February 27, 2021

Nats Nightly: Nationals fall to Kolten Wong and Cardinals 7-5

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and Doghouse of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 7-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Nats Nightly: Nationals 2-1 over Cardinals on Yunel Escobar walk-off HR

Tom Bridge of District Sports Page joins Patrick Reddington and Doghouse of Federal Baseball to discuss the Washington Nationals 2-1 10 inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Nats Nightly: Nationals 10-5 over Red Sox to avoid sweep in Fenway

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and Doghouse from Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 10-5 win over the Boston Red Sox.

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Nats Nightly: Nationals drop sloppy 9-4 decision to Red Sox in Fenway

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and Doghouse of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals disaster 9-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

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Nats Nightly: Nationals over Mets 2-1; Jordan Zimmermann outduels Jacob deGrom

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and Doghouse of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 2-1 win over the New York Mets.

Check Out Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

Nats Nightly: Nationals sign Max Scherzer for 7-year/$210M

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington of Federal Baseball discuss the big Max Scherzer deal, what the next steps may (or may not) be and the Yunel Escobar trade.

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District Sports Page welcomes two new Nats writers

We don’t normally devote an entire blog post when we add new writers. Not that we shouldn’t, we’re proud of all the fine folks that devote time and energy contributing to District Sports Page. But our two newest writers come to us in a bit of a unique circumstance, so we felt a post was in order.

Tom Bridge and Rachel Levitin, formerly of WeLoveDC.com, have joined District Sports Page starting today. They will both bring a fresh, colorful, decidedly unique approach to covering the Washington Nationals. They have both been on the beat at Nats Park since 2010, as We Love DC was one of the original “blogs” to be credentialed by the team, along with DSP (formerly Nats News Network).

Tom and Rachel have been through it all covering the team, including both playoff series, and they become very welcome additions to our staff here.

Please help me welcoming Tom and Rachel. Below are their bios for your review.

__________________

Tom Bridge is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. Tom has been in love with baseball since he was 10. He is a founding editor of We Love DC, where he covered the Nationals and Capitals as a credentialed writer for four seasons. He grew up as an Oakland Athletics fan in the Central Valley in California, where he learned to appreciate Bill King, Mark McGwire and even Tony LaRussa. By day, he is a partner at Technolutionary LLC, where he handles IT operations. He cannot abide the Cardinals. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tbridge.

Rachel Levitin is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. For the past five seasons, she was credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals as an author for We Love DC. During her time spent with WLDC, Rachel composed game stories, covered off-the-field special events, and chronicled both of the Nats’ recent playoff runs.  In addition to her work with WLDC, Rachel’s writing has been featured in the Washington Examiner and on MASNSports.com where she has been a featured guest blogger for the Nationals Buzz blog since 2011. Her love for baseball stems from having grown up on the north side of Chicago and falling in love with the sport’s history as a result of growing up just minutes from Wrigley Field. Rachel moved to DC in 2005 and has been following along with the Nats since their inaugural season. You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RHLevitin.

DSP REVIEWS: Episode 4 of Epix Road to Winter Classic: Capitals vs. Blackhawks

Journey with us, back to Tuesday night, when Epix debuted its fourth — and final — episode of Road to the Winter Classic. It was just like HBO’s 24/7, only even more melodramatic and over-scripted. Anyway, District Sports Page’s Capitals crew watched, took notes, and provides these reviews, which probably coincide greatly with what you already thought about it.

ERIC: Favorite quote: “In hockey, the reality is that every day doesn’t start out the way you wish it could. But there is one that does.” –Narrator Bill Camp at the top of the show.

Biggest laugh: A Capital saying “Ovi’s hair is getting grayer, let’s go” while they were on golf carts, getting ready to head to the entrance.

Biggest surprise: Call it a pleasant surprise, but I loved how much emphasis they had on the game itself, and the buildup to it.

Least favorite part: I disliked the montage of the Caps and Blackhawks playing at the same time. It seemed a little forced, but I’m glad it didn’t take away from too much coverage of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

J.J.: Most memorable quote: “It’s just a regular game day.” “But is it though?” Tom Wilson and Michael Latta on their way to the stadium. I loved the sentiment of how the players were trying to approach this game like it  was just any other game, but underneath it all, they knew it was something special.

Biggest surprise: I’m not sure why, but the Chicago players seemed to enjoy talking about Michael Latta. Maybe teams just recognize another team’s fighter and zero in on him, but it seems odd to trash talk a fourth line player. If you want to get under a player’s skin, why not go for someone more likely to do damage against your team? Latta seemed like an odd target.

