The Nats take Stephen Strasburg.
That’s big news, in the same way that “Adam Lambert Is Gay!” was big news yesterday. (Kudos to whoever wrote the headline for the Lambert story in Strasburg’s local paper: “Adam Lambert Says He’s Gay; Also, Sun Rises in East”)
And anti-kudos to the headline Sports Illustrated gave its baseball draft story: “Nats’ days as laughingstock may be over with Strasburg on board.”
Who wrote that? The “Mission Accomplished!” guy?
Strasburg, “on board?” The Nationals have a recent and sordid history of not signing their top draft picks. Aaron Crow, the kid who sat out a year rather than sign with the Nats last year, remember, was still available last night when Washington used their second first-round pick. And if the Lerners think Crow’s people played hardball, wait till Strasburg’s agent, Scott Boras, starts not talking. Boras knows the Lerners credibility tank is on E since the Crow debacle. And he won’t sign for anything less than a record amount for a draftee, because, well, Scott Boras breaks records.
Speaking of records: After the draft party, the Nats dropped another one, 3-2 to the Reds. That puts Washington at 15-41, that’s a 119-loss pace and leaves the Nats 12 games out of second to last place in the NL East.
Bottom line: The Nats days as a laughingstock ain’t over!
Hultzen went 9-1 for Virginia this season.
More impressively: He went 2-for-4 against the Nats top draft pick, Steve Strasburg, a week ago in UVa’s NCAA playoff game against San Diego State.
Clearly, if the Nats could only get Hultzen onboard, their days as a laughingtock would be over.
Orlando’s win over the Lakers last night means Abe Pollin will continue to hold a Biggest Loser sorta record for a while longer. The Magic had lost seven straight NBA Finals games before topping L.A.
Pollin’s Baltimore and Washington Bullets lost nine in a row in the 1970s.
Awesome trivia about those Bullets teams: They made the NBA Finals FOUR TIMES in the decade. FOUR TIMES!
And, of course, the Bullets actually won one, in 1978. Awesome trivia about that win that can’t be written enough: Only nine teams, one of which doesn’t even exist anymore, have celebrated championships in the 31 years since Pollin held the trophy over his head in a locker room in Seattle. The NBA titlists club is by far the hardest clique to break into of all the major sports. It’s for repeat offenders, for sure. The list of post-Bullets winners:
Los Angeles Lakers — eight titles
Chicago Bulls — six titles
Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs – four titles
Detroit Pistons — three titles
Houston Rockets — two titles
Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Seattle SuperSonics — one title apiece
That’s it. So 22 of the NBA’s current 30 teams, or slightly more than 73 percent of the squads, have never had a parade.
So, thanks for ’78, Abe! Me and Art Thiel remember!
Seattle sportswriter Art Thiel recently wrote a column recollecting the Bullets’ last trip to the finals, a five-game loss to the Supersonics. Thiel used the memories to blame the game of pro basketball for the town’s loss of interest in the NBA.
“[T]he NBA game that the Sonics so splendidly expressed in those two seasons, is no longer,” Thiel wrote. “A form of the pro hoops championship will again be available starting this week between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic. Individual players on each side will be remarkable, and the outcomes and series may be close, but the game itself will be a shadow.”
Watching all the Kobe Bryant clearouts and LeBron James clearouts, and sitting through the last minutes of the two most recent Lakers/Magic games, which took forever even without the premature confetti, I kept thinking about how little there is to quibble with Thiel’s geezerly whine. For crissakes, NBA telecasts used to be two hours for a 48-minute game; the game’s still 48 minutes, but the telecasts take closer to four hours. How?
John Feinstein, the Garth Brooks of sportswriting, has another book. “Are You Kidding Me?” is about the Tiger Woods/Rocco Mediate duel in the 2008 U.S. Open. Feinstein is to Father’s Day what 1-800-Flowers is to funerals. He’s got something for the occasion.
More in today’s Washington Post on the rumors that WJFK will soon switch to sports talk. Can’t be good news for Dan Snyder, who has had a monopoly on the genre since buying WTEM, also known as Sportstalk-980 and ESPN-980, last year.
That purchase, like all of Snyder’s Red Zebra radio operation, seems to be a disaster.
Though WTEM is the most listened to frequency in Snyder’s stable of low-watt, low-rated sports stations, it’s only the 19th most popular station in the DC market, according to the Post piece. The other stations Snyder owns don’t attract a big enough audience to even garner a rating.
I’m beginning to wonder if Snyder is really rich.
Can this market support multiple sports stations? Stay tuned! No, really! Stay tuned! It’s ok to use the “Stay tuned!” kicker in a radio story!
This year, a third youth triathlon camp, at Benning Park Community Center, will join the existing camps at Turkey Thicket and Kenilworth Parkside Rec Centers.
McDonald’s is the primary sponsor. Face it: Nothing fights our country’s youth obesity epidemic quite like a McFlurry and fries.
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