Category Archives: Natosphere

NatsTown Appreciation

As I sat grumbling and fuming that it had taken me an hour to reach the Roosevelt Bridge Wednesday evening on my commute home from DC only to be greeted by yet another mysterious traffic backup, a funny thing happened. I called home to say I’d be late for dinner (no worries, traffic wasn’t moving) and then began looking around to see where a robotic voice was coming from. I spotted it in a Smart car next to me – and immediately recognized the driver as Colleen, one of the ‘parents’ of the infamous rally monkey, “Curly Washington”. We had a little happy NatsTown reunion on an on-ramp after she hung up from calling home as well. After swapping photos of each other stuck in traffic on Facebook, the whole thing got me thinking about interaction among fans beyond cheering for the hometown team as the season races to another semi-depressing close.

There are a lot of recurring characters in NatsTown and I’m thrilled to know and consider myself friends with many of them. Some are other bloggers, both established from the beginning and joining the Natosphere later down the road. More and more these days those friends are regular die-hard team-supporting fans, and I suppose that’s due in large part to Twitter and Facebook. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year meeting fans face to face, which has been a pleasure. “Been a pleasure” sounds like a cliched phrase and doesn’t quite sum up how much NatsTown feels like a family that expands each year, with each member possessing their own unique quirks and shticks.

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Biggest BBOTB Yet!

Is that awesome or what?! Thanks Bob and silent Rob!

I want to thank everyone for coming out last night and sweltering through record-breaking heat to watch another barn loss. I really thought the Nats were going to win through the first four innings. Michael Morse – two homeruns and a 5-1 lead! Who knew it would all fade away? You’d think I’d know by know no lead is ever completely safe. And please don’t say the shout-out was the jinx, even though it came at the turning point of the game. (thanks to Gary from OnFrozenBlog for capturing the video above too – and the baseball cookies!)

Barn nights are not about who wins or loses, but the shared experience of cheering or snarking as if we have our own little section at the ballpark. Ok, who am I kidding? A win would be really nice!

Many regulars and new faces contributed to a rush hour look to my driveway for the first time ever. Glad some of you got over being shy and came out, particularly the “faceless guy” who gave me a BP jersey, which worked phenomenally to swab at sweat and was thick enough to dissuade potential blood sucking mosquitoes. Also glad to meet a faithful twitter follower whose kids provided my daughter the chance to play hostess and remain entertained!

The coiner of the “Clipp n Save” phrase also honored us with his attendance while another barn viewer wore the t-shirt. Very cool! WFY’s son seems a year older every time I see him! Oh, wait… I think he is!

I’m not going to name everyone was who attended to protect the identities of the innocent… but don’t you wish you came now? Last chance this season will be October 1st when the Nationals face the Mets at the end of the season. It also happens to be Mr. Chatter’s birthday. That’s gotta earn a barn win right there, right? But thank you all for coming out and making the night fun!

p.s. thanks for the leftover beer, but whoever left the sippy cup is welcome to reclaim it!

But I’ve Got The Biggest…

Blogs With Balls panelists
Amy K. Nelson (ESPN), Mike Hall (NESN), Jeff Pyatt (Real Clear Sports), Jeff Pearlman (SI), Dan Steinberg (WaPo), Bethlehem Shoals (FreeDarko)

Yeah, you know how that line ends and the song keeps sticking in my head as I write a recap of “Blogs With Balls 1.0”. Actually, I don’t have the biggest of them all, clearly. It’s probably a good thing I have none of those dangly somewhat spherical objects at all, as I’ve been straddling a fence (hopefully not picket) over the last couple years; an awkward, fascinating, challenging place to hang out. See, when it comes to this here blog, I don’t really consider myself media – in fact, I’m never quite sure what to consider myself and I’ve given up trying to define my role. I’ve told Kasten I’m not media, yet later, Mr. Chatter pointed out I write, take photographs (some published), appear on TV and radio – in other words, the very definition of media. But I’m not fully credentialed and have fought my way to respectability and limited access. Yet I work in media, if only on the back end where I’m relatively invisible, because I actually love media and aspire to being as good as the rest, whether that’s writing, doing videos, or taking sports photos. To punctuate the whole straddling thing, my nametag had my workplace on it instead of my blog!

I absolutely was not going to pass up attending the first organized sports blogger conference in NYC this past weekend. The event felt rather historic and I wanted to be a part of it. Also, Dan Steinberg was slated to be a panelist in the “Why We Hate You – The Media’s Take” panel and I was curious to hear what that panel would entail from my perspective on both sides of the fence. Finally, I was really looking forward to the networking aspect. Covering a single team in a single sport really tends to leave one hidden from the rest of the sports world. And I am a sports blogger, after all, so I was kind of surprised when the first thing Steinberg asked upon seeing me was, “What are you doing here?” (enter stereotypical interweb-speak LOL) I quickly borrowed a sharpie and corrected my nametag. Continue reading But I’ve Got The Biggest…

MASN Blogger Night

[ Photoset ] Ok, so that doesn’t look like night, does it? That’s because the event was originally scheduled for April 13th, which was rained out, so took place during the rescheduled day game of a day/night doubleheader on Saturday, May 16th. Other ballparks and sports venues have held blogger nights, so I was thrilled MASN set one up for the Nationals. We were treated to tours of the television broadcast booth, production trailer, Nats X-tra set, and also received lengthy special guest visits from Ray Knight, Johnny Holliday, Ben Goessling from the Washington Times, Pete McElroy from MASN, Chartese Burnett and Lisa Pagano.

The crowd has changed a bit over the years and there were some people missing, of course (NTP Nate, WFY, Ian Koski, etc…). Brian from Nats Farm Authority, Chris Needham formerly of Capital Punishment (now NBC), and I were the only originals. Chris from Nationals Enquirer joined us as well, but we hadn’t met before. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Harris from Nats Fanboy Looser (who was also on Nats Insider on the radio later). His insights on being in and getting out of the media life and becoming a fan (not necessarily related) are fascinating. Also in attendance were Dave and Cheryl from Nats News Network, Screech’s Best Friend and the African Queen from Nats320, Stephanie and Kristen from We’ve Got Heart, Ed from Federal Baseball, Steve from Fire Jim Bowden, and Todd Webster from MASN. No fights or verbal fisticuffs broke out! Luckily, we were having such a good time socializing, we didn’t pay much attention to the game. Scott Olsen had a rough outing, had an MRI after the game which found something old but nothing new. He received a cortisone shot and will be placed on the DL Monday with Detwiler called up to start.

It was interesting to see how the facilities and equipment have changed since two years ago at RFK when I covered the broadcasting then (photoset).

Many thanks to Todd and Kristen for setting this up and keeping our bellies full (great beer-stocked fridge and even a dessert cart! They know how to please teh bloggerz!)! Great time!

Photos after the jump: Continue reading MASN Blogger Night