Author Archives: Neptooth

Gio Wilikers: Gonzalez is Surprisingly Good With Bat and Normally Good With Ball

This sunset is decidedly not a metaphor for the start of baseball season, and is thus useless to me.

This lovely sunset is decidedly not a metaphor for the start of baseball season, and is thus useless to me.

Final Score: Nationals 3, Marlins 0

Belle of the Ball: Gio Gonzalez. Gio clearly knows that nothing dispels allegations of steroid use like a sharp uptick in home run rate.

Smell of the Ball: Ian Desmond. How could anyone other than Desmond receive my first ever Smell of the Ball award? And with an 0-4-with-an-error performance in the game, his pungency was particularly putrid.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, we’re back. Back at Nationals Park, the site of such much joy and pain on a cold October night just under half a year ago. The dull ache of Game 5 was acutely resurrected as I passed through the center field gates, but this time it was accompanied with the promise of another wildly successful season (minus the crushing disappointment at its conclusion, ideally).

Some things at Nationals Park were different, but many more were just the same as I left them. Here’s one thing that was the same: it was still really fucking cold. Honestly, Washington DC, you had six months to come up with some kind of weather that isn’t extremely unpleasant to watch a baseball game in, and you totally failed.

One thing that made this night-after-the-end-of-Passover different from all other nights was that on this night, hot dogs cost $1. I decided to take advantage of the theoretically appealing opportunity at the start of the third inning. Unfortunately, $1 hot dogs must have some kind of universal appeal, because the entirety of Nationals Park decided to avoid all other concession options and flock to the usually-deserted Nats Dogs stand. I waited in that line for three entire innings of fortunately uneventful baseball. Continue reading

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We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Nationals Coverage

Oh, curly W. I forgot how seductive are your luscious curves.

Oh, curly W. How could I forget how seductive are your luscious curves.

While we hope you enjoyed The Zimmerman(n) Telegram’s brief foray into international coverage, the time for caring about the rest of the world is over. In fact, it’s time to stop caring about anything other than the Washington Nationals for the foreseeable future. You simply won’t have time to. Between watching Nationals games and then reading about them on this very blog, your life will be utterly consumed in #natitude and the #vomit you will produce after seeing the natitude hashtag everywhere.

As it should be. So, what are you waiting for? Divorce your spouse. Quit your job. Leave your children to die on a mountaintop. Get rid of all possible distractions from this impending baseball season that’s about to sit its entire 162-game girth down on our eagerly-awaiting abdomens.

We’ll be doing everything we can to facilitate the ruination of your non-baseball life, with all your favorite game summaries, transaction analyses, player profiles, impossibly witty signs, erotica, and some brand Spanking new features whose surprises I shall not yet spoil. The biggest difference from last season is that we’ll be trading quantity for quality (and less work) in game summaries – expect about one per series, instead of one per game. Don’t worry, though. We’ll make it up to you. Wink.

Without further ado…baseball jokes. Come get ’em.

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It’s Seppuku Time: Japan Disembowled By Puerto Rico in Semifinal

Matsui did it partly because he made the last out in the loss, but mostly because he remembered that he used to be on the Mets.

Matsui did it partly because he made the last out in the loss, but mostly because he remembered that he used to be on the Mets.

Final Score: Puerto Rico 3, Japan 1

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on Japan

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They will go down as perhaps the two most difficult decisions in history. Decisions of unparalleled consequence. Decisions that altered the course of humanity. Decisions that strike to the very core of the human condition. Decisions that haunted and will forever haunt the sleepless nights of their makers.

The first: United States President Harry S. Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilian lives weighed on the most terrible scale against the similar thousands of American soldiers whose lives would have inevitably been lost in a ground invasion of Japan. The unleashing of the most devastating weapon ever devised to end the deadliest conflict the world had yet experienced.

The second: Puerto Rico Manager Edwin Rodriguez’s decision to bring in J.C. Romero into a 3-1 game in the bottom of the 9th of a 2013 World Baseball Classic semifinal. The possibility that J.C. Romero would get some outs weighed against the likelihood the he would give up some baserunners. The unleashing of a pretty terrible pitcher in an effort to end a baseball game that would send Puerto Rico to the WBC finals. Continue reading

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All Akimbrel: U.S. Left With Hands on Hips After Tough Loss

Joe Torre trudges away after failing his country, like he always does.

