Tag Archives: Washington Nationals

Food for Thought 9-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Stephen Strasburg (pictured above) looked pretty sharp on Sunday against St. Louis. Sadly, his season will end on September 12th due to an innings limit placed on him by Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.

By Josh Kramer

Operation Shutdown Strasburg” is an utter embarrassment.  Many MLB players go through an entire career and never make the playoffs once, much less contend for a playoff spot.  The Washington Nationals have failed to post a record better than .500 since making the move to the nation’s capital in 2005 (until yesterday).  There is only one way to describe Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s September 12th expiration date on the Nationals star pitcher: A simple ego struggle.

That’s right, Washington is willing to risk a deep playoff run due to their General Manager’s ego.  I really have no other logical way to explain it.  Health concerns are are fine by me, but within reason.  There are always exceptions though.  Stephen Strasburg is a 24-year-old prized prospect who is in good health.  I realize that he had Tommy John surgery towards the end of the 2010 season.  But how many pitchers go through an entire career without a surgery such as Tommy John in this day and age?  Not many. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-20-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Dustin Johnson (pictured above) hopes to repeat as champion of The Barclays this weekend.

By Josh Kramer

In terms of preseason football, this week is as real as it gets.  Roger Federer continues to cruise as we gear up for the US Open, while Venus Williams continues to demonstrate some amazing fight.  The dog days of August baseball lead into September meaning manager firings, call ups of hot-shot prospects, and heated pennant races.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be entertaining in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Start your engines folks as we head to Bristol.  After an exciting Sunday on the track at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR heads to Bristol for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol.  The Chase is right around the corner with just three races remaining before the real party gets started at the Geico 400 on September 16th.

4.  In the golfing world, The Barclays will be the name of the game come Thursday.  After a fun event in Greensboro, the PGA Tour heads to Farmingdale, New York for the The Barclays.  After skipping out on the Wyndham Championship, Dustin Johnson will look to become the first back to back winner at The Barclays since Ernie Els accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1997. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-13-2012

Photo courtesty of zimbio.com. Dwight Howard (pictured above) is the latest great big man to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers.

By Josh Kramer

Happy Monday to you all.  It wasn’t easy, but Team USA went all the way and handled Spain late in the fourthAbby Wambach and Co. handled business.  Tiger Woods, well you know the drill (at least Rory was good).  And Andrew Luck demonstrated that it wasn’t “luck” that he was drafted number one in his professional debut.  Last week was a great one, but this week should be fun in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Marcos Ambrose came out victorious in a wild race at the Glen.  The countdown to the Chase is down to four.  There are just four more races before the big boys battle it out for the Cup.  This Sunday, the gang heads to Michigan International Speedway as Kyle Busch looks to defend his crown at the Pure Michigan 400.

4.  The history is well-documented:  George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal.  Add Dwight Howard to the list.  I am not sure how the Lake Show pulled this blockbuster deal off, but Kobe Bryant’s chances at number six improved immensely when Superman signed with Jack Nicholson’s favorite team.  Watching Team USA bring home gold at the Olympics was exciting, but the prospects of a LeBron/Kobe finals matchup has me even more excited.  It may only be August, but the 2012/2013 NBA seasons is shaping up to be a memorable.  Plus, the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has finally come to a close. Continue reading

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By Jeremy Powers The MLB season is a brutal one. Let’s be honest, whenever you have a schedule that consists of 162 games in 25 weeks, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride. Some teams, who fall out of … Continue reading

Food for Thought 7-17-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ben Sheets (pictured above) started his first Major League game in nearly two years on Sunday. It looked as if he had never left.

By Josh Kramer

Holy Sheets.  Ben Sheets is back.  After a nearly two-year hiatus between Major League starts, Ben Sheets proved that he isn’t done yet.  If I were the Washington Nationals, I would take note.  With Ben Sheets back, Atlanta not only is a wild-card contender, but they are a pennant contender.  Ben Sheets learned the number one rule that applies to all pitchers at a young age and never forgot it.  This rule is the secret to being a successful pitcher.

Throw strikes.

Did you forget when Sheets had a 116/11 strikeout-to-walk ratio back in 2006?  Or his 264/32 mark in 2004?  Guy could paint the corners in a similar fashion to Greg Maddux in the mid-90s while bringing the heat.  These days, the velocity is not going to be the same as it once was for Sheets.  Do not expect to see any 98 mph gas like the good old days.  But do expect to see the ball paint the corners and keep hitters off-balance.

With Beachy still out, the timing could not be better.  In order to compete with the Nationals, Hudson and Hanson desperately need the help of another quality starter.  Ben Sheets is only 33-years-0ld.  Despite all of the injuries and other various setbacks, Sheets could be Atlanta’s ticket back to the playoffs.  In addition, he could very well turn into the MLB’s comeback player of the year.  I know this much.  Sheets will be a hard guy to root against. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-16-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The “Dwight Howard (pictured above) Soap Opera” continues. Most people just want it to be over with at this point.

