Saturday, August 04, 2007


RallyTime!! started early tonight and did not end--EVER!! With Our Washington Nationals down 1-0 on a homer by The St. Louis Cardinals Adam Kennedy (BATTING 9th I remind you--behind their pitcher), Ryan Zimmerman got RALLYTIME!! started with a TOWERING BLAST to leftfield into Section 445 in the bottom of the 4th. The BEGINNING OF A FIVE RUN INNING, AND AN OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT!!. Then, Our Number 11 put RallyTime!! to rest with a COLASSAL CLOUT into the Mezzanine, just below section 451, in DEEP LEFT CENTERFIELD. This, the ending of ANOTHER 5 RUN RALLY!!--A Blast that was SIMPLY PRODIGIOUS!! Ryan's First Career Two Homer Night, not only gave Our Washington Nationals a 10-1 Lead, but also sent RFK STADIUM INTO A TIZZY! Boy--was the Old Ballyard EVER ROCKING TONIGHT. On arguably, one of most enjoyable nights of the season--Our TEAM FLAT OUT CRUSHED SOMEONE. There could not have been one single Fan of Our Washington Nationals that DID NOT GET SATISFACTION OUT OF THIS ROMP!!

And, when Brian Schneider got into the act with his 5th Homer this season, a two run shot to right--in the bottom of the 7th--The Party that had begun at RFK Stadium in the game changing 4th--now moved to shear CELEBRATION!! A 12-1 CAKEWALK over the Defending World Series Champions. A SWEET VICTORY for any of The Faithful--after witnessing SO MANY CLUBBINGS by opposing teams during the first 2 plus seasons of Nationals Baseball. If watching your Home Team win convincibly is the goal--this was THE GAME OF THE YEAR!!

A No Doubter that filled many hearts with joy on this SWELTERING AUGUST EVENING!! Really, it did not matter that the heat and humidity was brutal. Even a clamminess very visible with SMOG actually hanging over the playing field all night, not hampering the spirits. This Dampness helping Washington's Efforts--3 Homers, 4 Doubles and 14 hits total. An evening that witnessed not one Washington starter either reaching base safely, scoring a run, or knocking in one. This escapade was a total team effort.

An exercise that included Joel Hanrahan getting his FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE VICTORY. A win that saw Our New Number 38 go strong into the 6th, before tiring. An appearance that included a key, two out, two run, double down the left field line in the breakout 4th by Joel--and finished with The Cardinals Starter, Joel Pinero, throwing an errant pickoff throw to first base, attempting to keep FLop from stealing second. An error that allowed Hanrahan to trot home with the 5th run--during RALLYTIME's!! astounding 4th.

When Joel Hanrahan was relieved of duty by Our Manager Manny Acta in that 6th inning, he received AS LOUD OF A STANDING OVATION AS ANY PLAYER FOR OUR WASHINGTON NATIONALS HAS RECEIVED ALL SEASON LONG. The Supporters on hand realizing--something special is beginning to gel. Our Team's 5th straight victory, a signal that A NEW BEGINNING is upon us. No longer the DOORMATS of Baseball. No longer forgotten as inept. No longer considered a FRANCHISE without Direction. Our Washington Nationals are an enjoyable sight.

Take a look at every other team in Major League Baseball. Who, outside of some of the top American League Teams, would you consider Franchise's with long term futures? Not one single National League Team, is a GREAT TEAM. Very few of them have YOUTH ON THEIR SIDE. Our Washington Nationals, building from within--along with a few veteran parts--have surprised a ton of folks. So called experts that believed any team without established pitching, would flounder to decrepid levels.

Inexperience has not killed Our Team. Injuries have not killed Our Team. Bad Word of Mouth has not killed Our Team. A Positive Approach has brought stability. A sooner than expected maturity of younger players has brought faith. A preseverance from long lost journeyman looking for their last chance to prove themselves, has brought charm.