Joe Torre trudges away after failing his country, like he always does.

Final Score: Dominican Republic 3, United States 1

World Baseball Conflict of the Game:: The American occupation of the Dominican Republic in 1965-66

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I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “How could the U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic, which lead to an American-favored ruler being installed as President who would rule for two decades, be considered a metaphor for a game in which American was defeated?”

I’ll tell you how, you heartless bastard. No military intervention in another country’s domestic affairs can EVER be considered a victory, because foreign occupations for the sake of American strategic gain are MORALLY REPUGNANT. Even when the other country is in the midst of a civil war, as the DR was in 1965, military action cannot be justified. WHO ARE WE to decide the fate of the Dominican people? WHO ARE WE to decide that they would be better off if they “didn’t have a civil war?”

Lyndon Johnson may have thought he won this war, but his soul was defeated. The ethics of U.S. foreign policy suffered a loss in the Dominican Republic comparable to Craig Kimbrel giving up a go-ahead single to Eric Aybar in the 9th inning last night.

And the United States never recovered from its moral failing. Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Libya. Not coming back against Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the 9th. Look how far America has fallen from its righteous beginnings.

True victories are not measured in battles won, casualties sustained, or economic and political benefits attained. They are measured by whether we have abided by our moral principles.

And also, runs scored.

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Honest Abe: Shinnosuke Hits Two Homers, Doesn’t Lie About It

Shinnosuke Abe, depicted in the tradition Japanese style of “extremely weird.”

Final Score: Japan 10, Netherlands 6

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Japan’s revocation of exclusive trading rights with the Dutch in 1858

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Once upon a time, there was a period of several centuries when the only white people in the world that Japan was okay with were Dutch people. Japan kicked out all other Western suitors for their trade, but the Dutch East India Company was invited in and told to make themselves comfortable. They certainly did, enjoying exclusive Japanese hospitality for about two and a half centuries.

But Japan eventually got bored with its trade monogamy, and fell victim to the seductive wiles of voluptuous young Americans like Commodore Matthew Perry. The Convention of Kanagawa affirmed Japan’s infidelity, leaving the Dutch well and truly cuckolded. The divorce didn’t go well for the Netherlands, as Japan ended up taking all their stuff and enslaving them.

Now, Japan is just being a dick to their ex for the fun of it. They’ve beaten the Dutch twice in this WBC, by a combined score of 26-10. Why must Japan be so cruel? The Dutch were a perfectly good partner in the 17th-19th centuries. They don’t deserve this.

I can only hope that if Japan ends up playing the Netherlands in the finals, they will show some mercy out of remembrance for the love the two nations once shared.

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Double Dutch: Netherlands Leap Over Cuba For Second Time

An increasingly tubby Andruw Jones goes out for a morning stroll.

An increasingly tubby Andruw Jones goes out for a morning stroll.

Final Score: Netherlands 7, Cuba 6

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Dutch role in preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis

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This, ladmen and gentleladies, is why the World Baseball Classic is wonderful. A baseball powerhouse against a baseball upstart; the New World against the Old and the Old Baseball World against the New. Someone named Kalian Sams hitting a walk-off sac fly.

If you have been an assiduous follower of The Zimmerman(n) Telegram’s WBC coverage (FOR SHAME if you have not), you’ll clearly remember my comrade’s coverage of the last CUB-NED game, which was an obvious metaphor for Dutch adventures in 17th century Spanish Cuba. For this post, the foreign power the Dutch are dealing with in Cuba will be not the Spanish, but the Soviet Union. We’re later in the World Baseball Classic, so the metaphor is later in time. Obviously. Continue reading

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Dominicanatrix: Puerto Ricans Are Submissive to Dominican Whipping

A smiling Robinson Cano extends his arms and starts tilting his body to the left until he falls over, to a standing ovation from the crowd.

An exuberant Robinson Cano extends his arms and starts tilting his body until he falls over, to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Final Score: Dominican Republic 4, Puerto Rico 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Unwanted immigration from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico

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They just keep coming. Dominicans, pouring across home plate, pouring across the Mona Passage. No pitching, defense, or U.S. coast guard can stop them. What’s a poor Puerto Rican (Poorto Rican?) to do?