By Josh Kramer

Baseball’s second half has begun with a bang.  NBA free agency continues at a rapid pace.  The “Freeh Report” has turned a legend into a monster officially.  And guess what?  Things are only going to get better.  Last week was one that will be remembered for a long time, but this week will fun its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  All eyes will remain focused on the no longer “Happy” Valley.  The Freeh Report has shaken up the entire college football stratosphere.  Paterno’s legacy has been forever tarnished and his role in the horrific incidents are no longer in question.  The real question now is what will be the punishment doled out to Penn State’s football program?  Are we on the verge of witnessing college football’s first death penalty in over 25 years?

4.  Start your engines, and take a deep breath.  For the first and only time until mid-November, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series takes a break this weekend.  After Kasey Kahne stole the show in New Hampshire, everyone is looking to thrust themselves into the top ten of the standings during the course of the next seven races.  Either you are in or you or out for the CHASE.  As of now, Kahne and Carl Edwards are fighting to move up just a couple of spots by the end of the day on September 8th.

3.  The NBA free agency frenzy, has been just that, an absolute frenzy.  Nobody has any clue what is going to happen next in the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera.”  I for one do not really care at this point. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tony Stewart (pictured above) had his way at Daytona this past weekend. Will he stay hot in New Hampshire on Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

Andy Murray has officially established himself as the “GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)” to never win a Grand Slam.  His tears and pain were felt by an entire country.  The MLB enters the All-Star Break with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals sitting atop their respective divisions.  NBA free-agency has every team around the League on high alert.  And guess what?  This week is going to be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The countdown is on.  The whole world will focus their attention on one place in a mere 18 days for arguably the greatest event in sports.  Get ready for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  It should be one for the ages.

4.  Big Tony Stewart thoroughly enjoyed his stay in Daytona.  Now it is time to head to New Hampshire.  Not exactly Daytona, but still an important stop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Last year, Ryan Newman came out victorious at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Newman currently finds himself ranking 15th in the current standings with one win on the year.  A repeat of last year could go a long way in helping Newman solidify a spot in the Chase come September. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tiger Woods (pictured above) leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus with PGA Tour win number 74 yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Spain took their place among the elite teams in soccer history this weekend after taking home a third consecutive major title.  Wimbledon has had a March Madness type of feel with Venus Williams exiting in Round 1 and Rafael Nadal going down in Round 2.  Brad Keselowski was the king of the Kentucky Speedway.  And the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has opened up Season 2.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Kentucky Speedway got it right this year.  Brad Keselowski was a happy man on Saturday night as he moved into 10th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Now the NASCAAR crew heads to Daytona to see who can take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.  David Ragan came out victorious last year at this event, while the current leader of the Spring Cup Standings, Matt Kenseth, finished second.

4.  Tiger Woods is back in the building.  Or at least in the win column.  Woods has leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus in terms of PGA Tour wins and now ranks second all time at 74.  I am not going to get carried away though.  He is still out in the “Woods” in my eyes and the Tiger we once knew will never return.  Next stop, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 6-18-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Wimbledon is just a week away. Will Roger Federer (pictured above) capture his 7th title at the All England Club this year?

By Josh Kramer

Great golf, basketball, and baseball defined yesterday’s Father’s Day.  I hope you all enjoyed.  Last week started out with a bang when Rafael Nadal captured his record 7th French Open title and the week continued to pick up steam.  Last week was great, but this week will be fun its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Dale Earnhardt Jr. winless streak finally ends after 143 races. Next stop Sonoma.  The NASCAR Sprint for the Cup continues next Sunday at Infineon Raceway as Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr., Biffle, Hamlin, and Johnson all fight for that number one spot.  There is still plenty of season left, but the competition continues to heat up.

4.  Tommy Haas may be old, but he isn’t dead yet.  Yesterday, at the ripe age of 34, he knocked off Roger Federer in the finals of the Gerry Weber Open.  The most prestigious tournament of them all is just a week away.  Will Novak Djokovic defend his title at the All England Club?  Or could Roger Federer capture his 7th championship at Wimbledon and his 17th Grand Slam title?  Can Andy Murray finally breakthrough at a major in front of his crazed-fan base?  A tune-up is occurring in Eastbourne.  Get ready for the best tournament in all of tennis.  It is just around the corner. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Due to rain, we are getting some bonus tennis today. Can Novak Djokovic (pictured above) handle Nadal on the clay in Rome?

By Josh Kramer

Saturday was not the best of days for the city of  Los Angeles to say the least.  As I have said before, people will soon stop calling Los Angeles “Lob City,” and start calling it “Heartbreak City,” if they haven’t already.   On Saturday, both of their basketball teams blew double-digit point leads. At least they have the Dodgers and the Kings. The NBA and NHL playoffs have been outstanding and the best part is there is still plenty to go.  In addition, I’ll Have Another would love “another” win at the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Last week was great, but this week should be even better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bonus tennis.  What could be better?  Due to massive amounts of rainfall, the Rome Masters final showdown between the world’s top two players (Djokovic/Nadal) was postponed today.  I by no means am complaining.  The clay-court season has been a bundle of fun as usual as we get ready to head down the home stretch. Roland Garros is just six days away.  Get excited. Continue reading