The last time a major league baseball team from Washington, D.C., played in the World Series was 1933. I must have been about six years old at the time. Wait, actually no, that was way the heck before I was even born! Yeah, seriously, it has been a while, but my hometown team, the Washington Nationals, are headed to the World Series. Last night’s victory over the St. Louis Cardinals completed a four-game sweep that featured some of the most dominant pitching this side of Walter Johnson.
There are simply no words for this.
Among the Nationals, Yankees, Redskins, and Fighting Irish this weekend I was happy with the result five out of six times. That’s pretty good, although come on, let’s face it, one of those was a shoo-in. (Amazingly it was the previously 0-5 Redskins. Gruden’s gotta be hating the fact he was fired the week before a cupcake opponent.)
The one blemish on my record occurred late last night, as the Houston Astros defeated the Yankees 3-2 in 11 innings and nearly five hours of game time. I did want the Yankees to win, of course, though I’ll admit I’m a bit nervous about this. Certainly I want my hometown team to be in the World Series as well (and seriously… winning two games in St. Louis?… who saw that coming?!). Having the Yankees play the Nats in the World Series would be for me like choosing between Mom and Dad. Or as Frank Sinatra once called it, choosing between steak and ice cream.
Peanut butter or jelly? These are tough choices.
Either way, just keep giving me five hours of great baseball every night and I’ll be happy.
Is that asking too much?
This is how it’s done.
Pretty soon we’re gonna start calling this place Title Town. Caps last year, Mystics last night!, and the Nats, apparently, we’ll on their way. You don’t win a game like Wednesday’s Game Five without having destiny on your side.
And tonight we let the games begin!
If you’d asked me at any point during the season if I’d take a one-game, winner-take-all shot against the Dodgers to move to the NLCS, I’d have said yes, I’d take it.
So today, yes, I’ll take it.
Every so often I come across a book that’s 10, 20, or 67 years old that somehow I’ve never read. Invariably it’ll be great, and I’ll want to tell people about it. But I’ll look like an idiot because everyone else read the book 10 years ago.
Well, at the risk of sounding out of touch, let me recommend a work about 30 years old, written in part by one Rebecca M. Dale. Dale spent some years compiling a “best of,” so to speak, of the writings of E.B. White, presenting them in book form. Each of the pieces appeared originally in The New Yorker, ranging from the ’20s (making them nearly 100 years old!) to the ’60s. The book is called E.B. White: Writings from The New Yorker 1925-1976. (If you’re still scratching your head about E.B. White… ever hear of Charlotte’s Web? Yes? How about Strunk and White? Well, he’s White.)
The thing I love about the book is that it’s basically a blog, decades before anyone knew what a blog was. Even Dale’s presentation predates the “blog” format as we know it now.
More than looking and sounding like a blog, it sounds like this blog. Most of the pieces are simply a paragraph or two of thought-provoking pith. (Along with a word or a reference you have to look up.) Generally the last line is some version of a stinger, an amusing line probably referencing the title.
In short, I recommend this book.
Those of you outside the state of Virginia may not be familiar with Sugar Shack Donuts. (Yeah, you hear that name and you like it already.) Probably a little more fancy than you’re thinking, and a little more expensive, but worth every penny. These doughnuts aren’t just for breakfast and cops. These are the doughnuts you have at your wedding. The pride of Richmond, Sugar Shack has a dozen locations in the Old Dominion State (and one in D.C.), most recently the Lansdowne section of Leesburg. Recent as in, like, yesterday, with a grand opening several years in the making.
I’d seen advertisements for the opening online and in the weekly rag I pick up for free at our local Harris Teeter (still beats the Post). Thursday, October 3, 8 a.m., free doughnuts to the first 50 customers.
You had me at free.
I should say that “free” for me includes not waiting in line, so I knew going in it was a gamble. My plan was to show up about 8:03 and see whether I was among the first 50. This is D.C. Everybody works, and everybody gets to work early. I have the benefit of not needing to be at work until 8:30, so two minutes at the doughnut shop directly on my way I can do.
I pulled into the lot. A couple dozen people I would say outside the door. Okay, good. But it’s 8:03; why are they not inside?
As I approach I see the problem. Far from getting free doughnuts, these 20 or 30 people are… listening to speeches from politicians! Politicians… news folks… giant ribbon-cutting scissors. Ack! Where am I, Binghamton? Is that Tom Libous over there?
Waiting for the speeches to finish makes these doughnuts not free. I left doughnutless.
I rarely use the word “Binghamtonian” positively.
This isn’t one of those times either.
Okay, scrap the thing you’d written, because this night changed in a hurry. Four outs from elimination, my hometown Washington Nationals, a team known for its postseason futility, puts up three runs in the bottom of the eighth (against Josh Hader, no less), to steal the NL Wild Card game from the Milwaukee Brewers. Straight theft: no other way to describe it. Wow.
They don’t call it the wild card for nothin’.
The final day of the regular season in Major League Baseball is always an interesting one. There are a couple or at most a few teams jockeying for playoff position, while the rest of the games… mean jack.
Or do they?
In dozens of markets around the country, the fate of Monday’s supper rests in the hands of the local nine! Will your team win and score enough runs to trigger the 50% off coupon code at Papa John’s the following day?
In Washington, Sunday, my hometown Nationals defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-2. Meaningless game my foot! Tonight it’s pizza time!
Half-price pizza time! Woot!
As a social scientist I am often asked whether there is anything in the American Constitution I would change. Yes. There is one. A grammatical error in the first sentence has bothered me for 230 years.
In order to form a more perfect union. More perfect? This is even worse than “one small step for man.” How about better union? Or go for gold and say perfect union?
That would be better.
It’s three months until Christmas Day, officially, but if you’ve been to Costco, Big Lots, or really any big retailer recently you know that the Christmas season is well upon us. Cue up the yule log and Charlie Brown because Christmastime is here. Yes, it’ll still hit 90 degrees a few more days this week, but that’s sort of beside the point, no?