I have figured out the secret!

Super-secret formula to Nationals bullpen success: Begin game with arguably the greatest pitcher in baseball today, one Maxwell M. Scherzer, preferably on a night with his best stuff. Step two, have arguably the best hitter in the game today hit two home runs and lead the offense in scoring seven runs to establish 7-0 lead before surrendering to ‘pen.

Step three, hang on… tell Marlins Man to put down the cellphone and watch with us the curly W drawn up just as we planned it.

Nothin’ to it.

Clever obit is also prophetic

KILLEBREW, Patrick, “Pat,” age 68, passed away peacefully at home, June 20, 2017, after watching the Washington Nationals relief pitchers blow yet another lead.

So began Mr. Killebrew’s obituary listed this week in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Sometimes we alert one another to obituaries because we know the people involved… other times because they’re clever. (Sometimes because they’re just really well written.)

His obit ends with a plea to, in lieu of flowers, send donations to the Nationals Bullpen Fund.

You see yesterday’s game?

Guess they’re still in the raising money phase.

Date Lab provides some amusement

Every Sunday I read “Date Lab” in the Washington Post magazine insert, the story of a blind date arranged by the Post’s editors and reflected upon by its participants. (It’s usually good for a laugh or two.) This week’s edition is pretty light on substance but offers one delicious quote from “the girl.” Political affiliations invariably arise in these synopses, and this week’s bachelor says that though he is a Republican he voted for Hillary Clinton.

The girl: “I don’t think I’ve been on a date where someone hasn’t made a point to tell me they voted for Hillary.”



Save the date

Mark your calendars: the second annual Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence comes to the Sterling Community Center playground next Tuesday, July 4, 2017, at 11 a.m.

Details to follow.

Fargo Season Three Finale

Wednesday’s season finale of Fargo capped a dang good season, though its ultimate conclusion left me scratching my head. Not that I didn’t understand what occurred–just that, well, it was literally inconclusive. Maybe the producers thought they’d ruin it by offering one option or the other, but I’m not so sure. Still, though, I suppose one can pencil in the ending he or she likes, and that’s good enough for me. I’m generally someone who wants to see an interesting bad guy get away with it at the end (it is a TV show, after all, not real life), but here I’m not so sure. The person you really want to “get away with it” is Nikki (a.k.a. “the girl”), but–spoiler alert–none such luck. Either way, good season, Fargo folks. You may begin Season Four any time.

First day of summer

This day each year I usually make some comment here or elsewhere about the first day of summer. I suppose this year should be no different.

It’s always strange to think of June 21 as the first day of summer. It’s been 90 degrees here for a month and school turned to summer camp almost two weeks ago. I do appreciate the extra daylight, topping out today in the 20164 at nearly 15 hours, from a sunrise at 5:44 a.m. to sunset at 8:38 p.m.

Well, I appreciate the extra daylight on the later end. When I’ve got a boy encouraging me to get up at 5:44 I’m less enthused.


Baseball and economics don’t always mix

A page one story in the sports section of my local paper yesterday (that’s The Washington Post) describes a scenario we’ve seen far too many times: owners of ballteam threaten to move if they are not given taxpayer-financed stadium and/or various considerations unavailable to those footing the bill for said considerations.

The owner in question is Mr. Art Silber and the team is the Potomac Nationals, Class A affiliate and Virginia neighbor of the Washington Nationals. The P-Nats, as they are known around these parts, currently play their home games in a Class A dump known as Pfitzner Stadium. I have seen exactly one game at this park and one was enough. I consider myself a connoisseur of minor league stadia, and in my professional opinion this Woodbridge, Virginia, park is a joke. More than that it’s an expensive joke. They’re basically selling a high school-level product at major league prices. No wonder Minor League Baseball (capitals in original) has told Silber that the park “is not up to standards” (as quoted in the Post) and the team must find a new home by 2019.

Obviously the only other option is $35 million in new construction that the public should no doubt pay for, the only question being whether it should all be paid upfront or over decades and across generations.

Backers promote the “economic development” (quotes mine) that would surely stem from such an arrangement, magical money creation so advocated that one wonders why a 40 or 50 or 60 million dollar project might not better serve John Q. Public.

Opponents have found a public ally in Americans for Prosperity. The Post refers to the organization as one of the “special interest groups” weighing in on the matter. (Question I used to pose in my political science classes: What’s the difference between an interest group and a special interest group? A special interest group is the one you disagree with.) The Post pulls no punches, calling out those “conservative” financiers David and Charles Koch and their “informational campaign.” I do like the phrase the Post attributes to them: “corporate welfare for a private baseball team is a bad play for taxpayers.”

One economic analysis referenced in the article notes that the average minor league ballpark draws 81 percent of its funding from the public sector. Ouch. And I love baseball. Silber says that since he intends to repay Prince William County, the proposal “is essentially privately funded.”

I’ve got a ballpark I’d like to sell ya…

Prince William County voters head to the polls tomorrow for a referendum on whether to allow county residents to decide in November whether they approve bonds for the project. (Yes, you read that right: voting on whether they’re going to vote for it.) It’s unclear exactly how much money is involved and where it’s all coming from, but I’ve got a suggestion where it should come from and how much the taxpayers should put up.

Hint: one of them is the owners of the team and the other is a round number.

Like locusts

As the Nats’ bullpen woes pause momentarily they seem to have spread across the country to a ballpark in Oakland, California, infesting my beloved New York Yankees and brining an ominous portend to the weekend.

Thanks, guys, for making me feel right at home regardless of team, time, or time zone.

Life goals

1.) Go to Tony Kornheiser’s restaurant, Chatter, to have breakfast and hear live taping of TK show podcast. Check.

2.) Meet Tony and joke about Binghamton. Check.

3.) Have original composition played on the air announced by Mr. Tony. Check.

4.) Die happy. Many decades from now.

An oldie but a goodie

There’s a great unintended (I think) two-liner on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post.

The headline on the above-the-fold story reads: “No racial bias in opioid deaths.”

Subhead: “Toll among minorities rising.”

Reminds me of an old joke…

An earthquake destroy the entire state of California, killing every single person. Headline in the New York Times the next day: Earthquake destroys entire state of California. Subhead: Women and minorities hardest hit.