Harper Jacks “Daniels” Two In Opening Day Victory

“He is going to hit it out again,” I said.

My apprentice, Dr. W, turned to me with an unbelieving look. And why not? Rookie phenom turned man-warrior Bryce Harper had already homered on his first at-bat of the young 2013 season, on the second pitch. The chances were slim of a repeat performance the very next bat and plus my logical mind was already in an alcohol induced fog ($9 beers!). Regardless, I knew it was coming. I was calling Harper’s second shot. Why?

Simply because a Jack Daniels ad had appeared behind Harper on the backstop wall. Jack Daniels– perfect. The stars were aligned. All I had to do was wait. Harper worked the count to 3 and 2 and I turned once again to my young apprentice.

“Here it comes. This is exactly where he wants to be. His pitch is coming.”

The rest is history. See the banner photo above. The Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 2-0 on Opening Day 2013 at Nationals Park. Harper became the youngest player in MLB history to jack two on his first two at-bats of the season and lead the Nationals offense while starter Stephen Strasburg delivered seven shutout innings. Rafael Soriano, with his badass bow-and-wind up collected his first save of the 2013 campaign.

Granted, it is Opening Day. It is perhaps one of the most worthless games of the season next to Spring Training games because what can you really tell about the season from the first game? But goddamn the team put on a terrific show. I imagine if you asked all the writers and jackals how they would script Opening Day 2013 this game would pop out of their magical tripe and masturbatory prose. You couldn’t have written anything so close to perfect for this game. The fans were great, the team was great and you felt the general excitement surrounding this organization. Speaking of which–

Judging by the jacked up prices from everything from parking to beer the organization knows this and is ready to use that to suck your wallet dry like some shyster vampires from Wall Street.

Couple notes, observations and rants from Opening Day– hold on, let me find my list. Lord knows if this makes any sense:

  • I was not impressed by the Opening Day hat giveaway. Boring. Didn’t scream “I want to be NL East Champions again.” I did however like adding another Rally Towel to my collection.
  • Team store wasn’t that impressive either. No swag in there that jumps out at me and says “MUST HAVE. CHICKS WILL HAVE SEX WITH YOU AGAIN.” I did spend a little while longer than I wanted to in the store because the music playing was bitching and suddenly I realized our old friend DJ Stylus Chris was working the tables live in the store. Nice touch. Good to see you, Stylus.
  • Beer was $9– I actually paid $9 for a Coors Light. I remember in 2008 and 2009 being raped on the field at Nationals Park. Now in 2013 I am being raped up in the stands.
  • Miami hardly made Washington break a sweat. Except for a Giancarlo Stanton double, the Fish really made no threats, or couldn’t. Strasburg was dominate, but not in the young fire baller sense. I think you could notice an ungodly amount of focus coming from that guy and a confident maturity. He is determined to be known as a true pitcher and not a thrower.
  • Flower. It was Flower that followed Bryce Harper to the plate both times.
  • Tyler Clippard hardly looked to be in proper form, but then again he escaped the inning with the score intact so maybe he is already in proper form. Look, it wasn’t pretty but I don’t care how they do it as long as they shut them down and keep the needle in the green.
  • Surprised they didn’t put Drew Storen out there for the close. That kid needs a boost, but so entered Rafael Soriano. Dr. W informs me Soriano was sort of a dick to fans at Spring Training this year. If so, that sucks, but man, that dick can pitch! I am absolutely in love with that little bow he does before going into the windup. It has an aura of arrogance, confidence and gentlemanly class.
  • That whole “Take On Me Thing?” Never again, please. Michael Morse is no longer here.

It was nearly a perfect day at the Park. It really couldn’t have gone any better– though we might want to keep watch on the offense a little and see if they’ll show up with Bryce Harper over the next few days. We need some lumber.

Sorry this report is a bit late. I was on the road all day yesterday and WordPress crapped out on me last night so I couldn’t do anything until they could replace the hamsters that turn the hamster wheels that make this service possible.

A lot on my mind as of late about this blog and the direction it is going, but ride the bear with us for a bit. The season just started and it started pretty damn well.

Bryce Harper Becomes An Action Figure In October

Washington Nationals center fielder and young buck phenom is having another honor bestowed upon him in 2012. In October the famed McFarlane Toys will be producing and distributing a Bryce Harper action figure.

