Monthly Archives: July 2010

Exciting times at Camden Yards.

As you can see from the banner up top, the Orioles aren’t a team I cover in-depth, but when something truly special comes along to profile, I jump at the chance.

Point in case: this O’s fan running all over the field at last nights game. The Orioles have been awful this season, winning just 30 games and are already 30.5 games back of the division lead. So when something like this happens, if course I’m going to blog about it.

Usually with videos of fans running on the field, the end is met by a close-line from a police officer, but it turns out Baltimore cops could care less. The fan runs out from left field, expecting for police to greet him with a friendly stiff-arm. Does he get one? No, so he just sort of jogs and walks around, attempts to run the bases and doubles back multiple times.

The name of the Youtube video explains the situation well: “What Passes for Excitement at an Orioles Game.”

Though it won’t be happening anytime this season, we do hope the O’s regain their form. BRING BACK CAL!

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Major league coup: Nats sign Cuban defector Yunieski Maya.

Photo via ESPN-Deportes

The Washington Nationals have had trouble in the past signing international players, but today reports indicate they have signed Cuban defector Yunieski Maya

General Manager Mike Rizzo would not confirm or deny the report, though had good things to say about the 28-year-old right-hander to Bill Ladson of MLB.com

“He is battle-tested and is seasoned. We have seen him play in many tournaments over the years, so we feel we know him as well as anybody. He is a guy who has pitched a lot and knows his craft.

“If we get him, we have to see where he is at. We have seen him pitch quite a bit in the Dominican. We had guys monitoring [him] quite closely. It will be like any new pitcher we acquire. He goes to [the team’s Spring Training complex in] Viera, Fla., and we see where he is at.”

The report says Maya will become a National once he receives a working visa and passes a physical. He could even be in the embattled Washington rotation by the end of this season.

Maya had been pursued by the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Mets before ultimately signing with the Nationals.

The signing is a big step up for the organization after the Smiley Gonzalez fiasco under Jim Bowden last year. After that, the Nationals overhauled the international scouting program by hiring Johnny DiPuglia from the Red Sox and reworking their foundation in the Dominican Republic. Maya also becomes the 32nd international signing by the Nationals this year.

This one move alone will not solve all the problems the Nationals have faced, though it is a step in the right direction for the young organization.

“He’s a terrific, poised, capable, major league-caliber pitcher,” Rizzo said. “Some of the most successful organizations would like to sign him and put him directly into their rotation. We’re one of them.”

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Leonsis: “I’m gonna re-do everything.”

The fan experience at Verizon Center will drastically change under Leonsis.

Since Ted Leonsis took over as owner of the Wizards and the Verizon Center, DC sports fans have been clamoring for change. Known as a man of the fans, Leonsis has already spoken up about change not only on the court, but also within the Verizon Center as well.

It’s obvious that Leonsis wants to put championship banners in the rafters of the Phone Booth, after making the decision to take down the Mystics attendance banners, but he also wants changes to the way DC sports fans take in the game in the Chinatown arena.

The king of transcribing radio shows, Dan Steinberg is the provider of all quotes within this post.

Leonsis promised hundreds of changes saying, “I’m gonna re-do everything.”

That includes the overall experience of how fans will take in Wizards games. That means turning down the music and chant starters. Thank you.

Another idea brought to the table is dimming the lights not on the court to make the atmosphere more like the legendary Madison Square Garden. I have not witnessed a game in person at MSG, but from others who have, it makes the court feel more like a stage with the spectators more like audience members at a play.

One of our personal favorites is the cup-holders proposed at urinals in the mens bathrooms. Apparently many fans have complained about the lack of a place to put their beers (not sodas apparently) while taking a break from the action on the court. Clearly, Leonsis has his priorities straight. No, seriously, that wasn’t sarcastic at all. It sounds like a fantastic idea.

“So they go to the bathroom and they put their beer [cups] in their mouth,” he said. “Isn’t that great? See that image in your mind’s eye. We’ve literally been putting little ledges over the urinals so that people can put their cups, right? We know that sounds [funny], the ketchup sounds funny, building a little cup holder over the urinals, but we’re gonna do hundreds of those kind of things, so the experience is great and it improves and fans know we listen to them.”

