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How far they’ve come

Jun 15, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

Associated Press file photo
Frank Robinson and Joe Torre meet before the Nats' 2006 series against the Yankees.

It's been six years since the New York Yankees last appeared in Washington, D.C. It feels like 600.

The three starters then-Nationals manager Frank Robinson sent to the mound during that Father's Day weekend in 2006: Shawn Hill, Ramon Ortiz and Mike O'Connor. Alfonso Soriano hit the 24th of his team-record 46 homers during the series opener at RFK Stadium. Daryle Ward scored the go-ahead run on Jose Guillen's eighth-inning triple during the Saturday matinee. Rookie Ryan Zimmerman clubbed his first career walk-off homer (a two-run shot off Chien-Ming Wang) to complete the Sunday finale and leave a sellout crowd in a state of pandemonium.

And at the end of all that, the Nationals remained seven games under .500, en route to another last-place finish in the NL East.

That won't be the case this weekend when the Bronx Bombers returnRead more »

130 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Yay! New post! Again thanks for last night!

  2. baseballswami - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    So much hype for this series that it's hard to keep it in perspective. It's three games. Even though it feels like the entire season rests on this series, it really doesn't. I am sure that the big Yankee crowds will be quite annoying at times. But then, it's only once every 3 years – not like the constant philly crowds. They are occasional tourists – take their money and then see them off. I hope The Nats play well on the large national stage with the 3 games on tv. That in itself shows you how much things have changed. Play well and stay healthy!

  3. baseballjones - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    38 and 23 – or have you looked into a crystal ball and foreseen an 0 and 2 start to the series?

  4. m20832 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Bring on the Yanks! Funny how in 2006 CMW pitched a Sunday finale for the yanks with RZ hitting a walk off HR. And now, CMW is going to pitch a Sunday series finale against his old team. Hope it's going to be the same outcome!GYFNG!!!

  5. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    The times they are a changin'. I believe this team can take 2 out of 3. Let's play ball. And folks, do not forget to write in Harper.Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I believe Jackson will follow Gio and JZimm as usual and Wang will open the Rays series.

  7. DCGuy7 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    can someone clarify if these games will be watchable locally? or blacked out?

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    DCGuy7: All three games will be shown locally on MASN, with tomorrow and Sunday's games simulcast on Ch. 50.If you live outside the D.C. market, you can watch tonight and tomorrow on MLB Network and Sunday on TBS.

  9. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. JT - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    I've waited my entire life for a moment like this. Thanks for an uplifting article this morning Mark, a well deserved commentary on the state of Washington baseball…at last!

  11. DCGuy7 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    thanks mark!

  12. Steady Eddie - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Jones — We ARE 38-23 now. NJ — as I noted last night, interesting thing about our Gio, JZimm, EJax rotation for this series is that they would be our starting three in the post-season.

  13. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    I wrote on the Harper all star thread, but since I was out yesterday, didn't get to it until today. What is this harping about harper being 12 at bat short of qualifyung for leader, and that means has not played enough games etc. Kemp is 50 at bat short of qualifying for leaders and not a peep saying he hasn't played enough this year. Just saying….

  14. Nats1924 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Mark, great post! Lets go NATS!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Stew Magnuson - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Next: Let's start organizing busload of Nats fans to invade Citizens Bank Park!

  16. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Stew.. I actually think there is a group going to NatsPark North in August. They are going on the Ball Park bus.

  17. mr baseball - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Can't lose! Yankees my favorite AL team and Nationals my favorite NL team. Oh! Those Yankee uniforms (home and away) best in baseball. If we would only go back to the dark blue pin stripe, with dark blue lettering outlined in red. We would be up there with the best uniforms, also. No we have to have the Phillie colors and Cincinnati uniforms. Ugh!

  18. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Hi, all! I've been out of town for over a week and am waaaay behind on blog reading. Did ya miss me? :-) I realize that this is kind of a clown question, bros, but did I miss anything? Seriously, I was able to check email and see game results, so I do have some idea of the happenings. Who are these guys? I love it!I was visiting the SFO Bay Area and had thought about taking in a Giants game this week but only caught bits and pieces of games on tv and radio. Evidently they've been selling out games this season. Can't wait until the Nats start doing that regularly. Wait, then I might not be able to go. Eh, never mind on that one. Of course, I was out to dinner on Wednesday night without tv or radio access, so I missed seeing the Cain perfect game. Did pick up the papers at the airport yesterday and read about it. They also had some items on Harper (good) and Milone (not so good as far as his road ERA). Anyhoo, going to try to catch up some and be back later. See y'all at the park on Sunday.

  19. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    1A!!! Welcome back and YES you were missed!!!

  20. rogieshan - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    "Shawn Hill, Ramon Ortiz, and Mike O'Connor."That says it all.Times they are a changin'.