Curly "W" Number 50 only put Our Washington Nationals 1/2 game from lifting themselves out of the cellar. But, The BANG!! ZOOM!! of The Fireworks!! brought a cheer deserving of a WINNING TEAM. A Squad that is far better than the sum of their parts. Ask any teammate of ANY POST-SEASON TEAM and they will always tell you--Chemistry always preceeds victory. The Ability to work together as one--always brings a Championship.

Yeah, Our Washington Nationals are far from that Ultimate Goal--but the foundation is definitely being built. Who would have thought after 110 Games of this 2007 Season--The Team of Our Nation's Capital would have won 50 so far. Not Many--I would suspect. Less than two months to go in their final season at RFK STADIUM, and Our Washington Nationals are a team to watch. The Satisfaction of tonight's victory, a feeling that's been building for some time.

Game Notes & Highlights:

Ronnie Belliard got this evening started showing wisdom and expertise of veteran leadership. With The Cardinals Scott Spezio on first base with one out in the top of the 2nd, Yadier Molina blooped a ball just inside the grass between first and second. "The Ballplayer" realizing that Spezio would hang near first--not wanting to get picked off--saw that Molina simply got lazy and did not run to first base. Using his brain, Ronnie Belliard, at the last possible moment--let the baseball drop--then threw to Dimitri Young at first to retire Yadier. Scott Spezio, left in nowhere's land was tagged out by Felipe Lopez attempting to run to second base. A sharp, heads up play that was THE DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THIS GAME. An effort that actually brought BOO's from the uninformed crowd that originally witnessed Belliard letting the baseball drop to the ground. Obviously, many in attendance were not aware of the nuances of The GREAT GAME. Troy and I in Section 320, laughed about this for some time.

To give credit where credit is due--Nook Logan actually struck gold tonight. A Two Out RBI single to right in the Key 4th Inning Uprising. And, a one out double to center scoring Brian Schneider from second base in the decisive 5th inning. Nook would go 3 for 3 this evening, score 2 runs and knock in two. In many respects, a career night for Our Number 7. Surprising, to say the least.

Also, in that 5th--Tony Batista pinch hit for Saul Rivera and produced one of the most fascinating At-Bats of this season. During his 7 pitch appearance against Mike Maroth--Tony would first foul a DEEP FLY into the Upper Deck--Section 441, but foul. Then, LAUNCH another BLAST DEEP into Section 442--Just to the left of the Foul Pole. Everyone on the feet. Not a sole believing the sight. All on swings by Batista that looked as carefree as you could ever power a bat. An Effortless Stroke that was impressive. An opportunity that eventually saw Our Number 77 half swing a single over St. Louis Third Baseman Scott Rolen into leftfield for an RBI single. Really, Batista's At-Bat was remarkable. Certainly one of the top 10 At-Bats this season--if simply for Outstanding Performance in A Supporting Role. What An Appearance!! Everyone was talking about it.

Defense was also key this evening. The St. Louis Cardinals rapped out 10 hits, but scored just one run--on a homer. Our Washington Nationals turned FOUR DOUBLE PLAYS. All four killing rallies for St. Louis. A fine night for our defense. And, Ronnie Belliard continues to pivot at second base, as well as, any player in the game. What a performer.

Ryan Zimmerman now batting .270. His three RBI against The Cardinals now giving him the team lead at 60. "Z", 11 RBI during his past 7 games, slamming at a .500 clip during this homestand--11 for 22. Impressive that young man.

St.Louis so outmanned tonight that Aaron Miles--last seen breaking up a no hitter being pitched by Ramon Oritz last Labor Day at RFK Stadium--was called on to pitch a 1-2-3 8th by his Manager--Tony LaRussa. Miles is The Cardinals Second Baseman.

As good as all that sounds--tonight was a vintage night in Section 320.

Screech--so STUNNED to see MickNats customary seat unoccupied for a fourth straight game--mourned his loss--with a celebratory gesture in Honor Of One of Our Own--right in front of his seat. MickNats is fine. He's just taking care of some personal business. Although Neal--MickNats Main Beer Pimp--may well be filing for bankruptcy soon--if MickNats does not return by next home stand.

