This just in: Our Amazin’ Nats are a national punchline. First the Wall Street Journal used the team’s woes in the lede of its Sonia Sotomayor hearings coverage, comparing the hopelessness of being a Republican senator with the hopelessness of being a Nat.

Then President Barack Obama, in the broadcast booth during the All-Star telecast, told the country that because of parity fans of all teams still remained hopeful that this season would turn out OK. Then he threw in a caveat: Except fans of the Nationals.

Obama clearly enjoyed his Nats takedown, smiling and looking around the booth for support.

But Fox announcer Tim McCarver reacted as if POTUS had told another Special Olympics joke. McCarver stayed stonefaced and silent and stared straight ahead. It was fabulous TV for everybody.

Except, you know, for fans of the Nationals.

AFTER THE JUMP: Czarniak and Rieger pile on? Tim Lincecum = Mitch Kramer? All-Star Do-Gooder Still Never a Bullet? Beer is bad at parties? Fight, fight in the comments section? Joe Gibbs Comes Back to D.C.?


The locals got in on the slam act, too. Last night’s WRC-TV sports report ended with Lindsay Czarniak pointing out that the National League hasn’t won an All-Star Game since 1996.

“Must be something about the name ‘National,'” said anchorwoman Wendy Rieger with a big laugh.

And as the show cut to commercial, Czarniak could be heard saying “Good one!”

Fifteen yards, piling on!


It can’t be said enough: National League starter Tim Lincecum looks just like Mitch Kramer, the ballplaying kid from Dazed and Confused. He’s my favorite pitcher of all time.

Mitch, that is.


O what a tangled web we weave…A story from GateHouse News Service in Braintree, Mass., about the pregame All-Star ceremony, in which all living U.S. presidents honored folks who won a People magazine poll about our nation’s most charitable folks, identified honoree Rob Dixon as a “former Washington Bullets guard who left the NBA in 1983.”

Oh, really? The Wizards organization, keepers of the Washington Bullets records, says there is no record that Rob Dixon ever played for the Bullets.

But Dixon, who runs a group that puts disadvantaged kids in college, added some run with the Bullets to his bio while trying to get voted in by People readers.

This sort of resume puffery really makes me mad, since I’ve so rarely mentioned my stints as goalie for the Washington Capitals or my tours as a Beatle.


Brad Young, a high school softball coach in Walkersville, Md., has been canned by county officials because a kid’s parent brought beer to a postseason team party, and another parent ratted on him to the county.

From the WTTG-TV report:

It was a cookout around Brad Young’s backyard swimming pool on June 11 celebrating the end of a winning season.

“And one parent brought some beers to the party. A couple of people had those— probably no more than five or six,” said Young. “No kid was uncomfortable. No kid had access to it. No kid drank. No parent got more than probably one or two beers. I did not drink.”

But another parent called the Frederick County School Board, which tells FOX 5, “The incident in question took place at what is considered an official team function.”

In my day, a coach’s job would only be in jeopardy if he threw a team party and didn’t have enough beer — for kids and parents.


Fighter Jimmy Lange, profiled in last week’s Cheap Seats column, is getting called out in the comments section of Boxing Along the Beltway, a fabulous local boxing site. Fans and handlers of fellow light middleweight George Rivera are talking up Rivera and talking down Lange in hopes of forcing a fight between the two.

Lange, the most popular fighter in the D.C. market by way of his appearance on the NBC reality show, The Contender, and his well-attended and -received shows at the Patriot Center, needs a fight, now that North Carolina boxing regulators refused to sanction his scheduled July 25 bout with Jimmy LeBlanc (record: 12–16–4, with 10 of the losses coming in his last 12 fights).

I’d never heard of George Rivera before this. But the back and forth between the Rivera side and the Lange side is enough to make me wanna see these guys go at it.


Not just a thought, a sermon: Joe Gibbs will appear at Lon Solomon‘s McLean Bible Church to promote his faith and his latest book, Game Plan for Life.


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