  21. sm13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    I'm ready for this weekend's battle of first place teams. I'm going to Friday and Saturday's games and will be wearing lots of red – including my new Gio shirt – an early father's day gift. Go Nats!

  22. Gonat - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Can we say this will be Gio's biggest game of the year. National stage. Yankees. TV cameras everywhere. Sold out. Did I say Yankee$?

  23. Doc - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I've always hated the Yankees, but liked their unis.At least 2 outa 3 this weekend for the Nats. Hughes and Nova both have ERAs hovering around 5.00. As the Mick would say, good pitchin' beats good hittin'–everytime. That's what we did in Beantown and Hogtown (Toronto)!!

  24. Nats In Athens - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Mark, I think too little is written and said about probably most important issue of the season (as far as the future of the franchise is concerned), which is not Harper's great start or Stras back to his old self but the negotiations on the MASN contract. With teams getting 100 or more million per year we need to get more money from TV in order to compete in the coming years. I realize the ratings are not that great yet but this is the Nation's ninth TV market. I also know that MASN must pay the Orioles as much as they do the Nats but (a) that is not a Nats issue and (b) Baltimore is half the media market of DC so let them figure it out. I would appreciate if anyone know anything more about this as I see that the league is pushing back the decision once again.

  25. D'Gourds - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/sports/baseball/shades-of-69-winning-washington-team-meets-yankees.html?ref=baseballReally good NY Times article on Washington vs. Yankees baseball which focuses on 1969.

  26. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    well we can't really put them below .500. why not put them in second place in their division then? Good luck Nats!

  27. joe9 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    It is hard not to resort to hyperbole about all this so…. I'll do it. I'm with JT, I've waited all my life for a series like this. Back when I first remember being a Nats fan as a little kid in the early '60's, the Yankees were still winning pennants and regularly beating the snot out of my beloved, but god awful, Senators. Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford, and the rest would come to DC Stadium and face the likes of Pete Burnside and Steve Ridzik and pitch to Chuck Cottier and Don Zimmer and his metal plated skull. I'd listen on the radio and take it. Well, we might not sweep them this weekend, or even win the series, but it is really cool to know that the Washington Nationals are in first place and looking them square in the eye. They're going to have to hit against Gio and not Bennie Daniels and try to get Bryce out and not Bobo Osborne. I'll be there and I can't wait.

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Gonat, he already did national stage part before against atlanta. besides, as mark noted, spotlight will be on harper and his first showdown against his favorite team as a kid.

  29. baseballjones - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    steadyeddie, the original post listed our record as 38-25. someone surreptitiously changed it to the correct 38-23. I hope the initial mistake of 38-25 doesn't turn out to be a bad omen …

  30. baseballswami - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Don't be dissing Ramon Ortiz – I will never forget the game where he went into the 8th with a no hit bid and hit a home run. I was at that game at RFK and it was super exciting!! I think he still may be the Nats pitcher who has gone the deepest with a no hit bid? Anyway — enough with the old days. And what's up with this under-achieving 2 out of 3 stuff? Sweep the Evil Empire!!!!!!!

  31. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    This is what having a good team is like, people. As Mark says, get used to it.

  32. joemktg - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Taking off from work early…leaving the 703 area code around 2:30…meeting buddies from NJ at the Fairgrounds…Nats/Yanks…Tonight's going to be a good night.Already started hydrating.

  33. sm13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Getting used to it will take some getting used to!! Lots more big series to come for us fans and the players.

  34. NatsLady - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Just got out my Gio Jersey! No. 47–go for it. MLB Picks: Yankees at Nationals Series Odds and Betting Predictionsby Alan Matthews – 6/14/2012Blah-blah-blah for a bunch of paragraphs. The series line could be close to a ‘pick’em’ here but I expect the Yankees to be slight favorite, perhaps -130 or so. For Game 1, Washington is a -130 favorite with the total at 7.5.New York is 13-17-1 on the ‘over/under’ in road games, while the Nats are 14-13-1 at home. The Yankees are 7-0 in their past seven after an off day. They are 10-1 in their past 11 Friday games. New York is 8-2 in its past 10 road games vs. a lefty starter. New York is 1-10 in Hughes’ past 11 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. Washington is 4-0 in its past four as a favorite. The Nationals are 5-0 in Gonzalez’s past five starts in a series opener. The under is 5-1 in Yankees’ past six interleague road games. The over is 5-1 in Washington’s past six openers of a series.MLB Picks: Yankees at Nationals Betting PredictionsIt will be interesting to see how the young Nats handle the hype of the Yanks coming to town with sellout crowds all weekend. Will they shrink from the moment or thrive in it, as they did in Fenway last week? I do think the Nats win Game 1 (take the under) but I have to go with the Yankees to take the final two games of this series.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    One of the better pitching performances in Nats history was on June 17, 2009. Some New York kid named John Lannan pitched in front of a sold-out Yankee Stadium to take on Chien-Ming Wang. Lannan was going for the complete game and had only given up 1 run thru 8 innings. Lannan had struck out 4 and only walked 1.Damon led off the 9th with a HR to make the score 3-2. Lannan got an out and then gave up a single and was yanked. Nats won 3-2 in a great game.I wish that type of success for Gio tonight!

