D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:00 AM
D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tuesday, July 21, at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the Nats, the Wizards, D.C. United, the Caps, the Redskins and the latest sports news and your questions and comments about his latest bog posts.
A transcript follows.
Read Dan's daily smorgasborg of the bizarre side of D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
Dan Steinberg: Hey everyone, keeping on a personal tradition, I'm once again working during a week of vacation. Because, seriously, when I die, I'd like my gravestone to read something about "when everyone else was at the beach hanging out with their children, he was sitting at a coffee shop, trying to get Washingtonpost.com readers to click on links to videos of DeAngelo Hall's new beard."
With any luck, you won't see much of me over the next week or so. And then training camp starts. In the meantime, any questions you have about my relentless desire to make Nats fans angry, the Wizards' performance at Summer League, the first day of The Fan, my hatred for The Fan's jingle, etc, bring em on.
Louisville, Kent.: Why do media guys give distorted views to the public just because they have a biased point of view? Every article I read during Wizards summer training about Tyrese Rice was negative, even though the coaching staff gave him the most minutes outside the starters in Las Vegas. Maybe they saw something without a biased point of view.
If you can put the ball in the basket it doesn't matter whether you're 6 feet tall or 7 feet. Two points is two points. I was really disappointed with all the player hating on Tyrese when he had some nice moments, especially with other players not playing within the team concept as Tyrese did.
Tell the whole story not a misleading non-truth. Say what you say but he played a lot better than the D.C. area papers indicated just because you all want a big man, probably in up with a another scrub who can't ball.
Dan Steinberg: Wow. I'm not sure I mentioned Rice once in an actual newspaper article. When I mentioned him on the blog, it was in the context of "he has no chance to make this roster." Because, let's be honest, the Wizards do not need another guard. Do. Not. Need. I talked to Mike James for a while out there, and will post our conversation at some point, and it sure seemed like he thought his time in D.C. might be done. The Wizards have two open roster spots, a luxury tax crunch, and a glaring need for a big man. So go ahead and make me the argument in which Tyrese Rice has a shot at making this roster?
St. Petersburg, Fla.: Is the two guard approach correct for boggable/bloggable, or should it be one (i.e., bogable and blogable)?
Dan Steinberg: I'd say two. But thanks for asking.
Dundalk, Md.: Thoughts on 106.7 The Fan?
Dan Steinberg: Well, I listened on and off for much of yesterday, into the 6 pm replay of the Junkies, which I hadn't realized was coming. Full disclosure, I love the Sports Reporters, but I chose the Junkies talking about Cakes's Summer Vacation over the Reporters taking calls on "great near misses in sports history." And I can't believe I just typed that sentence.
I think, as I've thought from the beginning, that LaVar will be a star in this format. He's got a little bit of Dibble in him; some of it makes you cringe a bit, but it doesn't make you flip the dial. Which is the point. Even Dibble's critics, or some of them anyhow, listen in so that they can transcribe the ridiculous things he says. And I think LaVar and Dukes have chemistry, with potential for more.
Wise obviously has less radio experience, so we'll wait and see. As long as he has Ivan Carter on so they can talk about their relationship issues, I'd probably listen. Joe Gibbs is a great name, as far as interviews go, but he's pretty consistently dull as a quote.
The jingle just annoys the havarti out of me. It feels so fake and out-of-market. And I still don't like the name The Fan.
Washington, D.C.: Apologies in advance for all WJFK-bashing questions.
Do you find it ironic that Mike Wise refuses to say the Redskins' name because it's offensive and demeaning to Native Americans but has no problems being offensive and demeaning to Lindsay Czarniak?
Dan Steinberg: I didn't listen to that, but a few people sent me highlights.
This is what I'll say about the Erin Andrews thing in general, and this applies to Wise doing segments on it, the Sports Reporters, Washington Post Live, and basically every sports outlet in the universe: you're profiting off the peep show dude. If you have no trouble acknowledging that and looking yourself in the mirror, that's fine, but you're profiting off it for readers and attention. You're using the words "Erin Andrews" and "naked" and "peep show" to get people to pay attention to you, even though you have nothing at all interesting to say about the topic, because really, there's nothing to say.
And it's not like I'm above profiting off Erin Andrews's name--check out the video that's still sitting at the top of my blog page. But just admit what you're doing, and spare us the "I'm so outraged!" stuff.
Washington, D.C.: I'm pretty sure Javale McGee could posterize a mountain.
Dan Steinberg: That's true, but the Mountain's team would end up winning the game.
No, JaVale obviously closed summer league with two monster, monster performances, both of which I missed, since I left after Friday night's loss. Coaches explicitly challenged him to step up his defense after he had zero blocks in his first SL game, and he closed with something like 16 blocks in his last three games, if I'm remembering correctly. That's encouraging. I still find it odd that he says he doesn't think he needs to add any weight (he's around 250 now, and is heading to 255 just to satisfy the coaching staff), but he's obviously got a few eye-popping talents. Turning those attributes into a solid NBA player is the next step.
