Whether or not this is the year the Nats make the postseason for the first time, D.C. has already achieved a different first: this is the first season that the national media cannot stop gushing over Washington’s baseball team.
The latest bit of national love — at least, as of this typing — came Sunday morning on ESPN’s Sports Reporters, where host John Saunders devoted his ‘Parting Shot’ to, yeah, you guessed it.
“We’re all familiar with the saying, youth is wasted on the young,” Saunders began. (Video here.) “That’s why, baseball fan or not, Washington Nationals fan or not, you have to watch 19-year old Bryce Harper.
“Forget that he’s the youngest player to homer in the majors in 18 years; it’s his path that’s much more fascinating....What’s to love is the way he attacks the game....Plus, you have to love a guy who gets angry grounding out, bangs his bat on the dugout and takes 10 stitches on the rebound, then smiles about it later.
“Bryce Harper can’t stay 19. Let’s hope he always plays like he’s 19.”
The other thing this national media love means, of course, is more national TV appearances as this breakthrough season rolls on. Plus, more kids wearing Bryce Harper t-shirts. I saw two on a single upper Northwest D.C. block on Sunday afternoon. Never could say that about Brad Wilkerson.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER...
Boz: “When you’re in first place, as the Nats still are, baseball changes. Gaps in ability shrink. You are your habits, perhaps even more than your talents.”
Top local baseball prospect “trades bird calls with ospreys...belts out Otis Redding and Barry White” and calls himself “just a little King Georgian pumping a fastball in there.”
A study commissioned by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance envisions a 24,000-seat soccer-specific stadium — with 50 suites, 240 loge seats and 1,200 club seats — on Buzzard Point in Southwest Washington.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Redskins rookie offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus probably doesn’t need to buy Skins gear any more.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Jarvis Jenkins, on coming back after missing his first NFL season with injury:
“Honestly, it’s like having another rookie season. I played three [preseason] games, but that’s not enough. I didn’t get the gristle of the full NFL season.”
PHOTO OF THE DAY
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
If you want local, I guess you have to watch the MLB draft on MLB Network at 7. If you’re normal, the Stanley Cup Finals are on at 8 on NBC Sports Network, and the Western Conference Finals are on at 9 on TNT. All TV/Radio listings are here.
High school 1600-meter state champion finishes last in the 3200-meter race because she stopped to carry a fallen competitor to the finish line.
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid suggests that U.S. Soccer is biased in favor of D.C. United.
As of last week, the Nats were apparently co-favorites to win the division.
Smith Commons on H Street put up a new mural, picturing “a realistic depiction of a hybrid rooster / man in a cape pulled open to reveal a pastoral landscape in the vein of 19th century Romanticist painter.”