  36. Unknown - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Mark, Nice Post!Sorry I couldnt make it last night but its a long commute from Nairobi.Will listen to the game on WJFK internet tonight!GYFNG!Nattydread

  37. bobfromalexandria - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I grew up in NYC in the 50's as a die-hard Yankees fan. First book I ever read was a bio of Mickey after his first season. But I've been with the Nats ever since they came here, and with Harper I'm seeing the young Mick again — cool, wry sense of humor, doesn't tolerate bull… and knows how to play. We'll be at the game tonight.Go Nats!

  38. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    I got a single ticked to tonight's game as a reward (love the people that I work with)! Can't wait to head to the game and will be wearing the Gio Shersey (freshly laundered)..

  39. greg - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    side note. i wanted a throwback senators jersey and asked for a reasonably priced jimmy piersal jersey i found online for my birthday. it doesn't actually have his name on it, just a gray jersey with "washington" on the front and "37" on the back. it didn't dawn on me until i put it on and went to last thursay's mets game that it was strasburg's number. and since it doesn't actually say piersal on it… fortuitous. gyfng! i need some bragging rights with my yankee fan "friends."

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    MicheleS…..I'll be at Thursday nites game against the Rays sitting in section 235. I never did get any twit pics from last nite. Sure would like to see some.

  41. freshee - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Hoping Clip gets a couple save opportunities against his old team. Man this is exciting stuff. Best part of this series is everyone knows and appreciates the Yankees. My coworkers get annoyed when I talk about the Nats all the time, but when I say the Nats are playing the Yankees they immediately understand my excitement.

  42. freshee - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Also, good article on Clip over at FanGraphs: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-nationals-closer-tyler-clippard/

  43. Steady Eddie - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    joe9, you sure evoked some old ghosts for me with that comment! Remember Jim Duckworth and his wild pitches up onto the screen (which back then in DC Stadium only went up vertically about 15 feet and then sloped gently up to the mezzanine level)? It took forever for them to roll back down and pop off to the catcher. I think there was a ground rule that limited the extra bases a runner could take, that was invoked A LOT when Duckworth was pitching.

  44. Candide - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Look for Cunegonde and me in 117-J tonight and 409-M tomorrow. That averages out to section 263-KL for the two games, which is apparently where Teddy thinks the presidents race ends.And thanks again to Mark and Mark for last night's party, and the chance to meet Mrs. Z and Baby Z!GYFNG!

  45. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Dang, I missed out on Baby Z, too. :-( Hope to make it to the next one, assuming there is a next one.btw, can't recall just where it was, but during my Bay Area travels I spotted a gentleman wearing an old school Nats cap (with the straight W). It was navy blue, if memory serves. So maybe there is more than one SF nats fan. :-)

  46. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    NJ..Look on @AshburnNatsFan it's on my photos.

  47. Knoxville Nat - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    joe9….Thanks for the memories no matter how bad or good they were. Like you I was a youngster at the time, use to listen to the games on my transistor radio, WTOP if I recall correctly, Dan Daniels and John McLean (sp?)at the call. Oh how many nights I fell asleep with that radio still on!

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… MicheleS…..I'll be at Thursday nites game against the Rays sitting in section 235. I never did get any twit pics from last nite. Sure would like to see some. June 15, 2012 10:47 AM Bummed that I will miss this weeekend's series as I will be on the West Coast and won't be back in time for next weekend's series up 295.Will there be a lot of red in the stands in Bal'more next weekend? I know that nobody wants to give their $ to Angelose but I think this year should be an exception to support the Nats.

  49. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Or you can look at it here:Future CF

  50. NCNatsie - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Clip can't get three saves because Game One will be a Nats blowout against Hughes, with Gio sharp. Don't you go bring no 4.76 ERA guy in here against our boys!!Maybe he gets one agaianst Pettite (2.81 ERA).Nova (4.64) pitches Game Three for the Evil Empire. Fughettaboutit!Three wins for the Nats, but only one save for Clip. You read it here first.

  51. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Thanks for the pic, MicheleS. Our future CF is getting to be a big boy! They grow up so fast. :-)

  52. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Odds some NY reporter asks Harper about playing for the Yankee?

