The End of The Line

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Down Half Street lies the Navy Yard Metro Station. Board a train 81 days from April to October and the train will be packed with fans dressed in red, white and blue, bearing the names of Strasburg and Harper. Ride it for long enough, and you’ll eventually reach Branch Avenue, the final stop on the line before turning around and starting all over. Only one team out of thirty is lucky enough to be the team that can happily leave the train before Branch Avenue, the stop known as the World Series. The Nationals were not that team this year.

The train that looked to be going the perfect speed, to for the first time, finish ahead of everyone else, couldn’t. On Wednesday, October 7th, the San Francisco Giants eliminated the Washington Nationals from postseason contention. The Nationals managed a meager 9 runs in four games, and lost the series in four games after being heavily favored to advance to the next round.

Maybe you should blame the loss on Tanner Roark giving up the home run in the eighteenth inning to Brandon Belt in Game Two. Maybe you should blame Gio Gonzalez for giving up two runs in four innings, or Aaron Barrett for throwing the wild pitch that created the winning run. Maybe you should blame Matt Williams for not taking Barrett out of the game soon enough. But excepting the two youngest and brightest stars on the team, the blame rests on the offense.

The Nationals offense all year long thrived on the ability of the tag-team combo of Denard Span and Anthony Rendon to get on base, and then for Adam Laroche, Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper or Wilson Ramos to drive them in. All of them hit higher than .258 in the regular season. In the Postseason, Adam LaRoche hit .056 and Desmond had the highest average in the top seven spots excepting Harper and Rendon at .167. Harper and Rendon combined to bat .331. However, even when Harper and Rendon got on base, nobody drove them home, as the Nationals lost one-run game after one-run game.

While the pitching wasn’t as superb as it had been in the months leading up, giving up 2.25 runs a game should be a recipe for success. However, the bats completely died in the five day break between Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter and Game one of the NLDS. While Harper and Rendon showed incredibly promising signs, the rest of the team continued to go quietly each and every time, letting hanging breaking balls fall in for a strike, swinging at balls in the dirt and popping up consistently. While Game 3 showed momentum changing, the Nationals simply couldn’t ride Bryce Harper alone to the next round. Errors they hadn’t made all year proved costly the one time it truly mattered. And instead of something escapable to run away from, the World Series station passed, and Branch Avenue became a reality with Ramos’ groundout to end the game.

And so the train turned around and went back. Half Street was just a blur in an underground tunnel. The signs proclaiming that the Nationals had reached the postseason had quietly disappeared. The government offices were no longer red, and back to their normal states. And even on a day where the temperature was warm and the sun was out, the chills of winter were blowing, not to stop for a long, long time. The train pulled into the airport, and the team left, all going their separate ways. And for the train itself? It will sit underground for the winter and avoid the cold. And one morning in April, it will pull out of the station, starting another journey.

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Side of Interviews: Dave Jageler

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On June 21st, I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Dave Jageler. You might know him from the Nationals radio broadcasts on 106.7 The Fan or player interviews at occasions such as NatsFest. He had a lot of interesting things to say and knows lots about the Nats, and is also a pretty funny guy. So without any further ado… Continue reading

Braves VS Nationals: Again, But With More Feeling

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The Nationals and the Braves are meeting for the seventh time this season tonight. At this point in the season, the Braves have absolutely dominated the Nationals. Atlanta has won five of the six so far. However, that hasn’t seemed to define the Nationals’ season, as they sit in first place with a 1.5 game lead over Atlanta. Statistically, the Nationals have scored many more runs per game, have had better pitching, made more comebacks and have been just generally the better team. But as the Cardinals proved, some teams just have the Nationals’ number. So what can the Nationals do to win this series and take a definitive lead in the NL East? Continue reading

A Silent Killer on the D.L.

