Nationals Baseball

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

AMA - Corona

So we don't want to talk about the corona virus a lot here BUT I figure I'd give you a chance to ask any questions you might have. Now you might say "Why would I ask you?" and that's a good question but first, consider it asking the entire group of people who may comment here, someone here may be an expert on what exactly your question is. Certainly a few here are going to be very well read on the subject.  As for specifically me, well my job is as a public health statistician. There are certainly people you bring in before someone like me if you want to interview, epidemiologists (who study how disease spreads), virologists (who study viruses), specific doctors or health professionals who have been through these things before. There are literally thousands of these, maybe tens of thousands, probably a couple in every minor city / major college, so there's no reason to go down to the C-Team if you are a TV or a paper. But I'm way more familiar with the topics at hand than Joe Schmo* out there, or even Dr. Jane Schmo* who has been very online during this. Given that I figured maybe I could help clear up a thing or two and if not - great. We move on to more fun stuff that doesn't involve possibly dying, unless it's Bobby Henley sending you home because then you are dead.

*Mr. Schmo got his degree in Communications with a minor in Portuguese

*Dr. Schmo (unrelated) is a Food Chemist who works in developing proper textures for crackers, chips, and other baked snacks. 

Friday, March 20, 2020


To round out the media triumvirate (sorry Fibber McGee & Molly we aren't doing ol' timey radio shows - but a trial of SiriusXM had me listening to too many of those) let's go with what you are reading. Now currently reading or reading last year will only work for voracious readers. For the rest of us just put out some of your favorite books.

I'll start - I'll note that I pretty much never read fiction. Well that's not true - sometimes I'll quickly read through some of my kids books (ask me about Diary of a Wimpy Kid) but adult fiction eh.  I keep saying I'll pick it up again but there's always a good non-fiction book right there. OK given that caveat and the caveat that I pretty much forget what I don't own. So this is pretty much limited to what I see on my shelves right now. 

Let's start with baseball

Of course there's the Nats Trilogy - Jesse's book, which I'm sure is fine. National Pastime, Barry's book on the honestly pretty crazy 2005 season, and The Grind which is an expanded verison of the collection of articles Barry wrote that year about... well the grind of the baseball season.  I'll recommend all.

The Soul of Baseball - Posnanski goes around with Buck O'Neill in exactly the type of book Joe Posnanski should be writing.

The Arm - now that you all love Daniel Hudson it's worth a read to find out how he got here. 

Not baseball

Battle Cry of Freedom - a big but not dense single volume tome on the Civil War.  I liked it so much it's the only book I've purchased multiple copies of (I have the illustrated hardcover)

Candace Millard's books are usually great - River of Doubt (Teddy Roosevelt stupidly goes dwn the Amazon), Destiny of the Republic (Dumb doctors basically kill a saveable James Garfield). Erik Larson's as well - there like a dozen here.

If you can handle tough subjects Killers of the Flower Moon and Devil in the Grove are great books and Columbine is fantasticly thorough and sensitive take on that incident.

Less harrowing - I enjoyed Rocket Men (about the flight to space before the moon landing), K Blows Top is fun (about Kruschev touring the US), Pictures of a Revolution (about the 5 best pic nods in 1969 and how they showed the end of the old guard and beginning of the 70s golden era)

Ok that's a start. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Hey sorry. I spent last night making a lemon blueberry loaf instead of typing a blog post.

BUt today we'll move on to movies, a subject I'm not well experienced in as I'll default to watching TV if given the choice. But occasionally I'm on a plane or want to do something different so i will pick up a movie or two. It would probably take forever to go over everyone's favorites, there's literally over 100 years of movie (for example the masterful Nosferatu is 98 years old this year) so how about we limit it to the past few years.

This way I can literally just list the movies I've seen

I've seen nothing that has come out this year

I saw Harriet and Ready or Not on my last plane ride.  Ready or Not was fun. It could have been great but it was still good and that girl can scream.  Harriet was also good but with any historical story a little hard to get real drama going. I know she isn't dying.

I got kids - however the one that can watch movies isn't into them either so I've seen Frozen II (ok not better than the original) and Aladdin (eh)

ummm...  that is it. Like I said I don't watch movies

Ant Man and the Wasp - It's good. This is the only series I've seen all (technically both) the movies. I pretty much have seen zero sequels. Part of it is bc I like my super hero movies to lean kiddie. They shoot beams out of their hands and fly around. I don't need that to be serious at all.
Crazy Rich Asians - also on a plane. It's really good. Not as funny as I thought it would be but nails what it is.
Halloween - not great. Part of what made the first great is ramping up the horror with a vaguely human antagonist that kills like 4 people. This is more like later horror movies with an unstoppable baddie that mows down a dozen plus.  Story is good but needed someone to tone down the killing and up the horror.
Rampage - plane movie. Honestly the best type of plane movie bc if I never saw the end it'd be ok.  But still I think this is the best Rock hero movie of the bunch.  He's overgrown in size and personality and he needs a backdrop that's similar. This gives it to him. It's not good but it's fun
The Spy who Dumped Me - look I prefer to be on my computer if I'm at home and so I want something on in the background. This was allright. Oddly violent. I mean watch it if you think you want to.
Three Identical Strangers - I also like documentaries.  This one is a trip that starts and ends in totally different places.

