Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday's Marathon Nats Game Against the Twins

It was so long there were two president's races. It was so long that there was a 14th inning stretch. It was so long that some of the late starting afternoon games were finished before this one closed out in the 16th. It was just amazing.

Bryce Harper had one pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th smashed a home run and sent it to extra innings.

There were opportunities from both teams to try and end the game earlier but that didn't happen. Then it appeared in the bottom of the 15th that it would indeed end. End with the Nats coming out on top. Danny Espinosa had walked. But there were two outs. The pitche , Perez, was due up. But since there no other players left to pinch hit.

Perez hit a bunt and well this is what happened:
Perez saw third baseman Eduardo Nunez playing back, so he dropped down a bunt in his direction. Catcher John Ryan Murphy picked up the ball instead of letting it go foul. His throw was wide of first base, and Espinosa scored to tie the game. The Nationals’ dugout went wild.
It was on to the 16th. The Twins were up. They went three up three down. Their last batter was their pitcher, Michael Tonkin. He hit a ball and ran as fast as he could to 1st base. He was out. And he was mad that he was out. He took his batting helmet off and threw it to the ground. I thought he's going to be rattled when he gets back on the mound. Sure enough he was rattled. Up comes when Chris Heisey and smash out of the park it goes Nats win.

A little about the game from the Post:
the zaniness finally ended in the 16th inning, after 5 hours 56 minutes, when Chris Heisey smashed his first walkoff home run in the Nationals’ 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. Thirty-eight players, including 14 pitchers, appeared in the game. The teams combined for 516 pitches, 27 hits and 32 strikeouts.

“I feel like I just came out of the twilight zone,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “Man, that was some game. That was a roller coaster game of emotions.”

The Nationals had many chances to avoid this situation. They stranded 14 runners, many in the early innings, a combination of the Twins’ good defense, notably in the outfield, and the Nationals’ missed swings.

A little more from a column by Thomas Boswell:
For the rest of this year — and perhaps longer, depending on how this season turns out — the Washington Nationals can simply refer to their 6-5, 16-inning win over Minnesota on Sunday at Nationals Park as “The Twilight Zone Game.”

“That’s the craziest game I’ve [ever] seen,” said Nats Manager Dusty Baker, who coined the “Twilight Zone” line afterward. “[Coaches] Chris [Speier] and Davey [Lopes] and I, we talked about it. We’ve seen thousands of games. We always say: ‘Go to the ballpark; you always see something you’ve never seen before.’ Well, I certainly hadn’t seen anything like this.”

Who did Baker put in? Deep-bench sub Chris Heisey. Who won the gamer with a walk-off home run in the 16th inning? In this “Twilight Zone,” who else could it be but Heisey. Yes, the man who subbed for the MVP also played hero, just like Harper.

So I've been to the two longest games in Nats' history. I know for sure it is a game I will remember for a very long time.

Celebrating Heisey crossing the plate.

Here comes the gatorade.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Screech has a Birthday Party

Screech celebrated a birthday on Saturday. He just so happened to have his party right by me.

The other mascots celebrated by covering Screech with silly string. It was very funny.

Here are a few pictures of the party.

An Incredible Day at Nats Park — All 16 Innings of It

This is just a quick post on one of the more amazing games that I've been to. This rivals the playoff game that went 18 innings.

In this case there was a much more happy results.

Bryce Harper had the day off. But he pinch hits in the bottom of the 9th. The Nats are behind 4-3. Harper goes to a full count, 3-2. Pitch number six. Blame he hits a home run. No he blasts a home run. He ties the score.

But the game will not end for another seven innings. Or to put it another way it will be three more hours until the game ends.

I'll have more on this incredible game a little later. Until then here are a couple of pictures of Harper being Harper and crossing home plate.


2Political Podcast Episode 118

2Political Podcast Episode 118 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, 2political.com. You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

We were a bit confused about the episode number for this one, and when posting it, Arthur noticed why. He will investigate further.

This episode had some sound issues. Arthur had a slow Internet connection which affected our Skype connection.

We talk about the New York primary, Drumpf's delegate and party problem, some trivia, how the media should have been doing a better job of explaining how primaries and delegate selection works, and we even talk about sports (yes, really…), and Jason watching Jeopardy! being recorded—this is a very eclectic episode.

Everyone's welcome to leave a comment (agree or disagree!).

Links for this episode:
The transcript of the April 6 Rachel Maddow Show where they talked about Rule 16c
Real Clear Politics list of delegates/dates
”A Couple of Funny Signs” – his post about signs Jason mentioned
”Harper Hits Home Run 100 — A Grand Slam!!!” – Jason’s blog post on the home run he mentioned
”Emanuel defends $1.2 billion Lucas Museum plan as 'investment in the future'” Chicago Tribune
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Curious Doctor's Visit

I suppose that's not exactly the correct title of the post but it is related to a doctor's visit.

