“It’s early” has long ceased being a compelling argument for why Nationals fans shouldn’t freak out. The new compelling arguments — which I’m okay with, incidentally — are that the Braves have been mediocre, and the upcoming schedule is favorable, and the Wild Card competitors aren’t scary, and the Nats’ best player is set to return.
Still, I saw one of our commenters ask over the weekend what past World Series winners have looked like at this point of the season, so I figured I’d check it out. I arbitrarily looked at the past 20 champs.
Nineteen of those 20 were over .500 through 68 games. Eighteen of those 20 were at least 38-30. As a group, they averaged just over 40 wins through this point in the season.
The Nats, of course, are 34-34.
What does it mean? What does anything mean? Virtually nothing in this world has meaning, with the possible exceptions of ripe summer fruit and cold IPAs. It just seems like you’d probably rather be 38-30 right now — which is exactly where the past four World Series champs have been — than 34-34.
(Thirteen of the past 20 champs have had either 38, 39, 40 or 41 wins at this point. The lone sub-.500 team was the 2003 Marlins, who were 32-36. Next worst were the 2000 Yankees, at 36-32.)
SNOWDEN AND THE ORIOLES
Midway through a long WaPo look at the background of NSA leaker Edward Snowden comes this passage:
In the early 2000s, he worked as an editor for Ryuhana Press, an online publisher of Japanese-style anime comics. In a fanciful profile he apparently wrote about himself, Snowden, depicted in a caricature wearing an “I [heart] Me” T-shirt, portrayed himself as a lover of the Baltimore Orioles, martial arts, girls, guns and the Japanese fighting video game “Tekken.”
VINE OF THE WEEKEND
Fox’s Saturday baseball broadcasts are notable for the in-game interviews with off-duty pitchers, which are notable for their gum and sunflower seed showers. This is apparently a league-wide trend, and the Nats have previously participated. Gio Gonzalez was kind enough to point out the obvious during his Saturday evening interview, noting “it’s raining sunflower seeds.”
VIRGINIA TECH PERFUME
You can now buy Virginia Tech perfume and cologne. Via WDBJ7:
Masik Collegiate Fragrance says it’s held meetings with students and alumni. Their big question, what’s the perfect scent of a real hokie? Just about everything on the VT campus is orange and maroon. It’s easy putting those signature colors on anything. But finding the right hokie scent, the right aroma, is a whole different animal.
What is the perfect scent of a real hokie, anyhow?
WEIRDEST BEER SELECTION
This is a beer lineup that I did not expect to find in the National Portrait Gallery’s cafe. I’ve just never associated fine art and Schlitz before. Stroh’s, maybe.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats are in Philly at 7 on MASN. The Bruins and Blackhawks play Game 3 at 8 on NBC Sports Network. All TV and radio listings are here.