Old School Nats Goudey Goodness

I took a visit to our local, seedy sports memorabilia dive yesterday and picked up some contraband. It is amazing what you can get on the cheap when your team isn’t that good. Take these classics:

  1. 2007 Upper Deck Goudey Felipe Lopez
  2. 2007 Upper Deck Goudey Austin Kearns
  3. 2007 Upper Deck Goudey Nick Johnson

Goudey cards are so cute. They are like the teddy bears or garden gnomes of the baseball card collecting world.

Nats Burned By Kennedy And Kearns

I am seriously pissed off today and I can give you 26 reasons why, but mainly because of two words, one begins with an “A” and the other a “K.”

“A”merica is playing England in the World Cup today and the mountain’s television set is a piece-o-”K”rap and the signal is not coming in from ABC. Seriously, I’ve been looking forward to this match for weeks. Most normal people can just sit down on their couch with a beer, flip right to the channel and enjoy. Not me. That doesn’t come easy as head of one of the self-proclaimed sexiest Nats blogs on the web. I have to get on a ladder and climb 300 feet to screw with some rabbit ears made out of bubble gum and chicken wire. My life is a cesspool. All I have is this blog.

And I also have a baseball team that can’t get on any sort of winning streak higher than three games. We have to give thanks to a guy that has the initials “AK” for that. I am of course talking about– Adam Freaking Kennedy.

Ha, I bet you thought this was all about how Austin Kearns burned the Nats during a 7-2 spanking from the Cleveland Indians, didn’t you? That is called “giving you the hook, reeling you in and going a direction you didn’t expect.” I am a crafty blogger sometimes. I have my moments.

So yeah, yeah, former Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns who never hit two homeruns in a game for the Nats did it against his former team yesterday, but he might not have if not for Nationals second baseman and bench warmer Adam Kennedy who booted a simple ground ball for a double play which allowed Kearns to make it to the plate with runners on in the first place. It is the third game this month where Kennedy has produced a demoralizing error that has cost the Nats the game.

“He is in a little funk defensively and I think lack of playing time is hurting him a little bit,” [Manager Jim] Riggleman said. “I’m going to get him right back out there tomorrow. I have to give him and Willie Harris some at-bats — make sure they are going to help us. They are good hitters and I can’t let rust get on them.”

This is the part where the cute, little chimpanzee suddenly hides his face in his hand. The only people looking forward to seeing Adam Kennedy back in the field is Cleveland fans. And Austin Kearns.

By the way, I know “crap” isn’t spelled with a “K.” That was me just being clever again. I am getting good at this blogging thing.

Maybe I should become a spy.

Kearns Goes On The Trail Of Tears

Austin Kearns 2, originally uploaded by afagen.

Former Nationals outfielder and “What-the-hell-happened-to-him?” guy, Austin Kearns has signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians– a minor league deal.

Yep, you read that right. A minor league deal. Rotoworld.com:

Indians signed OF Austin Kearns to a minor league contract.

The Nationals declined Kearns’ $10 million option in November and then denied him arbitration in December. Both were easy decisions. The 29-year-old hit just .195/.336/.305 in 2009 and isn’t likely to have much of an impact next season for the Tribe.

Kearns now rejoins former Nationals manager Manny Acta in the Cleveland organization.

How the once mighty and exciting have fallen. Notice how I made no reference or joke to the movie Major League during this post.

I think I deserve Brownie Points for that.

No Nats For You!

akearns47

The Washington Nationals will not be offering arbitration to several players. Nationals.com:

The Nationals did not offer arbitration to any of their free agents, which include catcher Josh Bard, right-hander Livan Hernandez, outfielder Austin Kearns, left-hander Ron Villone and first baseman Dmitri Young.

None of the players were Type A or B free agents — rankings are based on a player’s performance during the previous two seasons.

The only player possibly being considered for the Nats uniform again is reliever Ron Villone who illustrious manager Jim Riggleman who once referred to as, “a leader by example.”