When I came back from Springfield from Christmas, I got a cold. It lasted like 10 days. I was fine for a couple of days and then I got another cold. That one lasted for about two weeks. I developed a cough that just did not seem to want to go away.

I went to the doctor. He said things seem to be clearing up but to be on the safe side he gave me a z-pack. The cold symptoms went away but the cough just did not seem to want to go away. I coughed most of February.

So back to the doctor I went. He listened to my chest and couldn't hear anything. He seemed to think it was post nasal drip from the six weeks I had had a cold. To be on the safe side he ordered a chest X-ray.

Off I went and got a chest X-ray. I had it done on a Friday and the following week heard back from my doctor. He said there seemed to be a little fluid on the lung. Then he commented that there was a lot of scaring on the right lung. I explained that was in my mid-20s I had problems with my lung. In the end a lobe of my lung was removed. I also told him all the conditions I had in the lung. I won't go into detail here but needless to say it was an odd assortment of conditions.

The doctor said I should have a follow up in a month or so just to see how things were.

A week ago from this past Friday went for another X-ray. The X-ray tech asked me a series of questions before the X-ray. I went through the problems with my lungs. The thing that I thought odd was I'd done the exact same thing when I had the previous X-ray. I thought why don't they know this stuff.

The middle of this past week my doctor calls. What the radiology doctor had been concerned about was all the scaring that had occurred when I had the problems with my lungs all those years ago. I had to go through with my doctor what had happened. He said that this was a good base to use if I had any problems in the future.

I hung up and thought why am I asked this every time. Now I will say the original doctor that I had at this practice (I had to move to these people because of a change in insurance) left. But it seems to me that this information should be in my records especially since everything that happens in an office visit is entered into computer records. There doesn't seem to be any paper files.

What I find curious is why I need to tell this information — the problems with my lungs — at every step of this process. It wasn't as if I just said oh by the way 30 years ago I had a lobe of my lung removed. I told them precisely by name the ailments I had.

I find it a little unsettling that the computerizing of medical records, at least in this case, does not seem to have helped in sharing of my information. It makes me wonders if I have something of a more serious nature how well, if at all, that information would get to a doctor. Let's say for instance I'm not conscious to pass that information along to the doctor. Hopefully I won't ever be in that situation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Couple of Funny Signs

There's a school on the way to the subway. They have a sign outside that tells of upcoming events. Here's two things that were posted. One in March the other in April. They struck me as being funny.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Taking in Some GW Baseball

Saturday I went to a GW baseball game out at Barcroft Park in Virginia. The facilities there have been upgraded since the last time I saw a game there. There is actually a small stadium with seats. There are actual dugouts and bathrooms instead of port o potties.

I stayed for about half of the game. GW ended up winning 14-4. In one inning the Colonials scored 8 runs. They had the bases loaded. The George Mason pitcher (they were playing Mason) walking in three batters and hit another. They a GW player hit a grand slam. It was fun. Hopefully getting in their final game in May.

More GW Baseball

Here are the George Mason players do warm ups before the game. It's cool how the one Mason player slides at the end for the drill. And it's great to have such a nice camera to capture the progression of them running across the field.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cat Adoption Event — A Cuddle Friend is Waiting for You!

My friend, Yolanda, is a volunteer with the Washington Humane Society. She's part of a cat adoption fair this Sunday.

The fair will be at Annie’s Ace Hardware, 3405 8th Street NE in DC, April 17, 12pm – 3pm.

So if you are looking for a furry friend and companion, stop by the fair this Sunday and see all the wonderful cats ready to be adopted.

More about the Humane Society:
The WHS Mission
The Washington Humane Society inspires and creates a community where all animals have secure homes and where people and animals live together with joy and compassion.

About WHS
The Washington Humane Society (WHS), the only Congressionally-chartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870. As the open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to over 43,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services including sheltering for homeless animals, a comprehensive adoption program and off-site adoption events to find new families for the animals in our care, low-cost spay and neuter for pet owners and other local organizations, an aggressive TNR (trap-neuter-return) program for feral cats (CatNiPP), investigations of each allegation of animal cruelty or neglect through the Humane Law Enforcement, lost and found services to help reunite lost pets with their families, pet behavioral advice to help resolve issues that lead to animals being relinquished to shelters, working with breed rescue groups to find more homes for more animals, volunteer and foster programs to allow other members of the community to help us help more animals and an award winning Humane Education program that teaches kindness to animals to the next generation of animal lovers.

Look how cute that guy is in the poster!