It’s not Puerto Rico’s fault that the Dominican Republic has a terrible economy and a great offense. It’s not their fault that the Dominican Republic is right next to the even worse country of Haiti and has Robinson Cano on their team to hit beautiful, beautiful home runs.

It is a little bit their fault that their starting pitcher was Orlando Roman, who has never and will never succeed in a baseball league anyone cares about. It is also a little bit their fault that they haven’t bothered to become a U.S. state so the U.S. government doesn’t care all that much how many illegal Dominicans show up on the island. But on the whole, Puerto Rico is the victim here, of the Dominican Republic’s merciless immigrants and amazing-baseball-player-producing factories.

I wish there was some way to help them, but I’m afraid it’s too late for Puerto Rico. Their normal jobs will all be taken by Dominicans, and they won’t even be able to get jobs as professional baseball players because the Dominicans will have taken all those jobs too. They are doomed to lead depressing lives of sitting on the beach doing nothing in a tropical paradise.

Tragic.

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The Rico Get Rico-er: Puerto Rico Adds to Wealth of Victories at Venezuela’s Expense

I'm not sure how the Venezuelans expected to win starting a dead guy...

I’m not sure how the Venezuelans expected to win starting a dead guy…

Final Score: Puerto Rico 6, Venezuela 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Venezuela feeling that Puerto Rico is the  base of the American Caribbean Empire against Venezuela

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Hugo Chavez was a crazy man who believed some pretty crazy things, which makes his passing a bit sad because we will now no longer hear him say any of those crazy things. His hilarious utterances will be sorely missed, if not the other aspects of his existence. In memoriam of his unfailingly creative turns of phrase, this post is dedicated to one of them in particular: his opinion on the island of Puerto Rico.

Chavez felt that PR was in fact being used by the United States as a base of operations for its imperial ambitions in Venezuela and the rest of Latin America. He went so far as to describe Puerto Rico as a “gringo colony” of the U.S., and promised to one day liberate it. He even alleged that the leading U.S. diplomat in Venezuela had met with anti-Chavistas in exile in Puerto Rico.

Continue reading

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When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do: Lose

I think that guy on the right with the long hair and the grim face is Silvio Berlusconi in disguise.

I think that guy on the right with the long hair, the evil mustache and the grim face is Silvio Berlusconi in disguise.

Final Score: United States 6, Italy 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: An oldie but a goodie: World War II

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Hey, remember that time Italians were fascists?

Heh. Silly Italians.

Now, I know I’ve already covered the Italian Campaign in pointing out Canada’s lackluster role in the whole affair. But I do think it’s worth stressing the extent to which Italy got absolutely clobbered in this war, then slathered onto a tank sandwich between two slices of the U.S. and Nazi Germany.

The big blow in the campaign was undoubtedly the American-led capture of the island of Sicily. That event also happens to be recalled by a similar occurrence in Saturday’s U.S.-Italy WBC game: David Wright’s fifth inning grand slam off hopeless Tampa Bay Rays reliever Matt Torres. In 1943, the U.S. had its Mediterranean bases filled with ground, air, and naval forces. The invasion of Sicily, like Wright’s home run, cleared those bases and would eventually lead to a decisive American victory.

Big shout out here to our very own Ross Detwiler, whose 4 shutout innings made him the Dwight Eisenhower of this game. I hope to see Ross taking many trips around the warning track this season in the jumbo Ike costume we’re sending him as a reward.

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Taip-ei Diabetes: Cuba Kills Opponents With Sugar

Tragically, the elderly Diaz did not survive his ill-conceived attempt to block the plate.

Tragically, the elderly Diaz did not survive his ill-conceived attempt to block the plate.

Final Score: Cuba 14, Chinese Taipei 0

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Cuba severs diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1960

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This game was a bit…one sided. Like a one-sided die that’s just a marble that says “Cuba Wins” all over it. They really could have just rolled that die before the game to decide the winner and saved themselves the trouble.

If the theme of our World Baseball Classic coverage was to use major league players hailing from the countries involved as a metaphor for the game, this game would’ve been Aroldis Chapman and Chien-Ming Wang trying to see who can throw harder. But it’s not. So HERE’S SOME FUCKING HISTORY. Continue reading

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