ole’ country drive in 2015. Williams has apparently chosen the longer, scenic route this season and already looks like he is a bit lost.

I can tell you one thing: no fan of a oafish 7-12 team wants to hear about “waiting for sparks” and unicorns. That is unacceptable. Great teams don’t wait for sparks, they make them.

Another year, another of GM Mike Rizzo’s Frankenstein monsters. One has to wonder if Williams and the Nats can’t turn this baby around, get to the playoffs and just get past the first round that they won’t land Rizzo and his Tommy Bahamas on the hot seat– if he isn’t already. Rizzo has endlessly preached long term, the bigger vision, but there are times he chooses the short term and cripples his teams in the process. After the Riggleman debacle he hired Davey Johnson who brought Washington that grizzled, experienced manager and who took them to new heights– but only for two seasons. Davey was aging and Rizzo had to have known he’d have a short time to make things work. He went all in, Johnson never had the intention to do more than he did. So while building a team Rizzo knew he was going to have to disrupt the whole operation to bring in a new manager. It seemed desperate, short sighted and bonkers. A team like this needs stability and Rizzo wasn’t going to give it to them anytime soon.

Then of course, he hired tenderfoot Williams, that was just absolutely shocking. Where did he suddenly come from? What really propelled him to the top of the list to manage the Maverick and Goose of all MLB teams? In fact, the whole process seemed short and bizarre. Why would you give a team like this to such inexperience? That was Rizzo’s call too.

A blind cyclops could’ve told you how shaky the bullpen seemed coming into the season. Rizzo did nothing except trade Tyler Clippard, a dependable arm for the most part. Rizzo played around with the bench a little and made a few decisions here and there but he continues to rely on players who just can’t consistently produce offense, especially in big moments…

I don’t know. Rizzo is a good baseball man, but is lacking something that puts him above mediocrity. His track record is beginning to show it. Perhaps he is waiting for a spark…

However, Nats Nuts, not all is lost. I said there was good news and bad news. That was the bad news. The good news is:

It’s only the first 20 games. What more can go wrong?

The Circus Is Coming To Natstown In 2018

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The Washington Nationals were awarded the 2018 All-Star Game, otherwise known as the Mid-Summer Classic, on Monday in a pre-game announcement led by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Ole’ Rob. Good old Robby.

It is the first All-Star game played in Washington since 1969 when we put men on the moon and most of our parents were having a dandy of a time experimenting with LSD. Manfred had this to say about the Nation’s Capital finally getting the chance to host again:

“I am pleased that the Nationals will have the opportunity to host the Midsummer Classic for the first time since Major League Baseball returned to our nation’s capital in 2005,” Manfred said. “The best sporting event of the summer, which will be held one decade after the opening of Nationals Park, will add a new chapter to the long and distinguished baseball tradition in Washington, D.C.”

Best sporting event of the summer, please. I’d agree if the All-Star game was legitimately an “All-Star Game” but anyone with half a mind and one eye can see the All Star game is only one giant popularity contest and mindless sports spectacle. It is more like a Monster Truck rally than a test of the skill and grit of the league’s best. Hell, most of the time the “league’s best” aren’t even voted in or invited. It is a pathetically broken system that we pretend works over rounds of $10 Bud Lights and debt inducing authentic jersey buying.

Hopefully we can get more than the required Nationals representative into the game. Will anyone still be around in 2018? That has yet to be determined, but somehow probably Dan Uggla.

So bring out the clowns, roger in the elephants and build the trapezes. The circus is coming to town. The annual league baring its ass and hypocrisy to the world is at hand and it’s doing it in the town that makes a living at that sort of thing.

What? What are you asking me?

Of course I’m going to try and get a ticket.

Door Closes On Nats Perfect Season On Opening Day

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Finally– Opening Day.

Baseball was in the air around the country, including in Washington D.C. Ballpark gates opened, hot dogs sizzled, peanuts heated in their warmers, beer flowed and dreams of a 162-0 season were crushed at Nationals Park as the Nationals dropped the first game of their 2015 campaign 3-1 to the New York Mets.

It is a new season, but it is the same old story for those gnarly Nats who have Atlas-like expectations heaped on their shoulders: lack of situational hitting and lack of hitting period. Not much can be accomplished when you go 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The only who took scoring seriously was Bryce Harper who jacked a solo in the fourth inning (hence why he gets our banner photo taken by Dr. W during ST). He hit his third career OD homerun off Bartolo Colon who in this blog’s opinion looks like the most disgusting looking ballplayer in recent memory. I really think I’d rather make out with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds than Colon. I mean he is named after the large intestine. So sexy. So gross.

Let’s give caca where caca is due though: the Dan Uggla/Ian Desmond losing a routine fly ball schtick late in the game might be uglier. They best get their stank together or Desmond will never make the paper he wants and Uggla might finally fall off the edge of the earth and baseball will never hear from him again.