Biggest laugh: As both teams shook hands after the game, Barry Trotz and Joel Quenneville argued over which one cursed more in the series. Not surprisingly both coaches claimed the other had the fouler mouth. Of course, neither one of them compared to Bruce Boudreau, but I digress.

Least favorite part: One of the big storylines that came out after the game was Troy Brouwer’s father being at the game to witness his son scoring the winning goal. The show introduced us to Brouwer’s parents early in the episode and talked about how it was hard for his father to travel after he suffered a stroke a few years ago. I thought the show was setting itself up for a grand finale with Brouwer’s parents, maybe an interview of what that moment meant for them or seeing their reaction after the game, but that didn’t happen. Brouwer’s parents were never mentioned again. So…no one working with the show thought to talk to Brouwer’s family after the game? What was the point of showing them come into town? It seems like such a throwaway scene that it felt like it had to be setting something up. This was a real missed opportunity.

Even with that, however, this episode finally captured what it was I was looking for the entire time, a real behind the scenes perspective. This episode showed how the players talk and interact with one another prior to the game, on the ice and on the bench. They swore at the referees, they swore at their opponents, coaches swore at….well, everyone. I wanted to see pregame speeches, I wanted to see prep, I wanted to see the part of hockey we never see and this episode finally had it because it was not bogged down by endless game recaps.

4 puck of out 4

Overall, this series lacked the flair and gravitas that 24/7 seemed to carry. The HBO series gave a fascinating look behind the curtain of hockey while building its audience up into a frenzy of excitement for the eventual Winter Classic. This show simply didn’t carry the same excitement and much of that was due to the game recaps.

The show did a great job of showing life away from the ice, but it focused far too much on telling us what we already knew. We can get game recaps anywhere.

2.5 pucks out of 4

DSP REVIEWS: Episode 3 of Epix Road to Winter Classic: Capitals vs. Blackhawks

Journey with us, back to Tuesday night, when Epix debuted its third episode of Road to the Winter Classic. It was just like HBO’s 24/7, only even more melodramatic and over-scripted. Anyway, District Sports Page’s Capitals crew watched, took notes, and provides these reviews, which probably coincide greatly with what you already thought about it. [Read more…]

DSP REVIEWS: Episode 2 of Epix Road to Winter Classic: Capitals vs. Blackhawks

Journey with us, back to Tuesday night, when Epix debuted its second episode of Road to the Winter Classic. It was just like HBO’s 24/7, only even more melodramatic and over-scripted. Anyway, District Sports Page’s Capitals crew watched, took notes, and provides these reviews, which probably coincide greatly with what you already thought about it.

Eric: Most memorable quote: “Ice cream. Need ice cream.” –Alex Ovechkin, on the way to picking up a few ice cream cones at a Wizards game.

Biggest surprise: Ovechkin likes country music, according to a “Coors Light Cold Hard Fact” at the start of the episode.

Biggest laugh: A Capital saying “Coach Korn is pitching a tent in the stands right now” late in the Panthers shootout. Guess somebody paid attention last week.

Least favorite part: I might go with Corey Crawford’s abrasive demeanor with the media, but I can imagine that it’s difficult to have a video camera stalking you while you’re dealing with an injury.

In general, this was a much better episode than last week’s, and rivals the quality of even some of the better HBO ones. Epix did a much better job of showing what life in the NHL is like this week, instead of just telling us what happened in every game while adding little insight. Also, I’m glad they put in a tribute at the end to Blackhawks assistant equipment manager Clint Reif, who passed away over the weekend.

3.5 pucks out of 4

JJ: Most memorable quote: “Versteeg has always got somethin to say even if you don’t want to hear it and you usually don’t.” Chicago assistant equipment manager Clint Reif giving insights on what his job was like dealing with the players.

Biggest surprise: How different this episode was compared to the first. The first gave us a game by game breakdown that felt tedious and really didn’t give the type of insights I was looking for. This episode was completely different with talks between the coaches the coaches game planning, more family time, locker room speeches, etc.

Biggest laugh: Seeing Jason Chimera and his son. Not only did his son score on Alex Ovechkin during the family skate, but Chimera also talked about how parents are mad at him after he introduced hockey to the neighborhood and one kid got his tooth knocked out.

Least favorite part: As much as I liked this episode, the game breakdowns were still there. The Caps’ games against New Jersey and Columbus felt like they took up half of the episode.

As I alluded to earlier, I liked this episode. Not only did it have the insights I was looking for, but it also took a very difficult situation and dealt with it exceptionally well. Reif’s death was a tragedy and as much as I want insight’s into the player’s mentality, I thought nothing could have summed up how everyone felt better than seeing Joel Quenneville giving his statement about Reif with tears in his eyes. Very well done.

3.5 pucks out of four

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