And still 6 games back of Boston. On the bright side, we're still 7.5 up on the Nationals.
May 12, 2007
May 11, 2007
Two big stories in the world of NFL True Crime the past couple days. First, Steve McNair was arrested for DUI in Tennessee, despite not driving...and apparently not being under the influence. Second, Ricky Williams apparently tested positive for weed as recently as last month.
May 10, 2007
Part I of East Coast Bias' ongoing Preakness coverage. Part II is a comparison of the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby
Even though none of the authors will be attending this year, East Coast Bias will be bringing you wall-to-wall Preakness coverage over the next 10 days (alright, so it won't be wall-to-wall, but we will have quite a few Preakness posts). Check back next week for our Preakness preview and reasons why Preakness is better than the Kentucky Derby.
Preakness Saturday is my favorite day of the year. Unfortunately, this year I'm not going to be at Pimlico with 100,000 of my closest friends. My wife is 9 months pregnant, and for some reason she thinks it would be a bad thing if she went into labor while I was drunk, an hour away from her, and in a place with notoriously bad cell phone reception. Since I can't go, I'm taking it upon myself to educate you, loyal reader, on the best way to enjoy Preakness. With only 10 days left until Preakness, here are 10 of the best kept Preakness secrets and lessons that I learned the hard way.
- The Party's in the Infield. This one should be a no-brainer, but somehow Pimlico manages to sell grandstand tickets to people under 60. Do yourself a favor and get an infield ticket, otherwise you'll be watching everyone else have fun while you try to see over all the ugly hats in front of you.
- Plan Ahead. Buy your ticket ahead of time. I never have, but trying to buy a ticket at the gate is one of the worst parts of Preakness. Make sure to check the long term forecast before you do, in case it looks like rain (right now they're calling for partly cloudy skies with a high of 77).
- Pack Light. You'll be carrying everything you bring at least a mile to the track, and then another few hundred yards through the most huddled mass of humanity you've ever seen. Leave the beach umbrella, kiddie pool, and Lay-Z-Boy at home.
- Your Stuff Will Get Broken. Leaving Preakness, you'll see the carnage that is other people's broken shit. Chairs, coolers, inflatable pools, all destroyed. Don't bring anything to Preakness that you would care if it got ruined. In fact, why don't I just give you a list of things to bring:
- Beer (in cans, not bottles)
- Styrofoam cooler, the kind you buy at 7-11. That way you don't have to worry about it breaking and you don't have to lug it back to your car at the end of the day.
- Pen. If you're betting on the races and drinking, this one is crucial. You don't want to be trying to remember your bets at the betting window with 5 minutes to post and 20 angry people behind you
- Bottled water
- Camping chairs
Photo Credit: Raykru
May 9, 2007
blahbfellatioblahheblah "Wait, what was the plan again?"
But Boswell makes another good point. The Nats, including President Kasten, GM Bowden, and the Lerner ownership group are making a bet. They're betting $611M in public money (read: D.C. resident money) and $400M in private money that they can put together a winning team prior to 2013. That's six years from now, and 5 years into the life of the new stadium.
Here's some food for thought: Since 2000, which spans 7 different playoffs totalling 56 playoff spots, 11 teams have not made a postseason appearance. Oh, sure, they all had rebuilding plans too. They all conserved money and waited to make that big splash, but Baltimore, the Cubs, Cincy, Colorado, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Philly, Pitt, Texas, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Washington/Montreal have all failed. Stan Kasten is banking that he won't be in that bottom third of the league.
Brendan Haywood has man-titties
You know what Stan Kasten's job was before he was the Messiah of the Braves? GM for the Atlanta Hawks. He didn't exactly work attendance miracles in either job.
May 8, 2007
So brief recap because my work softball team went into extras tonight and I'm crazy exhausted after playing nine innings at shortstop. Oh yeah, we lost on a walk-off home run. Should've intentionally walked the guy. I'm captain, I blew that strategy decision, but anyway...
