Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dear Lastings

Dear Lastings:

As you rounded third base tonight after your Home Run in the bottom of the fifth--your very first at New Nationals Park--you pretended to take a football handoff from Third Base Coach Tim Tolman. Then, after you crossed home plate--and pointed to the sky--you proceeded to move your way to Our Washington Nationals Dugout. Whereupon--you proceeded to FLAP YOUR WINGS IN GREAT JOY.

Now that was a Home Run Trot for the Memory Banks.

But, did you know Our Washington Nationals were still tailing at the time, now 3-1 to The Milwaukee Brewers?

I have to give you credit--your bravado is beyond reproach. But were those antics really that necessary at THAT PARTICULAR POINT IN TONIGHT'S GAME? We were LOSING. We were not ahead, nor did your home run decide this ball game. There were four more innings waiting to be played.

As I mentioned after your first home run in Philadelphia--you can salute, dance and prance all you want. Better than anyone out there--you must realize that very next pitch coming your way--may well be fired right at your head. As long as you are willing to take that chance and understand the risks--that's fine with me.

But, there are times where you really must contain yourself. Your Home Run Trot tonight was really not necessary under the circumstances. Our Washington Nationals were in the middle of a contested game--Our Team, Your Team, was behind and eventually lost to The Milwaukee Brewers 5-2.

Confidence you no doubt have. Please--think about how you handle yourself.

Baseball is a team game. A competition closely associated with individual accomplishments. One goes hand in hand with the other. They are inseparable. Yet, you must learn to control your emotions at times on the field. If you don't--your actions may well come back to haunt you and Our Washington Nationals in the future.

Dear Lastings--there is a time and place for all of that rejoicing in the game. Celebrating a fine effort on the field by one's self is understandable. But let's be clear--your resultant revelry should not have been displayed during THAT Home Run Trot. There is a better time and place for "The Football Handoff" and "Flapping The Wings".

Game Notes & Highlights
This was a very strange game. Each starter and the two subsequent relievers that followed for each team--did not pitch overly well. Only Solomon Torres from Milwaukee and Charlie Manning--making his Major League Debut for Washington--were effective. John Lannan was excellent over the first three innings--but eventually faltered and allowed a two out, one strike, home run to Corey Hart in the 4th. A turn of events that found Our Number 31 leaving this game early--after five innings and 86 pitches and three runs allowed. Relieved by Joel Hanrahan and Jesus Colome--Washington's Bullpen only extended Milwaukee's lead. Each reliever allowing one run apiece. Hanrahan allowing J.J. Hardy to score on a Jason Kendall double into the left field corner. The fourth run of the night for Milwaukee--where you could argue that Wily Mo Pena could have retrieved the ball sooner--in time for Ryan Zimmerman to make a better relay throw to the plate. "The Human Rain Delay" allowed a NO DOUBT HOME RUN to left center to Mike Cameron in the 8th.

Unexpectedly, this affair was extended and ended in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th, when The Brewers Bill Hall committed two errors and threw away a sure GAME ENDING 5-4-3 Double Play grounder off the bat of Wily Mo Pena. New life that brought hope to the Nats Faithful still on hand. A chance to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Unfortunately, that dream died, rather quickly, when Elijah Dukes struck out swinging and Pinch Hitter Aaron Boone--Struck Out LOOKING to end this ball game. A final out call by Home Plate Umpire Paul Emmel that Our Number 8 DID NOT AGREE WITH. Was Aaron EVER PISSED!!

Washington's only other score also came in the 5th. Elijah Dukes singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a RIPPED liner to right over Corey Hart's head for an RBI Double.

Otherwise--not much special about game Number 50 of the 2008 Season.

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation had their monthly Saturday Night Auction to benefit their Initiatives and Projects. This evening--A Chad Cordero Signed Jersey was available, along with a signed Lastings Milledge Bat, Austin Kearns Opening Night at Nationals Park Cap & Matt Chico signed baseball. Also, for $25, grab bags which consisted of autographed baseballs from members of Our Washington Nationals.

The Milwaukee Racing Sausages again did not post up. And Our Racing Presidents made fun of them.
Tomorrow (Sunday)--Lastings Milledge, Jon Rauch, Jesus Flores and Ryan Langerhans will sign autographs for fans beginning at 12:15 PM--look at the picture provided to see their Section Assignments at New Nationals Park. Signature Sundays--these days are being called by Our Washington Nationals.

Finally--I did ask Usher Coach about what he said to Nick Johnson--and the response he received during last night's playing of "Sweet Caroline" during a Milwaukee Pitching Change. Coach says he looked at Nick Johnson and asked how his torn tendon in his wrist is doing? NJ said GREAT!! That answer apparently led Johnson and Aaron Boone to begin laughing--for some reason. OK.

