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Baby Bear, banners and bus thefts

By Dan Steinberg
Friday, May 28, 2010; D02

Still more questions and answers about D.C. sports, while wondering whether good seats are still available at Nats Park on June 4. Because, you know, who doesn't love a nice baseball game on a spring Friday night?

Q. How would you help an up-and-coming defensive linemen attain the stature of a Dexter Manley?

A. Heck if I know. Let's ask Dexter Manley.

"You've got to want it more so than you want anything in the world," Manley said on ESPN 980 this week. "More so than you want to go out there and chase the next girl."

Perish the thought. And yes, Manley said this before word emerged of that paternity lawsuit being leveled against Albert Haynesworth.

Speaking of whom, Manley joined every living Redskins player, coach, ballboy, cafeteria chef and plant waterer -- and likely many of the deceased ones -- in offering his opinion on Haynesworth's absence from Ashburn.

"When you give a guy $100 million, what are you gonna say to a guy?" Manley asked. "You know, it's hard to control these guys when you pay 'em that kind of money. You give him $42 million in 34 months, it's like, what can you say to a guy that's 6-[foot-]7, 300 pounds who says his stomach hurts?"

You could suggest he buy $12 million worth of Maalox, I suppose. Manley also said that "people sort of see [Haynesworth] bigger than life; he's almost like a little baby bear." Having a toddler, this immediately made me think of the Sesame Street character Baby Bear, who basically just fills screen time between Elmo appearances. Here's what the Sesame Street Web site says about Baby Bear:

"Like a young child, Baby Bear is territorial about his things. Children relate to his difficulty in sharing. However, he is open to new experiences and is also learning to cooperate and share with others."

So yeah, not a bad role model.

Q. What happens if you bring a Caps Southeast Division Champions banner to Machu Picchu?

A. Heck if I know. Let's ask Tom Foye.

"I was swarmed by security," e-mailed Foye, who was posing for a photo with the banner at the time. "Apparently they thought it was a political flag and wanted to confiscate it.

"My tour guide explained it was an ice hockey flag, but the guards didn't know what ice hockey was. So my guide told them it was for my football [soccer] team back home, and they let me go with a warning. Oops."

As one of my commenters noted, the Machu Picchu Web site indicates that banners are acceptable so long as they don't obstruct other tourists' views or poke them in the heads.

Q. Why should your kids not dream of playing in the Frontier League?

A. Heck if I know. Let's ask former Nats first baseman Dmitri Young, now a consultant with the Oakland County Cruisers.

"The bus driver, the old bus driver I should say, stole the bus and the team had to basically show and go," Young said on Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio this week. "They drove from Michigan all the way to outside of Cleveland, that's like a 3 1/2 -hour drive. They got here about 30 minutes before the game."

"That's a rough league when the bus driver steals the bus!" Rob Dibble pointed out.

Indeed. When you play for the Nats, you only get your car stolen.

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