The FAN jingle: You are absolutely right. Is it possible that nobody listened to it before they started using it?
Dan Steinberg: I was told it was an out of town jingle that has been used successfully in Detroit, NYC, etc. I'm not sure if we're more cynical here or something, but that just sounds like a joke to me.
Arlington, Va.: There were some exchanges last week about Obama's diss of the Nats at the All Star game and his failure, to date, to drop by the park to see some of a game. During Friday night's MASN broadcast of the Nats game against the Cubs, they showed an interview with Cubs Manager Lou Pinella, who had been invited earlier that day to the White House to chat with the President. That was it for me. Obama invites the visiting team's manager to the White Hosue for a chat yet he won't go to a Nats game. You just lost my vote, Mr. President. Go back to Chicago.
Dan Steinberg: See, I'm kind of torn on the whole thing. We lose respect for bandwagon politicians who pretend to like a team in their current zip code merely to gain political points. (Former NY senator, for example.) Heck, we lose respect for bandwagon friends who pretend to like a team merely so they can wear their stupid Red Sox gear around town. Jumping allegiances is not an acceptable sports maneuver.
With Obama, I think the wish is more that he acknowledges where he lives now, which is why people lose their eyeballs when he visits U Street or Arlington for the kind of food we like. Same thing with his visit to Verizon Center; no one really begrudged him his Bulls cheering, they were just happy that he went to a place that real people in D.C. visit.
Sparing any jokes about the number of real people in D.C. who visit Nats Park, I think that's why we want him to go to games, and especially Opening Day: to acknowledge that we exist, that he lives and works among us. Trying to turn the White House into a little enclave of Chicago is going in the wrong direction.
Arlington, Va.: When did 59 years old become death's door? All of this breathless talk about "59 year old Tom Watson", not just "Tom Watson" is baffling to me. It's golf, people! Guys chain smoke their way through a game. Daly admits he was drunk much of the time he played. Is there any other "sport" where that is possible. I have never gotten the whole golf thing. And I suppose I never will.
washingtonpost.com: Thomas Boswell - There's Poetry in Tom Watson's Near Miss (Washington Post, July 20)
Dan Steinberg: Haha, that's funny. Boswell's column was pretty great, but I'll admit that I was thinking some of what you're saying here. You understand why people would mention this along with 40-something stars like Nolan Ryan and George Foreman, but really, it's not the same. It's literally inconceivable that a 59-year old guy could compete in basketball or baseball or football or boxing. It's obviously not so in golf, since he just did it. And while we were all surprised, sure, imagine what your reaction would be if a 59-year old dude started draining jumpers over Kobe in the NBA Finals. It's just hard to compare golf to more, um, "active" sports on the longevity scale.
It was still cool. And still a great column.
Washington, D.C.: I know Mike Wise is your boy and all, but the truth must be known: He is terrible on the radio.
Not to mention he owes Lindsay Czarniak an apology for basically sexually harassing her yesterday while talking about the Erin Andrews tape.
Dan Steinberg: Well, in the interest of a public airing of grievances, here ya go.
So, anyone who heard, did Lindsay seem uncomfortable? Because she and Wise have a kind of interesting dynamic, so maybe this was just part of the gimmick.
Baltimore, Md.: I am guessing the 106.7 THE FAN is different from the 105.7 THE FAN in the Baltimore market?
Dan Steinberg: That's right. 106.7 callers talk about losing teams in normal accents. 105.7 talk about winning teams in accents that make you want to fill your ears with rotting blue cheese.
Gaithersburg, Md.: I am interested to know the national perception of the Washington Wizards. Are they considered a laughing stock, a dark horse sleeper, or a serious contender. Vegas has us winning the finals at 75-1 odds ...
Dan Steinberg: Well, you'll see lots of odds. My sports book out there had them at 35-1, I think. I can't imagine anyone's currently offering 75-1; I'd jump all over that, were I not a working sports journalist.
I think the general national perception is of the Wizards as a playoff contender. In D.C., the perception is of a team that will be scrapping for a 4-5 seed and for a berth in the second round. Because I've seen too many seasons go unexpectedly bad, put me in the "satisfied to make the playoffs" camp, but we'll see. If the Wizards lose to the Cavs in the first round again, I would strongly consider retiring from this field.
I don't think anyone believes the Wizards are either a laughing stock or a serious contender, if you mean a contender to win the title. Heck, I'll say this right now: I'll quit the Bog if the Wizards win a title.
Fairfax, Va.: Wise was just reading a Washington Post story, word for word, on his radio show. What a concept.