My Best Friend later surprised me--after Schneider hit his Two Run Homer and everyone was celebrating in Section 320--I turned to see Screech staring right into my face, wanting to party. He also had come to Cherish the moment. We've all been through alot of ups and downs watching Nationals Baseball at RFK Stadium. Even Screech wanted to join in the fun. Enjoyment that continued when he posed with Sohna's new gift picked up at tonight's game--"BABY SCREECH".

In the top of the 7th, The Racing Presidents appeared as usual in the tunnel to the left of Section 320. First GW, ABE and TOM posted up, without Teddy. As the popular "LET TEDDY WIN!!" Chant began circulating among the regulars--George, Abe and Tom responded with their usual Thumbs Down and Waves of "NO"--to everyone's great delight. Then, out of NOWHERE--"TEDDY" came CHARGING THROUGH THE TUNNEL, dipping his head so not the hit the roof--then BARGED through his racing friends to the front of Section 320. Whereupon he ACTUALLY STOOD ON LOWER RUNG OF THE RAILING TO LEAD THE "LET TEDDY WIN!!" Chant. A virtuoso performance that caught the attention of EVERYONE ALONG THE THIRD BASE SIDE. A Commotion that gripped even Ryan Zimmerman, if ever so briefly, manning third base. What a PERFORMANCE by "TEDDY". How in world can someone that large with a head--far bigger than life itself--balance on that lower railing. DID HE EVER LOOK HUGE BALANCING ON THAT RAIL!!! NEVER in the history the "LET TEDDY WIN!!" Chant has the emotion run so high. In many respects--this moment--better than most every other moment of tonight's game. Just Terrific. My only fault was not being quick enough to take a picture. Why to Go TEDDY!!

With tonight's game well out of hand--Barbara--who sits two rows directly in front of me--turned around and honestly asked: "What Time Is IT?" "What Time Is IT?" is a Section 320 Warrior Cry. Without hesitation--The African Queen and I answered with the only known response--yelling out "RALLYTIME!!" Not only did Barbara almost lose her beer--she couldn't stop laughing for a good minute. Sohna and I chuckling with delight. If only RallyTime Richard was there tonight to enjoy the moment--would it have been better.

And, Our Section 320 friend, Jim--was wearing his lucky Red Shoes with "GO NATS" embroidered. I believe Jim is Undefeated in those shoes.

Finally--August 4th, 2007 was BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT!! The Second of Four Racing Presidents were given away to the first 20,000 Customers. Thomas Jefferson was the hero tonight. And, as expected--TJ won the 4th inning Race, assisted by security to protect his lead. Although "Teddy" made every effort to ruin the party by actually attempting to slip past security by taking an outside lane to win. An unexpected effort--that once again--was fruitless. "Teddy" now 0-96 in the President's Race. What a Loser!!

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Haraz N. Ghanbari

PS--Miss Chatter was kind enough to take and pass along this photo of The African Queen and I with our autograph stash from today's event with Frank "Hondo" Howard at Pearsons Wine in The District. Thank you Miss Chatter. We loved seeing you again.


Anonymous said...

SBF-i really like your blog, but it is becoming increasingly harder to read. You writing and grammar (with all due respect) sometimes reminds me of a junior high kid. Collassol?? It's colassal. Paragraphs and sentences are often poorly written, and the caps for every other word? Let's just say that it's TOO MUCH. I realize it's your blog so you can write however you like, but just remember that many people read it too. Go Nats!!

An Briosca Mor said...

SBF, your baseball knowledge is much greater than mine, so can you explain why the infield fly rule did not apply on Belliard's defensive play of the game? Seems to me that this is the exact situation the infield fly rule is written to cover. Or is this why it's called the infield fly rule and not the infield bloop rule?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing about the infield fly rule.

Screech's Best Friend said...