Lord almighty. The Nats are acting like a real baseball team or at least doing a good job pretending to do so. All of these players shouldn’t be offered arbitration or really even considered for a return. If Jim “Cowboy Pants” Bowden were still at the helm they’d probably all be signed for another three years. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

The only one that we are sad to see go is Austin Kearns. He came to D.C. in a storm of hoopla and he leaves it under a pile of crap. Such potential, we really wish he could have worked out. That arm in right field was sweet. Like a cannon. And we always enjoyed trying to chase him down in Florida and utterly fail.

Alas, all good times must come to an end. All ships must pass in the night. There is a last page to every book, word to every story.

And this is the end of this blog posting because I can’t think of anything else to say.

Your Nationals Dispatch: Yankees Suck Edition

IMGP4042 Doug Slaten Series, originally uploaded by Esa Einai.

So here we are again. Another baseball season completely wrapped up and ready for a Ken Burn’s documentary and boy, it really couldn’t have gone any worse than it did. The Nationals were the most abysmal and pathetic team to play the game in years and once again Steinbrenner and his spawn were able to purchase another championship and pretend they actually earned it.

It’s always easier just to buy the cheap stuffed animal in the amusement park gift store than it is to actually throw the ball into the basket in one of the park’s games isn’t it? Maybe that is why you never see fairs or carnivals in New York City.

Of course, that doesn’t really matter to 70% of that fan base who are nothing but bandwagon fans. Already reports are flocking in from New York of mass public orgies, vicious sodomy and outrageous acts of public drunkenness all caused by these frontrunners who couldn’t tell you if Joe Torre was still with the team or not.

Well, whatever. The rest of the world rolls it’s eyes and turns the other way as New York fans bare their asses and try to make words with their ass cheeks. The MLB front office got it’s wet dream and is raking in the cash. The Commissioner sits smiling and ponders how he can get his skin to be as orange as A-Roid. The nightmare that is 2009 will pass.

The nightmare that will most likely be 2010 begins now.

Slaten Your Thirst - The Nationals have picked up 30-year old lefty specialist reliever Doug Slaten off waivers. Slaten appeared in just 11 games in the majors with the D-Backs in 2009, posting a 7.11 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. He was 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 39 appearances with Triple-A Reno.

Get on Ebay and order your 2010 playoff tickets RIGHT NOW. I know I am. I’m also going to bid on those see-through platform shoes with the mini-aquarium in the heels.

Salary With Ranch Dressing - If I mention food on this blog then you can make a safe bet that the next thing I mention is Dmitri Young. This is actually some good news because technically, Young’s $10 million contract that he never deserved finally comes off the books now as well as Austin Kearn’s big salary that will most likely be bought out for $1 million.

The team can now use this extra money to either buy a whole plethora of Doug Slatens and Kip Wells or create the high in demand Wil Nieves bobbleheads that fans have been craving fornever.

Quoth The Senator, Never Knorr - Former Nationals bullpen coach Randy Knorr will be the Double-A Harrisburg Senators manager in 2010. It is unknown who will replace Knorr who replaced John Stearns in Harrisburg.

I am hoping they can magically move the Senators to Richmond so I can have an easier time of going to see their games. Actually, Richmond would suck because that city doesn’t know how to put up proper traffic signs. They can just move the team into my backyard where I will pay them in beer and bacon.

Your Nationals Dispatch – Bowls of Pork Edition

porker

I awoke this morning in desperate need of flesh. I was ravenous. I wanted nothing more than chunks of greasy, dripping meat between my jowls. I know humans can’t consume pork products really well and Jesus doesn’t like it when we do, but to hell with all that. I wanted bacon. Huge bowls of bacon that I could eat with a spoon. Sadly, I have no bacon. Just a can of Beenie-Weenies. It will have to do.