Dan Steinberg: I seem to recall another Washington Post sports columnist who used to read Washington Post stories, word for word, on his radio show. Name escapes me.
A July 20 sports talk launch is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because no one is listening, since no one is even in this city right now. That includes me. I'm across the District line. A curse, because man, what is there to talk about? Bob Woods's roller hockey career? Whether Lindsay Czarniak wears clothes when she's in her hotel room? I'm told that subject was actually raised in the interview yesterday.
Alexandria, Va.: When are you going to add some roque to the bog?
Dan Steinberg: I don't understand
Washington, D.C.: To be fair it was more Wise's cohost, who flat out asked her if she walked around naked in her hotel room (not making that up).
Then this morning when they were on at the end of the Junkies, Wise said that Czarniak wore a Junkies t-shirt but it said "I sleep with -insert GMU PBP guy's name-" on the back (not making that up).
I mean, really?
Dan Steinberg: Ok, there ya go, confirmation from someone else, with all the reliability of an anonymous Internet name.
There are many moments in this profession when you feel like you were making a more noble contribution to society when you tried to drive these sharp little point knives into 75-pound wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano. The whole Erin Andrews/Lindsay Czarniak stuff would go high on that list. And I'm not gonna necessarily slam those guys, because I've done the same stuff, and it brings in readers, but it's not particularly uplifting.
Palisades, Washington, D.C.: What's the juiciest intra-squad rivalry for second tier (for Americans) sports? Armstrong vs. Contador?
Beckham vs. Donovan?
Mayfield vs. his step mom?
Dan Steinberg: I don't follow cycling except reading the comments between Sally Jenkins and Dave McKenna and their readers over at the City Paper's Cheap Seats Daily. That's fun stuff. Other than that, doesn't interest me.
But the Donovan-Beckham stuff is just fantastic. I'm about halfway through Grant Wahl's The Beckham Experiment, and it's really terrific. Donovan was kind of mouthing off about him from the jump. I don't think either of them come off particularly well. D.C. United has the great advantage of having its superstar players all coming from non-English speaking countries, so it's harder for them to just dice each other up in the media.
The passage where Donovan leads the player revolt to get them to stay in the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan instead of the Sheraton in Secaucus? I mean, get over yourself, dude. It's not like they're asking you to stay in a vat of open sewage.
Nationals Stadium last night ...: What were the Nats thinking when they put together the Gay Pride promotion at Nationals Park last night? (And I should preface this by saying I have nothing wrong with the issue, just how it was orchestrated last night)
Did anyone else find the whole thing to be awkward and inappropriate? From the interesting yet strange slightly unpatriotic choir that sang the National Anthem, to the first pitch being thrown by a proponent of "don't ask don't tell" thus getting said pitcher booed. I felt the whole thing was a little tacky.
In my opinion, the ballpark is not a place for political statements of any sort. I was at the game last night with my two children, and found it extremely distasteful.
Dan Steinberg: First I've heard of any of this. Though the Nats just did send out a notice about two peanut-free baseball days in party suites for people with allergies. They're managing to keep the promotions coming.
Aside from the booing thing, I can't see what would be awkward or inappropriate about anything that you mention. And I'm not even sure if that's inappropriate; George Bush got booed at Nats Park, and Obama got booed at Busch Stadium. It's hard to avoid politics entirely, and in D.C., it's hard to avoid it in any way. I don't think I agree that ballparks should be devoid of political statements; devoid of political harrassment, sure.
Anyhow, clearly I wasn't there, so having written all that, I'm not qualified to say boo about what happened.
Washington, D.C.: Dan, why leave the summer league early? I was there, and I wonder which of the players there you think makes the team.
My guess PG: Arenas, Crittenden
SG: Young, Foye, DeShawn
SF: Butler, MM, McGwire
PF: Jamison, AB
C: Brendan, JaVale
I don't see a team with too many guards, frankly, but one with too many small forwards; I count three, and our two "power forwards" play a finesse game. That's the problem.
Dan Steinberg: Well, Mike James hasn't shown up on your list. What have you done to him, DC? Please don't hurt him! And while Mike Miller is surprisingly big in person, I think there's a school of thought that would argue he's the best starting option at the 2 guard. Ernie Grunfeld has certainly spoken of him as a 2/3 type. That gives you four guys who all are (or have been) major contributors at the 2, and three of them stacked up at point guard. Dominic McGuire also played some 2 last year.
I don't think anyone at Vegas not under contract makes the Wiz. Not that I'm going out on a limb with that one.
I had some family obligations at home that necessitated the early leave.
Falls Church, Va.: Dan,
If the Nationals were a cheese, what cheese would they be?
Dan Steinberg: I'll quote from a Wall Street Journal story.
Nuoro, Italy - In the kitchen of his rustic farmstead atop Sardinia's Mount Lollove, Giovanni Antonio Costa smiles through missing front teeth. It's time for a clandestine treat.