John--I am having fun. I stay up late--many times until 3 or 4AM to write something I enjoy doing. Yet, it amazes me how many like to dish me for making an effort. The Caps ARE A PART OF THE FUN of what I do. Its part of my style. Every once in a while there are grammatical errors--I don't have a host of editors to look over each and every posting. If fact, you have a grammatical error in your commentary. Is that the end of the world? I don't think so!! It happens--SO WHAT!! I think people understand what I am saying if there is an error. (Not to make an excuse, but Spell Check in Blogger DOES NOT WORK on my MAC Computers. So, I have to go step by step through the ENTIRE POST--multiple times--to spell check--manually. Try That WHEN YOU ARE TIRED and been up since 4AM the previous day. I still have a REAL JOB you know).

In no way will I write just the basics--Ryan Zimmerman hit two home runs and led "THE" Washington Nationals to a 12-1 Victory Tonight.

THAT IS BORING. That's NOT WHAT INTERESTS ME!! I look for an angle or moment in each game and talk about it.

For 27 Years I have worked in Broadcast Journalism--there are FAR MORE PROFESSIONALS out there more deserving of reprimanded for their poor writing skills, than me. And THEY ARE BEING PAID FOR IT!! Not me. My EFFORTS COME FROM THE HEART!! If fact, I write with emotion and my feelings come forth in my writings. How often do you see that?

My "GAMER" approach is to write something enjoyable--different--in a manner that gives a different perspective of each Nationals Home Game. I am happy with my efforts. Honestly, I believe many enjoy them.

I am sorry you are upset that my fun style is beyond you. That's not my intention, or desire. But, Thank You for Reading.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Infield Fly Rule. The Infield Fly rule is in effect on the following situations only:

Runners on First AND Second Base with less than two outs.

Runners on First, Second AND Third Base with less than two outs.

With just one runner on base--The Infield Fly Rule is never in effect.

Anonymous said...

SBF, was there again last night with my 11-year old daughter. Quite a night. I did see one downside and I wonder if you've been seeing the same thing. The problem is your main man Ryan Church. Not only is he not contributing (GIDP, unproductive at bats, mediocre fielding, etc.) he seems sluggish and distracted. (We sat out by the left field foul pole last night.) I wonder if he sees the handwriting on the wall with the bunch of OF young studs now playing and producing in the minors. My thought is that both he and thw NATS should really look to find him another team this off-season at the latest. Too bad we won't get much in trade unless he picks up his performance some.

Anonymous said...


Pay no heed to John's comments. I love your blog just the way you have it. Don't change a thing!

An Briosca Mor said...

SBF, thanks for the clarification on the infield fly rule. Also, you were too kind in your reply to john (md) on his criticism of your spelling and grammar. You could easily have pointed out that he misspelled 'colossal' himself in his correction of your spelling of the word, and that his one paragraph was also quite poorly written, with multiple spelling and grammar errors. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, right?

I for one greatly appreciate whatever you write, and can easily overlook the occasional grammer or spelling mis-step.

Anonymous said...


First I give the Nats front office credit the lines this time for the bobbleheads was MUCH BETTER!!!!

Ronnie B is becoming one of my favorite players on the team behind the VA boy Zim and D.YOUNG. I am really glad Ronnie B got a contract extension with us, I think he fits on well with this team. That savy play he made tonight was SICK, hes gotta love sticking it to his old team who dumped him!

VA BOY ZIM was awesome, 2 BLASTS esp the last one to almost dead center, you just got to love it. He is so fun to watch with either with is GLVOE or Bat. PLEASE Jim Bowden and Stan gave him David Wright money now so we dont have to worry about his future!

I brought a friend of mine from ST. Louis to the game tonight and she had a blast (even if her team did loose!) This was my second favorite game ever @ RFK (behind the great Yankee game comeback last year).

SBF, dont listen to anybody. I love your blog b/c its got passion and thats what this game is all about! Thank you for taking time out of your busy sch to do this. Hope to see you guys at the Mets game later in the month!

ps: do you smell 81-81 .500 for a season ending total???!!!!?!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

PSSSS: The lines for the SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM were way to long tonight I missed almost a FULL Inning standing in line!

