As you can see from the pictures below, I spent an entire Red Sox game last night wearing a Yankee hat.
(Sox defeat Orioles, 10-1)
Final available tickets to join me at a Nats’ game.
Let me know by Thursday, August 20th by email or in the Comments’ section of this post if you’re interested in a particular game or games.
First choice will go to ‘fans’ who haven’t been to a game with me this season.
Little did I realize that four-year-old granddaughter Abby was also listening to the story of Harper’s ejection by the home plate umpire.
Later that night I got a text message from their mother.
Abby tells me that Harper got in a fight with the vampire and got kicked out of the game.
And that clarifies everything.
I know I haven’t seen you in a couple of weeks. I’ve been traveling a bit and was with your Auntie Elizabeth in California, Oregon, and Washington. We got to see three Red Sox games, and they won two of the three. Not too bad.
Then when I returned, your Washington Nationals were playing two games against that *#!^x* Yankee team. So, of course, I had to go to those two games, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. The Nats won both games by close scores (4-3 and 3-2).
In fact, the Nats are playing really well and with the victories over the Yankees they are now in first place in their Division.
That’s pretty good because in their first 20 games, they only won 7 and lost 13 and were in last place. Then, in their next 21 games they won 17 and only lost 4. So they have gone from last place to first place.
And your favorite player, Bryce Harper, has been a big part of both their losing at the beginning of the season and winning now. In fact, he is now doing so well he has been named “Player of the Week” two weeks in a row. That rarely happens. But he’s been “on fire”, hitting lots of home runs, knocking in runs, and getting on base with a lot of walks.
But that’s where there’s a bit of bad news too.
According to the Washington Post:
The Washington Nationals radically altered the baseball landscape Sunday night, ending a winter of relative inactivity by agreeing to a seven-year contract with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer, according to a person with direct knowledge of the talks.
I shoulda listened to my father, the chess player.
He tried to teach me to take my time when my opponent made a move that perhaps seemed weak, foolish, or one I didn’t understand. He warned not to jump too quickly in my next move and to beware of what further moves my opponent might have in mind.
For the most part, I’ve followed that advice, at least with reference to MillersTime.
Thanks to the suggestion of a long time baseball fan and a MillersTime reader (and with some adjustments on my part), I’m creating a new Baseball Contest, this one limited to just one question.
Contest: List three impacts you predict the trade of Tyler Clippard for Yunel Escobar will have for the Nats and/or for the Athletics.
Prize: Two seats in Section 117, Row G or H (three or four rows behind the Visitors’ dugout and between home and third base) for a Nats’ game next year.
“Tue ere maricon” – “You are a faggot” – Just a joke? Some of his best friends are gay!
I read last night as the story was developing about the Nats trading Tyler Clippard for Yunel Escobar.
I understand that baseball is a business.
I understand there are problems with the Nats at second base.
I understand that Ian Desmond has only one year left on his contract and could go elsewhere. I understand Escobar could play second base this year and move to shortstop next year if that’s necessary.
I understand Escobar’s hitting has averaged .276 over his career, (tho only .258 in 2014) and he has averaged 145 games a season over that career.
I understand Escobar “has a team-friendly contract that will pay him $5 million in 2015 and $7 million in 2016…(and) the Nationals hold a $7 million club option for 2017.”
I understand the trade “saves the Nationals somewhere between $3 million and $4 million, depending on Clippard’s arbitration process.
I understand that this is Tyler Clippard’s last year of arbitration before being eligible for free agency and that there are “”young arms behind him” in the Nats’ organization.
2014 MillersTime Baseball Contest #3: What will the Washington Nationals’ record be this year? Tie Breakers: Will they make the playoffs, and how far will they go?
Six contestants were close — Ed Scholl, Peter Shimm, Tiffany Lopez, Nick Nyhart, Steve Begleiter, and Nelson Romerez — missing the Nats’ regular season record by one game. Not bad.
However, four contestants got the season record, 96-66, exactly: Dan Fischer, Elizabeth Tilis, Nick Fels, and Bill Trost.
Dan said they’d lose in the NLCS. Elizabeth said they’d lose in the 1st round. Nick said they’d lose in the World Series. Bill said the Nats would lose to the Dodgers.
So, Elizabeth Tilis (that’s a ‘familiar’ name, someone, no doubt, who benefited from good parenting) wins and gets two tickets to a 2015 Nats’ game of her choice.
For the other two contests, we will have to await the conclusion of the World Series.
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Meanwhile, two more terrific articles to draw to your attention, particularly for those of you whose teams are no longer in the WS chase. MillersTime readers tipped me off to these articles:
The Dead Ball Century: Why Is Baseball Always Dying? – by Brian Curtis, Grantland/The Triangle, Oct. 7, 2014 (Thanx MWK)
Managers Are Playing Less Small Ball Than Ever – by Ross Benes, Deadspin/Regressing, Oct. 6, 2015 (Thanx BT)
Why did they lose three out of four games to the Giants after having the most wins in the National League in 2014?
It wasn’t their pitching. (Nat’s ERA – 1.23, Giants – 1.60)
It wasn’t their fielding. (Each team made one costly miscue -Nats’ Fielding Pct. – .993, Giants – .994)
It wasn’t the managing (Despite what you read or think about Game 2 & 4).