After pouring a glass of strong homemade wine, he sprinkles thin Sardinian bread with tap water to make it easier to fold. Then he extracts from a creaky cupboard a brown lump the size of a human head and deposits it on the rough wooden table.
It's a cheese. And it's alive.
The round of pecorino is filled with thousands of wriggling, transparent maggots, the larvae of flies. The 52-year-old Mr. Costa grins as he dips his fork in.
"We all go crazy for this stuff," he says. "but because it's prohibited, you can't buy it anywhere."
As the worms merrily jump up and down, cavorting all over the table, one of Mr. Cost's five brothers prepares a tasting by wrapping a morsel in the thin bread. "You don't have to look at them - just put the thing in your mouth," he urges, chewing a mouthful of the stuff. He adds a piece of local folklore: "It's an aphrodisiac."
106.7 The Bland: Just what I was looking for, more talk with Redskins, about Redskins, around Redskins ... honestly, I'm so sick of the Redskins.
Dan Steinberg: I understand, I sympathize, I cry your tears, but there's just no alternative in this town. I think more and more they'll be able to get away with Caps talk, and the Wiz are always good for some chatter in-season, especially if Gilbert says/does something stupid, but in July? August? Most of September? There's not much argument.
Bowie, Md.: This is just a random question, but has there ever been an African-American baseball player (MLB) who took a Muslim name, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammed Ali or Ahmad Rashad. I can't think of one.
Dan Steinberg: Well, that is indeed a random question, and there are only 10 minutes left, but I'll betcha someone has an answer.
There was a dude named Robert Muhammad in the 80s, but i know nothing about him.
Damascus, Md.: Was Tyrese Rice of the understanding that he had no chance of making the Wizards and was auditioning for other NBA teams and maybe Europe?
Dan Steinberg: Honestly, I didn't talk to Tyrese once. That's probably my fault, and I don't want to speak for him. But I think the numbers on the Wizards roster are what they are.
Shirlington, Va.: Which local team will be the first to win a championship? I need a championship.
Dan Steinberg: If you're betting on anyone besides the Caps, I'd like to know why.
Well, actually, D.C. United could be a championship team again, and they have fewer competitors once they make the playoffs, because of the size of the league. So that's your best bet.
The Kastles are still alive, though they'd need to win their last two matches to make the playoffs.
Maryland men's soccer always has a chance.
Night OUT with the Nats: And what, Washington D.C.'s gay and lesbian population doesn't like sports or the Nationals? Sorry to inform you, but this was the Fifth Annual Night OUT. It's not a political thing, just a smart marketing move to include more potential fans. How else are you gonna fill a stadium on a Monday night with the current team?
Dan Steinberg: There ya go.
Anonymous: Any word on Agent Zero? How is he recovering? And I thought he was 100 percent at the end of last season. Why was he still rehabbing in the first place?
Dan Steinberg: The word from Gilbert, to the extent there is one, is that he's not doing any media/blogging/speaking/writing/morse code transmissions before media day in September (I think it's September, maybe it's October). if you think about it, he's been just remarkably quiet. Gilbert isn't really "Gilbert" any more; think about the Twitter revolution. The NBA is the Twittiest league in America, and four years ago, Gilbert would have been on the short list of guys you'd expect would have the best Twitter feeds in the league. But he hasn't breathed a word about it. The blog is dead. He declined to be interviewed when he bought that signed Obama chair last week. I mean, it's over.
He's said this before: he recognizes that the whole "Agent Zero" persona doesn't fly if he's not playing, so he just wants to prove it on the court.
I don't think anyone said he was 100 percent at the end of last season. I guess maybe, because people were saying a little bit of everything, but obviously you can't bail on the game for two years and expect that your conditioning will be the same as it was before you left, to say nothing of your muscle strength. Teammates who have talked to him have said the reports are good, but none of that matters. After two years, the only thing that matters is seeing him on the court.
Washington, D.C.: I don't know what glasses that previous commenter was looking through last night about the opening cermonies to last night's game, but he clearly got much of it wrong. It was a group night for Team D.C. just like many other nights the Nats host. Team DC is an umbrella organization for the many gay sports teams in the area. I don't know why he would also call the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington unpatriotic, or why he would call a soldier who got kicked out of the military for being gay and now works with the Service Members Legal Defense Fund a proponent of 'don't ask, don't tell." It's quite the opposite. He certainly was not booed either.
Dan Steinberg: In an Internet first, it's possible that an anonymous questioner/commenter maybe wrote something without having the full story.
Well, I'm glad that I've brought some clarity to this all. Apologies.
