Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birdland Bulletin: Right Handers on the Rise

While the Baltimore Orioles’ offseason has been relatively quiet, the franchise made some noise last night. The ripple made by the Birds may have been quieter than a fart in a Jacuzzi, but it is news worthy nonetheless.

Last night Major League Baseball announced it’s top 100 prospects in baseball and Orioles right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman found themselves on the list. Bundy came in as the number 2 prospect in all of baseball, and Gausman rolled in at number 37. They were the only Orioles in the list, which is a little disappointing, but then again the farm system isn’t exactly bountiful. 

This will be a quick post, mostly to inform you of the two arms in our system that are on the fast track to the big leagues; in fact both could conceivably be pitching in Camden Yards at some point this summer.  There will be no extensive breakdowns or scouting reports on either pitcher in this post, for I am reserving my baseball nerdiness for the upcoming season.

Dylan Bundy is ONLY 20 years old and made his Major League debut last season, after being drafted 4th overall in 2011.  He diced up the Minor Leagues last year in his first professional season.  Watching minor league hitters bat off Bundy is like Usain Bolt’s kids trying to run away from a spanking when they get in trouble.

The knowledge being dropped here makes one weak in the knees...
Kevin Gausman was the 4th overall pick in last year’s draft and pitched in Short Season Aberdeen, and made a brief appearance in Single A with the Frederick Keys.  Gausman hides the ball very well.  Detecting which pitch is coming from Gausman is like detecting deer antler extract in someone’s blood, right Ray Lewis?

Oh by the way, the Nationals had a few players on the list as well including Anthony Rendon (3B, no. 28), Brian Godwin (OF, no. 52), Lucas Giolito (RHP, no. 74), and recently re-acquired A.J. Cole (RHP, no. 91).  For more on the Nats’ rising stars, look for the Natstown Newsletter.

Pitchers and catchers report in two short weeks, and for the first time in a very long time, both Birdland and Natstown have a lot to look forward to! We here at the Battle of the Beltway are not exactly sure what to do with ourselves, but you can expect limitless optimism, unabashed homerism, and predictions that even the man on the moon thinks are lofty. Suffering through the tough seasons year in and year out, we have every friggin right to feel this way, so either get on board and get off at the next exit! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Presidents' Race Scouting Report: William H. Taft

Natsfest was this past weekend, and suffice to say the excitement level for this franchise is high to quite high.   In fact, there is more excitement surrounding this team than there is hair surrounding Jayson Werth’s face.

It’s been an offseason of additions, with the acquisitions of center fielder Denard “The Nard Dogg” Span, starting pitcher Dan Haren, and closer Rafael Soriano.  These are the headline grabbing additions, but one major Nats announcement snuck under the radar.  We are not quite sure how it snuck under radar, considering the girth associated with the addition.  Of course we are talking about the newest President to throw his hat in the ring, William Howard Taft aka "Air Force Ton." 
While Taft is not exactly the model of fitness, in fact he is a more likely candidate for The Biggest Loser than he is for the Presidents Race.  However, that did not stop the Nationals Marketing Squad from signing Taft to a lucrative contract.  Some of you may be scratching your head on how this round, mound, of progressively conservative sound etched his way into the race.  Fear not loyal readers for we have put together an in-depth and extensive scouting report on our new large and in charge racer.

Name: William Howard Taft
Hometown/State: Cincinnati, Ohio
College: Yale University
Qualifications: 27th President of the United States (1909-1913), Chief Justice (1921-1930)
Height: 6’2
Weight: 330 LBs
Political Party: Republican
Married: You’re damn right he was married!

Notable Health Issues:
-Morbidly Obese
-Ate high caloric meals leading to extreme cases of burping and farting.*
-Got stuck in the White House Tub and had to be removed by his aides who greased him and the tub with butter.* No joke, look it up.

*These are sources that talk about Taft’s burping, farting, and eventual tub debacle.
 Sotos, John G. (September 2003). "Taft and Pickwick". Chest 124 (3): 1133–1142. doi:10.1378/chest.124.3.1133.

Connections to Baseball:
Due to the obvious question marks surrounding Taft’s health and fitness (cut to Michelle Obama nodding with crossed arms), he seems like an odd choice.  However, Taft has some deeper connections to the diamond then us casual folk may be aware of. 

On April 14, 1910, the Big Fella threw out the first pitch before a Senators' game, making him the first president to throw out the first pitch.  Just like the bacon grease near Taft’s ribs, it stuck as every President since has performed this duty.
As we have alluded to, Taft is one hefty mountain of a man, and cramming himself into two seats for 9 innings can be an arduous task.  Therefore, in the 7th inning of the same game in 1910, President Taft stood up, cracked his back, and stretched himself out a bit.  Taft then got up and left his seat to take a walkabout.  The stadium figured their commander-in-chief was leaving and therefore everyone stood up to say goodbye. Thus creating the tradition we all know as the Seventh Inning Stretch.

His large frame can lead to a downhill running style, that once he gains momentum, look out! Think Thud-Butt from Hook.