  53. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Theo.. HA! Kilgore already has a tweet about that:Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWPHarper will be asked about playing for the Yanks. He won't take bait. 1) He's not an idiot. 2) He genuinely likes the idea of staying in DC

  54. Candide - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said…Odds some NY reporter asks Harper about playing for the Yankee?That's a clown question, bro.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Odds some NY reporter asks Harper about playing for the Yankee? June 15, 2012 11:16 AM Thinking the same thing. I am sure NY press will be all over him and asking him about Mickey Mantle, etc. and his future desire to play for the Yankees. How he answers them has to be done well.I am sure Nats PR has prepped him. I think the best way to address the NY press is hit 'em where it hurts "I play for the 1st place Washington Nationals, BRO" or some other good retort.

  56. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Gio has an ERA of 7.27 against Yankees, four having homered off of him and seven driving in at least a run in the past.

  57. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Did anyone see the highlights of the Pirates/O's game last night? Our old buddy Doug Slaten was up to his usual performance. I could almost hear my friends from Pittsburgh screaming in frustration.

  58. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    that should say "four Yankees having…". agree with Gonat now that this is his toughest opponent this season. Good luck GG!

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    MicheleS said… Theo.. HA! Kilgore already has a tweet about that:Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWPHarper will be asked about playing for the Yanks. He won't take bait. 1) He's not an idiot. 2) He genuinely likes the idea of staying in DC June 15, 2012 11:18 AM Kudos to Kilgore. I'm also wondering if there will be any obnoxious signs from NY fans with caricatures of Bryce in pinstripes, etc.

  60. joe9 - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Steady, I remember Jim Duckworth very well. Then there was Bob Humphreys and that crazy double pump delivery. I tried pitching like that on the "sandlot" and almost dislocated my shoulder. Those teams sucked but they were ours. And Nat, it was Dan Daniels and John McClean on WTOP, and I'm sure to save money, they would switch off doing TV games on Channel 9 on those rare occasions when they were on TV. We went on a family trip to NYC one summer and I was amazed that Dad could get a Nats night game on our car radio in Brooklyn. The station covered the East Coast. I could go on for ever, but I'm starting to sound like Phil Wood so I better stop before I drown in nostalgia.

  61. joe9 - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    What I would give to see Bozo or Ronald McDonald throw out the first pitch tonight. Dressed in pinstripes.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    MicheleS said… Did anyone see the highlights of the Pirates/O's game last night? Our old buddy Doug Slaten was up to his usual performance. I could almost hear my friends from Pittsburgh screaming in frustration. June 15, 2012 11:23 AM Just looked up the stats. OUCH! Memo to the Pirates, caveat emptor. What were they thinking? They brought him in and exposed him immediately to his ineptitude. From the boxscore 5 runs were given up in the inning. Looks like 2 were from inherited runners to go against the starter Bedard and Slaten only got hit with 3 earned. Gave up 3 hits of which 1 was a HR in 2/3 of an inning of work.I don't know which franchise is more inept, the Pirates or the Orioles. I could write pages on what both franchises need to do to compete, but I'm not going to waste my time.

  63. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Agreed re. having a good retort in his back pocket, but if it were up to me I wouldn't mention standings as (1) the Yanks are also in 1st place in their division, (2) standings can be transitory (pauses to knock on wood), (3) it sounds too much like something a Yankees fan would say. :-)I think the best way to address the NY press is hit 'em where it hurts "I play for the 1st place Washington Nationals, BRO" or some other good retort.

  64. Candide - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    BTW, the Washington Senators 2.0 (i.e., the 1961 team assembled when the 1.0 franchise moved to Minneapolis) weren't totally inept. The AL's ERA leader that year was Dick Donovan, with 2.40. He also led the league in WHIP, with 1.026 (not that anyone knew what WHIP was back then). He went 10-10 for the Senators that year, so of course they traded him to Cleveland for the immortal Jimmy Piersall, where his WHIPs the following three years were very nice at 1.205, 1.160, and 1.326. He won twenty for the Indians in 1962.He also bore a disturbing resemblance to Terry Francona.

  65. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    NatsLady.. This ones for you:Inside Pitch Cover

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    natsfan1a, well, yes, no and maybe.Notice I didn't say anything about comparing records as you don't want to hang yourself on comparing W/L records but no matter what happens this entire weekend after the Yankees leave town, the Nats are still guaranteed to be in 1st Place while the Yankees only have a 1/2 game lead the Nats are up by 4 1/2.I personally want to see him distance himself from his "Yankees love" and the one way to do it is one really good zinger to put the NY press back on their heals and I am sure after the whole "clown question bro" they won't be as bold as they don't want to be embarrassed.

