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Miss Chatter: Nats Fall After Bloody Pregame Omen

Miss Chatter: Nats Fall After Bloody Pregame Omen

Thursday, May 21, 2010 1:30pm

By Miss Chatter
CSNwashington.com

Foreshadowing of the game to come? Competing for the most buzz against last night's shockingly bloody Grey's Anatomy? Just what happened in last night's 10-7 loss to the Mets? Those among other questions like how did the Nats drop from 2nd in the NL East to 4th so quickly are rattling through my brain today.

Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner has been known to shag balls in the outfield of Nationals Park during batting practice on occasion decked out in a full Nats uniform (photos). Reactions to this practice have varied among fans from shocked embarrassment and laughter to envy and understanding. Some fans expect their team's owner to emote a stiff suit presence, not play with the team like a kid. Others say heck, that's what they'd do if they owned an MLB team! Of course, none of those others are rich or connected enough to actually buy an MLB franchise, I presume. My first thought when I heard the news he needed stitches last night after missing a fly ball was a simple "awesome" because, well, how often do you hear of such a thing happening?

While Lerner was chasing down balls in the outfield prior to last night's game, things went horribly wrong. According to Adam Kilgore at Nationals Journal:

Standing in right field, where the sun made it difficult to see, Lerner settled under a fly ball. The ball barely glanced off his glove and drilled Lerner, 56, on the bridge of his nose, right between the eyes.

"I've never seen blood gush that fast out of someone," said one Nationals player.

Squick! While I of course wouldn't wish harm on anyone just for an entertaining story, I'm happy to report I've heard Lerner is fine. Now he also has his own entertaining story to tell. I've Googled and Googled (well, after being temporarily sidetracked by PacMan) and can't turn up any other examples of owners playing on the field in full uniform. If you know of any, please do share! I'm going to go ahead and guess that Mr. Lerner wasn't wearing the athletic spec stylings of Tyler Clippard or Luis Atilano.

Not that the specs helped Atilano much. He left the mound rather unceremoniously before completing the fifth inning after giving up 7 runs. One of those runs was unearned due to an error. Last night was in fact a comedy of errors, concluding with Ryan Zimmerman's cleat getting caught on the edge of the sod on the infield, causing him to fall during an otherwise easy (for him) play. Even manager Jim Riggleman felt for the fans, stating in his postgame interview, "I feel bad that the fans who came out here and saw us play bad, because the fans have been great," ... "I wish they had seen us play good baseball."

Unlike the Braves, who managed to win yesterday on a walk-off grand slam after being down by 8 runs against Cincinnati at one point, the Nats couldn't get the job done in a similar situation in the 8th. Thinking about the Braves game still gave me a glimmer of hope. Coming back late from so far down can be done and Dunn was the perfect batter to make it happen. While it wouldn't have been a walk-off and would have tied rather than put the Nats ahead, Dunn powering one out at that point would have turned the game around and made the fans who left regret the decision. Instead, he flew out and the spark died.

Watching the standings had become a new regular activity of mine while the Nats kept jockeying for second place in the NL East. First they fought it out with the Mets and landed on top. The Marlins crept in to share the spot with the Nats for a while. Since then, the Nats slipped down to fourth and the Braves stealthily moved into second, slotting the Marlins into third and the Mets last. I just knew the Braves team couldn't be discounted this early in the season.

Now the Nationals begin interleague play with the Orioles, possessing a far worse record at 13-29. With the bloodshed of yesterday behind them, hopefully the Nats can take all three games in the series and begin clawing their way back up the standings list or standings-watching will have been a short-lived new hobby of mine. Scott Olsen, "the kid from Crystal Lake", as the Marlins announcers said when they were in Florida (tickled me since I'm from there as well), goes on the mound tonight and has pitched solidly lately. But please, anybody not covered under the CBA, stay off the field. That might have been the bad luck that set the tone for the game.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

gruden_otas_ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 24, 64 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

What Jay Gruden and Alex Smith had to say from the podium

After yesterday’s OTA practice, Alex Smith and Jay Gruden took the podium. Here are some of their quotes and my comments on them:

Smith was asked about getting together with his new teammates:

So I think every guy these last two days has enjoyed just getting back out there and losing yourself in the game, right? To be limited, it does make you miss it, and I think it makes you appreciate it, so that’s been nice. 

Comment: This is a guy who loves football and everything that goes with it. Smith would start playing games tomorrow if they were scheduled.

Gruden was asked how Smith has looked in these first two days of OTAs:

He’s got good command of the offense already. Great command in the huddle. He’s just getting a feel for the receivers, the players around him, how we call things, but overall, the first two days, I would say I’m very pleased with his quick progression and learning. I knew that wouldn’t be an issue with as much as he’s played in a similar-style system.

Comment: It did seem that Smith was in sync with his receivers, Jamison Crowder in particular. He and Paul Richardson connected on a deep pass after giving each other a look at the line of scrimmage. The encouraging thing is that he is coming from a similar offensive system, so the learning curve should not be too long. 

Smith had a great analogy when asked about similarities to the offenses he has run:

Both from West Coast worlds, so it’s kind of like they are all Latin-based languages, you know, but they are not the same. There are some similarities, structure of the playbook, of how we call things, things like that. There are a lot of similarities but it’s not the same language. I guess that’s the best analogy I can make

Comment: If terminology is the biggest obstacle for Smith to overcome it will be a smooth transition for him. 

Gruden was impressed with the running backs. 

“I’ll tell you what, just today in general, you could see the competition. You could see Rob Kelley step up. Samaje Perine’s had a couple big days. Byron Marshall, I mean, he had a couple great routes today. He’s running the ball between the tackles. [Kapri] Bibbs had some big runs yesterday. Obviously, Derrius Guice has come in here and fueled the fire a little bit.

Comment: I think that the Redskins are going to have to release some good running backs. Rob Kelly never really earned the nickname “Fat Rob” but he looked particularly lean and quick running the ball. He wants nothing to do with being on the roster bubble. Marshall moved quickly and showed his speed. Although Gruden wouldn’t say it, Guice clearly was the best of the bunch; his ability to change direction while maintaining his speed will serve him well. It must be noted that they are not in pads and not getting tackled so more definitive opinions will have to wait until we are in Richmond for a few days. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 19
—Training camp starts (7/26) 64
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 78

The Redskins last played a game 144 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 108 days. 

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NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are the only two hockey teams left standing and will meet to decide the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup champion.

The Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, shocked the NHL world, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets to become the first team in major American professional sports history to reach the championship game in the franchise's first season.

The Capitals and Golden Knights met twice during the regular season, with Vegas coming out on top in both games. The Golden Knights blanked the Caps 3-0 in the Caps' first trip to Sin City, and bested the Caps 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Feb. 4.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and is available to be streamed online by using the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Washington will broadcast pre and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights,  with Caps FaceOff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Golden Knights puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game. 

2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL HOW TO WATCH

Game 1: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 3: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 4: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Sunday, June 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, June 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)
 

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