Victories in sport usually bring out the savage beast in me. I have a feeling that if I was alive during the days of the Gladiators I would have been full of bloodlust. There was plenty of victory in D.C. last night. D.C. United advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League and the Nationals, yeah, well the Nationals–

The Monkey Off Their Back - Or Fish. Last night the Nats made a stunning comeback against the Florida Marlins with a six-run 8th inning to beat the floundering flounders 6-4. It was the first time since 2007 the Nationals won a game with a four or more run deficit after the seventh inning. The win also halts the Marlins dominance over the Nationals that they have had since 2008. Prior to last night’s game:

  • The Nats were 0-9 against Florida in 2009.
  • The Nats were 3-23 in last 26 games against Florida dating back to the start of 2008. 
  • Florida was 10-1 playing at Nationals Park. 

Stick that in your blowholes and smoke it, Fish. Yeah, it’s just one game, but who cares? The Marlins are the most boring team in the NL East. They play over their heads and end up with nothing at the end of each season. At least the Nationals are good at something: losing. But hopefully after last night’s spark, that will begin to change.

Injury Bug Infestation - Ryan Zimmerman sat out last night’s game after being plunked on the shoulder during the last game against the Pirates. The team says it’s nothing, but that usually means his arm and spleen will have to be amputated… Austin Kearns won’t be in the outfield again anytime soon due to a trip to the 15-Day DL for a right thumb contusion. Now that he finally got that thumb out of his ass, maybe that will improve his stroke… Due to Kearns being put on the DL, outfielder Jorge Padilla, 2009′s version of Rick Short, has been finally called up to the Big Club after 12 seasons. It’s a feel good story in the making.

Dukes Swallows - During the eighth inning last night Elijah Dukes suddenly went into some weird coughing fit and spasms to the point the team thought he was having an asthma attack. It turns out: he just swallowed a bug.

Dukes took a swig of water and ended up staying in the game. However, the NQ heard the rumor that D.C. Police are looking into the event and seeing if they can charge Dukes with such things as disturbing a public event, indecency and murder. The victim’s family could not be found for comment.

They Want Your Blood - This in from the Nationals:

The Washington Nationals will host the fifth annual Nationals Blood Drive in partnership with the American Red Cross on Saturday, August 8 from 8:00am – 2:00pm. It will take place at Nationals Park in the Nationals Park Conference Center. The Nationals have partnered with the Red Cross each season since returning to Washington for a blood drive in August; the 2008 drive collected 176 pints of blood. Appointments may be made by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visiting www.my-redcross.org.  Parking is available for all donors in Nationals Park Garage C, located on the corners of 1st and N Street, SE. The Conference Center may be accessed through the Third Base Gate, located on South Capitol Street, SE.

This team wants our hearts and allegiance, now they want our life essence too? The Nationals are getting too demanding.

Photo Log: 7/26 vs. San Diego Padres

Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres – Nationals Park

natsparkday

Another beautiful day at the Park. Restrooms were a little messy though–

jdmartin01

Hello, my name is J.D. Martin.

stammenog

Craig Stammen gets caught in the most highly touted of awkward positions.

screechloft

Yes, yes, jump, jump! We’ll catch you. We…proooomise.

outfieldmeeting

Outfield meeting: “Did MacDougal really just give up a bomb to Kyle “F’n” Blanks?”

Nats Not Shooting “Blanks”

walkoff

We are tired and scorched by the deadly gamma-rays of the Sun, but we have returned to our Headquarters away from Headquarters greatly satisfied with a 3-2 Nationals win over the San Diego Padres. It was a 10-inning affair ended by the most unlikely of heroes, AK-47, outfielder Austin Kearns who hit a walk-off RBI single to bring in Nyjer Morgan from second.

Believe it or not, the Nationals finally have won 30 games and it took them only 98 games to do it. The Nats are 6-0 when NQ is at Nationals Park and 5-0 when I wear my #99 personalized jersey. The team should look into giving me free tickets. I am like a four-leaf clover or rabbits foot or shrunken head– whatever.