Washington, D.C.: The Nats have held an LGBT night each year; I happen to have attended two of them, including last night's. I wasn't paying close attention to all the pregame stuff, but I didn't notice anything "unpatriotic" about the gay men's chorus singing the anthem. Although I would have expected one of several City Council members to be there to say "Play Ball" instead of Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Dan Steinberg: Hey, I'll keep posting this stuff, since you people were actually there while I was packing up old notebooks filled with interviews of Wizards fans.
The Radio Dial: So, everyone sucked yesterday on WJFK. It was the first day. It takes a while for a radio program to get into a groove ... and with five shows a week, there's plenty of time. My hunch is the WJFK-bashers are loyalists to the previous format. By the way, can anyone ever recall an instance when someone wrote in to a newspaper or posted on a chat how much they loved a radio station format change?
Dan Steinberg: That's true, and the same goes for newspaper redesigns. Every newspaper redesign of the past 100 years has been an abject failure that will cause this loyal reader never to pick up your stinking rag again.
I found the whole thing yesterday extremely jarring, though, never moreso than when I went to the station's Web site and saw a CBSSportsline lite, or the DC version, or whatever you want to say. That made it kind of sink in that JFK was really gone. And it seemed a little cheaper somehow.
But I'm obviously going to be listening to the station far more nowadays.
Arlington, Va.: Many teams in MLB, WNBA, and other leagues have special gay nights. Just like they have nights for all sorts of other groups you may or may not agree with. The Gay pride "Night Out" at the Nationals is the largest one in MLB with over 2000 tickets sold. I don't know what's unpatriotic about the Gay Mens Chorus singing the national anthem. And the first pitch pitcher was an opponent not proponent of Don't Ask Don't Tell; a veteran who was discharged under the policy.
Dan Steinberg: Thanks for all the notes.
McLean, Va.: Not to excuse anything that was said, especially since I didn't hear it, but Lindsey Czarniak's clothing, or lack there of, was a common subject when she called into the sorely missed Mike O'Meara Show. Especially the day she called in pool side and volunteered that she was talking to them while wearing a bikini. It doesn't necessarily make what anyone says okay, but it does say that it's the kind of subject she's used to talking about, and would even occasionally bring up herself in other radio interviews.
Dan Steinberg: At this point, I'm blatantly chasing the record for "most Lindsay Czarniak mentions in a single Washingtonpost.com chat."
I'm also changing my take on this. Why is it that when I call into radio shows, no one ever, ever, ever asks me what I'm wearing. I mean, the blogger stereotype is the "wearing underwear in mom's basement thing," so at least they could ask me that. Why are local radio hosts nicer to Lindsay by inquiring about her wardrobe? Favoritism!
Arlington, Va.: If it accomplishes nothing else, 106.7 The Fan will be a success if it somehow leads to Andy Pollin's permanent exit from the D.C. radio scene. Hopefully, you're right about Lavar. I love the Czabe, but Pollin is an anvil around his neck. Consistently dour and absolutely unimaginative - it's like Pollin goes to the "Grab Bag of Hackneyed, Lame Sports Radio Topics" for half his show every day. And the other half is just complaining about the Redskins.
I bet you're wondering where the question is in this rant, so how's this: Any chance the station can unload Pollin before the MLB trading deadline?
Dan Steinberg: Ha. I'm friends with Andy, so I can't say I agree with you, but I like publishing questions in the form of rants. And what's the radio equivalent of a bag of balls? A sack of microphones? Several boxes of promotional magnets?
Here's my criticism of Andy: he definitely knows way, way, way more than every person who has ever called into his show, or even picked up a telephone. I think, once in a while--like, once a year, even--it'd be sweet if he could credit a caller with actually making a decent point, before interrupting to tell the caller that they're wrong and that what they really wanted to say was this, and that honestly, they have the intelligence of a block of cream cheese.
That does kind of rankle after a while. But I do like Andy, and if you've ever heard the show when Czabe hosts, I think you'd agree that they both kind of need each other in that format.
Baseball name change: George Herman Ruth to Muhammad Babe Ruth.
Dan Steinberg: Thanks
Burke, Va.: What happened to the Washington Glory?
washingtonpost.com: An open letter regarding the Washington Glory (DCAbloob.com)
Dan Steinberg: They folded like a house of cards attempting to put a swim move on Mike Williams.
Atlanta: Which member of the D.C. sports elite or media would be the best addition to the Real World house?
Dan Steinberg: Lindsay Czarniak!
Click, one step closer to the record for Lindsay Czarniak mentions.
From an athlete perspective, Ryan Zimmerman would make four or five Real World producers jump off the roof of the DuPont mansion. Brendan Haywood would be an amazing cast member. He'd definitely get in several fist fights, especially if any fellow house members were into poetry, he would be hilarious on cue for the cameras, and you can totally see him starring in one of those three-or-four-house-member screaming arguments.
Dewey Beach, Del.: Lindsay Czarniak. Also, Brett Favre!
Dan Steinberg: Michael Vick!