Screech's Best Friend said...

needum: Yes, I have to admit My Main Man!! has struggled most all season after a fine start. Earlier this week, he played very well for three straight games. Multiple Hits, RBI's--productive. He is the most streak laden player on the team. Sadly, he seems down. I don't know why really. Manny has stuck with him. Truly, I believe he is a better player than shown. My Favorite Player since the very first days of 2005--and I only hope he can turn it around.

I know for a fact--HE LOVES PLAYING HERE!!

Certainly, many others expected more.

VCUKYLE--Yeah I saw that Soft Serve Line and at first thought, if hit me, that the Bobblehead line had reached all the way down to the main concourse. Now, that would have been a HUGE Story to post. Sorry you had to wait in line. It sad really that the simple things can't be handled by ARAMARK. They should know what are THE MOST REQUESTED PRODUCTS--especially on a hot and humid evening. Common Sense really. Stop by when you come to the game in September--please

Edward J. Cunningham said...

One more thing as the Nats are about to fly to the Death Star to face the Giants...

There is no shame in giving up 756 to Bonds, any more than there was shame in giving up 715 to Aaron. The shame is what Bonds has done to achieve this record, the cowardly actions of MLB, and the rationalizations of Barry's apologists why they think his records is legit and that he is a Hall of Famer even though they also believe he used performance enhancing drugs.

It's a little too late to start intentionally walking Bonds now, and throwing at him in an attempt to deliberately injure him is worse. My advice to Nats pitchers is simple---just try to get him out and know that Bonds desperately wants to hit a home run against him. If he hits it, so be it, but I would much rather he hit 756 against the Nats, but the Nats win at least three out of four from the Giants than Barry going homerless but the Giants sweeping our team.

Jim H said...


It was another great night at the ballpark. And another enjoyable evening with St. Louis fans. We mentioned this to one another on Friday night, but I was struck by their enjoyment of THE GAME during this blowout.

It didn't start as a blowout, with Kennedy hitting the home run for the early lead. The Cards' fans were thrilled and continued to root for their favorites...all the time never begrudging the home team fans to root for theirs.

As the game was tied and more runs piled on, the families sitting directly next to me and behind me were disappointed by what was happening to their team, but continued to cheer for good news.

Then the runs kept coming, Zim hit his second homer and the contest no longer in doubt. The Cards' fans didn't pout, didn't get nasty and drunk. They participated in all aspects of the game, showing their kids what going to a game is all about. I know your crew hates the fact the Nats have ripped off the Sox's tradition of "Sweet Caroline", but the Cards' fans were up and singing, enjoying the crowd.

The seventh inning stretch saw complete compliance and child-like participation. Smiles and enthusiasm all around.

I've been to many, many games and I want to give props to the fans who may root, root, root for the visiting team, but leave the game better for having enjoyed it with everyone.

Oh...and I'm sure I've got an error or three in this comment. I apologize for any lack of perfection.

Anonymous said...

As a NATS fan living in Philadelphia, I rely on your blog every day to get the "insider" scoop on the ballgame. Even though I still get to watch the games thanks to the gift that is MLB Extra Innings, I still don't get to fully appreciate the atmosphere at RFK until I read your blog in the morning. Every time I read your recap of the game, ESPECIALLY THE PART IN ALL CAPS, it makes me miss RFK more and more. Thanks for sharing your passion with us and please don't change anything about Nats320.

On another note, I can certainly appreciate your kind words about the St. Louis fans. Living in Philly, I've been to about a 7 - 8 Nats games up here and never, NEVER, have I been shown any sort of respect. It makes you really appreciate a team like St. Louis that has a good following of smart, well educated fans. I have always made the argument that baseball is the only sport where I would normally feel safe to cheer for the visiting team and not feel threatened. Philly fans don't seem to have the same opinion that I do. Oh well....GO NATS!!