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Pablo Martinez Monsivais
All Other Photos (Nats320) All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

The Nationals have minimal major league talent and poor fundamentals. Now add Little League and Bush League to the equation. First, the organized chant in New York and now Milledge. .240, 3 hrs - and he's taking handoffs? What an ass. And where's Acta? They let this stuff go? But not to worry - Bowden signed Pokey Reese. Enought of the good ole boy network. Who's next - Pete Rose? Is Rijo warming yet? What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you SBF for telling it like it is........

Natsguested, makes a good point on two levels.....Acta should be teaching these children how to conduct themselves and this team is headed in a direction that will drive me away......I will still be at the ball park most nights but I might be a fan of every other team that comes in if this trend keeps up. Baseball is the attraction and seems like only one team on the field each night understands what I value as a fan........

SBF....I really would love for you to use some of your access to talk with Stan about this very dangerous trend we are seeing from the Nats.

Anonymous said...

Pokey Reese? That bit of news put a depressing exclamation point on last night's loss. WOW -- another fundamentally challenged former Cincinnati Red. This shows a GM who is lazy, not creative. The good news is: the list of players who were in Cincinnati when Jim "Red" Bowden was there will eventually dry up. When that happens, where will the GM get his players?
Until Friday, I had never heard of Charlie Manning, but when I read that he had been traded from the Yankees to the Reds as part of the Aaron Boone deal, I understood everything. He has the proper pedigree to be a current member of the Washington Nationals. Although it's not a talent one usually looks for in a baseball player, he must be able to walk on water! There are more ex-Reds than ex-'Spos on this roster. Enough! They didn't win in Cincinnati, and they won't win here.
SBF: Thanks for your crtique of Milledge's hot dog behavior. The young man needs to realize that this is not high school. If you really are "The Man," people already know it. Childish behavior like that is unnecessary. The only thing that type of demonstration accomplishes is to incite the other team. Will it take an injury to a key player after a bench-clearing brawl to put an end to this style of behavior? I know this is a tad over-dramatic, but picture Ryan Zimmerman out for two months after a shoulder injury incurred during a brawl -- a brawl incited by Lastings Milledge rubbing the opponent's nose in the fact that he finally did his job. It's no small wonder that a Mets player put a "Know your place Rook" note on his locker. Would Frank Robinson have allowed this? Ted Williams must be turning in his cryogenic chamber.

Anonymous said...

I think the Signature Sundays is a great idea. I could see it being a real attraction for families bringing children to the ballpark, especially if the autographers stay in place long enough for people to get more than one. Myself, I'd even consider going church on Saturday so I could be at the ballpark at 12:15.

I didn't see the game, so didn't see the Milledge antics, so I'm speaking in general, but I agree there's a time and place for showing off--like when a walk off run wins the game, or when it's a milestone home run, or (maybe) if it's a grand slam that puts a *significant* game out of reach.

Apart from that, I think the dictum "act like you've been there before" is VERY good advice. I'm not even sure I'd go as far as you did in saying, in effect, he can show up the pitcher as long as he understands the risks. If he (or, for that matter, anyone else on the team) hits a home run, I'd like to see him have a quality at bat the next time up -- there are a lot of good things that could happen that would do more for the team offense than one base on a HBP.

Anonymous said...

Well Nats fans are beginning to see what some of us have seen of Milledge in NY and the problems thereof. He did the same as a Met and I continue to believe Lastings is an attention-seeker who doesn't hesitate to put self and ego before team. On the second to last day of the 2007 season with the Mets fighting for their playoff lives, Lastings proclaimed he got a thrill antagonizing the Marlins and deliberately did so. The Marlins came out the next day determined to crush the Mets and knock the team out of the playoffs - and is exactly what they did. Lastings gives lots of lip service and overhypes his own abilities but actions don't equal his words. I was thrilled when he was traded - so happy to see him leave.

For your FYI. In NY he said his mission is also to be an entertainer on the field. One would think he'd at least master the art of being a good ballplayer before then. He's selfish and a showboater, and I gather that Acta is as inept as Randolph was in containing him. It's simple. really. Stick his butt on the pine until he gets the message. Better yet, trade him and let him be someone else's headache and embarrassment.

logan said...

Leave him alone! He is the most talented centerfielder we have had and the most entertaining to watch too. Any antics he might be up to may be the only reason to watch the games. It's not like the Nats are competing at all. Let him have fun and you all should lighten up. We're not talking about foreign policy here. It's a game.

David Bockman said...


I came across your blog when I did a Google search for "signature Sundays" and Nationals. I'm going to be taking my boy down on the 21st against the Padres and he would very much like to get some autographs of the players. From your description, is it accurate that though ballplayers are sitting in different sections of the stadium and you approach them with whatever it is you want them to sign? Any help would really be appreciated! Thanks, great blog!