What can you really say about an Opening Day loss? Do you really care? Yeah, it sucks, but does it really even matter? We have another 161 games to go and honestly, if you think about it and are honest with yourself, the earliest you might legitimately judge a team is only after they play 20 games. In fact, you want to know how to improve the sport of baseball? Forget all this pace-of-play rules garbage and just cut the first 20 games of the season. It is only “extended Spring Training with benefits” if you think about it in a certain way. I’d be all for 20 less games. But that is my opinion– or at least what I tell myself to deal with my disappointment.

Oh, yeah a mountain lion also. Chain a mountain lion to second base. That would make the game a whole lot more exciting, yet challenging.

Blogging Dirty In 2015– One Last Time

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And we are back– sort of.

It’s been pretty much over a year since I last graced the pages of this blog with my “rapist wit” and musty insight into the Washington Nationals Baseball Club of Washington D.C. I wish I could interest you in stories of how I drowned all my staff and made a run for it to a tropical island where I spent the past year making love to exotic women and drinking with scorpions, but alas, it would be a lie. Life can be a she-devil and she certainly has held my gonads to the fire this past year, so much so I decided I had to take a break and sort of reinsert myself into The Matrix of just being a fan again without having to worry about blog.

I have to admit: I was getting a little tired of it too. I put a lot into this little cybernetic burg and I accomplished a lot. I got to blog from the Nats Park press box, got to meet some players, almost got run over by Wily Mo Pena, got yelled at by both Jordan Zimmermann and Jayson Werth, spent a month in Florida hunting squirrels, went to countless games, met countless people, been called every dirty thing under the sun, learned 320 reasons you should never tuck your jersey into your jacked up pants and drank a lot of beer. Really, what more could have I asked for from what began as just a little joke venture almost six years ago? I loved every moment on the way.

It was that love and the fact I felt like I was neglecting my own child that I decided to jump start the blog again, to give it another whirl– but only for a little while. I know you are all crushed and still in mourning over losing Stephen Colbert, John Stewart and David Letterman to retirement of their respective shows this year, so it pains me to add to your misery by saying I will be officially retiring from the NQ after the last out of the 2015 season. This blog has had one hell of a run, but if I feel if I can’t put everything I have into the blog and team I love, then I would much rather it be put out to stud.

The blog. Not the team. I’m sure the Nats are bred to the finest stock already.

I won’t be able to update everyday, but I will when I can, when something either awesome or stupefying happens and I will make sure my staff and I do our best to give you one last go. My apprentice, Dr. W, will be leaving for Viera tomorrow to do a little blog work and take in some Spring Training action, so hopefully we’ll have some gravy in the next few days. We’ll probably kick this thing off strong around Opening Day so keep checking back.

So “Once more into the fray, into the last good fight I’ll ever know…”, dear friends– said someone a whole lot more popular than I. See you again soon.

 

Baba Booey Might Be Coming To Nats Park Next Season

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Howard 100 News reports that Baba Booey aka Fa-Fa-Flunky aka Ta-Ta-Toothy aka Ma-Ma-Monkey aka Boy Gary might be making a stop at Nationals Park sometime during the 2014 season to take in a game and scratch the Washington ballpark off his list of ballparks he has visited. Baba Booey is actually named Gary Dell’Abate and is the famed producer of the Howard Stern Show on SiruisXM. His boss, shock jock Howard Stern, once was employed by D.C. radio station DC101.

Dell’Abate (who we will refer to as Baba Booey from now on in this article because I hate that coma in his name) is an avid baseball fan and is in the process of organizing among his friends a tour that will eventually take them to every ballpark in the MLB. Right now, tentatively, Toronto or Washington are next on his list in 2014. Baba Booey forced himself into MLB infamy on May 9, 2009 when he threw out the first pitch at a New York Mets game that ended up doing a Matt Chico and hit an umpire. It is perhaps the worst first pitch in baseball history. You decide:

The NQ are huge Stern Show fans and the possibility of seeing Baba Booey in the crowd at a Nats game and getting the opportunity to shout “Baba Booey” or “Howard Stern’s penis” at him would probably be the apex of this blog’s existence.

It would be cool if the Nats could find out if and when he is coming and offer him a chance to redeem himself by letting him throw out the first pitch. Maybe he’ll finally swear off the Mets. Probably not, but one could hope.

By the way, check out that hyperlink above with the Booey Compilation. In it is a guy wearing a Nats hat who uses “Baba Booey” as code for something is wrong during a newscast.

Brilliant.

A State Of The Blog Whatever

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Alright. The time has come. I am going to bare my ass to you all, my faithful ternion. For the past five years you have stuck with me, read my dribble and at least in my mind propelled this blog to the level of toilet porn which is farther than I ever thought it would ever reach.

You have probably noticed an extreme drop off of content on this blog over the past six or seven months. No, your old pal DangerNat hasn’t lost interest in the team or sport and no this isn’t some blog signing off post. It is just awhile back life sort of caught up with me. I was tired, put down, laid on, laid off and got myself into a rut. My wife started frequenting seedy bars and underground Chip and Dale joints while my kids started calling me by my first name and became Chipper Jones fans. Actually I am kidding about those last two parts, but my family life was suffering a bit I admit so perhaps you can understand that writing about rich athletes facial hair, bitchings and strangeness wasn’t really on the top of my list.