You can also follow the Petworth Monthly Cat Adoption Event on Facebook.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Harper Hits Home Run 100 — A Grand Slam!!!

What a day to be at Nationals Park!

The weather was perfect. The Nats were on. They beat Atlanta to sweep the series. Oh and Bryce Harper hit home run number 100 and it just so happened to be a grand slam. His first grand slam.

As Harper was stepping to the plate with the bases loaded, everyone in Nats Park was thinking wouldn't this be the perfect time for Harper to hit homer 100. Mark and I and the person in the seat next to us said it out loud.

And sure enough he did. You knew the moment he hit the ball it was gone. Everyone knew it was gone. What a game!

Here's Harper crossing home plate and being congratulated by his team mates.

This from the Post:
History left a two-foot dent in the scoreboard at Nationals Park on Thursday afternoon. Just below Section 240, the board was flashing an ad for Good Humor ice cream at the moment of impact. The “r” disappeared, damage done by Bryce Harper on the reigning National League MVP’s 100th home run, which also happened to be the first grand slam of his career. The blast was the decisive blow in the Washington Nationals’ 6-2 win over the lowly Atlanta Braves.

“Perfect,” Harper said.

Harper continues to show why he is he one of the best players in baseball.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The State of the Race — It’s a Mess for the Republicans

I haven’t posted about the state of the race lately because things got busy. Cherry blossoms, Charlie and Linus’ birthday celebration and opening day.

But now I can turn some attention to it and it is in a word a mess. Maybe that’s not exactly the right word to use. It’s become complicated especially on the Republican side (I'll deal with the Democrats tomorrow).

Trump is trying his hardest to reach the magic delegate total of 1,237. At this point in time delegates are the most important thing. Yes it is important to win primaries as Trump will go next week in New York. But the delegates matter a whole lot more. And Cruz is playing a much smarter game on that score. From the Post:
Consider what happened over the weekend in Colorado, where rival Ted Cruz walked away with all of the state’s 34 delegates. The WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe wrote of Colorado: “At the state GOP convention, Trump supporters distributed glossy fliers urging people to vote for a slate of their preferred candidates. But several names were misspelled or assigned the wrong ballot number.” Trump forces insisted that they weren’t competing aggressively in Colorado and noted that they had just installed a new state director. Trump himself fell back on his preferred stance when things don’t go his way: complaining.

And here’s how Trump’s complained:
Trump has responded by lashing out at party leaders, at his rivals and at the delegate process, arguing that the system is “totally corrupt” and that Cruz is “stealing” delegates at state conventions.

“These are dirty tricksters. This is a dirty trick. And I’ll tell you what, the RNC, the Republican National Committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this crap to happen,” Trump said during a rally here Tuesday.
In fact, there are no tricks involved in this at all. These are the rules set out by the Republican Party. Just like the Democrats set out rules on how delegates are awarded and the process of how they are awarded. The notion that the primary process is a straight democratic process is really not the case. It’s just that the nomination rules have not come under scrutiny because it has been so long since they actually mattered. Usually by the end of the primary process a winner has emerged. There has been no question that one person has indeed gotten the magic number of the majority of delegates.

But with the Republicans that is looking more and more like it won’t happen. This is especially true if Cruz can pick up delegates like he did in Colorado. There’s one more thing which I didn’t realize again from the Post:
Frontloading HQ’s Josh Putnam notes, about 68 percent of all Republican delegates have been allocated but just 28 percent actually have been selected. A bit of math tells you that 72 percent of the delegates to the Republican National Convention have not yet been selected.
It’s a little confusing but in essence the actual person who is going to be the delegate and going to the convention has not been selected.

Why does that matter?

If no candidate has the majority of delegates to win on the first ballot, then there will be a second ballot. On the second ballot a whole bunch of delegates who were bound to vote for a specific candidate on the first ballot will be free to vote for whomever they want on the second ballot. And each additional ballot means more and more delegates become free agents

There’s one more thing in the rules too: “that delegates assigned to vote for Trump at the convention do not actually have to be Trump supporters. Cruz is particularly focused on getting loyalists elected to delegate positions even in states that the senator from Texas lost.” This is important because if there is a second ballot these original Trump delegates will be voting for Cruz. This underscores for Cruz just how important it is to make sure Trump does not get to the magic number of 1,237.

So now each and every delegate counts. Not only how the delegates are allocated but who the delegates actually are.

Oh July in Cleveland could be just amazing.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Harper's Home Run

Haper's shot in the 7th brought the Nats within two runs. But that was the end of the offense on opening day. Harper came very close in the 9th to getting another home run. If it had gone about 10 feet further. The same can be said for Daniel Murphy who got a triple in the 1st. If it had been just a few feet more, it would have been a grand slam.