  67. TimDz - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Found this in regards to the MASN fees dispute:http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=9012

  68. SFNats - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said…"Odds some NY reporter asks Harper about playing for the Yankee?"I'd put the over/under for number of times he's asked that question this weekend at 15.Hopefully, he'll respond to every one with "That's a clown question, bro."

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    The injuries around the MLB just get more bizarre:http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/article.jsp?content_id=33321070Also on the front page of MLB is encouragement for write-ins of Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.

  70. efowl4 - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    have you guys been following Ian Desmond on Twitter and how he wants the entire crowd to sing the national anthem in unison? Here is article from the Bog about it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/ian-desmond-wants-nats-anthem-tradition/2012/06/15/gJQAiQe0eV_blog.html Thoughts? I think it would be tough to do, but would be pretty cool.

  71. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Tim.. Thanks for the link on the rights fee. LOVE THE LAST PARAGRAPH about COMCAST!!!

  73. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Yes, I understand all that, but it's a long season, and my transitory comment was made in that light, which evidently was not obvious. Of course, I'm also delighted that the Nats are currently in the position that they are, and I'll continue to enjoy the ride. :-)Ghost Of Steve M. said…natsfan1a, well, yes, no and maybe.Notice I didn't say anything about comparing records as you don't want to hang yourself on comparing W/L records but no matter what happens this entire weekend after the Yankees leave town, the Nats are still guaranteed to be in 1st Place while the Yankees only have a 1/2 game lead the Nats are up by 4 1/2.I personally want to see him distance himself from his "Yankees love" and the one way to do it is one really good zinger to put the NY press back on their heals and I am sure after the whole "clown question bro" they won't be as bold as they don't want to be embarrassed.June 15, 2012 11:50 AM

  74. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Second the thanks to Tim for the MASN link. Just turned up a Sports Business Journal item as well. They've been on the story for some time. I'm afraid that this isn't very ladylike but [bleep] Bud and [bleep] Angelos. That is all. :-)

  75. Water23 - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    TimDz,Would be great for MASN to say we are out go ahead and buddy up with CSN for $100 Mill plus. Alas, no way the Peter lets that happen. He knows the real value of the O's is their control of MASN.

  76. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. Candide - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Comcast is willing to p[ay the Nats $110 million?Good-bye, Peter Angelos – don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you!And I really like Desmond's National Anthem idea. instead of dragging out some wannabe Vegas lounge singer to screw the thing up*, have a decently-played recording that the crowd can get familiar with and sing along with. I'd be totally up for that!* Ways to screw up the National Anthem:1) Pick a key that is too high or too low for you, so you either can't reach the bottom notes ("Oh say…") or the top ("…of the free…"). Some people can't reach either, but that doesn't seem to stop the Nats' management from putting them on the stage.2) Take a tempo that's too slow. It's not a funeral dirge, dammit.3) "Jazz" it up by turning one-syllable words into four ("oh say can you SEE-ee-EE-ee") and four different notes.4) Interpolate a raised fourth on "land of the free-EEE." I hatehatehate that.5) Sing out of key.6) The word is "per-I-lous," not "per-OH-lous." The "i" gets an indeterminate pronunciation (known as a schwa).7) Breath control: If you have to take a breath at the end of each phrase, get off the stage.8) And Baltimorons, STFU. You know what I'm talking about.

  79. Frediemac - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Mr. Walkoff is back at Nats Park playing the Yankees again….It's time for some more drama Mr. Walkoff.

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    TimDZ, great find on that article. I thought it was a redo of the Sports Business Journal but this had additional info I wasn't aware of and hope it is all accurate.In particular:"Cable industry sources say that MASN's area TV sports rival, Comcast SportsNet, which is owned by the recently combined Comcast-NBCUniversal media giant, would be willing to pay the Nationals close to their requested $110 million per year in rights fees."and"But what should concern MASN executives is that they have agreed to pay the Orioles whatever the Nationals receive, Williams said.Taking the low estimate of $70 million a year — $140 million annually for both teams — to pay out in rights fees to the Nationals and Orioles, there's no way the network could make up that money without going back to cable companies and looking for a rate adjustment," Williams said.The only bummer reading this is that the Orioles will get the same deal the Nats get which overpays the Orioles who are in a much smaller market.While advertising is based on viewership to which the Orioles have more of, cable rights is done by subscribers of which Nationals have much more of due to metropolitan population. The bulk of MASN's revenue comes from cable rights.If the Nats get $70 million, so does the Orioles. The Baltimore market is much smaller than the Washington market. Any bottomline loss by the MASN venture then has to be funded back by the owners.Nats own 14% next year. If the Nats receive $70 million, the Orioles do also and if MASN loses $90 million, that would cost the Nats $12 million so they would net only $58 million.The Nats are making $29 million now plus MASN is currently making a profit so the Nats get their ownership dividend in that too.In the end, it sounds like the Nats will get a big increase and cable subscribers will eventually pay a few $1's more a month to fund MASNs new deal. The winner will clearly be Angelos in the end. The Orioles will be overpaid as they will receive a match to what the Nats get and if MASN can stay profitable Angelos gets 86% of the profit next year.

