Mon, 14 Mar 2011 17:56:01 EDTEvery team in baseball has to have unexpected fortune to be a winner. And the Nats are due some good luck.
Thu, 10 Mar 2011 23:35:10 ESTYou couldn't erase the looks of pleasure and relief that swept across the faces of the Capitals this week. They'd finally gotten to enjoy a laugher, stomping the sad Edmonton Oilers, 5-0, for their sixth straight win.
Mon, 07 Mar 2011 00:10:02 ESTSometimes, everything falls in place, plus things you never even planned. That's how the Orioles ended up pulling off the kind of offseason that the Nationals only dreamed of.
Fri, 04 Mar 2011 00:50:00 ESTBaseball's owners and players emerged deeply scared from their labor disputes. Their NFL counterparts should avoid that fate.
Tue, 01 Mar 2011 01:12:00 ESTAfter last season's disastrous 0-11 start in spring training play, the Nationals stay low-key about their high hopes for the promising pitching staff.
Sat, 26 Feb 2011 23:28:02 ESTVIERA, FLA. The Nationals had two offseason goals. One they trumpeted. The other they soft-pedaled because the subject was touchy. They wanted a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. That was a flop. But they also craved an everyday star who could provide more intense clubhouse leadership. That's why they...
Wed, 23 Feb 2011 00:13:02 ESTIt took only one day for the Bryce Harper Countdown to start. The drumbeat will be constant until he arrives.
Mon, 21 Feb 2011 23:22:02 ESTLast year's top overall pick draws plenty of attention in his first spring training workout for the Nationals.
Mon, 21 Feb 2011 00:01:00 ESTRaw numbers don't do justice to Livan Hernandez's value to the Nationals' pitching staff.
Fri, 18 Feb 2011 23:54:00 ESTVIERA, FLA. The Washington Nationals wanted so much more. They're better and they know it. But after years of low hopes, small budgets and mountains of losses, they were so close, at least in their own eyes, to being a winning team that the idea of another year of waiting, of developing talent an...
Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:16:02 ESTFrom rookie reliever Cole Kimball to recovering phenom Stephen Strasburg, the first workout for pitchers and catchers brings different levels of anticipation.
Thu, 27 Jan 2011 00:01:00 ESTWhen Tom Watson was the No. 1 golfer in the world, his old friend Byron Nelson gave him some tough-love advice about how to stay on top amid all the distractions and temptations. A fine pro golfer has one fine thing: his fine golf game. So never neglect it.
Tue, 25 Jan 2011 00:04:00 ESTThe NFL has always been defined by its great quarterbacks. That's not going to change. But the style of the quarterbacks who prosper the most might be altering subtly. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger may illustrate the point in Super Bowl XLV. If you don't have the s...
Thu, 20 Jan 2011 00:48:00 ESTWith the drama surrounding the futures of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper , the Nationals have a chance to be a glorious break-through or a spectacular mess.
Sat, 08 Jan 2011 00:19:00 ESTBaseball is about to see the equivalent of a laboratory study of the value of defense. If gifted glove men are as valuable as General Manager Mike Rizzo thinks, the Nats might be one of the game's surprise teams in '11.
Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:23:02 ESTAfter signing free agent outfielder Jayson Werth for $126 million, the Washington Nationals have been frustrated in their bid to attract more talent to town.
Mon, 03 Jan 2011 00:39:00 ESTThe Redskins finished 6-10, but at least are starting to look like an organized team with players who know their assignments.
Mon, 27 Dec 2010 00:00:00 ESTJACKSONVILLE, FLA. Rob Jackson, Joe Joseph, Darrion Scott, Macho Harris, Byron Westbrook, Vonnie Holliday, Chris Wilson and Kevin Barnes led the defense in the Washington Redskins' 20-17 overtime victory against the playoff-hungry Jacksonville Jaguars here Sunday. You had that, right? Of course, ...
Wed, 22 Dec 2010 09:23:00 ESTJake Plummer. That's what's really interesting about Rex Grossman and the Shanahans. Will Rex become Jake II, the reclamation project, thought to be a bad joke, that confirms and showcases the coach's brilliance? After Grossman's four-touchdown, three-turnover show in a 33-30 loss to Dallas on Su...