Deep depression set in. I was taking special Pez candies prescribed by my doctor and seeing strange, balding figures who where suffering their own midlife crisis and buying Mini-Coopers while trying to help me. It is like I became the poster love child to Zack Greinke and Ladycakes. Needless to say, I needed to get my shit together and thankfully I have or at least I am on the path to.

So I have taken the steps to begin a quest to become a mortician. That quest starts this coming Saturday (July 13th) as I start a position as a funeral assistant. Please, wish me luck.

That being said, I will be unable to do a whole bunch on the blog so sadly, there will not be an uptick in content, but there WILL be content. Just more spaced out and a little more selective. Don’t worry, if you like crap, there will still be crap too, but just selective crap. I have been working with my apprentice, Dr. W, who has been learning the ropes and growing by leaps and bounds. I am hoping (praying) he will continue to be interested in this sort of “all guts, no glory” type of blogging and help keep this blog alive by putting out more content. I haven’t given him a key to the apartment yet, but he is getting close.

I just thought you’d like to know. I sort of owe it to you. I also owe it to my staff and the blog itself which has been like a neglected baby the past few months and I’ve felt bad about it. I haven’t changed its diapers or anything.

So now you are all caught up.

And I am not kidding about the mortician part.

A Posting On Harrisburg

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The Nationals Inquisition completed it’s grand runaround-cycle of the Nationals minor leagues by finally taking in a game of the Double-A Harrisburg Senators at Metro Bank Park on Saturday night in Harrisburg, PA. If there was ever a zombie apocalypse and you wanted to catch a baseball game during it, Metro Bank Park is the place to go as it is situated on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River downtown Harrisburg, chock full of family entertainment.

Sadly the Sens did not fare as well as this blog’s good time. They dropped the game 3-2 to the Bowie Baysox (Orioles affiliate). Luckily it was Bryce Harper Pillowcase Night so it prevented me from crying myself to sleep because there is no crying in baseball.

Be as it may and be it that there is a blog that is laying around for content, I have some thoughts on the game. I know, I know, you’ve been waiting all day and are dying to know the opinions of some doof with a keyboard. So here you are you impatient, selfish people. I shall list you to death:

  • So do remember Brian Goodwin? That kid drafted in the first round (34th) of the 2011 draft? Yeah, the young centerfielder is in Harrisburg and is leading off. Hopefully Saturday was an off night for him because from what we saw of him, he was not that impressive. In fact he sucked at the plate. The Bowie pitcher was no Cy Young and his off speed stuff was crap, but Goodwin just couldn’t lay off said crap and embarrassed himself a couple times at the plate.
  • Ahoy LeCroy! Matt “Beer Truck” LeCroy is Harrisburg’s manager and he seems to be fermenting well in the manager position. Had to roll himself out of the dugout during a botched umpiring call where one of his players got hit by a pitch but the umpire called strike three. Polite to the ump, no heat, no threat of getting thrown out– and no getting the correct call. Blue said the out stood.
  • Speaking of the umpiring crew, they blew goats and wooly mammoths. Both Harrisburg and Bowie got bad calls from a head umpire who couldn’t decide where the strike zone was and who made it obviously clear why he was umping Double-A baseball.
  • The Senators patriotic jerseys made them look like they were going to run the Olympic torch in the 1980s or shoot up steroids before taking on the Tour De France.

Okay, so that is a crappy list. Sue me. But there is one odd footnote to all this: Bowie Baysox fans (Orioles fans?) are just plain weird. There was this old fart decked out in O’s gear sitting two seats away from me and just kept giving me the staredown. I have no idea why. He would watch the action on the field and when there was a break he would turn his head and just stare at me without saying anything, but obviously something had his gump. He was in his late 50s it looked and probably had some sort of dementia. Every Bowie pitch was a strike in his book and every pitch from the Sens Taylor Hill was way outside the zone and should have been a ball.

Somehow the NQ always gets the freaks.

But great time in Harrisburg in a beautiful park–

Christ, this post sucks. I haven’t been active a whole lot this season for certain reasons and the rust is showing. I feel like Dan Haren pitching only three innings: I suck.

Forgive me.

Meanwhile, In Japan Nyjer Morgan Hasn’t Pooped In A Bottle Yet

Ex-Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan is over in Japan right now playing for the Yokohama BayStars who apparently are one of those teams who have an illustrious history of winning but over the past decade or so they have been mired in a decline. If you need anymore evidence, they pay Nyjer Morgan a stipend.

Here is a near eight minute highlight reel of one of the Baystar’s games against the Dragons. The first 3:50 of the video captures the beauty of Morgan’s inability to play the game right by showing off a couple of his strike outs, f**k ups and sloppiness he displayed after the honeymoon with each of the MLB teams he was on. But then he starts hitting the ball, scoring and making scoring opportunities before finally making a dumb luck catch in an outfield full of circus clowns. The Baystars won the day.

But let’s forget about Morgan. Do you hear that atmosphere in the background? That is absolutely incredible and it isn’t even a playoff game.

Japan really has some kick ass stuff like swords, women with bubble eyes, poop videos and awesome baseball crowds.