Harper would be the third Washington National to have a figure made by McFarlane Toys. Former closer Chad Cordero and starter Stephen Strasburg have also been “immorTOYlized.” McFarlane Toy Press Release:

McFarlane’s SportsPicks is proud to celebrates one of the most-talked about prospects in the history of Major League baseball with an all-new debut figure and Collector’s Club Exclusive variant.

Harper’s regular figure can be seen wearing his home white Washington Nationals jersey, while the CC exclusive, available only from McFarlane Toys online store, showcases him in his red jersey with iconic eye black. Both versions depict Harper doing exactly what he is known for: showcasing his natural swing!

Pick up Harper’s white jersey figure this October at Toys ‘R’ Us, Hastings Entertainment, FYE, Clarktoys.com, Card Stadium, The Sports Authority, and the Washington Nationals Team Shop.

Other photos and views of the Harper figure can be seen HERE. Several sites are already taking pre-orders though it is cool they will soon be in the Team Store.

I’m ready to get my dork on. Bryce Harper will look great on top of my Castle Greyskull and fending off the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lando Calrissian figures. They’ll never claim the virginal sporty Barbie!

Jack Daniels Wants To Sue Us– But At Least They Like Baseball Too

I am a simple blogger with simple pleasures. It doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy. My obsessions include things like Nats baseball, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Liverpool and the Deadliest Catch. Also among my obsessions is Jack Daniels whiskey. I love Jack Daniels, love it. Even if they don’t love me or this blog–

I got a letter from the Jack Daniels company via UPS this week asking me to discontinue the Bryce Harper Black Label T-shirts. They printed the letter on some really nifty Jack Daniels paper stock and were most polite in explaining to me that if I don’t take them off the site they will sue my dumbass. In fact, a lot more polite than I ever thought when encountering this sort of thing. From Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc.:

…We are thrilled that you like our product– we are baseball fans as well. However, as I’m certain you can appreciate, under trademark laws…

I like how they try to butter me up using baseball as a connection point as if they aren’t some mighty giant with sledgehammer in hand staring down at me.

…To help us resolve this matter, we simply request that once the current inventory of shirts are used up or sold, use of this particular design will be discontinued. By doing so you will help us ensure that the brand will mean as much to future generations as it does today…

I’m flattered that they think this little Nats blog will completely erase the value of the Jack Daniels label. Really, the power I hold in my keyboard– or the power they want me to think I have before they squash me into oblivion.

I would like nothing better to take on a whiskey giant and have strange men in ten gallon hats and Rollie Fingers mustaches throwing bricks through my windows late at night buuuuut I have too much respect for this particular brand of Americana so I have indeed taken the Bryce Harper Black Label shirts off the site and have had them completely discontinued as they have asked.

I’ve got a few other shirt designs flying around in my mind and in time I will get to them, but I will not be doing a similar shirt in the future. So for all of you who were fortunate to purchase one of the shirts (and there were a bunch of you) thank you for the support and congratulations, you now have a collector’s item. For those of you who missed out– I don’t know what was wrong with you because these shirts were pretty damn cool and of good quality.

R.I.P Bryce Harper Black Label T-Shirts 2012-2012.

Ozzie Guillen Must Think It Is Christmas

Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen got quite the surprise when before leaving Washington after his team and the Nationals split a four-game series, he received a gift: a signed bat from Bryce Harper.

This was an odd occurrence considering Guillen and Harper had just been through what the NQ has labeled Pine Gate 3.0. The bat came complete with Harper’s signature, a special message and pine tar. It was the biggest “F You” ever, but unfortunately it was meant in the nicest way possible and as a prank from Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche. MLB.com:

“It was funny,” Guillen said. “I’ve got a few friends on their side. All those guys were making fun of me. I found out later they made the kid sign the bat. They put the rest. ‘To my hero, Ozzie, love you.’”

If Ozzie truly was trying to intimidate Bryce Harper and/or the Nationals he obviously failed since the Nats are more than happy and comfortable screwing with him. Guillen is loud obnoxious, but that dog has no bite. He is a bit of a clown if anything and in the circus the lion tamers aren’t intimidated by anything a clown does.

I am thankful for this prank however because it gives me a chance to post this meme. In fact, I really don’t care about the prank at all as long as I can post my meme. I know, I know.

I am selfish like that.

Move On. Nothing To See Here. Ozzie Guillen Is Just Being A Jackass Again.

On one hand you can sort of understand Florida Devil Ray Marlins Miami manager Ozzie Guillen and his anger issues. I mean, he moved to the Florida Marlins during last off season riding a wave of optimism and hope. Here was a manager who once dumb lucked into a World Series title who signs with a team with a new name, new uniforms and brand new stadium that no one goes to. The Marlins struck first blood during the off season with huge signings, they get the front cover of Sports Illustrated and they are the stars of a reality TV program that no one watches. He got all this and yet his team still sucks.