Sat, 18 Dec 2010 00:53:00 ESTThe personnel guy who dealt for McNabb just eight months ago and the X's-and-O's guru of a coach who can't get rid of him fast enough now are the same person.
Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:22:00 ESTNationals ownership and General Manager Mike Rizzo finally appear to be on the same page during an offseason in which the club has signed Jayson Werth and continues to look for a first baseman and pitching help.
Tue, 14 Dec 2010 23:52:05 ESTNot so fast. When everybody knows the future, be careful.
Mon, 13 Dec 2010 00:01:02 ESTWith one botched extra-point snap with nine seconds to play, the Redskins created a moment that captures an entire era.
Fri, 10 Dec 2010 23:58:05 ESTWith the $142 million deal they gave to Carl Crawford, the Boston Red Sox just made the Washington Nationals look smart. Or, at least, the Nats now look a lot less dumb for giving Jayson Werth $126 million.
Tue, 07 Dec 2010 00:05:02 ESTThe Washington Nationals' signing of free agent outfielder Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract is well worth the gamble. Sometimes you have to jump-start the future.
Sun, 05 Dec 2010 23:43:03 ESTThe silly saga that is Albert Haynesworth was on display once again on Sunday, and it's clearly time for the Redskins to send the defensive lineman packing.
Thu, 02 Dec 2010 00:09:02 ESTIt is several weeks too soon to judge the Nationals' offseason. Carlos Pena, Carl Pavano, Carl Crawford and other holiday packages are still out there on the shopping shelves at prices the Nats could afford. A year ago, the Nats hadn't even signed Pudge Rodriguez. Matt Capps and Jason Marquis did...
Sun, 28 Nov 2010 23:56:00 ESTThe Redskins' chances at a December run were hampered by a block-in-the-back penalty, but better days still appear to be ahead for the franchise.
Sat, 27 Nov 2010 00:07:02 ESTAfter enduring their first real challenge of the season, the Capitals appear more united.
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 00:29:03 ESTNASHVILLE Six days ago the Redskins sat in their locker room in mute disbelief at the historic disgrace they had inflicted on themselves on "Monday Night Football" with the NFL world watching, as they fell behind further and faster than any home team in history. On Sunday here in Music City, in a...
Sat, 20 Nov 2010 00:36:02 ESTThe Redskins coach must learn that what worked in mile-high Denver isn't working so far in Washington.
Tue, 16 Nov 2010 02:29:00 ESTFor years the Redskins have fundamentally misunderstood their place in the football world. It manifests itself in new, bizarre and self-defeating forms that you could never imagine.
Mon, 15 Nov 2010 00:19:00 ESTPart of the reason the Redskins' offense has struggled under new Coach Mike Shanahanand quarterback Donovan McNabb is because they inherited a wreck of a unit upon arriving in Washington.
Wed, 10 Nov 2010 00:35:03 ESTWashington has John Wall and other promising talent, but is not as young and full of potential as some might think and had best get to work in a serious way or it could easily wind up as a truly bad team - even by Wizards standards.
Tue, 02 Nov 2010 00:39:00 EDTARLINGTON, TEX. Believe it, San Francisco. Open your eyes. Let out your breath. Watch the sun hit the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning as you rub your eyes. Those of you that went to bed anyway. Bobby Richardson isn't going to snag Willie McCovey's line drive to end Game 7 of the World Series wi...
Mon, 01 Nov 2010 01:31:00 EDTWhat Giants starter Madison Bumgarner did to the American League's top-hitting team, dropping the Rangers into a three-games-to-one World Series deficit while fanning six, he may well do to the rest of baseball for many years
Sat, 30 Oct 2010 23:58:00 EDTARLINGTON, TEX. This was the cheer-drenched night when the Texas Rangers found their way out of the baseball wilderness at last and marched into the center of the sport's universe, the World Series.
Fri, 29 Oct 2010 01:18:00 EDTThanks in large part to Matt Cain, not one of the ballyhooed starting pitchers of this postseason, the San Francisco Giants have a two-games-to-none stranglehold on this World Series.