Some notes from the game:

  • The weather was supposed to be crappy, but there was not one drop of rain. A beautiful day at the Park. Hot as hell though and the sun blazed us as we sat three rows behind the Padres bullpen. The back of my hands are so burned they look like beef jerky.
  • John Lannan pitched solid, but wasn’t over-dominating a Padres line-up that was missing Gwynn and Gonzalez.
  • Ryan Zimmerman had some great defensive plays, but was completely atrocious with the bat. Some of the strike calls from the ump were equally atrocious. He can’t be a happy camper tonight.
  • Alberto Gonzalez looks like he lacks a little confidence in the field. Balls hit right at him he doesn’t run up on, he lets them just come to him and when he does you have to hold your breath. He made his plays today though.
  • That sweet tea they advertise at the new Teddy’s BBQ? Nothing but Brisk mix. Don’t go there thinking you are going to get good ole’ Southern home brew.
  • The Padres bullpen looks like the most boring place in the world, so boring, they make each other fall asleep. Maybe that is why they were pounding energy drinks all game. Should those be labeled as performance enhancers?
  • Our group sat all game making fun of Kyle Blanks and his horrid batting average. All game. So when Mike MacDougal gave up a game tying 9th-inning bomb to Kyle “F’n” Blanks all we could say is, “Mike “F’n” MacDougal!”
  • We might be exaggerating a bit here, but Austin Kearns is feeling like a million bucks tonight. Maybe we aren’t, actually.
  • Nyjer Morgan is supposed to be nursing a hurt hamstring, but he sure as hell didn’t show it today. He was in centerfield later in the game making catches, getting a hit, and running the bases. The guy is a madman and is quickly becoming a NQ favorite. We’ll call him “Captain Morgan” because we like him and we like rum. A match made in heaven.

There was some worry that the Nationals burnt themselves out offensively on their 13-1 victory last night, but fortunately they had just enough left in the tank to take this game and the series.

Great game, great time at the Park. It is what baseball is all about. But still– Kyle “F’n” Blanks? Seriously?

Julian Tavarez Had Trouble Going To Bed

  

Julian Tavarez, originally uploaded by Rocker Soul.

The NQ is having computer troubles again and the Internet signal goes in and out like some Glam Rocker from Velvet Goldmine. Sigh– we are working on it. Posting in this environment is a pain and our material has lacked because of it, but we’ll get it fixed soon.

But I don’t see any reason to hurry. It’s not like the Nats are giving us much these days to really blog about in any sort of positive light.

I take that back. We’ll give props to Craig Stammen for pitching a pretty good game during a Nats 1-0 loss on Monday. If the offense had decided to show up, there might have been a different outcome, but Stammen did everything he needed to do as a rookie pitcher in this rotation. Shame on you, offense.

Then there was last night’s fiasco that ended in an all too common ending this season: another Nats loss, 5-4. It was a complete team effort to lose this game. I mean, they tried HARD to lose. I’ve never seen anything like it. Jordan Zimmermann was off his game, the Nats offense couldn’t plate a run when it needed too, Willie Harris got hit in the balls, Austin Kearns did some craziness and the bullpen blew up again to earn the loss, most notably Julian Tavarez. Tavarez was so ashamed of his performance, he confessed he might have trouble sleeping:

“It’s not going to be easy to go to bed,” Tavarez said. “I just lost the game because you just want to do nothing but help the team. By going out there and walking those two guys, it’s kind of tough, but it goes away. It doesn’t go away right away, like now, but later on it will.”

Being a horrible pitcher is like an STD, it just doesn’t go away. If there is anything the Washington Nationals hopefully take away from the ’09 season, it’s that. The bad pitching stigma just doesn’t go away by scrubbing it with a Brillo pad.

But we have heard all this before from multiple sources. It’s kind of getting boring and it’s ruining this blog. This posting sucks. I hate crappy mindless content. I like substance. I like reality. I like uplifting stories–

I’m going to go watch the Steve Wilkos Show.

Adam Dunn, An Army Of One

adamdunn

Now that I have feasted and have been bathed in natural spring water and sented oils by the NQ Harem (yes, that is a perk of this job), I can tell you about today’s Nationals victory over the Baltimore Orioles 8-5.

