Thursday, January 22, 2009

Frozen River Thoughts

My way home from work carries me across the Potomac. It's been frozen for most of this past week, and I keep looking down at the chunks of ice bobbing on the surface. The only problem with looking at the river is that it distracts me from looking up and trying to spot Nationals Park as I cross the bridge in the train. Today, I made sure I looked up. With Nats Fest getting closer and closer, I wanted to look at where I plan on spending my Sunday.

The happy feelings I get when I spot the upper deck and the sun glinting red off of the giant sign over the scoreboard remind me of all of my favorite moments from last season. The way I see it, there were three amazing home runs that happened last year.

Number 3 goes to Ronnie Belliard in that extra inning game against the O's. Feeling the emotions of the entire stadium turn a 180 was great. All the happy O's fans nearly cried and all the somber Nats fans were ecstatic in just one swing.

Number 2 is going to throw people, Ryan's on opening night. There's an argument that Zimm's ought to be number one. Let's face it; it was crazy fantastic. I hugged strangers and stood in the stands singing all of the verses of "How Do You Like Me Now". I actually think I skipped in place. It was amazing. But not my number one.

Number 1 goes to Wil Nieves and his first career homerun ever. What made it so wonderful was that no one saw it coming, least of all Wilbert. The joy on his face was like a giddy five-year-old on Christmas morning. The joy written on all of his teammates was, if possible, even more. It was a reminder that baseball is the every-man's sport. The only one where you can be a life-long bench player and come in and save the day. It was what the sport is about, what makes it so fantastic to watch. It was Baseball, like Baseball should be.

22 days 13 hours and counting

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just Give Him More Money

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Ryan Zimmerman has filed for arbitration. He is one of the best defense third baseman in the game, performing regular acrobatics at the hot corner, and the Nationals do not seem to pay him enough. I know full well that I retain a good measure of bitterness over Zimm not winning rookie of the year in 2006 (thank you very much Hanley Ramirez), but long standing bitterness aside, Ryan has earned some more cash.

His defense is amazing to watch. His work at the plate is consistent. His leadership on the team is vital. Really, is anyone surprised that he thinks he's earned more?

I know that we tried (and failed) to sign some big name guys this off-season. When we didn't lavish those names with thousands of dollars, could we at least have given Ryan a better contract.

I don't want that much; I just want the face of the franchise to be around for the long haul. Oh, and I want the Lerners to openly want that too.

Baseball Quote of the Day: Since it is about as cold as DC gets-
Baseball, to me, is still the national pastime because it is a summer game. I feel that almost all Americans are summer people, that summer is what they think of when they think of their childhood. I think it stirs up an incredible emotion within people. ~Steve Busby, in Washington Post, 8 July 1974

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Staring out the Window, Waiting for Spring

Spring Training really is the next major holiday after New Year's. And a girl can only wait for the warm breezes, the budding trees, and the all import sound of a ball bouncing off that bat. It what I wait for, and I miss it during the winter.

I miss transferring to the Green line after work so I can see the game. I miss walking down half street and seeing the ballpark smile back at me. I miss my favorite ushers and reminding strangers that the dug-out is most definitely not a shelf. I miss that glittering emerald sea that is summer-time and happiness and something that is beyond my range of words. Sure, it's emotional; maybe even a good bit silly. But it's true for me.

Yes, I love baseball, I love the Nats, that much.

The summertime, the laughter, and that marvelous cracking sound.

36 days and just under 3 hours until pitchers and catchers report.