Jordin - Yeah, her second song, the Streisand number, had its problems. But Jordin is an amazing singer and was channelling some Kelly Clarkson in her first number. I think she's going to be the eventual winner because she's so damn charming, charismatic, and easy to love. Plus, her voice is quintessential pop.
Melinda - Really had an off night tonight. Starting to realize that she isn't all that versatile and all her songs sound like Tina Turner/Aretha Franklin. She still hits every single note like a pro and stays on tune. But if I'm the Idol execs, I'm praying she doesn't end up winning, because for her to put out a CD with 10 tracks on it would be like listening to Nine Lives by Aerosmith... you don't know whether you're listening to Track 2 or Track 8 because they all sound exactly the same.
Bl-a-ay-ay-ay-ay-ke - Dude... we know you can beatbox. Now cut it the hell out. It's to the point where it's getting in the way of your singing. Not a good idea on that second song to pick a song that nobody has ever heard of. You're going to have a pretty damn good selection to pick from as the only guy left in the competition. You already took your risk. Now is the time to just sit back, sing your songs, do your non-threatening guy thing, and let the teenybopper votes phone in. Very tempted to put you in the last category based upon your performances tonight but for your teenybopper votes.
Lakisha - Never good to be the person who Simon says is going to win it all at the Round of 24. She was set up to perform at a level that she can no longer perform at anymore, because I think the competition has taken a total toll on her. Tonight was the first night I ever understood what Simon was talking about when he talks about her yelling. And that version of Stayin' Alive was pretty terrible.
May 7, 2007
If you're a bit of a ballpark geek like I am, take a look at:
Lots of pictures from a guy obsessed with visiting major league stadiums and lots of pictures in his "Stadium Graveyard" section of ballparks gone by, including Memorial Stadium.
Also, be sure to check out this webpage, with realtime photos of the rise of Nationals Ballpark, pictures taken every 15 minutes from two different vantage points, and the ability to zoom in to 600x.
May 6, 2007
Life is not good right now for all of us Washington Nationals fans. Not like life was ever going to be really good this season, but right about now, life is really friggin horrible.
1) Our "ace" (sorry... "#1 starter" is what Manny Acta told us to call him before the season began) is now on the D.L. and stated today that he has essentially pitched hurt the last two starts. Yes folks, amazing, but John Patterson, the only person in the major leagues less durable than Ken Griffey, Jr., is injured again, and out for at least a month. I had hoped he might make it to June or July until he got shipped to the D.L. and then for a few inevitable rehab starts in Harrisburg and Columbus. But wow... May 6... this is even quicker than I thought. Congratulations, John!
2) While we're on the topic of congratulating players for disappointing supporters of a team whom didn't think they could be disappointed any more because they had such low expectations to begin with, let's talk about our "closer," Chad Cordero. This man has now blown his fourth save in eight opportunities in the last three weeks. Just think about how tough this is to do normally, let alone to do for a team that has maybe 2-3 save situations per week. I was totally against trading him and thought that he was an essential young cornerstone of the franchise. But now the Nats are facing one of the worst questions any team can face... what do you do with a closer who starts failing you? Do you put somebody else out there and risk crushing that closer's already damaged psyche? Do you stick with that closer? Do you bust him down to AAA to pitch in some non closing situations there where the pressure isn't as high and he can focus on technique? Right now, I go with options 1 and 3... it's time to try 6'11" Jon Rauch as closer, and send Chad down to Columbus for a few non-save opportunities in AAA. But Jesus... the team's record now is embarrassing and it actually wouldn't be so bad if we had somebody in there who was at best a 50% shot of closing out the game when he comes in out of the bullpen.
I just wanted to take a moment to point out that Brien nailed the exacta in his Kentucky Derby Preview last week. That's $101 on a $20 investment, a pretty good return.
I, on the other hand, put all my eggs in the Hard Spun basket. I was pleased that he got to the front so cleanly, but not so pleased when I saw he was ripping off internal fractions of 22 4/5 and 46 at the 1/4 and 1/2 mile marks. This would have been even cooler if he had just run Street Sense out the tunnel a la Bo Jackson
Still, we both did a pretty good job removing the wheat from the chaff in a crowded 20-horse field.