Thu, 28 Oct 2010 02:07:00 EDTSAN FRANCISCO -- Cliff Lee's earned run average in eight postseason games over the past two years was 1.26 heading into this World Series. As such, he was quite rightly the focal point, the fulcrum and the fascination of everyone who analyzed this battle between San Francisco's "misfits and casto...
Tue, 26 Oct 2010 23:10:08 EDTNeither the San Francisco Giants nor the Texas Rangers was a competitive franchise three years ago. Smart rebuilding projects vaulted both franchises into this year's World Series.
Sun, 24 Oct 2010 01:41:02 EDTThe Giants and the Rangers are headed to the World Series in a postseason which has defied expectations and made fools of those who spent the most money on the most famous players.
Wed, 20 Oct 2010 23:27:01 EDTNEW YORK After waiting for 39 years, Texas has truly earned its moment of ginger-ale celebration if the Rangers go to the World Series. It's just not appropriate that folks in Yankee Stadium, who've enjoyed pennant-winning parties 45 times, should get to watch their show. So, in a sense, the Yank...
Wed, 20 Oct 2010 02:31:00 EDTNEW YORK -- When you play for the Yankees and they give you the really big money because you've got the talent to match the deal, there are nights, usually right here in the Bronx, when the city measures you by its simple tough-guy standards: thumbs up or thumbs down.
Tue, 19 Oct 2010 12:25:03 EDTNEW YORK Perhaps once in a generation the New York Yankees' money actually works against them. Oh, you're not buying that idea? Okay, how about once a century? All right, how about never - until Monday night. That's when Cliff Lee held his $100 million free agent job interview on the pitching mou...
Mon, 18 Oct 2010 02:07:03 EDTA new foundation, like the ones that were built by so many other Redskins in previous decades, is once again being laid.
Sun, 17 Oct 2010 00:57:02 EDTIt wasn't pretty, but the Giants and Phillies' aces provided baseball with a down and dirty brawl.
Wed, 13 Oct 2010 23:56:01 EDTD.C. baseball fans have had prickly Ranger feelings for ages, long after the Senators left. But now that Texas has advanced for the first time in the postseason, is it time for forgive?
Mon, 11 Oct 2010 00:07:00 EDTThe Redskins made high-profile changes at the top, but the team's recent success is coming because of improvement deeper down the roster, from new players contributing to more established players being transformed.
Wed, 06 Oct 2010 00:22:00 EDTLong ago, psychologists discovered that racetrack gamblers became more confident of their picks as soon as they actually put their money down. At least you can analyze a horse. But studies showed the same jump in confidence after making a lottery guess.
Mon, 04 Oct 2010 00:17:00 EDTDonovan McNabb's strong performance in his return to Philadelphia was hardly a shock. But the Redskins' recovery - especially on defense -- a week after their dismal loss to the lowly Rams was fairly stunning.
Thu, 30 Sep 2010 23:53:01 EDTThis Ryder Cup feels like a perfect underdog opportunity for Tiger Woods to play the role of unselfish teammate and add a crucial element to a potential American upset in Wales.
Thu, 30 Sep 2010 00:03:00 EDTIf the Nationals are ever going to maximize the potential of their market and capitalize on the years they have Stephen Strasburg, they have to start thinking big.
Tue, 28 Sep 2010 21:51:00 EDTFor brief moments, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond can make the gray skies over Nationals Park go away as they demonstrate their potential to be a potent second base-shortstop combination for years to come.
Mon, 27 Sep 2010 00:35:00 EDTST. LOUIS If Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb had any doubts about what they were getting into, now they know.
Wed, 22 Sep 2010 23:24:01 EDTFor the past five years, the public face of the Washington Nationals has been President Stan Kasten. Like a pit bull with a law degree, he has stood on the front step of Nationals Park and defended the team and its owners, the Lerner family, from every criticism.
Mon, 20 Sep 2010 00:06:00 EDTIn many seasons, a defeat like the one the Redskins suffered in overtime Sunday to the Texans, 30-27, could be a wrecking ball that damages the foundation of a whole season. How many times can you have a game in your hands and still find a way to lose?
Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:12:01 EDTThe O's and Nats' managers bring vastly different styles to the task of rebuilding franchises.