Bethesda, Md.: As one of the players put it, the Nats have really "turned a corner" under the new Manager! Their play is a lot more self-assured and they're losing with a lot more confidence these days, trying a lot less hard. This takes some of the sting out of the losses as they just roll over and play dead at the outset. This gives the fans more time to wait endlessly in line to purchase overpriced hot dogs without fear of missing anything grotesquely weird in terms of screw-ups.
Dan Steinberg: You know, I said at least 4,000 times this year that I thought the Nats would go on a mini-run of 6-6 after they fired Manny. The way things stand as of this writing, I need the Nats to go 6-1 to defend my honor and make it look like I know what I'm talking about. Do you understand the implication here? This is taking your honor, putting it inside a delicate porcelain vase, and then balancing it on top of an ice sculpture where the Beltway meets the 270 spur. My honor is about to get run over by 14,000 SUVs.
Also, I was in Las Vegas when the Nats played their first game after the all star break, with a chance to put my money where my mouth is. Good thing I don't have too much money.
Alexandria, Va.: Have you seen the footage of Beckham goading a fan in the stands and then getting ready to fight before security steps in? What if he had been a star player in any other American sports league? What do you think the outcome would be?
washingtonpost.com: Beckham Confronts Fan (YouTube)
Dan Steinberg: Ah, I think that's overrated. I heard someone say "Can you imagine the outrage if that had been Ron Artest?" I think it's different. Sure, security stepped in, but you think there's any chance Beckham was going to make like he was going to fight the fan if he hadn't known security would step in? That was never close to an actual physical confrontation, and both sides knew it was never going there, even the idiot fan who jumped down. You can't get next to Beckham in a club; you think you're going to jump down from the bleachers, cross that not-insignificant buffer zone, hurdle the fence and then attack one of the most security-conscious athletes in the world? It was all a show.
I'm all for saying NBA players get too hard a time, but the NBA players actually were in the stands pummeling people. This was miles from that.
Re: Obama & Nats: Dan, I am not expecting the Prez to change his allegiance to the White Sox, etc ... But he did go to a Wizards game. If he wanted to talk with Lou Pinella and support a Chicago team (though I am sure White Sox fans didn't dig him talking with the Cubbies manager), go to the ballpark. Show up. Dubya wasn't a Nats fan either but he likes baseball and went to some games. That's all I am saying.
The WaPo makes a big deal about him visiting local restaurants and greasy spoons. Why can't it get on him when he doesn't visit the baseball park?
Dan Steinberg: No, I'm with you. I think he should absolutely go. I don't know, maybe he hasn't been able to get tickets or something. They're hard to come by, I hear.
Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: So Daniel what are you wearing during the chat? Maybe something from La Perla?
Dan Steinberg: Khaki shorts and a fairly decrepit shorts-sleeve blue bottom down that has to be 10 years old. I really need a new wardrobe.
I went shopping with Nick Young at Nike Town last week. He had a $1,000 store credit. He spent the $1,000 in maybe 20 minutes, max. And I was sitting there thinking, "There's a legitimate chance that I haven't spent $1,000 on clothes in the past two years." For my next career, I'm going to be a Nike-endorsed professional athlete.
Upperville, Va.: So hoss should I call Wise and ask who he thinks will win the U.S. Sheepdog Finals in Orgeon this year? Lucky you bubbette, your sports editor has you down to blog from the 2010 U.S. Sheepdog Finals in Va. for the whole week. Hey I got him to throw in three dinners for you at the ILW on the post, and you are staying at Johnson's place in Middleburg. What a deal!
Dan Steinberg: I understand you've been cheating on me, Upperville. Reliable Sources, aka people who have read Les Carpenter's chat about wiffle ball yesterday, tell me that you invited Les Carpenter to go cover sheepherding, and that, even worse, he accepted. We're finished, Upperville. What's next, you're going to get Lindsay Czarniak to do a sheepherding piece for NBC Washington? Sheesh.
Washington, D.C.: flip saunders was great on 106.7 yesterday afternoon. He totally plays along with the jokes and seems like he's gonna be a big asset for the Bog when the season rolls around.
Dan Steinberg: Hmmm. Having interviewed Flip a few times, I'll respectfully disagree. Maybe he's different with the radio folks. Or maybe I've just completely lost my touch.
I did talk to him before I left Vegas, and will post a few interesting things he said, but none of them were really in my wheelhouse.
The way things stand as of this writing, I need the Nats to go 6-1 to defend my honor and make it look like I know what I'm talking about.: Trust me, it'll take more than that ...
Dan Steinberg: Great line. True, too.
And if I need MORE than a 6-1 Nats streak, I'm truly in trouble.
Laurel, Md.: Can the Natinals get any worse?
What do you think - 115 losses?
