Monday, August 20, 2007

Thar It Blows!!

Dateline: Cancun, Mexico

Yeah, I know--I am little nuts. But, you gotta love the fact that as we sit in Our Cancun Hotel--Hurricane Dean barring down on top of us--calmly I am watching Our Washington Nationals play The Houston Astros on FSN--Houston. Really, what could be FINER!! Or Silly, when you really think about. Yet, that's where I find myself at this moment in time.

Dean will be my 27th Hurricane, 5th Category Five. Never is it fun. But, its what we do--TELEVISION NEWS. Preparation and Smarts combined with a little Luck, is what helps you survive. The Challenge always worth the effort. Mother Nature's Remarkable Forces devastating to witness. And The Human Spirit Comes Alive when Massive Danger is in The Wake. Its doesn't matter what your background and politics may be--Helping Out In A Hurricane--REALLY THE NOBLEST OF EFFORTS. Let me tell you, I speak from experience. Years of Experience.

But, before those Winds Come Ashore--How about that Force called Our Washington Nationals? Wily Mo Pena making "JIMBO" look like a genius after just three days. A Towering Home Run Shot in the Second off Jason Jennings tonight. A funny to watch--Dmitri Young stroke of a three run homer--ONE HANDED SWING--off Jason Jennings in the 3rd inning. A fooled swing that only THE CHEAP DIMENSIONS of Minute Main Park would allow. For years I have disliked this park. Too many gimmicks to make any ballgame interesting for the crowd. That right field fence that Our 2007 All Star poked one over--is just 7 Feet High. A Joke!! The Crawford Boxes in left field--far too short. Minute Maid Park really is: A Little League Park.

Remember in 2005 when Brandon Watson popped out to left field there? Only to see the ball land One Row into those Crawford Boxes. A cheap Career Home Run Number One for "00". A surprise hit that so many at the time believed, proved, Brandon was the NEXT GREAT LEAD OFF HITTER. Well, he didn't last long--did he? Even a Career Minor League Consecutive Games Hitting Streak in 2007, hasn't assisted his career, either. A journeyman, nothing more.

A Journey Our Washington Nationals went on in that 3rd Frame this evening. Our Number 21's three run homer--Then followed by My Main Man!! slamming a double down the right field line. An At-Bat that actually saw him pull up from committing on two Jennings Breaking Pitches. Then, getting a wheelhouse toss--that resulted in an RBI DOUBLE--Immediately followed by Wily Mo's first pitch looper to left. A Pulled Swing that if Jason Jennings had delivered just a bit more in over the plate--may well have hit that Train that runs across the top of the Left Field Wall in Houston.

Pena's looking to prove his worth. He's hungry--that's a good sign. Whether Our New Number 16 can keep it up, will determine his long term worth. Still, really would love to know who Washington has given up for him. Until that information is known, never could I be comfortable with this transaction.

How about that Tim Redding? He pitched a FABULOUS GAME. But, in the 4th--did he ever get out of one serious jam. Runners on 1st and 2nd with NO OUTS. Yet, he remained calm and not deterred. Striking out Luke Scott on a FULL COUNT Fastball--right at the knees. Great Pitch. Then, with Ty Wiggington at the plate--reached another Full Count--and threw ONE SERIOUS SLIDER. An off speed pitch that had Wiggington so tied up, he nearly fell out of the batters box, missing the pitch. Outside of a SLUGGER HAMMERING A DRIVE DEEP AND OUT OF A BALLPARK, nothing I find more enjoyable in a baseball game--then that one Asounding Pitch that completely fools a batter. A toss that has the hitter's knees buckling. Pitches which Tim Redding had tonight. Our Number 17 getting out of this potential game changing rally by getting Jason Lane to Pop to Young at First in Foul Territory to retire the Astros and quell the comeback. Really, a fine effort under pressure. And a well deserved third victory of the season for Tim. His ERA now down to 2.53.

Power which Our Washington Nationals showed tonight in Houston, while I sit a good 800 Miles to the south--awaiting the Hurricane Five Force of Dean. A convincing 7-0 Victory that gets this 10 Game Road Trip off to a good start. Curly "W" Number 56 was an unexpected laugher. Humor, which I will not be enjoying in very near future.