  81. NCNatsie - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Faraz Shaikh says "Gio has an ERA of 7.27 against Yankees, four having homered off of him and seven driving in at least a run in the past."—————–Ah, but that was the old Gio.

  82. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Ah, it looks as though the Baltimore Business Journal, which is cited in the article to which Tim linked, is affiliated with the Sports Business Journal, so that you'll see pretty much the same content at either of the journal sites.

  83. sjm308 - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Candide: – there probably won't be any empty seats in our section this week-end but if you have a minute come on down to 308 on Sat & say hi to my son and I. I have not heard anyone say this but are you guys just a little nervous about this series? I think the longer we go the happier I get but also get just a little aprehensive since success has not been a reality for this franchise. We are getting to the park at 10am tomorrow just to make sure. There is also a crazy bike/beer event going on at Yards Park tomorrow sponsored by Fat Tire/New Belgium beers to add to the craziness.Go Nats!!

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    natsfan1a, thanks for the other link to Sports Business Journal. The one you linked was basically the same. Still, great info.

  85. NCNatsie - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Candide, you are so right about the National Anthem. Bravo to Desmond for his suggestion. I've always said ballpark renditions should be a recording of one of the service bands playing a good snappy-tempo version, with fans singing.

  86. Candide - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    sjm308 said… Candide: – there probably won't be any empty seats in our section this week-end but if you have a minute come on down to 308 on Sat & say hi to my son and I.Since I'll be in 409 (along w/ Cunegonde, my brother-in-law, his two sons, and one son's roommate), practically right above you, maybe I'll just toss some Cracker Jack at you :-)

  87. greg - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    while i think it would be funny if bryce tells a NY reporter "that's a clown question, bro" when asked about playing in NY when he hit's FA, i think it would be a lot more amusing for one of his teammates (my vote would be morse, since he's such a goofball) to butt in on the question over bryce's shoulder and say "that's a clown question, bro" to the reporter.

  88. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    You're welcome, SteveM. I didn't figure out that the two journals were affiliated until after I posted it. I'm going to blame jet lag. :-)

  89. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  90. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Candide, how good is your arm? My hubby and I will be in 408 on Sunday. :-) Oh, wait. You said tonight and Saturday. Never mind. (Stupid jet lag.)

  91. pRAA - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Best. Anthem. Ever.

  92. NatsLady - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Thanks so much for the Clippard links!!!! Disagree on National Anthem. Love the local color, love the variety, and HATE HATE HATE recordings! They have cleaned up the standards so you are not hearing so much of the stuff Candide objects to, but I've yet to hear a singer not breathe between "spangled" and "banner" — except a well-trained opera voice. A singer CAN invite the crowd to sing along–every cantor does it every week in every church and synagogue. You have to make it clear with body language and even words that they are invited and EXPECTED to sing. The Nats should find their own song (not "Sweet Caroline" if you want to develop a singalong besides "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." As long as we don't do what the Cubs do, truly AWFUL.But, in the end, the Anthem is a prelude to the baseball game, it's not the main event.

  93. sjm308 - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Candide: just give me a heads up and I will try and catch them in my mouth. Make sure its during a break though. Seriously, have a great time with your group and I will be singing the anthem for sure.Natsfan1a: welcome back

  94. sjm308 - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    NatsLady – I love the variety that the Nationals provide with our anthem. It runs the gamete from young prodigies, to experienced singers, to choral groups, to instrumentals from all sorts of instruments. I am most moved when one of our many service members sings and I think living in the Nationals Capitol has a great deal to do with that.

  95. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    As long as we don't do what the Cubs do, truly AWFUL.You mean "Sweet Home Chicago"? I like that.

  96. peric - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    The Nats match up with the Yankees better now that Davey has installed the new lefty change-over from right-handed starters in the bullpen. Detwiler, Gorzelanny, or the other Gonzalez. Followed in the late innings by Clippard, Burnett, and hopefully, very rarely, Lidge.Really, it matches up quite well with the entire AL east and the NL East for that matter. Guess we'll see how far that goes.

  97. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    It runs the gameteIt's a fertile musical tradition. ; )

  98. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    And yes, let's sing. I already do, but like someone posted above, not loudly. I've talked the organizers into including it for some tournaments, but I got to sing "O Canada" — understandably, since they had an actual singer there for TSSB.

  99. rabbit34 - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    What does GYFNG mean??

