Let’s just clear one thing up that I think we can all agree on: The name “Nationals” completely sucks. You know what was a good name? Senators. You know what was even better? Grays. And last night’s game showed what once was and could be again.
When the team relocated here three years ago, the name “Grays” was in the running. The Negro League team played in Pittsburgh, but just like anyone from Pitt, they realized how much better D.C. is and called the city their second home. They often played games in the old Griffith Stadium, where Josh Gibson probably hit balls twice as far as Harmon Killebrew ever did.
Now that you have an unnecessary history lesson, let me get back to my point: We must change that shit team name. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. There is one of those online petitions circulating (I know, they hold tons of clout), and some fans have taken to hanging a massive sign in the upper deck at RFK insisting on the Grays name change. But of course, no one seemed to ask the Nats players how they felt about wearing the uniform or a possible name change, so I’ll just assume that they’d all be down for it.
With the team moving to a new stadium next season (which will feature a statue of Gibson), it would be the perfect time to change the name, uniform, etc. and we could all pretend like the last three years in RFK never happened. Except for last night. That was a good night.
Chris (not pictured) was at RFK for last night’s Nats-Reds game but hasn’t surfaced yet and probably doesn’t recall much anyway. Reminder: they serve beer there.
So I’m going to go ahead and post about Cincy’s Brandon Phillips swiping two bags at once. Similar to Ron Belliard’s magic glovework the other night, it’s a must-see highlight.
Phillips planned and executed the two-stealer(?) because lefty Adam Dunn was at the plate and Washington’s defensive shift left 3B Ryan Zimmerman covering second. When there was no throw on the straight steal, Phillips rounded the bag and headed for third. Whether Zimm was asleep at the wheel or not, it’s hard to tell, but the fact that he’s athletic enough to recover and nearly tag Phillips out is impressive.
That extraordinary play aside, it was a good night for the Nats as their bullpen was beastly yet again, Austin Kearns’ awoke and John Lannan (‘Must Die’) walked away with his first career W. I can’t believe this team is 38-35 since May 9, but there’ll be more time for that later.
There really isn’t much to say about the play Ronnie Belliard made for the Nats last night other than it’s absolutely incredible and you really MUST watch it. He just made me that much happier that the Nats locked him up for the next couple seasons (click photo to watch):
Many of you don’t know who John Lannan is, yet some of you want him dead. Allow me to explain …
Lannan made his Major League debut yesterday for the Nats at Philadelphia. He had 40 guests in attendance, including his father and mother, whom was caught on MASN’s broadcast crying after her son was ejected in the fifth inning of a one-run game for plunking Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on back-to-back pitches.
(The entire sequence is on YouTube, thanks to Nasty Nats. Highlights include analyst Don Sutton ripping umpire Hunter Wendelstedt to shreds.)
Unfortunately, the first errant pitch broke Utley’s hand, forcing him out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks. And, even though it was unintentional, a ‘John Lannan Must Die’ Facebook group has emerged with 38 members and counting. Sample quotes from its members:
Philadephia hates Lannan more than than we hate T.O.
next time he’s in town, bring the batteries and used needles..
WE NEEEED REVENGGE
Sounds like the Philly fans I know. And who’s to blame for this misguided hate mongering? The smart money is on Enrico Campitelli over at The 700 Level, who had choice words for the rookie southpaw last night. Of course, he’s from Philly, so it’s not his fault. They’re born that way.
Bog has the roundup of ruminations, and it sounds like Dmitri Dell Young has inked a two-year, $10 million deal with the Nats. Amazing considering he was almost out of baseball as recently as four months ago.
I love that Da Meat Hook is here to stay, although this can’t mean good things for Nick Johnson’s rehab seeing as how neither guy plays anywhere but 1B. At least not well.
And while my new “Save Da Meat” tee may be out before it was ever in, bravo to Dmitri, pictured here with his younger brother and Tampa Bay RF Delmon.
Update: Nothing’s final, but sounds like there’s an option for a third year at $6 million if the big man gets 500 ABs in ’09 or 900 combined over the next two years.
Ronnie Bellard will stick around to see the new Nats stadium next year, but what of Da Meat Hook? D.C.’s GM mastermind Jim Bowden (you know, the guy who didn’t trade Soriano at this time last year, only to see him walk with the team getting nothing in exchange) remains rather mum on Dmitri Young.
It is clear how much Nats fans love them some Meat Hook. Much like Soriano last season, he has been the one bright spot for this franchise, aside from the “Beers of the World” stand in section 521. Besides, where would the team be this season without him? Exactly where they currently are:
“He has meant a lot. He has meant almost everything,” [Manager Manny] Acta said. “I know without him, we’d still be in last place — and that’s where we are with him — but we’d be in much worse shape.”
Does Manny Acta really believe that there are varing levels of the term “last place”?