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No Nationals fan even blinks an eye when it’s mentioned a player has gone to the D.L. this year. After seeing names like Harper, Zimmerman, Gonzalez and Span fall out for fifteen days or more, it’s just not a surprise. However, this latest trip to the D.L. by a player, despite his lack of star-power, may be more important than Harper or Zimmerman. Continue reading

Luck VS RG3 – The epic battle for Rookie of the Year

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RG3 and Andrew Luck Embracing after a preseason game won’t be the last time they see each other, but next time, it may be in suits and ties.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin the third have taken control of two terrible franchises. And made them a contender.

So who deserves the Rookie of The Year award?

Both have pretty good cases. Let’s start with RG3. He’s definitely put up the numbers worthy of the honor. He’s averaged 67% completions, thrown for 17 touchdowns, 2660 yards, ran for 714 yards and 6 touchdowns. (pro-football-reference.com) And they had about half of these guys last year – note how they weren’t winning – or at least like now.

Also, the performance he put up against the defending champions twice, especially this week has been huge. Not only are his numbers huge, but he adds an atmosphere to this team, and boy is he fun to watch.

This team didn’t record 4 wins last year – now, a division title is in sight.

Andrew Luck might not have the same numbers, but he does have a better QB rating. But last year, the Colts had 2 wins. This year, they might be a lock for a playoff spot. And you know the funny thing? They added Andrew Luck. They lost some of the best receivers and running backs. And they have 8 wins this year so far.

Peyton, who? Peyton left a legacy behind, and nobody thought Luck could live up to the legacy left behind. Instead, he has. And he’s on pace to blow it away. In 2010, Peyton Manning had 4700 yards and 33 touchdowns. Andrew Luck has recorded roughly three quarters of that, and he might’ve brought them to a better record. In 2010, they won 10 – Andrew is in all likelihood going to lead them to more.

But who? I have to say…

Andrew Luck, only because the Colts stunk last year and lost some of their better player, and now Andrew Luck has led them to the playoffs.

Both of these guys are the future of football – and this award in the long run – may only be the start of many for both of them.

Paying defenders to hit hard is wrong

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New Orleans and DC should be disgraced. I get giving bonuses for doing well, sacks, tackles, picks, and all that. But what they did was wrong, crude and vulgar. People, there are wars across the world, and what you want to do is hurt more people? It can be used for an advantage, but you are millionaires! You don’t have to get money by hitting hardly on old quarterbacks, receivers, and so on!

Look, the Saints mainly won a Super Bowl on defense. But how do you expect a full credited Super Bowl now that people found out about this. And for the Redskins, they were doing it out of desperateness. But even so, you shouldn’t be hurting people – because it’s not right.

I expect and want an appropriate punishment for all of this. I expect deducting 3 draft picks, a couple suspensions, and some fines may set these teams in their place. They need to understand that this is bigger than football, this is you and the country. Are you really going to hurt them and end incredible careers?

And for the coaches. You have not stepped up to the position of the role model the players need. You have given them bad incentives and may have hurt their careers, as well as the team.

I hope this teaches the NFL a lesson, that you can’t be doing this. Because, the greater the crime, the greater the punishment

 

 

 

Here is The Video on the Saints Bounty System and The Video on the Redskins bounty system

The Big Dance is a promising one for Georgetown and Syracuse

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Sometimes the best shot is the one you missed. If you know what  I mean, great. If you don’t, that’s understandable. In the last couple of years, the best appearance in March Madness ended in a loss, for a couple teams. After a talent losing year, some of them are back and ready to roll.

Georgetown in 2007 seemed practically unstoppable. Until Ohio State came into the picture. Now, the Hoyas have a shot at a three or two seed in this years big dance, 5 years removed from their last 5 or lower seed. I think the Hoyas have found a new team that can win. Right now I project them as a 3 seed. But, anything is possible for these Hoyas – you might be seeing them at number 2 or even number one, with their new talent and old talent.

Meanwhile, the Syracuse Orange have found themselves in the position they have lacked for the past couple of years – the top 5. The Orange know they can, and may very well. They have been slowly but surely rising these past years, and you see them here now. Kris Joesph may just lead them to a Final Four.

Both of these teams may not make it to the Final Four, but if they do – it’ll be a great final four.