It was a fun game, a VERY fun game, considering it was the final game of an interleague series with two last place teams and the Nationals (the team we want to win) were one game away from being swept by the media created rivalry between these two teams. Some call it “The Battle of the Beltway,” but we call it– actually, we don’t have a name for it because it really isn’t that big of deal. We’ll just call it “Fred.”

Both teams battled back and forth, there were big hits, huge defensive plays, free children’s jerseys, a hot ball girl, drizzle, and a Nationals win. You can’t ask for that much more. Well, you could, but then you would be selfish. Since the NQ was actually at the game in person, we’ll give you our thoughts, feelings, and bit of an in-depth recap on the highlights and lowlights of the game.

  1. Used the Metro to get to the game. We made it to the Pentagon to make a yellow line transfer to the green and there were a whole lot of people wearing the Curly W. In fact, it was packed to and from the game. We all converged on Nationals Park which lead to a nice bit of attendance for a Sunday holiday game. Not sold out, but not empty either. We thought this team didn’t have any fans?
  2. O’s fans were out today, but outnumbered. They seemed more excited screaming “O’s” during the National anthem than anything their team did.
  3. Kids got a free Zimmerman jersey at the gate. Not a bad giveaway. 10,000 jerseys were available, but they quickly ran out. The team was then nice enough to hand out “Rain Check Order Forms” where those who didn’t get one, can receive one later for free.
  4. Speaking of the anthem, some five year old named Kaitlyn Maher who is on some British Talent TV Show sang the anthem and God Bless America. While cute, she butchered the anthem with some attempted voice changes. She did well on God Bless America. I hate it when these singers don’t sing the anthem straight.
  5. Bob Feller was in the house tonight. Threw out the first pitch.
  6. Starter Shairon Martis looked good, but he was not marvelous. Brad Bergesen got a hit off him which led to a run and Manny left him in too long which led to an Adam Jones two-run homerun and the lead. It would have been nice for Martis to get win #6, but not at the expense of a victory for the team.
  7. That Adam Jones homerun, by the way, was only a homerun due to the weird shape of the wall out in left centerfield. It dropped into this small triangle hole at the top of the wall where the bullpen connects to the stands. Freakish and a one in a million shot.
  8. Adam Dunn had a two-run homerun and a Grand Slam today. Neither were towering moonshots, but they got the job done and the crowd went nuts. The call to walk Zimmerman to load the bases for Adam Dunn had to be the biggest boneheaded move of this short MLB season. Or one of them. Dunn himself is a slugging freak– when he can get the bat on the ball. Good show today.
  9. Austin Kearns still needs to locate his bat, but he had some outstanding defensive plays today. Question his defense, oh no you don’t.
  10. Anderson Hernandez had an outstanding diving grab in the top of the eighth. If that isn’t in the highlight reel then poo-poo on the highlight reel.
  11. Relievers Villone, Beimel, and Hanrahan did something they rarely have done this year– acted like an effective bullpen.
  12. Everyone in attendance held their breath as Hanrahan came to the mound. We knew the game was over when he struck out that player with the last name that means “vomit” in the language of the South American Chokobukki tribe for the second out of the last inning: Nick Markakis. You could feel the energy and fight just drain out of the team. Victory was the Nats.
  13. I have no idea when that “Bullpen” area outside the Centerfield Gates was created, but it was absolutely hopping before and after the game. It looked like nothing but a construction zone with a bunch of tents, fences, and beer. If people flock to that near the stadium, imagine when the area gets completely developed and real bars come in. That area is going to be a baseball mecca in the future, guaranteed.

We’ll end it on #13 since tonight’s win was the 13th of 2009 for the Nationals. On a personal note, four generations of the DangerNat Family attended this game which made it plenty special. We left the Park having almost the perfect time. The only thing that made a mark on the day was a female employee in the Team Store had been a complete numbnut to us and just plain lazy. But I did pick up a Jesus Flores shirt.

I’m tired, but feel good. It’s amazing what a day at the Park can do to you. Just thinking about it just gave me an idea for a future posting, but I get ahead of myself.

We’ll save that for later. Now, it is time to work on the weird…