Dan Steinberg: I've been in the 102-108 camp for a long time, but that's looking like a poor camp to be a part of. They've been pretty solidly on a 114-118 pace for quite a while now. It's gonna be hard for the pace to dip much below 118, which just requires a superhuman amount of losing, but I keep waiting for the hot streak that will get the pace under 110, and it keeps not happening. Eventually, there won't be any time left, and they'll just have their 115 losses. So yeah, that seems about right.
And, as always, sure, it could get worse. Aug. 17. Strasburg. If he decides he'd prefer a career in Argentina or Dubai or wherever Boras can get a contract, that would be worse.
Washington, D.C.: Comment not a question: D.C. sports radio broadcasters know nothing about baseball. In Boston and New York they will dissect every pitch of every game and analyze the local baseball club ad nauseum. Here in D.C. you get Kevin Sheehan evaluating the Redskins kickers since Chip Lohmiller. Then you might get a throwaway minute or two where they basically say "yup, the Nats still stink" and move on. And so much of their analysis and commentary is flat out wrong, to the point where even if you're a casual Nats fan you'd see that they're completely mistaken.
Dan Steinberg: McKenna at City Paper, who's closing in on Lindsay Czarniak for mentions in this chat, wrote a column on this very topic last week. He was agitating for a Phil Wood show. But they're buddies, and can both talk about bands you've never heard of for 24 consecutive hours, so they have that weird connection.
You're right about Boston and New York, which is a great point, except inasmuch as we don't live in Boston or New York, don't have a baseball franchise among the royalty in both tradition and recent success, and instead of Yawkey Way or Monument Park, we have that one mini-mart on North Capitol that you have to dodge speeding traffic to reach.
I mean, cmon. It's not a baseball town yet. It's about 50 years from being a baseball town in the way New York and Boston are. The Redskins thing is depressing in some ways, but it's also great in others. We have one franchise that people are legitimately bonkers about. I have a friend who recently went to work in sports media in the San Fran market, and he said while there are tons of teams there that people care about strongly (more strongly than people care about the secondary teams here), nothing there comes close to the Redskins passion. Daniel Snyder aside, that's not a bad thing.
Wizards: Arenas will whine his way through another season of 'nagging injuries' while collecting millions. Wizards won't even come close to making the playoffs.
Dan Steinberg: Barring catastrophic injury, they would really, really, really have to work hard to not even come close to making the playoffs. The Pacers were 10 games under .500 last year, and they only missed the playoffs by three games. The Wizards were the only EC team that missed the playoffs by more than seven games, and that was without three starters for most of the season, plus without this Miller/Foye deal, plus with McGee as a rookie and Young/McGuire as second-year guys.
London, U.K.: Baseball Prospectus has the Nats at 104.1 losses. Too bad it wasn't 106.7 ... that would have been harmonic convergence.
washingtonpost.com: Postseason Odds (Baseball Prospectus)
Dan Steinberg: Wow, they sure do. That's a bit surprising. I mean, sure, the Nats have been dramatically unlucky, according to the statistics, but when you're sitting at a Blackjack table and you've been dramatically unlucky for six hours in a row, at some point you just acknowledge that you're going to continue to be dramatically unlucky until you stop playing and mercifully leave that cursed city behind, right?
They'd need to go, what, 32-38 down the stretch to finish at 104.1 losses? (31.9-38.1, but you get the point.) That would be a pretty large change of fortunes.
re: Mike Wise: Has anyone told him that Native Americans aren't even offended by the term 'Redskins'? Because, you know, that's a fact.
Dan Steinberg: Lindsay Czarniak!
You know, this debate is right up there with the Vick and Favre stuff at this point. I was sorting through old Sports Illustrateds in preparation for this move, and I found the issue that has the famous poll about Native Americans and nicknames. I promptly put it back in storage, so I don't have the numbers handy. According to that survey, you could say that most Native Americans aren't offended. "Most" and "all" aren't quite the same thing. And people who find the name and imagery about icky are allowed to not like it on their own, regardless of what Native Americans think. Like, if certain men insisted on only talking about Lindsay Czarniak's looks, I think I'd be allowed to think that was demeaning to women, even though I'm not a woman, and even though many women may not object.
But whatever, this is one of the all-time Favriest of sports debates.
Chicago, Ill.: Why was there never a Nats Statue Fail? Those things in the outfield are just absolutely awful and every conversation I overheard this past weekend confirmed that I am not alone. Baseball fans don't want art - they want a simple statue of their heroes. Only the Nats can mess up something as simple as that.
Dan Steinberg: That was a big story at the beginning of the year, and our art critic went all pyscho on the statues, so I didn't feel the need. Plus, the FAIL thing didn't start until May I think, and now it's stale and boring and predictable and trite. Everyone's said so.