Taft has a Michael Phelpsian caloric intake which provides a serious source of fuel for race day. His inordinate amount of flatulence also propels him to a faster rate than the wispy George Washington or the wirey Abraham Lincoln.

Seriously? Dude is a fat ass.  Taft is what we like to call in the baseball world a “Bad Body.” His weight issues lead to him having a tough time getting to top speed.  He has had difficulties finishing races due to his aforementioned weight issues leading to necessary stops.  Finishing out races can be a real struggle for America’s most powerful glutton. 

Interesting Storyline to Look For:
Roosevelt and Taft do not like each other.  They were once friends and colleagues and than that friendship went further South than an old Jewish couple from New York who just bought a house in Del Boca Vista!

Teddy was President for two terms and then turned over the reins to fellow Republican, Taft.  When Teddy left the Oval Office, he felt that he had left it in good hands with his mustachioed brethren.  Teddy was a progressive reformer and many in Congress expected Taft to carry on this legacy and keep the Country moving in a forward direction.  Well the only thing moving forward during the Taft years was his belt buckle as it struggled to maintain his Presidential gut. Taft’s policies became so conservative, that Teddy came out of retirement to run against Taft for the Republican Nomination in the Election of 1912.  Teddy formed the Bull Moose Party and the Republican Party became split between Taft and Teddy, and this split helped elect Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1912.  The tension between Taft and Teddy can be cut with a butter knife; probably the same one that helped spread butter on the President during Tubgate.  Look for this score to be settled on the warning track of Nationals Park, come race day.

If the guy struggled to get out of a bath tub, how can he possibly expect to beat the fleet footed Washington, the honestly Usain-Boltaciously quick Abraham Lincoln, or the author of the Virginia Statute of Religious Speedom, Thomas Jefferson? Or how about Taft’s personal rival the “Swinging Stick of the Presidents Race” Teddy Roosevelt? Seriously folks, does this guy look athletic? 

The new owner of the Presidents' Race Losing Streak. #BadBody

Friday, January 25, 2013

2 Legit 2 Quip: Manti Mania

Come on, you didn’t think we would stay quiet about this absurdity did you?


Even Lance Armstrong rolled his eyes and turned off the Manti Te’O interview with Katie Couric.

Even Barry Watson thinks Ronny Tuiasosopo’s impression of a chick sucked.

Wondering what’s more fake: Manti Te’o’s girlfriend or Wilmer Valderamma’s citizenship.

Wondering what’s more fake: Manti Te’o’s girlfriend or Lindsey Lohan’s New Year’s Resolutions.

Our hometown sports bias is more one sided than one of Manti Te’o’s dinner dates.

Tyler’s ping pong score against Stephen Hawking is more one sided than one of Manti Te’o’s dinner dates.

We make more excuses for our hometown teams than Lenny Kekua when Manti Te’o asked her for Skype Dates.

Manti Te’o’s game with chicks is worse than his game versus Alabama.

The number of human girlfriends Manti Te’o hasis the same number of times Lenny Kekua logged in to Skype.

The number of people who show up when Manti Te’o makes a dinner reservation is the same number of nuts that Lance Armstrong has.

Antonio Cromartie wishes he’d been catfished by one of his baby mama’s.

Even the people who bought the Shake Weight think Manti Te’o is gullable.

Things we wish were “Lenny Kekua-ed” (See, never existed)
2) Cancer
3) Childhood Obesity
4) J-Lo’s acting career
5) Albert Haynesworth
6) Say Yes to the Dress
7) Rebecca Black
8) The Kardashians
9) The Bravo Network
10) New York Sports Teams

Chumbawumba has more hits than Manti Te’o has girlfriends.

The only piece of literature with more lies than the SI interview transcript is Kim Jong IL’s autobiography.

If Manti Te’o wasn’t in on the hoax than North Korea can successfully launch a nuke. ……Fucking idiots.

If Manti Te’o wasn’t in on the hoax than Taylor Swift should be a relationship counselor.

If Manti Te’o wasn’t in on the hoax than Jeff Van Gundy should be a spokesman for the Big & Tall Store.

Manti Te’o wasn’t in on the hoax than this fad on FaceBook isn’t the single dumbest fucking thing we have ever seen!

Just because you have 1,000 friends on Facebook 
doesn't mean you have 1 real one. Just ask Manti...

If Manti Te’o wasn’t in on the hoax than Ray Lewis should be a spokesman for safe sex.

If Manti Te’o wasn’t in on the hoax than we are rooting for the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Beltway Loop Around

Much like our area’s beloved Beltway during rush hour, yesterday’s sports page was JAM PACKED.  A fan favorite for the Nationals got off at the next exit, two high ups with the Baltimore Orioles decided to sit in traffic for a couple more years, and one future NFL star’s draft stock just slammed on the breaks.

In order to effectively cover yesterday’s initially positive turned stomach-turning day of sports news, we realized we had to change our format a tad.  We would like to introduce a new type of article we like to call the “Beltway Loop Around.”  We will zip around the “Inner Loop” covering our beloved hometown squads, and then we will head to the “Outer Loop” to cover the national stories.  We will try to be short and sweet with each story, but lets be real…we can get wordier than a bowl of Alpha-Bits.  BUCKle up your seat belts, put it in drive, and sit with us in sports gridlock.