Mon, 13 Sep 2010 01:36:00 EDTNow that's exactly how a new Redskins era should begin.
Wed, 08 Sep 2010 23:55:01 EDTAdam Dunn is done in Washington. All season, the Nationals have had an internal debate over a classic question of baseball theory: Do the synergies a 40-homer cleanup hitter brings to a lineup outweigh the damage done to a defense by a below-average first baseman with little range? The Nats have ...
Sat, 04 Sep 2010 23:51:00 EDTBaseball's "playoffs" really begin in September, when the contenders are separated from the pretenders in the heat of the pennant drives.
Wed, 01 Sep 2010 00:32:00 EDTSeptember call-ups will gave the Nationals an exciting glimpse into their future with such prospects as Danny Espinoza and Wilson Ramos.
Sat, 28 Aug 2010 01:49:00 EDT
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 00:40:00 EDTLook directly at Bryce Harper. Watch his batting practice home run on Thursday as it lands in the third deck in Nationals Park. Watch him blast balls over the fence in every direction.
Thu, 26 Aug 2010 01:14:00 EDTOne key to happiness is hoping for the best but keeping a sane grip on what's really most likely to happen. Unfortunately, those two ideas are often far apart. Seldom is the fantasy-reality gap bigger than in sports. Hence, the creation of the word "Boooooo."
Mon, 23 Aug 2010 00:04:00 EDTAfter watching Stephen Strasburg grimace in pain after a fifth-inning changeup on Saturday and leave the game quickly, we should consider ourselves sufficiently warned.
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 00:14:00 EDTRoger Clemens is not stupid, so how can he be this dumb?
Tue, 17 Aug 2010 03:08:00 EDTBaseball fans can win two ways. Their team can be great. Or a player can be so sublime that his performance, year after year, almost every day for six months at a time, gives so much accumulated pleasure that his individual art actually rivals victory.
Sun, 15 Aug 2010 21:58:00 EDTJust how deeply is agent Scott Boras now embedded in the fabric of the Nationals, especially if as is expected, his client Bryce Harper signs with Washington by midnight on Monday night?
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 20:12:00 EDTThe Washington Nationals are in need of a couple of good signs: first, top draft pick Bryce Harper; then, slugging first baseman Adam Dunn.
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 00:33:00 EDTNationals rookie right-hander Stephen Strasburg got a hard dose of big league reality Tuesday night in his return from the disabled list.
Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTANAHEIM, CALIF. Nobody ever tells the truth about a losing streak until it's over.
Wed, 14 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe death of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on the morning of the All-Star Game is the perfect, appropriate and perhaps the only sufficiently extravagant sendoff for such a man.
Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe National League's crop of talented young pitchers may enable the Senior Circuit to level the playing field with the American League.
Fri, 09 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Washington Nationals' pitching rotation of the future is about to arrive. It's coming in a hurry and in waves, one crashing on top of the other, over the next two to five weeks. In all, the Nats have 11 pitchers -- five of them recovering from injury almost simultaneously -- fighting for the ...
Tue, 06 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTEach baseball era thinks it is unique. More often, it duplicates past plots precisely. Stephen Strasburg might have been this decade's version of Mark Fidrych, Fernando Valenzuela or Hideo Nomo, rookie pitchers who started All-Star Games in '76, '81 and '95, respectively. But Strasburg, 21, didn't...
Sat, 03 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTAt the midpoint of their season Friday, the Nationals pondered two intertwined questions. Are they close to being a winning team, as they seemed in April and May (record: 26-26), or are they as bad as they looked in June (8-19)? If they're not as good as they had hoped, should they react to their...
Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Nationals blew leads all weekend in Baltimore, capping weeks of progressively sloppier play. The line "we're playing hard, but we're just losing," isn't cutting it anymore.
Thu, 24 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTNow, after suffering his first major league defeat , 1-0, to Kansas City on Wednesday, Stephen Strasburg is starting to learn how Walter Johnson felt.
Mon, 21 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTPEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. Sometimes, you can hear the voice of a U.S. Open champion in the making and not even know it at the time.
Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTPEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. Because Washington has hosted a pro golf tournament almost every summer for the past 30 years, the city's fans justifiably feel that they understand the experience of the sport at a high level. From the days when Greg Norman and Tom Kite won the Kemper Open to the AT&T Na...
Sat, 19 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTPEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. The ruffling and shuffling you hear in the background of this U.S. Open isn't a flock of seagulls arriving off the Pacific. Instead, it is a changing of the animal pecking order in the world of golf as Tiger Woods , after another over-par round here on Friday, moves back to...
Fri, 18 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTTiger Woods shot 3-over-par Thursday, which begs a question: If he can't win at Pebble Beach or St. Andrews this year, where can he win the four majors he need to equal Jack Nicklaus's record?
Wed, 16 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTEventually, there'll probably be hundreds of approaches to analyzing Stephen Strasburg's career. But after his first 16 starts as a National -- three in spring training, 11 in the minors and two in the majors -- one largely unexpected, and not entirely welcome trend seems likely: Strasburg will be a...
Wed, 09 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTBefore Tuesday night, Stephen Strasburg's major league debut was a must-attend event or, at least, a must watch TV moment for any baseball fan. Both his talent and the unprecedented hype surrounding his arrival demanded it. Now, that's utterly changed.
Tue, 08 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe longer you've been a D.C. baseball fan, the more you deserve what's about to happen, starting on Tuesday night. Other towns demand a pennant. Since the end of World War II, Washington has just asked for a future. Not a promise, just a possibility.
Mon, 07 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTWhile excited about the future with Stephen Strasburg coming up and the likely addition of Bryce Harper with Monday's No. 1 draft pick, the Nationals are irritated by recent outcomes on the field.
Fri, 04 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTBaseball umpire Jim Joyce made a hideously incorrect ruling Wednesday night that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga one of the rarest achievements in the sport: a perfect game. But 15 hours later, when Galarraga made his way to home plate before Thursday afternoon's game to present his...
Thu, 03 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTWith the Nationals' fortunes improving and the Orioles having the worst record in the majors, local baseball loyalties may be starting to shift. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, 27 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTHow do you watch a baseball game? To enjoy the sport fully, you have to grasp the huge importance of the ball-strike count -- especially the power of "strike two." The count is where the strategic heart of the game is found. That's where every iota of study and intuition about your enemy comes in...
Mon, 24 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTIf the Nationals make it back from their upcoming 10-game trip at or near .500, they will have a chance to "make a run," if they are capable of it.
Fri, 21 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTEvery area of society has rules. We debate them. Over time, we sometimes change them. Some rules, we never change. When you break the rules, you take your chances and pay the penalty.
Tue, 18 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTMany of the most lustrous pitching prospects struggled initially after their major league call-ups.
Thu, 13 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTSo much has happened so fast it's hard to keep up with the transformation of the Nationals. The changes began late in 2008, when the Lerners finally decided to spend some money, then accelerated last spring when Mike Rizzo became GM and Stan Kasten's views were given more weight. In the past mont...
Tue, 11 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTTiger Woods is 34, an age when other greats have started to decline, and in the midst of the most trying year of his life, which means we might have to wait a while before we see him play the golf we're used to seeing him play, if he ever does again.
Fri, 07 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTManager Jim Riggleman may not want to take any of the credit for the Nationals' improvement this season, but he deserves some anyway.
Tue, 04 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe window is now open for the Nats. For three months, until the Redskins rev up again, the town is theirs if they can take it.
Sat, 01 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Washington Capitals have begun to digest how they squandered a three games to one lead against the Montreal Canadiens, and that's helping steel their belief in the future.
Fri, 30 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Washington Capitals must decide whether the creative, free-wheeling, crowd-pleasing offensive system they've built is so at odds with the rugged, tense nature of NHL playoff hockey that it must be fundamentally changed.
Wed, 28 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTIn the last 25 years, the Capitals have blown a two-game lead in a playoff series six times. This year's stakes, with Washington the best team in the NHL in the regular season, are higher than ever.
Mon, 26 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTOn Saturday, after they had lost in 13 innings to the Dodgers in a game they could and should have won several different times, the Nationals were so silent you could hear the sweat drip in their clubhouse. That's when you discover the competitive character of pro teams in all sports. How do they...