So you can understand while he might be a bit anal, but it is all his fault and so not all acts of jackassery are completely excusable. Take his latest after the Nationals gave the Miami Marlins a 4-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon:

At the top of the fourth inning during the game Nationals All-Star rookie Bryce Harper stepped to the plate and apparently Guillen started going ape shit over something and talking with Bo Porter, officials and anyone who could stand his chalkboard-scratching rambling. He seemed to believe too much pine tar was too far up Harper’s bat so Harper switched them. Harper made an motion with his bat that Guillen took as Harper pointing to him and only him. So Guillen continued his verbal barrage much to the dismay and confusion of Nats manager Davey Johnson. At one point Guillen could be seen on tape mouthing “f*ck off” or “f*ck off, you c**t” or something of that super intelligent nature to either Johnson or Harper or the invisible people Guillen sees in day to day life.

After the game neither Johnson or Harper would comment on Guillen’s strange and childish antics and surprisingly Guillen also kept silent after the Nationals nailed his team down and gave them another loss that puts them 10 games back in the division behind first place Washington. Oops, I’m sorry. Of course, Guillen had something to say. Federal Baseball:

“‘I could have said a lot of [expletive] about this kid,’” Guillen told the Miami Herald reporter, “‘I’ve been praising this kid like everyday. The last three times they asked me about him, the only thing I said was he’s a great player. What he did [today] was unprofessional.’”

Spoken like a true manager– that is 10 games back and has to wear a hunting outfit 81 games a year. I think I had this awesome speech about taking advice from Ozzie Guillen on “professionalism” and a whole point to what I am saying, but I forgot it.

Nevermind. If it is forgotten then it must not have been important anyway, just like this issue. I file this one under yet another attempt by Ozzie Guillen to be a drama queen and make it look like he is doing something when the results completely say otherwise. Keeping his name in the papers, making it look like he is sticking up for his players when he isn’t placing Fidel Castro on some golden pedestal.

Was the pine tar too high on Harper’s bat? Did Harper “show up” the loud-mouthed old fart? Answer: 10 games. That is all I need to know about this whole issue, 10 games. Johnson and Harper are playing this issue perfectly by staying silent or just shrugging it off and not letting this attention whore feast. Guillen is dropping the ball and embarrassing himself, confused at his inner frustrations.

Maybe that is why his team is so far behind.

(Editor’s Note: The photo above is not Ozzie Guillen. It is a picture of a donkey. This blog is not responsible for any mystical, subconcious connections the reader makes with this presented data.)

“That’s A Clown Question, Bro” Begins To Take Hold Of The Internet

It didn’t take long, but the memes, photos and videos all dealing with Bryce Harper’s “That’s A Clown Question, Bro” are beginning to all pour in and take over the Internet. It is going pretty strong right now, but I think in a week we’ll have t-shirts and bumperstickers, in two weeks probably a “Clown Question, Bro Night” at Nationals Park and within the month– the world.

Here are a few more examples:

Bryce Harper Drops Bombs, Calls Out The Clowns

I figured every blog under the sun is right now posting this video so I better do it on the NQ so it doesn’t feel like the fat blog picked last in the Nats Blogger Dodgeball game.

If you haven’t heard about or seen it yet (and you have), Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper helped the Nationals secure another series win over an AL opponent with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. “Bam-Bam” Harper tagged a huge shot to the hotel/restaurant level of the Rogers Centre for his seventh home run of the season. Fast forward to post game in the locker room and Harper answering reporter’s questions. One particular Canadian-ey reporter decided to ask a 19-year old if he’d go out and celebrate with a Canadian beer after the game. In Canada, Harper falls into the country’s legal drinking age. Harper gave him one look:

…and then dropped the line that is no doubt the line of the season and one that will be repeated in D.C. for years to come:

“That’s a clown question, bro.”

It is an incredible sporting gem that just birthed itself right before our eyes. You might find me nuts, but Harper deserves Rookie of the Year honors just for that. Yeah, I hear all this crap about Mike Trout and Gigantosaurus Stanton and they swing pretty mean wood, but come on…”that’s a clown question, bro?” Neither of those guys are as entertaining as Harper on AND off the field.

Asking if a 19-year old is going to go out and have a beer and a Canadian beer at that…Jesus, Canada.