Palookaville

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Greetings from The Booth!

I want to start this week’s blog by sending thoughts and prayers to the people of Florida, who endured incredible devastation from Hurricane Ian last week. Many of us have some connection to the Sunshine State, whether it’s a family trip to Disneyworld, having relatives who live there, or just living vicariously in Florida through Jimmy Buffett’s songs. I’ve been to Key West three times, and once you’ve been there, it becomes a part of you. The rain we experienced this past weekend in the Shenandoah Valley was merely an annoyance, as compared to those who have lost everything. In some cases, entire barrier islands have been wiped away. The recovery effort will take years. Here’s to better Floridays ahead…

Changing gears, I came across one of the great movies of all time the other night, 1954’s “On The Waterfront,” starring Marlon Brando. The film won eight Oscars, including a Best Actor Academy Award for Brando. His character, a washed-up prizefighter, utters the line late in the movie, “what did IĀ  get? A one way ticket to Palookaville.” I looked up Palookaville in the dictionary, and it’s defined as a state or situation of obscurity or failure. I immediately thought of Washington, DC, as it relates to sports.

How did Washington become Palookaville? In 2019 the Washington Nationals won the World Series. Just a few short years later they are finishing a 107-loss season. Let that sink in. It’s said that in a 162-game season a major league baseball team will win 54, lose 54, and how good they are will depend on the otherĀ  54 games. Using that equation, the Nats are 1-53 in those games. Ouch. In two short seasons, GM Mike Rizzo gutted the team of it’s championship core and committed to a rebuild. How patient the fans are remains to be seen, but it’s easy to get to a Nationals game now–just park at the Vienna Metro stop and take the Orange line to Palookaville station.

Then, there are the Commanders, formerly the Washington Football Team, formerly the Redskins. Their ineptitude under owner Dan Snyder is well documented. There have been brief periods of success like the NFC East titles in 2012 and 2020, only to be followed by immediate returns to failure. The 20-plus years of the Snyder era have been filled with bad draft choices, free agents past their prime, numerous coaches and quarterbacks, terrible on and off-the-field decisions, one of the worst game day experiences in the NFL, Fed-Ex Field filled with opposing-team fans, and a toxic workplace culture. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

The Washington Wizards are just perennially mediocre. Their last NBA title was 1977-78. Enough said.

And we come to the Washington Capitals, who won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Since then, they’ve been ousted in the first round of the playoffs every year, despite having one of the best players to ever lace up the skates in Alex Ovechkin. The Caps tease us each year with lots of regular season wins, only to make their tee times in early April.

And there you have it. But take heart, Washington sports fans. There’s always next year in Palookaville.

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO FLORIDA!

RW

 

 

 

 

Sports: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Nats Nip Braves, O’s Double Up Twins, Wizards Eliminated

Yan Gomes’ home run in the 8th inning was the difference in the Washington Nationals’ 5-3 win over Atlanta last night. Juan Soto also went deep for the Nats, who won their second straight against the Braves. The two teams play the getaway game of the series today, starting at 11:50 am, on Sports Radio 1450.

In other Nationals’ news, the club has placed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 10 day injured list, due to a strained neck.

The Baltimore Orioles also won their second straight, beating the Twins 6-3 last night at Camden Yards. Ryan Mountcastle led the O’s attack with 2 hits and 3 RBI. The Birds are off today before starting a weekend series with the Indians tomorrow.

The Philadelphia 76ers pulled away from the Washington Wizards in the second half and advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs with a 129-112 win last night. The Wizards, who were eliminated 4 games to 1, got a combined 56 points from Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.

And, Serena Williams was among the winners on Day 4 of the French Open Tennis Tournament.

Sports: Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Nats Club Braves, O’s End Losing Streak, Wizards Head Back To Philly

The Washington Nationals pounded out 14 hits on the way to an 11-6 win against the Atlanta Braves last night. Juan Soto and Trey Turner lad the onslaught with 3 hits apiece as the Nats ended a 5-game losing streak. Washington starter Stephen Strasburg left in the second inning with an apparent injury and will be evaluated by the club. The Nats and Braves play tonight, starting at 6:50 on Sports Radio 1450.

The Baltimore Orioles’ 14-game losing streak is over, following a 7-4 win over Minnesota last night. The Birds built a 6-1 lead and never looked back in improving to 18-37 on the season. Trey Mancini went 2-for-3 and drove in 2 runs for the O’s, who host the Twins tonight at 7:05.

And, the Washington Wizards try to keep their season alive tonight when they head back to Philadelphia for Game 5 of their opening round NBA Playoff series. The Wizards trail 3 games to 1. Tip off is set for 7 pm.

Sports: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Nats Fall To Braves, O’s Losing Streak At 14, Wizards Stay Alive

The Washington Nationals reached a season-low 8 games under .500 with a 5-3 loss yesterday to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves got to Nats’ starter Joe Ross with 3 runs in the first and another in the second, and the Atlanta bullpen made those runs hold up with 4 scoreless innings of relief. Josh Bell homered for the Nationals, who take on the Braves again tonight starting at 6:50 on Sports Radio 1450.

The Baltimore Orioles losing skid hit 14 yesterday with a 3-2 10-inning loss to Minnesota. The 14-game slide represents the second-longest in club history. The Twins plated 2 runs in the top of the 10th to take a 3-1 lead. The Birds answered with a run in the bottom of the frame, but the rally fell short. The two teams play again tonight at 7:05.