Having said all that.....the statues are only "eh" to me. I don't hate them. I don't loathe them. I don't love them, but I've kind of gotten used to them. I'm more outraged by the lack of veggie sausages than I am by those.
Abraham Polin: I am not leaving until i get another ring! And when I get my ring, Mr Dan you have to quit! Because you said so! How are you going to feed yourself then?
Dan Steinberg: Championship cake, duh.
I have a long list of things that would justify my quitting. Car accident? Mental anguish, get to quit. Wiz/Skins/Caps title run? Never gonna match the excitement, get to quit. Nats lose 162 straight? Never gonna match the pathos, get to quit.
Someone get him a dictionary: Arrington spoke often about quarterbacks throwing "heir apparent" passes. Either he forgot the word "errant" or these passes are soon to assume the roles/responsibilities of some yet undefined entity.
Dan Steinberg: No no, he was saying "air up there" passes. Not having heard this, I feel certain. Either that, or "Hair-app errand." That's when you go to the Apple store to get the new hair app. That must have beeen it.
Look, I've spent a decade listening to some guy on the other station say "in the same token," 17 times a day. I can take a few errant heir apparents.
Vienna, Va.: Please pass along my compliments to whomever wrote the masterful headline in today's print edition for the Nats game story: Welcome to the Bungle. That says it all.
Dan Steinberg: Maybe we could do one Guns and Roses headline each day from here through the end of the season. People would love it.
"Fail Away Sweet Sister"
"After Wet Spring, Nats Hope For September Reign"
Nothing but readers.
Washington, D.C.: You realize your obligation to doing this chats on vacation probably ends at like 45-60 minutes right? 2 hours might be a little excessive.
Dan Steinberg: You realize that as soon as I stop doing this, I have to start calling Pepco, Washington Gas, D.C. WASA, RCN and every other utility to start getting accounts transferred to a new address, right? Come back at 8 pm, I'll still be here.
Germantown, Md.: Worst management in DC:
Redskins: Under Snyder with Cerrato as his puppet playing fantasy football
Wizards: Abe Pollin/Ernie Grunfeld signing an often injured guard to a $111 million contract
Nats: Lerner/Kasten/Bowden where basically everything aside from the draft of Zimmerman, Zimmermann, and the signing of Dunn was a diasaster
Dan Steinberg: Say this for Daniel Snyder: Over the past two seasons, he has as many playoff appearances as the Wizards and Nats combined. If you're going to be sort of moderately fair and judge Daniel Snyder on his most recent past (and five years is a pretty decent sample size), the actual results on the field, which is what people supposedly care most about, haven't been horrific. They've been about average (few games below .500, two playoff appearances). Which won't satisfy the masses, granted, but is hardly cause for charges of wanton mismanagement. (That's come more in the PR bungles, ticket messes, etc, but people always say that W-L is what matters most).
And Gilbert wasn't really "often injured" at that point. He was severely injured, once, with a few indications that he was healthy. Ernie's way too close to the playoff successes with a franchise that usually has none for me to toss any accusations of mismanagement in his direction.
Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: Why do baseball announcers and writers use the world "scuffle" when they mean "struggle". I always hear, "So and so is really scuffling out there." Is this attributable to sports "reporters'" and ex-jocks' Norm Crosby-ish command of the English language?
Dan Steinberg: It's just a word. You lapse into those words when the people you're around use them constantly. I've actually said "he's going good" more times than I care to admit. Or used the word "tonight" to refer to an afternoon game. None of us talk that way in our normal lives.
Burke, Va.: Ah, the Nats. I found the article on the front page of the WaPo Saturday about fans just digging MLB and not worrying about the Nats record spot on. It is time for us to stop worrying about their lack of winning and time to just enjoy the rest of the season. A night at Nats Park is still quite enjoyable - outside, pleasant temps, good victuals and drink, and a chance to rub elbows with folk from all walks. I am glad we have a team, period. And the day will come when the winning will make a frequent appearance wherever the Nats play. I have heard it said, "Be really good, or really bad". Well, we have the second half of that equation going for us.
Dan Steinberg: It was a pretty great story, especially the quotes from Beimel/Harris. I've said similar things in the past, and been ripped by fans who want the media to breathe fire in the direction of the Lerners.
On the other hand, we've now had almost five years of "Yeah, this is pretty cool." The three-and-two stadium split has made it pretty cool throughout, but there has to be a point at which "yeah, this is pretty cool" sort of withers away. If someone put in a restaurant next to my house, and it turned out to be a tiny shack with no chairs selling nothing but Big Macs, apple pies and McCafe, I'd think it was pretty cool for a good long while, but eventually I'd hope they'd add something else. Vats of special sauce or something. I don't know.
Man, what am I doing here. I need to leave. Think of more questions for next week. It's the last week before the Redskins begin. That has to count for something.
Dan Steinberg: Oh, and one more thing:
That is all.
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