The Washington Nationals traded away fan favorite 1B/LF Mike Morse, a.k.a. Big Mike, a.k.a. Beast Mode.  This was expected when the Nationals re-signed 1B Adam LaRoche, but that does not mean it doesn’t sting a little bit.  Big Mike plays the game with childish enthusiasm and a blue-collar work ethic.  He has had to grind to get to where he is at in the Big Leagues, and we wish him the VERY BEST of luck in Seattle. We will miss you Big Mike, may the Emerald City enjoy your Samurai Cobra Snake as much as Natstown did. 

Mike Rizzo continues to make this whole General Manager job look easy by receiving three players in return in this three-team trade.  In the deal the Nationals received RHP’s Blake Treinen and A.J. Cole. Yes folks, the same A.J. Cole that the Nationals traded for Gio Gonzalez.  Already recouping one of the prospects already given up is a savvy move by the Riz.  The Nationals will also be receiving a player to be named later whose caliber will be determined by the season that Big Mike has in Seattle.

Here’s what we know: Both Treinen and Cole are young and a few years away from making any impact in the Big Leagues.  Cole is a tall lanky 21-year-old kid with a high velocity fastball and a power curveball.  He is still developing his change up, and could project as a back end reliever.  Treinen is 24 years old, with a power arm.  However, the fact that he’s 24 and has only reached High-A ball leads us to believe he either has had arm problems in the past or just isn’t that good.  He is a long ways from the Big Leagues, and if the Oakland A’s are willing to part with a prospect he may not be that great. HOWEVA, we trust the Riz on this one and hopefully Treinen can help out the bullpen in a year or two.

The Baltimore Orioles signed General Manager Dan “The Duke” Duquette and manager Buck Showalter to 6-year extensions yesterday.  Six-year extensions for managers or GM’s are relatively unheard of especially for a team who doesn’t give starting pitchers more than 3-year contracts.  Yet, if anybody deserves these extensions it’s the no non-sense manager whose quiet and calm coolness motivated a team of afterthoughts to believe in themselves; and the GM who took a flyer on International talent, retreads, and young bucks whose “prospect” tag had already been shed.  They believed in the team, and the fan base believes in them.  With the extensions, the Orioles have stability at the top to further a sustainable competitive roster.

The Zards lost last night in Sacramento 95-94 in a game where they led for the majority of it. Future Wizard DeMarcus Cousins proved to be too much for the Chocolate City Chuckers. 

Silver lining: John Wall continues to impress with a stat line of 14 points and 10 assists.  He did miss two free throws in the final 30 seconds when the game was tied; and his jumper continues to be a work in progress.

More silver lining: Brad Beal continues to rack up buckets, dropping a career high 26 points on a Wizards Rookie Record six 3-pointers. 

And the final exit ramp of our Inner Loop is brought to you by some clever and talented Ravens fans.  Anytime you can incorporate “Call Me Maybe”, we will enjoy it, but tread lightly Ravens Nation. Be careful what you wish for when you say “We Want Brady.”


Out of nowhere Chip Kelly made a complete 180 and acepted the head coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles.  Why on earth would Chip Kelly turn down three NFL head coaching offers, announce he’s returning to Oregon, and then flip the script a week later? It’s quite simple actually, and they’re called NCAA INFRACTIONS.  Pete Carroll 2.0. And let us tell you why we think th—. 

That right there was our country’s collective head exploding when unleashed the fury with their article on Manti Te’o. 

In case you’ve been living under Charlie Weis’s chin for the past couple of days, you know the story here. Manti Te’o’s inspirational senior year riddled with personal tragedy was all a farce, and his dead girlfriend never even existed.

Courtesy of Q87.7

Quite frankly the most unbelievable part of this crazy, absurd, mind numbing, stomach churning, and sickening story is that people actually believed The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a chance against Alabama in the National Championship Game.  It is our belief that Manti Te’o didn’t actually exist during that game.

We have a few questions that arose with this brain-bomb:

1) Is Manti Te’o simply a victim of “catfish?” 

2) Was Manti Te’o in on this hoax?

3) Was this an elaborate publicity stunt in order to help Te’o’s Heisman campaign?

4) Is this an elaborate cover up to protect Manti Te’o’s homosexuality?
If this is the case, then sports, as a culture needs to take a look in the mirror. If a kid has to    create this unthinkable lie in order to keep his homosexuality a secret in order to still be drafted and not become a pariah in his own locker room; then we have still got serious problems in our society.

5) Our final question is what would Brent Musberger’s reaction had been if Lenny Kekua was a real girl and was actually at the National Championship game?

“That right there, folks, is one tasty island treat! All you young Samoans out there, grab a tackling dummy and a weight bench because the linebackers get the pretty ones!”

The traffic is starting to clear, there are less and less brake lights, and the commute is over.  Thanks for sitting in gridlock with us, see ya at rush hour.