The Washington Wizards kept their season alive last night with a 122-114 win over Philadelphia in Game 4 of their NBA Playoff series. The Wizards got 27 points from Bradley Beal and a triple-double from Russell Westbrook, including 21 rebounds. Washington, who still trails the ‘Sixers 3 games to 1, heads back to Philly for Game 5 tomorrow at 7pm.

And, in auto racing over the Memorial weekend, Kyle Larson, won the NASCAR Cup Series’ Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte, while 46 year-old Helio Castroneves won his 4th Indy 500.

Sports: Thursday, May 27, 2021

Nats-Reds Suspended, Os Lose Ninth Straight, Wizards Routed In Game 2

The Washington Nationals’ contest with the Cincinnati Reds last night was suspended due to a line of storms that moved through the DC area. That game will be resumed today at 2:05 as part of a split doubleheader, with the Nats leading 3-0 in the fourth inning. The regularly scheduled game will now be a 7-inning contest and will start at 7:05. You can hear the action on Sports Radio 1450.

The Baltimore Orioles lost their ninth straight game yesterday, falling to the Minnesota Twins 3-2. The Twins were held to just 4 hits, but made them count by plating all 3 of their runs in the 6th inning. The Birds are now off to Chicago to take on the White Sox at 8:10 tonight.

And, the Washington Wizards were no match for the Philadelphia 76ers last night, as they were routed 120-95 in Game 2 of their NBA Playoff series. Bradley Beal had 33 points for the Wizards, who are now down 2-0 in the series, which now heads back to DC for a 7pm Saturday tip off.

Sports: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Nats Nipped By Cincy, Twins Outscore O’s, Wiz-Sixers Tonight

Despite a solid outing by Max Scherzer, the Washington Nationals found little offense for him in a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati. Scherzer pitched 7 innings of 5-hit, 9-strikeout ball, but gave up solo homers to Kyle Farmer and Eugenio Suarez in taking his third loss of the season. The Nats plated a run in the bottom of the 9th to make things interesting, before falling to 20-24 on the season. The two teams play again tonight starting at 6:35 on Sports Radio 1450.

The Minnesota Twins handed the Baltimore Orioles a 7-4 road loss last night. Each team collected 10 hits on the night, including 2 apiece by 3 different O’s, as Baltimore dropped to 17-31 on the season. The two teams play the getaway game of the series at 1:10 this afternoon.

And, the Washington Wizards try to even their NBA Playoff series at a game apiece tonight when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers outlasted the Wizards in Game 1, 125-118. Tip off is set for 7pm in Philly.

Sports: Monday, May 24, 2021

SU Baseball Snubbed, Nats Sweep O’s, Mickleson Oldest To Win A Major

After losing the ODAC title game to Lynchburg Saturday in heartbreaking fashion, Shenandoah University Baseball was left out of the 48-team NCAA D-3 tournament field yesterday in selections made by the organization. The 31-11 Hornets were hoping to secure at at-large Pool C bid by virtue of their record and being ranked in the nation’s top-20 for most of the season. The 9-8 loss to Lynchburg Saturday wraps up the Spring sports season at SU.

The Washington Nationals nipped the Baltimore Orioles yesterday 6-5 to complete a 3-game weekend sweep. Patrick Corbin battled through 5 and 2/3 innings to get the win for the Nats, who improved to 20-23. The Nationals are off today before starting a series with the Reds tomorrow on Sports Radio 1450.

50 year-old Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major by capturing the 103rd PGA Championship yesterday on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. Mickelson faltered down the stretch, but managed to hold off Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen for the coveted Wanamaker Trophy. It was Mickelson’s 6th major championship overall.

Boston Bruins eliminated the Washington Capitals yesterday 3-1 to take that opening round NHL Playoff series four games to one. For the Caps, it was their third straight first round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And, The Washington Wizards dropped Game 1 of their NBA Playoff series to top-seed Philadelphia 76ers, 125-118. Game 2 is Wednesday in Philly.

Sports: Friday, May 21,2021

Hornets Play For ODAC Title, Nats Come Up Short, Wizards Advance

Shenandoah University Baseball will be in Lynchburg today to play for the ODAC Championship in a best 2-of-3 series. Games one and two are today, and if necessary, game three would be played tomorrow. Up for grabs is an automatic berth in the NCAA D-3 Tournament.

Ian Happ homered twice, powering the Chicago Cubs to a 5-2 win over the Washington Nationals yesterday afternoon. Back-to-back home runs by Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber staked the Nats to a 2-0 lead in the first, which Joe Ross could not hold. The 17-23 Nats return home to face Baltimore tonight starting at 6:35 on Sports Radio 1450. Stephen Strasburg returns from the injured list to start for the Nationals.

Tampa Bay routed the O’s yesterday 10-1.

The Washington Wizards advanced to the NBA Playoffs by routing the Indiana Pacers last night 142-115 in the play-in tournament. Bradley Beal led Washington with 25 points, while Russell Westbrook handed out 15 assists. The Wizards will now face top-seed Philadelphia Sunday at 1.

The Washington Capitals will try to even their best-of-seven NHL Playoff series with Boston tonight. All three games so far have gone to overtime, with the Caps trailing two games to one. Air time tonight is 6:15 on The River 95-3.

And, Canadian Corey Connors fired a 5-under 65 yesterday on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, and leads after one round of the PGA Championship. Brooks Koepka and Keegan Bradley lead a pack of golfers who are 2 strokes back. Round 2 takes place today.