Kids - Ralph breaks the internet (see Frozen II)
Nutcracker and the Four Realms - there's a good movie in here somewhere but it didn't make the screen
Teen Titans GO! to the Movies - I really liked this. Sometimes I listen to the song for fun.

OK that's enough - so in the past 2+ years - give me your movies to watch. I probably won't get to them but someone here might.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday Quickie : What are you watching right now (or recently)

If you didn't see Friday's post go back to it and throw in your two cents.  We're all in this together (well unless you are in like rural Nevada - Contact looks nice) and if a little content everyday helps keep every a bit saner, well that's just the type of sacrifice I am willing to make.

First off something real simple for the Monday Quickie - what are you watching right now (or very recently passed) How do you spend the time when looking at your screens? It doesn't have to be good TV or movies, but if for some reason you watch things you hate don't mention those.  If it's something streaming be sure to note the service because oddly enough not everyone pays for every streaming service like some dummies (well I don't have the Apple one). 

So currently I'm watching

Better Call Saul (new episode tonight).  It's on season 5, seasons 1-4 on Netflix. 

Trapped - an Icelandic police show streaming on Amazon Prime. It's mostly in Icelandic (they speak English when talking to people from other places) so you have to read subtitles which is good if you want to put down your screens for an hour.

McMillions - HBO doc about people cheating the McDonald's Millionaire game. Like for every big prize. 

Will finish up Bletchey Circle - British mini-series about crime solving former code cracking WWII woimen - on PBS but I'm not sure it's streaming anywhere.  It wasn't before it came on here. 

Is that it? That might be it. With a baby free time is basically 9 on and it's a lot more vegging out than actively watching. Shows to veg out on

A lot of HGTV - part of the reason is when you have kids, HGTV is one of the few channels you can put the TV on and be sure you aren't going to put on something you don't want them to see or hear. But mostly because it's easy background noise when you aren't really paying attention to something. An hour to update a house? Yeah I don't need to see all that - I'll look at the beginning and then at the end.

Forged in Fire - I don't know why but even though every episode is basically the same there is something magical about turning metal into a blade then testing it against a bunch of object

Reruns of the Office - again easy background noise . And always on. Drunk History, when that is on.

I'm sure there's more.  Since I didn't get to movies, let's stick with series for now.

Friday, March 13, 2020

So now what?

No seriously. Now what?

There's little reason to keep doing what we'd normally be doing at this tim - popping in on the Nats Spring Training stats and stories, checking out the same for other teams, patiently waiting for real baseball to start.  Real baseball won't start (if we are very lucky) for another month.

So again, now what? 

I mean we'll keep our ear to the ground to monitor the baseball news, but I'm sure you'll hear about that elsewhere. And we'll keep a closer eye on the Nats health specifically and how that may effect things - though it's kind of a big mystery right now when you don't know exactly when the season will start and you REALLY don't know how bad the illness is striking people. God let's hope we're not here ever discussing the ripple effect of a death on the NL East race.

Shut it down? Deep dive into minutia for no reason? Ask Me Anythings? What would you like to see?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Thursday - No baseball?

Say it ain't so, Joe!

Well it isn't so... yet.  But with sporting events being cancelled left and right to avoid unnecessary travel, close contact, and gatherings* it is easy to see a near future with no baseball. How long? Let's think about what we could see.


Probably first we will see a end to ST crowds. That seems apparent. What this effects is nothing really. Not as far as the season goes

Next we may see a pausing on Spring Training games for two weeks. This wouldn't do too much of anything either. Practices would presumably continue

After that you'd escalate to no Spring Training at all. No practice, training, intrasquad scrimmages.  This might cause a delay as players would only have less than a week to get back into ST shape but they could still push it to get it started on nearly the same day


A complete cessation of activities for more than two weeks would likely cut into the season. They could do a month now and maybe fit in 154 games (early season schedule is a bit lighter for weather make-up possibilities). I'd say that currently this is the most likely lightest situation we'll end up with as two weeks probably won't clear everything up (we'll need at least a week just to get a sense on where we are disease wise)

As you go more than a month you start to get into needing a good amount of pre-season practice now that they've been sitting a while (I'd imagine 2 weeks or so of pre-season) and more games cut. So a month pause today might lead to 154 game season but a 6 week pause now wouldn't lead to 145 games but something like 120 or lower.


Once you get much more than two months you start to get to the half-season possibilities. You start with the exhibition All-Star Game and then go into the season. Understand they'll try to fit in some sort of season regardless.  Half a season and the all important playoffs is better than none

When do they bother cancelling the season fully?  Hmmm I'd say you'd have to start drifting into August for a start date. There really probably isn't a time when they can't squeeze some blood from this stone but you start to functionally get to a weather issue again. They might even be tempted to do an unofficial / official tournament thing Sept / October just to get something out of the year, but when you start drifting into playing in November you start to limit yourself geography wise and profits can't be that high to say - have a Tuscon tournament in December.

*Sports are basically the worst at this, being a job that requires close contact, asks for gatherings, and depends on travel. All for entertainment purposes.