  100. NatsLady - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Soul, no I meant having some random "celebrity" lead "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Isn't it the Cubs who do that?

  101. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Get Yer First-place Nats Gear

  102. rabbit34 - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Love it!!

  103. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Go You Frickin Nats Go! Although Sofa has a nice take on it

  104. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    NL, yes, it's the Cubs who started that. Harry Caray always sang it, and after he died, they had Bill Murray do it, and it went over so well they kept the tradition. Apparently it's a big deal to get picked, the celebs love it. It's a Cubs thing; I'm not so sanguine about other teams using it, but whatever.

  105. pRAA - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    I take that back. This is the Best. Anthem. Ever.

  106. baseballswami - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Re: — the anthem. I have heard some that made my ears bleed – don't mind different styles but hate it when it is completely butchered. And oftentimes you just can't sing along – I think no matter what the style is, you should be at least able to sing along. I remember very clearly the events of 6 years ago with our Mr. Zimmerman — I think this would be a great time for him to get scalding hot. One thing I am not looking forward to is the pace of the game when the Evil Empire plays. They are just such actors and posers that their games take forever.Stepping out, tapping, glove adjusting, etc. Our pitching staff tends to keep things going at a nice pace. What's the over/under on game times this weekend? Think we get any of them in at three hours?

  107. pRAA - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    That said, they better have D.C. Washington at least once this weekend. Even though on this particular occasion it was a clown anthem, bro.

  108. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    LoveDaNats… I know you are reading this and let me just say.. Your recent picture has me green with envy!

  109. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Speaking of tv deals, we flew Virgin America to SFO, and one of the channels available was a dedicated SFO Giants channel. I watched it. A lot. Both ways. And I was soooo jealous. :-)There were all kinds of long and short features about the team: spring training, regular season, post season, off season. Would that we had such a wondrous channel featuring copious Nats programming. Sigh.

  110. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Definitely a Cubs thing, although didn't Caray start singing it with the White Sox? btw, some years ago when we attended a game with my Chicago baseball buddy, TMOTTBG was sung by Bill Buckner, and had the (musical) pitch been a ball, it would have gone right between his wickets. :-)Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said…NL, yes, it's the Cubs who started that. Harry Caray always sang it, and after he died, they had Bill Murray do it, and it went over so well they kept the tradition. Apparently it's a big deal to get picked, the celebs love it. It's a Cubs thing; I'm not so sanguine about other teams using it, but whatever.June 15, 2012 1:24 PM

  112. Section 222 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    The secondary market for the Yankees series has been fascinating to watch. Early this week there were over 4,000 tickets offered on StubHub for each of the games this weekend. That compares to about 2,000 for most other games. In the Infield Gallery where I sit, there were 450-600 seats available. As of a few minutes ago, there are 867 tickets left for tonight's game and only 14 in the Infield Gallery. And unlike most games, the bottom has not fallen out of the market over the last few days. You can still get a Diamond Club ticket for tonight on SH for $250, and a Prez Club seat for $500. Seats behind the Nats Dugout will run you $225, or $2,999 if you click on the wrong set. For tomorrow's game there are about 1,900 total seats available, 108 in the Infield Gallery. Lots of people hoping to get their money's worth this weekend. As an STH, I can just smile.

  113. sm13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Swami- you left out the time they take whining to the umpires on every called strike. My over/under is 3:15.

  114. Knoxville Nat - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Swami asked.." Think we get any of them in at three hours?"I doubt it. Playing the Yankees always seems to bring out about longer commercial breaks and as you pointed out lots of stepping out, "look at that ball" situations, tap the spikes, etc. A Yankee game doesn't measure by a New York minute, more like the longest day.

  115. baseballswami - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    They do like to pose for their close- ups.

  116. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Anything that reminds me of Harry Caray makes me barf. Possibly why I hate the Cubs (whom I used to like in the Banks/Jenkins/Santo/Billy Williams era).

  117. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    As to the National Anthem, I was unfortunate enough to be a Tigers fan when Jose Feliciano sang in the World Series. I'm pretty sure that's when the anthem started going down hill.

  118. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Anthem: my single favorite version Marvin Gaye NBA allstar game.

  119. A DC Wonk - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    sjm308 said…I love the variety that the Nationals provide with our anthem.Me too — if it's musical. And I don't mind if it's "classical" version, or anything else, for that matter.I was just going to post about the electric violin version that blew me away, but I see that pRAA did that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbSMdhpXf3w). I saw him do that a month or so ago (the Sunday afternoon that Stras hit his first HR).For a taste of something pretty different: Marvin Gaye's version at NBA all star game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyltxFGzRcITo show how far we've come — here is Jose Feliciano's version of 1968 in World Series. Very tasteful, melodic, etc.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shpJ-sRUB-8One of my very favorite fairly "straight" versions.However . . . it created a major stir, boycotts, etc., as it was one of the very first not-strictly-traditional performance ever.Hey — it was 1968: riots, Vietnam, etc. Jose was pushing the envelope then — but if you listen now, you wouldn't think twice. Proof that Jose was very ahead of the curve on that.