Is it me or has this October baseball already given us some of the most wonderful baseball in a long time?
KC vs Oakland – Wild Card game: Royals score in the bottom of the 9th to tie and down by one in the 12th, score two to win. Fans can hardly believe it.
KC vs LAA – First two ALDS games: Royals score one in the 11th and hold on to win the first game away. Then, in the third extra inning game in a row, the Royals score three in the top of the 11th to beat the Angels again, this time 4-1. KC fans believe it it. Angels’ fans stunned. K-C up 2-0.
O’s vs Tigers – Other first two ALDs games: Baltimore scores eight in the 8th, and the power hitting Tigers lose the first one 12-3. Camden goes wild. Then, in the second game, the O’s are down 6-3 in the 8th and score four in that inning to win 7-6. Fans go nuts, again. O’s up 2-0.
Giants vs Pirates – Wild Card game: Giants get a grand slam in the fourth (first ever by a shortstop) and four-hit the Pirates to win surprisingly easily, 8-0.
Dodgers vs Cards – First two NLDS game: Probable 2014 Cy Young & MVP winner Clayton Kershaw gives up eight runs in 6 2/3 innings, and the Cards win it 10-9 in the bottom of the 9th. Second game, Dodgers eke out a 3-2 victory, after some terrific pitching, thanks to a home run by Kemp. Series tied 1-1.
And then Giants vs Nats – Other first two NLDS games. Aging Peavy out pitches the young Strasberg, and the Giants beat the Nats 3-2 in Washington. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, after getting 20 out in a row, Nats’ pitcher Jordan Zimmerman (his previous game a no-hitter) walks a batter and is pulled. The Giants then get two hits off closer Drew Storen (remember him from two years ago not being able to hold a two-run lead in the playoffs?) to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th. Eventually (after nine more innings), the Giants win it with a home run in the 18th inning (longest game, time wise, in playoff history). Giants up 2-0.
Ten games. Seven decided by one run. Four in extra innings. One in the 18th inning. One in the bottom of the 9th. And even the three that were not close we’re surprising victories.
And we’re only part way into the Division Series playoffs.
Maybe it’s just that my beloved Red Sox are not in it, and so I can watch and listen differently.
And another observation: So many good articles about these games, some written within the hour that a game finished.
Check out this morning’s NYTimes‘ Tyler Kepner’s In October: Exceptions Rule, Most of the Time (“Nobody knows anything…”).
Or Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell’s, Washington Nationals Discover How Tough the SF Giants Can Be in October, which begins with “Losing to the San Francisco Giants in October is like being beaten to death with wet noodles.” And it just gets better.
Or how about Boswell’s post this morning, Could Jordan Zimmerman Have Made History in Game 2? We’ll Never Know ?
You’ve probably seen other good ones (pass them on to all of us in the Comment section), but the best ones seem to take what happens and push our thinking further.
Last night I was looking through the submissions for the 2014 MillersTime Baseball Contests (I really need to get a life) and came across these predictions, sent in on Feb. 25, 2014 by someone named Chris Eacho:
#1 – Red Sox in last at the AS break and trade 4 of their opening day starters at the deadline.
#2 – Orioles 103-59, World Series Champs
#3 – Nationals 92-70, lose to Os in WS
#4 – Yankees 66-95, Red Sox 65-96, series split 8-8. 19th game is rained out and not made up
#5 – Chris Davis .287, 119 RBI, 43 HR
#6 – Orioles over Nats in 6 games; Chris Tillman MVP with 2 complete game shutouts
Actually, I think I know the individual who submitted these outrageous and amazingly prescient (lucky?) predictions. He’s an Orioles’ fan (obviously), a Sox and Yankee hater, and belongs to the millennial generation (I think). I hope he’s wrong about the WS, but he seems to know something the rest of us don’t.
(Not shown: Multiple Red Sox tickets to win the 2014 Pennant & World Series.)
The Facts: The Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles secured playoff positions last night in their respective MLB Divisions (NL East and AL East). Thus both have a shot at winning the 2014 World Series. I have been a Nats’ fan (a distant second, of course, to being a Red Sox fan) since they arrived in DC. I have rooted against the O’s for years, except when they play the Yankees. I hold two Las Vegas $10 bets. One for the Nats (payoff $110) and one for the O’s (payoff $260).
The Dilemma: Whom do I cheer for to win the World Series?
(Note: I also hold three $10 tickets for the Nats to win the 2014 Pennant. Total payoff for the three tickets, $145.)
The Facts: On my Orioles’ WS ticket, I have written the name “Nelson” in the upper right hand corner of the ticket. Nelson is a friend who roots for the O’s and rubs it in when they beat the Sox. Nelson does not know I bought this ticket with him in mind.
The Dilemma: Do I inform Nelson I have the ticket, and do I give it to him?
The Facts: I also bought a bunch (I’m embarrassed to say how many) of Sox tickets for them to win the 2014 Pennant and World Series. (If either the Nats’ or the O’s win the World Series, I can recoup the cost of most of my foolish Sox bets.)
The Dilemma: What do I do with all my useless Sox 2014 tickets.