Monday, May 19, 2008

JON FREAKING LESTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Promising young pitching prospect to cancer survivor to starter in the World Series clinching game to we ain't trading him and others for Johan Santana to a no hitter! Freaking amazing, huh? Wow! I put the game on radio as the eighth inning began and I learned about the no no in progress. I talked to nobody, turned off my cell phone, and didn't want to be around anyone since I didn't want to jinx it. Yeah, I know I have no control over something that happens 500 miles away but I'm superstitious.

Needless to say, Jon Lester's whole career has been a story that's out of this world, and this is another amazing story within the story. Beyond awesome! What else can I say other than right now, May 19, 2008, it is Jon Lester's World, we are just guests in it. Red Sox 7, Royals 0, NO HITTER, BABY!!!

4 out of the last 6 in the AL have been thrown by Red Sox pitchers (D Lowe, Bucholtz, Hideo Nomo). Who would have thunk it?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I survived the most recent apocalypse

Yeah, on May 12, I wore a ski cap on the way to work in Washington, DC. That's what a 40 degree morning with off and on torrential downpours will do to you. But I survived, flooding could have been worse, and it will keep drying out over the next couple days.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Trail Running Still Rules!

Today I went trail running for the first time since I moved here from Colorado. I had taken it up as a side hobby in my last year out there, but haven't found any trails to run on here. Well, I found some but forgot my trail running shoes, I wasn't going to wear road running shoes on an off-road trail because I need the stronger grip that trail runners offer. The group that I run with via Pacers Running Stores decided to do a trail run today, with hopes that it could be incorporated into the routine on a monthly basis. Today? Big success!

Eight of us went down to Prince William Forest Park, near the Marine Corps Musuem in Quantico. Click on View Map, and we ran from parking Spot H north on High Meadows Trail, right on Taylor Farm Road, right on South Valley Trail along the creek (we saw a creaky old wooden bridge that I my 200 lb butt wouldn't get on and the remants of an old camp swimming pool, complete with ladder steps!), right on Mawavi road, then along the road to get back to the cars. This run was awesome! Small hills which required some climbing, a couple of nice decents, and not a ridiculous amount of leaves and broken branches to dodge. There were some thorn bushes that we needed to move out of the way, but it was all good.

Since you always have to look towards the ground when trail running so you won't trip up on a tree root or loose rock, you are not going to get the same minutes/mile times that you will on road courses. But who cares! Trail running is about getting further away from it all, breaking the occasional monotony of road running, really getting outside beyond the city, and experiencing a different running challenge. Today was one of the best runs I have experienced since I took it up seriously in 12/06. I rediscovered how much fun it is to run on a true trail. I'm not even going to lament how gas prices will likely prevent me from going out to a trail run more than once a month (I live at least 15 miles from any parks with long enough trails to make it worthwhile), I'm just going to revel in a great, great run. I can't wait for the one next month.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

But if he was stoned, he must have done it. Whatever.

Okay, since I really have no life, I was reducing to just browsing sports web pages to see if there was anything of not I missed about anything. Mike D'Antoni the Knicks new head coach? Not news. As long as stephon marbury is still on the team, I can laugh at them at will. Now if David Lee gets traded to Phoenix as compensation, that would be news as that would supposedly cause Knick fans to blow a couple million gaskets. Jonathan Papelbon blowing two games in the ninth inning? Concerning news, but even the best miss them once in a while, besides he had help from Julio Lugo on Wednesday. Cautions early in the NASCAR race at Darlington? Not news, I guess that happens about 25 times a race there. Tomas Holmstrom taking a diving penalty? Definitely not news. O.J. Simpson confessed to the murder while baked off his skull?..............

Remember O.J. Simpson? If I did it? Well, fourteen years after he allegedly killed his wife and her friend, if he did it, a former manager of something O.J. did, or something like that, claims in a book that O.J. confessed that not if, he did do it, after he was acquitted. Oh wonderful, if the media is like I think they are, if I turn on the radio next week, I'll hear about this. If this book actually hits shelves, we get to hear about it again. Whatever. Great, this useless piece of trash will be back in the public eye.