Little did I expect to be able to post while down here. Opportunity arose, so I took advantage of it. Now its time to batten down the hatches. Talk to you on the other side.

From The Cancun Bureau of The Nats320 Blog--Adios, Buenas Tardes. Buena Suerte & Vaya Con Dios.

Yeah, I am going to need all of that in the next few hours--GUARANTEED. Although, the Eye of the Storm is 200 miles to Our South. Never do you want to be on the backside whip of the storm. The most dangerous wind forces are there.

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Dave Einsel


Jim H said...


Great to hear from you! Batten down those hatches!

Bang the Drum Natly said...

Nice quick post, It was a GREAT game to watch from the rather safer climes of NW DC...

I have said it before, and I must say it again, we have to sign Don Sutton to at least a 10-year contract. He is hands-down one of the most knowledgeable and fun color-commentators I have ever heard... I can only hope the FSN-casters you were listening to/watching tonight provided half as much entertainment.

As Jim said in the previous comment, most definitely batten down those hatches, and also most definitely be safe down there SBF, we all look forward to your safe return, sir!

Cheers, and happy baseball!

SenatorNat said...

Great report, except you failed to say the fool-proof line in those circumstances: "Quiet..yeah - a little TOO QUIET!" Hopefully, Dean will not backlash into you too hard when it moves.

Washington Post reports today that the player going to Red Sox in the three way WM Pena-Chris Carter (Arizona) deal likely to be Winston Abreau, based on his outstanding Columbus record. That sounds fair from Nats point of view.

The Redding experience this year is a wonderful thing, since I believe that Shawn Hill and Tim Redding can be plugged into the starting rotation next year as 1-2 or 1-3, respectively, if (in the latter scenario)the Nats pick up a number 2 in the off-season. He has nine good outings in succession, and perhaps more importantly, Don Sutton loves him. Definitely agree with the slow banger that he is a jewel as a commenter - like Sonny J, he can actually help the players with his analysis as well as the fans.

Among John Lannan, Joel Hanrahan, and Jason Bergmann, it is logical that one or two of the three could be dependable 4-5 starters next season. Their experience this year can only contribute to making them solid, strong, smart young guys in the rotation. I cannot quite predict on Matt Chico - something tells me he does not make the starting rotation in 2008, especially if a starter is acquired. (Patterson keeps making noises as though he has been cured in Canada - if true, the Nats will have a terrific starting rotation with which to open 2008.)

The bull-pen in 2008 should remain VERY STRONG. Likely that Cordero will be paired with Church and sent to the Reds for Adam Dunn and someone. ("We're putting the band back together" cries Blues Brother Bow-Bow). That would make Rauch or even Colume the closer.

I prefer keeping the Chef (I mean the Chief) since his overall record in 2007 will once again be very good, and Rauch does not seem to have the disposition of a closer (he sweats too much) - that may just be my visceral sense.

Question of what the Nationals are going to spend their additional $30 million in payroll on next year - moving the current $33 or so to just under $65 million, or whether they are in fact going to spend that much overall in 2008. Andru Jones is not worth a big contract, in light of Pena being here now - same type of all or nothing batter. Torii Hunter would be worth the risk, in my view, and reunite him with Guzman, too. And there is that 31 year old Japanese outfielder folks have mentioned.

One very good infielder who can hit would clearly help. Jiminez and Fick have got to go!! I actually like Batista, but he should go, too, realistically.

With 37 games to go, 16 wins required to top 2006: you can bet that Manny desperately wants to win at least that many, and probably 20 to go 76-86. That would be a monumental achievement, putting him in line for Manager of the Year.

So - "Manny, Mo, and Bow" are striving to prove themselves in their different capacities - my guess is they will win 70, just missing last year's mark. Still - a very positive year, in light of the dumping of the payroll, and Johnson & Guzman injuries, etc.

Prediction: parking at new stadium shall not be the nightmare anticipated. You heard it here first...

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

Anonymous said...

SBF: Keep your head low!

Anonymous said...

Stay safe - Colleen

paul said...

I think Dean is going to hit Texas, then New Mexico, then Arizona, then California, then. . . wait, that was another Dean.

Glad to see you're down to category 1. Good for you, bad for TV ratings! Time to come back to the La-Z-boy!