  120. MicheleS - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    NatsLady just got a tweet that Clipp will be on 106.7 at 315.

  121. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Definitely a Cubs thing, although didn't Caray start singing it with the White Sox?I stand corrected. Now that you mention it, it was Bill Veeck who came up with the idea when he owned the Sox in the 1970s. Harry brought it over when he went to the Cubs. And what's not to like about Harry Carey?

  122. mick - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Began as a baseball fan as a little tot, going to about 6-10 games a year at RFK (not an old man like sjm who saw Griffith Stadium constructed, lol just joking coach) Bob short took part of my childhood away in 71. However, blessed lucky enough to see the Skins and Bullets win Titles. Watch my beloved Terps return from purgatory and win an NCAA Title, Terp football in the Orange Bowl and at least the Caps made a Stanley Cup, … no, the final piece is watching playoff baseball in DC. This kids dream finnaly comes true and I have waited 50 years plus to see my baseball team being discussed beyond the DC Metro area as a legitimate playoff team. This series coming up should make all of us who have been there through the back to back 100 loss seasons truly feel happy. Can't wait to watch our FIRST PLACE NATS play the Bronx Bombers and down a few or more brown bottles!!!

  123. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Speaking of time-related concerns, one of the Bay Area papers was giving Harper some love for his speedy tater trot time. :-)

  124. Section 222 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Thanks for reminding me to check this 1a. As of yesterday, June 14, Harper has three of the four fastest Tater Trots this year! His fastest was 16.35 seconds on May 26. His trots in Boston and Toronto didn't make the top 10. The slowest trots are upwards of 27 or 28 seconds. The actual slowest trot this year was 29.38 seconds by Matt Joyce, but he got injured during the trots.

  125. Section 222 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Just an addendum on the Tater Trots. This is from the discussion of the Trots on June 12, when Harper hit is bomb in Toronto: Quickest Trot: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals – 18.49 seconds [video]And then there's the other end. Harper technically had the fastest trot of the night at a brisk 18.49 seconds. But with the way he's run out his home runs so far this year, this time feels slow. I wonder if it's an inevitability that Harper will slow down into the 19-21 second range like, say, Josh Hamilton has. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it'd just be disappointing to see.

  126. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Thanks, Mark, for the Hall of Fame photo of Frank and Joe.Your story almost brought tears to my eyes. Even though it happened against Cleveland and not the Yanks, I keep thinking of the Nook Logan play at third base. The "What-was-he-thinking? Where-was-he-going" play that keeps Charlie alive on YouTube. How far we've come, indeed.From there to now is breathtakingly stunning. And here's the scary part. I think we're only going to get better. We're not backing up.Davey — Hi Davey! — ought to be manager of the year in a runaway, and retire the award and name it after him. He's been on this since Day 1 of ST. He'd have brought Harper north if it were up to him, after all.All hail. And glad the NI party went well. I had to sacrifice that to stay home because, in a huge upset, my wife (who hates baseball ever since the Chief blew a three-run lead in the ninth against Atlanta back in '06) reversed field and HAS AGREED TO GO TO A GAME WITH ME!!! We're 40 rows behind the Nats dugout, thanks to StubHub and a small second loan on the house.To coin a phrase, "WOOO-HOOO!!!!"(Copyright, MicheleS, 2011).GYFNG!

  127. That's a clown Scooter, bro - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    he got injured during the trotsMan, talk about needing some Kaopectate!

  128. NatsLady - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Thanks for the tip, just heard Clip on 106.7! Nice interview, said he does have a little "extra" to show the Yanks they got the bad side of trading him. :)

  129. pRAA - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Re the secondary market: Last year I used some of my Red Carpet Rewards points to treat myself to a good seat in the Club for my birthday. Couldn't do that this year, since the Yankees games are blacked out on RCR. No problem. When I bought my Club seat for tonight's game in the STH presale, I also bought two in the Mezzanine for tomorrow and two for Sunday. Sold those on StubHub and even with the 15% fee I made more than enough profit to cover tonight's ticket and parking – and I wasn't greedy in my asking price, either, undercutting almost everyone there. Thank you Evil Empire!

  130. Section 222 - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Well played pRAA. Nice to know that some regular everyday STHs are profiting from the Empire, not just the ticket brokers. And how nice of the Nats to schedule a Yankees game on your birthday.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 85 63 -- 4
ATLANTA 75 74 10.5
MIAMI 72 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 78 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 16.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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