Is this change we can believe in, or another dirty Washington scam?

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JaVale McGee is slamtastic.

Nothing more needs to be said if you watch this video of JaVale McGee absolutely annihilating a defender in the a summer league game against the Hornets.

The five games have shown the building blocks are there with John Wall and McGee, among others, playing incredibly well.

McGee was named to the All-Tournament team while Wall was named MVP.

So will we finally have something to look forward to next season?

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Cult of Colt: Brennan to train with McNabb, receivers in Phoenix.

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images North America

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images North America

Colt Brennan has been a fan favorite since he was drafted in 2008 with members of the fan-club going by the moniker “Cult of Colt.” He’s had his ups and downs since then (pre-season game, hip surgery, Grossman signing), but his following lives on. Where there’s intense Redskin talk, there’s talk of Brennan and what he can potentially do for the team.

Thanks to Jason Reid at The Washington Post, we have news.

New Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb is known for his “hell week” of intense workouts under the blazing Arizona sun. This year he’ll be taking receivers Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Santana Moss.

He’ll also be taking Brennan. The Cult of Colt continues.

McNabb and Brennan have been working together at Fischer Sports, studying the playbook and running similar drills and will now travel to Phoenix to presumably work on timing, conditioning and plays with the receivers.

Much was in question this off-season when the Redskins brought in Rex Grossman, who played under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in Houston. Brennan’s chances of working his way up the depth chart became tougher, though working with the top receivers and starting quarterback in Phoenix could give Brennan a leg up on his competition.

I’ll do my best to keep you, the great readers of DMV Sports, up on the happenings of the Cult of Colt.

And again, thanks for reading.

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Stephen Strasburg is marketable (and other things you already know).

If you couldn’t already tell from the way MLB, Fox, and TBS advertise Stephen Strasburg starts, he’s a pretty marketable player.

Now comes validation from SportsBusiness Daily, who say Strasburg is the fourth-most marketable player and most marketable pitcher in MLB.

With less than a year of professional starts, the young ace has already topped the list of best-selling jerseys in the league and sold more jerseys than any other player on the Nationals. Ever.

The list is chock-full of obvious with Derek Jeter sitting at number one, while Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Strasburg and Ryan Howard round out the top five. That’s right, Strasburg is considered more marketable than former MVPs Howard and Alex Rodriquez.

It became legend when Strasburg took the mound and struck out 14 in his first professional start, and it continues to grow as he continues to develop as a pitcher (and marketing tool for the Nationals franchise).

Next, we’d like to take a look into the year 2013 and see where Strassy sits on a list like this one.

The rest of SportsBusiness Daily’s list of marketable MLB athletes:

1. Yankees SS Derek Jeter
2. Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols
3. Twins C Joe Mauer
4. Nationals P Stephen Strasburg
5. Phillies 1B Ryan Howard
6. Rays 3B Evan Longoria
7. Giants P Tim Lincecum
8. Mets 3B David Wright
9. Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez
t10. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia
t10. Angels CF Torii Hunter

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Redskins want to know: ‘R you in?’

There have been some big changes in Ashburn and what better way to present those changes than a brand new… marketing campaign.

The title of the campaign is a bit contrived, but the overall product is one that may actually get you excited for the upcoming season. From the likes of Chris Cooley, London Fletcher, Santana Moss, Brian Orakpo and Donovan McNabb asking “[A]R[E] you in” to the “We want Dallas” chants at the end of the commercial, the Redskins are poised to sell more tickets than ever! Woo!

What stands out to me are the colors. It feels like a burnt burgundy and gives off more flavor when there’s movement. It’s quality camera work and well-edited. Yeah, that’s a good campaign.

It’s quite easy for fans that have suffered through tough times to feel as if the team is just using new additions like Shanahan and McNabb to sell more tickets, but this is nothing new. It’s public relations. It’s selling tickets. The Redskins are still a business and they really used the refurbished franchise well in selling it.

Here is the second video which reminds me of The Matrix. Enjoy.

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