“Washington pounced for five runs in the first inning against Rays “opener” left-hander Jonny Venters to cruise to an 11-2 victory Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park. Anthony Rendon, who turned 28 on Wednesday, collected four hits, and Michael A. Taylor had three as they drove in three runs apiece. Rookie Juan Soto reached base three times and scored a pair of runs.”
I also found the link to the Post story on the first Nats game we attended last year – a Trea Turner walk-off home run, giving us our first win of the eventually magical year. Turner would soon break his finger, and the bullpen that struggled through the opening series of the season (the names! the memories!) would not get much better for a long time. I still have trouble believing it.
As we head into the new season this week, the Post catches up with the departed Dusty Baker. We loved him for lots of reasons, but his love of the District was one.
“The education level, the mind-set, the diversity,” he says. “That was the first time I found myself eavesdropping on other people’s conversations because I couldn’t believe how many different ethnic groups there were. They would look white and talk German, or look black and talk French. I liked that atmosphere. I liked the town — a lot.”
This anti-snoring solution that has made the 2017 list of Oprah’s favorite things. The device listens to snoring and then inflates under your pillow as you sleep, pushing your head around until the snoring stops. The video is great.
This $200 toaster that says “TOAST” on the side. How else will you know what to do with the machine? But the idea of clamps for holding bread slices is great. I say this as someone who’s recently been toasting mini-English muffins.
Before the game, Nationals Manager Dusty Baker — going out of his way to point out that he is a non-Catholic, and therefore not necessarily qualified to say so — speculated that Wieters is spending this month in purgatory. Purgatory, in Baker’s baseball-driven mind, is that place where a hitter is “behind the fastball and ahead of the curveball.” In other words, no man’s land.
Simultaneously celebrating baseball, spring, and my dad’s birthday and retirement, we couldn’t have asked for a better Opening Day. We go every year, and the weather has almost never been warm and sunny. The concession lines may have been a mess, but the box score was just fine.
“I was the best third baseman in baseball, young lady. I was as good a third baseman as you’re going to find anywhere. I could throw from here on a bunted ball, charge it, pick it up, boom, get it over to Joe Judge at first.
“I’d like to do it again,” he says. “Yessir. I’d like to do it again. There’s a time when you’re out there playing day in and day out and you wonder when the hell it’s going to end. You get a little tired.”
Here’s a find of Lori’s, when a call she got at the bookstore sent her Googling. Great baseball writer Jane Leavy — her Koufax book is sitting on my bookshelf — talks to former Washington Senators star Ossie Bluege in 1985 when he was 84 years old. I’d never heard before of Bluege. Couldn’t put the story down.
Twenty items! When you’re hot, you’re hot. Can you believe it? The Nats have 20 St. Patrick’s Day-themed items for sale this year, which I’m pretty sure is a world record for number of Nats St. Patrick’s Day-themed items.
And I should know because I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who’s been tracking such totals for years. Not every year, mind you, so I could be wrong. But most years, and good luck finding anyone to prove me wrong.
None of the Nats gear is particularly great-looking this year, and the same holds true for the rest of the major leagues. They’ve gone long on green, and beyond March 17, you can go too long to green. Also, across the rest of the league, enormous logos. But there’s some good heather-green stuff, a couple quality heather gray and dark gray uses, a solid mention of the Green Monster, a terrifying Phillies leprechaun, and a Blue Jays hat that will be popular with marijuana enthusiasts.
In related news, literally walking the walk, I’ve been wearing my green Nats hat on the walk to work a bunch recently. In need of a haircut, but failing that require daily hair-flattening. We all have to do what we need to do to get by. But beyond hair-flattening, the green makes me happy. Spring is coming.