Do I think O.J. killed them? Yeah. Would I have voted to convict him if I was on the jury? No. That prosecution team made Rusty Hardin seem like Einstein. If I had anything better to do, I'd get ready for my trail run tomorrow.

What I really want to know is, was O.J. in the White Van when he lit up and where did he hide what he couldn't smoke. That way someone else can waste their own time waging their tiny part on the stupid war on drugs.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Nationals Park: Most Excellent!

Today my friend Bill and I went to Nationals Park in Washington, DC to see the Nationals host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Neither one of us had been to the new park yet, so the curiosity factor was definitely there. The park was built in just 22 months, a lot less than a stadium of over 40,000 seats would take. I was impressed with the stadium right from the get-go. When you get off the Metro at Navy Yard Station you exit only a couple hundred feet from the outfield facade. You can see a good amount of the field before you even go through the gates. Very well done so far!

During their first three years in DC, the Nationals, due to uncertainty as to who the ownership group would be, an incomplete TV contract in years one and two, and let's face it, having to play in RFK Stadium, were really not operating as a full-fledged Major League Baseball Franchise. Not to mention that they were league-run in the end of their days in Montreal, so the minor league farm system needed tons of re-building. Souvenirs and Apparel? Hard to find unless you went to City Sports or any other sporting good stores. Not anymore! Just as soon as you walk through the outfield gates, there's a big team store with lots of overpriced stuff. :) But it's a revenue stream that they didn't necessarily have before. Yup, I bought a red hat with the alternate DC logo on it. Ownership stable, full TV and Radio deal (great TV team, solid radio team), and they're moving stuff from teams stores faster than they can re-stock. Great for business.

The park itself is very nice, doesn't have the old brick warehouse feel of a Camden Yards or Coors Field, but it does capture quite a bit of DC flavor. On the lower concourses, there are all sorts of wall exhibits describing the city's pro baseball history. Clean, well presented, wide concourse, family bathrooms (huge if you have young children), beer stands that are separate from the normal concessions (should you choose to get one, you're facing the field while you're ordering your beer), and concession stands from local businesses: Noah's Pretzel's, Hard Times Cafe, and Ben's Chili Bowl are in the house! I had heard horror stories about how long some of the lines have been this season but they seemed to get that straightened out. I missed less of the game than I thought I would when I was in line. I don't usually buy food at sporting events, preferring to eat beforehand but time did not allow for it today. But, for a ball park the concessions are good enough.

The game itself: we were in Section 305 (view seating chart and pricing here), a "second deck" seat. Sightlines were great (huge), the sun was basically past us and beating down on the outside walls behind us with the 1:30 start (big, little sunburn risk), and the home team won 5-2. Perfect afternoon to chill out at the ballpark after running a fundraiser race for ARC of Northern Virginia, which I somehow managed to run in 40:24 clock time, 40:15 cross start line to cross finish line time. Being a die hard Red Sox fan, I even experienced a Wily Mo Pena sighting! He smoked a pinch hit RBI double in the bottom of the eighth. Right after I told Bill that he'd either walk, strike out and look real bad, or crush a home run into the tenth row, he crushes a line drive on an 1-0 pitch off the left field wall, which was reached in about 1.3 seconds. Big Papi wasn't kidding when he said Pena hits the ball harder than anyone he had ever seen. Washington improved to 14-18 today. Playing much better recently, they've won seven of their last nine as they continue to build from what was a less than ideal situation.

Today's about Nationals Park. A great experience all around, even the Metro crush 30 minutes after the game wasn't bad. The only improvements I can think of are to lower the pricing on the outfield seats a bit (the lower LF area has a fantastic view of the field though). And let Teddy win a Presidents Race! I can't wait to go back on May 21 vs the Phillies!